Toughie 1114 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1114

Toughie No 1114 by Shamus

It’s easy so it must be Tuesday!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A typical Tuesday Toughie, not too difficult but very enjoyable.

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1a    Sample of fine writing father’s left in plant (6,4)
{PURPLE SAGE} – start with a sample of fine writing (6,7) and remove PA’S (fathers) from the start of the second word to get one of several herbaceous perennials of the genus Salvia

6a    Nothing is to be removed from a model part of church (4)
{APSE} – start with the A from the clue and a verb meaning to model or sit and drop (to be removed) the O (nothing)

9a    Independent? Old edition is put in list (7)
{INDEXED} – a charade of IND(ependent), a prefix meaning old and ED(ition)

10a    Greek character carrying accomplished picture (7)
{TABLEAU} – a letter in the Greek alphabet around (carrying) an adjective meaning accomplished or competent

12a    Mutt cancels poker I fancy (6,7)
{COCKER SPANIEL} – an anagram (fancy) of CANCELS POKER I

14a    Maintain a part of mountain for radio coverage (6)
{ALLEGE} – this verb meaning to maintain or assert is derived from the A from the clue followed by what sounds like a shelflike projection from the side of a mountain

15a    Attentiveness shown by aspiring teacher around academy and second person doubly so (5,3)
{BEADY EYE} – put the degree achieved by an aspiring teacher around A(cademy) and follow it with the old-fashioned second person pronoun twice (doubly so)

17a    Member of pack given a means to hide (4,4)
{LOCK AWAY} – start with one of the rugby forwards (member of pack) who form the second row of the scrum and follow him with the A from the clue and a means or method

19a    Note pounds pocketed by retrograde peer in wholesale fashion (2,4)
{EN BLOC} – a two-letter note and the symbol for pounds sterling inside the reversal of a famous Olympian peer

22a    Panic about sport largely linked to explosive article? It has short-lived impact (5,2,3,3)
{FLASH IN THE PAN} – a four-letter panic around most of (largely) a sport which is similar to hockey and the two-letter abbreviation for High Explosive, all followed by the two-letter indefinite article

24a    Part of wheel kept in car that’s returning naval figure (7)
{ADMIRAL} – part of a wheel inside a Russian car manufacturer, all reversed (returning)

25a    A rook that’s nested in front by yard previously (7)
{ALREADY} – start with the A from the clue and follow it with the chess notation for a rook inside (nested) the front or vanguard and finally add Y(ard)

26a    Title is precious thing having been stripped of power (4)
{EARL} – a precious thing formed in certain species of oyster without (having been stripped of) its initial P(ower)

27a    Last of dull chores may after shift make one tearful (10)
{LACHRYMOSE} – an anagram (after shift) of the final letter (last) of dulL with CHORES MAY


1d    Tiresome figure seen in part of window, we hear (4)
{PAIN} – sounds like *we hear) part of a window

2d    Revolutionary artist left caustic material for retrospective (7)
{RADICAL} – the usual two-letter artist followed by the reversal (for retrospective) of L(eft) and some caustic material

3d    Partridge, say, girl, ex-poacher, shot (13)
{LEXICOGRAPHER} – not Alan but Eric Partridge, author of, among others, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English and Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English – he was an anagram (shot) of GIRL EX-POACHER

4d    Like one in Home Counties close to station getting wet (6)
{SODDEN} – a number like one (our three, five, seven …) inside the area of England where the Home Counties can be found and followed by the final letter (close) of statioN

5d    Decline game with doubles team, we hear, and top tennis player (2,2,4)
{GO TO SEED} – a two-letter board game followed by what sounds like (we hear) the number in a doubles team and a top tennis player who is guaranteed not to meet a player of similar rank until the later stages of a tournament

7d    Silly posh royalty occupying stately home (7)
{PUERILE} – this adjective meaning silly, from the Latin for child-like, is derived by putting the single-letter that represents posh and Her Majesty’s royal cipher inside a colloquial word for a stately home

8d    Enthusiasm? It’s right in upcoming sporting establishment in middle of week to show it (10)
{EBULLIENCE} – a right or xxx inside the reversal (upcoming) of a sporting establishment all inside the middle letters of wEEk

11d    Executives favoured doctor with cultured disposition for those before passage? (8,5)
{BOARDING PARTY} – a collective term for a company’s executives followed by a two-letter word meaning favoured or popular, a local doctor and an adjective meaning with cultured disposition gives a group of people who are ready to embark (but not always welcome!)

13d    Prince on holiday in unsatisfactory place for the great and good (4,2,4)
{HALL OF FAME} – Shakespeare’s prince followed by a three-letter word meaning on holiday inside an adjective meaning unsatisfactory

16d    Flower old woman found around island with extended area to the north (8)
{MAGNOLIA} – the two-letter word for the old woman around the reversal (to the north in a down clue) of I(sland), an adjective meaning extended and A(rea)

18d    Smoothie, drink the writer put in posh car (7)
{CHARMER} – a slang word for tea (drink) followed by the first person objective pronoun (the writer) inside the abbreviation for a posh car

20d    Principally, naughty joke in office from the distant past (4-3)
{LONG AGO} – the initial letter (principally) of Naughty and a joke inside another euphemism for the lavatory (office)

21d    Son getting premier case for weapon (6)
{SHEATH} – S(on) followed by the surname of a former Prime Minister

23d    Burning material hoarded by grumpy retiree (4)
{PYRE} – hidden (hoarded by) inside the clue

That’s all for today.

22 comments on “Toughie 1114

  1. More enjoyable than the back pager but about the same degree of difficulty, thanks to Shamus and BD for the great pictorial review.

    1. Thank you BigBoab – I managed the RHS and some LHS, but in the interests of progress took 3 hints to keep moving. Thanks for the advice. Thank you Shamus for the challenge – the back page is where I belong ! – but I enjoyed it. Thanks BD for the hints, without which I would have ground to a halt. Because I take so long to do puzzles, I don’t think I would normally have time to attempt more than one – but it was good fun !

  2. The R/H side was 2* difficulty but the L/H side was definitely 3.5* difficulty (and I am not alone in thinking this!).

    Thanks to Shamus and BD

  3. 3*/4* for me. I’m a little out of practice after my Christmas toughie break, and my last few took a while to finish off.
    Thanks to Shamus for a most entertaining puzzle, and to BD for the review.

  4. Decent start to the Toughie week, favourite and last one to yield 1a, thanks to Shamus and to Big Dave for the comments.

  5. Thanks to Shamus and Big Dave. Too tough for me. I still don’t understand 8d even though I have read the hint several times.

    1. Heno – I am probably wrong ! – I am seeing the “right” as “lien” in the “upcoming sporting establishment” as “club” (reversed) all in “ee” – “middle of the week”.

      I am sure an expert will come to your help if I am wrong ! Sorry to hear about Theo W.

  6. Shamus’s surface readings don’t quite work for me – they all seem a bit laboured and contrived.

  7. I’m glad that others thought that it was more than 2* difficulty – I think I’ll stay on the back page with Sweet William if he (or she) doesn’t mind some company!
    I did eventually finish this one without needing the hints apart from explanations for 1 and 22a. I’ve never heard of the 1a writing or the game in 22a.
    I also had trouble with the first bit of 17a and untangling 8d took for ever.
    I enjoyed it. One day, maybe this year, I’ll be able to finish Toughies regularly – well, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays anyway.
    With thanks to Shamus and BD.

    1. The pleasure is mine Kath – I will be under the clock, carrying a copy of the DT and a furled umbrella – see you there !

  8. The only bit that I did not manage to parse completely was the game that made up part of the wordplay in 22a. Had never heard of it before but will try and remember it for next time. Enjoy putting together all the little bits that make up so many of this setter’s clues. Always struggle when one of the bits is what you have to take away instead of add, such as 1a. Good fun.
    Thanks Shamus and BD.

  9. Though not hugely difficult to solve ,my difficulties were in the NE with no problems on the LHS ..took far longer than the back pager and well done SW with 8d which took me ages to parse post solve ! A new blogger in the wings !
    Favourite for me 1a .
    Keep happy and thanks BD and Shamus

    1. Welcome to the blog David.
      Up until the 1950s the player at the back of the set scrum (now called the No. 8) was sometimes known as the lock forward, but nowadays the two second row players are called locks.

  10. I enjoy Shamus so I saved the .pdf and had a try at it yesterday.
    Big Dave, I needed your most helpful explanations for my answers to 19a, 22a (I simply could not work out the word play for this), and 25a (where I did understand the word play but didn’t remember that ‘L’ is ‘rook’ in chess). I needed the answers to 1a and 7d. I managed all right with the rest.
    Thank you very much, Shamus, for a very entertaining and, for me, challenging puzzle. My fave clue was 15a.
    Much aopreciation to you, Big Dave, for excellent clarifications.

      1. Thanks very much for that, Big Dave. What a tangle I got into there! Seems like all I had right was the ‘y’ for yard! So I clearly did NOT understand the word play although I arrived at the right answer.

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