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Toughie 763

Toughie No 763 by Petitjean

A Day at the Movies

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

No “slightly mad” hat needed for this Petitjean puzzle. How many of you got the wordplay to 25 across without looking it up? I certainly didn’t.

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 & 5a    Open-minded about Turner’s visual imperfection (8,6)
{DETACHED RETINA} – a signature Petitjean clue! – a word meaning open minded is followed by a two-letter word for about and the first name of the former Mrs Ike Turner to get this visual imperfection

5a    See 1 across

9a    Bamboozle angry man such as Paul Daniels? (8)
{CONJUROR} – a charade of a word meaning to bamboozle and one of the 12 Angry Men gives someone like, for example, Paul Daniels

10a    Film company boss’s single Oscar (6)
{STUDIO} – another name for a film company is derived from a boss or knob, I (single) and the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO phonetic alphabet

12a    Diet of junk causing a rotten smell (6)
{FOETID} – an anagram (junk) of DIET OF gives an alternative spelling of sn adjective meaning with a rotten smell

13a    No 2 could be (5,3)
{SHORT CUT} – the kind of hairstyle that a No 2 trimmer would give is also a quicker alternative route

15a    Oik catching a cold taking old ineffective remedy (7)
{PLACEBO} – put an oik around the A from the clue and C(ols) then add O(ld) to get a remedity that is ineffective because it is prescribed for the psychological benefit to the patient rather than for any physiological effect

16a    Rose oil left from bingo (4)
{OTTO} – this oil made from rose petals is derived by dropping the initial L from another name for bingo
16a    Scent is nothing initially then totally overwhelming (newspaper version)

A scent is derived from O (nothing) followed by the initial letters of Then Totally Overwhelming

20a    Paddy appearing in revival of ‘Separate Tables’ (4)
{BATE} – a paddy or tantrum is hidden (appearing in) and reversed (revival) inside the clue

21a    Save one’s thanks for person serving 1 Down? (7)
{BARISTA} – a charade of a word meaning save or with the exception of, I’S (one’s) and a short word for thanks gives someone who might serve 1 down in a coffee shop

25a    Well-spoken former ‘Top Gear’ presenter hailed in E3? (8)
{ELOQUENT} – this adjective meaning well-spoken could be how a cockney (in London E3) might hail a former ‘Top Gear’ presenter – not being a fan of programs about cars that I can neither afford nor wish to drive I had to look up Mr Wilson, and I’m still not convinced as I can find no reference to this shortening of his first name

26a    Intelligence of current university fellows (6)
{ACUMEN} – this intelligence or astuteness comes from a charade of a type of electric current, U(niversity) and some fellows

28a    End of engagement like a bad movie (6)
{TALKIE} – the final letter (end) of engagemenT is followed by an anagram (bad) of LIKE A gives a type of movie of which The Jazz Singer is a very early example

29a    No positives to appalling cocktail with last of limoncello liqueur (8)
{GALLIANO} – an anagram (cocktail) of A(PP)ALLING without the PP (no positives) followed by the final letter (last) of limoncellO gives an Italian liqueur flavoured with anise

30a    Hack off a green monstrosity (6)
{ENRAGE} – this verb meaning to hack off or annoy is an anagram (monstrosity) of A GREEN

31a    Runny brie grocer first cut to serve at barbecue (5,3)
{SPARE RIB} – put an anagram (runny) of BRIE after a chain of independent grocery shops to get a cut of meat often first cut to serve at barbecue served at a barbecue


1d           Lower classes may get over greasy spoon in coffee (6)
{DECAFF} – start with the two lowest socio-economic classes and then add a slang word for a greasy spoon or cheap, shabby eating place to get this tasteless coffee

2d           Kind offer (6)
{TENDER} – a double definition that is a very old chestnut!

3d           Trial resulting from swimmer’s bottom being exposed in changing cubicle (8)
{CRUCIBLE} – this type of trial is the title of one of my favourite Arthur Miller plays – to get it put the final (bottom in a down clue) letter of swimmeR inside (being exposed in) an anagram (changing) of cubicle

4d           Cupid’s preference for alfresco libidinous conclusions (4)
{EROS} – another name for Cupid can be found as the final letters (conclusions) of four words in the clue

6d           Milk and old Viennese cake unfinished (6)
{EXTORT} – this verb meaning to milk is a charade of a two-letter word for old followed by most of (unfinished) an Austrian cake

7d           Start off clear from criticism producing show (8)
{INDICATE} – remove the initial V from (start off) a verb meaning to clear from criticism to get a different verb, this one meaning to show

8d           Endorsement is commercial choice (8)
{ADOPTION} – this endorsement or xxx comes from a charade of a two-letter word for a commercial followed by a choice

11d         Dave’s old china holding occasional balti or wine (7)
{CHABLIS} – put the name of Dave’s sidekick in the group that had hits with such classics as Gertcha, Rabbit, Ossie’s Dream (Spurs Are On Their Way to Wembley), and Ain’t No Pleasing You around the odd (occasional) letters of BaLtI to get a type of wine

14d         Meagre second crop before end of season — why, you may ask (7)
{SCRAWNY} – this adjective meaning meagre or skinny comes from a charade of S(econd), a crop or throat of a bird, the final letter (end) of seasoN, and the letter that sounds like (you may ask) why

17d         Anonymous worker’s scoffing drove one away (8)
{ABSENTEE} – not, as I first thought, an anonymous worker but A(nonymous) followed by a worker insect (not the ant this time!) arount (scoffing) a verb meaning drove or despatched to get someone who is away

18d         Square 50s retro style about buggy (8)
{STROLLER} – start with S(quare) then put two of the Roan numerals for 50 inside an anagram (style) of RETRO to get a North American word for a buggy or pushchair

19d         Perfectionist succeeded with puzzle (8)
{STICKLER} – this perfectionist is derived from a charade of S(ucceeded) followed by a puzzle or difficult problem

22d         Sovereign decree (6)
{RULING} – a double definition – sovereign as an adjective and a decree or judgement

23d         Spoil rascal’s demeanour (6)
{IMPAIR} – this verb meaning to spoil comes from yet another charade – this time a rascal or mischievous child and a demeanour or manner

24d         Lay to rest some alien Tom Baker characters (6)
{ENTOMB} – a verb meaning to lay to rest is hidden (some … characters) inside the clue

27d         Ogle women during intermission (4)
{GAWP} – this verb meaning to ogle is created by putting W(omen) inside an intermission

Exciting news about the blog – watch this space later in the evening!

11 comments on “Toughie 763

  1. I enjoyed this one. The SW took me a little while to unravel, but otherwise a gentle start to the toughie week.
    Thanks to Petitjean, and to BD.

  2. I also enjoyed this one, favourites 1&5a 11d and 14d. Re 16a paper version reads Scent is nothing initially then totally overwhelming (4). Thanks to Petitjean and to Big Dave for the comments.

  3. I enjoyed this one – thanks to Petitjean and BD. I had a somewhat ruder, and probably wrong, explanation for the wordplay of 13a. A word meaning short is dumpy – if you cut (truncate) it you’re left with a No. 2 :D

  4. Very enjoyable thank you Petitjean – unlike BD for me the wordplay of 25a was very obvious. I also did briefly ‘see; 13a as Gazza above but soon changed my mind :) No particular favourites although I was briefly reminded by 21a of how far away my ‘own’ 21a currently is :(

  5. The SW corner certainly took some cracking. 25a was OK (eventually) when I stopped trying to start with a (h)I !. Some fun clues, thanks to petitjean and to BD – The Chas’n’Dave clue was my favourite!

    1. That was my favourite too. At the time I kept thinking what’s Dave gotta do with it!

      1. I was thinking Samantha Cameron for some time but probably becas
        use I had just been looking at the Cyclops Private Eye Crossword!

  6. I didn’t do TOO badly with this one – ended up being unable to do four – all in bottom L corner. I needed the hints to explain quite a few more. Lots of clues that I DID understand and really enjoyed, favourites being 1/5, 13 and 21 (a new word for me) and 3, 11 and 14d. With thanks to Petitjean and BD.
    I want to ask questions about all the “doing away with jargon, and anagrinds” etc but get the feeling that tonight is probably not the night to do it with everything changing – tomorrow, perhaps, assuming that I’m still here!!

    1. 3d – Trial resulting from swimmer’s bottom being exposed in changing cubicle (8)

      When I read the clue…….I thought RayT?

  7. Got to this late after treating my much better half to the pictures and a meal, I didn’t really enjoy it but finished it without assistance, thanks to Petitjean for stretching me a wee bit and BD for his usual wisdom. ( Maybe a glass or two of the amber liquid too far )

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