Toughie No 2059 by Elkamere
Hints and tips by Dutch
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ***** – Enjoyment *****
Congratulations Elkamere! A Nina explains why we have a special puzzle today. We also have a pangram, which put me on the right track for 22d. Quite a few new words for me here, but they are all meticulously and fairly clued. We have the usual share of clever misleads and precise clueing.
The definitions are underlined. The hints are intended to help you unravel the word play, but you can always reveal the answer by clicking on the across the word breaks in all the odd rows buttons. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Ornamental shape of rings edging small book (5)
OVOLO: Place a ring-shaped letter either side of (edging) an abbreviation (small) for a book
4a Mister Blue Rinse minced (9)
NEBULISER: An anagram (minced) of BLUE RINSE
9a Old man circling church to avoid dog (9)
DACHSHUND: A 3-letter old man or father goes around (circling) both an abbreviation for church and a verb meaning to avoid
10a On the left, almost any basic defence (5)
REDAN: A political description of someone on the left, plus the first two letters (almost) of AN(y)
11a One kind of pressure is too much, oddly treated (7)
OSMOTIC: An anagram (treated) of IS TOO M(u)C(h) (oddly)
12a Icy water swelled around ship first of all (4,3)
ROSS SEA: A 4-letter verb meaning swelled goes around an abbreviation for ship plus the first letter of all
13a Times news, for example (6)
BYWORD: A 2-letter word meaning times in an arithmetic sense, plus a noun meaning news or tidings
15a Swell, as pipe full of potatoes? (8)
SMASHING: Swell is an adjective here. A verb meaning to pipe vocally contains (full of) the kind of potatoes that goes well with bangers
18a Again drink in bar, sober, surprisingly (8)
REABSORB: An anagram (surprisingly) of BAR SOBER
20a Couple, at heart, also peasants (6)
YOKELS: A verb meaning to couple or join together as you might with oxen plus the central letters (at heart) of also
23a Mark? Mark? Or forget to mark? (7)
ANTONYM: The first Mark is Cleopatra’s lover, the second is an abbreviation for old German currency. The answer describes what the word ‘forget’ is to ‘mark’ as a verb meaning to take particular notice
24a Return key with one caught opening drawer (7)
ENTICER: Another word used for the return key on your keyboard contains (with … opening) the Roman numeral for one plus the cricket abbreviation for caught
26a Sharp object to wrap with string (5)
TWINE: A sharp object, e.g. the prong of a fork, goes around (to wrap) the abbreviation for with
27a Crack troops trapped by alien plant? (9)
EQUIPMENT: A crack or joke plus another word for troops or soldiers go inside (trapped by) an abbreviation for alien
28a Soldier on a grave (9)
PERSEVERE: A 3-letter word meaning ‘a’ and an adjective meaning grave
29a A way to be accepted by Soviet hostages (5)
ETHOS: Hidden (accepted by …)
1d Can one do work, even? (3-6)
ODD-JOBBER: A whimsical clue playing on even/odd
2d Computer company rejected man associated with razor (5)
OCCAM: Reversal (rejected) of an Apple computer and the abbreviation for company
3d Fish — er, supporting big band (7)
OSSETER: ER from the clue goes underneath (supporting, in a down clue) a 2-letter abbreviation meaning very big plus another word for band or group, not necessarily musical.
4d Indian dance fan grabs a companion (6)
NAUTCH: A 3-letter fan, or someone with an obsessive interest, goes around (grabs) A from the clue, then add the abbreviation for companion
5d Live with lady keeping French boudoir item (8)
BEDFRAME: A 2-letter verb meaning live, then another word for lady containing (keeping) the abbreviation for French
6d Lion regularly rears small animals (7)
LORISES: The odd letters (regularly) in lion plus a verb meaning rears, as a horse might
7d Facelift after cut and blow? (9)
SIDESWIPE: Face lift after cut gives you face and lift. Another word for face (e.g. of a cube) and an informal word meaning to lift or steal
8d Golf club carried by veteran Daly (1,3,1)
R AND A: Hidden (carried by …)
14d With more bread being white, real crackers (9)
WEALTHIER: An anagram (crackers) of WHITE REAL
16d Wind is following mostly common stomach ailment (9)
GASTRITIS: Another word for wind, then the IS from the clue comes after (following) another word for common, or hackneyed, without the last letter (mostly)
17d Show one empire in ruins? Rome’s out of order! (8)
PREMIERE: An anagram (in ruins) of EMPIRE plus R(om)E from the clue without the abbreviation for Order of Merit (out of order)
19d Not affected as engineers (7)
SINCERE: A 5-letter word meaning as plus the abbreviation for army engineers
21d Conservative in EU plot sacked by 8 (7)
OCTUPLE: The abbreviation for Conservative goes inside (in) an anagram (sacked) of EU PLOT
22d Choice of light with river crossing (2,4)
DELUXE: Choice here is an adjective. A unit of light goes inside (with … crossing) a river (found both in Wales and in Scotland)
23d Carry on Camping’s start hidden by a sheep (3,2)
ACT UP: The first letter (start) of Camping goes inside (hidden by) A from the clue and another word for sheep or ram
25d A European vet talking (5)
CZECH: A homophone (talking) of a verb meaning to vet
I enjoyed Mister Blue Rinse (4a), pipe full of potatoes (15a), Again drink in bar (18a), and the Golf club carried by veteran Daly (8d). I particular liked 28a (Soldier on a grave) and my favourite has to be 21a, which seems topical. Which clues did you like?
27 comments on “Toughie 2059”
Just looking at the NW corner, I don’t know the moulding at 1a, the 14th century philosopher at 2d or the fish at 3d. (I had GROUPER)
I have completed eight others, but I can’t be ploughing on through this.
It’s not been a good week, crossworldy speaking, let’s hope for a return to normality next week.
Thanks to all.
I had grouper too – but it didn’t fit the checkers. I hadn’t heard of the other fish, needed brb
Great toughie thanks.
My favourite setter.
Thanks to Dutch for brilliant illustrations.
I must admit that I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as I normally do when the setter is Elkamere. I put this down to the frustrations of the NW corner where there were three tightly grouped words I didn’t know and had to check out – the kind of pressure, the fish and the Indian dance (the last of which even Mrs Bradford doesn’t seem to have heard of). That said I found plenty to enjoy elsewhere in the puzzle.
I did notice the pangram but had no idea there was a Nina – thanks to Dutch for his sterling work in finding it and pointing it out and many congratulations to Elkamere for reaching the milestone and for all the pleasure he’s given us solvers during that time.
The clues which took the medals for me were 28a, 7d and 17d.
Better than yesterday. Almost finished it. Couldn’t parse 25a and was looking for something more exotic than 5d. Stupid.
Thank you blogger and setter. 100 today. Just one quibble, could have done without the illustration to 3d. What an ugly beast!
Ow. It certainly has been a Toughie week of two halves. Tired after a hard one yesterday, I enlisted more help today. Some stuff I didn’t know in this (was going to say stuff learned, but my brain does not feel very retentive at the moment, so …).
Was amused by 4a and 7d and also really liked 13a and 28a.
Thanks and congratulations Elkamere, and thanks Dutch.
Well, it’s good stuff. Only thing I’d say is that unusual words up the toughness just through being what they are, not by any other agency such as evil cluing! And as Elkamere is evil anyway, well, yes, another proper Toughie after yesterday’s beast.
Enjoyed the style however, a nicely-made crossword.
I”m hopeless with Ninas. Have looked until I’m cross eyed to no avail. Help please!
You’ve appended an ‘a’ to your email address which is forcing your comments into moderation.
Look at the bridging words in rows 1,3,5,7,9,11.
Thanks for help. I’ll look at both puzzle and email address. I find I can have problems with my i-pad. At times it feels it knows better than me. Technology!
P.S. Found the Nina. I always thought it was made up from letters in the spaces so didn’t think to look at the answers. I’ll know better next time.
and add rows 13 and 15. It’s MEEEEE!
this was explained behind the “click me” in the preamble
Sorry to be really thick cos I’m new to the Toughies but I can’t see anything running over the line breaks in line 13 and 15. Please explain x
Welcome to the blog Stephen
I think Dutch meant was to add after line 11 [antonyM Enticer]
Line 13 [twinE Equipment] and line 15 [perseverE Ethos]
making ME EE EE i.e. MEEEEE
Dean has clearly borrowed Mr Manley’s Book of Obscure Words For Crossword Setters for this one. A bit unfair to put so many in one corner I thought. A lot more enjoyable than yesterday’s though – I’m afraid Artix has fallen foul of my three strikes and you’re out rule and has joined the (short) list of setters that I will steer clear of in future.
28a my clue of the day for the wonderfully deceptive definition hiding in plain sight.
Here the obscurities are to accommodate the Nina. Manley just likes including a few obscurities
Personally I would call that the tail wagging the dog.
Sorry to poor cold water on the celebrations. but Elkamere continues the practise, endemic with Telegraph Toughie setters, of prematurely claiming a century of Toughies.
Today brings the total to 98, with 1 onlne-only Toughie. While it is still an achievement, let’s wait and celebrate the next but one!
For the record, the next centurion is likely to be MynoT, currently on 95.
Five unknowns in the top half of the grid certainly dampened my enthusiasm but things improved a lot further down the grid.
Needed Dutch’s help to fully parse 23a & 7d and also to appreciate the Nina – probably wouldn’t have found that on my own!
Favourite by a mile was 28a, very nicely done.
Thanks to Elkamere/Dean for however many puzzles and grateful thanks to Dutch for the helping hand.
Well, my favourite setter hasn’t let me down no matter how many toughies he”s done. Although, I can’t say that I can remember the last time I saw him so verbose in his clueing
Not a criticism, just an observation
The NW corner took longer to do than the rest of the puzzle (nearly) but was worth it. I will probably never see those answers again.
Pangram …..yes. Nina……no – as usual.
Thanks to the guitarist for the fun and his erstwhile accompanist for the review
Have a good weekend all.
Thanks for the great blog, Dutch.
I feel pretty sure this is 100, but in truth the only reference I have is file numbers which have always been in sequence. According to what I’ve got, this should be 100, and even if a puzzle had been rejected for some reason (can’t remember that ever happening) I’d replace it with one with the same number. Oh well. Looks like I may get two centenaries then.
If you would like to check, here they all are!
592 – 06 Jul 11
609 – 04 Aug 11
624 – 31 Aug 11
641 – 29 Sep 11
653 – 20 Oct 11
667 – 15 Nov 11
686 – 16 Dec 11
697 – 05 Jan 12
708 – 25 Jan 12
724 – 22 Feb 12
740 – 21 Mar 12
757 – 19 Apr 12
768 – 09 May 12
784 – 06 Jun 12
797 – 28 Jun 12
813 – 26 Jul 12
828 – 22 Aug 12
842 – 14 Sep 12
860 – 17 Oct 12
874 – 09 Nov 12
886 – 30 Nov 12
896 – 19 Dec 12
909 – 11 Jan 13
921 – 01 Feb 13
933 – 22 Feb 13
949 – 22 Mar 13
965 – 19 Apr 13
977 – 10 May 13
987 – 29 May 13
1003 – 26 Jun 13
1008 – 04 Jul 13
1023 – 31 Jul 13
1036 – 22 Aug 13
1048 – 12 Sep 13
1063 – 09 Oct 13
1081 – 08 Nov 13
1095 – 04 Dec 13
1111 – 01 Jan 14
1129 – 31 Jan 14
1137 – 14 Feb 14
1151 – 12 Mar 14
1164 – 03 Apr 14
1175 – 23 Apr 14
1191 – 21 May 14
1207 – 18 Jun 14
1219 – 09 Jul 14
1237 – 08 Aug 14
1252 – 04 Sep 14
1269 – 03 Oct 14
1283 – 29 Oct 14
1301 – 28 Nov 14
1313 – 19 Dec 14
1330 – 21 Jan 15
1343 – 12 Feb 15
1363 – 19 Mar 15
1376 – 10 Apr 15
1392 – 08 May 15
1406 – 03 Jun 15
1422 – 01 Jul 15
1436 – 24 Jul 15
1456 – 28 Aug 15
1470 – 23 Sep 15
1486 – 21 Oct 15
1502 – 18 Nov 15
1522 – 23 Dec 15
1531 – 08 Jan 16
1547 – 05 Feb 16
1561 – 02 Mar 16
1579 – 01 Apr 16
1599 – 06 May 16
1615 – 03 Jun 16
1635 – 08 Jul 16
1651 – 05 Aug 16
1665 – 31 Aug 16
1683 – 30 Sep 16
1695 – 21 Oct 16
1707 – 11 Nov 16
1721 – 07 Dec 16
1731 – 23 Dec 16
1745 – 18 Jan 17
1763 – 17 Feb 17
1777 – 15 Mar 17
1793 – 12 Apr 17
1807 – 05 May 17
1827 – 09 Jun 17
1843 – 07 Jul 17
1857 – 02 Aug 17
1875 – 01 Sep 17
1891 – 29 Sep 17
1907 – 27 Oct 17
1927 – 01 Dec 17
1941 – 27 Dec 17
1959 – 26 Jan 18
1979 – 02 Mar 18
2001 – 11 Apr 18
2023 – 18 May 18
2039 – 15 Jun 18
2059 – 20 Jul 18
100006 – 25 Dec 14 (online only
Thanks BD. I’m wondering if the one I did for Rufus’s 80th Birthday was an extra that wasn’t officially a Toughie? I can’t remember.
That’s only one – no other setter has claimed online-only puzzles in their total – if they did the Elgar would have been the first to 100, not Giovanni.
Pretty tough, and I needed a little help in the SW corner, but got there in the end. Nina? Well, I would never have spotted that. Thanks Elkamere for a good Toughie to end the week, 100 puzzles or not.
Like last week, having made a complete mess of Thursday’s toughie, I came to Friday’s toughie with a degree of trepidation, but again like last week, I was able to complete this puzzle. My enjoyment of it was diminished by having to search, like others, for a large number of words I had never heard of, especially in the NW corner. However, I do agree with Dutch in that the the puzzle was beautifully clued. I missed the pangram (again), and as for the Nina . . . . . . Many thanks to Elkamere and Dutch.
Annoyed with myself for getting 15a wrong but otherwise this was much less of a struggle than yesterday’s, in which there were two that completely floored me. True, there were some unfamiliar words but the clueing was such that it was possible to work out what the answer probably was and then go to BRB for confirmation.
In Beaumaris passing the time with Mrs B.
What a toughie, took ages but got there in the end. Eventually found the Nina.
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