Times Cryptic Jumbo 1651 – beautiful plumage

I found this fairly easy, solving Jimbo-style top to bottom, left to right (1a notwithstanding).  With harder puzzles I often reach an impasse in the top half so go looking for a fresh foothold near the bottom, and work up towards what I’ve already got, but that wasn’t necessary here.  There seem to be rather a lot of definitions with unnecessary question marks.

First in was ORANG UTAN and last was LEAF.

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 R[ook]

1 Classic dish is extreme — duck served with rook (7)
RISOTTO – IS, O.T.T., O (duck) after R[ook]
5 Public cages chimed with a New Forest resident (5-4)
ORANG-UTAN – OUT around RANG, A N[ew]. Not a pony or deer then.  Good use of lift & separate.
10 Seen in cap, driver finally gets vehicle on track (4)
TRAM – {drive}R in TAM, a Scottish cap
14 Remarkable Parisian one backing secure catalogue (13)
15 Book in at Bedouin residence, finding steward (9)
ATTENDANT – DAN (abbrev of bibkical book Daniel) in AT TENT
16 Second motif in accommodation mostly having similar function (10)
HOMOLOGOUS – MO LOGO in HOUS{e}.  I initially mombled this as MONOLOGOUS (MO, then LOGO in NOUS) but couldn’t account for the “mostly” and wasn’t entirely comfortable with NOUS as ACCOMMODATION.  At least LOGO was right.
17 Using this, I’d somehow see a difference (11)
DISTINGUISH – (using this I’d)*
18 Tea going with very large order? Far from it (5)
CHAOS – CHA, O[ut]S[ize]
19 Excessively patronising encountered in the High Street? (10)
SHOPAHOLIC – CD.  I’m not sure this works perfectly from a grammatical viewpoint.
21 Eyesore around M1 spoiling green strategy? (6)
STYMIE – STYE around MI.  A golf term which I guess is no longer a problem given the custom of marking balls.
23 Touring south, use horn excessively — go too far (9)
OVERSHOOT – S[outh] in the whimsical OVERHOOT
25 Back in parliament celebrating return (5)
ELECT – reverse hidden
26 Working method in thrill endlessly erotic (7)
AMOROUS – M[odus] O[perandi] in AROUSe
28 Emperor replacing his allies with ease (5,8)
HAILE SELASSIE – (his allies ease)*
31 Grouse served on pan and dish (5,4)
ROAST BEEF – BEEF = grouse / moan, ROAST = pan / criticise
33 Swimmer drawing in archaeologist Croft — suspect treachery? (5,1,3)
SMELL A RAT – SMELT around LARA (Croft, heroine of the Tomb Raider video games and film spin-offs).
35 Echo with very loud TV’s nice: see fantastic power? (13)
EFFECTIVENESS – E[cho], F[orte] F[orte], (TVs nice see)*
37 Shock regarding reserve showing initial loss (7)
38 German writer needing answer: it’s an unexpected gift (5)
MANNA – (Thomas) MANN, A[nswer]
40 Drug creation’s out of order (9)
NARCOTISE – (creations)*.  Drug as a verb.
42 Slight wind about in hot spring city (6)
BREATH – RE in BATH.  Spookily I just had a phone call from a Bath number.  I didn’t answer as I didn’t recognise the number.  A quick Google revealed it to be from a beauty salon.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was a wrong number, seeing as I’m a 62-year-old bloke 225 miles away.
44 Sea creature: grump on Channel Island catching it (6,4)
46 One billion stolen from dope, or grand? (5)
NOBLE – NOBBLE missing one B[illion].  Think dodgy goings on at racecourses.
48 Listened to one putting up with joint in stiff condition (5,6)
50 People in country put Croatian port into magical drink (10)
52 European in circles close to his capital banning a musical work (9)
RIGOLETTO – LETT in OO after RIGA (capital of LATVIA, where Letts do it).
53 Grey-haired judge, posh worker hosting the Italian’s anniversary (6,7)
54 Team displaying primitive instincts in Kentish region? (4)
SIDE – ID in S[outh] E[ast]
55 Member on foot on way in distance sees poisoner (9)
56 Rapidly announce cancellation of dance? (4,3)


1 Soldier’s rear exposed in disorderly retreat (4)
ROUT – {soldie}R, OUT
2 Maybe Ipswich rowing crew said to choke (9)
SUFFOCATE – sounds like Suffolk eight.  For our foreign listeners, Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk, and a palindrome of Bolton.
3 Kinky stiletto heels for burly trucker initially? Delicate creature (13,9)
TORTOISESHELL BUTTERFLY – (stiletto heels for burly T{rucker})*.  Large or small though?
4 Oppressive old Roman emperor starts to unnerve Senate (7)
ONEROUS – O[ld], NERO, U{nnerve} S{enate}
5 Duck before whirling tornado hit dental practice (11)
ORTHODONTIA – O (duck) (tornado hit)*.  It beats me why you’d need an alternative to the near-identical orthodontics but there you go.
6 American rebel keeping rickety plane makes sudden attack (9)
AMBUSCADE – AM[erican] CADE around BUS (slang for a less than pristine aeroplane)
7 Insatiable desire to have browser — Google’s first up (5)
GREED – reversal of DEER G{oogle}
8 Radio maybe managed by sergeant major — have giggle about that? (11)
TRANSMITTER – RAN S[ergeant] M[ajor] in TITTER
9 Can appearing upside-down humour an idiot? (6)
NITWIT -TIN reversed, WIT
11 Art style one’s introduced to province (7)
12 Unique floor covering — length deployed in game (9)
13 Percival and co think about saving grand, but not as managed with freehold (7,2,3,5,5)
KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE – I’m probably the only person on the planet who bothered to parse this so here you go: (think)* around G[rand], (but not as freehold)*
18 Garments from rococo chest — take look inside (7)
CLOTHES – (chest)* around LO
20 Pronoun given by solitary, small and mischievous creature (7)
22 Spanish wine and pork pie right for royalist (8)
24 Annul sin filling Roman writer close to Jerome (8)
27 Alumnus, having feasted regularly, appears thus? (5)
OBESE – O[ld] B[oy] {f}E{a}S{t}E{d}
29 Still at the crease — no boundaries in Perth (5)
INERT – IN (batting at the crease) pERTh
30 Bone hard? I’m not sure (7)
32 Energy invested in dubious electronic lens type? (4-3)
FISH-EYE – E[nergy] in FISHY, E[lectronic]
34 Passionate Dicky seems put out (11)
TEMPESTUOUS – (seems put out)*
36 Two coins securing extremely rare table decoration (11)
37 Fixative used in perfume has a light colour: French grey (9)
39 George in perfect place, just about, to open a packet (9)
AUTOPILOT – UTOPI{a} in A LOT.  George is slang for a plane’s autopilot.  This was easy for me as it had come up similarly clued in a Guardian puzzle not long before I took on this JUMBO.
41 Agitated microbiologist — no stoic — creates confusion (9)
IMBROGLIO – (microbiologist)* without the letters of STOIC
43 Good time in bowls game promised (7)
ENGAGED – G AGE in END (games of green bowls are split into “ends”)
45 Gas container from Scottish inventor upset government (4,3)
BELL JAR – (Alexander Graham) BELL, RAJ reversed
47 German fellow in German car leaving wife behind (6)
BOTTOM – OTTO in BMW sans W[ife]
49 Plant left unaltered when climbing (5)
SISAL – L[eft] AS IS all reversed
51 One side not quite covering a page (4)
LEAF – LEF{t} around A


13 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1651 – beautiful plumage”

  1. We’ve had George here, too, although I can’t remember how it came up; in any case, I biffed it, didn’t (couldn’t?) parse it. DNK the butterfly. Had no idea what Croft was doing, and now I see why; I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ms. Croft in the NYT, but here?

    1. George has come up more than once in the past. My pilot son-in-law calls it “autopilot” …
      Calling Ms Croft an archaeologist, is a bit like calling James Bond a civil servant

  2. 1 hour 21 minutes for an excellent Jumbo, very satisfying to solve. No serious problems. I don’t think I’ve come across NARCOTISE before but it wasn’t hard once I’d pulled back from NARCOTIC. The spelling of HAILE SELASSIE needed close attention to the anagrist. I was relieved to get ORTHODONTIA after a depressing failure with ANAESTHESIOLOGIST the previous week.

    At 25ac ELECT I had the definition at the other end of the clue – return – as announced by the Returning Officer.

    My LOI was HOMOLOGOUS, where I had all the crossers: _ O _ O _ O _ O _ S.
    Special thanks to the Setter for that. I liked the neat use of the little words “as to” in ASTOUND and “as is” in SISAL and I liked SHOPAHOLIC and the Suffolk Eight (despite not understanding the blog explanation).

    Many thanks for the blog, even so

  3. I can take a hint from Discord! I rumbled through this one with hardly a pause, though it still took 41 minutes. I can’t personally gainsay your comment on the Camelot clue: as is often the case when long answers in a Jumbo (the butterfly too) are clued with complex anagrams it’s hard to summon up the enthusiasm to untangle them. That’s what TftT is for!
    I did like the Suffolk Eight clue, though not being an overseas listener I’m not clear on hciwspi and notlob.
    Please keep up the good work!

    1. From Monty Python’s parrot shop sketch:

      Mr. Praline: I understand this IS Bolton.

      Owner: (still with the fake mustache) Yes?

      Mr. Praline: You told me it was Ipswich!

      Owner: …It was a pun.

      Mr. Praline: (pause) A PUN?!?

      Owner: No, no…not a pun…What’s that thing that spells the same backwards as forwards?

      Mr. Praline: (Long pause) A palindrome…?

      Owner: Yeah, that’s it!

      Mr. Praline: It’s not a palindrome! The palindrome of “Bolton” would be “Notlob”!! It don’t work!!

    2. Hear hear. I couldn’t be bothered to untangle the anagrams properly so I was not in the least surprised to find a pink square. However the one that did for me was the relatively simple NARCOTISE, where I read the definition as a noun and put NARCOTINE. Pfft.

  4. Mostly straightforward but tricky bits of wordplay and missing GK held me up a little e.g. END as a term used in bowls. All explained eventually however.

  5. Sorry about the earlier comment on the wrong Jumbo. Too many Jumbos at once! As for 1651 (rather than 1653), 31:43 for me, so yes on the easy side, but I needed to use a wordfinder for my LOI SHOPAHOLIC. DNK NARCOTISE (but it had to be) or the Croatian port. Being a near local to Ipswich, I did enjoy the Suffolk eight. Thanks Penfold and setter.

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