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 I mpressionists.
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 demeanou R , 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