Toughie No 2075 by Artix
Hints and tips by Tilsit
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***** – Enjoyment ****
Greetings from an overcast and gloomy Warrington (what’s new, you may say!).
I’m standing in for the usual Friday blogger and have been given an Artix puzzle to tackle. This is the first time I’ve tackled one of his puzzles and it’s up there at the top end of the Toughie scale with the Elgar’s and Sparks of this world. Quite a challenge. The first few answers I entered gave me a J, X and Z which set the pangram alarm off, and I’m happy to confirm that it is one. Some very nice clues to make you smile. A couple made me think twice; I hadn’t heard of the word at 10ac and 6dn needed a bit of help from a certain person on high (but shouldn’t have!), but overall it was a fine puzzle and I’m looking forward to the next one.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
7a Heading to Norway, relative crosses ocean – does this make her sick? (8)
NAUSEANT: Take the first letter of Norway and add the name of a female relative. This ‘crosses’, i.e. goes round a word for an ocean.
9a Adele’s last exploit with male rapper (6)
EMINEM: The name of one of the leading rap artists is revealed by taking the last letter of Adele and adding a word for to exploit and finishing with the abbreviation for male.
10a High priest out of opera used as setter’s name? (4)
FIDO: If you take the title of a famous opera (Beethoven’s only one!) and remove a standard crossword name associated with the definition ‘priest’ you will get the name for a four-legged rather than two-legged setter. And here’s a picture of one of mine, she’s called Lexie and has 666 tattooed on the back of her neck….
11a Needing change, Scrooge regularly tapped another old miser (10)
SCRAPEGOOD: Clever clue. Another name for a tightwad is revealed by making an anagram of SCROOGE and the alternate letters (regularly) of TAPPED.
12a House dismisses frauds (6)
HOAXES: A word meaning frauds is shown by taking the abbreviation for house and adding a word meaning cuts or dismisses.
14a All for end in blood-feud in island capital (8)
VALLETTA: Take a word meaning feud (as in a Mafia one) and swap END in it for ALL to give the name of the capital of an island in the Med.
15a What’s needed to convert Tory into Green? (6)
YELLOW: A nice amusing clue. What you add to the colour of someone who supports the Tories to get the colour Green.
17a With it, rhubarb’s dry and unusable (2,4)
IN DOCK: If you are with it you are this, and add the family name for rhubarb and you get something that is unusable and dry.
20a Cool dude with question for hard gag man (8)
QUIPSTER: Take the name for someone who is trendy (or what he may wear below the waist!) and swap the abbreviation for hard with the two-letter one for question.
22a Announced prize: the setter is second to Harry Potter’s duck! (6)
JEMIMA: Very clever! A homophone for something that’s a prize or valuable takes the first person of the verb to be (1’1), or how a setter announces themselves, and add the second letter of Harry to get the name of a famous quacker created by a different Potter.
23a Look of gloom amongst company fleet not running (10)
COLOURFAST: Inside a short word for company and one meaning fleet or speedy goes the name for a dark look. This gives the term for a fabric that doesn’t run in the wash.
24a File that’s fit for Fife’s fools? (4)
RASP: A double definition that’s alliterative! The name for a type of file is also the Scots’ name for fruit that goes into dishes such as cranachan.
25a — is under-sized fool in nonspeaking role? (4-2)
MINI-ME: This is a sort of ‘ & lit’ clue, a sort of all in one. The hyphen at the front is important. Basically it’s saying that the answer is the name for someone who is foolish, minus its last-letter (under-sized) and is inside the name for someone who doesn’t speak in acting. This whole definition could then apply to a famous example of this in film.
26a How liberated woman, after taking winter off, might reappear again and again? (2,1,5)
DO A MELBA: This was a new expression to me. This is what’s known as a subtractive anagram to give it its posh name. Take the phrase LIBERATED WOMAN, remove WINTER and juggle it to get a phrase meaning to make comeback after comeback on stage. These clues have to have two anagram indicators one to remove the letters of WINTER as they are not in order. It also needs another one (here it’s done by using the question ‘How…might reappear’. Clever but it needs to be and is a rather nice way of doing it as the whole clue appears to sort of define it as well. This relates to the late Dame Nellie Melba who had more comebacks than a boomerang.
1d When separating what’s due, car (new) might be part of this? (8)
PALIMONY; The question mark here is important as it suggests something is a bit out of the ordinary. Here ‘what’s due’ does double duty. Inside what is due (when you work) does an American word for a car and the abbreviation for new. This gives you what is due after two people separate.
2d Sanction America’s border fences (4)
ASBO: A hidden answer. Inside the phrase America’s border (indicated by fences) is the name for a legal sanction.
3d Slip gets by two people at least (6)
LAPSUS: Split as (4,2) this could mean gets by at least two people
4d ‘Cigar’ Marx brother cut banker up (8)
ZEPPELIN: I felt this was one of the weaker definitions. The name for something that is said to resemble a cigar (hence the quote marks) is found by taking the name of one of the Marx Brothers, removing the last letter (cut) and adding the reverse (up, as it’s a Down clue) of the name of a famous river (see The Vault – it’s a way of describing a river (i.e. having banks)
5d Dr. Spooner’s to manoeuvre uterus with this scope (6,4)
WIGGLE ROOM: You’re looking for an expression that means the scope of something. It’s a Spoonerism (often in puzzles, he’s described as Rev Spooner – but he was a doctor as well, so it works here!) of a phrase that sounds like a phrase to manoeuvre a uterus.
6d Dodge weekly costs of theatre production (3-3)
GET-OUT: This needed a bit of help. An expression meaning to dodge is also an obscure (it is in the Big Red Book!) definition for a theatrical expression meaning production costs. I did have Set out for a while but settled for GET as it was nearer to the meaning of dodge.
8d Final one-two from Roy’s team was successful (6)
THROVE: An old way of saying something flourished or was successful is found by taking the name of a famous cartoon footballer named Roy’s team and removing the last letter of the first word and last two of the second word (final one-two).
13d Co-ordinates playing of Chopin to hide look of instrument (10)
XYLOPHONIC: Take the letters associated with a graph co-ordinates and make an anagram (playing) of CHOPIN. Insert a short work meaning ‘look!’ and you will then get something that means pertaining to a musical instrument.
16d Canadian needing cop to replace Scot shooting well (2,6)
ON TARGET: An expression for having shot well is found by taking the name for an inhabitant of a Canadian city and replacing an archetypal name for a Scotsman with a word meaning to cop something.
18d Trusty scout makes off with OBE (4,4)
KEMO SABE: The name for a famous fictional trusted scout (or how he was addressed by his sidekick, notably played by Jay Silverheels!) is an anagram (off) of MAKES and OBE.
19d Norman’s best friend’s classes tucked into Shakespeare (6)
BRIARD: The name for a French dog (cleverly defined here!) is found by taking the abbreviation for a school subject and putting it inside a word that describes Shakespeare.
21d You said redesigned patio could be perfect location (6)
UTOPIA: A homophone of you’ plus an anagram (redesigned) of PATIO gives the name for the perfect spot.
22d Traveller’s ill feeling let out in car (3,3)
JET LAG: Inside a short word for a type of car (think Inspector Morse!) goes an anagram (out) of let to give what a traveller suffers after a long journey. Incidentally, those of you who recall my horrendous journey to Jena recently may be interested to know the journey home was even worse! But that’s another story (for a week tomorrow’s blog!)
24d Attic possibly has roof blown off, creating stink (4)
REEK: The word Attic can also mean someone from part of a European country. Identify this country and remove the first letter to get a word for a bad smell.
So was it a stroll in the park or the journey from hell? Leave your thoughts below and let our setter know! They do appreciate your constructive feedback and often sneak in here to take a peek.
See you all again soon!