Toughie No 1639 by Elgar
Hints and tips by Dutch
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ****
Another great puzzle from Elgar. This one took me 4* time and it is full of great clues that should keep everyone happy. Enjoy! I hope you like it as much as I did.
The definitions have been underlined in the clues below. 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.
7a Try to extend Telegraph employees in pub (tied house) (4,10)
PUSH BOUNDARIES: A possessive pronoun describing Telegraph employees from the setter’s perspective goes inside an abbreviation for pub, giving the first word. Then a 5-letter word for tied plus an astrological house. Something Elgar likes to do?
9a B___ awful weather? Fancy, out of nowhere! (10)
BRAINSTORM: B from the clue plus an example of awful weather gives this sudden inspiration
11a It’s said to stop mother doing her duty at 4? (4)
WHEN: A cryptic definition. 4 is tea-time. Mother’s duty is to pour. I did spend some time wondering what unpleasant duty might await poor mother at 4d
12a Primarily, someone suckered on the first of April (3)
ASS: An all-in-one. The initial letters of S(omeone) S(uckered) are added onto the first of A(pril)
13a ‘Cutter‘ has gotten over failure to incorporate identical Ts (10)
STONEMASON: Reversal (gotten over) of: a (2-2) failure which incorporates a word for identical, followed by TS from the clue
16a Cargo of pram during periods of calm? (4)
TOYS: This pram is not a boat. When one has a tantrum these are thrown out of the pram, hence during a period of calm, a pram must contain….
17a Hand over a title once reduced by 50% (7)
OVATION: Half the letters in OV(er) A TI(tle) ON(ce)
18a Convey wheels expected at the same time? (7)
MEDIATE: Wheels is a reversal indicator. Reading the answer backwards and splitting (3,4), or perhaps (1,1,1,4), we have a whimsical phrase that would indicate the expected time of arrival is the same.
20a Queen Elizabeth I royally adopted vessel (4)
EWER: The abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth contains (adopted) the Royal way of saying I
21a Series of bi-singles? ‘Biblical’ woman’s all over poor Glenn (3,7)
RUN LENGTHS: A woman in the bible who has a book in the old testament surrounds (all over – remembering the apostrophe S) an anagram (poor) of GLENN. The answer refers to the number of consecutive identical digits in binary data, if you weren’t already aware.
23a A challenge for Cretan climbers, they say, getting down from it? (3)
IDA: A homophone (they say) of a type of duck from which one gets down. Although Gazza would probably pronounce the final R
24a A beast that’s been reduced – to tears, apparently? (4)
CROC: A shortened form of a 9-letter reptile that also describes tears that may not be genuine (tears, apparently?)
25a A feature of Boxing Day, going Greek dancing (4,6)
KING GEORGE: This Boxing Day feature involves horses. Anagram (dancing) of GOING GREEK
28a All but mainstream ads broadcast by America? (2,4,2,6)
AS NEAR AS DAMMIT: Anagram (broadcast) of MAINSTREAM ADS beside (by) the abbreviation for A(merica)
1d ‘Scalpel … Forceps … Forceps PLEASE, nurse!’ Perhaps they’re stressed (9,5)
OPERATIVE WORDS: Whimsical examples of the most significant words in writing or communication
2d Not in favour of getting Poles to trade wine (4)
ASTI: Take a word meaning ‘not in favour of’ and replace the pole with its opposite
3d Down with outer garments! (1,3)
A BAS: This French interjection meaning down, or down with, as a 4-letter word is the plural for an outer garment made from Syrian cloth of goat or camel hair.
4d Evidence of Gangnam-style RTA? Examine the body (7)
AUTOPSY: A 4-letter car with the South Korean singer underneath it (!) provides the evidence for a Gangnam-style RTA (road traffic accident)
5d The original Biblical item? Give credit to those going to Bow Church (4,3,3)
ADAM AND EVE: Believe (give credit) to an East Londoner (those going to Bow church)
6d Not one to move around picture frames, I gather (10)
DRAWSTRING: Remove the Roman numeral for one (not one) from a 4-letter verb meaning to move around (as you might your coffee or tea), then ‘frame’ that with a word for a picture – perhaps one made with a pencil
8d Stupidly they meet agent, carrying a threat ever closer (5,2,3,4)
ENEMY AT THE GATE: Anagram (stupidly) of THEY MEET AGENT around (carrying) A from the clue
10d In or out of Union, a Eurosceptic’s not Scottish (3)
NAE: The Scottish word for not is hidden in the clue (In, or out of)
14d Being un-chirpy is typically so unfair (3,7)
NOT CRICKET: An expression referring to a sport and a reference to an insect that would typically be chirping (hence being un-chirpy is typically …)
15d Production team wrapping 007’s final take of film set in the West Country (10)
MOONRAKERS: A 6-letter word for creators (production team) goes around: OO (from 00-7) plus the last letter in seven (7’s final) plus the abbreviation for the Latin Recipe (take). The answer is a word for Wiltshiremen (a set of people in the West Country). The 007 and especially ‘of film’ are additional clues, with the latter referring to a specific Bond movie (with an apostrophe S = of film)
19d Jumped-up sect member with no leader and no identity (7)
ONENESS: Reversal (Jumped-up) of both a member of a small religious fraternity among ancient Jews leading ascetic lives and holding property in common, without the initial E (with no leader), plus NO from the clue
22d Born/died out of necessity (3)
NEE: Remove the D(ied) from a 4-letter word meaning necessity
26d Gallantry award discovered on a new chap from the Agency … (1-3)
G-MAN: The abbreviation for the Queens Gallantry Medal without the first letter (dis-covered), plus A from the clue and the abbreviation of N(ew). See also Comment 2, thanks Gazza.
27d … Frank, mentioned in despatches, offering resistance (4)
OHMS: Postal mark (Frank) that may be seen written on post or mail (mentioned in despatches)
Loads to like – I think the Gangnam style accident (4d) is my favourite, but I also enjoyed the original biblical item (5d), the stressed surgery (1d), mother’s duties 11a, and the simple all-in-one at 12a. And all the rest, of course…