Times Cryptic Jumbo 1631 – Kapow! Biff! Zowie!

It only took 30 minutes to complete this jumbo, putting it firmly at the easier end of the spectrtum for me at least, but I found it most enjoyable thanks to some excellent clueing.  I thought it was going to be an old-fashioned affair when TROTH, THY and HATH put in early appearances in the top left corner but that wasn’t the case.  Many thanks setter.

First in was TETCHY and last was AMORETTI.

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 A[ce]

1 Pledge made by leftist leader in Hanoi (5)
TROTH – TROT, H{anoi}
4 A jazzy ensemble gathering ace ratings (4,6)
ABLE SEAMEN – A, (ensemble)* around A[ce]
9 Buffoonish, irrational boss goes around (6)
STUPID – PI surrounded by STUD (boss as in stud on a shield, for instance)
14 Articles about small, extinct bovid in reference work (9)
THESAURUS – THE and A around S[mall], URUS. Never heard of it, but the URUS (or auruchs) was a wild ox that got extinctified in 1627.
15 This confirms what criminals do in my address (13)
16 Reportedly cut grass and dig soil? I’m resigned to it (5-2)
HEIGH-HO – Soundee-likee of HAY HOE
17 Shown two wines which a Yankee tucks into (9)
PORTRAYED – ORT, RED around A Y[ankee]
18 Ardent knight’s not seen in splendid clothes (5)
FIERY – FINERY without N (chess)
19 Cool star caught English composer in a stew (6,3,5)
22 Flirted and got together with daughter at first (7)
DALLIED – ALLIED after D[aughter]
25 As Spooner says, that lady disturbs cabinet-making procedures (10)
RESHUFFLES – Spoonerism of SHE RUFFLES.  Cabinet as in government ministers.
27 Travelling Aussies bring cultivation on a large scale? (12)
AGRIBUSINESS – (Aussies bring)*
30 Ornamental fabric I had appended to underwear (5)
31 Visiting South Bank attraction entertains the setter’s friend (8)
INTIMATE – IN TATE around I’M.  The Tate Modern (art gallery) in on the South Bank of the Thames in London.
32 Kind of letter from a person using a postbox, we hear (8)
ASCENDER – Sounds like A SENDER. The normal usage is the part of a letter that rises up on, say, a b or d but it can also mean a letter that has such a thing.
35 When texting, you are, in conclusion, going on and on (8)
36 Soldier welcoming group of fliers with appropriate tags (8)
GRAFFITI – G.I. around R.A.F. FIT
37 Man, perhaps on line, providing fine, strong material (5)
LISLE – ISLE on L[ine]
39 Lunatic reliably defending role for outdated politicians (7,5)
LIBERAL PARTY – (reliably)* around PART.  The UK Liberal Party no longer exists in that form.
41 One’s perhaps served left-leaning 39’s popular goal (6,4)
TENNIS BALL – Reversal (left-leaning) of (from 39ac) L (Liberal) LAB’S (Labour’s (Party’s)) IN NET.  Complex.  I put this in from def and checkers and figured out the pasring afterwards
43 Men who might have trunks down? (7)
FELLERS – CD pertaining to lumberjacks.
45 Living beside town, heard vagrant‘s good in a fight (5,2,3,4)
QUICK ON THE DRAW – QUICK (living) (town heard)*
48 Learner in top class is unique (5)
ALONE – L[earner] in A ONE
49 Fix sets of computer data? Digitally, these may smooth things out (9)
51 Nice area has German figure breaking into flipping song (7)
RIVIERA – VIER in AIR reversed
53 After Sprite, kid’s given plum – it’s this or nothing (7,6)
54 Sitting at home, lying about going missing (9)
55 Group‘s second degree, not the last from Princeton (6)
SEXTET – S[econd], EXTEnT
56 One who’s still growing a bouquet pockets hand-out (10)
57 Satisfied scripture from the east shows symbolic item (5)
TOTEM – reversal of MET O[ld] T[estament]


1 Your old clothing and so on is unpleasantly short (6)
TETCHY – THY around ETC.
2 Fling bottle finally in place of bedside light? (3-5,5)
3 Tory leader no longer has to entertain European (5)
HEATH – HATH around E[uropean].  Edward Heath. I’ve assumed that “no longer has” gives us HATH, rather than “Tory leader no longer” being the definition, with HATH just coming from has.
4 Theoretically, troops must be engaged by 11/04 (1,6)
A PRIORI – O[rdinary] R[anks] in Apr[il] II.  Clever.
5 Where mislaid items are thrown, fitting Tony’s jacket (4,8)
LOST PROPERTY – LOST (figuratively thrown), PROPER, T{on}Y
6 Dismiss people in activity for bounders (4,4)
7 More attractive female’s left clothes horse (5)
8 What may create a strong bond, before admitting rotten crime (5,5)
10 Sad time, given ticking off (7)
11 Prepare to screen film with one million viewers expected now? (5,4)
PRIME TIME – PRIME around E.T. I M[illion].  One million is kinda doing double duty.
12 Lacking light boat, wanting horse (5)
DINGY – DINGHY minus H[orse]
13 Rich adventure I go on, oddly, is a kind of trap (6,8)
LOADED QUESTION – LOADED, QUEST, I{g}O{o}N.  I had loaded in for a while before I twigged the second part, thinking we might be looking for an animal trap or some such.
20 Cleaner city south of Ecuador’s borders (9)
LAUNDERER – L[os] A[ngeles], UNDER, E{cuado}R
21 Immediately meriting a tick and meriting a cross (5,3)
RIGHT OFF – Something that’s RIGHT gets a tick, something that’s OFF gets a cross.
23 Associate of drunk detective, crafty concealing rank (10)
DISORDERLY – D[etective] I[nspector], SLY around ORDER
24 Rebel felt bothered about first of contracts staff sign (6,4)
TREBLE CLEF – (rebel felt)* around C{ontracts}
26 New stuffing cooked by bar head being sadly unaccompanied (14)
28 Thought a lot of trade is covered by newspaper editor (9)
IDEALISED – DEAL IS in I (newspaper) ED[itor]
29 Little cherubs in capital keeping extra dry (8)
AMORETTI – AI around MORE T[ee]T[otal].  I wasted time trying to put a capital city around BRUT.
33 Knocking shop emptied in Reading, with team deployed (13)
DISPARAGEMENT – ShoP in (Reading team)*
34 Moving in readiness, catching husband’s rousing remark (4,3,5)
RISE AND SHINE – (in readiness)* around H[usband]
38 Overcome, queen was no longer seen going outside (10)
40 British assign part of pitch into which a cross may go? (6,3)
BALLOT BOX – B[ritish] ALLOT, BOX (in football the penalty area is frequently referred to as “the box”).
42 Pans theatre performances without lines and energy (8)
SKILLETS – SKITS around 2x L[ine], E[nergy]
44 Start to embezzle deposit? After fine, I won’t appeal! (7)
EYESORE – E{mbezzle} then ORE after YES
46 Hard fruit, not soft French food (7)
HARICOT – H[ard], APRICOT with no P[iano]
47 Noise made by blow catching six-footer, a boxer (6)
BANTAM – BAM around ANT.  Someone with too much time on their hands has gone to the trouble of compling a list of every fight scene onomatopoeia used in the 1960s Batman TV series (and created a GIF of them all).  There are 87 in all, including BAM! as here, along with such gems as FLRBBBB!, KER-SPLOOSH!, VRONK! and ZLOPP!
48 Taking day off, runs a series of tests (5)
ASHES – DASHES sans D[ay]
50 Flounce or run wearing stuff (5)
FRILL – R[un] in FILL
52 Raised some subject I’m overexcited to bring up (5)
VOMIT – reverse hidden.


7 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1631 – Kapow! Biff! Zowie!”

  1. DNF: I never got TENNIS BALL & DISORDERLY. I liked DISPARAGEMENT. Now we’ve had URINATE & VOMIT. Can DIARRHEA be far away? Penfold, you’ve got a typo at CORROBORATION.

  2. I found this reasonably straightforward and iirc I completed it in one sitting.

    I never fully understood the parsing of TENNIS BALL. Although I saw all the components L, LAB’S, IN NET reversed I missed the lift and separate device in the cross-reference.

    I’m still not convinced that ‘meriting a cross / OFF’ really works at 21dn.

  3. Congratulations on your time: I had an off morning and almost doubled yours. I liked the cryptic for A PRIORI, while thinking our US solvers must have spent time wondering how to fit National Candy Day (sic) into the clue. I think “theoretically” is a bit tenuous for the defintion.

  4. 1hr 41mins. I thught I was doing well with this one but I did not know AMORETTI. I too tried to construct something around BRUT. But I had to look it up. The wordplay doesn’t look difficult once you know the answer, but that’s no good. Still, a nice crossword. I liked INTIMATE and RESHUFFLES

  5. Jumbo 1631
    This seemed easy to me and I was writing in answers as quickly as I could read the clues until I was unable to finish with 4 left. I couldn’t see the vagrant or the town in QUICK ON THE DRAW. The anagram indicator completely foxed me. I couldn’t see a capital in AMORETTI or the city south of LAUNDERER which was frustrating but gettable. The two that got away were DISORDERLY because I thought I was finishing with sly which left me only ‘sarge’ as a rank and disargesly is not a word, and EYESORE (thought of everything but yes for ‘fine’ and no deposit, financial or geological would come to mind). These last few took as long as the rest of the puzzle. Fortunately as it is a typically cold and drizzly bank holiday there isn’t much else to do.

    Thank you for the distraction and clarifications.

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