Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1426

A noticeable dip in quality this week. Had to happen at some point. You can find my completed grid for what it’s worth, along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. Some are flakier than a le[REDACTED IN THE INTEREST OF GOOD TASTE]ck, so watch out.

Before all that nonsense, some me-time. If you’ve got a Times Jumbo Cryptic that is showing a few gaps then check out my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find posts covering the last 70-odd puzzles. While you’re buggering about the place, take a butchers at my Reviews page. I’m slowly working my way through the Best New Horror series, and will chuck a fresh review on here shortly. There’s even a story of mine knocking around here somewhere, just to show it’s not all crosswords here. (Okay, okay, it’s mostly crosswords.)

Anyway, enough of the guff. To (some of) the answers!

LP

Across clues

1. Regarding meals, grand and rather more than substantial! (13)

Answer: GASTRONOMICAL (i.e. “regarding meals”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”) followed by ASTRONOMICAL (i.e. “rather more than substantial”).

8. Circulating air is linked to expert forecast (9)

Answer: PROGNOSIS (i.e. “forecast”). Solution is SONG (i.e. “air”) reversed (indicated by “circulating”) and IS both placed after (weakly indicated by “linked to”) PRO (i.e. “expert”), like so: PRO-GNOS-IS.

13. Tailor inclined to get behind promotional material (5)

Answer: ADAPT (i.e. “tailor”). Solution is APT (i.e. “inclined”, as in “he was apt to say boo to geese as he was a bit weird like that”) placed “behind” AD (i.e. “promotional material”), like so: AD-APT.

14. Awkward behaviour necessarily limiting fellow (11)

Answer: PERFORMANCE (i.e. “awkward behaviour”). Solution is PERFORCE (i.e. “necessarily”) wrapped around or “limiting” MAN (i.e. “fellow”), like so: PERFOR(MAN)CE. Not a classic.

15. Computer component absorbing programmer’s latest tweet (5)

Answer: CHIRP (i.e. “tweet”). Solution is CHIP (i.e. “computer component”) wrapped around or “absorbing” R (i.e. “programmer’s latest”, i.e. the last letter of “programmer”), like so: CHI(R)P.

16. Equivocal with celebrity heading off to accept major opening in university (9)

Answer: AMBIGUOUS (i.e. “equivocal”). Solution is FAMOUS (i.e. “celebrity”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “heading off”) and the remainder wrapped around or “accepting” BIG (i.e. “major”) and U (i.e. “opening in university”, i.e. the first letter of “university”), like so: AM(BIG-U)OUS.

17. Rebellion? Show hesitation, deposing leading pair (4)

Answer: TEND. This is a complete guess, I’m afraid. The clue seems to suggest the solution is derived by removing or “deposing” the first two letters or “leading pair” of a six-letter word meaning “show hesitation” which fits the letters **T*N*. The best I’ve got at the moment is EXTEND, but I can’t square TEND with “rebellion”. Also, if the solution was TEND then its proximity to the similar-sounding TENDER IS THE NIGHT would suggest poor grid construction from the setter. So, yeah, this is very likely incorrect. If some kind soul swings by with the proper solution then I’ll update the post, but for now I’m going to get on with my weekend.

18. Criminal bid to secure target (8)

Answer: OFFENDER (i.e. “criminal”). Solution is OFFER (i.e. “bid”) wrapped around or “securing” END (i.e. “target”), like so: OFF(END)ER.

20. Over a year to adopt updated description of some streets? (3-3)

Answer: ONE-WAY (i.e. “description of some streets”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket), A and Y (ditto “year”) wrapped around or “adopting” NEW (i.e. “updated”), like so: O-(NEW)-A-Y.

21. Novel proposal – this thing is dodgy, involving energy (6,2,3,5)

Answer: TENDER IS THE NIGHT (i.e. “novel” by F. Scott Fitzgerald). Solution is TENDER (i.e. “proposal”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “is dodgy”) of THIS THING once it has been wrapped around or “involving” E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: TENDER-ISTH(E)NIGHT.

24. Payment seeing English name in memorial replaced by Latin (9)

Answer: EMOLUMENT (i.e. “payment”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by MONUMENT (i.e. “memorial”) once the first N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) has been “replaced by” L (ditto “Latin”), like so: E-MO(N)UMENT => E-MO(L)UMENT.

26. Tinkers reduced thoughtless cries, making no repetition (7)

Answer: RASCALS (i.e. “tinkers”). Solution is RASH (i.e. “thoughtless”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “reduced”) and followed by CALLS (i.e. “cries”) once one of the Ls has been removed (indicated by “making no repetition”), like so: RAS-CALS.

27. Teaching graduate recalled it in a change to account (5)

Answer: DEBIT (i.e. “a change to account”). Solution is BED (i.e. “teaching graduate”, specifically a Bachelor of Education) reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and followed by IT, like so: DEB-IT.

29. A wonderful time with colourful characters? (3-6,3)

Answer: RED-LETTER DAY (i.e. “a wonderful time”). Solution riffs on how red letters can be described as “colourful characters”. A recent repeat.

31. Money went quickly leading to return of extravagant artist (10)

Answer: Jacopo TINTORETTO (i.e. “artist”). Solution is TIN (a slang word for “money”) followed by TORE (i.e. “went quickly”) and OTT (i.e. “extravagant”, i.e. an abbreviation of “over the top”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “return of…”), like so: TIN-TORE-TTO. Chalk one to by Bradfords here, as there have been a few artists over the years.

33. Illuminated slab, though not one to carry representation of constellation (6,4)

Answer: LITTLE BEAR (i.e. “constellation”). Solution is LIT (i.e. “illuminated”) followed by TILE (i.e. “slab”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “though not [Roman numeral] one”), and then BEAR (i.e. “to carry”), like so: LIT-TLE-BEAR.

35. Examination body in good successful result means to get on (8,4)

Answer: BOARDING PASS (i.e. “means to get on” a plane). Solution is BOARD (i.e. “examination body”) followed by IN, then G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and PASS (i.e. “successful result”).

38. English education requirements including nothing wrong (5)

Answer: ERROR (i.e. “wrong”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by RRR (i.e. “education requirements”, being the three Rs: reading, writing and arithmetic – the fact only one of those words ever began with an R still bugs the shit out of me today. Yes, I’m weird…) once it is wrapped around or “including” O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: E-RR(O)R.

39. Take clothing off, having kinky fun with popular music (7)

Answer: UNFROCK (i.e. “take clothing off”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “kinky”) of FUN followed by ROCK (i.e. “popular music”), like so: UNF-ROCK.

40. Strategic manœuvring after losing lead to European is a fag (9)

Answer: CIGARETTE (i.e. “fag”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “manœuvring”) of STRAGETIC once the S has been removed (indicated by “after losing head”), and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”), like so: CIGARETT-E.

42. Participant in trial answers architect after demolition (9,7)

Answer: CHARACTER WITNESS (i.e. “participant in trial”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “after demolition”) of ANSWERS ARCHITECT.

44. What cuts up first bit of coal brought in by coal supplier? (6)

Answer: MINCER (i.e. “what cuts up”). Solution is C (i.e. “first bit of coal”, i.e. the first letter of “coal”) placed “in” MINER (i.e. “coal supplier”), like so: MIN(C)ER.

47. What viola uses, upset at cello getting loud (4,4)

Answer: ALTO CLEF (i.e. “what viola uses”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “upset”) of AT CELLO followed by F (a recognised abbreviation of fortissimo or “loud” in musical lingo), like so: ALTOCLE-F.

49. Pellet or its victim? (4)

Answer: SLUG. Solution satisfies “pellet” and “[pellet’s] victim”.

50. Giving energy to an island marriage (9)

Answer: ANIMATING (i.e. “giving energy to”). Solution is AN, then I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”) and MATING (i.e. “marriage”).

52. Walk miles, getting snared (5)

Answer: TRAMP (i.e. “walk”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “miles”). “Getting snared” indicates this is placed amid a TRAP, like so: TRA(M)P.

53. Vehicle getting a run in University bus service is blue (11)

Answer: ULTRAMARINE (i.e. “blue”). Solution is TRAM (i.e. “vehicle”), A and R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) all placed “in” U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and LINE (i.e. “bus service”), like so: U-L(TRAM-A-R)INE.

54. US lawyer in one US state almost backing another (5)

Answer: IDAHO (i.e. “another [US state]”). Solution is DA (i.e. “US lawyer”, specifically a District Attorney) placed in OHIO (i.e. “US state”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: I(DA)HO.

55. Amateur behind nonsense seen by that woman in town (9)

Answer: ROTHERHAM (i.e. “town”). Solution is HAM (i.e. “amateur”) placed “behind” ROT (i.e. “nonsense”) and HER (i.e. “that woman”), like so: ROT-HER-HAM.

56. Sonatina tunes broadcast with no delay (13)

Answer: INSTANTANEOUS (i.e. “with no delay”). “Broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SONATINA TUNES.

Down clues

1. Hispanic dish about to be introduced to Pacific island with cheer from Spain (9)

Answer: GUACAMOLE (i.e. “Hispanic dish”). Solution is CA (i.e. “about”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) placed in or “introduced to” GUAM (i.e. “Pacific island”) and then followed by OLE (i.e. “cheer from Spain”), like so: GU(AC)AM-OLE.

2. Feign anger, dismissing one in drag? (7)

Answer: SHAMBLE (i.e. “drag”, as in to move laboriously). Solution is SHAM (i.e. “feign”) followed by BILE (i.e. “anger”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “dismissing [Roman numeral] one”), like so: SHAM-BLE.

3. Upset over our rag including first sight of this photo print (11)

Answer: ROTOGRAVURE (i.e. “photo print”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “upset”) of OVER OUR RAG wrapped around or “including”) T (i.e. “first sight of this”, i.e. the first letter of “this”), like so: RO(T)OGRAVURE. Another nod to my Bradfords. The wordplay was obvious, but so was the fact this was going to be a shitty word I didn’t know. I’ll probably now see this in everything I read for the next three weeks.

4. No pressure in seizing power in uprising in Asian country (6)

Answer: NIPPON (i.e. “Asian country”, i.e. Japan). Solution is NO, P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) and IN all wrapped around or “seizing” P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”), like so: NI-(P)-P-ON.

5. Steersman, confused – one’s not worth following up (5-4)

Answer: MARE’S-NEST, which is “a supposedly worthwhile discovery that turns out to have no real value” (Chambers) (i.e. “one’s not worth following up”). “Confused” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STEERSMAN.

6. The fool Edward, overlooking the best treat in Devon (7,5)

Answer: CLOTTED CREAM (i.e. “treat in Devon”). Solution is CLOT (i.e. “the fool”) followed by TED (shortened form of “Edward”) both placed above or “overlooking” – this being a down clue – CREAM (i.e. “the best”).

7. Girl holding overturned garden ornament beginning to revive plant (5,5)

Answer: LEMON GRASS (i.e. “plant”). Solution is LASS (i.e. “girl”) wrapped around or “holding” GNOME (i.e. “garden ornament”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “overturned”) and R (i.e. “beginning to revive”, i.e. the first letter of “revive”), like so: L(EMONG-R)ASS.

8. Mount is fraudulent, having no height (4)

Answer: PONY (i.e. a horse or “mount”). Solution is PHONY (i.e. “fraudulent”) with the H removed (indicated by “having no height”, H being a recognised abbreviation of “height”).

9. Unavoidable item yonder? (3,2,5,6)

Answer: ONE OF THOSE THINGS. Solution satisfies “unavoidable” and “item yonder”.

10. Hot in Mediterranean resort? It’s not for everyone (5)

Answer: NICHE (i.e. “it’s not for everyone”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”) placed in NICE (i.e. “Mediterranean resort”), like so: NIC(H)E.

11. Party to appreciate after quiet home (7)

Answer: SHINDIG (i.e. “party”). Solution is DIG (i.e. “to appreciate”) placed “after” SH (i.e. “quiet”) and IN (i.e. at “home”), like so: SH-IN-DIG.

12. Our site’s up – it’s running? Keeping fingers crossed, perhaps (13)

Answer: SUPERSTITIOUS (i.e. “keeping fingers crossed, perhaps”). “Running” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OUR SITE’S UP IT’S.

19. French are less sanguine about one garden feature (8)

Answer: ESPALIER (i.e. “garden feature”). Solution is ES (i.e. “French are”, i.e. the French for “are”) followed by PALER (i.e. “less sanguine”) once it has been placed “about” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: ES-PAL(I)ER. One that needed a bit of brute force using my Chambers.

22. Managed to turn up without detective – a low point (5)

Answer: NADIR (i.e. “a low point”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “managed”) reversed (indicated by “to turn up” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around or “without” DI (i.e. “detective”, specifically a Detective Inspector), like so: NA(DI)R.

23. Avoid the issue, something commoner amongst rural constabulary? (4,5,3,4)

Answer: BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH (i.e. “avoid the issue”). Solution riffs on how a constabulary’s patch is called a “beat”. You might find a “bush” on a common. Something like that, anyway. Not a classic.

25. One more mature Democrat brought in support for weaponry? Not initially (7)

Answer: OLDSTER (i.e. “one more mature”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) “brought in” to HOLSTER (i.e. “support for weaponry”) once the initial letter has been removed (indicated by “not initially”), like so: OL(D)STER.

28. Only took in some small feature of film (3,4)

Answer: BIT PART. Solution satisfies “only took in some” and “small feature of film”.

29. Unsettling transport provided by smart car and boat (6-7)

Answer: ROLLER-COASTER (i.e. “unsettling transport”). Solution is ROLLER (i.e. “smart car”, specifically a Rolls Royce) followed by COASTER (i.e. “boat”).

30. Again declare English will invest in service company (8)

Answer: REAFFIRM (i.e. “again declare”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) placed or “invested” in RAF (i.e. “service”, specifically the Royal Air Force) and followed by FIRM (i.e. “company”), like so: R(E)AF-FIRM.

32. It reflects visit on schooner around capital of Greece (7-5)

Answer: LOOKING-GLASS (i.e. “it reflects”). Solution is LOOK IN (i.e. “visit”) and GLASS (i.e. “schooner” – can mean a drinking glass or a boat) placed “around” G (i.e. “capital of Greece”, i.e. the first letter of “Greece”), like so: LOOK-IN-(G)-GLASS.

34. The French artist captures very insectile form (5)

Answer: LARVA (i.e. “insectile form”). Solution is LA (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the French for “the”) and RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) placed around or “capturing” V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”), like so: LA-R(V)A.

36. Some will leave country, one country in process of growth (11)

Answer: GERMINATION (i.e. “process of growth”). Solution is GERMANY (i.e. “country”) with the ANY (i.e. “some”) removed (indicated by “will leave”), and the remainder followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and NATION (i.e. “country”), like so: GERM-I-NATION.

37. Second criticism before I pin up Italian artist (10)

Answer: Amedeo MODIGLIANI (i.e. “Italian artist”). Solution is MO (i.e. “second”, both referring to a short period of time) followed by DIG (i.e. “criticism”, as in a dig in the ribs). These are then followed by and I and NAIL (i.e. “pin”) once they have been reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: MO-DIG-LIAN-I. Another success for my Bradfords. What’s better than one dead Italian artist in a crossword grid? Two dead Italian artists, of course! Actually, no. No it isn’t, setter.

40. Fellow performer I caught going to a country in the Americas (5,4)

Answer: COSTA RICA (i.e. “country in the Americas”). Solution is CO-STAR (i.e. “fellow performer”) followed by I, then C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) and A.

41. Outrageous for one holy man to spurn sources of lechery and immorality (9)

Answer: EGREGIOUS (i.e. “outrageous”). Solution is EG (i.e. “for one”, i.e. “e.g.”) followed by RELIGIOUS (i.e. “holy man”) once the L and first I have been removed (indicated by “to spurn sources of lechery and immorality”, i.e. the first letters of “lechery” and “immorality”), like so: EG-REGIOUS.

43. Evoke rising cheers over region (7)

Answer: ATTRACT (i.e. “evoke”). Solution is TA (i.e. “cheers”, both forms of thanks) which is reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue) and followed by TRACT (i.e. “region”), like so: AT-TRACT.

45. Marx enthralling a head of Government in US city (7)

Answer: CHICAGO (i.e. “US city”). Solution is CHICO, one of The “Marx” Brothers, wrapped around or “enthralling” A and G (i.e. “head of Government”, i.e. the first letter of “Government”), like so: CHIC(A-G)O.

46. Distract pickpocket before start of theft (6)

Answer: DIVERT (i.e. “distract”). Solution is DIVER (i.e. “pickpocket”, as in one who dives in pockets) placed “before” T (i.e. “start of theft”, i.e. the first letter of “theft”), like so: DIVER-T.

48. Taking up spades, manages small wood (5)

Answer: COPSE (i.e. “small wood”). Solution is COPES (i.e. “manages”) with the S (a recognised abbreviation of “spades” used in card games) nudged or “taken up” a notch – this being a down clue.

51. Support couple leaving island, adopting son (4)

Answer: STEM (i.e. “support”). Another guess, I’m afraid. There are a handful of words that fit the letters *T*M, but this seems the most likely. Could also be ITEM for a “couple”, but this seems less likely otherwise “couple” would be the first word of the clue. Again, if someone wanders by shedding light on this clue then I’ll update the post. Until then, I’m outta here.
[EDIT: Back again! Thanks to zouzoulap in the comments for clearing this one up. I was on the right lines, but didn’t really join the dots, to mix my metaphors. The solution is ITEM (i.e. “couple”) with the I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”) replaced by S (ditto “son”), like so: (I)TEM => (S)TEM. Thanks, Z! – LP]

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1425

A pretty good one this week that I’d have cracked a lot sooner had I not written GLISTER when I’d meant GLISTEN. (Shakes head at previous me.) As ever, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

Some housekeeping, if you’ll forgive the intrusion. If you’ve got a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s been giving you sleepless nights then you’ll find links to a whole bunch of solutions on my Just For Fun page. While you’re here, I’ve also got a bunch of book reviews to shove under your nose. All being well I’ll have a review of Best New Horror 13 up shortlyish, you lucky, lucky people. If you’d like a half-hour diversion, I’ve also got a story of mine knocking about the place for you. Generous to a fault, me, I know, I know.

Right then, to the answers!

Yours in cruciverbalism,

LP

Across clues

1. Pompous worker chasing two mischievous children in class (4-9)

Answer: SELF-IMPORTANT (i.e. “pompous”). Solution is ANT (i.e. “worker”) placed after or “chasing” ELF and IMP (i.e. “two mischievous children”) once they have been placed “in” SORT (i.e. “class”), like so: S(ELF-IMP)ORT-ANT.

8. Soldier’s one bloodsucker, mostly – like this? (9)

Answer: PARASITIC (i.e. “bloodsucker…like this”). Solution is PARA’S (i.e. “soldier’s”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and TICK (i.e. “bloodsucker”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: PARA’S-I-TIC.

13. A long letter (5)

Answer: AITCH (i.e. the “letter” H). Solution is A followed by ITCH (i.e. to “long” for).

14. Anger about recurrent motif in press writing (9)

Answer: REPORTAGE (i.e. “press writing”). Solution is RAGE (i.e. “anger”) placed “about” TROPE (i.e. “motif”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “recurrent” – one of the word’s lesser-used meanings), like so: R(EPORT)AGE.

15. Shine, displaying knowledge about series of items (7)

Answer: GLISTEN (i.e. “shine”). Solution is GEN (i.e. “knowledge”) placed “about” LIST (i.e. “series of items”), like so: G(LIST)EN.

16. Man can live ultimately on fish oil (12)

Answer: BRILLIANTINE (i.e. “[hair] oil”). Solution is IAN (i.e. “man”), TIN (i.e. “can”) and E (i.e. “live ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “live”) placed “on” or after BRILL (i.e. “fish”), like so: BRILL-IAN-TIN-E.

17. Exercises calm about time for deadly epidemic (10)

Answer: PESTILENCE (i.e. “deadly epidemic”). Solution is PE (i.e. “exercises”, specifically Physical Education), followed by SILENCE (i.e. “calm”) once it has been placed “about” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: PE-S(T)ILENCE.

18. Scoffed about long time to pump in gas (6)

Answer: AERATE (i.e. “to pump in gas”). Solution is ATE (i.e. “scoffed”) placed “about” ERA (i.e. “long time”), like so: A(ERA)TE.

19. Tiny edit affected equation (8)

Answer: IDENTITY (i.e. an “equation” true for all values of the symbols involved (Chambers)). “Affected” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TINY EDIT.

21. Appoint a small board to give public information (6)

Answer: ASSIGN (i.e. “appoint”). Solution is A then S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and SIGN (i.e. “board to give public information”).

24. Improbity in the synod is out of order (10)

Answer: DISHONESTY (i.e. “improbity”). “Out of order” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE SYNOD IS.

26. Sloshed inebriate outside reception room, forgetting name? (5,2,1,4)

Answer: DRUNK AS A LORD (i.e. “sloshed”). Solution is DRUNKARD (i.e. “inebriate”) wrapped around or “outside” of SALON (i.e. “reception room”) once the N has been removed (indicated by “forgetting name”, N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: DRUNKA(SALO)RD.

29. Contest unpaid pounds (4)

Answer: DUEL (i.e. “contest”). Solution is DUE (i.e. “unpaid”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight).

30. Basil, say, a sentimental lover missing the point? (8)

Answer: AROMATIC (i.e. “basil, say”, as in an aromatic herb). Solution is A ROMANTIC (i.e. “a sentimental lover”) once the N has been removed (indicated by “missing the [compass] point”, N being a recognised abbreviation of “north”).

31. What’s fallen out of second sack (8)

Answer: SPILLAGE (i.e. “what’s fallen out”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by PILLAGE (i.e. “[to] sack”).

34. Relating to courts female emperor overturned thus (8)

Answer: FORENSIC (i.e. “relating to courts”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by NERO (i.e. “emperor”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “overturned”), then followed by SIC (i.e. “thus”), like so: F-OREN-SIC.

35. Broadcast by queen holds nothing about what took her abroad? (8)

Answer: AIRLINER (i.e. “what took her abroad”). Solution is AIR (i.e. “broadcast”) and ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) wrapped around or “holding” NIL (i.e. “nothing”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: AIR-(LIN)-ER.

36. Desire Shakespeare casually expressed (4)

Answer: WILL. Solution satisfies “desire” and “Shakespeare casually expressed”, being a shortened form of William.

39. English farm animals and cat I’m making upset – briefly amusing (12)

Answer: EPIGRAMMATIC (i.e. “amusing”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by PIG and RAM (i.e. “farm animals”) and an anagram (indicated by “making upset”) of CAT I’M, like so: E-PIG-RAM-MATIC.

40. Relaxed about wet weather that’s rather cold (10)

Answer: RESTRAINED (i.e. “rather cold” in demeanour). Solution is RESTED (i.e. “relaxed”) placed “about” RAIN (i.e. “wet weather”), like so: REST(RAIN)ED.

43. Area of ten by ten in the middle of cemetery (6)

Answer: EXTENT (i.e. “area”). Solution is X (i.e. the first “ten” of the clue) and TEN placed “in” ET (i.e. “the middle of cemetery”, i.e. the middle two letters of “cemetery”), like so: E(X-TEN)T.

44. Act roughly in factory dance (8)

Answer: WORKSHOP (i.e. “act roughly”, as in to work through something by trying stuff out, a bit like sandboxing in computing). Solution is WORKS (i.e. “factory”) followed by HOP (i.e. “dance”).

45. Fool holding gang’s possessions (6)

Answer: ASSETS (i.e. “possessions”). Solution is ASS (i.e. “fool”) wrapped around or “holding” SET (i.e. “gang”), like so: AS(SET)S.

49. Reprimand tons with cheap disposal not having succeeded (7-3)

Answer: TELLING-OFF (i.e. “reprimand”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”) followed by SELLING OFF (i.e. “cheap disposal”) once the S has been removed (indicated by “not having succeeded”, S being a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”), like so: T-ELLING-OFF.

51. Stadium boxer swinging, using both left and right (12)

Answer: AMBIDEXTROUS (i.e. “using both left and right” hands). “Swinging” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STADIUM BOXER. Excellent clue!

53. One cruelly killed a long time after deed (7)

Answer: ACTAEON (i.e. “one cruelly killed” in Greek mythology, when he was turned into a stag and torn to pieces by his frenzied hounds. Lovely.) Solution is A and EON (i.e. “long time”) placed “after” ACT (i.e. “deed”), like so: ACT-A-EON. One gotten from the wordplay.

54. Bolshevik cunning is possessed by worker (9)

Answer: ANARCHIST (i.e. “Bolshevik”). Solution is ARCH (i.e. “cunning”) and IS placed in or “possessed by” ANT (i.e. “worker”), like so: AN(ARCH-IS)T.

55. Like some yoghurt to follow over fruit? (5)

Answer: OLIVE (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is LIVE (i.e. “like some yoghurt”) placed after or “following” O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket), like so: O-LIVE.

56. Turn out upper-class in gallery after literary evening (9)

Answer: EVENTUATE (i.e. “turn out”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “upper-class”) placed “in” TATE (i.e. “gallery”) and the whole then placed “after” EVEN (i.e. a poetic or “literary [form of] evening”), like so: EVEN-T(U)ATE.

57. Spiritual awakening is nettling he-men, unfortunately (13)

Answer: ENLIGHTENMENT (i.e. “spiritual awakening”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NETTLING HE-MEN.

Down clues

1. Climbing rodents get on ship to leave port? (9)

Answer: STARBOARD (i.e. “to leave port” – a commenter on a previous post made the point that “not port” on a ship needn’t automatically mean “starboard”. You’ve got midships, for example. He wasn’t keen on a clue that tried to get away with this, so I reckon he won’t be too impressed by this one either!) Solution is RATS (i.e. “rodents”) reversed (indicated by “climbing”, this being a down clue) followed by BOARD (i.e. “get on ship”), like so: STAR-BOARD.

2. Religious reformer imprisons one who will fret? (7)

Answer: LUTHIER (i.e. “who will fret” – a luthier is a maker of guitars and lutes, instruments with fretboards). Solution is Martin LUTHER (i.e. “religious reformer”) wrapped around or “imprisoning” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: LUTH(I)ER.

3. Inspiration Henry found in island race (10)

Answer: INHALATION (i.e. “inspiration”, as in to breathe in). Solution is HAL (an alternative form of “Henry”) placed or “found in” I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”) and NATION (i.e. “race”), like so: I-N(HAL)ATION.

4. Hard up, wretched in seclusion (6)

Answer: PURDAH (i.e. “seclusion”). “Wretched” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HARD UP.

5. What’s pirate suffering splitting share being brought home? (12)

Answer: REPATRIATION (i.e. “being brought home”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “suffering”) of PIRATE placed in or “splitting” RATION (i.e. “share”), like so: R(EPATRI)ATION.

6. Deliverer of order arrives carrying cooker (8)

Answer: ARRANGER (i.e. “deliverer of order”). Solution is ARR (a recognised abbreviation of “arrives” seen on timetables) wrapped around or “carrying” RANGE (i.e. “cooker”), like so: AR(RANGE)R.

7. Horses harnessed together: the second is out of energy (4)

Answer: TEAM (i.e. “horses harnessed together”). Solution is STEAM (i.e. “energy”) with the S removed (indicated by “the second is out of…” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “second”).

8. Oddly need priest to get ordained in advance (10)

Answer: PREDESTINE (i.e. “get ordained in advance”). “Oddly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NEED PRIEST.

9. Not quite in line with the latest ideas, okay? (6)

Answer: RIGHTO (i.e. “okay”). Solution is RIGHT ON (i.e. “in line with the latest ideas”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “not quite”).

10. Indecision of foolish girl embracing Henry more than once (12)

Answer: SHILLYSHALLY (i.e. “indecision”). Solution is SILLY (i.e. “foolish”) and SALLY (i.e. “girl”) once they have both (indicated by “more than once”) been wrapped around or “embracing” H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a unit of measurement that seems to be flavour of the month for setters), like so: S(H)ILLY-S(H)ALLY.

11. Giant bird sank, lacking wings (5)

Answer: TITAN (i.e. “giant”). Solution is TIT (i.e. “bird”) followed by AN (i.e. “sank, lacking wings”, i.e. the word “sank” with the first and last letters removed).

12. Abode ripe for demolition? Felon might hang about here? (9,4)

Answer: CONDEMNED CELL. Solution riffs on how “condemned” can describe a building earmarked for “demolition” as well as a “felon” awaiting execution, punningly referenced by “might hang about here”. You get the idea.

20. Go quickly up, sick over a Spanish omelette (8)

Answer: TORTILLA (i.e. “Spanish omelette”). Solution is TROT (i.e. “go quickly”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and followed by ILL (i.e. “sick”) and A, like so: TORT-ILL-A.

22. One remedy that has answer for universal solitude (9)

Answer: ISOLATION (i.e. “solitude”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by SOLUTION (i.e. “remedy”) once the U (a recognised abbreviation of “universal” used in film certification) has been replaced by (indicated by “has…for”) A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, as in Q&A), like so: I-SOL(U)TION => I-SOL(A)TION

23. Millions lost by metal plant (8)

Answer: GERANIUM (i.e. “plant”). Solution is GERMANIUM (i.e. “metal”) once the middle M has been removed (indicated by “millions lost”, M being a recognised abbreviation of “millions”).

25. Succeeded with fruit as new flavour (9)

Answer: SPEARMINT (i.e. “flavour”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) followed by PEAR (i.e. “fruit”) and MINT (i.e. “as new”).

27. With which Hook starts in the role of buccaneer (8)

Answer: ASPIRATE, which is to pronounce one’s aitches (i.e. “with which Hook starts”). When read as AS PIRATE the solution also satisfies “in the role of buccaneer”.

28. Reptile is back, large one coming in to lie in the sun (8)

Answer: BASILISK (i.e. “reptile”). Solution is IS reversed (indicated by “back”), L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), placed “in” BASK (i.e. “to lie in the sun”), like so: BA(SI-L-I)SK.

29. Distinguish if iron ripped apart with current in time (13)

Answer: DIFFERENTIATE (i.e. “distinguish”). Solution is IF, FE (chemical symbol for “iron”), RENT (i.e. “ripped apart”) and I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current” used in physics) all placed “in” DATE (i.e. “time”), like so: D(IF-FE-RENT-I)ATE.

32. Determined current passing round grid, initially (12)

Answer: INTRANSIGENT (i.e. “determined”). Solution is I (a recognised abbreviation of “current” as we’ve just covered) followed by TRANSIENT (i.e. “passing”) once it has been placed “round” G (i.e. “grid, initially”, i.e. the first letter of “grid”), like so: I-TRANSI(G)ENT.
[EDIT: Thanks to Richard in the comments for correcting this one. “Current” is IN, not I, so the solution is IN-TRANSI(G)ENT. Time was getting on when I wrote this bit! Thanks again, Richard! – LP]

33. Change ringers, inept and full of boldness (12)

Answer: ENTERPRISING (i.e. “full of boldness”). “Change” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RINGERS INEPT.

37. Came across old uniform cloth for staff in military design (10)

Answer: CAMOUFLAGE (i.e. “military design”). Solution is CAME wrapped around or placed “across” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet) and FLAG (i.e. “cloth for staff”), like so: CAM(O-U-FLAG)E.

38. Instrument surgeon initially inserted in low spine (6,4)

Answer: BASSET HORN (i.e. “instrument”). Solution is S (i.e. “surgeon initially”, i.e. the first letter of “surgeon”) placed “in” BASE (i.e. “low”) and followed by THORN (i.e. “spine”), like so: BA(S)SE-THORN. One gotten from the wordplay.

41. Cover song about street woman (9)

Answer: DUSTSHEET (i.e. “cover”). Solution is DUET (i.e. “song”) placed “about” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”) and SHE (i.e. “woman”), like so: DU(ST-SHE)ET.

42. Caught Michael shaking for addictive drug (8)

Answer: CHEMICAL (i.e. “addictive drug”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) followed by an anagram (indicated by “shaking”) of MICHAEL, like so: C-HEMICAL.

46. European cause is possibly controversial (7)

Answer: EMOTIVE (i.e. “possibly controversial”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by MOTIVE (i.e. “cause”).

47. As told, look after united country (6)

Answer: UGANDA (i.e. “country”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “as told”) of GANDER (i.e. “look”) placed “after” U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”), like so: U-GANDA.

48. Let It Be holds record for group (6)

Answer: SEPTET (i.e. “group” of seven). Solution is STET (i.e. “let it be” – when you cross something out you didn’t mean to, you’d write STET to show this) wrapped around or “holding” EP (i.e. an Extended Play “record”), like so: S(EP)TET. A clue that scans rather well.

50. Left one article in moving supply (5)

Answer: LITHE (i.e. “moving supply” – supply being the adverb form of “supple”. Sneaky, yes?). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and THE (i.e. “article”).

52. Record finish for a race (4)

Answer: TAPE. Solution satisfies “record”, as in to tape something, and “finish for a race”.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1424

It seems we’re heading towards stinkerdom again with a grid riddled with exotic solutions and a bunch of dead guys, not to mention a handful of overly vague and tenuous clues. Hardly my favourites. Now that the dust has settled, though, I can’t say this one was too bad. We’ve certainly seen worse.

Anyway, before we get all misty-eyed and I pull up a chair to talk some more, let’s get down to why you’ve come here. The answers! You’ll find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

As ever, a spot of hawking before we jump in. If you’ve got a pesky Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s eluded your grey matter lately then you might find some satisfaction in my Just For Fun page. If you’d like to give an old alter-ego an ego boost, you could do a lot worse than browsing a few book reviews knocking about the place, or, if you’ve got 20 minutes to kill, a short(ish) story of mine.

Anyway, before I start pulling out the family photos and you get all eyeing-the-exits, let’s get down to why you’ve come here.

To the answers!

LP

Across clues

1. Supporters, British, stopping Polish players (5,4)

Answer: BRASS BAND (i.e. “players”). Solution is BRAS (i.e. “supporters”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) once it has been placed in or “stopping” SAND (i.e. “[to] polish”), like so: BRAS-S(B)AND.

6. Minor injury certainly no handicap (7)

Answer: SCRATCH. Solution satisfies “minor injury” and “no handicap” – golf players with no handicap will start from a zero score, i.e. start from scratch. “Certainly” seems a redundant word, so there might be something extra I’ve missed.

10. Elm in court outside a hotel (5)

Answer: WAHOO (i.e. a variety of “elm”, it says here). Solution is WOO (i.e. “[to] court”) wrapped around or placed “outside” of A and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: W(A-H)OO.

13. Poor parrots: they’ve no more fun! (3,6,4)

Answer: THE PARTY’S OVER (i.e. “no more fun”). “Poor” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PARROTS THEY’VE.

14. Mole dwells across river bank (5,4)

Answer: LIVER SPOT (i.e. “mole” – too tenuous for me. While they are both marks found on the skin, I’d argue moles and liver spots are not the same. You don’t see many kids with liver spots, do you?) Solution is LIVES (i.e. “dwells”) wrapped around or placed “across” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”) and followed by POT (i.e. “bank”, as in a pot of money), like so: LIVE(R)S-POT. Ho hum.

15. Recalled church matter being out of place (7)

Answer: ECTOPIC, meaning “in an abnormal position” (i.e. “out of place”). Solution is CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) which is reversed (indicated by “recalled”) followed by TOPIC (i.e. “matter”), like so: EC-TOPIC. One gotten from the wordplay and a brute force of my Chambers.

16. Ring to cancel film (7)

Answer: ANNULET (i.e. “ring”). Solution is ANNUL (i.e. “cancel”) followed by ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra-Terrestrial).

17. Ball game, I sense, doing massive harm (7)

Answer: RUINOUS (i.e. “doing massive harm”). Solution is RU (i.e. “ball game”, specifically Rugby Union) followed by I and then NOUS (i.e. “sense”).

18. New arrangement for writers bears fruit (12)

Answer: STRAWBERRIES (i.e. “fruit”). “New arrangement for” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WRITERS BEARS.

20. Meeting place in New Zealand at first overused, sadly (10)

Answer: RENDEZVOUS (i.e. “meeting place”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sadly”) of NZ (i.e. “New Zealand at first”) and OVERUSED.

23. Secret miscreant kept from head (5)

Answer: INNER (i.e. “secret”). Solution is SINNER (i.e. “miscreant”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “kept from head”).

24. Hours in science laboratory being oddly ignored put out Soviet leader (9)

Answer: Konstantin CHERNENKO (i.e. “Soviet leader” immediately before Gorbachev). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hours”) placed “in” CERN (i.e. “science laboratory”, specifically the European Organisation of Nuclear Research. Also the birthplace of the world wide web, thanks to Sir Tim Berners-Lee) and followed by EN (i.e. “being oddly ignored”, i.e. the word BEING with the odd letters removed) and then KO (i.e. “put out”, as in to knock someone out), like so: C(H)ERN-EN-KO. One gotten from the wordplay.

25. Share personal perspective on what’s expected (7)

Answer: PARTAKE (i.e. “share”). Solution is TAKE (i.e. “personal perspective”) placed after PAR (i.e. “what’s expected”), like so: PAR-TAKE.

26. We cancel short journey to find convenience store (3-4,4)

Answer: ONE-STOP SHOP (i.e. “convenience store”). Solution is ONE STOPS (i.e. “we cancel”) followed by HOP (i.e. “short journey”), like so: ONE-STOPS-HOP.

28. In a way, uproar something we can learn from (11)

Answer: INSTRUCTION (i.e. “something we can learn from”). Solution is IN followed by ST (i.e. “a way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a “street”) and then RUCTION (i.e. “uproar”).

30. Follower of popular opinion, note, Strasbourg politician with letter (11)

Answer: TIMEPLEASER (i.e. “follower of popular opinion”, often cynically). Solution is TI (i.e. “note”, in the doh-ray-me fashion) followed by MEP (i.e. “Strasbourg politician”, specifically a Member of the European Parliament) and then LEASER (i.e. “letter”, both descriptive of a landlord). Cool word. I like it.

32. Salesman sulks, cross, turning to see waiting journalist? (11)

Answer: DOORSTEPPER (i.e. “[door-to-door] salesman”). Solution is PETS (i.e. “sulks”) and ROOD (i.e. “[Christ’s] cross”) both reversed (indicated by “turning”). That get’s me DOOR-STEP. As for the PER bit, I’m knackered. Anyone know why this would be “to see waiting journalist”?
[EDIT: Thanks to Gareth in the comments for clarifying this one. It turns out I’d misread a clump of definitions in my Chambers, and that a DOORSTEPPER was a “waiting journalist”. Salesman would therefore be a REP, which, when reversed with the others, gets you DOOR-STEP-PER. Thanks, Gareth! – LP]

34. Place for young and old train staff: Home Counties line? (7)

Answer: NURSERY (i.e. “place for young”). Solution is NUR (i.e. “old train staff”, specifically the National Union of Railwaymen, dissolved in 1990) followed by SE (i.e. “home counties”, i.e. the South East of England) and RY (a recognised abbreviation of “railway”, i.e. “line”).

36. Recovering, if diminished: lampoon them endlessly (2,3,4)

Answer: ON THE MEND (i.e. “recovering”). “If diminished” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: LAMPO(ON THEM END)LESSLY.

38. Shackles press with these (5)

Answer: IRONS. Solution satisfies “shackles” and “press with these”.

39. One predicting a storm, perhaps, if indeed listened to (7,3)

Answer: WEATHER EYE (i.e. “one predicting a storm, perhaps”). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “listened to”) of WHETHER (i.e. “if”) and AYE (i.e. “indeed”).

41. Win big game following exclusive article (5,3,4)

Answer: SCOOP THE POOL (i.e. “win big”). Solution is POOL (i.e. “game”) placed after or “following” SCOOP (i.e. “[newspaper] exclusive”) and THE (i.e. “article”). I get the phrase but can’t recall seeing or hearing its use all that often.

45. Appropriate company to tour capitals presenting opera (7)

Answer: NABUCCO (i.e. “opera” by Verdi. No, me neither.) Solution is NAB (i.e. to steal or “appropriate”) and CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) wrapped around or “touring” UC (i.e. “capitals”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Upper Case), like so: NAB-(UC)-CO. Made. To. Fit.

46. Cunning US president with backing of forty on the left (7)

Answer: FOXLIKE (i.e. “cunning”). Solution is IKE (i.e. nickname of “US president” Dwight Eisenhower) with both OF reversed (indicated by “backing”) and XL (i.e. “[Roman numerals] forty”) placed “on the left” of it, like so: FO-XL-IKE.

47. Moslem doctrine to be poorly interpreted at first (7)

Answer: ISMAILI (i.e. “Moslem”, specifically “one of a sect of Shiite Muslims that recognises Ismail, son of the sixth imam, as the true seventh imam” (Chambers). So there you go.) Solution is ISM (i.e. “doctrine”) followed by AIL (i.e. “to be poorly”) and I (i.e. “interpreted at first”, i.e. the first letter of “interpreted”). One gotten purely from the wordplay.

49. Lasting mark left by short old Greek composer (9)

Answer: SCARLATTI (i.e. “composer” – there are a few to choose from, it seems). Solution is SCAR (i.e. “lasting mark”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and ATTIC (i.e. “old Greek” – Attic being of Attica, the region around Athens) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: SCAR-L-ATTI. Another gotten partially from the wordplay, once I’d started typing “composer scarl” into Google. Who needs knowledge, eh, folks?

50. In this selection process keen that woman should block top illustrator? (13)

Answer: CHERRYPICKING (i.e. “selection process”). Solution is CRY (i.e. to mourn or “keen”) wrapped around or “blocked” by HER (i.e. “that woman”) and followed by PIC KING (i.e. “top illustrator”, PIC being short for “picture”), like so: C(HER)RY-PIC-KING.

52. Wed, perhaps, without dread, vacuous PA (5)

Answer: DADDY (i.e. “pa” – ignore the misleading uppercase text). Solution is DAY (i.e. “Wed, perhaps”, being a recognised abbreviation of Wednesday) wrapped around or placed “without” DD (i.e. “dread, vacuous”, i.e. the word “dread” with all its middle letters removed), like so: DA(DD)Y. One of those clues that has you facepalming the moment you twig it. Well played.

53. City, close to championship, continue to be relaxed? (7)

Answer: PRESTON (i.e. “city”). Solution is P (i.e. “close to championship”, i.e. the last letter of “championship”) followed by REST ON (i.e. “continue to be relaxed”).

54. Henry abused his power to punish severely (9)

Answer: HORSEWHIP (i.e. “punish severely”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a unit of measurement we’ve seen used in another grid recently) followed by an anagram (indicated by “abused”) of HIS POWER, like so: H-ORSEWHIP. A clue that scans rather well.

Down clues

1. Prepares for fried dish or buffets (7)

Answer: BATTERS. Solution satisfies “prepares for fried dish” and “buffets”. Another well-worked clue.

2. Leaves stripper to run after a lowdown female (5,6)

Answer: AGENT ORANGE, a defoliant used as a chemical agent in the Vietnam war (i.e. “leaves stripper”). Solution is TO and R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in several ball games) placed “after” A and GEN (i.e. “lowdown”), then followed by ANGE (i.e. “female”, being a shortened form of Angela), like so: A-GEN-TO-R-ANGE.

3. Maidenhead maybe wanted in exchange for Slough (5)

Answer: SWAMP (i.e. “slough” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is M (i.e. “Maidenhead”, i.e. the first letter of “maiden”) placed “in” SWAP (i.e. “exchange”), like so: SWA(M)P.

4. A Conservative out to break with EU prompt! (7)

Answer: AUTOCUE (i.e. “prompt”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to break”) of A, C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”), OUT and EU. Cleverly done.

5. Some French boy (3)

Answer: DES. Solution satisfies “some French”, i.e. the French for “of the” or “some”, and “boy”, as in a boy’s name. My French extends little beyond un, deux, trois and Le Piat D’or, but this feels like another tenuous clue.

6. A number spotted, happening to be paying visit (9)

Answer: SEVENTEEN (i.e. “a number”). Solution is SEEN (i.e. “spotted”) wrapped around or being “paid a visit” by EVENT (i.e. “happening”), like so: S(EVENT)EEN.

7. Hardly ever is gran’s meat lean (6)

Answer: RARELY (i.e. “hardly ever”). Another where the setter loses me, so watch out. I get that meat can be prepared “rarely”, but that about all the heat I’m getting from this one.
[EDIT: Gareth comes to the rescue again here, pointing out that the solution is RA-RELY, comprising RA (i.e. “Gran’s meat”, i.e. the middle letters of “gran”) and RELY (i.e. “lean [on]”). Thanks, Gareth! – LP]

8. An age to cultivate some neat approach in (4,3,4,4,4)

Answer: TILL THE COWS COME HOME, denoting a long time (i.e. “an age”). Solution is TILL (i.e. “to cultivate [land]”) followed by THE COWS (i.e. “some neat” – an alternative meaning of “neat” covers cattle such as cows and oxen) then COME (i.e. “approach”) and HOME (i.e. “in”, as in “at home”).

9. Hung around with over-edacious hosts (7)

Answer: HOVERED (i.e. “hung around”). “Hosts” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: WIT(H OVER-ED)ACIOUS.

10. With place for page, it’s a sound organ or piano! (9)

Answer: WURLITZER (i.e. “organ or piano”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) followed by URL (i.e. “place for [web]page”, short for a Uniform Resource Locator) then a homophone (indicated by “sound”) of IT’S A.

11. 3 lovers of trendy music and books in need of foreign friend (11)

Answer: HIPPOPOTAMI (i.e. “3 lovers” – the answer to 3d is SWAMP. Another one that is too vague for my liking). Solution is HIP (i.e. “trendy”) followed by POP (i.e. “music”), then OT (i.e. “books”, specifically the Old Testament of The Bible) and AMI (i.e. “foreign friend” – the French for “friend” being “ami”). Next!

12. Grass is overheard identifying conspirator (5)

Answer: Titus OATES, who fabricated a plot to kill Charles II (i.e. “conspirator”). “Is overheard” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of OATS (i.e. “grass”). A well-worked clue, but I’d no idea who this was. (Pats Google gently.)

16. Book is bio my foster father and I twice reworked (1,5,7,2,4)

Answer: A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (i.e. a well-known “book” by Professor Stephen Hawking). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “reworked”) of BIO MY FOSTER FATHER, I and I (indicated by “I twice”).

19. Monitor calls on regulator to support women’s group (7)

Answer: WIRETAP (i.e. “monitor calls”). Solution is RE (i.e. “on”, i.e. about – think email responses) and TAP (i.e. “regulator”) both preceded (indicated by “to support” – this being a down clue) by WI (i.e. “women’s group”, specifically the Women’s Institute), like so: WI-RE-TAP.

21. It’s something in S Africa to catch wild bears with nets (9)

Answer: STEENBRAS (i.e. “it’s something in S Africa to catch”, namely a kind of fish. Big buggers too, if Google Images is any judge.) “Wild” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BEARS and NETS. The wordplay was fairly obvious, but only gotten once I’d solved all the intersecting letters.

22. Way of paying complete with pen and pad, finally (2,4)

Answer: IN KIND (i.e. “way of paying”). Solution is INK IN (i.e. “complete with pen”) followed by D (i.e. “pad, finally”, i.e. the last letter of “pad”).

23. Pass papers on, and empty textbook, immediately (1,4,4)

Answer: I DON’T KNOW (i.e. “pass”). Solution is ID (i.e. identification “papers”) followed by ON, then TK (i.e. “empty textbook”, i.e. the word “textbook” with all of its middle letters removed) and NOW (i.e. “immediately”).

24. Like some metal to get hold of annually? (7)

Answer: COPPERY (i.e. “like some metal”). Solution is COP (i.e. “to get hold of”) followed by PER Y (i.e. “annually”, with Y being a recognised abbreviation of “year”, i.e. per year).

25. Put out of pub, ancient one associated with The Sun’s top journalist (7)

Answer: PHRASED (i.e. “put”). Solution is PH (i.e. “pub”, specifically a Public House) followed by RA (i.e. “ancient one associated with the sun” – ignoring the misleading capitalisation – referring to the sun god Ra) then S (i.e. “the sun’s top”, i.e. the first letter of “sun” – a nice bit of recycling) and ED (i.e. “journalist”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of an “editor”).

27. Potentially even state celebration should involve one (6)

Answer: PARITY (i.e. “potentially even state”). Solution is PARTY (i.e. “celebration”) wrapped around or “involving” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: PAR(I)TY.

29. Shift from English – earlier try to abandon science (7)

Answer: CHEMISE (i.e. “shift”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) with CHEMISTRY (i.e. “science”) placed “earlier” once the TRY has been removed (indicated by “try to abandon”), like so: CHEMIS-E.

31. Middle-of-the-road leader on the right dismissed hawk (6-5)

Answer: MORTAR-BOARD (i.e. “hawk” – this can be a board upon which plasterers hold plaster or mortar while they work. Hmm. You learn something every day in this game.) Solution is MOR (a recognised abbreviation of “middle-of-the-road”) followed by STARBOARD (i.e. “on the right [of a ship]”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “leader…dismissed”), like so: MOR-TARBOARD.

33. Still to determine its outcome? (5,6)

Answer: PHOTO FINISH (i.e. “outcome”). Solution riffs on how photographs or “stills” are used “to determine” who won a race. You get the idea.

35. European city hall condemned, rightly (9)

Answer: ETHICALLY (i.e. “rightly”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “condemned”) of CITY HALL, like so: E-THICALLY.

37. A mathematician’s large audience excited (9)

Answer: EUCLIDEAN (i.e. “a mathematician’s”, i.e. pertaining to the Ancient Greek mathematician Euclid). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “excited”) of L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and AUDIENCE.

40. Wretched uprising, frequently coming in place of protest? (7)

Answer: ROOFTOP (i.e. “place of protest”). Solution is POOR (i.e. “wretched”) reversed (indicated by “uprising” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around or allowing to “come in” OFT (i.e. “frequently”), like so: RO(OFT)OP.

42. Excursionist, one setting off? (7)

Answer: TRIPPER. Solution satisfies “excursionist” and “one setting off [an alarm]”.

43. Confined to bed – but no more stories? (5,2)

Answer: LYING UP. Solution satisfies “confined to bed” and “no more stories”, i.e. no more lies.

44. Missile briefly guided northwards, and across France (6)

Answer: EXOCET (i.e. “missile”). Solution is COXED (i.e. “guided”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “northwards” – this being a down clue) and followed by ET (i.e. “and across France”, i.e. the French for “and”), like so: EXOC-ET.

45. Edged forward and picked up bouquet? (5)

Answer: NOSED. Solution satisfies “edged forward” and smelled, i.e. “picked up bouquet”.

48. Exam’s ending with long, hard paper (5)

Answer: MACHE (i.e. “hard paper”). Solution is M (i.e. “exam’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “exam”) followed by ACHE (i.e. “long”).

51. Cheer swift runner coming up – not quite to the echo (3)

Answer: RAH (i.e. “cheer”). Solution is HARE (i.e. “swift runner”) with the E removed (indicated by “not quite to the echo” – echo being E in the phonetic alphabet) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “coming up” – this being another down clue).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1423

A welcome one-off switch to the 27×27 jumbo grids of old as The Times celebrates 90 years of their cryptic crossword. This one was very well done, with a lot of clues and solutions themed around the number 90 or the year 1930 or crosswords in general.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. A little housekeeping before we jump in. If you have a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s showing a few gaps then my Just For Fun page is the place to head. If horror stories are your bag then I have a few Reviews knocking about the place, and even a story of my own.

Right, that’s enough gabbing. To the answers! Meanwhile, after rattling out over 4,000 words of solutions over the last however many hours, I’m going to place these aching fingertips of mine into an ice bath. TTFN!

LP

Across clues

1. The number for today’s 45? (5,8,2,3)

Answer: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU (i.e. a song or “number”). The solution to 45d is TIMES CROSSWORD, and this puzzle celebrates its 90th birthday. The first of many themed clues.

10. Ninety-ton load originally transported with great diligence (8)

Answer: INTENTLY (i.e. “with great diligence”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “transported”) of NINETY, T (a recognised abbreviation of “ton”) and L (i.e. “load originally”, i.e. the first last of “load”). Themed.

16. Miss, perhaps, loch, with fog to the west (5)

Answer: HAZEL (i.e. “miss, perhaps”, i.e. a girl’s name). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “loch”) with HAZE (i.e. “fog”) placed before or “to the west” of it, like so: HAZE-L.

17. Came out with partner once requested? (9)

Answer: EXCLAIMED (i.e. “came out with”). Solution is EX (i.e. “partner once”) followed by CLAIMED (i.e. “requested”). Note the XC in the solution, being the Roman numerals for 90.

18. Drag couple, pushing wife back (3)

Answer: TOW (i.e. “drag”). Solution is TWO (i.e. “couple”) with the W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) sent to the “back”.

19. Carbon copy perfectly covers a composition (7)

Answer: TOCCATA (i.e. “composition”). Solution is CC (i.e. “carbon copy”) placed in or “covered by” TO A T (i.e. “perfectly”) and followed by A, like so: TO-(CC)-A-T-A. An easier get thanks to this solution appearing relatively recently in puzzle 1417.

20. Times cryptic has bagged large one (9)

Answer: MILESTONE. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cryptic”) of TIMES wrapped around or “bagging” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and followed by ONE, like so: MI(L)EST-ONE. In the general context of the puzzle, the Times crossword can be said to have passed a significant milestone. Good clue!

21. Piano master given one month by notorious landlord (11)

Answer: Sergei RACHMANINOV (i.e. “piano master”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and NOV (i.e. “month”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of November) both preceded “by” Peter RACHMAN (i.e. “notorious landlord”, who exploited and threatened his tenants to such an extent that his name became synonymous with the practice), like so: RACHMAN-I-NOV. Helpfully, today’s Times feedback column contained a piece on the accepted spelling(s) of Rachmaninov. Which was nice.

23. See, in singular working method, way to extend playtime (3-2)

Answer: SLO-MO (i.e. “way to extend playtime”). Solution is LO (i.e. “see”, as in “lo and behold”) placed “in” between S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) and MO (i.e. “working method”, or Modus Operandi), like so: S-(LO)-MO.

24. Flash detective with Latin touch (7)

Answer: MODICUM (i.e. “touch”). Solution is MO (i.e. “flash”, both descriptive of a short period of time) followed by DI (i.e. “detective”, specifically a Detective Inspector) and CUM (i.e. “with Latin”, i.e. the Latin for “with”).

25. In short, why you can’t ring chemist (5)

Answer: Alfred NOBEL (i.e. “chemist”). Solution is NO BELL (i.e. “why you can’t ring”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “in short”).

26. Forward social security packs for one (5)

Answer: SASSY (i.e. “forward”). Solution is SS (a recognised abbreviation of “social security”) placed in or “packing” SAY (i.e. for example or “for one”), like so: SA(SS)Y.

28. Advance payments: one way to get by (7)

Answer: SUBSIST (i.e. “to get by”). Solution is SUBS (i.e. “advance payments”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”).

29. “Meet in Colorado” – I like this clue! (4,6)

Answer: COME ACROSS (i.e. “meet”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “Colorado”) followed by ME (i.e. “I” from the point of view of the setter) and ACROSS (i.e. “like this clue”, this being an across clue).

31. Running to ground, maybe, voracious predator turning on swallow (8)

Answer: DOWNFLOW (i.e. “swallow”). This feels a bit weak to me – I’d argue swallowing is a positive action and a downflow to be passive. I could also be overthinking this. Either way, watch out. My solution is DOWN (i.e. “running to ground, maybe” – if you are running prey to ground then you are downing them) followed by WOLF (i.e. “voracious predator”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: DOWN-FLOW.
[EDIT: Thanks to Mick in the comments for offering a better explanation of this one. The operative phrase here is “running to ground, maybe”, not “swallow”, as in water flowing or running down to the ground. The solution is therefore DOWN (i.e. “swallow”) placed before WOLF, as described above. – LP]

33. Grand performance’s finale for circus clown (7)

Answer: AUGUSTE (i.e. “circus clown”). Solution is AUGUST (i.e. “grand”) followed by E (i.e. “performance’s finale”, i.e. the last letter of “performance”).

35. Cricket team after hotel (5)

Answer: INDIA. Solution satisfies “cricket team” and “after hotel”, referring to the phonetic alphabet where Hotel is H and India is I.

37. Hard test occurring at regular intervals (5)

Answer: HORAL, which describes something happening every hour (i.e. “at regular intervals”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in pencil grading) followed by ORAL (i.e. “test”). One gotten through the wordplay, if I’m honest.

38. Children’s doctor lacking energy to work out (4)

Answer: SUSS (i.e. “to work out”). Solution is children’s author Dr SEUSS (i.e. “children’s doctor”) with the E removed (indicated by “lacking energy”, E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”). A small nod to the theme, given how solvers suss cryptic clues.

39. Touching, moving letters from dog trainer (2,6,2)

Answer: IN REGARD TO (i.e. “touching [on]”). “Moving letters from” indicates anagram. Solution is anagram of DOG TRAINER.

41. Hot, wearing kit attached to mat – it’s 90 degrees! (5-5)

Answer: RIGHT-ANGLE (i.e. “it’s 90 degrees” – a nod to the puzzle’s theme again). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”) placed in between or “wearing” RIG (i.e. “kit”) and TANGLE (i.e. “[to] mat”), like so: RIG-(H)-TANGLE.

43. Extravagant Times clue for “Einstein”? (7,8)

Answer: NAUGHTY NINETIES, referring to the 1890s, not the comparatively staid 1990s. Anyway, “extravagant times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation. “Clue for ‘Einstein’” indicates the solution forms a cryptic clue for “Einstein” – an anagram of NINETIES, with “naughty” being an anagram indicator. Clever stuff. I like it.

46. Some of our best, and biggest, friends win dosh and flourish, unexpectedly (5,10)

Answer: IRISH WOLFHOUNDS (i.e. “some of our best, and biggest, friends” – referring to dogs being man’s best friend and how Irish wolfhounds are big old buggers. I’m not much of a dog person, but I have always had a soft spot for Irish wolfhounds. I’d get one but its kennel would be bigger than my house.) “Unexpectedly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WIN DOSH and FLOURISH.

49. Singles that are old: at least 90 (5-5)

Answer: FORTY-FIVES (i.e. “[vinyl record] singles that are old” – ask your parents, kids). Solution also satisfies “at least 90”, 90 being the first multiple of 45. Another nod to the puzzle’s theme, there.

53. Country girl left a party held by Queen Victoria (2,8)

Answer: EL SALVADOR (i.e. “country”). Solution is ELSA (i.e. “girl”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and A DO (i.e. “a party”) once it has been placed in or “held by” VR (i.e. “Queen Victoria”, or Victoria Regina), like so: ELSA-L-V(A-DO)R. After clean missing GABON in last week’s puzzle, I was pleased to quickly nail this one.

54. What solvers are keen to fill? Not quite keen, on reflection (4)

Answer: GRID (i.e. “what solvers are keen to fill”). Solution is DIRGE (i.e. “keen” – an alternative definition describes this as a “lamentation over the dead” (Chambers)) with the last letter removed (indicated by “not quite”). The remainder is then reversed (indicated by “on reflection”). Another good clue, and another small nod to the theme.

56. Live outside Rugby by backward out-of-town area (5)

Answer: EXURB (i.e. “out-of-town area”). Solution is BE (i.e. “live”) placed around or “outside” of RU (i.e. “rugby”, specifically Rugby Union) and X (i.e. “by”, as in the multiplication symbol), and the whole reversed (indicated by “backward”), like so: E(X-UR)B. One gotten solely through the wordplay. Cool word, though.

58. Film for setter? (5)

Answer: LAYER. Solution satisfies “film” and “setter”, as in one who sets or lays something.

60. For a song in Italian, what a carry on! (7)

Answer: CHEAPLY (i.e. “for a song”). Solution is CHE (i.e. “in Italian, what”, i.e. the Italian of “what” – thank goodness for Google Translate, eh, folks?) followed by A and PLY (i.e. to make one’s way or “carry on”).

62. Sanction attendant to find a place for 45, most days (4,4)

Answer: BACK PAGE (i.e. “a place for 45, most days” – another themed clue, the solution to 45d is TIMES CROSSWORD, which is often found on the back page of the newspaper). Solution is BACK (i.e. “sanction”) followed by PAGE (i.e. “[boy] attendant”).

63. Explains and edits a clue after revision (10)

Answer: ELUCIDATES (i.e. “explains”). “After revision” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EDITS A CLUE. Another nicely worked little nod to the crossword theme.

66. Charged to company blessed person’s expenses! (7)

Answer: ONCOSTS (i.e. “expenses”). Costs, then. Anyway, solution is ON (i.e. “charged”) followed by CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and ST’S (i.e. “blessed person’s”, being a recognised abbreviation of “saint” made possessive).

68. Sudden attack, somewhat uncivil, ungentlemanly (5)

Answer: LUNGE (i.e. “sudden attack”). “Somewhat” indicates solution is hidden in the clue, like so: UNCIVI(L UNGE)NTLEMANLY.

70. Place mostly full of parasites to get caught in (5)

Answer: LOCUS (i.e. the “place” of something). Solution is LOUSY (i.e. “full of parasites”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped around or “getting” C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in several ball games), like so: LO(C)US.

71. Roughly holds sibling’s body (7)

Answer: CHASSIS (i.e. “body”). Solution is C (i.e. “roughly”, as in a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by HAS (i.e. “holds”) and SIS (i.e. “sibling”, being a shortened form of “sister”).

73. Mostly when jumbo appears easy, oddly is gratifying (5)

Answer: SATES (i.e. “is gratifying”). Solution is SAT (i.e. “mostly when jumbo appears” – keeping with the theme of the puzzle, this refers to a shortened form of Saturday, when the Times Jumbo is usually published) followed by ES (i.e. “easy, oddly”, i.e. the odd letters of EASY). Another good clue!

74. It’s change you must accept from extremely lovable female carer! (5,6)

Answer: LEGAL TENDER (i.e. “it’s change you must accept”). Solution is LE (i.e. “extremely lovable”, i.e. the first and last letters of “lovable”) followed by GAL (i.e. “female”) and TENDER (i.e. “carer”). Another good ‘un.

76. Plant from study picked up at front of shop (4,5)

Answer: REED GRASS (i.e. “plant”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of READ (i.e. “study”) placed in “front of” GRASS (i.e. to “shop” someone to the police).

78. Like 9 and 0, for instance – neither one thing nor the other to Shakespeare (3-4)

Answer: ODD-EVEN. Solution satisfies “like 9 and 0, for instance” (I’ll let the debate about whether 0 is an even number rage elsewhere) and “neither one thing nor the other to Shakespeare”, referring to a quote from Othello about midnight: “at this odd-even and dull watch o’ the night”.

79. House-sitter concealing a plot (3)

Answer: MAP (i.e. “plot”). Solution is MP (i.e. “house-sitter”, specifically a Member of Parliament who sits in the House of Commons) wrapped around or “concealing” A, like so: M(A)P.

80. (Ad)dressing down? (7-2)

Answer: TALKING-TO. Solution satisfies “dressing down” and, without the hyphen, “addressing”.

82. One appearing in drag – one in Pirandello? (5)

Answer: LUIGI “Pirandello”, Italian dramatist. No, me neither. Solution is LUG (i.e. “drag”) with I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) “appearing in” it and then followed by another I (ditto “one”), like so: LU(I)G-I. The second “in” seems unfairly misleading here, suggesting solvers also squeeze the second I into LUG. Either way, not a classic.

83. Senior women, old, long in post, going back (8)

Answer: DOYENNES (i.e. “senior women”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and YEN (i.e. to yearn or “long” for) placed “in” SEND (i.e. “[to] post”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “going back”), like so: D(O-YEN)NES.

84. What’s seen end of Romanov – our one irrefutably cryptic! (8,10)

Answer: FEBRUARY REVOLUTION (i.e. “what’s seen end of Romanov [dynastic rule in Russia]”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cryptic”) of V (i.e. “end of Romanov”, i.e. the last letter of “Romanov”) and OUR ONE IRREFUTABLY. Nicely played.

Down clues

1. Gases with unpleasant smell in flat (2-3)

Answer: HO-HUM (i.e. uninteresting or “flat”). Solution is H and O (i.e. “gases”, specifically chemical symbols for hydrogen and oxygen) followed by HUM (i.e. “unpleasant smell”).

2. Revolutionary poser with unknown values being tried for Brain-teasers’ World (9)

Answer: PUZZLEDOM (i.e. “brain-teasers’ world” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is MODEL (i.e. “poser”) followed by Z and Z (i.e. “unknown values” – setters love referring to X, Y and Z in their solutions as “unknowns”), then UP (i.e. “being tried”, i.e. being up in court). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “revolutionary”), like so: PU-ZZ-LEDOM.

3. Bag for yellow sock lay abandoned (4,3)

Answer: YOLK SAC (i.e. “bag for [egg] yellow”). “Abandoned” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOCK LAY.

4. Fateful day when leader’s abandoned pair flanking demo? (4,2,5)

Answer: IDES OF MARCH (i.e. “fateful day” for Julius Caesar). Solution is SIDES OF MARCH (i.e. “pair flanking demo”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “leader’s abandoned”).

5. What could be long under end of snout (5)

Answer: TACHE, a contraction of “moustache”, i.e. “what could be … under end of snout”). Solution is ACHE (i.e. to “long” for) placed “under” T (i.e. “end of snout”, i.e. the last letter of “snout”), like so: T-ACHE. Another clue nicely played.

6. Tirade sent up charity race (8)

Answer: DIATRIBE (i.e. “tirade”). Solution is AID (i.e. “charity”) reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue) and followed by TRIBE (i.e. “race”), like so: DIA-TRIBE.

7. Regularly sampled syrup, my, that’s tasty! (3)

Answer: YUM (i.e. “that’s tasty”). “Regularly sampled” indicates the solution is derived by taking every other letter of SYRUP MY.

8. What solver may refer to when looking up identical medical conditions (7)

Answer: OEDEMAS (i.e. “medical conditions”). Solution is OED (i.e. “what solver may refer to”, specifically the Oxford English Dictionary) followed by SAME (i.e. “identical”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “when looking up” – this being a down clue), like so: OED-EMAS. One gotten purely through the wordplay.

9. Many Times newspaper plugs unsettled one (5)

Answer: OFTEN (i.e. “many times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is FT (i.e. “newspaper”, specifically the Financial Times) placed in or “plugging” an anagram (indicated by “unsettled”) of ONE, like so: O(FT)EN.

11. Locals show up in nanoseconds! (7)

Answer: NATIVES (i.e. “locals”). Solution is EVITA (i.e. musical “show”) which is reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and placed “in” NS (a recognised abbreviation of “nanoseconds”), like so: N(ATIVE)S.

12. A case perhaps for charging, out of old tax, interest on deposit (6,7)

Answer: EXCESS BAGGAGE (i.e. “a case perhaps for charging”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”), followed by CESS (i.e. “tax” – a new one on me, but it’s there in the dictionary), then BAG (i.e. “interest”, as “reading horror stories is my bag”) and GAGE (an archaic word for a pledge, i.e. “deposit” – another new one on me). Another solution with the numerals XC (i.e. 90).

13. Is to cease manufacturing warm coats for mothers-to-be? (3,6)

Answer: TEA COSIES (i.e. “warm coats for mothers-to-be” – this refers to a popular phrase “shall I be mother” when someone’s pouring a cuppa). “Manufactured” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS TO CEASE.

14. 1930 for Chinese show in Birmingham with parts exchanged… (4,2,3,5)

Answer: YEAR OF THE HORSE (i.e. “1930 for Chinese”). Solution is HORSE OF THE YEAR (i.e. “show in Birmingham”) with the YEAR and HORSE “parts exchanged”. Another nod to the puzzle’s theme.

15. …This year keen for some cricket? (6-6)

Answer: TWENTY-TWENTY. This seems a triple-header, being “this year” (i.e. 2020), “keen” (relating to 20-20 vision, perhaps) and “some cricket” (being the popular short-short form of the game). Most of these Jumbo Cryptics will be collected and republished in a few years’ time, so this clue might not work so well in future.

22. Insensitive request for a ring – receiving different sort (7)

Answer: CALLOUS (i.e. “insensitive”). Solution is CALL US (i.e. “request for a ring”) wrapped around or “receiving” O (i.e. a “different sort” of ring), like so: CALL-(O)-US.

24. Host nabbing posh family to help out (4,2)

Answer: MUCK IN (i.e. “to help out”). Solution is MC (i.e. “host”, specifically a Master of Ceremonies) wrapped around or “nabbing” U (i.e. “posh”, being a recognised abbreviation of the upper class – another favourite tell of some setters) and followed by KIN (i.e. “family”), like so: M(U)C-KIN.

25. Overheard refusals to touch kid’s hankie (4,3)

Answer: NOSE RAG (i.e. “hankie”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “overheard”) of NOES (i.e. “refusals”) placed beside or “touching” RAG (i.e. “[to] kid”).

27. Only be doing this having put away volume (4)

Answer: SOLE (i.e. “only”). Solution is SOLVE (i.e. “be doing this” from the point of view of us solvers when faced with this clue) with the V removed (indicated by “having put away volume” – V being a recognised abbreviation of “volume”).

30. Crawling out, mostly quiet (5)

Answer: AWASH (i.e. “crawling”). Solution is AWAY (i.e. “out”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and followed by SH (i.e. “quiet”), like so: AWA-SH.

32. Feeds small numbers at college, in High School (4-3)

Answer: NOSH-UPS (i.e. “feeds”). Solution is NOS (i.e. “small numbers”, i.e. a contraction of the word “numbers”) followed by UP (i.e. “at college” – another favourite of some solvers) once it has been wrapped around or placed “in” HS (a recognised abbreviation of “High School”), like so: NOS-H(UP)S.

33. The last word? Just what one needs? Yes, primarily (7)

Answer: AMENITY. Pure guess this, as I’ve no idea what the setter is playing at here. Amenity is a pleasantness or pleasing characteristic, neither sense of the word I can seem to crowbar into this clue. You might want to take this with a pinch of salt. My solution is AMEN (i.e. “the last word”) followed by IT (i.e. “just what one needs” – I mean, yeah, kinda, I guess I see it, but…) and Y (i.e. “yes, primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “yes”). There’s probably some quotation or something clever I’m missing that sheds light on this.

34. A game for the 45’s birthday party? (6)

Answer: CLUEDO (i.e. “a game”). The solution to 45d is TIMES CROSSWORD, so, when read as a CLUE DO – a do being a “party” – then the solution satisfies the clue.

36. There are stories from Welshman appearing in The Times etc (7)

Answer: DAILIES (i.e. newspapers such as “The Times etc”). When read as DAI LIES the solution also satisfies “stories from Welshman”.

40. Derby game involves four sort of shooting (5-2)

Answer: DRIVE-BY (i.e. “sort of shooting”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “game” as in something gamy or gone off) of DERBY wrapped around or “involving” IV (i.e. “[Roman numerals] four”), like so: DR(IV)EBY.

42. In turning up sibyl, a monastery’s deviant (7)

Answer: ANOMALY (i.e. “deviant”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “turning up” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: SIB(YL A MONA)STERY’S.

43. Less likely to spot one putting on one’s coat? (7)

Answer: NONDRIP. Solution riddles on people being less likely to be dripped on or “spotted” when “putting on” a coat of non-drip paint. That’s it, unless I’m missing something especially clever. Shouldn’t this solution have been hyphenated?

44. Removed from board, sulked (6)

Answer: HUFFED. Solution satisfies “removed from [draughts] board” – according to my Chambers, to huff is “to remove from the board for failing to make a possible capture” (blimey, who knew draughts was so complicated?) – and “sulked”.

45. This enigmatic item’s put out along with news (5,9)

Answer: TIMES CROSSWORD (i.e. “this”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “enigmatic”) of ITEM’S followed by CROSS (i.e. “put out”) and WORD (i.e. “the news”), like so: TIMES-CROSS-WORD. A more obvious nod to the puzzle’s theme.

47. 1930, where fifty percent of history is still (4,4,5)

Answer: HALF PAST SEVEN (i.e. “1930” as shown on a twenty-four-hour clock). Solution is HALF (i.e. “fifty percent”) followed by PAST (i.e. “of history”) then ‘S (a contraction of “is” – not keen on this, but there you go) and EVEN (i.e. “still”). Another themed clue.

48. Base bachelor quite keen for 90-minute affair (8,4)

Answer: FOOTBALL GAME (i.e. “90-minute affair”). Solution is FOOT (i.e. “base”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “bachelor”) and ALL GAME (i.e. “quite keen”). Another themed clue.

50. Disturbances after polling bringing change in Russia (7)

Answer: ROUBLES (i.e. “change in Russia”). Solution is TROUBLES (i.e. “disturbances”) after the first letter has been removed (indicated by “polling” – the act of cutting the tops of trees).

51. Ticked over five hundred large – that is five hundred – boxes! (5)

Answer: IDLED (i.e. “ticked over”). Solution is D (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five hundred”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) placed in or “boxed” by IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. er… “i.e.”) and D (again, “five hundred”), like so: I(D-L)E-D.

52. Emergency or upset thus besetting teacher (6)

Answer: CRISIS (i.e. “emergency”). Solution is SIC (i.e. “thus”) wrapped around or “besetting” SIR (i.e. “teacher”) and the whole reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue – like so: C(RIS)IS.

55. Might the setters pull a fast one? (7)

Answer: DOGSLED. Solution riddles on setters being a breed of dog, though I’m not entirely sure they’d be able to pull a dogsled with much speed! That’s it, unless I’m missing something clever.

57. Stick with this game – a version you’re still saddled with? (7,4)

Answer: BICYCLE POLO. Another riddly clue, this time riffing on how you would have a “stick with this game”. Bikes have “saddles”, as you’d have with horse-based polo. You get the idea.

59. Examine origins of special crossword at ninety (4)

Answer: SCAN (i.e. “examine”). “Origins of” indicates the solution is derived by taking the initial letters of SPECIAL CROSSWORD AT NINETY. Another themed clue.

61. Fervently, finally celebrated elite puzzling across 90 years (9)

Answer: EXCITEDLY (i.e. “fervently”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “puzzling”) of D (i.e. “finally celebrated”, i.e. the last letter of “celebrated”) and ELITE wrapped around or placed “across” XC (i.e. “[Roman numerals for] 90”) and then followed by Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”), like so: E(XC)ITEDL-Y. Another themed clue.

64. Conductor’s inaction’s outrageous (9)

Answer: Arturo TOSCANINI (i.e. “conductor”). “Outrageous” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INACTION’S. One I knew, weirdly!

65. Want to leave mark on financial institutions (8)

Answer: SCARCITY (i.e. “want”). Solution is SCAR (i.e. “to leave mark”) followed by CITY (i.e. “financial institutions”).

67. Offend Anglicans, passing round half of lewd gag (7)

Answer: SILENCE (i.e. “gag”). Solution is SIN (i.e. “offend”) and CE (i.e. “Anglicans”, i.e. the Church of England) wrapped “round” LE (i.e. “half of lewd”, specifically the first half of “lewd”), like so: SI(LE)N-CE.

69. Old German prince’s shocking treatment, in part after rising (7)

Answer: ELECTOR (i.e. “old German prince” – no, me neither). Solution is ECT (i.e. “shocking treatment”, specifically Electroconvulsive Therapy) placed “in” ROLE (i.e. “part”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “after rising” – this being a down clue), like so: EL(ECT)OR. One gotten from the wordplay alone. I suspect the next five things I read will be coincidentally stuffed full of electors.

72. Writer in The Guardian, or in Le Monde (7)

Answer: Maya ANGELOU (i.e. “writer”). Solution is ANGEL (i.e. “guardian” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by OU (i.e. “or in Le Monde”, Le Monde is a French newspaper, the French for “or” is “ou”. Another gotten solely from the wordplay and a quick check on Wikipedia.

75. Drinks picked up with ear drop (5)

Answer: LAPSE (i.e. “drop”). “Picked up with ear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of LAPS (i.e. “drinks”).

76. Like a difficult jumbo, not like the others? (5)

Answer: ROGUE. Solution satisfies “like a difficult jumbo”, as in a rogue elephant, and “not like the others”. Another themed clue.

77. Twig, at last, Times Cryptic Number One’s being recalled! (5)

Answer: SCION (i.e. “twig”). Solution is S and C (i.e. “at last, Times Cryptic”, i.e. the last letters of “Times” and “Cryptic”) followed by NO (a contraction of “number”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) once they have been reversed (indicated by “being recalled”), like so: S-C-(I-ON). Another themed clue.

81. Field of grass bound to need cutting (3)

Answer: LEA (i.e. “field of grass”). Solution is LEAP (i.e. “bound”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “to need cutting”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1422

One for the “okay” pile, spoiled for me thanks to a couple of irritating clues. Then again, it might just be me being grumpy. Either way, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them.

Before any of that, though, a spot of housekeeping. If you’ve come to grief at the hands of a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic then you might find enlightenment in my Just For Fun page. While I’ve got you here, I’ll also take this opportunity to thrust a few mostly horror-related book reviews under your nose, and even a short story, because I’m self-interested nice like that.

That’s all, folks. You can scroll down now.

LP

Across clues

1. Foodstuff succeeded with the best amongst us? (4,5)

Answer: SOUR CREAM (i.e. “foodstuff”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) followed by OUR CREAM (i.e. “the best amongst us”).

6. Fake pictures provided here for Jean and Alan (10)

Answer: ARTIFICIAL (i.e. “fake”). Solution is ART (i.e. “pictures”) followed by IF (i.e. “provided”), then ICI (i.e. “here for Jean”, Jean is a Frenchman’s name, the French for “here” is ICI) and AL (shortened form of “Alan”).

12. Part of UK without long road, strip in capital (7)

Answer: NAIROBI (i.e. “capital” of Kenya). Solution is NI (i.e. “part of UK”, specifically Northern Ireland) placed around or “without” AI (i.e. “long road”, specifically the A1 motorway) and ROB (i.e. “strip”), like so: N(AI-ROB)I.

13. Source of alcohol, two hits left at the end (5-4)

Answer: PUNCH-BOWL (i.e. “source of alcohol”). Solution is PUNCH and BLOW (i.e. “two hits”) with the L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) placed “at the end”.

14. Man on pitch backing team to be secure again (5)

Answer: REFIX (i.e. “secure again”). Solution is REF (i.e. “man on pitch”, specifically the referee) followed by XI (i.e. ” team”, specifically the Roman numerals for eleven) once it has been reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: REF-IX.

16. Poet expresses grief vocally in modern development (6,6)

Answer: MILTON KEYNES (i.e. “modern development”). Solution is John MILTON (i.e. “poet”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “vocally”) of KEENS (i.e. “expresses grief”).

17. He requests appeal, one about to break safe (10)

Answer: PETITIONER (i.e. “he requests”). Solution is IT (i.e. “[sex] appeal”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ON (i.e. “about”, as in “this book is on the subject of…”), all wrapped in or “breaking” PETER (a slang name for a safe – I remembered this usage from a previous puzzle), like so: PET(IT-I-ON)ER.

19. Home help with pets is arranged for evildoer (14)

Answer: MEPHISTOPHELES (i.e. “evildoer”). “Arranged” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HOME HELP and PETS IS. Another I remembered from a previous puzzle.

22. Swallowing drug, hassle at an end for peers (3,5)

Answer: AGE GROUP (i.e. “peers”). Solution is AGGRO (i.e. “hassle”) wrapped around or “swallowing” E (a recognised abbreviation of the “drug” ecstasy) and then followed by UP (i.e. “at an end”, as in “your time is up”), like so: AG(E)GRO-UP.

24. Like director’s second try to knock out Western (4,2)

Answer: TAKE TO (i.e. “[to] like”). Solution is TAKE TWO (i.e. “[film] director’s second try”) with the W (a recognised abbreviation of “Western”) removed (indicated by “to knock out…”).

25. Alcohol reporter’s failed to notice in a haze (6,4)

Answer: SCOTCH MIST (i.e. “haze”). Solution is SCOTCH (i.e. “alcohol”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reporter’s”) of MISSED (i.e. “failed to notice”).

26. Agile new figure, not feminine (5)

Answer: NIFTY (i.e. “agile”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) followed by FIFTY (i.e. “[numeric] figure”) with the first F removed (indicated by “not feminine” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “feminine”), like so: N-IFTY.

29. Possibly spots daredevil (4)

Answer: RASH. Solution satisfies “possibly spots” and “daredevil”.

30. Trash, always separate (8)

Answer: DISSEVER (i.e. “separate”). Solution is DISS (i.e. “[to] trash”) followed by EVER (i.e. “always”). One gotten through the wordplay.

32. No longer stocking fruit that’s past it (3,2,4)

Answer: OUT OF DATE. Solution satisfies “no longer stocking fruit” and “past it”.

34. Bound to keep Hanoverian king in a state of distress (9)

Answer: CHAGRINED (i.e. “in a state of distress”). Solution is CHAINED (i.e. “bound”) wrapped around or “keeping” GR (i.e. “Hanoverian king”, specifically the initials for Georgius Rex) like so: CHA(GR)INED.

35. Dissolute clergy look around for sweet stuff (8)

Answer: GLYCEROL (i.e. “sweet stuff”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dissolute”) of CLERGY followed by LO (i.e. “look”, as in “lo and behold”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “around”), like so: GLYCER-OL.

36. Stop pouring wine, having enough now for starters (4)

Answer: WHEN (i.e. “stop pouring”). “For starters” indicates the solution is derived by taking the initial letters of WINE HAVING ENOUGH NOW. Nicely worked.

39. Make confused request about Italian playmaker (5)

Answer: BEFOG (i.e. “make confused”). Solution is BEG (i.e. “request”) placed “about” Dario FO (i.e. “Italian playmaker” – no, me neither), like so: BE(FO)G.

40. Obstruct clerk maybe storing one statue (10)

Answer: FILIBUSTER (i.e. “obstruct”). Solution is FILER (i.e. “clerk maybe”) wrapped around or “storing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and BUST (i.e. “statue”), like so: FIL(I-BUST)ER.

42. Indian’s rule about summer month, reversing car (6)

Answer: JAGUAR (i.e. “car”). Solution is RAJ (i.e. “Indian’s rule”) wrapped “about” AUG (i.e. “summer month”, specifically August) and the whole “reversed”, like so: JA(GUA)R.

44. Are they adapted for the chase? (8)

Answer: CHEETAHS. “Adapted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE CHASE. In the context of the clue, cheetahs can be said to be well adapted for the chase, being a bit nippy. Nice clue.

46. Striving to enter agreement, clever for sure (14)

Answer: UNQUESTIONABLE (i.e. “for sure”). Solution is QUEST (i.e. “striving” – should that have been “strive”?) placed in or “entering” UNION (i.e. “agreement”) and followed by ABLE (i.e. “clever”). Not great.

48. Caul nun put awry with no respect for time (10)

Answer: UNPUNCTUAL (i.e. “with no respect for time”). “Awry” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CAUL NUN PUT.

49. Carry a dog with hip injured for medical procedure (12)

Answer: CARDIOGRAPHY (i.e. “medical procedure”). “Injured” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CARRY A DOG and HIP.

53. Musician’s muted then, touring ring road (5)

Answer: SORDO (i.e. “musician’s muted”, i.e. muted in musical lingo). Solution is SO (i.e. “then”) wrapped around or “touring” O (i.e. “ring”) and RD (a recognised abbreviation of “road”), like so: S(O-RD)O. One gotten from the wordplay.

54. Belief of US parent guarding wayward minors (9)

Answer: MORMONISM (i.e. “belief”). Solution is MOM (i.e. “US parent”) wrapped around or “guarding” an anagram (indicated by “wayward”) of MINORS, like so: MO(RMONIS)M.

55. Meal which a large driver might need, it’s said (4,3)

Answer: HIGH TEA (i.e. “meal”). “It’s said” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of HIGH TEE (i.e. “which a large driver might need” – driver, in this case, referring to a golf club).

56. People’s mood around English seaside resort (10)

Answer: FOLKESTONE (i.e. “seaside resort”). Solution is FOLK’S TONE (i.e. “people’s mood”) wrapped “around” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: FOLK(E)’S-TONE.

57. He brings in crop top during race by river (9)

Answer: HARVESTER (i.e. “he brings in crop”). Solution is VEST (i.e. “top”) placed in or “during” HARE (i.e. “[to] race”) and then followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: HAR(VEST)E-R.

Down clues

1. Spades work on the land in silence (5)

Answer: STILL (i.e. “in silence”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “spades” used in card games) followed by TILL (i.e. “work on the land”).

2. Medics run into spacecraft experts without force (10)

Answer: UROLOGISTS (i.e. “medics”). Solution is UFOLOGISTS (i.e. “spacecraft experts”) with the F removed (indicated by “without force” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “force”) and replaced by R (a recognised abbreviation of “run”).

3. Chirpy sorts caught disease (8)

Answer: CRICKETS (i.e. “chirpy sorts”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) followed by RICKETS (i.e. “disease”).

4. Sentry regularly maintaining redcap’s a dead man (5)

Answer: EMPTY (i.e. “a dead man” – referring to the informal name “dead men” given to empty beer bottles or cans – not one I’ve used myself, but it’s there in the dictionary). Solution is ETY (i.e. “sentry regularly”, i.e. every other letter of SENTRY) wrapped around or “maintaining” MP (i.e. “redcap” – a nickname for Military Police), like so: E(MP)TY. Tricky bugger!

5. Move daintily, satisfied about a food mixture (9)

Answer: MINCEMEAT (i.e. “food mixture”). Solution is MINCE (i.e. “move daintily”) followed by MET (i.e. “satisfied”) once it has been placed “about” A, like so: MINCE-ME(A)T.

6. Long hours in one’s embrace (4)

Answer: ACHE (i.e. to “long” for). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hours”) placed in ACE (i.e. “one” in cards), like so: AC(H)E.

7. Digger may have one phone, ringing bank (6)

Answer: TROWEL (i.e. “digger may have one”). Solution is TEL (i.e. “phone”, as in an abbreviated form of “telephone”) wrapped around or “ringing” ROW (i.e. “bank”), like so: T(ROW)EL.

8. By the way, you’ll find this bit of pie rank (7,7)

Answer: FILLING STATION (i.e. “by the way, you’ll find”, referring to how you’ll find filling stations at the sides of roads). Solution is FILLING (i.e. “bit of pie”) followed by STATION (i.e. “rank”).

9. Nick raving lunatic with iron blade (7,5)

Answer: CARVING KNIFE (i.e. “blade”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “lunatic”) of NICK RAVING followed by FE (chemical symbol of “iron”), like so: CARVINGKNI-FE.

10. Too welcoming female working for Spaniard (7)

Answer: ALFONSO (i.e. “Spaniard”, i.e. a Spanish man’s name). Solution is ALSO (i.e. “too”) wrapped around or “welcoming” F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) and ON (i.e. switched on or “working”), like so: AL(F-ON)SO.

11. Name remote switches for gauge (10)

Answer: ANEMOMETER (i.e. “[wind] gauge”). “Switches” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NAME REMOTE.

15. King rising excitedly to hype desert plant, say (9)

Answer: XEROPHYTE (i.e. “desert plant, say”). Solution is REX (Latin for “king”) reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue) and followed by an anagram (indicated by “excited”) of TO HYPE, like so: XER-OPHYTE. Cool word.

18. Allow Henry coats of armour gamely? It suggests no go (8)

Answer: LETHARGY (i.e. “it suggests [having] no go”). Solution is LET (i.e. “allow”) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “henry”, a unit of measurement used in physics – ignore the misleading capitalisation – a new one on me, I’ll admit) and then the first and last letters (indicated by “coats of”) ARMOUR and GREATLY, like so: LET-H-AR-GY.

20. Handle fish on southern British river (9)

Answer: PIKESTAFF (i.e. “handle”). Solution is PIKE (i.e. “fish”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “southern”) and TAFF (i.e. “British river”).

21. Sets of animals go off, one perhaps on horse (10)

Answer: PACKSADDLE (i.e. “one perhaps on horse”, referring to an item of riding gear). Solution is PACKS (i.e. “sets of animals”) followed by ADDLE (i.e. “[to] go off”).

23. What cooks have is pretension when cooking (3,7)

Answer: TIN OPENERS (i.e. “what cooks have”). “When cooking” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PRETENSION.

27. Second cry goes up – it’s very illuminating (5,4)

Answer: FLASH BULB (i.e. “it’s very illuminating”). Solution is FLASH (i.e. “second”, both short periods of time) followed by BLUB (i.e. “cry”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “goes up” – this being a down clue), like so: FLASH-BULB.

28. Good to stop paper’s error, which shows a trend (4,2,3,5)

Answer: SIGN OF THE TIMES (i.e. “trend”). Solution is SIN OF THE TIMES (i.e. “[news]paper’s error”) wrapped around or “stopped” by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: SI(G)N-OF-THE-TIMES.

31. See Bill grabbing country drifter (8)

Answer: VAGABOND (i.e. “drifter”). Not 100% on this one, so watch out. I get that V is “see” (being a recognised abbreviation of “vide”, Latin for “see” – I’ve seen this in a few puzzles now) and BOND can be “bill”, ignoring the misleading capitalisation. The wordplay would suggest “country” is then placed between these (indicated by “grabbing”), like so: V-(AGA)-BOND, but I can’t see why AGA would be “country”. Nothing’s jumping out at me in my Chambers or Oxford. My Bradford’s is dry on this one too, plus AGA isn’t a recognised three-letter code for a country. Even Wikipedia shrugs its shoulders. So, yeah, jiggered.
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve in the comments for bailing me out of this one. The country in question was GABON, with AD (i.e. short for advertisement, i.e. “bill”) wrapped around it. V was as I had it above. The solution is therefore V-A(GABON)D. One of those ones where I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. Thanks again, Steve! – LP]

33. Murder story in book woke Peter? (8,4)

Answer: BRIGHTON ROCK (“murder story” by Graham Greene. Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”) followed by RIGHT ON (i.e. “woke”) and ROCK (i.e. “peter” – ignore the misleading capitalisation – it’s not backed up by my Chambers or my Oxford but it is listed in my Bradford’s – I guess as a shortened form of saltpetre, spelled saltpeter in the US).
[EDIT: Hat-tips to a number of commenters who highlighted that Peter = Rock on account of a quote from the Bible, specifically in Matthew 16:18. Thanks, all! – LP]

34. Swiss bank firm plugging reductions for youthful members (3,6)

Answer: CUB SCOUTS (i.e. “youthful members”). Solution is UBS (i.e. “Swiss bank”) and CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”, i.e. “firm”) placed in or “plugging” CUTS (i.e. “reductions”), like so: C(UBS-CO)UTS.

37. Gardener cultivated runners around May, oddly (10)

Answer: NURSERYMAN (i.e. “gardener”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cultivated”) of RUNNERS which is wrapped “around” another anagram (indicated by “oddly”) of MAY, like so: NURSER(YMA)N.

38. Vehicle producer in decline? True, so we hear (10)

Answer: WAINWRIGHT (i.e. “vehicle producer”). “So we hear” indicates homophone. Solution comprises homophones of WANE (i.e. “in decline”) and RIGHT (i.e. “true”).

41. Delicate silk initially that French put on some Protestants (9)

Answer: SQUEAMISH (i.e. “delicate”). Solution is S (i.e. “silk initially”, i.e. the first letter of “silk”) followed by QUE (i.e. “that French”, i.e. the French for “that”) then AMISH (i.e. “some Protestants”).

43. South American dictator briefly seizing lead in Latin American game (8)

Answer: PINOCHLE (i.e. “American [card] game” – backed up by my Oxford, but Wikipedia begs to differ, suggesting the game was only popular in America, not invented there). Solution is Augusto PINOCHET (i.e. “South American dictator”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder wrapped around or “seizing” L (i.e. “lead in Latin”, i.e. the first letter of “Latin”), like so: PINOCH(L)E.

45. Greenery some pasture’s part of (7)

Answer: ESPARTO (i.e. “greenery”). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: PASTUR(E’S PART O)F. One gotten from the wordplay and a quick check in my Chambers.

47. One involved in puzzling over style (6)

Answer: HAIRDO (i.e. “style”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed or “involved in” HARD (i.e. “puzzling”) and followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket), like so: HA(I)RD-O.

50. Object that’s not quite proper (5)

Answer: DEMUR (i.e. “[to] object”). Solution is DEMURE (i.e. “proper”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not quite”).

51. Old man’s half-hearted sales pitch (5)

Answer: PATER (i.e. “old man”). Solution is PATTER (i.e. “sales pitch”) with one of the middle Ts removed (indicated by “half-hearted”).

52. Learner given literary work that’s a rich source of material (4)

Answer: LODE (i.e. “rich source of material”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) followed by ODE (i.e. “literary work”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1421

Another good one this week – probably the best one in quite a while, with several well-worked clues and a couple that raised a titter. More like this please, setters!

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. Before we jump in, please excuse me while I get the old lemonade stand out for a bit. If you dig on horror stories then you might want to swing by my Reviews page, where I’m (slowly) working my way through Stephen Jones’s Best New Horror series. (I’ll have a review of BNH12 shortly after posting this, as it’s been a while.) I’ve even stuck one of my own stories on here somewhere. If you’re here for the answers to a few past Times Jumbo Cryptics, then my Just for Fun page is the place to head.

Right then, to the answers!

LP

Across clues

1. Feel wobbly and empty, sick inside (9)

Answer: VACILLATE (i.e. “feel wobbly”). Solution is VACATE (i.e. “[to] empty”) with ILL (i.e. “sick”) placed “inside” like so: VAC(ILL)ATE.

6. New charger perhaps needs constant plugging in to central point (5)

Answer: FOCAL (i.e. “central point”). Solution is FOAL (i.e. “new charger perhaps”, referring to a young horse) wrapped around or “plugging in” C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”), like so: FO(C)AL.

9. It’s no use if it’s flat as a pancake? (7)

Answer: BATTERY. Solution satisfies “it’s no use if it’s flat” and “as a pancake”, typically made from batter. One of several clues that made me smile when I clocked the solution.

13. Minister taking on Brussels after U-turn – it’s a bit of theatre (5)

Answer: REVUE (i.e. “it’s a bit of theatre”). Solution is REV (i.e. “minister”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “Reverend”) followed by EU (short for the European Union, often informally referred to as “Brussels”) which is reversed (indicated by “after U-turn”), like so: REV-UE.

14. Shady relative joining leader of anarchist resistance (7)

Answer: UNCLEAR (i.e. “shady”). Solution is UNCLE (i.e. “relative”) followed by the initial letters or “leaders” of “anarchist” and “resistance”, like so: UNCLE-A-R.

15. Opener of Irish county’s team (9)

Answer: CORKSCREW (i.e. “opener”). When read as CORK’S CREW the solution also satisfies “Irish county’s team”.

16. Back after divorce in a flash (5,6)

Answer: SPLIT SECOND (i.e. “in a flash”). Solution is SECOND (i.e. “[to] back”) placed “after” SPLIT (i.e. “divorce”). A repeat from last week, which is a little disappointing.

17. Exactly where to press? (2,3,6)

Answer: ON THE BUTTON. Solution satisfies “exactly” and “where to press”.

18. Court maintaining right of possession for customer (6)

Answer: CLIENT (i.e. “customer”). Solution is CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”) wrapped around or “maintaining” LIEN (i.e. “right of possession”), like so: C(LIEN)T. Another repeat from last week with rather a similar clue, which is a little more disappointing.

19. Quickly take off Mel’s bra after fiddling with catch at first (8)

Answer: SCRAMBLE (i.e. “quickly take off”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “after fiddling”) of MEL’S BRA and C (i.e. “catch at first”, i.e. the first letter of “catch”). A clue that scans rather well.

21. Angel dust haul abandoned by a copper (2,4)

Answer: PC PLOD (i.e. “copper”). Solution is PCP (a drug with the street name “angel dust”) followed by LOAD (i.e. “haul”) once the A had been removed (indicated by “abandoned by a”), like so: PCP-LOD.

25. Took off gripping comedian in the end, receiving undemanding pap? (8)

Answer: SPOONFED (i.e. “receiving undemanding pap”). Solution is SPOOFED (i.e. copied or “took off”) wrapped around or “gripping” N (i.e. “comedian in the end”, i.e. the last letter of “comedian”), like so: SPOO(N)FED.

26. Ruthless traders like places with tourists (5,9)

Answer: ASSET STRIPPERS (i.e. “ruthless traders”). Solution is AS (i.e. “like”) followed by SETS (i.e. “places”) and TRIPPERS (i.e. “tourists”). Another clue that scans really well.

28. Gourmand leaving starter to get thin (5)

Answer: REEDY (i.e. “thin”). Solution is GREEDY (i.e. “gourmand”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “leaving starter”). Another good ‘un.

29. I’ll be seized by hallucinatory experiences after knocking back mescal? (6)

Answer: SPIRIT (i.e. “mescal” – other booze is available). Solution is I placed in or being “seized by” TRIPS (i.e. “hallucinatory experiences”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “after knocking back”), like so: SPIR(I)T. Again, good!

30. Gets into difficulty at dance that stays open late? (6,4)

Answer: CORNER SHOP (i.e. “that stays open late”). Solution is CORNERS (i.e. “gets [one] into difficulty”) followed by HOP (i.e. “dance”).

33. Bronze pater with child bust (5,5)

Answer: THIRD PLACE (i.e. “bronze [medal]”). “Bust” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PATER and CHILD.

35. Go along with scam by scoundrel (6)

Answer: CONCUR (i.e. “go along with”). Solution is CON (i.e. “scam”) followed by CUR (i.e. “scoundrel”). Another clue that scans well.

36. Party to identify with opposition? (5)

Answer: BEANO (i.e. “party”). When read as BE A NO the solution also satisfies “identify with opposition”.

38. On the other hand, I may be captivated by startled hooting call of birds (14)

Answer: ORNITHOLOGICAL (i.e. “of birds”). Solution is OR (i.e. “on the other hand”) followed by I once it has been placed in or “captivated by” an anagram (indicated by “startled”) of HOOTING CALL, like so: OR-N(I)THOLOGICAL.

40. Raise a miserable, tailless entrant for Crufts? (8)

Answer: COCKAPOO, a cross between an American cocker spaniel and a miniature poodle (i.e. “entrant for Crufts”). Solution is COCK (i.e. “raise” – wahey!) followed by A and POOR (i.e. “miserable”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “tailless”), like so: COCK-A-POO. A rather fitting clue.

42. Ruins girl entering high society with gentleman after rejection (6)

Answer: DEBRIS (i.e. “ruins”). Solution is DEB (i.e. “girl entering high society”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “debutante” – something I remembered from a previous puzzle) followed by SIR (i.e. “gentleman”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “after rejection”), like so: DEB-RIS.

43. Macho types going topless by day? Correct (8)

Answer: EMENDATE (i.e. “[to] correct”). Solution is HE-MEN (i.e. “macho types”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “going topless”) and followed by DATE (i.e. “day”), like so: EMEN-DATE.

44. I would love to interrupt hostile folly (6)

Answer: IDIOCY (i.e. “folly”). Solution is I’D (a contraction of “I would”) followed by O (i.e. “love”, being a zero score in tennis) once it has been placed in or “interrupting” ICY (i.e. “hostile”), like so: I’D-I(O)CY.

47. State legislator and detective ringing space station repeatedly, before one (11)

Answer: MISSISSIPPI (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is MP (i.e. “legislator”, specifically a Member of Parliament) and PI (i.e. “detective”, specifically a Private Investigator) wrapped around or “ringing” ISS and ISS (i.e. “space station repeatedly”, ISS being the International Space Station) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) like so: M(ISS-ISS-I)P-PI.

50. Unorthodox religions embraced by established church advisor (11)

Answer: CONSIGLIERE (i.e. “advisor”, especially to a Mafia godfather). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unorthodox”) of RELIGIONS placed in CE (i.e. “established church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: C(ONSIGLIER)E.

52. Put slant on appeal: one’s encapsulated by Lewis’s girl (9)

Answer: ITALICISE (i.e. “put slant on”). Solution is IT (i.e. “[sex] appeal”) followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) once is has been placed in or “encapsulated by” ALICE (i.e. “Lewis [Carroll]’s girl”), like so: IT-ALIC(I’S)E.

53. Literary festival town collecting listeners’ gossip (7)

Answer: HEARSAY (i.e. “gossip”). Solution is HAY (i.e. “literary festival town”) wrapped around or “collecting” EARS (i.e. “listeners”), like so: H(EARS)AY.

54. Places for audio visual experience (5)

Answer: SITES (i.e. “places”). “Audio” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SIGHTS (i.e. “visual experience”). Another good clue.

55. Taser perhaps hurt one (4,3)

Answer: STUN GUN (i.e. “Taser perhaps” – other brands are available in your local self-defence superstore). Solution is STUNG (i.e. “hurt”) followed by UN (i.e. “one”, as in a young ‘un or a wrong ‘un).

56. Sample of titbit as temptation? (5)

Answer: TASTE (i.e. “sample”). “Of” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: TITBI(T AS TE)MPTATION.

57. Star to write signature and stuff (9)

Answer: PENTAGRAM (i.e. “star”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “to write”) followed by TAG (i.e. “signature”) and RAM (i.e. “[to] stuff”).

Down clues

1. Corrupting influence of Lenin initially on Russia (5)

Answer: VIRUS (i.e. “corrupting influence”). Solution is VI (i.e. “Lenin initially”, referring to the initials of his forenames, Vladimir Ilyich) followed by RUS (a recognised abbreviation of “Russia”). Another good clue.

2. King endorsed this polite refusal (5,12)

Answer: CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Clue refers to Martin Luther “King’s endorsement” of civil disobedience during the civil rights movement in the United States. Solution is CIVIL (i.e. “polite”) followed by DISOBEDIENCE (i.e. “refusal”).

3. Place property to get commission (11)

Answer: LIEUTENANCY (i.e. “commission”). Solution is LIEU (i.e. “place”, as “in lieu of”) followed by TENANCY (i.e. “property”).

4. Perception of area combined with space (6)

Answer: ACUMEN (i.e. “perception”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) followed by CUM (i.e. “combined with” in Latin) then EN (i.e. “space”, referring to a printer’s term for a space that is the width of an “n”).

5. Invade enclosure with fish (8)

Answer: ENCROACH (i.e. “invade”). Solution is ENC (a recognised abbreviation of “enclosure” used in formal correspondence) followed by ROACH (i.e. “fish”).

6. Shrink underwear? Could be a revealing error (8,4)

Answer: FREUDIAN SLIP. Solution satisfies “could be a revealing error” and, humorously, “shrink underwear”, referring to famous psychiatrist or “shrink” Sigmund FREUD. Well, I thought it was funny.

7. Cook could be on top of ratings – such a one? (6,4)

Answer: CORDON BLEU, a chef or “cook” of the highest excellence (i.e. “on top of ratings”). There’s probably something clever I’ve missed here.
[EDIT: Thanks to zouzoulap in the comments for shedding light on this one. “Cook” turns out to be not only the operative word of the clue but an anagram indicator, specifically of COULD BE ON and R (indicated by “top of ratings”, i.e. the first letter of “ratings”). Cleverly disguised. I like it! – LP]

8. Sparked up around Jersey etc – it’s legal (5)

Answer: LICIT (i.e. “legal”). Solution is LIT (i.e. “sparked up”) wrapped “around” CI (i.e. “Jersey etc”, referring to the Channel Islands), like so: LI(CI)T.

9. Glance up captivated by stripper, one working in pub? (9)

Answer: BARKEEPER (i.e. “one working in pub”). Solution is PEEK (i.e. “glance”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and placed in or “captivated by” BARER (i.e. “stripper”), like so: BAR(KEEP)ER.

10. It may be useful for coverage of present time to publish Times, say (6,5)

Answer: TISSUE PAPER (i.e. “it may be useful for coverage of present”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by ISSUE (i.e. “to publish”) and PAPER (i.e. “Times, say”).

11. Water bird lifted out of detergent (5)

Answer: EGRET (i.e. “water bird”). “Lifted out of” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue. There is no reversal indicator, however, which is a bit off. Anyway, you can see the solution reversed in the clue, like so: DE(TERGE)NT.

12. Unknown number in flight going off course (6)

Answer: YAWING (i.e. “going off course”). Solution is Y (i.e. “unknown number” – setters love using “unknown” to represent the letters X, Y or Z in their solutions) followed by AWING (i.e. “in flight”).

18. Players getting restricted food allocation having nuts taken away (10)

Answer: CASTRATION (i.e. “having nuts taken away” – being the massive child I am, this made me chuckle when I got it and it still makes me chuckle as I type this). Solution is CAST (i.e. “players”) followed by RATION (i.e. “restricted food allocation”). Excellent clue!

20. Settle North and South Carolina, held by English formerly (8)

Answer: ENSCONCE (i.e. “settle”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “north” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and SC (ditto “South Carolina”) placed or being “held by” E (ditto “English”) and ONCE (i.e. “formerly”), like so: E-(N-SC)-ONCE.

22. Display tool that’ll forecast costs? (8,9)

Answer: OVERHEAD PROJECTOR. Solution satisfies “display tool” and something that’ll project overheads or “forecast costs”. Another that made me smile when I twigged the solution.

23. Sly type overhearing cunning plan will (6)

Answer: WEASEL (i.e. “sly type”). “Overhearing” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of WHEEZE (i.e. “cunning plan”) and ‘LL (a contraction of “will”). (Makes so-so gesture.)

24. Hopes dashed by record held by party lacking skill in political science (10)

Answer: PSEPHOLOGY (i.e. “political science”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dashed”) of HOPES along with LOG (i.e. “record”) both placed in or “held by” PY (i.e. “party lacking skill”, i.e. the word PARTY with the ART removed), like so: P(SEPHO-LOG)Y. I had a feeling this would be a word beginning with “ps”, so luckily it didn’t take much finding in my Chambers.

27. Reveal record miss (8)

Answer: DISCLOSE (i.e. “reveal”). Solution is DISC (i.e. “[vinyl] record”) followed by LOSE (i.e. “miss”).

31. What might indicate direction to Arctic strait (6)

Answer: NARROW (i.e. “strait”). When read as N ARROW, the solution also satisfies “what might indicate direction to Arctic” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “north”. For most of this puzzle, I’d mistakenly had this down as BERING. It didn’t help.

32. To show deference, say, play second fiddle with diminishing level of skill (3,3,6)

Answer: BOW AND SCRAPE (i.e. “to show deference”). Solution also satisfies “play…fiddle with diminishing level of skill”, referring to how one would play the fiddle badly with a bow. Something like that, anyway.

34. Deciding to put off fossil fuel production? (11)

Answer: DETERMINING (i.e. “deciding”). When read as DETER MINING, the solution also satisfies “put off fossil fuel production”.

36. Drastic potential result of global warming’s course (5,6)

Answer: BAKED ALASKA (i.e. “[dessert] course”). Solution riffs on how global warming would cause Alaska to heat up. You get the idea.

37. Party defeats Greens? (4,6)

Answer: SIDE DISHES (i.e. “greens” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Bloody hell, this took some figuring, especially when you only have the letters _I_E/_I_H_S to work with. The solution is SIDE (i.e. “party”, e.g. one side or “party” of a transaction) followed by DISHES (i.e. “defeats”. I thought this might have been to “dish” someone in a game of eight-ball pool, which is win leaving all your opponent’s balls on the table, but it seems this usage isn’t supported by any dictionary I have. My Oxford did have “to dish” as to soundly to defeat someone, so there you go).

39. Sob, racked with noises showing infatuation (9)

Answer: OBSESSION (i.e. “infatuation”). “Racked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOB and NOISES.

41. Fails to meet to pay for drink (6,2)

Answer: STANDS UP (i.e. “fails to meet”). Solution is STAND (i.e. “to pay for”) followed by SUP (i.e. “drink”).

45. Filth put up with always initially in communications (6)

Answer: EMAILS (i.e. “communications”). Solution is A (i.e. “always initially”, i.e. the first letter of “always”) placed “in” SLIME (i.e. “filth”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), like so: EM(A)ILS.

46. African party member lifting vote against (6)

Answer: LIBYAN (i.e. “African”). Solution is LIB (i.e. “party member”, specifically a member of the Liberal Democrats) followed by NAY (i.e. “[a] vote against”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “lifting” – this being a down clue), like so: LIB-YAN.

48. United supporters turning up for typical shambles (5)

Answer: SNAFU (i.e. “typical shambles” – referring to a US Military acronym that stands for Situation Normal All Fucked Up). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”) followed by FANS (i.e. “supporters”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “turning up” – again, this being a down clue), like so: SNAF-U. Apologies if you caught some inappropriate language picked up by our dictionaries just then.

49. Fuel contains lead in Laos, one’s gathered (5)

Answer: PLEAT (i.e. “one’s gathered”). Solution is PEAT (i.e. “fuel”) wrapped around or “containing” L (i.e. “lead in Laos”, i.e. the first letter of “Laos”), like so: P(L)EAT.

51. Course of salts? (5)

Answer: EPSOM. Solution satisfies “[race]course” and “salts”.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1420

Here’s my completed grid for this week’s Times Jumbo cryptic, along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. If you have a previous Jumbo that’s given you sleepless nights chewing over a few pesky clues, then my Just For Fun page might help you out. While I’ve got you here, I might as well hawk a few other things to help idle away a quiet half hour, such as my reviews page or a short story. Hey, a guy’s gotta try!

And so to the answers….

LP

Across clues

1. Material provided by trader, £50 being spent by gullible person (10)

Answer: SEERSUCKER (i.e. “material” – not one I’m overly familiar with). Solution is SELLER (i.e. “trader”) with the LL removed (indicated by “£50 being spent” – a cheeky one this: L is the Roman numeral for 50, meanwhile L is also a recognised abbreviation of “pounds”, albeit pounds of weight rather than currency) and the remainder followed by SUCKER (i.e. “gullible person”), like so: SEER-SUCKER. One gotten through the wordplay only.

6. Best performances at athletics stadium in lists of achievements (5,7)

Answer: TRACK RECORDS. Solution satisfies “best performances at athletic stadium” and “lists of achievements”.

14. Native beginning to settle in Lincoln (9)

Answer: ABORIGINE (i.e. “native”). Solution is ORIGIN (i.e. “beginning”) placed or “settling in” ABE (i.e. “Lincoln”, specifically Abraham Lincoln), like so: AB(ORIGIN)E.

15. Top name for chocolate? (5)

Answer: BROWN (i.e. “chocolate”). Solution is BROW (i.e. “top”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”).

16. Son and friend holding City of London area to be remarkably good (7)

Answer: SPECIAL (i.e. “remarkably good”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) and PAL (i.e. “friend”) wrapped around or “holding” ECI (i.e. “City of London area”, i.e. the postcode area EC1), like so: S-P(ECI)AL.

17. Problematic jumbo, one of those things being ignored in Chambers! (8,2,3,4)

Answer: ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, being an obvious problem that people do not wish to acknowledge. Clue riffs on “jumbo” being another word for an elephant, and “chamber” being another word for a room. You get the idea. A clue that reads rather well, given its context.

18. 15 out of practice? (5)

Answer: RUSTY. Solution satisfies “15” – the solution to 15a being BROWN, the colour of rust – and “out of practice”.

19. More than one group in Paris is absorbed by gangs (7)

Answer: SESTETS, which are “groups” of six. The “more than one” indicates the solution is a plural. Solution is EST (i.e. “in Paris is”, i.e. the French for “is”) placed in or “absorbed by” SETS (i.e. “gangs”), like so: S(EST)ETS.

21. Fellow not upper-class embraces girl void of expression (6)

Answer: GLASSY (i.e. “void of expression”). Solution is GUY (i.e. “fellow”) with the U removed (indicated by “not upper-class” – U being a recognised abbreviation for the upper-class) and the remainder wrapped around or “embracing” LASS (i.e. “girl”), like so: G(LASS)Y.

22. Command to surrender one’s arms (8)

Answer: ORDNANCE (i.e. “arms”). Solution is ORDINANCE (i.e. “command”) with the I removed (indicated by “to surrender one” – I being the Roman numeral for “one”).

24. Foolish African dictator, old and twitching (7)

Answer: IDIOTIC (i.e. “foolish”). Solution is IDI Amin (i.e. “African dictator”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and TIC (i.e. “twitching”).

26. Bear, say, getting caught in elaborate trap, oddly (8)

Answer: TETRAPOD (i.e. “bear, say”, along with a sizeable chunk of the animal kingdom). “Caught in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: ELABORA(TE TRAP OD)DLY. This was the last clue I solved and took a while for me to spot what was going on. Nicely played.

27. Old city goddess appears in street, looking back (6)

Answer: THEBES (i.e. “old city”). Solution is HEBE (i.e. Greek “goddess” of youth) placed “in” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “looking back”), like so: T(HEBE)S.

30. Use video device to show rugby player moving rapidly (4-7)

Answer: FAST-FORWARD. Solution satisfies “use video device” and “rugby player moving rapidly”.

32. Mother has performing career with that US writer (5,6)

Answer: DAMON RUNYON (i.e. “US writer” – no, me neither). Solution is DAM (i.e. “mother”, usually of cattle, horses etc – again, me neither) followed by ON (i.e. “performing”), then RUN (i.e. to sprint or “career”) and YON (i.e. a poetic “that”). Sheesh!

33. Organise office, beginning to end, providing areas for growth (11)

Answer: PLANTATIONS (i.e. “areas for growth”). Solution is PLAN (i.e. “organise”) followed by STATION (i.e. “office”) once its first letter has been placed at the end (indicated by “beginning to end”), like so: PLAN-TATIONS.

35. Adriatic resort almost the best for a very brief period (5,6)

Answer: SPLIT SECOND (i.e. “very brief period”). Solution is SPLIT (i.e. “Adriatic resort”) followed by SECOND (i.e. “almost the best”).

37. Everything serf wanted after end of enslavement (3,3)

Answer: THE LOT (i.e. “everything”). Solution is HELOT (i.e. “serf” – a word I’m wise to now it’s been used a few times) placed “after” T (i.e. “end of enslavement”, i.e. the last letter of “enslavement”), like so: T-HELOT. Another clue that scans really well.

38. Misunderstanding of French hero going round America (8)

Answer: DELUSION (i.e. “misunderstanding”). Solution is DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”) followed by LION (i.e. “hero”) once it has been placed “round” US (i.e. “America”), like so: DE-L(US)ION.

39. Trendy type greeting Bill, exuding love (7)

Answer: HIPSTER (i.e. “trendy type”). Solution is HI (i.e. “greeting”) followed by POSTER (i.e. “bill” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) once the O has been removed (indicated by “exuding love” – “love” being a zero score in tennis), like so: HI-PSTER.

42. Designer of home – bit of a hole with nothing right (8)

Answer: INVENTOR (i.e. “designer”). Solution is IN (i.e. “[at] home”) followed by VENT (i.e. “bit of a hole”) then O (i.e. “nothing”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”).

44. At end of loud game girl is restrained (6)

Answer: FRUGAL (i.e. “restrained”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “forte”, which is “loud” in musical lingo) followed by RU (i.e. “game”, specifically Rugby Union) and GAL (i.e. “girl”). The “at end of ” bit seems a bit redundant, so I might not have this 100% right.

46. Town sending family member round the twist (7)

Answer: SWINDON (i.e. “town”). Solution is SON (i.e. “family member”) wrapped “round” WIND (i.e. “twist”), like so: S(WIND)ON.

48. Hooter’s small cry of pain? (5)

Answer: OWLET, a baby owl (i.e. “hooter”). The “small cry of pain” jokingly hints at an “ow!”, using the suffix -let to indicate a little ‘un.

49. Working group that may be sitting, despite what you may think? (8,9)

Answer: STANDING COMMITTEE (i.e. “working group”). Clue plays on how “standing” and “sitting” are opposites. You get the idea.

51. What’s large and icy, endlessly moving? (7)

Answer: GLACIER (i.e. “what’s large and icy”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “moving”) of LARGE and ICY, once the last letter Y has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”). Nicely played.

52. Secret societies? They pick up things (5)

Answer: TONGS. Solution satisfies “secret [Chinese] societies” and “they pick up things”.

53. Loony ran up tree in delight (9)

Answer: ENRAPTURE (i.e. “delight”). “Loony” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RAN UP TREE.

54. Frenchman understood the thing about article editor dealt with afresh (12)

Answer: RENEGOTIATED (i.e. “dealt with afresh”). Solution is RENE (i.e. “Frenchman”) followed by GOT (i.e. “understood”) then IT (i.e. “the thing”) once it has been wrapped “about” A (i.e. “article”), and finally finished with ED (a recognised abbreviation of “editor”), like so: RENE-GOT-I(A)T-ED.

55. It’s imprudent, not having more than one part, we hear (10)

Answer: INDISCREET (i.e. “imprudent”). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of INDISCRETE (i.e. “not having more than one part”).

Down clues

1. Head of school was worried – dead body – terribly frightened! (6,5)

Answer: SCARED STIFF (i.e. “terribly frightened”). Solution is S (i.e. “head of school”, i.e. the first letter of “school”) followed by CARED (i.e. “was worried”) and STIFF (i.e. “dead body”).

2. Escape as European heading north, then east (5)

Answer: ELOPE (i.e. “escape [to marry]”). Solution is POLE (i.e. “European”) reversed (indicated by “heading north” – this being a down clue) and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “east”), like so: ELOP-E.

3. Most modest learner in expression of frustration over exam? (9)

Answer: SLIGHTEST (i.e. “most modest”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) placed “in” SIGH (i.e. “expression of frustration”) and followed by TEST (i.e. “exam”), like so: S(L)IGH-TEST.

4. Customers more or less right? Foremost of trusty shoppers (7)

Answer: CLIENTS (i.e. “customers”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “circa”, i.e. “more or less”) followed by LIEN (i.e. a “right” to hold another’s property) and the initial or “foremost” letters of “Trusty” and “Supporters”, like so: C-LIEN-T-S.

5. When the light goes down, say, with poison being swallowed (7)

Answer: EVENING (i.e. “when the light goes down”). Solution is EG (i.e. “say”, as in “for example”) wrapped around or “swallowing” VENIN (i.e. “poison”), like so: E(VENIN)G. Chalk one to my Bradfords for the poison bit.

7. Deployed soldier had to protect northern state (5,6)

Answer: RHODE ISLAND (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “deployed”) of SOLDIER HAD wrapped around or “protected” by N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”), like so: RHODEISLA(N)D.

8. Insincere talk about country’s division (6)

Answer: CANTON (i.e. “country’s division”). Solution is CANT (i.e. “insincere talk”) followed by ON (i.e. “about”).

9. Herb’s woman (8)

Answer: ROSEMARY. Solution satisfies “herb” and “woman”. Also my benefactress for a few reference books used in these blog posts. (Tips hat.)

10. Acting before moving home, maybe, one deals with financial matters (8,5)

Answer: CLEARING HOUSE. Solution satisfies “acting before moving house” and “one deals with financial matters”.

11. Stops wickedness after period of monarchy, not good (5,2)

Answer: REINS IN (i.e. “stops”). Solution is SIN (i.e. “wickedness”) placed “after” REIGN (i.e. “period of monarchy”) once the G has been removed (indicated by “not good” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: REIN-SIN.

12. Lousy essay son’s penned badly in period not taken seriously? (5,6)

Answer: SILLY SEASON (i.e. “period not taken seriously”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “lousy”) of ESSAY SON wrapped around or “penning” ILL (i.e. “badly”), like so: S(ILL)YSEASON.

13. Taken away, being scatterbrained (10)

Answer: ABSTRACTED. Solution satisfies “taken away” and “scatterbrained”.

20. Well-presented fruits eaten by quiet zoo animal? (9)

Answer: SHIPSHAPE (i.e. “well-presented”). Solution is HIPS (i.e. “fruits” of a rose) placed in or being “eaten by” SH (i.e. “quiet”) and followed by APE (i.e. “zoo animal”), like so: S(HIPS)H-APE.

23. Supporting one of Ireland’s heads, offering a solution (8)

Answer: FORMALIN (i.e. “solution”). Solution is FOR (i.e. “supporting”) followed by MALIN (i.e. “one of Ireland’s heads”, and the most northerly part of the island of Ireland, it says here). Chalk another one to my Bradfords here.

25. Minister – scoundrel and mischief maker (6)

Answer: CURATE (i.e. “minister”). Solution is CUR (i.e. “scoundrel”) followed by ATE (i.e. “mischief maker”, referring to Ate, the Greek goddess of mischief).

26. Rips around socks? Hard to avoid that in prickly plants (3,5)

Answer: TEA ROSES (i.e. “prickly plants”). Solution is TEARS (i.e. “rips”) placed “around” HOSE (i.e. “socks”) once the H has been removed (indicated by “hard to avoid” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “hard”), like so: TEAR(OSE)S.

28. Ostracised son sent to bed, young lout as was (9)

Answer: BOYCOTTED (i.e. “ostracised”). Solution is BOY (i.e. “son”) followed by COT (i.e. “bed”) and TED (i.e. “young lout, as was”, short for a Teddy boy).

29. Tin deposited on long grass (6)

Answer: SNITCH (i.e. “grass”). Solution is SN (chemical symbol of “tin”) followed by ITCH (i.e. to yearn for or “long”).

31. Offer made by generous tailor is no good at all (3,3,7)

Answer: FIT FOR NOTHING. Solution satisfies “offer made by generous tailor” and “no good at all”. A clue that scans rather well.

33. State of bewilderment in domesticated and wild animals gets one quibbling (11)

Answer: PETTIFOGGER (i.e. “one quibbling”). Solution is FOG (i.e. “state of bewilderment”) placed “in” PET (i.e. “domesticated…animal”) and TIGER (i.e. “wild animal”), like so: PET-TI(FOG)GER.

34. Social activity after nine maybe, old tribe attending church (6,5)

Answer: SQUARE DANCE (i.e. “social activity”). Solution is SQUARE (i.e. “nine maybe”, referring to the square of 3) followed by DAN (i.e. “old tribe [of Israel]” – I remembered this from a previous puzzle) and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England”).

35. Smart head – one concealed lack of generosity (10)

Answer: STINGINESS (i.e. “lack of generosity”). Solution is STING (i.e. “smart”) and NESS (i.e. “head”, as in the geographical feature) wrapped around or “concealing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: STING-(I)-NESS.

36. Ten men raged, out to create disorder (11)

Answer: DERANGEMENT (i.e. “disorder”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TEN MEN RAGED.

40. Oration of Greek character delivered with insolence – listener’s choice (9)

Answer: PHILIPPIC (i.e. “oration”, and a particularly angry one at that). Solution is PHI (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet) followed by LIP (i.e. “insolence”) and PIC (i.e. “listener’s choice”, i.e. a homophone of the word PICK). Another I remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest. Hmm. Looks like I’d spelled it incorrectly back then too. (Facepalms oneself.)

41. Spar bends on rough trip (8)

Answer: BOWSPRIT (i.e. “spar [of a ship]”). Solution is BOWS (i.e. “bends”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “rough”) of TRIP, like so: BOWS-PRIT.

43. Scoundrel is outwardly conceited, inwardly wicked (7)

Answer: VILLAIN (i.e. “scoundrel”). Solution is VAIN (i.e. “conceited”) placed “outwardly” of ILL (i.e. “wicked”), like so: V(ILL)AIN. Another clue that reads well.

45. Hannibal? Carthaginian finally making a stand (7)

Answer: LECTERN (i.e. “stand”). Solution is “Hannibal” LECTER, a character featuring in several Thomas Harris novels, followed by N (i.e. “Carthaginian finally”, i.e. the last letter of “Carthaginian”).

46. Old city captured by fantastic Masai warrior (7)

Answer: SAMURAI (i.e. “warrior”). Solution is UR (i.e. “old city”, a favourite of setters) placed in or “captured by” an anagram (indicated by “fantastic”) of MASAI, like so: SAM(UR)AI.

47. Popular phrase – snare for a bloke, almost (6)

Answer: MANTRA (i.e. “popular phase”). Solution is MAN-TRAP (i.e. “snare for a bloke”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

50. End of the short uprising, break from hostilities (5)

Answer: TRUCE (i.e. “break from hostilities”). Solution is E (i.e. “end of the”, i.e. the last letter of “the”) followed by CURT (i.e. “short”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “uprising”, this being a down clue), like so: TRUC-E.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1419

Another good ‘un marks the end of a busy period of Jumbos. I much prefer puzzles that have me thumbing through a good dictionary as opposed to an atlas or a Who’s Who of dead people, so for the most part this one ticked several boxes. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

A spot of housekeeping before we crack on. If you have a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s left you cold then you might find some joy in my Just For Fun page. Meanwhile, if book reviews tickle your fancy then I’ve got a bunch here. I’ll stick a review of Best New Horror 12 on here shortly(ish), now things are settling down again after New Year. If you’d like a short story then I’ve got you covered too.

If you’re here just for the answers then I guess I’d better hop to it. Tuck in!

LP

Across clues

1. Name – a girl’s by the sound of it (7)

Answer: MONIKER (i.e. “name”). “By the sound of it” indicates homophone. Solution is also a homophone of MONICA, a “girl’s” name.

5. Flyer produced by petulant Head (9)

Answer: CROSSBILL (i.e. “flyer”, as in a bird – did a Google image search… appropriately named!). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “petulant”) followed by BILL (i.e. “head” – both words can mean a piece of land that juts out into the sea).

10. Sword Europeans found outside gym (4)

Answer: EPEE (i.e. “sword”). Solution is E and E (i.e. “Europeans” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “European”) placed “outside” of PE (a recognised abbreviation of Physical Education, i.e. “gym”), like so: E(PE)E.

14. Rugby players – 75% of them? (5-8)

Answer: THREE-QUARTERS (i.e. “75% of them”). When read without hyphenation, THREE QUARTERS also satisfies “[three] rugby players”).

15. Picking up little brat going walkabout (9)

Answer: IMPROVING (i.e. “picking up”). Solution is IMP (i.e. “little brat”) followed by ROVING (i.e. “going walkabout”).

16. Back soldiers at start of this temporary transfer (10)

Answer: SECONDMENT (i.e. “temporary transfer”). Solution is SECOND (i.e. “[to] back”) followed by MEN (i.e. “soldiers”) and T (i.e. “start of this”, i.e. the first letter of “this”).

17. Terence, Leo and I contrived to campaign politically (11)

Answer: ELECTIONEER (i.e. “to campaign politically”). “Contrived” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TERENCE, LEO and I.

18. Boy – head of class, as it happens (5)

Answer: CLIVE (i.e. “boy[‘s name]”). Solution is C (i.e. “head of class”, i.e. the first letter of “class”) followed by LIVE (i.e. “as it happens” – think live sports coverage). I’m seldom happy when forenames are used to plug awkward gaps in grids, so you can imagine my… er… delight with this one, especially considering the numerous other words that could have fitted the intersecting letters. Harrumph, etc.

19. Army corps’s pressing need largely beginning to expedite rebirth (10)

Answer: RESURGENCE (i.e. “rebirth”). Solution is RE’S (i.e. “army corps’s”, specifically the Royal Engineers) followed by URGENCY (i.e. “pressing need”) with its final letter removed (indicated by “largely”) and E (i.e. “beginning to expedite”, i.e. the first letter of “expedite”), like so: RE’S-URGENC-E.

21. A new aim holding back a SW African state (6)

Answer: ANGOLA (i.e. “SW African state”). Solution is A followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and GOAL (i.e. “aim”) once the A has been shifted along (indicated by “holding back a”), like so: A-N-GOLA.

23. Policy declaration of teams in turmoil (9)

Answer: MANIFESTO (i.e. “policy declaration”). “Turmoil” indicated anagram. Solution is an anagram of OF TEAMS IN.

25. Western poem originally naming Anglo-Saxon god (5)

Answer: WODEN (i.e. “Anglo-Saxon god”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “western”) followed by ODE (i.e. “poem”) and N (i.e. “originally naming”, i.e. the first letter of “naming”). One gotten solely through the wordplay, to be honest.

26. Failed to find “glove” in dictionary (7)

Answer: OMITTED (i.e. “failed”, e.g. omitting to mention something important). Solution is MITT (i.e. “glove” placed or “found” in OED (i.e. “dictionary”, specifically the Oxford English Dictionary), like so: O(MITT)ED.

28. Gloucester’s son’s directions accepted by noble poet (6,7)

Answer: EDMUND SPENSER (i.e. a “poet” whose ye olde spellyngs and definitions litter dictionaries to this day). Solution is EDMUND’S (i.e. “Gloucester’s son’s” – referring to Edmund, a character in Shakespeare’s King Lear, who was the illegitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester) followed by NS (i.e. “directions”, specifically recognised abbreviations of “north” and “south”) once it has been placed in or “accepted by” PEER (i.e. “noble”), like so: EDMUND’S-PE(NS)ER. A nod to Google for this, as I’ve never been much of a fan of Shakespeare.

31. Deal with prime disturbance of the cuticle (9)

Answer: EPIDERMAL (i.e. “of the cuticle”). “Disturbance” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DEAL and PRIME.

33. Secret flight bound to disturb fellows in film (9)

Answer: ELOPEMENT (i.e. “secret flight”). Solution is MEN (i.e. “fellows”) placed “in” ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra Terrestrial). LOPE (i.e. to “bound”) then “disturbs” or is placed inside of this, like so: E(LOPE)(MEN)T.

35. Making little impact where security may be found around tiller (13)

Answer: UNDERWHELMING (i.e. “making little impact”). Solution is UNDER WING (i.e. “where security may be found”, as in being taken under someone’s wing) wrapped “around” HELM (i.e. “tiller”), like so: UNDER-W(HELM)ING.

37. Implement he recognised in Paris after decades with university (7)

Answer: UTENSIL (i.e. “implement”). Solution is IL (i.e. “he recognised in Paris”, i.e. the French for “he”), placed “after” U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and TENS (i.e. “decades”), like so: U-TENS-IL.

38. A sorcerer may practice it, partly to be a hardman (5)

Answer: OBEAH, which is “witchcraft or poisoning practiced in the West Indies, Guyana etc” (Chambers) (i.e. “a sorcerer may practice it”). “Partly” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: T(O BE A H)ARDMAN. Three words: Made. To. Fit!

40. Like delicious drink only initially imbibed by random centaurs (9)

Answer: NECTAROUS (i.e. “like delicious drink”). Solution is O (i.e. “only initially”, i.e. the first letter of “only”) placed in or being “imbibed by” an anagram (indicated by “random”) of CENTAURS, like so: NECTAR(O)US.

42. Lasciviousness originally rare at East Sheen? (6)

Answer: LUSTRE (i.e. “sheen” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is LUST (i.e. “lasciviousness”) followed by R (i.e. “originally rare”, i.e. the first letter of “rare”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “East”).

44. Part of army finally serving in Europe, perhaps (10)

Answer: CONTINGENT (i.e. “part of army”). Solution is G (i.e. “finally serving”, i.e. the last letter of “serving”) placed in CONTINENT (i.e. “Europe, perhaps”), like so: CONTIN(G)ENT.

46. Extol Labour leader feeding black horse? (5)

Answer: BLESS (i.e. “extol”). Solution is L (i.e. “Labour leader”, i.e. the first letter of “Labour”) placed in or “feeding” BESS (i.e. “black horse”, specifically Black Bess, Dick Turpin’s horse), like so: B(L)ESS.

48. The writer’s one shedding tears about small naval vessel (11)

Answer: MINESWEEPER (i.e. “naval vessel”). Solution is MINE (i.e. “the writer’s”, taking the point of view of the setter) and WEEPER (i.e. “one shedding tears”) placed “about” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”), like so: MINE-(S)-WEEPER.

50. Dishonest activity practised by carpenters? (10)

Answer: CHISELLING. Solution satisfies “dishonest activity” and “practiced by carpenters”.

52. Fruit can deteriorate ultimately, inspiring rage (9)

Answer: TANGERINE (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “can”) and E (i.e. “deteriorate ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “deteriorate”) wrapped around or “inspiring” ANGER (i.e. “rage”), like so: T(ANGER)IN-E.

53. Examine attorney more protractedly about male spreader of gossip (13)

Answer: SCANDALMONGER (i.e. “spreader of gossip”). Solution is SCAN (i.e. “examine”) followed by DA (i.e. attorney, specifically a District Attorney) and LONGER (i.e. “more protracted”) once it has been placed “about” M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”), like so: SCAN-DA-L(M)ONGER.

54. 1950s youth going over English millennium building (4)

Answer: DOME (i.e. “millennium building”, specifically the Millennium Dome in London, now known as the O2 Arena). Solution is MOD (i.e. “1950s youth”) reversed (indicated by “going over”) and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: DOM-E.

55. Onlooker volunteers to feed unpopular police officer? (9)

Answer: SPECTATOR (i.e. “onlooker”). Solution is TA (i.e. “volunteers”, specifically the Territorial Army) placed in or “feeding” INSPECTOR (i.e. “police officer”) once the IN has been removed (indicated by “unpopular”, as in not being “in”), like so: SPEC(TA)TOR. Good clue!

56. Private room in hospital used by leader of city corporation (7)

Answer: SANCTUM (i.e. “private room”). Solution is SAN (an old slang word for a sanitorium, i.e. “hospital”) followed by C (i.e. “leader of city”, i.e. the first letter of “city”) and TUM (i.e. “corporation”, an archaic word for a tummy or belly – setters love using this).

Down clues

1. A widow’s gift could possibly – so to speak (4)

Answer: MITE. Solution satisfies “a widow’s gift” – referring to a widow’s mite, which is “a small offering generously given” (pats Chambers) – and also “could possibly – so to speak”, referring to a homophone of MIGHT.

2. One overwhelmed by new organ composition, like Grieg (9)

Answer: NORWEGIAN (i.e. “like [Edvard] Grieg”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “overwhelmed by” an anagram (indicated by “composition”) or NEW ORGAN, like so: NORWEG(I)AN.

3. Hope for success, but ruin one’s piano recital? (4,4,7,7)

Answer: KEEP ONES FINGERS CROSSED. Solution satisfies “hope for success” and “ruin one’s piano recital”. I did smile at this when I twigged it.

4. Canon upset about contribution to team’s score (7)

Answer: ROUNDER (i.e. “contribution to team’s score” – do they score runs in rounders or do they score rounders? (Shrugs)). Solution is ROUND (i.e. “canon” – one of its definitions is “a type of vocal or instrumental musical composition in which the melody is repeated by one part following another in imitation” (Chambers again); meanwhile one of round’s umpteen definitions is “a canon sung in unison” – score one to my Bradford’s here, as I would never have made the connection) followed by RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) which is reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: ROUND-ER.

5. Basis of cereal a person formerly consumed (11)

Answer: CORNERSTONE (i.e. “basis of”). Solution is CORN (i.e. “cereal”) and ONE (i.e. “a person”) wrapped around or “consuming” ERST (i.e. at first or “formerly”), like so: CORN-(ERST)-ONE.

6. Public argument about Hutton’s first poor return? (9)

Answer: OVERTHROW (i.e. “poor return” – think a fielder overthrowing the ball in cricket). Solution is OVERT (i.e. “public”) and ROW (i.e. “argument”) placed “about” H (i.e. “Hutton’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “Hutton”), like so: OVERT-(H)-ROW.

7. Soiree regularly gatecrashed by American girl (5)

Answer: SUSIE (i.e. “girl[‘s name]” (sighs)). Solution is SIE (i.e. “soiree regularly”, i.e. every other letter of SOIREE) wrapped around or being “gatecrashed” by US (i.e. “American”), like so: S(US)IE.

8. Shimmering effect encountered at first in relaxed scenic ride (11)

Answer: IRIDESCENCE (i.e. “shimmering effect”). Solution is E (i.e. “encountered at first”, i.e. the first letter of encountered) placed in an anagram (indicated by “relaxed”) of SCENIC RIDE, like so: IRID(E)SCENCE.

9. Literary island identified by a set in Los Angeles? (6)

Answer: LAPUTA (i.e. “literary island”, specifically one found in Gulliver’s Travels). Solution is A and PUT (i.e. “set [down]”) both placed in LA (i.e. “Los Angeles”), like so: L(A-PUT)A.

11. Instruction book on old card game (7)

Answer: PRIMERO (i.e. “card game”). Solution is PRIMER (i.e. “instruction book”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”). Can’t say I’ve played it.

12. Decorate artist brought up in part of UK (9)

Answer: ENGARLAND (i.e. “decorate”). Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) reversed (indicated by “brought up” – this being a down clue) and placed “in” ENGLAND (i.e. “part of UK”), like so: ENG(AR)LAND.

13. Bomb eastern warehouse, heavy and lacking buoyancy? (2,4,4,1,4,7)

Answer: GO DOWN LIKE A LEAD BALLOON (i.e. “bomb”). Solution is GODOWN (i.e. “eastern warehouse” – no, me neither) and LIKE A LEAD BALLOON (i.e. the riddle “heavy and lacking buoyancy?”). Not a classic.

18. Accomplished Liberal turned out to take part (7)

Answer: COMPETE (i.e. “take part”). Solution is COMPLETE (i.e. “accomplished”) with the L removed (indicated by “Liberal turned out” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”).

20. Put up with outcome, entertaining daughter on river (7)

Answer: ENDURED (i.e. “put up with”). Solution is END (i.e. “outcome”) wrapped around or “entertaining” D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) and URE (i.e. a “river”), like so: EN(D-URE)D.

22. Early Stone Age hero regularly landed on this once (8)

Answer: EOLITHIC (i.e. “early Stone Age”). Solution is EO (i.e. “hero regularly”, i.e. every other letter of HERO) followed by LIT (i.e. “landed on”) and HIC (i.e. “this once”, i.e. the Latin for “this”).

24. Like nuns, perhaps, knowing about revised rites (8)

Answer: SISTERLY (i.e. “like nuns, perhaps”). Solution is SLY (i.e. “knowing”) wrapped “about” an anagram (indicated by “revised”) of RITES, like so: S(ISTER)LY.

27. Characters in steamship meticulous about speeds (5)

Answer: TEMPI (i.e. “speeds”). “Characters in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “about” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: STEAMSH(IP MET)ICULOUS.

29. Creature makes lowing sound on top of escarpment (5)

Answer: MOOSE (i.e. “creature”). Solution is MOOS (i.e. “makes lowing sound”) followed by E (i.e. “top of escarpment”, i.e. the first letter of “escarpment”).

30. Trainee in breeding establishment overlooking hospital department (7)

Answer: STUDENT (i.e. “trainee”). Solution is STUD (i.e. “breeding establishment”) followed by ENT (i.e. “hospital department”, specifically Ear, Nose and Throat).

32. They’re versed in the law, getting poets beheaded (7)

Answer: LEGISTS (i.e. “they’re versed in law”). Solution is ELEGISTS (i.e. “poets”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “beheaded”). LEGIST doesn’t feature in my Oxford dictionary, but does appear in Chambers.

34. Atmospheric layer primarily recognised in eccentric peer’s photo (11)

Answer: TROPOSPHERE (i.e. “atmospheric layer”). Solution is R (i.e. “primarily recognised”, i.e. the first letter of “recognised”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “eccentric”) of PEER’S PHOTO, like so: T(R)OPOSPHERE.

36. Camera accessory selection finally sold in more stylish setting (11)

Answer: RANGEFINDER (i.e. “camera accessory”). Solution is RANGE (i.e. “selection”) followed by D (i.e. “finally sold”, i.e. the last letter of “sold”) once it has been placed “in” FINER (i.e. “more stylish”), like so: RANGE-FIN(D)ER.

37. Member briefly in football team, not subject to restrictions (9)

Answer: UNLIMITED (i.e. “not subject to restrictions”). Solution is LIMB (i.e. “member”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and placed “in” UNITED (i.e. “football team”), like so: UN(LIM)ITED.

39. Skill required to fix both taps on floating platform? (9)

Answer: HANDCRAFT (i.e. “skill”). Solution is H AND C (i.e. “both taps”, i.e. recognised abbreviations for “hot” and “cold”) followed by RAFT (i.e. “floating platform”).

41. Top man at Camelot, we hear, throughout a dark period? (9)

Answer: OVERNIGHT (i.e. “throughout a dark period”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “top”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of KNIGHT (i.e. “man at Camelot”), like so: OVER-NIGHT.

43. Reported malefactor? Shakespearean colonel? It means the same thing (7)

Answer: SYNONYM (i.e. “it means the same thing”). “Reported” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SIN ON HIM (i.e. descriptive of a “malefactor”). The “Shakespearean colonel” bit likely refers to a line containing the words SIN ON HIM, but, as mentioned, Shakespeare isn’t my bag. Sorry.
[EDIT: Thanks to several commenters here and on my About page for shedding light on this one. “Shakespearean colonel” refers to Colonel Nym, a character who appears in Henry V and The Merry Wives of Windsor, a wrong ‘un with a penchant for stealing. This would make him SINNER NYM. Thanks all! – LP]

45. Archer hugging climber at last on island where climbers are trained (7)

Answer: TRELLIS (i.e. “where climbers are trained”). Solution is William TELL (i.e. “archer”) wrapped around or “hugging” R (i.e. “climber at last”, i.e. the last letter of “climber”) and followed by IS (a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: T(R)ELL-IS.

47. Brainbox principally interested in taxonomic group (6)

Answer: GENIUS (i.e. “brainbox”). Solution is I (i.e. “principally interested”, i.e. the first letter of “interested”) placed “in” GENUS (i.e. “taxonomic group”), like so: GEN(I)US.

49. Exam I entered among others (5)

Answer: RESIT (i.e. “exam”). Solution is I placed in or “entering” REST (i.e. “others”), like so: RES(I)T.

51. Englishman in Oz absorbing start of royal concert (4)

Answer: PROM (i.e. “concert”). Solution is POM (i.e. “Englishman in Oz”, preferring to how Aussies refer to Englishmen) wrapped around or “absorbing” R (i.e. “start of royal”, i.e. the first letter of “royal”), like so: P(R)OM.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1418

Happy New Year, folks! The Times saw in the new decade with this tricky bugger. A mighty fine puzzle overall, but blimey some of the clues left my head hurting. (Examines previous night’s alcohol intake.) Ah. Right.

Anyway, as ever you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. My Just For Fun page lists umpteen solutions should you have a recent Jumbo that’s showing a few gaps. While I’ve got you here, I’ll also take this opportunity to hawk a few book reviews and a short story of mine, because you can’t blame a guy for trying.

And so to the answers. Till the weekend, laters!

LP

Across clues

1. Unlimited late opening eventually, then close (8)

Answer: INTIMATE (i.e. “close”). Solution is LATE with the first and last letters removed (indicated by “unlimited”) and placed in or “opening” IN TIME (i.e. “eventually”), like so: IN-TIM(AT)E.

5. Handy for Nancy only to accept feminine uniform for a start (6)

Answer: USEFUL (i.e. “handy”). Solution is SEUL (i.e. “for Nancy only”, i.e. the French for “only” – Nancy being a small city in France) wrapped around or “accepting” F (a recognised abbreviation of “feminine”) and the whole preceded by U (indicated by “uniform for a start” – “uniform” being U in the phonetic alphabet), like so: U-SE(F)UL. A stinker of a clue!

9. Famous people touring eastern island (7)

Answer: CELEBES, also known as Sulawesi, an “island” found in the Pacific Ocean. Solution is CELEBS (a contraction of the word “celebrities”, i.e. “famous people”) wrapped around or “touring” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), like so: CELEB(E)S. One gotten solely from the wordplay and a quick shufti on Google.

14. Such a school? A head leaving chapel to chase pupil’s work (11)

Answer: PREPARATORY (i.e. “school”). Solution is A followed by ORATORY (i.e. “chapel”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “head leaving”). The whole is then preceded by or “chasing” PREP (i.e. “pupil’s work”), like so: PREP-A-RATORY.

15. Entitlement to take a small shower? Fine (5,2,4)

Answer: RIGHT AS RAIN (i.e. “fine”). Solution is RIGHT (i.e. “entitlement”) followed by AS RAIN (i.e. “to take a small shower”). A bit loose, but I guess it works.

16. Unexciting way to get help (5)

Answer: STAID (i.e. “unexciting”). Solution is ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) followed by AID (i.e. “help”).

17. Ultimate misfortune dogs a colony (7)

Answer: ANTHILL (i.e. “colony”). Solution is NTH (i.e. “ultimate” – my Chambers doesn’t back this up, taking nth to mean an indeterminate or variable degree, but my spanking new Oxford bails the setter out) followed by ILL (i.e. “misfortune”) all following or “dogging” A, like so: A-NTH-ILL.

18. Underground river heard of in rural location (3,6)

Answer: THE STICKS (i.e. “rural location”). “Heard of” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of THE [river] STYX (i.e. “underground river”).

19. Preparing to read, maybe, old writing, pulling out end of translation (7)

Answer: OPENING (i.e. “preparing to read, maybe”, as in the opening of a book or magazine). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by PENNING (i.e. “writing”) with one of the Ns removed (indicated by “pulling out end of translation”, i.e. the last letter of “translation”), like so: O-PENING.

20. Around twenty, this could be, in space with symptom of illness (4,11)

Answer: ROOM TEMPERATURE (i.e. “around twenty [degrees Celsius], this could be”). Solution is ROOM (i.e. “space”) followed by TEMPERATURE (i.e. “symptom of illness”).

22. Department where one would be expecting to be cared for (10)

Answer: OBSTETRICS, a “department” concerned with childbirth. Clue riffs on how “expecting” refers to mothers-to-be. You get the idea.

23. Hush-hush demand on drivers (4,2)

Answer: BELT UP. Solution satisfies “hush-hush” and “demand on drivers”.

25. Does understand others partly (4)

Answer: DOTH (i.e. ye olde “does”). “Partly” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: UNDERSTAN(D OTH)ERS.

28. Ask for a hand from Dad: “to be or not to be”? (3,3,8)

Answer: POP THE QUESTION (i.e. “ask for a hand [in marriage]”). Solution is POP (i.e. “Dad”) followed by THE QUESTION (i.e. “to be or not to be [that is the question]”, a famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet). Good clue.

30. One able to lay hands on for doctor, we hope (8)

Answer: PROCURER (i.e. “one able to lay hands on”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “for”) followed by CURER (i.e. “doctor, we hope”).

32. Non-rigid bar becomes flatter (4-4)

Answer: SOFT-SOAP (i.e. “[to] flatter”). Solution is SOFT (i.e. “non-rigid”) followed by SOAP (i.e. “bar”). A new one on me.

34. Royals, and singular admiral, wily man (7,3,4)

Answer: WILLIAM AND MARY (i.e. “Royals”, 17th century rulers of England, Scotland and Ireland). “Singular” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ADMIRAL WILY MAN.

37. Followers of star, glossy one (4)

Answer: MAGI (i.e. “followers of star”, also known as the Three Wise Men). Solution is MAG (i.e. “glossy”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”).

38. Confusing reflections in garbled Oldie article (6)

Answer: EIDOLA (i.e. “confusing reflections”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “garbled”) of OLDIE followed by A (i.e. “article”, descriptive of words like a, an and the), like so: EIDOL-A.

39. Priest getting feeling of euphoria in book she might read from (10)

Answer: REVELATION (i.e. “book [of Bible] priest might read from”). Solution is REV (a recognised abbreviation of “reverend”, i.e. “priest”) followed by ELATION (i.e. “feeling of euphoria”).

43. Is Douglas attached to England? A poet’s answer (2,3,2,2,6)

Answer: NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, a quote from John Donne’s Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (i.e. “a poet’s answer”). Clue riffs on how Douglas is the capital of the Isle of Man. You get the idea. Cool clue.

45. Rugs from publishing house thrown in river (7)

Answer: TOUPEES (i.e. “rugs”). Solution is OUP (i.e. “publishing house”, i.e. the Oxford University Press) placed or “thrown” in TEES (i.e. “river”), like so: T(OUP)EES.

47. Festival books, green, a nuisance to carry (9)

Answer: PENTECOST (i.e. “festival” celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday). Solution is NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament) and ECO (i.e. “green”) placed in or being “carried” by PEST (i.e. “nuisance”), like so: PE(NT-ECO)ST.

49. Drinking whiskey without water, regularly backing city (7)

Answer: SWANSEA (i.e. “city”). Solution is SANS (i.e. French for “without”) wrapped around or “drinking” W (“whiskey” in the phonetic alphabet”) and followed by AE (i.e. “water, regularly”, i.e. every other letter of WATER) which is reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: S(W)ANS-EA.

51. Bend double at start of exercise (5)

Answer: TWINE (i.e. “bend”). Solution is TWIN (i.e. “double”) followed by E (i.e. “start of exercise”, i.e. the first letter of “exercise”).

52. Not to be tolerant of denial – threw wobbly (4,3,4)

Answer: DRAW THE LINE (i.e. “not to be tolerant of”). “Wobbly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DENIAL THREW.

53. Business’s printer has messed up page (11)

Answer: PARTNERSHIP (i.e. “business”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “messed up”) of PRINTER HAS followed by P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”), like so: PARTNERSHI-P.

54. Send up and down in the shade (3,4)

Answer: SKY BLUE (i.e. “shade”). Solution is SKY (i.e. “send up”) followed by BLUE (i.e. “down”).

55. One putting on skirt perhaps in good condition (6)

Answer: KILTER. Solution satisfies “one putting on skirt perhaps” and “in good condition”.

56. Fish bones passing around back of throat (8)

Answer: STURGEON (i.e. “fish”). Solution is SURGEON (sometimes nicknamed “bones”) wrapped “around” T (i.e. “back of throat”, i.e. the last letter of “throat”), like so: S(T)URGEON.

Down clues

1. Me, too old, for love? That’s laying it on thick (7)

Answer: IMPASTO (i.e. “that’s laying [paint] on thick”). Solution is I’M PAST (i.e. “me, too old”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: I’M-PAST-O.

2. Quidditch for example under way? All is revealed (3,4,2,2)

Answer: THE GAME IS UP (i.e. “all is revealed”). In the Harry Potter books, Quidditch is a game played up in the air. You get the idea.

3. Excellent daughter with source of wealth in my family (2,3,4)

Answer: ME AND MINE (i.e. “my family”). Solution is MEAN (i.e. “excellent”, as in “that deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball”) followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) and MINE (i.e. “source of wealth”, e.g. a gold mine).

4. Area of sea level – heroic sailor looks down on it (9,6)

Answer: TRAFALGAR SQUARE. Clue riffs on the Battle of Trafalgar and Nelson’s Column, which “looks down” on Trafalgar Square.

6. Possible TV programme that’s not polite for vicar (3,5)

Answer: SKY PILOT, a slang description of a vicar (i.e. “that’s not polite for vicar”). Solution also satisfies “possible TV programme”, referring to UK’s Sky TV and how pilot shows are made for prospective TV series.

7. Unrestricted, our planet? Exactly! (3,3,3,5)

Answer: FOR ALL THE WORLD. Solution satisfies “unrestricted, our planet” and “exactly”.

8. Allowed on appeal? I am worried (10)

Answer: LEGITIMATE (i.e. “allowed”). Solution is LEG (i.e. “on”, referring to leg or on side in cricket) followed by IT (i.e. “[sex] appeal”) then I’M (a contraction of “I am”) and ATE (i.e. “worried”, i.e. being eaten with worry).

9. It reflects well on those behind the wheel (4,3)

Answer: CATS EYE. Clue riffs on the small “reflective” disks set into the road to help keep drivers or “those behind the wheel” on the right path.

10. Virtuoso, drunk when partnered? (5)

Answer: Franz LISZT (i.e. “virtuoso”). I had to resort to Google to get this one. I forget The Times often thinks the UK ends at the M25. Anyway, the clue refers to Cockney rhyming slang, “Brahms and Liszt”, i.e. pissed or “drunk”. I love the cheekiness of the clue, but I can’t say I’ve heard this particular epithet.

11. Auditor has some coffee at the table (4,7)

Answer: BEAN COUNTER (i.e. “auditor”). Solution is BEAN (i.e. “some coffee”) followed by COUNTER (i.e. “table”).

12. Left at home as relative goes outside (8)

Answer: SINISTER (i.e. “left”; sinister being left and dexter being right). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) with SISTER (i.e. “relative”) placed “outside”, like so: S(IN)ISTER.

13. After a job (4)

Answer: POST. Solution satisfies “after” and “a job”.

20. Music fan makes switch, of sorts (6)

Answer: ROCKER. Solution satisfies “music fan” and “switch, or sorts”, i.e. an on-off switch.

21. Brought as evidence answer worked out with no end of trouble (7)

Answer: ADDUCED (i.e. “brought as evidence”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer” as in Q&A) followed by DEDUCED (i.e. “worked out”) with the first E removed (indicated by “with no end of trouble”, i.e. the last letter of “trouble”), like so: A-DDUCED.

22. Not favour work by ancient author, not started, picked up (6)

Answer: OPPOSE (i.e. “not favour”). Solution is OP (a recognised abbreviation of “opus” or, I like to think, “operation”) followed by AESOP (i.e. “ancient author”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “not started”) and reversed (indicated by “picked up” – this being a down clue), like so: OP-POSE.

24. Make arrangements concerning publication after tax: it never needs charging (9,6)

Answer: PERMANENT MAGNET, which is “a magnet that keeps its magnetism after the force which magnetised it has been removed” (Chambers) (i.e. “it never needs charging”). Solution is PERM (i.e. “make [hair] arrangements”) followed by ANENT (a Scots word for “concerning”) then MAG (short for “magazine”, i.e. “publication”) and NET (i.e. “after tax”). Phew, what a stinker!

26. Let’s set to work with essentials to make an alloy (9,5)

Answer: STAINLESS STEEL (i.e. “an alloy”). “Set to work” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LETS and ESSENTIALS.

27. Drawer made of carbon fibre (6)

Answer: CRAYON (i.e. “drawer”). Solution is C (chemical symbol of “carbon”) followed by RAYON (i.e. “[man-made] fibre”). Cool clue.

29. Man’s wicked deed invites a sacking (7)

Answer: HESSIAN (i.e. “sacking”). Solution is HE’S (i.e. “man’s”) followed by SIN (i.e. “wicked deed”) once it has been wrapped around or “inviting” A, like so: HE’S-SI(A)N.

31. Remains fine, work list not quite complete (3,3)

Answer: FAG END (i.e. “remains”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine”) followed by AGENDA (i.e. “work list”) once it’s last letter has been removed (indicated by “not quite complete”), like so: F-AGEND.

33. Fray garment that collapses in bits (11)

Answer: FRAGMENTARY (i.e. “in bits”). “That collapses” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FRAY GARMENT.

35. In A&E, suffering debilitating condition, try a hymn (5,4,2)

Answer: ABIDE WITH ME (i.e. “hymn”). Solution is A and E followed by WITH M.E. (i.e. “suffering debilitating condition”, i.e. an illness that causes extreme fatigue in its sufferers) all wrapped around BID (i.e. “try”), like so: A(BID)E-WITH-ME.

36. My brain won’t work? Absolutely not (1,4,5)

Answer: I DON’T THINK. Solution satisfies “my brain won’t work” and “absolutely not”.

40. More grown up? Extremely eager cheat (9)

Answer: ADULTERER (i.e. “cheat”). Solution is ADULTER (i.e. “more grown up”) followed by ER (i.e. “extremely eager”, i.e. the first and last letters of “eager”).

41.Extremely popular health centre laid on diets from time to time (2,6)

Answer: IN SPADES (i.e. “extremely”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by SPA (i.e. “health centre”) and DES (i.e. “diets from time to time”, i.e. every other letter of DIETS), like so: IN-SPA-DES.

42. Soldier turned out of New York for a day; was he corrupting the others? (3,5)

Answer: BAD APPLE (i.e. “was he corrupting the others”). Solution is BIG APPLE (i.e. “New York”) with the IG (i.e. “soldier turned out”, i.e. the initials GI reversed) replaced by A and D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”), like so: B(IG)-APPLE => B(A-D)-APPLE.

44. Central European translating English novels (7)

Answer: SLOVENE (i.e. “Central European”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “translating”) of E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and NOVELS.

46. Take a turn around shelter and miss breakfast? (5,2)

Answer: SLEEP IN (i.e. “miss breakfast”). Solution is SPIN (i.e. “take a turn”) placed “around” LEE (i.e. “shelter”), like so: S(LEE)PIN.

48. Crack up without reversal of fortune (5)

Answer: EXTOL (i.e. to praise or “crack up” – a definition that’s supported in Chambers but not in my shiny new Oxford). Solution is EX (i.e. outside of or “without” in Latin) followed by LOT (i.e. “fortune”) once it has been reversed (indicated by… um… “reversal of”), like so: EX-TOL.

50. Almost cutting island (4)

Answer: SARK (i.e. “island”). Solution is SARKY (i.e. being sarcastic or “cutting”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1417

Catching up, here’s my solution for Saturday’s puzzle. This was much more my speed, hence a significantly less grumpy post! You can find explanations for my solutions below, where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If you have a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic showing a few gaps then you might find my Just For Fun page a handy place to visit. While you’re here I’ve also got a bunch of book reviews and a short story you can tuck into.

All being well I’ll see you soon for New Year’s Day’s puzzle.

TTFN! – LP

Across clues

1. Desolate region with a wild animal guarding street (9)

Answer: WASTELAND (i.e. “desolate region”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”), A and ELAND (i.e. “wild animal”, a kind of antelope found in East and Southern Africa), all wrapped around or “guarding” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: W-A-(ST)-ELAND.

6. Graduate absorbed into Sanskrit works comes to island (7)

Answer: SUMATRA (i.e. an Indonesian “island”). Solution is MA (i.e. “graduate”, specifically a Master of Arts) placed in or “absorbed into” SUTRA (i.e. “Sanskrit works”), like so: SU(MA)TRA.

10. Children that might be taken in disagreement? (5)

Answer: ISSUE. Solution satisfies “children” and “that might be taken in disagreement”, as in to take issue with something.

13. Withdraw renegade’s empty pamphlet (7)

Answer: RETRACT (i.e. “withdraw”). Solution is RE (i.e. “renegade’s empty”, i.e. the word RENEGADE with all its middle letters removed) followed by TRACT (i.e. “pamphlet”), like so: RE-TRACT.

14. Determined Armada man took ships (7)

Answer: ADAMANT (i.e. “determined”). “Ships” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: ARM(ADA MAN T)OOK.

15. Feline in tattered coat gives touching display (7)

Answer: TOCCATA (i.e. “touching display” – a toccata is a piece of music that demonstrates a player’s touch, a bit like an elaborate warm-up. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is a famous example, used in countless horror films and TV shows, including Amicus’s Tales From The Crypt. But I digress…) Solution is CAT (i.e. “feline”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “tattered”) of COAT, like so: TOC(CAT)A.

16. In crisis having finished fast food meal? (4,3,5,3,4)

Answer: WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN. Solution satisfies “in crisis” and “having finished fast food meal”.

17. For Inquisition, the one priest (3)

Answer: ELI (i.e. “[Biblical] priest”). Solution is EL (i.e. “for Inquisition, the”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”).

18. Begin meal without start of anchovy (6)

Answer: LAUNCH (i.e. “begin”). Solution is LUNCH (i.e. “meal”) wrapped around or placed “without” A (i.e. “start of anchovy”, i.e. the first letter of “anchovy”), like so: L(A)UNCH.

20. Wild and free in Spanish city (6)

Answer: MADRID (i.e. “Spanish city”). Solution is MAD (i.e. “wild”) followed by RID (i.e. “free”).

21. Unmarried mum sensible under different conditions (9)

Answer: OTHERWISE (i.e. “under different circumstances”). Solution is MOTHER (i.e. “mum”) with the M removed (indicated by “unmarried”, M being a recognised abbreviation of “married”) and followed by WISE (i.e. “sensible”), like so: OTHER-WISE.

23. Horsemen completely irritated returning by taxi (10)

Answer: CABALLEROS (i.e. “horsemen”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “completely”) followed by SORE (i.e. “irritated”) which is reversed (indicated by “returning”) and preceded by CAB (i.e. “taxi”), like so: CAB-ALL-EROS. One I remembered from a recent puzzle, if I’m honest.

25. Person met in travelling everywhere at once (11)

Answer: OMNIPRESENT (i.e. “everywhere at once”). “Travelling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PERSON MET IN.

29. Tried to get boss across river (5)

Answer: HEARD (i.e. “tried”, as in a court case). Solution is HEAD (i.e. “boss”) wrapped around or placed “across” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: HEA(R)D.

30. Tool one wants repaired (5,3)

Answer: TENON SAW (i.e. “tool”). “Repaired” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ONE WANTS.

31. Luminous discharge – constellation losing alpha star (8)

Answer: ARCTURUS (i.e. “star”). Solution is ARC (i.e. a “luminous discharge” of electricity) followed by TAURUS (i.e. “constellation”) with its A removed (indicated by “losing alpha”), like so: ARC-TURUS.

34. Female cross going round wide forest (8)

Answer: SHERWOOD (i.e. “forest”). Solution is SHE (i.e. “female”) followed by ROOD (i.e. “[Christ’s] cross”) once it has been wrapped “round” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wide”), like so: SHE-R(W)OOD.

36. Scots banker detains Welshman having caught partner previously (8)

Answer: DIVORCEE (i.e. “partner previously”). Solution is DEE (i.e. “Scots banker”, referring to the River Dee) wrapped around or “detaining” IVOR (i.e. “Welshman”) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games), like so: D(IVOR-C)EE.

37. Hollow black blocks arrive (5)

Answer: COMBE (i.e. “hollow”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “black” used in chess) placed in or “blocking” COME (i.e. “arrive”), like so: COM(B)E.

39. Ancient power revealed in deconstructing mariner poem (5,6)

Answer: ROMAN EMPIRE (i.e. “ancient power”). “Deconstructing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MARINER POEM.

41. Parisian is involved in supporting tight budget (10)

Answer: SHOESTRING (i.e. “tight budget”). Solution is EST (i.e. “Parisian is”, i.e. the French for “is”) placed or “involved in” SHORING (i.e. “supporting”), like so: SHO(EST)RING.

43. Vivacious former queen? (9)

Answer: EXUBERANT (i.e. “vivacious”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former”) followed by UBER ANT (i.e. “queen”). Cool clue. I like it.

45. Count shocked King Edward (6)

Answer: NUMBER (i.e. “count”). Solution is NUMB (i.e. “shocked”) followed by ER (i.e. “King Edward”, specifically Edwardus Rex).

47. No spring chicken, alumnus about to show concern for alcohol (6)

Answer: BODEGA (i.e. a wine shop or “concern for alcohol”). Solution is AGED (i.e. “no spring chicken”) and OB (i.e. “alumnus”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”) all reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: BO-DEGA.

49. Female finished where any number disqualified (3)

Answer: DOE (i.e. “female”). Solution is DONE (i.e. “finished”) with the N removed (indicated by “where any number disqualified” – any number being the unknown variable N).

50. Explore specific proposals, though somewhat mechanically (2,7,3,7)

Answer: GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS. Solution satisfies “explore specific proposals” and to do something “somewhat mechanically”.

52. Boy consuming egg and bones (7)

Answer: SURGEON (i.e. “bones”, a nickname given to medical professionals). Solution is SON (i.e. “boy”) wrapped around or “consuming” URGE (i.e. to “egg” someone on), like so: S(URGE)ON.

53. Copper outside a college finds plant extract (7)

Answer: CATECHU (i.e. “plant extract” – no, me neither). Solution is CU (chemical symbol of “copper”) placed “outside” of A TECH (i.e. “a college”), like so: C(A-TECH)U. A brute force of my Chambers was needed for this, which revealed I can’t spell Schopern… Schoppen… 33 down.

54. Retired clergyman comes in to put an end to bondage (7)

Answer: SLAVERY (i.e. “bondage”). Solution is REV (a recognised abbreviation of “reverend”, i.e. “clergyman”) reversed (indicated by “retired”) which is placed “in to” SLAY (i.e. “put an end to”), like so: SLA(VER)Y.

55. Become ready to eat beef – no good before noon (5)

Answer: RIPEN (i.e. “become ready to eat”). Solution is GRIPE (i.e. “beef”) with the G removed (indicated by “no good”, G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and then followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “noon”), like so: RIPE-N.

56. Indonesian fellow pens a poem sung (7)

Answer: MALAYAN (i.e. “Indonesian”). Solution is MAN (i.e. “fellow”) wrapped around or “penning” A LAY (i.e. “a poem sung”), like so: M(A-LAY)AN.

57. Memorable revolutionary character (3-6)

Answer: RED-LETTER (i.e. special or “memorable”). Solution is RED (i.e. “revolutionary”) followed by LETTER (i.e. “character”).

Down clues

1. Our lot are blooming revolting, being liable to change (8)

Answer: WEREWOLF (i.e. a “being liable to change”). Solution is WE (i.e. “our lot”) followed by FLOWER (i.e. “blooming” – a bit loose from the setter) which is reversed (indicated by “revolting”, i.e. an uprising, this being a down clue), like so: WE-REWOLF.

2. Scorer required in Johannesburg match? (5)

Answer: Erik SATIE (i.e. “scorer” or composer). When read as SA TIE, the solution also satisfies “Johannesburg match”, Johannesburg being one of the major cities in South Africa. One I got from the wordplay and a quick check on Google, to be honest.

3. Office item least suitable one accepted by city group (7,4)

Answer: ELASTIC BAND (i.e. “office item”). Solution is LAST (i.e. “least suitable”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “accepted by” EC (i.e. “city”, as in the postcode area of the City of London) and then followed by BAND (i.e. “group”), like so: E(LAST-I)C-BAND.

4. Learnt to play the horn (6)

Answer: ANTLER (i.e. “horn”). “To play” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LEARNT. A clue that scans really well, which made this a tricky one to twig for quite a while. Well played.

5. Dispatch order? (5,7)

Answer: DEATH WARRANT. Clue riffs on how dispatching someone can be taken to mean killing them. You get the idea.

6. Small mobile home or Beetle? (7)

Answer: SCAMPER (i.e. to scurry or “beetle” about – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by CAMPER (i.e. “mobile home”).

7. Key elements in data one top team’s manipulated (4,3,8)

Answer: MEAT AND POTATOES (i.e. “key elements”). “Manipulated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DATA ONE TOP TEAM’S.

8. What’s rude about article becomes relevant (2,3,5)

Answer: TO THE POINT (i.e. “relevant”). Solution is TO POINT (i.e. “what’s rude”) placed “about” THE (i.e. “article”, which is a word like a, an or the), like so: TO-(THE)-POINT.

9. Sacred place – it faces north in an old church (7)

Answer: ANTIOCH (i.e. “sacred place”). Solution is IT reversed (indicated by “faces north” – this being a down clue) and placed “in” AN, O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and CH (ditto “church”), like so: AN-(TI)-O-CH. Another repeat, albeit one all the way back from Boxing Day 2018’s utter stinker. Bad memories, man… baaaaaad memories!

10. Elected Tory chap round Rugby not compatible (11)

Answer: INCONGRUENT (i.e. “not compatible”). Solution is IN (i.e. “elected”) followed by CON (a recognised abbreviation of the Conservative Party, i.e. “Tory”) and GENT (i.e. “chap”) once it has been placed “round” RU (i.e. “rugby”, specifically Rugby Union – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: IN-CON-G(RU)ENT.

11. Mixed drink traitor served with a little food (9)

Answer: SNAKEBITE (i.e. “mixed drink”). Solution is SNAKE (i.e. “traitor”) followed by BITE (i.e. “a little food”).

12. Study what was formerly a bomb? (7)

Answer: EXAMINE (i.e. “study”). Solution is EX (i.e. “formerly”) followed by A MINE (i.e. “a bomb”).

19. Ignorant girl fighting anyone in the end (7)

Answer: UNAWARE (i.e. “ignorant”). Solution is UNA (i.e. “girl”) followed by WAR (i.e. “fighting”) and E (i.e. “anyone in the end”, i.e. the last letter of “anyone”).

22. Raised floor in factory unable to retain new mould (8)

Answer: PLATFORM (i.e. “raised floor”). Solution is PLANT (i.e. “factory”) with the N removed (indicated by “unable to retain new”, N being a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and then followed by FORM (i.e. “mould”), like so: PLAT-FORM.

24. Daily surfacing of fish on River Test produces new business (7,8)

Answer: SUNRISE INDUSTRY (i.e. “new business”). Not quite got my hooks into this one, if I’m honest. My guess is SUNRISE being “daily surfacing” followed by INDUS (i.e. one of the longest “rivers” in Asia) and TRY (i.e. “test” – ignoring the misleading capitalisation). The “of fish” bit seems a bit redundant, so I’ve probably missed something.
[EDIT: Thanks to Mark in the comments for breaking this down a little more. SUNRISE should be split into SUN (i.e. “daily [UK newspaper]”) and RISE (i.e. “surfacing of fish”). The rest is as described. Thanks, Mark! – LP]

26. Peculiar proposal for paying poets? (8)

Answer: PERVERSE (i.e. “peculiar”). When read as PER VERSE the solution also satisfies “proposal for paying poets”. A near-identical version of this appeared around this time last year in puzzle 1357. It’s weird what I remember sometimes.

27. Examiner perhaps coming in quite stern (6)

Answer: TESTER (i.e. “examiner perhaps”). “Coming in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: QUI(TE STER)N.

28. Drink from tea service? No crime in that! (6)

Answer: CHASER (i.e. “drink”). Solution is CHA (i.e. “tea”) followed by SERVICE once the VICE has been removed (indicated by “no crime in that”), like so: CHA-SER.

32. Churches in schism in medieval narrative? (7)

Answer: ROMANCE (i.e. story “narrative”). Solution is ROMAN and CE (i.e. “churches in schism”, the latter a recognised abbreviation of the Church of England, which split from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534). I’m guessing the “medieval” bit refers to the time this took place, but history isn’t my strong point.

33. Hours, each horrendous, where writer entertained thinker (12)

Answer: Arthur SCHOPENHAUER (i.e. “thinker”, and, if his picture is any guide, an early inspiration for Tekken stalwart Heihachi Mishima. #NicheVideoGameHumour). Anyway, solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) placed in or “entertained” by an anagram (indicated by “horrendous”) of HOURS EACH, like so: SCHO(PEN)HAUER.

35. Wife put in ground viridescent shrub (11)

Answer: WINTERGREEN (i.e. “shrub”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) followed by INTER (i.e. to bury or “put in ground”) and GREEN (i.e. “viridescent”).

37. Sellers here driven to make money? (3,4,4)

Answer: CAR BOOT SALE. Clue riffs on how “driven” can describe one motivated to do something, in this case selling, and also describe a car being driven. You get the idea.

38. Welcome state getting to grips with riots mishandled in the past (10)

Answer: HISTORICAL (i.e. “in the past”). Solution is HI (alternative form of “hello”, i.e. “welcome”) and CAL (i.e. “state”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of California) wrapped around or “getting to grips with” an anagram (indicated by “mishandled”) of RIOTS, like so: HI-(STORI)-CAL.

40. Working method Pasteur devised for cheese (9)

Answer: MOUSETRAP (i.e. “cheese” – a cheeky play by the setter, but I like it). Solution is MO (i.e. “working method”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Modus Operandi) followed by an anagram (indicated by “devised”) of PASTEUR, like so: MO-USETRAP.

42. One obstinate and indeed singular philosopher (8)

Answer: NAYSAYER (i.e. “one obstinate”). Solution is N (a contraction of “and”, as seen in Guns N Roses, fish ‘n chips, etc) followed by AY (i.e. “indeed”, as in an alternative form of “aye”), then S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) and [A. J.] AYER (i.e. “philosopher”), like so: N-AY-S-AYER.

43. Frenchman taking in French south upset ultimate consumer (3,4)

Answer: END USER (i.e. “ultimate consumer”). Solution is RENE (i.e. “Frenchman”) which is wrapped around or “taking in” SUD (i.e. “French south”, i.e. the French for “south”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: EN(DUS)ER.

44. Great lover married? The opposite! (7)

Answer: ANTONYM (i.e. “the opposite”). Solution is Mark ANTONY (i.e. “great lover”, specifically Cleopatra’s bit of fluff) followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”). A rather similar clue to this appeared last month in puzzle 1408.

46. Complaint made about this classical style (7)

Answer: MOHICAN (i.e. “[hair]style”). Solution is MOAN (i.e. “complaint”) placed “about” HIC (Latin for “this”), like so: MO(HIC)AN.

48. Made to smile with a thought (6)

Answer: AMUSED (i.e. “made to smile”). Solution is A followed by MUSED (i.e. “thought”).

51. No secret hole on green (5)

Answer: OVERT (i.e. “no secret”). Solution is O (i.e. “hole”) followed by VERT (i.e. “green” in heraldry).