Toughie 623 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 623

Toughie No 623 by Petitjean

Infamy, infamy – they’ve all got it in for me!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +<

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

Petitjean entertains with a puzzle that has a number of cleverly worked clues – and a few old chestnuts thrown in to help you to get started!

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    Heart gauge can be a welcome feature (6,4)
{TICKER TAPE} – a slang word for the heart is followed by gauge or measure to get a feature of a type of welcome that used to be seen in New York

6a    There are no limits to nasty, essentially acidy wine (4)
{ASTI} – a charade of the inside letters (no limits / outside letters) of (N)AST(Y) and the middle letter (essentially) of (AC)I(DY) gives an Italian sparkling wine – I guess our setter doesn’t like this poor substitute for Champagne!

9a    Caught by Luton supporter with corporate seating one can’t shut up (10)
{CHATTERBOX} – a charade of C(aught), the nickname for the Luton supporter and the place where corporate seating can be found at a sports event gives a talkative person who can’t be shut up

10a & 7d    Snub leftover joint (4-8)
{COLD-SHOULDER} – a word meaning to snub could describe a joint of meat when it is leftover – regulars will have already seen this old chestnut many times

12a    Culminating in a humourless expression of surprise (6)
{APOGEE} – this culmination or highest point is a charade of A, humourless (this two-letter word is often followed by -faced), and an expression of surprise

13a    Lustrous academic ill at embassy, insiders recalled (8)
{METALLIC} – an adjective meaning lustrous is hidden (insiders) and reversed (recalled) in four of the words in the clue

15a    No going back after mastermind confronts strong desire for doctor (5,7)
{BRAIN SURGEON} – NO is reversed after a mastermind, like the one in Thunderbirds, and a strong desire to give a doctor

18a    False insinuation containing zero evidence of workplace activism (12)
{UNIONISATION} – put an anagram (false) of INSINUATION around O (zero) to get this evidence of workplace activism

21a    Head garcon annoyed about posh individual’s original 10% tip (8)
{GRATUITY} – the initial letter (head) of Garçon is followed by a word meaning annoyed around the usual abbreviation for posh and the first (original) of the ten letters in Individual to get a tip, perhaps for the garçon

22a    Completion of sentence after appropriate extension (6)
{ANNEXE} – put the final letter (completion) of sentencE after a word meaning to appropriate to get an extension

24a    ‘Current recession’ put into different words (4)
{EDIT} – take a current of water, reverse it (recession) and the result is a word meaning to put into different words – a variation on an old chestnut!

25a    Doctor deals with peril that is casual footwear (10)
{ESPADRILLE} – an anagram (doctor) of DEALS with PERIL gives this rope-soled shoe

26a    Unconnected characters with same urge to become holier-than-thou (4)
{SMUG} – the odd letters (unconnected characters) of SaMe UrGe give an adjective meaning holier-than-thou or self-satisfied

27a    Former Fleet Street stalwart is kind to me (10)
{TYPESETTER} – this former Fleet Street stalwart, from the days of hot metal, is a charade of a kind and the person compiling this crossword


1d    Catch it over hour wasted with symbolism of ‘The Ring’ (3-3)
{TIC-TAC} – reverse (over) CATC(H) IT and drop the H(our) to get the telegraphy used by “The Ring” of bookies

2d    Artificial silk previously chosen primarily for colour (6)
{CRAYON} – an artificial silk is preceded by (previously) the initial letter (primarily) of Chosen to get a word meaning to colour with chalk or wax pencils

3d    Publicist attending course with semi-neurotic Branson type (12)
{ENTREPRENEUR} – put a publicist or agent inside (attending) a course of a meal and follow it with the first half (semi) of NEUR(otic) to get someone like Richard Branson

4d    Performance delivers emotional shock (4)
{TURN} – a double definition

5d    Writer getting tucked into toast surmounting unknown weakness (10)
{PROPENSITY} – put a writing implement inside a good-luck toast and add an algebraic unknown to get a weakness or susceptibility

7d    See 10 across

8d    Gross home sales heading out of decline (8)
{INDECENT} – an adjective meaning gross or offensive is a charade of a two-letter word meaning home and a decline without the initial letter (heading) of Sales

11d    Bring up fuss over low-budget comedy (5,2,5)
{CARRY ON NURSE} – a word meaning to bring up or care for is preceded by a fuss to get a low-budget comedy film, one of a long series

14d    Regular in the above series put up with remark about fist thrown in anger (10)
{DISSATISFY} – reverse (put up) the first name of an actor who was a regular in the above series of low-budget comedies and then put a word meaning to remark around an anagram (thrown) of FIST to get a word meaning to anger or vex

16d    Make a more accurate conjecture than where French gusset is undone (8)
{OUTGUESS} – to get a word meaning to make a more accurate conjecture the French for where is followed by an anagram (undone) of GUSSET

17d    A truism about Italy’s cooked food (8)
{TIRAMISU} – an anagram (cooked) of A TRUISM around I(taly) gives some food for which there is a recipe in Big Dave’s Kitchen

19d    Fanatic unlikely to laze (6)
{ZEALOT} – this fanatic is an anagram (unlikely) of TO LAZE

20d    Illusion of competence perhaps in the case of newbie halfway through shift (6)
{VENEER} – to get an illusion of competence put the outside letters (case) of N(ewbi)E halfway through a word meaning to shift or swerve

23d    Take care in underground passage (4)
{CAVE} – the Latin word for take care or beware is also an underground passage

A good start to the Toughie week.

14 comments on “Toughie 623

  1. Didn’t take me long to solve (I was only really held up by 12a where I went through the alphabet for the second letter which enabled the penny to drop). It was, as BD says a good start to the Toughie week, which I enjoyed from start to finish – I didn’t even need to borrow Gnomey’s slightly mad hat which he won’t have time to use as they’ve sent him to Southampton again :( . Thanks to Petitjean for the fun and BD for the equally enjoyable review.

  2. Not unduly tough but very entertaining – which counts for more to me. I got stuck at the bottom but finished it after I realised 27a wasn’t BENEFACTOR. Stupid, I know but it was early. :-) Thanks to Petitjean and BD.

  3. Very enjoyable fare served up by Petijean with a good dash of relish added by BD’s review. Thanks to both.

  4. Really enjoyable this one favourites being 1d 12a and 14d thanks to Petitjean for a smashing start to the week and to Big Dave for the comments.

  5. As others have said, a good start to the toughie week. 6a made me smile (I cannot stand the stuff), and my favourite clue was 15a.
    Thanks to Petitjean, and to BD.

    1. I think the ‘spumante’ bit just about sums it up, along with Retsina being an anagram of ‘nastier’!

  6. This was ace – pitched really nicely for a Tuesday or Wednesday Toughie with some really nice spots in the wordplay (5d for example). Slightly mad hat not required as much as some!. Thanks to petitjean and to BD for a fine and fun review. Glad you enjoyed it too!.

  7. Thanks to Petitjean & Big Dave, enjoyed this one as I only needed 8 hints, two of which I had to look up. Having said that, it was fun to do and the clues were very well written. i totally missed the carry On theme, which was a shame, because I’m a fan :-) Favourites were 9,15 & 27 acrosses.

  8. Really enjoyed this one. Fell asleep last night cogitating 1d and 12a but they came in a flash about 4am. Favourite was 1d for the effort I put into it, but all the rest were good. Thanks to setter for a great contest.

Comments are closed.