Toughie 1205

Toughie No 1205 by Notabilis

Ma il mio nome è Lucia

(But my name is Lucy)

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

On of Notabilis’s gentler offerings today. The only one that held me up was the four-letter word at 26 down which had two vowels as the checking letters, although I found 1 down a bit tricky to explain.

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.


1a    Not welcome to appear, turning in loose bundle (11)
{UNDESIRABLE} – the reversal (to appear) of a verb meaning to appear or occur inside an anagram (loose) of BUNDLE

9a    Distributor carrying writing implement that’s wielded to make a point? (9)
{SHARPENER} – a distributor or someone who apportions around (carrying) a writing implement

10a    Tree with less cover up top, after an initial lop (5)
{ALDER} – an adjective meaning with less cover up on the top of the head without (lop) its initial letter

11a    Some occupants of Omagh, astonished and shocked (6)
{AGHAST} – hidden (some occupants of) inside the clue

13a    Type of Italian European to catch one in covered vehicle (8)
{VENETIAN} – E(uropean) followed by a verb meaning to catch and I (one) inside a covered commercial vehicle

14a    Guarantee Conservative escapes blame (6)
{ENSURE} – drop (escapes) the C(onservative) from a word meaning blame

16a    Cold capital city, almost in reverse of prevailing conditions (8)
{CLIMATIC} – C(old) followed by the capital of Peru and the reversal of most of CIT[y]

19a    Country‘s agents seizing exotic bloom (8)
{COLOMBIA} – the usual American spies (agents) around (seizing) an anagram (exotic) of BLOOM

20a    Open prison cheated (6)
{CANDID} – a slang word for a prison followed by a verb meaning cheated

22a    Trio trapping quiet river shark (8)
{THRESHER} – the number in a trio around an exhortation to keep quiet and finally R(iver)

24a    Tape short part of trunk’s frame (6)
{RIBBON} – start with a part of the frame or skeleton belonging to the trunk or chest (3,4) and drop (short) the final letter

27a    Bodega finally provided source for tequila (5)
{AGAVE} – the final letter of [bodeg]A followed by a verb meaning provided or bestowed

28a    Gyllenhaal, extremely passionate and alluring (9)
{GLAMOROUS} – the outer letters (extremely) of G[yllenhaa]L followed by an adjective meaning passionate

30a    Unexpectedly grand yeomen risk compensation (6,5)
{DANGER MONEY} – an anagram (unexpectedly) of GRAND YEOMEN


1d    Prestigious do to the one above? (7)
{UPSCALE} – this could mean to start with a do (doh) and then play the note above

2d    Perhaps wolf wearing red suits killing (5)
{DEATH} – a verb that could mean (perhaps) to wolf inside (wearing) the abbreviations for the two red suits of playing cards

3d    Dipped bread in broth? That’s not classy (3)
{SOP} – start with a broth and drop (that’s not) the single-letter that means classy

4d    Something printer’s charged with after right people skate around it (4)
{RINK} – something that is put in (charged with) a printer follows R(ight)

5d    Ringer to cross old road then ring Madam’s house (8)
{BORDELLO} – something that rings around O(ld) R(oa)D and followed by the ring-shaped letter

6d    Times Square’s close to clear (5)
{ERASE} – some long periods of time followed by the final letter (close) of [squar]E

7d    Priestly article and Arabian icon smashed (7)
{AARONIC} – the indefinite article followed by AR(abian) and an anagram (smashed) of ICON

8d    Hand on goalie’s last in total conceded (8)
{ADMITTED} – a colloquial word for the hand and the final letter (last) of [goali]E inside a verb meaning to total or sum

12d    Second brief scrap or brawl (5)
{SCRUM} – S(econd) followed by most of (brief) a scrap of bread

15d    Caravan route disturbed dark soil (4,4)
{SILK ROAD} – an anagram (disturbed) of DARK SOIL

17d    Port area circled by bohemians’ tragic neighbour (5)
{MIAMI} – A(rea) inside (circled by) the tragic neighbour of a group of young artists in Puccini’s La Bohème

18d    Mercenary, warlike nomad suppresses anger, dreaming vacantly (5,3)
{HIRED GUN} – a a member of warlike nomad tribe who once invaded and ravaged Europe around (suppresses) a three-letter word meaning anger and D[reamin]G without its inner letters (vacantly) of

19d    Disapproving outcry as hospital leaves blanket (7)
{CATCALL} – drop the H(ospital) from an adjective meaning (5-3) blanket or comprehensive

21d    Yard turned over vicious, powerful family (7)
{DYNASTY} – the abbreviation for Y(ar)D is reversed (turned over in a down clue) and followed by an adjective meaning vicious

23d    Use up odds and ends, nearly (5)
{SPEND} – the two-letter abbreviation for the betting odds at the start of a race followed by most of (nearly) END[s]

25d    Baron inhales deeply, out of breath (5)
{BLOWN} – the abbreviation B(aro)N around (inhales) an adverb meaning with a deep voice

26d    Shake stage for audience (4)
{FAZE} – sounds like (for audience) a stage or distinct period

29d    Resistance unit primarily opposing the monarch (3)
{OHM} – the initial letter (primarily) of O[pposing] followed by the abbreviated form of address for a monarch

Just as Bufo did yesterday, I looked for, and failed to find, a Nina.



  1. gazza
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    It was only after reading BD’s hint for 1d and not understanding it that I realised that I had the wrong answer (upstage). Thanks to Notabilis and BD.

    • wahoo
      Posted June 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      That’s what I had last night – my incorrect reasoning being that the answer meant something like “to do better” and justifying upstage as alluded to by something prestigious – but my error became apparent when I submitted online, so had to go back to the thinking box! So the only other word I came to happened to be correct – but until BD’s hint I didn’t realise why!

    • Catnap
      Posted June 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Me too! My reasoning as Wahoo’s.

  2. andy
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    gazza you were not alone.
    re 26d spent a while trying to fit daze / dais before settling on the correct answer. Thanks to Notabilis and BD.

  3. wahoo
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Nearly finished this last night (after a fairly straightforward Giovanni cryptic) but just couldn’t get 7d, 23d and 26d – for which I need your hints this morning – many thanks for that BD. Very enjoyable nevertheless. 18d was probably my favourite.

  4. Physicist
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I see I am in august company in not getting 1d; I didn’t realise that ‘do’ could be ‘doh’. D’oh!

  5. Expat Chris
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I had upstage for 1D also, and came up short on the first two letters of 7D. Really enjoyed this, with 16A, 5D, 19D and 26D all getting a thumbs up from me. Many thanks to Notabilis, and to BD for the review.

  6. elcid
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I struggled but completed without hints except for 7d. Many thanks to BD for that hint and to the setter for an enjoyable “work-out”

  7. 2Kiwis
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    It wasn’t until we read the review this morning that we realise we also had 1d wrong by having upstage. The other one that we had wrong was 26d where we also had DAZE. Still think that this fits the clue as well as the correct answer and even BRB gives its first pronunciation option for DAIS as a homophone for DAZE. However we will just accept a big X on our report card for that one too. Pesky little four letter answer again! Apart from all that, enjoyable fun.
    Thanks Notabilis and BD.

  8. Salty Dog
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I needed 5 hints in the NE corner to fill the grid, and a few more to explain how l should have arrived at some of my other (fortuitously correct) solutions. Certainty more than 2* difficulty for me, at least. No particular favourite, l’m afraid, but my thanks to Notabilis anyway. And, of course, to BD.

  9. Catnap
    Posted June 24, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Saved this to do at a later date and only just completed it. I say ‘completed’ but that’s not quite so as I needed the answers to no less than four clues, and explanations of my answers to a further four (1d included). I managed the remainder of the puzzle correctly.

    Large and appreciative thanks to Big Dave for the much-needed clarification.

    Many thanks to Notabilis for a very enjoyable crossword with many entertaining clues. I liked 9a, 19a, 3d and 18d amongst others. I also liked the anagrams.