Toughie 517

Toughie No 517 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

I enjoyed this puzzle. I was becalmed for a while in the top left-hand corner but overall thought it of average difficulty.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

Across

1a    One might be found in a quiver with all reportedly getting ratty? (11)
{QUARRELSOME} A square-headed arrow as for a crossbow precedes a homophone of a word meaning all (or total) to give a word meaning ratty (irritable)

9a    What could chew oral bit of material? (5)
{MOLAR} An anagram (what could chew) of ORAL + M (bit of material) gives a type of tooth

10a    Hunt down, essentially, division associated with earl (9)
{PERSECUTE} “To hunt down” is made up of a Latin phrase (3,2) meaning essentially + a division (3) + E (earl)

11a    Aged relative with knowledge importing Eastern cloth (7)
{NANKEEN} Your grandmother + knowledge goes round E (Eastern) to give a buff-coloured cotton cloth first made in China

12a    A doctor taken with men in military vehicle snubbed lively gathering (8)
{JAMBOREE} A + a 2-letter abbreviation for a doctor + a two letter abbreviation for men (in the army) goes inside a military vehicle with the last letter removed. The result is a large and lively gathering

14a    Loveless confection or last bit of pastry? It’s not important (8)
{NUGATORY} Remove the letter O (loveless) from a hard, chewy confection. Then add OR + Y (last bit of pastry) to give “not important)”

15a    Democrat that’s noted claret (4)
{GORE} A US Democrat vice-president’s name is another word for blood (claret)

17a    Conditions seen as cold, note, around foreign capital (7)
{CLIMATE} C (cold) + a note of the sol-fa scale goes round a South American capital city

19a    Greek character, one seeking game by the sound of it (4)
{BETA} A letter of the Greek alphabet sounds like a person who rouses game

20a    Amateur lacking time abandoned fishing equipment with a hook (8)
{AQUILINE} A (amateur) + a word for abandoned with the letter T removed (lacking time) + an item of fishing equipment give a word meaning hooked (like an eagle’s beak)

21a    Long to interrupt diva showing lousy quality (8)
{ROPINESS} “To long” goes inside a diva (Diana presumably) to give a lousy quality

23a    Game opening shortly is being played (7)
{VENISON} Game (as in the flesh of animals) is made up of an opening with the last letter removed + IS + being played

25a    Film a drag for audience when following turn in English hotel (5,4)
{ANNIE HALL} A Woody Allen film comes from A + a homophone of “to drag” following a reversal of E (English) hotel

26a    Nine upset by end of matador in area near bull (5)
{INNER} An anagram of NINE + R (end of matador)

27a    Use men next in order to keep old direction in house? (6,5)
{EXEUNT OMNES} An anagram (in order) of USE MEN NEXT goes round O (old) to give a stage direction meaning “all go out”

Down

2d    Theological body taking part in miniscule matter (5)
{ULEMA} A body of professional theologians in a Muslim country is hidden in miniscule matter

3d    Absurd anger consuming brother, say (7)
{RISIBLE} A synonym of “to anger” goes round a shortened form of a word meaning brother or sister

4d    Bring up haunt with old box that’s lacking in a palace (8)
{ESCORIAL} A reversal (bring up) of a haunt (den) + O (old) + a box with a letter a removed gives a village in central Spain, the site of a palace

5d    Hot place with appeal to archdeacon (4)
{OVEN} A hot place (for cooking) could be an appeal to an archdeacon (O + an abbreviated form of the way you address him)

6d    Bloggers’ girlfriend maybe to correct errors (8)
{EMENDATE} Bloggers of the male variety could be described as *-***. Add a person that one goes out with to get “to correct errors”

7d    Instant struggle faced by Conservative to get steamy work? (4,5)
{BLUE MOVIE} An instant (2) + to struggle (3) follows conservative to give a naughty film

8d    Bachelor with lustful girl holding grand container for drink (6,5)
{BRANDY GLASS} B (bachelor) + lustful + a girl going round G (grand) gives something you might drink your Cognac from

12d    Prison formulated a rule about very popular, essential lifeline (7,4)
{JUGULAR VEIN} Prison + an anagram (formulated) of A RULE round V (very) + popular gives a tubular part of the body (essential lifeline)

13d    Requirement for food and brewed beer to entertain miners (1,6)
{E NUMBER} An anagram (brewed) of BEER goes round a miners’ trade union to give an identification code for food additives

16d    Disgusting European dog with number caught in storm (9)
{REPUGNANT} E (European) + a small dog with a wrinkled face + N (number) goes inside “to storm” to give “disgusting”

17d    Firm learning given about origins of damaged skin and blister (4,4)
{COLD SORE} The usual 2-letter abbreviation for firm + learning containing DS (first letters of damaged skin) gives a blister found on or near the mouth

18d    One’s speechless following order? (8)
{TRAPPIST} A cryptic definition for a member of a religious order noted for its rule of silence

19d    Tendency associated with amateur philosopher (7)
{BENTHAM} A tendency + an amateur (possibly a radio operator) gives the surname of a British philosopher (1748-1832), the founder of utilitarianism

22d    Hail victor in rugby team (5)
{SALVE} “Hail!” is given by V (victor) inside a rugby union team who now play in Stockport

24d    Cite end of prayer latterly coming to the fore (4)
{NAME} Take the word that usually ends a prayer and move the last letter to the front

I found all the clues to be perfectly fair and reasonable

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16 Comments

  1. Ray Crawford
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Shouldn’t 9a be MOLAR?

    • gazza
      Posted February 24, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Fixed – thanks.

    • Posted February 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Blame the sub-editor – I missed it!

  2. gazza
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this one. Thanks to Shamus and Bufo.
    I couldn’t decide whether the diva in 21a was Diana or Jonathan :D

    • Posted February 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      … or Annie – much more deserving of the accolade!

  3. Nestorius
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Just finished this most enjoyable Toughie! Vintage Shamus.

    I have not understood all wordplay. E.g., I still have not parsed the old box in 4d although I am 100% certain of the answer.

    It’s the complex wordplay that distinguishes Toughies from backpagers and this one more than fits the bill.

    Diff: ****, enjoyment *****

    Acknowledgement of compiler and reviewer:

    Famous husband upset seeing setter with toad (6,3,4)

    • honestjohn
      Posted February 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      in 4d the old box is ‘o case’ backwards without the ‘a’ (ie that’s lacking) = ‘esco’

      • Nestorius
        Posted February 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        I got it in the end.

        Clean facilities that were very helpful (6,4)

  4. Nestorius
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Reviewed Bufo’s review! Most helpful to clarify the wordplay.

  5. BigBoab
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Super crossword from Shamus today, I was the exact opposite to Bufoin that I was held up by the bottom right hand corner. Overall a great crossword and a cracking review. ( I confess I would like to see what Gazza would have done for 7 & 8d ) Many thanks Bufo and Shamus.

  6. honestjohn
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Really nice puzzle today from Shamus with much head-scratching needed by me although only one reference to Chambers (for 2d). Too many good clues to mention.

    Great fun – thanks to the setter and to Bufo for the notes.

  7. crypticsue
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    A proper Toughie today thank you Shamus. I had forgotten what Shamus said the other day about not always having a pangram and tried for ages to make this one. I was becalmed in all sorts of odd places but eventually got there with the aid of Tippex, perservation and Gnome’s Law. Thanks to Bufo for the explanations – didn’t envy you having to work that lot out! If this is the Thursday toughie, goodness knows what Friday will bring.

    • Nestorius
      Posted February 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      If you perservate, you will initiate a whole new converserance about neologism ;-)

      Circus type acrobatics show linguistic innovator (7,3)

    • Qix
      Posted February 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      I, too, made this unnecessarily difficult; having seen a couple of “Q”s and a “J”, I was looking for the “F” and “Z” that weren’t there. I wonder if Shamus’ comment the other day was a preface to this one or not…

      Also, having entered 15A and 17A, I was expecting 19A to be thematically linked, but it wasn’t to be.

      Overall I enjoyed this one a lot, and found it about average difficulty for a Toughie.

  8. gnomethang
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I struggled to get going on this and also struggled in the NW corner where I eventually finished. Very nice puzzle – thanks to Bufo and to Shamus.

  9. pegasus
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I agree with all that’s been posted Shamus at his very best, thanks to Bufo for the review.