Times Jumbo Cryptic 1604 – Saturday 18th March 2023


Solving time: 80 minutes with one look-up.

It’s rarely I can quote a time for my Jumbo solving, but unusually for me I completed this in a single sitting. There were some unknown words and meanings along the way but I managed to work through all of them bar one at 18ac where I eventually resorted to aids. When I started blogging Jumbo puzzles recently I was planning to provide a cut-down version of my usual style but I soon discovered that it took too much time to think about what to leave out and it would be easier to blog every clue as I normally would. Nevertheless, please feel free to ask for further explanations if anything is not clear.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Practical, say, and grand item for a picnic? (4-6,3)
HARD-BOILED (practical – shrewd), EG (say), G (grand)
8 Preserved fruit succeeded best after upper-class fish (9)
S (succeeded), U (upper-class), GAR (fish), PLUM (best). I knew of Tchaikovsky’s fairy long before I was aware of the crystallised fruit.
13 Regret including English verse in entertainment (5)
RUE (regret) containing [including] E (English) + V (verse). Once a witty and sophisticated entertainment, but less so these days if indeed you can find one.
14 Vegetable cooked, stew and paté too (5,6)
Anagram [cooked] of STEW PATE TOO
15 Sectarian going back to Gibraltar (5)
TO + GIB (Gibraltar) reversed [going back]
16 Firm depressed about the empty fleet (9)
SAD (depressed) containing [about] T{h}E [empty], FAST (fleet of foot)
17 Long walk of trees reduced by two kilometres (4)
TRE{es} [reduced by two] K (kilometres)
18 Character backed in Times broadcast point by point (8)
AIR (character) reversed [backed] contained by [in] anagram [broadcast] of TIMES. This was the clue where I resorted to aids after solving all the others. I knew I wouldn’t know it and I failed to construct it from wordplay. It means ‘following one by one in succession’. 
20 Fount   of some Indo-European languages (6)
Two meanings. This was another that gave me a lot of trouble but I solved it eventually. It relies on ‘fount’ being an alternative to ‘font’ as a printing term and I understand it was the standard word in the UK industry until the advent of computers.
21 Cook’s staple grain has to lessen — evidence daily (11,5)
GR (grain – unit of weight), EASE (lessen), PROOF (evidence), PAPER (daily). ‘Staple’ seemed a bit odd in the definition but I assume it refers to something a cook might use almost every day.
24 I left after a month in London mostly — one can smell it (6,3)
A, then M (month) contained by [in] LONDO{n} [mostly], I, L (left). I gather one of its prime uses is in perfumes.
26 Woman’s horse mostly about without a warming cover (7)
PALFRE{y} (woman’s horse) [mostly] reversed [about] containing [without] A. Chaucer mentions a palfrey in The Canterbury Tales and at the time I was studying this at school there was a teacher called Mr Palfrey, so this was commented on and it has stuck ever since.
27 Keep mum putting horse into Japanese dish? I disappeared (5)
H (horse) contained by [putting…into] SUSH{i} (Japanese dish) [I disappeared]
29 City hospital has money given by one small company (3,9)
SAN (hospital – sanatorium), FRANC (money), I (one), S (small), CO (company)
31 Petitions to take in interrupting candidates (10)
EAT (take in) contained by [interrupting] ENTRIES (candidates)
33 Worker in bacon factory, possibly one who walks around (10)
‘Back’ is one of the standard cuts of bacon, so a worker in a bacon factory might be said to be a BACK-PACKER
35 Disagreeable hour with insomnia, tossing and turning (12)
Anagram [tossing and turning] of HOUR INSOMNIA
38 Regular time for game, say (5)
EVEN (regular), T (time)
39 National day’s abolished by prime minister (7)
Benjamin{D}ISRAELI (prime minister) [day’s abolished]
40 Chap from Maggot island (9)
GENTLE (maggot), MAN (island)
42 Get better small pie once again with tea, perhaps (4,4,1,3,4)
TURNOVER (small pie), ANEW (once again), LEAF (tea, perhaps). SOED: turnover – a small filled pastry made by folding one half of the crust back over the other half and sealing it.
44 Savoury pastry from Greek island area (6)
SAMOS (Greek island), A (area)
47 Tasty food doctor and men backed in eastern lands (8)
MB (doctor) + OR (men) reversed [backed] contained by [in] ASIA (eastern lands)
49 Just  show  decent  objective (4)
I think this is a quadruple definition although there may be some overlap between the last two
50 At the moment doctor is in to examine blockage during cold (9)
NOW (at the moment) + DR (doctor) contained by [is in] SIFT (to examine – evidence, for example )
52 Only partial certitude over measurement for solution (5)
Hidden [only partial] and reversed [over] in {c}ERTIT{ude}. I didn’t know this but following the wordplay I found it hidden and reversed and made an association with ‘titration’ a process involved in many an experiment carried out during my science lessons at school. SOED: titre – the minimum volume of a solution needed to reach the end point in a titration. Following this I had to remind myself that the tube with the tap is called a burette.
53 Land plot held by church as a protection for horses (11)
SADDLE (land), then LOT (plot) contained [held] by CH (church). You may be landed or saddled with a difficult situation.
54 Certainly a pious creature (5)
OK (certainly), A, PI (pious)
55 Somehow never once get together again (9)
Anagram [somehow] of NEVER ONCE
56 Celebration deserving wild dancing (6,7)
Anagram [dancing] of DESERVING WILD
1 Emperor surrendering to mother around S Honshu city (9)
HIROHI{to} (Japanese Emperor) [surrendering ‘to’] + MA (mother) containing [around] S
2 I arrive to be treated in coastal resort area (7)
Anagram [to be treated] of I ARRIVE
3 Bureau initially study wife with secret source of family income (11)
B{ureau} [initially], READ (study), W (wife), INNER (secret)
4 Popular and well-known form of insect (6)
IN (popular), STAR (well-known). Another word unknown to me. Collins: the stage in the development of an insect between any two moults.
5 Elite exam for type of college in the US (9)
ELECT (elite – specially chosen group), ORAL (exam)
6 Where to seek property, position in life and power (6,6)
ESTATE (position in life), AGENCY (power)
7 Unwelcome character of slime on outside of stale fish egg (10)
GOO (slime), S{tal}E [outside of…], BERRY (fish egg – news to me!). A chaperone or unwanted third party.
8 Thoroughly water small tree (4)
S (small), OAK (tree)
9 Key? Really like remark about role for car locker (5,11)
G (key – music), LOVE (really like), then COMMENT (remark) containing [about] PART (role). Do cars still have these, I wonder?
10 Some headline-grabbing religious leader? (5)
Hidden in [some] {headline-g}RABBI{ng}
11 Look suddenly pleased to start smoking (5,2)
Two meanings
12 Swap round rooms with shipmate for a change (13)
Anagram [swap round] ROOMS SHIPMATE
19 Land in kraals is redistributed (3,5)
Anagram [redistributed] of KRAALS IS
22 Brief infatuation with a Turkish officer (5)
PASH (brief infatuation – crush), A. I suspect ‘pash’ is very dated slang and no longer in use. Like ‘crush’ it can refer both to the infatuation or to its object.
23 Link one old soldier with children and vital support system (10,6)
CONNECT (link), I (one), VET (old soldier – veteran), ISSUE (children). Without this the human frame would collapse.
25 Seeing glass has blemish around company name when held up (7)
MOLE (blemish), containing [around] CO (company) + N (name) reversed [held up]
28 Regular follower of tango (7)
The cryptic hint refers to the names of the letters in the NATO alphabet – U (uniform) follows T (tango)
29 Topic for debate likely to be affected by business (7,6)
SUBJECT (likely to be affected), MATTER (business)
30 Neapolitan, perhaps, in charge of European elite (3,5)
IC (in charge), E (European), CREAM (elite)
32 Organised call in a trice concerning attitude of militant atheist? (12)
Anagram [organised] of CALL IN A TRICE
34 Courtyard just right for the occasion with current circle (5)
PAT (just right for the occasion), I (current), O (circle)
36 Greek character left country unoccupied and without legal force (4,3,4)
NU (Greek character), L (left), LAND (country), VOID (unoccupied)
37 A new rebel’s meddled with sources of power (10)
Anagram of [meddled with] A NEW REBELS
40 Good young men with character could make prime minister (9)
G (good), LADS (young men), TONE (character)
41 New reason for lightning rods just avoided catastrophe (4,5)
N (new), EARTHING (reason for lightning rods)
43 Plunder old heart from mortician making up stiff (7)
ROB (plunder), O (old), {mor}TIC{ian} [heart]
45 What gets sheets folded at first shortly before friend appears (7)
ORIG. (at first – originally, abr.) [shortly], AMI (friend). Although ‘ami’ is a French word it has found its way into the English language and is listed in the usual sources.
46 Food over with for restaurant diner not turning up (2-4)
NOSH (food), O (over), W (with)
48 Ulysses chronicler’s no judge and unknown in the main (5)
{J}O{y}CEAN (Ulysses chronicler’s – James Joyce’s) [no judge – j – and unknown – y]
51 Unoccupied island, mined finally for sulphur (4)
I{s}LE (island) becomes IDLE when {mine}D [finally] is substituted for S (sulphur)

7 comments on “Times Jumbo Cryptic 1604 – Saturday 18th March 2023”

  1. I knew SERIATUM–but not, as you see, how to spell it–and biffed it, and I never got around to trying to parse it. I also never parsed GENTLEMAN; DNK the maggoty GENTLE. Didn’t care much for this one; I’ve got ‘feh’ written in the margin by a number of clues with really hopeless surfaces: ‘Preserved fruit succeeded best after upper-class fish’; ‘Keep mum putting horse into Japanese dish? I disappeared’ etc.

    1. You make a good point about the surface readings. I rarely pay them much attention when solving as they are usually designed to mislead but I am trying to train myself to review them after the event, especially when blogging. Unfortunately there’s still a temptation not to for the large number of clues in a Jumbo puzzle.

  2. Just over an hour and a half for a good straightforward solve but with one mistake – UN (not IN) HARMONIOUS. It’s OK though; under kapietro rules one pink square is perfectly fine in a Jumbo. For the unknown TITRE I followed the same process as the blogger. I wrote INSTAR in confidently thinking I’d seen it here before, but on checking I find it last appeared two years ago. If I remembered that, my memory is better than I thought. I liked UNIFORM and the lightning strike NEAR THING

  3. I don’t bother to submit jumbos these days, too much faff for not much reward, solving on paper as I do, so I never get a pink square 🙂 . Can’t see any errors, though.. I appreciate good surface readings, so wasn’t too keen on this crossword for the reasons Kevin states.

  4. I remembered GENTLE and INSTAR from somewhere but SERIATIM was new to me. I liked the quadruple FAIR. Just under 35 minutes of me, so not too difficult or too easy. LOI STEADFAST. Thanks Jackkt and setter.

  5. I thought I was going to have major problems with this for a while, because in several cases I just couldn’t for the life of me see how the clue was supposed to work. There were also a couple (RENEWABLES and ANTICLERICAL) where I could see that they were anagrams but struggled to unravel them. In the end I sorted it out without too much bother but spoiled my efforts with a careless UNHARMONIOUS.
    One of the ones I thought I was going to struggle with was the unknown SERIATIM, but somehow I made a connection between ‘point by point’ and SERIA-something and realised that the character was AIR.
    PASH is still reasonably common in my experience. Perhaps it’s made a comeback.
    I didn’t know INSTAR in this sense but I knew the French phrase ‘à l’instar de’, which means something completely different but helped anyway!
    NHO the maggot.

  6. For once, all done with no errors…..agree about clunky surfaces, but we are very demanding of our setters, who do quite a deal of work for our entertainment!

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