Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1554

A relatively straightforward one for Bank Holiday Monday, though there were a couple of clues to get snagged upon. Nobody please get me a TAPIS for Christmas.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has invented time-travel leaving you serving a race of snooty elephants all wearing top hats and monocles then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the hot takes of other solvers. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Deer of exceptional bulk originally in common crowd (7)

Answer: ROEBUCK (i.e. “deer”). Solution is OEB (i.e. “of exceptional bulk originally”, i.e. the first letters of “of”, “exceptional” and “bulk”) placed “in” RUCK (i.e. “common crowd”), like so: R(OEB)UCK.

  1. Poet with high honour in extremely leafy part of Italy (8)

Answer: LOMBARDY (i.e. “part of Italy”). Solution is BARD (i.e. “poet”) placed after or “with” OM (i.e. “high honour”, specifically the Order of Merit) all “in” LY (i.e. “extremely leafy”, i.e. the first and last letters of “leafy”), like so: L(OM-BARD)Y.

  1. Declare a clear favourite at Epsom, so to speak (6)

Answer: ASSERT (i.e. “declare”). Solution is A followed by a homophone (indicated by “so to speak”) of CERT (i.e. “clear favourite at Epsom”, i.e. a dead cert).

  1. Old court officials nod, having way with smugglers (3,6,7)

Answer: BOW STREET RUNNERS (i.e. “old court officials”). Solution is BOW (i.e. to “nod”) followed by STREET (i.e. “way”) and RUNNERS (i.e. “smugglers”).

  1. Irish girl in India, accommodated by Danes, oddly (6)

Answer: SINEAD (i.e. “Irish girl’s” name). Solution is I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “accommodated by” an anagram (indicated by “oddly”) of DANES, like so: S(I)NEAD.

  1. Desert son in big way? (5)

Answer: SINAI (i.e. a “desert”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by IN then AI (i.e. “big way”, a playful reference to the A1 motorway with the 1 replaced by its Roman numeral equivalent).

  1. Peacekeepers are able to reach New York? That’s weird (7)

Answer: UNCANNY (i.e. “weird”). Solution is UN (i.e. “peacekeepers”, specifically the United Nations) followed by CAN (i.e. “able to”) and NY (a recognised abbreviation of “New York”).

  1. Speech made in summer month by Russian river (9)

Answer: INAUGURAL (i.e. “speech”). Solution is IN followed by AUG (i.e. “summer month”, short for August) and URAL (i.e. “Russian river”).

  1. Trendy people (not us) keeping Westminster at the heart of things (2,3,4)

Answer: IN THE SWIM (i.e. “at the heart of things”). Solution is IN (i.e. “trendy”) followed by THEM (i.e. “people (not us)”) once wrapped around or “keeping” SWI (i.e. “Westminster”, specifically its post code area, again using the Roman numeral I for 1), like so: IN-THE(SWI)M.

  1. Acknowledge record bridge player holds a single time (7)

Answer: CONCEDE (i.e. “acknowledge”). Solution is CD (i.e. “record”, in this case a Compact Disc) and E (i.e. “bridge player”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “east”) all wrapped around or “holding” ONCE (i.e. “a single time”), like so: C(ONCE)D-E.

  1. Joint in the Spanish part of London (5)

Answer: ELBOW (i.e. “joint”). Solution is EL (i.e. “the Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) followed by BOW (i.e. “part of London”).

  1. Greek character fencing in thick-skinned animal (5)

Answer: RHINO (i.e. “thick-skinned animal”). Solution is RHO (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the seventeenth letter of the Greek alphabet) wrapped around or “fencing” IN, like so: RH(IN)O.

  1. Unruly beast briefly backing universal fast (9)

Answer: TURBULENT (i.e. “unruly”). Solution is BRUTE (i.e. “beast”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “backing”), followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “universal” used in film certification) and LENT (i.e. religious “fast”), like so: TURB-U-LENT.

  1. Yesterday’s man is not entirely penniless, do we hear? (3-4)

Answer: HAS-BEEN (i.e. “yesterday’s man”). “Do we hear” indicates homophone, in this case of HAS BEAN (i.e. “is not entirely penniless” – a nod to the phrase “not having a bean to one’s name”).

  1. Basic lent meal abandoned after start of Easter (9)

Answer: ELEMENTAL (i.e. “basic”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “abandoned”) of LENT MEAL placed “after” E (i.e. “start [letter] of Easter”), like so: E-LEMENTAL.

  1. Not in school at first, dig new head’s candour (13)

Answer: OUTSPOKENNESS (i.e. “candour”). Solution is OUT (i.e. “not in”) followed by S (i.e. “school at first”, i.e. the first letter of “school”), then POKE (i.e. “dig”), then N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and NESS (i.e. “head”, the geographic feature).

  1. Expensive drink dipped into by extremely large horse (13)

Answer: STEEPLECHASER (i.e. “horse”). Solution is STEEP (i.e. “expensive”) and CHASER (i.e. “drink” had alongside another) with LE (i.e. “extremely large”, i.e. the first and last letters of “large”) “dipped in” between the two, like so: STEEP-(LE)-CHASER.

  1. Poet and prophet, connected to broadband internally (9)

Answer: SONNETEER (i.e. “poet”). Solution is SEER (i.e. “prophet”) wrapped around of having “internally” ON NET (i.e. “connected to broadband”), like so: S(ON-NET)EER.

  1. Huntsman’s cry identified by Yankee in lofty house (5-2)

Answer: TALLY-HO (i.e. “huntsman’s cry”). Solution is Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet) placed “in” TALL (i.e. “lofty”) and HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: TALL-(Y)-HO.

  1. Raise proteges away from the front (9)

Answer: REARWARDS (i.e. “away from the front”). When written as REAR WARDS the solution also satisfies “raise proteges”.

  1. Consequences? Not after a lesson at school (5)

Answer: MATHS (i.e. “a lesson at school”). Solution is AFTERMATHS (i.e. “consequences”) with the AFTER removed (indicated by “not after”).

  1. See off the composer of Perchance to Dream? That’s original (5)

Answer: NOVEL (i.e. “original”). Solution is Ivor NOVELLO (i.e. “composer of Perchance to Dream“) with the LO removed (indicated by “see off” – think “lo and behold”).

  1. More vacuous politician caught in drug row (7)

Answer: EMPTIER (i.e. “more vacuous”). Solution is MP (i.e. “politician”) placed or “caught in” E (i.e. “drug”, in this case slang for ecstasy) and TIER (i.e. “row”), like so: E-(MP)-TIER.

  1. Short-lived English friend crossing border with leading lady (9)

Answer: EPHEMERAL (i.e. “short-lived”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and PAL (i.e. “friend”) wrapped around or “crossing” HEM (i.e. “border”) and ER (i.e. “leading lady”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: E-P(HEM-ER)AL.

  1. Betrayer tsar tries to reform (9)

Answer: TRAITRESS (i.e. “betrayer”). “To reform” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TSAR TRIES.

  1. Petty action involving veil regularly (7)

Answer: TRIVIAL (i.e. “petty”). Solution is TRIAL (i.e. court “action”) wrapped around or “involving” VI (i.e. “veil regularly”, i.e. every other letter of VEIL), like so: TRI(VI)AL.

  1. Twilled fabric used in coarser gear (5)

Answer: SERGE (i.e. “twilled fabric”). “Used in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: COAR(SER GE)AR.

  1. Greeting welcomed by French film director in Pacific island (6)

Answer: TAHITI (i.e. “Pacific island”). Solution is HI (i.e. “greeting”) placed in or “welcomed by” Jacques TATI (i.e. “French film director”), like so: TA(HI)TI.

  1. L, M or S on garment? You’ve got it right! (5,3,4,2,2)

Answer: THAT’S THE SIZE OF IT. Solution playfully satisfies “L, M or S on garment” and “you’ve got it right”.

  1. Trustworthy entertainer touring Tyneside (6)

Answer: HONEST (i.e. “trustworthy”). Solution is HOST (i.e. “entertainer”) wrapped around or “touring” NE (i.e. “Tyneside”, situated in North-East England), like so: HO(NE)ST.

  1. Simple-minded, not like our solvers! (8)

Answer: CLUELESS. Solution satisfies “simple-minded” and “not like our solvers”, given how crosswords comprise a series of clues.

  1. Where to see paintings? Go to Paris in good year (7)

Answer: GALLERY (i.e. “where to see paintings”). Solution is ALLER (i.e. “go to in Paris”, i.e. the French for “go to”) placed “in” between G and Y (recognised abbreviations of “good” and “year” respectively), like so: G-(ALLER)-Y.

Down clues

  1. French revolutionary formally dresses fellow countryman? (11)

Answer: Maximilien ROBESPIERRE (i.e. “French revolutionary”). Solution is ROBES (i.e. “formally dresses”) followed by PIERRE (i.e. “fellow countryman”, basically a French man’s name).

  1. Onset of ear-splitting noise overwhelming western man (5)

Answer: EDWIN (i.e. “man’s” name). Solution is E (i.e. “onset of ear-splitting”, i.e. the first letter of “ear-splitting”) followed by DIN (i.e. “noise”) once wrapped around or “overwhelming” W (a recognised abbreviation of “western”), like so: E-D(W)IN.

  1. In East London, search port, perhaps, and unwind (7)

Answer: UNTWINE (i.e. “unwind”). Solution is HUNT (i.e. “search”) once its H has been removed (indicated by “in East London”, as in ‘ow all ‘em cockneys are always droppin’ their bleedin’ aitches innit, gorblimey, apples and pears, me old china and such) and the remainder followed by WINE (i.e. “port, perhaps”), like so: ‘UNT-WINE.

  1. Strive to compete socially with Inigo’s family? (4,2,4,3,7)

Answer: KEEP UP WITH THE JONESES (i.e. “strive to compete socially”). “Inigo” JONES was a seventeenth century architect, upon whose surname the clue plays.

  1. One arrives behind time, fixing metal core (9)

Answer: LATECOMER (i.e. “one arrives behind time”). “Fixing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of METAL CORE.

  1. Keen army medic on vessel (5)

Answer: MOURN (i.e. to “keen”). Solution is MO (i.e. “army medic”, specifically a Medical Officer) followed by URN (i.e. “vessel”).

  1. Pain a canny one could become (9)

Answer: ANNOYANCE (i.e. “pain”). “Could become” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A CANNY ONE.

  1. Little creatures with sleeping place, one by church (7)

Answer: DORMICE (i.e. “little creatures”). Solution is DORM (i.e. “sleeping place”, short for a dormitory) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

  1. Run round hot gravelly substance on beach? (7)

Answer: SHINGLE (i.e. “substance on beach”). Solution is SINGLE (i.e. a “run” in a number of ball games) wrapped “round” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot” used on taps), like so: S(H)INGLE.

  1. Hateful big gun meeting half-hearted mob (9)

Answer: EXECRABLE (i.e. “hateful”). Solution is EXEC (i.e. “big gun” within a company, i.e. an executive) followed by RABBLE (i.e. “mob”) once one of the middle Bs has been removed (indicated by “half-hearted”), like so: EXEC-RABLE.

  1. Slightly drunk, signals conspiratorially, it’s just a game (11)

Answer: TIDDLYWINKS (i.e. “game”). Solution is TIDDLY (i.e. “slightly drunk”) followed by WINKS (i.e. “signals conspiratorially”).

  1. As army recruits would do once, getting royally rewarded? (4,3,5,8)

Answer: TAKE THE KING’S SHILLING (i.e. “as army recruits would do once” – over to Chambers: “to enlist as a soldier by accepting a recruiting officer’s shilling, a practice discontinued in 1879”). Clue plays on KINGs being “royal” and all that. You get the idea.

  1. Audible attempt by military engineers to identify ancient warship (7)

Answer: TRIREME (i.e. “ancient warship”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “audible”) of TRY followed by REME (i.e. “military engineers”, specifically the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), like so: TRI-REME. One remembered from previous Jumbos.

  1. Company in the lead on introduction of such vouchers (7)

Answer: COUPONS (i.e. “vouchers”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) followed by UP (i.e. “in the lead”), then ON, then S (i.e. “introduction of such”, i.e. the first letter of “introduction”).

  1. Excessively reward retired minister surrounded by work always (7)

Answer: OVERPAY (i.e. “excessively reward”). Solution is REV (i.e. “minister”, short for “reverend”) reversed (indicated by “retired”) and placed in or “surrounded by” OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) and AY (i.e. “always”, both expressions of assent), like so: O(VER)P-AY.

  1. One involved in argument over carpeting (5)

Answer: TAPIS (i.e. “carpeting” – meanwhile Chambers has this: “(obsolete) a covering, hanging, etc of tapestry or the like”. Maybe the setter lives in some kind of Dr Seuss house with walls for ceilings and ceilings for walls, and doors for windows and windows for doors). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed “in” SPAT (i.e. “argument”) once reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: TAP(I)S.

  1. Ray’s article going into busmen’s ill-treatment (7)

Answer: SUNBEAM (i.e. “ray”). Solution is A (i.e. “article”, i.e. a word like a, an or the) placed “into” an anagram (indicated by “ill-treatment”) of BUSMEN, like so: SUMBE(A)M.

  1. He composed some memorable harmonies (5)

Answer: Franz LEHÁR (i.e. “he composed”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: MEMORAB(LE HAR)MONIES. Wordplay was simple but still one to file under “Made To Fit”.

  1. Person who casts historical romances primarily in castle (7)

Answer: THROWER (i.e. “person who casts”). Solution is HR (i.e. “historical romances primarily”, i.e. the first letters of “historical” and “romances”) placed “in” TOWER (i.e. “castle”), like so: T(HR)OWER.

  1. One who chooses to be English reader (7)

Answer: ELECTOR (i.e. “one who chooses”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by LECTOR (i.e. a “reader” in college).

  1. Embroidery feature second little chap demonstrated first (5,6)

Answer: SATIN STITCH (i.e. “embroidery feature”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) and TITCH (i.e. “little chap”) both placed after or having “first” SAT-IN (i.e. “demonstrated”), like so: (SAT-IN)-S-TITCH.

  1. Soldiers quietly crossing island with flexibility (11)

Answer: RESILIENTLY (i.e. “with flexibility”). Solution is RE (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) followed by SILENTLY (i.e. “quietly”) once wrapped around or “crossing” I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: RE-SIL(I)ENTLY.

  1. A monster, Jacob’s son, and close by, mostly (9)

Answer: LEVIATHAN (i.e. “a monster”). Solution is LEVI (i.e. “Jacob’s son”) followed by AT HAND (i.e. “close by”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: LEVI-AT-HAN.

  1. Noble title? It’s escaped an old philosopher (9)

Answer: ARISTOTLE (i.e. “old philosopher”). Solution is ARISTO (i.e. “noble”) followed by TITLE once the IT has been removed (indicated by “it’s escaped”), like so: ARISTO-TLE.

  1. Being prepared to bring in extra energy for a shrill quality (9)

Answer: REEDINESS (i.e. “shrill quality”). Solution is READINESS (i.e. “being prepared”) with an “extra” E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) being swapped in “for A”, like so: RE(A)DINESS => RE(E)DINESS.

  1. It’s no small matter, say, translating TS Eliot (7)

Answer: LITOTES (i.e. “it’s no small matter, say” – basically a phrase that expresses something through the negation of its opposite, e.g. “a not inconsiderable sum of money” or “he’s no spring chicken”). “Translating” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TS ELIOT. Another remembered from a previous Jumbo.

  1. French physicist captures hearts, relating to religious feast (7)

Answer: PASCHAL (i.e. “relating to religious feast”, specifically Passover). Solution is Blaise PASCAL (i.e. “French physicist”) wrapped around or “capturing” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hearts” used in card games), like so: PASC(H)AL.

  1. Reportedly Kentish beauty queen’s blunder at table (7)

Answer: MISDEAL (i.e. “blunder at table”). “Reportedly” indicates homophone, in this case MISS DEAL (i.e. “Kentish beauty queen” – Deal is a town in Kent).

  1. Man possibly securing top of tough fibre (5)

Answer: ISTLE (i.e. “fibre”). Solution is ISLE (i.e. “Man possibly”, i.e. the Isle of Man) wrapped around or “securing” T (i.e. “top of tough”, i.e. the first letter of “tough”), like so: IS(T)LE.

  1. Firearm common around Lima (5)

Answer: RIFLE (i.e. “firearm”). Solution is RIFE (i.e. “common”) wrapped around L (“Lima” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: RIF(L)E.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1553

A tricky one this week. On the whole this was good with some inventive clueing to decipher, though I didn’t quite think so at the time. (34d certainly didn’t help!) I often make fun of setters in these posts when it seems they’ve all queued up to use the office GridFill 4000TM, so it’s only right to credit setters when they’ve clearly made an effort. It was refreshing to find so many long ‘uns in the grid. In fact, I counted only two phrases among the solutions. Nicely done.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a recent Jumbo has stolen your book of naughty Jumbo anecdotes, leaving you with an awkward space to fill in your blog this week, then you might find my Just For Fun page of help, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers got on, or if they have alternative takes for any of the clues. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Provider of social introductions to a smart set possibly (11)

Answer: TOASTMASTER (i.e. “provider of social introductions”). “Possibly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TO A SMART SET. Nicely played.

  1. Turning Mossad’s core agents – note about four likely to join up (11)

Answer: ASSOCIATIVE (i.e. “likely to join up”). Solution is OSSA (i.e. “Mossad’s core”, i.e. the middle letters of “Mossad”) reversed (indicated by “turning”) and followed by CIA (i.e. “agents”, specifically the Central Intelligence Agency) and TE (i.e. “note” in the sol-fa notation) once wrapped “about” IV (i.e. “four” expressed in Roman numerals), like so: ASSO-CIA-T(IV)E.

  1. Cut up over doctrine being changed – it’s not helpful (17)

Answer: COUNTERPRODUCTIVE (i.e. “not helpful”). “Being changed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CUT UP OVER DOCTRINE.

  1. Put in type of small English ram (3,2)

Answer: SET UP (i.e. “put in”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and TUP (i.e. a “ram”). “Type of” seems redundant phrasing, but I could be missing something.

  1. Volunteers chess piece for capturing (6)

Answer: TAKING (i.e. “capturing”). Solution is TA (i.e. “volunteers”, specifically the Territorial Army) followed by KING (i.e. “chess piece”).

  1. Large car going back into advanced plant for restorative action? (8)

Answer: CAMOMILE (i.e. “plant for restorative action”). Solution is LIMO (i.e. “large car”, short for a limousine) reversed (indicated by “going back”) and placed “into” CAME (i.e. having “advanced”), like so: CAM(OMIL)E.

  1. Club perhaps losing several seconds cost series (7)

Answer: COTERIE (i.e. “club”). Solution is COST SERIES with the Ss removed (indicated by “losing several seconds” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “second”), like so: CO(S)T-(S)ERIE(S) => COT-ERIE.

  1. Set up the brim of sombrero initially to tease dandy (9)

Answer: COCKSCOMB (i.e. “dandy” – Chambers and Oxford offer no real overlap between the two that I can see, however my Collins Concise backs the setter up with “a conceited dandy”). Solution is COCK (i.e. to “set up the brim of”) followed by S (i.e. “sombrero initially”, i.e. the first letter of “sombrero”) and COMB (i.e. “to tease”).

  1. Allowing girl showy jewellery (8)

Answer: ENABLING (i.e. “allowing”). Solution is ENA (i.e. “girl’s” name) followed by BLING (i.e. “showy jewellery”).

  1. House in Home Counties close to motorway (4)

Answer: SEMI (i.e. “house”). Solution is SE (i.e. “Home Counties”, also known as the South East of England) followed by MI (i.e. “motorway”, specifically the M1 with the 1 swapped for its Roman numeral equivalent).

  1. What can raise lumps needing at first to be covered by clothing (5)

Answer: TONGS (i.e. “what can raise [sugar] lumps”). Solution is N (i.e. “needing at first”, i.e. the first letter of “needing”) placed in or “to be covered by” TOGS (slang for “clothing”), like so: TO(N)GS.

  1. Compelled civil engineer to split crossing (6)

Answer: FORCED (i.e. “compelled”). Solution is CE (a recognised abbreviation of “civil engineer”) placed in or “splitting” FORD (i.e. river “crossing”), like so: FOR(CE)D.

  1. Bigoted and enthusiastic about right in unrewarding time (10)

Answer: INTOLERANT (i.e. “bigoted”). Solution is INTO (i.e. “enthusiastic about”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) once placed “in” LEAN (i.e. “unrewarding”), then T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: INTO-LE(R)AN-T.

  1. Deplore pay scale for top management? (8)

Answer: EXECRATE (i.e. “deplore”). When written as EXEC RATE the solution also satisfies “pay scale for top management”, i.e. executives.

  1. Property cleaner cries with attic having to be reorganised (14)

Answer: CHARACTERISTIC (i.e. attribute or “property”). Solution is CHAR (i.e. a “cleaner”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “to be reorganised”) of CRIES and ATTIC, like so: CHAR-ACTERISTIC.

  1. Sobriety at business? Some getting drunk (14)

Answer: ABSTEMIOUSNESS (i.e. “sobriety”). “Getting drunk” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AT BUSINESS SOME.

  1. Lover of the beautiful with a short girl, note (8)

Answer: AESTHETE (i.e. “lover of the beautiful”). Solution is A followed by ESTHER (i.e. “girl’s” name) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”), then TE (i.e. “note”, again in the sol-fa notation), like so: A-ESTHE-TE.

  1. Ceasing to be home for artist in removal (10)

Answer: EXTINCTION (i.e. “ceasing to be”). Solution is EXTRACTION (i.e. “removal”) with the RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) swapped “for” IN (i.e. at “home”), like so: EXT(RA)CTION => EXT(IN)CTION.

  1. Species at this point forms social class (6)

Answer: SPHERE (i.e. “social class”). Solution is SP (a recognised abbreviation of “species”) followed by HERE (i.e. “at this point”).

  1. Gauleiter, losing province after return, secure again (5)

Answer: RETIE (i.e. “secure again”). Solution is GAULEITER with the GAUL removed (indicated by “losing province” – Gaul being an ancient province covering modern-day France and a bit more beyond) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “after return”).

  1. Second person once seen wearing socks in hothouse? (4)

Answer: THOU (i.e. “second person one” – first person is I, second person is you, third person is them; “you” in ye olde speak is THOU). The remainder of the clue plays on how THOU can be found in HO(THOU)SE, wrapped within the letters of HOSE (i.e. hosiery or “socks”).

  1. Means to choose short film (4,4)

Answer: FREE WILL (i.e. “means to choose”). Solution is FREE WILLY (i.e. “film”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”).

  1. George displaying gold helmet piece for auction (9)

Answer: AUTOPILOT (i.e. “George”, apparently RAF slang for the device). Solution is AU (chemical symbol of “gold”) followed by TOPI (i.e. a pith “helmet”) and LOT (i.e. “piece for auction”).

  1. Hedging put back: sound cut by a small volume (7)

Answer: EVASION (i.e. “hedging”). Solution is NOISE (i.e. “sound”) wrapped around A and V (i.e. “small volume”, i.e. the recognised abbreviation of “volume”) and all reversed (indicated by “put back”), like so: E(V-A)SION.

  1. Certain South Pacific needs a change of key (8)

Answer: SPECIFIC (i.e. “certain”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”) followed by “PACIFIC” with the A swapped for an E (indicated by “needs a change of [musical] key”), like so: S-P(A)CIFIC => S-P(E)CIFIC.

  1. Military show inking on skin (6)

Answer: TATTOO. Solution satisfies “military show” and “inking on skin”.

  1. Returning to identify one’s dope (5)

Answer: IDIOT (i.e. “dope”). Solution is TO followed by ID (short for “identify”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) all reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: I-DI-OT.

  1. Actually, “nymphet” is misused and not in a kind way (17)

Answer: UNSYMPATHETICALLY (i.e. “not in a kind way”). “Misused” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ACTUALLY NYMPHET IS.

  1. Endlessly prolong situation not having to settle in mitigation (11)

Answer: EXTENUATION (i.e. “mitigation”). Solution is EXTEND (i.e. “prolong”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by SITUATION once the SIT has been removed (indicated by “not having to settle”), like so: EXTEN-UATION.

  1. Middle of Kent county, nice and never one inconvenience (11)

Answer: ENCUMBRANCE (i.e. “inconvenience”). Solution is EN (i.e. “middle [letters] of Kent”) followed by CUMBRIA (i.e. “county”) and NICE once the Is have been removed (indicated by “never [Roman numeral] one”), like so: EN-CUMBRA-NCE.

Down clues

  1. Moment to change direction to start to exploit game (4-4-3)

Answer: TICK-TACK-TOE (i.e. “game” of noughts and crosses in the US). Solution is TICK (i.e. “moment”) followed by TACK (i.e. “to change direction” in general), then TO and E (i.e. “start to exploit”, i.e. the first letter of “exploit”).

  1. Millions in NZ city lacking land in a violent rage (5)

Answer: AMUCK (i.e. “violent rage”, a variant spelling of amok). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “millions”) placed “in” AUCKLAND (i.e. “NZ city”) once the LAND has been removed (indicated by “lacking land”), like so: A(M)UCK.

  1. Prolonged muscle contraction set tuna swimming (7)

Answer: TETANUS (i.e. “prolonged muscle contraction”). “Swimming” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SET TUNA.

  1. Cautious when getting head down and twisted to one side (4)

Answer: AWRY (i.e. “twisted to one side”). Solution is WARY (i.e. “cautious”) with the first letter or “head” taken “down” a notch – this being a down clue – like so: (W)ARY => A(W)RY.

  1. A number holding promotion by pub is shabby (10)

Answer: THREADBARE (i.e. “shabby”). Solution is THREE (i.e. “a number”) wrapped around or “holding” AD (i.e. “promotion” or advertisement) and BAR (i.e. “pub”), like so: THRE(AD-BAR)E.

  1. He led operation to scramble communication device (14)

Answer: RADIOTELEPHONE (i.e. “communication device” working over radio waves). “Scramble” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HE LED OPERATION.

  1. Knife found in dried up sea is kept for the record (8)

Answer: ARCHIVAL (i.e. “kept for the record”). Solution is CHIV (i.e. “knife”) placed “in” ARAL (i.e. “dried up sea” between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan – a new one on me, but interesting given this particular sea began shrinking in the 1960s and was all but gone by the 2010s), like so: AR(CHIV)AL.

  1. Succeeded with fish spear (5)

Answer: SPIKE (i.e. “spear”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) followed by PIKE (i.e. “fish”).

  1. High point of belief about church held by Poles (9)

Answer: CRESCENDO (i.e. “high point”). Solution is CREDO (i.e. “belief”) wrapped “about” CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) once this has been placed in or “held by” S and N (i.e. “poles”, specifically recognised abbreviations of south and north respectively), like so: CRE(S(CE)N)DO.

  1. For instance, radios and televisions can be valuable items (6)

Answer: ASSETS (i.e. “valuation items”). Solution is AS (i.e. “for instance”) followed by SETS (i.e. “radios and televisions”).

  1. I’m talented partner working between government ministries (17)

Answer: INTERDEPARTMENTAL (i.e. “between government ministries”). “Working” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I’M TALENTED PARTNER.

  1. Dickens is so naff, too (11)

Answer: EUPHEMISTIC. A euphemism is a word or phrase used in place of something decidedly worse, so I reckon the clue is playing on how “dickens” and “naff” are euphemisms, respectively another word for the devil and an acronym for – smelling salts at the ready – Not Available for Fucking or Fornication. (Thank you, Chambers.) The clue could therefore be read as “dickens is so; naff, too”.

  1. Paper coming down on newly-formed union (8)

Answer: CONFETTI. Solution pretty much sums up the clue, taking “newly-formed union” to be a wedding. Nicely worked.

  1. One whose speciality is dialogue in awkward voice translations (17)

Answer: CONVERSATIONALIST (i.e. “one whose speciality is dialogue”). “Awkward” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of VOICE TRANSLATIONS. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Great folly girl’s built in northern area (6)

Answer: LUNACY (i.e. “great folly”). Solution is LUCY (i.e. “girl’s” name – another one) wrapped around or having “built in” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”) and A (ditto “area”), like so: LU(N-A)CY.

  1. Arbitrator set up duty list the same (8)

Answer: MEDIATOR (i.e. “arbitrator”). Solution is ROTA (i.e. “duty list”) and IDEM (Latin for “the same”) all reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: MEDI-ATOR.

  1. Policeman dispatched without right equipment endlessly (8)

Answer: SERGEANT (i.e. “policeman”). Solution is SENT (i.e. “dispatched”) wrapped around or placed “without” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and GEAR (i.e. “equipment”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”), like so: SE(R-GEA)NT.

  1. What insects can do to mongrel and parrot at home upset (5-9)

Answer: CROSS-POLLINATE (i.e. “what insects can do”, specifically giving plants the sexy times). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “mongrel”) followed by POLL (i.e. a “parrot”), then IN (i.e. “at home”) and ATE (i.e. being “upset”, as in “what’s eating you?” – too loose for my liking within the phrasing of this clue, but then it is a bit of a dog’s dinner anyway).

  1. The Spanish race has horse coming after ten others (8)

Answer: ELEVENTH (i.e. “coming after ten others”). Solution is EL (i.e. “the Spanish”, i.e. the word “the” in Spanish) followed by EVENT (i.e. “race”) and H (i.e. “horse” – both informal names for heroin).

  1. Excitement on account of European seen around old city (6)

Answer: FURORE (i.e. “excitement”). Solution is FOR (i.e. “on account of”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) all wrapped “around” UR (i.e. an “old city” often used in cryptic crosswords), like so: F(UR)OR-E.

  1. American put out in a cosy home – eastern spot European husband set up (11)

Answer: ANESTHETIZE (i.e. “American put out”, i.e. the American spelling of anaesthetise). Solution is A followed by NEST (i.e. “cosy home”). This is then followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), ZIT (i.e. “spot”), E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) and H (ditto “husband”) once these have all been reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: A-NEST-(H-E-TIZ-E). Bloody hell, I’m fairly inured to Americanisms but even I have to admit this was a proper WTF? when I finally twigged it.

  1. Choose yttrium component finally in part for battery fluid (11)

Answer: ELECTROLYTE (i.e. “battery fluid”). Solution is ELECT (i.e. “choose”) followed by Y (chemical symbol of “yttrium”) and T (i.e. “component finally”, i.e. the last letter of “component”) once these are placed “in” ROLE (i.e. acting “part”), like so: ELECT-ROL(Y-T)E.

  1. A prized stone set up, literally this, classically? (10)

Answer: MEGALITHIC. The solution (kind of) satisfies the clue as a whole, but also comprises A and GEM (i.e. “prized stone”) once these have been reversed (indicated by “set up” – again this being a down clue), followed by LIT (a recognised abbreviation of “literally”) and HIC (i.e. “this, classically”, i.e. the Latin for “this”), like so: (MEG-A)-LIT-HIC.

  1. Big spider scuttled into rubbish, oddly ugly, note (9)

Answer: TARANTULA (i.e. “big spider”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “scuttled”) placed “into” TAT (i.e. “rubbish”) and followed by UL (i.e. “oddly ugly”, i.e. the odd letters of UGLY), then A (i.e. “[musical] note”), like so: TA(RAN)T-UL-A.

  1. Cable installers converted Nine Elms (8)

Answer: LINESMEN (i.e. “cable installers”). “Converted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NINE ELMS.

  1. Managed cold inside for every reindeer active in winter (7)

Answer: PRANCER (i.e. “reindeer active in winter”, pulling Santa’s sleigh). Solution is RAN (i.e. “managed”) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps) placed “inside” of PER (i.e. “for every”), like so: P(RAN-C)ER.

  1. Cat family includes the tigers, though two in three are gone (6)

Answer: KITTEN (i.e. “cat”). Solution is KIN (i.e. “family”) wrapped around or “including” THE TIGERS once “two in three [letters] are gone”, i.e. (T)HE-(T)IG(E)RS, like so: KI(TTE)N.

  1. Girl’s not finished eating hot Japanese food (5)

Answer: SUSHI (i.e. “Japanese food”). Solution is SUSIE (i.e. “girl’s” name, yet another one) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not finished”) and the remainder wrapped around or “eating” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”, also used on taps), like so: SUS(H)I.

  1. Stock a line in fashionable style (5)

Answer: TALON (i.e. “stock” or “cards remaining after the deal” (Chambers) – I have a faint memory of this from a previous Jumbo). Solution is A and L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) both placed “in” TON (i.e. “fashionable style”, an archaic variant meaning I’ve only ever seen used in cryptic crosswords), like so: T(A-L)ON.

  1. Staunch supporter (4)

Answer: STEM. Solution satisfies to “staunch” or restrict flow, and “supporter”, e.g. for a wineglass.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1552

A relatively straightforward puzzle this week for the most part. There were a couple of sticky patches that slightly held up the kind of steady progression I like, but there were some good clues to compensate.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has used its height advantage to Sellotape all of your shoes to the ceiling then you might find solace in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

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

LP

Across clues

  1. Tiny warship and its type of weaponry? (9)

Answer: SUBATOMIC (i.e. “tiny”). Solution is SUB (i.e. “warship”, short for submarine) followed by ATOMIC (i.e. “its type of weaponry”, referencing atomic bombs). Not a prescient clue, I hope.

  1. Grunt by my pet (5)

Answer: CORGI (i.e. “pet”). Solution is GI (i.e. “grunt” or US solider) placed after or “by” COR (i.e. “my”, both exclamations), like so: COR-GI.

  1. Starts to steal drink (5,2)

Answer: TAKES UP (i.e. “starts”). Solution is TAKE (i.e. “to steal”) followed by SUP (i.e. “drink”).

  1. Make one’s way into international bar (5)

Answer: INGOT (i.e. metal “bar”). Solution is GO (i.e. “make one’s way”) placed “into” INT (a recognised abbreviation of “international”), like so: IN(GO)T.

  1. Novelist’s card nobody returned (7)

Answer: Georges SIMENON (i.e. “novelist”, writer of the Maigret novels and plenty more besides). Solution is SIM (i.e. mobile phone “card”) followed by NONE (i.e. “nobody”) once reversed (indicated by “returned”), like so: SIM-ENON.

  1. Suggestion of anger in such farm birds? (4-5)

Answer: FREE-RANGE (i.e. “farm birds”). Solution cryptically satisfies “suggestion of anger” in how FREE is an anagram indicator and how RANGE is an anagram of “anger”.

  1. Serious in backing sorcerer to make idol (6,5)

Answer: GRAVEN IMAGE (i.e. “idol”). Solution is GRAVE (i.e. “serious”) followed by IN once reversed (indicated by “backing”), then MAGE (i.e. “sorcerer”), like so: GRAVE-NI-MAGE.

  1. Like balls from pace bowler to be inflexible (4-3-4)

Answer: HARD-AND-FAST (i.e. “inflexible”). When written without hyphens the solution also satisfies “like balls from pace bowler”.

  1. Out of order, the black sheep of the aircraft industry? (6)

Answer: RAMJET (i.e. a type of engine “of the aircraft industry”). Solution is JET (i.e. “black”) and RAM (i.e. “sheep”) placed “out of order”, like so: RAM-JET.

  1. Nine most extraordinary remarks (8)

Answer: MENTIONS (i.e. “remarks”). “Extraordinary” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NINE MOST.

  1. Painter rejecting objections, and eviscerating them (6)

Answer: George STUBBS (i.e. eighteenth century “painter” famous for painting horses). Solution is BUTS (i.e. “objections”) reversed (indicated by “rejecting”) and followed by BS (i.e. “eviscerating them” in reference to BUTS, i.e. removing the middle letters of BUTS), like so: STUB-BS.

  1. Make people a gift (8)

Answer: DONATION (i.e. “gift”). Solution is DO (i.e. to “make” or accomplish) followed by NATION (i.e. “people”).

  1. Weakling’s outsize piece of school uniform? (3,5,6)

Answer: BIG GIRL’S BLOUSE. Solution satisfies “weakling” and “outsize piece of school uniform”.

  1. Basket-maker more comfy when free of cold (5)

Answer: OSIER (i.e. “basket-maker”). Solution is COSIER (i.e. “more comfy”) with the C removed (indicated by “when free of cold” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps).

  1. Check on drunkard, swallowing last of alcoholic drink (6)

Answer: SCOTCH (i.e. “drink”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “check”) placed “on” or after SOT (i.e. “drunkard”) once wrapped around or “swallowing” C (i.e. “last of alcoholic”, i.e. the last letter of alcoholic”), like so: S(C)OT-CH.

  1. Blue-eyed pet I put in invariable chair suffering constant interruption (7,3)

Answer: SIAMESE CAT (i.e. “blue-eyed pet”). Solution is I “put in” SAME (i.e. “invariable”) and followed by SEAT (i.e. “chair”) once wrapped around or “interrupted” by C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”), like so: S(I)AME-SE(C)AT.

  1. In hotel, a little soldier is resident (10)

Answer: INHABITANT (i.e. “resident”). Solution is IN followed by H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), then A BIT (i.e. “a little”) and ANT (i.e. “soldier”).

  1. A special gift of story books, good ones (6)

Answer: TALENT (i.e. “a special gift”). Solution is TALE (i.e. “story”) followed by NT (i.e. “books, good ones”, i.e. the New Testament of The Bible).

  1. Hood not the ultimate in official dress, I note (5)

Answer: ROBIN (i.e. “Hood”, of legend). Solution is ROBE (i.e. “official dress”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not the ultimate”) and the remainder followed by I and N (a recognised abbreviation of “note”), like so: ROB-I-N.

  1. Some of a cyclone caused devastation: one way to reduce cost? (7,2,5)

Answer: ECONOMY OF SCALE (i.e. “one way to reduce cost”, specifically “a reduction in unit cost that occurs as more of a commodity is produced” (Chambers)). “Caused devastation” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOME OF A CYCLONE.

  1. Takes in better paper (8)

Answer: FOOLSCAP (i.e. “paper”). Solution is FOOLS (i.e. “takes in”) followed by CAP (i.e. to “better” something).

  1. Assassin, vicious type, finally replaced by our side (6)

Answer: BRUTUS (i.e. “assassin”, one who stuck a knife into Julius Caesar). Solution is BRUTE (i.e. “vicious type”) with its “final” letter “replaced by” US (i.e. “our side”), like so: BRUT(E) => BRUT(US).

  1. How eleven may appear, but not all at once (3,2,3)

Answer: ONE BY ONE. Solution satisfies “how eleven may appear” and “not all at once”.

  1. Vehicle returns to collect Australian and Austrian (6)

Answer: Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (i.e. “Austrian”). Solution is TRAM (i.e. “vehicle”) reversed (indicated by “returns”) and wrapped around or “collecting” OZ (i.e. informal word for an “Australian”), like so: M(OZ)ART.

  1. Criminal dealing, mere trickery (11)

Answer: LEGERDEMAIN (i.e. “trickery”). “Criminal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DEALING MERE.

  1. Please don’t die, right? Plot surprise for young hero (6,5)

Answer: OLIVER TWIST (i.e. “young hero”). Solution is O LIVE! (i.e. “please don’t die” in your best am-dram voice) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and TWIST (i.e. “plot surprise”).

  1. Candidate’s proposal taken to study (9)

Answer: CONTENDER (i.e. “candidate”). Solution is TENDER (i.e. “offer”) placed after or “taken to” CON (an archaic word for “study” often seen in cryptic crosswords), like so: CON-TENDER.

  1. Not following, escape from gang, having unpleasant expression (7)

Answer: LEERING (i.e. “unpleasant expression”). Solution is FLEE RING (i.e. “escape from gang”) with the F removed (indicated by “not following” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “following”).

  1. Head off trouble that’s afoot in marriage (5)

Answer: UNION (i.e. “marriage”). Solution is BUNION (i.e. “trouble that’s afoot”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “head off”).

  1. Embarrassed about skin blemish: it’s not at all fair (7)

Answer: SWARTHY (i.e. “not at all fair”, with reference to skin colour). Solution is SHY (i.e. “embarrassed”) wrapped “about” WART (i.e. “skin blemish”), like so: S(WART)HY.

  1. Indecisive poet? (5)

Answer: Alfred NOYES (i.e. “poet”). When written as NO YES the solution playfully satisfies “indecisive”.

  1. From detectives, a couple of observations: watched but not followed (9)

Answer: DISOBEYED (i.e. of instructions “not followed”). Solution is DIS (i.e. “detectives”, specifically Detective Inspectors) followed by OB (i.e. “a couple of observations”, specifically the first two letters of “observations”) then EYED (i.e. “watched”).

Down clues

  1. Almost mean to wound (5)

Answer: STING (i.e. “wound”). Solution is STINGY (i.e. “mean”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

  1. Game British land forces shielding bomb, our hydrogen being explosive (6,2,9)

Answer: BEGGAR MY NEIGHBOUR (i.e. “game”, specifically one “that goes on until one player has gained all the others’ cards” (Chambers, which also suggests this ought to be hyphenated)). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) and ARMY (i.e. “land forces”) wrapped around or “shielding” EGG (slang for a “bomb” or mine), and followed by an anagram (indicated by “explosive”) of OUR, H (chemical symbol of “hydrogen”) and BEING, like so: B-(EGG)-ARMY-NEIGHBOUR.

  1. Man allowed to feature in reel, in full detail (2,3,6)

Answer: TO THE LETTER (i.e. “in full detail”). Solution is HE LET (i.e. “man allowed”) placed or “featuring in” TOTTER (i.e. “reel”), like so: TOT(HE-LET)TER.

  1. Eccentric is on attack, holding up motorway (6)

Answer: MISFIT (i.e. “eccentric”). Solution is IS and FIT (i.e. an “attack”) both placed after or “holding up” – this being a down clue – M (a recognised abbreviation of “motorway”), like so: M-(IS-FIT).

  1. One with teeth a bear was fighting (8)

Answer: COMBATED (i.e. “was fighting”). Solution is COMB (i.e. “one with teeth”) followed by A and TED (i.e. teddy “bear”).

  1. Standard of performance of clubs right after a single time at ground (7,5)

Answer: CONCERT PITCH (i.e. “standard of performance” – over to Chambers again: “a standard of pitch that has varied considerably during musical history, but is now internationally standardized so that A above middle C has a frequency of 440 hertz”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in some card games) followed by RT (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) once placed “after” ONCE (i.e. “a single time”), then GROUND (i.e. sporting arena or “pitch”), like so: C-(ONCE)-RT-PITCH.

  1. Hurry over to practice (3,7)

Answer: RUN THROUGH (i.e. “practice”). Solution is RUN (i.e. “hurry”) followed by THROUGH (i.e. finished or “over”).

  1. Conclude announcer’s wearing mink (5)

Answer: INFER (i.e. “conclude”). “Announcer’s” indicates homophone. Solution is IN (i.e. “wearing”) followed by a homophone of FUR (i.e. “mink”).

  1. Subject nearly fools ordinary folk (3,6)

Answer: THE MASSES (i.e. “ordinary folk”). Solution is THEME (i.e. “subject”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”) and the remainder followed by ASSES (i.e. “fools”).

  1. Actor also dug ground after church (4,7)

Answer: KIRK DOUGLAS (i.e. “actor”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ground”) of ALSO DUG placed “after” KIRK (i.e. Scottish word for a “church”).

  1. Night visitor’s pleasant attitude diminished (5)

Answer: SANTA Claus (i.e. “night visitor”). “Diminished” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: PLEA(SANT A)TTITUDE.

  1. City finally failing to give instruction to players (6)

Answer: PRESTO (i.e. “instruction to players”, specifically musical lingo for “very quick”). Solution is PRESTON (i.e. “city”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “finally failing”).

  1. As editor, I’m to relaunch magazine (5,5)

Answer: RADIO TIMES (i.e. “magazine”). “To relaunch” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AS EDITOR I’M.

  1. One coming in with tea tray has shoes back to front (8)

Answer: STRAINER (i.e. “one coming in with tea tray”). Solution is TRAINERS (i.e. “shoes”) with the last letter placed at the front (indicated by “back to front”).

  1. Resilience of black cat, getting home again with skill (17)

Answer: BOUNCEBACKABILITY (i.e. “resilience” – Chambers doesn’t want to know (though it might be in a later edition than the one I have) but my Oxford lists it). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “black” used in chess) followed by OUNCE (i.e. “cat”, another name for a snow leopard), then BACK (i.e. “home again”) and ABILITY (i.e. “skill”). Nicely worked. Perhaps the setter is a Soccer AM fan.

  1. Stays firm, determined to maintain resistance (6)

Answer: CORSET (i.e. “stays” – a variant meaning of stay is a support in a corset). Solution is CO (i.e. “firm”, short for a company) and SET (i.e. “determined”) wrapped around or “maintaining” R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance”), like so: CO-(R)-SET.

  1. In general mix-up, English officer breaks valuable Chinese vase (7,3)

Answer: MELTING POT (i.e. “general mix-up”, probably “a place characterized by the intermixing of several races or cultures” (Chambers)). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and LT (i.e. “officer”, short for a lieutenant) placed in or “breaking” MING POT (i.e. “valuable Chinese vase”), like so: M(E-LT)ING-POT.

  1. As it swings, shut gate for drunk (2,3,3)

Answer: TO AND FRO (i.e. “as it swings”). Solution is TO (i.e. state of a “shut” door) followed by AND (i.e. a “gate” in electronic circuitry) and an anagram (indicated by “drunk”) of FOR.

  1. Meat making anything but stomach turn? (6)

Answer: MUTTON (i.e. “meat”). Solution is NOT (i.e. “anything but”) and TUM (i.e. “stomach”) all reversed (indicated by “turn”), like so: MUT-TON.

  1. A comedy of defective-sounding breakdown crew? (6,6)

Answer: FAWLTY TOWERS (i.e. TV “comedy”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “sounding”) of FAULTY (i.e. “defective”) followed by TOWERS (i.e. “breakdown crew”, as in how they might tow vehicles).

  1. With surprising expression, settled across compact extra cushion (7,4)

Answer: BOOSTER SEAT (i.e. “extra cushion”). Solution is BOO (i.e. “surprising expression”) followed by SAT (i.e. “settled”) once wrapped around or placed “across” TERSE (i.e. “compact”), like so: BOO-S(TERSE)AT.

  1. Practical instruction for securing a lift? (4,2,5)

Answer: RULE OF THUMB (i.e. a “practical” method of getting something done). Solution playfully satisfies “instruction for securing a lift”, given how hitchhikers thumb lifts. You get the idea.

  1. Politicians welcoming Indian to set down specifications for picture (10)

Answer: SCREENPLAY (i.e. “specifications for [motion] picture”). Solution is SNP (i.e. “politicians”, specifically the Scottish National Party) wrapped around or “welcoming” CREE (i.e. “Indian”, specifically a Native American “living in Montana and parts of Canada” (Chambers)) and followed by LAY (i.e. “set down”), like so: S(CREE)NP-LAY.

  1. Out of sea, dry yet? Not now (9)

Answer: YESTERDAY (i.e. “not now”). “Out of” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SEA DRY YET.

  1. Freed to seize power, one is treated heartlessly perhaps (8)

Answer: UNPITIED (i.e. “treated heartlessly perhaps”). Solution is UNTIED (i.e. “freed”) wrapped around or “seizing” P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: UN(P-I)TIED.

  1. In physical geographic, upward slope (6)

Answer: GLACIS (i.e. a gentle “slope”, supposedly in fortification). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “upward” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: PHY(SICAL G)EOGRAPHIC. One solved solely from the wordplay.

  1. Shakespearean constable and a couple by the roadside? (6)

Answer: VERGES. Solution satisfies “Shakespearean constable” from Much Ado About Nothing – of course I looked it up – and “a couple by the roadside”.

  1. Cake, a single gram brought up (5)

Answer: GENOA (a kind of “cake”). Solution is A, ONE (i.e. “single”) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “gram”), all reversed (indicated by “brought up”), like so: G-ENO-A.

  1. Island is notorious if temperature drops (5)

Answer: ARRAN (i.e. “island” in Scotland). Solution is ARRANT (i.e. “notorious”) with the T removed (indicated by “if temperature drops” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “temperature”).

  1. Tough to keep one properly adjusted (5)

Answer: TUNED (i.e. “properly adjusted”). Solution is TED (i.e. “tough”, a reference to the Teddy boys of the 1950s) wrapped around or “keeping” UN (i.e. “one”, as in a good ‘un), like so: T(UN)ED.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1551

A medium strength offering for Easter Monday. I wasn’t so keen while solving it, but having given myself a few hours’ distance before writing this up I guess it wasn’t too bad. I still think the setter ought to have eased up on the office GridFill 4000TM, though.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has set up a crystal meth lab at the bottom of your garden and not sought planning permission for it then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the buggers. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once more for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fare with these things. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Solid shape of Cheddar one chopped up (10)

Answer: DECAHEDRON (i.e. “solid shape”). “Chopped up” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CHEDDAR ONE.

  1. Bring East and West together maybe to achieve financial viability (4,4,4)

Answer: MAKE ENDS MEET. Solution playfully satisfies “bring East and West together maybe” and “achieve financial viability”.

  1. Footballers, grumblers abandoning hotel (7)

Answer: WINGERS (i.e. “footballers”). Solution is WHINGERS (i.e. “grumblers”) with the H removed (indicated by “abandoning hotel” – hotel being H in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Share accommodation with husband, not much company to begin with (7)

Answer: COHABIT (i.e. “share accommodation”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) and A BIT (i.e. “not much”) all proceeded by CO (indicated by “company to begin with” – CO being a recognised abbreviation of “company”), like so: CO-(H-A-BIT).

  1. Warning light at the back of church room (7)

Answer: CHAMBER (i.e. “room”). Solution is AMBER (i.e. “warning light”) placed “at the back of” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: CH-AMBER.

  1. Rain sees gathering retreating (4)

Answer: TEEM (i.e. “rain”). Solution is MEET (i.e. “gathering”) reversed (indicated by “retreating”).

  1. Wreath with unusual name covering notice (6)

Answer: ANADEM (i.e. “wreath”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unusual”) of NAME wrapped around or “covering” AD (i.e. “notice”, short for advertisement), like so: AN(AD)EM. One nailed pretty much through the wordplay.

  1. Writer penning a miserable article somewhere in California (8)

Answer: PASADENA (i.e. “somewhere in California”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) wrapped around or “penning” A and SAD (i.e. “miserable”), then followed by A (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the), like so: P(A-SAD)EN-A. Meanwhile in 1991…

  1. Hate the sound of revenge? No, resolved to be realistic (4,4,4,2,3,6)

Answer: HAVE ONE’S FEET ON THE GROUND (i.e. “be realistic”). “Resolved” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HATE THE SOUND OF REVENGE NO.

  1. More irritable artist close to portrait row (7)

Answer: RATTIER (i.e. “more irritable”). Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) followed by T (i.e. “close to portrait”, i.e. the last letter of “portrait”) and TIER (i.e. “row”).

  1. Trophy one had to hold small yellow spittoon (8)

Answer: CUSPIDOR (i.e. “spittoon”). Solution is CUP (i.e. “trophy”) and I’D (a contraction of I had or “one had”) wrapped around or “holding” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and followed by OR (i.e. “yellow” or gold in heraldry), like so: CU(S)P-I’D-OR. Took a small brute force of my Chambers once I’d had enough letters filled in.

  1. Bright and bouncy? Not yours truly in the morning! (6)

Answer: AGLEAM (i.e. “bright”). Solution is AGILE (i.e. “bouncy”) with the I removed (indicated by “not yours truly”) and the remainder followed by AM (i.e. “in the morning”), like so: AGLE-AM. Took a while to twig.

  1. Bit of a state (4,2,3,5)

Answer: COIN OF THE REALM. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, taking “bit” as another word for COIN (e.g. thrupenny bit) and “state” being a country or REALM. Nicely played. Probably my favourite clue of the puzzle.

  1. Agreement opposing religious document (8)

Answer: CONTRACT (i.e. “agreement”). Solution is CON (i.e. “opposing”, as in pros and cons) followed by TRACT (i.e. “religious document”).

  1. Quietly showing initiative, providing legal statement (8)

Answer: PLEADING (i.e. “providing legal statement”). Solution is P (i.e. “quietly”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo) followed by LEADING (i.e. “showing initiative”).

  1. Health problem – is it sore throat possibly? (14)

Answer: OSTEOARTHRITIS (i.e. “health problem”). “Possibly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS IT SORE THROAT.

  1. Author’s old set of books in prominent position (6)

Answer: Truman CAPOTE (i.e. “author”). Solution is OT (i.e. “old set of books”, specifically the Old Testament of The Bible) placed “in” CAPE (i.e. “prominent position”, a reference to the geographical feature), like so: CAP(OT)E.

  1. Insects in season win out against arachnids (8)

Answer: TERMITES (i.e. “insects”). Solution is WINTER (i.e. “season”) with the WIN removed (indicated by “win out”) and the remainder followed by MITES (i.e. “arachnids”), like so: TER-MITES. Another that took a while to twig.

  1. What farmer harvests – fellow getting top award? (7)

Answer: MANGOLD (i.e. “what harmer harvests”, apparently a beet used for animal feed). Solution is MAN (i.e. “fellow”) followed by GOLD (i.e. “top award”). Another nailed from the wordplay.

  1. A saint isn’t a saint to blurt out “I hold traditional Catholic belief” (23)

Answer: TRANSUBSTANTIATIONALIST (i.e. “I hold traditional Catholic belief” – over to Chambers: “the doctrine that, or the mystical process by which, in the consecration of the elements of the Eucharist, the whole substance of the bread and wine is converted into Christ’s body and blood, only the appearances of bread and wine remaining”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A SAINT ISN’T A SAINT TO BLURT. A word I knew, believe it or not. It was also the first solution I entered into the grid, give or take a few syllables.

  1. I took food, having arrived earlier, turning waste away? (8)

Answer: EMACIATE (i.e. “waste away”). Solution is I and ATE (i.e. “took food”) placed after or “having…earlier” CAME (i.e. “arrived”) once reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: (EMAC)-I-ATE.

  1. Music maker spilled oil in French wine (6)

Answer: VIOLIN (i.e. “music maker”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “spilled”) of OIL placed “in” VIN (i.e. “French wine”, i.e. the French for “wine”), like so: V(IOL)IN.

  1. Important Indian seen as unharmonious on reflection (4)

Answer: RAJA (i.e. “important Indian” or ruler). Solution is AJAR (a variant meaning of the word being “unharmonious”, although this should really be “inharmonious”) reversed (indicated by “on reflection”).

  1. Getting rid of time to celebrate (7)

Answer: ERASING (i.e. “getting rid of”). Solution is ERA (i.e. period of “time”) followed by SING (i.e. “to celebrate”).

  1. One area to the east of one country and another (7)

Answer: NIGERIA (i.e. “another” country, within the context of the clue). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) both placed after or “to the east of” – this being an across clue – NIGER (i.e. a “country”), like so: NIGER-(I-A).

  1. In a very cold region with no hint of sun? Yes and no! (7)

Answer: IBERIAN (i.e. “in a very cold region…no!” – Iberia being Spain and Portugal). Solution is SIBERIAN (i.e. “in a very cold region”) with the S removed (indicated by “with no hint of sun”, or in other words the first letter of “sun”). Can’t say I was a fan of this one.

  1. One who may be up for a job in the medical profession (6,6)

Answer: FLYING DOCTOR. Clue plays on how said doctors can be found “up” in the air. That’s about it, really.

  1. Put in the correct position in resting place, cheered up (10)

Answer: BRIGHTENED (i.e. “cheered up”). Solution is RIGHTEN (i.e. “put in the correct position”) placed “in” BED (i.e. “resting place”), like so: B(RIGHTEN)ED.

Down clues

  1. Bird with irritation when grasped by performer (9)

Answer: DOWITCHER (i.e. “bird” – did a Google Image search. Meh. Random.) Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and ITCH (i.e. “irritation”) both placed in or “grasped by” DOER (i.e. “performer”), like so: DO(W-ITCH)ER.

  1. Rare voices not messed about with in music school? (13)

Answer: CONSERVATOIRE (i.e. “music school”). “Messed about with” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RARE VOICES NOT.

  1. German philosopher, no good – a baddie (4)

Answer: HEEL (i.e. “baddie”). Solution is Georg Wilhelm Friedrich HEGEL (i.e. “German philosopher”) with the G removed (indicated by “no good” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”).

  1. Criminal in dirtiest gang is collapsing (14)

Answer: DISINTEGRATING (i.e. “collapsing”). “Criminal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN DIRTIEST GANG.

  1. Monster some sailor caught (3)

Answer: ORC (i.e. “monster”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: SAIL(OR C)AUGHT.

  1. First maiden to be chucked off dance platform (4)

Answer: AMBO (i.e. “platform”, specifically “an early Christian raised reading-desk or pulpit” (Chambers)). Solution is MAMBO (i.e. “dance”) with the “first” M (a recognised abbreviation of “maiden” used in cricket) removed or “chucked off”. Cough-(made-to-fit)-cough!

  1. Family of lover no longer having grip (10)

Answer: EXTRACTION (i.e. lineage or “family”). Solution is EX (i.e. “lover no longer”) followed by TRACTION (i.e. “grip”).

  1. Winks from Conservative arts donor in rising scandal (8)

Answer: NICTATES (i.e. “winks”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) and Henry TATE (i.e. sugar daddy and “arts donor”) both placed “in” SIN (i.e. “scandal”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue), like so: NI(C-TATE)S.

  1. Great fights erupting – an unwelcome experience in the theatre (5,6)

Answer: STAGE FRIGHT (i.e. “an unwelcome experience in the theatre”). “Erupting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GREAT FIGHTS.

  1. Medic in time certain to find an opening (9)

Answer: EMBRASURE (i.e. an “opening” through which to fire a cannon). Solution is MB (i.e. “medic”, specifically a Bachelor of Medicine or Medicinae Baccalaureus) placed “in” ERA (i.e. period of “time”) and followed by SURE (i.e. “certain”), like so: E(MB)RA-SURE.

  1. Weed in derelict area (4)

Answer: TARE (i.e. a “weed”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: DERELIC(T ARE)A.

  1. Fizzy drink in cold picnic baskets (8)

Answer: CHAMPERS (i.e. “fizzy drink”, an informal word for champagne). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps) followed by HAMPERS (i.e. “picnic baskets”).

  1. Weighted down by imperfection, journalist left the country (8)

Answer: DEFECTED (i.e. “left the country”). Solution is DEFECT (i.e. “imperfection”) followed by ED (i.e. “journalist”, specifically an editor). The whole “weighted down by” bit is a reference to this being a down clue, i.e. how ED is placed under DEFECT in the grid.

  1. Party child loses footing – one to fall over? (6)

Answer: DOMINO (i.e. “one to fall over”). Solution is DO (i.e. “party”) followed by MINOR (i.e. “child”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “loses footing”), like so: DO-MINO.

  1. What’s said to be pleasant meadow for a refreshing drink? (5,3)

Answer: ROSIE LEE (i.e. “refreshing drink”, specifically cockney rhyming slang for a cup of tea. A new one on me, but Chambers supports it). “What’s said” indicates homophones. Solution comprises homophones of ROSY (i.e. “pleasant”) and LEA (i.e. “meadow”).

  1. Poem about tiny people, members of a tribe (8)

Answer: EDOMITES (i.e. “members of a tribe” – over to Chambers again: “people of the ancient kingdom of Edom, south of the Dead Sea”). Solution is ODE (i.e. “poem”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by MITES (i.e. “tiny people”), like so: EDO-MITES.

  1. Study music speed increasing, getting with it? (14)

Answer: CONTEMPORISING (i.e. bringing up to date or “getting with it”). Solution is CON (archaic word for “study” often used in cryptic crosswords) followed by TEMPO (i.e. “music speed”) and RISING (i.e. “increasing”).

  1. Size of a large conurbation? There’s an upper limit (8)

Answer: CAPACITY (i.e. “size”). Solution is A and CITY (i.e. “large conurbation”) placed after or having “upper” of it – this being a down clue – CAP (i.e. “limit”), like so: (CAP)-A-CITY.

  1. Legal entitlement this person in senate renegotiated (8)

Answer: EASEMENT (i.e. “legal entitlement”). Solution is ME (i.e. “this person”, from the point of view of the setter) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “renegotiated”) of SENATE, like so: EASE(ME)NT.

  1. Writer, Italian heretic who brooks no opposition? (13)

Answer: AUTHORITARIAN (i.e. “who brooks no opposition”). Solution is AUTHOR (i.e. “writer”) followed by IT (a recognised abbreviation of “Italian”) and ARIAN (i.e. “heretic” – once more to Chambers, Arianism is “the heretical doctrine of Arius, that Christ was not consubstantial with God the Father, but only the first and highest of all finite beings”).

  1. Voice of a Liberal in loud row (8)

Answer: FALSETTO (i.e. singing “voice”). Solution is A and L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) both placed “in” F (i.e. “loud”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “fortissimo” used in musical lingo) and SET TO (i.e. “row” or argument), like so: F-(A-L)-SET-TO.

  1. Hatred of English assessment – a time I get kept in by lecturer? (11)

Answer: DETESTATION (i.e. “hatred”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), TEST (i.e. “assessment”), A, T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and I all “kept in” DON (i.e. “lecturer”), like so: D(E-TEST-A-T-I)ON.

  1. Method at bottom of ladder that may be needed to go up (6)

Answer: RUNWAY (i.e. “that may be needed to go up”). Solution is WAY (i.e. “method”) placed after or “at bottom of” – this being a down clue – RUN (i.e. a “ladder” in some tights), like so: RUN-WAY.

  1. Writer cheers invigorating person with five notes (10)

Answer: PENTATONIC (i.e. “with five notes” in music). Solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) followed by TA (i.e. “thanks”) and TONIC (i.e. “invigorating person”).

  1. Flier to wait, having lost heart as orbital traveller (9)

Answer: PLANETARY (i.e. “as orbital traveller”). Solution is PLANE (i.e. a “flier”, short for aeroplane) followed by TARRY (i.e. “to wait”) once its middle letter has been removed (indicated by “having lost heart”), like so: PLANE-TARY.

  1. This curtailed each criminal’s activity (8)

Answer: THIEVERY (i.e. “criminal’s activity”). Solution is THIS with its last letter removed (indicated by “curtailed”) and the remainder followed by EVERY (i.e. “each”), like so: THI-EVERY.

  1. Investigator came down and stepped onto platform? (9)

Answer: DETRAINED (i.e. having disembarked from a train or “stepped onto platform”). Solution is DET (i.e. “investigator”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “detective”) followed by RAINED (i.e. “came down”).

  1. Knight escapes from a Welsh town diminished (8)

Answer: ABRIDGED (i.e. “diminished”). Solution is A followed by BRIDGEND (i.e. “Welsh town”) once the N has been removed (indicated by “knight escapes from…” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess), like so: A-BRIDGED.

  1. Lowly worker mostly impudent when turning up (4)

Answer: SERF (i.e. “lowly worker”). Solution is FRESH (i.e. “impudent”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “when turning up” – this being a down clue).

  1. Nigerian leads off immigrant grabbed by officer (4)

Answer: IGBO (i.e. East “Nigerian”). “Leads off” indicates the solution is derived from the initial letters of Immigrant Grabbed By Officer. Another solved from the wordplay.

  1. Minimal money about to be given to hospital department (4)

Answer: CENT (i.e. “minimal money”). Solution is C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by ENT (i.e. “hospital department”, specifically one dealing with the Ear, Nose and Throat).

  1. Song is heard in this Scottish town (3)

Answer: AYR (i.e. “Scottish town”). “Is heard” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of AIR (i.e. “song”). You could feasibly work this the other way and have AIR as the solution, but I reckon the use of “this” steers us towards AYR. I could be wrong, though.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1550

I’m seldom a fan of Jumbos that lean too much into general knowledge, and this was no exception. There were some nicely worked clues, but there were too many that relied on stuff you’re either going to know or not give a stuff about. Your mileage may vary.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has won a super-injunction against your blog preventing you from revealing their [REDACTED] [REDACTED] with [REDACTED] then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the [REDACTED]. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared once their pens have been stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Blue stone circles to incorporate flint in middle (5)

Answer: LAPIS (i.e. “blue stone”, specifically lapis lazuli. My Oxford allows it, but Chambers begs to differ, suggesting the solution merely means “a stone”). Solution is LAPS (i.e. “circles” – Chambers offers “a round of anything coiled”; Bradford’s also backs up the usage) wrapped around or “incorporating” I (i.e. “flint in middle”, i.e. the middle letter of “flint”), like so: LAP(I)S.

  1. One’s RADA friend ushered in before noon (7)

Answer: ACRONYM (i.e. “one’s RADA”, as an example). Solution is CRONY (i.e. “friend”) placed “in” AM (i.e. “before noon”), like so: A(CRONY)M.

  1. Instrument initially supplied with fish from trawler? (9)

Answer: CASTANETS (i.e. “instrument”). Solution is S (i.e. “initially supplied”, i.e. the first letter of “supplied”) placed on or “with” CAST A NET (i.e. to “fish from trawler”), like so: (CAST-A-NET)-S.

  1. Mountain animal in North America on level (9)

Answer: PARNASSUS (i.e. Greek “mountain” range). Solution is ASS (i.e. “animal”) placed “in” between N (a recognised abbreviation of “north”) and US (i.e. “America”) once placed “on” or after PAR (i.e. “level”), like so: PAR-(N-(ASS)-US). A win for the Bradford’s.

  1. Men in retreat, Dicky for one has to abandon front in corrupt constituency (6,7)

Answer: ROTTEN BOROUGH (i.e. “corrupt constituency” – over to Chambers: “one of the boroughs, all abolished in 1832, which still returned members to parliament although the constituency had disappeared”). Solution is OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) reversed (indicated by “in retreat”) and followed by ATTENBOROUGH (i.e. “Dicky for one”; David for another) with its first letter removed (indicated by “to abandon front”), like so: RO-TTENBOROUGH.

  1. Intelligent swimmer home after hard trudge back (7)

Answer: DOLPHIN (i.e. “intelligent swimmer”). Solution is IN (i.e. at “home”) placed “after” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils) and PLOD (i.e. “trudge”) once these have been reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: (DOLP-H)-IN.

  1. Technique required in piece written with quavers? (7)

Answer: TREMOLO, “a tremulous effect as by a rapid succession of the same note or of two notes at least a third apart” (Chambers). Clue plays on “quaver” meaning tremulous. You get the idea. I could be missing something clever, though.

  1. About to crack the clues: determination needed (7)

Answer: RESOLVE (i.e. “determination”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) followed by SOLVE (i.e. “to crack the clues”).

  1. Cool with literal cryptic anagrams designed to avoid offence (11,7)

Answer: POLITICALLY CORRECT (i.e. “designed to avoid offence”). Solution is an “anagram” of COOL and LITERAL CRYPTIC.

  1. 2 is just too much for fairy (4)

Answer: PERI (i.e. “fairy”). Solution is PERIL (the solution to “2” down) with its last letter removed (indicated by “…is just too much”).

  1. Those signalling when soldiers could proceed to invade shelled area? (3,6)

Answer: EGG TIMERS. Clue plays on devices that “signal” when an egg is done boiling, eggs having “shells”, “soldiers” being strips of bread dipped in a soft-boiled egg, and so on. You get the idea.

  1. Locks procedure trapping one in harsh and unpleasant Jobcentre? (6)

Answer: HAIRDO (i.e. “locks procedure”, as in locks of hair). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “trapped” by HARD (i.e. “harsh and unpleasant”) and followed by O (i.e. “Jobcentre”, i.e. the middle letter of “job”), like so: HA(I)RD-O.

  1. Make joke about time needed to produce identification (3,3)

Answer: DOG TAG (i.e. “identification” worn by soldiers). Solution is DO GAG (i.e. “make joke”) wrapped “about” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: DO-G(T)AG.

  1. Old system in Japanese film is generic, strangely? (6,6)

Answer: ANCIEN RÉGIME (i.e. “old system”, French for “the old order (especially before the French Revolution)” (Chambers)). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “strangely”) of GENERIC placed “in” ANIME (i.e. “Japanese film”), like so: AN(CIENREG)IME.

  1. Secret affair an elusive universal presence (4,6)

Answer: DARK MATTER (i.e. “elusive universal presence”). Solution is DARK (i.e. “secret”) followed by MATTER (i.e. “affair”).

  1. Old college article is seen by male as eg Hindu doctrine? (10)

Answer: POLYTHEISM (i.e. “eg Hindu doctrine” – I’ll take the setter’s word for it. Me and religion, you know… (makes so-so gesture)). Solution is POLY (i.e. “old college”, short for polytechnic) followed by THE (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the), then IS and M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”).

  1. One prepared to provide care for small charge? (6,6)

Answer: FOSTER PARENT. Clue plays on “charge” being “the person or thing in one’s care or custody” (Chambers) and how foster parents “provide care” for children, the small charges in question. You get the idea.

  1. Tyre tracks partially traced back, arriving at main road (6)

Answer: ARTERY (i.e. “main road”). “Partially” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “back” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: T(YRE TRA)CKS. Nicely worked.

  1. Gambling perhaps without ace, so folding (6)

Answer: PLYING (i.e. “folding”). Solution is PLAYING (i.e. “gambling perhaps”) with the A removed (indicated by “without ace” – A being a recognised abbreviation of “ace” used on playing cards). Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Slight anger associated with malfunctioning iPads (9)

Answer: DISPARAGE (i.e. to “slight”). Solution is RAGE (i.e. “anger”) placed after or “associated with” an anagram (indicated by “malfunctioning”) of IPADS, like so: DISPA-RAGE.

  1. Frost no longer seen, the fellow having played Morse? (4)

Answer: THAW. Solution satisfies “frost no longer seen” and, as John THAW, “the fellow having played [Inspector] Morse”. Another nicely played clue.

  1. Ordinary hybrid, one no good, or one done up like zebra? (10,8)

Answer: PEDESTRIAN CROSSING (i.e. “one done up like zebra”, a comment on its black and white stripes). Solution is PEDESTRIAN (i.e. “ordinary”) followed by CROSS (i.e. “hybrid”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then N (a recognised abbreviation of “no”) and G (ditto “good”).

  1. King George, one defined by appetite, having increased size? (7)

Answer: GREATER (i.e. “having increased size”). Solution is GR (i.e. “King George”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Latin Georgius Rex) followed by EATER (i.e. “one defined by appetite”).

  1. Throttle needed where rubbish blocks entrance (7)

Answer: GAROTTE (i.e. “throttle”). Solution is ROT (i.e. “rubbish”) placed in or “blocking” GATE (i.e. “entrance”), like so: GA(ROT)TE.

  1. Embarrassed when no professional leader at News? (7)

Answer: ASHAMED (i.e. “embarrassed”). When written as A SHAM ED the solution also playfully satisfies “no professional leader at News” – ED being short for an editor.

[EDIT: Suzannah has an alternative take for this in the comments which is probably more in line with what the setter had in mind, comprising AS for “when”, HAM for “no professional” and ED (i.e. “leader at news”, i.e. an editor). Cheers, Suzannah! – LP]

  1. In London, landmark and singular article put on hold (7,6)

Answer: NELSON’S COLUMN (i.e. “in London, landmark”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) and COLUMN (i.e. “article”, say, in a newspaper) both placed “on” or after NELSON (a “hold” in wrestling), like so: NELSON-(S-COLUMN).

  1. Your compiler can be silenced, not susceptible to change (9)

Answer: IMMUTABLE (i.e. “not susceptible to change”). When written as I’M MUTABLE the solution also satisfies “your compiler can be silenced”, from the point of view of the setter.

  1. Expression silver worker used for brawling woman (9)

Answer: TERMAGANT (i.e. “brawling woman”). Solution is TERM (i.e. “expression”) followed by AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) and ANT (i.e. “worker”).

  1. Sea nymph previously nameless provided with an identity (7)

Answer: OCEANID (i.e. “sea nymph” of Greek mythology). Solution is ONCE (i.e. “previously”) with the N removed (indicated by “nameless” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”) and the remainder followed by AN and ID (a recognised abbreviation of “identity”), like so: OCE-AN-ID.

  1. Summons the entire population in Lewis? (5)

Answer: CALLS (i.e. “summons”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “the entire population”) placed “in” CS (i.e. “Lewis”, as in the author of the Narnia books), like so: C(ALL)S.

Down clues

  1. Order including monarchs potentially applied to ER (11)

Answer: LEPIDOPTERA (i.e. biological “order including monarchs”, i.e. butterflies and moths). “Potentially” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of APPLIED TO ER.

  1. Two school lessons taken by learner in danger (5)

Answer: PERIL (i.e. “danger”). Solution is PE and RI (i.e. “two school lessons”, specifically Physical Education and Religious Instruction) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”).

  1. Present – with stage having collapsed – film produced for fewer dollars? (9,7)

Answer: SPAGHETTI WESTERN (i.e. “film produced for fewer dollars” – probably a nod to Sergio Leone’s “Dollars” Trilogy as well as the films’ low budgets). “Collapsed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PRESENT WITH STAGE.

  1. As more highly ranked, soldiers dropped in line (7)

Answer: ARSENIC (i.e. “As”, its chemical symbol). Solution is SENIOR (i.e. “more highly ranked”) with the OR removed (indicated by “soldiers dropped” – specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) and the remainder placed “in” ARC (i.e. “line”), like so: AR(SENI)C.

  1. Makes new home, having thing about Yorkshire market town (9)

Answer: RESETTLES (i.e. “makes new home”). Solution is RES (Latin for “thing” apparently, though my dictionaries don’t want to know) wrapped “about” SETTLE (i.e. “Yorkshire market town”), like so: RE(SETTLE)S.

  1. Tender lines by Frost quoted in simple verse (7,5)

Answer: NURSERY RHYME (i.e. “simple verse”). Solution is NURSE (i.e. “tender”) followed by RY (i.e. “lines”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “railway”) and a homophone (indicated by “quoted”) of RIME (i.e. “frost” – ignore the misleading capitalisation).

  1. Mice emptied place for grain left over in big city (10)

Answer: METROPOLIS (i.e. “big city”). Solution is ME (i.e. “mice emptied”, i.e. the word “mice” with its middle letters removed) followed by SILO (i.e. “place for grain”) and PORT (i.e. “left” in shipspeak) once these latter two have been reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: ME-(TROP-OLIS).

  1. Cynical to start with concerning party dogma (5)

Answer: CREDO (i.e. “dogma”). Solution is C (i.e. “cynical to start with”, i.e. the first letter of “cynical”) followed by RE (i.e. “concerning” – again, think email replies) and DO (i.e. “party”).

  1. Sinking boat reportedly shadowed in dock (8)

Answer: SUBTRACT (i.e. to “dock” pay, for example). Solution is SUB (i.e. “sinking boat”, short for submarine) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of TRACKED (i.e. “shadowed”), like so: SUB-TRACT.

  1. Annoyed by anagrams at first? That’s not down to solvers (6)

Answer: ACROSS (i.e. “that’s not down to [crossword] solvers”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “annoyed”) placed after or “by” A (i.e. “anagrams at first”, i.e. the first letter of “anagrams”), like so: A-CROSS.

  1. Thrown out, but Nellie irrepressible (9)

Answer: EBULLIENT (i.e. “irrepressible”). “Thrown out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BUT NELLIE.

  1. School chorister accommodating the French film director (11)

Answer: John SCHLESINGER (i.e. “film director”). Solution is SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”) and SINGER (i.e. “chorister”) wrapped around or “accommodating” LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the masculine form of “the” in French), like so: SCH-(LE)-SINGER.

  1. Coherent infantryman going into pub (7)

Answer: LOGICAL (i.e. “coherent”). Solution is GI (i.e. US “infantryman”) placed “into” LOCAL (i.e. “pub”), like so: LO(GI)CAL.

  1. Brilliant point in tirade about charity sent up (7)

Answer: RADIANT (i.e. “brilliant point”, being “a point from which rays emanate” (Chambers)). Solution is RANT (i.e. “tirade”) wrapped “about” AID (i.e. “charity”) once reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue), like so: RA(DIA)NT.

  1. Limited number catch on, ill at ease when manipulated (5,11)

Answer: LOCAL ANAESTHETIC (i.e. “limited number”, as in how anaesthetic numbs). “When manipulated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CATCH ON ILL AT EASE.

  1. Attention Scots hooligan deserved (6)

Answer: EARNED (i.e. “deserved”). Solution is EAR (i.e. “attention”) followed by NED (i.e. “Scots hooligan”).

  1. Drink in street with son in women’s clothes (6)

Answer: SKIRTS (i.e. “women’s clothes”). Solution is KIR (i.e. “drink”) placed “in” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”) and followed by S (ditto “son”), like so: S(KIR)T-S.

  1. One’s captivated by set the French needed for ballet (7)

Answer: GISELLE (i.e. a “ballet”). Solution is I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) placed in or “captivated by” GEL (i.e. to “set”) and followed by LE (i.e. “the French”, as covered in 12d), like so: G(I’S)EL-LE.

  1. Those people getting silver? One lot bringing gold (3,4)

Answer: THE MAGI (i.e. “lot bringing gold”, specifically the Three Wise Men of the nativity of Jesus Christ). Solution is THEM (i.e. “those people”) followed by AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”).

  1. Race such as this never having close finish? (4-8)

Answer: LONG-DISTANCE (i.e. “race”). Clue plays on “close” not exactly being descriptive of the solution. I’d hope there’s more to it than that, though.

  1. Spies coming together to protect English royal line (11)

Answer: PLANTAGENET (i.e. “royal line”). Solution is PLANT and AGENT (both “spies”) wrapped around or “protecting” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: PLANT-AGEN(E)T. Nicely done.

  1. Actor man seated in gallery sees one such as Druantia (4-7)

Answer: TREE-GODDESS (i.e. “one such as Druantia”, a hypothetical tree-goddess proposed by Robert Graves in his essay The White Goddess. Of course I looked it up. You should know what I’m like by now). Solution is Sir Herbert Beerbohm TREE (i.e. “actor” – no, me neither. Apparently he was Oliver Reed’s granddad, which rather dates him) followed by DES (i.e. “man’s” name) once placed “in” GODS (i.e. “gallery”, as in the phrase “up in the gods”), like so: TREE-GOD(DES)S.

  1. Press entertained by one successful old writer (6,4)

Answer: VICTOR HUGO (i.e. “writer”). Solution is HUG (i.e. to clasp or “press”) placed in or “entertained by” VICTOR (i.e. “one successful”) and O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: VICTOR-(HUG)-O.

  1. Clerk touring French department picked up sales agent (9)

Answer: TRAVELLER (i.e. “sales agent” on the road). Solution is TELLER (i.e. “clerk”) wrapped around or “touring” VAR (i.e. “French department” situated at the far south of the country) once reversed (indicated by “picked up” – this being a down clue), like so: T(RAV)ELLER.

  1. Book by food shop on wine-producing plant (9)

Answer: DANDELION (i.e. “wine-producing plant”). Solution is DAN (a recognised abbreviation of “Daniel”, a “book” of The Bible) followed by DELI (i.e. “food shop”, short for delicatessen) and ON.

  1. State banks are reorganising (8)

Answer: NEBRASKA (i.e. US “state”). “Reorganising” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BANKS ARE.

  1. Set up marine area with new weapons? (7)

Answer: REARMED (i.e. “with new weapons”). Solution is REAR (i.e. to “set up” or set upright) followed by MED (i.e. “marine area”, short for the Mediterranean Sea).

  1. Saint needs gypsy man to provide biological tissue (6)

Answer: STROMA (i.e. “biological tissue” – over to Chambers again: “a supporting framework of connective tissue”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”) followed by ROMA (i.e. “gypsy man”).

  1. Good media personality shows spirit (5)

Answer: GHOST (i.e. “spirit”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by HOST (i.e. “media personality”).

  1. Male murder victim’s name (5)

Answer: MABEL (i.e. woman’s “name”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) followed by ABEL (i.e. “murder victim” of The Bible).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1549

Privet, tovarishch. It would appear this week’s Jumbo hasn’t been too badly affected by the Russian sanctions, what with a salvo of three Russian references barely a quarter of the way into the puzzle. It was a weird one to solve, too, given it also contained solutions like INFAMOUS, NOTORIOUS, SCANDAL, OUTCRY, STEAL and MARCHING ORDERS, not to mention things like BELLIGERENCE, SENILE, PROPAGANDIST and LUDICROUS that could be used to sum up Putin and his cronies. Probably a coincidence, given these things are often compiled months in advance, but still.

Anyway, setting the awfulness of the situation in Ukraine to one side for a moment, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has secretly smeared aniseed all over your shoes and you’re wondering why stray dogs keep chasing you then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

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

LP

Across clues

  1. Quiet expert aboard vessel, stylish craft (9)

Answer: SPACESHIP (i.e. “craft”). Solution is P (i.e. “quiet”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo) and ACE (i.e. “expert”) both placed in or “aboard” SS (i.e. “vessel”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a steamship) and followed by HIP (i.e. “stylish”), like so: S(P-ACE)S-HIP.

  1. Book hotel accommodation with flash support for cleaner (10)

Answer: BROOMSTICK (i.e. “support for cleaner”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”) followed by ROOMS (i.e. “hotel accommodation”) and TICK (i.e. “flash” – no clue why, though. My Chambers and Oxford don’t seem overly willing to support this one, but it is listed in my Bradford’s).

[EDIT: Thanks to Michael in the comments for clarifying that TICK and “flash” were both short measures of time. Cheers, Michael! – LP]

  1. Opera item limitless selection getting cheers (7)

Answer: ARIETTA (i.e. “opera item” – over to Chambers: “a little aria or air”). Solution is VARIETY (i.e. “selection”) with its first and last letters removed (indicated by “limitless”) and the remainder followed by TA (i.e. “thanks”), like so: ARIET-TA.

  1. Figure in Russian history circling European border – this one? (9)

Answer: PERIMETER (i.e. “border”). Solution is PETER the Great (i.e. “figure in Russian history”) wrapped around or “circling” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) and RIM (i.e. “border”), like so: P(E-RIM)ETER.

  1. French town displays with no end of luxury (5)

Answer: ARRAS (i.e. “French town”). Solution is ARRAYS (i.e. arranges or “displays”) with the Y removed (indicated by “with no end of luxury”, i.e. the last letter of “luxury”). (cough)-made-to-fit-(cough)…

  1. Representative uncovered person circling a lake in Colorado initially (12)

Answer: NATURALISTIC (i.e. “representative”). Solution is NATURIST (i.e. “uncovered person”) wrapped around or “circling” A and L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), then followed by I and C (i.e. “in Colorado initially”, i.e. the first letters of “in” and “Colorado”), like so: NATUR(A-L)IST-I-C.

  1. Support English account penned by academic and cleric (10)

Answer: ARCHDEACON (i.e. “cleric”). Solution is ARCH (i.e. “support”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and AC (ditto “account”) once both are placed in or “penned by” DON (i.e. “academic”), like so: ARCH-D(E-AC)ON.

  1. Good worker getting corporation to invest in Russian currency in scramble (5-3-6)

Answer: ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE (i.e. “scramble”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), HAND (i.e. “worker”) and TUM (i.e. “corporation” – setters love using a variant meaning of the word, being a pot belly) all placed “in” ROUBLE (i.e. “Russian currency”), like so: ROU(G-HAND-TUM)BLE.

  1. I sense accommodating half of family would be shocking (8)

Answer: INFAMOUS (i.e. “shocking”). Solution is I and NOUS (i.e. common “sense”) wrapped around or “accommodating” FAM (i.e. first “half of family”), like so: I-N(FAM)OUS.

  1. Kings besetting oil producers for a small amount (6)

Answer: KOPECK (i.e. “small amount”, specifically “a Russian coin, the hundredth part of a rouble, no longer having any significant worth” (Chambers)). Solution is K and K (both “kings”, a recognised abbreviation used in chess) wrapped around or “besetting” OPEC (i.e. “oil producers”, specifically the Organization of the Petroleum-Exporting Countries), like so: K(OPEC)K.

  1. GP producing notes after key treatment? (5,5)

Answer: GRAND PIANO. Clue plays on G being a recognised abbreviation of “grand” and P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, and also how you’d play “notes” on one in a musical “key”. You get the idea. Nicely worked.

  1. Nice retired performer? (5)

Answer: EXACT (i.e. “nice” – over to Chambers: “done with great care and exactness, accurate”). When written as EX-ACT the solution also satisfies “retired performer”.

  1. Not often put forward or what’s recalled in another area (4)

Answer: RARE (i.e. “not often put forward“). “What’s…in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “recalled” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: ANOTH(ER AR)EA.

[EDIT: Thanks to Louise in the comments for cleaning this one up. I hadn’t spotted that the solution exists both “put forward” and backwards within the clue, i.e. ANOTH(ER AR)EA and ANOTHE(R ARE)A. Cheers, Louise! – LP]

  1. Very sweet article for cake decoration (8)

Answer: ANGELICA (i.e. “cake decoration” – again to Chambers: “a genus of umbelliferous plants with large leaves and double-winged fruit…; its candied leaf-stalks and midribs, used as a decoration for cakes etc”). Solution is ANGELIC (i.e. “very sweet”) followed by A (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the).

  1. Absurd address to judge is keeping most of court in uproar (9)

Answer: LUDICROUS (i.e. “absurd”). Solution is LUD (i.e. informal “address to judge”) followed by IS once wrapped around or “keeping” an anagram (indicated by “in uproar”) of COURT once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “most of…”), like so: LUD-I(CROU)S.

  1. Openings channelling right warm material to fire (9)

Answer: GRAPESHOT (i.e. “material to fire” from a gun). Solution is GAPES (i.e. “openings”) wrapped around or “channelling” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and followed by HOT (i.e. “warm”), like so: G(R)APES-HOT.

  1. Composer butchers composition (8)

Answer: Franz SCHUBERT (i.e. “composer”). “Composition” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BUTCHERS. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Virile male, not clever, not very good (4)

Answer: STUD (i.e. “virile male”). Solution is STUPID (i.e. “not clever”) with the PI removed (indicated by “not very good” – PI being a recognised abbreviation of pious).

  1. Tom’s first in to clinch bargain (5)

Answer: STEAL (i.e. a “bargain”). Solution is T (i.e. “Tom’s first” letter) placed “in” SEAL (i.e. “to clinch” or secure), like so: S(T)EAL.

  1. Father got bigger, ditching uniform that’s in pieces (10)

Answer: FRAGMENTED (i.e. “in pieces”). Solution is FR (a recognised abbreviation of the title “Father”) followed by AUGMENTED (i.e. “got bigger”) once the U has been removed (indicated by “ditching uniform” – “uniform” being U in the phonetic alphabet), like so: FR-AGMENTED.

  1. Former Israeli leader penning second lot of reminiscences (6)

Answer: MEMOIR (i.e. “lot of reminiscences”). Solution is Golda MEIR (i.e. “former Israeli leader” – no, me neither) wrapped around or “penning” MO (short for a moment, i.e. “second”), like so: ME(MO)IR.

  1. Yes, a cuckoo with a limp is an obvious target (4,4)

Answer: EASY GAME (i.e. “obvious target”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cuckoo”) of YES A followed by GAME (i.e. “with a limp” – Chambers offers a variant meaning: “lame”).

  1. Old place, perhaps not upright, containing a lot of buddleia, rampant (6,8)

Answer: LISTED BUILDING (i.e. “old place”). Solution is LISTING (i.e. “perhaps not upright”) wrapped around or “containing” an anagram (indicated by “rampant”) of BUDDLEIA once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “a lot of…”), like so: LIST(EDBUILD)ING.

  1. Source of milk and bread you wheeled round? (3-7)

Answer: TEA-TROLLEY. The solution satisfies the clue as a whole, but also comprises TEAT (i.e. “source of milk”), ROLL (i.e. “bread”) and YE (olde form of “you”) once reversed (indicated by “wheeled round”), like so: TEAT-ROLL-EY. Another well-worked clue.

  1. One promoting heathen Greek god suppressed by Protestant (12)

Answer: PROPAGANDIST (i.e. “one promoting”). Solution is PAGAN (i.e. “heathen”) and DIS (i.e. “Greek god”, another name for Pluto) both placed in or “suppressed by” PROT (a recognised abbreviation of “Protestant”), like so: PRO(PAGAN-DIS)T.

  1. Keep at the instructions, say, extracting energy or gas (5)

Answer: RADON (i.e. “gas”). Solution is READ ON (i.e. “keep at the instructions, say”) with the E removed (indicated by “extracting energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”).

  1. Women’s greeting given to both sides before game – it’s revolutionary (9)

Answer: WHIRLPOOL (i.e. “it’s revolutionary”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “women”) followed by HI (i.e. “greeting”), then RL (i.e. “both sides”, being recognised abbreviations of “right” and “left”), then POOL (i.e. “game”).

  1. Better work on industrial efficiency in the field? (7)

Answer: OUTDOOR (i.e. “in the field”). When written as OUTDO O.R. the solution also satisfies “better work on industrial efficiency”. O.R. is a recognised abbreviation of “operations research”, which covers that kind of thing.

  1. MI5 boss possibly securing shelter for one about to go off? (10)

Answer: SLEEPYHEAD (i.e. “one about to go off”). Solution is SPY HEAD (i.e. “MI5 boss possibly”) wrapped around or “securing” LEE (i.e. “shelter”), like so: S(LEE)PY-HEAD.

  1. What sounds like very much a routine wine? (9)

Answer: SAUTERNES (i.e. “wine”). “What sounds like” indicates the solution comprises homophones of SO (i.e. “very much”) and TURN (i.e. “a routine” or act). Took a small brute force of my Chambers, me not being much of a wine buff.

Down clues

  1. Metal embedded in stone? That’s some effort (5)

Answer: STINT (i.e. a work shift or “some effort”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “metal”) placed or “embedded in” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stone”), like so: S(TIN)T.

  1. Dessert served with sweet wine in later upheaval (10)

Answer: AFTERSHOCK (i.e. “later upheaval” from an earthquake). Solution is AFTERS (i.e. “dessert”) followed by HOCK (i.e. “sweet wine”).

  1. Daughter avoiding carefully describing online business (1-7)

Answer: E-TAILING (i.e. “online business”). Solution is DETAILING (i.e. “carefully describing”) with the D removed (indicated by “daughter avoiding” – D being a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”).

  1. Anticipates chap’s securing work (5)

Answer: HOPES (i.e. “anticipates”). Solution is HE’S (i.e. “chap’s”) wrapped around or “securing” OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”), like so: H(OP)E’S.

  1. Fruit I’m beginning to munch, being outside (9)

Answer: PERSIMMON (i.e. a plum-like “fruit”). Solution is I’M and M (i.e. “beginning to munch”, i.e. the first letter of “munch”) with PERSON (i.e. “being”) placed “outside”, like so: PERS(I’M-M)ON.

  1. Put out male entering bar, falling over (4)

Answer: BUMP (i.e. to jolt or “put out”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) placed in or “entering” PUB (i.e. “bar”) once reversed (indicated by “falling over”), like so: BU(M)P.

  1. Dismissed odd bits of curry? Uproar (6)

Answer: OUTCRY (i.e. “uproar”). Solution is OUT (i.e. “dismissed”, say, in a ball game) followed by CRY (i.e. “odd bits of curry”, i.e. the odd letters of CURRY).

  1. Head of monastery bending religious rule will get dismissal (8,6)

Answer: MARCHING ORDERS (i.e. “dismissal”). Solution is M (i.e. “head of monastery”, i.e. the first letter of “monastery”) followed by ARCHING (i.e. “bending”) and ORDERS (i.e. “religious rule”).

  1. Holiday firm can get excited about composer anniversary finally (6,6)

Answer: TRAVEL AGENCY (i.e. “holiday firm”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “excited”) of CAN GET wrapped “about” Maurice RAVEL (i.e. “composer”) and followed by Y (i.e. “anniversary finally”, i.e. the last letter of “anniversary”), like so: T(RAVEL)AGENC-Y.

  1. Copper pulled up a vehicle over booze (7)

Answer: CURACAO (i.e. a liqueur or “booze”). Solution is CU (chemical symbol or “copper”) followed by A CAR (i.e. “a vehicle”) once reversed (indicated by “pulled up” – this being a down clue), then O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket), like so: CU-(RAC-A)-O

  1. Subordinate cracked – runs for moneylender (10)

Answer: PAWNBROKER (i.e. “moneylender”). Solution is PAWN (i.e. “subordinate”) followed by BROKE (i.e. “cracked”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games).

  1. Demo is kept up around America: a bit of a headache generally (9)

Answer: SINUSITIS (i.e. “a headache generally”). Solution is SIT-IN (i.e. “demo”) and IS all reversed (indicated by “kept up” – this being a down clue) and wrapped “around” US (i.e. “America”), like so: SI-N(US)I-TIS.

  1. Friends turned up a little hastily (8)

Answer: SLAPDASH (i.e. “hastily”). Solution is PALS (i.e. “friends”) reversed (indicated by “turned up” – again, this being a down clue) and followed by DASH (i.e. “a little” measurement of, say, an ingredient or condiment), like so: SLAP-DASH.

  1. What’s in the overhead locker? (5,4)

Answer: UPPER CASE. Solution playfully satisfies the clue as a whole, taking CASE to be an item of luggage and UPPER being its situation in an “overhead locker”. Not getting much else from this one, though, so I’m probably missing something clever. Might be a caps lock thing, but this feels too weak.

[EDIT: Thanks to Rachel in the comments for clearing this one up. Turns out the clue was misprinted in the newspaper and ought to have been all in capital letters. Makes a lot more sense now. Cheers, Rachel! – LP]

  1. Cost of hiring hill maybe involving one is falling fast? (10)

Answer: TORRENTIAL (i.e. of rain “falling fast”). Solution is TOR RENTAL (i.e. “cost of hiring hill maybe”) wrapped around or “involving” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: TOR-RENT(I)AL.

  1. Newspaper and book to peruse: that’ll keep you going (5,5)

Answer: DAILY BREAD (i.e. “that’ll keep you going”). Solution is DAILY (i.e. “newspaper”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”) and READ (i.e. “to peruse”).

  1. Excellent soldiers I placed around castle, with stronger reason (1,8)

Answer: A FORTIORI (i.e. “with stronger reason” in Latin). Solution is AI (i.e. “excellent”, i.e. A1, using it’s Roman numeral equivalent), OR (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) and I all placed “around” FORT (i.e. “castle”), like so: A(FORT)I-OR-I. One remembered through its frequent appearance in previous Jumbos.

  1. Expecting providing obstruction will restrict the line (2,3,6,3)

Answer: IN THE FAMILY WAY (i.e. pregnant or “expecting”). Solution is IN THE WAY (i.e. “providing obstruction”) wrapped around or “restricting” FAMILY (i.e. “line”), like so: IN-THE-(FAMILY)-WAY. Another remembered from a previous puzzle.

  1. Very good to engage in popular craze, eradicating a problem with sleeping (8)

Answer: INSOMNIA (i.e. “problem with sleeping”). Solution is SO (i.e. “very” – I guess “good” is there to make the clue scan better) placed between or “engaged in” IN (i.e. “popular”) and MANIA (i.e. “craze”) once the A has been removed (indicated by “eradicating a”), like so: IN-(SO)-MNIA.

  1. Aggression erupting in Greece following alarm (12)

Answer: BELLIGERENCE (i.e. “aggression”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “erupting”) of IN GREECE placed after or “following” BELL (i.e. “alarm”), like so: BELL-IGERENCE.

  1. Spectators run to embrace tennis great – it expresses warmth (3,6)

Answer: GAS HEATER (i.e. “spectators”). Solution is GATE (i.e. “spectators” at an event) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “run”, covered earlier) wrapped around Arthur ASHE (i.e. “tennis great”), like so: G(ASHE)ATE-R. Another of those solutions where you’re lucky I don’t set these things.

  1. Join Labour, say, upset over a right-winger being insulting (10)

Answer: DEROGATORY (i.e. “insulting”). Solution is GO RED (i.e. “join Labour, say”, a reference to the colour used to represent the political party) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and followed by A TORY (i.e. “a right-winger”), like so: (DER-OG)-A-TORY. Another good clue.

  1. New Zealand city very familiar with good fashion (10)

Answer: WELLINGTON (i.e. “New Zealand city”). Solution is WELL (i.e. “very” or in a thorough manner) followed by IN (i.e. “familiar” – presumably taken to mean “much in use (as in in-word, in-thing)” (Chambers)), then G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and TON (i.e. “fashion” – a variant meaning of the word you pretty much only ever see used in cryptic crosswords).

  1. Disreputable number taking top prize, eliminating first three (9)

Answer: NOTORIOUS (i.e. “disreputable”). Solution is NO (a recognised abbreviation of “number”) followed by VICTORIOUS (i.e. “taking top prize”) once the “first three” letters have been removed or “eliminated”, like so: NO-TORIOUS.

  1. Bribe for radio announcer not reduced? It should be stopped (8)

Answer: BUNGHOLE (i.e. “it should be stopped”). Solution is BUNG (i.e. “bribe”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “for radio announcer”) of WHOLE (i.e. “not reduced”), like so: BUNG-HOLE.

  1. Possibly not full scale outrage (7)

Answer: SCANDAL (i.e. “outrage”). When written as SC AND AL the solution cryptically satisfies “possibly not full scale”, i.e. descriptive of the first four letters of “scale”, being SC and AL.

  1. Weak with age, from date around zero? (6)

Answer: SENILE (i.e. “weak with age”). Solution is SEE (i.e. to “date” someone) wrapped “around” NIL (i.e. “zero”), like so: SE(NIL)E.

  1. A sauce served up with Uruguay’s foremost rice dish (5)

Answer: PILAU (i.e. “rice dish”). Solution is A and LIP (i.e. “sauce” or impudence) all reversed (indicated by “served up” – this being a down clue) and followed by U (i.e. “Uruguay’s foremost” letter), like so: (PIL-A)-U.

  1. Only partially fair on soccer clubs (5)

Answer: IRONS (i.e. golf “clubs”). “Only partially” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: FA(IR ON S)OCCER.

  1. Happy head of BBC is upset about French article (4)

Answer: GLAD (i.e. “happy”). Solution is DG (a recognised abbreviation of “Director General”, i.e. “head of BBC”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – again, this being a down clue) and wrapped “about” LA (i.e. “French article”, i.e. the French feminine form of “the” – an article being a word like a, an or the), like so: G(LA)D.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1548

Stinker time!!! For the most part this was a good ‘un with plenty of misdirection and inventive wordplay, though was slightly marred for me by a handful of scruffy or overly-shoehorned clues. A few recent repeats didn’t help. Still, this was an entertaining workout overall.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has ordered twenty skips and had them all delivered to your house then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the buggers. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear how fellow solvers fared once their pens have been stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Doddery ex-judge with SUV, one safe to take a chance at the wheel! (6,3,4)

Answer: FAITES VOS JEUX (i.e. “to take a chance at the wheel” – and off to Chambers we go: “place your stakes eg in roulette”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “doddery”) of EX-J (J being a recognised abbreviation of “judge”), SUV, I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and SAFE TO. Never heard of it, but then I’m not exactly the betting type.

  1. Yankee in game show to disregard the score? (4,2,3)

Answer: PLAY BY EAR (i.e. “disregard the [musical] score”). Solution is Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet) placed “in” PLAY (i.e. to “game”) and BEAR (i.e. “show”), like so: PLAY-B(Y)EAR.

  1. Clients American and Irish mostly (5)

Answer: USERS (i.e. “clients”). Solution is US (i.e. “American”) followed by ERSE (i.e. “Irish”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: US-ERS.

  1. After adjusting VAT, I agree to diversify (9)

Answer: VARIEGATE (i.e. “to diversify”). “After adjusting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of VAT I AGREE.

  1. What gets viewers streaming talk on race? (7)

Answer: TEARGAS (i.e. “what gets viewers streaming”). Solution is GAS (i.e. to “talk”) placed “on” or after TEAR (i.e. to “race” around), like so: TEAR-GAS.

  1. Agitator close to corrupt and profitable St Petersburg concern? (12)

Answer: TROUBLEMAKER (i.e. “agitator”). Solution is T (i.e. “close to corrupt”, i.e. the last letter of “corrupt”) followed by ROUBLE-MAKER (i.e. “profitable St Petersburg concern”, playfully).

  1. Alaskan native, one captured by camera naked, we understand (6,4)

Answer: KODIAK BEAR (i.e. “Alaskan native”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “captured by” KODAK (i.e. “camera” brand) and followed by a homophone (indicated by “we understand”) of BARE (i.e. “naked”), like so: KOD(I)AK-BEAR.

  1. Don’t have your fare home? (3,3)

Answer: EAT OUT. Clue plays on “fare” being taken to mean food. You get the idea.

  1. A short journey by about six with a pilot (8)

Answer: AVIATRIX (i.e. “pilot”). Solution is A, TRI (i.e. “short journey”, i.e. the word TRIP with its last letter removed) and X (i.e. “by”, i.e. the multiplication symbol) all wrapped “about” VI (i.e. “six” in Roman numerals) and A, like so: A-(VI-A)-TRI-X.

  1. All closed following digging? (2,4)

Answer: IN TOTO (i.e. “all”). Solution is TO (i.e. “closed”, as in a door being closed to) placed after or “following” INTO (i.e. liking or “digging”), like so: INTO-TO.

  1. Fielder is behind boundary (6,4)

Answer: SECOND SLIP (i.e. “fielder” in cricket). Solution is SECONDS (i.e. backing or “is behind”) followed by LIP (i.e. “boundary”).

  1. One taking on fancy goods? (7,5)

Answer: IMPULSE BUYER. Clue plays on “fancy” being taken to mean impulsive, or as takes one’s fancy.

  1. White pawn (4)

Answer: HOCK. Solution satisfies “white” wine and to “pawn” goods. Very nicely worked.

  1. Fancy swimmer’s former, cracking girlfriend, rather! (8)

Answer: GOLDFISH (i.e. “swimmer” – not sure what makes them “fancy”, though). Solution is OLD (i.e. “former”) placed in or “cracking” GF (a recognised abbreviation of “girlfriend” – Chambers doesn’t want to know, but my Oxford backs it up) and followed by ISH (i.e. “rather”), like so: G(OLD)F-ISH.

  1. Suggestion from local United goal offside, initially (8)

Answer: INNUENDO (i.e. “suggestion”). Solution is INN (i.e. “local” or hostelry) followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “United”), then END (i.e. “goal”) and O (i.e. “offside, initially”, i.e. the first letter of “offside”).

  1. In vain, go off to find John in Rome? (8)

Answer: GIOVANNI (i.e. “John in Rome”, i.e. the Italian form of “John”). “Off” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN VAIN GO.

  1. Readily supplied with pet for FBI agent (5-3)

Answer: SPOON-FED (i.e. “readily supplied”). Solution is SPOON (i.e. to “pet” or “behave in an amorous way” (Oxford)) followed by FED (i.e. slang for an “FBI agent”). The redundant “for” was a tad misleading.

  1. Reptiles biting tail off crow (4)

Answer: BOAS (i.e. “reptiles”). Solution is BOAST (i.e. to “crow”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “biting tail off…”).

  1. Bloomer, one by boy per year is disturbing (5-7)

Answer: LADY’S-SLIPPER (i.e. flower or “bloomer”). Solution is LAD’S SLIP (i.e. “one by boy”, with reference to the “bloomer” of the clue, this time as an error) and PER wrapped around or “disturbed” by Y (a recognised abbreviation of “year”), like so: LAD(Y)’S-SLIP-PER.

  1. Career criminal enters without being spotted (10)

Answer: FLAWLESSLY (i.e. “without being spotted” or marked). Solution is FLY (i.e. to “career” or race about) wrapped around or “entered” by LAWLESS (i.e. “criminal”), like so: F(LAWLESS)LY.

  1. Reminders, such as demand for payment, returned by Society (6)

Answer: NUDGES (i.e. “reminders”). Solution is EG (i.e. “such as” or for example) and DUN (i.e. “demand for payment” – a variant meaning of the word we’ve seen in a previous Jumbo) all reversed (indicated by “returned”) and followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “Society”, as seen in things like the RSPB), like so: (NUD-GE)-S.

  1. Expected more care for one stretched on couch? (8)

Answer: LIKELIER (i.e. an outcome “expected more”). Solution is LIKE (i.e. “care for”) followed by LIER (i.e. “one stretched on couch”, playfully, hence the riddly question mark. That said, Chambers supports the usage). A horror-show of a clue given you only have _I_E_I_R to work with.

  1. Maximum to be got from cashpoint – large amount, ultimately (2,4)

Answer: AT MOST (i.e. “maximum to be got”). Solution is ATM (i.e. “cashpoint”, short for an Automated Teller Machine) followed by OS (i.e. “large”, short for outsized) and T (i.e. “amount, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “amount”).

  1. Index reference in German on Italian writer (10)

Answer: FOREFINGER (i.e. “index”). Solution is REF (short for “reference”), IN and GER (a recognised abbreviation of “German”) all placed “on” or after Dario FO (i.e. “Italian writer” – no, me neither), like so: FO-(REF-IN-GER).

  1. One calling round as hotel bar runs check on reservation (5,7)

Answer: CRASH BARRIER (i.e. central “reservation” on a motorway). Solution is CRIER (i.e. “one calling”) wrapped “round” AS, H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), BAR and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in several ball games), like so: CR(AS-H-BAR-R)IER.

  1. Constituent, one left to enter popular objection (7)

Answer: INBUILT (i.e. “constituent”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) placed in or “entering” IN (i.e. “popular”) and BUT (i.e. “objection”), like so: IN-BU(I-L)T.

  1. Ruined are our wet waterproofs, etc (9)

Answer: OUTERWEAR (i.e. “waterproofs, etc”). “Ruined” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ARE OUR WET.

  1. On reflection, claim amusement displays taste (5)

Answer: UMAMI (i.e. “taste” we’ve also seen in a relatively recent Jumbo). “Displays” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “on reflection” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: CLA(IM AMU)SEMENT.

  1. Bird with old bit of gold and blueish plumage, brown at the ends (6,3)

Answer: GUINEA HEN (i.e. “bird”). Solution is GUINEA (i.e. “old bit of gold” – “bit” can be taken to mean a coin) followed by HEN (i.e. “blueish plumage, brown at the ends”, i.e. the last letters of “blueisH“, “plumagE” and “browN“).

  1. When feverish at home, you briefly prepare tonic (1,4,2,3,3)

Answer: A SHOT IN THE ARM (i.e. “tonic”). Solution is AS (i.e. “when”) followed by HOT (i.e. “feverish”), then IN (i.e. “at home”), then THEE (i.e. “you”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), then ARM (i.e. to “prepare” an explosive device), like so: AS-HOT-IN-THE-ARM.

Down clues

  1. Vain female of no fixed abode, reportedly (9)

Answer: FRUITLESS (i.e. in “vain”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of ROOTLESS (i.e. “of no fixed abode”).

  1. Vessel’s chief engineer stole aboard it (7)

Answer: ICEBOAT (i.e. “vessel”). Solution is CE (a recognised abbreviation of “chief engineer”) and BOA (i.e. garment or “stole”) both placed in or “aboard” IT, like so: I(CE-BOA)T.

  1. To be sure, an unusual resort! (10)

Answer: EASTBOURNE (i.e. “resort”). “Unusual” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TO BE SURE AN.

  1. Tested by speaking through journalist, maintaining volume (6)

Answer: VIVAED (i.e. “tested by speaking” – a viva is an oral exam). Solution is VIA (i.e. “through”) and ED (i.e. “journalist” – short for an editor) wrapped around or “maintaining” V (a recognised abbreviation of “volume”), like so: VI(V)A-ED.

  1. Girl about to drain a stream to find plant root (12)

Answer: SARSAPARILLA (i.e. “plant root”). Solution is SARA (i.e. “girl’s” name) wrapped “about” SAP (i.e. “to drain”), A and RILL (i.e. “stream”), like so: SAR(SAP-A-RILL)A.

  1. Out of The Times, text (English) gets its interpretation (8)

Answer: EXEGESIS (i.e. “interpretation”). Solution is TEXT, E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and GETS ITS once all the Ts have been removed (indicated by “out of the times” – ignoring the misleading capitalisation and taking T to be a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: (T)EX(T)-E-GE(T)S-I(T)S => EX-E-GES-IS.

  1. Picture accompanied by an echo in Cineplex? (4)

Answer: XRAY (i.e. “accompanied by an echo in Cineplex” – “Xray” is X in the phonetic alphabet, meanwhile “echo” is E. The two letters can be found side-by-side at the end of “Cineplex”, so you could say the X is “accompanied by an” E or “echo”). When written as X-RAY the solution also satisfies “picture”.

  1. Occupier not normally dealt with so blooming early! (10)

Answer: PRECOCIOUS (i.e. of early development or “blooming early”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “not normally dealt”) of OCCUPIER and SO.

  1. Clip with article on Irish town (6)

Answer: ANTRIM (i.e. “Irish town”). Solution is TRIM (i.e. “clip”) placed after or “with” AN (i.e. “article” – an article is a word like a, an or the), like so: AN-TRIM.

  1. Pair of shades a boxer gets after fight? (5-3-4)

Answer: BLACK-AND-BLUE (i.e. “a boxer gets after flight”, being an informal description of bruising). When written as BLACK AND BLUE the solution also satisfies “pair of shades” or colours.

  1. Coup on course, finally, since junta taking full charge (5)

Answer: EAGLE (i.e. “coup on [golf] course”, clearing a hole two strokes under par). “Finally” indicates the solution is formed from the last letters of “sincE“, “juntA“, “takinG“, “fulL” and “chargE“.

  1. Picture of mine follows (9,4)

Answer: RESERVOIR DOGS (i.e. a motion “picture”, Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut). Solution is RESERVOIR (i.e. “mine” – too loose for me) followed by DOGS (i.e. “follows”).

  1. Period assigned by group (4,4)

Answer: TIME SLOT (i.e. “period assigned”). Solution is TIMES (i.e. multiplied “by”) followed by LOT (i.e. “group”).

  1. What experts know about “unknowns” – answer: they’re negative! (9)

Answer: OXYANIONS (i.e. “they’re negative”, I guess. Chambers has nothing, but my Oxford offers this: “an anion containing one or more oxygen atoms bonded to another element (as in the sulphate and carbonate ions)”. One of those everyday words then). Solution is ONIONS (i.e. “what experts know”, proverbially speaking) wrapped “about” X and Y (i.e. “unknowns” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”) and A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, as in Q&A), like so: O(XY-A)NIONS. Bloody hell…

  1. Imaginary line bats also go in (8)

Answer: ISOGONAL (i.e. “imaginary line”, I guess again. Chambers has this: “an isogonic line or contour line of magnetic declination”. Ohhh-kay then. (Looks to camera)). “Bats” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALSO GO IN. Hell’s teeth, setter…

  1. Cheated-on duke seen in mostly foolish light (9)

Answer: CUCKOLDED (i.e. “cheated-on”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) placed “in” CUCKOO (i.e. “foolish”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), and LED (i.e. “light”, specifically a Light Emitting Diode), like so: CUCKO-L(D)ED.

  1. Give time to son to finish drink (4,4)

Answer: SEND DOWN (i.e. to sentence or “give [prison] time to”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by END (i.e. “to finish”) and DOWN (i.e. to “drink”).

  1. Love to meet with tart in uniform (2,1,5)

Answer: OF A PIECE (i.e. alike or “uniform”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, being a zero score in tennis) followed by FACE (i.e. “to meet”) once wrapped around or having “in” PIE (i.e. “tart”), like so: O-FA(PIE)CE.

  1. Find oneself shy following school dance (8,5)

Answer: HIGHLAND FLING (i.e. “dance”). Solution is LAND (i.e. to “find oneself”, e.g. landing oneself in trouble) and FLING (i.e. to “shy”, a variant meaning of the word) both placed after or “following” HIGH (i.e. “school”), like so: HIGH-(LAND-FLING).

  1. Serializes broadcast about football managers without interference (7-5)

Answer: LAISSEZ-FAIRE (i.e. “without interference” or letting things take their course). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “broadcast”) of SERIALIZES wrapped “about” FA (i.e. “football managers”, specifically the Football Association), like so: LAISSEZ(FA)IRE.

  1. Bursting with energy, following fine learning guide (12)

Answer: EFFLORESCENT (i.e. blooming or “bursting”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) followed by F (ditto “following”), then F (ditto “fine”, used in grading pencils), then LORE (i.e. “learning”) and SCENT (i.e. a “guide”, e.g. to someone’s whereabouts).

  1. Cheerful party assessed finally to have flipped (6,4)

Answer: UPSIDE DOWN (i.e. “flipped”). Solution is UP (i.e. “cheerful”) followed by SIDE (i.e. “party”), then D (i.e. “assessed finally”, i.e. the last letter of “assessed”), then OWN (i.e. “to have”).

  1. Revealing bishop’s responsibility at an end (3-7)

Answer: SEE-THROUGH (i.e. “revealing”). Solution is SEE (i.e. “bishop’s responsibility” or jurisdiction) followed by THROUGH (i.e. finished or “at an end”).

  1. Metal club Yorkshireman holds back symbolically (9)

Answer: YTTERBIUM (i.e. “metal”). Clue plays on how the solution’s chemical “symbol”, Yb, has been hidden in the clue (indicated by “holds”) and reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: CLU(B Y)ORKSHIREMAN. Took a while to twig.

  1. Welcome not often seen for rising church priest (8)

Answer: HIERARCH (i.e. “priest”). Solution is HI (i.e. “welcome”) followed by RARE (i.e. “not often seen”) once reversed (indicated by “for rising” – this being a down clue) and CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: HI-ERAR-CH.

  1. Island abroad where Scot’s entire family at home? (7)

Answer: OKINAWA (i.e. “island abroad” over in Japan). When written as O KIN AWA the solution playfully satisfies “Scot’s entire family at home”, taking O to mean zero, KIN to mean “family” and AWA as a Scot’s form of “away”. If no kin are away then one can assume they are all at home. Another that took a while to decode.

  1. Grass verges on Severn are dying (6)

Answer: SNITCH (i.e. to “grass” someone up). Solution is SN (i.e. “verges on Severn”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Severn”) followed by ITCH (i.e. “are dying” – dying and itch can both mean a strong desire).

  1. Fairy’s loose garment moving right down leg (6)

Answer: OBERON (i.e. king of the “fairies”). Solution is ROBE (i.e. “loose garment”) with the R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) “moved” to the end or “down” – this being a down clue – and followed by ON (i.e. “leg” side in cricket), like so: (R)OBE-ON => OBE(R)-ON.

  1. Go on before the end to become a minister (5)

Answer: RABBI (i.e. “minister” – I thought this was more a Christian thing, but Chambers offers “the head, or assistant to the head, of certain religious orders”). Solution is RABBIT (i.e. to “go on” or talk a lot) with the last letter removed (indicated by “before the end”).

  1. Walk that’s covered three fifths of Spain? (4)

Answer: STOA (i.e. a colonnade or “walk that’s covered”). When written as S TO A the solution also playfully satisfies “three fifths of Spain”, i.e. the letters S TO A within the five-letter word “Spain”. Sneaky.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1547

A relatively straightforward one this week. While I had a couple of disagreements here and there, this was for the most part excellent entertainment, peppered with well worked, witty clues and offering the kind of steady progression I like.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has not only failed to put away any of the felt-tipped pens it was using but left all the lids off too then you might find my Just For Fun page of benefit, where you’ll find links to solutions to hundreds of the buggers. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of fellow solvers once their pens are stilled. If you’ve recently discovered my little corner of the interwebs then welcome aboard, the more the merrier! Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Unsuccessful with money? This’ll get you a raise! (9)

Answer: SOURDOUGH (i.e. “this’ll get you a raise”, as in how bread rises when being baked). Solution is SOUR (i.e. bad or “unsuccessful”) followed by DOUGH (i.e. slang for “money”).

  1. One’s back with writer touring about in hired vehicle (7)

Answer: MINICAB (i.e. “hired vehicle”). Solution is I’M (i.e. “one is”, specifically a contraction of I AM) reversed (indicated by “back”) and followed by NIB (i.e. “writer”) once wrapped around or “touring” CA (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), like so: M’I-NI(CA)B.

  1. Start in college of western America where pupils are trained? (5)

Answer: FOCUS (i.e. “where pupils are trained”). Solution is C (i.e. “start in college”, i.e. the first letter of “college”) and OF all reversed (indicated by “western” – this being an across clue), then followed by US (i.e. “American”), like so: (FO-C)-US.

  1. Possessing joint, tested nudge theory, perhaps (7)

Answer: ELBOWED. Solution satisfies “possessing joint” and, playfully, “tested nudge theory”.

  1. Punishment not unknown in west country town (7)

Answer: PENANCE (i.e. “punishment”). Solution is PENZANCE (i.e. “west country town”) with the Z removed (indicated by “not unknown in…” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as unknowns).

  1. Regarding who sits on the throne? (7)

Answer: LOOKING (i.e. “regarding”). When written as LOO KING the clue playfully satisfies “who sits on the throne” – throne can be a slang word for a toilet or LOO. Great clue! Still makes me laugh.

  1. It’s made in lab, I tell agency cryptically (11,8)

Answer: GENETICALLY MODIFIED (i.e. “it’s made in lab”). The remainder of the clue plays on how the solution “cryptically” satisfies “I tell agency”, in that it is the word “GENETICALLY” MODIFIED or made into an anagram. Nicely played.

  1. Island floors (3)

Answer: KOS (i.e. Greek “island”). Solution also satisfies “floors”, as in a recognised abbreviation of “knocks out”.

  1. Refuse tablets to take orally (6)

Answer: ESCHEW (i.e. “refuse”). Solution is ES (i.e. “tablets” – a reference to ecstasy, its street name being E) followed by CHEW (i.e. “to take orally”).

  1. Exhausted, due to change in unique selling point (4,2)

Answer: USED UP (i.e. “exhausted”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to change”) of DUE placed “in” USP (a recognised abbreviation of “unique selling point”), like so: US(EDU)P.

  1. Prisoner, not “caught” in a manner of speaking, in nick (9)

Answer: CONDITION (i.e. “nick”, as in being in good nick). Solution is CON (i.e. slang for a “prisoner”) followed by DICTION (i.e. “manner of speaking”) once the C has been removed (indicated by “not ‘caught’” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games), like so: CON-DITION.

  1. Two US states beset by inconsistent man’s rule (10)

Answer: PATRIARCHY (i.e. “man’s rule”). Solution is RI and AR (i.e. “two US states” abbreviations, specifically Rhode Island and Arkansas respectively) both placed in or “beset by” PATCHY (i.e. “inconsistent”), like so: PAT(RI-AR)CHY.

  1. Cough and rasp, as unwell? A case for mummy! (11)

Answer: SARCOPHAGUS (i.e. “a case for mummy”). “Unwell” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of COUGH and RASP AS.

  1. Appeal of returning to low pub (5)

Answer: OOMPH (i.e. “appeal”). Solution is MOO (i.e. “low”, a variant meaning being the noise a cow makes) reversed (indicated by “returning”) and followed by PH (i.e. “pub”, specifically a Public House), like so: OOM-PH.

  1. Objections got well covered up (8)

Answer: OBSCURED (i.e. “covered up”). Solution is OBS (i.e. “objections” – over to Chambers, an ob is: “an objection (in the phrase ob and sol objection and solution). [From the marginal note ob in old books of controversial divinity]”) followed by CURED (i.e. “got well”).

  1. Strand marine creature, last but one straying westward (8)

Answer: SEASHORE (i.e. “strand”, a variant meaning of the word). Solution is SEAHORSE (i.e. “marine creature”) with the penultimate letter or “last but one” advancing a few notches or “straying westward” – this being an across clue), like so: SEAHOR(S)E => SEA(S)HORE.

  1. What’ll make for tidy life? Not messing around! (8)

Answer: FIDELITY (i.e. “not messing around”). “What’ll make” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TIDY LIFE. Nicely done.

  1. Implying only one gender counts, consciousness-wise? (8)

Answer: MENTALLY (i.e. “consciousness-wise”). When written as MEN TALLY the solution playfully satisfies “implying only one gender counts”.

  1. A bit of work that’s key for raising capital? (5)

Answer: SHIFT. Solution satisfies “a bit of work” and “key for raising capital” on a keyboard. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Criminal I arrested on purpose (6,5)

Answer: RAISON D’ÊTRE (i.e. “purpose”). “Criminal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I ARRESTED ON.

  1. Customer’s out of line, though outwardly so rational (10)

Answer: SCIENTIFIC (i.e. “rational”). Solution is CLIENT (i.e. “customer”) with the L removed (indicated by “out of line” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “line”) and the remainder placed with IF (i.e. “though” – can be interchangeable in a sentence starting “it’s not as if/though…”) in or having “outwardly” SIC (i.e. Latin for “so” or thus), like so: S(CIENT-IF)IC.

  1. Pooh Bear in plastic, not right being on novelty watch? (9)

Answer: NEOPHOBIA (the fear of new things, which might playfully place one on “novelty watch”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “plastic”) of POOH BEAR IN once the R has been removed (indicated by “not right” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”).

  1. Company’s importing sound equipment for stand-ups (6)

Answer: COMICS (i.e. “stand-ups”). Solution is CO’S (a recognised abbreviation of “company” with a contraction of is) wrapped around or “importing” MIC (i.e. “sound equipment”, short for a microphone), like so: CO(MIC)’S.

  1. Show audience programme beforehand (6)

Answer: APPEAR (i.e. “show”). Solution is EAR (i.e. “audience”) placed after or having “beforehand” APP (i.e. short for application or computer “programme” – I disagree. When it comes to computing the American spelling, program, should be used), like so: APP-EAR.

  1. Beverage to take in back to front (3)

Answer: TEA (i.e. “beverage”). Solution is EAT (i.e. “to take in”) with the last letter placed at the beginning (indicated by “back to front”), like so: EA(T) => (T)EA.

  1. Under the circumstances, I’m open to offers! (3,6,10)

Answer: ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Solution satisfies “under the circumstances” and, playfully, “I’m open to offers”. Cleverly done.

  1. National symbol that can get you down (7)

Answer: THISTLE. Solution satisfies “national symbol” of Scotland and “that can get you down”, referring to the fluff you can get on thistle heads.

  1. One to bat – watch stroke (7)

Answer: EYELASH (i.e. “one to bat” – another I’d disagree with. I thought one batted eyelids or eyes, not eyelashes). Solution is EYE (i.e. “watch”) followed by LASH (i.e. “stroke” of a whip).

  1. During work duties, I carouse (7)

Answer: ROISTER (i.e. “carouse”). Solution is ROSTER (i.e. “work duties”) “during” which is placed I, like so: RO(I)STER.

  1. Stopped working around mid-evening and had a meal (5)

Answer: DINED (i.e. “had a meal”). Solution is DIED (i.e. “stopped working”) wrapped “around” N (i.e. “mid-evening”, i.e. the middle letter of “evening”), like so: DI(N)ED.

  1. Miss Haversham’s dresses tell all when discovered (7)

Answer: ESTELLA (i.e. “Miss Haversham’s” first name, from Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations). “Discovered” suggests the solution has been hidden in the clue, i.e. by uncovering DRESS(ES TELL A)LL.

  1. Mark house and pass on (9)

Answer: SEMICOLON (i.e. punctuation “mark”). Solution is SEMI (i.e. “house”) followed by COL (a mountain “pass” often seen in cryptic crosswords) and ON.

Down clues

  1. Band who had Christmas hit broadcast rode with Santa? (8)

Answer: SLEIGHED (i.e. “rode with Santa”). “Broadcast” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SLADE (i.e. “band who had Christmas hit”).

  1. Head covering, apparently worn on top in city (5)

Answer: URBAN (i.e. “city”). Solution is TURBAN (i.e. “head covering”) with the first letter removed or the “top” “worn” away.

  1. Sensible, with gravity? (4-2-5)

Answer: DOWN-TO-EARTH. Solution satisfies “sensible” and is descriptive of “gravity”.

  1. Jack abandoning boat and gathering up fish to leave port (6)

Answer: UNDOCK (i.e. “to leave port”). Solution is JUNK (i.e. “boat”) with the J removed (indicated by “jack abandoning…” – J is a recognised abbreviation of “jack” used on playing cards) and the remainder wrapped around or “gathering” COD (i.e. “fish”) once reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: UN(DOC)K.

  1. Flailing about, loses speech – a non-starter (8,4)

Answer: HOPELESS CASE (i.e. “non-starter”). “Flailing about” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LOSES SPEECH A.

  1. Sun follower looked rich (7)

Answer: MONEYED (i.e. “rich”). Solution is MON (i.e. “Sun follower”, taking Sun as a shortened form of “Sunday”) followed by EYED (i.e. “looked”).

  1. Officer and soldiers confined to station – one’s gone upstairs (3,6,6)

Answer: NON COMPOS MENTIS (i.e. not being sound of mind or “gone upstairs”). Solution is NON-COM (i.e. “officer”, short for a non-commissioned officer) followed by MEN (i.e. “soldiers”) once placed in or “confined to” POST, then I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”), like so: NON-COM-POS(MEN)T-I’S.

  1. Trust one in suit to have means of paying (6,4)

Answer: CREDIT CARD (i.e. “means of paying”). Solution is CREDIT (i.e. “trust”) followed by CARD (i.e. “one in suit” of playing cards).

  1. Taurus and Leo displaying common character? Solid gold! (7)

Answer: BULLION (i.e. “solid gold”). Solution is BULL and LION (i.e. symbolising astrological signs “Taurus and Leo” respectively) joined together and sharing an L (indicated by “displaying common character”), like so: BUL[L]ION.

  1. Banishes darkness from swamp lands (11)

Answer: FLOODLIGHTS (i.e. “banishes darkness”). Solution is FLOOD (i.e. to “swamp”) followed by LIGHTS (i.e. comes down from or “lands”).

  1. Hang around sides of playing surface for curling (9)

Answer: CRINKLING (i.e. “curling”). Solution is CLING (i.e. “hang around”) wrapped around or forming the “sides of” RINK (i.e. “playing surface”), like so: C(RINK)LING.

  1. Registers omen hanging over child (5,2)

Answer: SIGNS ON (i.e. “registers”). Solution is SIGN (i.e. “omen”) followed by SON (i.e. “child”).

  1. Alleged medical blunders (7)

Answer: CLAIMED (i.e. “alleged”). “Blunders” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MEDICAL.

  1. Eddy, rejecting kiss in embrace of rascal, was frolicking (8)

Answer: CAVORTED (i.e. “was frolicking”). Solution is VORTEX (i.e. whirlpool or “eddy”) with the X removed (indicated by “rejecting kiss”) and the remainder placed “in embrace of” CAD (i.e. “rascal”), like so: CA(VORTE)D.

  1. I’m not sure this is a secret (3,5,3,4)

Answer: YOU NEVER CAN TELL. Solution satisfies “I’m not sure” and “this is a secret”. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Unaccompanied royal’s autobiography? (3,2,3)

Answer: ONE BY ONE. Solution satisfies “unaccompanied” and, playfully, “royal’s autobiography”, riffing on how royals stereotypically refer to themselves as “one” and how autobiographies are written by the subject themselves. An excellent clue, and another that still makes me laugh now. Very well played.

  1. Detective’s dodgy hustle (6)

Answer: SLEUTH (i.e. “detective”). “Dodgy” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HUSTLE.

  1. Chest – one troubled by it, audibly? (6)

Answer: COFFER (i.e. “chest”). “Audibly” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of COUGHER (i.e. “one troubled by [chest]”). Again, nicely done.

  1. First of rods I dropped into frozen hole (7)

Answer: ORIFICE (i.e. “hole”). Solution is R (i.e. “first [letter] of rods”) and I both placed or “dropped into” OF ICE (descriptive of “frozen”), like so: O(R-I)F-ICE.

  1. Without uniform level, ambassador’s surrounded by fools (12)

Answer: PLAINCLOTHES (i.e. “without uniform”). Solution is PLAIN (i.e. “level”) followed by HE (i.e. “ambassador”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of His Excellency) once placed in or “surrounded by” CLOTS (i.e. “fools”), like so: PLAIN-CLOT(HE)S.

  1. Told tale about tipsy male, cunning and bold (11)

Answer: LIONHEARTED (i.e. “bold”). Solution is LIED (i.e. “told tale”) wrapped “about” ON (i.e. “tipsy”), HE (i.e. “male”) and ART (i.e. “cunning”), like so: LI(ON-HE-ART)ED.

[EDIT: clarifying “ON”, Chambers offers this definition: “on the way to being drunk (slang)“]

  1. Puck’s back issue? (7,4)

Answer: SLIPPED DISC. Solution satisfies “back issue” and, playfully, a “puck” used in ice hockey, ice being slippery n’ all.

  1. What may be achieved by nail file (10)

Answer: ATTACHMENT. Solution satisfies “what may be achieved by nail” and “file” – think email attachments.

  1. Number one coming up with sequence of three notes penned in quarantine (9)

Answer: ISOLATION (i.e. “quarantine”). Solution is NO (a recognised abbreviation of “number”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) reversed (indicated by “coming up” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around or “penning” SO LA TI (i.e. “sequence of three notes” in the sol-fa notation), like so: I-(SO-LA-TI)-ON.

  1. Framework for crossword – hard pitch in US (8)

Answer: GRIDIRON (i.e. “pitch in US”, specifically an American football field). Solution is GRID (i.e. “framework for crossword”) followed by IRON (i.e. “hard” – I guess suggestive of something stern or inflexible. A bit of a stretch for me, but my Bradford’s backs it up).

  1. No fan of rock and roll, presumably, on paper? (7)

Answer: NOTATED (i.e. “on paper”). When written as NOT A TED the solution also satisfies “no fan of rock and roll, presumably” – a Ted being a shortened form of Teddy boy.

  1. Busy person’s picked up mask inside to buy (7)

Answer: BELIEVE (i.e. “to buy” into something claimed). Solution is BEE (i.e. “busy person”) wrapped around or having “inside” VEIL (i.e. “mask”) once reversed (indicated by “picked up” – this being a down clue), like so: BE(LIEV)E.

  1. Mother’s covered a mark with make-up (7)

Answer: MASCARA (i.e. “make-up”). Solution is MA (i.e. “mother”) wrapped around or “covering” A and SCAR (i.e. “mark”), like so: M(A-SCAR)A.

  1. Retreat from remains of cigarette butt (6)

Answer: ASHRAM (i.e. a “retreat” for a religious community, often in India). Solution is ASH (i.e. “remains of cigarette”) followed by RAM (i.e. to “butt”).

  1. Mammal after a time switching sides (5)

Answer: RATEL (i.e. “mammal”). Solution is LATER (i.e. “after a time”) with the first and last letters or “sides” “switched”, like so: (L)ATE(R) => (R)ATE(L).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1546

For the most part this was a relatively straightforward puzzle spiced up with a few toughies and some good cluing to enjoy.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has playfully destroyed the entire downstairs of your house after huffing too much elephantnip then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the blighters. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and feedback. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once the dust settles. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Jailer might carry this barrel around your home (3,4)

Answer: KEY RING (i.e. “jailer might carry this”). Solution is KEG (i.e. “barrel”) wrapped “around” YR (a recognised abbreviation of “your”) and IN (i.e. at “home”), like so: KE(YR-IN)G.

  1. Obliged to live with mature fowl outside (8)

Answer: BEHOLDEN (i.e. “obliged to”). Solution is BE (i.e. “to live”) followed by OLD (i.e. “mature”) once having “outside” HEN (i.e. “fowl”), like so: BE-H(OLD)EN.

  1. It’s used in school periods with ruler (6)

Answer: ERASER (i.e. “it’s used in school”). Solution is ERAS (i.e. “periods”) followed by ER (i.e. “ruler”, specifically Elizabeth Regina). Nicely worked.

  1. Spirituality of poetry in different spheres? (16)

Answer: OTHERWORLDLINESS (i.e. “spirituality”). Solution is LINES (i.e. “poetry”) placed “in” OTHER (i.e. “different”) and WORLDS (i.e. “spheres”), like so: OTHER-WORLD(LINES)S.

  1. Maureen struggles to make films (6)

Answer: MOVIES (i.e. “films”). Solution is MO (shortened form of “Maureen”) followed by VIES (i.e. “struggles”).

  1. Bring round popular award for tearful woman (5)

Answer: NIOBE (i.e. “tearful woman” – in Greek mythology Niobe was a mother whose overbearing pride in her children saw them murdered. Then, in her grief, Niobe was turned to stone because Greek mythology). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) reversed (indicated by “bring round”) and followed by OBE (i.e. “award”, specifically an Order of the British Empire), like so: NI-OBE. One remembered from a bygone Jumbo.

  1. Delay American writer in South Dakota (7)

Answer: SUSPEND (i.e. “delay”). Solution is US (i.e. “American”) and PEN (i.e. “writer”) both placed “in” SD (US state abbreviation of “South Dakota”), like so: S(US-PEN)D.

  1. What peers undergo in French with no jewellery (9)

Answer: ENNOBLING (i.e. “what peers undergo”). Solution is EN (i.e. “in French”, i.e. the French for “in”) followed by NO and BLING (i.e. “jewellery”).

  1. Stray Italian in politician’s domain (9)

Answer: TERRITORY (i.e. “domain”). Solution is ERR (i.e. to “stray”) and IT (a recognised abbreviation of “Italian”) both placed “in” TORY (i.e. “politician”), like so: T(ERR-IT)ORY.

  1. Study 100 in Spain filling southern church (7)

Answer: SCIENCE (i.e. academic “study”). Solution is CIEN (i.e. “100 in Spain”, i.e. the Spanish for “hundred” – thank you, Google Translate) placed in or “filling” S (a recognised abbreviation of “southern”) and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: S-(CIEN)-CE.

  1. Young reporter probing South Africa’s submarine tanks (5)

Answer: SCUBA (i.e. “submarine [air] tanks” used by divers). Solution is CUB (i.e. “young reporter”) placed in or “probing” SA (a recognised abbreviation of “South Africa”), like so: S(CUB)A.

  1. Suggest leader should leave basically (5)

Answer: IMPLY (i.e. “suggest”). Solution is SIMPLY (i.e. “basically”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “leader should leave…”).

  1. English Daisy, say, initially getting spring treat? (6,3)

Answer: EASTER EGG (i.e. “spring treat”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by ASTER (i.e. “daisy” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), then EG (i.e. “say”, or for example) and G (i.e. “initially getting”, i.e. the first letter of “getting”).

  1. Liberal lots of foreign cash for rock attraction (7)

Answer: LORELEI (i.e. “rock attraction” – over to Chambers: “in German legend, a siren of the Rhine who lured sailors to their death”. She was perched on a rock, presumably after finding all the deckchairs had been reserved. [Joke © the 1980s]). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) followed by ORE and LEI (i.e. “lots of foreign cash” – the former of assorted Scandinavian countries, the latter of Romania and Moldova).

  1. Short Swedish girl in 49 is making complaint (9)

Answer: GASTRITIS (i.e. medical “complaint”). Solution is ASTRID (i.e. “Swedish girl’s” name) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder placed “in” GT (i.e. “49” – the solution to 49a is SPORTS CAR; GT is short for gran turismo, “a motor car designed for touring in luxury and at high speed” (Chambers) – also Gran Turismo, a once great video game series(*) on PlayStation that has been reduced to yet another microtransaction-focused grindathon. To illustrate, in the newly released Gran Turismo 7 the most expensive car in the game costs 12,000,000 in-game credits. Following a recent update most races only offer a much-reduced 10,000 to 50,000 credits per win. Given each race lasts 5-10 minutes, that’s a lot of racing to grind through just to earn one car, and there are plenty other expensive cars in the game to earn. Of course, you could just get your credit card out and buy those in-game credits. Who cares that you’ve already spent £70 buying the game itself? Welcome to modern gaming, folks…), and followed by IS, like so: G(ASTRI)T-IS.

(*) Well, the first three games were pretty good, anyway.

  1. Tweedledee, say, twirling in twilit dance (9,4)

Answer: IDENTICAL TWIN (i.e. “Tweedledee, say” – other examples of identical twins are available). “Twirling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN TWILIT DANCE.

  1. Melbourne barrister? (6,7)

Answer: QUEEN’S COUNSEL (i.e. “barrister”). I don’t get it.

[EDIT: Sue has added in the comments: “A barrister is a QC (Queen’s Counsel). Lord Melbourne was Prime Minister (and adviser – hence COUNSEL) to Queen Victoria.” Cheers, Sue! – LP]

  1. Don’t use compass to find this loyal PM (4,5)

Answer: TRUE NORTH (“the direction of the north pole, opposite to magnetic north” (Chambers), i.e. “don’t use compass to find this”). Solution is TRUE (i.e. “loyal”) followed by Frederick NORTH (i.e. “PM” or Prime Minister between 1770 and 1782).

  1. It cuts chips oddly in gold circles (7)

Answer: INCISOR (i.e. “it cuts”). Solution is CIS (i.e. “chips oddly”, i.e. every other letter of CHIPS) placed in or “circled” by IN and OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry), like so: IN-(CIS)-OR.

  1. Play down grand muffler? (4,5)

Answer: SOFT PEDAL. Solution satisfies to “play down” and “grand [piano] muffler”.

  1. Declining job in printers, maybe, with no energy required (5)

Answer: DYING (i.e. “declining”). Solution is DYEING (i.e. “job in printers, maybe”) with the E removed (indicated by “no energy required” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”).

  1. Runs into small bucket in retreat (5)

Answer: MEETS (i.e. “runs into”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and TEEM (i.e. to “bucket” with rain) all reversed (indicated by “in retreat”), like so: MEET-S.

  1. Exhaust patience at first, cutting scrub (7)

Answer: DEPLETE (i.e. “exhaust”). Solution is P (i.e. “patience at first”, i.e. the first letter of “patience”) placed in or “cutting” DELETE (i.e. to “scrub”), like so: DE(P)LETE.

  1. Workers breach a keen contract (9)

Answer: AGREEMENT (i.e. “contract”). Solution is MEN (i.e. “workers” – I hope the weather’s nice for you all the way back there in the 19th century, setter) placed in or “breaching” A and GREET (i.e. “keen” – a variant Scottish meaning of the word is to weep or “keen”), like so: A-GREE(MEN)T.

  1. Son left mark, driving this? (6,3)

Answer: SPORTS CAR (i.e. “driving this”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by PORT (i.e. “left” in sailor-speak) and SCAR (i.e. “mark”).

  1. Repeated statement quietly, causing pitfall (7)

Answer: MANTRAP (i.e. “pitfall”). Solution is MANTRA (i.e. “repeated statement”) followed by P (i.e. “quietly”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano” in musical lingo).

  1. Stop patient swallowing tablet (5)

Answer: CEASE (i.e. “stop”). Solution is CASE (i.e. “patient”) wrapped around or “swallowing” E (i.e. “tablet” – E taken to be the street name of the drug ecstasy), like so: C(E)ASE.

  1. One leaving home before boxing fighter (6)

Answer: ÉMIGRÉ (i.e. “one leaving home”). Solution is ERE (poetic form of “before”) wrapped around or “boxing” MIG (i.e. “fighter” jet plane), like so: É(MIG)RÉ.

  1. Having travelled so far, Susan grasps marsh plant (5-2-9)

Answer: GRASS-OF-PARNASSUS (i.e. “marsh plant”). “Having travelled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SO FAR SUSAN GRASPS.

  1. Former nurse welcomes a day in the country (6)

Answer: SWEDEN (i.e. “country”). Solution is SEN (i.e. “former nurse”, specifically the now defunct State Enrolled Nurse) wrapped around or “welcoming” WED (i.e. “day”, specifically a shortened form of “Wednesday”), like so: S(WED)EN.

  1. His pony’s faltered under such treatment (8)

Answer: HYPNOSIS (i.e. “treatment” – “under” is also a nod to this). “Faltered” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HIS PONY’S.

  1. Rail worker and crew following cart about (7)

Answer: YARDMAN (i.e. “rail worker”). Solution is MAN (i.e. “crew” – can be used as a verb, taken to mean manning a ship) placed after or “following” DRAY (i.e. “cart”) once reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: YARD-MAN.

Down clues

  1. Ignoramus working with nerd lifted object (4-7)

Answer: KNOW-NOTHING (i.e. “ignoramus”). Solution is ON (i.e. operational or “working”) and WONK (i.e. “nerd”) both reversed (indicated by “lifted” – this being a down clue) and followed by THING (i.e. “object”), like so: (KNOW-NO)-THING.

  1. Swift creature loves fodder to be flipped (5)

Answer: YAHOO (i.e. Jonathan “Swift creature” in his novel, Gulliver’s Travels). Solution is O and O (i.e. “loves” – being zero scores in tennis) and HAY (i.e. “fodder”) all reversed (indicated by “to be flipped”), like so: YAH-O-O.

  1. One crazy king’s over supporting current ME citizen (7)

Answer: ISRAELI (i.e. “ME citizen” – ME being Middle East). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by LEAR’S (i.e. “crazy king’s”, specifically from William Shakespeare’s King Lear) reversed (indicated by “over”), then I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current” used in physics), like so: I-S’RAEL-I.

  1. Household effluent potentially a measure of economy? (5,8,7)

Answer: GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT. Solution playfully satisfies “household effluent potentially” and also “a measure of economy”. I’ll admit this raised a smile when I twigged it.

  1. Good shots which are aimed at cow? (5-4)

Answer: BULLS-EYES (i.e. “good shots” in assorted sports). When written as BULL’S EYES the solution also playfully satisfies “which are aimed at cow”.

  1. Very healthy hedges split down the middle (5)

Answer: HALVE (i.e. “split down the middle”). Solution is HALE (i.e. “healthy”) wrapped around or “hedging” V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”), like so: HAL(V)E.

  1. Baseball shot bordered stream briefly (4,5)

Answer: LINE DRIVE (i.e. a powerful “baseball shot” driven low to the ground – not one Chambers supports, but my Oxford lists it). Solution is LINED (i.e. “bordered”) followed by RIVER (i.e. “stream”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: LINED-RIVE. New MLB season starts 7th April on BT Sport, baseball fans. (Or there’s Spring Training coverage from Monday, if you’re really keen.)

  1. Oriental plant occupying narrow space (7)

Answer: EASTERN (i.e. “oriental”). Solution is ASTER (i.e. “plant”) placed in or “occupying” EN (i.e. “narrow space” – in printing, an en is a space the width of a lower case n), like so: E(ASTER)N. A significantly easier get considering the lion’s share of the solution is found in 25a.

  1. Old doctor in mad rush to obtain lozenge (7)

Answer: RHOMBUS (i.e. a “lozenge” shape). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and MB (i.e. “doctor” of medicine or Medicinae Baccalaureus) both placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “mad”) of RUSH, like so: RH(O-MB)US. One I knew, weirdly.

  1. Singular religious ceremony’s song? (9)

Answer: SPIRITUAL (i.e. “song”, specifically “a black American religious song” (Chambers)). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) followed by PI (i.e. “religious”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “pious”) and RITUAL (i.e. “ceremony”).

  1. Acceptance of the inevitable departure from office (11)

Answer: RESIGNATION. Solution satisfies “acceptance of the inevitable” and “departure from office”.

  1. It may be patent where academic lives? (12,8)

Answer: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (i.e. “patent”). Clue plays on academics being INTELLECTUAL and people living in PROPERTIES. Another that made me smile.

  1. Sally’s part of speech originally stopping ceremony (7)

Answer: RIPOSTE (i.e. “sally”). Solution is POS (i.e. “part of speech originally”, i.e. the first letters of “part”, “of” and “speech”) placed in or “stopping” RITE (i.e. “ceremony”), like so: RI(POS)TE.

  1. Sort of agents casing city (7)

Answer: SPECIES (i.e. “sort”). Solution is SPIES (i.e. “agents”) wrapped around or “casing” EC (i.e. “city”, specifically the City of London’s postcode area. ‘s a London paper, innit, guvnor, so wot yer gonna do?), like so: SP(EC)IES.

  1. After close of play, faces male supporter (1-6)

Answer: Y-FRONTS (i.e. “male supporter”). Solution is Y (i.e. “close of play”, i.e. the last letter of “play”) followed by FRONTS (i.e. “faces”).

  1. Mean character invested in slick wheels (3,2)

Answer: GET AT (i.e. “mean”). Solution is ETA (i.e. “character”, specifically the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet) placed “in” GT (i.e. “slick wheels” – our gran turismo from 29a again. Which leads me back to the sad old world of Gran Turismo 7. Recall I mentioned how a recent update to the game changed the entire in-game economy mere weeks after its release. Creators Polyphony Digital made damn sure they secured decent review scores on Metacritic (average 8.7/10) before issuing that update. Because reviewers might not have looked so kindly upon the game had they known it was really going to be a grindathon. Comically, the excuse Polyphony Digital gave for changing the game’s economy was so players would feel a greater sense of achievement and value in the cars they unlock – which would be fine were it not for those ever-present microtransactions patiently awaiting your credit card. “Cynical” barely covers it, as the somewhat less favourable user reviews on Metacritic can testify (average 2.5/10). Modern gaming, folks… Honestly, you’re better off picking up a book), like so: G(ETA)T.

  1. Checked about learner given new inside cover (7)

Answer: RELINED (i.e. “given new inside cover”). Solution is REINED (i.e. “checked” or brought into line) wrapped around L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”), like so: RE(L)INED.

  1. Society party’s completely rejected chip suppliers (5)

Answer: SPUDS (i.e. “chip suppliers”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”) and DUP’S (i.e. “party’s”, specifically the Democratic Unionist Party) all reversed (indicated by “rejected”), like so: S’PUD-S.

  1. Obscure bits of film hidden in engine casing (7)

Answer: ECLIPSE (i.e. to “obscure”). Solution is CLIPS (i.e. “bits of film”) placed or “hidden in” EE (i.e. “engine casing”, i.e. the first and last letters of “engine”), like so: E(CLIPS)E.

  1. Give out bitter sent over when conflict’s raging (7)

Answer: WARTIME (i.e. “when conflict’s raging”). Solution is EMIT (i.e. “give out”) and RAW (i.e. “bitter” or freezing) all reversed (indicated by “sent over”), like so: WAR-TIME.

  1. Which French unknown beats posers? (11)

Answer: QUIZMASTERS (i.e. “posers”, i.e. those posing questions). Solution is QUI (i.e. “which French”, i.e. the French for “which”) followed by Z (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as unknowns) and MASTERS (i.e. “beats”).

  1. Drug stolen from summit: motive for serious crime (4,7)

Answer: HIGH TREASON (i.e. “serious crime”). Solution is HEIGHT (i.e. “summit”) with the E removed (indicated by “drug stolen from…” – reference to ecstasy again) and the remainder followed by REASON (i.e. “motive”), like so: HIGHT-REASON.

  1. Monk taking care of snack, holding one up (9)

Answer: COENOBITE (i.e. “monk”). Solution is C/O (short for “care of”) and BITE (i.e. “snack”) both wrapped around or “holding” ONE reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: C/O-(ENO)-BITE. A win for my Bradford’s. Me and religion: like oil and water.

  1. Order member’s forenames to be broadcast (9)

Answer: FREEMASON (i.e. “order member”). “To be broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FORENAMES.

  1. Paris had resolved to import first of German copiers (9)

Answer: DIAGRAPHS (i.e. “copiers”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of PARIS HAD wrapped around or “importing” G (i.e. “first of German”, i.e. the initial letter of “German”), like so: DIA(G)RAPHS.

  1. Release TV for nothing (3,4)

Answer: SET FREE (i.e. “release”). Solution is SET (i.e. “TV”) followed by FREE (i.e. “for nothing”).

  1. Paint wine with fish (7)

Answer: PORTRAY (i.e. to “paint”). Solution is PORT (i.e. fortified “wine”) followed by RAY (i.e. “fish”).

  1. Decrypted name in patisserie (2,5)

Answer: EN CLAIR (i.e. “deciphered”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) placed “in” ÉCLAIR (i.e. “patisserie” – can refer to the shop and also its wares), like so: E(N)CLAIR.

  1. Poles surround old fine bays? (5)

Answer: NOOKS (i.e. “bays”). Solution is N and S (i.e. “poles”, recognised abbreviations of north and south respectively) wrapped around or “surrounding” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and OK (i.e. “fine”), like so: N(O-OK)S.

  1. Tea service brought up after start of autumn (5)

Answer: ASSAM (i.e. “tea”). Solution is MASS (i.e. religious “service”) reversed (indicated by “brought up” – this being a down clue) and placed “after” A (i.e. “start of autumn”, i.e. the first letter of “autumn”), like so: A-SSAM.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1545

A medium strength offering this week, and one where solvers had to take the rough with the smooth. There were plenty of well worked clues to enjoy, but the setter was at times too loose with their definitions.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a recent Jumbo has rolled itself up in toilet tissue and ran throughout the house, then you might find my Just For Fun page of help, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

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

LP

Across clues

  1. Go to enlist jockeys surrounding horse race expert (11)

Answer: ETHNOLOGIST (i.e. “race expert”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “jockeys”) of GO TO ENLIST wrapped around or “surrounding” H (i.e. “horse”, both street names for heroin), like so: ET(H)NOLOGIST.

  1. A benefit, with view to invest around development stage (11)

Answer: ADOLESCENCE (i.e. “development stage”). Solution is A followed by DOLE (i.e. “benefit”), then SCENE (i.e. “view”) once wrapped around or “investing” C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), like so: A-DOLE-SCEN(C)E.

  1. Get lost in Amerindian territory’s westernmost part (3,2)

Answer: HOP IT (i.e. “get lost”). Solution is HOPI (i.e. “Amerindian” – over to Chambers: “a Pueblo people living chiefly in NE Arizona”) followed by T (i.e. “territory’s westernmost part”, i.e. the first letter of “territory” – this being an across clue).

  1. Abnormal beginnings of delirium tremens, drinking water (7)

Answer: DEVIANT (i.e. “abnormal”). Solution is D and T (i.e. “beginnings of delirium tremens”, i.e. the first letters of “delirium” and “tremens”) wrapped around or “drinking” EVIAN (i.e. “water”), like so: D-(EVIAN)-T. Nicely worked.

  1. Outrageous quality of criminal across the Channel, it’s suggested? (9)

Answer: FLAGRANCE (i.e. “outrageous quality”). Solution is LAG (i.e. “criminal”) placed in or “across” FRANCE (i.e. “across the Channel”), like so: F(LAG)RANCE.

  1. Converted barn unfortunately bagging zero profit (4-5)

Answer: BORN-AGAIN (i.e. “converted”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of BARN wrapped around or “bagging” O (i.e. “zero”) and followed by GAIN (i.e. “profit”), like so: B(O)RNA-GAIN.

  1. One makes request flexibly, mostly? It’s beyond me (10)

Answer: SUPPLICANT (i.e. “one makes request”). Solution is SUPPLY (i.e. “flexibly”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by I CAN’T (i.e. “it’s beyond me”), like so: SUPPL-I-CAN’T.

  1. Rang about Republican getting provoked (7)

Answer: TROLLED (i.e. “provoked”, usually online). Solution is TOLLED (i.e. “rang”) wrapped “about” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”), like so: T(R)OLLED.

  1. Shady way of working from the east, I sense (7)

Answer: OMINOUS (i.e. sinister or “shady” – too loose for my liking). Solution is MO (i.e. “way of working” or Modus Operandi) reversed (indicated by “from the east” – this being an across clue), followed by I and NOUS (i.e. good “sense”).

  1. Clean frames using computers to make image (7)

Answer: PICTURE (i.e. “image”). Solution is PURE (i.e. “clean”) wrapped around or “framing” ICT (i.e. “computers”, a recognised abbreviation of Information and Communication Technology), like so: P(ICT)URE.

  1. In power lighting once again, it’s lacking (8)

Answer: REIGNING (i.e. “in power”). Solution is REIGNITING (i.e. “lighting once again”) with the IT removed (indicated by “it’s lacking”).

  1. No cooler aboard vessel, touring delta in uncertain venture (1,4,2,3,4)

Answer: A SHOT IN THE DARK (i.e. “uncertain venture”). Solution is AS HOT IN THE ARK (i.e. “no cooler aboard vessel”) wrapped around or “touring” D (“delta” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: AS-HOT-IN-THE-(D)-ARK.

  1. Crooks in a car dropping back on motorway (5)

Answer: MAFIA (i.e. “crooks”). Solution is A followed by FIAT (i.e. “car” make) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “dropping back”). These are then placed “on” or after M (a recognised abbreviation of “motorway”), like so: M-(A-FIA).

  1. Taps in bathrooms turned for group under water (6)

Answer: SCHOOL (i.e. “group under water”). Solution is C and H (i.e. “taps”, specifically recognised abbreviations of “Cold” and “Hot”) placed “in” LOOS (i.e. “bathrooms”) once reversed (indicated by “turned”), like so: S(CH)OOL.

  1. Brought down personnel blocking public grant (10)

Answer: OVERTHROWN (i.e. “brought down”). Solution is HR (i.e. “personnel”, or Human Resources) placed in or “blocking” OVERT (i.e. “public”) and OWN (i.e. “grant”, both taken to mean an admission of something), like so: OVERT-(HR)-OWN. A bit of a swine, this one.

  1. Foolishly ennoble any wife at court (4,6)

Answer: ANNE BOLEYN (i.e. “wife at court” of Henry VIII. Not sure “wife at court” is a strong enough nod to Henry VIII. That said, given my relative lack of interest in history, I’m hardly the best judge). “Foolishly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ENNOBLE ANY.

  1. Jack getting together with Elizabeth’s sister (6)

Answer: ABBESS (i.e. “sister”). Solution is AB (i.e. “Jack” – both terms for a sailor) followed by BESS (i.e. shortened form of “Elizabeth”). Made significantly easier after BESS appeared in a Jumbo a few weeks ago.

  1. Publication with The Times is for enchanting fellow (5)

Answer: MAGUS (i.e. “enchanting fellow”). Solution is MAG (i.e. “publication”, short for magazine) followed by US (i.e. “The Times”, being the paper hosting the crossword).

  1. Likely to drop billions, say, implicated in crime (14)

Answer: BUTTERFINGERED (i.e. “likely to drop”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “billions”) followed by UTTER (i.e. “say”) and FINGERED (i.e. “implicated in crime”).

  1. We’re told superior room is suitable for priests (8)

Answer: HIERATIC (i.e. “suitable for priests”). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “we’re told”) of HIGHER (i.e. “superior”) and ATTIC (i.e. “room”). One nailed through the wordplay.

  1. Not as engaging setter working for one with pride (7)

Answer: LIONESS (i.e. “one with pride” – pride being a collective noun for a group of lions). Solution is LESS (i.e. “not as” much) wrapped around or “engaging” I (i.e. “setter”, from the point of view of the setter) and ON (i.e. “working” or operational), like so: L(I-ON)ESS.

  1. One who throws out European champion (7)

Answer: EVICTOR (i.e. “one who throws out”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by VICTOR (i.e. “champion”).

  1. Winger to tip over, getting hold of small right back (7)

Answer: KESTREL (i.e. “winger” or bird). Solution is KEEL (i.e. “tip over”) wrapped around or “getting hold of” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and RT (ditto “right”) once the latter as been reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: KE(S-TR)EL.

  1. Appoint entertaining quartet, as the case may be (10)

Answer: NOMINATIVE (i.e. “as the case may be” – a reference to nominative case, one of many cases found in the dry and joyless world of grammar). Solution is NOMINATE (i.e. “appoint”) wrapped around or “entertaining” IV (i.e. “quartet”, specifically 4 expressed in Roman numerals), like so: NOMINAT(IV)E.

  1. An evil is ultimately forgiven – it could be this one? (6,3)

Answer: VENIAL SIN (i.e. within the context of the clue: “it could be this one”, in this case a sin that’ll be forgiven by Him Upstairs when you snuff it). “It could be” also acts as an anagram indicator. Solution is an anagram of AN EVIL IS and N (i.e. “ultimately forgiven”, i.e. the last letter of “forgiven”). Nicely worked, but another clue made somewhat easier by the solution’s relatively recent appearance in another Jumbo.

  1. Supply fashionable and French fabric (9)

Answer: STOCKINET (i.e. “fabric”). Solution is STOCK (i.e. “supply”) followed by IN (i.e. “fashionable”) and ET (i.e. “and French”, i.e. the French for “and”).

  1. Clear a bishop found with crack (7)

Answer: ABSOLVE (i.e. “clear”). Solution is A followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop” used in chess) and SOLVE (i.e. “crack”).

  1. Rubbish military decoration initially five times greater (5)

Answer: DROSS (i.e. “rubbish”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “military decoration”) with the “initial” letter made “five times greater”, i.e. going from C, the Roman numeral for 100, to D (500), like so: (C)ROSS => (D)ROSS.

  1. Bachelor’s serious kind of crime in Washington? (5-6)

Answer: FIRST-DEGREE (i.e. “serious kind of crime in Washington” – the US recognises various degrees of murder within its legal system). When written without the hyphen the solution also satisfies “bachelor”, being the first university degree one attains.

  1. Man picked up drink for hotel employee (5,6)

Answer: NIGHT PORTER (i.e. “hotel employee”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of KNIGHT (a chess piece; chess pieces are sometimes referred to as “men”) followed by PORTER (i.e. “drink”).

Down clues

  1. Boxer hit out, punched by one in shower (9)

Answer: EXHIBITOR (i.e. “shower” or one who shows). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of BOXER HIT wrapped around or “punched by” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: EXH(I)BITOR.

  1. Cosh, say, with excessive force and fake fervour (10,8)

Answer: HYPERBOLIC FUNCTION (i.e. “cosh”, a mathematical abbreviation of a hyperbolic cosine, a trigonometric function). Solution is HYPERBOLIC (i.e. “excessive”) followed by F (a recognised abbreviation of “force”) and UNCTION (i.e. “fake fervour”). Nicely worked.

  1. East German capital erected in ancient Roman port (5)

Answer: OSTIA (i.e. “ancient Roman port”). Solution is OST (i.e. “east German”, i.e. the German for “east”) followed by AI (i.e. “capital” – A1 can refer to something that is excellent) once reversed (indicated by “erected” – this being a down clue), like so: OST-IA. Straight to Bradford’s the moment I saw “port”. Life’s too short to waste on made-to-fit rubbish.

  1. Diverse articles coming from curious object in beach (4,3,4)

Answer: ODDS AND ENDS (i.e. “diverse articles”). Solution is ODD (i.e. “curious”) followed by END (i.e. aim or “object”) once placed “in” SANDS (i.e. “beach”), like so: ODD-SAND(END)S.

  1. Bell, perhaps gold, under cool air (8)

Answer: INVENTOR (i.e. Alexander Graham “Bell, perhaps” – other inventors are available). Solution is OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry) placed after or “under” – this being a down clue – IN (i.e. “cool” or fashionable) and VENT (i.e. to “air”), like so: (IN-VENT)-OR.

  1. Tutors lacking current goal in broadcast (12)

Answer: TRANSMISSION (i.e. “broadcast”). Solution is TRAINS (i.e. “tutors”) with the I removed (indicated by “lacking current” – I is a recognised abbreviation of an electrical current used in physics) and the remainder followed by MISSION (i.e. “goal”), like so: TRANS-MISSION.

  1. Particle, not ion, with part spinning round (10)

Answer: ANTIPROTON (i.e. “particle”). “Spinning round” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NOT ION and PART.

  1. Tripe found by ancient king on line (5)

Answer: OFFAL (i.e. “tripe”). Solution is OFFA (i.e. an “ancient king”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”).

  1. A romance to spread around, one ruling out bondage? (11)

Answer: EMANCIPATOR (i.e. “one ruling out bondage”, inferring one freeing from slavery). “Spread around” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A ROMANCE TO.

  1. Record lasting lifetime, but only the covers (9)

Answer: CHRONICLE (i.e. “record”). Solution is CHRONIC (i.e. “lasting”) followed by LE (i.e. “lifetime, but only the covers”, i.e. the first and last letters of “lifetime”).

  1. Lacking class, like New Yorker’s behaviour? (3-1)

Answer: NON-U (i.e. “lacking class” – U denotes the upper class, should you choose to observe such constructs). The remainder of the clue plays on how Americans (indicated by “New Yorker”) drop Us from their words, reducing “behaviour” to “behavior”. Good grief, this took a while to twig! Well played.

  1. Something that happens briefly in flat (4)

Answer: EVEN (i.e. “flat”). Solution is EVENT (i.e. “something that happens”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”).

  1. Get to the point that may make saga sag? (3,1,4,5,5)

Answer: CUT A LONG STORY SHORT (i.e. “get to the point”). The solution cryptically fulfils “that may make saga sag”, i.e. how “saga” (i.e. “A LONG STORY”) is CUT SHORT to get “sag”. Nicely done.

  1. What gardener does without knowledge in time off (8)

Answer: WEEKENDS (i.e. “time off”). Solution is WEEDS (i.e. “what gardener does”) wrapped around or placed “without” KEN (i.e. “knowledge”), like so: WEE(KEN)DS.

  1. Old fashioned script politician keeps close (6,1)

Answer: LINEAR B (i.e. “old fashioned script” – over to Chambers: “an ancient script (c. 1400BC) found in Crete, deciphered as a form of Greek seven centuries earlier than any previously known”). Solution is LIB (i.e. “politician”, short for a Liberal) wrapped around or “keeping” NEAR (i.e. “close”), like so: LI(NEAR)B. One I remembered from a previous Jumbo, if I’m honest.

  1. More than one domestic goes AWOL around six (8)

Answer: SKIVVIES (i.e. “more than one domestic” – a skivvy is “a disrespectful name for a (especially female) domestic servant” (Chambers)). Solution is SKIVES (i.e. “goes AWOL”) wrapped “around” VI (i.e. “six” in Roman numerals), like so: SKIV(VI)ES.

  1. Asian bread eaten by socialist born in US capital (8)

Answer: CHEYENNE (i.e. “US capital”, specifically the state capital of Wyoming). Solution is YEN (i.e. “Asian bread” or money) placed in or “eaten by” CHE Guevara (i.e. “socialist”) and NÉ (i.e. “born” – over to Chambers again! “(of a man) born, used in giving the original name of a titled man”, from the French), like so: CHE-(YEN)-NÉ.

  1. Tiring complaint where one sees dancers mince (8)

Answer: MEATBALL (i.e. “mince” – I mean, one begets the other but I’d struggle to argue they’re the same). Solution is ME (i.e. “tiring complaint”, short for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) followed by AT BALL (i.e. “where one sees dancers”).

  1. Contact sport breaking philosopher’s bone (7)

Answer: HUMERUS (i.e. “bone”). Solution is RU (i.e. “contact sport”, short for Rugby Union) placed in or “breaking” David HUME’S (i.e. “philosopher’s”), like so: HUME(RU)’S.

  1. Don’t protect so much about perfect example (6,6)

Answer: OBJECT LESSON (i.e. “perfect example”). Solution is OBJECT LESS (i.e. “don’t protest so much”) followed by ON (i.e. regarding or “about”).

  1. After sentence, con abandons morality for zoology? (4,7)

Answer: LIFE SCIENCE (i.e. “zoology”). Solution is LIFE (i.e. prison “sentence”) followed by CONSCIENCE (i.e. “morality”) once the CON has been removed (indicated by “con abandons”).

  1. Possible pet to shove among group of extremists (5,6)

Answer: STICK INSECT (i.e. “possible pet”). Solution is STICK (i.e. “to shove” – again, too loose for me. The closest I can get is “to thrust”) followed by IN (i.e. “among”) and SECT (i.e. “group of extremists”).

  1. Run over India and China is sensible (10)

Answer: LEGITIMATE (i.e. “sensible” – and, again, much too loose and an absolute horror show of a clue when you only have vowels to work with. Poor grid awareness, or a setter playing nasty? You decide). Solution is LEG IT (i.e. “run”) followed by I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by MATE (i.e. “China”, after the cockney rhyming slang “china plate”).

  1. I heard hit film is one that grips the viewer (3,6)

Answer: EYE SOCKET (i.e. “that grips the viewer”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “heard”) of “I”, followed by SOCK (i.e. to “hit”) and ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra-Terrestrial). Nicely done.

  1. Criminal in cooler’s one appropriating territory (9)

Answer: COLONISER (i.e. “one appropriating territory”). “Criminal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN COOLER’S.

  1. Composer’s brought in to good account of American abroad? (8)

Answer: TRAVELOG (i.e. “account of American abroad” – we would spell the word with a UE on the end – not a Jumbo for those annoyed by Americanisms!) Solution is Maurice RAVEL (i.e. “composer”) “brought in” between TO and G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: T(RAVEL)O-G.

  1. Tail of sea bird moving around (5)

Answer: ASTIR (i.e. “moving around”). Solution is A (i.e. “tail of sea”, i.e. the last letter of “sea”) followed by STIR (i.e. “bird”, both taken to mean stretches in prison). That said, it seems Chambers disagrees on this one, suggesting that STIR is merely slang for a prison, not a stretch inside of one.

  1. Car wheel is sound (5)

Answer: AUDIO (i.e. “sound”). Solution is AUDI (i.e. “car” make) followed by O (i.e. “wheel”). Simple, but nicely done.

  1. A hand almost raised? Pull the other one (2,2)

Answer: AS IF (i.e. “pull the other one”). Solution is A followed by FIST (i.e. “hand”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue), like so: A-SIF.

  1. Show derision before king, one wanting culture (4)

Answer: BOOR (i.e. a coarse, ill-mannered person or “one wanting culture”). Solution is BOO (i.e. “show derision”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “king”, specifically the Latin Rex).