Times Cryptic Jumbo 1543 – 26 February 2022

Hello again. This Jumbo I thought was a little harder than average, with four nhos and a loose-ish definition or two. What did you think?

Please, do feel free to ask questions or comment as required.

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


1 Choose a poor sounding instrument (7)
PICCOLO – homophone of “PICK A LOW” = “choose a poor”
5 Understanding silly mix-up about hubby on vacation (8)
SYMPATHY – S(ill)Y M(ix-u)P A(bou)T H(ubb)Y. It took me a while to twig that all these words have to be vacated, not just the hubby ..
9 Protecting side of ditch holding last of large and small fish (6)
ESCARP – (larg)E + S(mall) + CARP. I had heard of an escarpment but didn’t know escarp as one side of a ditch fortification.
13 Mariner that’s experienced abominable deed as drifting (4-6,6)
14 Foil container for food (6)
HAMPER – DD. I would see hampering as inhibiting rather than actually foiling something, and so does Lexico, but Collins includes the word “prevent” in its definition
16 Pit dog against prey regularly (8)
17 Girl wanting one to get in close (4)
ENID – I in END (close)
18 Physicist discovered in small lake something repelling water? (9)
TARPAULIN – PAULI (physicist) in TARN (small lake). Wolfgang Pauli, Nobel laureate, definer of the Pauli exclusion principle and interestingly, predictor of the neutrino; thus proving he knew about crossword “solvers” …
20 What rank is there for chief Greek commander? (8)
TAXIARCH – TAXI (what a rank is for) + ARCH (chief). An ancient Greek military rank, (I discover) still in use today for the equivalent of a brigadier-general.
21 Wizard new city love affair with rand (11)
NECROMANCER – N(ew) + EC (city) + ROMANCE (love affair) + R(and). Surely a familiar word in this Harry Potter era, which means magic involving communication with the dead
24 Rosy glow is divine in developing sunrise (9)
RUDDINESS – DD (doctor of divinity) in *(SUNRISE)
25 Aware of work to finish trapping flock of pheasants (4-4)
OPEN-EYED – EYE in OP (work) + END (finish). My second nho, apparently an EYE is another word for NYE, which is a name for a flock of pheasants…
26 Force to discard diamonds (4)
BIND – BIN (discard) + D(iamonds).
29 Notice she’ll fancy device to keep washing up (11)
CLOTHESLINE – *(NOTICE SHE’LL). I liked this clue!
31 Game and slightly drunken signs of affection (11)
TIDDLYWINKS – TIDDLY (slightly drunken) + WINKS, signs that a nod is as good as
33 Place with space shows flat with central hall, having set back at front? (11)
PLANETARIUM – PLANE (flat) + TARIUM, ie atrium with its front reversed. A tricksy clue but easily biffed.
36 No profligate equality between Leicester, say, and Elizabeth I (11)
CHEESEPARER – PAR (equality) in CHEESE (Leicester, say) + ER, a rare reference to a ruler other than our own dear queen
38 Dry when eating a rook pie (4)
TART – A R(ook) in TT, teetotaller. Is a pie a tart? Discuss .. they are certainly not far apart.
39 Small arboreal creature of tailless rodent class (8)
MARMOSET – MARMO(t) (tailless rodent) + SET (class). I love marmots, and have one at home:
41 Game bird related to the dodo (9)
SOLITAIRE – a double definition, the second of which is my third nho. Apparently the bird was not only related to the dodo but has shared its fate.
44 What helps small company’s host record it for broadcast, one’s assumed (11)
MICROCREDIT – I in MC (host) + *(RECORD IT). Nearly but not quite a nho, A tricky clue if you are not sensitised to the use of “broadcast” as an anagrind
45 Material for arms has not satisfied in coat of girl (8)
GUNMETAL – UNMET (not satisfied) in GAL (girl)
48 Cool in a way — with English habitual response (9)
APATHETIC – A + PATH (way) + E(nglish) + TIC. Is a tic a response? If so, to what? I thought the whole point of a tic was that it happened regardless. I also have trouble equating cool with apathetic. Not keen on this clue ..
49 What’s replaced our ultimately unreliable currency (4)
EURO – *(OUR + E)
50 Pasture’s fit and available for rent (8)
LEASABLE – LEA’S ABLE, a lea being a pasture
52 Obtain what can make a tattoo at college (4,2)
DRUM UP – DRUM, with which you can beat a tattoo, + UP (at college)
53 Uncle sins with novices badly showing lack of resolution (16)
INCONCLUSIVENESS – *(UNCLE SINS + NOVICES). I always find long anagrams tricky,
54 One calling for substitute horse in race (6)
RINGER – a DD. My knowledge of horses and horseracing is second to all, but fortunately a ringer can be applied to most sports, expecially team games such as cricket or football where (eg) St Cakes may have forgotten to mention the two ex-England internationals in their forward line-up, who qualify because they attended an open day once..
55 Note about large number sick in a number of ships (8)
FLOTILLA – LOT ILL, in FA a note (Fa, a long long way to run)
56 Making arrangement to train as skilled worker (7)

1 Fish in a particular locality around island (6)
PLAICE – I(sland) in PLACE.
2 Colonel duly banning uniform with reserve (6)
COLDLY – COL(onel) + D(u)LY.
3 A big bolt I deployed for parts not to be removed (9)
OBBLIGATI – *(A BIG BOLT I). I have an extensive knowledge of musical terminology. Every last fragment of it, derived from solving The Times crossword for 50+ years.
4 Organisation’s instructions about policies (11)
ORDERLINESS – LINES (policies, eg the party line), in ORDERS (instructions)
5 Expensive losing tons in leak (6)
SEEP – S(t)EEP, expensive
6 Notes insect run in dream – not a social one (11)
MISANTHROPE – MI’S (mi, a name I call myself) + ANT + R(un) in HOPE (dream).
7 Marooning a group over crew beginning to thieve (11)
ABANDONMENT – A BAND (group) ON MEN + T(hieve). Surely there are situations where ON = OVER, even if none spring immediately to mind.
8 Try short facial hair in despair (9)
HEARTACHE – HEAR (try) + TACHE, your short facial hair, though it needn’t be that short, Confucius qv. I would also maintain that despair was significantly more extreme than heartache. I think I must be in a picky mood today 🙂
10 Making rapid progress with a route following river (8)
SOARAWAY – SOAR (river) + A WAY. The river Soar is a tributary of the Trent, and flows through Leicester.
11 Dismay with a red wine unfinished on bar the American way? (11,5)
APPALACHIAN TRAIL – APPAL (dismay) + A CHIANT(i) (unfinished red wine, and as such a distinct rarity in this house) + RAIL (bar). The Appalachian Way is one of the three great long distance footpaths of America. I have friends who have done it and have thought about it myself, but didn’t fancy giving up the 100-120 days required. I thought 50 days walking along the Pyrenees was more than long enough to be away from home..
12 Associate parish divided up (7)
PARTNER – PAR(ish) + RENT (divided) reversed.
15 Of trees, not all are of a post-glacial period (8)
ARBOREAL – AR(e) (not all are) + BOREAL, my fourth nho in this particular context. Boreal basically means northern, and Boreas was the personification of the North wind, for Greeks. But it also refers to a climatic phase, see the Wiki entry for more.
19 Tonic, sir? Mixed hors d’oeuvres? (8)
CROSTINI – *(TONIC SIR). Fiddly Italian starters, bits of toast with things on
22 Attempt snooker shot that’s completely impracticable (8)
CRACKPOT – CRACK (attempt) + POT, a snooker shot though probably not one that I made.
23 Music hall — a bygone vessel for lyric verse (3,2,1,7,3)
ODE ON A GRECIAN URN – ODEON (music hall) + A GRECIAN URN, a bygone vessel I guess. Famously a poem by Keats.
27 Warranted daughter retiring without resistance (8)
DESERVED – D(aughter) + (r)ESERVED
28 Fool swallowing whiskey substitute (4)
SWAP – W, in SAP, a fool. The NATO spelling alphabet equivalent for W is indeed whiskey, and not whisky. Also see Alfa, and Juliett.
30 Pay attention to male editor (4)
HEED – HE + ED(itor)
32 Fertiliser that’s put on salad plants? (8)
DRESSING – a DD. Many is the lawn that has had a top dressing; and many the salad eaten with French dressing…
34 Briskness of Alabama river in metropolis (8)
ALACRITY – R(iver), in either AL + A CITY, or ALA + CITY, take your pick since the official USPS abbreviation for Alabama is AL, and the traditional one Ala.. So I discover ..
35 Lose an opportunity with girl with fur during the tango (4,3,4)
MISS THE BOAT – MISS (girl) + BOA (fur) in THE T(ango). This seems an error, since boas are normally made from feathers or other very light material, as confirmed by both Lexico and Collins. But no doubt some dictionary will say otherwise.. and I am certainly no expert on boas.
36 Definite about court case involving separated self and Charlie (11)
CATEGORICAL – Another answer much easier to biff than to parse. It is CA (about, circa) + EGO (self) and C(harlie) separtately inserted into TRIAL (court case). Ie CA+T(EGO)RI(C)AL.
37 Collecting tray, for instance, during a hymn (5,6)
SALVE REGINA – SALVER (collecting tray) + EG + IN A.
40 Award includes decoration mostly for healing (9)
MEDICINAL – ICIN(g), decoration  mostly, in MEDAL (award)
42 Passing trains running extended new timetable at first (9)
TRANSIENT – *(TRAINS) + E(xtended) + N(ew) + T(imetable)
43 Put out about hog running wild in kennel (8)
DOGHOUSE – *(HOG) in DOUSE (put out)
44 Miserable and visibly embarrassed over wind (7)
MEANDER – MEAN (miserable) + RED reversed.
46 A couple of bishops with letter for convent’s head (6)
ABBESS – A + BB + ESS, ie the letter S
47 Admiral seen in hold? (6)
NELSON – a DD, since apart from the worthy admiral, it is a wrestling hold. I had heard of a full-Nelson and a half-Nelson, but I discover that quarter-Nelsons and three quarter-Nelsons also exist. Live & learn ..
51 Subtle quality of girl going topless (4)
AURA – (l)AURA, your topless girl. Or it could be (m)AURA, a less common but by no means unknown name.. the Irish Saint Maura for example.

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

7 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1543 – 26 February 2022”

  1. Where did you find this, Jerry? I wondered if that’s what was going on but was unable to confirm it despite what I thought were my best efforts.
    1. It was in Collins Online, though I had to hunt for it:
      “Eye: another word for nye”
      And, under nye: “a flock of pheasants. Also called: nide, eye”
  2. Everything Jerry didn’t know, I didn’t either, plus the river SOAR. I also share his reservations about ‘tic’, ‘boa’, and ‘heartache’. I noticed before coming here that I’d never done 26ac, and after a few minutes managed to come up with BIND. Biffed ODE etc. from the U.
  3. Yes, it was a little harder than average. I had my last go at it this morning but I’ve ended up beaten by three: TAXIARCH, SOLITAIRE and SALVE REGINA.
    No. Of course a pie is not a tart. Anyone who says otherwise it’s telling pork tarts
  4. 13:46. Tricky this, with a few MERs. What is ‘holding’ doing in 9ac, for instance?
    Collins says ‘feathers or fur’ for BOA.
  5. Certainly on the trickier side, 47.16. I remember taking an age to work out the spelling o0f APPALACHIAN and then to decide what, other than Spring, followed it.
    Chambers also allows women (and drag queens, presumably) to wear BOAs made of fur.
    TAXIARCH not in my ken, but what else? And ESCARP in that precise meaning new to me, though made sense.
    Isn’t a TART just a pie without a lid? Probably to be seen in Bake Off on occasions, though probably getting rubbished by Hollywood for the reason kapietro stated.

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