Toughie No 1781 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ****
How lovely to get another very enjoyable Toughie from the much-missed Petitjean – let’s hope that he left plenty more for us to enjoy. This one is typically quirky and has a theme relating to defensive tactics.
My main difficulty with this one was deciding exactly what to underline in some of the clues (e.g. 27a, 2d and 3d) where the definition seemed to overlap with the wordplay.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a/9a Currency with which origami enthusiasts fund their hobby? (7,5)
FOLDING MONEY – cryptic definition based on what’s involved in origami.
5a Used to be hot but back then it got clothes clean (7)
WASHTUB – string together ‘used to be’, the abbreviation for hot and the reversal of ‘but’.
9a See 1a
10a Suspect inmates of making programme (9)
MANIFESTO – an anagram (suspect) of INMATES OF.
11a Close outcome with time giving way to pressure in the end — synonymous with 12 and 25 (4,2,4)
SHUT UP SHOP – a verb to close is followed by a synonym of outcome with T(ime) changed to P(ressure) at the end.
12a/19d Team coach’s defence drill? (4,3,3)
PARK THE BUS – this is a disparaging description (usually by the opposition’s manager) of a football team’s negative tactics in not being interested in scoring goals but purely in keeping a clean sheet. It’s meant to paint a picture of the team’s transport being stationed in front of their own goal.
14a Between you and me where many B-sides should have been left? (3,3,6)
OFF THE RECORD – very amusing suggestion that many B-sides should have been left on the cutting room floor.
18a Local youths divided by internet poll in area around capital (4,8)
HOME COUNTIES – a slang term (mainly US) for youths from one’s neighbourhood contains the prefix denoting the internet and another word for a poll or tally.
21a Odd characters in cell ain’t family (4)
CLAN – the odd letters from two words in the clue.
22a Sounds like where to buy Mac in Afghanistan, for instance — there’s quite a range (10)
APPALACHIA – it took me a while to realise that Mac here is a computer rather than a beefburger. What we need is a sound-alike of this computer manufacturer’s sales region (5,4) which would include Afghanistan (and most other countries between Turkey and Japan).
25a/20d Defence strategy of western teams? (6,3,6)
CIRCLE THE WAGONS – a defensive strategy named after the tactics employed by groups of pioneers moving west in the USA to combat attacks by the natives. Teams can mean sets of animals together with the vehicle to which they are attached.
26a Some get a bootleg issue — that’s unacceptable (5)
TABOO – hidden in the clue.
27a It’s found in combination with Cognac, Triple Sec, etc (7)
SIDECAR – what can be found in combination with a motorcycle can also be a cocktail.
28a Forces hospital hampered by NHS authorities (7)
THRUSTS – the abbreviation for hospital is contained inside the word for authorities charged with running local NHS amenities.
1d Starve following religious sect (6)
FAMISH – the abbreviation for ‘following’ and a strict Protestant sect in the USA.
2d Musical personnel featuring the usual suspects? (4-2)
LINE-UP – this list of personnel can also mean an identity parade.
3d Where temerity is hard to conceal? (2,4,4)
IN YOUR FACE – cryptic definition of an informal phrase meaning aggressive or impossible to ignore. The BRB has the phrase hyphenated.
4d Good regularly harmless sporting event (5)
GAMES – the abbreviation for good followed by regular letters from ‘harmless’.
5d Most likely to turn heads and secure certain empty seat (9)
WINSOMEST – join together a verb to secure or gain, an adjective meaning certain and the outer letters of seat.
6d Seating‘s length out of scale (4)
SOFA – remove the abbreviation for length from a musical scale.
7d One’s been involved in willing protest at organisation’s cases (8)
TESTATOR – hidden (cases) in the clue.
8d Prevent use of jam with permanent mark on tablecloth there for good (8)
BLOCKADE – start with a jam or obstruction and change the G(ood) to the letter marked on the cloth of a snooker table.
13d Japanese boxed meal keeping cafe turning over right for supporter (10)
BENEFACTOR – a Japanese word for a packed lunch (new for me) contains a reversal of ‘café’. We finish with an abbreviation for right.
15d Musician, one of the Proclaimers? (9)
TRUMPETER – definition and cryptic definition, the second (falsely capitalised) meaning someone who proclaims or celebrates.
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16d Selections involving cold desserts (4-4)
CHOC-ICES – selections containing the abbreviation for cold. A really old chestnut.
17d I am a twin, hence held back (8)
IMPAIRED – split the answer 1’1,6 to mean that I am one of a set of two.
19d See 12a
20d See 25a
23d Ace cuppa to be served up — insert pennies separately (5)
ADEPT – reverse another word for cuppa and insert different abbreviations for a penny separately into it.
24d Second-rate forward putting thousand off in league (4)
BLOC – a prefix meaning second-rate followed by a second-row rugby forward without the abbreviation for thousand.
I liked 12a, 14a, 22a and 25a but my favourite is 8d. Which one(s) had you on your feet clapping?