Toughie 1151 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1151

Toughie No 1151 by Elkamere

What are you doing in my swamp?

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

Thanks to Elkamere for a thoroughly enjoyable Toughie, with just the right level of difficulty for a Wednesday, IMHO. How did you get on?

Please take the time to rate the puzzle for enjoyment using the star system below.

Across Clues

1a  Form-filling exercise son had got round (6)
{SHAPED} – form-filling here means having curves in the right places (probably best explained with an illustration). The abbreviation for physical exercise with S(on) and HAD around it.

5a  A warning about lubricant that may improve grip (8)
{AEROFOIL} – this is a structure used on planes to produce lift but on the type of cars favoured by boy racers it’s used to increase downforce and therefore grip. It’s a charade of A, a reversal (about) of a warning on the golf course and a lubricant.

9a  Risked covering chest when finally in the buff (5,5)
{STARK NAKED} – a verb meaning risked or gambled contains (covering) a chest or coffer and the final letter of (whe)N.

10a  One key ought to satisfy this singing voice (4)
{ALTO} – the inscription on one of the keys on a computer keyboard followed by the letter that looks like ought (an old form of nought).

11a  A DreamWorks sequel may be in the works? (5,3)
{SHREK TWO} – a superb anagram (may be in) of THE WORKS.

12a  Is jogger good among 9 people? (6)
{NUDGES} – insert G(ood) in people who are 9a.

13a  Fair chance, some would say (4)
{FÊTE}  – a homophone (some would say) of a word meaning chance or destiny and today’s old chestnut.

15a  Runner admitting part of foot is cut (4,4)
{LOIN CHOP} – a runner (a ring through which something slides or runs) contains part of a foot (a twelfth to be precise).

18a  Swollen stomach — I feed unhealthily (8)
{TUMEFIED} – a child’s word for stomach followed by an anagram (unhealthily?) of I FEED.

19a  French author‘s taunt about English (4)
{GIDE} – reverse (about) a taunt or snide remark and add E(nglish).

21a  Singular smell associated with opening of Eccles cake (6)
{SPONGE} – string together the abbreviation for singular, an informal word for an unpleasant smell and the opening letter of Eccles.

23a  People rowing about agreed perception (8)
{EYESIGHT} – rowing here rhymes with mowing rather than cowing, so put a team of rowers around a word signifying agreement.

25a  Butcher’s stock sent back (4)
{PEEK} – this is what a butcher’s (short for butcher’s hook) is in Cockney rhyming slang. Reverse (sent back) a verb to stock or store.

26a  One’s cattle returned half-heartedly, herd not to be moved? (10)
{INEXORABLE} – start with the Roman numeral for one, then add a reversal (returned) of a word for cattle and a herd or disorderly crowd without one of its middle letters (half-heartedly).

27a  Panama‘s homeless mostly sorry? (5,3)
{STRAW HAT} – an adjective meaning homeless (a dog, for example) loses its last letter (mostly) and that’s followed by a blunt request for a repetition of something said.

28a  Dog being cooked for meat (6)
{MUTTON} – an informal word for a dog, especially a mongrel, is followed by an adverb meaning being cooked.

Down Clues

2d  Marry in church after buffet (5)
{HITCH} – an abbreviation for church comes after a buffet or blow.

3d  A strong hold on (9)
{PERSEVERE} – an alternative for a (as used in ‘50p a kilo’) followed by an adjective meaning strong or powerful (a storm, for example).

4d  Engagement rings available as present (6)
{DONATE} – an engagement of a romantic nature goes round (rings) an adverb meaning available.

5d  Work over long weekend primarily means wrong profession (15)
{ACKNOWLEDGEMENT} – put ACT (a verb to work or function) around an anagram (wrong) of LONG WEEKEND and the primary letter of M(eans).

6d  Staff department head to instigate a natural order (8)
{RODENTIA} – string together a staff or baton, the usual hospital department, the first letter (head) of I(nstigate) and the A.

7d  Mrs D Diddling (5)
{FRAUD} – a German married woman followed by the D.

8d  Number‘s up for it? (2,3,4)
{IN THE MOOD} – double definition – Glenn Miller’s signature tune and a phrase meaning up for it (i.e. no headache tonight!).

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14d  Tackle film about crack troops (9)
{EQUIPMENT} – Spielberg’s film contains a crack or gag and ordinary troops.

16d  Engineer can go — isn’t aware (9)
{COGNISANT} – an anagram (engineer) of CAN GO ISN’T.

17d  Hostile bomb has to go off (8)
{VIPERISH} – this was my last answer as I don’t really associate this word with hostile. It’s what looks like the abbreviation given to the first generation of Hitler’s rocket-powered missiles in WWII followed by a verb to go off or decay.

20d  Pervert starts to eye females in bedroom (6)
{DEFORM} – put the starting letters of Eye and Females inside the abbreviated word for a communal bedroom.

22d  Who can get you mobile if car’s missing? (5)
{NOKIA} – split the answer (2,3) and it could mean that your Korean-made car is missing.

24d  Below zero? How? (5)
{HELLO} – a word for the netherworld or abyss followed by the letter that resembles zero. ‘How’ is a supposed greeting amongst some Native American tribes.

Top clues for me today were 11a, 8d and 24d. Which ones would you pick out?

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14 comments on “Toughie 1151

  1. A very enjoyable toughie and a super review, ( I especially liked the lovely picture of Miss Mansfield ). Many thanks to Elkamere and Gazza.

  2. Runner up in my ‘puzzle of the day’ awards. A nice Toughie with some clever wordplay. In addition to Gazza’s top clues, I would also add 7d Mrs D indeed!!

    Thanks to Elkamere and Gazza too.

  3. Superb puzzle, alas beaten by 17d despite having four checking letters, favourites for me were 7d 11a and 27a thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza for the review.

  4. This one really had me struggling and needed electronic help to get there. 17d was my last one in. I had twigged the bomb and then tried to make the answer ‘vixenish’ which almost fitted the definition but would not parse. A good workout, lots of clever clues.
    Thanks Elkamere and Gazza.

  5. A crossword with lots of smiles ,the biggest of which were 7and 24d .Last in for me the French author .
    Thanks Elkamere and Gazza for the entertainment and clarification.

  6. Got there in the end but needed a couple of Gazza’s hints to crack the SW corner. Getting on for 4* for me. Thank you Elkamere; l’ll try to do better next time.

  7. A mixed bag for me. I finished without hints but not without a bit of electronic help, particularly for 6D. I worked out 7D but had no idea why that was the answer. 8D fell in once I had corrected my erroneous answer…Gare… for 19A (never heard of Gide but Google confirmed). Lots to like, with 5A, 26A and 24D coming out tops. Many thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza fir the review.

  8. Gah, nearly did this but stupidly wrote keep not peek in the grid making 22d all but impossible. Must admit Gazza I found this rather harder than *** . Thanks to S&B

  9. Definitely ****/**** for me. Curiously I solved 19 across first, and then spent ages before solving any more answers. My last one in was 11 across, which was brilliant; likewise 22 down. Many thanks Elkamere.

  10. On first read through I could not see a single entry point. Slowly and with much d’oh and bruising and one enormous chuckle when Mrs D fell into place i got there.. Thank you Elkamere and gazza

  11. After yesterday’s toughie success I figured I’d try my hand again today but, sadly, didn’t get very far. I only managed about half of it (although this included several smiles when the penny dropped, especially 7d) before grinding to a halt and having to resort to some hints to get going again.
    I’m afraid 18a was a new word to me and I hadn’t heard of the French author. A clever puzzle and a bit beyond my pay grade right now but it was an enjoyable learning experience.

    Thanks to Elkamere for the challenge, and Gazza for some much needed hints.

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