Times Cryptic Jumbo 1603 – 11 March 2023

Unusually, I did this in one session. It took me about an hour in all, but would have been quicker if I had twigged to compos mentis and vinaigrette sooner than I did. So a steady solve, and some very nice clues.

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 Most swimming in the sea is something infernal (9)
BRIMSTONE – *(MOST) in BRINE (sea). Brine is just salt water, but Collins says it can refer to the sea too.
6 Likely to don French priest collar (7)
CAPTURE – APT (likely) in CURE, a French priest
10 Picked up lolly in store (5)
CACHE – sounds like CASH, more or less.
13 Champ is defeated, punched by one with a cataract (8,5)
VICTORIA FALLS – I + A in VICTOR FALLS. I tend to think of a cataract more as a rapids, but the first meaning in Collins is “Large waterfall.”
14 Backtracking Liverpool player admits slipping, whence shot comes (9)
DERRINGER – ERRING (slipping) in RED reversed.
15 Fast worker in post office put on uniform (2-5)
UP-TEMPO – U(niform, NATO alphabet), + TEMP (worker) in PO (post office).
16 Someone jumping in African river, as some say (7)
VAULTER – Sounds like VOLTA, a 930 mile river mainly in Ghana. It rises in Burkina Faso, which used to be called Upper Volta, which is how I knew the name.
17 Shell of iron present where van is (2,5)
IN FRONT – I(ro)N, + FRONT. One can front/present a TV programme. And the van, eg of an army, is the front bit. It is short for vanguard, itself an Anglicisation of avante-garde, forefront.
18 All there is on guys brought in to make fertiliser (6,6)
COMPOS MENTIS – MEN in COMPOST, + IS. Latin, literally “Powerful of reason”
20 Holding run, instigate competition — it’s refreshing for an equestrian (7,3)
STIRRUP CUP – R(un) in STIR UP (instigate) + CUP (competition). In my limited experience, stirrup cups are meant to be more intoxicating than refreshing..
23 Car brand, not Rover or Sierra? (5)
RANGE – Range Rover, without the rover .. the sierra being a mountain range.
24 Maybe Winter‘s Tale’s opening by mediocre poet (9)
TRIMESTER – T(ale) + RIMESTER, which to my slight surprise is a word, a variant spelling of rhymester. An American term for term..
25 Forbidding learner to hold article of bone (7)
STERNAL – STERN (forbidding) + A (article) + L(earner). Relating to the sternum.
26 Refused to pay fare, working with boss at Times? (11)
DISHONOURED – DISH (fare) + ON (working) + OUR ED. Banks would occasionally dishonour/refuse to pay cheques, back in the day. Did it myself, many times.
28 Carrying on again after pressure, showing arrogance (11)
PRESUMPTION – P(ressure) + RESUMPTION. Reminds me of a famous old cartoon by James Thurber showing the host at dinner pouring wine for his guests, and saying “It’s a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you’ll be amused by its presumption.”
30 Where fuel’s kept in US state around old sink (4,7)
COAL SCUTTLE – O(ld) in CAL(ifornia), + SCUTTLE, to sink.
32 E.g. blogger rebuked about initially losing face in campaign (6,5)
POSTER CHILD – POSTER (eg blogger, such as yours truly) L(osing) inside CHID, rebuked.
34 Distance is maintained in hotels of a very bad nature (7)
HELLISH – ELL + IS, inside two H(otels). An ell is an obsolete unit of length, originally the length of the forearm but the length varied a fair bit. Eventually settled around 45″ in England, less elsewhere.
36 Green car bagged by this person in kind of trade (1-8)
E-COMMERCE – ECO (green) + MERC inside ME, this person.
38 Pose by American location (5)
SITUS – SIT + US. Latin for site, nho by me but easy to guess.
39 Crawling about before game of cards (2,3,5)
ON ALL FOURS – ON (about) + ALL FOURS, a card game I have never played.
41 Inherit income? Saving pounds, start to work (4,4,4)
COME INTO PLAY – L (pounds) in COME INTO PAY, inherit income
45 Urge service on vacation, chopping wood (7)
BESEECH – S(ervic)E in BEECH
46 Extra small advantage, bagging game when returning (7)
SURPLUS – UR (game, ie RU, returning) in S(mall) PLUS, an advantage
47 Running track with area later being examined (2,5)
ON TRIAL – ON (running) + TRAIL (track) with the A put back a bit
49 Good vocalist almost has trouble around violinist (9)
GRAPPELLI – G(ood) + RAPPE(r) (vocalist, almost) + ILL, rev. Stephane Grappelli, a very distinctive jazz violinist. Here he is playing “It had to be you”
50 Cult leader intoxicated media around strange site (4,9)
HIGH PRIESTESS – HIGH (intoxicated) + *(SITE) in PRESS, your media
52 Reportedly diaphanous coat is removed when people do this (5)
SHEAR – Sounds like SHEER.
53 Boost the FBI in a case of underachievement (7)
AUGMENT – GMEN (The FBI, never sure quite why) in A + U(nderachievemen)T
54 Idiot without skill by northern Scottish town (9)
DUMBARTON – ART (skill) in DUMBO + N
1 Camp writer penning verse, jocular at intervals (7)
BIVOUAC – V(erse) + jOcUlAr in BIC, your writer. I expect you will know that the first workable ballpoint pen was invented by László Bíró. And in due course he sold his patents to Marcel Bich, which is where Bic comes from ..
2 Spurs, at home, perhaps change defending pair (11)
INCITEMENTS – IN (at home) + ITEM, a pair, in CENTS, perhaps change
3 Leader of military goes off, mounting attack (5)
STORM – M(ilitary) + ROTS (goes off), all rev.
4 Fairly elliptic poet left unfinished by schoolchildren (7)
OVIFORM – OVI(d) + FORM, a school class
5 Fabulous figure in German football team? (3)
ELF – Elf being German for eleven…
6 Area of confinement for all to see, for dieters getting fat (9)
CELLULITE – CELL (area of confinement) + U + LITE
7 Read on about a quiet speaker of Asian language (6)
PASHTO – A + SH (quiet) in PTO, read on. Clever clue!
8 About to attack course, eating dishes, asks for too little? (5,8,6)
9 Prior is one hearing untruth, right? (7)
EARLIER – EAR (one hearing) + LIE (untruth) + R(ight)
10 Stylist and I cutting a lot of drink consumption (9)
COIFFEUSE – I in COFFE(e) + USE, consumption
11 Discerning folk go on scenic meanders round Thailand’s capital (11)
12 One wading in water gets knocked over (5)
EGRET – hidden, reversed, in waTER GEts
16 Season with this very trendy feather on clothing (11,8)
VINAIGRETTE DRESSING – V(ery) + IN (trendy) + AIGRETTE (feather) + DRESSING (clothing). An aigrette is a decorative 12dn feather, though fortunately the clue is solvable without knowing that, I think
19 Heavy responsibility to save deposit up (7)
ONEROUS – ORE ( deposit) rev., in ONUS.
21 I agree to break barriers in poetry (9)
PALINODES – I NOD (I agree) in PALES, barriers. Pales as in “Beyond the pale” for example. A palinode, I discover, is a poem that retracts a sentiment expressed in an earlier poem. A nho for me, unsurprisingly, making for a tricky clue to solve.
22 Maybe Judy’s losing heart, needing flipping raise! (4,2)
STEP UP – PUP(p)ETS, rev.
23 Diced chard I twice cook, tossing out OK salad vegetable (9)
RADICCHIO – *(CHARD + II + CO(ok)). I had heard of radiccio, but would be hard pressed to describe it; it is a kind of chicory with red leaves
24 Receiving award, move more than is sensible (3,4)
TOO MUCH – OM (award, the Order of Merit) in TOUCH, to move or affect. One of the more useful honours, with an interesting history.
25 They use manoeuvres for what you get after retiring (7)
27 Traveller going north, full of energy and spirit (6)
DAEMON – E(nergy) in NOMAD (traveller) rev.
29 Idiot stopping shot, ball that’s top drawer (7)
PICASSO – ASS (idiot), in PIC (camera shot) + O (ball)
31 No sooner keeping off drugs in post-rehabilitation condition (1,5,5)
A CLEAN SLATE – CLEAN (off drugs) in AS LATE, which presumably means “no sooner,” though I am struggling to see it
33 Savvy, impoverished duke getting replaced by count (11)
INTELLIGENT – INDIGENT, impoverished; with the D(uke) replaced by TELL (count)
35 Character flaw I’m going to tone down (3,6)
ILL TEMPER – I’LL TEMPER, I will tone down
37 According to Spooner fool could get a second job (9)
MOONLIGHT – Spooner, bless him, would say LOON MIGHT
40 Tragic figure in work by essayist captivating hearts (7)
OPHELIA – OP (work) + H(earts) + ELIA, pen-name of the essayist Charles Lamb. If you didn’t know that remember it, it turns up regularly enough. Ophelia is in Hamlet, and is one of the reasons the play is called a tragedy
42 I heard you will get into mob, in criminal element (7)
NIOBIUM – I + U (you, heard) in *(MOB IN).
43 Old president still wrong, probed by Liberal (7)
YELTSIN – L(ib) in YET (still) + SIN, a wrong
44 Boy knowing Irene superficially? (6)
ARCHIE – ARCH (knowing) + I(ren)E
45 Not Real‘s coach admitting defensive blunder (5)
BOGUS – OG (own goal) in BUS, a coach
48 Primarily operatic cast performing this? (5)
TOSCA – O(peratic) and CAST, anagrammed.
51 I must leave music player in school (3)
POD – ha, an ipod with no i. Nice one to finish on

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

6 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1603 – 11 March 2023”

  1. Some DNKs, as always in a Jumbo: PALINODES, GRAPPELLI (LOI), DUMBARTON, FRONT=present. No COD; rather a meh sort of puzzle.

  2. No problems here, with only PALINODES unknown. Nice to see Stephane Grappelli mentioned, and thanks for the link, Jerry. His early work with Hot Club de France and the guitarist Django Rheinhardt is also worth exploring. I saw him once at the Albert Hall but sadly the sound engineering was poor, overamplified and harsh in tone so that much of the subtlety of his playing was lost.

  3. Unlike Kevin, I quite liked this. NHO PALINODES, SITUS or the game ALL FOURS. but that’s about par for unknowns in a Jumbo for me. Slightly trickier than average I think – I see it took me 58 minutes. LOI DAEMON. I liked PICASSO best. I enjoyed the Grapelli link. Thanks Jerry and setter.

  4. 2hrs 25mins. I found this hard and slow but I don’t really know why. DNK SITUS, PALINODES or the card game ALL FOURS. Struggled more than I should have with most, eg ON TRIAL, BIVOUAC, INCITEMENTS (especially ITEM for pair) and INTELLIGENT (thrown by having to substitute four letters (tell) for one (d)). Still, I got there in the end

  5. No major problems with this, but a few minor hold-ups. NHO PALINODES. I didn’t know that VANGUARD was an anglicisation, and I thought ELL was one of those printers’ measurements, so I’ve learned a couple of other things today.

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