Toughie 1813

Toughie No 1813 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

The store of entertaining puzzles from the late Petitjean shows no sign, so far, of running out so we have another treat from him today. There are several short anagrams and hidden words here to get us started but it does get a little bit trickier after that (it did for me anyway).

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

Across Clues

1a See 11a

9a Thorny issue being less than quick swapping bridge partners (4)
SLOE – swap a bridge player for his/her partner in an adjective meaning ‘less than quick’.

10a ‘Casualty’ episode missing opening page, but whoever the writer, it’ll take off (10)
AEROGRAMME – start with what could be an episode of ‘Casualty’ (2,9) then drop the P(age) from the start of the second word.

11a/1a ‘Trade in’ a Chambers anagram for ‘perform a repulsive act‘ (3,3,10)
MAN THE BARRICADES – an anagram (anagram) of TRADE IN A CHAMBERS provides a phrase meaning try to repulse attacking forces.

12a Barrier in slip road (4-3)
TURN-OFF – double definition, the first a barrier to acceptance or understanding.

15a Excited following Queen release (7)
FERVENT – abbreviations for following and our Queen are followed by a verb to release or discharge.

16a Vouchsafe tide’s somewhat polluted (5)
FETID – hidden in the clue.

17a Pandemonium shaking off any that might have fallen in front (4)
ARCH – remove the letters of ‘any’ from a word meaning pandemonium or chaos to leave a word that can mean both something that may have fallen in your body and a type of front or gateway.

18a One is wrapping good boomerangs for Christmas visitors (4)
MAGI – ‘one is’ put into the first person contains the abbreviation for good – then reverse it all.

19a Wise man had worked in backward parts of America (5)
SADHU – insert an anagram (worked) of HAD into the reversal of the first two parts of the standard abbreviation for America.

21a Resort place is distinctive (7)
SPECIAL – an anagram (re-sort) of PLACE IS.

22a Similar to Stubbs (or not so) (7)
UNALIKE – this Stubbs is not George the horsey painter but the actress who used to be a dab hand at charades. If you split the answer 3-4 it could mean similar to her.

24a Drinks containing vermouth — these always leave some of you on the floor (3-3)
SIT-UPS – a verb meaning drinks contains an abbreviation for vermouth. Some bits of your body remain anchored to the floor when you’re doing these.

27a Extremists almost put off out of range (10)
ULTRASONIC – an informal word for extremists is followed by a phrase (2,3) meaning put off or postponed without its last letter.

28a Old Afrikaner farmer’s no Romeo? Cor! (4)
OBOE – the abbreviation for old and an Afrikaner farmer without the letter that Romeo’s used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. The ‘cor’ is normally followed by ‘anglais’ for this instrument.

29a Person working to learn software runs draw (10)
APPRENTICE – string together an abbreviation for a computer program, the abbreviation for runs in cricket and a verb to draw.

Down Clues

2d Jumble sale refreshments (4)
ALES – an anagram (jumble) of SALE.

3d Start again with cod roe and dash off? (6)
REOPEN – an anagram (cod, i.e. not authentic) of ROE followed by a verb to dash off.

4d Trump perhaps providing funding initially for urban environment (7)
CARDIFF – Trump here is not the great tweeter but an example of what may be played in bridge or whist. Add a conjunction meaning ‘providing’ and the initial letter of funding.

5d ‘Aida’ Melba’s key title role? (4)
DAME – the answer is a constituent (key) of the first two words and is both a title (relevant to Melba) and an example of a pantomime role.

6d Stalked and arrested (7)
STEMMED – double definition, the first meaning ‘having a stalk’.

7d Elite grand family almost engaged in criminal activity (10)
GLITTERATI – assemble an abbreviation for grand, a family of young animals and a phrase (2,2) meaning ‘engaged in criminal activity’ without its last letter.

8d Every trick in the book and right weaponry to crush resistance before upcoming riot (10)
REPERTOIRE – the abbreviation for right and a type of weapon contain the abbreviation for electrical resistance and the reversal of RIOT.

12d Classic pocket radio that derailed tubes? (10)
TRANSISTOR – double definition, the second what superseded vacuum tubes in devices including early electronic computers. Pocket is being used here in the sense of miniature.

13d To do with mixed reaction for play (10)
RECREATION – a preposition meaning ‘to do with’ is followed by an anagram (mixed) of REACTION.

14d With end of cigarette dangling between fingertips Pacino is untameable (5)
FERAL – put the end letter of cigarette between the outer tips of ‘finger’ than append the first name of Mr Pacino.

15d Terrific hubbub about scarf concealing decolletage (5)
FICHU – hidden in the clue.

19d Roll a must as source of Vitamin C (7)
SATSUMA – reverse (roll) three words in the clue.

20d Articles in French and English and articles of a specific type may be badly informed (7)
UNAWARE – indefinite articles from French and English followed by a word (often used as a suffix) for articles of a specific type.

23d Lumberjack’s exit? (3-3)
LOG-OUT – cryptic definition. I don’t think this works terribly well.

25d Set out with soft footfall (4)
STEP – an anagram (out) of SET followed by the musical abbreviation for soft.

26d Emerson missing from ELP recording (4)
DISC – take away E(merson) from the abbreviated name of the group. ‘Lake missing’ would have worked just as well.

6d and 14d made my shortlist but top of the pops was 22a. Which ones gave you that tingly feeling?

19 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    `Another splendid Toughie – I had lots of clues on my long ‘short’ list but will agree with Gazza that 22a was one of the best. Thanks to him for the blog. I do hope there are some more Petitjean Toughies to go before we bid a final farewell to the mad hat.

  2. neveracrossword
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good stuff. I liked 28a. Thank you Gazza and Petitjean

  3. jane
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Getting 6d saved me a lot of time working out the 11/1a combo but I came a little unstuck with parsing 12d where I wanted the tubes to be trains and couldn’t figure out how the other letters fitted the clue!
    Needed to check 19a & 15d with that nice Mr. Google. Doubtless we’ve come across them both before but I’d managed to forget them.
    Top three for me were 22a plus 2&6d.

    Many thanks to Gazza, particularly for the parsing of 12d and yet more thanks to the keeper of the mad hat’s treasures.

  4. LetterboxRoy
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Started off slowly, but it came together when I started looking at it sideways. Liked 22a, 29a & 17a in any order.
    Very engaging – many thanks to all as ever.

  5. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What a wonderful way to spend a miserable afternoon.

    I needed your help Gazza, for which many thanks, to understand the parsing of 17a, 27a & 7d.

    19a & 15d were new words for me which I needed to check in my BRB.

    22a was my favourite with 9a & 6d running it close, but the whole thing was a great joy.

    Many thanks to the editor for continuing to find and publish PJ’s superb puzzles. Long may they continue.

  6. Jezza
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My earlier post didn’t seem to make it over the finishing line, and disappeared into the ether…

    Superb puzzle; it took me ages to complete, but was worth every minute of the struggle. One of PJ’s best!

    The two with the biggest ticks were 22a, and 14d.

    4.5* on both counts – hopefully there are more to come from PJ. Thanks to Gazza for the write-up.

  7. Expat Chris
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I needed the hint for 10A. I was obviously not in full “Brit Speak” mode there. Needless to say, I loved it. My favorites are 12D, 11/1 and 7D. Thanks Gazza, and thanks to PJ for leaving such a treasure trove for us to enjoy.

  8. Una
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very very tough indeed.I got 22a but I didn’t know why.Now that I know why , I like it even better.
    With much thanks to Gazza and our late Petitjean.

    • Gazza
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You, of all people, should have got 22a. :D

      • Una
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Yes , thats why I liked it after the explanation , but Una Stubbs is unknown to me.

  9. Sheffieldsy
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We rated it the same as Gazza, 3*/4*. What a joy.

    Not too sure, though, about weaponry=epee in 8d – in no way can we see them to be synonyms. But, then again, Petitjean has earned massive artistic license.

    As always with a Petitjean, there is much to admire. We liked 7d a lot but best of them all we felt was 10a – it’s just so damned clever.

    Thanks Gazza and the sorely missed Petitjean.

  10. Gazza
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    proXimal tomorrow.

  11. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Cor in 28a had us scratching our heads for a while and the clever definition in 10a caused some delay. All good fun.
    Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

  12. dutch
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    NW was last in for me, 10a was the last entry. I was also trying to use TRAINS in 12d. I always get thrown by multiple definitions. Some tricky words, i thought.

    But an enormous pleasure overall to have another Petitjean treat.

    Happy today, kind comments on fifteensquared for my second Independent puzzle.

    many thanks Petitjean and Gazza

    • LetterboxRoy
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Enjoyed the Indie today, well done Dutch

  13. Jon_S
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 10:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well, that was good. Inventive, and fun throughout. Last in 10ac and 8d that had me stuck for an age, accounting for much of a *** time.

  14. Kath
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I loved it but/and it was very much at the top end of my ability and it took me ages – what a good thing it was absolutely bucketing down all day so that I could enjoy it without feeling any guilt.
    8d and 18a were my last answers and, having looked at 8d all ends up and inside out I needed the hint to understand it – thanks Gazza.
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen the anagram indicator in 11/1a – thought I might be being fooled into it and eventually got the answer very late on having been thinking of the wrong meaning of ‘repulsive’.
    I could go on at length but I won’t, just for a change.
    I liked most of them but I think my favourite was 22a.
    Thanks to PJ seems the wrong thing to say – perhaps thanks to his family is more appropriate.
    Thanks to Gazza is, as always, the right thing to say.

  15. Posted May 18, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I needed help with this. I don’t think it was a case of having lost my mad hat but of having insufficient head on which to put it!

    Still, what a treat to have another PJ puzzle. Many thanks.

  16. ivan beal
    Posted May 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    i agree with gazza on the log out, perhaps log off would have been a better description, we did have a turn off earlier, however, as has been mentioned petitjean has earned considerable poetic licence. and i think my flu is on the way out, my throat is not as sore and my nose is slowing down from its fast run.

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