Toughie 1269 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1269

Toughie No 1269 by Elkamere

Mine’s a Gin and Tonic!

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

In Toughie terms there is nothing too difficult here – I even managed to derive the French poem from the anagram fodder and most, but not all, of the checking letters.

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1a    End-of-season nerves make my sub quite erratic (7,3,4)
SQUEAKY BUM TIME: these end-of-season nerves will be familiar to all Spurs supporters! – they’re an anagram (erratic) of MAKE MY SUB QUITE

9a    An offer to host game, usually (2,1,4)
AS A RULE: the A from the clue and an offer to purchase around the two-letter abbreviation for a sport

10a    Fancy one being given unlimited port (7)
CORINTH: an interjection meaning “fancy!”, I (one) and an abbreviation that indicates an unspecified member of a series of numbers

11a    Travel agent’s first choice in India? (3)
GOA: a verb meaning to travel followed by the initial letter (first) of A[gent]

12a    Bird crosses empty lake, needing second drink (6,5)
BITTER LEMON: a seven-letter bird around L[ak]E without its inner letters (empty) and a brief period of time

14a    Bone-cutting saw in theatre with leather covering (6)
TREPAN: a type of touring theatre company inside (covering) a verb meaning to convert into leather

15a    Station‘s wet facilities (8)
WATERLOO: a word meaning wet or moisture followed by some toilet facilities

17a    Doctor of law not about to waffle (6,2)
RABBIT ON: a doctor of law who leads a Jewish synagogue followed by the reversal (about) of NOT

19a    Familiar 21 for hostile daughter (6)
VERSED: this adjective meaning familiar or accomplished is derived by applying the answer to 21 down to an adjective meaning hostile and following what’s left with D(aughter)

22a    Over near 23, fluid to freeze drink (6,5)
ORANGE JUICE: O(ver) followed by an anagram (fluid) of NEAR with the answer to 23 across and finally a verb meaning to freeze

23a    Prison psychologist taking November off (3)
JUG: drop the letter represented in the NATO Phonetic alphabet by November from the surname of a famous psychologist

24a    Mixed cider as cocktail (7)
SIDECAR: an anagram (mixed) of CIDER AS

26a    Beats unconscious — the reverse of ‘warm’ (7)
OUTGUNS: a three-letter adjective meaning unconscious followed by the reversal of an adjective meaning warm or cosy

27a    Look here, it says ‘X marks the spot’? (5-9)
CROSS-REFERENCE: the word that is usually represented by X when it has nothing to do with mathematics followed by a pointer to a spot on, say, a map


1d    Guess our health will suffer here! (14)
SLAUGHTERHOUSE: an anagram (suffer) of GUESS OUR HEALTH – clever anagram but the definition is a bit iffy

2d    In ruins, as we agreed, regularly in the dark (7)
UNAWARE: alternate (regularly) letters from four words in the clue

3d    A silly sailor making sketch (11)
ADUMBRATING: the A from the clue followed by an adjective meaning silly or unintelligent and a seven-letter word for a sailor

4d    Nice girl gets year with short F1 driver (6)
YVETTE: this French (Nice) girl’s name, perhaps the best known example being the waitress in ‘Allo ‘Allo!, comes from a charade of Y(ear) and most of (short) the surname of an F1 driver who isn’t doing very well this season (schadenfreude?)

5d    M Clunes, a comic in America (5,3)
UNCLE SAM: an anagram (comic) of M CLUNES A

6d    It can be climbed in short order (3)
TOR: hidden (in) inside the clue

7d    Negligible car sickness? (7)
MINIMAL: a famous British car followed by a word, of French origin, meaning sickness

8d    French epic poetry, song and dance, these works (7,2,5)
CHANSON DE GESTE: French epic poetry is not, as they say on game shows, my best subject but I was able to derive this one from the wordplay, an anagram (works) of SONG with DANCE, THESE

Desuz un pin, delez un eglanter

Un faldestoed i unt, fait tout d’or mer:

La siet li reis ki dulce France tient.

Blanche ad la barbe et tut flurit le chef,

Gent ad le cors et le cuntenant fier.

S’est kil demandet, ne l’estoet enseigner.

Under a pine tree, by a rosebush,

there is a throne made entirely of gold.

There sits the king who rules sweet France;

his beard is white, with a full head of hair.

He is noble in carriage, and proud of bearing.

If anyone is looking for the King, he doesn’t need to be pointed out.

13d    One invention designed to show up others? (3,8)
LIE DETECTOR: a cryptic definition of an invention that shows if someone is telling porkies

16d    Trick panellist, as magician (8)
CONJUROR: a trick or swindle followed by someone who is a member of a panel

18d    Run after black bag (7)
BLADDER: A run or snag in a pair of tights preceded by (after) B(lack)

20d    Rest of 22 in 12, ultimately (7)
SOJOURN: presumable this is meant to be the two-letter abbreviation for the answer to 22 across inside a synonym of the first word of 12 across and the final letter of the second word – very clever, but it just doesn’t quite work for me

21d    Row over humourless clue? (3-3)
TIP-OFF: a row or argument around a two-letter adjective, usually followed by “faced”, meaning humourless

25d    An officer’s function (3)
COS: the two-letter abbreviation for a military officer followed by the S from ‘S gives the three-letter abbreviation for a mathematical function

Perhaps one day Elkamere will put an Anax puzzle in the wrong envelope!

13 comments on “Toughie 1269

  1. Not the most difficult Friday offering, since I could manage most of it without hints. 3*/3*. Thx to BD and setter.

  2. I was very proud of myself for solving this in good time now everyone is saying it was easy. I very much liked that the substitutions (not too many) were an elegant part of the wordplay (often they are definitions) – especially 20d! I chuckled at 1d and liked its all-in-one nature. I hadn’t heard of the french poem, but it was easy enough from the wordplay and checking letters as you say BD. I can’t remember what’s in the 21a cocktail, perhaps I’ll go order one to celebrate two lovely puzzles in today’s DT. I liked all the clues, in particular the substitutions and 9a, 12a, 23a, 1d, 2d, 5d, 7d and 18d

    Thank you Elkamere and Dave

  3. Got there in the end. I won’t rate the difficulty of this as I don’t do the Toughie often enough to have a personal frame of reference. However, it was deliciously enjoyable. I went off course with 7d, putting in minutia at first, thus throwing a few other clues off. However once ot was corrected the others fell on place, albeit slightly slowly.
    17a also through me a little as I was playing around with ‘LLB and MD/DR’, before cottoning on.
    As I recall the recipe for a 24a is almost hidden within the grid….ok it’s missing the brandy. ;-)
    Many thanks to Elkamere and to BD for blogging.

  4. We thought this one was sheer delight. The right level of difficulty to keep us challenged and amused for some time. The expression in 1a was new to us but we managed to work it out once we decided it was an anagram and we had a few checking letters. Still chuckling over it. Good fun right across the grid.
    Thanks Elkamere and BD.

  5. I finished a Friday toughie, which would indicate that’ it wasn’t that difficult. But i thoroughly enjoyed it. I wasn’t happy with 20d if I’m honest and it doesn’t work for me. Thanks to BD and to Elkamere. Have a great weekend.

  6. Good fun, but I’m not entirely convinced by either 20d or 27a.

    Laughed out loud at 1a and 10a provided a nice “penny-drop” moment after a while spent trying to fit “or” [unlimited port] into “one being”.

    Thanks to Elkamere and to BD.

  7. I normally enjoy Mr Mayers toughies but I found this one a wee bit too gentle, maybe I got on his wavelength early but I found it all a bit easy/peasy. Moan over, thanks to Elkamere and to BD.(As a Man City supporter I liked 1a)

  8. I see I am in a majority of one because I could not get into this at all. I spent a lot of time solving about 10 clues before calling it a day. I could not even get 1A from the hint. Too “British’ today for this Expat, but those are the breaks. Elkamere, in whatever mode, had proven to be my nemesis before now. One day I will prevail! I doff my cap to him, and extend my thanks to DT for the much needed review and solutions.

  9. Thanks to Elkamere and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I managed to do some, but in the end I got brain freeze. A most enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 1a. Still don’t understand 19a.

    1. The instruction is to take the “tip off” (the answer to 21 down) [A]VERSE (hostile) and then add D(aughter) – not as complicated as it looks! Although the definition (familiar) doesn’t immediately bring the answer to mind, it does work.

  10. Late input from me.

    Faves : 12a, 15a, 1d & 8d.

    Never heard the phrase of 1a but am good at anagrams! Been out of GB a very long time!

  11. Same here. 1a new to me. Being a fan of 27a, I was well served. Although I got 20d with the across clues, it took me a while to understand why. 19a was a non starter. So much for my so called preferences. As for 15a, thank god Eurostar arrives at St pancras now. Such an affront to the French. Thanks to elkamere and to BD for the review.

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