Toughie No 1461 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***** – Enjoyment *****
It has been so cold in my north-facing office for the last two days, I was seriously contemplating getting out my woolly hat. Today, however, I should have looked out the slightly mad hat required when solving/reviewing a Petitjean crossword, not to mention lugging in from home one of my copies of the BRB as the office dictionary does its best but isn’t quite up to ‘Toughie’ parsing requirements.
The right hand of the crossword held out longer than the left hand side, and parsing of some of the clues took a while too which is why I have given it a 5* difficulty rating- there’s a couple of them where I await with interest the thoughts of our ‘foreign correspondents’ and ‘younger viewers’.
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.
1a Unconventional May Queen going to welcome mobile home (8)
BOHEMIAN Remove the Latin abbreviation for Queen from the Christian name of the guitarist named May and insert (to welcome) an anagram (mobile) of HOME.
5a Disregard majority of rumour and poison being cultivated (6)
URBANE Ignore the first four letters (majority of) rumoUR and add a fatal poison.
10a Remind coalition about covering all angles (15)
OMNIDIRECTIONAL An anagram (about) of REMIND COALITION.
11a Fashionable sad case drinking cuppa as an alternative (7)
INSTEAD An adjective meaning fashionable followed by the outside letters (case) of SaD between which is inserted (drinking) a ‘cuppa’.
12a Fit of anger with worker at last having shaken off cold (7)
WOBBLER The abbreviation for With followed by a worker at a last who has ‘shaken off cold’ or had the letter C removed from the beginning of his job title. (Unless you are a fan of sumo wrestlers, I don’t recommend typing ‘throwing a xxxxxx’ into Google Images!)
13a Take this to become invisible? (4,4)
BACK SEAT A cryptic definition of taking an subordinate or inconspicuous position.
15a Tackle missing hours finding energy to make start (5)
WINCE Start here meaning to start slightly with sudden pain. Remove the H (missing hours) at the end of a crank (tackle) and replace with (finding) the abbreviation for Energy.
18a It’s due to keep one from being on time for breakfast? (3-2)
LIE-IN I (one) inserted into a due or right.
20a This would suit a dirty chat with unexpectedly bad line ringing (8)
BIRDBATH No, not that sort of dirty chat Something that might be used by one of our feathered friends (a chat being a member of the thrush family) is obtained by putting an anagram (unexpectedly) of BAD into another word for line or lineage.
23a Less than reliable peacekeepers go off (7)
UNSOUND The abbreviation for the world’s peacekeepers followed by a verb meaning to go off
25a More buoyant boat (7)
LIGHTER Less heavy so more able to float or a type of flat bottomed barge.
26a Your inner racist turned out revolting (15)
INSURRECTIONARY An anagram (turned out) of YOUR INNER RACIST.
27a Morosely swapping medium for small — that’s awful (6)
GRISLY Awful in the sense of gruesome – Swap the M (medium) in the middle of a word meaning morosely for an S (small).
28a Come across Chelsea — no other — boss in news (6,2)
CHANCE ON Meet unexpectedly (come across) – remove (no) the ‘other’ from CHELSEA, add one abbreviation for News add the abbreviation for a boss or managing director, and finish with another abbreviation for news.
1d Film writer getting to grips with work this person’s seen before (6)
BIOPIC I (this person) goes before the abbreviation for work and then both are inserted into a particular brand of ballpoint pen (writer).
2d Greeting that reveals sign of nerves? (9)
HANDSHAKE Split 4,5 this form of greeting might well signify nervousness.
3d Unclear about facing small cocktail on Wednesday (3-4)
MIDWEEK A reversal (about) of a word meaning unclear, an adjective meaning very small and the ‘tail’ of cock.
4d Outsiders from CAMRA coming up with free bitter (5)
ACRID A reversal (coming up in a Down clue) of the ‘outsiders’ of CAMRA followed by a verb meaning to free from something undesirable.
6d ‘Begorra!’ in bowdlerised content is colourful (7)
RAINBOW Something colourful is found in the content of begorRA IN BOWdlerised
7d Cancel omnibus without anyone initially on board? (5)
ANNUL Remove the initial letter of Anyone from inside (on board) a collection of works usually published on a yearly basis.
8d Back Frenchman over delay — one end or other of reactor inside it’s blowing up regularly (8)
ENLARGER Insert either one of the Rs at the end of ReactoR into a delay and then put the result into a reversal (back) of a Frenchman’s name.
9d One wet acre could be the result of melt (3,5)
ICE WATER The letter that looks like a number one followed by an anagram (could be) of WET ACRE.
14d Typifies ‘Professional’ after half of them succeeded (8)
EMBODIES The second half of the word thEM followed by the name of one of the ‘Professionals’ in the TV series and the abbreviation for succeeded.
16d No joke being on edge (3,2,4)
NOT AT EASE Split your solution 3, 1, 5 and the first part of the clue makes sense.
17d Defying being dismissed in brief flamboyant innings? (8)
FLOUTING Insert another way of saying ‘being dismissed’ in a game of cricket into a brief period of unrestrained behaviour (flamboyant innings). The letters of the solution appear in flamboyant innings but I don’t think (she said hopefully) that you are supposed to use them to get the solution.
19d Upcoming combination of articles in French and English tackles surprisingly true fence-sitting (7)
NEUTRAL Reversals (upcoming) of the French female definite article and the English indefinite article in combination or ‘sharing’ the A, ‘tackle’ or go round an anagram (surprisingly) of TRUE.
21d Left adrift, Bligh — or Christian, at root one of the flock? (7)
BIGHORN A North American breed of sheep, named for what’s obvious in this illustration – remove the L (left adrift) from B
LIGH, add OR (from the clue) and finish with the ‘root’ of ChristiaN.
22d Blue a corny colour? (6)
CRAYON Not sure about ‘blue’ being an anagram indicator (it might be in the BRB list but that’s at home) but here you need to rearrange A CORNY.
24d South American welcome for rice dish (5)
SUSHI This type of clue gets me every time as I always want to start with SA – however, the abbreviation for South should be followed by the abbreviated way of referring to the United States (American) and an informal word for hello (welcome).
25d Catch fifty in congregation, conceivably (5)
LATCH The Roman numeral for 50 followed by an abbreviated way of saying (conceivably) that one was part of the congregation in a place of worship.
Thank you to Petitjean for an enjoyable and properly tough start to the Toughie week – hence the 5* enjoyment rating (I’m hoping this bodes well for the rest of the week); to Toro for having a work deadline and to BD for the lunch engagement which meant I could truthfully say I had a lunchtime commitment and couldn’t do something both time-consuming and totally unnecessary for which a colleague wanted me to give up my lunch hour!