Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1382

I guess we were due a proper stinker and, hoooo boy, we got one! There were exotic solutions aplenty in this week’s grid, but at least they were actual words. I’d much rather be camped out in my Chambers during these harder puzzles than a Who’s Who of dead people or the darker recesses of Britain’s botanical gardens. If anything my issue with this week’s puzzle was the poor quality of some of the clues. The setter’s overreliance on using people’s names in particular grew rather tiresome. Anyway, what’s done is done. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

As usual some housekeeping before we begin. If you have an recent Times Jumbo Cryptic for which you are missing some answers, then my Just For Fun page might be of interest. If you have a hankering for horror fiction then my Reviews page might point you in the direction of a few books. I’m currently putting together a review of Best New Horror 6, which I hope to put up after Bank Holiday Monday’s solution, assuming I have one obvs.

Right, I won’t keep you any longer. TTFN!

LP

Across clues

1. Doctor caught pinching journalist’s wine (5)

Answer: MEDOC (i.e. “wine”). Solution is MO (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Medical Officer) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) “pinching” ED (i.e. “journalist”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “editor”), like so: M(ED)O-C. A really good, tricksy clue this.

4. A woman’s spells on a drug rejected in these parts (10)

Answer: HEREABOUTS (i.e. “in these parts”). Solution is HER BOUTS (i.e. “a woman’s spells”) which is placed around A and E (i.e. “drug”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “ecstasy”) which have been swapped around (indicated by “rejected”), like so: HER-(E-A)-BOUTS.

9. Tactless remark primarily riling the chief electrician (6)

Answer: GAFFER (i.e. “the chief electrician”). Solution is GAFFE (i.e. “tactless remark”) followed by R (i.e. “primarily riling”, i.e. the first letter of “riling”).

14. Strait-laced Carthaginian woman making entry (9)

Answer: PURITANIC (i.e. “strait-laced”). Solution is PUNIC (i.e. “Carthaginian” – an early taste of the kind of puzzle we’re dealing with this week) with RITA (i.e. “woman”) “making entry” like so: PU(RITA)NIC.

15. Questioning politician on eg train or at sea (13)

Answer: INTERROGATORY (i.e. “questioning”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “at sea”) of EG TRAIN OR, followed by TORY (i.e. “politician”). Not a classic.

16. What Parisian left among directions for follow-ups (7)

Answer: SEQUELS (i.e. “follow-ups”). Solution is QUE (i.e. “what Parisian” – the French for “what” is “que”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) placed “among” SES (i.e. “directions” – I’m taking this to be the compass points “south”, “east” and then “south” again). Again, not a classic.

17. Friend eager to carry a new covered litter (9)

Answer: PALANKEEN (i.e. “covered litter”). Solution is PAL (i.e. “friend”) and KEEN (i.e. “eager”) “carrying” A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: PAL-(A-N)-KEEN. One I got more or less through the wordplay. While I knew the word palanquin, I had no idea there was an alternative spelling.

18. Horrify a reindeer herder going west (5)

Answer: APPAL (i.e. “horrify”). Solution is A then LAPP, a native of Lapland (i.e. “reindeer herder”) which is reversed (indicated by “going west”, this being an across clue), like so: A-PPAL.

19. How it dries rice out? That’s novel (5,4,5)

Answer: CIDER WITH ROSIE, a “novel” by Laurie Lee. “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HOW IT DRIES RICE.

22. Pole with old hat in distant settlement (7)

Answer: OUTPOST (i.e. “distant settlement”). Solution is POST (i.e. “pole”) with OUT (i.e. “old”) placed on top like a “hat”, like so: OUT-POST. Probably would have worked better as a down clue.

25. Son finally abandons water-starved sheep in fairish number (10)

Answer: THIRTYFOLD (i.e. “fairish number”). Solution is THIRSTY FOLD (i.e. “water-starved sheep”) with the S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) removed. I’m not quite sure where “finally” factors into it, mind, so I might be wrong.

27. Crossing ocean it finally moved quickly, having particular sound (12)

Answer: TRANSPACIFIC (i.e. “crossing ocean”). Solution is T (i.e. “it finally”, i.e. the last letter of “it”) followed by RAN (i.e. “moved quickly”) and then SPACIFIC (i.e. “having particular sound”, i.e. a homophone of “specific” – I’m seldom impressed when setters use non-existent words as homophones in their solutions, but this takes some beating).

30. Italian fellow’s regularly alluring air (5)

Answer: LUIGI (i.e. “Italian fellow” – for non-existent homophones, see also people’s names). “Regularly” indicates the solution is derived through removing every other letter of ALLURING AIR.

31. Confuse viewpoint of otolaryngologists? (8)

Answer: ENTANGLE (i.e. “confuse”). “Otolaryngologists” are specialists in the ear, nose and throat areas of the body, often abbreviated to ENT. The clue therefore hints the “viewpoint” of such specialists would be an ENT ANGLE.

32. One of Mitford’s aristos accepting suggestion for psalm (8)

Answer: ANTIPHON, which is a type of church music sung by two parties each responding to the other (i.e. “psalm”). Bear with me here. In the novel The Pursuit of Love by Nancy “Mitford” there are upper-crust characters collectively named The Hons. One such “aristo” would therefore be AN HON. “Accepting” TIP (i.e. “suggestion”), you would then get: AN-(TIP)-HON. Don’t worry, I’ve not read her either.

35. Study dance, providing fee for postponement (8)

Answer: CONTANGO, which, in stockbroking circles, is a percentage paid by the buyer to the seller of stock for keeping back its delivery until the next settlement day (i.e. “fee for postponement”). Solution is CON (an archaic word for “study” often used by setters in their solutions) followed by TANGO (i.e. “dance”). A small admission: I’ve worked in the industry for donkey’s years (albeit very much back-office) and I’ve never come across this word before, probably because 99+% of stock delivery is now done electronically. Cool word, all the same, though not as good as scripophily. Anyway, I’m blathering…

36. Detached Roman statesman with animals from the east (8)

Answer: STACCATO, a musical term for notes that are “detached” or disconnected. Solution is CATO (i.e. “Roman statesman” – there were a couple of them to choose from) preceded by CATS (i.e. “animals”) which is reversed (indicated by “from the east”, this being an across clue), like so: STAC-CATO.

37. Outspoken woman receiving military commander (5)

Answer: VOCAL (i.e. “outspoken”). Solution is VAL (i.e. “woman”, short for Valerie) “receiving” OC (i.e. “military commander”, specifically an Officer Commanding), like so: V(OC)AL.

39. Upright rider’s second woman at frontier, we hear (12)

Answer: SKATEBOARDER (i.e. “upright rider”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by KATE (i.e. “woman”, short for Katherine) and then BOARDER (i.e. “frontier, we hear”, i.e. a homophone of “border”).

41. Saw about taking to the water and making merry (10)

Answer: WASSAILING (i.e. “making merry”). Solution is SAW reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by SAILING (i.e. “taking to the water”).

43. Cleft stick girl’s found by river at Pontypridd (7)

Answer: DISTAFF, which is a “cleft stick” used to keep hold of the wool in spinning. Solution is DI’S (i.e. “girl’s” – I was getting weary of the setter’s overuse of people’s names in their clues by this point) followed by TAFF (i.e. “river at Pontypridd”).

45. Mount further industrial action, ringing pub to agree on terms (6,1,7)

Answer: STRIKE A BARGAIN (i.e. “agree on terms”). Solution is GAIN (i.e. “[to] further”) “mounted” by STRIKE (i.e. “industrial action”) and then split around or “ringing” A BAR (i.e. “pub”), like so: STRIKE-(A-BAR)-GAIN. Again, not a great one, this.

48. Singers in Cuba’s side streets (5)

Answer: BASSI (i.e. “singers”, a plural of the Italian term “basso”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: CU(BA’S SI)DE.

49. Gangster’s way to enter parts of builder’s course (9)

Answer: CAPSTONES, which are the top or finishing stones of a structure (i.e. “parts of builder’s course”). Solution is CAPONE’S (i.e. “gangster’s”, specifically Al Capone) with ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) “entering”, like so: CAP(ST)ONES.

51. Foot of giant bird encountered in the east (7)

Answer: TROCHEE, which, in prosody, is a “foot” of two syllables, a long followed by a short. Yeah, me neither. This was one I got purely through the wordplay. Solution is ROC (i.e. a “giant bird” of legend) placed “in” THE and E (a recognised abbreviation of “east”), like so: T(ROC)HE-E.

53. Slow mover gets into a riot, carelessly (5,8)

Answer: GIANT TORTOISE (i.e. “slow mover”). “Carelessly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GETS INTO A RIOT.

54. Talmudic scholar’s chatter about rejection of wrongdoing (9)

Answer: RABBINIST (i.e. “Talmudic scholar”). Solution is RABBIT (i.e. “chatter”) placed “about” SIN (i.e. “wrongdoing”) reversed (indicated by “rejection”), like so: RABBI(NIS)T.

55. Fully developed type demanding change of leader (6)

Answer: MATURE (i.e. “fully developed”). Solution is NATURE (i.e. “type”) with a “change of leader” or initial letter. The only other word it can be is “mature”.

56. Uncultivated Greek character given inventory in English (10)

Answer: PHILISTINE (i.e. “uncultivated”). Solution is PHI (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet) followed by LIST (i.e. “inventory”) then IN and finally E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”).

57. Part of spring attached to 50% of beds, perhaps (5)

Answer: MAYBE (i.e. “perhaps”). Solution is MAY (i.e. “part of spring [months]”) followed by BE (i.e. “50% of beds”, specifically the first 50%).

Down clues

1. Like Eeyore’s second expression of impatience (6)

Answer: MOPISH (i.e. “like Eeyore”). Solution is MO (i.e. “second”, specifically a short form of “moment”) followed by PISH (i.e. “expression of impatience”).

2. Quiet old insider prepared to return to civilian employment (13)

Answer: DEREQUISITION (i.e. “return to civilian employment”). “Prepared” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of QUIET INSIDER and O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”).

3. Piece of meat – item regularly forming dish (5)

Answer: CUTIE (i.e. “dish”, as in a smart girl or something cute – I know it’s a recognised word but there’s something about it that feels profoundly creepy these days). Solution is CUT (i.e. “piece of meat”) followed by IE (i.e. “item regularly”, i.e. every other letter of ITEM), like so: CUT-IE.

4. Passes first of workmen carrying a tool (7)

Answer: HANDSAW (i.e. “tool”). Solution is HANDS (i.e. “passes”) and W (i.e. “first of workmen”, i.e. the first letter of “workmen”) “carrying” A, like so: HANDS-(A)-W.

5. Go over again, about to surrender (12)

Answer: RECAPITULATE (i.e. “go over again”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about”, often used in email replies) followed by CAPITULATE (i.e. “to surrender”).

6. Fax Mary starts off about affliction of the armpit (8)

Answer: AXILLARY (i.e. “of the armpit”). Solution is FAX and MARY with the initial letters removed (indicated by “starts off”) and the remaining letters wrapped “about” ILL (i.e. “affliction”), like so: AX-(ILL)-ARY. Another I got purely from the wordplay.

7. Like some cereal Oscar put away before noon (5)

Answer: OATEN (i.e. “like some cereal”). Solution is O (“Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by ATE (i.e. “put away”) and then N (a recognised abbreviation of “noon”).

8. Like a Weill opera, costing very little once (10)

Answer: THREEPENNY. Solution satisfies “like a Weill opera”, referencing Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, and “costing very little once”, referring to the old threepenny bit.

10. Insistent a worker must shore up barrier (7)

Answer: ADAMANT (i.e. “insistent”). Solution is A and ANT (i.e. “worker”) wrapped around or “shoring up” DAM (i.e. “barrier”), like so: A-(DAM)-ANT.

11. Completely safe dessert, one originally consumed by academic (9)

Answer: FOOLPROOF (i.e. “completely safe”). Solution is FOOL (i.e. “dessert”) followed by O (i.e. “one originally”, i.e. the first letter of “one”) placed in or “consumed by” PROF (i.e. “academic”), like so: FOOL-PR(O)OF.

12. Member of ruling family put up by Republican circle (5)

Answer: ROYAL (i.e. “member of ruling family”). Solution is LAY (i.e. “put”) reversed (indicated by “up”, this being a down clue) and fronted “by” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) and O (i.e. “circle”), like so: R-O-YAL.

13. Intimates favour crooked man in scoop (4,10)

Answer: BOON COMPANIONS (i.e. “intimates”). Solution is BOON (i.e. “favour”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “crooked”) of MAN IN SCOOP. This was the last clue I solved and took some doing even though “companions” was an easy get. The solution is not a phrase I’m familiar with and doesn’t feature in my Chambers. Nicely played, all the same.

20. Free former con briefly at end of sentence (9)

Answer: EXTRICATE (i.e. “free”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former”) followed by TRICK (i.e. “con”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”), then AT and then E (i.e. “end of sentence”, i.e. the last letter of “sentence”), like so: EX-TRIC-AT-E. A good clue that scans rather well.

21. Vestment certain to incorporate new clip (8)

Answer: SURPLICE (i.e. “vestment”). Solution is SURE (i.e. “certain”) “incorporating” an anagram (indicated by “new”) of CLIP, like so: SUR(PLIC)E. Another I got purely through the wordplay and only once I’d had a few letters filled in.

23. Practical sciences only the GOC deployed (10)

Answer: TECHNOLOGY (i.e. “practical sciences”). “Deployed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ONLY THE GOC.

24. Stressed computer studies woman with daughter touring islands (10)

Answer: ITALICISED (i.e. “stressed”). Solution is IT (i.e. “computer studies” – this is weak in my opinion: computer studies and information technology aren’t necessarily the same; the former is a relatively small subset of the latter #PedantsYay) followed by ALICE (i.e. “woman” – sigh…) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) placed around or “touring” IS (ditto “islands”), like so: IT-ALIC(IS)E-D.

26. Experience efficient estate manager’s sense of wellbeing (4-4,6)

Answer: FEEL-GOOD FACTOR (i.e. “sense of wellbeing”). Solution is FEEL (i.e. “experience”) followed by GOOD FACTOR (i.e. “efficient estate manager”). For a while I had the first two words of this clue as “good-will”, which was clearly not the case. Nicely played, setter.

28. Nagging civilian in garrison principally restricting husband (9)

Answer: CHIVVYING (i.e. “nagging”). Solution is CIVVY (i.e. “civilian”) followed by IN and then G (i.e. “garrison principally”, i.e. the first letter of “garrison”), which are all wrapped around or “restricting” H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”), like so: C(H)IVVY-IN-G.

29. Woollen items knight placed among gear on river (8)

Answer: KNITWEAR (i.e. “woollen items”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess) “placed among” KIT (i.e. “gear”) and then followed by WEAR (i.e. “river”), like so: K(N)IT-WEAR. Another clue that scans rather well.

33. Greek character with house worked in mythic Asian port (2,3,4,4)

Answer: HO CHI MINH CITY (i.e. “Asian port”). Solution is CHI (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet) placed “with” or behind HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”) and then followed by an anagram (indicated by “worked”) of IN MYTHIC, like so: HO-CHI-MINHCITY.

34. Artist in Irish county composed airs outside eastern inn (12)

Answer: CARAVANSERAI, which is a kind of unfurnished “inn” in some Eastern countries in which caravans stop. Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) placed “in” CAVAN (i.e. “Irish county”) and followed by an anagram (indicated by “composed”) of AIRS which itself is placed “outside” of E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), like so: CA(RA)VAN-S(E)RAI. Not a word I was familiar with, but I rather like it.

38. Peevish type giving mongrel a common dog’s name (10)

Answer: CROSSPATCH (i.e. “peevish type”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “mongrel”) followed by PATCH (i.e. “a common dog’s name” – hmm, really?). Another word I wasn’t familiar with, but another I rather like.

40. One leaving Francis’s place beat rear of flippant aide (9)

Answer: ASSISTANT (i.e. “aide”). Solution is ASSISI (i.e. “[Saint] Francis’s place”) with the final I removed (indicated by “[Roman numeral] one leaving”) and then followed by TAN (i.e. “beat”) and T (i.e. “rear of flippant”, i.e. the last letter of “flippant”), like so: ASSIS-TAN-T.

42. Society family not so devoid of cover (8)

Answer: SKINLESS (i.e. “devoid of cover”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”) followed by KIN (i.e. “family”) and LESS (i.e. “not so”).

44. One flying aircraft at first by way of rocky peak (7)

Answer: AVIATOR (i.e. “one flying”). Solution is A (i.e. “aircraft at first”, i.e. the first letter of “aircraft”) followed by VIA (i.e. “by way of”) and TOR (i.e. “rocky peak”).

46. Current board suitable for representing on stage (7)

Answer: ACTABLE (i.e. “suitable for representing on stage”). Solution is AC (i.e. “current”, specifically alternating current) followed by TABLE (i.e. “board”).

47. Take up residence in N Yorks town (6)

Answer: SETTLE. Solution satisfies “take up residence” and “N Yorks town”. I’m never keen when setters use tiny towns as solutions – Settle in this case having a population of less than 3,000 people – but they do have a knack of picking towns with some geographical or historical significance. In this case, “Settle” being an actual word helps too!

48. High-ranking Muslim woman, say taken in by tramp (5)

Answer: BEGUM (i.e. “high-ranking Muslim woman”). Solution is EG (i.e. “say”, as in “for example”) “taken in by” BUM (i.e. “tramp”), like so: B(EG)UM. One I got through a combination of the wordplay and recent-ish news events.

50. Leaving hospital, get excited and sing (5)

Answer: TRILL (i.e. “sing”). Solution is THRILL (i.e. “get excited”) with the H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital”) removed or “leaving”.

52. Work on island with hesitation, producing narcotic drug (5)

Answer: OPIUM (i.e. “narcotic drug”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, short for “operation”) followed by I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”) and UM (i.e. “hesitation”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1381

Another easyish one this week, though there were a few odd words in there that had me scrabbling through the dictionary. A few well-worked clues helped make this a rather pleasant puzzle overall – a good run of late. You can find my completed grid below, along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful in your quest for cruciverbalist perfection.

As usual, some housekeeping before we begin: if you have an old Times Jumbo Cryptic for which you’d like the answers, then my Just For Fun page might see you right. If horror fiction is your thing and you’d like to read me wang on about it, then my Reviews page might be of interest.

Right-oh. On with the show.

LP

Across clues

1. Light rain: Jack sheltering in hollow that’s welcoming (10)

Answer: HOSPITABLE (i.e. “welcoming”). Solution is SPIT (i.e. “light rain”) and AB (i.e. “jack”, specifically a seaman of the Able Bodied variety) “sheltering in” HOLE (i.e. “hollow”), like so: HO(SPIT-AB)LE.

6. Ignorant group is taken in by hacker (4,3,5)

Answer: NONE THE WISER (i.e. “ignorant”). Solution is NONET (i.e. “group”, specifically a group of nine players) followed by HEWER (i.e. “hacker”) “taking in” IS, like so: NONET-HEW(IS)ER. I had the solution right from the off but it took me most of the puzzle to figure out how it was composed. Nicely done.

14. Animal has tail at first, one to cut back (7)

Answer: POLECAT (i.e. “animal”). Solution is T (i.e. “tail at first”, i.e. the first letter of “tail”) followed by ACE (i.e. “one” in cards) and LOP (i.e. “to cut”), all reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: POL-ECA-T.

15. Source of wealth around old church of a distant epoch (7)

Answer: MIOCENE (i.e. “of a distant epoch”, specifically of an era between 23,000,000 and 5,000,000 years ago). Solution is MINE (i.e. “source of wealth”, e.g. a goldmine) placed “around” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: MI(O-CE)NE. I had an idea of what this could be, but it took some rummaging through my Chambers to nail it.

16. Emperor carrying on with unknown character – that’s anything but love? (3-4)

Answer: NON-ZERO (i.e. “that’s anything but love” – a play on “love” being zero in tennis). Solution is NERO (i.e. “emperor”) “carrying” ON and Z (i.e. “unknown character” – setters often use “unknown” to represent X, Y or Z in their solutions), like so: N(ON-Z)ERO.

17. Mock a noted conclusion (4)

Answer: CODA (i.e. “noted conclusion”, as in the end part of a musical composition). Solution is COD (i.e. “mock”) followed by A.

18. Discussion involving Tory – amazing (6)

Answer: CONFAB (i.e. “discussion”, short for confabulation). Solution is CON (a recognised abbreviation of Conservative, i.e. “Tory”) and FAB (i.e. “amazing”).

20. Attentive chap from East Timor? (8)

Answer: DILIGENT (i.e. “attentive”). Solution is DILI (capital of “East Timor”) followed by GENT (i.e. “chap”), as in a DILI GENT. A rather well-worked clue.

24. Now partner has ruined everything, after happening to cause upset (5,1,7,2,3,5)

Answer: THROW A SPANNER IN THE WORKS (i.e. “cause upset”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ruined”) of NOW PARTNER HAS, followed by IN (i.e. “happening”, as in what is fashionable) and THE WORKS (i.e. “everything”) placed “after” it, like so: THROWASPANNER-IN-THEWORKS.

25. Girl has put short stockings on – hallelujah! (7)

Answer: HOSANNA, an exclamation of praise to God (i.e. “hallelujah”). Solution is ANNA (i.e. “girl”) fronted by or “having put on” HOSE (i.e. “stockings”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”), like so: HOS-ANNA.

26. Friend a nuisance in European city (8)

Answer: BUDAPEST (i.e. “European city”, specifically the capital of Hungary). Solution is BUD (i.e. “friend”) followed by A and PEST (i.e. “nuisance”).

27. In a fine spray deodorant initially contained (6)

Answer: AMIDST (i.e. “in”). Solution is A MIST (i.e. “a fine spray”) “containing” D (i.e. “deodorant initially”, i.e. the first letter of “deodorant”), like so: A-MI(D)ST.

29. Thickness not diminished, roughly about right (5,9)

Answer: THIRD DIMENSION (i.e. “thickness”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “roughly”) of NOT DIMINISHED placed “about” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: THI(R)DDIMENSION.

31. Pernicious lady about to steal fella’s heart (8)

Answer: DAMNABLE (i.e. “pernicious”). Solution is DAME (i.e. “lady”) placed “about” NAB (i.e. “to steal”) and L (i.e. “fella’s heart”, i.e. the middle letter of “fella”), like so: DAM(NAB-L)E. Another well-worked clue.

34. Interesting it’s coming together (8)

Answer: ENGAGING. Solution satisfies “interesting” and “coming together”, as in getting engaged to marry.

36. Turning scarlet, the sour dessert (9,5)

Answer: CHARLOTTE RUSSE, a kind of cake that, from the images I’ve seen, looks to be around 80% cream, i.e. “dessert”. “Turning” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SCARLET THE SOUR.

39. About to marry deadwood (6)

Answer: REFUSE (as in rubbish, i.e. “deadwood”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about”) and FUSE (i.e. “to marry”).

41. Stairs including an opening (8)

Answer: FANLIGHT, which is a window over a door or another window (i.e. “opening”). Solution is FLIGHT (i.e. “stairs”) “including” AN, like so: F(AN)LIGHT.

43. Anxious over cracks in heater returning (7)

Answer: NERVOUS (i.e. “anxious”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cracks”) of OVER, which is placed “in” SUN (i.e. “heater”) which is reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: N(ERVO)US.

46. Having saved little US cash, silly granddad, he wed nan, getting severely punished (6,5,3,9)

Answer: HANGED DRAWN AND QUARTERED (i.e. “severely punished” – they didn’t do things by halves back in Middle Ages #exitsstage). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “silly”) of GRANDDAD HE WED NAN, which is placed about or “saving” QUARTER (i.e. “little US cash”), like so: HANGEDDRAWNAND(QUARTER)ED.

47. Quibble darling? Move well back! (8)

Answer: PETTIFOG (i.e. “quibble” – a pettifogger is a solicitor who deals quibblingly with trivial cases). Solution is PET (i.e. “darling”) followed by GO (i.e. “move”) and FIT (i.e. “well”) which are both reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: PET-TIF-OG.

48. State having twisted story, journalist going into it (6)

Answer: SWEDEN (i.e. “state”). Solution is NEWS (i.e. “story”) which is reversed (indicated by “twisted”) and ED (i.e. “journalist”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of an editor) “going into it”, like so: SW(ED)EN.

49. Suspect image for recollection, provided in terrible case (1-3)

Answer: E-FIT, which is the modern-day equivalent of photofit images of criminals based on eyewitness accounts, (i.e. “suspect image”). Solution is IF (i.e. “provided” – a nod to Clive in the comments section of previous posts for this) placed “in” TE (i.e. “terrible case”, i.e. the first and last letters of the word “terrible”). The whole lot is then reversed (indicated by “for recollection”), like so: E(FI)T. Another well-worked clue.

53. Equal measure in a tumbler originally containing reduced drink (7)

Answer: ALIQUOT (i.e. “equal measure”). Solution is A and T (i.e. “tumbler originally”, i.e. the first letter of “tumbler”) which “contain” LIQUOR (i.e. “drink”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “reduced”), like so: A-(LIQUO)-T. Not a word I’m familiar with, so chalk one to my Chambers for this.

54. Mineral container one returned, awaiting delivery (2,5)

Answer: IN UTERO (i.e. “[of a baby] awaiting delivery”). Solution is ORE (i.e. “mineral”) followed by TUN (i.e. “container”) and I (Roman numeral “one”), all reversed (indicated by “returned”), like so: I-NUT-ERO.

56. Finally abandoning south for north, then a US city (7)

Answer: ATLANTA (i.e. “US city”). Solution is AT LAST (i.e. “finally”) with the S (recognised abbreviation of “south”) “abandoned for” or replaced by N (ditto “north”), “then” followed by A, like so: AT-LANT-A.

57. Drink in exciting bars, say? (3,9)

Answer: HOT CHOCOLATE (i.e. “drink”). Solution is HOT (i.e. “exciting”) followed by CHOLOTATE (i.e. “bars, say”, suggesting one form in which chocolate is served).

58. Sweet wine no great shakes? (10)

Answer: AFTERSHOCK (i.e. “no great shakes” – still rather hairy for anyone unlucky enough to experience them, though). Solution is AFTERS (i.e. “sweet”, as in a pudding) followed by HOCK (i.e. “wine”).

Down clues

1. After trip, stop game (9)

Answer: HOPSCOTCH (i.e. “game”). Solution is HOP (i.e. “trip”) with SCOTCH (i.e. “[to] stop”) placed “after” it.

2. Saucy thing beginning to strip – a boy doing otherwise? (5,8)

Answer: SALAD DRESSING (i.e. “saucy thing”). Solution is S (i.e. “beginning to strip”, i.e. the first letter of “strip”) followed by A LAD (i.e. “a boy”) and DRESSING (i.e. “doing otherwise” – in the context of the clue, one dressing would be the opposite of one stripping).

3. Island, a short distance (4)

Answer: INCH. Solution satisfies a Scottish or Irish word for an “island”, and “a short distance”.

4. Sat on Titanic so agitated, prepare for a battle! (6,8)

Answer: ACTION STATIONS (i.e. “prepare for a battle!”). “Agitated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SAT ON TITANIC SO.

5. In Nepal, a meteor hit (3)

Answer: LAM (i.e. “hit”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: NEPA(L A M)ETEOR.

7. Original ode’s first up for poet (4)

Answer: Wilfred OWEN (i.e. “poet”). Solution is NEW (i.e. “original”) followed by O (i.e. “ode’s first”), which are then reversed (indicated by “up”, this being a down clue), like so: O-WEN.

8. One seeing English tree, it overlooking cape (10)

Answer: EYEWITNESS (i.e. “one seeing”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by YEW (i.e. “tree”), then IT, which are all placed above or “overlooking” (again, this being a down clue) NESS (i.e. a headland or “cape”), like so: E-YEW-IT-NESS.

9. Party bringing leaders of neighbouring nations into prominence (3,5)

Answer: HEN NIGHT (i.e. “party”). Solution is N and N (i.e. “leaders of neighbouring nations”, i.e. the initial letters of “neighbouring” and “nations”) which is placed “into” HEIGHT (i.e. “prominence”), likes so: HE(N-N)IGHT. Another good ‘un.

10. Extraordinary female made up new word where Arabic spoken (6,5)

Answer: WONDER WOMAN (i.e. “extraordinary female”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “made up”) of NEW WORD followed by OMAN (i.e. “where Arabic spoken”).

11. Protected pigs ultimately led there to be slaughtered (9)

Answer: SHELTERED (i.e. “protected”). Solution is S (i.e. “pigs ultimately”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “slaughtered”) of LED THERE.

12. Little jumper, fine top (4)

Answer: ROOF (i.e. “top”). Solution is ROO (i.e. “little jumper”, as in a baby kangaroo) followed by F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine”).

13. Together in neatly arranged houses (8)

Answer: COMBINED (i.e. “together”). Solution is IN which is “housed” within COMBED (i.e. “neatly”), like so: COMB(IN)ED.

19. Lit up at dinnertime, darling goes in to eat (8)

Answer: FLAMBEED (i.e. “lit up at dinnertime”). Solution is LAMB (i.e. “darling”) which “goes in” FEED (i.e. “to eat”), like so: F(LAMB)EED.

21. Identical daughter gets hold of bandage finally for wound (6)

Answer: TWINED (i.e. “wound”). Solution is TWIN D (i.e. “identical daughter” – D being a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) which “gets hold of” E (i.e. “bandage finally”, i.e. the last letter of “bandage”), like so: TWIN-(E)-D.

22. Inspired by rock, style of music to perform – that’s for dropouts? (4,4)

Answer: TRAP DOOR (i.e. “that’s for dropouts”). Solution is RAP (i.e. “style of music”) and DO (i.e. “to perform”) which is placed in or “inspired by” TOR (i.e. “rock”), like so: T(RAP-DO)OR. Another clue that scans rather well.

23. Weariest when travelling, in a kind of way (2,2,4)

Answer: AS IT WERE (i.e. “in a kind of way”). “When travelling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WEARIEST.

28. Mean knock? (7,7)

Answer: BATTING AVERAGE. In cricket, a “knock” is a batsman’s score in a single innings, while “mean” is another word for “average”).

29. Ecclesiastical governors the chief enemy in conclusion (8)

Answer: THEARCHY (i.e. “ecclesiastical governors”). Solution is THE followed by ARCH (i.e. “chief”) and Y (i.e. “enemy in conclusion”, i.e. the last letter of “enemy”).

30. English town succeeded before the French city (2,6)

Answer: ST HELENS (i.e. “English town”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) followed by THE and LENS (i.e. “French city”).

32. Singer ending in club like so, for enjoyable party (5,8)

Answer: BASSO PROFUNDO (i.e. “singer” – never heard of him #lamejoke). Solution is B (i.e. “ending in club”, i.e. the last letter of “club”) followed by AS (i.e. “like”), then SO, then PRO (i.e. “for”), then FUN (i.e. “enjoyable”) and DO (i.e. “party”), like so: B-AS-SO-PRO-FUN-DO.

33. Match fit, perhaps, though no start in store (8)

Answer: BOUTIQUE (i.e. “store”). Solution is BOUT (i.e. “match”) followed by PIQUE (i.e. “fit, perhaps”) which has had its initial letter removed (indicated by “though no start”), like so: BOUT-IQUE. For some reason this took bloody ages for me to get, given only the even letters.

35. Essay on wheat, book totally factual (6,5)

Answer: GOSPEL TRUTH (i.e. “totally factual”). Solution is GO (i.e. “[to] essay”) followed by SPELT (i.e. an inferior variety of “wheat”) and then RUTH (i.e. “book”, as in one of the books of the Old Testament). A comparatively tough clue, this.

37. Curiosity – artist needs it to read between the lines? (6)

Answer: RARITY (i.e. “curiosity”). Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) followed by IT which is placed “between” RY (i.e. “the lines”, as in a recognised abbreviation of “railway”), like so: RA-R(IT)Y.

38. Hot stuff, with nothing in court case being vulgar (10)

Answer: LAVATORIAL (i.e. “vulgar”). Solution is LAVA (i.e. “hot stuff”) followed by O (i.e. “nothing”) which has been placed “in” TRIAL (i.e. “court case”), like so: LAVA-T(O)RIAL.

40. Details I infer scattered around page on book (4,5)

Answer: FINE PRINT (i.e. “details”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “scattered”) of I INFER which is placed “around” P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”), and then followed by NT (i.e. “book”, specifically the New Testament), like so: FINE(P)RI-NT.

42. Criminal comedian admitting beaten, finally (8)

Answer: GANGSTER (i.e. “criminal”). Solution is GAGSTER (i.e. “comedian”) “admitting” N (i.e. “beaten, finally”, i.e. the last letter of “beaten”), like so: GA(N)GSTER.

44. Distract team with song (9)

Answer: SIDETRACK (i.e. “distract”). Solution is SIDE (i.e. “team”) followed by TRACK (i.e. “song”).

45. A bit of water and a second, neither quite finding sea (8)

Answer: ADRIATIC (i.e. “sea”). Solution is A DRIP (i.e. “a bit of water”) “and” A TICK (i.e. “a second”), both of which have their last letters removed (indicated by “neither quite”), like so: A-DRI-A-TIC.

50. Dish – or pot? (4)

Answer: HASH. Solution satisfies both “dish” and “pot”, as in hashish.

51. Sculptor’s piece in pieces! (4)

Answer: BUST. Solution satisfies “sculptor’s piece” and “in pieces”. I rather liked this one.

52. Something more luxurious, cut (4)

Answer: PLUS (i.e. “something more”). Solution is PLUSH (i.e. “luxurious”) with the final letter removed (indicated by “cut”).

55. A female with nothing up top? (3)

Answer: OAF (i.e. “[having] nothing up top”, as in one having no brain). Solution is A then F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) with O (i.e. “nothing”) placed “up top” of them, this being a down clue, like so: O-A-F. Another I rather liked.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1380

It seems we have an easier puzzle to round off the Bank Holiday weekend, though there were a handful of tricky buggers to contend with. Still, not a bad one, and no repeats! As ever, you’ll find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

If you have an old Times Jumbo Cryptic knocking around with a few gaps then my Just For Fun page might help you. If horror fiction is your bag then my Reviews page might interest. To give you a flavour of what that is all about, you’ll shortly see a review of Best New Horror 5 following this post.

And so to the solutions. I’ll be back in a jiffy!

LP

Across clues

1. Eastern country’s occupied by cold rodents (11)

Answer: CHINCHILLAS (i.e. “rodents”). Solution is CHINA’S (i.e. “eastern country’s”) being “occupied” by CHILL (i.e. “cold”), like so: CHIN(CHILL)AS.

7. Being terribly sinful, ceded, having no-one else to blame? (4-7)

Answer: SELF-INDUCED (i.e. “having no-one else to blame”). “Being terribly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SINFUL CEDED.

13. Like the writer existing with aspirations? Wow! (2,1,4,3,7)

Answer: AS I LIVE AND BREATHE. Solution satisfies “like the writer existing with aspirations” – “the writer” indicates this is from the setter’s point of view, so “like the writer existing” becomes AS I LIVE; meanwhile “aspiration” can be another word for breathing – and the exclamatory “Wow!”. A well-worked clue, if a rather clunky explanation.

14. Small statues said to be in old parts of Egypt? (5)

Answer: NOMES, which can mean provinces or departments of Ancient Egypt or modern Greece, i.e. “old parts of Egypt”. “Said to be” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of GNOMES (i.e. “small statues”). This was a new one on me, so score one to my Chambers. Took some finding, though!

15. Port? Buy it when taking course at Oxford (6)

Answer: DIEPPE (i.e. a fishing “port” of northern France). Solution is DIE (i.e. “[to] buy it”) followed by PPE (i.e. “course at Oxford” – specifically Philosophy, Politics and Economics, in case one subject wasn’t enough).

16. Country hollow in which a storage chest is buried (8)

Answer: PAKISTAN (i.e. “country”). Solution is PAN (i.e. a “hollow” in the ground that can collect rainwater) “in which” A and KIST (i.e. “storage chest” up in Scotland or Northern England, though not one I’m familiar with) “is buried”, like so: P(A-KIST)AN.

17. Worker briefly engaged by woman in Muslim territory (7)

Answer: KHANATE (i.e. “Muslim territory”). Solution is HAND (i.e. “worker”) with the final letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and placed in or “engaged by” KATE (i.e. “woman”), like so: K(HAN)ATE.

19. About to enter cult, one has to be tight-lipped (9)

Answer: SECRETIVE (i.e. “tight-lipped”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about”, like you get on email replies) “entering” SECT (i.e. “cult”) and followed by I’VE (i.e. “one has”, i.e. a contraction of “I have”), like so: SEC(RE)T-IVE.

21. Best quality regularly associated with one chum (8)

Answer: ULTIMATE (i.e. “best”). “Regularly” indicates we take every other letter of QUALITY, which is then followed by I (Roman numeral “one”) and MATE (i.e. “chum”), like so: ULT-I-MATE.

23. English theologian introducing a series of stories (4)

Answer: EDDA, the name of two Scandinavian books, the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, the former of which collect together a “series of stories”. Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by DD (i.e. “theologian”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Divinitatis Doctor, or a Doctor of Divinity) and, finally, A, like so: E-DD-A. I have the hundreds of hours spent playing Skyrim to thank for this one. I knew it would be worth it someday.

25. Devices restricting personal freedom in prisons or clubs (5)

Answer: IRONS. Solution satisfies “devices restricting personal freedom in prisons” – as in “clapped in irons” – and “[golf] clubs”.

27. Character who may offer terms to residents? (6)

Answer: LETTER. Solution satisfies “character” – as in one of the letters A-Z – and “who may offer terms to residents” – as in one who lets property.

28. Aura surrounding Conservative, one knowing what will happen in future? (10)

Answer: PRESCIENCE (i.e. “knowing what will happen in future”). Solution is PRESENCE (i.e. “aura”) “surrounding” C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) and I (Roman numeral “one”), like so: PRES(C-I)ENCE.

30. Captive in small room in home counties in terminal situation (8)

Answer: ENSLAVED (i.e. “captive”). Solution is LAV (i.e. “small room”, specifically a recognised abbreviation for a lavatory, sometimes called the smallest room in the house) which is placed “in” SE (i.e. “home counties”, i.e. the South East of England), which is in turn placed “in” END (i.e. “terminal situation”), like so: EN(S(LAV)E)D.

31. Dicky is mad on oratory – it involves listening to many a star (5,9)

Answer: RADIO ASTRONOMY (i.e. “it involves listening to many a star”). “Dicky” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS MAD ON ORATORY.

34. Gutted economist in action of castigating the abolition of gold standard? (14)

Answer: DEMONETISATION (i.e. “the abolition of gold standard”). Solution is ET (i.e. “gutted economist”, i.e. the word “economist” with all its middle letters removed), placed “in” DEMONISATION (i.e. “action of castigating”), like so: DEMON(ET)ISATION.

35. Blissful course regularly taken by one female in charge (8)

Answer: BEATIFIC (i.e. “blissful”). Solution is BEAT (i.e. “course regularly taken”, often in relation to police officers) followed “by” I (Roman numeral “one”) and F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) and IC (ditto “in charge”), like so: BEAT-I-F-IC.

38. Expert’s treatise shows what can help a handicapped person (10)

Answer: PROSTHESIS (i.e. “what can help a handicapped person”). Solution is PRO’S (i.e. “expert’s”) followed by THESIS (i.e. “treatise”).

40. Secret agent, good person in trouble (6)

Answer: MOLEST (i.e. “[to] trouble”). Solution is MOLE (i.e. “secret agent”) followed by ST (i.e. “good person”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “saint”). This was the last clue I solved, and I only got it once I’d finally convinced myself it really, really, really wasn’t going to be “covert”. Well played, setter.

41. Christmas month has gold ornamentation (5)

Answer: DÉCOR (i.e. “ornamentation”). Solution is DEC (i.e. “Christmas month”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “December”) followed by OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry, often used by crossword setters in their solutions).

43. Regular competition – waste of time (4)

Answer: EVEN (i.e. “regular”). Solution is EVENT (i.e. “competition”) with the T removed (i.e. “waste of time”, T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

44. Where fares are lowest always in part of journey (8)

Answer: STEERAGE (i.e. “where fares are lowest [on a passenger ship]”). Solution is E’ER (i.e. “always”, specifically a poetic contraction of “ever”) placed “in” STAGE (i.e. “part of journey”), like so: ST(EER)AGE.

45. Most superior fellows looking down on a bit of St John’s Wood? (9)

Answer: OVERLORDS. Solution satisfies “most superior fellows” and “looking down on a bit of St John’s Wood”, i.e. OVER LORDS [cricket ground].

48. Lady’s indication – test 75% complete (7)

Answer: SIGNORA (i.e. “lady” in Italian). Solution is SIGN (i.e. “indication”) followed by the first three letters of ORAL (i.e. “test 75% complete”) like so: SIGN-ORA.

49. Schools with prime requirement for ticking box (3,5)

Answer: TEA CHEST (i.e. “box”). Solution is TEACHES (i.e. “schools”) followed by T (i.e. “prime requirement for ticking”, i.e. the first letter of “ticking”).

50. Go astray, as one type of bird around November (6)

Answer: WANDER (i.e. “go astray”). Solution is WADER (i.e. “one type of bird”) placed “around” N (i.e. “November” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: WA(N)DER.

53. Gas from individual on the east side of Australia (5)

Answer: OZONE (i.e. “gas”). Solution is ONE (i.e. “individual”) placed after or, this being an across clue, “on the east side of” OZ (i.e. “Australia”), like so: OZ-ONE.

54. Novel performance of warder in prison show? (3,4,2,3,5)

Answer: THE TURN OF THE SCREW, a  short “novel” by Henry James. Solution also satisfies “performance” – or TURN – “of warder in prison” – or SCREW.

55. Secretarial skill sorting out thorny pages (11)

Answer: STENOGRAPHY (i.e. “secretarial skill”). “Sorting out” indicates anagram. Solution is anagram of THORNY PAGES.

56. Odour about troublemaker socialist oblivious to others? (4-7)

Answer: SELF-CENTRED (i.e. “oblivious to others”). Solution is SCENT (i.e. “odour”) placed “about” ELF (i.e. “troublemaker”) and followed by RED (i.e. “socialist”), like so: S(ELF)CENT-RED.

Down clues

1. Secret tribe doomed to come to premature end (11)

Answer: CLANDESTINE (i.e. “secret”). Solution is CLAN (i.e. “tribe”) followed by DESTINED (i.e. “doomed”) with the last letter trimmed (indicated by “to come to premature end”), like so: CLAN-DESTINE.

2. This person’s plan to ban a chemical (5)

Answer: IMIDE (i.e. “chemical”). Solution is I’M (i.e. “this person’s” – ignore the misleading possessive ‘s and read it as “this person is”) followed by IDEA (i.e. “plan”) with the A removed (indicated by “to ban a”), like so: IM-IDE. I knew this would end in IDE, but needed to dip into the dictionary to get the second letter.

3. Charlie, unconventional character in fast-food outlet (7)

Answer: CHIPPIE (i.e. a “fast-food outlet” serving fish and chips). Solution is C (“Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by HIPPIE (i.e. “unconventional character”).

4. Day when one meets fate, not insignificant! (4)

Answer: IDES, which is the middle of the month (more or less). Anyway, “day”. Solution is I (Roman numeral “one”) followed by DESTINY (i.e. “fate”) once TINY has been removed (indicated by “not insignificant”), like so: I-DES.

5. Property managers providing light over a toilet (4,6)

Answer: LAND AGENTS (i.e. “property managers”). Solution is LAND (i.e. “[to] light [upon]”) placed “over” – this being a down clue – A and GENTS (i.e. “toilet”).

6. Military personnel unessential but in action (14)

Answer: SUBLIEUTENANTS (i.e. “military personnel”). “In action” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of UNESSENTIAL BUT.

7. Place in which to find provider of milk and soft mineral (8)

Answer: STEATITE, another name for soapstone (i.e. “soft mineral”). Solution is SITE (i.e. “place”) “in which is found” TEAT (i.e. “provider of milk”), like so: S(TEAT)ITE. One I got from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

8. Reveal the French fashion (3,2)

Answer: LET ON (i.e. “reveal”). Solution is LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the French for “the” being LE) followed by TON (i.e. “fashion” – I’ve seen this usage before in crossword clues, but I can’t visualise a sentence where “ton” is used to mean fashion).

9. Kit ceases to work – things essential for some sporting competitors (3,6)

Answer: ICE SKATES (i.e. “things essential for some sporting competitors”). “To work” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of KIT CEASES.

10. Renunciation of study, learner of highest standard being upset (6)

Answer: DENIAL (i.e. “renunciation”). Solution is DEN (i.e. “study” as in a room rather than the act of studying) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) and AI (i.e. “of highest standard”, a play on A1 using the Roman numeral I) which are reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: DEN-IA-L.

11. COBRA when lacking support gets this military supremo initially (10,7)

Answer: COMMANDING OFFICER (i.e. “military supremo”). Solution is derived by taking BRA away from COBRA (indicated by “when lacking support”), leaving CO. “Initially” indicates this should be expanded to obtain the solution.

12. Some French person half cut off at cathedral site, showing hopelessness (11)

Answer: DESPERATELY (i.e. “showing helplessness”). Solution is DES (i.e. “some French”, the French word “des” translates as “of the”), followed by PER (i.e. “person half cut”, specifically cutting away the second half), then AT and then ELY (i.e. “cathedral site” being the cathedral city of Ely).

18. Bound to swallow untruths, most typical of a lass? (8)

Answer: GIRLIEST (i.e. “most typical of a lass”). Solution is GIRT, the past participle of gird (i.e. “bound”) “swallowing” LIES (i.e. “untruths”), like so: GIR(LIES)T.

20. Spoil plans – for self-catering facility at Christmas? (4,8,5)

Answer: COOK SOMEONE’S GOOSE. Solution satisfies “spoil plans”. Within the context of the clue, this could for example involve cooking someone else’s Christmas goose. You get the idea.

22. Holy woman’s heartless alien from another planet! (6)

Answer: MARIAN, a devotee of Mary (i.e. “holy woman”). Solution is MARTIAN (i.e. “alien from another planet”) with the middle letter T removed (indicated by “heartless”).

24. Final bit of letter I sent off offered a smart reply (8)

Answer: RIPOSTED (i.e. “offered a smart reply”). Solution is R (i.e. “final bit of letter”, i.e. the final letter of “letter”) followed by I then POSTED (i.e. “sent off”).

26. Get stuck in street with any number jammed in an entrance (8)

Answer: STAGNATE (i.e. “get stuck”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”) with N (i.e. “any number”) “jammed in” A GATE (i.e. “an entrance”), like so: ST-A-G(N)ATE.

29. Suppress the employees or fail to take action? (3,2,4,5)

Answer: SIT ON ONES HANDS. Solution satisfies “suppress the employees” and “fail to take action”.

32. Attempts outside to dispose of written agreements (8)

Answer: TREATIES (i.e. “written agreements”). Solution is TRIES (i.e. “attempts”) placed “outside” of EAT (i.e. “to dispose of”, albeit a little weakly), like so: TR(EAT)IES.

33. Aim revealed by creature with venom and anger (6)

Answer: ASPIRE (i.e. “aim”). Solution is ASP (i.e. “creature with venom”) followed by IRE (i.e. “anger”).

34. So is spender suffering mental problems? (11)

Answer: DEPRESSIONS (i.e. “mental problems”). “Suffering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SO IS SPENDER.

36. Port’s rough and ready, we hear? Bottle stoppers may have been this (11)

Answer: CORKSCREWED (i.e. “bottle stoppers may have been this”). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of “Cork” (i.e. a “port” in Ireland) made possessive with ‘s, and “crude” (i.e. “rough and ready”).

37. Feel so rum, distraught after end of affair – and maybe this? (10)

Answer: REMORSEFUL. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “distraught”) of FEEL SO RUM which is placed “after” R (i.e. “end of affair”, i.e. the last letter of “affair”). Within the context of the clue, one may feel remorseful after the end of an affair.

39. Remover of spear carrier, short performer on stage? (9)

Answer: EXTRACTOR (i.e. “remover”). Solution is EXTRA (i.e. “spear carrier” – a nickname for a minor acting part) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and followed by ACTOR (i.e. “performer on stage”), like so: EXTR-ACTOR. A very well worked clue.

42. A few lines in newspaper on fellow enthralling a country (8)

Answer: PARAGUAY (i.e. “country”). Solution is PARA (i.e. “a few lines in newspaper”, specifically a recognised informal abbreviation of “paragraph”) followed by GUY (i.e. “fellow”) which includes or “enthrals” A, like so: PARA-GU(A)Y.

46. Affair’s trouble, after upsetting one child? (7)

Answer: LIAISON (i.e. “affair”). Solution is AIL (i.e. “trouble”) which is reversed (indicated by “after upsetting”, this being a down clue) and followed by I (Roman numeral “one”) and SON (i.e. “child”), like so: LIA-I-SON.

47. Manage without, because of self-esteem (6)

Answer: FOREGO (i.e. “manage without”). Solution is FOR (i.e. “because of”) and EGO (i.e. “self-esteem”).

49. Hint about group of countries in affiliation (3-2)

Answer: TIE-UP (i.e. “affiliation”). Solution is TIP (i.e. “hint”) placed “about” EU (i.e. “group of countries”, specifically the European Union), like so: TI(EU)P.

51. Some are rude about Renaissance painter (5)

Answer: Albrecht DURER (i.e. “Renaissance painter”), and very good he was too – even if his rhino was a little trippy. Anyway, “some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “about” suggests the solution is reversed, like so: A(RE RUD)E.

52. Smart bird getting bottom pinched (4)

Answer: CHIC (i.e. “smart”). Solution is CHICK (i.e. a baby “bird”) with the final letter removed (indicated by “getting bottom pinched”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1379

A slightly tougher one this week with a few more exotic solutions, but at least they’re actual words. There is another repeat, which I’ll grump about later, and there are a couple of niggly clues I’d take issue with. All in all, though, this is another good ‘un. Question is, what have we in store on Monday? An easy one or a real stinker?

Anyway, blathering aside, you’ll find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. Just a bit of housekeeping before we begin. If you’d like solutions to recent other Times Jumbo Cryptics, hop over to my Just For Fun page. If horror fiction is your thing, then my Reviews page might pique your interest. I’ll have a review of Best New Horror 5 up once I’ve published Monday’s solution. (Assuming I get that far, obviously.)

Right, here you go. I hope this helps! I’m off to watch Match of the Day.

LP

Across clues

1. Small growths extremely likely to fill small cracks (6)

Answer: POLYPS (i.e. “small growths”). Solution is LY (i.e. “extremely likely”, i.e. the first and last letters of “extremely”) “to fill” POPS (i.e. “small cracks”), like so: PO(LY)PS.

4. Experiences fellow feeling, with English politician at his tablets (10)

Answer: EMPATHISES (i.e. “experiences fellow feeling”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament) then AT HIS and finally ES (i.e. “tablets”, specifically ecstasy tablets), like so: E-MP-AT-HIS-ES.

10. Representing noble of the French state (5)

Answer: DUCAL, which is representative of a duke (i.e. “representing noble”). Solution is DU (i.e. “of the French” – the French for “of the” is “du”) and CAL (i.e. “state”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of California).

14. Criminal female comes in handy with debtor’s notes (9)

Answer: NEFARIOUS (i.e. “criminal”). Solution is NEAR (i.e. “handy”) with F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) “coming in” and then followed by IOUS (i.e. “debtor’s notes”), like so: NE(F)AR-IOUS.

15. Suspect streak in hugely rich sport on wheels (6-7)

Answer: ROLLER-SKATING (i.e. “sport on wheels”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “suspect”) of STREAK placed “in” ROLLING (i.e. “hugely rich”), like so: ROLL(ERSKAT)ING.

16. Ace is away boxing, causing worry (7)

Answer: AGONISE (i.e. “worry”). Solution is A (i.e. an “ace” in cards) followed by GONE (i.e. “away”) which is “boxing” IS, like so: A-GON(IS)E.

17. Mentioned poet providing woman’s undergarment (7)

Answer: SPENCER (i.e. “woman’s undergarment” – not one that rings a bell. I’d do a Google Image search but… no). Solution is also a homophone (indicated by “mentioned”) of sixteenth century “poet” Edmund Spenser, who is responsible for all manner of screwy alternative spellings that litter modern-day dictionaries. To be fair, setters have largely resisted using these in their grids.

18. Umpteenth rally more than enough to reveal rivet (7)

Answer: ENTHRAL (i.e. “[to] rivet”). “More than enough to reveal” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: UMPTE(ENTH RAL)LY.

19. Swimmers should avoid this Iberian armed ship (10,3-2-3)

Answer: PORTUGUESE MAN-OF-WAR. Solution satisfies “swimmers should avoid this” – a proper nasty-looking jellyfish – and “Iberian armed ship” – Iberia describing Spain and Portugal and man-of-war describing a warship. I think the solution to this one sprang to mind from an episode of QI I’d watched some years ago. It’s weird what I remember sometimes.

21. Originally the supreme autocrat, leader of Russia (4)

Answer: TSAR (i.e. “leader of Russia”). Solution is TSA (i.e. “originally the supreme autocrat”, i.e. the first letters of “The”, “Supreme” and “Autocrat”) and R (i.e. “leader of Russia”, i.e. the first letter of “Russia”). A nifty bit of recursion there.

24. Acclaim legend about fencing clubs (5)

Answer: ECLAT (i.e. applause or “acclaim”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in card games) being “fenced” by TALE (i.e. “legend”) which is reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: E(C)LAT. (Sighs.) We’re barely a third of the way into the year and this is already the third time this solution has appeared, popping up in puzzles 1359 and 1374. Evidently this a go-to word for several setters. Or, more likely, this is the result of the grid-constructing software they’re using.

26. Starving old American pursues crow (8)

Answer: RAVENOUS (i.e. “starving”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and US (i.e. “American”) following or “pursuing” RAVEN (i.e. “crow”), like so: RAVEN-O-US.

27. Shuffles fish during drinks (5-3)

Answer: SHAKE-UPS (i.e. “shuffles”). Solution is HAKE (i.e. “fish”) placed “during” SUPS (i.e. “drinks”), like so: S(HAKE)UPS.

29. Graduate, lout and English guy cross fine sea area (3,2,6)

Answer: BAY OF BENGAL (i.e. “sea area”). Solution is BA (i.e. “graduate”, specifically a Bachelor of Arts) followed by YOB (i.e. “lout”), ENG (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and AL (i.e. “guy”, as in a man’s name) wrapped around or “crossing” F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine”), like so: BA-YO(F)B-ENG-AL.

30. The most timid avoid eastern unit in national park (11)

Answer: YELLOWSTONE (i.e. a “national park” situated (mostly) in Wyoming, USA). Solution is YELLOWEST (i.e. “the most timid”) with the second E removed (indicated by “avoid eastern” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) and followed by ONE (i.e. “unit”), like so: YELLOWST-ONE.

32. Rodney plugs terrible sweetener (6,5)

Answer: GOLDEN SYRUP (i.e. “sweetener”). “Terrible” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RODNEY PLUGS.

35. Old warship had go and turned unexpectedly (11)

Answer: DREADNOUGHT (i.e. “old warship”). “Unexpectedly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HAD GO and TURNED.

37. Tea during the present time? That’s definitely out (2,6)

Answer: NO CHANCE (i.e. “that’s definitely out”). Solution is CHA (i.e. “tea”) placed “during” NONCE (i.e. “the present time”), like so: NO(CHA)NCE.

39. Where film would be kept secretly (2,6)

Answer: IN CAMERA. Solution satisfies “where film would be kept” and “secretly”.

40. Time when Powell has gained power, replacing Nationalist (5)

Answer: EPOCH (i.e. “time”). Solution is ENOCH “Powell” with the N (a recognised abbreviation of “Nationalist”) “replaced” by P (ditto “power”). A rather well-worked clue.

43. Pupils no longer returning after a punishment (4)

Answer: ASBO, an acronym for Anti-Social Behaviour Order (i.e. “punishment”). Solution is OBS (i.e. “pupils no longer”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “Old Boy” which is then made plural) and A placed “after”, then the whole lot reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: A-SBO.

44. Spare no effort to play the pipes at full volume (4,3,3,3,5)

Answer: PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS. Solution satisfies “spare no effort” and “to play the [organ] pipes at full volume”.

47. Pretend deal includes song (7)

Answer: PLAYACT (i.e. “pretend”). Solution is PACT (i.e. “deal”) “including” LAY (i.e. “song” – one of the word’s many meanings), like so: P(LAY)ACT.

48. New displays in gallery the lady’s backing with dread almost (7)

Answer: REHANGS (i.e. “new displays in gallery” – a bit of a weak ‘un for me, unless I’m missing some gallery lingo somewhere). Solution is HER (i.e. “the lady”) reversed (indicated by “backing”) and followed by ANGS (i.e. “dread almost” – i.e. the word “angst” with the last letter removed), like so: REH-ANGS.

50. Ring about gunmen casing home, blow it! (7)

Answer: OCARINA (i.e. “blow it”, as in a musical instrument). Solution is O (i.e. “ring”) then CA (i.e. “about”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) then RA (i.e. “gunmen”, specifically the Royal Artillery) “casing” IN (i.e. “[at] home”), like so: O-CA-R(IN)A. What’s that you say? Did I get this from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time?
(Looks to camera.)

51. Priest in church has men close to pulpit for Albert, say (6,7)

Answer: PRINCE CONSORT (i.e. “Albert, say”). Solution is PR (a recognised abbreviation of “priest”) followed by IN, then CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England), then CONS (i.e. “has [somebody]”), then OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the army) and finally T (i.e. “close to pulpit”, i.e. the last letter of “pulpit”), like so: PR-IN-CE-CONS-OR-T. Phew!

52. Main man eats one like some Glasgow chocolate bars? (4-5)

Answer: DEEP-FRIED (i.e. “like some Glasgow chocolate bars”). Solution is DEEP (i.e. “main”, both words for the sea) followed by FRED (i.e. “man”) “eating” I (Roman numeral “one”), like so: DEEP-FR(I)ED.

53. Poles brought in money for viola (5)

Answer: PANSY (i.e. “viola”, as in the flower rather than the musical instrument). Solution is PAY (i.e. “money”) with NS (i.e. “poles”, i.e. recognised abbreviations of north and south) “brought in”, like so: PA(NS)Y.

54. Busy Italians accepting revolutionary firm’s withdrawn (10)

Answer: ANTISOCIAL (i.e. “withdrawn”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “busy”) of ITALIANS “accepting” CO (i.e. “firm”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “company”) which is reversed (indicated by “revolutionary”), like so: ANTIS(OC)IAL.

55. Plucky one locked in iron enclosure (6)

Answer: FEISTY (i.e. “plucky”). Solution is I (Roman numeral “one”) placed between or “locked in” FE (i.e. chemical symbol for “iron”) and STY (i.e. “enclosure”), like so: FE-(I)-STY.

Down clues

1. Long drink filled with very soft fruit (9)

Answer: PINEAPPLE (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is PINE (i.e. “[to] long”) followed by ALE (i.e. “drink”) filled with PP (i.e. “very soft”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of pianissimo), like so: PINE-A(PP)LE.

2. Firefly Leo and I manoeuvred, making excellent time (4,2,5)

Answer: LIFE OF RILEY (i.e. “excellent time”). “Manoeuvred” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FIREFLY LEO and I.

3. Border stitch that is used at the front (7)

Answer: PURLIEU. My Chambers has this everyday word as “in plural, borders or outskirts”, so this clue feels a little cheaty.  Why “border” and not “borders”? Anyway, the solution is PURL (i.e. “stitch”) followed by IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. … well, i.e.) and U (i.e. “used at the front”, i.e. the first letter of “used”).

5. Lawmaker takes a stroll, avoiding Yankee (5)

Answer: MOSES (i.e. “lawmaker” – I’ll let the internet argue that one among themselves). Solution is MOSEYS (i.e. “takes a stroll”) with the Y removed (indicated by “avoiding Yankee”, being Y in the phonetic alphabet).

6. Two kinds of screen for part of Heathrow (3,8)

Answer: AIR TERMINAL. Solution satisfies “two kinds of screen” – as in two meanings of the word “screen” (AIR as in to screen or broadcast something; TERMINAL as in a computer screen – another cheat for me as a terminal represents the computer not the screen… anyway, world keeps spinning) – and “part of Heathrow”.

7. Batter felt raunchy, making good score (4-7)

Answer: HALF-CENTURY (i.e. a “good score” in cricket or one’s age). “Batter” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FELT RAUNCHY.

8. Vow to give up fade after last of hooks (5,3)

Answer: SWEAR OFF (i.e. “vow to give up”). Solution is WEAR OFF (i.e. “fade”) placed “after” S (i.e. “last of hooks”, i.e. the last letter of “hooks”), like so: S-WEAROFF.

9. Englishman and SAS chase criminal around north (9)

Answer: SASSENACH (an often derogatory term for an “Englishman” all the way up there in Scotland.) Solution is SAS followed by an anagram (indicated by “criminal”) of CHASE which is placed around N (a recognised abbreviation of “north”), like so: SAS-SE(N)ACH.

10. Note conductor’s deficiency (6)

Answer: DEARTH (i.e. “deficiency”). Solution is D (i.e. “[musical] note”) followed by EARTH (i.e. “conductor”).

11. Like artwork in Fifty Shades of Grey? (11)

Answer: CHIAROSCURO, which is a black-and-white painting, hence the clue. If I’m honest I got this from the publisher of ChiZine magazine, but I was rather pleased to find it also fitted the clue. Anyway, if you’d like to see a really good example of chiaroscuro at work, check out Rudolph Stingel’s Untitled (After Sam) on Google Images. I was damn-near hypnotised by this painting (yes, it’s a painting) when I visited the Whitney Museum of American Art a few years ago. Absolutely stunning. Anyway, I digress.

12. It’s acceptable for one article to appear between lines (5)

Answer: LEGAL (i.e. “it’s acceptable”). Solution is EG (i.e. “for one” – read as “for example”) and A (i.e. “article”) “appearing between” L and L (recognised abbreviation of “line” pluralised), like so: L-(EG-A)-L.

13. On radio, what makes one stud’s leading part? (12)

Answer: FOREQUARTERS, which is the front portion of a side of meat (i.e. “leading part”). “On radio” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of “four quarters”, which I’m taking to mean “a limb with adjacent parts of the trunk, especially of the dismembered body of an executed person, or of an animal carcass”. Collectively they’d make “one stud”, I guess. Except for the head. Whatever. I’m seldom a fan of these wishy-washy clues, if I’m honest.

20. It recalled silver in highly uncivilised state (8)

Answer: SAVAGERY (i.e. “uncivilised state”). Solution is AS (i.e. “it”, though I can’t immediately think of a good example of using one instead of the other) reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and followed by AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) placed “in” VERY (i.e. “highly”), like so: SA-V(AG)ERY.

22. Admire scripture cult absorbing pressure (7)

Answer: RESPECT (i.e. “admire”). Solution is RE (i.e. “scripture”, i.e. Religious Education) followed by SECT (i.e. “cult”) which has “absorbed” P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”), like so: RE-S(P)ECT.

23. Second opener for Kent is to run sports venue (3,5)

Answer: SKI SLOPE (i.e. “sports venue”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by K (i.e. “opener for Kent”, i.e. the first letter of “Kent”) then IS then LOPE (i.e. “to run”).

25. Cloths in which to wrap up oily cheeses? (8)

Answer: TAFFETAS (i.e. “cloths”). Solution is FAT (i.e. “oily”) reversed (indicated by “up”, this being a down clue) and followed by FETAS (i.e. “cheeses”), like so: TAF-FETAS.

28. Obscene call for former dancing girl (8)

Answer: BLUEBELL (i.e. “former dancing girl” – a quick Google revealed that the Bluebell Girls were a dance troupe during the mid-twentieth century). Solution is BLUE (i.e. “obscene”) followed by BELL (i.e. “[to] call”).

29. Almost clear off one initially aggressive plant (7)

Answer: BEGONIA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is BEGONE (i.e. “clear off”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and followed by I (Roman numeral “one”) and A (i.e. “initially aggressive”, i.e. the first letter of “aggressive”), like so: BEGON-I-A.

31. Authority in east London built square (3-9)

Answer: OLD-FASHIONED (i.e. “square”). Solution is OLD (i.e. “authority in east London”, i.e. the word HOLD with the H dropped) followed by FASHIONED (i.e. “built”). This took me way longer to solve than it ought to have done. Well played, setter.

33. Late study of lutetium, copper and boron quota (11)

Answer: LUCUBRATION (i.e. “late study”, i.e. what most students do the night before their exam). Solution is LU (chemical symbol of “lutetium”), CU (ditto “copper”) and B (ditto again “boron”) followed by RATION (i.e. “quota”). Nice word. I like it.

34. Leg reduces impact of aids for sewers (11)

Answer: PINCUSHIONS (i.e. “aids for sewers”). Solution is PIN (i.e. an informal term for “leg”) followed by CUSHIONS (i.e. “reduces impact of”).

35. Confusing enigmatic ad showing oddly attractive quality (11)

Answer: DIAMAGNETIC (i.e. “showing oddly attractive quality”). “Confusing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ENIGMATIC AD.

36. Global subject, say, upset old, old drunk cutting images (11)

Answer: GEOPOLITICS (i.e. “global subject”). Solution is EG (i.e. “say”, as in “for example”) reversed (indicated by “upset”, this being a down clue) and followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”). It’s then followed by O (ditto) and LIT (i.e. “drunk”, or, as Wodehouse would have it, pickled to the gills) placed in PICS (i.e. “images”), like so: GE-O-P(O-LIT)ICS. Convoluted? Yes. Yes it is.

38. Marine arthropods covering hole in one area (9)

Answer: CRUSTACEA (i.e. “marine arthropods”). Solution is CRUST (i.e. “covering”) followed by ACE (i.e. “hole in one”) and A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”).

41. Farming hours now and then on group lines (9)

Answer: HUSBANDRY (i.e. “farming”). Solution is HUS (i.e. “hours now and then”, i.e. every other letter of the word HOURS) followed by BAND (i.e. “group”) and RY (i.e. “lines”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “railway”).

42. Wine inspires latest member of orchestra (8)

Answer: CLARINET (i.e. “member of orchestra”). Solution is CLARET (i.e. “wine”) including or “inspiring” IN (i.e. the “latest”), like so: CLAR(IN)ET.

45. Pinch a bit (7)

Answer: SNAFFLE. Solution satisfies “pinch” – as in to steal – and “a bit” as in a piece of riding gear. I didn’t know that.

46. Religious publication cautious about credit (3,3)

Answer: WAR CRY (i.e. “religious publication” of The Salvation Army). Solution is WARY (i.e. “cautious”) placed “about” CR (a recognised abbreviation of “credit”), like so: WAR(CR)Y.

47. Children’s drink more costly, like some of their books? (3-2)

Answer: POP-UP. Solution satisfies “children’s drink more costly” and “like some [childrens] books”.

49. Hindu workers, 500 in part of Koran (5)

Answer: SUDRA, a member of the fourth and lowest of the great Hindu castes (i.e. “Hindu workers”). Solution is D (Roman numeral “500”) placed “in” SURA (i.e. a chapter or “part of Koran”). Cor, this was a right old trawl through my Chambers!

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1378

A good puzzle this week with a few really well-worked clues and only a handful of exotic solutions. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope they help.

As usual, some housekeeping before we begin. If you’d like solutions for previous puzzles then jump over to my Just For Fun page. If horror fiction is your thing then I have a few Reviews that might take your fancy. I should have a review of Best New Horror 5 coming soon, you lucky people.

Right, I won’t keep you any longer. Here you go.

LP

Across clues

1. Being a good husband to Verity? Or less than faithful? (10,4,3,5)

Answer: ECONOMICAL WITH THE TRUTH. Solution satisfies “being a good husband to Verity” – husbandry can mean economical management, while verity is another word for truth – and “less than faithful”. A rather well worked clue.

13. Something to chew on: setter’s getting stick! (6)

Answer: CUDGEL (i.e. “stick”). Solution is CUD (i.e. “something to chew on”) followed by GEL (i.e. “setter”, as in something that sets).

14. Grass skirts so long? That’s not ringing a bell! (3-1-3)

Answer: RAT-A-TAT. Solution is RAT (i.e. “grass”, as in to rat on someone) “skirting” TA-TA (i.e. “so long”), like so: RA(TATA)T. Within the context of the clue, a “rat-a-tat” would suggest someone has used a door knocker rather than ringing a doorbell.

15. Sink to fill? Revealing plunger perhaps! (8)

Answer: NECKLINE (i.e. “revealing plunger perhaps”, as in garments with a plunging neckline). Solution is NECK (i.e. “[to] sink [a drink]”) followed by LINE (i.e. “to fill”).

16. Variety of cheese they sell excluding one European country (3,10)

Answer: THE SEYCHELLES (i.e. “country”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “variety”) of CHEESE THEY SELL once one of the Es as been removed (indicated by “excluding one European”, E being a recognised abbreviation of “European”).

18. Having pins and needles of metal, hideous but lead free (6)

Answer: TINGLY (i.e. “having pins and needles”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “metal”) followed by UGLY (i.e. “hideous”) with its first letter removed (i.e. “but lead free” – a nice bit of misdirection), like so: TIN-GLY.

20. Ghastly rotter claims to have pinched half of ours (10)

Answer: CADAVEROUS (i.e. “ghastly”). Solution is CAD (i.e. “rotter”) followed by AVERS (i.e. “claims”) which has “pinched” OU (i.e. “[the first] half of ours”), like so: CAD-AVER(OU)S.

21. Song a small bird relies on (2,4,4,2)

Answer: AS TIME GOES BY (i.e. “song”). Solution is A then S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by TIME (i.e. “bird” – both alternative words for a prison sentence) and GOES BY (i.e. “relies on”).

24. Press home point first (6)

Answer: INSIST (i.e. “press”). Solution is IN (i.e. “[at] home”), then S (a recognised abbreviation of “south” – i.e. a “point” on a compass), then IST (i.e. “first”).

26. Succumbing idly, eg in exercises (8)

Answer: YIELDING (i.e. “succumbing”). “Exercises” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IDLY EG IN.

28. Brilliance of one with strong desire to be heard (6)

Answer: LUSTRE (i.e. “brilliance”). “To be heard” indicates the solution is a homophone of LUSTER (i.e. “one with strong desire”).

30. Event in which twin mounts challenge? (3-5,4)

Answer: TWO-HORSE RACE. “Mounts” in this context meaning horses rather than mountains.

31. Minor US oil works producing fuel (10)

Answer: ORIMULSION, which, it says here, is an emulsion of bitumen, water and detergents used as a “fuel”. A new one on me. “Works” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MINOR US OIL.

33. Poison sample found in school square (10)

Answer: STRYCHNINE (i.e. “poison”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “[to] sample”) placed “in” SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”) and followed by NINE (i.e. “square”, specifically 3×3), like so: S(TRY)CH-NINE. Another well-worked clue.

34. Novel keeping (at first) prose writer father in a job (6-6)

Answer: WORKER-PRIEST (i.e. “father in a job”). “Novel” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of K (i.e. “keeping (at first)”) and PROSE WRITER.

35. Brings boat in from Islay, Stornoway (4,2)

Answer: LAYS TO (i.e. “brings boat in”). “From” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: IS(LAY STO)RNOWAY.

37. Spy’s outside tracking account in French, very theatrical (8)

Answer: ACTRESSY (i.e. “theatrical”). Solution is SY (i.e. “spy’s outside”, i.e. the first and last letters of “spy”) following or “tracking” AC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”) and TRES (i.e. “in French, very”, the French for “very” being “tres”), like so: AC-TRES-SY.

38. Always following band parade (6)

Answer: SASHAY (i.e. “[to] parade”). Solution is AY (i.e. “always”, taken here to mean “yes” or “aye” or its alternative form “ay”) “following” SASH (i.e. “band” – think beauty contests), like so: SASH-AY.

40. Back doctor to provide supporting role (6,6)

Answer: SECOND FIDDLE (i.e. “supporting role”). Solution is SECOND (i.e. “[to] back [someone]”) followed by FIDDLE (i.e. “[to] doctor [something]”).

41. Dramatist maybe misses meeting with dignitary (10)

Answer: John GALSWORTHY, who wrote, among other things, The Forsyte Saga (ask your grandparents, kids). Anyway, “dramatist”. Solution is GALS (i.e. “maybe misses” – misses as in unmarried women) followed by WORTHY (i.e. “dignitary”).

43. Hungarian woman’s hat size not oddly recalled more than once (3,3)

Answer: ZSA ZSA Gabor (i.e. “Hungarian woman”). “Not oddly” indicates the solution is hidden in the even letters of HAT SIZE once they have been reversed (indicated by “recalled”). “More than once” then indicates ZSA is repeated. I can’t help but think the setter rather painted themselves into a corner here.

45. Henry buys into risk, after altering his past assessment (7,2,4)

Answer: HISTORY IS BUNK, a quote attributed to Henry Ford (i.e. “Henry…his past assessment”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “altering”) of H (for “Henry”) and BUYS INTO RISK. Taking into account the context of the quote, this is an excellent clue – probably the best since I started posting these solutions.

48. Skin condition initially affecting within month those with spotty faces (8)

Answer: JAUNDICE (i.e. “skin condition”). Solution is A (i.e. “initially affecting”, i.e. the first letter of “affecting”) placed “within” JUN (i.e. “month”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of June) and followed by DICE (i.e. “those with spotty faces”), like so: J(A)UN-DICE. Another good ‘un.

49. A hanky pictured when you hear this? (7)

Answer: ATISHOO. Solution riffs on how this sounds like A TISSUE (i.e. “a hanky”).

51. Saw investigators turning away from corporation (6)

Answer: DICTUM (i.e. “saw”, which can mean a motto or a saying). Solution is CID (i.e. “investigators”, specifically the Criminal Investigation Department of the police force) reversed (indicated by “turning away”) and followed by TUM (i.e. “corporation” – an alternative meaning of the word is the belly), like so: DIC-TUM.

52. Relish holding the k-keys? (8,6,8)

Answer: THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING (i.e. “relish”). Solution riffs on how K is often used to represent a thousand, and how “keys” can be a group of islands.

Down clues

2. Vintage Times brain teaser! (4)

Answer: CRUX (i.e. “brain teaser”). Solution is CRU (i.e. “vintage”) followed by X (i.e. “times”, as in the multiplication symbol).

3. Ailing rhythm’s turning out like a bad dream (13)

Answer: NIGHTMARISHLY (i.e. “like a bad dream”). “Turning out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AILING RHYTHMS.

4. Chap has taken notes in foreign language (7)

Answer: MALTESE (i.e. “foreign language”). Solution is MALE (i.e. “chap”) having “taken” TES (i.e. “notes” as in the doh-ray-me scale – can be spelled TE or TI), like so: MAL(TES)E.

5. Tail short for a dog (3)

Answer: CUR (i.e. “a dog”). Solution is CURT (i.e. “short”) which has been “tailed” (i.e. the last letter removed – to tail something can mean to remove the tail from it).

6. Milky fluids after hours mostly taken with cold dishes (7)

Answer: LATICES, which is the plural form of “latex” (i.e. “milky fluid”). Solution is LATE (i.e. “after hours”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and followed by ICES (i.e. “cold dishes”), like so: LAT-ICES.

7. One collection of books fellow’s muddled up (2,3,6)

Answer: IN THE SADDLE (i.e. “up”, as in someone who is a focus of interest, e.g. “who’s up next?”). Solution is I (Roman numeral “one”) followed by NT (i.e. “collection of books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), then HE’S (i.e. “fellow’s” – think of it more as “the fellow is” rather than the possessive form) and ADDLE (i.e. “muddled” – the past tense appears to be misleading here). Not a classic.

8. Place to stay in Arnhem after November? (5)

Answer: HOTEL (i.e. “place to stay”). Solution riffs on how, in “Arnhem”, the letter H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) is “after” N (“November” in the phonetic alphabet). Another well-worked clue.

9. To give a few is generous (8)

Answer: HANDSOME (i.e. “generous”). Solution is HAND (i.e. “to give”) followed by SOME (i.e. “a few”).

10. Implied some lacking in sophistication turned up (5)

Answer: TACIT (i.e. “implied”). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “turned up” suggests the solution has been reversed, this being a down clue, like so: SOPHIS(TICAT)ION.

11. Swede’s chasing university place – they’re living the high life! (9)

Answer: UPLANDERS (i.e. “they’re living the high life”). Solution is ANDERS (i.e. “Swede”) placed after or “chasing” U and PL (recognised abbreviations of “university” and “place” respectively), like so: U-PL-ANDERS.

12. Impressive hair grip for someone who’s 7? (9,9)

Answer: HANDLEBAR MOUSTACHE. Solution riffs on how someone in the saddle (referenced by “7 [down]”) of a bike would “grip” a handlebar, and how handlebar moustaches are indeed “impressive hair”.

17. Before collecting pants, son wearing synthetic material (5,5)

Answer: EPOXY RESIN (i.e. “synthetic material”). Solution is ERE (i.e. a poetic form of “before”) “collecting” POXY (i.e. “pants”, as in rubbish), then followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) and IN (i.e. “wearing”), like so: E(POXY)RE-S-IN.

19. The latest, if far from the best, careers? (3,4,7,4)

Answer: BAD NEWS TRAVELS FAST. Another riffy clue, this. “The latest” can mean NEWS; “if far from the best” suggests it’s BAD NEWS, while “careers” can mean TRAVELS FAST. Stitch them all together and voila. I’m not often keen on these wishy-washy kind of clues, if I’m honest.

22. Indian restaurants opening for function one’s to hold (9)

Answer: TANDOORIS (i.e. “Indian restaurants”). Solution is DOOR (i.e. “opening”) placed in TAN (i.e. “function”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “tangent”, one of the six trigonometrical functions) and I’S (Roman numeral “one” made possessive), like so: TAN-(DOOR)-IS.

23. Liberal MP laughs wildly, strides exultantly (9)

Answer: GALLUMPHS (i.e. “strides exultantly”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wildly”) of L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) and MP LAUGHS.

25. Pair keeping gold chain round middle of cedar tree (9)

Answer: TORCHWOOD, a variety of “trees” whose wood make rather good torches. Solution is TWO (i.e. “pair”) “keeping” OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry) and CH (a recognised abbreviation of “chain” (a linear measure of 100 feet it says here), then followed by O (i.e. “round”) and D (i.e. “middle of cedar”, i.e. the middle letter of “cedar”), like so: T(OR-CH)WO-O-D. I guess an anagram of Doctor Who would have been too obvious.

27. Welshman, key journalist, gradually faded (9)

Answer: EVANESCED (i.e. “gradually faded”). Solution is EVAN (i.e. “Welshman”) followed by ESC (i.e. “key”, specifically the Escape key situated top-left of a keyboard) and ED (i.e. “journalist”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “editor”).

29. Lycée flics stormed: lots of changes resulting (4,6)

Answer: LIFE CYCLES (i.e. “lots of changes”). “Stormed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LYCEE FLICS.

32. The excitement you get from cutting out certain actions in swimming? (8,5)

Answer: SCISSORS KICKS. Solution satisfies “the excitement [i.e. kicks] you get from cutting” and “certain actions in swimming”.

34. Kind Cockney home raised money for Iranian monument (3,8)

Answer: WAR MEMORIAL (i.e. “monument”). Solution is WARM (i.e. “kind”) followed by OME (i.e. “Cockney home”, i.e. the word “home” after the H has been dropped) reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) and followed by RIAL (i.e. “money for Iranian”), like so: WARM-EMO-RIAL.

36. Irish party men end letter with word of appeal, suddenly emphatic (9)

Answer: SFORZANDO (i.e. “suddenly emphatic” – I had a funny feeling this was going to be a musical term – chalk one to my Chambers Thesaurus for bagging me this one). Solution is SF (i.e. “Irish party”, specifically Sinn Fein) followed by OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the army) then Z (i.e. “end letter”) then AND (i.e. “with”) then O (i.e. “word of appeal”, e.g. in “O Brother Where Art Thou?”), like so: SF-OR-Z-AND-O. Bloody hell.

39. Aussie football team te-heeing rudely (8)

Answer: EIGHTEEN (i.e. “Aussie football team”). “Rudely” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TE-HEEING.

41. Monster crackling finally on line: call terminated early (7)

Answer: GRYPHON (i.e. “monster”). Solution is G (i.e. “crackling finally”, i.e. the last letter of “crackling”) followed by RY (i.e. “line”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “railway”) and PHONE with it’s final letter removed (i.e. “call terminated early”), like so: G-RY-PHON.

42. Aspiring to listen to small forest insect? (5-2)

Answer: WOULD-BE (i.e. “aspiring to”). “To listen” indicates the solution is a homophone of WOOD BEE (i.e. “small forest insect”).

44. Nice friends the last to reappear inappropriately (5)

Answer: AMISS (i.e. “inappropriately”). Solution is AMIS (i.e. “Nice friends” – Nice as in the French city – the French for “friends” is “amis”). “The last to reappear” indicates the last letter of AMIS is repeated.

46. Was crawling, maybe, in front of one’s teacher (5)

Answer: SWAMI (i.e. “[Hindu] teacher”). Solution is SWAM (i.e. “was crawling, maybe”, as in the swimming stroke) followed by I (Roman numeral “one”).

47. Child of five seen in case of strabismus (4)

Answer: QUIN (i.e. “child of five”). A strabismus is a fancy name for a squint, which, as you can see, contains the solution: S(QUIN)T.

50. Gorge above delta, a long way from common (3)

Answer: ODD (i.e. “a long way from common”). Solution is OD (i.e. “gorge”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “overdose”) followed by D (“delta” in the phonetic alphabet).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1377

As suspected, today’s puzzle was a bit of a stinker, but we’ve certainly had worse. Some of the wordplay was a little exhausting to solve but at least the grid wasn’t plugged with umpteen dead people, plants and musical terms. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them.

As usual, some housekeeping before we begin: if you’d like solutions for previous Times Jumbo Cryptics, jump over to my Just For Fun page. If you have a soft spot for horror fiction, my Reviews page might have something of interest.

Right, I won’t keep you any longer. Enjoy! I’m off to watch Game of Thrones.

LP

Across clues

1. Large rat goes around, one providing diversion (9)

Answer: DEFLECTOR (i.e. “one providing diversion”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) with DEFECTOR (i.e. “rat”) “going around”, like so: DEF(L)ECTOR.

6. Publisher rebuffed piece of writing that’s rot (13)

Answer: DECOMPOSITION (i.e. “rot”). Solution is ED (i.e. “publisher”, specifically an abbreviation of “editor” – a bit of a stretch in my less-than-humble opinion, but we’ll let it slide) reversed (indicated by “rebuffed”) and followed by COMPOSITION (i.e. “piece of writing”), like so: DE-COMPOSITION.

13. As some say, Dorothy or Charlie’s coat (5)

Answer: PARKA (i.e. “coat”). “As some say” indicates the solution is a homophone of “Parker”, surname of Dorothy (the poet) and Charlie (the jazz saxophonist – fans of John Connolly may suggest otherwise).

14. One’s repeated no fun getting drunk – as these are (9)

Answer: INFUSIONS (i.e. “drunk – as these are”). “Getting drunk” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I’S and I’S (i.e. “one’s repeated”, as in the Roman numeral – ignoring the misleading apostrophe) and NO FUN.

15. Retired flier delaying one achievement (7)

Answer: EXPLOIT (i.e. a deed or “achievement”). Solution is EX-PILOT (i.e. “retired flier”) with the I knocked back a couple of notches (indicated by “delaying one”, as in the Roman numeral).

16. Rascal adapts ancient game without hesitation in book (6,6,7,3)

Answer: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (i.e. a “book” by John Le Carré). Solution is TINKER (i.e. “rascal”) then TAILORS (i.e. “adapts”) followed by OLD (i.e. “ancient”) and I SPY (i.e. “game”) placed around or “without” ER (i.e. “hesitation”), like so: TINKER-TAILORS-OLD-I-(ER)-SPY. A rather well-worked clue.

18. Cricket side with test location for players (2-6)

Answer: ON-SCREEN (i.e. “location for players”). Solution is ON (i.e. “cricket side”, sometimes referred to as leg side) followed by SCREEN (i.e. “test” – as in how certain things are screened for suitability on things like phone-ins).

20. Worry about old figure producing plant hydrocarbon (8)

Answer: CAROTENE (i.e. “plant hydrocarbon”). Solution is CARE (i.e. “worry”) placed “about” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and TEN (i.e. “figure”), like so: CAR(O-TEN)E. One I had to look up, as I couldn’t get past seeing “gasoline” given the letters _A_O_E_E.

21. Deliberately hands round a board game (5)

Answer: LARGO, a musical term meaning broad and slow (i.e. “deliberately”). Solution is L and R (i.e. “hands”, as in recognised abbreviations of “left” and “right”) placed “round” A and then followed by GO (i.e. “a board game”), like so: L(A)R-GO.

23. Seat in empty gallery likely to snap? (6)

Answer: GRUMPY (i.e. “likely to snap”). Solution is RUMP (i.e. “seat”) placed in G and Y (i.e. “empty gallery”, i.e. the word “gallery” with all its middle letters removed), like so: G(RUMP)Y.

24. One’s charged for not retreating (6)

Answer: PROTON (i.e. “one’s charged”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “for”) followed by NOT reversed (indicated by “retreating”), like so: PRO-TON.

25. Dog circles stallion dropping head in fatigue (9)

Answer: LASSITUDE (i.e. “fatigue”). Solution is LASSIE (i.e. “dog”) “circling” STUD (i.e. “horse”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “dropping head”), like so: LASSI(TUD)E.

28. What distracts ruddy husband, misbehaving (3,7)

Answer: RED HERRING (i.e. “what distracts”). Solution is RED (i.e. “ruddy”) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) and ERRING (i.e. “misbehaving”).

29. Nation’s first person sought office (4)

Answer: IRAN (i.e. “nation”). Solution is I (i.e. “first person”, as in I am (first person); you are (second person); they are (third person)) followed by RAN (i.e. “sought office”).

30. Scrap books with divine pieces inside (7)

Answer: ODDMENT (i.e. “scrap”). Solution is OT (i.e. “books”, specifically the Old Testament) with DD (i.e. “divine”, DD is short for “Deo dedit”, which is Latin for “gave to God” – chalk one for my Chambers) and MEN (i.e. “[chess] pieces”) placed “inside”, like so: O(DD-MEN)T.

32. Conservative admitted to fondness for defeat (7)

Answer: LICKING (i.e. “defeat”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) “admitted to” LIKING (i.e. “fondness”), like so: LI(C)KING.

34. In the auditorium, didn’t catch film (4)

Answer: MIST (i.e. “film”). “In the auditorium” indicates the solution is a homophone of MISSED, i.e. “didn’t catch”.

35. Litter in saloon for American President (5,5)

Answer: SEDAN CHAIR (i.e. “litter”, as in a seat held up on horizontal poles). Solution is SEDAN (i.e. “saloon [car]”) followed by CHAIR (i.e. “American President”, the position rather than anyone in particular).

38. Two strikes, one pushing back litres in kitchen vessel (5,4)

Answer: PUNCH BOWL (i.e. “kitchen vessel”). Solution is PUNCH and BLOW (i.e. “two strikes”), the latter having L (a recognised abbreviation of “litres”) “pushed back” a few notches. Though the clue doesn’t scan particularly well, I liked the word play behind it.

39. Extract from Biblical figure quoted (6)

Answer: ELICIT (i.e. “extract”). Solution is ELI (i.e. “Biblical figure”) followed by CIT (i.e. “quoted”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “citation”).

40. Bug spies used to trap villain (6)

Answer: CICADA (i.e. “bug”). Solution is CIA (i.e. “spies”) “trapping” CAD (i.e. “villain”), like so: CI(CAD)A.

43. Oscar, in trouble, beginning to imbibe the sauce (5)

Answer: AIOLI (i.e. “sauce” – a garlicky mayonnaise, and rather nice too). Solution is O (i.e. “Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet) placed “in” AIL (i.e. “trouble”) and followed by I (i.e. “beginning to imbibe”, i.e. the first letter of “imbibe”), like so: AI(O)L-I.

45. Understood piece of pottery is reserved (8)

Answer: TACITURN (i.e. “reserved”). Solution is TACIT (i.e. “understood”) followed by URN (i.e. “piece of pottery”).

47. Enduring wish to be given name (4-4)

Answer: LONG-TERM (i.e. “enduring”). Solution is LONG (i.e. “wish to be”) and TERM (i.e. “given name”).

49. Kind of speech by one still defending unusually realist aim, in theory (11,11)

Answer: DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM, which is “Karl Marx’s view of history as a conflict between two opposing forces, thesis and antithesis, which is resolved by the forming of a new force, synthesis”. Ain’t philosophy fun, kids? Setting aside how overly simplistic a view that might be for a moment and getting back to the clue: “theory”. Solution is DIALECT (i.e. “kind of speech”) followed by I (Roman numeral “one”) and CALM (i.e. “still”) wrapped around or “defending” an anagram (indicated by “unusually”) of REALIST AIM, like so: DIALECT-I-CAL(MATERIALIS)M.

52. Key expert’s hint about wrong answer completely rejected (7)

Answer: PIANIST (i.e. “key expert”). Solution is TIP (i.e. “hint”) placed “about” SIN (i.e. “wrong”) and A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”). The whole lot is then reversed (indicated by “rejected”), like so: PI(A-NIS)T.

53. Moving to Fair Isle, fixing sort of gate with even more reason (1,8)

Answer: A FORTIORI (Latin for “even more reason”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “moving”) of TO FAIR and I (a recognised abbreviation of “isle”) placed around OR (i.e. “sort of gate” used in electronics), like so: AFORTI(OR)I. I knew from the (1,8) that this was going to be a Latin phrase but, finding that “a posteriori” was too long, had to trawl through my Chambers until I found a similar phrase. Probably the toughest clue in the grid.

54. In Djibouti, putting away every second mug (5)

Answer: IDIOT (i.e. “mug”). “Putting away every second” indicates the solution is hidden in every other letter of IN DJIBOUTI. Another clue that doesn’t scan terribly well, but where I liked the wordplay.

55. Shyster, one who gives you a hand on horse (7,6)

Answer: WHEELER DEALER (i.e. “shyster”). Solution is WHEELER (i.e. “horse”, specifically one closest to the wheels of the vehicle its pulling; also known as a wheelhorse) and DEALER (i.e. “one who gives you a hand [of cards]”).

56. Drink with students, going over grim experience (9)

Answer: SUNDOWNER (i.e. “drink”, specifically one drunk around sundown. I need no such excuse.) Solution is NUS (i.e. “students”, specifically the National Union of Students) reversed (indicated by “going over”) and followed by DOWNER (i.e. “grim experience”), like so: SUN-DOWNER.

Down clues

1. Swim with hot swimwear in sound (9)

Answer: DIPHTHONG which, as repeated a few weeks ago in puzzle 1373, is a two-vowel “sound” pronounced as one syllable. Solution is DIP (i.e. “swim”) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”) and THONG (i.e. “swimwear”).

2. Those who execute reverse if bike follows circles (6,5)

Answer: FIRING SQUAD (i.e. “those who execute”). Solution is IF “reversed”, then RINGS (i.e. “circles”) “followed” by QUAD (i.e. “bike”), like so: FI-RINGS-QUAD.

3. Bill wearing woman’s skirt (5)

Answer: EVADE (i.e. “[to] skirt”). Solution is AD (a recognised abbreviation of advertisement, i.e. “bill”) “wearing” EVE (i.e. “woman” – ignore the misleading possessive S), like so: EV(AD)E.

4. Frenzied rite thus engulfs ill-omened figure (8)

Answer: THIRTEEN (i.e. “ill-omened figure” – one I’m somewhat familiar with, ahem). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “frenzied”) of RITE placed in THEN (i.e. “this”), like so: TH(IRTE)EN.

5. After service lift provided by a basket-maker? (6)

Answer: RAFFIA (i.e. “basket-maker”, as in the ribbon-like fibres obtained from the Raphia palm). Here’s one where the setter loses me, so watch out. RAF might be “service”, as in the Royal Air Force, but the rest leaves me stone cold. Next!

6. Being untrue is dashed silly today (10)

Answer: DISLOYALTY (i.e. “being untrue”). “Dashed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SILLY TODAY.

7. Something indicating Kiss title track is running (5-7)

Answer: CROSS-COUNTRY (i.e. “running”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “something indicating kiss” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by COUNT (i.e. “title”) and RY (i.e. “track”, as in a recognised abbreviation of “railway”).

8. White part of gazelle, somewhat towards the top (7)

Answer: MOSELLE, which is a German “white” wine. “Part of” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “towards the top” indicates the solution is reversed, this being a down clue, like so: GAZ(ELLE SOM)EWHAT. One I got through the wordplay, if I’m honest.

9. Unsophisticated trash is in no lemonade (3-11)

Answer: ONE-DIMENSIONAL (i.e. “unsophisticated”). “Trash” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS IN NO LEMONADE.

10. Like some rulers dismissing a risk (7)

Answer: IMPERIL (i.e. “risk”). Solution is IMPERIAL (i.e. “like some rulers”) with the A “dismissed”.

11. Counterpart right to block popular tune that’s mistimed (11)

Answer: INOPPORTUNE (i.e. “mistimed”). Solution is OPPO (i.e. “counterpart”, as in an informal abbreviation for one in opposition) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) “blocking” IN (i.e. “popular”) and TUNE, like so: IN-(OPPO-R)-TUNE. The mirror opposite of this clue amusingly appeared in the previous puzzle a couple of days ago.

12. Mark in college raised (4)

Answer: NOTE (i.e. “mark”). Solution is ETON (i.e. “college”) reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue).

17. Guide Europeans over pitch (8)

Answer: POLESTAR (i.e. a director or “guide”, also known as Polaris or the North Star). Solution is POLES (i.e. “Europeans”) placed “over” TAR (i.e. “pitch”). My Chambers had this as two words. Hardly the seventh seal being broken, I know, but there you go.

19. Retailer, quiet about poor line, is to stock up again (9)

Answer: REPLENISH (i.e. “to stock up again”). Solution is REP (i.e. “retailer”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a “[corporate] representative” – a weak one, this, so I might be wrong) and SH (i.e. “quiet”) placed “about” an anagram (indicated by “poor”) of LINE, like so: REP-(LENI)-SH.

22. Family member left complaint involving attacks (5,3)

Answer: GRAND MAL, a French term for a violently convulsive form of epilepsy (i.e. “complaint involving attacks”). Solution is GRANDMA (i.e. “family member”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”).

25. Garments of swimmer on lake (8)

Answer: LINGERIE (i.e. “garments”). Solution is LING (which is a kind of fish, i.e. “swimmer”; did a Google Image search – not a looker) followed by ERIE (one of the five Great “Lakes” in the US).

26. Accusing Punjabi’s group can end in snag (9)

Answer: INDICTING (i.e. “accusing”). Solution is INDIC, which is the Indian branch of Indo-European languages (i.e. “Punjabi’s [parent] group”), followed by TIN (i.e. “can”) and G (i.e. “end in snag”, i.e. the last letter of “snag”), like so: INDIC-TIN-G.

27. One predicting development of giant root crops (14)

Answer: PROGNOSTICATOR (i.e. “one predicting”). “Development” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GIANT ROOT CROPS.

28. Look around in theatre, place for acting (4,4)

Answer: ROLE PLAY (i.e. “acting”). Solution is LO (i.e. “look”, as in “lo and behold”) reversed (indicated by “around”) and placed “in” REP (i.e. “theatre” – “rep” is a recognised abbreviation of a repertory theatre, which has “a repertoire of plays and a stock or permanent company of actors”, it says here) and followed by PAY (i.e. “place”), like so: R(OL)EP-LAY. Bloody hell, that took some figuring out.

31. Plant extract which art collector has to have? (9,3)

Answer: ESSENTIAL OIL. Solution satisfies “plant extract” and, cryptically, “which art collector has to have”. I had this down as “sunflower oil” for too long before finally accepting it wasn’t to be. Sorry, Vince.

33. Make firm study works for one partner (11)

Answer: CONSOLIDATE (i.e. “make firm”). Another where the setter loses me, so watch out. I get that CON is an archaic word for “[to] study” and I DATE could be “[Roman numeral] one” and “partner”, but that’s about it. Next clue please.

36. A rebel here in France engaged by servant for painter (11)

Answer: ACADEMICIAN (i.e. “painter”, e.g. a Royal Academician, often abbreviated to RA by setters for use in their solutions). Solution is A, followed by Jack CADE (who led a rebellion against Henry VI a couple of years ago, i.e. “rebel”) and ICI (i.e. “here in France” – the French for “here” is “ici”) “engaged by” MAN (i.e. “servant”), like so: A-CADE-M(ICI)AN.

37. More confused with metric gauge (10)

Answer: MICROMETER (i.e. “gauge”). “Confused” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MORE and METRIC.

41. Old lady overwhelmed by change, being old school (4,5)

Answer: ALMA MATER (i.e. “old school”). Solution is MAMA (i.e. “old lady”) “overwhelmed by” ALTER (i.e. “change”), like so: AL(MAMA)TER.

42. Force Cicero to wriggle about (8)

Answer: COERCION (i.e. “force”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to wriggle”) of CICERO followed by ON (i.e. “about”), like so: COERCI-ON.

44. Dislike current lines by bard (3,4)

Answer: ILL WILL (i.e. “dislike”). Solution is I (used in physics to represent an electric “current”), then L and L (recognised abbreviations for “lines”), followed by WILL (i.e. “bard”, specifically William Shakespeare).

46. Bends stick broken by Roman here (7)

Answer: CHICANE (i.e. “bends”). Solution is CANE (i.e. “stick”) “broken by” HIC (i.e. “Roman here”, the Latin for “here” is “hic”), like so: C(HIC)ANE.

48. When climbing, wears bits of leather (6)

Answer: STROPS (i.e. “bits of leather”). Solution is SPORTS (i.e. “wears”) which is then reversed (indicated by “when climbing”, this being a down clue).

50. Foreign ally questioning whether he can proceed? (5)

Answer: AMIGO, Spanish for “friend” (i.e. “foreign ally”). As for the latter half of the clue, said ally could be said to be asking “AM I GO?”

51. Expel from school’s front bench (4)

Answer: SPEW (i.e. “expel”). Solution is S (i.e. “school’s front”, i.e. the first letter of “school”) followed by PEW (i.e. “bench”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1376

This week’s puzzle saw another slight increase in difficulty, but could equally have just been me taking longer than normal to twig the wordplay behind a number of clues. Either way, this puzzle was one of the better ones. You’ll find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

As usual, before we crack on, a little housekeeping. If you have a relatively recent Times Jumbo Cryptic puzzle knocking around for which you’re missing a few solutions, then you might find my Just For Fun page useful. If you’ve a soft spot for horror short stories then you might find of interest my current folly of reviewing Stephen Jones’s Best New Horror series, which you can find on my Reviews page.

Right-oh. On with the show. I’ll see you in a couple of days, all being well, once I’ve gotten my hands on Easter Monday’s puzzle.

LP

Across clues

1. Doctor put into a group round hospital with many others (3-6)

Answer: MOB-HANDED (i.e. “with many others”). Solution is MO (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Medical Officer) followed by BANDED (i.e. “put into a group”) placed “round” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital”), like so: MO-B(H)ANDED.

6. One who’s not genuine scarecrow (3,2,5)

Answer: MAN OF STRAW. Solution satisfies “one who’s not genuine” (perhaps more commonly referred to as a “straw man”), and “scarecrow”.

12. Runner arrives in haste at start of relay (7)

Answer: HARRIER (a cross-country “runner”). Solution is ARR (a recognised abbreviation of “arrives”) placed “in” HIE (i.e. “haste”) and then followed by R (i.e. “start of relay”, i.e. the first letter of “relay”), like so: H(ARR)IE-R.

13. Meeting of alumni? There’s a thing (9)

Answer: OBSESSION (i.e. “a thing”, e.g. having a thing for someone). Within the context of the clue, a “meeting of alumni” would be an OB SESSION, with OB being a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”.

14. One page coming out of directory (5)

Answer: RECTO, which is a printing term meaning the right-hand page of an open book. “Coming out of” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: DI(RECTO)RY. This solution appeared recently in puzzle 1366.

16. A quiet period assembling for a fast start (3,9)

Answer: ASH WEDNESDAY (i.e. “a fast start”, being the first day of Lent). Solution is A then SH (i.e. “quiet”) and WEDNESDAY (i.e. a 24-hour “period”).

17. Receive two presents but not make further advance (3,7)

Answer: GET NOWHERE (i.e. “not make further advance”). Solution is GET (i.e. “receive”) followed by NOW and HERE (i.e. “two presents”).

19. Old police supervisors choosing what to close round wrists? (5,9)

Answer: WATCH COMMITTEE (i.e. “old police supervisors”). Solution jokingly suggests such a committee could also be responsible for choosing wristwatches. I’ll keep using my phone, thanks.

22. Fair experience very popular with creep (3,5)

Answer: BIG WHEEL (i.e. “fair experience”). Solution is BIG (i.e. “very popular”) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and HEEL (i.e. “creep”).

24. Defector from Scottish party returning her dress? (6)

Answer: TARTAN. Solution is RAT (i.e. “defector”) followed by NAT (i.e. “from Scottish party”, as in a recognised abbreviation of “Nationalist”), all reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: TAR-TAN. Within the context of the clue, said Scottish defector’s dress could well be tartan.

25. Politician tending to arouse lecherous thoughts, by agreement (10)

Answer: CONSENSUAL (i.e. “by agreement”). Solution is CON (i.e. “politician”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) followed by SENSUAL (i.e. “tending to arouse lecherous thoughts”).

26. Violinist, say, during and at the end of recital? (5)

Answer: BOWER. Solution satisfies “violinist, say, during recital” as in one using a bow to play their instrument, and “violinist, say, at the end of recital”, as in one taking a bow at the end of their performance. A pleasingly elegant clue.

29. Go over and over something on the drums (4)

Answer: ROLL. Solution satisfies “go over and over” and “something on the drums”, as in a drum roll.

30. Heavily defeat male, since all but untouchable (8)

Answer: MASSACRE (i.e. “heavily defeat”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) followed by AS (i.e. “since”) and SACRED (i.e. “untouchable”) with the final letter removed (indicated by “all but”), like so: M-AS-SACRE.

32. Even biography is an art form (5,4)

Answer: STILL LIFE (i.e. “art form”). Solution is STILL (i.e. “even”) followed by LIFE (i.e. “biography”).

34. This term oddly tires me out (9)

Answer: TRIMESTER (i.e. three months, or an academic “term”). Solution is TR (i.e. “term oddly”, i.e. the odd letters of TERM) followed by an anagram (indicated by “out”) of TIRES ME, like so: TR-IMESTER.

35. Inopportune fret by half back (8)

Answer: MISTIMED (i.e. “inopportune”). Solution is MIST (e.g. a sea “fret”) followed by DEMI (i.e. “half”) reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: MIST-IMED.

36. Manages to drop daughter in marshland (4)

Answer: FENS (i.e. “marshland”). Solution is FENDS (i.e. “manages”) with the D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) “dropped”.

39. Get cracking, say, to open container (5)

Answer: BEGIN (i.e. “get cracking”). Solution is EG (i.e. for example, or “say”) “opening” BIN (i.e. “container”), like so: B(EG)IN.

40. Plant second holy book (good!) in church (4,6)

Answer: MOCK ORANGE (i.e. “plant”). Solution is MO (short for moment, i.e. a “second”) with KORAN (i.e. “holy book”) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) placed “in” CE (ditto “church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: MO-C(KORAN-G)E.

42. Presumably happy about one omitted from speech (6)

Answer: UNSAID (i.e. “omitted from speech”). Solution is UNSAD (i.e. “presumably happy”) placed “about” I (Roman numeral “one”), like so: UNSA(I)D.

44. Searching for this, Marcel fell behind (4,4)

Answer: LOST TIME. Solution satisfies both “fell behind” and “searching for this, Marcel”, as in Marcel Proust’s 4000+ page novel In Search Of Lost Time. Can’t say I’ve read it, but I have read Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, which also weighs in over 4000 pages. Does that count?

46. Illnesses later devastated island group (6,8)

Answer: LESSER ANTILLES (i.e. “island group”). “Devastated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ILLNESSES LATER.

48. Summarily dismissed in speech all the time (10)

Answer: THROUGHOUT (i.e. “all the time”). Solution also satisfies “summarily dismissed in speech”, i.e. a homophone of “threw out”.

49. Current situation of the national myth? (3,2,3,4)

Answer: LIE OF THE LAND. Solution satisfies “current situation” and, cryptically, “the national myth” – a myth being another word for a lie.

53. Meaning to float along (5)

Answer: DRIFT. Solution satisfies “meaning” and “to float along”.

54. Principally relied on such a drive in a British vehicle (5-4)

Answer: RIGHT HAND. Solution satisfies “principally relied on”, as in a right-hand man, and “a [right-hand] drive in a British vehicle”.

55. One may be boring these days, joining in rough fight (7)

Answer: BRADAWL, which is a small tool used for making holes in woodwork to assist the application of nails or screws (i.e. “one may be boring”). Solution is AD (i.e. “these days”, as in Anno Domini) “joined in” BRAWL (i.e. “rough fight”), like so: BR(AD)AWL.

56. “Where is the college porter?” barmaid said (4,6)

Answer: BEER CELLAR. Solution satisfies “barmaid said”, i.e. a homophone of “beer seller”. In the context of the clue, a beer cellar would well be where the porter – a kind of beer – is kept. Not a great one, this. I’m guessing “college” is a red herring to throw solvers off the desired meaning of “porter”, but I could be wrong.

57. Setter chosen – assess regularly for brevity (9)

Answer: TERSENESS (i.e. “brevity”). “Regularly” suggests the solution can be found at regular intervals in the clue, in this case the final three letters of the first three words of the clue: SETTER CHOSEN ASSESS.

Down clues

1. Slowly transform school party going over hotel (5)

Answer: MORPH (i.e. “slowly transform”). Solution is PROM (i.e. “school party”) reversed (indicated by “going over”) and followed by H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: MORP-H.

2. Literary castle often veiled (10)

Answer: BRIDESHEAD. Solution satisfies “literary castle”, specifically from Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, and something that is “often veiled”, as in a BRIDES HEAD.

3. A monarch abandoning modern art, rejected as without purpose (2,6)

Answer: AT RANDOM (i.e. “without purpose”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “rejected”) of MODERN ART once ER (i.e. “a monarch”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) has been removed (i.e. “abandoned”).

4. Refuse Duke Lawrence (5)

Answer: DROSS (i.e “refuse”, as in rubbish). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) followed by John Hume ROSS, a false name used by Thomas Edward “Lawrence”, popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia. That’s my take on it, anyway.

5. Philosopher taking sort of lead, with children round about (9)

Answer: René DESCARTES (i.e. “philosopher”). Solution is SCART (i.e. “sort of lead” – ask your parents, kids) with SEED (i.e. “children”) reversed and placed around it (indicated by “round” and “about”), like so: DE(SCART)ES.

6. Paste is inserted by doctor (4)

Answer: MISO (i.e. a Japanese “paste” made from soya beans). Solution is IS “inserted” into MO (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Medical Officer), like so: M(IS)O.

7. Properly fixed, having got worse after November (6)

Answer: NAILED (i.e. “properly fixed”). Solution is AILED (i.e. “having got worse”) placed “after” N (“November” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: N-AILED.

8. Paper money minister initially covered in restrictions (9,5)

Answer: FINANCIAL TIMES (i.e. “paper”). Solution is FINANCIAL (i.e. “money”) followed by M (i.e. “minister initially”, i.e. the first letter of “minister”) “covered in” TIES (i.e. “restrictions”), like so: FINANCIAL-TI(M)ES.

9. Delivered curve ball, perhaps, get very upset (5,1,6)

Answer: THREW A WOBBLY. Solution satisfies “delivered curve ball, perhaps” and “get very upset”. The past tense of the former suggests is should be THREW rather than THROW.

10. In a Med island clubs grow together (7)

Answer: ACCRETE (i.e. “grow together”). Solution is A and CRETE (i.e. “Med island”) placed around C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in card games), like so: A-(C)-CRETE.

11. Wheatear chewed and eaten by senior bird (10)

Answer: SHEARWATER (i.e. “bird” – did a Google Image search: cool wings, bit random otherwise). Solution is SR (a recognised abbreviation of “senior”) “eating” an anagram (indicated by “chewed”) of WHEATEAR, like so: S(HEARWATE)R. Another well-worked clue.

15. Excessive lavender and rosemary at first in round border (9)

Answer: OVERLARGE (i.e. “excessive”). Solution is L, A and R (i.e. “lavender and rosemary at first”, i.e. the first letters of “lavender”, “and” and “rosemary”) placed in O (i.e. “round”) and VERGE (i.e. “border”), like so: O-VER(L-A-R)GE.

18. Not so much needed to cover girl, being thin (8)

Answer: LEANNESS (i.e. “being thin”). Solution is LESS (i.e. “not so much”) “covering” ANNE (i.e. “girl”), like so: LE(ANNE)SS.

20. Sensational preoccupation about running water (9)

Answer: THRILLING (i.e. “sensational”). Solution is THING (i.e. “preoccupation”, as in having a thing for someone) placed “about” RILL, which is a very small brook (i.e. “running water”).

21. Crazed drummer’s means of transport (10)

Answer: MOONSTRUCK (i.e. “crazed”). Solution is Keith MOON (i.e. the “drummer” in The Who) with a possessive ‘S and followed by TRUCK (i.e. “means of transport”).

23. Nursing leg, shot – by him? (10)

Answer: GUNSLINGER. “Shot” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NURSING LEG. Within the context of the clue, someone could well have been shot by a gunslinger.

27. What everyone supports the tiniest bit: government (9)

Answer: WHITEHALL (i.e. “government”). Solution is EH (i.e. “what”, as in “eh?”) and ALL (i.e. “everyone”) being placed under or “supporting” WHIT (i.e. “the tiniest bit”) – this being a down clue – like so: WHIT-EH-ALL. One of those clues where the wordplay took a lot longer to figure out than the solution itself. I rather like it, weirdly.

28. No atmosphere? I’m having to change double act (9,5)

Answer: PANTOMINE HORSE (i.e. “double act”). “Having to change” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NO ATMOSPHERE IM.

31. Made manure as temperature dropped in calm (8)

Answer: COMPOSED (i.e. “calm”). Solution is COMPOSTED (i.e. “made manure”) with the T (a recognised abbreviation of “temperature”) removed or “dropped”.

33. Paste up a brunette, top of torso retouched (6,6)

Answer: PEANUT BUTTER (i.e. “paste”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “retouched”) of UP A BRUNETTE and T (i.e. “top of torso”, i.e. the first letter of “torso”).

34. Not to be touched on behind, daughter ordered (9)

Answer: TABULATED (i.e. “ordered”). Solution is TABU, an alternative spelling of taboo (i.e. “not to be touched”) followed by LATE (i.e. “behind”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”).

37. Inch round close to the blue delta, not across the bay? (4-6)

Answer: SIDE-SADDLE (i.e. “[riding] not across the bay [horse]”). Solution is SIDLE (i.e. to “inch”) placed “round” E (i.e. “close to the”, i.e. the last letter of “the”), SAD (i.e. “blue”) and D (“delta” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: SID(E-SAD-D)LE.

38. At home, box inlaid with pine missing its top – turn to ash (10)

Answer: INCINERATE (i.e. “turn to ash”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by CRATE (i.e. “box”) which has been “inlaid with” INE (i.e. “pine missing its top”, i.e. the word “pine” without the initial letter), like so: IN-C(INE)RATE.

41. Stalin as a vicious aggressor (9)

Answer: ASSAILANT (i.e. “aggressor”). “Vicious” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STALIN AS A.

43. Not mentally sound, take horse out? (8)

Answer: UNSTABLE. Solution satisfies “not mentally sound” and, cryptically, to “take horse out”.

45. Set of dishes for ceremony (7)

Answer: SERVICE. Solution satisfies “set of dishes” and “ceremony”.

47. Good-time girl’s sort of infection (6)

Answer: FUNGAL. Solution satisfies “sort of infection” and “good-time girl”, i.e. a FUN GAL.

50. Stranger backing Communist Party (5)

Answer: ODDER (i.e. “stranger”). Solution is RED (i.e. “Communist”) and DO (i.e. “party” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and the whole lot reversed (indicated by “backing”) like so: OD-DER.

51. President commonly received a text (5)

Answer: John ADAMS, second “president” of the United States of America. Solution is AD (i.e. “commonly received”, i.e. the word “had” as said by one who drops their aitches) then A and MS (i.e. “text”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “manuscript”), like so: AD-A-MS. Another where the wordplay took significantly longer to figure out than the solution.

52. Hollywood figure perhaps, half naked (4)

Answer: STAR (i.e. “Hollywood figure, perhaps” – could refer to “star” as in a celebrity, or the stars that adorn the pavement of Hollywood Boulevard). Solution is the first half of STARKERS (i.e. “half-naked”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1375

A slightly tougher puzzle this time, which makes me think there could be a stinker coming over the busy Easter weekend! This was a pretty good puzzle too, all told, with only one repeat of a recent solution to speak of (GARB). You’ll find my completed grid below, along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

If you’d like solutions for the last couple dozen Times Jumbo Cryptic puzzles, then jump to my Just For Fun page. If you’re a fan of horror fiction (because why wouldn’t you be?) then I have a few things on my Reviews page that might float your boat, soon to include the oft-promised review for Best New Horror 4. (I’m just turning it into some approximation of English.)

Till then, TTFN.

LP

Across clues

1. Engaging in local tour, turned ahead to progress slowly in Crosby? (3-8)

Answer: PUB-CRAWLING (i.e. “engaging in local tour”). Solution is UP (i.e. “ahead”) reversed (indicated by “turned”) and then followed by CRAWL (i.e. “to progress slowly”) placed “in” BING (i.e. “Crosby”), like so: PU-B(CRAWL)ING.

7. Here one may find shops are opened by scoundrel (6)

Answer: ARCADE (i.e. “here one may find shops”). Solution is ARE being “opened [up] by” CAD (i.e. “scoundrel”), like so: AR(CAD)E.

10. Swedish-American star almost in dress (4)

Answer: GARB (i.e. “dress”). Solution is Greta GARBO (i.e. “Swedish-American star”) with the final letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

14. Principal director brings in northern chap to make money abroad (7)

Answer: CENTIMO, which is the name of several Latin American countries’ small coins (i.e. “money abroad”). Solution is CEO (i.e. “principal director”, specifically a Chief Executive Officer) “bringing in” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”) and TIM (i.e. “chap”, as in a man’s name), like so: CE(N-TIM)O.

15. Men, splitting apart, strangely maintaining correspondence (3,4)

Answer: PRO RATA (i.e. “maintaining correspondence” – pro rata means “in proportion”, so this should be read along the lines of “maintaining correspondent portions”. It’s sneaky, but I rather like it.) Solution is OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the army) “splitting” an anagram (indicated by “strangely”) of APART, like so: PR(OR)ATA.

16. Spectacular performance where learner breaks cover (7)

Answer: BLINDER (i.e. “spectacular performance”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) “breaking” BINDER (i.e. “cover”), like so: B(L)INDER.

17. Endeavour by arrangement to have superb small pianos (7,6)

Answer: CONCERT GRANDS (i.e. “pianos”). Solution is CONCERT (i.e. “endeavour”, think of it like a concerted effort) placed “by” GRAND (i.e. “superb”) and S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”), like so: CONCERT-GRAND-S.

18. Diver in vehicle test on craft circling lake (9)

Answer: GUILLEMOT, a shorebird that can dive up to 100m for food (i.e. “diver”). Did a Google Image search – yup, looks like a bird. Solution is MOT (i.e. “vehicle test” – the initials are derived from the now-defunct Ministry of Transport) placed after GUILE (i.e. “craft”) which is “circling” L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: GUI(L)LE-MOT.

19. Republican, accompanied by venomous types, speaks hoarsely (5)

Answer: RASPS (i.e. “speaks hoarsely”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) followed by ASPS (i.e. “venomous types”).

21. Fuel the very thing needed in an ancient Balkan location (10)

Answer: ANTHRACITE, also known as “hard coal”, which burns without smoke or much of a flame. Good for barbeques, then. Anyway, “fuel”. Solution is IT (i.e. “the very thing”) placed “in” AN and THRACE (i.e. “ancient Balkan location” – no, me neither), like so: AN-THRAC(IT)E.

23. Brutish sort, throwing back thin plate (6)

Answer: ANIMAL (i.e. “brutish sort”). Solution is LAMINA (i.e. “thin plate”) reversed (indicated by “thrown back”).

25. Artist in decline – could depression cause this? (8)

Answer: RAINFALL (i.e. “could [atmospheric] depression cause this”). Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) then IN, and then FALL (i.e. “decline”).

26. Man’s excellent knowledge about British regiment in border area (6-8)

Answer: ALSACE-LORRAINE, a region of France that was annexed by the German Empire in the 19th century (i.e. “border area”). Solution is AL’S (i.e. “man’s”), then ACE (i.e. “excellent”), followed by LORE (i.e. “knowledge”) placed “about” RA (i.e. “British regiment”, specifically the Royal Artillery) and IN, like so: ALS-ACE-LOR(RA-IN)E. I got the Alsace bit, but had to look up the rest.

29. Element turning stomach in clergyman losing work (7)

Answer: BISMUTH (i.e. “[chemical] element”). Solution is TUM (i.e. “stomach”) reversed (indicated by “turning”) and placed in BISHOP (i.e. “clergyman”) with the OP removed (i.e. “losing work” – op being short for operation), like so: BIS(MUT)H.

30. Likely to notice retainer having departed? (9)

Answer: OBSERVANT (i.e. “likely to notice”). Solution is SERVANT (i.e. “retainer”) placed after OB (an abbreviation of “obiit”, which is Latin for “died”, i.e. “departed”), like so: OB-SERVANT.

31. Lived in luxury endlessly in Datchet’s outskirts (5)

Answer: DWELT (i.e. “lived in”). Solution is WELL (as in some degree of “luxury”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and placed in DT (i.e. “Datchet’s outskirts”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Datchet”), like so: D(WEL)T.

32. Try hard to catch glimpse of Romeo – stick around (5)

Answer: CRANE (i.e. “try hard to catch glimpse”). Solution is R (which is “Romeo” in the phonetic alphabet) with CANE (i.e. “stick”) placed “around” it, like so: C(R)ANE.

34. Vessel having rope at bow in tangle (9)

Answer: POWERBOAT (i.e. “vessel”). “In tangle” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ROPE AT BOW.

37. Exile concerned with stale atmosphere vacated enclosure (7)

Answer: REFUGEE (i.e. “exile”). Solution is RE (i.e. “concerned with”) followed by FUG (i.e. “stale atmosphere”) and EE (i.e. “vacated enclosure”, i.e. the word “enclosure” with all its middle letters removed), like so: RE-FUG-EE.

39. Nurse working after pains located around sick body part (8,6)

Answer: ACHILLES TENDON (i.e. “body part”). Solution is TEND (i.e. “[to] nurse”) and ON (i.e. “working”) placed “after” ACHES (i.e. “pains”) put “around” ILL (i.e. “sick”), like so: ACH(ILL)ES-TEND-ON.

41. Secret meeting with Tory and Liberal inside underground chamber (8)

Answer: CONCLAVE (i.e. “secret meeting”). Solution is CON (i.e. “Tory”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Conservative) and L (ditto “Liberal”) placed “inside” CAVE (i.e. “underground chamber”), like so: CON-C(L)AVE.

43. Have riches perhaps in a vault (6)

Answer: ABOUND. Solution satisfies “have riches perhaps” and “a vault”, as in a leap or A BOUND.

44. Doing well in Duke of Milan’s university (10)

Answer: PROSPEROUS (i.e. “doing well”). Solution is PROSPERO’S (i.e. “Duke of Milan’s”, as in Prospero, the protagonist of Shakespeare’s The Tempest) with U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) placed “in” it like so: PROSPERO(U)S.

45. Saw things in Société Ethnologique? (5)

Answer: TEETH (i.e. “saw things” – a nice bit of wordplay that made me smile when I got it.) “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: SOCIE(TE ETH)NOLOGIQUE.

48. Musical flourish modified signals at party (9)

Answer: GLISSANDO (i.e. “musical flourish”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “modified”) of SIGNALS followed by DO (i.e. “party”), like so: GLISSAN-DO. I often moan when musical terms are used as solutions as there are bloody thousands of the things, but, unusually, this was one I actually recognised.

49. Happy home deity to constrain old ghosts (2,4,7)

Answer: IN GOOD SPIRITS (i.e. “happy”). Solution is IN (i.e. “[at] home”) and GOD (i.e. “deity”) “constraining” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), then followed by SPIRITS (i.e. “ghosts”), like so: IN-GO(O)D-SPIRITS.

51. European move abroad to unseat good foreign government (7)

Answer: EMIRATE (i.e. “foreign government”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by MIGRATE (i.e. “move abroad”) with the G removed (i.e. “to unseat good” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: E-MIRATE.

52. Barker grabbing little Mexican food (7)

Answer: TOSTADA, which is a fried tortilla (i.e. “Mexican food”). Solution is TOSA (which is a Japanese mastiff, i.e. “barker” – did a Google Image search – meh, random) “grabbing” TAD (i.e. “little”), like so: TOS(TAD)A. A bit of a stinker, this one.

53. Eastern sea creature shedding tail in Spring (7)

Answer: EMANATE (i.e. “[to] spring” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) followed by MANATEE (i.e. “sea creature”) with the final letter removed (indicated by “shedding tail”), like so: E-MANATE.

54. Cosmetic procedure for legendary friar (4)

Answer: TUCK. Solution satisfies “cosmetic procedure” and “legendary friar”.

55. Strict at all times in case of sabotage (6)

Answer: SEVERE (i.e. “strict”). Solution is EVER (i.e. “at all times”) placed “in” SE (i.e. “case of sabotage”, i.e. the first and last letters of “sabotage”), like so: S(EVER)E.

56. Closer minders so upset with order to protect stronghold (11)

Answer: DOORKEEPERS (i.e. “closer minders” – clumsy, but it passes). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “upset”) of SO and ORDER, “protecting” KEEP (i.e. “stronghold”), like so: DOOR(KEEP)ERS.

Down clues

1. Leading vehicle has to complete with top retracted (4,3)

Answer: PACE CAR (i.e. “leading vehicle”). Solution is RACE (i.e. “to compete”) and CAP (i.e. “top”) all reversed (indicated by “retracted”), like so: PAC-ECAR.

2. Potential trouble coming from deranged relatives son supports (6,5)

Answer: BANANA SKINS (i.e. “potential trouble”). Solution is BANANAS (i.e. “deranged”) followed by KIN (i.e. “family”) and S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”).

3. God is here ultimately to provide uplift (5)

Answer: RAISE (i.e. “uplift”). Solution is RA (i.e. “god”, specifically the ancient Egyptian sun god) followed by IS and then E (i.e. “here ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “here”).

4. Whale epithet also adapted for this football chant? (3,3,3,3,4)

Answer: WHO ATE ALL THE PIES (i.e. “football chant”). “Adapted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WHALE EPITHET ALSO. A rather well-worked clue.

5. The writer’s regret about old city’s corrupt constituent (8)

Answer: IMPURITY (i.e. “corrupt constituent”). Solution is I’M (i.e. “the writer’s”, a contraction of “the writer is” rather than the possessive form; think of this from the point of view of the setter) followed by PITY (i.e. “regret”) placed “about” UR (i.e. “old city”, specifically one in ancient Mesopotamia), like so: IM-P(UR)ITY.

6. Draws line under reason for basic principles (6,5)

Answer: GROUND RULES (i.e. “basic principles”). Solution is RULES (i.e. “draws line”) placed “under” GROUND (i.e. “reason”), this being a down clue.

7. Gather tea’s brought up in the morning (5)

Answer: AMASS (i.e. “gather”). Solution is ASSAM (a variety of “tea”) with the AM (i.e. “in the morning”) “brought up” to the front. This was a solution that took considerably less time to get than the wordplay leading up to it!

8. Demand huge amount to power our planet? (6,3,5)

Answer: CHARGE THE EARTH. Solution satisfies both “demand huge amount” and “to power our planet”.

9. Style shown by Labour’s leader in European city (6)

Answer: DUBLIN (i.e. “European city”). Solution is DUB (i.e. “style”) followed “by” L (i.e. “Labour’s leader”, i.e. the first letter of “Labour”) and then IN, like so: DUB-L-IN.

11. Jogger encountered on the Champs Elysées? (4-7)

Answer: AIDE-MÉMOIRE, which is a reminder or something that “jogs” the memory. Solution riffs on how this is a French phrase, as hinted at by “on the Champs Elysées”.

12. Regressive boy wrecked last old reformatory (7)

Answer: BORSTAL (i.e. “old reformatory”). Solution is ROB (i.e. “boy” – I guess in the context of the solution it couldn’t really be “man”) which is reversed (indicated by “regressive”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “wrecked”) of LAST, like so: BOR-STAL.

13. One going aloft in ship under the wind (8)

Answer: AIRLINER (i.e. “one going aloft”). Solution is LINER (i.e. “ship”) placed “under” AIR (i.e. “wind”), this being a down clue, like so: AIR-LINER.

20. Almost endure consuming American spread (7)

Answer: SUFFUSE (i.e. “spread”). Solution is SUFFER (i.e. “endure”) with the final letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder “consuming” US (i.e. “American”), like so: SUFF(US)E.

22. A bit of a laugh with one in credit control meeting (5)

Answer: CHAIR (i.e. “[to] control meeting”). Solution is HA (i.e. “a bit of a laugh”) “with” I (Roman numeral “one”) placed “in” CR (a recognised abbreviation of “credit”), like so: C(HA-I)R.

24. Worker at lodge stores wood and food (11,5)

Answer: PORTERHOUSE STEAK, which is broadly similar to a T-bone steak (i.e. “food”). Solution is PORTER (i.e. “worker at lodge”) followed by HOUSES (i.e. “stores”) and TEAK (i.e. “wood”).

25. Novel touching and useless because without chapter (7)

Answer: REBECCA, a “novel” by Daphne Du Maurier. This was a solution I guessed right at the beginning and only sussed the wordplay towards the end. Weird. Anyway, the solution is RE (i.e. “touching [upon]” or regarding) followed by BECAUSE without the USE (i.e. “useless”) which is then wrapped around or “without” C (a recognised abbreviation of “chapter”), like so: RE-BEC(C)A.

27. Too much here to be taken out of context – remember? (7)

Answer: EXTREME (i.e. “too much”). “To be taken out of” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: CONT(EXT REME)MBER.

28. Trouble with heart? Here’s comfort in retirement! (3-5,6)

Answer: HOT-WATER BOTTLE (i.e. “comfort in retirement”, as in going to bed). Solution is HOT WATER (i.e. “trouble”) followed by BOTTLE (i.e. “heart”, as in courage).

31. Loss expert acting as receiver for chemical company (7)

Answer: DEFICIT (i.e. “loss”). Solution is DEFT (i.e. “expert”) “receiving” ICI (an old “chemical company”, specifically Imperial Chemical Industries), like so: DEF(ICI)T.

33. Admitting nothing in crash, I paid out for other driver (11)

Answer: APHRODISIAC (i.e. a “driver” for a bit of the “other”, nudge, nudge). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of CRASH I PAID “admitting” O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: APHR(O)DISIAC.

35. Large American trucks transporting new phones (5)

Answer: RINGS (i.e. “phones”). Solution is RIGS (i.e. “large American trucks”) “transporting” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: RI(N)GS.

36. Cautious taking dangerous bends (2,4,5)

Answer: ON ONES GUARD (i.e. “cautious”). Solution is ON (i.e. “taking”, though an example of this doesn’t spring immediately to mind) followed by an anagram (indicated by “bends”) of DANGEROUS.
[EDIT: Check out the comments, where Michael gives a good explanation of how ON is derived.]

38. Serious in backing learned person to become an idol (6,5)

Answer: GRAVEN IMAGE (i.e. “idol”). Solution is GRAVE (i.e. “serious”) followed by IN which is reversed (indicated by “backing”) and then MAGE (i.e. “learned person”), like so: GRAVE-NI-MAGE.

40. No sailor alights on isle (8)

Answer: LANDSMAN, which is someone with no seafaring experience (i.e. “no sailor”). Solution is LANDS (i.e. “alights”) followed by MAN (i.e. “isle”, as in the Isle of Man).

42. Mountain pass on ring road constructed in state (8)

Answer: COLORADO (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is COL (i.e. “mountain pass”) followed by O (i.e. “ring”) and an anagram (indicated by “constructed”) of ROAD, like so: COL-O-RADO.

43. Add to men relieving us in some 31 days? (7)

Answer: AUGMENT (i.e. “add to”). Solution is AUGUST (i.e. “some 31 days”) “relieved of” US and replaced with MEN.

46. Society girl pursuing house party organiser (7)

Answer: HOSTESS (i.e. “party organiser”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”) and TESS (i.e. “girl”) “pursuing” or placed after HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: HO-S-TESS.

47. Belong essentially out there? On the contrary! (6)

Answer: INHERE (i.e. “belong”). Solution riffs on “in here” being “contrary” to, “out there”.

49. Children that may be taken where there’s disagreement? (5)

Answer: ISSUE. Solution satisfies both “children” and “that may be taken when there’s disagreement”, as in “to take issue with something”.

50. Absurd and mad to toss away shilling (5)

Answer: INANE (i.e. “absurd”). Solution is INSANE (i.e. “mad”) after “tossing away” S (a recognised abbreviation of “shilling”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1374

Another easy puzzle this week, but also another with several clues I rather liked for their clever construction or how well they scanned. The only blot here is the re-emergence of several solutions from recent puzzles, including one that was essentially a direct copy. I know The Times uses software to generate certain puzzles (which, weirdly, is why you’ll find the word “moist” appearing an uncomfortable number of times in the top-right corner of their Codeword puzzles), but I keep alive the hope they aren’t doing the same here. Still, it makes you wonder. Anyway, wanging aside, you’ll find my completed solution below, along with explanations of my solutions where I have them.

Before we get there, some distractions. If you’d like to see solutions for the last couple dozen Times Jumbo Cryptics, go to my Just For Fun page. If horror fiction is your thing (or a guilty pleasure) then I’m currently working through the long-running Best New Horror series, which you can jump to on my Reviews page. Feel free to leave a comment. I moderate them mainly to keep out the spammers, but I’ll let anything genuine through.

And so, to my solution. Laters, taters.

LP

Across clues

1. Side holding power in a splinter group (6)

Answer: ASPECT (i.e. “side”). Solution is A SECT (i.e. “a splinter group”) “holding” P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”), like so: A-S(P)ECT.

4. Underworld boss having mobile that goes on by itself (10)

Answer: PERSEPHONE, who, in Greek mythology, was queen of the underworld (i.e. “underworld boss”). Solution is PER SE (Latin for “by itself”) followed by PHONE (i.e. “mobile”).

10. Go to form new colony as part of vicious war, maybe (5)

Answer: SWARM (i.e. “go to form new colony”). “As part of” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: VICIOU(S WAR M)AYBE.

14. Getting hump somehow in ordeal is characteristic of success (9)

Answer: TRIUMPHAL (i.e. “characteristic of success”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of HUMP “getting…in” TRIAL (i.e. “ordeal”), like so: TRI(UMPH)AL.

15. Strange edict about one article after another penned by relative is shown to be true (13)

Answer: AUTHENTICATED (i.e. “shown to be true”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “strange”) of EDICT placed around A (i.e. an “article”), which is then placed “after” THE (“another [article]”) once it has been “penned” by AUNT (i.e. “relative”), like so: AU(THE)NT-IC(A)TED.

16. Refuse to admit learner that’s less developed (7)

Answer: LITTLER (i.e. “less developed”). Solution is LITTER (i.e. “refuse”, as in garbage) “admitting” L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”), like so: LITT(L)ER.

17. On foot, it provides quick cover (7)

Answer: TOENAIL. The sensitive flesh beneath one’s fingernails and toenails is the quick, which is why you might hear of someone biting their fingernails down to the quick. On a foot, the toenail can be said to be “quick cover”. I actually groaned when I got this, but I have to admit this is a great clue.

18. Cruciverbalist’s last kind of wordplay, having put out third puzzle (7)

Answer: TANGRAM, a Chinese “puzzle” being seven tiles of assorted geometric shapes which, when correctly placed, form a square. You’ll know it when you see it. Solution is T (i.e. “cruciverbalist’s last”, i.e. the last letter of “cruciverbalist”) followed by ANAGRAM (i.e. “kind of wordplay”) with the “third [letter] put out”, like so: T-ANGRAM. Another good clue, this.

19. Avoiding offence, in a way – like copper, initially (11,7)

Answer: POLITICALLY CORRECT (i.e. “avoiding offence, in a way”). Solution riffs on how this phrase is often abbreviated as “PC”, which is also “like copper, initially” i.e. a Police Constable.

21. Behave like obsequious dog or other little animal (4)

Answer: FAWN. Solution satisfies both “behave like obsequious dog” and “little animal”, i.e. a baby deer.

24. Decide not to run with small old-fashioned weapon (5)

Answer: SPIKE. In the parlance of newspaper editors (according to my Chambers, anyway), a rejected article is said to be spiked (i.e. “decide not to run”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by PIKE (i.e. “old-fashioned weapon”).

26. Investor finally compensated, holding current issued shares (8)

Answer: RATIONED (i.e. “issued shares”). Solution is R (i.e. “investor finally”, i.e. the last letter of “investor”) followed by ATONED (i.e. “compensated”) “holding” I (a recognised abbreviation of an electric “current”), like so: R-AT(I)ONED.

27. Make from sale, having also included promotional activity (8)

Answer: BRANDING (i.e. “promotional activity”). Not sure about this one, so watch out. My solution is BRING, which I’m guessing is “make from sale”, though I can’t quite visualise this, which is “having” AND (i.e. “also included”), like so: BR(AND)ING. Rather a clunky clue if that’s the case.

29. Result of making name for oneself as fighter (3,2,6)

Answer: NOM DE GUERRE, which is an assumed name (i.e. “making name for oneself”). In French, the solution translates as “war name”. Centuries ago such war names would be given to new recruits to the French army, hence “as fighter”.

30. What can be got from what’s in menu, in short (11)

Answer: NOURISHMENT. Within the context of the clue, nourishment is indeed “what can be got from what’s in menu”. “What can be got from” also indicates an anagram of MENU IN SHORT.

32. Rock group worth breaking up? Not so far (6,5)

Answer: STONES THROW (i.e. “not so far”). Solution is The Rolling STONES (i.e. “rock group”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “breaking up”) of WORTH, like so: STONES-THROW.

35. Cut back – result of freeze, say – in authoritarian regime (6,5)

Answer: POLICE STATE (i.e. “authoritarian regime”). Solution is LOP (i.e. “cut”) reversed (indicated by “back”), then followed by ICE (i.e. “result of freeze”) and STATE (i.e. “say”), like so: POL-ICE-STATE.

37. Respite, as European is accepted by British fairly (8)

Answer: BREATHER (i.e. “respite”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European” you’ll see used a few times in this puzzle – tsk, all these Europeans coming over here stealing our abbreviations… #satire) placed in B (ditto “British”) and RATHER (i.e. “fairly”), like so: B-R(E)ATHER.

39. Bad fortune besetting European – score reduced by six (8)

Answer: FOURTEEN (i.e. “score reduced by six”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “bad”) of FORTUNE “besetting” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European” – see what I mean?), like so: FOURT(E)EN.

40. Something outstanding about university’s appearance initially (5)

Answer: DEBUT (i.e. “appearance initially”). Solution is DEBT (i.e. “something outstanding”) placed “about” U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”), like so: DEB(U)T.

43. What’s the matter with intelligence? Poet’s pronouncement (4)

Answer: GREY. Solution satisfies “what’s the [grey] matter with intelligence” and “poet’s pronouncement”, i.e. a homophone of Thomas Gray.

44. It’s half a world away from where we are here (8,10)

Answer: SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. In the context of the clue, and given The Times is a UK newspaper, the southern hemisphere is indeed “half a world” away.

47. Improperly dispensed upscale form of medication (7)

Answer: CAPSULE (i.e. “form of medication”). “Improperly dispensed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of UPSCALE.

48. Fruit was revolting with it (7)

Answer: ROSEHIP (i.e. “fruit” of the rose plant). Solution is ROSE (i.e. “revolting”, as in “rose up”) followed by HIP (i.e. “with it”, as in cool, daddio).

50. King protected by subjects in heated situations (7)

Answer: TROPICS (i.e. “heated situations”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation for “king”, specifically Rex) “protected” by TOPICS (i.e. “subjects”), like so: T(R)OPICS.

51. Enjoying, for example, cricket? Over count is repeatedly revised (13)

Answer: INSECTIVOROUS (i.e. “enjoying, say, cricket”, as in the insect). “Revised” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OVER COUNT IS and IS (i.e. “is repeatedly”). Another clue I rather liked.

52. Fifteenth century house in city (9)

Answer: LANCASTER. Solution satisfies both “fifteenth century house”, as in the House of Lancaster, which have us a bunch of King Henrys in the fifteenth century, and “house in city”, as in Lancaster House, a mansion found in London.

53. In peculiar way, how swindler is selected for side? (5)

Answer: ODDLY (i.e. “in a peculiar way”). I’ve precisely no idea what the rest of the clue is getting at.

54. Full of amazement since a lot of weight I lost (10)

Answer: ASTONISHED (i.e. “full of amazement”). Solution is AS (i.e. “since”) followed by TON (i.e. “a lot of weight”) and I SHED (i.e. “I lost”).

55. Oblivion achieved ultimately in drink in this? (6)

Answer: BENDER. Solution is N and D (i.e. “oblivion achieved ultimately”, i.e. the last letters of “oblivion” and “achieved”) placed “in” BEER (i.e. “drink”), like so: BE(ND)ER. Within the context of the clue, going on a bender is to drink to excess, in which case oblivion may well be achieved. The beer monster in me approves.

Down clues

1. Wild animals run into stakes (9)

Answer: ANTELOPES (i.e. “wild animals”). Solution is LOPE (which is to “run” with long strides) placed “into” ANTES (i.e. “stakes”), like so: ANTE(LOPE)S.

2. Painters initially list oil in mixed medium art technique (11)

Answer: POINTILLISM (i.e. “art technique”). Solution is P (i.e. “painters initially”, i.e. the first letter of “painters”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “mixed”) of LIST OIL IN and then M (a recognised abbreviation of “medium” used in clothing sizes), like so: P-OINTILLIS-M.

3. Left in piece of jewellery on time for royal court (7)

Answer: CAMELOT! CAMELOT! CAMELOT! (It’s only a model.) I’ve been waiting over a thousand words to type that! Anyway, “royal court”. Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) placed in CAMEO (i.e. “piece of jewellery”) and followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: CAME(L)O-T. Tis a silly place.

5. Report written up about century, brilliant effort (5)

Answer: ECLAT, which is showy splendour or distinction (i.e. “brilliant effort”). Solution is TALE (i.e. “report”) reversed (indicated by “written up”, this being a down clue) and placed “about” C (a recognised abbreviation of “century”), like so: E(C)LAT. Seems a handy word for setters, as this solution also appeared back in January.

6. House of Lords, perhaps, having ethos tamely changed (7,4)

Answer: STATELY HOME (i.e. “house of lords, perhaps” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). “Changed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ETHOS TAMELY.

7. Confuse pagan with theory of ancient philosophy (11)

Answer: PYTHAGOREAN (i.e. “ancient philosophy”). “Confuse” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PAGAN and THEORY. Sound familiar? It should because a near carbon-copy of this clue also appeared a fortnight ago. My heart sank when I solved this first, as I thought we were in for another Greatest Hits puzzle. It’s a little suspicious that the same, not-entirely-everyday word appears twice in as many weeks, though, isn’t it?

8. See way to support past master, above all (8)

Answer: OVERLORD (i.e. “master above all”). Solution is LO (i.e. “see”, as in “lo and behold”) and RD (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “road” used in street names) “supporting” or following OVER (i.e. “past”), like so: OVER-LO-RD.

9. Motor vehicle, say, in competition overturned (6,3)

Answer: ESTATE CAR (i.e. “motor vehicle”). Solution is STATE (i.e. “say”) placed “in” RACE (i.e. “competition”) reversed (indicated by “overturned”), like so: E(STATE)CAR.

10. Behind one’s back (6)

Answer: SECOND. Solution satisfies “behind” (as in to second a motion, for example) and “one’s back” (as in one’s second).

11. Later adjusted temperature in simple option (11)

Answer: ALTERNATIVE (i.e. “option”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “adjusted”) of LATER followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “temperature”) placed “in” NAÏVE (i.e. “simple”), like so: ALTER-NA(T)IVE.

12. Subject of most original palindrome? (5)

Answer: In the famous “palindrome” Madam, I’m Adam, MADAM would be the “subject” to whom the palindrome is directed. Not quite sure where the “most original” bit comes into it, if I’m honest.

13. Current malfunction in LA? (5,7)

Answer: SHORT CIRCUIT (i.e. “current malfunction”). Solution also satisfies “LA”, as in the word “lap” – another word for “circuit” – being cut short.

20. Scholarly American’s volume found on a railway (8)

Answer: LITERARY (i.e. “scholarly”). Solution is LITER (i.e. “American’s volume”, as in the US spelling of “litre”) placed “on” A and RY (a recognised abbreviation of “railway”), like so: LITER-A-RY.

22. Female article of clothing close, along with male one (7)

Answer: NIGHTIE (i.e. “female article of clothing”). Solution is NIGH (i.e. “close”) and TIE (i.e. “male one”, as in a male article of clothing). Another solution that has featured recently.

23. Motivated in this way with drug, in conclusion (8)

Answer: ENTHUSED (i.e. “motivated”). Solution is THUS (i.e. “in this way”) and E (i.e. “drug”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “ecstasy”) placed “in” END (i.e. “conclusion”), like so: EN(THUS-E)D.

25. Take part in novel event held after ten (8)

Answer: ELEVENTH (i.e. “after ten”). “Take part in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: NOV(EL EVENT H)ELD.

28. One seeing what’s going to be charged for sweet (5,3)

Answer: BULLS EYE (i.e. a “sweet”). In the context of the clue, a bull would use their eye to see what they are going to charge towards. I rather liked the humour here. Well played.

29. What contains primarily oats, say, easily being consumed by horse? (7)

Answer: NOSEBAG. Solution is NAG (i.e. “horse”) “consuming” O S E and B (i.e. “primarily oats, say, easily being”, i.e. the first letters of “oats”, “say”, “easily” and “being”), like so: N(O-S-E-B)AG. Within the context of the clue, a nosebag may indeed contain oats for a horse. Another good ‘un.

31. Popular with constituents, including female relative that’s erratic (12)

Answer: INCONSISTENT (i.e. “erratic”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by CONTENT (i.e. “constituents”) “including” SIS (i.e. “female relative”, short for “sister”), like so: IN-CON(SIS)TENT.

33. Given too much publicity about European vote presented (11)

Answer: OVEREXPOSED (i.e. “given too much publicity”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “about”, as in, for example, “crying over spilt milk”) followed by E (our old friend, a recognised abbreviation for “European”) then X (i.e. “vote”) and POSED (i.e. “presented”), like so: OVER-E-X-POSED.

34. Golf clubs holding English Open, finally – competitors don’t want it (6,5)

Answer: WOODEN SPOON (i.e. “competitors don’t want it”). Solution is WOOD and SPOON (i.e. “golf clubs” – a spoon is an obsolete golf club; we had a brassie the other week, so why not) “holding” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and N (i.e. “open, finally”, i.e. the last letter of “open”), like so: WOOD-(E-N)-SPOON.

35. Reduce new academic work that immediately follows this (11)

Answer: PARENTHESIS. Solution is PARE (i.e. “reduce”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and THESIS (i.e. “academic work”). In the context of the clue, a parenthesis does indeed immediately follow, being wrapped around the (11). Another clue I liked.

36. Moderated about one part of speech being held up, in short (11)

Answer: ABBREVIATED (i.e. “in short”). Solution is ABATED (i.e. “moderated”) placed “about” I (Roman numeral “one”) and VERB (i.e. “part of speech”) reversed (indicated by “being held up”, this being a down clue), like so: AB(BREV-I)ATED.

38. Specialized publications I create so cryptically (9)

Answer: ESOTERICA (i.e. “specialized publications”). “Cryptically” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I CREATE SO.

41. Manager of funds changed rate with more confidence (9)

Answer: TREASURER (i.e. “manager of funds”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “changed”) of RATE followed by SURER (i.e. “more confident”), like so: TREA-SURER. Another Greatest Hit, this solution only appearing last week!

42. Sailor aboard sturdy launch (5,3)

Answer: START OUT (i.e. “launch”). Solution is TAR (a word for “sailor” often favoured by crossword setters) put “aboard” STOUT (i.e. “sturdy”), like so: S(TAR)TOUT.

45. Liable to embrace sweet girl, initially, being vulgar (7)

Answer: PROFANE (i.e. “vulgar”). Solution is PRONE (i.e. “liable to”) “embracing” FA (i.e. “sweet girl, initially” – this took some figuring out, but this refers to Sweet Fanny Adams, which is often abbreviated to “Sweet FA”), like so: PRO(FA)NE. I rather liked the recursiveness of this, given how “Sweet FA” is often used for a certain well-known profanity.

46. Forceful or pitifully weak about check (6)

Answer: PUNCHY (i.e. “forceful”). Solution is PUNY (i.e. “pitifully weak”) placed about CH (a recognised abbreviation of “check” used in chess), like so: PUN(CH)Y.

47. Capital in company affected by inflation? (5)

Answer: CAIRO (i.e. “capital [of Egypt]”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) with AIR placed inside (i.e. “affected by inflation”, like filling a balloon), like so: C(AIR)O. Another one that made me smile when I figured it out.

49. Cry holding son giving sign of life (5)

Answer: PULSE (i.e. “sign of life”). Solution is PULE, which is to whimper or whine (i.e. “cry”), “holding” S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”), like so: PUL(S)E.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1373

This week’s puzzle was rather a good one, in my less-than-humble opinion. Though it perhaps sat on the easier end of the difficulty scale, there were a number of clues that scanned really well, and a handful that could be rather prescient in these uncertain times.

As ever, a little housekeeping before we tuck in. You can find a bunch of previous solutions on my Just For Fun page, if that appeals. I’m currently working through reviews of each volume of Best New Horror, which you can find on my Reviews page. Only twenty-six more to go! Finally, if you’d like to leave a comment, please do so. Comments are moderated to avoid (mainly Russian) spam littering the blog, but I’ll approve anything genuine, good or bad.

Right then. To the solution!

LP

Across clues

1. Mobile cadre has to sharpen up after pressure (4,5)

Answer: CELL PHONE (i.e. “mobile”). Solution is CELL (as in a unit group, i.e. “cadre”) and HONE (i.e. “sharpen up”) preceded by P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”), like so: CELL-P-HONE.

6. Teetotal, so endure losing alcohol at first (5)

Answer: SOBER (i.e. “teetotal”). Solution is SO then BEAR (i.e. “endure”) with the A removed (i.e. “losing alcohol at first”, i.e. losing the first letter of “alcohol”), like so: SO-BER.

9. Let blood without expression of surprise in medical (5-2)

Answer: CHECK-UP (i.e. “medical”). Solution is CUP (i.e. “let blood” – one of the variant meanings of “cup” is to draw the blood to the surface of the skin using cupping-glasses for the purposes of bloodletting) with HECK (i.e. “expression of surprise”) placed “without” it, like so: C(HECK)UP.

13. Fabric care including European backing (5)

Answer: DENIM (i.e. “fabric”). Solution is MIND (i.e. “care”) “including” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) and the whole lot reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: D(E)NIM.

14. Incense is permissible during show (7)

Answer: PROVOKE (i.e. “[to] incense”). Solution is OK (i.e. “permissible”) placed “during” PROVE (i.e. “[to] show”), like so: PROV(OK)E.

15. What some put in encyclopedia for English? (9)

Answer: DIPHTHONG, which is a two-vowel sound pronounced as one syllable. Within the context of the clue, it details how the diphthong “ae” could replace the final E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) in “encyclopedia” to obtain the variant spelling “encyclopaedia”.

16. Giving up job, reasoning it is tricky (11)

Answer: RESIGNATION (i.e. “giving up job”). “Tricky” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of REASONING IT.

17. Southern US soldier left amid deceased is unhappy (11)

Answer: DISGRUNTLED (i.e. “unhappy”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “southern”), GRUNT (i.e. “US soldier”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) placed “amid” DIED (i.e. “deceased”), like so: DI(S-GRUNT-L)ED. I’m often reminded of P.G. Wodehouse when I see this word. To quote: “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled”. Still makes me laugh.

18. Sacred creature, primarily Egyptian? (6)

Answer: SCARAB, the sacred beetle of the Ancient Egyptians. Solution comprises S and C (i.e. “sacred creature, primarily”, i.e. the first letters of “sacred” and “creature”) followed by ARAB (i.e. “Egyptian”), like so: S-C-ARAB. A good clue, this.

19. Find out about how some cook steak in radiation (8)

Answer: INFRARED (i.e. “radiation”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of FIND placed “about” RARE (i.e. “how some cook steak”), like so: INF(RARE)D.

21. Stones needing good composer (6)

Answer: GRAVEL (i.e. “stones”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by Maurice RAVEL (i.e. “composer” – him wot done Bolero, like).

25. Topless partygoer grew old and developed mean values (8)

Answer: AVERAGED (i.e. “developed mean values”). Solution is RAVER (i.e. “partygoer”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “topless”) and followed by AGED (i.e. “grew old”), like so: AVER-AGED.

26. Words reported in court about terrible language (8,6)

Answer: INDIRECT SPEECH (i.e. “words reported”, as in “he said such-and-such”). Solution is IN and CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”) placed “about” DIRE (i.e. “terrible”) and followed by SPEECH (i.e. “language”), like so: IN-(DIRE)-CT-SPEECH.

28. The French hail Brexit’s aim (5)

Answer: LEAVE (i.e. “Brexit’s aim”). Solution is LE (i.e. “the French” – the French for “the” is “le”) followed by AVE (i.e. “hail”, as in a greeting).

29. Is able to go quickly, but not a pace near a gallop (6)

Answer: CANTER (i.e. “pace near a gallop”). Solution is CAN (i.e. “is able to”) followed by TEAR (i.e. “go quickly”) with the A removed (indicated by “but not a”), like so: CAN-TER.

30. After Tiger beer, perhaps, tons in photo can be in a stiff trance (10)

Answer: CATALEPTIC (i.e. “in a stiff trance”). Solution is CAT (i.e. “tiger”) and ALE (i.e. “beer”) followed by PIC (i.e. “photo”) wrapped around T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”), like so: CAT-ALE-P(T)IC.

33. Fish’s batter used for waffle? (10)

Answer: CODSWALLOP (i.e. “waffle”). Solution is COD’S (i.e. “fish’s”) followed by WALLOP (i.e. “[to] batter”).

35. Bird that sings in America during quiet (6)

Answer: THRUSH (i.e. “bird that sings”). Solution is THRU (i.e. “America during” – as in a variant form of “through” popularly used in America) followed by SH (i.e. “quiet”).

36. Violent expulsion from power by press (5)

Answer: PURGE (i.e. “violent expulsion”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) followed by URGE (i.e. “[to] press”).

38. Sign railway added to line finishing in centre of Reading? (7,7)

Answer: LENDING LIBRARY (i.e. “centre of reading” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is LIBRA (i.e. “sign [of the zodiac]”) and RY (a recognised abbreviation of “railway”) which is “added to” L (ditto “line”) and ENDING (i.e. “finishing”), like so: L-ENDING-LIBRA-RY.

40. Station using track from Sweden (8)

Answer: WATERLOO. Solution satisfies both “[London train] station” and “track from Sweden” (i.e. the hit choon by ABBA).

42. Instructions for sellers, initially on cheese (6)

Answer: BRIEFS (i.e. “instructions”). Solution is F and S (i.e. “for sellers, initially”, i.e. the first letters of “for” and “sellers”) placed “on” BRIE (i.e. “cheese”), like so: BRIE-F-S.

43. Boats seen plying in delta lagoons? (8)

Answer: GONDOLAS (i.e. “boats”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “plying”) of LAGOONS and D (i.e. “delta” in the phonetic alphabet).

44. Low bar has right to offer entertainment (6)

Answer: DIVERT (i.e. “to entertain”). Solution is DIVE (i.e. “[a] low bar”, as in “this place is such a dive”) followed by RT (a recognised abbreviation of “right” e.g. in the title Rt Hon, for Right Honourable).

47. In high state, queen wearing fashionable fur is unbeatable (11)

Answer: INSUPERABLE (i.e. “unbeatable”). Solution is UP (i.e. “high state”) and ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) “wearing” IN (i.e. “fashionable”) and SABLE (i.e. “fur”), like so: IN-S(UP-ER)ABLE.

50. Art style gets involuntary response in Catholicism (11)

Answer: ROMANTICISM (i.e. “art style”). Solution is ROMANISM (i.e. “Catholicism”) “getting” TIC (i.e. “involuntary response”), like so: ROMAN(TIC)ISM.

52. Unusual approach about unknown odd books (9)

Answer: APOCRYPHA (i.e. “odd books”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unusual”) of APPROACH placed “about” Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters like using this to represent X, Y, or Z in their solutions), like so: APOCR(Y)PHA.

53. Deadlock that is besetting parliamentarian fool (7)

Answer: IMPASSE (i.e. “deadlock”). Solution is IE (i.e. “that is”) “besetting” MP (i.e. “parliamentarian”) and ASS (i.e. “fool”), like so: I(MP-ASS)E. Another clue that made me smile, especially given the chimp’s tea party we have for a parliament these days.

54. Frequently relent, letting son go (5)

Answer: OFTEN (i.e. “frequently”). Solution is SOFTEN (i.e. “relent”) with the S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) “let go”.

55. Spa vessel? Need this to be clean (7)

Answer: BATHTUB (i.e. “spa vessel”). Within the context of the clue, you would rather hope the bathtubs in a spa were clean. Unless they’re filled with muck, I guess. Or tofu. Or whatever is deemed cleansing these days.

56. Small cat, not male, gets rather wet (5)

Answer: SOGGY (i.e. “rather wet”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by MOGGY (i.e. “cat”) with the M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) removed.

57. Re-arrest university’s corrupt bursar (9)

Answer: TREASURER (i.e. “bursar”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “corrupt”) of REARREST and U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”).

Down clues

1. What’s back in favour – a deciduous tree (5)

Answer: CEDAR (i.e. “tree”). “In” suggests the solution is hidden in the clue, while “back” indicates that the solution is reversed, like so: FAVOU(R A DEC)IDUOUS.

2. Add green acres plan? I could arrange it (9,8)

Answer: LANDSCAPE GARDENER. “Arrange it” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ADD GREEN ACRES PLAN. As you can see, the solution rather fits within the context of the clue. I liked this one a lot. Well played, setter.

3. Small dog, for instance, raced and consumed fruit (11)

Answer: POMEGRANATE (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is POM (i.e. “small dog”, specifically a shortened form of pomfret – a breed of dog that setters like using in their solutions, if you’ll forgive the pun) followed by EG (i.e. “for instance”) then RAN (i.e. “raced”) and ATE (i.e. “consumed”), like so: POM-EG-RAN-ATE.

4. On oath regularly for returning child all alone (6)

Answer: ORPHAN (i.e. “child all alone”). “Regularly” suggests part of the solution can be derived from every other letter of ON OATH. This is then followed by PRO (i.e. “for”). The whole lot is then reversed, indicated by “returning”, like so: ORP-HAN.

5. Turning to me, one touching son’s strong feelings (8)

Answer: EMOTIONS (i.e. “strong feelings”). Solution is TO ME reversed (indicated by “turning”), then followed by I (Roman numeral “one”) then ON (i.e. “touching”) and S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”), like so: (EM-OT)-I-ON-S.

6. Lorna enrages upset wealthy socialite (6,6)

Answer: SLOANE RANGER (i.e. a term for “wealthy socialite” coined in the mid-1970s). “Upset” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LORNA ENRAGES.

7. Pacific crop with cash benefit (10)

Answer: BREADFRUIT (i.e. “Pacific crop”). Solution is BREAD (i.e. “cash”) and FRUIT (i.e. “benefit”).

8. Bachelor avoiding marrying women goes on (5)

Answer: RIDES (i.e. “goes on”). Solution is BRIDES (i.e. “marrying women”) with the B (a recognised abbreviation of “bachelor”) removed.

9. Protected ape immediately (9)

Answer: COPYRIGHT (i.e. “protected”). Solution is COPY (i.e. “ape”) then RIGHT (i.e. “immediately” – a weak one this, but both words can be taken to mean “direct”).

10. Fruit very quietly put into beer, chasing what consumers like? (6,5)

Answer: EATING APPLE (i.e. “fruit” – this puzzle is helping with our five-a-day, if nothing else). Solution is PP (i.e. “very quietly”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “pianissimo” used in music) “put into” ALE (i.e. “beer”), and the whole lot “chasing” EATING (i.e. “what consumers like”), like so: EATING-A(PP)LE.

11. Nearly all know Jill – with Jack, one going for hill (5)

Answer: KNOLL (i.e. “hill”). Solution is KNO (i.e. “nearly all know”) followed by JILL with the J (a recognised abbreviation of “Jack” used in cards) and I (Roman numeral “one”) “going”, like so: KNO-LL.

12. Quiet area holding a deity? (6)

Answer: PAGODA. Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano” – i.e. “quiet” – used in music) and A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) “holding” A GOD (i.e. “a deity”). Within the context of the clue, a pagoda – an Eastern temple – may well be a quiet area holding a god. Another one I rather liked.

18. Shopping centres caught in the act of selling very little (5-5)

Answer: SMALL-SCALE (i.e. “very little”). Solution is MALLS (i.e. “shopping centres”) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in assorted ball games) placed “in” SALE (i.e. “the act of selling”), like so: S(MALLS-C)ALE.

20. Inventor of myth: risen dead nearly all American (8)

Answer: DAEDALUS (i.e. “inventor of [Greek] myth”). Solution is DEAD reversed (indicated by “risen” – this being a down clue) and followed by AL (i.e. “nearly all”) and US (i.e. “American”), like so: DAED-AL-US.

22. Potential markers’ list set down under chosen exam (9,8)

Answer: ELECTORAL REGISTER (i.e. “potential markers”, as in those eligible to vote, i.e. to “mark” their ballot paper). Solution is REGISTER (i.e. “list”) placed or “set down under” ELECT (i.e. “chosen”) and ORAL (i.e. “exam”) – this being a down clue – like so: ELECT-ORAL-REGISTER. Another good one.

23. Place outside Nice rebuilt for a writer (6)

Answer: PENCIL (i.e. “writer”). Solution is PL (a recognised abbreviation of “place” used in street names) put “outside” an anagram (indicated by “rebuilt”) of NICE, like so: P(ENCI)L.

24. Be a wimp, getting confused in checkout (7,3)

Answer: CHICKEN OUT (i.e. “be a wimp”). “Getting confused” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN CHECKOUT.

27. Lacking time, talking over PA system is tiresome (8)

Answer: ANNOYING (i.e. “tiresome”). Solution is TANNOYING (i.e. “talking over PA system”) “lacking” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

31. Retreat with sheep under tree (6)

Answer: ASHRAM, which, in India, is a hermitage for a holy man (i.e. “retreat”). Solution is RAM (i.e. “sheep”) placed “under” – this being a down clue – ASH (i.e. “tree”), like so: ASH-RAM. One I got through the wordplay, if I’m honest.

32. Task round plot – nursery finally planned moves? (12)

Answer: CHOREOGRAPHY (i.e. “planned moves”). Solution is CHORE (i.e. “task”) followed by O (i.e. “round”), GRAPH (i.e. “plot”) and Y (i.e. “nursery finally”, i.e. the last letter of “nursery”), like so: CHORE-O-GRAPH-Y.

34. Thinner tie with rips is thrown out (5,6)

Answer: WHITE SPIRIT (i.e. “thinner”). “Thrown out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TIE WITH RIPS.

36. Quick dropping stone into valuable setting (11)

Answer: PRECIPITOUS (i.e. “quick[-]dropping”). Solution is PIT (i.e. “[a fruit] stone”) “set into” PRECIOUS (i.e. “valuable”), like so: PRECI(PIT)OUS.

37. Minor royal and pop singer loiter, avoiding Queen (10)

Answer: PRINCELING (i.e. “minor royal”). Solution is PRINCE (i.e. “pop singer”) followed by LINGER (i.e. “loiter”) “avoiding” (i.e. removing) ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: PRINCE-LING.

39. What’s for instance involved in cooking top grub? (9)

Answer: GASTROPUB. Solution is AS (i.e. “for instance”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “cooking”) of TOP GRUB, like so: G(AS)TROPUB. Within context of the clue, a gastropub could well be somewhere cooking top grub.

41. Second group after month finding small monkey (8)

Answer: MARMOSET (i.e. “small monkey”). Solution is MO (i.e. “second”, as in the unit of time) and SET (i.e. “group”) placed “after” MAR (a recognised abbreviation of “March”, i.e. “month”), like so: MAR-MO-SET.

45. What helps raise protection for baby around vehicle (6)

Answer: BICARB (i.e. “what helps raise [in baking]”). Solution is BIB (i.e. “protection for baby”) placed “around” CAR (i.e. “vehicle”), like so: BI(CAR)B.

46. Building an inn at last on river (6)

Answer: ANNEXE (i.e. “building”). Solution is AN then N (i.e. “inn at last”, i.e. the last letter of “inn”) followed by EXE (i.e. a “river” running through Devon).

48. Film big game expedition? (5)

Answer: SHOOT. Solution satisfies “[to] film” and “big game expedition”.

49. Metal that is not used in old-fashioned club (5)

Answer: BRASS (i.e. “metal”). Solution is BRASSIE (i.e. “old-fashioned [golf] club”, albeit one that doesn’t feature in my Chambers – your dictionary may differ) with the IE removed (i.e. “that is not used”, “that is” being another way of saying “i.e.”).

51. Number invading spoil home territory (5)

Answer: MANOR (i.e. “home territory”). Solution is NO (a recognised abbreviation of “number”) “invading” MAR (i.e. “to spoil”), like so: MA(NO)R.