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Toughie 1933

Toughie No 1933 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have another lovely puzzle from the late Petitjean – what a legacy he left us. Crypticsue tells me that there’s still no indication in the paper that this is the last so we have even more mad-hattedness to look forward to.

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

Across Clues

1a No piano in Sex Pistols’ music and one new chord — or is that harsh? (6)
UNKIND: remove the abbreviation for piano from the type of music favoured by the Sex Pistols and add the Roman numeral for one, N(ew) and a musical chord.

4a Wore drape jacket extremely tight? (6)
WASTED: tight here means drunk. If you split the answer 3,3 you’re identifying a youth of the 1950s who typically wore a drape jacket.

8a Manage visit as well having dropped round (6,2)
ATTEND TO: a verb to visit followed by an adverb meaning ‘as well’ without one round letter.

10a Butcher or Best becoming flash on and off (6)
STROBE: this is nothing to do with football. We need an anagram (butcher) of OR BEST.

11a Missing nothing in what can be boring (4)
AWOL: insert what resembles zero into a boring tool.

12a Drunken Australian orgy (10)
SATURNALIA: an oldie but goodie anagram (drunken) of AUSTRALIAN.

13a Paid arranger perhaps to accept key change to create moving hymn (12)
PROCESSIONAL: start with a paid (non-amateur) person, who could be an arranger, and change the fourth letter from one musical key to another.

16a First vegetables in their field? These 9 5 (5,7)
FRONT RUNNERS: charade of an adjective meaning first or leading and some green vegetables. 9 and 5 refer to 9d and 5d.

20a It’ll be the death of me training mum to get to grips with tango (10)
PESTILENCE: an abbreviation for physical training followed by what mum can mean (not mother in this instance) containing the letter that tango represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

21a Dismiss the odds of cheekier one being likely to succeed (4)
HEIR: take away the odd letters of ‘cheekier’.

22a What should come with ribs — portion of Harvester nachos? (6)
STERNA: hidden in the clue.

23a Sense is a misused facility (8)
EASINESS: an anagram (misused) of SENSE IS A.

24a Loophole may be what let the cat out of the bag so to speak (6)
CLAUSE: this could be a provision, possibly in the small print, of a contract which provides a loophole for one of the parties to escape their obligations. It sounds like what a cat might use to get out of a bag.

25a Charity shelters duck with temperature practically (6)
ALMOST: a type of charity contains what looks like a duck at cricket. Finally append the abbreviation for temperature.

Down Clues

1d Inauspicious start to detente following peacekeepers opposing what Christian soldiers march as (8)
UNTOWARD: the first letter of detente follows the abbreviation for international peacemakers and what they oppose, i.e. what follows “marching as” (2,3) in the lyrics of the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers”.

2d Potentially heavy toll with Left going for European — prepare to pray (5)
KNEEL: start with a word for a heavy toll of a bell and change the first L(eft) to E(uropean).

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3d Plainclothes officers infiltrating fanatics whose cover is non-existent? (7)
NUDISTS: insert the abbreviation for senior CID officers into an informal word for fanatics or enthusiasts.

5d No-hoper was a candidate too (4-3)
ALSO-RAN: change the hyphen to a space and it could mean “was a candidate as well”.

6d Art nouveau popular after Klee’s impenetrable canvas (9)
TARPAULIN: string together an anagram (nouveau) of ART, the first name of the German artist Mr Klee and an adjective meaning popular or trendy.

7d Unfinished soft cheese among some French leftovers (6)
DEBRIS: insert a soft French cheese without its last letter into a French word meaning ‘some’.

9d Abroad Germany and Italy’s position is better by far (11)
OUTDISTANCE: knit together an adverb meaning abroad or away from home, the IVR codes for Germany and Italy and a synonym for position or attitude.

14d Lunch counter and ace fare it served up (9)
CAFETERIA: an anagram (served up) of ACE FARE IT.

15d Model railway coach ready to start (5,3)
TRAIN SET: concatenate a verb to coach and an adjective meaning ‘in the ready position to start a race’.

17d Coal bins without lid converted into containers for lubricants (7)
OILCANS: an anagram (converted) of COAL and [b]INS without the top letter.

18d University listen about item in canteen? (7)
UTENSIL: an abbreviation for university followed by an anagram (about) of LISTEN. I didn’t like the grammar in the clue at first but I suppose that university (like government, for example) can be regarded as either singular or plural depending on whether it’s being treated as a single entity or a group of individuals – what do you think?

19d Addled American celebrated by bards of Bow Bells (6)
SEPTIC: those born within the sound of Bow Bells are Cockneys and in their rhyming slang an American is known as a ****** tank (Yank).

21d Spooner’s study doctor used for girls’ night out (3,2)
HEN DO: the confused Reverend Spooner might pronounce this as a study or lair and the name of a time-travelling doctor.

I particularly liked 4a (a typical Petitjean clue), 12a (for the great surface) and 21a (referring to Wills and Harry?) but my favourite is 19d. Which ones had you reaching for your mad hat?

24 comments on “Toughie 1933

  1. Failed on 4a. Didn’t see it that way at all.
    Had to check my Cockney dictionary for 19d and liked the antiseptic version too.
    Didn’t realise that PJ was responsible for this great crossword.
    Thanks to him and to Gazza for the review.

  2. Even though he is sadly no longer with us, Petitjean’s legacy lives on and what pleasure puzzles like this bring. Long may they continue to appear.

    I cottoned on quite quickly to the reference to a 1950’s youth in 4a and wrote in “ratted” as the answer. I finally gave up trying to work out where the “rat” came from and decided to wait for Gazza’s explanation which showed me with blinding clarity that I had picked the wrong synonym for “extremely tight”.

    I was completely beaten by 19d and also needed Gazza’s help for this one. Having worked in the East End of London for my entire career, I thought I must have come across every item of cockney rhyming slang in existence, but this was a new one on me.

    I had double ticks for 1a, 11a, 20a, 3d & 6d, but my favourite was 12a – simply wonderful!

    Many thanks to PJ and to Gazza.

  3. My downfall was 2d. As is often the case with these sort of clues I went for the “heavy toll” and not the “pray”.
    My one hate was 21d. I wish Mr Spooner had never lived. Irritating man!
    Thank you Gazza.

  4. Another splendid treat – I particularly liked 11a and 20a – the only thing that held me up was the fact that I didn’t know the Cockney rhyming slang in 19d

    Thank you once again to the Pidgeon family and the DT for continuing to let us enjoy these Wednesday treats. Thank you to Gazza too

  5. Super duper. Thanks to all. Particularly for Greys Elegy. The Inchcape Rock by Robert Southey ends with a knell.

  6. Definitely on my wavelength this one – last in was 19d – Cockney Rimin’s not my forte, but very enjoyable – often cant finish the toughies.

  7. Wonderful. I’d not realised this person had passed away, but what a talent: I’m so glad I’m getting the chance to solve some of his puzzles, and sad at the same time that we’ll not see too many more. Brilliant stuff.

    • It’s worth Googling his obituary – John Pidgeon. He was a very remarkable and multi-talented character.

  8. Not my usual territory but I thought hought I’d have a go at this after completing the back page. After some deliberation and a bit of dictionary help, plus the blog, I managed to finish. Favourite 18a. Didn’t like 4a, strangely, not a word in my vocabulary. Never heard of the cockney expression in 19d and I’m also dubious about the synonym. Anyway it passed a bit if time so I may visit this page again when I have a spare moment.

  9. Another gem from the late, great one in which my only stumbling block was the unknown Cockney phrase (thank you, Mr Google).
    I did wonder whether some of the clues – particularly 20a – were personal to PJ but perhaps I’m reading too much into them.

    Cream of the crop for me was 24a with plenty of others vying for the honour.

    Many thanks to the keepers of the PJ legacy and to Gazza for the blog – I particularly enjoyed that rendition of the elegy.

  10. Yet again, another fine puzzle from PJ. The one I liked most was 20a, but I also liked 11a and 9d (my last one in).

    Thanks to Gazza for the write-up.

  11. 4a defeated us. Eventually we revealed a couple of letters to get the answer and even then it took ages to understand the wordplay as we did not know the item of clothing. Several hours later the possibility of what it could be came to mind and a check in BRB confirmed this. We also struggled with 19d but manged to dredge it from the depths of memory. A real privilege and pleasure to still be able to have these puzzles.
    Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

  12. Yet another lovely puzzle from Petitjean.

    4a was my last one in, I had to look up drape jacket.

    I loved the Australian orgy, the cheesier one being likely to succeed, and 23a is very smooth. 3D raised a smile.

    Thanks gazza for explaining 13a (I was hung up on the first 3 letters explaining the paid arranger and was wondering where the rest came from) and also 19d, for which I had the answer but was clueless as to the parsing.

    And thank you again Petitjean

  13. Came to this puzzle following the recommendation from CS. Took me a while, but good stuff. Needed the blog to understand ‘septic’.

  14. Enjoyed this puzzle, enjoyed me ale and looking forward to me supper. Lots of clever clues that toolk both of us to parse, J is very logical and i’m Different. Thanks to Petitjean and Gazza.

  15. ***(just)/****, and l’d never heard of that particular bit of Cockney rhyming slang. I loved 12a (what an appropriate anagram!) and 25a. Thanks to the shade of Petitjean, and to Gazza.

  16. How lovely to wear the mad hat again (so much more fun than a Santa hat). This was a pleasure to (almost) solve (I failed on 19d even though I did know the slang so have no excuse. Brain just wandered off down a wrong track and then didn’t come back). 12a might have been the biggest laugh but 24a probably has to be favourite. Many thanks to Petitjean and Gazza.

  17. An enjoyable, not too difficult puzzle (at least by Toughie standards). Last in 4ac, where I could see the definition, but had no idea what a drape jacket was.

  18. Lovely stuff. I did need the hint to parse 19D. My runaway favorite is 4A but 12A was splendid also. Homage to the late, great Petitjean and thanks to Gazza for the review.

  19. Finally got my last two (24a and then 19d) this morning. I liked 13a, which I answered but it took me a while to figure out, and of course 12a.

    Really good puzzle and I’m sorry to hear that Petitjean is no longer with us. Let’s hope he left quite a few like this one behind to keep us busy…..

  20. Didn’t have time to have a go at this until today, but since it was a Pettijean, I had put it to one side. So glad I did. Many of the answers and clues were very chuckleworthy. **/*****. From the many excellent I choose 1a, 30a, 1d and 2d for special mention with 4a being my winner. Lets’ hope we still have a few more to come.

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