Toughie No 1283 by Elkamere
Elementary, my dear Watson
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
I’m pretty sure that I completed this in record time for an Elkamere or Anax puzzle, which means either that I’m getting better at them (unlikely, given the rate of disappearance of my brain cells) or (more probably) that Elkamere is in a charitable frame of mind. That said, I did enjoy it a great deal, especially the brilliant 5d and 11a.
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1a Doctor doing time, apparently, for caper (6)
GAMBOL – one of the abbreviation for a medical doctor placed where he or she would be if serving a prison sentence.
5a Compliments when collecting duplicate pages to be recalled (8)
APPLAUDS – a conjunction meaning when contains the reversal of an adjective meaning duplicate (a carriageway, say) and the abbreviation for pages.
9a Killer‘s left — I pound at doors regularly (10)
LIQUIDATOR – string together L(eft), I, an informal word for a pound, AT and the even letters of doors.
10a Bay tree with leaves (4)
ROAN – another name for the mountain-ash tree with the W(ith) leaving.
11a Set height 5 Down? (8)
HARDENED – start with H(eight) then use the whole of the answer to 5d to get the rest.
12a US city in recently founded US state (6)
NEWARK – a charade of ‘recently founded’ and the zip code for a US state.
13a One can’t be trusted with big names around (4)
SPIV – reverse the abbreviation for big names or important people.
15a I went to restaurant and … set up (8)
INITIATE – split the answer (2,2,1,3) to get the missing bit of the clue.
18a Simple name for complicated problems (2-6)
NO-FRILLS – N(ame) followed by an anagram (complicated) of FOR and problems or pains.
19a Failing speech when love’s departed (4)
VICE – remove the letter resembling zero or love from speech or articulation.
21a Horse on Scottish hill (3,3)
RED RUM – our most famous steeplechaser comes from a preposition meaning on or concerning followed by a hill or ridge in Scotland.
23a If necessary, an easy goal by centre-half (2,1,5)
AT A PINCH – an easy goal from short distance (1,3-2) followed by the abbreviation for centre-half.
25a A planet in ruins (4)
MARS – double definition.
26a See, in fictional work, big-time animosity (2,4,4)
NO LOVE LOST – insert an exclamation meaning see or behold into a written work of fiction, then finish with the abbreviation for very big in clothing sizes and T(ime).
27a Empty box with shell-like lining (5,3)
CLEAR OUT – a verb to box or thump has inside it (with … lining) what shell-like is an informal and jocular term for (because said body part looks a bit like a mollusc’s shell).
28a An ecologist with a cold? Yes (6)
AGREED – what an ecologist (1,5) may sound like when spoken by someone with a cold.
2d Spirit central to Andean imagery (5)
ANIMA – hidden at the centre of the last two words.
3d Given warning spring’s at an end? (5,4)
BOUND OVER – this is the official warning (to behave in future, or else …) that may have been pronounced at the Magistrates’ Court. It’s a charade of a verb to spring or leap and an adverb meaning at an end or completed.
4d Shipment delay besets ‘Speed’ (film) (6)
LADING – this is an old word for putting cargo on a ship or the cargo itself. A verb to delay or fall behind contains (besets) the abbreviation for the unit of measurement of the speed of photographic film.
5d ACD’s is an utterly original novel (1,5,2,7)
A STUDY IN SCARLET – I saw the answer to this straight away but held off writing in the answer (since I don’t subscribe to the ‘if it fits bung it in’ philosophy) because I couldn’t see what was cryptic about it. Then the brilliance of the clue dawned on me – it’s an anagram (original) of ACD’S IS AN UTTERLY. ACD is of course the creator of the great detective and the answer is the title of the latter’s first adventure.
6d Detective, facing charge, turned suspicious (8)
PARANOID – the abbreviation for the rank of a senior detective in the CID is followed by ‘facing (criminal) charge’ (2,1,3) then the whole lot gets reversed (turned).
7d Actress denied introduction to film director (5)
ARROW – the surname of the actress who was married to both Frank Sinatra and André Previn (but not at the same time) without the first letter of F(ilm).
8d Help over judge’s accent? (9)
DIACRITIC – reverse (over) a word meaning help and follow this with a judge or reviewer.
14d Ring is perfect in copper, completely (5,4)
PHONE CALL – insert a verb to perfect or sharpen into the rank of a copper, then add an adverb meaning completely or totally.
16d Fancy relieving the seductive type (9)
INVEIGLER – an anagram (fancy) of RELIEVING.
17d Angry over being given large bill? (8)
FLAMINGO – this creature (being) equipped with a large bill is a charade of an adjective meaning angry or seething and the cricket abbreviation for over.
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20d Starts to leave after travelling through country (6)
LATVIA – string together the starting letters of three words and the preposition (from Latin) meaning through.
22d A celebrity recycled as religious adherent (5)
RASTA – a celebrity (1,4) with the last letter cycled round to the front.
24d Standing, and the rest will rise without seeing that (5)
CASTE – an abbreviation meaning ‘and the rest’ is reversed (will rise) and contains (without) a conjunction meaning ‘seeing that’ or because.
The clues I liked best in reverse order (as the Miss World results used to be announced) were 17d, 11a (superbly spotted) and the brilliant semi-all-in-one 5d. Let us know which one(s) you liked.