Toughie 1002 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1002

Toughie No 1002 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

A workmanlike puzzle from Petitjean that almost strayed into 3-star territory because of the time it took to solve 25 down. I thought that some of the definitions left a lot to be desired – 1a is only a fast time when it is the time taken for something to happen, 6 across/10 across is an American word for a central street in a town whether or not it is well-worn – and are communes in Northern France fair game?

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1a    Old relative returning next fast time (10)
{NANOSECOND} – O(ld) and an elderly relative reversed (returning) followed by a word meaning next

6a & 10a    Male model daring to follow a well-worn route (4,4)
{MAIN DRAG} – M(ale) followed by an anagram (model) of DARING

9a    Charming Democrat groomed for office (10)
{DELECTABLE} – D(emocrat) followed by an adjective that could mean groomed for office

10a    See 6 Across

12a    Reportedly bad-tempered look (4)
{MIEN} – for once Chambers agrees that this sounds like an adjective meaning bad-tempered or unkind – oh that all so-called homophones used in crosswords actually sounded like each other, like this pair!

13a    Relish trick with diamonds — it takes people in (9)
{CONDIMENT} – this relish is the kind used to accompany a meal – a verb meaning to trick or swindle followed by D(iamonds) and IT around (takes … in) some people

15a    Farewell‘s articulate before performing a semi-rant (8)
{SAYONARA} – a verb meaning to articulate followed by a two-letter word meaning performing and half (semi) of RAnt

16a    Tough on horseback being short (4-2)
{HARD-UP} – an adjective meaning tough followed by a two-letter adverb meaning on horseback

18a    Knowing film for all ages is in dubious taste (6)
{ASTUTE} – the certificate designating that a film is suitable for people of any age inside an anagram (dubious) of TASTE

20a    After hot alcoholic drink take heavy breaths or shallow (8)
{FLIPPANT} – a charade of a hot drink of beer and spirits followed by a verb meaning to take heavy breaths

23a    Lie about coach’s self-discipline (9)
{RESTRAINT} – a verb meaning to lie or relax around a verb meaning to coach or instruct

24a    Revise order cutting chapter (4)
{EDIT} – start with an order or proclamation and drop (cutting) the C(hapter)

26a    Secular ritual ignoring etiquette and uniform (4)
{LAIC} – start with an adjective meaning ritual or traditional and then drop FORM (etiquette) and U(niform)

27a    Falsify composition of a later duet (10)
{ADULTERATE} – an anagram (composition) of A LATER DUET

28a    So it’s ‘Enrietta’s turn? (4)
{ERGO} – split this as (‘2,2) and it could be ‘Enrietta’s turn

29a    Look younger maybe despite everything (10)
{REGARDLESS} – a verb meaning to look followed by word that could (maybe) mean younger in the sense of fewer (years)


1d    Characters in ‘Crocodile Dundee’ turned up out of costume (4)
{NUDE} – hidden (characters in) and reversed (turned up) inside the clue

2d    Opposite of fun getting poorly; happy ending is void (7)
{NULLIFY} – reverse (opposite) all of FUN around an adjective meaning poorly and then add the final letter (ending) of happY

3d    Revolutionary denounces art: it’s almost instinct (6,6)
{SECOND NATURE} – an anagram (revolutionary) of DENOUNCES ART

4d    Risk extremes of ribaldry in court (8)
{CHANCERY} – a verb or noun meaning risk followed by the outer letters (extremes) of RibaldrY gives what was formerly the highest court of justice, next to the House of Lords

5d    Last of firemen only uncoiled second hose (6)
{NYLONS} – the final letter (last) of firemen followed by an anagram (uncoiled) of ONLY and S(econd)


7d    Idiot lied possibly in front of boss (7)
{AIRHEAD} – lied is a German example (possibly) of this song – follow it with a boss or chief

8d    Large sum of money found in empty seats after dark in clubs (10)
{NIGHTSPOTS} – a large sum of money, maybe a prize or a kitty, inside SeatS without its inner letters (empty) preceded by a word meaning dark

11d    Get the wrong idea about husband knocked out by accident before girls’ night out curtailed (12)
{MISAPPREHEND} – drop(knocked out) the H(usband) from an accident and follow it with a prefix meaning before and most of (curtailed) a girls’ night out (3,2)

14d    Dare I spell tricky word for shoe? (10)
{ESPADRILLE] – an anagram (tricky) of DARE I SPELL gives a type of shoe that is much loved by crossword setters

17d    Fleet Street’s last to probe female having left over sick article (8)
{FLOTILLA} – the final letter (last) of StreeT inside (to probe) F(emale), L(eft), O(ver), an adjective meaning sick and the indefinite article

19d    Difficult  trial (7)
{TESTING} – two definitions – an adjective and a noun

21d    Work up a temperature in a French farmhouse (7)
{AGITATE} – the first A from the clue and T(emperature) inside the other A and a French farmhouse

22d    Underwear starts to give impression refurbished dress looks elegant (6)
{GIRDLE} – the initial letters of six words in the clue

25d    Commune in Northern France making contact? (4)
{LENS} – two definitions – the second being something of which contact is an example

Perhaps tomorrow will be better – let’s hope so.

11 comments on “Toughie 1002

  1. I made my first proper attempt at a toughie, failing at 26a and 28a. In general , I thought it more doable than the back page.Thanks to Petitjean for a gentle introduction (probably my last ) to the dark secrets of toughie land, and to Big Dave and his fellow bloggers for getting me this far !

  2. BD, really unfair to make my mouth water for some patum peperium, which I cannot get. Only got 25d from the contact association. Agree with your sentiments. Many thanks to setter and BD for the review.

  3. Agree with your assessment.
    Didn’t get 25 but the rest was accessible for me so ** about right.
    Haven’t commented for some months but always follow the blog and much appreciate the effort and time that you and others give to it.

  4. Not a very tough toughie but reasonably enjoyable, thanks to Petitjean and BD for the super review.

  5. Gentle fare to start the Toughie week, favourites were 11d 21d and 26a thanks to Petitjean and to Big Dave for the comments.

  6. England played Colombia in 25d in World Cup 1998, and it will be a host venue for Euro 2016 – but I’m not sure that either of those facts is sufficient to put it in the forefront of the mind of Toughie solvers!

  7. I enjoyed this because I could do it, which is not always the case with toughies. (Having studied and taught French I had no trouble with 25).

  8. Thanks to Pettijean and Big Dave for the review and hints. Way too difficult for me, managed to do half of it, but needed the hints for the rest. I wear contact lenses, and have heard of the place, as they have a football team, but I wouldn’t have got 25d in a million years!

  9. It was two of the sneaky little 4 letter words towards the bottom the held us up most. 26a and 25d. Quite interesting to hear the grumbles about obscure geography for 25d . It was easier for us to trace than some of the UK places that have us struggling.
    Enjoyed the puzzle.
    Thanks Petitjean and BD.

  10. Fun, but not the best from PJ. Agree with BD that a French commune is pushing it a bit [25d] but I think “well-worn route” is fair enough for 6/10a, the answer being part of English demotic speech these days. Loved the misdirection [lied] at 7d, and 28a raised a chuckle. Crap grid.
    Thanks to PJ and BD

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