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Toughie 542

Toughie No 542 by Notabilis

Wot no Nina?

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

Tilsit is unwell, so I have put this review together quickly.  The usual class puzzle from Notabilis with a number of those penny-drop moments.

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    Way to get around extremes of tartar in landlord’s wine (6,9)
{PUBLIC TRANSPORT} – a way to get around towns and cities is created by putting T R (extremes of TartaR) inside the landlord of an inn, not forgetting the S from ‘S, and finally a fortified wine

9a    Shuffle along with old man’s lead in advance (9)
(RANDOMISE} – a word meaning to shuffle is built by putting AND (along with), O(ld) and M (Man’s lead) in an advance or increase in pay

10a    Consumed by anger, following pillage (5)
{RIFLE} – put a verb meaning to anger around (consumed by) F(ollowing) and the result is a verb meaning to pillage

11a    Climbers carrying men’s keys (7)
{IVORIES} – put some climbing plants around some men in the army to get the white piano keys

12a    Cher’s opening amid torrid musical accompaniment (7)
{BACKING} – put the first letter (opening) of Cher inside (amid) a word meaning torrid or hot to get musical accompaniment

13a    Bird seen in front of Parisian garden (3)
{TUI} – this bird with glossy blue-black plumage comes from the first three letters of a famous garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde in Paris

14a    Circumspect about church’s dissolution (7)
{LECHERY} – put a word meaning circumspect or wary around CH(urch) to get a word meaning dissolute behaviour

17a    Not finished, as far as one can see, after cold sausage (7)
{CHORIZO} – put most of (not finished) a word meaning as far as one can see after C(old) to get a spicy Spanish pork sausage

19a    Mushrooms rejected among island harvest (7)
{PORCINI} – these mushrooms are created by reversing (rejected) a charade of IN (among). I(sland) and a harvest

22a    Illness with no memorable symptoms? (7)
{AMNESIA} – a cryptic definition of an illness – I can’t remember what it’s called

24a    Overturn large cask (butt) (3)
{NUT} – reverse a large cask to get a word meaning to butt with the head

25a    Did long renovation of deanery (7)
{YEARNED} – a verb meaning did long or longed is an anagram (renovation) of deanery

26a    I’ll survive getting burned and charge thieves on hearsay evidence (7)
{PHOENIX} – this legendary Arabian bird that burned itself every 500 years or so and rose rejuvenated from its ashes sounds like (on hearsay evidence) a charge and thieves or steals

28a    Ham-fisted writer getting back into computer work (5)
{INEPT} – a word meaning ham-fisted is derived by reversing (getting back) a writing implement inside Information Technology (computer work)

29a    Continued anguish about deployment of naval barrage (9)
{AVALANCHE} – put a continued anguish or pain around an anagram () of (deployment) of NAVAL to get a barrage

30a    What could make Sean Connery mad? To save Academy and remain stiff (5,2,8)
{STAND ON CEREMONY} – an anagram (what could make) of SEAN CONNERY M(A)D TO withot (save) A(cademy) gives a phrase meaning to remain stiff


1d           Subject of a certain charm and strangeness (8,7)
{PARTICLE PHYSICS} – a cryptic definition of the study of quarks and the like

2d           I don’t like that, seizing no good beatnik’s accessory (5)
{BONGO} – put what you do when you don’t like a performance around NG (no good) to get a drum used by a member of the beat generation

3d           Admire introduction of invalidity benefit, preserving lives (7)
{IDOLISE} – to get a word meaning to admire start with the first letter (introduction) of Invalidity then put a slang word for state benefit around a word meaning lives or exists

4d           Gasping son breaks into a number in the corner (7)
{THIRSTY} – a word meaning gasping for a drink is created by putting S(on) inside the number of a clue in one of the corners of the grid

5d           Sharp, fragmented breccia (7)
{ACERBIC} – a word meaning sharp or sour is an anagram (fragmented) of BRECCIA

6d           Blow from Africa is over Madonna’s son (7)
{SIROCCO} – a hot, dry, dusty and gusty wind blowing from North Africa to the north Mediterranean coast is created by reversing IS and following it with the name of Madonna’s biological son

7d           Forbidden from flutters around one million (3,6)
{OFF LIMITS} – to get a phrase meaning forbidden start with OF (from) and then put a word meaning flutters around I (one) and M(illion)

8d           Composed at eighteen, a foxy poem about worrying development? (3,3,2,7)
{THE AGE OF ANXIETY} – an anagram (composed) of AT EIGHTEEN A FOXY gives a poem in six parts by W. H. Auden about worrying development

15d         Conveyance charge not applicable in Spanish port (9)
{CARTAGENA} – combine a charge for the conveyance of something in a vehicle with NA (not applicable) to get a port in Southeast Spain

16d         Quickly take steps or ladder (3)
{RUN} – this double definition is one of the few gimmes in today’s puzzle – the ladder is the one found in stockings

18d         Often upset, ignoring constant mechanical noise (3)
{HUM} – reverse (upset) a word meaning often and then drop (ignoring) the C(onstant) to get a mechanical noise

20d         Placard, positioned without any sun at first, caught light (7)
{IGNITED} – drop the initial S (without any Sun at first)  from words meaning a placard and positioned and the result is a word meaning caught fire

21d         Find raw nerve, not entirely self-absorbed (7)
{INDRAWN} – cleverly hidden inside (not entirely) the first three words of the clue is a word meaning self-absorbed

22d         Send up hole in one, holding tee still (2,5)
{AT PEACE} – a word meaning to send up or imitate is followed by another word for a hole in one and then T(ee) is inserted to get a phrase meaning still or free from anxiety

23d         Baby clutching leg, almost to straighten (7)
{NEONATE} – this posh word for a newborn child is created by putting the leg side in cricket inside most of a word meaning to straighten or spruce up

27d         Chip from junction between 15 and 17? (5)
{NACHO} – a tortilla chip is hidden inside (from junction between) the answers to 15 down and 17 across

There’s usually a Nina hidden iside Notabilis’s puzzles, but if there’s one today I couldn’t find it.  Over to you.

12 comments on “Toughie 542

  1. Fun Toughie to solve, but not very tough, with four very gettable 15-letter lights at the periphery.

    Some very nice clueing here.

    Thanks to Notabilis, and good luck to BD standing in with the hints.

      1. Maybe I was just on the right wavelength today. After the long clues, the rest fell into place.

  2. Highly enjoyable and tricky to boot with the final clues dripping in as pennies dropped over lunch. Many thanks to Notablis for the crossword and to BD for the review.

  3. Not a walk in the park for me, but I did finish it. There were a couple I solved, but I missed the correct parsing.
    Thanks to Notabilis, and to BD for the explanations.

  4. Definitely on the tricky side for me but then it is Notabilis on a Friday so should have been expected. Had a major project at work this morning so solved it early but couldn’t give it my full appreciation until now. Some very good clues, especially the long ones round the periphery. Thanks to Notabilis and BD.

  5. Superb crossword from Notablis today, I had little or no problems with all but the north west corner. Thanks Notablis and BD for a great crossword and a great review.

  6. Took me most of the day and didn’t understand some of the answers even though I put them in – no wonder I was stuck on the NW corner – so thanks BD for the hints which enabled me to finish. Would never have got 9a and have never heard of 1d. But some sense of satisfaction at grappling with and nearly completing a Toughie!! Not often I have a fairly free day to attempt it – and what a good excuse it was to sit in the sun!

  7. Only managed about 60% today. 11a favourite . Thanks to BD & Notabilis for the challenge & enlightenment.Not neccesarily in that order.
    Goodnight Vienna

  8. I finished this off this Saturday morning – various sporting endeavours and the afters meant that I couldnt devote much time yesterday. Some excellent clues, 1d favourite for me. I did find this a real struggle with the Spanish Port going in last.
    Thanks to BD and to Notabilis.

  9. Thanks to BD for covering for me at the very last moment.

    A very enjoyable puzzle with some clever subtle touches.

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