Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1568

Another medium-strength Jumbo this week and, while it didn’t get quite as far up my nose as last week’s effort, it does seem this week’s setter was pining hard for Provence. I felt so French by the end I nearly took up smoking Gauloise cigarettes in a cool and dismissive manner.

Maintenant, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has gone on strike despite not being in gainful employment what with it being a Jumbo n’ all then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions to hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Onset of tension and pressure in soldiers repeatedly producing lethargy (6)

Answer: TORPOR (i.e. “lethargy”). Solution is T (i.e. “onset of tension”, i.e. the first letter of “tension”) followed by P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) once placed “in” between OR and OR (i.e. “soldiers repeatedly”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), like so: T-(OR-(P)-OR).

  1. Intense complaint about travel company, European (3,2,5)

Answer: CRI DE COEUR (i.e. “intense complaint” – over to Chambers for this common-or-garden English phrase: “a cry from the heart, a heartfelt, passionate entreaty, complaint or reproach”). Solution is C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by RIDE (i.e. “travel”), then CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and EUR (ditto “European”). While both my Chambers and Oxford dictionaries spell this with an “Œ” short vowel, my Collins Concise backs the setter up.

  1. Military leader accepting high award for amusement (5)

Answer: COMIC (i.e. “amusement”). Solution is CIC (i.e. “military leader”, specifically a Commander-In-Chief) wrapped around or “accepting” OM (i.e. “high award”, in this case the Order of Merit), like so: C(OM)IC.

  1. Artist studies put up for discussion (9)

Answer: John CONSTABLE (i.e. “artist”). Solution is CONS (i.e. “studies” as a verb – an archaic definition) followed by TABLE (i.e. “put up for discussion”).

  1. Current aria is repositioned as first item (7-6)

Answer: CURTAIN-RAISER (i.e. “first item”). “Repositioned” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CURRENT ARIA IS.

  1. One editor finally turning in story ready to break? (7)

Answer: FRIABLE (i.e. crumbly or “ready to break”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and R (i.e. “editor finally”, i.e. the last letter of “editor”) reversed (indicated by “turning”) and placed “in” FABLE (i.e. “story”), like so: F(R-I)ABLE.

  1. Month to go round historic US state or European state (7)

Answer: MOLDOVA (i.e. “European state”). Solution is MO (a recognised abbreviation of “month”) wrapped “round” OLD (i.e. “historic”) and followed by VA (i.e. “US state” abbreviation of Virginia), like so: M(OLD)O-VA.

  1. Biblical character in history not starting attack (7)

Answer: ASSAULT (i.e. “attack”). Solution is SAUL (i.e. “biblical character”) placed “in” PAST (i.e. “history”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “not starting”), like so: AS(SAUL)T.

  1. It’s replies recalled after being trounced? (7,2,9)

Answer: L’ESPRIT DE L’ESCALIER. Over to Chambers to define this tiresomely overused English phrase: “thinking of an apt or witty retort after the opportunity of making it is past”. The solution therefore satisfies the clue as a whole but is also an anagram (indicated by “after being trounced”) of IT’S REPLIES RECALLED. I still maintain that obscure general knowledge solutions getting clued up as anagrams is about as helpful as offering a drowning man a nice cup of tea, but at least in this case the phrase was something interesting and the clue cleverly constructed.

  1. So taken aback about turning up for work (4)

Answer: OPUS (i.e. “work”). Solution is SO reversed (indicated by “taken aback”) and wrapped “about” UP once also reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: O(PU)S.

  1. Extended period in New York city? No hesitation (5)

Answer: YONKS (i.e. “extended period”). Solution is YONKERS (i.e. “New York city”, specifically a city in New York state – some nice misdirection) with the ER removed (indicated by “no hesitation”).

  1. Article carried by flying insect, for example (8)

Answer: INSTANCE (i.e. “example”). Solution is AN (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the) placed in or “carried by” an anagram (indicated by “flying”) of INSECT, like so: INST(AN)CE.

  1. Old period ballet move restricting dancing once (8)

Answer: PLIOCENE (i.e. “old period” between 5 and 1.8 million years ago (Chambers)). Solution is PLIE (i.e. “ballet move”, specifically one “in which the knees are bent while the body remains upright” (Chambers again). Me neither, but then ballet really isn’t my scene) wrapped around an anagram (indicated by “dancing”) of ONCE, like so: PLI(OCEN)E.

  1. Be excessive – go and live under rock (11)

Answer: OVERINDULGE (i.e. “be excessive”). “Rock” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GO and LIVE UNDER.

  1. United meant to play for dramatised reconstruction? (11)

Answer: EDUTAINMENT (i.e. “dramatised reconstruction”, a ugh-worthy contraction of education and entertainment). “To play” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of UNITED MEANT.

  1. Understand it is behind image displaying two figures? (6-5)

Answer: DOUBLE-DIGIT (i.e. “displaying two figures”). Solution is DIG (i.e. slang for “understand”) and IT placed “behind” DOUBLE (i.e. “image”, in this case “a person or thing that closely resembles another” (Chambers)), like so: DOUBLE-(DIG-IT).

  1. Problem with element of education probed by the heartless school employee (4,7)

Answer: HEAD TEACHER (i.e. “school employee”). Solution is HEADACHE (i.e. “problem”) and R (i.e. “element of education”, being one of the three Rs: reading, riting and rithmetic – still one of the dumbest phrases ever coined considering its context) all wrapped around or “probed by” TE (i.e. “the heartless”, i.e. the word “the” with its middle letter removed), like so: HEAD(TE)ACHE-R.

  1. Scoundrel, emotional, keeping wife in two areas (8)

Answer: TEARAWAY (i.e. “scoundrel”). Solution is TEARY (i.e. “emotional”) wrapped around or “keeping” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) once placed “in” between A and A (both ditto “area”), like so: TEAR(A-(W)-A)Y.

  1. Soccer group roster including popular visitor to Wembley? (8)

Answer: FINALIST (i.e. “visitor to Wembley”). Solution is FA (i.e. “soccer group”, specifically the Football Association) and LIST (i.e. “roster”) all wrapped around or “including” IN (i.e. “popular”), like so: F(IN)A-LIST. [Speaking of which, good luck to the Lionesses tomorrow!]

  1. First contractor for The Times? (5)

Answer: TEMPI (i.e. “the times” – ignore the misleading formatting, this is the plural form of “tempo”). When written as TEMP I the clue playfully satisfies “first contractor”, taking I to be a Roman numeral one.

  1. Nasty trick, disposing of piano (4)

Answer: RANK (i.e. “nasty”). Solution is PRANK (i.e. “trick”) with the P removed (indicated by “disposing of piano” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo).

  1. Leave the board so as maybe to get experience later? (4,2,2,3,4,3)

Answer: DIVE IN AT THE DEEP END. Clue satisfies “leave the [diving] board” and “so as maybe to get experience later”.

  1. A sound from waterfowl endlessly crossing it, turning in the water? (7)

Answer: AQUATIC (i.e. “in the water”). Solution is A followed by QUACK (i.e. “sound from waterfowl”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder wrapped around or “crossing” IT once reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: A-QUA(TI)C.

  1. Barrister showing a lot of character after matter cut short (7)

Answer: COUNSEL (i.e. “barrister”). Solution is SELF (i.e. “character”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “showing a lot of”) and the remainder placed “after” COUNT (i.e. to “matter”) once it too has had its last letter removed (indicated by “cut short”), like so: COUN-SEL.

  1. Drink’s prepared, to take care of King? That’s betrayal (7)

Answer: TREASON (i.e. “betrayal”). Solution is TEA’S ON (i.e. “drink’s prepared”) wrapped around or “taking care of” R (i.e. “king”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Latin Rex), like so: T(R)EA’S-ON.

  1. After cut in revenue, German city reduced business, eschewing contacts (13)

Answer: INCOMMUNICADO (i.e. “eschewing contacts” – Chambers would disagree, suggesting this is instead a state of being without means of communication rather than actively shunning contact). Solution is INCOME (i.e. “revenue”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “after cut”) and the remainder followed by MUNICH (i.e. “German city”) once it too has had its last letter cut (indicated by “reduced”). This is all then followed by ADO (i.e. “business”, in this case “a complex, difficult or awkward matter or affair” (Chambers)), like so: INCOM-MUNIC-ADO.

  1. Comes up to snatch family silver at the outset? Chancy stuff (9)

Answer: RISKINESS (i.e. “chancy stuff”). Solution is RISES (i.e. “comes up”) wrapped around or “snatching” KIN (i.e. “family”) and followed by S (i.e. “silver at the outset”, i.e. the first letter of “silver”), like so: RIS(KIN)ES-S.

  1. A duke taken in by cunning, alas (5)

Answer: SADLY (i.e. “alas”). Solution is A and D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) both placed in or “taken in by” SLY (i.e. “cunning”), like so: S(A-D)LY.

  1. Subsequently shortened vague Keaton film (3,7)

Answer: THE GENERAL (i.e. Buster “Keaton film”). Solution is THEN (i.e. “subsequently”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “shortened”) and the remainder followed by GENERAL (i.e. “vague”).

  1. Things to do with target coming into range (6)

Answer: AGENDA (i.e. “things to do”). Solution is END (i.e. aim or “target”) placed “into” AGA (i.e. a big ol’ stove or “range”), like so: AG(END)A.

[EDIT: Thanks to Dr John in the comments for the typo fix. I’d accidentally written ADENDA. Cheers, Doc! – LP]

Down clues

  1. Reckoning to keep Court fellows unsettled initially, in a diplomatic way (9)

Answer: TACTFULLY (i.e. “in a diplomatic way”). Solution is TALLY (i.e. “reckoning”) wrapped around or “keeping” CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”), F and U (i.e. “fellows unsettled initially”, i.e. the first letters of “fellows” and “unsettled”), like so: TA(CT-F-U)LLY.

  1. Improving time? An era’s since undergoing revision (11)

Answer: RENAISSANCE (i.e. “improving time”). “Undergoing revision” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AN ERA’S SINCE.

  1. Upturn in company to be resumed initially in just over four weeks (7)

Answer: OCTOBER (i.e. “just over four weeks”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) reversed (indicated by “upturn in…” – this being a down clue) and followed by TO BE and R (i.e. “resumed initially, i.e. the first letter of “resumed”), like so: OC-TO-BE-R.

  1. Evidence of cold inert gas in strange surroundings (5)

Answer: RHEUM (i.e. “evidence of cold”, e.g. after one has blown their nose). Solution is HE (i.e. “insert gas”, specifically the chemical symbol of helium) placed “in…surroundings” of RUM (i.e. “strange”), like so: R(HE)UM.

  1. Revealing dress, of French school, securing cheers (11)

Answer: DECOLLETAGE (i.e. “revealing dress” with a plunging neckline). Solution is DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”) followed by COLLEGE (i.e. “school”) wrapped around or “securing” TA (i.e. “cheers”), like so: DE-COLLE(TA)GE.

  1. Good for the French, blocking two vehicles in environmental action (6,5)

Answer: CARBON CYCLE (i.e. “environmental action”, being “the circulation and transfer of carbon between animals, plants and the atmosphere” (Chambers)). Solution is BON (i.e. “good for the French”, i.e. the French for “good”) placed between or “blocking” CAR and CYCLE (i.e. “two vehicles”), like so: CAR-(BON)-CYCLE.

  1. Black period at the outset not fixed in memory? (8)

Answer: ERASABLE (i.e. “not fixed in memory”). Solution is SABLE (i.e. “black” in heraldry) with ERA (i.e. “period”) placed before it or “at the outset”, like so: ERA-SABLE.

  1. Provide a reminder to get Tom active? (4,1,4)

Answer: RING A BELL. Solution satisfies “provide a reminder to” and “get tom active”, ignoring the misleading capitalisation. A tom in this case being “a name for a big bell” (Chambers), a new one on me.

  1. Smart, cold, smooth, but not good (6)

Answer: CLASSY (i.e. “smart”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold”) followed by GLASSY (i.e. “smooth”) once the G has been removed (indicated by “but not good” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: C-LASSY.

  1. Exhibit inspiration and hesitation before calm on the radio (6,5)

Answer: MUSEUM PIECE (i.e. “exhibit”). Solution is MUSE (i.e. “inspiration”) followed by UM (i.e. an expression of “hesitation”) and a homophone (indicated by “on the radio”) of PEACE (i.e. “calm”), like so: MUSE-UM-PIECE.

  1. Oversight on source of theory? Something used in proof? (5)

Answer: CARET (i.e. “something used in proof[reading]”, being a “mark to show where to insert something omitted” (Chambers)). Solution is CARE (i.e. “oversight”) followed by T (i.e. “source of theory”, i.e. the first letter of “theory”).

  1. Forgetful sailor made very happy with sea around 60 per cent of India (6-6)

Answer: ABSENT-MINDED (i.e. “forgetful”). Solution is AB (i.e. “sailor”, specifically of Able Bodied rank) followed by SENT (i.e. “made very happy”, a lesser-used definition) and MED (i.e. “sea”, short in this case for Mediterranean) once wrapped around IND (i.e. “60 per cent of [the letters of] India”), like so: AB-SENT-M(IND)ED.

  1. Sealing off centre of field, making fodder (8)

Answer: ENSILAGE (i.e. “fodder” – can describe the process or the matter itself). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “off”) of SEALING followed by E (i.e. “centre of field”, i.e. the middle letter of “field”), like so: ENSILAG-E.

  1. Promise to hem edges of threadbare garment (7)

Answer: SWEATER (i.e. “garment”). Solution is SWEAR (i.e. “promise”) wrapped around or “hemming” TE (i.e. “edges of threadbare”, i.e. the first and last letters of “threadbare”), like so: SWEA(TE)R.

  1. Unhappy performers covered with feathers (8)

Answer: DOWNCAST (i.e. “unhappy”). Solution is CAST (i.e. “performers”) placed after or “covered with” – this being a down clue – DOWN (i.e. “feathers”), like so: DOWN-CAST.

  1. Is upset about hard work slowly storing a lot of cargo (8)

Answer: SHIPLOAD (i.e. “lot of cargo”). Solution is IS reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and wrapped “about” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils). This is then followed by PLOD (i.e. “work slowly”) once wrapped around or “storing” A, like so: S(H)I-PLO(A)D.

  1. Barrel remains to catch half of fine seafood (4,4)

Answer: TUNA FISH (i.e. “seafood”). Solution is TUN (i.e. “barrel”) and ASH (i.e. “remains”) wrapped around or “catching” FI (i.e. “half of fine”, specifically the first half), like so: TUN-A(FI)SH.

  1. Veteran Democrat coming in to support ditching leader (7)

Answer: OLDSTER (i.e. “veteran”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) once placed “in to” HOLSTER (i.e. “support”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “ditching leader”), like so: OL(D)STER.

  1. Article put it differently over dislike for employment assessment (8,4)

Answer: APTITUDE TEST (i.e. “employment assessment”). Solution is A (i.e. “article”, as described earlier) followed by an anagram (indicated by “differently”) of PUT IT, then DETEST (i.e. “dislike”), like so: A-PTITU-DETEST.

  1. Surprise part of speech hosted by African party captured by a French daughter (11)

Answer: UNANNOUNCED (i.e. “surprise”). Solution is NOUN (i.e. “part of speech”) placed in or “hosted by” ANC (i.e. “African party”, specifically the African National Congress), which is itself placed in or “captured by” UNE (i.e. “a French”, i.e. the feminine form of “a” in French). This is all then followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”), like so: UN(AN(NOUN)C)E-D.

  1. Not easy, not right, engaging in dull survey (11)

Answer: TRIANGULATE (i.e. to “survey”). Solution is ANGULAR (i.e. “not easy” or ungraceful) with the R removed (indicated by “not right” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and the remainder placed “in” TRITE (i.e. “dull”), like so: TRI(ANGULA)TE.

  1. Coals ultimately surrounded by brownish colour under hot part of fireplace (11)

Answer: HEARTHSTONE (i.e. “part of fireplace”). Solution is S (i.e. “coals ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “coals”) placed in or “surrounded by” EARTH TONE (i.e. “brownish colour”). This is all then placed after or “under” – this being a down clue – H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot” used on taps), like so: H-(EARTH-(S)-TONE).

  1. Lyricist criticises money required to secure opening of Evita (11)

Answer: Oscar HAMMERSTEIN (i.e. “lyricist”). Solution is HAMMERS (i.e. “criticises”) followed by TIN (slang for “money”) once wrapped around or “securing” E (i.e. “opening of Evita”, i.e. the first letter of “Evita”), like so: HAMMERS-T(E)IN.

  1. Once more losing heart? Try to win battle (9)

Answer: AGINCOURT (i.e. “battle” in 1415). Solution is AGAIN (i.e. “once more”) with the middle letter removed (indicated by “losing heart”) and the remainder followed by COURT (i.e. to solicit or “try to win”), like so: AGIN-COURT.

  1. Asian country containing one S? (9)

Answer: INDONESIA (i.e. “Asian country”). Solution is INDIA (i.e. “country” – a bit of recycling there) wrapped around or “containing” ONE S, like so: IND(ONE-S)IA.

  1. Observe French priest suppressing wretched vice (8)

Answer: PERCEIVE (i.e. “observe”). Solution is PERE (i.e. “French priest”, French for “father”) wrapped around or “suppressing” an anagram (indicated by “wretched”) of VICE, like so: PER(CEIV)E.

  1. No time for equestrian activity later in the day (7)

Answer: EVENING (i.e. “later in the day”). Solution is EVENTING (i.e. “equestrian activity”) with the T removed (indicated by “no time for…” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

  1. See about gut, being squat (6)

Answer: STUMPY (i.e. “being squat”). Solution is SPY (i.e. “see”) wrapped “about” TUM (i.e. “gut”), like so: S(TUM)PY.

  1. English novelist and son may be wide of the mark (5)

Answer: AMISS (i.e. “wide of the mark”). Solution is Kingsley AMIS (i.e. “English novelist” – unlikely to be Martin Amis as one of the unwritten rules of Times cryptic crosswords is people have to be dead to feature in them) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”).

  1. Insect form in some particular variation (5)

Answer: LARVA (i.e. “insect form”). “In some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: PARTICU(LAR VA)RIATION.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1567

A medium-strength Jumbo this week and while this one offered the steady(ish) progression I often like, combined with some fine misdirection, it didn’t ‘alf get up my nose in places.

As might come across in what follows. You know what I’m like at times.

Anyway, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo is in heat and oh god that poor cat next door then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of them. Elsewhere there are usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared with these things. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Secretly listen to dad turning back on women’s group (7)

Answer: WIRETAP (i.e. “secretly listen to”). Solution is PATER (i.e. “dad”) reversed (indicated by “turning back”) and placed “on” or after WI (i.e. “women’s group”, specifically the Women’s Institute), like so: WI-RETAP.

  1. Destroyed city conveyance horse brought in (8)

Answer: CARTHAGE (i.e. ancient “destroyed city”). Solution is CARTAGE (i.e. “conveyance” or the act of carting) wrapped around or having “brought in” H (i.e. “horse”, both slang terms for heroin), like so: CART(H)AGE.

  1. Neighbour’s a music maker performing around India (6)

Answer: ADJOIN (i.e. to “neighbour”). Solution is A followed by DJ (i.e. “music maker”, specifically a Disk Jockey) and ON (i.e. “performing”) once wrapped “around” I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: A-DJ-O(I)N.

  1. Deep, airy complex piece of music: A Dreamy Event (5,3,8)

Answer: RAPID EYE MOVEMENT (i.e. “a dreamy event” – ignore the misleading formatting). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “complex”) of DEEP AIRY followed by MOVEMENT (i.e. “piece of music”), like so: RAPIDEYE-MOVEMENT.

  1. Weekend service cut aid for travellers (3,3)

Answer: SAT NAV (i.e. “aid for travellers”, short for Satellite Navigation). Solution is SAT (i.e. a day of the “weekend”) followed by NAVY (i.e. “service”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut”).

  1. Perfect croupier’s CV condensed? (5)

Answer: IDEAL (i.e. “perfect”). When written as I DEAL the solution also playfully satisfies “croupier’s CV condensed”.

  1. Difficult to criticise what gardeners avoid (7)

Answer: HARDPAN (i.e. “what gardeners avoid”, a hard layer found beneath the surface soil). Solution is HARD (i.e. “difficult”) followed by PAN (i.e. “to criticise”).

  1. We love users willy-nilly (9)

Answer: OURSELVES (i.e. “we”). “Willy-nilly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LOVE USERS.

  1. Great faith sacrificing first sporting success (5,4)

Answer: GRAND SLAM (i.e. “sporting success”). Solution is GRAND (i.e. “great”) followed by ISLAM (i.e. a “faith”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “sacrificing first”).

  1. Pig’s surplus weight (7)

Answer: GLUTTON (i.e. “pig”). Solution is GLUT (i.e. “surplus”) followed by TON (i.e. “weight”). Simple, but nicely worked.

  1. Shut up Polish plant (5)

Answer: SHRUB (i.e. “plant”). Solution is SH! (i.e. “shut up”) followed by RUB (i.e. to “polish” – ignore the misleading capitalisation).

  1. Slender female in river, doing backstroke? (5)

Answer: ELFIN (i.e. “slender”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) placed “in” NILE (i.e. a “river”) once reversed (indicated by “doing backstroke”), like so: EL(F)IN. Yet. Again. Regular readers of these posts will know I often take the piss out of setters when they keep cranking up the office Marconi GridFill 4000™ rather than, oh I don’t know, exert a modicum of effort in their grids. Sometimes it’s so obvious it’s embarrassing. You can call me a big old cynic, that with umpteen Times setters some are bound to tread on each other’s toes every once in a while, but this is the fifth time ELFIN has appeared in the last 100 Jumbo cryptics I’ve covered. There are comfortably over 10,000 five-letter words out there to choose from, and that’s even before you even get to crap like people and places, so it’s obvious the algorithm is finding this word far more useful when its composing a grid than others. Curiously, the word pool available to the algorithm seems to get tweaked every time I call out its weaknesses (e.g. RAITA, a recentish offender, and Max ERNST, who practically had a residency in Jumbos – both now absent for a while), so lets hope the same fate befalls ELFIN, eh? Meanwhile, yes: cost of living, Russia invading Ukraine, covid etc. I’m not a complete monster.

Also, I’ve now pretty much guaranteed RAITA and ERNST appear in next week’s Jumbo. If only my small controlling forces worked on lottery numbers.

  1. Punter, jobless, securing one in Greece (9)

Answer: GONDOLIER (i.e. “punter”). Solution is ON DOLE (i.e. “jobless”) wrapped around or “securing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) while itself being placed “in” GR (country code of “Greece”), like so: G(ON-DOL(I)E)R.

  1. Start to pen letter, a gratifying one (7)

Answer: PLEASER (i.e. “a gratifying one”). Solution is P (i.e. “start to pen”, i.e. the first letter of “pen”) followed by LEASER (i.e. “letter” or landlord).

  1. Nearly despatch old carrier’s measure once (9)

Answer: KILOCYCLE (i.e. “measure once”, nowadays known as kilohertz). Solution is KILL (i.e. “despatch”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”) and the remainder followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and CYCLE (i.e. “carrier” or means of transport), like so: KIL-O-CYCLE.

31.Bird stalks parasite that may be piercing cherry (8,5)

Answer: COCKTAIL STICK (i.e. “that may be piercing cherry” – other spikeworthy comestibles are available). Solution is COCK (i.e. “bird”) followed by TAILS (i.e. “stalks”) and TICK (i.e. “parasite”).

  1. Fair act that needs some looking into? (7,6)

Answer: CRYSTAL GAZING (i.e. “fair act”). Clue plays on how the solution involves a fortune teller “looking into” a crystal ball and telling you that you’ll meet a tall dark stranger within the next fifty years. One who has one arm, or maybe even two-oooooo. (Makes mystical hand movements.)

  1. Call Italian husband a father of IT? (9)

Answer: Herman HOLLERITH (i.e. “a father of IT” and punched-card pioneer. No, me neither, and I’m supposed to know about ‘pooters and stuff). Solution is HOLLER (i.e. “call”) followed by IT (country code of “Italy”) and H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”).

  1. Berlin quartet visiting inlet’s coastal area (7)

Answer: RIVIERA (i.e. “coastal area”). Solution is VIER (i.e. “Berlin quartet”, i.e. the German for “four”) placed in or “visiting” RIA (i.e. “inlet” – over to Chambers: “a normal drowned valley”. Another new one on me), like so: RI(VIER)A.

  1. Stepping around hot sewer’s work (9)

Answer: THREADING (i.e. “sewer’s work”). Solution is TREADING (i.e. “stepping”) wrapped “around” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot” used on taps), like so: T(H)READING.

  1. Nigerian bread not available without strain (5)

Answer: NAIRA (i.e. “Nigerian bread”, or its currency). Solution is N/A (i.e. “not available”) wrapped around or placed “without” AIR (i.e. “strain”, both musical references), like so: N(AIR)A.

  1. Driver’s unlimited theatre activity (5)

Answer: URGER (i.e. “driver”). Solution is SURGERY (i.e. “theatre activity”) with its first and last letters removed (indicated by “unlimited”).

  1. Leaves silver in fit of insanity (7)

Answer: FOLIAGE (i.e. “leaves”). Solution is AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) placed “in” FOLIE (i.e. “fit of insanity” – another new one, but hardly surprising given it’s a French word that was stuck in an English dictionary once upon a time and promptly never used again. Le sigh…), like so: FOLI(AG)E.

  1. Fuelled tanks in city out of necessity (9)

Answer: NEEDFULLY (i.e. “out of necessity”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “tanks”) of FUELLED placed “in” NY (i.e. “city”, in this case New York), like so: N(EEDFULL)Y.

  1. Sailor spoils hotel and marine grassland (4,5)

Answer: SALT MARSH (i.e. “marine grassland”). Solution is SALT (i.e. “sailor”) followed by MARS (i.e. “spoils”) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Old car, one of many sent out by local star (7)

Answer: SUNBEAM. Solution satisfies “old car” – take your pick: it’s been a British car company and a model name used by Chrysler and Talbot, apparently – and “one of many sent out by local star”.

  1. Glossy material from head of news area (5)

Answer: NACRE (i.e. “glossy material”, also called mother-of-pearl). Solution is N (i.e. “head of news”, i.e. the first letter of “news”) followed by ACRE (i.e. “area”).

  1. Set of nine English notes repaid regularly (6)

Answer: ENNEAD (i.e. “set of nine”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by N and N (both “notes”, N being a recognised abbreviation thereof) and EAD (i.e. “repaid regularly”, i.e. every other letter of REPAID).

  1. During beating, writer settled for paying too much (16)

Answer: OVERCOMPENSATING (i.e. “paying too much”). Solution is OVERCOMING (i.e. “beating”) wrapped around or having “during” PEN (i.e. “writer”) and SAT (i.e. “settled”), like so: OVERCOM(PEN-SAT)ING.

  1. Go round to dispose of deal (6)

Answer: TREATY (i.e. “deal”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “go”) wrapped “round” EAT (i.e. “to dispose of”), like so: TR(EAT)Y.

  1. Perhaps bowler owned equipment to conserve energy (8)

Answer: HEADGEAR (i.e. “perhaps bowler”, other hats are available). Solution is HAD (i.e. “owned”) and GEAR (i.e. “equipment”) all wrapped around or “conserving” E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: H(E)AD-GEAR.

  1. Head of engineering impressed by modest digital skill (7)

Answer: SLEIGHT (i.e. “skill” – minor quibble: the presence of “digital” here suggests the setter has been swayed by the phrase “sleight of hand”; I’d argue the solution has broader scope than that suggested). Solution is E (i.e. “head of engineering”, like with “head of news” five clues earlier this is the first letter of “engineering”) placed in or “impressed by” SLIGHT (i.e. “modest”), like so: SL(E)IGHT.

Down clues

  1. Queen’s in Surrey town with tiny king for what’s five days typically (7,4)

Answer: WORKING WEEK (i.e. “what’s five days typically”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “Queen”, specifically the Latin Regina) placed “in” WOKING (i.e. “Surrey town”) and followed by WEE (i.e. “tiny”) and K (a recognised abbreviation of “king” used in chess), like so: WO(R)KING-WEE-K.

  1. Resistance, with Europeans acquiring dearer unit in Delhi (5)

Answer: RUPEE (i.e. monetary “unit in Delhi”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance”), E and E (both “Europeans”, E being a recognised abbreviation thereof) all wrapped around or “acquiring” UP (i.e. “dearer”), like so: R-(UP)-EE.

  1. Strolled to outskirts of Deptford with light (7)

Answer: TODDLED (i.e. “strolled”). Solution is TO followed by DD (i.e. “outskirts of Deptford”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Deptford”), then LED (i.e. “light”, specifically a Light Emitting Diode).

  1. Nut with natural poison yielding in eastern battle of wits? (13,7)

Answer: PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE (i.e. “battle of wits”). Solution is PSYCHO (i.e. “nut”) followed by LOGICAL (i.e. “natural”), then WARFARIN (i.e. “poison”) once the IN has been removed (indicated by “yielding in”), and finally E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), like so: PSYCHO-LOGICAL-WARFAR-E.

  1. Shooter arrived with press article (9)

Answer: CAMERAMAN (i.e. “shooter”). Solution is CAME (i.e. “arrived”) followed by RAM (i.e. to “press”) and AN (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the).

  1. Accelerate sketch show briefly: put on pressure (3,2)

Answer: REV UP (i.e. “accelerate”). Solution is REVUE (i.e. “sketch show”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder followed by P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”), like so: REVU-P.

  1. Weird Munch oil engages posh people like the Borrowers? (9)

Answer: HOMUNCULI (i.e. “people like the Borrowers”, specifically tiny ‘uns. Plural of homunculus). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “weird”) of MUNCH OIL wrapped around or “engaging” U (i.e. “posh”, being a recognised abbreviation of the upper class you rarely see used outside of cryptic crosswords), like so: HOM(U)NCULI.

  1. Armed vessel’s tackle snaring a French sub finally (7)

Answer: GUNBOAT (i.e. “armed vessel”). Solution is GO AT (i.e. “tackle”) wrapped around or “snaring” UN (i.e. “a French”, i.e. the French for “a”) and B (i.e. “sub finally”, i.e. the last letter of “sub”), like so: G(UN-B)O-AT.

  1. Raise small prize bloomers (7)

Answer: DRAWERS (i.e. “bloomers”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and REWARD (i.e. “prize”) all reversed (indicated by “raise” – this being a down clue), like so: DRAWER-S.

  1. Old customs involving French wine recalled: we like to taste it all! (9)

Answer: OMNIVORES (i.e. “we like to taste it all”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by MORES (i.e. “customs”) once wrapped around or “involving” VIN (i.e. “French wine”, i.e. the French for “wine”) once reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: O-M(NIV)ORES.

  1. After November, ski with Boris potentially here? (11)

Answer: NOVOSIBIRSK, the most populous city in Siberia it says here. No, me neither. Solution is NOV (short for “November”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “potentially”) of SKI and BORIS. Wordplay was reasonably obvious but here’s a pro tip, setters: clueing up general knowledge bullshit solutions like this using anagrams is about as much use to solvers as tits on a fish. It doesn’t matter how many letters you fill in, unless you know the solution outright you’re pretty much screwed. So where’s the fun in that? “Oh look, turns out the solution was something I’m neither going to remember nor give a shit about in future. Yay?” Ugh. Back to setter school with you. Needless to say this was solved by sticking “city novo” into Google and seeing what was suggested. Not worthy of my time any other way.

(Also, what’s with setters’ current penchant for all things Russia? I don’t want to get all Senator McCarthy on their asses but, sheesh, rein it in, ya goddam pinkos.)

(To be fair, the same could be said for the number of Americanisms that have crept into recent Jumbos. [Says something-something-failed-western-democracies-yada-yada-don’t-mention-the-war-blah-blah in Russian to help even things up.])

  1. New mate and sleeping partner, having united, draw these up? (10,10)

Answer: PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS (i.e. “draw these up” in context of the clue, which leans into marriage and such). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of MATE and SLEEPING PARTNER all wrapped around or “having” U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”). After ripping into the setter just then, it’s only right that I should highlight a genuinely well-worked clue. Probably the best of the puzzle.

  1. Legally going topless a lot (7)

Answer: AWFULLY (i.e. “a lot”). Solution is LAWFULLY (i.e. “legally”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “going topless”).

  1. Cut African flower up on Greek character’s Italian food (7)

Answer: GNOCCHI (i.e. “Italian food”). Solution is CONGO (i.e. “African flower”, i.e. the river Congo, as in how a river flows) with its last letter removed (indicated by “cut”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue). This is then followed by CHI (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet), like so: GNOC-CHI.

  1. American wears this nearly new kit specially in church (7)

Answer: NECKTIE (i.e. “American wears this”). Solution is NE (i.e. “nearly new”, i.e. “new” with its last letter removed) followed by an anagram (indicated by “specially”) of KIT once placed “in” CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: NE-C(KTI)E.

  1. Gag miserable type abandoning wife (5)

Answer: RETCH (i.e. to “gag”). Solution is WRETCH (i.e. “miserable type”) with the W removed (indicated by “abandoning wife” – W being a recognised abbreviation of “wife”).

  1. Oriental festival at end of autumn (7)

Answer: EASTERN (i.e. “oriental”). Solution is EASTER (i.e. “festival”) followed by N (i.e. “end [letter] of autumn”).

  1. Old key put on a pedestal (5)

Answer: EXALT (i.e. “put on a pedestal”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old” or former) followed by ALT (a “key” on a keyboard).

  1. Related measure about to split Anglicans (7)

Answer: COGNATE (i.e. “related”). Solution is TANGO (i.e. “measure”, both slow dances apparently. Another new one on me re: “measure”, but fair do) reversed (indicated by “about”) and placed in or “splitting” CE (i.e. “Anglicans”, our Church of England lot again), like so: C(OGNAT)E.

  1. Sign at the start (7)

Answer: INITIAL. Solution satisfies to “sign” and “at the start”.

  1. Wary maiden in big top show reportedly kissed (11)

Answer: CIRCUMSPECT (i.e. “wary”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of a “maiden” over used in cricket) placed “in” CIRCUS (i.e. “big top show”) and followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of PECKED (i.e. “kissed”), like so: CIRCU(M)S-PECT.

  1. Hefty boxer, and why he gave it up (11)

Answer: HEAVYWEIGHT. A triple-header, perhaps, in that the solution satisfies “hefty”, “boxer” (and both together, obvs) and, playfully, an anagram (indicated by “up”) of WHY HE GAVE IT.

  1. Old poet loses right before local amateur cop (9)

Answer: VIGILANTE (i.e. “local amateur cop”). Solution is VIRGIL (i.e. “old poet”) with the R removed (indicated by “loses right” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and the remainder followed by ANTE (a prefix denoting “before”), like so: VIGIL-ANTE.

  1. Encouraged study involving ship on river (9)

Answer: REASSURED (i.e. “encouraged”). Solution is READ (i.e. “study”) wrapped around or “involving” SS (i.e. “ship”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “steamship”) and URE (i.e. a “river”), like so: REA(SS-URE)D.

  1. Mine host’s cool northern ring (9)

Answer: INNKEEPER (i.e. “mine host”, a reference to landlords often said in humour). Solution is IN (i.e. “cool”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”) and KEEPER (i.e. a guard “ring” used to keep another from slipping off – another new one for me. Seems the setter was hellbent on going deep into the dictionary definitions this week, which, despite my earlier grumblings, is fine by me).

  1. Standing up, rave about a politician (7)

Answer: RAMPANT (i.e. rearing or “standing up”. Could also be a heraldry thing meaning much the same thing because, you know, it’s The Times…). Solution is RANT (i.e. “rave”) wrapped “about” A and MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament), like so: R(A-MP)ANT.

  1. Composer drinks vodka primarily with last of white port (2,5)

Answer: LE HAVRE (i.e. French “port”). Solution is Franz LEHAR (i.e. “composer” – we saw him a few weeks ago in another Jumbo) wrapped around or “drinking” V (i.e. “vodka primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “vodka”) and followed by E (i.e. “last [letter] of white”), like so: LEHA(V)R-E. Hmm. Let me see. A clue that starts with “composer” and finishes with “port”. Regular readers won’t be surprised at how quickly I reached for my Bradford’s here; perhaps almost as quickly as the setter had reached for their GridFill 4000™. Hardly any thought ever gets applied to made-to-fit rubbish like this so why waste your time? Be a big cheating bastard like me and get on with your weekend.

(I realise the irony of saying this on a page that has all the answers on it, but you get the idea.)

  1. Flourish what supporter eats? (7)

Answer: FANFARE (i.e. a “flourish”). When written as FAN FARE the solution also playfully satisfies “what supporter eats”.

  1. Daughter leaves knotty loop in rope (5)

Answer: NOOSE (i.e. “loop in rope”). Solution is NODOSE (i.e. “knotty”) with the D removed (indicated by “daughter leaves” – D being a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”).

  1. Stick around with Heather (5)

Answer: CLING (i.e. to “stick”). Solution is C (i.e. “around”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by LING (i.e. “heather” – ignore the misleading capitalisation).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1566

A relatively straightforward one this week. I don’t mind that! You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has you all hot and bothered then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. Till next time, stay cool out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Composer in European city missing northern Australia (7)

Answer: Hector BERLIOZ (i.e. “composer”). Solution is BERLIN (i.e. “European city”) with the N removed (indicated by “missing northern” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “northern”) and the remainder followed by OZ (i.e. slang for “Australia”), like so: BERLI-OZ. Ethan Coen’s Hector Berlioz: Private Investigator is a highlight of his short story collection, Garden of Eden. There a number of funny scenes where people keep mangling Berlioz’s surname. Worth a read if you can find a copy.

  1. Coach gutted to stop swimming lesson in lake (4,4)

Answer: LOCH NESS (i.e. “lake”). Solution is CH (i.e. “coach gutted”, i.e. the word “coach” with all its middle letters removed) placed in or “stopping” an anagram (indicated by “swimming”) of LESSON, like so: LO(CH)NESS.

  1. Old singles also lacking energy (1-5)

Answer: B-SIDES (i.e. “old singles” – ask your grandparents, kids). Solution is BESIDES (i.e. “also”) with the first E removed (indicated by “lacking energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”).

  1. Leader converting criminal to show great affection (6,6,4)

Answer: TENDER LOVING CARE (i.e. “great affection”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “criminal”) of LEADER CONVERTING.

  1. Sodium to handle a sickness (6)

Answer: NAUSEA (i.e. “sickness”). Solution is NA (chemical symbol of “sodium”) followed by USE (i.e. “handle”) and A.

  1. Say Arab has a personality disorder (8)

Answer: EGOMANIA (i.e. “personality disorder”). Solution is EG (i.e. “say”, i.e. for example, after the Latin exempli gratia) followed by OMANI (i.e. an “Arab”) and A.

  1. Spies with initially obtuse greeting (4)

Answer: CIAO (i.e. “greeting” used on meeting or parting). Solution is CIA (i.e. “spies”, specifically the Central Intelligence Agency) followed by O (i.e. “initially obtuse”, i.e. the first letter of “obtuse”). Nicely worked.

  1. Note above plate – fish caught by eccentric character (5,4)

Answer: PLACE CARD (i.e. “note above plate” on a dinner table). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “caught”) of PLAICE (i.e. “fish”) followed by CARD (i.e. “eccentric character”).

  1. Toothless Prime Minister introducing art gallery (8)

Answer: EDENTATE (i.e. “toothless”). Solution is Anthony EDEN (i.e. 1950s “Prime Minister”) followed by TATE (i.e. an “art gallery”).

  1. Campus race I organised – it’s a famous competition (8,3)

Answer: AMERICA’S CUP (i.e. “a famous competition” in sailing). “Organised” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CAMPUS RACE I.

  1. Road feature’s traffic jam initially something very smooth (1-8)

Answer: T-JUNCTION (i.e. “road feature”). Solution is T and J (i.e. “traffic jam initially”, i.e. the first and last letters of “traffic” and “jam”) followed by UNCTION (i.e. ointment or “something very smooth”).

  1. Limit on filling beer for tax evader once (2,6)

Answer: AL CAPONE (i.e. “tax evader once”). Solution is CAP (i.e. “limit”) and ON placed in or “filling” ALE (i.e. “beer”), like so: AL(CAP-ON)E.

  1. Uninteresting place to live (4)

Answer: FLAT. Solution satisfies “uninteresting” and “place to live”.

  1. Where to store documents from a long investigation involving Tibet’s banks (7,4)

Answer: ATTACHÉ CASE (i.e. “where to store documents”). Solution is A, ACHE (i.e. to “long” for someone) and CASE (i.e. an “investigation”) all wrapped around or “involving” TT (i.e. “Tibet’s banks”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Tibet”), like so: A-(TT)-ACHE-CASE.

  1. State of solider – hand injured (5,6)

Answer: RHODE ISLAND (i.e. US “state”). “Injured” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOLDIER HAND.

  1. One on leave breaks extremely useful item in the tropics (8,3)

Answer: MOSQUITO NET (i.e. “useful item in the tropics”). Solution is ONE placed “on” or after QUIT (i.e. to “leave”) and both then placed in or “breaking” MOST (i.e. “extremely”), like so: MOS(QUIT-ONE)T.

  1. Perfect hosts make liquor (5,6)

Answer: PEACH BRANDY (i.e. “liquor”). Solution is PEACHY (i.e. “perfect”) wrapped around or “hosting” BRAND (i.e. “make”), like so: PEACH(BRAND)Y. Very neat.

  1. Invader loses article – that’s standard (4)

Answer: NORM (i.e. “standard”). Solution is NORMAN (i.e. “invader” of the 10-11th century) with the AN removed (indicated by “loses article”, an article being a word like a, an or the).

  1. Plot with cold fish goes bad in retrospect (5,3)

Answer: STORY ARC (i.e. “plot”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps), RAY (i.e. “fish”) and ROTS (i.e. “goes bad”) all reversed (indicated by “in retrospect”), like so: STOR-YAR-C.

  1. Do signals, somehow producing a series of notes, played rapidly (9)

Answer: GLISSANDO (i.e. “a series of notes, played rapidly” across a keyboard or stringed instrument). “Somehow” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DO SIGNALS.

  1. Jailbird struggles to accept time limits (11)

Answer: CONSTRAINTS (i.e. “limits”). Solution is CON (i.e. “jailbird”, both slang words for prisoners) followed by STRAINS (i.e. “struggles”) once wrapped around or “accepting” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: CON-STRAIN(T)S.

  1. Regret backing competition that includes a German, say (8)

Answer: EUROPEAN (i.e. “a German, say” – other flavours of Europeans are available). Solution is RUE (i.e. “regret”) reversed (indicated by “backing”) and followed by OPEN (i.e. sporting “competition”) once wrapped around or “including” A, like so: EUR-OPE(A)N.

  1. Concerning smell made by trimming elderly plant (9)

Answer: OLFACTORY (i.e. “concerning smell”). Solution is OLD (i.e. “elderly”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “trimming”) and the remainder followed by FACTORY (i.e. industrial “plant”), like so: OL-FACTORY.

  1. Starter taken off mat that’s greasy (4)

Answer: OILY (i.e. “greasy”). Solution is DOILY (i.e. “mat”) with the first letter or “starter taken off”.

  1. A bit of restraint on a test, say, with a singsong? (8)

Answer: INTONATE (i.e. to “singsong” – over to Chambers: “to chant, read or utter in musical tones, singsong or monotone”). “A bit of” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: RESTRA(INT ON A TE)ST. Took a white to spot.

  1. Old writer extremely lazy in public (6)

Answer: OPENLY (i.e. “in public”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by PEN (i.e. “writer”) and LY (i.e. “extremely lazy”, i.e. the first and last letters of “lazy”).

  1. Post-match meal? (7,9)

Answer: WEDDING BREAKFAST (i.e. a “meal”). Clue plays on WEDDINGS often being referred to as “matches” in cryptic clues; the solution being “a meal served after a wedding” (Chambers). You get the idea.

  1. A referee turns around holding party hat (6)

Answer: FEDORA (i.e. “hat”). Solution is A and REF (short for “referee”) all reversed (indicated by “turns around”) and placed around or “holding” DO (i.e. “party”), like so: FE(DO)R-A.

  1. Cashmere blend? No idea! (6,2)

Answer: SEARCH ME (i.e. “no idea”). “Blend” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CASHMERE.

  1. Plant with a name featured in song (7)

Answer: DITTANY (i.e. “plant”). Solution is A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) both placed or “featured in” DITTY (i.e. “song”), like so: DITT(A-N)Y. One nailed from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

Down clues

  1. Beat up the middleman? (6)

Answer: BATTER. Solution satisfies “beat up” and, playfully, “the middleman”, a reference to cricket and how the wicket upon which they bat is situated in the middle of the field.

  1. Chance to have managed government department being set up (6)

Answer: RANDOM (i.e. “chance”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “to have managed”) followed by MOD (i.e. “government department”, specifically the Ministry of Defence) once reversed (indicated by “being set up” – this being a down clue), like so: RAN-DOM.

  1. Animal I caught at both ends of a cold country (9)

Answer: ICELANDIC (i.e. “of a cold country”). Solution is ELAND (i.e. an “animal”) with I and C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) placed “at both ends”, like so: I-C-(ELAND)-I-C.

  1. Former African state captures one large creature for wealthy individual (11)

Answer: ZILLIONAIRE (i.e. “wealthy individual”). Solution is ZAIRE (i.e. “former African state”, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) wrapped around or “capturing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and LION (i.e. “creature”), like so: Z(I-L-LION)AIRE.

  1. Charge defensive structure, we gather (4)

Answer: LEVY (i.e. “charge”). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of LEVEE (i.e. “defensive structure”).

  1. In a legal position inside the box, being attentive (11)

Answer: CONSIDERATE (i.e. “attentive”). Solution is ONSIDE (i.e. “in a legal position” on a sports field) placed “inside” CRATE (i.e. “box”), like so: C(ONSIDE)RATE.

  1. Canoodle endlessly with one wooing a sorcerer (11)

Answer: NECROMANCER (i.e. “sorcerer”). Solution is NECK (i.e. to “canoodle”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by ROMANCER (i.e. “one wooing”), like so: NEC-ROMANCER.

  1. Refuse place in cheap spa rebuilt around river (9)

Answer: SCRAPHEAP (i.e. “refuse place”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “rebuilt”) of CHEAP SPA wrapped “around” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: SC(R)APHEAP.

  1. Key place for astronauts to hydrate? (5,3)

Answer: SPACE BAR. Solution satisfies “key” and, playfully, “place for astronauts to hydrate”. I’ll admit this did raise a chuckle when I twigged it.

  1. Dean centralising revolutionary method of education (8,8)

Answer: DISTANCE LEARNING (i.e. “method of education”, e.g. the Open University). “Revolutionary” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DEAN CENTRALISING.

  1. Fail to meet comedian (5,2)

Answer: STAND UP (i.e. “fail to meet”). When hyphenated, the solution also satisfies “comedian”.

  1. Money boxes at centre of big game (8)

Answer: PATIENCE (i.e. card “game”). Solution is PENCE (i.e. “money”) wrapped around or “boxing” AT and I (i.e. “centre of big”, i.e. the middle letter of “big”), like so: P(AT-I)ENCE.

  1. Keep primary vehicle with no resistance (8)

Answer: MAINTAIN (i.e. “keep”). Solution is MAIN (i.e. “primary”) followed by TRAIN (i.e. “vehicle”) once the R has been removed (indicated by “with no resistance” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “resistance”), like so: MAIN-TAIN.

  1. Weak argument for demolishing a scarecrow? (5,3)

Answer: STRAW MAN. Solution satisfies “weak argument for demolishing” – Chambers offers: “a sham opponent or argument set up for the sake of disputation” – and “scarecrow”.

  1. Singer’s town on TV in need of a clean? (5,11)

Answer: DUSTY SPRINGFIELD (i.e. “singer”). Clue plays on SPRINGFIELD being the setting of The Simpsons (i.e. “town on TV”) and DUSTY being “in need of a clean”.

  1. Fashionable sort of women’s garment – golly! (5,3)

Answer: TEDDY BOY (i.e. “fashionable sort”). Solution is TEDDY (i.e. “women’s garment”) followed by BOY (i.e. “golly”, both exclamations).

  1. Leader upset religious fellow briefly (4)

Answer: TSAR (i.e. “leader”). Solution is RASTA (i.e. “religious fellow”, short for Rastafarian) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue).

  1. Sports team’s driver, perhaps (4)

Answer: CLUB. Solution satisfies “sports team” and “driver, perhaps” – other species of golf club are available.

  1. Park attendant with cry of annoyance outside glass house (8)

Answer: ORANGERY (i.e. “glass house”). Solution is RANGER (i.e. “park attendant”) placed in or having “outside” OY! (i.e. “cry of annoyance”), like so: O(RANGER)Y.

  1. Dog, say, to depart – barking (8)

Answer: TETRAPOD (i.e. “dog, say” – other four-legged creatures are available). “Barking” indicates anagram, as in being mad. Solution is an anagram of TO DEPART.

  1. Partner nods when moving communication device (11)

Answer: TRANSPONDER (i.e. “communication device”). “When moving” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PARTNER NODS.

  1. Pre-prepared meal was bland according to Spooner (6,5)

Answer: PACKED LUNCH (i.e. “pre-prepared meal”). Solution is a “Spoonerism” of LACKED PUNCH (i.e. “was bland”).

  1. Track feature of hindbrain that’s active with physical education (7,4)

Answer: HAIRPIN BEND (i.e. “track feature”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “that’s active”) of HINDBRAIN and PE (a recognised abbreviation of “physical education”).

  1. Watery drink picked up in Thames-side location (9)

Answer: RUNNYMEDE (i.e. “Thames-side location”). Solution is RUNNY (i.e. “watery”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of MEAD (i.e. “drink”), like so: RUNNY-MEDE.

  1. Where bulb may go, covering part of corn plant (3,6)

Answer: SEA ROCKET (i.e. “plant”). Solution is SOCKET (i.e. “where bulb may go”) wrapped around or “covering” EAR (i.e. “part of corn”), like so: S(EAR)OCKET. Another solved from the wordplay alone.

  1. Fussy sort of governess, ultimately with heart to accept learner (8)

Answer: STICKLER (i.e. “fussy sort”). Solution is S (i.e. “governess, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “governess”) followed by TICKER (slang for one’s “heart”) once wrapped around or “accepting” L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner” used on L-plates), like so: S-TICK(L)ER.

  1. Captain leaving for culinary competition (4-3)

Answer: COOK-OFF (i.e. “culinary competition”). Solution is “Captain” James COOK followed by OFF (i.e. “leaving”).

  1. Father to cough up a fruit (6)

Answer: PAPAYA (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is PA (i.e. “father”) followed by PAY (i.e. “to cough up”) and A.

  1. Guard posted on railway (6)

Answer: SENTRY (i.e. “guard”). Solution is SENT (i.e. “guard”) followed by RY (a recognised abbreviation of “railway”).

  1. Oscar regularly broke instrument (4)

Answer: OBOE (i.e. musical “instrument”). Solution is O (“Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by BOE (i.e. “regularly broke”, i.e. every other letter of BROKE).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1565

A patchy one this week. For the most part it was relatively straightforward but there were a few tiresome made-to-fit solutions that stuck out like a sore thumb. At least some of them were deducible through the wordplay.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has pinched all your factor 50 for the heatwave ahead then you might find some solace in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay cool out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Opposed to horned creature endlessly puncturing strange plant (11)

Answer: ANTIRRHINUM (i.e. “plant”, or snapdragons more commonly). Solution is ANTI (i.e. “opposed to”) followed by RHINO (i.e. “horned creature”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder placed in or “puncturing” RUM (i.e. “strange”), like so: ANTI-R(RHIN)UM. One nailed from the wordplay and a shufti in Chambers to confirm.

  1. Wave, seeing vagrant scavenging at shore (11)

Answer: BEACHCOMBER (i.e. “wave”). Solution is COMBER (i.e. “vagrant scavenging”) placed after or “at” BEACH (i.e. “shore”), like so: BEACH-COMBER.

  1. Barracks old archbishop keeping male African snake (9)

Answer: BOOMSLANG (i.e. “snake”). Solution is BOOS (i.e. “barracks”) and William Cosmo Gordon LANG (i.e. “old archbishop” of York and Canterbury who died in 1945. Me neither, but I think we’ve seen him before in these Jumbos) wrapped around or “keeping” M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”), like so: BOO(M)S-LANG. We had this solution a few months ago but I was still straight to Bradford’s the moment I saw “snake”. Life’s too short, especially in a corner littered with made-to-fit stuff.

  1. Bowler from small area in Greater London (7)

Answer: SPINNER (i.e. “bowler”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by PINNER (i.e. “area in Greater London”).

  1. Name American or European river (5)

Answer: TAGUS (i.e. “European river”, apparently the longest in the Iberian Peninsula. Bully for it). Solution is TAG (i.e. “name”) followed by US (i.e. “American”). Again, straight to Bradford’s the moment I saw “river”. Regular visitors to these pages will know I have little patience for general knowledge solutions, especially those solely there to fill an awkward space.

  1. Cunning creature with tail following bovine animal (3,3)

Answer: DOG FOX (i.e. “cunning creature”, basically a male fox). Solution is DOG (i.e. to “tail” someone) followed by F (a recognised abbreviation of “following”) and OX (i.e. “bovine animal”).

  1. Seagoing soldier digesting advertisement for pickle (8)

Answer: MARINADE (i.e. to”pickle”). Solution is MARINE (i.e. “seagoing soldier”) wrapped around or “digesting” AD (short for “advertisement”), like so: MARIN(AD)E.

  1. Revolting contestants in the defender’s area? (7)

Answer: UPFIELD (i.e. “defender’s area” of a playing field, assuming you are at the striker’s end). Solution is UP (i.e. uprising or “revolting”) followed by FIELD (i.e. “contestants”).

  1. As a tied-up animal may be – desperate! (2,3,3,2,4,6)

Answer: AT THE END OF ONE’S TETHER. Solution satisfies “as a tied-up animal may be” and “desperate”.

  1. Novel demand brought back varnish (7)

Answer: SHELLAC (i.e. a kind of spirit “varnish”). Solution is SHE (i.e. “novel” by H Rider Haggard) followed by CALL (i.e. “demand”) once reversed (indicated by “brought back”), like so: SHE-LLAC. One nailed from the wordplay once I’d had enough letters.

  1. Police department member’s requirement for sailing boat (7)

Answer: YARDARM (i.e. “requirement for sailing boat”). Solution is Scotland YARD (i.e. “police department”) followed by ARM (i.e. limb or “member”).

  1. Cloudlike patches, a blue blurring in north-east (7)

Answer: NEBULAE (i.e. “cloudlike patches”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “blurring”) of A BLUE placed “in” NE (a recognised abbreviation of “north-east”), like so: N(EBULA)E.

  1. Part of church hall ultimately abandoned by mistake (4)

Answer: LAPSE (i.e. “part of church”). Solution is LAPSE (i.e. “mistake”) with the L removed (indicated by “hall ultimately abandoned”, i.e. removing the last letter of “hall”).

  1. Window a knight used in hasty departure (8)

Answer: FANLIGHT (i.e. “window”). Solution is A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess) both placed “in” FLIGHT (i.e. “hasty departure”), like so: F(A-N)LIGHT.

  1. Snack prepared by poor actor reflecting about food (9)

Answer: HAMBURGER (i.e. “snack”). Solution is HAM (i.e. “poor actor”) followed by RE (i.e. “about”) and GRUB (i.e. “food”) once these latter two have been reversed (indicated by “reflecting”), like so: HAM-(BURG-ER).

  1. Insectivorous bird fed by female employee at Tower (9)

Answer: BEEFEATER (i.e. “employee at Tower” of London). Solution is BEE-EATER (i.e. “insectivorous bird”) wrapped around or “fed by” F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”), like so: BEE-(F)-EATER.

  1. On which some may receive extended greeting (4,4)

Answer: LONG WAVE (i.e. “on which some may receive” a radio signal). Solution is LONG (i.e. “extended”) followed by WAVE (i.e. “greeting”).

  1. Runner, possibly taking drug in bar (4)

Answer: BEAN (i.e. “runner, possibly” – other beans are available). Solution is E (i.e. “drug”, specifically a slang name for ecstasy) placed “in” BAN (i.e. to “bar”), like so: B(E)AN.

  1. One who delivers part of Shakespeare’s cue regularly (7)

Answer: RESCUER (i.e. “one who delivers”). “Part of” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: SHAKESPEA(RE’S CUE R)EGULARLY.

  1. Subordinate on board carrying guerrilla leader’s bladed weapon (7)

Answer: MACHETE (i.e. “bladed weapon”). Solution is MATE (i.e. “subordinate on board” a ship) wrapped around or “carrying” CHE Guevara (i.e. “guerrilla leader”), like so: MA(CHE)TE.

  1. Behaving rowdily from Brazilian port to America (7)

Answer: RIOTOUS (i.e. “behaving rowdily”). Solution is RIO (i.e. “Brazilian port”, Rio De Janeiro) followed by TO and US (i.e. “America”).

  1. Present for daughter with type of porcelain in old county (8,3,9)

Answer: HEREFORD AND WORCESTER (i.e. “old county” that was abolished in 1998). Solution is HERE (i.e. “present”) followed by FOR, then D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”), then AND (i.e. “with”) and WORCESTER (i.e. a variety of “porcelain”).

  1. Old vehicle a posh actor recollected (7)

Answer: AUTOCAR (i.e. “old vehicle”). Solution is A followed by U (i.e. “posh”, basically a shortened form of the upper class you pretty much only see in cryptic crosswords) and an anagram (indicated by “recollected”) of ACTOR, like so: A-U-TOCAR.

  1. Almost broke, with expensive-sounding material for jacket (8)

Answer: DEERSKIN (i.e. “material for jacket”). Solution is SKINT (i.e. “broke”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder placed after or “with” a homophone (indicated by “sounding”) of DEAR (i.e. “expensive”), like so: DEER-SKIN.

  1. Part of message is too discriminatory (6)

Answer: AGEIST (i.e. “discriminatory”). “Part of” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: MESS(AGE IS T)OO.

  1. Birthmarks no Scottish woman displays? (5)

Answer: NAEVI (i.e. “birthmarks”). Solution is NAE (i.e. “no Scottish”, i.e. the Scots form of “no”) followed by VI (i.e. “woman’s” name). Another made-to-fit solution, but I did at least remember this from a previous Jumbo.

  1. Repulsive old man originally involved in racket (7)

Answer: NOISOME (i.e. “repulsive”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and M (i.e. “man originally”, i.e. the first letter of “man”) both placed or “involved in” NOISE (i.e. “racket”), like so: NOIS(O-M)E.

  1. Recent film having impact in horse racing centre (9)

Answer: NEWMARKET (i.e. “horse racing centre”). Solution is NEW (i.e. “recent”) and ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra-Terrestrial) all wrapped around or “having” MARK (i.e. “impact”), like so: NEW-(MARK)-ET.

  1. Clarify view on protest Society dropped (11)

Answer: DISENTANGLE (i.e. “clarify”). Solution is ANGLE (i.e. “view”) placed “on” or after DISSENT (i.e. “protest”) once an S has been removed (indicated by “Society dropped” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “Society”), like so: DISENT-ANGLE.

  1. Worn-out woman pelted with stones (11)

Answer: DILAPIDATED (i.e. “worn-out”). Solution is DI (another “woman’s” name) followed by LAPIDATED (an archaic word literally meaning “pelted with stones”).

Down clues

  1. Morning song a university graduate finally composed here (6)

Answer: AUBADE (i.e. “morning song” – over to Chambers: “a musical announcement of dawn”). Solution is A followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”), then BA (i.e. “graduate”, specifically a Bachelor of Arts), then D and E (i.e. “finally composed here”, i.e. the last letters of “composed” and “here”). Another made-to-fit solution; one nailed pretty much through the wordplay and a look for any words beginning with AUBA.

  1. Lack of consideration, albeit not so new in Miss Durbyfield (15)

Answer: THOUGHTLESSNESS (i.e. “lack of consideration”). Solution is THOUGH (i.e. “albeit”) followed by LESS (i.e. “not so”) and N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) once these have been placed “in” TESS (i.e. “Miss Durbyfield” – eponymous heroine of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, though almost every resource suggests the surname ought to have been Durbeyfield), like so: THOUGH-T(LESS-N)ESS.

  1. Second old man involved in subterfuge, a country lover (10)

Answer: RUSSOPHILE (i.e. “a country lover”, specifically of Russia). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”), O (ditto “old”) and PHIL (a “man’s” name this time) all placed “in” RUSE (i.e. “subterfuge”), like so: RUS(S-O-PHIL)E.

  1. Sea mist enveloping drivers in sixty minutes (4)

Answer: HAAR (i.e. “sea mist”). Solution is AA (i.e. “drivers”, specifically the Automobile Association) “enveloped…in” HR (i.e. “sixty minutes”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “hour”), like so: H(AA)R.

  1. Parsimonious lady finally donating ring, surprisingly (9)

Answer: NIGGARDLY (i.e. “parsimonious”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “surprisingly”) of LADY, G (i.e. “finally donating”, i.e. the last letter of “donating”) and RING.

  1. Old woman with arthritic dog? (7)

Answer: MASTIFF (i.e. “dog”). Solution is MA (i.e. “old woman”, both referencing one’s mother) followed by STIFF (i.e. “arthritic”).

  1. Female warrior’s supporter touring Italy with 8, briefly (9)

Answer: BRITANNIA (i.e. “female warrior”). Solution is BRA (i.e. “supporter”) wrapped around or “touring” IT (country abbreviation of “Italy”) and ANNIE (i.e. “8” down, its solution below) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: BR(IT-ANNI)A.

  1. Musical girl’s note upholding article on Northern Ireland (5)

Answer: ANNIE (i.e. “musical girl”, central character of the hit Broadway production of the same name). Solution is E (a musical “note”) placed after or “upholding” – this being a down clue – AN (i.e. “article”, basically a word like a, an or the) and NI (abbreviation of “Northern Ireland”), like so: (AN-NI)-E.

  1. Daunting clue he ran off (9)

Answer: HERCULEAN (i.e. “daunting”). “Off” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CLUE HE RAN.

  1. Misguided fool initially using the tube, unexpectedly (3,2,3,4)

Answer: OUT OF THE BLUE (i.e. “unexpectedly”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “misguided”) of FOOL, U (i.e. “initially using”, i.e. the first letter of “using”) and THE TUBE.

  1. Listening device primarily encountered in pub, a cause of horror (7)

Answer: BUGBEAR (i.e. “a cause of horror”, not just annoyance). Solution is BUG (i.e. “listening device”) followed by E (i.e. “primarily encountered”, i.e. the first letter of “encountered”) once placed “in” BAR (i.e. “pub”), like so: BUG-B(E)AR.

  1. Lie on left or right, perhaps (6)

Answer: RESIDE (i.e. “lie”). Solution is RE (i.e. “on” or regarding – think email replies) followed by SIDE (i.e. “left or right, perhaps”).

  1. Inclination to compose music for psalm (8)

Answer: PENCHANT (i.e. “inclination”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “to compose music”) followed by CHANT (i.e. “psalm”).

  1. Farm animal guarding new home, one way or another (7)

Answer: SOMEHOW (i.e. “one way or another”). Solution is SOW (i.e. “farm animal”, specifically a female pig) wrapped around or “guarding” an anagram (indicated by “new”) of HOME, like so: S(OMEH)OW.

  1. Position of speculator in General Staff (8)

Answer: BEARINGS (i.e. “position”). Solution is BEAR (i.e. financial market “speculator”) followed by IN, then GS (a recognised abbreviation of “General Staff”).

  1. Set up dull method of paying for sheath (8)

Answer: SCABBARD (i.e. “sheath”). Solution is DRAB (i.e. “dull”) and BACS (i.e. “method of paying”, short for Bankers Automated Clearing Service) all reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: SCAB-BARD.

  1. Gear used by the Spanish star (5)

Answer: RIGEL (i.e. a “star”). Solution is RIG (i.e. “gear”) followed by EL (i.e. “the Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”).

  1. Initially limited by weakness, it’s a way to get out (3,6,6)

Answer: LEG BEFORE WICKET (i.e. “it’s a way to get out” in cricket). Clue plays on how the solution’s abbreviation, LBW, is also “initially limited by weakness”, i.e. the first letters of “limited”, “by” and “weakness”.

  1. Former metalworker’s goodness inspiring old poem (7)

Answer: LORIMER (i.e. “former metalworker”, specifically a maker of the metal parts of a horse’s harness). Solution is LOR (i.e. “goodness”, both exclamations, the former a contraction of “lord”) wrapped around or “inspiring” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and RIME (i.e. “poem”, after the French for rhyme), like so: L(O-RIME)R.

  1. Nerve-racking future, for example (5)

Answer: TENSE. Solution satisfies “nerve-racking” and “future, for example” – other grammatical tenses are available.

  1. Chap outside to declare an individualist (8)

Answer: MAVERICK (i.e. “an individualist”). Solution is MICK (i.e. a “chap’s” name) wrapped “outside” of AVER (i.e. “to declare”), like so: M(AVER)ICK.

  1. Rebirth of Republican building almost certain to be included (12)

Answer: RESURRECTION (i.e. “rebirth”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) followed by ERECTION (i.e. “building” – quiet at the back, please) once wrapped around or “including” SURE (i.e. “certain”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”), like so: R-E(SUR)RECTION.

  1. Act as drug obstructors primarily at sea? This force would (10)

Answer: COASTGUARD (i.e. “force” found “at sea”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “at sea”) of ACT AS DRUG and O (i.e. “obstructors primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “obstructors”). Clue riffs on the part the coastguard used to play in combatting smuggling, though nowadays they are more of a rescue service.

  1. Judge takes a long time securing aim in polls (9)

Answer: REFERENDA (i.e. “polls”). Solution is REF (i.e. “judge”, short for referee) followed by ERA (i.e. “a long time”) once wrapped around or “securing” END (i.e. “aim”), like so: REF-ER(END)A.

  1. Guard in Rome that protects a South American dictator (9)

Answer: CHAPERONE (i.e. “guard”). Solution is CHE (i.e. “in Rome that”, i.e. the Italian for “that” – not exactly common knowledge, I’d argue) once wrapped around or “protecting” A and Juan PERÓN (i.e. “South American dictator”), like so: CH(A-PERÓN)E.

  1. Moving topic for debate in eastern Alabama (9)

Answer: EMOTIONAL (i.e. “moving”). Solution is MOTION (i.e. “topic for debate”) placed “in” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) and AL (US state abbreviation of “Alabama”), like so: E-(MOTION)-AL.

  1. Loathes son crossing lake without headgear (7)

Answer: HATLESS (i.e. “without headgear”). Solution is HATES (i.e. “loathes”) and S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) all wrapped around or “crossing” L (ditto “lake”), like so: HAT(L)ES-S.

  1. Some police officers are inclined to expand (7)

Answer: DISTEND (i.e. “to expand”). Solution is DIS (i.e. “some police officers”, specifically Detective Inspectors) followed by TEND (i.e. “are inclined to”).

  1. Frenzied woman crazy about another (6)

Answer: MAENAD (i.e. “frenzied woman”, a female follower of Bacchus). Solution is MAD (i.e. “crazy”) wrapped “about” ENA (i.e. “another” woman, presumably. More names), like so: MA(ENA)D. One nailed from memory, helped by Elizabeth Hand’s short story The Bacchae. Well worth a read.

  1. Duke supported body politic, it’s said (6)

Answer: STATED (i.e. “said”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) placed after or “supporting” – this being a down clue – STATE (i.e. the “body politic”), like so: STATE-D.

  1. Longing to be staining fabric, do we hear? (5)

Answer: DYING (i.e. “longing”). “Do we hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of DYEING (i.e. “staining fabric”).

  1. Exchange prisoners going north (4)

Answer: SWOP (i.e. “exchange”, a variant spelling of SWAP). Solution is POWS (i.e. “prisoners”, specifically Prisoners Of War) reversed (indicated by “going north” – this being a down clue).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1564

Another medium strength puzzle, and another good ‘un for my money. I’m a sucker for a well-worked anagram and there were a few to savour here.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has returned from Glastonbury, having last week nicked your tickets to get there, and brought half of Glastonbury back with it then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once the dust settles. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Shot capturing old John looking white on top (10)

Answer: SNOWCAPPED (i.e. of mountains “looking white on top”). Solution is SNAPPED (i.e. “shot” or having taken a photograph) wrapped around or “capturing” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and WC (i.e. “john” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, this is US slang for a toilet or Water Closet), like so: SN(O-WC)APPED.

  1. Making awfully decent 500, cracking cricketer and I celebrate (12)

Answer: BOWDLERISING (i.e. “making awfully decent”, usually unnecessarily. Named after Dr Thomas Bowdler, who published a sanitised version of Shakespeare’s works in 1818. If someone published an anti-Bowdlerised version just keeping all the gory and unsavoury stuff and cutting out all the waffle then perhaps I’d be tempted pick up a copy). Solution is D (i.e. “[Roman numeral] 500”) placed in or “cracking” BOWLER (i.e. “cricketer”) and followed by I, then SING (i.e. “celebrate”), like so: BOW(D)LER-I-SING.

  1. What could season finally do, ass being sent westward (7)

Answer: OREGANO (i.e. “what could season”). Solution is O (i.e. “finally do”, i.e. the last letter of “do”) followed by ONAGER (i.e. “ass” – over to Chambers: “the wild ass of Central Asia”. I’m saying nothing…) once reversed (indicated by “being sent westward” – this being an across clue), like so: O-REGANO.

  1. Worst thing family of British statesmen said (3,4)

Answer: THE PITS (i.e. “worst thing”). “Said” indicates homophone. When expressed as THE PITTS the solution also satisfies “family of British statesmen”, referencing William Pitt the Elder and his son William Pitt the Younger.

  1. Attractive female’s left an impression (7)

Answer: ETCHING (i.e. “an impression”). Solution is FETCHING (i.e. “attractive”) with the F removed (indicated by “female’s left” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “female”).

  1. Donkey jacket of gentleman containing double zip (4)

Answer: GOON (i.e. “donkey”, both referencing a stupid person). Solution is GN (i.e. “jacket of gentleman”, i.e. the first and last letters of “gentleman”) wrapped around or “containing” OO (i.e. “double zip” – “zip” being US slang for zero), like so: G(OO)N.

  1. Inch between both sides in books (6)

Answer: LEDGER (i.e. “books”, financially speaking). Solution is EDGE (i.e. to move slowly or “inch”) placed “between” L and R (i.e. “both sides”, being recognised abbreviations of left and right respectively), like so: L-(EDGE)-R.

  1. Report of US capital’s rapid transport once (8)

Answer: CONCORDE (i.e. “rapid transport once”). “Report of” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CONCORD, the “US [state] capital” of New Hampshire.

  1. Pat, say, hastens shakily to a chemist with case of nightmarish nerves (11,2,3,7)

Answer: BUTTERFLIES IN THE STOMACH (i.e. “nerves”). Solution is BUTTER (i.e. “pat, say” being a small soft mass) followed by FLIES (i.e. “hastens”) and an anagram (indicated by “shakily”) of TO A CHEMIST and NH (i.e. “case of nightmarish”, i.e. the first and last letters of “nightmarish”), like so: BUTTER-FLIES-INTHESTOMACH. Nicely done.

  1. Mostly explosive area in island state (7)

Answer: GRENADA (i.e. “island state”). Solution is GRENADE (i.e. “explosive”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: GRENAD-A.

  1. See sheltering flower in wind (8)

Answer: EASTERLY (i.e. “wind”). Solution is ELY (i.e. “see”, specifically a diocese in the east of England popular with crossword setters) wrapped around or “sheltering” ASTER (i.e. “flower”), like so: E(ASTER)LY.

  1. Explicit communication about man of the church (6)

Answer: SEXTON (i.e. “man of the church”, who does a bit of bell ringing and a bit of gravedigging. Quite the gamut of skills there). Solution is SEXT (i.e. “explicit communication”, a conflation of “sex” and “text”. My dictionaries are all wearing beige slacks on this one, but newer editions may list it) followed by ON (i.e. regarding or “about”).

  1. Assembly place for one crossing Channel maybe surfing (10,4)

Answer: PRODUCTION LINE (i.e. “assembly place”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed between or “crossing” PRO (i.e. “for” or in favour of), DUCT (i.e. “channel” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and ONLINE (i.e. “maybe surfing” – other online activities are available), like so: PRO-DUCT-(I)-ONLINE.

  1. Where Americans shop, if not around island (8)

Answer: MALLORCA (i.e. “island”). Solution is MALL (i.e. “where Americans shop”) followed by OR (i.e. “if not”) and CA (i.e. “around”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”).

  1. Squad gathering soldiers for inconspicuous entry (4,4)

Answer: SIDE DOOR (i.e. “inconspicuous entry”). Solution is SIDE (i.e. “squad”) followed by DO (i.e. “gathering” or party) and OR (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army).

  1. Pass met with costlier blundering is something for the keeper? (10,4)

Answer: COLLECTOR’S ITEM (i.e. “something for the keeper”). Solution is COL (i.e. a mountain “pass” popular with setters) followed by an anagram (indicated by “blundering”) of MET and COSTLIER, like so: COL-LECTORSITEM. Another well-worked clue.

  1. Gifts suffice, wrapped by quartet each getting a hand (6)

Answer: ENDOWS (i.e. “gifts”, as a verb). Solution is DO (i.e. “suffice”) placed in or “wrapped by” ENWS (i.e. “quartet each getting a hand [of cards]” – this a reference to bridge, where players comprise the points of the compass, in this case East, North, West and South), like so: EN(DO)WS.

  1. Seedy food found in grape arbour? (5-3)

Answer: SPLIT-PEA (i.e. “seedy food” – peas are seeds, so…) The remainder of the clue plays on how PEA can be found SPLITTING the letters of GRA(PE A)RBOUR.

  1. Canaries and sick crow in hospital (7)

Answer: NORWICH (i.e. “Canaries”, the nickname of Norwich City Football Club). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sick”) of CROW IN and H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital” used on maps). (Waves hi from Norwich.)

  1. Game finished with odd word utterable in song (6,4,8,5)

Answer: BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER (i.e. “song” by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel). Solution is BRIDGE (i.e. card “game”) followed by OVER (i.e. “finished”) and an anagram (indicated by “odd”) of WORD UTTERABLE, like so: BRIDGE-OVER-TROUBLEDWATER.

  1. Organised a repeatedly decent, demure event (3,5)

Answer: TEA DANCE (i.e. “demure event”, also called the dansant, being formerly “a dance held in the summer or autumn from 4 to 7 p.m. in the English countryside”. That’s off of Wikipedia, by the way. My Chambers basically said “dansant, innit” and left it at that. My Oxford and even my Brewer’s drew a blank. Anyway, it all sounds a bit too Jane Austen for me. I’ll take the Dennis Wheatley version, thanks). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “organised”) of AA (i.e. “a repeatedly”) and DECENT.

  1. TV consumption cut by ambassador given steer (3,3)

Answer: THE BOX (i.e. “TV”). Solution is TB (i.e. “consumption”, short for tuberculosis) wrapped around or “cut by” HE (i.e. “ambassador”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of His Excellency uttered amid your bowing and scraping) and followed by OX (i.e. “steer” or cattle), like so: T(HE)B-OX.

  1. Audibly check piece of stone by the way (4)

Answer: KERB (i.e. “stone by the way” or at the roadside). “Audibly” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CURB (i.e. to limit or “check”).

  1. What makes unsightly emblem is hideous borders (7)

Answer: BLEMISH (i.e. “what makes unsightly”). “Borders” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: EM(BLEM IS H)IDEOUS. Nicely done.

  1. Hemlock periodically secretes a fizzy white fluid (7)

Answer: ELASTIC (i.e. flexible or “fluid”). Solution is ELC (i.e. “hemlock periodically”, i.e. every other letter of HEMLOCK) wrapped around or “secreting” ASTI (i.e. “a fizzy white” wine), like so: EL(ASTI)C.

  1. Specialist in furniture stores to disallow oriental art (7)

Answer: IKEBANA (i.e. “oriental art” – over to Chambers again: “the Japanese art of flower arranging”). Solution is IKEA (i.e. “specialist in furniture” – ker-ching, setter?) wrapped around or “storing” BAN (i.e. “to disallow”), like so: IKE(BAN)A. One nailed from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

  1. Strongly opposed to acting, as in plays (12)

Answer: ANTAGONISTIC (i.e. “strongly opposed”). “Plays” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TO ACTING AS IN.

  1. Deploy cast with Lear performed (4-6)

Answer: ROLE-PLAYED (i.e. “performed”). “Cast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DEPLOY and LEAR.

Down clues

  1. Scrounge black and silver traveller’s pouch (6,3)

Answer: SPONGE BAG (i.e. “traveller’s pouch”). Solution is SPONGE (i.e. “scrounge”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “black” used in chess) and AG (chemical symbol of “silver”).

  1. American novel about drug, favouring more alcohol (3,3,3,4)

Answer: ONE FOR THE ROAD (i.e. “more alcohol”). Solution is ON THE ROAD (i.e. “American novel” by Jack Kerouac) wrapped “about” E (i.e. “drug”, specifically a slang name for “ecstasy”) and FOR (i.e. “favouring”), like so: ON-(E-FOR)-THE-ROAD.

  1. Modelling material German artist picked up (4)

Answer: CLAY (i.e. “modelling material”). “Picked up” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of Paul KLEE (i.e. “German artist” – no, me neither).

  1. It must be less than one moral Republican in party (6,8)

Answer: PROPER FRACTION (i.e. “it must be less than one”). Solution is PROPER (i.e. “moral”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) once placed “in” FACTION (i.e. “party”), like so: PROPER-F(R)ACTION.

  1. Amphibian in web version of newspaper? (3)

Answer: EFT (i.e. an “amphibian”). When written as E-FT the solution playfully satisfies “web version of newspaper”, specifically the Financial Times. The prefix E- is often added to denote an electronic version of something.

  1. Late notice, perhaps, over quantity of information (4)

Answer: OBIT (i.e. “late notice, perhaps”, short for obituary). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket) followed by BIT (i.e. “quantity of information”, specifically a value of 0 or 1 used in computing).

  1. Record-keeper in nightspot with drug in abundance (10)

Answer: DISCOPHILE (i.e. “record-keeper”). Solution is DISCO (i.e. “nightspot”) followed by H (i.e. “drug”, specifically slang for “heroin”) once placed “in” PILE (i.e. “abundance”), like so: DISCO-P(H)ILE.

  1. Work out problem (8)

Answer: EXERCISE. Solution satisfies “work out” and “problem”, the latter perhaps referring to “(in chess) an arrangement of pieces in which the solver has to achieve a specific result” (Oxford).

  1. Elected officer’s clothing style ultimately immaterial (11)

Answer: INCORPOREAL (i.e. “immaterial”). Solution is IN (i.e. “elected”) followed by CORPORAL (i.e. “officer”) once wrapped around or “clothing” E (i.e. “style ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “style”), like so: IN-CORPOR(E)AL.

  1. One can mouth off about eastern nomad (9)

Answer: ITINERANT (i.e. “nomad”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by TIN (i.e. “can”) and RANT (i.e. “mouth off”) all wrapped “about” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), like so: I-TIN-(E)-RANT.

  1. Enthusiastic silence by front of auditorium (4)

Answer: GAGA (i.e. “enthusiastic”). Solution is GAG (i.e. “silence”) followed by A (i.e. “front [letter] of audience”).

  1. Complex crime on the rise to steal money (8)

Answer: NEUROSIS (i.e. “complex”). Solution is SIN (i.e. “crime”) reversed (indicated by “on the rise” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around or “stealing” EUROS (i.e. “money”), like so: N(EUROS)IS. Very nicely worked.

  1. Scotsman’s good editor raised game, one trained to lead (5,3)

Answer: GUIDE DOG (i.e. “one trained to lead”). Solution is GUID (i.e. “Scotsman’s good”, i.e. the Scots form of “good”) followed by ED (short for “editor”) and GO (i.e. an ancient “game”) once reversed (indicated by “raised” – again this being a down clue), like so: GUID-ED-OG.

  1. Shivering, Jude admits a very uncanny feeling (4,2)

Answer: DÉJÀ VU (i.e. “uncanny feeling”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “shuddering”) of JUDE wrapped around or “admitting” A and V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”), like so: DEJ(A-V)U.

  1. Conclude computer network’s flipping awful (8)

Answer: INFERNAL (i.e. “awful”). Solution is INFER (i.e. “conclude”) followed by LAN (i.e. “computer network”, specifically a Local Area Network) once reversed (indicated by “flipping”), like so: INFER-NAL. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Leader around English county bottling a spirit (8)

Answer: PHANTASM (i.e. “spirit”). Solution is PM (i.e. “leader”, specifically a Prime Minister) wrapped “around” HANTS (i.e. “English county”, short for Hampshire) once this has itself been wrapped around or “bottling” A, like so: P-(HANT(A)S)-M.

  1. Boy in year in Rome lifted phone, ringing European number from Italy (2,5,1,6)

Answer: LA DONNA È MOBILE (i.e. “number from Italy”, specifically from Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto. One of those you’ll know within seconds of hearing it). Solution is LAD (i.e. “boy”) followed by ANNO (i.e. “year in Rome”, i.e. the Italian for “year”) once reversed (indicated by “lifted” – this being a down clue), and MOBILE (i.e. “phone”) all wrapped around or “ringing” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”), like so: LAD-ONNA-(E)-MOBILE. Nicely worked, but to be honest I typed in LA DON into Google and let it do the rest. I have no shame.

  1. Wages securing southern European one present by chance (8)

Answer: PASSERBY (i.e. “one present by chance”). Solution is PAY (i.e. “wages”) wrapped around or “securing” S (a recognised abbreviation of “southern”) and SERB (i.e. “European”, a Serbian national), like so: PA(S-SERB)Y.

  1. Investigate swag bags family now uncovered (4,4)

Answer: LOOK INTO (i.e. “investigate”). Solution is LOOT (i.e. “swag”) wrapped around or “bagging” KIN (i.e. “family”) and followed by O (i.e. “now uncovered”, i.e. the word “now” with its first and last letters removed), like so: LOO(KIN)T-O.

  1. Splurging foolishly hit payer later (6,7)

Answer: RETAIL THERAPY (i.e. “splurging”). “Foolishly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HIT PAYER LATER. Another very nicely worked clue.

  1. Mob following extremely specific game with words (8)

Answer: SCRABBLE (i.e. “game with words”). Solution is RABBLE (i.e. “mob”) placed after or “following” SC (i.e. “extremely specific”, i.e. the first and last letters of “specific”), like so: SC-RABBLE.

  1. Demoting ex-student admitted to Cambridge college (11)

Answer: DOWNGRADING (i.e. “demoting”). Solution is GRAD (i.e. “ex-student”, short for “graduate”) placed in “admitted to” DOWNING (i.e. “Cambridge college”), like so: DOWN(GRAD)ING. Took a shufti in Bradford’s to shift.

  1. Calculating width in tiny amount (6)

Answer: SHREWD (i.e. “calculating”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “width”) placed “in” SHRED (i.e. “tiny amount”), like so: SHRE(W)D.

  1. Talks about daughter and son quickly seeking mates? (5,5)

Answer: SPEED CHESS (i.e. “quickly seeking mates”, as opposed to playing the game while absolutely ripped to the tits). Solution is SPEECHES (i.e. “talks”) wrapped “about” D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) and followed by S (ditto “son”), like so: SPEE(D)CHES-S.

  1. Most refined duke at houses wearing neckwear (9)

Answer: DAINTIEST (i.e. “most refined”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) and AT wrapped around or “housing” IN TIES (i.e. “wearing neckwear”), like so: D-A(IN-TIES)T.

  1. Trouble with this may give a man the urge to go anti-private sector? (8)

Answer: PROSTATE (i.e. “trouble with this may give a man the urge to go” use the facilities, take a tinkle, see a man about a dog, drain the lizard, strain the taties, go for a wet, point Percy at porcelain, amid many other favourite euphemisms). When written as PRO-STATE the solution also playfully satisfies “anti-private sector”.

  1. Nearly spoil fancy bra with odd, cheap material (9)

Answer: HARDBOARD (i.e. “cheap material”). Solution is HARM (i.e. “spoil”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”) and the remainder followed by an anagram (indicated by “fancy”) of BRA and ODD, like so: HAR-DBOARD.

  1. Hebrew prophet drinking tea loudly with an apple (8)

Answer: JONATHAN (i.e. a variety of “apple” over in the US apparently. I guess “Alan” had already been taken). Solution is JONAH (i.e. “Hebrew prophet”) wrapped around or “drinking” T (i.e. “tea loudly”, i.e. a homophone of T) and followed by AN, like so: JONA(T)H-AN. Bradford’s all the way with this one.

  1. Originally attacking Bonaparte, British army group associated with Waterloo (4)

Answer: ABBA (i.e. pop “group associated with Waterloo”). “Originally” indicates the solution is derived from the initial letters of Attacking Bonaparte British Army.

  1. Old lady and man serving Christmas visitors (4)

Answer: MAGI (i.e. “Christmas visitors”, also known as The Three Wise Men). Solution is MA (i.e. “old lady”, both references to “mother”) followed by GI (i.e. “man serving”, or an army type over in the US).

  1. List man’s going to read out (4)

Answer: HEEL (i.e. to “list” or lean). “To read out” indicates homophone, specifically of HE’LL, a contraction of HE WILL (i.e. “man’s going to”).

  1. Bill’s partner not quite hip (3)

Answer: COO (i.e. “bill’s partner” – a new one on me, the phrase to “bill and coo” is “to kiss and talk intimately together” (Chambers)). Solution is COOL (i.e. “hip”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not quite”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1563

A medium strength puzzle this week, and a decent one save for a couple of clues that got up my nose. To be fair these didn’t overshadow matters too much, and the puzzle did offer the kind of steady progression I always like. Plus, it’s always good to learn new things.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has buggered off to Glastonbury with your tickets then you might find solace in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and help. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Fixed source of light in church before onset of darkness (7)

Answer: CLAMPED (i.e. “fixed”). Solution is LAMP (i.e. “source of light”) placed “in” CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) and followed by D (i.e. “onset of darkness”, i.e. the first letter of “darkness”), like so: C(LAMP)E-D.

  1. Cajoled at home, not showing one’s face? Little good in that (9)

Answer: INVEIGLED (i.e. “cajoled”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by VEILED (i.e. “not showing one’s face”) once wrapped around or having “in” G (i.e. “little good”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: IN-VEI(G)LED.

  1. Impish maiden removed from demonstration? (4)

Answer: ARCH (i.e. “impish”). Solution is MARCH (i.e. “demonstration”) with the M removed (indicated by “maiden removed from…” – M being a recognised abbreviation of “maiden” used in cricket).

  1. Bounders to hop around, going to and fro repeatedly (13)

Answer: BOUSTROPHEDON (i.e. “going to and fro repeatedly” – over to Chambers: “(of ancient writing) alternately from right to left and from left to right”). “Around” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BOUNDERS TO HOP. Wordplay was reasonably obvious, but it took a brute force of my Chambers once I’d had enough intersecting letters.

  1. Smooth and white flower sitting at rear of a workplace (9)

Answer: ALABASTER (i.e. “smooth and white”). Solution is ASTER (i.e. “flower”) placed after or “at rear of” A and LAB (i.e. “workplace”, short for laboratory), like so: (A-LAB)-ASTER.

  1. Funny fellow with an unusual allure at end of street (4,6)

Answer: STAN LAUREL (i.e. “funny fellow”, one half of Laurel and Hardy). Solution is AN and an anagram (indicated by “unusual”) of ALLURE both placed after or “at end of” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: ST-(AN-LAUREL).

  1. By ravines we turned back, everything leading to a communications barrier (7,4)

Answer: CHINESE WALL (i.e. “communications barrier” – and so to Chambers again: “the strict demarcation barrier which must exist between eg the corporate finance and investment advisory departments of a bank, etc in order to ensure that privileged information available to one department is not available to the other and so prevent conflicts of interest arising”). Solution is CHINES (i.e. “ravines” – a new one on me, apparently derived from the Old English word for a cleft) followed by WE reversed (indicated by “turned back”), then ALL (i.e. “everything”), like so: CHINES-EW-ALL.

  1. Beastly types making money across the Channel (5)

Answer: EUROS. Solution satisfies “beastly types” – Chambers considers them a type of large kangaroo, another new one on me – and “money across the Channel”, being the currency of several European countries.

  1. A trade union returning officer, cad in charge brooking no opposition (10)

Answer: AUTOCRATIC (i.e. “brooking no opposition”). Solution is A followed by TU (a recognised abbreviation of “Trade Union”) once reversed (indicated by “returning”), then OC (i.e. “officer”, specifically an Officer Commanding or Officer in Charge), then RAT (i.e. “cad”) and IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”), like so: A-UT-OC-RAT-IC.

  1. Lad following college concert (6)

Answer: UNISON (i.e. together, or in “concert”). Solution is SON (i.e. “lad”) placed after or “following” UNI (i.e. “college”, short for university), like so: UNI-SON.

  1. Lean over to grab guy in seaweed (9)

Answer: CARRAGEEN (i.e. a type of “seaweed”). Solution is CAREEN (i.e. “lean over”) wrapped around of “grabbing” RAG (i.e. to “guy” or make fun), like so: CAR(RAG)EEN. I got the CAREEN bit but again had to brute force my Chambers to nail the rest.

  1. Is African archbishop endlessly backing African people? (5)

Answer: TUTSI (i.e. “African people”). Solution is IS and “Archbishop” Desmond TUTU once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: TUT-SI.

  1. Percy is passionate when given incentive (7)

Answer: HOTSPUR (i.e. Sir Henry “Percy”, a fourteenth century English knight who pops up as a character in William Shakespeare’s Henry IV. The guy makes a near-annual appearance in Jumbos, probably enough to warrant an agent by now). Solution is HOT (i.e. “passionate”) followed by SPUR (i.e. “incentive”).

  1. Noble women, 10, provided with fee for hosting game (13)

Answer: ARCHDUCHESSES (i.e. “noble women”). Solution is ARCH (the solution to “10” across) followed by DUES (i.e. “fee”) once wrapped around or “hosting” CHESS (i.e. “game”), like so: ARCH-DU(CHESS)ES.

  1. Part of palace, say, with berth facing west (9)

Answer: STATEROOM (i.e. “part of palace”). Solution is STATE (i.e. “say”) followed by MOOR (i.e. “berth” taken as a verb, i.e. to park one’s ship) once reversed (indicated by “facing west” – this being an across clue), like so: STATE-ROOM.

  1. Short article with winning description of balding man (4,2,3)

Answer: THIN ON TOP (i.e. “description of balding man”). Solution is THING (i.e. “article”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder followed by ON TOP (i.e. “winning”).

  1. Fancies forecasts about Left beginning to emerge (13)

Answer: PREDILECTIONS (i.e. “fancies”). Solution is PREDICTIONS (i.e. “forecasts”) wrapped “about” L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and E (i.e. “beginning [letter] to emerge”), like so: PREDI(L-E)CTIONS.

  1. Understand the French fashion seen outside entrance to classy hotel (5,2)

Answer: LATCH ON (i.e. “understand”). Solution is LA (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the feminine form of “the” in French) followed by TON (i.e. “fashion”, a variant meaning of TON you hardly ever see outside of cryptic crosswords) once wrapped around or placed “outside” of C (i.e. “entrance to classy”, i.e. the first letter of “classy”) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: LA-T(C-H)ON.

  1. Old biblical city in which there is party atmosphere (5)

Answer: ODOUR (i.e. an air or “atmosphere”. My Chambers dictionary and thesaurus don’t want to know; my Bradford’s is fairly cold on the matter; the closest I can get is “a lingering quality or impression attaching to something” (Oxford), which I guess just about gets it over the line). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and UR (i.e. “biblical city”, a favourite of cryptic crossword setters) wrapped around or “in which there is” DO (i.e. “party”), like so: O-(DO)-UR.

  1. Fruit comes with dubious promise: hollow melon? (9)

Answer: PERSIMMON (i.e. a plum-like “fruit”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dubious”) of PROMISE and MN (i.e. “hollow melon”, i.e. the word “melon” with all its middle letters removed).

  1. Prune, I suspect, not fit for eating? (6)

Answer: UNRIPE (i.e. “not fit for eating”). “Suspect” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PRUNE I.

  1. Leading girl falling short in concert – I’m living in a cell (10)

Answer: PROTOPLASM (i.e. “I’m living [material] in a cell”). Solution is TOP LASS (i.e. “leading girl”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “falling short”) and the remainder placed “in” PROM (i.e. “concert”), like so: PRO(TOP-LAS)M.

  1. King, stained and unconventional (5)

Answer: KINKY (i.e. “unconventional”). Solution is K (a recognised abbreviation of “king” used in chess) followed by INKY (i.e. “stained”).

  1. After party maiden sat upset (11)

Answer: DISCOMPOSED (i.e. “upset”). Solution is DISCO (i.e. “party”) followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “maiden” used in cricket) and POSED (i.e. “sat” for an artist).

  1. A foreign hospital permitted to be totally secular? (10)

Answer: UNHALLOWED (i.e. “totally secular”). Solution is UN (i.e. “a foreign”, specifically the masculine form of “a” in French) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital” used on maps), then ALLOWED (i.e. “permitted”).

  1. I am going one way and another, joining crush to enter new country (9)

Answer: IMMIGRATE (i.e. “to enter new country”). Solution is I’M and M’I (i.e. “I am going one way and another”, i.e. a contraction of “I am” followed by its reverse) followed by GRATE (i.e. “crush” – another that leaves my assorted dictionaries lukewarm at best. I guess we’re referring to the pressure one would apply on something in order to grate it, but I feel this setter’s going to need Perry Mason’s card if they keep this up).

  1. Makes amends with garland, certainly, whenever convenient (2,4,7)

Answer: AT ONE’S LEISURE (i.e. “whenever convenient”). Solution is ATONES (i.e. “makes amends”) followed by LEI (i.e. a “garland”) and SURE (i.e. “certainly”).

  1. Posturing evident in ridiculous ideas (4)

Answer: SIDE (i.e. arrogance, pretension or “posturing”, albeit fairly deep into the definitions). “Evident in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: RIDICULOU(S IDE)AS.

  1. Daughter joining most intimate group that may be got together for meal (6,3)

Answer: DINNER SET (i.e. “that may be got together for meal”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) followed by INNER SET (i.e. “most intimate group”).

  1. Nurses carrying silver bits left behind? (3,4)

Answer: TAG ENDS (i.e. “bits left behind”, also known as fag ends). Solution is TENDS (i.e. “nurses”) wrapped around or “carrying” AG (chemical symbol of “silver”), like so: T(AG)ENDS.

Down clues

  1. Island’s young adventurer just starting out? (4)

Answer: CUBA (i.e. “island”). Solution is CUB (i.e. “young” animal) followed by A (i.e. “adventurer just starting out”, i.e. the first letter of “adventurer”).

  1. Grown-up to transgress – end of marriage involved? (9)

Answer: ADULTERER. The solution solves the clue as a whole, but also comprises ADULT (i.e. “grown-up”) and ERR (i.e. “to transgress”) once wrapped around or “involving” E (i.e. “end [letter] of marriage”), like so: ADULT-ER(E)R.

  1. Undertake a task – with the anticipation of a cheese and pickle lunch? (3,4,4,2,3,6)

Answer: PUT ONE’S HAND TO THE PLOUGH (i.e. “undertake a task”). The remainder of the clue plays on a ploughman’s lunch, often including “cheese and pickle”.

  1. Satellite in turbulent episode seen in series of pictures? (7)

Answer: DIORAMA (i.e. “series of pictures”, in this case “an exhibition of translucent pictures seen through an opening with lighting effects” (Chambers). Can also be a three-dimensional scene in miniature). Solution is IO (i.e. “satellite”, specifically a moon of Jupiter) placed “in” DRAMA (i.e. “turbulent episode”), like so: D(IO)RAMA.

  1. The benefit from someone having the will to let another succeed (11)

Answer: INHERITANCE. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, playing on how such a “benefit” is executed through the “will” of the deceased. “Succeed” can also mean to inherit. You get the idea.

  1. Namely, shop involved in wickedness getting shut finally (9)

Answer: VIDELICET (i.e. “namely” in Latin). Solution is DELI (i.e. “shop”, specifically a delicatessen) placed or “involved in” VICE (i.e. “wickedness”) and followed by T (i.e. “shut finally”, i.e. the last letter of “shut”), like so: VI(DELI)CE-T.

  1. Greek is charged? (5)

Answer: IONIC (i.e. “Greek”, specifically of the Ionian Islands). Clue plays on IONs being electrically “charged” particles.

  1. Pounds one will get with skills – so these can be paid off? (11)

Answer: LIABILITIES (i.e. “these can be paid off”, i.e. debts). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight, after the Latin libra) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ABILITIES (i.e. “skills”).

  1. Artist’s storage facility (6)

Answer: DRAWER. Solution satisfies “artist” and “storage facility”.

  1. Rodents surrounding brown trees (7)

Answer: RATTANS (i.e. a variety of “tree” made plural). Solution is RATS (i.e. “rodents”) wrapped around or “surrounding” TAN (i.e. “brown”), like so: RAT(TAN)S.

  1. Disciplinarian listened to, exuding energy on ship (9)

Answer: HARDLINER (i.e. “disciplinarian”). Solution is HEARD (i.e. “listened to”) with the E removed (indicated by “exuding energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and the remainder followed by LINER (i.e. “ship”), like so: HARD-LINER.

  1. Experience disappointment and reconsider approach (4,7,5,6)

Answer: HAVE ANOTHER THINK COMING. Solution satisfies “experience disappointment” – Chambers offers: “(informal) to be wrong in what one thinks (about future events or actions)” – and, taking the phrase literally, to “reconsider approach”. And here was me always thinking it was “thing”. Can’t imagine why.

  1. Liking to hide head, showing charm (7)

Answer: ENCHANT (i.e. “charm”). Solution is PENCHANT (i.e. “liking”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “to hide head”).

  1. Performer in role, heading off – is theatre completely empty? (7)

Answer: ARTISTE (i.e. “performer”). Solution is PART (i.e. “role”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “heading off”) and the remainder followed by IS and TE (i.e. “theatre completely empty”, i.e. the word “theatre” with all its middle letters removed), like so: ART-IS-TE.

  1. Bird with musical awareness, full of passion (8)

Answer: WHEATEAR (i.e. “bird”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and EAR (i.e. “musical awareness”) all wrapped around or “full of” HEAT (i.e. “passion”), like so: W-(HEAT)-EAR. Chalk one to my Bradford’s.

  1. Referring to pursuing old lover as “energising” (8)

Answer: EXCITING (i.e. “energising”). Solution is CITING (i.e. “referring to”) placed after or “pursuing” EX (i.e. “old lover”), like so: EX-CITING.

  1. Piece of publicity for short time (5)

Answer: PROMO (i.e. “piece of publicity”). Solution is PRO (i.e. being in favour or “for” something) followed by MO (i.e. “short time”, short for a moment).

  1. Cold dressing for section of limestone pavement (5)

Answer: CLINT (i.e. “section of limestone pavement”, specifically “a block forming part of a natural limestone pavement, separated from others by fissures (grikes)” (Oxford)). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps) followed by LINT (i.e. a type of linen or “dressing”, as opposed to belly-button fluff). One of those “C_I_T, eh? Hmm. I wonder if it’s ‘clint’. Let’s see if it’s ‘clint’. Well bugger me, it is ‘clint’!” moments. It’s nice when that happens.

  1. Back to drink fortified wine (7)

Answer: SUPPORT (i.e. to “back” something). Solution is SUP (i.e. “to drink”) followed by PORT (i.e. “fortified wine”).

  1. Indication of pregnant Virgin, as revealed in stonework? (7)

Answer: MASONRY (i.e. “stonework”). The remainder of the clue plays on how the solution is formed of MARY (i.e. biblical “Virgin”) wrapped around or being “pregnant” with SON, like so: MA(SON)RY.

  1. Demanding conformity, posture can ultimately suffer terribly (11)

Answer: PROCRUSTEAN (i.e. “demanding conformity” – Chambers again: “taking violent measures to ensure conformity to a standard. [From Procrustes, a legendary Greek robber, who stretched or cut his captives’ legs to fit a bed]”. Another new one on me, but also interesting. Also, also: sheesh! that’s some serious OCD going on, there). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “terribly”) of POSTURE CAN and R (i.e. “ultimately suffer”, i.e. the last letter of “suffer”). Nicely worked, with an appreciable dash of grim irony!

  1. Men emphatic about charge against Nixon? (11)

Answer: IMPEACHMENT (i.e. a “charge against [Richard] Nixon”, 37th President of the United States). “About” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MEN EMPHATIC. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Stories about start of affair with a foreign doctor – they deal with dirty stuff (9)

Answer: LAUNDRIES (i.e. “they deal with dirty stuff”). Solution is LIES (i.e. “stories”) wrapped “about” A (i.e. “start [letter] of affair”), UN (i.e. “a foreign” – our French “a” again) and DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”), like so: L(A-UN-DR)IES.

  1. Modern music before fantastic tour has American “over the moon” (9)

Answer: RAPTUROUS (i.e. “over the moon”). Solution is RAP (i.e. “modern music”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “fantastic”) of TOUR, then US (i.e. “American”), like so: RAP-TURO-US.

  1. Model with deficient style, one of five in group (9)

Answer: MANNEQUIN (i.e. “model”). Solution is MANNER (i.e. “style”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “deficient”) and the remainder followed by QUIN (i.e. “one of five in group”), like so: MANNE-QUIN.

  1. Supposed to have dumped leader and started afresh (7)

Answer: RESUMED (i.e. “started afresh” – I always thought this was to start from where one left off, but “begin again” seems a widely supported definition). Solution is PRESUMED (i.e. “supposed”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “to have dumped leader”).

  1. Plant Mollie transplanted beginning to thrive (7)

Answer: MELILOT (i.e. a grassland “plant”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “transplanted”) of MOLLIE followed by T (i.e. “beginning [letter] to thrive”). Needless to say, this was another that needed a brute force of my Chambers once I’d had enough letters. Hooray for made-to-fit solutions! Yaayyyy, made-to-fit solutions!!! (Narrator: sadly, only madness lay in store for Mr Poll from that day on…)

  1. Leaders of urban district penning scheme for geographical area (6)

Answer: UPLAND (i.e. “geographic area”). Solution is U and D (i.e. “leaders of urban district”, i.e. the first letters of “urban” and “district”) wrapped around or “penning” PLAN (i.e. “scheme”), like so: U-(PLAN)-D.

  1. Sailor – Devon’s foremost man of dubious reputation? (5)

Answer: Sir Francis DRAKE (i.e. “sailor”). Solution is D (i.e. “Devon’s foremost” letter) followed by RAKE (i.e. “man of dubious reputation”). Neatly done, considering Drake was born in Devon.

  1. Iron ship, ordinary (4)

Answer: FESS (i.e. “ordinary”. This is all to do with heraldry, it seems. One definition of “ordinary” is “one of a class of armorial charges, figures of simple or geographical form, conventional in character”, while a FESS or FESSE is “one of the simple heraldic forms, a horizontal band over the middle of an escutcheon, usually one third of the whole” (both Chambers)). Solution is FE (chemical symbol of “iron”) followed by SS (i.e. “ship”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a “steamship”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1562

For me this was much the same as last week’s Jumbo, easing up a smidge on the general knowledge in favour of… forenames. Oof, that’s never a good sign. Plants, people and places are often tell-tale signs of an awkward grid-fill, but forenames are another level entirely. A lot of the clueing was pretty good, but overall this was another miss from me.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has gone and scratched your favourite recordtched your favourite recordtched your favourite recordtched your favourite recordtched (…bump…) then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the input and kind words. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Key aide: very few could afford one with forty-eight hours off (4-3,4)

Answer: FIVE-DAY WEEK (i.e. “one with forty-eight hours off”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “could afford”) of KEY AIDE, V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”) and FEW.

  1. Was witness to suffer detention? (6)

Answer: BEHELD (i.e. “was witness to”). When written as BE HELD the solution also satisfies “to suffer detention”.

  1. A US military hospital losing its second nurse (4)

Answer: AMAH (i.e. a “nurse” in East Asia). Solution is A followed by MASH (i.e. “US military hospital”, short for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) once the S has been removed (indicated by “losing its second” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “second”), like so: A-MAH.

  1. Environmentalists, disapprovingly, to use empty cistern for recycling (7)

Answer: ECONUTS (i.e. “environmentalists, disapprovingly”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “recycling”) of TO USE and CN (i.e. “empty cistern”, i.e. the word “cistern” with all its middle letters removed).

  1. Calls round with drink (5,2)

Answer: RINGS UP (i.e. “calls”). Solution is RING (i.e. a “round” structure) followed by SUP (i.e. “drink”).

  1. Bloomer, ultimately encouraging fan to invade pitch (7)

Answer: SPIGNEL (i.e. “bloomer” – not one I’d heard of, but images of them look familiar). Solution is G and N (i.e. “ultimately encouraging fan”, i.e. the last letters of “encouraging” and “fan”) both placed in or “invading” SPIEL (i.e. “pitch” or, more generally, a line of talk), like so: SPI(GN)EL.

  1. King being trapped by horse having reared in southern China (9,4)

Answer: SMOTHERED MATE (i.e. “King being trapped by horse” – over to Chambers: “in chess, checkmate by a knight, the king having been prevented from moving by the positions of his own forces”). Solution is MOTHERED (i.e. “reared”) placed “in” S (a recognised abbreviation of “southern”) and MATE (i.e. “China”, specifically the cockney rhyming slang: china plate = mate), like so: S-(MOTHERED)-MATE.

  1. Eccentricity of relatives repeating verses every so often (9)

Answer: KINKINESS (i.e. “eccentricity”). Solution is KIN and KIN (i.e. “relatives repeatedly”) followed by ESS (i.e. “verses every so often”, i.e. every other letter of VERSES).

  1. The capital’s Circle Line about to be withdrawn (5)

Answer: ACCRA (i.e. “the capital” of Ghana). Solution is ARC (i.e. “circle line” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and CA (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) all reversed (indicated by “to be withdrawn”), like so: AC-CRA. Nicely worked.

  1. Note short bad-tempered ape used for lab research? (10)

Answer: MICROSCOPY (i.e. technology “used for lab research”). Solution is MI (i.e. “note” in the sol-fa notation, i.e. the whole doh-ray-mi thing) followed by CROSS (i.e. “bad-tempered”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), then COPY (i.e. to imitate or “ape”), like so: MI-CROS-COPY.

  1. A little blue in demeanour, is querulous (6)

Answer: RISQUE (i.e. “a little blue”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: DEMEANOU(R IS QUE)RULOUS.

  1. End of play or film – lute playing (4,4)

Answer: FULL TIME (i.e. “end of play”). “Playing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FILM and LUTE.

  1. One doing good work first, welcome among factory personnel earlier (14)

Answer: PHILANTHROPIST (i.e. “one going good”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) and IST (i.e. “first”, I being the Roman numeral one) both placed after or having “earlier” HI (i.e. “welcome”) once it’s placed “among” PLANT (i.e. “factory”) and HR (i.e. “personnel”, specifically Human Resources), like so: (P(HI)LANT-HR)-OP-IST.

  1. Porter, not up in Scotland, touring Sandhurst (7)

Answer: DOORMAN (i.e. “porter”). Solution is DOON (i.e. “not up in Scotland”, i.e. the Scots form of “down”) wrapped around or “touring” RMA (i.e. “Sandhurst”, a Royal Military Academy), like so: DOO(RMA)N.

  1. Band leader’s tweet to press, backing men (4,5)

Answer: PIPE MAJOR (i.e. “band leader”). Solution is PIPE (i.e. to “tweet”) followed by JAM (i.e. “to press”) once reversed (indicated by “backing”) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), like so: PIPE-MAJ-OR.

  1. Yank’s courage (5)

Answer: PLUCK. Solution satisfies “yank” and “courage”.

  1. Character an old letter once used by mapmakers (5)

Answer: ETHOS (i.e. “character”). Solution is ETH (i.e. “an old letter once used”, specifically a barred D character that was used in Old English) followed by OS (i.e. “mapmakers”, specifically Ordnance Survey).

  1. Shares for auditors in the city (9)

Answer: STOCKHOLM (i.e. capital “city” of Sweden). I’m not quite on the same page as the setter here, so watch out. My guess is each half of the name can be another word for “share”, getting you its plural in the clue. This certainly fits STOCK in the financial world. “For auditors” is usually a homophone indicator, so I guess the HOLM part will be something like HOME, but I’m buggered if I can make the leap from that to “share”. If someone swings by with the actual answer then I’ll update the post.

[EDIT: Thanks to Steve in the comments for nailing this one. I was half-right (…ish) but failed to twig the “in” in the clue, which is often referred to as being at HOME in cryptic clues. This is where the homophone is to be applied (i.e. “for auditors: ‘in'”) to get you HOLM. Sneaky, as you are much more likely to see this wordplay in reverse, i.e. see IN in a solution clued as “home”, but fair play to the setter and cheers, Steve! – LP]

  1. It’s a deal that includes reform of Euro (5,2)

Answer: YOU’RE ON (i.e. “it’s a deal”). Solution is YON (i.e. poetic form of “that”) wrapped around or “including” an anagram (indicated by “reform of”) of EURO, like so: Y(OURE)ON.

  1. Potter character’s return links with short quiz being organised (8,6)

Answer: SQUIRREL NUTKIN (i.e. Beatrix “Potter character”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “being organised”) of RETURN LINKS and QUIZ once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”).

  1. Accessory when snapping various creatures together, for blokes crossing lake (4,4)

Answer: ZOOM LENS (i.e. “accessory when snapping”, meaning photography). Solution is ZOO (i.e. “various creatures together”) followed by MEN’S (i.e. “for blokes”) once wrapped around or “crossing” L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: ZOO-M(L)EN’S.

  1. With an extra royalty cheque initially coming back, the writer’s rich! (6)

Answer: CREAMY (i.e. “rich”). Solution is CREA (i.e. “with an extra royalty cheque initially coming back”, i.e. the first letters of “an”, “extra”, “royalty” and “cheque” all reversed) followed by MY (i.e. “the writer’s” from the point of view of the setter).

  1. Open to attack when seaworthy? (10)

Answer: ASSAILABLE (i.e. “open to attack”). Solution is AS (i.e. “when”) followed by SAILABLE (i.e. “seaworthy”).

  1. Sum small child has completed (3,2)

Answer: TOT UP (i.e. “sum”). Solution is TOT (i.e. “small child”) followed by UP (i.e. “completed”).

  1. Split – but not the bill, presumably (2,1,6)

Answer: DO A RUNNER (i.e. to flee or “split”). The rest of the clue plays on how a bill can’t be split if everyone legs it before paying. You get the idea.

  1. Oliver and Mack perhaps rub it in (5,3,5)

Answer: TWIST THE KNIFE (i.e. “rub it in”). Solution is “Oliver” TWIST followed by “Mack” THE KNIFE, a song from The Threepenny Opera.

  1. Palace one’s dwelling in deserted, time to move (7)

Answer: VATICAN (i.e. “palace”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed or “dwelling in” VACANT (i.e. “deserted”) once the T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) has been “moved” like so: VACAN(T) => VA(T)CAN => VAT(I)CAN.

  1. Italian constitutional body has boycotted hearing (7)

Answer: CLAUDIO (i.e. an “Italian” forename). Solution is CL (i.e. “constitutional body has boycotted”, i.e. the word “constitutional” with all its middle letters removed) followed by AUDIO (i.e. “hearing”). Forename alert!

  1. Claws: little ones (7)

Answer: NIPPERS. Solution satisfies “claws” and “little ones” or toddlers.

  1. Complete degree (4)

Answer: RANK. Solution satisfies “complete” or absolute, and “degree”.

  1. Not moving back, I parked behind, between poles (6)

Answer: STASIS (i.e. the state of “not moving”). Solution is I and SAT (i.e. “parked”) all reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed “between” S and S (i.e. “poles”, specifically South ones), like so: S-(TAS-I)-S.

  1. Argument with the Italian visiting celebrity: I’m astounded! (5,4,2)

Answer: WORDS FAIL ME (i.e. “I’m astounded”). Solution is WORDS (i.e. “argument”, as in having words with someone) followed by IL (i.e. “the Italian”, i.e. the Italian for “the”) once placed in or “visiting” FAME (i.e. “celebrity”), like so: WORDS-FA(IL)ME.

Down clues

  1. Delivers one a plant (7)

Answer: FREESIA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is FREES (i.e. “delivers”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and A.

  1. One bowed out of awkward love-in with cool Liberal (11)

Answer: VIOLONCELLO (i.e. “one bowed”, i.e. a musical instrument played with a bow). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “awkward”) of LOVE-IN, COOL and L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”).

  1. Ready to roll? (5)

Answer: DOUGH. Solution satisfies “ready”, both slang words for money. I guess the setter’s playing on DOUGH eventually becoming a bread “roll”. (Makes so-so gesture.)

  1. TV show you and son prepare to attend (3,5,8)

Answer: YES PRIME MINISTER (i.e. “TV show”). Solution is YE (i.e. “you”, ye olde style) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”), then PRIME (i.e. “prepare”) and MINISTER (i.e. “attend” to).

  1. Nymph looked back on chance with regret, reflecting over years (8)

Answer: EURYDICE (i.e. “nymph looked back on” – in Greek mythology she was the wife of Orpheus and was tragically killed by a viper. She was eventually allowed to walk free of the Underworld so long as Orpheus always walked ahead of her along the path and never looked back to her. You can guess how that turned out). Solution is DICE (i.e. “chance”) placed after or “with” RUE (i.e. “regret”) once reversed (indicated by “reflecting”) and placed ahead of or “over” Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”), like so: (EUR-Y)-DICE.

  1. Make awkward progress on a graph: nothing OK, somehow (8-3)

Answer: KANGAROO-HOP (i.e. “make awkward progress”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of ON A GRAPH, O (i.e. “nothing”) and OK.

  1. Mean to maintain tango beat (5)

Answer: BASTE (i.e. to “beat” – a variant meaning of the word). Solution is BASE (i.e. “mean”, both taken to mean reprehensible) wrapped around T (“tango” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: BAS(T)E.

  1. Bound to miss start after grappling with field event (3,4,3,4)

Answer: HOP SKIP AND JUMP (i.e. “field event”). Solution is HOP (i.e. “bound”), SKIP (i.e. “to miss”) and JUMP (i.e. to “start” with surprise) all wrapped around or “grappling” AND (i.e. “with”), like so: HOP-SKIP-(AND)-JUMP.

  1. See that Carol is down (6)

Answer: LOSING (i.e. “is down” in score). Solution is LO (i.e. “see”, as in lo and behold) followed by SING (i.e. to “carol” – ignore the misleading capitalisation).

  1. Political philosopher from US, one men quote erroneously (11)

Answer: MONTESQUIEU (i.e. “political philosopher”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “erroneously”) of US, I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and MEN QUOTE.

  1. Get all outspoken in Rome? (4,3)

Answer: HOLY SEE (i.e. “Rome”). “Outspoken” indicates homophone. When expressed as WHOLLY SEE the solution satisfies “get all”.

  1. Ridiculously cheap, fashionable pastry cases from somewhere in Asia (8)

Answer: FILIPINO (i.e. “from somewhere in Asia”, specifically the Philippines). Solution is IP (i.e. “ridiculously cheap”, i.e. [Roman numeral] one penny) and IN (i.e. “fashionable”) placed in or “cased” by FILO (i.e. “pastry”), like so: FIL(IP-IN)O.

  1. Goddess of the pictures, heading down for cup tie? (7)

Answer: ARTEMIS (i.e. Greek “goddess” of the hunt). Solution is ART (i.e. “pictures”) followed by SEMI (i.e. “cup tie”, a semi-final) once its first letter or “heading” has been sent “down” to the end, like so: ART-(S)EMI => ART-EMI(S).

  1. Boy requiring uniform collected clothes (5)

Answer: CALUM (i.e. a “boy’s” name). Solution is U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “clothed” by CALM (i.e. “collected”), like so: CAL(U)M. Forename alert!

  1. Those of a certain age, longing to shun society, part with property (16)

Answer: THIRTYSOMETHINGS (i.e. “those of a certain age”). Solution is THIRSTY (i.e. “longing”) with the S removed (indicated by “to shun society”, S being a recognised abbreviation of “society”) and the remainder followed by SOME (i.e. “part”) and THINGS (i.e. “property”), like so: THIRTY-SOME-THINGS.

  1. Following primitive instincts, turns and twitches? (7)

Answer: FIDGETS (i.e. “twitches”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “following”) followed by ID (i.e. “primitive instincts” in the world of psychology) and GETS (i.e. “turns”, both taken to mean “becomes”).

  1. Proceeds to analyse, first and foremost, one of two books (7)

Answer: TAKINGS (i.e. “proceeds”). Solution is T and A (i.e. “to analyse, first and foremost”, i.e. the initial letters of “to” and “analyse”) followed by KINGS (i.e. “two books” of the Old Testament of The Bible).

  1. Misbehaving like a competent card player? (2,2,4,6)

Answer: UP TO ONE’S TRICKS (i.e. “misbehaving”). Clue plays on UP TO being “competent”, and “card” games where a round of cards is called a TRICK. You get the idea.

  1. Satisfied after fruit drop (7)

Answer: PLUMMET (i.e. “drop”). Solution is MET (i.e. “satisfied”) placed “after” PLUM (i.e. “fruit”), like so: PLUM-MET.

  1. Flyer put up in around trading centre (5,6)

Answer: HOUSE MARTIN (i.e. “flyer”). Solution is HOUSE (i.e. to “put up”) and IN wrapped “around” MART (i.e. “trading centre”), like so: HOUSE-(MART)-IN.

  1. Girl always thanks cook finally when rising (5)

Answer: KATYA (i.e. a “girl’s” name). Solution is AY (i.e. archaic or dialectical form of “always”), TA (i.e. “thanks”) and K (i.e. “cook finally”, i.e. the last letter of “cook”) all reversed (indicated by “when rising” – this being a down clue), like so: K-AT-YA. Forename alert!

  1. Light in women’s loo wired badly (5,6)

Answer: ORIEL WINDOW (i.e. “light”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “badly”) of IN, W (a recognised abbreviation of “women”), and LOO WIRED.

  1. Fish I caught having chosen appropriate equipment all round (8,3)

Answer: ELECTRIC EEL (i.e. “fish”). Solution is I and C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) placed in or having “all round” ELECT (i.e. “chosen”, e.g. a president elect) and REEL (i.e. “appropriate equipment” for fishing), like so: ELECT-R(I-C)EEL.

  1. Drink taken from seat, one in Paris church (3,5)

Answer: RUM PUNCH (i.e. “drink”). Solution is RUMP (i.e. “seat”) followed by UN (i.e. “one in Paris”, i.e. the French for “one”) and CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”).

  1. A club closed by the taxman once, scene of killing (8)

Answer: ABATTOIR (i.e. “scene of killing”). Solution is A followed by BAT (i.e. “club”), then TO (i.e. “closed”, e.g. a door closed to) and IR (i.e. “the taxman once”, specifically the Inland Revenue).

  1. Body’s state: one likely to be rotten at the top! (7)

Answer: CADAVER (i.e. “body”). Solution is AVER (i.e. to “state”) placed after or having “at the top” CAD (i.e. “one likely to be rotten”), like so: CAD-AVER.

  1. Something given urgency, case of importance (7)

Answer: PRESSIE (i.e. “something given”). Solution is PRESS (i.e. “urgency”) followed by IE (i.e. “case of importance”, i.e. the first and last letters of “importance”).

  1. Maybe get granny out of bunk – no tender hugs! (6)

Answer: UNKNOT (i.e. “maybe get granny [knot] out”). “Hugs” (and “of”, now I think of it) indicate the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: B(UNK NO T)ENDER.

  1. Race has to be arranged with IT (5)

Answer: THAIS (i.e. “race”, in this case the people of Thailand). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “arranged”) of HAS and IT.

  1. Letter from abroad: one to seal well, we understand? (5)

Answer: KAPPA (i.e. “letter from abroad”, specifically the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet). “We understand” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CAPPER (i.e. “one to seal [oil] well”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1561

A medium strength puzzle this week, but another of those that leaned too far into general knowledge to be of much interest to me. Your mileage may vary.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has begun to outstay its welcome then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear what other solvers think once they set down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. In position with weapons for military command (7,4)

Answer: PRESENT ARMS (i.e. a “military command”). Solution is PRESENT (i.e. attending or “in position”) followed by ARMS (i.e. “weapons”).

  1. Say what I saw and heard, naked man in court (4,7)

Answer: BEAR WITNESS (i.e. “say what I saw”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “heard”) of BARE (i.e. “naked”) followed by WITNESS (i.e. “man in court”).

  1. No piffling oration broadcast, but something of enduring value (9-8)

Answer: INFLATION-PROOFING (i.e. “of enduring value”). “Broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NO PIFFLING ORATION.

  1. Fields for example almost all next to sea (5)

Answer: MEDAL (i.e. “Fields for example”, apparently a medal awarded to mathematicians under the age of 40 for outstanding contributions to the field. No, me neither). Solution is ALL with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder placed after or “next to” MED (i.e. “sea”, short for Mediterranean), like so: MED-AL.

  1. Macbeth’s life a brief one, but a measure of certain intensity (6)

Answer: CANDLE. Solution satisfies Lady “Macbeth’s life a brief one”, referencing a line from The Scottish Play, and “a measure of certain intensity”, specifically of light.

  1. Heavenly group beg one to interrupt less regularly (8)

Answer: PLEIADES (i.e. “heavenly group”, a constellation you see in Jumbos suspiciously more than others). Solution is PLEAD (i.e. “beg”) wrapped around or “interrupted” by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and followed by ES (i.e. “less regularly”, i.e. every other letter of LESS), like so: PLE(I)AD-ES.

  1. Material can appeal to the left, and in France to the right (7)

Answer: SATINET (i.e. “material”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “can”) with SA (i.e. “appeal”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Sex Appeal I’ve only ever seen used in cryptic crosswords) placed “to the left” of it, and ET (i.e. “and in France”, i.e. the French for “and”) placed “to the right” of it, like so: SA-(TIN)-ET. One nailed from the wordplay, to be honest.

  1. Excellent month with a brilliant sight (9)

Answer: SUPERNOVA (i.e. “brilliant sight”, as in being a bit on the bright side). Solution is SUPER (i.e. “excellent”) followed by NOV (i.e. “month”, short for November) and A.

  1. Bond linking animal to one insect (8)

Answer: ASSIGNAT (i.e. “bond” – over the Chambers: “one of the paper bonds first issued in 1789 by the French government on the security of the appropriated church lands, and later (1790-97) accepted as notes of currency”. A modern everyday term, then. Righto). Solution is ASS (i.e. “animal”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and GNAT (i.e. “insect”).

  1. Jump out of plane tree in the end (4)

Answer: JETE (i.e. “jump” – and again to Chambers: “a leap from one foot to the other in which the free leg usually finishes extended forward, backwards or sideways”. If you were in any doubt that this week’s setter has wilfully gone heavy on the general knowledge, consider how many other words could have fitted the letters _E_E). Solution is JET (i.e. “plane”) followed by E (i.e. “tree in the end”, i.e. the last letter of “tree”).

  1. Indian sage’s last to lead islanders (5)

Answer: IRISH (i.e. “islanders”). Solution is RISHI (i.e. an “Indian sage” or poet) with the “last” letter placed first or “to lead”, like so: RISH(I) => (I)RISH.

  1. Odds on at first, nonetheless (4,2)

Answer: EVEN SO (i.e. “nonetheless”). Solution is EVENS (i.e. “odds”) followed by O (i.e. “on at first”, i.e. the first letter of “on”).

  1. Water and a leek vegan digested (4,6)

Answer: LAKE GENEVA (i.e. a body of “water”). “Digested” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A LEEK VEGAN.

  1. Sweet ban rejected: a handout all round (8)

Answer: ADORABLE (i.e. “sweet”). Solution is BAR (i.e. “ban”) reversed (indicated by “rejected”) and placed in or having “all round” A and DOLE (i.e. “handout”), like so: A-DO(RAB)LE.

  1. They distrust all sportsmanship: it flourished only without pressure (14)

Answer: MISANTHROPISTS (i.e. “they distrust all”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “flourished”) of SPORTSMANSHIP IT once one of the Ps has been removed (indicated by “without pressure” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”).

  1. Baronet is concealing difficult time, old flame discovered (7,2,5)

Answer: BROUGHT TO LIGHT (i.e. “discovered”). Solution is BT (a recognised abbreviation of “baronet”) wrapped around or “concealing” ROUGH (i.e. “difficult”) and T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), and followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) then LIGHT (i.e. “flame”), like so: B(ROUGH-T)T-O-LIGHT.

  1. In Rome, building stone dries up, but not out (2,6)

Answer: ST PETERS Basilica (i.e. “in Rome, building”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stone”) followed by PETERS (i.e. “dries up, but not out”, i.e. peters out with the “out” removed).

  1. Soldiers love armoured vehicles to capture so-called German (5,5)

Answer: OTHER RANKS (i.e. some “soldiers” of the British Army – often you’ll see its abbreviation, OR, used in cryptic crosswords). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, a zero score in tennis) followed by TANKS (i.e. “armoured vehicles”) once wrapped around or “capturing” HERR (i.e. “so-called German”, a form of address), like so: O-T(HERR)ANKS.

  1. Heart is troublesome, somewhat, for performer (6)

Answer: ARTIST (i.e. “performer”). “Somewhat” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: HE(ART IS T)ROUBLESOME.

  1. Captain engaging Mike to do a rush job (5)

Answer: SKIMP (i.e. “to do a rush job”). Solution is SKIP (i.e. “captain”, short for skipper) wrapped around or “engaging” M (“Mike” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: SKI(M)P.

  1. In inaccessible place I lost Jane (4)

Answer: EYRE (i.e. “Jane”, eponymous heroine of Charlotte Brontë’s novel). Solution is EYRIE (i.e. a high or “inaccessible place”) with the I removed (indicated by “I lost”).

  1. Artist and minor comic (8)

Answer: Piet MONDRIAN (i.e. “artist” – again, me neither). “Comic” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AND MINOR.

  1. A “dispiriting” worker, tax inspector finally traps men (9)

Answer: EXORCISER (i.e. “a ‘dispiriting’ worker”, playfully taking the word to mean the removal of spirit from something). Solution is EXCISE (i.e. “tax”) and R (i.e. “inspector finally”, i.e. the last letter of “inspector”) all wrapped around OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks we encountered in 38a), like so: EX(OR)CISE-R.

[EDIT: Thanks to Michael in the comments for fixing this one. I’d accidentally written EXORCIST rather than EXORCISER. Cheers, Michael! – LP]

  1. Wounded hare – it’s less speedy? (7)

Answer: HASTIER (i.e. “less speedy” – I guess this is playing on the phrase “more haste, less speed”, replacing “haste” and “speed” with the comparative adverbs HASTIER and “speedier”). “Wounded” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HARE IT’S.

[EDIT: Thanks to Sue in the comments for tidying this one up. I’d accidentally written HERE IT’S rather than HARE IT’S. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

  1. Angry way we must enter lawless zone (4,4)

Answer: WILD WEST (i.e. “lawless zone”). Solution is WILD (i.e. “angry”) and ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) wrapped around or having “entered” WE, like so: WILD-(WE)-ST.

  1. Hard work with a new catchphrase (6)

Answer: SLOGAN (i.e. “catchphrase”). Solution is SLOG (i.e. “hard work”) followed by A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”).

  1. A poem in part of cell (5)

Answer: ANODE (i.e. “part of cell” – and once more to Chambers: “the electrode of an electrolytic cell by which current enters the electrolyte or gas”). When written as AN ODE the solution also satisfies “a poem”. Another nailed solely from the wordplay.

  1. Most substantial course is something involving blackbirds? Allow opposition (5,2,10)

Answer: PIECE DE RESISTANCE (i.e. “most substantial course”, perhaps delivered with a chef’s kiss). Solution is PIE (i.e. “something involving blackbirds”, after the nursery rhyme: “Sing a song of sixpence; a pocket full of rye; four and twenty blackbirds; baked in a pie…”) followed by CEDE (i.e. “allow”) and RESISTANCE (i.e. “opposition”).

  1. No one more important than Cassius once? (3,8)

Answer: THE GREATEST (i.e. “no one more important”). The remainder of the clue plays on a famous speech by heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali, formerly “Cassius Clay”, about how he was the greatest. What I didn’t realise was he made a spoken word album of it in 1963.

  1. Three or four days perhaps a short space to penetrate obscure knowledge (4,7)

Answer: LONG WEEKEND (i.e. “three or four days perhaps”, considering bank holidays and Easter). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “obscure”) of KNOWLEDGE wrapped around or being “penetrated” by EN (i.e. “a short space”, specifically printer’s lingo for a space half the width of a lowercase ‘m’), like so: LONGWEEK(EN)D.

Down clues

  1. Operetta ticket costs around November said to fluctuate (8,3)

Answer: PRINCESS IDA (i.e. “operetta” by Gilbert & Sullivan). Solution is PRICES (i.e. “ticket costs”) wrapped “around” N (“November” in the phonetic alphabet) and followed by an anagram (indicated by “to fluctuate”) of SAID, like so: PRI(N)CES-SIDA.

  1. The end, in two languages, is delicate in another (5)

Answer: ELFIN (i.e. “delicate”). Clue plays on how the solution, when written as EL FIN, is “the end” when expressed “in two languages”: EL being “the” in Spanish and FIN being “end” in French.

  1. People being leaderless, competent king is creator of opportunities (7)

Answer: ENABLER (i.e. “creator of opportunities”). Solution is MEN (i.e. “people”, or 48% of them anyway) with the first letter removed (indicated by “being leaderless”) and the remainder followed by ABLE (i.e. “competent”) and R (i.e. “king”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Latin Rex), like so: EN-ABLE-R.

  1. Fight’s ending with victory for Tweedledum – or Tweedledee? (4)

Answer: TWIN (i.e. “Tweedledum – or Tweedledee”, identical twins from Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass). Solution is T (i.e. “fight’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “fight”) followed by WIN (i.e. “victory”).

  1. Remarkably rare day round fireplace for head of gang (10)

Answer: RINGLEADER (i.e. “head of gang”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “remarkably”) of RARE and D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”) wrapped “round” INGLE (i.e. Scots word for a “fireplace”), like so: R(INGLE)ADER.

  1. Cleaner, or theatre ghost? (8,6)

Answer: SURGICAL SPIRIT (i.e. “cleaner”). Clue plays on operating “theatres”, in which SURGERY is performed, and how “ghosts” are sometimes called SPIRITS. You get the idea.

  1. Most general doubts are resolved after leaving university (8)

Answer: BROADEST (i.e. “most general”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of DOUBTS ARE once the U has been removed (indicated by “after leaving university” – U being a recognised abbreviation of “university”).

  1. Briefly, a storyteller’s other name (5)

Answer: ALIAS (i.e. “other name”). Solution is A followed by LIAR (i.e. “storyteller”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”). The possessive ‘S is tacked on the end, like so: A-LIA-‘S.

  1. Employee carries on, clean (4,5)

Answer: WAGE SLAVE (i.e. “employee”). Solution is WAGES (i.e. “carries on”) followed by LAVE (i.e. an archaic word meaning to “clean”).

  1. Drum almost filled with a fruit (6)

Answer: TOMATO (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is TOMTOM (i.e. “drum”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder wrapped around or “filled with” A, like so: TOM(A)TO.

  1. Animal’s in group on the way out? (10,7)

Answer: ENDANGERED SPECIES. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, playing on how ENDANGERED can be described as being “on the way out”.

  1. Profit from ID document, and betray trust (4,3,4)

Answer: SELL THE PASS (i.e. “betray trust” – not a phrase I’ve come across before, but my Chambers backs it up). The first half of the clue pretty much sums up the solution as well.

  1. Charlie committed too many tenants: one’s on the bed (8)

Answer: COVERLET (i.e. “one’s on the bed”). Solution is C (“Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by OVERLET (i.e. “committed too many tenants”).

  1. For example, Plato’s gall bladder problem that has a transforming effect? (12,5)

Answer: PHILOSOPHER’S STONE (i.e. “that has a transforming effect”, a mythical compound sought by alchemists to turn some metals into gold). Solution is PHILOSOPHER’S (i.e. “for example, Plato’s” – other philosophers are available) followed by STONE (i.e. “gall bladder problem”).

  1. Short performance by little creatures and big ones (6)

Answer: GIANTS (i.e. “big ones”). Solution is GIG (i.e. “performance”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder followed by ANTS (i.e. “little creatures”), like so: GI-ANTS.

  1. Wanting assistance from power in underworld, minutes away from tricky situation (8)

Answer: HELPLESS (i.e. “wanting assistance”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) placed “in” HELL (i.e. “underworld”) and followed by MESS (i.e. “tricky situation”) once the M has been removed (indicated by “minutes away from…” – M being a recognised abbreviation of “minutes”), like so: HEL(P)L-ESS.

  1. Senior pupil hid lager to distribute (4,4)

Answer: HEAD GIRL (i.e. “senior pupil”). “To distribute” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HID LAGER.

  1. Vehicle fitted with the one replacement body part that sparkles in its turn (9,5)

Answer: CATHERINE WHEEL (i.e. a firework “that sparkles in its turn”). Solution is CAR (i.e. “vehicle”) wrapped around or “fitted with” THE and followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and NEW HEEL (i.e. “replacement body part”), like so: CA(THE)R-I-NEW-HEEL.

  1. In regular succession go off people, forgetting first name (8)

Answer: ROTATION (i.e. “regular succession”). Solution is ROT (i.e. “go off”) followed by NATION (i.e. “people”) once the “first” N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) has been removed or “forgotten”, like so: ROT-ATION.

  1. Shown a card – taken (6)

Answer: BOOKED. Solution satisfies “shown a card” in a number of sports, and “taken”.

  1. Penniless, taking new courage, loving disaster? (6,5)

Answer: BROKEN HEART (i.e. a “loving disaster”). Solution is BROKE (i.e. “penniless”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and HEART (i.e. “courage”).

  1. Really, really mean to take charge (11)

Answer: SUPERINTEND (i.e. “to take charge”). When written as SUPER INTEND the solution also playfully satisfies “really, really mean to”.

  1. Man of the cinema shot tennis, I see (10)

Answer: Sergei EISENSTEIN (i.e. “man of the cinema”). “Shot” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TENNIS I SEE.

  1. For Judith and others, a call father accepts with cry of delight (9)

Answer: APOCRYPHA (i.e. “Judith and others”, a reference to books of The Bible). Solution is A followed by CRY (i.e. “call”) once placed in or “accepted” by POP (i.e. “father”, informally) and followed by HA (i.e. “cry of delight”), like so: A-PO(CRY)P-HA.

  1. Being most stupid, is buried in wet earth (8)

Answer: SILLIEST (i.e. “being most stupid”). Solution is LIES (i.e. “is buried” – think headstones) placed “in” SILT (i.e. “wet earth”), like so: SIL(LIES)T.

  1. Writer leaves joint epistle unfinished (7)

Answer: Sidonie-Gabrielle COLETTE (i.e. French “writer”. Search me). Solution is CO- (a prefix denoting “joint”) followed by LETTER (i.e. “epistle”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “unfinished”), like so: CO-LETTE. Another solved solely through the wordplay.

  1. Long and very narrow lake I approach (6)

Answer: LINEAR (i.e. “long and very narrow”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”) followed by I and NEAR (i.e. “approach”).

  1. Expression of delight about examiner’s last question (5)

Answer: WHERE (i.e. a “question” – a bit too airy-fairy for me, but there you go). Solution is WHEE (i.e. “expression of delight”) wrapped “about” R (i.e. “examiner’s last” letter), like so: WHE(R)E.

  1. Messy stuff runs out of some rock (5)

Answer: GUNGE (i.e. “messy stuff”). Solution is GRUNGE (i.e. “some rock” music) with the R removed (indicated by “runs out of” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games).

  1. Inspection of car that is held (4)

Answer: VIEW (i.e. “inspection”). Solution is VW (i.e. “car”, short for a Volkswagen) wrapped around or “holding” IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. “i.e.”, short for the Latin id est), like so: V(IE)W.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1560

A relatively straightforward one, which is fine by me! You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a recent Jumbo is acting sheepishly after attempting to enact Schrödinger’s cat experiment with next-door’s Persian then you might find my Just For Fun page of help, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Composer neglecting king’s brass in Paris once (5)

Answer: FRANC (i.e. “brass in Paris one”, i.e. the former currency of France). Solution is César FRANCK (i.e. “composer”) with the K removed (indicated by “neglecting king” – K being a recognised abbreviation of “king” used in chess).

  1. Understanding company with mass potential (10)

Answer: COMPROMISE (i.e. “understanding”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) followed by M (ditto “mass”) and PROMISE (i.e. “potential”).

  1. Keep confined in vessel (6)

Answer: KETTLE. Solution satisfies “keep confined” and “vessel”.

  1. Cry for Tom to serve food with Manuel intermittently missing (9)

Answer: CATERWAUL (i.e. “cry for tom” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, we’re dealing with a male cat here). Solution is CATER (i.e. “to serve food”) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and AUL (i.e. “Manuel intermittently”, i.e. every other letter of MANUEL).

  1. Foul quality of new lace and linen woven by society in United States (13)

Answer: UNCLEANLINESS (i.e. “foul quality”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), an anagram (indicated by “woven”) of LACE and LINEN and S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”) all placed “in” US (i.e. “United States”), like so: U(N-CLEANLINE-S)S.

  1. What can be cut from cultivar, but usually a shrub or tree (7)

Answer: ARBUTUS (i.e. “a shrub or tree”). “What can be cut from” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: CULTIV(AR BUT US)UALLY. One nailed from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

  1. Repeating – that is about three times … four? (9)

Answer: ITERATIVE (i.e. “repeating”). Solution is IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. “i.e.”, short for the Latin id est) wrapped “about” T, ERA and T (i.e. “three times”, the first and third of these being recognised abbreviations of “time”) along with IV (i.e. “four” expressed in Roman numerals), like so: I((T-ERA-T)-IV)E.

  1. Tax – it’s included in article (5)

Answer: TITHE (i.e. a “tax”). Solution is IT placed or “included in” THE (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the), like so: T(IT)HE.

  1. Goon is holding a note about Liberal involved with ministers? (14)

Answer: ECCLESIASTICAL (i.e. “involved with ministers”). Solution is ECCLES (a character from the “Goons’” radio show) followed by IS once wrapped around or “holding” A, then TI (a “note” in the sol-fa notation), then CA (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) and L (ditto “Liberal”), like so: ECCLES-I(A)S-TI-CA-L.

  1. Open-handedneSS? That shows it (7)

Answer: LARGESS (i.e. “open-handedness”). Clue plays on how the solution, when written as LARGE SS, describes the two uppercase Ss at the end of “open-handedneSS“.

  1. Novel taken up when new paper is introduced (10)

Answer: UNEXAMPLED (i.e. “novel”). Solution is UP wrapped around or having “introduced” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and EXAM (i.e. “paper”), followed LED (i.e. “introduced” – a sneaky spot of recycling), like so: U(N-EXAM)P-LED.

  1. Like OS output to move round visual display (12)

Answer: CARTOGRAPHIC (i.e. “like OS output”, OS taken as Ordinance Survey). Solution is CART (i.e. “to move”) followed by O (i.e. “round”) and GRAPHIC (i.e. “visual display”).

  1. Grouse is good and ready to eat (5)

Answer: GRIPE (i.e. “grouse”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by RIPE (i.e. “ready to eat”).

  1. Speaker needs input-output to make music work (8)

Answer: ORATORIO (i.e. “music work”). Solution is ORATOR (i.e. “speaker”) followed by IO (a recognised abbreviation of “input-output” in computer-speak).

  1. Below what one needs to get money for support (8)

Answer: UNDERPIN (i.e. “support”). Solution is UNDER (i.e. “below”) followed by PIN (i.e. “what one needs to get money”, say, from a cashpoint – short for a Personal Identification Number).

  1. What Allan holds to be versatile (3-5)

Answer: ALL-ROUND (i.e. “versatile”). When written as ALL ROUND the solution cryptically satisfies “what Allan holds”, i.e. how the middle letters of “Allan”, LLA, is the word ALL reversed or had ROUND.

  1. Climber’s not wild about being in climbs without doctor present (8)

Answer: CLEMATIS (i.e. “climber”). Solution is TAME (i.e. “not wild”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and placed “in” CLIMBS once the MB has been removed (indicated by “without doctor present”, an MB being a Medicinae Baccalaureus or Doctor of Medicine), like so: CL(EMAT)IS.

  1. Guest at banquet possibly at home between duke and queen (5)

Answer: DINER (i.e. “guest at banquet possibly”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) placed “between” D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) and ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: D-(IN)-ER.

  1. Explode in game court after less deft playing (4-8)

Answer: SELF-DESTRUCT (i.e. “explode”). Solution is RU (i.e. “game”, specifically Rugby Union) and CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”) both placed “after” an anagram (indicated by “playing”) of LESS DEFT, like so: SELFDEST-(RU-CT).

  1. Harmful action of pieces in a defect resolved (10)

Answer: DEFACEMENT (i.e. “harmful action”). Solution is MEN (i.e. chess “pieces”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of A DEFECT, like so: DEFACE(MEN)T.

  1. Warrior needs one with a spirit as backing (7)

Answer: SAMURAI (i.e. “warrior”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), A, RUM (i.e. “spirit”) and AS all reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: SA-MUR-A-I.

  1. Is leaderless country following London, say? London merits it (14)

Answer: CAPITALISATION (i.e. “London merits it”, referencing how “London” is a proper name, and how such things are usually fronted with capital letters). Solution is IS and NATION (i.e. “country”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “leaderless”) both placed “after” CAPITAL (i.e. “London, say” – other capital cities are available), like so: CAPITAL-(IS-ATION).

  1. A small bird, grey (5)

Answer: ASHEN (i.e. “grey”). Solution is A followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and HEN (i.e. “bird”).

  1. A large salmon with a lot of parasites – one often soused (9)

Answer: ALCOHOLIC (i.e. “one often soused”). Solution is A followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), then COHO (i.e. a Pacific “salmon” useful to crossword setters), then LICE (i.e. “parasites”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “a lot of”), like so: A-L-COHO-LIC.

  1. In cold English November, rowers get into rough condition (7)

Answer: COARSEN (i.e. “get into rough condition”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps), E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and N (“November” in the phonetic alphabet) all wrapped around or having “in” OARS (i.e. “rowers”), like so: C-(OARS)-E-N.

  1. One predicting conditions melting remotest igloo (13)

Answer: METEOROLOGIST (i.e. “one predicting conditions”). “Melting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of REMOTEST IGLOO.

  1. Save lines in altering positions for animation (9)

Answer: ALIVENESS (i.e. “animation”). “In altering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SAVE LINES.

  1. Passable way down having missed beginning of steps (6)

Answer: DECENT (i.e. “passable”). Solution is DESCENT (i.e. “way down”) with the S removed (indicated by “having missed beginning [letter] of steps”).

  1. Fess in the middle made shorter, revolutionary on shield (10)

Answer: ESCUTCHEON (i.e. “shield”). Solution is ES (i.e. “fess in the middle”, i.e. the middle letters of “fess”) followed by CUT (i.e. “made shorter”), then CHE Guevara (i.e. “revolutionary”) and ON.

  1. Clergyman avoiding parking offence (5)

Answer: ARSON (i.e. criminal “offence”). Solution is PARSON (i.e. “clergyman”) with the P removed (indicated by “avoiding parking” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “parking” used on maps and signage).

Down clues

  1. Female account regularly dismissed miracle beauty treatment (6)

Answer: FACIAL (i.e. “beauty treatment”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by AC (ditto “account”) then IAL (i.e. “regularly dismissed miracle”, i.e. every other letter of MIRACLE).

  1. I learn a cat bit indiscriminately, perhaps killing thrush (13)

Answer: ANTIBACTERIAL (i.e. “perhaps killing thrush”). “Indiscriminately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I LEARN A CAT BIT.

  1. Weight of vehicle? Answer: tons (5)

Answer: CARAT (i.e. unit of “weight” used in gems). Solution is CAR (i.e. “vehicle”) followed by A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, e.g. in Q&A) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”).

  1. Structure of church unaltered with saint buried inside (7)

Answer: CHASSIS (i.e. “structure”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) and AS IS (i.e. “unaltered”) wrapped around or having “buried inside” S (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”), like so: CH-A(S)S-IS.

  1. Having many parties involves pounds in damage really regularly (12)

Answer: MULTILATERAL (i.e. “having many parties”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight, after the Latin libra) placed or “involved” in MUTILATE (i.e. “damage”) and followed by RAL (i.e. “really regularly”, i.e. every other letter of REALLY), like so: MU(L)TILATE-RAL.

  1. Oxford University character putting up head of Rugby for game (8)

Answer: ROULETTE (i.e. “game”). Solution is OU (short for “Oxford University”) and LETTER (i.e. “character”) once the R (i.e. “head [letter] of Rugby”) has been “put up” – this being a down clue – like so: OU-LETTE(R) => (R)-OU-LETTE.

  1. Millions going on to city about here? (5)

Answer: MECCA. The solution satisfies the clue as a whole – MECCA being a place of pilgrimage for Muslims – and also comprises M (a recognised abbreviation of “millions”), EC (i.e. “city” – basically the postcode area of the City of London) and CA (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”).

  1. LA City pies cooked as a signature dish? (10)

Answer: SPECIALITY (i.e. “signature dish”). “Cooked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LA CITY PIES.

  1. Source of charges to cause hostility with British leaving (7)

Answer: EMITTER (i.e. “source of charges”). Solution is EMBITTER (i.e. “cause hostility”) with the B removed (indicated by “with British leaving” – B being a recognised abbreviation of “British”).

  1. The clue to 41 across is so like last century? (9)

Answer: TWENTIETH. Solution satisfies “the clue to 41 across”, the twentieth of the puzzle, and “like last century”. If you’re reading this in the 22nd century then say hi to our robot overlords from me.

  1. When Romeo exits, make certain to follow (5)

Answer: ENSUE (i.e. “follow”). Solution is ENSURE (i.e. “make certain”) with the R removed (indicated by “when Romeo exits” – R being “Romeo” in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Who might develop elitist leaning? (14)

Answer: INTELLIGENTSIA. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, originating in Russia for the intellectual elite, but is also formed by an anagram (indicated by “develop”) of ELITIST LEANING. Very nicely done.

  1. Land, perhaps meadow auctioned without a form of enquiry? (9)

Answer: LEASEHOLD (i.e. “land, perhaps”. You can also get leasehold properties, for example). Solution is LEA (i.e. “meadow”) followed by SOLD (i.e. “auctioned”) once wrapped around or placed “without” EH (i.e. “a form of enquiry”, as in eh? what? pardon?), like so: LEA-S(EH)OLD.

  1. Attraction all round is a seductive quality (8)

Answer: CHARISMA (i.e. “seductive quality”). Solution is CHARM (i.e. “attraction”) wrapped “round” IS and followed by A, like so: CHAR(IS)M-A.

  1. Mo going with speed that’s mediocre (6-4)

Answer: SECOND-RATE (i.e. “mediocre”). Solution is SECOND (i.e. “mo” or moment) followed by RATE (i.e. “speed”).

  1. Form of protection from what informer’s done with girls? (10)

Answer: SUNGLASSES (i.e. “form of protection”). Solution is SUNG (i.e. “what informer’s done”) followed by LASSES (i.e. “girls”).

  1. One who foresees rotating crops ingeniously around a circle (14)

Answer: PROGNOSTICATOR (i.e. “one who foresees”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ingeniously”) of ROTATING CROPS wrapped “around” O (i.e. “a circle”), like so: PR(O)GNOSTICATOR.

  1. Change, switching from Circle to terminus in a very short time (9)

Answer: AMENDMENT (i.e. “change”). Solution is A MOMENT (i.e. “a very short time”) with the O (i.e. “circle” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) “switched” for END (i.e. “terminus”), like so: A-M(O)MENT => A-M(END)MENT.

  1. Sheet size is deceptive with Excel (8)

Answer: FOOLSCAP (i.e. “sheet size”). Solution is FOOLS (i.e. “is deceptive”) followed by CAP (i.e. to “excel” – again, ignore the misleading capitalisation).

  1. Sound response unfortunately shows lack of delicacy (13)

Answer: PONDEROUSNESS (i.e. “lack of delicacy” – ponderous can mean heavy or unwieldy). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOUND RESPONSE.

  1. Trapped by exorbitant contract, church mounted competition (12)

Answer: STEEPLECHASE (i.e. “mounted competition”). Solution is STEEP (i.e. “exorbitant”) and LEASE (i.e. “contract”) wrapped around or “trapping” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: STEEP-LE(CH)ASE.

  1. Devout about RE, children of clerics initially matured early (10)

Answer: PRECOCIOUS (i.e. “matured early”). Solution is PIOUS (i.e. “devout”) wrapped “about” RE and COC (i.e. “children of clerics initially”, i.e. the first letters of “children”, “of” and “clerics”), like so: P(RE-COC)IOUS.

  1. Sluggish, large and unknown MP with Derby, say, in charge (9)

Answer: LYMPHATIC (i.e. “sluggish”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) followed by Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as unknowns), then MP, then HAT (i.e. “derby, say” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), then IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”).

  1. Fit shelves oddly missing in loft (8)

Answer: ATHLETIC (i.e. “fit”). Solution is HLE (i.e. “shelves oddly missing”, i.e. every other letter of SHELVES) placed “in” ATTIC (i.e. “loft”), like so: AT(HLE)TIC.

  1. Knock has to administer county in Ireland (3,4)

Answer: RUN DOWN (i.e. to criticise or “run down”). Solution is RUN (i.e. “to administer”) followed by DOWN (i.e. “county in Ireland”).

  1. What draws in diagram of internal structure using uranium for energy (7)

Answer: SUCTION (i.e. “what draws in”). Solution is SECTION (i.e. “diagram of internal structure”) with the E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) swapped “for” U (chemical symbol of “uranium”), like so: S(E)CTION => S(U)CTION.

  1. United Nations works for agreement (6)

Answer: UNISON (i.e. “agreement”). Solution is UN (short for “United Nations”) followed by IS ON (i.e. “works”).

  1. Hotel eliminated, damaged with guns (5)

Answer: ARMED (i.e. “with guns”). Solution is HARMED (i.e. “damaged”) with the H removed (indicated by “hotel eliminated” – H being “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Poem greeting sound of dove as it is heard (5)

Answer: HAIKU (i.e. Japanese “poem”). “As it is heard” indicates homophone. Solution comprises homophones of HI (i.e. “greeing”) and COO (i.e. “sound of dove”), like so: HAI-KU.

  1. Neighbourhood around northern sports venue (5)

Answer: ARENA (i.e. “sports venue”). Solution is AREA (i.e. “neighbourhood”) wrapped “around” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”), like so: ARE(N)A.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1559

A medium strength puzzle for Bank Holiday Thursday. I was half-expecting a Jubilee themed puzzle, so was quite pleased when this didn’t arise. (I guess we could still get one on Saturday.) On the whole I rather liked this one. There were a good number of well worked clues to decipher and it offered the kind of steady progression I always enjoy.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has severely overdone it with the coronation chicken and your house is now virtually uninhabitable as a result then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks for the warm words and welcomes back. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Camp entertainer visibly embarrassed by film (7)

Answer: REDCOAT (i.e. holiday “camp entertainer”). Solution is RED (i.e. “visibly embarrassed”) followed by COAT (i.e. layer or “film”).

  1. Check little woman taking in garment fabric (8)

Answer: CHAMBRAY (i.e. “fabric”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “check” used in chess) followed by AMY (i.e. a character in Louisa May Alcott’s novel, “Little Women”) once wrapped around or “taking in” BRA (i.e. “garment”), like so: CH-AM(BRA)Y.

  1. Pint almost finished – in a manner of speaking (6)

Answer: JARGON (i.e. “a manner of speaking”). Solution is JAR (slang word for a “pint” of beer) followed by GONE (i.e. “finished”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”), like so: JAR-GON.

  1. Money put into poor stage hit we back as movie (9,7)

Answer: SPAGHETTI WESTERN (i.e. “movie”). Solution is P (i.e. “money”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a penny) placed “into” an anagram (indicated by “poor”) of STAGE HIT and followed by WE and STERN (i.e. the “back” of a ship), like so: S(P)AGHETTI-WE-STERN.

  1. Married one deserting concubine put weight on (6)

Answer: STRESS (i.e. to emphasise or “put weight on”). Solution is MISTRESS (i.e. “concubine”) with the M and I removed (indicated by “married one deserting” – M being a recognised abbreviation of “married” and I being the Roman numeral “one”).

  1. Ace business paper with energy slowing in the end (5,3)

Answer: AFTER ALL (i.e. “in the end”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “ace” used on playing cards) followed by FT (i.e. “business paper”, specifically the Financial Times), then E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and RALL (i.e. “slowing”, short for rallentando in musical lingo).

  1. Problem with looker in Vogue not ultimately cool (4)

Answer: STYE (i.e. “problem with looker” or the eye). Solution is STYLE (i.e. “vogue”) with the L removed (indicated by “not ultimately cool”, i.e. the last letter of “cool”).

  1. At home having a ball around five? That’s early (2,7)

Answer: IN ADVANCE (i.e. “early”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by A and DANCE (i.e. “ball”) once wrapped “around” V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five”), like so: IN-A-D(V)ANCE.

  1. Rubbish delivered from the east drowning City boss (8)

Answer: DIRECTOR (i.e. “boss”). Solution is ROT (i.e. “rubbish”) and RID (i.e. “delivered”) all reversed (indicated by “from the east” – this being an across clue) and wrapped around or “drowning” EC (i.e. “city” – basically the City of London’s post code area), like so: DIR-(EC)-TOR.

  1. Doubly popular installing new setter, good and unusual (11)

Answer: INTERESTING (i.e. “unusual”). Solution is IN and IN (i.e. “doubly popular”) wrapped around or “installing” an anagram (indicated by “new”) of SETTER and followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: (IN-(TEREST)-IN)-G.

  1. Queen perhaps chasing lover no longer vivacious (9)

Answer: EXUBERANT (i.e. “vivacious”). Solution is UBER ANT (i.e. “queen perhaps”) placed after or “chasing” EX (i.e. “lover no longer”), like so: EX-(UBER-ANT).

  1. Upstanding character inspired by high earning African? (8)

Answer: NIGERIAN (i.e. an “African”). Solution is I (i.e. “upstanding character”) placed in or “inspired by” an anagram (indicated by “high”) of EARNING, like so: N(I)GERIAN. Nicely worked.

  1. National relationship spoken of (4)

Answer: THAI (i.e. a “national” of Thailand). “Spoken of” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of TIE (i.e. “relationship”).

  1. Hate man with brutality dispatching one (11)

Answer: MALEVOLENCE (i.e. “hate”). Solution is MALE (i.e. “man”) followed by VIOLENCE (i.e. “brutality”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “dispatching [Roman numeral] one”), like so: MALE-VOLENCE.

  1. Maybe sansculottes behind in France also being lassoed? (11)

Answer: PROLETARIATS (i.e. “maybe sansculottes”, “generally, a strong republican, democrat or violent revolutionary” (Chambers)). Solution is PRO (i.e. supportive of or “behind”) followed by ET (i.e. “in France also”, i.e. the French for “and”) once placed in LARIAT (i.e. “being lassoed”, playfully), like so: PRO-L(ET)ARIAT.

  1. Redeeming feature celebrated by cricketer bagging six (6,5)

Answer: SAVING GRACE (i.e. “redeeming feature”). Solution is SANG (i.e. “celebrated”) and GRACE (i.e. beardy “cricketer” of old) wrapped around or “bagging” VI (i.e. “six” expressed in Roman numerals), like so: SA(VI)NG-GRACE.

  1. Supply column tracked vehicle (11)

Answer: CATERPILLAR (i.e. “tracked vehicle”). Solution is CATER (i.e. “supply”) followed by PILLAR (i.e. “column”).

  1. Leading lady receiving answer by Liberal peer (4)

Answer: EARL (i.e. “peer”). Solution is ER (i.e. “leading lady”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) wrapped around or “receiving” A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, e.g. in Q&A) and followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”), like so: E(A)R-L.

  1. Warnings applied to Aegean regularly expected (8)

Answer: FORESEEN (i.e. “expected”). Solution is FORES (i.e. “warnings” in golf) followed by EEN (i.e. “Aegean regularly”, i.e. every other letter of AEGEAN).

  1. Bubbly dictator’s trouble with phantom limb? (9)

Answer: CHAMPAGNE (i.e. “bubbly”). “Dictator’s” indicates homophone. Solution comprises homophones of SHAM and PAIN, a play on pain that is sometimes experienced from a missing limb. A very similar clue appeared in another Jumbo only a few weeks ago, making this a much easier get.

  1. Beer served with dessert to give an ambiguous flavour (11)

Answer: BITTERSWEET (i.e. “ambiguous flavour”). Solution is BITTER (i.e. “beer”) followed by SWEET (i.e. “dessert”).

  1. One testing Resistance after chopper sent back to lay bombs (8)

Answer: EXAMINER (i.e. “one testing”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) placed “after” AXE (i.e. “chopper”) once reversed (indicated by “sent back”) and MINE (i.e. “to lay bombs”), like so: (EXA-MINE)-R.

  1. Walk quietly back to circumvent curious threat in unsafe structure (5-4)

Answer: DEATH-TRAP (i.e. “unsafe structure”). Solution is PAD (i.e. “walk quietly”) reversed (indicated by “back”) and wrapped around or “circumventing” an anagram (indicated by “curious”) of THREAT, like so: D(EATHTR)AP.

  1. First nine letters sent round: the ninth from Greeks (4)

Answer: IOTA (i.e. “the ninth [letter] from Greeks”). Solution is A TO I (i.e. “first nine letters”), which is then reversed (indicated by “sent round”), like so: I-OT-A.

  1. Curse stories associated with The Graduate (8)

Answer: ANATHEMA (i.e. “curse”). Solution is ANA (i.e. “stories” – over to Chambers again: “a collection of someone’s table talk or of gossip, literary anecdotes or possessions”) followed by THE and MA (i.e. “graduate”, specifically a Master of the Arts – ignore the misleading capitalisation).

  1. Darkness found in initially easy puzzle (6)

Answer: EREBUS (i.e. “darkness” – back to Chambers: “(myth) the dark and gloomy cavern between Earth and Hades”). Solution is E (i.e. “initially easy”, i.e. the first letter of “easy”) followed by REBUS (i.e. a picture “puzzle”).

  1. Keen policeman caught in corrupt fiddle becomes hero (5,11)

Answer: DAVID COPPERFIELD (i.e. eponymous “hero” of Charles Dicken’s novel). Solution is AVID (i.e. “keen”) and COPPER (i.e. “policeman”) both placed in an anagram (indicated by “corrupt”) of FIDDLE, like so: D(AVID-COPPER)FIELD. Nicely worked.

  1. Flower attached to tail of giant guinea pig (6)

Answer: TASTER (i.e. “guinea pig”). Solution is ASTER (i.e. “flower”) placed after or “attached to” T (i.e. “tail of giant”, i.e. the last letter of “giant”), like so: T-ASTER.

  1. Python sliding around, one cold and bewitching (8)

Answer: HYPNOTIC (i.e. “bewitching”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sliding around”) of PYTHON followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps), like so: HYPNOT-I-C.

  1. Author means to throw out an old plaything (7)

Answer: Leo TOLSTOY (i.e. “author”). Solution is TOOLS (i.e. “means”) with one of the Os removed (indicated by “throw out an old” – O being a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and the remainder followed by TOY (i.e. “plaything”), like to: TOLS-TOY.

Down clues

  1. Rogue Indian sailor confusing his port with starboard? (6)

Answer: RASCAL (i.e. “rogue”). Solution is LASCAR (i.e. “Indian sailor”) with the L swapped for R and vice versa (indicated by “confusing his port [i.e. left] with starboard [i.e. right]”), like so: (L)ASCA(R) => (R)ASCA(L).

  1. Anything but cheap, this is missed in poverty (6)

Answer: DEARTH (i.e. “poverty”). Solution is DEAR (i.e. “anything but cheap”) followed by THIS once the IS has been removed (indicated by “this is missed”), like so: DEAR-TH.

  1. Soldiers protecting the Western Isles: east under different conditions (9)

Answer: OTHERWISE (i.e. “under different conditions”). Solution is OR (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) wrapped around or “protecting” THE and followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “western” – ignoring the misleading capitalisation), IS (i.e. “isles” – I is a recognised abbreviation of “isle”, made plural) and E (ditto “east”), like so: O(THE)R-W-IS-E.

  1. Remember with this everything linked to phone conversation? (5,6)

Answer: TOTAL RECALL (i.e. “remember with this everything”). Solution is TOTAL (i.e. “everything”) followed by RE (i.e. “linked to” or regarding – think email replies) and CALL (i.e. “phone conversation”).

  1. Endless crack in part of mug (4)

Answer: CHIN (i.e. “part of mug” or face). Solution is CHINK (i.e. “crack”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “endless”).

  1. Harmful herbicide one with power to act on royal house (5,6)

Answer: AGENT ORANGE (i.e. “harmful herbicide”). Solution is AGENT (i.e. “one with power to act”) followed by ORANGE (i.e. Dutch “royal house”).

  1. Beguiling boozer in the ascendant keeps talking (9,2)

Answer: BUTTERING UP (i.e. “beguiling”). Solution is PUB (i.e. “boozer”) reversed (indicated by “in the ascendant” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around or “keeping” UTTERING (i.e. “talking”), like so: B(UTTERING)UP.

  1. Strain twice to locate automobile part (3,6)

Answer: AIR FILTER (i.e. “automobile part”). Clue plays on how the two words of the solution can be taken separately as other words for “strain” – the former being a tune or air, the latter being to filter out impurities. Nicely done.

  1. Militant performance quartet is in Berlin (8)

Answer: ACTIVIST (i.e. “militant”). Solution is ACT (i.e. “performance”) followed by IV (i.e. “quartet”, i.e. four expressed in Roman numerals) and IST (i.e. “is in Berlin”, i.e. the German for “is”).

  1. City district verdant with one church and house Goethe vacated (9,7)

Answer: GREENWICH VILLAGE (i.e. New York “city district”). Solution is GREEN (i.e. “verdant”) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), then VILLA (i.e. “house”) and GE (i.e. “Goethe vacated”, i.e. “Goethe” with all the middle letters removed).

[EDIT: Thanks to Sue in the comments for tidying this one up. I’d forgotten to parse the W in the above solution. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

  1. Obtains inside information for a rise in savings (4,3)

Answer: NEST EGG (i.e. “savings”). Solution is GETS (i.e. “obtains”) placed “inside” of GEN (i.e. “information”) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “for a rise” – this being a down clue), like so: NE(STEG)G. A very good clue. Probably my favourite of the puzzle.

  1. Bearing used in horse-drawn vehicle (8)

Answer: CARRIAGE. Solution satisfies “bearing” and “horse-drawn vehicle”.

  1. Foreign coin to add in among Jamaican notes? (8)

Answer: STOTINKA (i.e. “foreign coin” of Bulgaria). Solution is TOT (i.e. “to add”) and IN both placed “among” SKA (i.e. “Jamaican notes” or music), like so: S(TOT-IN)KA. Made to fit.

  1. Meet wayward son in shelter I need to check (3,2,3)

Answer: LET ME SEE (i.e. “I need to check”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wayward”) of MEET and S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) both placed “in” LEE (i.e. “shelter”), like so: L(ETME-S)EE.

  1. Large organ’s featured in visceral composer’s work (9,7)

Answer: GULLIVER’S TRAVELS (i.e. a novel or “work” by Jonathan Swift). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and LIVER’S (i.e. “organ’s”) placed or “featured in” GUT (i.e. “visceral”) and followed by Maurice RAVEL’S (i.e. “composer’s”), like so: GU(L-LIVER’S)T-RAVEL’S. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Heads off for winter in pet surfing place (8)

Answer: INTERNET (i.e. “surfing place”). “Heads off” indicates the solution is derived through removing the initial letters from WINTER IN PET.

  1. Star witnesses appearing in first issue? (4)

Answer: MAGI (i.e. “star witnesses”, i.e. the Three Wise Men who followed a star to Christ’s baby shower). When written as MAG I the solution playfully satisfies “first issue” of a magazine.

  1. Blade going round front end of turbine (4)

Answer: VANE (i.e. “blade” of a fan or windmill). Solution is VAN (i.e. “front”, short for vanguard) followed by E (i.e. “end of turbine”, i.e. the last letter of “turbine”). Chalk one to my Bradford’s. I couldn’t make the leap from “blade”.

  1. Work on red colour reported for visual specialist (8)

Answer: OPTICIAN (i.e. “visual specialist”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reported”) of TITIAN (i.e. “red colour” attributed to the artist), like so: OP-TICIAN.

  1. Man having to accept defeat, where terms laid out? (8)

Answer: GLOSSARY (i.e. “where terms laid out” in a book). Solution is GARY (I.e. “man’s” name) wrapped around or “accepting” LOSS (i.e. “defeat”), like so: G(LOSS)ARY.

  1. Dropping intro in nice clarinet playing produces sparks (11)

Answer: ELECTRICIAN (i.e. “sparks”, informally). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “playing”) of NICE once the first letter has been removed (indicated by “dropping intro in…”) and CLARINET.

  1. Hartfordians here one saw under bridge (11)

Answer: CONNECTICUT (i.e. “Hartfordians here”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and CUT (i.e. to “saw”) both placed after or, being a down clue, “under” CONNECT (i.e. “bridge”), like so: CONNECT-(I-CUT).

  1. Disheartened grain workers in truth shortened shift (11)

Answer: REALIGNMENT (i.e. “shift”). Solution is GN (i.e. “disheartened grain”, i.e. the word “grain” with its middle letters removed) and MEN (i.e. “workers” – hang on while I check we’re still in 2022) both placed “in” REALITY (i.e. “truth”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “shortened”), like so: REALI(GN-MEN)T.

  1. Perfect woman keeping place by Devonian river (9)

Answer: EXEMPLARY (i.e. “perfect”). Solution is MARY (i.e. “woman’s” name) wrapped around or “keeping” PL (a recognised abbreviation of “place”) and placed after or “by” EXE (i.e. “Devonian river”), like so: EXE-M(PL)ARY.

  1. Fill net up at sea in good supply (9)

Answer: PLENTIFUL (i.e. “in good supply”). “At sea” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FILL NET UP.

  1. Many layers shed? (8)

Answer: HENHOUSE. Clue plays on hens being “layers” of eggs. You get the idea.

  1. Unrecoverable cash duke and girl brought into club? (3,4)

Answer: BAD DEBT (i.e. “unrecoverable cash”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) and DEB (ditto “girl”, in this case a debutante; could also be a shortened form of Deborah) both placed “into” BAT (i.e. “club”), like so: BA(D-DEB)T.

  1. Joiner in building industry church people finally accept (6)

Answer: CEMENT (i.e. “joiner in building industry”). Solution is CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) followed by MEN (i.e. “people”) and T (i.e. “finally accept”, i.e. the last letter of “accept”).

  1. Hydra moving across lake only with great difficulty (6)

Answer: HARDLY (i.e. “with great difficulty”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “moving”) of HYDRA wrapped around or placed “across” L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: HARD(L)Y.

  1. English prince appearing regularly in spectacular film (4)

Answer: EPIC (i.e. “spectacular film”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by PIC (i.e. “prince appearing regularly”, i.e. every other letter of PRINCE).