Toughie 1350

Toughie No 1350 by Kcit

Beyond the Pale

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

We have another fairly straightforward Toughie today – we must surely be due for something a bit meatier for the rest of the week.

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 Hollywood star may have this hairstyle before a function (8)
PERMATAN – a hairstyle involving the use of chemicals to make it last precedes A and a mathematical function.

5a Lines in poem (except opening) make you feel sleepy (6)
DROWSE – insert lines or tiers in a lyrical poem without its leading letter.

10a Question from advertising agency possibly prompting expression of incredulity (5,3,3,4)
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? – the last two words of the answer are used in advertising and marketing to identify the strong message designed to promote a brand or product.

11a Cry of woe mostly involving fellow’s register (7)
ALMANAC – an old-fashioned cry of woe without its final K (mostly) contains a male person.

12a Deity overlooking time involved in depravity? (7)
IMMORAL – an enduring deity for the Greeks and Romans loses its T(ime).

13a Usual wine’s not right for stew (8)
STOCKPOT – charade of an adjective meaning usual or predictable and a fortified wine without the R(ight). I was about to write of my doubts that the answer means stew when I thought that I’d better check stew in the BRB and, blow me, one of several interesting meanings is ‘a boiling pot’.

15a Way of locating cycling crime? (5)
SONAR – cycle round the letters of a serious crime involving the attempted destruction of property. Note that this is a cycling of the letters of the crime and not an anagram of the crime because that would be an indirect anagram which is forbidden, though you (and I) may see very little difference in the thought processes needed to reach the answer. So why is an indirect anagram a no-no whilst indirect cycling is not? Answers on a postcard, please!

18a I note the French workers’ leader indicating what union may provide (2-3)
IN-LAW – this is what you may be landed with when you say ‘I do’. String together I, N(ote), a French definite article and the leading letter of W(orkers’).

20a French ready to capture military leader’s area (8)
PRECINCT – French ready is not the euro but the French adjective meaning ready (ignoring the circumflex). Insert (capturing) the abbreviation (1-2-1) for a supreme military commander.

23a Wary about church identifying lustfulness (7)
LECHERY – an adjective meaning wary or distrustful contains one of the abbreviations for church.

25a A blood group I intend to get back — treating this? (7)
ANAEMIA – start with A (from the clue). Now string together a blood group, I and a verb to intend and reverse it (to get back).

26a Historic period — BC, apparently — gets more weight (6-3,6)
MIDDLE-AGE SPREAD – an historic period of history (6,4) is followed by the relationship in time of BC to what followed it (3,2).

27a Prison guard letting number escape is a failure (6)
TURKEY – an old word for a jailer loses the single-letter abbreviation for number.

28a Employee presenting reduced aspect to corporation (8)
FACTOTUM – start with an aspect or facade and drop the last letter, then add TO and the sort of corporation that may be subject to 26a.

Down Clues

1d Fruit: cut two pieces one’s prepared to give away? (6)
PAWPAW – drop the last letter (cut) from a chess piece or something deemed to be of little value. Now do the same again (because the clue says there are two).

2d Staff encountered a line about a lot of broken stone (4,5)
ROAD METAL – this was not a phrase that I knew but the wordplay is clear. String together a staff or bar, a verb meaning encountered, A and L(ine). Finally insert (about) another A.

3d As in races, racing … (7)
ARSENIC – an anagram (racing?) of IN RACES produces the element for which As is the chemical symbol.

4d … without preparation leads to accidents: dozens, hundreds of crashes (2,3)
AD HOC – pick out the leading letters of five words in the clue.

6d Upset for half of German governments? (7)
REGIMES – join together a prefix meaning half and an abbreviation for German, then reverse the lot.

7d Struggle to grasp wings of delicate bird (5)
WADER – an armed struggle contains the outer letters (wings) of delicate.

8d Up-to-date salespeople earliest to be converted? (1-7)
E-TAILERS – an anagram (to be converted) of EARLIEST.

9d A book on crime being supported by the alcohol (8)
ABSINTHE – A, B(ook) and a crime or moral lapse are all followed (supported) by THE.

14d Dog’s destiny to have tail docked? It’ll make the young blubber (5,3)
PUPPY FAT – a young dog and a word for destiny or kismet without its last letter.

16d Turned on married men in bed? I couldn’t say (2,7)
NO COMMENT – reverse ON then insert M(arried) and MEN in a child’s bed.

17d Negotiator I’d upset over scheme to kidnap the old woman (8)
DIPLOMAT – reverse I’D and follow that with a scheme or intrigue containing (to kidnap) an affectionate term for the old woman.

19d Rider’s trick: exuberant expression when on slope (7)
WHEELIE – an expression of exhilaration is followed by a noun meaning (thanks again to the BRB) slope and disposition. Now where have I seen this answer before?

21d Facing difficulties in moving to Spain (2,1,4)
IN A SPOT – an anagram (moving) of TO SPAIN.

22d Female and male embracing love and devotion (6)
FANDOM – this awkward word means the condition of being a devoted aficionado. It comes from F(emale), AND, M(ale) containing the letter that resembles love or zero.

24d Leading pair ousted in final match? That merits a drink (5)
CIDER – take away the first two letters from the final match which resolves who wins and who loses.

25d An extended period setting up sports venue (5)
ARENA – AN (from the clue) and an extended historical period all reversed.

I liked 27a and 21d (for the smooth surfaces) and 16d (for the innuendo) but my favourite clue today was 14d. Let us know what turned you on.

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27 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant but no trickier than many a backpager (both today’s puzzles solved in the same time) Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

    Whilst living in hope for a genuine toughie to turn up, I did manage to stretch the grey matter with offerings in both the FT and the Graun today.

  2. Pegasus
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Not overly difficult but I did enjoy it, favourites were 14d 20a and 26a thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the comments.

  3. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I really thought the setter had a problem with his physical appearance. What with his corporation , his endless fate, and his middle age crisis, the whole thing being wrapped up by 10a which I first thought was” what’s the big deal”. Big is beautiful as we all know. He shouldn’t worry.
    The SW corner took me a while. 1a and 2d particularly. And although I guessed the answers I needed Gazza to help me with the parsing. Love the George Hamilton pic by the way.
    Favourites are 3 and 6d.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

    • Paso Doble
      Posted February 25, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Salut Jean-Luc, we were stuck with ‘What’s the big deal’ for a while until we convinced ourselves that the unusual 7d was right, and of course the most successful ‘advertisers’ with big ideas are suffering from 26a!

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted February 25, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        Hi guys,
        The Garrick was surrendered by ad agencies. Leo Burnett, Euro RSCG, TBWA. Etc. These long lunches had to have an effect somehow. I don’t know how they did any work.

  4. Shropshirelad
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Much like yesterday’s toughie – enjoyable but not brain stretching. Unusual to see identical answers in the toughie and the back pager on the same day. Liked 1a for the laugh and 8d for a new word (for me).. Thanks to Kcit for the puzzle and Gazza for his usual excellent review.

  5. Expat Chris
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    It took me a while to get going and overall I found this quite tricky. While I did complete the grid, I could not completely parse 26A and 1D. I see 26A now from the hints, but for 1D while, I understand the part about cut the two chess pieces I just can’t see the “one’s prepared to give away” bit. I was also having trouble parsing 20A until I remembered that sandwich place you have in the UK. Oh, and whether it’s in the BRB or not, I think 13A is iffy.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review and hints.

    • gazza
      Posted February 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure about the “one’s prepared to give away” bit of 1d but I think it must be referring to a pawn sacrifice in chess, where a player gives away a pawn in order to gain an advantage elsewhere.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted February 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Hi Gazza, to me it just describes the chess piece and the fact that it’s something you can forfeit as in a pawn shop.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted February 25, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Gazza. That makes perfect sense now if I include cut and read the clue as “cut two [of] the pieces one’s prepared to give away. Thanks.

  6. Franco
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Many Thanks to gazza for explaining the BC in 26a.

  7. Jane
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Another Toughie that I could finish – no wonder CS is a little despairing of this week’s offerings to date!
    Must try to remember the use of ‘cycling’ and ‘racing’ as indicators – thank you for pointing those out, Gazza.
    Hadn’t come across 8d before.
    Shied away from putting in 10a for quite a while – is it considered OK for the apostrophe to be omitted in the enumeration?
    Very much enjoyed the connected 26&28a but favourite is definitely the younger generation’s 14d!

    Thanks to Kcit for letting me win this round and many thanks to Gazza for the lessons learned (also for the 18a cartoon!).

    • gazza
      Posted February 25, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Apostrophes in enumerations are a vexed subject. As far as I can see the Telegraph normally includes them if they occur at the start of a word, e.g. we’ve recently had:
      MAITRE D’HOTEL (6,1’5)
      and TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES (4,2,3,1’11)

      But it normally ignores those occurring at the end of a word, e.g. 10a here.

  8. Framboise
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Did not quite succeed in completing it but pleased with my effort. Learnt 1a expression as well turkey being a failure. 8d was also a new word. I always find it difficult to parse an expression which comprises several words, one of them really not one word like what’s but which ends up being considered as one: to me there are two words. Jane has also commented on this. Many thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review which I needed to finish this most enjoyable exercise. Favourite was 14d.

  9. dutch
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Well, all was fine and enjoyable but I found NW pretty tricky. Great penny drop moments for 1a, 1d, 2d & 3d, and I now really like these 4 clues.

    I agree about the indirectness of 15a, I was trying to cycle the letters of “crime” at first.

    At first I thought “half” was doing double duty in 6d, but thank you Gazza for reminding me Ger is an ok abbreviation for German all by itself.

    Amazing a word like “wheelie” should turn up twice in one day.

    Many thanks Kcit and Gazza

  10. KiwiColin
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Exactly the right difficulty for me today with all its competing distractions. Amazed at what can only be a coincidence with wheelie. Lots of smiles.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  11. Heno
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza. Very enjoyable puzzle, second Toughie I’ve got into this week, but like yesterday, still needed 5 hints to finish. Had never heard of 1a, also needed the hints for 10,23,27,28a,and 2d.Favourite was 14d.

  12. crypticsue
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Ray T fans will be happy tomorrow as his alter ego Beam is the Thursday Toughie Setter.

    • Hanni
      Posted February 25, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Oh my goodness. That is brilliant news. :-)

    • Jane
      Posted February 25, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      That’s my Thursday evening sorted. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  13. Salty Dog
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I had to leave this a couple of times to address various domestic duties, so it may have taken me longer than it would otherwise have done. 2.5*/3*, l suppose. I thought 26a was amusing (but then l’ve always been a racing snake). Ta to Kcit, and to Gazza.

  14. JonP
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I completed this quicker than the back-pager and enjoyed it just as much. As soon as I had the answer to 15ac I initially thought there should be a Stewards’ – but Gazza’s explanation would appear to settle the matter! Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  15. Paso Doble
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Well, goodness us! We managed to get through the back pager AND the Toughie in between taking the dog for a walk on Hampstead Heath (he’s 14 now and plods around as a gentleman of his age should do), getting cat number three neutered, buying the ingredients and cooking gratin dauphinois with Tuscan sausages which wii be devoured with rigour as soon as possible, taking unacceptable calls from people trying to tell us that we have debts and they may be able to help, trying to keep an eye on the Arsenal football match whilst the younger members of the family are more interested in the Brits……etc. Good puzzle and took us far too long to get Tur(n)key. Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  16. Wolfson Bear
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just caught up! Work got in the way of things on Friday so I was rather glad that we had a wonderful but not overly difficult Toughie from Notabilis. After a lacklustre start to last week’s toughie week I was starting to long for an encounter with the man in the boots – alas time would never have permitted so I am now glad to wait a little longer. With visitors until yesterday lunchtime I have only just caught up with the Saturday – Wednesday puzzles and I have had one or two difficulties with the back-pagers (especially Rufus as so often!) and found the toughies a touch on the light side again (relatively speaking).