Toughie 738 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 738

Toughie No 738 by Myops

Better Late Than Never!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from the Calder Valley. Sorry for the lateness today, I’ve been at the hospital and only just got home. We have Myops today with a puzzle that wasn’t as ferocious as his last one, but still a stern test, especially if like me you didn’t have access to a dictionary to check one or two things. Lots of anagrams (including compound ones) and clever cryptic definitions feature today. Have to admit I still struggle to get on his wavelength and this probably affects my enjoyment of the puzzle.

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1a    Thousand may hang about in a huddle or mount display (8)
{GYMKHANA} We start with an anagram. An abbreviation for a thousand (not the M one) goes inside an anagram (in a huddle) of MAY HANG to give the name for an equestrian show.

5a    English vote misguidedly to reject these parts desiring union (6)
{LOVING} If you remove ‘these’ from ENGLISH VOTE and then rearrange what is left, you get a word meaning amorous, or as defined here. Not over-keen on it, I’m afraid.

9a    Line of Hanover’s Electors (5)
{VERSE} Hidden in ‘Hanover’s Electors’ is a word for a line of poetry.

10a    Edinburgh bar where Dave (a Scot?) resorts (9)
{ADVOCATES} I’m assuming that this is the name for the legal fraternity in Edinburgh (or Scotland). An anagram (resorts) of DAVE A SCOT.

12a    Given countrywide coverage? Only with a Latin original (10)
{NATIONALLY} An anagram (indicated by original??) of ONLY A LATIN gives you a word meaning countrywide.

13a    Rennet-bag could make this cheese fatter (4)

(FETA}     The outer letters of RENNET (indicated by bag) when added to the name of this cheese gives you the word FATTER.

15a     Anchorage meant changing gold for travelling bag (11)
{PORTMANTEAU} An old-fashioned holdall used for voyages and long journeys is revealed by taking a description of the place in Alaska and adding an anagram of MEANT, plus the chemical symbol for gold.

16a    Pitiful state: Ohio in Madonna film (3)
{WOE} One of the abbreviations for the US state goes inside the execrable 2011 film made by Ms Ciccone to give a word for a state of pity.

17a    Hugely organised sportsmen run a considerable distance (3)
{FAR} An abbreviation for one of the bodies that run sport in England is added to R (runs) to give a word meaning distance.

18a    To get coal out a fellow should get bread (7,4)
{COTTAGE LOAF} A type of bread can be found by rearranging the letters of TO GET COAL and adding it to A F (A FELLOW)

20a    Offers over 500 required by husband for house on demand made by gangster (4)
{HOOD} Don’t quite get this. An abbreviation for House is added to On Demand to give the name for a gangster. Assume the first bit is a similar parsing, with something that means offers going on D (500). [H(usband) the abbreviation of Offers Over and the Roman numeral for 500 – two cryptic definitions and one straight. BD]

21a    Unpleasant clyping about that is reported at first as like a knife going in (10)
{PIERCINGLY} An anagram (unpleasant) of CLYPING plus IE and R (reported at first) describes the method of entry of a knife or other sharp implement.

24a    Got up again and read about where Virginia Woolf drowned (9)
{REAROUSED} Read goes around the name of the place where Virginia Woolf came to grief and perished (including R for River) to give a word meaning stimulated again. Clever clue but I would have perhaps expected it to read “V Woolf” to indicate “R Ouse”. When I have seen Araucaria or others use this device, they include a clue to focus you this way.

26a    Hizen porcelain primarily on view in centre (5)
{IMARI} The name for a type of type of Japanese porcelain is hidden in the word PRIMARILY

27a    Insight of calendar girls stalked by dirty old man (6)
(WISDOM} The ladies who produced the naughty calendar in the British film (Not sure the plural is right here [not a plural but a possessive – of the ladies BD]) is added to DOM to produce a word meaning insight.

28 Extremely feeble art fading from consciousness (8)
{FAINTEST} I don’t quite get this other than the definition. Over to you! [It’s the old way of saying thou art fading from consciousness! BD]

Down (by BD)

1d    Supplying soldier with French wine — gallons (6)
{GIVING} – a verb meaning supplying is derived from a charade of an American soldier, the French for wine and G(allons)

2d    Trimeter: I’m composed for twice this worthiness (5)
{MERIT} – and anagram (composed) of TRIMETER I’M gives this worthiness not once but twice

3d    Upset a chorister or priests in positions of power (10)
{HIEROCRATS} – an anagram (upset) of A CHORISTER gives these priests in positions of power

4d    Earned with regular deductions (3)
{AND} – drop the odd letters (with regular deductions) from the first word in the clue to get a conjunction meaning in addition

6d    Soldiers will go on about killer whale (4)
{ORCA} – put this soldiers who are neither commissioned nor non-commissioned offices on (in a down clue) the Latin abbreviation of about to get a killer whale

7d    Dressed like Andersen’s emperor? Then I turned yellow (2,3,4)
{IN THE BUFF} – this phrase which describes the Emperor in his new clothes in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale come from an anagram (turned) of THEN I followed by a yellowish-beige colour

8d    Arachnoid mass, ergo flimsy (8)
{GOSSAMER} – this fine, filmy substance consisting of cobwebs spun by small spiders (arachnoid – like a cobweb, formed of or covered with fine interwoven hairs or fibres) is an anagram (flimsy) of MASS ERGO

10d    Yet these bedside sets can disturb a solitary dream (5,6)
{ALARM RADIOS] – YET together with these bedside sets form a compound anagram (can disturb) of A SOLITARY DREAM

11d    ‘True’ novel? Dubious editor stepped forward (11)
{VOLUNTEERED} – an anagram (dubious) of TRUE NOVEL followed by the usual abbreviation of ED(itor) gives a verb meaning stepped forward (or maybe everybody else stepped back!)

14d    Old-time dancing on one leg can be overpowering (10)
{DEMOLITION} – an anagram (dancing) of OLD-TIME followed by (on in a down clue) I (one) and the leg side in cricket gives the act of pulling down (can be overpowering)

15d    Fins rise in unexpected places (9)
{PECTORALS} – these fins are created by putting a rise or hill inside an anagram (unexpected) of PLACES

16d    Retire having won a third complaisant wife (8)
{WITHDRAW} – a verb meaning to retire comes from W(on), an anagram (complaisant) of A THIRD and W(ife)

19d    I‘m your private secretary transcribing tapes initially if ordered (6)
{TYPIST} – in this all-in-one clue, an anagram (if ordered) of the initial letters of the first six words of the clue is defined by the whole clue

22d    Doctor of Gloucestershire’s good with people (5)
{GRACE} – the surname of this famous cricketing doctor from Gloucestershire comes from G(ood) and a people or ethnic group

23d    African country split for Americans’ subsequent consumption (2,2)
{TO GO} – split an African country as (2,2) and you get an Americans takeaway for subsequent consumption

25d    Youthful terror makes you flee, turning tail? No (3)
{ELF} – this youthful terror is created by reversing (turning) FLEE after dropping the final letter (tail? no)

A surfeit of anagrams made this puzzle a little easier to solve than usual.

Key to Toughie 738

Clues’ first letters spell ‘Telegraph Toughie’s Tuesday to Friday’.

Answers include (in bold here):

  • Tuesday’s child is full of GRACE,
  • Wednesday’s child is full of WOE,
  • Thursday’s child has FAR TO GO,
  • Friday’s child is LOVING AND GIVING.

17 comments on “Toughie 738

  1. As Myopic crosswords go, this was on the easier side. My only hold up was trying to fit Gazza in to the wordplay for 27a :)

  2. I think it was the anagrams that made this one user-friendly Myops but I did enjoy myself. Thanks to him and the reviewing duo, especially for the explanation of 28a which I couldn’t ‘see’ at all. I don’t know about trying to fit Gazza into 27a, I am just extremely relieved that he isn’t illustrating 7d :D.

  3. Thanks to Tilsit, BD and Myops (although I almost lost the will to live when my anagram counter broke through 15 and kept rising).
    Does anyone understand the significance of “hugely organised” in 17a? Is there someone called Mr Large (or similar) at the top of the organisation?

    1. Chambers gives “in a great degree” or “very much” as well as “to, at, or over a great distance”.

  4. Thanks to Myops for an enjoyable puzzle if on the easy side of tough. Thanks to Tilsit for an excellent review.

  5. Too many anagrams for me, however I thought there were many nicely crafted clues, favourites 19d 23d and 24a thanks to Myops and to Tilsit-Big Dave for the review.

  6. my only problem today was that in very light pen i put in 28a but d’oh i still dont get it. thanks to Myops and Tilsit, who like me seems to have spent rather more of today with the NHS than was planned….

    1. Another way of saying “thou art fading from consciousness” would be “thou faintest”, so “art” is the “old-fashionben” or archaic indicator.

  7. Is this a world record for anagrams in a single crossword, apart from ‘anagram crosswords’? After my first 8 clues solved were all some sort of anagram I started thinking that a theme might be showing and that ALL clues would be thus. Held me up a bit looking for the rascals where there weren’t any! :oops:

  8. I suspect that Myops might have reacted to criticism from some quarters of his last Toughie as too difficult by throwing in a few more anagrams than usual in order to help people out.

    Those unfamiliar with the property market in Scotland might be forgiven for hesitating at 20a – house prices north of the border are usually advertised as “offers over £x”, with “o/o” as a standard abbreviation.

    There’s a lot of inventiveness in the clues in this one, and I enjoyed it a lot.

  9. Again playing catchup. Very nice puzzle in my opinion. Again some of the niceties of the clues eluded me but once explained it was only my ignorance. Thanks to Myops and to Tilsit for the review.

  10. A late comment as I had left my desk yesterday afternoon before this was posted. Although excessive on the anagram count, I enjoyed this one. I completed the puzzle, although I did not understand the correct wordplay on two or three of the clues.
    Thanks to Myops for the crossword, and to Tilsit for the explanations.

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