Toughie 1029 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1029

Toughie No 1029 by Notabilis

Old English Heritage

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

A proper Toughie from one of the masters of the genre. One or two of this week’s Toughie setters could well look at this puzzle and learn how it ought to be done.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Laws should be clear on beef that’s been processed (11)
{ENFORCEABLE} – an anagram (that’s been processed) of CLEAR ON BEEF

9a    Art deserving sincerity? (7)
{EARNEST} – an old-fashioned way of saying “is deserving”, as in thou art deserving

10a    Rodent brought back by feline and ovine males (6)
{MARMOT} – a feline male and an ovine male all reversed

12a    Writers this writer’s absorbed (7)
{PENSIVE} – some writing implements followed by “this writer (the setter) has”

13a    In hindsight, old priest’s clear about stretching (7)
{TENSILE} – the reversal (in hindsight} of an Old testament priest, the S from ‘S and an adjective meaning clear of all deductions

14a    Concerned with knight, backed one who’s upstanding (5)
{RISER} – a two-letter word meaning concerned with or about followed by the title afforded to a knight, all reversed (backed) gives someone who stands up (is upstanding)

15a    Type of wave going round beam, towards item on mosque floor? (6,3)
{PRAYER MAT} – a long-lasting artificial wave in hair around a beam and followed by a two-letter word meaning towards

17a    Dealt to cover withdrawal of LSD, given drug treatment (9)
{MEDICATED} – a verb meaning dealt or distributed around the reversal (withdrawal) of another word for the drug LSD

20a    Old English masking even parts of proper word organiser (5)
{ROGET} – start with a five-letter word meaning proper or correct and replace the even letters with O(ld) and E(nglish) to get the compiler of an organised list of words

22a    Keeps being coquettish, dropping head and turning part of face (7)
{NOSTRIL} – start with a phrasal verb meaning keeps being coquettish (6,2), drop the initial letter (head) and reverse (turning) what’s left

24a    One makes a little piercing cry about political reformist (7)
{BRADAWL} – a cry around the three-letter abbreviation for a political reformist

25a    Take on politician left over among the once rejected (6)
{EMPLOY} – the usual politician followed by L(eft) and O(ver) all inside (among) the reversal (rejected) of the old-fashioned definite article (the once)

26a    Time ran out for old clothing (7)
{RAIMENT} – an anagram (out) of TIME RAN

27a    New Mexico article leading to rows in American state not applying to butcher people? (11)
{UNMANLINESS} – the abbreviation for New Mexico followed by the two-letter indefinite article and some rows all inside the two-letter abbreviation for American gives a quality (state) that does not apply to people who are more butch


2d    Once called doctor to nurse that is worse off (7)
{NEEDIER} – a three-letter word meaning the name by which a women was once called before marriage followed by the abbreviation of D(octo)R around (to nurse) the Latin abbreviation for that is

3d    Seen in front, he’s potentially ideally placed? (2,3,4)
{ON THE SPOT} – a hidden phrase (seen in) that Virgilius would have been proud to have conceived

4d    Briefly wake space traveller (5)
{COMET} – most of (briefly) a phrasal verb meaning to wake (4,2)

5d    Order phoned in live (7)
{ARRANGE} – a verb meaning phoned inside one meaning to live

6d    Touch of love denied Bottom, taken by weaver as a form of discrimination (7)
{LOOKISM} – a touch of the lips without (denied) its final letter (bottom) inside a machine that weaves cloth – a delightful allusion to Nick Bottom, the weaver in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

7d    Nature of allure surrounding stage crew? (11)
{TEMPERAMENT} – a verb meaning to allure around (surrounding) a stage or period of time and the crew of, say, a ship

8d    Greek god flipped choice between male heir and king (6)
{KRONOS} – the reversal (flipped) of a choice between a male heir and a K(ing) (3,2,1)

11d    Male school group allowed to stop the versatile sportsperson (11)
{HEPTATHLETE} – the male pronoun followed by a group of parents and teachers at a school followed by a verb meaning allowed or permitted inside (to stop) THE

16d    Banal read edited for Star (9)
{ALDEBARAN} – an anagram (edited) of BANAL READ

18d    They have rubbish jobs, shifting smut in Home Office (7)
{DUSTMEN} – an anagram (shifting) of SMUT inside a small home office

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d    Set of petals and crumbs on Iberian dish (7)
{COROLLA} – an interjection meaning crumbs! followed by an Iberian savoury dish of different sorts of meat and vegetables

20d    Spending money on a stamp succeeded (7)
{READIES} – a two-letter word meaning on or about followed by a stamp for impressing coins and S(ucceeded)

21d    A lot of China is grand — enjoyed the rest? (6)
{GLAZED} – G(rand) followed by a verb meaning enjoyed resting

23d    Firm metallic combination has aluminium kept at lowest level (5)
{LOYAL} – an adjective meaning firm or faithful is derived from a combination of two or more metallic elements with the chemical symbol for aluminium moved to the end (kept at lowest level)

The blue marker was out in force today!

22 comments on “Toughie 1029

  1. I enjoyed this a great deal but didn’t thinks it was overly difficult, thanks to Notablis and BD for the review, 3*/4* for me.

  2. As I had all the right answers,without knowing why four of them worked,then this was probably not the toughest of Friday toughies. However it was a good battle of wits,many thanks to BD for the workings and Notabilis for the challenge.

  3. I enjoyed this one a lot, my favourites were 3d 20a and 20d 17d was a new one for me but fairly clued, thanks to Notabilis and to Big Dave for the dissection.

  4. A very nice puzzle from a master setter. Have to admit it didn’t feel like Notabilis when I started to tackle it. I thought it might have been Myops. However, 27 confirmed things for me – a rather brilliant clue with a cracking misleading definition.

  5. Excellent puzzle,agree with the ratings and no real obscurities !
    Took me quite a while particularly my last 2 which were 20a and 21d .
    Faves 15a and 20d .
    Thanks to Notabilis and BD .

  6. really like this …a few obscure ones but all beautifully clued so a thickie like me could get them…thanks as always to setter and blogger..

  7. After doing yesterday’s Toughie which I enjoyed but didn’t find very tough, I decided to have another try today. This was in a different league – very tough but nevertheless very enjoyable, so my rating is ****/****. Many thanks to Notabilis for an excellent challenge.

    I eventually got all the answers except that I put pentathlete for 11d despite, not surprisingly, being unable to understand the wordplay for the penta part! Many thanks to BD for the excelent review which set me right on that one and explained the wordplay for several of my other answers.

    I originally put Cronos for 8d as that is how I have always spelt it, but I couldn’t work out how C = king. Google sorted that one out for me.

    My favourite clue was 10a

  8. Many thanks to BD for hints to 24a, as I couldn’t parse it,. 3d is superb. Thanks to Notabilis and BD

  9. Easy for some. I struggled mightily and needed hints for the last five. Even then, I still had to look at the answers. And I had Pentathlete for 11D also. But, I’m happy to be improving with the tougher toughies and I did enjoy the fight. Runaway favorite for me was 21A.

  10. Thanks to Notabilis and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Really enjoyed this, found it more transparent than yesterday’s Toughie. Actually managed to solve 15 clues, and enjoyed looking up the others.

  11. So, did anyone see the Nina? I’d forgotten about it until a friend pointed it out to me.

      1. I’ll have another look later BD, though I’ll need a pointer methinks, unlike Elgars Double Unches. This Nina is either blindingly obvious or as brilliantly disguised as the answer to 3d.

  12. This was a corker of a puzzle, very skilfully crafted on all fronts. I found it rather tough, but Notabilis is a member of my select group of L’Oreal Setters“because they’re worth it” — with whom a cruciverbal tussle is always very rewarding. Did anyone else find the western half much harder than the eastern?

    So, Big D, were you tipped off today by someone who was themself tipped off yesterday … ? :-)

    PS How does one add an avatar on this forum?

      1. How did I guess, BD? Might your answer lie in the observation that the last two Toughies from N have been beauties, perhaps twice (anag) (7,1,3,3,6)

          1. A shot in the not-so-dark, honest! The Nina was so nearly invisible, and I know that tippee and (guessed) tipper know each other well, hence no other logic/guesswork seemed necessary.

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