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Toughie 2184

Toughie No 2184 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

This is another superb puzzle from the late Petitjean (I hope that when they finally run out the Telegraph will publish them all in a book). Today we have the very witty 10a/15a pair, the funny 15d and a host of other clever and amusing clues. I thought it was a bit tougher than usual and ended up revealing a letter to get my last answer (9a, one of those pesky four-letter answers).

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

Across Clues

1a Regional producer of weight-loss programmes? (5,5)
LOCAL RADIO: cryptic definition. Split the first word 2-3 to see where the weight-loss comes in.

9a In report, responsibility is mine to some extent (4)
LODE: something that’s part of a mine sounds like a responsibility or burden.

10a Result of chafing when you’re up (6,4)
SADDLE SORE: up on horseback, that is.

11a Feel sorry to be winger right on the left (6)
REGRET: a fish-eating bird with the single-letter abbreviation for right to its left.

12a Malicious person with way of speaking in imperfect tense (7)
SERPENT: the abbreviation for the standard form of spoken English goes inside an anagram (imperfect) of TENSE.

15a Result of chafing when you’re not up (7)
BEDSORE: ‘not up’ means in your pit.

16a Spirit bottled in vintage Niersteiner (5)
GENIE: hidden in the clue.

17a Slow Tottenham’s No 2 dropped fast (4)
LENT: a musical instruction meaning slow without the second letter of Tottenham.

18a Farm boss (4)
STUD: double definition – the boss is a knob (to coin a phrase).

19a Censor opening of burlesque before strip? The reverse (5)
BLEEP: the first letter of burlesque followed by the reversal of a verb to strip or pare.

21a Pen capturing Pele’s character disorder sharply (7)
STEEPLY: an animal pen contains an anagram (has character disorder) of PELE.

22a Formula Three motor Hill’s abandoned disastrously (7)
THEOREM: an anagram (disastrously) of the second and third words of the clue once you’ve removed the falsely-capitalised hill.

24a Line missing from Delta singer’s boast is inspiring (6)
IMBUES: remove the abbreviation of line from what could be a Delta singer’s boast to be the personification of his/her style of singing (1’1,5).

27a Scheme of more delicate baroque composition lacking length and not for everyone (10)
SUBTERFUGE: stick together a comparative meaning more delicate or muted and a baroque style of musical composition. Now remove the abbreviation for length and one letter (the last of the three that you should now have) describing a film suitable for all ages.

28a Fancy lacy slip (4)
CLAY: an anagram (fancy) of LACY. Not a word I knew (though with the checkers in place there were only two possibilities) – Chambers says slip is “a creamy paste of clay and water for coating, decorating and casting pottery”.

29a From South Dakota, perhaps, halfway through ‘High Noon’ or ‘Django Unchained’, say (10)
MIDWESTERN: this could mean halfway through a film of the type exemplified by the two given in the clue.

Down Clues

2d Timeless old name for pudding wine that’s all right (4)
OKAY: Pudding wine is another term for a sweet dessert wine – we need the name for one of these (one originating from Hungary) then we have to remove the abbreviation for time. I presume that the name is ‘old’ because these days the name usually has ‘ji’ in place of the final letter.

3d Stands to reason dad brewed drink (4,2)
ADDS UP: an anagram (brewed) of DAD and a verb to drink.

4d Where fighters are seen boxing cry ‘Foul!’ (7)
REEKING: put a cry (one traditionally uttered at the sight of a mouse) inside where boxers perform.

5d Port of Dover greeting Arab sailer (4)
DHOW: the left-hand (port) letter of Dover followed by a greeting attributed to Native Americans.

6d Poetry in Old English guide (7)
OVERSEE: insert another word for poetry inside the abbreviation for Old English.

7d Upper-class Sally not one for being bored in bed (4-6)
FOUR-POSTER: FOR contains (being bored by) the letter used to mean upper-class or posh and a sally or retort without the Roman numeral for one.

8d Males entertaining at all-female party in hellish circumstances (10)
HEATHENDOM: two males (the first a pronoun, the second an abbreviation) contain AT and an all-female party (3,2).

12d Market stall spiel? (5,5)
SALES PITCH: cryptically this could be the place where a market stall is positioned.

13d Fast pulse? (6,4)
RUNNER BEAN: cryptic definition of something that can be eaten.

14d Familiar name for TV cop in seventies (5)
TELLY: double definition, the second being the forename of the actor playing a cop in the 1970s whose catchphrase was “Who loves ya, baby?”. I always preferred Columbo.

15d Weather temperature where privates get soaked (5)
BIDET: a verb to weather or endure followed by the abbreviation for temperature. LOL – I delayed writing in the answer for some time because I doubted whether such a clue would be allowed in the Telegraph.

19d Mature crowd getting over housing deprivation (7)
BLOSSOM: mature here is a verb. A crowd or gang is reversed and contains a deprivation or deficit.

20d Ring this person found in sound unit (7)
PHONEME: this is the smallest significant unit of sound in a language. Split it 5,2 to get a request to ring the speaker.

23d Ensemble‘s unfashionable sound (6)
OUTFIT: charade of an adverb meaning unfashionable and an adjective meaning sound or healthy.

25d Twice checking 1 Down ought to be in the same place (4)
IBID: the prefix meaning twice goes inside the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for down.

26d A fish in jelly (4)
AGAR: join together A and a pike-like fish.

Loads to like – the 10a/15a pair, 15d for the laugh, 7d and 12d. My favourite (for the very clever placing of TV) was 14d. Do let us know which one(s) had a side-splitting effect on you.

27 comments on “Toughie 2184

  1. Thanks to the Petitjean Legacy keepers and Gazza. I did know the ‘slip’ from Mr CS’s pottery making days

    Trickier that some Petitjean crosswords but the usual great entertainment value – I’d agree with 14d as favourite.

    I’d definitely buy a book full of Petitjean crosswords

    1. It wouldn’t take too much for the DT to publish a compendium of PJ puzzles if enough of us endorse it. Above all it could be a nice little earner for the organ in these cash strapped times for dead wood based publications.
      Thanks Gazza.

  2. Luckily I did not have much to do this morning, as this took me quite some time to complete. Actually, I did not manage to complete it, as I failed on 9a.

    A few took me a while to parse, especially 7d.

    Many thanks for another entertaining Petitjean puzzle, and to Gazza for the write-up.

  3. I agree with Gazza, somewhat tougher than some of the recent examples from the Petitjean vault but it did take less time and less head scratching than today’s Jay back pager. Completed at a fast canter – ***/****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 27a and 29a, and I think the coin would come down in favour of 29a.

    Thanks to the trustees of the Petitjean vault for continuing to release these masterpieces and to Gazza.

  4. First time I’ve managed a Petitjean. Have to agree, some of the clues are quite wonderful. I’d make a plea for 22ac as a favourite.
    Thanks to all.

  5. A few things I needed to check on post solve – the delta reference in 24a, the fact that 8d actually is a word and the definition of 20d. No problems with 28a as I remember it from the Antiques Road Trip.

    So much to savour with my podium places going to 1&19a plus 13&15d.

    Gratitude to PJ’s family once more and to Gazza for the blog.

  6. Lovely to have a genuinely witty [and quite tough] crossword with all the PJ idiosyncrasies. I, too failed on 9a.

    Favourite is 21a. Character disorder is so obvious and appropriate but why did it take me so long to see it and why haven’t I seen it used before?

    Thanks to the keepers of the flame and to Gazza for an excellent review [I assume one applies the product at 10a to the saddle?]

  7. Very entertaining puzzle.I hesitated at 15d too. 28a is a fair educational clue. Loved it, thanks to all.

  8. Proud to say that we resisted the temptation to reveal a letter for the pesky 9a and eventually the penny did drop for us.
    Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle all the way through.
    Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

  9. I agree with others in that this was a hugely enjoyable puzzle, and rather more difficult than other Petitjean toughies. For me it was several of the four letter words that were particularly challenging. I think my favourite is the ‘weather temperature’ in 15d. How wonderful it is to still be enjoying these puzzles. Many thanks to all.

  10. This was completely and utterly joyous and uplifting despite parts of it being quite tough. It took me an age to parse my answers to 24a & 19d, and I never did work out how 7d was put together. Thanks for explaining that Gazza; I could see that U needed to be put inside FOR but I was transfixed by only the first of the two Rs.

    I wasn’t sure if Port of Dover in 5d meant the left-hand letter or the opening of Dover, but I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

    I felt spoilt for choice when picking a favourite but in the end I decided to opt for 14d, with 1a & 15d joining it on the podium.

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

    1. Thought of you today RD

      My sister asked for a lift to the dentist next week, via a text message.

      I replied ‘no problem, just don’t let me forget!’

      She replied ‘I won’t thank you’

      At least it made me smile…

  11. I think there were 74 Toughies and 87 back-pagers for PJ.

    Just done a bit of research to discover who he was, and it seems he had a very interesting life, albeit somewhat curtailed. Many would swap for some of that, I’d wager!

  12. A super puzzle from the Pettijean collection. Thanks to Gazza for the review and hints. I had “steam radio” for 1a, so couldn’t get 2d. Failed on 9a. Had “idid” for 25d, so couldn’t get 27a. Even with the hint that was tough. I actually had heard of 28a. I liked 22a,13&13d, but my favourite was 8d, because I’d never heard of it, but eventually worked it out from the wordplay. Was 3*/4* for me.

  13. Terrific. We too failed on 9a but, if Gazza did, we’re in good company.

    Loved 15d and 29a – chuckles and penny drop moments all over the place.

    Thanks to a Gazza and PJ.

  14. I spotted 15d early on but, like Gazza, I hesitated before putting it in. However, when I reflect that my favourite crossword clue of all time (A third testicle? That’s unusual. ANSWER: Oddball) was in a backpager a few years ago, I think that the Telegraph can surprise us sometimes.

  15. An interesting, enjoyable puzzle that was also more than a little quirky, but in a good way. CLAY was new but could be nothing else. I didn’t follow 20d, and struggled with LODE for reasons that escape me now, but the rest fell steadily if not overly quickly, albeit a little too late for this sort of thing admittedly. That’s my excuse anyway…

  16. I had been looking forward to this one all week, and Petitjean did not let me down. Many fine, amusing clues. My favourite was 15d which contained his trademark hint of mischief. I would like also to join the club of those who would buy his collective works.

  17. Thanks, Gazza, for helping to bring Petijean’s entertainment to those of us who would otherwise have missed significant parts of it.

    25d would probably have really confused me if used in a puzzle that actually had a 1d in it! And this was another puzzle where I hadn’t heard of the required wine.

    I like 12a and 19a for how well they read. My favourite is 6d, for the fact that the word for guide really doesn’t sound like it has the word for poetry in it.

  18. I didn’t have much time to do this yesterday so not finished yet.

    I do think though that 1a is a great clue!!

    I’d also buy a book of PJ crosswords.

  19. Very tough and very very funny. I did actually complete this are silly o’clock last night, after getting home from playing skittles (except for having the wrong answer for 9a) but I’ve only just got round to checking the answers. Still 97% correct on a Petitjean toughie makes me happy. Many thanks to the trustees of the setter and to Gazza.

  20. It’s proving to be a busy week, but I couldn’t miss this.

    I had to research the clay and also failed on 9a, but the puzzle did not fail to be entertaining all round. Favourites include the 10a/15a pair and 15d.

    Many thanks all.

  21. I got stuck on the last 3 clues. I had 13d wrong – thought it was Lenten Bean

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