Times Cryptic Jumbo 1673 – 11 May 2024

Hello again. I fairly riffled through most of this one, but I was brought up short by two small areas of the crossword at top left, and bottom middle, that took longer to sort out. I’m looking at you, 2dn & 53ac ..

Please, do feel free to ask questions or comment as required.

I use the standard conventions like underlining the definition, CD for cryptic definition, DD for a double one, *(anargam) and so forth. Nho = “not heard of” and in case of need the Glossary is always handy

1 Unappealing uniform son dons every 24 hours (9)
UNSIGHTLY – U(niform, NATO alphabet) + S(on) in NIGHTLY.
6 African country to the west importing some empty food container (7)
NOSEBAG – S(om)E in GABON, rev. A small West African country, the Gabonese Republic.
10 Shot through part of hotel? (5)
LOBBY – LOB (a shot, eg tennis) + BY, through.
13 Parties in parliament prepare for war between sides (13)
HOUSEWARMINGS – HOUSE (eg of Commons, a parliament) + ARM (prepare for war) in WINGS, sides.
14 Swan around with Parisian in boring Med resort, making money once (9)
NINEPENCE – PEN (a female swan) rev., + EN (French for in), both inside NICE, a Mediterranean resort. The result is 9d, money once, but it is also 9p so why the “once,” I’m not sure. It seems surplus to requirements.

There is a pub not far from me called The Swan, and the loos were labelled COBS and PENS. This led to fairly frequent confusion…

15 King in jumper, say, returned fashion adornment for crown (7)
TOPKNOT – K(ing) in TOP (jumper, say) + TON (fashion) rev.
16 Bread and some butter eaten by president briefly (7)
CHAPATI – PAT (some butter) in CHAI(r), president briefly. Personally I would not regard chairperson and president as synonymous, but Collins has for president “a person who presides over an assembly, meeting, etc ” which seems near enough.
17 Dogged right back has trouble with gutless England (7)
TRAILED – RT (right) rev., + AIL (trouble) + E(nglan)D
18 Devour nuts, entertained by those running the Grand National courses (4,8)
20 Could one be accepted as eccentric? (5,5)
SPACE CADET – *(ACCEPTED AS), another neat clue. Collins: “a person who is eccentric or out of touch with reality, as if affected by drugs,” a usage I vaguely remember having seen before.
23 Ultimately founder in drink? (5)
DROWN – (founde)R in DOWN, to drink.
24 Retreating, I left old, short rifle in military campaign (9)
GALLIPOLI – All reversed: I + L(eft) + O(ld) + PILLAG(e), rifle, short.
25 Dog given large drink retires somewhere secluded (5,2)
CURLS UP – CUR (dog) + L(arge) + SUP, to drink.
26 Tendency to stuff goods roughly into long ship (11)
PIGGISHNESS – GG (goods) + ISH (roughly) inside PINE (long) + SS, your ship.
28 Being indecisive, I’m going to holiday houses (11)
VACILLATION – I’LL (I’m going to) in VACATION (holiday)
30 Rightist sent out guards opposed to ancient ruler (11)
CONSTANTINE – CON(servative, a rightist), + ANTI (opposed to) in *(SENT). There are literally dozens of ancient rulers named Constantine, but usually it refers to Constantine I, one of the greatest of all the Roman emperors, and founder of Constatinople.
32 Act to keep walls of cell, say, in a tidier state (11)
DECLUTTERED – C(el)L + UTTER (say) in DEED, an act. A neat clue ..
34 New aim to limit danger, mostly, in ruler’s domains (7)
IMPERIA – PERI(l) (danger, mostly) in *(AIM). Not a word I have ever deployed, but not a big stretch.
36 Embarrassed-looking Conservative in left-wing stronghold once (3,6)
RED SQUARE – RED (embarrassed looking) + SQUARE (conservative).

It always amuses me that “conservative” and “labour” are such misleading names for political movements.

38 Star group periodically accepts crossword setters (5)
CETUS – (a)C(c)E(p)T + US, our highly appreciated setters. A constellation I know nothing about, but had heard of..
39 Nothing stops sister getting article in part of phrase (4,6)
NOUN CLAUSE – 0 in NUN (sister), + CLAUSE (article). Does clause = article? Yes it does. Collins: “Article: a clause or section in a written document such as a treaty, contract, statute, etc.”
41 One possibly potted in party, after poet hosts wicked one (8,4)
BILLIARD BALL – ILL (wicked) + I in BARD (poet), + BALL (party). A fine game which is rather more interesting for the players than for the spectators, I’ve always thought.
45 Stick around because this is found in fruit (7)
GLUCOSE – COS (because) in GLUE .. stick around, get it?! Glucose is indeed found in fruit, also in other plants, and in animals; it is quite ubiquitous. The sugar in your own blood is glucose.
46 Person entertained during contest drinking tea, mostly (7)
INVITEE – TE(a) (tea mostly) in IN VIE (during contest, as a verb)
47 Mike loathing holding clubs in scrap (7)
MODICUM – M(ike) + C(lubs) in ODIUM, loathing.
49 David’s wife is the lady plugging city travel firm (9)
BATHSHEBA – SHE (the lady) in BATH (city) + BA, a travel firm of sorts.

Is this the first ever case of nominative determinism? King David saw her bathing, in her bath, and lusted after her.. read the Wikipedia entry and marvel, at those who hold the bible up as a moral guide..

50 Musician finally playing with leading orchestra is conveying no warmth? (3-10)
NON-CONDUCTING – (musicia)N + ON (playing) + CONDUCTING, leading an orchestra.
52 Ruminant‘s dash to the left of delta (5)
ELAND – ELAN (dash) + D(elta). The giant eland is the largest of all antelopes.
53 For medics, filter calls about unknown drug (7)
DIALYSE – Y (unknown, along with X and Z) in DIALS (calls), + E a drug, apparently. Dialyse nho, but no stretch from dialysis.
54 Expels police officer confiscating one’s stuff (9)
DISGORGES – tricky! It is IS (one’s) + GORGE (stuff) all inside (DS (detective sergeant)
1 Release article in Le Monde on problem (7)
UNHITCH – UN (French article) + HITCH (problem)
2 Foil, no good, wrapping new grape variety (11)
SCUPPERNONG – I mean, really? My 8th edition World Atlas of Wine lists thousands of grape varieties but makes no mention of it. It is SCUPPER (foil) + N(ew) in NO G(ood). Scuppernong turns out to be a local variety in the Carolinas, of muscadine. Muscadine is interesting because it is a vine indigenous to the USA, and is therefore distinct from vitis vinifera, the basis for virtually all wine globally.
3 Place for putting dope’s clothing on (5)
GREEN – RE (on, relating to) in GEN, information or dope
4 Little piggy imbibing wine and snack food (7)
TOASTIE – ASTI, so often the setter’s wine of choice, in TOE, a little piggy
5 What for a Spaniard is very flipping delicious! (3)
YUM – MUY, Spanish for very I believe, reversed.
6 The setter’s two relatives climbing Indian mountain (5,4)
NANDA DEVI – All reversed: I’VE + DAD + NAN, two relatives. Nanda Devi will be a nho for many I guess, if you are not into mountaineering as I am, or rather was. It is the highest mountain wholly within India and the 23rd highest peak in the world.
7 Do some hip swinging in band? Always (6)
SASHAY – SASH (band) + AY (always, as used by archaic poets)
8 German city that is close to Berlin blocking charge by silly would-be ruler (6,6,7)
BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE – BONN (German city) + IE (that is) + (berli)N in PRICE (charge) + CHARLIE (silly).
9 Some incite neglect about dealing with make-up (7)
GENETIC – hidden, reversed, as above.
10 Exciting performer in Hollywood area pranced wildly (3,6)
LAP DANCER – LA (Hollywood area) + *(PRANCED). Never seen or had one, sad to say.
11 Asian with collar up clearing vessel, almost (11)
BANGLADESHI – NAB (collar) reversed, + GLADE (clearing) + SHI(p), almost a vessel.
12 Profit that is invested by unknown land’s banks (5)
YIELD – IE (that is, again) in Y (unknown, again) + L(an)D.
16 Aria and curtain call save failing opera (10,9)
CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA – *(ARIA + CURTAIN CALL SAVE). No opera buff me, I went to one once, and that was enough. But I had heard of this one, by Mascagni. It has an interesting history.
19 Provider of a filling dinner only half set out on time (7)
DENTIST – Another tricky one. It is *(DIN(ner) + SET), + T(ime)
21 Need pasta cooked for Mediterranean spreads (9)
22 Maybe crow or rook beset by modern ailment (6)
CORVID – R(ook), a chess piece, in COVID, about which ’nuff said.
23 Noticed oddball penning irrational drawing (9)
DEPICTION – PI, an irrational number, in *(NOTICED)
24 Wife of William S., say, raised hell (7)
GEHENNA – reversed, ANNE H + EG (say). The H being for Hathaway, Will Shakespeare’s wife. Gehenna, a valley near Jerusalem with ill connotations.
25 Contrive dull, occasionally somewhat revolutionary plot (7)
COLLUDE – hidden, reversed, as above
27 Partner said why date’s going wrong, initially (6)
STEADY – *(DATES) + Y (sounds like why).
29 Queen’s servant, say, given a bunch of coppers for stomach remedy (7)
ANTACID – ANT (queen ant’s servant, say) + A CID, a bunch of police.
31 Turn up and sell a potty in perfect condition (2,4,5)
33 Possibly, job for a Persian sailor without contract (3-8)
RAT-CATCHING – CATCH (contract, an illness perhaps) in RATING, a sailor. The Persian in question being a cat. It is rare for a domestic cat to kill an adult rat, they are a formidable proposition. What tends to happen is that the rats will go elsewhere, for a quieter life, so the effect is much the same.
35 Once again, went over grass borders in a mood (9)
RECROSSED – CROSS (in a mood) in REED, a kind of grass.
37 Receipt of fruit with dry area inside (9)
QUITTANCE – TT (dry) + A(rea), in QUINCE,  a fruit.
40 A retired teacher with lower energy, one making cuts (3-4)
AXE-HEAD – A EX HEAD, a retired teacher, not of grammar I trust, with the E moved down a bit.
42 Sections of navy blue American painter put upside down (7)
ARMADAS – SAD (blue) AM(erican) RA (Royal Academician, ie painter), all reversed.
43 Travel northwards through trees in French city (7)
LIMOGES – GO (travel) rev., in LIMES, trees. Limoges is a nice city, with a bit of a thing about hugely overdecorated porcelain.
44 Diarist lifting foot smoothly (6)
EVENLY – John EVELYN, diarist, with the Y lifted up a bit. Evelyn was a contemporary of Pepys, our greatest diarist. Evelyn’s is much longer, but much less colourful.
45 Outburst of laughter, say, welcomes British film star (5)
GABLE – B(ritish) in GALE (eg of laughter). Clark Gable died aged 59, and if his Wiki article is anything to go by, a brave and resourceful man. Read about his WWII service.
48 Knock down duck and gander (5)
DECKO – DECK (knock down) + O
51 Pair performing pirouettes to get instrument (3)
OUD – DUO (pair) rev. By a coincidence I had come across ouds (a kind of lute) only the day before doing this crossword. I was reading about Dick Dale, an American guitarist of Lebanese descent. His best known tune, “Misirlou,” was “influenced by an earlier Arabic folk version played with an oud.” Watch him playing Misirlou, and be amazed..

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

7 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1673 – 11 May 2024”

  1. I noted on my copy that having struggled on the LH side I found the RH much easier. My only resort to aids was for an answer in the middle of the grid, NANDA DEVI, which I NHO.

    Elsewhere there were a few unknowns which I deduced from wordplay and then checked. Sometimes with Jumbo puzzles if I’m struggling I allow myself to check an answer or two as I go.

    NOUN CLAUSE was unknown but looked likely. I’m still not sure I fully understand the wordplay.

  2. DNF, in spades
    I had left maybe a dozen clues to do and forgotten the puzzle until I came here; made a desperate effort to finish up, but still didn’t get a half-dozen. I knew of SCUPPERNONG wine, but thought it was like dandelion wine, not from a grape. If I’d had the P of TOPKNOT I could have biffed it. I knew I didn’t know the mountain, and the clue wasn’t that helpful; I was working on …NEMI when I gave up.

  3. I put in DISLODGES for 54A and thought at the time that both DISLODGES/Expels and LODGE/stuff were close enough to not require a second thought. Surprised that none of the usual dictionaries mention the fairly common perfume/aftershave ingredient oud(h) as a second meaning of that word. IMPERIA, QUITTANCE, and the delightful SCUPPERNONG were unknowns. PS John Evelyn and Clark Gable’s life stories have become intriguingly intertwined in 44D and 45D.

    1. I put in DISLODGES too, but fortunately something about it didn’t seem quite right and I reconsidered. On reflection it’s arguably a perfectly valid answer.

  4. I thought this was excellent. There were quite a few obscure (i.e. I hadn’t heard of them) things but all indicated with great clarity so I was able to ender SCUPPERNONG, NANDA DEVI and OUD with confidence.
    I think ‘money once’ refers to the old coin.
    J you have included your comment on Clark Gable in the explanation of EVENLY, which confused me for a moment: the WWII service of a contemporary of Pepys?!

  5. I found this a bit trickier than average, taking about 55 minutes. NHO SCUPPERNONG among a couple of others, but that’s par for a Jumbo and it’s always good to learn new words.. COD to the &lit DROWN. Thanks Jerry and setter.


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