Toughie No 1470 by Elkamere
Is that a gun in your pocket?
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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.
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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.
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?