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Toughie 1102

Toughie No 1102 (1109) by Notabilis

Words like piss-up, brewery and organise come to mind!

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

This puzzle appeared in today’s newspaper as Toughie 1109 – it was originally scheduled for Friday 27th December. The Kcit puzzle Numbered 1102, which was published on the website, has been withdrawn and replaced by this puzzle by Notabilis. The Kcit puzzle will be reviewed when it is published in the newspaper at a later date. Confused? Join the queue.

Getting a Notabilis puzzle on a Tuesday is a Brucie Bonus for me. Some of the wordplay took a bit of headscratching, especially 28 across, but that didn’t take away from the sheer enjoyment.

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    Disagreement I have about iffy clue involving guesswork (11)
{SPECULATIVE} – a disagreement and the abbreviated form of I have around an anagram (iffy) of CLUE

9a    Initial survey represented E Asian concerns (14)
{RECONNAISSANCE} – an anagram (re-presented) of E ASIAN CONCERNS

11a    To be yielding, somewhat? (4)
{OBEY} – hidden (somewhat) inside the clue and defined by the whole clue

12a    Prime Suspect: watch Inspector solve crime in the end (5)
{THREE} – this prime number comes from the final letters (in the end) of five words in the clue

13a    Audibly cross, weakly cry (4)
{MEWL} – sounds like (audibly) an animal that is a cross between a donkey and a horse

16a    Quibble as lawyers try suit, backtracking after peevishness (8)
{PETTIFOG} – reverse (backtracking) a try or attempt and a verb meaning to suit after a three-letter word meaning peevishness or ill-temper

17a    Ordinary guy runs to grab case for tablet or notebook (6)
{JOTTER} – an ordinary guy and R(uns) around the outer letters of (case for) TableT

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19a    Discriminatory underlease with termination brought forward (6)
{SUBTLE} – start with a verb meaning to underlease and move the final letter forward two places

20a    Delivery from rapid server‘s backed-up function, frequently not quite secure (4,4)
{FAST FOOD} – the reversal () of a two-letter function, a three-letter word meaning frequently and most of an adjective meaning secure

22a    Shrublike, regularly pruned to expose clod (4)
{HULK} – drop the odd letters (regularly pruned) from the first word in the clue

23a    Churlish nonsense involving Republican (5)
{GRUFF} – some nonsense around (involving) R(epublican)

24a    North-eastern state absorbing south-western one causes confusion (4)
{DAZE} – the abbreviation for a state in the north-eastern United States around (absorbing) the abbreviation for one a south-western state

27a    When score includes backing or lack of amplification at a high level? (14)
{ASTRONOMICALLY} – a two-letter word meaning when followed by a score or account around the reversal (backing) of OR and a phrase (2,3) indicating a lack of amplification

28a    Special belt up to replace sides of modern trouser guard (11)
{SPATTERDASH} – SP(ecial) and an exhortation to belt up replace L and Y respectively, the outer letters (sides) of an adjective meaning modern


2d    Shame envelops cleric, to involve bringing bishop in, which means it can be stopped? (14)
{PREVENTABILITY} – a four-letter word meaning shame around (envelops) a three-letter word for a cleric and a verb meaning to involve, the latter around (bringing … in) B(ishop)

3d    Be disgustingly rich or modest about pounds? (4)
{CLOY} – an adjective meaning modest around the abbreviation for pounds sterling

4d    Switch starters of grapes, for example, and smoked salmon in such a package? (5,3)
{LUNCH BOX} – start with a cluster of, for example, grapes and some smoked salmon and swap (switch) their initial letters (starters)

5d    Short cut to check support, … (6)
{TRIVET} – most of (short) a verb meaning to cut followed by a verb meaning to check

6d    … its bottom half worn by son as underwear (4)
{VEST} – the bottom half of the answer to 5 down around (worn by) S(on)

7d    Underwear shot not seen in album (14)
{UNMENTIONABLES} – an anagram (shot) of NOT SEEN IN ALBUM

8d    Frequently used lines in alcohol-serving bar hangout (4-7)
{WELL-TRODDEN} – LL (lines) inside an adjective indicating that an establishment is allowed to serve alcohol, a bar or pole and a hangout or retreat

10d    PM’s too depraved in vulgar, degrading place (7,4)
{COMPOST HEAP} – an anagram (depraved) of PM’S TOO inside an adjective meaning vulgar or shoddy gives a place where rotting vegetation is degraded

14d    Camp can remove Erica from Essex town (5)
{BILLY} – drop ERICA from the inside of an Essex town, former seat of Theresa Gorman

15d    Deer raised around old ruminants (5)
{GOATS} – a male deer reversed (raised in a down clue) around O(ld)

18d    Grass-covered sort of fife: it may produce a buzz (8)
{CAFFEINE} – the hollow jointed stem of a tall grass around (covered) an anagram (sort) of FIFE

21d    Drive most of young people to stop drinking (3,3)
{DRY OUT} – DR(ive) – one of the lesser used abbreviations for street names – followed by most of a word meaning young people

25d    Self-importance of humourless house-sitter (4)
{POMP} – a two-letter adjective meaning humourless followed by the abbreviation for someone who sits in the Hoses of Parliament

26d    Sickly daughter that may be shaken for a spell (4)
{WAND} – an adjective meaning sickly followed by D(aughter)

Will tomorrow bring a return to sanity – your guess is as good as mine.

21 comments on “Toughie 1102

  1. Having spent most of the pre-work period when I normally solve the Toughie emailing all and sundry about the fact that the puzzle in my paper didn’t match the online puzzle, I had to look at this one on and off in between doing what they pay me to do. I expect I might have got on better in the peace and quiet of the kitchen at home on the 27th. The Kcit originally destined for today didn’t take half as long to solve.

    The treat of a Notabilis proper Toughie- one worthy of the name and one which fought to the end (28a). Thanks to Notabilis for the pre-Christmas brain stretching and to BD for the explanations.

  2. Excellent! Not much else to say… 4*/5* for me. Copious thanks to Notabilis, and to Big Dave for the review (and explanation of 28a).

  3. Cracking start to the Toughie week albeit by default, favourites for me were 4d 20a and 21d thanks to Notabilis and to Big Dave for the review.
    To compound the cock-up even further they’ve also printed the solution to Toughie 1108.

        1. you are not alone BD, and well done Pegasus. Too busy today to comment and left paper version in office , it’s very well hidden and very good

  4. Was 24a responsible for the numbering mix-up? Incidentally, my answer to this clue was
    DAZE using Delaware as the NE state.

  5. This was going to be attempted while waiting at the dentist however they were on time for a change so didn’t get the chance. It will have to wait util the local anaesthetic wears off & I stop looking like the Elephant Man dribbling my Yorkshire Gold tea from the side of my mouth. Delightful.

  6. I’ve finished about 2/3 of Toughie No 1102 by Kcit

    … and also 2/3 of Toughie No 1109 by Notabilis

    … somehow I can never finish a Toughie!

  7. Apart from the shocking grid a lovely Tuesday toughie. Some particularly good misleading definitions [10d, 14d] – also loved 12a and 4d.

    28a a new one for me [and last in].

    Many thanks to Notabilis and to BD

  8. Got to my crosswords late today due to “Grandpa” duties at the “Desolation of Smaug”, I really enjoyed this true toughie from Notablis, my thanks to him and to Big Dave for the review.

  9. Beaten by 12a and 14d. Feel that we can be forgiven for not knowing the town in 14d, but we should have twigged 12a. A good brain stretching toughie.
    Thanks Notabilis and BD.

  10. True toughie indeed ,28a did for me so thanks BD and to Notabilis for the challenge ,just to be different my fav 13a .

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