Times Cryptic Jumbo 1661 – Subpoenaed in Texas

This was tricky in parts with a few unfamiliar words and some challenging wordplay.  I spent around 50 minutes in all, putting it on the harder side of average.

First in was CRASS and last was EPISTLE.

If any of my explanations don’t make sense then feel free to ask for further elucidation.  I’ll be in Barcelona when this blog appears so might not respond quickly!

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 BR[itish]

1 Boorish idiot on councillor’s case (5)
CRASS – ASS on (after in an across clue) C{ouncillo}R
4 Obvious formality puts off adult trainee (10)
APPRENTICE – APPARENT ICE without the second A[dult]
9 They bring together British experts (6)
14 Confiscate sought after object stolen by witness (9)
SEQUESTER – QUEST in SEER.  Familiar to me from the Hold Steady song Sequestered in Memphis.
15 English doctor runs into trouble, heading off source of shame? (13)
EMBARRASSMENT – E[nglish] M[edicinae]B[accalaureus], R[uns] in hARASSMENT
16 Letter‘s mostly impressive elegance, having no heart (7)
17 Is work this writer’s returned disrupting whole discussion? (9)
SYMPOSIUM – IS OP[us] MY reversed in SUM
18 Monarch’s rule is unfamiliar except for Republican’s predecessors (5)
REIGN – FOREIGN without FO, the letters that precede R[epublican]
19 Fresh fruit filled with sugar’s beginning process involving press (4,10)
22 ID provided by returning sentry? (7)
25 Novel written that is containing new twist (10)
INTERTWINE – (written)*, I.E. around N[ew]
27 Song drunk lady sung with elan (4,4,4)
AULD LANG SYNE – (lady sung elan)*
30 Who might produce monumental work featuring mother and child? (5)
31 Loutish Australian arrived spreading much fondness (8)
LARRIKIN – ARR[ived] in LIKIN{g}
32 Emphasised the effect of final courses being returned (8)
35 Particular detail diminished sci-fi epic in some way (8)
SPECIFIC – (sci-fi epic)*
36 Sinister people on the march wanting power (8)
MENACING – MEN PACING without P[ower]
37 Time to worry persistently about distinctive accent (5)
TWANG – T[ime], GNAW reversed
39 Conservative government’s first, for example, to stop helping assembly (12)
CONGREGATION – CON[servative], G{overnment}, E.G. in RATION
41 Purchased too much public housing for branch (10)
43 Hot sauce and beans regularly wrapped in pancake (7)
45 Coolness and spirit belonging to object (8,2,4)
PRESENCE OF MIND – PRESENCE (spirit) OF (belonging to) MIND (object)
48 Harangue half-cut voters (5)
49 Awfully banal choir missing a description of breathtaking passage? (9)
BRONCHIAL – (banal choir)*
51 Extreme means of amplifying vocal controversy (7)
POLEMIC – POLE, MIC[rophone]
53 What can prise open the tightest of locks? (4-5,4)
FINE-TOOTH COMB – CD, locks as in hair
54 Take cover from some of sun’s heat henceforth (9)
UNSHEATHE – hidden
55 Temptation grips king, queen and lady-in-waiting? (6)
LURKER – LURE around K[ing] then R[egina]. I guess our lurker could equally be a man, but the lady is required for the surface reading.
56 Advanced position demonstrated by leader of game? (10)
BRIDGEHEAD – DDCDH – leader of game could be head of bridge
57 I’m surprised piercing sound is boring (2-3)
HO-HUM – OH in (piercing) HUM


1 Partners in deal following money and source of oil (6)
CASHEW – bridge partners E[ast] and W[est] following CASH
2 Gained experience that takes time to be appreciated (8,5)
ACQUIRED TASTE – Simple charade
3 Process to extract metal emitted noxious fumes? (5)
4 Innovative style disrupted trade with company (3,4)
ART DECO – (trade)*, CO[mpany]
5 Legal ways in sabotaged troop’s attempt to guard Slough (5,2,5)
PORTS OF ENTRY – (troops)* TRY around FEN
6 Sin tempted woman upset about way of working henceforth (8)
EVERMORE – ERR EVE reversed around M[odus] O[perandi]
7 Cheers show disapproval of what is unacceptable (5)
TABOO – TA (thanks), BOO
8 Elements of a recording requiring adjustment? (10)
CORRIGENDA – (a recording)*. A corrigendum is something which requires correction.  I’d say this works as an &Lit as “elements of” can refer to the letters in what follows that require anagramming.
10 Platform game set in storm at sea (7)
ROSTRUM – R[ugby] U[nion] (how good was England v Ireland last weekend?) in (storm)*
11 Subject that brings people together? (9)
12 Made a contribution to protest material (5)
13 Carnivorous animal is confused with a giant marten (9,5)
TASMANIAN TIGER – (is a giant marten)*.  An extinct carniverous marsupial.
20 Dog that’s been fed one more resilient (9)
21 Reportedly bad state of ratings? (8)
NAUTICAL – homophone of NAUGHTY + the state of CAL[ifornia]
23 Editor plugging dull, essential elements for enthusiastic consumer (6,4)
24 Hipster from country once potential partner for Queen (7,3)
SIAMESE CAT – cat can be slang for a jazz fan or man generally, and SIAM is now Thailand of course.
26 Capital gains reduced protection for member (10,4)
28 For all to see, established in union member’s accommodation (5,4)
GUEST ROOM – U (film classification) EST[ablished] in GROOM
29 Boring book about religious education occupying lives (8)
TIRESOME – TOME around IS around R.E.
33 Bitter dispute caused by raising line in small fishing competition (8,5)
SLANGING MATCH – S[mall] thenb L[ine] moved up in ANGLING MATCH
34 56 lines Lucretius translated in The Art of Forestry (12)
SILVICULTURE – LVI in (Lucretius)*
38 Woman often seen as wicked sulks about choke holds (10)
40 Presumably someone who wouldn’t bash your head in is hardly a problem (2-7)
42 Trustworthy cover from reinsurance likely (8)
RELIABLE – R{einsuranc}E, LIABLE
44 Staff spirit changing around characters known for political correctness (7)
SCEPTRE – SPECTRE with the P[olitical] and C[orrectness] swapped over
46 Not in favour of baseless stance adopted by newspaper article (7)
OPPOSED – POSe in OP-ED. I didn’t know OP-ED.  It’s “a newspaper article printed opposite the editorial column”.
47 Cry about being caught in sting (6)
48 Waste removed from almost everything (5)
50 Sound produced by one string or several (5)
CHORD – sounds like CORD (one string).  I wasn’t really sure what to underline for the definition.  I’m not a musician but I don’t think you can play a chord on one string so it can’t be an &Lit.  Anyway, it’s clear enough how to arrive at the answer.
52 Scoundrel lying about securing Charlie for sucker (5)
LEECH – HEEL reversed around C[harlie]


14 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1661 – Subpoenaed in Texas”

  1. Sadly I have almost no memory of this puzzle and I have very little on my printout to remind me, just a few anagram workings.

    My only unknown seems to have been the parsing at 18ac having biffed the answer without difficulty. I missed ‘foreign’ meaning ‘unfamiliar’ and therefore didn’t know that I was supposed to be looking for an instruction to remove FO. Well done for working that out, Penfold, and thanks for explaining it.

  2. Like Jack, I have no memory of this and next to no notes. Couldn’t parse TWANG or CHORD. Does REIGN work? The ‘fo’ to delete is in ‘for’, but what is the deletion instruction? ‘except’? then I don’t get the grammar of ‘except for Republican’s predecessors’. ‘except for’? then ‘Republican’s predecessors’ includes everything from ‘Monarch’s’ on.

    1. Hi Kevin, I think it’s a red herring that the letters Fo are in FOr. The instruction is just to take / type/ write the word FOREIGN omitting (except for) what would precede R[epublican].

  3. This took me 38 minutes, which suggests that I found it quite difficult in spite of the fact that I had most of the knowledge. SILVICULTURE was the one exception.
    A lot of people these days say ‘fine tooth-comb’, which annoys me much more than it should.
    A few nits to pick, just to prove that someone reads the blog 😉
    > in 30ac the word ‘work’ is part of the definition
    > likewise in 41ac the word ‘much’
    > in 51ac I think the definition is just ‘controversy’ and ‘means of amplifying vocal’ gives MIC
    > in 2dn I think ‘gained experience’ is wordplay and the rest is the definition

    1. Thanks for spotting those K, blog amended. I’m always happy to be corrected. Now I know you’re mad enough to read the whole blog I’ll leave you an Easter egg next time.

      I’m firmly with you on getting annoyed by the tooth-comb thing. The people who think there’s such a thing are pre-madonnas who put themselves on a pedal stool.

  4. Late as always, but I did this on holiday and recall enjoying it a lot, and being pleased to get CORRIGENDA straight away, even though I can’t have thought of the word in yonks.
    I can still remember wincing at the ungrammatical 27ac too – sung is not the past tense of sing. Very surprised it got through and hasn’t even been mentioned here.

    1. Hi Michael, thanks for dropping by.

      Chambers says that sung can be the past tense of sing, albeit “rarely”, but that is good enough for crosswordland.

      1. I guess that’s the technical nicety that justifies it, although anyone using it in Times newspaper copy would be swiftly corrected. For Times puzzles, Chambers > Collins (which doesn’t cite its rare usage).
        Thank you for replying, and for the great blog as usual.


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