Double Toughie No 100006 by Elgar
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***** + – Enjoyment *****
Down answers, all thematic, are similarly treated before entry. 7 Down divides them into two categories (one for each Grid), which turn out suitably labelled. Clues for symmetrically-opposite Downs (each consisting of a definition to the full answer and wordplay/letter-count for the entry), are run together in either order, though it should become clear which answer belongs to which Grid. 7 itself belongs to one category but not the other. Across clues and answers are normal.
Ok, so what does all that mean? The definition, but not the wordplay, of each of the down answers includes something that needs to be added. The answers to the left of 7 Down (i.e. Grid A) all need the same addition; the answers to the right of 7 Down (i.e. Grid B) also need the same addition, but not the same one that is added to Grid A. 7 Down itself belongs to only one of the two Grids. Now to the clues themselves. Each clue is actually two clues concatenated, so the join needs to be identified. The two clues are not necessarily in the same order as the clue numbers, but the enumerations are in the correct order – e.g. for 3/11 the answer to 3 Down is (9) and 11 Down is (5,4). Confused? Join the club. In the hints below, the numbers, clues and explanations for Grid B have been highlighted in red. Just to make things [easier/more complicated] there is a Nina which helps identify the additions, and an across clue that can only be fully resolved by knowing about those additions.
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Acrosses (by Batman)
14a Fusion of atoms bears fruit (6)
TOMATO: if you write atom next to itself (fusion of atoms) the answer is hidden therein (bears)
15a Language paper’s last answer I entered alongside first question (5)
IRAQI: the final letter (last) of [pape]R and A(nswer) preceded by I (entered alongside) and followed by an abbreviation that represents the first question
16a See 52 Across
18a More than one spoke excitedly at once (eradication filters out) (5)
RADII: drop (filters out) the assorted letters (excitedly) of AT ONCE from [E]RADI[CAT]I[ON]
19a Vulgar colporteur makes this cat purr! (6)
OCELOT: compound anagram time! – COLPORTEUR is an anagram (vulgar) of this large cat and PURR
20a Additional line for options when calling on flipping collars (10)
HEADSTALLS: start with the options on calling when flipping a coin, insert an additional L(ine) and then mysteriously drop the I from the second option – this doesn’t work for me, can you see something that I’ve missed? [according to the setter, the instructions are meant to tell you to add a line to the I to make it into an L. Well I never!]
21a Dodgy dealing round coast of Gibraltar, shot at sea (9)
LANGRIDGE: an anagram (dodgy) of DEALING around the outer letters (coast) of G[ibralta]R
22a Is backing a hospital in pursuit of old and new soul-saver (3,7)
THE MESSIAH: the reversal of IS followed by the A from the clue and H(ospital) are preceded by (in pursuit of) a word that describes old and new (with respect to this puzzle)
23a Caught strikingly beautiful female engineer (6)
EIFFEL: the surname of this French engineer sounds like (caught) a strikingly beautiful female
25a Highland burgh‘s combustible drawer (4)
WICK: two definitions – a royal burgh in the Scottish Highlands and the twisted threads of cotton in a candle which draw up the inflammable liquid to the flame
26a Carriage north? (7)
BEARING: two more definitions – carriage or posture and a compass direction, of which North is an example (as indicated by the question mark)
27a Big band leader‘s bereavement (4)
LOSS: the name of the leader of a big band and a bereavement or passing
29a Mineral water taken by fool when cycling (6)
AUGITE: start with a three-letter word, from the French, for water, add (taken by) a fool and finally move the first letter to the end (cycling)
33a Hulot’s alter-ego appears in colour, one not seen changing (8)
MUTATIVE: the surname of the creator (alter-ego) of the character Monsieur Hulot inside a colour from which A (one) has been dropped (not seen)
34a Refuse tip after he follows order to pass the hat round (7,4)
COMPOST HEAP: a four-letter word meaning after and HE preceded by an order awarded for eminence in any field, the whole of which is then inserted into an item of headwear (hat)
35a With a twist fruit wines may be indefinitely breathing? (8)
PULMONIC: start with a four-letter fruit, reverse (twist) its middle letters and then add most of (indefinitely) a phrase describing how some wines may be kept (2,3)
38a Parts of orchestra band drowned by gongs (5)
OBOES: O (band) inside (drowned by) some gongs or awards
40a Change working hours: remove dress (5)
SHIFT: four separate definitions
41a Kind of research boffin finally checking Indonesian island over (2-3)
IN-LAB: the final letter of [boffi]N inside (checking) the reversal (over) of a famous Indonesian island
42a Dog mess needs 16 Across (5)
POOCH: some mess, possibly deposited by said dog, followed by the abbreviation of the answer at 16 Across
43a Put a strain on new farceur (5)
FRAYN: a verb meaning to put a strain on, say, someone’s nerves followed by N(ew) gives the surname of a playwright who wrote the farce Noises Off
47a “PrisonEr’s confinEd spacE” doesn’t have them, so it’s said (6‑4)
LITTLE-EASE: this confined space in which a prisoner can neither sit, stand nor lie sounds like (so it’s said) what the phrase as shown in the clue doesn’t have but “Prisoner’s confined space” does!
48a Diminutive grinder shows how to nimbly set about converting loft (4,5)
WOLF TOOTH: this small supernumerary premolar in a horse is derived from an anagram (nimbly) of HOW TO around an anagram (converting) of LOFT
49a Random art venue given a makeover after a time (2,1,7)
AT A VENTURE: an anagram (given a makeover) of ART VENUE after the A from the clue and T(time)
50a Dream trips round lake in Californian resort (3,3)
DEL MAR: an anagram (trips) of DREAM around L(ake)
51a Southern county’s despatched ten redirected letters (5)
ESSES: start with S(outhern) and a county, drop the Roman numeral for ten and then reverse (redirected) what’s left
52a/16a Estimation squared, I’ll tell you what’s in store (5,5)
STOCK CHECK: a word meaning estimation or reputation followed by a pattern of cross lines forming small squares, as in a chessboard
53a Royal Highness spotted on a river (5)
RHONE: The abbreviation for Royal Highness followed by (spotted on) ONE (A)
54a Not enough money banked by namby-pamby in hindsight (3,3)
TOO FEW: a slang word for money inside the reversal (in hindsight) of a namby-pamby or weak, ineffectual person
Downs (by Robin)
That sound of clomp-clomping is not Santa’s reindeer, but of the nefarious villain Elgar in his festive hobnailed boots. Almost as much a Christmas tradition as the Queen’s Address (Buckingham Palace Rd, if you didn’t know).
He’s up to his old tricks with probably Robin’s favourite of all the festive offerings. Some splendid stuff and a nice seasonal theme more in tune with next week than this week.
As the preamble says, some of the right-sided answers may come first, so to help you, the parts of the clue that relate to the right-sided answer are in red. Remember the definition refers to the full phrase or word with the additional bit. It is also important to remember the numbers relate to the appropriate grid entry, not necessarily the solution that comes first in the clue.
1d/13d Perhaps Boy George’s ‘gypsy’ frivolity is inflating my ego, given boost by female conservative’s view? (8;8)
ROMANTIC / FOGEYISM: A description of the style of music Boy George, Duran Duran etc offered during the 80’s can be found by taking an abbreviation for a gypsy and adding a word for a frivolous deed. The other half refers to a conservative and dyed-in-the-wool view of things which is derived from IS inside the reversal (given boost) of MY EGO all after F (female).
2d/12d Untouchable novelty game, nuts having grasped half of it (4;4)
MAID / NESS: The right-hand grid entry is a double definition – the grid entry definition is the name of the lead character in the TV series and film The Untouchables with the definition referring to something novel. The left hand grid entry has a definition which with the addition of the theme is a card game often played by children. The entry is made up of a word meaning insane with I (half of it) inside.
3d/11d Madly, Rome fanatic finds Parliamentarians novel ideals carrying cross (9;5,4)
MODEL ARMY / MORTALITY: The name for some famous parliamentarians who were around 500 years ago is an anagram of MADLY ROME. The name of a novel (by Sir Walter Scott – I’d never heard of it either!) is revealed by taking a word for a code of ideals or ethics and inserting T (cross)
4d/10d Crook’s after first of bent coppers in retro feature-film’s revival (4;4)
BILL / LIFE: A nickname for the police is found by taking B (first letter of bent) and adding a word meaning crook(ed) or bent. Something that means revival is hidden backwards (retro) inside FEATURE FILM
5d/9d Further to contract (breaking agreement), nepotistic deed turned up first Time Magazine update? (4,3;7)
PAL’S ACT / EDITION: The shortened version (to contract / minus its last letter) of a word meaning further goes inside something that refers to an agreement, often in relation to military matters. This gives an expression meaning a nepotistic deed. The abbreviation for first in the pop-charts followed by a word meaning time, all reversed (turned up) gives an expression meaning a revamp or different version of a magazine.
6d/8d Musician recorded backing the French rock band (among kindred rockers from the south) (5;5)
FIELD / ORDER:
A famous musician named Mike is revealed by taking a word for recorded (as in a journo sending a story) and reversing the internal letters LE (the French). Another group of musicians is found going backwards inside KINDRED ROCKERS.
7d It’s erroneously made with a will? (5,10)
YEAR’S RESOLUTION: When placed with the right-hand key word you have a phrase for an annual wish or will. It’s an anagram of IT’S ERRONEOUSLY A.
16d/17d Veterans do coax one to briefly glorify recent arrival and leather a lot? (13;3,2,3,5)
CONTEMPTIBLES / KID ON THE BLOCK: The nickname for a group of army veterans (the WW1 British Expeditionary Force, if you are interested) is revealed by taking a word that means do or swindle, adding one that means coax; add I (one) and something that means glorify (minus its last letter as indicated by briefly). The other half is an expression for a recent arrival and comprises a word for a type of leather and an expression that means something is up for sale in an auction.
24d/30d Lost on a green, it’s the young scythe-carrier‘s lot to protect deranged hermit (6,4;10)
GENERATION / FATHER TIME: An anagram (lost) of ON A GREEN IT contributes to an expression that means young people. The left hand expression is the name of a famous scythe carrier who sits on top of Lord’s cricket pavilion. It’s an anagram (deranged) of HERMIT inside a word for destiny.
25d/28d She outlaws rigged state match — charm’s embellished myth (5,5;5,5)
SOUTH WALES / WIVES’ TALES: A state in Australia is found by solving the anagram (rigged_ of SHE OUTLAWS. The second expression is an name for myths or folk lore and is the name for a match surrounded (embellished) by something that means charm or guile.
31d/32d Throws net around part of historical US state — parliamentarians pay to use under 10,000 square metres (9;9)
NORTHWEST / HAMPSHIRE: A name for a famous old part of the USA is an anagram (around) of THROWS NET. The second is a state in the US and is made up of the abbreviation for an area of 10000 m2 followed by (under, allowable as it’s a down) our political representatives and what they cost.
36d/37d Raised above to spring crop, I’m cutting short curt veterans (6;6)
POTATO / TIMERS: The name for a spring crop is found by reversing a word meaning above and adding TO. The second is another name for veterans or elderly people and is I’M inside a word meaning curt, minus its last letter.
39d/44d Courts trouble, intercepting governor’s American delivery (6;6)
BAILEY / YORKER: The name for famous London courts is a word meaning trouble inside the name for a North African governor. The definition for the second is the name for an American (one like the wonderful Jon Delfin) and the second part is also the name of a cricketing delivery.
45d/46d In translation, “Chère maman” deserted students of the 60s (4;4)
DEAR / LEFT: A word meaning mother is the first theme word plus a translation of the word Chère. The name for political students from the 1960’s belonging to a liberal faction is the theme word for that part plus a word meaning deserted or departed.
Phew – what a challenge, Batman! Holy thesaurus, which it is as I nearly wore it out chasing some of the words!