Toughie 1863

Toughie No 1863 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Dutch is on his hols for a month so you’re going to be getting some guest bloggers in this spot starting with yours truly.

I thought that this was less tricky than what we usually get from a Friday proXimal but I was held up more than I should have been in the NW quadrant which accounts for the extra half-star I’ve given it for difficulty. I did enjoy it – thanks to proXimal.

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

Across Clues

1a Men disheartened with United become angry (3,7,2)
GET STEAMED UP – take the middle letter out of some posh men and add a phrasal verb (6,2) meaning united or joined forces.

8a Area mined, coal is withdrawn (7)
ASOCIAL – the abbreviation for area followed by an anagram (mined, presumably in the sense of bombed) of COAL IS.

9a One cuts bit of loaf well, but not the ends (7)
SCALPEL – part of a loaf or noggin and the inside letters of ‘well’.

11a Boat’s installed with tunnel in the middle for boarding place (7)
KENNELS – a low flat-bottomed boat plus the ‘S having the middle letters of tunnel installed in it.

12a Give notice about contest in outskirts of Paignton (7)
PREWARN – put a preposition meaning about and a significant military contest inside the outer letters of Paignton.

13a Tip from well-informed group (5)
UPSET – charade of an adverb meaning well-informed or ‘au courant’ and a group or circle.

14a Massage head after thumps and cover over shiner (9)
LAMPSHADE – make an anagram (massage) of HEAD and place it after a slang verb meaning thumps or punches.

16a Brown starter of salmon not brought to the lips (3-6)
SUN-KISSED – the starting letter of salmon followed by an adjective meaning not touched with the lips.

19a After assault, soldiers can’t stand (5)
ABHOR – join together the abbreviation for a statutory offence involving a physical assault on a person and the usual abbreviation for ordinary soldiers.

21a Leave mock Tudor housing long-faced (4,3)
DROP OUT – an anagram (mock) of TUDOR contains the shortened form of an adjective meaning long-faced or humourless.

23a Stuck join, wrapping present (7)
ADHERED – a verb to join or append goes round an adverb meaning present or ‘in attendance’.

24a One immersed in textbook is better prepared (7)
READIER – insert the Roman numeral for one into a textbook.

25a Left, cut and ran (7)
OVERSAW – bring together an adverb meaning left or remaining and a verb meaning to cut with a tool.

26a The German rejected job, shunning first motorway restructuring (12)
REDEPLOYMENT – reverse one of the German definite articles and add a word for job or position after you’ve removed the first occurrence of the abbreviation for motorway.

Down Clues

1d Last bit in mug with some drinks (7)
GROUNDS – this is an all-in-one. The last letter of mug is followed by sets of drinks bought for a group of people.

2d See this weapon working, it might make you interested (7)
TRIDENT – a compound anagram. If you make an anagram (working) of SEE and the answer you should get ‘interested’.

3d Note beer in bar calling to customers (9)
TELESALES – start with a note from tonic sol-fa then insert another word for beer into a preposition meaning bar or excepting. Here’s a funny way to respond to these pests:

4d He wrote article on model from the south (5)
AESOP – an indefinite article followed by the reversal of a verb to model. A real old chestnut.

5d Fish sandwiches guy set over plates (7)
ENAMELS – plates here is a verb. Some (plural) fish contain a reversed guy. This doesn’t seem right to me – since ‘fish’ here has to be plural the singular form of the verb, i.e. sandwiches, doesn’t match it. What do you think?

6d Restricting mobile apps, regularly barred upload somewhere in Scandinavia (7)
UPPSALA – the odd letters of ‘upload’ contain an anagram (mobile) of APPS to produce Sweden’s fourth largest city.

7d Description of trier? Not one likely to win (4,8)
RANK OUTSIDER – this is clever. If you split the answer 4,7,1 and treat it as a bit of wordplay you should end up with ‘trier’.

10d Bird World with no eagle, unfortunately (4-5,3)
LONG-EARED OWL – an anagram (unfortunately) of WORLD NO EAGLE.

15d Like a go-between linking press and politician (9)
MEDIATORY – a general word for the press (and other outlets) followed by a right-wing politician.

17d Baby‘s very bright writing up letter in Greek (7)
NEONATE – a description meaning very bright or fluorescent followed by the reversal of the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet.

18d One engineered solid base to put on a pedestal (7)
IDOLISE – string together the Roman numeral for one, an anagram (engineered) of SOLID and the letter used as the symbol for the base in logarithms.

19d To manage account European invested in place of industry (7)
ACHIEVE – start with the abbreviation for account then insert the single-letter abbreviation for European into a place buzzing with industry.

20d Obstinate policeman in hurry to be on time (7)
HARDSET – insert the abbreviation for the rank of a police detective into a verb to hurry then finish with T(ime). Chambers and other dictionaries have this word hyphenated.

22d Fortune to incorporate railway climbing mountainous region (5)
TYROL – a word for fortune or destiny includes one of the abbreviations for railway. We then have to reverse it all.

I liked 1a (appropriate for the start of the football season again – already!), 1d (a good all-in-one) and 10d (excellent anagram) but my favourite is the very clever 7d.

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18 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It can’t have been that tricky a proXimal as I finished it all in one session – starting in the SW corner and then working my way round the grid until, like Gazza, I finished in the NW corner The fish sandwich bit did cause me to mutter a bit too

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  2. Karen Grant
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I too found this quite easy, just getting held up in the NW corner for a little while.**/*** but really liked 7d – excellent clue!

  3. Karen Grant
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That should have said NW – predictive text grrrr! By the way, did you know the inventor of predictive text died recently – his funfair is next Monkey! Oh and thanks to Gazza and proximal.

  4. jane
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well – all I can say is thank goodness for the old chestnut at 4d and my avian friend as, without those I doubt that I’d ever have got a toehold in this one.
    I failed to parse 1a, which was stupid of me, along with 2&7d – for which I was prepared to forgive myself. Yes, Gazza, 7d gets my vote for favourite as well, now that you’ve explained how it works!

    I’m starting to think that I’ve reached the glass ceiling with my solving abilities – so frustrating.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Gazza for manning the fort. I hate those 14a’s – you would have thought that some bright spark could have come up with an alternative by now.

  5. Jarman Island
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with most of you. NW needed electronic help to crack and I still don’t get 2d despite Gazza’s best attempts to explain how it works. Just call me thick!

    The other three quarters were pretty much a breeze.

    16a made me smile when the light bulb eventually shone.

    Thanks to ProXimal and to Gazza. Loved the YouTube clip. Need to share it with my buddies now.

    • Gazza
      Posted August 11, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      2d is what’s called a compound or composite anagram. If you make an anagram of SEE + ‘this weapon’, i.e. the answer, i.e. TRIDENT you get INTERESTED. Of course an easier way to find out what ‘this weapon’ is (once you’ve identified the clue type) is to remove the letters of SEE from INTERESTED leaving INTERTD and make an anagram (working) of that.

      • Jarman Island
        Posted August 11, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks all for the explanations. Don’t recollect coming across one of those before. Telemarketing now duly circulated. Thanks for that too!

    • jane
      Posted August 11, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi JI,
      Take the letters of the word ‘see’ plus the letters contained in your answer and construct an anagram out of them.

      Sorry, Gazza, you beat me to it!

    • Frankie Millwall
      Posted August 11, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Jarman island – 2d the word ‘interested’ is an anagram of ‘see’ and the answer.

      • Gazza
        Posted August 11, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Welcome to the blog, Frankie.

        • Frankie Millwall
          Posted August 11, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Thanks Gazza. I was rather slow to post my comment. Your good self and Jane had already replied to JI by the time I hit the send button!

  6. Sheffieldsy
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The most enjoyableToughie this week. We finished without problem and our only reference was to check that the 11a boat, which we’d never heard of, actually existed as the clue seemed to demand.

    1d was a great clue, but totally eclipsed by the astonishingly good 7d. 3*/4.5*

    Thanks to the guesting Gazza and proXimal.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted August 11, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Have you never heard the Geordie song ‘The Keel Row’?

      • Sheffieldsy
        Posted August 12, 2017 at 12:48 am | Permalink | Reply

        No. Should we have? Is it worth seeking it out?

  7. LetterboxRoy
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A steady plod, very engaging and enjoyable. Don’t see any issue with 5d, but 1d I took literally and wondered where the cryptic bit was!
    Perfect for a Friday, even though I normally struggle with this setter – not so much this time.

    Many thanks to proXimal for the tussle and to Gazza for working out 7d. ****/****

  8. Kath
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well, if this is a ***/**** difficulty Friday Toughie then heaven preserve me from a ***** one.
    Jane talks about her ‘glass ceiling’ – mine is a concrete one and it lands on my head on Thursdays every week.
    Having said all that I did, sort of, finish this one.
    Most of my top left corner was only in pencil very faintly as I couldn’t understand most of my answers and needed Gazza’s hints for them.
    10d’s were responsible for my nearly getting knocked out – went for a ‘dog walk’ with a birding friend who happened to have a telescope on his shoulder . . .
    Most of this is far too clever for me but I did enjoy it.
    With thanks to proXimal and especially to Gazza.

  9. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 8:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    W agree that the wordplay for 7d is very clever. So clever in fact that, despite spending a lot of time on it, had to wait for the hints for the penny to drop. Not a quick solve for us and plenty to keep us smiling all the way through.
    Thanks ProXimal and Gazza.

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