Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1607

A medium strength Jumbo for the Easter weekend, and one that offered the kind of steady progression that I always like… well, that was until the bottom-right corner. Thankfully there was nothing too egregious here, just a little snaggy in places. A healthy dollop of good clues made up for all this and more.

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 what-for then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions to hundreds of the things.

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


FBV (French-By-Volume): 3.2%
(finished with dashes of German and Italian for a cosmopolitan tang)

Across clues

  1. Incorrect statement about Disney character, about right for tycoon? (9)

Answer: PLUTOCRAT (i.e. “tycoon”). Solution is PLUTO CAT (i.e. “incorrect statement about Disney character” – Pluto being a dog, not a cat) wrapped “about” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: PLUTO-C(R)AT.

  1. Bout follows live match (5)

Answer: BEFIT (i.e. “match”). Solution is FIT (i.e. “bout”) placed after or “following” BE (i.e. “live”), like so: BE-FIT.

  1. Henry returning to pay in haste (7)

Answer: HOTFOOT (i.e. “haste”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a unit of measurement of electrical inductance) followed by TO reversed (indicated by “returning”), then FOOT (i.e. “to pay”), like so: H-OT-FOOT.

  1. Thus overlooked, boy did play, strangely (5)

Answer: ODDLY (i.e. “strangely”). The first part of the clue plays on how the solution cryptically satisfies “thus overlooked, boy did play”, as in how the solution is derived by removing or “overlooking” the odd letters of BOY DID PLAY.

  1. Not the clergy’s records being recalled in particular (7)

Answer: SPECIAL (i.e. “particular”). Solution is LAIC (i.e. “not the clergy’s”, or of lay people) and EPS (i.e. “records”, specifically Extended Plays) all reversed (indicated by “being recalled”), like so: SPE-CIAL.

  1. Had food finally landed in appropriate place, at long last? (9)

Answer: BELATEDLY (i.e. “at long last”). Solution is ATE (i.e. “had food”) and D (i.e. “finally landed”, i.e. the last letter of “landed”) both placed “in” BELLY (i.e. “appropriate place” for food, in the context of the clue), like so: BEL(ATE-D)LY.

  1. Wide river: manage to cross it in pain (3-8)

Answer: FAR-REACHING (i.e. “wide”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), REACH (i.e. “manage to cross it”) and IN all placed “in” (a bit of recycling, if I’m not mistaken) FAG (i.e. “pain”, as in a tiresome task or person), like so: FA(R-REACH-IN)G.

[EDIT: Thanks to Chris in the comments for providing a much cleaner solution, being FARE (i.e. “manage”) wrapped around or “crossing” R (“river”, as described) and followed by ACHING (i.e. “in pain”), like so: FAR(R)E-ACHING. Cheers, Chris! – LP]

  1. Suffering from cold several times bonfires must be built (11)

Answer: FROSTBITTEN (i.e. “suffering from cold”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “must be built”) of TTT (i.e. “several times”, T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”. On this occasion we want three of them) and BONFIRES.

  1. Bounded around home, healthy and with energy (6)

Answer: FINITE (i.e. “bounded”). Solution is IN (i.e. at “home”) with FIT (i.e. “healthy”) placed “around” it. This is all then followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: F(IN)IT-E.

  1. Both mum and aunt finally, sadly, showing little character (3,5)

Answer: TOM THUMB (i.e. “little character” of folklore). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sadly”) of BOTH MUM and T (i.e. “aunt finally”, i.e. the last letter of “aunt”).

  1. Disturbance over waiter’s tip, followed by row (6)

Answer: UPROAR (i.e. “disturbance”). Solution is UP (i.e. complete or “over”) followed by R (i.e. “waiter’s tip”, in this case the back end of “waiter”) and OAR (i.e. “row”).

  1. Stud resembling star affixed to cape (8)

Answer: CASANOVA (i.e. “stud”). Solution is AS A (i.e. “resembling”) and NOVA (i.e. “star”) all placed after or “affixed to” C (a recognised abbreviation of “cape”), like so: C-(AS-A-NOVA).

  1. Be received by television station’s original founder (2,4,3,5)

Answer: GO DOWN THE TUBES (i.e. to “founder”). Solution is GO DOWN THE TUBE (i.e. “be received by television” – TUBE being slang for a television set) followed by S (i.e. “station’s original”, i.e. the first letter of “station”).

  1. Settlements: a single one ultimately that hurt the Poles (5)

Answer: TOWNS (i.e. “settlements”). Solution is T (i.e. “settlements: a single one ultimately” – I think the setter is referring to a single settlement here, the last or “ultimate” letter of the word being T) followed by OW (i.e. “that hurts”) and NS (i.e. “poles”, short for north and south).

  1. Musical works tell a story, radical on reflection (6)

Answer: LIEDER (i.e. “musical works”). Solution is LIE (i.e. “tell a story”) followed by RED (i.e. a “Radical”) once reversed (indicated by “on reflection”), like so: LIE-DER.

  1. Titled lord, frightfully musical! (2,8)

Answer: DR DOLITTLE (i.e. “musical” film of 1968 starring Rex Harrison, based on the children’s books of Hugh Lofting). “Frightfully” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TITLED LORD.

  1. Shopkeeper with quiet way of working getting in touch (10)

Answer: FISHMONGER (i.e. “shopkeeper”). Solution is SH (i.e. “quiet”) and MO (i.e. “way of working”, short for Modus Operandi) both placed “in” FINGER (i.e. “touch”), like so: FI(SH-MO)NGER.

  1. Old dictator seeing money accrued after election is endless (3,3)

Answer: POL POT (i.e. “old dictator” of Cambodia). Solution is POT (i.e. “money accrued”) placed “after” POLL (i.e. “election”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “is endless”).

  1. Kid is very loud after tea (5)

Answer: CHAFF (i.e. to “kid”). Solution is FF (i.e. “very loud”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of fortissimo used in musical lingo) placed “after” CHA (i.e. “tea”), like so: CHA-FF.

  1. Nonsense about basic fitness of course good reason for scepticism (11,3)

Answer: CREDIBILITY GAP (i.e. “reason for scepticism”). Solution is CRAP (i.e. “nonsense”) wrapped “about” EDIBILITY (i.e. “basic fitness of course”) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: CR(EDIBILITY-G)AP.

  1. For physicist, a very disastrous error having a doctor round (8)

Answer: Amadeo AVOGADRO (i.e. Italian “physicist”). Solution is A followed by V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”), then OG (i.e. “disastrous error”, short for an Own Goal), then A, then DR (short for “doctor”) and O (i.e. “round”). One pieced together solely from the wordplay.

  1. One going left hot drink close to pram: naughty! (6)

Answer: IMPISH (i.e. “naughty”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot” used on taps), SIP (i.e. a “drink”) and M (i.e. “close to pram”, i.e. the last letter of “pram”) once these latter three have all been reversed (indicated by “going left” – this being an across clue), like so: I-(M-PIS-H).

  1. Shrink understood Leo – only for so long (6-2)

Answer: TOODLE-OO (i.e. “so long”). “Shrink” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, removing the outer letters of UNDERS(TOOD LEO O)NLY.

  1. What bishops may grasp about different men (6)

Answer: CROOKS (i.e. “what bishops may grasp”). Solution is C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by ROOKS (i.e. “men” – chess pieces are sometimes referred to as men). “Different” seems surplus to requirements, so I might not have this 100% right.

[EDIT: Thanks again to Chris for clarifying “different” within the clue. I hadn’t twigged bishops being chess pieces too. Cheers, Chris! – LP]

  1. Soft and runny porridge: that is a French dish (8,3)

Answer: PERIGORD PIE (i.e. “French dish” of meat and truffles. Sounds good to me). Solution is P (i.e. “soft”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo) followed by an anagram (indicated by “runny”) of PORRIDGE, then IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. “i.e.” short for the Latin id est), like so: P-ERIGORDP-IE.

  1. Something deceptive in the case of latest Mob suspect (5,6)

Answer: FALSE BOTTOM (i.e. “something deceptive in the [suit]case”). “Suspect” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OF LATEST MOB.

  1. Notwithstanding popular image, enemy in retreat (2,5,2)

Answer: IN SPITE OF (i.e. “notwithstanding”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by SPIT (i.e. “image” or exact replica) and FOE (i.e. “enemy”) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “in retreat”), like so: IN-SPIT-EOF.

  1. Wind got of husband’s casual reference to couple? (7)

Answer: MEANDER (i.e. to “wind”). When written as ME AND ‘ER the solution playfully satisfies “husband’s casual reference to couple”.

  1. Chap fifty yards back, bang in the middle (5)

Answer: DYLAN (i.e. “chap’s” name). Solution is L (i.e. “[Roman numeral] fifty”) and YD (a recognised abbreviation of “yards”) all reversed (indicated by “back”). This is then followed by AN (i.e. “bang in the middle”, i.e. the middle letters of “bang”), like so: (DY-L)-AN.

  1. Camel at the back, one with humps, for example, not unnaturally (7)

Answer: LITOTES (i.e. “for example, not unnaturally” – over to Chambers: “affirmation by negation of the contrary”). Solution is L (i.e. “camel at the back”, i.e. the last letter of “camel”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and TOTES (i.e. “humps” or carries). One I remembered from a previous Jumbo.

  1. Four German couples appearing at end of Huckleberry Finn? (5)

Answer: YACHT (i.e. “finn” – this defeated my Chambers and Oxford dictionaries, but a quick Google suggests this is a type of dinghy used in competitive racing). Solution is ACHT (i.e. “four German couples”, i.e. the German for “eight”) placed after or “at” Y (i.e. “end of Huckleberry”, i.e. the last letter of “Huckleberry”), like so: Y-ACHT.

  1. Festival queen, depressed, finding comfort in retirement (9)

Answer: EIDERDOWN (i.e. “comfort in retirement” or in having some kip). Solution is EID (i.e. Muslim “festival”) followed by ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) and DOWN (i.e. “depressed”).

Down clues

  1. What demonstrates strength of spirit (5)

Answer: PROOF. Solution satisfies “what demonstrates” and “strength of spirit”. Nicely worked.

  1. Very young infants have small playgroup, independently (5,4,3,5)

Answer: UNDER ONE’S OWN STEAM (i.e. “independently”). Solution is UNDER-ONES (i.e. “very young infants”) followed by OWNS (i.e. “have”) and TEAM (i.e. “playgroup”).

  1. Neat Yankee fellow seen with medical department’s hospital equipment (6,5)

Answer: OXYGEN TENTS (i.e. “hospital equipment”). Solution is OX (i.e. “neat”, a variant meaning) followed by Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet), then GENT (i.e. “fellow”) and ENT’S (i.e. “medical department’s” – ENT being short for Ear Nose and Throat).

  1. For these jobs the academic not always in the end cut out (6)

Answer: RESECT (i.e. “cut out”, supposedly a section of bone). “Always in the end” indicates the solution is derived from the last letters of “foR thesE jobS thE academiC noT“.

  1. Bash we do with champagne (3,5)

Answer: THE WIDOW (i.e. “champagne”, specifically Veuve Clicquot. Veuve is French for “widow”). “Bash” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WE DO WITH. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Link with firms keeping judge and journalist in work (7,5)

Answer: BRIDGET JONES (i.e. “journalist in work” by novelist Helen Fielding). Solution is BRIDGE (i.e. “link”) followed by TONES (i.e. “firms” up) once wrapped around or “keeping” J (a recognised abbreviation of “judge”), like so: BRIDGE-T(J)ONES. It’s always nice to see relatively recent cultural references sneaking into Jumbos every now and again.

  1. Conflict with rank in decline, mostly (4,4,2)

Answer: FALL FOUL OF (i.e. “conflict with”). Solution FOUL (i.e. “rank”) placed “in” FALL OFF (i.e. “decline”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: FALL-(FOUL)-OF.

  1. Disapproved of cheers? The opposite! (5)

Answer: TABOO (i.e. “disapproved of”). Solution is TA (i.e. “cheers”) followed by BOO (i.e. “the opposite” of cheers).

  1. Deception lethal, FT ruthlessly demonstrates (4-5)

Answer: HALF-TRUTH (i.e. “deception”). “Demonstrates” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: LET(HAL FT RUTH)LESSLY.

  1. Sound disapproving note about one franc confection (5,6)

Answer: TUTTI FRUTTI (i.e. “confection”). Solution is TUT-TUT (i.e. “sound disapproving”) and TI (i.e. musical “note” of the sol-fa scale) wrapped “about” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and FR (a recognised abbreviation of “franc”), like so: TUT-T(I-FR)UT-TI.

  1. Report of case for Oxonian: E Morse? (2,3)

Answer: ON DIT (i.e. “report” – another that defeats my Chambers, but my Oxford supports it, supposedly being a rumour or piece of gossip). Solution is ON (i.e. “case for Oxonian”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Oxonian”) followed by DIT (i.e. “E Morse”, i.e. the letter E in Morse code, a single dit). Can’t say I’ve ever heard the phrase but I do like the construction of the clue, playing on Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse, whose first name is Endeavour. Very nicely done.

  1. Object after husband’s made track difficult (6)

Answer: TRYING (i.e. “difficult”). Solution is THING (i.e. “object”) once the H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) has been swapped for or “made” into RY (i.e. “track”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “railway”), like so: T(H)ING => T(RY)ING.

  1. Expert’s characteristic, confrontational position (4,2,4)

Answer: FACE TO FACE (i.e. “confrontational position”). When written as FACET OF ACE the solution also satisfies “expert’s characteristic”.

  1. Stony ridge linked to football training (8)

Answer: BANKRUPT (i.e. “stony” broke). Solution is BANK (i.e. “ridge”) followed by RU (i.e. “football”, specifically Rugby Union) and PT (i.e. “training”, specifically Physical Training).

  1. Poor old constable to bat, getting a pair – that was funny! (6,3,8)

Answer: Bud ABBOTT AND Lou COSTELLO (i.e. “a pair – that was funny”. I concur! I loved their horror cross-overs as a young un). “Poor” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OLD CONSTABLE TO BAT. Another winner.

  1. What you see before eruption upset island paradise (6)

Answer: AVALON (i.e. “island paradise” where King Arthur was supposedly laid to rest). Solution is NO LAVA (i.e. “what you see before eruption”) all reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue). The down clues are knocking it out of the park this week!

  1. Life’s good for flourishing South London area (4,2,4)

Answer: ISLE OF DOGS (i.e. “London area”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “for flourishing”) of LIFE’S GOOD followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”), like so: ISLEOFDOG-S.

  1. Old monk’s high point joining order (8)

Answer: BENEDICT (i.e. “old monk”). Solution is BEN (i.e. a mountain peak or “high point”) followed by EDICT (i.e. “order”).

  1. Old firm keeping tax returns in book (6)

Answer: OCTAVO (i.e. “book”. Over to Chambers again: “adjective: having eight leaves to the sheet; (conventionally) of a size so obtained, whether so folded or not. noun: a book printed on sheets so folded; (conventionally) a book of such a size…”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and CO (i.e. “firm”, short for company) once wrapped around or “keeping” VAT (i.e. “tax”, specifically Value Added Tax) once reversed (indicated by “returns”), like so: O-C(TAV)O. A relatively recent repeat with much the same clue, making this a much easier get.

  1. What’s Easter – and Lent – without a taste of eggs! (7,5)

Answer: MOVABLE FEAST (i.e. “Easter”, a festival that shifts about according to the first full moon after the spring equinox). The rest of the clue leaves me cold – religion has that effect on me – but it could be MOVABLE FAST (i.e. “Lent”) wrapped around or placed “without” E (i.e. “a taste of eggs”, i.e. the first letter of “eggs”).

  1. Millions, unhealthy and lean, are those up for spam? (7,4)

Answer: MAILING LIST (i.e. “are those up for spam” – categorically not!) Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “millions”) followed by AILING (i.e. “unhealthy”) and LIST (i.e. to “lean”).

  1. Red oligarch’s broadcast one offering a mouthpiece for Havana? (5,6)

Answer: CIGAR HOLDER (i.e. “one offering a mouthpiece for Havana”). “Broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RED OLIGARCH.

  1. Promoter with loudspeaker outside party, back to get under one’s skin (10)

Answer: HYPODERMIC (i.e. “under one’s skin”). Solution is HYPER (i.e. “promoter”) and MIC (i.e. “loudspeaker” – I think the setter’s really stretching it here. A microphone on its own isn’t going to amplify your voice. Don’t believe me? Take a mic to the bar of a packed nightclub and let me know how you get on) placed “outside” of DO (i.e. “party”) once reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: HYP(OD)ER-MIC.

  1. Ann with shires working thus? (2,7)

Answer: IN HARNESS (i.e. “thus” within the context of the clue, referring to “shire” horses). “Working” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ANN and SHIRES.

  1. US president collected papers for one from the South (8)

Answer: Calvin COOLIDGE (i.e. “US president” of the 1920s). Solution is COOL (i.e. “collected”) followed by ID (i.e. “papers”) and EG (i.e. “for one” or for example) once reversed (indicated by “from the South” – this being a down clue), like so: COOL-ID-GE.

  1. University fellow stretched, evidently, to a higher level (6)

Answer: UPHILL (i.e. “to a higher level”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) followed by PHILL (i.e. “fellow stretched, evidently” – i.e. the man’s name PHIL with the last letter repeated).

  1. Old-fashioned daughter walked on over (6)

Answer: RETROD (i.e. “walked on over”). Solution is RETRO (i.e. “old-fashioned”) followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”). Took a while to twig.

  1. Put back a class of biblical scholars? (5)

Answer: RESET (i.e. “put back” to a previous state). When written as RE SET the solution satisfies “class of biblical scholars” – RE being Religious Education.

  1. Having the effects of inflation drag on years (5)

Answer: PUFFY (i.e. “having the effects of inflation”). Solution is PUFF (i.e. “drag” of a cigarette) followed by Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”).

  1. Opera that’s performed in French but not in Italian (5)

Answer: MANON (i.e. “opera that’s performed in French” by Jules Massenet – no, me neither). When written as MA NON the solution also satisfies “but not” in Italian. I got this latter bit by spotting the phrase “ma non troppo” in my Chambers, supposedly meaning “but not too much” in musical lingo. There might be more to this clue, but I’m not seeing it.

13 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1607

  1. Thanks, Lucian. I thought this was a good one & quite tricky in parts. Re 16a I think it is r for river, crossed by fare meaning to manage followed by aching for in pain. Re 44a the word different is in there as rooks are different chessmen to bishops. Cheers

  2. Interesting, wasn’t it? Some imaginative and clever clues. I like the way Oddly was self-referencing.
    But then some which stretched the limits, like Neat being an archaic word for Ox. And we fully agree with your point about Mic.
    However, a winner overall. Smiles for Plutocrat, Meander and Yacht.
    We got The Widow without understanding why, so it was interesting to learn about Veuve.
    By the way, On Dit is French for “people say”. That one snuck under your radar!

  3. Funny how different folk get on – I actually found bottom right corner quite straightforward. I agree with prev comment that rooks are different men to bishops.
    Enjoyable overall – many good clues saved up for Eostre. Grateful as ever for explaining some of them – I missed a couple where the answer was buried in the text

  4. Found this remarkably hard going all the way through – just couldn’t ‘tune in’ to this setter’s style at all. Managed to slog to the end. Don’t buy The Times on a Monday, so will gee myself up for next Saturday.

  5. 46D is an unusual sort of clue. If it were to have consisted of just the final three words it would have been an & Lit, because “walked on over” not only defines RETROD, but also provides the wordplay RE + TROD (where “on” = RE, and “over” is acting as a juxtaposition indicator). So what we have here is a clue which is a hybrid of wordplay plus all-in-one.

  6. I found this on the trickier side. I just wanted to say though, that I have done the jumbo for about 20 years and discovered your site about 4 years ago. It is fantastic when I have completed the grid and want to clarify some of the parsing.
    Also no-one is ever unpleasant or condescending on the site, in great contrast to The Listener websites. I only graduated to the Listener during lockdown … and find the online discussion boards about the puzzles most irritating, full of dissatisfied know – alls who find it all ‘too easy’.
    Many thanks Lucian for all your hard work, clear explanations and humour!

    1. Thanks, Louise. I feel lucky to have a good group of peeps commenting on this site, and love how we all muck in to achieve a full solution each week. See you at the next one! – LP

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