Times Cryptic Jumbo 1594 – January 7th 2023


I found this easy apart from the unknown word at 26dn and the obscure person named at 49ac for whom I resorted to aids. Whilst solving I had the impression there were rather too many references to religious matters but when blogging I counted them and found only 13 which I suppose in a Jumbo puzzle is not excessive.


As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Bishop, one having power — skilled operator backed by more than one faction (10)
B (bishop),  I (one),  P (power), ARTISAN (skilled operator)
6 Women who wanted to make their mark in politics (12)
Cryptic definition
14 One to attack a church book in speech (9)
Sounds like [in speech] “a psalter” (a church book – The Book of Psalms)
15 Bathroom item an idiot knocked over (5)
A (an) + FOOL (idiot), reversed [knocked over]
16 Affair in which the female gets hit (7)
SHE (female), BANG (hit). SOED: A thing, a matter, an affair (freq. in the whole shebang)
17 Group joined late, seen but not heard? The other way round! (3,5,9)
These are the ranks of the dead (hence ‘group joined late’) as referenced in a poem by George Eliot. ‘Seen but not heard…the other way round’ becomes ‘heard but not seen’, as an invisible choir would be. The expression is also quoted in Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch.
18 All performers given this instruction (5)
Cryptic, but not by much.  This is a direction found in musical scores to indicate that all voices and/or instruments should play together
19 A theologian beset by shortage of feeling gets unhappy (7)
A + DD (theologian – Doctor of Divinity) contained [beset] by SENS{e} (feeling) [shortage]
21 Some terror-stricken, leading to mistakes (6)
Hidden in [some] {t}ERROR-S{tricken}
22 Stomach not ace, with one repeatedly getting this disease (8)
BE{a}R (stomach – endure) [not ace] + I (one) x 2 [repeatedly]
24 Furry creatures somersaulting about by tunnels (7)
RE (about) reversed [somersaulting], MINES (tunnels)
26 Yeoman getting rid of loud bird (3,5)
BEE{f}EATER (yeoman) [getting rid of loud  – f – music]. Wiki: The Yeomen Warders of His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Members of the Sovereign’s Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary, popularly known as Beefeaters, are ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London.
27 Plant Bill in a secret agency (6)
AC (bill), A, CIA (secret agency)
30 I sat with smart GP, troubled — we hope for a realistic outcome (11)
Anagram [troubled] I SAT SMART GP
32 A new pole will be inserted into river, that’s clear (11)
A + N (new) + SPAR (pole) contained by [inserted into] TRENT (river)
33 Certain traders sign up comedian Peter (11)
BOOK (sign up), SELLERS (comedian Peter)
35 Sacred act censored surprisingly (11)
Anagram [surprisingly] of ACT CENSORED
37 What to expect with an invader crossing the Channel? (6)
NORM (what to expect), AN. 1066 and all that.
38 Vessel in hamper is a bottle (8)
CAN (vessel) contained by [in] DETER (hamper)
39 See location of religious significance — some French place for pilgrims (7)
LO (see), UR (location of religious significance), DES (some in French)
42 Those who walk or run into border area (8)
R (run) contained by [into] MARCHES (border area)
44 Old boys in US city returning, stifling hesitation (6)
IN + LA (US city) reversed [returning] containing [stifling] UM (hesitation)
46 Candidate in election, originally in area of Greece (7)
IN + E{lection}[originally] contained by [in] NOME (administrative area of Greece). I took the Greek thing on trust, never having heard of it before.
48 Points made by any number of poems (5)
N (any number), ODES (poems)
49 Old Jesuit of note: one left difficult home after difficult last month (8,2,7)
TE (note), I (one), L (left), HARD (difficult), DEC (last month), HARD (difficult), IN (home). I spent so much time on this clue during the solve that when I reached the point where it was the only answer still missing I had lost patience with it. It was clearly going to be a name unknown to me and yet another religious thing, so I looked it up just to fill the grid. As it turned out, the wordplay was not complicated (and at least we were spared an anagram) but even so, I think there were too many elements to assemble into a coherent whole if one had never met the unlikely-looking name previously.
51 One giving a tearful welcome? (7)
Referencing two meanings of ‘greet’, the less familiar one being weep, cry, lament, grieve
52 Church dignitary‘s law (5)
Two meanings
53 What woman wears in teashop is fancy (9)
Anagram [fancy] of IN TEASHOP
54 Once again spotted problem for Crucible player? (12)
The cryptic part of the clue needs to be taken as RED IS COVERED. This is a snooker reference, and those solvers who also do The Sunday Times puzzle may have seen the lengthy discussion here a few months ago on the subject of The Crucible in Sheffield as the venue of the annual World Snooker Championships.
55 This is becoming violent, unacceptable from start to finish (10)
TH{is} with ‘is’ becoming ROUGH (violent),  OUT (unacceptable)
1 Being out to become attractive? (6,5)
Cryptic definition
2 Hit of yesteryear — number one for Eurythmics (5)
PAST (yesteryear),  E{urythmics} [number one]
3 Uncouth — when? (5-4)
A reverse type of clue in which the answer gives us the wordplay. Anagram [ROUGH] of HEWN = when.
4 Somehow feels at home with birds outside university (7)
IN (at home), TITS (birds) containing [outside] U (university)
5 Transport business — something that may recede without hotel (7)
{h}AIRLINE (something that may recede) [without hotel – NATO alphabet]
7 Superior toff butler maybe found to be inattentive (11)
U (superior), NOB ( toff), SERVANT (butler maybe)
8 Meat in iron container subjected to heat and alcohol (6)
LAMB (meat) contained by [in] FE (iron)
9 Some with moans were dubiously ”satisfied” (8)
Hidden in [some] {mo}ANS WERE D{ubiously}
10 Seat at the end no one would want? (8,5)
Cryptic definition
11 Hot food and wine consumed by little piggy? (7)
ASTI (wine) contained [consumed] by TOE (little piggy – nursery rhyme)
12 Important gesture if given personal message of incompetence (11)
SIGN (gesture), IF, then I CAN’T (personal message of incompetence)
13 Intelligence of leading pair of class always meeting head (10)
CL{ass} [leading pair], EVER (always), NESS (headland)
20 Behaviour of upset editor less generous, reportedly (9)
ED (editor) reversed [upset], then MEANOUR sounds like [reportedly] “meaner” (less generous)
23 Consideration for long-standing employee? (8)
Two meanings
25 Put down roots in Yorkshire town (6)
Two meanings
26 Something worth having in garden plot with surface rock formation (8)
ASSET (something worth having) contained by [in] BED (garden plot). Collins has this as a rare word for ‘outcrop’ defined as part of a rock formation or mineral vein at the surface of the earth. I never heard of it but the wordplay was kind.
28 Tory getting irate inside, being betrayed? (7,2)
HEATED (irate) contained by [inside] CON (Tory)
29 Bony bird with very big head (6)
OS (very big – outsize e.g. clothing), TEAL (bird)
31 State of holy ritual a church employs when keeping dry (13)
MASS (holy ritual), A, CH (church) then USES (employs) containing [when keeping] TT (dry– teetotal). I might have had a problem spelling this but the wordplay left no room for error.
33 Rely on fellow over time — right person to look after your money? (4,7)
BANK (rely), MAN (fellow), AGE (time), R (right)
34 Minor reform requiring not much money (5,6)
Two meanings
35 Vessels crossing a river, competitive boats? (10)
CANS (vessels) containing [crossing] A + TAMAR (river). I don’t know why ‘competitive’ unless it just means they are used for racing.
36 Acumen is needed by laboratory workers in odd bits of duty (11)
IS + CERN MEN (laboratory workers) contained by [in] D{u}T{y} [odd bits]. I’d have been puzzled by the parsing here, but fortunately only a few days before this puzzle appeared CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) had come up elsewhere, otherwise I wouldn’t have known it.
40 Silly nun in game that is inconsequential (9)
Anagram [silly] NUN IN GAME
41 Musical work I love introduced by speaker (8)
ORATOR (speaker), I, O (love)
43 Communist leader, hairy type in the minority (7)
RED (communist), HEAD (leader)
45 Exhaustive Home Department, prime feature of e.g. Harrods? (2-5)
IN (home), DEPT (department), H{arrods} [prime feature of e.g….]
46 Other than container for beer? Party impossible! (2,3,2)
NO CAN (other than container for beer?), DO (party). I sort of see this but it seems a bit weak.
47 Group cleric upset (6)
Anagram [upset] of CLERIC
50 Couple receiving order in holy building (5)
DUO (couple) containing [receiving] OM (Order of Merit). It’s an Italian cathedral.

6 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1594 – January 7th 2023”

  1. A couple of typos so technical DNF. Luckily I knew who TEILHARD DE CHARDIN was. You may think that there are too many words to assemble, but you are actually one short, the second difficult=HARD.

  2. Luckily for me, too, I knew of TEILHARD DE CHARDIN, biffing and working out the wordplay later. DNK he was a Jesuit, just knew he had something to do with paleontology. I certainly was surprised to see him here. Also surprised to see NHO 26d BASSETED (and Jack, I think you need to underline the ‘with’). We have two CANs defined as ‘vessel(s)’, in crossing words yet: 38ac/35d. And why does ‘satisfied’ in 9d have scare quotes? All in all, a rather meh Jumbo.

  3. 58:37 – Yay – the second time I’ve finished a Jumbo in less than an hour, though not quite beating the personal best set the previous week. (Let’s not say anything about the Holiday Jumbo in between.)

    Several unknowns, including BASSETED (simple to work out), TEILHARD DE CHARDIN (which I did manage to construct with the crossers in place) and THE CHOIR INVISIBLE. The choir rang a very faint bell but no more than that. The Blog makes me think that the resonance most likely comes from Python rather than Eliot. I liked BOOKSELLERS and BEAUTY SLEEP. I also liked ROUGH HEWN; as usual with this type of clue I got the answer first, from crossers, and then reverse engineered it. It would be good to have a reverse cryptic indicator – as we do for anagrams, hiddens and homophones – or perhaps I should just learn to spot them.

    A straightforward Jumbo but nothing wrong with that

  4. Another very easy one. The first 10 across answers went straight in. I did, however, have to look up the Jesuit and the rock formation to confirm them and took the unknown NOME on trust. I liked THE CHOIR INVISIBLE for the reminder of the Dead Parrot sketch, the wordplay for ROUGH HEWN, the nicely hidden ANSWERED and the PDM for REDISCOVERED. At 24:01, yet again this took less time than the day’s 15×15 (although only by a few seconds). Thanks Jackkt and setter.

  5. Managed to finish, but my Jumbo times hover at about the two hour mark.

    Got very close with this TEILHARD DE CHARDIN guy, but was not sure of his initial “Note” which could have been RE, ME, and they looked just as likely.

    PANTYHOSE with a Y is how I usually spell it.
    I thought the Peter comedian in BOOKSELLERS was going to be Peter Cook.

    NO CAN DO is a very recent chestnut, it was better than time. Something like “Party where only bottles are allowed”.


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