Times Cryptic Jumbo 1548 – 2 April 2022

Hello again. This Jumbo I thought was significantly harder than average, with some difficult and tricksy clues. I got there, but it was a bit of a struggle. What did you think?

Another thing I struggled with, was formatting this blog. Something very peculiar has happened to the html from around or about 20dn, and I am dashed if I can see exactly what. So, sorry about that, humble apologies, but at least it is all readable, I hope…

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 Doddery ex-judge with SUV, one safe to take a chance at the wheel! (6,3,4)
FAITES VOS JEUX – and here we go, straight in at the deep end with my first nho. Place your bets, yes … faites vos jeux, no. It is an anagram of *(EX J(udge) +SUV 1 SAFE TO). Both the anagrist and the answer are quite tricky. The “don’t clue foreign obscurities with an anagram” brigade will be up in arms and I can’t honestly say I would blame them. I expect setters spend more time in upmarket foreign casinos than the average solver does
8 Yankee in game show to disregard the score? (4,2,3)
PLAY BY EAR – I am not sure about this. Perhaps it is Y (yankee) in PLAY (game) + Bear (show). Not my favourite.
13 Clients American and Irish mostly (5)
USERS – US + ERS(e). I suppose some clients will be users, and vice versa
14 After adjusting VAT, I agree to diversify (9)
VARIEGATE – *(VAT I AGREE). Another nho in this precise meaning, but it is not a huge leap from varied. And I knew that some leaves are variegated.
15 What gets viewers streaming talk on race? (7)
TEARGAS – TEAR (race) + GAS (talk)
16 Agitator close to corrupt and profitable St Petersburg concern? (12)
TROUBLEMAKER – (corrup)T + ROUBLE MAKER, your profitable Russian biz.
17 Alaskan native, one captured by camera naked, we understand (6,4)
KODIAK BEAR – I in KODAK (camera) + BEAR, sounds like bare (naked)
18 Don’t have your fare home? (3,3)
EAT OUT – a CD, fare meaning food in this context
19 A short journey by about six with a pilot (8)
AVIATRIX – VI + A (six with a) inside A + TRI(p) +X (by)
21 All closed following digging? (2,4)
IN TOTO – INTO (digging, ie liking) + TO, closed as in a door pushed to.
24 Fielder is behind boundary (6,4)
SECOND SLIP – SECONDS (is behind) + LIP (boundary)
26 One taking on fancy goods? (7,5)
IMPULSE BUYER – another CD, fancy meaning whim in this context. Not certain this clue quite works but you get the drift..
29 White pawn (4)
HOCK – DD, rather clever.
30 Fancy swimmer’s former, cracking girlfriend, rather! (8)
GOLDFISH – OLD (former) in GF-ISH. I tend to think of goldfish as sad little things, acquired at a funfair in a little plastic bag and with a future lifespan measured in days rather than weeks. No doubt things are different nowadays.
31 Suggestion from local United goal offside, initially (8)
INNUENDO – an Ikea clue: INN (local) + U(nited) + END (goal) + O(ffside)
34 In vain, go off to find John in Rome? (8)
GIOVANNI – *(IN VAIN GO). Giovanni being the Italian equivalent of John.
35 Readily supplied with pet by FBI agent (5-3)
SPOON-FED – SPOON (pet, what you do in the back row at the cinema) + FED, an FBI agent
36 Reptiles biting tail off crow (4)
BOAS – BOAS(t) (crow). One of a number of species of non-venomous snakes
39 Bloomer: one by boy per year is disturbing (5-7)
LADYS-SLIPPER – A subfamily of rather attractive orchid species, but I can’t seem to parse it. I see the boy and the year… and a hint of an anagram…. no, I suppose a LAD’s SLIP is a bloomer + PER, with Y(ear) poked in. Also not my favourite ..
40 Career criminal enters without being spotted (10)
FLAWLESSLY – LAWLESS (criminal) in FLY (career). Another tricky definition, not spotted = spotless = flawless
43 Reminders, such as demand for payment, returned by Society (6)
NUDGES – EG (such as) + DUN (demand for payment) both rev., + S(ociety)
44 Expected more care for one stretched on couch? (8)
LIKELIER – LIKE (care for) + LIER, the recumbent couch person
45 Maximum to be got from cashpoint — large amount, ultimately (2,4)
AT MOST – ATM (cashpoint) + OS (outsize, ie large) + (amoun)T
49 Index reference in German on Italian writer (10)
FOREFINGER – FO (Dario Fo, Italian playwright and Nobel laureate) + REF IN GER(man). I would say that a forefinger was an index finger, not just an index.
51 One calling round as hotel bar runs check on reservation (5,7)
CRASH BARRIER – AS + H + BAR + R(uns), in CRIER (one calling). Another sneaky definition.
53 Constituent, one left to enter popular objection (7)
INBUILT – I + L(eft) in IN (popular) BUT (objection)
54 Ruined are our wet waterproofs, etc (9)
55 On reflection, claim amusement displays taste (5)
UMAMI – hidden, reversed, in claIM AMUsement
56 Bird with old bit of gold and blueish plumage, brown at the ends (6,3)
GUINEA HEN – GUINEA, an old bit of gold, no longer needed unless you are buying a racehorse, and HEN, the final letters of blueish plumage and brown.
57 When feverish at home, you briefly prepare tonic (1,4,2,3,3)
A SHOT IN THE ARM – AS (when) HOT (feverish) IN (at home) THE(e) (you, briefly) ARM (prepare)

1 Vain female of no fixed abode, reportedly (9)
FRUITLESS – F(emale) + sounding like “rootless”
2 Vessel’s chief engineer stole aboard it (7)
ICEBOAT – CE (chief engineer) + BOA, a stole not a snake this time, in IT.
3 To be sure, an unusual resort! (10)
4 Tested by speaking through journalist, maintaining volume (6)
VIVAED – V(olume) in VIA ED (through journalist)
5 Girl about to drain a stream to find plant root (12)
SARSAPARILLA – SAP A RILL (drain a stream) in SARA, a girl. This took a while to find because of my total inability to spell the word right. Where did that extra A spring from?
6 Out of The Times, text (English) gets its interpretation (8)
EXEGESIS – .TEXT E(nglish) GETS ITS, with all of the T(imes)s removed. The third not my favourite .. also, clueing one of those quite familiar words that I don’t actually know the meaning of, not that I am blaming the setter for that ..
7 Picture accompanied by an echo in Cineplex? (4)
XRAY – hmm, easy to solve but a pig to parse. I assume the def. is “picture,” loose though it seems, and the rest is a reference to NATOspeak, X – xray is next to E – echo in the word cineplEX. The dictionary does have X-ray, as a type of picture. But only in NATO does it lose its hyphen.
8 Occupier not normally dealt with so blooming early! (10)
9 Clip with article on Irish town (6)
ANTRIM – TRIP, ie clip, on AN, an article. Antrim is a town as well as a county. Never been there, is it nice?
10 Pair of shades a boxer gets after fight? (5-3-4)
BLACK-AND-BLUE – a CD I think.
11 Coup on course, finally, since junta taking full charge (5)
EAGLE – the final letters of sincE juntA takinG fulL chargE. Two under par for the hole.
12 Picture of mine follows (9,4)
RESERVOIR DOGS – RESERVOIR, a mine in a certain sense I guess, a mine/reservoir of information for example. Not very convincing. And DOGS = follows. Not seen the film. Mr Tarantino not my sort.
20 Period assigned by group (4,4)
TIME SLOT – TIMES (by, as in six by five) + LOT (group)
22 What experts know about“unknowns” — answer: they’re negative! (9)
OXYANIONS – XY (unknowns) + A(nswer), in ONIONS, what experts know. A comprehensive NHO for me, and having read the Wiki article I am none the wiser. The definition is accurate so far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far.
23  Imaginary line bats also go in(8)


Cheated-on duke seen in mostly foolish light (9)
CUCKOLDED – D(uke) in CUCKO(o) (mostly foolish) + LED (light)


Give time to son to finish drink (4,4)
SEND DOWN – S(on) + END (finish) + DOWN (drink)


Love to meet with tart in uniform (2,1,5)
OF A PIECE – PIE (tart) inside O (love) + FACE (to meet). Is a pie a tart? They both use pastry, I suppose


Find oneself shy following school dance (8,5)

HIGHLAND FLING – HIGH (school, as in Ryedale High, where John Travolta went) + LAND (find) + FLING (shy). Do we need the “oneself?”

32 Serializes broadcast about football managers without interference (7-5)
LAISSEZ-FAIRE – FA (football managers, in theory at least) inside *(SERIALIZES)

33 Bursting with energy, following fine learning guide (12)
EFFLORESCENT – E(nergy) + F(ollowing) + F(ine) + LORE (learning) + SCENT, a guide, if you happen to be a bloodhound

37 Cheerful party assessed finally to have flipped (6,4)
UPSIDE DOWN – UP (cheerful) + SIDE (party) + (assesse)D + OWN (to have)

38 Revealing bishop’s responsibility at an end (3-7)
SEE-THROUGH – SEE (bishop’s responsibility, aka a diocese) + THROUGH (at an end)

41Metal club Yorkshireman holds back symbolically (9)
YTTERBIUM – well the symbol for ytterbium is Yb, which cluB York… holds back. The otherwise uninteresting Swedish village of Ytterby has a lot to answer for, having given birth as it were to no less than eight chemical elements..

42 Welcome not often seen for rising church priest (8)
HIERARCH – HI (welcome) + RARE, rev., + CH(urch)

46 Island abroad where Scot’s entire family at home? (7)
OKINAWA – The Scot referred to is saying “0 KIN AWA,” so all at home … permission to cringe, granted

47 Grass verges on Severn are dying (6)
SNITCH – S(ever)N (verges on severn) + ITCH (are dying)

48 Fairy’s loose garment moving right down leg (6)
OBERON – ROBE (loose garment), with the R moved to the end, + ON (leg, in cricketese)

50 Go on before the end to become a minister (5)

52 Walk that’s covered three fifths of Spain? (4)
STOA – S to A, which is indeed three fifths of “SPAIN”. A stoa is a covered walk or colonnade; in ancient Greece, their main drawback seems to have been the trip hazard caused by all the philosophers gathered there

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

8 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1548 – 2 April 2022”

  1. This was a chore from start to finish, and very unsatisfying because even having found the answers I struggled to parse many of the clues and some elements were a bit of a stretch to say the least. I note our blogger also had difficulty with some of the same answers.

    Towards the end I was making liberal use of aids as I just wanted the thing out of the way.

    Edited at 2022-04-16 05:14 am (UTC)

  2. There were a number of clues that I couldn’t figure out–PLAY BY EAR, XRAY, STOA, YTTERBIUM, LADY’S SLIPPER–and thanks to Jerry I now know why, and feel less bothered by my inability. DNK ISOGONAL, SECOND SLIP, OXYANIONS; I was sure that was OXYsomething, but it took forever to recall the phrase about onions. I also raised my eyebrow at ‘fancy swimmer’, and had ‘oneself?’ in the margin by 29d. At some point it occurred to me that 1ac was French, and FAITES VOS JEUX materialized immediately. Not my finest hour, nor, dare I say it, the setter’s.
  3. I too found this quite hard, taking about twice as long as an easy one at about 1hr 10minutes. I did enjoy the challenge, but was left with a couple unparsed – DNK Dario Fo and failed to spot YTTERBIUM was a reverse hidden of the chemical symbol. Thanks Jerry and setter.
    1. The Ytterbium clue is quite clever in that the symbol is shown correctly – capital Y, small b.
  4. This was a real grind, and took me just over an hour. Numerous clues that I didn’t think much of for reasons mentioned in the blog and several others I couldn’t parse. I thought for a while I wasn’t going to finish, particularly in the north-east where the crossing letters and enumeration at 1ac looked impossible at first. So thanks Jerry for untangling everything – no easy task!

    Edited at 2022-04-16 10:52 am (UTC)

  5. I was only able to solve twelve so not nearly enough for crossers to help with more of the unfathomable ones. Still got a lot of pleasure going through blog carefully and seeing what was going on.
    Thanks very much! I understand CRASH BARRIER as a “check” but don’t understand the role of “reservation”. Also “serializes” needs a “z” in explanation.
    1. It is a reference I think to the central reservation of a dual carrigeway, or motorway, where most of them are installed..
      Good spot re the Z, will correct it..
  6. Thanks- all clear now.I think we call that the “median” over here in the North American colonies.

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