Toughie 1181

Toughie No 1181 by Firefly

Holy Pony!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Batman found this fairly easy once he had solved 6 down, but he would like to point out, once again, that no true Cockney would use the rhyming word in rhyming slang – it’s boat not boat race for face, syrup not syrup of figs for wig, and so on.

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Batman goes Across

1a    Fruitful flight for 6? (6,3,5)
{APPLES AND PEARS] – two types of fruit give the Cockney rhyming slang for a flight of stairs

9a / 24a    Meaty support in view for 6? (8,4)
{BUTCHER’S HOOK} – a support for meat gives the Cockney rhyming slang for a view or look

10a    Dressing oddly, in smallest aunt’s top (5)
{SALSA} – the odd letters of a word in the clue followed by the initial letter (top) of Aunt

12a    Following note, politician finds relief (4)
{TEMP} – a note of the scale in sol-fa notation followed by the usual politician gives a relief worker

13a    Vernal rite set to be neither here nor there (10)
{IRRELEVANT} – an anagram (set) of VERNAL RITE

15a    Sappers, prior to boring, stepping back (8)
{RETIRING} – the abbreviation for the army sappers followed by a word meaning boring or tedious

16a    Stand by troublesome redhead, though a date’s off (6)
{ADHERE} – an anagram (troublesome) of REDHEA(D) without (off) one of the D(ate)s

18a    Brief article on ‘Hasty Party’ (6)
{THRASH} – the definite article without its final letter (brief) followed by an adjective meaning hasty gives a wild party

20a    That’s a vixen and badger sounding out, Sir (8)
{HARRIDAN} – this vixen or sharp-tongued, bullying old woman is derived from what sounds like a verb meaning to badger followed by a title of honour equivalent to Master or Sir

23a    Mouthwatering opportunity for receiver among 6? (3,3,4)
{DOG AND BONE} – this mouthwatering opportunity for a domestic pet gives the Cockney rhyming slang for a telephone

24a    See 9 Across

26a    Former central part of rat race — now just one of the crowd? (5)
{EXTRA} – the usual former partner followed by the middle letters (central part) of raT RAce

27a    A little bit of roguery afoot? That’s wrong (3-5)
{ILL-TREAT} – an anagram (afoot) of A LITTLE and the initial letter (bit) of Roguery gives a verb meaning to do wrong to or abuse

28a    Plenty of space for plate for 6? (9,5)
{HAMPSTEAD HEATH} – an open space in North London gives the Cockney rhyming slang for teeth, particularly false teeth

Robin goes Down

2d    Fruit collected in fall (7)
{PLUMMET} The name for a fruit, think drupes, is added to something that means collected to give a word for to fall.

3d    In ballet, ‘chasses’ make an impression (4)
{ETCH}    Hidden inside ‘ballet chasses” is a word that means to make an impression or engrave.

4d    Rogue storm blankets southern half of Granite City (8)
{ABERRANT}    Probably the best clue in the puzzle. Take the name of the Scottish city known as The Granite City and replace the second half of the name (‘blankets southern half) with a word meaning storm or shout. This gives you something that means rogue or deviant.

5d    Troublesome detritus? Get rid of it with cloth (6)
{DUSTER} An anagram of DETRITUS minus IT gives a type of cloth. Robin frowns when he sees these clues as they seem unfair. I have told him to shut up and think about fighting the latest evil plans of Catwoman (or Crypticsue as she is known around here).

6d    Choppy seas surround supply boat delivering soap (10)
{EASTENDERS} The theme word for a few of the answers is the name of a TV soap opera which is revealed by taking the name for a supply ship (see the Big Red Book) and inserting it in an anagram (choppy) of SEAS.

7d    Authorise publication of ‘Open Country round London’ after couple of revisions (7)
{RELEASE} After RE (couple [of letters] of REvisions, goes a word meaning open country or meadow and the location of the area around London [standard crossword abbreviation No 243].

8d    Virulent type provokes earnest talk (11)
{RATTLESNAKE} The name for something that is highly poisonous is an anagram (provokes) of EARNEST TALK.

11d    Begin getting lathered about ending in a Hollywood style? (4-7)
{STAR-STUDDED} Take a word meaning begin then place something that means getting lathered around the last letter to give an expression that means in the manner of Hollywood. Again Robin shook his head at this clue, but I told him to concentrate on trying to escape from this cage of man-eating tigers.

14d    Tidy around square on outskirts of Crimea gulag (6,4)
{PRISON CAMP} Something that means tidy or spruce up goes around S (square) + ON + CA (outskirts, end letters, of CrimeA} to give a phrase that means the same as gulag.

17d    Might this provide eponymous shade? (8)
{MAGNOLIA} A cryptic definition for somewhere that might give you shade when you are sunbathing is also the name of a shade of colour often found on many walls of British houses and whose petals are currently covering most of the Batmobile parked outside Robin’s secret location..

19d    Race of Tuareg at Tanezrouft (7)
{REGATTA} Hidden in TuaREG AT TAnezrouft is the name for a type of race.

21d    Maiden in histrionics creating a scene (7)
{DIORAMA} Inside a word meaning histrionics or crisis goes the name of a Greek maiden to give the name of a model of a historical scene.

22d    Specially-made boots I provided for player (6)
{OBOIST} An anagram (specially made) of BOOTS I gives the name of a musician.

25d    Cunning seen in bridge? (4)
{ARCH} A word meaning cunning or craftiness is part of a bridge.

Batman would like to add that he was not responsible for any of those nasty slurs attributed to him by Robin – the poor lad has taken to talking to himself recently!


  1. crypticsue
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Not tough and averagely entertaining. Thanks to Firefly and the Dynamic Duo.

  2. gazza
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m a bit puzzled by 19d. It would be a pretty poor regatta if it only had a single race.

  3. BigBoab
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Firefly and the Dynamic Duo, a decidedly untough toughie but reasonably entertaining and a very enjoyable review.

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I did not find this that easy. I got 6D quickly (although I’ve never seen the show, I have heard of it) but it was a tussle to drag what little rhyming slang I know up from the recesses of my mind. I initially had rag and bone for 23A, and 28A put up a fight but I got it in the end. Also came up short on 27A. I completely missed the anagram. Maybe I’m being picky, but I would not consider 10A to be a dressing. Still, all in all I quite enjoyed this. Thanks to Firefly and to the Dynamic Duo for the review.

  5. stanXYZ
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I don’t Adam and Eve it!

    I’ve finished a Friday Toughie without help!

    Never heard this one as just “Adam”?

  6. spindrift
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got to agree with Robin re:11d ~ very iffy imho.
    ‘Holy priceless collection of Etruscan Snoods Batman!’
    (it’s amazing what you can find on google).

    Thanks to Firefly & the Droll Duet.

    • Tilsit
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Not forgetting

      “Batman, Holy Olio!”

      “This is no time for yodelling Robin!”

  7. halcyon
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this and must leap to the defence of 11d. Fair definition and well-structured wordplay. Maybe “its ending” would have made it a bit clearer but fine by me. Also liked 4d.
    Nice one Firefly and thanks to the dduo, especially for explaining “Sir” in 20a.

  8. Dutch
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    The mouthwatering opportunity might also refer to use of this answer as a pub name?

  9. andy
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Gazza that the boat race clue didn’t quite work for me but hey ho. 4d excellent. Thanks to Julian and Sandy, sorry Batman and Robin and to Firefly

  10. Salty Dog
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Cor blimey, Guv’nor, stone the bleedin’ crows! I got there unaided eventually but was hampered by a near-violent aversion to TV soap operas. Still, it was enjoyable in its way so l would assess this one at 2*/3*. 21d was my pick of the clues. Ta to Firefly, and to B&R for an entertaining review.

  11. Kath
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    My second ever Friday Toughie completed as long as I’m allowed to say “completed” when I needed a couple of explanations.
    I don’t think that many people have the shade of magnolia in the picture on their walls – it would be tricky to live with.
    I liked the rhyming slang theme.
    With thanks to Firefly, Batman and Robin for the crossword and the hints. A special mention should go to someone who was a neighbour of ours about thirty years ago – he taught me lots of rhyming slang which has been endlessly useful since I started doing crosswords.

  12. Only fools
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    In a minority as 11d was my favourite just ahead of 4d .
    Thanks to Firefly and the twosome .