Toughie No 137

Toughie No 137 by Messinae

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

If you’re not into cricket then you may find a couple of the clues in this one quite tricky. Otherwise it’s a fairly straightforward puzzle.

Across Clues

1a  Rebuilding a spire is something churchgoers do (6)
{PRAISE} – an anagram (rebuilding) of “a spire” leads to what churchgoers go to church to do.

4a  Appreciate having completed run (8 )
{INCREASE} – the first of our cricketing terms – a synonym for appreciate (what your investments are supposed to do) is also where a batsman who has successfully completed a run ends up, i.e. IN the CREASE.

10a  First lady holding fair draw (5)
{EVOKE} – the first lady is Adam’s wife and she includes (holding) OK (fair) to make a verb meaning to elicit or draw.

11a  Fruit: taste before tucking in at home (9)
{TANGERINE} – taste is TANG and before is ERE – include (tucking in) IN (at home) to get a small citrus fruit.

12a  Jeweller about with more style (7)
{CARTIER} – about is C (circa) and “with more style” is ARTIER – put together they form the name of a famous French jewellers.

13a  What could develop into toad with ‘elp (7)
{TADPOLE} – an anagram (develop) of “toad” and “elp” produces the life-form which will indeed develop into a toad. This seems to be half-way towards an “all-in-one” clue which does not really work, and it’s my least favourite clue – if you disagree leave a comment!

14a  Clarion and weapons deployed in conflict (10,4)
{NAPOLEONIC WARS} – an anagram (deployed) of “clarion” and “weapons” forms the name given to a series of campaigns by Napoleon leading up to his defeat at Waterloo.

17a  An ordinary person entertains them hilariously (3,2,3,6)
{MAN IN THE STREET} – an anagram (hilariously) of “entertains them” produces one of the standard descriptions of an ordinary person, such as one might find walking along a pavement.

21a  Draw instrument a doctor gets in (7)
{TOMBOLA} – instrument is TOOL – add A and include MB (doctor) to get the type of attraction typically held at a fete, where you draw a ticket in the hope of winning a prize.

23a  Move like a snake, sidewinder, extremely supple inside (7)
{SLITHER} – supple is LITHE which is inside the end letters (extremely) of SidewindeR to produce a verb describing how a snake moves.

24a  Stately home with poor-quality china (9)
{BADMINTON} – double definition, one of them cryptic – a stately home in Gloucestershire where horse trials are held, and BAD (poor-quality) MINTON (china).

25a  One who played jazz live while one is entertained (5)
{BASIE} – live is BE and this includes AS (while) and I (one) to form the name of the jazz pianist and bandleader, known as Count.

26a  They mark passing that is in European Union records (8 )
{EULOGIES} – this term for tributes to someone who has recently died is made up from EU (European Union) and LOGS (records) with IE (id est, that is) inside.

27a  Taken in robbery – LSD, jewels (6)
{BERYLS} – these jewels are hidden (taken) in “robBERY – LSd”.

Down Clues

1d  Tart has jewellery around tip of conk – in this? (8 )
{PIERCING} – tart is PIE and jewellery is RING – include C (tip, i.e. first letter, of Conk) to get the term for a body modification which allows rings, studs or other jewellery to be attached.

2d  Surreptitiously foremost of ancient history professors read and copy books without authorisation (9)
{APOCRYPHA} – the wordplay here is complicated – it’s an anagram (surreptitiously) of the first letters (foremost) of “Ancient History Professors Read And” plus COPY to give us biblical, or related, writings which do not form part of the accepted canon (books without authorisation).

3d  Irregularly liaise with PC for one part-time cop (7)
{SPECIAL} – this is another anagram (irregularly) with a twist – replace one of the “I”s of “liaise” with PC (PC for one) and juggle the letters to get the term for a part-time policeman who does not get paid.

5d  Blackleg covers entrance from which deliveries are made (3,8,3)
{NON STRIKERS END} – another double-definition which requires a knowledge of cricket. A blackleg, in an industrial dispute, is a NON-STRIKER – add (covers) SEND (entrance, affect with powerful emotion) to get the name for the end of the wicket at which the batsman who is not currently “on strike” stands (and the end from which the bowler delivers the ball) – I hope that’s clear – there will be questions later!

6d  Give more support to dispute around Albert Sq area (2-5)
{RE-ENDOW} – “dispute” is ROW which includes (around) the area of the fictional Albert Square, the E(ast) END, to form a term meaning to give more funds, to an institution, say.

7d  A mostly unimportant sort of acid (5)
{AMINO} – A is followed by most of MINOr (mostly unimportant) to form the sort of acid which forms the basic constituents of proteins.

8d  Football team drawing with the Spanish on top (6)
{ELEVEN} – (this one will have tilsit sucking his teeth!) – “drawing” (i.e. with level scores) is EVEN. Precede this (on top, in a down clue) with the Spanish definite article to get the number of players in a football team (if you don’t count the army of substitutes who are allowed to come on these days).

9d  Where Ulster is governed controls matters somehow excluding Republicans (8,6)
{STORMONT CASTLE} – the name of the castle in Belfast which is the headquarters of the Northern Ireland Assembly is constructed from an anagram (somehow) of “controls matters” without one of the Rs (excluding Republicans).

15d  It’s dangerous entertaining you with hard spirit (3,6)
{RYE WHISKY} – dangerous is RISKY – include (entertaining) YE (you) and W(ith) H(ard) to form the name of a distilled liquor (spirit).

16d  People making bets about first in race having lost shirt – and everything else! (8 )
{STARKERS} – people making bets are STAKERS – include an R (first letter of Race) to get a slang term for totally nude.

18d  Pressing suffering in groin (7)
{IRONING} – an anagram (suffering) of “in groin” produces a synonym for pressing with a hot implement.

19d  Digital security device (7)
{THIMBLE} – this is a cryptic definition of a small protective cap which a seamstress might wear on her finger to protect it from the needle.

20d  Bleats could come from this (6)
{STABLE} – an anagram (could come from) of “bleats” reveals a farm building, although it’s more likely that you’d hear neighs coming from it.

22d  Award most excellent Indian food (5)
{MEDAL} – “most excellent” is ME (I had to look it up, but it is in Chambers) and Indian food is DAL (sometimes spelt dhal), which is made of lentils, peas or beans. Together they form a word for an award, usually in the form of a metal disc.

My “clue of the day” is 5d. Why not propose your favourite for the “clue of the week”?


  1. john middleton
    Posted April 29, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    didn’t quite finish it, but pleased with my effort, 1 down was the stumbling block, I was pleased that I got 17 across (clue of the day)

    • gazza
      Posted April 29, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the comment. Do you think that 17a could be the clue of the week? If so, why not propose it?

  2. john middleton
    Posted April 30, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    OK I will, (papers gone on this mornings collection) forgot the actual clue but the answer was- Napoleonic war

    • gazza
      Posted April 30, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks john. In that case the clue you’re proposing is 14a – Clarion and weapons deployed in conflict (10,4) – I’ll make sure your proposal is passed on to BigDave.

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