Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1616

A relatively straightforward one this week. As regular visitors know, I don’t mind the easier ones! A low number of recent repeats was also a welcome factor. Let’s hope this trend continues.

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 been giving you gyp then you might find my Just For Fun page of help, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things.

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


RBV (Repeats-By-Volume): 3.3%

Across clues

  1. Place to drink in west Peru unfortunately overrun by bachelors (7)

Answer: BREWPUB (i.e. “place to drink”, or a pub that serves its own wacky brews). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of W (a recognised abbreviation of “west”) and PERU all placed in or “overrun by” BB (i.e. “bachelors” – B being a recognised abbreviation thereof), like so: B(REWPU)B.

  1. Runs after insect close to some other creatures (9)

Answer: ANTELOPES (i.e. “creatures”). Solution is LOPES (i.e. “runs”) placed “after” ANT (i.e. “insect”) and E (i.e. “close to some”, i.e. the last letter of “some”), like so: (ANT-E)-LOPES. We had ANTELOPE only last month in grid 1608, also on odd intersecting letters, so…

  1. Grasp a bit of wood (4)

Answer: TWIG. Solution satisfies “grasp” or understand, and “a bit of wood”.

  1. Winner angry about sixth in javelin getting a medal (8,5)

Answer: VICTORIA CROSS (i.e. “medal”). Solution is VICTOR (i.e. “winner”) and CROSS (i.e. “angry”) all wrapped “about” I (i.e. “sixth [letter] in javelin”) and A, like so: VICTOR-(I-A)-CROSS.

  1. Canonises extraordinary biblical event (9)

Answer: ASCENSION (i.e. “biblical event”). “Extraordinary” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CANONISES. Nicely worked.

  1. Stop working with Conservative friend, suppressing one little article (4,2,1,3)

Answer: CALL IT A DAY (i.e. “stop working”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) followed by ALLY (i.e. “friend”) once wrapped around or “suppressing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), TAD (i.e. a “little”) and A (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the), like so: C-ALL(I-TAD-A)Y.

  1. High society venerating Venus at times (7,4)

Answer: EVENING STAR (i.e. “Venus at times” – can also be Mercury, apparently). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “high”) of S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”) and VENERATING.

  1. Is angry girl finally ejected from rides? (5)

Answer: FUMES (i.e. “is angry”). Solution is FLUMES (i.e. “rides” in amusement parks) with the L (i.e. “girl finally”, i.e. the last letter of “girl”) removed or “ejected”.

  1. Swooped to arrest Harry’s pal, it’s said (10)

Answer: PRONOUNCED (i.e. “said”). Solution is POUNCED (i.e. “swooped “) wrapped around or “arresting” RON Weasley (i.e. “Harry [Potter]’s pal”), like so: P(RON)OUNCED.

  1. Certify a temperature check (6)

Answer: ATTEST (i.e. “certify”). Solution is A followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “temperature”) and TEST (i.e. “check”).

  1. One receiving item of clothing found in a river (9)

Answer: ADDRESSEE (i.e. “one receiving item”). Solution is DRESS (i.e. “item of clothing”) placed “in” A and DEE (i.e. Scottish “river”), like so: A-D(DRESS)EE.

  1. Vicar finished – prepare to move? (3,2)

Answer: REV UP (i.e. “prepare to move” motor vehicle). Solution is REV (i.e. “vicar”, short for reverend) followed by UP (i.e. “finished”).

  1. Switch positions to get beer regularly discounted (2,5)

Answer: ON OFFER (i.e. “discounted”). Solution is ON OFF (i.e. electrical “switch positions”) followed by ER (i.e. “beer regularly”, i.e. every other letter of BEER).

  1. Visionary bank employee is after loads of money (7-6)

Answer: FORTUNE-TELLER (i.e. “visionary”). Solution is TELLER (i.e. “bank employee”) placed “after” FORTUNE (i.e. “loads of money”). FORTUNE-TELLING appeared back in January in grid 1597, but on even intersecting letters.

  1. Conservative position on playing fields? (5-4)

Answer: RIGHT-WING. Solution satisfies “Conservative” and “position on playing fields”.

  1. Look – African country’s backed abandoning island test site (3,6)

Answer: LOS ALAMOS (i.e. atomic bomb “test site” in New Mexico). Solution is LO (i.e. “look”, as in lo and behold) followed by SOMALIA’S (i.e. “African country’s”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “abandoning island” – I being a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: LO-S’ALAMOS.

  1. Criminal fetches pie, I go for some coins (6,2,5)

Answer: PIECES OF EIGHT (i.e. “some coins”). “Criminal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FETCHES PIE I GO.

  1. Old Arab wins a race, newcomer admits (7)

Answer: SARACEN (i.e. “old Arab”). “Admits” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: WIN(S A RACE N)EWCOMER.

  1. Range of addresses covering area (5)

Answer: URALS (i.e. mountain “range”). Solution is URLS (i.e. web “addresses”, short for Uniform Resource Locators) wrapped around or “covering” A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: UR(A)LS.

  1. Turner finished study at last in solitary setting? (6,3)

Answer: LONDON EYE (i.e. a famous big wheel or “turner”). Solution is DONE (i.e. “finished”) and Y (i.e. “study at last”, i.e. the last letter of “study”) all placed “in” LONE (i.e. “solitary”), like so: LON(DONE-Y)E.

  1. Something unique I do away with (3-3)

Answer: ONE-OFF (i.e. “something unique”). Solution is ONE (i.e. “I”) followed by OFF (i.e. kill or “do away with”).

  1. Unconventional sort of complimentary booze (4,6)

Answer: FREE SPIRIT (i.e. “unconventional”). Solution is FREE (i.e. “complimentary”) followed by SPIRIT (i.e. “booze”).

  1. For example, A&E records (5)

Answer: NOTES. Solution satisfies “for example, A&E” – both musical notes – and “records”.

  1. Race brother frantically to become leader (11)

Answer: TORCHBEARER (i.e. “leader”). “Frantically” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RACE BROTHER.

  1. Hamming it up and going too far not concerning (10)

Answer: OVERACTING (i.e. “hamming it up”). Solution is OVERREACTING (i.e. “going too far”) with the RE removed (indicated by “not concerning” or regarding – think email replies).

  1. Poet briefly following an elected official, at first quite slowly (9)

Answer: ANDANTINO (i.e. “quite slowly” in musical lingo). Solution is DANTE Alighieri (i.e. “poet”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder placed after or “following” AN. This is all then followed by IN (i.e. “elected”) and O (i.e. “official, at first”, or the first letter of “official”), like so: AN-(DANT)-IN-O.

  1. Place for child beginning to be mature has food and game equipment (8,5)

Answer: CRIBBAGE BOARD (i.e. “game equipment”). Solution is CRIB (i.e. “place for child”) followed by B (i.e. “beginning to be”, i.e. the first letter of “be”), then AGE (i.e. “mature”) and BOARD (i.e. “food”, as in room and board).

  1. Fruit chopped near a city (4)

Answer: LIMA (i.e. capital “city” of Peru). Solution is LIME (i.e. “fruit”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “chopped”) and the remainder followed by A, like so: LIM-A.

  1. Dossier contains lady with a grand bird of prey (4,5)

Answer: FISH EAGLE (i.e. “bird of prey”). Solution is FILE (i.e. “dossier”) wrapped around or “containing” SHE (i.e. “lady”), A and G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”), like so: FI(SHE-A-G)LE.

  1. Queen put on a lot of perfume approaching unknown landscape (7)

Answer: SCENERY (i.e. “landscape”). Solution is ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) placed “on” or after SCENT (i.e. “perfume”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “a lot of…”). This is all then followed by Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as unknowns), like so: SCEN-(ER)-Y.

Down clues

  1. Reportedly drink a bunch (4)

Answer: BEVY (i.e. “a bunch”). “Reportedly” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of BEVVY (i.e. slang for a “drink”, short for beverage). That said, BEVY is an acceptable spelling, so the homophone wasn’t particularly needed.

  1. Old flame – extremely critical pointed and shouted (9)

Answer: EXCLAIMED (i.e. “shouted”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old flame”) followed by CL (i.e. “extremely critical”, i.e. the first and last letters of “critical”) and AIMED (i.e. “pointed”).

  1. Country’s crazy public school fee in paper (7,8,2,5)

Answer: PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (i.e. “country”). “Crazy” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PUBLIC SCHOOL FEE IN PAPER.

  1. Description of a city is hyped (5-2)

Answer: BUILT-UP. Solution satisfies “description of a city” and “hyped”.

  1. Choices read out for church district (11)

Answer: ARCHDIOCESE (i.e. “church district”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CHOICES READ.

  1. Fellow reportedly in favour of boxing with piece of wood (3-2-4)

Answer: TWO-BY-FOUR (i.e. “piece of wood”). Solution is TOBY (i.e. “fellow’s” name) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”, again) of FOR (i.e. “in favour of”) wrapped around or “boxing” W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”), like so: T(W)OBY-FOUR.

  1. Man perhaps following large thread (5)

Answer: LISLE (i.e. a type of “thread”). Solution is ISLE (i.e. “Man perhaps”, other isles are available) placed after or “following” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), like so: L-ISLE.

  1. Song perhaps heard by footballer who’s trying to stop a fight (11)

Answer: PEACEKEEPER (i.e. “who’s trying to stop a fight”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “heard”) of PIECE (i.e. “song”) followed by KEEPER (i.e. “footballer”), like so: PEACE-KEEPER. Also appeared in grid 1570 back in August, also on odd intersecting letters, so…

  1. What might be pulled by worker without a complaint? (6)

Answer: SICKIE. One of those “& lit” clues where the solution satisfies the clue in general. The clue plays on “complaint” being an illness, rather than a grievance.

  1. Stretch outside street, making a high-pitched noise (7)

Answer: WHISTLE (i.e. “high-pitched noise”). Solution is WHILE (i.e. “stretch” or length of time) wrapped around or placed “outside” of ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: WHI(ST)LE.

  1. Military officer at peak time cuts power source (9)

Answer: GENERATOR (i.e. “power source”). Solution is GEN (i.e. “military officer”, short for a General) and TOR (i.e. “peak”) wrapped around or “cut” by ERA (i.e. another length of “time”), like so: GEN-(ERA)-TOR.

  1. He thinks of battleground prepared for old warriors (7,2,3,5,5)

Answer: KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE (i.e. “old warriors”). “Prepared” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HE THINKS OF BATTLEGROUND.

  1. Scared of loud tirade (7)

Answer: FEARFUL (i.e. “scared”). Solution is F (i.e. “loud”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “forte” in musical lingo) followed by EARFUL (i.e. “tirade”).

  1. Vehicle heading north uncovered barren region of Spain (7)

Answer: NAVARRE (i.e. “region of Spain”). Solution is VAN (i.e. “vehicle”) reversed (indicated by “heading north” – this being a down clue) and followed by ARRE (i.e. “uncovered barren”, i.e. the word “barren” with its first and last letters removed), like so: NAV-ARRE.

  1. Cow with no hair scratching head underneath pine (8)

Answer: LONGHORN (i.e. “cow”). Solution is SHORN (i.e. “with no hair”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “scratching head”) and the remainder placed after or “underneath” – this being a down clue – LONG (i.e. to yearn or “pine” for), like so: LONG-HORN.

  1. Irate with sons joining forces (8)

Answer: STEAMING (i.e. “irate”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “sons”) followed by TEAMING (i.e. “joining forces”).

  1. Chuck’s brief liaison (5)

Answer: FLING. Solution satisfies to “chuck” and “brief liaison”.

  1. Part of staircase in skyscraper is erected (5)

Answer: RISER (i.e. “part of staircase”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: SKYSCRAPE(R IS ER)ECTED.

  1. US city home for French mathematician (7)

Answer: Pierre Simon LAPLACE (i.e. “French mathematician”). Solution is LA (i.e. “US city”, Los Angeles) followed by PLACE (i.e. “home”).

  1. Estimate includes time left to make chicken (7)

Answer: GUTLESS (i.e. “chicken”). Solution is GUESS (i.e. “estimate”) wrapped around or “including” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and L (ditto “left”), like so: GU(T-L)ESS.

  1. Certain figures having uncool origins (6,5)

Answer: SQUARE ROOTS (i.e. “figures”). Solution is SQUARE (i.e. “uncool”) followed by ROOTS (i.e. “origins”).

  1. Learn beagle is changing – it’s not as big as it could be! (11)

Answer: ENLARGEABLE (i.e. “it’s not as big as it could be”). “Is changing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LEARN BEAGLE.

  1. Minor accident producing deficit (9)

Answer: SHORTFALL (i.e. “deficit”). When written as SHORT FALL the solution also satisfies “minor accident”.

  1. Take a drink, perfecting way of removing liquid (9)

Answer: SIPHONING (i.e. “way of removing liquid”). Solution is SIP (i.e. “take a drink”) followed by HONING (i.e. “perfecting”).

  1. Lessen the impact of a university from the south interrupting a degree (English) (9)

Answer: EXTENUATE (i.e. “lessen the impact of”). Solution is A and U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) reversed (indicated by “from the south” – this being a down clue) and placed in or “interrupting” EXTENT (i.e. “a degree” of). This is all then followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: EXTEN(U-A)T-E.

  1. Title of organ recital ultimately upset music fan (7)

Answer: EARLDOM (i.e. “title”). Solution is EAR (i.e. “organ”) followed by L (i.e. “recital ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “recital”) and MOD (i.e. “music fan”) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: EAR-L-DOM.

  1. Drink last of liquor, slump over, and cry due to this? (4,3)

Answer: TEAR GAS (i.e. “cry due to this”). Solution is TEA (i.e. a “drink”) followed by R (i.e. “last [letter] of liquor”) and SAG (i.e. “slump”) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: TEA-R-GAS.

  1. Sculpture is a consolation (6)

Answer: RELIEF. Solution satisfies “sculpture” and “consolation”.

  1. Look around park and castle on vacation (5)

Answer: RECCE (i.e. “look around”, military slang for reconnaissance). Solution is REC (i.e. “park”, short for recreation) followed by CE (i.e. “castle on vacation”, i.e. the word “castle” with all its middle letters removed).

  1. Toy losing head in whirlpool (4)

Answer: EDDY (i.e. “whirlpool”). Solution is TEDDY (i.e. “toy”, a teddy bear) with its first letter removed (indicated by “losing head”).

7 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1616

  1. Thanks Lucian. Not too bad, apart from the deletions.

    We weren’t very happy with TWO-BY-FOUR (6d). Isn’t it normal convention to give the larger dimension first? In which case, this would FOUR-BY-TWO.

    Re 9d, the full expression is PULL A SICKIE (a phrase which I’ve only ever heard Australia). I don’t think you mentioned this in your explanation.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

    1. I’m not sure any ‘larger dimension first’ convention holds. Neither for rooms (think of Roger Miller’s ‘Trailer For Sale or Rent’ lyric: “Two hours of pushin’ broom/Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room”); nor for wood. 2″ x 4″ is about the most commonly-used construction timber, often pronounced “two-be-four”. (Actual dimensions are less, after planing and drying.) It might occasionally be called four-be-two, but not in most timber yards. People use the phrase figuratively too, eg “it suddenly struck me like a two-by-four”.

  2. Credit where credit’s due, this was a good one. No weird words pulled from the dusty pages at the back of the dictionary, no complaints about the clues or constructs, and some nice distractions (took us ages to spot London Eye).
    Lisle sounds familiar, did we see that recently?
    Thank you Lucian as always for your rapid and lucid explanations.

  3. My quibble today concerns the use in 6d of ‘fellow’ to indicate a male forename. According to Office of Nat Statistics there were over 32,000 different male baby first names registered on UK birth certificates in the most recent year. Of these, Toby was not in the top 1,000, let alone the top 100 in any one local authority.
    Do others agree that it’s lazy clueing to make us guess which of 32,000 names the setter might be referring to in that single word ‘fellow’? (And there are another 30k+ female forenames, often indicated by nothing more than ‘girl’, ‘lass’ etc.)
    Lucian, whenever you’re forced to track down an obscure plant, bird, fish etc, you say you waste no time but reach straight for your Bradford’s. This contains marvellous lists of just about everything else, but not human forenames. What are we humble solvers supposed to do?

    1. Agreed.
      I can’t see the point of the setter going to the trouble of constructing a cryptic clue if it’s impossible to get the answer from the cryptic part of the clue.

  4. Am I alone in not having the slightest notion of how you describe the dimensions of a “piece of wood” (6d) yet having a very firm grasp of cockney rhyming slang? I thus knew well the term “four-by-two” (a straight, neutral reference, with none of the derogatory implications of “septic tank” for “yank” or “sweaty sock” for “Jock”, let me say) and had to assume that “two-by-four” must therefore be the more prosaic DIY alternative. Carpenter I ain’t, my good china (to use rhyming-slang only crossword compilers would now employ).
    By the way, harking back to last week’s Jumbo, my old man (from Lewisham) actually flew RAF jets (c 1950-74) and I can tell you nobody in this country ever once referred to “ejection seats”, only “ejector seats”. The former is a septic coinage, presumably.

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