Toughie 984 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 984

Toughie No 984 by Petitjean

Hints and Tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Even Petitjean puzzles are fairly straightforward when it’s my turn to blog!

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1a           Transport / that might deliver Sting? (5)
{VESPA} 2 meanings: an Italian brand of motor scooter/the genus of the common wasp

4a           Rallying macho types don’t set out to make a sandwich (2,3,4)
{ON THE MEND} Macho types (2-3) inside (sandwiched by) an anagram (set out) of DONT

9a           Good man — and sanctimonious — training for tap in the street? (9)
{STANDPIPE} A good man + AND + sanctimonious + training

10a        Surprisingly graceful swimmer in river in Italy (5)
{HIPPO} ‘In’ + an Italian river

11a        Prayer book is Common with lines switched (7)
{ORDINAL} Take a word meaning ‘common’ and replace RY (line) by L (line)

12a        John Peel put his foot in it (7)
{STIRRUP} A cryptic definition for something John Peel (the huntsman) would put his foot in when riding to hounds (though apparently he did most of his hunting on foot)

13a        Hibernating snake is coiled without shelter (6)
{ASLEEP} A snake goes round shelter

15a        Shot silent film star is lifeless (8)
{SLUGGISH} Shot (ammunition) + the surname of the actress Lilian

18a        Occasional issue with fancy bakery stocking doughnuts (8)
{YEARBOOK} An annual publication = an anagram (fancy) of BAKERY round OO (O being the shape of a doughnut)

20a        Understand / trick (4,2)
{TAKE IN} 2 meanings: understand/to trick

23a        Majority of hassle is checking genuine denial (7)
{REFUSAL} ‘Hassle’ with the last letter removed goes inside ‘genuine’

24a        Pants? Fry’s not pants! (1-6)
{Y-FRONTS} An anagram (pants) of FRY’S NOT

26a        Deliberate / litter (5)
{BROOD} 2 meanings: to deliberate/litter (of young)

27a        Trace fault with part of steering mechanism via intercom (9)
{SCINTILLA} A trace is a homophone (via intercom) Of ‘fault’ and part of steering mechanism, e.g. of a boat

28a        Resolute scout leader is boring under canvas (9)
{INSISTENT} S (first letter of scout) IS inside ‘under canvas’

29a        Ate bite of gizzard — inedible! (5)
{DINED} Hidden in gizzarD INEDible


1d           Ivory as in novel ‘The Man in the Ivory Tower’? (9)
{VISIONARY} An anagram (novel) of IVORY AS IN

2d           Quiet thoroughfare without a modern landmark (5)
{SHARD} ‘Quiet!’ + thoroughfare round A

3d           Offering some resistance or led astray in Bet’s embrace (2,5)
{AL DENTE} ‘Firm to the bite’ = an anagram (astray) of LED inside a bet in poker

4d           Cheer about Ferdinand getting the bird (6)
{ORIOLE} A cheer (heard at bullfights) goes round the first name of the footballer Ferdinand

5d           Article on unknown girl turning up somewhere in Greece (8)
{THESSALY} The definite article + a reversal of an unknown and a girl

6d           Elvis Costello starts ‘Hot Love’ in G with reverb (7)
{ECHOING} EC (first letters of Elvis Costello) + H (hot) + O (love) + IN G

7d           Purge about giving way to brash punditry (9)
{EXPERTISE} Take a word meaning ‘to purge’ and replace C (about) by a word meaning ‘brash’. This was the only bit of wordplay that needed much thought to unravel

8d           Doctor’s blood group work in decline (5)
{DROOP} An abbreviation for doctor + a blood group + work

14d        Flog spare rubbish in vaults (9)
{LEAPFROGS} An anagram (rubbish) of FLOG SPARE gives vaults (as children do)

16d        Round of applause greeting bear’s balancing act (9)
{HANDSTAND} A round of applause + ‘to bear)

17d        Join officer on tricky case involving the French (8)
{COALESCE} An abbreviation denoting an officer + an anagram (tricky) of CASE round a French word for ‘the’

19d        Waits to claim points too (7)
{BESIDES} ‘Waits’ goes round two points of the compass

21d        A time before unruly post-war teenager caused alarm (7)
{AERATED} A + division of geological time + an unruly adolescent of the 1950s

22d        Office worker tucked into salty pistachios (6)
{TYPIST} Hidden in salTY PISTachios

23d        Burns missing note for teacher (5)
{RABBI} The familiar first name of the poet Burns loses an E (note)

25d        For the record, why look in news for stuff? (5)
{NYLON} Y (sounds like ‘why’ on a recording) + ‘look!’ inside NN (N = new, therefore NN = news)

Best wishes to anyone reading this on the way to or in Wapping. I hope you have a great time.

15 comments on “Toughie 984

  1. Neither this nor the back page did it for me today. Altogether too contrived, both of them.
    At least all the words here were normal everyday ones. So good mark for that

    1. I have reason to believe that you and “Michael Mason” are one and the same person. Posting under multiple aliases is known as trolling and will result in both names being banned from leaving future comments. For the moment all of your comments will be submitted to moderation.

  2. Probably the easiest Petitjean puzzle I have ever solved, nevertheless I did enjoy doing it. Many thanks to Petitjean and Bufo for the review.

  3. Perhaps the envelopes got mixed up today. Enjoyable but certainly not taxing. I understand the wordplay for 2d, but am unfamiliar with the answer in this context. I was surprised when it proved correct on submission. Thanks to Petijean and Bufo.

    1. The Shard is a new, very tall glass and steel building next to London Bridge Station.

      1. Thank you, problem of being another expat but no excuse for my ignorance.

  4. Are both this and the back page really by the same setter? They certainly do seem similar. They don’t have the flow of a natural wordsmith. The Telegraph must have a dreadful dearth of crossword authors. Time for any wannabe setter who reads the blog to submit a puzzle, surely!

    1. I have reason to believe that you and “Marcus Brown” are one and the same person. Posting under multiple aliases is known as trolling and will result in both names being banned from leaving future comments. For the moment all of your comments will be submitted to moderation.

  5. I liked this better than the cryptic today. It was a bit of a slog for me, but I got there, all except 2D. I’ve never heard of this landmark, and having googled it, I rather hope never to see it!

    Unlike Marcus, I think Petitjean is very talented and while he often stumps me I always learn something new. So, my thanks to him, and to Bufo for the review.

  6. Like the other foreigners, 2d was last clue in for me. From the checking letters and the word play, had worked out what the answer was probably going to be, but still was not sure. Cogitation at the Bridge club last evening, and I decided that it must be some new acronym to do with satellite navigation. Even had it worked out that S was satellite, H was homing, then two gaps and D for device. Went to Google when I got home to be greeted by a picture of a huge, shiny, pointy building!! Hence was able to sleep knowing the world was all safely in order. A good fun puzzle.
    Thanks Petitjean and Bufo.

  7. I enjoy Petitjean’s quirky and contemporary style (Lilian Gish ? ) even though it may have been on the tender side of tough .
    Thanks very much to both .

  8. At the first read through of the back page I decided to have a go at this one first and I’m glad I did. Thank you, Petitjean and to Bufo.

  9. Yesterday I got stuck in the NW corner then this morning after a cup of Yorkshire Gold it all fell into place.
    Most enjoyable so thanks as per. Trouble is I’m now laid up after I put my back out in the shower – Mrs S, despite being a nurse for 30 years, has very little sympathy for my plight.

  10. Thanks to Pettijean and Bufo. I enjoyed this one but needed a couple of hints at the Betters and Sloggers to get started, then 5 of Bufo’s to finish.

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