Toughie 1167

Toughie No 1167 by Sparks

I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

The most difficulty I had in this enjoyable puzzle was in working out some of the wordplay (especially 26a).

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.

Across Clues

1a  Nick is essential to plan to support one in charge (14)
{MISAPPROPRIATE} – start off by inserting IS into a plan or chart, then add a support or buttress. Finally put I (one) inside a charge.

9a  They will hibernate in a room that is cold to enter (7)
{DORMICE} – the short form of a communal bedroom is followed by the abbreviation of ‘that is’ containing C(old).

10a  Kind of fruit reduced by 30 per cent (7)
{CLEMENT} – drop the last three letters from a citrus fruit.

11a  Ultimately, The Obama Diaries advocate freedom (4)
{EASE} – the last letters of four words in the clue.

12a  Adder having a stretch when it’s warm (10)
{SUMMERTIME} – someone who adds followed by another informal word for a stretch at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

14a  Hunt in South Africa, avoiding Cape when touring (6)
{SAFARI} – S(outh) followed by an anagram (when touring) of AFRI(c)A without the C(ape).

15a  Played in the wrong order, being eclipsed (3-5)
{OUT-ACTED} – start with a phrasal verb meaning played a role then swap the order of the two parts. My edition of Chambers doesn’t have this and in those dictionaries which do it’s given as one word with no hyphen.

17a  Could one in trouble be this utterly chicken? (4,4)
{DEAD MEAT} – an informal word for utterly (as in **** gorgeous) followed by what chicken is an example of.

18a  He was gloomy about going after every job when regularly rejected (6)
{EEYORE} – a preposition meaning about or concerning follows the odd letters of ‘every job’ to make Pooh’s pessimistic friend.

21a  Helping Jack, say, to obtain share certificates? (6,4)
{RATION CARD} – a helping or allotment is followed by what a jack or knave is an example of.

22a  In a certain type of light, each is a bit of a looker (4)
{UVEA} – part of the eye comes from the abbreviation for a type of light followed by the abbreviation for each.

24a  Warm  drink (7)
{CORDIAL} – double definition, the drink being of the non-alcoholic variety.

25a  Touching progress, in a way (7)
{AGAINST} – a word for progress or advancement goes between A and the abbreviation for a type of way.

26a  Circulation booster needs cover that’s redesigned so I lay out in an OTT style (14)
{OSTENTATIOUSLY} – a device inserted by a surgical procedure to relieve an obstruction in an artery, say, and thus improve circulation goes inside (needs cover) an anagram (redesigned) of SO I LAY OUT.

Down Clues

1d  Close up in group, one from the Eighties (7)
{MADNESS} – the name of a London-based band who peaked in the early Eighties comes from reversing (up) a verb to close or finish inside a group or large number.

2d  Results of marathon perhaps break, with anxiety to come first and second (6,9)
{STRESS FRACTURES} – a verb to break (a bone, say) is preceded by anxiety or tension and followed by S(econd). I’m not too keen on this one – the word for break has the same meaning in the wordplay as the answer.

3d  Dial  former illustrator (4)
{PHIZ} – double definition – an informal word for a dial or face and the pseudonym of the wonderfully named Hablot Knight Browne who illustrated many of Dickens’s works.

4d  Melancholy rake choked up when all sign of love is lost (6)
{RUEFUL} – put together another word for a rake or libertine and an adjective meaning choked up or polluted with noxious matter, then take away the O from each.

5d  Order for taxi to collect drink? (4-2-2)
{PICK-ME-UP} – a tonic could also, without the hyphens, be a request to a cab firm to collect you.

6d  Bombed Britain, having been shelled, needs to be rebuilt (10)
{INEBRIATED} – an anagram (to be rebuilt) of BRITAIN and (n)EED(s) (shelled, i.e. without its outer letters).

7d  Artwork in article with delivery from non-European locations (3,5,2,5)
{THE BIRTH OF VENUS} – to get this famous painting by Botticelli we have to string together a) a definite article, b) the delivery of a child, c) another word for ‘from’ and d) locations or arenas without the second E(uropean).

8d  Listen for what may follow news on daughter (6)
{ATTEND} – what may follow ‘News …’ in a UK TV listings magazine (2,3) precedes D(aughter).

13d  Bouncers may work on it (10)
{TRAMPOLINE} – gentle cryptic definition.

16d  Hero‘s weapon overcoming destiny (8)
{LANCELOT} – an old weapon (which would have been used by this fictional hero) precedes (overcoming, in a down clue) destiny or fate.

17d  Order soldiers to stop tyrant — not half (6)
{DIRECT} – the abbreviation for sappers goes inside (to stop) the first half of a word meaning tyrant.

19d  Dead former law passed by Parliament has lobby disheartened (7)
{EXACTLY} – string together a prefix meaning old or former, a law passed by Parliament and the outer letters (disheartened) of lobby. Dead here is an adverb, as in ‘dead ahead’.

20d  Nomadic worker suppressed by mistake (6)
{ERRANT} – the usual working insect follows (suppressed by, in a down clue) a verb to mistake or transgress.

23d  Gangster boss promoted old man in ‘the Firm’ (4)
{CAPO} – this Italian word for a Mafia boss comes from reversing an affectionate word for old man or father inside the abbreviation for a firm or business.

On the podium for me today were 18a, 21a and 4d. How about you?

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10 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    A perfect Toughie for a Wednesday thank you Sparks. My top favourite has to be 18a but then he is my favourite AA Milne character! I particularly liked the way that so many of the clues depended on you getting the correct definition from a choice of possibles: 1a being a fine example . I quote from an email from ‘a friend’: “1a was a master class on how to write a clue with a convincing and utterly misleading surface with every word building up to the solution.”

    Thanks to the very lucky blogger of such a great Toughie too.

  2. BigBoab
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable if not so tough toughie, many thanks to Sparks and to Gazza for the excellent review.

  3. Expat Chris
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Phew. I finished without hints, though it was a bit of a slog for me, but an enjoyable one nevertheless. I have never heard of the group in 1D but Google confirmed my answer. 3D was the last one in, dragged from the recesses of my brain. Loved 26A, 7D, and, once I’d solved it, 3D. Thanks to Sparks for the workout and to Gazza for the review.

  4. Pegasus
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one, favourites were 3d 18a and 22a thanks to Sparks and to Gazza for the comments.

  5. JB
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Being picky – I failed with 21a because, although I got the answer, I dismissed it. Surely, if it says certificates, the answer should be in the plural?

    • gazza
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s ok because a ration card or ration book contains a number of coupons or vouchers.

  6. 2Kiwis
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    This one gave us quite a fight but one that we enjoyed all the way. With 15a, we had put in ‘out-grown’, it fitted the definition and ‘grown’ is an anagram of ‘wrong’ with played or order as indicator and were hence loath to change it until the checkers proved impossible. Our favourite was 18a where we searched for someone more classical or Biblical until the penny dropped. Also took ages to piece together the “LEGO” bits for 1a. All good fun.
    Thanks Sparks and Gazza.

  7. Salty Dog
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, but l didn’t enjoy that one much. I couldn’t seem to get on to Sparks’ wavelength and stay there, and needed a couple of Gazza’s hints to complete. There were some good clues, though, and 17a was my favourite. Thanks anyway to Sparks, and to Gazza for getting me to the finish line.

  8. Heno
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Sparks and Gazza, only solved nine. Was totally beyond me.

  9. Tigerbond
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I struggled my way through all bar one clue. I was convinced for a long time that 3D was DALI which delayed the NW corner. The real answer for 3D was beyond me, never having heard of either definition. As ever, many thanks for the explanations.