Toughie 1030

Toughie No 1030 by Messinae

And It’s Goodnight from Him

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This is not the most difficult of Toughies but it’s one that I enjoyed. There is a bit of a mini-theme relating to old comic actors.

Do let us know how you got on with it.

Across Clues

1a  Fletcher or Arkwright heard song of Venice (10)
{BARCAROLLE} – the cunning old lag or the parsimonious shopkeeper are examples of what sounds like (heard) a part played by a very versatile comic actor who, sadly, is no longer with us.

6a  Vulcanian site or, alternately, Neptunian (4)
{ETNA} – alternate letters of Neptunian.

9a  Computer checking soldier’s spelling (5)
{MAGIC} – a non-PC computer contains (checking) an American soldier.

10a  Decline in sporting behaviour around the present era (9)
{DECADENCY} – a word for sporting behaviour or good manners contains the abbreviation for our current era.

12a  Marine nudism’s rampant in times when it’s hot lately (6,7) (revised on-line clue)
12a  Marine nudism rampant when it’s hot lately (6,7) (paper and original on-line clue)
{INDIAN SUMMERS} – there is an error in the original clue where the anagram fodder is one letter short. In the corrected clue we need an anagram (rampant) of MARINE NUDISM’S.

14a  Like polo team to drink (4,4)
{CREW NECK} – a charade of a team (especially one on a boat or ship) and a verb to drink.

15a  Celt to put in gun (6)
{BRETON} – TO gets inserted in a type of machine gun.

17a  Plays jazz live — blow saxophone primarily (6)
{BEBOPS} – string together a verb to live or exist, a slang word for a blow and the primary letter of saxophone.

19a  A banker’s corrupt state (8)
{NEBRASKA} – an anagram (corrupt) of A BANKER’S.

21a  Who perhaps can issue erudite wit (6,7)
{DOCTOR JOHNSON} – a good semi-all-in-one. A title (that of Who on TV, for example) is followed by another slang term for a can or lavatory and a child or issue.

24a  Spiny anteater finally taken in by abler vet recovered (9)
{VERTEBRAL} – the final letter of (anteate)R goes inside an anagram (re-covered) of ABLER VET.

25a  Doll not PChow surprising! (5)
{GOLLY} – double definition, the first a sort of doll that is no longer deemed acceptable.

26a  Sport with politician in historic Parliament (4)
{RUMP} – this is the name given to the remnants of Charles I’s parliament after it had been purged of members sympathetic to the king. A fifteen-a-side sport is followed by the usual abbreviation for an elected politician.

27a  Agent for clergyman reduced men (10)
{PROCURATOR} – string together the prefix meaning for or in favour of, a junior clergyman without the final letter (reduced) and the abbreviation for rank-and-file soldiers.

Down Clues

1d  Hope perhaps to secure money, lot of money (4)
{BOMB} – a forename (that of Hope, for example) contains (to secure) M(oney).

2d  Music style Cambridge college served up in fashion (7)
{RAGTIME} – reverse a college in Cambridge (the one in New England rather than Old England) inside a word for fashion or craze.

3d  Decrepit canon stumbling like Frank Spencer (8-5)
{ACCIDENT-PRONE} – an anagram (stumbling) of DECREPIT CANON.

4d  Decree to remove current munitions (8)
{ORDNANCE} – remove the abbreviation for electric current from a decree or edict.

5d  Destructive creature mostly in place (5)
{LOCUS} – a destructive creature without its final letter (mostly).

7d  Beat fellow touching (7)
{TANGENT} – a charade of a verb to beat and a posh fellow.

8d  Cat has deep lumps on tip of nose (10)
{ABYSSINIAN} – string together something very deep, the plural of the word for the projecting lump at the base of the back of the skull (not a word I was familiar with) and the first letter (tip) of N(ose).

11d  Rum’s ingredient in drunken marauder’s rage (8,5)
{DEMERARA SUGAR} – an anagram (drunken) of MARAUDER’S RAGE.

13d  Underwater explorer drives madly round island (5,5)
{SCUBA DIVER} – an anagram (madly) of DRIVES going round a Caribbean island.

16d  Concerned with head lice, chap scratched (8)
{CEPHALIC} – an anagram (scratched) of LICE CHAP.

18d  Toss butter to make stiff (7)
{BUCKRAM} – a verb to toss (like a bronco, perhaps) followed by a butting animal.

20d  Top record by tenor (7)
{SINGLET} – a record with one tune on each side followed by T(enor).

22d  Magician carrying off trick — one of 12 (5)
{JUROR} – a magician with a trick or hoax removed. This clue doesn’t work very well in Scotland where the 12 are actually 15.

23d  Scottish town sheltering English philosopher (4)
{AYER} – a town in the west of Scotland containing E(nglish).

I liked 9a and 21a but my favourite today is 1a. What did it for you?


12 Comments

  1. stanXYZ
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I must be improving – I now actually notice the errors. (12a)

    Alas … I always seem to forget THAT Cambridge college!

    Thanks to Messinae & Gazza.

  2. BigBoab
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Not the best of toughies for me, too many anagrams and some clues which would have been more appropriate in a tabloid,( I meant their easiness and not 12a by the way) never mind you can’t please all of the people all of the time. My thanks anyway to Messinae for the crossword and to Gazza for the amusing review.

  3. jezza
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this one; i started off slowly and then picked up speed. 3*/4* for me today.
    Is 18d an adjective, or a transitive verb ‘to make stiff’?
    Thanks to Messinae and to Gazza for the review.

    • gazza
      Posted August 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      I went through the same thought processes for 18d and (with the aid of the BRB) decided that either explanation would work.

  4. Pegasus
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    A rare appearance from todays setter which I thoroughly enjoyed, favourites were 1a 14a and 21a also loved the Frank Spencer clip, thanks to Messinae and to Gazza for the review.

    • gazza
      Posted August 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      The impressive thing about the clip is that no stuntman was involved. Michael Crawford did all his own stunts.

      • Pegasus
        Posted August 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Yes I remember.

  5. Heno
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Messinae & Gazza. Very entertaining, I actually managed to get into it. Only needed 8 hints to finish. Favourites were 4d & 17a.

  6. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    So that is why we could not find the missing “s” for 12a. Not that we last too much sleep worrying about it. Also unfamiliar with the skull bumps in 8d. Just the right level of difficulty for a Tuesday that lets the afternoon Bridge player drive away with the grid satisfactorily completed.
    Good fun.
    Thanks Messinae and Gazza.

  7. andy
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Plenty of likes here, remembering the philosopher helped, 8d contained a new word for me. Thanks Messinae and Gazza.

  8. AndyB
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I loved this crossword. I thought 21ac was wonderful. 22dn was pretty good too. Thanks to Messinae and Gazza

  9. Only fools
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza really enjoyable puzzle have to agree with 21 a as favourite
    Thanks to Messinae too for the challenge which I did not find as easy as some .
    Also completed the Sun cryptic today in the hairdressers ,after reading BB ‘ s comment above before going .She now thinks I am a genius and I will do little to dissuade her!

    Keep happy