A toughie for Bank Holiday Monday, as feared! Though this wasn’t quite on a par with recent puzzles, I do appreciate toughies that have me dug deep into the pages of a dictionary, which is what we had today. Some of the clueing was a bit wayward (and expect red bits, regulars), but I’d still say this was a good ‘un overall.
You can find my completed grid below – though note that I’m not sure about 8d – along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.
As ever, some housekeeping. A few book reviews can be found mouldering here, along with a story I did a while ago. Meanwhile, if you’ve been buggered by a recent Jumbo, so to speak, you can find solutions to the past ninety-odd of them on my Just For Fun page.
Finally, if you subscribe to these posts it might be worth checking in a little later in case a helpful commenter sheds light on my… er… red bits. I don’t believe WordPress pings out updates to my posts.
Right, that’s all for now. Stay safe, keep well and I’ll see you around.
1. Whisky with wine hosts consumed did harm (10)
Answer: MALTREATED (i.e. “did harm”). Solution is MALT (i.e. “whisky”) and RED (i.e. “wine”) once the latter has been wrapped around or “hosting” ATE (i.e. “consumed”), like so: MALT-RE(ATE)D.
6. Sporting tournament press run (6,6)
Answer: SQUASH LADDER (i.e. “sporting tournament”). Solution is SQUASH (i.e. “press”) followed by LADDER (i.e. a “run” in a pair of tights).
14. Girl in condition for race walk (2,7)
Answer: GO MISSING (i.e. “walk”). Solution is MISS (i.e. “girl”) placed “in” GOING (i.e. “condition for [horse] race”), like so: GO(MISS)ING.
15. Good of heathen to go for English hymn (5)
Answer: PAEAN (i.e. “hymn”). Solution is PAGAN (i.e. “heathen”) once the G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) has been replaced by E (ditto “English”), like so: PA(G)AN => PA(E)AN.
16. Seeing that, husbands each quietly refuse (3-4)
Answer: ASH-HEAP (i.e. “refuse”). Solution is AS (i.e. “seeing that”) followed by H and H (recognised abbreviations of “husband”, made plural), then EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”) and P (ditto “piano”, which is to play “quietly” in musical lingo).
17. The doggone Italian rogue, giving John’s address to singer! (3,2,1,11)
Answer: ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE (i.e. “giving John [Keats]’s address to singer” – a singer this case being a songbird). “Rogue” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE DOGGONE ITALIAN.
18. Fragments of rock of crystal, usually after erosion (5)
Answer: TALUS (i.e. “fragments of rock”). “After erosion” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: CRYS(TAL US)ALLY.
19. Scottish umpire and bookmaker? (7)
Answer: ODDSMAN. Solution satisfies “Scottish umpire” and, cryptically, “bookmaker” – playing on how “odds” are often used in betting. A nod to my Bradfords here.
21. We’d have girls coming out without anoraks, across pond? (6)
Answer: DWEEBS (i.e. “anoraks, across pond”, referring to how geeks are referred over in the US). Solution is WE with DEBS (i.e. “girls coming out”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “debutantes”) placed “without” it, like so: D(WE)EBS.
22. Sloth appearing in lake, by the side, briefly (8)
Answer: FLANERIE (i.e. “sloth”). Solution is ERIE (one of the Great “Lakes”) placed after or “by” FLANK (i.e. “side”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: FLAN-ERIE. I needed my Oxford to nail this one, as my Chambers and Collins Concise didn’t want to know.
24. Like to go on home? It’s early days (7)
Answer: INFANCY (i.e. “it’s early days”). Solution is FANCY (i.e. “like”) placed “on” or after IN (i.e. “[at] home”), like so: IN-FANCY.
26. Find Toby desperate to get through (2,4,2)
Answer: BY DINT OF (i.e. “through”). “Desperate” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FIND TOBY.
27. A word of annoyance is very bad, if said by drunk? (6)
Answer: SHUCKS (i.e. “a word of annoyance”). Solution is SUCKS (i.e. “very bad”) if the initial S is slurred (i.e. “if said by drunk”).
30. Physicist canned grand scheming (11)
Answer: MACHINATING (i.e. “scheming”). Solution is Ernst MACH (i.e. “physician”) followed by IN A TIN (i.e. “canned”) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”).
32. Run shower, not having yet risen? Crazy! (11)
Answer: HAREBRAINED (i.e. “crazy”). Solution is HARE (i.e. “run”) followed by RAIN (i.e. “shower”) once it has been placed in BED (playing on “not having yet risen”), like so: HARE-B(RAIN)ED.
33. Nice health food? (6,5)
Answer: FRENCH TOAST (i.e. “food”). Solution also satisfies “Nice health” when taking “Nice” as a city over in French Franceland, and “health” as a toast (raises glass). Good clue.
35. Either way, an advantage men take away (4,2,5)
Answer: PLUS OR MINUS (i.e. “either way”). Solution is PLUS (i.e. “an advantage”) followed by OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) and MINUS (i.e. “take away”).
37. Months in precious metal barrel giving time to mature (6)
Answer: AUTUMN (i.e. “time to mature”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “months”) placed “in” AU (chemical symbol of gold, i.e. “precious metal”) and TUN (i.e. “barrel”), like so: AU-TU(M)N.
38. Hunted rabbits: celebrated bagging stray (8)
Answer: FERRETED (i.e. “hunted rabbits”). Solution is FETED (i.e. “celebrated”) wrapped around or “bagging” ERR (i.e. “[to] stray”), like so: F(ERR)ETED.
39. Sweet little face turned to the front (7)
Answer: GUMDROP (i.e. “sweet”). Solution is DROP (i.e. a “little” bit) with MUG (i.e. “face”, as in a mugshot) placed “to the front” once it has been reversed (indicated by “turned”), like so: GUM-DROP.
42. Champion’s cover lapsed (8)
Answer: BACKSLID (i.e. “lapsed”). Solution is BACKS (i.e. “champions” – ignore the misleading possessive apostrophe) followed by LID (i.e. “cover”).
44. Large amount of red or white antelope marks on the mother (6)
Answer: MAGNUM (i.e. “large amount of red or white [wine]”). Solution is GNU (i.e. “antelope”) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “marks” – the former German currency) both placed “on” or after MA (i.e. “mother”), like so: MA-(GNU-M).
46. Alien hot on crime (7)
Answer: INCOMER (i.e. “alien”). “Hot” indicates anagram, if somewhat weakly. Solution is an anagram of ON CRIME.
48. Quickly make approach (3-2)
Answer: RUN-UP. Solution satisfies “quickly make” and “approach”. It satisfies the clue taken as a whole too.
49. Something legendary in range of pants: singular, fashionable – lots reduced (10,7)
Answer: ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN (i.e. “something legendary in [mountain] range”). Solution is ABOMINABLE (i.e. “pants”, both taken to mean something a bit rubbish) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”), then NOW (i.e. “fashionable”) and MANY (i.e. “lots”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “reduced”), like so: ABOMINABLE-S-NOW-MAN.
51. State place mostly that song’s about (7)
Answer: ARIZONA (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is ZONE (i.e. “place”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and ARIA (i.e. “song”) placed “about” the remainder like so: ARI(ZON)A.
52. Revise opinion? Swell to have change of heart! (5)
Answer: BUDGE (i.e. “revise opinion” – backed up by my Oxford but not Chambers). Solution is BULGE (i.e. “swell”) once the middle letter or “heart” has been “changed”, like so: BU(L)GE => BU(D)GE.
53. Request from cameraman for one to desist (3,6)
Answer: SAY CHEESE (i.e. “request from cameraman”). Solution is SAY (i.e. “for one”, as in “for example”), while CHEESE seems to relate to the phrase “cheese it”, supposedly said by someone wanting another to stop or “desist” doing something. Too loose for my liking.
54. A major piece some catch still when acquiring books (5,7)
Answer: TROUT QUINTET, “a major piece” by Franz Schubert. Solution is TROUT (i.e. “some catch” of fish) followed by QUIET (i.e. “still”) once it has been wrapped around or “acquiring” NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: TROUT-QUI(NT)ET. My knowledge of classical music isn’t exactly comprehensive, so this was gotten solely through the wordplay.
55. Mediated, having done originally with priest (10)
Answer: INTERPOSED (i.e. “mediated”). Blimey, this was a late one! I was about to click on the big blue ‘Publish’ button when the clue finally clicked. The solution is an anagram (indicated by “originally”) of DONE and PRIEST. Sometimes you just don’t see ’em. Which, coincidentally, was the reason I gave when I failed my driving test, m’lud.
1. In place of gentle breeding, sporting too grim a mug (11)
Answer: MAGGOTORIUM (i.e. “place of gentle breeding” – one meaning of “gentle” is a soft maggot used as bait in fishing. I mean, you could just call them maggots, I dunno…) “Sporting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOO GRIM A MUG.
2. My problem, mulled over, has diminished (5)
Answer: LUMME (i.e. “my”, both expressions of surprise). “Has diminished” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “over” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: PROBL(EM MUL)LED.
3. Irish town’s trio regularly the last to rise in parliament (9)
Answer: ROSCOMMON (i.e. “Irish town”). Solution is RO (i.e. “trio regularly”, i.e. every other letter of TRIO) followed by COMMONS (i.e. “parliament”) once the S has been promoted to the beginning (indicated by “the last to rise in…”), like so: RO-SCOMMON. One gotten mostly from the wordplay.
4. French town, one plugging 5g in soon (7)
Answer: AVIGNON (i.e. “French town”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) “plugged” into V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] 5”) and G, which is itself then placed “in” ANON (i.e. “soon”), like so: A(V(I)G)NON. I’m usually rubbish with places, given there are more than about ten of them in the world, but I was quite pleased to know this one.
5. Took part of our tongue, in short well past its sell-by date? (7)
Answer: ENGAGED (i.e. “took part”). Solution is ENG (i.e. “our tongue, in short”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by AGED (i.e. “well past its sell-by-date”). Setters words, folks, not mine!
7. Division of court’s seen new barrister initially put out cases (6,5)
Answer: QUEENS BENCH (i.e. “division of court”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of SEEN followed by B (i.e. “barrister initially”), around which is wrapped or “cased” with QUENCH (i.e. “put out”), like so: QU(EENS-B)ENCH.
8. War refugee late in because having to keep disappearing (6)
Answer: AENEAS. I’m not 100% sure here as I haven’t got much of a fix on the parsing, but this, or perhaps AENEAD, seems the best fit, especially considering how often Times setters nurse semis for the classics. Aeneas, in Virgil’s The Aeneid, was a survivor of the Trojan War, after which both he and a bunch of his followers, the so-called Aeneads, legged it to Italy. So, “war refugee”. Of AENEAS and AENEAD, I’ve gone for the former purely due to “because having to keep”, which I’m assuming means wrapping AS around the midsection, like so: A(ENEA)S. But that’s all I’ve got for now, and I’m happy to be corrected.
9. Perfect pitch simply with nothing lacking! (8)
Answer: HEAVENLY (i.e. “perfect”). Solution is HEAVE (i.e. “pitch”) followed by ONLY (i.e. “simply”) with the O removed (indicated by “with nothing lacking”), like so: HEAVE-NLY.
10. Running the marathon is something invigorating! (1,4,2,3,3)
Answer: A SHOT IN THE ARM (i.e. “something invigorating”). “Running” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE MARATHON IS.
11. Liver finally pronounced healthier? That’s wrong! (7)
Answer: DWELLER (i.e. “liver”, as in one who lives… somewhere). Solution is D (i.e. “finally pronounced”, i.e. the last letter of “pronounced”) followed by WELLER (i.e. “healthier? That’s wrong!” – a riddly riff on how one cannot be “weller” as it’s not a proper word. Yeah, I think it stinks as well.)
12. Gangs close to woods, hiding in grass, getting seized (11)
Answer: REPOSSESSED (i.e. “seized”). Solution is POSSES (i.e. “gangs”) and S (i.e. “close to woods”, i.e. the last letter of “woods”) both placed or “hiding in” REED (i.e. “grass”), like so: RE(POSSES-S)ED.
13. Observed trouble – and there’s afters! (7,3)
Answer: SPOTTED DOG, another name for spotted dick, a dessert or “afters”. Solution is SPOTTED (i.e. “saw”) followed by DOG (i.e. to worry or “trouble”).
20. Wanting, if enticed, to misbehave (9)
Answer: DEFICIENT (i.e. “wanting”). “To misbehave” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IF ENTICED.
23. The regular activities in an Indian state, perhaps, are enough (2,6)
Answer: GO AROUND (i.e. “are enough”, as in having enough to go around). When read as GOA ROUND the solution also satisfies “the regular activities in an Indian state”.
25. Looking down on good guy, Yankee is indeed in a ferment (6)
Answer: YEASTY (i.e. “in a ferment”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”, i.e. “good guy”) and Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet) with YEA (i.e. “indeed”, being a variant form of “yes”) placed ahead of these, or “looking down on” them – this being a down clue – like so: YEA-(ST-Y).
26. A stir in the navy assists, we hear, parts of the army (8)
Answer: BRIGADES (i.e. “parts of the army”). Solution is BRIG (i.e. “a stir in the navy” – a brig being a ship’s prison; “stir” is also a slang word for prison) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of AIDS (i.e. “assists”), like so: BRIG-ADES.
28. Something fishy about sister with unusual problem (9)
Answer: CONUNDRUM (i.e. “problem”). Solution is COD (i.e. “something fishy”) placed “about” NUN (i.e. “sister”) and then followed by RUM (i.e. “unusual”), like so: CO(NUN)D-RUM.
29. Passed on wish in earnest for a slim figure (6)
Answer: OBLONG (i.e. “slim figure”). Solution is OB (i.e. “passed on”, being a recognised abbreviation of “obiit”, Latin for “died”) followed by LONG (i.e. “wish in earnest”).
31. Benefit from popular approach – winning in game (6,7)
Answer: INCOME SUPPORT (i.e. “benefit”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by COME (i.e. “approach”), then UP (i.e. “winning”) once it has been placed “in” SPORT (i.e. “game”), like so: IN-COME-S(UP)PORT.
33. Fat creature holding up first two on ground floor (11)
Answer: FLABBERGAST (i.e. to astound or “floor” someone). Solution is FLAB (i.e. “fat”) followed by BEAST (i.e. “creature”) once it has been wrapped around or “holding” the “first two” letters of “ground” after they’ve been reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: FLAB-BE(RG)AST.
34. Sailor and artist do stuff (11)
Answer: TARRADIDDILE (i.e. “stuff”, as in stuff and nonsense). Solution is TAR (i.e. a word for “sailor” often used by setters) followed by RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) and DIDDLE (i.e. to con or “do” someone).
35. A PE test not designed for powerful figures (10)
Answer: POTENTATES (i.e. “powerful figures”). “Designed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A PE TEST NOT.
36. Manage to be both marvellous and mean (11)
Answer: SUPERINTEND (i.e. “manage”). Solution is SUPER (i.e. “marvellous”) followed by INTEND (i.e. “mean”). Nicely worked.
40. Implant in animal? Note reptile with it (9)
Answer: MICROCHIP (i.e. “implant in animal”). Solution is MI (i.e. a “note” in the doh-ray-mi style) followed by CROC (i.e. “reptile”) and HIP (i.e. “with it”).
41. Family united, gathering a party to climb mountain (8)
Answer: KINABALU (i.e. “mountain”). Solution is KIN (i.e. “family”) and U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”) both wrapped around or “gathering” A and LAB (i.e. “party”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Labour Party) once the latter has been reversed (indicated by “to climb” – this being a down clue), like so: KIN-(A-BAL)-U. I had most of the components to this one but needed my Bradford’s to help stitch them together.
43. Bit of an odour from the mouth, if you ask me (7)
Answer: CENTIMO (i.e. a “bit” or coin used in a number of Latin American countries). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “from the mouth”) of SCENT followed by IMO (i.e. “if you ask me”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “in my opinion” often used online), like so: CENT-IMO.
45. Curse of old Liberal, domiciled in France? (7)
Answer: MALISON (i.e. “curse of old”, being a poetic word I guess from ye olde times). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) placed in MAISON (French for “house”, and so “domiciled in France”), like so: MA(L)ISON. A new one on me. I like it.
46. Isn’t Ely laid out impressively (2,5)
Answer: IN STYLE (i.e. “impressively”). “Laid out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ISN’T ELY.
47. A horse for a child’s birthday, complete with box? (6)
Answer: DOBBIN (i.e. “a horse for a child”). Solution is DOB (i.e. “birthday”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of Date Of Birth) followed by BIN (i.e. “box”).
50. Judge rises after giving out initial answers (5)
Answer: MEETS (i.e. “answers”). Solution is ESTEEM (i.e. “judge”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “rises”) and its initial letter removed (indicated by “after giving out initial”).