Toughie 1188 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1188

Toughie No 1188 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Nowhere near as frustrating as the last Petitjean puzzle I blogged even though I struggled in the SW corner and had problems understanding some of the wordplay

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5a    Peacemakers question male first to establish identity (6)
{UNMASK} Peacemakers (an international organisation) + M (male) + ‘to question’

8a    Where manicurist keeps clippings and equipment? (4,4)
{NAIL FILE} The name of a piece of equipment used by a manicurist could also be interpreted as somewhere you might keep the clippings

9a    Flighty singer‘s frolic (7)
{SKYLARK} 2 meanings: a common songbird/to frolic

10a    Four possibly cut off before one or more than one spoke (5)
{RADII} A broadcasting channel (e.g. Four) with the last letter removed + I (one)

11a    Two run-of-the-mill starters take the edge off meal in club (9)
{TRUNCHEON} The first letters (starters) of Two Run-of-the-mill + a midday meal with the first letter (edge) removed

13a    Smorgasbord with its cheap ingredients (8)
{PASTICHE} An anagram (ingredients) of ITS CHEAP

14a    Half of pubs and small hotels — King’s Head included — will offer late session (4-2)
{LOCK-IN} The first half of a another word for pubs and the first half of a another word for small hotels goes round the first letter (head) of King to give a period of drinking in a pub after it has officially closed. It takes me back!

17a    Possibly retrieve fleece (3)
{TEG} ‘To retrieve’ is ‘to *** back’ and a reversal of *** gives the fleece of a sheep in its second year

19a    Recycle intermittently? The opposite is solution (3)
{LYE} A reversal of alternate letters of rEcYcLe gives a strong alkaline solution

20a    Support for outstanding work (6)
{RELIEF} 2 meanings: support/projection from the general surface

23a    Unusual Bellini opera delves into heart of story (8)
{ABNORMAL} The title of an opera by Vincenzo Bellini goes inside the middle 3 letters of a 5-letter word for a story

26a    Hotchpotch dish with duck and ginger root scattered in flatbread (9)
{POTPOURRI} A dish + O (duck) and the last letter (root) of gingeR separately inside an unleavened Indian bread

28a    Ex Sloaney hairdresser making a comeback — he’s a laugh (5)
{HYENA} Hidden in reverse in SloANEY Hairdresser. Ex (from) is the hidden word indicator

29a    It could be night-watchman is stumped and given not out (5-2)
{STAND-IN} A night-watchman in cricket is a relatively unskilled batsman who substitutes for a more skilled batsman towards the end of a day’s play. The wordplay is an abbreviation for ‘stumped’ + AND + the opposite of ‘out’

30a    When we sit down to eat polenta, for instance, a herb is called for (8)
{MEALTIME} The first half of the answer could be polenta and the second half is a homophone (called for) of a herb

31a    Stick plug in this place (6)
{ADHERE} ‘To stick’ = a plug (publicity) + ‘in this place’


1d    Catch backsliding spouse right away (6)
{ENTRAP} ‘To catch’ = a reversal of a spouse with R (right) removed

2d    Midshipman on liner now and then — knockout vessel (7)
{PIEDISH} The middle letter of shiPman + alternate letters of lInEr + a knockout (attractive person) = a vessel for baking

3d    Take chair in workplace without one half of seat (9)
{OFFICIATE} A workplace round I (one) and the second half of the word seAT

4d    Chaplin thankfully embraced projection (6)
{PLINTH} Hidden in ChaPLIN THankfully

5d    Inconsiderate ‘e-man like Peter Crouch — ignore spelling! (8)
{UNKINDLY} A he-man with the initial H removed + an adjective that describes someone disproportionately long and slender (e.g. Peter Crouch) with SP (spelling) removed

6d    A great deal’s left buried that is good for the garden (5)
{MULCH} A great deal goes round L (left)

7d    A short way to stop sounding dry (8)
{SARDONIC} A = an abbreviation for a way (thoroughfare) inside ‘sounding’ gives ‘dry’

12d    Vandalise nominated play area (3)
{REC} A homophone (nominated) of ‘to vandalise’

15d    Wine buff pigeonholed turned out neither grand nor heading for dipsomania (9)
{OENOPHILE} An anagram of PIEONHOLE, i.e. PIGEONHOLED less G (grand) and D (first letter of dipsomania)

16d    Mad to live with drunk old yob (8)
{BESOTTED} ‘To live’ + a drunk + an old yob (an unruly adolescent of the 1950s)

18d    Chords preceding endless song and dance with verse in that is lyrical (8)
{EFFUSIVE} Two letters that can denote chords + a song and dance with the last letter removed + V (verse) in IE (that is)

21d    Standard journalists surmounting resistance (3)
{PAR} The abbreviation for a multimedia press agency + R (resistance)

22d    Sovereign wanting answer is put in danger (7)
{IMPERIL} Remove A (answer) from sovereign

24d    Hell’s Angel ringing about Clash (6)
{BICKER} Another name for a Hell’s Angel (from their mode of transport) goes round an abbreviation denoting ‘about’

25d    Abandon Beethoven’s Ninth in ferment (6)
{LEAVEN} ‘To abandon’ + the ninth letter od BeethoveN

27d    Writer’s outwardly no-nonsense pasta (5)
{PENNE} Something you write with + the first and last letters (outwardly) of No-nonsensE

There was no need to be grumpy today

14 comments on “Toughie 1188

  1. Most of this went in without too much difficulty, but there were a few that I had to revisit a few times to finish off.
    Many thanks to Petitjean for an enjoyable tussle, and to Bufo for the review.

  2. Apart from 17A (which I did not get and should have) I was right on the setter’s wavelength today and although I had the correct answers I was unable to fully unravel 5D and 10A. But that’s sometimes the rub to being an Expat doing a British crossword. Thoroughly enjoyed this, with 7D being tops for me. Many thanks to Petitjean and Bufo.

  3. Good fun puzzle not too difficult but very enjoyable, favourites were 2d 17a and 29a thanks to Petitjean and to Bufo for the hints.

  4. enjoyable toughie – my favourite was 17a. Thanks to Petitjean and Bufo

  5. Tough enough for a Thursday for sure,I was stupidly stumped by 2dn , and needed the parsing for 10ac and 7dn. So many thanks to Bufo and PJ
    Minor pedantic/gourmet niggle as regards the Indian bread in 26ac, when served fresh these come beautifully puffed up – so anything but flat. I should get out more I know.

  6. Tough going but enjoyable. I needed help with 2 of the 3-letter words. Thx to Petitjean and Bufo.

  7. We struggled somewhat in the SW corner but did eventually get there. Had never heard of the person in 5d, let alone his physical characteristics, but got the answer from the definition and the checkers. Not a quick solve for us. Good stuff.
    Thanks Petitjean and Bufo.

  8. More like 4* for me, but quite enjoyable. I didn’t get 2d, but managed all the rest. 26a was my favourite, but 7d was good too. Thank you Petitjean, and Bufo for the review.

  9. Also failed on 2d and 4*/4* for me too. Loved 14a and 16d – and 5d is my LOL clue of the month so far.
    Many thanks to PJ and to Bufo.

  10. I always like Petitjean crosswords, and this was no exception. **** for enjoyment. Fave was 23a, closely followed by 26a, 30a and 16d. Thought 28a was beautifully camouflaged.

    Most of this was without problem, but there were a few clues I found very tricky. I needed hints for 19a, and also for 14a (an expression I’ve not come across before). I also needed explanations for my answers to 10a and 5d.

    Big thanks to Petitjean for an excellent puzzle and to Bufo for the lovely clear review.

  11. Struggled with 3 in SW. 17a in NO reference place. Bellini ? this obscure knowledge-And 26A ? Ot is POORI not PURI so does ny work !!!

    1. Works for me. Chambers (aka the Big Red Book), which is the DT setters bible, gives Puri first and Poori as an alternative spelling. 17A is also in Chambers.

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