Toughie 576

Toughie No 576 by Kcit

Hints and Tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This is a perfectly fine and enjoyable puzzle but it’s not really a Toughie, in fact it could have very easily taken its place on the back page. Let us have your views!
Please take the time to give your assessment of the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.

Across Clues

7a  Girl’s taken in by a swindle current in underworld (7)
{ACHERON} – put a feminine pronoun (girl) inside A and a swindle to make one of the rivers of the underworld in Greek mythology.

8a  Commotion associated with black flavouring ingredient (3,4)
{POT HERB} – add B(lack) to a commotion or fuss to make a vegetable used for flavouring.

10a  Nurse about to take top off reduced lotion (9)
{SUNSCREEN} – put a nursing qualification (no longer awarded in the UK) around a verb to take the top off (a bottle, say) with its final W dropped (reduced) to make a lotion for use in Summer.

11a  Bird, note, behind Trafalgar Square statue? (5)
{HERON} – this wading bird is formed by adding N(ote) to what the man on the statue in Trafalgar Square is to the British people. The question mark indicates that the link is a bit tenuous.

12a  City is first in audio presentation (5)
{LEEDS} – a city in the North of England sounds like it’s in first place.

13a  My boss is upset about one successful partnership (9)
{SYMBIOSIS} – an anagram (upset) of MY BOSS IS goes round I (one) to make a mutually beneficial relationship.

15a  Most of article that mentions me identifies vitamin (7)
{THIAMIN} – this is also known as vitamin B1. Start with all but the last letter of the definite article and add a phrase (1,2,2) indicating that the writer is mentioned (in an article or book, for example).

17a  Pause revolutionary scheme to infiltrate air industry group (7)
{CAESURA} – this word (previously unknown to me) means a pause or breathing space in a line of verse. Reverse (revolutionary) a scheme or cunning plan and insert it in the organisation responsible for regulating aviation in the UK. I don’t think that “air industry group” is a very good description of this body.

18a  Attitude, when surrounded by wealth (millions) is to turn volatile (9)
{MERCURIAL} – put an attitude or manner inside a word for wealth (often regarded as filthy or ill-gotten) and finish with M(illions). Now reverse the lot (to turn) to make an adjective meaning volatile.

20a  Carry on, having missed one university prize (5)
{PURSE} – remove one U(niversity) (the second one, as it happens) from a verb meaning to carry on or be engaged in.

21a  Opening figure’s about right (5)
{START} – put an abbreviated numerical fact around R(ight).

23a  Resort: additional people turned up, taking in opening of beach (9)
{MORECAMBE} – this is a seaside resort in Lancashire. Start with a statement (4,4) that additional people arrived and insert (taking in) B(reach).

24a  Plan accommodating one getting round vehicle (7)
{CHARIOT} – this horse-drawn vehicle is a map or plan with I (one) and a round letter inside (accommodating).

25a  Poor service on tour leads to a number of notes (7)
{TRIPLET} – a service that has to be re-taken follows an excursion or tour to make a group of musical notes.

Down Clues

1d  Light worker filling civil engineer position, right? (10)
{CHANDELIER} – brace yourself, Rodney, this is a heavy hanging light. Put a manual worker inside (filling) the abbreviation for civil engineer, then add the position of a ball on the golf course and R(ight).

2d  RAF, flying, almost ready for the fight (6)
{FRACAS} – this is a noisy disturbance or fight. Start with an anagram (flying) of RAF and add what ready is a slang term for, without its final H (almost).

3d  Writer’s name given by various Danes, without hesitation (8)
{ANDERSEN} – this is a super semi-all-in-one clue since the answer is the name of, probably, the most famous Danish writer. It’s N(ame) after (by) an anagram (various) of DANES with an interjection expressing hesitation inside.

4d  The writer’s getting upset about horse — Black Beauty, say (6)
{EPONYM} – the accusative form of the first person pronoun (the writer) is reversed (getting upset, in a down clue) and goes around a small horse. The result is a person or creature whose name is used as the title of a book or play, etc. Black Beauty is a definition by example (say).

5d  Parasite — it leads to perverted chemist extracting sulphur (4-4)
{ITCH-MITE} – this is a parasite that burrows in the skin and can cause scabies. IT (in the clue) is followed by an anagram (perverted) of CHEMI(s)T, without S(ulphur).

6d  Fine apprehension of 7 — or just apprehension? (4)
{FEAR} – F(ine) is followed by the ability to appreciate 7d to produce a noun meaning apprehension or worry.

7d  Formal notes representing botulism cause (8,5)
{ABSOLUTE MUSIC} – this is a composition not intended to illustrate something else. It’s an anagram (re-presenting) of BOTULISM CAUSE.

9d  ‘I’m by the river’ possibly interpreted as current account? (4,9)
{BANK STATEMENT} – a cryptic definition of something you might say by a river is actually a regular snapshot of the comings and goings in your account (which may be current).

14d  Financial centre following convention with money — that is, having pounds invested (6,4)
{SQUARE MILE} – start with an adjective meaning following convention or old-fashioned, then add M(oney) and the abbreviation for that is with the letter standing for pounds inside (invested). The result is an informal name for the financial centre which is the City of London.

16d  Horse with discomfort not starting climb (8)
{MOUNTAIN} – a general term for a horse (or other animal that can be ridden) is followed by a synonym for discomfort without its initial P.

17d  Star withdrawing book in haste (8)
{CELERITY} – this is a bit of an old chestnut. The name we give to a well-known personality (star) has its B(ook) withdrawn to leave a word meaning haste.

19d  I end the game, capturing new prisoner (6)
{INMATE} – I bring a chess match to a successful conclusion with N(ew) inserted (captured).

20d  Easy process to select prison, we hear (6)
{PICNIC} – something that is regarded as an easy undertaking sounds like (we hear) a phrase (4,4) meaning to select prison.

22d  Means to follow one not at home (4)
{AWAY} – put a synonym for means or method after A (one).

The clues I liked included 10a, 4d and 9d, but my favourite was 3d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

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11 Comments

  1. Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    3D was my favourite here as well although I also liked 13a. Not the trickiest (although the SE corner took a while to crack). I think that some of the constructions used here might preclude this from the back page – 18a for example might be considered a bit stiff.
    Thanks to gazza for the review and Kcit for the crossword.

  2. crypticsue
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Agreed it wasn’t the hardest toughie, although as Gnomey says, the SE corner did put up a bit of a fight. Very enjoyable – I liked 3d, 4d and 9d. Not sure about whether it was ‘easy’ enough for the back page either, based on my solving time and the couple I struggled to sort out. Thanks to Kcit for the crossword and Gazza for the excellently illustrated review.

  3. Jezza
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    The majority of this went in without too much of a struggle, although I did have to check one or two, to make sure they were correct (esp 17a).
    Thanks to Kcit, and to gazza for the notes.

  4. andy
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I spent longer in the SE than anywhere else, and oddly on the 20s which when sorted couldn’t work out why. Had to dig deep to get the commotion in 8a. Liked 3d, 23a, Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  5. BigBoab
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza, an enjoyable if not too difficult crossword which just about merited toughie standard thanks to 17a. Like everyone else my favourite clues were 3d and 13a.

  6. pegasus
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Agree with afore mentioned comments not too difficult but quite enjoyable favourites for me were 1d i’m still laughing at the video clip, and 3d.Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for an excellent review.

  7. davelawes
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Nice and reasonable – except 17a , never heard of it !! 18 & 13a my favourites , thanks to Kcit and Gazza .

  8. JB
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Quite on the wrong wavelength. After yesterday’s toughie which had an element of fun, I found this an absolute stinker. Better luck tomorrow!

  9. Drongo
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    This was an enjoyable experience! Bottom right gave me the biggest problem, 20d was one of the last to go in (I’m pleased to see Gazza is a Family Man fan!).

  10. AtH1900
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    The SE corner fell easily for me (but obviously not for others). I liked 13a, 17d and 18a. 17a required a lookup to confirm it and 8a had me thinking BOTHER until the little worm got to work.

  11. Barbara
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    4D. The writer’s getting upset about horse — Black Beauty, say (6)
    Eponym:
    This may be coincidental, but both ‘horse’ and “Black Beauty” are
    slang terms for heroin. Barbara