Times Cryptic Jumbo 1601 – they just start again, start again

This took me over the hour but I was trying to watch rugby as well so it’s probably of average difficulty.  On review there’s little in the way of obscure vocabulary and while there are some neat touches none of the wordplay is too complicated.  There did seem to be rather a lot of clues I’d describe as a cryptic def / double def hybrid.  No bad thing though.

First in was MAINE and last was NODDING DONKEY which, as it turns out, I had in incorrectly as JOCKEY.

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 underlined.  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 S[mall]

1 Front part of animal in square hole, did you say? (7)
FOREPAW – sounds like FOUR PORE
5 Poisonous plant is on description of computer (9)
DIGITALIS – IS on (following in an across clue, cf 37 down) DIGITAL
10 Weary flyer (4)
14 Laborious, as is sentiment, for example? (4-9)
TIME-CONSUMING – the letters TIME are inside senTIMEnt.  A sort of inverted hidden word clue.
15 Dance a good way with expression of support (9)
FARANDOLE – FAR (a good way), AND (with), OLE (olé!). If you like open-chain community dances that are popular in Provence you’ve probably heard of this.
16 Riotous antics from Australian savage (10)
SATURNALIA – (Australian)*
17 Crawling bug silences cat that’s skittish (5,6)
SCALE INSECT – (silences cat)*.  I hadn’t heard of this creepy-crawly.  It’s a wee garden pest.
18 Possibly West banks in US state (5)
MAINE – MAE (West) around IN
19 Island a bit windy, dock accessed via gates (5,5)
TIDAL BASIN – (island a bit)*
21 Good day with copper in conversation? (3,3)
SEE YOU – sounds like C U, the chemical symbol for copper.
23 Setter for example is encapsulated by “drab, opinionated type” (9)
25 Looking at money in gold boxes (5)
EYING – hidden
26 Interest rate initially intolerable coming off tracker — might one be in a jam? (7)
APRICOT –  A[nnual] P[ercentage] R[ate], I{ntolerable} C{oming} O{ff} T{racker}.  A tracker is a mortgage or other interest rate that tracks Base Rate.
28 Play damn trash unfortunately, title withdrawn (4,3,3,3)
ARMS AND THE MAN – (damn trash)*, NAME reversed.  A play wot George Bernard Shaw wrote.
31 Dull in colour, worker surplus to requirements (9)
33 Two types of note heard where country music popular? (9)
TENNESSEE – sounds like TENNER (ten pound note), C (musical note)
35 One of those working on oilfield, sycophantic fool? (7,6)
NODDING DONKEY – DDCDH.  A nodding donkey is one of those pump things you see in a film when the director wants you to know it’s set in a Texas oilfield.
37 Native after small shroud? (7)
SMOTHER – Mother (as in tongue, land) after S[mall]
38 Mount in foreign region, did you say? (5)
CLIMB – sounds like CLIME.  I think that strictly speaking a clime is just a region, otherwise we’d all be saying he’s gone off to foreign, foreign regions.
40 Become rotten, as chopped vegetables etc may have? (4,2,3)
42 Simple life president recalled after a second (6)
AMOEBA – ABE (Lincoln) reversed after A MO.
44 Loot left for grinch (10)
46 Lion heading for nervous bird (5)
HERON – HERO, N{ervous}
48 Order learned with protest (4,3,4)
DRAW THE LINE – (learned with)*
50 As are some soccer players, dropped, then paid (4-6)
52 Iranian lost on tour of Australia, returned in some state (9)
ARIZONIAN – (Iranian)* around OZ reversed.  I’d probably have omitted the second I if asked to spell the word for a person ot thing from Arizona.
53 A posh creation rewritten as an original expression (2,4,1,6)
TO COIN A PHRASE – (a posh creation)*
54 American jerk (4)
55 Cutting item first removed from entire satirical magazine (4,5)
56 Spouse and little kids reportedly in underwear (1-6)
Y-FRONTS – sounds like WIFE, RUNTS.  Very good.


1 Cheese in hamper, we hear? (4)
FETA – sounds like FETTER
2 Violent con mellowing (9)
RAMPAGING -RAMP (verb meaning to swindle), AGING
3 Russian work of art on show? (8,2,2,10)
PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION – DDCDH based around Mussorgsky’s cover version of the ELP album.
4 One political side has head that’s screwed on (7)
5 Evidence of bigamy mumbo jumbo? (6,5)
DOUBLE DUTCH – DDCDH, DUTCH, of course, is slang for wife, but probably not CRS.
6 Monochrome artwork is article obscured by screen (9)
GRISAILLE – IS A inside GRILLE.  I didn’t know the word but a knowledge of French helped to piece together something likely-looking.
7 Leader in Augustus wearing clothes — these? (5)
TOGAS – A{ugustus} in TOGS
8 Make an effort, as umpire will on dismissal? (4,1,6)
9 Ice hardened, sphere enclosed (6)
SORBET – SET around ORB.
11 Places to go, see, more or less (7)
12 Winner in the end, champ hugged by haggard relative (5-4)
13 Promptly ignored, as bullet passing through brain? (2,3,3,3,3,3,5)
18 Third note planned includes first two in diagram (7)
MEDIANT – MEANT around DI{agram}.  Something musical that I don’t understand.
20 All going one way, leading another way (7)
ALIGNED – (leading)*
22 Top location of Welsh castle (8)
24 Business in ashes, refinery vacated (8)
27 Attempt joke (5)
29 Appearing in gloom, unromantic peak in Scotland (5)
MUNRO – hidden
30 Outfit exposing much flesh, knight say with blood on one (7)
MANKINI – MAN (chess), KIN, I
32 Unknown number defended by God test one’s patience (3,2,2)
34 Outstanding save with one leg on a line (11)
EXCEPTIONAL – EXCEPT, I, ON (leg side in cricket), A L[ine]
36 Genuinely irritated if I had to go without nicotine, initially (2,4,5)
IN GOOD FAITH – (if I had to go)* around N{icotine}
37 Relax with bear on a picnic! (5,4)
STAND EASY – STAND (bear), EASY (a picnic).  “On” meaning on top of in a down clue (cf 5 across).
39 First of Catholics welcomed by two boys from St Peter’s Church, say (9)
BASILICAN – C{atholics} in BASIL, IAN
41 China in place, or plastic (9)
PORCELAIN – (in place or)*.
43 Speech embraced by a British naval commander? (7)
ORATION – OOh, lookie here, an indirect hidden!  hORATIO Nelson.
45 Industrialist ultimately uncertain about an American jeweller (7)
TIFFANY – {industrialis}T, IFFY around AN
47 Tasty light rolls I wrap up later (6)
DELISH – LED reversed, I, SH!
49 Passage from gates to public bar (5)
ESTOP – hidden.
51 Information in every direction (4)
NEWS – N.E.W.S as compass points.


16 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1601 – they just start again, start again”

  1. NODDING DONKEY (not JOCKEY) was my LOI, and I considered JOCKEY and MONKEY as well.


  3. Many thanks to both setter and blogger.
    10 ac. – I can’t see how flag can be a synonym for weary but that must be me.

  4. I found this easy and solved it in one sitting. I think my only unknown was SCALE INSECT but it wasn’t hard to arrive at.

    Yes, I also noted the indirect hidden word at 43dn, a device I should not like to see used commonly but I shall forgive it on this occasion as the clue is rather a good one.

    If you only know one FARANDOLE the odds are it will be this one by Bizet, even if you didn’t know that’s what it is.

  5. Finished in 38 minutes, so about average, I think. I liked the clever TIME-CONSUMING, TENNESSEE , DOUBLE DUTCH and MEDIANT which I remembered from my ‘O’ level music theory (and don’t remember hearing since). A couple of unknowns as usual RAMP for “con” and “wrap up” meaning “be quiet”. LOI SORBET. Thanks Penfold and setter.

  6. The slippery slope

    I was away when I did this and did it in the newspaper, which made a nice change, but it means I don’t have a time. Around the middle of my usual range, I think. DNK MEDIANT or FARANDOLE. Wasn’t sure about a SCALE INSECT being a crawling bug (they clamp on and stay put, sucking the sap) but they all went in OK.

    A MER at “lift a finger” meaning “make an effort”. To my mind, in the usual kind of expression – he never even lifts a finger to help – it means making the least possible contribution. A long way short of making an effort.

    I’m trying to become more relaxed, like everyone else, about clues that break the rules – oops, sorry – depart from the usual conventions. (I announced recently that I was giving up my MERs at things like midnight cluing G). So. The indirect hidden at 43dn was fine, but at least partly because it was a simple one. When you think how difficult it can sometimes be to spot conventional hiddens, this variant could really be a killer. Meanwhile, we have now seen an indirect alternate letter clue. It was generally well received. The structure of both is: (a) derive some wording (b) do something with it. Indirect anagrams would be the same. Hard to maintain the “rule” that prohibits them.

    A most enjoyable Jumbo. My thanks to setter and blogger

    1. I’m happy to go along with most of your points about indirect clues although that doesn’t mean I won’t comment in the future when they occur because as exceptions to conventions they are worthy of note, but I still stand firm on anagrams. To my mind it is a hard and fast rule that every letter of the anagrist needs to be present in a clue and indicated as such.

    2. Thanks for commenting. In the example you give I reckon lift a finger and make an effort would both convey the same meaning.

      1. ‘lift a finger’ is a so-called negative polarity item: one doesn’t use it in a positive context:
        1) he didn’t lift a finger/*he lifted a finger
        2) he didn’t budge/*he budged
        3) I don’t want any/ *I want any
        ‘make an effort’ isn’t, so
        4) he didn’t make an effort/he made an effort
        are both fine; but as far as meaning goes, I don’t see any problem with the clue.

  7. Quite irritated by both 1a and 1d. Neither of these is a homophone where I come from and they took a long time to see, particularly as they cross. I also wondered if the indirect hidden was legit. I’m new to The Times crossword so maybe the rules are different.

    I don’t understand 47d. Where does the SH come from?

    1. SH = “wrap up”
      “Unwritten rules aren’t worth the paper they are written on..”
      Not sure where you come from; but the homophones are fine for me, in SE England. I love homophones, and the dodgier the better; but by definition they will not suit all

  8. I found this about average but I messed up 35ac too, putting in NODDING MONKEY. I had already put in MONKEY based on ‘fool’, and when I worked out what the first word was I didn’t reconsider it. If I hadn’t put anything in I’m pretty sure I would have realised, because I knew (vaguely) the required term.
    DUTCH is certainly not CRS, at least originally. The use of the term to mean ‘wife’ predates the existence of the dukedom of Fife.
    No objections to the device in 14ac from me. It’s staring you in the face!

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