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Toughie 469

Toughie No 469 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Sorry about the late posting but I had to go out for a few hours. I thought the puzzle of average difficult and, even though I’m not a great fan of Petitjean’s clueing, I thought it was of reasonable standard.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Starred as Lawrence of Arabia initially, then original ‘Scottish King’ in dire production (10)
{ASTERISKED} Starred (as with an *) is given from AS + Laurence of Arabia’s initials + the first letters of Scottish and king in an anagram (production) of DIRE

6a    Man reported video nasty (4)
{PAWN} A homophone of what’s found on a naughty video is a chess piece (man)

10a    & 20d Clearly a limit to one’s ambition (5,7)
{GLASS CEILING} A cryptic definition of an indistinct yet unmistakeable barrier on the career ladder, through which certain categories of employees (usually women) find they can see but not progress. Thanks to Chambers for that definition

11a    Irish team that’s used to draw (9)
{CORKSCREW} A bit hackneyed this one. Something used to draw (the stopper from a bottle) appears to be an Irish county’s team. According to Big Dave this word came up last Sunday (Graves may be opened by this gang from part of Ireland – ST 2564 by Brian Greer) and also in July 2009 (Some Irish sailors needed to get into port – ST 2493 by Brian Greer)

12a    Cuff Take That leader after lunge at Madness (8)
{GAUNTLET} The cuff of a heavy glove is given by T (That leader) following an anagram (madness) of LUNGE AT

13a    Frenchman and wife make a fresh start (5)
{RENEW} A Frenchman’s name (e.g. of Monsieur Artois, a French café owner) + W (wife) gives “make a fresh start)

15a    Dead buried in an over-populated area (7)
{ANDOVER} D (dead) is put inside AN OVER to give a Hampshire town

17a    Manipulative character concocted smears about United (7)
{MASSEUR} An anagram (concocted) of SMEARS about U (United) gives someone who manipulates data to show it in a more favourable light

19a    Oddly, Green comes ahead of Clapton as a household name (7)
{GENERIC} The odd-positioned letters of GrEeN + the first name of the guitarist Mr Clapton gives “as a household name”

21a    Style of architecture that’s acoustically alluring (7)
{MOORISH} A homophone of a word meaning “alluring” gives a term used to describe the articulated Islamic architecture which developed in North Africa and later in the Iberian peninsula

22a    ‘The Hobbit’ — a book filled with restraint (5)
{TABOO} The answer is hidden in Hobbit a book

24a    Puzzle that’s about ruing time wasted (8)
{INTRIGUE} IE (that’s) goes round an anagram (wasted) of RUING T (time)

27a    Bootlicker caught out dancing Peter Crouch style (5-4)
{ROBOT-LIKE} An anagram of BOOTLI(C)KER to give a term that describes Peter Crouch’s dancing.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

28a    Eggshell found in pork pie in Belgian place (5)
{LIEGE} A province or city in Belgium is given by EG (egg shell) in a pork pie (think rhyming slang)

29a    A range of middling talentless players making a comeback (4)
{ALPS} A range of mountains is hidden in reverse in talentless players

30a    Dish of greasy gammon – not ‘am ‘ash (4,6)
{EGGS MORNAY} An anagram (‘ash) of GREASY G(AM)MON gives something you can eat


1d    Hard-core Goth sides with expression of pain (4)
{ARGH} The middle letters of hARd + the first and last letters of GotH give an expression of pain

2d    Enraged at redevelopment of open-air cafe (3,6)
{TEA GARDEN} An anagram (redevelopment) of ENRAGED AT gives you the open-air café

3d    Gutless opener turned up on wrong pitch (5)
{ROSIN} A reversal of the first and last letters of opener + “wrong” gives pitch (or resin)

4d    Lay clues out with a brainteaser finale (7)
{SECULAR} Lay (not ecclesiastical) is an anagram (out) of CLUES + A R (brainteaser finale)

5d    Mistake playing mature leading role (7)
{ERRATUM} A mistake (error in printing) is an anagram (playing) of MATURE R (leading role)

7d    Stage part of ‘Pygmalion’ or ‘Pajama Game’ revival (5)
{APRON} This part of a stage is hidden in reverse in PygmalioN OR PAjama

8d    Reuters, say, exchanging information in notes for justifying headline-grabbing (10)
{NEWSWORTHY} Reuters is an example of a **** ******. Remove AGENC (information in notes) from this and replace it with justifying (consideration) to give headline-grabbing. I thought this was a terrible clue

9d    Following drunken spree, desperate SOS for another drink (8)
{ESPRESSO} An anagram (drunken) of SPREE followed by an anagram (desperate) of SOS gives a coffee variation

14d    Forest finally get a run inside 18-yard box with something to aim at (6,4)
{TARGET AREA} T (Forest finally) followed by GET + A + R (run) inside the colloquial term for the 18-yard box on a soccer pitch gives something to aim at

16d    It has particular significance for those behind bars (8)
{VERMOUTH} A sort of cryptic definition. The bars are those found in licensed premises and the answer is something often referred to as “it” as in “gin and it”

18d    Sybaritic film’s core shot in eastern and central France (9)
{EPICUREAN} Remove the middle letter form a 7-letter synonym of film and put it between E (eastern) and AN (central France) to give “Sybaritic”

20d    See 10a

21d    Non-drinker looks round for winter warmers (7)
{MITTENS} A tee-totaller goes inside “looks” to give something worn on the hands in cold weather

23d    Dance teacher covering jazz (5)
{BEBOP} A Bachelor of Education goes before a dance with (or to) pop music to give a variety of jazz music, from about 1940, which added new harmonies, melodic patterns, and rhythms to accepted jazz characteristics. Again thanks to Chambers for that definition

25d    Central digs with bathroom in home up north (5)
{IGLOO} IG (central digs) + bathroom (toilet) gives a home up north

26d    Quite addictive Ryvita sandwich (4)
{VERY} A synonym of quite is hidden in addictive Ryvita

There are a lot of things in the clues which I didn’t much care for. I’ll be interested to see what other people think

20 comments on “Toughie 469

  1. Judging by the time I took to solve this, I obviously didn’t find it this tough – it seems hours ago that I did it and I have done practically every other crossword available today in the meantime. I was surprised to see 11a again so soon – the Gnome and I did discuss the other day whether setters were given a word that had to appear in the crossword as many times as possible in a month – that snow leopard being a case in point. Perhaps 11a is the latest word! This puzzle just seemed to be a mix of anagrams and hidden clues but really nothing much to complain about. Thanks to Petitjean and Bufo.

  2. I thought that 1a was a superb clue. Peter O’Toole (star of Lawrence of Arabia) did indeed appear some years later as Macbeth in a disastrous production.

  3. I found one or two clues quite difficult – 6a and 18d in particular – but finished in the end without resorting to Bufo’s tips. There were some good clues and two I did not like – 1d and 15a. Overall though I did enjoy the puzzle.

    1. 6a was also a problem for me – in fact it was the only clue that held me up. I did not associate the homophone with ‘video nasty’.
      Enjoyable puzzle; thanks to Petitjean and to Bufo.

  4. Having been temped by the comments in DT26413 that this was a relatively “easy” (uses word cautiously) I was surprised how long it took to get started. Once “in” though I found it reasonably straightforward, only needing clarification on 2 that I had the answers for but couldn’t find the wordplay. In 6a wasn’t sure if a “man” can equal a chess piece, though why I couldn’t fathom 15a is beyond me……. Distinct lack of snow in this part of North Cambs, only trouble now is it has melted and is now black ice everywhere. Hope all are safe in the various outposts

  5. I did not find this as tricky as some of Petitjean’s crosswords but this could be due the abundance of anagrams and hidden words in the clues. Finished in bed over a cup of coffee now that the snow has finally arrived. This was pleasant but not too taxing. Many thanks to Petitjean and to Bufo for the review.

  6. 16d – I bunged in vermouth as nothing else could possibly have fitted the checking
    letters. I concluded that it was some bizarre joke – Vermouth = Wormwood + (Scrubs),
    a place full of people behind bars.
    Thank you Bufo for the sensible explanation.

  7. No complaints – only marginally justified being a Tuffy, but some nice clues, from which 1a and 21a were my picks.

  8. As a one time Goth and Metal head (anyone wanna see a picture?) I will plump for 1d as a face although 1a was a better clue .
    I didn’t find this too hard but found it fun and at a better level than previous petitjean puzzles.
    Thanks to hm and to Bufo

  9. Overall a nice puzzle, with 1A the standout clue for me, but several enjoyable surfaces besides.

    However, the two homophones, both of which relied on pronunciation with an English accent, were *horrible*.

    In 29A, I didn’t like “middling” as an indicator, since the solution was not “in the middle” of the phrase, but that’s a minor quibble.

  10. This was one of those xwords where I filled in all but one and the last , 6a took ages. It was no fault of the setter – it just would not come. I really did whoop out when it finally dawned. Best was 27 – no doubt BD would know all about this. Other goodies were 3 5 12 14 16 18 29 and 30. Most enjoyable.

      1. Thanks for that. I bet they get him on ‘Strictly’ next year! He might even outdo Miss W.

  11. Thanks Petitjean for an enjoyable if not too taxing crossword and Bufo for a fine review. Favourite clue was 1a.

  12. I don’t usually attempt the Toughies but like andy was tempted by this one and actually finished it although needed the hints for 6a 18d and (I am afraid) 1a. Enjoyed this. Thanks to Petitjean & Bufo

  13. I don’t often attempt the toughies either but soon found myself enjoying this one. At my standard it was a good challenge. Very spooky seeing my home town in 15A . Some of the inhabitants might consider this an all-in-one clue !!
    Thanks to both setter and reviewer.

  14. I got the whole eastern half out very late last night and left the rest for this morning.
    Finished it off in fits and starts as boiler giving problems – heating water OK but central heating refusing to come on. Technician coming Monday afternoon to sort it out!

    I liked 1a, 19a, 30a (had to consult New Larousse Gastronomique for this), 2d & 14d.

    One or two of the clues were somewhat contrived in my opinion.

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