JUMBO 1246

Crikey, there’s no peace for the wicked when you get a plethora of bank holidays.  It seems like only 3 weeks ago that I was last on Jumbo blogging duty.

Another very straightforward puzzle on my watch, 45 minutes over two sessions including working out all the parsings.  Some good stuff in here.

First in was TOME, last was COAT.  If the clue that had you stumped was one of the few I’ve left out then do pipe up



SUSTAINING – IN IN in STAG after US reversed


DANSE MACABRE – DAN (think martial arts) then CAME reversed in SABRE.  Moves leading to grave was the lovely definition


ROUGH IT – You need to carry out a lift & separate on blanket box to put O(scar) in RUG HIT.  Good stuff


MELINDA – reverse hidden.  As that’s my sister’s middle name I should probably have got this quicker than I did, but as she hates the name I suspect I’d be forgiven


NOSTRUM – NO ST RUM FOR “a medicine prepared by an unqualified person, especially one that is not considered effective”.  Is that the person or the medicine?


TIRANA – IRAN in (at)TA(ck)


PLETHORA – PLEA “breached” by THOR.  I thought of THOR immediately but took a while to think of a word that contained it


HANGING GARDENS OF BABYLON – CD.  Did anyone else think of the view from a Torquay hotel bedroom window?


SODA POP – ADOS reversed then POP for DAD


TERTIARY – AIT reversed in TERRY.  AIT is almost a Pavlovian response to ISLET for seasoned solvers.  TERRY for man might take a little longer to come up with as the TERTIARY period doesn’t come up much in everyday conversation, unless you happen to take an interest in artifacts from the earlier period of the Cenozoic era, between 65 and 1.8 million years ago, like the bottle of Angostura bitters in our drinks cabinet.


TISSUE – The clue is “Series closely connected with Time magazine” and I assume that the intention is to put T(ime) with ISSUE (magazine) to get a series, e.g. a tissue of lies.  The trouble is, my iPod Chambers has tissue in that sense being a “complex accumulation” rather than a plain old series, and I can’t quite get the cryptic reading to work satisfactorily. Maybe the question mark is having to put in a proper shift.


PLASTIC SURGEON – PLASTIC (impressionable in the sense of modifiable I assume) then URGE in SON


CONTEMPT – straightforward charade of CON + TEMPT




NINE-DAYS WONDER – NINE + (dawsondyer)* I won’t bore you with the origin.




MASSAGED – M(ike) + AGED after ASS.  I can’t really see why AGED is “indeed getting on” rather than just “getting on”


ANNELID – ANNE + LI{e}D Annelids are a phylum of invertebrate worms. They are the segmented worms, with over 17,000 known species. Well-known species are earthworms and leeches.  I don’t know what a phylum is.  A can maybe.


VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM – long anagram.  The V&A wouldn’t be the first place I’d think of going to look at paintings but there you go


ARTISTIC – SIT reversed in ARTIC




AGON – GO in AN a new one on me but probably a write-in for classicists


OMICRON – more bloody classics.  MICRO (let’s think about short skirts) in ON (leg side in cricket).  The fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet which to me looks like it should be Omnicron.




PERTAIN – (rate)* in PIN







STURM UND DRANG – (mustang run)* around DDR which I remember from old East German tracksuits in football & athletics


ACHE – H(ard) in ACE 


NOTHING SPECIAL – a well-observed & executed anagram of Chileans opting


NIM – NIMROD without the ROD.  I don’t think I’ve ever played this mathematical strategy game but I’m aware of it.  This puzzle isn’t hard enough to be one of Nimrod’s so I’m not detecting anything self-referential.


AUNT – DAUNT without D(uke)


SMALL HOURS – Great clue, for the definition (Maybe one or two), SMALLS for personal laundry and the boxes device that gets the H(otel) OUR inside them


MANITOBA – OB for old boy (alumnus) in M(arried) ANITA


CUSTOM-BUILT – straightforward charade


BARNACLES – BARN + L in ACES.  Crusty lodgers is a great definition 


OLEANDER – LEANDER (off of Hero & Leander) under O for old to give you a small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts.


ACANTHUS – A CAN (prison) THUS (like this), an acanthus in this sense being an ornament carved into wood or stone to resemble the plant of the same name


LIMPET – M PE in LIT.  Another lovely def for a marine shell-dweller (rock lover)


ANTIGONE – ANTI (opponent) + GONE (dead) for the play written by Sophocles.  Or Euripides. Or Jean Anouilh.  Or Jean Cocteau. Or Robert Garnier.  Or Bertolt Brecht




CONSTANTINOPLE – (ancientsonplot)*




GLISSADE  – G + S in (ladies)*.  You don’t need me to tell you that this is a traveling step starting in fifth position from demi-plié


MIDDLE ENGLAND – CD.  For the benefit of my overseas viewer the phrase “Middle England” is a socio-political term which generally refers to middle class or lower-middle class people in England who hold traditional or right-wing views


BALDNESS – L in BAD on NESS.  Is it me or is there a lot of insertion going on in this puzzle?


ORTHOPTERAN – (ontoprather)*


OMNIUM – (c)O(mmand) + MUM around IN reversed.  I know this from th’Olympics and that.  It’s the “pentathlon” of cycling


CARABINEER – A BIN in CAREER for a cavalry soldier whose principal weapon was a carbine


GALLIARD – GAL LIAR D(eparts) for a form of Renaissance dance popular all over Europe in the 16th century


DOMINANCE – DOM (as in Pérignon) + IN ANC (having joined S.A. party) + E(stablish)


DISSENTS – D(aughter) IS SENT + S(aint). Note that in crosswordland saint can be both ST and just S


CODA – CO & DA, and another neat definition (closing bars) seamlessly woven into the surface reading (if that isn’t mixing textile metaphors)


COAT – Nasty ?O?T word, made by docking COATI, a diurnal mammal native to South America, Central America, and south-western North America which I suppose makes it exotic if you’re from Billericay, say


ARIA – {m}ARIA off of Mary Poppins


PSI – P{o}S{t}I{e}


11 comments on “JUMBO 1246”

  1. 40:53. I found this a bit tricky, and ruined it with a typo in a crossing letter that I somehow didn’t spot when I checked my answers. There are quite a lot of crosswordy words in here: DANSE MACABRE, ANNELID, AGON, OMICRON, ORTHOPPTERAN, ACANTHUS, OLEANDER, GLISSADE, GALLIARD, actually there are loads!
    I thought the definition of TISSUE was a bit odd too but Collins has ‘an interwoven series’, which gets the setter off the hook.
    I had no idea what AGON was, but it was a word I knew existed, and which was strongly associated with the word THRENI in my mind. I had absolutely no idea why I knew these words, or what the association between them was, so I just googled them. It turns out they are two pieces of music by Stravinsky. God knows where that came from.
    I’ve never come across CARABINEER, but I knew that the Italian fuzz are called ‘carabinieri’, so it seemed feasible.
  2. One minor correction (excellent blog otherwise) – 4d is an anagram of ‘Chileans opting’, with ‘ordinary’ being the definition.

    Paul G

  3. Found this not too difficult though unfortunately I’d put in a speculative AND as the middle of 2D before I had either of the other words, and I forgot to change it. GALLIARD was the only complete unknown, though the wordplay was kind. CARABINEER is one of those words that gets confused in my mind with carabinieri (Italian police) and carabiner (one of those mountaineering clip whatsits), all of which have the same root, though fortunately they’re all of different lengths so (confessions of a biffer) I just pick whichever one fits.

    Small typo in 14A, suggesting that you’re putting the answers in manually – it wouldn’t be difficult to alter my JavaScript blog creation routine (http://mohn2.livejournal.com/2201.html) to only include the answers, if that is your preferred format (rather than including the clues too). If that might save you some time, let me know.

    1. Hi John, thanks for pointing out the “small” typo which is now fixed.

      I’d welcome a way to cut out a lot of the manual entry. I solve in the paper and blog on a Mac so I’m not sure if your script will help. If it will then I’d happily include the clues if that’s what folk like to see.

      1. Unfortunately the online grid needs to be filled in in order that the script can then extract the answers. This would mean you’d be solving the puzzle on paper and then having to type all the answers into the online grid (I solve online anyway so there’s no duplication of effort for me). There are still some benefits to this, since all the numbering and the answers would be taken care of programmatically with none of the risks associated with manually adding/removing numbers, answers, and HTML tags to/from your template, but I don’t know how significant a time saving there would be between typing the answers manually into your template versus typing them into the grid and then running the script. If you’re interested in doing a time comparison between the two, let me know – I don’t think it would take me long to amend the script to only output the answers (the reaction to including the clues has been lukewarm, which surprised me given that all the other crossword blogging sites have included them for years).

        For non-prize puzzles and prize puzzles that are past their entry deadline, there are elements in the HTML containing the answers without any need for filling in the grid but of course that’s not much use for these Jumbos as the day they pass their entry deadline is usually the same day that the blog is published.

  4. I don’t recall whether this was harder or easier than other Jumbi–I don’t time these, doing them in bits and pieces while working on my preprandial Laphroaig. No comments in the margins, other than a ‘feh’ by 10d. It was nice to get a long one like 24ac early on (3d OI). LOI 18ac, COD to 8d.
  5. I knew GALLIARD from John Dowland, a contemporary of Shakespeare’s (not, I suppose, that that will carry much weight with you!), who turned out a bunch of lovely ones. You might Google ‘John Dowland galliard’.
    1. I now see that we had GALLIARD in the main cryptic last May so I should have classed it as an unknown with a fleeting period of known-ness, if that doesn’t sound like an attempt to excuse my feeble memory.

      I hadn’t heard of Mr Dowland but I will make sure to cue up a couple of his pieces on YouTube. As someone who, in his youth, was very much into the idea of knights and maidens and castles, a lute always goes down well.

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