Times Cryptic Jumbo 1581 – He’s not the Messiah

Hello Jumbo devotees.

I left writing this preamble until I’d finished writing up the explanations as I couldn’t think of anything to say.  Well, I still can’t.  I guess that makes this an unremarkable, but perfectly acceptable, Jumbo.  Nothing too easy, nothing too hard. It struck me as I was writing the blog that there were a lot of single letter additions in the acrosses, and a lot of deltions in the downs.  How did you all get on?

First in was EASY STREET and last was ICTUS.

If any of my explanations don’t make sense then feel free to ask for further elucidation.

The technical stuff:

Clues are in blue (unless you’re in dark mode) with the definition undelined.  Anagram indicators are in bold italics.


DD: Double definition
CD: Cryptic definition
DDCDH: DD/CD hybrid where a straight definition is combined with a cryptic hint.

&Lit: “all in one” where the entire clue is both definition and wordplay.

(fodder)* denotes an anagram of the letters in the brackets.

Rounded brackets are also used to add further clarity

Squiggly brackets {} indicate parts of a word not used

Deletions are struck out

Square brackets [] expand an abbreviation or shortening like U[nited]

1 Vessel recently found complete united country without force (9)
ENDURANCE – END, U[nited] FRANCE without F[orce]. The wreck of Endurance was discovered on 5 March 2022.
6 Vicious perhaps to return letter showing no consideration (10)
DISMISSIVE – SID (Sex Pistols member Sid Vicious) reversed, MISSIVE
12 Gold rush associated with area in city (7)
13 Stay with European supporter in residence (9)
LODGEPOLE – LODGE, POLE.  It’s a pole used in the construction of a Native American lodge.
14 Indispensable as in pen that’s disposable? (5)
16 Old actress banking money woman needed for anniversary (12)
TERCENTENARY – TERRY (Ellen presumably) around CENT, ENA
17 Simple stone containing ash say in comfortable position (4,6)
19 Cardinal interrupting terribly stubborn ass commits irrevocably (5,4,5)
BURNS ONES BOATS – ONE (cardinal number) in (stubborn ass)*. I’m more familiar with burning bridges.
22 Express affection introducing fancy bun to Wine Society (3,5)
RUB NOSES – (bun)* in ROSE (rosé) S[ociety]
24 Native British soldiers needing hotel accommodation? (6)
INBORN – B[ritish] O[rdinary] R[anks] “accommodated by” INN
25 Journey quickly to France — via a number of stations? (7-3)
CHANNEL-HOP – DDCDH, channel-hopping can mean the same as channel-surfing (with the old TV remote).  I wonder if the French call coming to England for a day to stock up on sausage rolls and pale ale “le channel-hop”.
26 One tooth Queen wanted out? GP was seen here (5)
IMOLA – I, MOLAR without R[egina].  I’m not sure why it says G(rand) P(rix) WAS seen here – it (the circuit in the town) used to be the home of the San Marino GP, sure, but it’s now the home of the Emilia Romagna GP. (I’m not particularly a fan of what Clive James called “watching noisy paint dry”, I got this info from Wikipedia)
29 Nothing fixes a fixer (4)
NAIL – NIL around A
30 Dead? He died alone, note (8)
OBSOLETE – OB[iit] (Latin for he died), SOLE, TE
32 Island within French sea board having value (9)
34 Smooth and white — a plant undergoing tests? (9)
ALABASTER – A daisy undergoing experiments in a laboratory might be A LAB ASTER.  Ho ho.
35 Perhaps a Floridian can? (8)
RESTROOM – Toilet-based CD
36 Prejudice shown in twice concealing answer (4)
BIAS – BIS around A[nswer]
39 Idea from police about to seize heroin and ecstasy (5)
THEME – MET revsed around H[eroin], E[cstasy]
40 Meal Spartan’s taken round lake or region by river (10)
42 Girl invited to garden embraces academician Harry (6)
MARAUD – MAUD (come into the garden…) around R[oyal] A[cademician]
44 Negative decisions on row involving city backed (8)
REFUSALS – RE, FUSS around L.A. reversed
46 Work that’s current seen in West London landscape? (6,8)
48 Language of actor, sober, unusually (5-5)
SERBO-CROAT – (actor sober)*
49 Put a message out about India’s holy day (12)
SEPTUAGESIMA – (put a message)* around I[ndia]
53 Small instrument not in tune (5)
SHARP – S[mall] HARP
54 Swamp predator stopped by boy — one brave fighter (9)
55 Eccentric learner one in Paris with a nervous twitch (7)
LUNATIC -L[earner], UN, A TIC
56 Bargain rates for exchange in large company (5-5)
HORSE-TRADE – (rates)* in HORDE
57 Compensates and changes gear? (9)
REDRESSES – DDCDH (re-dresses)


1 Dying bird deserted by large rook (5)
EAGER – EAGlE, R[ook]
2 Medical provider from Galashiels at last writes in Daily Record (10)
3 Course ends prematurely with smart lecture (8)
4 Only worked with new material (5)
NYLON – (only)*, N[ew]
5 Colour that is reflected on blue cover (9)
EIDERDOWN – reversal of RED I.E., DOWN
6 Bottomless river with source in Pennines? (4)
DEEP – DEE, P{ennines}
7 Labour worker can’t finish campaign line (6)
8 What was that personal request for absolution? (1,3,4,6)
I BEG YOUR PARDON – DDCDH (I think the QM forms part of the straight def.  Lynn Anderson earworm anyone?
9 Give support for healthy, mostly those on vacation (12)
SUBSTANTIATE – SUBSTANTIA{l}, ThosE.  Healthy as in, say, profit.
10 Service scooters from Italy as discussed? (7)
VESPERS – sounds like VESPAS (to some)
11 Spanish speaker is unable to answer very naughty boy? (10)
CANTABRIAN – CAN’T, A[nswer], BRIAN (as in Monty Python’s Life of…)
15 Attic style not left out in Carthage? (4,5)
CITY STATE – (attic style)* minus L[eft]
18 Metropolis ultimately associated with the glass? (2,6)
ST HELENS – {metropoli}S, THE, LENS, &Lit, although calling St. Helens a metropolis is a bit of a stretch.  Having worked in nearby Warrington I am familiar with the town’s association with the glass industry through Pilkington.
20 Scottish poet keeping books outside a religious office (9)
RABBINATE – RABBIE (Burns) around N[ew] T[estament] around A
21 Here one learns son in space retains height (10)
SCHOOLROOM – S[on], COOL (in), ROOM with H[eight] bunged in there somewhere.
23 Story involving astronauts that remain, somehow (3,7)
THE MARTIAN – (that remain)*.  It’s a book and a film (insert own Lionel Blair joke here).
27 Essential passages in blog a bit rambling, indulged at first (9)
OBBLIGATI – (blog a bit)*, I{ndulged}.  I hope the setter isn’t making a point.
28 First person to succumb saved by a radiant, alluring individual (1,3,2,3,5)
31 Regret after sending up chance to protect unknown wife snake bit (8)
EURYDICE – RUE reversed, DICE with Y in between.  Some woman in some made up Ancient Greek nonsense.
33 Writ has to integrate Lincoln with another Oxford college? (6,6)
34 Skier sat in a daze, beginning to see stars (9)
ASTERISKS – (skier sat)*, S{ee}.  Thanks to my feedback, the Lloyds Bank business account opening form no longer demands the completion of all fields “marked with an asterix”
37 Angular look two men for example introduced (4,6)
38 Mown area with slip catch that turns game (4,6)
LAWN TENNIS – LAWN, reversal of SIN NET.  It’s perhaps a little inelegant that LAWN has the same meaning in both wordplay and def.
41 Take oblique look round cool street in city (9)
LEICESTER – LEER around ICE ST[reet]
43 Common people using hammer to open cold beer? (8)
45 Variety of stuff from newspaper appearing in Algarve city (7)
FARRAGO – RAG in FARO, the city where the main airport for the Algarve is situated.
47 Prospect with gold disappearing in country with canal (6)
PANAMA – PANorAMA.  It took me a while to parse this as I got fixated on panning for gold.
50 Ready to drop on coming in half-drunk (5)
TIRED – RE in TID{dly}
51 Stroke, fantastic cut, is making boundary (5)
ICTUS – (cut)* bounded by IS
52 Price increase in March? (4)


7 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1581 – He’s not the Messiah”

  1. DNK IMOLA, only just now looked it up, and will forget it soon. I also didn’t know that EURYDICE was bitten by a snake. I just noticed that I had one wrong: I put in RISE for 52d HIKE; didn’t seem right at the time, but.

    1. I also had RISE. People who rise up in protest about things tend to march against them so it didn’t seem out of the question. H comes a long way before R though, so it seems I need to be more methodical when resorting to alphabet trawls.

      IMOLA was unknown here too, along with ICTUS and CANAILLE. And isn’t LODGEPOLE a bit obscure for a British puzzle, at least unless defined a little more explicitly?

      1. I didn’t realize LODGEPOLE related specifically to American Indian lodges; I just went with the wordplay. The only time I’ve ever seen CANAILLE in English is in G&S’s “Iolanthe”, where the peers say to the fairies, “Our lordly style / You shall not quench / With base
        canaille“, (and the fairies remark “That word is French”).

  2. I did this in the newspaper (I was away that weekend) from time to time over several days, so I have no record of actual time spent, but it wasn’t quick. And I faltered at the end. Having invented LODGEPOLE I had to look it up to see if it was a thing, and I couldn’t come up with anything for 43dn CANAILLE so had to wordsearch it from the crossers. I enjoyed SEPTUAGESIMA, COD and WOD

  3. I did this in the newspaper. By the time I’d finished it was too messed up to be my competition entry so I had to copy it into the club site. This is my chance, I thought, to be a neutrino.
    It’s not as easy as you’d think, especially when you’ve banged in all the acrosses and moved on to the downs. It took me 14 minutes and 3 seconds just to copy the answers from the paper on to the screen (but including time for a very quick check).
    I am 12th on the leaderboard. There are unfamiliar names around me. I recognise one as a neutrino. Perhaps the others are too, or genuine solvers? I don’t have to look far down the list to see names I recognise as genuine solvers. Hats off to them all

  4. I found this pretty tricky in places, particularly the SE corner where SEPTUA-whatsit and CANAILLE took a while to unravel. All to no avail anyway because I can’t spell HABEAS CORPUS. 🙁

    1. Same here – I confidently typed HABEUS CORPUS even though the clue clearly says HAS to integrate Lincoln! Apart from that, I finished in 1:20 which is quite slow for me these days (although I used to take well over 2 hours for the CJ).

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