Toughie 1136 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1136

Toughie No 1136 by Dada

I didn’t get 1 across!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I had no problems until I was delayed for a while by two answers in the NE corner. There’s one clue that someone will have to explain to me.

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1a    Overwhelmed as a peat-cutter? (6,4)
{BOGGED DOWN} Peat-cutters work on marshy ground and might be this if they sink too far into it

6a    Among autocrats, a real despot (4)
{TSAR} Hidden in autocraTS A Real

10a    That is what to do with a broken-down car! (2,3)
{TO WIT} Split it (3,2) and it’s what you might do with a broken-down car

11a    Figure touring country observed ceremony (9)
{FORMALITY} A figure (the only integer whose English name has its letters in alphabetical order) goes round a landlocked country in North Africa

12a    Strike, a bit careless (8)
{SLAPDASH} Strike + bit (small quantity of added ingredient)

13a    Wreck is gross (5)
{TOTAL} 2 meanings: wreck (a vehicle that’s a complete write-off)/gross (including everything, without deductions)

15a    Is it right defined by ‘squirm’? (7)
{WRIGGLE} R (right) inside a word meaning ‘to squirm’ gives another word meaning ‘to squirm’

17a    Lass pressing a very yellow flower (7)
{GIRASOL} ‘Lass’ round A and ‘very’ = an old name for the sunflower

19a    ‘Chinese’, for example, has ‘E’ at the back (7)
{EASTERN} E + ‘at the back (of a ship)’

21a    Is ‘in the past’ defining ‘present’, on the other hand? (7)
{WHEREAS} The past-tense equivalent of ‘is’ goes round ‘present’

22a    Native American tribe heading for Texas get lost! (3,2)
{HOP IT} A tribe of Native American people from NE Arizona + T (first letter of Texas)

24a    Island where last of luggage, sack and bag sent back (8)
{TENERIFE} The largest of the Canary Islands is a reversal of E (last letter of luggage), ‘to sack’, and ‘to bag’

27a    Furthermore, nation reforming at a slowish pace (9)
{ANDANTINO} ‘Furthermore + an anagram (reforming) of NATION

28a    Brummie intellect seeking some solution? (5)
{BRINE} This saline solution sounds like how someone from Birmingham would say a word meaning intellect

29a    Sound of collaborative group in swarm (4)
{TEEM} A homophone of a collaborative group, e.g. one taking part in a sport

30a    Alone, so the weekend never arrives? (10)
{FRIENDLESS} When split (3,7) it suggests that the day before Saturday goes on for ever


1d    Ram‘s bottom (4)
{BUTT} 2 meanings: to ram (strike with the head)/bottom (backside)

2d    Disappear, as may one man and his dog? (2,7)
{GO WALKIES} This term meaning ‘to go missing, presumably stolen’ comes from a dog being taken for some exercise

3d    Legal term a lot easier, initially, when written up (5)
{ESTOP} A legal term meaning ‘to hinder or preclude’ = a reversal of ‘a lot’ and E (first letter of easier)

4d    Three musical neighbours let down (7)
{DEFLATE} I don’t see how this one works. The definition is ‘let down (e.g. a tyre)’. The first 3 letters are consecutive letters of the alphabet that denote musical notes. But I don’t know where the last 4 letters come from (though they do form two neighbouring notes of the scale). Is there something missing or am I being thick?

5d    Beast with a growth that’s deformed (7)
{WARTHOG} An anagram (deformed) of A GROWTH

7d    Change / dress (5)
{SHIFT} 2 meanings: to change/a loose dress

8d    Privileged individual with plenty of money in hand (5,5)
{ROYAL FLUSH} A privileged individual (e.g. the Queen) + ‘with plenty of money’ = a hand in poker

9d    One going about ornamental garden (8)
{PARTERRE} Someone who is going (departing) + about = a formal garden constructed on a level surface, consisting of planting beds, typically in symmetrical patterns, separated and connected by gravel pathways

14d    E, my love? (10)
{SWEETHEART} If you split this term of endearment into two 5-letter parts then the second part of the first part is E

16d    Welcome case of golfer teeing off (8)
{GREETING} GR (first and last letters / case of golfer) + an anagram (off) of TEEING

18d    Left among rotten fish, feel for the time when still fresh (5,4)
{SHELF LIFE} L (left) in an anagram (rotten) of FISH FEELS

20d    Talk about one getting smarter (7)
{NATTIER} ‘To talk idly and at length’ goes round I (one)

21d    Appealing in some cases, lose then? (7)
{WINSOME} When split (3,4) it suggests that you are not victorious all the time

23d    Welcoming bald finale, shave father (5)
{PADRE} D (the last letter of bald) goes inside ‘to shave’

25d    Zealous command subordinate to god (5)
{RABID} ‘To command’ goes after the ancient Egyptian sun god

26d    County / wards have them (4)
{BEDS} ” meanings: the abbreviated name of an English county/what are found in hospital wards

Nice enough

25 comments on “Toughie 1136

    1. Never have spotted that in a month of Sundays! Pommette might have as she’s a musician and can actually sight-read music!

    2. Nice one, Jazza! I’d finished it but had “Why?” written next to 4A, and I came here precisely for that reason… :-)

  1. I did enjoy this but once again it didn’t really take me a Toughie time to get through it. I had the same explanation for the ‘notes’ as Jezza.

    Thanks to Bufo for the explanations. Thanks to Dada for the crossword – although I have to say your Paul today was the more entertaining of the two. Anyone who wants to know why we fans of Mr Halpern say that Paul is more fun than Dada should have a go at today’s Guardian puzzle too.

  2. Rather pleased to have completed this without hints, but I did need the review for the parsing of 9D and 28A. Thanks to Dada and Bufo. No excuse now for delaying the snow shoveling.

  3. I had the same problem with 4d as you did Bufo. The confusion isn’t helped by the answer having 3 consecutive “keys” at the start, followed by 2 consecutive solfa notes. But when the penny finally drops you realise you need to ignore all that – as Jezza explains above! A nice clue.

    Otherwise I thought this was a bit Excalibur-ish. Eg 1a, 19a, 21a, 30a, 21d. There’s even a typical Yoda-speak clue at 23d. Enjoyable nonetheless.

    Thanks to Dada and Bufo

  4. Very enjoyable and only beaten by the parsing of 4d -E flat indeed!

    Was the 28a homophone the worst so far this year? It’s so bad it made mr guffaw when the penny dropped – loved it

  5. Steady solve the S /E last to yield, favourites 21a and 21d thanks to Dada and to Bufo for the comments.

  6. Don’t usually do the toughie but, with some time on my hands, had a go today.
    Don’t think my limited vocabulary is up to it
    4 answers that I didn’t even know the words, had to cheat with One-Look a few times.
    Still, “finished” it in the end.

  7. We had failed to parse 4d. Very clever now we read the Jezza explanation. Loved the puzzle, kept us smiling from start to finish.
    Thanks Dada and Bufo.

  8. Fabulous puzzle. I needed some hints and was sorry afterwards for not perservating.Thanks Dada and Buffo.

  9. I also found this Toughie to be Excalibur-ish in the originality and humour of its clues. Lovely puzzle. I fell into the Bufo trap on 4d, so thanks for the explanation, Jezza

  10. Also guilty on 4d, until staring at it over an after work pint and a barmaid in an instant explained it :(. Thanks to Dada and Bufo.

  11. 4d was’nt a problem, but 28a had me stumped. I suspected the right answer, because it is a solution, but I’ve never heard a Brummie pronounce “brain” like that. Otherwise fair enough, albeit a bit more than 3* for me. Thanks to Dada for giving the little grey cells a workout, and to Bufo for the review.

  12. Invented the why for 28a but not 4d .hugely enjoyable as was the Paul offering although in a minority as I enjoyed this one more and found it marginally more troublesome
    Favourite 30a but again only marginally
    Cheers Bufo and Dada

  13. Excellent. The only one that held me up, (and still puzzles me a bit) was 15a. Wriggle, which barely seems cryptic at all. Thanks to Dada and Bufo.

  14. I loved this puzzle. I completed all but two clues, 17a and 9d, and for these I needed the answers. I arrived at the answer to 11a with ‘form’ for ‘figure’ and ‘Italy’ for ‘country’! I also needed the explanation for 14d, where again I reached the answer via incorrect reasoning. For the rest, the parsing was all correct. As mentioned above, my fave clue was 4d, which I thought was excellent. Other clues I liked were 10a, 22a, 2d, and 21d.
    Many thanks to Dada for a super puzzle. much appreciation to Bufo for putting me on the right track where I went wrong.

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