Toughie No 714 by Elgar
The Big Picture
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***** – Enjoyment *****
Greetings from New York City, where your reporter has now learned four new words, thanks to today’s offering from Elgar.
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1a It’s easy to see through this family gang — signs may be ominous (10,5)
(MAGNIFYING GLASS) Anagram (may be ominous) “family gang signs” to get the big picture.
9a The skill of the online performer is sweet (5,4)
(APPLE TART) A possible “skill of the online performer” (6,3) can be respaced for a sweet (that I’d call a pastry).
10a War-reporter attending University later! (5)
(ADIEU) A war reporter named Kate plus the abbreviation for university equals a word of farewell.
11a & 20d Card one’s fortunate to have to play? (1,6,2,5)
(A FRIEND AT COURT) A cryptically defined phrase that’s an anagram (played) of CARD I FORTUNATE.
12a Demonstration, maybe by students, not against examination (7)
(PROTEST) If you’re not con-exam, you might see a student demonstration.
13a Talking about eggs (3)
(OVA) A word for eggs sounds sort of like a word for “about.”
14a It does easily secure shop’s ultimate requirement (7)
(DEPOSIT) The last letter of “shop” is included in a loose (easy) arrangement of IT DOES for the cryptically defined requirement.
17a Compound 11 introduced into old valve (7)
(DIOXIDE) Nothing to do with the answer to another clue, a chemical compound puts a Roman numeral within a device more commonly thought of as an electron tube.
19a All well, presumably? Answer on Cameron’s back burner (3-4)
(OIL-LAMP) If all is well, then there’s nothing bad, right? That, plus abbreviations for “answer” and a reversal of Cameron’s title show an incandescent device. [I'm not sure why the enumeration shows a hyphen – it's not that way in any of the dictionaries that I checked. BD]
22a Cack-handed group asking God to assist cast? (7)
(PLAYERS) A word for people seeking divine guidance changes its handedness in the second position for a theatrical cast.
24a Strange craft a few of you forgot (3)
(UFO) … wherein “a few of” might be read as “hidden in.”
25a Nahuatl, round the bend, tasted preserve (7)
(AZTECAN) An adjective describing Nahuatl is formed by a word meaning “tasted” surrounding a bend and followed by a word meaning “to preserve.”
26a See 6 down
28d Young Japanese geeks having neither time nor energy for new takeout (5)
(OTAKU) Delete T and E (time and energy) from TAKEOUT and rearrange the remainder to reveal the young Japanese geeks.
29d Trainspotter’s food and drink devoured after one (9)
(ANORAKISH) After A, put a Turkish spirit within a little snack for an adjective of what a trainspotter is.
30d Reason for Emerald Isle nationalist seeing red? (2,8,5)
(ST. PATRICK’S CROSS) An Irish symbol, or a statement of an Irish symbol’s anger.
1d For Americans, the essential On the Origin of Species (cheers ‘em up, with kicks) (4,3,8)
(MEAT AND POTATOES) A U.S. phrase describing basic things can be built from a word for “on,” some genetic code (Origin of Species), a salutation (cheers) and EM all reversed, followed by another word for “kicks.”
2d Georgia’s an easy catch (5)
(GAPER) The postal code for Georgia has a word for “an” to get a bit of cricket slang.
3d I caught summer in Bordeaux when joining parts of refresher course (3,4)
(ICE TEAS) In order (joining parts), letters for I and “caught,” the French word for summer and a synonym for “when” become a (food) course that many find refreshing.
4d Ready to supply the limit of human memory? (4,3)
(YEAR DOT) Nothing to do with preparedness or money. Just treat the first two words with suppleness for a phrase suggesting the beginning of time.
5d Reconditioning for poet and writer’s block (7)
(NOTEPAD) Another well-hidden anagram, this one taking POET AND for a writer’s “block.”
6d & 26a A musician, I can go up to perform a turn with comic, foremost of impressionists (7,7)
(GIACOMO PUCCINI) Someone who, admittedly, did play the organ, but is far better known as a composer, can be identified by mixing the letters (to perform a turn) of I CAN GO UP COMIC and the first letter of Impressionists.
7d Some cat hemming in one resolving subtle differences (1,4,4)
(A FINE LINE) Place IN inside “some” + “cat” to get a phrase for what’s between two similar things.
8d During appearances jazz quartet’s demeanour finally a sort of possession (9,6)
(SQUATTER’S RIGHTS) The letters of QUARTETS get jazzed, together with the final letter of demeanouR, inside a word for “appearances” for a legal term of residency.
15d Pander to all in storm when entering current light shower (5,4)
(PILOT LAMP) A word for “pander” surrounds the storm-tossed letters of TO ALL for another incandescent device.
16d The thinking man’s conclusion (1,2)
(I AM) A phrase from Descartes is referenced cryptically. (Must … resist … urge … to say … the clue is … the sum of its parts ….)
18d The goon told us that he was the Italian lecturer (3)
(ILL) A reference to a misleadingly lower-cased Goon’s epitaph is the Italian word for “the” and an abbreviation for lecturer. [Apparently the inscription had to be written in Gaelic in order for it to be approved by the Chichester Diocese. BD]
20d See 11 across
21d Strike one following play on words from Asian language (7)
(PUNJABI) Or, “play on words” + “punch” + “one” = Asian language.
22d Stocking up on 50% each? Mr Logic’s turning his head (7)
(POPSOCK) A stocking is built from only one letter from each of UP and ON, and a “Star Trek” character’s name with the first two letters swapped.
23d Very old Circle Line conveying companion, first-class (7)
(ARCHAIC) A line that’s part of a circle surrounds letters representing “companion” and “first-class” for a word meaning very old.
27d One bar’s drinking time’s run out for Jones the Architect (5)
(INIGO) A word for a metal bar is around a “one,” and then the T (time) is removed, to get the architect’s first name. [Why is the enumeration given as (5,0) online? BD]
Many thanks to Jon for giving up his Thursday evening (New York time) to produce this review. I really thought I might need to give him a nudge with 18 down, but he ferreted it out himself. BD