Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1597

A relatively straightforward Jumbo offering steady progression and a healthy smattering of inventive and well-written clues. A good un then, though I fear we must pray LE MORTE D’ARTHUR is sufficient to appease the French Elder Gods for another week. If the sky suddenly turns tricolore and deafens us all with La Marseillaise then it’s been nice knowing you.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has given you the slip then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they have set down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.


Across clues

  1. Condemned one put in dock without resistance (8)

Answer: ACCURSED (i.e. “condemned”). Solution is ACCUSED (i.e. “one put in dock”) wrapped around or placed “without” R (a recognised abbreviation of electrical “resistance”), like so: ACCU(R)SED.

  1. Good to move slowly in punt (6)

Answer: GAMBLE (i.e. “punt”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by AMBLE (i.e. “to move slowly”).

  1. Strange items like lugs in the centre of Texas (7)

Answer: EXOTICA (i.e. “strange items”). Solution is OTIC (i.e. “like lugs”, or relating to the ears) placed “in” EXA (i.e. “the centre [letters] of Texas”), like so: EX(OTIC)A.

  1. Working with excellent chaps in court custody (11)

Answer: CONFINEMENT (i.e. “custody”). Solution is ON (i.e. operational or “working”) followed by FINE (i.e. “excellent”) and MEN (i.e. “chaps”) all placed “in” CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”), like so: C(ON-FINE-MEN)T.

  1. Glutton, possibly, eating horse as a source of excess energy? (11)

Answer: SUPERHEATER (i.e. “a source of excess energy”). Solution is SUPER EATER (i.e. “glutton, possibly”) wrapped around or “eating” H (i.e. “horse”, both slang terms for heroin), like so: SUPER-(H)-EATER.

  1. Pressure press to be clear (5)

Answer: PURGE (i.e. “clear”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) followed by URGE (i.e. “press”).

  1. Wavering – or lot more disrupted (7)

Answer: TREMOLO (i.e. “wavering”). “Disrupted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LOT MORE.

  1. Doctor repeatedly runs round altering triages (9)

Answer: REGISTRAR (i.e. “doctor” – Chambers has this: “a hospital doctor in one of the intermediate grades (medical or surgical registrar)”). Solution is R and R (i.e. “repeatedly runs” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) wrapped “round” an anagram (indicated by “altering”) of TRIAGES, like so: R(EGISTRA)R. Nicely worked.

  1. Dismissive exclamation about mostly tasteless pepper (7)

Answer: POBLANO (i.e. a Mexican “pepper” – Chambers doesn’t want to know, but my Oxford lists it). Solution is POO (i.e. “dismissive exclamation” – again, Chambers doesn’t want to know but Oxford likes it) wrapped “about” BLAND (i.e. “tasteless”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: PO(BLAN)O.

  1. Immediately passed headland, not favouring the port? (5-10)

Answer: RIGHT-HANDEDNESS (i.e. “not favouring the port”, being left in shipspeak). Solution is RIGHT (i.e. “immediately”, as in right now) followed by HANDED (i.e. “passed”) and NESS (i.e. “headland”).

  1. What’s brilliant about nurse in brown? Presence (10)

Answer: ATTENDANCE (i.e. “presence”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “brilliant”) wrapped “about” TEND (i.e. to “nurse”) once it has first been placed “in” TAN (i.e. “brown”), like so: A(T(TEND)AN)CE.

  1. Down by the French Mediterranean city (6)

Answer: NAPLES (i.e. “Mediterranean city”). Solution is NAP (i.e. fur or “down”) followed by LES (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the French for “the”, collectively).

  1. Chap wanting five to win (4)

Answer: GAIN (i.e. “win”). Solution is GAVIN (i.e. “chap’s” name) with the V removed (indicated by “wanting five” – V being five expressed as a Roman numeral).

  1. Continue to swell and enlarge injured head in medical care (7,7)

Answer: SURGEON GENERAL (i.e. “head in medical care”). Solution is SURGE ON (i.e. “continue to swell”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “injured”) of ENLARGE.

  1. Grain surrounds old Northwest Territories river city in Canada (8)

Answer: MONTREAL (i.e. “city in Canada”). Solution is MEAL (i.e. ground “grain”) wrapped around or “surrounding” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), NT (ditto “Northwest Territories” of Canada) and R (ditto ditto “river”), like so: M(O-NT-R)EAL.

  1. A censer (empty) is in untidy room, here in church? (8)

Answer: SACRISTY (i.e. “room, here in church”, specifically “a room in a church where the sacred utensils, vestments, etc, are kept” (Chambers)). Solution is A, CR (i.e. “censer (empty)” i.e. the word “censer” with all its middle letters removed) and IS all placed “in” STY (i.e. “untidy room”), like so: S(A-CR-IS)TY.

  1. Seeing in advance wealth having a significant effect (7-7)

Answer: FORTUNE-TELLING (i.e. “seeing in advance”). Solution is FORTUNE (i.e. “wealth”) followed by TELLING (i.e. “having a significant effect”).

  1. Unruly child getting right inside club (4)

Answer: BRAT (i.e. “unruly child”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) placed “inside” BAT (i.e. “club”), like so: B(R)AT.

  1. Found key in carrying case (6)

Answer: CREATE (i.e. to “found”). Solution is E (i.e. musical “key”) placed “in” CRATE (i.e. “carrying case”), like so: CR(E)ATE.

  1. Henry finished with skill in vehicle (10)

Answer: HOVERCRAFT (i.e. “vehicle”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a unit of electrical inductance) followed by OVER (i.e. “finished”) and CRAFT (i.e. “skill”).

  1. Very fat, must finally be looking embarrassed with bad posture (5-10)

Answer: ROUND-SHOULDERED (i.e. “with bad posture”). Solution is ROUND (i.e. “very fat”) followed by SHOULD (i.e. “must”), then E (i.e. “finally be”, i.e. the last letter of “be”) and RED (i.e. “looking embarrassed”).

  1. Master from Portsea misses going back (7)

Answer: MAESTRO (i.e. “master”). “From” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “going back” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: P(ORTSEA M)ISSES.

  1. Rock festival activity with hits and mescal going around (4,5)

Answer: SLAM DANCE (i.e. “rock festival activity with hits” – I’ve never seen the attraction, personally). “Going around” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AND MESCAL.

  1. One no longer working on island (7)

Answer: RETIREE (i.e. “one no longer working”). Solution is RE (i.e. “on” or regarding – think email replies) followed by TIREE (i.e. an “island” of Scotland).

  1. Note car approaching motorway (5)

Answer: MINIM (i.e. musical “note”). Solution is MINI (i.e. make of “car”) followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “motorway”).

  1. Hard task round table to plan moves (11)

Answer: CHOREOGRAPH (i.e. “to plan moves”). Solution is CHORE (i.e. “hard task”) followed by O (i.e. “round”) and GRAPH (i.e. “table” – my Bradford’s likes it, but I don’t. They’re both ways of illustrating data, sure, but I’d want some degree of interchangeability between the two).

  1. One maybe into The Big Bang Theory sitcom’s logo, strangely (11)

Answer: COSMOLOGIST (i.e. “one maybe into the Big Bang theory”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “strangely”) of SITCOM’S LOGO. Another clue I rather liked.

  1. Enzyme test succeeded in leg (7)

Answer: TRYPSIN (i.e. pancreatic “enzyme”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “test”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) once placed “in” PIN (slang for a “leg”), like so: TRY-P(S)IN. One nailed solely from the wordplay, unsurprisingly.

  1. Always I lay vacantly in a strange way (6)

Answer: EERILY (i.e. “in a strange way”). Solution is E’ER (poetic form of ever or “always”) followed by I and LY (i.e. “lay vacantly”, i.e. the word “lay” with its middle letter removed).

  1. Time your girl cut short Charlie’s bullying (8)

Answer: TYRANNIC (i.e. “bullying” as an adjective rather than a verb). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by YR (ditto “your”), then ANNIE (i.e. “girl’s” name) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut short”), then C (“Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: T-YR-ANNI-C.

Down clues

  1. Drink with a large policeman before work (7)

Answer: ALCOPOP (i.e. “drink”). Solution is A followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), then COP (i.e. “policeman”) and OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”).

  1. Trick teacher outside to tease writer for school mag? (11)

Answer: CONTRIBUTOR (i.e. “writer for school mag” – I appreciate the setter is trying to make this work within the context of the clue, but I reckon qualifying this as a “school mag” was a little unfair. Usually when a clue narrows on a specific example purely for style, solvers would expect a word like “perhaps” to indicate we’re looking for something covering not only that example but others like it too. Not doing so unfairly sets an expectation that we’re looking for a word covering that specific example. Others may point to the riddly question mark, but I don’t think this satisfactorily covers it. Anyway, world keeps spinning…) Solution is CON (i.e. “trick”) followed by TUTOR (i.e. “teacher”) once wrapped around or placed “outside” of RIB (i.e. “to tease”), like so: CON-T(RIB)UTOR.

  1. Cause trouble in lift? I can, unfortunately (5,4)

Answer: RAISE CAIN (i.e. “cause trouble”). Solution is RAISE (i.e. “lift”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of I CAN.

  1. Like certain motors chosen by traveller gent freshly in charge (15)

Answer: ELECTROMAGNETIC (i.e. “like certain motors”). Solution is ELECT (i.e. “chosen”) followed by ROMA (i.e. “traveller”), then an anagram (indicated by “freshly”) of GENT, then IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”), like so: ELECT-ROMA-GNET-IC.

  1. But health ought … ought to give one this (8)

Answer: ALTHOUGH (i.e. “but”). “Ought to give one this” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: HE(ALTH OUGH)T.

  1. Card game, drink and celebration – a historic event (6,3,5)

Answer: BOSTON TEA PARTY (i.e. “a historic event”, a protest in 1773 in which American colonists dumped hundreds of chests of tea into Boston harbour). Solution is BOSTON (i.e. a “card game” similar to whist, apparently) followed by TEA (i.e. “drink”) and PARTY (i.e. “celebration”).

  1. Fit to be sent abroad, former partner moved easily (10)

Answer: EXPORTABLE (i.e. “fit to be sent abroad”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former partner”) followed by PORTABLE (i.e. “moved easily”).

  1. Often-married king at heart old and very angry (7)

Answer: ENRAGED (i.e. “very angry”). Solution is HENRY (i.e. “often-married king”, specifically Henry VIII) with its first and last letters removed (indicated by “at heart”) and the remainder followed by AGED (i.e. “old”), like so: ENR-AGED.

  1. Begins a series of golf championships (5)

Answer: OPENS. Solution satisfies “begins” and “a series of golf championships”.

  1. Junior US medic, the reverse of kind English, harming both sides (11)

Answer: INTERNECINE (i.e. “harming both sides”, loosely speaking). Solution is INTERN (i.e. “junior US medic”) followed by NICE (i.e. “kind”) once “reversed”, then E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: INTERN-ECIN-E.

  1. Broadcast Brief Encounter and remove parts of picture? (8)

Answer: AIRBRUSH (i.e. “remove parts of picture”). Solution is AIR (i.e. “broadcast”) followed by BRUSH (i.e. “brief encounter” – ignore the misleading formatting).

  1. Fair time in charge (4)

Answer: FETE (i.e. a “fair”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) placed “in” FEE (i.e. “charge”), like so: FE(T)E.

  1. Illegal scheme often seen in court? (6)

Answer: RACKET. Solution satisfies “illegal scheme” and “often seen in [tennis] court” – can be spelled RACKET or RACQUET.

  1. Use a spade on the whole garden – almost not using hands? (7)

Answer: DIGITAL (i.e. “not using hands?”, riffing on how digits can refer to toes as well as fingers. Unless the setter has fingers in an entirely different place to the rest of us. The mind boggles). Solution is DIG IT ALL (i.e. “use a spade on the whole garden”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

[EDIT: Belated thanks to Michael El in the comments for suggesting “not using hands” could refer to a digital clock. This feels like a much better fit. Thanks, Michael! – LP]

  1. Help a relative in street (6)

Answer: ASSIST (i.e. “help”). Solution is A followed by SIS (i.e. “relative”, short for sister) once placed “in” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: A-S(SIS)T.

  1. Cause of forgetting brief time at school commemoration (5-4,6)

Answer: SHORT-TERM MEMORY (i.e. “cause of forgetting”). Solution is SHORT (i.e. “brief”) followed by TERM (i.e. “time at school”) and MEMORY (i.e. “commemoration”).

  1. Runs after flying alder moth – true story ending tragically (2,5,7)

Answer: LE MORTE D’ARTHUR (i.e. “story ending tragically” by Sir Thomas Malory, a weighty account of King Arthur’s legend). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs”, already covered) placed “after” an anagram (indicated by “flying”) of ALDER MOTH TRUE, like so: LEMORTEDARTHU-R. The book may well have been written in Myddel Englyshe but, come on, given the subject matter and the French title, how could I resist a cheeky meme?

  1. Line in battle running away (6)

Answer: FLIGHT (i.e. “running away”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) placed “in” FIGHT (i.e. “battle”), like so: F(L)IGHT.

  1. Issued leaders in English mainly involving The Times’ editor (7)

Answer: EMITTED (i.e. “issued”). Solution is EMITT (i.e. “leaders [or first letters] in English Mainly Involving The Times”) followed by ED (short for “editor”).

  1. Go right round North London town that is becoming nought? (6)

Answer: ENFOLD (i.e. “go right round”). Solution is ENFIELD (i.e. “North London town”) with the IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. “i.e.”, after the Latin id est) swapped for or “becoming” O (i.e. “nought”), like so: ENF(IE)LD => ENF(O)LD.

  1. Always keep son out of circus lass’s story going round (11)

Answer: CIRCULATORY (i.e. “going round”). “Always keep son out of” indicates the solution can be derived by taking all the Ss – S being a recognised abbreviation of “son” – out of CIRCUS LASS’S STORY.

  1. Disregard pronounced inner tension (11)

Answer: INATTENTION (i.e. a “disregard”). “Pronounced” indicates the solution is (an unusually direct) homophone of INNER TENSION.

  1. Restore evejar tune for broadcasting (10)

Answer: REJUVENATE (i.e. “restore”). “For broadcasting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EVEJAR TUNE.

  1. Drink a large quantity stored in passage at the end (5,4)

Answer: CREAM SODA (i.e. “drink”). Solution is REAMS (i.e. “large quantity” of paper) “stored in” CODA (i.e. musical “passage at the end”), like so: C(REAMS)ODA.

  1. Film editor’s technique annoyed hack (8)

Answer: CROSSCUT (i.e. “film editor’s technique”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “annoyed”) followed by CUT (i.e. “hack”).

  1. Professional person exploited without key official record (8)

Answer: PROTOCOL (i.e. “official record”, rather deep in the definitions). Solution is PRO (short for “professional”) followed by TOOL (i.e. “person exploited”) once wrapped around or placed “without” C (another musical “key”), like so: PRO-TO(C)OL.

  1. Piece from worker, good one (7)

Answer: HANDGUN (i.e. “piece”, slang thereof). Solution is HAND (i.e. “worker”) followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and UN (slang form of “one”, as in a good un).

  1. Gradually going through old sitcom being remade? (7)

Answer: OSMOTIC (i.e. “gradually going through”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “being remade”) of SITCOM, like so: O-SMOTIC.

  1. Liquid remains unused for three long days finally (5)

Answer: DREGS (i.e. “liquid remains”). “Finally” indicates the solution is derived from the last letters of “unuseD foR threE lonG dayS“.

  1. Perhaps spots rook on tree (4)

Answer: RASH (i.e. “perhaps spots”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “rook” used in chess) followed by ASH (i.e. “tree”).

8 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1597

  1. Thanks Lucian. As you say, relatively straightforward, but few too many deletions and Americanisms for my liking, plus a couple of dodgy definitions. I wasn’t convinced about PROTOCOL either, and NAP doesn’t really mean the same as DOWN. I got POBLANO (no, me neither) just from the wordplay. There’s a certain perverse satisfaction when you make a word up and it turns out to be the right answer!

    As for LE MORTE D’ARTHUR, we would have got this one much sooner if the last word had been shown as (1’6) – or even (1,6) – rather than (7). We worked out fairly early that it must be an anagram, but couldn’t turn it into anything that made any kind of sense, even when we had all the letters for the last word.

    As an aside, I don’t think Malory’s command of French was as good as he’d like everyone to think. Presumably the title is supposed to translate as “The Death of Arthur” – but in French that would be “La Mort d’Arthur”. The French word for “death” is “la mort”. “Le mort” means “the dead man”, and “la morte” means “the dead woman”. But “le morte” looks suspiciously like Cod-French. At any rate, it’s just plain incorrect.

    End of boring and pedantic aside. Take care, and stay safe. SB

    1. Broad (abbreviated this sounds like an old US film talking about a dame…), yes I too get mildly peeved by apostrophied French words (d’Artagnan!) being merely indicated as one word. Although I can understand why they do it.

      But here there is at least a get-out clause. Back to your point about ‘morte’ and bad French: it was! It was early Middle English bad French and it was so bad that the original book was called ‘LE MORTE DARTHUR’ (no apostrophe). So arguably the 2,5,7 is quite correct!

      1. I take your point about LE MORTE DARTHUR, Iain, but the lack of apostrophes is a much more general problem. For reasons best know to themselves, the setters at The Times seem to think it’s acceptable to omit apostrophes across the board. So (for example) SIX O’CLOCK would be described as (3,6) rather than (3,1,5). It drives me mad every time I see it.

        Or maybe I’m just getting old…

  2. Yep, we liked it too! We got Enraged without spotting the “heart of Henry” bit, so thank you for that explanation.
    Just like SB, we felt a wave of smugness when we worked out Poblano without ever having heard of it.
    No objection to Le Morte d’Arthur – just a quick dip into Wikipedia (once we had most of the letters!) which says … originally written as le morte Darthur; inaccurate Middle French for “The Death of Arthur”. I think we should forgive Malory because spellings weren’t standardised in such olden days.

  3. Enjoyed this one, and thought everything pretty fair and no quibbles.
    As to 21d I took DIGITAL to refer to a clock display which has no hands.
    Broad Thoughts From Abroad, more than once you have called for setters to distinguish between words with and without apostrophes. But might they not reasonably see that as spoon-feeding? Consider a phrase where there is an option of YOUR or ONE’S – would we really expect the setter to signal these differently by the bracketed word-lengths?
    I too am an apostrophist but now keep shtum on the matter, recalling that when I once said in public: ‘Such a little thing, but so important’, I got the reply ‘You must have been talking to my wife’.
    Anyway returning to 26d, according to Wikipedia the work Le Morte Darthur was apparently printed by Caxton exactly thus, apostrophe-free, having been written in 1470 by Thomas Malory or Malleorre or Maleore or Mallory, in Newgate Prison for murder, rape, multiple side-switching – and dead a few months later. Careless of how to spell even his own name [and indeed it may have been quite another Malory], maybe we can forgive him for missing a gender and a letter, in a language he can’t have known well (it seems to have been his third, after Latin), and that was no doubt written quite differently five and a half centuries ago!
    It is for stuff like this that we do crosswords – not the dreary solving of anagrams or adding/subtracting letters. Thank you Lucian for giving your fans a forum within which we can toss around such arcania.
    And for patiently parsing it all, revealing subtleties I and no doubt others would have missed. So grateful to you, for your constancy. How many years is it now?

    1. Thanks Michael, and apologies for the tardy response. Good point re: 21d. I’ve updated the post to reflect this. Thanks also for your kind words. This will be my fifth year of doing these posts, or nearly 250 Jumbos. (Or 15,000-ish clues!) – LP

  4. An enjoyable test this week, and solvable. There were some nice clues – e.g. 7d “Boston Tea Party”, 54a “Trypsin”.

    And, as said above by “Broad Thoughts …” , 19a was obviously “Poblano” although that great cook, my wife (who came back from the supermarket with green peppers only yesterday) had never heard of the word.

    Unlike some weeks, there was no corner that bogged me down. The hardest crosswords are those where you can’t solve anything to start with, except a few in the bottom-right of the grid. One then has the chore of working gradually upwards and to the left.

    This does remain my favourite crossword of the week.

  5. A bit rubbish to have commemoration as a clue for memory. Wasn’t there one last week as well where part of the clue and answer were the same? A tad lazy I think. Also that business with the school mag: I would indeed point at the riddly “?”. Whenever I see a question mark I always think it signifies “crap clue”.

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