Times Cryptic Jumbo 1626 – what a save!

I found this pretty easy, knocking it off in around 35 minutes with everything parsed.  What about you?  There were some elegant touches and a few new things to learn.

First in was BRASS and last was E-BUSINESS.

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 E[uropean]

1 Shamelessness of some musicians (5)
4 New student having more leeway to keep quiet (7)
8 Seasonal gift for one includes plant, say (6,3)
EASTER EGG – E.G. (for one) around ASTER, E.G. (say)
13 Accomplished horses, we gather, eat too much grass (9)
OVERGRAZE – OVER + homophone of GREYS
14 Well-informed child detailed her exact present (2-2-3-6)
UP-TO-THE-MINUTE -UP (well-informed), TOT, HEr, MINUTE (as in detail, for example)
15 Grill served food on the counter (loaded with cheese) (7)
DEBRIEF – FED reversed around BRIE
16 Guy departing one Northern city for another (7)
17 Left nothing for cutting in allotment (7)
18 Irish folk tune, fleshed out with a hefty intro (3,6,2,7)
THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY – (fleshed a hefty intro)*
21 Give up position in tournament, reportedly (4)
CEDE – sounds like SEED
23 Designated European vessel protected by having weapons (9)
EARMARKED – E[uropean], ARK in ARMED
25 Primate eating primarily fruit (6)
ORANGE – ORANG, E{ating}
26 Paper under discussion has no leader (6)
28 Three damaged crackers were deemed passable (4,3,5)
MADE THE GRADE – (three damaged)*
30 Nutritionists stop working with certain red meats in the end (10)
33 Nash occasionally messed around with geometry and strategical analysis (4,6)
GAME THEORY – ({n}A{s}H geometry)*
34 Where marathon contestants excel, ultimately (2,3,4,3)
37 One trying to get clean requires, on reflection, time in detox centre (6)
BATHER – reversal of T[ime] in REHAB.  Neat clue with a great surface reading.
39 Drunk most of jug chilled (6)
40 Woman acquiring a thousand feathers for makeshift bed (9)
42 Empty lagoon bordering a wide, green expanse (4)
LAWN – LagooN, around A W[ide]
43 Hand over written form and sneak off? (4,7,3,4)
46 Popular hotel alongside river using own staff (2-5)
IN-HOUSE – IN, H[otel], OUSE
47 Having got divorced, some people initially showed elation (5,2)
SPLIT UP – S{ome} P{eople} LIT UP
48 Drinks maker first installed in counter area (7)
BARISTA – 1ST in BAR, A[rea]
50 A motif recalled in new title dealing with sci-fi travel (13)
TELEPORTATION – A TROPE reversed in (title)*, ON
51 Distinguished nurse filling in for vast sum of money (9)
PROMINENT – E[nrolled] N[urse] in PRO MINT
52 Recordings of comedian’s debut benefit set going round (9)
CASSETTES – C{omedian}, ASSET, SET reversed
53 Large wine bottles always once stacked in rows? (7)
LAYERED – L[arge] RED around AYE
54 Military VIP in charge of coded material (5)
GENIC – GEN[eral], I[n] C[harge]


1 Untidy bedrooms with endlessly stale circulation (11)
BLOODSTREAM – (bedrooms sTALe)*
2 Bitter is great with occasional bits of grub (5)
ACERB – ACE, {g}R{u}B
3 Has heartless gentrification upset one half of a partnership? (11,5)
SIGNIFICANT OTHER – (HaS gentrification)*
4 Quaking in one’s boots following reprimand (7)
FEARFUL – F[ollowing], EARFUL
5 Trained duty doctors principally covering emergency room (9)
EXERCISED – EXCISE D{octors} around E{mergency] R[oom]
6 Place where members are entitled to sit? (5,2,5)
HOUSE OF LORDS – CD (pun on entitled)
7 Knock junk items presented by artist (at Tate, mostly) (3-1-3-3)
RAT-A-TAT-TAT – TAT after R[oyal] A[cademician] then A TAT{e}
8 Key hub in San Francisco fails to open (5)
ENTERcENTER.  Any US location would do.
9 They defend small people who are visibly upset (8)
SWEEPERS – S[mall], WEEPERS.  Football reference.
10 Person leaving country before catching plane (6)
11 Online firm that is about to bring in transport head (1-8)
E-BUSINESS – I.E. reversed around BUS, NESS
12 Commandos with little experience introducing risks protecting monarch (5,6)
GREEN BERETS – GREEN before BETS around E.R.
19 Privileged position of each Republican and Liberal party male (7)
EARLDOM – EA[ch], R[epublican], L[iberal], DO, M[ale]
20 Language hinges loosely around rules, at heart (7)
ENGLISH – (hinges)* around {ru}L{es}
22 Gain credentials, possibly taking new virtual courses? (8,8)
DISTANCE LEARNING – (gain credentials)* around N[ew]
24 Banks perhaps hold closures for one year (6)
KEEPER – KEEP, {on}E {yea}R.  (goal)KEEPER Gordon Banks, in his day the best goalie in the world, World Cup winner in 1966.  If someone would care to post a link to a video of that save from Pele in 1970 that would be great.
27 Female gambler’s giveaway is hidden by it (6)
STELLA – TELL in S[ex] A[ppeal]
29 Divert soldiers east after defeat (7)
REROUTE – R[oyal] E[ngineers], E[ast] after ROUT
31 Show supported by hip fan, maybe (3-4)
32 Negligence at commercial space on outskirts of city (12)
INADVERTENCY – IN, ADVERT, EN (printing space), C{it}Y.  New word on me but it makes sense.
33 I call bigots misguided and get very mad (2,9)
GO BALLISTIC – (I call bigots)*
35 Action plans designed for harmful by-product of packaging? (11)
NANOPLASTIC – (action plans)*
36 A young lady who has class? (10)
38 Individual hospital overshadowed by high, singular public buildings (4,5)
TOWN HALLS – OWN H[ospital] in TALL S[ingular]
40 Abrasive son also starts to exclaim rudely about father briefly (9)
SANDPAPER – S[on], AND E{xclaim] R{udely} around PAP{a}
41 Dismiss spoiled child displaying insect (8)
FIREBRAT – FIRE BRAT.  I hadn’t heard of this.  It’s a small insect found in bakehouses and other warm places.
44 Label on top including nothing sensationalist (7)
TABLOID – TAB, LID around O.  Tabloid as an adjective as in newspaper.
45 Disorder created by politician in government (6)
47 Big pieces of stone in testing site on board ship (5)
SLABS – LAB in SS (screw steamer or steam ship, as you prefer)
49 American writer seen as a mug in Germany? (5)
STEIN – DD (Gertrude, presumably)


10 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1626 – what a save!”

  1. DNF
    Never got NHO FIREBRAT, I’m not sure why. DNK, but inferred, SWEEPERS. DNK the hymn. NHO BANKS, but again inferred correctly. COD to BATHER.

  2. I had a few queries mostly resolved now although I still don’t understand the ‘gambler’ reference in 27ac.

    My NHOs were FIREBRAT and SHAKEDOWN as a bed. Also the song at 18ac, which I found disconcerting as I am pretty good on folk songs of the British Isles. I thought perhaps it was just the name that had escaped me so I found and played it on You Tube but didn’t know the tune either. The explanation (other than of course I can’t know every song) is that it’s not a folk song in the sense of a traditional one since it was written as recently as 1979. I was reminded of Tom Lehrer introducing the traditional Irish ballad that he ‘wrote last week’.

    1. Hi John,

      Chambers defines a TELL as “(esp in card games) an unconscious tic or other physical betrayal of one’s thoughts or intentions”. It’s what the top poker players will look out for in their opponents to try and divine if they have a good or bad hand.

      I sort of knew the Irish song but had no idea it was so recent. I once had a corporate ticket to a Champions League game at Anfield and the Liverpool fans kept sing this song “The Fields of Anfield Road”, which was clearly based on something already in existence. So I knew the answer was going to be “The fields of…” and the remaining fodder rearranged itself into something that rang a faint bell.

      Incidentally, I noticed that you made some formatting tweaks to my blog while it was in the scheduled pile. What did you do exactly?

      1. Many thanks for the info re ‘tell’, Penfold. I also managed to solve the ‘Fields of’ clue but was surprised I’d never come across the song.

        I wouldn’t tweak formatting or make any other changes to a fellow blogger’s scheduled blog, but if the need arose and there was time I would contact the blogger by email and discuss it with them. All I did on this occasion was to remove the secondary puzzle category as it was labelled both ‘Jumbo Cryptic’ and ‘Uncategorised’ which didn’t seem worth troubling you with.

        The system inserts ‘Uncategorised’ when the first draft is saved unless another category has been chosen. I think sometimes the system saves drafts automatically so that the blogger may be unware it has happened. If another category is selected later, then ‘Uncategorised’ needs to be removed manually by unchecking the box. There was a proposal in the early days that the system might be changed to allow only a single category to be set but I assume it was found not to be as simple as it had appeared.

  3. I thought this was as easy as they come, barely longer than the day’s 15. That despite The Fields of Somewhere and the unlikely FIREBRAT. On edit: I’ll save that comment for next week, where it’s more accurate. This one took a healthy 48 minutes. Must remember the gap is a fortnight!

  4. 22:41. Pretty straightforward, in spite of having to construct the unknown song from scratch. Once I had worked out that it was THE FIELDS OF something, there really wasn’t anywhere else to put the remaining letters even if ATHENRY looked decidedly odd.
    I spent a while contemplating why STELLA might be a ‘female gambler’ (I didn’t remember that aspect of Streetcar) before the penny dropped.

  5. I too thought ATHENRY looked decidedly odd. I plumped for ATHEYRN as somewhat less odd. I had even seriously considered THE FIELDS OF YTHEARN as a romantic poetic possibility

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