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

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1411

A weird one this week, in that I solved most of the relatively easy clues at the beginning, unwittingly leaving all the bloody hard ones to the end. Sheesh, talk about a false sense of security! I got there in the end, I think, which is the main thing.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. Before we jump in, a spot of housekeeping: if you have a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s gotten one over you, then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page. If book reviews are your bag then I have the odd one on my Reviews page. I hope to have one up for Best New Horror 11 shortly(ish), as it’s been a while. Finally, if you’d like to read a short story of mine, then you can find one here.

Right, with that little lot out of the way, it’s straight on through to Answerville.

Till next time,

LP

Grid image corrected thanks to a comment from Sid on my About page. Thanks, Sid! – LP

Across clues

1. Open wide his cell, but not completely (7)

Answer: DEHISCE (i.e. “open wide”). “But not completely” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: WI(DE HIS CE)LL. Cool word, but a brute force of Chambers was needed to get it.

5. Mechanic’s grand when in better shape (3,6)

Answer: GAS FITTER (i.e. “mechanic”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”) followed by AS (i.e. “when”) and FITTER (i.e. “in better shape”).

10. Sunlight makes ozone gas, initially producing this? (4)

Answer: SMOG. “Initially” indicates the solution is derived by taking the first letters of SUNLIGHT MAKES OZONE GAS. Not sure of the science behind this one, but then I’m no scientist.

14. Until David is prepared to tour India, he’s not a team player (13)

Answer: INDIVIDUALIST (i.e. “he’s not a team player”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “prepared”) of UNTIL DAVID IS which is wrapped around or “touring” I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet). A clue that scans rather well.

15. Greeks exploited this devious foresight (4,5)

Answer: GIFT HORSE (i.e. “Greeks exploited this”, referring to the Trojan Horse used by the Greeks to infiltrate the city of Troy). “Devious” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FORESIGHT.

16. County with lots of money transferred electronically? (10)

Answer: DOWNLOADED (i.e. “transferred electronically”). Solution is DOWN (i.e. “[Irish] County”) followed by LOADED (i.e. “with loads of money”).

17. Remove police officers from allotment again as punishment (11)

Answer: RETRIBUTION (i.e. “punishment”). Not sure about this one, so watch out. I guess the solution is derived by “removing” some letters from RE(AT)TRIBUTION (i.e. “allotment again”), but I can’t see how AT gets you “police officers”.
[EDIT – Mick comes to the rescue in the comments, highlighting that the word ought to have been REDISTRIBUTION. If one removes DIS (being Detective Inspectors, i.e. “police officers”), you then get RETRIBUTION. Thanks, Mick! – LP]

18. Prominent feature of unfinished material (5)

Answer: CHINO (i.e. “material”). Solution is CHIN (i.e. “prominent feature”) followed by O (i.e. “of unfinished”, i.e. the word “of” with the last letter removed).

19. As many plays are to Mike touring revolutionary Havana (10)

Answer: TRAGICOMIC (i.e. “as many plays are”). Solution is TO and MIC (i.e. “Mike”, both recognised words for a microphone) wrapped around or “touring” CIGAR (i.e. “Havana”) which is reversed (indicated by “revolutionary”), like so: T(RAGIC)O-MIC.

21. Cleverly obtain women’s view (6)

Answer: WANGLE (i.e. “cleverly obtain”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “women”) and ANGLE (i.e. “view”).

23. Fine old important ass with no name (4-5)

Answer: OKEY-DOKEY (i.e. “fine”, as in a word of assent). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by KEY (i.e. “important”) and DONKEY (i.e. “ass”) with the N removed (indicated by “no name” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: O-KEY-DOKEY.

25. Start university owing money? (5)

Answer: DEBUT (i.e. “start”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) placed in DEBT. The “owing money” bit plays on how the U is placed “in DEBT” to derive the solution. You get the idea.

26. A copper breaking up rave’s beaming (7)

Answer: RADIANT (i.e. “beaming”). Solution is A DI (i.e. “a copper”, specifically a Detective Inspector) placed in or “breaking up” RANT (i.e. “rave”), like so: R(A-DI)ANT.

28. Top sailor and German worker make more than enough (13)

Answer: SUPERABUNDANT (i.e. “more than enough”). Solution is SUPER (i.e. “top”) followed by AB (i.e. “sailor”, specifically one of the Able Bodied variety) then UND (i.e. “and German”, i.e. the German for “and”) and ANT (i.e. “worker”).

31. Drop two drinks containing last of gin (9)

Answer: DOWNSWING (i.e. “drop”). Solution is DOWN and SWIG (i.e. “two drinks”) wrapped around or “containing” N (i.e. “last of gin”, i.e. the last letter of “gin”), like so: DOWN-SWI(N)G.

33. American sent back a strong beer brought in for each fan (9)

Answer: SUPPORTER (i.e. “fan”). Solution can be US (i.e. “American”) reversed (indicated by “sent back”) and PORTER (i.e. “a strong beer”) once P (i.e. “for each”, or per – I’m guessing the setter has “per annum” in mind here, often shortened to “pa”, but in isolation this is not an abbreviation of “per” that is recognised by my Chambers) is “brought in” between them, like so: SU-(P)-PORTER. Alternatively, if you pretend for a moment that the setter’s screwed up, that PORT is a strong beer and not fortified wine, then you could place it in PER (being “for each”), like so: SU-P(PORT)ER. Either way, this ain’t great. Next!!!

35. Called bully regularly in Euston, say, for using throttle (13)

Answer: STRANGULATION (i.e. “using throttle”). Solution is RANG (i.e. “called [on the telephone]”) and UL (i.e. “bully regularly”, i.e. every other letter of BULLY) placed “in” STATION (i.e. “Euston, say”), like so: ST(RANG-UL)ATION.

37. You brought in coffee and baby’s clothing (7)

Answer: LAYETTE (i.e. “baby’s clothing”). Solution is YE (i.e. ye olde “you”) placed “in” LATTE (i.e. “coffee”), like so: LA(YE)TTE. Another go-to solution for setters it seems, having recently appeared here and here.

38. Cunning servicemen open case of claret (5)

Answer: CRAFT (i.e. “cunning”). Solution is RAF (i.e. “servicemen”, specifically the Royal Air Force) placed in or “opening” CT (i.e. “case of claret”, i.e. the first and last letters of “claret”), like so: C(RAF)T.

40. Check what golfer does on tee to try out buggy? (4,5)

Answer: TEST DRIVE. Solution is TEST (i.e. “[to] check”) followed by DRIVE (i.e. “what golfer does on tee”). Test drives are taken in motor vehicles by prospective owners in order to “try them out”. A golf “buggy” might be one such vehicle, at a stretch. You get the idea.

42. Charge the German for trough (6)

Answer: FEEDER (i.e. “trough”). Solution is FEE (i.e. “charge”) followed by DER (i.e. “the German”, i.e. the German for “the”).

44. Angle to pay for drink, including duck (10)

Answer: STANDPOINT (i.e. “angle”). Solution is STAND PINT (i.e. “to pay for drink”) wrapped around or “including” O (i.e. “duck”, being a zero score in cricket), like so: STAND-P(O)INT.

46. Republican university withdraws race (5)

Answer: RELAY (i.e. “race”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) followed by YALE (i.e. “[American] university”) which is reversed (indicated by “withdraws”), like so: R-ELAY.

48. Study society involved in racket with your authority (11)

Answer: CONNOISSEUR (i.e. “authority”). Another one I’m not 100% on, so watch out. Solution is CON (an archaic word for “study” often used by setters) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”) once it has been placed or “involved” in NOISE (i.e. “racket”). I’m guessing the setter then means UR to be “your”, to then make CON-NOIS(S)E-UR, but this usage isn’t supported by any of my assorted reference books. If the intention was a contraction of “you are”, then 1) “you’re” is not the same as “your”, and 2) some kind of homophone indicator should have been used. So are we allowing textspeak now, setters, or am I missing something? Hmm. Given my recent form, the latter is a possibility…
[EDIT – After sneaking a look in a few other dictionaries, I see the latest Oxford lists UR as an abbreviation of “your”. Shame, Oxford! Shame! (Rings bell.) – LP]

50. Goods in a recession ignoring City’s hostility (10)

Answer: AGGRESSION (i.e. “hostility”). Solution is GG (i.e. “goods” – G is a recognised abbreviation of “good”, so GG would be the plural “goods”) placed “in” A RECESSION once the letters EC have been removed (indicated by “ignoring City” – EC is the post code area of the City of London), like so: A(GG)RESSION.

52. Gentleman calling for taxi briskly, good to go (9)

Answer: CABALLERO (i.e. a Spanish “gentleman”). Solution is CAB (i.e. “taxi”) followed by ALLEGRO (i.e. “fast” in musical lingo) once the G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) has been removed, like so: CAB-ALLERO.

53. Run new article about outcome of WWIII? (7,6)

Answer: NUCLEAR WINTER (i.e. “outcome of WWIII”). “About” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RUN NEW ARTICLE.

54. First female premier’s right wing, still (4)

Answer: EVER (i.e. “still”). Solution is EVE (i.e. “[Biblical] first female”) followed by R (i.e. “premier’s right wing”, i.e. the last letter of “premier”).

55. Baked bits and pieces bits Kitty dumps across river (9)

Answer: POTSHERDS, which, in archaeological terms, are fragments of pottery (i.e. “baked bits and pieces”). Solution is POT (i.e. “kitty” as in a pot of money – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by SHEDS (i.e. “dumps”) once it has been wrapped around or placed “across” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: POT-SHE(R)DS. A new word on me, but not one I can see using in conversation anytime ever. Also, the second mention of “bit” seems redundant, unless it’s supposed to qualify “kitty” – bits being another word for coins. Given that the second “bit” doesn’t scan at all well within the clue, I’m guessing this is an editor fail.

56. Battle colour (7)

Answer: MAGENTA. Solution satisfies “battle” – referring to the Battle of Magenta fought during the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859 (so says Wikipedia, anyway) – and “colour”.

Down clues

1. Stage cow, perhaps, with no tail (4)

Answer: DAIS (i.e. “stage”). Another where the setter shakes me off, so be aware. My best guess is that the solution is derived from DAISY with the last letter removed (indicated by “with no tail”), but I’m not getting how this is a “cow, perhaps”. There’s probably some enormous neon-lit cultural reference I’m missing somewhere.

2. Extremely happy vet maybe with leather needing horse compound (9)

Answer: HYDROXIDE (i.e. “compound” of hydrogen and oxygen). Solution is HY (i.e. “extremely happy”, i.e. the first and last letters of “happy”) followed by DR (a recognised abbreviation of doctor, i.e. “vet maybe”) and OX HIDE (i.e. “leather”) with the H removed (indicated by “needing horse” – H being a recognised abbreviation of heroin, also known as “horse”), like so: HY-DR-OX-IDE.

3. Son still muses on mundane old edifices, including a lighthouse (5,7,2,3,5)

Answer: SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (i.e. “old edifices, including a lighthouse” – the latter referring to the Lighthouse of Alexandria). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by EVEN (i.e. “still” – 54a has EVER being “still”, 3d has EVEN being “still” – both work), then WONDERS (i.e. “muses on”) and OF THE WORLD (i.e. “mundane”).

4. Final violent demonstration missing quota (7)

Answer: ENDMOST (i.e. “final”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “violent”) of DEMONSTRATION once the RATION has been removed (indicated by “missing quota”).

5. King George with cleric going round Yankee landmark (5,6)

Answer: GRAND CANYON (i.e. “landmark”). Solution is GR (i.e. “King George” or Georgius Rex in Latin) followed by AND (i.e. “with”) and CANON (i.e. “cleric”) once it has been placed “around” Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: GR-AND-CAN(Y)ON.

6. Cool GP, seen running round getting dehydrated fast? (4-5)

Answer: SPIN-DRIED (i.e. “getting dehydrated fast”, or at least faster than being left out in the open). Solution is SPIED (i.e. “seen”) placed “round” IN (i.e. hip and happening and “cool”) and DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”, i.e. “GP” or General Practitioner), like so: SP(IN-DR)IED.

7. Season without wife’s place in ground (5)

Answer: INTER (i.e. “place in ground”). Solution is WINTER (i.e. “season”) with the W removed (indicated by “without wife” – W being a recognised abbreviation of “wife”).

8. Grasping digits the FT put about (11)

Answer: TIGHTFISTED (i.e. “grasping”). “Put about” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DIGITS THE FT.

9. Fliers on female, one supported by a hat-maker (6)

Answer: RAFFIA (i.e. “hat-maker”. It is also used to make other things, like mats and baskets.) Solution is RAF (i.e. “fliers”) followed by F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and A. The “supported by” bit relates to how these pieces are all stacked on top of the final A, this being a down clue.

11. Greeting old seafarers in China (7)

Answer: MORNING (i.e. “greeting” – hoo boy, the swearing when this finally clicked!) Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and RN (i.e. “seafarers”, specifically the Royal Navy) placed “in” MING (i.e. “china” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: M(O-RN)ING.

12. A degree in martial arts restricted building here (5,4)

Answer: GREEN BELT. Solution satisfies “a degree in martial arts” and “restricted building here”.

13. Somehow understanding solids has special relish (8,6,8)

Answer: THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING (i.e. “relish”). Both “somehow” and “special” appear to be anagram indicators here, which seems a tad excessive. Unless thousand island dressing is indeed “special”. Never tried it. Solution is an anagram of UNDERSTANDING SOLIDS HAS. An easier get, having appeared in a previous grid.

18. Rich man’s wrinkles mentioned? (7)

Answer: CROESUS (i.e. “rich man”). “Mentioned” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CREASES (i.e. “wrinkles”). Another easier get, having appeared in a previous grid.

20. Troops maybe fly spacecraft (7)

Answer: ORBITER (i.e. “spacecraft”). Solution is OR (i.e. “troops”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) followed by BITER (i.e. “maybe fly”. Other biters are available.)

22. Mature people occasionally want to enter gangs (5-3)

Answer: GROWN-UPS (i.e. “mature people”). Solution is WN (i.e. “occasionally want”, i.e. every other letter of WANT) placed in or “entering” GROUPS (i.e. “gangs”), like so: GRO(WN)UPS.

24. Royal couple, taking in current blitz, left out US meddler (8)

Answer: KIBITZER, which is a Yiddish word used in the “US” to describe someone who interferes or gives unwanted advice, i.e. “meddler”. No, me neither. Solution is K and ER (i.e. “royal couple”, being recognised abbreviations of “king” and “Elizabeth Regina” respectively) wrapped around or “taking in” I (a recognised abbreviation for an electrical “current”) and BLITZ once the L has been removed (indicated by “left out” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “left”), like so: K-(I-BITZ)-ER.

27. Defence one entered, jumping bail (5)

Answer: ALIBI (i.e. “defence”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “entering” an anagram (indicated by “jumping”) of BAIL, like so: AL(I)BI.

29. Drug source, old man with paltry margins (5)

Answer: POPPY (i.e. “drug source”). Solution is POP (i.e. “old man”, both informal descriptions of one’s father) followed by PY (i.e. “paltry margins”, i.e. the first and last letters of “paltry”).

30. Volunteers in sailor’s home don’t drink (7)

Answer: ABSTAIN (i.e. “don’t drink”). Solution is TA (i.e. “volunteers”, specifically the Territorial Army) placed “in” between AB’S (i.e. “sailor’s” – as mentioned earlier, AB is an Able-Bodied seaman) and IN (i.e. “home”), like so: AB’S-(TA)-IN.

32. Armaments chap holding notes and ruler (7)

Answer: GUNNERY (i.e. “armaments”). Solution is GUY (i.e. “chap”) wrapped around or “holding” NN (i.e. “notes” – N is a recognised abbreviation of “note”, so NN makes a pair of “notes”) and ER (i.e. “ruler”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: GU(NN-ER)Y.

34. Hack to back her to make waves (4,3,4)

Answer: ROCK THE BOAT (i.e. “make waves”). “Hack” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TO BACK HER TO.

36. Vacuum old object found in northern loch (11)

Answer: NOTHINGNESS (i.e. “vacuum”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and THING (i.e. “object”) placed or “found in” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”) and NESS (i.e. “loch”), like so: N-(O-THING)-NESS.

37. Everyone goes through this lithium and iron carrier (4,5)

Answer: LIFE CYCLE (i.e. “everyone goes through this”). Solution is LI (chemical symbol of “lithium”) and FE (ditto “iron”) followed by CYCLE (i.e. “carrier”, referring to a bicycle).

39. Noisy performer hit reindeer (3-6)

Answer: TAP-DANCER (i.e. “noisy performer”). Solution is TAP (i.e. “hit”) followed by DANCER (i.e. “[Santa Claus’s] reindeer”).

41. I will try Times nurse acquired under the counter? (3-6)

Answer: ILL-GOTTEN (i.e. “acquired under the counter”). Solution is I’LL (a contraction of “I will”) followed by GO (i.e. “try”, as in have a go), then TT (i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation. T is a recognised abbreviation of “time”, and as we’ve seen a number of times, this week’s setter likes to use plurals to indicate repeated letters, so “times” becomes TT) and EN (i.e. “nurse”, specifically an Enrolled Nurse), like so: I’LL-GO-TT-EN.

43. Maybe make peeress some genteel bonnets in retirement (7)

Answer: ENNOBLE (i.e. “maybe make peeress”). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “in retirement” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: GENTE(EL BONNE)TS.

45. Formula of The Golden Mean? Recall first half only (7)

Answer: THEOREM (i.e. “formula”). Solution is THE followed by OR (i.e. “golden” in heraldry) and ME (i.e. “mean … first half only”) which is reversed (indicated by “recall”), like so: THE-OR-EM.

47. A former PM’s getting up numb (6)

Answer: ASLEEP (i.e. “numb”). Solution is A followed by Robert PEEL’S (i.e. “former PM’s” – PM being Prime Minister) which is reversed (indicated by “getting up” – this being a down clue), like so: A-S’LEEP.

49. Spread limb, ignoring breadth (5)

Answer: RANCH (i.e. “spread”). Solution is BRANCH (i.e. “limb” of a tree) with the B removed (indicated by “ignoring breadth” – B being a recognised abbreviation of “breadth”).

51. Swimmer that completes two of the Balearics (4)

Answer: ORCA, a.k.a. a killer whale (i.e. “swimmer”). “That completes two of the Balearics” refers to MajORCA and MallORCA. Another repeated solution, this time from last month.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1410

Another tricky bugger this week, with exotic solutions all over the place. Another good one, on reflection, though I didn’t think so while in the thick of it! I think I got there in the end. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

In time honoured fashion, a spot of housekeeping before we jump in. If you have a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s looking a bit gappy then you might find my Just For Fun page the cat’s pyjamas. While I’ve got you here, how about a book review or two? Or a short story, maybe? (You don’t ask, you don’t get…)

And so to the answers. See you next time.

LP

A big thank you to Richard in the comments for the correction – LP

 

Across clues

1. Reach crisis point? Wake up! (4,2,1,4)

Answer: COME TO A HEAD (i.e. “reach crisis point”). “Wake up” also satisfies COME TO. A bit of a scruffy half-finished clue.
[EDIT: Thanks to Barry in the comments for decoding this one further, in that “wake” satisfies COME TO, while “up” satisfies AHEAD. Cheers, Barry! – LP]

7. He’s one United put in control (6)

Answer: HELIUM. (“He” is the chemical symbol of helium.) Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one” and U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”) “put in” HELM (i.e. “control”), like so: HEL(I-U)M.

10. Not a thing associated with involuntary movement of the ear? (4)

Answer: OTIC (i.e. “of the ear”). Solution is O (i.e. “not a thing”, i.e. zero) followed by TIC (i.e. “involuntary movement”).

14. Doctor’s endless search for places to pray (7)

Answer: MOSQUES (i.e. “places to pray”). Solution is MO’S (i.e. “doctor’s” – specifically a Medical Officer) followed by QUEST (i.e. “search”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endless”), like so: MOS-QUES.

15. Fifty-peseta contracts for work as printer (7)

Answer: TYPESET (i.e. “work as printer”). “Contracts” indicates the solution is hidden within FIF(TY-PESET)A.

16. Green diesel, maybe, turning blue if old (7)

Answer: BIOFUEL (i.e. “green diesel, maybe”, as in eco-friendly diesel). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “turning”) of BLUE IF and O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”).

17. Story in French of a skating hazard claiming archdeacon (5,2,6)

Answer: DEATH IN VENICE, a “story” by Thomas Mann. Solution is DE (i.e. “in French of”, i.e. the French for “of”) followed by A, then THIN ICE (i.e. “skating hazard”) once it has been wrapped around or “claiming” VEN (i.e. “archdeacon”, being a recognised abbreviation of “venerable”), like so: DE-A-THIN-(VEN)-ICE.

18. Pants ladies and gents put on itch (4,5)

Answer: LONG JOHNS (i.e. “pants”). Solution is JOHNS (i.e. “ladies and gents [toilets]”) placed “on” or after LONG (i.e. to yearn or “itch”).

19. Girl’s watch in red from Latin America (5)

Answer: CHLOE (i.e. “girl”). Solution is LO (i.e. “watch” or see, as in lo and behold) placed “in” CHE (i.e. “red from Latin America”, specifically Che Guevara), like so: CH(LO)E.

21. One into renewable energy, local veg? (3-7)

Answer: ECO-VILLAGE. Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “renewable”) of E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and LOCAL VEG, like so: ECOV(I)LLAGE. Within the context of the clue, an eco-village would indeed be into renewable energy.

23. Pattern of fur, silver, revealed by one (6)

Answer: AGOUTI (i.e. “pattern of fur” – also a big-assed rat). Solution is AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) followed by OUT (i.e. “revealed”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”). Unsurprisingly, this was one gotten solely from the wordplay.

25. Cutting plants, as Don Quixote once did on the plain (8)

Answer: SAWMILLS (i.e. “cutting plants”). When read as SAW MILLS the solution also satisfies “as Don Quixote once did on the plain”, referring to his tilting (jousting) with imaginary enemies, coined as “tilting at windmills”. It says here.

26. Park in Paris, close to chateau – soon be obliged to move (4,2,8)

Answer: BOIS DE BOULOGNE (i.e. “park in Paris”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to move”) of U (i.e. “close to chateau”, i.e. the last letter of “chateau”) and SOON BE OBLIGED. Another one gotten solely from the wordplay, and only once most of the intersecting letters were solved.

29. Drop of drink, after song (3,4)

Answer: LAY DOWN (i.e. “drop”). Solution is DOWN (i.e. “[to] drink”) placed “after” LAY (i.e. “song”).

30. Word that’s silly name adopted by posh people (9)

Answer: ASSURANCE (i.e. “word”, as in “my word is my bond”). Solution is ASS (i.e. “[one] that’s silly”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) once it has been placed in or “adopted by” U (i.e. “posh” – as in a recognised abbreviation of the upper classes in general) and RACE (i.e. “people”), like so: ASS-U-RA(N)CE.

31. Drag people in front of film – to watch here? (2,3)

Answer: TV SET (i.e. “film – to watch here”). Solution is TVS (i.e. “drag people”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of transvestites) placed “in front of ” ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra-Terrestrial).

32. Word of praise in first half for Manchester’s players (5)

Answer: HALLE (i.e. “Manchester’s players”, as in the Halle Orchestra). Solution is the “first half” of HALLELUIAH (i.e. “word of praise”). An easier get than it ought to have been owing to Halle’s appearance in a recent puzzle.

34. Island in Med, large, hyped by America (9)

Answer: LAMPEDUSA (i.e. “island in Med”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) followed by AMPED (i.e. “hyped”) and USA (i.e. “America”). Another one from my Bradfords.

37. In general, duck passes for gander (4-3)

Answer: LOOK-SEE (i.e. “gander”). Solution is LEE (i.e. “general”, as in the car the Dukes of Hazzard buggered about in. That’s all, I think. (Checks history books.) Ohhhhh…) with O (i.e. “duck”, as in a zero score in cricket) and OKS (i.e. okays or “passes”) placed “inside” like so: L(O-OKS)EE.

39. Protected from rain, say, if picked up and quietly covered (14)

Answer: WEATHERPROOFED (i.e. “protected from rain, say”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of WHETHER (i.e. “if”) followed by P (i.e. “quietly”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, which is “quiet” in musical lingo) and ROOFED (i.e. “covered”).

41. Prolific poet failing to finish on a roll (8)

Answer: ABUNDANT (i.e. “prolific”). Solution is DANTE Alighieri (i.e. “poet”) with his final letter trimmed (indicated by “failing to finish”) placed “on” or after A BUN (i.e. “a roll”), like so: A-BUN-DANT.

43. Patriarch exercises back, cracking rib (6)

Answer: JOSEPH (i.e. “[Biblical] patriarch”). Solution is PE (i.e. “exercises”, specifically Physical Education) reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed in or “cracking” JOSH (i.e. “[to] rib”), like so: JOS(EP)H.

44. After ripping up my card, I left party (5,5)

Answer: PLAID CYMRU (i.e. “[political] party”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “after ripping”) of UP MY CARD I and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”).

45. Mostly, spa hotel area is for the stars (5)

Answer: HYDRA (i.e. “for the stars”, referring to the Hydra constellation). Solution is HYDRO (i.e. “spa hotel”, short for a hydropathic establishment – chalk one to my Bradfords here) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and followed by A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: HYDR-A.

48. Eccentric Dickens characters starting on lamb and cheese (9)

Answer: CAMBOZOLA (i.e. “cheese” – another win for the Bradfords here… I doubt my local Tesco Express stocks it). Solution is CAM (i.e. “eccentric” – this could be an alternate spelling of KAM, meaning “awry” (no, me neither), but this feels weaker than a cup of unnervingly milky tea) followed by BOZ (the name Charles “Dickens’s” pen name he used for his early published work) then O-L-A (i.e. “characters starting on lamb and”, i.e. the initial letters of “on”, “lamb” and “and”).
[EDIT: Barry comes to the rescue, lighting on “eccentric” in an engineering sense, citing the CAM shafts of an engine as an example. Thanks again, Barry! – LP]

49. Unassisted TV broadcast outside ending in panic and disorder (2,6,5)

Answer: ST VITUS’S DANCE, a disease or “disorder” also known as Sydenham’s Chorea, resulting in the uncontrollable jerking of the hands, face and feet. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “broadcast”) of UNASSISTED TV placed “outside” of C (i.e. “ending in panic”, i.e. the last letter of “panic”). Another one gotten from a combination of wordplay and a brute force of my Chambers once I’d solved most of the intersecting letters.

51. Half our capital: two grand to keep in yen (7)

Answer: LONGING (i.e. “yen”). Solution is LON (i.e. “half our capital” – The Times being an English newspaper, this would be the first half of LONDON) followed by G and G (i.e. “two grand” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “grand”) once they have been wrapped around or “keeping” IN, like so: LON-G-(IN)-G.

52. Small child can count on granny, ultimately (4,3)

Answer: TINY TOT (i.e. “small child”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “can”, as in a tin can) and TOT (i.e. “count”), the latter placed “on” or after Y (i.e. “granny, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “granny”), like so: TIN-Y-TOT.

53. Notes Home Counties firm concealing tax returns (7)

Answer: OCTAVES (i.e. “[musical] notes”). Solution is SE (i.e. “Home Counties”, referring to the South East of England) and CO (i.e. “firm”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “company”) which are wrapped around or “concealing” VAT (i.e. “tax”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “returns”), like so: OC-(TAV)-ES. Nicely worked.

54. Welshman’s huffing and puffing, say, putting me out (4)

Answer: RHYS (i.e. “Welshman”). Solution is RHYMES (indicated by “huffing and puffing, say”) with the ME removed (indicated by “putting me out”).

55. Jazz can be so beneficial: understandable say, on vacation (6)

Answer: BLUESY (i.e. “jazz can be”). “On vacation” indicates the solution is derived by removing all the middle letters from BENEFICIAL, UNDERSTANDABLE and SAY.

56. They’re carried by women: one visiting Oz a lot (7,4)

Answer: DOROTHY BAGS (i.e. “they’re carried by women”). “One visiting Oz a lot” refers to DOROTHY, central character of The Wizard of Oz. Another scruffy half-finished clue, it seems. As the scruffy clues represent the first and last of the across clues, maybe this was intentional by the setter for some reason.
[EDIT: A few commenters have helped clarify this one further both here and on my About page. As with 1a, I needed to break the clue down a bit more, in that DOROTHY satisfied “one visiting Oz”, while “a lot” satisfied BAGS. Thanks, all – LP]

Down clues

1. Not the only one to treat you as a joke? (7)

Answer: COMEDIC (i.e. “as a joke”). When read as CO-MEDIC, the solution also satisfies “not the only one to treat you”. A clue that scans rather well.

2. Virginia’s work, turning over boy’s room: mean, indeed (3,8)

Answer: MRS DALLOWAY (i.e. “Virginia [Woolf]’s work”). Solution is LAD’S RM (i.e. “boy’s room” – RM being a recognised abbreviation of “room”) reversed (indicated by “turning over”) and followed by LOW (i.e. “mean” or nasty) and AY (i.e. “indeed”, as in a word of assent), like so: (MR-SDAL)-LOW-AY.

3. Old Testament book at the heart of Matthew’s gospel (5)

Answer: TRUTH (i.e. “gospel”). Solution is RUTH (i.e. “Old Testament book”) placed under or “at” T (i.e. “the heart of Matthew”, i.e. the middle letter of “Matthew”), like so: T-RUTH.

4. Presumably no accompanying letter (8,8)

Answer: ABSENTEE LANDLORD, a “letter” who lives well away from their properties (indicated by “presumably no accompanying”).

5. Apartment resold, after narrowing floor (8)

Answer: ENTRESOL, which is French for a mezzanine (i.e. “floor”). “After narrowing” indicates the solution is hidden within APARTM(ENT RESOL)D. Another one gotten purely from the wordplay, and again only once I’d solved most of the intersecting letters.

6. Deceiving political party not quite legal, as we see it (11)

Answer: DUPLICITOUS (i.e. “deceiving”). Solution is DUP (i.e. “political party”) followed by LICIT (i.e. “legal”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not quite”) and followed by TO US (i.e. “as we see it”), like so: DUP-LICI-TO-US.

7. Rush, once you’ve got close to home (5)

Answer: HASTE (i.e. “rush”). Solution is HAST (i.e. “once you’ve got”, i.e. ye olde “you’ve got”, as in “Cor, thou hast a crackyng payre, Bettina.”; “Ooh, saucy!” Carry On Henry (1971)… probably) followed by E (i.e. “close to home”, i.e. the last letter of “home”).

8. Visitor from afar supposedly appearing to allow safe passage? (6,5,3)

Answer: LITTLE GREEN MAN. Solution satisfies “visitor from afar supposedly”, alluding to a space alien. The Times being a UK paper, the solution also satisfies “appearing to allow safe passage”, alluding to the green man symbol that appears when it’s safe to step out on a road crossing.

9. Courteous short text accusing a pest? (6)

Answer: URBANE (i.e. “courteous”). “Short text” indicates the solution can also be read as U R BANE, or “you are bane”, i.e. “accusing a pest”. Yeah, I’m not a fan of this one either.

11. Hint book is needed for linesmen (5,6)

Answer: TOUCH JUDGES (i.e. “linesmen” in a game of rugby). Solution is TOUCH (i.e. “hint”) followed by JUDGES (a “book” of the Old Testament).

12. Huge figures in army officer circles, one’s reflected (7)

Answer: COLOSSI (i.e. “huge figures”). Solution is COL (i.e. “army officer”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a colonel) followed by OS (i.e. “circles”) and IS (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one” – ignore the misleading possessive), the latter once it has been reversed (indicated by “reflected”), like so: COL-OS-SI.

13. Marriage of prisoner by prison wall, on the inside (8)

Answer: CONJUGAL (i.e. “marriage”). Solution is CON (i.e. “prisoner”) followed by JUG (i.e. “prison” – I remembered this alternative meaning from a previous puzzle) and middle letters of WALL (indicated by “on the inside”), like so: CON-JUG-AL.

20. European poised for throwing event (7)

Answer: EPISODE (i.e. “event”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “for throwing”) of E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) and POISED.

22. I’ve gone down: but I’ll be up in 5! (5)

Answer: LOSER (i.e. “I’ve gone down”). “But I’ll be up in 5” indicates the solution can also be found reversed in 5 down, ENT(RESOL). (“Up” often indicates reversals in down clues.)

24. Delights perhaps in Tory election victory drama (5,7,4)

Answer: LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST. Solution satisfies “drama” by William Shakespeare and, with the removal of the first apostrophe, also “delights perhaps in Tory election victory”.

25. Scoff after female makes you jump and turn (7)

Answer: SALCHOW (i.e. “jump and turn [in figure skating]” – ah, so that’s how it’s spelled). Solution is CHOW (i.e. “scoff”) placed “after” SAL (i.e. “female”), like so: SAL-CHOW.

27. Petition opening briefly put an end to fast? (7)

Answer: ENTREAT (i.e. “petition”). Solution is ENTRY (i.e. “opening”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and then followed by EAT (i.e. “put an end to fast”), like so: ENTR-EAT.

28. Something comforting, said cornerpiece, in grand residence (8,6)

Answer: BALMORAL CASTLE (i.e. “grand residence”). Solution is BALM (i.e. “something comforting”) followed by ORAL (i.e. “said”) and CASTLE (i.e. “cornerpiece” at the start of a game of chess).

31. Nick would only be a quarter as long? (3-4)

Answer: TWO-INCH. Solution alludes to “half-inch”, which is Cockney rhyming slang for “pinch” i.e. to “nick” something. A half-inch is “a quarter as long” as two inches. You get the idea.

33. Analyse mood that’s transformed uncouth rich kid? (11)

Answer: LOADSAMONEY, one of comedian Harry Enfield’s characters, mocking the yuppies and “uncouth rich kids” of the 1980s. I’ll admit I was surprised to find it in the dictionary! Anyway, “that’s transformed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ANALYSE MOOD.

35. What triggers eating complaint, or longer illness? (1,4)

Answer: E COLI, a nasty “illness”-inducing bug. “What triggers” indicates the solution can be derived from the starts of EATING COMPLAINT OR LONGER ILLNESS. Another nicely worked clue.

36. Third of income tax due. Evan’s wrong? Not so mine! (11)

Answer: UNEXCAVATED (i.e. “not so mine” – I mean, yeah, I get it, ish, but this is weak). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wrong”) of C (i.e. “third of income”, i.e. the third letter of “income”) and TAX DUE EVAN.

38. Some of European’s small capitals also in a way classical (11)

Answer: SCANDINAVIA (i.e. “some of Europe[an]”). Solution is SC (a recognised abbreviation of “small capitals” used in printing) followed by AND (i.e. “also”) then IN A and VIA (i.e. “way classical”, i.e. the Latin for “way”), like so: SC-AND-IN-A-VIA. A clue that scans rather well.

40. Sending off pitch, no yellow initially having been waved (8)

Answer: HYPNOTIC (i.e. “sending off”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “having been waved”) of PITCH NO and Y (i.e. “yellow initially”, i.e. the first letter of “yellow”).

42. I hand across a yellow parrot (8)

Answer: IMITATOR (i.e. “parrot”). Solution is I then MITT (i.e. “hand”) which is wrapped around or “across” A and then followed by OR (i.e. “yellow”, referring to gold in heraldry), like so: I-MIT(A)T-OR.

43. Round copper bowl’s ending in grate, full of cracks (7)

Answer: JOCULAR (i.e. “full of [wise]cracks”). Solution is O (i.e. “round”), CU (chemical symbol of “copper”) and L (i.e. “bowl’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “bowl”) all placed “in” JAR (i.e. “[to] grate [upon]”) like so: J(O-CU-L)AR.

46. Being germ-free, say, extended players’ lives (7)

Answer: ASEPSIS (i.e. “being germ-free”). Solution is AS (i.e. “say”) followed by EPS (i.e. “extended players”, as in vinyl records) and IS (i.e. “lives”).

47. Stupendous amount of sentimental stuff on record recalled (6)

Answer: GOOGOL (i.e. “stupendous amount”). Solution is GOO (i.e. “sentimental stuff”) followed by LOG (i.e. “record”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: GOO-GOL.

49. Auditor’s bright lad! (5)

Answer: SONNY (i.e. “lad”). “Auditor” indicates the solution is also a homophone of SUNNY (i.e. “bright”).

50. Irrational number’s using variable for second time (5)

Answer: DITZY (i.e. “irrational”). Solution is DITTY (i.e. “[musical] number”) with the “second” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) replaced by (indicated by “using…for”) Z (i.e. “variable” – setters like calling the letters X, Y or Z variables or unknowns in their clues), like so: DIT(T)Y => DIT(Z)Y.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1409

And now for this week’s Jumbo Cryptic. Probably on a par difficulty-wise with puzzle 1408 last week, with another bunch of grid-fill-friendly exotics for solvers to contend with. In all, though, another decent puzzle.

You’ll find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If you have a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s giving you bother then seek ye my Just For Fun page where you’ll find solutions to puzzles going back a year or so. While I’ve got you here, if you dig on book reviews, then I have a page just for that too. Finally, if I can tempt you into a short story, here’s one I made earlier.

Anyway, enough yakking. Time for the answers, right? Till next time, tara.

LP

Across clues

1. Absurd, flaky stuff occurring during depression (7)

Answer: COMICAL (i.e. “absurd”). Solution is MICA (i.e. “flaky stuff” – I’ll take their word for it) placed in or “during” COL (i.e. a geographic “depression”), like so: CO(MICA)L.

5. Almost fanatic, I’d arranged Palestinian uprising (8)

Answer: INTIFADA, a “Palestinian uprising” that took place between 1987 to 1993. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “arranged”) of FANATI (i.e. “almost fanatic”, i.e. the word FANATIC with the last letter removed) and I’D. One of those needing a smidgen of brute force from my Chambers once I’d gotten a few intersecting letters.

9. Maybe friend sharing a ride connected with a joint (6)

Answer: CARPAL (i.e. “connected with a joint”). When read as CAR PAL the solution also satisfies “friend sharing a ride”.

13. Flustered, Mum heartlessly bent my ear, with alarm splitting eardrum (8,8)

Answer: TYMPANIC MEMBRANE, another name for the “eardrum”. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “flustered”) of MM (i.e. “Mum heartlessly”, i.e. the word MUM with the middle letter removed) and BENT MY EAR, all wrapped around or being “split” by PANIC (i.e. “alarm”), like so: TYM(PANIC)MEMBRANE.

14. Strongly urge taking year off, like at home (6)

Answer: ENJOIN (i.e. “strongly urge”). Solution is ENJOY (i.e. “like”) with the Y removed (indicated by “taking year off” – y being a recognised abbreviation of “year”) and followed by IN (i.e. “at home”), like so: ENJO-IN.

16. Large? Hardly one place you could fit in! (8)

Answer: LILLIPUT, from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, in which everything was tiny. Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) followed by ILL (i.e. “hardly” – a little weak but does work) then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and PUT (i.e. “place”), like so: L-ILL-I-PUT. Cleverly worked.

17. Hamlet’s location half-forgotten over piece of land (4)

Answer: ISLE (i.e. “piece of land”). Solution is ELSINORE (i.e. “[Shakespeare’s] Hamlet’s location”) with the latter half lopped off (indicated by “half-forgotten”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “over”).

18. Exceeded budget, restricted on sets of bowls? (9)

Answer: OVERSPENT (i.e. “exceeded budget”). Solution is PENT (i.e. “restricted”) placed “on” or after OVERS (i.e. “sets of bowls” – referring to overs of cricket), like so: OVERS-PENT.

20. Transitory things in the sound of FM age? (8)

Answer: EPHEMERA (i.e. “transitory things”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “sound of”) of the letters F and M, i.e. EPH and EM, followed by ERA (i.e. “age”).

21. Stone me, once having settled in illegal state (11)

Answer: CRIMINALITY (i.e. “illegal state”). Solution is CRIMINY (i.e. an exclamatory “stone me”. “Once” hints that this has rather gone the same way as “gorblimeyguvnah”, “thequeenmumgawwblessah” and “eesgottashoo’ah”), wrapped around ALIT (i.e. to have “settled”), like so: CRIMIN(ALIT)Y.

24. Sailors and soldiers in a spot getting decoration (9)

Answer: ADORNMENT (i.e. “decoration”). Solution is RN (i.e. “sailors”, specifically the Royal Navy) and MEN (i.e. “soldiers”) placed “in” A DOT (i.e. “a spot”), like so: A-DO(RN-MEN)T.

25. Most of the time you’ll see batter going runny (8)

Answer: THINNING (i.e. “going runny”). Solution is THE with its last letter removed (indicated by “most of”) and followed by INNING (i.e. “time you’ll see [ball game] batter”), like so: TH-INNING.

26. Attack every other occupant of Emmanuel’s (4)

Answer: MAUL (i.e. “attack”). “Every other occupant of…” indicates the solution can be derived by taking every other letter of EMMANUEL’S.

29. Sore point? Get over it and be less hurtful! (4,7)

Answer: PAIN BARRIER (i.e. “sore point”). Clue riffs on how barriers are something you need to “get over”. You get the idea.

31. Character that has a hand in controlling? (5,6)

Answer: GLOVE PUPPET. Another riffy clue, this time one that plays on how glove puppets are characters controlled by a hand shoved up their bottom. (Add proctologist joke here.)

33. High hill-dweller reserved copy (11)

Answer: ANTICYCLONE (i.e. “high” – I had to reread this one a bunch of times to make sure I hadn’t missed something. High? That’s it, setter? High?! By that logic, can clouds be adequately described as “high” as well? This seems one where the setter’s desire to produce a clue that scans has trumped everything else.) Solution is ANT (i.e. “hill-dweller”) followed by ICY (i.e. “reserve”) and CLONE (i.e. “copy”).
[EDIT: Hat-tip to a few commenters who have “high”lighted that a high is another name for an anticyclone. It’s about the fortieth listed definition of the word, but it’s there in the dictionary, so fair play. Thanks all! – LP]

36. Overseas version of Brexit could be going unannounced (6,5)

Answer: FRENCH LEAVE, which is to “go unannounced”. Solution also satisfies “overseas version of Brexit”.

38. Food to fold (4)

Answer: TUCK. Solution satisfies “food” (sometimes also referred to as “tucker” in the land Down Under) and “to fold”.

39. Restaurant with nothing sent back, nothing cut, one initially assumes (8)

Answer: PIZZERIA (i.e. “restaurant”). Solution is ZIP (i.e. “nothing”) reversed (indicated by “sent back”) and followed by ZERO (i.e. “nothing”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “cut”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and A (i.e. “initially assumes”, i.e. the first letter of “assumes”), like so: PIZ-ZER-I-A. Nicely worked, even if it doesn’t scan as well as some other clues.

41. Fine example of wicket in grass that is extremely close (9)

Answer: SHOWPIECE (i.e. “fine example”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “wicket” used in cricket) placed “in” SHOP (i.e. “[to] grass [on someone]”) and followed by IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. … well, i.e.!) and CE (i.e. “extremely close”, i.e. the first and last letters of “close”), like so: SHO(W)P-IE-CE.

44. Respected, sanctimonious, keeping out of acting work when name is forgotten (11)

Answer: PRESTIGIOUS (i.e. “respected”). Solution is PIOUS (i.e. “sanctimonious”) wrapped around or “keeping” RESTING (i.e. “out of acting work”) once the N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) has been removed (indicated by “is forgotten”), like so: P(RESTIG)IOUS.

45. Suggestion so popular avoiding universal changes (8)

Answer: PROPOSAL (i.e. “suggestion”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “changes”) of SO POPULAR once the U (a recognised abbreviation of “universal” used in film classifications) has been removed (indicated by “avoiding”).

48. Being English, Anglicans must accept explanation of a Roman numeral (9)

Answer: EXISTENCE (i.e. “being”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and CE (i.e. “Anglicans”, specifically the Church of England) wrapped around or “accepting” X IS TEN (i.e. “explanation of a Roman numeral”), like so: E-(X-IS-TEN)-CE. Another clue that’s nicely worked, despite not scanning as well as other clues.

49. Every area Chicago encloses (4)

Answer: EACH (i.e. “every”). “Encloses” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: AR(EA CH)ICAGO.

50. After bed, look and notice Santa’s presents, say? (8)

Answer: SACKLOAD (i.e. “Santa’s presents, say”). Solution is SACK (i.e. “bed”, as in hitting the sack) followed by LO (i.e. “look”, as in lo and behold) and AD (i.e. “notice”, as in a shortened form of advertisement).

52. Co-ordinated defence system to follow incomplete letter (3,3)

Answer: TAI CHI (i.e. “co-ordinated defence system”). Solution is TAIL (i.e. “to follow”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “incomplete”) and followed by CHI (i.e. “letter”, specifically the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet), like so: TAI-CHI.

53. Range of face-to-face animosity? (8,8)

Answer: SPITTING DISTANCE. Another riffy clue. This one plays on how spitting in someone’s face expresses hostility. You get the idea.

54. Is brave enough to admit having no answers? Smart! (6)

Answer: DRESSY (i.e. “smart”). Solution is DARES SAY (i.e. “is brave enough to admit”) with all the As removed (indicated by “having no answers” – a being a recognised abbreviation of “answers”, as in Q&A).

55. French EU cost involved a sweetener (8)

Answer: FRUCTOSE (i.e. “sweetener”). Solution is FR (country code of “France”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “involved”) of EU COST, like so: FR-UCTOSE.

56. Consumable product of melting numismatist’s prize? (7)

Answer: RAREBIT (i.e. “consumable product of melting” – essentially cheese on toast). When the solution is read as RARE BIT, it also satisfies “numismatist’s prize” – a numismatist is a collector of coins and medals and a bit is another word for a coin.

Down clues

1. Follower of W Churchill’s not completely taken stock (6)

Answer: CATTLE (i.e. “stock”). Solution is C ATTLEE (i.e. “follower of W Churchill”, i.e. Clement Attlee, who followed Winston Churchill as Prime Minister of the UK – note how the setter has used the form Initial Surname, hence C ATTLEE) with the last letter removed (indicated by “not completely”).

2. Unclear pronouncement shortened headland near Swansea (6)

Answer: MUMBLE (i.e. “unclear pronouncement”). Solution is MUMBLES (i.e. “headland near Swansea”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “shortened”). One of those “type ‘mumbles’ into Google and see what happens” moments.

3. Russian singer retaining trio and three duos from silent English performer (9)

Answer: Feodor CHALIAPIN (i.e. “Russian singer”. No, me neither. Chalk this one to my Bradfords. Its existence there suggests CHALIAPIN has been a pet solution for a few setters over the years). I can’t get a fix on exactly what the setter has done here. The solution shares letters with CHARLIE CHAPLIN (i.e. “silent English performer”) and “retaining…from” could suggest the removal of certain letters, but how said letters RECHL can be broken into a “trio and three duos” is beyond my ken. Moving on.
[EDIT: A big thank you to Mark in the comments for shedding light on this one. The “trio and three duos” refer to the sets of letters “retained” within CHARLIE CHAPLIN that make up CHALIAPIN, like so CHARLIE CHAPLIN. Ugh. No, setter. Just no. – LP]

4. Learner that is about certain we’re not getting finished things to don in spare time (11)

Answer: LEISUREWEAR (i.e. “things to don in spare time”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) followed by IE (i.e. “that is”, as seen in 41a) reversed (indicated by “about”), then SURE (i.e. “certain”) and WE ARE (i.e. expanded form of “we’re”) with the final letter removed (indicated by “not getting finished”), like so: L-EI-SURE-WE-AR. A bit of a convoluted mess.

5. Doctrines from current texts (4)

Answer: ISMS (i.e. “doctrines”). Solution is I (a recognised symbol for electrical “current”) followed by SMS (i.e. “texts” – given SMS is a set of initials, shouldn’t this be SMSS? SMSES? SMSESESES?).

6. Marinates hot stews after removing one Scotch bonnet (3-1-7)

Answer: TAM-O-SHANTER (i.e. “Scotch bonnet”, referring to an item of Scottish headwear). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “stews”) of MARINATES HOT once the I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) has been removed (indicated by “removing”). An easier get than it perhaps ought to have been, having been used relatively recently.

7. Manage to cover run with persistent pain taking effect over distance (3-8)

Answer: FAR-REACHING (i.e. “taking effect over distance”). Solution is FARE (i.e. “manage”, as in how one fared) wrapped around or “covering” R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) and followed by ACHING (i.e. “persistent pain”, like so: FA(R)RE-ACHING.

8. Pester fellow Scotsman from Tayside city (9)

Answer: DUNDONIAN, a citizen of Dundee (i.e. “from Tayside city”). Solution is DUN (i.e. “pester” – one of its alternative meanings) followed by DON (i.e. “fellow”) and IAN (i.e. “Scotsman” – setters do love using this bit of wordplay, don’t they?).

10. One forgets source of electricity in mains supply, alternating current (8)

Answer: AMNESIAC (i.e. “one forgets”). Solution is E (i.e. “source of electricity”, i.e. the first letter of “electricity”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “supply”, the adverb form of “supple” as opposed to a supply of something – sneaky, eh?) of MAINS and then followed by AC (a recognised abbreviation of “alternating current”), like so: AMN(E)SI-AC.

11. Words for letters that keep Romeo and Juliet apart (8,8)

Answer: PHONETIC ALPHABET (i.e. “words for letters”). Solution riffs on how Romeo and Juliet are entries in the phonetic alphabet, representing R and J respectively. Said letters are, alphabetically speaking, a distance “apart”.

12. Line on limits of election got helpfully extended (7)

Answer: LENGTHY (i.e. “extended”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) followed by the “limits” or first and last letters of ELECTION, GOT and HEALTHY. Another sneaky one. I like it.

15. Challenging behaviour to get rid of husband-to-be, apparently (8)

Answer: DEFIANCE (i.e. “challenging behaviour”). When read as DE-FIANCE, the solution also satisfies “to get rid of husband-to-be, apparently”.

19. Report of addition to forest: be aware it’s difficult to detect (8)

Answer: NEUTRINO (i.e. “it’s difficult to detect”). “Report of” indicates the solution comprises homophones of NEW TREE (i.e. “addition to forest”) and KNOW (i.e. “be aware”).

22. Singular design stops heater burning bush (3,5)

Answer: GAS PLANT, which is a plant whose oil exudes flammable gas. Hence “burning bush”. The panda of the plant world, anyone? Anyway, the rather convoluted solution for this one is S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) and PLAN (i.e. “design”) placed in or “stopping” GAT (i.e. “heater” – both words for a gun. Reading all those Chandler, Hammett and Spillane novels years ago clearly had a positive effect on me), like so: GA(S-PLAN)T.

23. Overall treatment has limited choices in being operated on (8,8)

Answer: HOLISTIC MEDICINE (i.e. “overall treatment”). “Being operated on” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LIMITED CHOICES IN.

27. Inflamed at fringes, the communist possibly had kittens (8)

Answer: LITTERED (i.e. “possibly had kittens” – the possibly bit hints that other species produce litters). Solution is LIT (i.e. “inflamed”) followed by the first and last letters (indicated by “at fringes”) of THE and then RED (i.e. “communist”), like so: LIT-TE-RED.

28. Roll off us, roll out of odd parts (4)

Answer: FURL (i.e. “furl”). “Out of odd parts” indicates the solution is derived by removing the odd letters from OFF US ROLL.

30. Prolific scorer from Hearts supporting defender mostly (4)

Answer: Johann Sebastian BACH (i.e. “prolific [music] scorer”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hearts” used in card games – ignore the misleading capitalisation) which is placed beneath or “supporting” – this being a down clue – BACK (i.e. a “defender” in some field sports) once its final letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: BAC-H.

32. Starts dance where engagement doesn’t require entering union (4,4)

Answer: OPEN SHOP (i.e. “where [employment] engagement doesn’t require entering union”). Solution is OPENS (i.e. “starts”) followed by HOP (i.e. “dance” – ask your great grandparents, kids).

34. Slavish campanologist primarily doing his job? (8)

Answer: CRINGING (i.e. “slavish”). Solution is C (i.e. “campanologist primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “campanologist”) followed by RINGING (i.e. “doing his job” – a campanologist is a bell-ringer).

35. Lacking community spirit, warped or cut pieces (11)

Answer: EUROSCEPTIC (i.e. “lacking community spirit”, riffing on the European Community, now European Union). “Warped” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OR CUT PIECES.

36. Chilled coffee or cold tea run up into sherry? (11)

Answer: FRAPPUCCINO (i.e. “chilled coffee”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold”), CUPPA (i.e. “tea”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in some ball games) which are all reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and placed “into” FINO (i.e. a kind of “sherry”), like so: F(R-APPUC-C)INO. Rather well worked.

37. Confectioner not the first to copy fizz on part of wedding cake? (11)

Answer: CHOCOLATIER (i.e. “confectioner”). Solution is ECHO (i.e. “copy”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “not the first to…”) and followed by COLA (i.e. “fizz”) and TIER (i.e. “part of wedding cake”), like so: CHO-COLA-TIER.

40. Who displays captives without humanity? (9)

Answer: ZOOKEEPER. Solution riffs on how animals are captives of zoos, and how us ‘orrible lot stand outside or “without” their cages. A really good clue.

42. Mischievous person is important for apostle’s higher ecstasy (9)

Answer: PRANKSTER (i.e. “mischievous person”). “For” indicates the solution is derived by substituting the first or “higher” – this being a down clue – E (a recognised abbreviation of “ecstasy”) of PETER (i.e. “apostle”) with RANKS (i.e. “is important”, as in “he wanks as high as anybody in Wome”), like so: P(E)TER => P(RANKS)TER.

43. Uncontrollable laughter produced by sewers? (8)

Answer: STITCHES. Solution satisfies “uncontrollable laughter” and “produced by sewers”.

44. Excuse to spread out like a kilt (7)

Answer: PLEATED (i.e. “like a kilt”). Solution is PLEA (i.e. “excuse”) followed by TED (i.e. “spread” – a laborious one if I have this right, but this refers to a TED spread, which, according to my Chambers, is “a measure of the difference between the value of three-month US Treasury bills and three-month Eurodollar futures contracts”. So there you go.)
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve in the comments for providing a better explanation for the TED part of this clue, being a verb meaning “to spread (new-mown) grass for drying”. As he says, no, me neither! – LP]

46. Socialise with the exalted King out of Aga’s control? (6)

Answer: HOBNOB (i.e. “socialise”). Solution is HOB KNOB (i.e. “Aga’s control”) with the K (a recognised abbreviation of “king”) removed (indicated by “out of”). “Exalted” seems weirdly redundant, so there might be more to it than that.
[EDIT: Thanks to Iain in the comments for clarifying this one. The solution satisfies “socialise with the exalted”, not just “socialise”. Though this is undoubtedly the setter’s intended meaning, it’s not a definition that is wholly backed up by my Chambers, I guess the reason being it would render phrases such as “hobnobbing with the stars” a tad redundant. Other dictionaries may differ on this. – LP]

47. Commercial outlet in run-up to Christmas (6)

Answer: ADVENT (i.e. “run-up to Christmas” – soon advent calendars will have 54 windows rather than 24, mark my words! (Shakes seaweed portentously.)) Solution is AD (i.e. “commercial”) followed by VENT (i.e. “outlet”). A clue that scans rather well.

51. Turn over French article to look for eroticism? (4)

Answer: OGLE (i.e. “look for eroticism”). Solution is GO (i.e. a “turn”) reversed (indicated by “over” – this being a down clue) and followed by LE (i.e. “French article”, i.e. the French masculine word for “the” – articles tend to be words like a, an or the), like so: OG-LE.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1408

And so to last week’s Times Jumbo Cryptic. A big thank you to my spies for securing a copy for me while I was on hols. It means more to me than you might think, as this post marks an unbroken run of solutions spanning a whole year. Not bad considering it was done mainly as a means of getting blogging again!

Anyway, before I start welling up and you all stare uncomfortably at your shoes, let’s get right to it. This puzzle saw a cranking up in difficulty, though I’d hesitate awarding it stinker status. There were more exotics to contend with, but most of them were gettable thanks to gentler wordplay. Another good one, in my less-than-humble opinion.

Before we jump in (okay, I lied about getting right to it, don’t @ me) a spot of housekeeping. If you have a gappy Times Jumbo Cryptic from the last year, then you might be able to plug a few of those gaps using my Just For Fun page. If book reviews are your thing, then I have a bunch on my Reviews page gathering dust. (Makes mental note to get back to those.) If you’d like something from me other than crosswords, then how about a short story? No? Well, it was worth a try. To the answers then!

Till the next one, TTFN.

LP

Across clues

1. Charge female leaving continent for Central American state (5,4)

Answer: COSTA RICA (i.e. “Central American state”). Solution is COST (i.e. “charge”) followed by AFRICA (i.e. “continent”) once the F has been removed (indicated by “female leaving” – f being a recognised abbreviation of “female”), like so: COST-ARICA.

6. Cooking vessel leading Tory moderates rejected (7)

Answer: STEWPOT (i.e. “cooking vessel”). Solution is TOP (i.e. “leading”) followed by WETS (i.e. “Tory moderates” – a new one on me, but it’s there in the dictionary). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “rejected”), like so: STEW-POT.

10. Coin once used in area covered by tube (5)

Answer: DUCAT (i.e. “coin once used” across several European countries). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) placed in or “covered by” DUCT (i.e. “tube”), like so: DUC(A)T.

13. Vague: not centrally accepted by universities in decades (7)

Answer: TENUOUS (i.e. “vague”). Solution is O (i.e. “not centrally”, i.e. the middle letter of “not”) placed between two Us (recognised abbreviation of “university” – note the plural in the clue), which itself is placed in TENS (i.e. “decades”), like so: TEN(U(O)U)S.

14. Sloth: one installed in new terrain right away (7)

Answer: INERTIA (i.e. “sloth”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “new”) of TERRAIN once one of the Rs has been removed (indicated by “right away” – r being a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: INERT(I)A.

15. Report of part played by cleaner making pickled herring (7)

Answer: ROLLMOP (i.e. “picked herring”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “report of”) of ROLE (i.e. “part played”) followed by MOP (i.e. “cleaner”), like so: ROLL-MOP.

16. Moment of crisis: time to get a bargain takeaway! (4,3,5,3,4)

Answer: WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN. Solution satisfies “moment of crisis” and “time to get a bargain takeaway”.

17. Regularly used bandbox? That spells trouble (3)

Answer: ADO (i.e. “trouble”). “Regularly” indicates the solution is derived by taking every other letter of BANDBOX.

18. Site of watering hole found by gazelle at last (6)

Answer: LOCALE (i.e. “site”). Solution is LOCAL (i.e. “watering hole”, both describing public houses) followed by E (i.e. “gazelle at last”, i.e. the last letter of “gazelle”).

20. In Asia, badger European prompted to enter trade union (6)

Answer: TELEDU (i.e. “in Asia, badger” – did a Google Image search. Looks like Pepe Le Pew’s portly uncle.) Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) and LED (i.e. “prompted”) placed in or “entering” TU (a recognised abbreviation of “trade union”), like so: T(E-LED)U. Needless to say, this was one gotten from the wordplay and a brute force of my Chambers.

21. Like some legends making us turn a hair somehow (9)

Answer: ARTHURIAN (i.e. “like some legends”). “Somehow” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TURN A HAIR.

23. Suspension in short choral work penned by old lady (10)

Answer: MORATORIUM (i.e. “suspension”). Solution is ORATORIO (i.e. “choral work”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and placed in or “penned by” MUM (i.e. “old lady”), like so: M(ORATORI)UM.

25. Colourful flags incorporating eastern songbird (4,7)

Answer: REED BUNTING (i.e. “songbird” – off to Google Images again. Ahhhhhh, cute!) Solution is RED BUNTING (i.e. “colourful flags”) wrapped around or “incorporating” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) like so: RE(E)D-BUNTING.

29. Knowledgeable about binding Rachmaninoff’s first prelude (5)

Answer: INTRO (i.e. “prelude”). Solution is INTO (i.e. “knowledgeable about”) wrapped around or “binding” R (i.e. “Rachmaninoff’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “Rachmaninoff”), like so: INT(R)O.

30. Carry out rifle mostly used in races (8)

Answer: TRANSACT (i.e. “carry out”). Solution is RANSACK (i.e. “[to] rifle”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and placed “in” TT (i.e. “races”, specifically the ones held on the Isle of Man), like so: T(RANSAC)T.

31. Contractor initially put down additional pipe (8)

Answer: CLAYMORE (i.e. “pipe” – not supported by my Chambers, this. I guess the reference is to an explosive, e.g. pipe bomb, but this is a bit like saying an alarm clock or a bag of nails are also explosives. (Shows yellow card to setter.)). Solution is C (i.e. “contractor initially”, i.e. the first letter of “contractor”) followed by LAY (i.e. “put down”) and MORE (i.e. “additional”).

34. Quiet desire to embrace soldiers – like Kate in the play! (8)

Answer: SHREWISH (i.e. “like Kate in the play” – a reference to a character in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew). Solution is SH (i.e. “quiet”) and WISH (i.e. “desire”) wrapped around or “embracing” RE (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army), like so: SH-(RE)-WISH.

36. Leak finally exposes depredation (8)

Answer: SPILLAGE (i.e. “leak”). Solution is S (i.e. “finally exposes”, i.e. the last letter of “exposes”) followed by PILLAGE (i.e. “depredation”).

37. Music from old film about Connecticut (5)

Answer: OCTET (i.e. “music”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra Terrestrial) placed “about” CT (a recognised abbreviation of the state of “Connecticut”), like so: O-(CT)-ET.

39. Racing official – practical Greek character, might one say? (11)

Answer: HANDICAPPER (i.e. “racing official”). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “might one say”) of HANDY (i.e. “practical”) and KAPPA (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet).

41. Recurring passage girl found in trio or variation (10)

Answer: RITORNELLO (i.e. “recurring passage” – one that’s not fully supported by my Chambers (no explicit mention is made of “recurring”) but is backed by Wikipedia). Solution is NELL (i.e. “girl”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “variation”) of TRIO OR, like so: RITOR(NELL)O. One gotten from the wordplay once I had a number of intersection letters filled in.

43. Caring mostly for leading lady entering part of theatre (9)

Answer: FOSTERAGE (i.e. “caring”). Solution is FOR with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and followed by ER (i.e. “leading lady”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) once it has been placed in or “entering” STAGE (i.e. “part of theatre”), like so: FO-ST(ER)AGE.

45. Suspicion about a cut of meat (6)

Answer: HAUNCH (i.e. “cut of meat”). Solution is HUNCH (i.e. “suspicion”) which is wrapped “about” A, like so: H(A)UNCH.

47. Stabbing pain, for example, recalled by Remus, perhaps? (6)

Answer: TWINGE (i.e. “stabbing pain, for example” – though backed up by the dictionary, I don’t think I’ve ever used “twinge” to describe a stabbing pain. Not when there are more descriptive terms like “bastard agony”…) Solution is EG (i.e. “for example”) reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and placed after or “by” TWIN (i.e. “Remus, perhaps”, as in Romulus and Remus), like so: TWIN-GE.

49. Hawaiian garland certain to be dislodged by rest (3)

Answer: LEI (i.e. “Hawaiian garland”). Solution is LEISURE (i.e. “rest”) with the SURE (i.e. “certain”) removed (indicated by “to be dislodged”).

50. Be completely correct? A carpenter might do it (3,3,4,2,3,4)

Answer: HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. Solution satisfies “be completely correct” and “a carpenter might do it”.

52. Reportedly no German device for identifying skittle (7)

Answer: NINEPIN (i.e. “skittle”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of NEIN (i.e. “no [in] German”) followed by PIN (i.e. “device for identifying”, specifically a Personal Identification Number – “device” in this case being a means of getting something done rather than a physical object), like so: NINE-PIN.

53. Layer of skin Wyatt used to wrap film? (7)

Answer: EPICARP (i.e. “layer of skin” – I had this tentatively pencilled in as EARFLAP for a while, which didn’t help matters). Solution is EARP (i.e. “Wyatt”) “wrapped” around PIC (i.e. “film”, i.e. a shortened form of “picture”), like so: E(PIC)ARP.

54. Eg, Bleriot, beginning to ascend by way of rocky peak (7)

Answer: AVIATOR (i.e. “eg, Bleriot”). Solution is A (i.e. “beginning to ascend”, i.e. the first letter of “ascend”) followed by VIA (i.e. “by way of”) and TOR (i.e. “rocky peak”).

55. Poach second duck (5)

Answer: STEAL (i.e. “poach”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by TEAL (i.e. “duck”).

56. Close relative gripped by woman’s stonework (7)

Answer: MASONRY (i.e. “stonework”). Solution is SON (i.e. “close relative”) placed in or “gripped by” MARY (i.e. “woman”), like so: MA(SON)RY.

57. Combine current charge for accommodating sheep (9)

Answer: INTEGRATE (i.e. “combine”). Solution is IN (i.e. “current”) and RATE (i.e. “charge”) wrapped around or “accommodating” TEG (i.e. “sheep”, specifically one in its second year (pats Chambers)), like so: IN-(TEG)-RATE.

Down clues

1. Sleeping places originally welcomed by elderly sheep (8)

Answer: COTSWOLD (i.e. “sheep” – another one). Solution is COTS (i.e. “sleeping places”) followed by W (i.e. “originally welcomed”, i.e. the first letter of “welcomed”) and OLD (i.e. “elderly”).

2. Slightly burn first bit of grub served in function (5)

Answer: SINGE (i.e. “slightly burn”). Solution is G (i.e. “first bit of grub”, i.e. the first letter of “grub”) placed or “served in” SINE (i.e. “[trigonometric] function”), like so: SIN(G)E.

3. A drink a day, up to the time of a party? (11)

Answer: AMONTILLADO (i.e. “a drink”). Solution is A followed by MON (i.e. “day”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Monday), then TILL (i.e. “up to the time of”), then A and DO (i.e. “party”), like so: A-MON-TILL-A-DO.

4. Brought out children to meet duke (6)

Answer: ISSUED (i.e. “brought out”). Solution is ISSUE (i.e. “children”) followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”).

5. The art I claim is flawed, like the science of numbers? (12)

Answer: ARITHMETICAL (i.e. “like the science of numbers”). “Is flawed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE ART I CLAIM.

6. Action taken by the French to adopt English church feature (7)

Answer: STEEPLE (i.e. “church feature”). Solution is STEP (i.e. “action taken”) and LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the masculine form of “the” in French) wrapped around or “adopting” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: STE(E)P-LE.

7. Old city in additional circular sadly not on the course (15)

Answer: EXTRACURRICULAR (i.e. “not on the course”). Solution is EXTRA (i.e. “additional”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “sadly”) of CIRCULAR, which is wrapped around RU (i.e. “old city”), like so: EXTRA-C(UR)RICULAR.

8. European wearing heart stimulator, a conciliatory type (10)

Answer: PEACEMAKER (i.e. “a conciliatory type”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) placed in or “wearing” PACEMAKER (i.e. “heart stimulator”), like so: P(E)ACEMAKER.

9. Clothing of all those present? (7)

Answer: TURNOUT. Solution satisfies “clothing” when read as TURN OUT, and “all those present”.

10. Wrongdoing in Paris that disturbs Cindy and Len badly (11)

Answer: DELINQUENCY (i.e. “wrongdoing”). Solution is QUE (i.e. “in French that”, i.e. the French for “that”) which is placed in or “disturbs” an anagram (indicated by “badly”) of CINDY and LEN, like so: DELIN(QUE)NCY.

11. River vessel, one to south of the Italian bell towers (9)

Answer: CAMPANILI (i.e. “bell towers”). Solution is CAM (i.e. “[Cambridgeshire] river”) followed by PAN (i.e. “vessel”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) once it has been placed after or “to the south of” – this being a down clue – IL (i.e. “the Italian”, i.e. the Italian for “the”), like so: CAM-PAN-IL-I. Another one gotten purely from the wordplay.

12. Storm caused by magnate changing key to quiet hotel (7)

Answer: TYPHOON (i.e. “storm”). Solution is TYCOON (i.e. “magnate”) with the C (i.e. “[musical] key”) “changing” into P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, which is “quiet” in musical lingo) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: TY(C)OON => TY(P-H)OON.

19. Smallholder creditor meets with greater frequency? (7)

Answer: CROFTER (i.e. “smallholder”). Solution is CR (a recognised abbreviation of “creditor”) followed by OFTER (i.e. “with greater frequency” – not a proper word, which is why the setter has jokily added a question mark). I’m not keen, but there you go.

22. Hardy character in firm backing an Italian noblewoman (8)

Answer: CONTESSA (i.e. “Italian noblewoman”). Solution is TESS (i.e. “Hardy character”, specifically the titular character from Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles) placed in CO (a recognised abbreviation of a company or “firm”) and AN, the latter reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: CO-N(TESS)A.

24. False impression given by intelligence agency’s arrest (15)

Answer: MISAPPREHENSION (i.e. “false impression”). When read as MI’S APPREHENSION, the clue also satisfies “intelligence agency’s arrest” (MI standing for “military intelligence”).

26. Wickedly bribe odd characters in lorry to deliver fruit (8)

Answer: BILBERRY (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wickedly”) of BRIBE and LRY (i.e. “odd characters in lorry”, i.e. every other letter of LORRY).

27. Astride horse, arrive at depressed area (6)

Answer: GHETTO (i.e. “depressed area”). Solution is GET TO (i.e. “arrive at”) which is wrapped around or “astride” H (a recognised abbreviation of “horse”), like so: G(H)ETTO.

28. Vulgarised art in Christopher’s church (6)

Answer: KITSCH (i.e. “vulgarised art”). Solution is KIT’S (i.e. shortened form of “Christopher’s”) followed by CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”).

32. Bunting British dramatist draped round US city (7)

Answer: ORTOLAN (i.e. “bunting” – a new one on me, especially the fact it’s often edible!). Solution is Joe ORTON (i.e. “British dramatist”) wrapped or “draped around” LA (i.e. “US city”, specifically Los Angeles… (looks out at Mordor the British weather and sighs wistfully)), like so: ORTO(LA)N.

33. Done deed, one secured by stout crony skipping church (4,8)

Answer: FAIT ACCOMPLI (i.e. “done deed”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “secured by” FAT ACCOMPLICE (i.e. “stout crony”) once the trailing CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) has been removed (indicating by “skipping”), like so: FA(I)T-ACCOMPLI.

35. The place which oddly disfigured part of London? (11)

Answer: WHITECHAPEL (i.e. “part of London”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “disfigured”) of THE PLACE and the “odd” letters of WHICH.

37. Arrogant about quarters in projecting part of house (11)

Answer: OVERWEENING (i.e. “arrogant”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “about”) followed by EEN (i.e. “quarters” – I’m taking this to mean a collection of compass points: East, East and North) which has been placed “in” WING (i.e. “projecting part of house”), like so: OVER-W(EEN)ING.

38. Lost for words, having no oration to deliver? (10)

Answer: SPEECHLESS. Solution satisfies “lost for words” and “having no oration to deliver”.

40. Ignorance playing havoc with nice scene (9)

Answer: NESCIENCE (i.e. “ignorance”). “Playing havoc with” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NICE SCENE. This was another one I’d initially gotten wrong, writing INSCIENCE lightly in the grid. While this also means “ignorance”, it wasn’t an anagram of NICE SCENE. I blame the jetlag (…looks to camera…)

42. Policeman with information runs in titled woman (8)

Answer: GENDARME, a French “policeman”. Solution is GEN (i.e. “information”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in some ball games) once it has been placed “in” DAME (i.e. “titled woman”), like so: GEN-DA(R)ME.

43. Shavings one chucks outside (7)

Answer: FILINGS (i.e. “shavings”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) with FLINGS (i.e. “chucks”) placed “outside”, like so: F(I)LINGS.

44. Leader of men supporting Roman general? It means the opposite (7)

Answer: ANTONYM (i.e. “it means the opposite”). Solution is M (i.e. “leader of men”, i.e. the first letter of “men”) placed beneath or “supporting” – this being a down clue – Mark ANTONY (i.e. “Roman general”), like so: ANTONY-M.

46. Like some local authorities initially acclaimed in college test (7)

Answer: UNITARY (i.e. “like some local authorities”). Solution is A (i.e. “initially acclaimed”, i.e. the first letter of “acclaimed”) placed “in” UNI (i.e. “college”, specifically a shortened form of university) and TRY (i.e. “test”), like so: UNI-T(A)RY.

48. Set about securing uniform for royal house (6)

Answer: STUART (i.e. “royal house” which gave us a bunch of King Jameses, among others). Solution is START (i.e. “set about”) wrapped around or “securing” U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: ST(U)ART.

51. Possibly wide doorway one missed at Burlington House (5)

Answer: EXTRA (i.e. “possibly wide”, referring to how extra runs can be awarded in cricket wide balls being bowled.). Solution is EXIT (i.e. “doorway”) with the I removed (indicated by “[Roman numeral] one missed”), and followed by RA (short for the Royal Academy, who are housed “at Burlington House”), like so: EXT-RA.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1407

Back again! After ten days spent soaking up the glorious and cloudless Angeleño weather, not to mention attending this year’s World Fantasy Convention and blissfully avoiding anything and everything to do with B**xit (seriously, the US news media barely gave a shit about UK politics – even when the election was called), it’s… uh… well, it’s something to be back in Blighty. Very much something. Still, at least there’s no threat of wildfires breaking out here anytime soon.

Anyway, before I start getting my holiday snaps out, I’ve a bit of catching up to do. Here’s my completed grid for Oct 26’s Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword. It wasn’t quite the stinker that was feared, but still a good puzzle all the same. You can find explanations of my solutions below where I have them. My spies kindly secured puzzle 1408 for me while I was away, so I should have something for that in due course.

A spot of housekeeping before we tuck in. If you have a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic showing a few gaps, then my Just For Fun page could be just the thing. If you like reading the odd book review then check out my Reviews page. Fancy a short story instead? I’ve got you covered.

Right, let’s get after it…

(…with apologies to CNN’s Chris Cuomo for nicking his catchphrase)

LP

Across clues

1. Person in surgery admitting green look (5)

Answer: DECOR (i.e. the “look” of something). Solution is DR (i.e. “person in surgery”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”) wrapped around or “admitting” ECO (i.e. “green”), like so: D(ECO)R.

4. Old lady hosting male Spanish virgin is a stickler for rules (10)

Answer: GRAMMARIAN (i.e. “stickler for rules”). Solution is GRAN (i.e. “old lady”) wrapped around or “hosting” M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) and MARIA (i.e. “virgin”, specifically the Latin form of Mary, as seen in Ave Maria), like so: GRA(M-MARIA)N.

9. Pure drug snorted by class (6)

Answer: CHASTE (i.e. “pure”). Solution is CASTE (i.e. “class”) wrapped around or “snorting” H (i.e. “drug”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “heroin”), like so: C(H)ASTE.

14. Bird to make slow progress on animal feed (9)

Answer: CHAFFINCH (i.e. “bird”). Solution is INCH (i.e. “to make slow progress”) placed after or “on” CHAFF (i.e. “animal feed”), like so: CHAFF-INCH.

15. At sea, crew has complete order (6,7)

Answer: SEARCH WARRANT (i.e. “order”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “at sea”) of CREW HAS followed by ARRANT (i.e. out-and-out or “complete”), like so: SEARCH-ARRANT.

16. Grenade thrown in defensive position (2,5)

Answer: EN GARDE (i.e. “defensive position”). “Thrown” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GRENADE.

17. Dairy product in case monarch eats dessert (9)

Answer: LEICESTER (i.e. “dairy product”, as in the cheeeeeeese, Gromit). Solution is LEST (i.e. “in case”) and ER (i.e. “monarch”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Elizabeth Regina) wrapped around or “eating” ICE (i.e. “dessert”), like so: LE(ICE)ST-ER.

18. Small like a youngster? (5)

Answer: TEENY. Solution satisfies “small” and “like a youngster”.

19. Disallow gossip about people in dodgy country (6,8)

Answer: BANANA REPUBLIC (i.e. “dodgy country”). Solution is BAN (i.e. “disallow”) followed by ANA (i.e. “gossip”, as in a collection of someone’s table talk or gossip) then RE (i.e. “about” – think the subject headings in email replies) and PUBLIC (i.e. “people”).

22. Mug is picked up? That’s a relief (7)

Answer: SUCCOUR (i.e. “relief”). “Is picked up” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SUCKER (i.e. “mug”).

25. Head in business doubly cautious in fair event (7,3)

Answer: COCONUT SHY (i.e. “fair event”). Solution is NUT (i.e. “head”) placed “in” between CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) repeated (indicated by “doubly”) and SHY (i.e. “cautious”), like so: CO-CO-(NUT)-SHY.

27. Soon penning attempt, piece in verse (2,5,2,3)

Answer: AN ESSAY ON MAN, a poem by Alexander Pope (i.e. “verse”). No, me neither. Solution is ANON (i.e. “soon”) wrapped around or “penning” ESSAY (i.e. “[a tentative] attempt”) and followed by MAN (i.e. “[chess] piece”), like so: AN(ESSAY)ON-MAN. One I got from the wordplay, and only once I had all the intersecting letters.

30. Gutless Earl’s clothing as Roman peer (5)

Answer: EQUAL (i.e. one’s “peer”). Solution is EL (i.e. “gutless Earl”, i.e. the word “earl” with its middle letters removed) wrapped around or “clothing” QUA (i.e. “as Roman”, i.e. the Latin for “as”), like so: E(QUA)L.

31. Religious authority perhaps derived from Torah etc. (8)

Answer: THEOCRAT (i.e. “religious authority perhaps”). “Derived from” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TORAH ETC.

32. Gloomy inventor making a bloomer (8)

Answer: BLUEBELL (i.e. “bloomer”). Solution is BLUE (i.e. “gloomy”) followed by Alexander Graham BELL (i.e. “inventor”).

35. Did gas upset attender? (8)

Answer: NATTERED (i.e. “did gas”). “Upset” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ATTENDER.

36. Warning nerd to return and get informed early (8)

Answer: FOREKNOW (i.e. “get informed early”). Solution is FORE (i.e. “warning [from golfer]”) followed by WONK (i.e. “nerd”) which is reversed (indicated by “to return”), like so: FORE-KNOW.

37. I’m off to capture unknown tree creature (5)

Answer: TAYRA (i.e. “tree creature” – did a Google Image search… meh, just a big weasel). Solution is TARA (i.e. “I’m off”) wrapped around or “capturing” Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love using “unknown” to represent X, Y or Z in their solutions), like so: TA(Y)RA.

39. Stout fellow to carry tip in two empty trays (6,6)

Answer: HUMPTY DUMPTY (i.e. “stout fellow”). Solution is HUMP (i.e. “to carry”) followed by DUMP (i.e. “tip”) once it has been placed “in” between “two” lots of TY (i.e. “empty tray”, i.e. the word “tray” with its middle letters removed), like so: HUMP-TY-(DUMP)-TY.

41. Italian let in to break the ice (10)

Answer: FLORENTINE (i.e. “Italian”). Solution is RENT (i.e. “let”) and IN both placed in or “breaking” FLOE (i.e. “ice”), like so: FLO(RENT-IN)E.

43. Taste butter or jam, pieces needing rearrangement? (7)

Answer: TANGRAM, which is a Chinese block puzzle in which seven flat shapes are slotted together to form a square (i.e. “pieces needing rearrangement”). Solution is TANG (i.e. “taste”) followed by RAM (i.e. “butter or jam” – the former being an animal that butts heads, the latter being to cram something into a small space).

45. Rigid Commander enters not looking good (14)

Answer: UNCOMPROMISING (i.e. “rigid”). Solution is COM (a recognised abbreviation of “commander”) placed in or “entering” UNPROMISING (i.e. “not looking good”) like so: UN(COM)PROMISING.

48. Sub’s back pass with sign of uncertainty (5)

Answer: LOCUM (i.e. “sub”, as in a substitute). Solution is COL (i.e. a mountain “pass”) reversed (indicated by “back”) and followed by UM (i.e. “sign of uncertainty”), like so: LOC-UM.

49. Partners playing in songs, at any rate (9)

Answer: LEASTWAYS (i.e. “at any rate” – I suppose, but I’d argue these are distant cousins of one another). Solution is EAST and W (i.e. “partners playing” a game of bridge – W being a recognised abbreviation of “west”) placed “in” LAYS (i.e. “songs”), like so: L(EAST-W)AYS.

51. School member to scoff after Asian dress is cut short (7)

Answer: SARDINE (i.e. “school member”, as in a school of fish). Solution is DINE (i.e. “to scoff”) placed “after” SARI (i.e. “Asian dress”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “cut short”), like so: SAR-DINE.

53. Someone who treats complaints superficially? (13)

Answer: DERMATOLOGIST. Solution riffs on how something that is superficial can be said to be skin-deep. A dermatologist deals with skin complaints. You get the idea.

54. Caught up in French style, spoke angrily (9)

Answer: ENSNARLED (i.e. “caught up [in]”). Solution is EN (i.e. “in French style”, i.e. the French for “in”) followed by SNARLED (i.e. “spoke angrily”).

55. Give extra source of illumination, in a mess (6)

Answer: ADDLED (i.e. “in a mess”). When read as ADD LED, the solution also satisfies “give extra source of illumination” – LED being a recognised abbreviation of a light-emitting diode.

56. Press employee, a kind person such as myself (10)

Answer: TYPESETTER (i.e. “[newspaper] press employee”). Solution is TYPE (i.e. “a kind”) followed by SETTER (i.e. “person such as myself”, referring to the person setting the crossword).

57. Maybe oral fluency? Ultimately likely to lose it (5)

Answer: TESTY (i.e. “likely to lose it”). Solution is TEST (i.e. “maybe oral”, as opposed to a practical or written test) followed by Y (i.e. “fluency ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “fluency”).

Down clues

1. Summons cut and used in the Vatican? (6)

Answer: DOCKET (i.e. “summons”). Solution is DOCK (i.e. “cut”) followed by ET (i.e. “and used in the Vatican”, i.e. the Italian for “and”).

2. Credit source of story introduced by military operation (6,7)

Answer: CHARGE ACCOUNT (i.e. “credit source”). Solution is ACCOUNT (i.e. “story”) following or being “introduced by” CHARGE (i.e. “military operation”).

3. Point in either direction? (5)

Answer: REFER (i.e. “[to] point”). “In either direction” indicates the solution is a palindrome.

4. Artilleryman uncovered gas plant (7)

Answer: GUNNERA (i.e. “plant” – did a Google Image search… meh, big leaves). Solution is GUNNER (i.e. “artilleryman”) followed by A (former chemical symbol of argon, i.e. “gas”).

5. Suffering cutting pains, incline to show weakness (8,4)

Answer: ACHILLES HEEL (i.e. “weakness”). Solution is ILL (i.e. “suffering”) placed in or “cutting” ACHES (i.e. “pains”) and followed by HEEL (i.e. “incline”), like so: ACH(ILL)ES-HEEL.

6. Gosh! It’s about that Gallic aura (8)

Answer: MYSTIQUE (i.e. “aura”). Solution is an exclamatory MY (i.e. “gosh!”) followed by ITS reversed (indicated by “about”) and then QUE (i.e. “that Gallic”, i.e. the French for “that”), like so: MY-STI-QUE.

7. Sack magistrate in hearing (5)

Answer: REAVE (i.e. to pillage or “sack”). “In hearing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of REEVE, formerly a chief “magistrate” of a district.

8. Cats and mice running around besetting one’s simple existence (10)

Answer: ASCETICISM (i.e. “simple existence”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “running around”) of CATS and MICE, which is wrapped around or “besetting” I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”), like so: ASCETIC(I’S)M.

10. Turning back, some incite rehabilitated dissenter (7)

Answer: HERETIC (i.e. “dissenter”). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “turning back” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: IN(CITE REH)ABILITATED.

11. Formal setting, say, African set up (9)

Answer: STATEROOM (i.e. “formal setting”). Solution is STATE (i.e. “say”) followed by MOOR (i.e. “African”) reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: STATE-ROOM.

12. Door guard after polling (5)

Answer: ENTRY (i.e. “door”). Solution is SENTRY (i.e. “guard”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “polling” – which is “to cut the hair, horns or tree-top from…” (Chambers)).

13. Performer looking less well, suppressing remark on weight (5,9)

Answer: SWORD SWALLOWER (i.e. “performer”). Solution is SALLOWER (i.e. “looking less well”) wrapped around or “suppressing” WORDS (i.e. “remark”) and W (a recognised abbreviation of “weight”), like so: S(WORDS-W)ALLOWER.

20. Making invalid queen not disheartened about German city (9)

Answer: ANNULMENT (i.e. “making invalid”). Solution is ANNE (i.e. “queen” – other queens are available) and NT (i.e. “not disheartened”, i.e. the word “not” with its middle letter removed) placed “about” ULM (i.e. “German city”) like so: ANN(ULM)E-NT.

21. Course covering mature relationships (8)

Answer: LINKAGES (i.e. “relationships”). Solution is LINKS (i.e. “[golf] course”) wrapped around or “covering” AGE (i.e. “mature”), like so: LINK(AGE)S.

23. Director of music cycle recited songs (10)

Answer: RINGLEADER (i.e. “director”). Solution is RING (i.e. “[Richard Wagner’s] music cycle”) followed by LEADER (i.e. “recited songs”, i.e. a homophone of LIEDER).

24. Protects very popular image (10)

Answer: SCREENSHOT (i.e. “image”). Solution is SCREENS (i.e. “protects”) followed by HOT (i.e. “very popular”).

26. Shabby tent, tailor-made originally (14)

Answer: TATTERDEMALION (i.e. “shabby”). “Originally” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TENT TAILOR-MADE. Brilliant word.

28. Visible figures added nuances (9)

Answer: OVERTONES (i.e. “nuances”). When read as OVERT ONES, the solution also satisfies “visible figures”.

29. A pair of short teachers’ marks for poem? (8)

Answer: ACROSTIC (i.e. “poem”). Solution is A followed by CROSS and TICK (i.e. “teachers’ marks”) once their final letters have been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: A-CROS-TIC.

33. See competitors in Welsh girl’s resting place (7,6)

Answer: ELYSIAN FIELDS, “resting place” of heroes in Greek mythology. A bit of a guess, this, but my solution is ELY (i.e. a diocese or “see”, specifically the Diocese of Ely) followed by FIELD (i.e. “competitors”) once it has been placed “in” SIAN’S (i.e. “Welsh girl’s”), like so: ELY-SIAN(FIELD)’S.

34. Wild fern and its clone in bloom (12)

Answer: INFLORESCENT (i.e. “in bloom”). “Wild” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FERN and ITS CLONE.

38. Doctor in hall, one on the right, walking around (10)

Answer: AMBULATORY (i.e. “walking around”). Solution is MB (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a Medicinae Baccalaureus, or a Bachelor of Medicine) placed “in” AULA (i.e. “hall”, from the Latin) and then followed by TORY (i.e. “one on the right”), like so: A(MB)ULA-TORY.

40. Note about article better with digital enhancement (9)

Answer: MANICURED (i.e. “with digital enhancement”, referring to the digits of one’s hand). Solution is MI (i.e. “note” in the doh-ray-mi style – can be spelled “mi” or “me”) wrapped “about” AN (i.e. “article” – setters often use “article” to represent things like A, AN or THE in their solutions) and followed by CURED (i.e. “better”), like so: M(AN)I-CURED.

42. Let team bowled out prepare to get attacked (8)

Answer: EMBATTLE (i.e. “prepare to get attacked”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of LET TEAM and B (a recognised abbreviation of “bowled” used in cricket).

44. Ferret, curious and enchanting sort (7)

Answer: RUMMAGE (i.e. “[to] ferret”). Solution is RUM (i.e. “curious”) followed by MAGE (i.e. “enchanting sort”).

46. Wrongly surmise this person acts improperly (7)

Answer: MISUSER (i.e. “this person acts improperly”). “Wrongly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SURMISE.

47. Prime fodder keeping colour up (6)

Answer: HEYDAY (i.e. one’s “prime”). Solution is HAY (i.e. “[animal] fodder”) wrapped around or “keeping” DYE (i.e. “colour”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: H(EYD)AY.

48. Kingdom once a great place, mostly, to be brought up (5)

Answer: LYDIA (i.e. “kingdom once” – specifically one from the Iron Age, located in western Asia). Solution is A and IDYLL (i.e. “great place”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “up” – again, this being a down clue), like so: LYDI-A. One I got from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

50. Nickel removed from salt for stock (5)

Answer: TRITE (i.e. “stock”). Solution is NITRITE (i.e. “salt”) with the NI (chemical symbol of “nickel”) “removed”.

52. Pan for meat, maybe (5)

Answer: ROAST. Solution satisfies “pan” (i.e. to criticise someone) and “meat, maybe” (e.g. “roast beef” – the “maybe” indicates you can have things like roast vegetables too).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1406

[NOTE: I’ll be away from my laptop next weekend for a couple of weeks. All being well, I’ll be back in the saddle again early-November. Look after the place while I’m gone, will you? – LP]

Another relatively straightforward puzzle this week, though there was a smattering of exotic solutions to keep things a little spicy. It would also appear this week’s setter is the one who has a thing for dead people. (One of the unwritten rules The Times employs in their crosswords is to only allow real people as solutions if they’ve kicked the bucket.) I counted three dead guys lying around, stinking up the place, and another three that were shoehorned into other solutions. The irony wasn’t lost on me, given I’d grumped about precisely this in a comment to last week’s post. Ho and hum.

Anyway, to a spot of housekeeping. If you have a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s tripped you up, then you might find my Just For Fun page a handy resource. If you have a passing interest in books, then I’ve a few things on my Reviews page that might interest. Maybe. No promises.

Right then. Here’s my completed grid, along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

Till next time,

LP

Across clues

1. About an hour changing motorway (8)

Answer: AUTOBAHN (i.e. a “motorway” in Germany). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “changing”) of ABOUT AN and H (a recognised abbreviation of “hour”).

5. Author on the right put off about vote (6)

Answer: Colin DEXTER, creator of Inspector Morse (i.e. “author” – with apologies to any other deceased authors of his namesake – don’t haunt me). Solution is DETER (i.e. “put off”) placed “about” X (i.e. “vote”), like so: DE(X)TER. Solution also satisfies “on the right”. I’m sinister, which may not surprise anyone.

9. Order to purchase gemstone reportedly for cyborg technology (7)

Answer: BIONICS (i.e. “cyborg technology”). “Reportedly” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of BUY ONYX (i.e. “order to purchase gemstone”).

14. Fiery and extreme English politician in present day (3-8)

Answer: HOT-TEMPERED (i.e. “fiery”). Solution is OTT (i.e. “extreme”, being a recognised abbreviation of “over the top”), E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament) placed “in” HERE (i.e. “present”) and finally followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”), like so: H(OTT-E-MP)ERE-D.

15. Alas, your pic is spoiled as gannets take food (11)

Answer: RAPACIOUSLY (i.e. “as gannets take food”). “Spoiled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALAS YOUR PIC.

16. Europe’s capital resides in wealthy German state (5)

Answer: REICH (i.e. “German state”). Solution is E (i.e. “Europe’s capital”, i.e. the first letter of “European”) placed or “residing in” RICH (i.e. “wealthy”), like so: R(E)ICH.

17. Poisonous mushroom mother’s fed to girl (7)

Answer: AMANITA (i.e. “poisonous mushroom”). Solution is MA (i.e. “mother”) placed in or “fed to” ANITA (i.e. “girl”, as in a girl’s name), like so: A(MA)NITA. I owe this one in part to a frightening number of hours spent gadding about Skyrim. And Skyrim VR.

18. Ireland in round are initially one up on points? (9)

Answer: BALLERINA (i.e. “one up on points”, as in being up on one’s tippy-toes). Solution is ERIN (i.e. “Ireland”, poetically) placed “in” between BALL (i.e. “round” – a bit weak) and A (i.e. “are initially”, i.e. the first letter of “are”), like so: BALL-(ERIN)-A.

19. Rupees southern India discovered in drug island (7)

Answer: CORSICA (i.e. “island”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “rupees”), S (ditto “southern”) and I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) placed or “discovered in” COCA (i.e. “drug”), like so: CO(R-S-I)CA.

20. Perhaps Oscar is number two (6-2-7)

Answer: SECOND-IN-COMMAND (i.e. “number two”). Solution also satisfies “perhaps Oscar”, referring to how O (“Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet) is the second letter of “command”.

22. Not let Anne Dutten out (10)

Answer: UNTENANTED (i.e. “not let”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ANNE DUTTEN.
[EDIT: Thanks to Mark in the comments for the correction. Solution was UNTENANTED, not UNATTENDED. The grid image was correct, but my brain went wrong when writing up the solutions. Stoopid brain… – LP]

23. Give Spanish noblewoman note (6)

Answer: DONATE (i.e. “give”). Solution is DONA (i.e. “Spanish noblewoman”, the female equivalent of a Don) followed by TE (i.e. “note”, in the doh-ray-me notation).

25. Once more throwing away a win (4)

Answer: GAIN (i.e. “win”). Solution is AGAIN (i.e. “once more”) with the first A removed (indicated by “throwing away a”).

28. Putting longer, I developed a brassy technique (6-8)

Answer: TRIPLE-TONGUING (i.e. “brassy technique”). “Developed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PUTTING LONGER I. Not one to stick into Google. (Right, Mick? 😉 )

30. Ale month shifted alcohol (8)

Answer: METHANOL (i.e. “alcohol”). “Shifted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALE MONTH.

32. Soldiers protecting heads of Asian trade mission (8)

Answer: LEGATION (i.e. a diplomatic “mission”). Solution is LEGION (i.e. “soldiers”) wrapped around or “protecting” the “heads” or first letters of “Asian” and “trade”, like so: LEG(A-T)ION.

34. Headless rat in eggs and cheese pastries? Take any remedy (6,2,6)

Answer: CLUTCH AT STRAWS (i.e. “take any remedy”). Solution is AT (i.e. “headless rat”, i.e. the word “rat” with its initial letter removed) placed “in” between CLUTCH (i.e. “eggs”) and STRAWS (i.e. “cheese pastries”), like so: CLUTCH-(AT)-STRAWS.

37. Pint puller needs no help to get froth on liquor (4)

Answer: BARM (i.e. “froth on [fermenting] liquor”). Solution is BARMAID (i.e. “pint puller”) with the AID removed (indicated by “needs no help”). One gotten purely from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

38. Note hint about card game (6)

Answer: ECARTE (i.e. “card game”). Solution is E (i.e. a musical “note”) followed by TRACE (i.e. “hint”) both reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: ECART-E. Another one gotten from the wordplay.

39. 3-D art of changing hands in clock-making (10)

Answer: HOLOGRAPHY (i.e. “3-D art”). Solution is HOROGRAPHY (i.e. “clock-making”) with the R replaced by L (indicated by “changing hands”; R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”, L being “left”).

43. US determination to change inadequate rating (15)

Answer: UNDERESTIMATION (i.e. “inadequate rating”). “To change” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of US DETERMINATION.

45. Vet meeting requirements given time (7)

Answer: INSPECT (i.e. to “vet”). Solution is IN SPEC (i.e. “meeting requirements”, as in being within specification) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

47. Vandyke perhaps knowing about English illustrator (9)

Answer: Aubrey BEARDSLEY (i.e. “illustrator”). Solution is BEARD (i.e. “Vandyke perhaps”, being a short pointy beard) followed by SLY (i.e. “knowing”) once it has been wrapped around E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: BEARD-SL(E)Y. No, me neither. Another one gotten from the wordplay.

49. Mixture of aluminium in molten rock on the turn (7)

Answer: AMALGAM (i.e. “mixture”). Solution is AL (chemical symbol of “aluminium”) placed “in” MAGMA (i.e. “molten rock”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “on the turn”), like so: AM(AL)GAM.

51. Country concerned with peace after Conservative loss (5)

Answer: REALM (i.e. “country”). Solution is RE (i.e. “concerned with” – think email replies, for example) followed by CALM (i.e. “peace”) with the C removed (indicated by “after Conservative loss” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”), like so: RE-ALM.

52. Diplomat needs suit as cover for briefs (7,4)

Answer: ATTACHE CASE (i.e. “cover for briefs”). Solution is ATTACHE (i.e. “diplomat”) followed by CASE (i.e. “suit”). An easier get than it ought to have been, being a recent repeat.

53. Evil American is into careless faker of images (11)

Answer: ILLUSIONIST (i.e. “faker of images”). Solution is ILL (i.e. “evil”) followed by US (i.e. “American”) and an anagram (indicated by “careless”) of IS INTO, like so: ILL-US-IONIST.

54. Sleeping – something not to do around Sandhurst (7)

Answer: DORMANT (i.e. “sleeping”). Solution is DON’T (i.e. “something not to do”) placed “around” RMA (i.e. Royal Military Academy, “Sandhurst” – it’s listed as RMAS in my Chambers, with no separate entry for RMA. Your dictionary may differ.)

55. Dangerous element runs for street in sports venue (6)

Answer: RADIUM (i.e. “dangerous element”). “For” indicates a replacement is afoot. Solution is STADIUM (i.e. “sports venue”) with the ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”) replaced with R (ditto “runs”, as used in various ball games). Spookily, the last book I’ve read this week is Brooke Bolander’s The Only Harmless Great Thing, which is up for a World Fantasy Award next month. The novella is partly about the Radium Girls, who painted radium onto clock faces, tragically unaware of the radiation poisoning until it was much too late. Also, sentient glow-in-the-dark elephants. It’s a good read, incidentally, but takes some getting into. Anyway, moving on…

56. Hardly daunting storing film material (8)

Answer: SCARCELY (i.e. “hardly”). Solution is SCARY (i.e. “daunting”) wrapped around or “storing” CEL (i.e. “film material”), like so: SCAR(CEL)Y.

Down clues

1. Steam haricots with some tongue inside (7)

Answer: AMHARIC, the official language of Ethiopia (i.e. “tongue”). “With some … inside” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: STE(AM HARIC)OTS. One I only got once I had all the intersecting letters filled in, and even then a brute force of my Chambers was needed.

2. All playing on grass put up with half time ice cream (5-6)

Answer: TUTTI-FRUTTI (i.e. “ice cream”). Solution is TUTTI (musical lingo for “all playing”) followed by TURF (i.e. “grass”) reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), then TI (i.e. “half time”, i.e. the first half of the word “time”), like so: TUTTI-FRUT-TI.

3. Writer’s from German right, one limited by injunction? (9)

Answer: BRECHTIAN (i.e. “writer’s” – I’m taking this to mean “of Bertolt BRECHT”). Solution is RECHT (i.e. “German right”, i.e. the German for “right”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “limited by” BAN (i.e. “injunction”), like so: B(RECHT-I)AN.

4. US comedian’s internal struggle to be eternally optimistic? (4,7,4)

Answer: HOPE AGAINST HOPE. Solution satisfies “US comedian [Bob HOPE]’s internal struggle” and “to be eternally optimistic”). A clue that scans rather well.

6. Ghostly tingling follows tree emitting echo (8)

Answer: ELDRITCH (i.e. “ghostly” – fans of H.P. Lovecraft will be all over this one). Solution is ITCH (i.e. “tingling”) placed after or “following” ELDER (i.e. “tree”) with the second E removed (indicated by “emitting echo” – E is “echo” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: ELDR-ITCH.

7. Orientating car badly in unfamiliar area (5,9)

Answer: TERRA INCOGNITA (i.e. “unfamiliar area”). “Badly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ORIENTATING CAR. Another clue that scans rather well. The solution also begs to be a story title. Really cool.

8. Politician managed to take in English people (10)

Answer: REPUBLICAN (i.e. “politician”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “managed”) wrapped around or “taking in” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and PUBLIC (i.e. “people”), like so: R(E-PUBLIC)AN. I really ought to start using a recognised abbreviation for “a recognised abbreviation”…

9. Rural bus curtailed – a severe pain (7)

Answer: BUCOLIC (i.e. “rural”). Solution is BUS with the last letter removed (indicated by “curtailed”) and followed by COLIC (i.e. “a severe pain”), like so: BU-COLIC.

10. Old unit containing unknown toxic gas (5)

Answer: OZONE (i.e. “toxic gas”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and ONE (i.e. a “unit”) wrapped around or “containing” Z (i.e. “unknown” – setters love calling the letters X, Y or Z in their solutions “unknowns”), like so: O-(Z)-ONE.

11. Where train stops around one with good reason to get going (11)

Answer: INSTIGATION (i.e. “reason to get going”). Solution is IN STATION (i.e. “where train stops”) placed “around” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: IN-ST(I-G)ATION.

12. Heavens! NHS bed places going up? (8)

Answer: SKYWARDS (i.e. “going up”). Solution is SKY (i.e. “heavens”) followed by WARDS (i.e. “NHS bed places”, as in hospital wards).

13. Killer beheaded Spanish poet (4)

Answer: ORCA, a “killer” whale. Solution is Federico García LORCA (i.e. “Spanish poet”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “beheaded”). Chalk one to my Bradfords here. My knowledge of Spanish poets is almost as good as my knowledge of non-Spanish poets.

20. Queen’s put up in Italian city (6)

Answer: SIENNA (i.e. “Italian city”). Solution is ANNE IS (i.e. “queen’s”, read as “queen is”), reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), like so: SI-ENNA.

21. Picture reason for dropping coffee? (7)

Answer: MUGSHOT. Solution satisfies “picture” and, when read as MUG [IS] SHOT (i.e. “reason for dropping coffee”).

22. Indescribable hunt hold topless meet (6)

Answer: UNTOLD (i.e. “indescribable”). Solution is derived by removing the initial letters (indicated by “topless”) of HUNT HOLD.

24. The food of love, perhaps with chips? (10,5)

Answer: ELECTRONIC MUSIC. Solution riffs on an oft quoted line from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: “If music be the food of love, play on”. “Chips”, in context of the solution, represent microchips. You get the idea.

26. Treats cloth on side with a napper as quickly as possible (4,5,5)

Answer: FULL STEAM AHEAD (i.e. “as quickly as possible”). Solution is FULLS (i.e. “treats cloth” – an alternative definition of “full” is to scour and beat woollens) followed by TEAM (i.e. “side”) and A HEAD (i.e. “a napper” – a definition supported by my Chambers), like so: FULLS-TEAM-A-HEAD.

27. Flamboyant wood used in old carriage (6)

Answer: FLASHY (i.e. “flamboyant”). Solution is ASH (i.e. “wood”) placed “in” FLY (i.e. “old carriage”), like so: FL(ASH)Y.

29. The French on watch, perhaps for English martyr (7)

Answer: Hugh LATIMER, one of the Oxford “Martyrs” tried for heresy in the sixteenth century and burnt at the stake. Solution is LA (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the feminine form of the word “the” in French) followed by TIMER (i.e. “watch, perhaps”). Another one gotten from the wordplay.

31. Disconcerted wife in large crowd losing key (6)

Answer: THROWN (i.e. “disconcerted”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) placed “in” THRONG (i.e. “large crowd”) once the G has been removed (indicated by “losing [musical] key”), like so: THRO(W)N.

33. Piano virtuoso, expert at moving pieces (11)

Answer: GRANDMASTER. Solution, when read as GRAND MASTER, satisfies “piano virtuoso”. Solution also satisfies “expert at moving [chess] pieces”.

35. Amentia treated with hemp drug (11)

Answer: AMPHETAMINE (i.e. “drug”). “Treated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AMENTIA and HEMP.

36. Novel sin – just (6,4)

Answer: VANITY FAIR, a “novel” by William Makepeace Thackery. Solution is VANITY (one of the seven deadly “sins”) followed by FAIR (i.e. “just”).

40. Stock film boxers perhaps avoided? (9)

Answer: RESERVOIR (i.e. “stock”). Solution is RESERVOIR DOGS (i.e. a “film” by Quentin Tarantino) with the DOGS removed (indicated by “boxers perhaps avoided”).
[EDIT: Thanks to Sid in the comments for the typo corrections. Much obliged, Sid! – LP]

41. Store directors chasing award (8)

Answer: CUPBOARD (i.e. “store”). Solution is BOARD (i.e. “directors”) placed after or “chasing” CUP (i.e. “award”), like so: CUP-BOARD.

42. Unfortunately, it is a rum dessert (8)

Answer: TIRAMISU (i.e. “dessert”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IT IS A RUM.

44. Note way to remove fumes making acetone? (7)

Answer: SOLVENT (i.e. “acetone”). Solution SOL (i.e. “note”, in the doh-ray-me style) followed by VENT (i.e. “way to remove fumes”).

46. Grass’s book (7)

Answer: TIMOTHY. Solution satisfies “grass” – as in the flora – and “book” – as in one of the books of the New Testament.

48. Russian’s home in Moscow, yes, before tea (5)

Answer: DACHA (i.e. “Russian’s home”). Solution is DA (i.e. “in Moscow, yes” – as in the Russian word for “yes”) followed by CHA (i.e. “tea”). One I knew, weirdly, though I can’t recall from where.

50. Day record set up for top prize (4)

Answer: GOLD (i.e. “top prize”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”) followed by LOG (i.e. “record”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: GOL-D.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1405

Another relatively straightforward affair this week, lightly peppered with a few exotics to keep things interesting. 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 get cracking, a spot of housekeeping. If you have a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic crossword that has left you jiggered then my Just For Fun page might be of some use. If you dig on book reviews, then I have a bunch on my Reviews page.

To the solutions then. TTFN!

LP

Across clues

1. Successful entertainment bursts out with energy in rush (3,4)

Answer: POP STAR (i.e. “successful entertainer”). Solution is POPS (i.e. “bursts”) followed by TEAR (i.e. “[to] rush”) once the E has been removed (indicated by “out with energy”, E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: POPS-TAR.

5. Novel about Churchill’s bunker? (3,6)

Answer: THE WARDEN (i.e. “[Anthony Trollope] novel”). When read as THE WAR DEN, the solution also satisfies “Churchill’s bunker”.

10. House warming’s ending with a fine foxtrot (4)

Answer: GAFF (i.e. “house”). Solution is G (i.e. “warming’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “warming”) followed by A then F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine”) and F (“foxtrot” in the phonetic alphabet).

14. Put off edited satanic report (13)

Answer: PROCRASTINATE (i.e. “put off”). “Edited” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SATANIC REPORT.

15. Two toys are nearly maximum price (3,6)

Answer: TOP DOLLAR (i.e. “maximum price”). Solution is [spinning] TOP and DOLL (i.e. “two toys”) followed by ARE with its last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”), like so: TOP-DOLL-AR.

16. Outfit with green energy (3-2-3-2)

Answer: GET-UP-AND-GO (i.e. “energy”). Solution is GET-UP (i.e. “outfit”) followed by AND (i.e. “with”) and GO (i.e. “green”, as in traffic lights).

17. No time for sexy poetry after hard alexandrines (6,5)

Answer: HEROIC VERSE (i.e. “alexandrines” – a kind of poem). Solution is EROTIC VERSE (i.e. “sexy poetry”) with the T removed (indicated by “no time for…” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and the remainder placed “after” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils), like so: H-EROIC-VERSE.

18. Wife aggressively masculine, daughter not born (5)

Answer: DUTCH, which is Cockney rhyming slang for “wife”, supposedly after the Duchess of Fife. No, me neither, but then I had to have “Alans” explained to me in the phrase “calm down, keep your Alans on”. Knickers, in case you were wondering, after Alan Whicker. Anyway, I digress… Solution is BUTCH (i.e. “aggressively masculine” with the D replaced by B (indicated by “daughter not born” – D being a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”; B being a recognised abbreviation of “born”).

19. Hatred of how much senior management take (10)

Answer: EXECRATION (i.e. “hatred”). When read as EXEC RATION, the solution also satisfies “how much senior management [executives, or execs] take”.

21. Sea wall gone extremely rapidly in a storm (6)

Answer: GROYNE (i.e. “sea wall”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “in a storm”) of GONE and RY (i.e. “extremely rapidly”, i.e. the first and last letters of “extremely”).

23. Chief steward brought round tea for customer (9)

Answer: PURCHASER (i.e. “customer”). Solution is PURSER (i.e. “chief steward”) placed “round” CHA (i.e. “tea”), like so: PUR(CHA)SER.

25. Girl half rejecting modern times (5)

Answer: DONNA (i.e. “girl”). Solution is “half” of ANNO DOMINI (i.e. “modern times”) once reversed (indicated by “rejected”) like so: INIMO(D ONNA).

26. Piled up, a sea enveloping a ship (7)

Answer: AMASSED (i.e. “piled up”). Solution is A MED (i.e. “a sea”, specifically the Mediterranean) wrapped around or “enveloping” A SS (i.e. “a ship” – SS is a recognised abbreviation of “steamship” or “screw steamer”), like so: A-M(A-SS)ED.

28. What some loose women had on highly embarrassed landlord? (7,6)

Answer: SCARLET LETTER. Solution satisfies “what some loose women had on” – being “a scarlet-coloured letter A worn by women convicted of adultery in the Puritan communities of New England” (thank you, Chambers) – and “highly embarrassed landlord” – a landlord being one who lets property.

31. Poet’s good book very cheap? (4,5)

Answer: EZRA POUND (i.e. “poet”). Taking EZRA to be one of the books of The Bible, and POUND to be an amount of currency, the solution also satisfies “good book very cheap”.

33. Flag officer goes by state during round of duty (9)

Answer: TRICOLOUR (i.e. three-coloured “flag” e.g. of France). Solution is COL (i.e. “officer”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “colonel”) placed after RI (i.e. “state”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Rhode Island), and both placed in or “during” TOUR (i.e. “round of [military] duty”), like so: T(RI-COL)OUR.

35. Sympathetic as firm friend admits strong agitation (13)

Answer: COMPASSIONATE (i.e. “sympathetic”). Solution is CO (i.e. “firm”, as in a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and MATE (i.e. “friend”) wrapped around or “admitting” PASSION (i.e. “strong agitation”), like so: CO-M(PASSION)ATE.

37. A number working across one’s back for stiffness (7)

Answer: TENSION (i.e. “stiffness”). Solution is TEN (i.e. “a number”) and ON (i.e. “working”) wrapped around or placed “across” I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: TEN-(S’I)-ON.

38. Affair takes one out of office work (5)

Answer: FLING (i.e. “affair”). Solution is FILING (i.e. “office work”) with the first I removed (indicated by “takes [Roman numeral] one out of…”).

40. Think about where to move: coast (9)

Answer: FREEWHEEL (i.e. “[to] coast”). Solution is FEEL (i.e. “think”) placed “about” an anagram (indicated by “to move”) of WHERE, like so: F(REEWH)EEL.

42. Lock up enclosure ahead of time (6)

Answer: ENCAGE (i.e. “[to] lock up”). Solution is ENC (a recognised abbreviation of “enclosure” used in formal correspondence) followed by AGE (i.e. “time”).

44. Piles on underclothes one may get down to (5,5)

Answer: “…one may get down to” BRASS TACKS. Solution is STACKS (i.e. “piles”) placed after BRAS (i.e. “underclothes”), like so: BRAS-STACKS.

46. Very much gas around – died (2,3)

Answer: NO END (i.e. “very much”). Solution is NEON (i.e. “gas”) reversed (indicated by “around”) and followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “died”), like so: NOEN-D.

48. One will go for a spin, churning up terrible mud (6,5)

Answer: TUMBLE DRIER (i.e. “one will go for a spin”). “Churning up” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TERRIBLE MUD.

50. Soldier at attention; Marlowe, for example (7,3)

Answer: PRIVATE EYE (i.e. “Marlowe, for example”, as in Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled and immensely readable shamus – seriously, The Big Sleep should be near the top of your TBR pile if you’ve never read it, with Farewell, My Lovely placed underneath it). Solution is PRIVATE (i.e. “solider”) followed by EYE (i.e. “attention”, as in “to have one’s attention”).

52. Angry reaction engulfing small character (9)

Answer: BACKSLASH (i.e. a typographical “character”). Solution is BACKLASH (i.e. “angry reaction”) wrapped around or “engulfing” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small” used in clothing sizes), like so: BACK(S)LASH.

53. Said to have gone out wearing fleece, unlikely to change? (4-2-3-4)

Answer: DYED-IN-THE-WOOL (i.e. “unlikely to change”). “Said” indicates homophone, so the solution could be read as DIED IN THE WOOL, satisfying “to have gone out wearing fleece”.

54. Austen novel’s central characters take a step back for another woman (4)

Answer: ELLA (i.e. “woman” as in a woman’s name – a little disappointing given we’ve already had a name used as a solution, but there you go…) Solution is EMMA (i.e. “Austen’s novel”) with the “central characters” MM replaced by LL (indicated by “take a step back” – L immediately precedes M in the alphabet).

55. Frightfully secretive after short retreat (9)

Answer: HIDEOUSLY (i.e. “frightfully”). Solution is SLY (i.e. “secretive”) placed “after” HIDEOUT (i.e. “retreat”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: HIDEOU-SLY.

56. Tried to get help after letter read out (7)

Answer: ESSAYED (i.e. “tried”). “Read out” indicates homophones. Solution is ESS (i.e. “letter”, specifically the letter S) and AID (i.e. “help”) when spoken together.

Down clues

1. Immature creature raised in a year (4)

Answer: PUPA (i.e. “immature creature”). Solution is UP (i.e. “raised”) placed “in” PA (i.e. “a year”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “per annum”), like so: P(UP)A.

2. One in favour of street rioting? (9)

Answer: PROTESTER. Solution is PRO (i.e. “in favour of”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “rioting”) of STREET, like so: PRO-TESTER. Within the context of the clue, a protester could be one in favour of street rioting. I’m sure some are peaceful, though.

3. Story in the Mirror? (7,3,7,5)

Answer: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, a “story” by Lewis Carroll. A “mirror” is also called a looking glass (ignore the misleading capitalisation). You get the idea.

4. Deer’s round bottom, reddish (7)

Answer: ROSEATE (i.e. “reddish”). Solution is ROE (i.e. “deer”) placed “round” SEAT (i.e. “bottom”), like so: RO(SEAT)E.

5. What master mason has leads to serious questioning (5,6)

Answer: THIRD DEGREE. Solution satisfies “what master mason has” – relating to the three degrees or stages of Freemasonry, that of amateur, journeyman and master – and “serious questioning”.

6. Besotted with slinky demeanour (9)

Answer: ENAMOURED (i.e. “besotted”). “Slinky” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DEMEANOUR.

7. Drink at pub for leading character (5)

Answer: ALEPH, which is the first letter of the Phoenician and Hebrew alphabets (pats Chambers). So, “leading character”. Solution is ALE (i.e. “drink”) followed by PH (i.e. “pub”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “public house”). One I got purely from the wordplay, to be honest.

8. Go off outside, denied kiss during tryst (11)

Answer: DETERIORATE (i.e. “go off”). Solution is EXTERIOR (i.e. “outside”) with the X removed (indicated by “denied kiss”) and the remainder placed in or “during” DATE (i.e. “tryst”), like so: D(ETERIOR)ATE. An easier get than it should be, the solution having also appeared in last week’s grid as near as dammit.

9. A need for baby, so sleep with cousin (6)

Answer: NAPKIN (i.e. “a need for baby”). Solution is NAP (i.e. “sleep”) followed by KIN (i.e. “cousin”).

11. Good to move down exhibition hall showing sensitivity (7)

Answer: ALLERGY (i.e. “sensitivity”). Solution is GALLERY (i.e. “exhibition hall”) with the G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) “moved down” a number of notches – this being a down clue.

12. Police perhaps paid to break hunger strike? (5-4)

Answer: FORCE-FEED (i.e. “to break hunger strike”). Solution is FORCE (i.e. “police perhaps”) followed by FEED (i.e. “paid” – a bit weak, but the usage is in the dictionary, so there you go).

13. Having run down, rare warmth envelopes players (13,9)

Answer: WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (i.e. “players”). “Having run” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DOWN RARE WARMTH ENVELOPES. Rather well worked.

18. Start to type one’s newspaper article up, to put by for later (7)

Answer: DEPOSIT (i.e. “to put by for later”). Solution is T (i.e. “start to type”, i.e. the first letter of “type”) followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) then OP-ED (i.e. “newspaper article”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “up”, this being a down clue), like so: DE-PO-S’I-T.

20. So much French booze leads to furious scene (7)

Answer: TANTRUM (i.e. “furious scene”). Solution is TANT (i.e. “so much French” – “tant” is French for “so” or “so much” – Google Translate kind of backs it up, I guess (shrugs and gets on with life)) followed by RUM (i.e. “booze”).

22. Around part of eye, note the foreign pattern of stitches (4,4)

Answer: FAIR ISLE, a type of knitwear design (i.e. “pattern of stitches”). Solution is FA (i.e. “note”, in the do-ray-me style) and LE (i.e. “the foreign”, as in the French for “the”) placed “around” IRIS (i.e. “part of eye”), like so: FA-(IRIS)-LE. Another I got purely from the wordplay.

24. Arrange fielding position for critical moment of match (3,5)

Answer: SET POINT. Solution satisfies “arrange fielding position” in a game of cricket, and “critical moment of match”, e.g. in tennis.

27. One bowing to audience in Buddhist shrine (5)

Answer: STUPA (i.e. “Buddhist shrine”). “To audience” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of STOOPER (i.e. “one bowing”). Chalk one to my Bradford’s here.

29. Chinese perhaps like Scotsman? (5)

Answer: ASIAN. Solution satisfies “Chinese perhaps” and, when written as AS IAN, “like Scotsman”. Setters do like using “Ian” to mean Scotsman, which I’ve always thought a little weak.

30. Alarms heard when no poisonous gas remains in cans (7)

Answer: TOCSINS (i.e. “alarms” – a new one on me, but it’s there in the dictionary). Solution is O CS (i.e. “no poisonous gas” with O representing zero. Hmm, I’d say CS gas was more of an irritant than poisonous. Yes, I’m splitting hairs. What of it?) placed “in” TINS (i.e. “cans”), like so: T(O-CS)INS.

32. Fought – as road was widened – to be heard? (7)

Answer: DUELLED (i.e. “fought”). “To be heard” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of DUALLED (i.e. “road was widened”, as in a single carriage road being widened to become a dual carriageway).

34. Judge vase one to discard, house being this? (11)

Answer: REFURNISHED. Solution is REF (i.e. “judge”, as in a recognised abbreviation of “referee”) followed by URN (i.e. “vase”) then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and SHED (i.e. “discard”). Within the context of the clue, you may well discard a vase when refurnishing one’s house.

36. Power to arouse emotion when one collapses fifty and active (11)

Answer: AFFECTIVITY (i.e. “power to arouse emotion”). “Collapses” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FIFTY and ACTIVE.

37. Soprano suppresses a tear regularly, not beyond recovery (9)

Answer: TREATABLE (i.e. “not beyond recovery”). Solution is TREBLE (i.e. “soprano” – it’s in the dictionary, non-musos) wrapped around or “suppressing” A and TA (i.e. “tear regularly”, i.e. every other letter of TEAR), like so: TRE(A-TA)BLE.

39. Obtained work on ship to produce magazine perhaps (2,2,5)

Answer: GO TO PRESS (i.e. “produce magazine perhaps”). Solution is GOT (i.e. “obtained”) followed by OP (i.e. “work”, being a recognised abbreviation of “opus”; also “operation” if you fancy) then RE (i.e. “on”, both taken to mean “about” or “concerning”) and SS (i.e. “ship” – as mentioned before, this is a recognised abbreviation of “steamship” or “screw steamer”), like so: GOT-OP-RE-SS.

41. All energy, extremely desirable at first in youth (9)

Answer: EVERYBODY (i.e. “all”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) followed by VERY (i.e. “extremely”) and D (i.e. “desirable at first”, i.e. the first letter of “desirable”) once it has been placed “in” BOY (i.e. “youth”), like so: E-VERY-BO(D)Y.

43. Throw speaker’s aid into burner, causing scream? (7)

Answer: COMICAL (i.e. “causing scream [of laughter]”). Solution is MIC (i.e. “speaker’s aid”, being a recognised abbreviation of “microphone”) placed “into” COAL (i.e. “burner”), like so: CO(MIC)AL.

45. To keep off alcohol, mostly locked away port (7)

Answer: SEATTLE (i.e. “port”). Solution is TT (i.e. “off alcohol”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “teetotal”) “kept” in SEALED (i.e. “locked away”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: SEA(TT)LE.

47. Sorcerer initially hated terrible old curse (6)

Answer: SDEATH (i.e. “old curse”, supposedly short for “God’s death” – I love it, but I strongly suspect this wasn’t the first solution the setter put in the grid…). Solution is S (i.e. “sorcerer initially”, i.e. the first letter of “sorcerer”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “terrible”) of HATED, like so: S-DEATH. One of those times where I jumped into the dictionary hoping to see a word – any word! – that began with SD. Happily, there it was.

49. Travelled over for round-up (5)

Answer: RODEO (i.e. “round-up”). Solution is RODE (i.e. “travelled”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket).

51. Happy to wander round lake (4)

Answer: GLAD (i.e. “happy”). Solution is GAD (i.e. “to wander”; also one of my favourite words because you needed to know that) placed “round” L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: G(L)AD.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1404

A gentler puzzle this week – much more my speed! A number of well-constructed clues made for a pleasant grid fill, all told. 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 get stuck in, a spot of housekeeping. If you have a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic crossword that’s left you baffled, then you might find my Just For Fun page of some use. Meanwhile, if you have a soft spot for horror stories, I have a bunch of reviews conveniently placed on my Reviews page. I’m (slowly) working my way through Stephen Jones’s Best New Horror anthologies. 10 down, 19 to go…

Anyway, that’s quite enough blathering from me.

Laters,

LP

Across clues

1. Brightly coloured hat? We hear you are wearing that (5)

Answer: LURID (i.e. “brightly coloured”). Solution is LID (i.e. “hat”) which is wrapped around or “worn by” U and R (i.e. “we hear you are”, i.e. homophones of “you” and “are”), like so: L(U-R)ID.

4. Sound from above? This is missing below (7)

Answer: THUNDER (i.e. “sound from above”). Solution is THIS with the IS removed (indicated by “is missing”) and followed by UNDER (i.e. “below”), like so: TH-UNDER.

8. Husband considered “never good” in retrospect, showing a certain sort of fake concern (9)

Answer: GREENWASH, which is to make an insincere show of concern for the environment (i.e. “fake concern”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) followed by SAW (i.e. “considered”) then NE’ER (poetic form of “never”) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “in retrospect”), like so: G-REEN-WAS-H. A new word on me, but I rather like it.

13. Specialist element said to be backing police investigator (9)

Answer: TECHNICAL (i.e. “specialist”). “Said to be” indicates homophones. Solution is NICAL (homophone of NICKEL, a chemical “element”) placed behind or “backing” TECH (homophone of TEC, a shortened form of detective, i.e. “police investigator”), like so: TECH-NICAL.

14. Team falling apart? That’s very funny (13)

Answer: SIDESPLITTING. Solution satisfies “team falling apart” (when read as SIDE SPLITTING) and “very funny”.

15. Singer thus embracing musical work took off (7)

Answer: SOPRANO (i.e. “singer”). Solution is SO (i.e. “thus”) wrapped around or “embracing” OP (i.e. “musical work”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) and RAN (i.e. “took off”), like so: S(OP-RAN)O.

16. Numbers in financial documents – one number therein multiplied by five (7)

Answer: AMOUNTS (i.e. “numbers”). Solution is ACCOUNTS (i.e. “financial documents”) with the CC (which is 200 in Roman numerals) replaced by M (which is 1000 in Roman numerals), as indicated by “one number therein multiplied by five”.

17. One that may go through wood in county with endless wonder (7)

Answer: BUCKSAW (i.e. “one that may go through wood”). Solution is BUCKS (i.e. “county”, specifically Buckinghamshire) followed by AWE (i.e. “wonder”) with its final letter removed (indicated by “endless”), like so: BUCKS-AW.

18. Total entertainment – everything being enjoyed by blondes? (3,3,3,2,3,4)

Answer: ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR. Solution satisfies “total entertainment” and “everything being enjoyed by blondes” – blondes being said to be fair-haired.

21. After victory you initially like a drink in the bar? (4)

Answer: WINY (i.e. “like a drink in the bar”). Solution is WIN (i.e. “victory”) with Y (i.e. “you initially”, i.e. the first letter of “you”) placed “after” it, like so: WIN-Y. Of all the words that could have fitted _I_Y, the setter picked this one?!

23. Criminal ten gaoled, given a stretch (9)

Answer: ELONGATED (i.e. “given a stretch”). “Criminal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TEN GAOLED.

25. Fierce folk, initially getting into rows (6)

Answer: TIGERS (i.e. “fierce folk”. Also animals, I’ve heard). Solution is G (i.e. “initially getting”) placed “into” TIERS (i.e. “rows”), like so: TI(G)ERS.

26. Move your hips without hesitation – thanks to me? (6)

Answer: PHYSIO. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “move”) of YOUR HIPS once the UR has been removed (indicated by “without hesitation”). Within the context of the clue, physiotherapy could see you move your hips. (The “thanks to me” refers to the solution, not the setter, which threw me a bit.)

28. Agriculturalists at the cutting edge who hope to do well from investments? (12)

Answer: SHAREHOLDERS. The intersecting letters also fit “stakeholders”, who would also “hope to do well from investments”, but I reckon “cutting” indicates a sharing of sorts. (“Edge” seems a redundant word included to make the clue scan better. I could be wrong.) HOLDERS, meanwhile, can be farmer types i.e. “agriculturalists”. You get the idea.
[EDIT: Thanks to Margt and Mick in the comments for shedding some light on this one. The gist of the clue hangs on the concept of ploughshares, being all agricultural n’ all. Ploughs have a “cutting edge” too, which explains the presence of “edge” in the clue. Thanks, both! – LP]

30. One given go-ahead sign, beginning to travel east in splendid emergency vehicle (4,6)

Answer: FIRE ENGINE (i.e. “emergency vehicle”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by GREEN (i.e. “go-ahead sign”) once the G has been placed to the end (indicated by “beginning to travel east” – this being an across clue). Both are then placed in FINE (i.e. “splendid”), like so: F(I-REENG)INE.

33. Verbiage used by fashionable folk in London location (10)

Answer: PADDINGTON (i.e. “London location”). Solution is PADDING (i.e. “verbiage”) followed by TON (i.e. “fashionable folk” – the definition is there in the dictionary, but seldom used. Catnip for crossword setters, then).

34. Mean person who achieves little success as a pickpocket? (5-7)

Answer: PENNY-PINCHER. Solution satisfies “mean person” and “[one] who achieves little success as a pickpocket”.

37. Celebrity and agent in front of truck (6)

Answer: REPUTE (i.e. “celebrity”). Solution is REP (i.e. “agent”, as in a shortened form of “representative”) placed “in front of” UTE (i.e. “truck”, short for “utility vehicle”).

39. Love, very good, had to be seen in one man’s view of religion (6)

Answer: OPIATE (i.e. “one man’s view of religion”, specifically Karl Marx, who considered religion to be the opiate of the people). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, being a zero score in tennis) followed by PI (i.e. “very good”, as in a shortened form of “pious” – setters have used this a few times, so I’m a little wiser to this now) and ATE (i.e. “had”, as in consumed).

40. Original equine measure – from the horse’s mouth? (5-4)

Answer: FIRST-HAND (i.e. “[news] from the horse’s mouth”). Solution is FIRST (i.e. “original”) followed by HAND (i.e. “equine measure”).

42. Country refugee’s claim about what he or she did? (4)

Answer: IRAN (i.e. “country”). When written as I RAN, the solution also satisfies “refugee’s claim about what he or she did”.

43. Re Lent: Christianity constructed basic set of beliefs (6-4,8)

Answer: THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES (i.e. “basic set of beliefs”). “Constructed” indicates anagram. Solution is a rather neat anagram of RE LENT CHRISTIANITY.

46. In saint one recognises someone who prays lyrically? (7)

Answer: INTONER (i.e. “someone who prays lyrically”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: SA(INT ONE R)ECOGNISES.

47. Combed and scrubbed (7)

Answer: SCOURED. Solution satisfies “combed” and “scrubbed”.

48. Periodical facing difficulty, having nothing that provides spark (7)

Answer: MAGNETO (i.e. “that provides spark” – the prefix magneto- can denote something that is magneto-electric, i.e. something that generates electricity through the use of magnets). Solution is MAG (i.e. “periodical”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “magazine”) followed by NET (i.e. “difficulty” – not the most immediate definition, but it is in the dictionary) and O (i.e. “nothing”).

50. A scholar, I get excited when there’s buried circle? (13)

Answer: ARCHAEOLOGIST. “Excited” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A SCHOLAR I GET, which is wrapped around or “burying” O (i.e. “circle”). Within the context of the clue, an archaeologist may well get excited about finding a buried circle. Something like that.

51. What you may see with photograph of mum and computer? (9)

Answer: MAINFRAME (i.e. “computer”). When written as MA IN FRAME, the solution also satisfies “what you may see with photograph of mum”).

52. Game plan to engage one who’s willing to take high-level risks (4,5)

Answer: TEST PILOT (i.e. “one who’s willing to take high-level risks”; high as in altitude). Solution is TEST (i.e. a “game” of cricket) followed by PLOT (i.e. “plan”) once it is wrapped around or “engaging” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: TEST-P(I)LOT.

53. With worker having little energy, movement is slow (7)

Answer: ANDANTE (i.e. “[musical] movement is slow”). Solution is AND (i.e. “with”) followed by ANT (i.e. “worker”) and E (i.e. “little energy”, as in a recognised abbreviation of “energy”).

54. Very little support given to American city (5)

Answer: TEENY (i.e. “very little”). Solution is TEE (i.e. “support [for golf ball]”) followed by NY (i.e. “American city”, specifically New York).

Down clues

1. Group of dreamers tolerates us working (5-6)

Answer: LOTUS-EATERS (i.e. “group of dreamers [in Greek myth]”). “Working” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOLERATES US.

3. Sign in with teeth sadly amiss – to see the likes of us? (6,10)

Answer: DENTAL HYGIENISTS. “Amiss” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SIGN IN and TEETH SADLY. Within the context of the clue, you well “see the likes of” a dental hygienist if one’s “teeth [were] sadly amiss”. You get the idea. A clue that scans rather well.

4. Rebuke coming from country bumpkin losing head, interrupting smart gent (4,3)

Answer: TICK OFF (i.e. “rebuke”). Solution is HICK (i.e. “country bumpkin”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “losing head”) and the remainder placed in or “interrupting” TOFF (i.e. “smart gent”), like so: T(ICK)OFF.

5. Without guidance, without merit, without knowledge (9)

Answer: UNLEARNED (i.e. “without knowledge”). Solution is UNLED (i.e. “without guidance”) wrapped around or placed “without” EARN (i.e. “merit”), like so: UNL(EARN)ED. Probably my favourite clue of the puzzle. Very well worked.

6. Unease that could be engendered by sitcom if rude (12)

Answer: DISCOMFITURE (i.e. “unease”). “Engendered by” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SITCOM IF RUDE.

7. Managing school and boosted by success (6,4)

Answer: RIDING HIGH (i.e. “boosted by success”). Solution is RIDING (i.e. “managing”) followed by HIGH (a kind of “school”).

8. Non-English visitors – they may breeze in (5)

Answer: GUSTS (i.e. “they may breeze in”). Solution is GUESTS (i.e. “visitors”) with the E removed (indicated by “non-English”, E being a recognised abbreviation of “English”).

9. From collection of old politician, by chance not complete (2-6)

Answer EX-LIBRIS (i.e. “from collection”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”) followed by LIB (i.e. “politician”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a Liberal Democrat) and RISK (i.e. “chance”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not complete”), like so: EX-LIB-RIS.

10. See old books with pleasant binding (6)

Answer: NOTICE (i.e. “see”). Solution is OT (i.e. “old books”, specifically the Old Testament) placed in or “bound” by NICE (i.e. “pleasant”), like so: N(OT)ICE.

11. Like position of sailor maybe, well away from port? (9)

Answer: AMIDSHIPS. Clue riffs on how “port” can refer to the left of a ship. A sailor placed amidships can be said to be “well away from port”. You get the idea.

12. Why each dog must be trained – one included for walkers etc. (7,4)

Answer: HIGHWAY CODE (i.e. “for walkers etc”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “must be trained”) of WHY EACH DOG, which is wrapped around or “including” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”).

19. Man is fat – very many years getting stuffed (7)

Answer: LEONARD (i.e. “man”). Solution is LARD (i.e. “fat”) which is wrapped around or “stuffed” by EON (i.e. “very many years”), like so: L(EON)ARD.

20. Strange female, old, having time in office (7)

Answer: FOREIGN (i.e. “strange”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by O (ditto “old”) and REIGN (i.e. “time in office”).

22. To have low opinion of modern technology? That matters not a bit! (5,7,2,2)

Answer: THINK NOTHING OF IT. Solution satisfies “to have a low opinion of modern technology” – IT being a recognised abbreviation of Information Technology – and “that matters not a bit”.

24. For all that is hard inside, it is hard outside (6)

Answer: THOUGH (i.e. “for all that”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils) with TOUGH (i.e. “hard”) placed “outside” of it, like so: T(H)OUGH. Another well-worked clue.

27. One sad little person, boy getting lost (6)

Answer: WEEPER (i.e. “one sad”). Solution is WEE (i.e. “little”) followed by PERSON once the SON has been removed (indicated by “boy getting lost”), like so: WEE-PER.

29. Careless type in drive policeman caught out (7)

Answer: DROPPER (i.e. “careless type”). Solution is DR (a recognised abbreviation of “drive” used in street names) followed by COPPER (i.e. “policeman”) once the C has been removed (indicated by “caught out” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games), like so: DR-OPPER.

31. Outcast somewhat masculine, from what we hear (7)

Answer: ISHMAEL, who was turfed out into the wilderness by his father Abraham because the Almighty said so. That all-loving Almighty, eh? Anyway, “outcast”. Solution is ISH (i.e. “somewhat”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “from what we hear”) of MALE (i.e. “masculine”), like so: ISH-MAEL. One I got from the wordplay, what with me not being terribly religious n’ all.

32. Terrible English editor getting told off got worse (12)

Answer: DETERIORATED (i.e. “got worse”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “terrible”) of E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and EDITOR, which is then followed by RATED (i.e. “told off” – a sense of the word “rate” is to scold or berate), like so: DETERIO-RATED.

33. Some old company worker quietly interrupts active member (11)

Answer: PARTICIPANT (i.e. “active member”). Solution is PART (i.e. “some”) followed by ICI (i.e. “old company”, specifically Imperial Chemical Industries, which was bought out in 2008) and ANT (i.e. “worker”) which are wrapped around or “interrupted” by P (i.e. “quietly”, being a recognised abbreviation of “piano” in musical lingo), like so: PART-ICI-(P)-ANT.

35. Hellish situation in rescue operation? Find that’s not new (11)

Answer: REDISCOVERY (i.e. “find that’s not new”). Solution is DIS (i.e. “hellish situation”. Dis was “a name for the god Pluto, and hence the infernal world” (Chambers). You’ll also find the fictitious city of Dis, situated across the lower circles of Hell, in Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy) placed “in” RECOVERY (i.e. “rescue operation”), like so: RE(DIS)COVERY.

36. Woman who went up barely making an impression? (4,6)

Answer: LADY GODIVA, a noblewoman who – according to legend – rode naked or “barely” through the streets of Coventry on horseback. You get the idea. There might be something cleverer at play, but I’m not seeing it.

38. Procedures involving amounts charged when only part of play is screened (9)

Answer: PRACTICES (i.e. “procedures”). Solution is PRICES (i.e. “amounts charged”) wrapped around or “screening” ACT (i.e. “part of play”), like so: PR(ACT)ICES.

40. WC, maybe “Gents”, for cricketers (9)

Answer: FIELDSMEN (i.e. “cricketers”). Solution is FIELDS (i.e. “WC, maybe”, referring to 1930s American comedian and actor WC Fields) followed by MEN (i.e. “gents”).

41. Fuel must be cleaner – firm beginning to abandon oil finally (8)

Answer: CHARCOAL (i.e. “fuel”). Solution is CHAR (i.e. “cleaner”) followed by CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”, i.e. “firm”) then A (i.e. “beginning to abandon”, i.e. the first letter of “abandon”) and L (i.e. “oil finally”, i.e. the last letter of “oil”). Another clue that scans really well.

44. A home in the capital offers a sort of lettuce (7)

Answer: ROMAINE (i.e. “sort of lettuce”). Solution is A and IN (i.e. “home”) placed “in” ROME (i.e. a “capital” city), like so: ROM(A-IN)E. Chalk one to my Bradfords here. In terms of lettuce varieties, after “iceberg” I’m goosed.

45. Head of government spots uprising – answer is to make a settlement (6)

Answer: ENCAMP (i.e. “to make a settlement”). Solution is PM (i.e. “head of government”, specifically the Prime Minister) followed by ACNE (i.e. “spots”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “uprising” – this being a down clue), like so: ENCA-MP.

47. Explorer lodging in this cottage (5)

Answer: Robert Falcon SCOTT, popularly known as Scott of the Antarctic. “Lodging” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: THI(S COTT)AGE.

49. Cheer brought by counselling service, right away (5)

Answer: ELATE (i.e. “cheer”). Solution is RELATE (i.e. “counselling service”) with the R removed (indicated by “right away”, R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”).