Times Cryptic Jumbo 1528 – 27 November 2021

Hello again. I don’t really have a time for this crossword for two reasons, the first of which is that I tend to do jumbos in several short sessions, as and when time permits. The second reason is that the day before this was published I had my covid booster jab, and they threw in a flu jab for good measure. The results were fairly dramatic, I was sick for days and even began to feel that having covid and flu might actually be preferable … not so of course, or so I imagine, but it took me a few days to regain my equilibrium, during which time I ploughed steadily through this crossword. I don’t think it was particularly hard, though it did have two huge anagrams that caused me a bit of head-scratching.

Please, do feel free to ask questions or comment as required. I am sorry if this blog is perhaps a little bit briefer than usual.

I use the standard TfTT conventions like underlining the definition, CD for cryptic definition, DD for a double one, *(arnagam) and so forth. Nho = “not heard of” and in case of need the Glossary is always handy.

1 Open to change of plan, a motorway that may be stopped (9)
AMENDABLE – A M(otorway) + ENDABLE.. a rather contrived clue, to start us off ..
6 Wondered if icehouse is outside this building (7)
EDIFICE – hidden: WonderED IF ICEhouse
10 Little time to pursue study (5)
SCANT – SCAN (study) + T(ime)
13 Stay-at-home wanting run out used van freely (13)
14 Reprimand about Italian wine scandal? (9)
CASTIGATE – C (about) + ASTI-GATE, ha ha. The only scandal here though is the latest appearance of a drink that I dare say few living cruciverbalists have ever sampled. This is now surely the Prosecco Age …
15 Loose garment needing close fastening (7)
NIGHTIE – NIGH (close) + TIE (fastening)
16 Hard lump inside a bone (7)
STERNUM – STERN (hard) + l(UM)p
17 Warmongers regularly, I note, show an ignorance of the past (7)
AMNESIA – wAeMoNgErS + I + A (note)
18 Personally wrapped up small brownie getting taken in (4-8)
SELF-ABSORBED – S(mall) + ELF (brownie) + ABSORBED (taken in)
20 Attachment finishes on Friday — start to cheer (10)
FRIENDSHIP – FRI(day) ENDS (finishes) + HIP (start to cheer)
23 Stuff fish with ten capers to begin with and do well (5)
EXCEL – X (ten) + C(apers) in EEL (fish)
24 Pearl such as the last across clue? (9)
THIRTIETH – DD. Pearl being one’s thirtieth wedding anniversary, which I can vaguely remember, And there are indeed thirty across clues.
25 I am a fool cutting exercise in standstill (7)
IMPASSE – I’M + ASS (fool) in PE, exercise
26 Sender of message left pager there carelessly (11)
28 Allied prisoner given food by English judge (11)
CONFEDERATE – CON (prisoner) + FED (given food) + E(nglish) + RATE (judge). A classic charade clue
30 Drunken duke on floor is not expected (8-3)
32 Flower mostly invaded by return of weed with couple often returning (11)
REITERATIVE – TARE (weed) + TIE (couple), both rev. inside RIVE(r), “Flower mostly.” Flower = river, as any fule kno.
34 Gatecrash home rightly without key (7)
INTRUDE – IN (home) + D (key of) inside TRUE
36 Band introduces person who finishes performance (9)
RENDERING – ENDER (person who finishes) in RING (band)
38 I mostly speed round motorway and drive on (5)
IMPEL – M(otorway) in I PEL(t) (I speed, mostly)
39 Narcissistic socialite is distraught about blog’s ending (10)
41 I sensed vices destroyed ability to resolve issues (12)
45 Stamp I invent without head of poor queen (7)
IMPRINT – P(oor) + R(egina, ie queen) inside I MINT (I invent)
46 Where wild animals live, see, with many close together (7)
DENSELY – DENS (where wild animals live) + ELY, the setter’s favourite episcopal see.
47 Money to get in heroin using sharp runners (7)
SKATING – TIN (money) inside SKAG, which apparently is a slang term for heroin. I remain regularly amazed by the extent of Times setters knowledge of drug argot. Heaven knows what must go on at their annual lunches.
49 Always famous piece by Handel ends transposed and too broad? (9)
OVERLARGE –  EVER (always) + LARGO (famous piece by Handel), with the initial E and final O swopped over.
50 Stablemen worked with this organisation (13)
52 Give up bear cave and return (5)
YIELD – I think this is a quadruple definition: give up, bear, cave (in), and return. Clever stuff.
53 Get hands confused? Mix-up initially is costly putting left for right (7)
MISDEAL – M(ix-up) + IS + DEAR (costly), with the R changed to L.
54 Jealous of three points accepted by ageing editor (5-4)
GREEN-EYED – EEN (three points, of the compass) inside GREY ED (ageing editor)

1 Former pupil from university having months in a large student body (7)
ALUMNUS – U(niversity) + M(onths) inside A L NUS,  a large student body, ie the NUS.
2 Fervent believer calling Eve a silly (11)
3 What club might raise to video rise to the top (5)
DIVOT – TO VID(eo) reversed, ie up not down.
4 Crazy financiers with nothing for answer (7)
BONKERS – BANKERS (financiers) with O instead of A
5 Bird always present where one sees lemurs (3)
EMU – Well, if one sees lemurs one sees (l)EMU(rs) too.
6 Work in gold, perhaps running off with a ring? (9)
ELOPEMENT – OP (work) in ELEMENT, one of which is gold..
7 Silly eating seconds, quite mad (6)
INSANE – S(econds) in INANE (silly)
8 Inhibit compiler’s yen to work for obscurity (19)
INCOMPREHENSIBILITY – *(INHIBIT COMPILER’S YEN). Sadly I had to wait for a few crossers and then biff it, 19 letter anagrams are mostly above my pay grade.
9 Subject redness regularly to wash (7)
ENSLAVE – rEdNeSs + LAVE (to wash).
10 Uncovered dive, possibly with big rubbish container outside pub yard (6-3)
SKINNY-DIP – INN (pub) + Y(ar)D, inside SKIP (big rubbish container). What our US pals would call a dumpster, I think.
11 Effect of drugs upset Sean taking article in eastern continent (11)
ANAESTHESIA – *(SEAN) + THE (article) inside ASIA, your Eastern continent.
12 Character of those who’d volunteer to fight? (5)
THETA – ie THE TA, that volunteer army which is now called the  Army Reserve.
For the avoidance of any confusion, “The Army Reserve was known as the Territorial Force from 1908 to 1921, the Territorial Army (TA) from 1921 to 1967, the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve (TAVR) from 1967 to 1979, and again the Territorial Army (TA) from 1979 to 2014.” So there.
16 Father’s rating swords forged for quality of child’s play (19)
STRAIGHTFORWARDNESS – *(FATHER’S RATING SWORDS), another 19 letter anagram (see 8dn)
19 The whole lot eat a lot on getting up? Not good — rather fast (7)
ALLEGRO – ALL (the whole lot) + (g)ORGE rev, ie up. Allegro, I discover, is faster than allegretto, but not so fast as presto.
21 Alexander’s Feast, say, after composition with parts coming separately (9)
PIECEMEAL – PIECE (composition) + MEAL (feast, say). So far as I can see, Alexander is mainly there for the surface reading, The reference is to a feast given by Alexander after his defeat of Darius at Persepolis, which was the subject first of an ode by John Dryden, then of a musical ode by Handel.
22 What airlines put on for safety — one cent in the buck? (2-4)
DE-ICER – IC (one cent) in DEER (which may be a buck)
23 Former partner faithfully guarding son, four, like a rock? (9)
EXTRUSIVE – EX (former partner), + S(on) + IV (four), both in TRUE (faithfully). Though to me true means faithful, not faithfully, which would be truly. Some igneous rocks are extrusive.
24 Swing component up over centre of retaining ring (7)
TRAPEZE – PART rev. (component up) + (b)EZE(l) (centre of retaining ring)
25 Person that’s reserved lettuce (7)
ICEBERG – A simple DD I think, though if you call someone an iceberg, it is no wonder if they are somewhat reserved
27 Run a group full of enthusiasm (6)
29 Tricky rescue set up I have to follow (7)
EVASIVE – SAVE (rescue) rev., + I’VE
31 Set fire to hospital — now a shell on which we build (11)
LITHOSPHERE – LIT (set fire to) HOSP (hospital) + HERE (and now). The lithosphere is defined as the rigid top shell of a planet, in the case of Earth the top 75km or so .. so if there is to be building, that is where it will be…
33 Slimy recipe cooked with little attention to detail (11)
35 Incompetent United Nations gets head of state murdered (9)
UNSKILLED – UN + S(tate) + KILLED (murdered). Not sure I would see incompetent and unskilled as being all that synonymous
37 Basic cheese the French used for a month (9)
ELEMENTAL – EMMENTAL (cheese) with LE (French for the) replacing the first M (month)
40 Acting, I am following playwright with no pressure (7)
INTERIM – Harold (p)INTER + I’M
42 Encourage one new father to carry progeny at the outset (7)
INSPIRE – I + N + SIRE (father) containing P(rogeny)
43 Sounded relieved about temperature observed (7)
SIGHTED – T(emperature) in SIGHED (sounded relieved)
44 A sign of some irritation with son having joints reportedly (6)
SNEEZE – S(on) + NEEZE, sounds like knees, joints reportedly
45 What’s produced by jumbo engine over years? (5)
IVORY – IVOR + Y(ears)..  this clue gave me quite a chuckle. Ivor the Engine is well known to folk of my generation who have had children. Made by Oliver Postgate, the genius behind the Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Bagpuss, together with puppeteer Peter Firmin, they made for a golden age of childrens programmes. Click on the link, and prepare to be charmed ..
48 Looking sick like when losing wicket (5)
ASHEN – AS (like) + (w)HEN
51 Ancient fortress abandoning resistance in error (3)
BUG – BURG, an ancient fortress, with the R(esistance) removed, to leave a bug which is an error, expecially if you are a computer programmer..

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

16 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1528 – 27 November 2021”

  1. 80 minutes in one session so progress must have been steady if a little slow, otherwise I would have put it down when stuck and returned to it later.

    I had one error, at 47ac where I almost (but not quite) convinced myself the answer was SHAVING. One has to mangle the grammar of the clue a bit to get H (heroin) inside SAVING (money) and ‘using sharp runners’ across one’s face sounds like an unpleasant experience although it might at a stretch describe the procedure of a wet-shave, if somewhat crudely.

    I hope you are now fully recovered, Jerry. I was fortunate in having no problems after any of my jabs, although the one for flu was done separately in my case.

    1. Fine now Jackkt, thank you. Took a week or so to get back to 100%. I had problems with the first two jabs as well .. I like vaccines, but they don’t like me ..
  2. I remember this for the truly impressive anagrams. DNK BEZEL, so I had no idea of how to get the EZE into TRAPEZE, which was one of my last in. NHO IVOR, but guessed that if there is an engine named Thomas, there could be one named IVOR; not to mention that not much else besides IVORY would fit. COD to YIELD.
    Sorry to hear about your vaccine experience, Jerry.
  3. I really enjoyed YIELD

    Does anyone know if there’s a world record for this sort of thing?

    Has there ever been a clue with more than four routes to the solution?

      1. I’m pretty sure there was a David McLean Sunday puzzle within the last year that had 7 definitions — but I can’t seem to find it. Maybe I imagined it
      2. It was actually an octuple, from 31 January 2021:

        Try fun class A drug hit: lose it, gag and snap (5)

        The same puzzle also contains a quadruple:

        Attractive and tan Polish expert (4)

        1. Interesting! I might even try to poke that into the glossary somewhere. Could you possibly provide a link to the relevant blog?
            1. Unspammed..
              That is indeed a CRACKing clue.. the glossary already has an entry for “Definition” and I have added a reference to it there.

              Thanks again!

              Edited at 2021-12-13 08:32 am (UTC)

  4. I managed this one in a few seconds over the hour without any typos, although I had to look up LITHOSPHERE to find out what it was after deriving it. The anagrams were indeed awesome. Sorry about your vaccine induced indisposition. I was untroubled by my own jabs, but had the flu jab a week before the booster. A month after getting the booster jab at a walk in centre, and noticing that it had appeared on my list of recently taken medicines on my online medical record, I received an email and text from the online booster jab service inviting me to book a booster jab as their records show I haven’t had one! How will that work for a Vaccine Passport I wonder! Anyway thanks to the setter for the puzzle and Jerry for the blog.
  5. ….but, given the appalling response times on the site (peculiar to Jumbo thankfully), it must have been straightforward as I finished in 30 minutes plus change.
  6. One way to find out is to go online to NHS and try obtaining a Covid passport. I tried this myself the other day and it’s very easy, though if you don’t already have access to the portal you may spend some time setting it up. I obtained a QR document available digitally and to print, and it’s valid for 30 days at a time.
    1. Good point Jack. I’ve just had a look on the NHS App and it shows I have a valid Vaccine Passport until 10th January 2022. There’s a link under the passport barcode to View Covid 19 records. Here I can view all the LFTs I’ve taken(all negative so far), and the Booster shot shows up in the list too. Result!
      There’s also an option to download the Pass into Apple Wallet on my iphone. That allows me to produce the Pass easily without having to log into the NHS App. Very convenient:-)

      Edited at 2021-12-11 02:25 pm (UTC)

  7. Sorry to hear about your jab experience, Jerry. I had my booster last week and thankfully have had no real side-effects from that or previous jabs. Having Covid was far worse, although even there I got off relatively lightly.
    I had SHAVING at 47ac too. It works fine from a wordplay perspective but ‘using sharp runners’ doesn’t really work as a definition even if it’s close.
    Found it reasonably straightforward other than that, done in under half an hour.
  8. Yup, me too, with much the same misgivings. SHAVING’s two pink squares still came as a surprise. One of those answers where, if you’ve done the hard work of grammar bending (which I think is OK) and smudging your way to a definition that is no greater stretch than many others we have had, you don’t see a reason to change it. Especially since not all of us have importuned our local Boots for a pound of skag (would that be a lot?). Spellchecker doesn’t know skag either, innocent as it is.

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