Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1606

A medium strength Jumbo this week with a dash of misdirection and invention to toughen up proceedings. Overall I liked it, though some of the clues were so tenuous or vague as to be virtually useless. Case in point, 6a: how many species across the animal kingdom are classed as predators? More than three, I’d wager. And from that we’re supposed to make the leap from “robust hunter” to WOLF SPIDER? Throw me a frickin’ bone here.

Anyway, weak Dr Evil references aside, 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 night terrors 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 the dust has settled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.


FBV (French-By-Volume): 1.7%

(With thanks to Chris in the comments for fixing 25a)

Across clues

  1. Making meaty meal, criticise and complain (5,4)

Answer: ROAST BEEF (i.e. “meaty meal”). Solution is ROAST (i.e. “criticise”) followed by BEEF (i.e. a “complaint”).

  1. Robust hunter nasty about fox initially needing rest (4,6)

Answer: WOLF SPIDER (i.e. “robust hunter” (looks to camera; shakes head)). Solution is LOW (i.e. base or “nasty”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by F (i.e. “fox initially”, i.e. the first letter of “fox”), then SPIDER (i.e. a “rest” for a snooker cue), like so: WOL-F-SPIDER.

  1. Beginning to secure wartime bomb outside body (2,5)

Answer: IN VITRO (i.e. “outside [the] body”). Solution is INTRO (i.e. “beginning”) wrapped around or “securing” VI (i.e. “wartime bomb”, in this case the V-1 flying bomb with the 1 replaced with its Roman numeral equivalent), like so: IN(VI)TRO.

  1. Reckless American lawman taken with Soviet wickedness? (9)

Answer: DAREDEVIL (i.e. “reckless”). Solution is DA (i.e. “American lawman”, specifically a District Attorney) followed by RED (i.e. “Soviet”) and EVIL (i.e. “wickedness”).

  1. Floridan location where monkey heard? (5)

Answer: TAMPA (i.e. “Florida location”). “Heard” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of TAMPER (i.e. to “monkey” with).

  1. Enchantress keeps sum for conversion with pirate bound (12)

Answer: CIRCUMSCRIBE (i.e. to draw a line around or to “bound” something). Solution is CIRCE (i.e. “enchantress” of Greek myth) wrapped around or “keeping” an anagram (indicated by “for conversion”) of SUM along with CRIB (i.e. to copy or “pirate”), like so: CIRC(UMS-CRIB)E.

  1. Exhausted – given hand when leaving? (7,3)

Answer: CLAPPED OUT. Solution satisfies “exhausted” and “given hand when leaving”.

  1. Maybe daughters into bordello as poor (5,9)

Answer: BLOOD RELATIONS (i.e. “maybe daughters”). “Poor” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INTO BORDELLO AS.

  1. Say setter loves the German sort affecting virtue? (2-6)

Answer: DO-GOODER (i.e. “sort affecting virtue”). Solution DOG (i.e. “setter”) followed by OO (i.e. “loves” – “love” being a zero score in tennis) and DER (i.e. “the German”, i.e. the German for “the”).

  1. Highland beer without cask (6)

Answer: ALPINE (i.e. “highland”). Solution is ALE (i.e. “beer”) wrapped around or placed “without” PIN (i.e. “cask”), like so: AL(PIN)E.

  1. Lie in comfort in Paris and dance for sport at court (10)

Answer: RACKETBALL (i.e. “sport at court”). Not 100% sure here, so watch out. My solution, for what it’s worth, is RACK (i.e. “lie in comfort”, though quite how is beyond me, my Chambers and my Bradford’s. While RACK has several variant meanings, none leap out at me that qualifies the “in comfort” part. Quite the opposite, in fact) followed by ET (i.e. “in Paris and”, i.e. the French for “and”) and BALL (i.e. “dance” event).

[EDIT: Scratch that, the answer is BASKETBALL (i.e. “sport at court”). Solution is BASK (i.e. “lie in comfort”) followed by ET and BALL as described above, i.e. the French for “and” along with a “dance” event. Thanks to Chris in the comments for fixing this one! – LP]

  1. Lizard shy about kiss lacking in pressure (5)

Answer: GECKO (i.e. “lizard”). Solution is GO (i.e. “shy” – Chambers backs this one up, listing “shy” as “an attempt, shot” under a variant meaning) wrapped “about” PECK (i.e. “kiss”) once the P has been removed (indicated by “lacking in pressure” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”), like so: G(ECK)O.

  1. Stones in road in stockbroker belt (4)

Answer: KERB (i.e. “stones in road” – weird, I always thought they were part of the pavement. No wonder drivers are pissed off. If it’s not potholes ruining car suspensions its ruddy great kerbstones set into the road. What a waste of taxpayers’ money). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: STOCKBRO(KER B)ELT.

  1. Australian native came upon the vacant compartment (8)

Answer: ROOMETTE (i.e. “compartment”). Solution is ROO (i.e. “Australian native”, short for kangaroo) followed by MET (i.e. “came upon”) and TE (i.e. “the vacant”, i.e. the word “the” with its middle letter removed).

  1. Skinless meat served in huge pot for gourmet (9)

Answer: EPICUREAN (i.e. “gourmet”). Solution is EA (i.e. “skinless meat”, i.e. the word “meat” with its first and last letters removed) placed or “served in” EPIC (i.e. “huge”) and URN (i.e. “pot”), like so: EPIC-UR(EA)N.

  1. Electricity generator in Post Office nicked by subversive group (9)

Answer: PHOTOCELL (i.e. “electricity generator”, a shortened form of photoelectric cell). Solution is PO (i.e. short for “Post Office”) wrapped around or having “in” HOT (i.e. “nicked” or stolen) and followed by CELL (i.e. “subversive group”), like so: P(HOT)O-CELL.

  1. No information, doctor admitted, on a steroid men produce (8)

Answer: ANDROGEN (i.e. “steroid men produce”). Solution is NO and GEN (i.e. “information”) wrapped around or “admitting” DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”). This is all then placed “on” or after A, like so: A-(N(DR)O-GEN).

  1. Have sudden inspiration? (4)

Answer: GASP. Clue plays on “inspiration” being an intake of breath.

  1. Snatching grouper’s tail, ray finds another fish (5)

Answer: BREAM (i.e. “fish”). Solution is R (i.e. “grouper’s tail”, i.e. the last letter of “grouper”) placed in or being “snatched” by BEAM (i.e. “ray” of light), like so: B(R)EAM.

  1. Older issue detectable in both aspects of Marxism-Leninism? (4-6)

Answer: BACK-NUMBER (i.e. “older issue” of a publication). The solution cryptically satisfies “detectable in both aspects of Marxism-Leninism”, as in how “MarXISm-LENINism” contains the NUMBERS “six” and “nine” respectively once reversed or BACKED. I rather liked this one when I finally twigged it.

  1. Sally’s grabbing Penny’s white-tipped flower parts? (6)

Answer: RAPIDS (i.e. “white-tipped flower parts”, taking “flower” to be a river, as in how a river flows). Solution is RAID’S (i.e. “sally’s” – a sally being an onrush) wrapped around or “grabbing” P (a recognised abbreviation of a “penny”), like so: RA(P)ID’S. Another I liked once the… er… penny dropped.

  1. This exponent of spin may be fired (8)

Answer: REVOLVER. Solution satisfies an example or “exponent of spin”, and something that “may be fired”.

  1. Consumer needs analysis, having abused car makers there (6,8)

Answer: MARKET RESEARCH (i.e. “consumer needs analysis”). “Abused” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CAR MAKERS THERE.

  1. Wife perhaps not tolerant enough to see brilliant child? (10)

Answer: WUNDERKIND (i.e. “brilliant child”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) followed by UNDER-KIND (i.e. “perhaps not tolerant enough”, playfully).

  1. One’s almost in for changes to keep satellite country’s exceptionalist policy (12)

Answer: ISOLATIONISM (i.e. “country’s exceptionalist policy”). Solution is I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “for changes”) of ALMOST IN once wrapped around or “keeping” IO (i.e. “satellite” or moon of Jupiter), like so: I’S-OLAT(IO)NISM.

  1. State imprisoning upper-class caught being impudent (5)

Answer: SAUCY (i.e. “being impudent”). Solution is SAY (i.e. to “state”) wrapped around or “imprisoning” U (a recognised abbreviation of the “upper-class”) and C (ditto “caught”, used in a number of ball games), like so: SA(U-C)Y.

  1. Element one among former students Greek character backed (9)

Answer: ALUMINIUM (i.e. chemical “element”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed “among” ALUMNI (i.e. “former students”) and followed by MU (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet) once reversed (indicated by “backed”), like so: ALUM(I)NI-UM.

  1. Tundra dwellers in estate for instance; one about to lose coat (7)

Answer: CARIBOU (i.e. North American reindeer, or “tundra dwellers”). Solution is CAR (i.e. “estate for instance” – other flavours of car are available) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one” again) and BOU (i.e. “about to lose coat”, i.e. the word “about” with the first and last letters removed).

  1. Uncompromising army corps not so fast invading? (10)

Answer: RELENTLESS (i.e. “uncompromising”). Solution is RE (i.e. “army corps”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) and LESS (i.e. “not so”) wrapped around or being “invaded” by LENT (i.e. a “fast” or period of fasting), like so: RE-(LENT)-LESS.

  1. Relevant document to be landed with? (5,4)

Answer: TITLE DEED. Clue plays on the “document” in question being one that proves a right to possession, in this case of “land”.

Down clues

  1. Lunar vehicle runs past (5)

Answer: ROVER (i.e. “lunar vehicle”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) followed by OVER (i.e. “past”).

  1. Phenomenal temperature found in a measurement at sea (10)

Answer: ASTOUNDING (i.e. “phenomenal”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “temperature”) placed “in” A and SOUNDING (i.e. “measurement at sea”, in this case of depth), like so: A-S(T)OUNDING.

  1. Criminal haul lifted, then dropped in gardener’s store (8)

Answer: TOOLSHED (i.e. “gardener’s store”). Solution is LOOT (i.e. “criminal haul”) reversed (indicated by “lifted” – this being a down clue) and followed by SHED (i.e. “dropped”), like so: TOOL-SHED.

  1. Senior worker joining renounces whiskey (5)

Answer: ELDER (i.e. “senior”). Solution is WELDER (i.e. “worker joining”) with the W removed (indicated by “renounces whiskey” – “whiskey” being W in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Passion shown by Casablanca café owner welcoming British liner (9)

Answer: FIREBRICK (i.e. “liner” of a furnace). Solution is FIRE (i.e. “passion”) and RICK Blaine (i.e. “Casablanca café owner” in the 1940s film) wrapped around or “welcoming” B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”), like so: FIRE-(B)-RICK.

  1. What cranes do in Kurosawa depictions (4)

Answer: WADE (i.e. “what cranes do”, referring to the birds). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: KUROSA(WA DE)PICTIONS.

  1. Animated Roman historian pens article in Spanish (6)

Answer: LIVELY (i.e. “animated”). Solution is Titus Livius, known to the English as LIVY (i.e. “Roman historian” – no, me neither) wrapped around or “penning” EL (i.e. “article in Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the” – an article being a word like a, an or the), like so: LIV(EL)Y.

  1. Magical being in south for new medical, announced without endorsement (4-10)

Answer: SELF-PROCLAIMED (i.e. “announced without endorsement”). Solution is ELF (i.e. “magical being”) placed “in” between S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”), PRO (i.e. “for” or in favour of) and an anagram (indicated by “new”) of MEDICAL, like so: S-(ELF)-PRO-CLAIMED.

  1. Where Pheidippides made his name eventually? (2,3,4,3)

Answer: IN THE LONG RUN. Solution playfully satisfies “where Pheidippides made his name” – he was the messenger who ran from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of the Greek victory in the Battle of Marathon, dying shortly afterwards – and “eventually”. Another I rather liked.

  1. Old women almost ruined timber (7)

Answer: ELMWOOD (i.e. “timber”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ruined”) of OLD WOMEN once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”).

  1. Very dark ground – defender has got left inside (5-5)

Answer: PITCH-BLACK (i.e. “very dark”). Solution is PITCH (i.e. sporting “ground”) followed by BACK (i.e. “defender”) once wrapped around or having “inside” L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”), like so: PITCH-B(L)ACK.

  1. Rum neat for working PM (9)

Answer: AFTERNOON (i.e. “pm” – ignoring the misleading capitalisation). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “rum” or strange) of NEAT FOR followed by ON (i.e. “working”), like so: AFTERNO-ON.

  1. Complete stop by noted criminal (3-2-3)

Answer: END-TO-END (i.e. “complete”). Solution is END (i.e. “stop”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “criminal”) of NOTED.

  1. Forward contract that holds work up intentionally (2,7)

Answer: ON PURPOSE (i.e. “intentionally”). Solution is ON (i.e. “forward” or onwards) and PURSE (i.e. “contract”) wrapped around OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) once this has been reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: ON-PUR(PO)SE.

  1. Branch with a large notice that ought to cause a stir (5,5)

Answer: ALARM CLOCK (i.e. “that ought to cause a stir”). Solution is ARM (i.e. “branch”) placed after or “with” A and L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and followed by CLOCK (i.e. to “notice”), like so: A-L-(ARM)-CLOCK.

  1. Spiteful fellow filled pastry case, discarding middle portion (10)

Answer: MALEVOLENT (i.e. “spiteful”). Solution is MALE (i.e. “fellow”) followed by VOL AU VENT (i.e. “filled pastry case”) once the “middle portion”, AU V, has been removed or “discarded”, like so: MALE-VOLENT.

  1. Sound’s shortened in shout to encourage knight (9)

Answer: CHEVALIER (i.e. “knight”). Solution is VALID (i.e. “sound”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “shortened”) and the remainder placed “in” CHEER (i.e. “shout to encourage”), like so: CHE(VALI)ER.

  1. Business meeting might disintegrate rapidly (5,9)

Answer: POWER BREAKFAST (i.e. “business meeting”). Solution is POWER (i.e. “might”) followed by BREAK (i.e. “disintegrate”) and FAST (i.e. “rapidly”).

  1. End of violent film showing rail worker (8)

Answer: TRAINMAN (i.e. “rail worker”). Solution is T (i.e. “end of violent”, i.e. the last letter of “violent”) followed by RAIN MAN (i.e. 1988 “film”).

  1. Preservative starchy and dry that drives out vermin (12)

Answer: FORMALDEHYDE (i.e. “preservative”). Solution is FORMAL (i.e. “starchy”) followed by DEHYDRATE (i.e. to “dry”) once the RAT (i.e. “vermin”) has been removed or “driven out”, like so: FORMAL-DEHYDE.

  1. On the rise, winning fights outside clubs in local tours (3-6)

Answer: PUB CRAWLS (i.e. “local tours” – “locals” being another word for public houses). Solution is UP (i.e. “winning”) reversed (indicated by “on the rise” – this being a down clue) followed by BRAWLS (i.e. “fights”) once wrapped around or placed “outside” of C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in card games), like so: PU-B(C)RAWLS.

  1. River mouth reconstructed in South America after death (10)

Answer: POSTHUMOUS (i.e. “after death”). Solution is PO (i.e. a “river” in Italy) followed by an anagram (indicated by “reconstructed”) of MOUTH once placed between or “in” S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”) and US (i.e. “America”, or the United States), like so: PO-(S-(THUMO)-US).

  1. People use bad language about old Hippodrome? (10)

Answer: RACECOURSE (i.e. “Hippodrome”, an ancient Greek stadium used for chariot racing). Solution is RACE (i.e. “people”) followed by CURSE (i.e. “use bad language”) once wrapped “about” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: RACE-C(O)URSE.

  1. Rough and ready fashion garment (9)

Answer: MAKESHIFT (i.e. “rough and ready”). Solution is MAKE (i.e. to “fashion”) followed by SHIFT (i.e. “garment”).

  1. One may feel cold coming into shelter with drink (8)

Answer: TENTACLE (i.e. “one may feel”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps) placed “into” TENT (i.e. “shelter”) and ALE (i.e. “drink”), like so: TENT-A(C)LE.

  1. Commercial enterprise opening beside river in Yorkshire (7)

Answer: VENTURE (i.e. “commercial enterprise”). Solution is VENT (i.e. “opening”) followed by URE (i.e. “river in Yorkshire”).

  1. Confidence lacking – fund issues currency in central areas (6)

Answer: UNSURE (i.e. “confidence lacking”). “In central areas” indicates the solution is derived from the middle letters of FUND ISSUES CURRENCY.

  1. The writer is drunk outside – over this presumably! (5)

Answer: LIMIT (i.e. “over this presumably” within the context of the clue). Solution is I’M (i.e. “the writer is”, from the point of view of the setter; a contraction of I AM) placed in or having “outside” LIT (i.e. “drink”), like so: L(I’M)IT.

  1. Looking towards the North, name UK region about to blossom (2,3)

Answer: IN BUD (i.e. “about to blossom”). Solution is DUB (i.e. to “name”) and NI (i.e. “UK region”, Northern Ireland) all reversed (indicated by “looking towards the north” – this being a down clue).

  1. Collide momentarily with runners when cycling (4)

Answer: KISS (i.e. “collide momentarily”). Solution is SKIS (i.e. “runners”) with the letters “cycled”, in this case the first letter placed last, like so: (S)KIS => KIS(S).

8 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1606

  1. Thanks, Lucian. 25a is basketball. Bask followed by French and & Ball for dance. Ha ha, agree over Wolf Spider, was the last one I got. Cheers

    1. Ah, good catch, Chris, thanks for that. Weird that my brain wouldn’t reach to that, especially after watching a bit of NBA last night. Oh well. I’ve now updated the post. Thanks again! – LP

    2. Thx Chris. I also had racket all but couldn’t see how comfort fitted. I didn’t get wolf spider at all so thx Lucian for putting me out of my misery. A curate’s egg of a puzzle.

  2. Thanks, as ever. 25a basketball, I think. Apologies if someone has already said this – I can’t see comments for some reason!

  3. Thanks Lucian. We also had RACKETBALL but couldn’t understand why. BASKETBALL makes much more sense.

    We concluded 33d must be FORMALDEHYDE but couldn’t understand the parsing. Having seen your explanation (for which many thanks), I think my brain must have taken pity on me and filtered out the hated deletion.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  4. Yes, we liked it too! Some innovative clueing made up for a couple of loosie goosies.
    Agreeing with SB, the Bask part of basketball fits with “lie in comfort”.
    Again a quick grumble about Americanisms … Roomette and Trainman. But all in all, a worthy puzzle.

    1. Oops, now I’ve made that update I can see that everyone else has already explained basketball.

  5. Got unseated by the RAPIDS and fell into most of the other elephant traps before seeing sense.
    Apart from the SPIDER, a pretty decent puzzle, thanks setter and of course Lucian

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