Toughie 1470

Toughie No 1470 by Elkamere

Is that a gun in your pocket?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I do enjoy an Elkamere puzzle. By his standards this is on the gentle side but it’s very entertaining and full of his trademark well-concealed definitions and clever wordplay.

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 Hopeful, I’m first to break attachment to bottle (10)
OPTIMISTIC – insert I’M and a shorthand way of writing ‘first’ into what may be attached to a bottle behind the bar.

6a A mother’s boy (4)
ADAM – A followed by a mother from the animal world.

9a They may tick when passed around (5,5)
SWEEP HANDS – a semi-all-in-one. It’s an anagram (around) of WHEN PASSED.

10a Following crook is all you can take (4)
FILL – the abbreviation for following and what crook (as an adjective) means down under.

12a One poaching  squid? (6)
NICKER – double definition. Squid is a slang term for a pound sterling.

13a While singer captures hearts, I hate it (8)
ALTHOUGH – a male singer contains the abbreviation for the card suit hearts. After that we need an exclamation of disgust.

15a One snooker problem worked out again (12)
REDISCOVERED – split the answer 3,2,7 and it means that a ball worth one point in snooker is difficult to hit.

18a Roomy if turned into bathroom? (5-7)
LOOSE-FITTING – reverse IF inside a cryptic way of describing a bathroom with reference to what it contains (3,7).

21a Eccentric suppressing proper bliss (8)
FELICITY – an adjective meaning eccentric or unworldly contains an adjective meaning proper or above board.

22a Document that is sent to press (6)
SCROLL – the abbreviation for the Latin word scilicet, meaning namely or ‘that is to say’, is followed by a verb to press or flatten.

24a Puts on a show while holding court (4)
ACTS – a conjunction meaning while contains the abbreviation for court.

25a Lullaby somehow led child to get into rock (6-4)
CRADLE-SONG – an anagram (somehow) of LED and a male child get inside a rugged rock.

26a Make a seabird’s sound (4)
EARN – this sounds like a sea eagle.

27a Measure heart’s inner beat? (10)
CENTIMETRE – a word meaning heart or core has a beat or tempo inside it.

Down Clues

1d Twelfth Night character actors in Othello part (6)
ORSINO – part of the clue.

2d Cut right into fish (6)
TRENCH – R(ight) goes inside a freshwater fish.

3d What will find you the right place? A degree will (3,9)
MAP REFERENCE – an arts degree is followed by a will or desire.

4d Old ruler has unruly head of hair (4)
SHAH – an anagram (unruly) of HAS followed by the top letter of hair.

5d Show houses feel occasionally vulgar (10)
INDELICATE – a verb to show or signal contains occasional letters from feel.

7d One who, in France, runs into Welshman for a drink (8)
DAIQUIRI – we seem to have seen this drink a lot recently – there must be a special offer on. Insert the Roman numeral for one, the French for ‘who’ and the cricket abbreviation for runs into a traditional Welsh forename.

8d Lane concealed in West Irish town (8)
MALAHIDE – the abbreviation for lane and a past participle meaning concealed go inside Ms. West.

11d Howl after cuts (despite using this?) (7,5)
SHAVING CREAM – a verb to howl or bellow has inside it (cuts) a verb form meaning after (for example “******/after problems with my back I went to the doctor”).

14d Most of wine goes up in flames, making Spaniards’ point (10) (online clue)
Most of wine gone up in flames, FitzRoy replaced it (10) (paper clue)
FINISTERRE – this is the name of a Cape (point) on Spain’s Atlantic coastline and the old name of a sea area in the UK Shipping Forecast (replaced by FitzRoy in 2002). Reverse most of a Greek wine inside flames or a conflagration.

16d Disheartened lad splits from poor ex (3,5)
OLD FLAME – remove the central letter from lad and insert what’s left into a preposition that can mean ‘from’. Finally add an adjective meaning poor or feeble.

17d Bill entered by more than one Liberal canvasser (8)
POLLSTER – insert more than one (two, actually) of the standard abbreviations for the Liberal Party into a bill or notice.

19d Look sullen after officer offers excuse (3-3)
COP-OUT – a verb meaning to look sullen or sulky follows the abbreviation for an officer in charge.

20d Prisoner’s uniform found in gym, causing trouble (6)
PLAGUE – a slang term for a convict and the letter that uniform is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet are found inside the abbreviation for gym.

23d Way into mine‘s been doomed to not open (4)
ADIT – this is an informal phrase meaning ‘been doomed’ or ‘are without hope’ (3,2) without its opening letter.

I liked 5d and 16d but my favourite is the simple but very elegant 4d. Which one(s) fired your imagination?

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33 Comments

  1. Shropshirelad
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Even though it was at the easier end of Elkamere’s scale, I loved it. IMHO he is THE master of hiding definitions in clear sight. Too many good clues to single out one in particular – so I won’t try.

    Thanks to Elkamere for the puzzle and Gazza for his review (which I will read later). Now, to get ready for the main event of my day at Kingsholm.

    Rugby shirt – check
    Kilt – check
    Blankie – check
    Beer – check
    Whisky – check

    • Hanni
      Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      I think I might be missing something here…but your blankie?

      • Jane
        Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        To wrap around himself whilst he sucks his thumb. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • gazza
        Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        I think it’s a comfort blanket. :D
        Scotland currently leading 9-7.

        • Hanni
          Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          I was worried that’s what it meant. Youngest child type thing still has hers. It might have been pink at some stage. The thought of SL in his kilt cuddling his is a source of amusement. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted September 23, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

            http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

            • Hanni
              Posted September 23, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

              http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

              • Shropshirelad
                Posted September 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

                Blankie not required – Woohoohttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  2. crypticsue
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed solving this one – even though the fact that the newspaper version of 14d was very unfriendly compared to the online one as I did have to rack my brains to remember what an illegitimate song of a king had replaced – and this clue took me over the border into 4* difficulty time.

    Can’t remember what I marked as ‘favourites’ as I had to leave my paper at work when we were evacuated for a bomb threat but the upside is that we were after an hour and a half allowed to go home so I can now enjoy some of the lovely sunshine.

    Thanks to Elkamere for the fun and Gazza for the explanations.

    • Hanni
      Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Blimey Sue. Is this the university one?

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Yes – with hindsight I’ve have taken lots more things with me but I didn’t think we’d be forbidden to reenter the building for 2 -3 hours. Fortunately I did pick up my sandwiches, but I left three unsolved crossword print-outs on my desk :(

        • Hanni
          Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          It came up on my news feed. Gosh. Not good, a bit of the afternoon off is a bonus though. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  3. happy days
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Lovely to see such good surface readings. Like Gazza, I thought 4d was the best clue. Short and neat. Thanks Elkamere and Gazza

  4. dutch
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Great puzzle with lots of fun surprises. I enjoyed the two long across clues, 15a (snookered) and 18a (bathroom). Also really liked 12a (one poaching squid), as well as 4d (old ruler), 5d (show houses, clever getting a smooth surface with that wordplay), 13a (while singer, nicely disguised definition), and 25a (lullaby). And more

    I hadn’t heard of the eccentric in 21a, and I could feel my geography being tested beyond its comfort zone (8d &14d).

    I spent some time trying to fit hectometre into 27a. H(eart) + ecto (inner) + metre (beat). Except ecto means outer, not inner. Must also remember the alternate that is, as well (22a).

    Much fun, many thanks Elkamere and Gazza

    • Hanni
      Posted September 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      We’re all waiting for news re your next open mic night. Hopefully with less police involvement. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      That was just bizarre.

  5. Hanni
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    ****/*****

    Outstandingly puzzle. I can’t like this enough. And goodness did I struggle with parts of it. It felt like so many definitions had to be teased out…and all the better for it.

    Had I not been a fan of the shipping forecast, I doubt that I would have got 14d (paper version). I like the Utsire’s.

    I’ve got lots of little stars next to clues to name a favourite.

    Many thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza for blogging.

    Is there another open mic session on the cards for you and Dutch?

    • dutch
      Posted September 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      I expect Elkamere will want to start working towards his next band, but I might go again sometime…

  6. Jane
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Just got to the finishing line before you checked in, Gazza – otherwise I’d have been sorely tempted to sneak a look (the last three were giving me all sorts of grief). You know that I have the deepest respect for you but, when you start out with ‘on the gentle side’ in the review of a puzzle that has had me tearing my hair out, I start to have dark thoughts!
    However, I was very grateful for your knowledge of Latin to parse 22a and your ‘down under’ speak for ditto with 10a.

    4*/5* for me and masses of big ‘ticks’. I’ll mention 15&18a plus 3,7,19&23a but there are plenty of other contenders.
    14d was the last in and gets the vote for favourite – having now read the online clue, I think I’d have got it much faster by going down that route!
    4d gets a special nomination for being one of the best-looking and elegant men I’ve ever seen.

    Many thanks for an excellent puzzle, Elkamere (aka Dean). No further news from Dutch, as yet, but wondered how you’re going on with both the open mic sessions and finding employment for drug-users!!!

    • gazza
      Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      I did say on the gentle side by his standards, Jane.

      • Jane
        Posted September 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        You mean he can be even more brutal? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  7. Franco
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    14d I wonder why there are different clues in the paper and the on-line version?

    I think that the paper version is much better and much more friendly! But, I always listen to Test Match Special …. the Shipping Forecast is always most welcome on the hour every hour especially when it’s raining.

    Thanks to Elkamere and gazza

  8. jean-luc cheval
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    First reading gave only one answer: 4d.
    Hardly surprising as we gave him asylum after the so called Iranian revolution.
    For 11d, I was trying so hard to have ***** S Cream, I opted for Shavers and that it made 18a impossible.
    Had to look at a map of Spain and good thing I guessed we were looking for a cape rather than a mountain.
    Same for the Irish town. At least the H in the middle did help.
    Didn’t get 9a at all even with the checkers.
    One of the hardest Elkamere for me.
    Thanks to Gazza for the parsing and to elkamere.

  9. crypticsue
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Beam tomorrow

  10. Liz
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Not finished with this one yet…still battling. Not helped by solving the anagram at 9a to read ‘sheep wands’…thought it might be something to do with dipping sheep to get rid of ticks!! Ah well…..press on……

    • Pepster
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Like you I was fixated by sheep and (although not an anagram) thought my SHEEP YARDS was an equally acceptable answer.

      • gazza
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog, Pepster.

  11. KiwiColin
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I needed Google help for the two geography clues, 8d and 14d and am grateful that the more straightforward version of 14 was used on-line. Not an easy solve by any means, one of those puzzles where I had to walk away from it and trust my brain to keep picking away at the clues in the background. It always amazes me how often this works. A significant challenge, fun to do, and satisfying to get it all stitched up.
    Thanks Elkamere and Gazza.

  12. Posted September 23, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Franco – we have asked the question before but never had an explanation. 14d (newspaper) was one of the first to go in for us.
    We enjoyed most but then got stuck on Latin and Irish geography and we accepted that we do not have the required general knowledge so had to resort to BD.

    • Jane
      Posted September 23, 2015 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Elkamere always seems to be a reasonable guy to chat to – maybe he can tell us if he pops in. After all – he must have written both clues!

      • Posted September 23, 2015 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        We suspect it’s yet another malfunction in the DT crossword editorial department.

  13. Heno
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza for the review and hints. Way beyond my comprehension. I recognised that it was a good puzzle, but I needed 13 hints to finish. Got 16d, but couldn’t parse it. Really liked 1d, great hidden word. Favourite was 23d. Was 5*/3* for me.

  14. anax
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Hello all. I’d forgotten the publication date for this one!
    Apologies for the different versions of 14d. We decided the shipping forecast reference was slightly too GK so changed it – the fact it didn’t change for the paper version is just one of those unfortunate human errors that can happen occasionally.
    Dutch: There should be an open mic night next Thursday (first Thursday of each month is the pattern) but I haven’t been working on anything. Still happy to turn up for random twiddling if you like. BTW it turned out your jack lead was faulty, not the guitar input – no worries, I’ve bought a new one.

    • Jane
      Posted September 24, 2015 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for popping in, Dean (aka everything else!). Still definitely a struggle for me to complete an Elkamere, but I do enjoy the challenge. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif