Toughie 1371 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1371

Toughie No 1371 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This was plain sailing until I got becalmed in the SW corner. It was a mixture of fairly obvious answers and some where the wordplay needed teasing out.

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1a    Set out in licit manner before onset of temptation prompting decision to break the law (8,6)
CRIMINAL INTENT: An anagram (set out) of IN LICIT MANNER + the first letter of Temptation

9a    One’s taking host around greeting English following bad behaviour (8)
MISCHIEF: IS (one’s) inside an abbreviation for a host (or compere) + a greeting + E (English)+ F 9following)

10a    Half out of luck and free to be melodramatic (5)
LURID: The first half of the word LUck + ‘to free’

12a    Dry run with outside help (4)
ARID: R (run) inside ‘to help’

13a    Cast raid sherry and they blow hot and cold (10)
HAIRDRYERS: An anagram (cast) of RAID SHERRY

15a    Toiled away without energy adding new shelving (8)
DELETION: An anagram (away) of TOILED round E (energy) + N (new)

16a    Rejig working holiday and get stick (4,2)
STAY ON: Take ‘working’ (2) + holiday (4) and rejig it by putting it the other way round, i.e. holiday (4) + ‘working’ (2)

18a    Study more than once or about twice a day (6)
REREAD: ‘About’ + ‘about’ + A + D (day)

20a    Combustible love god in mad keen embrace (8)
KEROSENE: A combustible substance = the Greek god of love inside an anagram (mad) of KEEN

23a    Tested watch’s seconds machinery in case something goes wrong (10)
SAFEGUARDS: ‘Tested’ + ‘watch’ + S (seconds)

24a    Portion of Christmas pudding for Charlotte perhaps (4)
SPUD: Hidden in ChristmaS PUDding

26a    Douglas’s Trevor back in clear? (5)
OVERT: Douglas is on the Isle of Man and Manx cats have no tail so you have to remove the tail (or last letter) from TREVOR and then reverse what’s left

27a    Good old post-Fifties western with outlaw going round in costume (4-4)
BALL-GOWN: LL (Fifties) + G (good) + O (old) + W (western) inside ‘to outlaw’

28a    Unusual sight: a panorama that’s a series of dreamlike images (14)


2d    First I nail it somehow (7)
INITIAL: An anagram (somehow) of I NAIL IT

3d    Edge / part of foot (4)
INCH: 2 meanings: to edge/part of foot (the unit of length)

4d    Disney maybe having an alternative aim to bitter end (8)
ANIMATOR: AN + an anagram (alternative) of AIM + TO + R (last letter of bitter)

5d    Fit fashionable type (2,4)
IN FORM: Fashionable (2) + type (4)

6d    Patience as bit of land’s turned over with earth to go on allotment (10)
TOLERATION: A reversal of a patch of ground + E (earth) + an allotment

7d    Feed and grass mostly in garden centre (7)
NURSERY: ‘To feed (a baby)’ + a type of grass with the last letter removed

8d    Scraps with unusual grit then butts (4,3,4)
ODDS AND ENDS: ‘Unusual’ + grit + butts

11d    Company with floating assets run like Spar is legendary source of trouble (8,3)
PANDORA’S BOX: A shipping line (1,3,1) + R (run) + ‘like’ + ‘to spar’

14d    So-called random number put in order (10)
STRAIGHTEN: A homophone (so-called) of ‘random’ + a number

17d    Writer’s less than boring and — how can I put this? — a swinger (8)
PENDULUM: An instrument for writing + ‘boring’ with the last letter removed + ‘how can I put this?’

19d    Loud note first? Quiet note first, that can be cool (7)
REFRESH: An abbreviation denoting ‘loud’ is preceded by the second note of the scale. Then ‘Quiet!’ is preceded by the same note

21d    Authorise returning soldiers to hold detainee (7)
EMPOWER: Reverse a corps of the British army and put it round a wartime detainee

22d    With odd exceptions jazzy backing marks rise of marimba here and there in part of Africa (6)
ZAMBIA: A reversal if the even letters of jAzZy + M (marks) + a reversal of the even letters of mArImBa

25d    A good own goal will get you on the edge of your seat (4)
AGOG: A + G (good) + the abbreviation for ‘own goal’

Not very satisfying

32 comments on “Toughie 1371

  1. Wrong Envelope Day (took less time (1*) than the backpager (2*), but then it is Thursday when Toughies are traditionally not as tough as they ought to be. I did hesitate to recommend this one to Brian as I am not sure he’ll like the ‘wordy’ nature of the clues but let’s wait and see.

    Thanks to Petitjean – enjoyable crossword despite the lack of challenge – and Bufo too

  2. A couple of real stinkers. For instance:23a = since when has testing always resulted in a safe outcome? There are others. 22d is particularly tatty.
    However, I love the 28a anagram.

  3. My first go at a Toughie….and I am delighted to say that I enjoyed it very much…much more so than the Back Pager today.
    Needed the hints for most of the SW corner, but am pleasantly surprised that I managed as much as I did.
    Onwards and upwards!

    Thanks to the setter and to Bufo.

  4. Enjoyable romp in the park, favourites were 7d and 11d thanks to Petitjean and to Bofo for the comments.

  5. That was fun. Fun because any Toughie I complete without swearing is a victory, and fun because 28a is sublime. How can I casually drop that word into a conversation?

    I agree that the SW corner was a bit of a nightmare. 23a was just a guess.

    I messed up 15a for awhile. I tried to make the anagram as ‘toild+new’, i.e ‘toiled’ without its ‘E’ (energy) and then adding ‘new’. Got there in the end.

    Many thanks to Petitjean and to Bufo for blogging.

  6. At first I thought this was a bit dull for PJ – but the later, slightly trickier clues were the most amusing e.g. 18a, 27a, 11d, 17d and 19d. There’s nothing particularly clever here, but it’s the way he tells ’em! Great fun in the end.

    Many thanks to PJ and to Bufo for the blog.

  7. Good fun from PJ although I didn’t notice any ‘mad hat’ clues, but I might be wrong. I am looking forward to trying to drop 28a into conversation this weekend though that might be a struggle. My favourite for today was the excellent 27a.

    Thanks to PJ for the puzzle and Bufo for the review (the SW corner was also my sticking point).

  8. Can’t consider it to be a toughie but enjoyable nonetheless.
    Liked the construction of 27a and it’s surface was lovely.
    Agree about the clankiness of 22d.
    Thanks to Bufo for the review and to PJ for the puzzle.

  9. Toughie or not I enjoyed it.
    I needed the hints to explain 27a and 11d so thanks to Bufo for that.
    13a was my last answer – was thinking of the wrong kind of blowing hot and cold so I was hunting for something that meant a fickle friend.
    I loved 28a and 17d.
    Thanks to Petitjean and to Bufo.

  10. Looks as though I’m really having a bad day. Needed Bufo’s help to fully parse 9,16 &26a along with 14d and am also left with a couple of questions:-
    5d – I thought one was ‘on form’ not ‘in form’.
    15a – When you ‘delete’ something, surely you get rid of it – not shelve it.

    Having said that, I rather liked 4,8 & 17d and loved the surface read of 11d.
    If anyone finds a way to drop 28a into general conversation, I’d love to hear about it!

    Thanks to PJ and to Bufo for the help.

  11. I I found many of the clues clumsy. Also too many bits and pieces of words joined together to make the solution. Sorry, setter

  12. A lot of fun we thought and not too taxing. Unpicking the wordplay for 11d was the last bit for us. Could not work out why we had never heard of a shipping company called PANDO until the penny dropped. Plenty to chuckle over.
    Thanks Petitjean and Bufo.

  13. Many thanks for all for your comments. They really are helpful for a compiler like me who’s still learning the craft, and it’s gratifying to be recognised for ‘the way he tells ’em’ (Halcyon) – mad hat required or not.

    1. Thanks for dropping in PJ, absolutely loved 27a – had ‘True Grit’ in my head for far too long

    2. Thanks for saying hello. 27a was very good but outstanding work on 28a. Getting that into an anagram, whilst keeping a smooth and clever surface read is some achievement. Great crossword. Can’t wait for more.

    3. I love it when the setter “pops in” – it somehow makes him (or her, although I only know of one Toughie setter who is a her) feel like a proper human being. to you, sir.

  14. Oooer! Found this very heavy going and nearly chucked it in in disgust…..not with puzzle but with myself for being so dim! Started off brilliantly by getting the anagram at 28a without even having to resort to pen and paper (apart from just checking I had spelled it right)…… Then….brick wall! Had to make copious use of the hints, but only looked at the answers for one or two. Still don’t quite see where the R’s come from in 19d ….get the E, F and SH… But the R?… Didn’t even fully understand the hint…..E is not necessarily the second note of the scale unless it’s D major …… or am I completely playing in the wrong orchestra? Didn’t really enjoy this much so I can only give ****/* perhaps tomorrow?…….

  15. SW corner slowed me down but I got there in the end. I needed the hints to explain several answers. Loved 17D and 28A. I rather enjoyed this and didn’t mind at all that it was not as devilish as the more gifted solvers would have liked. Thanks PJ and Bufo.

  16. As instructeded by CS:
    Well that was enjoyable! It took two sittings and I did have to resort to hints for three but great fun. 28a ending in orical used to be a very sixties word (Oh dear I am showing my age!). It’s also a rather gruesome computer game.
    Not often i even attempt the Toughie so this was a real bonus.
    Thx to all.

    1. Hi Brian, good to see you venturing to the ‘dark side’ of the crossword world. I always enjoy your contributions to the blog, long may it last

      Btw – is that a 3.2 Porsche Boxter on your avatar?

  17. This felt like petitjean was on a mission to get as many charade elements in short(ish) clues as possible: 5 in 9a & 27a, 4 in 18a and 19d.

    The anagrams seemed to come to mind readily today – I agree with others 28a is rather nice.

    I very much dislike the manx = detail thing without referring to cats somehow. Manx means from the isle of man, and does not give any cryptic instruction to detail as far as I can see. “Manx cat” to clue “ca” would be fine since this does refer to a tailless breed of cat from Man (Manx still doesn’t mean tailless here, it just means from Man). There are no tailless Trevors running around Man last time I looked. Using “Douglas” reduces the cryptic instruction to well below zero, if that is the intended parsing. I plead for a end to this folly. There are cryptically sound ways to delete the last letter.

    I really liked “about twice a day” in 18a.

    Many thanks petitjean, I too very much appreciate the visit, and thanks Bufo

  18. We really enjoyed this puzzle and very nice to hear from the setter. We also struggled with the SW corner. Favourites include 28a and 8d. Thanks to Bufo for the tips – we needed a couple to finish.

  19. Like Brian, I rarely venture into Toughieland, and have never yet managed to complete one unaided (but then I consider that if one does resort to “aids”, one can’t claim to have completed it – just my take on things)

    Today was by “closest but no cigar”, with only 5 clues unanswered, so I’m getting closer. Like most, I loved 28a, which I’m happy to say I spotted straight away. As for 23a and 22d, “Nurse, the screens!” – for me, not the compiler, I hasten to add.

  20. I don’t often venture into Toughie territory, but I am glad I did with this one which was great fun albeit with two notable exceptions – 26a and 22d. As others have noted, it wasn’t too tough overall. I managed the first three quarters quite smoothly but the SW proved more of a challenge.

    1a & 28a were my joint favourites.

    Many thanks to Petitjean and to Bufo.

  21. Just managed to complete this which is rewarding as I’ve not bothered for some time, having not been very well. I liked it although I didn’t understand the “company with floating assets” until it was explained. Very good. Also, having read Dutch’s comments at 18 above I now see how cunning 18a was! My Friday paper is about to arrive, so maybe I’ll have a go at that too. Beats lying in bed, anyway. Thanks to all. Sh-Shoney.

  22. The world may be ending this weekend for I have actually completed a Toughie with no help at all. Okay, maybe 99.1% of it, for one half of the parsing of one clue escaped me. (I took that as a quarter of a clue failed.) I could not figure out why on earth Douglas’s should indicate the removal of the r from rovert. I’m inclined to agree with Dutch, and not just because that allows me to revise my score back to 100%!

    Thanks to Petitjean for helping me break through to the Dark Side and to Bufo for the review and for allotting it more difficulty stars than the WED brigade.

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