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Toughie 391

Toughie No 391 by Messinae

An alternative to today’s back page puzzle!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A gentle “Toughie”, as is usual from Messinae.

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1a    It’s super being one in crashing dodgem (7)
{DEMIGOD} – a super-being is constructed by putting I (one) inside an anagram (crashing) of DODGEM

5a    Carnivore spotted fat American writer turning in (7)
{LEOPARD} – a spotted carnivore is built up from cooking fat around an American author, reversed (turning in)

9a    Saint takes biblical book on Greek island (5)
{SAMOS} – the single-letter abbreviation for a Saint is followed by a book from the Old Testament to get one of those thousands of Greek islands

10a    Bell tower affected imbecile (9)
{CAMPANILE} – a tall bell tower detached from a church is a charade of affected or exaggerated and an adjective meaning imbecile

11a    Partners going through paces for county once (4,6)
{WEST RIDING} – combine West and East (bridge partners) with going through paces to get a former part of Yorkshire – thanks to Gazza for sorting this one out

12a    Flag intermittently in air raids (4)
{IRIS} – the other name for the flag, as a flower, comes from the even letters (intermittently) from the last two words

14a    Is presently going on the wagon perhaps for winter sport (12)
{SNOWBOARDING} – the IS in “it’s” is represented by S: add a word meaning presently and getting on a wagon or other form of transport to get a winter sport

18a    Miss French cheese sent back with wine I consumed (12)
{MADEMOISELLE} – a French Miss is built up from a Dutch cheese reversed (sent back) followed by a German wine with I inside (I consumed)

21a    Swallow to stop coming back (4)
{GULP} – a word meaning to swallow is a reversal (coming back) of one meaning to stop

22a    Daring breakout freeing last pair from PoW camp in WWII conflict (10)
{STALINGRAD} – put an anagram (breakout) of DARING instead of the last two letters (freeing last pair) of a German PoW camp to get the scene of a WWII battle in Russia

25a    See religious leader stir guilt terribly (9)
{LITURGIST} – a leader in public worship (see / diocese religious leader) is an anagram (terribly) of STIR GUILT

26a    Picture that is providing cover for periodical (5)
{IMAGE} – a picture is constructed by putting the abbreviation for “that is” around a periodical

27a    Drive mad, eccentric grandee (7)
{DERANGE} – a synonym for to drive mad is an anagram (eccentric) of GRANDEE

28a    Section of federal agents in in-group (7)
{SEGMENT} – I liked this one! – to get a section put a nickname for an agent of the FBI inside an in-group – in FBI mythology, the nickname is held to have originated during the arrest of gangster George “Machine Gun” Kelly by agents of the Division of Investigation (DOI), a forerunner of the FBI, in September 1933. Finding himself unarmed, Kelly supposedly shouted “Don’t shoot, *-***! Don’t shoot, *-***!”


1d    Deny pig involved in racket (6)
{DISOWN} – a word meaning to deny is derived by putting a female pig inside a loud noise or racket

2d    Plant rocked by Maoism (6)
{MIMOSA} – this plant is an anagram (rocked by) of MAOISM

3d    Group scrutinising stars eating fine food (10)
{GASTRONOMY} – combine G(roup) with the act of scrutinising the stars to get the act of eating fine food

4d    Risked getting cut up (5)
{DICES} – this is a double definition rather than a reversal

5d    Fish for Lunar Excursion Module control panel when failing to start (5,4)
{LEMON SOLE} – this variety of fish is built up from a Lunar Excursion Module and a control panel without the first letter (when failing to start)

6d    Female spurns West for Middle Eastern country (4)
{OMAN} – remove the W(est) from a female to get a Middle Eastern country

7d    A nasty fall in a ditch round Channel Islands (4,4)
{ACID RAIN} – precipitation containing sulphur and nitrogen compounds and other pollutants released by the combustion of fossil fuels in industrial processes (a nasty fall) is constructed by putting A and a ditch or channel around the Channel Islands

8d    Grades foremost of equestrian sportsmen performing in this? (8)
{DRESSAGE} – an anagram (performing) of GRADES and E S (foremost of Equestrian Sportsmen) gives an event in which the foremost of equestrian sportsmen might participate

13d    Expert sportsman with desire keeping going (10)
{PROLONGING} – an expert sportsman, or maybe just one who is paid, combined with a desire gives a word meaning keeping going

15d    With tight elastic mostly that’s held in! (9)
{WAISTLINE} – an all-in-one (&lit) clue in which the wordplay takes W(ith) and an anagram (tight, as in drunk) of ELASTI(C) (mostly) around IN – read it again to get the definition

16d    Son robbed in street picked up pounds and ran (8)
{SMUGGLED} – start with S(on) and add a word meaning robbed in the street around (picked up) L (pounds) to get a verb meaning ran, as in brought in contraband

17d    I put off besotted admirer (8)
{IDOLATER} – a bit of an old chestnut for regular solvers: split this as (1,2,5) and it means I put off, but as (8) it’s a besotted admirer

19d    Musical setting for ‘Mamma Mia’ as spoken (6)
{GREASE} – this musical sounds like (as spoken) the country in which Mamma Mia is set (or so Mrs BD tells me as there is no chance that I will ever watch it)

20d    Turn one’s attention to publicity (6)
{ADVERT} – a double definition

23d    Fortune placed on American car (5)
{LOTUS} – put a fortune on American to get an English car that returned to Formula One this season, albeit now owned by a Malaysian company

24d    Refuse one lacking in intellect (4)
{BRAN} – the refuse or husks of grain sifted from flour is created by removing I (one lacking) from intellect or mind

Because of Jetdoc and Elgar’s wedding this Friday, the Toughie review schedule will be Tilsit on Thursday and Bufo on Friday.

19 comments on “Toughie 391

  1. Very enjoyable but not so tough. I liked 28a as well as 10a (which was trickiest for me). Last in was actually 19d – accompanied by the kicking of myself!.
    Thanks to Messinae for the puzzle and BD for the review.

  2. A very enjoyable Toughie today. I had the “right hand side” area of Yorks originally which meant I couldn’t get 1d but soon put that right. So many good clues but I will plump for 19d as my favourite of the day. Thanks to Messinae for the lovely puzzle and Big dave for the review.

  3. Amazingly, crypticsue, I had the other segment too, and I’m a Yorkshireman (though from the northerly end of “God’s Own County”). Otherwise, I repeat my comment posted on the “back page” version:- “Just cracked the Toughie (took a while to get 19d, which raised a smile). I thought that it was about on a par (3+* for both) with today’s cryptic”. I was made to watch the movie by Mrs D, and you are quite right to resist its charms, BD!!

  4. 11a: No misprint. Two partners are W and E, followed by striding.

    Thought 22a was a bit weak, as its merely an anagram of Daring and Last. No German required.

  5. I take it that the two partners in 11A are W and E followed by striding (pacing).

    I didn’t know that campanile also means imbecile – and I bet the hotel chain don’t know it either!

  6. Actually finished this but had to have help for a few off Dave, 13d and 26a, I didn’t help myself there having put Greece, i am never sure with these clues which word they want, thought at first it was too hard but with a little perseverance and a little help I got there, this is the 2nd toughie in two weeks now, well what else is there to do on a wet afternoon in Wales :) Thanks for blog Dave

  7. The Pommers left me to this on my own, having read that the Toughie was easier than the “back page”. Got a fair few too before requesting help frtom himself! But put “ology” on the end of 3d instead of “onomy” which held me up and confused me for a while as the “ology” version has nothing to do with fine food. 19d my favourite

  8. Found this more difficult than most of you, apparently, but finally did all bar 19d and 26a. Got 22a for all the wrong reasons! No, I was just slow and not on the same wavelength. Didn’t know 10a apart from being a bell tower — I see the first part but what’s anile?

  9. A really good toughie & finished in half the time it took to get the cryptic this morning. Funny had no bother with yesterdays CC but this morning not on the same wavelength for a long time.
    Thanks to all setters & Hints which I only needed for one.

  10. Raining here all day, very heavy at times so my first concerted attempt at the Toughie. It was tough for me and I needed help from BD to finish. 10a, 22a ,26a and 19d I managed but only because other letters were in place. Even with hints from BD I would have struggled.

  11. I started doing the Toughie on Bastille Day because my mother’s neighbour told her to do it, having told me about Big Dave a few weeks ago. I really feel good having completed a crossword without my mother’s help, but thank you for yours.

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