Toughie 1142

Toughie No 1142 by MynoT

Fairy Tales

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A gentle start to the week. At one time I thought this puzzle was going to put up quite a fight, but suddenly it all fell into place.

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.


5a    Put nothing in anti-cholesterol drug (7)
{STATION} – O (nothing) inside an anti-cholesterol drug

7a    Measure depth of strait (5)
{SOUND} – two definitions

9a    The Spanish place for audience that’s mischievous (6)
{ELFISH} – the Spanish definite article followed by a creature, one of which sounds like (for audience) place

10a    Suppress the short part about abstainer (8)
{THROTTLE} – TH(E) without its final letter (short) followed by a part in a play around the usual abstainer

11a    Before soldiers grow old on isle, time for skilful treatment (10)
{MANAGEMENT} – start with a three-letter word for some soldiers, preceded them (before) with a verb meaning to grow old and precede that (on) with an isle in the Irish sea, finally add T(ime)

13a    Companion’s first-class drink (4)
{CHAI} – a Companion of Honour followed by a two-letter word meaning first-class

14a    Anarchist icon destroyed before its time (13)
{ANACHRONISTIC} – an anagram (destroyed) of ANARCHIST ICON

16a    Old gunman needs to be informed — hard to escape quietly (4)
{EARP} – a verb meaning to be informed without () the H(ard) and followed by the musical notation for quietly

17a    Wonderful engineers get fresh donuts all round (10)
{TREMENDOUS} – the “other” military engineers inside (get … all round) an anagram (fresh) of DONUTS

19a    It turns one’s stomach inside out finding nasty hair in drink? On the contrary (4-4)
{HARA-KIRI} – this ceremonial Japanese suicide by ripping open the stomach with a sword is not derived from an anagram (nasty) of HAIR inside an aniseed-flavoured spirit from the Eastern Mediterranean, but the other way around (on the contrary)

20a    Miner‘s shorthand (6)
{PITMAN} – two definitions – a coal miner and a system of shorthand notation

22a    Fountain turning one green (5)
{TREVI} – I (one) and an adjective meaning green all reversed (turning)

23a    Every drug contains one that’s right for pain in the head (7)
{EARACHE} – a four-letter word meaning every and the usual abbreviation for a drug around (contains) A (one) and R(ight)


1d    Charge one to move slowly along the ground (4)
{TAXI} – a charge or levy followed by I (one) gives a verb meaning to move slowly along the ground – when applied to an aeroplane!

2d    Stoned private eye gets hot electronic devices (4,4)
{HIGH TECH} – an adjective meaning stoned on drugs followed by a private eye and H(ot)

3d    Liveliness of goblin moving back to front (6)
{ESPRIT} start with a goblin or imp and move its final letter to the beginning (back to front)

4d    Countryman had daughter for dinner, got sent down (10)
{RUSTICATED} – split as (6,3,1) this could mean that countryman consumed (had … for dinner) D(aughter)

5d    Sarah has it in dance (5)
{SALSA} – the affectionate form of Sarah followed by an abbreviation meaning IT or the power of exciting desire in others

6d    Nott’s none too soon? (3,6,4)
{NOT BEFORE TIME} – split into NOT and T – 6this phrase describes the position of the NOT relative to a word for which T is an abbreviation

8d    Estuary dialect confused … (7)
{DELTAIC} – estuary as an adjective, i.e of the estuary, is an anagram (confused) of DIALECT

12d    … illiterate needing help to follow a northern river (10)
{ANALPHABET} – a four-letter verb meaning to help is preceded by the A from the clue, N(orthern) and the sacred river from Kubla Khan

14d    Pursued by servant, Byron’s daughter — tense and unyielding (7)
{ADAMANT} – a three-letter word for a servant is preceded by the first name of Byron’s daughter and followed by T(ense)

15d    Popular, formerly cheeky, but unskilled (8)
{INEXPERT} – a two-letter word meaning popular followed by a two-letter word meaning formerly, as in a former partner, and an adjective meaning cheeky

17d    Starts to try reducing inebriation by way of small beer (6)
{TRIVIA} – the initial letters of (starts to) three words in the clue followed by a word meaning by way of

18d    Accepted practice of America on earth (5)
{USAGE} – split as (2,3) this could be how long America has been in existence The three-letter abbreviation foe the United States of America followed by an alternative spelling of the Greek Goddess of the Earth (thanks Gazza and Pegasus)

21d    Old tiger returned for food (4)
{TACO} – O(ld) and the type of animal of which a tiger is an example, all reversed (returned)

Did you spot the message around the perimeter? No need to look for anything else after you have read it!

18 thoughts on “Toughie 1142

  1. Pleasant solve for a Tuesday and yes I did spot the message, favourites were 6d and 16a thanks to MynoT and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. I failed to parse 18d, but apart from that all quite straightforward.
    I was not convinced as to whether the wordplay to 9a was fair, despite the obvious answer.
    Thanks to MynoT, and to BD for the review.

  3. I enjoyed this – still can’t make head or tail of the message round the outside.
    I didn’t understand 18d.
    I also had trouble for a while with why 19a was what it was – having spotted the ‘kir’ I missed the ‘raki’.
    With thanks to MynoT and BD.

  4. 18d Ge is a variant spelling of Gaia or Gaea, the personification of the earth in Greek Mythology if that helps Kath

    1. Thanks Andy – yes, I get that now. What I can’t work out is the message round the outside – being dim again!

  5. When we saw who the setter was we kept a lookout for a theme. Eventually decided there wasn’t one, and then totally failed to spot the NINA. We must have been having a bad day! Not too tricky, good fun.
    Thanks MynoT and BD.

  6. Thanks to MynoT and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, nice to get into a Toughie for a change. Was 5 short, which I managed to get from the hints. Favourite was 3*/3* for me. Favourite was 8d. Saw the message around the outside, very entertaining.

  7. Another stab at this Toughie but will retire gracefully as it is crib night. Not helped by spotting TAINT as a hidden word at 22ac and spelling 19ac incorrectly. I can never spot NINAS even when I know they are there. So folks I will not be joining the Tufty Club today.

  8. I got about three-quarters of this one very quickly, then ran into the sand in the SW corner. I think I’ve gone astray with 14a, the only anagram of which l can make seems to me to mean almost the opposite of “before its time”. I can’t get 12d at all, despite the hint above. Can anyone throw me a line?

      1. OK, thanks, now l see the problem. It lies partly in my spelling of that gory Japanese practice at 19a (l had the 4th letter as “a”), and partly in my ignorance of that synonym for illiterate! It follows that without your help l wouldn’t have got there at all. Many thanks for the lifeline.

  9. Particularly enjoyable puzzle ,I too failed to parse18d so thanks for that BD etc .
    Personal favourite 6d .
    Thanks also to MynoT for the puzzle and the nina which as usual I missed .

  10. I enjoyed this. I did manage to complete it without the hints, but I needed four explanations: for 19a; 5d; 6d, and 18d. Otherwise there were no problems. Although I haven’t visited this review until now, I was aware there was a nina. The game was given away by comments appearing in the side bar. It was fun to find the very apt message. Fave clues were 20a and 2d.
    Many thanks to MynoT for a very enjoyable puzzle. And much appreciation to Big Dave for this most helpful review.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: