Toughie 1322 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1322

Toughie No 1322 by proXimal

And the pig got up and slowly walked away

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I plodded rather than raced through this puzzle with each answer needing to be prised out but there was a sense of satisfaction in completing it. There did seem to be a lot of container/insertion type clues.

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 Dad (about 50) shows signs of age, circumventing loud mates (11)
PLAYFELLOWS – an affectionate word for dad contains the Roman numeral for fifty. After that we need a verb meaning shows signs of age (an old document, say) containing the musical abbreviation for loud.

10a Tree about to be planted in enclosure (5)
PECAN – a 2-letter abbreviation for about or approximately goes inside an enclosure.

11a Old sportsman inside at no time turned good to be telltale (9)
REVEALING – the self-styled greatest old sportsman goes inside the reversal (turned) of an adverb meaning at no time. Finish with G(ood).

12a Cheers let out about revolutionary headwear for further games (9)
REMATCHES – an anagram (let out) of CHEERS contains an item of Scottish headwear reversed.

13a Ring to pull back covering opening of sandwich relish (5)
GUSTO – string together the letter that looks like a ring and a verb to pull, then reverse it (back) and insert the opening letter of sandwich.

14a What could be shocking about temperature sample (6)
TASTER – a device used to incapacitate someone by electric shock contains T(emperature).

16a Extremely excited swimmer, hugging constantly (8)
FEVERISH – a creature that swims contains an adverb meaning constantly.

18a Went above water pipe with end of rake to push out second duck (8)
OVERFLEW – start with a water pipe (very useful if you forget to turn off the tap) and replace the second instance of the letter resembling a duck at cricket with the end letter of rake.

20a Fastidious about the Spanish exam (6)
PRELIM – an adjective meaning fastidious or straight-laced contains one of the Spanish definite articles.

23a Chop off head of beam to make post (5)
AFTER – post here is not a noun but a prefix. Chop off the first letter of a supporting beam.

24a Glance as criminal hides one drug (9)
ANALGESIC – an anagram (criminal) of GLANCE AS contains the Roman numeral for one.

26a City in France that’s east of island, beset by westerly wind (9)
LEICESTER – the French phrase for ‘that is’ (1’3) goes to the right (east) of I(sland) and that’s all contained inside a verb to wind reversed (westerly).

27a Allowed a labrador initially to get on part of sofa (5)
LEGAL – A and the initial letter of labrador follow (to get on) part of a sofa.

28a Preserved complimentary final letter by king that’s died (6-5)
FREEZE-DRIED – take a deep breath and string together an adjective meaning complimentary or ‘on the house’, the spelled-out version of our last letter, a single-letter abbreviation for king, the usual abbreviation for that is and D(ied).

Down Clues

2d One standing in body of water to smell bad with two hours gone (5)
LOCUM – a charade of a body of Scottish water and a verb to pong with both occurrences of the single-letter abbreviation for hour taken away.

3d Two unknowns penning article on great European river (7)
YANGTZE – two mathematical unknowns bracket an indefinite article and a two-letter abbreviation for great. That’s all followed by E(uropean).

4d Crude yard at the back of where we live (6)
EARTHY – Y(ard) follows where we all live. ‘At the back of’ works better in an across clue.

5d Dean’s shown up without pill I drop to get wasted (8)
LAVISHED – dean here is neither an academic nor a cleric but a small valley. Reverse (shown up) another word for this without the letter that stands for an illegal pill. After that we need I (from the clue) and a verb to drop or discard.

6d Land with craft, repressing resistance to row (7)
WRANGLE – a verb to land or obtain artfully (with craft) contains R(esistance).

7d Having no leader, manage sensibly with respect to employment (13)
OPERATIONALLY – a verb to manage or get by without its leading letter is followed by an adverb meaning sensibly.

8d Feed the desire of Empress of Blandings, maybe (8)
PIGSWILL – it helps a lot if you know that the Empress of Blandings is the prize sow belonging to Lord Emsworth in the wonderful tales of P G Wodehouse. Split the answer (3’1, 4) to get her desire or preference.

9d Large comic has cracks for those that defend veggies (13)
AGROCHEMICALS – an anagram (cracks) of LARGE COMIC HAS. Veggies here is an informal word (chiefly used in North America) for vegetables rather than those who restrict their diet to them.

15d Basic roofing material‘s brilliance keeping one beneath dry (5,3)
SHEET TIN – a word meaning brilliance or lustre contains the abbreviation for dry or ‘on the wagon’ with the Roman numeral for one following it.

17d Retort back about parking on junction, with repeated directions (8)
REPARTEE – a word for back or hind part contains P(arking) and that precedes a type of junction and a direction repeated.

19d Hold back ball in panic (7)
FORBEAR – insert a ball or sphere in panic or terror.

21d One present often overturned to carry, held by parent (7)
REGULAR – a verb to carry is reversed inside a verb to parent or bring up.

22d Writer‘s block finally disappearing (6)
BARRIE – drop the final letter of a block or obstruction.

25d Go on without interruption, crucial to amuse guest (5)
SEGUE – hidden (crucial to) in the clue.

My favourite clue today was 8d. Let us know what you liked.




16 comments on “Toughie 1322

  1. Very enjoyable, favourites were 8d and 28a thanks to proximal and to Gazza for the review.

  2. I was doing so well until I came to the SW corner, then I became completely undone by 18A, 26A and 22D. 15D and 19D were bung-ins and while I then worked out 15D, I was stymied by 19D. For 22D I was wrongly focused on an author beginning with K! I needed the review to understand 5D. 8D I sorted out by googling Empress of Blandings ( never seen the show) and it’s my favorite clue. Still, I did enjoy this very much despite coming up short. Thanks, Prolixic and Gazza.

    1. Prolixic hasn’t (yet) graduated from the Independent to the Telegraph. The setter today is proXimal.

  3. Enjoyed this. Several cunning clues, especially 18a, 26a [not all toponyms are necessarily bad clues BD!], 2d and 15d. I too spent a while on 22d looking for an author starting with K.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Gazza for explaining 5d [I was trying to make a pill from the end of valley].

  4. I enjoyed this, too. There were some tough clues, and I also had to Google the Empress of Blandings. 26a was particularly complex and clever, and I also appreciated 27a and 2d among others.

  5. re:22d – the wording of the clue is very similar to that for 21a in the Prize FT for 5 jan – and the answer’s the same.

    Enjoyed this so thanks to proXimal & to Gazza & I promise never to mention Spoonerisms again following yesterday’s spectacular ejection of the toys from the proverbial pram.

  6. It is back to work for me tomorrow so this is probably my last comment for a while

    I definitely found this slow going and I failed to get 15d (when I finally gave up and cheated with Onelook the answer did not come up at all) One day I will pay for Chambers! I also needed Google for the pig. I did like 9d, 18a and 25a.

    Thanks to Gazza and ProXimal

  7. I very much enjoyed this as well. It took me a while to get started (in the SW corner) and then steadily work my away around. In many instances I realized what the word play was, but it often took me a good while to find the right ingredients. It needed the hints to see why legal was correct for 27a (I was looking for something that was reasonably unique to a sofa). In the end 15d was the only one I didn’t get. Sheet tin (to the best of my knowledge) is not a common roofing material in my part of the world – I thought it had to be sheet something, and from the word play I think I should have been able to get it but in the end I was left with disappointment in not being able to finish.

  8. For me the nice surface readings for all clues made this a most enjoyable puzzle, thank you ProXimal for this!

    Not too hard so as to discourage, but not straightforward either, perfect.

    Favourites include 23a (chop off head of beam), 27a (allowed a labrador), 9d (those that defend veggies), 22d (writers block)

    thanks also gazza – i thought i was going to need the hints to parse 28a but then I finally saw how the last letter was spelled…

  9. We seem to have found the same traps as others too. Trouble with the parsing of 5d, looking for a city in France for 26a and trying the wrong starter for 21d. However all sorted in reasonable time and much enjoyed.
    Thanks ProXimal and Gazza.

  10. Thanks for the blog, Gazza. Thanks also for the kind comments, I am glad the puzzle was testing yet enjoyable. Happy New Year to all at Big Dave.

  11. Very much enjoyed this puzzle. Thank you gazza for the parsing of 5d. Must remember that particular meaning of dean. Also for the parsing of 28a. Completely missed the contribution of “that’s” to the answer.
    Thanks to proXimal for giving me a good excuse to avoid the post Christmas cleaning!

  12. This is the first toughie I’ve attempted in a while- saving them up for a long flight downunder!
    Rather surprised at the 4* rating as with most so graded I only manage a couple of clues. Today I only needed help on 22d though admit I didn’t always get the complete parsing (5d,14d &26a).
    very enjoyable and for me satisfying.

  13. Saturday morning – this was the most difficult and least enjoyable puzzle I can recall attempting. I abandoned it without completion as some of the clues were awful – 9d and particularly 27a being the two worst examples. Perhaps doing it out of sequence addled my brain! Apologies to Proximal, but for me this scored *****/nil stars for me. Sh-Shoney.

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