Toughie 341

Toughie No 341 by Citrus

After the Lord Mayor’s Show

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Following on from Micawber’s terrific puzzle yesterday was always going to be difficult, but this almost feels at the other end of the scale. It’s certainly harder that most daily puzzles but the truth is that you could probably dash 85% of this puzzle off fairly quickly with the remainder just words that you’ve probably never heard of. The clues are nicely written and sound, but not to the Toughie standard and far too many anagrams.

Apologies for the late arrival, but a visit from a pest-control person resulted in me being evacuated from my flat when he knocked his chemicals over and the flat had to be aired to prevent me from breathing in the nasty fumes.

For new visitors (and we get a few every day) the answers to the clues are contained within the squiggly brackets and if you highlight the space with your mouse, all will be revealed. Feel free to have your say after the blog, and you can rate the puzzle by clicking the stars as well.


Across

1a    Henry locates rotten onion (8)
{ESCHALOT} An anagram (indicated by rotten)of H (for Henry) LOCATES will produce a type of onion.

9a    Spread grease around a soft marine plant (3,5)
{SEA GRAPE} This marine plant is found by making an anagram of GREASE around A P (a soft – from piano – meaning soft in music).

10a    Wooden frame for carrying European booze (4)
{BIER} A double definition; the word for a wooden frame (usually supporting a coffin) and the word for a type of drink in another language (German).

11a    Is 17 as this (6,6)
{BINARY NUMBER} This is a reasonably clever clue, but may be a bit too clever for its own good. Basically it’s saying: “How is Three like 11?” The answer is when it’s one of these.

13a    Set and positioned Greek letter back inside (8)
{SITUATED} You need to put a letter of the Greek alphabet (TAU) backwards inside a word that means positioned (SITED). This will give you a word meaning set.

15a    Dog caught Hardy (6)
{COLLIE} A word sum. C + the name Stan Laurel used for his partner. The problem I have with this clue is that outside the films, he was known as Oliver Hardy, so perhaps the clue needs to reflect this.

16a    Projection — one that’s often found aboard (4)
{SAIL} Double definition. To sail (second entry in Chambers) can mean to project, and it is something found aboard ship

17a    Ether may make you number (5)
{THREE} A real hoary old chestnut. An anagram of ETHER leads to a number(sometimes in Crosswordland they used number to mean more-numb, but not here)

18a    Rest of letters read out (4)
{EASE} Double definition, with one a homophone. Rest is the definition, with a homophone for the name of letters of the alphabet.

20a    Sour beer and a fizzing lager (6)
{ALEGAR} A + an anagram of LAGER leads you to particularly foul concoction, a sour beer which can be turned into a liquid that can be put on your chips (or Fries!). Quite an apposite clue.

21a    Girl’s lousy dinner in outskirts of Aberdare (8)
{ADRIENNE} I can think of someone who’s just celebrated a birthday who will hate this clue, as it leads to a girl’s name. An anagram of DINNER inside AE (the outskirts, i.e. first and last letters of AberdarE

23a    Receiver’s cutting edge? (6,6)
{LETTER OPENER} Clever cryptic definition for a tool used by people who receive mail.

26a    Leave out ring Timothy returned (4)
{OMIT} O (ring) + TIM (reversed) gives a word meaning

27a    Weapon, one with German mark indicating damage on the outside (8)
{SCIMITAR} Another clever clue. I (ONE) + MIT (with IN German) inside

28a    Help when family member needed (8)
{ASSISTER} Word sum. AS (when) + SISTER (family member needed) = a word for a help.

Down

2d    Neuritis affected Asiatic chap at first (8)
{SCIATICA} An anagram(affected) of ASIATIC + C (first letter of chap) gives a word meaning severe pain for those who suffer it.

3d    Nurse with facile way to attract sailors’ attention (7-5)
{HARBOUR-LIGHT} A word meaning to nurse (as in a grudge) + another way to say facile or levity. I feel a song coming on…..

4d    Snare under waterfall for small bird (6)
{LINNET} LIN (Waterfall) + NET (snare, trap) = bird

5d    Turncoat backtracks, trapping second despot (4)
{TSAR} Another name for a turncoat, reversed with an S inside, gives another word for a tyrant or despot.

6d    Strong rod to clean rough encrustation on hull (8)
{BARNACLE} A word for a rod when added to an anagram of CLEAN

7d    Beat black flesh (4)
{LAMB} Am I alone in thinking this clue a bit er… wrong? A word meaning to beat or hit out, with B (for black) added.

8d    Rescue disreputable rip arrested by bailiff once (8)
{REPRIEVE} An anagram (disreputable) of RIP goes inside a word for a bailiff in the middle ages to produce a word for rescue.

12d    Knightly badge from corselet trimmed in the greater part (7,5)
{MALTESE CROSS} An anagram of CORSELET goes inside a word for the greater part of something, or its weight. This produces an emblem for the Knights Templar, associated with a certain island in the Mediterranean.

14d    Skin from dead mare flayed (5)
{DERMA} An anagram of D (for dead) and MARE

16d    Flowing drink left out smells awful (8)
{SEAMLESS} Flowing is the definition. SEA (drink) + an anagram of SMELLS (without L)

17d    Salt or seaman — treat slightly differently (8)
{TARTRATE} A word meaning a chemical salt is made up of a word for a sailor added to yet another anagram, this time of TREAT.

19d    Get clean? It is sensible to go without (8)
{SANITISE} A word meaning to get clean can be found by taking a word meaning sensible or compus mentis and placing it round IT IS.

22d    Compasses are no good in reserve (6)
{RANGES} ‘Are’ in this context refers to a measurement, and is abbreviated by A. Add to this NG (no good) and place inside RES (reserve) to get a word meaning compasses, in the distance sense of the word.

24d    Follow the story as it’s read (4)
{TAIL} Double definition with one a homophone. Think of a word for a story which sounds like a word meaning to follow.

25d    Knock up a short piece of prose (4)
{PARA} Reverse a word meaning to knock, as in on a door, add an A and you’ll get an abbreviation for a short piece of prose.

Another day, another Toughie. I have a feeling tomorrow’s might be more of a challenge……

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14 Comments

  1. gnomethang
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the review Tilsit.
    I needed the explanation for the A in ranges but otherwise found it straightforward as you say.
    Agree on 23a but I liked the 11a clue the best as the penny drop moment was quite large!.
    Thanks ti Citrus for the puzzle

  2. Prolixic
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Citrus for the crossword. I agree it was on the gentle edge of the Toughie spectrum but not the less enjoyable to solve. Favourite clue as 11a for the smile that graced my lips when I saw the answer!

    Many thanks to Tilsit for the notes.

  3. Digby
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Agree it wasn’t the toughest of Toughies, but quite enjoyable all the same. Thanks for your help, Tilsit, particularly 16d, which I got but couldn’t see why. Hope you are breathing easily back in your flat?

  4. BigBoab
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, but I didn’t like this at all, too many anagrams and I still don’t understand 22d despite the clue, quite liked 23 & 25a.

    • Posted April 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s a tale of three abbreviations!

      22d Compasses are no good in reserve (6)

      A = Are = the unit of the metric land measure, 100 sq m
      NG = no good
      RES = reserve

      put A + NG inside RES

      • BigBoab
        Posted April 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Thanks BD, I’m not the brightest spark in the fire today (a wee surfeit of the amber liquid I’m afraid) Sorry Tilsit I forgot to thank you for a great review.

  5. Posted April 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I found this really tough compared with yesterdays…thanks for the hints!

    • nanaglugglug
      Posted April 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      me too! got 1a wrong and that really threw me!

  6. Jezza
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the review Tilsit. I completed the puzzle, but did not understand 4d. Lin = waterfall. Am I missing something obvious?

    • Libellule
      Posted April 23, 2010 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Jezza,
      From Chambers
      linn or lin:
      a waterfall
      a pool at the foot of a waterfall
      a deep ravine
      Etymology: OE hlynn, a torrent, combined with Gaelic linne, Ir linn, Welsh llyn pool

      • Jezza
        Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Thanks Libellule.

  7. Harry Shipley
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    12d

    It’s a minor point, but the distinction between mass and weight is important, and the use of one as a synomym for the other leads to confusion especially among those who have to struggle with physics.

    Harry Shipley

    • Posted April 23, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      I took the word to mean mass as in the medical sense of the word.

  8. mark
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Many thanks for this Tilsit. I have been tackling the Toughie this week and am managing to get some way with it. Enjoyed 11a very much!
    mark