Toughie 1127

Toughie No 1127 by Shamus

Jam and Jerusalem

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Thanks to Shamus for an enjoyable puzzle with enough “easy” clues to pave the way for the slightly trickier ones.

Do let us know how you got on and what you thought. Also, please use the star system below to register your enjoyment factor.

Across Clues

1a  Complete job ceased tonight sadly (2,3,8)
{GO THE DISTANCE} – an anagram (sadly) of CEASED TONIGHT.

9a  Spell that’s prescribed for displaced people? (9)
{OVERSPILL} – a charade of a spell of bowling (at least 12 balls) and something that may be prescribed by your GP.

10a  Place for convicts once with a certain bracing atmosphere (5)
{OZONE} – an informal name for the country where we used to send sheep stealers and other convicts followed by an adjective identifying a specific or certain individual or thing.

11a  Empty case in racing boat (5)
{SHELL} – double definition, the second a type of light racing boat.

12a  Well-published writer from Swiss district ignoring Central Time (4)
{ANON} – the definition here is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Remove the abbreviation for Central Time from a Swiss territorial division. The letters to be removed are not adjacent but they are in the correct order so no indication of their being jumbled is required (that’s the convention, though it’s not one that I like very much).

13a  Preserve for females wanting quiet prayer (4)
{WISH} – an organisation that is the preserve of (i.e. restricted to) females followed by an exhortation to be quiet. Neat use of preserve, which of course is what this organisation is famous for.

15a  Words ultimately penned by Middle East guru? (7)
{MESSAGE} – this is an all-in-one with the whole clue referring to the words communicated by a prophet. The ultimate letter of (word)S is contained (penned) between the abbreviation for Middle East and a guru or wise person.

17a  A mug might be touched by this  soft soap (7)
{FLANNEL} – double definition, the second meaning flattery.

18a  Understand a large amount after final exchange and stop interfering (3,4)
{GET LOST} – a phrase meaning understand a large amount (3,4) with the final two letters swapped round.

20a  Teacher, you might say, with advantage that’s over (7)
{SURPLUS} – what sounds like a male teacher followed by an advantage or added extra.

21a  Cross left by a French writer (4)
{ZOLA} – one of the variant spellings of an animal that is a cross between a male yak and a cow (known to me only because of its great usefulness in Scrabble) followed by L(eft) and A.

22a  Jewellery item with appeal to a friend? (4)
{OPAL} – if split as (1,3) this could be an appeal to a friend.

23a  Instant elevation for car (5)
{MOTOR} – an abbreviated instant or short period of time is followed by a rocky peak.

26a  Oral evidence of an Arab? (5)
{NEIGH} – this Arab has four legs.

27a  Footballers worried to leave the West implicitly? (9)
{ORIENTATE} – the common way of referring to a football team based in Leyton in east London followed by a verb meaning worried or gnawed away at.

28a  Remarkable cricket team might get this frenetic roar in day with half of Australians out (13)
{EXTRAORDINARY} – a type of score that a batting team might get is followed by an anagram (frenetic) of RO(a)R IN DAY with one of the two (i.e. half) of the abbreviations for Australian taken out.

Down Clues

1d  Vogue, say, revealing reduction in exercise and a look around home (6,8)
{GLOSSY MAGAZINE} – insert a reduction or depletion into physical exercise, then add A and a verb to look intently containing the adverb meaning at home.

2d  Recurrent idea in anthem explained (5)
{THEME} – hidden in the clue.

3d  Travel loads possibly with time off in country (2,8)
{EL SALVADOR} – remove the T(ime) from (t)RAVEL LOADS and make an anagram (possibly) of what’s left.

4d  Take off from India and China having acquired computers etc (7)
{IMITATE} – start with the letter that India is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet then add what the falsely-capitalised china means to a Cockney with the abbreviation for computers etc contained inside it.

5d  Carpet felt frayed around much of elevated room (4,3)
{TELL OFF} – an anagram (frayed) of FELT containing all except the last letter of a room high in the house.

6d  Gas obtained in November before time (4)
{NEON} – the letter that November stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet is followed by a long period of time.

7d  English poet with a line that’s stirring (9)
{EMOTIONAL} – string together E(nglish), our previous Poet Laureate, A and L(ine).

8d  Medicine that’s advanced poorly Greek hourly? Yes (7,7)
{KEYHOLE SURGERY} – an anagram (poorly) of GREEK HOURLY YES.

14d  Fish in Scottish island spattered in mud (10)
{BARRAMUNDI} – I worked out the name of this fish but had to check that I was right – it’s apparently a large freshwater fish from Australia and S-E Asia. An island in the Outer Hebrides is followed by an anagram (spattered) of IN MUD.

16d  A Swiss hero detained in place for attendant (9)
{SATELLITE} – how many Swiss heroes do you know? I suppose that Roger Federer could qualify but the one we need here is the apple-related one. Insert his surname, preceded by A (from the clue) inside (detained in) a place or location.

19d  Sports executives tucking into a lot of appetisers — and dessert (7)
{TAPIOCA} – Spanish appetisers without the last letter (a lot of) contain the initials of the body of executives who decide where the quadrennial worldwide games are to be held.

20d  Join around island a regular? (7)
{SOLDIER} – a verb to join metals contains I(sland).

24d  Relaxed air among volunteers in expensive headwear (5)
{TIARA} – an anagram (relaxed) of AIR goes inside our volunteer troops.

25d  Rabbit and bird (4)
{CHAT} – double definition, the first an informal verb (or noun) deriving from the Cockney rhyming slang ‘rabbit and pork’.

My top clues today were 13a, 27a and 5d. Do let us know what floated your boat.



  1. Jezza
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    3*/4* for me. I very much enjoyed working through this one.
    Many thanks to Shamus for keeping me entertained in a wet and gloomy SW London, and to Gazza for the notes.

  2. Pegasus
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff, favourites were 1d 10a and 15a thanks to Shamus and to Gazza for the comments.

  3. Only fools
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable ,had to look the hybrid up just to check but the answer obvious .
    Favourites 10a and 13a which was my last in .
    Thanks very much to Shamus and Gazza

  4. Kath
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this very much but it was at least 3* difficulty for me.
    I was defeated by 13 and 27a.
    I also only know the ‘Zo’ (and the ‘Zebu and lots of other obscure beasts) because of Scrabble.
    I liked 18 and 21a and 14 and 25d. My favourite was 4d, once I’d remembered the IT bit for computers.
    With thanks to Shamus and gazza.

  5. Timbo2
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    27a got me.
    I thought orient was east

    • gazza
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      It is. If you leave the West the implication is that you’re heading East.

  6. WhirredPLAY
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed the puzzle, did most of it before coming on here. My pedant self agrees that 12a is not quite right. It needs the word ‘and’ between the last two words to work correctly for me

    • gazza
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      But C is not a recognised abbreviation for Central on its own. That’s my point really – if you split the C and the T you no longer have the abbreviation for Central Time.

  7. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    We really enjoyed this one. If we had not known we would probably not have picked the setter as, with a couple of exceptions, it seemed much less verbose than usual. SW corner, 25d and 26a were the last two in. Good stuff.
    Thanks Shamus and Gazza.

  8. Salty Dog
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable toughie, albeit not particularly tough. I liked 4d and 27a, but most of the clues were satisfying to solve. VMTs to Shamus, and to Gazza for the review.

  9. Una
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Fabulous puzzle, this is first time I ever got really close to completion and ,in fact, I did better than the back pager, because it was better clued.Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  10. Heno
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Shamus and to Gazza for the review and hints. I just don’t understand Shamus at all. Way too difficult for me.

  11. spindrift
    Posted January 30, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    If I could spell 14d then I might have finished …

  12. Heno
    Posted January 30, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Had another look today, at least I could make sense of quite a few more clues. Must be a wavelength thing.

  13. Catnap
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. I completed it without hints, but I needed explanations for three of my answers — 9a, 27a (I didn’t connect ‘worried’ with ‘ate’ although I should have done, and 21a (‘zo’ is new word for me). Plenty of lovely clues in this puzzle, particularly 13a, 26a, and 7d. Both Catnaps also had a good chuckle at the answer to 24d being clued as ‘expensive headwear’.
    Many thanks to Shamus for this entertaining puzzle. Many thanks to Gazza for the excellent explanations.