Times Cryptic Jumbo 1578 – 01 October 2022

Hello again. My style with jumbos is to riffle through them in the time I would spend on a normal cryptic, about 15 or 20 minutes, solving what clues I can. Then I put it to one side, and pick it up for a minute or two over the ensuing week whenever time allows.. so I can’t really give completion times. But this Jumbo I thought was slightly harder than average; I did a fair number of clues to begin with, but some of the remainder took thought to polish off. I also thought it was a very high quality offering. No nho words at all, but difficulty supplied by cunning definitions and wordplay and a lot of fine surfaces. My sort of crossword, one of the best jumbos I’ve seen, and I liked it a lot. Thank you, setter!

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 Maine resident perhaps has peace by river interrupted by seabird (9)
EASTERNER –  TERN (seabird) in EASE (peace) + R(iver). Maine seems to be about as far East as the USA goes, though Canada goes a fair bit further.
6 One million soldiers chased by tailless sea monster (7)
IMMENSE – I M + MEN (soldiers) + SE(a)
10 Bury playwright destroying first of plays (5)
13 Key in again across air gap of widescreen terminals? (2-5)
RE-ENTER – hidden, in widescREEN TERminals. Not quite sure what the air gap is about, is it just a reference to the gap between the two words?
14 German prince  who helps choose government? (7)
ELECTOR – dd. The Prince Electors did not choose government, they chose a monarch. A curious idea in itself, and a cunning way for the monarchs to seek legitimacy. Either way, as now, no way for you or I to apply for the post.
15 Cut aluminium and separate (7)
SEVERAL – SEVER (cut) + AL (aluminium). It is common for (eg) a bank mandate to say liabilities are “joint and several,” ie together and separately..
16 Ran meditation online unusually involving several religious groups (19)
17 We are giving out whiskey as before (3)
ERE – (W)E’RE .. we are, with the W(hiskey) “given out.” Note the E in whiskey, which appears only in the NATO phonetic alphabet, and in Irish whiskey, not Scotch whisky
18 Billy goat’s head tossed easily (6)
GLIBLY – *(BILLY + G(oat))
20 Dose of cocaine finished band’s members (4-2)
LINE-UP – LINE (a dose of cocaine, apparently. As so often, I bow to the setter’s greater knowledge of drug cant) + UP, finished. Time is up/finished, gents ..
21 Ship worker backing weather checks (9)
STEVEDORE – A neat clue .. ERODE (weather) + VETS (checks), reversed
23 One taking out patent, say, restarting with new design (10)
25 House divided, leaderless, about possible Russian subjugation (11)
ENSLAVEMENT – SLAV, a possible Russian, in (T)ENEMENT, a house divided .. into flats. Slavs are Europe’s largest single ethnic group, and inhabit quite a few countries besides Russia .. Ukraine, for example
29 Ring extended family before end of evening (5)
CLANG – CLAN, your extended family, + (evenin)G.

I am 1/8 Scottish, thus a member of the Gunn clan, and proud of it .. though they have the dullest tartan you will ever see

30 Signal  unlikely to be misunderstood (3,5)
31 Way to finish off church from Rev Spooner, a bad-tempered type (8)
SPITFIRE – so FIT SPIRE, Spoonerised. My heart sinks whenever I see the word Spooner. Not a criticism, I’m just hopeless at them. Spooner was described as “an albino, small, with a pink face, poor eyesight, and a head too large for his body,” so we should be gentle with him..
34 Happening to get fish when the light is fading (8)
EVENTIDE – EVENT (happening) + IDE, a useful fish (to setters) that I have never seen in Sainsburys. Also known as the ORFE
36 Choose Scots island loch at one’s discretion (8)
OPTIONAL – OPT (choose) + IONA (an island in the Inner Hebrides, near Mull), + L(och). Never been to Iona, but I would love to. For a short time, in decent weather, anyway
37 English and eleven French for the bar? (5)
EXILE – E(nglish) + XI (eleven) + LE, which is French for “the,” I am reliably informed. We all have to be polyglots, these days.. c’est la vie
39 Knowing I backed wind power round islands (11)
ARCHIPELAGO – ARCH (knowing) + I. Then O + GALE + P(ower), all backed. Not sure how convincing the surface reading is, but a neat clue otherwise.
41 Concierge upset about tenant ultimately not thinking of others? (10)
43 Tactless speaker’s vulgar opening (9)
LOUDMOUTH – LOUD (vulgar. Noise is always vulgar. Just look at F1) + MOUTH (opening)
45 Full of fun, but no judge of eyes (6)
47 Allowed to follow a Royal Marines band (6)
ARMLET – A R(oyal) M(arines) + LET, allowed
49 Time after game to fight over females? (3)
RUT – RU (game, rugby union) + T(ime). Topical clue, as anyone who has watched the deer in Richmond Park or Knole lately will agree
50 Not being got home, half have to leave school by about one with books (19)
INCOMPREHENSIBILITY – IN (home) + COMPREHENSI(ve); then I + LIT (books) in BY. Only now do I see that we have to remove the second half of HAVE from comprehensive .. another very neat bit of wordplay,
52 Source of starch fool found in wine (7)
CASSAVA – ASS (fool) in CAVA, a wine, of sorts. Cassava, aka manioc, is where tapioca comes from. It is a rather unpromising sort of root which nevertheless has a wide variety of uses, though not so much in England, thankfully
53 British current design leading to European aircraft (7)
BIPLANE – B(ritish) + I (current) + PLAN (design) + E(uropean). My first ever flight was in a biplane, the magnificent Avro Tutor. That yellow one.
54 Support bad English language with feeling? (7)
BRAILLE – BRA (every setter’s favourite support, although see also 19dn) + ILL (bad) + E(nglish).
55 Fencing move new in winter sport (5)
LUNGE – N(ew) in LUGE, the only sport that involves a tea tray.
56 Drunken tart kept under observation (3-4)
PIE-EYED – PIE (tart, though the synonym always makes me wince) + EYED, observed
57 So you dated, embracing a lot of fashion again (9)
THEREFORE – REFOR(m) inside THEE (you, dated)
1 Lacking pounds, picking up small income from work (8)
EARNINGS – (l)EARNING (picking up) + S(mall)
2 Upturned seats over time gathered dust (5)
SWEPT – PEWS (seats) reversed, + T(ime). A very neat clue this, with a deceptive definition that seems to mean the very opposite of its intended meaning. My clue of the week, or COW.
3 Fascinating all-nighter wound up around noon (11)
ENTHRALLING – *(ALL NIGHTER + N). Another very neat clue, fine surface reading
4 Run in without clothes, bothered (6)
5 I rally Hector, possibly with rousing speeches (12)
RHETORICALLY – *(I RALLY HECTOR). Is rousing the same as rhetorical? I would say, not.
6 News report that is about second break down (7)
ITEMISE – ITEM (news report) + S(econd) in IE, that is.
7 Encountered speed in tiniest amount in Fife with a good source for stimulant (15)
METHAMPHETAMINE – MET (encountered); + MPH (speed) in HAET, which I discover means “a whit; iota; the least amount” in Scotland, + A MINE, a good source.
8 Vanity of drug agent having wife keeping head down? (10)
NARCISSISM – yet another drug reference: NARC (drug agent, though only in US slang) + MISSIS, with the M moved down to the end. I would spell it MISSUS, but this alternative spelling is OK
9 The very heart of a German city church (7)
ESSENCE – ESSEN, second largest city of the Ruhr, + CE, church (of England)
10 Concern in volume five to fix missing chapter (11)
11 Triplets? See mother struggling (9)
THREESOME – *(SEE MOTHER) .. another nice, neat clue
12 Bring aid to fifty-one locked up by local magistrate (7)
RELIEVE – LI (fifty one, in Roman numerals) in REEVE, a local magistrate. Once upon a time, anyhow.
19 Repeat: I support trapping rodent (7)
ITERATE – I, + RAT (rodent) in TEE, a support
22 Position legs over edges of tear in seat (8)
STRADDLE – T(ea)R in SADDLE, a seat
24 What’s taking a long shot with an unapproachable subject? (15)
TELEPHOTOGRAPHY – I think this is just a CD, perhaps an &LIT. Though why the subject needs necessarily to be unapproachable I don’t know. Perhaps the photographer is just being lazy?
26 Dismayed note on piano lost its attraction (8)
APPALLED – A, a note, + P(iano), musical direction, + PALLED
27 Shackle communist with hierarchical system (6)
TIERED – TIE (shackle) + RED (communist)
28 Note mother’s written after school plan (6)
SCHEMA – SCH(ool) + E (another note) + MA, mother
32 Original  capital for Denmark, say (7)
INITIAL – a simple DD I think
33 Possibly amusing documentary throwing men into faint (12)
INFOTAINMENT – *(MEN INTO FAINT). Not keen on pseudo-documentaries of this sort, where (eg) Cromwell pops up and starts talking to camera..
35 Group of leaders seeing Mutti arrive flustered (11)
TRIUMVIRATE – *(MUTTI ARRIVE). A group of three leaders, usually Roman but there are others. The “Three Pashas,” anyone?
37 Eliminate former word in a note (11)
EXTERMINATE – EX TERM, a former word, + IN A TE, a note (“a drink with jam and bread”)
38 Overweight fairy queen in predicament, open to working out? (10)
FATHOMABLE – FAT, + MAB (fairy queen) in a HOLE, or predicament. Fairy queens never seem to be overweight, do they?
40 Loose woman roués can’t upset (9)
42 Vacated emplacement hastily — leave nerve gas (8)
ETHYLENE – E(mplacemen)T + H(astil)Y + L(eav)E + N(erv)E. Ethylene is a hydrocarbon with many uses, not least by setters..
43 Stringed instrument mostly I term endlessly songlike (7)
LYRICAL – LYR(e) + I + CAL(l) (term, endlessly)
44 Relative nearly gets snake to release grip (7)
UNCLASP – UNCL(e), relative nearly, + ASP, your snake.
46 University group speaking about Newton is not listened to (7)
UNHEARD – N(ewton) in U(niversity) + HEARD, sounds like HERD or group
48 Sailor in base having potential to work (6)
VIABLE – AB (able seaman) in VILE, base
51 Northern dwelling — one with a lot of shade (5)
IGLOO – I + GLOO(m).

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

5 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1578 – 01 October 2022”

  1. I wondered about METHAMPHETAMINE, never having heard of HAET. The standard way of taking cocaine is to pour a line of the powder on a mirror, say, then sniff it into one’s nose with a straw. The Fairy Queen in “Iolanthe” is usually plump; “I see no objection to stoutness, in moderation.”

  2. I have this noted as ‘quite easy’ and ‘solved in one session’ – the latter being rare for me with Jumbos. My only query was the full parsing of METHA-thing as I didn’t understand ‘tiniest amount in Fife’ and was unable to account for HAET in the answer. Evidently it must appeared so unlikely as a word in its own right that it nevre occurred to me to look it up so that I would have discovered the Scottish connection.

  3. just over one and a half hours on the clock, so about my regular time. I messed up 8dn by writing in NARCISSUSS, compelled to work with “missus” but that doesn’t explain the missing M and the extra S. Most of the long ones needed lots of crossers to help with the construction, so it felt quite hard work

  4. I found this pretty straightforward: done and dusted in a little over 20 minutes. I didn’t bother parsing METHAMPHETAMINE so the question of what HAET might be didn’t arise. Rather Mephistoish.
    If a photographer’s subject was approachable they wouldn’t need a telephoto lens: they could just use a normal camera and… approach!

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