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Toughie 1865

Toughie No 1865 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

We continue to be entertained by puzzles from the late John Pidgeon over a year after his untimely death. I thought that this was one of his gentler ones but as enjoyable as ever.

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

Across Clues

1a Singer whose name is broadly synonymous with ‘Hot Stuff’ (4,6)
RUBY MURRAY – we’re in the realm of Cockney rhyming slang here. The ‘hot stuff’ is what you might go for at an ethnic restaurant.

ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url

6a Run out of time in financing old car (4)
HEAP – remove the abbreviation for run from a distinct period of time and insert what’s left in a method of financing something over a period of time rather than all at once.

9a Less than total abstainer tipples still (5)
INERT – hidden in the clue.

10a Licence or otherwise accommodate (9)
RECONCILE – anagram (otherwise) of LICENCE OR.

12a It clawed skirt calamitously prompting unexpected disruption (7,6)
WILDCAT STRIKE – an anagram (calamitously) of IT CLAWED SKIRT.

14a Prune round half of terraced formal garden (8)
PARTERRE – a verb to prune contains half of the word terraced.

15a Look at His Excellency, but not stand (6)
LOATHE – string together an exclamation meaning ‘look!’, AT and the abbreviation for His Excellency.

17a Outdo former journalist describing church (6)
EXCEED – a prefix meaning former and the usual abbreviation for a journalist contain one of the abbreviations for church.

19a Broken axe buried in cartoon villain — one caught with bad blood (8)
TOXAEMIC – an anagram (broken) of AXE goes inside the name of a cartoon villain then we finish with the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for caught.

ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url

21a Show in a true light and you almost delight some for a change (13)
DEMYTHOLOGISE – an anagram (for a change) of YO[u] DELIGHT SOME.

24a Writer visiting Georgia linked with fashionable European material (9)
GABARDINE – a literary word for a poet follows the abbreviation for the US State of Georgia. After that we need an adjective meaning fashionable or trendy and an abbreviation for European.

25a Colossus made by Venetian artist ousting second one in Rome (5)
TITAN – start with an old master of the Venetian school and remove the second occurrence of the Roman numeral for one.

26a Fizzy drink leaders in search of diversification are … (4)
SODA – leading letters in four words.

27a … making boozy crouton dip (10)
PRODUCTION – an anagram (boozy) of CROUTON DIP.

Down Clues

1d Person that fabricates mounting for a transport system (4)
RAIL – reverse someone who fabricates or embellishes.

2d Unruly row about last of ale in pub leading to historic set-to (4,3)
BOER WAR – an anagram (unruly) of ROW contains the last letter of ale and all that goes inside another word for pub.

3d Temperature in meter located somehow with this instrument (5,8)
METAL DETECTOR – insert the abbreviation for temperature into an anagram (somehow) of METER LOCATED.

4d Tape beforehand lacking power — go for another take (8)
RERECORD – remove the abbreviation for power from a verb meaning to tape in advance.

5d Like firm going on top of turf here? (5)
ASCOT – hitch together a conjunction meaning like, the abbreviation for a firm and the top letter of turf.

7d Elton not performing accepts it is arrogant (7)
ELITIST – remove the adverb meaning performing from Elton and insert ‘it is’.

8d Transfer in small change — that’s favourite (10)
PREFERENCE – a verb to transfer or pass across goes inside some small change.

11d Antisocial nit abroad, like a Little Englander? (13)
NATIONALISTIC – an anagram (abroad) of ANTISOCIAL NIT.

13d A very soft goal before time over side from Skegness — they’re hanging on (10)
APPENDAGES – knit together five bits as follows: A, the abbreviation for very soft, a goal or target, a word for a period of time and the letter at one side (or the other) of Skegness.

16d Decline cooked duck egg (2,2,4)
GO TO SEED – a verb meaning cooked or prepared, the letter resembling a duck at cricket and another word for an egg or reproductive cell.

18d One-time spin doctor two Labour leaders abandoned departs temporary overnight accommodation (4-3)
CAMP-BED – start with the surname of the most famous Labour spin doctor, drop the leading letter of Labour twice then append the abbreviation for ‘departs’.

20d Graduate tires out-of-sorts Italian masters (7)
MAESTRI – two letters signifying an arts graduate are followed by an anagram (out-of-sorts) of TIRES.

22d Cockney stocking- and basket-maker (5)
OSIER – this is how a maker of stockings would sound in the East End of London.

23d Soon rain-bound now and again (4)
ANON – alternate letters from the second word of the clue.

I liked 1a, 5d, 11d and 22d but my favourite is 6a. Which ones feature on your list?

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26 comments on “Toughie 1865

  1. The cockney rhyming slang in 1a defeated me , but I also hadn’t heard or didn’t remember of the singer.
    All the anagrams helped.
    15a is my favourite .
    Thanks for unraveling 18d , Gazza .
    Still grateful to the late Petijean .

  2. What a huge pleasure to find another Petitjean puzzle! :smile:

    I didn’t find this one particularly tough but it was a joy from start to finish, with a lot of his typically “mad hat” humour in evidence.

    1a kicks things off in glorious style (but I wonder if the younger generation of solvers are still familiar with this expression?)   2d made me think of Miffypops, although I feel sure there are never any set-tos in pubs in LI.

    I could list many, many more great clues but my final podium choices are: 12a, 19a & 18d.

    Many thanks to Petitjean for having left behind so many gems and to Gazza.

      1. Thanks for the reply Gazza. Though I see what you mean I find it dubious cluing. Would we accept “washed up” as a clue for “did” ?

        1. No, I don’t think so. Whereas you can replace “cooked” with “got” in a sentence such as “I cooked/got supper”, I don’t think you can come up with a meaningful sentence in which “did” and “washed up” are interchangeable.

  3. Very enjoyable – some new words to me (14a & 19a), 19a I worked out, but 14a eluded me.
    Minor nose-wrinkle at 16d ‘got’, but I suppose it works at a stretch. Besides, Gazza says so…
    Lots to like including 1a, 15a, 19a and 22d but for a change I’m going to nominate the 21a anagram – a lovely word.

    Thanks and respect to the late Petitjean, and many thanks to Gazza for 14a & confirming 16d **/****

  4. Thanks to Gazza for the review and hints. Very nice to see a Pettijean puzzle. First in was 1a, one of my favourite dishes! Lots of anagrams which I really enjoyed. New word in 19a, which I found from the wordplay. Also new words in 14&21a, which I got from the hints, couldn’t get the right fodder for the latter. Favourite was 15a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  5. Another gem from the late Petitjean which was solved quite readily despite causing a few hesitations along the way –

    I didn’t know the Cockney slang in 1a but fortunately did know the singer, so that had to checked with Mr. Google. I certainly don’t think that the lady in question could have been described as ‘hot stuff’ in the modern sense of the phrase!

    Like gsol, I had a problem with cooked/prepared = got and still do despite Gazza’s example. I would need to insert ‘ready’ to make sense of it.

    21a was a new word for me and I may well have struggled to spell 19a without having the checkers in place.

    Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and will award the honours jointly to 6a & 11d.

    Many thanks to the holder of the PJ ”pearls’ and to Gazza for the review – particularly for the Matt cartoon and the clip of the endless war between Tom & Jerry, whose antics are still so amusing after all these years.

  6. Re 16d: The only other interpretation possible would be ‘Goto’ a type of rice stew from the Philippines, to which fish or poultry is added.
    Calling that ‘cooked duck’ would be real stretch though, even for PJ; so it must mean cooked = got, but as Jane has pointed out, it only makes sense with the word ‘ready’.

    1. Maybe it’s a regional thing. I’m quite happy with “You’re invited to dinner – I’m getting cottage pie”.

      1. I’d think that meant that I was going to buy a cottage pie from somewhere! Not to worry, Gazza, I think we’ve already learned to accept that there are a welter of regional differences – I’m still struggling with the ‘starfish’ from the Rookie!

      2. Thanks for the offer Gazza, but it’s late and I’ve eaten

        Starfish? I know not of that to which you refer :unsure: :whistle:

        1. Think you should probably ask Kath – she appears to be totally au fait with said marine creature and its prop!

  7. I am not a fan of got = prepared either. If my husband should ever ask me what I was getting for dinner, I’d say “Reservations”. It’s not as bad though as the American “fix”. With regard to meal preparation, “fix” is commonly used. It can also mean plan as well as prepare, as in “I’m fixin’ to go to the store today to buy what I need to fix for dinner.”

    On to the rest of the puzzle. As always, very enjoyable. I remembered the singer in 1A but not the rhyming slang. I couldn’t parse 18D. My favorites are 6A, 12A, 21A and & 7D. Thanks as always to Petitjean, and to Gazza.

  8. Our last act was sorting out the wordplay for the pesky little 6a.
    Such a privilege to still be able to appreciate new Petitjean puzzles. They are always such fun.
    Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

  9. Just a bit of internet to check out the singer in 1a as I totally forgot about the cockney slang for curry.
    Thought the hot was ruby as in red hot and Murray some kind of cloth.
    Think I am a bit madder than the setter.
    Loved the little stories in 2d and 18d.
    Thanks to PJ and to Gazza for the review.

  10. Great fun, as always, but on the gentle side for this much-missed setter: 1*/4.5*. I loved 1a, 6a and the insanely complicated 21a. Thanks to the shade of PJ, and to Gazza.

  11. Typical Petitjean, if easier than most, from the sublime 19a to the ridiculous 16d.

    Let’s hope there are more in the store.

    Thanks Gazza and PJ.

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