Toughie 2029 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2029

Toughie No 2029 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

We have yet another highly enjoyable, though not too difficult, puzzle from the late Petitjean. He’s very often given us food-related clues but this time he’s supplied a veritable smorgasbord of nice things to eat (although 2d might leave a nasty taste in the mouth).

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

Across Clues

1a What a screw might do with a broken cell dooror an inmate? (4,1,4,3,2)
MAKE A BOLT FOR IT: two meanings with a screw here being a slang term for a prison warder.

9a Most sharp, making rip in broken seat (7)
ACUTEST: insert a rip or tear into an anagram (broken) of SEAT.

10a Art Nouveau encompasses Erté’s flipping ivory tower (7)
RETREAT: an anagram (nouveau) of ART contains the reversal of Erté (pseudonym of the Russian-born French artist Romain de Tirtoff who was known as the father of Art Deco – isn’t Google wonderful?).

11a Black model car with key missing (4)
INKY: start with the brand name of model cars which were very popular in my childhood but which haven’t been made since 1979. Now remove the musical key from the start of the name.

12a Steer clear of shifting much nicer TV hotel’s dropped in (10)
CIRCUMVENT: an anagram (shifting) of MUC[h] NICER TV with the letter for which hotel is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet within being dropped.

14a Leaves simple starter of salad (6)
GREENS: an adjective meaning simple or naive and the starting letter of salad.

15a Breakfast staples or their traditional seasoning across America, with Southern following (8)
SAUSAGES: a traditional seasoning for the answer contains a three-letter abbreviation for America. Finish with the abbreviation for Southern.

17a Empathized without the shakes after swallowing a tranquillizer (8)
DIAZEPAM: an anagram (shakes) of EMPA[th]IZ[e]D without ‘the’ contains A.

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18a As a Just A Minute speech may be: artful, in earshot, making a case (6)
LINEAR: a hidden word. The requirement of the long-running Just A Minute programme is to speak for 60 seconds without deviation, repetition or hesitation and the answer here conforms to those three conditions.

21a Sulphur spoils metal — chafing makes one part like this (6,4)
SADDLE SORE: string together the chemical symbol of sulphur (which we’re supposed to spell sulfur these days), a verb meaning spoils or goes rotten and a poetic word for precious metal. When applied to a rider the part that’s affected is his or her rear end. Chambers spells this with a hyphen.

22a Off and on, Gasthof parking will be on the roof? (4)
ATOP: regular letters from Gasthof and the abbreviation for parking.

24a Dog owner, don’t do this! (7)
WHIPPET: split the answer 4,3 to get what an owner shouldn’t do.

25a Dodge, perhaps, lech I’ve taken for a ride? (7)
VEHICLE: an anagram (taken for a ride – lovely) of LECH I’VE.

26a Pudding of stewed eel with a shortcrust (9,5)
CHARLOTTE RUSSE: anagram (stewed) of EEL and A SHORTCRUST.

Down Clues

1d Sense one female back in the embrace of another (7)
MEANING: one female forename contains the reversal of another.

2d Takeaway of osso buco — and punch? (7,8)
KNUCKLE SANDWICH: this could be the animal part used in osso buco wrapped conveniently as a takeaway snack. The answer is an informal term for a punch in the mouth.

3d Votes for studies to be read out (4)
AYES: sounds like studies or observes.

4d Get the better of Open University idiot (6)
OUTWIT: fix together the abbreviation for the Open University and an informal term for a silly person.

5d One’s informed maybe how to make taco? (8)
TURNCOAT: split the answer 4,4 to find out how to make taco.

6d Upbeat engineer: I’m stoic about pit renovation (10)
OPTIMISTIC: an anagram (engineer) of I’M STOIC contains a second anagram (renovation) of PIT.

7d Salad items with only 10% of them showing above the surface, apparently (7,8)
ICEBERG LETTUCES: rather obvious if you know what sort of floaters have 90% of their mass under water.

8d Condition of you and me after junk’s given up (6)
STATUS: a pronoun meaning you and me follows the reversal of a word for junk or shoddy stuff plus the ‘S.

13d Person that invades Milan, one with a spring in their step? (10)
INTERLOPER: knit together the name of one of Milan’s football teams and someone who walks with a spring or bound in their step.

16d Raised voice from call centre in loud argument (8)
FALSETTO: insert the central letters of ‘call’ between the abbreviation for loud and an argument (3-2).

17d Refuse to acknowledge one’s in the grip of depression (6)
DISOWN: insert the Roman numeral for one and the ‘S into a period of depression (which could be treated with 17a).

19d Topped-up Irish broadcaster put on both sides of long-player backwards swamped by echoes (7)
REPLETE: put the abbreviation for Ireland’s national broadcaster around the reversal of a long-playing record which is itself inside two occurrences of the letter for which echo is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

20d Bank of Seine, say between Paris and Troyes, principally evergreen (6)
PRIVET: the French word for a riverbank goes between the principal letters of Paris and Troyes.

23d Reluctant year off fish grill, tea and work, domestically (4)
CHAR: taking the abbreviation for year away from an adjective meaning reluctant or guarded gives us a word with four meanings. The surface doesn’t mean a great deal.

The tastiest clues for me today are 1a, 18a, 2d and 16d. Which one(s) whetted your appetite?

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27 comments on “Toughie 2029

  1. Thank you to the keepers of the Petitjean legacy for yet another treat of a solve. I could mention many clues for stardom but I’ll go for 11a, 2d, 7d and 23d

    Thanks also to Lucky Gazza

  2. You’ll be pleased to hear that the legacy still has a bit to go before it is exhausted.

    1. Thanks so much for letting us know – I can stop dreading the ‘that’s it folks’ message for a little while yet!

  3. Re:11a – It was always Corgi cars for me. I had an Aston Martin James Bond model. I wonder how much that would be worth now. I’ll have to have a look in the aged P’s loft next time I’m in York.

    R: The Puzzle. Another sublime creation from Petitjean & an amusing review by Gazza as usual.

    1. Likewise for me. I always thought that Corgi cars were better made but I did have a model car from Dinky that had a spare wheel on it’s roof marked up as a ‘driving school ‘ . That wheel turned the front wheels on the car.

    2. Was that the one with an ejector seat, pop-out machine guns at the front and a pop-up shield at the back? It was brilliant.

      1. Somewhere, I had what resembled a briefcase which toy cars were meant to go in, I kept mine in the boxes and used friends and my older brothers . Note to self, find them . My Dad collected Post office Vans etc. but they went to my nephews, who to my utter chagrin bartered them as they thought worthless :(

  4. How wonderful to see that PJ’s legacy lives on.

    Wondered if I was missing something in 18a’s definition and didn’t fully parse 19d. Not sure if I remember 26a but will be storing it in the brain fridge for a later date. All very tasty, while 16d was music to my ears. The following clue is perfect – and very fitting, not being across.

    Many thanks.

  5. Great puzzle and review.
    Thanks to all. The only one I had not understood was 23d. Thanks for the explanation….off to stand in the dunce’s corner for a while!

  6. Another great Petitjean puzzle – wonderfully enjoyable. Many thanks to all, and so good to hear that there are yet more to come.

  7. I’d say *, though 13d halted me a minute – Milan? Mm. Poor.
    11a favourite.
    Dinkies bought by Beano readers
    Corgies by Dandy readers… Generally.
    I was mainly in 1st gang!!
    Funds often went on a Matchbox – 1s 6d ! – if couldn’t wait +/or not enough pocket money
    Off to US tomorrow so can rest crossie brain for a bit

  8. Not too tricky and lots of fun, though I’m another that wasn’t sure about 23d. 11a had me trying to fit in a T for ‘model car’ for far too long before the penny dropped.

    Hard to choose a favourite (1a, 2d, 5d 17d and so on)…, but the relatively simple 4d raised a smile.

    Many thanks to the late PJ, to the powers that be and to Gazza

  9. A very enjoyable albeit not too taxing puzzle from Mr P. Good news that there are more to come 😊

    Far too many good clues to single out one for stardom. Suffice to say that it brightened up a dull day here in Shropshire. Thanks to Gazza for his review and commiserations for Exeter’s loss on Saturday.

  10. Most enjoyable , ( though I needed help with 18a )
    I liked 1a , 2d 4d and many others .
    Long last the legacy .
    Thanks to Gazza .

  11. Petijean! So that’s why I enjoyed this puzzle so much. I needed to look up Just a Minute and still couldn’t solve the clue. Completely missed the hidden word. Also had to verify the Irish broadcaster. Lots of ticks on my page and lots of smiles. 2D was my runaway favorite, but 1A, 11A, 21A, 24A, and 23D get honorable mentions. Many thanks to Gazza and the keeper of the flame.

  12. Great fun as always with a Petitjean and, as Gazza says, not overly taxing.

    Favourite was 17a – we realised too late that the American spelling of empathized was something we could/should have spotted to help us.

    Thanks Gazza and the PJ legacy.

  13. Another little gem from PJ and – because it’s him – I guess we’ll all forgive the surfaces of 12a & 23d.
    Couldn’t parse 18a as I don’t recall the programme concerned and did have to check on Erte (recognised his signature when I saw it!) and the French river bank.

    Top spots here were 1&12a plus 4d.

    Many thanks to the keepers of the legacy and to Gazza for the excellent blog and the homework done on 10a.

  14. Wonderful to hear that there are still more of these treasures waiting in the wings. They are always so much fun.
    Despite the surface being rubbish we were most impressed with 23d. Wordplay and four definition all to give us a four letter answer is really quite exceptional we thought. A pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

  15. I care not if it was rated 2* for difficulty, I always find Petitjean to be tough but 5* for enjoyment because It is me who is banging head on table for missing the blindingly obvious. Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

  16. Lovely stuff as ever. On the easy side, as expected, and as enjoyable as expected. Favourite today 17ac, very nicely done.

  17. Lovely puzzle but I did need the hints to finish in the NW. Thanks Gazza.
    Loads of favourites but I’ll elect 26a as it brings to mind an epic bit of gluttony on the Pennine Way when 4 friends and I demolished a whole 26a at least twice as big as the one on the pic.

  18. An absolutely wonderful, offbeat puzzle. This kept me cogitating and entertained, sporadically, all afternoon and half the evening. Too many good clues to pick a favourite. A very enjoyable solve. 3.5* / 4.5*

  19. Very enjoyable puzzle and great that there are yet more to come from Petitjean. First in was 4d, but I couldn’t get 5d at all (mistook which letters in the anagram) until I relented this evening and read the hint.

    I was also a Matchbox cars collector. I wonder where they all are now……??

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