Toughie 823 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 823

Toughie No 823 by Petitjean

Olympic Games!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

My surprise at finding Petitjean in the Tuesday slot disappeared when I realised that this was one of his easier puzzles. I didn’t need my “slightly-mad” hat today. There is an Olympic feel to a couple of the clues.

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1a    Driver alert and detects spin (6,5)
{RUMBLE STRIPS} – these rough-textured areas set into a road surface to alert drivers of a hazard ahead come from a charade of a verb meaning detects or grasps and a spin or journey

9a    Piccalilli unnecessarily filling rolls causing dissatisfaction (5)
{ENNUI} – hidden (filling) and reversed (rolls) inside the clue is a word meaning dissatisfaction or boredom

10a    Providing comfort with US apartment on loan (9)
{CONDOLENT} – this adjective meaning providing comfort comes from a charade of a US apartment (5) and a word meaning on loan

11a    Tab or container of cola tipped into tumbler (7)
{ACROBAT} –TAB OR and the outside letters (container) of ColA are reversed (tipped) to get a tumbler or gymnast

12a    Ultimately government run in tune with European Right will be more powerful (8)
{STRONGER} – put the final letter (ultimately) of governmenT and R(un) inside a tune then add E(uropean) and R(ight) to get an adjective meaning more powerful

14a    Balance of online feature (8)
{EQUALITY} – this word meaning balance or fairness could, if split (1-7), indicate an online feature

15a    A restraint in architectural style (4)
{ADAM} – the A from the clue is followed by an embankment to restrain water to get an architectural style

17a    Cheese souffle tip’s slant nothing new (7)
{STILTON} – this blue cheese is derived from the initial letter (tip) of Souffle, a verb meaning to slant or slope, O (nothing) and N(ew)

19a    Compact car? (4)
{MERC} – a short (compact) brand of German car

20a    Jumped ahead of field in unfashionable gymnastics (8)
{OUTLEAPT} – this verb meaning jumped ahead is derived by putting a three-letter word for a field inside a word meaning unfashionable and some school gymnastics

21a    Group of musicians in matching clothes (8)
{ENSEMBLE} – a double definition – a group of musicians and an outfit consisting of several matching clothes

23a    Furious fellow controlled show of nerves (7)
{FRANTIC} – an adjective meaning furious is derive from F(ellow), a verb meaning controlled and an uncontrolled show of nerves

25a    Primary principal previously precipitate (4-5)
{HEAD-FIRST} – start with an adjective meaning primary then precede it (previously) with a school principal to get an adjective meaning precipitate or impetuous

26a    Music that might waft from a boat? (5)
{SALSA} – a double definition – Latin-American big-band music and a something spicy that might waft from a sauce boat

27a    Tip off ace result about joint academic post (11)
{LECTURESHIP} – an anagram (about) of (A)CE without its initial letter (tip off) and RESULT is followed by a joint to get an academic post


2d    Second-in-command in a tub at sea that’s rarely afloat (1-4)
{U-BOAT} – put the second letter of cOmmand inside an anagram (at sea) of A TUB to get this underwater craft that’s rarely afloat

3d    Unruly class’s inappropriate behaviour (3,4)
{BAD FORM} – charade of an adjective meaning unruly and a school class gives this inappropriate behaviour

4d    One who sings the praises of European Union record is essentially nutty (8)
{EULOGIST} – this person who sings the praises comes from a charade of the abbreviation for the European Union, a record, IS and the middle letter (essentially) of nuTty

5d    Rising politician’s no unknown, and on a roll (4)
{ROTA} – take a conservative politician preceded by the unindicated indefinite article (1,4), drop the Y (mathematical unknown) from the end then reverse what is left (rising in a down clue) and add the A from the clue to get a roll or list

6d    Worcester Conference chief? (8)
{PEARMAIN} – this variety of apple from Worcester comes from a charade of the fruit of which conference is a variety and an adjective meaning chief

7d    Popular runny brie devoured in boozer (9)
{INEBRIATE} – start with a two-letter word meaning popular then add an anagram (runny) of BRIE and a verb meaning devoured to get this boozer or drunk

8d    Hull City ref fixed a match for money (6,5)
{FILTHY LUCRE} – an anagram () of (fixed) of HULL CITY REF gives a slang word (synonym / match) for money match seems to be superfluous and added purely for the surface reading

12d    Uncommunicative No. 10 is source of hearsay (5-6)
{STAND-OFFISH} – this adjective meaning uncommunicative comes from another name for the No. 10 in a rugby team, IS and the initial letter (source) of Hearsay

13d    Around east stormy petrel is abounding (7)
{REPLETE} – start with E(ast) and then put an anagram (stormy) of PETREL around it to get an adjective meaning abounding

16d    Shy relative? (4,5)
{AUNT SALLY} – I suppose there must be some who haven’t seen this cryptic definition of a fairground attraction before, but I’m not one of them

17d    Without oxygen second muscle may become insubstantial (8)
{SPECTRAL} – S(econd) is followed by a muscle without the O (chemical symbol for oxygen) to get an adjective meaning insubstantial or disembodied,

18d    Special identity adopted by peripheral misfit (8)
{OUTSIDER} – put S(pecial) and ID(entity) inside (adopted by) an adjective meaning peripheral to get this misfit

19d    Yours truly first, Farah second! One on top of rostrum is shortly making history (7)
{MEMOIRS} – in this topical clue, start with the first person objective pronoun then add Olympic double gold-medallist Farah’s first name, I (one) the initial letter (top) of Rostrum and S (‘s / is shortly) to get someone’s personal history

22d    Girl I may get a drink in Indian restaurant (5)
{LASSI} – a young girl is followed by I to get something to drink in an Indian restaurant

24d    Endive or last of celery missing with it (4)
{CHIC} – start with another name for an endive, drop (missing) both the OR and the final letter (last) of celerY to get an adjective meaning with it or trendy

This puzzle was a bit short on penny-drop moments and I didn’t think much of the extremely old chestnut at 16 down.

34 comments on “Toughie 823

  1. I’m always just pleased to finish a toughie – they’re usually a bit of a challenge for me.

    Re 5d – I read the indefinite article to be indicated by ‘and on a’. A bit clumsy maybe but is that wrong?

  2. A fairly gentle start to the toughie week, but there were a couple that I needed to confirm.
    I was also unsure of what the word ‘match’ was doing in 8d; I tried to convince myself that the anagram indicator was ‘fixed a match’.
    Thanks to Petitjean, and to BD.

    1. I spent ages trying to work out what MATCH was doing for the clue and eventually threw in the towel. Glad to see I’m not missing something blindingly obvious, which is often the case!

      1. Ditto for me on searching for a reason for the inclusion of match in 8d, but in the process I did work out (a complete red herring) that the outer letters of FIL(thy l)UCRE can be rearranged to make lucifer (a type of match).

        1. BD might not have needed the ‘slightly mad hat’ today, but I think I know where it is :lol:

        2. The only thing I could come up with was that filthy lucre is defined in as ‘shameful profit’, which would certainly be the case if the ref fixed a match for money. Doesn’t really work though!

          1. The anagram is OK, now feel better that the great and the good don’t get the wordplay, with or without slightly mad hads, thanks to Petitjean and BD

        3. 8d – Isn’t it simply that “a match for money” = “a synonym for money”?

          Most probably completely wrong, as always!

  3. I read 5d to be ‘take the politician and reverse him, remove the unknown and then place on an A to get the role’. Works for me.

    No stand-out favourites but overall a fairly enjoyable puzzle, but not one of Petitjean’s best methinks.

    Thanks to him and to BD for the review.

    1. Thanks -I’ve amended the review. I was rushing to finish it before a friend came round and perhaps didn’t look at it carefully.

  4. Fairly average Tuesday toughie which was suprising given that it had Petitjean’s name at the top. No particular stand out favourites. Thanks to him and BD too.

  5. Gentle but enjoyable start to Toughie week, favourites 1a 19d and 25a 12d only works with a Rugby Union stand off it’s 6 in Rugby League. Thanks to Petitjean and to Big Dave for the comments.

  6. Could it be that the “match” in 8d is designed to fool the solver into looking for some sort of fixed or arranged marriage? It certainly did for me!

  7. 10A last one in today and had to check with the blog. Surely the past participle of verb to lend is leant?

      1. The past participle of the verb to lend is lent. Leant is the past participle of the verb to lean.

        1. I think you might be right I’ve always said my greatest strenght is to admit when I’ve been an arse.

  8. I’ve lost my online Chambers. They say they are relocating but the link doesn’t work. Any ideas?

    1. Online Chambers – Down for me also! Bah!!!

      No idea why? Hope they don’t want money!

    2. The online version of Chambers was not the full Chambers Dictionary anyway.

      There was a full online version that was free for six months with a purchase of the 11th edition and on subscription thereafter, but that was dropped a few years ago.

  9. Far too many of those horrid single letters for me
    Ultimately government – souffle tip – second in command – essentially nutty – source of hearsay – top of rostrum – last of celery.
    I realize that letters that are left over in clues must be a nuisance but really good compilers seem to deal with them without all the tops and tails

  10. I thought it was luverly because I finished it and that doesn’t happen often! I think I was better at guessing today!. Many thanks to Petitjean and B.D. which I read to confirm my answers and admit I couldn’t work out 12D –rugby knowledge on a par with cricket!

    1. We thought it was luverly too. It was only our second ever toughie and we finished it without help. Salsa was our last in, wanted to find some nautical flag!
      Thanks Petitjean and BD.

  11. First time to finish a toughie! So OK it’s 2*, yep that’s my level. I was unable to parse 12d, never played with a funny shaped ball, but finally managed to solve it. Thanks Littlejohn and GrandeDavid.

  12. 1*/1* I’m afraid, I got to this very late and finished it within minutes, I’m sorry but this is definitely not a toughie. My thanks to Petitjean for his effort ( much more than I could have done) and to BD for the review.

  13. Late input from me. I have found a crossword app that enables me to download and solve both the back page crosswords and the Toughie (plus some other cryptics) so I am a happy bunny!

    Thanks to Petitjean for a gentle start to the week and to BD for the review.

  14. Thanks to Petitjean & Big Dave. Yes, I enjoyed this one, but needed a few of Dave’s excellent hints to complete. Well, five to be precise, and two I had to look up. It felt do-able, and was most entertaining. I wouldn’t have thought of 17d in a million years, good clue, and I need to brush up on my Rugby, 18a. Favourite was 10a.

  15. Still running three weeks late…but I’d like to note, in case anyone looks back, that I finished a Toughie, 9 months into cryptic crosswords and any success I’ve had is down to this site. Thanks to all of you.

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