Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1442

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.

LP

Across clues

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 Solution is PAGAN (i.e. “heathen”) once the G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) has been replaced by E (ditto “English”), like so: PA(G)AN =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.

Down clues

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.
[EDIT: Huge thanks for Mark in the comments for acing this one, pointing out that “to keep disappearing” suggests the removal of every other letter of LATE IN BECAUSE. That’s some top solving there! – LP]

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”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1441

Yay! Bank Holiday weekend! What better reason can there be to stop in the house and to slave over an inky grid? Well, there’s avoiding the plague, for one. Reducing the chance of being decapitated by roof tiles flung about thanks to the usual Bank Holiday hurricanes, for another.

Anyway, I thought this week’s puzzle was a really good one. Though erring towards the easier end of the spectrum, there were plenty of well-worked clues to appreciate. I guess that means we’re in for a stinker on Monday…

Until then, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

While you’re here, I’ve got some old content in the shape of book reviews and a story I put out a while ago. If you could blow the dust off of those that would be nice. If you’ve got a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s given you grief, you might also find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find solutions for the last ninety-odd Jumbos.

That’s all for now. Stay safe, and I’ll see you soon.

LP

Across clues

1. Car part collected in metropolis, familiarly (5,4)

Answer: BRAKE DRUM (i.e. “car part”). Solution is RAKED (i.e. “collected”) placed “in” BRUM (i.e. “metropolis, familiarly”, i.e. a familiar name for Birmingham, England’s second city), like so: B(RAKED)RUM.

6. White knight bitter having rescued itinerant earlier (7)

Answer: ALBUMEN (i.e. “[egg] white”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” sometimes used in chess) with ALE (i.e.” bitter”) placed before it or “earlier”, once it has been wrapped around or having “rescued” BUM (i.e. “itinerant”), like so: AL(BUM)E-N.

10. Taking portside tack, a gamble for ship (5)

Answer: SLOOP (i.e. “ship”). Solution is POOLS (i.e. “a gamble”, referring to the football pools, which, if memory serves me correctly, used to have something to do with predicting the outcomes of football games back in the 1980s with the hope of winning enough money to keep oneself in perms, Hai Karate and Duran Duran records) reversed (indicated by “taking portside tack”, i.e. going from right-to-left – this being an across clue).

13. Attack Irish resistance in a charity (3,4)

Answer: AIR RAID (i.e. “attack”). Solution is IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”) and R (ditto “resistance”) placed “in” A and AID (i.e. “charity”), like so: A-(IR-R)-AID.

14. Old actor in series about political extremists (7)

Answer: Charlie CHAPLIN (i.e. “old actor”). Solution is CHAIN (i.e. “series”) wrapped “about” PL (i.e. “political extremists”, i.e. the first and last letters of “political”), like so: CHA(PL)IN.

15. Strip featuring London university, fully established (4-3)

Answer: WELL-SET (i.e. “fully-established”). Solution is WELT (i.e. a narrow “strip” of leather) wrapped around or “featuring” LSE (i.e. “London university”, specifically the London School of Economics), like so: WEL(LSE)T.

16. Seemingly forever, while stock temporarily unavailable? (4,3,4,4,4)

Answer: TILL THE COWS COME HOME (i.e. “seemingly forever”). Clue plays on how “stock” can mean livestock. You get the idea. An easier get, being a relatively recent repeat from puzzle 1424.

17. Energy coming from exercising quietly (3)

Answer: PEP (i.e. “energy”). Solution is PE (i.e. “exercise”, specifically Physical Education) followed by P (i.e. “quietly” – P is a recognised abbreviation of “piano” which is quiet in musical lingo).

18. Do leave church (6)

Answer: FLEECE (i.e. “do”, both taken to mean to con someone). Solution is FLEE (i.e. “leave”) followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

20. Carnivorous plant requiring warmer moisture (6)

Answer: SUNDEW (i.e. “carnivorous plant” – not exactly a looker, though). Solution is SUN (i.e. “warmer”, as in how the sun warms things) followed by DEW (i.e. “moisture”).

21. Applying pressure, rough up characters in central Lisbon, finally (9)

Answer: SANDBLAST (i.e. “[in] applying pressure, rough up”). Solution is S AND B (i.e. “characters in central LISBON” when written out in full) followed by LAST (i.e. “finally”).

23. Slug sandwiches infiltrating Spanish tapas starters, frantic! (10)

Answer: DISTRAUGHT (i.e. “frantic”). Solution is DRAUGHT (i.e. “slug”, both measures of booze) wrapped around or “sandwiching” I S and T (i.e. “infiltrating Spanish tapas starters”, i.e. the first letters of “infiltrating”, “Spanish” and “tapas”), like so: D(IST)RAUGHT.

25. Last of four cracks disappear after fix that’s cosmetic (4,7)

Answer: NAIL VARNISH (i.e. “cosmetic”). Solution is R (i.e. “last of four”, i.e. the last letter of “four”) placed in or “cracking” VANISH (i.e. “disappear”) and the whole then placed “after” NAIL (i.e. “fix [in place]”), like so: NAIL-VA(R)NISH.

29. Full – all holes? (5)

Answer: ROUND. Solution satisfies “full” and “all holes”, as in a round of golf. Nicely played.

30. Keeper on second team originally unknown (8)

Answer: STRANGER (i.e. “unknown”). Solution is RANGER (i.e. “[US park] keeper”) placed on or “after” S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) and T (i.e. “team originally”, i.e. the first letter of “team”), like so: S-T-RANGER.

31. Location of pavement, incidentally (2,3,3)

Answer: BY THE WAY. Solution satisfies “location of pavement” if you take “way” to mean a road, and “incidentally”.

34. Garment to criticise, notice twists in it (4,4)

Answer: KNEE SOCK (i.e. “garment”). Solution is KNOCK (i.e. “to criticise”) with SEE (i.e. “notice”) placed “in it” once it has been reversed (indicated by “twists”), like so: KN(EES)OCK.

36. Very cold, having unfastened zip (8)

Answer: FREEZING (i.e. “very cold”). Solution is FREE (i.e. “unfastened”) followed by ZING (i.e. “zip”, as in pizazz, that kind of thing).

37. Top cake’s back with fewer calories (5)

Answer: ELITE (i.e. “top”). Solution is E (i.e. “cake’s back”, i.e. the last letter of “cake”) followed by LITE (i.e. “with fewer calories”).

39. Try to win European woman’s heart with single flower (4,7)

Answer: WOOD ANEMONE (i.e. “flower”). Solution is WOO (i.e. “try to win … heart”) followed by DANE (i.e. “European”), then M (i.e. “woman’s heart”, i.e. the middle letter of “woman”) and ONE (i.e. “single”), like so: WOO-DANE-M-ONE. Nicely played.

41. One would be transported by this musical after various dances (5,5)

Answer: SEDAN CHAIR (i.e. “one would be transported by this”). Solution is HAIR (i.e. a “musical” that was notorious in its day for having a spot of male nudity) placed “after” an anagram (indicated by “various”) of DANCES, like so: SEDANC-HAIR.

43. See fabric stuffed in bag (9)

Answer: BRIEFCASE (i.e. “bag”). “Stuffed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SEE FABRIC.

45. Fight to get sheep onto public transport (4-2)

Answer: BUST-UP (i.e. “fight”). Solution is TUP (i.e. “sheep”, being another word for a ram) placed after or “onto” BUS (i.e. “public transport”), like so: BUS-TUP.

47. Common tease, darling turning back (6)

Answer: VULGAR (i.e. “common”). Solution is RAG (i.e. “tease”) and LUV (i.e. “darling”) both reversed (indicated by “turning back”), like so: VUL-GAR.

49. Ace in pontoon essential (3)

Answer: ONE (i.e. “ace” in playing cards). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: PONTO(ON E)SSENTIAL. Nicely worked.

50. Turn from the shadows – and cheer up? (4,2,3,6,4)

Answer: LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE. Solution satisfies “turn from the shadow” and “cheer up”.

52. Commie figure in vehicle to the left? (7)

Answer: MARXIST (i.e. “commie”). Solution is SIX (i.e. “figure” – a number, basically) placed “in” TRAM (i.e. “vehicle”) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “to the left” – this being an across clue), like so: MAR(XIS)T.

53. Prisoner wearing hat for work in the field (7)

Answer: TILLAGE (i.e. “work in the field”). Solution is LAG (i.e. “prisoner”) placed in or “wearing” TILE (a slang term for a “hat”), like so: TIL(LAG)E.

54. Looking back, I delivered packages perfect for African capital (7)

Answer: NAIROBI (i.e. “African capital”). Solution is I and BORN (i.e. “delivered”) both reversed (indicated by “looking back” – this being an across clue) and wrapped around AI (i.e. “perfect”, i.e. A1, with an I representing the 1), like so: N(AI)ROB-I.

55. First performance not entirely good, correct program (5)

Answer: DEBUG (i.e. to “correct [computer] program”). Solution is DEBUT (i.e. “first performance”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not entirely”) and followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: DEBU-G.

56. I regret snatching it back, a huge area of land (7)

Answer: EURASIA (i.e. “huge area of land”). Solution is I and RUE (i.e. “regret”) wrapped around or “snatching” SA (i.e. “it” – a sneaky bit of wordplay we haven’t seen for a while, SA is a recognised abbreviation of “sex appeal”, i.e. having got “it”) and the whole reversed (indicated by “back”) before being followed by A, like so: (EUR-(AS)-I)-A.

57. Car insurance carried excess? (5,4)

Answer: SPARE TYRE. Solution satisfies “car insurance” and “carried excess”, as in a couple of pounds extra body weight. Nicely worked.

Down clues

1. Damn rotten, start of mission (5-3)

Answer: BLAST-OFF (i.e. “start of mission”). Solution is BLAST (i.e. “damn”, both mild expletives) followed by OFF (i.e. “rotten”).

2. Borrowing rate one pound a month (5)

Answer: APRIL (i.e. “a month”). Solution is APR (i.e. “borrowing rate”, specifically an Annualised Percentage Rate) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of a “pound” of weight). Simple, but nicely worked.

3. Sat with delicate pants – like knickers? (11)

Answer: ELASTICATED (i.e. “like knickers” – only at weekends, mate). “Pants” indicates anagram, taken to mean poor or rubbish. Solution is an anagram of SAT and DELICATE. Another good ‘un.

4. More claret – the same served up? (6)

Answer: REDDER (i.e. “more claret”). “The same served up” indicates the solution is a palindrome, “up” being a popular reversal indicator in down clues.

5. Delicate operation adding dash of ginger in my curries, or otherwise (12)

Answer: MICROSURGERY (i.e. “delicate operation”). Solution G (i.e. “a dash of ginger”, i.e. the first letter of “ginger”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “otherwise”) of MY CURRIES OR, like so: MICROSUR(G)ERY.

6. A plank in sea, collected (7)

Answer: AMASSED (i.e. “collected”). Solution is A followed by ASS (i.e. “plank”, both taken to mean a fool) once it has been placed “in” MED (i.e. “sea”, specifically the Mediterranean), like so: A-M(ASS)ED.

7. Team no world-beaters unfortunately, relegation finally accepted (6,9)

Answer: BOLTON WANDERERS (i.e. “[football] team”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of NO WORLD-BEATERS wrapped around or “accepting” N (i.e. “relegation finally”, i.e. the last letter of “relegation”), like so: BOLTO(N)WANDERERS. A brilliantly worked clue, especially considering Bolton’s assorted woes.

8. Formal clothes to get a day before important case (6,4)

Answer: MONKEY SUIT (i.e. slang for “formal clothes”). Solution is MON (i.e. “a day”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Monday) followed by KEY (i.e. “important”) and SUIT (i.e. “[legal] case”).

9. Force man to keep wife in Crawley, say? (3,4)

Answer: NEW TOWN (i.e. “Crawley, say” – other new towns are available). Solution is NEWTON (i.e. “force” in physics) wrapped around or “keeping” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”), like so: NEWTO(W)N.

10. What might be used as capital punishment in wood (6,5)

Answer: SILVER BIRCH (i.e. “wood”). Solution is SILVER (i.e. “what might be used as capital”) followed by BIRCH (i.e. “[rod of] punishment”). Another good ‘un.

11. Channels Iago hopes to manipulate (9)

Answer: OESOPHAGI (i.e. “channels”). “To manipulate” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IAGO HOPES.

12. Sound of one gently stepping in bread and butter (3-1-3)

Answer: PIT-A-PAT (i.e. “sound of one gently stepping”). Solution is PITA (i.e. “bread”, a variant spelling of pitta) followed by PAT (i.e. “butter” – over to Chambers: “a small soft mass, especially of butter”). Another well-worked clue.

19. Bon vivant, Argentine ultimately still missing tango (7)

Answer: EPICURE (i.e. “bon vivant”). Solution is E (i.e. “Argentine ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “Argentine”) followed by PICTURE (i.e. “still” or photograph) once the T has been removed (indicated by “missing tango” – T being “tango” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: E-PICURE.

22. To kill queen, cold tea served up (8)

Answer: MASSACRE (i.e. “to kill”). Solution is ER (i.e. “Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) followed by C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold”) and ASSAM (i.e. a variety of “tea”) all reversed (indicated by “served up” – this being a down clue), like so: MASSA-C-RE. We’ve seen ASSAM used a few times recently, so this was a slightly easier get than it ought to have been.

24. Counting number – sixty legs on those? (3,5,7)

Answer: TEN GREEN BOTTLES (i.e. “counting number”). “Sixty legs on those” plays on how greenbottles are a variety of fly, and, flies having six legs, you have ten of them and… well, you do the maths.

26. On a cruise, five of you initially getting on (8)

Answer: VOYAGING (i.e. “on a cruise”). Solution is V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five”) followed by O and Y (i.e. “of you initially”, i.e. the first letters of “of” and “you”) and AGING (i.e. “getting on”).

27. Tomboy in Scottish island lair (6)

Answer: HOYDEN (i.e. “tomboy” – a new one on me, but it’s there in the dictionary). Solution is HOY (i.e. “Scottish island”, where a certain Old Man lives) followed by DEN (i.e. “lair”).

28. European city where two vessels capsized (6)

Answer: KRAKOW (i.e. “European city”). Solution is ARK and WOK (i.e. “two vessels” – one a boat, the other used in cooking) both reversed or “capsized” – this being a down clue. Nicely done.

32. Trouble in faction expressing sorrow (7)

Answer: WAILING (i.e. “expressing sorrow”). Solution is AIL (i.e. “trouble”) placed “in” WING (i.e. “faction”), like so: W(AIL)ING.

33. Part of horse where hamstrings injected with measure of fluid (12)

Answer: HINDQUARTERS (i.e. “part of horse”). Solution is HINDS (i.e. “where hamstrings”, as in the general area you’d find them, i.e. under your arse) wrapped around or having “injected” QUARTER (i.e. “measure of fluid”), like so: HIND(QUARTER)S.
[EDIT: Thanks to Chris in the comments of my About page for the correction. Solution should be HINDERS (i.e. “hamstrings”) wrapped around QUART (i.e. “measure of fluid”). Thanks, Chris! – LP]

35. Supporter tipping out hot drinks (11)

Answer: SCAFFOLDING (i.e. “supporter”). Solution is OFF (i.e. “out”) reversed (indicated by “tipping” – this being a down clue), which SCALDING (i.e. “hot”) then takes in or “drinks”, like so: SCA(FFO)LDING.

37. Channel for waste a ship put out into river (7,4)

Answer: EXHAUST PIPE (i.e. “channel for waste”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of A SHIP PUT placed in EXE (i.e. “river”), like so: EX(HAUSTPIP)E.

38. US maestro, one carrying a crop? (4,6)

Answer: COLE PORTER (i.e. “US maestro”). When considering COLE is a kind of cabbage, and PORTER can mean one who carries, the solution also satisfies “one carrying a crop”.

40. Pub rogue beginning to open up a shade (5,4)

Answer: OLIVE DRAB (i.e. “shade” of US military uniforms). Solution is BAR (i.e. “pub”) followed by DEVIL (i.e. “rogue”) and O (i.e. “beginning to open”, i.e. the first letter of “open”). This is all then reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: O-LIVED-RAB.

42. When one’s not working on the house, shed put up (4,4)

Answer: FREE TIME (i.e. “when one’s not working”). Solution is FREE (i.e. “on the house”) followed by EMIT (i.e. “shed”, as in to give out) once it has been reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), like so: FREE-TIME.

43. Hiding between the sheets, menace came out (7)

Answer: BLOOMED (i.e. “came out”). Solution is BED (i.e. “sheets”) wrapped around or “hiding” LOOM (i.e. “menace” – a bit loose, but fair enough), like so: B(LOOM)ED.

44. A school set up, and support – child taken care of (7)

Answer: ADOPTEE (i.e. “child taken care of”). Solution is A followed by POD (i.e. “school” of whales) which is reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), and then TEE (i.e. “support” for a golf ball), like so: A-DOP-TEE.

46. Some actress met an American composer (7)

Answer: Bedrich SMETANA (i.e. “composer”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ACTRES(S MET AN A)MERICAN. One I remembered from a recent puzzle done elsewhere, if I’m honest.

48. Nation everyone can see on borders of Georgia? (6)

Answer: UGANDA (i.e. “nation”). Solution is U (i.e. “everyone”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “universal”) followed by G AND A (i.e. “borders of Georgia”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Georgia” written out in full).

51. White as a Welshman? (5)

Answer: IVORY (i.e. “white”). Clue plays on how IVOR is deemed a Welshman’s name, so to be like an Ivor could be said to be a bit “Ivory”. Look, I don’t write ‘em, okay…

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1440

A straightforward one this week. Perhaps we’re being softened up for a Bank Holiday stinker, hmm? (Strokes beard.) Also, this week’s setter seems more than a little fond of animals, don’t you think? The grid covers most animal groups, what with corgis, tapirs, elands, yellowhammers, parrs, orange-tips, centipedes, ibises, squirrels, sea basses, and deceased Irish writers.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my answers where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

Some me-me-me links before any of that: my Just For Fun page contains links to solutions for the last ninety Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords, should any of that appeal. Meanwhile, there’s a smattering of book reviews and a short(ish) story of mine knocking about the place.

And so to the answers. Keep well, KBO, and all being well I’ll see you for the next one.

LP

Across clues

1. Yatter with Marciano, missing the first lot of nonsense (11)

Answer: JABBERWOCKY (i.e. “nonsense”). Solution is JABBER (i.e. “yatter”) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and ROCKY (i.e. “Marciano”, the boxer) with the first letter removed (indicated by “missing the first lot”), like so: JABBER-W-OCKY.

7. Lively spirit of new girl initially entering top set? (11)

Answer: POLTERGEIST (i.e. “lively spirit”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of GIRL, E (i.e. “initially entering”, i.e. the first letter of “entering”) and TOP SET.

13. Some who gather intelligence about ancient city’s papal court (5)

Answer: CURIA (i.e. “papal court”). Solution is CIA (i.e. “some who gather intelligence”, specifically the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States) wrapped “about” UR (i.e. “ancient city” – a pet play of some setters), like so: C(UR)IA. One I remembered from a previous puzzle, to be honest.

14. Advance publicity identifying towed vehicle (7)

Answer: TRAILER. Solution satisfies “advance publicity”, e.g. for a movie, and “towed vehicle”. This took ages to get compared to most of the other clues. Sometimes you just don’t see ‘em.

15. Way unhealthy existence is presented in painting (5,4)

Answer: STILL LIFE (i.e. “painting”). Solution is ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) followed by ILL (i.e. “unhealthy”) and LIFE (i.e. “existence”).

16. Parliamentarian and German ambassador in centre of thoroughfare (9)

Answer: ROUNDHEAD (i.e. “Parliamentarian” during the English Civil War). Solution is UND (i.e. “and German”, i.e. the German for “and”) and HE (i.e. “ambassador”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “His Excellency”) both placed “in [the] centre of” ROAD (i.e. “thoroughfare”), like so: RO(UND-HE)AD.

17. Composer’s work regularly decried by Times is in German (10)

Answer: OPERETTIST (i.e. “composer”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) followed by ERE (i.e. “regularly decried”, i.e. every other letter of DECRIED), then T and T (i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation – both are recognised abbreviations of “time”), and finally IST (i.e. “is in German”, i.e. the German for “is”).

20. Races into san for treatment (7)

Answer: NATIONS (i.e. “races”). “For treatment” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INTO SAN.

22. One sticks publicity in this place, then runs! (7)

Answer: ADHERER (i.e. “one sticks”). Solution is AD (i.e. “publicity”) followed by HERE (i.e. “in this place”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games).

24. More like Parker, holding one to be more rowdy (7)

Answer: NOISIER (i.e. “more rowdy”). Solution is NOSIER (i.e. “more like [Nosey] Parker”) wrapped around or “holding” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: NO(I)SIER.

25. Preprandial drink? A healthy traveller returns to secure one (8)

Answer: APERITIF (i.e. “preprandial drink”). Solution is A followed by FIT (i.e. “healthy”) and REP (i.e. “traveller”, short for a representative or company agent), these latter two reversed (indicated by “returns”) and wrapped around or “securing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: A-(PER-(I)-TIF).

26. A friend mostly ensures his confounded lack of professionalism (14)

Answer: AMATEURISHNESS (i.e. “lack of professionalism”). Solution is A followed by MATE (i.e. “friend”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), and then an anagram (indicated by “confounded”) of ENSURES HIS, like so: A-MAT-EURISHNESS.

28. Fellow soldier holding head of rifleman’s dog (5)

Answer: CORGI (i.e. “dog”). Solution is CO (i.e. “fellow”, as in the prefix “co-“) and GI (i.e. “soldier”) both wrapped around or “holding” R (i.e. “head of rifleman”, i.e. the first letter of “rifleman”), like so: CO-(R)-GI. A clue that reads rather darkly, don’t you think? Like it!

29. Follower in Paris that stops overthrow of the French (6)

Answer: SEQUEL (i.e. “follower”). Solution is QUE (i.e. “in France that”, i.e. the French for “that”) placed in or “stopping” LES (i.e. “the French”, i.e. French for “the”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “overthrow of…”), like so: SE(QUE)L.

30. Propose shortly to engage priest’s first server? (10)

Answer: TABLESPOON (i.e. “server”). Solution is TABLE (i.e. “propose”) and SOON (i.e. “shortly”) wrapped around or “engaging” P (i.e. “priest’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “priest”), like so: TABLE-S(P)OON.

33. Criticise attempt by Monsieur to help serving girl (10)

Answer: PANTRYMAID (i.e. “serving girl”). Solution is PAN (i.e. “criticise”) followed by TRY (i.e. “attempt”), then M (a recognised abbreviation of “Monsieur”) and AID (i.e. “to help”).

35. Eats most of Latvian meat loaf (6)

Answer: HASLET (i.e. “meat loaf”). Solution is HAS (i.e. “eats”) followed by LETT (i.e. “Latvian”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “most of”), like so: HAS-LET.

37. Actual bodily harm soldiers are repelled by (5)

Answer: ABHOR (i.e. “repelled by”). Solution is ABH (a recognised abbreviation of “actual bodily harm”) followed by OR (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army).

39. It’s confused with a self-trained early US Democrat (4-10)

Answer: ANTI-FEDERALIST (i.e. “early US Democrat”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of IT and A SELF-TRAINED.

41. Prisoner’s girl entertaining Greek character at home (8)

Answer: DETAINEE (i.e. “prisoner”). Solution is DEE (i.e. “girl[‘s name]”) wrapped around or “entertaining” ETA (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet) and IN (i.e. “at home”), like so: D(ETA-IN)EE.

44. A superior partner in crime? (7)

Answer: ABETTER (i.e. “partner in crime”). Solution is A followed by BETTER (i.e. “superior”).

45. Page allowed to produce handbill (7)

Answer: LEAFLET (i.e. “handbill”). Solution is LEAF (i.e. “page”) followed by LET (i.e. “allowed”).

46. Patient old American’s description of cheese? (7)

Answer: CASEOUS (i.e. “of cheese”). Solution is CASE (i.e. medical “patient”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and US (i.e. “American”).

47. Possible priest’s diatribe after short skirts start to tantalise (10)

Answer: MINISTRANT (i.e. “possible priest”). Solution is RANT (i.e. “diatribe”) placed “after” MINIS (i.e. “short skirts”) and T (i.e. “start to tantalise”, i.e. the first letter of “tantalise”), like so: MINIS-T-RANT. A clue that scans rathher well.

49. Having little money, delay disposing of minute creepy-crawly (9)

Answer: CENTIPEDE (i.e. “creepy-crawly”). Solution CENT (i.e. “little money”) followed by IMPEDE (i.e. “delay”) once the M has been removed (indicated by “disposing of minute”, M being a recognised abbreviation of “minute”), like so: CENT-IPEDE.

53. Oscar managed to obtain tiny amount for a butterfly (6-3)

Answer: ORANGE-TIP (i.e. “butterfly”). Solution is O (“Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by RAN (i.e. “managed”), then GET (i.e. “to obtain”) and IP (i.e. “tiny amount [of money]”, i.e. 1 pence, with I being the Roman numeral for 1 – sneaky, yes?).

54. Tourist, one rewarding waiter outside front of restaurant? (7)

Answer: TRIPPER (i.e. “tourist”). Solution is TIPPER (i.e. “one rewarding waiter”) wrapped around or placed “outside” of R (i.e. “front of restaurant”, i.e. the first letter of “restaurant”), like so: T(R)IPPER.

55. Craze involving painter’s electrical unit (5)

Answer: FARAD (i.e. “electrical unit”, named after Michael Faraday, English physicist). Solution is FAD (i.e. “craze”) wrapped around or “involving”) RA (i.e. “painter”, specifically a Royal Academician), like so: FA(RA)D.

56. Potter’s spicy dish initially upgraded for area in frantic haste (5-6)

Answer: HURRY-SCURRY (i.e. “frantic haste”). Solution is HARRY’S CURRY (i.e. “Potter’s spicy dish”) with the A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) swapped “for” U (i.e. “initially upgraded”, i.e. the first letter of “upgraded”), like so: H(A)RRY’S CURRY => H(U)RRY’S-CURRY.

57. Uninvited guest consumed bacon outside clubs after midnight (11)

Answer: GATECRASHER (i.e. “uninvited guest”). Solution is ATE (i.e. “consumed”) and RASHER (i.e. “bacon”) wrapped “outside” of C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in card games). These are all then placed “after” G (i.e. “midnight”, i.e. the middle letter of “night”), like so: G-ATE-(C)-RASHER.

Down clues

1. Judge with an estate, perhaps, and a flowering tree (9)

Answer: JACARANDA (i.e. “flowering tree”). Solution is J (a recognised abbreviation of “judge”) followed by A CAR (i.e. “an estate, perhaps” – other flavours of car being available) then AND and A.

2. Misdirect effort, as 28 across might when pursuing 27? (4,2,3,5,4)

Answer: BARK UP THE WRONG TREE (i.e. “misdirect effort”). The solutions to “28 across” and “27” down are CORGI and SQUIRREL respectively. The clue plays on how the former may mistakenly “pursue” the latter. You get the idea.

3. With style and vigour, start to describe African ungulate (5)

Answer: ELAND (i.e. “African ungulate” or hoofed creature, in this case a kind of antelope). Solution is ELAN (i.e. “with style and vigour”) followed by D (i.e. “start to describe”, i.e. the first letter of “describe”), like so: ELAN-D.

4. Thin shrew is moving anticlockwise (11)

Answer: WITHERSHINS (i.e. “anticlockwise”). “Moving” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THIN SHREW IS.

5. Prince received by key academic from ancient Babylonian region (8)

Answer: CHALDEAN (i.e. “from ancient Babylonian region”). Solution is HAL (i.e. “Prince” – relating to Henry V’s younger years: Prince Hal is a pet play of certain setters) placed in or “received by” C (i.e. “[musical] key”) and DEAN (i.e. “academic”), like so: C-(HAL)-DEAN. One only gotten once all the intersecting letters had been solved, and after a quick shufti on Wikipedia.

6. Cry out in pain and violently attack singer (12)

Answer: YELLOWHAMMER (i.e. “singer”, as in a bird – did a Google Image search. Yup. Definitely a yellow bird. Cute little critter, too). Solution is YELL OW (i.e. “cry out in pain”) and HAMMER (i.e. “violently attack”).

7. Inflict charge for each domestic animal first (10)

Answer: PERPETRATE (i.e. “inflict”). When read as PER PET RATE the solution also satisfies “charge for each domestic animal”. “First” is a little superfluous, reinforcing that PER PET is placed “first”, ahead of RATE. I think the clue would have worked perfectly well without it.

8. Car leaves Cumbrian city, getting strong cotton fabric (5)

Answer: LISLE (i.e. “strong cotton fabric”). Solution is CARLISLE (i.e. “Cumbrian city”) with the CAR removed or “leaving”.

9. Like being former partner, one taking unruly Latin set (11)

Answer: EXISTENTIAL (i.e. “like being”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former partner”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then an anagram (indicated by “unruly”) of LATIN SET, like so: EX-I-STENTIAL.

10. Good metalworker hugging elderly Irish writer (9)

Answer: Oliver GOLDSMITH (i.e. “Irish writer”). You may be familiar with one of his quotes: “ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs.” Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and SMITH (i.e. “metalworker”) wrapped around or “hugging” OLD (i.e. “elderly”), like so: G-(OLD)-SMITH.

11. Bird lives in the same place overhead (4)

Answer: IBIS (i.e. a wading “bird”). Solution is IS (i.e. “lives”) with IB (i.e. “in the same place”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the Latin “ibidem”) “placed overhead” or first – this being a down clue – like so: IB-IS.

12. Start to tour border? Not us! (4)

Answer: THEM (i.e. “not us”). Solution is T (i.e. “start to tour”, i.e. the first letter of “tour”) followed by HEM (i.e. “border”).

18. Be attracted exclusively to extraterrestrial objects? Very strange! (4,7,2,5)

Answer: LIKE NOTHING ON EARTH. Solution satisfies “very strange” and “be attracted exclusively to extraterrestrial objects”. Nicely played.

19. Convict – one forcing open safe just after entering? (8)

Answer: PRISONER (i.e. “convict”). Solution is PRISER (i.e. “one forcing open safe”) with ON (i.e. “just after”) “entering” like so: PRIS(ON)ER.

21. Twist taking in current actor? (7)

Answer: Laurence OLIVIER (i.e. “actor”). Solution is OLIVER (i.e. “Twist”, after the Dickens novel) wrapped around or “taking in” I (a recognised abbreviation of “[electrical] current”), like so: OLIV(I)ER.

23. Extremely rare posh fur designed for repeated wear (8)

Answer: REUSABLE (i.e. “designed for repeated wear”). Solution is RE (i.e. “extremely rare”, i.e. the first and last letters of “rare”) followed by U (i.e. “posh”, supposedly a recognised abbreviation of  the upper-class – another pet play used by some setters) and SABLE (i.e. “fur”).

27. Tree creature landowner observed crossing river and lake (8)

Answer: SQUIRREL (i.e. “tree creature”). Solution is SQUIRE (i.e. “landowner”) wrapped around or “crossing” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: SQUI(R)RE-L.

28. Vehicle carrying old map on the same flat surface (8)

Answer: COPLANAR (i.e. “on the same flat surface”). Solution is CAR (i.e. “vehicle”) wrapped around or “carrying” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and PLAN (i.e. “map”), like so: C-(O-PLAN)AR.

31. Home counties singer consuming a marine fish (3,4)

Answer: SEA BASS (i.e. “marine fish”). Solution is SE (i.e. “home counties”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the South East [of England]) and BASS (i.e. “singer”) wrapped around or “consuming” A, like so: SE-(A)-BASS.

32. Sensitivity pivotal at first in cutting such din? (3-9)

Answer: EAR-SPLITTING (i.e. “such din”). Solution is EAR (i.e. “sensitivity”) followed by P (i.e. “pivotal at first”, i.e. the first letter of “pivotal”) once it has been placed “in” SLITTING (i.e. “cutting”), like so: EAR-S(P)LITTING.

34. Avant garde disc with no merit, unfortunately (11)

Answer: MODERNISTIC (i.e. “avant garde”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DISC and NO MERIT.

36. New English choir, etc, digesting books focused on God (11)

Answer: THEOCENTRIC (i.e. “focused on God”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and CHOIR ETC wrapped around or “digesting” NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: THEOCE(NT)RIC.

38. Friendly remark of Liberal visiting simple country folk (10)

Answer: PLEASANTRY (i.e. “friendly remark”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) placed in or “visiting” PEASANTRY (i.e. “simply country folk”), like so: P(L)EASANTRY.

40. Suitably affected by pins and needles after nasty turn (9)

Answer: FITTINGLY (i.e. “suitably”). Solution is TINGLY (i.e. “affected by pins and needles”) placed “after” FIT (i.e. “nasty turn”), like so: FIT-TINGLY.

42. Possible Londoner’s aim to get involved in festival (4,5)

Answer: EAST ENDER (i.e. “possible Londoner”). Solution is END (i.e. “aim”) placed or “involved in” EASTER (i.e. “festival”), like so: EAST(END)ER.

43. Cooking vessel right to be removed from Gt Manchester town (8)

Answer: STOCKPOT (i.e. “cooking vessel”). Solution is STOCKPORT (i.e. “Gt Manchester town”) once the R has been removed (indicated by “right to be removed from…” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”).

48. Hoofed mammal Irish man or woman raised first (5)

Answer: TAPIR (i.e. “hoofed mammal”). Solution is IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”) with PAT (i.e. “man or woman” – can be Patrick or Patricia) reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) and placed “first”, like so: TAP-IR.

50. Lacking energy, conclude article below (5)

Answer: INFRA (i.e. Latin for “below”). Solution is INFER (i.e. “conclude”) with the E removed (indicated by “lacking energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and the remainder followed by A (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the), like so: INFR-A.

51. Drama involving squadron leader’s fare (4)

Answer: NOSH (i.e. food or “fare”). Solution is NOH (i.e. “[Japanese] drama”) wrapped around or “involving” S (i.e. “squadron leader”, i.e. the first letter of “squadron”), like so: NO(S)H.

52. Average king’s sixth wife? Something’s fishy here (4)

Answer: PARR. A triple-header, it seems, albeit a little tenuously (hence the riddly ? at the end). Solution satisfies: “average” – e.g. a par score on a golf course – ought to have had a homophone indicator, in my less-than-humble opinion; “king’s sixth’s wife”, being Henry VIII’s sixth wife Catherine Parr; and “something’s fishy here” – a parr is also a young fish such as a salmon.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1439

Goodness these Jumbos roll around quickly, don’t they? It feels like only yesterday we had one. This was another good ‘un, a touch tougher than before, but again offering good progression and some well-worked clues. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

A quick spot of housekeeping before all that: solutions to previous Jumbo Cryptics can be found on my Just For Fun page; I’ve also got some book reviews and a story of mine should any of that tickle your fancy.

Okay, that’s quite enough of me for one week. To the answers. Keep buggering on, folks!

LP

Across clues

1. Shock viewpoint presented by Judge (6)

Answer: JANGLE (i.e. “shock”). Solution is ANGLE (i.e. “viewpoint”) placed after or “by” J (a recognised abbreviation of “judge”), like so: J-ANGLE.

5. Pinch place, returning to see some bowling (7)

Answer: TOPSPIN (i.e. “some [cricket] bowling”). Solution is NIP (i.e. “pinch”) and SPOT (i.e. “place”) both reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: TOPS-PIN.

9. Shocked I get offer, nothing less – this? (4,4)

Answer: FREE GIFT. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “shocked”) of I GET and OFFER once the O has been removed (indicated by “nothing less”). Solution satisfies “offer” within the context of the clue. A bit clumsy, but you get the gist of it.

13. Failing to match boasts, mount horse around stall awkwardly (3,5,3,2,8)

Answer: ALL MOUTH AND NO TROUSERS (i.e. “failing to match boasts”). “Awkwardly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MOUNT HORSE AROUND STALL.

14. Bird with territory ultimately capable of expansion? (8)

Answer: STRETCHY (i.e. “capable of expansion”). Solution is STRETCH (i.e. “bird” – both slang words for prison sentences) followed by Y (i.e. “territory ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “territory”).

15. Boat journey, not quiet with engineers! (7)

Answer: TRIREME (i.e. “boat”). Solution is TRIP (i.e. “journey”) with the P removed (indicated by “not quiet” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano” which is quiet in musical lingo) followed by REME (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers of the British Army), like so: TRI-REME. This was a swine to get, and ultimately a win for my Bradford’s… eventually. For some reason the book maintains a list of boats separate from a list of ships. Go figure.

16. Recalled work to celebrate taking a stance? (6)

Answer: POSING (i.e. “taking a stance”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus” or, as I also like to think, “operation”) followed by SING (i.e. “to celebrate”), like so: PO-SING.

17. Easy to get to account, else head of bank is distressed (10)

Answer: ACCESSIBLE (i.e. “easy to get into”). Solution is ACC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “distressed”) of ELSE, B (i.e. “head of bank”, i.e. the first letter of “bank”) and IS, like so: ACC-ESSIBLE.

20. Start eating – to ingest excitedly will involve food (3,5,4)

Answer: GET STUCK INTO (i.e. “start eating”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “excitedly”) of TO INGEST which is wrapped around or “involving” TUCK (i.e. “food”), like so: GETS(TUCK)INTO.

23. Very satisfied with return of trees (4)

Answer: SMUG (i.e. “very satisfied”). Solution is GUMS (i.e. variety of “tree”) reversed (indicated by “return of”).

24. Get on top of those not wanted by market (8)

Answer: OUTSMART (i.e. “get on top of”). Solution is OUTS (i.e. “those not wanted”) followed by MART (i.e. “market”).

26. French fiend holding in Parisian? That can be disproved (8)

Answer: DENIABLE (i.e. “that can be disproved”). Solution is DIABLE (i.e. “French fiend”, i.e. the French for “devil”) wrapped around EN (i.e. “in Parisian”, i.e. the French for “in”), like so: D(EN)IABLE.

29. Mere outline’s developed for dramatic show (3,2,7)

Answer: SON ET LUMIERE (i.e. “dramatic show” – think images projected on buildings, that kind of thing). “Developed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MERE OUTLINE’S. An easier get than it ought to have been, sadly, being a repeat from a few weeks ago.

30. Fully appreciating approach involved in bringing up? (10)

Answer: EMPATHETIC (i.e. “fully appreciating”). Solution is PATH (i.e. “approach”) placed or “involved in” EMETIC (i.e. “bringing up” – an emetic is a substance used to induce vomiting), like so: EM(PATH)ETIC.

32. Praise I applied to place in remark (10)

Answer: COMPLIMENT (i.e. “praise”). Solution is I placed after or “applied to” PL (a recognised abbreviation of “place”). These are then placed “in” COMMENT (i.e. “remark”), like so: COM(PL-I)MENT.

34. Come across appropriate attachment to jacket (6,6)

Answer: BREAST POCKET (i.e. “attachment to jacket”). Solution is BREAST (i.e. “come across” – this doesn’t really fit any of the definitions cited in my Chambers or Oxford dictionaries, so I might not have this right) followed by POCKET (i.e. to take or “appropriate”).

36. Marine creature I brought in on a regular basis, without love (3,5)

Answer: SEA SNAIL (i.e. “marine creature” and the bane of aquaria everywhere, I should imagine). Solution is SEASONAL (i.e. “on a regular basis”) with the O removed (indicated by “without love”, “love” being a zero score in tennis) and an I “brought in”, like so: SEAS(O)NAL => SEASNAL => SEASNA(I)L.

38. I’d headed back into Biblical land, coming from part of America (8)

Answer: CANADIAN (i.e. “from part of [North] America”). Solution is I’D reversed (indicated by “headed back”) and placed “into” CANAAN (i.e. “Biblical land”), like so: CANA(D’I)AN.

39. Dam displacing English river insect (4)

Answer: MOTH (i.e. “insect”). Solution is MOTHER (i.e. “dam” – a variant meaning of the word being a “mother, usually of cattle, horses etc” (Chambers)) once the E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and R (ditto “river”) have been removed or “displaced”.

41. Quiet energy suppressed by a cold fish is a weakness (8,4)

Answer: ACHILLES HEEL (i.e. “weakness”). Solution is SH (i.e. “quiet”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) both placed in or “suppressed by” A CHILL EEL (i.e. “a cold fish”), like so: A-CHILL-E(SH-E)EL.

43. Frenchman, say, embracing person seen in flat (4-1-5)

Answer: PIED-A-TERRE (i.e. a “flat” kept for temporary, secondary or occasional lodging – the kind of place businessmen keep so they can kip overnight somewhere close to their office and not at all to boff lovers behind their spouse or partner’s back. Goodness me, no. Okay, maybe just a bit…) Solution is PIERRE (i.e. “Frenchman, say” – other Frenchmen are available) wrapped around or “embracing” DATE (i.e. “person seen”, say, on a date), like so: PIE(DATE)RRE. After yesterday’s Jumbo it seems we have another setter pining for France, what with SON ET LUMIERE, DIABLE and so on. Quoting a correspondent to the Feedback column of the main paper today: “In view of the recent spate of clues and answers relating to Germany, may we now expect many more Brexit-related connections?” Something tells me this weekend’s brace of puzzles aren’t exactly going to smooth things over!

44. Composer, irrational to abandon carnival city (6)

Answer: Frederick DELIUS (i.e. “composer” – no, me neither. Chalk another one to my Bradfords, here.) Solution is DELIRIOUS (i.e. “irrational”) with RIO removed (indicated by “to abandon carnival city” – referring to Rio De Janeiro).

46. Worker on strike for payment (7)

Answer: HANDOUT (i.e. “payment”). Solution is HAND (i.e. “worker”) followed by OUT (i.e. “on strike”).

48. Drink after broadcast involving hard confrontation (8)

Answer: SHOWDOWN (i.e. “confrontation”). Solution is DOWN (i.e. “[to] drink”) placed “after” SOW (i.e. “broadcast”) once it has been wrapped around or “involving” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard”), like so: S(H)OW-DOWN.

50. Approximate location of return address? (2,3,4,2,2,8)

Answer: ON THE BACK OF AN ENVELOPE. Solution satisfies “approximate”, in the spirit of fag-packet-calculations, and “location of return address”. Nicely done.

51. Famous lover caught entering path leading to area of land (8)

Answer: LANCELOT (i.e. “famous lover” of Guinevere. I’m not sure whether a pied-a-terre was involved.) Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) placed in or “entering” LANE (i.e. “path”) and followed by LOT (i.e. “area of land”), like so: LAN(C)E-LOT.

52. Happen to be behind comic, mostly – reading about me? (3,4)

Answer: DAN DARE. Solution is ARE (i.e. “happen to be”) placed “behind” DANDY (i.e. “[UK] comic”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: DAND-ARE. Dan Dare was, of course, the poster boy of another UK comic, the Eagle, which I used to love reading as a bairn. Sadly, my impressive collection of Beanos, Dandys, Beezers, Eagles and Oinks didn’t survive a house move back in the day. I’m still receiving therapy about it to this day.

53. Stone slipping into line making a quiet sound (6)

Answer: RUSTLE (i.e. “quiet sound”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stone”) placed or “slipped into” RULE (i.e. “line”), like so: RU(ST)LE.

Down clues

2. Craftiness keeping old man estranged (5)

Answer: APART (i.e. “estranged”). Solution is ART (i.e. “craftiness”) wrapped around or “keeping” PA (i.e. “old man”, both terms for one’s father), like so: A(PA)RT.

3. Bird of prey alleged gone, having flown (6,5)

Answer: GOLDEN EAGLE (i.e. “bird of prey”). “Having flown” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALLEGED GONE.

4. Action against evil spirit – head of church has six more dancing around (8)

Answer: EXORCISM (i.e. “action against evil spirit”). Solution is C (i.e. “head of church”, i.e. the first letter of “church”) placed in or having “around” an anagram (indicated by “dancing”) of SIX MORE, like so: EXOR(C)ISM.

5. Crumpled Times wrapping a last piece of crockery (5)

Answer: TATTY (i.e. “crumpled”). Solution is T T and T (i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, each is a recognised abbreviation of “time”) “wrapping” around A and then followed by Y (i.e. “last piece of crockery”, i.e. the last letter of “crockery”), like so: T(A)TT-Y.

6. Gas power leading to shock? (7)

Answer: PRATTLE (i.e. “gas”, both taken to mean talking excessively). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) followed by RATTLE (i.e. “to shock”).

7. Student following course getting an E is source of flaming disaster (7,4)

Answer: PUDDING LANE, believed to be the starting point of the Great Fire of London of 1666 (i.e. “source of flaming disaster”). Solution is L (i.e. “student”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) followed by AN and E. These are then all placed after PUDDING (i.e. “[dinner] course”), like so: PUDDING-L-AN-E. Nicely worked.

8. Marriage, some say, almost immediately raised energy (5)

Answer: NOOSE (i.e. “marriage, some say”). Solution is SOON (i.e. “almost immediately”) reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: NOOS-E.

9. Excited and honoured to welcome King and soldiers (9)

Answer: FERMENTED (i.e. “excited”). Solution is FETED (i.e. “honoured”) wrapped around or “welcoming” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Rex”, which is “king” in Latin) and MEN (i.e. “soldiers”), like so: FE(R-MEN)TED.

10. Picked up confusion about Queen’s outfit (5)

Answer: EQUIP (i.e. “[to] outfit”). Solution is PIE (i.e. “confusion” – an alternative sense of the word I wasn’t aware of) reversed (indicated by “picked up” – this being a down clue) and then wrapped “about” QU (a recognised abbreviation of “queen”), like so: E(QU)IP.

11. Reckoning visitor with another singular friend will embrace one (11)

Answer: GUESSTIMATE (i.e. “reckoning”). Solution is GUEST (i.e. “visitor”) wrapped around or “with” S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”), and MATE (i.e. “friend”) both “embracing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: GUES(S)T-(I)-MATE. One for the chillaxers out there.

12. Fixed trawler accessory in area of ocean (7)

Answer: FASTNET (i.e. “[Shipping Forecast] area of [Atlantic] ocean”). Solution is FAST (i.e. “fixed”) followed by NET (i.e. “trawler accessory”).

18. Military leader to turn up, bringing in modern troops (9)

Answer: COMMODORE (i.e. “military leader”). Solution is COME (i.e. “to turn up”) wrapped around or “bringing in” MOD (a recognised abbreviation of “modern”) and OR (i.e. “troops”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), like so: COM(MOD-OR)E.

19. Stranger’s last to go after British city dweller (7)

Answer: BRUMMIE (i.e. “city dweller” of Birmingham). Solution is RUMMIER (i.e. “stranger”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “last to go”) and the remainder placed “after” B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”), like so: B-RUMMIE.

21. Expression of ownership, like a lord claiming river (5,4)

Answer: TITLE DEED (i.e. “expression of ownership”). Solution is TITLED (i.e. “like a lord”) wrapped around or “claiming”) DEE (a “river” in Scotland), like so: TITLE(DEE)D.

22. Elevated single drum in church is a memorial (8)

Answer: CENOTAPH (i.e. “memorial”). Solution is ONE (i.e. “single”) reversed (indicated by “elevated” – this being a down clue) and TAP (i.e. “drum”) both placed “in” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: C(ENO-TAP)H.

25. Speculation story about Conservative will be something worth seeing (9)

Answer: SPECTACLE (i.e. “something worth seeing”). Solution is SPEC (a recognised abbreviation of “speculation”) followed by TALE (i.e. “story”) once it has been placed “about” C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”), like so: SPEC-TA(C)LE.

27. City allowed to import summer desserts with support of Queen (9)

Answer: LEICESTER (i.e. “city”). Solution is LET (i.e. “allowed”) wrapped around or “importing” ICES (i.e. “summer desserts”) and then followed by ER (i.e. “Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: LE(ICES)T-ER.

28. Drained a couple of Lakes, considering everything (3,2,3)

Answer: ALL IN ALL (i.e. “considering everything”). Solution is ALL IN (i.e. “drained” or exhausted) followed by A and LL (i.e. “a couple of Lakes” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “lake”).

31. Cost of delivering naval officer on coach (7)

Answer: POSTAGE (i.e. “cost of delivering”). Solution is PO (i.e. “naval officer”, specifically a Petty Officer) followed by STAGE (i.e. “coach”).

33. I almost failed to climb street in photo, favouring the downward direction? (11)

Answer: PESSIMISTIC (i.e. “favouring the downward direction”). Solution is I and MISSED (i.e. “failed”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”) all reversed (indicated by “to climb” – this being a down clue) and followed by ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”). These are then all placed “in” PIC (i.e. “photo”), like so: P(ESSIM-I-ST)IC.

34. Rabbit found elf dancing, a jolly figure (6,2,3)

Answer: BUNDLE OF FUN (i.e. “a jolly figure”). Solution is BUN (“a playful name for a rabbit or squirrel” (Chambers)) followed by an anagram (indicated by “dancing”) of FOUND ELF, like so: BUN-DLEOFFUN.

35. Concise committee very good about conclusion (11)

Answer: COMPENDIOUS (i.e. “concise”). Solution is COM (a recognised abbreviation of “committee”) followed by PIOUS (i.e. “very good”) once it has been wrapped “about” END (i.e. “conclusion”), like so: COM-P(END)IOUS.

37. Try to enter small room with opening barred and give up (4,5)

Answer: LOSE HEART (i.e. “give up”). Solution is HEAR (i.e. “try” in court) placed in or “entering” CLOSET (i.e. “small room”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “with opening barred”), like so: LOSE(HEAR)T.

40. Hacker, perhaps, regrets getting upset about a program (8)

Answer: SABOTEUR (i.e. “hacker, perhaps”). Solution is RUES (i.e. “regrets”) reversed (indicated by “getting upset” – this being a down clue) and then wrapped “about” A BOT (i.e. “a [computer] program” – if you’ve ever tried to buy tickets for some event and wondered why it has sold out in a matter of seconds, these little shits are often to blame), like so: S(A-BOT)EUR. Another nicely worked clue.

42. Historic Italian city mostly best around Monday (7)

Answer: CREMONA (i.e. “historic Italian city”). Solution is CREAM (i.e. “best”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped “around” MON (a recognised abbreviation of “Monday”), like so: CRE(MON)A. One gotten pretty much from the wordplay alone. Sorry Italians, I’m not as familiar with your 79th most populous city as the setter seems to think.

43. Potential energy I observed in fish and plant (7)

Answer: PETUNIA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is PE (a recognised abbreviation of “potential energy”) followed by I once is has been placed or “observed” in TUNA (i.e. “fish”), like so: PE-TUN(I)A.

45. Hum a few lines, omitting start of oratorio (5)

Answer: SMELL (i.e. “hum”). Solution is SOME (i.e. “a few”) and LL (i.e. “lines”, L being a recognised abbreviation of “line”), once the O has been removed (indicated by “omitting start of oratorio”, i.e. the first letter of “oratorio”), like so: SME-LL.

47. Twisted, dropping head, being without cover (5)

Answer: NAKED (i.e. “without cover”). Solution is SNAKED (i.e. “twisted”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “dropping head”).

48. Reason bridge team is participating in match (5)

Answer: SENSE (i.e. “reason”). Solution is NS (i.e. “bridge team”, being North and South in a game of bridge) placed or “participating in” SEE (i.e. “match” – as “I see your bet and raise you x”), like so: SE(NS)E.

49. Roll with slope (5)

Answer: WHEEL (i.e. “roll”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) followed by HEEL (i.e. “slope”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1438

A decent puzzle to keep us entertained this Bank Holiday Monday Friday, and another that offered steady progression with a few well worked clues. Even the half-dozen or more place names didn’t get up my nose. (Inserts thumbs emoji.)

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

A few pre-flight checks before we begin. Solutions to umpteen previous Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords can be found on my Just For Fun page. Meanwhile, I have a few book reviews over here, and a story of mine over there. Emergency exits are here, here and here.

Right. Looks like you’re all set. I’ll leave you to it. Stay safe, and, all being well, I’ll see you tomorrow for another big ‘un.

LP

Across clues

1. Troublesome – could it be compatible given right input? (11)

Answer: PROBLEMATIC (i.e. “troublesome”). Solution is an anagram (indicated weakly by “could it be” – I think “troublesome” is too far away from the anagram to count as an indicator) of COMPATIBLE wrapped around or having “input” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: P(R)OBLEMATIC.

7. Cheap beer that made for expansive habit (11)

Answer: FARTHINGALE (i.e. “expansive habit” – over to Chambers for this: “a kind of crinoline of whalebone for extending a woman’s dress outward from the waist”). When read as FARTHING ALE, the clue also satisfies “cheap beer”.

13. Attractive lie spun deviously for business insider (7,10)

Answer: VENTURE CAPITALIST (i.e. “business insider”). “Deviously” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ATTRACTIVE LIE SPUN. Nicely worked.

14. Pipe connects with eastern state (5)

Answer: MAINE (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is MAIN (i.e. “pipe”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”).

15. Linen not covering picture’s frame (6)

Answer: NAPERY (i.e. “linen”). Solution is NARY (i.e. “not”) wrapped around or “covering” PE (i.e. “picture’s frame”, i.e. the first and last letters of “picture”), like so: NA(PE)RY.

16. Prisoner holding a little flower set to be hung in Tower (8)

Answer: CARILLON (i.e. “set [of bells] to be hung in tower” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is CON (i.e. “prisoner”) wrapped around or “holding” A and RILL (i.e. “little flower” – flower in this case being a river, as in one that flows – a rill is a small stream), like so: C(A-RILL)ON.

17. Work with uranium, fast becoming rich (7)

Answer: OPULENT (i.e. “rich”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “opus” or, as I like to think, “operation”) followed by U (chemical symbol of “Uranium”) and LENT (i.e. “fast”).

19. Fool brought back after school as planned (9)

Answer: SCHEDULED (i.e. “planned”). Solution is DELUDE (i.e. “[to] fool”) reversed (indicated by “brought back”) and placed “after” SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”), like so: SCH-EDULED.

21. Vicious perhaps, Scotsman chasing alumnus produces glass (8)

Answer: OBSIDIAN (i.e. “glass”). Solution is SID (i.e. “Vicious perhaps”, he of the Sex Pistols) and IAN (i.e. “Scotsman” – a common play by setters) placed after or “chasing” OB (i.e. “alumnus”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”), like so: OB-SID-IAN.

23. Some ground overlooks ruin (4)

Answer: UNDO (i.e. “ruin”). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: GRO(UND O)VERLOOKS.

25. Giants substitute appears shortly after blunder in field (5)

Answer: OGRES (i.e. “giants”). Solution is RES (a recognised abbreviation of reserve, i.e. “substitute” – the “shortly” feels a little misleading here, given how it often indicates the removal of an end letter) placed “after” OG (i.e. “blunder in field”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of an “own goal”), like so: OG-RES.

27. Shaking bunk about to hamper phase of sleep (6)

Answer: TREMOR (i.e. “shaking”). Solution is ROT (i.e. “bunk” or nonsense) reversed (indicated by “about”) and wrapped around or “hampering” REM (i.e. “phase of sleep”, being Rapid Eye Movement), like so: T(REM)OR.

28. Saunter round northern capital, obtaining picture (10)

Answer: MONOCHROME (i.e. “picture”). Solution is MOOCH (i.e. “saunter”) wrapped “round” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”) and followed by ROME (i.e. “capital” of Italy), like so: MO(N)OCH-ROME. Solutions where you get only the even letters are often harder than the odd-lettered ones, given how often you’re stuck with umpteen vowels. This one was a good example: _O_O_H_O_E. Not much to go on there.

30. This, installed across the pond, to make flight optional? (8)

Answer: ELEVATOR. Clue plays on how lifts are called elevators “across the pond” over in the US, and how they offer an alternative to “flights” of stairs. You get the idea.

31. Somewhat limited success as year in Down ends badly (4,4,6)

Answer: NINE DAYS WONDER (i.e. “somewhat limited success”). “Badly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of YEAR IN DOWN ENDS. I guess eight and ten day wonders never caught on.

34. Stylish gesture reworked for panto dames (3,4,7)

Answer: THE UGLY SISTERS (i.e. “panto dames”). “Reworked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STYLISH GESTURE. Nicely worked.

35. Cathedral plans to include religious education (8)

Answer: CHARTRES (i.e. “[Parisian] cathedral”). Solution is CHARTS (i.e. “plans”) wrapped around or “including” RE (i.e. “religious education”), like so: CHART(RE)S.

38. Needing atmosphere after interlude, books diner (10)

Answer: RESTAURANT (i.e. “diner”). Solution is AURA (i.e. “atmosphere”) placed “after” REST (i.e. “interlude”), and then followed by NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: REST-AURA-NT.

40. With this, not doing as much in class (6)

Answer: LESSON (i.e. “class”). When read as LESS ON, the solution also satisfies “with this, not doing as much”, i.e. having less to do.

41. Find penny on public transport vehicle in March (5)

Answer: TRAMP (i.e. “march” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “penny”) placed “on” or after TRAM (i.e. “public transport vehicle”), like so: TRAM-P.

43. Dispute on chairs around piano (4)

Answer: SPAT (i.e. “dispute”). Solution is SAT (i.e. “on chairs”) wrapped “around” P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, being quiet in musical lingo), like so: S(P)AT.
[EDIT: As noted by Sue in the comments, SAT is the past tense or part participle form of SIT. As the clue is present tense, SAT ought to have been SITTING. Bad setter, naughty setter! – LP]

44. Retired sleuth visiting Alpine ridge and similar things (2,6)

Answer: ET CETERA (i.e. “similar things”). Solution is TEC (i.e. “sleuth”, being a recognised abbreviation of a detective) placed in or “visiting” ARETE (i.e. “Alpine ridge”, as opposed to those common-or-garden ridges of other mountain ranges), like so: ET(CET)ERA.

45. European craft touching down on frozen mass (9)

Answer: ICELANDER (i.e. “European”). Solution is LANDER (i.e. “[sea]craft”) placed after or “touching down on” ICE (i.e. “frozen mass”), like so: ICE-LANDER.

48. Company car is damaged in mountainous place (7)

Answer: CORSICA (i.e. “mountainous place” – the island is approx two-thirds mountains, it says here). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “damaged”) of CAR IS, like so: CO-RSICA.

49. Waffle about god endlessly, then finish speaking (8)

Answer: PERORATE (i.e. to sum-up or “finish speaking”). Solution PRATE (i.e. “[to] waffle”) placed “about” EROS (i.e. “god”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”), like so: P(ERO)RATE.

50. Literary lion takes time on slope (6)

Answer: ASLANT (i.e. “on slope”). Solution is ASLAN (i.e. “literary lion” of CS Lewis’s Narnia books) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

53. Love new song being broadcast (2,3)

Answer: ON AIR (i.e. “being broadcast”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, i.e. a zero score in tennis) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and AIR (i.e. “song”).

54. In which leading Oxbridge pair will make repeated appearances? (7,3,7)

Answer: NOUGHTS AND CROSSES. Clue plays on how a noughts and crosses grid will see repeated appearances of Os and Xs, which just so happen to be the “leading…pair” of letters of “OXbridge”. Like it!

55. Green Man? Here one may find whiskey! (7,4)

Answer: EMERALD ISLE (i.e. “here one may find whiskey” – note the Irish spelling). Solution is EMERALD (i.e. “green”) followed by ISLE (i.e. “Man”, as in the Isle of Man).

56. Seer rejecting crazy schemes – common sense deployed about this (11)

Answer: NOSTRADAMUS (i.e. “seer”). Solution is MAD (i.e. “crazy”) and ARTS (i.e. “schemes”, taken in the context of wily tricks) both reversed (indicated by “rejected”). NOUS (i.e. “common sense”) is then placed “about this”, like so: NO(STRA-DAM)US.

Down clues

1. Flag seen in street – Pentagon is very troubled (6,5)

Answer: PAVING STONE (i.e. “flag”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “troubled”) of PENTAGON IS and V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”).

2. Admit that was painful bit of humour, taken the wrong way (3,2)

Answer: OWN UP (i.e. “admit”). Solution is OW (i.e. “that was painful”) followed by PUN (i.e. “bit of humour”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “taken the wrong way”), like so: OW-NUP.

3. Museum finally supplied with slats (7)

Answer: LOUVRED (i.e. “with slats”). Solution is LOUVRE (i.e. “[Parisian] museum”) followed by D (i.e. “finally supplied”, i.e. the last letter of “supplied”).

4. Once proper hounds assembly (4)

Answer: MEET. A triple-header, I believe, satisfying: “once proper” – Chambers shows this as an archaic word meaning fitting or qualified; “hounds” – as in a “meeting of participants in a fox hunt” (Chambers again), and “assembly”.
[EDIT: John adds a bit more flesh to “once proper” in the comments, FYI – LP]

5. Accountant in women’s underwear leaves containers (3-7)

Answer: TEA-CADDIES (i.e. “[tea] leaves containers”). Solution is ACA (i.e. “accountant”, specifically an Associate Chartered Accountant) placed “in” TEDDIES (i.e. “women’s underwear”), like so: TE(ACA)DDIES.

6. Experts in the wrong? (14)

Answer: CRIMINOLOGISTS. Clue plays on how these are “experts” in “wrong[doing]”.

7. Confident female – and why she won’t listen? (8)

Answer: FEARLESS (i.e. “confident”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by EARLESS (i.e. “why she won’t listen”).

8. Good to be in control for this! (5)

Answer: REIGN. Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) placed “in” REIN (i.e. “control”), like so: REI(G)N. Within the context of the clue, it is “good to be in control” when reigning.

9. Stew over author regularly seeing controversial problem (3,6)

Answer: HOT POTATO (i.e. “controversial problem”). Solution is HOTPOT (i.e. “stew”) followed by ATO (i.e. “author regularly”, i.e. every other letter of AUTHOR), like so: HOTPOT-ATO.

10. Summit avoided, wing enters warmer rising cloud (6)

Answer: NIMBUS (i.e. “cloud”). Solution is LIMB (i.e. “wing”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “summit avoided”) and the remainder “entering” SUN (i.e. “warmer”, as in how it warms things) once it has been reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue), like so: N(IMB)US.

11. Fantastic girl, elected, having triumphed over the German state (5-2-10)

Answer: ALICE-IN-WONDERLAND (i.e. “fantastic” or out-of-this-world, rather than the book itself). Solution is ALICE (i.e. “girl”) followed by IN (i.e. “elected”), then WON (i.e. “triumphed”), then DER (i.e. “the German”, i.e. the German for “the”) and LAND (i.e. “state”).

12. Campaigner the Spanish church upset, one dragged into row (11)

Answer: ELECTIONEER (i.e. “campaigner”). Solution is EL (i.e. “the Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) which is reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and then followed by ONE once it has been “dragged into” TIER (i.e. “row”), like so: EL-EC-TI(ONE)ER.

18. Greed shown where corporation man banks pounds (8)

Answer: GLUTTONY (i.e. “greed”). Solution is GUT (i.e. “corporation” – a favourite play of setters is to refer to tums, bellies and guts in their solutions as corporations – an informal word) and TONY (i.e. “man”) wrapped around or “banking” L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight), like so: G(L)UT-TONY.

20. Researcher’s goal is to develop powered vehicle (9,8)

Answer: HORSELESS CARRIAGE (i.e. “powered vehicle”). “To develop” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RESEARCHER’S GOAL IS.

22. Returned to make cut into beloved tree (6)

Answer: DEODAR (i.e. “tree”). Solution is DO (i.e. “to make”) reversed (indicated by “returned”) and placed in DEAR (i.e. “beloved”), like so: DE(OD)AR. One gotten mainly from the wordplay and a quick shufti of Chambers.

24. Article by rotter about firm sent up revered leader (8)

Answer: THEOCRAT (i.e. “revered leader”). Solution is THE (i.e. “article”, i.e. words like the, a or an) and RAT (i.e. “rotter”) both placed “about” CO (a recognised abbreviation of company or “firm”) which is reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue), like so: THE-(OC)-RAT.

26. Remain in quiet given excellent port (8)

Answer: SHANGHAI (i.e. “port”). Solution is HANG (i.e. “remain”) placed “in” SH (i.e. “quiet”) and AI (i.e. “excellent” or A1), like so: S(HANG)H-AI.

29. Group member wants her ego massaged in fortress (6,8)

Answer: GEORGE HARRISON (i.e. “group member” of The Beatles). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “massaged”) of HER EGO placed “in” GARRISON (i.e. “fortress”), like so: G(EORGEH)ARRISON.

32. Small prehistoric monument within borders of certain European area (8)

Answer: SCHENGEN (i.e. “European area” so often mentioned when there was all that Brexit stuff going on back in 1863 it seems). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by HENGE (i.e. “prehistoric monument”) once it has been placed “within” CN (i.e. “borders of certain”, i.e. the first and last letters of “certain”), like so: S-C(HENGE)N.

33. Intended to underwrite funding where one name absconds (6)

Answer: FIANCE (i.e. one’s “intended”). Solution is FINANCE (i.e. “to underwrite funding”) once the first N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) is removed (indicated by “absconds”).

34. Muse and priest thrashing tedious Job (11)

Answer: TERPSICHORE (i.e. Greek “muse” of dance and chorus – a terpsichorean is another word for a dancer, and one I reckon must have been used in a Will Self novel by now). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “thrashing”) of PRIEST followed by CHORE (i.e. “tedious job” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: TERPSI-CHORE.

36. For whom south, set apart, is potentially enough? (11)

Answer: SEPARATISTS. Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “potentially”) of SET APART IS, like so: S-EPARATISTS. Separatists campaign for the breaking up of organisations, countries etc, so, within the context of the clue, setting south apart could, for them, suffice. You get the idea.
[EDIT: Thanks to John in the comments for the typo fix. I’d mistakenly missed the last S. Cheers, John! – LP]

37. Silly workers maybe must welcome first people helping (10)

Answer: ASSISTANTS (i.e. “people helping”). Solution is ASS (i.e. “silly”) and ANTS (i.e. “workers maybe” – other types of ants are available) wrapped around or “welcoming” IST (i.e. “first” – the I substituting 1, like we had with SHANGHAI earlier), like so: ASS-(IST)-ANTS.

39. Redundant staff are often kept on, Republican admitted (9)

Answer: RETRAINED (i.e. “redundant staff are often…” – really? Not sure which Alice-In-Wonderland company the setter is thinking about here…) Solution is RETAINED (i.e. “kept on”) wrapped around or “admitting” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”), like so: RET(R)AINED.

42. Maybe Vatican brings in cunning Frenchman I don’t know (6,2)

Answer: SEARCH ME (i.e. “I don’t know”). Solution is SEE (a religious office, i.e. “maybe Vatican”, probably referring to the Holy See) wrapped around or “bringing in” ARCH (i.e. “cunning”) and M (i.e. “Frenchman” – seems this week’s setter is pining for France, what with Chartres and The Louvre ‘n all. Anyway, over yonder in France, monsieur sometimes gets abbreviated to M), like so: SE(ARCH-M)E.

46. Sailors trick duke and skip town (7)

Answer: ABSCOND (i.e. “skip town”). Solution is ABS (i.e. “sailors”, particularly the Able-Bodied variety) followed by CON (i.e. “trick”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”).

47. Chain letter read out on radio (6)

Answer: SIERRA, a mountain “chain”. “Letter read out on radio” refers to how SIERRA is used to represent S in the phonetic alphabet. Nicely worked.

49. Rains temporarily stop, as some might hear? (5)

Answer: POURS (i.e. “rains”). “As some might hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of PAUSE (i.e. “temporarily stop”).

51. Top grade schools vacated before noon in this region (5)

Answer: ASSAM (i.e. “region” of India). Solution is A (i.e. “top grade”) followed by SS (i.e. “schools vacated”, i.e. the word “schools” with all its middle letters removed) and AM (i.e. “before noon”). An easier get than it ought to have been as this solution only appeared a few weeks ago.

52. Maple, one seen by river (4)

Answer: ACER (i.e. “maple”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “one” in playing cards) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1437

A relatively easy one this week, which is no bad thing. Another with some nicely worked clues too. You can find my completed solution below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

Some housekeeping before any of that. If you have a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s given you the slip recently, then you might find my Just For Fun page useful, covering the last eighty-odd puzzles. There are some book reviews leavening all this crossword stuff, and even a not-so-little story of mine.

Right that’s enough of me. I hope you’re all continuing to cope with the lockdown and its variant effects. Stay safe, and I’ll see you for the next big ‘un.

LP

Across clues

1. French nobleman’s quickly comprehending company minutes (7)

Answer: VICOMTE (i.e. “French nobleman”, equivalent to a viscount). Solution is VITE (i.e. “quickly” in musical lingo) wrapped around or “comprehending” CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and M (ditto “minutes”), like so: VI(CO-M)TE.

5. Precise account by parish priest’s assistant (8)

Answer: ACCURATE (i.e. “precise”). Solution is AC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”) followed by CURATE (i.e. “parish priest’s assistant”).

9. Absolutely correct, boy receiving trophy (4-2)

Answer: SPOT-ON (i.e. “absolutely correct”). Solution is SON (i.e. “boy”) wrapped around or “receiving” POT (i.e. “trophy” – usage backed up by my Chambers), like so: S(POT)ON.

13. Don’t rate computer services at all? There’s no need to apologise (5,7,2,2)

Answer: THINK NOTHING OF IT. Solution satisfies “don’t rate computer services at all” – IT being a recognised abbreviation of “information technology” – and “there’s no need to apologise”. A very similar version of this clue appeared relatively recently back in puzzle 1404.

14. Old flat-bottomed boat goes on heading for Malta’s capital city (6)

Answer: MOSCOW (i.e. “capital city” of Russia. Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and SCOW (i.e. “flat-bottomed boat”) placed “on” or after M (i.e. “heading for Malta”, i.e. the first letter of “Malta”), like so: M-(O-SCOW).

16. The Song of Hiawatha, say, and English film by US writer, male (4,4)

Answer: EPIC POEM (i.e. “The Song of Hiawatha, say”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by PIC (i.e. “film”, short for [motion] picture), then Edgar Allan POE (i.e. “US writer”) and finally M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”).

17. Heard offspring give up (4)

Answer: CEDE (i.e. “give up”). “Heard” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SEED (i.e. “offspring”).

18. Say he, for instance, gets church backing (9)

Answer: PRONOUNCE (i.e. “say”). Solution is PRONOUN (i.e. “he, for instance” – in keeping with the times, I should declare that my pronouns are… well, you can call me anything you like because I don’t really exist) followed or “backed” by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

20. Believer in destiny in big group of stars, perhaps (8)

Answer: FATALIST (i.e. “believer in destiny”). Solution is FAT (i.e. “big”) followed by A-LIST (i.e. “group of stars, perhaps” – stars as in celebrities).

21. Berths here for the rest of the travellers? (8,3)

Answer: SLEEPING CAR – a carriage of a train in which travellers can get some shuteye. Clue plays on how “rest” can mean to sleep. You get the idea.

24. Able to remember a lot of information about sacramental wine I have (9)

Answer: RETENTIVE (i.e. “able to remember a lot of information”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) followed by TENT (i.e. “sacramental wine”) and I’VE (a contraction of “I have”).

25. Conventional scholar (8)

Answer: ACADEMIC. Solution satisfies “conventional” and “scholar”.

26. Crack in ground, we’re told (4)

Answer: FLAW (i.e. “crack”). “We’re told” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of FLOOR (i.e. “ground”).

29. Support me at an inn, playing before church (11)

Answer: MAINTENANCE (i.e. “support”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “playing”) of ME AT AN INN followed by CE (i.e. “church” – again the Church of England), like so: MAINTENAN-CE.

31. Old cat of Eliot’s in another book? (11)

Answer: DEUTERONOMY. Solution satisfies “old cat of Eliot’s” – referring to TS Eliot’s poem Old Deuteronomy in his book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, upon which Andrew Lloyd Webber’s muscial Cats was based – and “book”, specifically a book of The Bible.

33. Wasteful tramp runs out after more (11)

Answer: EXTRAVAGANT (i.e. “wasteful”). Solution is VAGRANT (i.e. “tramp”) with the R removed (indicated by “runs out” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) and the remainder placed “after” EXTRA (i.e. “more”), like so: EXTRA-VAGANT.

36. Personal souvenirs from Iberia and Malmo, mixed up (11)

Answer: MEMORABILIA (i.e. “personal souvenirs”). “Mixed up” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IBERIA and MALMO.

38. Toy boy losing face – Joy too, both being rejected (2-2)

Answer: YO-YO (i.e. “toy”). Solution is BOY and JOY “both” “losing face” (i.e. their initial letters removed). The remainder is then reversed (indicated by “being rejected”).

39. Figure blocking female in lift (8)

Answer: HEIGHTEN (i.e. “lift”). Solution is EIGHT (i.e. “figure”- could be taken to mean a figure of eight, or merely just the number 8) placed in or “blocking” HEN (i.e. a “female” bird), like so: H(EIGHT)EN.

41. Figure reportedly shattered by outlook (9)

Answer: RECTANGLE (i.e. a shape or “figure”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of WRECKED (i.e. “shattered”) followed by ANGLE (i.e. “outlook”).

44. Suitable lift (11)

Answer: APPROPRIATE. Solution satisfies “suitable” and “lift”, as in to steal something.

45. Religious studies: love journal delving into the unknown (8)

Answer: THEOLOGY (i.e. “religious studies”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, i.e. a zero score in tennis) and LOG (i.e. “journal”) both placed in or “delving into” THE and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”), like so: THE-(O-LOG)-Y.

48. Finished feeding a group left behind (9)

Answer: ABANDONED (i.e. “left behind”). Solution is DONE (i.e. “finished”) placed in or “feeding” A BAND (i.e. “a group”), like so: A-BAN(DONE)D.

49. Comfort stop, not the first (4)

Answer: EASE (i.e. “comfort”). Solution is CEASE (i.e. “stop”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “not the first”).

50. George, a writer from Maine, close to glamour girl (8)

Answer: “George” MEREDITH, “a writer”. Solution is ME (a recognised abbreviation of US state “Maine”) followed by R (i.e. “close to glamour”, i.e. the last letter of “glamour”) and EDITH (i.e. “girl”).

52. Cavalryman arresting a mosstrooper (6)

Answer: RAIDER (i.e. “mosstrooper” – over to my Chambers for this one: “one of the freebooters that used to frequent the Border between Scotland and England in the 17c”. So a “raider”, then.) Solution is RIDER (i.e. “cavalryman”) wrapped around or “arresting” A, like so: R(A)IDER.

53. Who’s Who set we want, desperately, for a film (3,3,4,3,3)

Answer: HOW THE WEST WAS WON (i.e. “film”). “Desperately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WHO’S WHO SET WE WANT.

54. Grub shown in periodical taken (6)

Answer: MAGGOT (i.e. “grub”). Solution is MAG (i.e. “periodical”, short for magazine) followed by GOT (i.e. “taken”).

55. What a guard may have to support small family (8)

Answer: BEARSKIN (i.e. “what a guard may have”). Solution is BEAR (i.e. “to support”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and KIN (i.e. “family”).

56. Vessel departs, having to crawl entering rivers (7)

Answer: DREDGER (i.e. “vessel”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “departs”) followed by EDGE (i.e. “to crawl”) once it has been placed in or “entering” R and R (recognised abbreviations of “river”), like so: D-R-(EDGE)-R.

Down clues

1. To scrutinise dictionary may be forbidden (6)

Answer: VETOED (i.e. “forbidden”). Solution is VET (i.e. “to scrutinise”) followed by OED (i.e. “dictionary”, specifically the Oxford English Dictionary).

2. Mostly warm to each other round fashionable private hospital (6)

Answer: CLINIC (i.e. “private hospital”). Solution is CLICK (i.e. “warm to each other”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped “round” IN (i.e. “fashionable”), like so: CL(IN)IC.

3. Spell out type found on prairie (4,5)

Answer: MAKE PLAIN (i.e. “spell out”). Solution is MAKE (i.e. kind or “type”) followed by PLAIN (i.e. “prairie”).

4. Not including one allotment in clearing (11)

Answer: EXONERATION (i.e. “clearing”). Solution is EX (i.e. “not including”) followed by ONE, then RATION (i.e. “share”).

5. Suffer mental anguish in hospital visiting one (4)

Answer: ACHE (i.e. “suffer mental anguish”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital”) placed in or “visiting” ACE (i.e. “one” in playing cards), like so: AC(H)E.

6. Focus on money put in box (11)

Answer: CONCENTRATE (i.e. “focus”). Solution is ON and CENT (i.e. “money”) both “put in” CRATE (i.e. “box”), like so: C(ON-CENT)RATE.

7. I, in part of Greece, put down state (5,6)

Answer: RHODE ISLAND (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is I placed “in” RHODES (i.e. “part of Greece”) and followed by LAND (i.e. “put down”), like so: RHODE(I)S-LAND.

8. Epilogue of story listened to by bishop? (9)

Answer: TAILPIECE (i.e. “epilogue”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “listened to”) of TALE (i.e. “story”) followed by PIECE (i.e. “bishop”, a chess piece).

10. Far-reaching, expert discovered (8)

Answer: PROFOUND (i.e.” far-reaching”). When read as PRO FOUND the solution also satisfies “expert discovered”.

11. Licence: he got call, unhappily for institute (9,7)

Answer: TECHNICAL COLLEGE (i.e. “institute”). “Unhappily” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LICENCE HE GOT CALL.

12. When resolutions were made? Were any broken? (3,4)

Answer: NEW YEAR (i.e. “when resolutions were made”). “Broken” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WERE ANY.

15. Sea creature having little power or balance (8)

Answer: PORPOISE (i.e. “sea creature”). Solution is P (i.e. “little power”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “power”) followed by OR, then POISE (i.e. “balance”).

19. Husband going over part of Europe that includes Northern Ireland (8)

Answer: HIBERNIA (i.e. “Ireland”). Solution is “H” (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) followed by IBERIA (i.e. “part of Europe” – being Spain and Portugal) once it has been wrapped around or “including” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”), like so: H-IBER(N)IA.

22. Not false, lines about politician’s foolish talk (8)

Answer: TRUMPERY (i.e. “foolish talk”). Solution is TRUE (i.e. “not false”) and RY (i.e. “lines”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “railway”) both wrapped “about” MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament), like so: TRU(MP)E-RY.

23. In actual fact, dance show’s reaching a climax (8,8)

Answer: STRICTLY SPEAKING (i.e. “in actual fact”). When read as STRICTLY’S PEAKING the solution refers to “dance show’s reaching a climax”, referring to BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

27. Consider more passable, say, for traveller (8)

Answer: WAYFARER (i.e. “traveller”). “Say” indicates homophone. When heard as WAY FAIRER the solution also satisfies “consider more passable”.

28. Egg dessert, unfinished (4)

Answer: BOMB (i.e. “egg” – a slang term, it seems). Solution is BOMBE (i.e. “dessert” – one memorably confused by Inspector Clouseau in Revenge of the Pink Panther) with the last letter removed (indicated by “unfinished”).

30. Carriage split up (4)

Answer: TRAP (i.e. “[horse] carriage”). Solution is PART (i.e. “split”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue).

32. Demanding higher prices at college fair (8)

Answer: UPMARKET (i.e. “demanding higher prices”). Solution is UP (i.e. “at college” – a favourite usage of setters) followed by MARKET (i.e. “fair”).

34. Be taken in by utter rogue (8)

Answer: ABERRANT (i.e. “rogue”). Solution is BE placed in or “taken in by” ARRANT (i.e. “utter”). Nicely worked.

35. Precisely how rent should be paid? (2,3,6)

Answer: TO THE LETTER. Solution satisfies “precisely” and “how rent should be paid”, the clue playing on how a LETTER can be one who lets property.

36. Fast food item: very small and pale, we hear (6,5)

Answer: MINUTE STEAK (i.e. “fast food item”, referring to how long it takes to cook rather than an item you can get from a fast food outlet). Solution is MINUTE (i.e. “very small”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of STAKE (i.e. “pale”, as in a post or stake of wood – think “impale”).

37. Called to mind religious education and prayer with editor (11)

Answer: RECOLLECTED (i.e. “called to mind”). Solution is RE (a recognised abbreviation of “religious education”) followed by COLLECT (i.e. a short “prayer” consisting of one sentence – chalk one to my Chambers) and ED (a recognised abbreviation of “editor”).

40. Organised manoeuvres impressive (9)

Answer: GRANDIOSE (i.e. “impressive”). “Manoeuvres” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ORGANISED. Nicely worked.

42. Total amount of silver Greek, for example, put away (9)

Answer: AGGREGATE (i.e. “total amount”). Solution is AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) followed by GR (a recognised abbreviation of “Greek”), then EG (i.e. “for example”) and ATE (i.e. “put away”).

43. So long, as well, endless strips of pasta consumed (6-2)

Answer: TOODLE-OO (i.e. “so long”). Solution is TOO (i.e. “as well”) wrapped around or “consuming” NOODLES (i.e. “strips of pasta”) with both the first and last letters removed (indicated by “endless” – the wordplay can apply to both or either ends of a word), like so: T(OODLE)OO.

44. What can make user sure? (7)

Answer: ANAGRAM. Clue plays on how USER and SURE are anagrams of one another. You get the idea.

46. Large piece for VIP (6)

Answer: BIGWIG (i.e. “VIP”). Solution is BIG (i.e. “large”) followed by WIG (i.e. “[hair]piece”).

47. Mouse star? (6)

Answer: SHINER. Solution satisfies “mouse” – an informal term for a black eye, though not one I can say I’m familiar with – and “star”, as in how they shine.

51. Study occupied by a senior official at college (4)

Answer: DEAN (i.e. “official at college”). Solution is DEN (i.e. “study”) wrapped around or “occupied by” A, like so: DE(A)N.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1436

A good one this week, peppered with a number of well worked clues offering good progression throughout the puzzle, and marred only by a few repeats. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

As ever, some housekeeping before we jump in: my Just For Fun page has links to the last eighty-odd Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords if that’s your thing, meanwhile I’ve got some book reviews that I really ought to get back to (day job has dominated almost everything since lockdown, sadly – even eating into my Saturdays! Mondo bleh!) and a story I stuck on here a while ago.

Meanwhile, lockdown does have its moments, not least in seeing how people on telly are trying to make do with having no barber or hairdresser as the weeks go by. I’m somewhat ahead of the curve on this one, not having had the barnet cropped since mid-December. I’m currently somewhere between Noel Edmonds and Boomer from Blink 182’s “First Date” video. It’s… a look.

Anyway, to the solutions. Keep well, and I’ll see you next time.

LP

With thanks to Mark in the comments for the correction on 37a

 

Across clues

1. Hit American football player around chest (11)

Answer: BLOCKBUSTER (i.e. “hit [movie]”). Solution is BLOCKER (i.e. “American football player”) wrapped “around” BUST (i.e. “chest”), like so: BLOCK(BUST)ER.

7. Not sorting out dressing Penny in long suit (6,5)

Answer: STRONG POINT (i.e. “long suit”, which, outside of card games, can mean “an advantage one has”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of NOT SORTING which is wrapped around or “dressing” P (a recognised abbreviation of “penny” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: STRONG(P)OINT.

13. Vow to maintain eastern sense of beliefs (9)

Answer: IDEOLOGIC (i.e. “of beliefs”). Solution is I DO (i.e. “vow” during a wedding ceremony) wrapped around or “maintaining” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) and then followed by LOGIC (i.e. “sense”), like so: I-D(E)O-LOGIC.

14. One with a large bill, £1000, for making pangs (7)

Answer: PUFFING (i.e. “making pants”). Solution is PUFFIN (i.e. “one with a large bill”) followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of a grand, or “£1000”).

15. The end for Spaniard, delicate and attractive (5)

Answer: ELFIN (i.e. “delicate and attractive”). When read as EL FIN, the solution also satisfies “the end for Spaniard”, i.e. Spanish for “the end”.

16. Statuette’s weight that’s surprising (6)

Answer: GRAMMY (i.e. “statuette”). Solution is GRAM (i.e. “weight”) followed by MY (i.e. “that’s surprising”, as in an exclamatory “my!”).

17. Write some graffiti about military leadership (8)

Answer: PENTAGON (i.e. “[US] military leadership”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “write”) followed by TAG (i.e. “some graffiti”) and ON (i.e. “about”).

18. Learner driver’s equipment to hold bucket down (7)

Answer: TRAINEE (i.e. “learner”). Solution is TEE (i.e. “driver’s equipment [in golf]”) wrapped around or “holding” RAIN (i.e. “bucket down”), like so: T(RAIN)EE.

20. Frances’s well-mannered youth schooled till older, unfortunately (6,4,10)

Answer: LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY, a childrens book by “Frances” Hodgson Burnett’s “well-mannered youth”. “Schooled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TILL OLDER UNFORTUNATELY.

23. Stray female cat initially missing after days (7)

Answer: DIGRESS (i.e. “stray”). Solution is TIGRESS (i.e. “female cat”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “initially missing”) and the remainder placed “after” D (a recognised abbreviation of “days”), like so: D-IGRESS.

24. Dismissed error when defending support for logs (7)

Answer: FIREDOG (i.e. “support for logs” in a fire – also called an andiron, if that helps). Solution is FIRED (i.e. “dismissed”) followed by OG (i.e. “error when defending”, specifically an Own Goal).

26. Front of bus gets cold: regularly colder transport (7)

Answer: BICYCLE (i.e. “transport”). Solution is B (i.e. “front of bus”, i.e. the first letter of “bus”) followed by ICY (i.e. “cold”), then CLE (i.e. “regularly colder”, i.e. every other letter of COLDER), like so: B-ICY-CLE. Nicely worked.

28. It may make cameo, just not fifty times (4)

Answer: ONYX (i.e. “it may make cameo”, as in a gem with a figure carved in relief). Solution is ONLY (i.e. “just”) with the L removed (indicated by “not [Roman numeral] fifty”) and X (i.e. “times”, as in the multiplication symbol), like so: ONY-X. Another well-worked clue.

29. Superior small hotel hosting aristocrat again (8)

Answer: SNOBBISH (i.e. “superior”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) wrapped around or “hosting” NOB (i.e. “aristocrat”) and BIS (i.e. musical lingo for “again”), like so: S-(NOB-BIS)-H.

32. Being old, one’s figure has cellulite at the edges (9)

Answer: EXISTENCE (i.e. “being”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”, both taken to mean “former”) followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one” made possessive), then TEN (i.e. “figure”, basically just a number) and CE (i.e. “cellulite at the edges”, i.e. the first and last letters of “cellulite”), like so: EX-I’S-TEN-CE. Another good clue.

35. Miserable son, changeable in nature (9)

Answer: SATURNINE (i.e. “miserable”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “changeable”) of IN NATURE, like so: S-ATURNINE.

36. After turnover, flans providing unknown layer (8)

Answer: STRATIFY (i.e. “[to] layer”). Solution is TARTS (i.e. “flans”) reversed (indicated by “after turnover”) and then followed by IF (i.e. “provided”) and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y and Z as unknowns in their clues), like so: STRAT-IF-Y.

37. Where you might find better or flipping remarkable person (4)

Answer: HERO (i.e. “remarkable person”). I’m reasonably confident of this one but am open to other solutions that fit. My solution is HE (i.e. “[one’s] better”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “His Excellency”) followed by OR once it has been reversed (indicated by “flipping”), like so: HE-RO. The “where you might find” seems to be there to make the clue scan better but it could also mean I’ve missed something. Also, without wanting to get too Wolfie Smith about it, nobody is anyone’s better. Don’t accept it. We all rub along together in this world as best we can. Well, at least two metres apart, anyway.
[EDIT: I was right to exercise a little caution on this one. Mark in the comments nails it, the solution being RENO (i.e. “where you might find better” as in a gambler), which, when reversed (indicated by “flipping”) gives you ONER, a “remarkable person”. Thanks, Mark! – LP]

39. Charity case writing in handbook losing account (7)

Answer: ALMSMAN (i.e. “charity case”). Solution is MS (a recognised abbreviation of manuscript, i.e. “writing”) placed “in” ALMANAC (i.e. “handbook”) once the AC has been removed (indicated by “losing account”, AC being a recognised abbreviation of “account”), like so: AL(MS)MAN.

41. Top Nazi entertaining East German entertainer (7)

Answer: HOSTESS (i.e. “entertainer”). Solution is Rudolph HESS (i.e. “top Nazi” – I guess “top” here is being taken to mean “elite”, as I’ve some faint knowledge there was someone above him…) which is wrapped around or “entertaining” OST (i.e. “East German”, i.e. the German for “east” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: H(OST)ESS. Nicely worked.

44. Gold jumper? Extremely snazzy for the PM (7)

Answer: AUTOPSY (i.e. “PM”, a recognised abbreviation of “post-mortem”). Solution is AU (chemical symbol of “gold”) followed by TOP (i.e. “jumper”, both taken as items of clothing) and then SY (i.e. “extremely snazzy”, i.e. the first and last letters of “snazzy”), like so: AU-TOP-SY.

45. Token resistance, slowly changing, is subversive (20)

Answer: COUNTERREVOLITIONARY (i.e. “subversive”). Solution is COUNTER (i.e. “token”, say, in a board game) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance”) and EVOLUTIONARY (i.e. “slowly changing”). An easier get than it ought to have been as this solution and a good chunk of its clue also appeared in puzzle 1413 back in December. Back then the solution was hyphenated, a spelling backed up by my Chambers. A small niggle, I guess.

49. Colouring perhaps in French colour (1-6)

Answer: E-NUMBER (i.e. “colouring, perhaps” – other e-numbers covering stuff like flavourings, for example). Solution is EN (i.e. “in French”, i.e. the French for “in”) followed by UMBER (i.e. a brown earthy pigment or “colour”).

50. Pardoned sinner finally released (8)

Answer: REMITTED (i.e. “pardoned”). Solution is R (i.e. “sinner finally”, i.e. the last letter of “sinner”) followed by EMITTED (i.e. “released”).

51. Through which we look more banal, we hear (6)

Answer: CORNEA (i.e. “through which we look”). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CORNIER (i.e. “more banal”).

53. Some foul up industrial plant (5)

Answer: LUPIN (i.e. “plant”, and a particular favourite of Monty Python’s memorable highwayman, Dennis Moore, dum-dum-dum). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: FOU(L UP IN)DUSTRIAL.

54. Bit of rock clip released at first (7)

Answer: OUTCROP (i.e. “bit of rock”). Solution is CROP (i.e. “clip”) with OUT (i.e. “released”) placed before it or “at first”, like so: OUT-CROP.

55. Land’s politician accepting slip with modern tech (9)

Answer: TERRITORY (i.e. “land”). Solution is TORY (i.e. “politician”, specifically one from the Conservative Party) wrapped around or “accepting” ERR (i.e. “slip”) and IT (i.e. “modern tech”, specifically Information Technology), like so: T(ERR-IT)ORY.

56. When clasped by ex-PM, embrace in eatery (6,5)

Answer: GREASY SPOON (i.e. “eatery”). Solution is Charles GREY, 17th century Prime Minister (i.e. “ex-PM”) wrapped around or “clasping” AS (i.e. “when”) and then followed by SPOON (i.e. “[to] embrace”), like so: GRE(AS)Y-SPOON.

57. Trouble is doubled with current examiner (11)

Answer: SCRUTINISER (i.e. “examiner”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “trouble”) of IS and IS (indicated by “is doubled”), and also CURRENT.

Down clues

1. Partner in match accepting golf game (6)

Answer: BRIDGE (i.e. “game”). Solution is BRIDE (i.e. “partner in match” or wedding) wrapped around or “accepting” G (“golf” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: BRID(G)E.

2. Android perhaps doing medical work with void safety check (9,6)

Answer: OPERATING SYSTEM (i.e. “Android perhaps” – other OSes are available). Solution is OPERATING (i.e. “doing medical work”) followed by SY (i.e. “void safety”, i.e. the word SAFETY with all its middle letters removed) and STEM (i.e. “check”, both taken to mean restrict), like so: OPERATING-SY-STEM.

3. Silk worms covering awfully remote distance (10)

Answer: KILOMETRES (i.e. “distance”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “worms”) of SILK which is then placed around a further anagram (indicated by “awfully”) of REMOTE, like so: KIL(OMETER)S.

4. When topless, sudden increase in desire (4)

Answer: URGE (i.e. “desire”). Solution is SURGE (i.e. “sudden increase”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “when topless”).

5. Marked as finished and rated (6,3)

Answer: TICKED OFF. Solution satisfies “marked as finished” and “rated”, i.e. scolded.

6. Place overgrown by grass is known (7)

Answer: REPUTED (i.e. “known”). Solution is PUT (i.e. “place”) placed in or “overgrown by” REED (i.e. “grass”), like so: RE(PUT)ED.

7. Protection for one quaking as fraud is around (9)

Answer: SAFEGUARD (i.e. “protection”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “quaking”) of AS FRAUD which “is [wrapped] around” EG (i.e. “for one”, as in “for example”), like so: SAF(EG)UARD.

8. What people do when in power shower, audibly (5)

Answer: REIGN. Solution satisfies “what people do when in power” and “shower, audibly”, i.e. a homophone of RAIN.

9. Distinguished chap’s outspoken staff in fun venue (5-4)

Answer: NIGHT-CLUB (i.e. “fun venue”). Solution is NIGHT, a homophone (indicated by “outspoken”) of KNIGHT (i.e. “distinguished chap”), which is then followed by CLUB (i.e. “staff”).

10. Design a carpet fibre to manufacture in advance (12)

Answer: PREFABRICATE (i.e. “manufacture in advance”). “Design” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A CARPET FIBRE.

11. Early period imagined? (7)

Answer: INFANCY (i.e. “early period”). When read as IN FANCY, the solution also satisfies “imagined”.

12. Someone with a burning desire may use this app (6)

Answer: TINDER (i.e. a dating “app”). Clue plays on how tinder, i.e. kindling, is used to help get stuff “burning”. You get the idea.

19. Go down in the pit briefly by India’s capital (8)

Answer: HELSINKI (i.e. “capital” of Finland). Solution is HELL (i.e. “the pit”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder placed “by” SINK (i.e. “go down”) and then followed by I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet”), like so: HEL-SINK-I.

21. Forget information about the Parisian court (7)

Answer: NEGLECT (i.e. “forget”). Solution is GEN (i.e. “knowledge”) which is reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by LE (i.e. “the Parisian”, i.e. the French for “the”), then CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”), like so: NEG-LE-CT.

22. Say what’s raised cash to oust English power (8)

Answer: HEGEMONY (i.e. “power”). Solution is EG (i.e. “say”, i.e. “for example”) and EH (i.e. “what[?]”, pardon?, hmm? etc) both reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) and then followed by MONEY (i.e. “cash”) once the E has been removed (indicated by “to oust English” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: HE-GE-MONY.

23. Spirits lifted by Democrat in utter catastrophe (8)

Answer: DOOMSDAY (i.e. “catastrophe”). Solution is MOOD (i.e. “spirits”) which is reversed (indicated by “lifted” – this being a down clue) and then followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) once it has been placed “in” SAY (i.e. “utter”), like so: DOOM-S(D)AY.

25. Borders crossing close to notable French city (5)

Answer: REIMS (i.e. “French city”). Solution is RIMS (i.e. “borders”) wrapped around or “crossing” E (i.e. “close to notable”, i.e. the last letter of “notable”), like so: R(E)IMS. The wordplay was fairly obvious but took a quick Google to get right. Apologies to any French readers for not knowing your twelfth most populous city.

27. At the same time as computer, no one works (15)

Answer: CONTEMPORANEOUS (i.e. “at the same time”). “Works” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AS COMPUTER NO ONE.

30. Rabbit on table – the rabbit cages (7)

Answer: BLETHER (i.e. “rabbit”, i.e. a variant form of blather). “Cages” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: TA(BLE THE R)ABBIT.

31. Mob’s stash picked up (5)

Answer: HORDE (i.e. “mob”). “Picked up” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of HOARD (i.e. “stash”).

33. Beneath one home, like hiding brother (5,3)

Answer: INFRA DIG (i.e. “beneath” in Latin). Solution is IN (i.e. “[at] home”) and DIG (i.e. “like”) wrapped around or “hiding” FRA (i.e. Italian for “brother” or friar), like so: IN-(FRA)-DIG.

34. Fee for good French detective, an investment drawn on? (7,5)

Answer: PREMIUM BONDS (i.e. “an investment drawn on”). Solution is PREMIUM (i.e. “fee”) followed by BON (i.e. “good French”, i.e. the French for “good”) and DS (i.e. “detective”, specifically a Detective Sergeant). Another recent repeat, making this an easier get.

38. Such a voice is resonant? It’s rolling (10)

Answer: STENTORIAN, a loud, carrying, powerful or “resonant” “voice”. “Rolling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RESONANT IT’S. Another nicely worked clue.

40. Infamous rejection of Olympic city by American? (9)

Answer: NOTORIOUS (i.e. “infamous”). Solution is NO TO RIO (i.e. “rejection of Olympic city” – Rio De Janeiro having hosted the 2016 Olympic Games) followed by US (i.e. “American”).

42. Smoother South Side club (5,4)

Answer: STEAM IRON (i.e. “smoother”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”) followed by TEAM (i.e. “side”) and IRON (i.e. “[golf] club”).

43. Angry about card player with another hat (9)

Answer: SOUWESTER (i.e. “hat” often worn by seamen). Solution is SOUR (i.e. “angry”) wrapped “about” WEST (i.e. “card player” in bridge) and E (i.e. “another”, being a recognised abbreviation of “east” – another player in bridge), like so: SOU(WEST-E)R.

45. Behind calves, oddly, trousers crease (7)

Answer: CRUMPLE (i.e. “crease”). Solution is RUMP (i.e. “behind”) which is placed in or “trousered” by CLE (i.e. “calves, oddly”, i.e. every other letter of CALVES), like so: C(RUMP)LE.

46. Month to get work for army type, in the main? (7)

Answer: OCTOPUS (i.e. a creature found “in the main” – “main” being another word for “sea” often used by setters in their clues). Solution is OCT (i.e. “month”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of October) followed by OPUS (i.e. artistic “work”). “Army type” perhaps hints that an octopus is a “marine” creature, but I might have missed something clever here.
[EDIT: Thanks to John in the comments for clarifying this one. Octopuses have eight limbs, also variously called tentacles, legs or “arms”. The clue is therefore playing on how octopuses are rather “army”. (Opens window to hear collective groans.) Cheers, John! – LP]

47. Issue when travelling in Spooner’s rented car (3,3)

Answer: JET LAG (i.e. “issue when travelling”). Solution is a “Spoonerism” of LET JAG (i.e. “rented car”).

48. A cutting sort, one speaking about wife (6)

Answer: SAWYER (i.e. “a cutting sort”, being one who cuts timber). Solution is SAYER (i.e. “one speaking”) wrapped “about” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”), like so: SA(W)YER.

50. Share not quite in proportion (5)

Answer: RATIO (i.e. “proportion”). Solution is RATION (i.e. “share”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “not quite”).

52. Time to go off for a jog (4)

Answer: TROT (i.e. “jog”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by ROT (i.e. “to go off”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1435

A toughie this week, but sadly not an enjoyable one. It seems we have that one setter who loves to stuff their grids with dead people and places. Seriously, there are over ten place names in this one, and, yes, I’m counting DRESDEN CHINA as two places! Also AFRIKA KORPS, so sue me. These might be interesting to you, setter, but they’re boring as hell to solve. As regular visitors to these pages know, I like toughies that have me buried in the pages of a dictionary, not some bloody atlas. Ho hum. Maybe next time.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I hope you are keeping as well as can be during the lockdown. If you’ve come a cropper with this week’s puzzle, you can find my completed grid below, along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

While you’re here, I’ve got solutions to previous Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords on my Just For Fun page, which you might find useful. I’ve also got some book reviews, back from when I had the time to read, and a story of mine that I put out a little while ago.

Okay, enough of me. On with the show. Stay healthy, folks. All being well, I’ll see you next time.

LP

1. Lend dame support, see! (2,3,6)

Answer: LO AND BEHOLD (i.e. “see”). Solution is LOAN (i.e. “lend”) followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “dame”) and BEHOLD (i.e. “support”).
[EDIT: Thanks to Andrew in the comments for clarifying that “dame” should be DBE (a recognised abbreviation of Dame of the British Empire), which then makes “support” HOLD, making the solution LOAN-DBE-HOLD. Thanks, Andrew! – LP]

7. Item for decorating bore inflammatory poster (5,6)

Answer: PAINT ROLLER (i.e. “item for decorating”). Solution is PAIN (i.e. “bore”, both words for a nuisance) followed by TROLLER (i.e. “inflammatory poster” on internet fora – surely these are just trolls, setter?)

13. Second old archbishop’s informal words (5)

Answer: SLANG (i.e. “informal words”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by Cosmo LANG (i.e. “old archbishop” – we’ve seen this one before. Perhaps a tell of this particular setter).

14. About time to study alternative to spare tyre? (7)

Answer: RETREAD (i.e. “alternative to spare tyre”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and READ (i.e. “study”).

15. Woman, dismissing daughter, and in hurry to appear on stage (9)

Answer: STEPHANIE (i.e. “woman”). Solution is AND once the D has been removed (indicated by “dismissing daughter” – D being a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”), and the remainder then placed “in” HIE (i.e. to “hurry”). The whole is then preceded by or “appearing on” STEP (i.e. “stage”), like so: STEP-H(AN)IE. I doubt I am the only one who groans whenever the setter sticks a given name in their grid.

16. Prepare first off, an end to hostilities (9)

Answer: ARMISTICE (i.e. “an end to hostilities”). Solution is ARM (i.e. “prepare”) followed by IST (i.e. “first” – think of the I as a 1) and ICE (i.e. “off”, as in acting off with someone – yeah, I wasn’t keen either).

17. Readers of stuff sent out from different dime stores (10)

Answer: DOSIMETERS, which are devices used to measure radiation levels (i.e. “readers of stuff sent out”). “Different” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DIME STORES.

20. Go on board immediately after this cautiously optimistic forecast? (7)

Answer: MAYFAIR (i.e. “GO on [Monopoly] board immediately after this”). When read as MAY FAIR the solution (kind of) satisfies “cautiously optimistic forecast”.

22. Disconcert gunrunner, vetting cases (7)

Answer: UNNERVE (i.e. “disconcert”). “Cases” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: GUNR(UNNER VE)TTING.

24. For example, a back payment covers substance for lab experiment? (7)

Answer: REAGENT (i.e. “substance for lab experiment”). Solution is EG (a recognised abbreviation of the Latin exempli gratia, or “for example”) and A, both reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed in or “covered” by RENT (i.e. “payment”), like so: RE(A-GE)NT.

25. Picadors, when thrown, scattered (8)

Answer: SPORADIC (i.e. “scattered”). “When thrown” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PICADORS.

26. What’s not faked, unusually, about old Lear’s character (3,5,2,4)

Answer: THE AKOND OF SWAT (i.e. “Lear’s character” – referring to Edward Lear’s poem of the same name. No, me neither. ’s poetry, innit?) Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unusually”) of WHAT’S NOT FAKED wrapped “about” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: THEAK(O)NDOFSWAT.

28. Butcher’s with two floors, one heard (5)

Answer: DEKKO (i.e. “butcher’s”, both informal words for a look, the latter Cockney rhyming slang “butcher’s hook”). Solution is DECK and K.O. (i.e. “two floors” – the latter being a recognised abbreviation of knock out, or to “floor” someone). “One heard” indicates that for one of these, DECK, we want a homophone of the word, hence DEK-K.O. Clever, but sadly an easier get than it ought to have been having appeared in an earlier puzzle.

29. Wide crack in which to put leg (6)

Answer: GAPING (i.e. “wide”). Solution is PIN (i.e. an informal name for a “leg”) which is “put” in GAG (i.e. “crack”, both words for a joke), like so: GA(PIN)G.

30. Hides stolen picture from PC, perhaps (10)

Answer: SCREENSHOT (i.e. “picture from PC, perhaps” – the “perhaps” indicating you can take screenshots with other devices too). Solution is SCREENS (i.e. “hides”) followed by HOT (i.e. “stolen”). Nicely worked.

33. Come by before safety agency locks garden (10)

Answer: GETHSEMANE (i.e. a “garden” at the foot of the Mount of Olives). Solution is GETS (i.e. “come by”) followed by HSE (i.e. “safety agency”, specifically the Health and Safety Executive) and MANE (i.e. “locks”).
[EDIT: Thanks to Sue in the comments for the typo correction. I’d erroneously had this as GETHESMANE. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

35. Fifty disembarking from transport to the French African port (6)

Answer: BISSAU (i.e. “African port”). Solution is BLISS (i.e. “transport” – as in “ecstasy, or any strong emotion” (Chambers) with the L removed (indicated by “fifty disembarking” – L being fifty in Roman numerals) and the remainder followed by AU (i.e. “to the French”, i.e. the French for “to the” I suppose), like so: BISS-AU.

37. Parties to hold in a very small Swiss resort (5)

Answer: DAVOS (i.e. “small Swiss resort”). Solution is DOS (i.e. “parties”) wrapped around or “holding” A and V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”), like so: D(A-V)OS.

39. Cap all out of place: the suit and tie back (4,3,7)

Answer: TAKE THE BISCUIT (i.e. to “cap all”). “Out of place” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE SUIT and TIE BACK.

41. Tree from US city displayed by sticker book (8)

Answer: LABURNUM (i.e. “tree”). Solution is LA (i.e. “US city”, specifically Los Angeles) followed by BUR (i.e. “sticker” – also spelled burr, these are plant pods that cling to things that brush past them) and NUM (i.e. “book”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Book of Numbers in The Bible).

44. A New Jersey sailor visiting centre of Montserrat’s capital (3,4)

Answer: SAN JOSE (i.e. “capital” of Costa Rica). Solution is A, NJ (a recognised abbreviation of “New Jersey”) and OS (i.e. “sailor”, specifically an Ordinary Seaman) all placed in or “visiting” SE (i.e. “centre of Montserrat”, i.e. the middle two letters of MONTSERRAT), like so: S(A-NJ-OS)E.

45. Runs course on this country to the west’s language (7)

Answer: KURDISH (i.e. “language”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) and DISH (i.e. “course”) placed “on” or after UK (i.e. “this country”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “to the west” – this being an across clue), like so: KU-R-DISH.

46. In reducing mistreatment, sorted out public transport (7)

Answer: AUTOBUS (i.e. “public transport” for people who like to call prams perambulators and removal vans pantechnicons). Solution is ABUSE (i.e. “mistreatment”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “reducing”) and the remainder wrapped around an anagram (indicated by “sorted”) of OUT, like so: A(UTO)BUS.

47. Winding up following chief, hardly resting (10)

Answer: CHILLAXING (i.e. “resting” – yup, chillaxing has made it into the dictionary, folks; forever to be recognised and kept alive by the same wacky lexicographers who are keeping “felching” alive. Because they are, aren’t they? Or am I mistaken and we’re secretly a nation of felchers. Anyone? Show of hands? Oh. Once you’ve finished felching, of course. Sorry. Didn’t mean to interrupt. No, that’s fine. You, er, finish up there. With your felching. Hmm. I appear to have wandered off track…) Solution is AXING (i.e. “winding up”) placed after or “following” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “chief”) and ILL (i.e. “hardly”, as in “one could ill afford to…”), like so: FEL-CH-ING CH-ILL-AXING.

49. Old woman’s guarded on subject of sultan’s obsession (9)

Answer: MONOMANIA (i.e. “obsession”). Solution is MA (i.e. “old woman”, both taken to mean mother) wrapped around or “guarding” ON and OMANI (i.e. “subject of sultan”, specifically a citizen of Oman), like so: M(ON-OMANI)A.

53. Circle bound to be offering a variety of views? (9)

Answer: OPINIONED (i.e. “offering a variety of views”). Solution is O (i.e. “circle”) followed by PINIONED (i.e. “bound”).

54. Skilled communicator with gold stars on a roll? (7)

Answer: ORALIST (i.e. “skilled communicator”, as opposed to a felch– okay, I’ll stop now). Solution is OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry) followed by A-LIST (a bit of a double header this one, in that this fits celebrities or “stars”, and also “a roll” – a roll being a list).

55. Council not available to handle conclusion to project (5)

Answer: JUNTA (i.e. “council”). Solution is JUT (i.e. “to project”) with the last or “concluding” letter T surrounded or “handled” by N/A (a recognised abbreviation of “not available”), like so: JU-N(T)A. Can’t say I’ve seen that kind of wordplay before. Might have to keep an eye on that one.

56. Dishevelled pair close to tank ask for Rommel’s men (6,5)

Answer: AFRIKA KORPS (i.e. “Rommel’s men”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dishevelled”) of PAIR, K (i.e. “close to tank”, i.e. the last letter of “tank”) and ASK FOR.

57. Unfit person who likes undressing, briefly caught in the act (11)

Answer: DENATURISED (i.e. made “unfit” for human consumption, e.g. like with alcohol). Solution is NATURIST (i.e. “person who likes undressing”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder placed “in” DEED (i.e. “the act”), like so: DE(NATURIS)ED.

Down clues

1. Large snake, I’m afraid, cornering Mike in resort (3,6)

Answer: LAS PALMAS (i.e. “resort” and capital of Gran Canaria island of the Canary Islands). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) followed by ASP (i.e. “snake”) and ALAS (i.e. “I’m afraid”) once it has been wrapped around or “cornering” M (“Mike” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: L-ASP-AL(M)AS.

2. Saw that Tom can spy on Rex? (1,3,3,4,2,1,4)

Answer: A CAT MAY LOOK AT A KING, a phrase or “saw” meaning that even us lowly proles have rights. That’s reassuring. Clue riffs on “tom” being a male CAT – ignore the misleading capitalisation – and Rex being Latin for “king”. You get the idea.

3. Maybe take rabbit away from impressionist (5)

Answer: Edgar DEGAS (i.e. “impressionist” artist and sculptor – he had a thing for drawing ballerinas). When read as DE-GAS, the solution also jokingly satisfies “take rabbit away”, to rabbit and to gas being phrases meaning to talk a lot.

4. Forte! Is it that of a tattooist? (3-8)

Answer: EAR-PIERCING. Solution satisfies “forte” – being musical lingo for “loud” – and, given how a number of tattoo parlours also offer body piercing, “is it that of a tattooist”. Nicely played.

5. Possibly topless May Queen, one being pursued (2,3,3)

Answer: ON THE RUN (i.e. “being pursued”). Solution is MONTH (i.e. “possibly…May”, other months are available) with the first letter removed (indicated by “topless”) and the remainder followed by ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) and UN (i.e. “one” in French – I’m not keen when setters casually drop French indicators from their clues like this), like so: ONTH-ER-UN.

6. Ultimately spineless of French in short ducking a German product (7,5)

Answer: DRESDEN CHINA (i.e. “German product” – you might have seen plenty of it on twenty-episode-long binges of Bargain Hunt now that you’ve finished Netflix. #YayLockdown #NotYay). Solution is S (i.e. “ultimately spineless”, i.e. the last letter of “spineless”) and DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”) placed “in” DRENCHING (i.e. “ducking” – think how they used to torture and kill witches women accused of witchcraft) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), and then followed by A, like so: DRE(S-DE)NCHIN-A.

7. Flat tyres one can do without! (10)

Answer: PEDESTRIAN. Solution satisfies “flat”, as in boring, and “tyres one can do without”, what with a pedestrian being on foot ‘n all.

8. American’s not always away, we hear, after all (2,3)

Answer: IN SUM (i.e. “after all”). Solution is a homophone, indicated by “we hear”, of IN SOME (i.e. at home some of the time, or “not always away”). In “America” SOME is used to describe “a good deal more” or “a large amount”, which doesn’t quite fit the clue, but I get the idea. There could be a better solution out there on this one.

9. Where council sat to go over ground (5,6)

Answer: TRENT BRIDGE (i.e. “[cricket] ground”). Not sure on this one. I guess TRENT satisfies “where council sat” somehow. Perhaps it’s a historical reference, but nothing springs to mind. Meanwhile BRIDGE satisfies “to go over”.
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve and Andrew in the comments for their help on this one. “Where council sat” refers to the Council of TRENT, a big Catholic powwow that took place between 1545 and 1563 in Trento, Italy. Thanks both! – LP]

10. Trouble and strife, maybe bad for health (5,4)

Answer: OTHER HALF (i.e. “trouble and strife, maybe” – trouble and strife being Cockney rhyming slang for “wife” – the “maybe” part indicating that OTHER HALF covers partners too). “Bad” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FOR HEALTH. Nicely worked.

11. Left one distant land for European city (4)

Answer: LINZ (i.e. “European city”, specifically the third-largest city in Austria. Okay, can you name the second-largest? Yeah, exactly. If you wanted cast-iron proof that the setter is dicking with you this week, consider how many proper words fit the letters L_N_. That the setter decided to say “sod the solvers, God I hate them, moaning at me all the time for filling my grids with place names just because I really like places and they come in really useful when I’ve buggered up the grid a bit… yeah, sod them all, I’m sticking another place name in”… it speaks volumes rather, doesn’t it?) Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and NZ (i.e. “distant land”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of New Zealand. Well, it’s distant relative to the UK, anyway…)

The second largest city in Austria, in case you wanted to know, is Graz.

12. Oscar one carried on plate overwhelms film director (4)

Answer: Nicolas ROEG (i.e. “film director”). Solution is O (“Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “carried on” REG (i.e. “[car number] plate”), like so: R(O)EG. “One” seems redundant in this clue, so I might not have this one quite right. Again, consider how many proper words fit the letters R_E_. This setter really, really, REALLY loves their dead people and places.
[EDIT – A quick brainwave before bedtime. “One” wasn’t redundant after all. “One carried on plate” refers to a car registration, often shortened to REG. Phew. I can sleep easier now. – LP]

18. Hands-free number? (3,2,4,2,7)

Answer: YES WE HAVE NO BANANAS, a song or “number” by Louis Prima, and the only reason I’ve not waged all-out war on this week’s setter. Solution riffs on how a hand is “a division of a bunch of bananas” (Chambers). If you need cheering up during this lockdown and fancy some upbeat, happy choons, then you could do a lot worse than firing up a bit of King Louis. Jump (jive and wail) to it!

19. Regulations and data about pick-up from Victoria? (8)

Answer: STATUTES (i.e. “regulations”). Solution is STATS (i.e. “data”) wrapped “about” UTE (i.e. “pick-up from Victoria”, an ute being what Aussies call a pick-up truck), like so: STAT(UTE)S.

21. Thrown in debt (2,1,4)

Answer: AT A LOSS. Solution satisfies “thrown”, as in confused or wrong-footed, and “in debt”.

23. Cast out to rehearse, expending energy for nothing (8)

Answer: EXORCISE (i.e. to “cast out” evil spirits and such). Solution is EXERCISE (i.e. “to rehearse”) with the middle E – a recognised abbreviation of “energy”- “expended for” or replaced by O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: EX(E)RCISE => EX(O)RCISE.

27. Singular witticisms, type occurring in yarn (4,4)

Answer: SPUN SILK (i.e. “yarn”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) followed by PUNS (i.e. “witticisms”) and ILK (i.e. “type”).

28. Fresh id’s one I get ready for computer (8)

Answer: DIGITISE (i.e. “get ready for computer”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “fresh”) of ID’S, I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and I GET.

31. Slip away carrying book, indeed (2,5)

Answer: NO DOUBT (i.e. “indeed”). Solution is NOD (i.e. “slip” – both words for a careless mistake) followed by OUT (i.e. “away”) once it has been wrapped around or “carrying” B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”), like so: NOD-OU(B)T.

32. Minister departs, placing inside contact details? (8,4)

Answer: VISITING CARD (i.e. “contact details” left in after visits. Think business cards, that kind of thing.) Solution is VICAR (i.e. “minister”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of died, i.e. “departs”) both wrapped around or having “inside” SITING (i.e. “placing”), like so: VI(SITING)CAR-D.

34. Old lady embracing English couple overheard Belgian dramatist (11)

Answer: Maurice MAETERLINCK (i.e. “Belgian dramatist” – (scans through list of works) – Nope.) Solution is MATER (i.e. “old lady”) wrapped around or “embracing” E (i.e. “English”) and then followed by a homophone (indicated by “overheard”) of LINK (i.e. “[to] couple”), like so: MA(E)TER-LINCK. Needless to say, I was straight to my Bradford’s the moment I read “Belgian dramatist”. Life is way too short to waste on solutions like this.

36. Struggling university secretary gets the bird (2,7,2)

Answer: UP AGAINST IT (i.e. “struggling”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) followed by PA (i.e. “secretary”, specifically a Personal Assistant), then GAINS (i.e. “gets”) and TIT (i.e. “bird”).

38. Foul slurs wrongly associated with curio (10)

Answer: SCURRILOUS (i.e. “foul”). “Wrongly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SLURS and CURIO.

40. Not smart enough to digest page in after-dinner article? (9)

Answer: TOOTHPICK (i.e. “after-dinner article”). Solution is TOO THICK (i.e. “not smart enough”) wrapped around or “digesting” P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”), like so: TOO-TH(P)ICK.

42. Made up much-loved account – boy’s bowled over (9)

Answer: MASCARAED (i.e. “made up” – my Chambers doesn’t want to know, but my Oxford backs this one up). Solution is DEAR (i.e. “much-loved”) followed by AC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”) and SAM (i.e. “boy”, as in a boy’s name) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “bowled over” – this being a down clue), like so: MAS-CA-RAED.

43. Back from church with claim to devotion – touching! (8)

Answer: CHAMPION (i.e. to promote or “back” something). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) followed by AM PI (i.e. “claim to devotion” – PI is a shortened form of “pious”, so to say I AM PI is to claim one’s devotion to some god or other) and then ON (i.e. “touching”), like so: CH-AM-PI-ON.

48. One who’s left note upset timber producer (5)

Answer: ALDER (i.e. “timber producer”). Solution is RED (i.e. “one who’s left”, i.e. a socialist) and LA (i.e. “note” in the do-ray-me style) all reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: AL-DER.

50. Obliged you very informally to listen to officer (5)

Answer: MAJOR (i.e. army “officer”). “To listen to” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of both MADE (i.e. “obliged”) and YER (i.e. “you very informally”). Only just got that as I was typing this up. Not a fan.

51. Pro beginning on amateur arenas (4)

Answer: FORA (i.e. “arenas”, being a plural of “forum”). Solution is FOR (i.e. “pro”) followed by A (i.e. “beginning on amateur”, i.e. the first letter of “amateur”).

52. Revolving bar, one serving pork pies (4)

Answer: LIAR (i.e. “one serving pork pies” – more Cockney rhyming slang, in case anyone was in any doubt this is a London paper; this time “pork pies” = lies). Solution is RAIL (i.e. “bar”) reversed (indicated by “revolving”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1434

A decent puzzle for Bank Holiday Monday, despite a few recent repeats, though it didn’t quite seem so at the time! Got there in the end, I think. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations for my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

Some me-time again before we jump in: my Just For Fun page carries links for solutions to the last eighty-odd Times Jumbo Cryptics should that be of any use to you; my Reviews page, meanwhile, has some book reviews from a time back when I had the time to read; meanwhile I have a story of mine to help while away a spare half hour.

And so to the answers. Keep your chins up, peeps. Stay healthy and all being well I’ll see you for the next one.

LP

Across clues

1. Superior agent bringing government security (7,4)

Answer: PREMIUM BOND (i.e. “government security”). Solution is PREMIUM (i.e. “superior”) followed by James BOND (i.e. “agent”). Or Basildon Bond, for any Russ Abbot fans out there.

7. Two police informers that could feed many behind bars (6,5)

Answer: CANARY GRASS. Solution satisfies “two police informers” and “that could feed many behind bars” – its grain is often used as birdseed. Nicely worked.

13. Past master following surgeon’s work, an invasive procedure (9,8)

Answer: OPERATION OVERLORD (i.e. “an invasive procedure”, referring to the successful Allied invasion of Western Europe during WWII). Solution is OVER (i.e.” past”) followed by LORD (i.e. “master”) both placed after or “following” OPERATION (i.e. “surgeon’s work”), like so: OPERATION-OVER-LORD. An easier get, given this solution appeared a few months ago in puzzle 1414. I guess the setter didn’t get a paper that day.

14. Coat in two sizes gaining appreciation (5)

Answer: SMEAR (i.e. “[to] coat”). Solution is S and M (i.e. “two sizes”, specifically recognised abbreviations of “small” and “medium”) followed by EAR (i.e. “appreciation”, as in having an ear for something).

15. Agrees fares, as passenger does (4,2)

Answer: GETS ON. A triple-header, this, as the solution satisfies “agrees”, “fares” and “as passenger does”.

16. What’s lost by guru bottling medicine? (8)

Answer: SPILLAGE (i.e. “what’s lost”). Solution is SAGE (i.e. “guru”) wrapped around or “bottling” PILL (i.e. “medicine”), like so: S(PILL)AGE.

17. Concert stars from Emirates, heading off abroad (7)

Answer: MAESTRI (i.e. “concert stars”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “abroad”) of EMIRATES once the initial letter has been removed (indicated by “heading off”). Another easier get, the solution having recently appeared in puzzle 1431. The setter really must have a word with their newsagent, all these Saturday Times they seem to be missing.

19. I invested in second family home minimally well covered (9)

Answer: SKINNIEST (i.e. “minimally well covered” – I get it, as in a covering of skin, but bloody hell it’s a bit of a stretch). Solution is I placed or “invested” in S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”), KIN (i.e. “family”) and NEST (i.e. “home”), like so: S-KIN-N(I)EST.

21. Claiming everyone died escaping from border (8)

Answer: ALLEGING (i.e. “claiming”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “everyone”) followed by EDGING (i.e. “border”) once the D has been removed (indicated by “died escaping”, D being a recognised abbreviation of “died”), like so: ALL-EGING.

23. College coach not head of athletics (4)

Answer: TECH (i.e. “college”). Solution is TEACH (i.e. “coach”) with the A removed (indicated by “not head of athletics”, i.e. the first letter of “athletics”).

25. Tea service, third of plates going west (5)

Answer: ASSAM (i.e. “tea”). Solution is MASS (i.e. “[church] service”) followed by A (i.e. “third of plates”, i.e. the third letter of “plates”), all reversed (indicated by “going west” – this being an across clue), like so: A-SSAM.

27. Turn against one splitting party from the start (2,4)

Answer: DE NOVO (i.e. Latin for “from the start”). Solution is V (i.e. “against”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “versus”) and ONE placed in or “splitting” DO (i.e. “party”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “turn”), like so: D(ENO-V)O. Some brute forcing of Chambers was needed here, me not being versed in dead languages n’ all.

28. Jazz musician’s men briefly recalled playing piece (4,6)

Answer: FATS DOMINO (i.e. “jazz musician”). Solution is STAFF (i.e. “men”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “recalled”), then followed by DOMINO (i.e. “playing piece”), like so: FATS-DOMINO. A clue that scans rather well.

30. Issue rebounding sound when phone card’s installed (8)

Answer: EMISSION (i.e. “issue”). Solution is NOISE (i.e. “sound”) wrapped around or “installing” SIM (i.e. “phone card”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “rebounding”), like so: E(MIS)SION.

31. Get the better of twenty fielders not performing well (5,6,3)

Answer: SCORE POINTS OFF (i.e. “get the better of”). Solution is SCORE (i.e. “twenty”) followed by POINTS (i.e. some “fielders” in cricket) and OFF (i.e. “not performing well”).

34. Large whisky, say in local producing bad language (6,8)

Answer: DOUBLE NEGATIVE (i.e. “bad language” – The Times’ own Oliver Kamm might disagree…) Solution is DOUBLE (i.e. “large whisky”) followed by EG (i.e. “say”, as in “for example”) once it has been placed “in” NATIVE (i.e. “local”), like so: DOUBLE-N(EG)ATIVE. Another clue that scans rather well.

35. Pallid quality a bad sign in clarets, perhaps season’s first (8)

Answer: WAXINESS (i.e. “pallid quality”). Solution is A and X (i.e. “bad sign”, as in a sign off of teacher that you’ve gotten something wrong) placed “in” WINES (i.e. “clarets, perhaps”) and then followed by S (i.e. “season’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “season”), like so: W(A-X)INES-S.

38. Missile launchers stolen on board with prior support from medic (10)

Answer: SLINGSHOTS (i.e. “missile launchers”). Solution is HOT (i.e. “stolen”) placed in or “on board” SS (a recognised abbreviation of a “steamship” – the “on board” inferring we’re on a ship). This is then placed after (indicated by “with prior”) SLING (i.e. “support from medic”), like so: SLING-S(HOT)S.

40. Particular hamper engineers disposed of (6)

Answer: STRICT (i.e. “particular”). Solution is RESTRICT (i.e. “hamper”) with the RE removed (indicated by “engineers disposed of”, RE being the Royal Engineers of the British Army).

41. Right page in incorrect order? (5)

Answer: RECTO (i.e. “right page” of a book in publisher lingo – the left page being “verso”, in case you were wondering). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, likes so: INCOR(RECT O)RDER.

43. Weeper’s last, dying tear (4)

Answer: REND (i.e. to rip or “tear”). Solution is R (i.e. “weeper’s last”, i.e. the last letter of “weeper”) followed by END (i.e. “dying”).

44. Sound measures to seize half Russian’s capital (8)

Answer: BRUSSELS, “capital” of Belgium. Solution is BELS (i.e. “sound measures”) wrapped around or “seizing” RUSS (i.e. “half of Russian’s”, specifically the first half – the possessive ‘s included), like so: B(RUSS)ELS.

45. Beguiled consultant’s discipline criticised (9)

Answer: ENTRAPPED (i.e. “beguiled”, both taken as tricking someone into a course of action). Solution is ENT (i.e. “consultant’s discipline”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the Ear Nose and Throat field of medicine) followed by RAPPED (i.e. “criticised”).

48. Pizza dish from region east of Golden State (7)

Answer: CALZONE (i.e. “pizza dish”). Solution is ZONE (i.e. “region”) placed after or “east of” – this being an across clue – CAL (a recognised abbreviation of California, nicknamed the “Golden State”), like so: CAL-ZONE. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here.

49. With united soul, wandering like a cloud (8)

Answer: CUMULOUS (i.e. “like a cloud” – dictionaries differ on this it seems. Chambers doesn’t recognise the word, suggesting CUMULOSE instead, while my Oxford chooses not to get involved at all. It’s left to my battered old Collins Concise to back the setter up on this one. (Puts red card back in pocket.)). Solution is CUM (i.e. Latin for “with”) followed by U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet a recognised abbreviation of “united”) and an anagram (indicated by “wandering”) of SOUL, like so: CUM-U-LOUS.
[EDIT – Thanks to Sue in the comments for the catch re: “united”. I must have been getting tired by this point! – LP]

50. Several hands needed for this dental work (6)

Answer: BRIDGE. Solution satisfies “several hands [of cards] needed for this” and “dental work”.

53. Civet spied in grass, often retreating (5)

Answer: FOSSA (i.e. “civet”). “Spied in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “retreating” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: GR(ASS OF)TEN. One gotten by the wordplay alone, to be honest.

54. Centenarian hermit, funny old man of verse (3,7,7)

Answer: THE ANCIENT MARINER (i.e. “old man of verse”). “Funny” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CENTENARIAN HERMIT.

55. “Loos” misread in translation as more exclusive facilities? (6,5)

Answer: LADIES ROOMS (i.e. “more exclusive facilities”, taken in relation to the more generic “loos”). “In translation” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LOOS MISREAD.

56. Chance inaccuracy from tabloid (E for I) backing organised party (6,5)

Answer: RANDOM ERROR (i.e. “chance inaccuracy”). Solution is the Daily MIRROR (i.e. “tabloid”) with the I replaced by E (indicated by “(E for I)”) and then placed after or “backing” RAN (i.e. “organised”) and DO (i.e. “party”), like so: RAN-DO-MERROR.

Down clues

1. Stars helping to create something groundbreaking (11)

Answer: PLOUGHSHARE (i.e. “something groundbreaking”). Solution is PLOUGH (i.e. “stars”, as in the constellation) followed by SHARE (i.e. a “helping” of something).

2. European clubs wearing black kick out (5)

Answer: EJECT (i.e. “kick out”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by C (ditto “clubs”, used in card games) once it has been placed in or “wearing” JET (i.e. “black”), like so: E-JE(C)T.

3. One in a state needed aid on a horse, desperately (7)

Answer: IDAHOAN (i.e. “one in a [US] state”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “desperately”) of AID ON A and H (a recognised abbreviation of “horse”).

4. Within minutes, trunk road’s put out of action (4)

Answer: MAIM (i.e. “put out of action”). Solution is M and M (a recognised abbreviation of “minute” made plural) with AI (i.e. “trunk road”, specifically the A1) placed “within” them, like so: M-(AI)-M.

5. Tempt with onion crackers, supremely strong (10)

Answer: OMNIPOTENT (i.e. “supremely strong”). “Crackers” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TEMPT and ONION.
[EDIT: Corrected from OMNIPRESENT, a . Thanks to Mark in the comments for the correction. – LP]

6. Unravelling vital code saved Vatican official (6,8)

Answer: DEVIL’S ADVOCATE (i.e. “Vatican official”, one played rather well by Rob Lowe in Sky One’s pretty good You Me and the Apocalypse, if I recall correctly). “Unravelling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of VITAL CODE SAVED.

7. GPs might welcome these queries regularly during visits (4-4)

Answer: CURE-ALLS (i.e. “GPs might welcome these”). Solution is URE (i.e. “queries regularly”, i.e. every other letter of QUERIES) placed in or “during” CALLS (i.e. “visits”), like so: C(URE)ALLS. Another clue that scans rather well.

8. Ring through snout a form of restraint (5)

Answer: NOOSE (i.e. “form of restraint”). Solution is O (i.e. “ring”) placed in or “through” NOSE (i.e. “snout”), like so: NO(O)SE.

9. Beginnings of weak energy seen in puniest creatures (9)

Answer: RUDIMENTS (i.e. “beginnings”). Solution is DIM (i.e. “weak”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) placed “in” RUNTS (i.e. “puniest creatures”), like so: RU(DIM-E)NTS.

10. Records in diary reflected evangelist’s message (6)

Answer: GOSPEL (i.e. “evangelist’s message”). Solution is EPS (i.e. “records”, specifically Extended Plays – ask your parents, kids) placed “in” LOG (i.e. “record”) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “reflected”), like so: GO(SPE)L.

11. Achievement of a parent full of energy engaged in short flight (1,7,2,4,3)

Answer: A FEATHER IN ONES CAP (i.e. “achievement”). Solution is A, then FATHER (i.e. “parent”) wrapped around or “full of” E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) followed by IN ON (i.e. “engaged in” something) and ESCAPE (i.e. “flight”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: A-F(E)ATHER-IN-ON-ESCAP.

12. Homeless aristo given a hearing forthwith (8,3)

Answer: STRAIGHT OFF (i.e. “forthwith”). Not got much of a hook on this one, so watch out. “Aristo” can be a TOFF, but I haven’t figured the rest of it. As ever, if I have a brainwave, or if some kind commenter swings by, then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve in the comments for the quick turnaround on this one. The solution is a homophone (indicated by “given a hearing”) of STRAY TOFF (i.e. “homeless aristo”). Sometimes you just don’t see ’em. Thanks, Steve! – LP]

18. Convict’s singular ambition reduced (4,4)

Answer: SEND DOWN (i.e. “[to] convict”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) followed by END (i.e. “ambition”) then DOWN (i.e. “reduced”).

20. Having started outside, a lion is somehow confined (17)

Answer: INSTITUTIONALISED (i.e. “confined”). Solution is INSTITUTED (i.e. “started”) placed “outside” of an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of A LION IS, like so: INSTITUT(IONALIS)ED.

22. Drink that’s right during interval? Pop (6)

Answer: GRAPPA (i.e. “drink”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) placed in or “during” GAP (i.e. “interval”) and then followed by PA (i.e. “pop”, both terms for father), like so: G(R)AP-PA. Nicely worked.

24. On cruise ship, disheartened, drink more stout (8)

Answer: PORTLIER (i.e. “more stout”). Solution is PORT (i.e. “drink”) placed “on” top of – this being a down clue – LINER (i.e. “cruise ship”) once its middle letter has been removed (indicated by “disheartened”), like so: PORT-LIER.

26. Dress badly, something actor should never do, we’re told (8)

Answer: MISALIGN (i.e. “dress badly”). “We’re told” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of MISS A LINE (i.e. “something actor should never do”). This took bloody ages to get. Yes, I facepalmed when I finally twigged it.

29. Junior in service reserved bread for nursery breakfast? (7,7)

Answer: PRIVATE SOLDIER (i.e. “junior in [armed] service”). Solution is PRIVATE (i.e. “reserved”) followed by SOLDIER (i.e. “bread for … breakfast” – I guess the “nursery” bit is to indicate the eggs for which one would have soldiers).

32. Disorganised at home, like philanthropist (2,1,5)

Answer: IN A STATE (i.e. “disorganised”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by AS (i.e. “like”) and Henry TATE (i.e. sugar baron and “philanthropist” of old).

33. A fixed silver mounting for gemstones (6)

Answer: AGATES (i.e. “gemstones”). Solution is A followed by SET (i.e. “fixed”) and AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) once these latter two have been reversed (indicated by “mounting” – this being a down clue), like so: A-(GA-TES).

34. Inspector’s benevolence, almost total, is shocking (11)

Answer: DISGRACEFUL (i.e. “shocking”). Solution is DI’S (i.e. “inspector’s”, specifically a Detective Inspector’s) followed by GRACE (i.e. “benevolence”) and FULL (i.e. “total”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”), like so: DI’S-GRACE-FUL.

36. Public official, speech back to front, to support queen (5-6)

Answer: SWORD-BEARER (i.e. “public official”). Solution is WORDS (i.e. “speech”) with the last letter placed first (indicated by “back to front”), then followed by BEAR (i.e. “to support”) and ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: SWORD-BEAR-ER.

37. The unmissable “Sparkling sequin” by prolific author (4,3,3)

Answer: SINE QUA NON (i.e. “unmissable” – sigh… more dead language japes, this time a Latin phrase meaning “an indispensable condition”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sparkling”) of SEQUIN followed by ANON (i.e. “prolific author”, being a recognised abbreviation of “anonymous” – a bit sneaky but I get the gist of it), like so: SINEQU-ANON.

39. Sprinter runs bearing singlet, one gathers (9)

Answer: HARVESTER (i.e. “one gathers”). Solution is HARE (i.e. “sprinter”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) wrapped around or “bearing” VEST (i.e. “singlet”), like so: HAR(VEST)E-R.

42. American word for depot? (8)

Answer: TERMINUS (i.e. “depot”). When written as TERM IN US the solution also satisfies “American word for”. Nicely played.

46. Scots town has equipment for stylist wanting all-round trim (7)

Answer: AIRDRIE (i.e. “Scots town”). Solution is HAIRDRIER (i.e. “equipment for stylist”) once the first and last letters have been removed (indicated by “wanting all-round trim”). Best clue we’ve had for quite a while. Love it!

47. Elevated accountant given exclusive housing as compensation (6)

Answer: SOLACE (i.e. “compensation”). Solution is CA (a recognised abbreviation of a Chartered “Accountant”) placed in or given “housing” in SOLE (i.e.” exclusive”), like so: SOL(AC)E.

49. Socialist bound by firm principles (5)

Answer: CREDO (i.e. “principles”). Solution is RED (i.e. “socialist”) placed in or “bound by” CO (a recognised abbreviation of company, i.e. “firm”), like so: C(RED)O.

51. Thailand’s last queen raised money abroad (5)

Answer: DINAR (i.e. “money abroad”). Solution is D (i.e. “Thailand’s last”, i.e. the last letter of “Thailand”) followed by RANI (i.e. “queen”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue), like so: D-INAR.

52. Bishop put in a flash reading desk (4)

Answer: AMBO (i.e. “reading desk”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop”) placed or “put in” A and MO (i.e. “flash”, both meaning a short period of time), like so: A-(M)-BO. One I got purely from the wordplay, to he honest.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1433

Not so good this week, for me, thanks mainly to the setter playing a little too loose with the clues. We’ve certainly seen worse, mind. As ever, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

Some me-time before we begin: you can find a bunch of previous solutions on my Just For Fun page, some book reviews here (still not reading, work still mental) and a story I did a while ago here. Go show them some love.

See you in a few days. Keep well, and I hope you are getting through this lockdown as best you can.

LP

Across clues

1. Calculates total, coming round to disagreeing (2,4)

Answer: AT ODDS (i.e. “disagreeing”). Solution is ADDS (i.e. “calculates total”) wrapped “round” TO, like so: A(TO)DDS.

5. Complex character is up for review by reference book (7)

Answer: OEDIPUS (i.e. “complex character”, referring to the Oedipus complex which sees people have the hots for their mum and bear ill-will toward their father). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “for review”) of IS UP placed after or “by” OED (i.e. “reference book”, specifically the Oxford English Dictionary), like so: OED-IPUS.

9. Rock tune, say, keeping daughter rocking (8)

Answer: UNSTEADY (i.e. “rocking”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “rock”) of TUNE, SAY which is wrapped around D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”), like so: UNSTEA(D)Y.

13. Who were the two in the green cornfield, Will? (One not a large donkey!) (2,3,1,5,3,3,4)

Answer: IT WAS A LOVER AND HIS LASS, a line from a song in “Will” Shakespeare’s As You Like It. With a hey and a ho and a hey nonino; That o’er the “green cornfield” did pass. And so on. I guess the “large donkey” refers to L-ASS (L being a recognised abbreviation of “large”), but beyond that I don’t really care enough for Shakespeare to dig any deeper. Apologies to any Bard groupies out there.

14. Behind, race along, protected by this? (4,4)

Answer: SEAT BELT (i.e. “protected by this”, the clue suggesting we’re in a car race). Solution is SEAT (i.e. “behind”, i.e. the seat of one’s pants) followed by BELT (i.e. “race along”).

15. The speck of land to amaze the world (7)

Answer: ROCKALL, an uninhabitable islet out in the North Atlantic Ocean (i.e. “speck of land”). Solution is ROCK (i.e. “to amaze”) followed by ALL (i.e. “the world”). The perfect place from which to launch my plans for world domination, then.

16. Almost get up to peer (6)

Answer: ARISTO (i.e. “peer”, an abbreviated form of aristocrat). Solution is ARISE (i.e. “get up”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and followed by TO, like so: ARIS-TO.

17. Cleans up with win here (10)

Answer: SWEEPSTAKE, a form of gambling one can “win”. Clue riffs on how a SWEEP “cleans up”. You get the idea.

20. At start of month, advice about offering from restaurant range (8,4)

Answer: MARITIME ALPS (i.e. “range”, being the southern bit of the Alps). Solution is MAR I (i.e. “start of month”, i.e. March 1st) followed by TIPS (i.e. “advice”) once it has been wrapped “about” MEAL (i.e. “offering from restaurant”), like so: MAR-I-TI(MEAL)PS.

23. Heartless Scotsman playing, a seaside feature (4)

Answer: PIER (i.e. “seaside feature”). Solution is PIPER (i.e. “Scotsman playing”) with the middle letter removed (indicated by “heartless”).

24. Greedyguts extremely glad about the chap waiting on us? (8)

Answer: GOURMAND (i.e. “greedyguts”). Solution is G and D (i.e. “extremely glad”, i.e. the first and last letters of “glad”) wrapped “about” OUR MAN (i.e. “chap waiting on us”), like so: G(OUR-MAN)D.

26. Was a Provost in Cambridge giving orders? (8)

Answer: RANKINGS (i.e. “orders”). When read as RAN KINGS the solution also satisfies “was a Provost in Cambridge”, a provost being someone running things, and Kings being a college at Cambridge University. Took a while to twig this, but I like it.

29. Reason for acquittal? The cynical moving to secure it (12)

Answer: TECHNICALITY (i.e. “reason for acquittal”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “moving”) of THE CYNICAL wrapped around or “securing” IT, like so: TECHNICAL(IT)Y. Well played.

30. Old writer intended to be unbiased (4-6)

Answer: OPEN-MINDED (i.e. “unbiased”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by PEN (i.e. “writer”) and MINDED (i.e. “intended”).

32. Imaginary benefits of luxury items? (5,5)

Answer: FANCY GOODS (i.e. “luxury items”). Solution is FANCY (i.e. “imaginary”) followed by GOODS (i.e. “benefits”).

34. Counterpart of electric blue? (8,4)

Answer: SHOCKING PINK. Clue plays on how “electricity” can be SHOCKING and how “blue” and PINK are “counterparts” on a snooker table, balls valued at 5 and 6 points respectively. Yep. That’s definitely it. Definitely snooker. Nothing here about gender stereotypes, internet, move along please. (Looks left) (Looks right) Phew, that was a close one, folks. Do not feed the zealots.

36. Uniform for boys’ clubs perhaps – observe back first (4,4)

Answer: ETON SUIT (i.e. “uniform for boys’ clubs”, in case you’d forgotten the elitism that courses through each of these puzzles). Solution is SUIT (i.e. “clubs, perhaps”, referring to one of the suits in a pack of playing cards) with NOTE (i.e. “observe”) reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed “first”, like so: ETON-SUIT.

38. Heraldic motto, one accepted by a king (8)

Answer: ARMORIAL (i.e. “heraldic”). Solution is MORAL (i.e. “motto” – to be filed under “yeah, kinda“) wrapped around or “accepting” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and then placed after or “by” A and R (i.e. a recognised abbreviation of Rex, Latin for “king”), like so: A-R-MOR(I)AL.

39. With no hesitation rejected what’s a tiny bit elementary (4)

Answer: MUON, a subatomic particle (i.e. “a tiny bit elementary” – atoms being the smallest particle of an “element”). Solution is NO and UM (i.e. “hesitation”) both reversed (indicated by “rejected”), like so: MU-ON.

41. Out of doors show resolute mien wavering (3,2,7)

Answer: SON ET LUMIERE (i.e. “out of doors show” – think images projected on buildings or landmarks). “Wavering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RESOLUTE MIEN. I only got this as it also featured in a book of crosswords I’d picked up recently to fill a spare five minutes. I’ll probably see it half a dozen times throughout the week now.

43. A short Aussie bloke is caustic (10)

Answer: ASTRINGENT (i.e. “caustic”). Solution is A and STRINE (i.e. “Aussie”, over to my Chambers for this one: “a jocular name given to Australian English”. Okay, if you say so…) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and then followed by GENT (i.e. “bloke”), like so: A-STRIN-GENT.

44. Mush! – but not moving (6)

Answer: STATIC. Solution satisfies “mush”, referring to white noise you used to get on TVs before things got digital – another one for the “yeah, kinda” file, I reckon – and “not moving”.

46. A run forward in wood left one shaken (7)

Answer: TIMBREL, a kind of tambourine (i.e. “one shaken”). Solution is TIMBER (i.e. “wood”) with the R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in several ball games) brought “forward” a notch, and then followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”), like so: TIMBRE-L.

48. These days I sleep rough outside, under them? (8)

Answer: PLEIADES, stars located in the constellation of Taurus (i.e. “sleep rough outside under them”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “rough”) of I SLEEP wrapped around or “outside of” AD (i.e. “these days”, i.e. Anno Domini), like so: PLEI(AD)ES. The wordplay was pretty obvious but took a quick Google to get the right spelling, not to mention what exactly the clue was referring to!

50. Filling belt, not easy at first if expanded (5,7,3,6)

Answer: BACON LETTUCE AND TOMATO (i.e. “[sandwich] filling”). Solution is BELT with the E removed (indicated by “not easy at first”, i.e. the first letter of “easy”). The remainder, BLT, is an abbreviation which when “expanded” gets you the solution.

51. Some religious worries overwhelming rector finally (8)

Answer: BROTHERS (i.e. “some religious”). Solution is BOTHERS (i.e. “worries”) wrapped around or “overwhelming” R (i.e. “rector finally”, i.e. the last letter of “rector”), like so: B(R)OTHERS.

52. Spiritual authority has no solid ground, we hear (4,3)

Answer: HOLY SEE (i.e. “spiritual authority”). “We hear” indicates homophone. When written as HOLY SEA the solution also satisfies “has no solid ground”, inferring a seabed full of holes.

53. Goodness less than nothing for bloke (6)

Answer: GEEZER (i.e. “bloke”). Solution is GEE (i.e. “goodness”, both exclamations) followed by ZERO (i.e. “nothing”) with the last letter removed (indicated cheekily by “less than”), like so: GEE-ZER.

Down clues

2. Sudden pain not good for one stranded (5)

Answer: TWINE (i.e. “one stranded”, referring to strands of a rope). Solution is TWINGE (i.e. “sudden pain”) with the G removed (indicated by “not good”, G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”).

3. Sensible, where the fox goes to sleep? (4-2-5)

Answer: DOWN-TO-EARTH. Solution satisfies “sensible” and “where the fox goes to sleep”.

4. Such an account makes one nervous? (8)

Answer: SUSPENSE (i.e. type of “account”). Solution also satisfies “makes one nervous”.

5. Anything to protect wings of little nestling (5)

Answer: OWLET, a young owl (i.e. “little nestling”). Solution is OWT (i.e. “anything”) wrapped around or “protecting” LE (i.e. “wings of little”, i.e. the first and last letters of “little”), like so: OW(LE)T.

6. Welshman recited poetry of all kinds (7)

Answer: DIVERSE (i.e. “of all kinds”). Solution is DI (i.e. “Welshman recited”, i.e. a homophone of DAI) followed by VERSE (i.e. “poetry”).

7. Separate, if not entirely firm (4,7)

Answer: PART COMPANY (i.e. “separate”). Solution is PART (i.e. “not entirely”) followed by COMPANY (i.e. “firm”).

8. From clinic, volunteers get man sacked (5)

Answer: SANTA (i.e. “man sacked”, as in that jolly fellow who visited every house toward the end of 2019 leaving presents for everyone to find. See, conspiracy nuts, Covid-19 was Santa’s fault all along. It had nothing to do with 5G masts, you utter, utter pillocks.) Solution is SAN (i.e. “clinic”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “sanatorium”) followed by TA (i.e. “volunteers”, specifically the Territorial Army).

9. Pad out raised armrest (9)

Answer: UPHOLSTER (i.e. “pad out”). Solution is UP (i.e. “raised”) followed by HOLSTER (i.e. “armrest” – a bit of a stretch, another for the “yeah, kinda” file).

10. Russian band covers area (5)

Answer: SASHA (i.e. a “Russian” forename). Solution is SASH (i.e. “band [of fabric]”) followed by A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”).

11. Old people receive a note to get check-up (11)

Answer: EXAMINATION (i.e. “check-up”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”) and NATION (i.e. “people”) wrapped around or “receiving” A and MI (i.e. “note” in the do-ray-mi style), like so: EX-(A-MI)-NATION.

12. Sat around to receive equipment, missing one item for office (7)

Answer: DESKTOP (i.e. “item for office”). Solution is POSED (i.e. “sat”) which is reversed (indicated by “around”) and then wrapped around or “receiving” KIT (i.e. “equipment”) once its I has been removed (indicated by “missing [Roman numeral] one”), like so: DES(KT)OP.

18. Fish: I help, turning and cutting a little piece (9)

Answer: WHITEBAIT (i.e. “fish”). Solution is I and ABET (i.e. “help”), which is reversed (indicated by “turning”). These are then placed in or “cutting” WHIT (i.e. “a little piece”, literally the smallest particle imaginable), like so: WH(I-TEBA)IT.

19. A case, half the same fruit (7)

Answer: AVOCADO (i.e. “fruit”). Setter wins. I’ve not got a hook on this, so watch out. If I have a brainwave overnight or if some kind soul stops by with the answer then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Nailed this one, finally. The solution is A followed by VOCATIVE (i.e. “case” – over to Chambers: “the case of a word when a person or thing is addressed”) chopped in “half” and followed by DO (a recognised abbreviation of “ditto”), like so: A-VOCA-DO. Chalk one to my Bradfords for the “case” bit. – LP]

21. Broadcaster ignoring us spoke about forty-five minutes? (5,4)

Answer: RADIO FOUR (i.e. “broadcaster”). Solution is RADIUS (i.e. “spoke” of a wheel) with the US removed or “ignored”, then followed by OF (i.e. “about”) and OUR (i.e. “forty-five minutes”, cunningly the last three-quarters of an HOUR), like so: RADI-OF-OUR.

22. Greek character buried in second tomb (8)

Answer: MONUMENT (i.e. “tomb”). Solution is NU (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet) placed or “buried in” MOMENT (i.e. a “second”), like so: MO(NU)MENT.

25. Put back in control over country (9)

Answer: REINSTATE (i.e. “put back in”). Solution is REIN (i.e. “control”) placed ahead or “over” – this being a down clue – STATE (i.e. “country”).

27. One naïve politician that’s heard out hunting (9)

Answer: GREENHORN (i.e. “one naïve”). Solution is GREEN (i.e. “politician”) followed by HORN (i.e. “that’s heard out hunting”).

28. Can opener call with advantage? (4-4)

Answer: RING-PULL (i.e. “can opener”). Solution is RING (i.e. “call”) followed by PULL (i.e. “advantage”).

31. Mystic theologian the rack tortured (7)

Answer: Meister ECKHART (i.e. “mystic theologian” – yeah, me neither). “Tortured” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE RACK.

33. Join one group of workers up in state (11)

Answer: CONNECTICUT (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is CONNECT (i.e. “connect”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and TUC (i.e. “group of workers”, being the Trades Union Congress) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: CONNECT-I-CUT.

34. Regular disorder in city slammer (11)

Answer: SYMMETRICAL (i.e. “regular”). “Disorder” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CITY SLAMMER. Nicely done.

35. Little dog beginning to examine stone, say, in fruit (11)

Answer: POMEGRANATE (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is POM (i.e. “little dog”, specifically a Pomeranian) followed by E (i.e. “beginning to examine”, i.e. the first letter of “examine”) and GRANATE (i.e. a homophone – indicated by “say” – of GRANITE, i.e. “stone”).

37. Femme fatale sovereign arrests time after time (9)

Answer: TEMPTRESS (i.e. “femme fatale”). Solution is EMPRESS (i.e. “sovereign”) wrapped around or “arresting” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and then placed “after” T (ditto), like so: T-EMP(T)RESS.

40. Pound grand for penning one criminal without end (8)

Answer: LIFELONG (i.e. “without end” – I don’t agree with the setter on this one. Lifelong is not the same as endless, given that its predicated on the length of someone or something’s lifespan. That’s too many fouls, setter. (Points to all the “yeah, kinda” clues one by one.) (Wafts yellow card.)) Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of a “pound” of weight) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”) wrapped around or “penning” I (i.e “[Roman numeral] one”) and FELON (i.e. “criminal”), like so: L-(I-FELON)-G.

42. Be stopping spin expert, heading off for Number Ten in a year (7)

Answer: OCTOBER (i.e. “Number Ten in a year”, referring to the tenth month of a calendar year). Solution is BE placed in or “stopping” DOCTOR (i.e. “spin expert”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “heading off”), like so: OCTO(BE)R. A clue that scans rather well.

43. Very attentive king, visiting too briefly (3,4)

Answer: ALL EARS (i.e. “very attentive”). Solution is LEAR (i.e. “king”, referring to Shakespeare’s play) placed in or “visiting” ALSO (i.e. “too”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: AL(LEAR)S.

45. Happy to ignore good books for short story (5)

Answer: CONTE (i.e. “short story”). Solution is CONTENT (i.e. “happy”) with the final NT removed (indicated by “ignore good books”, NT being the New Testament of the Bible).

47. Equal contest that’s ready to ignite (5)

Answer: MATCH. Solution satisfies “equal” and “that’s ready to ignite”.

48. Minister to go quietly over brief at intervals (5)

Answer: PADRE (i.e. “minister”). Solution is PAD (i.e. “to go quietly”) which is followed by or placed “over” – this being a down clue – RE (i.e. “brief at intervals”, i.e. every other letter of the word BRIEF), like so: PAD-RE.

49. Be worn out before swallowing possibly lethal quantity (5)

Answer: ERODE (i.e. “be worn our” – wouldn’t this be “eroded”? (Feels for second yellow…)). Solution is ERE (i.e. poetic form of “before”) wrapped around or “swallowing” OD (i.e. “possibly lethal quantity”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of an “overdose”), like so: ER(OD)E.