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Toughie 454

Toughie No 454 by Petitjean

Where have all the hyphens gone?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

A moderately difficult Toughie is made more difficult than it should be by careless enumeration. While 26 across correctly hyphenates the adjectival part of the answer, the same has not been applied to 2 down. A couple of other clues should, in my opinion (and that of the dictionaries that I consulted) have hyphens.

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1a    Tarantino screenplay? (8,6)
{SHOOTING SCRIPT} –a cryptic definition of the final version of a screenplay with instructions for the cameraman indicating the order in which scenes will be shot – it could possibly be for a Quentin Tarantino movie!

9a    Fermented lees can act as a purgative (7)
{CLEANSE} – an anagram (fermented) of LEES CAN gives a word meaning to act as a purgative

10a    With billion unaccounted-for, repartee between London banks is light (7)
{LANTERN} – remove (unaccounted-for) B(illion) from a synonym for repartee and insert what is left inside L N (LondoN banks / edges) to get a light

11a    State-run tea shop even lacks parking (4)
{UTAH} – this US state is derived from the even letters of rUn TeA sHoP after dropping (lacks) P(arking)

12a    Injured welder must take part in unorthodox event (3,7)
{MUD WRESTLE} – an anagram (injured) of WELDER MUST gives a verb meaning to take part in a (very) unorthodox event (shouldn’t this be hyphenated when used as a verb?) – now we know what setters get up to in their spare time!

14a    Partially disrobed, hoping to philander (6)
{BEDHOP} – hidden inside (partially) the clue is a word meaning to philander – Chambers only has the associated noun, and that is hyphenated (the ODE has the verb, also hyphenated) – it seems that Chambers is no longer used all of the time for the enumeration

15a    ‘If’ poet found in abridged present edition (8)
{PROVIDED} – no, it’s not Kipling! – if is the definition and to get it put a famous Roman poet inside PR(esent) and ED(ition)

17a    Sticking-point after he said nothing new (8)
{ADHESION} – a noun meaning sticking is derived by putting a compass point after an anagram (new) of HE SAID O (nothing)

18a    Bouncer appears to be recipient of bribe (6)
{BUNGEE} – a strong rubber rope attached to the ankles to ensure that the jumper bounces up before reaching the ground could possibly be the recipient of bribe

21a    Not in form, England’s outsiders are second best (10)
{OUTCLASSED} – a charade of a word meaning “not in”, a form (as in school, perhaps) and E D (EnglanD‘s outsiders) gives an adjective meaning second best

22a    Fragrance secreted by hot tottie (4)
{OTTO} – this fragrance is hidden (secreted) in the rest of the clue

24a    Australia is enthralled by tourist playing rugby union (7)
{LIAISON} – put A(ustralia) and IS inside a British rugby player touring abroad, maybe in Australia, to get a union

25a    More delicate practice shot has length instead of direction (7)
{LIGHTER} – to get this adjective meaning more delicate take a practice shot and put L(ength) instead of S (South / direction)

26a    Plotter dreaded blunders revealing secret communications site (4-6,4)
{DEAD-LETTER DROP) – an anagram (blunders) of PLOTTER DREADED gives a site where secret communications may be left


1d    Having ensnared male, she-devil abandons American to die (7)
{SUCCUMB} – start with a she-devil, insert M(ale) and remove an American to get a word meaning to die or submit – it’s interesting that there are two spellings of the she-devil, one ending US and the other ending in A and the wordplay works whichever you choose!

2d    What to do when packing a suit with an obvious pattern (4,3,4,4) [4-3-4,4 in the newspaper]
{OPEN AND SHUT CASE} – this phrase is what you do when packing a suit, or any other clothing, and it means with an obvious pattern – another grumble about hyphens: the enumeration should be (4-3-4,4)

3d    Nadal’s opening tie-break point (4)
{TINE} – an anagram (break) of N(adal) TIE gives the point of a fork or a deer’s horn – I’m not a fan of joining the anagram fodder to the indicator with a hyphen just to improve the surface reading, and I suspect I am not alone [A better explanation from Dynamic – the N broke the word TIE (break being the inserticator and being appropriately linked to the container by the hyphen]

4d    Spot 4×4 reversing near no right turn ahead (6)
{NAEVUS} – this spot or birthmark is constructed by reversing a Sport Utility Vehicle (4×4 / four-wheel drive vehicle) after an anagram (turn) of NEA(r)

5d    Fibre producer is kind found in Cornwall or Merseyside primarily (8)
{SILKWORM} – a larvae that produces a well-known fibre is built up from a Scottish word for kind or type inside the region of the UK that includes Cornwall followed by OR and M(erseyside)

6d    Engineer nervous about type of bar erected in venue (10)
{RENDEZVOUS} – put an anagram (engineer) of NERVOUS around a bar of metal shaped like the letter Z, reversed (erected – only works for a down clue), to get a venue

7d    He conjures a report up about Stig concealing identity with personal magnetism (15)
{PRESTIDIGITATOR} – a conjurer (he conjures) is an anagram (is up really the indicator here?) of A REPORT around STIG, itself including ID(entity, and IT (personal magnetism) – it looks like the setter is trying to use “conjures … up” to indicate the anagram, but if that is the case where is the definition?

8d    Ill-informed but not entirely ill-prepared (6)
{UNREAD} – an adjective meaning ill-informed is derived by dropping the final Y from a word meaning ill-prepared

13d    In foreign fields revolutionary is so stuck in the past (10)
{FOSSILISED} – inside an anagram (foreign) of FIELDS put an reversal (revolutionary0 OF IS SO to get a word meaning stuck in the past

16d    Bouquet containing pansy, alyssum, freesia and spinach hearts is a ridiculous thing (8)
{NONSENSE} – start with the bouquet of a wine and insert the middle letters of the four flowers to get a ridiculous thing

17d    Greek dish made with a Spanish chicken (6)
{APOLLO} – the Greek sun-god is a charade of A and the Spanish for a chicken

19d    One to fall for self-aggrandizement (3-4)
{EGO-TRIP} – a charade of one, as in the self, and to fall gives this self-aggrandizement – not a very good charade as the (3) has essentially the same meaning in wordplay and answer

20d    Wine bottled up in Bristol, remarkably (6)
{MERLOT} – this wine is hidden (bottled), reversed (up), inside the rest of the clue

23d    Taxman nips attempt to become doctor’s assistant (4)
{IGOR} – put the I(nland) R(evenue) around an attempt to get Dr Frankenstein’s hunchbacked assistant

This puzzle started on a high with 1 across and then went steadily downhill. It may be just me, but when I look back on this, and several others from the same setter, I find that I have derived very little pleasure from it.

20 comments on “Toughie 454

  1. Now you see, if you bought the paper and didn’t use the silly screwed up version to solve your puzzles, your hyphens would be shown perfectly :) 2d is 4-3-4, 4 in the paper. I actually really enjoyed solving this crossword – I did start off thinking it would be a proper Friday toughie but everything soon fell into place without too much trouble. Thanks to Petitjean for the entertainment and BD for the explanations.

    1. I too confused as have the newspaper copy. Was stuck in NW for an age as was trying to include a “t” bar not a “z” bar in the anagram for 6d. Doh!!! Thanks to Petitjean and BD

        1. Once i’d dismissed the possibility of the t bit I saw the answer, but did resort to google to understand how zed fitted. Live and learn, live and learn!!

      1. Very true. I haven’t taken part in either activity so probably didn’t think too closely about hyphens :D

  2. 2d – The paper version has the correct enumeration – (4-3-4,4) – with hyphens. Why are there differences between CluedUp and the paper versions?

    24a – Thanks BD for the explanation – I was thrown by “Austra(LIA IS EN)thralled….” – thought it was an alternative spelling. Wondered what the reference to Rugby was doing there.

    Easy-ish for a Friday but still needed lots of help!

  3. It seemed as though the Thursday and Friday toughies were swapped around this week. I finished this quicker than I would have expected, and I did not think that this was as good as the last couple of puzzles from Petitjean.
    Thanks to Petitjean, and to BD for the notes.

      1. I thought the puzzle yesterday from Osmosis was one of the most enjoyable I have solved for a few weeks.

  4. I really enjoyed this although I think that it only just qualifies as a Toughie. IMHO Petitjean’s puzzles have improved since his first couple of Toughies with their very convoluted clues. Favourite clue today: 24a for the misdirection in “rugby union”.

  5. Sorry to disagree Dave but I enjoyed this one very much although, unlike some of the other contributors, I found it very difficult, a true toughie. Liked 1d and 7d best. Many thanks to Petitjean and Big Dave.

  6. I found the bottom half a lot easier than top, had to use your hint for 1a Dave or would have been stuck.
    Thanks to Petitjean, and to B Dave.

  7. No problem with the hyphens, being one of the Paper Brigade. 13d was nice with the hint of mis-direction to our beloved Che. Thanks BD & Petitjean – are you really a 7 foot bloke from Sherwood?

  8. This was not a fierce as I was expecting for a Friday though it took sometime to sus the final clue in 4d. Many thanks to PJ and BD respectively for the puzzle and the blog.

  9. Regarding 3d,
    Nadal’s opening tie-break point (4)
    My reading, and how I solved the clue, was that the N broke the word TIE (break being the inserticator and being appropriately linked to the container by the hyphen).

    Back to anagrinds linked to fodder, perhaps I’m a bit of libertarian but I quite enjoy the misdirection that punctuation like this brings, particularly when the clue is otherwise not too taxing (which I usually take to mean a longer clue with more checking letters to narrow down the options). I think the clue would have worked OK but with slightly poorer surface reading and lesser Toughie credentials as:
    Nadal’s opening tie: break point (4)

  10. Am I alone in finding this difficult? Only managed about 50% before resorting to the blog. Not my day.

  11. Only got round to this today and then found it fairly straightforward. I too finished on 4 down which seemed harder than it really was but apart from that no particular problems.

    This was a good test and most enjoyable but not a real ‘toughie’.

  12. I got ~75% done yesterday and then lost the paper – it had gone off to my daughter’s (I pass the DT on).
    So had to resort to the blog today to finish it off.
    Re 2d – and is coordinating so no hyphens needed!
    Re 14a – I could not find the verb only the gerund in big Chambers.

    Best for me were : 15a ( not Kipling!) & 17d.

    Interesting comments.

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