Toughie No 1659 by Notabilis
Hints and Tips by crypticsue
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
The list of Toughie setters hadn’t been updated overnight so it was with a certain amount of trepidation, that I stood outside the local shop, opened the paper and found that I’d got a Notabilis Toughie to review, whereupon apprehension immediately transformed into delight. Not his most difficult Toughie, and not quite a Pangram, but the usual pleasure to solve and explain. I’m even more delighted to report that I actually spotted the Nina*, so I’m one extremely happy solver/blogger.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
7a Instrumental object that’s non-existent in reflexive Gujarati-Ugrian (3,6)
AIR GUITAR This non-existent musical instrument can be found, reversed (reflexive) in GujaRATI-UGRIAn.
8a Dummy ruled lightly (5)
FEINT A dummy attack in boxing or fencing; a description I remember from my childhood of a particular type of paper used on a writing pad or notebook
10a Workforce roughly reduced joins hands (6)
LABOUR The first four letters only (reduced) of a word meaning roughly goes inside (joins) the abbreviations used for each of your hands
11a Cook food till ready for late-night play? (8)
FLOODLIT An anagram (cook) of FOOD TILL
12a Small person transitioning male-to-female who can’t relax (6)
FIDGET Simply ‘transition’ the M (male) at the front of a small person to an F for female.
14a Skip start of terrible harangue (6)
EARFUL ‘skip’ or omit the start of an informal adjective meaning terrible
16a Short narrative poem about Zulu avoiding work (4)
LAZY A short narrative poem goes ‘about’ the letter represented by Zulu in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet
17a Divided staff marking time (5)
CLEFT A mark used on a musical staff (or stave) to indicate the pitch of music written after it, followed by the abbreviation for Time
18a Change in nature, losing heart and having no voice (4)
MUTE Remove the middle two letters (losing heart) from a verb meaning to change in nature
19a Kin could be this happy behind Republican (6)
ELATED Put the abbreviation for Republican in front of this word meaning happy and you’ll see what the kin could be
21a Killing trade over days and years (6)
DEADLY A verb meaning to trade goes ‘over’ the abbreviation for days, the result then finished with the abbreviation for years
24a Tarn muddied with haze where preacher was raised (8)
NAZARETH An anagram (muddied) of TARN with HAZE
26a Piercing cry or note in racket (6)
SCREAM A musical note inserted into a dishonest scheme (racket)
27a Fool in Dublin and in Rome holds back the speaker in London and Paris (5)
EEJIT The Latin (as once used in Rome) word meaning and ‘holds back’ a reversal of how both an English (in London) speaker and a French (in Paris) speaker would refer to themselves in conversation
28a Thus more than half of European country invested in its old money game (9)
SOLITAIRE An adverb meaning thus, followed by the first three letters (more than half) of a five letter European country, invested in, or inserted into, the currency it used before the Euro.
1d Up to no good, looking up new moon (5)
TITAN Saturn’s largest moon is a reversal (looking up in a Down clue) of an informal expression meaning up to no good and the abbreviation for New
2d Do my ironing, right away — it’s a disgrace (8)
IGNOMINY An anagram (do) of MY IRONING without the R (right away). One of those words like anemone where I have to think really hard to remember which way round the M and N go.
3d Young woman I love mounts platform (3,3)
OIL RIG Another reversal, this time mounts tells us to reverse a young woman, I (from the clue) and the letter that looks like a zero, a score of love in a game of tennis for example
4d The reverse of fine and cool (4)
NAFF This word meaning the opposite of fine and cool is a reversal (as clearly indicated in the clue) of the abbreviation for Fine and a verb meaning to cool with a current of air
5d what might leave one legless as well as headless, getting into booze? (6)
BENDER Remove the first letter (headless) from a conjunction meaning as well as and then insert the remaining letters into some booze.
6d Possible worker with resignation statement, unknown in the past (9)
ANTIQUITY One of Crosswordland’s workers, a resignation statement and a mathematical unknown combine to give us the far distant past, especially that preceding the Middle Ages.
9d Spy stumped by bug (6)
MOLEST An informal term for a spy, especially one who has infiltrated an organisation, followed by the cricketing abbreviation for stumped
13d Rough material affected daughters (5)
TWEED An informal term meaning affectedly sentimental or sweet followed by the abbreviation for daughters
15d Upset about second article expunged from pontiff’s canon as part of a cover-up? (9)
WALLPAPER Another reversal (upset in a Down clue). The two letters used to mean about, especially in an email subject box, and a simpler way of saying a pope’s decree (pontiff’s canon), without the second A (second article expunged) should all be reversed to get a type of ‘cover-up’.
17d Food partially processed and set in batter (6)
CUDGEL Partly processed food (usually eaten by a cow or sheep) and a verb meaning to set like a jelly
18d After whisky, soak boxes a bully (8)
MALTREAT A type of whisky followed by a verb meaning to soak flax or hemp to soften the fibres, into which is inserted (boxes) A (from the clue)
20d Pathetic jerk trapping badger (6)
TRAGIC An involuntary twitching (jerk) trapping a verb meaning to badger
22d A nurse’s aide periodically absent could be Victorian (6)
AUSSIE Not necessarily as old as someone who lived in the reign of the dear old Queen, but someone from the State of Victoria can be found in the odd letters (periodically absent indicating that we don’t need the even ones) of A nUrSeS aIdE
23d Run into murderer’s simple grave marker (5)
CAIRN The abbreviation for Run inserted into the name of the first murderer in the Bible.
p>25d Cover the upper part tough Bronx district (4)
HOOD A cover, upper part, a tough – HOOD(lum )- or a slang term for an inner city neighbourhood such as the Bronx in New York, which I don’t believe is quite as ‘tough’ as it once was.
Thanks to Gazza and Jon for their assistance in “definition counting”
*No excuses for not spotting the Nina as the grid is one of those that is perfect for a message round the outside, and one should always look for a Nina when Notabilis is the setter.
Back to the day job now, including sending a note to the boss to request a copy of the BRB, as our office Collins Dictionary purchased back in 1994 hasn’t heard of a scam or a hood when I went to see whether it said anything interesting or witty about either of those words – I bet when I get home the BRB will be much more helpful/entertaining!
Kitty will be in the Friday Toughie hot seat next week