Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1597

A relatively straightforward Jumbo offering steady progression and a healthy smattering of inventive and well-written clues. A good un then, though I fear we must pray LE MORTE D’ARTHUR is sufficient to appease the French Elder Gods for another week. If the sky suddenly turns tricolore and deafens us all with La Marseillaise then it’s been nice knowing you.

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 given you the slip then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things.

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

LP

Across clues

  1. Condemned one put in dock without resistance (8)

Answer: ACCURSED (i.e. “condemned”). Solution is ACCUSED (i.e. “one put in dock”) wrapped around or placed “without” R (a recognised abbreviation of electrical “resistance”), like so: ACCU(R)SED.

  1. Good to move slowly in punt (6)

Answer: GAMBLE (i.e. “punt”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by AMBLE (i.e. “to move slowly”).

  1. Strange items like lugs in the centre of Texas (7)

Answer: EXOTICA (i.e. “strange items”). Solution is OTIC (i.e. “like lugs”, or relating to the ears) placed “in” EXA (i.e. “the centre [letters] of Texas”), like so: EX(OTIC)A.

  1. Working with excellent chaps in court custody (11)

Answer: CONFINEMENT (i.e. “custody”). Solution is ON (i.e. operational or “working”) followed by FINE (i.e. “excellent”) and MEN (i.e. “chaps”) all placed “in” CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”), like so: C(ON-FINE-MEN)T.

  1. Glutton, possibly, eating horse as a source of excess energy? (11)

Answer: SUPERHEATER (i.e. “a source of excess energy”). Solution is SUPER EATER (i.e. “glutton, possibly”) wrapped around or “eating” H (i.e. “horse”, both slang terms for heroin), like so: SUPER-(H)-EATER.

  1. Pressure press to be clear (5)

Answer: PURGE (i.e. “clear”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) followed by URGE (i.e. “press”).

  1. Wavering – or lot more disrupted (7)

Answer: TREMOLO (i.e. “wavering”). “Disrupted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LOT MORE.

  1. Doctor repeatedly runs round altering triages (9)

Answer: REGISTRAR (i.e. “doctor” – Chambers has this: “a hospital doctor in one of the intermediate grades (medical or surgical registrar)”). Solution is R and R (i.e. “repeatedly runs” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) wrapped “round” an anagram (indicated by “altering”) of TRIAGES, like so: R(EGISTRA)R. Nicely worked.

  1. Dismissive exclamation about mostly tasteless pepper (7)

Answer: POBLANO (i.e. a Mexican “pepper” – Chambers doesn’t want to know, but my Oxford lists it). Solution is POO (i.e. “dismissive exclamation” – again, Chambers doesn’t want to know but Oxford likes it) wrapped “about” BLAND (i.e. “tasteless”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: PO(BLAN)O.

  1. Immediately passed headland, not favouring the port? (5-10)

Answer: RIGHT-HANDEDNESS (i.e. “not favouring the port”, being left in shipspeak). Solution is RIGHT (i.e. “immediately”, as in right now) followed by HANDED (i.e. “passed”) and NESS (i.e. “headland”).

  1. What’s brilliant about nurse in brown? Presence (10)

Answer: ATTENDANCE (i.e. “presence”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “brilliant”) wrapped “about” TEND (i.e. to “nurse”) once it has first been placed “in” TAN (i.e. “brown”), like so: A(T(TEND)AN)CE.

  1. Down by the French Mediterranean city (6)

Answer: NAPLES (i.e. “Mediterranean city”). Solution is NAP (i.e. fur or “down”) followed by LES (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the French for “the”, collectively).

  1. Chap wanting five to win (4)

Answer: GAIN (i.e. “win”). Solution is GAVIN (i.e. “chap’s” name) with the V removed (indicated by “wanting five” – V being five expressed as a Roman numeral).

  1. Continue to swell and enlarge injured head in medical care (7,7)

Answer: SURGEON GENERAL (i.e. “head in medical care”). Solution is SURGE ON (i.e. “continue to swell”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “injured”) of ENLARGE.

  1. Grain surrounds old Northwest Territories river city in Canada (8)

Answer: MONTREAL (i.e. “city in Canada”). Solution is MEAL (i.e. ground “grain”) wrapped around or “surrounding” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), NT (ditto “Northwest Territories” of Canada) and R (ditto ditto “river”), like so: M(O-NT-R)EAL.

  1. A censer (empty) is in untidy room, here in church? (8)

Answer: SACRISTY (i.e. “room, here in church”, specifically “a room in a church where the sacred utensils, vestments, etc, are kept” (Chambers)). Solution is A, CR (i.e. “censer (empty)” i.e. the word “censer” with all its middle letters removed) and IS all placed “in” STY (i.e. “untidy room”), like so: S(A-CR-IS)TY.

  1. Seeing in advance wealth having a significant effect (7-7)

Answer: FORTUNE-TELLING (i.e. “seeing in advance”). Solution is FORTUNE (i.e. “wealth”) followed by TELLING (i.e. “having a significant effect”).

  1. Unruly child getting right inside club (4)

Answer: BRAT (i.e. “unruly child”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) placed “inside” BAT (i.e. “club”), like so: B(R)AT.

  1. Found key in carrying case (6)

Answer: CREATE (i.e. to “found”). Solution is E (i.e. musical “key”) placed “in” CRATE (i.e. “carrying case”), like so: CR(E)ATE.

  1. Henry finished with skill in vehicle (10)

Answer: HOVERCRAFT (i.e. “vehicle”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a unit of electrical inductance) followed by OVER (i.e. “finished”) and CRAFT (i.e. “skill”).

  1. Very fat, must finally be looking embarrassed with bad posture (5-10)

Answer: ROUND-SHOULDERED (i.e. “with bad posture”). Solution is ROUND (i.e. “very fat”) followed by SHOULD (i.e. “must”), then E (i.e. “finally be”, i.e. the last letter of “be”) and RED (i.e. “looking embarrassed”).

  1. Master from Portsea misses going back (7)

Answer: MAESTRO (i.e. “master”). “From” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “going back” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: P(ORTSEA M)ISSES.

  1. Rock festival activity with hits and mescal going around (4,5)

Answer: SLAM DANCE (i.e. “rock festival activity with hits” – I’ve never seen the attraction, personally). “Going around” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AND MESCAL.

  1. One no longer working on island (7)

Answer: RETIREE (i.e. “one no longer working”). Solution is RE (i.e. “on” or regarding – think email replies) followed by TIREE (i.e. an “island” of Scotland).

  1. Note car approaching motorway (5)

Answer: MINIM (i.e. musical “note”). Solution is MINI (i.e. make of “car”) followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “motorway”).

  1. Hard task round table to plan moves (11)

Answer: CHOREOGRAPH (i.e. “to plan moves”). Solution is CHORE (i.e. “hard task”) followed by O (i.e. “round”) and GRAPH (i.e. “table” – my Bradford’s likes it, but I don’t. They’re both ways of illustrating data, sure, but I’d want some degree of interchangeability between the two).

  1. One maybe into The Big Bang Theory sitcom’s logo, strangely (11)

Answer: COSMOLOGIST (i.e. “one maybe into the Big Bang theory”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “strangely”) of SITCOM’S LOGO. Another clue I rather liked.

  1. Enzyme test succeeded in leg (7)

Answer: TRYPSIN (i.e. pancreatic “enzyme”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “test”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) once placed “in” PIN (slang for a “leg”), like so: TRY-P(S)IN. One nailed solely from the wordplay, unsurprisingly.

  1. Always I lay vacantly in a strange way (6)

Answer: EERILY (i.e. “in a strange way”). Solution is E’ER (poetic form of ever or “always”) followed by I and LY (i.e. “lay vacantly”, i.e. the word “lay” with its middle letter removed).

  1. Time your girl cut short Charlie’s bullying (8)

Answer: TYRANNIC (i.e. “bullying” as an adjective rather than a verb). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by YR (ditto “your”), then ANNIE (i.e. “girl’s” name) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut short”), then C (“Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: T-YR-ANNI-C.

Down clues

  1. Drink with a large policeman before work (7)

Answer: ALCOPOP (i.e. “drink”). Solution is A followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), then COP (i.e. “policeman”) and OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”).

  1. Trick teacher outside to tease writer for school mag? (11)

Answer: CONTRIBUTOR (i.e. “writer for school mag” – I appreciate the setter is trying to make this work within the context of the clue, but I reckon qualifying this as a “school mag” was a little unfair. Usually when a clue narrows on a specific example purely for style, solvers would expect a word like “perhaps” to indicate we’re looking for something covering not only that example but others like it too. Not doing so unfairly sets an expectation that we’re looking for a word covering that specific example. Others may point to the riddly question mark, but I don’t think this satisfactorily covers it. Anyway, world keeps spinning…) Solution is CON (i.e. “trick”) followed by TUTOR (i.e. “teacher”) once wrapped around or placed “outside” of RIB (i.e. “to tease”), like so: CON-T(RIB)UTOR.

  1. Cause trouble in lift? I can, unfortunately (5,4)

Answer: RAISE CAIN (i.e. “cause trouble”). Solution is RAISE (i.e. “lift”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of I CAN.

  1. Like certain motors chosen by traveller gent freshly in charge (15)

Answer: ELECTROMAGNETIC (i.e. “like certain motors”). Solution is ELECT (i.e. “chosen”) followed by ROMA (i.e. “traveller”), then an anagram (indicated by “freshly”) of GENT, then IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”), like so: ELECT-ROMA-GNET-IC.

  1. But health ought … ought to give one this (8)

Answer: ALTHOUGH (i.e. “but”). “Ought to give one this” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: HE(ALTH OUGH)T.

  1. Card game, drink and celebration – a historic event (6,3,5)

Answer: BOSTON TEA PARTY (i.e. “a historic event”, a protest in 1773 in which American colonists dumped hundreds of chests of tea into Boston harbour). Solution is BOSTON (i.e. a “card game” similar to whist, apparently) followed by TEA (i.e. “drink”) and PARTY (i.e. “celebration”).

  1. Fit to be sent abroad, former partner moved easily (10)

Answer: EXPORTABLE (i.e. “fit to be sent abroad”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former partner”) followed by PORTABLE (i.e. “moved easily”).

  1. Often-married king at heart old and very angry (7)

Answer: ENRAGED (i.e. “very angry”). Solution is HENRY (i.e. “often-married king”, specifically Henry VIII) with its first and last letters removed (indicated by “at heart”) and the remainder followed by AGED (i.e. “old”), like so: ENR-AGED.

  1. Begins a series of golf championships (5)

Answer: OPENS. Solution satisfies “begins” and “a series of golf championships”.

  1. Junior US medic, the reverse of kind English, harming both sides (11)

Answer: INTERNECINE (i.e. “harming both sides”, loosely speaking). Solution is INTERN (i.e. “junior US medic”) followed by NICE (i.e. “kind”) once “reversed”, then E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: INTERN-ECIN-E.

  1. Broadcast Brief Encounter and remove parts of picture? (8)

Answer: AIRBRUSH (i.e. “remove parts of picture”). Solution is AIR (i.e. “broadcast”) followed by BRUSH (i.e. “brief encounter” – ignore the misleading formatting).

  1. Fair time in charge (4)

Answer: FETE (i.e. a “fair”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) placed “in” FEE (i.e. “charge”), like so: FE(T)E.

  1. Illegal scheme often seen in court? (6)

Answer: RACKET. Solution satisfies “illegal scheme” and “often seen in [tennis] court” – can be spelled RACKET or RACQUET.

  1. Use a spade on the whole garden – almost not using hands? (7)

Answer: DIGITAL (i.e. “not using hands?”, riffing on how digits can refer to toes as well as fingers. Unless the setter has fingers in an entirely different place to the rest of us. The mind boggles). Solution is DIG IT ALL (i.e. “use a spade on the whole garden”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

  1. Help a relative in street (6)

Answer: ASSIST (i.e. “help”). Solution is A followed by SIS (i.e. “relative”, short for sister) once placed “in” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: A-S(SIS)T.

  1. Cause of forgetting brief time at school commemoration (5-4,6)

Answer: SHORT-TERM MEMORY (i.e. “cause of forgetting”). Solution is SHORT (i.e. “brief”) followed by TERM (i.e. “time at school”) and MEMORY (i.e. “commemoration”).

  1. Runs after flying alder moth – true story ending tragically (2,5,7)

Answer: LE MORTE D’ARTHUR (i.e. “story ending tragically” by Sir Thomas Malory, a weighty account of King Arthur’s legend). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs”, already covered) placed “after” an anagram (indicated by “flying”) of ALDER MOTH TRUE, like so: LEMORTEDARTHU-R. The book may well have been written in Myddel Englyshe but, come on, given the subject matter and the French title, how could I resist a cheeky meme?

  1. Line in battle running away (6)

Answer: FLIGHT (i.e. “running away”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) placed “in” FIGHT (i.e. “battle”), like so: F(L)IGHT.

  1. Issued leaders in English mainly involving The Times’ editor (7)

Answer: EMITTED (i.e. “issued”). Solution is EMITT (i.e. “leaders [or first letters] in English Mainly Involving The Times”) followed by ED (short for “editor”).

  1. Go right round North London town that is becoming nought? (6)

Answer: ENFOLD (i.e. “go right round”). Solution is ENFIELD (i.e. “North London town”) with the IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. “i.e.”, after the Latin id est) swapped for or “becoming” O (i.e. “nought”), like so: ENF(IE)LD => ENF(O)LD.

  1. Always keep son out of circus lass’s story going round (11)

Answer: CIRCULATORY (i.e. “going round”). “Always keep son out of” indicates the solution can be derived by taking all the Ss – S being a recognised abbreviation of “son” – out of CIRCUS LASS’S STORY.

  1. Disregard pronounced inner tension (11)

Answer: INATTENTION (i.e. a “disregard”). “Pronounced” indicates the solution is (an unusually direct) homophone of INNER TENSION.

  1. Restore evejar tune for broadcasting (10)

Answer: REJUVENATE (i.e. “restore”). “For broadcasting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EVEJAR TUNE.

  1. Drink a large quantity stored in passage at the end (5,4)

Answer: CREAM SODA (i.e. “drink”). Solution is REAMS (i.e. “large quantity” of paper) “stored in” CODA (i.e. musical “passage at the end”), like so: C(REAMS)ODA.

  1. Film editor’s technique annoyed hack (8)

Answer: CROSSCUT (i.e. “film editor’s technique”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “annoyed”) followed by CUT (i.e. “hack”).

  1. Professional person exploited without key official record (8)

Answer: PROTOCOL (i.e. “official record”, rather deep in the definitions). Solution is PRO (short for “professional”) followed by TOOL (i.e. “person exploited”) once wrapped around or placed “without” C (another musical “key”), like so: PRO-TO(C)OL.

  1. Piece from worker, good one (7)

Answer: HANDGUN (i.e. “piece”, slang thereof). Solution is HAND (i.e. “worker”) followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and UN (slang form of “one”, as in a good un).

  1. Gradually going through old sitcom being remade? (7)

Answer: OSMOTIC (i.e. “gradually going through”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “being remade”) of SITCOM, like so: O-SMOTIC.

  1. Liquid remains unused for three long days finally (5)

Answer: DREGS (i.e. “liquid remains”). “Finally” indicates the solution is derived from the last letters of “unuseD foR threE lonG dayS“.

  1. Perhaps spots rook on tree (4)

Answer: RASH (i.e. “perhaps spots”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “rook” used in chess) followed by ASH (i.e. “tree”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1596

A medium-strength Jumbo this week. Well, for the most part it was relatively straightforward, but there were a handful of spicy clues in there to up the difficulty a smidge. A pretty good un, all told.

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 flipped you the bird then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things.

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

LP

FBV (French-By-Volume): 4.8%

Across clues

  1. Shape of playing area a complication (9)

Answer: RECTANGLE (i.e. “shape”). Solution is REC (i.e. “playing area”, short for a recreation ground) followed by TANGLE (i.e. “a complication”).

  1. Recovered and exchanged shots (7)

Answer: RALLIED. Solution satisfies “recovered” and “exchanged shots” in a game of tennis.

  1. One whistling loudly back, drowning one military bandsman? (5)

Answer: FIFER (i.e. “military bandsman”). Solution is REF (i.e. “one whistling”, short for a referee) and F (i.e. “loudly”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “fortissimo” used in musical lingo) all reversed (indicated by “back”) and wrapped around or “drowning” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: F-(I)-FER.

  1. Lead pipe fitted on the right (7)

Answer: CONDUCT (i.e. “lead” an orchestra). Solution is DUCT (i.e. “pipe”) placed “on” or after CON (i.e. “the right”, being a recognised abbreviation of the Conservative party), like so: CON-DUCT.

  1. Feeling light-headed in the saddle? Get along! (5-2)

Answer: GIDDY-UP (i.e. “get along”). Solution is GIDDY (i.e. “feeling light-headed”) followed by UP (i.e. on horseback or “in the saddle”).

  1. Provisional home – limited period one is in occupation (7)

Answer: INTERIM (i.e. “provisional”). Solution is IN (i.e. “home”) followed by TERM (i.e. “limited period”) once wrapped around or “occupied” by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”, again), like so: IN-TER(I)M.

  1. Break the ice and lead off first dance, drunk (5,3,4,7)

Answer: START THE BALL ROLLING (i.e. “break the ice”). Solution is START THE BALL (i.e. “lead off first dance”) followed by ROLLING (i.e. “drunk”).

  1. Barbarian ending chase early (3)

Answer: HUN (i.e. “barbarian”). Solution is HUNT (i.e. “chase”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “ending…early”).

  1. Skips exercise, sitting in carriages (6)

Answer: CAPERS (i.e. “skips”). Solution is PE (i.e. “exercise”, or Physical Education) placed “in” CARS (i.e. “carriages”), like so: CA(PE)RS.

  1. The German war machine makes an explosive return with grand incursion (6)

Answer: ENIGMA (i.e. “the German war machine”). Solution is A MINE (i.e. “an explosive”) reversed (indicated by “return”) and wrapped around (indicated by “with…incursion”) of G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”), like so: ENI(G)M-A.

  1. Created row, eating last of chocolate cake (9)

Answer: MADELEINE (i.e. “cake”). Solution is MADE (i.e. “created”) and LINE (i.e. “row”) once wrapped around or “eating” E (i.e. “last [letter] of chocolate”), like so: MADE-L(E)INE. A very similar clue appeared only a few weeks ago, making this a much easier get. The curse of the GridFill 4000™ strikes again…

  1. Pudding was observed to follow (7,3)

Answer: SPOTTED DOG (i.e. “pudding”, more commonly known as spotted dick). Solution is SPOTTED (i.e. “observed”) followed by DOG (i.e. “to follow”).

  1. Fancy Mrs Gandhi touring a new royal estate (11)

Answer: SANDRINGHAM (i.e. a “royal estate”). “Fancy” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “fancy”) of MRS GANDHI wrapped around or “touring” A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: S(A-N)DRINGHAM.

  1. Asked, was against leaving work (5)

Answer: POSED (i.e. “asked” a question). Solution is OPPOSED (i.e. “was against”) with the OP removed (indicated by “leaving work” – OP being a recognised abbreviation of “opus”).

  1. Ruthless leader reversing corruption among detectives (8)

Answer: DICTATOR (i.e. “ruthless leader”). Solution is ROT AT CID (i.e. “corruption among detectives” – CID being the Criminal Investigation Department of the police) all “reversed”. Nicely worked.

  1. Gibbon perhaps eating bit of melon with frenzy for amount of juice (8)

Answer: AMPERAGE (i.e. “amount of juice”, slang for electricity). Solution is APE (i.e. “gibbon perhaps” – other flavours of ape are available) wrapped around or “eating” M (i.e. “bit of melon”, specifically its first letter) and followed by RAGE (i.e. “frenzy”), like so: A(M)PE-RAGE.

  1. Relevant software round web pages (8)

Answer: APPOSITE (i.e. “relevant”). Solution is APP (i.e. “software”) followed by O (i.e. “round”) and SITE (i.e. “web pages”).

  1. Side unfortunate after hard battle (8)

Answer: EDGEHILL (i.e. a “battle” of the first English Civil War). Solution is EDGE (i.e. “side”) followed by ILL (i.e. “unfortunate”) once placed “after” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard”), like so: EDGE-((H)-ILL).

  1. Keats’s pot boy, son in bar for cricketers (5)

Answer: BASIL (i.e. “Keats’s pot boy”, apparently from his poem Isabella, or the Pot of Basil. No, me neither). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) placed “in” BAIL (i.e. “bar for cricketers”, sitting atop the stumps), like so: BA(S)IL.

  1. No profit on so-called fish? Not often (3,3,5)

Answer: NOW AND AGAIN (i.e. “not often”). Solution is NO followed by GAIN (i.e. “profit”) once first placed “on” or after WANDA (i.e. “so-called fish”, after the 1988 comedy movie A Fish Called Wanda), like so: NO-(WANDA)-GAIN.

  1. “Chicken heart” maybe a “foul” reprimand (6,4)

Answer: YELLOW CARD (i.e. “a ‘foul’ reprimand” in a number of sports). Solution is YELLOW (i.e. cowardly or “chicken”) followed by CARD (i.e. “heart maybe” – other playing card suits are available).

  1. Given back, restore centre of room perhaps (9)

Answer: FIREPLACE (i.e. “centre of room perhaps”). Solution is IF (i.e. assuming or “given”) reversed (indicated by “back”) and followed by REPLACE (i.e. “restore”), like so: FI-REPLACE.

  1. Stump I replace, partly removed? (6)

Answer: UMPIRE. Solution satisfies “stump I replace”, playfully – a cricket umpire may do this from time to time – but “partly removed” also indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ST(UMP-I-RE)PLACE.

  1. Put down in writing refusal of the French flag (6)

Answer: PENNON (i.e. “flag”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “put down in writing”) followed by NON (i.e. “refusal of the French”, i.e. the French for “no”).

  1. Bill’s companion’s surprised expression (3)

Answer: COO. Solution satisfies “bill’s companion” – a reference to the phrase to ‘bill and coo’: “(of lovers) to kiss and talk intimately together” (Chambers) – and a “surprised expression”.

  1. Shocking remark broadcast presents provocation (12,7)

Answer: CONVERSATION STOPPER (i.e. “shocking remark”). “Broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PRESENTS PROVOCATION. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Having longer limbs, man recruited to enter race – no saint (7)

Answer: LEGGIER (i.e. “having longer limbs”). Solution is GI (i.e. “man recruited” in the US army) placed in or “entering” ST LEGER (i.e. a famous horse “race”) once the ST has been removed (indicated by “no saint” – ST being a recognised abbreviation of “saint”), like so: LEG(GI)ER.

  1. Windier, becoming braver as time advances (7)

Answer: GUTSIER (i.e. “braver”). Solution is GUSTIER (i.e. “windier”) with the T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) moved a notch (indicated by “advances”), like so: GUS(T)IER => GU(T)SIER.

  1. One snooker shot secures quiet stalemate (7)

Answer: IMPASSE (i.e. “stalemate”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one” again) followed by MASSE (i.e. “snooker shot”, a curve shot) once wrapped around or “securing” P (i.e. “quiet”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano” in musical lingo), like so: I-M(P)ASSE.

  1. Small spray of flowers, a number out of season (5)

Answer: SPRIG (i.e. “small spray of flowers”). Solution is SPRING (i.e. “season”) with the N removed (indicated by “a number out of…” – in mathematics, N is used to denote any number).

  1. Record relating to part of the digestive system (7)

Answer: ENTERON (i.e. “part of the digestive system”, the alimentary canal). Solution is ENTER (i.e. to “record” information) followed by ON (i.e. “relating to”). One remembered from a previous Jumbo, if I’m honest.

  1. After exercise they dread becoming dry (9)

Answer: DEHYDRATE (i.e. to “dry”). “After exercise” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THEY DREAD.

Down clues

  1. Holder going on back in fight to cause devastation (8)

Answer: RUCKSACK (i.e. “holder going on back”). Solution is RUCK (i.e. “fight”) followed by SACK (i.e. “to cause devastation”).

  1. Against finally joining a line dance (5)

Answer: CONGA (i.e. “line dance”). Solution is CON (i.e. “against”, as in pros and cons) followed by G (i.e. “finally joining”, i.e. the last letter of “joining”), then A.

  1. Meaning of X once maintaining drug is “cut” (11)

Answer: ADULTERATED (i.e. “cut” with a foreign substance). Solution is ADULT RATED (i.e. “meaning of X once”, referring to firm certification) wrapped around or “maintaining” E (a slang name for the “drug” ecstasy), like so: ADULT-(E)-RATED.

  1. Been given tea? You’ve been tricked! (6)

Answer: GOTCHA (i.e. “you’ve been tricked!”). Solution is GOT (i.e. “been given”) followed by CHA (slang for “tea”).

  1. Encourages saying of grace, leaving one working breakfast in America? (4,8)

Answer: EGGS BENEDICT (i.e. “breakfast in America”, being “a slice of ham and a poached egg placed on a slice of toast and covered with hollandaise sauce” (Chambers) – I’ll pass, thanks). Solution is EGGS (i.e. “encourages”) followed by BENEDICTION (i.e. “saying of grace”) once the I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”, again) and ON (i.e. operational or “working”) at the end have been removed (indicated by “leaving”).

  1. Left flyer advancing the progress of the nascent car industry? (3,4)

Answer: RED FLAG. In the early days of motoring, cars had to travel behind someone carrying a red flag to warn others of its approach. Clue also plays on those politically on the “left” being referred to as REDs and FLAGs being things that are flown. You get the idea.

  1. Greatly value hypermarket in small car park (3,5,5,2)

Answer: LAY GREAT STORE BY (i.e. “greatly value”). Solution is GREAT STORE (i.e. a large store or “hypermarket”) placed “in” LAYBY (i.e. “small car park”). I suspect this will be edited before it gets reprinted in the annual Jumbo Cryptic book. Having “greatly” in the clue and GREAT in the solution isn’t… er… great.

  1. Naughty child with mild illness heard spitting (10)

Answer: IMPALEMENT (i.e. “spitting”). Solution is IMP (i.e. “naughty child”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “heard”) of AILMENT (i.e. “mild illness”), like so: IMP-ALEMENT.

  1. Made an idol facing in two directions (7)

Answer: DEIFIED (i.e. “made an idol”). The remainder of the clue plays on the solution being a palindrome.

  1. Work such as Watteau’s seen surprisingly in teenage flat (4,7)

Answer: FÊTE GALANTE (i.e. “work such as Watteau’s”, eighteenth-century dreamlike paintings of aristos in lush settings). “Surprisingly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TEENAGE FLAT. Okay, everyone relax. The French Elder Gods have been satisfied for another week. Good work, setter.

  1. We hear out of place jokes at hotel straightaway (9)

Answer: FORTHWITH (i.e. “straightaway”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of FOURTH (i.e. “out of place”, referring to placings in a race) followed by WIT (i.e. “jokes”) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: FORTH-WIT-H.

  1. Tale of chivalry from Catholic church (7)

Answer: ROMANCE (i.e. “tale of chivalry”). Solution is ROMAN (i.e. “Catholic”) followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

  1. Interjects “Something to smoke and drink?” (5,2)

Answer: PIPES UP (i.e. “interjects”). Solution is PIPE (i.e. “something to smoke”) followed by SUP (i.e. to “drink”).

  1. Surgeon accepts death, thanks to bad blood (8)

Answer: VENDETTA (i.e. “bad blood”). Solution is VET (i.e. “surgeon”) wrapped around or “accepting” END (i.e. “death”) and followed by TA (i.e. “thanks”), like so: V(END)ET-TA.

  1. Heresy hunter once resorted to ordaining right squit (5,10)

Answer: GRAND INQUISITOR (i.e. “heresy hunter once”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “resorted”) of ORDAINING, R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and SQUIT. Hmm, I wasn’t expecting that…

  1. Quietly persist with mule, born wild (6,2)

Answer: RUMBLE ON (i.e. “quietly persist”). “Wild” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MULE BORN.

  1. Every few days, head apparently turning around submissively here (6)

Answer: MEEKLY (i.e. “submissively”). Solution is WEEKLY (i.e. “every few days”) with the W “turned around” 180 degrees to make an M, like so: (W)EEKLY => (M)EEKLY.

  1. Artist interrupting what Turner does? That’s a wrench (6)

Answer: SPRAIN (i.e. “wrench”). Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) placed in or “interrupting” SPIN (i.e. “what turner does” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: SP(RA)IN.

  1. Too controlled, one not earning any prizes (4-3)

Answer: ALSO-RAN (i.e. “one not earning any prizes”). Solution is ALSO (i.e. “too”) followed by RAN (i.e. “controlled”, say, an organisation).

  1. Column fought across river in the shade (6-3,3)

Answer: PILLAR-BOX RED (i.e. colour or “shade”). Solution is PILLAR (i.e. “column”) followed by BOXED (i.e. “fought”) once wrapped around or placed “across” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: PILLAR-BOX(R)ED.

  1. Roughly dismissed to prepare for holiday? (4,7)

Answer: SENT PACKING (i.e. “roughly dismissed”). Clue also plays on how one PACKS for “holidays”. You get the idea.

  1. Clapboard he fitted to small home? (8,3)

Answer: BACHELOR PAD (i.e. “small home”). “Fitted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CLAPBOARD HE.

  1. Unimportant person having to shed pounds to qualify for bout? (10)

Answer: MAKEWEIGHT (i.e. “unimportant person”). When written as MAKE WEIGHT the solution also satisfies “to shed pounds to qualify for bout”.

  1. Aggressor is angry over ass losing area (9)

Answer: WARMONGER (i.e. “aggressor”). Solution is WARM (i.e. “is angry”) followed by ONAGER (i.e. “ass” or donkey) once the A has been removed (indicated by “losing area” – A being a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: WARM-ONGER.

  1. Recalls to prison, do you say? Relent! (8)

Answer: UNFREEZE (i.e. “relent”). “Do you say” indicates homophone. The solution is a playful homophone of UNFREES (i.e. “recalls to prison”). The riddly question mark is a tacit admission this is a word you’re not likely to find in a dictionary, at least in verb form.

  1. Concentration, not universal, on the French decks (7)

Answer: FO’C’SLES (i.e. “decks”, a contracted form of FORECASTLE, a small raised deck at the front of some ships). Solution is FOCUS (i.e. “concentration”) with the U removed (indicated by “not universal” – U being a recognised abbreviation of “universal” used in film certification) and the remainder followed by LES (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the French for “the”, collectively), like so: FOCS-LES.

  1. Course of Arabic for starters that’s got off the ground? (7)

Answer: AINTREE (i.e. race “course”). Solution is A (i.e. “Arabic for starters”, i.e. the first letter of “Arabic”) followed by IN TREE (suggestive of having “got off the ground”).

  1. Prophesy extremely slight, receiving answer of the oracle (7)

Answer: PYTHIAN (i.e. “of the oracle”. Over to Chambers: “of Delphi, the oracle there, the priestess, or the games held nearby”). Solution is PY (i.e. “prophesy extremely”, i.e. the word “prophesy” with all its middle letters removed) followed by THIN (i.e. “slight”) once wrapped around or “receiving” A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, as in Q&A), like so: PY-THI(A)N.

  1. Plum character parking son with German husband (6)

Answer: PSMITH (i.e. “Plum character”, or a character in a number of novels by P.G. Wodehouse. The author’s nickname, meanwhile, was “Plum”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “parking” used on signage) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”), then MIT (i.e. “with German”, i.e. the German for “with”) and H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”).

  1. Cop ashamed to arrest Ottoman officer (5)

Answer: PASHA (i.e. “Ottoman officer”). “To arrest” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: CO(P ASHA)MED. One nailed solely from the wordplay.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1595

A medium strength Jumbo this week, and a pretty decent one to chip away at during a working weekend. There were perhaps one too many made-to-fit solutions – consider some of the stuff in the top-left corner of the grid – but the quality of the clueing mostly made up for this.

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 you jiggered then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions to hundreds of the things.

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

LP

FBV (French-By-Volume): 3.3%
(5% if you count NONPAREIL)

Across clues

  1. Some hippopotamuses provoke mirth (5)

Answer: AMUSE (i.e. “provoke mirth”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: HIPPOPOT(AMUSE)S.

  1. Briefly support a SE Asian fish product (7)

Answer: BACALAO (i.e. “fish product”, in this case salted cod). Solution is BACK (i.e. “support”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder followed by A and LAO (i.e. “SE Asian”, a native of Laos), like so: BAC-A-LAO. My Chambers didn’t want to know, but my Oxford lists it. I was tempted to cough “made-to-fit” for this one, but then I remembered Louis Prima’s Zooma Zooma, in which the dish gets a mention.

  1. Robs stoned mariners (9)

Answer: HIGHJACKS (i.e. “robs”). Solution is HIGH (i.e. “stoned”) followed by JACKS (slang for sailors or “mariners”).

  1. Jobless socialist worker possibly hoarding unlimited funds (9)

Answer: REDUNDANT (i.e. “jobless”). Solution is RED (i.e. “socialist”) and ANT (i.e. “worker possibly” – other flavours of ant are available) all wrapped around or “hoarding” UND (i.e. “unlimited funds”, i.e. the word “funds” with its first and last letters removed), like so: RED-(UND)-ANT.

  1. Managed Habitat order book (6,7)

Answer: NATURE RESERVE (i.e. “managed habitat” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is NATURE (i.e. “order” or disposition) followed by RESERVE (i.e. to “book”).

  1. Lacking self-discipline, Australia’s opener picked up more nuts (7)

Answer: ACRASIA (i.e. “lacking self-discipline” – a new one on me, but fair enough). Solution is A (i.e. “Australia’s opener”, i.e. the first letter of “Australia”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of CRAZIER (i.e. “more nuts”), like so: A-CRASIA.

  1. A way to stop crackpot, a bit of a pig (7)

Answer: LARDOON (i.e. “a bit of a pig”, being a chunk of bacon used for larding. Can be spelled with O or double-O). Solution is A and RD (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a road) both placed in or “stopping” LOON (i.e. “crackpot”), like so: L(A-RD)OON.

  1. “Ah well”, she sighs, missing sons and house (5-2)

Answer: HEIGH-HO (i.e. “ah well”). Solution is SHE SIGHS with each S removed (indicated by “missing sons” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “son”) and the remainder followed by HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: (HE-IGH)-HO.

  1. A medal that’s for those with room for improvement? (8,10)

Answer: INTERIOR DECORATION. Clue plays on home “improvements”, and medals being DECORATIONS that recognise and reward outstanding service. INTERIOR possibly also plays on how medals are domestically awarded. You get the idea.

  1. Excellent case of rioja brought back for a song (4)

Answer: ARIA (i.e. operatic “song”). Solution is AI (i.e. “excellent”, or A1 with the 1 replaced with its Roman numeral equivalent) and RA (i.e. “case of rioja”, i.e. the first and last letters of “rioja”) all reversed (indicated by “brought back”), like so: AR-IA. Nicely worked.

  1. Three-legged race (9)

Answer: TRIATHLON. Clue plays on how triathlons cover three sporting disciplines, usually swimming, cycling and running. Each could be said to be a “leg” of the race. Simple, but again nicely worked.

  1. Start to burn coal, ditching oil at last (6)

Answer: IGNITE (i.e. “start to burn”). Solution is LIGNITE (a kind of brown “coal”) with the L removed (indicated by “ditching oil at last”, i.e. the last letter of “oil”). I’m confident that with some cutting-edge cruciverbalism, backed by significant government funding, cryptic crossword setters will soon develop a clue for IGNITE that doesn’t rely on LIGNITE or vice versa. Until then, we can only hope, solvers. We can only hope.

  1. Dutch painter apparently covering room with new gloss (6)

Answer: VENEER (i.e. “gloss”). Solution is Johannes VERMEER (i.e. “Dutch painter”) with the RM (a recognised abbreviation of “room”) replaced or “covered” over with N (ditto “new”), like so: VE(RM)EER => VE(N)EER. It was rather good of The Times’ features editor to put Vermeer on the cover of the Saturday Review supplement. Very helpful!

  1. Ballet expert to choose girl to dance (12)

Answer: CHOREOLOGIST (i.e. “ballet expert”). “To dance” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TO CHOOSE GIRL.

  1. Breaking law, can lose benefits (10)

Answer: ALLOWANCES (i.e. “benefits”). “Breaking” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LAW CAN LOSE.

  1. Insult full of emotion causes estrangement (10)

Answer: DISAFFECTS (i.e. “causes estrangement”). Solution is DISS (i.e. “insult”) wrapped around or being “full of” AFFECT (i.e. “emotion” – in its noun form AFFECT can be “the emotion that lies behind action (psychology)(Chambers)), like so: DIS(AFFECT)S.

  1. Orchid spray spilled all over the place (5,7)

Answer: LADY’S SLIPPER (i.e. a variety of “orchid”). “All over the place” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SPRAY SPILLED.

  1. Introverts love being in railway society (6)

Answer: LONERS (i.e. “introverts”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, a zero score in tennis) placed “in” LNER (i.e. “railway”, in this case the London North Eastern Railway) and followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”), like so: L(O)NER-S.

  1. Commander-in-Chief with programming language for drone producer (6)

Answer: CICADA (i.e. an insect or “drone producer”, presumably based on the noise they collectively make. You do get drone insects, but “drone producer” would suggest a queen of sorts). Solution is CIC (a recognised abbreviation of “Commander-In-Chief”) followed by ADA (i.e. “programming language” named after computing pioneer Ada Lovelace – this nerd approves).

  1. Babies annoy anti-social type (9)

Answer: LITTERBUG (i.e. “anti-social type”). Solution is LITTER (i.e. “babies”) followed by BUG (i.e. “annoy”).

  1. Eggs on northern star (4)

Answer: NOVA (i.e. “star”). Solution is OVA (i.e. “eggs”) placed “on” or after N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”), like so: N-OVA.

  1. Frenchmen and I dissent furiously about a removal of rights (18)

Answer: DISENFRANCHISEMENT (i.e. “removal of rights”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “furiously”) of FRENCHMEN and I DISSENT wrapped “about” A, like so: DISENFR(A)NCHISEMENT. As regular readers will know, the lengths to which Times setters go to squeeze the French into their puzzles is a frequent source of amusement to me. The language, the places, the people, the word ‘French’ itself: so long as at least one reference gets into the Jumbo then the Elder Gods can be appeased for another week and life can go on as normal. Oh, hang on, sorry, that’s the plot to The Cabin In The Woods. Anyway, it’s all just so obvious, almost as if it’s page 1 of The Times’ style guide. I mean, I like the French too – we nicked large chunks of the language after all – but, jeez, setters, get a room.

  1. English composer ultimately made poor case for piece (7)

Answer: HOLSTER (i.e. “case for piece”, piece being slang for a gun). Solution is Gustav HOLST (i.e. “English composer”) followed by E and R (i.e. “ultimately made poor”, i.e. the last letters of “made” and “poor”).

  1. Political enforcer saying this inflicts cuts (7)

Answer: WHIPSAW (i.e. “this inflicts cuts”). Solution is WHIP (i.e. “political enforcer”) followed by SAW (i.e. a phrase or “saying”).

  1. President of India introduced to foolish boy (7)

Answer: James MADISON (i.e. former “president” of the US). Solution is I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “introduced to” MAD (i.e. “foolish”) and SON (i.e. “boy”), like so: MAD-(I)-SON.

  1. Camel tottered, moving treasure hunter’s gear (5,8)

Answer: METAL DETECTOR (i.e. “treasure hunter’s gear”). “Moving” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CAMEL TOTTERED.

  1. Matchless version of rap online (9)

Answer: NONPAREIL (i.e. “matchless”). “Version of” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RAP ONLINE.

  1. Stem of asparagus with excellent herb (9)

Answer: SPEARMINT (i.e. “herb”). Solution is SPEAR (i.e. “stem of asparagus”) followed by MINT (i.e. “excellent”, e.g. in mint condition).

  1. Theatre is sued after shrinking further publication (7)

Answer: REISSUE (i.e. “further publication”). “After shrinking” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, derived by stripping away the ends of THEAT(RE IS SUE)D.

  1. Going west, overdrawn nation finally loses credit (5)

Answer: KUDOS (i.e. “credit”). Solution is OD (a recognised abbreviation of “overdrawn”) and UK (i.e. “nation”, specifically the United Kingdom) all reversed (indicated by “going west” – this being a down clue) and followed by S (i.e. “finally loses”, i.e. the last letter of “loses”), like so: (KU-DO)-S.

Down clues

  1. Perhaps Berber in Barnet area is a silly jerk (4-7)

Answer: AFRO-ASIATIC (i.e. “perhaps Berber”, being “a member of one of the Muslim peoples of N Africa” (Chambers)). Solution is AFRO (i.e. “barnet” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, this is slang for hair) followed by A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), then an anagram (indicated by “silly”) of IS A, then TIC (i.e. “jerk” or involuntary movement), like so: AFRO-A-SIA-TIC.

  1. Lower parts unclothed (5)

Answer: UNDER (i.e. “lower”). Solution is SUNDERS (i.e. splits or “parts”) with the first and last letters removed (indicated by “unclothed”).

  1. Serious, outspoken book about retired president, winner of Nobel Prize (6,10)

Answer: ERNEST RUTHERFORD (i.e. “winner of Nobel Prize” for chemistry in 1908). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “outspoken”) of EARNEST (i.e. “serious”) followed by RUTH (i.e. a “book” of The Bible), then RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) reversed (indicated by “retired”), then Gerald FORD (i.e. another former “president” of the US), like so: ERNEST-RUTH-ER-FORD. One chipped away at through the wordplay.

  1. Cheer for female act in show of boldness (7)

Answer: BRAVADO (i.e. “show of boldness”). Solution is BRAVA (i.e. “cheer for female”, or bravo as said to a woman; as an aside, apparently one would say “bravi” if cheering a number of people. Hm. Every day’s a school day!) followed by DO (i.e. to “act”).

  1. Content of seed bed beguiled after years (9)

Answer: COTYLEDON (i.e. “content of seed”). Solution is COT (i.e. “bed”) followed by LED ON (i.e. “beguiled”) once placed “after” Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”), like so: COT-Y-(LED-ON). One nailed from the wordplay, surprise, surprise.

  1. Peculiar lens adjusted for astronomical event (5,7)

Answer: LUNAR ECLIPSE (i.e. “astronomical event”). “Adjusted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PECULIAR LENS.

[EDIT: Thanks to Chris and Sue in the comments for repairing this one. I’d accidentally written SOLAR instead of LUNAR. It was getting late, m’lud. Cheers all! – LP]

  1. Trip going around bucket, causing flood (10)

Answer: OUTPOURING (i.e. “flood”). Solution is OUTING (i.e. “trip”) wrapped “around” POUR (i.e. “bucket” down with rain), like so: OUT(POUR)ING.

  1. About to stalk female bird (5)

Answer: HERON (i.e. “bird”). Solution is ON (i.e. “about” or regarding) placed after or forming a “stalk” to – this being a down clue – HER (i.e. “female”), like so: HER-ON.

  1. Early years of Liberal doctor raised by mobster (8)

Answer: GIRLHOOD (i.e. “early years”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) and RIG (i.e. to “doctor”) all reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) and followed by HOOD (i.e. “mobster”), like so: (GIR-L)-HOOD.

  1. In France, I go with priest (6)

Answer: JESUIT (i.e. “priest”). When written as JE SUIT the solution also satisfies “in France, I go with”, being the French for “I follow”.

[EDIT: Thanks to Dooj in the comments for tidying this one up. A better fit for the clue would be JE, being the French for “I”, followed by SUIT (i.e. to complement or “go with”). Cheers, Dooj! – LP]

  1. Spooner’s deer track in Clydesdale? (9)

Answer: CARTHORSE (i.e. “Clydesdale”, a breed thereof). Solution is a “Spoonerism” of HART (i.e. male “deer”) and COURSE (i.e. “track”).

  1. Old creature is half-cut and goes unsteadily into the Bull (11)

Answer: STEGOSAURUS (i.e. “old creature”). Solution is IS “half-cut”, specifically removing the first half, followed by an anagram (indicated by “unsteadily”) of GOES once placed “into” TAURUS (i.e. “the Bull” in the signs of the zodiac), like so: S-T(EGOS)AURUS.

  1. Then woman leaves, and seamen, heading off in cutters (7)

Answer: TAILORS (i.e. “cutters”). Solution is THEN with the HEN removed (indicated by “woman leaves”) and the remainder followed by SAILORS (i.e. “seamen”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “heading off”), like so: T-AILORS.

  1. Quite small person, completely unknown (7)

Answer: TOTALLY (i.e. “quite”). Solution is TOT (i.e. young child or “small person”) followed by ALL (i.e. “completely”) and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as unknowns).

  1. No charge imposed on duke by stern regulatory system (8,8)

Answer: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK (i.e. “regulatory system” – over to Chambers: “the return of part of an output signal back to the input, as a way of increasing the quality of amplified sound”). Solution is NEGATIVE (i.e. “no”) followed by FEE (i.e. “charge imposed”), then D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) and BACK (the “stern” of a ship).

  1. Laughing out loud, went ahead and sprawled (6)

Answer: LOLLED (i.e. “sprawled”). Solution is LOL (i.e. “laughing out loud” in textspeak) followed by LED (i.e. “went ahead”).

  1. Stays gracious and formal (6)

Answer: CORSET (i.e. “stays” – a variant meaning of “stays” in noun form is a corset stiffened with bone or strips of metal). Solution is COR (i.e. “gracious”, both exclamations) followed by SET (i.e. stiff or “formal”). Nicely worked.

  1. Guests’ whimsies on a regular basis, leading to tumble? (3,4)

Answer: GET WISE (i.e. “tumble” – deep into the definitions is this: “to comprehend (often with to; informal)” (Chambers). Can’t say I’ve ever heard the phrase). “On a regular basis” indicates the solution is derived by taking every other letter of GUESTS’ WHIMSIES.

  1. Competent guy embracing dad (7)

Answer: CAPABLE (i.e. “competent”). Solution is CABLE (i.e. rope or “cable”) wrapped around or “embracing” PA (i.e. “dad”), like so: CA(PA)BLE.

  1. Moving home, oddly sneers at one old inn (12)

Answer: CARAVANSERAI (i.e. “old inn”). Solution is CARAVAN (i.e. “moving home”) followed by SERA (i.e. “oddly sneers at”, i.e. every other letter of SNEERS AT), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”). One I remembered from a previous Jumbo, if I’m honest.

  1. Haydn almost battered poet (5,6)

Answer: DYLAN THOMAS (i.e. “poet”). “Battered” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HAYDN ALMOST.

  1. Heard sardonic arguments in corners of square (5,6)

Answer: RIGHT ANGLES (i.e. “corners of square”). “Heard” indicates homophone. Solution comprises homophones of WRY (i.e. “sardonic”) and TANGLES (i.e. “arguments”).

  1. Doctor first heals relative (4-6)

Answer: HALF-SISTER (i.e. “relative”). “Doctor” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FIRST HEALS.

  1. Writing note over letter without any resistance (9)

Answer: NOVELETTE (i.e. “writing”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “note”) followed by OVER LETTER once the Rs have been removed (indicated by “without any resistance” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “resistance” used in physics), like so: N-(OVE-LETTE).

  1. Netting wound over top of shrubs as protection against aphids? (9)

Answer: LACEWINGS (i.e. “protection against aphids” – they love sucking the juice out of the little critters). Solution is LACE (i.e. “netting”) followed by WING (i.e. to “wound”) and S (i.e. “top of shrubs”, i.e. the first letter of “shrubs”).

  1. PM of Middle Eastern country supporting Democrat (8)

Answer: Benjamin DISRAELI (i.e. former “PM” or Prime Minister of the United Kingdom). Solution is ISRAELI (i.e. “of Middle Eastern country”, Israel) placed after or “supporting” – this being a down clue – D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”), like so: D-ISRAELI. For IGNITE/LIGNITE, read also ISRAELI/DISRAELI.

  1. Massive blokes invading one’s space “discontentedly” (7)

Answer: IMMENSE (i.e. “massive”). Solution is MEN (i.e. “blokes”) placed in or “invading” I’M (a contraction of I AM or “one’s”) and SE (i.e. “space ‘discontentedly’”, i.e. playfully speaking, the word “space” with all its middle letters removed), like so: I’M-(MEN)-SE.

  1. Less original story swallowed by senior (6)

Answer: STALER (i.e. “less original”). Solution is TALE (i.e. “story”) placed in or “swallowed by” SR (a recognised abbreviation of “senior”), like so: S(TALE)R.

  1. Cultivated grass with passion (5)

Answer: WHEAT (i.e. “cultivated grass”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) followed by HEAT (i.e. “passion”).

  1. Time to break young horse (5)

Answer: STEED (i.e. “horse”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) placed in or “breaking” SEED (i.e. “young”), like so: S(T)EED.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1594

Oh, good grief, it’s this setter again. Someone must have read my “…as we become a more secular society…” line last week and said, “hold my communion wine”.

Yes, it’s another of those Godathon Jumbos, praise be. I got to the end of it, though how I did so without spontaneously combusting I’ll never know. I’m going to need at least a month of sin and debauchery to cleanse myself of it.

So off I go to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool with cocaine, champagne and Russian prostitutes. The lengths I go to for this blog… Anyway, in the meantime, here’s my completed grid along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has maxed out your credit card seeking salvation from a televangelist then you might find enlightenment – halleluiah! – in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things.

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

LP

GBV (God-By-Volume): 20%
Contains dangerous levels of holier-than-thou. Diabolists beware.

Across clues

  1. Bishop, one having power – skilled operator backed by more than one faction (10)

Answer: BIPARTISAN (i.e. “backed by more than one faction”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop” used in chess) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) and ARTISAN (i.e. “skilled operator”).

  1. Women who wanted to make their mark in politics (12)

Answer: SUFFRAGETTES. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, but that’s all I’m getting. I hope I’m missing something clever. If I am, and if some kind soul enlightens me, then I’ll update the post.

[EDIT: Thanks to Sue and Michael A in the comments for fleshing this out some more. “Who wanted to make their mark” plays on how the suffragettes fought for women’s right to vote, i.e. to make their mark on a ballot paper. Thanks, all! – LP]

  1. One to attack a church book in speech (9)

Answer: ASSAULTER (i.e. “one to attack”). Solution is A followed by a homophone (indicated by “in speech”) of PSALTER (i.e. “church book”). Interesting fact: the last blatant Godathon Jumbo featured ASSAULTERS as one of the solutions. Coincidence?

  1. Bathroom item an idiot knocked over (5)

Answer: LOOFA (i.e. “bathroom item”). Solution is A and FOOL (i.e. “idiot”) all reversed (indicated by “knocked over”), like so: LOOF-A.

  1. Affair in which the female gets hit (7)

Answer: SHEBANG (i.e. “affair”). Solution is SHE (i.e. “the female”) followed by BANG (i.e. “hit”).

  1. Group joined late, seen but not heard? The other way round! (3,5,9)

Answer: THE CHOIR INVISIBLE (i.e. “group joined late” – to die is said to join said group, after George Eliot’s poem O May I Join The Choir Invisible). The rest of the clue plays on how you may hear them but not see them, the reverse or “other way round” of “seen but not heard”.
[EDIT – Michael A in the comments kindly reminds us the solution also gets a mention in Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch. I’d quite forgotten, but it was too perfect a reference to not acknowledge. Cheers, Michael! – LP]

  1. All performers given this instruction (5)

Answer: TUTTI. Another where the solution satisfies the clue as a whole, being “all performers” in musical lingo. Again, I really hope I’m missing something clever here because it’s a pretty bald clue otherwise.

  1. A theologian beset by shortage of feeling gets unhappy (7)

Answer: SADDENS (i.e. “gets unhappy”). Solution is A and DD (i.e. “theologian”, specifically a Doctor of Divinity or Divinitatis Doctor) placed in or “beset by” SENSE (i.e. “feeling”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “shortage of…”), like so: S(A-DD)ENS.

  1. Some terror-stricken, leading to mistakes (6)

Answer: ERRORS (i.e. “mistakes”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: T(ERROR-S)TRICKEN.

  1. Stomach not ace, with one repeatedly getting this disease (8)

Answer: BERIBERI (i.e. “disease”). Solution is BEAR (i.e. to “stomach”) with the A removed (indicated by “not ace” – A being a recognised abbreviation of “ace” used on playing cards) and the remainder followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”). The whole is then “repeated”, like so: (BER-I)-(BER-I).

  1. Furry creatures somersaulting about by tunnels (7)

Answer: ERMINES (i.e. “furry creatures”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) reversed (indicated by “somersaulting”) and followed by MINES (i.e. “tunnels”), like so: ER-MINES.

  1. Yeoman getting rid of loud bird (3,5)

Answer: BEE-EATER (i.e. a variety of “bird”). Solution is BEEFEATER (i.e. “yeoman”) with the F removed (indicated by “getting rid of loud” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “fortissimo” or loud in musical lingo). Virtually the same clue appeared six months ago in grid 1565.

  1. Plant Bill in a secret agency (6)

Answer: ACACIA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is AC (i.e. “bill” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, this is a recognised abbreviation of an account) placed “in” A and CIA (i.e. “secret agency”, being the Central Intelligence Agency in the US), like so: A-C(AC)IA.

  1. I sat with smart GP, troubled – we hope for a realistic outcome (11)

Answer: PRAGMATISTS (i.e. “we hope for a realistic outcome”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “troubled”) of I SAT and SMART GP.

  1. A new pole will be inserted into river, that’s clear (11)

Answer: TRANSPARENT (i.e. “clear”). Solution is A, N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and SPAR (i.e. “pole”) all placed or “inserted into” TRENT (i.e. English “river”), like so: TR(A-N-SPAR)ENT.

  1. Certain traders sign up comedian Peter (11)

Answer: BOOKSELLERS (i.e. “certain traders”). Solution is BOOK (i.e. “sign up”) followed by SELLERS (i.e. “comedian Peter”).

  1. Sacred act censored surprisingly (11)

Answer: CONSECRATED (i.e. “sacred”). “Surprisingly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ACT CENSORED.

  1. What to expect with an invader crossing the Channel? (6)

Answer: NORMAN (i.e. “invader crossing the Channel” back around 1066). Solution is NORM (i.e. “what to expect”) followed by AN.

  1. Vessel in hamper is a bottle (8)

Answer: DECANTER (i.e. “bottle”). Solution is CAN (i.e. “vessel”) placed “in” DETER (i.e. to “hamper”), like so: DE(CAN)TER.

  1. See location of religious significance – some French place for pilgrims (7)

Answer: LOURDES (i.e. “French place for Pilgrims”). Solution is LO (i.e. “see”, as in lo and behold) followed by UR (i.e. an ancient city, “location of religious significance”) and DES (i.e. “some French”, i.e. the French for “some”).

  1. Those who walk or run into border area (8)

Answer: MARCHERS (i.e. “those who walk”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) placed “into” MARCHES (i.e. “border area” – an easier get after this was a solution in last week’s Jumbo), like so: MARCHE(R)S.

  1. Old boys in US city returning, stifling hesitation (6)

Answer: ALUMNI (i.e. “old boys”). Solution is IN and LA (i.e. “US city”, Los Angeles) all reversed (indicated by “returning”) and wrapped around or “stifling” UM (i.e. “hesitation”), like so: AL-(UM)-NI.

  1. Candidate in election, originally in area of Greece (7)

Answer: NOMINEE (i.e. “candidate”). Solution is IN and E (i.e. “election, originally”, i.e. the first letter of “election”) all placed “in” NOME (i.e. “area of Greece” – over to Chambers: “a province or department, especially in ancient Egypt or modern Greece”. A new one on me), like so: NOM(IN-E)E.

  1. Points made by any number of poems (5)

Answer: NODES (i.e. “points”). Solution is N (i.e. denoting “any number” in mathematics) followed by ODES (i.e. “poems”).

  1. Old Jesuit of note, one left difficult home after difficult last month (8,2,7)

Answer: Pierre TEILHARD DE CHARDIN (i.e. “old Jesuit”. No, me neither). Solution is TE (i.e. musical “note” in the sol-fa notation) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”). This is then followed by HARD (i.e. “difficult”) and IN (i.e. at “home”) once these have been placed “after” HARD (again, “difficult”) and DEC (i.e. “last month”, short for December), like so: TE-I-L-((HARD-DEC)-HARD-IN). Unsurprisingly, one nailed from the wordplay.

  1. One giving tearful welcome? (7)

Answer: GREETER (i.e. “one giving…welcome”). The clue also plays on a variant meaning of GREET, being to weep.

  1. Church dignitary’s law (5)

Answer: CANON. Solution satisfies “church dignitary” and “law”.

  1. What woman wears in teashop is fancy (9)

Answer: PANTIHOSE (i.e. “what woman wears”). “Fancy” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN TEASHOP.

  1. Once again spotted problem for Crucible player? (12)

Answer: REDISCOVERED (i.e. “once again spotted”). When written as RED IS COVERED the clue playfully satisfies “problem for Crucible player”, the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield being the home of the World Snooker Championship. Nicely done. Comfortably my favourite clue of the puzzle.

  1. This is becoming violent, unacceptable from start to finish (10)

Answer: THROUGHOUT (i.e. “from start to finish”). Not sure what the setter is playing at here. I guess TH is “this is becoming” – perhaps THIS with the IS removed, though I can’t see how “becoming” can be used as a removal indicator – followed by ROUGH (i.e. “violent”) and OUT (i.e. “unacceptable”).

[EDIT: Thanks again to Michael A in the comments for nailing this one. I should have taken a step back to read more of the clue before trying to parse it. “This is becoming violent” is the wordplay to focus on, being THIS with the IS swapped for or “becoming” ROUGH, like so: TH(IS) => TH(ROUGH). OUT remains as described. Thanks, Michael! – LP]

Down clues

  1. Being out to become attractive? (6,5)

Answer: BEAUTY SLEEP. Clue plays on “out” as another way of saying asleep. You get the idea.

  1. Hit of yesteryear – number one for Eurythmics (5)

Answer: PASTE (i.e. to “hit”). Solution is PAST (i.e. “yesteryear”) followed by E (i.e. “number one for Eurythmics”, i.e. the first letter of “Eurythmics”).

  1. Uncouth – when? (5-4)

Answer: ROUGH-HEWN (i.e. “uncouth”). The remainder of the clue plays on how the solution cryptically satisfies “when”, i.e. as an anagram, indicated by ROUGH, of HEWN.

  1. Somehow feels at home with birds outside university (7)

Answer: INTUITS (i.e. “somehow feels”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by TITS (i.e. “birds”) once placed “outside” of U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”), like so: IN-T(U)ITS.

  1. Transport business – something that may recede without hotel (7)

Answer: AIRLINE (i.e. “transport business”). Solution is HAIRLINE (i.e. “something that may recede”) with the H removed (indicated by “without hotel” – “hotel” being H in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Superior toff butler maybe found to be inattentive (11)

Answer: UNOBSERVANT (i.e. “inattentive”). Solution is U (i.e. “superior”, basically a recognised abbreviation of the upper classes. If you honestly believe the upper classes are superior then this blog perhaps isn’t for you…) followed by NOB (i.e. “toff”) and SERVANT (i.e. “butler maybe”).

  1. Meat in iron container subjected to heat and alcohol (6)

Answer: FLAMBÉ (i.e. of food “subjected to heat and alcohol”). Solution is FE (chemical symbol of “iron”) wrapped around or “containing” LAMB (i.e. “meat”), like so: F(LAMB)E.

  1. Some with moans were dubiously “satisfied” (8)

Answer: ANSWERED (i.e. “satisfied”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: MO(ANS WERE D)UBIOUSLY.

  1. Seat at the end no one would want? (8,5)

Answer: ELECTRIC CHAIR. Clue plays on how such a “seat” is used to execute people, being “at the end” of their lives. You get the idea. I rather liked the gallows humour in this one.

  1. Hot food and wine consumed by little piggy? (7)

Answer: TOASTIE (i.e. “hot food”). Solution is ASTI (i.e. “wine”) placed in or “consumed by” TOE (i.e. “piggy”, as teased during the nursery rhyme “this little piggy went to market” etc), like so: TO(ASTI)E.

  1. Important gesture if given personal message of incompetence (11)

Answer: SIGNIFICANT (i.e. “important”). Solution is SIGN (i.e. “gesture”) followed by IF, then I CAN’T (i.e. “personal message of incompetence”).

  1. Intelligence of leading pair of class always meeting head (10)

Answer: CLEVERNESS (i.e. “intelligence”). Solution is CL (i.e. “leading pair of class”, i.e. the first two letters of “class”) followed by EVER (i.e. “always”) and NESS (i.e. “head”, the geographic feature).

  1. Behaviour of upset editor less generous, reportedly (9)

Answer: DEMEANOUR (i.e. “behaviour”). Solution is ED (short for “editor”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of MEANER (i.e. “less generous”), like so: DE-MEANOUR.

  1. Consideration for long-standing employee (8)

Answer: RETAINER. Clue plays on a definition of “consideration” being payment or recompense. If a key long-standing employee retires, an employer may agree to keep them on a retainer just in case they need to be called upon.

  1. Put down roots in Yorkshire town (6)

Answer: SETTLE. Solution satisfies “put down roots” and “Yorkshire town”.

  1. Something worth having in garden plot with surface rock formation (8)

Answer: BASSETED (i.e. “with surface rock formation” – a geological definition of “basset” is “(of strata) to outcrop” (Chambers)). Solution is ASSET (i.e. “something worth having”) placed “in” BED (i.e. “garden plot”), like so: B(ASSET)ED.

  1. Tory getting irate inside, being betrayed? (7,2)

Answer: CHEATED ON (i.e. “being betrayed”). Solution is CON (short for “Conservative”, i.e. “Tory”) wrapped around or “getting…inside” HEATED (i.e. “irate”), like so: C(HEATED)ON.

  1. Bony bird with very big head (6)

Answer: OSTEAL (i.e. “bony”). Solution is TEAL (i.e. “bird”) with OS (i.e. “very big”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “outsize”) placed at the “head”, like so: OS-TEAL.

  1. State of holy ritual a church employs when keeping dry (13)

Answer: MASSACHUSETTS (i.e. US “state”). Solution is MASS (i.e. “holy ritual”) followed by A, then CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) and USES (i.e. “employs”) once wrapped around or “keeping” TT (i.e. “dry”, in this case a recognised abbreviation of a teetotaller), like so: MASS-A-CH-USE(TT)S.

  1. Rely on fellow over time – right person to look after your money? (4,7)

Answer: BANK MANAGER (i.e. “person to look after your money”). Solution is BANK (i.e. “rely on”) followed by MAN (i.e. “fellow”), then AGE (i.e. “time”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”).

  1. Minor reform requiring not much money (5,6)

Answer: SMALL CHANGE (i.e. “not much money”). Solution is SMALL (i.e. “minor”) followed by CHANGE (i.e. “reform”).

  1. Vessels crossing a river, competitive boats? (10)

Answer: CATAMARANS (i.e. “competitive boats”, the ones with two hulls). Solution is CANS (i.e. “vessels”) wrapped around or “crossing” A and TAMAR (i.e. “river” in south-west England), like so: C(A-TAMAR)ANS.

  1. Acumen is needed by laboratory workers in odd bits of duty (11)

Answer: DISCERNMENT (i.e. “acumen”). Solution is IS, CERN (i.e. a “laboratory” in Switzerland) and MEN (i.e. “workers” – blimey, which century did the setter step out from?) all placed “in” DT (i.e. “odd bits of duty”, i.e. every other letter of DUTY), like so: D(IS-CERN-MEN)T.

  1. Silly nun in game that is inconsequential (9)

Answer: UNMEANING (i.e. “inconsequential”). “Silly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NUN IN GAME.

  1. Musical work I love introduced by speaker (8)

Answer: ORATORIO (i.e. “musical work”). Solution is I and O (i.e. “love”, a zero score in tennis) both placed after or “introduced by” ORATOR (i.e. “speaker”). Interesting fact: the last blatant Godathon Jumbo also featured ORATORIO as one of its solutions. Coincidence?

  1. Communist leader, hairy type in the minority (7)

Answer: REDHEAD (i.e. “hairy type in the minority”). Solution is RED (i.e. “communist”) followed by HEAD (i.e. “leader”).

  1. Exhaustive Home Department, prime feature of e.g. Harrods? (2-5)

Answer: IN-DEPTH (i.e. “exhaustive”). Solution is IN (i.e. at “home”, used a few times already) followed by DEPT (a recognised abbreviation of “department”) and H (i.e. “prime feature of e.g. Harrods”, basically an elaborate way of saying the first letter of “Harrods”).

  1. Other than container for beer? Party impossible! (2,3,2)

Answer: NO CAN DO (i.e. “impossible”). Solution is NO CAN (i.e. “other than container for beer” – can’t say I’m convinced by this one either) followed by DO (i.e. “party”).

  1. Group cleric upset (6)

Answer: CIRCLE (i.e. “group”). “Upset” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CLERIC.

  1. Couple receiving order in holy building (5)

Answer: DUOMO (i.e. “holy building”, an Italian cathedral). Solution is DUO (i.e. “couple”) wrapped around or “receiving” OM (i.e. “order”, in this case the Order of Merit), like so: DU(OM)O. (Cough)-made-to-fit-(Cough)

As a parting shot, after all this Holy Grail-ing, I thought I’d sign off with my favourite piece of music from the film, The Promised Land by Stanley Black, heard near the end as Arthur and Bedevere approach Castle Aargh. The full length version below is well worth a listen. Enjoy!

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1593

A toughie to finish the seasonal period, and a good one to chip away at during the day. Consistent difficulty, good progression, fair clueing… Yup. More like this, please!

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 you flummoxed then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions to hundreds of the things.

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

LP

FBV (French-By-Volume): 8.3%
A smoky Reno that commands respect. Not usually had with fromage.

Across clues

  1. Cricketer gets runs during a defeat – this is sub-par (9)

Answer: ALBATROSS (i.e. “this is sub-par” in a game of golf, being three shots under par). Solution is BAT (i.e. “cricketer”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in several ball games) both placed in or “during” A LOSS (i.e. “a defeat”), like so: A-L(BAT-R)OSS.

  1. Something said about periodically pallid bouquet (10)

Answer: COMPLIMENT (i.e. “bouquet”; one of bouquet’s later definitions is “a compliment, praise” (Chambers)). Solution is COMMENT (i.e. “something said”) wrapped “about” PLI (i.e. “periodically pallid”, i.e. every other letter of PALLID), like so: COM(PLI)MENT.

  1. Understanding French in wine catalogue finally (7)

Answer: ENTENTE (i.e. an “understanding”). Solution is EN (i.e. “French in”, i.e. the French for “in”) followed by TENT (i.e. “wine” variety) and E (i.e. “catalogue finally”, i.e. the last letter of “catalogue”). A doubly French clue so take care, Francophobes.

  1. Tailored tussore with gold clothing collection (9)

Answer: TROUSSEAU (i.e. “clothing collection” – over to Chambers again: “the clothes…collected by a bride for her marriage”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “tailored”) of TUSSORE followed by AU (chemical symbol of “gold”), like so: TROUSSE-AU.

  1. Accountant back on problem? This may bear fruit (5)

Answer: SUMAC (i.e. “this may bear fruit”). Solution is CA (i.e. “accountant”, specifically a Chartered Accountant) reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed “on” or after SUM (i.e. mathematical “problem”), like so: SUM-AC.

  1. Soldier’s holding large weapon or seaman’s tool (12)

Answer: MARLINESPIKE (i.e. “seaman’s tool” – and again to Chambers: “a spike for separating the strands of a rope on a splicing”). Solution is MARINE’S (i.e. “soldier’s”) wrapped around or “holding” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and followed by PIKE (i.e. “weapon”), like so: MAR(L)INE’S-PIKE. One nailed from the wordplay and a shufti in Chambers to confirm.

  1. Forced dialogue eating last of Dundee cakes (10)

Answer: MADELEINES (i.e. “cakes”). Solution is MADE (i.e. “forced”) followed by LINES (i.e. actors’ “dialogue”) once wrapped around or “eating” E (i.e. “last [letter] of Dundee”), like so: MADE-L(E)INES.

  1. Idiot follows nurse stifling pain, one in the rear? (4-3,7)

Answer: TAIL-END CHARLIE (i.e. “one in the rear”). Solution is CHARLIE (i.e. “idiot”) placed after or “following” TEND (i.e. “nurse”) once wrapped around or “stifling” AIL (i.e. “pain”), like so: T(AIL)END-CHARLIE.

  1. Tombs of Chinese leader round American field (8)

Answer: MAUSOLEA (i.e. “tombs”). Solution is MAO (i.e. “Chinese leader”) once wrapped “round” US (i.e. “American”) and followed by LEA (i.e. a meadow or “field”), like so: MA(US)O-LEA.

  1. Tory leader dismissing head of state once in shock (6)

Answer: THATCH (i.e. “shock”, both referring to hair). Solution is Margaret THATCHER (i.e. former “Tory leader”) with the ER removed (indicated by “dismissing head of state once”, specifically Elizabeth Regina).

  1. Marches, say, with marshal left in group (10)

Answer: BORDERLAND (i.e. “marches, say” – a variant meaning of “march” is a boundary or border). Solution is ORDER (i.e. “marshal”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) both placed “in” BAND (i.e. “group”), like so: B(ORDER-L)AND.

  1. Something on plate men sent back? Got it! (5)

Answer: ROGER (i.e. an acknowledgement or “got it” in radio comms). Solution is REG (i.e. “something on [number]plate”) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) all reversed (indicated by “sent back”), like so: RO-GER.

  1. Bar is to accumulate funds (4)

Answer: SAVE. Solution satisfies “bar” or except for, and “accumulate funds”.

  1. Rhythmic record contains funky dance with energy (8)

Answer: CADENCED (i.e. “rhythmic”). Solution is CD (i.e. “record” or Compact Disc) wrapped around or “containing” an anagram (indicated by “funky”) of DANCE and E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: C(ADENC-E)D.

  1. Ready to drop ecstasy after gift, looking embarrassed (9)

Answer: KNACKERED (i.e. “ready to drop”). Solution is E (slang name for the drug “ecstasy”) placed “after” KNACK (i.e. talent or “gift”) and followed by RED (i.e. “looking embarrassed”), like so: KNACK-E-RED.

  1. Day Arab is given a hobby horse (9)

Answer: MONOMANIA (i.e. “hobby horse”). Solution is MON (i.e. “day”, specifically Monday) followed by OMANI (i.e. “Arab”) and A.

  1. Metal I’d coated in wonderful uranium, say (8)

Answer: ACTINIDE (i.e. “uranium, say” – over to Chambers again: “a group of radioactive metallic elements from atomic number 89”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “metal”) and I’D both placed in or “coated in” ACE (i.e. “wonderful”), like so: AC(TIN-I’D)E. Another done solely through the wordplay.

  1. Jack investing billions making device for skiers (1-3)

Answer: T-BAR (i.e. “device for skiers”, a type of ski lift). Solution is TAR (i.e. “jack”, both slang words for a sailor) wrapped around or “investing” B (a recognised abbreviation of “billions”), like so: T(B)AR.

  1. Sucker about to get taken in by flipping scoundrel (5)

Answer: LEECH (i.e. “sucker”). Solution is C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) placed or “taken in by” HEEL (i.e. “scoundrel”) once reversed (indicated by “flipping”), like so: LEE(C)H.

  1. Remark of reader not getting in a state (10)

Answer: ANNOTATION (i.e. “remark of reader”, say, in the margins). Solution is NOT placed or “getting in” A and NATION (i.e. “state”), like so: A-N(NOT)ATION.

  1. Going around unknown, vacant citadel besieged by army chief (6)

Answer: CYCLIC (i.e. “going around”). Solution is Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”) and CL (i.e. “vacant citadel”, i.e. the first and last letters of “citadel”), all placed in or “besieged by” CIC (i.e. “army chief”, short for Commander-In-Chief), like so: C(Y-CL)IC.

  1. Judicious to limit a computer program’s damage (8)

Answer: SABOTAGE (i.e. “damage”). Solution is SAGE (i.e. “judicious”) wrapped around or “limiting” A and BOT (i.e. “computer program”), like so: S(A-BOT)AGE.

  1. Get soundly defeated, as Brad may? (4,1,9)

Answer: TAKE A HAMMERING (i.e. “get soundly defeated”). The remainder of the clue plays on a brad being a type of nail, ignoring the misleading capitalisation.

  1. Not toeing the line, which could generate some gaffes? (3-7)

Answer: OFF-MESSAGE (i.e. “not toeing the line”). “Which could generate” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOME GAFFES.

  1. Alluring person grasps the French for “autocue” (12)

Answer: TELEPROMPTER (i.e. “autocue”). Solution is TEMPTER (i.e. “alluring person”) wrapped around or “grasping” LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the masculine form of “the” in French) and PRO (i.e. “for” or in favour of), like so: TE(LE-PRO)MPTER.

  1. Praise officer on chopper heading west (5)

Answer: EXALT (i.e. “praise”). Solution is LT (i.e. “officer”, short for a Lieutenant) placed “on” or after AXE (i.e. “chopper”) once reversed (indicated by “heading west” – this being an across clue), like so: EXA-LT.

  1. Club with foil decoration from Germany (4,5)

Answer: IRON CROSS (i.e. military medal or “decoration from Germany”). Solution is IRON (i.e. golf “club”) followed by CROSS (i.e. “foil”, both probably taken to mean to thwart; Chambers also has this fairly deep into the definitions of “foil”: “to destroy a trail by crossing (hunting)“).

  1. Immature creature, bit extreme (7)

Answer: TADPOLE (i.e. “immature creature”). Solution is TAD (i.e. a little or “bit”) followed by POLE (i.e. “extreme”).

  1. A single teacher punching another? That’s a bit thick! (10)

Answer: BONEHEADED (i.e. “that’s a bit thick”). Solution is ONE HEAD (i.e. “single teacher”) placed in or “punching” BED (i.e. “another” teacher, in this case a BEd or Bachelor of Education), like so: B(ONE-HEAD)ED.

  1. Caught leaving French vehicle, with time for jaunt (9)

Answer: GALLIVANT (i.e. “jaunt”). Solution is GALLIC VAN (i.e. “French vehicle”) with the C removed (indicated by “caught leaving” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) and the remainder followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: (GALLI-VAN)-T.

Down clues

  1. Table held up by barrister-at-law (5)

Answer: ALTAR (i.e. “table”). “Held” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “up” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: BARRISTE(R-AT-LA)W.

  1. Spy one composer taking in English seaside (5,5)

Answer: BONDI BEACH (i.e. “seaside” over in Australia). Solution is James BOND (i.e. “spy”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then Johann Sebastian BACH (i.e. “composer”) once wrapped around or “taking in” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: BOND-I-B(E)ACH.

  1. Issue when resurfacing new drive, initially, in ancient city (3,5)

Answer: THE BENDS (i.e. “issue when resurfacing”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and D (i.e. “drive, initially”, i.e. the first letter of “drive”) both placed “in” THEBES (i.e. “ancient city”), like so: THEBE(N-D)S.

  1. Performing rap where one might get beer (2,3)

Answer: ON TAP (i.e. “where one might get beer”). Solution is ON (i.e. “performing”) followed by TAP (i.e. to “rap”).

  1. Awkwardly positioned in corner before getting put in empty shed (9)

Answer: SNOOKERED (i.e. “awkwardly positioned”). Solution is NOOK (i.e. “corner”) and ERE (i.e. poetic form of “before”) both “put in” SD (i.e. “empty shed”, i.e. the word “shed” with its middle letters removed), like so: S(NOOK-ERE)D.

  1. The damage is small, breaking nursery item (4)

Answer: COST (i.e. “the damage”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) placed in or “breaking” COT (i.e. “nursery item”), like so: CO(S)T.

  1. Frenzied female relative knocked over European (6)

Answer: MAENAD (i.e. “frenzied female” of Greek mythology). Solution is MA (i.e. “relative”, or mother) followed by DANE (i.e. “European”) once reversed (indicated by “knocked over”), like so: MA-ENAD. This is one of those solutions that seems to crop up a couple of times a year. While repeats like this can be a bit tiresome, this one does at least give me another opportunity to flag up a great short story by Elizabeth Hand that plays on the myth, which you can read for free on Nightmare Magazine’s website.

  1. Breaking a rule, acquire English novelist’s comics (6,3,5)

Answer: LAUREL AND HARDY (i.e. “comics”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “breaking”) of A RULE followed by LAND (i.e. “acquire”) and Thomas HARDY (i.e. “English novelist”), like so: LAURE-LAND-HARDY.

  1. Exploit old lady cuddling small pet (12)

Answer: MASTERSTROKE (i.e. “exploit”). Solution is MATER (i.e. “old lady”) wrapped around or “cuddling” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and followed by STROKE (i.e. to “pet”), like so: MA(S)TER-STROKE.

  1. Very tiny number, oddly, neatly divided by 1001 (7)

Answer: NOMINAL (i.e. “very tiny”). Solution is NO (a recognised abbreviation of “number”) and NAL (i.e. “oddly, neatly”, i.e. every other letter of NEATLY) all wrapped around or “divided by” MI (i.e. “1001” expressed as Roman numerals), like so: NO-(MI)-NAL.

  1. Rash protest mostly subdued without resistance rising (10)

Answer: DERMATITIS (i.e. “rash”). Solution is SIT-IN (i.e. “protest”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by TAMED (i.e. “subdued”) once wrapped around or placed “without” R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance” used in physics). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue – like so: DE(R)MAT-(I-TIS).

  1. What leading actors did about Apple stores (2-7)

Answer: CO-STARRED (i.e. “what leading actors did”). Solution is COSTARD (i.e. “apple” variety – ignore the misleading capitalisation) wrapped around or “storing” RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies), like so: COSTAR(RE)D.

  1. Small image, minute one doctor developed (8)

Answer: MICRODOT (i.e. “small image”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “minute”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and an anagram (indicated by “developed”) of DOCTOR, like so: M-I-CRODOT.

  1. During a social event, drinking very early (2,7)

Answer: IN ADVANCE (i.e. “early”). Solution is IN (i.e. “during”) followed by A and DANCE (i.e. “social event”) once wrapped around or “drinking” V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”), like so: IN-A-D(V)ANCE.

  1. Endlessly jeered relative’s musical performance (10)

Answer: HOOTENANNY (i.e. “musical performance”, and very apt given the time of year. I loved Rachael & Vilray on this year’s show. Would also have loved to have seen Gregory Porter on there again. Maybe next year.) Solution is HOOTED (i.e. “jeered”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by NANNY (i.e. “relative”, short for grandmother), like so: HOOTE-NANNY.

(Of the two tracks they performed, I preferred the utterly charming “Do Friends Fall In Love“, but the BBC haven’t uploaded that one to YouTube. This one was pretty good, though.)
  1. Scottish designer’s principal clothing label rubbish (10)

Answer: Charles Rennie MACKINTOSH (i.e. “Scottish designer”). Solution is MAIN (i.e. “principal”) wrapped around or “clothing” CK (i.e. “label” – I can only think this might be short for Calvin Klein, but I really hope I’m missing something clever. If someone swings by with a better solution then I’ll update the post) and followed by TOSH (i.e. “rubbish”), like so: MA(CK)IN-TOSH.

  1. Biscuit a somewhat naughty serving man eats (9)

Answer: GARIBALDI (i.e. “biscuit”). Solution is A and RIBALD (i.e. “somewhat naughty”) both placed in or “eaten” by GI (i.e. “service man” in the US), like so: G(A-RIBALD)I.

  1. Theologian isn’t commonly revered in stopping case of sacrilege (5,9)

Answer: SAINT AUGUSTINE (i.e. “theologian”). Solution is AINT (i.e. “isn’t commonly”), AUGUST (i.e. “revered”) and IN placed in or “stopping” SE (i.e. “case of sacrilege”, i.e. the first and last letters of “sacrilege”), like so: S(AINT-AUGUST-IN)E.

  1. Top entertaining line by vulgar speaker is guff (8)

Answer: CLAPTRAP (i.e. “guff”). Solution is CAP (i.e. “top”) wrapped around or “entertaining” L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) and followed by TRAP (i.e. “vulgar speaker”, i.e. slang for the mouth), like so: C(L)AP-TRAP.

  1. Some current success in this place, including at play area (12)

Answer: AMPHITHEATRE (i.e. “play area”). Solution is AMP (i.e. “some current”) followed by HIT (i.e. “success”), then HERE (i.e. “in this place”) once wrapped around or “including” AT, like so: AMP-HIT-HE(AT)RE.

  1. How a philosopher speaks, getting 1 across? (9)

Answer: MILLSTONE (i.e. “1 across”, the solution of which is ALBATROSS. Both are figurative of a heavy burden). When written as MILL’S TONE the solution also playfully satisfies “how a philosopher speaks”, in this case John Stuart Mill.

  1. Tremble, with awful danger in picturesque area (4,6)

Answer: ROCK GARDEN (i.e. “picturesque area”). Solution is ROCK (i.e. “tremble”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “awful”) of DANGER.

  1. After publicity, admire engineered software (10)

Answer: HYPERMEDIA (i.e. “software”). Solution is HYPE (i.e. “publicity”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “engineered”) of ADMIRE, like so: HYPE-RMEDIA.

  1. Seem drunk in skimpy pants? It’s part of the programme (5,4)

Answer: THEME SONG (i.e. “it’s part of the programme”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “drunk”) of SEEM placed “in” THONG (i.e. “skimpy pants”), like so: TH(EMES)ONG.

  1. A futurist writer wanting popular almondy snacks (8)

Answer: AMARETTI (i.e. “almondy snacks”). Solution is A followed by Filippo Tommaso MARINETTI (i.e. “futurist writer”. He was the founder of Futurism, which violently rejected the past and violently advocated for the future: youth, speed, industry and so on. Let’s not go celebrating shitty people again, eh, setters?) once the IN has been removed (indicated by “wanting popular” – IN being “popular”), like so: A-MARETTI.

  1. Devotee having a look in New York City? (7)

Answer: BUFFALO (i.e. “New York City”, or, put another way, a city in New York State. You’ll probably have heard all about Buffalo during the recent bomb cyclone event that hit the US over Christmas, but Buffalo had also had over 6ft of snow dumped on them only weeks earlier. Keep that in mind the next time we get a couple of inches!) Solution is BUFF (i.e. fan or “devotee”) followed by A and LO (i.e. “look”, as in lo and behold).

  1. Criminal gaoled, it’s well established (3-3)

Answer: AGE-OLD (i.e. “well established”). “Criminal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GAOLED.

  1. Lowering large rent for item in studio (5)

Answer: EASEL (i.e. “item in studio”). Solution is LEASE (i.e. “rent”) with the L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) “lowered” a few notches – this being a down clue – like so: (L)EASE => EASE(L).

  1. Member of school or university dressed in red (5)

Answer: TROUT (i.e. “member of school” of fish). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) placed “in” TROT (i.e. “red” or communist), like so: TRO(U)T.

  1. Trip facilitator’s support touring Croatia’s capital (4)

Answer: ACID (i.e. “trip facilitator”). Solution is AID (i.e. “support”) wrapped around or “touring” C (i.e. “Croatia’s capital” letter), like so: A(C)ID.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1592

Still catching up, so let’s move onto New Years Eve’s Jumbo. Again, this was a fairly straightforward one. I don’t mind that, though it does feel like we’re being fattened up for a Bank Holiday stinker!

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 given you the slip then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to hundreds of the things.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. And now to open up today’s Jumbo. Stinker time? Let’s see. (Cracks knuckles.)

LP

Across clues

  1. Islander’s husband cross with old servant, perhaps (9)

Answer: MANXWOMAN (i.e. “islander” from the Isle of Man). Solution is MAN (i.e. “husband”) followed by X (i.e. “cross”), then W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”), then O (ditto “old”) and MAN (i.e. “servant, perhaps”).

  1. Vulgar noise surrounding bachelor, one with uncultivated tastes (7)

Answer: LOWBROW (i.e. “one with uncultivated tastes”). Solution is LOW (i.e. “vulgar”) and ROW (i.e. “noise”) all wrapped around or “surrounding” B (a recognised abbreviation of “bachelor”), like so: LOW-(B)-ROW.

  1. Free passage originally secured by a Parisian, say (5)

Answer: UNPEG (i.e. to “free”). Solution is P (i.e. “passage originally”, i.e. the first letter of “passage”) placed in or “secured by” UN (i.e. “a Parisian”, i.e. the French for “the”) and EG (i.e. “say”, or for example), like so: UN-(P)-EG.

  1. Bizarre county briefly attracting Capone (7)

Answer: SURREAL (i.e. “bizarre”). Solution is SURREY (i.e. English “county”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder followed by AL (i.e. “Capone”), like so: SURRE-AL.

  1. Football team divided by a new food flavouring (7)

Answer: VANILLA (i.e. “food flavouring”). Solution is Aston VILLA (i.e. “football team”) wrapped around or “divided by” A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: V(A-N)ILLA.

  1. Copy head of icon in this writer’s gallery (7)

Answer: IMITATE (i.e. “copy”). Solution is I (i.e. “head of icon”, i.e. the first letter of “icon”) placed “in” I’M (i.e. “this writer’s”, i.e. a contraction of I AM from the point of view of the setter) and TATE (i.e. London art “gallery”), like so: I’M-(I)-TATE.

  1. Novel thing that killed the cat in photos held for developing (3,3,9,4)

Answer: THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP (i.e. “novel” by Charles Dickens). Solution is CURIOSITY (i.e. “that killed the cat”, proverbially speaking) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “for developing”) of PHOTOS HELD, like so: THEOLD(CURIOSITY)SHOP.

  1. Type of drama one of Mitford’s aristos backed (3)

Answer: NOH (i.e. “type of drama” in Japan). Solution is HON (i.e. “one of Mitford’s aristos”, referencing Jessica Mitford’s novel Hons and Rebels. No, me neither) reversed (indicated by “backed”).

  1. Possible Florentine workers’ groups’ preserve (6)

Answer: TUSCAN (i.e. “possible Florentine”). Solution is TUS (i.e. “workers’ groups”, or Trade Unions) followed by CAN (i.e. to “preserve”).

  1. Extremely rich, fanciful myth Gershwin got? (6)

Answer: RHYTHM (i.e. what “Gershwin got”, referencing George and Ira Gershwin’s jazz classic I Got Rhythm). Solution is RH (i.e. “extremely rich”, i.e. the first and last letters of “rich”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “fanciful”) of MYTH, like so: RH-YTHM.

  1. Greeting returned by scholar in rear, one who cultivates molluscs (9)

Answer: OYSTERMAN (i.e. “one who cultivates molluscs”). Solution is YO! (i.e. “greeting”) reversed (indicated by “returned”) and followed by MA (i.e. “scholar”, specifically a Master of Arts) placed “in” STERN (i.e. “rear” of a ship), like so: OY-STER(MA)N.

  1. Big city’s sole import, surprisingly (10)

Answer: METROPOLIS (i.e. “big city”). “Surprisingly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOLE IMPORT.

  1. Loose stonework, the concern of men in lodges (11)

Answer: FREEMASONRY (i.e. “the concern of men in lodges”). When written as FREE MASONRY the solution also satisfies “loose stonework”.

  1. Confuse most of the queue (5)

Answer: THROW (i.e. “confuse”). Solution is THE with the last letter removed (indicated by “most of”) and the remainder followed by ROW (i.e. “queue”), like so: TH-ROW.

  1. Instrument for which classy old sailors will frame tango (8)

Answer: POSTHORN (i.e. “instrument”). Solution is POSH (i.e. “classy”), O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and RN (i.e. “sailors”, specifically the Royal Navy) all wrapped around or “framing” T (“tango” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: POS(T)H-O-RN.

  1. Lie in bed suffering – having had such food? (8)

Answer: INEDIBLE (i.e. “such food”, within the context of the clue). “Suffering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LIE IN BED.

  1. Fuel father principally raised a stink about (8)

Answer: PARAFFIN (i.e. “fuel”). Solution is PA (i.e. “father”) followed by R (i.e. “principally raised”, i.e. the first letter of “raised”), then A, then NIFF (i.e. “stink”) reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: PA-R-A-FFIN.

  1. Lowest extremes of doubt about personal doctors (8)

Answer: DOWNMOST (i.e. “lowest”). Solution is DT (i.e. “extremes of doubt”, i.e. the first and last letters of “doubt”) wrapped “about” OWN (i.e. “personal”) and MOS (i.e. “doctors”, specifically Medical Officers), like so: D(OWN-MOS)T.

  1. Harass participant in hunt, perhaps (5)

Answer: HOUND. Solution satisfies “harass” and “participant in hunt, perhaps”.

  1. Entice newlywed where guests may be assembled (7,4)

Answer: DRAWING ROOM (i.e. “where guests may be assembled”). Solution is DRAW IN (i.e. “entice”) followed by GROOM (i.e. “newlywed”).

  1. Study of working conditions – once so grim, unfortunately (10)

Answer: ERGONOMICS (i.e. “study of working conditions”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ONCE SO GRIM.

  1. A quiet man carrying one’s hors d’oeuvre, say (9)

Answer: APPETISER (i.e. “hors d’oeuvre, say”). Solution is A followed by P (i.e. “quiet”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano” in musical lingo), then PETER (i.e. “man’s” name) once wrapped around or “carrying” I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”), like so: A-P-PET(I’S)ER.

  1. Hare-brained son of spiteful nature (6)

Answer: SCATTY (i.e. “hare-brained”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by CATTY (i.e. “spiteful”).

  1. Stab leader of rabble during scrap (6)

Answer: PIERCE (i.e. “stab”). Solution is R (i.e. “leader of rabble”, i.e. the first letter of “rabble”) placed in or “during” PIECE (i.e. “scrap”), like so: PIE(R)CE.

  1. Injure horse, cutting off tail (3)

Answer: MAR (i.e. “injure”). Solution is MARE (i.e. “horse”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “cutting off tail”).

  1. Possibly he’s the last musketeer? Remarkable! (5,6,8)

Answer: THIRD PERSON SINGULAR (i.e. “possibly he’s”, citing an example). Solution is THIRD PERSON (i.e. “the last musketeer”, referencing Alexander Dumas’s The Three Musketeers) followed by SINGULAR (i.e. “remarkable”).

  1. Allure of girl disheartened by affair (7)

Answer: GLAMOUR (i.e. “allure”). Solution is GL (i.e. “girl disheartened”, i.e. the word “girl” with the middle letters removed) followed by AMOUR (i.e. “affair”).

  1. Greek character opposed to alcoholic drink (7)

Answer: CHIANTI (i.e. “alcoholic drink”). Solution is CHI (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet) followed by ANTI (i.e. “opposed to”).

  1. Clubs reportedly subject to breaches – like many exclusive clubs (7)

Answer: CLIQUEY (i.e. “like many exclusive clubs”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in card games) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of LEAKY (i.e. “subject to breaches”), like so: C-LIQUEY.

  1. Newlyweds heading off for equestrian activities (5)

Answer: RIDES (i.e. “equestrian activities”). Solution is BRIDES (i.e. “newlyweds”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “heading off”).

  1. Exercise equipment: finally determine satellite’s point in orbit (7)

Answer: PERIGEE (i.e. “point in orbit”). Solution is PE (i.e. “exercise”, short for Physical Education) followed by RIG (i.e. “equipment”) and EE (i.e. “finally determine satellite”, i.e. the last letters of “determine” and “satellite”).

  1. Good Scottish prince left touring large municipal building (9)

Answer: GUILDHALL (i.e. “municipal building”). Solution is GUID (i.e. “good Scottish”, i.e. Scots form of “good”), HAL (i.e. “prince”, a reference to Shakespeare’s Henry V – Hal is the young prince before his ascension to the throne. A handy one to keep in mind considering how often it keeps appearing in cryptic clues) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) all wrapped around or “touring” L (ditto “large”), like so: GUI(L)D-HAL-L.

Down clues

  1. Falsely represent security organisation’s circumstances (8)

Answer: MISSTATE (i.e. “falsely represent”). Solution is MI’S (i.e. “security organisation’s”, specifically Military Intelligence made possessive) followed by STATE (i.e. “circumstances”).

  1. Scandinavian language – and not this one, ultimately (5)

Answer: NORSE (i.e. “Scandinavian language”). Solution is NOR (i.e. “and not”) followed by S and E (i.e. “this one, ultimately”, i.e. the last letters of “this” and “one”).

  1. Small cart boy keeps right by shoe repair place (11)

Answer: WHEELBARROW (i.e. “small cart”). Solution is WOW (i.e. “boy”, both exclamations) wrapped around or “keeping” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) once placed after or “by” HEELBAR (i.e. “shoe repair place”), like so: W(HEELBAR-R)OW.

  1. Married woman showing spite (6)

Answer: MALICE (i.e. “spite”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”) followed by ALICE (i.e. “woman’s” name).

  1. Sadly her vet’s seen pocketing pounds just the same (12)

Answer: NEVERTHELESS (i.e. “just the same”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sadly”) of HER VET’S SEEN wrapped around or “pocketing” L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” weight, after the Latin libra), like so: NEVERTHE(L)ESS.

  1. Oik hiding in English rugby formation (4-3)

Answer: LINE-OUT (i.e. “rugby formation”). Solution is LOUT (i.e. “oik”) wrapped around or “hiding” IN and E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: L(IN-E)OUT.

  1. Bad moral failing we observed at first in 17th-cent king (7,2,6)

Answer: WILLIAM OF ORANGE (i.e. “17th-cent king”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “bad”) of MORAL FAILING WE and O (i.e. “observed at first”).

  1. Individual in motor yacht willing at first to supply cash (5,5)

Answer: READY MONEY (i.e. “cash”). Solution is ONE (i.e. “individual”) placed “in” MY (a recognised abbreviation of “motor yacht” – I was surprised too) and all placed after or having “at first” READY (i.e. “willing”), like so: READY-M(ONE)Y.

  1. Heavy objects initially wearying rowing crews (7)

Answer: WEIGHTS (i.e. “heavy objects”). Solution is W (i.e. “initially wearying”, i.e. the first letter of “wearying”) followed by EIGHTS (i.e. “rowing crews”).

  1. Not forced into service, having unfavourable view? (11)

Answer: UNIMPRESSED (i.e. “having unfavourable view”). The solution also playfully satisfies “not forced into service”, a reference to the press gangs that used to “recruit” for the navy.

  1. Cheyenne, for example, proposes to keep current staff (9)

Answer: PLAINSMAN (i.e. “Cheyenne, for example”). Solution is PLANS (i.e. “proposes”) wrapped around or “keeping”) I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current” used in physics) and followed by MAN (i.e. to “staff” an operation), like so: PLA(I)NS-MAN.

  1. Game bird in putting area outside youth hostel (7)

Answer: GREYHEN (i.e. “game bird”). Solution is GREEN (i.e. “putting area” of a golf course) wrapped around or placed “outside” of YH (a recognised abbreviation of “youth hostel” – well, nearly. Chambers recognises YHA for Youth Hostels Association, but that’s about it. I guess another dictionary backs this up), like so: GRE(YH)EN.

  1. Farm employee, unqualified, crossing a river (7)

Answer: SHEARER (i.e. “farm employee”). Solution is SHEER (i.e. “unqualified”, or complete and utter) wrapped around or “crossing” A and R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: SHE(A-R)ER.

  1. Gain height fast, going to London before season? (8)

Answer: UPSPRING (i.e. “gain height fast”). Solution is UP (i.e. “going to London” – over to Chambers: “towards a centre (such as a capital, great town, or university)”) followed by SPRING (i.e. “season”).

  1. Group of swimmers becoming proficient in teacher’s job (15)

Answer: SCHOOLMASTERING (i.e. “teacher’s job”). Solution is SCHOOL (i.e. “group of swimmers”, in this case fish) followed by MASTERING (i.e. “becoming proficient”).

  1. Dullness of small number splitting second theatre award (8)

Answer: MONOTONY (i.e. “dullness”). Solution is NO (i.e. “small number”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “number”) placed in or “splitting” MO (i.e. “second”, short for a moment) and TONY (i.e. “theatre award”), like so: MO-(NO)-TONY.

  1. Crops unknown English lord planted in island (6)

Answer: YIELDS (i.e. “crops”). Solution is Y (i.e. “unknown”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and LD (ditto “lord”) once these latter two have been placed “in” IS (ditto ditto “island”), like so: Y-I(E-LD)S.

  1. Silly fellow keeping sheep (6)

Answer: STUPID (i.e. “silly”). Solution is SID (i.e. “fellow’s” name) wrapped around or “keeping” TUP (i.e. a male “sheep”), like so: S(TUP)ID.

  1. Club employee’s dishonoured cheque? (7)

Answer: BOUNCER. Solution satisfies “club employee” and “dishonoured cheque”.

  1. Time-honoured urge to secure stall (4-8)

Answer: LONG-STANDING (i.e. “time-honoured”). Solution is LONGING (i.e. “urge”) wrapped around or “securing” STAND (i.e. a “stall”), like so: LONG(STAND)ING.

  1. Upset tourist – fail to be coquettish (11)

Answer: FLIRTATIOUS (i.e. “to be coquettish”). “Upset” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOURIST FAIL.

  1. Flyer’s busily active spell in jail (11)

Answer: HUMMINGBIRD (i.e. “flyer”). Solution is HUMMING (i.e. “busily active”) followed by BIRD (i.e. slang for a “spell in jail”).

  1. Fellow director of company more red-faced about staff? (10)

Answer: COPRODUCER (i.e. “fellow director”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) followed by PUCER (i.e. “more red-faced”) once wrapped “about” ROD (i.e. “staff”), like so: CO-P(ROD)UCER.

  1. Read an MP’s reforms – and sign? (9)

Answer: AMPERSAND (i.e. a &, or “and sign”). “Reforms” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of READ AN MP’S.

  1. Disloyalty of a couple of chaps holding up wager (8)

Answer: BETRAYAL (i.e. “disloyalty”). Solution is RAY and AL (i.e. “a couple of chaps” names) placed after or “holding up” – this being a down clue – BET (i.e. “wager”), like so: BET-(RAY-AL).

  1. Military man in branch number one upset (7)

Answer: ARMIGER (i.e. “military man” – over to Chambers: “(heraldry or hist) a person entitled to a coat of arms”). Solution is ARM (i.e. “branch”) followed by REG (i.e. “number” or registration) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) once these last two have been reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: ARM-(I-GER).

  1. Agitation in the saddle about rider’s first piece of tack (7)

Answer: STIRRUP (i.e. “piece of tack”). Solution is STIR (i.e. “agitation”) and UP (i.e. “in the saddle”) all wrapped “about” R (i.e. “rider’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “rider”), like so: STIR-(R)-UP.

  1. Nonappearance of Norwegian playwright beheaded in a church (7)

Answer: ABSENCE (i.e. “nonappearance”). Solution is Henrik IBSEN (i.e. “Norwegian playwright”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “beheaded”) and the remainder placed “in” between A and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: A-(BSEN)-CE.

  1. Chinese fruit landed on character abroad (6)

Answer: LITCHI (i.e. “Chinese fruit”, also spelled lychee and around a hundred other ways it seems). Solution is LIT (i.e. “landed on”) followed by CHI (i.e. “character abroad”, covered earlier in 53a).

  1. Female artist supporting US city university (5)

Answer: LAURA (i.e. “female” name). Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) placed after or “supporting” LA (i.e. “US city”, specifically Los Angeles) and U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”), like so: (LA-U)-RA.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1591

Happy New 13,703,145,956 (give or take 200,000,000 years)! I’m still catching up on old Jumbos, so let’s move onto Boxing Day’s effort. This was another relatively straightforward one, though maybe a little tougher than Christmas Eve’s Jumbo. Decent, though, offering the kind of steady progression I always like. Well, except for 34a…

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 first-footed dirt all through your home then you might find solace in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things.

Thanks for the good wishes, and many thanks to the mysterious She for keeping aside the last couple of Jumbos for me while I was away. A massive hex, meanwhile, upon the inconsiderate bugger who gave me this stupid bloody cough. Aaaanyway… I’ll be back soon(ish) with the solution to yesterday’s Jumbo. Till then, stay safe out there kids.

LP

FBV (French-By-Volume): 5%

Across clues

  1. Spiked drink, something taken in jest by European (6,4)

Answer: MICKEY FINN (i.e. “spiked drink”). Solution is MICKEY (i.e. “something taken in jest”) followed by FINN (i.e. a “European”).

  1. Sign of fear, politician overwhelmed by stacks of flyers? (5,7)

Answer: GOOSE PIMPLES (i.e. “sign of fear”). Solution is MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament) placed in or “overwhelmed by” GOOSE PILES (i.e. “stacks of flyers”, playfully), like so: GOOSE-PI(MP)LES.

  1. One searching beyond a hundred go on and on (7)

Answer: CHUNTER (i.e. to moan or “go on and on”). Solution is HUNTER (i.e. “one searching”) placed after or “beyond” C (i.e. “a hundred” expressed as a Roman numeral), like so: C-HUNTER.

  1. Dead in Pyrenean city where land is flat (7)

Answer: PLATEAU (i.e. “where land is flat”). Solution is LATE (i.e. “dead”) placed “in” PAU (i.e. “Pyrenean city”), like so: P(LATE)AU. Pau is located in southwest France, so you know what that means…

  1. Quantity in grass picked up (7)

Answer: RESUMED (i.e. “picked up”). Solution is SUM (i.e. “quantity”) placed “in” REED (i.e. “grass”), like so: RE(SUM)ED.

  1. Curse of amateur theatre, histrionics primarily (4)

Answer: OATH (i.e. “curse”). “Primarily” indicates the solution can be derived from the initial letters of Of Amateur Theatre Histrionics.

  1. Disallow offer by pro (6)

Answer: FORBID (i.e. “disallow”). Solution is BID (i.e. “offer”) placed “by” or after FOR (i.e. “pro” or in favour of something), like so: FOR-BID.

  1. Success securing loose strip connecting part of engine (5,3)

Answer: WRIST PIN (i.e. “connecting part of engine” – over to Chambers: “a pin joining the end of a connecting rod to the end of a piston rod”). Solution is WIN (i.e. “success”) wrapped around or “securing” an anagram (indicated by “loose”) of STRIP, like so: W(RISTP)IN.

  1. Accommodated by granddad, when an eccentric dealt with brutally? (6,5,3,9)

Answer: HANGED DRAWN AND QUARTERED (i.e. “dealt with brutally”). Solution is QUARTERED (i.e. “accommodated”) placed after or “by” an anagram (indicated by “eccentric”) of GRANDDAD WHEN AN, like so: HANGEDDRAWNAND-QUARTERED.

  1. Dispatch male taken in by US author (7)

Answer: POSTAGE (i.e. “dispatch”). Solution is STAG (i.e. “male”) “taken in by” Edgar Allan POE (i.e. “US author”), like so: PO(STAG)E.

  1. Ending in brook, no river plant (8)

Answer: KNOTWEED (i.e. “plant”). Solution is K (i.e. “ending [letter] in brook”) followed by NO and TWEED (i.e. “river”).

  1. Current unit frustrated, borders closed off (6)

Answer: AMPERE (i.e. “current unit”). Solution is TAMPERED (i.e. to have “frustrated” another’s efforts) with the first and last letters removed (indicated by “borders closed off”).

  1. Cool, Tom’s warmer at night? (3,4,7)

Answer: THE CAT’S PYJAMAS (i.e. “cool”). The rest of the clue plays on “Tom” CATS and PYJAMAS being a body “warmer”.

  1. Hollywood musical not distinguished, initially, by repetition of notes (2,2,4)

Answer: LA LA LAND (i.e. “Hollywood musical” of 2016. Credit where it’s due, especially after my frequent jibes over the fuddy-duddyness of most Times setters. I only hope the others take note. Not everything has to have been produced or existed a gazillion years ago to be worthy of appearing in a Jumbo). Solution is N and D (i.e. “not distinguished, initially”, i.e. the first letters of “not” and “distinguished”) placed after or “by” LA LA LA (i.e. “repetition of notes”, in this case from the sol-fa notation), like so: (LA-LA-LA)-ND.

  1. How steak might be served up, over a liquid containing last of chilli (2,6)

Answer: AU POIVRE (i.e. “how steak might be served”, in this case with coarsely ground black pepper). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “liquid”) of UP OVER A wrapped around or “containing” I (i.e. “last [letter] of chilli”), like so: AUPO(I)VRE. I don’t mind foodie references in these things but come on, setter. Let’s at least make sure the solution is listed in the dictionary first, eh? The moment I saw nothing starting with AU P_ in any of my dictionaries I just typed “steak au p” into Google rather than waste any more time on what was clearly a made-to-fit answer in a mostly straightforward grid. Poor show. Yellow card.

  1. It’s worth having prayer: it’s more unusual (10,4)

Answer: COLLECTOR’S ITEM (i.e. “it’s worth having”). Solution is COLLECT (i.e. “prayer”, in noun form a collect is “a short prayer, specific to the liturgies of the Western Church, consisting of one sentence” (Chambers)) followed by an anagram (indicated by “unusual”) of IT’S MORE, like so: COLLECT-ORSITEM.

  1. Casually try finding two books in valley (6)

Answer: DABBLE (i.e. “casually try”). Solution is B and B (both a recognised abbreviation of “book”) placed “in” DALE (i.e. “valley”), like so: DA(BB)LE.

  1. Expected investigation in which lab is involved (8)

Answer: PROBABLE (i.e. “expected”). Solution is PROBE (i.e. “investigation”) wrapped around or having “in” an anagram (indicated by “involved”) of LAB, like so: PROB(ABL)E.

  1. As paint may be on edges of door, dash covering it (7)

Answer: NONDRIP (i.e. “as paint may be”). Solution is ON and DR (i.e. “edges of door”, i.e. the first and last letters of “door”) all placed in or being “covered” by NIP (i.e. “dash”, both small measures of something), like so: N(ON-DR)IP.

  1. Get real – as one might first thing before breakfast? (4,2,3,5,3,6)

Answer: WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE (i.e. “get real”). The rest of the clue plays on COFFEE being a breakfast item for some. You get the idea. By the way, if any politician uses this phrase in the next year or two then they will instantly lose my vote. It’s bad enough them rigidly sticking to scripted party lines with scant regard to the questions asked of them, but when they also crutch on hackneyed phrases such as this it exhibits a stultifying lack of imagination. So that’ll probably be me voting for the Yoga Party, then.

  1. Very young children, age withheld by cheeky things? (8)

Answer: NEONATES (i.e. “very young children”). Solution is EON (i.e. “age”) placed in or “withheld by” NATES (i.e. “cheeky things”, in this case the anatomical name for the buttocks. I must confess this did make me chuckle when I twigged it), like so: N(EON)ATES.

  1. One who has taken in the Two Peaks? (6)

Answer: CAPTOR (i.e. “one who has taken”). The remainder of the clue plays on the solution comprising “two peaks”, being a CAP and a TOR.

  1. A female Wimbledon champion (4)

Answer: Arthur ASHE (i.e. “Wimbledon champion”). Solution is A followed by SHE (i.e. “female”). Simple but nicely done.

  1. Absolutely right behind anything seen in colour (3,4)

Answer: HOW TRUE (i.e. “absolutely”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) placed “behind” OWT (dialectical form of aught, or “anything”). This is all then placed “in” HUE (i.e. “colour”), like so: H(OWT-R)UE.

  1. Reference celebrity no more, possibly, after conclusion of trial (7)

Answer: LEXICON (i.e. a dictionary or “reference”). Solution is EX-ICON (i.e. “celebrity no more, possibly”) placed “after” L (i.e. “conclusion of trial”, i.e. the last letter of “trial”), like so: L-(EX-ICON).

  1. Picture old number (7)

Answer: IMAGINE. Solution satisfies “picture”, and also an “old number”, a 1971 song by John Lennon. I guess relative to, say, LA LA LAND, it would be an oldie.

  1. Two couples playing game stirred drinks (5,7)

Answer: MIXED DOUBLES. Solution satisfies “two couples playing game” and “stirred drinks”.

  1. Cold in April, so men shivering (10)

Answer: IMPERSONAL (i.e. “cold”). “Shivering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of APRIL SO MEN.

Down clues

  1. I’m up on something snappy, stylish electronic device (9)

Answer: MICROCHIP (i.e. “electronic device”). Solution is I’M reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) followed by CROC (i.e. “something snappy”, short for a crocodile) and HIP (i.e. “stylish”), like so: M’I-CROC-HIP.

  1. Get one’s chin up with training exercise at the end of the day (8,5)

Answer: COUNTING SHEEP (i.e. “exercise at the end of the day”). “With training” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GET ONE’S CHIN UP.

  1. Food shortage at several banks (4)

Answer: EATS (i.e. slang for “food”). “Banks” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: SHORTAG(E AT S)EVERAL.

  1. Permanently requiring rule too (3,4,7)

Answer: FOR GOOD MEASURE (i.e. “too”). Solution is FOR GOOD (i.e. “permanently”) followed by MEASURE (i.e. “rule”).

  1. Tot with leg raised (3)

Answer: NIP (i.e. a “tot” of alcohol). Solution is PIN (i.e. slang for “leg”) reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue).

  1. Old novel upset war poet (4)

Answer: Wilfred OWEN (i.e. “war poet”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by NEW (i.e. “novel”) once reversed (indicated by “upset” – again, this being a down clue), like so: O-WEN.

  1. Nickname that’s very posh on lighter (10)

Answer: SOUBRIQUET (i.e. “nickname”). Solution is SO (i.e. “very”) followed by U (i.e. “posh” – U being a recognised abbreviation of the “upper classes”, if you observe such distinctions) and BRIQUET (i.e. fire “lighter”).

  1. I blame revolting Welsh girl from France (8)

Answer: PARISIAN (i.e. “from France”). Solution is I and RAP (i.e. the “blame” for something) all reversed (indicated by “revolting”) and followed by SIAN (i.e. “Welsh girl” – a useful one to keep in mind. I’m not keen – it’s a bit like assuming all IANs are Scottish – but setters are partial to SIAN when a solution offers it), like so: (PAR-I)-SIAN.

  1. E-maps too complicated: end up in ancient Asian region (11)

Answer: MESOPOTAMIA (i.e. “ancient Asian region”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “complicated”) of E-MAPS TOO followed by AIM (i.e. “end”) once reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: MESOPOTA-MIA.

  1. Compound or element for Mediterranean grower (5,4)

Answer: LEMON TREE (i.e. “Mediterranean grower”). “Compound” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OR ELEMENT.

  1. Face team (4)

Answer: SIDE. Solution satisfies “face” and “team”.

  1. Dance with boring lover, then walk out (8)

Answer: FANDANGO (i.e. “dance”). Solution is AND (i.e. “with”) placed in or “boring” FAN (i.e. “lover”) and followed by GO (i.e. “walk out”), like so: F(AND)AN-GO.

  1. Shiner appearing in dark, I said (5,3)

Answer: BLACK EYE (i.e. “shiner”). Solution is BLACK (i.e. “dark”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “said”) of I.

  1. Nothing written about centre of relevant US state (6)

Answer: NEVADA (i.e. “US state”). Solution is NADA (i.e. “nothing”, from the Spanish) “written about” EV (i.e. “centre [letters] of relevant”), like so: N(EV)ADA.

  1. White flyer, wings of swan on bird carrying dog upwards (8)

Answer: SNOWBALL (i.e. “white flyer”). Solution is SN (i.e. “wings of swan”, i.e. the first and last letters of “swan”) followed by OWL (i.e. “bird”) once wrapped around or “carrying” LAB (i.e. “dog”, short for Labrador) once reversed (indicated by “upwards” – this being a down clue), like so: SN-OW(BAL)L.

  1. Insults arising, commercial office on top of it – something more to say? (8)

Answer: ADDENDUM (i.e. “something more to say”). Solution is MUD (i.e. “insults”) reversed (indicated by “arising” – again, this being a down clue) and placed after AD (i.e. “commercial”) and DEN (i.e. “office”), like so: (AD-DEN)-DUM. “On top of it” is another reference to this being a down clue, with AD and DEN placed on top of DUM.

  1. Aria in opera house ultimately captured by boy on phone (2,5,1,6)

Answer: LA DONNA È MOBILE (i.e. “aria”, specifically from Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto). Solution is N, A and E (i.e. “in opera house ultimately”, i.e. the last letters of “in”, “opera” and “house”) placed in or “captured by” LAD ON MOBILE (i.e. “boy on phone”), like so: LAD-ON-(NAE)-MOBILE. A repeat from a few months ago, which made this a significantly easier get. I do wonder sometimes whether repeats like this betray a setter’s desire to show off a little, as if they’re unaware they’re merely falling into the exact same tropes as umpteen setters before them. ET IN ARCADIA EGO, a painting by Poussin, is another example that has popped up multiple times, despite there being at least four other paintings in the world. Maybe even as many as five. It all rather reminds me of Monty Python’s milkman sketch.

  1. Raze building and tower (4,4)

Answer: TEAR DOWN (i.e. “raze”). “Building” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AND TOWER.

  1. Little bit and a lot for mass killer (4,4)

Answer: ATOM BOMB (i.e. “mass killer”). Solution is ATOM (i.e. “a little bit”, physics-wise) followed by BOMB (i.e. “a lot”, money-wise).

  1. Article about the affair so deplorable, somehow (5,1,7)

Answer: AFTER A FASHION (i.e. “somehow”). Solution is AN (i.e. “article”, i.e. a word like a, an or the) wrapped “about” an anagram (indicated by “deplorable”) of THE AFFAIR SO, like so: A(FTERAFASHIO)N.

  1. Staff in bar finding type of bottle (5-3)

Answer: SCREW-TOP (i.e. “type of bottle”). Solution is CREW (i.e. “staff”) placed “in” STOP (i.e. to “bar”), like so: S(CREW)TOP.

  1. Grumpy, I will go along with editor (3-8)

Answer: ILL-HUMOURED (i.e. “grumpy”). Solution is I’LL (a contraction of “I will”) followed by HUMOUR (i.e. “go along with”) and ED (short for “editor”).

  1. Old Spanish chap embraces leader from Italy (6)

Answer: SENIOR (i.e. “old”). Solution is SENOR (i.e. “Spanish chap”) wrapped around or “embracing” I (i.e. “leader from Italy”, i.e. the first letter of “Italy”), like so: SEN(I)OR.

  1. Playing group, girl cut card (6,4)

Answer: BRIDGE CLUB (i.e. “playing group”). Solution is BRIDGET (i.e. “girl’s” name) with the last letter removed (indicated by “cut”) and the remainder followed by CLUB (i.e. playing “card”).

  1. Treatment ending in a painful rip-off? (6,3)

Answer: BIKINI WAX. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, with the clue playing on the process of hair removal via the application and tearing away of wax strips.

  1. Male supporting party, controller behind the throne? (8)

Answer: BALLCOCK (i.e. “controller behind the throne”, referring to the water-stopping mechanism found in toilet cisterns). Solution is COCK (i.e. “male” bird) placed after or “supporting” BALL (i.e. “party”), like so: BALL-COCK. Rather too perilously close to BIKINI WAX for my liking. Ouch.

  1. Man with gong disheartened – in bits (9)

Answer: PIECEMEAL (i.e. “in bits”). Solution is PIECE (i.e. “man” on a chessboard) followed by MEDAL (i.e. “gong”) once its middle letter has been removed (indicated by “disheartened”), like so: PIECE-MEAL.

  1. Pale drunk wrapped up in winter month with gas burner? (8)

Answer: JALAPENO (i.e. “burner”, referring to the pepper’s heat). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “drunk”) of PALE placed or “wrapped up in” JAN (i.e. “winter month”, short for January) and followed by O (i.e. “gas”, in this case the chemical symbol of oxygen), like so: JA(LAPE)N-O.

  1. A borderline attention seeker? (4)

Answer: AHEM (i.e. “attention seeker”). Solution is A followed by HEM (i.e. “borderline”).

  1. Tool securing wheel finally – shaft connected to it? (4)

Answer: AXLE (i.e. “shaft connected to it”). Solution is AXE (i.e. “tool”) wrapped around or “securing” L (i.e. “wheel finally”, i.e. the last letter of “wheel”), like so: AX(L)E.

  1. Platform part of agenda, I see (4)

Answer: DAIS (i.e. “platform”). “Part of” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ADEN(DA I S)EE.

  1. Time up for game of strategy (3)

Answer: NIM (i.e. Chinese “game of strategy” – a new one on me). Solution is MIN (i.e. “time”, short for a minute) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue). Cough-(made-to-fit)-cough.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1590

…and back again. Hope you all had a good Christmas. Me, I got the most traditional Christmas gift of all – a crappy persistent cough. I didn’t even get to keep the receipt. Oh, well. Time to flex one’s fingers, pour out a cold drink and catch up on a few Jumbos.

Let’s start with Christmas Eve’s effort. A relatively straightforward one, this. A decent one, too, in the main, with a sprinkling of well-worked clues. Shame about the repeats, really. I can also imagine the Americanisms getting up some solvers’ noses.

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 nicked all the walnuts from your Christmas stocking then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. I’ll be back soon (well… soonish) with Boxing Day’s solution. Till then, stay safe and don’t get too sober out there, kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Exploits swimmer to get drink (9)

Answer: MILKSHAKE (i.e. “drink”). Solution is MILKS (i.e. “exploits” someone) followed by HAKE (i.e. “swimmer”).

  1. Foundation of building at first unchanged (5)

Answer: BASIS (i.e. “foundation”). Solution is B (i.e. “building at first”, i.e. the first letter of “building”) followed by AS IS (i.e. “unchanged”).

  1. Conductor from West, say, with brief tantrum (7)

Answer: MAESTRO (i.e. “conductor”). Solution is MAE (i.e. “West, say”. Other Maes are available) followed by STROP (i.e. “tantrum”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “brief”), like so: MAE-STRO.

  1. Racket game for Australian native (5)

Answer: DINGO (i.e. “Australian native”, a wild dog). Solution is DIN (i.e. “racket” or noise) followed by GO (i.e. board “game”).

  1. Street surrounded by vigour near large city (7)

Answer: BRISTOL (i.e. “city”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”) placed in or “surrounded by” BRIO (i.e. “vigour”) and followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), like so: BRI(ST)O-L.

  1. Flat maybe wanting fish without a fridge ultimately (3,2,4)

Answer: OUT OF TUNE (i.e. “flat”). Solution is OUT OF TUNA (i.e. “wanting fish”) with the A removed (indicated by “without a”) and the remainder followed by E (i.e. “fridge ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “fridge”), like so: (OUT-OF-TUN)-E.

  1. Intense questioning of PhD often (5,6)

Answer: THIRD DEGREE. Solution satisfies “intense questioning” and “PhD often”, there being other ways to earn a third degree.

  1. Dessert with price oddly selected following prohibition of payment (8,3)

Answer: BANOFFEE PIE (i.e. “dessert”). Solution is PIE (i.e. “price oddly selected”, i.e. every other letter of PRICE) placed after or “following” BAN (i.e. “prohibition”), OF and FEE (i.e. “payment”), like so: BAN-OF-FEE-(PIE).

  1. Everyone cries for permits (6)

Answer: ALLOWS (i.e. “permits”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “everyone”) followed by OWS! (i.e. “cries” of pain).

  1. Biased person is identified without masque, finally (3-5)

Answer: ONE-SIDED (i.e. “biased”). Not 100% on the parsing here. I guess it depends on how you’d write the past tense of “ID”. Me, I’d probably avoid it altogether and find a more elegant expression. If there was a gun to my head, however, then I’d probably write it as “IDed”. Chambers, meanwhile, opts wisely to not get involved. Assuming the setter has contracted “IDed” to “ID’d”, I guess the solution is ONE’S ID’D (i.e. “person is identified”) wrapped around or placed “without” E (i.e. “masque, finally”, i.e. the last letter of “masque”), like so: ONE’S-ID(E)’D. What a dog’s dinner of a clue.

  1. Entire skill of a diplomat found here? (6)

Answer: INTACT (i.e. “entire”). When written as IN TACT the solution also satisfies “skill of a diplomat found here”.

  1. Some letters from fellow read aloud on ship (4,4)

Answer: JUNK MAIL (i.e. “some letters”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “read aloud”) of MALE (i.e. “fellow”) placed “on” or after JUNK (i.e. an Asian flat-bottomed “ship”).

  1. Ports, say, protected from attack by dictator’s drones (9,5)

Answer: FORTIFIED WINES (i.e. “ports, say”). Solution is FORTIFIED (i.e. “protected”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “dictator’s”) of WHINES (i.e. “drones”).

  1. Cutting cake initially, one clasped by boy (5)

Answer: SCION (i.e. plant “cutting”). Solution is C (i.e. “cake initially”, i.e. the first letter of “cake”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) both placed in or “clasped by” SON (i.e. “boy”), like so: S(C-I)ON.

  1. Fish I found in home (6)

Answer: PLAICE (i.e. “fish”). Solution is I placed or “found in” PLACE (i.e. “home”), like so: PLA(I)CE.

  1. Cold place to store food – that’s a profound relief, reportedly (4,6)

Answer: DEEP FREEZE (i.e. “cold place to store food”). Solution is DEEP (i.e. “profound”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of FRIEZE (i.e. “relief” in classical architecture).

  1. Turbulent situations disturbed most realms (10)

Answer: MAELSTROMS (i.e. “turbulent situations”). “Disturbed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MOST REALMS.

  1. Lady, perhaps, eats a northern cheese (6)

Answer: PANEER (i.e. “cheese” – can’t say I’ve heard of it). Solution is PEER (i.e. “Lady, perhaps” – other nobs are available) wrapped around or “eating” A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”), like so: P(A-N)EER.

  1. Rock band do as I say, in part (5)

Answer: OASIS (i.e. “rock band” – blimey, my jibes about fogeyish Times setters seem to have struck a nerve. We’re in the rarefied air of mid-90s cultural references now!) “In part” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: D(O AS I S)AY.

  1. Child’s punishment maybe includes working with unknown old vase? No chance! (3,2,4,5)

Answer: NOT ON YOUR NELLY (i.e. “no chance”). Solution is NO TELLY (i.e. “child’s punishment maybe” – wait, do kids even watch telly these days?) wrapped around or “including” ON (i.e. “working”), Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”), O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and URN (i.e. “vase”), like so: NO-T(ON-Y-O-URN)ELLY.

  1. Stealthily ripped into poet (2,6)

Answer: ON TIPTOE (i.e. “stealthily”). “Ripped” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INTO POET.

  1. Naval explosive placed around a river (6)

Answer: MARINE (i.e. “naval”). Solution is MINE (i.e. “explosive”) “placed around” A and R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: M(A-R)INE.

  1. Idle joke about money? (8)

Answer: LOLLYGAG (i.e. to “idle”). When written as LOLLY GAG the solution also playfully satisfies “joke about money”, LOLLY being a slang word for money.

  1. Arranged to get going (3,3)

Answer: SET OUT. Solution satisfies “arranged” and “get going”.

  1. Common period of time, that is, to grab nap (1,4,1,5)

Answer: A DIME A DOZEN (i.e. “common” over in the US). Solution is AD (i.e. “period of time”, short for Anno Domini) followed by I MEAN (i.e. “that is”) once wrapped around or “grabbing” DOZE (i.e. “nap”), like so: AD-(I-MEA(DOZE)N). I reckon as we become a more secular society we should do away with Anno Domini and switch to Anno Mundi, if only so I could wish you all a Happy New 13,703,145,956 (give or take 200,000,000 years). The Roman numerals timestamping the end of TV programmes would also be hilarious.

  1. Calamity as the captor collapses (11)

Answer: CATASTROPHE (i.e. “calamity”). “Collapses” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AS THE CAPTOR.

  1. Court controversy with solar winds? (4,5)

Answer: SHOW TRIAL (i.e. “court controversy”, or “a trial at which the opportunity to expose the accused to public opprobrium is given priority over the impartial prosecution of justice” (Chambers)). “Winds” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WITH SOLAR. A very recent repeat, making this a much easier get. This, 22d and a few other things suggest to me that the office GridFill 4000™ had a hand in producing this week’s grid. Ho hum.

  1. Sucker’s anger after beginning to value a politician (7)

Answer: VAMPIRE (i.e. “sucker”). Solution is IRE (i.e. “anger”) placed “after” V (i.e. “beginning [letter] to value”), A and MP (i.e. “politician” or Member of Parliament), like so: V-A-MP-(IRE).

  1. Family member returning home with teacher regularly (5)

Answer: NIECE (i.e. “family member”). Solution is IN (i.e. at “home”) reversed (indicated by “returning”) and followed by ECE (i.e. “teacher regularly”, i.e. every other letter of TEACHER), like so: NI-ECE.

  1. Island we hear was windy: shade provided (3-4)

Answer: SKY-BLUE (i.e. colour or “shade”). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “we hear”) of SKYE (i.e. Scottish “island”) and BLEW (i.e. “was windy”).

  1. Injured capturing small wood (5)

Answer: HURST (i.e. a “wood” or grove. I had no idea. Interesting though. I guess that explains why some place names end in “hurst”). Solution is HURT (i.e. “injured”) wrapped around or “capturing” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”), like so: HUR(S)T.

  1. Defence for Boxing Day – smile and hug freely at first! (9)

Answer: GUMSHIELD (i.e. “defence for boxing” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”) with an anagram (indicated by “freely”) of SMILE and HUG placed before it or “at first”, like so: GUMSHIEL-D.

Down clues

  1. Thick fog covers roof of dome (5)

Answer: MIDST (i.e. “thick” in noun form, as in the thick of it). Solution is MIST (i.e. “fog”) wrapped around or “covering” D (i.e. “roof of dome”, i.e. the first letter of “dome”), like so: MI(D)ST.

  1. Idling adolescent mixed a cocktail (4,6,4,3)

Answer: LONG ISLAND ICED TEA (i.e. “cocktail”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “mixed”) of IDLING ADOLESCENT followed by A, like so: LONGISLANDICEDTE-A.

  1. Lady fighting Society over an argument with country (11)

Answer: SWORDSWOMAN (i.e. “lady fighting”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “Society”) followed by WORDS (i.e. “an argument”) and OMAN (i.e. “country”).

  1. Wearing new medal, bachelor strolled around (6)

Answer: AMBLED (i.e. “strolled around”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of MEDAL wrapped around or being “worn” by B (a recognised abbreviation of “bachelor”), like so: AM(B)LED.

  1. Put out about relative, one who’s leaving (8)

Answer: EMIGRANT (i.e. “one who’s leaving”). Solution is EMIT (i.e. “put out”) wrapped “about” GRAN (i.e. “relative”), like so: EMI(GRAN)T.

  1. Make a mess of eating complete box of synthetic sweet (12)

Answer: BUTTERSCOTCH (i.e. “sweet”). Solution is BOTCH (i.e. “make a mess of”) wrapped around or “eating” UTTER (i.e. “complete”) and SC (i.e. “box of synthetic”, i.e. the first and last letters of “synthetic”), like so: B(UTTER-SC)OTCH.

  1. Deadline for shifting steel badly slipping (4-2,4)

Answer: SELL-BY DATE (i.e. “deadline for shifting” or selling perishable produce). “Slipping” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STEEL BADLY.

  1. Pick up my mistake with new piece of cutlery (5)

Answer: SPOON (i.e. “piece of cutlery”). Solution is OOPS! (i.e. “my mistake”) reversed (indicated by “pick up” – this being a down clue) and followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: SPOO-N.

  1. Forecasters got together and cancelled weather warning? (3,6)

Answer: MET OFFICE (i.e. “forecasters”). Solution is MET (i.e. “got together”) followed by OFF ICE (i.e. “cancelled weather warning”, playfully, but only if you really squint your eyes).

  1. Monument’s lower fee fit for changing (6,5)

Answer: EIFFEL TOWER (i.e. “monument”). “For changing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LOWER FEE FIT.

  1. In secret, hum Prince hit (5)

Answer: THUMP (i.e. “hit”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: SECRE(T HUM P)RINCE.

  1. Test quantity of oxygen? (1,5)

Answer: O LEVEL. Solution satisfies an education “test” of old, and, playfully, “quantity of oxygen” – O being the chemical symbol of oxygen.

  1. Notice no women finally resist change (10)

Answer: ADJUSTMENT (i.e. “change”). Solution is AD (i.e. “notice”, short for advertisement) followed by JUST MEN (i.e. “no women”) and T (i.e. “finally resist”, i.e. the last letter of “resist”).

  1. Disagreed with detective and FBI agent imprisoning upstanding whistle-blower (8)

Answer: DIFFERED (i.e. “disagreed with”). Solution is DI (i.e. “detective”, specifically a Detective Inspector) followed by FED (i.e. “FBI agent”, short for Federal Agent) once wrapped around or “imprisoning” REF (i.e. “whistle-blower”, a referee) once reversed (indicated by “upstanding” – this being a down clue), like so: DI-F(FER)ED.

  1. Opposite church, outside smashed in patio? That’ll get people talking! (12,5)

Answer: CONVERSATION PIECE (i.e. “that’ll get people talking”). Solution is CONVERSE (i.e. “opposite”) and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) wrapped around or placed “outside” of an anagram (indicated by “smashed”) of IN PATIO, like so: CONVERS(ATIONPI)E-CE. Ugh, an even more recent repeat. Seriously, get a print copy of this Jumbo and go back two pages to the answers for grid 1588. You’ll see this solution sitting there too. For goodness sakes, setters, step away from the GridFill 4000™ once in a while, will you?

  1. Compensated over this baby product (6)

Answer: DIAPER (i.e. “baby product” in the US, or a nappy here in the UK). Solution is REPAID (i.e. “compensated”) reversed (indicated by “over”). Simple, but nicely worked.

  1. Fools, with son, intended to skip a test (10)

Answer: ASSESSMENT (i.e. “test”). Solution is ASSES (i.e. “fools”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) and MEANT (i.e. “intended”) once the A has been removed (indicated by “to skip a”), like so: ASSES-S-MENT.

  1. Castle dog upset by minute exam (8)

Answer: BALMORAL (i.e. “castle”). Solution is LAB (i.e. “dog”, short for Labrador) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “minute”), then ORAL (i.e. “exam”), like so: BAL-M-ORAL.

  1. Trimming top of pearl on a piece of jewellery (6)

Answer: PARING (i.e. “trimming”). Solution is P (i.e. “top of pearl”, i.e. the first letter of “pearl”) followed by A, then RING (i.e. “piece of jewellery”).

  1. Regular visitor hurrying primarily over paths to arrive on time? (7,5)

Answer: HALLEY’S COMET (i.e. a “regular visitor” swinging by these parts every 70-odd years. The last time was in 1986, interestingly mere months after Tobe Hooper’s movie Lifeforce was released. Am I saying Halley’s Comet is actually an alien spacecraft filled with improbably-naked space vampires? Who knows for sure, but you can’t entirely discount the possibility, can you?) Solution is H (i.e. “hurrying primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “hurrying”) followed by ALLEYS (i.e. “paths”), then COME (i.e. “to arrive”) and T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

You’ll also note that HALLEY’S COMET crosses VAMPIRE in the grid. More proof, if such were needed.
  1. Dispatched north of India, intellectual is nostalgic (11)

Answer: SENTIMENTAL (i.e. “nostalgic”). Solution is SENT (i.e. “dispatched”) followed by I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet”) and MENTAL (i.e. “intellectual”).

  1. Peace offering playing havoc with Berlin (5,6)

Answer: OLIVE BRANCH (i.e. “peace offering”). “Playing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HAVOC and BERLIN. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. On good terms continually? Blimey! (4,1,5)

Answer: WELL I NEVER (i.e. “blimey”). When written as WELL-IN EVER the solution also playfully satisfies “on good terms continually”.

  1. Heightened activity due to parking place (9)

Answer: OVERDRIVE (i.e. “heightened activity”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “due to”) followed by DRIVE (i.e. “parking place”).

  1. Learner breaking in and fighting (8)

Answer: BATTLING (i.e. “fighting”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”, especially on L-plates) placed in or “breaking” BATTING (i.e. “in” in several ball games), like so: BATT(L)ING.

  1. State of king heading an elite group (6)

Answer: KANSAS (i.e. US “state”). Solution is K (a recognised abbreviation of “king” used in chess) followed by AN and SAS (i.e. “elite group” of soldiers, the Special Air Service of the British Army).

  1. Runs into European heading north to get treasure (6)

Answer: ESTEEM (i.e. to “treasure”). Solution is MEETS (i.e. “runs into”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) all reversed (indicated by “heading north” – this being a down clue), like so: E-STEEM.

  1. Key material alternatively found in plant? (5)

Answer: IVORY (i.e. “key material”, referring to the white keys of a piano. Interesting fact: the UK Ivory Act came into power in June 2022, meaning it is now illegal to trade anything that contains ivory. This means every time the BBC repeats Bargain Hunt or the Antiques Roadshow, they’ll have to blur out any ivory pieces and put black rectangles over the eyes of all involved. Even Fiona Bruce. And if they don’t then I’m going to give Points Of View a ruddy good writing-to, you just see if I don’t. Hmm. Looks like I’ve gone off on one again…) Solution is OR (i.e. “alternatively”) placed “in” IVY (i.e. “plant”), like so: IV(OR)Y.

  1. Elizabeth erected church for nothing (5)

Answer: ZILCH (i.e. “nothing”). Solution is LIZ (shortened form of “Elizabeth”) reversed (indicated by “erected” – this being a down clue) and followed by CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: ZIL-CH.

  1. Correct the setter, in conclusion (5)

Answer: EMEND (i.e. to “correct”). Solution is ME (i.e. “the setter”, from the point of view of the setter) placed “in” END (i.e. “conclusion”), like so: E(ME)ND.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1589

A medium strength Jumbo this week, and another I could happily chip away at during the day. A good ‘un, then. I might not have thought the same a couple of years ago, but I’m a little wiser now to some of the obscure stuff that crops up in these things.

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 got your goat then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of ’em.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. I’ll be away from the keyboard over Christmas but, all being well, I’ll be back before the New Year. Till then have a Merry Christmas, wrap up well and stay safe out there, kids.

LP

FBV (French-By-Volume): 1.7%

Across clues

  1. Fabric cut in back and put on view (6)

Answer: MOHAIR (i.e. “fabric” – can cover the goat hair or the material eventually made from it). Solution is HOME (i.e. “in”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “cut”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “back”). This is then followed by AIR (i.e. “view”), like so: MOH-AIR.

  1. Vase from Parma smashed outside little house (7)

Answer: AMPHORA (i.e. “vase”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “smashed”) of PARMA wrapped around or placed “outside” of HO (i.e. “little house”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: AMP(HO)RA.

  1. Performance tribal leader captured initially in recording (3,5)

Answer: TAP DANCE (i.e. “performance”). Solution is DAN (i.e. “tribal leader”, referring to the Tribe of Dan, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Took a while to remember this from a previous Jumbo) and C (i.e. “captured initially”, i.e. the first letter of “captured”) both placed “in” TAPE (i.e. “recording”), like so: TAP(DAN-C)E.

  1. Individual in grotty aerodrome who contrived to be short-lived (4,5,4,8)

Answer: HERE TODAY GONE TOMORROW (i.e. “short-lived”, unlike Sir John Nott’s response to the line). Solution is ONE (i.e. “individual”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “contrived”) of GROTTY AERODROME WHO, like so: HERETODAYG(ONE)TOMORROW.

  1. Retired Hull partner’s holding tax for return (8)

Answer: EMERITUS (i.e. “retired”). Solution is EMU’S (i.e. “Hull partner’s”, referring to Rod Hull and Emu. I made a dig a few weeks ago about how popular culture for Times setters seemed to end in the 1970s. I take it all back) wrapped around or “holding” TIRE (i.e. to “tax” or burden upon) once reversed (indicated by “for return”), like so: EM(ERIT)U’S.

  1. Love doctor, Nancy’s friend, modelling in paper (7)

Answer: ORIGAMI (i.e. “modelling in paper”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, a zero score in tennis) followed by RIG (i.e. to “doctor” something) and AMI (i.e. “Nancy’s friend”, i.e. the French for “friend”; Nancy is a city in France).

  1. Quarrel coming after fine for litter (6)

Answer: FARROW (i.e. a “litter” of pigs). Solution is ARROW (i.e. “quarrel” – a variant meaning is a square-headed arrow, apparently) placed “after” F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine” used in grading pencils), like so: F-ARROW.

  1. Visits duke declined (4,2,4)

Answer: GOES TO SEED (i.e. “declined”). Solution is GOES TO SEE (i.e. “visits”) followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”).

  1. Ridiculously lively press surrounding English or US icon (5,7)

Answer: ELVIS PRESLEY (i.e. “US icon”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ridiculously”) of LIVELY PRESS wrapped around or “surrounding” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: ELVISPR(E)SLEY.

  1. Wine in a small container any number refused (4)

Answer: ASTI (i.e. “wine”). Solution is A followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and TIN (i.e. “container”) once the N has been removed (indicated by “any number refused” – in maths, n is used to represent any number), like so: A-S-TI.

  1. One active in small hours close to lough, drinking whiskey (5,3)

Answer: NIGHT OWL (i.e. “one active in small hours”). Solution is NIGH (i.e. “close”), TO and L (a recognised abbreviation of “lough”, loch or lake) wrapped around or “drinking” W (“whiskey” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: NIGH-TO-(W)-L.

  1. Assess empty learner replacing academic at last (8)

Answer: EVALUATE (i.e. “assess”). Solution is EVACUATE (i.e. to “empty”) with L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”, e.g. L-plates) “replacing” C (i.e. “academic at last”, i.e. the last letter of “academic”), like so: EVA(C)UATE => EVA(L)UATE.

  1. Spice received by South American celebrity (6,6)

Answer: GINGER ROGERS (i.e. “American celebrity”). Solution is GINGER (i.e. “spice”) followed by ROGER (i.e. acknowledged or “received” in radio comms lingo) and S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”).

  1. Opposition from MI6 on a new tax (10)

Answer: ANTITHESIS (i.e. “opposition”). Solution is SIS (i.e. “MI6”, also known as the Secret Intelligence Service) placed “on” or after A, N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and TITHE (i.e. “tax”), like so: (A-N-TITHE)-SIS.

  1. CIA ensnaring fool, minor poet occasionally following stars (10)

Answer: CASSIOPEIA (i.e. “stars” or constellation). Solution is CIA wrapped around or “ensnaring” ASS (i.e. “fool”) and IOPE (i.e. “minor poet occasionally”, i.e. every other letter of MINOR POET), like so: C-(ASS-IOPE)IA. One nailed from the wordplay, unsurprisingly.

  1. Eventually stop throat gland twitching – after one’s swallowed? (5,2,1,4)

Answer: GRIND TO A HALT (i.e. “eventually stop”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “twitching”) of THROAT GLAND once wrapped around or “swallowing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: GR(I)NDTOAHALT.

  1. Changes appearance of tyres given new tread (8)

Answer: REMOULDS. Solution satisfies “changes appearance” and “tyres given new tread”.

  1. Conservative having to accept Liberal’s acting the fool (8)

Answer: CLOWNING (i.e. “acting the fool”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) and OWNING (i.e. “having”) all wrapped around or “accepting” L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”), like so: C-(L)-OWNING.

  1. Not seen: heard in fog (4)

Answer: MIST. Solution satisfies a homophone (indicated by “heard”) of MISSED (i.e. “not seen”), and also satisfies “fog”.

  1. Story always having to go round for cheque’s intended recipient (7,5)

Answer: ACCOUNT PAYEE (i.e. “cheque’s intended recipient”). Solution is ACCOUNT (i.e. “story”) and AY (i.e. poetic form of “always”) once placed in or “having…round” PEE (i.e. “to go”), like so: ACCOUNT-P(AY)EE.

  1. Avoidance, or non-appearance, to include time at home? (10)

Answer: ABSTINENCE (i.e. “avoidance”). Solution is ABSENCE (i.e. “non-appearance”) wrapped around or “including” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and IN (i.e. “home”), like so: ABS(T-IN)ENCE.

  1. Endlessly dreadful meat that makes change in Casablanca? (6)

Answer: DIRHAM (i.e. “change in Casablanca”, or Moroccan currency). Solution is DIRE (i.e. “dreadful”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by HAM (i.e. “meat”), like so: DIR-HAM.

  1. Egyptian god leaving horse outside pub with eastern bard (7)

Answer: ORPHEUS (i.e. “bard” of Greek myth). Solution is HORUS (i.e. “Egyptian god”) with the H removed (indicated by “leaving horse” – H and “horse” are both slang references to heroin) and the remainder placed “outside” of PH (i.e. “pub”, specifically Public House) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), like so: OR(PH-E)US.

  1. Important way alpha male does twirl wearing women’s clothes (4,4)

Answer: MAIN DRAG (i.e. “important way” or the main street of a town, mainly a US thing). Solution is A (“alpha” in the phonetic alphabet) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) reversed (indicated by “does twirl”) and followed by IN DRAG (i.e. “wearing women’s clothes” within the context of the clue), like so: M-A-(IN-DRAG).

  1. Easiest way Allies often organised underground fighters (4,2,5,10)

Answer: LINE OF LEAST RESISTANCE (i.e. “easiest way”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “organised”) of ALLIES OFTEN followed by RESISTANCE (i.e. “underground fighters”).

  1. Lock spring breaks to give uninvited access (8)

Answer: TRESPASS (i.e. “uninvited access”). Solution is TRESS (i.e. “lock” of hair) wrapped around or “broken” by SPA (i.e. water “spring”), like so: TRES(SPA)S.

  1. On about knight buried in card player’s grave (7)

Answer: EARNEST (i.e. over-serious or “grave”). Solution is RE (i.e. “on” or regarding – think email replies) wrapped “about” N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess) and the whole placed “in” EAST (i.e. “card player” in a game of bridge), like so: EA(R(N)E)ST.

  1. Debauched son initially hooked on strong Levantine booze (6)

Answer: RAKISH (i.e. “debauched”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) and H (i.e. “initially hooked”, i.e. the first letter of “hooked”) both placed “on” or after RAKI (i.e. “strong Levantine booze”), like so: (RAKI)-S-H.

Down clues

  1. Celtic characters in hotel try rolls before noon (5)

Answer: OGHAM (i.e. “Celtic characters” or alphabet). Solution is H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) and GO (i.e. attempt or “try”) all reversed (indicated by “rolls”) and followed by AM (i.e. “before noon”), like so: (OG-H)-AM. One remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest.

  1. Sailor in a hurry to accommodate Irish, improving image (11)

Answer: AIRBRUSHING (i.e. “improving image”). Solution is AB (i.e. “sailor”, specifically one of Able-Bodied rank) and RUSHING (i.e. “in a hurry”) all wrapped around or “accommodating” IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”), like so: A(IR)B-RUSHING.

  1. Run over by Hulot’s creator on cycle (8)

Answer: ROTATION (i.e. “cycle”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games), O (ditto “over”, this time in cricket), then Jacques TATI (i.e. “Hulot’s creator”) and ON.

  1. Vikings heading down to the middle Peak District (5)

Answer: ANDES (i.e. “peak district” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is DANES (i.e. “Vikings”) with the D (its “heading”) placed “down to the middle”, like so: (D)ANES => AN(D)ES.

  1. Board has power replacing leading trio in film industry (7)

Answer: PLYWOOD (i.e. “board”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) “replacing” HOL (i.e. “leading trio in film industry”, i.e. the first three letters of HOLLYWOOD), like so: (HOL)LYWOOD => (P)LYWOOD.

  1. Pleasant-smelling rose our Fido chewed (11)

Answer: ODORIFEROUS (i.e. “pleasant-smelling”). “Chewed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ROSE OUR FIDO.

  1. Stories about sappers in scene of conflict (5)

Answer: ARENA (i.e. “scene of conflict”). Solution is ANA (i.e. “stories” – over to Chambers: “a collection of someone’s table talk or of gossip, literary anecdotes or possessions”. A useful one to keep in mind as it crops up from time to time in cryptic clues) wrapped “about” RE (i.e. “sappers”, in this case the Royal Engineers of the British Army), like so: A(RE)NA.

  1. Disagreed also with a thousand children (4,5)

Answer: TOOK ISSUE (i.e. “disagreed”). Solution is TOO (i.e. “also”) followed by K (i.e. “a thousand”, short for “kilo”) and ISSUE (i.e. “children”).

  1. Page covering mathematical sequence (5)

Answer: PROOF (i.e. “mathematical sequence” – oof, just had a flashback to A-level calculus. I could have done without that…) Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”) followed by ROOF (i.e. “covering”).

  1. Surprise with ear affected when this changes? (3,8)

Answer: AIR PRESSURE. The solution satisfies the clue taken as a whole, but also comprises an anagram (indicated by “affected”) of SURPRISE and EAR.

  1. Ranch hand from old west quietly immersed in drink (7)

Answer: COWPOKE (i.e. “ranch hand” over in the US). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), W (ditto “west”) and P (ditto-ish “quietly”, being “piano” in music lingo) all placed or “immersed in” COKE (i.e. “drink”), like so: C(O-W-P)OKE.

  1. Stubborn stain to be treated (9)

Answer: OBSTINATE (i.e. “stubborn”). “Treated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STAIN TO BE.

  1. Example chapter taken from long story book (7)

Answer: EPITOME (i.e. “example”). Solution is EPIC (i.e. “long story”) with the C (a recognised abbreviation of “chapter”) “taken away” and the remainder followed by TOME (i.e. “book”) like so: EPI-TOME.

  1. Philistine victory over European initially reduced (9)

Answer: VULGARIAN (i.e. “philistine”). Solution is V (a recognised abbreviation of “victory”, e.g. in V-day; weirdly, Chambers doesn’t explicitly support V on its own for “victory”) followed by BULGARIAN (i.e. “European”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “initially reduced”), like so: V-ULGARIAN.

  1. Editor’s job to conceal Democrat opposition to political change (8)

Answer: REACTION (i.e. “opposition to political change” – again, not explicitly supported by Chambers, but falls under a more general definition of “an action or change in an opposite direction”). Solution is REDACTION (i.e. “editor’s job”) with the D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) removed or “concealed”.

  1. Superior-sounding structure unknown in priesthood (9)

Answer: HIERARCHY (i.e. “priesthood”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “sounding”) of HIGHER (i.e. “superior”) followed by ARCH (i.e. “structure”) and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in clues as unknowns), like so: HIER-ARCH-Y.

  1. Drink repercussions disheartened sleuth must accept (6,3)

Answer: TRIPLE SEC (i.e. “drink”). Solution is RIPPLES (i.e. “repercussions”) with the middle letter removed (indicated by “disheartened”) and the remainder placed in or “accepted” by TEC (i.e. “sleuth”, short for “detective”), like so: T(RIPLES)EC.

  1. Bear left turning for city and borough there? (8)

Answer: BROOKLYN (i.e. “borough” of New York). Solution is BROOK (i.e. to “bear”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and NY (a recognised abbreviation of “New York”, the “city” in question) once the latter has been reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: BROOK-L-YN.

  1. News items Henry substituted with primitive thoughts (7)

Answer: TIDINGS (i.e. “news”). Solution is THINGS (i.e. “items”) with the H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a unit of measurement that’s proven popular of late among setters) “substituted with” ID (i.e. “primitive thoughts” in the realm of psychology), like so: T(H)INGS => T(ID)INGS.

  1. Vote to have cards on display? (4,2,5)

Answer: SHOW OF HANDS. Solution satisfies “vote” and, playfully, “have [playing] cards on display”.

  1. Board game – single punter to excel (2,3,6)

Answer: GO ONE BETTER (i.e. “to excel”). Solution is GO (i.e. “board game”) followed by ONE (i.e. “single”) and BETTER (i.e. “punter”).

  1. Composer one carrying can ultimately appearing in Private Eye (11)

Answer: Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (i.e. “composer”). Solution is HUMPER (i.e. “one carrying”) followed by N (i.e. “can ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “can”) once placed “in” DICK (i.e. “private eye” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, both are informal references to private investigators), like so: HUMPER-DI(N)CK.

  1. Playwright parking in London area, indications centrally ignored (9)

Answer: SOPHOCLES (i.e. ancient Greek “playwright”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “parking” used in signage) placed “in” SOHO (i.e. “London area”) and followed by CLUES (i.e. “indications”) once its middle letter has been removed (indicated by “centrally ignored”), like so: SO(P)HO-CLES.

  1. Left for Romans, most of Greek wine is revolting (8)

Answer: SINISTER (i.e. “left for Romans”, i.e. the Latin for “left”). Solution is RETSINA (i.e. “Greek wine”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “most of”) and the remainder followed by IS. The whole is then reversed (indicated by “revolting”, as in an uprising – this being a down clue), like so: SI-NISTER.

  1. German poet loses head, seeing horror film (7)

Answer: CHILLER (i.e. “horror film”). Solution is Friedrich SCHILLER (i.e. “German poet”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “loses head”).

  1. True: sea can be cold (7)

Answer: AUSTERE (i.e. “cold” and unforgiving). “Can be” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TRUE SEA.

  1. Low note in brass (5)

Answer: MOOLA (i.e. “brass”, both slang terms for money). Solution is MOO (i.e. “low”, or the noise a cow makes) followed by LA (a “note” in the sol-fa notation).

  1. Silver penny no longer in circulation? (5)

Answer: PLATE (i.e. “silver”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “penny”) followed by LATE (i.e. deceased or “no longer in circulation”, playfully referencing one’s circulatory system).

  1. First and second swapping places, getting damp (5)

Answer: MOIST (i.e. “damp”). Solution is IST (i.e. “first”, with the 1 replaced with its Roman numeral equivalent) and MO (i.e. “second”, short for a “moment”) “swapping places”, like so: MO-IST.

  1. States not entirely hostile (5)

Answer: AVERS (i.e. “states”). Solution is AVERSE (i.e. “hostile”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not entirely”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1588

A toughie after last week’s stinker, and seemingly one for the culture vultures. Despite the at-times aching worthiness of some of the clues and solutions, this was a pretty good Jumbo offering for the most part the kind of steady progression I like. Except for the bottom-middle (SHIFT KEY, ISTHMUS and AMNESTY). That bit was a swine.

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 given you the slip then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things.

Thanks for the comments and help. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. Till next time, wrap up well and stay safe out there kids.

LP

FBV (French-By-Volume): 3.2%

Across clues

  1. Left-leaning character supports corporal punishment (9)

Answer: BACKSLASH (i.e. “left-leaning character” on a keyboard). Solution is BACKS (i.e. “supports”) followed by LASH (i.e. “corporal punishment”).

  1. Some of the French match that we hope to avoid (7)

Answer: DESPAIR (i.e. something “that we hope to avoid”). Solution is DES (i.e. “some of the French”, i.e. the word “some” in French) followed by PAIR (i.e. to “match”).

  1. Start of first introduction in garden (still unchanged on reflection) (5)

Answer: MADAM. Clue plays on the famous palindrome MADAM I’M ADAM (playfully, what could be the “first introduction in [the] Garden” of Eden; Adam and Eve and all that Bible stuff) taking the “start” of it. The solution is itself a palindrome (hence the “still unchanged on reflection” bit).

  1. Error by defence – rotting in gaol now (3,4)

Answer: OWN GOAL (i.e. “error by defence” in a game of football). “Rotting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GAOL NOW.

  1. Second contest for Ali or Rocky, say (5)

Answer: MOVIE (i.e. “Ali or Rocky, say” – other boxing movies are available). Solution is MO (i.e. “second”, short for “moment”) followed by VIE (i.e. “contest”).

  1. Hero, for example, meddles with heroine in Wessex (9)

Answer: PRINCESS (i.e. “Hero, for example”, referring to a character in William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing). [EDIT: Scratch that. I’d misread this one in the time between completing the grid and writing it up. The solution is PRIESTESS. In Greek mythology, she was a priestess of Aphrodite. Thanks to all in the comments for flagging this! – LP] Solution is PRIES (i.e. “meddles”) followed by TESS (i.e. “heroine in Wessex”, this time referring to the lead character in Thomas Hardy’s Tess Of The D’Urbervilles).

  1. Shakespearean duo in scene of Romeo and Juliet (3,3,9,2,6)

Answer: THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA (i.e. titular “Shakespearean duo”). “Romeo and Juliet”, meanwhile, is set in Verona, so I guess there’s a scene in the play between Romeo and some other bloke. Shakespeare tends to bring me out in a rash – blame it on a disastrous and fist-bitingly awful attempt to make us all read The Merchant of Venice at school – so I’ll leave this one at that.

  1. Like voyage in storm (6)

Answer: ASSAIL (i.e. to attack or “storm”). Solution is AS (i.e. “like”) followed by SAIL (i.e. “voyage”).

  1. French scorer’s side grabbing point in return (8)

Answer: Jules MASSENET (i.e. “French scorer” or composer). Solution is TEAM (i.e. “side”) wrapped around or “grabbing” NESS (i.e. “point”, both geographic features). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “in return”), like so: MA(SSEN)ET. One nailed from the wordplay.

  1. Reform repeals act that made thing worse again (7)

Answer: RELAPSE (i.e. “that made thing worse again”). “Reform” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of REPEALS.

  1. Old vehicle with new driver exposed as public nuisance (6,4)

Answer: LITTER LOUT (i.e. “public nuisance”). Solution is LITTER (i.e. “old vehicle”) followed by L (i.e. “new driver”, referring to L-plates), then OUT (i.e. “exposed”).

  1. Info, including something to do with key and pitch for instrument (12)

Answer: GLOCKENSPIEL (i.e. “instrument”). Solution is GEN (i.e. “info”) wrapped around or “including” LOCK (i.e. “something to do with key”) and followed by SPIEL (i.e. “pitch”), like so: G(LOCK)EN-SPIEL.

  1. Capital single person, we hear (5)

Answer: SEOUL (i.e. “capital” of South Korea). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SOLE (i.e. “single person”). Possibly SOUL. You could make an argument for either.

  1. European’s in danger in that situation (7)

Answer: THEREAT (i.e. “in that situation”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) placed “in” THREAT (i.e. “danger”), like so: TH(E)REAT.

  1. Use prior not in order as head of religious house (8)

Answer: SUPERIOR (i.e. “head of religious house”). “Not in order” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of USE PRIOR.

  1. With a single alteration, roomy? Not true (8)

Answer: SPECIOUS (i.e. “not true”). Solution is SPACIOUS (i.e. “roomy”) with “a single alteration”, in this case changing the A to an E, like so: SP(A)CIOUS => SP(E)CIOUS.

  1. Tool prodigal female returned (7)

Answer: FRETSAW (i.e. “tool”). Solution is WASTER (i.e. “prodigal”) and F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) all reversed (indicated by “returned”), like so: F-RETSAW.

  1. Face Republican in Georgia or Alabama, say (5)

Answer: FRONT (i.e. “face”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) placed “in” FONT (i.e. “Georgia or Alamaba, say” – other typefaces are available. That said, I had to Google Image search Alabama. Not a font I recognise. Maybe it’s a Mac thing), like so: F(R)ONT.

  1. Force largely destroyed accommodation for journalists (5,7)

Answer: PRESS GALLERY (i.e. “accommodation for journalists”). Solution is PRESS (i.e. “force” or urge) followed by an anagram (indicated by “destroyed”) of LARGELY.

  1. Finish after short day with vessel, something mates enjoy (10)

Answer: FRIENDSHIP (i.e. “something mates enjoy”). Solution is END (i.e. “finish”) placed “after” FRI (i.e. “short day”, in this case a short form of “Friday”) and followed by SHIP (i.e. “vessel”), like so: ((FRI)-END)-SHIP.

  1. One that slips easily into operas performing dance (7)

Answer: REELING (i.e. “performing dance”). Solution is EEL (i.e. “one that slips easily”) placed “into” RING (i.e. “operas” – I’m not seeing anything deep into the definitions, so I’m assuming the setter is referring to Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle here. Is RING on its own enough, though?), like so: R(EEL)ING.

  1. It’ll transform us into a superpower (5,3)

Answer: SHIFT KEY. Clue plays on how one could use a shift key on a keyboard to “transform” “us” into the upper-case “US” (i.e. “a superpower”, specifically the United States).

  1. Person taking a lot of interest in you, reportedly less unreliable (6)

Answer: USURER (i.e. “person taking a lot of interest”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of U (i.e. “you”) followed by SURER (i.e. “less unreliable”).

  1. Toast for campers with goals, virtually (2,3,7,3,8)

Answer: TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES (i.e. “virtually”). Solution is TO ALL IN TENTS (i.e. “toast for campers”) followed by AND (i.e. “with”) and PURPOSES (i.e. “goals”).

  1. Church’s assent required before one joins services (9)

Answer: AMENITIES (i.e. “services”). Solution is AMEN (i.e. “church’s assent”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and TIES (i.e. “joins”).

  1. Feature of poetry when recited – it’s read (5)

Answer: METER (i.e. “it’s read”). “When recited” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of METRE (i.e. “feature of poetry”).

  1. Heard I’m a highflier, with different stress? Not a pretty sight (7)

Answer: EYESORE (i.e. “not a pretty sight”). “Heard” indicates homophone. Solution comprises homophones of I and SOAR (i.e. “I’m a highflier”). “With different stress” leaves me cold. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no way of saying I SOAR without also saying EYESORE. Could be a tense thing. It might yet be a phonological thing, but after my swing-and-a-miss in this area last week I’m leaving this part well alone!

  1. Relating to part of limb or part of organ (5)

Answer: PEDAL. Solution satisfies “relating to part of limb” in this case the foot, and “part of organ”, the musical instrument.

  1. Free home featured in fourth of March issue (7)

Answer: AMNESTY (i.e. “free”). Solution is NEST (i.e. “home”) placed or “featured in” AMY (i.e. “fourth of March issue”, a reference to the character Amy March in Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women, Amy being the youngest of the four March sisters), like so: AM(NEST)Y.

  1. Newcomer to society replacing front of clothing that’s exclusive (9)

Answer: DEBARMENT (i.e. “exclusive”, or the act of exclusion). Solution is DEB (i.e. “newcomer to society”, short for “debutante”) which “replaces” the first letter or “front” of GARMENT (i.e. “clothing”), like so: (G)ARMENT => (DEB)ARMENT.

Down clues

  1. Cure a disease of livestock (5)

Answer: BLOAT. Solution satisfies to “cure” or dry fish, and a “disease of livestock”.

  1. Focus of discussion, changing clothes at announcement of truce (12,5)

Answer: CONVERSATION PIECE (i.e. “focus of discussion”). Solution is CONVERSION (i.e. “changing”) wrapped around or “clothing” AT and followed by a homophone (indicated by “announcement of”) of PEACE (i.e. “truce”), like so: CONVERS(AT)ION-PIECE.

  1. Ring is in news, with awfully “woke” princess (4,5)

Answer: SNOW WHITE (i.e. “’woke’ princess”, referring to how in the fairy tale she is brought out from her poisoned-apple-induced slumber by Prince Charming). Solution is O (i.e. “ring”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “awfully”) of NEWS WITH, like so: SN(O)WWHITE.

  1. Flip two parts of legal point, making claim (6)

Answer: ALLEGE (i.e. “claim”). Solution is LEGAL with the last “two” letters or “parts” “flipped” to the front and the whole then followed by E (i.e. “point” of the compass, short for “east”), like so: LEG(AL)-E => (AL)LEG-E.

  1. German writer with a short act kept in shade: influence on our acting (5,6)

Answer: HUMAN NATURE (i.e. “influence on our acting”). Solution is Thomas MANN (i.e. “German writer”), A and TURN (i.e. “act”) once the latter’s last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”). This is all then placed “in” HUE (i.e. “shade”), like so: HU(MANN-A-TUR)E.

  1. Indeed, evil is hidden herein (8)

Answer: DEVILISH. The solution satisfies the clue as a whole, but “herein” also indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: INDEE(D EVIL IS H)IDDEN.

  1. Angler letting first two go, in general (7)

Answer: William SHERMAN (i.e. famed “general” of the US Civil War). Solution is FISHERMAN (i.e. “angler”) with the “first two” letters removed or “gone”.

  1. Climber’s helpers in Nepal mishandled punishing situation (11)

Answer: ALPENSTOCKS (i.e. “climber’s helpers” – over to Chambers: “a mountain traveller’s long spiked staff”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “mishandled”) of NEPAL followed by STOCKS (i.e. “punishing situation”), like so: ALPEN-STOCKS. One nailed with a little help from my Chambers.

  1. Check behind church’s buttress (9)

Answer: REINFORCE (i.e. “buttress”). Solution is REIN (i.e. to “check” or restrict) followed by FOR (i.e. “behind” or in favour of) and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

  1. Married ladies stirred up trouble for people holding hands (7)

Answer: MISDEAL (i.e. “trouble for people holding hands” of cards). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “stirred up”) of LADIES, like so: M-ISDEAL.

  1. Because of work one can’t perform, nothing ensues (3,2)

Answer: DUE TO (i.e. “because of”). Solution is DUET (i.e. “work one can’t perform”) followed by O (i.e. “nothing”). Very nicely played.

  1. In error, not clear about broken ankle (10)

Answer: MISTAKENLY (i.e. “in error”). Solution is MISTY (i.e. “not clear”) wrapped “about” an anagram (indicated by “broken”) of ANKLE, like so: MIST(AKENL)Y.

  1. Finally cut world record? (5)

Answer: ATLAS (i.e. “world record”, playfully). Solution is AT LAST (i.e. “finally”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “cut”), like so: AT-LAS.

  1. False prophet – he is no loss as maker of miraculous conversions? (12,5)

Answer: PHILOSOPHERS STONE (i.e. “maker of miraculous conversions”; legend had it the thing could convert metals into gold). “False” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PROPHET HE IS NO LOSS.

  1. Part of job lot – tomatoes, canned or pickled (6)

Answer: BLOTTO (i.e. “canned or pickled”, all slang words for “drunk”). “Part of” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: JO(B LOT TO)MATOES.

  1. Coffee – third of morning, or second (6)

Answer: LATTER (i.e. the “second” of two things). Solution is LATTE (i.e. “coffee”) followed by R (i.e. “third [letter] of morning”).

  1. Refinement of character is inspiring when taken up (5)

Answer: SERIF (i.e. “refinement of character”, referring to the decorative feet stuck on the ends of characters in some typefaces). Solution is FIRES (i.e. “is inspiring”, as in firing someone up) reversed (indicated by “taken up” – this being a down clue).

  1. One of the herd, person needing will to succeed without extra teaching (6)

Answer: HEIFER (i.e. “one of the herd”, a young cow). Solution is HEIR (i.e. “person needing will to succeed”) wrapped around or placed “without” FE (i.e. “extra teaching”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Further Education), like so: HEI(FE)R.

  1. Danger to crops when temperature’s dropped in place (5)

Answer: LOCUS (i.e. “place”). Solution is LOCUST (i.e. “danger to crops”) with the T removed (indicated by “when temperature’s dropped” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “temperature”).

  1. Cosmetic daughter kept in cube, for example (6)

Answer: POWDER (i.e. “cosmetic”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) placed “in” POWER (i.e. “cube, for example”, being a number to the power of 3), like so: POW(D)ER.

  1. Representative having small drinks for each boy (11)

Answer: SALESPERSON (i.e. “representative”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by ALES (i.e. “drinks”), then PER (i.e. “for each”) and SON (i.e. “boy”).

  1. Conceded blunder when upset in split (11)

Answer: SURRENDERED (i.e. “conceded”). Solution is ERR (i.e. “blunder”) reversed (indicated by “when upset” – this being a down clue) and placed “in” SUNDERED (i.e. “split”), like so: SU(RRE)NDERED.

  1. Nocturnal mammal I caught in diabolical trap (5)

Answer: TAPIR (i.e. “nocturnal mammal”). Solution is I placed or “caught in” an anagram (indicated by “diabolical”) of TRAP, like so: TAP(I)R.

  1. It illuminates page after page in terrible mistrial (6,4)

Answer: SPIRIT LAMP (i.e. “it illuminates”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”) placed “after” P (ditto) once it has been put “in” an anagram (indicated by “terrible”) of MISTRIAL, like so: S(P)IRITLAM-P.

  1. Run into spy in a foreign country (9)

Answer: ARGENTINA (i.e. “foreign country” – unless you’re reading this in Argentina, of course). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) placed “into” AGENT (i.e. “spy”) and followed by IN A, like so: A(R)GENT-IN-A.

  1. Since I had turned up, pianos and organ fade away (9)

Answer: DISAPPEAR (i.e. “fade away”). Solution is AS (i.e. “since”) and I’D (a contraction of “I had”) all reversed (indicated by “turned up” – this being a down clue). This is then followed by P and P (“pianos” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo), and EAR (i.e. “organ”), like so: (D’I-SA)-PP-EAR.

  1. Bargain with what used to be your secret (8)

Answer: STEALTHY (i.e. “secret”). Solution is STEAL (i.e. “bargain”, as in something being an absolute steal) followed by THY (i.e. “what used to be your”, i.e. ye olde form of “your”).

  1. Start of my statement of intent repeated after woman’s animosity (3,4)

Answer: ILL WILL (i.e. “animosity”). Solution is I’LL (i.e. “start of my statement of intent”, a contraction of I WILL) which is “repeated” after W (a recognised abbreviation of “woman”), like so: I’LL-(W)-I’LL.

  1. Ideology so affected by mass movement in Panama, say (7)

Answer: ISTHMUS (i.e. “Panama, say” – an isthmus is a narrow strip of land connecting two larger bodies of land. Panama is situated on the isthmus between North and South America). Solution is ISM (i.e. “ideology”) and THUS (i.e. “so”) once the M (a recognised abbreviation of “mass”) has been “moved”, like so: IS(M)-THUS => IS-TH(M)US.

  1. Magnificent, this owl watched by millions in US? (6)

Answer: SUPERB (i.e. “magnificent”). Clue plays on SUPERBOWL (i.e. a sporting event “watched by millions in US”) being written as SUPERB “OWL”, getting you the “this” of the clue. Interesting wordplay.

  1. A point each, otherwise leading (5)

Answer: AHEAD. A triple-header, I believe, satisfying “a point” when written as A HEAD, “each” again when written as “A HEAD” and “leading” when written as AHEAD.

  1. Fish detected under bridge? (5)

Answer: SMELT (i.e. a kind of “fish”). The remainder of the clue plays on the solution being the past tense of SMELL, and the “bridge” being part of one’s nose.