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Toughie 1023

Toughie No 1023 by Elkamere

Come, Friendly Bombs …

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

We have a very enjoyable mid-week Toughie from Elkamere today with a good supply of his usual well-disguised wordplay. I’m not sure that I’ve fully understood 22a so any better explanations are welcome.

Do let us have a comment detailing how you got on and please take the time to assess the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.

Across Clues

1a  The iPad largely replaced paper? (5,9)
The iPad largely replaced this (5,9) [clue in the paper]
{DAILY TELEGRAPH} – an anagram (re-placed) of THE IPAD LARGELY for what you may be holding.

9a  Part of horse  shrinks (7)
{WITHERS} – double definition.

10a  Perfume shop bins this, oddly before time (7)
{BOUQUET} – start with a small shop selling fashionable goods and take out (bins) the odd letters of ThIs then finish with T(ime).

11a  One’s always surprised to respond thus? (1,3)
{I SAY} – This semi-all-in-one always makes me think of Dan Maskell. It’s a charade of I (one), the ‘S and a Scottish adverb meaning always or ever.

12a  Storage card or CD? I’m strangely split (5,5)
{MICRO DRIVE} – an anagram (strangely) of OR CD I’M followed by a verb to split or tear apart.

14a  Author‘s article on rampant ego (6)
{GOETHE} – Germany’s most famous poet and playwright comes from placing the definite article after (on) an anagram (rampant) of EGO.

15a  Body advising us to get some bread, but left out veg (8)
{CABBAGES} – the abbreviation for the body that you can go to for free advice is followed by ring-shaped bread rolls with the L(eft) removed.

17a  Start to think moving boulder is ‘difficult‘ (8)
{TROUBLED} – difficult here is being used in the sense of problematic or unsettled (e.g. ‘We are living in difficult times’). The first letter of T(hink) is followed by an anagram (moving) of BOULDER.

18a  Hammer home, perversely through force (6)
{PUNISH} – the adverb meaning ‘at home’ is reversed (perversely) and put inside (through) a verb to force or thrust.

21a  King plays this piece of music, admitting one stupid guy shortened it (4,6)
{BASS GUITAR} – not Billie-Jean which was my original thought but Mark, a musician in the band Level 42. A rhythmic unit in music contains (admitting) a) one (who is) stupid, b) GU(y) shortened and c) IT (from the clue).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22a  Slough‘s not a classy place (4)
{SHED} – I think this is a double definition though I’ve got a feeling I’m missing something in the second bit. The first is a verb meaning to discard and the second a simple structure (I suppose it’s not the sort of place that the upper classes would use, but is that the only significance of ‘not a classy’?). The surface is presumably an allusion to the Betjeman poem.

24a  Cheap bags and dress (7)
{GARNISH} – an adjective meaning cheap and showy contains (bags) the single-character abbreviation used for ‘and’ (at the chippy, for example).

25a  Rock band fashionable in the past (7)
{CHICAGO} – an adjective meaning fashionable or stylish is followed by an adverb meaning in the past.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a  Police can depress them? (5,9)
{SPEED MERCHANTS} – an anagram (police, presumably in the sense of to bring order to) of CAN DEPRESS THEM in a very clever all-in-one. I suppose that depress is being used both in its normal sense (to dishearten) and cryptically to mean to stop the motorists going fast or pressing on.

Down Clues

1d  London street sees action around when empty (7)
{DOWNING} – a word for action or activity contains W(he)N with its insides removed.

2d  Briefly give nurses this medication (11,4)
{INTRAVENOUS DRIP} – the abbreviation (briefly) for this is held inside (nurses) gIVe.

3d  French man or woman, say (4)
{YVES} – the name of a man in France sounds like a woman to us.

4d  Oil company submitted excuse for court absence (6)
{ESSOIN} – the trade name of this company comes from the sound of the initials of the old Standard Oil company. Add a word meaning submitted (as in ‘I got my expenses ** last week’) to make a legal term (new to me) for an excuse for not turning up at court.

5d  Run through plant, always getting a fast time (5-3)
{EMBER-DAY} – I dredged up from the dark recesses this word for a day of fasting in some bits of the Christian Church. R(un) (cricket term) goes inside a verb to plant and we finish with the adverb meaning always that we came across as far back as 11a.

6d  Approximate  turning circle (10)
{ROUNDABOUT} – double definition.

7d  Spooner’s evidently in agony and very wet (7,4,4)
{POURING WITH RAIN} – Spooner might have said ‘roaring with pain’.

8d  How to start asking for capital (6)
{ATHENS} – the way to spell out the first two letters of asking (1,4,1).

13d  Topic about one entering talent show, one leading to fame (3,3,4)
{THE BIG TIME} – I avoid such ‘talent’ shows like the plague so I had to look up the meaning of the 3-letter abbreviation. I (one) goes inside it and another I (one) follows it, then the whole lot is contained inside a topic or subject.

16d  I am Welsh, having relocated to part of London (8)
{LEWISHAM} – an anagram (having re-located) of I AM WELSH.

17d  To take over an island (6)
{TOBAGO} – this Caribbean island is a charade of TO (from the clue), a verb to take or obtain and the cricket abbreviation for an over.

19d  Awful hiding-place? In the end, take a step back (7)
{HIDEOUS} – start with a hiding-place (especially one used by criminals trying to evade the law) and replace the final T by taking one step back through the alphabet.

20d  Sailor notes where passengers may be (6)
{LASCAR} – this Oriental sailor is a charade of more than one of the sixth note in tonic sol-fa and a vehicle that may carry passengers.

23d  Reason dad’s had a meal (4)
{DISH} – how Dad becomes Had (1,2,1).

The clues I enjoyed most today were 24a, 26a and 2d. Which ones appealed to you?

31 comments on “Toughie 1023

  1. I was held up with my solve of this one, not only by colleagues saying ‘I know you haven’t started work yet and it’s still your crossword time but….’ and with the SE corner, although once I had finished, I do wonder why I was held up for quite as long as I was – I think I will blame the interruptions.

    With 22a, I just thought that a shed wasn’t classy because if it is anything like Mr CS’s shed, it is quite a mess. I am sure our setter will turn up and explain.

    Thanks to both Elkamere and Gazza

    1. I’m not convinced on 22a. I spent some fruitless time trying to make a word relating to class without the A.

      1. Perhaps Elkamere has sneaked out of the classroom and is smoking or kissing behind the bike shed?

      2. There is the very recent phrase ‘beds in sheds’ for the London racket of housing desperate tenants in lock-ups, garages and garden sheds…
        I also recall – in the 1980s heyday of jerry-built plasterboard-wall flat conversions in some areas of London – builders used the contemptuous term ‘sheds’.
        But only the setter can tell us…

    2. I spent ages trying to come up with a five letter word meaning slough that I could remove an ”a” from leaving me with a classy place.

  2. Thanks to Elkamere for a most enjoyable toughie and to Gazza for the equally enjoyable review, like CS I assumed the outdoor building to be distinctly non classy ( mine fell down in a wee storm a couple of years ago ). For the first time I think, my favourite clue was an anagram, loved 1a.

  3. Usual top notch puzzle from todays setter, I had the same problem as Gazza with 13d as I also avoid them like the plague, favourites for me were 2d 10a 19d and 24a thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza for the dissection.

  4. Thanks Gazza I needed explanation for a couple ,I just kept thinking about “the Office ” re 22a so no bright suggestions from me .
    An enjoyable struggle for me .Favs. 1a ,6d and 26 a .
    Thanks to Elkamere too

  5. Re 22a, maybe it’s just a Manchester word but I’ve always known that if you want to describe something as poor or scruffy etc you can refer to it as a “shed”, or more usually a “right shed”.

    eg “My brother’s just bought a car – it’s a right shed!” or “What do you call a shed without a roof? – a Trabant convertable”.

    Elkamere lives in South Manchester . . .

    Thanks to him for a great puzzle and to Gazza of course.

  6. Thanks to setter and review. I must be having a senior moment , but although the answer to 2d .was straightforward , I am still struggling with the explanation . Help please

    1. The word give contains (nurses) a brief way of describing a means of medication.

      Therefore IV (the central letters of give) are the abbreviation for required answer.

  7. Thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza for the review and hints. After yesterday’s completion, this was a different kettle of fish. My misery was compounded by having the Spoonerism of “riddled with pain” as my answer to 7d. Only managed 10 correct answers, and even failed to get another 11 from the hints. Still, I enjoyed being educated. Favourites were 8&23d, which I didn’t get. Was 4*/3* for me. What a difference a day makes!

    1. Riddled with pain! Terrific. I just spluttered my scotch and water on my keyboard!

      1. Brilliant, isn’t it? I’ve been giggling on and off ever since I read it and, like gazza, wish I’d thought of it! :grin:

  8. Agree with Heno about favourites – 8d and 23d are similar and clever clues. 2d is also v clever [now Gazza has explained it!].
    Re 21a – not sure that knowledge of Level 42’s lineup should be a requisite for crosswords but the wordplay was eventually clear – and I suppose an awareness of the setter’s own musical skills provides a further clue.

    Many thanks to Elkamere for the workout and to Gazza for an excellent review.

  9. I did this apart from having gaps for five answers and needing the hints to explain a few more.
    Spent ages trying to make 2d an anagram but couldn’t find anything with the right numbers of the right letters. The first word of the answer was obvious from the checking letters but I had ‘drug’ for the second word which didn’t help too much with 26a.
    I liked 1 and 25a (and the video bit in the hint) and 6d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Elkamere and gazza.

    1. Thanks, Kath. At least I understand why the on-line version was different in this case.

  10. Found this one very good fun. Some really tricky word-play but enough simpler clues to provide entry points. The last two to be parsed were 15a and 23d. Even got 16d without references as when our daughter was living in Beckenham for a few years, Lewisham was one of the train stops on the way to the big smoke when we were visiting.
    Thanks Elkamere and Gazza.

  11. I did not fare at all well today, with a little over half completed. More often than not, Elkamere is beyond me ( I do worry about people whose brains are wired this way). I did like 1A in particular but should not 12A be one word? I know, I know, don’t tell me. The most recent edition of the BRB has it either way….

    Tomorrow is another day…maybe. Thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza for the enlightenment.

  12. Really enjoyed this, the wordplay agreed was tricky in places but did not detract from the enjoyment, thanks all

  13. I always find Elkamere one of the most difficult Toughie setters and this puzzle was no exception.

    Thanks to gazza for some much needed help.

    ps 26a. I read more into it than has been explained. “Speed Merchants” – both motorists and users / pushers of amphetamines etc.

    1. Yes Stan. Think you must be right. We had not thought of that. It makes it a much more clever clue.

  14. The last one for me was 26a! – I had the answer early but I just couldn’t work out why. The anagram just didn’t hit me. Mental block. And 8 down gets into my all time top 10 for just being clever.

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