Toughie 2093 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2093

Toughie No 2093 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Another thoroughly enjoyable puzzle from the canon of works left to us by the late Petitjean – how lucky we are. This one has rather a large number of anagrams which I know will please some solvers.

I’ve given the puzzle four stars for difficulty purely due to the time I spent wrestling with the parsing of 13d.

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

Across Clues

1a Girl sounding like a needy child (4)
MIMI: split the answer 2,2 to get what sounds like the insistent demand of a needy child.

3a Coastal rock climber wanting Accident & Emergency to get stitched? (5)
SEWED: start with some slimy stuff that grows on coastal rocks and remove, separately, the two letters forming the abbreviation for Accident & Emergency.

6a Work stopping the setter’s sulk (4)
MOPE: insert our usual abbreviation for an artistic work in the objective pronoun the setter would use for himself.

8a Caution: oil spill in resort causing mirage (7,8)
OPTICAL ILLUSION: an anagram (in resort) of CAUTION OIL SPILL.

9a Wicked elements in thoughts in full flow (6)
SINFUL: the first of today’s lurkers.

10a Up to eighteen AA members aim to be this (8)
TEETOTAL: split 3,5 this could be up to eighteen on a golf course.

11a Accommodating the last word on Bale being transferred (8)
AMENABLE: stick together the final word in a Christian prayer and an anagram (being transferred) of BALE.

13a Discordant energised vocal is contemporary (6)
COEVAL: an anagram (discordant) of VOCAL which is ‘energised’, i.e. has the abbreviation for energy inserted.

15a Fruit in oddly fey sculpture (6)
EFFIGY: insert a type of fruit in an anagram (oddly) of FEY.

17a Rocky ignobly in need of oxygen facing US fighter with a sneer (8)
GIBINGLY: an anagram (rocky) of IGN[o]BLY without the chemical symbol for oxygen follows the abbreviation for a US private soldier. Our fourth anagram in a row.

19a Clean up in this with a book in display left (8)
WASHBOWL: start with the abbreviation for ‘with’ and A then insert the abbreviation for book into a display or exhibition. Finally append the abbreviation for left.

21a Bar horse restraint? Nothing in it (6)
LOUNGE: a long rope used to train horses contains the letter that resembles zero.

22a Happy as Ma Jarrett’s boy meeting his fate? (2,3,2,3,5)
ON TOP OF THE WORLD: I recognised this as a quotation from a James Cagney character and thought it came from ‘Angels with Dirty Faces’ but a bit of Googling reveals that it’s actually from ‘White Heat‘.

23a Smear in unfinished book promo? (4)
BLUR: remove the last letter from the hype used to promote a book. Have you ever seen ‘Now a minor motion picture’ on a book cover?

24a Doing nothing out of order — it’s part of Australian nature (5)
DINGO: start with ‘doing’ and move the letter resembling zero to a different place. One way of not counting a clue as an anagram?


25a Talk drunkenly and suck up, not quietly (4)
SLUR: a verb to suck up (soup for example) noisily loses the musical abbreviation for quietly.

Down Clues

1d Rock drummer’s habit revealed dark side? (9)
MOONSCAPE: the surname of The Who’s late drummer and the ‘S followed by a habit or garment.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d Can East block West’s early show (7)
MATINEE: a synonym of can and the abbreviation for East go inside the forename of Ms. West.

3d Newmarket worker maybe in firm with rowdy uprising (6,3)
STABLE BOY: Newmarket is the headquarters of British horseracing. Stick together an adjective meaning firm or steady and the reversal of an informal word for a rowdy or lout.

4d Cockney’s three-piece with half missing? Blow it! (7)
WHISTLE: the first word only of the Cockney rhyming slang for a suit of clothes.

5d Stop idol celebrant’s intrusion (5)
DOLCE: our second lurker is an organ stop.

6d Make a hash with duck in medium serving after carving (9)
MISGOVERN: start with the abbreviation for medium in clothes sizes and add an anagram (after carving) of SERVING containing what resembles a duck in cricket.

7d Article supporting publicity or thanks respectively (3,4)
PRO RATA: an indefinite article follows the abbreviation for publicity and OR, then we finish with a short informal word of thanks.

12d Animalistic noise beginning to bedevil our local (9)
NEIGHBOUR: knit together the noise made by a four-legged beast, the first letter of bedevil and OUR.

13d About Nijinsky, possibly, without the Spanish gentleman (9)
CABALLERO: cement together a two-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately and ‘ballet hero’ (the dancer Nijinsky possibly) without the ‘the’. Although the answer was obvious from the definition trying to establish the wordplay took me longer than the rest of the puzzle put together. Having failed to come up with a satisfactory parsing I phoned a friend – so many thanks to Crypticsue for explaining how it works.

14d Amateur working on Sunday‘s brew of a dryer ale (3,6)
LAY READER: an anagram (brew) of A DRYER ALE gives us someone who doesn’t wear a dog collar but is allowed to preach in the Anglican Church.

16d Fallen out over name for blarney (7)
FLANNEL: an anagram (out) of FALLEN contains the abbreviation for name. Conventionally ‘over’ in a down clue means ‘on top of’ rather than ‘around’.

17d Colourless, odourless, tasteless ingredient turning up in linguini taleggio? (7)
GELATIN: our third and final lurker but this one’s in reverse.

18d Enlarge crackers for big cheese (7)
GENERAL: an anagram (crackers) of ENLARGE.

20d Look out for identity in moulding that’s elliptical (5)
OVOID: start with a rounded moulding in architecture and change the exclamation meaning look or behold to an abbreviation for identity.

I gave ticks today to 1a, 3a, 17a (mainly for the surface) and 2d. Do let us know which one(s) appealed to you.

20 comments on “Toughie 2093

  1. Another splendid treat from the Petitjean legacy- lots to enjoy but for a change I’ll just highlight the clue I didn’t like very much – 3a

    Thanks to the treasure keepers and to Gazza

  2. 1a was my first and last in, as I had it wrong the first time. I had ‘Mona’ as in ‘Mona Lott’ (sorry for the elderly reference!). I gave up trying to parse 13d.

  3. PJ puzzles are always a treat and I found this one particularly enjoyable.
    I did have to check with the BRB over the definition of ‘contemporary’ and for confirmation of the architectural moulding and confess that 22a required reverse parsing – I thought I’d seen the film but maybe not.

    Like Gazza, 13d was my last to justify – mainly because my Nijinski refused to be anything other than a horse for a long time – but I gave myself a pat on the back for realising how it worked once the penny had dropped.

    My favourite was 10a with a broad smile for 4d.

    Many thanks to the keepers of the legacy and to Gazza for another excellent blog.

  4. For a change had some time on my hands so thought I would try the toughie.
    Gradually worked my way through with the aid of lurkers, anagrams and some reverse parsing.
    The NE sector seemed to take ages as 13a was a new word and I wanted to put casual in , never mind got there in the end.
    Have to agree with a ****/****.
    Liked 3a and 13d when I had enough fodder to create the definition, like Jane the horse rode a long race.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza .

  5. I thought this was another wonderful Petitjean puzzle. In 13d, the ballet dancer was the first reference that I thought of, but the ‘hero’ part never came to me and so I needed Gazza’s review to understand how the parsing worked. I did not get 13a and should have, and I had no knowledge of the movie in 22a, and even with all the checkers, I was not able to reconstruct the quote. Many thanks to Petitjean (may there be many more hiding in the wings) and to Gazza as always.

  6. Thanks gazza, I needed your parsing for 22a, not a film I’ve seen although the final scene does sound familiar, a and for 13d, where I was trying to include THE as needed but I was looking for a word meaning male bellerina – I guess there isn’t one?

    I was ticked by the simple 18a, and I liked 14a

    How nice to continue to be treated to Petitjean puzzles.

    1. Like you I was looking for a male dancer – ballerino is one apparently, but I couldn’t make that work. I tried inserting ‘the’ and all the possible Spanish definite articles into ‘ballero’ in vain. One of the first I considered was ‘ballethero’ but never thought of splitting that into two words until CS came to my rescue.

      1. That was a very hard clue I thought, though I’m not sure it was really intended to be.

        As others have said, so lovely to be treated to yet more PJ puzzles.

        Thanks to PJ, RIP, and to Gazza for his usual splendid revelatory writings.

  7. No Mrs Sheffieldsy involved today so pleased to report I thought it was 3*/4*.

    Massive fun as Petitjean puzzles always are. My favourite was 12d – PJ through and through, with 2d close behind for precisely the same reason.

    Thanks to Gazza (plus CS for penetrating the seemingly impenetrable 13d) and Petitjean. Truly it will be a sad day when there are no more of these.

  8. We needed Google help with the GK needed for both 1d and 22a and did not manage to sort out the wordplay for 13d.
    Most enjoyable and much appreciated.
    Thanks to those who made it available and Gazza.

  9. 22ac prompted a trip to Google and then Wikipedia here too, though with a few more checking letters I suppose I would have got it. But the lure of that nice long answer, and subsequent checking letters was too much. 9ac could have done with a second look – what’s “flow” doing at the end? But I enjoyed the rest even if some went in on a bit of a wing and a prayer. Fingers crossed we still have many more to come from the archive.

  10. For my part Google was needed to check if 17a was a word.
    Totally on the right wavelength for the rest finishing with 6d and 13a.
    1a made me laugh.
    Favourite 24a.
    Thanks to PJ and to Gazza.

  11. Well my offering has got lost in the ether but I did get 22a despite never having heard of Ma Jarrett and I did not get 1d as I don’t know any rock drummers. I think 19a is an ugly word but that’s just me. Thanks to everyone. The paper fell into the bath again, clumsiness not falling asleep, so I may be sadly lacking in the fashion stakes.

  12. Didn’t have time to complete this yesterday, but finished up this morning. I didn’t realise it was a PJ until logging on here – should have known because the puzzle was delightful. Hope there are many more in the archive – any clues CS? I had to confirm 17a electronically. I liked 1a and 1d with 4d being my favourite.

    1. Back in May the Crossword Editor posted a comment saying You’ll be pleased to hear that the legacy still has a bit to go before it is exhausted.

      Depends how long ‘a bit’ is, I suppose

      1. Thanks Sue – I knew you would know . As you say, the length of that bit of string i unknown. But still, good news that there should be more to come.

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