Toughie 484

Toughie No 484 by Petitjean

The French Connection

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

I can’t pretend that I enjoyed this one a great deal (and I don’t think that’s just down to post-Ashes tiredness – well-done to the lads!). There is the usual CluedUp problem of having to hunt around to find the full enumeration for several clues, then we have no less than 13 anagrams to plough through. A bit 15d for me, although Petitjean would probably say “de trop” since he’s started to give his indicators in French! I’m sure that some people will have loved it so let’s have a full range of comments!
This is my last review of 2010 so may I wish everyone a Very Happy New Year – see you all in 2011.

Across Clues

1a  Teach Latin lover lap-dancing with kind of number that’s chaotic (3,4,3,5)
{ALL OVER THE PLACE} – the definition is chaotic and it’s an anagram (dancing) of TEACH L(atin) LOVER LAP followed by the kind of number that identifies a food additive.

9a  Animated anti-European entering in a row (7,2)
{LIVENED UP} – start with a phrase meaning in a row and insert (entering) V (anti, versus) and E(uropean) to make a phrasal verb meaning animated or instilled some spirit into.

10a  See 26a

11a  Herb garden out back of shed worked over at both ends (7)
{OREGANO} – this herb comes from an anagram (worked) of GAR(d)EN, with the last letter (back) of sheD taken out, with O(ver) (cricket term) at both ends.

12a  School day came unexpectedly (7)
{ACADEMY} – a posh school is an anagram (unexpectedly) of DAY CAME.

13a  See 1d

14a  Being single feels no different (7)
{ONESELF} – an anagram (different) of FEELS NO.

17a  Endlessly confused state of affairs with dismissal of leading legal authority (7)
{MAESTRO} – start with a word, from Dutch, meaning a confused state of affairs and drop both the last letter (endlessly) and the first letter (leading) of L(egal) to leave an authority or acknowledged master.

19a  Utter calm unexpectedly enveloping one meeting former partner (7)
{EXCLAIM} – a verb meaning to utter is an anagram (unexpectedly) of CALM around (enveloping) I (one) which follows (meeting) a former partner.

22a  ‘Warm and dry’ say the French about part of Africa (7)
{ALGERIA} – stitch together a verb to warm and dry clothes, the abbreviation for say and a French definite article and then reverse the lot (about) to make a North African country which was once under French rule.

24a  ‘Brideshead Revisited’ following Flyte’s terminal decline (3)
{EBB} – the definition is decline. Put two instances (revisited) of the first letter (head) of B(rides) after the last letter (terminal) of (Flyt)E. Some will object to the way both the Bs and the E are clued but both seem fine to me.

25a  Extract of jalapeno’s trumpeted as cure-all (7)
{NOSTRUM} – a cure-all may be extracted from the clue.

26a/10a  Daniel Lanois produced ‘Midnight At The Oasis’ for one popular duo (4,3,5)
{STAN AND OLLIE} – the forenames of a comedy duo are an anagram of DANIEL LANOIS after one of the Is has been replaced by the middle letter of “night at The oasis”. Daniel Lanois is apparently a Canadian producer, so I assume that the surface is relevant but I don’t know how.

28a  Franco-German approval for board (5)
{OUIJA} – a very old chestnut requiring the word for yes in the two languages.

29a  Stoke finally hit net in frenetic last minute of match (9)
{NINETIETH} – the last minute of a football match (assuming that’s there no time added on or extra time) is an anagram (frenetic) of (Stok)E HIT NET IN.

30a  ‘So sorry!’ — vehement apology to all and sundry (5,7,3)
{EVERY MOTHER’S SON} – a phrase meaning all and sundry is an anagram (apology??) of SO SORRY VEHEMENT.

Down Clues

1d/13a/18d Neon floral flared loon pants under a guarantee of solidarity (3,3,3,3,3,3,3)
{ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL} – this guarantee of solidarity is the motto of the Three Musketeers. It’s an anagram (what else???) indicated by pants of NEON FLORAL FLARED LOON after (under, in a down clue) A.

2d  Knievel flipped 180 degrees over earth embankment (5)
{LEVEE} – the famous stuntman’s forename is also part of his surname but I think that it’s the forename we need to reverse (flipped 180 degrees). This precedes (over, in a down clue) E(arth) to make an embankment seen in the lower reaches of the Mississippi.

3d  French wine label — Coeur de Pomerol — denoting quality of contents (7)
{VINTAGE} – a charade of the French word for wine, a label and the central letter (Coeur, heart) of PomErol produce a word used to describe the year and provenance of wine. As far as I can make out Coeur de Pomerol is not a single wine but the name under which a dozen fine wines from the Pomerol region near Bordeaux are marketed (I’m sure that our very own French wine connoisseur, Monsieur Libellule, will correct me if I’ve got this wrong).

4d  Head for the sunset in battered Ford Fiesta coupé (4,3)
{RIDE OFF} – having started using French for his indicators our setter ploughs on with coupé to mean cut in half. An anagram (battered) of FORD FIE(sta) means to head into the sunset like the hero at the end of a Western.

5d  Hard work following a post with agricultural establishment (3,4)
{HOP FARM} – this agricultural establishment is a charade of H(ard), an abbreviation for work, F(ollowing), A and the abbreviation for resident magistrate (post).

6d  Proof of thorough examination: taking a temperature (7)
{PROBATE} – insert (taking) A and T(emperature) inside a thorough examination to make the proof of a will.

7d  Upright citizens not welcome in Whitehall’s eateries (3-6)
{ALL-SEATER} – an adjective applied to a sports ground, say, to indicate that no standing is allowed, is hidden in the clue.

8d  Why a tendon never ruptured — or only occasionally (5,3,3,4)
{EVERY NOW AND THEN} – a phrase meaning occasionally is an anagram (I am getting sick of these) indicated by ruptured of WHY A TENDON NEVER.

15d  Vivid fringes of poplar succumb to cold beyond the norm (9)
{EXCESSIVE} – start with an adjective meaning vivid. The outer letters (fringes) of PoplaR are replaced by (succumb to) C(old) to end up with a word meaning beyond the norm.

16d  Nigella used up evenly in floral arrangement (3)
{LEI} – get hold of Nigella and turn her round (used up, in a down clue). Now just take the even letters to make a Polynesian garland of flowers. I thought you’d prefer a picture of Nigella to some floral arrangement!

18d  See 1d

20d  Previously unknown old radio comedian is pre-eminent (7)
{ALREADY} – we want an adverb meaning previously. The second unknown in an algebraic expression is preceded (is pre-eminent) by an old radio comedian, famous for his monologues.

21d  Washed-up Eminem without single to record (7)
{MEMENTO} – an anagram (washed-up) of EM(i)NEM (without I, single) precedes TO to make an object kept as a record or reminder.

22d  Hard stuff beneath muscles is abnormally thin (7)
{ABSINTH} – after (beneath, in a down clue) an abbreviation for abdominal muscles goes an anagram (abnormally) of THIN to make an alcoholic spirit once banned because it was deemed to be so dangerous.

23d  Germany supporter is not one to take it easy (7)
{GRAFTER} – a hard worker is G(ermany) followed by the sort of supporter you may find in your roof.

27d  Be well and happy, inconstant at heart, and bloom (5)
{AVENS} – an interjection meaning be well and happy (used a lot in the Roman Catholic Church) is followed by the middle two (at heart) letters of incoNStant  to make a flowering plant.

The clues I liked best today were 22a, 24a and 15d. Let us know the ones you liked in a comment.

8 Comments

  1. honestjohn
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I liked this one. The four long (and fairly easy) anagrams framing the grid gave solvers a good start to what was not really that demanding a puzzle – I think the setter was probably allowing for a certain post Christmas lethargy. However, the whole thing was well constructed and there were some clever clues (20d being my favourite).

    Thany you Petitjean for the puzzle and Gazza for all his help during the year.

  2. crypticsue
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to disagree but I enjoyed this one. Anyone who can make ‘neon floral flared loon’ out of that well-known phrase deserves a small prize. thanks to BD for his hint for 20d earlier today – nice to know I am still too young for some things! Thanks to Petitjean for the entertainment and Gazza for the hints. Happy New Year to you too.

  3. Prolixic
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Another in the liked this one camp. I agree it was top heavy on anagrams but overall it did no detract from the fun. Many thanks to Petitjean for the crossword and Gazza for the review.

    Favourite clue was 1d.

  4. BigBoab
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this very much even though I am not overly fond of anagrams, I found these to be helpful in the rest of the solving. Thanks Petitjean and thanks to Gazza for the masterly review and picture Nigel Lawsons’ little girl.

  5. gnomethang
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m sort of with gazza on this one – I looked at too many anagrammed phrases and just wrote them in.
    I spotted coupe but figured it meant cut and not cut in half!. 27d flummoxed me!
    Thanks to gazza and petitjean!

  6. Nubian
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    As a Toughie I found this a little easy, as I normally throw the towel in half way. It could have passed muster as a Cryptic.
    Nevertheless enjoyable.
    Thanks to Gazza and Petitjean

  7. pegasus
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I just knew before I logged on to today’s review that there would be a clip featuring the great Al Read’ thank’s Gazza you’ve made my day. Quite liked today’s offering from Petitjean favourite clue 20d. Thank’s Gazza for the review,

  8. mary
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year Gazza ‘see’ you in 2011