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Toughie 475

Toughie No 475 by Busman

What a 17d!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Today’s Busman puzzle was initially ScrewedUp online, which was the final straw for me.

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1a    Adorn busman’s platform? (4)
{DECK} – a double definition – to adorn or the platform on a bus

9a    Studies the field and Orion’s recent form (12)
{RECONNOITRES} – a verb meaning studies the field is an anagram (form) of ORION’S RECENT

10a    Substitute one element with another (4)
{LIEU} – a substitute, usually part of a phrase, is built by combining the Chemical symbols for Lithium and Europium

11a    Chamber for cow, hard by river (5,5)
{LOWER HOUSE} – a chamber of Parliament is a charade of a cow, H(ard) and a river

15a    Recluse accepted backing sleuth inside, like this (7)
{ASCETIC} – this recluse is constructed from A(ccepted) followed by a short word for a sleuth inside a Latin word meaning “like this” or thus, used to indicate that a word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original

16a    A fruit’s not acceptable for the president (5)
{ADAMS} – A charade of A and a fruit without the ON (not acceptable) gives either of two US presidents

18a    Told of having family connections (7,2)
{RELATED TO} – a double definition

19a    Whale twice seen in the Balearics (4)
{ORCA} – this whale is the last four letters of two of the Balearics

20a    Vigorously attack sign (4)
{GOAT} – split (2,2) this means to vigorously attack, as (4) it’s a sign of the zodiac

21a    One 7 is wrong. Wicked! (9)
{NEFAROIUS} – an anagram (wrong) of ONE IS and the answer to 7 down gives a word meaning wicked

23a    Pounds of tobacco (5)
{QUIDS} – a double definition – a slang word for pounds (sterling) and lumps of tobacco for chewing

24a    Indirect appeal to desolate broadcast? (7)
{OBLIQUE} – a word meaning indirect is a homophone (broadcast) of an appeal and an adjective meaning desolate

26a    Ashes near win is lacking destructive bowler (5,5)
{SHANE WARNE} – an anagram (destructive) of ASHE(S) NEAR W(I)N without IS (is lacking) gives an Australian bowler – two things I don’t like about this clue; removing the letters of a word separately from the fodder without indication and using an adjective which follows the fodder to indicate an anagram

29a    Two-and-a-quarter inch long spike (4)
{NAIL} – All I can make of this is to string together the second letter of and, A, a quarter of I(nch) and L(ong) to get a spike –   a length of two-and-a-quarter inches and a spike [Thanks to those who worked this one out.  BD]

30a    England’s lay around middle of January? Wrong on both counts (4,4,4)
{AULD LANG SYNE} – put an anagram (around?) of ENGLAND’S LAY around U (middle of January) to get a song that is neither English nor sung around the middle of January – there seems to be an indicator missing from here, with “around” doing double duty

31a    Degenerate English teaching by this? (4)
{ROTE} – a verb meaning to degenerate followed by E(nglish) gives a way of teaching English


2d    Couple of Robinsons in ‘Neighbours’ broadcast — here (12)
{ERINSBOROUGH} – pur RO (couple of Robinsons) inside an anagram (broadcast) of NEIGHBOURS to get the fictional Melbourne suburb in which the soap opera Neighbours is set – unsurprisingly I had to look that up!

3d    King’s ransom, untold gold — leaders on mission for this? (10)
{KRUGERRAND} – the initial letters (leaders) of King’s Ransom, Untold and Gold are followed by a mission to get something with which the King’s ransom could be paid

4d    Round lice forming bacteria (1,4)
{E. COLI} – an anagram () of O (round) and LICE gives a bacterium, some strains of which can cause severe food poisoning

5d    Bad weather will spread around Norway (4)
{SNOW} – this recently experienced bad weather is constructed by putting a word meaning to spread around the IVR code for Norway

6d    Swell of percussion (4-3)
{HIGH-HAT} – a double definition – a US term for a snobbish or supercilious person and a pair of foot-operated cymbals forming part of a drum kit

7d    Female swindler Germany’s forgotten (4)
{FRAU} – this German female is a swindler without (forgotten) the final D (IVR code for Germany)

8d    Otherwise expressed — Lewis out west (4)
{ISLE} – an anagram (otherwise expressed) of LE(W)IS without the W (out west) describes Lewis in the Outer Hebrides – actually it’s only the northern part

12d    Sea-song at dolphins’ homes (9)
{OCEANARIA} – a charade of the sea and a song gives large seawater aquaria in which dolphins and other marine animals are kept for study and public entertainment.

13d    Ireland’s constituent parts against peace making (9)
{EIRENICON} – a charade of the two parts of Ireland and a word meaning against gives a word meaning peace making that was new to me

14d    Not a consciously progressive type (12)
{SOMNAMBULIST} – a cryptic definition of a sleepwalker

17d    Could be bones at the mess (4,6)
{DOG’S DINNER} – a part-cryptic double definition – and what a mess the online site made of this until mid-morning; the enumeration was given as (5,6) and the site refused to accept the correct answer. I then used two hints for the unchecked letters and was given blank and D instead of D and N and the puzzle was still rejected. Shades of the old ScrewedUp?

22d    Is she French? (7)
{ESTELLE} – the French for “is” and “she” combine to give a girl’s name – surely this doesn’t work in French as the words need to be reversed to give a question?

25d    Some surly rebuff about magic stone? (5)
{BERYL} – this precious stone, once thought to have magic properties, is hidden (some) and reversed (about) inside the clue

26d    With, for example, outside influence (4)
{SWAY} – put W(ith) inside a word meaning “for example” to get this influence

27d    Competent even when capless (4)
{ABLE} – remove the CAP (capless) from a word meaning competent to get another word meaning competent

28d    Piece of jazz — a Hindu piece (4)
{RAGA} – a charade of a piece of jazz music and A gives a piece of Hindu music

Not for me.

22 comments on “Toughie 475

  1. Thanks – but Australian soaps are on a par with North Korean sit-coms as sources for clues . Overall not too hard , liked 13d and 26a .

  2. A nice puzzle with some good clues – 24a, 3d and 14d stood out for me but there were others. (I could scarcely believe that 13 d was a word when I worked it out but there it was in Chambers so in it went!). It would also have helped if I had ever watched ‘Neighbours’ but I got there in the end.

    Not the hardest challenge ever but, all in all, a very enjoyable exercise – well done Busman.

  3. Thanks to BD for the second definition in 6 down – the ‘percussion’ part of the clue was lost on me.

  4. I enjoyed this one. Didn’t take too long to solve, my only struggle being with 10a. Thanks to Busman and BD.

  5. re 29a according to Chambers a ‘nail’ is a measure of length equalling two and a quarter inches.

  6. Thanks Busman and BD, not the most difficult toughie but quite enjoyable. ( Dave, you have missed an e in 31a.)

  7. 28a appeared in Busmans last (in 455 9a), 22a a new definition for me. Many thanks BD for explaining wordplay and Busman

  8. Re 22d I think this is ok. You don’t have to reverse the words to make a question. If you did, it would be a statement wouldn’t it? In 30a I think ‘lay’ (as in song) is the indicator.

    I found this a bit more difficult than a usual busman and needed help with a few.

  9. I enjoyed this one without finding it too difficult. Favourite clue was 6d. The couple of format and other niggles didnt really put me off.
    Thanks to BD and to Busman.

  10. Couldn’t fathom out 2d since I’ve never watched Neighbours though I did have E?I?SBOROUGH and guessed something like ERINSBOROUGH coild be the answer. Thanks for the explanation Dave.

  11. Wow, what a grind. Never watch soaps so had to work that out from letters but did not like the ‘ro’ bit. Also got stuck on the 4 letter clues 20, 26d and 29. Huge sigh of relief when last one, 26d, went in. I agree that 17d sums it up!

    1. That sounds a bit like doom and gloom, but I really did enjoy 14 and 26a and I thought 30 was brilliant!

  12. 22d A french tongue twister – “La chemise de l’Archiduchesse, est elle seche? Oui, archiseche.”

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