Toughie 1019

Toughie No 1019 by Kcit

The Big Sleep

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

We have a pretty straightforward puzzle today without, for me, a great deal of sparkle. There are lots of clues requiring insertions.

Do let us know what you thought and use the star system (below) to rate the puzzle for enjoyment.

Across Clues

8a  Reverberant city house — one’s no good (7)
{ECHOING} – string together the postal district of the City of London, the abbreviation for house, I (one) and the abbreviation for no good.

10a  Discontinue a mistake involving fuel I ignored (7)
{ABOLISH} – A (from the clue) and a dated word for a mistake or blunder contain a fuel without its central I.

11a  One travelling unto a star? (9)
{ASTRONAUT} – semi-all-in-one – an anagram (travelling) of UNTO A STAR.

12a  Singer wrong about second note (5)
{SIREN} – put a wrong or misdeed around the second note in tonic sol-fa.

13a  Dry? Head of pint’s most important (5)
{PARCH} – the first letter of P(int) is followed by a qualifier meaning most important (for example an angel, bishop or enemy).

14a  Extreme politician, moving from centre, embracing Conservative (7)
{RADICAL} – an adjective meaning moving outwards from a central point contains (embracing) C(onservative).

17a  Recruiter upset with poster? One improves the image (7,8)
{PICTURE RESTORER} – an anagram (upset) of RECRUITER and POSTER.

19a  A French bloke’s first to go into main opening of mine shaft (7)
{SUNBEAM} – insert a French indefinite article and the first letter of B(loke) into the most significant layer of mineral in a mine. another word for main (a noun) and the opening letter of M(ine). (Thanks Jezza).

21a  Foundation brought about singular home for birds (5)
{ROOST} – put a foundation or origin around S(ingular).

24a  Surprised response about publication from town in Northern Ireland (5)
{OMAGH} – an exclamation of surprise contains an abbreviated publication (often a glossy one).

26a  Flavouring appropriate for crackers? (9)
{NUTTINESS} – crackers here means having the quality of a fruitcake.

27a  No less than 50 tucking into a meal provided by mum? (2,5)
{AT LEAST} – the Roman numeral for fifty goes inside A and a meal. Finally we need an interjection meaning ‘hush!’ or keep mum.

28a  Is coming in before church? That’s nice (7)
{PRECISE} – IS gets inserted in a preposition meaning before and an abbreviation for church. Nice here means exact or meticulous (as in ‘a nice distinction’).

Down Clues

1d  Minister leading a politician in new approach (6)
{REVAMP} – the abbreviated title given to a member of the clergy precedes A (from the clue) and an elected politician.

2d  The works, golden, in mostly full-toned expressive language (8)
{RHETORIC} – an anagram (works) of THE and the usual tincture of gold go inside an adjective meaning full-toned or mellifluent without its final H. Or (tincture of gold in heraldry) is a noun, golden is an adjective – how does that work?

3d  Unwilling to intervene in very good English ship’s structure (5,5)
{PILOT HOUSE} – an adjective meaning unwilling or reluctant goes inside (to intervene in) an adjective meaning very good or excessively holy, then we finish with E(nglish).

4d  Pound? Main location of dog pound (9)
{BATTERSEA} – this is an area of London, best known for its power station and dogs’ home (which has taken in more than 3 million dogs and cats so far in its 150 year history). A verb to pound or thrash is followed by a main or ocean (the same word that we had in 19a).

5d  Manager picked up cry by head of staff (4)
{BOSS} – reverse a verb to cry and add the first letter (head) of S(taff).

6d  Acidic commentator showing a shift of character (6)
{CITRIC} – start with a commentator or reviewer and move the letter R a couple of places.

7d  Author‘s chapter to deal with conclusion of murder (8)
{CHANDLER} – string together the single-character abbreviation for chapter, a verb to deal with or take care of and the concluding letter of (murde)R to get the American author of The Big Sleep. The last time this author appeared in one of my blogs I was taken to task for describing him as American since he spent the formative part of his life in the UK.

9d  Snatch gear, after change of heart (4)
{GRAB} – a word for gear (something you wear) has its middle letters swapped round (change of heart).

15d  Achievement involves getting elected after period of office? That’s agreed (10)
{DETERMINED} – an achievement or accomplishment contains (involves) an adverb meaning elected after a period of office.

16d  Stop insect choking North America (9)
{TERMINATE} – an insect (one that can damage trees and buildings) goes round (choking) the abbreviation for North America.

17d  Regarding river in China? It’s rural (8)
{PASTORAL} – river in China? Gnomey will be on the alert! A phrase meaning regarding (2,2) followed by R(iver) all go inside what a Cockney might mean by a china.

18d  Greek character modified ideas for historic country (8)
{RHODESIA} – the seventeenth letter of the Greek alphabet is followed by an anagram (modified) of IDEAS.

20d  Last of men appearing before time? Not quite (6)
{NEARLY} – the last letter of (me)N precedes an adverb meaning before the appointed time.

22d  Decoration not so much taken up by soldiers (6)
{TASSEL} – an adverb meaning not so much is reversed (taken up) and follows (by) the abbreviation for our part-time soldiers.

23d  Inverted sinks fail to work (4)
{STOP} – reverse (inverted) a verb meaning sinks or pockets.

25d  No longer trendy to be seen around a dated car? (4)
{HEAP} – no longer trendy here actually means an adjective meaning trendy which is no longer in common use (having been superseded by a similar word with middle letter I instead of E). The outdated word contains (seen around) A.

The clues I liked best were 28a and 23d. What grabbed you?


  1. Jezza
    Posted July 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    About the same level of difficulty as today’s back-pager.
    Thanks to Kcit, and to Gazza.
    Re 19a I parsed it as the French indefinite article, the first letter of b(loke) inside sea(main) and opening of m(ine).

    • gazza
      Posted July 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Jezza. I was waiting to see who’d be the first to spot that (as Captain Mainwaring might have said). :D

  2. BigBoab
    Posted July 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Very straightforward puzzle from Kcit today, thanks to him and to Gazza for the amusing review.

  3. Pegasus
    Posted July 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Wrong envelope methinks 17d fav thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  4. the dodger
    Posted July 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Re 27 ac st for mum? What? How? Where is this used? I thought for a while that the meal provided by mum could be a teat. but st for mum beats me. Otherwise a gentle wednesday .

    • Posted July 24, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t like it either, but it’s in Chambers:

      st or ‘st
      * Hush
      * A sound made to attract someone’s attention

      • the dodger
        Posted July 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Ruddy Chambers again, thanks BD.

        • spindrift
          Posted July 25, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

          Agreed. I knew it must be “st” but couldn’t see why. I can’t wait to use it in conversation…as if