JUMBO 1236

This was mostly very straightforward with just a smattering of “funny” words to sort the men from the chaff.

First in was PARASOL and last two were RAREE SHOW and ERINYES.

Are you sitting comfortably?  Then let’s begin.



CASSIUS  – CAs (chartered accountants) + I(nstalled) in S US.  Cassius was the ringleader of the conspirators against Julius Caesar in the play of the same name what William Shakespeare wrote.


SEGREGATION – STATION with E GREG replacing the first T


SINFONIETTA – (nonetifitsa)* I had to correct my first hopeless stab of sinfonettia


ESTOP – HIDDEN.  To estop is to impede or bar by estoppel.  Just off the top of my head, estoppel is a legal principle in the law of equity that prevents a party from asserting otherwise valid legal rights against another party because of conduct by the first party, or circumstances to which the first party has knowingly contributed, making it unjust for those rights to be asserted, with knobs on.


ECOSPHERE – (copse)* + Although strictly speaking an ecosphere is, let’s say, the zone of the earth, a planet, a star, etc. which contains or is theoretically capable of containing living organisms, you can buy glass balls containing water and diddly creatures that go by the same name.


ALEXANDER’S RAGTIME BAND – Alexander Selkirk being the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, with Alexander’s followed by (brigandteam)*.  If this song isn’t Irving Berlin’s worst I don’t know what is.


INCISIVE – (losse)S + I’VE following IN C.I.  On one of this week’s blogs someone suggested that the Channel Islands were obscure.  Not in crosswords.  Or, for that matter, in real life.


PRIVET – RIVE in PT for part.  Does oleaceous mean good for hedges and loved by pet stick insects?


EURATOM – homophone for you’re then A TOM.  I wasn’t aware of this institution and had to rely on Wiki to discover that The European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) is an international organisation founded in 1957 with the purpose of creating a specialist market for nuclear power in Europe, developing nuclear energy and distributing it to its member states while selling the surplus to non-member states.


PIN-UP – Nip down must equal pin up


SHEBEEN – HEBE in S.E.N.  I you didn’t know that Hebe was the cupbearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, or that an S.E.N. was a State Enrolled Nurse, or that a shebeen is an Irish term for an illicit bar or club where excisable alcoholic beverages were sold without a licence, you might have struggled with this.


EAGERNESS  – AGE in ERNE’S then (realm)S


THESAURUS – THUS surrounding ESAU + R


PROWL – PROW + L(ake)


HEBRAIC – HE BRA I/C. def is “of Semitic people?”




DESPOTIC – CID reversed around (poets)*


WORTH ONES WEIGHT IN GOLD – WORTH (justifying) + ONES + homophone of wait + GOLD as in target area in archery.


LOBSCOUSE – LOB for throw + SCOUSE for Liverpudlian.  Lobscouse is a stew once “enjoyed” by sailors


INKPOTS – IN K POTS as in potted shrimps




CELEBRATORY – BRAT O in CELERY, although calling celery a food item is a bit of a stretch.


BILLETS-DOUX – BILL + (usedto) + X.  If you ask me the plural should be billet-douxes.


BESIEGE – S(outhern) I(sle) + e.g. in BEE


TEST BED – TEST (match) + Batchelor of Education


FORESEE – (prelat)E in FOR SEE



SLEEPLESS – S(on) then PEEL rev and LESS




TENET – THE NET without H(usband). Tenet and canon are both synonyms for principle 


HUNTER-GATHERER – HUNTER (a type of pocket watch) and HER E.R. around GAT


CROCODILE – DD of a sort.  Do our overseas solvers call a line of schoolchildren marching down the street a crocodile?


SKIMP – S(hillings) & P(ence) around KIM


IN THE LAST RESORT – (lenhestartsriot)*


SEAWEED – SEED gathers in AWE


ADVISOR – D(aughter) in A VISOR


RAREE-SHOW – A new one on me.  It’s a sort of peep show in a box, apparently, with seedy undertones, which would explain why I’d never heard of it.  Cough.  R-R-E didn’t look too promising as a set of letter but once you came up with the right Welshman you just had to pop A REES into ROW containing H(ospital) 


EARDROP – EAR DR OP with it depends being the clever definition using depend in its lesser-used sense of to hang down or be suspended




CANTERBURY BELLS – See for the cathedral City in Kent + homophone for belles to give the common name for Campanula medium


VANITY BAG – (bytvgaina)*.  More commonly called a vanity case I think but what do I know?


PEASANTS’ REVOLT (protestantslave)* less T for time


PHARAOH – sounds like fair O.  I used to spell this word with the O and A t’other way about before I started doing the Times crossword


GUDGEON – GRUDGE minus (dine)R plus ON.  It says here that Gudgeon is the common name for a number of small freshwater fish of the families Cyprinidae, Eleotridae or Ptereleotridae. Most gudgeons are elongate, bottom-dwelling fish, many of which live in rapids and other fast moving water.


CONSULATE – C (musical note) O(ld) {i}NSULATE (as in pipe or tank).  A bit tricky because the experienced solver will want CON to be the old lag bit.  Anyone else used to smoke Consulate? Because they were menthol your mum would just think you’d been in the woods with your mates sucking mints and not smoking at all.  Oh no.  Silly mums.




STROLLED – S(on) TROLLED (reference to online message boards etc.)


WOLF CUB – FLOW reversed then CLUB (as in golf) for wood perhaps minus L for Liberal


ERINYES – ERIN YES.  Unknown to me, but Erinyes (and Erinys) are just alternative names for the Furies, which I have enough trouble with as it is.  That Davey Arthur has a lot to answer for.






CABLE – AB L in C.E.


KEBAB – E(aten) B.A. in K.B.  In the North-East doner kebab is called elephant leg.


SHEAF – H.E. in SAF{e}


10 comments on “JUMBO 1236”

  1. The parsing of 54a is missing (a clue from a previous week seems to have been left there by mistake) – it is BRAT + O in CELERY.

    Paul G

    1. Thanks, corrected. Oh, the perils of using the previous blog’s template as a starting point.
  2. Many thanks for the excellent blog and also to the setter for a very good puzzle that I found about normal in terms of difficulty. A few minor points. While CASSIUS did indeed feature in that Shakespeare play, I guess it all came from history a bit further back so the bard’s work is not really essential to it. In COINCIDE, was not 100% sure about the IN, perhaps meaning “current” though that is sometimes I, complicated a little further by the fact that “in” is in the clue just as that point. Little doubt about the answer though. Finally I think TRIXIE is just a tiny bit more than a double definition, and relies on a homophone of ‘tricksy’.
    1. Dear anonymous, thank you so much for commenting. Jumbo blogger land can be a lonely place where tumbleweed outnumbers people so any human interaction is more than welcome.

      Thanks also for taking the trouble to read the blog in detail.

      Regarding Trixie, when solving I certainly went down the tricksy route so I have no idea why I decided to call it a DD in the blog.

      Noted re Cassius too. For some reason my extensive and painstaking research (thanks Wikipedia) didn’t reveal much about the real Gaius Cassius Longinus but of course Waggledagger didn’t just make him up like he did Henry V.

      I think the only way COINCIDE works is if IN = current as in “the in thing” for instance, but as you say the outcome is in little doubt whichever way you choose to get there.

  3. Found this marginally easier than average but enjoyable nonetheless, finishing on RAREE-SHOW, which was vaguely familiar but I’m not sure why. Didn’t know CANTERBURY BELLS but the wordplay didn’t seem to have any alternatives. Are you a jazz fan? The existence of people like Pharoah Sanders doesn’t exactly help when it comes to getting the correct spelling of PHARAOH.

    Not going to lie – Davey’s singing on “When you were sweet sixteen” can bring a tear to the eye.

    Thanks setter and P.

    1. Hi Mohn. Not a jazz fan as such, no. My record collection consists mostly of rock and pop with a smattering of jazz, classical and soul and perhaps two to three smatterings of blues. Anyway, I hadn’t heard of Pharoah Sanders and it appears that Sam the Sham knew how to spell so I’ve got no excuses really, other than pharoah looking right. King Tut must be spinning in his display cabinet.

      Oddly enough, within a few hours of my posting the blog When you were sweet sixteen came on the radio. Despite being in the car with my youngest daughter who turned 16 on Friday the moment was lost when Paul O’Grady called yer man Arthur Davey.

  4. For some reason I knew RAREE SHOW, although I thought (for some other reason) that it was a (dead) Americanism. DNK the BELLS, but CANTERBURY fit the checkers and would have to be a see. Selkirk had me struggling to recall how I knew the name; as it turned out, ‘Berlin’ and some checkers triggered the solve, and I never did recall the Crusoe connection. Biffed 39d, wondering how ‘lag’ fit in; a meaning I didn’t know. Off the top of your head, Penfold, what’s replevin?
    1. a) A coarse cloth similar to tweed most commonly used to make flat caps;
      b) a hydrolytic enzyme involved in the production of stomach acids in certain herbivores;
      c) a procedure whereby seized goods may be provisionally restored to their owner pending the outcome of an action to determine the rights of the parties concerned, with knobs on.
  5. Re my comment at 3, yes, I think “in” is “current” as the example you give very clearly shows, so that clears that up fully. The fewness of comments on these blogs is, I’d say, because of the gap between solving and the blog appearing in the case of a prize puzzle.
  6. Quite enjoyed this one and plodded steadily through it at my usual slow pace. Didn’t know RAREE SHOW but since only REES came to mind as a suitable Welsh name it had to be that.

    Got 45d wrong, entering EXIRYES thinking EX IR could be ‘from Ireland’ and my answer looked plausible as a mythological term. Should have looked it up and had another think.

    Oh, and I spelt PHARAOH wrong though it was soon corrected when HEBRAIC wouldn’t fit. I kid myself that I’d have spelt correctly if it was across and not down. Used to be a good speller as a boy but spellcheckers make you lazy these days.

    Thanks for the blog.

    David (Warwick)

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