Toughie 830

Toughie No 830 by Myops

Our Salad Days

brought to you by Antony and Cleopatra

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Tilsit’s continuing sojourn in rainy Scotland gave us the chance to blog this excellent Toughie. A very nice mix of clues, including a couple of easily-gettable Scottish references as one might expect from one of Antony’s favourite setters.

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.

Across (explained by Antony)

1a    Showing perception and doubtful Latin say, ‘Et tu?’ (8)
{ASTUTELY} – an anagram (doubtful) of L(atin) SAY, ET TU

5a    Dismal as Germany and her empire (6)
{DREICH} – a signature Scots word, this time for dismal, from our setter is made up from the IVR code for Germany followed by a name for the Germany as an Empire

9a    Bibber pouring beer first removed bung (5)
{BRIBE} – an anagram (pouring) of (B)IBBER without (removed) the initial (first) letter of Beer

10a    Globe’s ‘backstage area’ — cast paint and do exercises outside (9)
{ANTIPODES} – an anagram (cast) of PAINT and DO followed by the outer letters of ExerciseS

12a    Excessive hesitation by committee that should keep the net unrestricted (5-5)
{OTTER-BOARD} – a three-letter abbreviation meaning excessive, a word of hesitation and a committee combine to make something that keeps open the mouth of a net

13a    Cover you expect to keep fellow free from danger (4)
{SAFE} – a cover or envelope, typically enclosed with a letter for an expected reply, around (to keep) F(ellow)

15a    What’s baked too much to mature in faulty coal furnace originally? (7,4)
{COTTAGE LOAF} – a three-letter abbreviation for too much and a verb meaning to mature inside an anagram (faulty) of COAL followed by the initial letter (originally) of Furnace

16a    Position or line that is a no-no for Washington (3)
{LIE} – LI(N)E without the N (no No)  L(ine) combined with the Latin abbreviation for that is (thanks to Myops for the explanation) was also a no-no for George Washington

17a    Two thirds of 30 divided by 100 is less than zero (3)
{ICY} – the third and sixth letters of thIrtY are divided by the Roman numeral for 100

18a    See red — and green also, so disordered (4,4,3)
{LOSE ONE’S RAG} – an anagram (disordered) of GREEN ALSO SO

20a    Prospect of house price restrictions (4)
{HOPE} – HO(use) followed by the outer letters (restrictions PricE

21a    Thank God, it’s said about sailor with drive and energy when it’s all over (3,7)
{DEO GRATIAS) – SAID around a sailor (3), drive (2) and E(nergy) all reversed (when it’s all over)

24a    Derek (like the Naked Rambler?)’s repelled and thwarted (9)
{SNOOKERED} – DEREK followed by O ON (nothing on, like the Naked Rambler) and the S from ‘S all reversed (repelled)

26a    Vain, empty-headed, silly, naive, vacuous (5)
{INANE} – an anagram (silly) of (V)AIN without its initial letter () followed by N(aiv)E without the inner letters (vacuous) is defined by the whole of this &Lit clue

27a    Even characters in Aeneid going aboard make out fleet (6)
{SPEEDY} – the even letters of a AEnEiD inside (going aboard) a verb meaning to make out

28a    Stirrup would provide infantry historically with balance (8)
{FOOTREST} – another name for infantry followed by a word meaning the balance or remainder

Down (explained by Cleopatra)

1d Realm of 3 for one born to wear its emblem (6)
{ALBION} The oldest name by which the realm of 3d is known. Insert the abbreviation for Born into one of its emblems.

2d Two’s first rather than last. You don’t expect it (5)
{TWIST} Literally and figuratively, an unexpected change of direction. Obvious solution but I had to think carefully before realising that you need to replace the last letter of twO with the abbreviated way of writing first.

3d This tribe worked hard for us (3,7)
{THE BRITISH} An anagram (worked) of THIS TRIBE plus H (hard), ‘us’ meaning the citizens of our realm.

4d Those Scots open mouth wide and inhale audibly (3)
{YON} The Scottish word for ‘those’ is a homophone (audibly) of a word meaning to open [one’s] mouth wide and to inhale audibly, particularly when tired.

6d Head of railway on Pendolino gets carried away (4)
{RAPT} An archaic word meaning carried away – follow the head or first letter of Railway with the abbreviation for the form of transport of which Pendolino is an example.

7d Banyan tree where Isaac Newton (initially) and I (improbably) will go over diagram (6,3)
{INDIAN FIG} The ‘proper’ name of the Banyan tree is formed from a charade of the initials of Isaac Newton, an anagram (improbably) of AND I and an abbreviation for a diagram, split 6,3.

8d The pub for those running right into landlady’s arms (8)
{HOSTELRY} A, formerly archaic, but now jocular term for one’s local. An anagram (running) of THOSE followed by the ‘arms’ or outside letters of LandladY
into which an R (right) is inserted.

10d Appear accepting case to address trouble when one chucks a soft fruit (7,4)
{AVOCADO PEAR} It is easier to solve this clue about a fruit we tend to think of as a salad vegetable than to explain it! Firstly remove one of the Ps from appear (chucks…soft – p being the musical instruction to play something piano or softly). Then insert the abbreviation for the grammatical case used in personal address plus a noun (3) meaning trouble or fuss. Finally split the result 7, 4.

11d Man’s device is
attribute of race one’s bound to run (5-6)
{THREE-LEGGED} A very nice cryptic double definition – the capitalisation of Man’s at the beginning of the clue might have misled some, but I knew that the symbol of the Isle of Man has the same name as that sports day race where two people are bound together and then expected to run a race without falling over!

14d Would he make a brief note about insanitary urinals? (10)
{JOURNALIST} I think this person might have other things to make a brief note about than urinals at the moment! Insert an anagram (insanitary) of URINALS into a verb (3) meaning to make a brief note about.

15d Mobile oneself, gets other half mentioned first (9)
{CELLPHONE} Another crafty piece of wordplay! The clue instructs you to say out loud the final four letters of ONESELF (other half mentioned first) followed by the first three to get the way Americans refer to a mobile communication device.

16d Fate of the French revolutionary’s island (8)
{LACHESIS} I had to check that this was the name of one of the Greek Mythological Fates, she apparently determined destiny, but the wordplay is very clear. A charade of the French word for the female definite article, plus Crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary, the S from ‘S and then the abbreviation for island.

19d Feature article on power extreme political group holds (6)
{ASPECT} A part or feature – The indefinite article followed by a body of followers of an extreme political movement into which has been inserted P (power).

22d Spit with reckless aim say when rejected (5)
{IMAGE} Spit in the sense of an exact replica. An anagram (reckless) of AIM followed by a reversal of the two letters we use to mean say or for example.

23d Children cycling may if it’s 17 (4)
{SKID} ‘Cycling’ or moving the last letter from the back to the front of an informal term for children, tells you what they might do if the weather has made the pavement 17a.

25d Malignant creature described by H. Wolfe, who perhaps is forgotten (3)
{ELF} Remove WHO (who… is forgotten) from H WOLFE and then rearrange the remaining letters to get a more malignant creature than a fairy – the paranoid blogger in me did a web search but I can’t find an H Wolfe who described such a creature, so I think he is just there for wordplay purposes. 

[Myops adds – Humbert Wolfe was a civil servant (nothing to do with the 25 Service) whose laconic observation “You cannot 20 to 9 or 2 [21] 3 14 but …” (illustrated in The Sun today?) is more economical than the Leveson report is likely to be.]

Cleopatra liked lots of the clues in this very enjoyable Toughie, but her top favourites were all in the Acrosses – 5a, 10a 24a – which is a shame as she had elected to explain the downs!

Antony liked all of them!


  1. Pegasus
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Good finish to the week from todays setter, Favourites were 8d 15d and 24a thanks to Myops also to Big Dave and CrypticSue for the joint review.

    • Posted August 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      You’ve blown our cover!

      • Digby
        Posted August 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Hardly Rocket Science!

      • Pegasus
        Posted August 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        You did announce it yesterday.

  2. Father Brian
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Highly enjoyable and, apart from checking my derived answer to16d was a Fate, completed without help. Favourites were 5a and 15a. Thanks to the setter and the retrievers.

  3. BigBoab
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable toughie to finish the week, 5a, 1d and 4d were my personal favourites. Many thanks to Myops and to BD and CS for the joint review.

  4. Digby
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    By coincidence the Naked Rambler features in today’s DT (p2) having appeared (naked, of course) in Kirkcaldy Sherriff’s Court yesterday.
    Entertaining puzzle, with 17a and 2d appealing to my taste.

  5. stanXYZ
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the Dynamic Duo for providing the explanations to the clues that I wrestled with but could not solve!

    Lots to enjoy here today from Myops – really enjoyed it! Especially 15d!

    (Are Myops & MynoT related? – I always get confused! )

    • Qix
      Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      No, they’re completely different people.

  6. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    A really wonderful crossword that kept us entertained for hours. Ended up with “stonkered” instead of “snookered” for 24a. Forgive ourselves for this as never encountered the ramblers before. (Not seen on our regular beach walks). Many favourite clues but the stand out for us has to be 10a of course. Nice to recognise ourselves in the same grid as all 3d. Thanks Myops, CS and BD.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted August 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      The above might have caused some head scratching. I did not realise that stonkered was a dialectual word to this part of the globe. (reference COD). In usage here it is not a direct synonym for snookered. Snookered for us means hopelessly trapped by circumstance or position. Stonkered means utterly exhausted. Interesting…..I’m just back from a walk around beach and mudflats where I greeted the Bar-tailed Godwits which have just arrived from their non-stop migration from Alaska. Also interesting.

      • Posted August 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        How did you justify the wordplay for stonkered?

        • 2Kiwis
          Posted August 24, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          Must admit that we couldn’t quite. Found the Derek and thought the rest must relate to the name of the unheard of rambler. We sometimes have to do this with reference to minor celebs and politicians who don’t make the news here. Agree though that snookered is a much better answer.

  7. MYOPS
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m grateful to the “pair so famous” for their care and for all kind comments.

    • pommers
      Posted August 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for a lot of fun MYOPS. Meant to post earlier but went for a pre-prandial and got 24 acrossed in the local and only just got home, hic! :grin: