Toughie 1199

Toughie No 1199 by Giovanni

Chinese Red

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

Pretty tough today I thought with a fair bit of General Knowledge needed, but I did enjoy the challenge – thanks to Giovanni. It’s also a pangram. Talking of GK there was a contestant on yesterday’s edition of Pointless who thought that the Battle of Waterloo took place in England in the 1500s.

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 Soon comes round to dump rubbish — something tiny discovered (10)
{ANTIPROTON} – this is a short-lived particle. Put an archaic adverb mean soon or shortly around a verb to dump (in an unauthorised place if preceded by fly-) and rubbish or nonsense.

6a Negotiators employed by Barclays regularly (4)
{ACAS} – the even (regularly) letters of Barclays.

9a As a host is showing certain things in their natural order? (10)
{ALPHABETIC} – ‘a host’ is an example, i.e. its letters are in a well-known order.

10a A third of fruit going off in African port (4)
{ORAN} – remove two of the six letters of a citrus fruit.

12a I go expanding out as Communist statesman (4,8)
{DENG XIAOPING} – an anagram (out) of I GO EXPANDING gives us the name of the Chinese leader who followed Mao Zedong. Well done if you managed to spell this without looking it up.

15a Set off to celebrate wildly with leader deposed (6)
{AROUSE} – ‘set off’ here is being used in the sense of ‘stir up’. Remove the initial C from a verb to celebrate wildly.

16a One to blossom as dissenter imprisoned by bullying prince (8)
{HAREBELL} – a dissenter or anti-authority figure is contained by Shakespeare’s bullying prince.

18a Disconcerted as one revealing planted kiss? (3-5)
{RED-FACED} – two definitions, the second a cryptic description of one showing the after-effects of a kiss from someone wearing lipstick.

19a Apartments in which criminals will hold party (6)
{CONDOS} – this is the abbreviated form of types of apartment in North America. A slang word for criminals or prisoners contains a festive party.

21a Author with pen swivelling about on seat (7-5)
{QUILLER-COUCH} – this is the English author who wrote using the pen name Q. String together a) an old type of pen, b) the reversal (swivelling) of a preposition meaning about or concerning and c) a multi-person seat.

24a Composer offers no introductory key (4)
{IVES} – this is Charles, the American composer. Start with a verb meaning offers or hands over and take away the musical key at its start.

25a A small drink knocked back by boy in company, a rum-based potation (4,6)
{PINA COLADA} – reverse A and a small quantity of spirits, then insert a boy between the abbreviation for company and A (from the clue).

26a Religious troublemaker you turned away (4)
{MONK} – religious here is a noun, meaning someone who’s taken monastic vows. Start with a word used to describe a mischievous child and remove (away) the reversal (turned) of an old word for you.

27a Paper boss rejected free debate (10)
{DELIBERATE} – reverse the usual abbreviation for the boss of a paper and add a verb to free from imprisonment or oppression.

Down Clues

1d A horse is a poor performer when lacking part of harness (4)
{ARAB} – start with a poor performer (especially one useless at a sport) (1,6) and take away part of a harness.

2d What’s not right is concealed by party politics (4)
{TYPO} – hidden.

3d Sharp lawyers decked out in special gear for supplicants (6,6)
{PRAYER SHAWLS} – an anagram (decked out) of SHARP LAWYERS produces garments worn by Jewish men during the morning service.

4d Nervous, looking down at Much Wenlock? (2,4)
{ON EDGE} – double definition. Cryptically this is where you may be standing in Shropshire if you’re able to look down on Much Wenlock.

5d I drink in exam, being odd in character (8)
{ORIGINAL} – insert I and an alcoholic drink in a viva voce.

7d Good content in TV soap and bad things to be put right (10)
{CORRIGENDA} – insert G(ood) in the familiar abbreviation for the long-running soap based in the fictional town of Weatherfield, then add an anagram (bad) of AND.

8d African to experience biting winds in Durham? (10)
{SENEGALESE} – I got this from the checking letters then spent some time trying to make the wordplay work with the outer letters being see (i.e. bishopric) of which Durham is an example. I don’t know whether this was Giovanni’s fiendish plan but it worked with me. Eventually I twigged that see is a verb to experience containing (biting) ‘winds in Durham’ (2,5) (bearing in mind that Durham is in the North-East of England).

11d End up as many will when visiting a cathedral (4,2,1,5)
{COME TO A CLOSE} – you need to know the usual name for the precinct surrounding a cathedral.

13d ‘Quire’ (unusual spelling!) having energy in pleasant piece of music (3,7)
{WAR REQUIEM} – put an anagram (unusual spelling) of QUIRE and E(nergy) inside an adjective meaning pleasant or friendly.

14d Bits of good pie now put out for wild bird (4,6)
{WOOD PIGEON} – an anagram (bits of … put out) of GOOD PIE NOW.

17d A resident shortly to be off is left in Britain (8)
{NEARSIDE} – an anagram (to be off) of A RESIDEN(t) shortly produces what’s on the left in Britain but on the right where they have different driving conventions.

20d One African country thus introduces another one’s language (6)
{SOMALI} – a country in West Africa is preceded (introduces) by a word meaning thus.

22d A sharp change of direction going up a troubled region (4)
{GAZA} – reverse (going up) A and a sharp change of direction.

23d Stone  horse not in prime condition (4)
{JADE} – double definition, the first a green ornamental stone.

The clues I liked best were 18a (which made me laugh), 8d (for the misdirection in the wordplay) and 17d. Let us know which ones appealed to you.

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16 Comments

  1. Pegasus
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I found this one very tough, Re 12a It’s the 25th Anniversary of the uprising in Tiananmen Square today, and this statesman was one of the main oppressors. Favourites for me today were 1d 3d and 18a thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the review.

  2. Jezza
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Very hard for me today, and I needed a little internet help to finish it.
    I did enjoy it, so many thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

  3. Expat Chris
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Ugh. Not to my taste at all. I gave up after struggling through a little more than half. No fun factor for me. Thank you Gazza for the review.

  4. spindrift
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Only fight the battles that you can win…

  5. Kath
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    It’s done nothing but rain all day so I don’t feel even a tiny bit guilty about just how long this has taken me – hours! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    I found it very difficult but did finish it although I needed the hints to explain a few – well, OK quite a lot.
    I liked 19 and 26a and 11 and 20d. My favourite was 18a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to gazza.

  6. Linda Clifford
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I hate to leave a crossword unfinished so your blog is a godsend. There are always a few that really test the mind! Can do Tuesday without help but after that it is straight onto the computer to find your blog. many thanks.

    • gazza
      Posted June 4, 2014 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Linda. Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope that we’ll hear from you on a regular basis.

  7. elcid
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Took a while but I finished except for 26a. After reading Gazza’s hint for the clue I had a “doh” moment and if I’d realized it was a paragram might actually have got it! – thanks to Giovanni for a fun puzzle and Gazza for explaining a couple of clues I could not parse and of course 26a!

  8. Salty Dog
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes, that was pretty tough. I managed all of it except 1d (and there are six of them eating their heads off outside my window) and the first part of 13d. I thought 4d was very clever and enjoyed 14d because they do indeed make very good pies. I have to say that 21a – even though l got it – is pretty obscure, and I’ve certainly never heard of “religious” as a noun! Even so, Giovanni gets a rousing cheer for a challenging and rewarding puzzle, as does Gazza for an entertaining review.

  9. Salty Dog
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes, that was pretty tough. I managed all of it except 1d (and there are six of them eating their heads off outside my window) and the first part of 13d. I thought 4d was very clever and enjoyed 14d because they do indeed make very good pies. I have to say that 21a – even though l got it – is pretty obscure, and I’ve certainly never heard of “religious” as a noun! Even so, Giovanni gets a rousing cheer for a challenging and rewarding puzzle, as does Gazza for an entertaining review.

    • Salty Dog
      Posted June 4, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Second thoughts – yes l have, because I’ve just read to the bottom of the dictionary entry!

      • Kath
        Posted June 4, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        That’s how I miss stuff all the time – not enough patience to read the whole lot – stupid really! Yet another thing I must learn.

  10. 2Kiwis
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    23a was our last one in. We looked at it for ages, then remembered that we had earlier noticed the pangram possibility. Checked the grid to find the missing letter and had the answer immediately. Needed google help with a couple eg 4d, 6a, and the spelling of 12a but surprisingly, not for 21a. Good challenge and good fun.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  11. halcyon
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Agree this was pretty tough. Defeated by 17d.

    Loved 7d and [especially] 8d – very well-constructed clues.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  12. BigBoab
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Pure dead brilliant to paraphrase a well known Glasgow euphemism, many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for a superb review.

  13. Only fools
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Last one in rather different to most 24a which I almost gave up on .Favourite 8d and pleased to finish .
    Thanks Giovanni for the challenge would never have got 21a without the precise clue and to Gazza for an exceptional review