Toughie 2041 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2041

Toughie No 2041 by Messinae

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Messinae is in uncharacteristically gentle mode today and this one didn’t pose too much of a challenge. Usually I jump all over the place filling in answers as and when I find them but today I was able to start at the top and proceed in a stately manner to the bottom, only held up by having to verify that ‘gin’ in 10a can be a verb and that the fuel in 20a actually exists.

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

Across Clues

1a Restrained worker dealt a blow (10)
HANDCUFFED: charade of a manual worker and a verb meaning struck.

6a Dress to boast over (4)
GARB: reverse a verb to boast or crow.

9a One working together with old film star and another caught out (2-8)
CO-OPERATOR: a male film star from the golden age of Hollywood and another word for a film star with the abbreviation for caught removed.

10a Model of inebriety initially wallowing in gin (4)
NEWT: insert the initial letter of wallowing into a verb to gin or snare. This small creature is the model against which an inebriated person is compared in a well-known saying (which derives apparently from the fact that the creature has a tight skin).

12a Elude fielder (4)
SLIP: double definition with the fielder being one positioned behind the wicket on the off side.

13a Daft to grip the dangerous crossing? (9)
TIGHTROPE: an anagram (daft) of TO GRIP THE.

15a That is treatment keeping bridge pair vulnerable (8)
INSECURE: string together the abbreviation for ‘that is’ and a synonym for treatment or remedy and then insert one of the two pairs of partners in a game of bridge.

16a Rebuke English cricket side getting duck (6)
WIGEON: weld together a dated verb to rebuke or scold, the single-letter abbreviation for English and one of the sides on a cricket field.

18a Resistance shown in a fake religious community (6)
ASHRAM: insert the abbreviation for electrical resistance into A and an adjective meaning fake.

20a Fuel was great for cooking (5,3)
WATER GAS: an anagram (for cooking) of WAS GREAT.

23a Became upset about intimate rubbing down (9)
TOWELLING: reverse (about) a verb meaning became and insert a phrase (4,2) meaning intimate or on friendly terms.

24a Police force seizing a substance (4)
MEAT: the nickname of our capital’s police force contains A.

26a Part played in control experiment (4)
ROLE: hidden.

27a With Gore ousted by Republican, tyro usually worried me (5,5)
YOURS TRULY: replace the forename of Mr Gore the former US Vice-President with the abbreviation for Republican in ‘usually’ and then make an anagram (worried) of TYRO USURLY.

28a Ruin radio receiver, perhaps (4)
DISH: double definition, the first an informal verb to ruin or destroy.

29a Friend with cold wrapped in fur (10)
CHINCHILLA: a Cockney friend with a feverish cold wrapped inside.

Down Clues

1d Nag writer (4)
HACK: double definition, the second being a plodding or unoriginal writer or journalist.

2d Knight loads pasta (7)
NOODLES: the chess abbreviation for knight and an informal word for loads or masses.

3d Bug associated with ghost town in Sussex, we hear (6-6)
CREEPY-CRAWLY: stick together an adjective meaning rather eerie (associated with a ghost) and a homophone of a town in West Sussex which is next door to what the late Ray Moore always used to refer to as Gatport Airwick.

4d Compliments cook imbibing coffee (8)
FLATTERY: a verb to cook in a specific way contains a milky coffee.

5d Musician Brian’s horrified expression no more! (6)
ENOUGH: concatenate the surname of Brian the musician who was a founder member of Roxy Music and an expression of repugnance.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d Excellent condition, being solvent (7)
ACETONE: bring together an informal adjective meaning excellent and a verb to condition one’s body through exercise.

8d Female marsh bird apparently showing resentment (10)
BITTERNESS: cryptically this could the female of a marsh bird.

11d Heartsick Matt almost frantic to get a new flame? (6,1,5)
STRIKE A MATCH: an anagram (frantic) of HEARTSICK MAT[t].

14d Drunk’s written about one in columns (10)
PILASTERED: an informal adjective meaning drunk or blotto contains the Roman numeral for one.

17d Sycophant of distinguished person pricked by needle (6-2)
HANGER-ON: the abbreviated title given to a distinguished person (or to an undistinguished one given the title purely because of who their parents are) contains a verb to needle or annoy.

19d Sources supplying quicksilver writer (1,1,5)
H G WELLS: since I couldn’t parse A A Milne this had to be the other famous writer whose name conforms to the pattern. If you split the answer as 2,5 you get the chemical symbol for quicksilver (mercury) and the places it may come from.

21d Gentle old king has a double (7)
GRADUAL: collect together the regnal cipher of six of our old kings, A and an adjective meaning double.

22d Put a stop to one born in Greek island hospital (6)
KIBOSH: insert the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for ‘born’ into a Greek island and append the abbreviation for hospital.

25d Bird that’s surprising North America (4)
MYNA: an exclamation meaning “that’s surprising!” followed by the abbreviation for North America.

The clues vying for favouritism today were 10a, 27a (for the well-disguised definition) and 8d (for the smile it produced). Which clue(s) gave you a boost?

9 comments on “Toughie 2041

  1. I didn’t actually check the time on this one, but it seemed to go together very easily, about the same as a back pager for me.

    I hadn’t heard of 20a, I assume it’s another name for the town variety. I always want to put a D into 16, but both spellings are acceptable.

    23a was my last one in. With all the checkers in place the answer was obvious but it took me ages to parse it. I will also admit to checking the dictionary definition of 14d. Architecture was never my strong suit.

    Favourite today was 13a for it’s clever meaning.

    Many thanks to Messinae and Gazza.

  2. I think this is the first time I have tackled a Messinae and I agree with Gazza that it was quite gentle with only one piece of electronic assistance required. Not sure of the overall solving time as there was a supper break part way through but Gazza’s ratings seem very appropriate.

    Joint favourites – 1a and 22d – it was good to see the Greek Island being spelt with a K rather than the C we have seen in some recent puzzles.

    Thanks to Messinae and Gazza.

  3. Solved while cuddling lovely one week old baby Lucie. Neither the baby nor the crossword gave any problems to Granny :)

    1. Congratulations, Granny!
      I see that our Friday Toughie blogger had similar news to impart in his puzzle in the Independent today.

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed this one which is often a sign that a puzzle wasn’t particularly tough!
    I didn’t know the musician, although I enjoyed the piece of music, and had to check on both the10a verb and the fuel.

    Plenty of feathered friends and laughs along the way and my podium spots went to 23a along with 8&11d.

    Many thanks to Messinae and to Gazza for the blog – interesting detour at the dangerous crossing!

  5. An enjoyable divertissement, but didn’t really occupy us for too long. Favourite clue was 22d.

    Just as Malcolm R wants to spell 16 with a D, we always want to tag an H onto the end of 25. We did think that 9a was clunky and inelegant.

    Thanks to Gazza and Messinae.

  6. Our usual pattern on a Wednesday is that while I (Colin) am putting the last bits of our blog together, Carol makes a solo start on the Toughie. Today there was very little still unsolved when we sat down together again. Nevertheless we both enjoyed it.
    Thanks Messinae and Gazza.

  7. I enjoyed this very much, although I found it a good deal trickier than others. The SW corner was resistant, but it was 10a that stumped me. In retrospect it really shouldn’t have, but I didn’t know the definition term, and I did not make the right association with the gin. Many thanks to Messinae and Gazza.

  8. I found this a lot easier to start than to finish, having to admit defeat at the close on 16ac where I didn’t know the duck or the WIG bit. As fairly straightforward clues elsewhere seem to have caused me issues, however, perhaps exhaustion has just set in.

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