Toughie 991 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 991

Toughie No 991 by Dada

A Bit More Paulish?

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

I (and other bloggers) have mentioned in the past that Dada’s puzzles seem a bit anodyne compared to those of his alter ego Paul. This one is however, IMHO, a step in the right direction. I certainly enjoyed it – what did you think?

Across Clues

1a  Mole sees ape trapping ‘awks, perhaps? (10)
{COUNTERSPY} – a verb meaning to ape or imitate with what (h)awks are examples of inside (trapping).

6a  Bull’s first charge knocked over cow (4)
{BEEF} – the first letter of B(ull) followed by a reversal (knocked over) of a monetary charge.

9a  Merciless message by the devil, heart of clay (10)
{IMPLACABLE} – an outmoded type of message is preceded by a small devil and the central letters of (c)LA(y).

10a  Note a passage from some movement (4)
{MEMO} – hidden in the clue.

12a  One into social correspondence (6)
{PARITY} – insert I (one) into a social gathering.

13a  Take off a member, put in a friend (8)
{AMPUTATE} – insert PUT into A and a friend or colleague.

15a  Excessiveso expensive? (12)
{UNREASONABLE} – double definition.

18a  When one may seek the other? (3,2,7)
{AGE OF CONSENT} – I twigged the informal meaning of ‘the other’ straight away but my first thought, that this was ‘out of wedlock’, had to be revised to mean the significant milestone of one’s sixteenth (in the UK) birthday.

21a  Monroe is recollected as a phenomenon at the end of the day (8)
{MOONRISE} – an anagram (recollected) of MONROE IS.

22a  Get home by boat when on a trip (6)
{OBTAIN} – an adverb meaning at home is preceded by an anagram (when on a trip) of BOAT.

24a  Diamonds, perhaps, in case (4)
{SUIT} – double definition, the case being a legal one.

25a  Good-humoured remark ultimately distasteful among simple folk (10)
{PLEASANTRY} – insert the ultimate letter of (distastefu)L into simple rural folk.

26a  Old habit past, time to make a comeback (4)
{TOGA} – an adverb meaning past followed by T(ime), then all reversed.

27a  President waving red flag, or leader of democracy? (6,4)
{GERALD FORD} – this is an old US President, reportedly unable to walk and chew gum at the same time. It’s an anagram (waving) of RED FLAG followed by OR and the leading letter of D(emocracy).

Down Clues

1d  Free spirit after cannabis primarily, joints his speciality? (6)
{CHIPPY} – the sort of joints that this person specialises in are dovetails for example. A free spirit (someone renouncing conventional values and embracing love and peace, especially in the 1960s) follows the primary letter of C(annabis).

2d  Bird catching tear standing for the judge (6)
{UMPIRE} – a flightless bird contains (catching) a tear or rent then it’s all stood on its head.

3d  Forge taking sort of implement to be held over the fire (8,4)
{TOASTING FORK} – an anagram (forge) of TAKING SORT OF.

4d  True length of film broadcast (4)
{REAL} – this sounds like (broadcast) a length of film from the pre-digital age.

5d  Reused manuscript, as father misspelt ‘misspelt’! (10)
{PALIMPSEST} – I vaguely knew this word for a manuscript on which old writing has been rubbed out to make room for new, but I had to check its spelling (otherwise there might have been a third ‘misspelt’!). Start with an affectionate term for father and add an anagram (misspelt) of MISSPELT.

7d  Sheep initially born masculine, we brought up those of another gender? (3-5)
{EWE-LAMBS} – string together a) the initial letter of S(heep), b) B(orn), c) a synonym for masculine and d) WE (from the clue), then reverse it all (brought up).

8d  Third of gifts brought down is opened (8)
{FLOWERED} – the definition here is what should have happened in the garden in Spring (if we’d had a Spring!). The third letter of (gi)F(ts) is followed by a past participle meaning brought or let down.

11d  Managing directors step on old vehicle (7,5)
{RUNNING BOARD} – a present participle meaning managing or controlling followed by the collective term for the directors of a company.

14d  Battered eel I seldom miss! (10)
{DEMOISELLE} – this is an anagram (battered) of EEL I SELDOM. It’s an old word, derived from French, meaning a young unmarried lady (it’s also a dragonfly so Libellule might have chosen it as his nom-de-plume).

16d  Rodent collecting skin of snake for monkey (8)
{MARMOSET} – start with a burrowing rodent from North America also known as a woodchuck and insert (collecting) the outer covering (skin) of S(nak)E.

17d  Growing  beautiful (8)
{BECOMING} – double definition.

19d  Parade  a design that’s personal (6)
{TATTOO} – another double definition.

20d  Half of red wine red? That’s not right — is it white? (6)
{UNDYED} – start with the second half of a red wine from France then add (r)ED.

23d  Article inferior to joke that’s cracked (4)
{GAGA} – the indefinite article follows (inferior to, in a down clue) a joke or funny story.

I’d pick out 13a, 21a and 11d today but my favourite clue has to be 18a. Let us know your selection.

17 comments on “Toughie 991

  1. I thought it was great, not overly difficult and extremely enjoyable. Was held up on 7d for a while but worked through the clue. Many thanks to Dada for a super puzzle and Gazza for an excellent review.

  2. I managed all of this sitting in the sunshine during my lunch break except for 5d, which I cheated on when I got back to the office.
    Many thanks to Dada for a most enjoyable crossword, and to gazza for the notes and comments.

  3. Apart from daft hesitancy in the SE corner all went in reasonably smoothly .
    Favourites 1a 1d ,11d .
    5d a new and eminently forgettable word for me .
    Very enjoyable .
    Thank to Dada and Gazza

  4. I was left with four unsolved, so I did much better than I expected to. But when I read the review, I found that I had 21A competely wrong! I was thinking Matt Monroe, which led me to pencil in mattress (for an end of the day thingy). No wonder I couldn’t really justify it. Once I’d corrected that, 17D became clear. 5D was way too obscure a word for me to even guess at. Loved 1A and12A, and 20D once I sorted out the word play. Thanks to Dada. I enjoyed the struggle. Many thanks to you, Gazza for the review and especially for the hints to those that baffled me.

  5. Many thanks to Dada and to Gazza, a proper toughie and a great review, 18a brilliant.

  6. Not particularly tough but so enjoyable. I agree with Gazza that there are touches of Paulishness creeping in – more please. I also had the same favourites as Gazza too. Thanks to Dada for letting me start my Wednesday morning with a big smile on my face.

    I once had to type an archaelogists report and typed the word in 5d so many times that I don’t think I will ever forget how to spell it or what it means!

  7. Loved it, a joy to solve with some lovely surfaces, favourites were 1d 11d 18a and 20d thanks to Dada and to Gazza for the comments.

  8. I’ve never solved a Paul so can’t compare but I think the degree of difficulty is just right for a Wednesday Toughie.. Nice puzzle

  9. A lovely puzzle. Last in for us was 18a, largely because we had put “blooming” for 17d which also seemed to fit the double definition. It all made sense when we had that sorted. Just the right level of difficulty for us and loads of fun.
    Thanks Dada and Gazza.

  10. Thanks to Dada & Gazza. Quite enjoyed this, but could only do my normal amount of solving on a Toughie. Managed to complete 14, used 7 hints and had to look up 6. Seemed about the same difficulty as yesterday. One of my weaknesses is the double definition.

  11. too many great clues to mention, but 20d made me chuckle once wordplay sorted. Thanks as ever to Gazza and Dada

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