Toughie No 1957 by Busman
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ***
It’s almost a year since we last had a Busman Toughie. As usual he’s pretty gentle with us (although there may be some complaints about the specialist knowledge required at 9a) and this pleasant puzzle could well have appeared on the back page.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Moving miles with a clean mixture (11)
MISCELLANEA: an anagram (moving) of MILES and A CLEAN. I didn’t know the ending of this word but with all the checkers in place it couldn’t be anything else.
9a Edrich initially dropped by Thomson’s partner where French cricket might be played? (5)
LILLE: this was easy for me but for anyone unfamiliar with Australian Test cricketers of the 1970s it’s probably very tricky. Start with the surname of Jeff Thomson‘s bowling partner and take away the first letter of Edrich (John Edrich was an England opening batsman). I thought that this was a bit unfair – if you don’t know who Thomson’s partner was there’s not much else to help you in the clue.
10a The planes needing repair — jumbos (9)
ELEPHANTS: an anagram (needing repair) of THE PLANES.
11a What might precede tavern in the town in May, perhaps? (7)
THERESA: a contracted version (5’1,1) of what precedes ‘tavern in the town’ in the first line of a traditional folk song.
12a Fired every gun shot on court (8)
VOLLEYED: double definition, the second meaning ‘played a specific type of shot on the tennis court’.
14a Prisoner cut short time in cyberspace (8)
INTERNET: another word for a prisoner without his last letter but with T(ime) added.
15a Spruce in Cologne — a Tannenbaum (4)
NEAT: hidden in the clue.
17a Flavouring Egon Ronay’s cooking after chopping both ends (7)
OREGANO: an anagram (cooking) of EGO[n] RONA[y].
19a Favourite seated, but not in the middle (4)
SEED: take the middle letters away from ‘seated’. I expect Kath to complain that this can’t be a favourite because there are many of them in a tennis tournament!
20a Collector at present in Greece (8)
GATHERER: insert AT and an adverb meaning present into the IVR code for Greece.
21a One’s highly vocal …! (8)
SCREAMER: a not terribly cryptic description of someone making a loud noise.
23a Corresponded online about me having been ill (7)
EMAILED: reverse ME and append a past participle meaning ‘been ill’.
25a ‘A’ students finish drink completely (3,4,2)
ALL ENDS UP: string together A, two instances of the abbreviation for a student, a verb to finish and a verb to drink.
26a Stock Exchange certificate St Paul found regularly (5)
TALON: take regular letters from ‘St Paul found’. This meaning of the answer was new to me – it’s a sort of form allowing the holder of a bearer bond to apply for more coupons (Please don’t ask me to explain further!).
27a Notes to accompany high-risk undertakings? (6,5)
DANGER MONEY: cryptic definition of extra pay given for high-risk work.
2d Smallest room at the bottom of one grand northern home (5)
IGLOO: an informal word for the ‘smallest room’ follows the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for grand (a thousand dollars).
3d Catch one prize for crew member (2-5)
CO-PILOT: charade of an informal verb to catch or obtain, the Roman numeral for one and what the BRB defines as ‘a prize won through divination’.
4d Spring time that’s longer than the annual average (4,4)
LEAP YEAR: a verb to spring followed by a period of time.
5d One’s temporarily welcoming home (4)
NEST: hidden in the clue.
6d Get a role playing, for example, Mr Hyde (5,3)
ALTER EGO: an anagram (playing) of GET A ROLE.
7d Every other letter an A? Awkward! (9)
ALTERNATE: an anagram (awkward) of LETTER AN A.
8d It contains coal lawfully — and cash (5,6)
LEGAL TENDER: cryptic definition of a vehicle (attached to a steam engine) lawfully allowed to carry coal.
12d Vogue’s first with trendy feather dressing (11)
VINAIGRETTE: assemble the first letter of Vogue, an informal adjective meaning trendy and an ornamental feather.
13d Anzac’s JCBs? (7)
DIGGERS: we want an informal word for an Australian or New Zealand soldier (Anzac) followed by the ‘S.
16d Shy member of the family? (4,5)
AUNT SALLY: you’d find this shy at a fairground.
17d Very important lady carried in rickety old van across country (8)
OVERLAND: the letters that identify our most important lady go inside an anagram (rickety) of OLD VAN.
18d US low-alcohol drink in local pub’s ending all the time (4,4)
NEAR BEER: concatenate an adjective meaning local or close, the final letter of pub and a poetic adverb meaning ‘at all times’. I didn’t know this phrase and it sounds horrible (but it can’t taste worse than the full-strength US variety!).
19d Difficult person like this — again! (2-3-2)
SO-AND-SO: an adverb meaning ‘like this’ gets repeated.
22d Musical composition — it’s Fauré’s final duet arranged (5)
ÉTUDE: start with the final letter of Fauré (retaining the acute accent) and add an anagram (arranged) of DUET.
24d French sunrise (4)
DAWN: double definition. French here is nothing to do with France.
The two clues which made me smile were 11a and 24d. Which one(s) raised your spirits?