NTSPP – 246
Sloggers & Betters 7 by Elgar
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This puzzle was distributed at the S&B meeting in York yesterday
[The “7” in the title is not an indication that this is the seventh such meeting but is a reference to 7 down in the puzzle!.]
A review by crypticue follows.
The instructions – Welcome, one and all, to 25 (3,4,7) […or 6 26 10, as it may confusingly be known].
Nine clues contain a word that is superfluous to normal solving. In conjunction with a tenth (normally clued) answer, each of these words should provide extra help in arriving at the solution.
The first thing to remember when solving this puzzle is that it was intended to be solved by attendees at the York S&B Gathering, a mixed lot of setters, bloggers, commenters and even lurkers, who probably tried to solve it in groups of two, three or more, and possibly might not have taken quite as long as you or your lonely blogger did to sort it all out.
As the instructions say, nine of the clues have an extra word in them, which for the purposes of this review I have highlighted in red in order to assist those still struggling. Each of these clues can be solved using the wordplay, or by making an anagram of the superfluous word with the tenth ‘normally clued’ answer – if you aren’t sure which one this is, although the theme should make it obvious, click here to reveal all – YORK.
As for the first line of the ‘welcome’ the 3, 4, 7 is the enumeration of the title given by Elgar to the gathering THE YORK MEETING which is an anagram (as it may confusingly be known) of the solutions of 6d, 26a and 10a.
8a In kill, forward knockout punches back, so making palest shots count (10)
STROKEPLAY An alternative method of golf scoring, this one not using the number of holes won. Either put the two letters meaning knock out into an adjective meaning forward or saucy, reverse them (back) and insert into a verb meaning to kill. Or the solution is an anagram of this clue’s ‘superfluous’ word and the ‘extra’ word.
9a Desire to make it the end of the radius bone (4)
EROS The end of the, the abbreviation for radius and the Latin word for bone.
10a Drag in m/kg/s dragged out much longer (4)
TREK Drag here being a long hard journey. Write out in full the abbreviated measurements in the clue METRE KILOGRAM and you will find the solution hidden therein.
11a These ruddy enormous birds cradling secesh president lost mind on drug! (4,6)
ROSY CHEEKS Insert into an alternative spelling for those enormous birds from Arabian legends, a word for the mind with the P at the front removed (President lost) and an E (ecstasy). Again, if the wordplay is too complicated, just follow the anagram process as before.
12a It’s my intention to live without air transport (7)
BIPLANE Insert an expression meaning I intend (to do something) into a small word meaning to live.
13a In film, Klinger finally winning the heart of Hawkeye Pierce (5)
PRICK Misleading capital time. An informal term for a picture (film) has the final letter of Klinger inserted, the result then followed by the ‘heart’ of Hawkeye, to produce a verb meaning to pierce. Nice reference to the old MASH series.
15a Something deceptively lovely running in 25, say? (7)
ROSEBAY Another name for the beautifully flowered (but deceptively lovely because it is poisonous!) oleander plant is produced by making an anagram of 25a and SAY. The final three letters are the colour of a horse that might run at the racecourse in 25.
16a On backing, tips for 7 and 25 come off – second favourites in cocktail bar! (3,4)
ROB ROYS Cocktails made from whisky, vermouth and Angostura bitters – remove the tip of (first letter of) the solution to 25a, the tip (last letter) from the solution to 7d, reverse them both and add the abbreviation for Second.
19a A basic wooden item, it’s turned to Britain (5)
SABOT ‘Basic’ presumably because it is a simple wooden shoe that goes on a foot (base). ‘It ‘ here is one of the informal terms for sex appeal, the abbreviation for which should be followed by the abbreviation for Britain and a reversal (turned) of TO from the clue.
21a Race cunningly – head round the quick way! (4,3)
NEAR CUT An old-fashioned way of referring to a quicker route – An anagram (cunningly) of RACE inserted into an informal term for the head.
22a Ordinary man wading into disputation endlessly and for ever (7-3)
WORKING-DAY The ‘top’ man in a game of chess is inserted into a word meaning a verbal discussion with the S at the end removed(disputation endlessly) followed by a Scottish or Northern English word meaning forever. Or you can choose the anagram option.
25a O’Brien’s sure to be in this mix! (4)
EBOR An anagram (mix) of IN plus the solution is sure to give us OBRIEN. The solution is the Latin name of 7d. The &Lit refers to the successful racehorse trainer Aidan O’Brien. The solution is also the name of a handicap race that is the 7d racecourse’s annual showpiece.
26a Barbarian irritated husband (4)
GOTH An informal way of saying irritated followed by the abbreviation for husband.
27a Excess of Excesses: The Dulcet Truth (4,6)
COLD TURKEY I love the first definition – what you still have in the fridge even after you’ve eaten your fill of all the Christmas goodies ; the second definition meaning the plain unvarnished truth. If you can’t see the wordplay, well then, go for the anagram option.
1d Sun King’s interrupting typical reaction to Labour proposal boosts children’s entertainment! (10)
STORYBOOKS The abbreviation for Sun, some discontented sounds produced by the political party who might oppose a Labour proposal, and the abbreviation for King plus S (king’s). Lovely bit of wordplay which anyone using the ‘anagram option’ will sadly have missed.
2d Opening Kentucky Classic letter Pipe entered “Fantasy” (5,3)
PORKY PIE Insert into an opening in the skin, the abbreviation for the State of Kentucky, and the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet to get the Cockney rhyming slang for a lie (fantasy). (Martin) Pipe is another successful racehorse trainer.
3d Forgetting inevitability of funeral, dresses down (5,5)
TEARS APART An phrase that might mean aside from a manifestation of sorrowful emotion is more usually used to mean criticises vehemently or destructively.
4d Minor celebrity‘s the reverse of 9 (1-6)
B-LISTER ‘The reverse of 9, the reverse of 9’, I muttered to myself until the penny clanged loudly to the floor. Remove the hyphen from your answer , reverse your solution to 9a and . … d’oh!!
5d See Raleigh’s state, spending a bit of private time together (4)
SYNC Remove the P (spending a bit of private) from a verb meaning to see. Then think and think until the Eureka moment strikes and then go online to confirm that the last two letters are the abbreviation of the US State of which Raleigh is the capital city.
6d An Arabian citizen, I’ll support the old people (6)
YEMENI The ‘old’ word for the, a word meaning people and then I from the clue at the end (I’ll support…)
7d Which of 25 and 11? 25 (4)
YORK 25 is the abbreviated Latin name for this city – to get the vital word needed to help solve nine other clues, write down how you might choose between the 25th and 11th letters of the alphabet.
13d Good Protea relations accepting sport back are all right settling in? It’s very simple (10)
PROKARYOTE A unicellular organism without a nucleus containing chromosomes but with its DNA lying freely in the protoplasm. Where would we be without the BRB? I went for the anagram option/checking letters/Chambers to get this one, and then wrote down the solution on a clean piece of paper and scribbled and muttered until I worked out that you could also take the abbreviation for public relations, the two letters signifying that something is acceptable, good, and ARE (from the clue), the latter having a verb meaning to sport reversed (back) inside.
14d One dictating “pull” in part of Florida skeets operations (10)
KEYSTROKES Operations I’ve made in order to create this review! Insert the lead rower in a boat crew (the one who sets the pace of the oars, so ‘one dictating pull’) into the Florida islands.
17d Agriculturalist’s tip, not a cert in garden science (8)
ROCKETRY The ‘tip’ of agriculturalist (the T not the A at the front!) inserted into a garden feature.
18 Soaring rackets smothering Fen city with nastiness (7)
SNIDELY A reversal (soaring) of some loud jarring noises (rackets) going over (smothering) the Fenland city quite often seen in Crosswordland as a ‘see’.
20d Indian paymaster drunk in Paris with tipsy Sikh (6)
BUKSHI Here we stray not only into alternative spellings, but also foreign languages. An alternative spelling for an Indian paymaster is obtained by following the French word for drunk (as in had had a drink, not an inebriate) with an anagram (tipsy) of SIKH.
23d Stop top broker ignoring the odds (4)
OBOE An organ stop of a similar tone to the musical instrument of the same name is obtained by ignoring the odd letters of tOp BrOkEr.
24d The devil to catch (4)
NICK A lovely uncomplicated double definition.
Elgar might wish to note that I spent longer solving this puzzle than any other puzzle for a very long time. Mr CS didn’t see much of me yesterday as I spent a good couple of hours muttering and typing in order to produce what I hope are correct explanations.