Toughie 513 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 513

Toughie No 513 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I enjoyed this one and found it to be just above average difficulty. I had no real problems filling in the answers but there were a couple of things I had to check once I’d finished.

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1a    Self-employed fishmonger? (4,6)
{SOLE TRADER} A person who owns and runs a business by himself (or herself) sounds as if he (she) sells a certain kind of flatfish

6a    Former athlete’s endless muscle pain (4)
{CRAM} Remove the last letter from muscle spasm to get the surname of a Geordie middle-distance runner who set world records in the 1500 metres, 2000 metres and the mile during a 19-day period in the summer of 1985

9a    Make Bill sick? (10)
{DECAPITATE} To make the word “bill” into the word “ill” you have to remove the first letter (or head)

10a    Drop half a pound or a stone (4)
{OPAL} Half of the word “drop” + A L (pound) to get a milky white gemstone

12a    In retrospect double-entendre elicited a sly look (4)
{LEER} The answer is hidden in reverse in double-entendRE ELicited

13a    Crafty attempt to dupe ref is entertaining except with No.10 getting dismissed (9)
{DECEPTIVE} An attempt to dupe ref (as some footballers do in the penalty area) goes round EXCEPT with X (ten) removed to give a synonym of crafty

15a    Prior to strike worker shows restraint (8)
{HANDCUFF} A worker + “to strike with the open hand” gives a restraint which is locked on the wrist

16a    Surrealist Bronte novel (6)
{BRETON} An anagram (novel) of BRONTE gives the surname of a French author and surrealist theorist (1896-1966) who I have never heard of

18a    Gavaskar’s boundaries follow by means of a therapy for recapturing past form (6)
{VIAGRA} GR (Gavaskar’s boundaries) goes after “by means of”. A final A then gives a proprietary name for a drug used in treating impotence

20a    Following No.1 in India, Chris Rea’s topped all over the place — this includes Isle of Man! (5,3)
{IRISH SEA} I (No. 1 in India) + an anagram (all over the place) of (C)HRIS (R)EA’S (both names having been topped) gives the body of water surrounding the Isle of Man

23a    Lack of central heating in Dales hotel affected tenure (9)
{LEASEHOLD} An anagram (affected) of DALES HO(T)EL (i.e with the middle letter of heating removed)

24a & 21d    Dreadful, dreadful artists in great distress (4,7)
{DIRE STRAITS} A synonym of dreadful + an anagram (dreadful) of ARTISTS gives great distress

26a    Such characters sent back through side door (4)
{ODDS} Take every other character in SiDe DoOr and reverse them

27a    Lame steed run in dreadful pain is not mounted (10)
{PEDESTRIAN} An anagram (lame) of STEED R (run) inside an anagram (dreadful) of PAIN gives someone who is walking and not riding

28a    Dip and alternative to dip (4)
{SINK} I don’t really get this one. It is a synonym of “to dip” but I’d like someone to provide a convincing explanation as to why it’s an alternative to dip

29a    Firm with million plus capital working for association (10)
{COMPARISON} The usual 2-letter abbreviation for a firm + M (million) + a European capital city + a 2-letter word for working


1d    Pop’s son and daughter first and second (4)
{SODA} Take the first and second letters of SOn and DAughter

2d    Stand base of vessel on three-quarters of concrete mix (7)
{LECTERN} A stand from which the lessons are read in church is made up of L (last letter of vessel) + an anagram (mix) of (CO)NCRETE (three-quarters of concrete)

3d    End sharply with E-chord resonating – the essence of stereo for analogue audio equipment (4,8)
{TAPE RECORDER} To end sharply (or become gradually smaller towards one end) + a homophone (resonating) of E-CHORD + the middle letters (essence) of stEReo gives an item of audio equipment

4d    Burning car in collision with truck west of Evesham (4-2-2)
{AUTO-DA-FE} The public burning of heretics ordered by the Spanish Inquisition is given by a car + a Dutch truck manufacturer + E (first letter (west) of Evesham)

5d    Tempt with magnificent iced filling (6)
{ENTICE} Hidden in magnificENT ICEd

7d    Put new gloss on a Pinter play (7)
{REPAINT} An anagram (play) of A PINTER

8d    Very occasional pieces covering unfortunate final Foreman-Ali upset (10)
{MILLENNIAL} Pieces (as on a chess board) goes round a word for unfortunate. This is followed by an anagram (upset) of N-ALI (N being the final letter of Foreman) to give an adjective relating to a thousand years

11d    Drop stories about latest sexist outburst? That’s his job! (6,6)
{SPORTS EDITOR} An anagram of DROP STORIES and T (last letter of sexist) gives a person in charge of a particular section of a newspaper

14d    Bold challenger’s lead evaporated during shambolic chorus (10)
{CHIVALROUS} A challenger without the first letter (lead evaporated) goes inside an anagram (shambolic) of CHORUS to give a synonym of bold

17d    Recall deep drug treatment (6,2)
{DREDGE UP} An anagram (treatment) of DEEP DRUG gives “to recall”

19d    Musicians playing with lack of inhibition (7)
{ABANDON} If musicians are playing then there may be * **** **

21d    See 24 across

22d    According to Spooner, environmentalist’s opponent to give up (6)
{FOREGO} A word meaning “to give up” is a Spoonerism of the 4-letter surname of an environmental activist (and Nobel Peace Prize winner) and a 3-letter opponent

25d    Coming from Provencal city in which criminal interest has been eradicated (4)
{ANON} “Coming” is derived from a city in Provence (where you might be sur le pont) which has lost a 3-letter short form of a word meaning excessive interest charged on a loan (a word I’ve never met before)

Not bad at all

29 comments on “Toughie 513

  1. 25d went in without realising the correct extraction so thanks to Bufo for that. Initially I was grumbling about 16a as I had Jacques Breton pegged as a Realist Painter unto Crypticsue set me right on the author.
    I enjoyed this outing much more than the previous petitjean puzzles, favourite being 18a after I had inserted the apostrophe that was missing from the online version. I actually solved thus in the same time as RayTs pack page puzzle.
    Thanks also to Petitjean

  2. 28a Is it not just that to go for a dip is to go for a swim, and the alternative to swim is sink, i.e. sink or swim?

  3. 3 in a row! I’ll probably run into a brick wall with an Elgar tomorrow.
    I actually found this easier than the RayT and solved it slightly quicker. Would have been quicker still if 11d hadn’t caused me no end of trouble.
    I solved the clue OK but when typing it went in as SPORTEDITORR for some reason. Messed up all the checkers in the SE corner. I was ages before I noticed! D’oh!

    Thanks to Petitjean and Bufo.

  4. Petitjean’s style seems to be gradually evolving and I thought that this was his best Toughie to date – not overly difficult (like Gnomey I thought it was slightly easier than the Cryptic) but very entertaining.
    Thanks to him and to Bufo for the review.

  5. Good fun though not too difficult. I got 25d right without having heard of the word for excessive loan interest but the correct answer seems to be the only word that goes in anyway.

    Thanks to Petitjean for the crossword and to Bufo for the review.

  6. Great fun and I thought quite difficult. I had not heard of 4d and therefore had to look it up but found the rest gettable with much thought. Thanks Petitjean and Bufo.

  7. I struggled with this one too today – were my cryptic cells worn out from my tussle with the Cryptic?? Thanks once again to Gnomey for his law, to Petitjean for the fight and Bufo for the handy hints.

    Off home now to take my poorly friend’s dog for a walk and then find a dark room for a short lie down.

  8. I agree with most of the comments posted up to now, definitely the best offering we’ve had from Petitjean favourite clues 9a 18a 20a thanks to Petitjean and Bufo for the review.

    1. Glad to seethat your online solving times reflected my own in the DT and the Toughie, Qix. It is nice to have a suitable yardstick for a Bell Curve comparison!

      1. Yes, some of the times on the DT website suggest the slightest possibility of a barely tangible hint of chicanery.

        It’s nice for me too to see some familiar faces there. I’m a relative newcomer to online crosswords, and online solving certainly takes longer than pen-on-newsprint, so it’s difficult to know what a “par” time would be without a comparator. The DT software has some shortcomings too, and navigation of the puzzle takes much longer than it should, I think.

  9. Got held up by 8d and 25d. I thought 11d was remarkably topical given the time it takes to set a crossword and find a slot in the paper. Thanks Petitjean and Bufo and those who unblocked SINK, which I hadn’t understood.

  10. I found this slightly easier than the cyyptic today. Got stuck on 4 and 9 and I quietly swore to myself when I finally solved 9. 4d was a new one for me. Favourite was 18 but I enjoyed the whole puzzle. Thanks Petitjean.

  11. Not just because of your favourable reaction to T513 – more to do with me realising my first Toughie appeared a year ago next week – now seems a good time to thank you all for your encouraging comments.

    1. I’m not certain it was your debut, but certainly one of your early Toughies but I distinctly remember thinking this is really good and a setter I must look out for. I recall in particular wondering whether John was the first name and you referred to your stature or Littlejohn the surname, or neither of the above, not that I wish to pry! Anyway, you haven’t disappointed me and maintained a high standard in my opinion.

  12. Cracker! 20A has got to be my favorite especially as Chris Rea is mentioned & then you get 24A & 21D! Another of my favorite bands from the 80s.

  13. It has taken me until Friday evening to solve toughie 513 (and a complete trawl through the dictionary to get 4d), but I feel a small sense of elation having finally solved it. Although I am clearly rather slow, I am very grateful to the setter for agitating my little grey cells.

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