Toughie 1423 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1423

Toughie No 1423 by MynoT

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Gazza cornered the market in sacrificial goats this week and so got the better of the Wednesday/Thursday puzzles. This one yielded fairly readily even with its sprinkling of less familiar words. My only problem was where I carelessly entered a wrong letter in one word and then couldn’t find a word that crossed with it

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1a    Difficult to control rising feeling of sympathy (6)
UPPITY: Rising + a feeling of sympathy

4a    One measures the distance when Bible Queen circumnavigates Millennium building (8)
ODOMETER: One part of the bible and our Queen round the building in Greenwich constructed for the millennium

9a    Noise made by conductor (6)
RATTLE: 2 meanings: a noise/the surname of the principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

10a    Calls to attention of enthusiasts about cost of transport (8)
FANFARES: Enthusiasts round the cost of travelling by bus, plane, train, etc.

11a    Strong drink advanced in the capacity of lunch, maybe coming back around six (4,5)
AQUA VITAE: A (advanced) + ‘in the capacity of’ + the Roman numeral for six + a reversal of ‘to lunch, maybe’

13a    Nothing green to be seen (5)
OVERT: O (nothing) + ‘green’

14a    Be without plans / to be naked (4,7,2)
HAVE NOTHING ON: 2 meanings

17a    Refrain from mentioning Dave hugging naked single girlfriend (4,1,4,4)
DRAW A VEIL OVER: DAVE round ‘naked’ + I (single) + a girlfriend

21a    It concentrates light in Lebanese cedar regularly (5)
LASER: Every third letter of LebAneSe cEdaR

23a    Quick dance first — et voila! (3,6)
HEY PRESTO: A country dance + ‘quickly’ = what a conjurer says on completing a trick

24a    Stolen key not unknown possibly to be this kind (8)
SKELETON: An anagram (possibly) of STOLEN KE, i.e. STOLEN KEY minus Y (unknown) = a type of key

25a    Waxed device held by busy person (6)
BECAME: A busy person goes round a device found in a car engine. I don’t like this clue but I hope I’ve got it right.

26a    In beginning, Democratic American is romantic (8)
STARDUST: D (Democratic) and ‘American’ in a beginning

27a    Herb heard noise of snake, going to work (6)
HYSSOP: A homophone of the noise made by a snake + work


1d    As part of a square, ‘i’ may be not authentic (6)
UNREAL: ‘i’ is the square root of minus one and is a so-called imaginary number. It is not a **** number like 1, 2, 3, etc. [Famously e2πi = 1, where e is the base of natural logarithms, one of the very few things I remember from my university maths course. BD]

2d    Translator brought in during shake-up, manipulated puppet (9)
PETRUSHKA: TR (translator) inside an anagram (manipulated) of SHAKE-UP = a stock character of Russian folk puppetry

3d    Return of oral rent in big city (3,4)
TEL AVIV: A reversal of an oral exam and ‘to rent (property)’ = a city in Israel

5d    Logically peculiar manner of speaking to supporter (11)
DIALECTALLY: A peculiar manner of speaking + a supporter. Does the answer mean ‘logically’? Not according to Chambers as far as I can see

6d    Aims of criminal, one or several (7)
MAFIOSI: An anagram (criminal) of AIMS OF + I (one) = members of a secret criminal society

7d    Holy time of intercession? (5)
TERCE: Hidden in inTERCEssion

8d    Heartlessly opposing being moved (2-6)
RE-SITING: Remove the middle letter from a nine-letter word meaning ‘opposing’

12d    Nails to fasten cloth will be OK mixed with ten others (11)
TENTERHOOKS: An anagram (mixed) of OK TEN OTHERS

15d    Rotating bodies sounding like bank figures (9)
GYROSTATS: A homophone of a banking system + figures

16d    Slaves in trouble about damaged silks (8)
ODALISKS: Female slaves in a harem = a reversal of ‘trouble’ + an anagram (damaged) of SILKS

18d    Broadcast notice about male idiot (7)
AIRHEAD: ‘To broadcast’ + a male pronoun + a notice

19d    Succession of turns in French department that is touristy at both ends (7)
VARIETY: A succession of turns in a theatre = a department on SE France + ‘that is’ + the first and last letters of TouristY

20d    Old boy repelled by tweet — youngsters may find it fun (2-4)
BO-PEEP: A reversal of OB (Old Boy) + ‘tweet’ = a character in a nursery rhyme

22d    Monarchy‘s female graduate (5)
SHEBA: An ancient monarchy with a famous biblical queen = a female + a graduate

By no means my favourite puzzle

8 comments on “Toughie 1423

  1. Not too difficult and very enjoyable.
    I liked 14a, 17a, 2d, 3d, and 23a is my favourite.
    I didn’t need the hints but I needed the explanations, such as in 1d.
    Thanks MynoT and Bufo.

  2. I found this pretty hard, an exercise in parsing. 2d (translator brought in) I failed to see the abbreviation and I didn’t know the puppet, so I needed a few 1-letter hints, my next-to last one in!

    Then my last one in, 25a, with checkers _E_A_E, I had found CERATE meaning waxen. So I got an error when submitting. Took me a while to see the other meaning of waxed, and I then parsed the device as a video-cam you use as a device on your pc.

    The clues I liked were 1d, though only long after the puzzle did the mathematical explanation hit me. Similarly, the lurker in 7d I only saw much later when I was picking my favourites. I liked 14a (be without plans) and 6d (aims of criminal, one or more).

    I immediately thought of our leader for 17a, probably raised the biggest smile I had, and 12d will be familiar to DIYCOW enthousiasts.

    Many thanks MynoT and Bufo

  3. First thought there was a spelling mistake in 8d. Could only think of resenting for a while.
    Learned a bit from this one. From the one who lost her sheep to the Stravinsky ballet.
    Also learned all about beekeeping as I thought we were looking for a part of a hive in 25a.
    Favourite is 19d bien sur.
    Couldn’t parse my answer to 11a and 1d.
    So thanks to Bufo and to MynoT.

  4. I came unstuck in the NW corner with 1A,9A, and 2D unsolved, and missed out on 16D, 7D,17A , 25A, and 26A also. Not my day at all. Retiring to lick my wounds. MynoT, you thoroughly beat me. Thanks Bufo, for the review.

    1. I haven’t looked at a toughie for a few months, as I have been so busy with our move abroad, and in that time, I have had my head buried in Spanish grammar books, but now that we are settled in, I cannot think of a better puzzle to start over again, than one from Notabilis, tomorrow.

  5. Not too tricky for us. In fact it took about the same time as the back pager. We had picked that the lower case ‘i’ in 1d was mathematical and a quick BRB check confirmed we were right. Luckily at least one of us knew the other obscurities like 16d for example.
    Thanks MynoT and Bufo.

  6. The NW corner beat me. I know nothing of Russian folk puppetry or (what to me is advanced) mathematics, so needed two hints to complete. I don’t really have a favourite clue, either. 3*/3*, l suppose. Thanks to Myno T, and of course to Bufo.

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