Toughie 1296 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1296

Toughie No 1296 by Firefly

Son of Yoda

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

When I first started blogging Toughies I used to enjoy Firefly’s puzzles. No longer.

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6a    Bedsheet goes awry around noon — cover both flanks! (5,4,4)
HEDGE ONE’S BETS: an anagram (awry) of BEDSHEET GOES around N(oon)

8a    Take file to America with support of French (6)
ABRADE: A(merica) followed by the usual support garment and the French for “of”

9a    Doctor solves problem for police … (8)
MOUNTIES: one of the usual two-letter abbreviations for a doctor followed by a verb meaning solves problem

10a    … some crackhead offender’s in stir (3)
ADO: hidden (some) inside the clue

11a    Firm foundation for amanuensis? (6)
COPIER: the two-letter abbreviation for a firm followed by a foundation or support

12a    From the stands, watch France perhaps putting muscle into it (8)
SPECTATE: for the yoda-speak “from the stands, watch” read “watch from the stands” – put the kind of territory of which France is an example around a three-letter word for a muscle

14a    Black sheep‘s somewhat lame, sadly (7)
ISHMAEL: this biblical black sheep is derived from a suffix meaning somewhat followed by an anagram (sadly) of LAME

16a    Stroke‘s animated on river (3,4)
TEE SHOT: to get this golfing stroke put an adjective meaning animated after a river in NE England

20a    Want to place identifying sign in the Strand? (8)
SHORTAGE: an identifying sign inside another the land bordering on the sea (strand)

23a    Sixties rockers fell into hot riffing (3,3)
THE WHO: a verb meaning to fell a tree inside an anagram (riffing) of HOT

24a    Bearing noise coming from next in line (3)
AIR: sounds like (noise coming from) the next in line of succession

25a    Reckoning-point‘s simple to set out (8)
MILEPOST: an anagram (set out () of SIMPLE TO

26a    Provisional answer by court confronting current head of Google (6)
ACTING: A(nswer) followed by C(our}T, a two-letter word meaning current or topical and the initial letter (head) of G[oogle]

27a    Authoritative assessment of old coin uses edge in a way to comprehend (8,5)
EDUCATED GUESS: an old coin inside (to comprehend) an anagram (in a way) of USES EDGE – Yoda strikes again


1d    Impracticality the setter delivers is mega, in short (8)
IDEALISM: “he delivers” in the first person (as the setter would say it) followed by IS and the abbreviated form (short) of M(ega)

2d    Share beer (no head on it) travelling in train (8)
REHEARSE: an anagram (travelling) of SHARE [b]EER without the initial letter (head) of the second word

3d    Second after the centre of Cavendish Street, or last in the row? (7)
ENDMOST: a brief period of time after the middle three letters of [Cav]END[ish] and then ST(reet)

4d    Foxy, like student? No end! (6)
ASTUTE: a two-letter word meaning like followed by a student without the final E (no end)

5d    Failure in short test set about ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ lines 9-14, say? (6)
SESTET: an anagram (failure) of TES[t] SET gives a word meaning the last six lines of a sonnet

6d    Hotplates on school oven’s beginning to turn cold — options strictly limited (7,6)
HOBSON’S CHOICE: some hotplates followed by ON SCH(ool), the initial letter (beginning) of O[ven] and a verb meaning to turn cold

7d    Gets on with Senora only halfway unfortunately with blandishments (5,8)
SWEET NOTHINGS: an anagram (unfortunately) of GETS ON WITH and the first half of SEN[ora]

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13d    Line in speech? Indeed (3)
CUE: sounds like (in speech) a line of people

15d    A foot further back (3)
AFT: the A from the clue followed by F(oo)T

17d    Alienate more than half the lower elements in big band — no good with Elgar’s ‘Prelude’ (8)
ESTRANGE: the last five letters (more than half) of a nine-letter word for a large group of musicians (big band) followed by N(o) G(ood) and the initial letter (prelude) of E[lgar]

18d    Climber‘s search interrupted by start of meal — the rest to follow (5,3)
SWEET PEA: to get this climbing plant put a search around the initial letter of a three-letter meal and add the remaining two letters to the end

19d    Cook bird for philistine (7)
HEATHEN: a verb meaning to cook or warm followed by a female bird

21d    Router regularly close to overloaded — sorry! (6)
RUEFUL: the odd letters (regularly) of the first word in the clue followed by most of (close to) a word meaning overloaded

22d    American tops test, getting neither right or wrong (6)
AMORAL: AM(erican) followed by a verbal test

For me, so far this has been a very poor week in Toughieland, but hark, put your ear to the ground and what do you hear?

17 comments on “Toughie 1296

  1. Quite straightforward, I thought, though I did have to google the meaning of amanuensis and my parsing of 18D was not altogether correct. 19D raised a smile. Thanks, firefly and thanks to BD for the review (and the warning).

  2. Looked for a nina given the grid but didn’t see anything (which is not to say there isn’t one!)

    I was confused with the wordplay for 18d (climber) – I was getting worried that ea was being used as an abbreviation for et alia (for “the rest”), but thank you Big Dave for explaining how this one works.

    I liked the perimeter long clues, as well as 9a (police), 23a (sixties rockers) – this i think is a case of where a borderline anagram indicator is fully justified by the surface –
    last one in was 25a, though looks clear enough in hindsight.

    Many thanks Firefly and Big Dave for review

  3. If you think of, say, Eric Fenby in relation to Delius, then it is a bit pejorative to equate amanuensis with copier.

    Just my $0.02 worth.

  4. When we solved this one, yesterday afternoon our time, there was no setter attribution on the DT website so we had a Mr Ron Toughie for a change. It all fitted together very smoothly for us, and as we commented on the other puzzle, in a shorter time than that one had taken. We used to enjoy Star Wars and the odd bit of Yoda is not a problem for us. (Or should that be ‘ For us not a problem, Yoda-speak is). It kept us smiling as we enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Firefly and BD.

  5. i didn’t find it very easy and needed your help. Why does 22D say ‘neither right OR wrong’? I wanted it to be NOR and can’t understand why it isn’t.

  6. After a long time I had done two 3-letter words. I don’t think I like Firefly crosswords either.
    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  7. Phew, I’ve finally finished – now wiping sweat of brow. I actually enjoyed this Toughie and had more than three-quarters finished it before getting bogged down and needing a hint or three. I read 5 down slightly differently to how BD explained it – not as an anagram, but a wrap round – SET round TEST shortened to EST – the answer’s the same and it was my last one in, so I’m not complaining. Thanks to Firefly, a most absorbing puzzle and so much more fulfilling than watching TV. It may have been a poor week for Toughies for some solvers, but for those of us only part way up the Toughie ladder it’s been quite a challenge so far. Thanks also to Big Dave for getting me back onto an even course.

  8. Well I rather enjoyed it, even though it’s rightful place was probably the back page.

    22d is probably a typo or otherwise it’s a ‘does it matter that much?’ Fortunately I won’t be looking at the crosswords tomorrow – sorry Giovanni.

    Thanks Firefly and BD.

    1. Ah well, the Don still has many fans I’m sure – certainly there’s one here who looks forward to doing battle with him.

  9. So Pommers thinks this should be on the back page? All I can say is that, after a struggle, I finished this but am well and truly stuck on the back page. As it is now nearly 11p.m. I must now admit defeat!

  10. A bit of a wavelength mismatch with the setter held me up, but l got there in the end. 3*/3*, and no real favourite among the clues. Thanks to Firefly, and to BD for the review.

  11. Everything started so well yesterday with 6a and 7d coming first and then I had “retainer” for 2d: Anagram of eer and train which I thought could be a share. Bunged in 27a before understanding it’s parsing. But really needed BD to unravel all the West side. Thanks to Firefly for leading me astray and to BD for putting me back on the right tracks.

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