Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1528

Another relatively straightforward puzzle this week, albeit one spoiled by a couple of scruffy clues. A shame as several of the other clues were well worked. Could just be 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 pilfered your peanuts then you might find my Just For Fun page useful, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 170+ of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once again for the kind comments and help. They are always appreciated, and it’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

With thanks to Iain MacG in the comments for fixing 47a

Across clues

  1. Open to change of plan, a motorway that may be stopped (9)

Answer: AMENDABLE (i.e. “open to change of plan”). Solution is A followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “motorway”) and ENDABLE (i.e. “that may be stopped”).

  1. Wondered if icehouse is outside this building (7)

Answer: EDIFICE (i.e. “building”). “Is outside this” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: WONDER(ED IF ICE)HOUSE.

  1. Little time to pursue study (5)

Answer: SCANT (i.e. “little”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) placed after or “pursuing” SCAN (i.e. to “study” something), like so: SCAN-T.

  1. Stay-at-home wanting run out used van freely (13)

Answer: UNADVENTUROUS (i.e. “stay-at-home”). “Freely” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RUN OUT USED VAN.

  1. Reprimand about Italian wine scandal? (9)

Answer: CASTIGATE (i.e. “reprimand”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “circa”, i.e. “about”) followed by ASTIGATE (i.e. “Italian wine scandal” – the riddly question mark acknowledges the playful use of the prefix -GATE, referencing a scandal. ASTI, meanwhile, is an “Italian wine”).

  1. Loose garment needing close fastening (7)

Answer: NIGHTIE (i.e. “loose garment”). Solution is NIGH (i.e. “close” or nearby) followed by TIE (i.e. “fastening”). Nicely worked.

  1. Hard lump inside a bone (7)

Answer: STERNUM (i.e. a “bone”). Solution is STERN (i.e. “hard”) followed by UM (i.e. “lump inside”, i.e. the middle letters of “lump”).

  1. Warmongers regularly, I note, show an ignorance of the past (7)

Answer: AMNESIA (i.e. “ignorance of the past”, often one’s own). Solution is AMNES (i.e. “warmongers regularly”, i.e. every other letter of WARMONGERS) followed by I and A (i.e. musical “note”).

  1. Personally wrapped up small brownie getting taken in (4-8)

Answer: SELF-ABSORBED (i.e. “personally wrapped up”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by ELF (i.e. “brownie” – over to Chambers: “a benevolent creature who may secretly help with domestic work”. Could do with a few myself), then ABSORBED (i.e. “taken in”).

  1. Attachment finishes on Friday – start to cheer (10)

Answer: FRIENDSHIP (i.e. “attachment”). Solution is ENDS (i.e. “finishes”) placed “on” or after FRI (shortened form of “Friday”) and followed by HIP (i.e. “start to cheer”, as in the first word of “hip hip hooray”), like so: FRI-ENDS-HIP.

  1. Stuff fish with ten capers to begin with and do well (5)

Answer: EXCEL (i.e. “do well”). Solution is EEL (i.e. “fish”) wrapped around or “stuffed” with X (i.e. “[Roman numeral] ten”) and C (i.e. “capers to begin with”, i.e. the first letter of “capers”), like so: E(X-C)EL.

  1. Pearl such as the last across clue? (9)

Answer: THIRTIETH (i.e. “pearl”, traditional gift for a 30th wedding anniversary). The remainder of the clue references how there are thirty across clues in this week’s puzzle.

  1. I am a fool cutting exercise in standstill (7)

Answer: IMPASSE (i.e. “standstill”). Solution is I’M (a contraction of “I am”) followed by ASS (i.e. “fool”) once it has been placed in or “cutting” PE (i.e. “exercise”, specifically Physical Education), like so: I’M-P(ASS)E.

  1. Sender of message left pager there carelessly (11)

Answer: TELEGRAPHER (i.e. “sender of message”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “carelessly”) of L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and PAGER THERE.

  1. Allied prisoner given food by English judge (11)

Answer: CONFEDERATE (i.e. “allied”). Solution is CON (i.e. “prisoner”) followed by FED (i.e. “given food”), then E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and RATE (i.e. to “judge”).

  1. Drunken duke on floor is not expected (8-3)

Answer: UNLOOKED-FOR (i.e. “not expected”). “Drunken” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DUKE ON FLOOR.

  1. Flower mostly invaded by return of weed with couple often returning (11)

Answer: REITERATIVE (i.e. “often returning”). Solution is RIVER (i.e. “flower”, as in how it flows) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped around or “invaded by” TARE (i.e. a kind of “weed”) and TIE (i.e. to “couple”) once these have been reversed (indicated by “return of”), like so: R(EIT-ERAT)IVE.

  1. Gatecrash home rightly without key (7)

Answer: INTRUDE (i.e. “gatecrash”). Solution is IN (i.e. at “home”) followed by TRUE (i.e. “rightly”) once wrapped around or placed “without” D (i.e. musical “key”), like so: IN-TRU(D)E.

  1. Band introduces person who finishes performance (9)

Answer: RENDERING (i.e. “performance”). Solution is RING (i.e. “band”) wrapped around or “introducing” ENDER (i.e. “person who finishes”), like so: R(ENDER)ING.

  1. I mostly speed round motorway and drive on (5)

Answer: IMPEL (i.e. “drive on”). Solution is I followed by PELT (i.e. “speed”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”). These are then placed “round” M (a recognised abbreviation of “motorway”), like so: I-(M)-PEL.

  1. Narcissistic socialite is distraught about blog’s ending (10)

Answer: EGOISTICAL (i.e. “narcissistic”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “is distraught”) of SOCIALITE wrapped “about” G (i.e. “blog’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “blog”), like so: E(G)OISTICAL.

  1. I sensed vices destroyed ability to resolve issues (12)

Answer: DECISIVENESS (i.e. “ability to resolve issues”). “Destroyed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I SENSED VICES.

  1. Stamp I invent without head of poor queen (7)

Answer: IMPRINT (i.e. “stamp”). Solution is I followed by MINT (i.e. to “invent”) wrapped around or placed “without” P (i.e. “head of poor”, i.e. the first letter of “poor”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of Regina, Latin for “queen”), like so: I-M(P-R)INT.

  1. Where wild animals live, see, with many close together (7)

Answer: DENSELY (i.e. “with many close together”). Solution is DENS (i.e. “where wild animals live”) followed by ELY (i.e. “see” or a diocese in East Anglia popular with setters).

  1. Money to get in heroin using sharp runners (7)

Answer: SHAVING (i.e. “using sharp runners”). I’m not 100% on this one, so watch out. I guess the solution is SAVING (i.e. “money”) wrapped around or “getting in” H (i.e. street name of “heroin”), like so: S(H)AVING. Two things: I’d argue money ought to be “savings” not “saving”, and I believe runners refer to blades of, say, an ice skate rather than the cosmetic type. If this is indeed the solution then bleaurgh. Not keen. Alternatively, the solution could be S-HAVING with S being a recognised abbreviation of shilling or “money” and HAVING being “to get in”, but this then leaves “heroin” redundant. Alternatively alternatively, the solution could be SKATING, which then satisfies “using sharp runners”, but I can’t make the solution fit the rest of the clue. A bit of a shitshow, this one, and possibly a cock-up. If anyone swings by with a better solution then I’ll update the post.

[EDIT: Thanks to Iain MacG in the comments for clearing this one up. The solution turned out to be SKATING after all, i.e. “using sharp runners”, formed of TIN (i.e. slang for “money”) placed “in” SKAG (i.e. slang for “heroin”), like so: SKA(TIN)G. Cheers, Iain! – LP]

  1. Always famous piece by Handel ends transposed and too broad? (9)

Answer: OVERLARGE (i.e. “too broad”). Solution is EVER (i.e. “always”) and LARGO (i.e. “famous piece by Handel” – I mean, it’s pleasant enough but you’re not missing much) with the “ends transposed”, like so: (E)VER-LARG(O) => (O)VER-LARG(E).

  1. Stablemen worked with this organisation (13)

Answer: ESTABLISHMENT (i.e. “organisation”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “worked”) of STABLEMEN and THIS.

  1. Give up bear cave and return (5)

Answer: YIELD. A quadruple header, I believe, satisfying “give up”, to produce or “bear”, to “cave” in and a “return” on investment. We had another quadruple header a few weeks ago. If this is the setters’ latest trend then I approve.

  1. Get hands confused? Mix-up initially is costly putting left for right (7)

Answer: MISDEAL (i.e. “get hands [of cards] confused”). Solution is M (i.e. “mix-up initially”, i.e. the first letter of “mix-up”) followed by IS, then DEAR (i.e. “costly”) once the R has been swapped “for” L (indicated by “putting left for right”, R and L being recognised abbreviations of “right” and “left” respectively), like so: M-IS-DEA(R) => M-IS-DEA(L).

  1. Jealous of three points accepted by ageing editor (5-4)

Answer: GREEN-EYED (i.e. “jealous”). Solution is EEN (i.e. “three points” on a compass, basically recognised abbreviations of East, East and North respectively) placed in or “accepted by” GREY (i.e. “ageing”) and followed by ED (a recognised abbreviation of “editor”), like so: GR(EEN)EY-ED.

Down clues

  1. Former pupil from university having months in a large student body (7)

Answer: ALUMNUS (i.e. “former pupil”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “months”) both placed “in” A, L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and NUS (i.e. “student body”, specifically the National Union of Students), like so: A-L-(U-M)-NUS.

  1. Fervent believer calling Eve a silly (11)

Answer: EVANGELICAL (i.e. “fervent believer”). “Silly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CALLING EVE A.

  1. What club might raise to video rise to the top (5)

Answer: DIVOT (i.e. “what [golf] club might raise”). Solution is TO and VID (shortened form of “video”) all reversed (indicated by “rise to the top” – this being a down clue), like so: DIV-OT.

  1. Crazy financiers with nothing for answer (7)

Answer: BONKERS (i.e. “crazy”). Solution is BANKERS (i.e. “financiers”) with the A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, as in Q&A) swapped “for” O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: B(A)NKERS => B(O)NKERS.

  1. Bird always present where one sees lemurs (3)

Answer: EMU (i.e. “bird”). “Always present where one sees” rather elaborately indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: L(EMU)RS. Could be I’ve missed something clever, though.

  1. Work in gold, perhaps running off with a ring? (9)

Answer: ELOPEMENT (i.e. “running off with a ring”, i.e. running off to marry). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) placed “in” ELEMENT (i.e. “gold, perhaps” – other chemical elements are available), like so: EL(OP)EMENT.

  1. Silly eating seconds, quite mad (6)

Answer: INSANE (i.e. “quite mad”). Solution is INANE (i.e. “silly”) wrapped around or “eating” S (a recognised abbreviation of “seconds”), like so: IN(S)ANE.

  1. Inhibit compiler’s yen to work for obscurity (19)

Answer: INCOMPREHENSIBILITY (i.e. “obscurity”). “To work” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INHIBIT COMPILER’S YEN.

  1. Subject redness regularly to wash (7)

Answer: ENSLAVE (i.e. to “subject”… (makes so-so gesture)). Solution is ENS (i.e. “redness regularly”, i.e. every other letter of REDNESS) followed by LAVE (i.e. “to wash”).

  1. Uncovered dive, possibly with big rubbish container outside pub yard (6-3)

Answer: SKINNY-DIP (i.e. “uncovered dive”). Solution is SKIP (i.e. “big rubbish container”) placed “outside” of INN (i.e. “pub”) and YD (a recognised abbreviation of “yard”), like so: SK(INN-YD)IP.

  1. Effect of drugs upset Sean taking article in eastern continent (11)

Answer: ANAESTHESIA (i.e. “effect of drugs”). Solution is SEAN reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and THE (i.e. “article”, i.e. a word like a, an or the) both placed “in” ASIA (i.e. “eastern continent”) like so: A(NAES-THE)SIA

  1. Character of those who’d volunteer to fight? (5)

Answer: THETA (i.e. “character”, specifically the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet). When written as THE TA the solution also satisfies “those who’d volunteer to fight”, i.e. the Territorial Army.

  1. Father’s rating swords forged for quality of child’s play (19)

Answer: STRAIGHTFORWARDNESS (i.e. “quality of child’s play”). “Forged” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FATHER’S RATING SWORDS.

  1. The whole lot eat a lot on getting up? Not good – rather fast (7)

Answer: ALLEGRO (i.e. “rather fast” in musical lingo). Solution is ALL (i.e. “the whole lot”) followed by GORGE (i.e. “eat a lot”) once reversed (indicated by “getting up” – this being a down clue) and one of its Gs removed (indicated by “not good” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: ALL-EGRO.

  1. Alexander’s Feast, say, after composition with parts coming separately (9)

Answer: PIECEMEAL (i.e. “with parts coming separately”). Solution is MEAL (i.e. “Alexander’s Feast, say” – probably referencing the event itself rather than the musical work by Handel. I guess the setter fancied another reference to Handel in the puzzle) placed “after” PIECE (i.e. musical “composition”), like so: PIECE-MEAL.

  1. What airlines put on for safety – one cent in the buck? (2-4)

Answer: DE-ICER (i.e. “what airliners put on for safety”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “cent”) both placed “in” DEER (i.e. “buck”), like so: DE(I-C)ER.

  1. Former partner faithfully guarding son, four, like a rock? (9)

Answer: EXTRUSIVE (i.e. “like a rock” formed from magma). Solution is EX (i.e. “former partner”) and TRUE (i.e. “faithfully”) wrapped around or “guarding” S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) and IV (i.e. “four” expressed in Roman numerals), like so: EX-TRU(S-IV)E.

  1. Swing component up over centre of retaining ring (7)

Answer: TRAPEZE (i.e. “swing”). Solution is PART (i.e. “component”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and followed by the “centre” letters of BEZEL (i.e. “retaining ring”), like so: TRAP-EZE.

  1. Person that’s reserved lettuce (7)

Answer: ICEBERG. Solution satisfies “person that’s reserved” and a variety of “lettuce”.

  1. Run a group full of enthusiasm (6)

Answer: RARING (i.e. “full of enthusiasm”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) followed by A and RING (i.e. “group”).

  1. Tricky rescue set up I have to follow (7)

Answer: EVASIVE (i.e. “tricky”). Solution is SAVE (i.e. “rescue”) reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue) and followed by I’VE (a contraction of “I have”), like so: EVAS-I’VE.

  1. Set fire to hospital – now a shell on which we build (11)

Answer: LITHOSPHERE (an example being the earth’s crust, or “a shell on which we build”). Another I’m not 100% about. I think this could be another cock-up. My solution, for what it’s worth, is LIT (i.e. “set fire to”) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital”) and HERE (i.e. “now”). This leaves OSP unaccounted for, however. None of my dictionaries support HOSP as a recognised abbreviation of “hospital” and I don’t see how the clue invites solvers to cut the word “hospital” in half. Again, if anyone offers the correct solution for this then I’ll update the post.

  1. Slimy recipe cooked with little attention to detail (11)

Answer: IMPRECISELY (i.e. “with little attention to detail”). “Cooked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SLIMY RECIPE. I mean, the irony of this solution after a couple of scruffy clues isn’t lost on me.

  1. Incompetent United Nations gets head of state murdered (9)

Answer: UNSKILLED (i.e. “incompetent”). Solution is UN (i.e. “United Nations”) followed by S (i.e. “head of state”, i.e. the first letter of “state”) and KILLED (i.e. “murdered”).

  1. Basic cheese the French used for a month (9)

Answer: ELEMENTAL (i.e. “basic”). Solution is EMMENTAL (i.e. “cheese”) with one of the Ms (referenced by “a month” – M being a recognised abbreviation) swapped “for” LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the masculine form of “the” in French), like so: E(M)MENTAL => E(LE)MENTAL.

  1. Acting, I am following playwright with no pressure (7)

Answer: INTERIM (i.e. “acting”). Solution is I’M (a contraction of “I am”) placed after or “following” Harold PINTER (i.e. “playwright”) once the P has been removed (indicated by “no pressure”, P being a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”), like so: INTER-I’M.

  1. Encourage one new father to carry progeny at the outset (7)

Answer: INSPIRE (i.e. “encourage”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and SIRE (i.e. to “father”) once wrapped around or carrying P (i.e. “progeny at the outset”, i.e. the first letter of “progeny”), like so: I-N-S(P)IRE.

  1. Sounded relieved about temperature observed (7)

Answer: SIGHTED (i.e. “observed”). Solution is SIGHED (i.e. “sounded relieved”) wrapped “about” T (a recognised abbreviation of “temperature”), like so: SIGH(T)ED.

  1. A sign of some irritation with son having joints reportedly (6)

Answer: SNEEZE (i.e. “a sign of some irritation”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of KNEES (i.e. “joints”), like so: S-NEEZE.

  1. What’s produced by jumbo engine over years? (5)

Answer: IVORY (i.e. “what’s produced by jumbo”). Solution is IVOR (i.e. “engine”, after Oliver Postgate’s animated series, Ivor The Engine) followed by Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”).

  1. Looking sick like when losing wicket (5)

Answer: ASHEN (i.e. “looking sick”). Solution is AS (i.e. “like”) followed by WHEN once the W has been removed (indicated by “losing wicket”, i.e. W being a recognised abbreviation of “wicket” used in cricket), like so: AS-HEN.

  1. Ancient fortress abandoning resistance in error (3)

Answer: BUG (i.e. “error”). Solution is BURG (i.e. “ancient fortress”) with the R removed (indicated by “abandoning resistance” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “resistance”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1527

A relatively easy puzzle this week, which is fine by me, especially when accompanied by some nicely worked clues. (And especially especially when said clues make the exotic solutions easier to get.)

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 trampled all over your flowers then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions to the last 170+ of these things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and help, folks. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. And what’s this I see? Normal sized text in WordPress’s editor? Praise be! If anyone is in the market for a second-hand microfiche reader, let me know. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. A new coin eclipsing one from long ago (7)

Answer: ANCIENT (i.e. “from long ago”). Solution is A followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and CENT (i.e. “coin”) once wrapped around or “eclipsing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: A-N-C(I)ENT.

  1. This writer’s finished old painting (7)

Answer: IMPASTO (i.e. “painting” style, where you stick great gobs of the stuff onto the canvas). Solution is I’M (i.e. “this writer’s”, i.e. a contraction of “this writer is” taken from the point of view of the setter, i.e. “I am”) followed by PAST (i.e. “finished”) and O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”).

  1. Yearbook article stored in a large computer (7)

Answer: ALMANAC (i.e. “yearbook”). Solution is AN (i.e. “article”, i.e. a word like a, an or the) placed or “stored in” A, L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and MAC (i.e. a line of “computers” manufactured by Apple, short for Macintosh), like so: A-L-M(AN)AC.

  1. Head office used Rover for training course (4,7)

Answer: HORS D’OUEVRE (i.e. meal “course”). Solution is HO (a recognised abbreviation of “head office”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “for training”) of USED ROVER, like so: HO-RSDOEUVRE. If someone could hack into The Times‘ puzzle style guide and add “Thou muft indicateth the proper length of apoftrophifed folutionf verily: HORS D’OEUVRE (4,1’6)” that would be lovely, thanks.

  1. Fish circles one very loud tug, an engineering marvel (6,5)

Answer: EIFFEL TOWER (i.e. “engineering marvel”). Solution is EEL (i.e. “fish”) wrapped around or “circling” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and FF (i.e. “very loud”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “fortissimo” used in musical lingo), then followed by TOWER (i.e. “tug”, a reference to how it tows other boats behind it).

  1. Victor leaves club towel perhaps (5)

Answer: DRIER (i.e. “towel perhaps” – other methods of drying are available. You could stick your wet plates on a warm radiator for example. #LifeHacks). Solution is DRIVER (a golf “club”) with the V removed (indicated by “Victor leaves…” – Victor is V in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Well-known extract in English books (7)

Answer: EMINENT (i.e. “well-known”). Solution is MINE (i.e. to “extract”) placed “in” between E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: E-(MINE)-NT.

  1. Pick up article about current distress (9)

Answer: HEARTACHE (i.e. “distress”). Solution is HEAR (i.e. “pick up”) followed by THE (i.e. “article”, as already covered) once wrapped “about” AC (i.e. a recognised abbreviation of alternating “current”), like so: HEAR-T(AC)HE.

  1. Unexpectedly, Nepal is reconstructing IT hub (7,10,4)

Answer: CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT (the heart of electronic computers. You could also call it a centre of activity or “hub”. I couldn’t possibly comment). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unexpectedly”) of NEPAL IS RECONSTRUCTING followed by IT.

  1. Sheep enclosure by church that’s not worth much (8)

Answer: TUPPENCE (i.e. “not worth much”). Solution is TUP (i.e. a ram or “sheep” – we’ve seen this usage a couple of times in Jumbos) followed by PEN (i.e. “enclosure”), then CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

  1. Old firm collecting tax returns book (6)

Answer: OCTAVO (i.e. “book” printed on sheets folded in such a way to produce eight leaves per sheet rather than four). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by CO (ditto “company”) once wrapped around or “collecting” VAT (i.e. “tax”, specifically Value Added Tax) once this has been reversed (indicated by “returns”), like so: O-C(TAV)O. One cracked via the wordplay.

  1. Daisy reorganised beer garden having removed study (7)

Answer: GERBERA (i.e. colourful “daisy”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “reorganised”) of BEER GARDEN once the DEN or “study” has been “removed”.

  1. Fertilise a lot to protect first of lettuce (5)

Answer: MULCH (i.e. “fertilise” – can be used in verb form). Solution is MUCH (i.e. “a lot”) wrapped around or “protecting” L (i.e. “first [letter] of lettuce”), like so: MU(L)CH.

  1. Old PM hugs a secretary, fluttering (7)

Answer: PITAPAT (i.e. “fluttering” – can refer to “a palpitating sensation” (Chambers)). Solution is PITT (i.e. “old PM” or Prime Minister) wrapped around or “hugging” A and PA (i.e. “secretary” or Personal Assistant), like so: PIT(A-PA)T.

  1. One’s utmost – or even better! (5,4)

Answer: LEVEL BEST (i.e. “one’s utmost”). Solution is LEVEL (i.e. “even”) followed by BEST (i.e. to “better” someone). Simple, but nicely done.

  1. Reportedly only Mike defends American tunes (4,5)

Answer: SOUL MUSIC (i.e. “tunes”). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “reportedly”) of SOLE (i.e. “only”) and MIKE wrapped around or “defending” US (i.e. “American”), like so: SOUL-M(US)IC.

  1. Couple arranged to house new Gallic barman (7)

Answer: Francis POULENC (i.e. French composer or “barman”, given music comprises bars and such). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “arranged”) of COUPLE wrapped around or “housing” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: POULE(N)C. One of those to file under “made to fit”, but mercifully made easier by the wordplay.

  1. A drunkard devours cold course (5)

Answer: ASCOT (i.e. “course” for horse racing). Solution is A followed by SOT (i.e. “drunkard”) once wrapped around or “devouring” C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold”), like so: A-S(C)OT.

  1. Obliterate some Parisian system of weights (7)

Answer: DESTROY (i.e. “obliterate”). Solution is DES (i.e. “some Parisian”, i.e. the French for “some”) followed by TROY (i.e. “system of weights”).

  1. Try to catch each cook swigging whiskey (6)

Answer: EARWIG (i.e. to eavesdrop or “try to catch”). Solution is EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”) followed by RIG (i.e. to “cook”, manipulate or falsify) once wrapped around or “swigging” W (i.e. “whiskey” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: EA-R(W)IG.

  1. Put emphasis on sweets going west (8)

Answer: STRESSED (i.e. “put emphasis on”). Solution is DESSERTS (i.e. “sweets”) reversed (indicated by “going west” – this being an across clue).

  1. Instinctive broadcast that assists motorists (9,12)

Answer: AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (i.e. “that assists motorists”). Solution is AUTOMATIC (i.e. “instinctive”) followed by TRANSMISSION (i.e. “broadcast”).

  1. Bans speaker backing target limits (9)

Answer: MORATORIA (i.e. “bans”). Solution is ORATOR (i.e. “speaker”) placed in or “limited” by AIM (i.e. “target”) once this has been reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: M(ORATOR)IA.

  1. Rewrite medical lecture (7)

Answer: DECLAIM (i.e. to harangue or “lecture”). “Rewrite” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MEDICAL.

  1. Heroin features in cocaine gag (5)

Answer: CHOKE (i.e. to “gag”). Solution is H (i.e. street name for “heroin”) placed or “featured in” COKE (ditto “cocaine”), like so: C(H)OKE.

  1. Associate to bury china with foreign article (11)

Answer: INTERMINGLE (i.e. to “associate”). Solution is INTER (i.e. “to bury”) followed by MING (i.e. “china” or porcelain) and LE (i.e. “foreign article”, i.e. the French for “the”).

  1. Like top man and his unnamed son giving cost before haggling (6,5)

Answer: ASKING PRICE (i.e. “cost before haggling”). Solution is AS (i.e. “like”) followed by KING (i.e. “top man”) and PRINCE (i.e. “his…son”, in reference to KING) once the N has been removed (indicated by “nameless” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: AS-KING-PRICE.

  1. Colt maybe raised wretchedly by side of mountain (7)

Answer: SIDEARM (i.e. “Colt maybe” – other gun manufacturers are available). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wretchedly”) of RAISED followed by M (i.e. “side of mountain”, i.e. the first letter of “mountain”), like so: SIDEAR-M.

  1. Delay writer following our group in South Dakota (7)

Answer: SUSPEND (i.e. “delay”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) placed after or “following” US (i.e. “our group”). These are then placed “in” SD (US state abbreviation of “South Dakota”), like so: S(US-PEN)D.

  1. Slander constant smoker in a city (7)

Answer: CALUMNY (i.e. “slander”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”) followed by LUM (i.e. a chimney or “smoker” – we’ve also seen this usage a couple of times in Jumbos) once placed “in” between A and NY (i.e. “city”, specifically New York), like so: C-A-(LUM)-NY.

Down clues

  1. A research graduate’s catching current pests (6)

Answer: APHIDS (i.e. “pests”). Solution is A followed by PHD’S (i.e. “research graduate’s”) once wrapped around or “catching” I (a recognised abbreviation of an electric “current” used in physics), like so: A-PH(I)D’S.

  1. Club maybe regularly finance person with pump problem? (7)

Answer: CARDIAC (i.e. someone with cardiac disease or “person with pump problem”). Solution is CARD (i.e. “club maybe” – other suits are available) followed by IAC (i.e. “regularly finance”, i.e. every other letter of FINANCE).

  1. Finish university event around north showing stamina? (9)

Answer: ENDURANCE (i.e. “stamina”). Solution is END (i.e. “finish”) followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and RACE (i.e. athletic “event”) once wrapped “around” N (a recognised abbreviation of “north”), like so: END-U-RA(N)CE.

  1. Second person once arresting male subject (5)

Answer: THEME (i.e. “subject”). Solution is THEE (i.e. “second person once”, i.e. ye olde form of “you”: first person being “I”, second person being “you”, third person being “they”) wrapped around or “arresting” M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”), like so: THE(M)E.

  1. Dupe wearing mask takes in good European (8)

Answer: INVEIGLE (i.e. “dupe”). Solution is IN VEIL (i.e. “wearing mask”) wrapped around or “taking in” G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and followed by E (ditto “European”), like so: IN-VEI(G)L-E.

  1. Part of receipt sent up with margins trimmed (5)

Answer: PIECE (i.e. “part”). Solution is RECEIPT with its first and last letters or “margins” removed or “trimmed”, and the remainder reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue), like so: R(ECEIP)T => ECEIP => PIECE.

  1. One who has doubts about filling sort of tank (7)

Answer: SCEPTIC (i.e. “one who has doubts”). Solution is SEPTIC (i.e. “sort of tank”) wrapped around or “filled” by C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), like so: S(C)EPTIC.

  1. Bid to secure article ought to be somewhat revealing (3-3-8)

Answer: OFF-THE-SHOULDER (i.e. “somewhat revealing”). Solution is OFFER (i.e. “bid”) wrapped around or “securing” THE (i.e. “article”, already discussed) and SHOULD (i.e. “ought to be”), like so: OFF(THE-SHOULD)ER.

  1. State becoming older, losing energy and getting mean (9)

Answer: AVERAGING (i.e. mathematical “mean”). Solution is AVER (i.e. to “state”) followed by AGEING (i.e. “becoming older”) once the E has been removed (indicated by “losing energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: AVER-AGING.

  1. Books in opera house for choral piece (5)

Answer: MOTET (i.e. “choral piece”). Solution is OT (i.e. “books”, this time the Old Testament of The Bible) placed “in” MET (i.e. “opera house”, specifically the Metropolitan Opera House in New York), like so: M(OT)ET.

  1. Where reporters gather fresh small pears (4,11)

Answer: NEWS CONFERENCES (i.e. “where reporters gather”). Solution is NEW (i.e. “fresh”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and CONFERENCES (i.e. variety of “pears”).

  1. County right concerning court rebuke (7)

Answer: CORRECT (i.e. “rebuke”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “county”) followed by R (ditto “right”), then RE (i.e. “concerning” – think email replies) and CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”).

  1. Distributed precise formulae (7)

Answer: RECIPES (i.e. “formulae”). “Distributed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PRECISE.

  1. Initially roll then twice decorate bakery item (4,5)

Answer: RICE PAPER (i.e. “bakery item”). Solution is R (i.e. “initially roll”, i.e. the first letter of “roll”) followed by ICE and PAPER (i.e. “twice decorate” – the former being to decorate a cake, the latter to decorate a room).

  1. In Indian state burn primate (7)

Answer: GORILLA (i.e. “primate”). Solution is GOA (i.e. “Indian state”) wrapped around or having “in” RILL (i.e. “burn” – both being small waterways), like so: GO(RILL)A.

  1. Like fine spray, so made it elsewhere (8)

Answer: ATOMISED (i.e. “like fine spray”). “Elsewhere” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SO MADE IT.

  1. Sort of fat old college with room for more students? (15)

Answer: POLYUNSATURATED (i.e. “sort of fat”). The clue plays on a POLY or polytechnic being an “old college”. The rest, I guess, playfully riffs on SAT tests and whether potential students are U-RATED, taking U to be a recognised abbreviation of “university”. UN- being a negating prefix would then suggest said POLY is lacking in suitable applicants. Something along those lines, anyway. Could be I’ve missed something devious, though.

[EDIT: As a few commenters have pointed out, the UNSATURATED part of the solution satisfies how said POLY hasn’t yet reached saturation point, or “has room for more students”. Thanks all! – LP]

  1. Old king’s from day one into knitwear! (9)

Answer: ARTHURIAN (i.e. “old king’s”, taken to mean “of an old king”, specifically King Arthur). Solution is THUR (i.e. “day” of the week, short for Thursday) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) both placed “into” ARAN (i.e. style of “knitwear”), like so: AR(THUR-I)AN.

  1. A quiet bird you’d heard displaying flair (8)

Answer: APTITUDE (i.e. “flair”). Solution is A followed by P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano” or “quiet” in musical lingo), then TIT (i.e. “bird”) and a homophone (indicated by “heard”) of “you’d”, like so: A-P-TIT-UDE.

  1. Routine chats where bulls and bears gather (5,9)

Answer: STOCK EXCHANGES (i.e. “where bulls and bears gather”, bulls and bears symbolising trading on rising and falling share prices). Solution is STOCK (i.e. mundane or “routine”) followed by EXCHANGES (i.e. “chats”).

  1. Dull sound made by certain workers on cylinder (7)

Answer: HUMDRUM (i.e. “dull”). Solution is HUM (i.e. “sound made by certain workers”, in this case worker bees) followed by DRUM (i.e. “cylinder”).

  1. Relinquishes duty importing a hundred tablets (7)

Answer: VACATES (i.e. “relinquishes”). Solution is VAT (i.e. “duty”, Value Added Tax again) wrapped around or “importing” A and C (i.e. “[Roman numeral] hundred”) and followed by ES (i.e. “tablets” of ecstasy, E being its street name), like so: V(A-C)AT-ES.

  1. Addition to table Betty Muir designed (9)

Answer: YTTERBIUM (i.e. chemical element or “addition to [periodic] table”). “Designed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BETTY MUIR.

  1. Bishop’s huge stone embodying saint (9)

Answer: EPISCOPAL (i.e. “bishop’s”, read as belonging to bishops). Solution is EPIC (i.e. “huge”) and OPAL (i.e. “stone”) wrapped around or “embodying” S (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”), like so: EPI(S)C-OPAL.

  1. Got on British vessel in eastern sea (8)

Answer: EMBARKED (i.e. “got on”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) and ARK (i.e. “vessel”) both placed “in” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) and MED (i.e. “sea”, short for Mediterranean), like so: E-M(B-ARK)ED.

  1. Hairy locations where weapons are hidden? (7)

Answer: ARMPITS (i.e. “hairy locations”). The remainder plays on ARMS being a word for “weapons”. I guess you could hide them in PITS. Inactive volcano bases are another option for budding supervillains.

  1. Engineers line up compensation (7)

Answer: REDRESS (i.e. “compensation”). Solution is RE (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) followed by DRESS (i.e. to “line up” – usage I remembered from a recent puzzle, if I’m honest).

  1. Metal miners employ old boy in islands (7)

Answer: NIOBIUM (i.e. “metal”). Solution is NUM (i.e. “miners”, specifically the National Union of Miners) wrapped around or “employing” OB (a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”) once this has itself been placed “in” between I and I (i.e. “islands”, I being a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: N(I(OB)I)UM.

  1. Plant that would need IT installed to generate speed (6)

Answer: CELERY (i.e. “plant”). After IT has been “installed” within the solution you get CELER(IT)Y, another word for “speed”.

  1. Land legally grabbed by Walter Raleigh (5)

Answer: TERRA (i.e. “land legally”, a comment on how the word is used in legalese). “Grabbed by” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: WAL(TER RA)LEIGH.

  1. First of couturiers to flatten fashion (5)

Answer: CRAZE (i.e. “fashion”). Solution is C (i.e. “first [letter] of couturiers”) followed by RAZE (i.e. to “flatten” a building).

  1. Demented bloke in charge (5)

Answer: MANIC (i.e. “demented”). Solution is MAN (i.e. “bloke”) followed by IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1526

A tougher specimen this week. Can’t say I was a fan of this one at the time, but that was probably more me being a grump than anything particularly wrong with the puzzle. On another day I might say this was one of the better ones.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. As you’ll see I’ve taken a flyer on 17a. If a kind soul furnishes me with the actual answer then I’ll update the post. In the meantime if a previous Jumbo has picked your pockets then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 170+ of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks as ever for the kind words and help. They are always appreciated, and it’s always interesting to read the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve put down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Try poem about boy’s party (4,1,4,4)

Answer: HAVE A GOOD TIME (i.e. “party”). Solution is HAVE A GO (i.e. “try”) followed by ODE (i.e. “poem”) once wrapped “about” TIM (i.e. a “boy’s” name), like so: HAVE-A-GO-OD(TIM)E.

  1. Swimming group: appropriate requirement for pupil? (9)

Answer: SCHOOLBAG (i.e. “requirement for pupil”). Solution is SCHOOL (i.e. “swimming group”) followed by BAG (i.e. to obtain or “appropriate”).

  1. What might be prescribed by hurried medic? (1,3,1)

Answer: R AND R (i.e. “what may be prescribed”, short for Rest And Recuperation). Solution is RAN (i.e. “hurried”) followed by DR (i.e. “medic”, short for a doctor).

  1. Fit for pouring? (5,2,4)

Answer: RIGHT AS RAIN (i.e. “fit”). Clue plays on how it can be said to “pour” with RAIN. You get the idea.

  1. Pulse something that doctor may take, along with blood group (5)

Answer: TEMPO (i.e. “pulse”). Solution is TEMP (i.e. “something doctor may take”, short for temperature) followed by O (i.e. “blood group”).

  1. A number assist, backing one’s opinion (9)

Answer: DIAGNOSIS (i.e. “opinion”). Solution is SONG (i.e. “a number”) and AID (i.e. “assist”) both reversed (indicated by “backing”) and followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”), like so: (DIA-GNOS)-I’S.

  1. Latest thing the Speaker’s cut? (4)

Answer: MODE. A guess, this, so watch out. For what it’s worth, a definition of MODE is fashionable, which you could argue represents the “latest thing”. You could also argue a “Speaker” is a moderator in the House of Commons. “Cut” away the last half(ish) of the word and you get MODE. Too flimsy for my liking, assuming this is correct.

[EDIT: Thanks to Steve in the comments for clearing this one up. The solution was right, as was the reasoning, but I couldn’t nail the wordplay. “Speaker” is a homophone indicator. The solution is a homophone of MOWED (i.e. “cut”). Cheers, Steve! – LP]

  1. Film on China, about singular versifier (8)

Answer: PSALMIST (i.e. “versifier”). Solution is MIST (i.e. a “film” of moisture) placed “on” or after PAL (i.e. “China”, i.e. cockney rhyming slang for “mate”, after china plate, me old muckah, gorblimey etc) once wrapped “about” S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”), like so: P(S)AL-MIST.

  1. Scans books? They’re up for approval (6)

Answer: THUMBS. Solution satisfies “scans books”, i.e. to thumb through them, and “they’re up for approval”, i.e. putting one’s thumbs up.

  1. Musical fraudster close to Thatcher? (7,2,3,4)

Answer: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (i.e. “musical”). Solution is FIDDLER (i.e. “fraudster”) followed by ON THE ROOF (i.e. “close to thatcher” – ignoring the misleading capitalisation, a thatcher is a roof-worker).

  1. Trouble man buries beneath the surface (9)

Answer: SUBMARINE (i.e. “beneath the surface” of the sea). “Trouble” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MAN BURIES.

  1. Docking port ultimately not sound (7)

Answer: TAILING (i.e. “docking” or cutting short). Solution is T (i.e. “port ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “port”) followed by AILING (i.e. “not sound”).

  1. Contrive to shade in point of access (5)

Answer: HATCH. A triple-header, satisfying “contrive”, “to shade in” and “point of access”.

  1. DG unluckily lost golf knockout after unpromising start (4,8)

Answer: UGLY DUCKLING (i.e. “knockout after unpromising start”, after Hans Christian Andersen’s story). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “lost”) of DG UNLUCKILY followed by G (“golf” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: UGLYDUCKLIN-G.

  1. Chap of little substance – baleful? (3,2,5)

Answer: MAN OF STRAW (i.e. “chap of little substance”). Clue plays on “bales” of STRAW. You get the idea.

  1. Pancakes, sweets and ice creams (4,6)

Answer: DROP SCONES (i.e. variety of “pancakes”). Solution is DROPS (i.e. “sweets”) followed by CONES (i.e. “ice creams”). Nicely done.

  1. Inherit quiet place and start functioning? (4,4,4)

Answer: COME INTO PLAY (i.e. “start functioning”). Solution is COME INTO (i.e. “inherit”) followed by P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, which is “quiet” in musical lingo), then LAY (i.e. to “place”).

  1. Track, note, that accommodates horse: horses for courses? (5)

Answer: RHYME (i.e. “horses for courses”, an example of such). Solution is RY (i.e. “track”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “railway”) and ME (i.e. “note” in the sol-fa notation) all wrapped around or “accommodating” H (i.e. “horse”, both street names for heroin), like so: R(H)Y-ME.

  1. Fabled wolf lives for one month around Rhode Island (7)

Answer: ISEGRIM (i.e. “fabled wolf”, specifically a character from the fable Reynard The Fox. No, me neither). Solution is IS (i.e. “exists”), EG (i.e. “for one”, i.e. for example) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “month”) all wrapped “around” RI (US state abbreviation of “Rhode Island”), like so: IS-EG-(RI)-M. Chalk one to my Bradford’s, perhaps unsurprisingly.

  1. Poor atheist’s close to prelate – and so is lost? (9)

Answer: HESITATES (i.e. “and so is lost”, after the phrase “he who hesitates is lost”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “poor”) of ATHEIST’S and E (i.e. “close to prelate”, i.e. the last letter of “prelate”).

  1. Bon viveur Victor a fool to chase girl endlessly (9,7)

Answer: CHAMPAGNE CHARLIE (i.e. “bon viveur”). Solution is CHAMP (i.e. “victor” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and CHARLIE (i.e. “a fool”) once the latter has been placed after or “chasing” AGNES (i.e. a “girl’s” name) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”), like so: CHAMP-(AGNE)-CHARLIE.

  1. Likeness reflected in grainy gif: female (6)

Answer: EFFIGY (i.e. “likeness”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “reflected” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: GRAIN(Y GIF FE)MALE.

  1. International, western screen goddess, nude (2,3,3)

Answer: IN THE RAW (i.e. “nude”). Solution is INT (a recognised abbreviation of “international”) and W (ditto “western”) wrapped around or “screening” HERA (i.e. Greek “goddess” of marriage – I guess all the cool roles had been taken by then), like so: INT-(HERA)-W.

  1. Cracked when sculpted (4)

Answer: HEWN (i.e. “sculpted”). “Cracked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of “when”.

  1. Way to display adequately what flights are around? (9)

Answer: STAIRWELL (i.e. “what flights are around”). Solution is ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a street) followed by AIR (i.e. “to display”) and WELL (i.e. “adequately”).

  1. Said pub has 90 per cent off at opening (5)

Answer: VOCAL (i.e. “said”). Solution is LOCAL (i.e. “pub”) with the “opening” L (50 as a Roman numeral) changed for V (5 as a Roman numeral), representing a “90 per cent” drop, like so: (L)OCAL => (V)OCAL.

  1. After rest, copper is at home primarily eating healthier food (4,7)

Answer: LEAN CUISINE (i.e. “healthier food”). Solution is LEAN (i.e. to “rest” sideways against something) followed by CU (chemical symbol of “copper”), then IS, then IN (i.e. “at home”) and E (i.e. “primarily eating”, i.e. the first letter of “eating”).

  1. Area by caption at the back of fliers (5)

Answer: AVIAN (i.e. “of fliers” or birds). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) followed by VIA (i.e. “by” or through) and N (i.e. “caption at the back”, i.e. the last letter of “caption”).

  1. One of our best friends evidently embarrassed me (3,6)

Answer: RED SETTER (i.e. “one of our best friends”, after the phrase “a dog is man’s best friend”). Solution is RED (i.e. “evidently embarrassed”) followed by SETTER (i.e. “me” from the point of view of the setter).

  1. Substandard stuff on the milk bar menu? (2,5,6)

Answer: NO GREAT SHAKES (i.e. “substandard”). Clue plays on milkshakes, and how you might not find any great ones on a menu. You get the idea.

Down clues

  1. Period covered by star American historian of old (9)

Answer: HERODOTUS (i.e. “historian of old”). Solution is DOT (i.e. “period” or full stop) placed in or “covered by” HERO (i.e. “star”) and US (i.e. “American”), like so: HERO-(DOT)-US. One I remembered from a recent-ish puzzle, if I’m honest.

  1. A variety of tuna – superior – found south of five Pacific islands (7)

Answer: VANUATU (i.e. “Pacific islands”). Solution is A followed by an anagram (indicated by “variety of…”) of TUNA, then U (i.e. “superior” – U denotes the upper classes. Whether one accepts they are “superior” is a matter of opinion. You can probably guess mine…). These are all then placed after or “south” of V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five”) – this being a down clue – like so: V-(A-NUAT-U).

  1. Shrub adorns a bare ground (6,5)

Answer: AARON’S BEARD (i.e. “shrub”). “Ground” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ADORNS A BARE.

  1. Charge our NHS scrapped (6)

Answer: ONRUSH (i.e. “charge”). “Scrapped” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OUR NHS.

  1. Fancy, after heading off, celebratory biscuit (9)

Answer: DIGESTIVE (i.e. “biscuit”). Solution is DIG (i.e. to like or “fancy”) followed by FESTIVE (i.e. “celebratory”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “after heading off…”), like so: DIG-ESTIVE.

  1. Tending to cow briefly, eventually one showing its age? (12)

Answer: INTIMIDATING (i.e. “tending to cow” or to bully). Solution is IN TIME (i.e. “eventually”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and DATING (i.e. “showing its age”), like so: (IN-TIM)-I-DATING.

  1. Be gentle, not demanding female pose (4,4,2)

Answer: EASY DOES IT (i.e. “be gentle”). Solution is EASY (i.e. “not demanding”) followed by DOE (i.e. a “female” deer) and SIT (i.e. to “pose”, say, for an artist).

  1. Drunk as a skunk in the end (4)

Answer: SOAK (i.e. a “drunk”). Solution is SO (i.e “as”) followed by A and K (i.e. “skunk in the end”, i.e. the last letter of “skunk”).

  1. Well, really genuine! (6-2-8)

Answer: HONEST-TO-GOODNESS (i.e. “genuine”). Another definition of the solution is out-and-out or entirely, which satisfies “well, really”. Don’t know why the setter left “well” in the clue if taking “really” to mean absolutely. (Shrugs.)

  1. Using smaller base: some flat, cottage retreats (5)

Answer: OCTAL (i.e. “using smaller base”, specifically base 8. We use denary, or base 10, so octal would be smaller relative to this). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “retreats” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: F(LAT CO)TTAGE.

  1. Young Italian graduate doctor in love (7)

Answer: BAMBINO (i.e. “young Italian”). Solution is BA (i.e. “graduate”, specifically a Bachelor of Arts) followed by MB (i.e. “doctor” of medicine, or Medicinae Baccalaureus), then IN, and O (i.e. “love”, i.e. a zero score in tennis).

  1. Make special effort to work remote (2,3,2,3,3)

Answer: GO OUT OF THE WAY (i.e. “make special effort”). Solution is GO (i.e. “to work” or operate) followed by OUT OF THE WAY (i.e. “remote”).

  1. Ponder gearwheel, one that’s initially bolted down (8)

Answer: COGITATE (i.e. “ponder”). Solution is COG (i.e. “gearwheel”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then T (i.e. “that’s initially”, i.e. the first letter of “that’s”), then ATE (i.e. “bolted down”).

  1. European’s keeping still that produces spirit (5)

Answer: ETHOS (i.e. “spirit”). Solution is E’S (a recognised abbreviation of “European” followed by the contracted form of “is”) wrapped around or “keeping” THO (i.e. “still”, specifically a contracted form of “though”), like so: E(THO)’S.

  1. One revealing plaque putting plate down on stone slab (10,6)

Answer: DISCLOSING TABLET (i.e. “one revealing plaque” on teeth after brushing. I remember being given one of these things when I was considerably younger. Worked a charm. Turns out that was the only one I’d ever get. Who knew dentists would use “the first one is always free” tactic?) Solution is DISC (i.e. “plate”) followed by LOSING (i.e. “down”) and TABLET (i.e. “stone slab”).

  1. Platform with recess outside large, ancient study (7)

Answer: BALCONY (i.e. “platform”). Solution is BAY (i.e. “recess”) placed “outside” of L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and CON (i.e. “ancient study”, a reference to this being an archaic variant meaning of the word “con”), like so: BA(L-CON)Y.

  1. Working girl allowed not much food? (7)

Answer: TARTLET (i.e. “not much food”). Solution is TART (i.e. “working girl”) followed by LET (i.e. “allowed”). This clue was brought to you courtesy of the 1970s.

  1. Partial failure here ruined a CV, sadly (13)

Answer: UNDERACHIEVER (i.e. “partial failure”). “Sadly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HERE RUINED A CV.

  1. Faithful followers of story in French about jewel (8)

Answer: LIEGEMEN (i.e. “faithful followers”). Solution is LIE (i.e. “story”) and EN (i.e. “in French”, i.e. the French for “in”) wrapped “about” GEM (i.e. “jewel”), like so: LIE-(GEM)-EN.

  1. Bang travelling far after starter on engine’s backfiring (12)

Answer: BOOMERANGING (i.e. “backfiring”). Solution is BOOM (i.e. “bang”) and RANGING (i.e. “travelling far”) once the latter has been placed “after” E (i.e. “starter on engine”, i.e. the first letter of “engine”), like so: BOOM-(E)-RANGING. Nicely worked.

  1. Escape grasping wife, getting clean away? (5)

Answer: SWEEP (i.e. “clean away”). Solution is SEEP (i.e. to leak or “escape”) wrapped around or “grasping” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”), like so: S(W)EEP.

  1. Thus pants about to go in having just finished washing (3,2,6)

Answer: OUT OF BREATH (i.e. …and “thus pants”). Solution is RE (i.e. regarding or “about” – think email replies) placed “in” OUT OF BATH (i.e. “just finished washing”), like so: OUT-OF-B(RE)ATH.

  1. Cleric’s cunning and largely expensive ruse (10)

Answer: ARCHDEACON (i.e. “cleric”). Solution is ARCH (i.e. “cunning”) followed by DEAR (i.e. “expensive”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “largely”), then CON (i.e. “ruse”), like so: ARCH-DEA-CON.

  1. Irish lad worked with English lockkeeper (4,5)

Answer: HAIR SLIDE (i.e. “lockkeeper”, as in locks of hair). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “worked”) of IRISH LAD, followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: HAIRSLID-E.

  1. You two, they say, could have been one of the famous ones (9)

Answer: SPYPLANES. Clue plays on the Lockheed U-2 plane, a “famous” example of such. “They say” indicates homophone, in this case of “you two”.

  1. Soldier, maybe a hero, bringing medicine (7)

Answer: ANTACID (i.e. “medicine”). Solution is ANT (i.e. “soldier, maybe” – other flavours of ant are available) followed by A and CID (i.e. a chief, captain or “hero”).

  1. What mountaineer may carry in reserve: cream (3,4)

Answer: ICE PICK (i.e. “what mountaineer may carry”). Solution is ICE (i.e. “reserve”, as in possessed of an icy nature) followed by PICK (i.e. elite or “cream”).

  1. Loudspeaker on marquee plainly visible (6)

Answer: PATENT (i.e. “plainly visible”). Solution is PA (i.e. “loudspeaker”, specifically a Public Address system) followed by TENT (i.e. “marquee”).

  1. Girl’s oddly abandoned vehicle lies upside down (5)

Answer: ELLIE (i.e. a “girl’s” name”). “Oddly abandoned” indicates the solution is derived from the even letters of VEHICLE LIES once reversed (indicated by “upside down” – this being a down clue).

  1. Fine-tune the market (4)

Answer: FAIR (i.e. “market”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine” used in grading pencils) followed by AIR (i.e. “tune” or song).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1525

A fairly 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 in a tizz then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 170+ of these things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once more for the kind words and help. They’re always appreciated, and it’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Bat observed by queen, possibly, in tree (5,6)

Answer: PUSSY WILLOW (i.e. “tree”). Solution is WILLOW (i.e. cricket “bat”) placed after or “by” PUSSY (i.e. “queen”, or adult female cat).

  1. Family member’s move getting visitor finally into trouble (11)

Answer: STEPBROTHER (i.e. “family member”). Solution is STEP (i.e. “move”) followed by R (i.e. “visitor finally”, i.e. the last letter of “visitor”) once placed “into” BOTHER (i.e. “trouble”), like so: STEP-B(R)OTHER.

  1. Mad Finn began fiddling, swearing appallingly (6,3,8)

Answer: EFFING AND BLINDING (i.e. “swearing appallingly”). “Mad” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FINN BEGAN FIDDLING.

  1. Piece of information corporation attorney provided first (5)

Answer: DATUM (i.e. “piece of information”). Solution is TUM (i.e. “corporation” – setters love this archaic variant meaning of the word) with DA (i.e. “attorney”, specifically a District Attorney) “provided first”, like so: DA-TUM.

  1. Harebrained son of spiteful disposition (6)

Answer: SCATTY (i.e. “harebrained”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by CATTY (i.e. “of spiteful disposition”).

  1. Revolutionary figure recalled in register (8)

Answer: LENINIST (i.e. “revolutionary”). Solution is NINE (a number or “figure”) reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and placed “in” LIST (i.e. “register”), like so: L(ENIN)IST.

  1. Footwear found in coach (7)

Answer: TRAINER. Solution satisfies “footwear” and “coach”.

  1. Work with men broken by media tyrant (9)

Answer: OPPRESSOR (i.e. “tyrant”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, short for “opus”) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) “broken by” PRESS (i.e. “media”), like so: OP-(PRESS)-OR.

  1. Like some highly flavoured cake Liberal consumed with caution (8)

Answer: GINGERLY (i.e. “with caution”). Solution is GINGERY (i.e. “like some highly flavoured cake”) wrapped around or “consuming” L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”), like so: GINGER(L)Y.

  1. Reportedly a female unit of heredity (4)

Answer: GENE (i.e. “unit of heredity”). “Reportedly” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of JEAN (i.e. “female”, basically a woman’s name).

  1. Severe pain encountered in French and African state (5)

Answer: EGYPT (i.e. “African state”). Solution is GYP (i.e. “severe pain”) placed “in” ET (i.e. “French and”, i.e. the French for “and”), like so: E(GYP)T.

  1. Crustacean current lawmaker found crossing Italian river? (6)

Answer: ISOPOD (i.e. “crustacean”). Solution is I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current” used in physics) followed by SOD (i.e. “lawmaker” – a reference to Sod’s Law) once wrapped around or “crossing” PO (i.e. “Italian river”), like so: I-SO(PO)D.

  1. Varsity athlete with courage, a member of the constabulary (10)

Answer: BLUEBOTTLE (i.e. “a member of the constabulary”). Solution is BLUE (i.e. “varsity athlete” – could be Oxford in dark blue or Cambridge in light blue) followed by BOTTLE (i.e. “courage”).

  1. Unworldly woman seen around army corps area (8)

Answer: ETHEREAL (i.e. “unworldly”). Solution is ETHEL (i.e. a “woman’s” name) wrapped “around” RE (i.e. “army corps”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) and A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: ETHE(RE-A)L.

  1. Omnipresence of posh bishop I left over by American cape (14)

Answer: UBIQUITOUSNESS (i.e. “omnipresence”). Solution is U (i.e. “posh” – U denotes the upper class, don’t you know, what-what-what, tallyho and so forth, old thing) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop” used in chess), then I, then QUIT (i.e. “left”), then O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket), then US (i.e. “American”) and NESS (i.e. “cape”, as in the geographic feature).

  1. Terribly idle woman is not without depth (3-11)

Answer: TWO-DIMENSIONAL (i.e. “without depth”). “Terribly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IDLE WOMAN IS NOT.

  1. Malicious goddess ensnaring old doctor (8)

Answer: VENOMOUS (i.e. “malicious”). Solution is VENUS (i.e. “goddess”) wrapped around or “ensnaring” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and MO (i.e. “doctor” or Medical Officer), like so: VEN(O-MO)US.

  1. Generous, though suffering from cardiomegaly? (3-7)

Answer: BIG-HEARTED. Solution satisfies “generous” and “suffering from cardiomegaly”.

  1. Run into upholstered seat used by several in squat? (6)

Answer: CROUCH (i.e. “squat”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “run”) placed “into” COUCH (i.e. “upholstered seat”), like so: C(R)OUCH.

  1. Hard man repeatedly supplying meat acceptable to Muslims (5)

Answer: HALAL (i.e. “meat acceptable to Muslims”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in the grading of pencils) followed by AL and AL (i.e. “man[‘s name] repeatedly”).

  1. Censor both sides of agreement secured by company (4)

Answer: CATO (i.e. “censor” of Roman times). Solution is AT (i.e. “both sides of agreement”, i.e. the first and last letters of “agreement”) placed in or “secured by” CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”), like so: C(AT)O.

  1. European embassy, one of those we’re trying to cut? (8)

Answer: EMISSION (i.e. “one of those we’re trying to cut” – timely given the recent COP26 summit). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by MISSION (i.e. “embassy”).

  1. Role in theatrical do for men only (4,5)

Answer: STAG PARTY (i.e. “do for men only”). Solution is PART (i.e. “role”) placed “in” STAGY (i.e. “theatrical”), like so: STAG(PART)Y.

  1. Exceed allotted time with respect to race (7)

Answer: OVERRUN (i.e. “exceed allotted time”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “with respect to”) followed by RUN (i.e. “race”).

  1. Pitiful way it gets knocked back in City area (8)

Answer: PATHETIC (i.e. “pitiful”). Solution is PATH (i.e. “way”) followed by IT once it has been reversed (indicated by “knocked back”) and placed “in” EC (i.e. “City [of London] area”, a reference to its postcode), like so: PATH-E(TI)C.

  1. Cross about start of feisty female’s gag? (6)

Answer: MUFFLE (i.e. “gag”). Solution is MULE (i.e. “cross” between a horse and a donkey) wrapped “about” F (i.e. “start of feisty”, i.e. the first letter of “feisty”) and F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”), like so: MU(F-F)LE.

  1. I visit the Hollywood area, having false notions (5)

Answer: IDOLA (i.e. “having false notions” – over to Chambers: an idol can be “a false notion or other erroneous way of looking at things to which the mind is prone as classified by Bacon in Novum Organum”. Glad that’s cleared up, then). When written as I DO LA the solution also satisfies “I visit the Hollywood area”. (cough)made-to-fit(cough)

  1. Injuries shown by Scottish poet with PhD, perhaps? (6-6,5)

Answer: SECOND-DEGREE BURNS (i.e. “injuries”). Clue plays on a PhD being a SECOND DEGREE earned by postgraduates, and Robert BURNS being a “Scottish poet”.

  1. Remedial treatment for cutie following censure (11)

Answer: THERAPEUTIC (i.e. “remedial”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “treatment for”) of CUTIE placed after or “following” THE RAP (i.e. “censure”), like so: (THE-RAP)-EUTIC.

  1. Uncommon process involving fluorine becoming less dense (11)

Answer: RAREFACTION (i.e. of air “becoming less dense”). Solution is RARE (i.e. “uncommon”) and ACTION (i.e. “process”) wrapped around or “involving” F (chemical symbol of “fluorine”), like so: RARE-(F)-ACTION.

Down clues

  1. Silence poet’s representation of a prehistoric age (11)

Answer: PLEISTOCENE (i.e. “prehistoric age”). “Representation” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SILENCE POET.

  1. Capital I invested in upholstered seat (5)

Answer: SOFIA (i.e. “capital” city of Bulgaria). Solution is I placed or “invested in” SOFA (i.e. “upholstered seat”), like so: SOF(I)A.

  1. Dread losing son before sharp double bend: you must cross that river! (7)

Answer: YANGTZE (i.e. “river”). Solution is ANGST (i.e. “dread”) with the S removed (indicated by “losing son” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “son”) and followed by Z (i.e. “sharp double bend”, descriptive of the letter Z’s shape). These are then placed in or “crossed” by YE (i.e. ye olde “you”), like so: Y(ANGT-Z)E.

  1. Terrible ruler’s current form of transport (4)

Answer: IVAN (i.e. “terrible ruler”, i.e. Ivan the Terrible). Solution is I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current”) followed by VAN (i.e. “form of transport”).

  1. New maid’s role involving old woman’s retreat? (6,4)

Answer: LADIES ROOM (i.e. “woman’s retreat”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of MAID’S ROLE wrapped around or “involving” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: LADIESR(O)OM.

  1. Western jazzman too biased at first over footwear (10,4)

Answer: WELLINGTON BOOT (i.e. “footwear”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “western”) followed by Duke ELLINGTON (i.e. “jazzman”), then TOO and B (i.e. “biased at first”, i.e. the first letter of “biased”) once these latter two have been reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: W-ELLINGTON-(B-OOT).

  1. Feeling transmitted by head of Irish hospital department (8)

Answer: SENTIENT (i.e. “feeling”). Solution is SENT (i.e. “transmitted”) followed by I (i.e. “head of Irish”, i.e. the first letter of “Irish”) and ENT (i.e. “hospital department”, specifically Ear Nose and Throat).

  1. Time to get upset about Conservative decree (5)

Answer: EDICT (i.e. “decree”). Solution is TIDE (i.e. “time”, poetically) reversed (indicated by “to get upset” – this being a down clue) and wrapped “about” C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”), like so: EDI(C)T.

  1. Beautiful girl holding a gun? A thing of little significance (9)

Answer: BAGATELLE (a trinket or “thing of little significance”). Solution is BELLE (i.e. “beautiful girl”) wrapped around or “holding” A GAT (i.e. “a gun”, short for Gatling), like so: B(A-GAT)ELLE.

  1. Nightmare of French exam taken externally (6)

Answer: ORDEAL (i.e. “nightmare”). Solution is DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”) placed in or having “externally” ORAL (i.e. “exam”), like so: OR(DE)AL.

  1. Very angry, like a boxer on a sweltering day? (3,5,3,6)

Answer: HOT UNDER THE COLLAR (i.e. “very angry”). Clue plays on “boxers” being dogs, dogs often wear collars, you get the idea.

  1. Hard-hearted note on inspector? Not so (11)

Answer: REMORSELESS (i.e. “hard-hearted”). Solution is RE (i.e. “note”) followed by MORSE (i.e. “inspector” of Colin Dexter’s novels) and LESS (i.e. “not so” much).

  1. Evaluate French art this writer’s exhibited in gallery (8)

Answer: ESTIMATE (i.e. “evaluate”). Solution is ES (i.e. “French art” – we’ve seen this a couple of times now: “art” is being taken as a ye olde form of “are”; the French for “are” is ES) followed by I’M (i.e. “this writer’s” taken from the point of view of the setter, a contraction of I AM) once placed or “exhibited in” TATE (i.e. “gallery”), like so: ES-T(I’M)ATE.

  1. Settle extortionate bill involving hooter? (3,7,3,4)

Answer: PAY THROUGH THE NOSE (i.e. “settle extortionate bill”). Clue plays on “hooter” being an informal name for a NOSE.

  1. Rich confection English girl left unfinished (6)

Answer: ÉCLAIR (i.e. “rich confection”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by CLAIRE (i.e. a “girl’s” name) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “unfinished”), like so: E-CLAIR.

  1. Thus otters originally plunged into river – truly (8)

Answer: FORSOOTH (i.e. “truly”). Solution is SO (i.e. “thus”) and O (i.e. “otters originally”, i.e. the first letter of “otters”) both placed “into” FORTH (i.e. “river”), like so: FOR(SO-O)TH.

  1. Name one’s used to cover extremities of these insects (8)

Answer: TERMITES (i.e. “insects”). Solution is TERM (i.e. “name”) followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) once placed around or “covering” TE (i.e. “extremities of these”, i.e. the first and last letters of “these”), like so: TERM-I(TE)’S.

  1. RAF officer “S”? (8,6)

Answer: SQUADRON LEADER (i.e. “RAF officer”). Clue plays on S being the start letter or LEADER of the word SQUADRON.

  1. Become excessively agitated about eliminating round (8)

Answer: OVERHEAT (i.e. “become excessively agitated”). Solution is OVER (i.e. regarding or “about”) followed by HEAT (i.e. “eliminating round” in sports).

  1. Evaluate merchandise ultimately carried in a couple of ships (6)

Answer: ASSESS (i.e. “evaluate”). Solution is E (i.e. “merchandise ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “merchandise”) placed or “carried in” A, SS and SS (i.e. “couple of ships”, SS is a recognised abbreviation of a steamship), like so: A-SS-(E)-SS.

  1. Trader’s con cost a bit, unfortunately (11)

Answer: TOBACCONIST (i.e. “trader”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CON COST A BIT.

  1. Poor ass is lonely – nothing much happening now (5,6)

Answer: SILLY SEASON (i.e. “nothing much happening now”. Chambers offers this: “a time of year, usually late summer, when newspapers print trivial matter for lack of more newsworthy material”). “Poor” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ASS IS LONELY.

  1. Greek characters hang about, arresting duke’s malicious vilifier (10)

Answer: MUDSLINGER (i.e. “malicious vilifier”). Solution is MUS (i.e. “Greek characters” – mu is the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet) and LINGER (i.e. “hang about”) all wrapped around or “arresting” D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”), like so: MU(D)S-LINGER.

  1. Recapture thoughts about skirts causing excitement at first (9)

Answer: REMINISCE (i.e. “recapture thoughts”). Solution is RE (i.e. regarding or “about” – think email replies) followed by MINIS (i.e. “skirts”), then C and E (i.e. “causing excitement at first”, i.e. the first letters of “causing” and “excitement”).

  1. Like works of poet and philosopher briefly taking pick-me-up (8)

Answer: MILTONIC (i.e. “like works of poet”, specifically John Milton). Solution is John Stuart MILL (i.e. a “philosopher” who couldn’t handle his shandy, some might say) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder followed by TONIC (i.e. “pick-me-up”), like so: MIL-TONIC.

  1. Sound iron chest primarily containing lead (7)

Answer: PLUMBIC (i.e. “containing lead”). Solution is PLUMB (i.e. “sound” – once more to Chambers: “to sound as by a plumb line”, whatever that means) followed by I and C (i.e. “iron chest primarily”, i.e. the first letters of “iron” and “chest”).

  1. A jolly girl – and fleet (6)

Answer: ARMADA (i.e. “fleet” of ships). Solution is A followed by RM (i.e. “jolly”, slang for a Royal Marine, it says here), then ADA (i.e. a “girl’s” name – names are clearly this setter’s calling card).

  1. Feature of needlework originally produced in bed (5)

Answer: PICOT (i.e. “feature of needlework”). Solution is P and I (i.e. “originally produced in”, i.e. the first letters of “produced” and “in”) followed by COT (i.e. “bed”).

  1. Asian language principally spoken in remote island (5)

Answer: FARSI (i.e. “Asian language”). Solution is S (i.e. “principally spoken”, i.e. the first letter of “spoken”) placed “in” FAR (i.e. “remote”) and I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: FAR-(S)-I.

  1. Man once bound to take to the waves, we hear? (4)

Answer: SERF (i.e. “man once bound”). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SURF (i.e. “to take to the waves”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1524

Another medium strength puzzle this week, and one offering good clueing and the kind of steady progression I like. A good one, then.

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 escaped you then a visit to my Just For Fun page might be just the ticket, offering links to solutions for the last 170+ 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 others got on. (I’ll admit the number of interpretations of last week’s 18a was rather entertaining. 😀 ) Till next time, WordPress is still balls, the text in this editor is still stupidly tiny, and, as ever, stay safe out there, kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Academic eats nothing after gastric trouble, resisting buffets (9)

Answer: WINDPROOF (i.e. “resisting buffets”). Solution is PROF (i.e. “academic”, short for professor) wrapped around or “eating” O (i.e. “nothing”) and placed “after” WIND (i.e. “gastric trouble”), like so: WIND-PR(O)OF. Nicely worked.

  1. Supposedly great individual swallowing junk (2,5)

Answer: ON PAPER (i.e. “supposedly”). Solution is ONER (i.e. “great individual”) wrapped around or “swallowing” PAP (i.e. mediocre or “junk”), like so: ON(PAP)ER.

  1. Poor allowed to give away pounds (5)

Answer: AWFUL (i.e. “poor”). Solution is LAWFUL (i.e. “allowed”) with the first L removed (indicated by “to give away pounds” – L is a recognised abbreviation of pound, after the Latin libra).

  1. Ceremony carrying little weight? (3,4)

Answer: LOW MASS (i.e. “ceremony”, apparently one celebrated without music or incense. On the cheap, then). Clue plays on the variant meaning of MASS, being “weight”. I’m so done with religious clues now.

  1. Not all of Middlesex tremendously radical (7)

Answer: EXTREME (i.e. “radical”). “Not all of” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: MIDDLES(EX TREME)NDOUSLY.

  1. Rest of pork pie to put away quickly (3,4)

Answer: LIE DOWN (i.e. “rest”). Solution is LIE (i.e. “pork pie”, its cockney rhyming slang equivalent innit geeza, gorblimey etc) followed by DOWN (i.e. “to put away quickly”, e.g. a drink).

  1. Silence follows this change around at Cork (12,7)

Answer: CONVERSATION STOPPER (i.e. “silence follows this”). Solution is CONVERSATION (i.e. “change about” – a play on the variant meaning of CONVERSE, being the reverse of something. Turning this into CONVERSATION isn’t something supported by my assorted dictionaries, so this clue perhaps ought to have had a riddly question mark on the end).
[EDIT: Thanks to Chris in the comments for cleaning this one up. I wasn’t reading the clue closely enough. The solution is CONVERSION (i.e. “change”) wrapped “around” AT and followed by CORK (i.e. “stopper”), like so: CONVERS(AT)ION-STOPPER. Cheers, Chris! – LP]

  1. For quite some time, live the wrong way (3)

Answer: ERA (i.e. “quite some time”). Solution is ARE (i.e. exist or “live”) reversed (indicated by “the wrong way”).

  1. Guy turning head in decorative material (6)

Answer: RIBBON (i.e. “decorative material”). Solution is RIB (i.e. “guy” or joke, archaically) followed by NOB (i.e. slang for the “head”) reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: RIB-BON.

  1. Boss in American car carrying books around (6)

Answer: EDITOR (i.e. “boss”). Solution is RIDE (i.e. “American car”, or a ride in a car over in the US – could be that “carrying” is used in two different ways in this clue) wrapped around or “carrying” OT (i.e. “books”, specifically the Old Testament of The Bible). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “around”), like so: EDI(TO)R.

  1. Being open to change enabled me to change (9)

Answer: EMENDABLE (i.e. “being open to change”). “To change” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ENABLED ME. Nicely done.

  1. Bobby tours unknown country, a compulsive sort (10)

Answer: PYROMANIAC (i.e. “a compulsive sort”). Solution is PC (i.e. “bobby” or Police Constable) wrapped around or “touring” Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in their solutions as unknowns) and ROMANIA (i.e. “country”), like so: P(Y-ROMANIA)C.

  1. One investing in cowshed? (11)

Answer: STOCKHOLDER (i.e. “one investing” – technically one invested. What do you mean, “pedantic”?) Clue plays on how a cowshed HOLDS (live)STOCK.

  1. Court yard facing west with lots of foliage (5)

Answer: WOODY (i.e. “with lots of foliage”). Solution is WOO (i.e. to “court”) followed by YD (a recognised abbreviation of “yard”) once reversed (indicated by “facing west” – this being an across clue), like so: WOO-DY. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Good urban musician hosting large wrestler (8)

Answer: GRAPPLER (i.e. “wrestler”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by RAPPER (i.e. “urban musician”) once wrapped around or “hosting” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), like so: G-RAPP(L)ER.

  1. Least enduring party for French food enthusiasts? (8)

Answer: BRIEFEST (i.e. “least enduring”). When written as BRIE FEST the solution also satisfies “party for French food enthusiasts”. Essentially copied and pasted from puzzle 1517 last month, making this an easier get.

  1. Limited what judge did, imprisoning one that’s charged (8)

Answer: RATIONED (i.e. “limited”). Solution is RATED (i.e. “what judge did”) wrapped around or “imprisoning” ION (i.e. “one that’s charged”), like so: RAT(ION)ED.

  1. Hero in ebbing water keeping cold (8)

Answer: ACHILLES (i.e. “hero” of Greek mythology who often pops up in these things). Solution is SEA (i.e. “water”) reversed (indicated by “ebbing”) and wrapped around or “keeping” CHILL (i.e. “cold”), like so: A(CHILL)ES.

  1. What protester did to get glossy fabric (5)

Answer: SATIN (i.e. “glossy fabric”). When written as SAT IN the solution also satisfies “what protester did”.

  1. Knocked back drink, expecting me as well (4,3,4)

Answer: JOIN THE CLUB (i.e. “me as well”). Solution is OJ (i.e. “drink”, specifically Orange Juice) reversed (indicated by “knocked back”) and followed by IN THE CLUB (i.e. “expecting” or pregnant), like so: (JO)-IN-THE-CLUB.

  1. Decline to be received by hotel poorly (2,8)

Answer: GO DOWNHILL (i.e. “decline”). Solution is GO DOWN (i.e. “to be received”, say, by an audience) followed by H (“Hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) and ILL (i.e. “poorly”).

  1. Dinner: light meal short of a seat (9)

Answer: BANQUETTE (i.e. “seat”). Solution is BANQUET (i.e. “dinner”) followed by TEA (i.e. “light meal”) once the A has been removed (indicated by “short of a”), like so: BANQUET-TE.

  1. Citing an overthrown dynasty (6)

Answer: NAMING (i.e. “citing”). Solution is AN reversed (indicated by “overthrown”) and followed by MING (i.e. Chinese “dynasty”), like so: NA-MING.

  1. Island also bordering land (6)

Answer: TOBAGO (i.e. “island”). Solution is TOO (i.e. “also”) wrapped around or “bordering” BAG (i.e. to acquire or “land”), like so: TO(BAG)O.

  1. Cross, leaving northern resort (3)

Answer: SPA (i.e. “resort”). Solution is SPAN (i.e. to “cross”) once the N has been removed (indicated by “leaving northern” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “northern”).

  1. Keenly loathe everyone’s work, therefore? (4,7,8)

Answer: LIKE NOBODY’S BUSINESS (i.e. “keenly”). Solution also playfully satisfies “loathe everyone’s work”. “Therefore” seems extraneous, but I could be missing something.

  1. Where gamblers are hoarding spades in card game (7)

Answer: CASSINO (i.e. “card game”). Solution is CASINO (i.e. “where gamblers are”) wrapped around or “hoarding” S (a recognised abbreviation of “spades” used in card games), like so: CAS(S)INO.

  1. Ruler’s dress pinned by Etonian periodically (7)

Answer: TSARINA (i.e. “ruler”). Solution is SARI (i.e. “dress”) placed in or “pinned by” TNA (i.e. “Etonian periodically”, i.e. every other letter of ETONIAN), like so: T(SARI)NA.

  1. Hate to stand on beetle, say (7)

Answer: BUGBEAR (i.e. “hate”). Solution is BEAR (i.e. “to stand”) placed “on” or after BUG (i.e. “beetle, say” – other flavours of bug are available), like so: BUG-BEAR.

  1. Informed about opening of long, informal speech (5)

Answer: SLANG (i.e. “informal speech”). Solution is SANG (i.e. “informed” or grassed) wrapped “about” L (i.e. “opening of long”, i.e. the first letter of “long”), like so: S(L)ANG.

  1. More distant ancestor, it’s said (7)

Answer: FARTHER (i.e. “more distant”). “It’s said” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of FATHER (i.e. “ancestor”).

  1. Are exotic swirls in slate? (9)

Answer: EXCORIATE (i.e. to “slate” or pan something). “Swirls” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ARE EXOTIC.

Down clues

  1. Joker and I left Washington, in part of city (4,4)

Answer: WILD CARD (i.e. “joker” in a deck of cards). Solution is I, L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and DC (i.e. “Washington”) all placed “in” WARD (i.e. “part of city”), like so: W(I-L-DC)ARD.

  1. Unfavourable, like the current government (2-3)

Answer: NO-WIN (i.e. “unfavourable”). Solution is NOW (i.e. “current”) followed by IN (i.e. “government” I guess. One definition of IN is “a member of the party in office” (Chambers), though I’m not sure this extends to the party as a whole).

  1. Flier to record years in astronomical study (11)

Answer: PLANETOLOGY (i.e. “astronomical study”). Solution is PLANE (i.e. “flier”) followed by TO, then LOG (i.e. “record”) and Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”).

  1. Disease’s caught in sailor’s haunt (6)

Answer: OBSESS (i.e. “haunt” – over to Chambers again: “to cling or keep coming back to the memory of”). Solution is BSE (i.e. “disease”, specifically Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) placed “in” OS’S (i.e. “sailor’s”, specifically an Ordinary Seaman), like so: O(BSE)S’S. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here, as I couldn’t make the connection.

  1. Commander fired team, all failing (5,7)

Answer: FLEET ADMIRAL (i.e. “commander”). “Failing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FIRED TEAM ALL.

  1. Wrong letters in distant settlement (7)

Answer: OUTPOST (i.e. “distant settlement”). Solution is OUT (i.e. inaccurate or “wrong”) followed by POST (i.e. “letters”).

  1. Wanting fun, with appeal certain on date with man (8-7)

Answer: PLEASURE-SEEKING (i.e. “wanting fun”). Solution is PLEA (i.e. “appeal”) followed by SURE (i.e. “certain”), then SEE (i.e. to “date” someone) and KING (i.e. “man”).

  1. Females only breaking mobile phone? It’s amazing (10)

Answer: PHENOMENON (i.e. “it’s amazing”). Solution is NO MEN (i.e. “females only”) placed in or “breaking” an anagram (indicated by “mobile”) of PHONE, like so: PHE(NO-MEN)ON. (Doo doo d-doo-doo; PHENOMENON, doo doo-doo doo; PHENOMENON, doo doo d-doo-doo d-doo-doo d-doo-doo d-doo-doo doo-doo doo doo doo-doo doo. Hmm. Doesn’t work so well written down so here’s a better version…)

  1. Republican getting pass for recidivist act (7)

Answer: RELAPSE (i.e. “recidivist act”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) followed by ELAPSE (i.e. “pass”).

  1. A trio of wines in love song… (1,3,3,4)

Answer: A RED RED ROSE (i.e. “love song” by Robert Burns). Solution is A followed by RED, RED and ROSE (i.e. “trio of wines”).

  1. …and it’s setting, maybe, following lesser teacher (9)

Answer: FLOWERBED (i.e. “it’s setting”, referring to the rose in the previous clue). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “following”) followed by LOWER (i.e. “lesser”) and BED (i.e. “teacher”, specifically a Bachelor of Education).

  1. Tattoo penned by criminal with drug connection (7)

Answer: LINKAGE (i.e. “connection”). Solution is INK (i.e. “tattoo”) placed in or “penned by” LAG (i.e. “criminal”) and E (i.e. “drug”, specifically a street name for ecstasy), like so: L(INK)AG-E.

  1. Shun thug from down under caught going too far (7)

Answer: BOYCOTT (i.e. “shun”). Solution is YOB (i.e. “thug”) reversed (indicated by “from down under” – this being a down clue) and followed by C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) and OTT (i.e. “going to far”, specifically Over The Top), like so: BOY-C-OTT.

  1. Mob Frenchman in a state of mortification (8)

Answer: GANGRENE (i.e. “state of mortification”). Solution is GANG (i.e. “mob”) followed by RENE (i.e. name of a “Frenchman”).

  1. Officer with a collar secures a taxi for all in coastal resort (10,5)

Answer: COPACABANA BEACH (i.e. “coastal resort”). Solution is COP (i.e. police “officer”), A and NAB (i.e. to “collar”) all wrapped around or “securing” A CAB (i.e. “a taxi”) and followed by EACH (i.e. “for all”), like so: (COP-(A-CAB)-A-NAB)-EACH.

  1. Developing a work with a US film-maker (8)

Answer: Akira KUROSAWA (i.e. “film-maker”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “developing”) of A WORK and A US.

  1. Keep lowering a membrane (6)

Answer: RETINA (i.e. “membrane”). Solution is RETAIN (i.e. “keep”) with the A placed at the end or “lowered” – this being a down clue – like so: RET(A)IN => RETIN(A).

  1. Rising conflicts about a West Indian home rule (6)

Answer: SWARAJ (i.e. “Indian home rule”). Solution is JARS (i.e. clashes or “conflicts”) wrapped “about” A and W (a recognised abbreviation of “west”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “rising” – again, this being a down clue) like so: S(W-A)RAJ. One nailed from the wordplay, perhaps unsurprisingly.

  1. Literary heartbreaker’s English and Belgian beer (7)

Answer: ESTELLA (i.e. “literary heartbreaker” from Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by STELLA (i.e. “Belgian beer”, i.e. Stella Artios).

  1. Variable measure of line in section of track to climb (7,5)

Answer: SLIDING SCALE (i.e. “variable measure”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) placed “in” SIDING (i.e. “section of track”) and followed by SCALE (i.e. “to climb”), like so: S(L)IDING-SCALE.

  1. Barn, say, in Dublin nearly damaged during trip (11)

Answer: OUTBUILDING (i.e. “barn, say”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “damaged”) of DUBLIN once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “nearly”), which is then placed in or “during” OUTING (i.e. “trip”), like so: OUT(BUILD)ING.

  1. School staff remain without top physicist (11)

Answer: Erwin SCHRODINGER (i.e. “physicist” with a cat. Or maybe not). Solution is SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”) followed by ROD (i.e. “staff”), then LINGER (i.e. “remain”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “without top”), like so: SCH-ROD-INGER.

  1. It provides current version of rental list from the bottom (10)

Answer: ALTERNATOR (i.e. “it provides [electrical] current”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “version of”) of RENTAL followed by ROTA (i.e. “list”) once reversed (indicated by “from the bottom” – this being a down clue), like so: ALTERN-ATOR.

  1. India exploited one Asian stretch of water (6,3)

Answer: IONIAN SEA (i.e. “stretch of water”). Solution is I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by an anagram (indicated by “exploited”) of ONE ASIAN, like so: I-ONIANSEA.

  1. See offenders deserving credit (8)

Answer: CONSTRUE (i.e. “see”). Solution is CONS (i.e. “offenders”) followed by TRUE (i.e. “deserving credit” or creditable).

  1. Splits a bit of time into pieces (7)

Answer: BISECTS (i.e. “splits”). Solution is SEC (i.e. “a bit of time”, short for a second) placed “into” BITS (i.e. “pieces”), like so: BI(SEC)TS.

  1. Ape to slip out of shed and make a run for it (4,3)

Answer: TAKE OFF. A quadruple-header, if I’m not mistaken, with the solution satisfying to imitate or “ape”, “to slip out of”, to “shed” and to “make a run for it”. Blimey!

  1. Dirtier mark on island? Dug around it (7)

Answer: MUDDIER (i.e. “dirtier”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “mark”, the former currency of Germany) followed by I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”) once it has been placed in or having “around it” UDDER (i.e. “dug” – back to Chambers: “a nipple or udder of a cow or similar animal”. No, me neither), like so: M-UDD(I)ER.

  1. Member of group ending in Zulu province (6)

Answer: QUEBEC (i.e. “province”). Clue plays on how Quebec and Zulu represent the letters Q and Z respectively in the phonetic alphabet. Z is the last letter or “ending” of the alphabet. You get the idea.

  1. Evacuation procedure of soldiers, up in eastern area (5)

Answer: ENEMA (i.e. “evacuation procedure” – lovely!) Solution is MEN (i.e. “soldiers” – decades out of date but dictionaries still support its usage without qualification, so here we are) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and placed “in” between E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) and A (ditto “area”), like so: E-(NEM)-A.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1523

A medium strength puzzle this week pepped up with some cunning wordplay. I’ll admit I wasn’t gushing with praise while solving the thing but, on reflection, this was a good one (recentish repeats aside).

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 eluded you then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 170+ of these things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and help. It’s much appreciated and it’s always interesting to hear how other solvers got on. Meanwhile, boos and hisses continue toward WordPress, who must think we all edit blog posts on 65 inch screens. This has gone on for a while, which probably means all the humans have left WordPress and the site is now being maintained by a couple of CAPTCHA bots. Nice to know they’ve finally figured out what a fire hydrant looks like, eh?

Any road, till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Blood component: paternal grandmother stores litres (6)

Answer: PLASMA (i.e. “blood component”). Solution is PA’S MA (i.e. “paternal grandmother”) wrapped around or “storing” L (a recognised abbreviation of “litres”), like so: P(L)A’S-MA.

  1. Distinctive little car reversed, then one put forward (10)

Answer: INIMITABLE (i.e. “distinctive”). Solution is MINI (i.e. “little car”) “reversed” and followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then TABLE (i.e. to “put forward” a proposal), like so: INIM-I-TABLE.

  1. Irrational to be covered with deep brown colour (5)

Answer: SEPIA (i.e. “brown colour”). Solution is PI (i.e. an “irrational” number, i.e. a number that cannot be expressed as a fraction where the numerator and denominator are whole numbers) placed in or “covered by” SEA (i.e. the “deep”), like so: SE(PI)A.

  1. Popular as soldiers showing hypocrisy? (9)

Answer: INSINCERE (i.e. “showing hypocrisy”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by SINCE (i.e. “as”) and RE (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army).

  1. Tropical hunter in sight departs, subdued, moving left to right (10,3)

Answer: SPECTACLED OWL (i.e. “tropical hunter” – did a Google Image search. Ooooh, pretty. No spectacles, though). Solution is SPECTACLE (i.e. “sight”) followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “departs”) and LOW (i.e. “subdued”) once the L – a recognised abbreviation of “left” – has been placed “to [the] right”, like so: SPECTACLE-D-(L)OW => SPECTACLE-D-OW(L).

  1. Somewhere to sleep on Spring day in the shade? (7)

Answer: APRICOT (i.e. “shade” or colour). Solution is COT (i.e. “somewhere to sleep”) placed “on” or after APR I (i.e. “Spring day”, read as April 1st), like so: (APR-I)-COT.

  1. Ghastly building the writer spotted in broadcast (7)

Answer: EYESORE (i.e. “ghastly building”). “In broadcast” indicates homophone. Solution is comprised of homophones of I SAW (i.e. “the writer spotted”, taken from the point of view of the setter).

  1. Art making money, maybe, for Frank? (7)

Answer: EARNEST (i.e. “frank” – the riddly question mark suggests to me that the setter is stretching things a smidge. There’s a variant meaning of “earnest” being “a payment given to confirm a contract” (Chambers). A “frank” can describe indication of payment of carriage or postage. Blur your eyes enough and you can just about see the connection. Or a sailing boat). Solution is one of those groaners that plays on “art” being a ye olde indicator. So, for “making money”, imagine some RSC luvvie in period costume saying some twaddle like “Stole it? Why no, good sir knight. Verily I did earnest this meagre loaf etc etc”. Yeah I know, I know…

  1. Creature changing supply date with account at zero (4-6,8)

Answer: DUCK-BILLED PLATYPUS (i.e. “creature”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “changing”) of SUPPLY DATE placed “with” or after DUCK BILL (i.e. “account at zero” – duck being a zero score in cricket), like so: (DUCK-BILL)-EDPLATYPUS.

  1. Poor to welcome Liberal found wanting in Barnet? (4)

Answer: BALD (i.e. “found wanting in barnet” or hair – ignore the misleading capitalisation – barnet is cockney rhyming slang, it says here, after Barnet Fair, a famous racehorse back in the day). Solution is BAD (i.e. “poor”) wrapped around or “welcoming” L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”), like so: BA(L)D.

  1. Hawk-headed god is here ultimately to give boost (5)

Answer: RAISE (i.e. “boost”). Solution is RA (i.e. “hawk-headed god”) followed by IS, then E (i.e. “here ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “here”).

  1. Eleanor clenches fist having knocked out posh outlaw (3,5)

Answer: NED KELLY (i.e. famous Australian “outlaw”). Solution is NELLY (i.e. shortened form of “Eleanor”) wrapped around or “clenching” DUKE (i.e. “fist”, as in putting up one’s dukes) once the U has been removed (indicated by “knocked out posh” – U indicates the “upper class”, something you see significantly more in cryptic crosswords than in real life), like so: NE(DKE)LLY.

  1. Song about knave, knight and rustic (8)

Answer: ARCADIAN (i.e. “rustic”). Solution is ARIA (i.e. “song”) placed “about” CAD (i.e. “knave” or bounder) and followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess), like so: AR(CAD)IA-N.

  1. Prisoner taking small measure into port finds useful device (11)

Answer: CONVENIENCE (i.e. “useful device”). Solution is CON (i.e. “prisoner”) followed by EN (i.e. “small measure” – a printing term used to describe a space that is half the width of a lowercase m) once placed “into” VENICE (i.e. “port”), like so: CON-VENI(EN)CE.

  1. Justification for being in Paris? (6,5)

Answer: RAISON DETRE (i.e. purpose or “justification for being”). Clue plays on the phrase being French. Simple, but nicely done.

  1. American comic keeping coins in supplies to audience (4,7)

Answer: PHIL SILVERS (i.e. “American comic”). Solution is SILVER (i.e. “coins”) placed in a homophone (indicated by “to audience”) of FILLS (i.e. “supplies”), like so: PHIL(SILVER)S. I used to love watching The Phil Silvers Show when I was (checks imaginary watch) considerably younger. His comic timing and delivery was perfection every time. (Checks to see if It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is available to stream.)

  1. Sarah is backing craftsman sending out current work (5,6)

Answer: SILAS MARNER (i.e. a novel or “work” by George Eliot). Solution is SAL (shortened form of “Sarah”) and IS both reversed (indicated by “backing”) and followed by MARINER (i.e. “craftsman” – with “craft” taken to mean a sea vessel) once the I has been removed (indicated by “sending out current” – I is a recognised abbreviation of an electrical current used in physics), like so: (SI-LAS)-MARNER. A recentish repeat from back in May, making this an easier get.

  1. Drunk round Dorset town turns and leaps on ice (3,5)

Answer: TOE LOOPS (i.e. “leaps on ice”). Solution is SOT (i.e. “drunk”) placed “round” POOLE (i.e. “Dorset town”) and the whole reversed (indicated by “turns”), like so: TO(ELOOP)S.

  1. Divine topped flan sent over with meal one quietly leaves (8)

Answer: SUPERNAL (i.e. “divine”). Solution is FLAN with the first letter removed (indicated by “topped”) and the remainder reversed or “sent over”. This is then placed after or “with” SUPPER (i.e. “meal”) once “one” of the Ps has been removed (indicated by “quietly leaves” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano” or quietly in musical lingo), like so: SUPER-NAL.

  1. Gallantry award announced for show director (5)

Answer: EMCEE (i.e. “show director” or Master of Ceremonies). “Announced” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of MC or Military Cross (i.e. “gallantry award”).

  1. Christmas without the Spanish? (4)

Answer: NOEL (i.e. “Christmas”). When written as NO EL the solution also satisfies “without the Spanish” – EL being Spanish for “the”.

  1. Deathly reminder left with estate in Usk unfortunately peeved surgeon (5,3,10)

Answer: SKULL AND CROSSBONES (i.e. “deathly reminder” used on signage and warning labels). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and LAND (i.e. “estate”) both placed “in” between an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of USK, CROSS (i.e. “peeved”) and BONES (informal name for a “surgeon”), like so: SKU-(L-LAND)-CROSS-BONES.

  1. Exploit quality of rocks but not diamonds? (7)

Answer: HARNESS (i.e. to “exploit”). Solution is HARDNESS (i.e. “quality of rocks”) with the D removed (indicated by “not diamonds” – D being a recognised abbreviation of “diamonds” used in card games).

  1. Elite news boss beaten (7)

Answer: CREAMED (i.e. “beaten”). Solution is CREAM (i.e. “elite”) followed by ED (i.e. “news boss”, short for an editor).

  1. Mean church in Ely cleaned out diocese (7)

Answer: EPARCHY (i.e. “diocese”). Solution is PAR (i.e. average or “mean”) and CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) both placed “in” EY (i.e. “Ely cleaned out”, i.e. “Ely” with its middle letter removed), like so: E(PAR-CH)Y. Chalk one to my Bradford’s. To be honest I’d grown sick of all the religious stuff infesting recent Jumbos. I just couldn’t be arsed with it any more.

  1. Listing for balance – something pronounced on slope? (4,9)

Answer: BANK STATEMENT (i.e. “listing for [bank] balance”). Solution is STATEMENT (i.e. “something pronounced”) placed “on” or after BANK (i.e. “slope”).

  1. Small character parts for those on the rise? (9)

Answer: ASCENDERS. Solution satisfies “small character parts” – ascenders is a printing term: “(the upper part of) a letter such as b, d, h, k” (Chambers). Nope, me neither – and “those on the rise”.

  1. Flower rook dropped into red wine (5)

Answer: TRENT (i.e. a river or “flower”, i.e. something that flows). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “rook” used in chess) placed or “dropped into” TENT (i.e. a Spanish “red wine” you often see in these things), like so: T(R)ENT.

  1. Unrevised version opening with American conscript (5,5)

Answer: FIRST DRAFT (i.e. “unrevised version”). Solution is FIRST (i.e. “opening”) followed by DRAFT (i.e. “American conscript”).

  1. Those bringing rain in unknown quantity entering Hell (6)

Answer: HYADES (i.e. “those bringing rain” – over to Chambers again: “a cluster of five stars in the constellation of the Bull, supposed by the ancients to bring rain when they rose with the sun”. Hmm. I’d say there’s a fair difference between “supposed” and the definite nature expressed in the clue. Dick move, setter). Solution is Y (i.e. “unknown quantity” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”) placed in or “entering” HADES (i.e. “Hell”), like so: H(Y)ADES. One gotten from the wordplay, you’ll be unsurprised to learn.

Down clues

  1. Fool around Greek character on spacecraft (9)

Answer: PHILANDER (i.e. “fool around”). Solution is PHI (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet) followed by LANDER (i.e. “spacecraft”).

  1. Movement encapsulating summertime with artist in reverie (11)

Answer: ABSTRACTION (i.e. absent-mindedness or “reverie”). Solution is ACTION (i.e. “movement”) wrapped around or “encapsulating” BST (a recognised abbreviation of British “Summertime”) and RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician), like so: A(BST-RA)CTION.

  1. ICBM in a modified personnel carrier (7)

Answer: MINICAB (i.e. “personnel carrier”). “Modified” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ICBM IN A.

  1. Relative close to collapse in French city (5)

Answer: NIECE (i.e. “relative”). Solution is E (i.e. “close to collapse”, i.e. the last letter of “collapse”) placed “in” NICE (i.e. “French city”), like so: NI(E)CE.

  1. Great work in spare time transformed church (11)

Answer: MASTERPIECE (i.e. “great work”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “transformed”) of SPARE TIME followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

  1. Sports supporter, over the summer, getting no supper? (11)

Answer: TEETOTALLER (i.e. “no supper” – sup being to drink). Solution is TEE (i.e. “sports supporter”, specifically one used to prop up a golf ball) followed by TOTALLER (i.e. “summer”, or one who sums).

  1. In passing through on vacation, we’re going outside? (2,3,3)

Answer: BY THE BYE (i.e. “in passing”). Solution is TH (i.e. “through on vacation”, i.e. the word “through” with all its middle letters removed) with BYE BYE (i.e. “we’re going”) placed “outside” of it, like so: BY(TH)E-BYE. Another recent repeat. Ho hum.

  1. Funds erstwhile auditor needed for hearing (9)

Answer: EXCHEQUER (i.e. “funds”). Solution is EX (i.e. former or “erstwhile”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “for hearing”) of CHECKER (i.e. “auditor”), like so: EX-CHEQUER.

  1. Fortified wine gets female on right lines (6)

Answer: SHERRY (i.e. “fortified wine”). Solution is SHE (i.e. “female”) placed “on” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) followed by RY (i.e. “lines”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a railway).

  1. Person regularly given rope to restrain alien workers (11)

Answer: PROLETARIAT (i.e. “workers”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “person regularly”, i.e. every other letter of PERSON) followed by LARIAT (i.e. lasso or “rope”) once wrapped around or “restraining” ET (i.e. “alien” or Extra-Terrestrial), like so: PRO-L(ET)ARIAT.

  1. Give out scores on radio? (5)

Answer: ALLOT (i.e. “give out”). “On radio” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of A LOT (i.e. many or “scores”).

  1. Pressure at variance in satellite is causing trouble (12)

Answer: PESTILENTIAL (i.e. “causing trouble”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “at variance”) of IN SATELLITE, like so: P-ESTILENTIAL.

  1. Put at risk peace-making counsel? (8)

Answer: ENDANGER (i.e. “put at risk”). When written as END ANGER the solution also satisfies “peace-making counsel”, as in what may be said to Yosemite Sam types when they blow their tops.

  1. Desperate character sure to look silly as ballet performer (7)

Answer: DANSEUR (i.e. male “ballet performer” – a new one on me, but then I’m not the balletgoing type). Solution is DAN (i.e. “desperate character”, specifically Desperate Dan from The Dandy comic. Ah, the days) followed by an anagram (indicated by “to look silly”) of USER, like so: DAN-SEUR.

  1. Island explorer discovers magical plant (8)

Answer: MANDRAKE (i.e. “magical plant”, supposedly due to the humanlike appearance of its root – think Pan’s Labyrinth). Solution is MAN (i.e. “island”, specifically the Isle of Man) followed by Sir Francis DRAKE (i.e. “explorer”).

  1. Rising sound involving rock band is coming out (8)

Answer: EMERSION (i.e. “coming out”). Solution is NOISE (i.e. “sound”) wrapped around or “involving” REM (i.e. “rock band”) and the whole reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue), like so: E(MER)SION.

  1. Underground worker nursing unfortunate fashion designer (8)

Answer: MILLINER (i.e. “fashion designer”). Solution is MINER (i.e. “underground worker”) wrapped around or “nursing” ILL (i.e. “unfortunate”), like so: M(ILL)INER.

  1. One used to wind and sunburn after eclipses (7)

Answer: CAPSTAN (i.e. “one used to wind” heavy ropes or cables). Solution is TAN (i.e. “sunburn”) placed “after” CAPS (i.e. exceeds or “eclipses”), like so: CAPS-TAN.

  1. Alumnus, only one lacking in discipline, gets redundancy (12)

Answer: OBSOLESCENCE (i.e. “redundancy”). Solution is OB (i.e. “alumnus”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of an “old boy”) followed by SOLE (i.e. “only”) and SCIENCE (i.e. profession or “discipline”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “[Roman numeral] one lacking in…”), like so: OB-SOLE-SCENCE.

  1. One freelanced working in European location (3-2-6)

Answer: ILE-DE-FRANCE (i.e. “European location” – guess where). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “working”) of FREELANCED, like so: I-LEDEFRANCE.

  1. South African custom satisfied when eating a seasoned product (7,4)

Answer: SAUSAGE MEAT (i.e. “seasoned product”). Solution is SA (a recognised abbreviation of “South African”) followed by USAGE (i.e. “custom”) and MET (i.e. “satisfied”) once wrapped around or “eating” A, like so: SA-USAGE-ME(A)T.

  1. Saint Peter housing Eastern Hemisphere’s clock (11)

Answer: SPEEDOMETER (i.e. “clock”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”) followed by PETER once wrapped around or “housing” E (a recognised abbreviation of “Eastern”) and DOME (i.e. “hemisphere”), like so: S-PE(E-DOME)TER.

  1. Point RC overturned in precise obligation to give liturgical statement (6,5)

Answer: NICENE CREED (i.e. “liturgical statement”). Solution is E (i.e. compass “point”, specifically east) and RC both reversed (indicated by “overturned”) and placed “in” NICE (i.e. “precise”) and NEED (i.e. “obligation”), like so: NICE-NE(CR-E)ED. More religious stuff, this one made easier by being another recentish repeat. All my favourite things!

  1. Fish on Welsh river after son provides rod (9)

Answer: PIKESTAFF (i.e. “rod”). Solution is PIKE (i.e. “fish”) placed “on” TAFF (i.e. “Welsh river”) once this latter has been placed “after” S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”), like so: PIKE-(S-TAFF).

  1. Bacon and the like to try in stews, then soups to start with (9)

Answer: ESSAYISTS (i.e. Francis “Bacon and the like”). Not 100% on this one, so watch out. I guess ESSAY is “to try” or attempt, and the last S can be “soups to start with”, i.e. the first letter of “soups”, but I’m not sparking anything for IST or “in stews”. If some kind soul swings by with the solution then I’ll update the post.

[EDIT: Thanks to Sue in the comments for clearing this one up. Turns out I wasn’t looking close enough. “To start with” refers to the initial letters of In Stews Then Soups, making the solution ESSAY-ISTS. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

  1. Signal after bombing everyone understood (3,5)

Answer: ALL CLEAR (i.e. “signal after bombing”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “everyone”) followed by CLEAR (i.e. “understood”).

  1. Flattering words from lovelorn boy touring Antrim town (7)

Answer: BLARNEY (i.e. “flattering words”). Solution is BY (i.e. “lovelorn boy”, i.e. the word “boy” with the O removed – O being a zero score in tennis), wrapped around or “touring” LARNE (i.e. “Antrim town” – yes, I looked it up), like so: B(LARNE)Y.

  1. Appeal after county provides little accommodation (6)

Answer: BEDSIT (i.e. “little accommodation”). Solution is IT (i.e. sex “appeal”, or having it about oneself) placed “after” BEDS (i.e. “county”, short for Bedfordshire), like so: BEDS-IT.

  1. Hot needing rather loose garment (5)

Answer: HABIT (i.e. “loose garment”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”) followed by A BIT (i.e. quite or “rather”).

  1. Character of no great stature in Cold War fiction (5)

Answer: DWARF (i.e. “character of no great stature”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: COL(D WAR F)ICTION. Nicely disguised.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1522

A relatively straightforward puzzle this week, helped by a few solutions that I remembered from previous grids. A pleasant enough run out, all told.

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 picked your pockets then you might find some use from my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 170+ of these 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. A significant boo and hiss, however, to WordPress, who can’t stop dicking around with their site. It was bad enough when we were all forced onto a retrograde editor, but can you jokers please just find a clean editing font and stick with it? Is that seriously too much to ask? After chopping and changing the font so often these last couple of months you now want us to use some 8pt serif horror show? Well, thanks a bunch. It’s just as well I write the body of these posts elsewhere otherwise I’d have no eyesight left by now. What a shambles.

Ugh. Anyway, rant over. Till the next one, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Libellous attack in letter: “Two fools, one leading country” (9,13)

Answer: CHARACTER ASSASSINATION (i.e. “libellous attack”). Solution is CHARACTER (i.e. “letter”) followed by ASS and ASS (i.e. “two fools”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and NATION (i.e. “country”).

  1. Go after contract, keeping united (6)

Answer: PURSUE (i.e. “go after”). Solution is PURSE (i.e. to “contract” one’s lips) wrapped around or “keeping” U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”), like so: PURS(U)E.

  1. Some children love one to make lines on paper (3,4)

Answer: RAG DOLL (i.e. “some children love one”). Solution is DO (i.e. “to make”) and LL (i.e. “lines” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “line”) both placed “on” or after RAG (i.e. “[news]paper”), like so: RAG-(DO-LL).

  1. In church, a simple minister (8)

Answer: CHAPLAIN (i.e. “minister”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) followed by A, then PLAIN (i.e. “simple”).

  1. One put on a few pounds: one result of major operation that should get my vote (5-4,4)

Answer: THREE-LINE WHIP (i.e. “that should get my vote”). Solution is THREE (i.e. “one put on a few”, if you take “few” to mean two – perhaps would have been better phrased as “one put on a couple”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds”, after the Latin libra), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then NEW HIP (i.e. “result of major operation”).

  1. Boat needing coat of paint perhaps round front of hull (6)

Answer: DINGHY (i.e. “boat”). Solution is DINGY (i.e. “needing coat of paint perhaps”) wrapped “round” H (i.e. “front [letter] of hull”), like so: DING(H)Y.

  1. Damaged sheet not soft, extremely thin? (3-7)

Answer: SEE-THROUGH (i.e. “extremely thin”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “damaged”) of SHEET followed by ROUGH (i.e. “not soft”), like so: SEETH-ROUGH.

  1. Finally suffered deportation, after fiddling financial product (6,6)

Answer: TRADED OPTION (i.e. “financial product”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “after fiddling”) of D (i.e. “finally suffered”, i.e. the last letter of “suffered”) and DEPORTATION.

  1. Hymn garden, briefly maintained by corporation (2,4)

Answer: TE DEUM (i.e. “hymn”). Solution is EDEN (i.e. “garden” of The Bible) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder placed in or “maintained by” TUM (i.e. “corporation” – setters love riffing on an alternative meaning of the word, that being a pot-belly), like so: T(EDE)UM. I couldn’t reach for my Bradford’s quick enough the moment I saw “hymn”, especially after last week’s Godathon. You wouldn’t believe the amount of sin and debauchery I had to subject myself to in order to redress the balance. Frankly, it’s a wonder I have the energy left to type this.

  1. Delicate fabric, price cut (8)

Answer: LACERATE (i.e. “cut”). Solution is LACE (i.e. “delicate fabric”) followed by RATE (i.e. “price”).

  1. Study a line of ten (6)

Answer: DENARY (i.e. “ten”). Solution is DEN (i.e. “study”) followed by A and RY (i.e. “line”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a railway).

  1. Sort of bomber whose failing is to attract all attention (5,3,4)

Answer: STEAL THE SHOW (i.e. “to attract all attention”). Solution is STEALTH (i.e. “sort of bomber”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “failing”) of WHOSE, like so: STEALTH-ESHOW.

  1. Arrange where to get train after opening tree nursery (10)

Answer: PLANTATION (i.e. “tree nursery”). Solution is PLAN (i.e. “arrange”) followed by STATION (i.e. “where to get train”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “after opening”, i.e. the letters that follow the opening letter), like so: PLAN-TATION.

  1. In which one may rally to transport the Beaujolais Nouveau? (7,3)

Answer: VINTAGE CAR (i.e. “in which one may rally”). Clue plays on “transport” being CAR and “Beaujolais Nouveau” being a VINTAGE. I’m taking the setter’s word for it. My knowledge of wine doesn’t spread much beyond whatever fally-down juice is on offer this week.

  1. Short story The Monarch is first for TV debaters? (7,5)

Answer: TALKING HEADS (i.e. “TV debaters”). Solution is TALE (i.e. “story”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder followed by KING (i.e. “the monarch” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and HEADS (i.e. “is first”), like so: TAL-KING-HEADS.

  1. As it were, not merely wrong? (6)

Answer: UNJUST (i.e. “wrong”). Solution playfully satisfies “as it were, not merely”, if you take JUST to reference a small or “mere” amount, and UN- as a negating prefix.

  1. Team I must leave, out of practice and deceitful (8)

Answer: UNTRUSTY (i.e. “deceitful”). Solution is UNIT (i.e. “team”) with the I removed (indicated by “I must leave”) and the remainder followed by RUSTY (i.e. “out of practice”), like so: UNT-RUSTY.

  1. Dreadful ordeal put back in memory? (6)

Answer: RELOAD (i.e. “put back into [computer] memory”). “Dreadful” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ORDEAL.

  1. Swap confidences that are kept out of “any other business” (5,7)

Answer: TRADE SECRETS. Solution satisfies “swap confidences” and “that are kept out of any other business”, ignoring the speech marks in the clue.

  1. Conveyance, not for women, green, inadequately long (10)

Answer: STAGECOACH (i.e. “conveyance”). Solution is STAG (i.e. a do that is “not for women”) followed by ECO (i.e. “green”) and ACHE (i.e. to yearn or “long” for) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “inadequately”), like so: STAG-ECO-ACH.

  1. Cut – disrespected, having name ignored (6)

Answer: SCORED (i.e. “cut”). Solution is SCORNED (i.e. “disrespected”) once the N has been “ignored”, N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”.

  1. WW1 version of Dig for Victory? (6,7)

Answer: TRENCH WARFARE. Clue plays on the trenches famously dug during the Battle of the Somme, a major battle of “WW1”. You get the idea.

  1. Deduce sodium light’s beginning to be obnoxious (8)

Answer: INFERNAL (i.e. “obnoxious”). Solution is INFER (i.e. “deduce”) followed by NA (chemical symbol of “sodium”) and L (i.e. “light’s beginning [letter]”).

  1. Sound of bouncing around fine? Caution! (7)

Answer: BOOKING (i.e. yellow card or “caution”). Solution is BOING (i.e. “sound of bouncing”) wrapped “around” OK (i.e. “fine”), like so: BO(OK)ING.

  1. Run, in a feigned retreat (6)

Answer: ASHRAM (i.e. a place of “retreat” for a religious community). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) placed “in” A and SHAM (i.e. “feigned”), like so: A-SH(R)AM. Took a brute force of my Chambers as I couldn’t make the connection.

  1. Cat and goat, perhaps, alert insect (13,9)

Answer: TORTOISESHELL BUTTERFLY (i.e. “insect”). Solution is TORTOISESHELL (i.e. variety of domestic “cat”) followed by BUTTER (i.e. “goat, perhaps”, as in how they are known to headbutt stuff) and FLY (i.e. knowing or “alert”).

Down clues

  1. Loot is from big house, according to informer (4)

Answer: HAUL (i.e. “loot”). “According to informer” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of HALL (i.e. “big house”).

  1. Be tempted, but risk being hooked? (4,2,3,4)

Answer: RISE TO THE BAIT. Solution satisfies “be tempted” and “risk being hooked” if you happen to be a fish. If you do happen to be a fish, let me take this opportunity to say “blub-bub-bubl-bub-blubl-bub”.

  1. Bank is less foggy (7)

Answer: CLEARER. Solution satisfies “bank”, as in how they clear cheques and stuff, and “less foggy”.

  1. Lug some extra equipment around (3)

Answer: EAR (i.e. “lug”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “around” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: EXT(RA E)QUIPMENT.

  1. Distress as pine loses its top (7)

Answer: ANGUISH (i.e. “distress”). Solution is LANGUISH (i.e. to “pine”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “loses its top”).

  1. A short distance north-west, so get moving (6,5)

Answer: STONE’S THROW (i.e. “a short distance”). “Get moving” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NORTH-WEST SO.

  1. Pretty girl extremely shy at large pub (5)

Answer: SYLPH (i.e. “pretty girl”. Not really backed up by my Chambers, but there you go). Solution is SY (i.e. “extremely shy”, i.e. the first and last letters of “shy”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and PH (i.e. “pub”, short for a Public House).

  1. Taken in with poor deception, nothing less (8)

Answer: INCEPTED (i.e. “taken in”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “poor”) of DECEPTION once the O has been removed (indicated by “nothing less”).

  1. Died after a military operation, getting VC perhaps (5)

Answer: AWARD (i.e. “VC perhaps” – other awards are available). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “died”) placed “after” A and WAR (i.e. “military operation”), like so: (A-WAR)-D.

  1. Is fish not brought up here in London? (9)

Answer: ISLINGTON (i.e. some place “in London”). Solution is IS followed by LING (i.e. a “fish” popular with setters) and NOT reversed (indicated by “brought up” – this being a down clue), like so: IS-LING-TON.

  1. Security association say no British spy can keep covering for us (13,5)

Answer: NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH (i.e. “security association”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “say”) of NAY (i.e. “no”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) and WATCH (i.e. “spy”) once wrapped around or “keeping” OUR HOOD (i.e. “covering for us”), like so: NEIGH-B-(OUR-HOOD)-WATCH.

  1. High spirits of persecutors almost squashed by barrier female dropped (10)

Answer: EBULLIENCE (i.e. “high spirits”). Solution is BULLIES (i.e. “persecutors”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder placed in or “squashed by” FENCE (i.e. “barrier”) once the F has been removed (indicated by “female dropped” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “female”), like so: E(BULLIE)NCE.

  1. Inspect red carpet in newly traffic-free zone (10,8)

Answer: PEDESTRIAN PRECINCT (i.e. “traffic-free zone”). “Newly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INSPECT RED CARPET IN.

  1. Opposed places prejudiced against some Europeans? (9)

Answer: ANTIPOLES (i.e. “opposed places”). When written as ANTI-POLES the solution also satisfies “prejudiced against some Europeans”.

  1. Experienced person collapsing alerts dog (3,6)

Answer: OLD STAGER (i.e. “experienced person”). “Collapsing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALERTS DOG.

  1. Within college confines, one softens (9)

Answer: MITIGATES (i.e. “softens”). Solutions is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed “within” MIT GATES (i.e. “college confines”, MIT being the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), like so: MIT-(I)-GATES.

  1. Consistency in this place in chapter not repeated? (9)

Answer: COHERENCE (i.e. “consistency”). Solution is HERE (i.e. “in this place”) placed “in” C (a recognised abbreviation of “chapter”) and ONCE (i.e. “not repeated”), like so: C-O(HERE)NCE.

  1. Novel sort of case for lady, blonde (6,4)

Answer: VANITY FAIR (i.e. “novel” by William Makepeace Thackeray). Solution is VANITY (i.e. “sort of case for lady”) followed by FAIR (i.e. “blonde”).

  1. In which exposed state athlete got beaten by some woman (3,10)

Answer: THE ALTOGETHER (i.e. “exposed state”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “beaten”) of ATHLETE GOT followed by HER (i.e. “some woman”), like so: THEALTOGET-HER.

  1. May she make poets richer? Not her art-form (11)

Answer: TERPSICHORE (i.e. a dancer: “poetry” hence “not her art-form”). “Make” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of POETS RICHER. One of those words I remembered from a previous puzzle, making this an easier get.

  1. Don’t get enough use out of some of one’s clothes? (9)

Answer: UNDERWEAR (i.e. “some of one’s clothes”). When read as UNDER-WEAR the solution also satisfies the clue in its entirety.

  1. Baskets of small molluscs (8)

Answer: SCUTTLES (i.e. “baskets”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by CUTTLES (i.e. “molluscs”). A solution from last week’s grid seemingly so good it had to make an appearance in this week’s grid. I’m sure this is just a one-off, though. I can’t imagine an esteemed newspaper such as The Times would cheapen the quality of their world-famous crossword puzzles by habitually allowing repeated solutions into the grids.

  1. Spotted demand for money? Duck! (7)

Answer: SAWBILL (i.e. “duck”). Solution is SAW (i.e. observed or “spotted”) followed by BILL (i.e. “demand for money”).

  1. Shocking recording upset social worker (7)

Answer: EPATANT (i.e. “shocking”). Solution is TAPE (i.e. “recording”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and followed by ANT (i.e. “social worker”, ants being social insects), like so: EPAT-ANT. One I got from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

  1. I can’t help you press for money, indeed not (5)

Answer: DUNNO (i.e. “I can’t help you”). Solution is DUN (i.e. to “press for money” – a variant meaning I wasn’t aware of. Interesting) followed by NO (i.e. “indeed not”).

  1. Pay my fare, turning to climb aboard (5)

Answer: EMBUS (i.e. “to climb aboard” a bus, unsurprisingly). Solution is SUB ME (i.e. “pay my fare”) reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: EM-BUS.

  1. Part in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the fourth often referred to in theatre? (4)

Answer: WALL. Solution satisfies “part in A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “the fourth often referred to in theatre” – the fourth wall being the imaginary one between the stage and the audience.

  1. African creature just born, it’s properly announced (3)

Answer: GNU (i.e. “African creature”). “It’s properly announced” indicates homophone – “properly” as the word can be humorously pronounced with a hard g. Solution is a homophone of NEW (i.e. “just born”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1521

A toughie this week, albeit one that was achieved more through contrivance than guile. There were some good clues to enjoy, but overall this one wasn’t for me. (A working weekend doesn’t help. #ExcusesExcuses)

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a recent Jumbo has given you the slip then you might find help in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 170+ of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once more for the kind words and help. It’s always good to hear how other solvers got on. A shout-out too for those who have recently bought my stuff. That’s really kind of you, thank you. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Problem with awkward customer knocking an electric car (13)

Answer: RECALCITRANCE (i.e. “problem with awkward customer” – Chambers offers a definition of “refractoriness”, meaning unruliness or obstinacy). “Knocking” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AN ELECTRIC CAR.

  1. Church member leaving hotel, hugging a bishop, and breaking down (9)

Answer: CATABOLIC (i.e. destructive metabolism or “breaking down”). Solution is CATHOLIC (i.e. “church member”) with the H removed (indicated by “leaving hotel” – “hotel” being H in the phonetic alphabet) and the remainder wrapped around or “hugging” A and B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop” used in chess), like so: CAT(A-B)OLIC.

  1. Tot, Bill, found in a wood (5)

Answer: SUMAC (i.e. a “wood”). Solution is SUM (i.e. to “tot” up) followed by AC (short for account, i.e. “bill” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). A recent repeat from last month. And the month before that. It’ll probably be in next week’s grid too, you just watch.

  1. Fellow at home in 100 square metres in South American country (9)

Answer: ARGENTINE (i.e. “in South American country”). Solution is GENT (i.e. “fellow”) and IN (i.e. “at home”) both placed “in” ARE (i.e. “100 square metres” – a variant meaning of the word, it says here), like so: AR(GENT-IN)E.

  1. Old boy that’s laid into teacher not a gang member (7)

Answer: MOBSTER (i.e. “gang member”). Solution is OB (a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”) placed or “laid into” MASTER (i.e. “teacher”) once the A has been removed (indicated by “not a”), like so: M(OB)STER.

  1. Woodwind player in recital isn’t ultimately that bad (12)

Answer: CLARINETTIST (i.e. “woodwind player”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “bad”) of RECITAL ISN’T and T (i.e. “ultimately that”, i.e. the last letter of “that”).

  1. Idiot changes when tackling superior types going on the attack (10)

Answer: ASSAULTERS (i.e. “types going on the attack”). Solution is ASS (i.e. “idiot”) followed by ALTERS (i.e. “changes”) once wrapped around or “tackling” U (denoting the upper-class, and thus, supposedly, “superior”. Not in my world, chum), like so: ASS-A(U)LTERS.

  1. Feel bad about gift with bit chipped off at the front (6)

Answer: RESENT (i.e. “feel bad about”). Solution is PRESENT (i.e. “gift”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “with bit chipped off at the front”).

  1. Celebrity taking care of boy inside gets honour (8)

Answer: ACCOLADE (i.e. “honour”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “celebrity”) wrapped around or “taking” C/O (a recognised abbreviation of “care of”) and LAD (i.e. “boy”), like so: AC(C/O-LAD)E.

  1. International group helping to provide fun escorts (6)

Answer: UNESCO (i.e. “international group”, specifically the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). “Helping to provide” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: F(UN ESCO)RTS.

  1. The woman gathering fruit notices sharp points potentially injurious (10)

Answer: SPEARHEADS (i.e. “sharp points potentially injurious”). Solution is SHE (i.e. “the woman”) wrapped around or “gathering” PEAR (i.e. “fruit”) and followed by ADS (i.e. “notices” or advertisements), like so: S(PEAR)HE-ADS.

  1. This elf’s got this, regardless of others? (4-8)

Answer: SELF-ABSORBED (i.e. “regardless of others”). The clue plays on how the solution cryptically describes how SELF has been hidden or ABSORBED into the start of the clue, viz. “thi(S ELF)’s”.

  1. Power said to come with this bit of money (4)

Answer: MITE (i.e. “bit of money” – over to Chambers: “an old Flemish coin of very small value”). “Said” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of MIGHT (i.e. “power”).

  1. Speaker with heavenly body in concert item (8)

Answer: ORATORIO (i.e. “concert item” – to Chambers once more: “a story, usually biblical, set to music, with soloists, chorus, and full orchestra but without scenery, costumes or acting”). Solution is ORATOR (i.e. “speaker”) followed by IO (i.e. “heavenly body”, specifically one of Jupiter’s moons).

  1. Provider of milk and hot food, a Scot? (8)

Answer: FRIESIAN (i.e. “provider of milk”). Solution is FRIES (i.e. “hot food”) followed by IAN (i.e. “a Scot”, overlooking the fact most of us could name as many non-Scottish Ians as we could Scottish ones, but heigh ho).

  1. Attempt to grab a bit of underwear in burlesque (8)

Answer: TRAVESTY (i.e. “burlesque”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “attempt”) wrapped around or “grabbing” A and VEST (i.e. “bit of underwear”), like so: TR(A-VEST)Y.

  1. A possible clue to copper being interrupted (3,5)

Answer: CUT SHORT (i.e. “interrupted”). Clue plays on the solution cryptically satisfying “copper”. The chemical symbol of copper is Cu, which is the word CUT with its last letter removed. Such wordplay is often indicated by the word SHORT within clues.

  1. Bad chaps swear endlessly (4)

Answer: CURS (i.e. “bad chaps”). Solution is CURSE (i.e. “swear”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”).

  1. Underground worker to make money, we hear – man of old with a vision (5,7)

Answer: MINOR PROPHET (i.e. “man of old with a vision” – and so to Chambers once more: one of “the twelve from Hosea to Malachi in the Old Testament”. Hmm. To be honest they could have written wubalubadubdub! and I’d still be none the wiser. I’d reach for a Bible but Pazuzu finds it really triggering). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “we hear”) of MINER (i.e. “underground worker”) and PROFIT (i.e. “to make money”).

  1. PR type with formula for nonsense and hoax (4,6)

Answer: SPIN DOCTOR (i.e. “PR type”). In keeping with a few other clues this week, this one plays on the solution cryptically satisfying “formula for nonsense and hoax”, i.e. to SPIN or reverse ROT (i.e. “nonsense”) and COD (i.e. “hoax”) to get DOC-TOR.

  1. A bit of food and girl’s covered in spots! (6)

Answer: RADISH (i.e. “a bit of food”). Solution is DI (i.e. a “girl’s” name somewhat overused in cryptic crosswords) placed in or “covered in” RASH (i.e. “spots”), like so: RA(DI)SH.

  1. Hurries to get fuel containers (8)

Answer: SCUTTLES. Solution satisfies “hurries” and “fuel containers”, i.e. coal scuttles.

  1. Cloak used by Ripon choristers (6)

Answer: PONCHO (i.e. “cloak”). “Used by” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: RI(PON CHO)RISTERS.

  1. Characters from the match organised by an agent facilitating departures? (7,3)

Answer: HATCHET MAN (i.e. “agent facilitating departures”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “organised”) of THE MATCH followed by AN, like so: HATCHETM-AN.

  1. Chat from foolish person with time a hindrance – ex-PM endlessly going on (6-6)

Answer: TITTLE-TATTLE (i.e. “chat”). Solution is TIT (i.e. “foolish person”. Man, it’s been ages since I last called someone a tit. Let’s face it, there are few more satisfying ways to express contempt for someone. Of course these days, in the interests of equality, when you call someone a tit you really ought to also call them a dick. It’s like the law or something) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), then LET (i.e. an obstruction or “hindrance” – you see this variant meaning of the word used way more in cryptic crosswords than in real life), and Clement ATTLEE (i.e. “ex-PM”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”), like so: TIT-T-LET-ATTLE.

  1. Educational meeting in house managed the wrong way (7)

Answer: SEMINAR (i.e. “educational meeting”). Solution is SEMI (i.e. “house”, short for semi-detached) followed by RAN (i.e. “managed”) once reversed (indicated by “the wrong way”), like so: SEMI-NAR.

  1. Fish and fruit only (5,4)

Answer: LEMON SOLE (i.e. “fish”). Solution is LEMON (i.e. “fruit”) followed by SOLE (i.e. “only”).

  1. One fishing device gets mackerel finally caught in bay (5)

Answer: INLET (i.e. “bay”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by NET (i.e. “fishing device”) once wrapped around or “getting” L (i.e. “mackerel finally”, i.e. the last letter of “mackerel”), like so: I-N(L)ET.

  1. Overalls with muck are ending in machine, beginning to stink (9)

Answer: DUNGAREES (i.e. “overalls”). Solution is DUNG (i.e. “muck”) followed by ARE, then E (i.e. “ending in machine”, i.e. the last letter of “machine”) followed by S (i.e. “beginning to stink”, i.e. the first letter of “stink”).

  1. Is letter half sprinkled with Hosannas for people apostle wrote to? (13)

Answer: THESSALONIANS (i.e. “people apostle wrote to”, the apostle in question being… hmm. Hang on, let me check my Bible. Gaw-ww-wk-kkk! No! Nnngggg!!! Stay back, Pazuzu! Please! Grrrr!!! Not again! Leave me alone! Grrrrnnnnngg!!! Oh no, why did I go and have pea soup for dinner?!?! NOOOOOO
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We apologise for the technical difficulties we are experiencing. Normal service in this weekly crossword blog posting will resume shortly. Please stand by.
(30 minutes of elevator music…)
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…OCKS IN HELL!!!… (cough… hack… splutter… gasps…)


Has…? Has he gone? Phew! Thank goodness that unpleasantness is over. Tsk, bloody hell. Pea soup all over the curtains again. Typical). Anyway, the solution is an anagram (indicated by “sprinkled”) of IS, LET (i.e. “letter half”, specifically its first half) and HOSANNAS.

Down clues

  1. Others joining French priests for therapeutic sessions (4,5)

Answer: REST CURES (i.e. “therapeutic sessions”). Solution is REST (i.e. “others”) followed by CURES (i.e. “French priests” – a curé is “a Parish priest in France” (Chambers)).

  1. Range offered by firm, great amount around back of shop (7)

Answer: COMPASS (i.e. “range”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”, i.e. “firm”) followed by MASS (i.e. “great amount”) once wrapped “around” P (i.e. “back of shop”, i.e. the last letter of “shop”), like so: CO-M(P)ASS.

  1. Service book, one laid out with clarity (10)

Answer: LECTIONARY (i.e. “service book”… oh, no. I’m not falling for any more of that godly stuff. Not again. I’m still seeing at right angles after THESSALONIANS, thank you very much). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “laid out”) of ONE and CLARITY.

  1. This writer’s taking a long time to create figures of speech (6)

Answer: IMAGES (i.e. “figures of speech”). Solution is I’M (i.e. “this writer is” taken from the point of view of the setter, i.e. a contraction of “I am”) followed by AGES (i.e. “a long time”).

  1. Assistant who won’t be left alongside you? (5-4,3)

Answer: RIGHT-HAND MAN (i.e. “assistant”). Clue plays on “left” being the opposite of RIGHT. You get the idea.

  1. Ideal hour of prayer to inaugurate university church (8)

Answer: NONESUCH (i.e. “ideal” – my Chambers doesn’t readily back this one up, but my Bradford’s is a bit more lenient). Solution is NONES (i.e. “hour of prayer”, “originally held at the ninth hour of the day (3pm)” (Chambers). Sheesh. If I’d known this week’s puzzle was going to be so religious, I wouldn’t have wasted all my Exorcist material in the across clues. Now everyone’s going to think I’m some kind of hack) followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and CH (ditto “church”).

  1. Exist to overthrow this wickedness (4)

Answer: EVIL (i.e. “wickedness”). Solution is LIVE (i.e. “exist”) reversed (indicated by “to overthrow”).

  1. Au gratin bad? Makes one fed up (7,3)

Answer: CHEESED OFF (i.e. “fed up”). Solution is CHEESED (i.e. “au gratin”, or with cheese) followed by OFF (i.e. turned or gone “bad”).

  1. Gong repeatedly disappointing, inadequate (3-3)

Answer: TAM-TAM (i.e. a “gong” in an orchestra). Solution is the word TAME (i.e. “disappointing”) “repeated” once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “inadequate”). A win for my Bradford’s as I’d never heard of this one.

  1. Showing great emotion as US boy with glitzy stuff coming to maiden? (8,4)

Answer: BUBBLING OVER (i.e. “showing great emotion”). Solution is BUB (i.e. a term of address for a “US boy”) followed by BLING (i.e. “glitzy stuff”) and OVER (i.e. “maiden”, a maiden over in cricket being one in which there is no score).

  1. Happy, heading off, to be moving with ease (5)

Answer: LITHE (i.e. “moving with ease”). Solution is BLITHE (i.e. “happy”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “heading off”).

  1. Adulterers showing heart spend tons foolishly (2-11)

Answer: CO-RESPONDENTS (i.e. “adulterers”. In legalese, the husband or wife in an affair is the respondent; their shag is the co-respondent). Solution is CORE (i.e. “heart”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “foolishly”) of SPEND TONS, like so: CORE-SPONDENTS. Another solution that only appeared a few weeks ago. I guess this week’s setter is one who has their grids prepared for them by the office Marconi GridFill 4000TM. Disappointing.

  1. One apparently bent, stranger than everyone else and most sly (8)

Answer: LEERIEST (i.e. “most sly”). Solution is L (i.e. “one apparently bent”, a comment on the shape of a letter ‘l’. Depends on the font you use, I guess. And even then that’s assuming enough solvers write their grid entries in lowercase, which I doubt. If this is a comment on the shape of an uppercase L, however, then there’s no “apparently” about it. There’s no way of writing one without a bend. I guess what I’m trying to say is… hey, where are you all going?) followed by EERIEST (i.e. “stranger than everyone else”).

  1. Nickname thus needed by UK citizen – what Parisian introduced (9)

Answer: SOBRIQUET (i.e. “nickname”). Solution is SO (i.e. “thus”) followed by BRIT (i.e. “UK citizen”) once wrapped around or “introducing” QUE (i.e. “what Parisian”, i.e. the French for “what”), like so: SO-BRI(QUE)T.

  1. Journalist about to be met by someone at college entrance (8)

Answer: REPORTER (i.e. “journalist”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” or regarding – think email replies) followed by PORTER (i.e. “someone at college entrance”).

  1. Soldiers first off given instruction and put on to vehicle (9)

Answer: ENTRAINED (i.e. “put on to vehicle”). Solution is MEN (i.e. “soldiers” – yes, this usage is decades out of date; it is still in the dictionary, however) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “first off”) and the remainder followed by TRAINED (i.e. “given instruction”), like so: EN-TRAINED.

  1. Singer from India with fashionable folk appearing in nude (8)

Answer: BARITONE (i.e. “singer”). Solution is I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) and TON (i.e. “fashionable” – another of those variant meanings you see infinitely more in cryptic crosswords than you ever do in real life) both placed “in” BARE (i.e. “nude”), like so: BAR(I-TON)E.

  1. Importance to have Greek letter buried in vault maybe (8)

Answer: MONUMENT (i.e. “vault maybe”. Flimsy, but I guess this refers to things like burial chambers). Solution is MOMENT (i.e. “importance”, as in momentous/important) wrapped around or “having” NU (i.e. the thirteenth “Greek letter”), like so: MO(NU)MENT.

  1. Transformed mother posed – “ma” in new guise (13)

Answer: METAMORPHOSED (i.e. “transformed”). “In new guise” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MOTHER POSED and MA.

  1. Athenian sure to be troubled by this nervous disorder of old (12)

Answer: NEURASTHENIA (i.e. “nervous disorder of old”). “To be troubled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ATHENIAN SURE.

  1. Firm has a thousand allocated places for producing works of art (12)

Answer: COMPOSITIONS (i.e. “works of art”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of a company, i.e. “firm”) followed by M (i.e. “[Roman numeral] thousand”) and POSITIONS (i.e. “allocated places”).

  1. Exercises about to take place in various castles – events worth seeing (10)

Answer: SPECTACLES (i.e. “events worth seeing”). Solution is PE (i.e. “exercises”, specifically Physical Education) and C (a recognised abbreviation of circa, i.e. “about”) “taking place in” an anagram (indicated by “various”) of CASTLES, like so: S(PE-C)TACLES.

  1. Character of officer wanting men at one, getting on (10)

Answer: COLORATION (i.e. “character” – the solution is recognised with or without a U). Solution is COL (a recognised abbreviation of a colonel, i.e. “officer”) followed by OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), then AT, then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ON.

  1. Crossword compiler put up with zero order in small confined spaces (9)

Answer: ROOMETTES (i.e. “small confined spaces”). Solution is SETTER (i.e. “crossword compiler”) reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around or having “in” O (i.e. “zero”) and OM (i.e. “order”, specifically the Order of Merit), like so: R(O-OM)ETTES.

  1. Exhausted when going round a church to see friendship group (8)

Answer: ALLIANCE (i.e. “friendship group”). Solution is ALL IN (i.e. “exhausted”) wrapped “round” A and followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England. Not now, Pazuzu. You’ve had your fun), like so: (ALL-I(A)N)-CE.

  1. Tree at palace mostly rotten (7)

Answer: CATALPA (i.e “tree”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “rotten”) of AT and PALACE once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”). Not a nice clue. Bradford’s came to my aid again here.

  1. Author in street, one taking flight? (6)

Answer: Laurence STERNE (i.e. “author” – him wot wrote The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”) followed by ERNE (i.e. “one taking flight” – an erne is a sea-eagle).

  1. Happened to be overlooking Lake District location? (6)

Answer: BEFELL (i.e. “happened to”). Solution is BE followed by FELL (i.e. “Lake District location”). Took ages to twig, given its intersecting letters, but I quite liked it.

  1. Miss upset over knight being a recluse (5)

Answer: TIMON (i.e. “recluse”, specifically Timon of Athens, a play by William Shakespeare, in which our man buggers off and lives in a cave. Some stuff probably happens before then too, I dunno). Solution is OMIT (i.e. “miss”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and followed by K (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess), like so: TIMO-N.

  1. Let loose, the enemy moves north (4)

Answer: EMIT (i.e. “let loose”). Solution is TIME (proverbially “the enemy”) reversed (indicated by “moves north” – again, this being a down clue).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1520

A medium strength puzzle artificially made tougher by the number of exotic solutions in the grid. At least on this occasion their presence was mostly justified rather than being there to cynically fill an awkward space. While I can’t say I was a fan of the clunky phrasing in some of the clues, I did like how the setter had started each solution of each row with the same letter, at least for the across clues. If this is the calling card of this particular setter, then I’ve not noticed it before.

Anyhoo, 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 left you bamboozled then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 170 or so of these things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

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

LP

Across clues

  1. Religious claim is thrown out (7)

Answer: ISLAMIC (i.e. “religious”). “Thrown out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CLAIM IS.

  1. Where one may find hot spices – hot not cold – readily (2,1,5)

Answer: IN A HURRY (i.e. “readily”). Solution is IN A CURRY (i.e. “where one may find hot spices” – nom, nom, nom!) with the C replaced by H (indicated by “hot not cold” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “hot”, C “cold”), like so: IN-A-(C)URRY => IN-A-(H)URRY.

  1. Weaken one politician with broadcast (6)

Answer: IMPAIR (i.e. “weaken”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament) and AIR (i.e. to “broadcast”).

  1. What leads to colours in fall? Crown cover around New York has northeast eclipsing south (16)

Answer: TRIPHENYLMETHANE (i.e. “what leads to colours” – the stuff is used in the making of dyes). Solution is TRIP (i.e. “fall”) followed by HELMET (i.e. “crown cover”, specifically the crown of one’s head) once wrapped around NY (a recognised abbreviation of “New York”), then HAS once the S has been replaced by NE (indicated by “northeast eclipsing south” – NE being a recognised abbreviation of “northeast”; S “south”), like so: TRIP-HE(NY)LMET-HA(S) => TRIP-HE(NY)LMET-HA(NE).

  1. Hearing organ’s part in tango make sweet backing (6)

Answer: TRAGUS (i.e. “hearing organ’s part”). Solution is T (“tango” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by SUGAR (i.e. “sweet”) once reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: T-RAGUS. One nailed from the wordplay and a shufti in Chambers.

  1. Rascal with Irish accent, not British (5)

Answer: ROGUE (i.e. “rascal”). Solution is BROGUE (i.e. “Irish accent”) with the B removed (indicated by “not British” – B being a recognised abbreviation of “British”).

  1. Managed most of palace retinue’s resentment (7)

Answer: RANCOUR (i.e. “resentment”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “managed”) followed by COURT (i.e. “palace’s retinue”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “most of”), like so: RAN-COUR.

  1. One only separating in Louisiana to annoy Louis XIV (3,6)

Answer: ROI SOLEIL (i.e. “Louis XIV”, aka the Sun King). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and SOLE (i.e. “only”) both placed “in” ROIL (i.e. “in Louisiana to annoy”, as in how the word is more of an Americanism), like so: RO(I-SOLE)IL.

  1. Bury Malian unclothed among other things (5,4)

Answer: INTER ALIA (i.e. “among other things”). Solution is INTER (i.e. to “bury”) followed by ALIA (i.e. “Malian unclothed”, i.e. the word “Malian” with its first and last letter removed).

  1. Current EU politician getting round popular old chancellor (7)

Answer: IMHOTEP (i.e. “old chancellor” in ancient Egypt). Solution is I (a recognised abbreviation of an electric “current” used in physics) followed by MEP (i.e. “EU politician”, specifically a Member of the European Parliament) once wrapped “round” HOT (i.e. “popular”), like so: I-M(HOT)EP. Did I get this one from The Mummy films? Mayyyyyyyyybe…

  1. Playwright capturing all the rage about mad cow disease (5)

Answer: Henrik IBSEN (i.e. “playwright”). Solution is IN (i.e. “all the rage”) once wrapped “about” BSE (i.e. bovine spongiform encephalopathy, more commonly known as “mad cow disease”), like so: I(BSE)N.

  1. After a change to the final ordering, goes out live (5)

Answer: EXIST (i.e. “live”). Solution is EXITS (i.e. “goes out”) “after a change to the final ordering”, specifically the last two letters.

  1. Typical EU out of control – they have branches in Australia (9)

Answer: EUCALYPTI (i.e. “they have branches in Australia”). “Out of control” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EU TYPICAL.

  1. Hertfordshire village a short way east of railway (7)

Answer: ELSTREE (i.e. “Hertfordshire village”). Solution is STREET (i.e. “way”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder placed after or “east of” – this being an across clue – EL (i.e. “railway”, specifically an informal reference to an elevated railway over in the US), like so: EL-STREE.

  1. Dog – retired always going after right one (9)

Answer: RETRIEVER (i.e. “dog”). Solution is RET (a recognised abbreviation of “retired”) and EVER (i.e. “always”) once the latter has been placed “after” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: RET-(R-I)-EVER.

  1. Check bank document’s replacement (13)

Answer: REINSTATEMENT (i.e. “replacement”). Solution is REIN (i.e. to stem or “check”) followed by STATEMENT (i.e. “bank document”).

  1. Still show nave vault a bit damaged (7,6)

Answer: TABLEAU VIVANT (i.e. a living picture or “still show”, often depicting a historic scene). “Damaged” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NAVE VAULT A BIT.

  1. Work on and off switch for siren (9)

Answer: TEMPTRESS (i.e. “siren”). Solution is TEMP (i.e. to “work on and off”) followed by TRESS (i.e. “switch”, or a false lock of hair).

  1. Note falsehoods going about like false names (7)

Answer: ALIASES (i.e. “false names”). Solution is A (i.e. “[musical] note”) followed by LIES (i.e. “falsehoods”) once wrapped “about” AS (i.e. akin to or “like”), like so: A-LI(AS)ES.

  1. Civil engineer needs resistance in a soil to settle (9)

Answer: ASCERTAIN (i.e. “to settle”). Solution is CE (a recognised abbreviation of “civil engineer”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance”) both placed “in” A and STAIN (i.e. to “soil”), like so: A-S(CE-R)TAIN.

  1. Make amends towards an individual (5)

Answer: ATONE (i.e. “make amends”). When written as AT ONE the solution also satisfies “towards an individual”).

  1. Woollen footwear perhaps is striking (5)

Answer: SOCKS. Solution satisfies “woollen footwear perhaps” and “is striking”.

  1. Son Tommy upset about papa’s sign of disease (7)

Answer: SYMPTOM (i.e. “sign of disease”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “upset”) of TOMMY once wrapped “about” P (“papa” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: S-YM(P)TOM.

  1. Thrilled about a ram for religious ritual (9)

Answer: SACRAMENT (i.e. “religious ritual”). Solution is SENT (i.e. “thrilled” – one of the definitions of “send” is “(orig of jazz) to rouse (someone) to ecstasy” (Chambers)) wrapped “about” A and CRAM (i.e. to stuff or “ram”), like so: S(A-CRAM)ENT.

  1. Point to a missile advanced across river bank (9)

Answer: ARROWHEAD (i.e. “point to a missile”). Solution is AHEAD (i.e. “advanced”) wrapped around or placed “across” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”) and ROW (i.e. a line or “bank”), like so: A(R-ROW)HEAD.

  1. A very dishonourable man in the centre of Wood Green (7)

Answer: AVOCADO (i.e. a “green” colour). Solution is A followed by V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”) and CAD (i.e. “dishonourable man”) once placed “in” OO (i.e. “centre [letters] of wood”), like so: A-V-O(CAD)O.

  1. Old Mexican investigator chasing a final letter (5)

Answer: AZTEC (i.e. “old Mexican”). Solution is TEC (i.e. “investigator”, specifically a shortened form of “detective”) placed after or “chasing” A and Z (i.e. “final letter”), like so: (A-Z)-TEC.

  1. Inflammation is rife in tissue in spleen, primarily (6)

Answer: IRITIS (i.e. “inflammation” of the iris). “Primarily” indicates the solution is derived from the initial letters of Is Rife In Tissue In Spleen.

  1. Plant type of breakfast perhaps coming from Asia to Europe (16)

Answer: INTERCONTINENTAL (i.e. “perhaps coming from Asia to Europe”). Solution is INTER (i.e. to bury or “plant”) followed by CONTINENTAL (i.e. “type of breakfast”).

  1. What fool called Lear’s sister and called regularly (6)

Answer: NUNCLE (i.e. “what fool called Lear”, apparently a contraction of “mine uncle”). Solution is NUN (i.e. “sister”) followed by CLE (i.e. “called regularly”, i.e. every other letter of CALLED).

  1. No saint – certainly Romeo, though this one might deny it (8)

Answer: NAYSAYER (i.e. “this one might deny it”). Solution is NAY (i.e. “no”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”), then AYE (i.e. “certainly”) and R (“Romeo” in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Tubercular university lecturer returning with a lot of fat (7)

Answer: NODULAR (i.e. “tubercular”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) followed by DON (i.e. “lecturer”) all reversed (indicated by “returning”) and followed by LARD (i.e. “fat”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “a lot of…”), like so: (NOD-U)-LAR.

Down clues

  1. Written avoiding rules? Trainee penning lie mostly needs attention (11)

Answer: INTERLINEAR (i.e. “written avoiding rules” – as in ruled lines on paper). Solution is INTERN (i.e. “trainee”) wrapped around or “penning” LIE once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”) and followed by EAR (i.e. “attention”), like so: INTER(LI)N-EAR.

  1. Remaining airlines’ business losing following (5)

Answer: LYING (i.e. “remaining”). Solution is FLYING (i.e. “airlines’ business”) once the F has been removed (indicated by “losing following” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “following”).

  1. Preserved meat given up by one who can tell the future is fish (7)

Answer: MAHSEER (i.e. “fish”). Solution is HAM (i.e. “preserved meat”) reversed (indicated by “given up” – this being a down clue) and followed by SEER (i.e. “one who can tell the future”), like so: MAH-SEER. Another nailed from the wordplay.

  1. Principal uneasy over scheme, something governing body moves (7,7,6)

Answer: CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (i.e. “something governing body moves”). Solution is CENTRAL (i.e. “principal”) followed by NERVOUS (i.e. “uneasy”) and SYSTEM (i.e. “scheme”).

  1. Cardinal’s twiddling a sort of chain (6,3)

Answer: ISLAND ARC (i.e. “sort of chain”, as in the geographic feature). “Twiddling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CARDINAL’S.

  1. Attacked caterpillar always will escape the onset initially (5)

Answer: AWETO (i.e. “attacked caterpillar”, supposedly one infected with a parasitic fungus and destined to be used as a pigment. Poor little bugger). “Initially” indicates the solution is derived from the first letters of Always Will Escape The Onset. Another nailed solely from the wordplay. Interesting though.

  1. I shush rep being unruly in director’s office (9)

Answer: USHERSHIP (i.e. “director’s office”). “Being unruly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I SHUSH REP.

  1. Potato disease resistance in being acquired protects tuber finally (4,3)

Answer: RING ROT (i.e. “potato disease”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance”) followed by IN, then GOT (i.e. “acquired”) once wrapped around or “protecting” R (i.e. “tuber finally”, i.e. the last letter of “tuber”), like so: R-IN-G(R)OT.

  1. Inventor surrounded by old stuff set up (7)

Answer: Guglielmo MARCONI (i.e. “inventor”). Solution is IN (i.e. “surrounded by”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and CRAM (i.e. to “stuff”) all reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: MARC-O-NI.

  1. Gross rage is out of order for assailant (9)

Answer: AGGRESSOR (i.e. “assailant”). “Is out of order” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GROSS RAGE.

  1. Brilliant place to finish in here, avoiding pressure (11)

Answer: RESPLENDENT (i.e. “brilliant”). Solution is PL (a recognised abbreviation of “place”) and END (i.e. “to finish”) both placed “in” PRESENT (i.e. “here”) once the P has been removed (indicated by “avoiding pressure” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”), like so: RES(PL-END)ENT.

  1. Clear damage on electronic component with direct oscillation (6,8,6)

Answer: SIMPLE HARMONIC MOTION (i.e. “oscillation”). Solution is SIMPLE (i.e. “clear”) followed by HARM (i.e. “damage”), then ON, then IC (i.e. “electronic component”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of an Integrated Circuit), then MOTION (i.e. to gesture or “direct”).

  1. Time to acquire? Save up for washing machine (4-3)

Answer: TWIN-TUB (i.e. “washing machine”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by WIN (i.e. “to acquire”) and BUT (i.e. except for or “save”) once reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue).

  1. Balkan region once badly run with imam regularly ignored (7)

Answer: ILLYRIA (i.e. “Balkan region once”). Solution is ILLY (i.e. “badly”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) and IA (i.e. “imam regularly ignored”, i.e. every other letter of IMAM).

  1. Falls around church? It can put one’s arm out (7)

Answer: TRICEPS (i.e. a muscle that “can put one’s arm out”). Solution is TRIPS (i.e. “falls”) wrapped “around” CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: TRI(CE)PS.

  1. Included map showing home station (5)

Answer: INSET (i.e. “included map”). Solution is IN (i.e. at “home”) followed by SET (i.e. to place or “station”).

  1. Carpets woven in ranges of colour (7)

Answer: SPECTRA (i.e. “ranges of colour”). “Woven” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CARPETS. Nicely played.

  1. Indian dish of husked bran with fat (5)

Answer: RAITA (i.e. “Indian dish” – the fifth time in just over a year that this has appeared in Jumbo cryptics. I’ve ranted about the prevalence of this solution before, obviously to no avail. Maybe I’m missing something here. Maybe this is a Derren Brown thing that Times setters are all in on. Maybe you are being softened up for some unnecessarily dangerous magic show based entirely around veggie yoghurt-based dishes. I’d pay attention this next week or two if I was you. If every busker you walk past is clunkily working “raita” into their lyrics, or you start seeing RAITA!!! subliminally flash on the screen during Gogglebox, or if you wake up one morning to find the word RAITA has been written backwards across your forehead, don’t be surprised. And if that does happen and you find yourself starring in the next Derren Brown TV special, imperilled by raita in some way, just remember I bloody well told you so). “Husked” indicates the solution is derived by removing the first and last letters of BRAN WITH FAT.

  1. Fit to grasp English acting (7)

Answer: INTERIM (i.e. “acting”). Solution is IN TRIM (i.e. “fit”) wrapped around or “grasping” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: IN-T(E)RIM.

  1. Perhaps blight turned some of the rose yellow (7)

Answer: EYESORE (i.e. “perhaps blight”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “turned” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: TH(E ROSE YE)LLOW.

  1. An exchange of words travelling on last train (11)

Answer: TRANSLATION (i.e. “an exchange of words” from one language to another). “Travelling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ON LAST TRAIN.

  1. Grand mushrooms rising broad and flat, billions must be about (11)

Answer: SPECTACULAR (i.e. “grand”). Solution is CEPS (i.e. “mushrooms”) reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue) and followed by TABULAR (i.e. “broad and flat”) once the B (a recognised abbreviation of “billions”) has been replaced by C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), like so: SPEC-TA(B)ULAR => SPEC-TA(C)ULAR.

  1. Raid home with dogs inside having eaten nought (9)

Answer: INCURSION (i.e. “raid”). Solution IN (i.e. at “home”) followed by CURS (i.e. “dogs”), then IN (i.e. “inside”) once wrapped around or “having eaten” O (i.e. “nought”), like so: IN-CURS-I(O)N.

  1. Round to harvest green buds (3,6)

Answer: CUT CAPERS (i.e. to gambol or “bound” – a new one on me). Solution is CUT (i.e. “to harvest”) followed by CAPERS (i.e. “green buds” used in cuisine). A nod to my Bradford’s for getting CAPERS. I couldn’t make the connection.

  1. Rain beats violently, but one’s staying dry (9)

Answer: ABSTAINER (i.e. “one’s staying dry” of alcohol). “Violently” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RAIN BEATS.

  1. Noticed millions doing evil in place of deal making? (7)

Answer: SAWMILL (i.e. “place of deal making” – one of the variant meanings of “deal” is “a fir or pine board of a standard size” (Chambers). I’ve a feeling we’ve had this one before). Solution is SAW (i.e. “noticed”) followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “millions”) and ILL (i.e. “evil”).

  1. Fanatical about knight with a female to worship (7)

Answer: MADONNA (i.e. “female to worship”). Solution is MAD ON (i.e. “fanatical about”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess), then A.

  1. Spider scuttled to end up under article (7)

Answer: ARANEID (i.e. a “spider”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “scuttled”) followed by DIE (i.e. “to end”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue). These are then placed after or “under” (again, down clue) A (i.e. “article”, i.e. a word like a, an or the), like so: A-(RAN-EID).

  1. Female novelist, note, unknown years after men (5)

Answer: Baroness Emma (and about 20 middle names) ORCZY (i.e. “female novelist” who gave us The Scarlet Pimpernel). Solution is C (i.e. “[musical] note”) followed by Z (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as unknowns) and Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”). These are then all placed “after” OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), like so: OR-(C-Z-Y).

  1. Measure a line integral (5)

Answer: TOTAL (i.e. “integral”). Solution is TOT (i.e. “measure”) followed by A and L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1519

A breezy run-through this week, which I don’t mind. A combination of being in tune with the setter and remembering solutions from previous puzzles made for an easier time, particularly with the more exotic solutions. Toughie next week, then?

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 picked your pockets, then you might find my Just For Fun page of use. There you’ll find links to solutions for the last 160+ of these things. Elsewhere, there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once more for the kind words and help. It’s much appreciated, and it’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Teacher caught in riot turns nasty (10)

Answer: INSTRUCTOR (i.e. “teacher”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in some ball games) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “nasty”) of RIOT TURNS, like so: INSTRU(C)TOR.

  1. Amicable police officers sat by spring (4-8)

Answer: WELL-DISPOSED (i.e. “amicable”). Solution is DIS (i.e. “police officers”, specifically Detective Inspectors) and POSED (i.e. “sat” or modelled for an artist) both placed “by” or after WELL (i.e. “spring”), like so: WELL-(DIS-POSED).

  1. Accumulate too much weaponry, finding way to make deliveries (7)

Answer: OVERARM. Solution satisfies “accumulate too much weaponry” and “way to make [cricket] deliveries”.

  1. About to mature, having lost weight, line up differently (7)

Answer: REGROUP (i.e. “line up differently”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) followed by GROW UP (i.e. “to mature”) once the W has been removed (indicated by “having lost weight” – W being a recognised abbreviation of “weight”), like so: RE-GRO-UP.

  1. Agonise about Romanian currency used for floral ornament (7)

Answer: FLEURET (i.e. “floral ornament”). Solution is FRET (i.e. “agonise”) wrapped “about” LEU (i.e. “Romanian currency”), like so: F(LEU)RET.

  1. Tailless red fish (4)

Answer: RUDD (i.e. “fish”). Solution is RUDDY (i.e. “red”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “tailless”). Chalk one to my Bradford’s here.

  1. Man on board starts to browse in store (6)

Answer: BISHOP (i.e. “man on [chess] board” – chess pieces are sometimes referred to as men). Solution is B and I (i.e. “starts to browse in”, i.e. the first letter of “browse” and “in”) followed by SHOP (i.e. “store”).

  1. An indicator of what the office boss might do? (8)

Answer: SIGNPOST (i.e. “indicator”). When written as SIGN POST the solution also satisfies “what the office boss might do”.

  1. Rehearse one’s sermon – and take heed of it! (8,4,3,8)

Answer: PRACTISE WHAT ONE PREACHES. Solution satisfies “rehearse one’s sermon” and “take heed of [one’s sermon]”. Did you spell this “PRACTICE” to begin with? Yup. Me too.

  1. Bovine cross in short story seized by the Censor (7)

Answer: CATTALO (i.e. “bovine cross”, specifically that of a bison and a cow). Solution is TALE (i.e. “story”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder placed in or “seized by” CATO (i.e. “the Censor” – Cato the Censor was a Roman bigwig back in the day), like so: CAT(TAL)O. One gotten from the wordplay and a shufti in my Chambers.

  1. Ravel’s slant on otolaryngology? (8)

Answer: ENTANGLE (i.e. “ravel”). When written as ENT ANGLE the solution also satisfies “slant on otolaryngology” – ENT being a recognised abbreviation of the Ear Nose and Throat wing of a hospital.

  1. Leading church’s pompous formality (6)

Answer: STARCH (i.e. “pompous formality”). Solution is STAR (i.e. “leading”) followed by CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”). One I remembered from a recent puzzle, which made this an easier get.

  1. Swimmer, impudent and loud, rather, outside class (10,4)

Answer: FRESHWATER FISH (i.e. “swimmer”). Solution is FRESH (i.e. “impudent”), F (a recognised abbreviation of “loud”, specifically fortissimo in musical lingo) and ISH (i.e. “rather”) all placed “outside” of WATER (i.e. “class” – over to Chambers: “class, quality, excellence, esp. in the phrase of the first or purest water“. No, me neither), like so: FRESH-(WATER)-F-ISH.

  1. Like some leaves aimed across pitch (8)

Answer: TRILOBED (i.e. “like some leaves” – a lobe can be a section of a leaf). Solution is TRIED (i.e. “aimed” for) wrapped around or placed “across” LOB (i.e. throw or “pitch”), like so: TRI(LOB)ED. Another one gotten from the wordplay.

  1. Soft wool primarily crowning tree by lake (8)

Answer: CASHMERE (i.e. “soft wool”). Solution is C (i.e. “primarily crowning”, i.e. the first letter of “crowning”) followed by ASH (i.e. “tree”) and MERE (i.e. a “lake”).

  1. Definitive quests originally explained in Latin translation (14)

Answer: QUINTESSENTIAL (i.e. “definitive”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “translation”) of QUESTS, E (i.e. “originally explained”, i.e. the first letter of “explained”) and IN LATIN.

  1. One harbouring strong desire, do we hear, for reflected light? (6)

Answer: LUSTRE (i.e. “reflected light”). “Do we hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of LUSTER (i.e. “one harbouring strong desire”).

  1. Old politician turning our trite operatic texts (8)

Answer: LIBRETTI (i.e. “operatic texts”). Solution is LIB (i.e. “old politician”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal” – the Liberal Party split in 1988) followed by an anagram (indicated by “turning”) of TRITE, like so: LIB-RETTI.

  1. Attempt one’s made at first to embrace old political doctrine (7)

Answer: TORYISM (i.e. “political doctrine”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “attempt”), I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) and M (i.e. “made at first”, i.e. the first letter of “made”) all wrapped around or “embracing” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: T(O)RY-I’S-M.

  1. Stories involving MI in the dark periods? (3,8,3,3,6)

Answer: THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS (i.e. “stories” by Scheherazade). Clue plays on MI being Roman numerals for a THOUSAND AND ONE, and “dark periods” being NIGHTS. You get the idea.

  1. Characteristic of one’s belongings (8)

Answer: PROPERTY. Solution satisfies “characteristic” and “one’s belongings”.

  1. Poetic work principally sought electronically? (6)

Answer: SONNET (i.e. “poetic work”). Solution is S (i.e. “principally sought”, i.e. the first letter of “sought”) followed by ON NET (i.e. “electronically” – net being taken as an informal abbreviation of the internet).

  1. Objection by English in part of Scotland (4)

Answer: BUTE (i.e. an island or “part of Scotland”). Solution is BUT (i.e. “objection”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”).

  1. Parts of intestines a couple study first of all (7)

Answer: DUODENA (i.e. “parts of intestines”). Solution is DUO (i.e. “a couple”) followed by DEN (i.e. “study” room) and A (i.e. “first [letter] of all”).

  1. High-flyer from Kentucky by lake in Channel Island (7)

Answer: SKYLARK (i.e. “high-flyer”). Solution is KY (US state abbreviation of “Kentucky”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”) both placed “in” SARK (i.e. a “Channel Island”), like so: S(KY-L)ARK.

  1. Sound attempt by military engineers to create ancient warship (7)

Answer: TRIREME (i.e. “ancient warship”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “sound”) of TRY (i.e. “attempt”) followed by REME (i.e. “military engineers”, specifically the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), like so: TRI-REME. Another remembered from a previous puzzle.

  1. Trader in Caerphilly whose wares may be displayed on board (12)

Answer: CHEESEMONGER (i.e. “trader in Caerphilly”, a variety of cheese). Clue plays on how a cheesemonger’s goods can be served on a cheeseboard.

  1. Person serving drinks in south-west Asian country (10)

Answer: SALESWOMAN (i.e. “person serving”). Solution is ALES (i.e. “drinks”) placed “in” SW (a recognised abbreviation of “south-west”) and OMAN (i.e. “Asian country”), like so: S(ALES)W-OMAN.

Down clues

  1. One thus merged with Capricorn, perhaps, having the same properties (9)

Answer: ISOTROPIC (i.e. “having the same properties”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by SO (i.e. “thus”) and TROPIC (i.e. “Capricorn, perhaps” – other Tropics are available).

  1. Way top journalist goes around a fortress, displaying constancy (13)

Answer: STEADFASTNESS (i.e. “constancy”). Solution is ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a “street”) followed by ED (i.e. “top journalist”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of an “editor”) once wrapped or “going around” A. These are then followed by FASTNESS (i.e. a stronghold or “fortress”), like so: ST-E(A)D-FASTNESS.

  1. Bring up? It may be brought up by stragglers (4)

Answer: REAR. Solution satisfies “bring up” and “it may be brought up by stragglers”, i.e. the phrase “bringing up the rear”.

  1. Doorman’s company getting Hebridean beauty in trouble (14)

Answer: COMMISSIONAIRE (i.e. “doorman”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) followed by MISS IONA (i.e. “Hebridean beauty” – a play on how Miss (insert place name here) is a beauty contest) once placed “in” MIRE (i.e. “trouble”), like so: CO-M(MISS-IONA)IRE.

  1. Blade decapitating male porker, perhaps (3)

Answer: OAR (i.e. “blade”). Solution is BOAR (i.e. “male porker”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “decapitating”).

  1. Finally stage play about small island (4)

Answer: EYOT (i.e. “small island”). Solution is E (i.e. “finally stage”, i.e. the last letter of “stage”) followed by TOY (i.e. “play”) once reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: E-YOT.

  1. Idly sloped off with a crooked gait? (10)

Answer: LOPSIDEDLY (i.e. “with a crooked gait”). “Off” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IDLY SLOPED.

  1. Foot soldiers’ attempt to support trendy supporter (8)

Answer: INFANTRY (i.e. “foot soldiers”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “attempt”) placed after or “supporting” (this being a down clue) IN (i.e. “trendy”) and FAN (i.e. “supporter”), like so: (IN-FAN)-TRY.

  1. Ancient flying reptile portly cadet re-created (11)

Answer: PTERODACTYL (i.e. “ancient flying reptile”). “Re-created” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PORTLY CADET.

  1. The wounded can be carried on one? That’s a lie (9)

Answer: STRETCHER. Solution satisfies “the wounded can be carried on one”, and “that’s a lie”, informally at least.

  1. Fruit taken in field at Edinburgh (4)

Answer: DATE (i.e. “fruit”). “Taken in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: FIEL(D AT E)DINBURGH.

  1. Aubergine, say, at entrance to glue factory (8)

Answer: EGGPLANT (i.e. “aubergine”). Solution is EG (i.e. “say” i.e. for example) followed by G (i.e. “entrance to glue”, i.e. the first letter of “glue”) and PLANT (i.e. “factory”).

  1. Peddle fish, so to speak, being keen-sighted (4-4)

Answer: HAWK-EYED (i.e. “keen-sighted”). Solution is HAWK (i.e. “peddle”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “so to speak”) of IDE (i.e. a variety of “fish”).

  1. Hot pies served up in Scottish mountain valley (6)

Answer: STRATH (i.e. “Scottish mountain valley”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”) followed by TARTS (i.e. “pies”) all reversed (indicated by “served up” – this being a down clue), like so: STRAT-H. Another I got from the wordplay.

  1. Departing lad’s suspect behaviour (6-2)

Answer: GOINGS-ON (i.e. “suspect behaviour”). Solution is GOING (i.e. “departing”) followed by SON (i.e. “lad”).

  1. Lilaceous plant Derek located south of snake house (8)

Answer: ASPHODEL (i.e. “lilaceous plant”). Solution is DEL (shortened form of “Derek”) placed after or “south of” – this being a down clue – ASP (i.e. “snake”) and HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: (ASP-HO)-DEL. Yet another I got from the wordplay.

  1. Tackle problem boldly – and get stung? (5,3,6)

Answer: GRASP THE NETTLE (i.e. “tackle problem boldly”). The remainder of the clue plays on how nettles sting.

  1. Amenity sport administrators regularly claim in metropolis (8)

Answer: FACILITY (i.e. “amenity”). Solution is FA (i.e. “sport administrators”, specifically the Football Association) followed by LI (i.e. “regularly claim”, i.e. every other letter of CLAIM) once placed “in” CITY (i.e. “metropolis”), like so: FA-CI(LI)TY.

  1. Salt only initially delivered in tube (8)

Answer: FLUORIDE (i.e. “salt”). Solution is O (i.e. “only initially”, i.e. the first letter of “only”) and RID (i.e. “delivered”) both placed “in” FLUE (i.e. “tube”), like so: FLU(O-RID)E.

  1. Umber suits him, surprisingly, in this exhibition building (7,6)

Answer: BRITISH MUSEUM (i.e. “exhibition building”). “Surprisingly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of UMBER SUITS HIM.

  1. Small bloke – large bottle! (8)

Answer: DEMIJOHN (i.e. “large bottle”). Solution is DEMI (i.e. “small” – the prefix demi- means “half-sized”) followed by JOHN (i.e. a “bloke’s” name).

  1. Noblewoman’s first day of month on eastern ship (11)

Answer: MARCHIONESS (i.e. “noblewoman”). Solution is MARCH I (i.e. “first day of month” – I being the Roman numeral for 1) followed by ON, then E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) and SS (i.e. “ship”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a steamship).

  1. Scandinavian police department chap set up (6)

Answer: NORDIC (i.e. “Scandinavian”). Solution is CID (i.e. “police department”, specifically the Criminal Investigation Department) followed by RON (i.e. “chap”, basically another bloke’s name). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: NOR-DIC.

  1. Born craftsman receives trivial sum, supporting two sides (10)

Answer: BIPARTISAN (i.e. “supporting two sides”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “born”) and ARTISAN (i.e. “craftsman”) wrapped around or “receiving” IP (i.e. “trivial sum”, i.e. 1 pence – P being a recognised abbreviation of “pence”), like so: B-(IP)-ARTISAN.

  1. Eg Lincoln’s place, where top cheese is distributed (9)

Answer: SHEEPCOTE (i.e. “eg Lincoln’s place” – Lincoln being a variety of sheep). “Is distributed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOP CHEESE. The wordplay was fairly obvious, but took some brute forcing of my Chambers to get me over the line.

  1. African’s sleeveless garment shortened by Welsh girl (8)

Answer: TUNISIAN (i.e. “African”). Solution is TUNIC (i.e. “sleeveless garment”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “shortened”) and the remainder followed by SIAN (i.e. a “Welsh girl’s” name), like so: TUNI-SIAN.

  1. Minute new maid seen to behave badly (9)

Answer: MISDEMEAN (i.e. “to behave badly”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of a “minute”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “new”) of MAID SEEN, like so: M-ISDEMEAN.

  1. Half-hearted biblical physician married after conflict (8)

Answer: LUKEWARM (i.e. “half-hearted”). Solution is LUKE (i.e. “biblical physician”) followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”) once placed “after” WAR (i.e. “conflict”), like so: LUKE-(WAR)-M.

  1. Like some poems one delivered, inspiring Chinese leaders (4)

Answer: ODIC (i.e. “like some poems”). “Leaders” indicates the solution is derived from the first letters of One Delivered Inspiring Chinese.

  1. Farmer finally invested in extra accommodation for cattle (4)

Answer: BYRE (i.e. “accommodation for cattle”). Solution is R (i.e. “farmer finally”, i.e. the last letter of “farmer”) placed or “invested in” BYE (i.e. an “extra” run in cricket), like so: BY(R)E.

  1. Struggle with general survey (4)

Answer: VIEW (i.e. “general survey”). Solution is VIE (i.e. “struggle”) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”).

  1. Parrot identified by poet, not Eliot initially (3)

Answer: KEA (i.e. a kind of “parrot”). Solution is KEATS (i.e. “poet”) with the TS removed (indicated by “not Eliot initially”, specifically the poet TS Eliot). Made. To. Fit.