Toughie 797

Toughie No 797 by Elkamere

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A fairly gentle Elkamere puzzle today which provided a steady solve with no hold-ups.

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1a    Married — be as him changing wife (8)
{MEMSAHIB} M (married) + an anagram (changing) of BE AS HIM = a married European woman in colonial India

6a    Two secretaries have clearly vacated Vatican office (6)
{PAPACY} An abbreviation for someone performing secretarial work appears twice. Adding CY (first and last letters of ClearlY) gives the office of the Pope

9a    Criminal charge after good father shot in Italy? (6)
{GRAPPA} A criminal charge follows G (good). Adding ‘father’ then gives an Italian spirit made from the residue of a winepress. (A shot is a small quantity of spirits)

10a    Demand nothing but in an extravagant way (8)
{WANTONLY} ‘To demand’ + ‘nothing but’ = ‘in an extravagant way’

11a    In charge (5,3)
{ENTRY FEE} A cryptic definition for the charge you have to pay to go in somewhere

12a    Stand, fall, and prepare to return (6)
{TRIPOD} A stand, e.g. for a camera. = ‘to fall’ + a reversal of ‘to prepare’

13a    Without control, fell after rising (12)
{UNRESTRAINED} ‘Without control’ = fell (as precipitation) following rising (discontent verging on insurrection)

16a    Uncovered area I couldn’t nosy around (6,6)
{NUDIST COLONY} Somewhere you might be uncovered (naked) is an anagram (around) of I COULDN’T NOSY

19a    Withdraw from work market (3,3)
{OPT OUT} ‘To withdraw’ = the usual abbreviation denoting ‘work’ + ‘to market (i.e. solicit for custom)’

21a    Trader planned to fit castle with central heating (8)
{MERCHANT} A trader = ‘planned’ round an abbreviation for a castle in chess and CH (central heating)

23a    Sea creatures writhing on seamen (8)
{ANEMONES} Sea creatures are an anagram (writhing) of ON SEAMEN

24a    Song without so much feeling (6)
{NUMBER} 2 meanings: song/without so much feeling

25a    Large work, strangely lacking in heart (6)
{GOODLY} Large = ‘to work (function)’ + ‘strangely’ with the middle letter removed

26a    Bad language of sport embodied by chant (8)
{SWEARING} Bad language = ‘to sport’ inside ‘to chant’


2d    Go wrong with job (6)
{ERRAND} ‘To go wrong’ + ‘with’ = a job (commission usually involving a short journey)

3d    Great meal, only 1p (5)
{SUPER} ‘Great’ = a meal from which one of the two letter Ps has been removed

4d    Without thinking, race around dead trees (4,5)
{HEAD FIRST} ‘Without thinking’ = a qualifying race round D (dead) and trees (conifers)

5d    Bending pins, say, during game (3,4)
{BOW LEGS} Bending pins (on a person) = EG (say) inside a game

6d    Wine that’s very good (I’m joking!) (5)
{PINOT} a wine = ‘very good’ + a word expressing negation

7d    Get along or get upset through concern for closeness (9)
{PROXIMITY} ‘To get along’ and OR are reversed and put inside ‘concern’ to give ‘closeness’

8d    Battle demands slaughter over retreat (8)
{CULLODEN} A battle of 1746 = slaughter + O (over) + a retreat

13d    Immature about one being dressed for duty (9)
{UNIFORMED} ‘Immature’ goes round I (one) to give ‘dressed for duty’

14d    River eroding rocks around head of another river (3,6)
{RIO GRANDE} R (river) + an anagram (rocks) of ERODING goes round A (first letter of Another) to give a North American river

15d    Meet tramp on horse (4,4)
{BUMP INTO} ‘To happen to meet’ = a tramp (3) + a piebald horse (5)

17d    Big man associated with Bible law extracts (7)
{OSMOSES} An abbreviation denoting ‘very big’ + the Old Testament character who gave the Israelites divinely revealed laws = ‘extracts’. I thought originally that osmoses is the plural form of osmosis but then realised that it is derived from the verb ‘to osmose’

18d    Young doctor in the wrong, oddly (6)
{INTERN} A young doctor = IN + the odd letters in ThE wRoNg

20d    Brown edges for somebody’s golden buttons (5)
{TANSY} ‘Brown’ + the first and last letters of SomebodY = a plant with yellow flowers also known as golden buttons

22d    Award collected by the female poet (5)
{HOMER} A strictly limited British award goes inside a female to give an ancient Greek poet

Very pleasant and not too taxing.


  1. crypticsue
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Lovely fluffy rather than hobnailed toughie – I did enjoy myself thank you Elkamere. My only real holdup was once again my total inability to get the N and the M in the right order in 23a.

    Thans to Bufo too.

  2. BigBoab
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Elkamere for a thoroughly enjoyable crossword and to bufo for the review.

  3. Jezza
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Elkamere for the puzzle which I enjoyed, and to Bufo for the review. My last one in was 25a, which I stared at blankly for a while.

  4. Pegasus
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Very entertaining puzzle today 25a also last to go in for me, favourites were 5d 6d 11a and 15d thanks to Elkamere and to Bufo for the comments.

  5. The Buffer
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Same here, 25a has just gone in and when the penny dropped, it was heard for miles. It took a 25a amount of thought. 5d and 11a made me smile. Thanks to Elkamere for a great mental workout and Bufo for your help.
    Just stopped raining here in Cumbria and the fells are back in view.

  6. andy
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Whoop whoop it wasn’t just me on 25a then, like The Buffer 5d and 11a were my smiles on this. Thanks to Bufo and Elkamere

    • bufo
      Posted June 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      I must admit that 25a was my last in as well. I got waylaid trying to end it in SY (strangely lacking in heart)

  7. Prolixic
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Quality crossword from Elkemere today. Thanks to him and to Bufo for the review.

    • andy
      Posted June 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Hope you had a good birthday and look forward to seeing you soon at a S&B event soon, Regards from Thabo Cuthbert and Cynthia