Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1438

A decent puzzle to keep us entertained this Bank Holiday Monday Friday, and another that offered steady progression with a few well worked clues. Even the half-dozen or more place names didn’t get up my nose. (Inserts thumbs emoji.)

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

A few pre-flight checks before we begin. Solutions to umpteen previous Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords can be found on my Just For Fun page. Meanwhile, I have a few book reviews over here, and a story of mine over there. Emergency exits are here, here and here.

Right. Looks like you’re all set. I’ll leave you to it. Stay safe, and, all being well, I’ll see you tomorrow for another big ‘un.

LP

Across clues

1. Troublesome – could it be compatible given right input? (11)

Answer: PROBLEMATIC (i.e. “troublesome”). Solution is an anagram (indicated weakly by “could it be” – I think “troublesome” is too far away from the anagram to count as an indicator) of COMPATIBLE wrapped around or having “input” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: P(R)OBLEMATIC.

7. Cheap beer that made for expansive habit (11)

Answer: FARTHINGALE (i.e. “expansive habit” – over to Chambers for this: “a kind of crinoline of whalebone for extending a woman’s dress outward from the waist”). When read as FARTHING ALE, the clue also satisfies “cheap beer”.

13. Attractive lie spun deviously for business insider (7,10)

Answer: VENTURE CAPITALIST (i.e. “business insider”). “Deviously” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ATTRACTIVE LIE SPUN. Nicely worked.

14. Pipe connects with eastern state (5)

Answer: MAINE (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is MAIN (i.e. “pipe”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”).

15. Linen not covering picture’s frame (6)

Answer: NAPERY (i.e. “linen”). Solution is NARY (i.e. “not”) wrapped around or “covering” PE (i.e. “picture’s frame”, i.e. the first and last letters of “picture”), like so: NA(PE)RY.

16. Prisoner holding a little flower set to be hung in Tower (8)

Answer: CARILLON (i.e. “set [of bells] to be hung in tower” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is CON (i.e. “prisoner”) wrapped around or “holding” A and RILL (i.e. “little flower” – flower in this case being a river, as in one that flows – a rill is a small stream), like so: C(A-RILL)ON.

17. Work with uranium, fast becoming rich (7)

Answer: OPULENT (i.e. “rich”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “opus” or, as I like to think, “operation”) followed by U (chemical symbol of “Uranium”) and LENT (i.e. “fast”).

19. Fool brought back after school as planned (9)

Answer: SCHEDULED (i.e. “planned”). Solution is DELUDE (i.e. “[to] fool”) reversed (indicated by “brought back”) and placed “after” SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”), like so: SCH-EDULED.

21. Vicious perhaps, Scotsman chasing alumnus produces glass (8)

Answer: OBSIDIAN (i.e. “glass”). Solution is SID (i.e. “Vicious perhaps”, he of the Sex Pistols) and IAN (i.e. “Scotsman” – a common play by setters) placed after or “chasing” OB (i.e. “alumnus”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”), like so: OB-SID-IAN.

23. Some ground overlooks ruin (4)

Answer: UNDO (i.e. “ruin”). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: GRO(UND O)VERLOOKS.

25. Giants substitute appears shortly after blunder in field (5)

Answer: OGRES (i.e. “giants”). Solution is RES (a recognised abbreviation of reserve, i.e. “substitute” – the “shortly” feels a little misleading here, given how it often indicates the removal of an end letter) placed “after” OG (i.e. “blunder in field”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of an “own goal”), like so: OG-RES.

27. Shaking bunk about to hamper phase of sleep (6)

Answer: TREMOR (i.e. “shaking”). Solution is ROT (i.e. “bunk” or nonsense) reversed (indicated by “about”) and wrapped around or “hampering” REM (i.e. “phase of sleep”, being Rapid Eye Movement), like so: T(REM)OR.

28. Saunter round northern capital, obtaining picture (10)

Answer: MONOCHROME (i.e. “picture”). Solution is MOOCH (i.e. “saunter”) wrapped “round” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”) and followed by ROME (i.e. “capital” of Italy), like so: MO(N)OCH-ROME. Solutions where you get only the even letters are often harder than the odd-lettered ones, given how often you’re stuck with umpteen vowels. This one was a good example: _O_O_H_O_E. Not much to go on there.

30. This, installed across the pond, to make flight optional? (8)

Answer: ELEVATOR. Clue plays on how lifts are called elevators “across the pond” over in the US, and how they offer an alternative to “flights” of stairs. You get the idea.

31. Somewhat limited success as year in Down ends badly (4,4,6)

Answer: NINE DAYS WONDER (i.e. “somewhat limited success”). “Badly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of YEAR IN DOWN ENDS. I guess eight and ten day wonders never caught on.

34. Stylish gesture reworked for panto dames (3,4,7)

Answer: THE UGLY SISTERS (i.e. “panto dames”). “Reworked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STYLISH GESTURE. Nicely worked.

35. Cathedral plans to include religious education (8)

Answer: CHARTRES (i.e. “[Parisian] cathedral”). Solution is CHARTS (i.e. “plans”) wrapped around or “including” RE (i.e. “religious education”), like so: CHART(RE)S.

38. Needing atmosphere after interlude, books diner (10)

Answer: RESTAURANT (i.e. “diner”). Solution is AURA (i.e. “atmosphere”) placed “after” REST (i.e. “interlude”), and then followed by NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: REST-AURA-NT.

40. With this, not doing as much in class (6)

Answer: LESSON (i.e. “class”). When read as LESS ON, the solution also satisfies “with this, not doing as much”, i.e. having less to do.

41. Find penny on public transport vehicle in March (5)

Answer: TRAMP (i.e. “march” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “penny”) placed “on” or after TRAM (i.e. “public transport vehicle”), like so: TRAM-P.

43. Dispute on chairs around piano (4)

Answer: SPAT (i.e. “dispute”). Solution is SAT (i.e. “on chairs”) wrapped “around” P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, being quiet in musical lingo), like so: S(P)AT.
[EDIT: As noted by Sue in the comments, SAT is the past tense or part participle form of SIT. As the clue is present tense, SAT ought to have been SITTING. Bad setter, naughty setter! – LP]

44. Retired sleuth visiting Alpine ridge and similar things (2,6)

Answer: ET CETERA (i.e. “similar things”). Solution is TEC (i.e. “sleuth”, being a recognised abbreviation of a detective) placed in or “visiting” ARETE (i.e. “Alpine ridge”, as opposed to those common-or-garden ridges of other mountain ranges), like so: ET(CET)ERA.

45. European craft touching down on frozen mass (9)

Answer: ICELANDER (i.e. “European”). Solution is LANDER (i.e. “[sea]craft”) placed after or “touching down on” ICE (i.e. “frozen mass”), like so: ICE-LANDER.

48. Company car is damaged in mountainous place (7)

Answer: CORSICA (i.e. “mountainous place” – the island is approx two-thirds mountains, it says here). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “damaged”) of CAR IS, like so: CO-RSICA.

49. Waffle about god endlessly, then finish speaking (8)

Answer: PERORATE (i.e. to sum-up or “finish speaking”). Solution PRATE (i.e. “[to] waffle”) placed “about” EROS (i.e. “god”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”), like so: P(ERO)RATE.

50. Literary lion takes time on slope (6)

Answer: ASLANT (i.e. “on slope”). Solution is ASLAN (i.e. “literary lion” of CS Lewis’s Narnia books) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

53. Love new song being broadcast (2,3)

Answer: ON AIR (i.e. “being broadcast”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, i.e. a zero score in tennis) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and AIR (i.e. “song”).

54. In which leading Oxbridge pair will make repeated appearances? (7,3,7)

Answer: NOUGHTS AND CROSSES. Clue plays on how a noughts and crosses grid will see repeated appearances of Os and Xs, which just so happen to be the “leading…pair” of letters of “OXbridge”. Like it!

55. Green Man? Here one may find whiskey! (7,4)

Answer: EMERALD ISLE (i.e. “here one may find whiskey” – note the Irish spelling). Solution is EMERALD (i.e. “green”) followed by ISLE (i.e. “Man”, as in the Isle of Man).

56. Seer rejecting crazy schemes – common sense deployed about this (11)

Answer: NOSTRADAMUS (i.e. “seer”). Solution is MAD (i.e. “crazy”) and ARTS (i.e. “schemes”, taken in the context of wily tricks) both reversed (indicated by “rejected”). NOUS (i.e. “common sense”) is then placed “about this”, like so: NO(STRA-DAM)US.

Down clues

1. Flag seen in street – Pentagon is very troubled (6,5)

Answer: PAVING STONE (i.e. “flag”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “troubled”) of PENTAGON IS and V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”).

2. Admit that was painful bit of humour, taken the wrong way (3,2)

Answer: OWN UP (i.e. “admit”). Solution is OW (i.e. “that was painful”) followed by PUN (i.e. “bit of humour”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “taken the wrong way”), like so: OW-NUP.

3. Museum finally supplied with slats (7)

Answer: LOUVRED (i.e. “with slats”). Solution is LOUVRE (i.e. “[Parisian] museum”) followed by D (i.e. “finally supplied”, i.e. the last letter of “supplied”).

4. Once proper hounds assembly (4)

Answer: MEET. A triple-header, I believe, satisfying: “once proper” – Chambers shows this as an archaic word meaning fitting or qualified; “hounds” – as in a “meeting of participants in a fox hunt” (Chambers again), and “assembly”.
[EDIT: John adds a bit more flesh to “once proper” in the comments, FYI – LP]

5. Accountant in women’s underwear leaves containers (3-7)

Answer: TEA-CADDIES (i.e. “[tea] leaves containers”). Solution is ACA (i.e. “accountant”, specifically an Associate Chartered Accountant) placed “in” TEDDIES (i.e. “women’s underwear”), like so: TE(ACA)DDIES.

6. Experts in the wrong? (14)

Answer: CRIMINOLOGISTS. Clue plays on how these are “experts” in “wrong[doing]”.

7. Confident female – and why she won’t listen? (8)

Answer: FEARLESS (i.e. “confident”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by EARLESS (i.e. “why she won’t listen”).

8. Good to be in control for this! (5)

Answer: REIGN. Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) placed “in” REIN (i.e. “control”), like so: REI(G)N. Within the context of the clue, it is “good to be in control” when reigning.

9. Stew over author regularly seeing controversial problem (3,6)

Answer: HOT POTATO (i.e. “controversial problem”). Solution is HOTPOT (i.e. “stew”) followed by ATO (i.e. “author regularly”, i.e. every other letter of AUTHOR), like so: HOTPOT-ATO.

10. Summit avoided, wing enters warmer rising cloud (6)

Answer: NIMBUS (i.e. “cloud”). Solution is LIMB (i.e. “wing”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “summit avoided”) and the remainder “entering” SUN (i.e. “warmer”, as in how it warms things) once it has been reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue), like so: N(IMB)US.

11. Fantastic girl, elected, having triumphed over the German state (5-2-10)

Answer: ALICE-IN-WONDERLAND (i.e. “fantastic” or out-of-this-world, rather than the book itself). Solution is ALICE (i.e. “girl”) followed by IN (i.e. “elected”), then WON (i.e. “triumphed”), then DER (i.e. “the German”, i.e. the German for “the”) and LAND (i.e. “state”).

12. Campaigner the Spanish church upset, one dragged into row (11)

Answer: ELECTIONEER (i.e. “campaigner”). Solution is EL (i.e. “the Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) which is reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and then followed by ONE once it has been “dragged into” TIER (i.e. “row”), like so: EL-EC-TI(ONE)ER.

18. Greed shown where corporation man banks pounds (8)

Answer: GLUTTONY (i.e. “greed”). Solution is GUT (i.e. “corporation” – a favourite play of setters is to refer to tums, bellies and guts in their solutions as corporations – an informal word) and TONY (i.e. “man”) wrapped around or “banking” L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight), like so: G(L)UT-TONY.

20. Researcher’s goal is to develop powered vehicle (9,8)

Answer: HORSELESS CARRIAGE (i.e. “powered vehicle”). “To develop” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RESEARCHER’S GOAL IS.

22. Returned to make cut into beloved tree (6)

Answer: DEODAR (i.e. “tree”). Solution is DO (i.e. “to make”) reversed (indicated by “returned”) and placed in DEAR (i.e. “beloved”), like so: DE(OD)AR. One gotten mainly from the wordplay and a quick shufti of Chambers.

24. Article by rotter about firm sent up revered leader (8)

Answer: THEOCRAT (i.e. “revered leader”). Solution is THE (i.e. “article”, i.e. words like the, a or an) and RAT (i.e. “rotter”) both placed “about” CO (a recognised abbreviation of company or “firm”) which is reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue), like so: THE-(OC)-RAT.

26. Remain in quiet given excellent port (8)

Answer: SHANGHAI (i.e. “port”). Solution is HANG (i.e. “remain”) placed “in” SH (i.e. “quiet”) and AI (i.e. “excellent” or A1), like so: S(HANG)H-AI.

29. Group member wants her ego massaged in fortress (6,8)

Answer: GEORGE HARRISON (i.e. “group member” of The Beatles). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “massaged”) of HER EGO placed “in” GARRISON (i.e. “fortress”), like so: G(EORGEH)ARRISON.

32. Small prehistoric monument within borders of certain European area (8)

Answer: SCHENGEN (i.e. “European area” so often mentioned when there was all that Brexit stuff going on back in 1863 it seems). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by HENGE (i.e. “prehistoric monument”) once it has been placed “within” CN (i.e. “borders of certain”, i.e. the first and last letters of “certain”), like so: S-C(HENGE)N.

33. Intended to underwrite funding where one name absconds (6)

Answer: FIANCE (i.e. one’s “intended”). Solution is FINANCE (i.e. “to underwrite funding”) once the first N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) is removed (indicated by “absconds”).

34. Muse and priest thrashing tedious Job (11)

Answer: TERPSICHORE (i.e. Greek “muse” of dance and chorus – a terpsichorean is another word for a dancer, and one I reckon must have been used in a Will Self novel by now). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “thrashing”) of PRIEST followed by CHORE (i.e. “tedious job” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: TERPSI-CHORE.

36. For whom south, set apart, is potentially enough? (11)

Answer: SEPARATISTS. Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “potentially”) of SET APART IS, like so: S-EPARATISTS. Separatists campaign for the breaking up of organisations, countries etc, so, within the context of the clue, setting south apart could, for them, suffice. You get the idea.
[EDIT: Thanks to John in the comments for the typo fix. I’d mistakenly missed the last S. Cheers, John! – LP]

37. Silly workers maybe must welcome first people helping (10)

Answer: ASSISTANTS (i.e. “people helping”). Solution is ASS (i.e. “silly”) and ANTS (i.e. “workers maybe” – other types of ants are available) wrapped around or “welcoming” IST (i.e. “first” – the I substituting 1, like we had with SHANGHAI earlier), like so: ASS-(IST)-ANTS.

39. Redundant staff are often kept on, Republican admitted (9)

Answer: RETRAINED (i.e. “redundant staff are often…” – really? Not sure which Alice-In-Wonderland company the setter is thinking about here…) Solution is RETAINED (i.e. “kept on”) wrapped around or “admitting” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”), like so: RET(R)AINED.

42. Maybe Vatican brings in cunning Frenchman I don’t know (6,2)

Answer: SEARCH ME (i.e. “I don’t know”). Solution is SEE (a religious office, i.e. “maybe Vatican”, probably referring to the Holy See) wrapped around or “bringing in” ARCH (i.e. “cunning”) and M (i.e. “Frenchman” – seems this week’s setter is pining for France, what with Chartres and The Louvre ‘n all. Anyway, over yonder in France, monsieur sometimes gets abbreviated to M), like so: SE(ARCH-M)E.

46. Sailors trick duke and skip town (7)

Answer: ABSCOND (i.e. “skip town”). Solution is ABS (i.e. “sailors”, particularly the Able-Bodied variety) followed by CON (i.e. “trick”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”).

47. Chain letter read out on radio (6)

Answer: SIERRA, a mountain “chain”. “Letter read out on radio” refers to how SIERRA is used to represent S in the phonetic alphabet. Nicely worked.

49. Rains temporarily stop, as some might hear? (5)

Answer: POURS (i.e. “rains”). “As some might hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of PAUSE (i.e. “temporarily stop”).

51. Top grade schools vacated before noon in this region (5)

Answer: ASSAM (i.e. “region” of India). Solution is A (i.e. “top grade”) followed by SS (i.e. “schools vacated”, i.e. the word “schools” with all its middle letters removed) and AM (i.e. “before noon”). An easier get than it ought to have been as this solution only appeared a few weeks ago.

52. Maple, one seen by river (4)

Answer: ACER (i.e. “maple”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “one” in playing cards) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1437

A relatively easy one this week, which is no bad thing. Another with some nicely worked clues too. You can find my completed solution below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

Some housekeeping before any of that. If you have a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s given you the slip recently, then you might find my Just For Fun page useful, covering the last eighty-odd puzzles. There are some book reviews leavening all this crossword stuff, and even a not-so-little story of mine.

Right that’s enough of me. I hope you’re all continuing to cope with the lockdown and its variant effects. Stay safe, and I’ll see you for the next big ‘un.

LP

Across clues

1. French nobleman’s quickly comprehending company minutes (7)

Answer: VICOMTE (i.e. “French nobleman”, equivalent to a viscount). Solution is VITE (i.e. “quickly” in musical lingo) wrapped around or “comprehending” CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and M (ditto “minutes”), like so: VI(CO-M)TE.

5. Precise account by parish priest’s assistant (8)

Answer: ACCURATE (i.e. “precise”). Solution is AC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”) followed by CURATE (i.e. “parish priest’s assistant”).

9. Absolutely correct, boy receiving trophy (4-2)

Answer: SPOT-ON (i.e. “absolutely correct”). Solution is SON (i.e. “boy”) wrapped around or “receiving” POT (i.e. “trophy” – usage backed up by my Chambers), like so: S(POT)ON.

13. Don’t rate computer services at all? There’s no need to apologise (5,7,2,2)

Answer: THINK NOTHING OF IT. Solution satisfies “don’t rate computer services at all” – IT being a recognised abbreviation of “information technology” – and “there’s no need to apologise”. A very similar version of this clue appeared relatively recently back in puzzle 1404.

14. Old flat-bottomed boat goes on heading for Malta’s capital city (6)

Answer: MOSCOW (i.e. “capital city” of Russia. Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and SCOW (i.e. “flat-bottomed boat”) placed “on” or after M (i.e. “heading for Malta”, i.e. the first letter of “Malta”), like so: M-(O-SCOW).

16. The Song of Hiawatha, say, and English film by US writer, male (4,4)

Answer: EPIC POEM (i.e. “The Song of Hiawatha, say”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by PIC (i.e. “film”, short for [motion] picture), then Edgar Allan POE (i.e. “US writer”) and finally M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”).

17. Heard offspring give up (4)

Answer: CEDE (i.e. “give up”). “Heard” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SEED (i.e. “offspring”).

18. Say he, for instance, gets church backing (9)

Answer: PRONOUNCE (i.e. “say”). Solution is PRONOUN (i.e. “he, for instance” – in keeping with the times, I should declare that my pronouns are… well, you can call me anything you like because I don’t really exist) followed or “backed” by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

20. Believer in destiny in big group of stars, perhaps (8)

Answer: FATALIST (i.e. “believer in destiny”). Solution is FAT (i.e. “big”) followed by A-LIST (i.e. “group of stars, perhaps” – stars as in celebrities).

21. Berths here for the rest of the travellers? (8,3)

Answer: SLEEPING CAR – a carriage of a train in which travellers can get some shuteye. Clue plays on how “rest” can mean to sleep. You get the idea.

24. Able to remember a lot of information about sacramental wine I have (9)

Answer: RETENTIVE (i.e. “able to remember a lot of information”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) followed by TENT (i.e. “sacramental wine”) and I’VE (a contraction of “I have”).

25. Conventional scholar (8)

Answer: ACADEMIC. Solution satisfies “conventional” and “scholar”.

26. Crack in ground, we’re told (4)

Answer: FLAW (i.e. “crack”). “We’re told” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of FLOOR (i.e. “ground”).

29. Support me at an inn, playing before church (11)

Answer: MAINTENANCE (i.e. “support”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “playing”) of ME AT AN INN followed by CE (i.e. “church” – again the Church of England), like so: MAINTENAN-CE.

31. Old cat of Eliot’s in another book? (11)

Answer: DEUTERONOMY. Solution satisfies “old cat of Eliot’s” – referring to TS Eliot’s poem Old Deuteronomy in his book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, upon which Andrew Lloyd Webber’s muscial Cats was based – and “book”, specifically a book of The Bible.

33. Wasteful tramp runs out after more (11)

Answer: EXTRAVAGANT (i.e. “wasteful”). Solution is VAGRANT (i.e. “tramp”) with the R removed (indicated by “runs out” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) and the remainder placed “after” EXTRA (i.e. “more”), like so: EXTRA-VAGANT.

36. Personal souvenirs from Iberia and Malmo, mixed up (11)

Answer: MEMORABILIA (i.e. “personal souvenirs”). “Mixed up” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IBERIA and MALMO.

38. Toy boy losing face – Joy too, both being rejected (2-2)

Answer: YO-YO (i.e. “toy”). Solution is BOY and JOY “both” “losing face” (i.e. their initial letters removed). The remainder is then reversed (indicated by “being rejected”).

39. Figure blocking female in lift (8)

Answer: HEIGHTEN (i.e. “lift”). Solution is EIGHT (i.e. “figure”- could be taken to mean a figure of eight, or merely just the number 8) placed in or “blocking” HEN (i.e. a “female” bird), like so: H(EIGHT)EN.

41. Figure reportedly shattered by outlook (9)

Answer: RECTANGLE (i.e. a shape or “figure”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of WRECKED (i.e. “shattered”) followed by ANGLE (i.e. “outlook”).

44. Suitable lift (11)

Answer: APPROPRIATE. Solution satisfies “suitable” and “lift”, as in to steal something.

45. Religious studies: love journal delving into the unknown (8)

Answer: THEOLOGY (i.e. “religious studies”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, i.e. a zero score in tennis) and LOG (i.e. “journal”) both placed in or “delving into” THE and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”), like so: THE-(O-LOG)-Y.

48. Finished feeding a group left behind (9)

Answer: ABANDONED (i.e. “left behind”). Solution is DONE (i.e. “finished”) placed in or “feeding” A BAND (i.e. “a group”), like so: A-BAN(DONE)D.

49. Comfort stop, not the first (4)

Answer: EASE (i.e. “comfort”). Solution is CEASE (i.e. “stop”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “not the first”).

50. George, a writer from Maine, close to glamour girl (8)

Answer: “George” MEREDITH, “a writer”. Solution is ME (a recognised abbreviation of US state “Maine”) followed by R (i.e. “close to glamour”, i.e. the last letter of “glamour”) and EDITH (i.e. “girl”).

52. Cavalryman arresting a mosstrooper (6)

Answer: RAIDER (i.e. “mosstrooper” – over to my Chambers for this one: “one of the freebooters that used to frequent the Border between Scotland and England in the 17c”. So a “raider”, then.) Solution is RIDER (i.e. “cavalryman”) wrapped around or “arresting” A, like so: R(A)IDER.

53. Who’s Who set we want, desperately, for a film (3,3,4,3,3)

Answer: HOW THE WEST WAS WON (i.e. “film”). “Desperately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WHO’S WHO SET WE WANT.

54. Grub shown in periodical taken (6)

Answer: MAGGOT (i.e. “grub”). Solution is MAG (i.e. “periodical”, short for magazine) followed by GOT (i.e. “taken”).

55. What a guard may have to support small family (8)

Answer: BEARSKIN (i.e. “what a guard may have”). Solution is BEAR (i.e. “to support”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and KIN (i.e. “family”).

56. Vessel departs, having to crawl entering rivers (7)

Answer: DREDGER (i.e. “vessel”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “departs”) followed by EDGE (i.e. “to crawl”) once it has been placed in or “entering” R and R (recognised abbreviations of “river”), like so: D-R-(EDGE)-R.

Down clues

1. To scrutinise dictionary may be forbidden (6)

Answer: VETOED (i.e. “forbidden”). Solution is VET (i.e. “to scrutinise”) followed by OED (i.e. “dictionary”, specifically the Oxford English Dictionary).

2. Mostly warm to each other round fashionable private hospital (6)

Answer: CLINIC (i.e. “private hospital”). Solution is CLICK (i.e. “warm to each other”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped “round” IN (i.e. “fashionable”), like so: CL(IN)IC.

3. Spell out type found on prairie (4,5)

Answer: MAKE PLAIN (i.e. “spell out”). Solution is MAKE (i.e. kind or “type”) followed by PLAIN (i.e. “prairie”).

4. Not including one allotment in clearing (11)

Answer: EXONERATION (i.e. “clearing”). Solution is EX (i.e. “not including”) followed by ONE, then RATION (i.e. “share”).

5. Suffer mental anguish in hospital visiting one (4)

Answer: ACHE (i.e. “suffer mental anguish”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital”) placed in or “visiting” ACE (i.e. “one” in playing cards), like so: AC(H)E.

6. Focus on money put in box (11)

Answer: CONCENTRATE (i.e. “focus”). Solution is ON and CENT (i.e. “money”) both “put in” CRATE (i.e. “box”), like so: C(ON-CENT)RATE.

7. I, in part of Greece, put down state (5,6)

Answer: RHODE ISLAND (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is I placed “in” RHODES (i.e. “part of Greece”) and followed by LAND (i.e. “put down”), like so: RHODE(I)S-LAND.

8. Epilogue of story listened to by bishop? (9)

Answer: TAILPIECE (i.e. “epilogue”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “listened to”) of TALE (i.e. “story”) followed by PIECE (i.e. “bishop”, a chess piece).

10. Far-reaching, expert discovered (8)

Answer: PROFOUND (i.e.” far-reaching”). When read as PRO FOUND the solution also satisfies “expert discovered”.

11. Licence: he got call, unhappily for institute (9,7)

Answer: TECHNICAL COLLEGE (i.e. “institute”). “Unhappily” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LICENCE HE GOT CALL.

12. When resolutions were made? Were any broken? (3,4)

Answer: NEW YEAR (i.e. “when resolutions were made”). “Broken” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WERE ANY.

15. Sea creature having little power or balance (8)

Answer: PORPOISE (i.e. “sea creature”). Solution is P (i.e. “little power”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “power”) followed by OR, then POISE (i.e. “balance”).

19. Husband going over part of Europe that includes Northern Ireland (8)

Answer: HIBERNIA (i.e. “Ireland”). Solution is “H” (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) followed by IBERIA (i.e. “part of Europe” – being Spain and Portugal) once it has been wrapped around or “including” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”), like so: H-IBER(N)IA.

22. Not false, lines about politician’s foolish talk (8)

Answer: TRUMPERY (i.e. “foolish talk”). Solution is TRUE (i.e. “not false”) and RY (i.e. “lines”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “railway”) both wrapped “about” MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament), like so: TRU(MP)E-RY.

23. In actual fact, dance show’s reaching a climax (8,8)

Answer: STRICTLY SPEAKING (i.e. “in actual fact”). When read as STRICTLY’S PEAKING the solution refers to “dance show’s reaching a climax”, referring to BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

27. Consider more passable, say, for traveller (8)

Answer: WAYFARER (i.e. “traveller”). “Say” indicates homophone. When heard as WAY FAIRER the solution also satisfies “consider more passable”.

28. Egg dessert, unfinished (4)

Answer: BOMB (i.e. “egg” – a slang term, it seems). Solution is BOMBE (i.e. “dessert” – one memorably confused by Inspector Clouseau in Revenge of the Pink Panther) with the last letter removed (indicated by “unfinished”).

30. Carriage split up (4)

Answer: TRAP (i.e. “[horse] carriage”). Solution is PART (i.e. “split”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue).

32. Demanding higher prices at college fair (8)

Answer: UPMARKET (i.e. “demanding higher prices”). Solution is UP (i.e. “at college” – a favourite usage of setters) followed by MARKET (i.e. “fair”).

34. Be taken in by utter rogue (8)

Answer: ABERRANT (i.e. “rogue”). Solution is BE placed in or “taken in by” ARRANT (i.e. “utter”). Nicely worked.

35. Precisely how rent should be paid? (2,3,6)

Answer: TO THE LETTER. Solution satisfies “precisely” and “how rent should be paid”, the clue playing on how a LETTER can be one who lets property.

36. Fast food item: very small and pale, we hear (6,5)

Answer: MINUTE STEAK (i.e. “fast food item”, referring to how long it takes to cook rather than an item you can get from a fast food outlet). Solution is MINUTE (i.e. “very small”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of STAKE (i.e. “pale”, as in a post or stake of wood – think “impale”).

37. Called to mind religious education and prayer with editor (11)

Answer: RECOLLECTED (i.e. “called to mind”). Solution is RE (a recognised abbreviation of “religious education”) followed by COLLECT (i.e. a short “prayer” consisting of one sentence – chalk one to my Chambers) and ED (a recognised abbreviation of “editor”).

40. Organised manoeuvres impressive (9)

Answer: GRANDIOSE (i.e. “impressive”). “Manoeuvres” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ORGANISED. Nicely worked.

42. Total amount of silver Greek, for example, put away (9)

Answer: AGGREGATE (i.e. “total amount”). Solution is AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) followed by GR (a recognised abbreviation of “Greek”), then EG (i.e. “for example”) and ATE (i.e. “put away”).

43. So long, as well, endless strips of pasta consumed (6-2)

Answer: TOODLE-OO (i.e. “so long”). Solution is TOO (i.e. “as well”) wrapped around or “consuming” NOODLES (i.e. “strips of pasta”) with both the first and last letters removed (indicated by “endless” – the wordplay can apply to both or either ends of a word), like so: T(OODLE)OO.

44. What can make user sure? (7)

Answer: ANAGRAM. Clue plays on how USER and SURE are anagrams of one another. You get the idea.

46. Large piece for VIP (6)

Answer: BIGWIG (i.e. “VIP”). Solution is BIG (i.e. “large”) followed by WIG (i.e. “[hair]piece”).

47. Mouse star? (6)

Answer: SHINER. Solution satisfies “mouse” – an informal term for a black eye, though not one I can say I’m familiar with – and “star”, as in how they shine.

51. Study occupied by a senior official at college (4)

Answer: DEAN (i.e. “official at college”). Solution is DEN (i.e. “study”) wrapped around or “occupied by” A, like so: DE(A)N.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1436

A good one this week, peppered with a number of well worked clues offering good progression throughout the puzzle, and marred only by a few repeats. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

As ever, some housekeeping before we jump in: my Just For Fun page has links to the last eighty-odd Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords if that’s your thing, meanwhile I’ve got some book reviews that I really ought to get back to (day job has dominated almost everything since lockdown, sadly – even eating into my Saturdays! Mondo bleh!) and a story I stuck on here a while ago.

Meanwhile, lockdown does have its moments, not least in seeing how people on telly are trying to make do with having no barber or hairdresser as the weeks go by. I’m somewhat ahead of the curve on this one, not having had the barnet cropped since mid-December. I’m currently somewhere between Noel Edmonds and Boomer from Blink 182’s “First Date” video. It’s… a look.

Anyway, to the solutions. Keep well, and I’ll see you next time.

LP

With thanks to Mark in the comments for the correction on 37a

 

Across clues

1. Hit American football player around chest (11)

Answer: BLOCKBUSTER (i.e. “hit [movie]”). Solution is BLOCKER (i.e. “American football player”) wrapped “around” BUST (i.e. “chest”), like so: BLOCK(BUST)ER.

7. Not sorting out dressing Penny in long suit (6,5)

Answer: STRONG POINT (i.e. “long suit”, which, outside of card games, can mean “an advantage one has”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of NOT SORTING which is wrapped around or “dressing” P (a recognised abbreviation of “penny” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: STRONG(P)OINT.

13. Vow to maintain eastern sense of beliefs (9)

Answer: IDEOLOGIC (i.e. “of beliefs”). Solution is I DO (i.e. “vow” during a wedding ceremony) wrapped around or “maintaining” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) and then followed by LOGIC (i.e. “sense”), like so: I-D(E)O-LOGIC.

14. One with a large bill, £1000, for making pangs (7)

Answer: PUFFING (i.e. “making pants”). Solution is PUFFIN (i.e. “one with a large bill”) followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of a grand, or “£1000”).

15. The end for Spaniard, delicate and attractive (5)

Answer: ELFIN (i.e. “delicate and attractive”). When read as EL FIN, the solution also satisfies “the end for Spaniard”, i.e. Spanish for “the end”.

16. Statuette’s weight that’s surprising (6)

Answer: GRAMMY (i.e. “statuette”). Solution is GRAM (i.e. “weight”) followed by MY (i.e. “that’s surprising”, as in an exclamatory “my!”).

17. Write some graffiti about military leadership (8)

Answer: PENTAGON (i.e. “[US] military leadership”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “write”) followed by TAG (i.e. “some graffiti”) and ON (i.e. “about”).

18. Learner driver’s equipment to hold bucket down (7)

Answer: TRAINEE (i.e. “learner”). Solution is TEE (i.e. “driver’s equipment [in golf]”) wrapped around or “holding” RAIN (i.e. “bucket down”), like so: T(RAIN)EE.

20. Frances’s well-mannered youth schooled till older, unfortunately (6,4,10)

Answer: LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY, a childrens book by “Frances” Hodgson Burnett’s “well-mannered youth”. “Schooled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TILL OLDER UNFORTUNATELY.

23. Stray female cat initially missing after days (7)

Answer: DIGRESS (i.e. “stray”). Solution is TIGRESS (i.e. “female cat”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “initially missing”) and the remainder placed “after” D (a recognised abbreviation of “days”), like so: D-IGRESS.

24. Dismissed error when defending support for logs (7)

Answer: FIREDOG (i.e. “support for logs” in a fire – also called an andiron, if that helps). Solution is FIRED (i.e. “dismissed”) followed by OG (i.e. “error when defending”, specifically an Own Goal).

26. Front of bus gets cold: regularly colder transport (7)

Answer: BICYCLE (i.e. “transport”). Solution is B (i.e. “front of bus”, i.e. the first letter of “bus”) followed by ICY (i.e. “cold”), then CLE (i.e. “regularly colder”, i.e. every other letter of COLDER), like so: B-ICY-CLE. Nicely worked.

28. It may make cameo, just not fifty times (4)

Answer: ONYX (i.e. “it may make cameo”, as in a gem with a figure carved in relief). Solution is ONLY (i.e. “just”) with the L removed (indicated by “not [Roman numeral] fifty”) and X (i.e. “times”, as in the multiplication symbol), like so: ONY-X. Another well-worked clue.

29. Superior small hotel hosting aristocrat again (8)

Answer: SNOBBISH (i.e. “superior”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) wrapped around or “hosting” NOB (i.e. “aristocrat”) and BIS (i.e. musical lingo for “again”), like so: S-(NOB-BIS)-H.

32. Being old, one’s figure has cellulite at the edges (9)

Answer: EXISTENCE (i.e. “being”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”, both taken to mean “former”) followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one” made possessive), then TEN (i.e. “figure”, basically just a number) and CE (i.e. “cellulite at the edges”, i.e. the first and last letters of “cellulite”), like so: EX-I’S-TEN-CE. Another good clue.

35. Miserable son, changeable in nature (9)

Answer: SATURNINE (i.e. “miserable”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “changeable”) of IN NATURE, like so: S-ATURNINE.

36. After turnover, flans providing unknown layer (8)

Answer: STRATIFY (i.e. “[to] layer”). Solution is TARTS (i.e. “flans”) reversed (indicated by “after turnover”) and then followed by IF (i.e. “provided”) and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y and Z as unknowns in their clues), like so: STRAT-IF-Y.

37. Where you might find better or flipping remarkable person (4)

Answer: HERO (i.e. “remarkable person”). I’m reasonably confident of this one but am open to other solutions that fit. My solution is HE (i.e. “[one’s] better”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “His Excellency”) followed by OR once it has been reversed (indicated by “flipping”), like so: HE-RO. The “where you might find” seems to be there to make the clue scan better but it could also mean I’ve missed something. Also, without wanting to get too Wolfie Smith about it, nobody is anyone’s better. Don’t accept it. We all rub along together in this world as best we can. Well, at least two metres apart, anyway.
[EDIT: I was right to exercise a little caution on this one. Mark in the comments nails it, the solution being RENO (i.e. “where you might find better” as in a gambler), which, when reversed (indicated by “flipping”) gives you ONER, a “remarkable person”. Thanks, Mark! – LP]

39. Charity case writing in handbook losing account (7)

Answer: ALMSMAN (i.e. “charity case”). Solution is MS (a recognised abbreviation of manuscript, i.e. “writing”) placed “in” ALMANAC (i.e. “handbook”) once the AC has been removed (indicated by “losing account”, AC being a recognised abbreviation of “account”), like so: AL(MS)MAN.

41. Top Nazi entertaining East German entertainer (7)

Answer: HOSTESS (i.e. “entertainer”). Solution is Rudolph HESS (i.e. “top Nazi” – I guess “top” here is being taken to mean “elite”, as I’ve some faint knowledge there was someone above him…) which is wrapped around or “entertaining” OST (i.e. “East German”, i.e. the German for “east” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: H(OST)ESS. Nicely worked.

44. Gold jumper? Extremely snazzy for the PM (7)

Answer: AUTOPSY (i.e. “PM”, a recognised abbreviation of “post-mortem”). Solution is AU (chemical symbol of “gold”) followed by TOP (i.e. “jumper”, both taken as items of clothing) and then SY (i.e. “extremely snazzy”, i.e. the first and last letters of “snazzy”), like so: AU-TOP-SY.

45. Token resistance, slowly changing, is subversive (20)

Answer: COUNTERREVOLITIONARY (i.e. “subversive”). Solution is COUNTER (i.e. “token”, say, in a board game) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance”) and EVOLUTIONARY (i.e. “slowly changing”). An easier get than it ought to have been as this solution and a good chunk of its clue also appeared in puzzle 1413 back in December. Back then the solution was hyphenated, a spelling backed up by my Chambers. A small niggle, I guess.

49. Colouring perhaps in French colour (1-6)

Answer: E-NUMBER (i.e. “colouring, perhaps” – other e-numbers covering stuff like flavourings, for example). Solution is EN (i.e. “in French”, i.e. the French for “in”) followed by UMBER (i.e. a brown earthy pigment or “colour”).

50. Pardoned sinner finally released (8)

Answer: REMITTED (i.e. “pardoned”). Solution is R (i.e. “sinner finally”, i.e. the last letter of “sinner”) followed by EMITTED (i.e. “released”).

51. Through which we look more banal, we hear (6)

Answer: CORNEA (i.e. “through which we look”). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CORNIER (i.e. “more banal”).

53. Some foul up industrial plant (5)

Answer: LUPIN (i.e. “plant”, and a particular favourite of Monty Python’s memorable highwayman, Dennis Moore, dum-dum-dum). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: FOU(L UP IN)DUSTRIAL.

54. Bit of rock clip released at first (7)

Answer: OUTCROP (i.e. “bit of rock”). Solution is CROP (i.e. “clip”) with OUT (i.e. “released”) placed before it or “at first”, like so: OUT-CROP.

55. Land’s politician accepting slip with modern tech (9)

Answer: TERRITORY (i.e. “land”). Solution is TORY (i.e. “politician”, specifically one from the Conservative Party) wrapped around or “accepting” ERR (i.e. “slip”) and IT (i.e. “modern tech”, specifically Information Technology), like so: T(ERR-IT)ORY.

56. When clasped by ex-PM, embrace in eatery (6,5)

Answer: GREASY SPOON (i.e. “eatery”). Solution is Charles GREY, 17th century Prime Minister (i.e. “ex-PM”) wrapped around or “clasping” AS (i.e. “when”) and then followed by SPOON (i.e. “[to] embrace”), like so: GRE(AS)Y-SPOON.

57. Trouble is doubled with current examiner (11)

Answer: SCRUTINISER (i.e. “examiner”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “trouble”) of IS and IS (indicated by “is doubled”), and also CURRENT.

Down clues

1. Partner in match accepting golf game (6)

Answer: BRIDGE (i.e. “game”). Solution is BRIDE (i.e. “partner in match” or wedding) wrapped around or “accepting” G (“golf” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: BRID(G)E.

2. Android perhaps doing medical work with void safety check (9,6)

Answer: OPERATING SYSTEM (i.e. “Android perhaps” – other OSes are available). Solution is OPERATING (i.e. “doing medical work”) followed by SY (i.e. “void safety”, i.e. the word SAFETY with all its middle letters removed) and STEM (i.e. “check”, both taken to mean restrict), like so: OPERATING-SY-STEM.

3. Silk worms covering awfully remote distance (10)

Answer: KILOMETRES (i.e. “distance”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “worms”) of SILK which is then placed around a further anagram (indicated by “awfully”) of REMOTE, like so: KIL(OMETER)S.

4. When topless, sudden increase in desire (4)

Answer: URGE (i.e. “desire”). Solution is SURGE (i.e. “sudden increase”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “when topless”).

5. Marked as finished and rated (6,3)

Answer: TICKED OFF. Solution satisfies “marked as finished” and “rated”, i.e. scolded.

6. Place overgrown by grass is known (7)

Answer: REPUTED (i.e. “known”). Solution is PUT (i.e. “place”) placed in or “overgrown by” REED (i.e. “grass”), like so: RE(PUT)ED.

7. Protection for one quaking as fraud is around (9)

Answer: SAFEGUARD (i.e. “protection”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “quaking”) of AS FRAUD which “is [wrapped] around” EG (i.e. “for one”, as in “for example”), like so: SAF(EG)UARD.

8. What people do when in power shower, audibly (5)

Answer: REIGN. Solution satisfies “what people do when in power” and “shower, audibly”, i.e. a homophone of RAIN.

9. Distinguished chap’s outspoken staff in fun venue (5-4)

Answer: NIGHT-CLUB (i.e. “fun venue”). Solution is NIGHT, a homophone (indicated by “outspoken”) of KNIGHT (i.e. “distinguished chap”), which is then followed by CLUB (i.e. “staff”).

10. Design a carpet fibre to manufacture in advance (12)

Answer: PREFABRICATE (i.e. “manufacture in advance”). “Design” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A CARPET FIBRE.

11. Early period imagined? (7)

Answer: INFANCY (i.e. “early period”). When read as IN FANCY, the solution also satisfies “imagined”.

12. Someone with a burning desire may use this app (6)

Answer: TINDER (i.e. a dating “app”). Clue plays on how tinder, i.e. kindling, is used to help get stuff “burning”. You get the idea.

19. Go down in the pit briefly by India’s capital (8)

Answer: HELSINKI (i.e. “capital” of Finland). Solution is HELL (i.e. “the pit”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder placed “by” SINK (i.e. “go down”) and then followed by I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet”), like so: HEL-SINK-I.

21. Forget information about the Parisian court (7)

Answer: NEGLECT (i.e. “forget”). Solution is GEN (i.e. “knowledge”) which is reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by LE (i.e. “the Parisian”, i.e. the French for “the”), then CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”), like so: NEG-LE-CT.

22. Say what’s raised cash to oust English power (8)

Answer: HEGEMONY (i.e. “power”). Solution is EG (i.e. “say”, i.e. “for example”) and EH (i.e. “what[?]”, pardon?, hmm? etc) both reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) and then followed by MONEY (i.e. “cash”) once the E has been removed (indicated by “to oust English” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: HE-GE-MONY.

23. Spirits lifted by Democrat in utter catastrophe (8)

Answer: DOOMSDAY (i.e. “catastrophe”). Solution is MOOD (i.e. “spirits”) which is reversed (indicated by “lifted” – this being a down clue) and then followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) once it has been placed “in” SAY (i.e. “utter”), like so: DOOM-S(D)AY.

25. Borders crossing close to notable French city (5)

Answer: REIMS (i.e. “French city”). Solution is RIMS (i.e. “borders”) wrapped around or “crossing” E (i.e. “close to notable”, i.e. the last letter of “notable”), like so: R(E)IMS. The wordplay was fairly obvious but took a quick Google to get right. Apologies to any French readers for not knowing your twelfth most populous city.

27. At the same time as computer, no one works (15)

Answer: CONTEMPORANEOUS (i.e. “at the same time”). “Works” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AS COMPUTER NO ONE.

30. Rabbit on table – the rabbit cages (7)

Answer: BLETHER (i.e. “rabbit”, i.e. a variant form of blather). “Cages” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: TA(BLE THE R)ABBIT.

31. Mob’s stash picked up (5)

Answer: HORDE (i.e. “mob”). “Picked up” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of HOARD (i.e. “stash”).

33. Beneath one home, like hiding brother (5,3)

Answer: INFRA DIG (i.e. “beneath” in Latin). Solution is IN (i.e. “[at] home”) and DIG (i.e. “like”) wrapped around or “hiding” FRA (i.e. Italian for “brother” or friar), like so: IN-(FRA)-DIG.

34. Fee for good French detective, an investment drawn on? (7,5)

Answer: PREMIUM BONDS (i.e. “an investment drawn on”). Solution is PREMIUM (i.e. “fee”) followed by BON (i.e. “good French”, i.e. the French for “good”) and DS (i.e. “detective”, specifically a Detective Sergeant). Another recent repeat, making this an easier get.

38. Such a voice is resonant? It’s rolling (10)

Answer: STENTORIAN, a loud, carrying, powerful or “resonant” “voice”. “Rolling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RESONANT IT’S. Another nicely worked clue.

40. Infamous rejection of Olympic city by American? (9)

Answer: NOTORIOUS (i.e. “infamous”). Solution is NO TO RIO (i.e. “rejection of Olympic city” – Rio De Janeiro having hosted the 2016 Olympic Games) followed by US (i.e. “American”).

42. Smoother South Side club (5,4)

Answer: STEAM IRON (i.e. “smoother”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”) followed by TEAM (i.e. “side”) and IRON (i.e. “[golf] club”).

43. Angry about card player with another hat (9)

Answer: SOUWESTER (i.e. “hat” often worn by seamen). Solution is SOUR (i.e. “angry”) wrapped “about” WEST (i.e. “card player” in bridge) and E (i.e. “another”, being a recognised abbreviation of “east” – another player in bridge), like so: SOU(WEST-E)R.

45. Behind calves, oddly, trousers crease (7)

Answer: CRUMPLE (i.e. “crease”). Solution is RUMP (i.e. “behind”) which is placed in or “trousered” by CLE (i.e. “calves, oddly”, i.e. every other letter of CALVES), like so: C(RUMP)LE.

46. Month to get work for army type, in the main? (7)

Answer: OCTOPUS (i.e. a creature found “in the main” – “main” being another word for “sea” often used by setters in their clues). Solution is OCT (i.e. “month”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of October) followed by OPUS (i.e. artistic “work”). “Army type” perhaps hints that an octopus is a “marine” creature, but I might have missed something clever here.
[EDIT: Thanks to John in the comments for clarifying this one. Octopuses have eight limbs, also variously called tentacles, legs or “arms”. The clue is therefore playing on how octopuses are rather “army”. (Opens window to hear collective groans.) Cheers, John! – LP]

47. Issue when travelling in Spooner’s rented car (3,3)

Answer: JET LAG (i.e. “issue when travelling”). Solution is a “Spoonerism” of LET JAG (i.e. “rented car”).

48. A cutting sort, one speaking about wife (6)

Answer: SAWYER (i.e. “a cutting sort”, being one who cuts timber). Solution is SAYER (i.e. “one speaking”) wrapped “about” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”), like so: SA(W)YER.

50. Share not quite in proportion (5)

Answer: RATIO (i.e. “proportion”). Solution is RATION (i.e. “share”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “not quite”).

52. Time to go off for a jog (4)

Answer: TROT (i.e. “jog”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by ROT (i.e. “to go off”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1435

A toughie this week, but sadly not an enjoyable one. It seems we have that one setter who loves to stuff their grids with dead people and places. Seriously, there are over ten place names in this one, and, yes, I’m counting DRESDEN CHINA as two places! Also AFRIKA KORPS, so sue me. These might be interesting to you, setter, but they’re boring as hell to solve. As regular visitors to these pages know, I like toughies that have me buried in the pages of a dictionary, not some bloody atlas. Ho hum. Maybe next time.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I hope you are keeping as well as can be during the lockdown. If you’ve come a cropper with this week’s puzzle, you can find my completed grid below, along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

While you’re here, I’ve got solutions to previous Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords on my Just For Fun page, which you might find useful. I’ve also got some book reviews, back from when I had the time to read, and a story of mine that I put out a little while ago.

Okay, enough of me. On with the show. Stay healthy, folks. All being well, I’ll see you next time.

LP

1. Lend dame support, see! (2,3,6)

Answer: LO AND BEHOLD (i.e. “see”). Solution is LOAN (i.e. “lend”) followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “dame”) and BEHOLD (i.e. “support”).
[EDIT: Thanks to Andrew in the comments for clarifying that “dame” should be DBE (a recognised abbreviation of Dame of the British Empire), which then makes “support” HOLD, making the solution LOAN-DBE-HOLD. Thanks, Andrew! – LP]

7. Item for decorating bore inflammatory poster (5,6)

Answer: PAINT ROLLER (i.e. “item for decorating”). Solution is PAIN (i.e. “bore”, both words for a nuisance) followed by TROLLER (i.e. “inflammatory poster” on internet fora – surely these are just trolls, setter?)

13. Second old archbishop’s informal words (5)

Answer: SLANG (i.e. “informal words”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by Cosmo LANG (i.e. “old archbishop” – we’ve seen this one before. Perhaps a tell of this particular setter).

14. About time to study alternative to spare tyre? (7)

Answer: RETREAD (i.e. “alternative to spare tyre”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and READ (i.e. “study”).

15. Woman, dismissing daughter, and in hurry to appear on stage (9)

Answer: STEPHANIE (i.e. “woman”). Solution is AND once the D has been removed (indicated by “dismissing daughter” – D being a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”), and the remainder then placed “in” HIE (i.e. to “hurry”). The whole is then preceded by or “appearing on” STEP (i.e. “stage”), like so: STEP-H(AN)IE. I doubt I am the only one who groans whenever the setter sticks a given name in their grid.

16. Prepare first off, an end to hostilities (9)

Answer: ARMISTICE (i.e. “an end to hostilities”). Solution is ARM (i.e. “prepare”) followed by IST (i.e. “first” – think of the I as a 1) and ICE (i.e. “off”, as in acting off with someone – yeah, I wasn’t keen either).

17. Readers of stuff sent out from different dime stores (10)

Answer: DOSIMETERS, which are devices used to measure radiation levels (i.e. “readers of stuff sent out”). “Different” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DIME STORES.

20. Go on board immediately after this cautiously optimistic forecast? (7)

Answer: MAYFAIR (i.e. “GO on [Monopoly] board immediately after this”). When read as MAY FAIR the solution (kind of) satisfies “cautiously optimistic forecast”.

22. Disconcert gunrunner, vetting cases (7)

Answer: UNNERVE (i.e. “disconcert”). “Cases” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: GUNR(UNNER VE)TTING.

24. For example, a back payment covers substance for lab experiment? (7)

Answer: REAGENT (i.e. “substance for lab experiment”). Solution is EG (a recognised abbreviation of the Latin exempli gratia, or “for example”) and A, both reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed in or “covered” by RENT (i.e. “payment”), like so: RE(A-GE)NT.

25. Picadors, when thrown, scattered (8)

Answer: SPORADIC (i.e. “scattered”). “When thrown” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PICADORS.

26. What’s not faked, unusually, about old Lear’s character (3,5,2,4)

Answer: THE AKOND OF SWAT (i.e. “Lear’s character” – referring to Edward Lear’s poem of the same name. No, me neither. ’s poetry, innit?) Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unusually”) of WHAT’S NOT FAKED wrapped “about” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: THEAK(O)NDOFSWAT.

28. Butcher’s with two floors, one heard (5)

Answer: DEKKO (i.e. “butcher’s”, both informal words for a look, the latter Cockney rhyming slang “butcher’s hook”). Solution is DECK and K.O. (i.e. “two floors” – the latter being a recognised abbreviation of knock out, or to “floor” someone). “One heard” indicates that for one of these, DECK, we want a homophone of the word, hence DEK-K.O. Clever, but sadly an easier get than it ought to have been having appeared in an earlier puzzle.

29. Wide crack in which to put leg (6)

Answer: GAPING (i.e. “wide”). Solution is PIN (i.e. an informal name for a “leg”) which is “put” in GAG (i.e. “crack”, both words for a joke), like so: GA(PIN)G.

30. Hides stolen picture from PC, perhaps (10)

Answer: SCREENSHOT (i.e. “picture from PC, perhaps” – the “perhaps” indicating you can take screenshots with other devices too). Solution is SCREENS (i.e. “hides”) followed by HOT (i.e. “stolen”). Nicely worked.

33. Come by before safety agency locks garden (10)

Answer: GETHSEMANE (i.e. a “garden” at the foot of the Mount of Olives). Solution is GETS (i.e. “come by”) followed by HSE (i.e. “safety agency”, specifically the Health and Safety Executive) and MANE (i.e. “locks”).
[EDIT: Thanks to Sue in the comments for the typo correction. I’d erroneously had this as GETHESMANE. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

35. Fifty disembarking from transport to the French African port (6)

Answer: BISSAU (i.e. “African port”). Solution is BLISS (i.e. “transport” – as in “ecstasy, or any strong emotion” (Chambers) with the L removed (indicated by “fifty disembarking” – L being fifty in Roman numerals) and the remainder followed by AU (i.e. “to the French”, i.e. the French for “to the” I suppose), like so: BISS-AU.

37. Parties to hold in a very small Swiss resort (5)

Answer: DAVOS (i.e. “small Swiss resort”). Solution is DOS (i.e. “parties”) wrapped around or “holding” A and V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”), like so: D(A-V)OS.

39. Cap all out of place: the suit and tie back (4,3,7)

Answer: TAKE THE BISCUIT (i.e. to “cap all”). “Out of place” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE SUIT and TIE BACK.

41. Tree from US city displayed by sticker book (8)

Answer: LABURNUM (i.e. “tree”). Solution is LA (i.e. “US city”, specifically Los Angeles) followed by BUR (i.e. “sticker” – also spelled burr, these are plant pods that cling to things that brush past them) and NUM (i.e. “book”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Book of Numbers in The Bible).

44. A New Jersey sailor visiting centre of Montserrat’s capital (3,4)

Answer: SAN JOSE (i.e. “capital” of Costa Rica). Solution is A, NJ (a recognised abbreviation of “New Jersey”) and OS (i.e. “sailor”, specifically an Ordinary Seaman) all placed in or “visiting” SE (i.e. “centre of Montserrat”, i.e. the middle two letters of MONTSERRAT), like so: S(A-NJ-OS)E.

45. Runs course on this country to the west’s language (7)

Answer: KURDISH (i.e. “language”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) and DISH (i.e. “course”) placed “on” or after UK (i.e. “this country”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “to the west” – this being an across clue), like so: KU-R-DISH.

46. In reducing mistreatment, sorted out public transport (7)

Answer: AUTOBUS (i.e. “public transport” for people who like to call prams perambulators and removal vans pantechnicons). Solution is ABUSE (i.e. “mistreatment”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “reducing”) and the remainder wrapped around an anagram (indicated by “sorted”) of OUT, like so: A(UTO)BUS.

47. Winding up following chief, hardly resting (10)

Answer: CHILLAXING (i.e. “resting” – yup, chillaxing has made it into the dictionary, folks; forever to be recognised and kept alive by the same wacky lexicographers who are keeping “felching” alive. Because they are, aren’t they? Or am I mistaken and we’re secretly a nation of felchers. Anyone? Show of hands? Oh. Once you’ve finished felching, of course. Sorry. Didn’t mean to interrupt. No, that’s fine. You, er, finish up there. With your felching. Hmm. I appear to have wandered off track…) Solution is AXING (i.e. “winding up”) placed after or “following” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “chief”) and ILL (i.e. “hardly”, as in “one could ill afford to…”), like so: FEL-CH-ING CH-ILL-AXING.

49. Old woman’s guarded on subject of sultan’s obsession (9)

Answer: MONOMANIA (i.e. “obsession”). Solution is MA (i.e. “old woman”, both taken to mean mother) wrapped around or “guarding” ON and OMANI (i.e. “subject of sultan”, specifically a citizen of Oman), like so: M(ON-OMANI)A.

53. Circle bound to be offering a variety of views? (9)

Answer: OPINIONED (i.e. “offering a variety of views”). Solution is O (i.e. “circle”) followed by PINIONED (i.e. “bound”).

54. Skilled communicator with gold stars on a roll? (7)

Answer: ORALIST (i.e. “skilled communicator”, as opposed to a felch– okay, I’ll stop now). Solution is OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry) followed by A-LIST (a bit of a double header this one, in that this fits celebrities or “stars”, and also “a roll” – a roll being a list).

55. Council not available to handle conclusion to project (5)

Answer: JUNTA (i.e. “council”). Solution is JUT (i.e. “to project”) with the last or “concluding” letter T surrounded or “handled” by N/A (a recognised abbreviation of “not available”), like so: JU-N(T)A. Can’t say I’ve seen that kind of wordplay before. Might have to keep an eye on that one.

56. Dishevelled pair close to tank ask for Rommel’s men (6,5)

Answer: AFRIKA KORPS (i.e. “Rommel’s men”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dishevelled”) of PAIR, K (i.e. “close to tank”, i.e. the last letter of “tank”) and ASK FOR.

57. Unfit person who likes undressing, briefly caught in the act (11)

Answer: DENATURISED (i.e. made “unfit” for human consumption, e.g. like with alcohol). Solution is NATURIST (i.e. “person who likes undressing”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder placed “in” DEED (i.e. “the act”), like so: DE(NATURIS)ED.

Down clues

1. Large snake, I’m afraid, cornering Mike in resort (3,6)

Answer: LAS PALMAS (i.e. “resort” and capital of Gran Canaria island of the Canary Islands). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) followed by ASP (i.e. “snake”) and ALAS (i.e. “I’m afraid”) once it has been wrapped around or “cornering” M (“Mike” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: L-ASP-AL(M)AS.

2. Saw that Tom can spy on Rex? (1,3,3,4,2,1,4)

Answer: A CAT MAY LOOK AT A KING, a phrase or “saw” meaning that even us lowly proles have rights. That’s reassuring. Clue riffs on “tom” being a male CAT – ignore the misleading capitalisation – and Rex being Latin for “king”. You get the idea.

3. Maybe take rabbit away from impressionist (5)

Answer: Edgar DEGAS (i.e. “impressionist” artist and sculptor – he had a thing for drawing ballerinas). When read as DE-GAS, the solution also jokingly satisfies “take rabbit away”, to rabbit and to gas being phrases meaning to talk a lot.

4. Forte! Is it that of a tattooist? (3-8)

Answer: EAR-PIERCING. Solution satisfies “forte” – being musical lingo for “loud” – and, given how a number of tattoo parlours also offer body piercing, “is it that of a tattooist”. Nicely played.

5. Possibly topless May Queen, one being pursued (2,3,3)

Answer: ON THE RUN (i.e. “being pursued”). Solution is MONTH (i.e. “possibly…May”, other months are available) with the first letter removed (indicated by “topless”) and the remainder followed by ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) and UN (i.e. “one” in French – I’m not keen when setters casually drop French indicators from their clues like this), like so: ONTH-ER-UN.

6. Ultimately spineless of French in short ducking a German product (7,5)

Answer: DRESDEN CHINA (i.e. “German product” – you might have seen plenty of it on twenty-episode-long binges of Bargain Hunt now that you’ve finished Netflix. #YayLockdown #NotYay). Solution is S (i.e. “ultimately spineless”, i.e. the last letter of “spineless”) and DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”) placed “in” DRENCHING (i.e. “ducking” – think how they used to torture and kill witches women accused of witchcraft) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), and then followed by A, like so: DRE(S-DE)NCHIN-A.

7. Flat tyres one can do without! (10)

Answer: PEDESTRIAN. Solution satisfies “flat”, as in boring, and “tyres one can do without”, what with a pedestrian being on foot ‘n all.

8. American’s not always away, we hear, after all (2,3)

Answer: IN SUM (i.e. “after all”). Solution is a homophone, indicated by “we hear”, of IN SOME (i.e. at home some of the time, or “not always away”). In “America” SOME is used to describe “a good deal more” or “a large amount”, which doesn’t quite fit the clue, but I get the idea. There could be a better solution out there on this one.

9. Where council sat to go over ground (5,6)

Answer: TRENT BRIDGE (i.e. “[cricket] ground”). Not sure on this one. I guess TRENT satisfies “where council sat” somehow. Perhaps it’s a historical reference, but nothing springs to mind. Meanwhile BRIDGE satisfies “to go over”.
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve and Andrew in the comments for their help on this one. “Where council sat” refers to the Council of TRENT, a big Catholic powwow that took place between 1545 and 1563 in Trento, Italy. Thanks both! – LP]

10. Trouble and strife, maybe bad for health (5,4)

Answer: OTHER HALF (i.e. “trouble and strife, maybe” – trouble and strife being Cockney rhyming slang for “wife” – the “maybe” part indicating that OTHER HALF covers partners too). “Bad” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FOR HEALTH. Nicely worked.

11. Left one distant land for European city (4)

Answer: LINZ (i.e. “European city”, specifically the third-largest city in Austria. Okay, can you name the second-largest? Yeah, exactly. If you wanted cast-iron proof that the setter is dicking with you this week, consider how many proper words fit the letters L_N_. That the setter decided to say “sod the solvers, God I hate them, moaning at me all the time for filling my grids with place names just because I really like places and they come in really useful when I’ve buggered up the grid a bit… yeah, sod them all, I’m sticking another place name in”… it speaks volumes rather, doesn’t it?) Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and NZ (i.e. “distant land”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of New Zealand. Well, it’s distant relative to the UK, anyway…)

The second largest city in Austria, in case you wanted to know, is Graz.

12. Oscar one carried on plate overwhelms film director (4)

Answer: Nicolas ROEG (i.e. “film director”). Solution is O (“Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “carried on” REG (i.e. “[car number] plate”), like so: R(O)EG. “One” seems redundant in this clue, so I might not have this one quite right. Again, consider how many proper words fit the letters R_E_. This setter really, really, REALLY loves their dead people and places.
[EDIT – A quick brainwave before bedtime. “One” wasn’t redundant after all. “One carried on plate” refers to a car registration, often shortened to REG. Phew. I can sleep easier now. – LP]

18. Hands-free number? (3,2,4,2,7)

Answer: YES WE HAVE NO BANANAS, a song or “number” by Louis Prima, and the only reason I’ve not waged all-out war on this week’s setter. Solution riffs on how a hand is “a division of a bunch of bananas” (Chambers). If you need cheering up during this lockdown and fancy some upbeat, happy choons, then you could do a lot worse than firing up a bit of King Louis. Jump (jive and wail) to it!

19. Regulations and data about pick-up from Victoria? (8)

Answer: STATUTES (i.e. “regulations”). Solution is STATS (i.e. “data”) wrapped “about” UTE (i.e. “pick-up from Victoria”, an ute being what Aussies call a pick-up truck), like so: STAT(UTE)S.

21. Thrown in debt (2,1,4)

Answer: AT A LOSS. Solution satisfies “thrown”, as in confused or wrong-footed, and “in debt”.

23. Cast out to rehearse, expending energy for nothing (8)

Answer: EXORCISE (i.e. to “cast out” evil spirits and such). Solution is EXERCISE (i.e. “to rehearse”) with the middle E – a recognised abbreviation of “energy”- “expended for” or replaced by O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: EX(E)RCISE => EX(O)RCISE.

27. Singular witticisms, type occurring in yarn (4,4)

Answer: SPUN SILK (i.e. “yarn”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) followed by PUNS (i.e. “witticisms”) and ILK (i.e. “type”).

28. Fresh id’s one I get ready for computer (8)

Answer: DIGITISE (i.e. “get ready for computer”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “fresh”) of ID’S, I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and I GET.

31. Slip away carrying book, indeed (2,5)

Answer: NO DOUBT (i.e. “indeed”). Solution is NOD (i.e. “slip” – both words for a careless mistake) followed by OUT (i.e. “away”) once it has been wrapped around or “carrying” B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”), like so: NOD-OU(B)T.

32. Minister departs, placing inside contact details? (8,4)

Answer: VISITING CARD (i.e. “contact details” left in after visits. Think business cards, that kind of thing.) Solution is VICAR (i.e. “minister”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of died, i.e. “departs”) both wrapped around or having “inside” SITING (i.e. “placing”), like so: VI(SITING)CAR-D.

34. Old lady embracing English couple overheard Belgian dramatist (11)

Answer: Maurice MAETERLINCK (i.e. “Belgian dramatist” – (scans through list of works) – Nope.) Solution is MATER (i.e. “old lady”) wrapped around or “embracing” E (i.e. “English”) and then followed by a homophone (indicated by “overheard”) of LINK (i.e. “[to] couple”), like so: MA(E)TER-LINCK. Needless to say, I was straight to my Bradford’s the moment I read “Belgian dramatist”. Life is way too short to waste on solutions like this.

36. Struggling university secretary gets the bird (2,7,2)

Answer: UP AGAINST IT (i.e. “struggling”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) followed by PA (i.e. “secretary”, specifically a Personal Assistant), then GAINS (i.e. “gets”) and TIT (i.e. “bird”).

38. Foul slurs wrongly associated with curio (10)

Answer: SCURRILOUS (i.e. “foul”). “Wrongly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SLURS and CURIO.

40. Not smart enough to digest page in after-dinner article? (9)

Answer: TOOTHPICK (i.e. “after-dinner article”). Solution is TOO THICK (i.e. “not smart enough”) wrapped around or “digesting” P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”), like so: TOO-TH(P)ICK.

42. Made up much-loved account – boy’s bowled over (9)

Answer: MASCARAED (i.e. “made up” – my Chambers doesn’t want to know, but my Oxford backs this one up). Solution is DEAR (i.e. “much-loved”) followed by AC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”) and SAM (i.e. “boy”, as in a boy’s name) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “bowled over” – this being a down clue), like so: MAS-CA-RAED.

43. Back from church with claim to devotion – touching! (8)

Answer: CHAMPION (i.e. to promote or “back” something). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) followed by AM PI (i.e. “claim to devotion” – PI is a shortened form of “pious”, so to say I AM PI is to claim one’s devotion to some god or other) and then ON (i.e. “touching”), like so: CH-AM-PI-ON.

48. One who’s left note upset timber producer (5)

Answer: ALDER (i.e. “timber producer”). Solution is RED (i.e. “one who’s left”, i.e. a socialist) and LA (i.e. “note” in the do-ray-me style) all reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: AL-DER.

50. Obliged you very informally to listen to officer (5)

Answer: MAJOR (i.e. army “officer”). “To listen to” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of both MADE (i.e. “obliged”) and YER (i.e. “you very informally”). Only just got that as I was typing this up. Not a fan.

51. Pro beginning on amateur arenas (4)

Answer: FORA (i.e. “arenas”, being a plural of “forum”). Solution is FOR (i.e. “pro”) followed by A (i.e. “beginning on amateur”, i.e. the first letter of “amateur”).

52. Revolving bar, one serving pork pies (4)

Answer: LIAR (i.e. “one serving pork pies” – more Cockney rhyming slang, in case anyone was in any doubt this is a London paper; this time “pork pies” = lies). Solution is RAIL (i.e. “bar”) reversed (indicated by “revolving”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1434

A decent puzzle for Bank Holiday Monday, despite a few recent repeats, though it didn’t quite seem so at the time! Got there in the end, I think. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations for my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

Some me-time again before we jump in: my Just For Fun page carries links for solutions to the last eighty-odd Times Jumbo Cryptics should that be of any use to you; my Reviews page, meanwhile, has some book reviews from a time back when I had the time to read; meanwhile I have a story of mine to help while away a spare half hour.

And so to the answers. Keep your chins up, peeps. Stay healthy and all being well I’ll see you for the next one.

LP

Across clues

1. Superior agent bringing government security (7,4)

Answer: PREMIUM BOND (i.e. “government security”). Solution is PREMIUM (i.e. “superior”) followed by James BOND (i.e. “agent”). Or Basildon Bond, for any Russ Abbot fans out there.

7. Two police informers that could feed many behind bars (6,5)

Answer: CANARY GRASS. Solution satisfies “two police informers” and “that could feed many behind bars” – its grain is often used as birdseed. Nicely worked.

13. Past master following surgeon’s work, an invasive procedure (9,8)

Answer: OPERATION OVERLORD (i.e. “an invasive procedure”, referring to the successful Allied invasion of Western Europe during WWII). Solution is OVER (i.e.” past”) followed by LORD (i.e. “master”) both placed after or “following” OPERATION (i.e. “surgeon’s work”), like so: OPERATION-OVER-LORD. An easier get, given this solution appeared a few months ago in puzzle 1414. I guess the setter didn’t get a paper that day.

14. Coat in two sizes gaining appreciation (5)

Answer: SMEAR (i.e. “[to] coat”). Solution is S and M (i.e. “two sizes”, specifically recognised abbreviations of “small” and “medium”) followed by EAR (i.e. “appreciation”, as in having an ear for something).

15. Agrees fares, as passenger does (4,2)

Answer: GETS ON. A triple-header, this, as the solution satisfies “agrees”, “fares” and “as passenger does”.

16. What’s lost by guru bottling medicine? (8)

Answer: SPILLAGE (i.e. “what’s lost”). Solution is SAGE (i.e. “guru”) wrapped around or “bottling” PILL (i.e. “medicine”), like so: S(PILL)AGE.

17. Concert stars from Emirates, heading off abroad (7)

Answer: MAESTRI (i.e. “concert stars”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “abroad”) of EMIRATES once the initial letter has been removed (indicated by “heading off”). Another easier get, the solution having recently appeared in puzzle 1431. The setter really must have a word with their newsagent, all these Saturday Times they seem to be missing.

19. I invested in second family home minimally well covered (9)

Answer: SKINNIEST (i.e. “minimally well covered” – I get it, as in a covering of skin, but bloody hell it’s a bit of a stretch). Solution is I placed or “invested” in S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”), KIN (i.e. “family”) and NEST (i.e. “home”), like so: S-KIN-N(I)EST.

21. Claiming everyone died escaping from border (8)

Answer: ALLEGING (i.e. “claiming”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “everyone”) followed by EDGING (i.e. “border”) once the D has been removed (indicated by “died escaping”, D being a recognised abbreviation of “died”), like so: ALL-EGING.

23. College coach not head of athletics (4)

Answer: TECH (i.e. “college”). Solution is TEACH (i.e. “coach”) with the A removed (indicated by “not head of athletics”, i.e. the first letter of “athletics”).

25. Tea service, third of plates going west (5)

Answer: ASSAM (i.e. “tea”). Solution is MASS (i.e. “[church] service”) followed by A (i.e. “third of plates”, i.e. the third letter of “plates”), all reversed (indicated by “going west” – this being an across clue), like so: A-SSAM.

27. Turn against one splitting party from the start (2,4)

Answer: DE NOVO (i.e. Latin for “from the start”). Solution is V (i.e. “against”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “versus”) and ONE placed in or “splitting” DO (i.e. “party”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “turn”), like so: D(ENO-V)O. Some brute forcing of Chambers was needed here, me not being versed in dead languages n’ all.

28. Jazz musician’s men briefly recalled playing piece (4,6)

Answer: FATS DOMINO (i.e. “jazz musician”). Solution is STAFF (i.e. “men”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “recalled”), then followed by DOMINO (i.e. “playing piece”), like so: FATS-DOMINO. A clue that scans rather well.

30. Issue rebounding sound when phone card’s installed (8)

Answer: EMISSION (i.e. “issue”). Solution is NOISE (i.e. “sound”) wrapped around or “installing” SIM (i.e. “phone card”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “rebounding”), like so: E(MIS)SION.

31. Get the better of twenty fielders not performing well (5,6,3)

Answer: SCORE POINTS OFF (i.e. “get the better of”). Solution is SCORE (i.e. “twenty”) followed by POINTS (i.e. some “fielders” in cricket) and OFF (i.e. “not performing well”).

34. Large whisky, say in local producing bad language (6,8)

Answer: DOUBLE NEGATIVE (i.e. “bad language” – The Times’ own Oliver Kamm might disagree…) Solution is DOUBLE (i.e. “large whisky”) followed by EG (i.e. “say”, as in “for example”) once it has been placed “in” NATIVE (i.e. “local”), like so: DOUBLE-N(EG)ATIVE. Another clue that scans rather well.

35. Pallid quality a bad sign in clarets, perhaps season’s first (8)

Answer: WAXINESS (i.e. “pallid quality”). Solution is A and X (i.e. “bad sign”, as in a sign off of teacher that you’ve gotten something wrong) placed “in” WINES (i.e. “clarets, perhaps”) and then followed by S (i.e. “season’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “season”), like so: W(A-X)INES-S.

38. Missile launchers stolen on board with prior support from medic (10)

Answer: SLINGSHOTS (i.e. “missile launchers”). Solution is HOT (i.e. “stolen”) placed in or “on board” SS (a recognised abbreviation of a “steamship” – the “on board” inferring we’re on a ship). This is then placed after (indicated by “with prior”) SLING (i.e. “support from medic”), like so: SLING-S(HOT)S.

40. Particular hamper engineers disposed of (6)

Answer: STRICT (i.e. “particular”). Solution is RESTRICT (i.e. “hamper”) with the RE removed (indicated by “engineers disposed of”, RE being the Royal Engineers of the British Army).

41. Right page in incorrect order? (5)

Answer: RECTO (i.e. “right page” of a book in publisher lingo – the left page being “verso”, in case you were wondering). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, likes so: INCOR(RECT O)RDER.

43. Weeper’s last, dying tear (4)

Answer: REND (i.e. to rip or “tear”). Solution is R (i.e. “weeper’s last”, i.e. the last letter of “weeper”) followed by END (i.e. “dying”).

44. Sound measures to seize half Russian’s capital (8)

Answer: BRUSSELS, “capital” of Belgium. Solution is BELS (i.e. “sound measures”) wrapped around or “seizing” RUSS (i.e. “half of Russian’s”, specifically the first half – the possessive ‘s included), like so: B(RUSS)ELS.

45. Beguiled consultant’s discipline criticised (9)

Answer: ENTRAPPED (i.e. “beguiled”, both taken as tricking someone into a course of action). Solution is ENT (i.e. “consultant’s discipline”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the Ear Nose and Throat field of medicine) followed by RAPPED (i.e. “criticised”).

48. Pizza dish from region east of Golden State (7)

Answer: CALZONE (i.e. “pizza dish”). Solution is ZONE (i.e. “region”) placed after or “east of” – this being an across clue – CAL (a recognised abbreviation of California, nicknamed the “Golden State”), like so: CAL-ZONE. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here.

49. With united soul, wandering like a cloud (8)

Answer: CUMULOUS (i.e. “like a cloud” – dictionaries differ on this it seems. Chambers doesn’t recognise the word, suggesting CUMULOSE instead, while my Oxford chooses not to get involved at all. It’s left to my battered old Collins Concise to back the setter up on this one. (Puts red card back in pocket.)). Solution is CUM (i.e. Latin for “with”) followed by U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet a recognised abbreviation of “united”) and an anagram (indicated by “wandering”) of SOUL, like so: CUM-U-LOUS.
[EDIT – Thanks to Sue in the comments for the catch re: “united”. I must have been getting tired by this point! – LP]

50. Several hands needed for this dental work (6)

Answer: BRIDGE. Solution satisfies “several hands [of cards] needed for this” and “dental work”.

53. Civet spied in grass, often retreating (5)

Answer: FOSSA (i.e. “civet”). “Spied in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “retreating” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: GR(ASS OF)TEN. One gotten by the wordplay alone, to be honest.

54. Centenarian hermit, funny old man of verse (3,7,7)

Answer: THE ANCIENT MARINER (i.e. “old man of verse”). “Funny” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CENTENARIAN HERMIT.

55. “Loos” misread in translation as more exclusive facilities? (6,5)

Answer: LADIES ROOMS (i.e. “more exclusive facilities”, taken in relation to the more generic “loos”). “In translation” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LOOS MISREAD.

56. Chance inaccuracy from tabloid (E for I) backing organised party (6,5)

Answer: RANDOM ERROR (i.e. “chance inaccuracy”). Solution is the Daily MIRROR (i.e. “tabloid”) with the I replaced by E (indicated by “(E for I)”) and then placed after or “backing” RAN (i.e. “organised”) and DO (i.e. “party”), like so: RAN-DO-MERROR.

Down clues

1. Stars helping to create something groundbreaking (11)

Answer: PLOUGHSHARE (i.e. “something groundbreaking”). Solution is PLOUGH (i.e. “stars”, as in the constellation) followed by SHARE (i.e. a “helping” of something).

2. European clubs wearing black kick out (5)

Answer: EJECT (i.e. “kick out”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by C (ditto “clubs”, used in card games) once it has been placed in or “wearing” JET (i.e. “black”), like so: E-JE(C)T.

3. One in a state needed aid on a horse, desperately (7)

Answer: IDAHOAN (i.e. “one in a [US] state”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “desperately”) of AID ON A and H (a recognised abbreviation of “horse”).

4. Within minutes, trunk road’s put out of action (4)

Answer: MAIM (i.e. “put out of action”). Solution is M and M (a recognised abbreviation of “minute” made plural) with AI (i.e. “trunk road”, specifically the A1) placed “within” them, like so: M-(AI)-M.

5. Tempt with onion crackers, supremely strong (10)

Answer: OMNIPOTENT (i.e. “supremely strong”). “Crackers” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TEMPT and ONION.
[EDIT: Corrected from OMNIPRESENT, a . Thanks to Mark in the comments for the correction. – LP]

6. Unravelling vital code saved Vatican official (6,8)

Answer: DEVIL’S ADVOCATE (i.e. “Vatican official”, one played rather well by Rob Lowe in Sky One’s pretty good You Me and the Apocalypse, if I recall correctly). “Unravelling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of VITAL CODE SAVED.

7. GPs might welcome these queries regularly during visits (4-4)

Answer: CURE-ALLS (i.e. “GPs might welcome these”). Solution is URE (i.e. “queries regularly”, i.e. every other letter of QUERIES) placed in or “during” CALLS (i.e. “visits”), like so: C(URE)ALLS. Another clue that scans rather well.

8. Ring through snout a form of restraint (5)

Answer: NOOSE (i.e. “form of restraint”). Solution is O (i.e. “ring”) placed in or “through” NOSE (i.e. “snout”), like so: NO(O)SE.

9. Beginnings of weak energy seen in puniest creatures (9)

Answer: RUDIMENTS (i.e. “beginnings”). Solution is DIM (i.e. “weak”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) placed “in” RUNTS (i.e. “puniest creatures”), like so: RU(DIM-E)NTS.

10. Records in diary reflected evangelist’s message (6)

Answer: GOSPEL (i.e. “evangelist’s message”). Solution is EPS (i.e. “records”, specifically Extended Plays – ask your parents, kids) placed “in” LOG (i.e. “record”) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “reflected”), like so: GO(SPE)L.

11. Achievement of a parent full of energy engaged in short flight (1,7,2,4,3)

Answer: A FEATHER IN ONES CAP (i.e. “achievement”). Solution is A, then FATHER (i.e. “parent”) wrapped around or “full of” E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) followed by IN ON (i.e. “engaged in” something) and ESCAPE (i.e. “flight”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: A-F(E)ATHER-IN-ON-ESCAP.

12. Homeless aristo given a hearing forthwith (8,3)

Answer: STRAIGHT OFF (i.e. “forthwith”). Not got much of a hook on this one, so watch out. “Aristo” can be a TOFF, but I haven’t figured the rest of it. As ever, if I have a brainwave, or if some kind commenter swings by, then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve in the comments for the quick turnaround on this one. The solution is a homophone (indicated by “given a hearing”) of STRAY TOFF (i.e. “homeless aristo”). Sometimes you just don’t see ’em. Thanks, Steve! – LP]

18. Convict’s singular ambition reduced (4,4)

Answer: SEND DOWN (i.e. “[to] convict”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) followed by END (i.e. “ambition”) then DOWN (i.e. “reduced”).

20. Having started outside, a lion is somehow confined (17)

Answer: INSTITUTIONALISED (i.e. “confined”). Solution is INSTITUTED (i.e. “started”) placed “outside” of an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of A LION IS, like so: INSTITUT(IONALIS)ED.

22. Drink that’s right during interval? Pop (6)

Answer: GRAPPA (i.e. “drink”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) placed in or “during” GAP (i.e. “interval”) and then followed by PA (i.e. “pop”, both terms for father), like so: G(R)AP-PA. Nicely worked.

24. On cruise ship, disheartened, drink more stout (8)

Answer: PORTLIER (i.e. “more stout”). Solution is PORT (i.e. “drink”) placed “on” top of – this being a down clue – LINER (i.e. “cruise ship”) once its middle letter has been removed (indicated by “disheartened”), like so: PORT-LIER.

26. Dress badly, something actor should never do, we’re told (8)

Answer: MISALIGN (i.e. “dress badly”). “We’re told” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of MISS A LINE (i.e. “something actor should never do”). This took bloody ages to get. Yes, I facepalmed when I finally twigged it.

29. Junior in service reserved bread for nursery breakfast? (7,7)

Answer: PRIVATE SOLDIER (i.e. “junior in [armed] service”). Solution is PRIVATE (i.e. “reserved”) followed by SOLDIER (i.e. “bread for … breakfast” – I guess the “nursery” bit is to indicate the eggs for which one would have soldiers).

32. Disorganised at home, like philanthropist (2,1,5)

Answer: IN A STATE (i.e. “disorganised”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by AS (i.e. “like”) and Henry TATE (i.e. sugar baron and “philanthropist” of old).

33. A fixed silver mounting for gemstones (6)

Answer: AGATES (i.e. “gemstones”). Solution is A followed by SET (i.e. “fixed”) and AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) once these latter two have been reversed (indicated by “mounting” – this being a down clue), like so: A-(GA-TES).

34. Inspector’s benevolence, almost total, is shocking (11)

Answer: DISGRACEFUL (i.e. “shocking”). Solution is DI’S (i.e. “inspector’s”, specifically a Detective Inspector’s) followed by GRACE (i.e. “benevolence”) and FULL (i.e. “total”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”), like so: DI’S-GRACE-FUL.

36. Public official, speech back to front, to support queen (5-6)

Answer: SWORD-BEARER (i.e. “public official”). Solution is WORDS (i.e. “speech”) with the last letter placed first (indicated by “back to front”), then followed by BEAR (i.e. “to support”) and ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: SWORD-BEAR-ER.

37. The unmissable “Sparkling sequin” by prolific author (4,3,3)

Answer: SINE QUA NON (i.e. “unmissable” – sigh… more dead language japes, this time a Latin phrase meaning “an indispensable condition”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sparkling”) of SEQUIN followed by ANON (i.e. “prolific author”, being a recognised abbreviation of “anonymous” – a bit sneaky but I get the gist of it), like so: SINEQU-ANON.

39. Sprinter runs bearing singlet, one gathers (9)

Answer: HARVESTER (i.e. “one gathers”). Solution is HARE (i.e. “sprinter”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) wrapped around or “bearing” VEST (i.e. “singlet”), like so: HAR(VEST)E-R.

42. American word for depot? (8)

Answer: TERMINUS (i.e. “depot”). When written as TERM IN US the solution also satisfies “American word for”. Nicely played.

46. Scots town has equipment for stylist wanting all-round trim (7)

Answer: AIRDRIE (i.e. “Scots town”). Solution is HAIRDRIER (i.e. “equipment for stylist”) once the first and last letters have been removed (indicated by “wanting all-round trim”). Best clue we’ve had for quite a while. Love it!

47. Elevated accountant given exclusive housing as compensation (6)

Answer: SOLACE (i.e. “compensation”). Solution is CA (a recognised abbreviation of a Chartered “Accountant”) placed in or given “housing” in SOLE (i.e.” exclusive”), like so: SOL(AC)E.

49. Socialist bound by firm principles (5)

Answer: CREDO (i.e. “principles”). Solution is RED (i.e. “socialist”) placed in or “bound by” CO (a recognised abbreviation of company, i.e. “firm”), like so: C(RED)O.

51. Thailand’s last queen raised money abroad (5)

Answer: DINAR (i.e. “money abroad”). Solution is D (i.e. “Thailand’s last”, i.e. the last letter of “Thailand”) followed by RANI (i.e. “queen”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue), like so: D-INAR.

52. Bishop put in a flash reading desk (4)

Answer: AMBO (i.e. “reading desk”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop”) placed or “put in” A and MO (i.e. “flash”, both meaning a short period of time), like so: A-(M)-BO. One I got purely from the wordplay, to he honest.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1433

Not so good this week, for me, thanks mainly to the setter playing a little too loose with the clues. We’ve certainly seen worse, mind. As ever, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

Some me-time before we begin: you can find a bunch of previous solutions on my Just For Fun page, some book reviews here (still not reading, work still mental) and a story I did a while ago here. Go show them some love.

See you in a few days. Keep well, and I hope you are getting through this lockdown as best you can.

LP

Across clues

1. Calculates total, coming round to disagreeing (2,4)

Answer: AT ODDS (i.e. “disagreeing”). Solution is ADDS (i.e. “calculates total”) wrapped “round” TO, like so: A(TO)DDS.

5. Complex character is up for review by reference book (7)

Answer: OEDIPUS (i.e. “complex character”, referring to the Oedipus complex which sees people have the hots for their mum and bear ill-will toward their father). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “for review”) of IS UP placed after or “by” OED (i.e. “reference book”, specifically the Oxford English Dictionary), like so: OED-IPUS.

9. Rock tune, say, keeping daughter rocking (8)

Answer: UNSTEADY (i.e. “rocking”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “rock”) of TUNE, SAY which is wrapped around D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”), like so: UNSTEA(D)Y.

13. Who were the two in the green cornfield, Will? (One not a large donkey!) (2,3,1,5,3,3,4)

Answer: IT WAS A LOVER AND HIS LASS, a line from a song in “Will” Shakespeare’s As You Like It. With a hey and a ho and a hey nonino; That o’er the “green cornfield” did pass. And so on. I guess the “large donkey” refers to L-ASS (L being a recognised abbreviation of “large”), but beyond that I don’t really care enough for Shakespeare to dig any deeper. Apologies to any Bard groupies out there.

14. Behind, race along, protected by this? (4,4)

Answer: SEAT BELT (i.e. “protected by this”, the clue suggesting we’re in a car race). Solution is SEAT (i.e. “behind”, i.e. the seat of one’s pants) followed by BELT (i.e. “race along”).

15. The speck of land to amaze the world (7)

Answer: ROCKALL, an uninhabitable islet out in the North Atlantic Ocean (i.e. “speck of land”). Solution is ROCK (i.e. “to amaze”) followed by ALL (i.e. “the world”). The perfect place from which to launch my plans for world domination, then.

16. Almost get up to peer (6)

Answer: ARISTO (i.e. “peer”, an abbreviated form of aristocrat). Solution is ARISE (i.e. “get up”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and followed by TO, like so: ARIS-TO.

17. Cleans up with win here (10)

Answer: SWEEPSTAKE, a form of gambling one can “win”. Clue riffs on how a SWEEP “cleans up”. You get the idea.

20. At start of month, advice about offering from restaurant range (8,4)

Answer: MARITIME ALPS (i.e. “range”, being the southern bit of the Alps). Solution is MAR I (i.e. “start of month”, i.e. March 1st) followed by TIPS (i.e. “advice”) once it has been wrapped “about” MEAL (i.e. “offering from restaurant”), like so: MAR-I-TI(MEAL)PS.

23. Heartless Scotsman playing, a seaside feature (4)

Answer: PIER (i.e. “seaside feature”). Solution is PIPER (i.e. “Scotsman playing”) with the middle letter removed (indicated by “heartless”).

24. Greedyguts extremely glad about the chap waiting on us? (8)

Answer: GOURMAND (i.e. “greedyguts”). Solution is G and D (i.e. “extremely glad”, i.e. the first and last letters of “glad”) wrapped “about” OUR MAN (i.e. “chap waiting on us”), like so: G(OUR-MAN)D.

26. Was a Provost in Cambridge giving orders? (8)

Answer: RANKINGS (i.e. “orders”). When read as RAN KINGS the solution also satisfies “was a Provost in Cambridge”, a provost being someone running things, and Kings being a college at Cambridge University. Took a while to twig this, but I like it.

29. Reason for acquittal? The cynical moving to secure it (12)

Answer: TECHNICALITY (i.e. “reason for acquittal”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “moving”) of THE CYNICAL wrapped around or “securing” IT, like so: TECHNICAL(IT)Y. Well played.

30. Old writer intended to be unbiased (4-6)

Answer: OPEN-MINDED (i.e. “unbiased”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by PEN (i.e. “writer”) and MINDED (i.e. “intended”).

32. Imaginary benefits of luxury items? (5,5)

Answer: FANCY GOODS (i.e. “luxury items”). Solution is FANCY (i.e. “imaginary”) followed by GOODS (i.e. “benefits”).

34. Counterpart of electric blue? (8,4)

Answer: SHOCKING PINK. Clue plays on how “electricity” can be SHOCKING and how “blue” and PINK are “counterparts” on a snooker table, balls valued at 5 and 6 points respectively. Yep. That’s definitely it. Definitely snooker. Nothing here about gender stereotypes, internet, move along please. (Looks left) (Looks right) Phew, that was a close one, folks. Do not feed the zealots.

36. Uniform for boys’ clubs perhaps – observe back first (4,4)

Answer: ETON SUIT (i.e. “uniform for boys’ clubs”, in case you’d forgotten the elitism that courses through each of these puzzles). Solution is SUIT (i.e. “clubs, perhaps”, referring to one of the suits in a pack of playing cards) with NOTE (i.e. “observe”) reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed “first”, like so: ETON-SUIT.

38. Heraldic motto, one accepted by a king (8)

Answer: ARMORIAL (i.e. “heraldic”). Solution is MORAL (i.e. “motto” – to be filed under “yeah, kinda“) wrapped around or “accepting” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and then placed after or “by” A and R (i.e. a recognised abbreviation of Rex, Latin for “king”), like so: A-R-MOR(I)AL.

39. With no hesitation rejected what’s a tiny bit elementary (4)

Answer: MUON, a subatomic particle (i.e. “a tiny bit elementary” – atoms being the smallest particle of an “element”). Solution is NO and UM (i.e. “hesitation”) both reversed (indicated by “rejected”), like so: MU-ON.

41. Out of doors show resolute mien wavering (3,2,7)

Answer: SON ET LUMIERE (i.e. “out of doors show” – think images projected on buildings or landmarks). “Wavering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RESOLUTE MIEN. I only got this as it also featured in a book of crosswords I’d picked up recently to fill a spare five minutes. I’ll probably see it half a dozen times throughout the week now.

43. A short Aussie bloke is caustic (10)

Answer: ASTRINGENT (i.e. “caustic”). Solution is A and STRINE (i.e. “Aussie”, over to my Chambers for this one: “a jocular name given to Australian English”. Okay, if you say so…) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and then followed by GENT (i.e. “bloke”), like so: A-STRIN-GENT.

44. Mush! – but not moving (6)

Answer: STATIC. Solution satisfies “mush”, referring to white noise you used to get on TVs before things got digital – another one for the “yeah, kinda” file, I reckon – and “not moving”.

46. A run forward in wood left one shaken (7)

Answer: TIMBREL, a kind of tambourine (i.e. “one shaken”). Solution is TIMBER (i.e. “wood”) with the R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in several ball games) brought “forward” a notch, and then followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”), like so: TIMBRE-L.

48. These days I sleep rough outside, under them? (8)

Answer: PLEIADES, stars located in the constellation of Taurus (i.e. “sleep rough outside under them”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “rough”) of I SLEEP wrapped around or “outside of” AD (i.e. “these days”, i.e. Anno Domini), like so: PLEI(AD)ES. The wordplay was pretty obvious but took a quick Google to get the right spelling, not to mention what exactly the clue was referring to!

50. Filling belt, not easy at first if expanded (5,7,3,6)

Answer: BACON LETTUCE AND TOMATO (i.e. “[sandwich] filling”). Solution is BELT with the E removed (indicated by “not easy at first”, i.e. the first letter of “easy”). The remainder, BLT, is an abbreviation which when “expanded” gets you the solution.

51. Some religious worries overwhelming rector finally (8)

Answer: BROTHERS (i.e. “some religious”). Solution is BOTHERS (i.e. “worries”) wrapped around or “overwhelming” R (i.e. “rector finally”, i.e. the last letter of “rector”), like so: B(R)OTHERS.

52. Spiritual authority has no solid ground, we hear (4,3)

Answer: HOLY SEE (i.e. “spiritual authority”). “We hear” indicates homophone. When written as HOLY SEA the solution also satisfies “has no solid ground”, inferring a seabed full of holes.

53. Goodness less than nothing for bloke (6)

Answer: GEEZER (i.e. “bloke”). Solution is GEE (i.e. “goodness”, both exclamations) followed by ZERO (i.e. “nothing”) with the last letter removed (indicated cheekily by “less than”), like so: GEE-ZER.

Down clues

2. Sudden pain not good for one stranded (5)

Answer: TWINE (i.e. “one stranded”, referring to strands of a rope). Solution is TWINGE (i.e. “sudden pain”) with the G removed (indicated by “not good”, G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”).

3. Sensible, where the fox goes to sleep? (4-2-5)

Answer: DOWN-TO-EARTH. Solution satisfies “sensible” and “where the fox goes to sleep”.

4. Such an account makes one nervous? (8)

Answer: SUSPENSE (i.e. type of “account”). Solution also satisfies “makes one nervous”.

5. Anything to protect wings of little nestling (5)

Answer: OWLET, a young owl (i.e. “little nestling”). Solution is OWT (i.e. “anything”) wrapped around or “protecting” LE (i.e. “wings of little”, i.e. the first and last letters of “little”), like so: OW(LE)T.

6. Welshman recited poetry of all kinds (7)

Answer: DIVERSE (i.e. “of all kinds”). Solution is DI (i.e. “Welshman recited”, i.e. a homophone of DAI) followed by VERSE (i.e. “poetry”).

7. Separate, if not entirely firm (4,7)

Answer: PART COMPANY (i.e. “separate”). Solution is PART (i.e. “not entirely”) followed by COMPANY (i.e. “firm”).

8. From clinic, volunteers get man sacked (5)

Answer: SANTA (i.e. “man sacked”, as in that jolly fellow who visited every house toward the end of 2019 leaving presents for everyone to find. See, conspiracy nuts, Covid-19 was Santa’s fault all along. It had nothing to do with 5G masts, you utter, utter pillocks.) Solution is SAN (i.e. “clinic”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “sanatorium”) followed by TA (i.e. “volunteers”, specifically the Territorial Army).

9. Pad out raised armrest (9)

Answer: UPHOLSTER (i.e. “pad out”). Solution is UP (i.e. “raised”) followed by HOLSTER (i.e. “armrest” – a bit of a stretch, another for the “yeah, kinda” file).

10. Russian band covers area (5)

Answer: SASHA (i.e. a “Russian” forename). Solution is SASH (i.e. “band [of fabric]”) followed by A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”).

11. Old people receive a note to get check-up (11)

Answer: EXAMINATION (i.e. “check-up”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”) and NATION (i.e. “people”) wrapped around or “receiving” A and MI (i.e. “note” in the do-ray-mi style), like so: EX-(A-MI)-NATION.

12. Sat around to receive equipment, missing one item for office (7)

Answer: DESKTOP (i.e. “item for office”). Solution is POSED (i.e. “sat”) which is reversed (indicated by “around”) and then wrapped around or “receiving” KIT (i.e. “equipment”) once its I has been removed (indicated by “missing [Roman numeral] one”), like so: DES(KT)OP.

18. Fish: I help, turning and cutting a little piece (9)

Answer: WHITEBAIT (i.e. “fish”). Solution is I and ABET (i.e. “help”), which is reversed (indicated by “turning”). These are then placed in or “cutting” WHIT (i.e. “a little piece”, literally the smallest particle imaginable), like so: WH(I-TEBA)IT.

19. A case, half the same fruit (7)

Answer: AVOCADO (i.e. “fruit”). Setter wins. I’ve not got a hook on this, so watch out. If I have a brainwave overnight or if some kind soul stops by with the answer then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Nailed this one, finally. The solution is A followed by VOCATIVE (i.e. “case” – over to Chambers: “the case of a word when a person or thing is addressed”) chopped in “half” and followed by DO (a recognised abbreviation of “ditto”), like so: A-VOCA-DO. Chalk one to my Bradfords for the “case” bit. – LP]

21. Broadcaster ignoring us spoke about forty-five minutes? (5,4)

Answer: RADIO FOUR (i.e. “broadcaster”). Solution is RADIUS (i.e. “spoke” of a wheel) with the US removed or “ignored”, then followed by OF (i.e. “about”) and OUR (i.e. “forty-five minutes”, cunningly the last three-quarters of an HOUR), like so: RADI-OF-OUR.

22. Greek character buried in second tomb (8)

Answer: MONUMENT (i.e. “tomb”). Solution is NU (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet) placed or “buried in” MOMENT (i.e. a “second”), like so: MO(NU)MENT.

25. Put back in control over country (9)

Answer: REINSTATE (i.e. “put back in”). Solution is REIN (i.e. “control”) placed ahead or “over” – this being a down clue – STATE (i.e. “country”).

27. One naïve politician that’s heard out hunting (9)

Answer: GREENHORN (i.e. “one naïve”). Solution is GREEN (i.e. “politician”) followed by HORN (i.e. “that’s heard out hunting”).

28. Can opener call with advantage? (4-4)

Answer: RING-PULL (i.e. “can opener”). Solution is RING (i.e. “call”) followed by PULL (i.e. “advantage”).

31. Mystic theologian the rack tortured (7)

Answer: Meister ECKHART (i.e. “mystic theologian” – yeah, me neither). “Tortured” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE RACK.

33. Join one group of workers up in state (11)

Answer: CONNECTICUT (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is CONNECT (i.e. “connect”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and TUC (i.e. “group of workers”, being the Trades Union Congress) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: CONNECT-I-CUT.

34. Regular disorder in city slammer (11)

Answer: SYMMETRICAL (i.e. “regular”). “Disorder” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CITY SLAMMER. Nicely done.

35. Little dog beginning to examine stone, say, in fruit (11)

Answer: POMEGRANATE (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is POM (i.e. “little dog”, specifically a Pomeranian) followed by E (i.e. “beginning to examine”, i.e. the first letter of “examine”) and GRANATE (i.e. a homophone – indicated by “say” – of GRANITE, i.e. “stone”).

37. Femme fatale sovereign arrests time after time (9)

Answer: TEMPTRESS (i.e. “femme fatale”). Solution is EMPRESS (i.e. “sovereign”) wrapped around or “arresting” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and then placed “after” T (ditto), like so: T-EMP(T)RESS.

40. Pound grand for penning one criminal without end (8)

Answer: LIFELONG (i.e. “without end” – I don’t agree with the setter on this one. Lifelong is not the same as endless, given that its predicated on the length of someone or something’s lifespan. That’s too many fouls, setter. (Points to all the “yeah, kinda” clues one by one.) (Wafts yellow card.)) Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of a “pound” of weight) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”) wrapped around or “penning” I (i.e “[Roman numeral] one”) and FELON (i.e. “criminal”), like so: L-(I-FELON)-G.

42. Be stopping spin expert, heading off for Number Ten in a year (7)

Answer: OCTOBER (i.e. “Number Ten in a year”, referring to the tenth month of a calendar year). Solution is BE placed in or “stopping” DOCTOR (i.e. “spin expert”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “heading off”), like so: OCTO(BE)R. A clue that scans rather well.

43. Very attentive king, visiting too briefly (3,4)

Answer: ALL EARS (i.e. “very attentive”). Solution is LEAR (i.e. “king”, referring to Shakespeare’s play) placed in or “visiting” ALSO (i.e. “too”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: AL(LEAR)S.

45. Happy to ignore good books for short story (5)

Answer: CONTE (i.e. “short story”). Solution is CONTENT (i.e. “happy”) with the final NT removed (indicated by “ignore good books”, NT being the New Testament of the Bible).

47. Equal contest that’s ready to ignite (5)

Answer: MATCH. Solution satisfies “equal” and “that’s ready to ignite”.

48. Minister to go quietly over brief at intervals (5)

Answer: PADRE (i.e. “minister”). Solution is PAD (i.e. “to go quietly”) which is followed by or placed “over” – this being a down clue – RE (i.e. “brief at intervals”, i.e. every other letter of the word BRIEF), like so: PAD-RE.

49. Be worn out before swallowing possibly lethal quantity (5)

Answer: ERODE (i.e. “be worn our” – wouldn’t this be “eroded”? (Feels for second yellow…)). Solution is ERE (i.e. poetic form of “before”) wrapped around or “swallowing” OD (i.e. “possibly lethal quantity”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of an “overdose”), like so: ER(OD)E.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1432

A pretty good puzzle this week, I thought, despite a red-card offence committed by the setter. You can find my completed solution below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

Some housekeeping before we begin, as ever. My Just For Fun page has links to solutions for the last eighty-odd Times Jumbo Cryptic puzzles, which you might find useful. I’ve also got some other stuff knocking about the place in the shape of a bunch of book reviews and the odd story. Once I’ve properly broken this shit run of 16-hour workdays, I hope to get back to some reading again!

Anyway, that’s enough of my problems. I hope you are all trucking on as well as you can out there. Till next time, stay safe. I’m off to scoff a stinking-hot Bolognese for supper.

LP

With thanks to Andrew in the comments for the correction to 24a

Across clues

1. Opportunity to alter putting clubs for golf (6)

Answer: CHANCE (i.e. “opportunity”). Solution is CHANGE (i.e. “to alter”) with the G (“golf” in the phonetic alphabet) replaced with C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” in card games), like so: CHAN(G)E => CHAN(C)E.

4. Shorten and reduce, holding one part of speech back (10)

Answer: ABBREVIATE (i.e. “shorten”). Solution is ABATE (i.e. “reduce”) wrapped around or “holding” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and VERB (i.e. “part of speech”) once they have both been reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: AB(BREV-I)ATE.

10. Pressure to mount gay festival? (5)

Answer: PRIDE (i.e. “gay festival”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) followed by RIDE (i.e. “to mount”).

14. Unfashionable clothing worn by queen – coat, perhaps (9)

Answer: OUTERWEAR (i.e. “coat, perhaps”). Solution is OUT (i.e. “unfashionable”) and WEAR (i.e. “clothing”) wrapped around or “worn by” ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: OUT-(ER)-WEAR.

15. What could make teen go wild with Gran, pa and I? (10,3)

Answer: GENERATION GAP. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wild”) of TEEN GO, GRAN, PA and I. The clue riffs on the differences of opinion and ideals between each generation, the so-called generation gap. Nicely played.

16. Division of FBI agents in position (7)

Answer: SEGMENT (i.e. “division”). Solution is G-MEN (i.e. “FBI agents”) placed “in” SET (i.e. “position”), like so: SE(G-MEN)T.

17. Dithering about nothing, is turning and twisting (7)

Answer: TORSION (i.e. “twisting”). Solution is TORN (i.e. “dithering”) placed around O (i.e. “nothing”) and IS once they’ve both been reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: TOR(SI-O)N.

18. Oil many misused in maintenance (7)

Answer: ALIMONY (i.e. “maintenance”). “Misused” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OIL MANY.

19. Note father drive round isle in Lesbos to shock society? (6,3,9)

Answer: EPATER LES BOURGEOIS – over to my Oxford for this one: “…shock people who have attitudes or views perceived and conventional or complacent”, i.e. “to shock society”. Solution is E (i.e. “[musical] note”) followed by PATER (i.e. “father”) – URGE (i.e. “drive”), O (i.e. “round”) and I (a recognised abbreviation of “isle”) are then placed in LESBOS, like so: E-PATER-LESBO(URGE-O-I)S. Flippin’ eck!

21. Metal necklace, not entirely light (4)

Answer: TORC (i.e. “metal necklace”). Solution is TORCH (i.e. “light”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not entirely”).

24. Chord one’s found in jazz? (5)

Answer: THIRD (i.e. “chord”). The “one’s found in jazz” seems to relate to jazz chords, but I’m far from the expert on music needed to expand further on this one. Seriously, I took a look and I may as well have been reading a different language.
[EDIT: I’m changing the answer for this to TRIAD following Andrew’s kind input in the comments. A TRIAD is a “chord” of three notes; TRAD is a form of “jazz”, put “[Roman numeral] one” into TRAD, like so: TR(I)AD. See, I told you I was no expert! Thanks, Andrew! – LP]

26. Bother to supply water – that takes time where there’s gallons (8)

Answer: IRRITATE (i.e. “bother”). Solution is IRRIGATE (i.e. “to supply water”) with the T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) being replaced by G (a recognised abbreviation of “gallons”), like so: IRRI(G)ATE => IRRI(T)ATE.

27. Dangerous fairy, mostly very bad (8)

Answer: PERILOUS (i.e. “dangerous”). Solution is PERI (i.e. “fairy” from Persian mythology) followed by LOUSY (i.e. “very bad”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: PERI-LOUS.

29. Press Association’s to act as informant about some current growth in South America (6,5)

Answer: PAMPAS GRASS (i.e. “growth in South America”). Solution is PA’S (a recognised abbreviation of “Press Association”, along with ‘s – a contraction of “is”) and GRASS (i.e. “to act as informant”) wrapped “about” AMP (i.e. “some current”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of ampere) like so: P(AMP)A’S-GRASS.

30. Like financial modelling worked out core income with time (11)

Answer: ECONOMETRIC (i.e. “like financial modelling”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “worked out”) of CORE INCOME and T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

32. All too graphic, young mink caught what’s in chicken’s pen? (7,4)

Answer: KITCHEN SINK (i.e. “all too graphic” – referring to films etc that focus on banal or sordid real-life situations). Solution is KIT (i.e. “young mink”) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) followed by HEN’S INK (i.e. “what’s in chicken’s pen”).

35. See badly disliked people returning after revolutionary party fare (6,5)

Answer: CHEESE STRAW (i.e. “party fare”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “badly”) of SEE, then WARTS (i.e. slang for “disliked people”) reversed (indicated by “returning”). These are then both placed “after” CHE Guevara (i.e. “revolutionary”), like so: CHE-ESE-STRAW.

37. How to keep wild goose in pen? (8)

Answer: HOOSEGOW (i.e. “pen”, i.e. a US slang term for a prison). Solution is HOW wrapped around or “keeping” an anagram (indicated by “wild”) of GOOSE, like so: H(OOSEG)OW.

39. English National Opera gets by over interval (8)

Answer: SEMITONE (i.e. a kind of “interval” in musical lingo). Solution is ENO (i.e. “English National Opera”) and TIMES (i.e. “[multiply] by”) both reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: SEMIT-ONE.

40. Monster public protest before noon (5)

Answer: DEMON (i.e. “monster”). Solution is DEMO (i.e. “public protest”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “noon”).

43. Seaweed backed as vital component of diet (4)

Answer: IRON (i.e. “vital component of diet”). Solution is RONI (i.e. “seaweed” – a new one on me, but it’s there in the dictionary) reversed (indicated by “backed”).

44. Dull prior to time guarding top commander in restricted zone (10,8)

Answer: PEDESTRIAN PRECINCT (i.e. “restricted zone” – basically a pedestrianised street). Solution is PEDESTRIAN (i.e. “dull”) followed by PRE (i.e. “prior to”) and T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) wrapped around or “guarding”) C-IN-C (i.e. “top commander”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “commander-in-chief”), like so: PEDESTRIAN-PRE-(C-IN-C)-T.

47. Tall sedge of Pennsylvania pear genus (7)

Answer: PAPYRUS (i.e. “tall sedge”). Solution is PA (a recognised abbreviation of the US state “Pennsylvania”) followed by PYRUS (i.e. “pear genus” – another new one on me – quite the botanical adventure we’re on this week!).

48. Order of butterfly, new discovery initially (7)

Answer: COMMAND (i.e. “order”). Solution is COMMA (i.e. a kind of “butterfly”) followed by N and D (i.e. “new discovery initially”, i.e. the first letters of “new” and “discovery”).

50. Hardy councillor eclipses minor (7)

Answer: COLLIER (i.e. “minor” – no, setter, you’re not getting away with this one. “Minor” is not the same as a “miner”, not without some kind of homophone indicator at least. And don’t try to blame this on a typo either, as the E key is a fair old distance away from the O. To the setter sinbin with you…) Solution is OLLIE (i.e. “Hardy”, specifically Oliver Hardy, one half of Laurel & Hardy) placed in or “eclipsed by” CR (a recognised abbreviation of “councillor”), like so: C(OLLIE)R.

51. Too passionate in general, mostly about European proposal (13)

Answer: OVEREMOTIONAL (i.e. “too passionate”). Solution is OVERALL (i.e. “in general”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped “about” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) and MOTION (i.e. “proposal”), like so: OVER(E-MOTION)AL.

52. Small step initially taken in moon EVA which holds us all (5-4)

Answer: SPACE-TIME (i.e. “which holds us all”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by PACE (i.e. “step”), then T, I, M and E (i.e. “initially taken in moon EVA”, i.e. the initial letters of Taken In Moon EVA).

53. Found in tel, Egyptian poem (5)

Answer: ELEGY (i.e. “poem”). “Found in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: T(EL EGY)PTIAN. What a weird clue!

54. Treeware material perhaps re-distributed as download (10)

Answer: SANDALWOOD (i.e. “treeware material perhaps” – a riddly reference to how sandals are “worn”). “Re-distributed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AS DOWNLOAD.

55. Saint accommodated in particular part of church (6)

Answer: VESTRY (i.e. “part of church”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”) placed or “accommodated in” VERY (i.e. “particular”), like so: VE(ST)RY.

Down clues

1. Carbon oars fit within another part of ship (5,4)

Answer: CROWS NEST (i.e. “part of ship”). Solution is C (chemical symbol of “carbon”) followed by ROWS (i.e. “oars”) and NEST (i.e. “fit within another”).

2. Vision problem: a mist developed after sparkling wine, GM (11)

Answer: ASTIGMATISM (i.e. “vision problem”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “developed”) of A MIST which is placed “after” ASTI (i.e. “sparkling wine”) and GM, like so: ASTI-GM-ATISM.

3. Sheep carried in basic train (7)

Answer: CORTEGE (i.e. “train”). Solution is TEG (i.e. “sheep” – one I remembered from a previous puzzle) placed or “carried in” CORE (i.e. “basic”), like so: COR(TEG)E.

5. Chap holding eastern headgear (5)

Answer: BERET (i.e. “headgear”). Solution is BERT or BRET (i.e. “chap”, whichever takes your fancy) wrapped around or “holding” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), like so: B(E)RET; BER(E)T.

6. I got mirrors out, but there’s no signs of breathing here (5,6)

Answer: RIGOR MORTIS (i.e. “there’s no signs of breathing here”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I GOT MIRRORS.

7. Dressing in very fashionable plumed headdress (11)

Answer: VINAIGRETTE (i.e. “dressing”). Solution is V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”) followed by IN (i.e. “fashionable”) and AIGRETTE (i.e. “plumed headdress” – not something in my wardrobe that I can lay my hands on at the moment, I must confess).

8. Fixer’s rage after arrival (8)

Answer: ARRANGER (i.e. “fixer”). Solution is ANGER (i.e. “rage”) placed “after” ARR (a recognised abbreviation of “arrival”), like so: ARR-ANGER.

9. Another go locking up tons to send home (9)

Answer: EXTRADITE (i.e. “to send home”). Solution is EXTRA (i.e. “another”) and DIE (i.e. “go”) wrapped around or “locking up” T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”), like so: EXTRA-DI(T)E.

10. Perceived horror occasioned by irrational aversion, primarily? (6)

Answer: PHOBIA, which satisfies pretty much the whole clue. “Primarily” indicates the solution is derived by the initial letters of Perceived Horror Occasioned By Irrational Aversion. Brilliant clue! Okay, setter, you can come out of the sinbin now.

11. Surrounded by sentiment: dead bird, cut short, our much loved (2,4,5)

Answer: IN GOOD ODOUR (i.e. “much loved” – a new phrase on me. I love it! Though, I must confess, after two weeks of being locked down, I’m not bodily in good odour…) Solution is IN (i.e. “surrounded by”) followed by GOO (i.e. “sentiment”), then DODO (i.e. “dead bird”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut short”), and finally followed by OUR, like so: IN-GOO-DOD-OUR.

12. English politician, vacant Tory with nothing inside (5)

Answer: EMPTY (i.e. “with nothing inside”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament) and TY (i.e. “vacant Tory”, i.e. the word “Tory” with all the middle letters removed).

13. Fire tender serving vital fluid (6,6)

Answer: VESTAL VIRGIN (i.e. “fire tender” – I guess we’re equating “fire” to lust here, but all my interpretations of “fire tender” lead me to someone who takes care of one’s lust, not a woman of spotless chastity! But then my grotty mind does often languish in the gutter…) “Fluid” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SERVING VITAL.
[EDIT: Andrew also helpfully fleshes this one out: “[the] vestal virgins’ job was to maintain the sacred fire in the temples so they were fire tenders”. Thanks again, Andrew! – LP]

20. Composer and writer mostly keeping a home (8)

Answer: Alexander SCRIABIN (i.e. “composer”). Solution is SCRIBE (i.e. “writer”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped around or “keeping” A. This is then followed by IN (i.e. “[at] home”), like so: SCRI(A)B-IN. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here as I was in no mood to spend any time farting about deciphering yet another sodding composer.

22. Good earner’s to brag after market slump – that’s never right (4,3)

Answer: CASH COW (i.e. “good earner”). Solution is CROW (i.e. “to brag”) placed “after” CRASH (i.e. “market slump”), and then both Rs removed (indicated by “that’s never right” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: C(R)ASH C(R)OW => CASH COW.

23. Australian crook perished crossing oceans (8)

Answer: DISEASED (i.e. “Australian crook”, as in “G’day, Bruce. I’m feeling proper crook with this drongo plague. Throw another shrimp on the barbie, will you, sport…” Something like that, anyway. I can’t do the accent.) Solution is DIED (i.e. “deceased”) wrapped around or “crossing” SEAS (i.e. “oceans”), like so: DI(SEAS)ED.

25. Curtains on floor – it’s impossible to get one up from here (8)

Answer: DEATHBED (i.e. “it’s impossible to get one up from here” – not the cheeriest of solutions, given present circumstances). Solution is DEATH (i.e. “curtains”, as in “Haha! It’s curtains for you, Hippopotaman!” – a quote, I believe, from the last Marvel Avengers movie) followed by BED (i.e. “floor”).

28. Blackhead – with new sense of disappointment (8)

Answer: COMEDOWN (i.e. “sense of disappointment”). Solution is COMEDO (i.e. “blackhead” – chalk another one to my Bradford’s here) followed by W and N (recognised abbreviations of “with” and “new” respectively).

29. Father has carp stuffed with cold and hot cabbage (3,4)

Answer: PAK CHOI (i.e. “cabbage”). Solution is PA (i.e. “father”) followed by KOI (i.e. “carp”) wrapped around or “stuffed” with C and H (recognised abbreviations of “cold” and “hot” respectively), like so: PA-K(C-H)OI.

31. Midwife, 42, confused with bits? (12)

Answer: OBSTETRICIAN (i.e. “midwife”). The solution to 42d is REACTION. The solution is an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of REACTION and BITS.

33. Low air of old harbour set up on field (11)

Answer: TROPOSPHERE (i.e. “low air”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and PORT (i.e. “harbour”) both reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue) and followed by SPHERE (i.e. “field”, both terms for an area of something), like so: TROP-O-SPHERE.

34. Detained Arab outside Lima with a thievish nature (11)

Answer: KLEPTOMANIA (i.e. “with a thievish nature”). Solution is KEPT (i.e. “detained”) and OMANI (i.e. “Arab”, specifically one from Oman) wrapped around or placed “outside” of L (“Lima” in the phonetic alphabet), and then followed by A, like so: K(L)EPT-OMANI-A.

35. Awl, perhaps, that’s used in constructing case? (8,3)

Answer: CRIMINAL LAW (i.e. “that’s used in constructing case”). “Awl, perhaps” indicates the solution is itself a cryptic clue, specifically that “awl” is an anagram (indicated by “CRIMINAL”) of “LAW”.

36. Human habitual response is to interrupt rubbish Chopin? (11)

Answer: ROMANTICIST (i.e. “Chopin” – crikey, not much to go on here, was there?!) Solution is MAN (i.e. “human”), TIC (i.e. “habitual response”) and IS all placed in or “interrupting” ROT (i.e. “rubbish”), like so: RO(MAN-TIC-IS)T.

38. What can conceal feet Horace and Ovid initially used in old poetry (9)

Answer: OVERSHOES (i.e. “what can conceal feet”). Solution is H and O (i.e. “Horace and Ovid initially”, i.e. the first letters of “Horace” and “Ovid”) placed “in” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and VERSES (i.e. “poetry”), like so: O-VERS(H-O)ES.

41. Bad reputation’s not unknown round most of Conservatives (9)

Answer: NOTORIETY (i.e. “bad reputation”). Solution is NOT and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in their solutions as “unknowns”) wrapped “around” TORIES (i.e. “Conservatives”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “most of”), like so: NO(TORIE)T-Y.

42. Response of engineers leading to conflict (8)

Answer: REACTION (i.e. “response”). Solution is RE (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) followed by ACTION (i.e. “conflict”).

45. Sheepdog, for example for one private school? (7)

Answer: COLLEGE (i.e. “private school”). Solution is COLLIE (i.e. “sheepdog”) with the I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) replaced by EG (i.e. “for example”), like so: COLL(I)E => COLL(EG)E.

46. Wanting a lot of good grass before day’s ending (6)

Answer: GREEDY (i.e. “wanting a lot”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by REED (i.e. “grass”) and Y (i.e. “day’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “day”). A clue that scans rather well. Keep rolling, stoners.

47. Some writing quietly got more intense? (5)

Answer: PROSE (i.e. “some writing”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, or “quietly” in musical lingo) followed by ROSE (i.e. “got more intense”).

49. Club is beginning to close, disrupting party (5)

Answer: DISCO (i.e. “club”). Solution is IS and C (i.e. “beginning to close”, i.e. the first letter of “close”) place in or “disrupting” DO (i.e. “party”), like so: D(IS-C)O.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1431

A slightly easier one this week. Pretty good too, though ATLANTIC STANDARD TIME has left me somewhat nonplussed. [EDIT – thanks to Steve in the comments for clearing this one up in double quick time. – LP] You can find my completed solution below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

Some housekeeping: my Just For Fun page hosts solutions for the last eighty-odd Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords should that appeal, my Reviews page is there to show this blog is occasionally about things other than crosswords, and there’s a story of mine floating around here too.

Stay safe, folks. Looks like we’re all going to be in this viral lockdown for the long haul.

LP

Across clues

1. Restricts little person that’s a bit of a jumper? (11)

Answer: CHAINSTITCH (i.e. “that’s a bit of a jumper”). When read as CHAINS TITCH, the solution also satisfies “restricts little person”.

7. A learner needing a supporter is hugged by maidens saying the wrong thing (11)

Answer: MALAPROPISM (i.e. “saying the wrong thing”). Solution is A, L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”), A, PROP (i.e. “supporter”) and IS all placed between or “hugged by” M and M (recognised abbreviations of a “maiden” over in cricket), like so: M-(A-L-A-PROP-IS)-M.

13. Establishing standard old room in local (9)

Answer: NORMATIVE (i.e. “establishing standard”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and RM (ditto “room”) both placed “in” NATIVE (i.e. “local”), like so: N(O-RM)ATIVE.

14. No time for speech with men showing fatigue (7)

Answer: LANGUOR (i.e. “fatigue”). Solution is LANGUAGE (i.e. “speech”) with the AGE removed (indicated by “no time”) and the remainder followed by OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), like so: LANGU-OR.

15. Rows of headless corpses (5)

Answer: TIFFS (i.e. “rows”). Solution is STIFFS (i.e. “corpses”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “headless”). If you were listening carefully around 2pm this afternoon you’d have heard me groan loudly when I finally twigged this one. Like it!

16. Soldier and reformer meeting a king (6)

Answer: HUSSAR (i.e. “solider”). Solution is Jan HUSS (i.e. “reformer” – no, me neither) followed by A and R (a recognised abbreviation of Rex, Latin for “king”).

17. Behavioural science Hoyle got wrong (8)

Answer: ETHOLOGY (i.e. “behavioural science”). “Wrong” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HOYLE GOT.

18. Rage, having to eat a dry fish (3-4)

Answer: RAT-TAIL (i.e. “fish” – an ugly bugger too). Solution is RAIL (i.e. “[to] rage”) wrapped around or “eating” A and TT (a recognised abbreviation of teetotal, i.e. “dry”), like so: R(A-TT)AIL.

20. In Barbados, say, how you’d get the measure of the enemy? (8,8,4)

Answer: ATLANTIC STANDARD TIME (i.e. “in Barbados, say”). Don’t know what the setter’s playing at here, nor am I in much of a mood to go hunting high and low across the internet for an explanation. Sorry, peeps.
[EDIT: A nod to Steve in the comments, who highlighted that “time is the enemy” – a phrase I’ll admit didn’t spring to mind. Thanks, Steve! – LP]

23. Steps to keep the Queen uncontaminated (7)

Answer: STERILE (i.e. “uncontaminated”). Solution is STILE (i.e. “steps”) wrapped around or “keeping” ER (i.e. “the Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: ST(ER)ILE.

24. Pioneer crossword compiler entertains only third of solvers (7)

Answer: SETTLER (i.e. “pioneer”). Solution is SETTER (i.e. “crossword compiler”) wrapped around or “entertaining” L (i.e. “third [letter] of solvers”), like so: SETT(L)ER.

26. Research specialist only half way through stories (7)

Answer: EXPLORE (i.e. “research”). Solution is EXPERT (i.e. “specialist”) with the last half lopped off (indicated by “only half way through”) and followed by LORE (i.e. “stories”), like so: EXP-LORE.

28. Light colour of old city church to the west (4)

Answer: ECRU (i.e. “light colour”). Solution is UR (i.e. “old city” – a bit of a favourite of setters) and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) both reversed (indicated by “to the west”, this being an across clue), like so: EC-RU. One gotten through the wordplay.

29. Girl’s best friend in a suit? (8)

Answer: DIAMONDS. Solution satisfies “girl’s best friend” – referring to the song Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – and “in a suit [of playing cards]”.

32. Biblical tribe, possible adherents of a god of wealth, dismissing leader (9)

Answer: AMMONITES (i.e. “Biblical tribe”). Solution is MAMMONITES (i.e. “possible adherents of a god of wealth”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “dismissing leader”). Score one for the Bradford’s here.

35. Community travel entangled after reversing set of instructions (9)

Answer: DECALOGUE, relating to the Ten Commandments in The Bible (i.e. “set of instructions”). Solution is EU (i.e. “community”, specifically the European Union) followed by GO (i.e. “travel”) and LACED (i.e. “entangled”) all “reversed”, like so: DECAL-OG-UE. Got the DECAL bit but had to brute force Chambers for the rest.

36. Papa dislikes aspects of birthday celebrations (8)

Answer: PRESENTS (i.e. “aspects of birthday celebrations”). Solution is P (i.e. “Papa” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by RESENTS (i.e. “dislikes”).

37. A guerrilla gets hurt (4)

Answer: ACHE (i.e. “hurt”). Solution is A followed by CHE Guevara (i.e. “guerrilla”).

39. Uses swearword when coming across cat (7)

Answer: CUSTOMS (i.e. “uses”). Solution is CUSS (i.e.” swearword”) wrapped around or “coming across” TOM (i.e. “cat”), like so: CUS(TOM)S.

41. Walked, bumping into Peg in the tube (7)

Answer: TETRODE (i.e. a kind of valve or vacuum “tube”). Solution is TROD (i.e. “walked”) placed or “bumped into” TEE (i.e. “peg” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: TE(TROD)E. Another nod to my Bradford’s.

44. Onion in English allotment (7)

Answer: SHALLOT (i.e. “onion”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: ENGLI(SH ALLOT)MENT.

45. Like good guys supporting the LA baseball team? (2,3,4,2,3,6)

Answer: ON THE SIDE OF THE ANGELS. Solution satisfies “like good guys” and “supporting the LA baseball team”, referring to the Los Angeles Angels. Use of “the” in the clue might be stretching it a bit for any Dodgers fans out there… (puts away Cody Bellinger Dodgers shirt).

49. Something frightening, British, and not half unattractive to put up with (7)

Answer: BUGBEAR (i.e. “something frightening”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) followed by UGLY (i.e. “unattractive”) with the last half removed (indicated by “not half”) and then BEAR (i.e. “to put up with”), like so: B-UG-BEAR.

50. Car well able to convey limited number, offering independence (8)

Answer: AUTONOMY (i.e. “independence”). Solution is AUTO (i.e. “car”) and MY (i.e. “well”, both expressions of astonishment) wrapped around or “conveying” ONE (i.e. “number”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “limited”), like so: AUT(ON)O-MY. You could also argue “limited number” means a recognised abbreviation of “number”, which would make the solution AUTO-(NO)-MY. I prefer the former explanation.

51. Fashionable philosopher put to rest? (6)

Answer: INHUME (i.e. “put to rest”). Solution is IN (i.e. “fashionable”) followed by David HUME (i.e. “philosopher”). A nod to Monty Python’s Philosophers Song for that one.

53. Turmoil when duke meets a divine being in India (5)

Answer: DRAMA (i.e. “turmoil”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) followed by RAMA (i.e. “divine being in India”).

54. What get hot and black: ships carrying fuel (7)

Answer: BOILERS (i.e. “what get hot”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “black” used in chess) followed by OILERS (i.e. “ships carrying fuel”).

55. Arguing about a boy, one no good (9)

Answer: REASONING (i.e. “arguing”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) followed by A, then SON (i.e. “boy”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then N (a recognised abbreviation of “no”) and G (ditto “good”), like so: RE-A-SON-I-N-G.

56. What is evident in weighty section of song (6,5)

Answer: MIDDLE EIGHT (i.e. “section of song”). “What is evident in weighty” refers to how EIGHT forms the MIDDLE of the word “weighty”.

57. Heeding Lent, possibly, being wise? (11)

Answer: ENLIGHTENED (i.e. “being wise”). “Possibly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HEEDING LENT.

Down clues

1. Study church with a shell-like structure (6)

Answer: CONCHA (i.e. “shell-like structure”). Solution is CON (i.e. an archaic word for “study” that setters like to use in their clues) followed by CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) and A. One gotten through the wordplay and a quick check in Chambers, if I’m honest.

2. Where naughty children run riskily in slum area (6,3,6)

Answer: ACROSS THE TRACKS. Solution satisfies “where naughty children run riskily” and “in slum area”.

3. A peasant organised home to be very clean and tidy (4,2,1,3)

Answer: NEAT AS A PIN (i.e. “very clean and tidy”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “organised”) of A PEASANT followed by IN (i.e. “[at] home”), like so: NEATASAP-IN.

4. Holiday mishap (4)

Answer: TRIP. Solution satisfies “holiday” and “mishap”.

5. Don’t move into these inadequate rural areas (3,6)

Answer: THE STICKS (i.e. “rural areas”). Solution is STICK (i.e. “don’t move”) placed into THESE once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “inadequate”), like so: THE(STICK)S.

6. Assist goddess with petulant expression (4,3)

Answer: HELP OUT (i.e. “assist”). Solution is HEL (i.e. Norse “goddess” of death) followed by POUT (i.e. “petulant expression”).

7. Rainy season’s coming before long in Mediterranean country? No thanks! (9)

Answer: MONSOONAL (i.e. “rainy season”). Solution is ON SOON (i.e. “coming before long”) placed in MALTA (i.e. “Mediterranean country”) once the TA has been removed (indicated by “No thanks!”), like so: M(ON-SOON)AL.

8. Envy destroying three leading characters? That’s very bad (5)

Answer: LOUSY (i.e. “that’s very bad”). Solution is JEALOUSY (i.e. “envy”) with the first three letters removed (indicated by “destroying three leading characters”).

9. Some game requiring quiet skill, game without leader (9)

Answer: PARTRIDGE (i.e. “some game [bird]”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of piano, i.e. “quiet” in music lingo) followed by ART (i.e. “skill”) and BRIDGE (i.e. “game”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “without leader”), like so: P-ART-RIDGE.

10. Surpassing dodgy dealers, first to last? Excellent! (12)

Answer: OUTSTRIPPING (i.e. “surpassing”). Solution is TOUTS (i.e. “dodgy dealers”) with the first letter placed at the end (indicated by “first to last”). This is then followed by RIPPING (i.e. “excellent”), like so: OUTST-RIPPING.

11. Extend home and start to fall behind schedule (7)

Answer: INFLATE (i.e. “extend”). Solution is IN (i.e. “[at] home”) followed by F (i.e. “start to fall”, i.e. the first letter of “fall”) and LATE (i.e. “behind schedule”).

12. Menu’s beginning with a cold dish, mostly spicy stuff (6)

Answer: MASALA (i.e. “spicy stuff”). Solution is M (i.e. “menu’s beginning”, i.e. the first letter of “menu”) followed by A and SALAD (i.e. “cold dish”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: M-A-SALA.

19. Male talking thus may be grumbling (8)

Answer: UTTERING. Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) which, when placed before the solution, UTTERING, gets you M-UTTERING (i.e. “grumbling”).

21. Floridly rhetorical poet given honour, not the first (7)

Answer: AUREATE (i.e. “floridly rhetorical”). Solution is LAUREATE (i.e. “poet given honour”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “not the first”).

22. Man joining the girl in risky enterprise that may help the rest (8)

Answer: BEDSHEET (i.e. “that may help the rest” – “rest” as in sleep). Solution is ED (i.e. “man”, i.e. a shortened form of Edward) and SHE (i.e. “the girl”) placed “in” BET (i.e. “risky venture”), like so: B(ED-SHE)ET.

23. Bird, needing drink, had to go inside (8)

Answer: SHELDUCK (i.e. “bird”). Solution is SUCK (i.e. “drink”) wrapped around or having “inside” HELD (i.e.” had”), like so: S(HELD)UCK.

25. Not, we may deduce, travelling quickly (3-2)

Answer: TON-UP (i.e. “travelling quickly”, i.e. over 100mph). “We may deduce” indicates the solution is itself a cryptic clue, describing “not”, i.e. the word “ton” in reverse (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue).

27. Political lion somehow traps you and me – it’s not what is seems (7,8)

Answer: OPTICAL ILLUSION (i.e. “it’s not what it seems”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of POLITICAL LION wrapped around or “trapping” US (i.e. “you and me”), like so: OPTICALILL(US)ION.

30. Prominent men wanting girl to undress (not showing bottom though) (7)

Answer: MAESTRI (i.e. “prominent men”, plural of maestro). Solution is MAE STRIP (i.e. “girl to undress”) with the last letter of STRIP removed (indicated by “not showing bottom though”), like so: MAE-STRI.

31. Old-fashioned office worker, good person one upset (5)

Answer: STENO (i.e. “old-fashioned office worker”, specifically an abbreviated form of stenographer). Solution is ST (i.e. “good person”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “saint”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “upset”) of ONE, like so: ST-ENO.

33. Wasn’t Emu naughty bird? (4,4)

Answer: MUTE SWAN (i.e. “bird”). “Naughty” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WASN’T EMU. Nicely worked.

34. Secret observer won’t half yell when rumbled (3,2,3,4)

Answer: FLY ON THE WALL (i.e. “secret observer”). “When rumbled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WON’T HALF YELL.

38. Displaying message opposing capital punishment? (7,3)

Answer: HANGING OUT. Solution satisfies “displaying” – we’ve all been there, love – and “message opposing capital punishment”.

40. Always kept in outhouse, as car needs to be (9)

Answer: STEERABLE (i.e. “as car needs to be”). Solution is E’ER (poetic form of ever, i.e. “always”) placed or “kept in” STABLE (i.e. “outhouse”), like so: ST(E’ER)ABLE.

42. Discussion of tricky matter with Treebeard? (9)

Answer: TREATMENT (i.e. “discussion”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “tricky”) of MATTER followed by ENT (i.e. “Treebeard” – one for Tolkien fans, Ents were living trees, one of whom was called Treebeard), like so: TREATM-ENT.

43. Terrible male here should keep quiet, being “here today, gone tomorrow” (9)

Answer: EPHEMERAL (i.e. “here today, gone tomorrow”). Solution is an anagram (indicate by “terrible”) of MALE HERE wrapped around or “keeping” P (a recognised abbreviation of piano, i.e. “quiet” in music lingo), like so: E(P)HEMERAL.

45. Vigilant when a ground can get out of control (2,5)

Answer: ON GUARD (i.e. “vigilant”). “Can get out of control” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A GROUND.

46. Expression of disgust about head’s artifice (7)

Answer: FINESSE (i.e. “artifice”). Solution is FIE (i.e. “expression of disgust”) wrapped “about” NESS (i.e. “head”, as in a geographical feature), like so: FI(NESS)E.

47. This writer’s about to wait in the same location (6)

Answer: IBIDEM (i.e. Latin for “in the same location” – if you ever see “ibid” in a footnote of some text, it’s a way of not having to repeat references to the same source all the time). Solution is I’M (i.e. “this writer’s”, i.e. a contraction of “this writer is”, or “I am” taken from the point of view of the setter) wrapped “about” BIDE (i.e. “to wait”), like so: I(BIDE)’M. Nicely done.

48. “Deeply” powerful male? (3,3)

Answer: SEA GOD (i.e. “powerful male”). The “deeply” bit qualifies this particular god to be one from the seas.

50. Imitating a sort of sound (5)

Answer: APING (i.e. “imitating”). When written as A PING the solution also satisfies “a sort of sound”.

52. Made a call, cutting row short (4)

Answer: RANG (i.e. “made a call”). Solution is RANGE (i.e. “row”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “cutting…short”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1430

A toughie this week. Either that or this is a setter I’m not immediately in tune with, which happens. I think I got there in the end. You can find my completed solution below along with explanations of my answers where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

Some housekeeping before we begin. If you’ve got a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s showing a gap or two then my Just For Fun page could be just the thing. I’ve also got book reviews and a free story leavening all the crossword stuff. Not much reading is getting done at the moment, sadly, as the day job has gone nuts. It’s nothing compared to the challenges faced by our incredible NHS workers, delivery drivers and everyone else keeping the country ticking over during the plague, and for whom we should all be thankful – panic-buyers especially. Still a bugger, though. To help keep me sane, I put together a Spotify playlist that’s seen some heavy clog this last week. If you’d like a gander through the music that has accompanied the production of this blog post, or if you like your music generally on the loud side, then check it out thisaway: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4CElDK4KESn0rh7oIhWMAF?si=RK4zKznCSrO45i03HJ0i3w

Anyway, on with the show. Stay well, peeps.

LP

Across clues

1. Rustic made a difference saving one tree, looking back (11)

Answer: COUNTRIFIED (i.e. “rustic”). Solution is COUNTED (i.e. “made a difference”) wrapped around or “saving” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and FIR (i.e. “tree”) once they’ve been reversed (indicated by “looking back”), like so: COUNT(RIF-I)ED.

7. Care for doctor taking unexpected dip? (6)

Answer: FOSTER. Solution satisfies “care for” and “doctor taking unexpected dip”, referring to the old rhyme “Doctor Foster went to Gloucester in a shower of rain; he stepped in a puddle right up to his middle and never went there again”.

10. Stick one in a suit? (4)

Answer: CLUB. Solution satisfies “stick” and “one in a suit” of playing cards.

14. Top Liberal has resolved to bear left (7)

Answer: Herbert Henry ASQUITH, Liberal politician who served as UK Prime Minister from 1908 to 1916 (i.e. “top Liberal”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of HAS which is wrapped around or “bearing” QUIT (i.e. “left”), like so: AS(QUIT)H.

15. Connect English books, red or white? (7)

Answer: ENTWINE (i.e. “connect”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible) and WINE (i.e. “red or white”).

16. Companion, character on the right? (7)

Answer: CONSORT (i.e. “companion”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “companion”, such as a Companion of Honour which is sometimes abbreviated to CH). This is followed by SORT (i.e. “character”) once ON has been placed “on the right” of it, like so: C-ON-SORT.

17. Bold supporter about to stand up and resist (13)

Answer: SWASHBUCKLING (i.e. “bold”). Solution is SLING (i.e. “supporter”) which is wrapped around or placed “about” WASH (i.e. “to stand up [to scrutiny]”) and BUCK (i.e. “resist”, i.e. buck the trend), like so: S(WASH-BUCK)LING.

18. Good way to screen film – Billy Elliot might do it (9)

Answer: PIROUETTE (i.e. “Billy Elliot might do it”, referring to the hit film about a schoolboy who takes up ballet dancing). Solution is PI (i.e. “good”, being a recognised abbreviation of “pious” that we haven’t seen for a while) followed by ROUTE (i.e. “way”) once it has been wrapped around or “screening” ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra-Terrestrial), like so: PI-ROU(ET)TE.

19. Sound hooter, one squeezed (5)

Answer: NOISE (i.e. “sound”). Solution is NOSE (i.e. “hooter”) wrapped around or “squeezing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: NO(I)SE. For some reason this took me bloody ages to twig. Sometimes you just don’t see them.

21. i sign here? (6,4)

Answer: DOTTED LINE. Solution satisfies “sign here” and “i”, referring to how the character is formed by a vertical line dotted at the top. A relatively quick get, but I rather liked this one.

23. Turkish report leads in foreign news broadcast (6)

Answer: STREWN (i.e. “broadcast”). Solution is T and R (i.e. “Turkish report leads”, i.e. the first letter of “Turkish” and “report”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “foreign”) of NEWS, like so: S(TR)EWN.

25. Certain winner right after neat header in “game of two halves”, say? (8)

Answer: CLINCHER (i.e. “certain winner”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) placed “after” N (i.e. “neat header”, i.e. the first letter of “neat”) once it has been placed “in” CLICHÉ (i.e. “’game of two halves’, say” – other clichés are available), like so: CLI(N)CHE-R. As examples of misdirection go, this clue was a bit of a sod!

26. Horse knocking second wife from fruit tree (10,4)

Answer: STRAWBERRY ROAN (i.e. breed of “horse”). Solution is STRAWBERRY (i.e. “fruit”) and ROWAN (i.e. “tree”) once the “second” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) has been “knocked” out. One of those “I think it begins with ‘strawberry’ so let’s see what Chambers says” moments, if I’m honest.

29. Suffer junior to work (7)

Answer: UNDERGO (i.e. “suffer”). Solution is UNDER (i.e. “junior”) followed by GO (i.e. “to work”).

30. Concealing face, house flirt uncomfortable (3,2,4)

Answer: ILL AT EASE (i.e. “uncomfortable”). Solution is VILLA (i.e. “house”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “concealing face”) and followed by TEASE (i.e. “flirt”), like so: ILLA-TEASE.

31. One going after Oscar with something fruity (5)

Answer: PAPAW (i.e. “fruity”). Solution is PAPA (i.e. “one going after Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet, “Oscar” being O, “Papa” being P) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”).

32. Piece of embroidery – officer breaking mine (5)

Answer: PICOT (i.e. “piece of embroidery”). Solution is CO (i.e. “officer”, specifically a Commanding Officer – a bit too loose for my liking, FWIW) placed in or “breaking” PIT (i.e. “mine”), like so: PI(CO)T.

34. Dealing with very minor blow, profits held by university (2,7)

Answer: UP AGAINST (i.e. “dealing with”). Solution is PAT (i.e. “very minor blow”) wrapped around or “holding” GAINS (i.e. “profits”). The whole is then placed after or “by” U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”), like so: U-PA(GAINS)T.

37. Ultimately impressive, fine story expressible in words once (7)

Answer: EFFABLE (i.e. “expressible in words”; “once” refers to how this is an archaic word). Solution is E (i.e. “ultimately expressive”, i.e. the last letter of “impressive”) followed by F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine”, used in pencil grading) and FABLE (i.e. “story”).

39. Detective in clapped-out motor, trouble for man in the street (3,4,2,5)

Answer: TOM DICK OR HARRY (i.e. “man in the street”). Solution is DICK (i.e. “detective”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “clapped-out”) of MOTOR and then followed by HARRY (i.e. “[to] trouble”), like so: TOM(DICK)OR-HARRY.

41. Compassionate male confronting diabolical Lucifer (8)

Answer: MERCIFUL (i.e. “compassionate”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “diabolical” – a nice touch there, setter) of LUCIFER, like so: M-ERCIFUL.

43. Pour water over some children, childishly (6)

Answer: DRENCH (i.e. “pour water over”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: CHIL(DREN CH)ILDISHLY.

44. Line observed in theatre drama, Igor recreated after Charlie (10)

Answer: CARDIOGRAM (i.e. “line observed in [operating] theatre”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “recreated”) of DRAMA IGOR placed “after” C (“Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: C-ARDIOGRAM.

45. In having abandoning state, Artemis in Rome? (5)

Answer: DIANA (i.e. “Artemis in Rome” – over to Chambers for this one: “Artemis: the Greek virgin goddess of the moon, identified by the Romans with Diana”). Solution is INDIANA (i.e. “[US] state”) with the IN removed (indicated by “in having [been] abandoned”).

48. Something taken with a lot of money to sabotage another’s image (9)

Answer: PHOTOBOMB (i.e. “to sabotage another’s image”, often a selfie). Solution is PHOTO (i.e. “something taken”) followed by BOMB (i.e. “a lot of money”, as in something costing a bomb).

49. Point of procedure on which to put one’s foot down? (8,5)

Answer: STEPPING STONE. Solution satisfies “point of procedure” and “on which to put one’s foot down”. Also (nearly) a tremendous piece of 1970s jazz funk by Johnny Harris that you will almost certainly have heard before without perhaps knowing what it was. Here’s a YouTube link for you to strut your funky stuff: https://youtu.be/iyR6rzx6XJY

51. Those just round the corner are in home (7)

Answer: NEAREST (i.e. “those just around the corner”). Solution is ARE placed “in” NEST (i.e. “home”), like so: NE(ARE)ST.

52. Open late, not closing, church seen after one in Paris (7)

Answer: UNLATCH (i.e. “open”). Solution is LATE with the last letter removed (indicated by “not closing”) and CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) both placed “after” UN (i.e. “one in Paris”, i.e. the French for “one”), like so: UN-LAT-CH.

53. It’s inverted, passing flavour around using tongue (7)

Answer: TASTING (i.e. “using tongue”). Solution is IT’S reversed (indicated by “inverted”) and placed (indicate by “passing…around”) in TANG (i.e. “flavour”), like so: TA(S’TI)NG.

54. Sign of my evil nature, all kicking off (4)

Answer: OMEN (i.e. “sign”). “All kicking off” indicates the solution is derived from the initial letters of OF MY EVIL NATURE.

55. Kind of sweet (6)

Answer: PRETTY. Solution satisfies “kind of” and “sweet”.

56. Provide table for upright creature (11)

Answer: CATERPILLAR (i.e. “creature”). Solution is CATER (i.e. “provide table for”) followed by PILLAR (i.e. “upright”).

Down clues

1. Number of the French holidaymakers originally aboard vessel, relative (7)

Answer: CHANSON (i.e. “number of the French”; “number” in this case referring to a song). Solution is H (i.e. “holidaymakers originally”) placed in or “aboard” CAN (i.e. “vessel”) and followed by SON (i.e. “relative”), like so: C(H)AN-SON.

2. Complete amateur, possibly? (11)

Answer: UNQUALIFIED. Solution satisfies “complete”, as in an unqualified success, and “amateur, possibly”.

3. Bit of a chicken wanting time off (5)

Answer: THIGH (i.e. “bit of a chicken”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by HIGH (i.e. “off”, referring to food that’s gone off).

4. Pop success, really? (1,6,2,2,5)

Answer: I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY, a “pop success” from Stock Aitken and Waterman. (Checks notes.) Oh, and Kylie Minogue too. Solution also satisfies the sarcastically put “really?”

5. Fitting Cinderella originally, eek! It’s a lost slipper? (3,5)

Answer: ICE SKATE. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “fitting”) of C (i.e. “Cinderella originally”, i.e. the first letter of Cinderella), EEK and IT’S A. “Lost slipper” refers, I guess, to the glass slipper Cinderella loses in the fairy story. I’m wondering if it’s also referring to skate fish, which usually swim in warm waters, so an ICE SKATE could be said to be lost. I can’t readily find a reference linking skates to slippers, so I could be overthinking it.
[EDIT: Thanks to Andrew in the comments for offering a clearer explanation. “Lost” can also be an anagram indicator, which would then make “slipper” an ice skate, in that an ice skate lets you slip and slide about an ice rink. “Fitting” indicates the C of Cinderella is slotted into the anagram of EEK IT’S A, like so: I(C)ESKATE. Thanks, Andrew! – LP]

6. Damaging tooth, base of blade cut into it (11)

Answer: DETRIMENTAL (i.e. “damaging”). Solution is DENTAL (i.e. “tooth”) wrapped around or having E (i.e. “base of blade”, i.e. the last letter of “blade”) and TRIM (i.e. “cut”) placed “into it”, like so: D(E-TRIM)ENTAL.

7. Try brief relationship (5)

Answer: FLING. Solution satisfies “try” and “brief relationship”.

8. Dish stirred by spooner? (8,6)

Answer: SLEEPING BEAUTY (i.e. “dish stirred” – in the fairy story, Sleeping Beauty is brought from her eternal slumber, or “stirred”, by Prince Charming; “dish” in this instance is another word for “beauty”). I haven’t twigged the “spooner” bit. Sleeping Beauty doesn’t strike me as a title that lends itself to a Spoonerism, so there’s likely some other reference I’m missing. If I have a brainwave or some kind commenter swings by with the lowdown, I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Thanks again to Andrew in the comments for his insight on this one. “Spooner” could be descriptive of Prince Charming, i.e. one born with a silver “spoon” in his mouth. (Tips hat Andrewards.) – LP]

9. Evidently north leads with heart again! (6)

Answer: ENCORE (i.e. “again!”). Solution is E and N (i.e. “evidently north leads”, i.e. the first letters of “evidently” and “north”) followed by CORE (i.e. “heart”).

11. Game to go up, the ladies possibly beginning to perform aerobatic stunt (4,3,4)

Answer: LOOP THE LOOP (i.e. “aerobatic stunt”). Solution is POOL (i.e. “game”) reversed (indicated by “to go up”, this being a down clue) followed by THE LOO (i.e. “the ladies possibly” – other flavours of toilet are available) and P (i.e. “beginning to perform”, i.e. the first letter of “perform”), like so: LOOP-THE-LOO-P.

12. Risk small pants in the middle splitting (7)

Answer: BETWEEN (i.e. “splitting”). Solution is BET (i.e. “risk”) followed by WEE (i.e. “small”) and N (i.e. “pants in the middle”, i.e. the middle letter of “pants”).

13. Work to find sample at bottom of river (8)

Answer: INDUSTRY (i.e. “work”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “sample”) placed after or “at bottom of” (this being a down clue) the “River” INDUS, like so: INDUS-TRY.

20. A bit cold in river, rather parky today at first (7)

Answer: EXCERPT (i.e. “a bit”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold”) placed in the “River” EXE and followed by the initial letters (indicated by “at first”) of RATHER PARKY TODAY, like so: EX(C)E-R-P-T.

22. Vaulted ceilings in labour exchange fitting? (5)

Answer: LEAPT (i.e. “vaulted”). Solution is L and E (i.e. “ceilings in labour exchange”, i.e. the first letters of “labour” and “exchange”) followed by APT (i.e. “fitting”).

24. Envy author over some trendy novel (5-4,7)

Answer: GREEN-EYED MONSTER (i.e. “envy”). Solution is Graham GREENE (i.e. “author”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “novel”) of SOME TRENDY, like so: GREENE-YEDMONSTER.

25. Breakfast item member found in little bottle (7)

Answer: CRUMPET (i.e. “breakfast item”). Solution is MP (i.e. “member [of Parliament]”) placed or “found in” CRUET (i.e. “little bottle”), like so: CRU(MP)ET.

27. Roosevelt’s baby, swimmer without trunks, reportedly? (3,4)

Answer: NEW DEAL (i.e. “Roosevelt’s baby”, referring to the US president’s big policies and reforms of the 1930s). “Reportedly” indicates homophone. When heard as NUDE EEL the solution also satisfies “swimmer without trunks”.

28. Cramming in five hundred, terribly irrational bus conductor (3,6,5)

Answer: SIR ADRIAN BOULT (i.e. “conductor” – a fair trawl of Wikipedia was undertaken for this one once the wordplay and sufficient intersecting letters became clear, given the guy died when I was (uses fingers: one, two, three, three and a half)… I was young, anyway). Solution is D (i.e. “[Roman numerals] five hundred”) placed or “crammed in” an anagram (indicated by “terribly”) of IRRATIONAL BUS, like so: SIRA(D)RIANBOULT.

31. Serious, as looking to cross river in Turin? (2-5)

Answer: PO-FACED (i.e. “serious”). Given that the “River” PO flows through “Turin”, the solution also satisfies “looking to cross [or FACING] river in Turin”.

33. Remember to have order on note in box (11)

Answer: COMMEMORATE (i.e. “remember”). Solution is OM (i.e. “order”, specifically the Order of Merit) and MEMO (i.e. “note”) placed “in” CRATE (i.e. “box”), like so: C(OM-MEMO)RATE.

35. Give king a lot of money bags (5)

Answer: AWARD (i.e. “give”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of Rex, Latin for “king”) placed in or being “bagged” by A WAD (i.e. “a load of money”), like so: A-WA(R)D.

36. Unstable particle on top of cliff, one likely to drop off? (11)

Answer: NARCOLEPTIC (i.e. “likely to drop off” to sleep). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unstable”) of PARTICLE ON placed ahead of or “on” (this being a down clue) C (i.e. “top of cliff”, i.e. the first letter of “cliff”), like so: NARCOLEPTI-C. A nice bit of recursion, there.

38. US showman in New York city owed money (7,4)

Answer: BUFFALO BILL (i.e. “US showman”). Solution is BUFFALO (i.e. “New York city”, as in the city of Buffalo in the state of New York) followed by BILL (i.e. “money”).

40. After wings clipped, bird with mate doing well (2,6)

Answer: IN CLOVER (i.e. “doing well”). Solution is FINCH (i.e. “bird”) with the first and last letters removed (indicated by “after wings clipped”) and followed by LOVER (i.e. “mate”), like so: INC-LOVER.

42. Surgery inspired by doctor’s passionate, delicate touch (4-4)

Answer: DROP-SHOT (i.e. “delicate touch” in tennis, making the ball drop soon after passing the net). Solution is OP (i.e. “surgery”, short for “operation”) placed in or “inspired by” DR’S (i.e. “doctor’s”) and HOT (i.e. “passionate”), like so: DR(OP)’S-HOT.

43. Draw upon horse I had mounted first (3,4)

Answer: DIP INTO (i.e. “draw upon”). Solution is PINTO (i.e. breed of “horse”) with I’D (a contraction of “I had”) reversed (indicated by “mounted” – this being a down clue) and placed before it or “first”, like so: D’I-PINTO.

46. Person seeking retribution in Newhaven, Germanic (7)

Answer: AVENGER (i.e. “person seeking retribution”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: NEWH(AVEN, GER)MANIC.

47. Chopper, one managing to collect tartar, primarily (6)

Answer: COPTER (i.e. “chopper”, both informal words for a helicopter). Solution is COPER (i.e. “one managing”) wrapped around or “collecting” T (i.e. “tartar, primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “tartar”), like so: COP(T)ER.

49. Offensive joke (5)

Answer: SALLY. Solution satisfies “[military] offensive” and “joke”.

50. Short girl eating hot Japanese food (5)

Answer: SUSHI (i.e. “Japanese food”). Solution is SUSIE (i.e. “girl”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder wrapped around or “eating” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”), like so: SUS(H)I.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1429

A decent puzzle this week, which I’d have cracked sooner had I spelt FLUORESCE correctly. Oh well, there are more important things going on in the world at the moment. If you are reading this while in self-imposed exile or, worse still, suffering the effects of coronavirus, hang in there. On the other hand, if you are reading this while sitting on furniture made entirely of bags of rice and pasta because there’s literally nowhere else left in your house to stuff them, consider donating a few bags of your newfound wealth to a local food bank to even up the score a little. Score a few karma points, eh?

Okay, preachy public service announcement over. Now for some me-time. If you’ve got a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s got you jiggered, then my Just For Fun page could be just the thing you need. While you’re here, I’ve got a bunch of book reviews should you suddenly find yourself with a lot of time on your immaculately clean hands. If you’d like to give an old alter-ego a boost, then I’ve also got a story of mine over thisaway.

Alrighty then. To the answers! Keep well, peeps.

LP

P.S. A big thank you to Sue and Steve, both regulars in the comments, for clearing up the mystery behind 1426’s clue for 17a. Turns out the printed clue was incorrect, and the editor was rather perplexed as to how it happened!

Across clues

1. Unreliable old man nicks tune we added (4-7)

Answer: FAIR-WEATHER (i.e. “unreliable”). Solution is FATHER (i.e. “old man”) wrapped around or “nicking” AIR (i.e. “tune”) and WE, like so: F(AIR-WE)ATHER.

7. Holland House fuel extract (6,5)

Answer: ORANGE JUICE (i.e. “extract”). Solution is ORANGE (i.e. “Holland [royal] House”) followed by JUICE (i.e. “fuel”).

13. One daughter inspires tango performed on stage (5)

Answer: ACTED (i.e. “performed on stage”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “one” in playing cards) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) wrapped around or “inspiring” T (“tango” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: AC(T)E-D.

14. Risk grabbing Romeo’s ulcer (7)

Answer: CHANCRE (i.e. “ulcer”). Solution is CHANCE (i.e. “risk”) wrapped around or “grabbing” R (“Romeo” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: CHANC(R)E. One gotten from the wordplay and a quick brute force of my Chambers.

15. Dodging a very old paper ball (9)

Answer: AVOIDANCE (i.e. “dodging”). Solution is A followed by V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”), then O (ditto “old”), then I (i.e. “[British news]paper”) and finally DANCE (i.e. “ball”).

16. Scary spinner’s natural bent among reserves (9)

Answer: TARANTULA (i.e. “scary spinner”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “bent”) of NATURAL which is placed “among” TA (i.e. “reserves”, specifically the Territorial Army), like so: T(ARANTUL)A.

17. One large boy struggled to suppress second rash (3-7)

Answer: ILL-ADVISED (i.e. “rash”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), then LAD (i.e. “boy”), then VIED (i.e. “struggled”) once it has been wrapped around or “suppressing” S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”), like so: I-L-LAD-VI(S)ED.

20. Right court for controlling scrap – thanks to this (4,3)

Answer: RIOT ACT (i.e. “controlling scrap – thanks to this”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and CT (ditto “court”) wrapped around or “controlling” IOTA (i.e. “scrap”), like so: R-(IOTA)-CT.

22. Leaves after wasted meal (4,3)

Answer: HIGH TEA (i.e. “meal”). Solution is TEA (i.e. “leaves”) placed “after” HIGH (i.e. “wasted”, as in a drug high).

24. European allowed to conceal crew’s hint (7)

Answer: ELEMENT (i.e. “hint”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) and LET (i.e. “allowed”) once it has been wrapped around or “concealed” MEN (i.e. “crew”), like so: E-LE(MEN)T.

25. Weakling must have very little money in principle (8)

Answer: RUDIMENT (i.e. “principle”). Solution is RUNT (i.e. “weakling”) wrapped around or “having” DIME (i.e. “very little money”), like so: RU(DIME)NT.

26. Harry Potter hurt nine, which drivers sometimes can do (5-5,4)

Answer: THREE-POINT TURN (i.e. “which drivers sometimes can do”). “Harry” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of POTTER HURT NINE.

28. What scouts do in playground before church (5)

Answer: RECCE (i.e. “what scouts do”). Solution is REC (i.e. “playground”) followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

29. Trained pupil briefly to stop the old city slicker (6)

Answer: YUPPIE (i.e. “city slicker”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “trained”) of PUPIL once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), which is then placed in or “stopping” YE (i.e. “the old”, as in ye olde “the”), like so: Y(UPPI)E.

30. Star Glaswegian recalled fine area around Halifax (4,6)

Answer: NOVA SCOTIA (i.e. “area around Halifax” – Halifax being its capital). Solution is NOVA (i.e. “star”) followed by SCOT (i.e. “Glaswegian”) and AI (i.e. excellent or “fine”, i.e. A1), the latter reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: NOVA-SCOT-IA.

33. It helps in speech to emphasise saint (6,4)

Answer: STRESS MARK (i.e. “it helps in speech”). Solution is STRESS (i.e. “to emphasise”) followed by MARK (i.e. “saint”).

35. A sample of polar Canada’s secrets (6)

Answer: ARCANA (i.e. “secrets”). “A sample of” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: POL(AR CANA)DA’S.

37. Peace advocate captivates Republican horde (5)

Answer: DROVE (i.e. “horde”). Solution is DOVE (i.e. “peace advocate”) wrapped around or “captivating” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”), like so: D(R)OVE.

39. Spreading scandal, excited at telling it three times (6-8)

Answer: TITTLE-TATTLING (i.e. “spreading scandal”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “excited”) of AT TELLING IT and, T, T and T (i.e. “three times” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

41. Archipelago short of popular pineapples (8)

Answer: GRENADES (i.e. “pineapples”, given their resemblence). Solution is GRENADINES (i.e. “archipelago”) with the IN removed (indicated by “short of popular”).

44. It’s a pride issue, working with copper in library (4,3)

Answer: LION CUB (i.e. “it’s a pride issue” – a pack of lions being a “pride”, and “issue” taken to mean young offspring). Solution is ON (i.e. “working”) and CU (chemical symbol of “copper”) placed “in” LIB (a recognised abbreviation of “library”), like so: LI(ON-CU)B.

45. Intended fund without name ending in failure (7)

Answer: FIANCEE (i.e. one’s “intended” in marriage). Solution is FINANCE (i.e. “fund”) with the first N removed (indicated by “without name”, N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”) and the remainder followed by E (i.e. “ending in failure”, i.e. the last letter of “failure”), like so: FIANCE-E.

46. Cutting tree I found in British Columbia (7)

Answer: ACERBIC (i.e. “cutting”). Solution is ACER (i.e. “tree”) followed by I once it has been placed or “found in” BC (a recognised abbreviation of “British Columbia”), like so: ACER-B(I)C.

47. Like some bread with jam and seeds (10)

Answer: WHOLEGRAIN (i.e. “like some bread”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) followed by HOLE (i.e. “jam”, both taken to mean bad situations) and GRAIN (i.e. “seeds”).

49. Cleaner not able initially to charge about one pound (9)

Answer: NAILBRUSH (i.e. “cleaner”). Solution is N and A (i.e. “not able to begin with”, i.e. the first letters of “not” and “able”) and RUSH (i.e. “charge”) placed “about” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and LB (a recognised abbreviation of a “pound” of weight), like so: N-A-(I-LB)-RUSH.

53. Send out light roasted course: fabulous being back to eat it! (9)

Answer: FLUORESCE (i.e. “send out light”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “roasted”) of COURSE which is placed in or “eaten” by ELF (i.e. “fabulous being”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: FL(UORESC)E.

54. Star gets into bed for a smoke (7)

Answer: CHEROOT (i.e. “a smoke”). Solution is HERO (i.e. “star”) which is placed or “gets into” COT (i.e. “bed”), like so: C(HERO)OT.

55. Swimmer’s about to perish, heading west (5)

Answer: EIDER (i.e. “swimmer” – a little too far down the role profile for my liking, but heigh-ho). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) and DIE (i.e. “to perish”) both reversed (indicated by “heading west” – this being an across clue), like so: EID-ER.

56. Enthuses, perhaps evading gym and old dishes Henry left (11)

Answer: RHAPSODIES (i.e. “enthuses”). Solution is PERHAPS with the PE removed (indicated by “evading gym” – PE being a recognised abbreviation of Physical Education) and the remainder followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and DISHES once the H has been removed (indicated by “Henry left” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a measurement that’s currently flavour of the month for setters), like so: RHAPS-O-DISES.

57. Ditch tongue, heading off for Happy Eater? (11)

Answer: TRENCHERMAN (i.e. “happy eater” – a trencher is a plate or platter). Solution is TRENCH (i.e. “ditch”) followed by GERMAN (i.e. language or “tongue”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “heading off”), like so: TRENCH-ERMAN. Not a word I’m familiar with, despite my Mr Creosote-esque appetite. I like it.

Down clues

1. Note shorter, less singular person using flannel (9)

Answer: FLATTERER (i.e. “person using flannel” – an informal word for flattery). Solution is FLAT (i.e. “note”) followed by TERSER (i.e. “shorter”) once the S has been removed (indicated by “less singular” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “singular”), like so: FLAT-TERER.

2. Job for painter inside 8 (8,10)

Answer: INTERIOR DECORATION (i.e. “job for painter”). The solution to 8d is AWARD. The solution is INTERIOR (i.e. “inside”) followed by DECORATION (i.e. “award”).

3. Extra new stretch (5)

Answer: WIDEN (i.e. “stretch”). Solution is WIDE (i.e. “extra” run in cricket awarded when the bowler buggers up) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”).

4. Story by some about constant profession (11)

Answer: ACCOUNTANCY (i.e. “profession”). Solution is ACCOUNT (i.e. “story”) followed by ANY (i.e. “some”) once it has been placed “about” C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”), like so: ACCOUNT-AN(C)Y.

5. Each had awful athlete’s foot and pain at the other end (8)

Answer: HEADACHE (i.e. “pain at the other end” of the body from the feet). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “awful”) of EACH HAD followed by E (i.e. “athlete’s foot”, i.e. the last letter of “athlete”), like so: HEADACH-E.

6. Relax here, startling boss (7,5)

Answer: ROCKING CHAIR (i.e. “relax here”). Solution is ROCKING (i.e. “startling”) followed by CHAIR (i.e. “boss” of a committee).

7. Expose what’s in envelope that’s given to the press (4,6)

Answer: OPEN LETTER. Solution satisfies “expose what’s in envelope” and “that’s given to the press”.

8. Place for nursing trophy (5)

Answer: AWARD (i.e. “trophy”). When written as A WARD the solution also satisfies “place for nursing”.

9. I love angler somehow catching large marine creature (11)

Answer: GLOBIGERINA (i.e. “marine creature”, and a little diddy one too). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of I, O (i.e. “love”, i.e. a zero score in tennis) and ANGLER all wrapped around or “catching” BIG, like so: GLO(BIG)ERINA. The wordplay was reasonably clear, but needed most of the intersecting letters completed and a quick brute force of Chambers to nail it.

10. Reason obscure hero hoards brilliant books? (9)

Answer: JUDGEMENT (i.e. “reason”). Solution is JUDE (“obscure hero”, Saint Jude I guess – one for the theologians) wrapped around or “hoarding” GEM (i.e. “brilliant”) and followed by NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: JUD(GEM)E-NT.
[EDIT: Thanks to Mick in the comments for clearing up JUDE, being a reference to Thomas Hardy’s novel Jude the Obscure. – LP]

11. Where to find barmen of different types? (4)

Answer: INNS (i.e. “where to find barmen”). A guess, if I’m honest, as I can’t figure “of different types” at the moment. If I or a kind commenter has a brainwave then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Thanks to Mrs D and Mick for quickly clarifying this one. “Barmen” refers to barristers who are called to the English bar when they qualify and join one of the four INNS of Court. Thanks both! – LP]

12. River’s banks eroded constantly (4)

Answer: EVER (i.e. “constantly”). Solution is the “River” SEVERN with the first and last letters removed (indicated by “banks eroded”).

18. Quirky odd bureaucrat is almost silent proof of falsehood (8,2,8)

Answer: REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM (i.e. “proof of falsehood”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “quirky”) of ODD BUREAUCRAT IS followed by DUMB (i.e. “silent”) once its final letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”), like so: REDUCTIOADABSUR-DUM. Not being a Latin scholar, this took a number of intersecting letters solving before I had enough hooks to perform another quick brute force of my Chambers.

19. Very old joke packs theatre (5,3)

Answer: STONE AGE (i.e. “very old”). Solution is ONE (i.e. “joke”, as in “did you hear the one about…”) placed in or “packing” STAGE (i.e. “theatre”), like so: ST(ONE)AGE.

21. Idle, the writer’s tucking into drink with sons (7)

Answer: AIMLESS (i.e. “idle”). Solution is I’M (i.e. “the writer is”, taken from the point of view of the setter) “tucked into” ALE (i.e. “drink”) and followed by S and S (i.e. “two sons”, S being a recognised abbreviation of “son”), like so: A(I’M)LE-S-S.

23. Software run at cricket ground’s OK (8)

Answer: APPROVAL (i.e. “OK”). Solution is APP (i.e. “software”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” in a number of ball games) and OVAL (i.e. “cricket ground”).

27. Impressionist, perhaps one able to lift drink (8)

Answer: APERITIF (i.e. “drink”). Solution is APER (i.e. “impressionist, perhaps”, as in one who apes another) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and FIT (i.e. “able”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “to lift” – this being a down clue), like so: APER-I-TIF.

28. Engineers resolve to move (8)

Answer: RESETTLE (i.e. “to move”). Solution is RE (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) followed by SETTLE (i.e. “resolve”).

31. Measure port imbibed by conservative Anglicans (7)

Answer: CADENCE (i.e. “measure”). Solution is ADEN (i.e. “port” – chalk one to my Bradfords here as there are thousands of ports to choose from) which is placed in or “imbibed by” C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) and CE (i.e. “Anglicans”, specifically the Church of England), like so: C-(ADEN)-CE.

32. Sublime climb across middle of liner in river (12)

Answer: TRANSCENDENT (i.e. “sublime”). Solution is ASCEND (i.e. “climb”) wrapped around or placed “across” N (i.e. “middle [letter] of liner”) and then itself placed “in” TRENT (i.e. “river”), like so: TR(A(N)SCEND)ENT.

34. Broken down? Police stopped, after spending hours (11)

Answer: METABOLISED (i.e. digested or “broken down”). Solution is MET (i.e. “police”, specifically the Metropolitan Police Service of London) followed by ABOLISHED (i.e. “stopped”) once the H has been removed (indicated by “spending hours” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “hours”), like so: MET-ABOLISED.

36. Answer cut from article about avoiding “hippy” type of language (4-7)

Answer: AFRO-ASIATIC (i.e. “type of language”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”) followed by FROM once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut”), then A (i.e. “article”, such as words like ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’), then SCIATIC (i.e. “hippy” type – a sneaky one, this, “hippy” referring to the area of the body – the sciatic nerve stems from the base of the spine. I’m not keen, but my Bradfords wins out on this one) once the first C has been removed (indicated by “about avoiding” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “circa”, or “about”), like so: A-FRO-A-SIATIC. Phew!

38. 150 eastern experts accepting smuggled licences (10)

Answer: CLEARANCES (i.e. “licences”). Solution is CL (i.e. “[Roman numerals] 150”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), then ACES (i.e. “experts”) once it has been wrapped around or “accepted” RAN (i.e. “smuggled”, think gun-running), like so: CL-E-A(RAN)CES.

40. Do battle to secure instruments (4,5)

Answer: LOCK HORNS. Solution satisfies “do battle” and “to lock [musical] instruments”.

42. Cash in car interpreted as sweetener (9)

Answer: SACCHARIN (i.e. “sweetener” – can be spelled with or without an ‘e’). “Interpreted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CASH IN CAR.

43. Head man from Krakow’s supporter in plot (8)

Answer: BEANPOLE (i.e. “supporter in [garden] plot”). Solution is BEAN (i.e. “head”, an informal name backed up by my Chambers) followed by POLE (i.e. “man from Krakow”). Not an easy one when you’ve got _E_N_O_E to work with.

48. Fancy patrons wasting time! (5)

Answer: GUESS (i.e. “fancy”). Solution is GUESTS (i.e. “patrons”) with the T removed (indicated by “wasting time” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”). Another win for my Bradfords as my brain could not equate “fancy” to “guess”. Still doesn’t, if I’m honest. It’s getting late, that’s my excuse.

50. Part of speech backed up English note (5)

Answer: BREVE (i.e. “[musical] note”). Solution is VERB (i.e. “part of speech”) reversed (indicated by “backed up” – this being a down clue) and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: BREV-E.

51. Starts to approach from access road a long way off (4)

Answer: AFAR (i.e. “a long way off”). “Starts to” indicates the solution is derived by taking the initial letters of APPROACH FROM ACCESS ROAD.

52. Each year involves leading intermediate stage (4)

Answer: PUPA (i.e. “intermediate stage”). Solution is PA (i.e. “each year”, being a recognised abbreviation of “per annum”) wrapped around or “involving” UP (i.e. “leading”), like so: P(UP)A.