Toughie 1047

Toughie No 1047 by Messinae

Carry On at Your Convenience

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

Thanks to Messinae for an enjoyable midweek Toughie producing a number of smiles, although a few of the surface readings are not very convincing.

Let us know how you fared and please register your enjoyment factor by utilising the star system below.

Across Clues

3a  Men turning round bankrupt firm (6)
{ROBUST} – reverse (turning round) the abbreviation for men in the forces and add an adjective meaning bankrupt.

6a  Bag  strong drink from cashier (4)
{SACK} – triple definition.

8a  He told a tale about first wife (5)
{REEVE} – one of the storytellers in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is a charade of a prefix meaning about and the first wife in the Bible.

9a/10a  It’s used 24-7 (11,5)
{CONVENIENCE STORE} – a semi-all-in-one (although one of these is not necessarily open round the clock). Join together synonyms for 24d and 7d.

10a  See 9a

11a  Arresting speaker some time on file (11)
{SPELLBINDER} – a period of time followed by a type of file. This would have worked better as a down clue.

16a  American coming in bit relative (6)
{COUSIN} – an abbreviation for American goes inside what a bit can be (an old threepenny bit, for example). The surface doesn’t seem to mean a lot.

17a  Record collector’s new name in Hawaiian rock and roll (8)
{ANNALIST} – insert abbreviations for new and name in a Hawaiian word for a type of volcanic rock (which you’ll probably know if you’ve ever decided to work your way through a dictionary learning every word, even if your resolution didn’t last that long). Then finish with a roll or register.

19a  Villa-style floor? (8)
{ASTONISH} – the definition here is a verb. Cryptically this could describe a Villa (the capital letter is necessary).

20a  Hazard for truant (6)
{BUNKER} – double definition, the hazard being on a golf course.

22a  Troublesome aces will give van in doubles (11)
{RINGLEADERS} – in the surface van is short for advantage but in the wordplay it’s an abbreviation for vanguard. Put a synonym for that inside a word (often preceded by ‘dead’) meaning doubles or lookalikes.

25a  Raise army to capture Italy (5)
{HOIST} – an army containing the IVR code for Italy.

27a  Strong supporter set pieces with style (11)
{CORNERSTONE} – a charade of set pieces (in a football or hockey match) and a word meaning style or elegance.

28a  Superior  Belgian city (5)
{LIEGE} – double definition. The first is one of those odd words which can mean something and pretty much the exact opposite – here it’s a superior or lord (but it can also mean a vassal or subject).

29a  Bishop certainly gets extras (4)
{BYES} – a bishop at chess followed by an affirmative response.

30a  Brutal African dictator in US city making comeback (6)
{ANIMAL} – the surname of an old African dictator goes inside the abbreviation for a city in California then it all gets reversed (making comeback).

Down Clues

1d  Flower I grow mostly (4)
{IRIS} – I followed by a verb to grow or increase without its final letter.

2d  Footmen glut getting cooked meat (3,2,6)
{LEG OF MUTTON} – an anagram (getting cooked) of FOOTMEN GLUT.

3d  Going for a song? The opposite — get a pound after slump (11)
{RECESSIONAL} – this is not going for a song but a song or hymn sung while the clergy do a runner at the end of a church service. Put A and the abbreviation for a pound sterling after a slump or bad period economically.

4d  Black German sausage (6)
{BANGER} – a verb to black or embargo followed by the abbreviation for German.

5d  Getting out of Hull — talk about a diabolical place (8)
{SHELLING} – hull here is falsely capitalised (but the result is rather amusing, unless you live there); what it means is a husk or outer covering such as a peapod. A verb meaning to talk or grass contains a diabolical place.

6d  Slick  London suburb (5)
{SHEEN} – double definition, the first a slick of oil and the second a London suburb (usually preceded by East) which is just south of the river.

7d  Deposit of sound money (5)
{CACHE} – this sounds like a word for money.

12d  Briefly attending a crackpot’s nightmare (2,1,8)
{IN A NUTSHELL} – split this as (2,1,3’1,4), the nightmare being the same diabolical place that we had a few clues ago.

13d  Dangerous motorist departs between two stretches of water (5-6)
{DRINK-DRIVER} – the single-character abbreviation for departs that you see on a train or bus timetable goes between two stretches of water, the first an informal word for the sea.

14d  Slow pitch left covered (6)
{RETARD} – this is a verb meaning to slow. Some pitch (the black, sticky stuff) is contained (covered) by the colour associated with the left in politics.

15d  Cake found in City retreat (6)
{ECLAIR} – the postal area of the financial district (City) in London is followed by a retreat or hideout. Most readers will be familiar with the Chambers definition for this cake, but if you’re not it’s well worth looking it up for a good laugh.

18d  A guard doubled concerned with hitman (8)
{ASSASSIN} – A is followed by the abbreviation for what started out as a small guard unit but grew into one of the most feared organisations in Nazi Germany. Then that’s repeated (doubled) and we finish with a preposition meaning concerned or involved with.

21d  Loud men in rock band get together again (6)
{REFORM} – the musical abbreviation for loud and the same men that we met back at 3a go inside an American rock band.

23d  Novello’s unknown piece for piano? (5)
{IVORY} – the forename of the composer followed by an algebraic unknown.

24d  Tricks catching Northern chaps (5)
{GENTS} – a verb meaning tricks or baffles with N(orthern) inside.

26d  Rain heavily, upsetting assembly (4)
{TEEM} – reverse (upsetting) an assembly (possibly of the unspeakable prior to pursuing the uneatable).

There are some very enjoyable clues here. I particularly liked 9a, 19a and 5d. Which ones tickled you?


27 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I agree with everything Gazza says, including his favourite clues and the fact that it is worth looking up the definition of 15d in the BRB (along with one of the definitions of mullet, jaywalker and probably several others I can’t remember at the moment).

    Thanks to Messinae for a nice midweek toughie and to Gazza for the explanations.

    Can I just echo what Tilsit said in the other place and highly recommend Arachne’s puzzle in today’s guardian. One of her best.

    • Jezza
      Posted September 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I quite like the definition of ‘tracksuit’ in the BRB.

      • gazza
        Posted September 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        I hadn’t remembered that one – thanks.

    • Kath
      Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      I seem destined to spend the rest of the day with my head in the BRB! I’ve never looked up eclair, mullet, jaywalker or tracksuit before now. :smile: One of my favourites, which I found on my way to something else that I can’t remember now, is duvet day.

    • Phil
      Posted September 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      These definitions are great. If anyone has anymore I’d be delighted to learn about them.

  2. Expat Chris
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Loved it. 12D had me laughing out loud, but I also very much liked 3D, 5D, 19A and 22A. I needed the explanation for 6D. I was pretty sure my answer was correct but had never heard of that suburb. Many thanks to Messinae and to Gazza. There’s a bakery near me that sells massive eclairs, but custard-filled, American style.

    I rarely look at the Guardian but decided to give it a try on Tilsit’s recommendation. Pleased to find I didn’t have to register or fork over money like I do for the DT. Slow going for me, but I’m hanging in there.

    • Bluebird
      Posted September 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes, easy to get that one mixed up with the Tony Hancock place……
      Have known people who live in both, which helps.

  3. Jezza
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one today. Not overly tricky, but i completely missed the reference to the other two clues mentioned in 9a!
    Many thanks to Messinae, and to Gazza for the notes.

    • Kath
      Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      I also missed the reference to the other two clues. I’m rather ashamed to say that I still don’t understand that bit. :oops:

      • jezza
        Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Kath

        Look at the answers to 24d, and 7d, and then compare them in that order, as synonyms for both words given in the answer to 9a

        • Kath
          Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Thank you jezza! I would never have seen that for myself – rephrase that – I didn’t even see it when gazza’s hint more or less spelt it out in words of one syllable. :roll:

  4. Pegasus
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one. and I also missed the connection with the 24/7 which makes the clue even better. favourites for me were 9&10a 13d and 19a thanks to Messinae and to Gazza for the review.

  5. BigBoab
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Great fun for a toughie, I too loved 12d, many thanks to Messinae and to Gazza.

  6. Bluebird
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I sometimes try the toughie, but first time posting in this thread.

    Needed help with half a dozen but not bad for me. Still got 14d incorrect and put ‘gangs’ for 24. Loved all the ones mentioned, especially 5, 19 and 30.

    I got 9/10, but would never have got the link with 24/7 in a million years. Must look out for that in the future.

  7. Kath
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was really good fun. 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I did need the hints to explain a few of my answers.
    I loved 12, 13 and 21d. My favourite was 19a. It reminded me of one of my favourite clues in a puzzle quite a long time ago – I think it was in an NTSPP and I think it was one by gazza but could easily be wrong on both counts:- “Looks like Gregory’s after a nibble” (7) That had me giggling for the rest of the day.
    With thanks to Messinae and gazza.

    • gazza
      Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Kath,
      The Gregory clue was in one of my NTSPPs – thanks for the appreciation.

  8. halcyon
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Yes, this was good fun, despite a couple of surfaces [2d particularly] being [as Gazza is too polite to say] rubbish.

    Both 19a and 5d are both clever and funny – as is 12d [which demonstrates to yesterdays setter how to do a semi cryptic double definition that works and amuses]

    Congrats to Messinae and Gazza – especially for explaining both the wordplay and the surface of 22a.

    • gazza
      Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      For 2d I did look up glut in the BRB and it can be a verb to gorge or feed beyond capacity, so perhaps the surface on that one is not as poor as it originally seemed.

  9. stanXYZ
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Bad surface readings? Who is to blame? The Compiler or the Crossword Editor?

    22a – What?

    My Mistake! van (tennis) n short for advantage

  10. gazza
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Elkamere tomorrow – if Bufo’s not back in harness he’ll be sorry to miss that.

  11. halcyon
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza – I stand corrected and withdraw “rubbish”. However, have you ever seen or heard “glut” used in this sense? Me neither. I think we agree that some weak surfaces detract from what is otherwise a fine and funny puzzle.

    What I find particularly enjoyable about some of the DT setters [Anax/Elkamere, Dada/Paul and, of course, Petitjean] is that their surface readings are generally the sort of phrases one might read in the paper or hear on the street – here and now.

  12. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Discover this morning that we had 24d wrong as we had settled for ‘gangs’. This means that we also missed the clever extra subtlety of 9/10a. 17a was our last one in as we had to research the rock after working out from the wordplay what it could be. 6d also needed Google help, the type of clue we love to hate. All in all, a lot of fun.
    Thanks Messinae and Gazza.

  13. Only fools
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza , no chunters from me .Favourite 19 a .amongst quite a few smiles so thanks to Messinae too

  14. Cornish Pasty
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    Needed help on 13d, never heard that term before, always a tight one. Consoled by having got 24d correct!

  15. Heno
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Messinae and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 12d. A new word for me in 3d, but got the answer from the wordplay. Needed the hints for 8&17a and 14d, had 13d wrong as drunk driver. Must look up Aa in the BRB. Was 3*/4* for me.