Toughie 1207

Toughie No 1207 by Elkamere

Dulce et Decorum Est …

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

This took me some time and when I’d finished I wasn’t quite sure why. I managed to drag the name of the footballer up from the dark recesses but I imagine he’ll be unknown to many. There are some really good clues here so thanks to Elkamere for the challenge.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

Across Clues

1a A green plot to recycle (10)
{CHARTREUSE} – a colour comes from a verb to plot or map followed by a verb to recycle.

6a Everyone should abandon facile charade (4)
{SHOW} – remove ALL from an adjective meaning facile or superficial.

10a Row about Viz getting award (5)
{OSCAR} – a verb to row (rhyming with tow rather than cow) contains the abbreviation for the Latin word scilicet, meaning namely or viz.

11a For one’s country, support courts (3,6)
{PRO PATRIA} – a charade of a verb to support or buttress and central courtyards.

12a Nearly waste time in business (5,2)
{CLOSE TO} – insert a verb to waste or forfeit and T(ime) in the abbreviation for a business.

13a Withdrawal of bug firstly put in hot liquid (7)
{DUNKIRK} – this French port has become a metaphor for a withdrawal after what happened there in 1940. A verb to bug or irritate is preceded (firstly) by a verb to put something (normally a biscuit) in hot liquid.

14a Being (superficially) 12 another could be 12 (apparently) (8,4)
{CUPBOARD LOVE} – this is being apparently 12a another person but actually having an ulterior (often financial) motive. It could also, cryptically, be 12a split into (6,1).

18a He can’t be left for a second (5-4,3)
{RIGHT-HAND MAN} – this indispensable second (in the boxing sense) or assistant is apparently never on one’s left side.

21a A young mother’s knocked back drink (7)
{SAMBUCA} – string together A, the young of various mammals, an affectionate term for mother and the ‘S, then reverse (knocked back) the lot.

23a Natural form of circuit with fantastic racing (7)
{ORGANIC} – what looks like a regular circuit is followed by an anagram (fantastic) of RACING.

24a Around work area, staff go through life-changing event (9)
{MENOPAUSE} – the abbreviation for an artistic work and A(rea) go between another word for staff or employees and a verb to go through or exhaust.

25a Volunteers to pollute river (5)
{TAMAR} – the usual military volunteers and a verb to pollute or spoil make the river in the South-West of England which separates the ungodly from civilisation.

26a Take out  a tie (4)
{DRAW} – double definition, the second a tie in sport.

27a Air force squadron is recalled after bombing (10)
{ESCADRILLE} – a word, from French, for a squadron of aircraft is an anagram (after bombing) of IS RECALLED.

Down Clues

1d Duck  shooter? (6)
{CROUCH} – double definition, the shooter is a tall, gangly forward who shoots and sometimes scores.

2d A new job, not quite secure (6)
{ANCHOR} – string together A, N(ew) and a routine job without its last letter (not quite).

3d Struck gold in this spot? (6,2,6)
{TURNED UP TRUMPS} – you need to find another verb with the meaning of the third word and apply the first two words to it (remembering that this is a down clue). If you’ve done it correctly you should have ended up with SPOT.

4d Bee said to be found in high flowering plant (9)
{EUPHORBIA} – what sounds like bee gets inserted in a high or state of intense excitement.

5d Arguments over old copper foil (5)
{SWORD} – reverse some arguments and add a pre-1971 copper.

7d Guitarist mostly difficult — definitely not coming back (8)
{HARRISON} – all except the final letter of an adjective meaning difficult followed by the reversal (coming back) of an emphatic retort meaning definitely not (2,3).

8d Stranger with horse that is primarily ridden (8)
{WHACKIER} – a charade of W(ith), a worn-out horse, the abbreviation for that is and the primary letter of ridden.

9d The preserve of some sitcoms? (6,8)
{CANNED LAUGHTER} – cryptic definition of what gets added to the soundtrack if the studio audience doesn’t respond with sufficient enthusiasm.

15d Stars needing a modern criminal lawyer (9)
{ANDROMEDA} – an anagram (criminal) of A MODERN is followed by a state prosecutor in the USA.

16d Paid to describe abstract thought (8)
{PRESUMED} – the abbreviation for paid goes round (to describe) an abstract or précis.

17d Say I am on about a form of narcissism (8)
{EGOMANIA} – start with the abbreviation for say or for instance, add an anagram (about) of I AM ON and finish with the A from the clue.

19d Covering up for a brute (6)
{ANIMAL} – reverse (up) a thin covering or layer.

20d Gather a group of people for hearing (6)
{ACCRUE} – A followed by what sounds like (for hearing) a group of working people.

22d End up south of American borders (5)
{ABUTS} – reverse (up, again) the end (of a smoked cigarette, for example) and put it after (south of, in a down clue) A(merican).

I liked 4d and 22d but the outstanding clue for me was 14a. Let us know which ones you enjoyed.

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21 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this – medium toughie difficulty but definitely 4* entertainment. As well as 14a I liked 1d too. Thanks to Elkamere and Gazza.

  2. Jezza
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I managed the bottom half with out too much trouble, but the rest took an age to complete!
    A super workout… many thanks to Elkamere, and to Gazza for the review. 4*/4.5*.

  3. Pegasus
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I found this tough but very enjoyable with 1d being the last to yield, favourites were 13a 14a and 21a thanks to Elkamere for the challenge and to Gazza for a fine review.

  4. halcyon
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    A good workout with some clever clues – especially 14a, the full significance of which eluded me until Gazza helped the penny to drop! Particularly liked 16d and 22d.

    Thanks to Elkamere and Gazza.

  5. Sweet William
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Sitting in the garden in the sunshine with a cup of tea, Mrs SW and I took a look at this http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif We managed 5 clues before the final whistle. As they say round here ” That’ll learn yer” Will try again in a few months !

  6. Expat Chris
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m about half way through and not ready to look at the hints yet. Back later…

  7. Only fools
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    1d took the longest ,lots to enjoy , too thick to fully grasp 14a ( new favourite ousting 21a )
    Thanks very much Gazza and Elkamere .

  8. elcid
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    What an enjoyable toughie – thank you Elkamere. Thanks also to Gazza for the explanations to the clues I could not work out – even though I completed the puzzle without looking at your hints. Favourite – 9d for the “giggle”!

  9. gazza
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    proXimal tomorrow,

  10. flashling
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza and the Elk, bleeding hard as expected. A Friday style toughie to be sure. Must admit the wordplay in Turned up trumps had me beaten.

  11. 2Kiwis
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Needed google to confirm the answer we had for 1d as we did not know him. However the one that really had us foxed for parsing was 3d. We cogitated on it all night and this morning, even with the hint, have not got it. Had correctly worked out how the clue should work but cannot find the appropriate synonym to reverse. Someone might have to tell us. A very enjoyable challenge with devious wordplay. Good fun.
    Thanks Elkamere and Gazza.

    • gazza
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      The synonym for trumps is TOPS – reverse it to get SPOT.

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted June 18, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Well, well, well! As simple as that. Why on earth could we not see it. Many thanks Gazza.

  12. crypticsue
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    While checking tomorrow’s Toughie setter, I was delighted to notice that the Telegraph Puzzles Site appears to have regained the ability to recognise its subscribers without having to go through all that entering of email address and password – let’s hope it lasts.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • gazza
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      I noticed that this morning, although you don’t need to be logged in to see the Toughie setters page.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Woohoo! Got all excited and went to check. I had to log in, but then it works fine next time as long as you just close the page.

  13. Expat Chris
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I just kept plugging away, picking it up between the work I was supposed to be focused on, and finally crossed the finish line without hints. Phew! I had a few left at the top of the grid when the penny dropped for 1D (Yes, I have heard of him!) and that gave me 1A. 14A was the last one in. I did not know the ‘viz’ abbreviation but I had the oar part so the answer could not have been anything else. 27A was a new word for me. Failed to fully parse 3D but that honestly doesn’t bother me: I was happy to get the answer. Lots to smile about, despite the struggle, including 13A, 11D, 9D, and 19D, but my favorite has to be 24A, a word I never expected to see in a crossword. Many thanks to Elkamere (although now I have to work late because of you!) and to Gazza for the great review.

  14. Salty Dog
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    That is about as tough a Toughie as l can manage (4*/4*). I needed to draw on a couple of Gazza’s hints, and on quite a few more to see how l should have reached those (correct) answers which came to me by some sort of twisted inspiration. 15d definitely my favourite, in honour of a fine ship of that name in which l spent some happy years of my early naval career. Thanks to Elkamere, and to Gazza for helping me meet the challenge.

  15. Chris
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Managed one corner (SE) without help along with occasional others. Best draw a veil over the rest – this one’s a level or two too far for me I think!

  16. Reggie
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Beat me almost completely. Managed 3-4 clues. Then having used Gazza to help on 2 or 3 managed to do a few without any real rationale to the answers. Must try harder me thinks!

  17. Molly
    Posted July 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Gazza for that review, much of this crossword defeated me but with your hints I hope I’ve learned a few more things to look out for. I would never have worked out the rationale of 3d in a month of Sundays.