Toughie 1398 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1398

Toughie No 1398 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

It was great to meet so many blog regulars in Southwark yesterday, with special mention going to our visitors from New Zealand.
There were a number of gimmes today (e.g. 1a, 12a, 25a and 26d) to give us a good start but after that it was a case of knuckling down and teasing out each answer in what I thought was a very enjoyable exercise.
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 Old Nazi full of resentment for one who’s succeeded (7)
HEIRESS – Hitler’s one-time deputy contains a word meaning resentment or anger.

9a 3-D object with internal 2-D fuse (8)
CONFLATE – put a solid figure which tapers around an adjective describing something having length and breadth but no height.

10a Room in church with half-hearted cat put outside (7)
KITCHEN – an abbreviation for church with a young cat, without one of its central letters, around it.

11a Leading lady in lingerie holding first show (8)
REGISTER – the surname of Janet, the English lingerie designer, contains a shorthand way of writing ‘first’. The definition here is a verb, meaning to express or reveal (an emotion, say).

12a Servant, at first meek, affable but no good (6)
MENIAL – the first letter of meek is followed by an adjective meaning affable or good-natured without the G(ood).

13a Ideal secretary backed over essay about nothing (10)
APOTHEOSIS – reverse (backed) the abbreviation for a top secretary and add the abbreviation for an over in cricket. Finally, append a long essay or dissertation containing the letter that looks like zero or nothing.

15a Extra  roomy (4)
WIDE – double definition, the first a type of extra on a cricket scorecard.

16a Dog is free, say, to run round tail (9)
RIDGEBACK – string together a verb to free or clear, the reversal (to run round) of the abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’ and a tail or rear.

21a Divine note taken from sermon (4)
HOLY – remove one of the spellings of the third note in tonic sol-fa from a sermon.

22a Gush from modified e-vaporiser (10)
OVERPRAISE – an anagram (modified) of E-VAPORISER.

24a King, I see, managed to circulate port (6)
NARVIK – this is a small port north of the Arctic Circle, in Norway. String together the chess abbreviation for king, I (from the clue), a single-letter abbreviation meaning see and a verb meaning managed or controlled. Finally reverse it all (to circulate).

25a Choosing building that’s changed hands (8)
ELECTION – start with a building and change which hand you use.

27a Perhaps Tess now embraces love-in (7)
HEROINE – Hardy’s Tess is one example. An adverb meaning now or at this point goes round the letter that resembles love or zero and IN.

28a Never opened trite magazine, or something similar (8)
ANALOGUE – put together an adjective meaning trite or hackneyed and the name of a fashion magazine, then remove the first letter of both (never opened).

29a You’d walk if this ran a cover-up for corporation (7)
STUMPED – if you were this, as a batsmen, you’d be walking back to the pavilion. A verb meaning ran or moved quickly goes round (a cover-up for) a corporation or paunch.

Down Clues

2d Heroic adventure about the same eruption (8)
EPIDEMIC – a film or book portraying heroic deeds contains the word, from Latin, used in written works to mean the person or thing previously mentioned,

3d One getting peaches regularly in flower (8)
RECEIVER – the even letters of peaches go inside something that flows.

4d It could get you to plastered drywall’s top when rebuilding (10)
STEPLADDER – this is a semi-all-in-one. It’s an anagram (when rebuilding) of PLASTERED and the top letter of D(rywall).

5d Region in central Zanzibar, as some might see it (4)
ZONE – select the central two letters of zanZIbar, use the first and treat the second as a Roman numeral.

6d Business having turned sour since sacking Poles (6)
OFFICE – how you might describe milk, say, that’s turned sour followed by the word since without the abbreviations for the two earthly poles.

7d Fitting doctrine following initiation of blood rite (7)
BAPTISM – an adjective meaning fitting or suitable and a doctrine follow the initial letter of blood.

8d Noble, unrivalled Liberal must stand down (7)
PEERESS – an adjective meaning unrivalled or without equal with the L(iberal) losing his or her seat.

11d De Niro has played an old countryman (9)
RHODESIAN – an anagram (played) of DE NIRO HAS. The answer can precede the crossing word in the centre of the grid to make a breed of dog.

14d Timely new bouquet delivered as support for fling (6-4)
HEAVEN-SENT – N(ew) and what sounds like (delivered) a bouquet or fragrance follow a verb meaning to fling or chuck.

17d Mark turned up with new author that’s penned ‘Gordon woz ‘ere’ (8)
KHARTOUM – reverse the 2-letter abbreviation for the old German currency and put inside it (penned) an anagram (new) of AUTHOR. This is the African capital city where the Victorian hero General ‘Chinese’ Gordon was besieged and eventually killed in 1885 by the ‘Mad Mahdi’.

18d Union leader removed in time-wasting (8)
ALLIANCE – remove the leading letter from a word meaning time-wasting or dawdling.

19d Exhausted by delay over town and county (7)
DONEGAL – a past participle meaning finished or exhausted is followed by the reversal (over) of a noun meaning amount of delay. This is a county (containing a town of the same name) which is in Ulster but part of the Irish Republic.

20d Sweeping practice — store staff may each pursue it (7)
GENERAL – the three words in the clue may each follow the answer to make three well-known phrases (other possibilities could be 25a, assembly or strike).

23d Choice to lower head when getting draught (6)
POTION – a word meaning choice or alternative with its first letter (head) moved down a tad.

26d Duty paid by the Telegraph? (4)
ONUS – if the Telegraph management were to offer to buy a round of drinks they might say ‘This round’s ** **’.

Top clues for me were 11a, 4d and 17d. Which one(s) appealed to you?

19 comments on “Toughie 1398

  1. Splendid puzzle and thoroughly enjoyable, favourites were 4d 14d 17d and 28a thanks to Sparks and to Gazza for the review.

  2. Congratulations Gazza, I needed about half a dozen of your hints. When I got the obscure port and managed to look up Gordon, I did wonder what I was in for.

    I missed 9a, 11a, 27a, 29a, 19d.

    Certainly a toughie, many thanks Sparks.

  3. A bit more of a challenge after yesterday. Sparks seems to be settling in nicely and there’s lots to admire here. I particularly liked 28a [never opened] 4d, 6d [since sacking Poles] and 20d [a bit different].

    Many thanks to Sparks and to Gazza for the blog.

  4. A very enjoyable puzzle to get the brain cells back into action after yesterday’s (large) volume of good beer and equally good company. The SE corner was my last set of clues to complete and the solutions took a bit of teasing out. I agree with halcyon on his / her comment on Sparks – I hope it continues. Far too many good clues to highlight just one as my favourite – so I shall defer.

    Thanks to Sparks for the puzzle and Gazza for his usual excellent review.

  5. Oh dear and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif . To quote a regular commenter in “the other place” this was way beyond my pay grade.
    I even managed to completely screw up one of gazza’s ‘gimmes’ thereby messing up one of his other ones – the wrong ending for 25a effectively made 26d tricky to say the least.
    I think I’ve tried a Sparks Toughie before with similar results – i.e. I can’t do it.
    I also think that I’m just not Toughie solving material – I’ll live with it, somehow!
    With thanks to Sparks (I think) and to gazza for putting me out of my misery with most of the answers!

    • The best way to solve a Toughie is with a couple of Kiwis :).

      I’m missing them already :(.

      • Kitty we probably would have shattered that reputation as we did not manage to finish this one today. Lots of other distractions and we ended up abandoning with about half the grid, the right hand side, still blank. Ah well there’s always tomorrow, and we’re sure we can organise some more joint solves at some time, even if we have to resort to Skype.
        Thanks Sparks, we promise to do better next time, and Gazza for the review.

  6. Well, payback for yesterdays smugness. Having used three clues still had to cheat on five answers. Humility becomes me! 2d very clever (too clever for me). 20d also very clever – I needed the clue. Do not understand 9a even with clue and solution.
    Oh well, it’s been a long day in hell. Thanks as always guys.

  7. Ouh la la !,that was hard work
    I must say that the SE corner was just impossible 14 and 17d and 21, 24 and 29d were left blank.
    And to think I was so proud of myself for getting some rather difficult clues such as 7d which I thought was fantastic.
    Didn’t get 15a either. Cricket is just not my thing.
    Thanks to Gazza for explaining 28a, I thought it had to do with catalogue but couldn’t find why. Miles away from the actual parsing it seems.
    I’ll say it again. 7d is my favourite.
    Thanks to Sparks and to Gazza.

  8. Big Sparks fan despite the time spent in my case on 23d ,favourite by quite a margin 17d .thanks to both .very enjoyable .

  9. Well, so far I have not been able to get much of a foothold at all on this one. Avoiding the hints and will give it another bash tomorrow.

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