Toughie 214

Toughie No 214 by Messinae

Messinae Magic!

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

A lovely  Toughie today, worthy of the title and set by one of my favourite setters Messinae.   A nice feeling came over me when I entered the last answer, and  I was able to look back on a good fight with the compiler.

As usual, feel free to add your comments afterwards, and don’t forget to add a star rating as well.

Couple of grumbles with the website clues in the Java version.  No link between 1a and 10a at 1 across and an apostrophe missed off 8 down, which made the clue look wrong.

Off we go!


1a      Ladies and gents ran shop selling all sorts of things (11, 5)
{CONVENIENCE STORE}  A lovely witty one to start with.  Ladies and Gents = CONVENIENCES (as in Public!) + TORE = ran gives an all-purpose shop.

10a     See 1a

11a     One of two Bugs Bunny features, both OK, cut out (9)
{BUCKTOOTH}  An anagram (indicated by OUT) of BOTH OK CUT, gives one of Mr Bunny’s protuberances.

Here’s my favouritest appearance by said wabbit

12a     Revolutionary worker consuming endless waste, surplus to requirements (9)
{REDUNDANT} RED ANT (Revolutionary and worker) with UND(O) = endless waste, gives the definition which is “surplus to requirements”

13a     Old part of building requiring payment (5)
{OWING} O = old + WING = part of building  gives something meaning requiring payment.

14a     Vehicle coming round big bend a shock (6)
{TRAUMA}  vehicle = TRAM with U = a big bend + A =  a shock.

16a     Bowler contributing to Englanders’ onslaught (8)
{ANDERSON}  When I saw this nice clue, I thought we were being treated to an extra outing by the Sunday setter who is famed for long hidden answers.  However Messinae is, I believe a cricketing nut, and this is an apposite clue in view of our recent success.  Our, of course means not Australian!  The answer is hidden in EnglANDERS ONslaught.  James Anderson, one of our heroes.

18a     Visitor from space and another such in alien race and yet others (8)
{ETCETERA} I don’t have Chambers to hand but I presume the answer can be one word or two [yes, it can – BD].  ET = Visitor from space + another such (ET) in an anagram (alien) of RACE.  Others is the definition.

20a     Be quiet, showing enthusiasm for Eastern religion (6)
{SHINTO}  SH  =   Be quiet + INTO = showing enthusiasm with the definition being Eastern religion.

23a     Transcendental meditation separately gets to quit the very best drug (5)
{OPIUM)  OPTIMUM = the very best and if you take away T M (transcendental meditation) you get a drug.

Which reminds me.  Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocaine during a wisdom tooth op?
He wanted to transcend dental medication.  I’ll get my hat!

24a     Italian secret society setting endless pasta sauce before one (9)
{CARBONARI}  CARBONAR(A) = endless pasta sauce + I.  The whole is a group of people not to be messed with.

26a     Incomplete scheme to secure job assignment (9)
{PLACEMENT}  PLA(N) (Incomplete scheme) + CEMENT (secure) = a temporary job assisgnment

27a     Royal relapsing in drink (5)
{LAGER}  Hmmm.  I don’t like reversal clues that could give either answer.  I feel they are a bit unfair.  Reverse REGAL (royal) to get a drink

28a     Joeys perhaps members of large demographic group (4,7)
{BABY BOOMERS}   It’s quite important there’s no apostrophe in the first word in this clue, as it would render the clue wrong.  JOEY is the name for a young kangaroo, and BOOMER is Australian slang for a grown up one.  So JOEYS are literally BABY BOOMERS! Clever, eh?


2d      Like an egg? Roman poet swallows one (5)
{OVOID}  Roman poet  is OVID, and “swallows one” confused me for a while until I realised it refers (hopefully!) to an egg, which means an O being inserted.

3d      Where war was fought with vigour to contain source of eruption (7)
{VIETNAM}  Here we have VIM (vigour, not the bathroom cleaner!) with ETNA (source of eruption) inside.

4d      Point, tip of assagai, sticking in African (6)
{NUBIAN}  Point = NUB + A = tip of assegai inside IN.  This leads to a member of an African tribe.

5d      Former wife mentioning name is thrilling (8)
{EXCITING} A word sum.  EX (former wife) + CITING (mentioning name) =  Thrilling

6dDo cheat terribly where positive charges are brought (7)
{CATHODE}  An anagram (indicated by badly)  of DO CHEAT leads to the part of an atom that has positive charges.

7d      Loyal attitude though prospect’s dire in organisation (6,2,5)
{ESPRIT DE CORPS}  An anagram of PROSPECT’S DIRE brings you to an expression for a loyal attitude, teamwork, etc.

8d      Castaway’s run out with source of beef (rare) about noon (8)
{ROBINSON}  The solve-on-line clue missed out the apostrophe and so the clue did not read correctly.  RO = run out, with a rare source of beef (BISON) with N for noon inside.

9d      The delirious duo losing heart in role penned by G&S (3,10)
{THE GONDOLIERS}  Quite a complex clue, this one.  It’s what is known as an “&lit” or all-in-one clue where the whole clue provides a definition and the whole clue provides the indications as well.  THE +  an anagram (indicated by delirious) of  DO (duo losing heart) + IN ROLE and the anagram is surrounded (penned) by G and S, who are the authors of this work.  Very very clever!!

15d     Greatest enemy striking one right from the record (8)
{ARCHIVAL}  Your greatest enemy would be your ARCH-RIVAL and removing one of the R’s (hence, striking one right). Gives an unusual word meaning from the records, or archives.

17d     China regularly used common garden feature (8)
{CROCKERY}  C (common) + ROCKERY (garden feature) gives day to day china used at home.

19d     Place praised by poets and artist in paint (7)
{TEMPERA}  Silly me!  I had TEMPURA for a while till I remembered that it was Japanese fried things!  TEMPE = Ancient Greek valley much used in Greek poetry + RA = standard crossword abbreviation for artist (member of the Royal Academy).

21d     Stop and mould unruly troublemaker (7)
{HOODLUM}  HO (stop) + an anagram (unruly) of MOULD gives a word associated with gangster and other ne’er do wells.

22dCave reached round river (6)
{GROTTO}  Second outing in two days for this word, and a much better clue.    REACHED = GOT TO with an R for river inside.

25d     Divine sort of a guru (5)
{AUGUR}  An anagram of A GURU leads to a word meaning to divine.

Thanks to Messinae for an enjoyable romp and  I’ll be back with the Saturday Review next week, and the normal blogs on Wednesday and Thursday.


  1. Jezza
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    27a – With reference to your comment, I must confess to entering REGAL, only to reach for the Tippex 2 minutes later!

  2. gnomethang
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I did enjoy this but found it rather easy – I don’t usually finish without some outside help but today I went through in about 30 mins or so.

    highlights were 11a, 18a and 28a (with thanks to Rolf Harris!)

  3. Libellule
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    AFAIK, the CluedUp website doesn’t run Java, but uses AdobeFlash instead.

  4. bigboab
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Although I found it quite easy today, I really enjoyed it, I loved 28a.

  5. Edi
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t think i’m quite ready to tackle the toughies yet. managed 50% before checking notes. Ah well. Practice makes Perfect?

  6. nanaglugglug
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice crossword, especially after last nights disaster (for us!) and maybe our judgement’s clouded because we could actually finish it without help. Always nice to read the blog afterwards tho’, so hope your medical thing went OK, Tilsit, and you can put in the rest.

  7. Posted September 10, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The downs are with the Maestro to work his magic.

  8. Jane
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 11:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Pleased to say that I’ve completed the Toughie today.

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