Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1604

A medium strength Jumbo this week with a handful of spicy clues to liven up proceedings. A few recent repeats spoiled things a little, but overall this was a pretty good run-out.

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 you over a barrel 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 warm words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts and opinions of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.


FBV (French-By-Volume): 1.7%
suitable for consumption by minors under adult supervision

Across clues

  1. Practical, say, and grand item for a picnic? (4-6,3)

Answer: HARD-BOILED EGG (i.e. “item for a picnic”). Solution is HARD-BOILED (i.e. “practical”) followed by EG (i.e. “say” or for example) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”).

  1. Preserved fruit succeeded best after upper-class fish (9)

Answer: SUGARPLUM (i.e. “preserved fruit”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) followed by PLUM (i.e. “best”) once placed “after” U (a recognised abbreviation of the “upper-class”) and GAR (a variety of “fish”), like so: S-(U-GAR)-PLUM.

  1. Regret including English verse in entertainment (5)

Answer: REVUE (i.e. “entertainment”). Solution is RUE (i.e. “regret”) wrapped around or “including” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and V (ditto “verse”), like so: R(E-V)UE.

  1. Vegetable cooked, stew and pâté too (5,6)

Answer: SWEET POTATO (i.e. “vegetable”). “Cooked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STEW and PÂTÉ TOO.

  1. Sectarian going back to Gibraltar (5)

Answer: BIGOT (i.e. “sectarian”). Solution is TO and GIB (informally short for “Gibraltar”) all reversed (indicated by “going back”), like so: BIG-OT.

  1. Firm depressed about the empty fleet (9)

Answer: STEADFAST (i.e. “firm”). Solution is SAD (i.e. “depressed”) wrapped “about” TE (i.e. “the empty”, i.e. the word “the” with its middle letter missing) and followed by FAST (i.e. “fleet”), like so: S(TE)AD-FAST.

  1. Long walk of trees reduced by two kilometres (4)

Answer: TREK (i.e. “long walk”). Solution is TREES with the last two letters removed (indicated by “reduced by two”) and the remainder followed by K (a recognised abbreviation of “kilometres”), like so: TRE-K.

  1. Character backed in Times broadcast point-by-point (8)

Answer: SERIATIM (i.e. “point-by-point”). Solution is AIR (i.e. manner or “character”) reversed (indicated by “backed”) and placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “broadcast”) of TIMES, like so: SE(RIA)TIM. The mechanics of the clue were fairly obvious, but this took a brute force of my Chambers to nail it.

  1. Fount of some Indo-European languages (6)

Answer: ITALIC. Solution satisfies “fount” or typeface, and “of some Indo-European languages”. Chambers offers “a branch of Indo-European usually considered to comprise Oscan, Umbrian, Latin and related languages, but sometimes applied to either the Latin group or the Osco-Umbrian group alone”, if any of that helps.

  1. Cook’s staple grain has to lessen – evidence daily (11,5)

Answer: GREASEPROOF PAPER (i.e. “cook’s staple”). Solution is GR (a recognised abbreviation of “grain”, I believe relating to the weight measurement) followed by EASE (i.e. “to lessen”), then PROOF (i.e. “evidence”) and PAPER (i.e. “daily”).

  1. I left after a month in London mostly – one can smell it (6,3)

Answer: ALMOND OIL (i.e. “one can smell it”). Solution is I and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) both placed “after” A and M (a recognised abbreviation of “month”) once the latter has been placed “in” LONDON after its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: (A-L(M)ONDO)-I-L.

  1. Woman’s horse mostly about without a warming cover (7)

Answer: EARFLAP (i.e. “warming cover”). Solution is PALFREY (i.e. “woman’s horse”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “about”) and wrapped around or placed “without” A, like so: E(A)RFLAP.

  1. Keep mum putting horse into Japanese dish? I disappeared (5)

Answer: SHUSH (i.e. “keep mum”). Solution is H (i.e. “horse”, both slang for heroin) placed “into” SUSHI (i.e. “Japanese dish”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “I disappeared”), like so: S(H)USH-I.

  1. City hospital has money given by one small company (3,9)

Answer: SAN FRANCISCO (i.e. “city”). Solution is SAN (i.e. “hospital” – san is short for a sanatorium) followed by FRANC (i.e. “money”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and CO (i.e. “company”).

  1. Petitions to take in interrupting candidates (10)

Answer: ENTREATIES (i.e. “petitions”). Solution is EAT (i.e. “to take in”) placed in or “interrupting” ENTRIES (i.e. “candidates”), like so: ENTR(EAT)IES.

  1. Worker in bacon factory, possibly one who walks around (10)

Answer: BACKPACKER (i.e. “one who walks around”). When written as BACK PACKER the solution playfully satisfies “worker in bacon factory, possibly” – bacon is sourced from the back (and sides) of a pig.

  1. Disagreeable hour with insomnia, tossing and turning (12)

Answer: INHARMONIOUS (i.e. “disagreeable”). “Tossing and turning” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HOUR and INSOMNIA. Nicely worked.

  1. Regular time for game, say (5)

Answer: EVENT (i.e. “game, say” – other flavours of event are available). Solution is EVEN (i.e. “regular”) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

  1. National day’s abolished by prime minister (7)

Answer: ISRAELI (i.e. “national”). Solution is Benjamin DISRAELI (i.e. 19th century “prime minister”) with the D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”) removed or “abolished”. After my comment in grid 1595 a couple of months ago I can only conclude that intensive research into alternative clues for ISRAELI/DISRAELI continues. Godspeed, setters. We know you’ll crack it eventually.

  1. Chap from Maggot island (9)

Answer: GENTLEMAN (i.e. “chap”). Solution is GENTLE (a kind of “maggot” used as bait) followed by MAN (i.e. “island”, specifically the Isle of Man).

  1. Get better small pie once again with tea, perhaps (4,4,1,3,4)

Answer: TURN OVER A NEW LEAF (i.e. “get better”). Solution is TURNOVER (i.e. “small pie”) followed by ANEW (i.e. “once again”) and LEAF (i.e. “tea, perhaps”).

  1. Savoury pastry from Greek island area (6)

Answer: SAMOSA (i.e. “savoury pastry”). Solution is SAMOS (i.e. “Greek island”) followed by A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”).

  1. Tasty food doctor and men backed in eastern lands (8)

Answer: AMBROSIA (i.e. “tasty food” of the Greek gods). Solution is MB (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Bachelor of Medicine or Medicinae Baccalaureus) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) once the latter has been reversed (indicated by “backed”). These are both then placed “in” ASIA (i.e. “eastern lands”), like so: A(MB-RO)SIA.

  1. Just show decent objective (4)

Answer: FAIR. A quadruple-header, this, satisfying “just”, “show”, “decent” and “objective”.

  1. At the moment doctor is in to examine blockage during cold (9)

Answer: SNOWDRIFT (i.e. “blockage during cold”). Solution is NOW (i.e. “at the moment”) and DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”) both placed “in” SIFT (i.e. “to examine”), like so: S(NOW-DR)IFT.

  1. Only partial certitude over measurement for solution (5)

Answer: TITRE (i.e. “measurement for (chemical) solution”). “Only partial” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “over” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: C(ERTIT)UDE.

  1. Land plot held by church as a protection for horses (11)

Answer: SADDLECLOTH (i.e. “protection for horses”). Solution is SADDLE (i.e. to “land” someone with) followed by LOT (i.e. “plot” of land) once placed in or “held by” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: SADDLE-C(LOT)H.

  1. Certainly a pious creature (5)

Answer: OKAPI (i.e. “creature”, and friend of crossword setters everywhere). Solution is OK (i.e. “sure”, both forms of assent) followed by A and PI (short for “pious”).

  1. Somehow never once get together again (9)

Answer: RECONVENE (i.e. “get together again”). “Somehow” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NEVER ONCE.

  1. Celebration deserving wild dancing (6,7)

Answer: SILVER WEDDING (i.e. “celebration”). “Dancing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DESERVING WILD.

Down clues

  1. Emperor surrendering to mother around S Honshu city (9)

Answer: HIROSHIMA (i.e. “Honshu city”). Solution is HIROHITO (Japanese “Emperor” of the 20th Century) with the TO removed (indicated by “surrendering to”) and the remainder followed by MA (i.e. “mother”). This is all then wrapped “around” S, like so: HIRO(S)HI-MA.

  1. I arrive to be treated in coastal resort area (7)

Answer: RIVIERA (i.e. “coastal resort area”). “To be treated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I ARRIVE.

  1. Bureau initially study wife with secret source of family income (11)

Answer: BREADWINNER (i.e. “source of family income”). Solution is B (i.e. “bureau initially”, i.e. the first letter of “bureau”) followed by READ (i.e. “study”), then W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) and INNER (i.e. “secret”).

  1. Popular and well-known form if insect (6)

Answer: INSTAR (i.e. “form of insect” between moult and moult (Chambers) – I’m still none the wiser). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by STAR (i.e. “well-known”, as in a star turn).

  1. Elite exam for type of college in the US (9)

Answer: ELECTORAL (i.e. “type of college in the US”). Solution is ELECT (i.e. “elite”) followed by ORAL (i.e. “exam”).

  1. Where to seek property, position in life and power (6,6)

Answer: ESTATE AGENCY (i.e. “where to seek property”). Solution is ESTATE (i.e. rank or “position in life”) followed by AGENCY (i.e. instrumentality, operation or “power”).

  1. Unwelcome character of slime on outside of stale fish egg (10)

Answer: GOOSEBERRY (i.e. “unwelcome character”). Solution is GOO (i.e. “slime”) followed by SE (i.e. “outside of slate”, i.e. the first and last letters of “slate”), then BERRY (i.e. “fish egg” – a new one on me, this is “a lobster’s or crayfish’s egg” (Chambers)).

  1. Thoroughly water small tree (4)

Answer: SOAK (i.e. “thoroughly water”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by OAK (i.e. “tree”).

  1. Key? Really like remark about role for car locker (5,11)

Answer: GLOVE COMPARTMENT (i.e. “car locker”, or, rather, a locker found in a car’s dashboard). Solution is G (i.e. musical “key”) followed by LOVE (i.e. “really like”), then COMMENT (i.e. “remark”) once placed “about” PART (i.e. “role”), like so: G-LOVE-COM(PART)MENT.

  1. Some headline-grabbing religious leader (5)

Answer: RABBI (i.e. “religious leader”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: HEADLINE-G(RABBI)NG.

  1. Look suddenly pleased to start smoking (5,2)

Answer: LIGHT UP. Solution satisfies “look suddenly pleased” and “start smoking”.

  1. Swap round rooms with shipmate for a change (13)

Answer: METAMORPHOSIS (i.e. “a change”). “Swap round” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ROOMS and SHIPMATE.

  1. Land in kraals is redistributed (3,5)

Answer: SRI LANKA (i.e. “land” or country). “Is redistributed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN KRAALS.

  1. Brief infatuation with a Turkish officer (5)

Answer: PASHA (i.e. “Turkish officer”). Solution is PASH (i.e. “brief infatuation”, i.e. an informal abbreviation of “passion”) followed by A. A recent repeat, like ISRAELI/DISRAELI, making this a much easier get.

  1. Link one old solider with children and vital support system (10,6)

Answer: CONNECTIVE TISSUE (i.e. “vital support system”). Solution is CONNECT (i.e. “link”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then VET (i.e. “old soldier”, short for veteran) and ISSUE (i.e. “children”).

  1. Seeing glass has blemish around company name when held up (7)

Answer: MONOCLE (i.e. “seeing glass”). Solution is MOLE (i.e. “blemish”) wrapped “around” CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and N (ditto “name”) once these have been reversed (indicated by “held up” – this being a down clue), like so: MO(N-OC)LE.

  1. Regular follower of tango (7)

Answer: UNIFORM (i.e. “regular”). The rest of the clue plays on the phonetic alphabet, where “Tango” for T is “followed” by UNIFORM for U.

  1. Topic for debate likely to be affected by business (7,6)

Answer: SUBJECT MATTER (i.e. “topic for debate”). Solution is SUBJECT to (i.e. “likely to be affected by”) followed by MATTER (i.e. “business”).

  1. Neapolitan, perhaps, in charge of European elite (3,5)

Answer: ICE CREAM (i.e. “Neapolitan, perhaps”). Solution is IC (a recognised abbreviation of “In charge”) followed by E (ditto “European”) and CREAM (i.e. “elite”).

  1. Organised call in a trice concerning attitude of militant atheist? (12)

Answer: ANTICLERICAL (i.e. “concerning attitude of militant atheist”). “Organised” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CALL IN A TRICE.

  1. Courtyard just right for the occasion with current circle (5)

Answer: PATIO (i.e. “courtyard”). Solution is PAT (i.e. “just right for the occasion”) followed by I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current” used in physics) and O (i.e. “circle”).

  1. Greek character left country unoccupied and without legal force (4,3,4)

Answer: NULL AND VOID (i.e. “without legal force”). Solution is NU (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”), then LAND (i.e. “country”) and VOID (i.e. “unoccupied”).

  1. A new rebel’s meddled with sources of power (10)

Answer: RENEWABLES (i.e. “sources of power”). “Meddled with” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A NEW REBEL’S.

  1. Good young men with character could make prime minister (9)

Answer: William GLADSTONE (i.e. 19th century “prime minister”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by LADS (i.e. “young men”) and TONE (i.e. “character”).

  1. New reason for lightning rods just avoided catastrophe (4,5)

Answer: NEAR THING (i.e. “just avoided catastrophe”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) followed by EARTHING (i.e. “reason for lightning rods”).

  1. Plunder old heart from mortician making up stiff (7)

Answer: ROBOTIC (i.e. “stiff”). Solution is ROB (i.e. “plunder”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), then TIC (i.e. “heart from mortician”, i.e. the middle letters of “mortician”).

  1. What gets sheets folded at first shortly before friend appears (7)

Answer: ORIGAMI (i.e. “what gets sheets folded”). Solution is ORIG (a recognised abbreviation of “originally”, i.e. “at first shortly”) followed by AMI (i.e. “friend”, from the French so you know what that means…)

  1. Food over with for restaurant diner not turning up (2-4)

Answer: NO-SHOW (i.e. “diner not turning-up”). Solution is NOSH (i.e. “food”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket) and W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”).

  1. Ulysses chronicler’s no judge and unknown in the main (5)

Answer: OCEAN (i.e. “the main” or the sea). Solution is JOYCEAN (i.e. “Ulysses chronicler’s”, i.e. of James JOYCE) with the J removed (indicated by “no judge” – J being a recognised abbreviation of “judge”) and the Y also removed (indicated by “no…unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as unknowns), like so: (J)O(Y)CEAN => OCEAN.

  1. Unoccupied island, mined finally for sulphur (4)

Answer: IDLE (i.e. “unoccupied”). Solution is ISLE (i.e. “island”) with the D (i.e. “mined finally”, i.e. the last letter of “mined”) swapped “for” S (chemical element of “sulphur”), like so: I(S)LE => I(D)LE.

9 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1604

  1. Good in parts! Some really neat clues, like Fair and Silver Wedding.
    But some clues were so weak we couldn’t quite believe the answer so pencilled them until we got everything matching. And we thought Earflap and Ocean were horribly contrived.
    However, some satisfaction in working through top-left to bottom-right and finishing in good time.

  2. Thanks Lucian. Yes, this one was definitely a bit of a curate’s egg.

    I agree with Burleypap above about OCEAN and EARFLAP. On the subject of which, we could find no mention anywhere of a PALFREY being a “woman’s horse”, and the “woman’s” part of the clue confused us for quite a while. “Small horse” – or even just “horse” – would have fitted just as well, if not better. (Actually, when we realised what the answer must be, our first thoughts turned to “1066 And All That”, in which one of the medieval kings is described as having “died of a surfeit of palfreys”.)

    Two other gripes: we don’t think SECTARIAN (15a) means quite the same as BIGOT, and ROBOTIC (43d) isn’t necessarily the same as STIFF.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

    1. I’m far from certain, but could subject, here, be a grammarian usage ie as opposed to the object, in which case no ‘to’ is needed?

  3. A reasonable puzzle on the whole. My personal quibble is. Using Joycean to derive Ocean. Surely Joyce is the chronicler, leaving unexplained how the N comes in to get Ocean.

  4. Thanks, Lucian. Re 26a, I think that a palfrey was considered a suitable horse for a woman not so much because of its small size but rather it’s smoother, more even gait which would be more comfortable ( & safer!) for a woman riding side-saddle. Cheers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.