Toughie No 113

Toughie No 113 by Busman

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

As Toughies go this one is pretty easy (it’s an ideal one to start on if you’re dipping your toe in such waters for the first time; just don’t expect them all to be as easy as this!). That said, there are a few cleverly-worded and enjoyable clues amongst the easy ones, and a distinct lack of very obscure words, which is a major benefit in my opinion.

Across Clues

1a  It leads to shore, winding its way through Scotland (4,2,3,5)
{ROAD TO THE ISLES} – a delightful anagram (winding) of “it leads to shore” gives us a romantic name for the A830, a road in the Highlands which connects Fort William to the port of Mallaig from where a ferry can be taken over the sea to Skye, Rum and Eigg,

9a  Mole embraced single early settler (7)
{PIONEER} – a synonym for mole (not the burrowing variety, nor a skin blemish!) surrounding (embraced) ONE (single) to form a word meaning early settler.

10a  Not the nationality of Salieri (7)
{ISRAELI} – an anagram of the name of Mozart’s deadly enemy (at least according to Peter Shaffer in his play “Amadeus“, if not in reality) gives us a nationality, but not his.

11a  Emperor in hot-house (4)
{OTHO} – a hidden word in “hot house” provides the name of Marcus Salvius who was Roman Emperor for a few months in AD 69.

12a  Loyalty, for example, in combine (10)
{ALLEGIANCE} – “for example” is EG and this is inside (in) a term meaning a combine or association formed for mutual benefit (the SDP and Liberal parties formed one such in the 1980s). The resulting word means loyalty or commitment.

14a  Makes fake smithies (6)
{FORGES} – double meaning – produces a fraudulent copy and workshops where blacksmiths work.

15a  Colin has changed name (8 )
{NICHOLAS} – an anagram (changed) of “Colin has” produces another male forename.

17a  False stimulus getting debts (8 )
{SPURIOUS} – a stimulus or incentive is followed by the standard crossword term for debts to get a word meaning false.

18a  Transport for the late arrival? (6)
{HEARSE} – all you need to know is that “late” here means dead!

21a  Decorous links on Monopoly sites (10)
{PROPERTIES} – a word for decorous or respectable is followed by a term for what links or unites people to generate what you develop on a Monopoly board.

22a  Effeminate lodgings (4)
{CAMP} – double meaning – theatrically effeminate and temporary accommodation in the great outdoors.

24a  Go back over ordering caterer (7)
{RETRACE} – an anagram (ordering) of caterer produces a verb meaning to go back over.

25a  How happy a cowboy may be! (7)
{TRIGGER} – the answer is prefixed to the word happy to give a phrase meaning “spoiling for a fight”, a description often used of a cowboy who was quick to go for his gun. The answer is also, incidentally, the name of Roy Rogers’ horse which died in 1965 at the ripe old age of 33, and which was mounted (but, contrary to popular belief, not stuffed!) and is presently on show at the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouri.

26a  A county cut in spuds, having been to Buxton (5,3,6)
{TAKEN THE WATERS} – the name of A South-East county and a verb meaning to cut are inserted (in) a colloquial word for potatoes to form a phrase describing what you might have done at Buxton, or any other spa town.

Down Clues

1d  It’s a shame about demonstration (7)
{REPROOF} – a noun meaning censure or shame is formed by putting together RE (about) and a word meaning demonstration or evidence.

2d  More from the pot is quite a different matter (7,3,2,3)
{ANOTHER CUP OF TEA} – a second helping of what “cheers but does not inebriate” (a mid-19th century slogan associated with the temperance movement) is also a phrase meaning something completely different.

3d  Disheartened tinker making a row (4) –
{TIER} – surely the easiest of some very easy clues. Take out (disheartened) the middle letters of tinker to leave a word for row.

4d  Reptile turning over in the soup (6)
{TURTLE} – triple meaning – the name of a reptile, the act of something turning upside down (which, if it happens to this reptile, renders it helpless) and finally the name of a soup made from the its flesh (or, in mock form, from other meat).

5d  Prevalent just the same in great poetry (8 )
{EPIDEMIC} – a latin word meaning “the same” and used in citations to mean “the same as mentioned previously” is placed inside (in) a word meaning a long poem extolling the adventures of heroic or legendary figures to form a term meaning something (normally something nasty) which is widespread (prevalent).

6d  Shattering into pieces – sort it out (10)
{STRAIGHTEN} – the only difficulty here is the abundance of anagram indicators and deciding which is the right one! – actually it’s an anagram (into pieces) of shattering which leads to a verb meaning put in order (sort it out).

7d  Ageless integral form of relationship (7,8 )
{ETERNAL TRIANGLE} – a synonym of ageless followed by an anagram (form) of integral together produce a phrase meaning a fraught relationship involving three people (as somebody famous said in an interview in 1995 “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”).

8d  Various aquanauts (6)
{DIVERS} – double meaning – a word meaning various and also people who go under water using aqualungs.

13d  Composer cut speed – in no hurry (10)
{DELIBERATE} – a French composer of ballets, operas, and other works for the stage has his final letter removed (cut) and then a word for speed added to form an adjective meaning careful, steady and unhurried.

16d  Could be not quite the answer (8 )
{QUOTIENT} – an anagram (could be) of “not quite” produces a mathematical term meaning the result (answer) obtained by dividing one quantity by another. How many of us have actually used this word since we learnt it in Maths lessons?

17d  Posh having meal with queen and bishop (6)
{SUPERB} – an adjective meaning splendid or stylish (posh) is formed by putting together a verb meaning to eat (it also means to drink, just to confuse matters), an abbreviation for the Queen and the abbreviation for a bishop in chess.

19d  They get taken in by foreigners (7)
{EXPORTS} – what we send abroad, but when foreigners take them in they call them imports!

20d  Insect let out another (6)
{BEETLE} – a hard-working insect is followed by an anagram (out) of let to form the name of another insect.

23d  Girl, one with sex-appeal, upset (4)
{TINA} – did I say that 3d was the easiest clue? Well, here’s another candidate – put together AN (one) and IT (sex appeal) then turn the result upside down (upset) to get a girl’s name.

There were too many easy clues for a Toughie, but of the clues which I enjoyed 1a, 18a and 25a stood out. Do you agree or disagree?- please let us know via a comment.