Toughie 676

Toughie No 676 by Shamus

Who’s Who

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Shamus has given us a veritable Who’s Who of architects, engineers, outlaws, literary figures and a number of actors (only one Scot though on St. Andrews Day). I enjoyed it – how about you?
Please take the time to give your assessment of the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.

Across Clues

1a  Jogger, European, wearing a sort of dim silky material after end of race (4-7)
{AIDE-MEMOIRE} – this is not someone who jogs but something that jogs. Put E(uropean) inside (wearing) A and an anagram (sort) of DIM. Then finish with a (new to me) silk fabric that has been subjected to heat to give it a rippled effect and append that to the end letter of (rac)E.

7a  Strongly criticise enjoyable experience (5)
{BLAST} – double definition.

8a  Actor going after secure bestowal of territory (4,5)
{LAND GRANT} – the surname of an actor (which one springs to mind first may depend on your vintage) goes after a verb to secure or acquire to make a term meaning the gift of public ground (to a college, for example).

10a  Fighter on horse film overlooked — and Kelly given decking (7)
{ADORNED} – start with a bullfighter mounted on a horse and drop the first three letters (abbreviation of a film) and then add the forename associated with the Australian outlaw (or folk hero, depending on your viewpoint) Mr Kelly.

11a  Aspiring actress latest to get drunk? About right (7)
{STARLET} – an anagram (to get drunk) of LATEST goes around R(ight) to make an aspiring actress.

12a  Produce young animal held by local vet (5)
{CALVE} – hidden (held by) in the clue is a verb to give birth to a young animal.

13a  Husband in tone getting agitated with type seeking self advancement (2,3,4)
{ON THE MAKE} – this is a phrase meaning seeking self advancement, usually in an unscrupulous manner. Put H(usband) inside an anagram (getting agitated) of TONE and add a synonym of type or brand.

16a  Refined actor and character free of limitations gets female guide (9)
{USHERETTE} – this female guide is composed of a) the letter used to mean refined or posh, b) the surname of a South African-born British actor who was knighted in 2000, and c) a written or printed character without its beginning or end (free of limitations).

18a  Cuba, a revolutionary hiding place? (5)
{CACHE} – the IVR code for Cuba is followed by A and the usual South American revolutionary.

19a  Poor service set back car producer and engineer (7)
{TELFORD} – a service on the tennis court that has to be retaken is reversed (set back) and followed by a make of car to produce a famous Scottish engineer.

22a  Monica perhaps among others is practical sort (7)
{REALIST} – put the surname of Monica, the Bangladeshi-born British author, inside a synonym for others.

23a  Bully losing face in backward haunt connected with academic authority (9)
{RECTORIAL} – a verb meaning to bully or browbeat loses its initial letter (face) and what’s left goes inside the reversal (backward) of an animal’s haunt or retreat to make an adjective relating to the title given to the head of some colleges or schools.

24a  Sullen beloved nursing King (5)
{DREAR} – a literary adjective meaning sullen or depressing is formed from a term of endearment (beloved) around (nursing) R(ex).

25a  Lose a chance like forgetful shore stopper on cruise? (4,3,4)
{MISS THE BOAT} – a phrase meaning to lose an opportunity.

Down Clues

1d  Bikini perhaps hidden by woman in service for religious leader (9)
{AYATOLLAH} – we want a chain of coral islands, a well-known example being Bikini in Micronesia where the USA carried out nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s. Put that inside a nursemaid employed by Europeans in India to make a Shiite religious leader.

2d  English figure replacing one in romantic encounter? It reduces tension (7)
{DÉTENTE} – start with an arranged romantic encounter and replace the A (one) with E(nglish) and a two-digit number to make a word, from French, meaning the easing of relations between states.

3d  Tactless complaint curtailed by one engaged in nonsense (9)
{MALADROIT} – an adjective meaning tactless or awkward comes from an illness (complaint) without its final Y (curtailed) followed by I (one) inside a synonym for nonsense.

4d  End without leading trio is an indication of deficiency (5)
{MINUS} – the end of a bus or train route loses its first three letters (leading trio).

5d  Viper that is consuming evil rodent as it were (7)
{INGRATE} – one of the meanings of viper is a treacherous or ungrateful person. Put the abbreviation for ‘that is’ around (consuming) the abbreviation for no good (and so evil) and a rodent. I’m not sure what ‘as it were’ adds to the clue.

6d  Regulars in team rapidly transmitted message (5)
{EMAIL} – the definition is transmitted message and we want to extract the even letters (regulars) of team rapidly.

7d  Bar behind head, one that’s economically obsessive? (4,7)
{BEAN COUNTER} – a bar (in a shop, say) follows an informal word for a head to make a pejorative term for someone (usually an accountant) who is obsessed with controlling expenditure.

9d  Strictly accurate like a tenant’s complaint? (2,3,6)
{TO THE LETTER} – a phrase meaning very precise is literally where a tenant may address a complaint.

14d  Correct procedure defended by elder, say, in card game (9)
{TREDRILLE} – this is a card game for three people (new to me). Put a word for the correct way of doing something inside (defended by) what an elder is an example of (say).

15d  Foster perhaps mobilised charity largely supporting a form of therapy? The opposite (9)
{ARCHITECT} – Foster (the capital letter is needed) is a well-known example (perhaps) of this. The opposite means that, rather than putting the anagram (mobilised) of CHARIT(y) under (supporting) the abbreviation for electroconvulsive therapy, we have to do it the other way round.

17d  Wild foreign port from our perspective? (7)
{RIOTOUS} – a South American port is followed by ‘from our perspective’ (2,2).

18d  Italian man in car kept by fool lately seen to be defective (7)
{CLAUDIO} – a common Italian male name is made from a make of German car inside (kept by) a synonym for fool without its last letter (lately seen to be defective).

20d  Stand-in copper accepted by Herbert? (5)
{LOCUM} – put the chemical symbol for copper inside the surname of the Czech-born actor (forename Herbert) who was perhaps best known for his role as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau’s superior.

21d  Import taken by club (not half) put on top of paper (5)
{DRIFT} – the definition is import in the sense of implicit meaning. Put the first half of a golf club in front of (on top of, in a down clue) the abbreviation of the pink paper.

The clues I liked best today were 1a, 19a and 9d. Let us know what you liked.


  1. crypticsue
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    A quick Toughie time for me so probably 1 – 1.5 * difficulty but I did enjoy myself – a lovely lot of people to sort out in there. Thanks to Shamus and to Gazza too – I agree with your favourites but there are several others that I could have added to the list.

  2. Jezza
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Shamus for a pleasant, not too tricky puzzle, and to Gazza for the notes.

  3. BigBoab
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Shamus for an enjoyable puzzle and to Gazza for the usual superb review.

  4. pegasus
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see Shamus back on the Toughie page, very enjoyable this one favourites were 1a 1d 10a and 18d 14d new one for me. Thanks to Shamus and to Gazza for the review.

  5. Posted November 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable stuff from one of the top drawer of setters (unlike yesterday’s rubbish). Still not getting into the Telegraph site until 10/11 am

    • spindrift
      Posted December 1, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      I may be in isolation on this (although I doubt it) but Tuesday’s Toughies are usually the only ones of the week that I can make a creditable attempt at. Your remark that this was “rubbish” is slightly disheartening and diminishes any feeling of satisfaction from my completing it. Thank you.

  6. upthecreek
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was pretty poor today. I don’t like the use of words with bits missing as in 3, 15 and 18. Best was 19 but that was the end of the fun.

  7. Heno
    Posted December 1, 2011 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Shamus and to Gazza for the review and hints, of which I needed eleven and I had to look up seven of those. I can’t really comment on the puzzle, except to say I have much to learn. I can see from the hints how some of the clues were constructed, but I would never have got them in a million years :-)

  8. Derek
    Posted December 1, 2011 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Finished this this morning as usual!
    Got it all except 1a as my Franklin packed in!
    Quite a taxing puzzle in places with easier bits also!