Toughie 1845

Toughie No 1845 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I have to say that I wasn’t overly enamoured with this one when I solved it – the four peripheral answers all went in very quickly and there are a lot of anagrams of various types (none very tricky), so the whole thing was over without any significant hold-ups. I did warm to it a bit more when I was writing the hints. I thought it was going to be a pangram when I got 17a but it turned out to be one letter short.

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

Across Clues

1a Might this produce me a car — or an image? (6,7)
CAMERA OBSCURA – a reverse anagram, with the indicator as the second word of the answer, will give us ME A CAR.

9a Bird’s uncomfortable neckwear? (9)
ALBATROSS – I couldn’t decide whether this was a double definition or a cryptic definition. In either case it’s what Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner ended up wearing around his neck.

Ah! Well a-day! What evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the *********
About my neck was hung.

10a Slacker among the basses? (5)
DRONE – this lazy person is also a type of bass instrument.

11a Writing about verse forms (5)
MODES – the abbreviation for a piece of handwriting contains a verse.

12a Part of shotgun I tested for detachment (4)
UNIT – hidden in the clue.

13a Brownie’s after pennies in old money (4)
PELF – we had this old word for (often dishonestly-acquired) money quite recently. A small supernatural creature (brownie) follows the abbreviation for pence.

15a Deficient padre given notice — dimwit! (7)
FATHEAD – append an abbreviated notice to a padre who’s deficient in the last letter department.

17a Steady with concertina — no case (7)
SQUEEZE – steady here is a noun. Drop the case or container from an informal term for a concertina.

18a Girl with mount in escape attempt (7)
EVASION – a girl’s name followed by the name of a specific mount or hill in the Middle East.

20a Ring road in Baltimore suffering disruption? Let me out! (7)
ORBITAL – an anagram (suffering disruption) of BALTIMORE after we’ve taken ME out.

21a Reason for a drink? (4)
SAKE – double definition, the second a drink from the orient.

22a High point seen regularly in Salcombe (4)
ACME – pick out regular letters from this attractive resort in South Devon.

23a Put away school’s report (5)
EATEN – this sounds like our usual Crosswordland school.

26a Victor’s cry of pain? Provide support (5)
VOUCH – the abbreviation for victor and a cry of pain.

27a Course correction for watermen conveying king (9)
NEWMARKET – an anagram (correction for) of WATERMEN contains the chess abbreviation for king.

28a Scouse, perhaps, subject of tittle-tattle (4,2,3,4)
TALK OF THE TOWN – Scouse is an example of a patois specific to one urban area in England. Geordie might be another example.

Down Clues

1d Talisman joins odious campaign of flattery (5,9)
CHARM OFFENSIVE – bring together a talisman or amulet and an adjective meaning odious or repulsive.

2d Yank’s admission of error — admirably put right — no liar involved (2,3)
MY BAD – an anagram (put right) of ADMIRABLY without the mixed up (involved) letters of LIAR.

3d Where meat may be on the turn, putrefy, and is dumped on small lake (10)
ROTISSERIE – string together a verb to putrefy, IS, S(mall) and a North American lake. The surface doesn’t make a great deal of sense.

4d Pompous fanatic turns up in front of oyster bar (7)
OROTUND – a fanatic or enthusiast is reversed and inserted into the first letter of oyster and a bar or pole.

5d Flyers taking relatives (singly and as a group) over Sweden (7)
SISKINS – a single relative and relatives as a whole are followed by the IVR code for Sweden.

6d Release article in Le Monde to fit the bill (4)
UNDO – join together an indefinite article that may be found in Le Monde and a verb to fit the bill or suffice.

7d Made mental note: ‘Rusticate student to gain expiation‘ (9)
ATONEMENT – an anagram (made) of MENTAL NOTE after the student has been expelled.

8d Grouse — rubbery thing — in a dish (4,10)
BEEF WELLINGTON – concatenate a verb to grouse and something made of rubber.

14d How to acquire ales in second-hand market? (6,4)
JUMBLE SALE – another reverse anagram, this time the anagram indicator is the first word of the answer.

16d In a truck, sit changing gear for practice (9)
TRACKSUIT – an anagram (changing) of A TRUCK SIT.

19d Party with only bottled beer? Impossible! (2,3,2)
NO CAN DO – cryptic description of a party where all the beer is in bottles.

20d In open, Toughie team gets saturated (7)
OVERWET – into an adjective meaning open or public insert how Firefly may refer to the team of Toughie setters.

24d Capital letters missing from laman’s untutred aricle expunding taewondo; deal with them! (5)
TOKYO – this is a bit different. We have to work out the (fairly obvious) letters missing from the five defective words then make an anagram (deal with) of them. Hmm – I can’t say that I’m a fan and the clue also seems to in danger of entering indirect anagram territory. What do you think?

25d No fun aimlessly mixing handful of lentils (4)
DHAL – for our fourth subtractive anagram of the day we have to remove the jumbled (aimlessly) letters of FUN from HANDFUL and make an anagram (mixing) of what remains.

Clue of the day for me was 17a. Which one(s) gained your approbation?


19 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Today’s DT Puzzles took me exactly the same time to solve. The back-pager was Jay in enjoyable if short-lived, easier than usual, form. The crossword on page 16 didn’t live up to the description on the tin at all. 0.5/2

    I too liked 17a – it appears to be ‘instrument of the day’ as it is in another paper’s cryptic too

    Thanks to Gazza for the explanations – I share your thoughts on 24d – and to Firefly for the fleeting experience.

  2. MalcolmR
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well, from my point of view, I found this no different to an average back-pager. 13a had my brain cells digging deep but apart from that it was plain sailing. */** for me.

    Thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  3. Sheffieldsy
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We found this nice and really not difficult but with one minor moan. 1.5*/3*

    Our moan, echoed by Gazza, is that there were too many clues where letters had to be removed from fodder before making an anagram – 20a, 2d, 6d, 25d. When added to two reverse anagrams (1d and 14d) and then the standard anagrams, the whole thing was overly anagram-themed.

    Liked 24d, though easy enough once one spotted what’s going on. Favourite probably 17a.

    Thanks to Gazza and Firefly.

  4. Una
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I quite liked it, except for the 4 I didn’t get : 10a, 13a, 2d and 20d. Is 20d a word ? I never heard of 2d or anyone saying that.
    I liked all the other clues , with 8d as my favourite.
    Thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  5. Tony
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I enjoyed it too – I was able to finish which always adds to my enjoyment. I had heard of the expression in 2d, but there were a couple of others that I had not heard of. I thought 24d was rather inventive, but I began by adding the wrong letter to laman’s. Thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  6. Miffypops
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought this a strange puzzle for the reasons mentioned above. 24d was obvious from the word Capital and the fact that I had the first and third letters in. I could not be bothered to work out what the missing letters were. As for 13ac. It did indeed appear a few Mondays ago. I solved it then but missed it today . It was clued differently when I got it.
    25d Quiet little imp making filthy lucre (4)
    Online version. Quiet little chap making filthy lucre
    Thanks to all.

  7. LetterboxRoy
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Agree with Sheffieldsy, but really not at all keen on 24d. I think it is plain bad, indirect anagram or not.
    Otherwise quite straightforward if not too engaging. Sorry setter, no brilliancy prize today.

    Thanks Firefly, and to Gazza for reminding me of ”Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!’ – Eftsoons his hand dropt he’. One of my favourites which I learnt in it’s entirety as an under-educated child.

  8. Gazza
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Shamus tomorrow.

  9. Verlaine
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A very swift solve indeed. 24dn caused me to raise my eyebrows very high but to be honest I’d rather have something interesting and controversial than something forgettable, which I fear most of the rest of the puzzle bordered upon! Audacious anagrind at 1ac – the kind of thing that young wannabe setters try on in clue setting competitions and are promptly given a hard time for by the old hands – but again, raised a smile for its daring. Thanks Firefly and Gazza.

  10. Posted July 12, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    G found 24d amusing – something different. And also 19d made us chuckle. Good to have one we could finish today so we can get back to yesterday’s. Thanks Firefly and Gazza.

    • Gazza
      Posted July 12, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I must admit, given that Toughies are supposed to get harder as the week progresses, that I’m bemused as to how yesterday’s preceded today’s.

      • Miffypops
        Posted July 12, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I’m not sure if your comment makes sense Gazza. Yesterday always precedes today.

        • LetterboxRoy
          Posted July 12, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

          All the same to me. Tomorrow I will have posted yesterday and yesterday I posted tomorrow, today I posted today so with an abstract concept such as time they are all the same, simply relative. Note the apostrophes in the 22nd and 24th words.
          Any chance you could ask St Sharon for a nicer avatar? The mud one was fine…
          Cheers, R :smile:

          • Miffypops
            Posted July 13, 2017 at 1:19 am | Permalink | Reply

            I could ask Saint Sharon to change my avatar. That would mean revealing my username and password (which she could probably guess) It won’t happen. She loves that photo which she took herself.

  11. 2Kiwis
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Our first thought when we looked at 24d was that a proof-reader somewhere was going to be on the mat. Then it made sense. Hope it doesn’t catch on as a clue type as it could lead to diabolical complications. We did hesitate writing in the second word for 1a until we had a checker or two as it seemed a bit dodgy as an indicator. We also did a pangram check when we finished. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Firefly and Gazza.

  12. PLR
    Posted July 12, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is perhaps at the low end of the Toughie spectrum seeing that I was able to complete it. I got nowhere with yesteday’s. Did not know about the musical instrument referred to in10a but the answer reminded me of the club where Bertie Wooster, Gussie Fink- Nottle et al misspent their frivolous lives. Pip Pip toodle ooo.

  13. Heno
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 12:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Firefly and to Gazza for the review and hints. I couldn’t get on with this at all. Needed 12 hints to finish. Absolutely hated 24d, even though I managed to solve it.

  14. JB
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    I liked 24d but hated 20d. Is it really a word?

    • Gazza
      Posted July 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Overwet doesn’t appear to have made it into Chambers but several others have it as a verb and Oxford has it as an adjective meaning very wet or too wet.

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