Toughie 2077 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2077

Toughie No 2077 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I do feel privileged to be able to blog another example of the late Mr Pidgeon’s massive legacy. This one has several of his trademark ‘off the wall’ clues and the whole thing is immensely enjoyable.

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

Across Clues

1a Forget beans turning mouldy in Hungarian dish (4,10)
BEEF STROGANOFF: an anagram (turning) of FORGET BEANS followed by an adjective meaning mouldy or rotten.

9a Devise new layout for tamer novel (8)
REFORMAT: an anagram (novel) of FOR TAMER.

10a Sample of non-inflammable reversible silk fabric (5)
NINON: this silk dress fabric (new to me) is hidden in reverse in the clue.

12a Sorry trail’s end has been lost, backtracking (4)
OOPS: reverse the trail of an animal without its last letter.

13a Simultaneously going my way? (2,8)
IN PARALLEL: I think this is a double definition with the first meaning ‘at the same time’ and the second ‘proceeding alongside’.

15a One gets power from these rabbit items on the menu (3,5)
GAS MAINS: stick together a verb to rabbit and courses which are neither starters nor sweets.

16a One is writer with odd feet (6)
IAMBIC: split the answer 1,2,3 and one could be claiming to be a specific make of pen.

18a Tidies formal afterthought (6)
PRIMPS: charade of an adjective meaning formal or strait-laced and the abbreviation for an afterthought or late addition.

20a Stan grabs Ollie carelessly losing back-end of pantomime horse (8)
STALLION: Stan contains an anagram (carelessly) of OLLI[e] without the final letter of pantomime.

23a Cries: ‘Supply food!’ Sausages or ice cream perhaps to be delivered (10)
CATERWAULS: a verb to supply food is followed by what sounds like (to be delivered) a make of sausages or ice-cream (from two different companies with the same name).

24a What can be regularly spotted among buffoons? (4)
UFOS: a semi-all-in-one – select regular letters from ‘buffoons’.

26a Yum, a mighty absorbing tastebud tickler (5)
UMAMI: hidden in the clue.

27a What Cliff could shout out in each of six decades — it’s a record (3,5)
EYE CHART: this sounds like what the recently enriched (at our expense) Mr Richard could boast in each of six decades. I’m not sure how the answer is a record but it is a list.

28a Differentiate between scallion and shallot to show familiarity with the subject (4,4,6)
KNOW ONE’S ONIONS: literally this could mean to be able to differentiate between the items mentioned. I have corrected the enumeration which is wrong on the on-line site.

Down Clues

2d Old, old bottles, in other words lacking spares (7)
EXEMPTS: a prefix meaning old is followed by bottles minus their contents and also minus the abbreviation meaning ‘in other words’.

3d Check filling for pesto panini (4)
STOP: hidden.

4d Contemplative being in a field? (8)
RUMINANT: double definition, the second being an animal such as a cow or sheep.

5d Baffled actor Wayne becomes batty here (6)
GOTHAM: Wayne is Bruce (not John, which was my initial thought) and the answer is where he becomes ‘batty’ (LOL). Fuse together a verb used informally to mean baffled or stumped and a second-rate actor.

6d Order ban on latex to be unlevied (3-7)
NON-TAXABLE: an anagram (order) of BAN ON LATEX.

7d Cool card representing devotional organisation (3,4)
FAN CLUB: bring together a verb to cool and one of thirteen cards in a pack.

8d Religion is manacling misbehaving (11)
ANGLICANISM: an anagram (misbehaving) of IS MANACLING.

11d Avoid lift in American truck (5,4-2)
DODGE PICK-UP: charade of a verb to avoid and a phrasal verb (4,2) to lift.

14d Flimsy scenery, reportedly, for profitable screening? (3-3-4)
PAY-PER-VIEW: what sounds like a flimsy is followed by a synonym of scenery or vista.

17d Wrongdoers chatter on board (8)
STALKERS: chatter here is a noun so we want someone who chatters inside the usual abbreviation for ship.

19d Split where 19th-century humor can be found (2,5)
IN TWAIN: the spelling of humor is Petitjean’s hint as to the nationality of the author where said humor can be found.

21d Arrive at not so hot spot (7)
INFERNO: solder together a verb to arrive at or surmise and a response meaning ‘not so’.

22d Stuff consumed in all quarters but west (6)
SATEEN: put a verb meaning consumed inside three cardinal points.

25d Pal wanting a bit of a jaw (4)
CHIN: the Cockney rhyming slang for a pal without its A.

There are many clues I could have ‘liked’ but I’ll go for 15a, 24a, 2d, 7d and 19d. My favourite, however, has to be the delightful 5d. Do let us know which one(s) earned your admiration.

21 comments on “Toughie 2077

  1. Another brilliant Petitjean Toughie – a joy from start to finish – I marked off quite a few clues for stardom – including those listed by Gazza at the end of the review. My favourite however has to be the one where I laughed out loud when I realised what ‘sausages or ice cream’ referred to in 23a

    Thanks to Gazza for the explanations and to the keepers of the wonderful Petitjean legacy – it is going to be a sad day indeed when we come to the end of the collection

  2. I have said before that If I knew in advance that a Toughie was set by Petitjean I would probably pass on it. I did know that this was a Petitjean; however, because of the success I have had solving Petitjean puzzles when I didn’t know that he was the setter I decided to give it a go and I am glad that I did.

    A very enjoyable experience which was a bit of a ‘shotgun’ solve – a couple of acrosses in different corners followed by a couple of downs and so on to result in ***/****.

    Standout favourite – 19d!

    Thanks to the Petitjean ‘keepers’ and Gazza.

  3. Cliff Richard was knighted and it is incorrect to call him Mr. In addition he was disgracefully treated by the BBC and deserves every penny of the damages that he was awarded. The BBC typically has never expressed any real regret for their behaviour.

    1. We’re all entitled to our opinion but we don’t all have to agree. I’m more interested in what you thought of the crossword.

      1. Yes, though years of rumours should be quashed as I met him a couple of times when my mother dated him secretly in early 60’s

  4. ** for me too. Steady enjoyable solve.
    Did nt know 10 & 26 but they had to be.
    Can’t see how talk becomes talker + chart / record , but minor grouch.
    Maybe cos no one else has done it?
    Thanks Gazza. Like the pic for 7d. Agreed

  5. Thanks to Gazza for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, Petitjean is sadly missed. Great entertainment. Too tough for me, needed 10 hints to finish. Favourite was 1a. Was 5*/4* for me.

  6. Very enjoyable indeed , although the spelling of Humor was way too subtle for a poor speller like me .
    I thought 23a might have had a number by Van the Man , my favourite caterwauler .
    Belated thanks to Petitjean and also to Gazza.

  7. 28 across in the online version gives the numbering as (4,5,6) which threw me a bit! Luckily I knew my onions

    Hooray for petitjohn, good crossy today, thanks gazza

    I’m totally different on the difficulties so far this week from the ‘splainers, weird

  8. Excellent fun from start to finish. Not a quick solve for me but chuckles all the way.
    Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

  9. I missed out on 5D, and the subtlety of American spelling of humour was lost on me, of course. But a lovely puzzle, though I found it a bit tricky. 23A and 2D are my picks. Homage to Petitjean, and thanks to Gazza for the review.

  10. I don’t often attempt the Toughie but I have to say I didn’t find this very edifying and I may continue stick to the Cryptics in future.

  11. Quite tricky I thought, with a few unknowns (to me) giving some grief at the close – 19d chief among them. Are 15ac a source of power? I suppose so, though it didn’t really leap to mind. Surely 8d isn’t a religion, or so my RE teacher insisted back in the day?

  12. Lovely to see this compiler again. I really enjoyed it.

    Once again I raise a glass to Petitjean — bravo! — and many thanks also to Gazza.

  13. I didn’t get a chance to look at this yesterday but I wasn’t going to let a PJ puzzle slip through my fingers, and I’m very glad I didn’t. What splendid entertainment it proved to be with lots of laughs and displaying all his usual quirkiness. I looked suspiciously at the spelling of “humor” in 5d until I realised the signficance.

    23a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the keepers of the Petitjean legacy and to Gazza.

    1. Wikipedia agrees with you although Google reveals the existence of various Hungarian recipes for the dish.

  14. Like RD didn’t have much time yesterday but a PJ has to be done. What a off-the-wall set of clues. I’ve got to mention12a, 15a, 16a, and 5d. And I can’t split 23a and 19d for gold medal spot. More please.

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