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Toughie 1211

Toughie No 1211 by Shamus

A Tidy Amount of Fun

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I wouldn’t say that this was a doddle exactly but the answers did go in pretty easily compared with last Wednesday’s Elkamere. When I first printed off the grid I was a bit concerned by the four-letter answers with the double-unches in the middle but they were all very fairly clued and didn’t pose any great problems. Thanks to Shamus for the entertainment.

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 Rushed therapy received by ex-cricketer shortly (6)
{HECTIC} – the retired cricketer is a batsman who was born in Zimbabwe and played many times for England in the 1990s. Drop the final K from his surname (shortly) and insert a shocking form of medical therapy.

9a Loyalty, say, found in Nato maybe (10)
{ALLEGIANCE} – put the abbreviation for say or for instance into what Nato is an example of.

10a Steadfast global body on duty touring West (10)
{UNSWERVING} – the abbreviation for the global body based in New York followed by a present participle meaning on duty or doing one’s bit containing W(est).

11a Asian food for enjoyment that’s not new (4)
{TOFU} – start with a preposition meaning for (‘Is this the train for Halifax?’) and add a word for enjoyment without the N(ew).

12a Strength in complaint (4)
{BEEF} – double definition.

14a Tour’s clear to move in London area (5,5)
{EARLS COURT} – an anagram (to move) of TOUR’S CLEAR produces a district of London (once known as Kangaroo Valley because of the number of young Australian and New Zealand travellers living there, but nowadays better known for its Exhibition Centre). I did try to find out whether the name is spelt with an apostrophe – the answer is that the associated tube station does have an apostrophe but the district normally doesn’t – so that’s as clear as mud.

17a Bug attached to dress, a tiny organism (7)
{MICROBE} – a charade of a bug or listening device and a formal dress.

18a Fare for a violinist covered (7)
{RAVIOLI} – hidden (covered) in the clue.

20a Great order possibly deteriorating (10)
{RETROGRADE} – an anagram (possibly) of GREAT ORDER.

21a Counterpart secure after end of visit (4)
{TWIN} – a verb to secure or acquire comes after the end letter of visit.

22a Deviation provided by Nationalist in boring event (4)
{YAWN} – the deviation of a ship from its course followed by N(ationalist).

23a Fairy-tale character I left in clip? Hard work’s over including it (10)
{GOLDILOCKS} – insert I and L(eft) in a verb to clip or prune then reverse (over) a word for hard work around it.

25a Very pleasing day before having a chance to reach office? (10)
{DELECTABLE} – D(ay) followed by an adjective meaning in with a chance of being voted into office.

26a Feeble state appreciated in magistrate abroad (6)
{DOTAGE} – a short informal response meaning “Appreciated” or “I’m grateful” goes inside the title of the chief magistrate in Italian states such as Venice in times past.

Down Clues

2d Greek composer taken in by East European convert (10)
{EVANGELISE} – the professional name of Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, best known for his film scores, is contained between E(ast) and E(uropean).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d Actor in a warmer condition? (4)
{THAW} – double definition. I hope that Kath’s laid in a good supply of tissues this week.

4d Airline and another associated with good shopping accessory (7,3)
{CARRIER BAG} – a charade of a term for an airline, the initials by which one specific airline is known and G(ood).

5d African city is large after development (7)
{ALGIERS} – an anagram (after development) of IS LARGE.

6d Very eager to find a game’s opening defensive mistake (4)
{AGOG} – string together A (from the clue), the opening letter of game and the abbreviation for a defensive mistake in football.

7d Tidy, perhaps, trains too messy after onset of carousing (10)
{CARTOONIST} – what Bill Tidy works as is an anagram (messy) of TRAINS TOO after the first letter of C(arousing).

8d Take out Labour leader in tube? (6)
{DEDUCT} – the forename of the current leader of the Labour party is inside a tube.

13d Mention of boundary by horse in field for trailer? (10)
{FORERUNNER} – what sounds like (mention of) a boundary in cricket is followed by a horse listed to participate in a race.

15d New diets, including a meal, will be supported by Germany with public funding (5-5)
{STATE-AIDED} – an anagram (new) of DIETS includes A and a specific meal. All that is followed (supported by) the IVR code for Germany.

16d Boisterous sovereign supporting list of names in charge (10)
{ROLLICKING} – the ‘supporting’ construct makes a swift reappearance. This time it’s a male monarch doing the supporting and what he’s holding up is a list of names and the abbreviation for in charge.

19d An iconic creature among Victorians? (7)
{WALLABY} – I’m not aware that this creature has any special significance for the people of Victoria which doesn’t also apply to the rest of Australia. It is the symbol of the Australian Rugby Union team so I’m assuming that that’s what’s meant by iconic – unless you have any better ideas?

20d ME capital in small state with upcoming hot period (6)
{RIYADH} – ME here is not the state of Maine but Middle East. Start with the US Postal Code for a small state (not that far from Maine, as it happens) then reverse (upcoming) H(ot) and a period of time.

23d Way of moving picked up in entrance (4)
{GATE} – this is a homophone (picked up) of a manner of walking.

24d Remove set of books about American (4)
{OUST} – the abbreviation for the set of books with lots of begetting contains one of the abbreviations for American.

My favourite clue today was 7d. Let us know which one(s) you enjoyed.

18 comments on “Toughie 1211

  1. Would have finished sooner had I not spelled 4A incorrectly and plumped for the way of moving in 23D instead of the entrance. Also I was fixed on ME being the abbreviation for a US State for far too long. Sorted eventually, though. Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  2. I also got held up by putting the walk in 23d, other than that quite straightforward. Favourites 4d and 7d thanks to Shamus and to Gazza for the review.

  3. I enjoyed this one very much.
    Didn’t know several things – the 1a cricketer, the abbreviation in 6d (can’t find it in BRB so no idea what it means – perhaps it’s something I don’t need to clutter my brain with!), the deviation in 22a or the cartoonist but, as gazza said, all the clues were fair.
    I liked 12a and 4d. Favourite was, needless to say, 3d. Twice in one week – it’s all too much for me! out of tissues now.
    With thanks to Shamus and gazza.

    1. You’re right. og (own goal) isn’t in the BRB – I should have looked it up but it’s pretty common in football scores so I assumed it would be there.

      1. At least I now know what it means – thank you. Wonder if I’ll remember it for when I need it next time although I’m not sure I’ve seen it in a crossword before.

        1.’m off the hook too – just about! Mine is 11th edition and page 1070 only goes down to “ogre”. Honest guv – I really did look.
          I never doubted gazza or Shamus for one second but, having the attention span of a gnat, I doubted my ability to keep hunting, specially as I wasn’t sure what I was hunting for.

  4. I found it darned tough and was thoroughly surprised to finish in the end. Misspelling of 9a caused problems.3d , 2d 4d, and 19d stood out for me.Thanks Gazza and Shamus.

  5. We found that some of the references that are not so familiar in our part of the world, eg 1a, 7d, 6d, 8d, 14a probably made this a little more difficult for us than for UK solvers, but not overly so. Ended up about average solving time. Enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks Shamus and Gazza.

  6. Still needing help but got there in the end. My favourites 23a and 4d. I didn’t think much to 19d – thanks for explanation Gazza. Otherwise most enjoyable – thanks Shamus.

  7. We were certainly given easy rides with all three puzzles today – Cryptic, Quickie and Toughie. Thanks Shamus for fun with this one and Gazza for your review

  8. Iconically speaking I had no problem with 19d ,in fact it made me smile more than others in a puzzle designed to do just that .For which many thanks to Shamus and yet again Gazza

  9. I seem to be alone in not liking this one. I particularly don’t like clues with famous or not so famous people 1a never heard of -got the answer but had no idea of reason, 2d didn’t know any Greek composers and 7d although I have heard of the cartoonist. Some nice anagrams though and some clever word play on other clues.

  10. Very enjoyable! I particularly liked 1a, 23a and 16d.

    Also much enjoyed going through the review. Although having all the correct answers, I did have some queries. I didn’t know how to parse 9a, and wrongly thought it might be a double definition. And I did miss the double definition in 3d! I didn’t know that ‘og’ means ‘own goal’ in 6d, nor had I heard of the cartoonist in 7d. Lastly, I didn’t realise that ‘picked up’ is a homophone indicator. The rest, I’m relieved to say, were parsed correctly.

    Many thanks to Shamus for this most enjoyable puzzle. And many thanks, too, to Gazza for the super review which I have found invaluable.

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