Toughie No 1404 by Notabilis
Hints and tips by Tilsit
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment *****
Greetings from the Calder Valley!
In between revision for my OU exams, this came as a lovely welcome relief. One of my favourite setters and Notabilis hasn’t disappointed today (not that he ever does!). Lots of beautifully-written and clever clues that make solving a real fun. One or two recently have been a bit tedious and dull but this is just splendid.
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. Definitions are underlined.
9a Underwear exhibited by several in England (5)
LINEN: We start today, rather unusually, with a hidden answer clue. Hidden in the phrase ‘SeveraL IN England” is a synonym for underwear or what is can be made of.
10a Flog hospital before men suture joint (9)
HORSEWHIP: An old word meaning to chastise or flog someone is found by solving a wordsum. H (hospital) + an abbreviation for (non-commissioned) men in the army the ordinary ranks + a word meaning to suture + one of the largest joints in the body.
11a Racket protecting a very contrary slipperiness (7)
EVASION: A word meaning slipperiness or avoidance can be found be taking a word for a racket or din, inserting A and V (very) and then reversing the lot (indicated by contrary).
12a Hosting goes wrong as soon as it’s presented (2,5)
ON SIGHT: You are looking for an expression that means as soon as it is presented, or when you can see it. It’s an anagram (goes wrong) of HOSTING.
13a Irritation exercises woman without parents (5)
PEEVE: A word meaning irritation is revealed by taking the abbreviation for (school) exercises and adding a Biblical name for a woman who didn’t as such have a mother!
14a Northern area with king gathering in olden times (9)
YORKSHIRE: Inside a word meaning olden times – ‘in days of ___’ goes K (king) and a word that means gathering in a needlework sense. This gives you the name of the area not a million miles from me!
16a Gay entertainment — garbage? Hope rest is funny (3,7,5)
THE BEGGAR’S OPERA: You’re not looking for anything edgy or rude, just the name of a celebrated piece of work by John Gay. It’s an anagram (funny) of GARBAGE? HOPE REST.
19a Reckless drive around centre of Slough (9)
IMPETUOUS: A word meaning reckless can be found by taking something that means drive or urge and inserting OU (the centre letters of Slough).
21a Impatient with lots of exams, perhaps (5)
TESTY: A double definition, where one half is cryptic, indicated by the use of ‘perhaps’. If there was a lot of wind it would be windy, so if you (like me) had a lot of exams or tests to do, you’d be…. This is a word that normally means impatient or crabby.
23a Briefly nail floor covering with a hands-on approach (7)
TACTILE: A word that refers to being touched or handled is the name of a type of nail, minus its last letter (briefly) and add the name of a floor covering.
25a Remains caught when surrounded by some traffic (7)
CARCASS: Something that means the (dead) body or remains of an animal is found by taking C (caught) and adding AS (when) and placing it inside a number of vehicles.
27a Drink providing legless creature’s poison? (9)
SNAKEBITE: Depending on where you live, this foul concoction is an equal amount of lager and cider mixed, sometimes with the addition of blackcurrant juice. It’s a double definition clue with the second half cryptic asking you what will provide the poison of a certain creature that has no legs.
28a Companion of Buzz A. returning from space? (5)
ALIEN: This is rather clever, the first half provides the indication, while the whole clue, or the second half, provides the definition; note the question mark which is usually an indication that you need to think outside the box. If you remember Apollo 11, think of the three astronauts who took part. One was Buzz A, Michael C didn’t go down to the moon, but… did! Write his name in this style and reverse it and you have the name of another space traveller.
1d What’s burned for power, the last of it taken up chimney (4)
FLUE: This held me up for longer than it should have as I was looking for something involving LUM, which is the Scottish word for a chimney and is One Of Those Words That Only Appear in Crosswords. The answer is a bit cleverer than that. Take the generic name of the substance you burn to generate heat and move its last letter upwards (it is a down clue – so this works) and you get the name of a chimney.
2d Commission, say, bringing in new generation (6)
ENGAGE: This was my Last One In today, again more because I saw the answer but was looking for something more complicated. A word that means to commission someone or something is revealed by taking the abbreviation for say, or for example and inserting N (new). Add to this a word meaning generation or epoch and voila!
3d Computer department replacing line in severe provocation (10)
INCITEMENT: Another very clever clue. Take a nine letter word meaning severe (as in weather) and replace the L (line) with IT (computer department). This will give you a word meaning provocation.
4d Roughly handsome, not svelte (6)
CHUNKY: A word meaning not svelte, rather corpulent, is found by taking C (roughly, approximate, circa) and adding a word meaning handsome.
5d A Royal Mail server, powerless as a mail keeper (8)
ARMOURER: You’re looking for someone who keeps mail, not the postal type, but the chain type that knights wore! A + RM (Royal Mail) + a word meaning a server like a teapot, minus its first letter (P, powerless). Terrific surface reading, a lovely clue.
6d: Maybe little more than an alley cat’s cries (4)
MEWS: Another double definition clue with one part cryptic. The noises cats make is the same as the name of a very small street. This gives me an excuse to share with you my one of my favourite twitter sites…..
7d Good letter to stop possible fracking target producing softness underfoot? (8)
SHAGPILE: The definition here is producing softness underfoot and you are looking for a type of carpet. Inside a type of rock that is likely to be fracked goes G (good) and the name of the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet.
8d Try a cheap high, with nothing in it for drug supplier (10)
APOTHECARY: The name of someone who dispenses drugs and other medication ( I have my own branch of Boots, you know!) is an anagram (high) of TRY A CHEAP with O (nothing) inside.
13d Facile revolt is primarily marking support for state (10)
PATRIOTISM: Support for state is the definition. A word meaning facile (to know something off …) is added before one for a revolt and then place IS and M (first letter, primarily, of marking) to give you the answer.
15d What might suggest Doug or Pitt is sweet but easily crumbling (10)
SHORTBREAD: Probably the cleverest clue today, and worth the admission money alone! The name of something that is sweet and crumbles easily is a word that itself could be a cryptic clue to two answers DOUG(H) and PITT(A)! Thanks to a certain lady for working this out, though I had the answer right away, I kept thinking it was to do with a certain film actor or two! Nice deception and virtual 15d to the lovely lady!
17d Particular area in hazy eclipse (8)
ESPECIAL: A word meaning particular is an anagram (hazy) of ECLIPSE with A (area) inside.
18d Rising smoke consuming English poems with many superficial aspects? (8)
GEODESIC: Inside the reversal of a short name for something you smoke goes E + types of poem to give an adjective meaning having many superficial elements.
20d Stone pine is enclosed within a small parcel (6)
SACHET: A word meaning to pine (for) something goes inside the abbreviation for stone to give a small packet often containing salt, sugar or coffee.
22d Branch of Islam preserving Arabic legal system (6)
SHARIA: Inside the name of a branch of Islam goes AR (Arabic ) to give the name of the Islamic legal code.
24d Story the author collected from the South (4)
ITEM: A (news) story is revealed by taking a letter that refers to ‘the author’ or the first person and adding something that means collected or encountered, but reversed (from the South – it is a down clue!)
26d Polish or French novelist (4)
SAND: A word meaning to polish or buff something is the surname of a French female novelist who was the love interest of Chopin.
Hope you enjoyed the puzzle as much as I did. I’d recommend a lot of the Rookie Corner setters look through this and see what can be achieved with thoughtful wordplay! See you all again soon.