Toughie 1308 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1308

Toughie No 1308 by MynoT

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A bog standard puzzle.

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1a    Beware of a dark place (4)
CAVE: 2 meanings: Beware!/a dark place underground

3a    Announcement of what’s to come before speech (10)
PREDICTION: A prefix denoting ‘before’ + speech

9a    Devious European to see (4)
EELY: E (European) + a see (bishopric) in East Anglia

10a    In the morning put it back in a leg that’s cut (10)
AMPUTATION: ‘In the morning’ + PUT + a reversal of IT in A leg (side of a cricket pitch)

11a    ‘Tea?’, with smile causing vexation (7)
CHAGRIN: Tea + smile

13a    Waves draw back more than normal (7)
SURFEIT: Waves (on the sea) + a reversal of ‘to draw’

14a    Naughty modes unveil her (5,2,4)
VENUS DE MILO: An anagram (naughty) of MODES UNVEIL = an ancient Greek statue depicting Aphrodite

18a    Poet, old character, needs grass mown — may cut back (4,7)
OMAR KHAYYAM: A Persian poet = O (old) + character + mown grass + a reversal of MAY

21a    Soul to play in a lively manner (7)
ANIMATO: A term used in psychology for the soul or innermost part of the personality + TO – it wouldn’t be a MynoT puzzle without a musical reference

22a    Toxin drunken lout put in wine (7)
BOTULIN: A powerful bacterial poison = an anagram (drunken) of LOUT inside wine as stored in a wine cellar

23a    Illegal copying of crystal form worn by girl returning to Iowa (10)
PLAGIARISM: A crystal form goes round a reversal of a girl and the abbreviation for Iowa

24a    Captain heading west to find 3 (4)
OMEN: A reversal of the name of the captain of the Nautilus in a Jules Verne novel

25a    House is damaged by this Prime Minister’s promotion, rejected after rebellion (6,4)
RISING DAMP: A reversal of the abbreviation for Prime Minister and a promotion (2) follows a rebellion

26a    King born in joint (4)
KNEE: K (king) + ‘born’


1d    Pressurising old chap about cooked rice (8)
COERCIVE: An old chap goes round an anagram (cooked) of RICE

2d    Crime in residential property on island — state’s support is needed (8)
VILLAINY: A large house + I (island) + the abbreviation for a US state

4d    Strange space in part of stomach (5)
RUMEN: Strange + a space in printing

5d    Batter on it or batter with it? (9)
DRUMSTICK: 2 meanings sort of: part of a chicken that may be dipped in batter (though not by me)/something with which you beat a percussion instrument

6d    Broken crayon vital for one who makes 3s (11)
CLAIRVOYANT: An anagram (broken) of CRAYON VITAL

7d    I wish the compiler to be put up in the same place (6)
IBIDEM: I + wish + a reversal of the compiler

8d    For this temperature one needs shade with noon not cold (6)
NINETY: A number of degrees Fahrenheit that would represent a hot ambient temperature = a shade (subtlety) with N (noon) replacing C (cold)

12d    Refreshment break before speech (11)
RESTORATION: A break + a speech

15d    Charmed by armour in dire need? That’s not right (9)
ENAMOURED: ARMOUR with a letter R (right) removed inside an anagram (dire) of NEED

16d    Plant that may get involved with motoring organisation to make a man a cycle (8)
CYCLAMEN: A MAN A CYCLE is an anagram of the name of this plant with AA (motoring organisation)

17d    Cardinal point in eastern doner kebab, for example (8)
EMINENCE: A title given to a cardinal = E (eastern) + a point of the compass inside something a doner kebab is made from

19d    Check / what’s needed for picnic? (6)
HAMPER: 2 meanings: to check/a basket you might take on a picnic

20d    Highly-placed ornaments one’s ignored in exams (6)
FINALS: Remove I (one) from decorations on the tops of gables

22d    Tree’s decoration in chest (5)
BOSOM: The holy tree of the Buddhists (2) + ‘S + a decoration (honour) = the chest (of a woman)

Pleasant enough.

20 comments on “Toughie 1308

  1. Faves : 14a, 18a, 4d & 20d.

    Weather here in NL lovely and sunny – has the Gulf Stream gone north?

  2. I enjoyed this.
    I was defeated by the Persian poet, the 22a toxin and the 22d chest – I’ve leant a new tree today!
    I liked 13a and 19d. My favourite was 14a.
    With thanks to MynoT and to Bufo for the enlightenment.

    1. You may not know the name of the Persian poet but I bet that you’ve come across some of his verses (as translated by Fitzgerald), e.g.

      The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
      Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
      Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
      Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

      1. Thanks gazza – I’m not sure whether or not to confess just how ignorant I am of lots of things but this is one of the many. I really haven’t come across it but clearly should have done.

      2. PS Now rather regretting my previous comment! I should have replied as our elder Pet Lamb would have done which is that I didn’t know it but am good at other things.

  3. By some miracle I almost completed this. Persian poet aside.

    Thanks to the setter and to Bufo for the hints. Goodness knows I needed it for 18a.

  4. I enjoyed this – nice mix of difficulty, with some write-ins (picnic, 19d; vexation, 11a) and some quite tricky (e.g. stomach, 4d, a word i’m not familiar with but could work out from the clue)

    favourites were 13a (waves), 14a (naughty modes unveil her – reads quite poetically!), and I liked the clues referencing 3a, esp 24a (captain) and also 6d (broken crayon).

    17d (donor kebab) and 22d (chest) both raised a smile.

    Many thanks MynoT and bufo

  5. I still can’t believe it! Complete success with today’s Toughie. Thank you Mr MynoT, you made my day! 2*/4*. Favourites 14 a and 18a. Guessed 22d. Thank you to Bufo as I had to check a few answers to make sure that I had the correct ones. Not as successful with the other Cryptic…

  6. I thought at first this was 1* for difficulty but then got completely stuck on 2d with everything else completed. v-p-a-n- there’s no such word, clearly something wrong. Then I realised that 9a had an alternative, if greatly inferior solution. I still think ESPY [eSPY] is much better.

    Thanks to Mynot and Bufo.

  7. I really liked this. As Dutch says, a nice mix of difficulty. I did need the review to fully understand the parsing of 8A ,16D, and 22D although I did have the correct answers. I loved 18A particularly because I am the proud owner of a very early copy of the Fitzgerald translation of the Rubaiyat that has wonderful script and stunning color plates hand-attached to the pages. It was originally owned by a family member and his death in 1922 is recorded on the flyleaf. It’s a real treasure.

    Thanks Mynot and Bufo.

  8. We both got the poet for 18a very quickly and then neither of us could be sure of how to spell his name, so had to check it on Google anyway. A pleasant puzzle to solve for us.
    Thanks MynoT and Bufo.

  9. I got there in the end, but it certainly warrants 3* for difficulty for me. I needed Bufo’s help to see how l should have arrived at a few of my (correct) answers, so thanks for that. 9a was a new word to me (no worries, l can always use some education) and l liked 20d. Thanks to MynoT for the work-out.

  10. Very enjoyable. I got the poet, mostly because I had a good look at the spelling , some time or other. I took the hint , for 25a, and the hint for 9a .Lots of great clues , including 14a, 18a,22a, and several others. Thanks MynoT and Buffo.

  11. Bien joué minot ! Good fun all round.
    As 18a said, enjoy this moment, this moment is life. That’s if you live in crosswordland of course.
    25a made me smile as Leonard Rossiter and Frances De La Tour popped into my mind. I used to love that series.
    A little thought for 14a who suffered much 10a. Thanks to MynoT and Bufo.

  12. Mostly clever but several non sequitors:
    1 down rice + what?
    13 across surf + what?
    Just can’t understand what I’m missing!
    Many thanks

    1. Welcome to the blog Robert

      Both were explained in the above hints.

      1d An anagram of RICE inside COVE giving COERCIVE

      13a SURF + TIE (reversed) giving SURFEIT

  13. Tuesday morning and just finished this one which I thought was pretty enjoyable. Thought 9a was pushing it a bit but I suppose we have to have the famous See of Ely once a week. Also don’t understand where the AA is in CYCLAMEN (16d) and was unable to find any mention of crystal forms/types in the BRB for 23a. Good fun though, ***/*** for me. . Thank you to Mynot and to Bufo. Sh-Shoney

    1. 16d is a compound or composite anagram (not a construct that I like very much). If you add AA to the answer and make an anagram of that you get A MAN A CYCLE. It’s easier to understand the other way round – i.e. if you take AA away from (a) MAN (a) CYCLE and make an anagram of that you get to CYCLAMEN.
      One of the definitions of PRISM in my (11th) edition of the BRB is ‘a crystal form of three or more faces parallel to an axis’.

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