Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1486

Stinker alert! This week’s offering leaned a little too heavy into general knowledge for my tastes – too many people and places, and as for 13d… sheesh! – but setting those aside there was some rather clever clueing to enjoy. One of the better stinkers on reflection. (Note how I am writing this the day after solving it. I didn’t exactly feel this way at the time!)

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a recent Jumbo has done for you then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where I list links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things. Elsewhere there’s the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once more for the kind comments. They are much appreciated and do help to ease the cabin fever. I and my fourteen other selves thank you. Till next time, stay safe, mask up, get vaccinated and keep flying the flag for the NHS and key workers everywhere.

LP

Across clues

  1. Relish large thing sold dishonestly? (3,2)

Answer: LAP UP (i.e. “relish”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) followed by A PUP (i.e. “thing sold dishonestly”).

  1. Male boss with this foolish ritual (5,5)

Answer: MUMBO JUMBO (i.e. “foolish ritual”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) followed by UMBO (i.e. the central knob or “boss” of a shield – no, me neither), then JUMBO (i.e. “this”, i.e. the Times Jumbo crossword).

  1. Girl visited by doctor – one stiff walking? (6)

Answer: ZOMBIE (i.e. “stiff walking” – stiff as in a dead body). Solution is ZOE (i.e. basically a “girl’s” name) wrapped around or being “visited by” MB (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Medicinae Baccalaureus or Bachelor of Medicine) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: ZO(MB-I)E.

  1. Note rubbish bags keep Cockney’s hat (3,3,3)

Answer: TIT FOR TAT (i.e. “Cockney [rhyming slang for] hat”, often shortened to titfer – insert my characteristically lame dig at Cockerneys here). Solution is TI (i.e. “note” in the sol-fa or doh-ray-me notation) and TAT (i.e. “rubbish”) wrapped around or “bagging” FORT (i.e. “keep”), like so: TI-T(FORT)AT.

  1. Eccentric solver cut long hair, displaying an old head (10,3)

Answer: NUTCRACKER MAN (i.e. “old head” – referring to “a hominid whose bones were found in Tanzania in 1959” (Chambers). Again, me neither…) Solution is NUT (i.e. “eccentric”) followed by CRACKER (i.e. “solver”) and MANE (i.e. “long hair”) once it’s last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut”), like so: NUT-CRACKER-MAN.

  1. Cocktail of note, two rupees a shot (7)

Answer: FARRAGO (i.e. a mishmash or “cocktail”). Solution is FA (i.e. “note”, again in the sol-fa notation) followed by R and R (i.e. “two rupees” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “rupee”), then A and GO (i.e. “shot”, as in having a shot at something).

  1. De La Mare’s wild gypsy heroine (9)

Answer: ESMERALDA (i.e. “gypsy heroine” of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame). “Wild” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DE LA MARE’S. Nicely worked.

  1. Gongs eclipsing old woodwind instruments (5)

Answer: OBOES (i.e. “woodwind instruments”). Solution is OBES (i.e. “gongs”, specifically Orders of the British Empire) wrapped around or “eclipsing” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: OB(O)ES.

  1. Where something sweet’s to be had between flights, or less pleasant after one? (7,7)

Answer: PANCAKE LANDING. Clue plays on how one might add “sweet” toppings to PANCAKEs, how one finds LANDINGs “between flights” of stairs, and how a PANCAKE LANDING is where an aeroplane is forced to land belly first due to landing gear malfunction, which would indeed be not “pleasant”. You get the idea.

  1. In texts, you and I would add one last letter, enlarged (7)

Answer: UPSIZED (i.e. “enlarged”). Solution is U (i.e. “in texts, you”, as in how “you” gets contracted to U in some text messages) followed by PS (i.e. “I would add”, i.e. a postscript), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ZED (i.e. “last letter” of the alphabet). Spend most of this clue trying to shoehorn WE or US into this one? Me too.

  1. Man United playing without a single female (6,4)

Answer: MAIDEN AUNT (i.e. “single female”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “playing”) of MAN UNITED wrapped around or placed “without” A, like so: M(A)IDENAUNT. Nicely done.

  1. Fancy piece of filming remains – I land Oscar (4,1,5,2)

Answer: TAKE A SHINE TO (i.e. “fancy”). Solution is TAKE (i.e. “piece of filming”) followed by ASH (i.e. “remains”), then I, then NET (i.e. to obtain or “land”) and O (“Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Joints: cats need one to move back (5)

Answer: LOINS (i.e. “joints”). Solution is LIONS (i.e. “cats”) with the I or Roman numeral “one” “moved back”, like so: L(I)ONS => LO(I)NS.

  1. Join trail east to find body of fighter? (8)

Answer: FUSELAGE (i.e. “body of fighter [plane]”). Solution is FUSE (i.e. “join”) followed by LAG (i.e. “trail”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “east”).

  1. German and Irish article, deep, in the main? (8)

Answer: UNDERSEA (i.e. “in the main” – the main being a reference to the sea). Solution is UND (i.e. “German and”, i.e. the German for “and”) followed by ERSE (i.e. a variant of ‘Irish’ “sometimes used for Irish Gaelic, as opposed to Scottish Gaelic” (Chambers)) and A (i.e. “article”, as in a word like a, an or the).

  1. Container, not exactly small, I made smaller (8)

Answer: CASSETTE (i.e. “container”). Solution is CA (i.e. “not exactly”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by S (i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and SETTER (i.e. “I” from the point of view of the setter) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “made smaller”), like so: CA-S-SETTE.

  1. Capital that’s not for investing in cereal product (8)

Answer: SANTIAGO (i.e. “capital” city of Chile). Solution is ANTI (i.e. “that’s not for”) placed or “invested” in SAGO (i.e. “cereal product”), like so: S(ANTI)AGO. Nicely done.

  1. Shower that’s needed after washing? (5)

Answer: AIRER. Solution satisfies “shower” – as in one who shows or airs something as opposed to a fall of water – and “that’s needed after washing”, as in a clothes airer.

  1. Steam bath, say, being prepared? Perhaps (5,2,3,2)

Answer: THAT’S AS MAY BE (i.e. “perhaps”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “being prepared”) of STEAM BATH SAY.

  1. This corn one twice cooked with ham? (10)

Answer: HISTRIONIC (i.e. “with ham”, i.e. overacting or excessive staginess). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cooked”) of THIS CORN, I and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one twice”).

  1. Turning off at sideroad, avoiding some stick (7)

Answer: DISTAFF (i.e. “stick” used in spinning wool etc). “Avoiding some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, thus requiring the solver to remove part of it, while “turning” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: O(FF AT SID)EROAD.

  1. Fish, spare, kept in reserve outside, to be in a pickle? (5,2,4,3)

Answer: SKATE ON THIN ICE (i.e. “to be in a pickle”). Solution is SKATE (i.e. “fish”) followed by THIN (i.e. “spare”) once placed in or having “outside” ON ICE (i.e. “kept in reserve”), like so: SKATE-(ON-(THIN)-ICE).

  1. Cancel a year’s events, for a university (5)

Answer: ANNUL (i.e. “cancel”). Solution is ANNAL (i.e. “a year’s events”) with the second A swapped “for” U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”), like so: ANN(A)L => ANN(U)L.

  1. Plaything that’s half dots, and lines on other half? (5,4)

Answer: DUTCH DOLL (i.e. “plaything”). Solution is DO (i.e. “half dots”, i.e. the first half of “dots”) and LL (i.e. “lines” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “line”) both placed “on” or after DUTCH (i.e. “other half” – more bleedin’ Cockerney, innit, this time rhyming slang for “wife”: “perhaps short for Duchess of Fife” (Chambers). Okay, if you say so…), like so: DUTCH-(DO-LL).

  1. Carp egg with cream (3-4)

Answer: NIT-PICK (i.e. “carp”). Solution is NIT (i.e. the “egg” of a louse) followed by PICK (i.e. “cream”, as in the pick of the bunch).

  1. Writer got out of bed – time to nurse very sick sheep (9-4)

Answer: Vita SACKVILLE-WEST (“writer”). Solution is SACK (i.e. “bed”) and T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) wrapped around or “nursing” V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”), ILL (i.e. “sick”) and EWES (i.e. “sheep”), like so: SACK-(V-ILL-EWES)-T. One of those where I dropped “Sackville” into Google on a hunch.

  1. Not appreciated in UK, and then abroad (9)

Answer: UNTHANKED (i.e. “not appreciated”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “abroad”) of UK AND THEN.

  1. Mate appearing before judge is sorry (6)

Answer: PALTRY (i.e. meagre or “sorry”). Solution is PAL (i.e. “mate”) followed by TRY (i.e. to “judge”, as in being tried in court).

  1. Writer dear to the French when French is in fashion (10)

Answer: G. K. CHESTERTON (i.e. “writer”). Solution is CHER (i.e. “dear to the French” i.e. the French for “dear”) wrapped around or having “in” EST (i.e. “French is”, i.e. the French for “is”), then followed by TON (i.e. “fashion”, one of the word’s variant meanings and a common play used by setters. I’ve still yet to see this used in the wild, mind), like so: CH(EST)ER-TON.

  1. Dance that one watches as one pales? (5)

Answer: TANGO (i.e. “dance”). When written as TAN GO the solution also satisfies “that one watches as one pales”.

Down clues

  1. After check, turned to make excuse (3,3)

Answer: LET OFF (i.e. “excuse”). Solution is LET (i.e. “check” – a variant meaning of LET is to obstruct or hinder) followed by OFF (i.e. “turned”, as in food going bad).

  1. Safe to differ with impartial head of household (13)

Answer: PATERFAMILIAS (i.e. “head of household”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to differ”) of SAFE and IMPARTIAL.

  1. A brief mea culpa after upsetting Indian community (5)

Answer: POONA (i.e. “Indian community”, seemingly a city known for the last forty-odd years as Pune). Solution is AN OOPS (i.e. “a … mea culpa”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “brief”). The remainder is then reversed (indicated by “upsetting” – this being a down clue), like so: POO-NA. One gotten solely from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

  1. English town, one often conveying a welcome security (7)

Answer: MATLOCK (i.e. “English town” in Derbyshire). Solution is MAT (i.e. “one often conveying a welcome”) followed by LOCK (i.e. “security”). Another gotten from the wordplay.

  1. Taking good care to accept different punishment in writing (12)

Answer: MOTHERLINESS (i.e. “taking good care”). Solution is OTHER (i.e. “different”) and LINES (i.e. “punishment” given to naughty schoolkids) both placed in or “accepted by” MS (i.e. “writing”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “manuscript”), like so: M(OTHER-LINES)S.

  1. Rub out start of interview not intended for broadcast (8)

Answer: OINTMENT (i.e. “rub”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “out” used in several ball games) followed by I (i.e. “start of interview”, i.e. the first letter of “interview”), then N’T (a contraction of “not”) and a homophone (indicated by “for broadcast”) of MEANT, like so: O-I-N’T-MENT.
[EDIT: Chris in the comments offers an alternative route for this one, using “out” as an anagram indicator for I and NOT to get OINT. Sounds good to me. Cheers, Chris! – LP]

  1. Express being closer, no longer quiet (5)

Answer: UTTER (i.e. “express”). Solution is PUTTER (i.e. “closer” in a hole of golf) with the P removed (indicated by “no longer quiet” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano” or quietly in musical lingo).
[EDIT: Thanks to Mike in the comments for another route to this, taking SH from SHUTTER to get the solution. I’ve a feeling this was more what the setter had in mind. Cheers, Mike! – LP]

  1. Wearing shorts, perhaps, in Tube half-heartedly encouraged (10)

Answer: BARELEGGED (i.e. “wearing shorts, perhaps”). Solution is BARREL (i.e. “tube” of, say, a gun) with one of the two middle Rs removed (indicated by “half-heartedly”) and the remainder followed by EGGED (i.e. “encouraged”), like so: BAREL-EGGED.

  1. Cats you can see round church often (7)

Answer: OCELOTS (i.e. “cats”). Solution is O (i.e. “round”) followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) and LOTS (i.e. “often”).

  1. Young deer mostly left going through mud floor (9)

Answer: BAMBOOZLE (i.e. to “floor” someone). Solution is BAMBI (i.e. “young deer” of a certain Walt Disney movie, the name of which escapes me at the moment…) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) once placed in or “through” OOZE (i.e. “mud”), like so: BAMB-OOZ(L)E.

  1. Strayed, without ending up in Irish town (5)

Answer: ENNIS (i.e. “Irish town”). Solution is SINNED (i.e. “strayed”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “without ending”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue).

  1. Shun coca served with nougat – the response? (1,6,3,4)

Answer: A CHACUN SON GOUT, which translates as “each person to his own taste” (Chambers), supposedly “the response” one may hear if shunning coca served etc etc. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “served”) of SHUN COCA and NOUGAT. It’s in the dictionary I guess, but FFS this was a bastard to get. That said, it’s another of those handy phrases that help detect pretentious arseholes, so I’ve at least learned something this week.

  1. Lots of pieces first of all removed from revolutionary’s property (5,4)

Answer: CHESS SETS (i.e. “lots of pieces” – lots probably meaning “collections” in this sense). Solution is CHE’S ASSETS (i.e. “revolutionary’s property”, specifically CHE Guevara) with the A removed (indicated by “first of all removed from…” – A being the first letter of “all”).

  1. I called, worried, making a scandal (8)

Answer: IRANGATE (i.e. “a scandal” of the 1980s when the US government was rumbled selling arms to Iran to help fund anti-Communist forces in Nicaragua, despite Congress saying no. Let’s face it, all they really needed was Chuck Norris). Solution is I followed by RANG (i.e. “called”) and ATE (i.e. “worried”, as in what’s eating you?) Another gotten from the wordplay, though took my Oxford to confirm it. Interestingly, Wikipedia’s page on the whole sorry affair doesn’t use this particular epithet, so maybe this was something coined by the UK press.

  1. Speak out of turn, letting a dependable person down? (4,1,5)

Answer: DROP A BRICK (i.e. “speak out of turn”). Clue plays on how dependable people are sometimes referred to as BRICKs. You get the idea.

  1. A party to act, having suggested involving whip (10)

Answer: IMPLICATED (i.e. “a party to act”, as in one involved or implicated in a particular action). Solution is IMPLIED (i.e. “suggested”) wrapped around or “involving” CAT (i.e. “whip”, specifically a cat-o-nine-tails), like so: IMPLI(CAT)ED.

  1. Like a blooming con? (2,3,2,1,6)

Answer: AS FIT AS A FIDDLE. From what I can see the clue plays on “blooming” being in good health, and a “con” being a FIDDLE, otherwise this seems another of those nothing clues you sometimes get in these things. If I’ve missed something devilishly clever, let me know and I’ll update the post.

  1. Antiriot force finally deployed, getting done over (9)

Answer: ITERATION (i.e. an action “done over”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “deployed”) of ANTIRIOT and E (i.e. “force finally”, i.e. the last letter of “force”).

  1. Palace supporter, not born in Balham to start with! (8)

Answer: ALHAMBRA (i.e. a “palace” complex in Spain whose name has seemingly spread to venues and hotels far and wide). Solution is BRA (i.e. “supporter”) with BALHAM placed “to start with” once the B has been removed (indicated by “not born in…” – B being a recognised abbreviation of “born”), like so: ALHAM-BRA. Clever given the proximity of Balham to Crystal Palace, but it took my Bradford’s to nail this one.

  1. Young one from betting syndicate in Bluegrass State (6,7)

Answer: SPRING CHICKEN (i.e. “young one”). Solution is SP (i.e. “betting” – specifically the Starting Price) followed by RING (i.e. “syndicate”), then CHIC (i.e. “in” or stylish) and KEN (a recognised abbreviation of Kentucky, sometimes referred to as the “Bluegrass State”).

  1. Not the flat we’ve been searching the country for? (8,4)

Answer: NATIONAL HUNT also known as jump racing, as opposed to “flat” racing. Clue plays on the solution being a “search” across “the country”. Clever.

  1. Mock set repetition of echo in high voice, endless hours (5,5)

Answer: FALSE TEETH (i.e. “mock set”). Solution is E and E (i.e. “repetition of echo”, “echo” being E in the phonetic alphabet) both placed “in” FALSETTO (i.e. “high voice”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endless”). This is all then followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “hours”), like so: FALSET(EE)T-H.

  1. As related, in charge of getting in weapons (9)

Answer: ARSENICAL (i.e. “As related” – As being the chemical symbol of arsenic). Solution is IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”) placed “in” ARSENAL (i.e. “weapons”), like so: ARSEN(IC)AL. Probably my favourite clue this week.

  1. Exile with feet tied up, but force not used (8)

Answer: DEPORTEE (i.e. “exile”). Solution is FEET and ROPED (i.e. “tied”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) once the F has been removed (indicated by “force not used” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “force”), like so: DEPOR-TEE.

  1. Quite the gangster’s moll? (3,4)

Answer: ALL OVER (i.e. “quite”). When written as AL LOVER the solution also satisfies “gangster’s moll”, the gangster in question taken to be Al Capone.

  1. Stumble upon trapping leg in lace (7)

Answer: HONITON (i.e. “lace”). Solution is HIT ON (i.e. “stumble upon”) wrapped around or “trapping” ON (i.e. “leg” side in cricket), like so: H(ON)IT-ON. Chalk another to my Bradford’s.

  1. Winter vehicle taking second child round and round (6)

Answer: SKIDOO (i.e. “winter vehicle”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by KID (i.e. “child”), then O and O (i.e. “round and round”).

  1. Proust, eg, an oddly uplifting story teller (5)

Answer: AESOP (i.e. “story teller”). “Oddly” indicates the solution can be found in every other letter of PROUST EG AN once reversed (indicated by “uplifting” – this being a down clue).

  1. For audition, gets better tips (5)

Answer: HEELS (i.e. “tips”, probably taken to mean tilting or listing or tipping over). “For audition” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of HEALS (i.e. “gets better”).

  1. Drink to spot on round dresser, in centre (5)

Answer: TOAST (i.e. “drink to”). Solution is TO A T (i.e. “spot on”) wrapped “round” S (i.e. “dresser, in centre”, i.e. the middle letter of “dresser”), like so: TO-A-(S)-T.

With Peturbator dropping his first new music for ages this weekend (potted review: it might take a few more listens), this prompted a whole lotta synthwave to accompany this week’s post. Retrofuture-tastic! Give these beauties a try the next time you’re streaming (links are to Spotify):
=> Peturbator: Dangerous Days – basically the album that got me into synthwave. ‘Future Club’ remains a foot-stomping cyberpunk highlight no matter how many times I hear it, but there are a good half dozen go-to tracks here;
=> Makeup and Vanity Set: Chrome EP – the guy’s prolific so his output varies, but this EP is mighty fine from beginning to end;
=> Makeup and Vanity Set: Breaking News – plays like a modern day classic 70s zombie movie soundtrack, if any of that makes sense. Great cover image too!
=> Carpenter Brut: Blood Machines soundtrack – well, the first two tracks anyway. It gets very… um… soundtracky after that;
=> Carpenter Brut: Leather Teeth – sets itself up as a soundtrack to a non-existent 80s slasher film and pulls it off with aplomb. The title track kicks all kinds of ass. Some of the videos are… ah… unreconstructed to put it mildly, but I guess that’s the point;
=> Carpenter Brut: Trilogy – yeah, you might have guessed I’m a bit of a fan. I was once told by Spotify I was in the top 1% of his listeners, which wasn’t something I particularly wanted to know. Anyway, this is a (mostly) awesome collection of his earlier stuff. ‘Turbo Killer’, ‘Paradise Warfare’ and ‘Looking For Tracy Tzu’ are each superb;
=> Danger: July 2013 EP – if you like all those BBBWWWAAAHHHMMM!!!!! moments you get in Hans Zimmer soundtracks then you’ll love this. Pro tip: play it loud. I swear the big key change during ‘1:09’ still puts goosebumps on my goosebumps. Danger broadened his output soon after this EP, but if he ever returns to this kind of stuff again I’ll be all over it like a rash.

Enjoy! – LP

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1485

A medium strength puzzle this week, and another offering steady progression throughout. One of the better ones, for my money.

As ever you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If you’re scratching your head over a recent Jumbo, then my Just For Fun page has links to solutions to the past 100+ of these things. If you’re still scratching your head then I’d recommend changing shampoos or a nit comb. Meanwhile there are also some ancient book reviews and a story of mine knocking about the place.

Thanks again for the kind and constructive comments. They are appreciated and do help when it comes to composing these posts. It’s always interesting to hear the hot takes from seasoned solvers, returnees and newbies once they’ve put their pens down, because that’s exactly what you are getting from me each week. My aim with these posts has always been to make the Jumbos less daunting for fellow solvers, not only by pointing out the cryptic indicators, abbreviations and other sneaky tricks setters use, but also to be honest and fess up when I reach for a reference book, Wikipedia etc, or if I’ve lost my rag with a particular clue. Secondary aim: occasional silliness. So if you are new to these things, welcome aboard. We’re always learning here.

Till next time, stay safe, mask up and keep flying the flag for the NHS and key workers everywhere.

LP

Across clues

  1. Marshal nabs macho vehicle (6,3)

Answer: HANSOM CAB (i.e. “vehicle”). “Marshal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NABS MACHO.

  1. Swamp dweller with reason to drop round after a time (5,8)

Answer: WATER MOCCASIN (i.e. “swamp dweller”, specifically a poisonous aquatic snake found in the US). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and OCCASION (i.e. “reason”) once the second O has been removed (indicated by “to drop round”), the latter placed “after” A and TERM (i.e. “time”), like so: W-(A-TERM)-OCCASIN.

  1. Go wrong again perhaps making organic polymer (5)

Answer: RESIN. Solution satisfies “organic polymer” and, when written as RE-SIN, “go wrong again perhaps”.

  1. In attendance, ready for what the patient may play (7,4)

Answer: WAITING GAME (i.e. “what the patient may play”). Solution is WAITING (i.e. “in attendance”, as in ready and waiting) followed by GAME (i.e. “ready”).

  1. Reference book a seaman recalled? (5)

Answer: ATLAS (i.e. “reference book”). Solution is A followed by SALT (i.e. “seaman”) once reversed (indicated by “recalled”).

  1. Sauce ingredient, bay perhaps, I’d switched during outbreak (11)

Answer: HORSERADISH (i.e. “sauce ingredient”). Solution is HORSE (i.e. “bay perhaps” – other flavours of horse are available) followed by I’D once reversed (indicated by “switched”) and placed “during” RASH (i.e. “outbreak”), like so: HORSE-RA(D’I)SH.

  1. Run across again, never returning in opposite direction (2-9)

Answer: RE-ENCOUNTER (i.e. “run across again”). Solution is NE’ER (poetic form of “never”) reversed (indicated by “returning”) and followed by COUNTER (i.e. “in opposite direction”, e.g. counter-clockwise), like so: RE’EN-COUNTER.

  1. Pets, 1000 or so bitten by mites (7)

Answer: TOMCATS (i.e. “pets”). Solution is M (i.e. “1000” as a Roman numeral) and CA (i.e. “or so”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) both placed in or “bitten by” TOTS (i.e. “mites” or young children), like so: TO(M-CA)TS.

  1. Happen to disagree (4,3)

Answer: FALL OUT. Solution satisfies “happen” and “to disagree”. Simple, but nicely done.

  1. Almost everyone prepared for contest provided with bell or buzzer (7)

Answer: ALARMED (i.e. “provided with bell or buzzer”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “everyone”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder followed by ARMED (i.e. “prepared for contest”), like so: AL-ARMED.

  1. Director’s work throughout evening race not final (2,3,4,2,3,5)

Answer: IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (i.e. “director’s work”, in this case a 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger). Clue plays on “heats” being athletic rounds held before a “final”. “Throughout evening” gets you IN…THE NIGHT. You get the idea.

  1. Border to clip: there’s no time (3)

Answer: RIM (i.e. “border”). Solution is TRIM (i.e. “to clip”) once the T has been removed (indicated by “there’s no time” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

  1. Accepting ridiculous wage, Grace returns to make trifle (6)

Answer: GEWGAW (i.e. a “trifle” – not the dessert but a toy or trifling object of little value). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ridiculous”) of WAGE placed in or “accepted” by GW (i.e. “Grace”, specifically ye olde cricketer WG Grace, the original beard to be feared), once reversed (indicated by “returns”) like so: G(EWGA)W.
[EDIT: Thanks to Mick in the comments for the fix. I mistakenly had “GW” rather than “WG” Grace. Cheers, Mick! – LP]

  1. A hidden danger in Wisconsin for native deer (6)

Answer: WAPITI (i.e. “native deer” – well, native to the US anyway). Solution is A and PIT (i.e. “hidden danger”) both placed “in” WI (US state abbreviation of “Wisconsin”), like so: W(A-PIT)I. I couldn’t open Bradford’s quick enough when I saw “native deer”. Life’s too short.

  1. It should put the squeeze on secure online publishers? (9)

Answer: WINEPRESS (i.e. “it should put the squeeze on”). Solution is WIN (i.e. “secure”) followed by E-PRESS (i.e. “online publishers”, playing on how “e” used to be prefixed to stuff to denote they related to online – the riddly question mark acknowledges this isn’t really a recognised word).

  1. From rocks below cliff, endless game bird’s cries? (9)

Answer: SCREECHES (i.e. “bird’s cries”). Solution is SCREE (i.e. “rocks below cliff”) followed by CHESS (i.e. “game”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endless”), like so: SCREE-CHES.

  1. Sponsored child playing by gallery (6)

Answer: GODSON (i.e. “sponsored child”). Solution is ON (i.e. “playing”) placed after or “by” GODS (i.e. “gallery” in a theatre, as in being up in the gods), like so: GODS-ON.

  1. Troops contemplate official inspection (6)

Answer: REVIEW (i.e. “official inspection”). Solution is RE (i.e. “troops”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) followed by VIEW (i.e. “contemplate”).

  1. Nice street plant with medicinal properties (3)

Answer: RUE. Solution satisfies “Nice street” – Nice being a French city and the French for “street” being RUE – and “plant with medicinal properties”.

  1. Labour unaided as punishment? (8,11)

Answer: SOLITARY CONFINEMENT (i.e. “punishment”). The first half of the clue plays on the following meaning of CONFINEMENT: “the time during which a woman is confined to bed during labour and immediately after giving birth” (thank you, Chambers). So, to do this alone or “unaided” gets you the solution.

  1. Teams, ignoring the odds, breaching more limits (7)

Answer: EXTREMA (i.e. mathematical “limits” – I had to check my Oxford here as Chambers didn’t want to know). Solution is EM (i.e. “teams, ignoring the odds”, i.e. every other letter of TEAMS) placed in or “breaching” EXTRA (i.e. “more”), like so: EXTR(EM)A.

  1. Trip carrying spades, toppling (7)

Answer: OUSTING (i.e. “toppling”). Solution is OUTING (i.e. “trip”) wrapped around or “carrying” S (a recognised abbreviation of “spades” used in card games), like so: OU(S)TING.

  1. Impulsive Shakespearean spiced up secondary line (7)

Answer: HOTSPUR (i.e. “impulsive Shakespearean” – specifically the nickname of Henry Percy, who was characterised in Shakespeare’s play Henry V). Solution is HOT (i.e. “spiced up”) followed by SPUR (i.e. an offshoot or branch or “secondary line”).

  1. What monitors rate of receding waters over distance in US (11)

Answer: SPEEDOMETER (i.e. “what monitors rate”). Solution is DEEPS (i.e. “waters”) reversed (indicated by “receding”) and followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket) and METER (i.e. “distance in US”, referring to the US’s variant spelling of “metre”), like so: SPEED-O-METER.

  1. Underground resistance in Tyneside, where we live (11)

Answer: NETHERWORLD (i.e. “underground”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance” used in physics) placed “in” NE (i.e. “Tyneside”, situated in NE England) and THE WORLD (i.e. “where we live”), like so: NE-THE-(R)-WORLD.

  1. Roadway cutting through landscape (5)

Answer: VISTA (i.e. “landscape”). Solution is ST (i.e. “roadway”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) placed in or “cutting” VIA (i.e. “through”), like so: VI(ST)A.

  1. Pernicious agents altered Nixon’s route (11)

Answer: NEUROTOXINS (i.e. “pernicious [chemical] agents”). “Altered” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NIXON’S ROUTE.

  1. Gregarious beast now in river? (5)

Answer: HIPPO (i.e. social or “gregarious beast”). Solution is HIP (i.e. “now in” as in hip and happening, daddios) followed by PO (i.e. a “river” in Italy – a favourite of some setters).

  1. Distant management unlikely to check supplies (6,7)

Answer: REMOTE CONTROL (i.e. “distant management”). Solution is REMOTE (i.e. “unlikely”) followed by CONTROL (i.e. “to check [supplies]”).

  1. Explosive piece by right-winger with exaggerated content (9)

Answer: GUNCOTTON (i.e. “explosive” – specifically one “prepared by saturating cotton with nitric and sulphuric acids” (Chambers)). Solution is GUN (i.e. “piece” – a slang word) followed by CON (i.e. “right-winger”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Conservative) wrapped around or “containing” OTT (i.e. “exaggerated” or Over The Top), like so: GUN-C(OTT)ON. A new one on me, I admit. I now want to read a murder mystery where the victim wore explosive underwear.

Down clues

  1. A third night in action’s critical (4-7)

Answer: HARD-HITTING (i.e. “critical”). “In action” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A THIRD NIGHT.

  1. Remedy lack of alcohol, importing case of Sekt (7)

Answer: NOSTRUM (i.e. “remedy”). Solution is NO RUM (i.e. “lack of alcohol”) wrapped around or “importing” ST (i.e. “case of Sekt”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Sekt”), like so: NO-(ST)-RUM.

  1. Cat previously possessing heart of mouse (5)

Answer: OUNCE (i.e. “cat”, specifically the magnificent snow leopard). Solution is ONCE (i.e. “previously”) wrapped around or “possessing” U (i.e. “heart of mouse”, i.e. the middle letter of MOUSE), like so: O(U)NCE.

  1. Frighten with talk about origin of sinister plant (3,7)

Answer: COW PARSLEY (i.e. “plant”). Solution is COW (i.e. to “frighten” or bully) followed by PARLEY (i.e. “talk”) once wrapped “about” S (i.e. “origin of sinister”, i.e. the first letter of “sinister”), like so: COW-PAR(S)LEY.

  1. Public official’s pledge whenever female’s arrested (7)

Answer: BAILIFF (i.e. “public official”). Solution is BAIL (i.e. “pledge”) followed by IF (i.e. provided or “whenever”) once wrapped around or “arresting” F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”), like so: BAIL-I(F)F.

  1. Women’s boat crew promoting Olympic event (13)

Answer: WEIGHTLIFTING (i.e. “Olympic event”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “women”) followed by EIGHT (i.e. rowing or “boat crew”) then LIFTING (i.e. “promoting”).

  1. Insect little one on horse carrying current source of infection (5,4)

Answer: TIGER MOTH (i.e. “insect”). Solution is TOT (i.e. “little one” or small child) followed by or “on” – this being a down clue – H (slang for heroin; another being “horse”). The whole is then wrapped around or “carrying” I (a recognised abbreviation of an electric “current” used in physics) and GERM (i.e. “source of infection”), like so: T(I-GERM)OT-H.

  1. Time to block payment for chemical (7)

Answer: REAGENT (i.e. “chemical”). Solution is AGE (i.e. “time”) placed in or “blocking” RENT (i.e. “payment”), like so: RE(AGE)NT.

  1. Demanding too much rushing after balls (12)

Answer: OVERCHARGING (i.e. “demanding too much”). Solution is CHARGING (i.e. “rushing”) placed “after” OVER (i.e. a series of deliveries or “balls” in cricket).

  1. Fuel worker nursing cut arm gets treatment for bleeding, maybe (9)

Answer: COAGULANT (i.e. “treatment for bleeding, maybe”). Solution is COAL (i.e. “fuel”) and ANT (i.e. “worker”) wrapped around or “nursing” GUN (i.e. “arm”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut”), like so: COA(GU)L-ANT.

  1. Fork left raised in shed accidentally (5)

Answer: SPLIT (i.e. “fork”). Solution is SPILT (i.e. “shed accidentally”) once the L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) has been knocked back a notch or “raised” – this being a down clue – like so: SPI(L)T => SP(L)IT.

  1. Visionary shows wit, keeping up outrageous skills (11)

Answer: NOSTRADAMUS (i.e. “visionary”). Solution is NOUS (i.e. “wit”) wrapped around or “keeping” MAD (i.e. “outrageous”) and ARTS (i.e. “skills”) once they’ve been reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: NO(STRA-DAM)US.

  1. Expert manufacturer of sugar and salt (7)

Answer: ACETATE (i.e. “salt”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “expert”) followed by Henry TATE (i.e. “manufacturer of sugar”).

  1. Apply strengthening treatment to car before one’s garaged (9)

Answer: MERCERISE (i.e. “apply strengthening” to cotton, presumably the non-explosive variety, using caustic soda). Solution is MERC (i.e. “car”, short for Mercedes) and ERE (poetic form of “before”) once wrapped around or “garaging” I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”), like so: MERC-ER(I’S)E. Another new one on me, but not exactly something that’ll stick around.

  1. Most raffish doctor was tired by end of shift (9)

Answer: TAWDRIEST (i.e. “most raffish”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “doctor”) of WAS TRIED followed by T (i.e. “end of shift”, i.e. the last letter of “shift”), like so: TAWDRIES-T.

  1. Conversion of two cardinals, habit-clad (7)

Answer: TRANSIT (i.e. “conversion”). Solution is N and S (i.e. “two cardinals”, referring to the cardinal points North and South on a compass) placed in or “clad” by TRAIT (i.e. “habit”), like so: TRA(NS)IT.

  1. Crazed women about when nights are darkest? (3,4)

Answer: NEW MOON (i.e. “when nights are darkest”, i.e. when the moon lies directly between the earth and the sun and therefore doesn’t appear in the night sky). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “crazed”) of WOMEN followed by ON (i.e. “about”), like so: NEWMO-ON.

  1. Part of circuit needing installation in office before spring (9,4)

Answer: INDUCTION COIL (i.e. “part of [electrical] circuit”). Solution is INDUCTION (i.e. “installation [of new staff] in office”) followed by COIL (i.e. “spring”).

  1. Set out here (7)

Answer: PRESENT. Solution satisfies “set out” and “here”. Again, simple but nicely done.

  1. Choral society’s vocal line distressed choirman (12)

Answer: PHILHARMONIC. Not 100% on this one, as the definition I have in Chambers is merely “fond of music”. Might refer to a specific organisation, but there seem to be a few to choose from. Whatever. My solution, for what it’s worth, is PHIL-HARMONIC, the latter chunk being an anagram (indicated by “distressed”) of CHOIRMAN. As for PHIL, “vocal” could indicate a homophone, but I’m not twigging much of a link between “line” and “fill”, or whatever the homophone is supposed to be. If a kind soul sheds light on this one, I’ll update the post. Moving on…
[EDIT: Thanks to John in the comments, who points out that “line” can be “fill” in terms of lining one’s pockets. Sounds good to me. Cheers, John! – LP]

  1. Evaluate bank customer’s application to protect PC (11)

Answer: SCREENSAVER (i.e. “application to protect PC” – specifically a program that helps to prevent screen burn by blanking the screen or displaying an animation. I’m guessing the setter wrote this one on a laptop…) Solution is SCREEN (i.e. “evaluate”) followed by SAVER (i.e. “bank customer”).

  1. Qualified journalist following one sort of drink with another (7,4)

Answer: WATERED DOWN (i.e. “qualified” – a meaning of the word is to moderate or mitigate). Solution is ED (i.e. “journalist”, specifically a shortened form of “editor”) placed after or “following” WATER (i.e. “one sort of drink”) and followed by DOWN (i.e. “another [sort of drink]”, this time its verb form, i.e. downing a drink), like so: WATER-(ED)-DOWN.

  1. Pongy child under the briny when most tourists come (4,6)

Answer: HIGH SEASON (i.e. “when most tourists come”). Solution is HIGH (i.e. “pongy”) and SON (i.e. “child”) once this latter has been placed after or “under” – this being a down clue – SEA (i.e. “the briny”), like so: HIGH-(SEA)-SON.

  1. Firm dates to be arranged without delay (9)

Answer: STEADFAST (i.e. “firm”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to be arranged”) of DATES followed by FAST (i.e. “without delay”), like so: STEAD-FAST.

  1. Bank errors I’ve sorted out (9)

Answer: RESERVOIR (i.e. “bank”). “Sorted out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ERRORS I’VE.

  1. Old-fashioned cycle is all that’s produced (3-4)

Answer: OUT-TURN (i.e. “all that’s produced”). Solution is OUT (i.e. “old-fashioned”) followed by TURN (i.e. “cycle”).

  1. Scanty garment’s a bit of a fiddle (1-6)

Answer: G-STRING. Solution satisfies “scanty garment” and “bit of a fiddle”, as in the stringed instrument. Would you think any less of me if I said this was the first clue I got?

  1. Defence of area: exercises in sector (7)

Answer: PARAPET (i.e. “defence”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) and PE (i.e. “exercises”, specifically Physical Education), both placed “in” PART (i.e. “sector”), like so: PAR(A-PE)T.

  1. Course records on order (5)

Answer: EPSOM (i.e. “[race]course”). Solution is EPS (i.e. “records”, as in extended-play records) followed by OM (i.e. “order”, specifically the Order of Merit).

  1. Elm tree with a ring cut (5)

Answer: WAHOO (i.e. “elm tree”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) followed by A and HOOP (i.e. “ring”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut”), like so: W-A-HOO. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here, though I perhaps ought to have remembered this one from a previous puzzle.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1484

A fairly straightforward puzzle this week with a smattering of exotic (but deducible) solutions and a few decent clues. I don’t mind the easier ones! Gives me more time to ponder this week’s mathematical Listener Crossword…

Anyway, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo is looking a bit gappy then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, in which you will find links to the last 100+ of these things. Also there’s the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once again for the kind comments. They are much appreciated. Till next time, stay safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. It’s great that Covid infection levels are markedly dropping, but this rubbish has got some months to run yet.

LP

Across clues

  1. Exhausted, American journalist on horseback (4,2)

Answer: USED UP (i.e. “exhausted”). Solution is US (i.e. “American”) followed by ED (i.e. “journalist”, specifically a shortened form of “editor”) and UP (i.e. “on horseback”).

  1. Opening large part of church (7)

Answer: CHANCEL (i.e. “part of church”). Solution is CHANCE (i.e. “opening” or opportunity) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”).

  1. Fly in food sent back? Do nothing (8)

Answer: STAGNATE (i.e. “do nothing”). Solution is GNAT (i.e. “fly”) placed “in” EATS (i.e. “food”) once reversed (indicated by “sent back”), like so: STA(GNAT)E.

  1. Song always associated with religious magazine (3,5,3,10)

Answer: ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER (i.e. Jimi Hendrix “song”). Solution is ALL ALONG (i.e. “always”) followed by THE WATCHTOWER (i.e. “religious magazine” of the Jehovah’s Witnesses).

  1. To co-operate, take part in a game prior to social function (4,4)

Answer: PLAY BALL (i.e. “to co-operate”). Solution is PLAY (i.e. “take part in a game”) followed by or placed “prior to” BALL (i.e. “social function”).

  1. Given the wrong role in film netting endless money (7)

Answer: MISCAST (i.e. “given the wrong role in film”). Solution is MIST (i.e. “film” – think condensation) wrapped around or “netting” CASH (i.e. “money”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endless”), like so: MIS(CAS)T. Nice bit of recycling.

  1. Bad storm skirting North Carolina (6)

Answer: RANCID (i.e. “bad”). Solution is RAID (i.e. “storm”) wrapped around or “skirting” NC (US state abbreviation of “North Carolina”), like so: RA(NC)ID.

  1. British chieftain’s time in capital, mostly, note with us (10)

Answer: CARACTACUS (i.e. “British chieftain” who resisted the Roman conquest of Britain a few years back). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) placed in CARACAS (i.e. “capital” of Venezuela) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”). This is then followed by C (i.e. musical “note”) and US, like so: CARAC(T)A-C-US. One you’re going to know or not know. Chalk one to my Bradford’s.

  1. Ostensibly promote excitement by winning flight (4,8)

Answer: KICK UPSTAIRS (i.e. “ostensibly promote”). Solution is KICK (i.e. “excitement”, as in getting one’s kicks) followed by UP (i.e. “winning”) and STAIRS (i.e. “flight”).

  1. Briefly examine item of jewellery (4)

Answer: STUD (i.e. “item of jewellery”). Solution is STUDY (i.e. “examine”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”).

  1. Measure of paper covering AGM’s awkward situation (8)

Answer: QUAGMIRE (i.e. “awkward situation”). Solution is QUIRE (i.e. “measure of paper”) wrapped around or “covering” AGM, like so: QU(AGM)IRE. Giggedy.

  1. Fresh buns – adjust heat to brown? (8)

Answer: SUNBATHE (i.e. “to brown”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “fresh”) of BUNS followed by another anagram (this time indicated by “adjust”) of HEAT, like so: SUNB-ATHE. Nicely worked.

  1. Lends farmer a clapped out old warhorse (8,4)

Answer: FLANDERS MARE (i.e. “old warhorse”). “Clapped out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LENDS FARMER A.

  1. A head entertaining lecturer in Rhode Island, a Scot (10)

Answer: ABERDONIAN (i.e. “a Scot”). Solution is A followed by BEAN (informal word for a “head”) once wrapped around or “entertaining” DON (i.e. “lecturer”), but not before this has been placed “in” RI (US state abbreviation of “Rhode Island”), like so: A-BE(R(DON)I)AN.

  1. Few ordered in England originally, being ostentatiously modern! (10)

Answer: NEWFANGLED (i.e. “modern”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ordered”) of FEW placed inside another anagram (indicated by “originally”) of ENGLAND, like so: N(EWF)ANGLED.

  1. Inhalant supplied to order? (6,6)

Answer: FRIAR’S BALSAM (“inhalant” of benzoin, storax, tolu and aloes, according to Chambers, whatever the hell they are. Sounds like supernal crack to me). Clue plays on how godly types organise themselves into “orders”. You get the idea. One of those “look up ‘friar’ in Chambers and see what happens” moments.

  1. Faculty I refer to in speech (8)

Answer: EYESIGHT (i.e. “faculty”). “In speech” indicates solution is a homophone of I CITE (i.e. “I refer to”).

  1. Learned line to utter repeatedly (8)

Answer: LITERATE (i.e. “learned”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) followed by ITERATE (i.e. “to utter repeatedly”).

  1. Ballerina finally retiring, becoming pale (4)

Answer: ASHY (i.e. “pale”). Solution is A (i.e. “ballerina, finally”, i.e. the last letter of “ballerina”) followed by SHY (i.e. “retiring”).

  1. Here, rest assured (4,2,4,2)

Answer: TAKE IT FROM ME. Solution satisfies “here” (as in ‘have this’) and “rest assured”.

  1. Bother involving religious instruction given by cunning old bishop’s assistant (10)

Answer: ARCHPRIEST (i.e. “old bishop’s assistant”). Solution is PEST (i.e. “bother”) wrapped around or “involving” RI (a recognised abbreviation of “religious instruction”). This is then fronted “by” ARCH (i.e. “cunning”), like so: ARCH-P(RI)EST.

  1. Fool can in turn with comedian (6)

Answer: NITWIT (i.e. “fool”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “can”) reversed (indicated by “in turn”) and followed by WIT (i.e. “comedian”), like so: NIT-WIT.

  1. Show former partner and husband small piece about island (7)

Answer: EXHIBIT (i.e. “show”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former partner”) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) and BIT (i.e. “small piece”) once wrapped “about” I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: EX-H-(I)-BIT.

  1. Study including data about European rat (8)

Answer: RENEGADE (i.e. “rat”). Solution is READ (i.e. “study”) wrapped around or “including” GEN (i.e. “data”) once reversed (indicated by “about”), and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”), like so: RE(NEG)AD-E.

  1. Poet’s literary colleagues do, upset about poem’s ending (6,6,9)

Answer: SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (i.e. “poet”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “upset”) of LITERARY COLLEAGUES DO wrapped “about” M (i.e. “poem’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “poem”). Nicely done.

  1. Fifteen from Ireland – some settle in sterling (8)

Answer: LEINSTER (i.e. “fifteen from Ireland” – a reference to the rugby team). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: SETT(LE IN STER)LING.

  1. Seeing that on, this must be genuine (7)

Answer: SINCERE (i.e. “genuine”). Solution is SINCE (i.e. “seeing that”) followed by RE (i.e. “on” or regarding – think email replies).

  1. Fast, agent crossing river to the west (6)

Answer: SPEEDY (i.e. “fast”). Solution is SPY (i.e. “agent”) wrapped around DEE (i.e. Scottish “river”) once reversed (indicated by “to the west” – this being an across clue), like so: SP(EED)Y.

Down clues

  1. Delay beginning to seem unlikely (5)

Answer: STALL (i.e. “delay”). Solution is S (i.e. “beginning to seem”, i.e. the first letter of “seem”) followed by TALL (i.e. “unlikely”, as in a tall order or a tall tale).

  1. Child’s toy with red and navy floppy hat (5,6)

Answer: DOLLY VARDEN (i.e. “hat”). Solution is DOLL (i.e. “child’s toy”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “floppy”) of RED and NAVY, like so: DOLL-YVARDEN.

  1. Friend, old singer, in a place in California (4,4)

Answer: PALO ALTO (i.e. “place in California”, though not one that sprang to mind). Solution is PAL (i.e. “friend”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and ALTO (i.e. “singer”).

  1. Waterway with biblical town on left (5)
Paolo Veronese – The Wedding Feast at Cana (not to scale)

Answer: CANAL (i.e. “waterway”). Solution is CANA (i.e. “biblical town” in which Jesus did his water-into-wine trick. Fun fact: Paolo Veronese’s painting The Wedding Feast at Cana is not just immensely impressive, it’s also impressively immense, coming in just shy of 7m x 10m) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”).

  1. Employed by us, now and again? (2,5)

Answer: AT TIMES. Solution satisfies “employed by us” – “us” being a reference to the Times newspaper – and “now and again”.

  1. What may be brought with a Stilton? Check – see if keen, being curious (6,5)

Answer: CHEESE KNIFE (i.e. “what may be brought with a Stilton”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “check” used in chess) followed by an anagram (indicated by “being curious”) of SEE IF KEEN, like so: CH-EESEKNIFE.

  1. Pounds carried by monk’s beast of burden (5)

Answer: LLAMA (i.e. “beast of burden”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight, after the Latin libra) followed by LAMA (i.e. Buddhist “monk”).

  1. Weird curses involving wrecked tea clippers (9)

Answer: SECATEURS (i.e. “clippers”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “weird”) of CURSES wrapped around or “involving” another anagram (indicated by “wrecked”) of TEA, like so: SEC(ATE)URS. Nicely worked.

  1. Change flag when heading off (5)

Answer: ALTER (i.e. “change”). Solution is FALTER (i.e. to tire or “flag”) once the first letter has been removed (indicated by “when heading off”).

  1. From time to time was successful, turned up with a profit (3,3,5)

Answer: NOW AND AGAIN (i.e. “from time to time”). Solution is WON (i.e. “was successful”) reversed (indicated by “turned up” – this being a down clue) and followed by AND (i.e. “with”), A and GAIN (i.e. “profit”), like so: NOW-AND-A-GAIN. A weird one given the solution was used in the clue for 6d.

  1. Row involving stray dog (7)

Answer: TERRIER (i.e. “dog”). Solution is TIER (i.e. “row”) wrapped around or “involving” ERR (i.e. to “stray”), like so: T(ERR)IER.

  1. Big guns, hostile placed in middle of major road (9)

Answer: ARTILLERY (i.e. “big guns”). Solution is ILL (i.e. “hostile”) once “placed in” ARTERY (i.e. “main road”), like so: ART(ILL)ERY.

  1. Brief local authority by telephone (7)

Answer: COUNSEL (i.e. to advise or “brief”). “By telephone” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of COUNCIL (i.e. “local authority”).

  1. Gallant French actor and singer (9)

Answer: CHEVALIER. Solution satisfies “gallant” and “French actor and singer”, i.e. Maurice Chevalier.

  1. Swimmers also not good climbing on board ship (4,4)

Answer: SAND DABS (i.e. “swimmers”). Solution is AND (i.e. “also”) and BAD (i.e. “not good”), the latter reversed (indicated by “climbing” – this being a down clue) and both placed in or “on board” SS (i.e. “ship”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a steamship), like so: S(AND-DAB)S. One gotten purely through the wordplay, to be honest.

  1. After fine, slate major championship (5,4)

Answer: GRAND SLAM (i.e. “major championship”). Solution is GRAND (i.e. “fine”) with SLAM (i.e. to “slate”) placed “after” it.

  1. Senior teacher having pains causes problems (9)

Answer: HEADACHES (i.e. “problems” – rather prescient considering I’ve been battling one all day). Solution is HEAD (i.e. “senior teacher”) followed by ACHES (i.e. “pains”).

  1. Names within top party (3,5)

Answer: HEN NIGHT (i.e. “party”). Solution is N and N (recognised abbreviations of “name”) placed “within” HEIGHT (i.e. “top”), like so: HE(NN)IGHT.

  1. Unreliable quote about a bishop coming over (7)

Answer: ERRATIC (i.e. “unreliable”). Solution is CITE (i.e. “quote”) placed “about” A and RR (i.e. “bishop”, specifically a Right Reverend). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “coming over” – this being a down clue), like so: E(RR-A)TIC.

  1. Angler: he was in form spinning (11)

Answer: FISHERWOMAN (i.e. “angler”). “Spinning” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HE WAS IN FORM.

  1. Plump, her tanned literary sleuth (6,5)

Answer: FATHER BROWN (G. K. Chesterton’s “literary sleuth”). Solution is FAT (i.e. “plump”) followed by HER and BROWN (i.e. “tanned”).

  1. Advanced up cliff (7-4)

Answer: LEADING-EDGE (i.e. “advanced”). Solution is LEADING (i.e. “up”) followed by EDGE (i.e. “cliff”).

  1. Fairly good hotel in a street in resort, close to pier (5-4)

Answer: THREE-STAR (i.e. “fairly good hotel”). Solution is H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “resort”) of A STREET and followed by R (i.e. “close to pier”, i.e. the last letter of “pier”), like so: T(H)REESTA-R. Another nice bit of recycling.

  1. Outraged at university, current members (2,2,4)

Answer: UP IN ARMS (i.e. “outraged”). Solution is UP (i.e. “at university” – something I’ve seen used far more in cryptic crosswords than anywhere else) followed by IN (i.e. “current”, as in hip and happening, my dudes) and ARMS (i.e. “members” – limbs are sometimes referred to “members”).

  1. Leader in another paper under discussion (2,5)

Answer: AT ISSUE (i.e. “under discussion”). Solution is A (i.e. “leader in another”, i.e. the first letter of “another”) followed by TISSUE (i.e. “paper”). Bless you.

  1. Item the Parisian found under lorry (7)

Answer: ARTICLE (i.e. “item”). Solution is LE (i.e. “the Parisian”, i.e. the French for “the”) placed after or “under” ARTIC (i.e. “lorry”) – this being a down clue – like so: ARTIC-LE.

  1. Pay for another nurse (5)

Answer: TREAT. Solution satisfies to sub or “pay for another” and “nurse”.

  1. Former US president in state of confusion, they say (5)

Answer: Rutherford B. HAYES (i.e. “former US president”). “They say” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of HAZE (i.e. “state of confusion”).

  1. Bohemian poet’s anger about Keats, primarily (5)

Answer: Rainer Maria RILKE (i.e. “Bohemian poet”). Solution is RILE (i.e. “anger”) wrapped “about” K (i.e. “Keats, primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “Keats”), like so: RIL(K)E.

  1. Fear about being caught by the old man (5)

Answer: DREAD (i.e. “fear”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) placed in or “being caught by” DAD (i.e. “the old man”), like so: D(RE)AD.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1483

Another medium strength offering this week, though thankfully one with tidier clueing. Another decent one, all told, despite a few niggly repeats. You can find my competed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has done for you, then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where I’ve links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things. Meanwhile there are the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind comments, folks. They are much appreciated, and it’s always interesting to hear other solvers’ experiences or takes on these things. Till next time, keep safe, wrap up well and keep the flag flying for the NHS and key workers everywhere.

LP

(Thanks to Barry in the comments for the spelling fix)

Across clues

  1. To reduce pollution try to avoid misunderstandings (5,3,3)

Answer: CLEAR THE AIR. Solution satisfies “to reduce pollution” and “try to avoid misunderstandings”. A bit clunky, IMLTHO. Chambers offers this: “to simplify the situation and relieve tension”.

  1. Court formality concluded with warning signal (4,7)

Answer: STAR CHAMBER (i.e. English “court” sitting between 1487 and 1641). Solution is STARCH (i.e. stiffness or “formality”) followed by AMBER (i.e. “warning signal”).

  1. Response to enquiry about what can improve tonic water? Don’t be unreasonable! (3,6,2,1,5)

Answer: THE ANSWER IS A LEMON. Solution satisfies “response to enquiry about what can improve tonic water” and, supposedly, “don’t be unreasonable”. Chambers offers this definition: “(inf) one is given an unsatisfactory answer or no answer at all”. Not quite making the connection there, if I’m honest. Maybe that’s the point.

  1. Instrument in Purcell overture (5)

Answer: CELLO (i.e. musical “instrument”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: PUR(CELL O)VERTURE.

  1. Pay for place in comfortable position (6)

Answer: SETTLE. Solution satisfies “pay” and “place in comfortable position”.

  1. Man dying in bath with hot on somewhere in Greece (8)

Answer: MARATHON. Solution is Jean-Paul MARAT, a key player of the French Revolution who was assassinated and left “dying in bath”, followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”) and ON. The frequent use of repeated solutions in these things doesn’t half get on my wick. This solution appeared only a few weeks ago in 1477. It also appeared a little further back in 1450 with a very similar clue. The irony of me repeating a recent moan about recent repeats is not lost on me.

  1. Comic brother or sister consumed by anger (7)

Answer: RISIBLE (i.e. “comic”). Solution is SIB (a recognised abbreviation of “sibling”, i.e. “brother or sister”) placed in or “consumed by” RILE (i.e. to “anger”), like so: RI(SIB)LE.

  1. Gradually easing glove in to soak (9)

Answer: REMITTENT (i.e. “gradually easing”). Solution is MITTEN (i.e. “glove”) placed “in” RET (i.e. “to soak”), like so: RE(MITTEN)T.

  1. Skill of a king – is taking time in effort (8)

Answer: ARTISTRY (i.e. “skill”). Solution is A followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of the Latin Rex, meaning “king”) followed by IS and T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) once both placed “in” TRY (i.e. “effort”), like so: A-R-T(IS-T)RY.

  1. Leader to cry when overthrown by rebels ultimately (4)

Answer: BOSS (i.e. “leader”). Solution is SOB (i.e. “to cry”) reversed (indicated by “overthrown” – works better in down clues, but okay) and followed “by” S (i.e. “rebels ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “rebels”), like so: BOS-S.

  1. One acting insincerely is a problem (5)

Answer: POSER. Solution satisfies “one acting insincerely” and “problem”.

  1. Cheated excessively by relations (4,2)

Answer: TOOK IN (i.e. “cheated”). Solution is TOO (i.e. “excessively”) followed by KIN (i.e. “relations”).

  1. Drink from cask, bidding woman to follow (4,6)

Answer: PINA COLADA (i.e. “drink”). Solution is PIN (i.e. “cask”) followed by ACOL (a system or “bidding” in a game of bridge (thank you, Chambers)) and ADA (i.e. “woman”, basically a woman’s name).

  1. Recluses as before having small amounts of money (8)

Answer: EREMITES (i.e. “recluses”). Solution is ERE (poetic form of “before”) followed by MITES (i.e. “small amounts of money” – one definition of the word is “an old Flemish coin of very little value” (Chambers again)).

  1. A foreign school to which the girl returned and finished being “not understood” (14)

Answer: UNCOMPREHENDED (i.e. “not understood”). Solution is UN (i.e. “a foreign”, i.e. the word “a” in French) followed by COMP (i.e. “school”, specifically a shortened form of “comprehensive”), then HER (i.e. “the girl”) once reversed (indicated by “returned”), and finally ENDED (i.e. “finished”), like so: UN-COMP-REH-ENDED.

  1. A wise confessor sorted out conflict in America (3,2,9)

Answer: WAR OF SECESSION (i.e. “conflict in America”, another name for the American Civil War of the 1860s). “Sorted out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A WISE CONFESSOR.
[EDIT: Thanks to Barry in the comments for the fix. I’d written CESESSION, which clearly ain’t right. Cheers, Barry! – LP]

  1. Spread out sample on tissue (8)

Answer: NEOPLASM (i.e. a morbid new growth of “tissue” (Chambers)). “Spread out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SAMPLE ON.

  1. Determination in respect of letters being filled in grid? (10)

Answer: RESOLUTION (i.e. “determination”). Solution is RE (i.e. “in respect of” – think email replies) followed by SOLUTION (i.e. “letters being filled in [crossword] grid”).

  1. Catch superior – the foreign female for Bond? (6)

Answer: COPULA (i.e. to join or “bond” – ignore the misleading capitalisation. It’s from this word we get “copulate”, fnar, fnar). Solution is COP (i.e. “catch”, as in “cop a load of this”) followed by U (i.e. “superior” – U is a somewhat overworked abbreviation used to denote the upper class) and LA (i.e. “the foreign female”, i.e. the feminine form of “the” in French, the masculine form being “le”).

  1. Significant points made by eg Canterbury fellow on return journey (5)

Answer: NODES (i.e. “significant points”). Solution is SE DON (i.e. “eg Canterbury fellow”, SE being a recognised abbreviation of “south-east”, the area of England in which you’d find Canterbury) reversed (indicated by “on return journey”), like so: NOD-ES.

  1. Something dirty and greyish-brown, little good (4)

Answer: DUNG (i.e. “something dirty”). Solution is DUN (i.e. “greyish-grown”) followed by G (a recognised abbreviation or “little” form of “good”).

  1. Pill mum gets swallowed – something seen at meal time (5,3)

Answer: TABLE MAT (i.e. “something seen at meal time”) Solution is TABLET (i.e. “pill”) wrapped around or “swallowing” MA (i.e. “mum”), like so: TABLE(MA)T.

  1. Cosmetic making girl yell audibly (4,5)

Answer: FACE CREAM (i.e. “cosmetic”). “Audibly” indicates homophone. Solution comprises homophones of FAY (i.e. “girl”, basically a girl’s name) and SCREAM (i.e. “yell”).

  1. Model no longer, having got “wide” (7)

Answer: EXAMPLE (i.e. “model”). Solution is EX (i.e. “no longer”) followed by AMPLE (i.e. “having got ‘wide’” – are you calling me fat, setter?!). More repeats (chunter, mumble, grumble…)

  1. One in a hurry requiring second attachment to computer (8)

Answer: SPRINTER (i.e. “one in a hurry”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by PRINTER (i.e. “attachment to computer”).

  1. Relation mostly bagging ducks with it? Hardly (6)

Answer: UNCOOL (i.e. “…with it? Hardly”) Solution is UNCLE (i.e. “relation”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped around or “bagging” OO (i.e. “ducks” – a duck is a zero batting score in cricket), like so: UNC(OO)L.

  1. Judge maybe in German city (5)

Answer: TRIER. Solution is “judge maybe”, as in how criminals are tried in court, and “German city”.

  1. It’s shocking – can make your hair stand on end! (6,11)

Answer: STATIC ELECTRICITY. Solution satisfies “it’s shocking” and “can make your hair stand on end”.

  1. Ordinary members in rows not facing each other (4,3,4)

Answer: RANK AND FILE. Solution satisfies “ordinary members” and “rows not facing each other”.

  1. Attempted to get adored venue redeveloped (11)

Answer: ENDEAVOURED (i.e. “attempted”). “Redeveloped” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ADORED VENUE.

Down clues

  1. Disaster when going after pet? What drink’s got knocked over? (11)

Answer: CATASTROPHE (i.e. “disaster”). Solution is AS (i.e. “when”) placed “after” CAT (i.e. “pet”). This is then followed by EH (i.e. “what”, as in eh? what? pardon?) and PORT (i.e. “drink”) once reversed (indicated by “knocked over” – this being a down clue), like so: CAT-AS-(TROP-HE).

  1. Put up in the rectory (5)

Answer: ERECT (i.e. “put up”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: TH(E RECT)ORY.

  1. Phone one way and phone another way – it can be hairy (7)

Answer: RINGLET (i.e. “it can be hairy”). Solution is RING (i.e. “phone”) and TEL (a recognised abbreviation of “telephone”, i.e. “phone”). The “one way”/”another way” bits comment on how TEL is reversed while RING is not, making RING-LET.

  1. Act as a seller making one cough up (4)

Answer: HAWK. Solution satisfies “act as a seller” and “cough up”.

  1. A loveless pain in the neck fighting a release of emotional tension (10)

Answer: ABREACTION (i.e. “a release of emotional tension”, specifically “the resolution of a neurosis by reviving forgotten or repressed ideas of the event first causing it” (Chambers)). Solution is A followed by BORE (i.e. “pain in the neck”) once the O has been removed (indicated by “loveless” – “love” being a zero score in tennis), then ACTION (i.e. “fighting”), like so: A-BRE-ACTION. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here.

  1. Practice of one type of religious person? Samaritan is far different (14)

Answer: RASTAFARIANISM (i.e. “practice of one type of religious person”). “Different” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SAMARITAN IS FAR.

  1. Chemical having advantage? The reverse, leading to resentment (8)

Answer: SULPHATE (i.e. “chemical”). Solution is PLUS (i.e. “advantage”) “reversed” and followed by HATE (i.e. “resentment”), like so: SULP-HATE.

  1. Notice minutes for business proceedings (5)

Answer: ADMIN (i.e. “business proceedings”). Solution is AD (i.e. “notice”, shortened form of “advertisement”) followed by MIN (a recognised abbreviation of “minutes”).

  1. Plant urns may be stored in such places (9)

Answer: CINERARIA. Solution satisfies “plant” and cremation “urns may be stored in such places”. Nice work, but it took my Bradford’s to help nail this one.

  1. Bill with amount to be paid for buttonhole (6)

Answer: ACCOST (i.e. to “buttonhole”, as in detaining someone with talk). Solution is AC (i.e. “bill”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “account”) followed by COST (i.e. “amount to be paid”).

  1. One blackballed don sacked, displaying signs of excommunication (4,4,3,6)

Answer: BELL BOOK AND CANDLE. Over to Chambers yet again: “a phrase popularly used in reference to a form of excommunication ending, ‘Do to (i.e. shut) the book, quench the candle, ring the bell’.” “Sacked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ONE BLACKBALLED DON.

  1. State that would briefly provide religious instruction (5,6)

Answer: RHODE ISLAND (i.e. US “state”). Clue plays on how its state abbreviation, RI, is itself a recognised abbreviation of “religious instruction”.

  1. Woman almost taken in by mischief-maker is an arty type (8)

Answer: AESTHETE (i.e. “arty type”). Solution is ESTHER (i.e. “woman”, basically a woman’s name) with its last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder placed or “taken in” to ATE (Greek goddess of mischief, i.e. “mischief-maker”), like so: A(ESTHE)TE.

  1. I am not involved with enterprises creating false account? (17)

Answer: MISREPRESENTATION (i.e. “false account”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “involved”) of I AM NOT and ENTERPRISES.

  1. Elusive little son getting cheeky (6)

Answer: SLIPPY (i.e. “elusive”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation or “little” form of “son”) followed by LIPPY (i.e. “cheeky”).

  1. Folksy detective dismissing learner with a joke (8)

Answer: HOMESPUN (i.e. “folksy”). Solution is Sherlock HOLMES (i.e. “detective”) with the L removed (indicated by “dismissing learner” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “learner” used on driver L-plates) and the remainder followed by PUN (i.e. “joke”), like so: HOMES-PUN.

  1. Number of cats and dogs? (8)

Answer: RAINFALL (i.e. raining “cats and dogs”). No idea on “number”, though. Could be a musical “number”, but I often file “musicals” under “Things I’d Rather Not Experience, Thanks” along with “sandpapering my eyeballs”. If anyone sheds light on this one then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Thanks to Chris in the comments for cracking this one. It seems the setter is trying to be clever (hence the riddly question mark), playing on how “footfall” is a way of describing the number of people entering a premises. A tumbleweed clue if there ever was one. Cheers, Chris! – LP]

  1. Number behold prisoner having entered tremulously to make legal plea (4,10)

Answer: NOLO CONTENDERE (i.e. “legal plea” where someone agrees to do the time but not admit to the crime). Solution is NO (a recognised abbreviation of “number”) followed by LO (i.e. “behold”, as in “lo and behold”), then CON (i.e. “prisoner”) and an anagram (indicated by “tremulously”) of ENTERED, like so: NO-LO-CON-TENDERE.

  1. Stylishness of English member, one belonging to a previous generation, not half (8)

Answer: ELEGANCE (i.e. “stylishness”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by LEG (i.e. “member”) and the first “half” of ANCESTOR (i.e. “one belonging to a previous generation”), like so: E-LEG-ANCE.

  1. Start back in ground that has buried “liquid gold” (6)

Answer: RECOIL (i.e. “start back”). Solution is REC (shortened form of a recreational “ground”) with OIL (i.e. “liquid gold”) following or “buried” beneath it – this being a down clue.

  1. Bowler rated “fantastic”, the best there is (5-6)

Answer: WORLD-BEATER (i.e. “the best there is”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “fantastic”) of BOWLER RATED.

  1. What could make me spoiled, my being in the wrong job? (11)

Answer: MISEMPLOYED (i.e. “being in the wrong job”). “What could make” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ME SPOILED MY.

  1. Duck out of putting Polish high explosive in casing of metal (10)

Answer: BUFFLEHEAD (i.e. a “duck” found over in North America. Also a stupid fellow, apparently. I’ll have to remember that one). Solution is BUFF (i.e. “polish” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by HE (a recognised abbreviation of “high explosive”) once placed “in” LEAD (i.e. “metal”), like so: BUFF-LE(HE)AD.

  1. Old rocker entertaining party-goers went over the top maybe? (9)

Answer: TRAVERSED (i.e. “went over the top [of something] maybe”). Solution is TED (i.e. “old rocker”, aka a Teddy boy) wrapped around or “entertaining” RAVERS (i.e. “party-goers”), like so: T(RAVERS)ED.

  1. Gradually pay off in a short time, extra income restricting debt finally (8)

Answer: AMORTISE (i.e. “gradually pay off”). Solution is A followed by MO (i.e. “short time”), then RISE (i.e. “extra income”) once wrapped around or “restricting” T (i.e. “debt finally”, i.e. the last letter of “debt”), like so: A-MO-R(T)ISE.

  1. I am supporting part of hospital restricted by firm making a bit of money (7)

Answer: CENTIMO (i.e. “a bit of money” – a bit can refer to a coin). Solution is I’M (a contraction of “I am”) placed after or “supporting” – this being a down clue – ENT (i.e. “part of hospital”, specifically Ear Nose and Throat). These are then placed in or “restricted by” CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”, i.e. “firm”), like so: C(ENT-I’M)O.

  1. Old city region entertained by religious group (6)

Answer: SPARTA (i.e. “old city”). Solution is PART (i.e. “region”) placed in or “entertained by” SA (i.e. “religious group”, specifically the Salvation Army), like so: S(PART)A.

  1. Teacher went through water to land on island (5)

Answer: SWAMI (i.e. a Hindu “teacher”). Solution is SWAM (i.e. “went through water”) followed by I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”).

  1. East End dealer providing something for basket-weaver? (5)

Answer: OSIER (i.e. a willow whose twigs are used to make baskets, so “something for basket-weaver”). Solution is HOSIER (i.e. “dealer” of knitted goods and grundies) with the H removed (indicated by “East End” – as in ‘ow all ‘em Cockneys are always droppin’ their bleedin’ aitches, innit, QueenMumGawwwBlessah).

  1. Covered colonnade in street area with zero occupation (4)

Answer: STOA (i.e. “covered colonnade”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”) and A (ditto “area”) wrapped around or “occupied” by O (i.e. “zero”), like so: ST-(O)-A. One I remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1482

A very similar puzzle to last week, being of medium strength and offering decent progression, but also being let down by some untidy clueing. Looks like we’ve hit one of those patches.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a recent Jumbo has done for you, then you might find my Just For Fun page useful, where you’ll find links to the last 100+ of these things. Meanwhile there’s the usual old book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind comments and messages. They are much appreciated. Till next time, stay safe, mask up – in fact, wrap up well in general, it’s bitter out there – and keep flying the flag for the NHS and key workers everywhere.

LP

Across clues

  1. Dancing legend in bank that was for well-to-do people (6,7)

Answer: MIDDLE ENGLAND (i.e. “well-to-do people”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dancing”) of LEGEND placed “in” MIDLAND (i.e. “bank that was”, referring to the Midland Bank, which was taken over by HSBC in the 1990s), like so: MID(DLEENG)LAND.

  1. Asian to show fear endlessly outside a burial chamber (9)

Answer: PAKISTANI (i.e. “Asian”). Solution is PANIC (i.e. “to show fear”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder wrapped around or placed “outside” of A and KIST (i.e. a word for chest or coffin or “burial chamber” used up in Scotland or Northern England, though not one I can ever attest to hearing), like so: P(A-KIST)ANI.

  1. Two-wheeler parked in Clifton Gardens (5)

Answer: TONGA (i.e. a “two-wheeler” in India). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: CLIF(TON GA)RDENS.

  1. When reversing around headland, move steadily, arriving at anchorage (5,4)

Answer: SCAPA FLOW (i.e. “anchorage” in the Orkney Islands). Hmm. Another week, another untidy clue. I guess the solution was supposed to be AS (i.e. “when”) “reversed” and wrapped “around” CAP, then followed by FLOW (i.e. “move steadily”), like so: S(CAP)A-FLOW. Trouble is CAP is not a headland. CAPE, yes; CAP, no. None of my go-to reference books support this one (Chambers; Oxford; Collins Concise; Bradford’s). Looks like an “endlessly” indicator has been missed, but I’m happy to be corrected. On a different tack, I learned something new from this one: that the word “scarper” was in part derived from the solution, being the Cockney rhyming slang for “go”.

  1. Nick sees parrot initially quiet in cage (3,4)

Answer: COP SHOP (i.e. “nick”, both slang for police stations). Solution is P (i.e. “parrot initially”, i.e. the first letter of “parrot”) and SH (i.e. “quiet”) all placed “in” COOP (i.e. “cage”), like so: CO(P-SH)OP.

  1. Erica, keeping well, finally to rearrange spa (6,6)

Answer: HEALTH RESORT (i.e. “spa”). Solution is HEATH (i.e. “erica”) wrapped around or “keeping” L (i.e. “well, finally”, i.e. the last letter of “well”) and then followed by RESORT (i.e. “rearrange”), like so: HEA(L)TH-RESORT.

  1. Note refusal to talk about current ability to recover (10)

Answer: RESILIENCE (i.e. “ability to recover”). Solution is RE (i.e. “note” in the doh-ray-me style; can be spelled re or ray) followed by SILENCE (i.e. “refusal to talk”) once wrapped “about” I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current” used in physics), like so: RE-SIL(I)ENCE.

  1. Hunter to be storing silver in box for return (6)

Answer: EAGLET (i.e. a young eagle or “hunter”). Solution is AG (chemical symbol for “silver”) placed or “stored” in TELE (i.e. “box”, i.e. a shortened form of the word “television”) once reversed (indicated by “for return”), like so: E(AG)LET.
[EDIT: Chris makes a good point in the comments, that EAGLET is a “hunter to be”, i.e. a young eagle, rather than just a “hunter”. Cheers, Chris! – LP]

  1. Lug instrument and books round room (8)

Answer: OTOSCOPE (i.e. “lug instrument” – lug being a slang word for an ear). Solution is OT (i.e. “books”, specifically the Old Testament of The Bible) followed by O (i.e. “round”) and SCOPE (i.e. “room”).

  1. Small arachnids in the country (6)

Answer: STICKS (i.e. “the country”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by TICKS (i.e. “arachnids”).

  1. Sailor man brawling with bruiser (10)

Answer: SUBMARINER (i.e. “sailor”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “brawling”) of MAN and BRUISER.

  1. Gated community in California? (3,9)

Answer: SAN FRANCISCO, a city in “California”. “Gated” plays on the Golden Gate Bridge, arguably the city’s most famous landmark.

  1. East onto A40 for one taking wheel (4)

Answer: AXLE (i.e. “one taking wheel”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “east”) placed “onto” the end of A and XL (i.e. “40” in Roman numerals), like so: (A-XL)-E.

  1. Partner previously generous succeeded in cases (8)

Answer: EXAMPLES (i.e. “cases”). Solution is EX (i.e. “partner previously”) followed by AMPLE (i.e. “generous”) and S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”).

  1. Old singers and actors abandon one (8)

Answer: CASTRATI (i.e. “old singers”). Solution is CAST (i.e. “actors”) followed by RAT (i.e. to desert or “abandon”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”). A recent repeat, appearing also in 1477. Repeats often make my teeth itch, especially when they happen in close succession, and oh boy do they happen a lot. Solvers may recall a time when the artist Max Ernst appeared so often in these things he practically had a residency. They do little to dispel a nagging suspicion I have that some setters are merely seeding grids with a few solutions and clicking a button somewhere to autocomplete the rest. (I know The Times exclusively use(d?) software to produce the Codeword puzzles, for example. They fessed up to it when solvers noted how often MOIST was appearing in the top left of the grid.) I really hope I’m wrong, but, if not, let’s shake up the word pool a little, eh, setters? Or at least use a different app once in a while.

  1. See it in Country Life (8)

Answer: VITALITY (i.e. “life”). Solution is V (i.e. “see”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of vide, Latin for “see”) followed by IT once placed “in” ITALY (i.e. “country”), like so: V-ITAL(IT)Y.

  1. Check when boarding earlier vessel (8)

Answer: SCHOONER (i.e. “vessel”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “check” used in chess) placed in or “boarding” SOONER (i.e. “earlier”), like so: S(CH)OONER.

  1. First man, first male to forsake brothel-keeper (4)

Answer: ADAM (i.e. “first man” in The Bible). Solution is MADAM (i.e. “brothel-keeper”) with the “first” M removed or “forsaken” – M being a recognised abbreviation of “male”.

  1. State London borough has empty properties to rent (3,9)

Answer: NEW HAMPSHIRE (i.e. US “state”). Solution is NEWHAM (i.e. “London borough”) followed by PS (i.e. “empty properties”, i.e. the word “properties” with all its middle letters removed) and HIRE (i.e. “to rent”).

  1. Chemist needing a drug – he runs out of stock (10)

Answer: APOTHECARY (i.e. “chemist”). Solution is A followed by POT (i.e. “drug”, i.e. marijuana), then HE, then CARRY (i.e. “stock”) once one of the Rs has been removed (indicated by “runs out of…” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in several ball games), like so: A-POT-HE-CARY.

  1. Rebellion when peacekeepers take break? (6)

Answer: UNREST (i.e. “rebellion”). Solution is UN (i.e. “peacekeepers”, specifically the United Nations) followed by REST (i.e. “take break”).

  1. Firms paid in charge for appearances only (8)

Answer: COSMETIC (i.e. “for appearances only”). Solution is COS (i.e. “firms”, being a recognised abbreviation of “company” made plural) followed by MET (i.e. “paid”) and IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”).

  1. Meat for each basket holding food (6)

Answer: HAMPER (i.e. “basket holding food”). Solution is HAM (i.e. “meat”) followed by PER (i.e. “for each”).

  1. Spinning line, TV sage is one preaching (10)

Answer: EVANGELIST (i.e. “one preaching”). “Spinning” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LINE TV SAGE.

  1. Plymouth has a busted temperature controller (12)

Answer: HYPOTHALAMUS (i.e. “temperature controller” in the brain). “Busted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PLYMOUTH HAS A. Very nicely done.

  1. Midshipman, after discarding two hearts, holds the king (7)

Answer: OLDSTER (i.e. “midshipman” – chalk one to my Bradford’s here). Solution is HOLDS THE once the two Hs have been removed (indicated by “discarding two hearts” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “hearts” used in card games) and the remainder followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of Rex, Latin for “king”), like so: (H)OLDS-T(H)E-R => OLDS-TE-R.

  1. Range shown by decidedly English singer (9)

Answer: FIELDFARE (i.e. “singer” – a bird, specifically a member of the thrush family. Fun fact: the Latin for “thrush” is Turdus, in case you were wondering which family of birds was responsible for redecorating your car). Solution is FIELD (i.e. “range”) followed by FAR (i.e. “decidedly”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”). Chalk another to my Bradford’s.

  1. Sweetheart in wood one obtaining tree resin (5)

Answer: ELEMI (i.e. “tree resin”). Solution is E (i.e. “sweetheart”, i.e. the middle letter of “sweet”) placed “in” ELM (i.e. “wood”) and followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: EL(E)M-I. Weirdly, one I knew.

  1. Practical once confined to breathe one’s last inside (9)

Answer: EXPEDIENT (i.e. “practical”). Solution is EX (i.e. former or “once”) and PENT (i.e. “confined”) wrapped around or having “inside” DIE (i.e. “to breathe one’s last”), like so: EX-PE(DIE)NT.

  1. Set gathered together for an evening meal? (6,7)

Answer: DINNER SERVICE (i.e. “set”). Clue plays on DINNER being “an evening meal” and how people can “gather together” for a church SERVICE. You get the idea.

Down clues

  1. Beyond compare in Lima, introduced to dull game (9)

Answer: MATCHLESS (i.e. “beyond compare”). Solution is L (“Lima” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “introduced to” MAT (i.e. “dull”) and CHESS (i.e. “game”), like so: MAT-CH(L)ESS.

  1. Half-hidden area witch guards in old city for locals (3,4)

Answer: DEN HAAG (i.e. “city” in the Netherlands, better known here as The Hague. Quite what makes it the “old city for locals” is beyond the rudimentary search I’m prepared to give it. Probably something to do with its history. Whatever. If a kind soul swings by with the info, then I’ll update the post). Solution is DEN (i.e. “half-hidden”, specifically the latter half) followed by HAG (i.e. “witch”) once wrapped around or “guarding” A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: DEN-H(A)AG.
[EDIT: Thanks to Graham in the comments for a speedy resolution to this one. Looks like I was overthinking it. “For locals” merely suggests DEN HAAG is the Dutch or local name of the city. Cheers, Graham! – LP]

  1. Dishevelled lady we hate to precede (4,3,3)

Answer: LEAD THE WAY (i.e. “to precede”). “Dishevelled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LADY WE HATE.

  1. Guarantee rebuke when scratching head (6)

Answer: ENSURE (i.e. “guarantee”). Solution is CENSURE (i.e. “rebuke”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “scratching head”).

  1. Willing to talk over carrying weight in hand luggage (9,3)

Answer: GLADSTONE BAG (i.e. “hand luggage”). Solution is GLAD (i.e. “willing”) and GAB (i.e. “to talk”), the latter reversed (indicated by “over” – this being a down clue), both wrapped around or “carrying” STONE (i.e. “weight”), like so: GLAD-(STONE)-BAG.

  1. Work to support corruption in Africa deserved arrest (1,4,3)

Answer: A FAIR COP (i.e. “deserved arrest”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) placed under or “supporting” – this being a down clue – an anagram (indicated by “corruption in”) of AFRICA, like so: AFAIRC-OP.

  1. Valley at last supplied with beer (4)

Answer: DALE (i.e. “valley”). Solution is D (i.e. “at last supplied”) followed by ALE (i.e. “beer”).

  1. What’s ultimately convoluted in government publicity? Patter has it? (6-4)

Answer: POWDER-PUFF (i.e. “patter has it” – referring to the action of applying makeup). Solution is D (i.e. “what’s ultimately convoluted”, i.e. the last letter of “convoluted”) placed “in” POWER (i.e. “government”) and followed by PUFF (i.e. “publicity”), like so: POW(D)ER-PUFF.

  1. Start to work, breaking habit of finishing early (4,2)

Answer: KICK IN (i.e. “start to work”). Solution is KICKING (i.e. “breaking habit”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “finishing early”).

  1. Devious pundit that is taking in guy – one in fashionable set (12)

Answer: SOPHISTICATE (i.e. “one in fashionable set”). Solution is SOPHIST, “a captious or intentionally fallacious reasoner” (Chambers), i.e. “devious pundit”, followed by IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e… er… “i.e.”!) wrapped around CAT (i.e. “guy”, or hep cat for all you Jazz Club enthusiasts out there. Niiiiice…) like so: SOPHIST-I(CAT)E.

  1. Starters of aubergine served with chicken pasty (5)

Answer: ASHEN (i.e. “pasty”). Solution is A and S (i.e. “starters of aubergine served”, i.e. the first letters of “aubergine” and “served”) followed by HEN (i.e. “chicken”).

  1. Art school illusion is magical at first (13)

Answer: IMPRESSIONISM (i.e. “art school”). Solution is IMPRESSION (i.e. “illusion”) followed by IS and M (i.e. “magical at first”, i.e. the first letter of “magical”).

  1. Greek ferryman outside gym finds young female companion (8)

Answer: CHAPERON (i.e. “young female companion”, as in one accompanying the young female rather than the young female herself – can be spelled with or without an ‘e’ at the end). Solution is CHARON (i.e. “Greek ferryman”, i.e. the ferryman of Greek myth who carried the spirits of the dead across the river Styx) wrapped “outside” of PE (i.e. “gym”, specifically Physical Education), like so: CHA(PE)RON.

  1. Charlie, fool with artillery, one anticipating disaster (9)

Answer: CASSANDRA (i.e. “one anticipating disaster”, another from Greek myth, this time one who was doomed to prophesy terrible events and never be believed). Solution is C (i.e. “Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by ASS (i.e. “fool”), then AND (i.e. “with”) and RA (i.e. “artillery”, specifically the Royal Artillery of the British Army).

  1. Team with pace to avoid tackles (8)

Answer: SIDESTEP (i.e. “avoid tackles”). Solution is SIDE (i.e. “team”) followed by STEP (i.e. “pace”).

  1. One shouting loudly when taking in Turin’s original campanile (4-5)

Answer: BELL-TOWER (i.e. “campanile”). Solution is BELLOWER (i.e. “one shouting loudly”) wrapped around or “taking” T (i.e. “Turin’s original”, i.e. the first letter of “Turin”), like so: BELL(T)OWER.

  1. Expedition to the French metropolis must cross river (8)

Answer: ALACRITY (i.e. “expedition”, taken to mean “with speed” rather than a trip out somewhere). Solution is A LA (i.e. “to the French”, i.e. the French for “to the”) followed by CITY (i.e. “metropolis”) once wrapped around or “crossing” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: A-LA-C(R)ITY.

  1. Mushrooms springing up with cap incomplete in colourful range (8)

Answer: SPECTRUM (i.e. “colourful range”). Solution is CEPS (i.e. “mushrooms”) reversed (indicated by “springing up” – this being a down clue) and followed by TRUMP (i.e. “cap”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “incomplete”), like so: SPEC-TRUM.

  1. Arrival with banker – certain people taking risks (13)

Answer: ADVENTURESOME (i.e. “taking risks”). Solution is ADVENT (i.e. “arrival”) followed by URE (i.e. “banker” – in this case referring to a river) and SOME (i.e. “certain people”).

  1. Perceptive about poet quoted on the radio (5-7)

Answer: CLEAR-SIGHTED (i.e. “perceptive”). Solution is C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by Edward LEAR (i.e. “poet”), then a homophone (indicated by “on the radio”) of CITED (i.e. “quoted”).

  1. Bug quietly installed, make speech for examiners (12)

Answer: INSPECTORATE (i.e. “examiners”). Solution is INSECT (i.e. “bug”) wrapped around or having “installed” P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano” or “quietly” in musical lingo), then followed by ORATE (i.e. “make speech”), like so: INS(P)ECT-ORATE.

  1. Who at first becomes unsettled loses plot (6,1,3)

Answer: THROWS A FIT (i.e. “loses plot” – both phrases expressing rage). “Becomes unsettled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WHO AT FIRST.

  1. Leave track having broken rule that’s applied to bikes (10)

Answer: DERAILLEUR (i.e. “that’s applied to bikes”, specifically the little doodad that moves the chain up and down the gears). Solution is DERAIL (i.e. “leave track”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “broken”) of RULE, like so: DERAIL-LEUR.

  1. Hosiery designed when king’s visiting county (9)

Answer: YORKSHIRE (i.e. “county”). Another untidy clue for me. The solution was probably supposed to be an anagram (indicated by “designed”) of HOSIERY wrapped around or having “visiting” R and K, both recognised abbreviations of “king”, the former being the Latin “Rex”, the latter an abbreviation used in chess or cards, like so: YO(R-K)SHIRE. Trouble is, “king’s” is singular, being a contraction of “king is”. Had the clue finished “…kings visit county” then all would be good. Either that or the setter forgot there are two Rs in YORKSHIRE. Again, I’m happy to be furnished with a better solution, but as it stands this feels like another balls-up.

  1. The old duke in disgrace remained at home (6,2)

Answer: STAYED IN (i.e. “remained at home”). Solution is YE (i.e. “the old”, i.e. ye olde “the”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) both placed “in” STAIN (i.e. “disgrace”), like so: STA(YE-D)IN.

  1. Pipe assembly round mass blocks, one in ancient city (7)

Answer: POMPEII (i.e. “ancient city”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “assembly”) of PIPE wrapped around or “blocked” by O (i.e. “round”) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “mass”) and followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: P(O-M)PEI-I.

  1. Sci-fi author having a bit of fun in church (6)

Answer: Arthur C CLARKE (i.e. “sci-fi author”). Solution is LARK (i.e. “a bit of fun”) placed “in” CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: C(LARK)E. This nerd approves.

  1. Motor turns (6)

Answer: WHEELS. Solution satisfies a slang word for “motor” car, and “turns”. If you heard a faint “gaahhh!” on the wind on Saturday afternoon and wondered where it came from, that was me finally nailing this one.

  1. Tot to sound reasonable (3,2)

Answer: ADD UP. Solution satisfies “tot” and “to sound reasonable”.

  1. Crook from north found in sack (4)

Answer: BEND (i.e. “crook”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “north”) placed “in” BED (i.e. “sack”, a slang word for bed), like so: BE(N)D.

More musical accompaniment was had this week, inspired largely by the earworm that is the Deep Stone Lullaby theme recently added to the videogame Destiny 2 (my current timesink). The theme appears in a rare moment of peace between frenetic firefights in the Deep Stone Crypt raid and is, to this ageing gamer’s ears, the best piece of original music to grace a videogame for a long, long time.

How long a time? Probably since 2011’s Skyrim, thoughts of which drew me to its sublime (and comprehensive) soundtrack on Spotify. If you’re after some background music to work to, or are looking for something to help fill that Game Of Thrones hole in your life, then you could do a lot worse than this. Standing Stones is a spine-tingling highlight. Enjoy! – LP

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1481

Another medium strength puzzle this week, but one that felt a bit untidy in places. There were some good clues and steady progression to enjoy, but the vibes were let down by a couple of things that didn’t quite work, at least for this pseudonymous nobody.

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. If a recent Jumbo has you stumped then you might find my Just For Fun page helpful, listing solutions to the last 100+ of these things. Meanwhile there are the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Thank you for all the kind and appreciative comments in recent weeks. They’ve meant a lot as lockdown continues to bite. Let’s hope these blasted Covid rates keep dropping to reflect the vaccination rollout. Until next time, stay safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere.

Toodles,

LP

Across clues

  1. What happens in autumn with departure of the first bug (9)

Answer: EAVESDROP (i.e. to listen in on or “bug”). Solution is LEAVES DROP (i.e. “what happens in autumn”) once the initial letter has been removed (indicated by “with departure of the first”).

  1. Cut usual storm when going round cloud (13)

Answer: STRATOCUMULUS (i.e. “cloud”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “when going round”) of CUT USUAL STORM. Hands up who originally wrote CUMULOSTRATUS in the grid. Yeah, me too.

  1. Annoyance with firework not starting (5)

Answer: ANGER (i.e. “annoyance”). Solution is BANGER (i.e. “firework”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “not starting”).

  1. When there’s no drink to be had in bar (11)

Answer: PROHIBITION. Solution satisfies “when there’s no drink to be had” and to ban or “bar” something. Nicely worked.

  1. Foreign food delivered by ship, mostly around America (5)

Answer: SUSHI (i.e. “foreign food”). Solution is SHIP with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped “around” US (i.e. “America”), like so: S(US)HI.

  1. One who manages to dispatch branch email (11)

Answer: CHAMBERLAIN (i.e. “one who manages”). “To dispatch” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BRANCH EMAIL.

  1. School has short novel about a Royal Navy battleship sunk in 1943 (11)

Answer: SCHARNHORST (i.e. German “battleship sunk in 1943”). Solution is SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”) followed by A and RN (ditto “Royal Navy”), then an anagram (indicated by “novel”) of SHORT, like so: SCH-A-RN-HORST. One gotten solely from the wordplay.

  1. Turmoil at head of British mint? (7)

Answer: POTHERB (i.e. “mint”). Solution is POTHER (i.e. commotion or “turmoil”) followed by B (i.e. “head of British”, i.e. the first letter of “British”).

  1. Shut. Shot (5-2)

Answer: CLOSE-UP (i.e. “shot”). When written as CLOSE UP the solution also satisfies to “shut”.

  1. Current spinner is cheered at Lords at first appearance (7) – not (4), as printed

Answer: TOPICAL (i.e. “current”). Solution is TOP (i.e. “spinner”) followed by ICAL (i.e. “is cheered at Lords at first”, i.e. the first letters of “Is Cheered At Lords”).

  1. Painting those people on bridge, often man has left in informative details (3,7,2,3,4)

Answer: THE MONARCH OF THE GLEN (i.e. “painting” by Sir Edwin Landseer, and an absolute beauty it is too). Solution is THEM (i.e. “those people”) followed by ON, then ARCH (i.e. “bridge”), then OFT (i.e. shortened form of “often”), then HE (i.e. “man”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) once placed “in” GEN (i.e. “informative details”), like so: THEM-ON-ARCH-OFT-HE-G(L)EN.

  1. A church service (3)

Answer: ACE (i.e. “service” in tennis). Solution is A followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England). Simple, but nicely worked.

  1. Get back control, eclipsing General Assembly (6)

Answer: REGAIN (i.e. “get back”). Solution is REIN (i.e. “control”) wrapped around or “eclipsing” GA (a recognised abbreviation of “General Assembly”), like so: RE(GA)IN.

  1. About twelve, going round? (6)

Answer: ZODIAC. A bit of a guess, but I’m pretty confident it’s correct given there are “twelve” signs of the zodiac (don’t at me, Ophiuchuses), each supposedly representing a 30-degree section of an imaginary belt in the heavens, i.e. the “round” bit of the clue.
[EDIT: A big thank you to Sue in the comments for clearing this one up. The solution is CA (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by I DOZ (i.e. “twelve”, or 1 dozen – DOZ being a recognised abbreviation) all reversed (indicated by “going round”), like so: ZOD-I-AC. Very nicely worked. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

  1. Perhaps Morse not working has time for female (9)

Answer: DETECTIVE (i.e. “perhaps Morse” – other detectives are available. So many detectives. Many, many detectives. So many, in fact, it’s a wonder anyone actually bothers with crime. Bump someone off with a candlestick or a spot of digitalis these days and there’ll be at least a dozen TV detectives on the scene within the space of an ad break, all with trusty sidekicks, all detecting in ways indistinguishable from one other save for their character flaws and dysfunctional personal lives, and all getting it neatly wrapped up within the space of two hours. Take that, crime! Oh look, I’ve wandered off track again…) Solution is DEFECTIVE (i.e. “not working”) with the F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) replaced by T (ditto “time”), like so: DE(F)ECTIVE => DE(T)ECTIVE.

  1. What attracts magazine into London borough (3,6)

Answer: BAR MAGNET (i.e. “what attracts”). Solution is MAG (shortened form of “magazine”) placed “into” BARNET (i.e. “London borough”), like so: BAR(MAG)NET.

  1. Emotional shock when former president nearly accepts answer (6)

Answer: TRAUMA (i.e. “emotional shock”). Solution is Harry S. TRUMAN (i.e. “former president” of the United States) with it’s last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”) and the remainder wrapped around or “accepting” A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, as in Q&A), like so: TR(A)UMA.

  1. Silence about clip being wide open (6)

Answer: GAPING (i.e. “being wide open”). Solution is GAG (i.e. to “silence”) placed “about” PIN (i.e. to affix or “clip”), like so: GA(PIN)G.

  1. Maturity regularly displayed by hangmen (3)

Answer: AGE (i.e. “maturity”). “Regularly displayed by” indicates the solution is derived from every other letter of HANGMEN.

  1. Badly clueing “thin” as “elvery” for quiz (10,9)

Answer: UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE (i.e. TV “quiz” in which I get the presenter’s name right and that’s about it for half an hour). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “badly”) of CLUEING THIN AS ELVERY.

  1. Piece of text fool inserted into episode (7)

Answer: PASSAGE (i.e. “piece of text”). Solution is ASS (i.e. “fool”) “inserted into” PAGE (i.e. “episode” – Chambers offers this for a definition of PAGE: “an incident, episode or whatever may be imagined as matter to fill a page”), like so: P(ASS)AGE.

  1. Noisily get round girl with sex appeal (7)

Answer: GALUMPH (i.e. “noisily get round”). Solution is GAL (i.e. “girl”) followed by UMPH (i.e. “sex appeal” – Chambers doesn’t want to know, but my Oxford supports this as a variant spelling of OOMPH).

  1. Replayed point before sad disappointment (7)

Answer: LETDOWN (i.e. “disappointment”). Solution is LET (a “replayed point” in tennis) followed by DOWN (i.e. feeling “sad”).

  1. Organised site in mine to store uranium, a radioactive element (11)

Answer: EINSTEINIUM (i.e. “radioactive element”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “organised”) of SITE IN MINE wrapped around or “storing” U (chemical symbol of “uranium”), like so: EINSTEINI(U)M. Nicely worked.

  1. One trying to impress modern paper with editing (4-7)

Answer: NAME-DROPPER (i.e. “one trying to impress”). “With editing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MODERN PAPER.

  1. Happen to rain heavily around cricket club, cutting off parking (5)

Answer: OCCUR (i.e. “happen”). Solution is POUR (i.e. “to rain heavily”) wrapped “around” CC (a recognised abbreviation of “cricket club”) and the P of POUR “cut off” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “parking” used on signage and maps – like so: O(CC)UR.

  1. Bury coins in crossroads (11)

Answer: INTERCHANGE (i.e. “crossroads”). Solution is INTER (i.e. to “bury”) followed by CHANGE (i.e. “coins”).

  1. Earliest of dialects of rough intonation, classically (5)

Answer: DORIC, an “early” or ancient Greek “dialect”. Solution is derived from the initial letters (indicated by “earliest of”) of Dialects Of Rough Intonation Classically.

  1. Spar shows, mind, terribly good use of steel (13)

Answer: SWORDSMANSHIP (i.e. “good use of steel”). “Terribly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SPAR SHOWS MIND.

  1. Naval ship Thalaba, for instance (9)

Answer: DESTROYER. Solution satisfies “naval ship” and “Thalaba, for instance”, referring to an epic poem, Thalaba the Destroyer by Robert Southey. Yeah, me neither. Given the three editions I’ve found on Goodreads have attracted a positively Brobdingnagian fifteen ratings between them, I wouldn’t feel too guilty about it.

Down clues

  1. Freer duty list with picture and title put up (11)

Answer: EMANCIPATOR (i.e. “freer”). Solution is ROTA (i.e. “duty list”) followed by PIC (shortened form of “picture”) and NAME (i.e. “title”). The whole is reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), like so: EMAN-CIP-ATOR.

  1. Old lady found in vessel, wandering (7)

Answer: VAGRANT (i.e. “wandering”). Solution is GRAN (i.e. “old lady”) placed “in” VAT (i.e. “vessel”), like so: VA(GRAN)T.

  1. Get rid of Bush (5)

Answer: SCRUB. Solution satisfies “get rid of” and “bush” – ignore the misleading capitalisation.

  1. Game to tolerate including impudent children’s hero (6,4)

Answer: RUPERT BEAR (i.e. “children’s hero” created by Mary Tourtel). Solution is RU (i.e. “game”, specifically Rugby Union) and BEAR (i.e. “to tolerate”) wrapped around or “including” PERT (i.e. “impudent”), like so: RU-(PERT)-BEAR.

  1. Ordinarily professionals are initially in charge (7)

Answer: PROSAIC (i.e. “ordinarily”). Solution is PROS (shortened form of “professionals”) followed by A (i.e. “are initially”, i.e. the first letter of “are”) and IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”).

  1. Solstice got in eccentric spiritual believer (13)

Answer: SCIENTOLOGIST (i.e. “spiritual believer”). “Eccentric” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOLSTICE GOT IN. Nice choice of anagram indicator.

  1. Cried following rail services starting late, beset by bad weather (9)

Answer: RAINSWEPT (i.e. “beset by bad weather”). Solution is WEPT (i.e. “cried”) placed after or “following” TRAINS (i.e. “rail services”) once the initial letter has been removed (indicated by “starting late”), like so: RAINS-WEPT.

  1. Tons cut hard work for music (4,3)

Answer: TRIP HOP (i.e. “music”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”) followed by RIP (i.e. “cut”), then H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils) and OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”).

  1. Trick rodent trapped by gluttony, note praise (12)

Answer: CONGRATULATE (i.e. “praise”). Not one I’m 100% about, but I can’t see anything else fitting the letters. Solution is CON (i.e. “trick”) followed by RAT (i.e. “rodent”) once placed in or “trapped by” GULA (supposedly “gluttony”, though none of my reference books back this up. Chambers offers gula as a zoological term concerned with the gullets of animals, which isn’t really the same) and TE (i.e. “note” in the do-ray-me style), like so: CON-G(RAT)ULA-TE. Open to alternatives for this one.
[EDIT: Thanks to Michael in the comments for clarifying GULA in this clue, being the Latin for ‘gluttony’ within the context of the seven deadly sins. Cheers, Mike! – LP]

  1. Girl has cut quill crooked (9)

Answer: MISSHAPEN (i.e. “crooked”). Solution is MISS (i.e. “girl”) followed by HAS once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut”), then PEN (i.e. “quill”), like so: MISS-HA-PEN.

  1. Strong light beer – good to be small (5)

Answer: LASER (i.e. “strong light”). Solution is LAGER (i.e. “beer”) with the G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) replaced by (indicated by “to be”) S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”), like so: LA(G)ER => LA(S)ER.

  1. Their vessel transported army material? (11)

Answer: SHIRTSLEEVE (i.e. “army material”, with “army” playfully taken to mean “of the arms”). “Transported” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THEIR VESSEL.

  1. Titillating material ripped up by art institute (7)

Answer: EROTICA (i.e. “titillating material”). Solution is TORE (i.e. “ripped”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and followed by ICA (i.e. “art institute”, specifically the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, like so: EROT-ICA.

  1. Fusion fuel has appeal over charged particle (9)

Answer: COALITION (i.e. “fusion”). Solution is COAL (i.e. “fuel”) followed by IT (i.e. “appeal”, as in having got “it”) and ION (i.e. “charged particle”).

  1. Keen nature of silver eagles in European sierra (9)

Answer: EAGERNESS (i.e. “keen nature”). Solution is AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) and ERNES (i.e. “eagles”) both placed “in” between E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) and S (i.e. “sierra” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: E-(AG-ERNES)-S.

  1. Laugh with little time left in tedious job (7)

Answer: CHORTLE (i.e. “laugh”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time” – “little” could be an indicator of this) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) both placed “in” CHORE (i.e. “tedious job”), like so: CHOR(T-L)E.

  1. Put a stop to rodents turning up in a particular area (7)

Answer: ENDEMIC (i.e. “in a particular area”). Another I’m not 100% on, but, again, not much else fits the letters. I get the feeling this is a half-finished clue that has slipped into publication. For what it’s worth, my solution comprises END (i.e. “put a stop to”) and MICE (i.e. “rodents”). The problem is “turning up” is a reversal indicator for down clues. Applied to MICE, you’d get END-ECIM, which obviously isn’t right. I suspect the phrasing was once “ending up” rather than “turning up”, as this could then describe the E – the “end” letter of MICE – moving “up” to the start like so: MIC(E) => (E)MIC, but this was then perhaps found to be unworkable as the setter had already used END in the solution. Again, I’m happy to consider alternative solutions, but this one feels like a balls-up.

  1. Quality of work key with crew in at least three boats (13)

Answer: CRAFTSMANSHIP (i.e. “quality of work”). Solution is C (i.e. “[musical] note”) followed by MAN (i.e. to “crew”, rather than a number of crewmen) once placed “in” RAFTS and SHIP (i.e. “at least three boats”, given RAFTS is plural), like so: C-RAFTS-(MAN)-SHIP.

  1. Man allowed string of beads (7)

Answer: CHAPLET (i.e. “string of beads”). Solution is CHAP (i.e. “man”) followed by LET (i.e. “allowed”).

  1. Discrimination in working isn’t Times’ aim (4-8)

Answer: ANTI-SEMITISM (i.e. “discrimination”). “Working” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ISN’T TIMES AIM.

  1. Godless queen’s killer, on edge in short loose jacket (11)

Answer: BLASPHEMOUS (i.e. “godless” – as in immoral, rather than in not believing in a god. Weak, IMLTHO). Solution is ASP (i.e. “queen’s killer”, referring to the snake that did for Cleopatra) and HEM (i.e. “edge”) both placed “in” BLOUSE (i.e. “loose jacket”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: BL(ASP-HEM)OUS.

  1. Supplier of gram accepted by naïve leather-clad youth wanting kilos (11)

Answer: GREENGROCER (i.e. “supplier”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “gram”) placed between or “accepted by” GREEN (i.e. “naïve”) and ROCKER (i.e. “leather-clad youth”) once the K has been removed (indicated by “wanting kilos” – K being a recognised abbreviation of “kilogram”), like so: GREEN-(G)-ROCER.

  1. Look of snowfield’s extremity, poorly reflected in mountain route (10)

Answer: PALLIDNESS (i.e. “look of snowfield” – what an odd description). Solution is END (i.e. “extremity”) and ILL (i.e. “poorly”) both reversed (indicated by “reflected”) and placed “in” PASS (i.e. “mountain route”), like so: PA(LLI-DNE)SS.

  1. Lacking change, central fund haggled without pence (9)

Answer: UNALTERED (i.e. “lacking change”). Solution is UN (i.e. “central [letters of] fUNd”) followed by PALTERED (i.e. “haggled”) once the P has been removed (indicated by “without pence” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “pence”), like so: UN-ALTERED.

  1. Coastal area sailor damages with wash that hasn’t existed? (4,5)

Answer: SALT MARSH (i.e. “coastal area”). Solution is SALT (i.e. “sailor”) followed by MARS (i.e. “damages”) and H, i.e. WASH once WAS is removed (indicated by “wash that hasn’t existed” – WAS being another word for “existed”), like so: SALT-MARS-H.

  1. Menu, perhaps, has information about something sparkling (7)

Answer: GLISTEN (i.e. “something sparkling” – can be used as a noun, apparently). Solution is LIST (i.e. “menu, perhaps”) placed in or “has…about” GEN (i.e. “information”), like so: G(LIST)EN.

  1. Man that’s lost house key outside car (7)

Answer: HOMINID (i.e. “man that’s lost” – technically a group that covers humans and our close extinct or “lost” ancestors, and the great apes too while we’re at it. A bit narrow, then, but “that’s lost” does make for a clue that scans rather well). Solution is HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”) and D (i.e. “[musical] key”) both placed “outside” of MINI (i.e. “car”), like so: HO-(MINI)-D.

  1. Rich border hotel invested in gold quarry (7)

Answer: ORPHREY (i.e. “rich border”, usually on an ecclesiastical vestment). Solution is H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) placed or “invested in” OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry) and PREY (i.e. “quarry”), like so: OR-P(H)REY.

  1. Snack served in Vienna chophouse (5)

Answer: NACHO (i.e. “snack”). “Served in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: VIEN(NA CHO)PHOUSE.

  1. Architectural style of edging with no breadth (5)

Answer: ORDER (i.e. “architectural style”). Solution is BORDER (i.e. “edging”) with the B removed (indicated by “with no breadth” – B being a recognised abbreviation of “breadth”).

I’ve pretty much given up on the footie, so some electrochoonage was had this week courtesy of:

— Justice (their last album, Woman, offers some brilliant retro-modern disco action. Safe and Sound, Alakazam! and Randy are {-chef’s kiss emoji-})
— Leuer Verte (more retro-modern stuff, this time with a big 80s influence. Not much to listen to, but it’s all good)
— Volkor X (I often return to his stuff. Shoot Them Up from his album This Is Our Planet Now remains a cheesy favourite.)
— Juno Reactor (I rather liked his remix of Gravity Kills’s Guilty back in the mid-90s and recently checked out his later releases. There’s some good stuff to be had, particularly in the later albums. Imagine if Enigma went harder for techno and you’re about halfway there.)

…and right now Spotify’s Walk Like a Badass playlist, which is very much doing the trick.

Meanwhile live sports has been replaced by Twitch, where I can witness gamers much better than me play the games I play only much (much, much) better than I can, and, if that wasn’t enough, be entertaining, host competitions, trigger humorous on-screen content and hold a half-dozen conversations with their audience all the while. I mean, I’m doing well if I remember to occasionally close my mouth during a game.
Pro tip: if you value your spare time then for goodness sake, DO NOT WATCH TWITCH. I ought to have published this post about five hours ago…

Laters, – LP

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1480

Another medium strength puzzle this week, but another with some well worked clues offering steady progression throughout. Despite some looseness in the clueing here and there, this was one of the good ones.

As ever, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has you flummoxed then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things. Meanwhile there’s the usual (increasingly dusty) book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, stay safe, stop in and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. I’m off to sit on a radiator awhile. Brrrrr.

LP

Across clues

  1. Setter introduced to fellow performer around country (5,4)

Answer: COSTA RICA (i.e. “country”). Solution is I (i.e. the “setter” from the point of view of… um… the setter) placed between or “introduced to” CO-STAR (i.e. “fellow performer”) and CA (i.e. “around”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), like so: CO-STAR-(I)-CA.

  1. Bone I’m not sure is placed in earth (7)

Answer: HUMERUS (i.e. “bone”). Solution is ER (i.e. “I’m not sure”) “placed in” HUMUS (i.e. “earth”, specifically decomposing matter in the soil – seems weak, but Bradford’s allows it), like so: HUM(ER)US.

  1. Espy sponge, we hear, for oily substance (5)

Answer: SEBUM (i.e. “oily substance”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of SEE (i.e. “espy”) followed by BUM (i.e. to “sponge” or cadge), like so: SE-BUM. The hypercritical side of me winces at the positioning of “we hear”. Something like “espy, on the radio, sponge for oily substance” would have worked better.

  1. Problem dyer resolved in bright colour (4-3)

Answer: RUBY-RED (i.e. “bright colour”). Solution is RUB (i.e. “problem” – you might sometimes hear the phrase “here’s the rub…” before a problem is outlined) followed by an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of DYER, like so: RUB-YRED.

  1. Consumer who’s cutting back leaves island, getting put off (5)

Answer: DETER (i.e. “put off”). Solution is DIETER (i.e. “consumer who’s cutting back”) with the I removed (indicated by “leaves island” – I being a recognised abbreviation of “island”).

  1. Taking off restraint, initially discarded (9)

Answer: IMITATION (i.e. “taking off”). Solution is LIMITATION (i.e. “restraint”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “initially discarded”).

  1. Be a contestant that keeps the front seats quiet, keen on operas (5,4,3,4,3,4)

Answer: THROW ONES HAT INTO THE RING (i.e. “be a contestant”). Solution is THAT wrapped around or “keeping” ROW ONE (i.e. “the front seats”) and SH (i.e. “quiet”). This is then followed by INTO THE RING (i.e. “keen on operas”, specifically Wagner’s Ring cycle). Put together, you have (TH(ROW-ONE-SH)AT)-INTO-THE-RING. Another one of those where you’re lucky I don’t set these things, otherwise you’d have something entirely scatological on your hands. So to speak.

  1. Old organ is musical (6)

Answer: OLIVER (i.e. “musical” based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by LIVER (i.e. “organ”).

  1. Changing sides at first, English radical is one joining a party (8)

Answer: REVELLER (i.e. “one joining a party”). Solution is LEVELLER (i.e. “English radical”) with the “first” letter “changing sides”, i.e. going from L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) to R (ditto “right”), like so: (L)EVELLER => (R)EVELLER.

  1. Island in China toured by priest (2,5)

Answer: LA PALMA (i.e. “island”). Solution is PAL (i.e. “China” – it’s ownly bleedin’ Cockerney rhymin’ slang, innit, geezah? Oy-oy! and other stuff you probably hear on EastEnders, I dunno. Anyway, china plate => mate => PAL. Ignore the misleading capitalisation of “China”) placed in or “toured by” LAMA (i.e. Buddhist “priest”), like so: LA(PAL)MA.

  1. Make flower from the east something sweet (6,4)

Answer: BRANDY SNAP (i.e. “something sweet”). Solution is BRAND (i.e. “make”) followed by PANSY (i.e. “flower”) once reversed (indicated by “from the east” – this being an across clue), like so: BRAND-YSNAP.

  1. Genuine clothing design just for fun? (12)

Answer: RECREATIONAL (i.e. “just for fun”). Solution is REAL (i.e. “genuine”) wrapped around or “clothing” CREATION (i.e. “design”), like so: RE(CREATION)AL.

  1. Big cheese roll (5)

Answer: WHEEL. Solution satisfies “big cheese” – cheese wheels are indeed rather big – and to “roll”. Nicely worked.

  1. Make good old loaf stuffed with last of salami (7)

Answer: EXPIATE (i.e. to completely atone for or “make good”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”) and PATE (i.e. “loaf”, slang for “head”) wrapped around or “stuffed with” I (i.e. “last [letter] of salami”), like so: EX-P(I)ATE.

  1. Intrude in resort, breaking lock (8)

Answer: TRESPASS (i.e. “intrude”). Solution is SPA (i.e. “resort”) placed in or “breaking” TRESS (i.e. “lock” of hair), like so: TRE(SPA)SS.

  1. Bachelor, not so serious a pest (8)

Answer: BLIGHTER (i.e. “pest”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “bachelor”) followed by LIGHTER (i.e. “not so serious”).

  1. Number one reduction on board? (4,3)

Answer: CREW CUT. Solution satisfies a “number one” at the barbers, and, playfully, a “reduction on board” a ship.

  1. The French welcome a holiday (5)

Answer: LEAVE (i.e. “holiday”). Solution is LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the French for “the”) followed by AVE (i.e. “welcome”).

  1. Mixing drug in major quantity (12)

Answer: ADULTERATION (i.e. “mixing”). Solution is E (i.e. “drug”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “ecstasy”) placed “in” between ADULT (i.e. “major”, as in having reached the age of majority) and RATION (i.e. “quantity”), like so: ADULT-(E)-RATION.

  1. Taken on by business, head shows weak quality (10)

Answer: INFIRMNESS (i.e. “weak quality”). Solution is IN FIRM (i.e. “taken on by business”) followed by NESS (i.e. “head”, as in the geographic feature).

  1. The rate excluding board, originally light, increased (7)

Answer: TREBLED (i.e. “increased”). Solution is TREB (i.e. “the rate excluding board, originally”, i.e. the first letters of “The”, “Rate”, “Excluding” and “Board”) followed by LED (i.e. “light”, specifically a Light Emitting Diode).

  1. Mother irritated with me, one showing resistance (8)

Answer: OHMMETER (i.e. “one showing [electrical] resistance”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “irritated”) of MOTHER and ME.

  1. Like a piece of canvas that’s set about (6)

Answer: ASSAIL (i.e. to attack or “set about” someone). When the solution is written as AS SAIL the solution also satisfies “like a piece of canvas”.

  1. Poet’s accepting prison: he’d battled on, resolved to rest only a little (4,3,6,2,4,4)

Answer: BURN THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS (i.e. “to rest only a little”). Solution is Robert BURNS (i.e. “poet”) wrapped around or “accepting” THE CAN (i.e. “prison”) and an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of HE’D BATTLED ON, like so: BURN(THE-CAN-DLEATBOTHEND)S.

  1. Defensive work by two protecting men on area with better grounds (1,8)

Answer: A FORTIORI (i.e. Latin for “with stronger reason” (Chambers), i.e. “with better grounds”). Solution is FORT (i.e. “defensive work”) followed by II (i.e. “[Roman numeral] two”) once wrapped around or “protecting” OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army). This is all then placed “on” or after A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: A-(FORT-I(OR)I).

  1. Princess I see back in a state (5)

Answer: IDAHO (i.e. US “state”). Solution is IDA (i.e. “Princess” – a reference to Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera Princess Ida) followed by OH (i.e. an acknowledgement of enlightenment, or “I see”) once reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: IDA-HO.

  1. In different ways, the writer’s thoughtful (7)

Answer: PENSIVE (i.e. “thoughtful”). Solution is PEN’S and I’VE, which, “in different ways”, both express “the writer’s”: the former as a contraction of “the pen is” (stop sniggering at the back) – a pen being a writing implement – and the latter a contraction of “the writer has” taken from the point of view of the setter, i.e. “I have”, or “I’ve”. Very nicely worked.

  1. Famous sailor one’s often seen on water (5)

Answer: DRAKE. Solution satisfies “famous sailor”, i.e. Sir Francis DRAKE, and “one’s often seen on water”, referring to a male duck.

  1. Intense he-men stripped off after endless run (7)

Answer: EXTREME (i.e. “intense”). Solution is EME (i.e. “he-men stripped off”, i.e. “he-men” with its first and last letters removed) placed “after” EXTRA (i.e. a type of “run” in cricket) once it’s last letter has been removed (indicated by “endless”), like so: EXTR-EME.

  1. Perhaps a rat, namely one getting his own back (9)

Answer: SCAVENGER (i.e. “perhaps a rat”). Solution is SC (i.e. “namely”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of its Latin form scilicet – we’ve seen this a few times lately) followed by AVENGER (i.e. “one getting his own back”).

Down clues

  1. Vehicle bearing a quantity of weight (5)

Answer: CARAT (i.e. “quantity of weight”). Solution is CART (i.e. “vehicle”) wrapped around or “bearing” A, like so: CAR(A)T.

  1. Constabularies due to revise part of statement (11,6)

Answer: SUBORDINATE CLAUSE (i.e. “part of statement”, specifically a part detailing a condition that must be met for a statement to be true, but which cannot stand on its own as a complete sentence. So a clause, then. Bloody grammarians). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to revise”) of CONSTABULARIES DUE.

  1. Hear a word broadcast, making a point (9)

Answer: ARROWHEAD (i.e. “point”). “Broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HEAR A WORD.

  1. I take sustenance after ten (6)

Answer: IODINE (i.e. “I”, it’s chemical symbol). Solution is DINE (i.e. “take sustenance”) placed “after” IO (i.e. “ten”), like so: IO-DINE. Nicely done.

  1. Assistants flee after a fateful day (5-2-4)

Answer: AIDES-DE-CAMP (i.e. “assistants”). Solution is DECAMP (i.e. “flee”) placed “after” A and IDES (i.e. “fateful day” for Julius Caesar, referring to the IDES of March), like so: A-IDES-(DECAMP).

  1. Trouble perhaps brewing in this? (3,5)

Answer: HOT WATER. Solution satisfies “trouble” and “perhaps brewing [tea] in this”.

  1. In speech, officer is hawk-like (7)

Answer: MARTIAL (i.e. warlike or “hawk-like”, as in one taking an aggressive or combative view of things). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “in speech”) of MARSHAL (i.e. “officer”).

  1. Pen triter novel, carrying on to read anew (11)

Answer: REINTERPRET (i.e. “to read anew”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “novel”) of PEN TRITER wrapped around or “carrying” RE (i.e. “on” or regarding – think email replies), like so: REINTERP(RE)T.

  1. Isn’t lilac fancy, just a little bit? (9)

Answer: SCINTILLA (i.e. “a little bit”). “Fancy” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ISN’T LILAC.

  1. Unnerve swimmer in drink (5,2)

Answer: SHAKE UP (i.e. “unnerve”). Solution is HAKE (i.e. fish or “swimmer”) placed “in” SUP (i.e. “drink”), like so: S(HAKE)UP.

  1. Russian’s fare home: one pound to go north (5)

Answer: BLINI (i.e. “Russian fare”). Solution is IN (i.e. at “home”), I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and LB (a recognised abbreviation of “pound” weight, after the Latin libra). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “to go north” – this being a down clue), like so: BL-I-NI.

  1. Crooked angle with a beam causing no issues (10)

Answer: MANAGEABLE (i.e. “causing no issues”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “crooked”) of ANGLE and A BEAM.

  1. Nothing that’s wrong with London area’s kind of lake (5)

Answer: OXBOW (i.e. “kind of lake”). Solution is O (i.e. “nothing”) followed by X (i.e. “that’s wrong”) and BOW (i.e. “London area”).

  1. Obtains ceremonial garb, longing to frame one artwork (9,8)

Answer: LANDSCAPE PAINTING (i.e. “artwork”). Solution is LANDS (i.e. “obtains”) followed by CAPE (i.e. “ceremonial garb”) and PANTING (i.e. “longing” – one definition of “pant” is to long or yearn for) once wrapped around or “framing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: LANDS-CAPE-PA(I)NTING.

  1. Claim a foregone conclusion loudly (6)

Answer: ASSERT (i.e. “claim”). Solution is A followed by a homophone (indicated by “loudly”) of CERT (i.e. “foregone conclusion”).

  1. Report of small key for a small hole (6)

Answer: EYELET (i.e. “small hole”). “Report of” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of ISLET, a “small key” or island. Nicely done.

  1. Drive into Antrim pell-mell (5)

Answer: IMPEL (i.e. “drive”). “Into” suggests the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ANTR(IM PEL)L-MELL.

  1. Mostly awkward round plainsman (6)

Answer: GAUCHO (i.e. “plainsman”). Solution is GAUCHE (i.e. “awkward”) with it’s last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by O (i.e. “round”), like so: GAUCH-O.

  1. Run in accordance with the rules (5)

Answer: LEGIT (i.e. “in accordance with the rules”). When written as LEG IT the solution also satisfies “run”.

  1. Require leads to be taken from excited, naughty dog (6)

Answer: ENTAIL (i.e. “require”). Solution is EN (i.e. “leads to be taken from excited, naughty”, i.e. the first letters of “Excited” and “Naughty”) followed by TAIL (i.e. to ceaselessly follow or “dog”).

  1. Thinker, one in shop for famous people (11)

Answer: RATIONALIST (i.e. “thinker”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed “in” RAT ON (i.e. to grass up or “shop” someone) and followed by A-LIST (i.e. “famous people”), like so: (RAT-(I)-ON)-A-LIST.

  1. Disputed message with promises of settlement (11)

Answer: CONTENTIOUS (i.e. “disputed”). Solution is CONTENT (i.e. “message” – much too loose for my liking, and those of my reference books it seems. Even Perry Mason would struggle to build a case for this one) followed by IOUS (i.e. “promises of settlement”).

  1. Stand with treacherous type deposing leader (5)

Answer: EASEL (i.e. “stand”). Solution is WEASEL (i.e. “treacherous type”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “deposing leader”).

  1. Tailor adapts robe that’s flimsy (10)

Answer: PASTEBOARD (i.e. “that’s flimsy” – can describe “sham or trumpery” (Chambers)). “Tailor” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ADAPTS ROBE.

  1. Timber’s free, say, brought back by European (9)

Answer: RIDGEPOLE (i.e. “timber” forming the ridge of a roof). Solution is RID (i.e. “free”) followed by EG (i.e. “say”, as in for example) reversed (indicated by “brought back”), then POLE (i.e. “European”), like so: RID-GE-POLE.

  1. Beef, perhaps, about wasted cash? It’s unfortunate (9)

Answer: MISCHANCE (i.e. “it’s unfortunate”). Solution is MINCE (i.e. “beef, perhaps”) wrapped “about” an anagram (indicated by “wasted”) of CASH, like so: MI(SCHA)NCE.

  1. Ruler’s elevated emissary is lower in rank (8)

Answer: RELEGATE (i.e. to “lower in rank”). Solution is ER (i.e. “ruler”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) reversed (indicated by “elevated” – this being a down clue) and followed by LEGATE (i.e. “emissary”), like so: RE-LEGATE.

  1. Stop tinkering with that song! (3,2,2)

Answer: LET IT BE. Solution satisfies “stop tinkering with” and a Beatles “song”.

  1. Kind of crisis with replacing learner who makes deliveries (7)

Answer: MIDWIFE (i.e. “who makes deliveries”). Solution is MIDLIFE (i.e. “kind of crisis”) with the L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) “replaced” by W (ditto “with”), like so: MID(L)IFE => MID(W)IFE.

  1. A large bear turned up in game (6)

Answer: HOOPLA (i.e. “game”). Solution is A, L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and POOH (i.e. “bear”, specifically Winnie the Pooh) all reversed (indicated by “turned up” – this being a down clue), like so: HOOP-L-A.

  1. Tip for tippler: one soft drink and a wine (5)

Answer: RIOJA (i.e. “wine”). Solution is R (i.e. “tip for tippler”, i.e. the last letter of “tippler” – a bit of a naughty one, this. In a down clue one could be forgiven for thinking a singular “tip” would refer to the first or “top” letter of a word, not the bottom one) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then OJ (i.e. “soft drink”, specifically Orange Juice) and A.

  1. Shepherd’s farm animal (5)

Answer: STEER. Solution satisfies “shepherd” and “farm animal”, a young ox.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1479

Blimey, there were so many deletions involved in this week’s puzzle it began to make Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree Of Codes look positively amateurish. Reductio ad absurdum, perhaps, if I knew what any of that meant. Otherwise, this was another medium strength offering with decent progression throughout.

As ever you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. My Just For Fun page offers links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things, should a recent Jumbo have you stumped. Meanwhile there’s the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, keep safe, keep your pecker up (masked, obviously), keep the flag flying for the NHS and key workers everywhere, and – most importantly – keep buggering on. We’ll get to the end of this rotten plague eventually. Also, the nights are (slowly) drawing back again, which is always nice.

LP

Across clues

  1. Advance across delta by small boat (9)

Answer: OVERDRAFT (i.e. a cash “advance”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “across”) followed by D (“delta” in the phonetic alphabet) and RAFT (i.e. “small boat”).

  1. Maybe US criminals had briefly to be imprisoned (7)

Answer: PERHAPS (i.e. “maybe”). Solution is PERPS (i.e. “US criminals”, short for perpetrators) wrapped around or “imprisoning” HAD once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: PER(HA)PS.

  1. To start with alibi for example is a defence (5)

Answer: AEGIS (i.e. a shield or “defence”). Solution is A (i.e. “to start with alibi”, i.e. the first letter of “alibi”) followed by EG (i.e. “for example”) and IS.

  1. Distance often affected a proclamation from the French (5,2,6)

Answer: EDICT OF NANTES (i.e. a sixteenth century “proclamation from the French”). “Affected” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DISTANCE OFTEN.

  1. Uncomfortable with allies failing to eat meal (3,2,4)

Answer: ILL AT EASE (i.e. “uncomfortable”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “failing”) of ALLIES wrapped around or “eating” TEA (i.e. “meal”), like so: ILLA(TEA)SE.

  1. Glass changing hands in this checkout cart (7)

Answer: TUMBREL (i.e. “checkout cart” – they were used to transport people to be executed. Also dung, just to rub it in). Solution is TUMBLER (i.e. “glass”) with the L and R swapped (indicated by “changing hands” – L and R being recognised abbreviations of “left” and “right”), like so: TUMB(L)E(R) => TUMB(R)E(L).

  1. Working twenty-four hours? At first no – twelve (7)

Answer: NOONDAY (i.e. “twelve”). Solution is ON (i.e. “working”) and DAY (i.e. “twenty-four hours”) with NO placed “at first”, like so: NO-(ON-DAY).

  1. Put down duke, a powerful ruler, to be unmarried (7)

Answer: DEPRESS (i.e. “put down”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) followed by EMPRESS (i.e. “powerful ruler”) once the M has been removed (indicated by “unmarried” – M being a recognised abbreviation of “married”), like so: D-EPRESS.

  1. Relaxed, one’s agent finally very adequate (12)

Answer: SATISFACTORY (i.e. “adequate”). Solution is SAT (i.e. “relaxed”) followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”), then FACTOR (i.e. “agent”) and Y (i.e. “finally very”, i.e. the last letter of “very”).

  1. Wickedness in dog suggested? (10)

Answer: WRONGDOING (i.e. “wickedness”). The remainder of the clue plays on the solution, when written as WRONG DOING, being cryptic in itself, i.e. how DOING is an anagram (indicated by “WRONG”) of “in dog”.

  1. He gambles debtor is concealing reserve (5)

Answer: DICER (i.e. “he gambles”). Solution is DR (a recognised abbreviation of “debtor”) wrapped around or “concealing” ICE (i.e. a chilly nature or “reserve”), like so: D(ICE)R.

  1. Leap to one’s feet and refuse to move (5,4)

Answer: STAND FAST. Solution satisfies “leap to one’s feet” and “refuse to move”. Nicely worked.

  1. Old woman’s herbal therapy? (7)

Answer: MASSAGE (i.e. “therapy”). When written as MA’S SAGE the solution also playfully satisfies “old woman’s herbal”.

  1. Bill tends to cry, in comprehensive victory (1,5,5)

Answer: A CLEAN SWEEP (i.e. “comprehensive victory”). Solution is AC (i.e. “bill”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “account”) followed by LEANS (i.e. “tends to”) and WEEP (i.e. “cry”).

  1. Unwise to fail to fill in old exercise books (11)

Answer: INEXPEDIENT (i.e. “unwise”). Solution is DIE (i.e. “to fail”) placed in or “filling” IN, EX (i.e. “old”), PE (i.e. “exercise”, specifically Physical Education) and NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: IN-EX-PE-(DIE)-NT.

  1. Being August, start to sweat on US borders (11)

Answer: STATELINESS (i.e. “being august” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is S (i.e. “start to sweat”, i.e. the first letter of “sweat”) placed “on” or after STATE LINES (i.e. “US borders”), like so: STATE-LINES-S.

  1. Thoroughly learn something for party that is of top quality (11)

Answer: MASTERPIECE (i.e. “that is of top quality”). When written as MASTER PIECE the solution also satisfies “thoroughly learn something for party” – referring to someone’s party piece.

  1. Each group of diners wants food so (7)

Answer: EATABLE (i.e. “wants food so”). Solution is EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”) followed by TABLE (i.e. “group of diners”).

  1. Brave daughter, relatively short? (9)

Answer: DAUNTLESS (i.e. “brave”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) followed by AUNTLESS (i.e. “relatively short”, a play on how one maybe has an aunt missing).

  1. Busy giving the pot this? (5)

Answer: ASTIR (i.e. “busy”). When written as A STIR the solution also satisfies “giving the pot this”.

  1. Judge member of cast going through lines uncooperative (10)

Answer: REFRACTORY (i.e. “uncooperative”). Solution is REF (i.e. “judge”, specifically a shortened form of “referee”) followed by ACTOR (i.e. “member of cast”) once placed in or “through” RY (i.e. “lines”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “railway”), like so: REF-R(ACTOR)Y.

  1. Before Mailer, nothing American is unbelievable (12)

Answer: PREPOSTEROUS (i.e. “unbelievable”). Solution is PRE (i.e. “before”) followed by POSTER (i.e. “mailer” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), then O (i.e. “nothing”) and US (i.e. “American”).

  1. In defence, good for the French to drink wine (7)

Answer: BASTION (i.e. “defence”). Solution is BON (i.e. “good for the French”, i.e. the French for “good”) wrapped around or “drinking” ASTI (i.e. “wine”), like so: B(ASTI)ON.

  1. Reveller losing head: he’s waking others? (7)

Answer: AROUSER (i.e. “he’s waking others”). Solution is CAROUSER (i.e. “reveller”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “losing head”).

  1. Farm workers ending in embarrassment, colouring (7)

Answer: PIGMENT (i.e. “colouring”). Solution is PIG-MEN (i.e. “farm workers”) followed by T (i.e. “ending in embarrassment”, i.e. the last letter of “embarrassment”).

  1. Unworldly, one union trapped in cycle of decline? (9)

Answer: SPIRITUAL (i.e. “unworldly”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and TU (i.e. “union”, specifically a Trade Union) both placed or “trapped in” SPIRAL (i.e. “cycle of decline”), like so: SPIR(I-TU)AL.

  1. See lecturer in swimming pool here? (7,6)

Answer: LEISURE CENTRE (i.e. “swimming pool here”). “Swimming” also indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SEE LECTURER IN.

  1. Departs school, coming back famous (5)

Answer: NOTED (i.e. “famous”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “departs”) and ETON (i.e. “school”) all reversed (indicated by “coming back”), like so: NOTE-D.

  1. Compel men for cell to be stripped (7)

Answer: ENFORCE (i.e. “compel”). “Stripped” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, revealed by stripping the surrounding letters of M(EN FOR CE)LL.

  1. Oliver’s horse has smooth flanks (9)

Answer: IRONSIDES (i.e. “Oliver [Cromwell]’s horse” – “horse” can collectively refer to a cavalry, a new one on me). Solution is IRON (i.e. to “smooth”) and SIDES (i.e. “flanks”).

Down clues

  1. Greek character and others one’s assumed nameless (7)

Answer: ORESTES (i.e. “Greek character” who avenged the murder of his father by killing his mother. Games night was rough back then). Solution is REST (i.e. “others”) placed in or “assumed” by ONE’S once the N has been removed (indicated by “nameless” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: O(REST)E’S. One gotten from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

  1. Magician left without female contrived to be mystifying (11)

Answer: ENIGMATICAL (i.e. “mystifying”). Solution is an anagram of MAGICIAN LEFT once the F has been removed (indicated by “without female” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “female”). Nicely worked.

  1. Put off find (not mine) (5)

Answer: DETER (i.e. “put off”). Solution is DETERMINE (i.e. “find”) with the MINE removed (indicated by “not mine”).

  1. Two equal parts? Not hard at all, with a fodder plant (7)

Answer: ALFALFA (i.e. “fodder plant”). Solution is HALF and HALF (i.e. “two equal parts”) with the Hs removed (indicated by “not hard at all” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils) and the remainder followed by A, like so: ALF-ALF-A.

  1. Drop of water shortly for plant (3)

Answer: TEA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is TEAR (i.e. “drop of water”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “shortly”).

  1. City in revolution at first pretty backward, rejecting both sides (9)

Answer: PETROGRAD (i.e. Russian “city in revolution”, now known as Saint Petersburg, via Leningrad). Solution is P (i.e. “at first pretty”, i.e. the first letter of “pretty”) followed by RETROGRADE (i.e. “backward”) once its first and last letters have been removed (indicated by “rejecting both sides”), like so: P-ETROGRAD.

  1. Live on the edge (6)

Answer: RESIDE (i.e. “live”). Solution is RE (i.e. “on the” or regarding – think email replies) followed by SIDE (i.e. “edge”). Simple, but neatly done.

  1. First Murderer’s speech: I make peers sick, drinking my soup – and the monarch (2,1,2,8,6)

Answer: AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER? (response from Cain, “first murderer” in The Bible, when asked by God for Abel’s whereabouts after he’d done him in). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sick”) of I MAKE PEERS wrapped around or “drinking” MY, BROTH (i.e. “soup”) and ER (i.e. “the monarch”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: AMI(MY-BROTH-ER)SKEEPER.

  1. Shame about horrible noise in tank (7)

Answer: SALADIN (i.e “tank” created in the mid-1950s – more an armoured car with a turret stuck on top. Perfect for the school run). This took a while to twig, but the solution is ALAS (i.e. “shame”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by DIN (i.e. “horrible noise”), like so: SALA-DIN.

  1. Coming across page, not fond of Shelley? The exact opposite (9)

Answer: ANTIPODES (i.e. “the exact opposite”). Solution is ANTI-ODES (i.e. “not fond of [romantic poet Percy] Shelley”) wrapped around or “coming across” P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”), like so: ANTI-(P)-ODES.

  1. Serious wizard in Tyrone, say, worshipped figure (6,5)

Answer: GRAVEN IMAGE (i.e. “worshipped figure”). Solution is GRAVE (i.e. “serious”) followed by NI MAGE (i.e. “wizard in Tyrone, say” – County Tyrone being in Northern Ireland, or NI).

  1. Maybe young member of family has not got on flight (5)

Answer: STEPS (i.e. “flight” of stairs). Solution is STEPSON (i.e. “maybe young member of family”) with the ON removed (indicated by “has not got on”).

  1. Fail to understand why coin toss doesn’t produce result? (3,4,4,2,4,2)

Answer: NOT MAKE HEAD OR TAIL OF. Solution satisfies “fail to understand” and “why coin toss doesn’t produce result”.

  1. Regain consciousness, nearly safe following powerful shot? (7)

Answer: SURFACE (i.e. “regain consciousness”). Another that took a while to twig. Solution is SURE (i.e. “safe”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “nearly”) and the remainder followed by F (a recognised abbreviation of “following”) and ACE (i.e. “powerful shot” in tennis), like so: SUR-F-ACE.

  1. Spooner’s finest clothes not regularly seen at the bar (5,4)

Answer: GUEST BEER (i.e. “not regularly seen at the bar”). “Spooner’s” indicates the solution is a Spoonerism of BEST GEAR (i.e. “finest clothes”).

  1. One is taken in by a most peculiar philosophy (6)

Answer: TAOISM (i.e. “philosophy”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed or “taken in by” an anagram (indicated by “peculiar”) of A MOST, like so: TAO(I)SM.

  1. Tug on left side circling southern approaches (5,4)

Answer: DRAWS NEAR (i.e. “approaches”). Solution is DRAW (i.e. “tug”) and NEAR (i.e. “on left side” with reference to vehicles on roads, supposedly) wrapped around or “circling” S (a recognised abbreviation of “southern”), like so: DRAW-(S)-NEAR.

  1. Sort of wave, going round one way in chapel (7)

Answer: SISTINE (i.e. a “chapel”). Solution is SINE (i.e. “sort of wave”) wrapped or “going round” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: S(I-ST)INE.

  1. Trees start off sale, unplanned? (7)

Answer: MAPLESS (i.e. “unplanned”, playing on maps being plans). Solution is MAPLES (i.e. “trees”) followed by S (i.e. “start off [of] sale”, i.e. the first letter of “sale”).

  1. Creature pouched in the afternoon biting us, very upset (6)

Answer: POSSUM (i.e. “creature pouched”). Solution is PM (i.e. “in the afternoon”) wrapped around or “biting” US and SO (i.e. “very”) once reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: P(OS-SU)M. “Biting” is pushing it a little, IMLTHO.

  1. Corrupt sheriff’s assistant half-cut at wild party (7)

Answer: DEPRAVE (i.e. “corrupt”). Solution is DEPUTY (i.e. “sheriff’s assistant”) “half-cut”, making DEP. This is followed by RAVE (i.e. “wild party”), like so: DEP-RAVE.

  1. Probable left-winger’s broadcast is fantastic (11)

Answer: ANTIFASCIST (i.e. “probable left-winger”). “Broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS FANTASTIC.

  1. Turned out and applied to keep most of treasure (11)

Answer: EXTROVERTED (i.e. “turned out”). Solution is EXERTED (i.e. “applied”) wrapped around or “keeping” TROVE (i.e. “treasure”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “most of”), like so: EX(TROV)ERTED.

  1. Made happy to have meal, if I must be in the garden (9)

Answer: BEATIFIED (i.e. “made happy”). Solution is EAT (i.e. “to have meal”) and IF I all placed “in” BED (i.e. “garden”), like so: B(EAT-IF-I)ED.

  1. Act with elegance on the radio, one admits (9)

Answer: TURNSTILE (i.e. “one admits”). Solution is TURN (i.e. performer or “act”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “on the radio”) of STYLE (i.e. “elegance”), like so: TURN-STILE.

  1. Large amount, definitely brother’s cut (7)

Answer: TONSURE (i.e. a friar or “brother’s [hair]cut”). Solution is TON (i.e. “large amount”) followed by SURE (i.e. “definitely”).

  1. Drink more extravagantly as commander (7)

Answer: SUPREMO (i.e. “commander”). Solution is SUP (i.e. “drink”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “extravagantly”) of MORE, like so: SUP-REMO.

  1. Subjects for painting that shouldn’t be dropped (7)

Answer: SITTERS. Solution satisfies “subjects for painting” and, I guess, “that shouldn’t be dropped”. One I’m not 100% on, as SITTERS in my view (and that of Chambers) are easy shots such as open goals in football, i.e. something that requires an offensive action. I’m not convinced that the word extends to ball games that involve catching, e.g. fly balls in baseball or in cricket. I don’t know, maybe Bumble said it once.
[EDIT: My Oxford expands on Chambers, defining a sitter as an easy shot or catch. Thanks to all the commenters below for baring their souls. 😀 For the record, I have all the hand-eye coordination of Captain Hook on a trampoline. – LP]

  1. Monkey’s mistake (6)

Answer: HOWLER. Solution satisfies “monkey”, specifically one found in South America, and “mistake”. Chalk one to my Bradford’s.

  1. Perhaps Higgs’ two children, one missing a sex chromosome (5)

Answer: BOSON (i.e. “perhaps Higgs’” – referring to the Higgs Boson, sometimes referred to as “the God particle”). Solution is BOY and SON (i.e. “two children”) with the Y removed (indicated by “one missing a sex chromosome”).

  1. Assume visitors are short of time (5)

Answer: GUESS (i.e. “assume”). Solution is GUESTS (i.e. “visitors”) once the T has been removed (indicated by “short of time” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

  1. Someone other than me, as it were, educated here? (3)

Answer: UNI (i.e. “educated here”, a shortened form of “university”). When read as UN-I the solution also satisfies “someone other than me, as it were”, UN- being a prefix denoting “not”. Not-I, un-I, you get the I-dea.

No musical accompaniment this week as proper live footie had returned. (Cue single firework.) Any other neutrals losing interest? It’s weird, as it’s one of the most open seasons for years and yet… meh. The lack of crowd, the lack of atmosphere, the surfeit of mostly dull matches, the recent interruptions through Covid, the FA Cup (and Amazon)… it’s hard to care any more. My Fantasy team has still got Bruce Grobbelaar in goal, it hasn’t been checked for so long. Weird. Anyway, TTFN! – LP

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1478

A medium strength puzzle this week, though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise looking at some of the solutions on show. A good deal of the exotics were gettable, thankfully, with some relatively straightforward clueing (and a decent thumbing of reference books). All in all, a decent one.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has you stumped, you might find relief in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things. There’s also the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, stay safe, stay in, turn the heating up and keep the flag flying for the NHS and key workers everywhere. If this Covid keeps up we’ll be gaffer-taping the door seals.

LP

Across clues

  1. Abolish hotel by river where people go to eat (9)

Answer: CHOPHOUSE (i.e. “where people go to eat”). Solution is CHOP (i.e. “abolish”) followed by H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) and OUSE (i.e. a “river”).

  1. Mineral from drinking goblet, not one put on back of lorry (10)

Answer: CHALCEDONY (i.e. “mineral”). Solution is CHALICE (i.e. “drinking goblet”) with the I removed (indicated by “not [Roman numeral] one”) and the remainder followed by DON (i.e. “put on”) and Y (i.e. “back of lorry”, i.e. the last letter of “lorry”), like so: CHALCE-DON-Y. One gotten mostly through the wordplay.

  1. Notorious gangster’s problem casing Yankee plant (7)

Answer: ALYSSUM (i.e. “plant”). Solution is AL’S SUM (i.e. “notorious gangster’s problem” – AL being Al Capone, and SUM being “a problem in addition, or in arithmetic generally” (Chambers)) wrapped around or “carrying” Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: AL(Y)’S-SUM.

  1. Quirky fellow ringing about money (9)

Answer: ECCENTRIC (i.e. “quirky”). Solution is ERIC (i.e. “fellow”, basically a man’s name) wrapped around or “ringing” C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) and CENT (i.e. “money”), like so: E(C-CENT)RIC.

  1. Absolutely what an author would do for listeners (5)

Answer: RIGHT (i.e. “absolutely” – both can be used to express agreement). “For listeners” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of WRITE (i.e. “what an author would do”).

  1. Bug eerie E Sussex town picked up (6-6)

Answer: CREEPY-CRAWLY (i.e. “bug”). Solution is CREEPY (i.e. “eerie”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of CRAWLEY (i.e. “E Sussex town”).

  1. Girl Ted clobbered with whip: it prevents stock going missing! (6-4)

Answer: CATTLE-GRID (i.e. “it prevents [live]stock going missing”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “clobbered”) of GIRL TED placed after or “with” CAT (i.e. “whip”, specifically a cat-o-nine-tails), like so: CAT-TLEGRID.

  1. Tree left by old poet in my part of London (8,6)

Answer: LOMBARDY POPLAR (i.e. “tree”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) followed by O (ditto “old”), then BARD (i.e. “poet”) once placed “in” MY. The whole is then followed by POPLAR (i.e. “part of London”), like so: L-O-M(BARD)Y-POPLAR.

  1. Absent-minded detective’s distinguishing feature (8)

Answer: DISTRAIT (i.e. “absent-minded”). Solution is DI’S (i.e. “detective’s”, specifically a Detective Inspector) followed by TRAIT (i.e. “distinguishing feature”).

  1. Powder used in hospital (Cumbrian) (6)

Answer: TALCUM (i.e. “powder”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: HOSPI(TAL CUM)BRIAN.

  1. Her music so confused some of the singers (10)

Answer: SEMICHORUS (i.e. “some of the singers”). “Confused” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HER MUSIC SO.
[EDIT – Thanks to several commenters for flagging a typo in this one. I’d written SEMICHORAL for some reason. Cheers, all! – LP]

  1. Notice girl dropping by spontaneously (2,3)

Answer: AD-LIB (i.e. “spontaneously”). Solution is AD (i.e. “notice”, i.e. a shortened form of “advertisement”) followed by LIBBY (i.e. “girl”, basically a girl’s name) once the BY has been removed (indicated by “dropping by”).

  1. Bloomin’ tailless fish! (4)

Answer: RUDD (i.e. “fish”). Solution is RUDDY (i.e. “bloomin’”, both minor oaths) with its last letter removed (indicated by “tailless”).

  1. Agreement worker associated with enchanting female group (8)

Answer: COVENANT (i.e. “agreement”). Solution is ANT (i.e. “worker”) placed after or “with” COVEN (i.e. “enchanting female group”), like so: COVEN-ANT.

  1. People engaged by board, not impossible to find (9)

Answer: TRACEABLE (i.e. “not impossible to find”). Solution is RACE (i.e. “people”) placed in or “engaged by” TABLE (i.e. “board”, the table company bigwigs sit around), like so: T(RACE)ABLE.

  1. Silver-tongued Conservative leaving badly organised public sale (9)

Answer: PLAUSIBLE (i.e. “silver-tongued”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “badly organised”) of PUBLIC SALE once the C has been removed (indicated by “Conservative leaving” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”).

  1. Free novel initially enjoyed by fashionable young man (8)

Answer: BUCKSHEE (i.e. “free” or gratuitous). Solution is SHE (i.e. “novel” by H. Rider Haggard) and E (i.e. “initially enjoyed”, i.e. the first letter of “enjoyed”) both placed after or “by” BUCK (i.e. “fashionable young man”), like so: BUCK-SHE-E.

  1. Actors in musical with Eliot in a spin (4)

Answer: CAST (i.e. “actors”). Solution is CATS (i.e. “musical”) with the TS (i.e. “Eliot”, the poet) reversed (indicated by “in a spin”), like so: CA(TS) => CA(ST).

  1. Cricket side everyone backs, it’s plain (5)

Answer: LLANO (i.e. South American “plain”). Solution is ON (i.e. “cricket side”, sometimes called leg side) and ALL (i.e. “everyone”) all reversed (indicated by “backs”), like so: LLA-NO.

  1. Enclosure ultimately very analytic, not in papal letter (10)

Answer: ENCYCLICAL (i.e. “papal letter” sent by the Pope to all his bishops). Solution is ENC (a recognised abbreviation of “enclosure” used in formal correspondence) followed by Y (i.e. “ultimately very”, i.e. the last letter of “very”) and CLINICAL (i.e. “analytic”) with the IN removed (indicated by “not in”), like so: ENC-Y-CLICAL.

  1. Muslim official once – namely one employed by Queen (6)

Answer: VIZIER (i.e. “Muslim official once”). Solution is VIZ (i.e. “namely”, a shortened form of the Latin videlicet) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ER (i.e. “Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina).

  1. Vehicles carrying lean Spanish monarchists (8)

Answer: CARLISTS (i.e. “Spanish monarchists”). Solution is CARS (i.e. “vehicles”) wrapped around or “carrying” LIST (i.e. “lean”), like so: CAR(LIST)S.

  1. S Atlantic islands transformed by Canadian with thrust (7,2,5)

Answer: TRISTAN DA CUNHA (i.e. “S Atlantic islands”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “transformed”) of CANADIAN and THRUST.

  1. Naval officer unexpectedly hid maps in entrance to mess (10)

Answer: MIDSHIPMAN (i.e. “naval officer”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unexpectedly”) of HID MAPS IN and M (i.e. “entrance to mess”, i.e. the first letter of “mess”).
Pro tip: setters sometimes like to refer to EASY as “midshipman”, after the 1836 novel Mr Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marryat, which we have obviously all read.

  1. Singer or priest turning over unfinished sculpture (5-7)

Answer: BASSO-RELIEVO (i.e. “sculpture”, also known as a bas-relief). Solution is BASS (i.e. “singer”) followed by OR, then ELI (i.e. “priest” – a favourite wordplay of several setters) and OVER once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “unfinished”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: BASS-OR-ELI-EVO.

  1. Container brought back by soldiers for gunpowder constituent (5)

Answer: NITRE (i.e. “gunpowder constituent”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “container”) reversed (indicated by “brought back”) and followed by RE (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army), like so: NIT-RE.

  1. Adverse info about old times dishonestly come by (3-6)

Answer: ILL-GOTTEN (i.e. “dishonestly come by”). Solution is ILL (i.e. “adverse”) followed by GEN (i.e. “info”) once wrapped “about” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and TT (i.e. “times” – T is a recognised abbreviation of “time”, two Ts gets you “times”), like so: ILL-G(O-TT)EN.

  1. Weighty matter party goes over after all the others (7)

Answer: BALLAST (i.e. “weighty matter”). Solution is LAB (i.e. “party”, specifically a shortened form of the Labour Party) reversed (indicated by “goes over”) and followed by LAST (i.e. “after all the others”), like so: BAL-LAST.

  1. European left visitor briefly in posh quarter (10)

Answer: PORTUGUESE (i.e. “European”). Solution is PORT (i.e. “left” side of a ship) followed by GUEST (i.e. “visitor”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder placed between U (a recognised abbreviation of the upper class, or “posh” lot) and E (i.e. one “quarter” of a compass, being a recognised abbreviation of “east”), like so: PORT-U-(GUES)-E.

  1. Roofing requirement I’d obtain in anger (5,4)

Answer: RIDGE TILE (i.e. “roofing requirement”). Solution is I’D and GET (i.e. “obtain”) both placed “in” RILE (i.e. “anger”), like so: R(I’D-GET)ILE.

Down clues

  1. Wife leaves old Welsh county, going over English river (5)

Answer: CLYDE (i.e. “river”). Solution is CLWYD (i.e. “old Welsh county”) with the W removed (indicated by “wife leaves” – W being a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) and the remainder followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: CLYD-E.

  1. Old French art work capturing witch’s gullet (10)

Answer: OESOPHAGUS (i.e. “gullet”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by ES (i.e. “French art” – we’ve seen this one recently, being the French for “are”, or “art” in ye olde times), then OPUS (i.e. “work”) once wrapped around or “capturing” HAG (i.e. “witch”), like so: O-ES-OP(HAG)US.

  1. Murderer – one detectives found in private residence (8)

Answer: HOMICIDE (i.e. “murderer” – can refer to the criminal as well as the crime). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and CID (i.e. “detectives”, specifically the Criminal Investigation Department) both placed “in” HOME (i.e. “private residence”), like so: HOM(I-CID)E.

  1. Schedule mainly involves this group of Muslim scholars (5)

Answer: ULEMA (i.e. “group of Muslim scholars”). “Involves” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: SCHED(ULE MA)INLY.

  1. Oil producers having typical ground south of Brussels (9)

Answer: EUCALYPTI (i.e. “oil producers”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ground”) of TYPICAL placed after or “south of” – this being a down clue – EU (i.e. “Brussels”, seat of the European Union), like so: EU-CALYPTI.

  1. Attorney leaves Commonwealth country for scene of marriage feast (4)

Answer: CANA (i.e. “scene of marriage feast” at which Jesus was said to have turned water into wine). Solution is CANADA (i.e. “Commonwealth country”) with the DA removed (indicated by “attorney leaves” – DA being a District Attorney).

  1. Abroad securing Irish transport route (6)

Answer: AIRWAY (i.e. “transport route”). Solution is AWAY (i.e. “abroad”) wrapped around or “securing” IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”), like so: A(IR)WAY.

  1. Publican aid’s creating agitation in Manhattan? (8,6)

Answer: COCKTAIL SHAKER (i.e. “publican’s aid”). Clue plays on Manhattan being a cocktail. You get the idea.

  1. Extremely weird new retreat oddly, a Cumbrian lake (12)

Answer: DERWENTWATER (i.e. “a Cumbrian lake”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “oddly”) of WD (i.e. “extremely weird”, i.e. the first and last letters of “weird”) and NEW RETREAT.

  1. Rise of first-class fellow in W African republic (7)

Answer: NIGERIA (i.e. “W African republic”). Solution is AI (i.e. “first-class”, i.e. A1 with I representing the 1 – a favourite play of several setters) followed by REG (i.e. “fellow”, basically a man’s name) and IN, all reversed (indicated by “rise of” – this being a down clue), like so: NI-GER-IA.

  1. Electronic device a local court deployed, missing nothing (10)

Answer: CALCULATOR (i.e. “electronic device”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “deployed”) of A LOCAL COURT once one of the Os has been removed (indicated by “missing nothing”).

  1. Returning, amend story about book constituting navigational aid (4,5)

Answer: TIDE TABLE (i.e. “navigational aid”). Solution is EDIT (i.e. “amend”) reversed (indicated by “returning”) and followed by TALE (i.e. “story”) once wrapped “about” B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”), like so: TIDE-TA(B)LE.

  1. Pitiful way to get quote set up! (8)

Answer: PATHETIC (i.e. “pitiful”). Solution is PATH (i.e. “way”) followed by CITE (i.e. “quote”) reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: PATH-ETIC.

  1. Genial sounding, taking small drink before a production (9)

Answer: MELODRAMA (i.e. “production”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “sounding”) of MELLOW (i.e. “genial”) followed by DRAM (i.e. “small drink”) and A, like so: MELO-DRAM-A.

  1. First choice when low-value coins secure advert (10)

Answer: PREFERENCE (i.e. “first choice”). Solution is PENCE (i.e. “low value coins”) wrapped around or “securing” REFER (i.e. “advert” – a variant meaning of the word, from the Latin advertere), like so: P(REFER)ENCE.

  1. Capital invested at first in unruly kid’s discharge (10)

Answer: BRATISLAVA (i.e. “capital” of Slovakia). Solution is I (i.e. “invested at first”, i.e. the first letter of “invested”) placed “in” BRAT’S (i.e. “unruly kid’s”) and followed by LAVA (i.e. volcanic “discharge”), like so: BRAT(I)’S-LAVA.

  1. Politician, Republican, heretic – one looking after books (9)

Answer: LIBRARIAN (i.e. “one looking after books”). Solution is LIB (i.e. “politician”, specifically a shortened form of Liberal) followed by R (ditto “Republican”) and ARIAN (i.e. “heretic”, specifically a follower of Arius who believed Christ was not the son of God but the first and highest of mortals).

  1. Drink putting an end to string player’s technique (6-8)

Answer: DOUBLE-STOPPING (i.e. “string player’s technique” – a recent repeat). Solution is DOUBLE (i.e. a measure of “drink”) followed by STOPPING (i.e. “putting an end to”).

  1. A pound bill (or more, ultimately) for fish (8)

Answer: ALBACORE (i.e. “fish”). Solution is A followed by LB (a recognised abbreviation of “pound” weight, after the Latin libra), then AC (i.e. “bill”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “account”), then OR and E (i.e. “more, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “more”).

  1. Disbelief as regarding one’s Queen visiting shelter (12)

Answer: ASTONISHMENT (i.e. “disbelief”). Solution is AS followed by ON (i.e. “regarding”), I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) and HM (i.e. “Queen”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Her Majesty) once all placed in or “visiting” TENT (i.e. “shelter”), like so: AS-T(ON-I’S-HM)ENT.

  1. Law enforcer’s plan of action endlessly upset celebrity (9)

Answer: POLICEMAN (i.e. “law enforcer”). Solution is POLICY (i.e. “plan of action”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by NAME (i.e. “celebrity”) once reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: POLIC-EMAN.

  1. Tat a rector recycled, making sculpture perhaps (10)

Answer: TERRACOTTA (i.e. “sculpture perhaps”). “Recycled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TAT A RECTOR.

  1. Cull a flower, so to speak – it adds zest to the course (10)

Answer: PICCALILLI (i.e. “it adds zest to the course” or meal. Well, it would if it wasn’t always the jar left unopened from a Christmas hamper). “So to speak” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of PICK A LILY (i.e. “cull a flower” – to cull is to select or “pick” out for destruction).

  1. Fellow required in Bury right away (9)

Answer: INSTANTER (i.e. “right away” in legalese). Solution is STAN (i.e. “fellow”, basically a man’s name) placed “in” INTER (i.e. “bury” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: IN(STAN)TER.

  1. Clever, accepting woman as deserving love (8)

Answer: ADORABLE (i.e. “deserving love”). Solution is ABLE (i.e. “clever”) wrapped around or “accepting” DORA (i.e. “woman” – a lot of people’s names in this one, isn’t there?), like so: A(DORA)BLE.

  1. Delivered books primarily telling of 18th-cent masquerade (7)

Answer: RIDOTTO (i.e. “18th-cent masquerade”). Solution is RID (i.e. “delivered”) followed by OT (i.e. “books”, specifically the Old Testament of The Bible) and TO (i.e. “primarily telling of”, i.e. the first letters of “telling” and “of”). One gotten from a combination of the wordplay and a decent thumbing of my Bradford’s and Chambers.

  1. Scottish magistrate, that is, propping up cricketers’ bar? (6)

Answer: BAILIE (i.e. “Scottish magistrate”). Solution is IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. …um… “i.e.”!) placed after or “propping up” – this being a down clue – BAIL (i.e. a “cricketers’ bar” that sits atop the stumps), like so: BAIL-IE.

  1. Academics upset about conclusion of priestly council (5)

Answer: SYNOD (i.e. “council”). Solution is DONS (i.e. “academics”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and wrapped “about” Y (i.e. “conclusion of priestly”, i.e. the last letter of “priestly”), like so: S(Y)NOD.

  1. Delete Times editorial for a start (5)

Answer: ERASE (i.e. “delete”). Solution is ERAS (i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by E (i.e. “editorial for a start”, i.e. the first letter of “editorial”).

  1. Sleep lightly, being nearly twelve (4)

Answer: DOZE (i.e. “sleep lightly”). Solution is DOZEN (i.e. “twelve”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”).

Musical accompaniment was had, what with there being no proper sport with it being FA Cup weekend. If dystopian sci-fi synthwave sounds like your thing, give Dan Terminus a whirl. Or don’t. I’m not your boss. Not yet, anyway. (Stifles villainous laughter.) – LP

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1477

A toughie to round off the festive period, and a pangram to boot. (A nod to Ong’ara for pointing this out in the past.) I’m not usually keen when setters lean on general knowledge solutions to help toughen up the puzzle, but, come on, who didn’t like ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX? This nerd approves.

Anyway, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. My Just For Fun page has links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things, should a recent Jumbo have you stumped. There’s also the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, keep safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. This second wave of Covid just keeps powering on, sadly. Just stay in, if you can. It’s overrated out there anyway.

LP

Across clues

  1. Old Greek image that’s sacred, commonly including Mass (7)

Answer: OLYMPIC (i.e. “old Greek”). Solution is ‘OLY PIC (i.e. “image that’s sacred, commonly”, i.e. playing on how the aitch has been dropped from HOLY) wrapped around or “including” M (a recognised abbreviation of “mass” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: ‘OLY-(M)-PIC.

  1. School flag is appropriate (8)

Answer: HIGHJACK, a recognised variant of hijack (i.e. to steal or “appropriate”). Solution is HIGH (i.e. “school”) followed by JACK (i.e. “flag”).

  1. Features, something Greek might write, connected with old Balkan ruler (6)

Answer: PHIZOG (i.e. “features”, after physiognomy). Solution is PHI (i.e. “something Greek might write”, being the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet) followed by ZOG (i.e. “old Balkan ruler”).

  1. Thing troubling babe, soon nineteen (1,3,2,4,6)

Answer: A BEE IN ONE’S BONNET (i.e. “thing troubling”). “Troubling” also indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BABE SOON NINETEEN.

  1. Glass that’s filled behind agent’s back (6)

Answer: BUMPER (i.e. “glass that’s filled [to the brim, for a toast]” – chalk one to by Bradford’s here: a phrase you’ll see a lot in this post). Solution is BUM (i.e. “behind”) followed by REP (i.e. “agent”) once reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: BUM-PER.

  1. Most bold in corporation – the rest falling short (8)

Answer: GUTSIEST (i.e. “most bold”). Solution is GUT (i.e. “corporation”, an archaic word for a belly, often a large one. A pet play for setters, so if you see this in a clue, think TUM or GUT) followed by SIESTA (i.e. “rest”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “falling short”), like so: GUT-SIEST. Nicely worked.

  1. Flier, held, fall out of cases (2,2)

Answer: EL AL (i.e. “flier”, specifically “the Israeli airline” (Chambers)). Solution is derived from HELD and FALL once the first and last letters of each word have been removed, indicated by “out of cases”. Probably not the setter’s first entry in the grid…

  1. Boasts of returning, returning to the fold (5-4)

Answer: CROWS-FOOT (i.e. “fold” in the skin around the eyes). Solution is CROWS (i.e. “boasts”) followed by OF once reversed (indicated by “returning”) and TO also reversed (also indicated by “returning”), like so: CROWS-FO-OT.

  1. Performers once cut grass on pitch in front of one (8)

Answer: CASTRATI (i.e. “performers once cut”, the like of which you shouldn’t see again given they were routinely castrated as children in order to help preserve their voices. Brian Hodge wrote an excellent story about a modern-era castrato and his patron, reprinted in Best New Horror 6, called The Alchemy of the Throat). Solution is RAT (i.e. “grass”) placed “on” or after CAST (i.e. to throw or “pitch”), both of which are then placed “in front of” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: CAST-RAT-I.

  1. Job involved keeping ointment by for particular case (8,3)

Answer: JUNCTION BOX (i.e. “case” housing electrical wires and such – there may be something clever to justify “particular”, but I’m not seeing it). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “involved”) of JOB wrapped around or “keeping” UNCTION (i.e. “ointment”) and then followed by X (i.e. “by”, i.e. the multiplication symbol), like so: J(UNCTION)BO-X.

  1. Some smelt tar derivative back in plant (3,6)

Answer: RED RATTLE (i.e. “plant”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “back” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: SM(ELT TAR DER)IVATIVE.

  1. Special purpose yellow packs pursued (8)

Answer: TAILORED (i.e. “special purpose”). Solution is OR (i.e. “yellow” or gold in heraldry) placed in or “packing” TAILED (i.e. “pursued”), like so: TAIL(OR)ED.

  1. Ultimately, they conclude agenda with informal agreement (4)

Answer: YEAH (i.e. “informal [word of] agreement”). “Ultimately” indicates the solution is derived from the final letters of “theY concludE agendA witH“.

  1. A travel writer holding talk at house, fearing to leave it? (11)

Answer: AGORAPHOBIC (i.e. “house, fearing to leave it”). Solution is A, GO (i.e. “travel”) and BIC (i.e. “writer”, as in a Bic biro) wrapped around or “holding” RAP (i.e. “talk”) and HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: A-GO-(RAP-HO)-BIC.

  1. Footwear sellers paid to diversify (11)

Answer: ESPADRILLES (i.e. “footwear”). “To diversify” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SELLERS PAID.

  1. One putting down a grand on a flat? On the contrary (5,6)

Answer: PIANO PLAYER. “On the contrary” asks you to swap words in the first half of the clue, i.e. “one putting down ‘A flat’ on a grand”, which gets you the solution. Clue also plays on PIANO LAYER (i.e. “one putting down a grand”), and probably something else I’m not twigging to net you the P in between the words, but you get the idea.

  1. Allowed only famous poem – and one leading up to it (11)

Answer: JUSTIFIABLE (i.e. “allowed”). Solution is JUST (i.e. “only”) followed by IF (i.e. “famous poem” by Rudyard Kipling), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ABLE (i.e. “up to it”).

  1. House that had a rose bowl (4)

Answer: YORK. Solution satisfies “house that had a rose” – referring to the House of York, one half of the War of the Roses – and “bowl”, as in to bowl a yorker in cricket – a delivery aimed at the crease.

  1. Old chief investigator hesitates: he’s backtracking (8)

Answer: TECUMSEH (i.e. “old chief”, specifically a Native American leader from the nineteenth century). Solution is TEC (i.e. “investigator”, shortened form of “detective”) followed by UMS (i.e. “hesitates”) and HE once reversed (indicated by “backtracking”), like so: TEC-UMS-EH. One gotten from the wordplay if I’m honest.

  1. Needing a cut of beef to be picked up after deliveries (9)

Answer: OVERGROWN (i.e. “needing a cut”, a bit like my lockdown barnet). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of GROAN (i.e. “beef” or complaint) placed “after” OVER (i.e. a series of six regulation “deliveries” in cricket), like so: OVER-GROWN.

  1. Small section of block crossed by a gaoler waving a bunch of keys? (11)

Answer: ARCHIPELAGO (i.e. “keys” or group of islands). Solution is CHIP (i.e. “small section of block”) placed in or “crossed by” an anagram (indicated by “waving”) of A GAOLER, like so: AR(CHIP)ELAGO. A recent repeat, but this one is very nicely done.

  1. Recalling who the sunglasses belong to…? (6,2)

Answer: SHADES OF. Solution satisfies “recalling” and “who the sunglasses belong to”.

  1. Watchful dog with no tail you once had (5-4)

Answer: SHARP-EYED (i.e. “watchful”). Solution is SHAR-PEI (i.e. breed of “dog” – score another to my Bradford’s here) with it’s last letter removed (indicated by “with no tail”) and the remainder followed by YE’D (i.e. “you once had” – a contraction of ye-olde “you” (indicated by “once”) and “had”), like so: SHAR-PE-(YE’D).

  1. Take in cable, with height not constant (4)

Answer: HOAX (i.e. “take in”). Solution is COAX (shortened form of “coaxial cable”) with the C swapped for an H (indicated by “height not constant” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “height”, ditto C “constant”), like so: (C)OAX => (H)OAX.

  1. Long running drama, Farewell Monsieur, is back (8)

Answer: MARATHON (i.e. “long running”). Solution is NOH (i.e. Japanese “drama”), followed by TARA (i.e. “farewell”) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “Monsieur”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “is back”), like so: M-ARAT-HON.

  1. Stateswoman we’d understand an important member of the opposition? (6)

Answer: Maria Corazon Cojuangco AQUINO, former president of the Philippines (i.e. “stateswoman”). “We understand” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of A KEY NO (i.e. “an important member of the opposition”).

  1. Dedication ends with shoe-leather being badly worn (16)

Answer: WHOLEHEARTEDNESS (i.e. “dedication”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “being badly worn”) of ENDS, W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and SHOE-LEATHER.

  1. On return, prepared bread and port (6)

Answer: NANTES (i.e. “port”). Solution is SET (i.e. “prepared”) and NAN (i.e. “bread” – a variant spelling of naan) all reversed (indicated by “on return”), like so: NAN-TES.

  1. Cannon once essential, note, for securing back of line (8)

Answer: AMUSETTE (i.e. “cannon once”, a light field gun used in the 18th century – another win for the Bradford’s). Solution is A MUST (i.e. “essential”) and TE (i.e. “note” in the doh-ray-me way) wrapped around or “securing” E (i.e. “back of line”, i.e. the last letter of “line”), like so: A-MUS(E)T-TE.

  1. Story about a doctor turned railway worker (7)

Answer: YARDMAN (i.e. “railway worker”). Solution is YARN (i.e. “story”) wrapped “about” A and MD (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Doctor of Medicine or Medicinae Doctor) once reversed (indicated by “turned”), like so: YAR(DM-A)N.

Down clues

  1. Zero scope for movement – and hence a squash? (6)

Answer: ORANGE (i.e. “a squash”). Solution is O (i.e. “zero”) followed by RANGE (i.e. “scope for movement”).

  1. Possibly miss last part of comedy screened? Not the last (6)

Answer: YVETTE (i.e. “possibly miss”, basically a woman’s name). Solution is Y (i.e. “last part of comedy”) followed by VETTED (i.e. “screened”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “not the last”), like so: Y-VETTE.

  1. Particular sort of beer, right to give to a new mum (9)

Answer: PRIMIPARA (i.e. “new mum”). Solution is PRIM (i.e. “particular”) followed by IPA (i.e. “sort of beer”, specifically Indian Pale Ale), then R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and A. Another nod to Bradford’s here. Cool word. I like it.

  1. Embroidery done a certain way, given the needle’s very small one (5-6)

Answer: CROSS-STITCH (i.e. “embroidery done a certain way”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “given the needle”), followed by ‘S (the contraction of “is” after “needle”) and TITCH (i.e. “very small one”), like so: CROSS-‘S-TITCH.

  1. Humble clerk has energy, bursting with it (4)

Answer: Uriah HEEP, “humble clerk” from Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield. Solution is HEP (i.e. cool or “with it”) wrapped around or being “burst” by E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: HE(E)P.

  1. Trap the lot with one’s sudden movement – then lose it (2,9)

Answer: GO BALLISTIC (i.e. “lose it”). Solution is GOB (i.e. “trap”, both slang words for mouth) followed by ALL (i.e. “the lot”), then I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) and TIC (i.e. “sudden movement”).

  1. Nice jug Jules smashed, spilling son’s liquor (6,5)

Answer: JUNGLE JUICE (i.e. slang for strong, poor-quality “liquor”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “smashed”) of NICE JUG JULES once the S has been removed (indicated by “spilling son” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “son”).

  1. Faith, involving short display of emotion, getting stronger (9)

Answer: CRESCENDO (i.e. “getting stronger” in musical lingo). Solution is CREDO (i.e. “faith”) wrapped around or “involving” SCENE (i.e. “display of emotion”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: CRE(SCEN)DO.

  1. London area head office not dragging its feet? (8)

Answer: HOUNSLOW (i.e. “London area”). Solution is HO (a recognised abbreviation of “head office”) followed by UNSLOW (i.e. “not dragging its feet” – the riddly question mark acknowledges this isn’t exactly a word you’re going to find in the dictionary).

  1. Unknown, he boxed probable criminal in double-header on radio show (6,10)

Answer: ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX (i.e. “double-header on radio show”, referring to a character in Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy who had two heads). Solution is Z (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z as “unknowns” in their clues) followed by an anagram (indicated by “criminal”) of HE BOXED PROBABLE. Proof positive that any puzzle can be immediately improved with a spot of Douglas Adams. Except for Sudoku, perhaps. They have enough 42s already.

  1. Fabric made of net: good strong thing all round (4-3)

Answer: GORE-TEX (i.e. “fabric”). Solution is RETE (i.e. “net”, often a network of blood vessels or nerves) with G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and OX (i.e. “strong thing”) placed “all round” it, like so: G-O(RETE)X.

  1. Nanny’s tender way under attack by chap (8)

Answer: GOATHERD (i.e. “nanny’s tender”, as in one who tends goats). Solution is RD (a recognised abbreviation of “road”) placed at the end of or “under” – this being a down clue – GO AT (i.e. “attack”) and HE (i.e. “chap”), like so: (GO-AT-HE)-RD.

  1. Job where each apparently has his own assistant? (8)

Answer: PAPERBOY (i.e. “job”). When written as PA PER BOY the remainder of the clue satisfies “where each apparently has his own assistant”, as in each paperboy having his own Personal Assistant. I rather liked this one.

  1. Put on early pressure to work at gathering harvest (8)

Answer: PREAPPLY (i.e. “put on early”, like an undercoat of paint). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) and PLY (i.e. “to work at”) wrapped around or “gathering” REAP (i.e. to “harvest”), like so: P-(REAP)-PLY.

  1. Lines of John’s, eg, radio announcer fluffed (3,2,1,7,3)

Answer: ODE ON A GRECIAN URN (i.e. “lines of John” Keats. Romantic poets would write odes to their big toes given half a chance. O vital member of flesh and bone; giver of balance, prey of bedposts, the unholed socks doth fear you; So wiggle on, my porcine general! Hold firm thine aegis of keratin, thine hangnail lance, and let not the market take you… I’ll accept my laureateship now, thanks). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “fluffed”) of EG RADIO ANNOUNCER.

  1. Is like Jack early in fairytale, on hearing people out (3-5)

Answer: HAS-BEENS (i.e. “people out”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “on hearing”) of HAS BEANS, rather “like Jack early in fairytale”, specifically Jack and the Beanstalk.

  1. Website inviting knowledgeable improvements, primarily? (4)

Answer: WIKI. “Primarily” indicates the solution is derived from the initial letters of Website Inviting Knowledgeable Improvements. Wikis are community-editable knowledgebases, which the clue sums up rather well. Very nicely done.

  1. Headless giant is very curious (4)

Answer: AGOG (i.e. “very curious” – not sure this equates to “excited eagerness” (Chambers), so I might not have this right). My solution for what it’s worth is MAGOG (i.e. “giant” who, with Gog, were “the last two survivors of a mythical race of giants inhabiting ancient Britain” (Chambers)) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “headless”).

  1. History exam as teacher’s responsibility? (8)

Answer: PASTORAL (i.e. “teacher’s responsibility” – over to Chambers again, one definition of the solution is “relating to care and advice given by teachers to pupils beyond the basic teaching of the subject”). Solution is PAST (i.e. “history”) followed by ORAL (i.e. “exam”).

  1. Prince of Wales theatre’s latest, fittingly, coming up: playing regularly (8)

Answer: LLEWELYN ap Gruffudd or Llewelyn the Last (i.e. “Prince of Wales” during the 13th century). Solution is E (i.e. “theatre’s latest”, i.e. the last letter of “theatre”) and WELL (i.e. “fittingly”) both reversed (indicated by “coming up” – this being a down clue) and followed by LYN (i.e. “playing regularly”, i.e. every other letter of PLAYING), like so: (LLEW-E)-LYN.

  1. Spurs lose: I start to hear delirious Reds fans (11)

Answer: RUSSOPHILES (i.e. “Reds fans” or people who rather like Russia, its people, its culture etc). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “delirious”) of SPURS LOSE I and H (i.e. “start to hear”, i.e. the first letter of “hear”).

  1. What stops kid, a page, taking headpiece for old king (11)

Answer: JEHOSHAPHAT (i.e. “old king” fond of jumpin’, as some rootin’ tootin’ cartoon gunmen might claim). Solution is EH (i.e. “what” as in Eh? What? Pardon?) placed in or “stopping” JOSH (i.e. to joke or “kid”) and followed by A, then P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”), then HAT (i.e. “headpiece”), like so: J(EH)OSH-A-P-HAT. Another win for the Bradford’s!

  1. Popular lament about a new style, periodically so lacking grace (11)

Answer: INELEGANTLY (i.e. “lacking grace”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by ELEGY (i.e. “lament”) once wrapped “about” A, N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and TL (i.e. “style, periodically”, i.e. every other letter of STYLE), like so: IN-ELEG(A-N-TL)Y.

  1. Thousandth employee to come across opposition in the workplace? (2,3,4)

Answer: US AND THEM (i.e. “opposition in the workplace”). “To come across” indicates the solution has been hidden or wrapped into the clue, like so: THO(USANDTH EM)PLOYEE.

  1. Game with ring and rubber duck (9)

Answer: GOOSANDER (i.e. “duck” – another nod to my Bradford’s here). Solution is GO (i.e. “go”) followed by O (i.e. “ring”) and SANDER (i.e. “rubber” as in something that rubs).

  1. Ten exercises brought in for a small sum (8)

Answer: SIXPENCE (i.e. “small sum”). Solution is X (i.e. “[Roman numeral] ten”) and PE (i.e. “exercises”, specifically Physical Education) both placed “in” SINCE (i.e. “for”, as in for the last however-long), like so: SI(X-PE)NCE.

  1. Don’t put an X rating on the spot (7)

Answer: ABSTAIN (i.e. “don’t put an X”, i.e. refrain from voting). Solution is AB (i.e. “rating” given to Able-Bodied seamen) followed by STAIN (i.e. “spot”).

  1. Being collected from public house, left meeting (6)

Answer: PHLEGM (i.e. “being collected”, as opposed to a big grolly). Solution is PH (a recognised abbreviation of “public house”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and EGM (i.e. “meeting”, specifically an Extraordinary General Meeting).

  1. Concert with possible Oxbridge dons – not outside (6)

Answer: UNISON (i.e. working in “concert”). Solution is UNIS (i.e. “possible Oxbridge”, in how the word is a contraction Oxford and Cambridge Universities) followed by ON (i.e. “dons – not outside”, i.e. the word “dons” with its first and last letters removed), like so: UNIS-ON.

  1. Fail to apply for audition, and flourish (4)

Answer: WAVE (i.e. “flourish” – another nod to Bradford’s as I couldn’t make the connection). “For audition” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of WAIVE (i.e. “fail to apply”, as in waiving one’s right to something).