Toughie 1789

Toughie No 1789 by Micawber

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Micawber’s given us a fairly fluffy Toughie today but it’s as enjoyable as his puzzles always are.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.

Across Clues

1a Pool money before getting pricy knitwear (8)
CASHMERE – a pool or lake with some money preceding it.

5a Never be quiet at university dinner? (4-2)
NOSH-UP – a terse instruction to never be quiet (2,2) followed by an adverb meaning at university. Perhaps not Micawber’s finest ever clue.

10a Drunken lecher, into brewing beer, sport and Blue Suede Shoes? (7,8)
BROTHEL CREEPERS – an anagram (drunken) of LECHER goes inside a second anagram (brewing) of BEER and SPORT. The question mark’s an admission that these shoes are not necessarily blue.

11a On face, where child is baptised? That’s about right (2,5)
IN FRONTwhere a child may be baptised (2,4) contains an abbreviation for right.

12a Firm friends? (7)
COMPANY – double definition, the second possibly meaning guests.

13a Insectivore getting sharp pain with ruptured loin (8)
PANGOLIN – charade of a sharp pain and an anagram (ruptured) of LOIN.

15a One with snakeskin hood and cobalt underwear (5)
COBRA – the chemical symbol for cobalt and some supporting underwear.

18a Department following American expert (5)
ADEPT – abbreviations for American and department.

20a Most man-like, apart from pectorals? (8)
BUTCHEST – split the answer 3,5 and it could mean ‘save for the area of the pectorals’.

23a Theatre role: twisted poacher (7)
TRAPPER – join together an abbreviation for a theatre with a permanent company of actors and a synonym for role then reverse it all.

25a Winning team’s cut (7)
TOPSIDE – concatenate an adjective meaning winning or leading and another word for team.

26a Improvised cowboy boot accessory’s on trend (4-2-3-6)
SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT – an accessory that may be seen on a cowboy boot followed by a phrase meaning ‘on trend’ or currently fashionable.

27a Write down what’ll get best out of beta test? (6)
NOTATE – split 2,4 this is what’s needed to isolate ‘best’ from ‘beta test’.

28a Rejected fools, maybe under pressure (8)
STRESSED – reverse what could be fools or purées.

Down Clues

1d Solid young reporter has heart in job on papers (6)
CUBOID – string together a young reporter, the letter at the heart of job and the abbreviation for papers describing their owner.

2d Delicate thing currently getting criticism in some quarters (9)
SNOWFLAKE – put an adverb meaning currently and an informal word for heavy criticism between two cardinal points.

3d Fried jamon with starter of hock, pig’s foot and game (3-4)
MAH-JONG – make an anagram (fried) of JAMON and H[ock] and append the bottom letter of pig.

4d Roofer performing climb gets fired again (5)
RELIT – reverse a roofer.

6d Dubious income when chap finally enters amateur night at the local? (4-3)
OPEN-MIC – insert the final letter of chap into an anagram (dubious) of INCOME.

7d One who’s a notorious laugh picked up by Sloaney humourist (5)
HYENA – a reverse lurker. The ‘s here stands for ‘has’ rather than ‘is’.

8d Lousy pay-cuts head of staffing’s accepted, the wimp (5-3)
PUSSY-CAT – insert the top letter of staffing into an anagram (lousy) of PAY-CUTS.

9d Playground in outskirts of Cheshunt covered by parking space (8)
PRECINCT – string together the abbreviation for a playground or park, IN and the outer letters of Cheshunt then put the abbreviation for parking on top of it all.

14d Student on island getting lecture for free (8)
LIBERATE – start with abbreviations for student and island and add a verb to lecture or reprimand.

16d Domineering manner that characterises a stud? (9)
BOSSINESS – definition and cryptic definition, this stud being a knob.

17d Fraction is a number that’s irregular (8)
PARTISAN – start with a fraction or portion and add IS, A and an abbreviation for number.

19d Radical solution for supplying plant (7)
TAPROOT – cryptic definition of what supplies nourishment to a plant.

21d Dodgy iPhone to get hold of bachelor’s bit on the side (3,4)
HIP BONE – an anagram (dodgy) of IPHONE containing the abbreviation for bachelor.

22d E.g. cat one in 10 perhaps stroked (6)
PETTED – what a domestic cat is an example of is followed by the familiar name of an old inhabitant of Number Ten. I did check to see if any of the ‘official’ cats at No. 10 were thus called  – none was (current incumbent is Larry). [As Dave Lawes and CS have pointed out, the ‘ted’ is a Teddy Boy who would probably have worn a pair of 10a.]

24d Grown up in insane sect without leaders (5)
ADULT – select synonyms for insane and sect and drop the leading letter from both.

25d Taking a daily paper (5)
THEFT – split the answer 3,2 for a daily newspaper.

Lots to like here including 20a, 26a, 16d and 21d but my favourite is 10a. Which one(s) tickled your fancy?

21 Comments

  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another very pleasant puzzle masquerading as a Toughie for the second day on the trot. Apart from 5d, which seemed a bit strange, there was a lot to enjoy with 25a & 27a coming close to the top spot which was taken by 10a.

    Many thanks to Micawber and to Gazza.

    • Una
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Do you mean 5a ?

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted April 5, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Indeed I do. I won’t take a leaf from Miffypops’ book and say it was a deliberate mistake. It was just a mistake.
        :oops:

  2. Una
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well Gazza calls it fluffy and I have to agree but I am not complaining.I had hoped for a moment to so that perhaps I was improving , but at least I’m not getting worse, today anyway.
    All the anagrams helped , with 10a being amusing.
    My favourite is 2d , and 26a gave a pleasant penny drop moment.
    Thanks to Gazza and Micawber.

  3. dave lawes
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Think that 22d refers to the abbreviation of teddy boy , who would be proud to be seen in a pair of 10a.
    thanks to Micawber and Gazza.

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That’s how I parsed 22d too

    • Gazza
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Aargh! Thanks – I thought that E Heath was a bit of a stretch, which is why I checked out the names of the No. 10 cats.

  4. crypticsue
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Fluffily enjoyable. Thank you Micawber and Gazza 10a takes top favourite spot, although I did like the link with 22d too

  5. Dr_Bob
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Super crossword. For those of us gradually finding our feet with the Toughies this offered just the right amount of challenge. Really enjoyed it. ***/**** for me and 2d was my favourite.

  6. Expat Chris
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely stuff. 10A gets my top spot, though I didn’t spot the connection to 22D and went the Downing Street route. I also checked 20A, 26A and 24D. Thanks Micawber and Gazza.

  7. LetterboxRoy
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Quite gentle, but some nice clues. – the slightly fiddly 27a gets my vote today closely followed by 20a. Very enjoyable.
    Many thanks to Micawber and to Gazza.

  8. crypticsue
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Shamus tomorrow

  9. Jarman Island
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t have any issue at all with degree of difficulty when it’s as clever and beautifully elegant as this is. Keep them coming, Mr M! Didn’t have to resort to Gazza’s blog for a change but thoroughly enjoyed reading it so a warm thank you to Gazza and Micawber.

  10. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Just held up a bit in the SW thinking 26a was starting with stud and being stuck on tapioca in 19d for a while.
    Everything was resolved in time.
    Liked the kitty clue in 8d.
    Liked the construction in 27a.
    Favourite 3d. My kind of menu.
    Thanks to Micawber and to Gazza.
    Re 22d: Please leave the far fetched explanations to me. I’m a specialist, believe me. :smile:

  11. Verlaine
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not too much to add to the aforementioned, quite easy but very likeable throughout, even if the rightmost column feels like it might be pandering to Kitty somewhat!

    I’ll nominate 2d as my favourite for topical relevance. Thanks Micawber and Gazza for another good puzzle and blog.

  12. Jb
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Did no one else waste time trying, in 23a, to turn poacher into an obscure Shakespearean character?

  13. jane
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Most enjoyable and right up my street (fluff and all!).
    Thanks to comments Elkamere has put on the blog in the past, I was OK with 6d and the only hold up was the parsing of 27a.

    Tick list shows 26a along with 17,24&25d with the top accolade going to the 10a/22d duo. Definitely Teddy Boys, Gazza!

    Many thanks to Micawber for the fun and to Gazza for a great blog.

  14. 2Kiwis
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We laughed out loud at 10a. It certainly was the “One for the money” for us. My (Colin’s) pair were brown suede Desert Boots with the obligatory ripple soles that were a perfect match for my duffel coat when I was at University in the ’60s.
    Really good fun and much enjoyed.
    Thanks Micawber and Gazza.

  15. Kath
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t think I whizzed through this one quite as easily as most people seem to have done. I loved it.
    I failed on 22d – there’s always one in any Toughie and it’s usually one of the less tricky clues.
    I completely missed the 7d lurker and I’ve never heard of 6d.
    I liked 10 and 20a and my favourite was 21d.
    Thanks to Micawber, and to Gazza for the explanations and the pics, especially the 11a one.

  16. Salty Dog
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Saved this from last night, having exhausted myself at Wednesday evening tennis, but found it light and fluffy. 2*/4*, and among my favourites were 1d, 2d and 23a. Star of the show, though, could only be 10a. Thanks to Micawber and Gazza.

  17. Posted April 7, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I haven’t managed to get round to commenting in the last couple of days, but do just want to pop in here quickly now to say how much I enjoyed this one (and not because the right hand side “panders to Kitty”!).

    Many thanks to Micawber and Gazza. Nice choice of pic for 8d. :)

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