Toughie 1255

Toughie No 1255 by Petitjean

What we need is some R&R with a G&T

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Petitjean tends to polarise opinions but when he’s in his quirky mood he’s one of my favourite setters. Today’s puzzle includes a number of expanded abbreviations in the same format. I did enjoy it and I would probably have finished it more speedily if I hadn’t had a mental block in the NW corner.

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

9a Cram tool shed and get hacked off (5)
SHORN – start with a verb to cram or force into an inadequate space and from that take away (shed) a gardening tool.

10a Foodies try game rejected by department store (9)
GOURMANDS – string together a try or attempt, the reversal (rejected) of the fifteen-a-side game and the high street department store (1,3,1) selling knickers and nuts.

11a Dirty fellow (East-ender) tore into food with teeth (7)
DENTATE – the bloke who was given the sobriquet ‘dirty’ in the BBC soap opera is followed by the end letter of East and a verb meaning tore into food.

12a Dramatist covering end of political conspirator (7)
PLOTTER – the dramatist who wrote ‘Pennies from Heaven’ containing the end letter of political.

13a Count Bruce’s top basslines — with odd exceptions (5)
BASIE – the first (top) letter of Bruce followed by the even letters of basslines.

14a Liberal censures new protection (9)
SUNSCREEN – an anagram (liberal) of CENSURES followed by N(ew).

16a Less than serious event, for instance, a kind of opera with no pace or dancing (3-3-5,4)
EGG-AND-SPOON RACE – string together the abbreviation meaning for instance, a kind of opera (1,3,1) and an anagram (dancing) of NO PACE OR.

19a Contest whose participants must get used to taking stick (5,4)
RELAY RACE – cryptic definition of a team event on the athletics track.

21a Forster bumped into tourist in Cornwall (5)
EMMET – the initials of the novelist Mr Forster and a verb meaning bumped into.

23a Left around 100 worked up (7)
EXCITED – a verb meaning left (the stage, perhaps) containing the Roman numeral for 100.

25a Speaking about conditions? (2,5)
ON TERMS – this phrase means speaking, in the sense of being in a friendly relationship. A preposition meaning about is followed by conditions or stipulations.

27a England and Hodgson claiming funky music may be sort that carries a message (6,3)
ERRAND BOY – E(ngland) followed by the forename of Mr Hodgson their current football manager with the abbreviation for a type of funky music (1,3,1) inserted.

28a Stars love return of classic Hollywood genre (5)
ORION – the letter that looks like love or zero is followed by the reversal of a type of film (usually a thriller or detective film involving menace and sexual tension) from the classic Hollywood era.

Down Clues

1d Enjoyed Subaru’s edgeways cornering (4)
USED – hidden (cornering) in the clue.

2d Thingamy‘s activities (6)
DOINGS – double definition, the first a catch-all term for something you can’t put a name to.

3d Self-styled popular celebrity on left’s unknown (2,4,4)
IN NAME ONLY – a charade of an adjective meaning popular, a celebrity or well-known person, ON, L(eft) and a mathematical unknown.

4d Issue is degenerate runs away (6)
EGRESS – a verb to degenerate or take a turn for the worse without the first occurrence of the cricket abbreviation for runs.

5d To come across undrinkable beer’s nothing (4,4)
BUMP INTO – if you’re stuck for the answer here have a look at 21a. This is a charade of an adjective meaning of poor quality or unpleasant, a traditional serving of beer and the letter that resembles zero.

6d Unlimited riches that could include mine (4)
AMMO – mine here is a type of explosive. We have to remove the first and last letters (unlimited) from a term used in the New Testament to mean worldly riches regarded as an evil influence.

7d Curse articles strewn across motorway (8)
ANATHEMA – an old chestnut. Various definite and indefinite articles contain the abbreviation for motorway.

8d A small group under canvas drawing together (10)
ASTRINGENT – A and S(mall) followed by a group or band inside a canvas dwelling.

13d Visibly tired beady leer somehow focused on celebrity’s bottom (6-4)
BLEARY-EYED – an anagram (somehow) of BEADY LEER containing (focused on) the bottom letter of celebrity.

15d Judgment time to oust five in assembly (10)
CONTENTION – T(ime) replaces the Roman numeral for five in an assembly or conference.

17d Tatty dining car neither fashionable nor popular embodying outmoded status symbol (4,4)
GOLD CARD – firstly make an anagram (tatty) of DINING CAR without two words meaning fashionable and popular then insert (embodying) an adjective meaning outmoded or dated.

18d Substitute securing point for champions (6,2)
STANDS BY – a substitute available at short notice contains (securing) a point of the compass.

20d £25 in English money for Guinness, Beck’s or Pimm’s? (6)
EPONYM – insert an informal term for £25 between E(nglish) and M(oney). I spent ages this morning trying to find the derivation of the £25 word but to little avail. I did find a promising suggestion that it (and ‘monkey’ for £500) came from Indian currency where these animals appeared on relevant rupee notes – however that theory has been shot down because there never has been a 25 rupee note.

22d See 26d

24d Hit hard — lump coming up (4)
TONK – reverse a lump or node.

26d/22d Pain mixed with pleasure meeting resistance after a time by home bird (4,6)
SAND MARTIN – the abbreviation for sexual practices involving pain and pleasure (1,3,1) (not to be confused with the department store in 10a!) is followed by R(esistance) after A. To finish off we need T(ime) and an adverb meaning at home.

Top clues for me today were 9a, 16a and 13d. Let us know which one(s) you liked.

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21 Comments

  1. Pegasus
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable fare on offer today, favourites were 5d 9a and 27a thanks to Petitjean and to Gazza for the review. Re 20d I’ve heard it mentioned in betting terminology.

    • gazza
      Posted September 10, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Yes – I understand that the term is (or was) also used by stockbrokers (for £25,000 worth of stock in their case) but no-one seems to know its derivation.

  2. Mark G.
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Wow- enjoyed this, not least because this was the second Toughie I’ve completed this week without having to resort to outside assistance.

    I particularly liked 2d and 20d.

    Very, very enjoyable

    ***/**** from me.

  3. BigBoab
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Extremely enjoyable if not overly tough toughie, many thanks to Petitjean and to Gazza for a super review. re “pony” I always understood this to be from the Latin “legem pone” the title of the Psalm for Quarter Day the first pay day of the month.

  4. stanXYZ
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I am still waiting for someone to say “Not really a toughie!”

    I still do not understand 9a …

    • gazza
      Posted September 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Shoehorn without the hoe.

      • stanXYZ
        Posted September 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, gazza!

  5. Kath
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I found this tricky and didn’t quite finish it – defeated by two in the top left corner and four in the bottom right. A very enjoyable battle which I lost!
    I got 16a but didn’t have the foggiest idea why and had to google Hodgson for 27a.
    I liked 21a and 5d. My favourite was 13d.
    Thanks to Petitjean and gazza.

  6. jean-luc cheval
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Finally managed to get a day off and spend time on the crosswords. This toughie was a bit hard for me. Specially 9a and 2d. Not sure about the rrand of 27a. A bit far fetched I found. Sounds like Yoda to me. Totally forgot about the word tonk. Well, anyway, not a very good solve for me. 80% I would say. Thanks to petitjean and gazza for the hints.

    • gazza
      Posted September 10, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      It’s R AND B (rhythm and blues) in 27a.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted September 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        No wonder why it didn’t make sense. Thanks

  7. elcid
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    On a hot sunny day sitting on my Suffolk beach had a very enjoyable solve – although like Gazza – I was a little stumped by the NW corner! Thanks to both Petijean and Gazza.

  8. gazza
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Micawber tomorrow!

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 10, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  9. crypticsue
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable but only just over the border into Toughiedom for me. I did wonder whether we were in for a sports day theme but we weren’t. Thanks to PJ and G.

  10. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Did this under rather challenging circumstances, most of it a solo effort and then consultation for the last few. Like Gazza, it was the NW corner that put up the longest fight. The Hodgson fellow in 27a unknown to us but we worked it out. Think we had seen 21a in a previous crossword so no problems with this potential pitfall. Quite a challenge and good fun.
    Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

    • gazza
      Posted September 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      My problem with the NW corner was that when I read the clues initially I got it into my head that 1a was going to be STEVE (Steve Cram is a former champion athlete, now an athletics commentator). Even though I couldn’t justify it at all, I just couldn’t get rid of the thought.

  11. Expat Chris
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Late start today, and for some reason, I was a long time getting into this. But having solved all but one, I really can’t see why I found it such a challenge. 24D was the one that defeated me and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this word before. I won’t tell you what word came to mind for the backwards lump! I was misled by the ‘under’ in 8D, thinking that the whole of tent would come after the group instead of splitting it, but finally realized that ‘under canvas’ was ‘in tent.’ Loved 9A when the penny dropped. Thanks, Petitjean and Gazza.

    The cryptic will now have to wait until my workday is over.

  12. andy
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Last in 2d and I needed Gazza to confirm. Thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks Petitjean and Gazza

  13. Salty Dog
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Petitjean for a middling tricky but enjoyable puzzle. About 3*/4* for me, and some good clues (l particularly liked 5d, but there were plenty of other contenders). Thanks to Gazza for the review as well.

  14. Only fools
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I too struggled with 9a ,having like Gazza for no real reason thought it was likely to relate to the fellow athlete and despite having twigged 2d first time around .
    Most enjoyable Petitjean whose puzzles make me smile more often than not but as usual for me take yonks .thanks to both .