Toughie 2001 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2001

Toughie No 2001 by Elkamere

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have an excellent start to the third Toughie millennium with a very enjoyable puzzle from Elkamere. Several of the clues seemed quite tricky to solve initially but, as is often the case, once the light dawned they seemed obvious.

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

Across Clues

1a Son abandoned by huge entertainer (5)
COMIC: remove the abbreviation for son from an adjective meaning huge or astronomical.

4a Film producer welcomes Oscars getting near (9)
MOONRAKER: a producer or creator contains two instances of the letter that Oscar stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and the abbreviation for near.

9a One hides name following unqualified comment (9)
UTTERANCE: the playing card with one spot contains the abbreviation for name and that comes after an adjective meaning unqualified or absolute.

10a Top marks for one in test (5)
ASSAY: a charade of more than one top mark and a word meaning ‘for one’ or ‘for example’.

11a Impressive, being a shopper? (7)
TELLING: double definition. This shopper is a rat or grass.

12a Doesn’t want, at first, criminal record (3,4)
SET DOWN: an anagram (criminal) of DOESNT W[ant].

13a Barter goods — well, as fence (6)
HAGGLE: two occurrences of the abbreviation for good have around them (as fence) an adjective meaning well or healthy.

15a Find out about unusual type of radiation (8)
INFRARED: an anagram (out) of FIND containing an adjective meaning unusual.

18a Inadequate way to mention wheels (8)
PATHETIC: a way or route followed by the reversal (wheels) of a verb to mention or quote.

20a Like one film that is not shown for sci-fi author (6)
ASIMOV: string together a conjunction meaning like, the Roman numeral for one and another word for a film without the abbreviation meaning ‘that is’ to get my favourite sci-fi author.

23a In Paris, this accident in particular? (7)
CERTAIN: knit together the French word for ‘this’, the abbreviation for an accident involving one or more vehicles and IN.

24a 1 + 1 put in for a start (7)
PIONEER: the Roman numeral for 1 and the English spelling of 1 go inside the preposition meaning ‘for a’ or ‘for each’. The definition (start) here is a verb.

26a Form of wealth, one worshipped in Athens (5)
PLUTO: as a prefix this means ‘of wealth’ or ‘denoting wealth’.

27a Bullet case, handle with care printed externally (9)
CARTOUCHE: a verb to handle or deal with has ‘care’ around it.

28a Bad breath or not, initially offensive (9)
ABHORRENT: an anagram (bad) of BREATH OR N[ot].

29a Shade of colour that starts to be put on paint container (5)
TINCT: the starting letters of ‘colour’ and ‘that’ need to be appended to what paint is usually bought in. Not a word that I knew.

Down Clues

1d New shirt’s cut up after business suit (9)
COURTSHIP: suit here is what a suitor engages in. It’s an anagram (new) of SHIRT inside UP, all preceded by the abbreviation for a business.

2d Stones for road, motorway, and so on (5)
METAL: the abbreviation for motorway and the Latin expression (2,2) meaning ‘… and the rest’.

3d My face is warm (7)
CORDIAL: an exclamation meaning ‘my!’ and the face (of a watch, say).

4d Run West maybe having stolen horse (6)
MANAGE: the forename of Ms. West the actress contains an old horse.

5d Order one’s driver, perhaps, to be courteous (8)
OBEISANT: fuse together an order that is handed out twice a year in the UK, the Roman numeral for one plus the ‘S and what driver is a type of in the insect world.

6d Roll over a pig? (7)
ROASTER: a roll or rota containing A.

7d Hearsay I found in book about surprise guest? (9)
KISSOGRAM: insert a slang word for hearsay or tittle-tattle and I into a New Testament book then reverse it all.

8d Artist needs that material (5)
RAYON: our usual artist and a dialect adjective for ‘that’ (i.e. the one ‘over there’).

14d Became violent, carrying hot exhaust (2,7)
GO THROUGH: a phrase meaning ‘became violent’ (3,5) contains the abbreviation for hot.

16d Not the same frogman? (9)
DIVERGENT: split your answer 5,4 to get a cryptic description of a frogman.

17d See boat crossing lake from mountain summit (8)
PINNACLE: a type of small boat (a word which, I was surprised to find from the BRB, can also mean a whore) contains the abbreviation for lake.

19d Locks up our charm (7)
ENAMOUR: reverse the sort of locks that a horse has and add OUR.

21d Beer bottles work for party animal (4-3)
STOP-OUT: a type of dark beer contains our usual abbreviation for work.

22d Alcoholic drink in bottle (6)
SPIRIT: double definition, bottle here meaning courage.

23d About to drink up soft drink (5)
CUPPA: a two-letter abbreviation for ‘about’ contains UP and the musical abbreviation meaning quiet.

25d I may get by once free outside (2-3)
EX-CON: a semi-all-in-one. The letter used in maths to mean ‘by’ with an anagram (free) of ONCE around it.

The top three in my personal list of ‘likes’ were 4a, 21d and 25d. Which one(s) floated your boat?

21 comments on “Toughie 2001

  1. I found this proper Elkamere Toughie in its difficulty and enjoyment levels. I had to ask the question (me or him) and even though it wasn’t me, and I did kick-start the Gnome’s Law process, it took me quite a while to finish the whole thing off

    Thanks to Elkamere for the Proper Toughie and to Gazza for the illustrated explanations

  2. My verdict on this one was very nice but very hard and I have to admit to using quite a bit of help in the NE.

    I liked 24a and Gazza’s down clue picks, plus 16d made me smile and I thought 3d a signature Elk clue (btw, the answer there is currently uncovered).

    Thanks Elkamere and Gazza.

  3. Haha Sue, me too! Very tough, but very good. Very ‘processed’ also, if that’s the right word, meaning every part in the wordplay is taken apart, polished, then put back in again. Excellent.

    1. Having fought my way through unknown monster ants and bullet cases, I definitely need a lie-down.

      A light-bulb moment with 4a finally gave me a way into the NE but 7d held out right to the end along with the pesky inmate I’d forgotten about in 25d.

      Honours went to the frogman and the genie in the bottle.

      Thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza for the review – especially the pic at 1d.

  4. A very pleasant contribution frm Elkamere, one of my favourite setters. Best clue, for me, was the simple 22D ‘Alcoholic drink in bottle’

  5. Today all the clues are by Elkamere. I had to buy a paper copy of the telegraph today to figure out which of yesterday’s clues was.

    Brilliant stuff. cut up, Find out, Locks up, drink up, handle with care, doesn’t want criminal record, all beautiful and lots more

    Thanks gazza for reminding me of the accident and the wealth prefix, both well known to me but forgotten at time of solve.

    Many thanks Elkamere, also for DOWAGER, and thanks again Gazza

  6. Thoroughly engaging and very enjoyable. 7d held me up for quite a while and I hastily entered ‘handle’ for 13a, taking the clue to be an all-in-one. 14d remained blank until I had all the checkers and realised what 13a had to be, but then couldn’t parse it (thanks Gazza). 5d was new to me – what an ungainly word.

    Plenty of candidates for favourite, but I’ll settle on 15a and add that 16d raised a smile.

    Excellent puzzle, thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza.

  7. I was able to finish yesterday’s wonderful hybrid puzzle, but in the end I was about a handful short of finishing this one. There were quite a number of things that I was not familiar with (the prefix ‘of wealth’ in 26a, and the surprise guest in 7d for example), but in truth, I should have got closer to finishing than I did. I thought this was a great puzzle, and I agree with the sentiment that this has been quite the banner week so far in toughie-land. Many thanks to all.

  8. Tomorrow’s setter is Messinae (who provided the wonderful ‘tantrum’ clue in yesterday’s Toughie).

  9. How good was that, very enjoyable with no quibbles. It came good after a slow start, not taking too many pints of Bathams bitter. Today’s favourite 24a; yesterday held up by 8a.
    Cheers to Elkamere and Gazza.

  10. This one had us working very hard but perseverance paid off in the end. Spent a lot of time trying to justify CARTRIDGE for 27a and bet we weren’t the only ones in that trap. Thought it was quite a bit tougher than this setter has been lately and think we prefer the slightly fluffier ones, particularly on a Wednesday.
    Thanks Elkamere and Gazza.

  11. Needed some Gazza help. A proper Toughie, for 23a.

    Our favourite was 23d – beautifully simple.

    Thanks to Gazza and Elkamere.

  12. I don’t like to be picky but 2000 was the the first of the third toughie millennium. I found it hard going thanks for the hints.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Taylor.
      I was working on the basis that Toughie numbering started at 1 so the first thousand Toughies were 1-1000 and the second thousand were 1001-2000.

  13. Was totally defeated by the NE except 4a and 6d.
    Couldn’t parse 26a either.
    Definitely a tough toughie.
    Liked 15a and 25d the most.
    Thanks to Elkamere and to Gazza for the review.
    Kept yesterday’s crossword in the hope to find out who wrote what.

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