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Toughie 1111

Toughie No 1111 for 1/1 by Elkamere

One By One

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

The New Year has brought a horrible day in North Devon – very dark, very wet and very windy – so it’s lucky that Elkamere has provided us with a ‘proper’ Toughie. I’m not sure if today’s puzzle number being very relevant to the 1st of the 1st is merely a happy chance or required a bit of manipulation (do we now know why there was a bonus Toughie on the Saturday before Christmas?). In either case Elkamere has taken full advantage – as well as the hidden sequences (brilliantly explained in 17d) there are several other allusions to the puzzle number and date.

Do provide a comment and please take the time to use the star system to record your enjoyment factor.

Across Clues

1a  Way to describe cold spell (5)
{PATCH} – a way or track goes round (to describe) C(old).

4a  Eating fruit, leaderless team with four supporters (9)
{QUADRUPED} – a team or gang without its initial S (leaderless) contains a name for any fleshy fruit with a stone, such as a plum or cherry. I don’t know whether this is a step too far but the ‘four supporters’ do look a bit like the puzzle number.

9a  Who’s first to save a male in our comic? (9)
{SUPERHERO} – a semi-all-in-one. The first letter of S(ave) is followed by an anagram (comic) of OUR containing a preposition meaning ‘a’ (as in ‘50p a pound’) and a male pronoun.

10a  Happy young man touring Australia (5)
{BOOZY} – this word means happy in the alcoholic sense. Put a young man round a slang word for Australia.

11a  Row about one’s first of January ball results in split (7)
{DISJOIN} – a row or racket contains a) I (one) plus the ‘S, b) the first letter of J(anuary) and c) the letter that looks like a one-dimensional ball.

12a  Report that is rejected about one type of drink (7)
{EISWEIN} – this is a German word for a sweet wine made from grapes picked while they were frozen. String together a report or bulletin and the abbreviation for ‘that is’, then turn it all around (rejected) and insert I (one).

13a  Month of British riots (6)
{TISHRI} – this is the first month of the Jewish civil year (so it matches today’s theme). It’s hidden (of) in the clue.

15a  Canvas home – it’s in the post (8)
{MAINSAIL} – another word for post containing an adverb meaning at home and an abbreviation used for ‘it’ or sexual magnetism.

18a  Spilt oil and it spread (8)
{DILATION} – an anagram (spilt) of OIL AND IT.

20a  Inclined to emphasise everything inside facility is wrong (6)
{ITALIC} – an anagram (wrong) of all except the outer letters of the word facility.

23a  Clipped sound — song in 80s style (3,4)
{BIG HAIR} – start with a truncated word for a sound (a bay or inlet) and add another word for song.

24a  Close game, one put on after dark (7)
{NIGHTIE} – a charade of an archaic word meaning close or near and a game in a knockout competition.

26a  Give a pencil back (5)
{AWARD} – A (from the clue) and the reversal (back) of a verb meaning to use a pencil.

27a  They make peak calls so elderly will suffer (9)
{YODELLERS} – an anagram (will suffer) of SO ELDERLY.

28a  Square found in other square snack (9)
{ELEVENSES} – a word meaning square or quits goes inside a synonym of other or ‘in addition’, then we finish with S(quare). The number in the answer matches today’s theme.

29a  Core of progress behind hard work (5)
{GRAFT} – the central two letters of progress are followed by a mariner’s word for behind.

Down Clues

1d  Report about daughter in school given after time? (9)
{POSTDATED} – a verb meaning to report or announce contains D(aughter), then all that goes inside a school of marine animals.

2d  Dish of recycled pasta (5)
{TAPAS} – an anagram (recycled) of PASTA.

3d  Bear’s tail in rough shelter (7)
{HARBOUR} – this is a clever clue. I thought at first that shelter was the definition but I couldn’t make the wordplay work. Then the penny dropped that the definition is actually bear (a grudge, perhaps). Start with the last (tail) letter of (roug)H and add a shelter or shady bower.

4d  Church edited out of sequence shot in part of New York (6)
{QUEENS} – an anagram (shot) of SEQUEN(ce) with the church disestablished.

5d  A child celebrity turned up in concert (2,3,3)
{AS ONE MAN} – A and a male child are followed by the reversal (turned up) of a celebrity.

6d  Sting’s flair for setting up bass (7)
{ROBESON} – a verb to sting or fleece is followed by the reversal (setting up) of a flair or instinct.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d  Bell public house about to enter a draw? (5,4)
{PHONE CALL} – start with the abbreviation for public house on an OS map then add a draw at football (3-3) with the score matching today’s date. Finally insert a single-character abbreviation for about or approximately.

8d  Dean’s party ruined NYE (5)
{DOYEN} – a festive party followed by an anagram (ruined) of NYE. I presume that NYE stands for New Year’s Eve but the abbreviation is not in the BRB. Is Mr Mayer making a confession in the clue?

14d  Pottery in sink filled with extremely light veg (4,5)
{SALT GLAZE} – this is a type of pottery produced by adding sodium chloride to the kiln during firing. Insert the outer letters of L(igh)T inside a verb to sink or droop, then finish with a verb meaning to veg or pass one’s time in unproductive activity.

16d  Allowed to admit chef’s first to recycle cookware (2,7)
{LE CREUSET} – a synonym for allowed containing the first letter of C(hef) and a verb meaning to recycle.

17d  One helped to see columns in the grid again and again and again, say (4-4)
{FOUR-EYES} – this is brilliant. It’s a derogatory slang term for someone who wears spectacles. It sounds like (say) the sequence of letters (matching today’s puzzle number) which are to be found in columns 2, 6, 10 and 14 in the grid.

19d  Nonsense that will primarily confuse (7)
{TWADDLE} – the primary letters of T(hat) W(ill) followed by a verb to confuse.

21d  Filipino’s term to describe lady love (7)
{TAGALOG} – Filipino here is an adjective, describing someone from the Philippine Islands. Put a term or name around (to describe) a dialect word for a young lady and the letter that resembles zero or love.

22d  A gesture oddly easy for those taking charge (6)
{ANODES} – the charge that these take in is of an electrical nature. String together A, a gesture of acceptance and the odd letters of easy.

23d  Retard’s run through fire (5)
{BRAKE} – insert R(un) in a verb to fire (in a kiln, perhaps).

25d  Latin subject put together by the educated person (5)
{THEMA} – THE (from the clue) followed by someone with an arts degree.

The top clue for me today was 17d with honourable mentions going to 9a and 3d. Do you agree or disagree?

7 comments on “Toughie 1111

  1. A great start for the year (and not just because I managed to finish it!). Thanks, Elkamere and Gazza.

  2. I don’t know whether it was the themed nature of this, but I found it a more accessible than usual Elkamere. Very enjoyable so thank you and Happy New Year to both him and Gazza.

    Given the cold stormy weather, the young lady illustrating 24a might do better in something more substantial made of wincyette

  3. Excellent puzzle from Elkamere … and wonderful blog from gazza! (The picture for Big Hair – LOL)

    I failed on the Nina as usual. 17d – I just thought that there were Four “I”‘s in “… the Grid again and again and again, say”

  4. Another very good puzzle following on from yesterday, thanks Gazza for putting me out of my misery with the parsing of 3d, I had the correct answer but for all the wrong reasons. Favourites for me today where 7d 17d 23a and 24a thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza for the comprehensive review.

  5. It was not until we were searching in vain through the grid for the missing X to complete a pangram that we spotted the I’s in the columns that made the wordplay of 17d all suddenly make laugh-out-loud sense. Took absolute ages to parse 3d. The answer we had was right but just could not get past wanting to make the definition the last word of the clue instead of the first. Did eventually get it, so a smug feeling at completing a puzzle right at the top of our solving ability. Great challenge, good fun.
    Thanks Elkamere and Gazza.

  6. Superb! A master at work! Once again his ability to disguise his definitions is second to none. Loved 3d and also 18a for that reason [which end is the def?] Other stunners include 20a [which has both a clever definition and clever wordplay]; 27a [another lovely cryptic def] and 7d [just love “draw” in the wordplay. Then add the themed NINA with 17d – what more could one want to while away the hours whilst recovering from last night?

    “Bass” [6d] seems to be becoming a bit of a trademark.

    Many thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza for a terrific review.

  7. Excellent Stuff ! – It took a while to complete which is just what you want from a Toughie. Many Thanks and a Happy New Year to Elkamere, gazza and you all.

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