Toughie 951 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 951

Toughie No 951 by Petitjean

The Sound of Music…..?

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

…well, it is Petitjean so several musical references and some  mountains too!   A super crossword; for me it had  about the right level of toughness for a Wednesday (3.5*),  lots to smile at, and the chance to sing  while you type too!!  No need for hats, either slightly mad or thermal today as the sun’s finally appeared in a lovely blue sky.

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9a           Welcome look adopted by Scandinavian rockers (5)
{ALOHA}  A Hawaiian greeting – insert an archaic way of saying look into the 1980s Norwegian pop band.

10a         Listen to the Four Tops let loose — that’s soulful (9)
{HEARTFELT}  A verb meaning to listen to, the ‘tops’ of The and Four and an anagram (loose) of LET.

11a         What’s black and white? The Swan’s half of stout (7)
{PENGUIN}   Another type of bird is obtained by following a female swan with half of a well-known brand of stout.


12a         New father with daughter protected by men in the outskirts of Eastbourne (7)
{ORDINEE}  Not a new dad but someone recently admitted to the priesthood.   The abbreviation used for men (ordinary ranks) in the army, the abbreviation for Daughter, IN (from the clue) and the ‘outskirts’ of EastbournE.

13a         Legendary pea soup served up elsewhere (5)
{AESOP} The writer of legendary animal fables is an anagram (served) of PEA SO[up], once you have removed the ‘up’ (up elsewhere).

14a         Coconut whirls, seen around North America as a part payment (2,7)
{ON ACCOUNT}   Insert the abbreviation for North American into an anagram (whirls)of COCONUT.

16a         Real chips cooked in pasta recipe? That makes a point (6,9)
{PENCIL SHARPENER}  Insert  an anagram (cooked) of REAL CHIPS into a type of pasta and finish with R (recipe).

pencil sharpener

19a         Emaciated toothless person whose name I can’t recall (9)
{THINGUMMY}  An informal term  used when you can’t remember someone’s name might, if split 4, 5, mean emaciated and without teeth!

21a         United out of sorts? (2,3)
{IN BED}   Commercial jargon meaning that a company was united with, or in alliance, with another, could be where you would be if you were out of sorts or poorly.

23a         Bolt‘s quicker with change of temperature (7)
{SCARPER}  To bolt or run away –  change the second letter of a word meaning quicker or keener, from H (hot) to C (cold) (change of temperature).

25a         Ukip’s right wing stopping crook becoming political strategist (7)
{SPINNER}  Insert the final letter of UkiP (Ukip’s ‘right wing’ into a crook or wrongdoer.

27a         Who developed this form runs rings round half of pack given pressure and time (4,5)
{ROCK OPERA}  R (runs) followed by  O and O (rings) between which is inserted the second half of paCK (round half of pack), then the abbreviation for Pressure and a series of years.   The clue that brought on the singing!!

rock opera


28a         Typical finding sheep and Surrey town in the news (5)
{USUAL}  A nice homophone (in the news) of a female sheep and a town in Surrey.



1d           Punch Frank but not ‘ard (4)
{LAMP}  A slang word for punch or thump is obtained by removing ‘ARD’ from the surname of footballer Frank.

2d           Fancy dishes ruin empty gastropubs (6)
{DOINGS}   Mrs Bradford confirms that the solution is indeed a synonym for banquets (fancy dishes).   An expression meaning ruin or deceive, followed by the outside letters (empty)  of GastropubS

3d           Liberal laughing about politician could be awkward (10)
{GALUMPHING} Bounding about in a noisy, ungainly way.   Insert (about) the abbreviation for a Member of Parliament into an anagram (liberal) of LAUGHING.

4d           In retirement hopeless case gets hot on Eastern religion (6)
{SHINTO}   The Japanese nature and hero cult.    A reversal (in retirement) of the ‘case’ or outside letters of HopelesS followed by an informal expression meaning enthusiastic about (hot on).

5d           Parents accepting girl’s perspective (8)
{PANORAMA} A wide or complete view or perspective.   Insert  a girl’s name between the informal terms for father and mother.

6d           Is it muddy intermittently? It’s a farm! (4)
{STUD}   A horse-breeding farm is found in the ‘intermittent’ or even letters of iS iT mUdDy.

stud farm

7d           Note old crock coming after stylish Elan in producing improved air-fuel ratio (4-4)
{LEAN-BURN} Mr CS will be delighted to know that some of the car-related stuff he rambles on about has stuck in my mind as I did know this adjective!!  An anagram (stylish)  of ELAN, followed by a musical note and a crock (a pot or vase).

8d           Secret trend spread with no new popular acceptance (6,4)
{STREET CRED}   Remove the N (no new) and then rearrange (spread) SECRET TRE[n]D, and split 6,4.

13d         Assorted pies and pates about right for hors d’oeuvres (10)
{APPETISERS} Insert R (about Right) into an anagram (assorted) of PIES and PATES.


15d         Conservative interest level is assuming key debt may be unpredictable (10)
{CAPRICIOUS}  Unpredictable or full of whims.   Abbreviations for Conservative and  Annual Percentage Rate (interest level)  followed by IS (from the clue) into which has been inserted a musical key and an acknowledgement of  a debt.

17d         Pest is in touch (8)
{NUISANCE}   Insert IS (from the clue) into a delicate shade or degree of difference (touch).

18d         Where Saint Omer’s situated? (8)
{SOMERSET}   An English county  a long way from St Omer in the Pas-de-Calais  – the single letter abbreviation for Saint, OMER and part of a verb meaning situated or placed.

20d         Sycophant longing to cover up majority of smarm (3-3)
{YES-MAN}  Insert the first three letters (majority of) SMArm into an intense longing or urge.

22d         Working close to home in bar coming back with mug (4,2)
{BONE UP} Both mug and the solution are informal expressions meaning to study hard on a particular subject.     Insert into a reversal (coming back) of a bar or inn, a adverb meaning working, and the last letter (close) of homE.

24d         Individual involved in bondage, open to change (4)
{PEON} A farm-worker, especially one in Spanish-speaking America, working off a debt by bondage.   An anagram (to change) of OPEN.

26d         European mountain dweller’s heart and character (4)
{ROLE}   The clue where I needed Gnome’s law to see the obvious!!    The middle letters of a description of someone living in a mountainous area of Austria are a character or part played by an actor.


Thank you to Gazza for allowing me to take over this ‘treat’ for my 200th blog.   Thank you to Petitjean too –  I’d be here all day if I listed all my favourites, so I will just pick out 11a, 28a, and 6d for special mention.


18 comments on “Toughie 951

  1. I’m ecstatic, because I was left with only one that stumped me completely! That one was 1D. I’m not familar with the expression and I’ve not heard of the footballer. There were, as usual for me, several that I guessed at correctly (12A, 4D, 7D, 26D) and one that I didn’t – I had scamper for 26A. 2D was late in, and dredged up from memory. Where I now live, we call that “all the fixin’s”. Overall, I’m feeling pleased with myself. Loved 19A and 17D.

    Thanks. Crypticsue, for unraveling the unfathomable, and thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  2. Without Mrs Bradford’s help (who’s she!) I failed on 2d although thought of the word. Schoolboy error not splitting the first 4 letters into 2 words.

    Didn’t get 12a either, should have the thought of the other meaning of father…doh! And couldn’t fathom 26d either, although I was going to put the answer in, but I was trying to think of and looking for 6 letter words with the answer in the middle…forgot that it could easily be more letters.

    My lateral thinking was slightly underperforming today. Thanks anyway, still enjoyed it listening to new Bowie album.

  3. Good stuff today 26d last one in. favourites were 3d 11a 22d and 23a thanks to Petitjean and thanks to CrypticSue on reaching your double century.

  4. A very nice puzzle today from Petitjean. Not too tricky, and just about perfect for a Wednesday.
    Thanks to setter, and to crypticsue for the review.

  5. Many thanks to Petitjean and Crypticsue for a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle and review. Congratulations Sue on your double century, I honestly don’t know what I, and I’m sure countless others, would have done without you and the other bloggers and of course, our leader.

  6. Very amusing ,almost went round the bend thinking of 2d but in the end it was the only letter of the alphabet that worked !
    Congrats on this review and the other 199 .Quite remarkable .

  7. I do enjoy a Petitjean Toughie and this one was well up to expectations. Thanks to him and to CS for the review (and congratulations on the double century). My favourite clues were 11a, 19a, 21a and 28a.

  8. A really enjoyable puzzle today from Petitjean. It made me sing but the song was “Food Glorious Food”.

    Favourite: 1d – still laughing! Last in: 26d.

    Thanks & Congrats to CS for the review.

  9. What an absolute pleasure, managed to escape from work to do this crossword this afternoon. Might be childish, but still enjoying 19a with a smirk. One of the best constructed puzzles I have done for a while – in my opinion of course. Many thanks to setter ans CS.

  10. We had never heard of the 1d footballer and had “tamp” as the answer. Stamp with the first letter missing. For 26d we had the right answer but justified it by having “rol” being the middle letters of “troll” with the E for European. Almost works, apart from the word order in the clue which would need the answer to start with E. We wondered (but guessed correctly) who the setter was as it was still not listed on the Telegraph site when we went to bed last night.
    Thanks Petitjean and CS.
    Ps. Nice to see a weekday review from you Sue. Congrats on your double century.

    1. Thanks Kiwis – Gazza is always very kind in letting me do one of his scheduled weekday blogs when I am on holiday.

  11. Needed hints for 9a, 23a, 2d and 24d, but pleased to have persevered and got the rest of it done before succumbing to the lure of the blog, Thanks CS.

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