Times Cryptic Jumbo 1666 – London’s Burning

With this being puzzle 1666 I was hoping for a suitable historical reference and I was treated to three (that I noticed), along with a nod to 1 April.  Thanks setter.  As for the puzzle itself my overall time of 50 minutes suggests that this was a little harder than average, if there is such a thing.  I nearly wore out my square bracket keys typing up the blog so there do seem to be a lot of abbreviations.

First in was FOOL’S ERRAND and last was AMORINI.

If any of my explanations don’t make sense then feel free to ask for further elucidation.  Whereas last time round I was in Barcelona on the day the blog appeared on this occasion I’ll be in Alicante, so again I 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 D[ay]

1 Sweets go astray, what’s more, that one’s sent on in vain (5,6)
FOOLS ERRAND – FOOLS (sweets as in desserts), ERR, AND (what’s more).  A nice nod to April fools’ day.
7 Fuel, in the main hers, not for working large stoves (5,3,3)
NORTH SEA GAS – (hers not)*, AGAS.  Unforgivably I started with OIL instaed of GAS, even though I work in the gas industry.  It didn’t parse of course.
13 Female forger unusually taken with Old Etonian’s old blazer (5,4,2,6)
GREAT FIRE OF LONDON – (F[emale] forger old Etonian)*.  1666 and all that.
14 Roman emperor’s wife initially letting one through (5)
LIVIA – L{etting} I VIA.  Wife of Augustus.
15 Element of poster perhaps one’s cutting off the wall (6)
16 Declining privilege afforded exclusive patient, maybe, after day (8)
17 Betrayal of cause by Egypt’s far right (7)
TREASON – REASON after {Egyp}T
19 Men taking a long time after pub to get home (9)
ORPHANAGE – O[ther] R[anks], AN AGE after P[ublic] H[ouse]
21 They’re far from the main sanctions to follow call for peace (8)
23 Prophet very old woman recalled (4)
AMOS – SO MA reversed
25 Slight forgotten gladly by recipient ultimately (5)
FAINT – FAIN (old / poetic word for gladly), {recipien}T
27 Light fruit that contains extra energy for run (6)
CHEERY – CHERRY with E[nergy] instead of R[un]
28 Article — no good — by hack, Polish language speaker (10)
30 Most deprived youth returned clutching passes (8)
NEEDIEST – reversal of TEEN around DIES
31 Judge’s long clothes adapted by English educational establishment (2,5,7)
ST JOHNS COLLEGE – (Js long clothes)*, E[nglish]
34 Part where two players can pack a punch? (9,5)
PANTOMIME HORSE – amusing CD, a punch being a short-legged draught horse
35 To avoid risk, appropriate one’s back should be well protected! (8)
38 Habit of French writer to disavow absorbing chapter (10)
DEPENDENCY – DE (of in French), PEN, DENY around C[hapter]
40 Charlie may leave after knocking back drink (6)
COGNAC – C[harlie], CAN GO reversed
41 Dominant part in final phase (5)
ALPHA – hidden
43 Climber of mountains to live on one? That’s wrong? (4)
IBEX – BE on I, X (not a tick)
44 City lad caught in a tangle of feet (8)
DACTYLIC – (city lad C[aught])*.  Poetic feet.
45 Unable perhaps to wriggle out of medical department getting rebuked (9)
ENTRAPPED – E[ar] N[ose and] T[hroat],
48 Where one might stick out leg, moving around quietly (7)
GLUEPOT – (out leg)* around P[iano]
49 Way of working crank that has blokes entering tomb? (8)
MONUMENT – M[odus] O[perandi], NUT around MEN.  London’s “Monument” commemorates the Great Fire.
50 Lass’s note found by small bottle, unfinished (6)
53 Satellite’s antenna for broadcast, but not seen (5)
ARIEL – homophone of AERIAL for a moon of Uranus.  I think the “not seen” bit is just an extension to the homophone indicator.
54 All will be lucky as normal, handling trouble with reduced pot (5,3,3,3,3)
55 The Speaker’s indeed backing one supporting vote for justice? (3,3,2,3)
EYE FOR AN EYE – Homophone of AYE, FOR AN AYE.
56 Drink with naval officer: remain seated with one in theory (11)
SUPPOSITION – SUP, P[etty] O[fficer], SIT ON around I


1 Fine to stop topless sister’s statue becoming something ridiculed (6,2,3)
2 Mineral supplement with endless highland spirit (5)
3 Fruit tree posed problem in need of answer (7)
SATSUMA – SAT, SUM, A[nswer]
4 Loss of home game is depressing (4)
RUIN – IN under R[ugby] U[nion]
5 Exercising meant more endurance in the end, and a measure of puff (10)
ANEMOMETER – (meant more {enduranc}E)*
6 Windows outage? (14)
7 Turning up in Galata, no end of new arrivals (8)
NEONATAL – reverse hidden
8 Carried out overhaul of left wing papers? (5)
9 Pass our people large cloth (9)
10 Girl wanting story recalled evening of poetry (6)
EILEEN – LIE reversed, E’EN
11 Wind up with a star ranking? (4,7,3,3)
GIVE SOMEONE THE PIP – DDCDH, presumably based around pip being an informal term for the rank-denoting stars on an officer’s uniform.
12 Occasion in January or November in part’s cut short (2,6,3)
ST AGNESS EVE – N[ovembver] in STAGE’S SEVE{r}.  20 Jan and the subject of a Keats poem.
18 Bloomers made by drug agent: ones that can be viewed both ways (8)
NARCISSI – NARC, I’S and I’S reversed
20 I induce DJ to run with prepared work (5,3,9)
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE – (I induce DJ prepared)*
22 Refusing to ignore last month’s ruling? (6)
LINING – DECLINING without DEC[ember]
24 Written argument for holding game in a private area (8)
APOLOGIA – POLO in A G.I. A[rea]
26 Treasurer in charge of old sailors’ hats (8)
TRICORNS – TR[easurer] I[n] C[harge of] O[ld] R[oyal] N[avy]’S.  I can’t find any support for TR being an abbreviation for treasurer and I’ve never come across it despite being one.
29 Put up with TV regulator facing battle in parliament (5,2,7)
HOUSE OF COMMONS – HOUSE OFCOM MONS.  In the UK the body OFCOM regulates television and many other media.
32 Crops boasted about over time in America (4,4)
CREW CUTS – CREW, C[irca], T[ime] in U.S.
33 Cook keeps trying not to offend old trendy (6)
HEPCAT – HEAT around P[olitically] C[orrect]
34 Landed up in gaol, originally for disturbing city street (7,4)
PUDDING LANE – (landed up in G{aol})*. Our third nod to 1666.
36 Piano to discard? That causes huge depression (5,6)
37 A certain type of post to bury, and poles with it (10)
39 Rash to have abandoned first popular song? (9)
EXANTHEMA – EX (abandoned), ANTHEM A
42 Huge volume on duke misused key, valuable source (8)
KLONDYKE – K[ilo]L[itre], ON, D[uke] (key)*
46 Boys painted nude or in a skirt (7)
47 Launch programme with a vote, getting zero support (6)
APOLLO – A POLL on top of O
49 Female got up in the morning the day before (5)
MAEVE –  A.M. reversed, EVE.  Our third random female / girl / lass
51 Pilgrim, and their personal struggle if cycling? (5)
HADJI – JIHAD with the JI moved to the back.  Recently on TfTT someone mentioned solving cycling clues by writing the letters in a circle and working round starting letters until the required word appeared.
52 Lower half of floor disappearing is concerning (2,2)
AS TO – ASTOnish


9 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1666 – London’s Burning”

  1. DNF; never got (NHO) EXANTHEMA. DNK AMORINI (not in ODE, but–as rather often–in my English-Japanese dictionary, which conveniently appears when I push the ODE button a second time). DNK Galata (not in ODE, but etc.) I had a ? at 22d, but it just now occurred to me that ruling/lining applies to notepaper. As with most recent Jumbos, I have ‘feh’ written in the margins by a number of ugly surfaces, like 18d, 45ac, 56ac, …
    ODE has nothing for TR, but once again punching the button, Taishuukan gives me fifteen (tr/tr.), including transitive, troop, trust, and treasurer. Not that Taishuukan carries much weight at the Times, but still.

  2. By the end I was using aids quite readily in order to finish this puzzle. There were several clues I solved but was unable to parse fully, so thanks to the blogger for explaining them. I missed the theme.

    It was Shabbo who posted the tip about ‘cycling’ clues and I expanded on this with an illustration in my blog last Tuesday. Sadly I didn’t know it when I tackled this puzzle so I wasn’t quite sure how HADJI worked.

  3. Did you know EXANTHEMA, P? I would argue this clue is impossible to solve if you don’t, because ‘abandoned’ for EX is pushing it, and ANTHEM A for most popular (as opposed to first) song is really out there. I had got as far as ANTHEM for ‘song’ but couldn’t account for any of the rest of it. I think this is a really terrible clue, but then I would, wouldn’t I?
    I just bunged in OREAD in the end but I still don’t understand what ‘supplement’ is doing in the clue.
    11dn is also very odd. The definition surely needs to be ‘wind someone up’ to make sense, and the ‘pip’ thing is very obscure. Fortunately the answer was obvious just from checkers but if that’s how we’re getting to the answer the setter hasn’t really done his or her job.
    Collins has ‘tr’ as an abbreviation for ‘treasurer’. A noble profession.

    1. I solved EXANTHEMA from WP but looked it up before committing. I accounted for supplement with in the same way as Kevin.

      I can only agree about the noble profession 🙂

      1. Just me being thick then I guess. I don’t think I’d have got EX from ‘abandoned’ in a month of Sundays.


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