Toughie 1882

Toughie No 1882 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Thanks to Mr Kitty and Tilsit for covering the last two Thursdays while I was visiting such exotic places as Doncaster and Manchester. Maybe I’m a bit rusty but today’s puzzle seemed to take longer than it should have done with the NE corner the last to yield. But it kept my interest throughout so I must have enjoyed it

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a    Superior to 9, mainly (5,3)
ABOVE ALL: ‘Superior’ (5) + a synonym of the answer to 9 across (3)

5a    Our troops in Germany halting early by short tiny tree (6)
BAOBAB: An abbreviation for a British occupation force in Germany with the last letter removed + ‘tiny’ with the last letter removed = a gigantic tropical tree (the monkey bread)

9a    The entire population‘s pretty identical, when seen after Ecstasy (8)
EVERYONE: E (Ecstasy) + ‘pretty’ + ‘identical’

10a    Caught sight of ‘Arriet, say, getting rest on the green (6)
SPIDER: A homophone of ‘caught sight’ and a female pronoun with the initial H removed. The green is the green baize and the answer is a type of rest used in the game of snooker

12a    Stone rested within a rose I disturbed (9)
SOLITAIRE: A gemstone set by itself = ‘rested’ inside an anagram (disturbed) of A ROSE I

13a    Place once again used for broadcast (5)
RELAY: 2 meanings: to place once again/a broadcast that has been received from another station or source

14a    Show off backing of costume … (4)
BRAG: A reversal of ‘costume’ or ‘dress’

16a    … wearing gaiters like an actor (7)
STAGIER: An anagram (wearing) of GAITERS

19a    Shifted flipping senior fellow (7)
MANAGED: A fellow + ‘senior’ or ‘old’. ‘Flipping’ indicates that the fellow has to precede ‘senior’

21a    Old guitarist in a whirl (4)
EDDY: 2 meanings: the surname of an American guitarist popular in the late-50s and early-60s noted for his twangy guitar sound/a whirl. Have any of our not-so-old solvers heard of the guitarist?

24a    Come clean in commercial with German (5)
ADMIT: A commercial + the German word for ‘with’

25a    Security set-up arrests a nipper somewhere in Spain (9)
CATALONIA: A US intelligence service goes round A and a claw (nipper)

27a    Dud’s leaving Down Under excitedly for stardom (6)
RENOWN: An anagram (excitedly) of DOWN UNDER minus the letters of DUD

28a    Example shown by ace in one way and another (8)
STANDARD: A (ace) inside an abbreviation for a way, AND and another abbreviation for a way

29a    Foot bill after daughter gets to Yale, oddly (6)
DACTYL: A poetic foot = D (daughter) + a bill + the odd letters of TO YALE

30a    Inferior to 28, and rather poorly (5,3)
BELOW PAR: ‘Inferior to’ (5) + a synonym of the answer to 28 across (3)

Down

1d    Reluctant amateur’s line of 29s? (6)
AVERSE: A (amateur) + something that my consist of 29s (29 = the answer to 29 across)

2d    Jerks perhaps held in solitary with no holds barred (6)
OPENLY: .Jerks (or physical exercises) inside ‘solitary’

3d    Land where pain enters hearts of men and settles (5)
EGYPT: The name of a country = pain inside the middle letters of MEN and SETTLES

4d    A bit of skill and ingenuity in dock … (7)
LANDING: Hidden in SKILL AND INGENUITY

6d    … with man spared flogging (9)
AMPERSAND: A typographical character representing ‘with’ is an anagram (flogging) of MEN SPARED

7d    Plant’s young growth ailed badly (8)
BUDDLEIA: A popular garden plant that is attractive to butterflies = a young growth + an anagram (badly) of AILED

8d    Enclosure with a dry bar? Bring in last of Sauvignon and serve up! (8)
BARNYARD: An anagram (serve up) of A DRY BAR N (last letter of SAUVIGNON)

11d    Once, I was regularly in the paper (4)
NEWS: Alternate letters of ONCE I WAS

15d    How to make cooks out of crooks instantly (5,4)
RIGHT AWAY: The answer could be a cryptic indication telling you how to change CROOKS into COOKS

17d    Setter’s married — being weak! (8)
IMPAIRED: ‘The setter is’ + ‘married’

18d    It may help to recall — with rise of Medici, no men missed taking part (8)
MNEMONIC: Hidden in reverse in MEDICI NO MEN MISSED

20d    Immerse cloth in nothing (4)
DUCK: 3 meanings: to immerse/a type of coarse cloth/a score of nothing

21d    Girl regularly leaves untidy lettering in label (7)
ENTITLE: An anagram (untidy) of LETTERING less GR (alternate letters of GIRL) = ‘to label’

22d    Top members of Edinburgh’s National Chorus achieve marvellously perfect pitch (6)
ENCAMP: Initial letters of EDINBURGH’S NATIONAL CHORUS ACHIEVE MARVELLOUSLY PERFECT

23d    Butcher’s poultry? (6)
GANDER: 2 meanings: A butcher’s hook (or look)/poultry

26d    Shed sheds mantle of autumn, slowly (5)
LENTO: Remove A (first letter of AUTUMN) from a shed propped against another building or wall. I don’t really see how ‘mantle of autumn’ can indicate A

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13 Comments

  1. Verlaine
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I did find this quite tricky too, with the NE corner also giving me the most trouble.

    Some really good PDMs when the pieces did start falling into place though. I liked 6d for being an anagram that didn’t lead to the -ED word I was expecting, a real d’oh moment!

  2. dutch
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was certainly trickier than the last two days.

    The guitarist was my first one in.

    I liked the first and last across clues describing their position in the grid.

    I also liked 5a for being anything but short and tiny, though I didn’t know the forces in Germany.

    Very enjoyable, many thanks Firefly and Bufo

    • Mac
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      5a: you’ve probably got this already but the ‘troops in Germany’ are British Army Of the Rhine. As a boy, I lived for four-odd years in what was then Northern Rhodesia where this sort of tree was common, so this was my first in.

  3. Ray Mc
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Duane Eddy

    Eddy Cochrane

    Just Like Eddy by Heinz

    How the years roll by in Crosswordland

  4. Tony
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I was left with less than a handful in the SE corner. I did it to myself by having SLAYER for 23d (SLAYER = butcher, and butcherS + LAYER). I was more than disappointed when it turned out not to be right! I had never heard of the guitarist, but Mr. Google had several suggestions. Lots of clever clues to enjoy today – I think my favourite would be 26d.

  5. Una
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t know why I found this so hard.I liked 1a and 30a but 15d is my favourite.
    Thanks to Bufo and Firefly.

  6. Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was slow but steady for us but very enjoyable; we agree with the rating. NW was where we ended, satisfied. Didn’t need to check out anything today, but thanks to Bufo for being there and thanks to Firefly.
    G: I particularly liked 5a and the beer we’em drinking 🙂

  7. PLR
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Before I saw the blog’s rating I thought that this was quite a benign toughie. Did not know the guitarist but the wordplay was clear enough. So many clues to savour- 5a,10a, 25a and 26d but top place goes to 15d.

  8. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    No surprise that the NE was where we had the most trouble too but perseverance did eventually get it all sorted. Agree with Bufo that it is hard to justify the mantle of Autumn being just A. We wanted it to be A…N. Plenty to enjoy.
    Thanks Firefly and Bufo.

  9. Jon_S
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Pretty tough in places, with some help offered by 1ac and 30ac, and very grateful I was for both. I failed at the close on 5ac, where I didn’t know the abbreviation for the troops or the tree, so stood little chance. I had the same reservation regarding 26d as Bufo.

  10. Kitty
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Started this much earlier when still half asleep, and completed maybe three quarters pretty smoothly. Then when I came back this evening found it really hard to make further progress, and needed help for the last few.

    I didn’t know the guitarist, but guessed him confidently. My troubles were all further north.

    Bit of a déjà vu moment with 14a, essentially the same clue as one in the puzzle I’d just solved, just going in different directions.

    Keep seeing “come clean” in crosswords lately too.

    Favourites 1a/9a and 28a/30a, and also liked 15d.

    Thanks to Firefly and Bufo.

  11. jean-luc cheval
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Isn’t the BRB just wonderful. My bung in at 5a was easily parsed after opening this great book.
    Learned about the cloth too in 20d.
    Liked the combos.
    Thanks to Firefly and to Bufo.

  12. Expat Chris
    Posted September 15, 2017 at 3:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    Last few in the NE corner took quite a bit longer than the rest of the puzzle put together and although I completed them without hints I did need the blog for a couple of parsings. 21A (Loved him), 3D and 17D were my picks, with 17D leading the pack. Thanks Firefly and Bufo.

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