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Toughie 450

Toughie No 450 by Myops

Ferocious Friday!

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

Another ferocious Friday Toughie, this time by Myops and a thoroughly enjoyable one. Myops has very much his own style and this makes for a really good challenge. Have to thank Crypticsue for a couple of nudges, especially as new Telegraph Puzzles decided not to give me the usual letter hints. Having a wrong entry at 3d didn’t help my woes. Lots of nice elegant surface readings and cunning clues, although probably too many anagrams; thanks to Myops for a grand challenge.

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1a    Percy would repeat what reivers did (7)
{HARRIED} Shame on me! I went off thinking this was almost a Private Eye or Viz magazine clue, by using the word “Percy”, thinking of the popular 1970’s adult comedy film! Of course, the fragrant Crypticsue would not know such things and pointed out that you need to think of Hotspur. It’s a homophone (indicated by repeat) of what he would do. This gives you a word that the old reivers used to do. A sort of 19th century version of time-share salesmen. I feel a bit unhappy with this clue, though it may be down to my ignorance. I thought Percy was “Henry Percy, known as “Harry Hotspur”. So the clue should have read Hotspur would repeat…..

5a    Dark brown or light brown will restrict artist (7)
{CARAMEL} Quite a nice clue. A word meaning a light shade of brown, think of coats and ships of the desert, has RA (standard crossword abbreviation for artist) inside to give a darker shade of brown.

9a    Dismantled New York masts easily in two seconds for review of computer operations (7,8)

{SYSTEMS ANALYSIS} An anagram (indicated by dismantled) of NY MASTS EASILY goes inside S and S (two seconds) to give a phrase more common in the 80’s and 90’s than today, relating to a dissection of computer performance.

10a    Ring with keeper on either side on a lady’s fingers (4)
{OKRA} A word sum. O (ring) + K R (either side of keeper) + A = a vegetable also known as lady’s fingers and a stock quiz question used by setters like me!

11a    For well-managed après-ski with bit of entertainment seek out a Hilton … (5)
{PARIS} No, gentlemen, you are not getting a picture! A bit convoluted this one. An anagram of APRES-SKI + E after removing SEEK. Not sure that you can strictly add a letter to a word or phrase to remove it to produce a word, but it makes for a nice clue image. Also, note the full stops at the end of the clue…..

12a    … losing one second opening box (4)
{SPAR} …. And at the beginning of this one, to refer you back to the previous clue in some way. This time take the answer to 11 and remove I, then move the S to the front (second opening)

15a    One being dubbed knight in ship by the Queen? (7)
{KNEELER} N (Knight in modern chess notation) goes inside KEEL (a poetic name for a ship) and add to ER (Her Maj) to get a word for someone receiving an honour from the aforementioned lady. A really lovely clue.

16a    Variously L, M and N are initially used of number (7)
{NUMERAL} An anagram of L, M and N + ARE + U gives a word meaning belonging to a number.

17a    Player disqualification includes four in Test Match corrupted after first two are dismissed (7)
{BATSMAN} Unfortunately I really think this is a bit too contrived (as is 24 down). You need to place four letters from the phrase TEST MATCH (although helpfully you are told to ignore the first two letters) inside the word BAN (disqualification). This gives the name of a player who might indulge in this!

19a    Sporting occasion entertained one noted for integrity (7)
{GALAHAD} Another word sum. A word for a sporting occasion is added to HAD (entertained) to give the name of a chivalrous knight.

21a    Element. Gaseous one. Nitrogen (4)
{NEON} An anagram of ONE + N (Nitrogen) gives the name for another element.

22a    Appropriately, 11 twos (5)
{PAIRS} An anagram if the answer to 11 gives a word meaning twos. Not sure appropriately is a good anagram indicator.

23a    Photo cards (4)
{SNAP} Nice double definition.

26a    Open quality: skill at getting ball on green? (15)
{APPROACHABILITY} A double definition, one cryptic type clue. The use of Open is of course clever diverting you towards golf as well. If you make this type of shot in golf, you get near the green, and having this sort of skill means you have…..

27a    Scots green line had to be reviewed (7)
{HIELAND} An anagram (to be reviewed) of LINE HAD gives you a word meaning greenery North of the border.

28a    Use styptic for cuts and cut out hospital (7)
{STAUNCH} Those below a certain age may not remember styptic pencils and what they did. They stopped bleeding from small cuts after shaving. An anagram (out) of CUTS AN (“and cut”) + H.


1d           A shock’s thrown 15 (7)
{HASSOCK}  An anagram (thrown) of A SHOCK’S gives you something in church used for people who pray, i.e. a 15!

2d           Protein I rescue can be cooked if you accept recipe for it (12,3)
{RESURRECTION PIE}   Not a dish I had heard of, and had to rely on TEA to give me.  An anagram of PROTEIN I RESCUE + R(ecipe)  gives a dish comprising leftovers of the weekend cookery, served on a Monday (amongst other definitions), although there doesn’t appear to be a recipe for it as such!

3d           Couple killing time (4)
{ITEM}  As I said earlier, I had a wrong entry here.  My initial entry was DUET – Due (killing) + T (time).  However it’s a simple anagram of TIME (with killing as the anagram indicator).

4d           Giant allowing early start on Sunday to couple after dungeon’s opening (7)
{DESPAIR}  A famous fictional giant comprises D (Dungeon opening) + E (early start) + S (Sunday) + PAIR (couple)

5d           Charlie: name after doing wrong that’s well-deserved (7)
{CONDIGN}  C (Charlie in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet), an anagram (wrong) of DOING and N(ame) gives a word meaning well-deserved

6d           Part of Belorussia facing north (4)
{ROLE}  Hidden within a reversal of the word Belorussia is a word meaning a part in a play

7d           Erroneous understanding paper is ordered for woman in embassy (15)
{MISAPPREHENSION}   Inside the word for an embassy (MISSION) is an anagram of PAPER + a word for a woman (HEN) and this leads to a word meaning erroneous understanding.

8d           Southern lake is preferred to aquarium first used in ceremonial purification (7)
{LUSTRAL}  A word for Southern (as in Australian hemisphere) is AUSTRAL – swap L (lake) for A (aquarium first) and you get a word for religious cleaning.

13d         Find fault with cripple brought to book … (5)
{BLAME}  B (book) is added to LAME to get a word meaning find fault with.  Again note the dots.

14d         … being enabled to walk (5)
{AMBLE}  Take the answer to the previous clue and jumble the letters (indicated by being enabled) to get a word meaning to walk or stroll.

17d         Not as high as peak heat waves (7)
{BENEATH} A word for a peak, especially in Scotland, is added to an anagram of HEAT to reveal a word meaning “not as high as”.

18d         Hacking this list to bits I could be making a subtle distinction (7)
{NUANCED}   Got this from the intersecting letter and am puzzled how to get this…… NUANCED (this) LIST TO BITS I is an anagram (hacking) of A SUBTLE DISTINCTION [see Bufo’s comment #7]

19d         Part of Glasgow not socially acceptable Labour’s redeveloped (7)
{GORBALS}   An anagram (redeveloped)  of LABOURS less U,  is added to G (part of Glasgow) to get an area of that fine city.   A nice appropriate clue.

20d         Work of art in Dutch church representing Pity (7)
{DIPTYCH}   An anagram (representing) of PITY inside D (Dutch) CH (church) gives an artistic work.

24d         About two-fifths of Aboriginal initiation rite (4)
{BORA}  40%, i.e. four letters from the word Aboriginal need to be jumbled (about) to get a word meaning an initiation ceremony.  Although it’s reasonably obvious, I still feel this is unfair.

25d         Italian dance’s one-off performance (4)
{GIGA}  I thought this Italian dance comes from GIG (performance} + A, but I’m not sure. [Start with the Italian dance, remove A (one-of) to get a performance – see Gnomethang at comment #6.]

Thanks to Myops for a good challenge today.

27 comments on “Toughie 450

  1. I have to be very careful what I write here so as not to re-upset the lovely Nubian. However, for some reason today my mind (apart from the dreaded 24d) was obviously entirely on Myops wavelength. Gnomethang has now proved that what I thought went into 24d did, but I couldn’t find it when I did a web search It was a lovely Friday Toughie which for some reason I managed to complete in what I had better just call a good time for an end of week Toughie (sorry Nubian but I did :) Quite a few of those clues where I knew what the word was but am waiting for Tilsit to enlighten me 18d being a prime example. Thanks to Myops for the fun and Tilsit for the very handy explanations.

    1. You would never upset me Sue. I hope you enjoyed your afternoon of erhum! refreshments ? is this the start of the big celebration ? stricktly ‘entre nous’ of course.
      Thanks to Myops and Tilsit.
      Tilsit, I find if you leave the crossword for the home page then return you will be able to use the free letters, I had the same problem when the DT switched to Telegraph Puzzles.

      1. It was an enjoyable afternoon although sadly saying goodbye to Other Dave the boss. Just a little concerned about the fact that the new Acting boss doesn’t look as though she is going to be crossword friendly. Perhaps I can win her round. The big celebration hasn’t started yet – today was just practice :)

  2. Many thanks to Myops for a fiendish Friday crossword. I needed a nudge from Crypticsue for 25d but got there after a lot of brow-furrowing. Thanks too to Tilsit for the review of the across clues and the anticipated downs!

  3. 25d flummoxed me and Jezza put me out if my misery (thanks)
    I share Tilsit’s reservation on 17a but really liked the 15a and 1d combination.
    Thanks to Myops, Tilsit and Jezza for the fun, explanations and help, respectively!

  4. Thanks Myops and Tilsit, that was pretty nigh impossible for me, WikiPedia says for 28d “An early Italian dance called the **** probably derives its name from a small, accompanying stringed instrument called the the same name”‘.

  5. I was hoping you were going to explain 18d – perhaps Myops will drop in and put us out of our misery. In 20d you perhaps should mention that the anagram is of PITY. I think this was one of those crosswords where it’s harder to work out the whys and wherefores than to solve it.

  6. My only effort at parsing GIGA was that if you remove A (ONE OFF = I or A OFF) from GIGA then you get GIG – a performance. A tad topsy-turvy but the best I can come up with!

    1. A gigue is a dance, the word being derived from the Italian giga, according to Collins dic. Therefore giga is an Italian word for dance. The wordplay surely is GIG being performance and A meaning one, therefore a one-off performance. Is that clear? Ha-ha!

    1. I don’t think I would have ever got that in a million years – but so clever when you know. Thanks Bufo, I can turn the computer off now and get on with what I ought to be doing.

      1. But I thought that you had finished this in record time – to quote you this A.M. at 11:29 am.

        “The Toughie today is a proper Friday toughie, I did it in an amazingly quick time (for a Friday toughie that is, it still took me quite a while!) (told you I was in the zone) apart from one word which I don’t think I will ever ever get!”

        1. The word I didn’t get wasn’t 18d it was another but I got it fairly soon after, just didn’t know why

  7. Re 18d, I have read and re-read your tips on anagrams and I cannot find anything of this nature – how about reverse anagram? The construct is certainly a new one on me. At least its put my mind at rest, having solved the clue at 2pm and not understanding it until now.

    1. Gnomethang (Comment 6) is right and I was wrong: the hyphen makes no sense. My apologies to Crypticsue (Comment 5); we have been disconnected from the internet because of (say some reports) demand for tickets for a Take That gig. And my thanks to them and others and particularly Tilsit for their generosity.

  8. Very enjoyable puzzle from Myops. I finished the puzzle but was unsure of the wordplay for a couple of clues. A couple of emails to and from gnomethang and all became clear! Many thanks to all.

  9. I got the whole of the eastern side completely solved and about 85% of the western side. 1a and 27a flummoxed me despite my long years in Bonnie Scotland although I got 17d!
    Can only blame my revised medication!!
    Agree with Tilsit that 17a was somewhat far-fetched.
    Neverthe less an enjoyable puzzle.

    1. I had hoped Hieland/Hielant/Hielan would be understood in its sense of foolish or gullible (“green”).

  10. Had two or three stabs at this and cracked all but two. At 8d I had LUSTRUM which seemed to fit from on-line searching, but made a nonsense of 16a (which I had previously resolved correctly, so I thought). 25d completely eluded me, but I did get 24d. I also thought this was stretching things a bit. Otherwise, hard but fair(ish).

  11. Found this harder than last Friday’s (which I only managed to finish after help with two of the clues).
    In particular 17d, 24d and 25d were too much for me and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen 27a spelt like that! Still, if at first you don’t succeed…………perhaps next Friday will be easier.

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