Big Dave s Crossword Blog
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
BD Rating Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****
Hello everyone. Today we have no obscure plants, words, or historical figures, no cricket, and a great mix of clue types with some very smooth surfaces. This was probably my fastest solve of all the Tuesday puzzles I’ve blogged so far, but I’m putting that down to luck because there were definitely a few places where I know I would have been stymied not so long ago. While I’m giving it 2* for difficulty, I don’t have a lot of confidence in that rating and I look forward to hearing what everyone else thought of it. No problems with the enjoyment rating though, since this was a most entertaining tussle with some very clever clue constructions. As usual, I’m not brave enough to suggest a setter, but I do hope that they will drop in later to take credit for it and allow us to thank them in person.
In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons. Several of crosswordland’s usual suspects are hyperlinked to fuller explanations elsewhere on the site. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.
1a Cave if fool goes berserk in leader s workplace (4,6)
OVAL OFFICE : An anagram (goes berserk) of CAVE IF FOOL. The story behind this iconic image can be found here .
6a Sailor the Spanish portrayed as murder victim (4)
ABEL : A charade of one of the usual two-letter sailors and a Spanish definite article. This victim was murdered by his brother.
9a Pretty thing in garden s become tedious after photo (10)
SNAPDRAGON : Link together a casually-taken photo and a (4,2) phrase meaning “become tedious”.
FLOG : A charade of the musical abbreviation meaning loud and a written record.
12a Hostility shown by bowler, perhaps English (4)
HATE : The generic headwear of which bowler is an example (perhaps), followed by E(nglish).
13a Sensitive about male emotion (9)
SENTIMENT : Insert M(ale) into an adjective meaning sensitive or capable of sensation.
15a Allow island journey? Go for it ! (3,2,3)
LET IT RIP : Assemble a verb synonym of allow, I(sland), and a four-letter word for journey.
16a Shout about being taken in by fraud (6)
SCREAM : A fraud or swindle containing (being taken in by) a standard abbreviation for “about”.
18a Books bishop to visit area with dreadful slum (6)
ALBUMS : Put B(ishop) inside the A from the clue and an anagram (dreadful) of SLUM.
20a Doctor Smooth on mission to attain heavenly body ? (8)
MOONSHOT : An anagram (doctor) of SMOOTH ON.
23a Uncompromising line by hospital department (9)
STRINGENT : A noun synonym of line, followed by one of the usual hospital departments (not the emergency one).
24a Promise Road to Hell in prime locations (4)
OATH : Prime here is being used in its mathematical sense. The word play is instructing us to extract the characters located at the prime number positions in ROAD TO HELL.
26a Scrap coming back by motorway for test (4)
EXAM : The reversal (coming back) of a verb meaning scrap, followed by M(otorway).
27a Standard moan about current legislative body (10)
PARLIAMENT : Follow a standard (score on a golf course, for example) with a synonym of moan that contains (about) the physics symbol for current .
28a Support southern banker (4)
TEES : A ball support used by golfers, followed by S(outhern). “ banker ” here means something with banks. This one is found in the north of England.
29a Dear God! Man engineered the end of the world (10)
ARMAGEDDON : An anagram (engineered) of DEAR GOD MAN.
1d Evict rogues regularly behind in rent (4)
OUST : Combine the even letters (regularly) of rOgUeS and the final letter (behind in) of renT.
2d Some dread a man temping for firm (7)
ADAMANT : Hidden inside (some …… for) the clue. The answer provides justification enough, I think, for this song from Alison Krauss and Union Station.
3d Writings that could become modest talent (3,9)
OLD TESTAMENT : These religious writings are an anagram (could become) of MODEST TALENT.
4d Important part of body tires first (8)
FLAGSHIP : A synonym of tires or grows weak precedes (first) a major skeletal joint.
5d Jokers and clubs depressed bridge partners (6)
CLOWNS : Assemble C(lubs), an adjective synonym of depressed or sad, and the abbreviations for one possible partnership of bridge players.
7d Accept busy person embodies terrible evil (7)
BELIEVE : The stingy insect often invoked to describe a busy person contains an anagram (terrible) of EVIL.
8d Run off with one friend that s genuine (10)
LEGITIMATE : Concatenate an informal (3,2) phrase meaning “run off” or “run away”, the Roman numeral for one, and a good friend.
11d Down one last rum after dance (12)
DISCONSOLATE : A genre of dance associated with the late 70s and early 80s, followed by an anagram (rum) of ONE LAST. This calls for a sad song, so here’s Alison Krauss again, doing what she does best.
14d Wash bedding that team wants to keep ? (5,5)
CLEAN SHEET : The answer is what a football team has if they didn’t concede any goals in a game. Taken literally it could mean “wash bedding”.
17d Wrap run up with ailing leader in agony (8)
TORTILLA : Link together the reversal (up, in a down clue) of a leisurely run, an adjective meaning ailing, and the first letter of (leader in) Agony.
19d Gunners on board boat continued attack (7)
BARRAGE : The two-letter abbreviation for the artillery arm of the British Army is placed inside (on board) a large flat boat.
21d One s short-tempered , a result of too much sun? (7)
HOTHEAD : Split (3,4), the answer might describe a consequence of spending too long in the sun without a hat.
22d Patch up and get married again? (6)
REPAIR : Split (2-4), the answer might mean “getting married again”. Question for the experts: Is there an official name for clues like this and 21d, where the answer must first be split in some way to generate a cryptic correspondence with the part of the clue that isn’t the straight definition?
25d Shock Scot and Ulsterman on vacation (4)
STUN : “On vacation” here refers to what remains when the internal letters of a word are removed. So, we are being instructed here to combine the outer letters of ScoT and UlstermaN. This device is not uncommon over in Toughieland, but previous research suggests that today might be the first time that it’s been used on the back page.
Thanks to today’s setter for a very enjoyable solve. My favourite clue today was the clever and original 24a, with ticks for 6a, 29a, 5d, 8d, 11d, and 25d. Which clue topped your list?
The Quick Crossword pun: TRANCE + FORM + MUSS = TRANSFORMERS
The quickie pun brings to mind the classic album containing this fine track.