Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1615

Another relatively straightforward Jumbo this week, though one spiced up with a couple of exotic anagrams. I often find these underwhelming – you could have all the intersecting letters and still be none the wiser – but I did rather like the construction of 23a. There were relatively fewer repeats compared to recent weeks, too, which was welcome.

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 is giving you night sweats 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 solvers once they’ve set down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.


RBV (Repeats-By-Volume): 8.3%

(With thanks to Stephanie in the comments for correcting 1d)

Across clues

  1. Chemical process? Whip article away from critical study (9)

Answer: CATALYSIS (i.e. “chemical process”). Solution is CAT (i.e. “whip”, specifically a cat-o-nine-tails) followed by ANALYSIS (i.e. “critical study”) once the AN has been removed (indicated by “article away from…” – an article being a word like a, an or the), like so: CAT-ALYSIS.

  1. MD’s style? With energy, MD needs brain activated to work (7,6)

Answer: BEDSIDE MANNER (i.e. “MD’s style”, an MD being a Doctor of Medicine or Medicinae Doctor). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “activated to work”) of E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and MD NEEDS BRAIN.

  1. Simplistic North America likely to shock, ousting leader (5)

Answer: NAÏVE (i.e. “simplistic”). Solution is NA (short for “North America”) followed by LIVE (i.e. “likely to shock”, e.g. a live electrical wire) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “ousting leader”), like so: NA-IVE.

  1. Recalled musical success with theatre adopting right authority (11)

Answer: PREROGATIVE (i.e. “authority” or “right arising out of one’s rank, position or office” (Chambers)). Solution is EVITA (i.e. a “musical”) followed by GO (i.e. a “success”, informally) and REP (i.e. “theatre”, short for a repertory theatre) once wrapped around or “adopting” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: P(R)ER-OG-ATIVE.

  1. Urban greenery needing a warm coat (5)

Answer: PARKA (i.e. “warm coat”). Solution is PARK (i.e. “urban greenery”) followed by A.

  1. Paid me back: old character’s considered good about that (11)

Answer: REMUNERATED (i.e. “paid”). Solution is ME reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed in or having “about” it RUNE (i.e. “old character”) and RATED (i.e. “considered good”), like so: R(EM)UNE-RATED.

  1. Strength in the lashes when fluttering (11)

Answer: HEALTHINESS (i.e. “strength”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “when fluttering”) of IN THE LASHES.

  1. Secretary receiving an expert cure (7)

Answer: PANACEA (i.e. “cure”). Solution is PA (i.e. “secretary” or Personal Assistant) wrapped around or “receiving” AN and ACE (i.e. “expert”), like so: P(AN-ACE)A.

  1. Item of poetry allowed after masterstroke (7)

Answer: COUPLET (i.e. “item of poetry”). Solution is LET (i.e. “allowed”) placed “after” COUP (i.e. “masterstroke”), like so: COUP-LET.

  1. Military leader to be heading for Rome in a month (7)

Answer: OCTOBER (i.e. “month”). Solution is OC (i.e. “military leader”, an Officer Commanding or Officer in Chief) followed by TO BE and R (i.e. “heading for Rome”, or the first letter of “Rome”). Appeared in grid 1568 back in July, also on odd intersecting letters, so…

  1. Ardennes? A great visit – brought about by this? (5,1,6,7)

Answer: TRAIN A GRANDE VITESSE, abbreviated to TGV, is France’s intercity train service. The solution therefore satisfies the clue as a whole, but is also formed from an anagram (indicated by “brought about”) of ARDENNES A GREAT VISIT. A very nicely worked clue, granted, but with the number of setters keen to squeeze French phrases and such into their grids I do wonder whether The Times should launch a French crossword. They already do one for Latin, so why not?

  1. Minute almost needed to get ready (3)

Answer: TIN (i.e. “ready”, both slang for money). Solution is TINY (i.e. “minute”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

  1. Holy man blocking temptation shows distinction (6)

Answer: LUSTRE (i.e. “distinction”). Solution is ST (i.e. “holy man”, short for a saint) placed in or “blocking” LURE (i.e. “temptation”), like so: LU(ST)RE.

  1. Legal statement is flexible, one having been moved back (6)

Answer: PLAINT (i.e. “legal statement”). Solution is PLIANT (i.e. “flexible”) with the I or Roman numeral “one” “moved back” a notch, like so: PL(I)ANT => PLA(I)NT.

  1. Flag put back before lecture is to disappear (9)

Answer: EVAPORATE (i.e. “disappear”). Solution is PAVE (i.e. to “flag”) reversed (indicated by “put back”) and followed by ORATE (i.e. “lecture”), like so: EVAP-ORATE.

  1. Animal secretion increasingly seen to rotate in ring (9)

Answer: PHEROMONE (i.e. “animal secretion”). Solution is MORE (i.e. “increasingly”) reversed (indicated by “seen to rotate”) and placed “in” PHONE (i.e. to “ring”), like so: PH(EROM)ONE.

  1. Leg mostly surrounded by other legs is shining (6)

Answer: GLEAMS (i.e. “is shining”). Solution is LEG with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder placed in or “surrounded by” GAMS (i.e. “other legs” – GAM has several variant meanings, one being slang for “a human leg, especially female” (Chambers)), like so: G(LE)AMS. You could make an argument for GLEAMY, as GAMY can mean spirited or lively or having “legs”, but I think GLEAMS is a stronger candidate.

  1. Stop recalling passion in case (6)

Answer: PERIOD (i.e. a full “stop”). Solution is IRE (i.e. “passion”) reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and placed “in” POD (i.e. “case”), like so: P(ERI)OD.

  1. Some further airtime for African music (3)

Answer: RAI (i.e. “African music” – over to Chambers again: “a modern, N African form of popular music, blending traditional Arabic and Spanish with Western dance rhythms”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: FURTHE(R AI)RTIME.

  1. Indication of closure, as pilfering female pinching article confesses (4,3,3,4,5)

Answer: WHEN THE FAT LADY SINGS (i.e. “indication of closure”). Solution is WHEN (i.e. “as”), THEFT (i.e. “pilfering”) and LADY (i.e. “female”) all wrapped around or “pinching” A (i.e. “article”, already covered above). This is all then followed by SINGS (i.e. “confesses”), like so: (WHEN-THEF(A)T-LADY)-SINGS.

  1. Mysterious shout still perhaps observed around tango (7)

Answer: CRYPTIC (i.e. “mysterious”). Solution is CRY (i.e. “shout”) followed by PIC (i.e. “still perhaps” or photograph) wrapped “around” T (“tango” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: CRY-P(T)IC.

  1. Brief comment about Minister held back team (7)

Answer: EVERTON (i.e. a football “team”). Solution is NOTE (i.e. “brief comment”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and wrapped around or “holding” REV (i.e. “Minister”, short for reverend) once this has also been reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: E(VER)TON.

  1. Herb ungrateful daughter planted in rings (7)

Answer: OREGANO (i.e. “herb”). Solution is REGAN (i.e. “ungrateful daughter” of William Shakespeare’s King Lear) “planted in” between O and O (both “rings”), like so: O(REGAN)O. Appeared in grid 1564 back in July, also on odd intersecting letters, so…

  1. Trampled turf not gone, still retrievable (11)

Answer: UNFORGOTTEN (i.e. “still retrievable”). “Trampled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TURF NOT GONE.

  1. Not something you can see being developed by rival outlet (11)

Answer: ULTRAVIOLET (i.e. “not something you can see”). “Being developed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RIVAL OUTLET.

  1. A lot of shadows behind one house in the North (5)

Answer: IGLOO (i.e. “house in the North” or up in the Arctic). Solution is GLOOM (i.e. “shadows”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “a lot of…”) and the remainder placed “behind” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: I-GLOO. Appeared in grid 1578 back in October, also on odd intersecting letters, and using a very similar clue, so…

  1. Lavender bed? It may be excessively flowery (6,5)

Answer: PURPLE PATCH. Solution playfully satisfies “lavender bed”, and also “it may be excessively flowery” – Chambers offers: “a passage of fine, or (often) over-ornate, writing”.

  1. Thai people live in Bangkok and Yangon ultimately (5)

Answer: KAREN (i.e. “Thai people”). Solution is ARE (i.e. “live”) placed “in” between K and N (i.e. the last or “ultimate” letters of Bangkok and Yangon respectively), like so: K-(ARE)-N. Bradford’s to the rescue here.

  1. American novel’s representation of sheltered year (3,10)

Answer: THE DEERSLAYER (i.e. “American novel” by James Fenimore Cooper – no, me neither). “Representation of” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SHELTERED YEAR.

  1. Several years without unpleasantness, not seeing one rotting (9)

Answer: DECADENCE (i.e. “rotting”). Solution is DECADE (i.e. “several years”) followed by NICE (i.e. “without unpleasantness”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “not seeing [Roman numeral] one”), like so: DECADE-NCE.

Down clues

  1. Shifted intercept on a line moving to the middle (11)

Answer: CENTREPITAL [EDIT: Thanks to Stephanie in the comments for correcting this one. Seems I’ve been making up words, which was rather presumptuous of me! The solution ought to have been CENTRIPETAL. The construction of the solution remains the same. Cheers, Stephanie! – LP] (i.e. “moving to the middle”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “shifted”) of INTERCEPT followed by A and L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”), like so: CENTREPIT-A-L.

  1. The writer is restricted by lacking vitamin (7)

Answer: THIAMIN (i.e. “vitamin”). Solution is I AM (i.e. “the writer is”, from the point of view of the setter) placed in or “restricted by” THIN (i.e. “lacking”), like so: TH(I-AM)IN.

  1. Extra bedtime story for a particular group? (3-2)

Answer: LIE-IN (i.e. “extra bedtime”). Solution is LIE (i.e. “story”) followed by IN (i.e. “a particular group” – could be a sporting reference, or might mean those in office. Most definitions focus on IN being membership of a group rather than the group itself, so I’m not quite sure what the setter is playing at here).

  1. Transport boss to drink, thus requiring impounding of vehicle (10)

Answer: SUPERCARGO (i.e. “transport boss”). Solution is SUP (i.e. “to drink”) followed by ERGO (i.e. “thus”) once wrapped around or “impounding” CAR (i.e. “vehicle”), like so: SUP-ER(CAR)GO.

  1. One doubts church can take part, as originally presented externally (7)

Answer: SCEPTIC (i.e. “one doubts”). Solution is CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) and PT (short for “part”) both placed in or having “externally” around them SIC (i.e. “as originally presented”), like so: S(CE-PT)IC.

  1. Terrifying family appearing with daughter in winter sport (13)

Answer: BLOODCURDLING (i.e. “terrifying”). Solution is BLOOD (i.e. kin or “family”) followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) once placed “in” CURLING (i.e. “winter sport”), like so: BLOOD-CUR(D)LING.

  1. Had vigil arranged to enshrine end of supreme impresario (9)

Answer: Sergei DIAGHILEV (i.e. ballet “impresario” – again, me neither). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “arranged”) of HAD VIGIL wrapped around or “enshrining” E (i.e. “end [letter] of supreme”), like so: DIAGHIL(E)V.

  1. Copying it involves chap securing it (7)

Answer: IMITANT (i.e. “copying”). Solution is IT wrapped around or “involving” MAN (i.e. “chap”) once this has itself been wrapped around or “securing” IT, like so: I(M(IT)AN)T.

  1. Judge ousting Liberal in vote: constituency’s source of sudden exit (8,4)

Answer: EJECTION SEAT (i.e. “source of sudden exit”). Solution is ELECTION (i.e. “vote”) with the L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) replaced or “ousted” by J (ditto “judge”). This is then followed by SEAT (i.e. “constituency”), like so: E(L)ECTION-SEAT => E(J)ECTION-SEAT.

  1. Person with job application having nothing in support (9)

Answer: APPOINTEE (i.e. “person with job”). Solution is APP (short for “application” or program) followed by O (i.e. “nothing”), then IN and TEE (i.e. “support” for a golf ball).

  1. Take care of note, money-bag not opening (5)

Answer: NURSE (i.e. “take care of”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “note”) followed by PURSE (i.e. “money-bag”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “not opening”), like so: N-URSE.

  1. Development of US careers brought about a new peace of mind (11)

Answer: REASSURANCE (i.e. “peace of mind”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “development of”) of US CAREERS wrapped “about” A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: REASSUR(A-N)CE. Appeared in grid 1602 a couple of months ago, also on odd intersecting letters, so…

  1. Lively horse crossing North Mexican river (3,4)

Answer: CON BRIO (i.e. “lively” in musical lingo). Solution is COB (i.e. a short-legged “horse”) wrapped around or “crossing” N (a recognised abbreviation of “north”) and followed by RIO (i.e. “Mexican river” – I think this is Spanish for “river” rather than a reference to the Rio Grande), like so: CO(N)B-RIO.

  1. Club rugby player receiving cheers making squad (9)

Answer: BATTALION (i.e. “squad”). Solution is BAT (i.e. “club”) followed by TA (i.e. “cheers”) and LION (i.e. “rugby player” of the British & Irish Lions rugby union team).

  1. Australian effrontery, dismissing me in hard times (9)

Answer: AUSTERITY (i.e. “hard times”). Solution is AUS (short for “Australian”) followed by TEMERITY (i.e. “effrontery”) once the ME has been removed (indicated by “dismissing me”), like so: AUS-TERITY. AUSTERE appeared in grid 1589 back in December, also on odd intersecting letters, so…

  1. Excellent blokes probing officer’s complaint (7)

Answer: AILMENT (i.e. “complaint”). Solution is AI (i.e. “excellent”, or A1 with the 1 replaced by its Roman numeral equivalent) followed by MEN (i.e. “blokes”) once placed in or “probing” LT (i.e. “officer”, specifically a lieutenant), like so: AI-L(MEN)T.

  1. Most of story about Channel Island is describing rising heat (7)

Answer: THERMAL (i.e. “rising heat”). Solution is TALE (i.e. “story”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “most of…”) and the remainder wrapped “about” HERM (a “Channel Island” between Guernsey and Sark), like so: T(HERM)AL.

  1. Mural in convent: reworked that less nearer the ceiling (3,4,6)

Answer: THE LAST SUPPER (i.e. “mural in Convent” of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “reworked”) of THAT LESS followed by UPPER (i.e. “nearer the ceiling”), like so: THELASTS-UPPER.

  1. What superintended should do, no longer bothered by religious office (7)

Answer: OVERSEE (i.e. “what superintendent should do”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “no longer bothered by”) of SEE (i.e. “religious office”).

  1. Be avoiding shift to wheat-farming, perhaps and fail (4,1,7)

Answer: COME A CROPPER (i.e. “fail”). Solution is BECOME A CROPPER (i.e. “shift to wheat-farming, perhaps”) with the BE removed (indicated by “be avoiding…”).

  1. Air-stunt chap leaving rear of zeppelin, possibly? (11)

Answer: PARACHUTIST. The solution satisfies the clue as a whole (sometimes referred to as an “& lit” clue). Solution is also an anagram (indicated by “possibly”) of AIR-STUNT CHAP once the N has been removed (indicated by “leaving rear [letter] of zeppelin”).

  1. Misbehaving is unnoticed? Stop (11)

Answer: DISCONTINUE (i.e. “stop”). “Misbehaving” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS UNNOTICED.

  1. Mostly stupid old man, mostly stupid in an individual way (10)

Answer: IDIOPATHIC (i.e. “in an individual way”). Solution is IDIOT (i.e. “stupid”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by PA (i.e. “old man”, both informal references to one’s father) and THICK (i.e. “stupid”) once this too has had its last letter removed (also indicated by “mostly”), like so: IDIO-PA-THIC.

  1. Swallowed river in entire oasis (5-4)

Answer: WATER-HOLE (i.e. “oasis”). Solution is ATE (i.e. “swallowed”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”) both placed “in” WHOLE (i.e. “entire”), like so: W(ATE-R)HOLE.

  1. English agree to retain English naval force for ever (9)

Answer: ETERNALLY (i.e. “for ever”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by TALLY (i.e. “agree”) once wrapped around or “retaining” E (again, “English”) and RN (i.e. “naval force”, the Royal Navy), like so: E-T(E-RN)ALLY.

  1. Is French or Italian article seen in luxury resort? (7)

Answer: ESTORIL (i.e. “luxury resort” in Portugal, apparently). Solution is EST (i.e. “is French”, i.e. the French for “is”) followed by OR, then IL (i.e. “Italian article”, i.e. the masculine form of “the” in Italian).

  1. Marked down as absent from Eastern delta (7)

Answer: NOTATED (i.e. “marked down”). Solution is NOT AT (i.e. “absent”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “Eastern”) and D (“delta” in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Feel bad, with bird losing foremost flying aid (7)

Answer: AILERON (i.e. “flying aid” on an aircraft’s wing). Solution is AIL (i.e. “feel bad”) followed by HERON (i.e. “bird”) once its first or “foremost” letter has been removed or “lost”, like so: AIL-ERON.

  1. River’s ending in lake? Not so (5)

Answer: FALSE (i.e. “not so”). Solution is FAL’S (i.e. “river’s” – in this case a river in Cornwall followed by a contraction of “is”) followed by E (i.e. “ending [letter] in lake”).

  1. Avoided abandoning Mum in a distressed state (5)

Answer: IRKED (i.e. “in a distressed state”). Solution is SHIRKED (i.e. “avoided”) with the SH removed (indicated by “abandoning Mum” – keeping Mum being another way of saying to keep quiet).

10 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1615

  1. Hi – thanks for the witty weekly Times cryptic Jumbo solutions. I think 1 down should be “centripetal” to satisfy the anagram and a line.

  2. Re 3d: I think it refers to an ‘in-group’, ie. a group of people with some shared interest.
    Re 34d: I got the answer but didn’t realise it was an anagram too, so was confused about why a parachutist would be leaping out the back of an airship. Quite a clever clue. Thanks for explaining.

  3. Enjoyed this one, but the French train took a while to arrive. Funnily enough, EVAPORATE was also in the same day’s prize puzzle in the main paper, but with a slightly different clue:
    Flag hoisted, soldiers had to disappear

  4. Thanks Lucian. We finished this, but found some of the answers rather less than satisfactory. I’ve only ever come across IMITANT (8d) as a noun (meaning “something that imitates”), not a verb. EJECTION SEAT (9d) is a new one on me – I’ve always known it as EJECTOR SEAT. Another creeping Americanism? And as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, IDIOPATHIC (38d) does not mean “in an individual way” – rather, it’s a medical term referring to a disease or condition having no known cause. Yellow card, setter.

    Way too many deletions too. But we did like 23a – though not enough to redeem the above gripes.

    Agree with Stephanie above about the spelling of CENTRIPETAL. For info, it’s the opposite of CENTRIFUGAL. The PET part comes from the Latin peto, meaning “I seek”.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  5. Having had a month away from the cryptics (holidays/health) I’m struck by 3 things
    1. What a tremendous job you do Lucian to keep up with all the puzzles. Thank you
    2. It’s very interesting having your focus on repetitions. I sometimes remember such repeats, and whilst I have no doubts on your superior memory and mental agility, I wonder if you maintain a database of solutions
    3. I’m finding it tougher than a month ago. Are the clues denser and more complicated recently, or is the time away showing and I need to get back in the groove?
    Cheers all

    1. No worries, Graham. Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell. At the moment I’m searching my previous blog posts for repeats. Sadly WordPress’s search tool doesn’t let me look for whole words, so this week’s solution for 27a, TIN, appears everywhere there’s a word ending in -TING. And as for 42d across, CRYPTIC, forget about it! So, yes, I am building a list of previous solutions to help detect repeats, or at least until I get bored and obsess about something else. 😀 – LP

  6. 27 A – Tin. In the world of electronics, when you want to join two wires together by soldering, one advocated method is to coat each wire individually with solder first, before putting the wires together and fusing the solder. This operation is known as “tinning” the wire, and “gets it ready” (as in the clue) before actually performing the soldering operation.

    This definition of tin (as a verb) isn’t in my relatively modern Concise Oxford English Dictionary, but my old Collins English Dictionary (2nd edition, 1986) offers “to prepare (a metal) for soldering or brazing by applying a thin layer of solder to the surface”.

  7. Agreeing with all previous comments!
    Generally good fun, just a couple of places where we needed your reassurance Lucian (thank you).
    There did seem to be a lot of anagrams. But some really neat ones, so no complaints here!

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