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Toughie 532

Toughie No 532 by MynoT

Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

MynoT’s last Toughie was all about the colour red so I was expecting a different colour this time because he likes to do series of themes. In fact today’s theme colour gives us a strong hint that he is making his way through the colours of the spectrum in the standard order (indigo should be interesting). I found this one quite a bit easier than his usual Toughies – let us know what you think in a comment. I’ve marked with an asterisk all the clues which I think are related to the theme – if I’ve missed any, let me know.

Across Clues

1a  Abusive harangue from girl at a race (8)
{DIATRIBE} – an abbreviated girl’s name is followed by A and a race or ethnic group to make an abusive harangue.

5a  Rascal’s one fish (6)
{SCAMPI} – * a rascal is followed by I (one) to make fish, the colour of which, when not served in breadcrumbs, matches today’s theme.

9a  Composer has a test for pear (8)
{BERGAMOT} – * start with the surname of an Austrian composer and add A and an annual check-up (test) to make a dessert pear. This is also a small citrus tree which bears a variety of 21d orange.

10a  Softly cat makes a swoop (6)
{POUNCE} – the musical instruction to play softly is followed by a wild cat.

12a  Went beyond authorisation in certain department (9)
{SURPASSED} – the definition is went beyond or exceeded. Put a written authorisation inside a synonym for certain and finish with D(epartment).

13a  Habit of king to have light meal with no end of fuss (5)
{KNACK} – this is a habit or tendency. Start with one of the abbreviations for king and add a light meal from which (fus)S has been removed.

14a  Half the alphabet is something very small (4)
{ATOM} – this is the range of letters in the first half of the alphabet.

16a  One over-concerned with himself got entered in wrong site (7)
{EGOTIST} – insert (entered) GOT in an anagram (wrong) of SITE.

19a  It’s used for catching fish in bowler (7)
{SPINNER} – double definition, the bowler being a cricketer rather than a hat.

21a  Benefit of drink (4)
{SAKE} – another double definition – the drink is made from fermented rice.

24a  Old wise American (5)
{OSAGE} – * this is a Native American from a tribe living in Oklahoma. It’s O(ld) followed by a synonym for wise. When followed by the theme word this is an ornamental tree of the mulberry family which produces a fruit known as the hedge apple.

25a  Excessive neckwear for such ages? (9)
{SEVENTIES} – I’m not sure why having one of these items of neckwear for each day of the week (5,4) should be seen as excessive for men in this age range. Alternatively, and more likely, the clue is a cryptic definition of the decade during which excessively wide ones of the kipper variety were seen a lot. This clue doesn’t really work for me.

27a  Accountant spies tree (6)
{ACACIA} – this tree is a charade of an abbreviation for an accountant and the usual US espionage organisation.

28a  Strong attachment to the six counties in South American country (8)
{SLOVENIA} – put a strong attachment or affection and the abbreviation for the province with six counties inside S(outh) and A(merican) to make a European country, formerly part of Yugoslavia.

29a  One could live in this empty township, we hear (6)
{TEEPEE} – something that a Native American could live in sounds like (we hear) township with all the inner letters removed (empty).

30a  Recklessly determined he will get 13 (4-4)
{HELL-BENT} – an adjective meaning determined to the point of recklessness is made from a contracted form of he will followed by a synonym for 13a.

Down Clues

1d  Seabed could become lower (6)
{DEBASE} – an anagram (could become) of SEABED.

2d  Take gold initially to the French then a goddess (6)
{AURORA} – * the name of the Roman goddess of dawn is constructed from the single-letter abbreviation for take (as seen in prescriptions) and the heraldic term for gold, these being preceded by (initially) “to the” in French and followed by (then) A. The answer follows the theme word to make a paint colour.

3d  Find in lariat another kind of rope? Yes and no (5)
{RIATA} – hidden (find) in the clue is a kind of rope (so, yes) but it’s an alternative word for lariat so it’s not another kind (no).

4d  Crowd’s rising about deprivation of source of neroli, for example (7)
{BLOSSOM} – * an unruly crowd is reversed (rising, in a down clue) around a synonym for deprivation to make the source of neroli, for example. Neroli is an oil distilled from orange flowers (to fit the theme).

6d  See Labour — regularly — like this (9)
{CLOCKWORK} – * a charade of an informal verb to see and a synonym for labour gives a word which when preceded by “like” means regularly. For the theme think of the Stanley Kubrick film.

7d  Language of senior official (8)
{MANDARIN} – * double definition, and also a theme-related fruit.

8d  Kill Ray for his sporting equipment? (3,5)
{ICE SKATE} – a (US criminal slang) verb to kill is followed by a large edible type of ray.

11d  Tool of aged in Algeria? On the contrary (4)
{ADZE} – on the contrary means that the IVR code for Algeria goes inside an abbreviation for the genitive form of the latin noun aetas, meaning lifetime or age. The result is a cutting tool similar to an axe.

15d  Moroccan dynasty with monarch in Spain (9)
{TANGERINE} – * the definition is an inhabitant of a city in Morocco. Splice together a Chinese dynasty and the initials of our Queen, then add IN and the IVR code for Spain.

17d  Corresponding in sound from donkey close to insect (8)
{ASSONANT} – an adjective meaning corresponding in sound is a charade of a donkey, a preposition meaning close to (as in “we have a house ** the river”) and an insect.

18d  Fruit important artist sent to Germany and Spain (8)
{BIGARADE} – * this is a bitter Seville orange. Start with an adjective meaning grand or important, add the abbreviation for an Associate of the Royal Academy (artist) and finish with the IVR codes for Germany and Spain.

20d  Feeling of euphoria when game’s hot (4)
{RUSH} – this is a feeling of euphoria obtained from taking a drug, for example. The abbreviation for a ball-game is followed by ‘S and H(ot).

21d  Spanish city finds wickedness in psalter regularly (7)
{SEVILLE} – * put a synonym for wickedness inside the even (regular) letters of psalter to get the name of a Spanish city.

22d  Future partner requires money without warning essentially (6)
{FIANCE} – someone destined for marriage (future partner) comes from money without the middle letter (essentially) of warning.

23d  Possibly haunts extremely French island (6)
{USHANT} – an anagram (possibly) of HAUNTS gives us the name of an island off the coast of Brittany. It’s extremely presumably because it’s the westernmost bit of metropolitan France.

26d  Main body left central point (5)
{NAVEL} – * the main body of a church is followed by L(eft).

My favourite clues today were 1d, 6d and 20d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

31 comments on “Toughie 532

  1. I was expecting the theme and picked it up quite quickly. I had to check a couple of things in the dictionary, osage and neroli in particular. I threw a guess in for 11d and the only other hold up was carelessly writing in ABASED at 1d. That made the NW rather tricky as I couldnt justify ANAEROBE at 1a.
    All in all a very enjoyable solve. Thanks to gazza and to MynoT.

  2. I spotted the theme fairly on which did help with sorting it all out. I too will admit to originally having the same word at 1d as Gnomey but soon changed that when I realised what 1a had to be. I would have said 3* difficulty but I did enjoy myself so thank you to MynoT and to Gazza too.

  3. Two of the downs in the exact same position in SW as yesterday had me stumped as new words yet again, however the hints soon sorted it and words committed to memory . Great fun. Thanks to MynoT and Gazza

  4. Not quite finished yet, but good fun so far. Is it just me – your insert at 29a doesn’t work in my browser, Gazza.

    1. Not just you. Are you hoping he’s managed to fit a scantily dressed lady into a tent :D

        1. Brooding? He looks camper than Butlin’s! Can we have a scantily clad squaw please?

          1. Once again my office colleagues think I have completely lost the plot as I burst out laughing. Priceless.

  5. I would never have got 18d if I had not guessed the theme earlier, all in all a more than satisfactory toughie. Thanks MynoT and Gazza.

  6. Fairly gentle one this from MynoT, I was expecting something a little more difficult still enjoyed it though, favourites 29a and 6d. Thanks to MynoT and Gazza for the review.

  7. Pleasant if not overly tricky Toughie, although some of the vocabulary is outré, as they say in Crosswordland. Good fun to solve.

  8. A pleasant enough toughie; the SW took me as long to complete as the rest of the puzzle.
    Thanks to MynoT, and to gazza.

  9. Enjoyable solve today but needed the dictionary for a few!
    Also didn’t spot some of the theme connections but they’re obvious when pointed out by Gazza!
    Thank tp MynoT and Gazza.

  10. Fun, this one. None too tough. I never spotted the theme. I could not place the R in 2d and did not know the abbrev. Now I do ;-) I just loved 28a with very clever wordplay.

    Thanks to setter & reviewer!

  11. This is one of those handful of Toughies that I manage to complete every 3 months and it took a bit of grinding out, in between a spot of gardening in the sunshine in 15 degrees of temperature. So thanks to MynoT for providing a puzzle I could complete, albeit with two or three hints from Gazza – like 28a where I couldn’t understand the wordplay. Got 11d as that word has been committed to my Crossword Memory Bank [like ule, which was used last week]. Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review

  12. Not finished yet, but 2 comments:
    I got 13a, but do not see the definition of it as a habit, rather as a clever way of doing things.

    please can someone explain wordplay for 21a ?

    1. Hi Anncantab
      As Gazza says in the hint, it’s a double definition.
      SAKE = BENEFIT, as in ‘I do charity work for the sake of others’ and Sake is also a Japanese rice wine.

    2. I thought that Gazza explained it very well.

      21d Spanish city finds wickedness in psalter regularly (7)

      The definition is “Spanish city”. A four-letter word for wickedness (a noun here, although the word is often used as a adjective, and far too often preceded by the word “pure” in tabloids) is surrounded by (“in” in the clue) the second, fourth and sixth letters of PSALTER (regularly indicates that every second letter should be used).

      So the clue is saying “Put a word meaning wickedness inside the even letters of PSALTER to get the name of a city in Spain.

  13. Bit of a struggle today. When I saw the theme and 11d I was convinced there would be a Quince as we have had a lot of pangrams lately. Wrong again! Favourite was 25 which I did like. Never heard of 18 and didn’t like the ARA bit either, Same for 27 with ACA. I think there may be some orange teepees about. 10a was specially for Kath! Thanks to setter.

  14. Many thanks to MynoT for an entertaining puzzle with lots of segments and layers to peel away and a zesty finish. Glad to see nobody was pithed off with this crossword.

    Thanks too to Gazza for the review.

    1. Ouch! How many puns can you squeeze out of one theme? “Orange” you glad we don’t have this everyday as it would really give me the pip!

      1. To be honest, I missed some obvious orange words: Holland, Cruijff, Beatrix, Guantanamo, agent, Simpson, amber.

        1. Not to mention: Satsuma, clementine, bitter, William, blood and jaffa.
          I also missed the Orange reference in 28a (Ulster)

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