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Toughie 304

Toughie No 304 by Messinae

This Sporting Life

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I didn’t think that this Toughie was especially difficult, in spite of being held up for a while in the top right-hand corner. It does have a couple of sporting references, one football and one rugby, that may cause some problems, and I do have niggles with a few of the clues.
As always, we’d love to get your views.

Across Clues

1a  No Chartism reforms for him! (10)
{MONARCHIST} – we start with a semi all-in-one. An anagram (reforms) of NO CHARTISM  produces someone who might have resisted the aims of the 19th century Chartist movement, which sought to clean up the political system and bring about universal suffrage for men (women, at that time, not being considered capable of the rigorous intellectual exercise associated with putting a cross on a piece of paper!).

6a  Boast about what one wears (4)
{GARB} – reverse (about) a verb meaning to boast. You have to get one of the checking letters before you can be absolutely sure which word is reversed.

9a  After March Bishop gets release from army (5)
{DEMOB} – march, in spite of the capital letter, is being used in the sense of a public demonstration. Add B(ishop) to get an informal abbreviation for leaving the army.

10a  Rhetoric’s out of order though he makes his voice heard (9)
{CHORISTER} – an anagram (out of order) of RHETORIC’S.

12a  Dashing steeds right in exercise got up to impress (7,2,4)
{DRESSED TO KILL} – put an anagram (dashing) of STEEDS followed by OK (right) all inside a synonym for organised physical exercise to get a phrase meaning clothed in a way designed to attract and impress others.

14a  Host bugs new clock (8 )
{LICENSEE} – the definition (host) is someone who presides in your local. String together parasitic insects (bugs), N(ew) and a synonym for clock used as a verb.

15a  Jake perhaps — high flyer loses one in family film (3,3)
{PEG LEG} – high flyer is an EAGLE. Remove the A (loses one) and put what remains inside a film certification indicating that a film is suitable for family viewing subject to parental discretion. What you end up with is a person with a wooden limb. Jake is the name of such a person in a Rolf Harris song (which I’m sure you don’t want to hear).

17a  Footballer right in place for medical examination (6)
{CROUCH} – the answer is the surname of an English footballer whose twin claims to fame appear to be that a) he is very tall, and b) he does some sort of robotic dance when he scores a goal. Put R(ight) inside what your doctor may ask you to lie on for an examination.

19a  Suave fellow gets a refreshing drink (8 )
{SMOOTHIE} – double definition.

21a  Doctor remedies bad case of nauseation showing this? (7,6)
{BEDSIDE MANNER} – another semi all-in-one gives us a way of describing how a doctor interacts with his or her patients. We want an anagram (doctor) of REMEDIES BAD plus the outside letters (case) of NauseatioN. Do you get the impression that the setter was desperately searching for an illness or disease starting and ending with N?

24a  Lawyer: I got trial arranged (9)
{LITIGATOR} – an anagram (arranged) of I GOT TRIAL.

25a  Northern people know instinctively when temperature’s dropped (5)
{INUIT} – start with a verb meaning to know instinctively (traditionally said to be the preserve of women) and take out (dropped) the first T(emperature) to leave the people that we’re no longer supposed to call Eskimos.

26a  Island needs second boat (4)
{SARK} – the name of one of the Channel Islands is made from S(econd) and a rescue boat for flood victims.

27a  Card game’s principal advanced position (10)
{BRIDGEHEAD} – put together a card game for four people and the principal (of a school, say) to get an advanced position secured inside enemy territory.

Down Clues

1d  Navy’s not in recent fashion (4)
{MODE} – remove (not in) RN (Royal Navy) from a word meaning recent or up-to-date.

2d  Criminal set up traps crazy one of no fixed abode (7)
{NOMADIC} – put CON (criminal) reversed (set up) around (traps) a synonym for crazy and I (one) to get a description of someone who does not have a settled home.

3d  Scrummaging around Belgium and Swiss city looking like a tourist (13)
{RUBBERNECKING} – start with a rugby term RUCKING (scrummaging) and inside put the vehicle registration code for Belgium and the capital city of Switzerland. You end up with a description of someone who might be staring out from a tourist coach (or driving slowly past an accident scene).

4d  He struck awkward aggressive salesman (8 )
{HUCKSTER} – an anagram (awkward) of HE STRUCK.

5d  Promise after the heart of Russell Brand (5)
{SWORD} – put a synonym for promise after the middle letter of Russell. According to Chambers, brand can mean this, from its glitter.

7d  One hour in work place bustling with activity (3-4)
{ANT-HILL} – the definition is place bustling with activity. Start with AN (one) and add a verb meaning to work the land with H(our) inside.

8d  Pub encouraged the Spanish to be entertained with shorts (10)
{BARELEGGED} – the definition is a description of someone wearing (with) shorts. Join together a synonym for pub and a verb meaning encouraged or incited, and between the two (to be entertained) put the Spanish definite article.

11d  When a person lived unhurriedly (2,4,3,4)
{IN ONE’S OWN TIME} – double definition, with the split coming between lived and unhurriedly. The first definition doesn’t sound right to me – the presence of “a person” means that the phrase would read better if the second word were “his” or “her”.

13d  Bold miss dances in bars (10)
{BLACKBALLS} – the definition is bars (refuses membership to a private club, for example). String together B(old), a synonym for miss or be short of, and formal dances. Chambers doesn’t recognise B as standing for bold, but I presume that what is meant is the HTML tag meaning switch to bold text – unless you have a better idea?

16d  Damaged one commoner getting exposed (8 )
{IMPAIRED} – a verb meaning damaged is constructed from I (one), a member of the House of Commons (commoner) and a synonym for exposed.

18d  Senior sold steroids taken internally (7)
{OLDSTER} – hidden (taken internally) in the clue is a (mainly North American) term for a senior citizen.

20d  Long-haired girl’s engagement announced (7)
{HIRSUTE} – I always thought that this word just meant hairy rather than long-haired, but Chambers allows the latter meaning. It’s a sound-alike (announced) of her suit (girl’s engagement).

22d  Go into mall in America topless (5)
{ENTER} – think of how Arndale Centre might be spelt if it were in the U.S., concentrate on the second word and drop the first letter (topless).

23d  Endlessly contemplate sexy man (4)
{STUD} – the most entertaining thing about this clue is the entry in Chambers for the answer: “a sexually potent or active man, or one who thinks he is”. Drop the last letter (endlessly) of a verb meaning to scrutinize or contemplate.

The clues I liked included 25a, 7d and 8d, but my clue of the day is 3d. How about you? – let us know what you think with a comment.

19 comments on “Toughie 304

  1. Nice analysis, Gazza – I rather enjoyed this one today and have given it a comfortable 4 stars. 13d probably the weakest clue, which for me I would define as if presented with only the clue and 10 blanks I would never solve in isolation. With all the letters in it became easy and obvious then. I suppose 17a could be regarded as slightly unfair to someone unaware of footballers of the Noughties, as opposed to naughty footballers which are slightly more topical. 22d – yes a mall is a SHOPPING centre/center, but I wouldn’t have thought mall and centre/center on its own were synonyms. Nit-picking, as it was an easy clue anyway.
    Favourite clues – 1a for a nice start and 16d. The clue for 20d on CluedUp is missing the apostrophe, which made it a touch harder….

    1. Thanks, chairman. I copy the clues from the print version on Clued Up, which does have the apostrophe, so hadn’t noticed that it was missing elsewhere.

  2. I found this to be a not very difficult Toughie to be honest, solved in about the same time as the DT. I was on the ferry out of Dover and had to buy the Times to keep me going!
    Some enjoyable clues nonetheless.
    3d favourite for me too.
    Thanks for the review!

  3. Agreed that this was not overly difficult (but is was more demanding than yesterday’s Busman which also received two stars for difficulty). 3d was my favourite clue.

    Thank heavens that, for 17a, there is not a famous footballer called Cotch into which the R could be inserted which would have given an entirely different construction to the clue!!

  4. 13d was last in for me as I was struggling with the bold.
    I remembered the nice big B on my MSWord toolbar and then the bold tag

      1. I did consider that bold might come from BF (bold face), but if setters are allowed to use selected bits of abbreviations then you could have, for example, B = brought because BF = Brought Forward.

      2. Perhaps its an indirect homophone – b = bowled (as in chambers) sounds like bold.

        No this is not a serious suggestion – I thought BD ought to have a choice of “worse explanations” from which to chose!

  5. Sorry, couldn’t resist this alternative clue for 13d – ‘Bold start before showing timidity in bars’

  6. Straightforward and on the whole enjoyable. Got 15a from the Jake reference and checking letters but not a clue as to the rest of the reference until I read your excellent (as usual) review. Favourite 3d

    13d – “Bold but no bottle in bars”??

  7. Hi Gazza, is 25a supposed to be a homophone or is it just coincidence because if i Knew something instinctively it’s just what i’d say ‘ I nu it ‘ :)

    1. mary
      Don’t think so (though very ingenious)! Intuit is a verb meaning to know instictively (as in “intuition”). Remove the first T to leave Inuit.

  8. An enjoyable jaunt, Like you Mike I thought Jake ? its not the peg is it ? it can’t be, it is !
    5d Brand may be known for his rapier but without your explanation Dave I would still be wondering.

  9. Finished just over half of it, the ones i did i enjoyed, I understand 25a Gazza, still think it makes a good homophone :)

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