Toughie 1806

Toughie No 1806 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Big Dave & Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Bufo’s review got lost somewhere in the ether so I have put this alternative review together quickly. Without 4 Down the difficulty level would have been just two stars.

Bufo’s review has now arrived and, out of interest, I have merged the two.  Bufo’s is in green.

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

I started at the bottom and thought it was going to be a quick solve which would have suited me because I’ve got a lot on today. But then the top half (and the NW corner in particular) slowed me down somewhat. I enjoyed not only the puzzle but also writing the review

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a    Implied opening of gate 12? (8)
MIDNIGHT: the initial letter (opening) of G[ate] is in the middle of niGht, hence the answer
The answer can act as a cryptic indicator for the letter G (the first letter or opening of Gate)

5a    Squad finally missing trophy? Consumption of drink involved here (6)
TEACUP: A squad without (missing) its final letter followed by a trophy
A squad (4) with the last letter removed + a trophy (3)

9a    Reverse of passion in household where the occupants behave like animals (9)
MENAGERIE: the reversal of a three-letter word meaning passion inside a household
A reversal of passion or anger (3) inside a household (6) (which is sometimes composed of three people)

11a    Weapon current around Loch (5)
RIFLE: an adjective meaning current around L(och)
‘Current’ round L (Loch)

12a    Legally restrain chap owing money? (6)
REMAND: the positioning of this three-letter chap suggests that he owes money
The answer means ‘to send a prisoner back into custody or on bail’. In the wordplay a chap is in the *** (or owing money)

13a    Flighty type: still missing one in birdhouse (8)
COQUETTE: an adjective meaning still without (missing) I (one) inside a house for a bird, such as a dove
A flighty woman (one that flirts) = ‘still’ (5) with the letter I (one) removed inside a birdhouse (e.g. one for doves) (4)

15a    Fail to meet a welcome suggestion about policeman (5,2,6)
AGREE TO DIFFER: the A from the clue followed by a welcome and a suggestion, the latter around a senior policeman
A + ‘to welcome’ (5) + a suggestion (5) round an abbreviation denoting the rank of a senior policeman

18a    Porthole frame rebuilt in iridescent material (6-2-5)
MOTHER-OF-PEARL: an anagram (rebuilt) of PORTHOLE FRAME
An anagram (rebuilt) of PORTHOLE FRAME

22a    Courageous person getting behind band — that shows a bit of nerve (8)
GANGLION: a courageous person preceded by (getting behind) a band or group
A band (4) + a courageous person (4) = a nerve centre or collection of nerve cells

23a    Northern town would show historic damage if invaded by river (6)
OLDHAM: first split the answer as (3,3) then insert R(iver) into the second word and the result is words meaning historic and damage
A town in Greater Manchester = ‘historic’ + ‘damage’ with the letter R (river) removed

26a    Try to block some pain (5)
AGONY: put a two-letter try or attempt inside a word meaning some
A try or attempt inside ‘some’

27a    Wintry feature resulting from interaction of frost and wind? (9)
SNOWDRIFT: an anagram (interaction) of FROST and WIND
An anagram (interaction of) of FROST WIND

28a    Ends of tree increasingly cut down in earthquake (6)
TREMOR: drop (cut down) the final letters of TRE[e] and a word meaning increasingly
Remove the last letters from TREE and a word meaning ‘increasingly’

29a    Mesmerising, hardly without heart, and not included in film? (8)
HYPNOTIC: H[ardl]Y without its inner letters followed by NOT inside a film
The first and last letters of HARDLY + NOT inside a film

Down

1d    Intend to take in historic city, climbing large monument (8)
MEMORIAL: a three-letter verb meaning to intend around an historic city, all reversed (climbing) and followed by L(arge)
A reversal of ‘to intend’ round a historic (and a modern) city + L (large)

2d    The writer is supporting study of hard-wearing material (5)
DENIM: “the writer is” (1’1) preceded by (supporting) a study
A study + ‘the writer is’

3d    Starlet sincere in taking lead role? (7)
INGÉNUE: start with a word meaning sincere and move IN to the beginning (taking lead role)
Take a 7-letter word meaning ‘sincere’ and move the letters IN to the front

4d    Newspaper’s sure misled about Republican (4)
HARD: this took longer to parse than all the rest of the puzzle, and I’m still not convinced: the answer, in the context of being followed by news, is sure as opposed to fake – a word that could be taken to mean misled around R(epublican)
A word which when applied to news means ‘sure’ or ‘definite’ or substantiated’ = ‘mislead’ round R (Republican)

6d    Each broadcaster’s conclusion: mistake to provide restriction on listeners (7)
EARMUFF: EA(ch) followed by the final letter (conclusion) of [broadcaste]R and a mistake
 ‘Each’ (2) + the last letter of BROADCASTER + ‘to make a mistake’

7d    Constant song about celebration where food is served (9)
CAFETERIA: a constant value that represents the speed of light and an operatic song around a celebration
C (constant) + an operatic song round a celebration

8d    Quietly remain full of energy, ready to go off when required (6)
PRESET: the musical notation for quietly and a verb meaning to remain around (full of) E(nergy)
P (quietly) + ‘to remain’ round E (energy)

10d    Revolutionary book leading study involving current symbol of modern communication (8)
EMOTICON: the reversal (revolutionary) of a large book and a verb meaning to study around the symbol for electric current
A reversal of a large book + ‘to study’ round the symbol that represents electric current

14d    Greedy chap, in our opinion (8)
COVETOUS: a chap followed by a phrase (2,2) meaning in our opinion
A chap (4) + ‘in our opinion’ (2,2)

16d    Climbed round Arab state, note, finding feature with bridge (5,4)
ROMAN NOSE: a four-letter verb meaning climbed around an Arab state and N(ote)
‘Climbed’ (4) round an Arab state (4) + a single letter denoting a note = a feature of some faces

17d    Like the weather at the end, not a little cold (8)
CLIMATIC: an adjective meaning at the end without (the internal) C – a little C(old)
Take a 9-letter word meaning ‘at the end’ and remove a letter C (cold)

19d    Reckoning overtures from hostile officers may be a call to meet (5-2)
TALLY-HO: a reckoning followed by the initial letters (overtures) of two words in the clue
A reckoning + the first letters (or overtures) of HOSTILE OFFICERS

20d    Knight errant, young fellow suffering torture, it seems (7)
PALADIN: the position of this young fellow (3) inside the rest of the answer (4) suggests he might be suffering torture
A young male is in **** (or suffering torture)

21d    One cornered by a phantom (nothing less) is horrified (6)
AGHAST: A (one) inside (cornered by) the A from the clue and a phantom without (less) O (nothing)
A (one) inside A phantom with the letter O (nothing removed

24d    No opening for believer in criminal activity (5)
HEIST: drop the initial letter (no opening) from a believer
Remove the first letter from someone who believes in the existence of God. My first thought was that the believer might be a parson!

25d    Fake policeman’s unknown ending (4)
COPY: a policeman followed by a mathematical unknown
A policeman + a letter denoting an unknown quantity

I hope normal service will be resumed next time.

Good stuff

14 Comments

  1. Markb
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for the review, the top left was depressingly empty until I got the help.
    Thanks again.

  2. LetterboxRoy
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely puzzle, enjoyed 1a in particular but it’s all good.
    Many thanks to Kcit and to BD as ever for sorting the blog out.

  3. jane
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks for coming to the rescue, BD!
    It was 4d that had me fooled. I’d got to the point of ‘**** copy’ but couldn’t quite see how it worked. As you say, the alternative isn’t very satisfying.
    The other hiccup was 17d – had the answer but not the parsing. I was using the wrong word for ‘the end’!

    I wasn’t very keen on 23a but there were many that I really enjoyed. Podium places went to 1,12&13a plus 14d.

    Thanks to Kcit for the puzzle and much gratitude to BD for extra duties.

  4. davelawes
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Aaah – 4d explained, ta. It’s been driving me mad all day.

  5. Tony
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I enjoyed this, although it did take me a long time. The NW corner was the final holdout with 4d being my only gap.

  6. crypticsue
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Elkamere tomorrow

  7. Flonska
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Apologies if I am being obtuse – it’s not deliberate – but having read the explanation for the parsing on 4d, I still don’t get the relationship/connection with newspaper’s. Ignoring this, I came up with HARD equating to sure (as in solid, certain, definite) and HAD for misled (as in been had) around R for Republican. Does this make sense? The expressions “Hard News” and “Hard Copy” are used in the press but I simply cannot see the link or logic. Any suggestions to illuminate further would be welcome.

    • Woolgatherer
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Still not too sure of 4d connected with newspapers.
      I had “hers” (name of a magazine rather than a newspaper) made by “yes” (sure=yes but ‘misled’ using h instead of y) wrapped round the “R”. (No, I agree I don’t like my convoluted solution much, either.)

  8. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not surprisingly, 4d was our stumbling block too. The rest had all slotted together slowly but surely. Thought that 1a was clever and were fooled into thinking that clue 12 was involved somehow. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks Kcit and BD.

  9. Salty Dog
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well, l made major inroads but in the end fell short of the mark. Certainly 4* difficulty in my book, but frustration with my own incompetence rather curtailed my enjoyment. Call it 3* on that front. I enjoyed 16d. Thanks to Kcit and BD.

  10. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 10:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Blast.
    Couldn’t parse the second word in 16d and didn’t get 4d.
    Apart from that, I really enjoyed this crossword and liked the two cryptic containment clues in 12a and 20d.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo and BD for the reviews.

  11. Sheffieldsy
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 10:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Did all but 4d, then needed the two-man hints to get it and understand it. 4*/4*.

    Favourite was 1a.

    Thanks to Kcit, Bufo and BD.

  12. Expat Chris
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 11:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Bottom up solve for me, but I failed on 1A and 4D. 13A and 16D were my top picks. Thanks to Kcit for the enjoyment and to BD/Bufo for the reviews.

  13. Flonska
    Posted May 6, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    I contacted Kcit to see if he could offer any further expansion on the connection with “Newspapers” in 4d. Here is his reply . . .

    “When I was preparing a copy of 1806 for my records I looked at this clue and pondered it myself before coming down in favour of your interpretation (and verifying that with my clue notes). I’m fairly bad at solving my own clues after an interval so such perplexity isn’t unknown.

    Getting your email has sent me back to the dictionaries and I see that all three of the majors (Chambers, Oxford, Collins) do give ‘hard’ in the sense of ‘definite, verifiable, certain’ etc. Hard facts, news, data and all that sort of thing. So I’m inclined to think that it’s one of those casual usages that we only really recollect when we come across it in a slightly out-of-context situation. As such, I reckon it’s grist to a setter’s mill, and the clue does try to point you at its regular journalistic context. Still, maybe not to be deployed too often!”

    I hope that this gives some reassurance to those who were as perplexed as me in their attempt to “parse” the clue in its entirety.

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