Toughie 471 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 471

Toughie No 471 by MynoT

The Four Seasons

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

There is usually something hidden inside MynoT’s puzzles, but I was over halfway through before I spotted today’s message. The answer is hidden, in the usual way, at the end of the post.

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7a    Check the size or take a risk? (3,2,2)
{TRY IT ON} – a reasonably straightforward double definition to get the puzzle under way

8a    Fire bad actor somewhere in Bucks (7)
{BURNHAM} – a charade of to set fire to and a bad actor gives this place in Buckinghamshire, famous for it’s beeches

10a    Foreigners in South Africa finally invest in laundries all over the place (10)
{UITLANDERS} – an Afrikaans word for foreigners comes from T (finally invesT) inside an anagram (all over the place) of LAUNDRIES – I bet Derek got this one!

11a    Storyteller heard on musical instrument (4)
{LYRE} – this musical instrument sounds like a teller of untrue stories

12a    Where is it at? Among elderly aroused (8)
{AGITATED} – put IT AT inside a synonym for the elderly to get a word meaning aroused

14a    One coveting space — rival takes room initially (6)
{ENVIER} – the definition here is one coveting and it’s a charade of a space used in printing, to rival and R (Room initially)

15a    Old author and pop star about right way to ruin the earth (11)
{DEFORESTING} – put the author of Robinson Crusoe and a pop star (formerly with The Police!) around R(ight) to get a way to ruin the earth

19a    Got up to secure record with ease (6)
{REPOSE} – put a verb meaning got up in the morning around an old vinyl record to get a word meaning ease

20a    Fruit for Spanish lawyers (8)
{AVOCADOS} – these fruits are also an obsolete Spanish word for lawyers

22a    From there one’s able to return (4)
{ELBA} – this small island off the west coast of Italy is ABLE reversed (to return)

23a    At first bather could be desperate when up to her chest (6-4)
{BREAST-DEEP} – start with B (at first Bather) and follow it with an anagram (could be) of DESPERATE to get a word meaning up to the chest

25a    Less punctual time traveller that is right for island (7)
{TARDIER} – a word meaning less punctual is formed from Dr Who’s time travelling machine with “that is” in Latin and R(ight) replacing a two-letter abbreviation for island

26a    Take sienna and make it madder (7)
{INSANER} – Remember the abbreviation of the Latin for to take, used in prescriptions? – then find an anagram (make it) of that abbreviation and SIENNA to get a word meaning madder


1d    Impulses to scatter rugs around Geneva (7)
{URGINGS} – these impulses are created by putting an anagram (scatter) of RUGS around the alcoholic drink of which Geneva is an example- don’t we usually get an indication of definition by example?

2d    Severely beat economist (4)
{MILL} – an old slang word for to severely beat is also the name of one of Crosswordland’s favourite economists

3d    Number in music group having no fixed price (3-3)
{NON-NET} – put N(umber) inside a group of musicians to get an adjective used to describe a book without a price fixed by the publisher

4d    Possibly us deists most like American beer? (8)
{SUDSIEST} – an anagram (possibly) of US DEISTS gives a word meaning most like American beer – apparently the first four letters are an informal word for American beer; if that’s because it tastes like soap then I concur!

5d    Play of canny value possibly (5,5)
{UNCLE VANYA} – a play by Anton Chekhov that I saw at the Cottesloe Theatre a few years ago, with Ian McKellen in the title role, is an anagram (possibly) of CANNY VALUE

6d    Joined scripture class in bad dream (7)
{MARRIED} – a word meaning joined as husband and wife is built by putting a scripture class inside an anagram (bad) of DREAM

9d    Containers for small sharp instruments require the French to take action (11)
{NEEDLECASES} – these containers for small sharp instruments are a constructed by putting a word meaning to require and the French plural definite article around an action in court

13d    Old man, not dead, tried playing passages with rapid repeats, … (10)
{TREMOLANDI} – an anagram (playing) of OL(D) MAN without the D (not Dead) and TRIED gives a musical term for passages with rapid repeats (the associated adjective is in The Mine!)

16d    … produced a harmonic and unusually low breve (8)
{OVERBLEW} – this word meaning produced a harmonic instead of the fundamental tone by increasing the wind pressure is an anagram (unusually) of LOW BREVE

17d    One with incomplete alias could become windy (7)
{AEOLIAN} – an anagram (could become) of ONE and ALIA(S) gives an adjective meaning relating to the wind

18d    Temptress getting flowers after teaching (7)
{LORELEI} – the siren of the Rhine who lured sailors to their death is derived by putting a garland of flowers after teaching or knowledge

21d    At one’s peak playing baby grand? (2,4)
{ON SONG} – an informal phrase meaning at one’s peak or performing well is a charade of playing, a male baby and G(rand)

24d    University fellow active in study (4)
{DEAN} – this University fellow is constructed by putting A(ctive) inside a study

I found this to be not as difficult as my initial impression, but thoroughly enjoyable. I wonder if there are further surprises tucked away inside – Mynot’s last puzzle featured several words from a poem.

Reveal the words between the brackets, by selecting them with the mouse, for further help:

{Today’s Nina, starting from the middle of the left-hand side and working clockwise, is AUTUMN, SUMMER, SPRING, WINTER.}

19 comments on “Toughie 471

  1. I have 21d flagged as my favourite in what was a fun solve and a tad easier than some from MynoT. The awful word at 4d is one that, I think, only exists in crossword puzzles!.
    Thanks to Mynot for the puzzle, BD for the notes and Prolixic for emailing about the NINA which made solving the last 3 much more easy!

  2. Thoroughly enjoyable crossword from Mynot as usual though 4d was a nasty one, I still don’t believe it, also 10a and 13d were new ones to me but reasonably easy to work out. I liked 5d best. Thanks MynoT for a really good toughie and BD for a really good review. ( Sorry you and Gazza seem a bit restrained with your pictorial clues these days, 23a was crying out for one, I suppose we must bow to the tender feelings of the visitors.)

  3. Quite an education for me, 2d a new “crosswordland” word to commit to memory, Afrikaans, and a useful trip to the mine for 13d. 8a may have been subject to 15a when it moved to Dunsinane. And my first NINA , not come across one before, even greater respect to the setter. Thanks MynoT and BD

  4. This is one of those toughies that, now I am reading the clues again and the review, I am not entirely sure why it took me so long to solve. Favourite clue was 12a which I thought quite clever.
    My main problem was with 26a where I was going for ‘angry’ rather than ‘crazy’ as a definition for madder. Thanks to the encouragement of my fellow ACC members and BD, I groaned my way there in the end. Thanks MynoT for a lovely Toughie and BD for the explanations. Why is there never a NINA on the days I remember to look for one! ‘

  5. A little treat from MynoT. I started slowly but soon picked up speed. Spotting the Nina helped. Many thanks to MynoT and to BD for the review.

  6. 22a refers to Napoleon’s supposed palindrome “able was ere I saw ****” though why he would not say this is French throws suspicion on the attribution. Maybe he was passing time on the long voyage.

  7. Oh the whole a good test, even though we had non-words at 3 and 4. Fav was 12 and also liked 5 15 17 and 23. Still can’t quite understand 26 but it can’t be anything else – I think the answer was very fitting.

      1. So presumably we can just take any word out of the dictionary and abbreviate to the capital letter – it makes no sense.

        1. UTC, I think the reason that ‘R’ is allowed is that it was regular abbreviation for ‘take’ in cooking recipes and other alchemical concoctions so has become a standard abbreviation

  8. This puzzle was a mixed bag for me.

    Some very nice, and well-thought-out clues, but a few “words that should not exist” (and might well not,were it not for crosswords and Scrabble).

    I guess that’s the price for a hidden message.

    Overall, though, IMO, it was a pretty decent puzzle, and it certainly made a nice diversion from shovelling snow.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

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