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Toughie 706

Toughie No 706 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley. Time for the Friday Fiend and today we have a battle with Notabilis, one of my very favourite setters who consistently produces elegant and superior puzzles that leave you with a feeling a satisfaction when you enter the last answer. Today’s challenge is no exception with some really grand clues.

Some news. I am organising a Northern gathering for solvers and setters in Todmorden on 14th April and will post full details nearer the time. It would be terrific to meet with some of you and a number of your favourite tormentors have already indicated they will be coming. If you’ve never been before, they are great fun and not in the slightest bit pretentious.

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. Favourite clues are highlighted in blue, and there are a number today!


1a    Created from a rib, she is anticipating a Fall (7)
{BEARISH} We start with an anagram (indicated by ‘created from’) of A RIB SHE which indicates the sort of stock market that indicates a downturn. Nice misleading image of the Garden of Eden.

5a    Remains in vehicle, departs by avenue (7)
{CADAVER} The word for remains, as in a dead body is found by taking a type of vehicle and inserting D (departs, as in timetables) and a shortened form of avenue.

9a    Down following bereavement (5)
{FLOSS} A nice simple effective clue. A type of down, as in fluffy stuff is made up of F (following) and a word for a bereavement.

10a    Waterproof headgear: Biedermann, say, is seen with one in pool (9)
{TARPAULIN} Although I knew the word from a type of waterproof cloth, I didn’t realise that the answer was also the name for a sailor’s hat. The Christian name of the famous German swimmer named Biedermann (I bet you had to Google him as well!) goes with I (one) inside the name for a mountain pool.

11a    Peculiar speech that’s landed hospital in it with palace site (10)
{LINLITHGOW} The location of a famous Scottish palace associated with Mary Queen of Scots is revealed by taking a word for language or speech and placing inside LIT (landed) and H (hospital) . Add W (with) at the end to complete the answer.

12a    Tension in belly and even parts of skin and mouth (4)
{KNOT} The even letters from SKIN and MOUTH give you the word that describes that little bolt of tension or fear you feel in your stomach.

14a    Raver in speech to endorse a foreigner (12)
{BACCHANALIAN} The name for a hedonist from classical times is a homophone of three words meaning to endorse or support a person from abroad or outer space.

18a    Chill with old record in laid-back request: party’s ending without dissipation (12)
{ECONOMICALLY} Quite a complicated unwind this one. Reverse a word meaning chill or cold which has inserted the name for an old disc such as a 78 rpm one (based on the sound quality). Add to this a word meaning request and Y (party’s ending). This gives you something that means tersely or concisely.

21a    Like invasion of Iraq, disheartened and exploited (4)
{USED} An expression that refers to how the Allied invasion of Iraq was conducted (2,3) without its middle letter. This gives you a word meaning exploited.

22a    After time, one stops business with a pancake (10)
{CONCERTINA} Put T(ime) and I (one) inside (stops) a business and add A to get a verb meaning to squash like a pancake

25a    Standard visit includes most of border pass (9)
{TRICOLOUR} Inside the name for a coach holiday or visit goes two-thirds of a three letter word for an edge or border and a geographical term for a mountain pass and you get the name of a flag or standard like the French one.

26a    Worry about the fifth slice (5)
{CARVE} Around V (fifth in Roman numerals) is a word meaning to worry about someone. This will lead you to a way to slice meat.

27a    Criminal activity can rely on getting busted (7)
{LARCENY} An anagram (getting busted) of CAN RELY gives you the name of an offence.

28a    Prominent sett having equivalent change of occupancy? (7)
{SALIENT} Very very clever. Change the middle two letters of SETT for a word that means the same as the two letter abbreviation to get a word that means prominent or pertinent,


1d    Package containing very loud sound regulator (6)
{BAFFLE} A type of sound regulator is revealed by taking the word for package or bundle and inserting FF (the musical notation for very loud).

2d    Value actor’s lead on stage (6)
{AMOUNT} The first letter of Actor is added to a word meaning to stage a production to give something that means value or sum.

3d    Cayman cousin giving his all for this month’s fomenter (10)
{INSTIGATOR} Another swap clue. Take the name of a relative of the creature known as the Cayman. Swap the legal abbreviation for this month for ALL to reveal the name for someone who stirs a lot of trouble.

4d    Very hard to grasp follower of GMT’s tiny accommodation (5)
{HUTCH} Inside the abbreviation for a very hard pencil is the abbreviation for something that has succeeded GMT as being the regulator for standard time across the globe. This gives you the name of a home for a small creature.

5d    Sauce available in two types of saloon area (9)
{CARBONARA} A type of pasta sauce is found by taking two different words for which saloon is a definition. Insert the word ON (available) and add A (area) at the end.

6d    Old man swallowing tablet becomes numb (4)
{DEAD} The abbreviation for Father [old man] has an abbreviation for a type of drug inside and leads you to a word for numb.

7d    Wandering clean through by way of Mediterranean area (8)
{VALENCIA} Inside the Latin word that means by way of, goes an anagram of CLEAN. This brings you a location of a Mediterranean place.

8d    Singer’s last great single, covering trendy music hated in cinema? (8)
{RINGTONE} After R (the last letter of singer) goes the abbreviation for ‘great’ followed by a word for single. Insert a short word meaning trendy or with-it and you have something guaranteed to cause irritation while watching a film.

13d    Words of Candle in the Wind, perhaps a line to eulogise more (3,7)
{WAX LYRICAL} Probably my favourite clue of so many today. Already tweeted to my Twitter gang as a favourite. An expression that means to praise fully is found by solving a cryptic definition and adding A L (with A Line). The cryptic definition is a way of saying “the words of a song” and “a word for what a candle is made of”.

15d    Therapy that’s exuberant, suppressing nothing and admitting overdose (9)
{CHIROPODY} Inside a word meaning exuberant, singing like a bird goes O (nothing) then inside this insert OD (OVERDOSE) and you get a type of therapy for the feet. Probably the only slightly dodgy definition today.

16d    Laughing stock snared by factual disproof (8)
{REBUTTAL} Inside a word meaning factual goes the name for someone who is joked about. This will give you something that refers to a denial.

17d    Pension manager maybe more faithful with limits of taxable incoming (8)
{HOTELIER} Insert T E (the limits of TaxablE incoming) inside a word meaning more faithful (as in the expression ” ___ than thou”) and you get the name for someone like Mr Fawlty. A terrific clue that sends you completely in the wrong direction with the alternative meaning of pension.

19d    I must intercept creep waving stick (6)
{PIERCE} Inside an anagram of CREEP goes I to give you something that means to stick into something.

20d    Hour before warning, cancelling first attack (4,2)
{HAVE AT} After H goes the legal word meaning warning, minus its first letter to lead you a phrase meaning attack.

23d    Asteroid revealed by space researchers (5)
{CERES} the name for an asteroid named after the Roman goddess of agriculture can be found inside the phrase “space researchers”.

24d    Party have contracted conciliatory politician (4)
{DOVE} The name for a pacifist politician, as opposed to a hawk, is revealed by taking a word meaning party and an abbreviation for have.

An absolutely breath-taking puzzle and one that will live long in the memory. Thanks to Notabilis for a wonderful challenge. See you next week.

16 comments on “Toughie 706

  1. A fiendish Friday Toughie indeed. Many thanks to Notabilis for keeping me occupied on and off for much longer than I ought – I have ‘liked’ dots by 14a, 22a – you have no idea how many food related items I went through there! 3d and d’oh’s by 8d and 17d. Thanks to Tilsit for the explanations, Gnomey for the Law, and Gazza for his ‘encouragement’ (it wasn’t really a hint) in getting 11a.

  2. An excellent Friday puzzle, almost bordering on 5 star difficulty for me!
    I got there in the end, but I did not understand 18a, and the only thing I could up with for 21a was US(urp)ED.
    Thanks to Notabilis, and to Tilsit for the explanations.

  3. 13d & 14a were highlights among many fine clues. This kept me busy on and off through the day. Thanks to Notabilis and to Tilsit for the review.

  4. Phew! As I said on the other blog I now know where the impaling boots have been hiding!

    18a – guessed the answer from the checkers and definition but been looking on and off all afternoon but couldn’t parse it! Even with the hint it’s just taken me about 5 mins to work it out!

    Too many good clues to single out one but 28a is my clue of the year so far! Fiendish or what?

    Many thanks to Notabilis for the brain marathon and to Tilsit for finally putting me out of my misery!

  5. Once again Notablis has defeated me, I bow to the intellect of the above cruciverbalists. Thank you Tilsit for the hints ( I really needed them ) and to Notablis for stretching me beyond my meagre limits.

    1. I trust you got 11a – Gazza’s tip was that I might not know it, but you certainly would!

  6. Absolutely brilliant, oodles of outstanding clues completed all bar 11a favourite clues 5d 13d 14a but the stand out for me was 17d thanks to Notabilis for a memorable experience and to Tilsit for the review.

  7. Caveat cruciverbalists! This is not for the faint hearted [or those with no time to spare]. Two fabulous clues at 17 and 28 but did not rate 20 at all as its a new expression on me. Still I can’t complain – that’s 2 Friday toughies on the trot.

  8. I satarted listing my favourite clues but stopped because I got tired. What a lovely puzzle!. COD for me was 14a. Cheers to Tilsit and to Notabilis – I do wish that they woud get your name right on the Telegraph Puzzles website!

  9. OK – was warned off this one but decided to have a quick look and try to get at least one – managed three – 1, 21 and 27a. That’s fine – confidence still reasonably in one piece – will look at hints tomorrow and try to understand – it’s how I’m going to learn! :smile:
    With thanks to Notabilis and Tilsit.

  10. Having been at work all Friday and Saturday, I couldn’t get to this puzzle until this morning and, on and off, it has taken me all day to complete. Whew, what a brain-twister! And the old grey cells were still hopping about like demented frogs until I came here to discover why I got 22a right (now I get it) and why I got 18a wrong – I was so sure there was an ‘old log’ in a laid-back chill that I answered incorrectly. Thank you to Tilsit for putting me straight. (Note to self: don’t get hung up on one idea.) Thought this was a really splendid puzzle, and my favourite clues were 13d and the fiendishly clever 28a. Thank you to Notabilis for setting it and to Tilsit for unravelling some parts that were just beyond me.

      1. Me too. It seemed to fit pretty well and I only found out it was wrong when I submitted the puzzle.

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