Toughie 1241

Toughie No 1241 by Sparks

Neat Footwork

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

Thanks to Sparks for an enjoyable puzzle producing a number of d’oh moments.
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 Widespread alarm about oddly viewed dreams (8)
PANDEMIC – alarm or uncontrollable fear containing the odd letters of dreams.

6a People in authority having otherwise introduced an ideal situation? (6)
THEORY – those nameless people in authority who are always being urged to ‘do something’ contain a conjunction meaning otherwise. This (often preceded by ‘in’) describes an ideal situation with the underlying suggestion (indicated by the question mark) that it’s unlikely to happen in practice.

9a Getting larger, flier wants to lose weight at heart (6)
WAXING – a bird with small red tips on its some of its feathers loses its central letter (the abbreviation for weight).

10a Revolutionary associated with honourable battle (8)
MARATHON – a charade of the French revolutionary who was assassinated in his bath and the abbreviation for Honourable.

11a Cold leader to encourage, e.g., stock growth (8)
DEADHEAD – this stock is not an investment but a plant. Put together an adjective meaning cold or unfeeling and a leader or boss.

12a Bothers to exercise, losing, at last, five pounds? (6)
THROBS – an anagram (to exercise) of BOTH(e)RS without the last letter of five.

13a Dance trainer working with a new form? (12)
REINCARNATED – an anagram (working) of DANCE TRAINER.

16a Maiden in noisy scene runs out of dream event (12)
CIRCUMSTANCE – insert the abbreviation for a maiden over inside a noisy scene or entertainment. Then remove the abbreviation for runs from a dream or dazed state.

19a Get on a section of Forth River (6)
THRIVE – hidden.

21a Bustle to arouse chaps, given time (8)
MOVEMENT – string together a verb to arouse or inspire, another word for chaps and T(ime).

23a In which plates are reconditioned? (8)
PEDICURE – neat cryptic definition for which you need to know which body parts plates (of meat) are used for in Cockney rhyming slang.

24a Duet I cast prior to opening of musical routine? (6)
TEDIUM – an anagram (cast) of DUET I precedes the opening letter of musical.

25a She does like to go around ward (6)
CHARGE – start with ‘a lady who does’ and follow this with the reversal (to go around) of the abbreviation of like or ‘as an illustration’.

26a Drum them out, having sounded thus? (8)
THRUMMED – an anagram (out) of DRUM THEM.

Down Clues

2d Plant unknown drink among teetotallers (6)
AZALEA – insert a mathematical unknown and an alcoholic drink between the abbreviation of the organisation to which teetotallers (or those trying to become teetotallers) belong.

3d Stopped being soppy? (5)
DRIED – cryptic definition. Soppy here means sopping wet.

4d Metal core of worm gear should expand (9)
MAGNESIUM – expand the two core letters of worM Gear.

5d Funny joint/bones? (7)
COMEDIC – I’m sure you know the profession for which Bones is a nickname. Well, if you were one of two such people in a joint practice you could be this (2-5).

6d Kind of card sharp hiding nothing (5)
TAROT – an adjective meaning sharp or acidic contains the letter that resembles zero.

7d Root out foreign worker, the last to leave, holding most of flag (9)
EXTIRPATE – a shortened word for a foreign worker followed by the last letter of leave with all except the last letter of a verb to flag or weaken inside it.

8d According to Spooner, kick back drink (4,4)
ROOT BEER – this is a better Spoonerism than we had yesterday. Spooner might render this as ‘kick backside’.

13d One making correct  electrical device (9)
RECTIFIER – double definition – the second is, apparently, a device for changing a current from AC to DC.

14d He’d repair doodlebug, turning short casing around (9)
RENOVATOR – doodlebug was the nickname given by the Allies to the first version of the flying bomb produced by the Nazis towards the end of WWII. The Germans called it Vergeltungswaffe 1 (retaliation weapon 1) or V-1. We have to expand the numeral to a word and put it inside (casing it) in an adjective meaning turning or revolving without its final letter (short). Finally we have to reverse the lot (around). I got the doodlebug straight away but it took me a long time to work out how the last four words all fitted together because I initially thought that ‘turning’ was signalling the reversal.

15d Advanced from hill after moving east by church (4-4)
HIGH-TECH – start with a word for a hill or elevated place and move the E (east) to the end. Then add an abbreviation for church.

17d Beautiful valley having extremely short storm (7)
TEMPEST – the name of the Greek valley praised by the ancient poets for its unsurpassed beauty is followed by the outer (extreme) letters of short.

18d Last part of game uplifted European sport (6)
ENDURE – part of a game (of bowls or curling, for example) followed by the reversal (uplifted) of E(uropean) and a fifteen-a-side sport.

20d Bring out an online version of Mussolini? (5)
EDUCE – unless Mussolini is also the name of an (unknown to me) game the surface here is not great. The prefix used to mean online is followed the Italian title that Benito gave himself.

22d She has station either to the north or south (5)
MADAM – this lady has a position in life (station) no matter which way up you read the answer.

Top clues for me today were 23a, 25a and 3d. Let us know which one(s) you liked.

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13 Comments

  1. BigBoab
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Extremely good toughie today, I liked 9a and 17d best, many thanks to Sparks for providing us with a true toughie and to Gazza for the usual immaculate review.

  2. pommers
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Phew! Bit hard for me and I needed a few hints. Fun though.

    Thanks to Sparks and Gazza

    BTW, the post number is the same as the back pager but I can’t edit it as Gazza is doing so.

    • gazza
      Posted August 15, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Thanks pommers – fixed now.

  3. Robin Hill
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I’d agree with ****/**** Challenging but fair. I particularly liked 11a and 4d.

  4. Pegasus
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable, favourites were 4d 5d and 25a thanks to Sparks and to Gazza for the dissection, especially 14d.

  5. JB
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    At last I’ve finished a Friday toughie without hints. The NW corner took forever because one of the first answers I put in was “humerus” for 5d. Took me ages to admit I was wrong. I still prefer it!

  6. Wolfson Bear
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I found this a very pleasant puzzle – difficult but without using obscure words which is how I prefer them. I managed to get 23a wrong – Cockney slang is not a forte of mine. Quite a few were harder to fully explain than to solve. It took ages before the “metal” and chemical symbol in 4d clicked. For 25a I got the right answer but with no explanation for it. I presume Gazza’s hint is “C***” = “woman who does (cleaning etc round the house)”
    Thanks to blogger and setter

    • gazza
      Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      “Can I do you now, sir?” was the catchphrase of Mrs Mopp, the charlady, in the radio comedy ITMA.

  7. Tilsit
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this. Lots of good stuff to admire.

  8. andy
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Excellent, I would never have got the doodlebug in time to blog this, somewhere between am and pm the penny finally dropped. Thanks Sparks and Gazza as ever

  9. Only fools
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza could not fully parse 14d for the life of me .Favourite 7d because it was last in by quite a margin .Cheers Sparks .

  10. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Very late doing this as we waited until we got home from Wellington and could print it out. Well worth the wait we thought. Some very clever misdirection but it did all fall into place eventually. Lots of fun.
    Thanks Sparks and Gazza.

  11. Sh-Shoney
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Tuesday lunchtime and only finished with GAZZA’s help and, I’m ashamed to say, some electronics. Did anyone else get COURT for 6d? This was reached by “O” (hiding nothing) in “CURT” (sharp) – a court card being a face card. This blunder threw my NE solution out of the window! Thought 23a was brilliant. Again, many thanks to Gazza. Sh-Shoney.