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The Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword Book 1

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The Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword Book 1 -
Back
      • Across
      • Down
      This is the clue one
      if exist then display the clue two

      Introduction

      The Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword Book 1

      Foreword

      Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable reveals that Jumbo was the name of an exceptionally large African elephant. After

      giving rides to thousands of children in the London Zoo he was sold to Barnum’s Greatest Show On Earth in 1882. He weighed

      six and a half tons and was accidentally killed by a railway engine in 1885. “His name is now synonymous with elephant in

      children’s minds.” In the minds of adults the name may be associated with very large jet-propelled aircraft, or, if they are

      Times readers, with a large crossword (27 squares by 27 instead of the usual 15 by 15) which appears four times a year on the

      occasions of the Easter, Spring, Autumn and Christmas holidays. It was in 1970 that The Times Features Editor asked me to

      produce a very large crossword for Christmas 1970, since when over 50 Jumbos have appeared.

       

      The puzzles, being designed for solving over holiday weekends at home, contain a higher proportion of lesser-known

      words than would appear in an ordinary Times crossword. Since fifty Jumbo crosswords will contain about four thousand clues it is

      inevitable that some words or phrases will occur more than once. My search for 27-letter phrases is unending. The first across clue

      in the puzzle for Easter 1971 is the only one of which the answer is a 27-letter word, and those who would conscientiously read

      through Love’s Labour’s Lost to find the answer will save much time if they start with Act V.

       

      Solvers should bear in mind the dates of the puzzles since a few of the clues are topical with references (for instance) to the

      winners of the World Cup, or to Merano as the scene of a certain world championship. Puzzle number 26 contains a number of

      clues connected with Her Majesty The Queen’s Silver Jubilee – I might add that it was the occasion of the Coronation in 1953

      which started me on a career of crossword compiling with a specially designed E II R crossword contributed to the

      Tanganyika Standard in Dar es Salaam.

       

      In the earlier puzzles a phrase such as “Bob’s your uncle” would be shown as (3,1,4,5), but it was later decided that words

      joined by an apostrophe after elision should be shown as one word and “Bob’s your uncle” would be shown as (4,4,5). For instance,

      1 Across in No 12 and 74 Across in No 13 follow the earlier practice, while 1 Across in No 42 follows the present practice.

       

      Though I handed over the crossword editorship of The Times a year ago to my successor, John Grant, I continue as a member of

      the crossword team and hope to continue producing Jumbos for some years to come.

       

      I wish all readers pleasure in tackling, or re-tackling, these fifty puzzles.

       

      Edmund Akenhead

      September 1984

       

      PREFACE

      Edmund Akenhead died on December 22nd 1990. During his term as The Times crossword Editor between 1965 and 1983 he brought several innovations to The Times, including the first crossword books post-war, the annual sponsored national crossword championships, and his special baby, that wonderful contradiction in terms, The Times Jumbo crossword.

      No more fitting a tribute can be ascribed to this achievement than that given by Roy Dean, oft Times national crossword champion, on the occasion of my father’s retirement in 1983.

      He said, “What elephantine elegance, what breadth of erudition, what excitement, as the solver is led from Shakespeare to Shaw, from the Bible to Brewer, from Ancient Greece to modern science, until the onset of writer’s cramp forces the pen from his fingers. How fitting that the name of Akenhead can be clued as ‘A knowledge master’.”

      Ever a modest man, such praise my father found a little overwhelming, yet the esteem in which he was held in the crossword world never diminished.

      The gems in this first book of Jumbo crosswords were all his own and are a fitting legacy to his memory.

      David Akenhead

      June 2002

      FOR THOSE NEW TO THE TIMES CROSSWORD

      Cryptic crossword compiling is a deceptive art. Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ sums it up when he says, “When I use a word…. It means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

      May I recommend, particularly to newcomers to the crossword, a simple approach taught me by my father, which is to study the solution and then examine the clue to work out how all the pieces came together to mean what the compiler chose them to mean! The method is particularly apt here because the solver is spared the agony of waiting for the next day’s paper.

      Here are a few sample clues to give you a flavour of what lies in store, followed by an appropriate introduction penned by my late father.

      Grateful acknowledgment to former crossword editors: – Richard Browne, Mike Laws, Brian Greer, John Grant, Edmund Akenhead, Jane Carton, Ronald Carton, and never to be forgotten our founding father, Adrian Bell.

      Enjoy!

      David Akenhead, Author of the Computer Crosswords

      September 2020

      SAMPLE CLUES

      Often does badly but gets decorated (9) FESTOONED

      Convention: anagram of “often does”. Indicator: “badly”

      Unlike Dogberry’s comparisons, not to be sniffed at (9) ODOURLESS

      Convention: antonym. In Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing “Comparisons are odorous”. The opposite of odorous is odourless

      “Whist, brother”, one need not say to him (8) TRAPPIST

      Convention: association – silent order of monks

      He may stop playing! (8) ORGANIST

      Convention: cryptic definition – obvious when understood

      But can these cakes sell like hot ones? (4) ICED

      Convention: conundrum (or riddle)

      Plain spoken guide (6) DIRECT

      Convention: double meaning or two meanings

      Policeman calls at the theatre (9) INSPECTOR

      Convention: dramatic assoc – refers Priestley’s The Inspector Calls

      Telephone about the duck – dry and going bad (7) ROTTING

      Convention: envelope – O (duck) and TT (teetotal or dry) inside RING

      Champion golfer’s casual request to caddie? (3,3,4) ANY OLD IRON

      Convention: familiar – iron as in scrap and iron as in golf; song of music hall comedian, Harry Champion

      Hair in distressing condition (5) TRESS

      Convention: hidden – disTRESSing

      Time and relative dimension in space vehicle. Who told you? (6) TARDIS

      Conventions: initials or acronym – refers Dr Who, fictional time traveller

      Last of the girls named as story-teller (8) TUSITALA

      Conventions: lit. and surgery – “last of the girls” reveals RLS, initials Robert Louis Stevenson, alias Tusitala, “story-teller” of the South Seas

      One might be the sum of two equal squares (9) RECTANGLE

      Conventions: logic or conundrum

      Artist’s punishment of careless kittens (4) OPIE

      Conventions: nursery rhyme and word division – refers Three Little Kittens – “they shall have no pie” read O/PIE

      A drinking man upset about a heroine of opera (5) TOSCA

      Conventions: opera, word division, reversal – “A drinking man” is a sot, “upset” it becomes TOS plus C (about) plus A

      Even both ways (5) LEVEL

      Convention: palindrome – reads both ways (also double meaning)

      Jane is heard to offer a wider view (7) SEYMOUR

      Convention: pun or sound – Jane Seymour (third wife of Henry VIII) sounds like “see more”

      Roman dictator given total American backing (5) SULLA

      Convention: reversal – ALL US for “total American”. Indicator: “backing”

      Changed a hundred to six hundred (9) RECTIFIED

      Convention: Roman numerals – read instead AC to DC (alternating current to direct current)

      A bardic spelling of the last saint (8) CRISPIAN

      Shakespeare – in Henry V this is the Bard’s spelling of the patron saint of shoemakers (last saint)

      He painted Miss Martin topless (4) ETTY

      Convention: surgery – the painter is BETTY minus B (All my eye and Betty Martin)

      Sad outcome of rent reduction (8) TEARDROP

      Convention: word division – TEAR/DROP read “rent reduction”

      Strain to find way about the ship (6) STRESS

      Convention: word division – ST (way) plus RE (about) plus SS (ship)

      Transport as is right and fitting by river (7) RAPTURE

      Convention: word division – R (right) plus APT (fitting) plus URE (river)

      Inset paragraph or it has a divisive effect (9) SEPARATOR

      Conventions: word div/envelope – SET plus PARA (inset – in set) plus OR

      The state of one had rejected love (5) IDAHO

      Conventions: word div/reversal – I (one) plus DAH (had, rejected) plus O (love)

      Maybe either state is unorthodox (9) HERETICAL

      Conventions: word div/anag – HERETI (anagram of “either”; indicator, “maybe”) plus CAL (state – California)

      Eating corn, perhaps, each appears to transgress (8) ENCROACH

      Conventions: envelope/anag – EACH envelopes (indicator, “eating”) an anagram of CORN (indicator, “perhaps”)

       

      Introduction to The Times crossword (and others of that ilk)

      By Edmund Akenhead, Times Crossword Editor, 1965-83

      The devices used by a cryptic crossword compiler are so many and varied that an introduction such as this can only give the beginner a glimpse of them. Experience will prove the best teacher, but I hope that the following tips will help the beginner in his or her first steps towards mastering ‘The Times’ (and similar) crosswords.

      The best known device is the anagram. “Terribly angered” is a definition of the answer “enraged”, which is also an anagram of “angered”, the word “Terribly” being used in the clue as an anagram indicator. The solver should always be on the look-out for words suggesting arrangement, change, wrongness, confusion, strangeness and the like which may point to anagrams in the clue: “new” is sometimes used, also “sort” and “out” (in the sense of “wrong”), while “perhaps”, “maybe”, and “possibly” will probably indicate anagrams.

      Then there are words which have different meanings: “refuse” in a clue may appear to be a verb meaning “decline”, but it may really mean the noun describing “rubbish”: “tent” may mean not a canvas shelter, but a Spanish wine: “saw” or “gnome” may mean a maxim. Solving crosswords certainly helps to enlarge one’s vocabulary. All sorts of words have hidden meanings in crosswords with “do” clued as a party, “letter” as a landlord, “number” as an anaesthetic (that which numbs) and so ad infinitum, the oldest chestnut being “flower” as a river, while “sewer” may mean a sempstress and “cover for a sewer” will mean not a manhole but a thimble, and “tour de France” is not a cycle race but the Eiffel Tower.

      Many a crossword answer is made up of other words indicated by the clue. “Loudly disapprove royal skating display? Some reservations here (7-5)” is solved by joining up Boo-king off-ice, while Mild-red is well known as a girl with slightly communist sympathies. A word may consist of one word containing another (Envelope), and there are many other ways in which words (including abbreviations) may be combined either in their normal, or in anagrammatic or reversed forms to make the answer. In such “build-ups” the word “river” may refer to one of the compiler’s favourite British waterways – Dee, Exe, Fal or Ure (tributary of the Yorkshire Ouse).

      Solvers should be familiar with many common abbreviations, such as e.g., i.e., the points of the compass N.S.E.W. (sometimes clued as bridge players), musical notes A to G (or doh, re, mi etc) and Roman numerals M, D, C, L, X, V, I. The clue ” 1,200 less 200 (10)” needs conversion into Roman numerals “MCC less CC” and anyone interested in cricket will know that the M in MCC stands for Marylebone. Chemical abbreviations for elements are sometimes used such as “au” (gold), “ag” (silver), “fe” (iron) etcetera. The letter L could be clued as money (pound sign), 50, lake, or as student, tyro, novice or learner (driver with L Plates. Solvers are also expected to know simple words in the more familiar foreign languages, particularly the articles, e.g. el (clued as “the Spanish), der (“the German”) un (“a French”) etc.

      Finally, to mention four other types of clue:

      (a) Hidden answer clue “Something more in the next race (5)”, here the answer EXTRA appears in consecutive letters in the clue (nEXT RAce”).

      (b) Surgery, which requires a certain amount of doctoring of words to produce the desired effect. Associated words like “beheaded”, “curtailed”, “reduced”, often indicate this type of clue: “Humperdinck in turn to some extent a singer (6)” answer TREBLE is one of my favourites. Engelbert (“in turn”) gives in reverse form TREBLEGNE and “to some extent” indicates a need for surgery or reduction.

      (c) “Sound” clues with sound-indicators such as “say”, “we hear”, “it’s said”, or “sound” telling the solver to look to the sound of the words used. “Some measure of spirit? I say! (5) gives the answer OPTIC (optic measures used in bars). “Say” in the clue tells the solver to look to the sound of “I”, that is “eye” revealing an alternative meaning.

      (d) The acronym or word made up from the initial letters of other words. “Paddy as the normal agriculture initially here (5) PATNA.

      An ounce of practical demonstration being worth a pound of theory I leave the rest up to you.