Toughie 1018

Toughie No 1018 by Petijean

Setting an example

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

An entertaining puzzle, but I have a quibble with a couple of clues.

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1a    Drink to mark change getting to grips with fifties (3,7)
{TOM COLLINS} – TO followed by M(ark) and some loose change, the latter being around a couple of the Roman numerals for fifty

6a    Homeric utterance claiming source of sorrow may be money (4)
{DOSH} – no, it’s got nothing to do with the Greek epic poet; this Homer is the head of the dysfunctional Simpson family – put his best-known utterance around the initial letter (source) of Sorrow

10a    Vera’s other half ultimately short of standoffish (5)
{ALOOF} – which Vera? Vera Lynn? No, this one is the plant much used in cosmetics – drop the final letter from the other half of the name of said plant and add the OF from the clue

11a    Sudden lack of energy during weight loss (9)
{LIGHTNING} – start with a word meaning a loss of weight, usually by the removal of one or more items from, say, a load, and then drop (lack of) the E(nergy)

12a    Kind of bed embodying American values (5-3)
{APPLE-PIE} – double definition – a bed which, as a practical joke, has been made with one of the sheets folded back on itself so that a person’s legs cannot be stretched out and a dish used metaphorically to describe American values (the latter meaning lacks the hyphen shown in the enumeration)

13a    Show instruction on page about article (5)
{PANTO} – an instruction requesting the reader to continue on the next page around the two-letter indefinite article

15a    Spice is stopping a compulsion (7)
{ANISEED} – IS inside the A from the clue and a compulsion or urge

17a    Difference of opinion circulating about acceptable backing for carpet (4,3)
{TICK OFF} – a minor difference of opinion around (circulating) the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about and the reversal (backing) of a two-letter word meaning acceptable

19a    When stag parties turn out smuttier ignore obvious conclusion (3-4)
{RUT-TIME} – the annual period when male deer get excited is an anagram (turn out) of (S)MUTTIER without (ignore) the final letter (conclusion) of obviouS

21a    Without notes fraudulent claim causing trouble (7)
{MALEFIC} – a couple of musical notes inside (without) an anagram (fraudulent) of CLAIM

22a    Admired Tottenham header stopping costly comeback (5)
{RATED} – the initial letter (header) of Tottenham inside (stopping) the reversal (comeback) of an adjective meaning costly

24a    Shows cheeks flushed following flight (8)
{MOONSHOT} – a verb meaning shows cheeks or backside, perhaps from a moving car, followed by an adjective meaning flushed or glowing gives a flight in the Apollo series, perhaps

27a    Without exception veal ruins stew (9)
{UNIVERSAL} – an anagram (stew) of VEAL RUINS

28a    One of pair on bike died in crash (5)
{PEDAL} – D(ied) inside a crash of, for example, bells

29a    Heartless cheats may get what’s deserved (4)
{DUES} – drop the middle letter P (heartless) from a verb meaning cheats

30a    John McEnroe? Sinister fellow (4-6)
{LEFT-HANDER} – two fairly straightforward non-cryptic definitions – this kind of person was believed to be menacing by the Romans, sinister being the opposite of dexter / right in Latin


1d    Put one’s foot on hidden danger (4)
{TRAP} – two definitions – to put one’s foot on a ball so that it stops dead and a hidden danger

2d    Low temperature below which vessel gets cool causing controversy (4,5)
{MOOT POINT} – a verb meaning to low like cattle followed by T(emperature) and a cooking vessel around a two-letter word meaning cool or trendy

3d    Lights not working a lot initially (5)
{OFFAL} – this definition-by-example lacks the usual indication (for example / perhaps etc.) – a three-letter word meaning not working followed by the A from the clue and the initial letter of Lot

4d    Extremely lucky old man wearing top that floats (4,3)
{LILY PAD} – the outer letters (extremely) of LilY and a two-letter word for the old man or father inside (wearing) a top gives something that floats on a pond (and it’s not a yacht!)

5d    Ignore Nationalist leader say the French — about time! (7)
{NEGLECT} – this is what Tilsit would describe as a wordsum – the initial letter (leader) of Nationalist followed by the Latin abbreviation of say/for example, the French definite article, the single-letter Latin abbreviation of about and T(ime)

7d    Pair oddly abandoning belief that may lead to tears (5)
{ONION} – drop (abandoning) the odd letters of PaIr from a belief to get something that, when peeled, may led to tears

8d    Premiership captaincy? (4,6)
{HIGH OFFICE} – two examples of a leading position or top job – at least there is a question mark at the end of this clue, indicating that all is not what it seems

9d    Uncharacteristic and a dreadful pity Chelsea wingers left (8)
{ATYPICAL} – the A from the clue followed by an anagram (dreadful) of PITY, the outer letters (wingers) of ChelseA and L(eft)

14d    Just good sandwich stalls here (10)
{FAIRGROUND} – a charade of an adjective meaning just, G(ood) and two pieces of bread made into a sandwich

16d    21 Across type always assuming one left party (4-4)
{EVIL DOER} – a word meaning always around I (one), L(eft) and a party

18d    High, drunk and dumped (9)
{OFFLOADED} – a three-letter adjective meaning high or rotten followed by an adjective meaning drunk

20d    All at once East, North and South doubled, with West holding (2,5)
{EN MASSE} – E(ast) and N(orth) followed by two occurrences (doubled) of S(outh) inside (holding) the first name of the actress who gave her name to an inflatable lifejacket

21d    Second one almost left the other glowing (7)
{MOONLIT} – a second or brief period of time followed by almost all of ON(e), L(eft) and “the other” in the sense of “a bit of the other”

23d    Screw cap on tawny port (5)
{TWINE} – the initial letter (cap) of Tawny followed by the type of alcoholic drink of which port is an example – another unindicated definition-by-example, all it needed was a question mark at the end

25d    Is pea soup a shade of brown? (5)
{SEPIA} – an anagram (soup) of IS PEA

26d    Confusion caused by endless hype (4)
{BLUR} – drop the final letter B (endless) from some hype

Better than usual for a Tuesday Toughie, but what happened to the practice of indicating when a definition-by-example was being used?


  1. Pegasus
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable start to the week, favourites were 6a 19a and 24a thanks to Petitjean and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. Jezza
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    4*/4* for me. A little more thought was required than I was expecting today.
    Many thanks to Petitjean, and to BD.

  3. Flashling
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Quite tricky, end game not helped by me thinking 8d was head office which made for an interesting 11a. Ta BD.

  4. stanXYZ
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Petitjean and BD.

    What is a “definition-by-example”? Or should I go to the FAQ?

    • Posted July 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      It’s not (yet) in the FAQ.

      It’s a definition which is an example of the genre rather than a synonym and is usually followed by an indicator. “Sherlock Holmes, for example” could define a detective in the same way that “Lights, perhaps” could define offal and “Port, maybe” could define wine. To be honest I’m surprised that these omissions get past the vetting process.

      • stanXYZ
        Posted July 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks for the explanation!

  5. BigBoab
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Petitjean for an entertaining if rather gentle crossword and to BD for a very informative review.

  6. Heno
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Pettijean and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Enjoyed the challenge, at least I managed to complete enough to get into it, then used 12 of Dave’s excellent hints to finish. Was 5*/3* for me. Favourite was 20d. Must brush up on my cocktails, had never heard of a John Collins.

    • Only fools
      Posted July 23, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Nor had Tom !
      Enjoyable puzzle ,simple favourite for me 3d .
      Thanks to Petitjean and BD .


  7. andy
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    4* 4* for me, cannot remember a Tuesday when I needed that many hints. Anyways Ta BD and Petitjean

  8. Expat Chris
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Always pleased to complete a Petitjean without resorting to hints but, as usual, I needed explanations for a couple. I have to gripe a bit about 19A. I’ve heard of the rut, but rut-time, with a hyphen, seems rather contrived, as if the answer is just made up to fit the grid.

    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the review and explanations.

    • Posted July 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      You won’t be surprised to know that rut-time is in Chambers. Its definition is implicit rather than explicit, i.e. it follows the definitions of rut and rutting and you are expected to work it out for yourself.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted July 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        It’s in my 9th ed. also. However, there is a cynical side of me that believes that some of these oddball words first turn up in crosswords to fit a grid and then are subsequently added to Chambers and only Chambers since that is the DT crossword bible. I did work out the answer. I just didn’t much like it.

  9. Kath
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this a lot. It took me some time to get on to the right wave length but, once there, I could do it although I needed the hints to explain a few. A Toughie can never be less than 4* difficulty for me and another 4* for enjoyment.
    My favourite was 14d.
    With thanks to Petitjean and to BD.