Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1421

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

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

Right then, to the answers!

LP

Across clues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15. Opener of Irish county’s team (9)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

28. Gourmand leaving starter to get thin (5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

35. Go along with scam by scoundrel (6)

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

36. Party to identify with opposition? (5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

54. Places for audio visual experience (5)

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

55. Taser perhaps hurt one (4,3)

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

56. Sample of titbit as temptation? (5)

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

57. Star to write signature and stuff (9)

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

Down clues

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

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

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

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

3. Place property to get commission (11)

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

4. Perception of area combined with space (6)

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

5. Invade enclosure with fish (8)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11. Water bird lifted out of detergent (5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

23. Sly type overhearing cunning plan will (6)

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

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

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

27. Reveal record miss (8)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

37. Party defeats Greens? (4,6)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

46. African party member lifting vote against (6)

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

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

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

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

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

51. Course of salts? (5)

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

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1420

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

And so to the answers….

LP

Across clues

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

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

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

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

14. Native beginning to settle in Lincoln (9)

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

15. Top name for chocolate? (5)

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

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

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

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

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

18. 15 out of practice? (5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

48. Hooter’s small cry of pain? (5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

53. Loony ran up tree in delight (9)

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

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

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

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

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

Down clues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Herb’s woman (8)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13. Taken away, being scatterbrained (10)

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

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

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

23. Supporting one of Ireland’s heads, offering a solution (8)

Answer: FORMALIN (i.e. “solution”). Solution is FOR (i.e. “supporting”) followed by MALIN (i.e. “one of Ireland’s heads”, and the most northerly part of the island of Ireland, it says here). Chalk another one to my Bradfords here.

25. Minister – scoundrel and mischief maker (6)

Answer: CURATE (i.e. “minister”). Solution is CUR (i.e. “scoundrel”) followed by ATE (i.e. “mischief maker”, referring to Ate, the Greek goddess of mischief).

26. Rips around socks? Hard to avoid that in prickly plants (3,5)

Answer: TEA ROSES (i.e. “prickly plants”). Solution is TEARS (i.e. “rips”) placed “around” HOSE (i.e. “socks”) once the H has been removed (indicated by “hard to avoid” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “hard”), like so: TEAR(OSE)S.

28. Ostracised son sent to bed, young lout as was (9)

Answer: BOYCOTTED (i.e. “ostracised”). Solution is BOY (i.e. “son”) followed by COT (i.e. “bed”) and TED (i.e. “young lout, as was”, short for a Teddy boy).

29. Tin deposited on long grass (6)

Answer: SNITCH (i.e. “grass”). Solution is SN (chemical symbol of “tin”) followed by ITCH (i.e. to yearn for or “long”).

31. Offer made by generous tailor is no good at all (3,3,7)

Answer: FIT FOR NOTHING. Solution satisfies “offer made by generous tailor” and “no good at all”. A clue that scans rather well.

33. State of bewilderment in domesticated and wild animals gets one quibbling (11)

Answer: PETTIFOGGER (i.e. “one quibbling”). Solution is FOG (i.e. “state of bewilderment”) placed “in” PET (i.e. “domesticated…animal”) and TIGER (i.e. “wild animal”), like so: PET-TI(FOG)GER.

34. Social activity after nine maybe, old tribe attending church (6,5)

Answer: SQUARE DANCE (i.e. “social activity”). Solution is SQUARE (i.e. “nine maybe”, referring to the square of 3) followed by DAN (i.e. “old tribe [of Israel]” – I remembered this from a previous puzzle) and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England”).

35. Smart head – one concealed lack of generosity (10)

Answer: STINGINESS (i.e. “lack of generosity”). Solution is STING (i.e. “smart”) and NESS (i.e. “head”, as in the geographical feature) wrapped around or “concealing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: STING-(I)-NESS.

36. Ten men raged, out to create disorder (11)

Answer: DERANGEMENT (i.e. “disorder”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TEN MEN RAGED.

40. Oration of Greek character delivered with insolence – listener’s choice (9)

Answer: PHILIPPIC (i.e. “oration”, and a particularly angry one at that). Solution is PHI (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet) followed by LIP (i.e. “insolence”) and PIC (i.e. “listener’s choice”, i.e. a homophone of the word PICK). Another I remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest. Hmm. Looks like I’d spelled it incorrectly back then too. (Facepalms oneself.)

41. Spar bends on rough trip (8)

Answer: BOWSPRIT (i.e. “spar [of a ship]”). Solution is BOWS (i.e. “bends”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “rough”) of TRIP, like so: BOWS-PRIT.

43. Scoundrel is outwardly conceited, inwardly wicked (7)

Answer: VILLAIN (i.e. “scoundrel”). Solution is VAIN (i.e. “conceited”) placed “outwardly” of ILL (i.e. “wicked”), like so: V(ILL)AIN. Another clue that reads well.

45. Hannibal? Carthaginian finally making a stand (7)

Answer: LECTERN (i.e. “stand”). Solution is “Hannibal” LECTER, a character featuring in several Thomas Harris novels, followed by N (i.e. “Carthaginian finally”, i.e. the last letter of “Carthaginian”).

46. Old city captured by fantastic Masai warrior (7)

Answer: SAMURAI (i.e. “warrior”). Solution is UR (i.e. “old city”, a favourite of setters) placed in or “captured by” an anagram (indicated by “fantastic”) of MASAI, like so: SAM(UR)AI.

47. Popular phrase – snare for a bloke, almost (6)

Answer: MANTRA (i.e. “popular phase”). Solution is MAN-TRAP (i.e. “snare for a bloke”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

50. End of the short uprising, break from hostilities (5)

Answer: TRUCE (i.e. “break from hostilities”). Solution is E (i.e. “end of the”, i.e. the last letter of “the”) followed by CURT (i.e. “short”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “uprising”, this being a down clue), like so: TRUC-E.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1419

Another good ‘un marks the end of a busy period of Jumbos. I much prefer puzzles that have me thumbing through a good dictionary as opposed to an atlas or a Who’s Who of dead people, so for the most part this one ticked several boxes. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

A spot of housekeeping before we crack on. If you have a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s left you cold then you might find some joy in my Just For Fun page. Meanwhile, if book reviews tickle your fancy then I’ve got a bunch here. I’ll stick a review of Best New Horror 12 on here shortly(ish), now things are settling down again after New Year. If you’d like a short story then I’ve got you covered too.

If you’re here just for the answers then I guess I’d better hop to it. Tuck in!

LP

Across clues

1. Name – a girl’s by the sound of it (7)

Answer: MONIKER (i.e. “name”). “By the sound of it” indicates homophone. Solution is also a homophone of MONICA, a “girl’s” name.

5. Flyer produced by petulant Head (9)

Answer: CROSSBILL (i.e. “flyer”, as in a bird – did a Google image search… appropriately named!). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “petulant”) followed by BILL (i.e. “head” – both words can mean a piece of land that juts out into the sea).

10. Sword Europeans found outside gym (4)

Answer: EPEE (i.e. “sword”). Solution is E and E (i.e. “Europeans” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “European”) placed “outside” of PE (a recognised abbreviation of Physical Education, i.e. “gym”), like so: E(PE)E.

14. Rugby players – 75% of them? (5-8)

Answer: THREE-QUARTERS (i.e. “75% of them”). When read without hyphenation, THREE QUARTERS also satisfies “[three] rugby players”).

15. Picking up little brat going walkabout (9)

Answer: IMPROVING (i.e. “picking up”). Solution is IMP (i.e. “little brat”) followed by ROVING (i.e. “going walkabout”).

16. Back soldiers at start of this temporary transfer (10)

Answer: SECONDMENT (i.e. “temporary transfer”). Solution is SECOND (i.e. “[to] back”) followed by MEN (i.e. “soldiers”) and T (i.e. “start of this”, i.e. the first letter of “this”).

17. Terence, Leo and I contrived to campaign politically (11)

Answer: ELECTIONEER (i.e. “to campaign politically”). “Contrived” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TERENCE, LEO and I.

18. Boy – head of class, as it happens (5)

Answer: CLIVE (i.e. “boy[‘s name]”). Solution is C (i.e. “head of class”, i.e. the first letter of “class”) followed by LIVE (i.e. “as it happens” – think live sports coverage). I’m seldom happy when forenames are used to plug awkward gaps in grids, so you can imagine my… er… delight with this one, especially considering the numerous other words that could have fitted the intersecting letters. Harrumph, etc.

19. Army corps’s pressing need largely beginning to expedite rebirth (10)

Answer: RESURGENCE (i.e. “rebirth”). Solution is RE’S (i.e. “army corps’s”, specifically the Royal Engineers) followed by URGENCY (i.e. “pressing need”) with its final letter removed (indicated by “largely”) and E (i.e. “beginning to expedite”, i.e. the first letter of “expedite”), like so: RE’S-URGENC-E.

21. A new aim holding back a SW African state (6)

Answer: ANGOLA (i.e. “SW African state”). Solution is A followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and GOAL (i.e. “aim”) once the A has been shifted along (indicated by “holding back a”), like so: A-N-GOLA.

23. Policy declaration of teams in turmoil (9)

Answer: MANIFESTO (i.e. “policy declaration”). “Turmoil” indicated anagram. Solution is an anagram of OF TEAMS IN.

25. Western poem originally naming Anglo-Saxon god (5)

Answer: WODEN (i.e. “Anglo-Saxon god”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “western”) followed by ODE (i.e. “poem”) and N (i.e. “originally naming”, i.e. the first letter of “naming”). One gotten solely through the wordplay, to be honest.

26. Failed to find “glove” in dictionary (7)

Answer: OMITTED (i.e. “failed”, e.g. omitting to mention something important). Solution is MITT (i.e. “glove” placed or “found” in OED (i.e. “dictionary”, specifically the Oxford English Dictionary), like so: O(MITT)ED.

28. Gloucester’s son’s directions accepted by noble poet (6,7)

Answer: EDMUND SPENSER (i.e. a “poet” whose ye olde spellyngs and definitions litter dictionaries to this day). Solution is EDMUND’S (i.e. “Gloucester’s son’s” – referring to Edmund, a character in Shakespeare’s King Lear, who was the illegitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester) followed by NS (i.e. “directions”, specifically recognised abbreviations of “north” and “south”) once it has been placed in or “accepted by” PEER (i.e. “noble”), like so: EDMUND’S-PE(NS)ER. A nod to Google for this, as I’ve never been much of a fan of Shakespeare.

31. Deal with prime disturbance of the cuticle (9)

Answer: EPIDERMAL (i.e. “of the cuticle”). “Disturbance” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DEAL and PRIME.

33. Secret flight bound to disturb fellows in film (9)

Answer: ELOPEMENT (i.e. “secret flight”). Solution is MEN (i.e. “fellows”) placed “in” ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra Terrestrial). LOPE (i.e. to “bound”) then “disturbs” or is placed inside of this, like so: E(LOPE)(MEN)T.

35. Making little impact where security may be found around tiller (13)

Answer: UNDERWHELMING (i.e. “making little impact”). Solution is UNDER WING (i.e. “where security may be found”, as in being taken under someone’s wing) wrapped “around” HELM (i.e. “tiller”), like so: UNDER-W(HELM)ING.

37. Implement he recognised in Paris after decades with university (7)

Answer: UTENSIL (i.e. “implement”). Solution is IL (i.e. “he recognised in Paris”, i.e. the French for “he”), placed “after” U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and TENS (i.e. “decades”), like so: U-TENS-IL.

38. A sorcerer may practice it, partly to be a hardman (5)

Answer: OBEAH, which is “witchcraft or poisoning practiced in the West Indies, Guyana etc” (Chambers) (i.e. “a sorcerer may practice it”). “Partly” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: T(O BE A H)ARDMAN. Three words: Made. To. Fit!

40. Like delicious drink only initially imbibed by random centaurs (9)

Answer: NECTAROUS (i.e. “like delicious drink”). Solution is O (i.e. “only initially”, i.e. the first letter of “only”) placed in or being “imbibed by” an anagram (indicated by “random”) of CENTAURS, like so: NECTAR(O)US.

42. Lasciviousness originally rare at East Sheen? (6)

Answer: LUSTRE (i.e. “sheen” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is LUST (i.e. “lasciviousness”) followed by R (i.e. “originally rare”, i.e. the first letter of “rare”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “East”).

44. Part of army finally serving in Europe, perhaps (10)

Answer: CONTINGENT (i.e. “part of army”). Solution is G (i.e. “finally serving”, i.e. the last letter of “serving”) placed in CONTINENT (i.e. “Europe, perhaps”), like so: CONTIN(G)ENT.

46. Extol Labour leader feeding black horse? (5)

Answer: BLESS (i.e. “extol”). Solution is L (i.e. “Labour leader”, i.e. the first letter of “Labour”) placed in or “feeding” BESS (i.e. “black horse”, specifically Black Bess, Dick Turpin’s horse), like so: B(L)ESS.

48. The writer’s one shedding tears about small naval vessel (11)

Answer: MINESWEEPER (i.e. “naval vessel”). Solution is MINE (i.e. “the writer’s”, taking the point of view of the setter) and WEEPER (i.e. “one shedding tears”) placed “about” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”), like so: MINE-(S)-WEEPER.

50. Dishonest activity practised by carpenters? (10)

Answer: CHISELLING. Solution satisfies “dishonest activity” and “practiced by carpenters”.

52. Fruit can deteriorate ultimately, inspiring rage (9)

Answer: TANGERINE (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “can”) and E (i.e. “deteriorate ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “deteriorate”) wrapped around or “inspiring” ANGER (i.e. “rage”), like so: T(ANGER)IN-E.

53. Examine attorney more protractedly about male spreader of gossip (13)

Answer: SCANDALMONGER (i.e. “spreader of gossip”). Solution is SCAN (i.e. “examine”) followed by DA (i.e. attorney, specifically a District Attorney) and LONGER (i.e. “more protracted”) once it has been placed “about” M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”), like so: SCAN-DA-L(M)ONGER.

54. 1950s youth going over English millennium building (4)

Answer: DOME (i.e. “millennium building”, specifically the Millennium Dome in London, now known as the O2 Arena). Solution is MOD (i.e. “1950s youth”) reversed (indicated by “going over”) and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: DOM-E.

55. Onlooker volunteers to feed unpopular police officer? (9)

Answer: SPECTATOR (i.e. “onlooker”). Solution is TA (i.e. “volunteers”, specifically the Territorial Army) placed in or “feeding” INSPECTOR (i.e. “police officer”) once the IN has been removed (indicated by “unpopular”, as in not being “in”), like so: SPEC(TA)TOR. Good clue!

56. Private room in hospital used by leader of city corporation (7)

Answer: SANCTUM (i.e. “private room”). Solution is SAN (an old slang word for a sanitorium, i.e. “hospital”) followed by C (i.e. “leader of city”, i.e. the first letter of “city”) and TUM (i.e. “corporation”, an archaic word for a tummy or belly – setters love using this).

Down clues

1. A widow’s gift could possibly – so to speak (4)

Answer: MITE. Solution satisfies “a widow’s gift” – referring to a widow’s mite, which is “a small offering generously given” (pats Chambers) – and also “could possibly – so to speak”, referring to a homophone of MIGHT.

2. One overwhelmed by new organ composition, like Grieg (9)

Answer: NORWEGIAN (i.e. “like [Edvard] Grieg”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “overwhelmed by” an anagram (indicated by “composition”) or NEW ORGAN, like so: NORWEG(I)AN.

3. Hope for success, but ruin one’s piano recital? (4,4,7,7)

Answer: KEEP ONES FINGERS CROSSED. Solution satisfies “hope for success” and “ruin one’s piano recital”. I did smile at this when I twigged it.

4. Canon upset about contribution to team’s score (7)

Answer: ROUNDER (i.e. “contribution to team’s score” – do they score runs in rounders or do they score rounders? (Shrugs)). Solution is ROUND (i.e. “canon” – one of its definitions is “a type of vocal or instrumental musical composition in which the melody is repeated by one part following another in imitation” (Chambers again); meanwhile one of round’s umpteen definitions is “a canon sung in unison” – score one to my Bradford’s here, as I would never have made the connection) followed by RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) which is reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: ROUND-ER.

5. Basis of cereal a person formerly consumed (11)

Answer: CORNERSTONE (i.e. “basis of”). Solution is CORN (i.e. “cereal”) and ONE (i.e. “a person”) wrapped around or “consuming” ERST (i.e. at first or “formerly”), like so: CORN-(ERST)-ONE.

6. Public argument about Hutton’s first poor return? (9)

Answer: OVERTHROW (i.e. “poor return” – think a fielder overthrowing the ball in cricket). Solution is OVERT (i.e. “public”) and ROW (i.e. “argument”) placed “about” H (i.e. “Hutton’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “Hutton”), like so: OVERT-(H)-ROW.

7. Soiree regularly gatecrashed by American girl (5)

Answer: SUSIE (i.e. “girl[‘s name]” (sighs)). Solution is SIE (i.e. “soiree regularly”, i.e. every other letter of SOIREE) wrapped around or being “gatecrashed” by US (i.e. “American”), like so: S(US)IE.

8. Shimmering effect encountered at first in relaxed scenic ride (11)

Answer: IRIDESCENCE (i.e. “shimmering effect”). Solution is E (i.e. “encountered at first”, i.e. the first letter of encountered) placed in an anagram (indicated by “relaxed”) of SCENIC RIDE, like so: IRID(E)SCENCE.

9. Literary island identified by a set in Los Angeles? (6)

Answer: LAPUTA (i.e. “literary island”, specifically one found in Gulliver’s Travels). Solution is A and PUT (i.e. “set [down]”) both placed in LA (i.e. “Los Angeles”), like so: L(A-PUT)A.

11. Instruction book on old card game (7)

Answer: PRIMERO (i.e. “card game”). Solution is PRIMER (i.e. “instruction book”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”). Can’t say I’ve played it.

12. Decorate artist brought up in part of UK (9)

Answer: ENGARLAND (i.e. “decorate”). Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) reversed (indicated by “brought up” – this being a down clue) and placed “in” ENGLAND (i.e. “part of UK”), like so: ENG(AR)LAND.

13. Bomb eastern warehouse, heavy and lacking buoyancy? (2,4,4,1,4,7)

Answer: GO DOWN LIKE A LEAD BALLOON (i.e. “bomb”). Solution is GODOWN (i.e. “eastern warehouse” – no, me neither) and LIKE A LEAD BALLOON (i.e. the riddle “heavy and lacking buoyancy?”). Not a classic.

18. Accomplished Liberal turned out to take part (7)

Answer: COMPETE (i.e. “take part”). Solution is COMPLETE (i.e. “accomplished”) with the L removed (indicated by “Liberal turned out” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”).

20. Put up with outcome, entertaining daughter on river (7)

Answer: ENDURED (i.e. “put up with”). Solution is END (i.e. “outcome”) wrapped around or “entertaining” D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) and URE (i.e. a “river”), like so: EN(D-URE)D.

22. Early Stone Age hero regularly landed on this once (8)

Answer: EOLITHIC (i.e. “early Stone Age”). Solution is EO (i.e. “hero regularly”, i.e. every other letter of HERO) followed by LIT (i.e. “landed on”) and HIC (i.e. “this once”, i.e. the Latin for “this”).

24. Like nuns, perhaps, knowing about revised rites (8)

Answer: SISTERLY (i.e. “like nuns, perhaps”). Solution is SLY (i.e. “knowing”) wrapped “about” an anagram (indicated by “revised”) of RITES, like so: S(ISTER)LY.

27. Characters in steamship meticulous about speeds (5)

Answer: TEMPI (i.e. “speeds”). “Characters in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “about” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: STEAMSH(IP MET)ICULOUS.

29. Creature makes lowing sound on top of escarpment (5)

Answer: MOOSE (i.e. “creature”). Solution is MOOS (i.e. “makes lowing sound”) followed by E (i.e. “top of escarpment”, i.e. the first letter of “escarpment”).

30. Trainee in breeding establishment overlooking hospital department (7)

Answer: STUDENT (i.e. “trainee”). Solution is STUD (i.e. “breeding establishment”) followed by ENT (i.e. “hospital department”, specifically Ear, Nose and Throat).

32. They’re versed in the law, getting poets beheaded (7)

Answer: LEGISTS (i.e. “they’re versed in law”). Solution is ELEGISTS (i.e. “poets”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “beheaded”). LEGIST doesn’t feature in my Oxford dictionary, but does appear in Chambers.

34. Atmospheric layer primarily recognised in eccentric peer’s photo (11)

Answer: TROPOSPHERE (i.e. “atmospheric layer”). Solution is R (i.e. “primarily recognised”, i.e. the first letter of “recognised”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “eccentric”) of PEER’S PHOTO, like so: T(R)OPOSPHERE.

36. Camera accessory selection finally sold in more stylish setting (11)

Answer: RANGEFINDER (i.e. “camera accessory”). Solution is RANGE (i.e. “selection”) followed by D (i.e. “finally sold”, i.e. the last letter of “sold”) once it has been placed “in” FINER (i.e. “more stylish”), like so: RANGE-FIN(D)ER.

37. Member briefly in football team, not subject to restrictions (9)

Answer: UNLIMITED (i.e. “not subject to restrictions”). Solution is LIMB (i.e. “member”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and placed “in” UNITED (i.e. “football team”), like so: UN(LIM)ITED.

39. Skill required to fix both taps on floating platform? (9)

Answer: HANDCRAFT (i.e. “skill”). Solution is H AND C (i.e. “both taps”, i.e. recognised abbreviations for “hot” and “cold”) followed by RAFT (i.e. “floating platform”).

41. Top man at Camelot, we hear, throughout a dark period? (9)

Answer: OVERNIGHT (i.e. “throughout a dark period”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “top”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of KNIGHT (i.e. “man at Camelot”), like so: OVER-NIGHT.

43. Reported malefactor? Shakespearean colonel? It means the same thing (7)

Answer: SYNONYM (i.e. “it means the same thing”). “Reported” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SIN ON HIM (i.e. descriptive of a “malefactor”). The “Shakespearean colonel” bit likely refers to a line containing the words SIN ON HIM, but, as mentioned, Shakespeare isn’t my bag. Sorry.
[EDIT: Thanks to several commenters here and on my About page for shedding light on this one. “Shakespearean colonel” refers to Colonel Nym, a character who appears in Henry V and The Merry Wives of Windsor, a wrong ‘un with a penchant for stealing. This would make him SINNER NYM. Thanks all! – LP]

45. Archer hugging climber at last on island where climbers are trained (7)

Answer: TRELLIS (i.e. “where climbers are trained”). Solution is William TELL (i.e. “archer”) wrapped around or “hugging” R (i.e. “climber at last”, i.e. the last letter of “climber”) and followed by IS (a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: T(R)ELL-IS.

47. Brainbox principally interested in taxonomic group (6)

Answer: GENIUS (i.e. “brainbox”). Solution is I (i.e. “principally interested”, i.e. the first letter of “interested”) placed “in” GENUS (i.e. “taxonomic group”), like so: GEN(I)US.

49. Exam I entered among others (5)

Answer: RESIT (i.e. “exam”). Solution is I placed in or “entering” REST (i.e. “others”), like so: RES(I)T.

51. Englishman in Oz absorbing start of royal concert (4)

Answer: PROM (i.e. “concert”). Solution is POM (i.e. “Englishman in Oz”, preferring to how Aussies refer to Englishmen) wrapped around or “absorbing” R (i.e. “start of royal”, i.e. the first letter of “royal”), like so: P(R)OM.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1418

Happy New Year, folks! The Times saw in the new decade with this tricky bugger. A mighty fine puzzle overall, but blimey some of the clues left my head hurting. (Examines previous night’s alcohol intake.) Ah. Right.

Anyway, as ever you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. My Just For Fun page lists umpteen solutions should you have a recent Jumbo that’s showing a few gaps. While I’ve got you here, I’ll also take this opportunity to hawk a few book reviews and a short story of mine, because you can’t blame a guy for trying.

And so to the answers. Till the weekend, laters!

LP

Across clues

1. Unlimited late opening eventually, then close (8)

Answer: INTIMATE (i.e. “close”). Solution is LATE with the first and last letters removed (indicated by “unlimited”) and placed in or “opening” IN TIME (i.e. “eventually”), like so: IN-TIM(AT)E.

5. Handy for Nancy only to accept feminine uniform for a start (6)

Answer: USEFUL (i.e. “handy”). Solution is SEUL (i.e. “for Nancy only”, i.e. the French for “only” – Nancy being a small city in France) wrapped around or “accepting” F (a recognised abbreviation of “feminine”) and the whole preceded by U (indicated by “uniform for a start” – “uniform” being U in the phonetic alphabet), like so: U-SE(F)UL. A stinker of a clue!

9. Famous people touring eastern island (7)

Answer: CELEBES, also known as Sulawesi, an “island” found in the Pacific Ocean. Solution is CELEBS (a contraction of the word “celebrities”, i.e. “famous people”) wrapped around or “touring” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), like so: CELEB(E)S. One gotten solely from the wordplay and a quick shufti on Google.

14. Such a school? A head leaving chapel to chase pupil’s work (11)

Answer: PREPARATORY (i.e. “school”). Solution is A followed by ORATORY (i.e. “chapel”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “head leaving”). The whole is then preceded by or “chasing” PREP (i.e. “pupil’s work”), like so: PREP-A-RATORY.

15. Entitlement to take a small shower? Fine (5,2,4)

Answer: RIGHT AS RAIN (i.e. “fine”). Solution is RIGHT (i.e. “entitlement”) followed by AS RAIN (i.e. “to take a small shower”). A bit loose, but I guess it works.

16. Unexciting way to get help (5)

Answer: STAID (i.e. “unexciting”). Solution is ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) followed by AID (i.e. “help”).

17. Ultimate misfortune dogs a colony (7)

Answer: ANTHILL (i.e. “colony”). Solution is NTH (i.e. “ultimate” – my Chambers doesn’t back this up, taking nth to mean an indeterminate or variable degree, but my spanking new Oxford bails the setter out) followed by ILL (i.e. “misfortune”) all following or “dogging” A, like so: A-NTH-ILL.

18. Underground river heard of in rural location (3,6)

Answer: THE STICKS (i.e. “rural location”). “Heard of” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of THE [river] STYX (i.e. “underground river”).

19. Preparing to read, maybe, old writing, pulling out end of translation (7)

Answer: OPENING (i.e. “preparing to read, maybe”, as in the opening of a book or magazine). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by PENNING (i.e. “writing”) with one of the Ns removed (indicated by “pulling out end of translation”, i.e. the last letter of “translation”), like so: O-PENING.

20. Around twenty, this could be, in space with symptom of illness (4,11)

Answer: ROOM TEMPERATURE (i.e. “around twenty [degrees Celsius], this could be”). Solution is ROOM (i.e. “space”) followed by TEMPERATURE (i.e. “symptom of illness”).

22. Department where one would be expecting to be cared for (10)

Answer: OBSTETRICS, a “department” concerned with childbirth. Clue riffs on how “expecting” refers to mothers-to-be. You get the idea.

23. Hush-hush demand on drivers (4,2)

Answer: BELT UP. Solution satisfies “hush-hush” and “demand on drivers”.

25. Does understand others partly (4)

Answer: DOTH (i.e. ye olde “does”). “Partly” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: UNDERSTAN(D OTH)ERS.

28. Ask for a hand from Dad: “to be or not to be”? (3,3,8)

Answer: POP THE QUESTION (i.e. “ask for a hand [in marriage]”). Solution is POP (i.e. “Dad”) followed by THE QUESTION (i.e. “to be or not to be [that is the question]”, a famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet). Good clue.

30. One able to lay hands on for doctor, we hope (8)

Answer: PROCURER (i.e. “one able to lay hands on”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “for”) followed by CURER (i.e. “doctor, we hope”).

32. Non-rigid bar becomes flatter (4-4)

Answer: SOFT-SOAP (i.e. “[to] flatter”). Solution is SOFT (i.e. “non-rigid”) followed by SOAP (i.e. “bar”). A new one on me.

34. Royals, and singular admiral, wily man (7,3,4)

Answer: WILLIAM AND MARY (i.e. “Royals”, 17th century rulers of England, Scotland and Ireland). “Singular” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ADMIRAL WILY MAN.

37. Followers of star, glossy one (4)

Answer: MAGI (i.e. “followers of star”, also known as the Three Wise Men). Solution is MAG (i.e. “glossy”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”).

38. Confusing reflections in garbled Oldie article (6)

Answer: EIDOLA (i.e. “confusing reflections”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “garbled”) of OLDIE followed by A (i.e. “article”, descriptive of words like a, an and the), like so: EIDOL-A.

39. Priest getting feeling of euphoria in book she might read from (10)

Answer: REVELATION (i.e. “book [of Bible] priest might read from”). Solution is REV (a recognised abbreviation of “reverend”, i.e. “priest”) followed by ELATION (i.e. “feeling of euphoria”).

43. Is Douglas attached to England? A poet’s answer (2,3,2,2,6)

Answer: NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, a quote from John Donne’s Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (i.e. “a poet’s answer”). Clue riffs on how Douglas is the capital of the Isle of Man. You get the idea. Cool clue.

45. Rugs from publishing house thrown in river (7)

Answer: TOUPEES (i.e. “rugs”). Solution is OUP (i.e. “publishing house”, i.e. the Oxford University Press) placed or “thrown” in TEES (i.e. “river”), like so: T(OUP)EES.

47. Festival books, green, a nuisance to carry (9)

Answer: PENTECOST (i.e. “festival” celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday). Solution is NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament) and ECO (i.e. “green”) placed in or being “carried” by PEST (i.e. “nuisance”), like so: PE(NT-ECO)ST.

49. Drinking whiskey without water, regularly backing city (7)

Answer: SWANSEA (i.e. “city”). Solution is SANS (i.e. French for “without”) wrapped around or “drinking” W (“whiskey” in the phonetic alphabet”) and followed by AE (i.e. “water, regularly”, i.e. every other letter of WATER) which is reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: S(W)ANS-EA.

51. Bend double at start of exercise (5)

Answer: TWINE (i.e. “bend”). Solution is TWIN (i.e. “double”) followed by E (i.e. “start of exercise”, i.e. the first letter of “exercise”).

52. Not to be tolerant of denial – threw wobbly (4,3,4)

Answer: DRAW THE LINE (i.e. “not to be tolerant of”). “Wobbly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DENIAL THREW.

53. Business’s printer has messed up page (11)

Answer: PARTNERSHIP (i.e. “business”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “messed up”) of PRINTER HAS followed by P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”), like so: PARTNERSHI-P.

54. Send up and down in the shade (3,4)

Answer: SKY BLUE (i.e. “shade”). Solution is SKY (i.e. “send up”) followed by BLUE (i.e. “down”).

55. One putting on skirt perhaps in good condition (6)

Answer: KILTER. Solution satisfies “one putting on skirt perhaps” and “in good condition”.

56. Fish bones passing around back of throat (8)

Answer: STURGEON (i.e. “fish”). Solution is SURGEON (sometimes nicknamed “bones”) wrapped “around” T (i.e. “back of throat”, i.e. the last letter of “throat”), like so: S(T)URGEON.

Down clues

1. Me, too old, for love? That’s laying it on thick (7)

Answer: IMPASTO (i.e. “that’s laying [paint] on thick”). Solution is I’M PAST (i.e. “me, too old”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: I’M-PAST-O.

2. Quidditch for example under way? All is revealed (3,4,2,2)

Answer: THE GAME IS UP (i.e. “all is revealed”). In the Harry Potter books, Quidditch is a game played up in the air. You get the idea.

3. Excellent daughter with source of wealth in my family (2,3,4)

Answer: ME AND MINE (i.e. “my family”). Solution is MEAN (i.e. “excellent”, as in “that deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball”) followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) and MINE (i.e. “source of wealth”, e.g. a gold mine).

4. Area of sea level – heroic sailor looks down on it (9,6)

Answer: TRAFALGAR SQUARE. Clue riffs on the Battle of Trafalgar and Nelson’s Column, which “looks down” on Trafalgar Square.

6. Possible TV programme that’s not polite for vicar (3,5)

Answer: SKY PILOT, a slang description of a vicar (i.e. “that’s not polite for vicar”). Solution also satisfies “possible TV programme”, referring to UK’s Sky TV and how pilot shows are made for prospective TV series.

7. Unrestricted, our planet? Exactly! (3,3,3,5)

Answer: FOR ALL THE WORLD. Solution satisfies “unrestricted, our planet” and “exactly”.

8. Allowed on appeal? I am worried (10)

Answer: LEGITIMATE (i.e. “allowed”). Solution is LEG (i.e. “on”, referring to leg or on side in cricket) followed by IT (i.e. “[sex] appeal”) then I’M (a contraction of “I am”) and ATE (i.e. “worried”, i.e. being eaten with worry).

9. It reflects well on those behind the wheel (4,3)

Answer: CATS EYE. Clue riffs on the small “reflective” disks set into the road to help keep drivers or “those behind the wheel” on the right path.

10. Virtuoso, drunk when partnered? (5)

Answer: Franz LISZT (i.e. “virtuoso”). I had to resort to Google to get this one. I forget The Times often thinks the UK ends at the M25. Anyway, the clue refers to Cockney rhyming slang, “Brahms and Liszt”, i.e. pissed or “drunk”. I love the cheekiness of the clue, but I can’t say I’ve heard this particular epithet.

11. Auditor has some coffee at the table (4,7)

Answer: BEAN COUNTER (i.e. “auditor”). Solution is BEAN (i.e. “some coffee”) followed by COUNTER (i.e. “table”).

12. Left at home as relative goes outside (8)

Answer: SINISTER (i.e. “left”; sinister being left and dexter being right). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) with SISTER (i.e. “relative”) placed “outside”, like so: S(IN)ISTER.

13. After a job (4)

Answer: POST. Solution satisfies “after” and “a job”.

20. Music fan makes switch, of sorts (6)

Answer: ROCKER. Solution satisfies “music fan” and “switch, or sorts”, i.e. an on-off switch.

21. Brought as evidence answer worked out with no end of trouble (7)

Answer: ADDUCED (i.e. “brought as evidence”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer” as in Q&A) followed by DEDUCED (i.e. “worked out”) with the first E removed (indicated by “with no end of trouble”, i.e. the last letter of “trouble”), like so: A-DDUCED.

22. Not favour work by ancient author, not started, picked up (6)

Answer: OPPOSE (i.e. “not favour”). Solution is OP (a recognised abbreviation of “opus” or, I like to think, “operation”) followed by AESOP (i.e. “ancient author”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “not started”) and reversed (indicated by “picked up” – this being a down clue), like so: OP-POSE.

24. Make arrangements concerning publication after tax: it never needs charging (9,6)

Answer: PERMANENT MAGNET, which is “a magnet that keeps its magnetism after the force which magnetised it has been removed” (Chambers) (i.e. “it never needs charging”). Solution is PERM (i.e. “make [hair] arrangements”) followed by ANENT (a Scots word for “concerning”) then MAG (short for “magazine”, i.e. “publication”) and NET (i.e. “after tax”). Phew, what a stinker!

26. Let’s set to work with essentials to make an alloy (9,5)

Answer: STAINLESS STEEL (i.e. “an alloy”). “Set to work” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LETS and ESSENTIALS.

27. Drawer made of carbon fibre (6)

Answer: CRAYON (i.e. “drawer”). Solution is C (chemical symbol of “carbon”) followed by RAYON (i.e. “[man-made] fibre”). Cool clue.

29. Man’s wicked deed invites a sacking (7)

Answer: HESSIAN (i.e. “sacking”). Solution is HE’S (i.e. “man’s”) followed by SIN (i.e. “wicked deed”) once it has been wrapped around or “inviting” A, like so: HE’S-SI(A)N.

31. Remains fine, work list not quite complete (3,3)

Answer: FAG END (i.e. “remains”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine”) followed by AGENDA (i.e. “work list”) once it’s last letter has been removed (indicated by “not quite complete”), like so: F-AGEND.

33. Fray garment that collapses in bits (11)

Answer: FRAGMENTARY (i.e. “in bits”). “That collapses” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FRAY GARMENT.

35. In A&E, suffering debilitating condition, try a hymn (5,4,2)

Answer: ABIDE WITH ME (i.e. “hymn”). Solution is A and E followed by WITH M.E. (i.e. “suffering debilitating condition”, i.e. an illness that causes extreme fatigue in its sufferers) all wrapped around BID (i.e. “try”), like so: A(BID)E-WITH-ME.

36. My brain won’t work? Absolutely not (1,4,5)

Answer: I DON’T THINK. Solution satisfies “my brain won’t work” and “absolutely not”.

40. More grown up? Extremely eager cheat (9)

Answer: ADULTERER (i.e. “cheat”). Solution is ADULTER (i.e. “more grown up”) followed by ER (i.e. “extremely eager”, i.e. the first and last letters of “eager”).

41.Extremely popular health centre laid on diets from time to time (2,6)

Answer: IN SPADES (i.e. “extremely”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by SPA (i.e. “health centre”) and DES (i.e. “diets from time to time”, i.e. every other letter of DIETS), like so: IN-SPA-DES.

42. Soldier turned out of New York for a day; was he corrupting the others? (3,5)

Answer: BAD APPLE (i.e. “was he corrupting the others”). Solution is BIG APPLE (i.e. “New York”) with the IG (i.e. “soldier turned out”, i.e. the initials GI reversed) replaced by A and D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”), like so: B(IG)-APPLE => B(A-D)-APPLE.

44. Central European translating English novels (7)

Answer: SLOVENE (i.e. “Central European”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “translating”) of E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and NOVELS.

46. Take a turn around shelter and miss breakfast? (5,2)

Answer: SLEEP IN (i.e. “miss breakfast”). Solution is SPIN (i.e. “take a turn”) placed “around” LEE (i.e. “shelter”), like so: S(LEE)PIN.

48. Crack up without reversal of fortune (5)

Answer: EXTOL (i.e. to praise or “crack up” – a definition that’s supported in Chambers but not in my shiny new Oxford). Solution is EX (i.e. outside of or “without” in Latin) followed by LOT (i.e. “fortune”) once it has been reversed (indicated by… um… “reversal of”), like so: EX-TOL.

50. Almost cutting island (4)

Answer: SARK (i.e. “island”). Solution is SARKY (i.e. being sarcastic or “cutting”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1417

Catching up, here’s my solution for Saturday’s puzzle. This was much more my speed, hence a significantly less grumpy post! You can find explanations for my solutions below, where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If you have a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic showing a few gaps then you might find my Just For Fun page a handy place to visit. While you’re here I’ve also got a bunch of book reviews and a short story you can tuck into.

All being well I’ll see you soon for New Year’s Day’s puzzle.

TTFN! – LP

Across clues

1. Desolate region with a wild animal guarding street (9)

Answer: WASTELAND (i.e. “desolate region”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”), A and ELAND (i.e. “wild animal”, a kind of antelope found in East and Southern Africa), all wrapped around or “guarding” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: W-A-(ST)-ELAND.

6. Graduate absorbed into Sanskrit works comes to island (7)

Answer: SUMATRA (i.e. an Indonesian “island”). Solution is MA (i.e. “graduate”, specifically a Master of Arts) placed in or “absorbed into” SUTRA (i.e. “Sanskrit works”), like so: SU(MA)TRA.

10. Children that might be taken in disagreement? (5)

Answer: ISSUE. Solution satisfies “children” and “that might be taken in disagreement”, as in to take issue with something.

13. Withdraw renegade’s empty pamphlet (7)

Answer: RETRACT (i.e. “withdraw”). Solution is RE (i.e. “renegade’s empty”, i.e. the word RENEGADE with all its middle letters removed) followed by TRACT (i.e. “pamphlet”), like so: RE-TRACT.

14. Determined Armada man took ships (7)

Answer: ADAMANT (i.e. “determined”). “Ships” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: ARM(ADA MAN T)OOK.

15. Feline in tattered coat gives touching display (7)

Answer: TOCCATA (i.e. “touching display” – a toccata is a piece of music that demonstrates a player’s touch, a bit like an elaborate warm-up. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is a famous example, used in countless horror films and TV shows, including Amicus’s Tales From The Crypt. But I digress…) Solution is CAT (i.e. “feline”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “tattered”) of COAT, like so: TOC(CAT)A.

16. In crisis having finished fast food meal? (4,3,5,3,4)

Answer: WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN. Solution satisfies “in crisis” and “having finished fast food meal”.

17. For Inquisition, the one priest (3)

Answer: ELI (i.e. “[Biblical] priest”). Solution is EL (i.e. “for Inquisition, the”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”).

18. Begin meal without start of anchovy (6)

Answer: LAUNCH (i.e. “begin”). Solution is LUNCH (i.e. “meal”) wrapped around or placed “without” A (i.e. “start of anchovy”, i.e. the first letter of “anchovy”), like so: L(A)UNCH.

20. Wild and free in Spanish city (6)

Answer: MADRID (i.e. “Spanish city”). Solution is MAD (i.e. “wild”) followed by RID (i.e. “free”).

21. Unmarried mum sensible under different conditions (9)

Answer: OTHERWISE (i.e. “under different circumstances”). Solution is MOTHER (i.e. “mum”) with the M removed (indicated by “unmarried”, M being a recognised abbreviation of “married”) and followed by WISE (i.e. “sensible”), like so: OTHER-WISE.

23. Horsemen completely irritated returning by taxi (10)

Answer: CABALLEROS (i.e. “horsemen”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “completely”) followed by SORE (i.e. “irritated”) which is reversed (indicated by “returning”) and preceded by CAB (i.e. “taxi”), like so: CAB-ALL-EROS. One I remembered from a recent puzzle, if I’m honest.

25. Person met in travelling everywhere at once (11)

Answer: OMNIPRESENT (i.e. “everywhere at once”). “Travelling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PERSON MET IN.

29. Tried to get boss across river (5)

Answer: HEARD (i.e. “tried”, as in a court case). Solution is HEAD (i.e. “boss”) wrapped around or placed “across” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: HEA(R)D.

30. Tool one wants repaired (5,3)

Answer: TENON SAW (i.e. “tool”). “Repaired” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ONE WANTS.

31. Luminous discharge – constellation losing alpha star (8)

Answer: ARCTURUS (i.e. “star”). Solution is ARC (i.e. a “luminous discharge” of electricity) followed by TAURUS (i.e. “constellation”) with its A removed (indicated by “losing alpha”), like so: ARC-TURUS.

34. Female cross going round wide forest (8)

Answer: SHERWOOD (i.e. “forest”). Solution is SHE (i.e. “female”) followed by ROOD (i.e. “[Christ’s] cross”) once it has been wrapped “round” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wide”), like so: SHE-R(W)OOD.

36. Scots banker detains Welshman having caught partner previously (8)

Answer: DIVORCEE (i.e. “partner previously”). Solution is DEE (i.e. “Scots banker”, referring to the River Dee) wrapped around or “detaining” IVOR (i.e. “Welshman”) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games), like so: D(IVOR-C)EE.

37. Hollow black blocks arrive (5)

Answer: COMBE (i.e. “hollow”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “black” used in chess) placed in or “blocking” COME (i.e. “arrive”), like so: COM(B)E.

39. Ancient power revealed in deconstructing mariner poem (5,6)

Answer: ROMAN EMPIRE (i.e. “ancient power”). “Deconstructing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MARINER POEM.

41. Parisian is involved in supporting tight budget (10)

Answer: SHOESTRING (i.e. “tight budget”). Solution is EST (i.e. “Parisian is”, i.e. the French for “is”) placed or “involved in” SHORING (i.e. “supporting”), like so: SHO(EST)RING.

43. Vivacious former queen? (9)

Answer: EXUBERANT (i.e. “vivacious”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former”) followed by UBER ANT (i.e. “queen”). Cool clue. I like it.

45. Count shocked King Edward (6)

Answer: NUMBER (i.e. “count”). Solution is NUMB (i.e. “shocked”) followed by ER (i.e. “King Edward”, specifically Edwardus Rex).

47. No spring chicken, alumnus about to show concern for alcohol (6)

Answer: BODEGA (i.e. a wine shop or “concern for alcohol”). Solution is AGED (i.e. “no spring chicken”) and OB (i.e. “alumnus”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”) all reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: BO-DEGA.

49. Female finished where any number disqualified (3)

Answer: DOE (i.e. “female”). Solution is DONE (i.e. “finished”) with the N removed (indicated by “where any number disqualified” – any number being the unknown variable N).

50. Explore specific proposals, though somewhat mechanically (2,7,3,7)

Answer: GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS. Solution satisfies “explore specific proposals” and to do something “somewhat mechanically”.

52. Boy consuming egg and bones (7)

Answer: SURGEON (i.e. “bones”, a nickname given to medical professionals). Solution is SON (i.e. “boy”) wrapped around or “consuming” URGE (i.e. to “egg” someone on), like so: S(URGE)ON.

53. Copper outside a college finds plant extract (7)

Answer: CATECHU (i.e. “plant extract” – no, me neither). Solution is CU (chemical symbol of “copper”) placed “outside” of A TECH (i.e. “a college”), like so: C(A-TECH)U. A brute force of my Chambers was needed for this, which revealed I can’t spell Schopern… Schoppen… 33 down.

54. Retired clergyman comes in to put an end to bondage (7)

Answer: SLAVERY (i.e. “bondage”). Solution is REV (a recognised abbreviation of “reverend”, i.e. “clergyman”) reversed (indicated by “retired”) which is placed “in to” SLAY (i.e. “put an end to”), like so: SLA(VER)Y.

55. Become ready to eat beef – no good before noon (5)

Answer: RIPEN (i.e. “become ready to eat”). Solution is GRIPE (i.e. “beef”) with the G removed (indicated by “no good”, G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and then followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “noon”), like so: RIPE-N.

56. Indonesian fellow pens a poem sung (7)

Answer: MALAYAN (i.e. “Indonesian”). Solution is MAN (i.e. “fellow”) wrapped around or “penning” A LAY (i.e. “a poem sung”), like so: M(A-LAY)AN.

57. Memorable revolutionary character (3-6)

Answer: RED-LETTER (i.e. special or “memorable”). Solution is RED (i.e. “revolutionary”) followed by LETTER (i.e. “character”).

Down clues

1. Our lot are blooming revolting, being liable to change (8)

Answer: WEREWOLF (i.e. a “being liable to change”). Solution is WE (i.e. “our lot”) followed by FLOWER (i.e. “blooming” – a bit loose from the setter) which is reversed (indicated by “revolting”, i.e. an uprising, this being a down clue), like so: WE-REWOLF.

2. Scorer required in Johannesburg match? (5)

Answer: Erik SATIE (i.e. “scorer” or composer). When read as SA TIE, the solution also satisfies “Johannesburg match”, Johannesburg being one of the major cities in South Africa. One I got from the wordplay and a quick check on Google, to be honest.

3. Office item least suitable one accepted by city group (7,4)

Answer: ELASTIC BAND (i.e. “office item”). Solution is LAST (i.e. “least suitable”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “accepted by” EC (i.e. “city”, as in the postcode area of the City of London) and then followed by BAND (i.e. “group”), like so: E(LAST-I)C-BAND.

4. Learnt to play the horn (6)

Answer: ANTLER (i.e. “horn”). “To play” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LEARNT. A clue that scans really well, which made this a tricky one to twig for quite a while. Well played.

5. Dispatch order? (5,7)

Answer: DEATH WARRANT. Clue riffs on how dispatching someone can be taken to mean killing them. You get the idea.

6. Small mobile home or Beetle? (7)

Answer: SCAMPER (i.e. to scurry or “beetle” about – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by CAMPER (i.e. “mobile home”).

7. Key elements in data one top team’s manipulated (4,3,8)

Answer: MEAT AND POTATOES (i.e. “key elements”). “Manipulated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DATA ONE TOP TEAM’S.

8. What’s rude about article becomes relevant (2,3,5)

Answer: TO THE POINT (i.e. “relevant”). Solution is TO POINT (i.e. “what’s rude”) placed “about” THE (i.e. “article”, which is a word like a, an or the), like so: TO-(THE)-POINT.

9. Sacred place – it faces north in an old church (7)

Answer: ANTIOCH (i.e. “sacred place”). Solution is IT reversed (indicated by “faces north” – this being a down clue) and placed “in” AN, O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and CH (ditto “church”), like so: AN-(TI)-O-CH. Another repeat, albeit one all the way back from Boxing Day 2018’s utter stinker. Bad memories, man… baaaaaad memories!

10. Elected Tory chap round Rugby not compatible (11)

Answer: INCONGRUENT (i.e. “not compatible”). Solution is IN (i.e. “elected”) followed by CON (a recognised abbreviation of the Conservative Party, i.e. “Tory”) and GENT (i.e. “chap”) once it has been placed “round” RU (i.e. “rugby”, specifically Rugby Union – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: IN-CON-G(RU)ENT.

11. Mixed drink traitor served with a little food (9)

Answer: SNAKEBITE (i.e. “mixed drink”). Solution is SNAKE (i.e. “traitor”) followed by BITE (i.e. “a little food”).

12. Study what was formerly a bomb? (7)

Answer: EXAMINE (i.e. “study”). Solution is EX (i.e. “formerly”) followed by A MINE (i.e. “a bomb”).

19. Ignorant girl fighting anyone in the end (7)

Answer: UNAWARE (i.e. “ignorant”). Solution is UNA (i.e. “girl”) followed by WAR (i.e. “fighting”) and E (i.e. “anyone in the end”, i.e. the last letter of “anyone”).

22. Raised floor in factory unable to retain new mould (8)

Answer: PLATFORM (i.e. “raised floor”). Solution is PLANT (i.e. “factory”) with the N removed (indicated by “unable to retain new”, N being a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and then followed by FORM (i.e. “mould”), like so: PLAT-FORM.

24. Daily surfacing of fish on River Test produces new business (7,8)

Answer: SUNRISE INDUSTRY (i.e. “new business”). Not quite got my hooks into this one, if I’m honest. My guess is SUNRISE being “daily surfacing” followed by INDUS (i.e. one of the longest “rivers” in Asia) and TRY (i.e. “test” – ignoring the misleading capitalisation). The “of fish” bit seems a bit redundant, so I’ve probably missed something.
[EDIT: Thanks to Mark in the comments for breaking this down a little more. SUNRISE should be split into SUN (i.e. “daily [UK newspaper]”) and RISE (i.e. “surfacing of fish”). The rest is as described. Thanks, Mark! – LP]

26. Peculiar proposal for paying poets? (8)

Answer: PERVERSE (i.e. “peculiar”). When read as PER VERSE the solution also satisfies “proposal for paying poets”. A near-identical version of this appeared around this time last year in puzzle 1357. It’s weird what I remember sometimes.

27. Examiner perhaps coming in quite stern (6)

Answer: TESTER (i.e. “examiner perhaps”). “Coming in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: QUI(TE STER)N.

28. Drink from tea service? No crime in that! (6)

Answer: CHASER (i.e. “drink”). Solution is CHA (i.e. “tea”) followed by SERVICE once the VICE has been removed (indicated by “no crime in that”), like so: CHA-SER.

32. Churches in schism in medieval narrative? (7)

Answer: ROMANCE (i.e. story “narrative”). Solution is ROMAN and CE (i.e. “churches in schism”, the latter a recognised abbreviation of the Church of England, which split from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534). I’m guessing the “medieval” bit refers to the time this took place, but history isn’t my strong point.

33. Hours, each horrendous, where writer entertained thinker (12)

Answer: Arthur SCHOPENHAUER (i.e. “thinker”, and, if his picture is any guide, an early inspiration for Tekken stalwart Heihachi Mishima. #NicheVideoGameHumour). Anyway, solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) placed in or “entertained” by an anagram (indicated by “horrendous”) of HOURS EACH, like so: SCHO(PEN)HAUER.

35. Wife put in ground viridescent shrub (11)

Answer: WINTERGREEN (i.e. “shrub”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) followed by INTER (i.e. to bury or “put in ground”) and GREEN (i.e. “viridescent”).

37. Sellers here driven to make money? (3,4,4)

Answer: CAR BOOT SALE. Clue riffs on how “driven” can describe one motivated to do something, in this case selling, and also describe a car being driven. You get the idea.

38. Welcome state getting to grips with riots mishandled in the past (10)

Answer: HISTORICAL (i.e. “in the past”). Solution is HI (alternative form of “hello”, i.e. “welcome”) and CAL (i.e. “state”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of California) wrapped around or “getting to grips with” an anagram (indicated by “mishandled”) of RIOTS, like so: HI-(STORI)-CAL.

40. Working method Pasteur devised for cheese (9)

Answer: MOUSETRAP (i.e. “cheese” – a cheeky play by the setter, but I like it). Solution is MO (i.e. “working method”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Modus Operandi) followed by an anagram (indicated by “devised”) of PASTEUR, like so: MO-USETRAP.

42. One obstinate and indeed singular philosopher (8)

Answer: NAYSAYER (i.e. “one obstinate”). Solution is N (a contraction of “and”, as seen in Guns N Roses, fish ‘n chips, etc) followed by AY (i.e. “indeed”, as in an alternative form of “aye”), then S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) and [A. J.] AYER (i.e. “philosopher”), like so: N-AY-S-AYER.

43. Frenchman taking in French south upset ultimate consumer (3,4)

Answer: END USER (i.e. “ultimate consumer”). Solution is RENE (i.e. “Frenchman”) which is wrapped around or “taking in” SUD (i.e. “French south”, i.e. the French for “south”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: EN(DUS)ER.

44. Great lover married? The opposite! (7)

Answer: ANTONYM (i.e. “the opposite”). Solution is Mark ANTONY (i.e. “great lover”, specifically Cleopatra’s bit of fluff) followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”). A rather similar clue to this appeared last month in puzzle 1408.

46. Complaint made about this classical style (7)

Answer: MOHICAN (i.e. “[hair]style”). Solution is MOAN (i.e. “complaint”) placed “about” HIC (Latin for “this”), like so: MO(HIC)AN.

48. Made to smile with a thought (6)

Answer: AMUSED (i.e. “made to smile”). Solution is A followed by MUSED (i.e. “thought”).

51. No secret hole on green (5)

Answer: OVERT (i.e. “no secret”). Solution is O (i.e. “hole”) followed by VERT (i.e. “green” in heraldry).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1416

A recent run of good puzzles comes to an end with the Boxing Day stinker. While there were a number of good clues to decode, or clues that scanned rather well, there was also too much silly-buggery to cut through, too many place names (and, yes, I’m including EXMOOR here), repeated solutions and other things that generally get on my wick. It all began to sap the fun out of this one, sadly.

Anyway, you can find my completed grid below along with grumpy explanations of my solutions, where I have them. I hope you find them useful. Before we begin, if you’d like to see recent solutions to other Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords, check out my Just For Fun page. I’ve got a bunch of book reviews and a short story dotted about the place too should you want to stay a while.

In the meantime, the answers. Good riddance to this one!

LP

Across clues

1. Driving away fast, after return of outcast (9)

Answer: REPELLENT (i.e. “driving away”). Solution is LENT (i.e. “fast”) placed “after” LEPER (i.e. “outcast”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “return of”), like so: REPEL-LENT.

6. Anarchist finally does away with aristos (5)

Answer: TOFFS (i.e. “aristos”). Solution is T (i.e. “anarchist finally”, i.e. the last letter of “anarchist”) followed by OFFS (i.e. “does away with”).

9. Gets round about fifty cracking GIs (7)

Answer: CAJOLES (i.e. “gets round”, as in to coax or persuade). Solution is CA (a recognised abbreviation of circa, i.e. “about”) followed by L (i.e. “[Roman numeral] fifty”) once it has been placed in or “cracking” JOES (i.e. “GIs”), like so: CA-JO(L)ES.

13. Capital from stock drained after short time (5)

Answer: MINSK (i.e. “capital” city of Belarus). Solution is SK (i.e. “stock drained”, i.e. the word STOCK with all the middle letters taken out) placed “after” a recognised abbreviation of MINUTE (indicated by “short time”), like so: MIN-SK.

14. Ray and Mark well impressed by girl in the morning (7)

Answer: SUNBEAM (i.e. “ray”). Solution is NB (short for the Latin nota bene, i.e. “mark well” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) placed in or “impressed by” SUE (i.e. “girl”) and followed by AM (i.e. “in the morning”), like so: SU(NB)E-AM.

15. Thinking no case for park in Irish town (9)

Answer: MULLINGAR (i.e. “Irish town”). Solution is MULLING (i.e. “thinking”) followed by PARK once its first and last letters have been removed (indicated by “no case for park”), like so: MULLING-AR. One gotten through the wordplay alone I’m afraid, Mullingarians, if that’s the right demonym.

16. Agony one might hope to go through? (4,7)

Answer: PAIN BARRIER. Solution plays on the phrase “going through the pain barrier”, “agony” being a heightened sense of pain one would meet along the way. Probably the most straightforward clue of the lot!

17. Mess around dreadfully with end of well-known aria (6,5)

Answer: NESSUN DORMA, an “aria” from Puccini’s opera Turandot which gained fame after it was used as the theme song of BBC’s coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dreadfully”) of MESS AROUND and N (i.e. “end of well-known”, i.e. the last letter of “well-known”).

18. Gave out after infusion of sulphur: something to do with seawater? (6)

Answer: DESALT (i.e. “something to do with seawater”). Solution is DEALT (i.e. “gave out”) wrapped around or “infusing” S (chemical symbol of “sulphur”), like so: DE(S)ALT.

19. What murderer who has run for nothing has become? (8)

Answer: PRISONER. Solution is POISONER (i.e. “murderer”) with the first O (i.e. “nothing”) replaced by R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in several ball games). Good clue!

21. In Fulham after vacation, one has quiet time (4,2)

Answer: FIVE PM (i.e. “time”). Solution is I’VE (a contraction of “I have”, i.e. “one has”) and P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, i.e. “quiet” in musical lingo) both placed “in” FM (i.e. “Fulham after vacation”, i.e. the word FULHAM with all its middle letters removed), like so: F(I’VE-P)M. I appreciate setters can be precious about keeping certain solutions in their grids, particularly if they’ve conjured up a good clue for them, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of having to fill awkward gaps with made-to-fit rubbish like this.

25. Mister Angry’s up for a scrap (5,3)

Answer: SPRAY GUN (i.e. “mister”, as in something that creates a mist). “For a scrap” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ANGRY’S UP. Took a while to twig this one. Another good clue.

26. Regulator in carburettor: small copper one? (9,5)

Answer: BUTTERFLY VALVE (i.e. “regulator in carburettor”). “Small copper one” refers to how coppers are a type of butterfly. Not much more to it than that, unless I’m missing something clever. I got the VALVE bit but, not being an engineer or mechanic, I had to sift through Wikipedia for the rest.

28. Go round and round at speed (5)

Answer: OOMPH (i.e. “go”, as in vim and vigour and suchlike). Solution is OO (i.e. “round and round”) followed by MPH (a recognised abbreviation of miles per hour, i.e. “speed”).

29. One full of idle chatter that’s put on Flower of Scotland? (6)

Answer: DEEJAY. A guess, this, so watch out. I suppose the operative part of the clue is “one full of idle chatter”, referring to disk jockeys, but this seems weak as they’re there to play music, not to blather on. Alternatively, “put on” could refer to dinner jackets, also known as deejays, but again this is weak and also flies against convention by sticking the operative part in the middle of the clue. As for the solution, I’m taking “Flower of Scotland” to be the River DEE, and a JAY as something that could be said to “chatter” (do they, though?). Frankly, your guess is as good as mine. If this is in anyway correct then bloody hell, setter, have a word with yourself. (If I’ve read the tells correctly, this setter was also responsible for this beast back in September, which might explain some of the abstruse clueing on show this week.)

30. Correct having navy lead? (4,6)

Answer: BLUE PENCIL (i.e. “[to] correct”). Solution riffs on navy being a dark “blue” colour, and how one would have “lead” in a pencil. You get the idea. Tsk… you wait ages for a BLUE PENCIL and two come along at once. A case of setter-see-setter-do, or an editor fail?

33. No-one’s charged after this brawl? (4-3-3)

Answer: FREE-FOR-ALL. Solution satisfies “brawl” and “no-one’s charged”. A clue that scans rather well.

35. Is one’s pouch for a naval NCO’s money? (6)

Answer: POSSUM, the females of which have “pouches”. Solution is PO’S (i.e. “naval NCO’s”, specifically a Petty Officer’s – an NCO being a non-commissioned officer) followed by SUM (i.e. “money”). Another clue that’s trying a bit too hard.

36. Tips off secretary before backing academic council (5)

Answer: SYNOD (i.e. “council”). Solution is SY (i.e. “tips off secretary”, i.e. the first and last letters of “secretary”) followed by DON (i.e. “academic”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: SY-NOD.

38. Vin rosé, perhaps, and a good book! (7,7)

Answer: REVISED VERSION, an English translation of the Bible published in the late nineteenth century (i.e. “a good book”). Clue riffs on how VERSION is an anagram or a REVISED VERSION of VIN ROSÉ. Good clue!

40. Drug pusher’s outside, on holy ground (8)

Answer: ROHYPNOL (i.e. “drug”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ground”) of ON HOLY and PR (i.e. “pusher’s outside”, i.e. the first and last letters of “pusher”). Another good ‘un.

42. Employ variables, including indefinite number, missing out on 28? (6)

Answer: UNSEXY (i.e. “missing out on 28” – the answer to 28a is OOMPH, which can also mean sex appeal). Solution is USE (i.e. “employ”) and XY (i.e. “variables” – setters like to refer to the letters X, Y and Z as variables or unknowns in their clues) wrapped around or “including” N (i.e. an “indefinite number”), like so: U(N)SE-X-Y.

43. Peg, note, taking wine, was unsteady (8)

Answer: TEETERED (i.e. “was unsteady”). Solution is TEE (i.e. “peg”) followed by TE (i.e. “note”, in the doh-ray-me fashion) and RED (i.e. “wine”).

44. Short drink in unspecified French town (6)

Answer: ANNECY (i.e. “French town”). Solution is NECK (i.e. “drink”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and placed in ANY (i.e. “unspecified”), like so: AN(NEC)Y. A nod to Britannica’s website for this one. More evidence of the setter playing silly buggers here. I’m sure there are less obscure solutions that could have fitted the letters -N-E-Y. Like UNSEXY, for example. Oh, wait…

47. Break from tension caused by cracks? (5,6)

Answer: COMIC RELIEF (i.e. “break from tension”). Clue riffs on how “cracks” can refer to jokes. That’s about it, I guess.

50. Sharp fragments with eg acid in the form of smoke (5-6)

Answer: CIGAR-SHAPED (i.e. “in the form of [a] smoke”). “Fragments” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SHARP and EG ACID.

52. Greens best to embrace the ballot box (6,3)

Answer: TURNIP TOP, the “green” bit atop a turnip. Solution is TIP TOP (i.e. “best”) wrapped around URN (i.e. “ballot box” – referring to a vessel used in Roman times to hold voting tablets), like so: T(URN)IPTOP.

53. Brief plea to wake someone with a bouquet? (7)

Answer: ODOROUS (i.e. “with a bouquet”, as in having a smell). Solution is O DO ROUSE (i.e. “plea to wake someone”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “brief”).

54. Revolutionary way to shift article, not easily swallowed? (5)

Answer: CHEWY (i.e. “not easily swallowed”). Solution is CHE Guevara (i.e. “revolutionary”) followed by WAY once the A has been removed (indicated by “way to shift article” – articles refer to words such as a, an and the), like so: CHE-WY.

55. Receiver of French visits informed (7)

Answer: AWARDEE (i.e. “receiver”). Solution is DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. French for “of”) placed in or “visiting” AWARE (i.e. “informed”), like so: AWAR(DE)E.

56. Exercises help us get ready for the Andes (5)

Answer: PESOS (i.e. “ready for the Andes”, i.e. currencies of Colombia, Chile and Argentina, all of which occupy parts of the Andes mountain range). Solution is PE (i.e. “exercises”, specifically Physical Education) followed by SOS (i.e. “help us”, i.e. Save Our Souls).

57. Command ultimately is passed on and observed – or not (9)

Answer: DISOBEYED (i.e. “command … not observed”). Solution is D (i.e. “command ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “command”) followed by IS, then OB (i.e. “passed on”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of obiit, Latin for “died”) and EYED (i.e. “observed”).

Down clues

1. US band, with revolutionary sound system, will make chart again (5)

Answer: REMAP (i.e. “chart again”). Solution is REM (i.e. “US band”) followed by PA (i.e. “sound system”, specifically a Public Address system) which is reversed (indicated by “revolutionary”, i.e. an uprising, this being a down clue), like so: REM-AP.

2. Change out of blue number (7,4,6)

Answer: PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, a song or “number” from a 1936 film of the same name. Solution also satisfies “change out of blue”: “change” being pennies and “blue” being another name for the sky or heavens. You get the idea.

3. Hard to dig: can only hoe at first (4,5-2)

Answer: LIKE BILLY-OH (i.e. “hard”). Solution is LIKE (i.e. “to dig”) followed by BILLY (i.e. a “can” used to help boil water outdoors) and OH (i.e. “only hoe at first”, i.e. the first letters of “only” and “hoe”).

4. Guarantee Peru’s neutrality will hold up (6)

Answer: ENSURE (i.e. “guarantee”). “Will hold” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “up” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: P(ERU’S NE)UTRALITY.

5. African city rarely gets rain (8)

Answer: TANGIERS (i.e. “African city”). “Rarely” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GETS RAIN. A clue that scans rather well.

6. Pope’s observation hurts: Rome in a flap (2,3,2,5)

Answer: TO ERR IS HUMAN (i.e. “[Alexander] Pope’s conclusion”). “Flap” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HURTS ROME IN A.

7. Iron mining, mostly filthy, not oddly something all men want (10)

Answer: FEMININITY (i.e. “something all men want”. Hmm. Misogynists included?). Solution is FE (chemical symbol of “iron”) followed by MINING with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and then ITY (i.e. “filthy, not oddly”, i.e. the even letters of FILTHY), like so: FE-MININ-ITY.

8. Reservoirs in time avoided by foxes (5)

Answer: SUMPS (i.e. “reservoirs”). Solution is STUMPS (i.e. “foxes”, as in to baffle someone) with the T removed (indicated by “time avoided by…” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

9. Cull of our bats is slightly obscene (9)

Answer: COLOURFUL (i.e. “slightly obscene”). “Bats” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CULL OF OUR.

10. Cross-channel transport missed if you’re late? (4,2,5)

Answer: JOIE DE VIVRE, French for a lust or zest for life. “Cross-channel” hints the solution is a French phrase, while to “transport” someone can mean to evoke a strong emotion or ecstasy in them, which isn’t quite the same a joy of life but I guess the setter had to panel-beat this clue into shape somehow. Anyway, the “missed if you’re late” bit riffs on how such joie de vivre disappears once one… er… see 32 down!

11. One who totes, half-heartedly, a gun (5)

Answer: LUGER (i.e. “gun”). Solution is LUGGER (i.e. “one who totes” or carries) with one of the middle Gs removed (indicated by “half-heartedly”).

12. Comic that is requiring much paper (6)

Answer: SCREAM (i.e. “comic”, as in side-splittingly funny as opposed to the short-lived and much missed UK horror comic of the 1980s). Solution is SC (i.e. “that is”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the Latin silicet, meaning “namely”) followed by REAM (i.e. “much paper”).

18. Dance music rather loud: men tango in irritation (10)

Answer: DISCOMFORT (i.e. “irritation”). Solution is DISCO (i.e. “dance music”) followed by MF (a recognised abbreviation of mezzo-forte, i.e. “rather loud” in music lingo, as in not quite loud rather than very loud – isn’t the English language fun?!(?!?)) then OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) and T (“Tango” in the phonetic alphabet).

20. Countryman in brown coat crossing river with boxer (8)

Answer: RURALIST (i.e. “countryman”). Solution is RUST (i.e. “brown coat” of some oxidised metals) wrapped around or “crossing” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”) and Muhammad ALI (i.e. “boxer”), like so: RU(R-ALI)ST.

22. Heraldic feature sort of crossing improperly herein: pity! (7,2,3,5)

Answer: PELICAN IN HER PIETY (i.e. “heraldic feature”). According to medieval legend, a pelican could revive its dead young with its own blood, an image which went on to become popular in heraldry. Solution is PELICAN (i.e. “sort of crossing”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “improperly”) of HEREIN PITY, like so: PELICAN-INHERPIETY.

23. Juliet, one dispensing milk shake (6)

Answer: JUDDER (i.e. “shake”). Solution is J (“Juliet” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by UDDER (i.e. “one dispensing milk”). A well worked clue.

24. Chap left money about to perform a musical (5,5)

Answer: HELLO DOLLY (i.e. “musical”). Solution is HE (i.e. “chap”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and LOLLY (i.e. “money”) once it has been wrapped “about” DO (i.e. “to perform”), like so: HE-L-LO(DO)LLY.

27. A feature in camp(anology)? (4,4)

Answer: BELL TENT, which, funnily enough, is a bell-shaped tent that might “feature in a camp”. Campanologists are also known as bell-ringers, hence the “(anology)” bit. You get the idea.

31. Old doctor regaled at first with a load of old pony! (6)

Answer: EXMOOR (i.e. “pony”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”) followed by MO (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Medical Officer) and R (i.e. “regaled at first”, i.e. the first letter of “regaled”) wrapped around or “loaded” with O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: EX-MO-(O)-R.

32. Father and I stop moving, with ship about to depart (3,4,5)

Answer: POP ONE’S CLOGS (i.e. to die or “depart”). Solution is POP (i.e. “father”) followed by ONE (i.e. “I”) then CLOG (i.e. to block or “stop moving”) once SS (i.e. “ship”) has been placed “about” it, like so: POP-ONE-S(CLOG)S.

34. Youngster cared for orchids left to wither (6,5)

Answer: FOSTER CHILD (i.e. “youngster cared for”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to wither”) of ORCHIDS LEFT.

36. Recorder for something that’s often articulated informally (3,2,3,3)

Answer: SPY IN THE CAB, which is a device that keeps track of the mileage and such of trucks, i.e. “recorder”. Clue riffs on how “articulated” can mean spoken or, in the context of trucks, of articulated lorries. Not a great clue, all told, unless I’m missing something particularly clever.

37. Cynophilist’s claim overheard in the London area (4,2,4)

Answer: ISLE OF DOGS (i.e. “London area”). “Overheard” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of I LOVE DOGS (i.e. a “cynophilist’s claim”). A good clue once you know what a cynophilist is!

39. Lawman taking Young Conservatives on short course in welfare building (3,6)

Answer: DAY CENTRE (i.e. “welfare building”). Solution is DA (i.e. “lawman”, specifically a District Attorney) followed by YC (a recognised abbreviation of “Young Conservatives”) and ENTRE (i.e. “short course” of a meal).
[EDIT: I was a little lax here. The ENTRE part should be ENTREE (i.e. “course”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”). – LP]

41. Day just about beginning for wizard Potter (8)

Answer: Josiah WEDGWOOD (i.e. “Potter” – no, me neither). Solution is WED (i.e. “day”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Wednesday) followed by GOOD (i.e. “just”) once it has been placed “about” W (i.e. “beginning for wizard”), like so: WED-G(W)OOD. One gotten solely from the wordplay.

45. I was regularly seen with sea monster in drink (3,3)

Answer: ICE TEA (i.e. “drink”). Solution is IA (i.e. “I was regularly”, i.e. every other letter of I WAS) with CETE (i.e. “sea monster”) placed “inside”, like so: I(CETE)A.

46. They do breakdown of light image consultancy jargon? (6)

Answer: PRISMS (i.e. “they do breakdown of light”). When read as PR ISMS – PR being a recognised abbreviation of Press Release or Public Relations – the solution also satisfies “image consultancy jargon”. I liked this when I finally twigged it.

48. Maybe miss show in the morning, on getting up (5)

Answer: MARIA (i.e. “maybe miss”, as in a girl’s name… ugh, I’m never keen when setters resort to names to help plug the gaps). Solution is AIR (i.e. “[to] show”) followed by AM (i.e. “in the morning”). The whole is then reversed, indicated by “on getting up” – this being a down clue – like so: MA-RIA.

49. Expectant, perhaps, as Afghan model lowers top (2,3)

Answer: IN-PUP (i.e. “expectant, perhaps, as Afghan”, referring to the breed of dog). Solution is PIN-UP (i.e. “model”) with the first letter knocked down a couple of notches (indicated by “lowers top” – this being a down clue).

51. Wood spirit not on alcohol promotion (5)

Answer: DRYAD (i.e. “wood spirit”). Solution is DRY (i.e. “not on alcohol”) followed by AD (i.e. “promotion”, being a recognised abbreviation of “advertisement”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1415

Another pretty good puzzle this week, with a few clues that worked rather well. The only blots on the landscape were a few recent repeats. Now we must hunker down and prepare ourselves for The Boxing Day Stinker!

Speaking of which, I’ll be away from my laptop for a few days over Christmas, wrapping these grubby hands of mine around a steady succession of pints. All being well, I’ll have a Boxing Day solution up at some point next weekend.

As for this week’s puzzle, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. Solutions to previous Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords can be found on my Just For Fun page. I’ve a few book reviews dotted around the place too, and even a short story if you’re into that kind of thing.

Right. To the answers then! TTFN.

LP

Across clues

1. Not close to Italian? On the contrary (3,4,2)

Answer: FAR FROM IT (i.e. “on the contrary”). When IT is read as a recognised abbreviation of “Italian”, the solution also satisfies “not close to Italian”.

6. Attack report revealing credit arrangement (6,7)

Answer: CHARGE ACCOUNT. Solution satisfies an “attack report” and “credit arrangement”. The first of a few repeats in this grid, this one being a near carbon copy of another appearing only last month.

13. Forward terms of reference (5)

Answer: REMIT (i.e. to advance or “forward” something, usually money). The setter has thrown me here, so watch out. I’m guessing “terms of reference” indicates the solution comprises recognised abbreviations of terms of reference, such as RE (i.e. concerning something). Quite where MIT fits into this, though, is a mystery.
[EDIT: Thanks to Sid and Clive in the comments for pointing out “terms of reference” is merely one of REMIT’s umpteen definitions. A quick check in Chambers and there it was, tucked away. Thanks all! – LP]

14. Lifting problem? (11)

Answer: KLEPTOMANIA, an impulsive urge to steal. Clue riffs on how “lifting” is another word for stealing.

15. Relish spring, reportedly (5)

Answer: SAUCE. Solution satisfies “relish” and “spring, reportedly”, as in a homophone of SOURCE [of water].

16. Revolutionary chess organisation all the players, men, backed after second of elections (5,6)

Answer: FIDEL CASTRO (i.e. “revolutionary”). Solution is FIDE (i.e. “chess organisation”) followed by CAST (i.e. “all the players”) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), the latter reversed (indicated by “backed”). CAST and RO are placed “after” L (i.e. “second of elections”, i.e. the second letter of the word “elections”), like so: FIDE-L-CAST-RO.

17. Retailer’s son pulled apart guard (11)

Answer: STOREKEEPER (i.e. “retailer”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by TORE (i.e. “pulled apart”) and KEEPER (i.e. “guard”).

18. Left one’s home, dated (4,3)

Answer: GONE OUT. Solution satisfies “left one’s house” and “dated”.

20. One fills some of the time at work (7)

Answer: DENTIST. Clue riffs on how dentists fill some of their time at work filling teeth.

21. I caught it sitting next to poorly criminal (7)

Answer: ILLICIT (i.e. “criminal”). Solution is I, then C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) and IT, which are all then placed “next to” ILL (i.e. “poorly”), like so: ILL-I-C-IT. A clue that scans rather well.

23. Film male and female in ditch coupling (3,6,10)

Answer: THE FRENCH CONNECTION (i.e. “film”, and a mighty fine one too). Solution is HE (i.e. “male”) and F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) placed in TRENCH (i.e. “ditch”) and followed by CONNECTION (i.e. “coupling”), like so: T(HE-F)RENCH-CONNECTION. Another clue that scans well, particularly in smutty minds such as mine.

27. Fabulous bird having origins in Russia or China (3)

Answer: ROC (i.e. “fabulous bird”). “Having origins in” suggests the solution can be derived by taking the initial letters of RUSSIA OR CHINA.

28. Member of the clergy in park by rocky hill (6)

Answer: RECTOR (i.e. “member of the clergy”). Solution is REC (i.e. a recreation area or “park”) followed by TOR (i.e. “rocky hill”).

29. Performer appearing in Hobart is Tasmanian (6)

Answer: ARTIST (i.e. “performer”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: HOB(ART IS T)ASMANIAN.

31. Hit black bird of prey in hollow (9)

Answer: PUNCHBOWL (i.e. a “hollow” in the ground). Solution is PUNCH (i.e. “hit”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “black” used in chess) and OWL (i.e. “bird of prey”).

34. Page writer inside saw in supplement (9)

Answer: APPENDAGE (i.e. “supplement”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”) and PEN (i.e. “writer”) both placed in ADAGE (i.e. “saw”, as in a phrase or motto), like so: A(P-PEN)DAGE.

35. Better when Focke, perhaps, loses height (6)

Answer: ENRICH (i.e. “better”). Solution is HENRICH (i.e. “Focke, perhaps” – other historical Henrichs are available) with the initial H removed (indicated by “losing height”, H being a recognised abbreviation of “height”).

36. Lucky charm found in the old lady’s bed (6)

Answer: MASCOT (i.e. “lucky charm”). Solution is MA’S (i.e. “the old lady’s”) and COT (i.e. “bed”).

39. Rhubarb crumble (3)

Answer: ROT. Solution satisfies “rhubarb” (as in tosh, piffle and horse feathers) and “crumble”.

40. Record statement made by Walter Mitty? (3,1,4,2,2,2,5)

Answer: ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM (i.e. a “record” by The Everly Brothers). Solution also satisfies “statement made by Walter Mitty”, an intrepid daydreamer, after a character from a short story by James Thurber.

42. Lock of hair stuck inside covering letter (7)

Answer: RINGLET (i.e. “lock of hair”). “Stuck inside” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: COVE(RING LET)TER. Despite having the solution, it took me ages to spot what the setter was doing here. Well played.

43. Caustic play on words fellow delivers (7)

Answer: PUNGENT (i.e. “caustic”). Solution is PUN (i.e. “play on words”) followed by GENT (i.e. “fellow”).

45. Boat clubs backed by authority (7)

Answer: CORACLE (i.e. “boat”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in card games) followed or “backed by” ORACLE (i.e. “authority”).

47. Gemstone is left in Bolivian city university, large one (5,6)

Answer: LAPIS LAZULI (i.e. a deep blue semiprecious “gemstone”). Solution is IS and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) both placed in LA PAZ (i.e. “Bolivian city”) and followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”), L (ditto “large”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: LA-P(IS-L)AZ-U-L-I.

49. Scottish group in Arizona react, badly about me being imprisoned (5,6)

Answer: AZTEC CAMERA (i.e. “Scottish group” who scored a hit with “Somewhere In My Heart” back in the 80s). Solution is AZ (a recognised abbreviation of “Arizona”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “badly”) of REACT which is placed around or “imprisoning” CA (a recognised abbreviation of “circa”, i.e. “about”) and ME, like so: AZ-TEC(CA-ME)RA.

51. Brigadoon girl heading off round island’s ancient region (5)

Answer: IONIA (i.e. “ancient region”). Solution is FIONA (i.e. “Brigadoon girl”, i.e. one of the lead characters in the musical Brigadoon) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “heading off”) and the remainder placed “about” I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: ION(I)A.

52. Ordered cab to canals in Spanish region (5,6)

Answer: COSTA BLANCA (i.e. “Spanish region”). “Ordered” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CAB TO CANALS.

53. Strangely frightening eastern chain with no borders (5)

Answer: EERIE (i.e. “strangely frightening”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) followed by SERIES (i.e. “chain”) once the first and last letters have been removed (indicated by “with no borders”), like so: E-ERIE.

54. Courage needed with large waves: they cause grief (13)

Answer: HEARTBREAKERS (i.e. “they cause grief”). Solution is HEART (i.e. “courage”) followed by BREAKERS (i.e. “large waves”).

55. Murderer that court set free (3-6)

Answer: CUT-THROAT (i.e. “murderer”). “Set free” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THAT COURT. Another clue that scans rather well.

Down clues

1. Emergency service worker using axe on military aircraft (11)

Answer: FIREFIGHTER (i.e. “emergency service worker”). Solution is FIRE (i.e. “[to] axe [someone]”) followed by FIGHTER (i.e. “military aircraft”).

2. Mother entering stage school gets lead in Norma fast (7)

Answer: RAMADAN (i.e. “fast”). Solution is MA (i.e. “mother”) placed in or “entering” RADA (i.e. “stage school”) and then followed by N (i.e. “lead in Norma”, i.e. the first letter of “Norma”), like so: RA(MA)DA-N.

3. Charge pounds for a badger-like creature (5)

Answer: RATEL (i.e. “badger-like creature”, specifically the famously badass honey badger). Solution is RATE (i.e. “charge”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight).

4. Batsmen hoping to do this adopt a determined attitude? (4,1,5)

Answer: MAKE A STAND. Solution satisfies “batsmen hoping to do this” in cricket, and “adopt a determined attitude”.

5. Attended to grooved surface round edges of tyre (7)

Answer: TREATED (i.e. “attended to”). Solution is TREAD (i.e. “grooved surface”) placed “round” TE (i.e. “edges of tyre”, i.e. the first and last letters of “tyre”), like so: TREA(TE)D.

6. Wallpaper may have been put in one’s place (3,4,2,4)

Answer: CUT DOWN TO SIZE. Solution satisfies “[as] wallpaper may have been” and “put in one’s place”.

7. District Attorney up calling for confession (9)

Answer: ADMISSION (i.e. “confession”). Solution is DA (a recognised abbreviation of “District Attorney”) reversed (indicated by “up”, this being a down clue) and followed by MISSION (i.e. “calling”), like so: AD-MISSION.

8. Naval vessel in attack, protecting peacekeepers? Bravo (7)

Answer: GUNBOAT (i.e. “naval vessel”). Solution is [have a] GO AT (i.e. “attack”) wrapped around or “protecting” UN (i.e. “peacekeepers”, specifically the United Nations) and B (“Bravo” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: G(UN-B)O-AT.

9. Institute members came in as acid thrown (12)

Answer: ACADEMICIANS (i.e. “institute members”). “Thrown” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CAME IN AS ACID.

10. Governor’s girl in prisoner (9)

Answer: CASTELLAN (i.e. “governor” of a castle). Solution is STELLA (i.e. “girl”) placed “in” CAN (i.e. “prison”), like so: CA(STELLA)N. I’m guessing the “can of Stella” wordplay had already been used for this solution…

11. Supplant head of union by surprise? Not half! (5)

Answer: USURP (i.e. “supplant”). Solution is U (i.e. “head of union”, i.e. the first letter of “union”) followed by SURP (i.e. “surprise? Not half”, i.e. remove the latter half of SURPRISE), like so: U-SURP.

12. The staggering article about oxygen is speculative (11)

Answer: THEORETICAL (i.e. “speculative”). Solution is THE and an anagram (indicated by “staggering”) of ARTICLE both placed “about” O (chemical symbol for “oxygen”), like so: THE-(O)-RETICAL.

19. Worn out, comic producing play (3,4)

Answer: OUR TOWN (i.e. 1938 “play” by Thornton Wilder). “Comic producing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WORN OUT. One gotten from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

22. Concern about rival in case (9)

Answer: CARTOUCHE (i.e. “case” for fireworks or old-school ammunition, for example). Solution is CARE (i.e. “concern”) placed “about” TOUCH (i.e. “rival”, as in “you can’t touch this”), like so: CAR(TOUCH)E.

24. Operetta: top it in style (2,7)

Answer: EL CAPITAN (i.e. 1896 “operetta” by John Philip Sousa). Solution is CAP (i.e. “top”) and IT both placed “in” ELAN (i.e. “style”), like so: EL(CAP-IT)AN. Another gotten solely from the wordplay.

25. Rachel thrown under horse in North Wales town (7)

Answer: HARLECH (i.e. “North Wales town”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “thrown”) of RACHEL placed after (or “under” – this being a down clue) H (a recognised abbreviation of “heroin”, also informally referred to as “horse”), like so: H-ARLECH. Yet another one gotten solely from the wordplay. The town hit the headlines this year it seems, recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as having the world’s steepest street, but I must have missed it. Knowing how steep some of Durham’s streets can get, the good people of Harlech have my sympathy.

26. Top Italian novelist died in coastal area of Massachusetts (4,3)

Answer: CAPE COD (i.e. “coastal area of Massachusetts”). Solution is CAP (i.e. “top”) followed by Umberto ECO (i.e. “Italian novelist”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “died”). Hmm. That reminds me. I ought to rescue “Foucault’s Pendulum” from the corridors of my to-be-read pile sometime soon. Well, soonish.

30. Change what one plays in casino and get ahead after being behind? (4,3,6)

Answer: TURN THE TABLES (i.e. “get ahead after being behind”). Solution is TURN (i.e. “change”) followed by THE TABLES (i.e. “what one plays in casino”).

32. Not so easy housing old compulsive collector (7)

Answer: HOARDER (i.e. “compulsive collector”). Solution is HARDER (i.e. “not so easy”) wrapped around or “housing” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: H(O)ARDER.

33. Allow daughter to interrupt acrobat, an artiste (6,6)

Answer: BALLET DANCER (i.e. “an artiste”). Solution is LET (i.e. “allow”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) placed in or “interrupting” BALANCER (i.e. “acrobat”), like so: BAL(LET-D)ANCER.

34. Goddess, British actress, in a work by Browning (6,5)

Answer: AURORA LEIGH (i.e. “a work by [Elizabeth Barrett] Browning” – shrugs shoulders). Solution is AURORA (i.e. Roman “goddess” of dawn) followed by Vivien LEIGH (i.e. “British actress”).

37. Method of painting intended, we hear, to depict nature (11)

Answer: TEMPERAMENT (i.e. “nature”). Solution is TEMPERA (i.e. “method of painting”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of MEANT (i.e. “intended”).

38. Magic circle originally taken in with guile (10)

Answer: WITCHCRAFT (i.e. “magic”). Solution is C (i.e. “circle originally”, i.e. the first letter of “circle”) placed or “taken in” WITH and then followed by CRAFT (i.e. “guile”), like so: WIT(C)H-CRAFT. This was another that took ages to get. Well played.

40. Impressive person, girl, appearing in double bill, then tango (1,5,3)

Answer: A CLASS ACT (i.e. “impressive person”). Solution is LASS (i.e. “girl”) placed “in” between AC and AC (i.e. “double bill” – AC being a recognised abbreviation of “account”), then followed by T (“Tango” in the phonetic alphabet”), like so: AC-(LASS)-AC-T.

41. Clear leader in variety show (9)

Answer: VINDICATE (i.e. “clear”). Solution is V (i.e. “leader in variety”, i.e. the first letter of “variety”) followed by INDICATE (i.e. “show”). For ages I had this as VENTILATE, which also fitted “clear”. Clearly this was not to be. Another clue that was well played.

43. Former German state – American in Paris confused (7)

Answer: PRUSSIA (i.e. “former German state”). Solution is US (i.e. “American”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of PARIS, like so: PR(US)SIA.

44. Huge film (7)

Answer: TITANIC. Solution satisfies “huge” and a 1997 “film”. Something about a ship, I seem to recall. Another recent repeat too.

46. Salute maiden seduced by Zeus for so long (7)

Answer: CHEERIO (i.e. “so long”). Solution is CHEER (i.e. “salute”) followed by IO (i.e. “maiden seduced by Zeus”).

48. Herbivore also kept by father (5)

Answer: PANDA (i.e. “herbivore”). Solution is AND (i.e. “also”) placed in or “kept by” PA (i.e. “father”), like so: P(AND)A.

50. A letter in Hebrew starts to amaze locals entering public house (5)

Answer: ALEPH (i.e. “a letter in Hebrew”). “Starts to” indicates the solution can be derived by taking the initial letters of AMAZE LOCALS ENTERING PUBLIC HOUSE.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1414

Another good ‘un this week, with plenty of well worked clues to keep solvers entertained. There were a few repeats to contend with, but, overall, this was good clean fun.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If you have a previous puzzle that’s showing a few gaps then you might also find my Just For Fun page a helpful resource. While you’re here, feel free to check out the odd book review, or indulge in a short story. If I had biscuits in, I’d offer them too, but I don’t. (Hides biscuits.)

Right. (Munch, munch, munch…) To the (chomp…) solutions then.

LP

Across clues

1. Anxious – unlocked is it? (10)

Answer: DISTRESSED. Solution satisfies “anxious” and, cryptically, “unlocked”. (Tresses and locks are other words for hair, so if one has a haircut, they could be said to be both distressed and unlocked.)

6. Prayer treasured for rescuer at sea (5,7)

Answer: GRACE DARLING, who, in the nineteenth century, gained fame when she helped rescue survivors of a shipwreck (i.e. “rescuer at sea”). Solution is GRACE (i.e. “prayer”) followed by DARLING (i.e. “treasured”). A name that rang a bell, weirdly, though I couldn’t have said why.

14. Chapter I’d rewritten for a song? (4,5)

Answer: DIRT CHEAP (i.e. “[going] for a song”). “Rewritten” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CHAPTER I’D.

15. Wander north into red mist? (5)

Answer: RANGE (i.e. “wander”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “north”) placed “into” RAGE (i.e. “red mist”), like so: RA(N)GE.

16. Staff teacher in ancient kingdom (7)

Answer: MACEDON (i.e. “ancient kingdom”, also known as Macedonia, not to be confused with North Macedonia. I know, I know, it’s all Greek to me too…) Solution is MACE (i.e. “staff”) followed by DON (i.e. “teacher”).

17. Entering maturity, things better work out fab – forget senility! (4,6,2,5)

Answer: LIFE BEGINS AT FORTY (i.e. “entering maturity, things [get] better”). “Work out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FAB FORGET SENILITY.

18. Specific done deed? (5)

Answer: EXACT (i.e. “specific”). When read as EX-ACT, the solution also satisfies a “done deed”.

19. Remains of ashes, perhaps? (7)

Answer: SAWDUST. Clue refers to ash trees. If one was to take a saw to the wood from an ash tree, you’d get SAWDUST “remaining”. “Ashes”, following a cremation, are also said to be “remains”. You get the idea.

21. About to happen, but not starting – far from it? (6)

Answer: ENDING (i.e. “starting – far from it”). Solution is PENDING (i.e. “about to happen”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “but not starting”).

22. Girl embracing fashion finally, swimmer in broad hat, possibly? (8)

Answer: SUNSHADE (i.e. “broad hat, possibly”). Solution is SUE (i.e. “girl”) wrapped around or “embracing” N (i.e. “fashion finally”, i.e. the last letter of “fashion”) and SHAD (i.e. “swimmer”, as in a fish – did a Google Image search… yup, fish), like so: SU(N-SHAD)E.

24. Alone, dude in a shambles (7)

Answer: UNAIDED (i.e. “alone”). “Shambles” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DUDE IN A.

26. In the box, fashionable items ultimately glittering (8)

Answer: TINSELLY (i.e. “glittering”). Solution is IN (i.e. “fashionable”) and S (i.e. “items ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “items”) both placed “in” TELLY (i.e. “the box”, both referring to a television), like so: T(IN-S)ELLY.

27. At first, everything in hand before a party (6)

Answer: FIESTA (i.e. “party”). Solution is E (i.e. “at first, everything”, i.e. the first letter of “everything”) placed “in” FIST (i.e. “hand”), all placed “before” A, like so: FI(E)ST-A.

30. Difficult finding Russian bread in volume (11)

Answer: TROUBLESOME (i.e. “difficult”). Solution is ROUBLES (i.e. “Russian bread”, i.e. Russian currency) placed “in” TOME (i.e. a book or “volume”), like so: T(ROUBLES)OME.

32. Still about one metre of layered rock (11)

Answer: SEDIMENTARY (i.e. “layered rock”). Solution is SEDENTARY (i.e. “still”) placed “about” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “metre”), like so: SED(I-M)ENTARY.

33. Women cursing very, very loudly outside, stops paying attention (8,3)

Answer: SWITCHES OFF (i.e. “stops paying attention”). Solution is SO (i.e. “very”) and FF (a recognised abbreviation of “fortissimo”, i.e. “very loudly”) placed “outside” of WITCHES (i.e. “women cursing”), like so: S(WITCHES)O-FF.

35. Important carrier ship joining race (5,6)

Answer: BLOOD VESSEL (i.e. “important carrier”). Solution is VESSEL (i.e. “ship”) placed after BLOOD (i.e. “race”).

37. Damned English pages left! (4,2)

Answer: EVER SO (i.e. “damned”, both taken to mean “very”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by VERSO (i.e. “pages left” – in printing terms, VERSO denotes left-handed pages while RECTO denotes right-handed pages).

38. Anthem in lied, sung (amazingly) backwards! (5,3)

Answer: AGNUS DEI (i.e. “anthem”, as in a composition for a church choir). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “backwards” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: L(IED SUNG A)MAZINGLY.

39. Daring act one found in old story (7)

Answer: EXPLOIT (i.e. “daring act”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed “in” EX (i.e. “old”) and PLOT (i.e. “story”), like so: EX-PLO(I)T.

42. Gradually moving to pinch queen’s ornament (4-4)

Answer: NOSE-RING (i.e. “ornament”). Solution is NOSING (i.e. “gradually moving”) wrapped around or “pinching” ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: NOS(ER)ING.

44. High-quality nurse covering surgery (3-3)

Answer: TOP-END (i.e. “high-quality”). Solution is TEND (i.e. “nurse”) wrapped around or “covering” OP (i.e. “surgery”, short for “operation”), like so: T(OP)END.

46. In flower (7)

Answer: CURRENT. Solution satisfies “in”, as in what is hip and happening, and “flower”, referring to a river.

48. Bird flying (5)

Answer: SWIFT. Solution satisfies “bird” and “flying”, as in speedy.

49. Plan of action in statement to peer who’s been stitched up? (9,8)

Answer: OPERATION OVERLORD (i.e. “plan of [D-Day military] action”). Solution comprises OPERATION (hinted by “who’s been stitched up”), OVER (i.e. “statement”, as in what something is about) and LORD (i.e. “peer”). The clue is a bit clunky, but the crossword trivia attached to this one more than makes up for it. Back in 1944 the Daily Telegraph published a series of crosswords whose solutions contained D-Day codewords such as “Overlord”, “Omaha”, “Utah”, “Neptune” and so on. The number of codewords and their frequency in the run-up to D-Day was found to be an incredible coincidence, but only after the setter, Leonard Dawe, was arrested and interrogated by MI5. The whole episode has been one of my favourite mysteries of the unexplained for years. Worth a read!

51. What woman might have on Noah’s son, follows a patriarch (7)

Answer: ABRAHAM (i.e. “patriarch” – we’ve had a few of these recently). Solution is BRA (i.e. “what woman might have on”) and HAM (i.e. “Noah’s son”), both placed after or “following” A, like so: A-BRA-HAM.

52. Hindu deity sees five parting Muslims (5)

Answer: SHIVA (i.e. “Hindu deity”). Solution is V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five”) placed in or “parting” SHIA (i.e. “Muslims”), like so: SHI(V)A.

53. Soldier a degree east of Ulster peninsula caught by rifle, say? (9)

Answer: GUARDSMAN (i.e. “solider”). Solution is MA (i.e. “degree”, specifically a Master of Arts) placed to the right or “east of” ARDS (i.e. “Ulster peninsula”) and the whole placed in or “caught by” GUN (i.e. “rifle, say”), like so: GU(ARDS-MA)N.

54. US president manoeuvring to bring in new controls (12)

Answer: SUPERINTENDS (i.e. “controls”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “manoeuvring”) of US PRESIDENT which is wrapped around or “bringing in” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: SUPERI(N)TENDS.

55. Censor has been extremely unhelpful, clip appearing blurred (4-6)

Answer: BLUE-PENCIL (i.e. “[to] censor”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “appearing blurred”) of BEEN, CLIP and UL (i.e. “extremely unhelpful”, i.e. the first and last letters of “unhelpful”).

Down clues

1. In America, nothing left in little house illegally occupied (6-5)

Answer: DIDDLY-SQUAT (i.e. “in America, nothing”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) placed “in” DIDDY (i.e. “little”) and followed by SQUAT (i.e. “house illegally occupied”), like so: DIDD(L)Y-SQUAT.

2. Line of text shoots up (5)

Answer: SERIF (i.e. “line of text”). Solution is FIRED (i.e. “shoots”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue).

3. Pitch sure to be covered in stones (4-5)

Answer: ROCK-BOUND (i.e. “covered in stones”). Solution is ROCK (i.e. “pitch”, as in something pitching back and forth) followed by BOUND (i.e. “sure”, as in something was bound to happen).

4. Reportedly insignificant skill (7)

Answer: SLEIGHT (i.e. “skill”). “Reportedly” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SLIGHT (i.e. “insignificant”).

5. Sweep containers into river (7)

Answer: EXPANSE (i.e. “sweep”). Solution is PANS (i.e. “containers”) placed “into” EXE (i.e. “river”), like so: EX(PANS)E.

7. Where gold may be on display, contact thieves (4,7)

Answer: RING FINGERS (i.e. “where gold may be on display”). Solution is RING (i.e. “contact”) followed by FINGERS (i.e. “thieves”).

8. One’s stoned, heading off drunk after companion (6)

Answer: CHERRY (i.e. “one’s stoned”). Solution is MERRY (i.e. “drunk”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “heading off”) and placed “after” CH (i.e. “companion”, specifically a Companion of Honour), like so: CH-ERRY.

9. I’m not sure my cricket score is under five hundred in Test (5,3)

Answer: DUMMY RUN (i.e. “test” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is UM (i.e. “I’m not sure”), MY and RUN (i.e. “cricket score”) all placed “under” (this being a down clue) D (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five hundred”), like so: D-UM-MY-RUN.

10. Clever stuff investing energy and time in geology, say? (6,7)

Answer: ROCKET SCIENCE (i.e. “clever stuff”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and T (ditto “time”) placed “in” ROCK SCIENCE (i.e. “geology, say”), like so: ROCK-(E-T)-SCIENCE.

11. State – nation not applicable (7)

Answer: INDIANA (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is INDIA (i.e. “nation”) followed by NA (a recognised abbreviation of “not applicable”).

12. Power in heat energy adapted for experimental engineering (4,7)

Answer: GENE THERAPY (i.e. “experimental engineering”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “adapted”) of HEAT ENERGY, like so: GENETHERA(P)Y.

13. Holiday: European hosts constant acrobatic entertainment (10)

Answer: BREAKDANCE (i.e. “acrobatic entertainment”). Solution is BREAK (i.e. “holiday”) followed by DANE (i.e. “European”) once it has been placed around or “hosting” C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”), like so: BREAK-DAN(C)E.

20. Make arm bend in a sweep round (9)

Answer: WEAPONISE (i.e. “make arm”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “bend”) of IN A SWEEP and O (i.e. “round”).

23. Bloomers revealed by daughter in dressing, girl disheartened initially (8)

Answer: GLADIOLI (i.e. “bloomers”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) placed “in” AIOLI (i.e. “dressing”, and very tasty it is too) and the whole then preceded by (indicated by “initially”) GL (i.e. “girl disheartened”, i.e. the word “girl” with the middle letters removed), like so: GL-A(D)IOLI. A clue that scans rather well.

25. German, one looking to shift stones, perhaps? (6)

Answer: DIETER. Solution satisfies “German”, as in a German forename, and “one looking to shift stones, perhaps”, as in one who diets. This took a lot longer for me to spot than it ought to have!

26. Comprehensive, however, uncivilised (8)

Answer: THOROUGH (i.e. “comprehensive”). Solution is THO (i.e. “however”, i.e. an informal “though”) followed by ROUGH (i.e. “uncivilised”).

28. Soft rock beginning to shake pensioners – stress down below (9)

Answer: SOAPSTONE (i.e. “soft rock”). Solution is S (i.e. “beginning to shake”, i.e. the first letter of “shake”) followed by OAPS (i.e. old age “pensioners”) and TONE (i.e. “stress”). “Down below” indicates the composite parts are stacked on top of one another, this being a down clue. I remembered this from a previous puzzle, which made it an easier get.

29. Mark in trousers, mud generally (6)

Answer: SMUDGE (i.e. “mark”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: TROUSER(S MUD GE)NERALLY.

31. Devil punching angel: one with a long reach (13)

Answer: BACKSCRATCHER (i.e. “one with a long reach”). Solution is SCRATCH (i.e. “devil”, sometimes known as Old Scratch) placed or “punched” into BACKER (i.e. “angel” – as in a financial backer), like so: BACK(SCRATCH)ER. Another really good clue.

33. Somewhat dazed at the Oscars, say? (6,5)

Answer: SEEING STARS. Solution satisfies “somewhat dazed” and “at the Oscars, say”.

34. Fair, ok, somehow, in institute to get a great deal? (4,2,1,4)

Answer: FOUR OF A KIND (i.e. “a great deal [in, say, a game of poker]”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of FAIR OK placed “in” FOUND (i.e. “[to] institute”), like so: FOU(ROFAKI)ND.

35. Chirpy character has to fix car that won’t start after shift (10)

Answer: BUDGERIGAR (i.e. “chirpy character”). Solution is RIG (i.e. “to fix” an outcome) followed by CAR once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “that won’t start”), and the whole then preceded by or placed “after” BUDGE (i.e. “shift”), like so: BUDGE-RIG-AR.

36. Inuit a tad confused between lines around the Arctic Circle, say? (11)

Answer: LATITUDINAL (i.e. “lines around the Arctic Circle, say”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of INUIT A TAD placed in L and L (recognised abbreviations of “line”), like so: L-(ATITUDINA)-L.

40. A bit on edge in game (9)

Answer: PARTRIDGE (i.e. “game [bird]”). Solution is PART (i.e. “a bit”) followed by or placed “on” RIDGE (i.e. “edge”).

41. Singular French figure on public land (8)

Answer: UNCOMMON (i.e. “singular”). Solution is UN (i.e. “French figure”, referring to one in this case, the French of which is “un”), placed “on” COMMON (i.e. “public land”).

43. Put foot in it when racing to correct purist about last bit of grammar (7)

Answer: STIRRUP (i.e. “put foot in it when racing”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to correct”) of PURIST placed “about” R (i.e. “last bit of grammar”, i.e. the last letter of “grammar”), like so: STI(R)RUP. Another one made easier having appeared in several puzzles this past year.

45. Irish county tricked colleen (7)

Answer: DONEGAL (i.e. “Irish county”). Solution is DONE (i.e. “tricked [someone]”) followed by GAL (i.e. “colleen”, taken to be a girl’s name with a misleading lack of capitalisation).

46. Caution required, carrying through eggs (7)

Answer: CAVIARE (i.e. “eggs”). Solution is CARE (i.e. “caution required”) placed around or “carrying” VIA (i.e. “through”), like so: CA(VIA)RE.

47. Tenant with not as much space, miserable ultimately (6)

Answer: LESSEE (i.e. “tenant”). Solution is LESS (i.e. “with not as much”) followed by E and E (i.e. “space, miserable ultimately”, i.e. the last letters of “space” and “miserable” – the comma acting as a list separator), like so: LESS-E-E. An easier get, as this solution also appeared last week!

50. Giant scratching head – very dense? (5)

Answer: OSMIC (i.e. “very dense” – referring to the chemical element osmium). Solution is COSMIC (i.e. “giant”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “scratching head”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1413

A number of well-worked clues made this a good ‘un. It was another straightforward puzzle, relatively speaking, so we’ll probably see the difficulty cranked up in time for a Boxing Day stinker. Back in the here and now, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

(Cue Pearl and Dean music.)

Some me-stuff before we begin. My Just For Fun page has solutions for over a year’s worth of Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords. If you have a grid that’s recently given you gyp, then go check it out. Meanwhile, I have a Reviews page if book reviews are your thing. If you fancy a short story, I’ve got your back.

(Cue Pearl and Dean music again.)

And now our feature presentation.

LP

Across clues

1. Amusing and sad to urinate in street after beer (11)

Answer: BITTERSWEET (i.e. “amusing and sad”). Solution is WEE (i.e. “to urinate”) placed “in” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), and the whole placed “after” BITTER (i.e. “beer”), like so: BITTER-S(WEE)T. A clue that scans rather well!

7. Fantastic careerist at office (11)

Answer: SECRETARIAT (i.e. “office”). “Fantastic” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CAREERIST AT.

13. Rented property is large, no bother to maintain (9)

Answer: LEASEHOLD (i.e. “rented property”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) followed by EASE (i.e. “no bother”) and HOLD (i.e. “to maintain”). Another good clue.

14. Catch geezers twice undressed in circus bar (7)

Answer: TRAPEZE (i.e. “circus bar”). Solution is TRAP (i.e. “catch”) followed by EZE (i.e. “geezers twice undressed” – meaning to twice remove the beginning and end letters of GEEZERS).

15. Friend, a married one with spirit (5)

Answer: AMIGO (i.e. “friend”). Solution is A followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and GO (i.e. “spirit”, as in having some oomph).

16. Monkey god gets to climb with no tail (6)

Answer: RASCAL (i.e. “monkey”). Solution is RA (i.e. “[Ancient Egyptian sun] god”) followed by SCALE (i.e. “to climb”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “with no tail”), like RA-SCAL.

17. Rogue, pig mostly, led to run by Republican (8)

Answer: SWINDLER (i.e. “rogue”). Solution is SWINE (i.e. “pig”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”), followed by an anagram (indicated by “to run”) of LED, then R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”), like so: SWIN-DLE-R.

18. China is after support, filled with people (7)

Answer: TEEMING (i.e. “filled with people”). Solution is MING (i.e. “China”) placed “after” TEE (i.e. “[golf ball] support”), like so: TEE-MING.

20. Recorded mental impulses to choose caviar, new mushroom glory and chickpeas (20)

Answer: ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAM, often abbreviated to EEG (i.e. “recorded mental impulses”). Solution is ELECT (i.e. “to choose”), followed by ROE (i.e. “caviar”), then N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), then CEP (i.e. a type of “mushroom”), then HALO (i.e. “glory”) and GRAM (i.e. “chickpeas”), like so: ELECT-ROE-N-CEP-HALO-GRAM. Crikey. As seed words go, this is a doozy! Well, I guess it was a seed word. I can’t imagine the setter left themselves -L-C-R-E-C-P-A-O-R-M to fill.

23. Admit something in Arabic once denied (7)

Answer: CONCEDE (i.e. “admit”). “Something in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: ARABI(C ONCE DE)NIED.

24. Pedal note raised a tone in cloying sentimentality (7)

Answer: TREADLE (i.e. “pedal”). Solution is TREACLE (i.e. “cloying sentimentality”) with the C (i.e. “[musical] note”) upped to D (indicated by “raised a tone”).

26. Oriental festival beginning in Nagasaki (7)

Answer: EASTERN (i.e. “oriental”). Solution is EASTER (i.e. “festival”) followed by N (i.e. “beginning in Nagasaki”, i.e. the first letter of “Nagasaki”).

28. Concerned with morning paper? (4)

Answer: REAM (i.e. “paper”). Solution is RE (i.e. “concerned with” – think email replies) followed by AM (i.e. “morning”).

29. Runs article in Express, most extreme (8)

Answer: FARTHEST (i.e. “most extreme”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) and THE (i.e. “article”) placed “in” FAST (i.e. “express” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: FA(R-THE)ST. Another clue that scans rather well.

32. Note girl’s shoulder piece (9)

Answer: EPAULETTE (i.e. “shoulder piece”). Solution is E (i.e. “[musical] note”) followed by PAULETTE (i.e. “girl”).

35. A nice pure mixed philosophy student (9)

Answer: EPICUREAN (i.e. “philosophy student”). “Mixed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A NICE PURE.

36. Really like deer backing into large shrub (8)

Answer: TREASURE (i.e. “really like”). Solution is RUSA (i.e. “deer”) reversed (indicated by “backing”) and placed “into” TREE (i.e. “large shrub”), like so: TRE(ASUR)E.

37. Handle spades leaving access to mine (4)

Answer: HAFT (i.e. a “handle”). Solution is SHAFT (i.e. “entrance to mine”) with the S removed (indicated by “spades leaving”, S being a recognised abbreviation of “spades” used in card games).

39. Chap’s chasing leather function (7)

Answer: TANGENT (i.e. “[trigonometrical] function”). Solution is GENT (i.e. “chap”) placed after or “chasing” TAN (i.e. “leather”), like so: TAN-GENT.

41. Weak, like modern violins? (7)

Answer: GUTLESS (i.e. “weak”). Catgut, made from the intestines of sheep and other animals, was once used to create strings for musical instruments. “Like modern violins” refers to how they are, as it were, GUTLESS.

44. Inflicting of pain is wrongful act regularly hurried (7)

Answer: TORTURE (i.e. “inflicting of pain”). Solution is TORT (i.e. “wrongful act” – one I remember from a previous puzzle) followed by URE (i.e. “regularly hurried”, i.e. every other letter of HURRIED).

45. Mistake by noble moving slowly in seeking to restore old order (7-13)

Answer: COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY (i.e. “seeking to restore old order”). Solution is ERR (i.e. “mistake”) placed after or “by” COUNT (i.e. “noble”) and then followed by EVOLUTIONARY (i.e. “moving slowly”), like so: COUNT-ERR-EVOLUTIONARY.

49. Wine drink revealed secrets, draught being knocked back (7)

Answer: SANGRIA (i.e. “wine drink”). Solution is SANG (i.e. “revealed secrets”) followed by AIR (i.e. “draught”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “being knocked back”), like so: SANG-RIA.

50. Surprised being shown the way after second bitter (8)

Answer: STARTLED (i.e. “surprised”). Solution is LED (i.e. “being shown the way”) placed “after” S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) and TART (i.e. “bitter”), like so: S-TART-LED.

51. Is copper interrupting me for error? (6)

Answer: MISCUE (i.e. “error”, say, in snooker). Solution is IS and CU (chemical symbol of “copper”) placed in or “interrupting” ME, like so: M(IS-CU)E.

53. Up before court (5)

Answer: ERECT (i.e. “up”). Ooer missus, etc. Solution is ERE (i.e. poetic form of “before”) followed by CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”).

54. Through which one hears a murder has been arranged (7)

Answer: EARDRUM (i.e. “through which one hears”). “Has been arranged” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A MURDER.

55. Unfortunately no clue left us for body found in cell (9)

Answer: NUCLEOLUS, which, according to my Chambers, is a body with a cell nucleus. Not sure this quite equates to “body found in cell”, but there you go. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of NO CLUE, L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and US.

56. Two-faced tutor holds right over us (11)

Answer: TREACHEROUS (i.e. “two-faced”). Solution is TEACHER (i.e. “tutor”) wrapped around or “holding” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and followed by O (ditto “over”, used in cricket) and US, like so: T(R)EACHER-O-US.

57. Wrongly interpret consumerist modelling (11)

Answer: MISCONSTRUE (i.e. “wrongly interpret”). “Modelling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CONSUMERIST.

Down clues

1. Trunk must get right round in Spanish dance (6)

Answer: BOLERO (i.e. “Spanish dance”). Solution is BOLE (i.e. “[tree] trunk”), followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and O (i.e. “round”).

2. Tons managed military base about project moving elsewhere (15)

Answer: TRANSPLANTATION (i.e. “moving elsewhere”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”) followed by RAN (i.e. “managed”) and STATION (i.e. “military base”) once it has been placed “about” PLAN (i.e. “project”), like so: T-RAN-S(PLAN)TATION.

3. Impressive sight, organ has to provide around church (3-7)

Answer: EYE-CATCHER (i.e. “impressive sight”). Solution is EYE (i.e. “organ”) followed by CATER (i.e. “to provide”) once it has been placed “around” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: EYE-CAT(CH)ER.

4. Set up Japanese festivals for pretentious person (4)

Answer: SNOB (i.e. “pretentious person”). Solution is BONS (i.e. “Japanese festivals” – referring to a Buddhist festival held in Japan every August. A new one on me, but its Google-able) reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue).

5. Women tend to organise funding (9)

Answer: ENDOWMENT (i.e. “funding”). “To organise” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WOMEN TEND.

6. Caught during doing something to raise sunken ship (7)

Answer: TITANIC (i.e. “sunken ship”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in several ball games) followed by IN (i.e. “during”) and AT IT (i.e. “doing something”). Titter ye not, etc. The whole is then reversed (indicated by “raise”, this being a down clue), like so: TI-TA-NI-C.

7. Carefully examined cases entirely curved at the edges? (9)

Answer: SCALLOPED (i.e. “curved at the edges”). Solution is SCOPED (i.e. “carefully examined”) which is wrapped around or “encasing” ALL (i.e. “entirely”), like so: SC(ALL)OPED.

8. The French invested in vehicle patent (5)

Answer: CLEAR (i.e. “patent”). Solution is LE (i.e. “the French”, as in the masculine form of “the” in French) which is placed or “invested in” CAR (i.e. “vehicle”), like so: C(LE)AR.

9. What may be connected and favoured people went on horseback (9)

Answer: ELECTRODE (i.e. “what may be connected”). Solution is ELECT (i.e. the “favoured people”) followed by RODE (i.e. “went on horseback”).

10. Ineptly confuse us with a tail rhyme (12)

Answer: AMATEURISHLY (i.e. “ineptly”). “Confuse” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of US and A TAIL RHYME.

11. I’d one covered in one strange metal (7)

Answer: IRIDIUM (i.e. “metal”). Solution is I’D and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed or “covered in” I (“one”, again) and RUM (i.e. “strange”), like so: I-R(I’D-I)UM.

12. Even if finished, runs out (6)

Answer: THOUGH (i.e. “even if”). Solution is THROUGH (i.e. “finished”) with the R removed (indicated by “runs out” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games).

19. Open conflict over English code given away (8)

Answer: FREEWARE (i.e. “[program] code given away”). Solution is FREE (i.e. “open”) followed by WAR (i.e. “conflict”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”). “Over” indicates how the pieces are stacked over one another, this being a down clue.

21. Forever without regular income, foregoing whiskey (7)

Answer: AGELESS (i.e. “forever”). Solution is WAGELESS (i.e. “without regular income”) with the W removed (indicated by “foregoing whiskey”, being W in the phonetic alphabet).

22. Harsh and sharply caustic, quietly dismissed the French (8)

Answer: UNGENTLE (i.e. “harsh”). Solution is PUNGENT (i.e. “sharply caustic”) with the P removed (indicated by “quietly dismissed”, P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, which is “quietly” in musical lingo), and then followed by LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the masculine form of “the” in French), like so: UNGENT-LE.

23. Check temperature in centre of reactor’s vessel (8)

Answer: CORVETTE (i.e. “[sea] vessel”). Solution is VET (i.e. “check”) and T (a recognised abbreviation of “temperature”) placed “in” CORE (i.e. “centre of [nuclear] reactor”), like so: COR(VET-T)E.

25. “Uniform tango” incident (5)

Answer: EVENT (i.e. “incident”). Solution is EVEN (i.e. “uniform”) and T (“tango” in the phonetic alphabet).

27. Outside routine, run with dog in charge in rural ground (5-10)

Answer: EXTRA-CURRICULAR (i.e. “outside routine”). Solution is EXTRA (i.e. a “run” in cricket not scored by a batsman, such as those punishing wide deliveries) followed by CUR (i.e. “dog”) and IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”) once it has been placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “ground”) of RURAL, like so: EXTRA-CUR-R(IC)ULAR.

30. Bird is brown and silver tern with wings out (7)

Answer: TANAGER (i.e. “bird” – did a Google image search – Ooh, pretty!) Solution is TAN (i.e. “brown”) followed by AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) and ER (i.e. “tern with wings out”, i.e. the word TERN with the first and last letter removed), like so: TAN-AG-ER.

31. Anthem lacking an English subject (5)

Answer: THEME (i.e. “subject”). Solution is ANTHEM with the AN removed (indicated by “lacking an”) and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: THEM-E.

33. Broadcasts mistake in pilot’s destination? (8)

Answer: AIRSTRIP (i.e. “pilot’s destination”). Solution is AIRS (i.e. “broadcasts”) followed by TRIP (i.e. “mistake”).

34. Counting beans in cucurbit area ploughed up? (12)

Answer: BUREAUCRATIC (i.e. “counting beans”). “Ploughed up” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CUCURBIT AREA.

38. Odd manner of Scots physicist succeeded in Civil Service (10)

Answer: CRANKINESS (i.e. “odd manner”). Solution is William John Macquorn RANKINE (i.e. “Scottish physicist” – no, me neither) and S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) placed “in” CS (ditto “Civil Service”), like so: C(RANKINE-S)S.

40. Repetitive notes about a private meeting (4-1-4)

Answer: TETE-A-TETE (i.e. “private meeting”). Solution is TE TE TE TE (i.e. “repetitive notes” in the doh-ray-me style) placed “about” A, like so: TE-TE-(A)-TE-TE.

42. Reference like this includes Jacob’s brother Romeo (9)

Answer: THESAURUS (i.e. “reference”). Solution is THUS (i.e. “like this”) which is wrapped around or “including” ESAU (i.e. “Jacob’s brother” in the Bible) and R (“Romeo” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: TH(ESAU-R)US.

43. Author’s holding gold wine that’s sweet (9)

Answer: SAUTERNES (i.e. “wine that’s sweet”). Solution is Laurence STERNE (“author” of Tristram Shandy) wrapped around or “holding” AU (chemical symbol of “gold”), like so: S(AU)TERNES.

45. Bring together religious community that’s endless ecstasy (7)

Answer: CONVENE (i.e. “bring together”). Solution is CONVENT (i.e. “religious community”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “that’s endless”) and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of the drug “ecstasy”), like so: CONVEN-E.

46. Best I am in work with corporation (7)

Answer: OPTIMUM (i.e. “best”). Solution is I’M (a contraction of “I am”) placed “in” OP (a recognised abbreviation of “opus”, i.e. “work”. Also “operation”, I like to think) and TUM (i.e. “corporation”, an archaic word meaning the tummy often used by setters), like so: OP-T(I’M)UM.

47. Feature of a cult grabbing power (6)

Answer: ASPECT (i.e. “feature”). Solution is A SECT (i.e. “a cult”) wrapped around or “grabbing” P (a recognised abbreviation of “power), like so: A-S(P)ECT.

48. Make reduction, changing direction for tenant (6)

Answer: LESSEE (i.e. “tenant”). Solution is LESSEN (i.e. “make reduction”) with the N changed to E (indicated by “changing direction”, N and E being recognised abbreviations of “north” and “east” respectively).

50. Something ensuring really vigorous output, primarily (5)

Answer: SERVO. “Primarily” indicates the solution is derived by taking the initial letters of SOMETHING ENSURING REALLY VIGOROUS OUTPUT. Within the context of the clue, a SERVO is a system in which a mechanism gets a helping hand from a subsidiary mechanism to achieve more grunt, hence “something ensuring really vigorous output”.

52. Musical effect in nocturne Chopin put together (4)

Answer: ECHO (i.e. “musical effect”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: NOCTURN(E CHO)PIN.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1412

A simpler affair this week, though there was one clue that had me chewing over its solution for a while (ALIVE) and another that took me fuffing ages to decode (RECTITUDE). You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. (With luck I’ll have gotten the grid image right this week!)

As ever, some housekeeping before we launch into proceedings. If you have a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that has defeated you, then you might find my Just For Fun page a useful destination. If book reviews are your thing, then I have a few on my Reviews page to while away your time. Finally, if you’d like to while away a few minutes more, I have a short story to keep you entertained.

Right, enough of me-me-me. Let’s head to the solutions.

LP

Across clues

1. City Road swathed in mist after morning (9)

Answer: AMSTERDAM (i.e. “city”). Solution is RD (a recognised abbreviation of “road”) placed or “swathed in” STEAM (i.e. “mist”), and the whole following or placed “after” AM (i.e. “morning”), like so: AM-STE(RD)AM.

6. Doctor saw no end of torment? Just a little (7)

Answer: MODICUM (i.e. “a little”). Solution is MO (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Medical Officer) followed by DICTUM (i.e. “saw”, both words meaning a motto or saying) once the T has been removed (indicated by “no end of torment”, i.e. remove the last letter of “torment”), like so: MO-DICUM.

10. Verse in artistic gathering releasing new attack (5)

Answer: SALVO (i.e. “attack”). Solution is V (a recognised abbreviation of “verse”) placed in SALON (i.e. “artistic gathering”, being art exhibitions organised by French artistic academies) once the N has been removed (indicated by “releasing new”, N being a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: SAL(V)O.

13. Impassive fathers having suppressed energy, note (4-3)

Answer: DEAD-PAN (i.e. “impassive”). Solution is DAD and PA (i.e. “fathers”) wrapped around or “suppressing” E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and followed by N (ditto “note”), like so: D(E)AD-PA-N.

14. Hair preparation used by hairdresser in secret (5)

Answer: RINSE (i.e. “hair preparation”). “Used by” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: HAIRDRESSE(R IN SE)CRET.

15. Temporary accommodation? Local heading off unsure (9)

Answer: TENTATIVE (i.e. “unsure”). Solution is TENT (i.e. “temporary accommodation”) followed by NATIVE (i.e. “local”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “heading off”), like so: TENT-ATIVE.

16. Late view of main activity offering only a brief connection (5,4,4,2,3,5)

Answer: SHIPS THAT PASS IN THE NIGHT. Solution satisfies “late view of main activity” – main being another word for the sea – and “a brief connection”.

17. Match was recalled as an up-and-down affair (6)

Answer: SEESAW (i.e. “an up-and-down affair”). Solution is SEE (i.e. “match”, as in “I see your blah and raise you blah-blah“) followed by WAS reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: SEE-SAW.

18. Idle worker without a mahlstick? (4-4)

Answer: FREE-HAND. Solution satisfies “idle worker” and “without a mahlstick” – a mahlstick or maulstick is something a painter uses in order to steady their brush hand. Doing without would give them a free hand. You get the idea.

19. Satisfied after strike brought about a Parisian rampage (3,4)

Answer: RUN AMOK (i.e. “rampage”). Solution is OK (i.e. “satisfied”) placed “after” RAM (i.e. “strike”) once it has been “brought about” UN (i.e. “a Parisian”, i.e. the French for “a”), like so: R(UN)AM-OK.

22. Outrageous location of circus banner? (4-3-3)

Answer: OVER-THE-TOP. Solution satisfies “outrageous” and “location of circus banner”, playing on how circus venues are often called big tops.

23. Shop entices – deals being outrageous (12)

Answer: DELICATESSEN (i.e. “shop”). “Being outrageous” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ENTICES DEALS.

27. What you’d expect of a non-level playing field (5)

Answer: PITCH. Solution satisfies “playing field” and “non-level”, as in sloping down.

29. Try to get rid of small bird (7)

Answer: GOSLING (i.e. “small bird”, as in a young goose). Solution is GO (i.e. “try”) followed by SLING (i.e. “to get rid of”).

30. Party line given by newspaper carried by timid folk in the House? (8)

Answer: DOMICILE (i.e. “house” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is DO (i.e. “party”) followed by I (i.e. “newspaper”, recently flogged to The Daily Mail) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) once they have been placed in or “carried by” MICE (i.e. “timid folk”), like so: DO-MIC(I-L)E.

32. Big concert followed by capers, mostly (8)

Answer: GIGANTIC (i.e. “big”). Solution is GIG (i.e. “concert”) followed by ANTICS (i.e. “capers”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: GIG-ANTIC.

34. Head of information succeeding in capturing account with some uncertainty (7)

Answer: INEXACT (i.e. “with some uncertainty”). Solution is I (i.e. “head of information”, i.e. the first letter of “information”) followed by NEXT (i.e. “succeeding”) once it has been wrapped around or “capturing” AC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”), like so: I-NEX(AC)T.

36. Mostly in the dark about copper’s position (5)

Answer: LOCUS (i.e. “position”). Solution is LOST (i.e. “in the dark”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped “about” CU (chemical symbol of “copper”), like so: LO(CU)S.

39. Start up suddenly after vermin appearing in a South Australian city (5,7)

Answer: ALICE SPRINGS (i.e. “Australian city”). Solution is SPRING (i.e. “start up suddenly”) placed “after” LICE (i.e. “vermin”) and the whole then placed or “appearing in” A and S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”), like so: A-(LICE-SPRING)-S.

41. Evenly-matched situation ahead of game? One’s up for the attack? (10)

Answer: DRAWBRIDGE (i.e. “one’s up for the attack”). Solution is DRAW (i.e. “evenly-matched situation”) followed by or “ahead of” BRIDGE (i.e. “game”).

44. Trips? Unconscious after woozy state, we hear (4,3)

Answer: DAYS OUT (i.e. “trips”). Solution is OUT (i.e. “unconscious”) placed “after” a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of DAZE (i.e. “woozy state”).

46. Extravagant time tucking into source of booze? (8)

Answer: OPERATIC (i.e. “extravagant”). Solution is ERA (i.e. “time”) “tucked into” OPTIC (i.e. “source of booze”), like so: OP(ERA)TIC.

48. Coach seat initially reserved, occupied by husband (6)

Answer: SCHOOL (i.e. “coach”). Solution is S (i.e. “seat initially”, i.e. the first letter of “seat”) followed by COOL (i.e. “reserved [in nature]”) once it is wrapped around or “occupied by” H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”), like so: S-C(H)OOL.

50. Town academies, often disturbed with noise, getting similar treatment (1,5,2,4,3,8)

Answer: A TASTE OF ONE’S OWN MEDICINE (i.e. “getting similar treatment”). “Disturbed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOWN ACADEMIES OFTEN and NOISE. Also appeared at the start of the year.

53. The people vote, beset by hard claims for attention (3,6)

Answer: HOI POLLOI (i.e. “the people”). Solution is POLL (i.e. “vote”) placed in or “beset by” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils) and OI OI (i.e. “claims for attention”), like so: H-OI-(POLL)-OI.

54. Line occupying edge to edge (5)

Answer: SIDLE (i.e. “to edge”). Solution L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) placed in or “occupying” SIDE (i.e. “edge”), like so: SID(L)E.

55. Taking a position but abandoning street – it’s very wet (7)

Answer: POURING (i.e. “very wet”). Solution is POSTURING (i.e. “taking a position”) with the ST removed (indicated by “abandoning street” – ST being a recognised abbreviation of “street”).

56. Sail fixed after ambassador’s boarded (5)

Answer: SHEET (i.e. “sail”). Solution is HE (i.e. “ambassador”, specifically His Excellency) placed in or “boarding”) SET (i.e. “fixed”), like so: S(HE)ET.

57. Recalled one joining European train (7)

Answer: RETINUE (i.e. entourage or “train”). Solution is UNITER (i.e. “one joining”) reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”), like so: RETINU-E.

58. Protects latest from mole, controversially – stamping this on document? (3-6)

Answer: TOP-SECRET. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “controversially”) of PROTECTS and E (i.e. “latest for mole”, i.e. the last letter of “mole”). Within the context of the clue, a document from a spy or “mole” may well be stamped “top secret”.

Down clues

1. Some Europeans having day later in South American area (5)

Answer: ANDES (i.e. “South American area”). Solution is DANES (i.e. “some Europeans”) with the D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”) knocked back a few notches (indicated by “having…later”).

2. What’s still shocking? (6,11)

Answer: STATIC ELECTRICITY. Clue riffs on how STATIC can mean “still”. Electricity can “shock”. You get the idea.

3. By the way, NASA sent shot round Pluto at first (2,7)

Answer: EN PASSANT (i.e. “by the way” in French. This is a move in chess when a pawn is captured after making an initial move of two squares if an opposing pawn can immediately occupy the space it jumped over. Something like that, anyway.). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “shot”) of NASA SENT which is placed “round” P (i.e. “Pluto at first”, i.e. the first letter of “Pluto”), like so: EN(P)ASSANT.

4. Not clear about horse boat (6)

Answer: DINGHY (i.e. “boat”). Solution is DINGY (i.e. “not clear”) placed about H (a recognised abbreviation of “heroin”, also known as “horse”), like so: DING(H)Y.

5. Deserving suitor more free to embrace one (11)

Answer: MERITORIOUS (i.e. “deserving”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “free”) of SUITOR MORE wrapped around or “embracing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: MER(I)TORIOUS.

6. Old woman less dishevelled: she’s always looking for a chap? (3-5)

Answer: MAN-EATER (i.e. “she’s always looking for a chap”). Solution is MA (i.e. “old woman”) followed by NEATER (i.e. “less dishevelled”).

7. Pace picked up, with each occupying certain trenches? (4-3)

Answer: DEEP-SEA (i.e. “occupying certain trenches”). Solution is SPEED (i.e. “pace”) reversed (indicated by “picked up”, this being a down clue) and followed by EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”).

8. Decided what flowers to be pressed should be? (3,3,5)

Answer: CUT AND DRIED. Solution satisfies “decided” and “what flowers to be pressed should be”.

9. Wild behaviour involving a lot of agitation in part of China (9)

Answer: MANCHURIA (i.e. “part of China”). Solution is MANIA (i.e. “wild behaviour”) wrapped around or “involving” CHURN (i.e. “agitation”) once its final letter has been removed (indicated by “a lot of”), like so: MAN(CHUR)IA. One I got from the wordplay and a quick verify on Wikipedia, to be honest.

10. Quiet name adopted by nameless river (7)

Answer: SHANNON, the longest “river” in Ireland. Solution is SH (i.e. “quiet”) followed by ANON (i.e. “nameless”) once it has been wrapped around or “adopting” N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: SH-AN(N)ON.

11. Telling stories, very brief, without introduction (5)

Answer: LYING (i.e. “telling stories”). Solution is FLYING (i.e. “very brief”, as in a flying visit) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “without introduction”).

12. Getting the better of blatant forgery, handing out fine (10)

Answer: OVERTAKING (i.e. “getting the better of”). Solution is OVERT (i.e. “blatant”) and FAKING (i.e. “forgery”) once the F has been removed (indicated by “handing out fine”, F being a recognised abbreviation of “fine”), like so: OVERT-AKING.

17. Small worker’s organisation in news story (5)

Answer: SCOOP (i.e. “news story”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by CO-OP (i.e. “worker’s organisation”).

20. Compiled and misfired, getting confused about a grammatical solecism (9,8)

Answer: MISPLACED MODIFIER (i.e. “grammatical solecism” or error). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “getting confused”) of COMPILED and MISFIRED once they have been wrapped “about” A, like so: MISPL(A)CEDMODIFIER.

21. Hard cube – and one of its dimensions? (6)

Answer: HEIGHT (i.e. “one of [a cube’s] dimensions”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard”) followed by EIGHT (i.e. “cube”, being 2x2x2).

24. Picked up box containing silver bird (small) (6)

Answer: EAGLET (i.e. “bird (small)”, specifically a young eagle). Solution is TELE (i.e. “box”, both informal words for a television) reversed (indicated by “picked up” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around or “containing” AG (chemical symbol of “silver”), like so: E(AG)LET.

25. Times correspondent, initially taken in by evasive type, to do very well (5)

Answer: EXCEL (i.e. “to do very well”). Solution is X (i.e. “times”, as in the multiplication symbol) and C (i.e. “correspondent, initially”, i.e. the first letter of “correspondent”) both placed or “taken in by” EEL (i.e. “evasive type”), like so: E(X-C)EL.

26. Martian mission, very fancy, heading off (6)

Answer: VIKING (i.e. “Martian mission”, referring to the space probes sent to Mars during the 1970s). Solution is V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”) followed by LIKING (i.e. having a “fancy” for someone or something) once the initial letter has been removed (indicated by “heading off”), like so: V-IKING.

28. Afterlife mostly an upward movement? (5)

Answer: HEAVE (i.e. “an upward movement”). Solution is HEAVEN (i.e. “afterlife”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”).

31. French word applied to personal musical style (6)

Answer: MOTOWN (i.e. “musical style”). Solution is MOT (i.e. “French word”, i.e. the French for “word”) followed by OWN (i.e. “personal”).

33. Disco hit with pro dancing? One specialising in footwork (11)

Answer: CHIROPODIST (i.e. “one specialising in footwork”). “Dancing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DISCO HIT and PRO.

35. German train crashed in start of trial (11)

Answer: ARRAIGNMENT (i.e. “start of trial”). “Crashed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GERMAN TRAIN.

37. Period charm (5)

Answer: SPELL. Solution satisfies “period” and “[magical] charm”.

38. Alexander’s in possession of eight German beach vehicles (4,6)

Answer: SAND YACHTS (i.e. “beach vehicles”). Solution is SANDY’S (i.e. “Alexander’s” – Alexander is sometimes shortened to Sandy) wrapped around or “in possession of” ACHT (i.e. “eight German”, i.e. the German for “eight”), like so: SANDY(ACHT)’S.

40. Bestseller – or a range? (3-6)

Answer: POT-BOILER. Solution satisfies “bestseller” and “[cooking] range”.

42. Integrity? Full assurance requires two characters swapping places (9)

Answer: RECTITUDE (i.e. “integrity”). Solution is CERTITUDE (i.e. “full assurance”) with the R and C swapped (indicated by “two characters swapping places”).

43. Crowd loves Democrat appearing in subscriber channels (8)

Answer: CABOODLE (i.e. “crowd”). Solution is OO (i.e. “loves”, as in zero scores in tennis) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) placed or “appearing in” CABLE (i.e. “subscriber channels”), like so: CAB(OO-D)LE.

45. Frontier station intray won’t contain it (7)

Answer: OUTPOST (i.e. “frontier”). When written as OUT POST, the solution also satisfies “intray won’t contain it”.

47. American thinker: this writer elevated individual not wanting power (7)

Answer: Ralph Waldo EMERSON (i.e. “American thinker”). Solution is ME (i.e. “this writer”, taken from the point of view of the setter) reversed (indicated by “elevated” – this being a down clue) and followed by PERSON (i.e. “individual”) with the P removed (indicated by “not wanting power” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “power”), like so: EM-ERSON. Chalk this one to my Bradfords, given the quintillions of philosophers there have been over the years. (Slight exaggeration.)

49. Stop going to bed and peek? (4,2)

Answer: KEEP UP. Solution satisfies “stop going to bed” and, cryptically, “peek”, riffing on how PEEK is the reverse of KEEP, and how UP signals reversals in down clues. Nice!

51. A cut of meat, quick (5)

Answer: ALIVE (i.e. “quick”, as in being alive to a situation). Solution is A followed by LIVER (i.e. “meat”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “cut of”).

52. A number picked up article about serving American (5)

Answer: EIGHT (i.e. “a number”). Solution is THE (i.e. “article”, being a word like “the”, “a” or “an”) wrapped “about” GI (i.e. a solider or “serving American” of Government Issue), and the whole reversed (indicated by “picked up”, this being a down clue) and like so: E(IG)HT