Times Cryptic Jumbo 1606 – woody, not tinny

This took about an hour but I was watching sport out of one eye so I’m calling this another puzzle of average difficulty, but with some clever tricks to keep things interesting (notably at 47a and 40d). There’s a bit of general knowledge required but no obscure vocab.

First in was ROAST BEEF and last in, in a pleasingly symmetrical manner, was WOLF SPIDER, where I’d got the w end of the s, albeit at the right end of the clue, definition-wise.

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 P[ost] O[ffice]

1 Making meaty meal, criticise and complain (5,4)
ROAST BEEF – ROAST, BEEF.  Not the clue you want at 1ac if you’re trying to demonstrate to a novice solver that the definition is “always” at the beginning or end of the clue… (continued at 44 across)
6 Robust hunter nasty about fox initially needing rest (4,6)
WOLF SPIDER – LOW recersed, F{ox}, SPIDER (snooker rest).  I wondered abour “robust” but Wiki describes wolf spiders as “robust and agile hunters”.  This was my LOI as I assumed the definition was just ROBUST, and tried to construct something from WELL S?I?ED, but then such an expression would probably have had a hyphen.
12 Beginning to secure wartime bomb outside body (2,5)
IN VITRO – INTRO around V1.  Doodlebug.
13 Reckless American lawman taken with Soviet wickedness? (9)
DAREDEVIL – D[istrict] A[ttorney], RED EVIL.
14 Floridian location where monkey heard? (5)
TAMPA – Sounds like TAMPER (to some)
16 Enchantress keeps sum for conversion with pirate bound (12)
CIRCUMSCRIBE – CIRCE (ancient Greek enchantress) around (sum)* and CRIB (pirate as in copy).
17 Exhausted — given hand when leaving? (7,3)
19 Maybe daughters into bordello as poor (5,9)
BLOOD RELATIONS – (into bordello as)*
22 Say setter loves the German sort affecting virtue? (2-6)
24 Highland beer without cask (6)
ALPINE – ALEW aroind PIN (4.5 gallon beer container, sometimes plasic, known as a polypin.  Having worked in a brewery on a student placement I know all my beer cask sizes.
25 Lie in comfort in Paris and dance for sport at court (10)
BASKETBALL RACKETBALLRACK, BASK ET, BALL.  Not a meaning of rack that I knew and my peremptory research suggests it’s normally phrased as “rack out”.  A rack can be a bed too so maybe that’s where it comes from. Utter nonsense, thanks to Kapietro for pointing out the error.
26 Lizard shy about kiss lacking in pressure (5)
GECKO – GO (shy as in throw etc.), around PECK with no P[ressure]
29 Stones in road in stockbroker belt (4)
KERB – hidden.  I get really annoyed when people in the UK spell it CURB.
30 Australian native came upon the vacant compartment (8)
32 Skinless meat served in huge pot for gourmet (9)
34 Electricity generator in Post Office nicked by subversive group (9)
PHOTOCELL – in P[ost] O[ffice] (put) HOT (nicked) by CELL
35 No information, doctor admitted, on a steroid men produce (8)
ANDROGEN – NO GEN around D[octo]R on (after in an across clue) A
36 Have sudden inspiration? (4)
39 Snatching grouper’s tail, ray finds another fish (5)
BREAM – BEAM around {groupe}R
40 Older issue detectable in both aspects of Marxism-Leninism? (4-6)
BACK-NUMBER – IX (9 in Roman numerals) and NINE (9 in arabic numerals rendered in English text) appear backwards, respectively, in marXIsm and lENINism. Neat, although I suspect in most cases it will have been biffed with a shrug or reverse-engineered from the likely answer.
42 Sally’s grabbing Penny’s white-tipped flower parts? (6)
RAPIDS – RAID’S around P[enny].  Flower as in river, of course.  Clever def.
44 This exponent of spin may be fired (8)
REVOLVER – DDCDH. … and not separated by wordplay elements (continued from 1 across).  Or maybe I’m overanalysing and it’s just a CD.
46 Consumer needs analysis, having abused car makers there (6,8)
MARKET RESEARCH – (car makers there)
48 Wife perhaps not tolerant enough to see brilliant child? (10)
49 One’s almost in for changes to keep satellite country’s exceptionalist policy (12)
ISOLATIONISM – (one’s almost in)*
53 State imprisoning upper-class caught being impudent (5)
SAUCY – SAY around U, C[aught]
54 Element one among former students Greek character backed (9)
ALUMINIUM – I in ALUMNI, Mu reversed
55 Tundra dwellers in estate for instance, one about to lose coat (7)
CARIBOU – Car, I, aBOUt.  The sort of thing Damien Hirst might preserve in a tank of formaldehyde.
56 Uncompromising army corps not so fast invading? (10)
RELENTLESS – R[oyal] E[ngineers], LESS (not so) indaved by LENT
57 Relevant document to be landed with? (5,4)


1 Lunar vehicle runs past (5)
ROVER – R[uns], OVER
2 Phenomenal temperature found in a measurement at sea (10)
ASTOUNDING – T[emperature] in A SOUNDING
3 Criminal haul lifted, then dropped in gardener’s store (8)
4 Senior worker joining renounces whiskey (5)
5 Passion shown by Casablanca cafe owner welcoming British liner (9)
FIREBRICK – FIRE (passion), RICK (Blaine in the fillum) around B[ritish].  A block used to line kilns, furnaces etc.
6 What cranes do in Kurosawa depictions (4)
WADE – hidden.
7 Animated Roman historian pens article in Spanish (6)
8 Magical being in south for new medical, announced without endorsement (4-10)
SELF-PROCLAIMED – ELF in S[outh], PRO, (medical)*
9 Where Pheidippides made his name eventually? (2,3,4,3)
IN THE LONG RUN – DDCDH. Pheidippides is said to have run from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of the victory of the battle of Marathon.
10 Old women almost ruined timber (7)
ELMWOOD – (old wome{n})*
11 Very dark ground — defender has got left inside (5-5)
15 Rum neat for working PM (9)
AFTERNOON – (neat for)*, ON (working)
18 Complete stop by noted criminal (3-2-3)
END-TO-END – END, (noted)*
20 Forward contract that holds work up intentionally (2,7)
ON PURPOSE – ON (forward), PURSE around OP[us] reversed.
21 Branch with a large notice that ought to cause a stir (5,5)
ALARM CLOCK – ARM with A L[arge], CLOCK (did you clock that?)
23 Spiteful fellow filled pastry case, discarding middle portion (10)
MALEVOLENT – MALE, VOL-auvENT.  Do people still eat vol-au-vents?
27 Sound’s shortened in shout to encourage knight (9)
28 Business meeting might disintegrate rapidly (5,9)
POWER BREAKFAST – POWER, BREAK, FAST.  Do people still have power breakfasts?
31 End of violent film showing rail worker (8)
TRAINMAN – T, RAIN MAN (Tome Cruise, Dustin Hoffman).
33 Preservative starchy and dry that drives out vermin (12)
FORMALDEHYDE – FORMAL, DEHYDratE.  What Damien Hirst might use to preseve a caribou in a tank.
34 On the rise, winning fights outside clubs in local tours (3-6)
PUB-CRAWLS – UP (winning) reversed, BRAWLS outside C[lubs]
37 River mouth reconstructed in South America after death (10)
POSTHUMOUS – PO, (mouth)* in S[outh] U[nited] S[tates of America]
38 People use bad language about old Hippodrome? (10)
41 Rough and ready fashion garment (9)
43 One may feel cold coming into shelter with drink (8)
45 Commercial enterprise opening beside river in Yorkshire (7)
47 Confidence lacking — fund issues currency in central areas (6)
UNSURE – {f}UN{d} {is}SU{es} {cur}RE{ncy}.  Neat trick, setter!
50 The writer is drunk outside — over this presumably! (5)
51 Looking towards the North, name UK region about to blossom (2,3)
IN BUD – DUB N[orthern] I[reland] reversed
52 Collide momentarily with runners when cycling (4)
KISS – SKIS with the fisrt S cycled to the back.


9 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1606 – woody, not tinny”

  1. Not that it matters, but I had ‘six’ no ‘ix’ in BACK-NUMBER. Embarrassingly, I never got RAPIDS; took ‘flower’ to mean ‘flower’, of all things. DNK PIN, but it had to be ALPINE. DNK or DNR (remember) that meaning of CLOCK

  2. I found this more difficult than some recent Jumbos and had a number of queries at the end which were mostly resolved this morning when I revisited them before coming here.

    The only clue that gave me real problems was the unknown WOLF SPIDER where I think I may have eventually resorted to aids for the first word. It turned out that the clue was hampered by ‘robust’ which didn’t really need to be there and I was still unable to account for it after the answer had been revealed. If one has never heard of the creature why would one be familiar with a detail of its behavioural characteristics?

  3. first (stunned) response. 25ac is BASKETBALL (BASK = lie in comfort). Works better than RACKETBALL

    1. Good grief, you’re right. No wonder it didn’t make sense.

      I’ll correct.

      I have a problem in that the way I use the online puzzle to construct the blog means I can’t check the solution (until the paper arrives on Saturday) as I don’t technically finish and submit the puzzle.

      1. You can complete and submit the crossword, and then review, then use the console to construct the blog skeleton.
        The solution is published on the Thursday before the blog goes out, which gives you a window should you need it 🙂

  4. I needed almost all the allotted 2 hours, but still got one wrong. At 14ac instead of RAPIDS I mombled SALIPS (SAL IS grabbing P) taking it, like Kevin, to be an unknown flower part alongside petals and sepals. Now that I know it’s that kind of flower I can see it is a clever clue.

    49ac BACK NUMBER is very clever too; as our blogger says, not much use to most of us to solve it, but a delightful way to confirm the answer once you have it. LOI WOLF SPIDER where I spent ages juggling random letters between the crossers. The breakthrough was finding SPIDER and recognising it as a rest.

    A MER at the american TRAINMAN. I liked WUNDERKIND (no MER) and PUB CRAWLS (local tours).

    I have been In Bruges this week with not much opportunity for crosswords – this one was, of course, one I did earlier – and now I seem to be three Jumbos behind. I may never catch up

  5. Many thanks to setter and Penfold with whom I share the arcane knowledge of beer barrel sizes; Kil(derkin)s, firkins and pins. Happy days. C/o Youngs Brewery Wandsworth, London.
    Is that the right order size-wise?
    We were told that if we were on deliveries that we had to be careful to pronounce firkin correctly!

    1. That’s correct, with barrel (36 gallons) and hogshead (54 gallons) higher up the chain.

      My knowledge was courtesy of Shepherd Neame.

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