Times Cryptic Jumbo 1568 – 30 July 2022

Hello again. This Jumbo I thought was not too difficult, bar a couple of quite tricky clues and one I thought unfair. I solved it while watching our ladies’ football team, the Lionesses, beat Germany to win the European Championships, hurrah! so all in all I had a great evening. I thought a couple of the clues quite relevant to the occasion, too ..

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, *(anargsam) and so forth. Nho = “not heard of” and in case of need the Glossary is always handy

1 Onset of tension and pressure in soldiers repeatedly producing lethargy (6)
TORPOR – T(ension) + P (pressure) in two lots of soldiers: OR, other ranks
4 Intense complaint about travel company, European (3,2,5)
CRI DE COEUR – C (about) + RIDE (travel) + CO(mpany) + EUR, European. Literally a cry from the heart, the first of two excursions into French
10 Military leader accepting high award for amusement (5)
COMIC – OM, our high award, inside CIC, commander-in-chief
14 Artist studies put up for discussion (9)
CONSTABLE – CONS (studies) + TABLE, or put up for discussion
15 Current aria is repositioned as first item (7-6)
16 One editor finally turning in story ready to break? (7)
FRIABLE – I + (edito)R, reversed inside FABLE (story)
17 Month to go round historic US state or European state (7)
MOLDOVA – OLD (historic) inside MO(nth), + VA, the US state Virginia. MO must be a recognised abbreviation for “month,” somewhere, I guess
18 Biblical character in history not starting attack (7)
ASSAULT – SAUL, a biblical character, inside (p)AST, history
19 It’s replies recalled after being trounced? (7,2,9)
LESPRIT DE LESCALIER – *(ITS REPLIES RECALLED). I thought this clue frankly unfair. Not only do we have an obscurity but even the enumeration is off because of the French grammar. Collins, Lexico and even the OED have only esprit, not l’esprit. Collins prefers escalier to l’escalier. I only got it at all because it has come up before, and rang a vague bell. The definition is ropy as well. The ripostes are thought up too late, but not necessarily recalled. Hmf.
21 So taken aback about turning up for work (4)
OPUS – UP inside SO, both reversed
24 Extended period in New York city? No hesitation (5)
YONKS – YONKERS, I believe, is part of New York. Without the ER it becomes yonks. Although it is only a mile or two north of Manhattan, and Wiki says it is an inner suburb of New York, it seems to be a city in its own right, in fact the third biggest in NY State after Buffalo and New York itself. Confused? Me too – though thinking about it, London has the City of Westminster inside..
26 Article carried by flying insect, for example (8)
27 Old period ballet move restricting dancing once (8)
PLIOCENE – *(ONCE) inside PLIE, a ballet move of some sort. The epoch in which the genus homo first appeared, some 3m years ago.
29 Be excessive — go and live under rock (11)
OVERINDULGE – *(GO + LIVE UNDER). I confess I bifd this
30 United meant to play for dramatised reconstruction? (11)
EDUTAINMENT – *(UNITED MEANT). An ugly word for a type of TV programme I’m not usually very keen on
32 Understand it is behind image displaying two figures? (6-5)
DOUBLE-DIGIT – DOUBLE (image, as in spitting image) + DIG IT, understand, at least in the late 1950s
35 Problem with element of education probed by the heartless school employee (4,7)
HEAD TEACHER – T(h)E (the, heartless) inside HEADACHE (problem) + R, one of three “elements of education”
37 Scoundrel, emotional, keeping wife in two areas (8)
TEARAWAY – AWA (wife, in two areas) inside TEARY, emotional
39 Soccer group roster including popular visitor to Wembley? (8)
FINALIST – IN (popular) in FA LIST (soccer group roster). Just like the Lionesses!
40 First contractor for The Times? (5)
TEMPI – Temp I would be the first contractor, if a temp was a contractor… temps usually are employed by and supplied by an agency, which will itself contract with the company concerned
43 Nasty trick, disposing of piano (4)
RANK – (p)RANK, a trick without the P(iano)
44 Leave the board so as maybe to get experience later? (4,2,2,3,4,3)
DIVE IN AT THE DEEP END – a CD and an &lit, I think.
47 A sound from waterfowl endlessly crossing it, turning in the water? (7)
AQUATIC –  IT, reversed in A QUAC(k), an endless waterfowl sound
48 Barrister showing a lot of character after matter cut short (7)
COUNSEL – COUN(t), to matter, cut short,  + SEL(f), I am guessing. I am a character, true enough ..
50 Drink’s prepared, to take care of King? That’s betrayal (7)
TREASON – R, king (from the Latin, Rex), inside TEA’S ON, drink is prepared.
51 After cut in revenue, German city reduced business, eschewing contacts (13)
INCOMMUNICADO – INCOM(e), revenue, cut, + MUNIC(h), a German city, also cut, + ADO, business.
52 Comes up to snatch family silver at the outset? Chancy stuff (9)
RISKINESS – KIN (family) in RISES (comes up), + S(ilver)
53 A duke taken in by cunning, alas (5)
SADLY – A D(uke) inside SLY, cunning
54 Subsequently shortened vague Keaton film (3,7)
THE GENERAL – THE(n), subsequently, shortened, + GENERAL, vague. Not a film I know, it was not well received on release but is now considered a total classic. Strange, how humour seldom lasts..
55 Things to do with target coming into range (6)
AGENDA – END (target) inside AGA, a chic but wasteful range cooker invented in Sweden but built in Britain. Our setter is an optimist; in my experience, an agenda is more likely a list of things to discuss endlessly, without actually doing anything..
1 Reckoning to keep Court fellows unsettled initially, in a diplomatic way (9)
TACTFULLY – CT (court) + F(ellows) + U(nsettled), all inside TALLY, reckoning.
2 Improving time? An era’s since undergoing revision (11)
3 Upturn in company to be resumed initially in just over four weeks (7)
OCTOBER – CO(mpany) rev., + TO BE R(esumed).
5 Evidence of cold inert gas in strange surroundings (5)
RHEUM – HE, or more properly He, in RUM
6 Revealing dress, of French school, securing cheers (11)
DECOLLETAGE – DE (of, French) + TA (cheers) in COLLEGE. How I would love to say I solved this as Chloe Kelly celebrated her winning goal. But by then, it was all over ..
7 Good for the French, blocking two vehicles in environmental action (6,5)
CARBON CYCLE – BON (French good), in CAR CYCLE, your vehicles. I don’t tend to think of a cycle as a vehicle; but all the dictionaries do
8 Black period at the outset not fixed in memory? (8)
ERASABLE – ERA (period) + SABLE (black). Only in heraldry though. In real life a sable is a rather pleasant little animal with brown and gold fur that unfortunately for it, humans value
9 Provide a reminder to get Tom active? (4,1,4)
RING A BELL – a DD I suppose, though how Tom = bell was a mystery to me. Collins & Lexico make no such connection but the OED says: “The name of certain exceptionally large bells; chiefly with modifying word or specifying place name, as Great Tom, Mighty Tom, Tom of Lincoln, Tom of Oxford, Tom of Exeter, etc.” Chambers mentions it too.
10 Smart, cold, smooth, but not good (6)
CLASSY – C(old) + (g)LASSY
11 Exhibit inspiration and hesitation before calm on the radio (6,5)
MUSEUM PIECE – MUSE (inspiration) + UM + PIECE, sounds like peace = calm
12 Oversight on source of theory? Something used in proof? (5)
CARET – CARE (oversight) + T(heory). A caret is the symbol you use to indicate where to insert a letter into a word or a word into a sentence .. ^
13 Forgetful sailor made very happy with sea around 60 per cent of India (6-6)
ABSENT-MINDED – AB (sailor, esp. an able-bodied one) + SENT (made very happy), + IND(ia) inside MED, my favourite sea
20 Sealing off centre of field, making fodder (8)
ENSILAGE – *(SEALING) + (fi)E(ld). An unlikely word that fortunately came up not so long since in a crossword. Though I’m still looking for a chance to drop it into everyday conversation. “So, I see you have harvested that corn while it’s still green, what are you planning to do with it, exactly?” .. perhaps. All the farmers I know would just reply “Silage, mate.”
22 Promise to hem edges of threadbare garment (7)
SWEATER – T(hreadbar)E in SWEAR, promise
23 Unhappy performers covered with feathers (8)
25 Is upset about hard work slowly storing a lot of cargo (8)
SHIPLOAD – H(ard) in IS, rev., + A in PLOD. Rather a neat clue, except that the temptation to use a T instead of the P is nearly irresistable..
28 Barrel remains to catch half of fine seafood (4,4)
TUNA FISH – TUN + FI(ne) in ASH, remains
29 Veteran Democrat coming in to support ditching leader (7)
OLDSTER – D(emocrat) in (b)OLSTER, to support
31 Article put it differently over dislike for employment assessment (8,4)
APTITUDE TEST – A (article) + *(PUT IT) + DETEST, dislike. Most “Aptitude tests” are pure pseudoscience..
33 Surprise part of speech hosted by African party captured by a French daughter (11)
UNANNOUNCED – NOUN (part of speech) inside ANC, African political party, all inside UN (French for A) + D(aughter)
34 Not easy, not right, engaging in dull survey (11)
TRIANGULATE – hmm. TRITE (dull), I could see. Inside it, we have ANGULA(r). I had trouble conflating that with “not easy,” but Collins has “Angular: awkward or stiff in manner or movement” which I suppose covers it.
35 Coals ultimately surrounded by brownish colour under hot part of fireplace (11)
HEARTHSTONE – H(ot), + (coal)S inside EARTH TONE, brownish colour
36 Lyricist criticises money required to secure opening of Evita (11)
HAMMERSTEIN – HAMMERS (criticises) + E(vita) in TIN, money.

I know very little about musicals and lyricists, but Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II, I had heard of. Not surprising if you look at the list of his musicals, which include Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, Showboat, and The Sound of Music, and more. Impressive.

38 Once more losing heart? Try to win battle (9)
AGINCOURT – AG(a)IN + COURT, woo or try to win. A battle forever associated in my mind with that dreadful pudding-basin haircut Laurence Olivier had in Henry V.. sorry
41 Asian country containing one S? (9)
INDONESIA – ONE S in INDIA. Clever.. the “country” is doing double duty, and why not?
42 Observe French priest suppressing wretched vice (8)
PERCEIVE – *(VICE) in PERE, a French priest
45 No time for equestrian activity later in the day (7)
46 See about gut, being squat (6)
STUMPY -TUM (gut) in SPY, see
47 English novelist and son may be wide of the mark (5)
AMISS – AMIS, Martin or Kingsley, + S(on)
49 Insect form in some particular variation (5)
LARVA – hidden, in particuLAR VAriation

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

7 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1568 – 30 July 2022”

  1. Once I had ENSILAGE I guessed that 19ac was French, and I was so pleased at getting it that I didn’t think much about the definition. Aside from the ‘recalled’ problem, L’ESPRIT DE L’ESCALIER is not necessarily a reply, it’s a witty remark that didn’t occur to one when it should have. (I didn’t think it obscure, although for years I wondered why it’s called the spirit of the staircase.) I think my only DNK was Wembley, although I inferred that it’s a stadium of some sort. I spent some needless time on 3d wondering what ‘uptum’ meant; damn sans-serif type.

  2. I didn’t finish this puzzle, but I actually filled in quite a lot of it and was very proud!

    14a, I will say, took years off my life trying to solve and even now leaves me a bit baffled. Obviously it would have helped if I’d heard of Mr. Constable before, haha. But I’m not familiar with cons = studies — is that as a noun or a verb? Is cons short for something? I was also hampered by thinking of “put up for discussion” as meaning “propose to discuss” or “bring up in discussion” (I guess like you put someone up for a promotion) whereas “table” to me means to stop discussing it for the moment … ah, well!

    1. Hi Ellie. To con = to study, it’s been explained here before but I forget why. The important thing is to remember it; it comes up a lot. I haven’t seen your meaning of table before, to close discussion down. Interesting. We would shelve it

    2. Hello Ellie. I am always impressed by how well our American cousins cope with English crosswords … with all the spelling and usage differences involved, it must be difficult for you at times.
      Lexico has: “CON (transitive verb) archaic. Study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)
      ‘the children conned their pages with a great show of industry’ ”
      – the word is related to con as in a conning tower, or “Mr Sulu, you have the con” on a ship’s bridge. They are both archaic versions of CAN, so not actually short for anything.

  3. I got to L’ESPRIT DE L’ESCALIER eventually as something vaguely remembered though not well enough that I didn’t have to struggle hard with anagrist and checkers to find a fit. Having looked it up later and found its variations I also thought it was unfair.

    I didn’t think much of the definition of DIVE IN AT THE DEEP END either although the first three words got me thinking in the right direction and at least I knew the expression and was able to write it in with confidence.

  4. I was still on my hols when I did this, in the paper, without a time. A good Jumbo but with too much French. At 19ac, even with LESPRIT DE penciled in, and all the crossers, I could not make anything of the rest and I had to look it up. I was stuck too on 42dn assuming CURE was the French priest, before seeing PERE. On the other hand, I thought ENSILAGE would be a much nicer word with a French pronunciation

  5. Just one blank (I forgot that I was supposed to come back to it) : the not impossibly hard ERASABLE, I even pencilled in the R. Vaguely knew that SABLE=black in heraldry.


    Was convinced 35D would be UMBERSTONE — brownish colour=”umber”, such a crossword-y word.

    Also for 54 across, a Film (3,7) where “Keaton” appeared in the clue. Just had to be DAM BUSTERS. Until it wasn’t.

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