Guest Puzzle 4 by Panthera

August 25, 2019

Another Bank Holiday weekend rolls round, and with it another in our sporadic series of guest puzzles. Something a little trickier this time, and one a little saucy in places too. It’s a pangram, though I didn’t notice until I’d finished. No Nina or theme that I can see, but I’m notoriously bad at spotting either. I imagine there’ll be some debate about 6d and 14d, both inventive, as is the (extremely good) puzzle as a whole.

Talking of which, you can find it here:

COD? Much to like, which makes picking one a little tricky, but I’ll go with 15ac – “One article down – illuminating story about popular model is fit for publication (9)”.

But let me know what you thought.

And so, with warnings of spoilers ahead, being all the answers and parsing of the clues…





1 Toys owned by people of a particular kind? (7,7)
toys – STUFFED = “owned” (as in trounced, defeated completely) + (“by”) ANIMALS = “people of a particular kind?” (e.g. party animals)

9 Sick leave? Just take the week off! (3)

10 Exhibitionist spectacle from France (4-3)

11 Director caught with beefy eunuch? (3)
C + OX Presumably Alex Cox, who also did a series on cult films for the BBC donkeys years ago.

12 Umbrella breaks as a result of tackle hug catching one out, say? (7,8)
PACKAGE (= “tackle”) + HOL{I}D + *(AYS)

13 Source of job worries for interns? (5)

15 One article down – illuminating story about popular model is fit for publication (9)
Take the A from PARABLE, around IN + T (that old favourite of the crossword setter, the Model T Ford)

17 Much Ado About Nothing’s real grim when miscast (9)
An anagram of “real grim” about O

18 Schedule time for workshop (5)

19 Shoddily built, mostly ordinary tunnel, bar a bit of ingenious optics, perhaps providing some natural light? (15)
An anagram of BUILt and O + MINE + SCIENCE (“optics, perhaps”) minus the I. Very nicely done.

24 Panthera’s chasing a dream (3)

25 Expressed doubts about replacing area of College Green with lake? (7)
Replace the A in QUAD with ERIE

26 Vent put out a mix of gases (3)
A triple definition.

27 Non-drinker’s overwhelmed by booze here – he’s struggling to talk (5,3,6)
TT “overwhelmed by” an anagram of “booze here – he’s”.


1 Pinch (or just touch) chap’s bottom (5)

2 Opening without a key? Quite the opposite! (9)
UNBLOCKING minus the B (a key, musically). An &lit?

3 Following bones could lead you to this cat-like carnivore (5)
F OSSA This beast, and well done if you’d heard of it.

4 Upset after dumping hot nerd? Ho hum… (5)
An anagram of NERD + O

5 At first, escaped lion “goes cray-cray”, to use a new word (9)
An anagram of E + + LION + GOES. I assumed “cray-cray” was in fact a neologism, but apparently it’s an Americanism.

6 Government abandons bungling bank in recession, thus creating a “squeezed middle” phenomenon (6,3)
MUFFING minus the G + a reversal of TOP, and a very whimsical definition.

7 Potentially crass clothing material? (5)
A very nicely hidden word.

8 Real sex is tentative, for the most part (8)
And another one…

13 Rodent swallows disc on top of milk bottle (8)

14 According to reports, the government reject the idea that they could triumph in the current situation (6,3)
A homonym of STATE + US CROW? I’m not sure if this is incredibly clever or a stretch too far. Over to you.

15 Leading expert in heading off depression’s raked in millions (9)

16 Refuse to embrace current trend? Good idea! (9)

20 Rings on husband’s member might provide sex appeal? (5)
OO MP H. Ooer missus…

21 Cut off priest’s vacuous diatribe (5)
ELI + the first and last letters from “diatribe”. No, I didn’t know it either.

22 Programmer’s about to have another crack at getting promoted (5)
C + a reversal of REDO, but I’m guessing most solvers only needed the C.

23 Champion shuns acclaim? That’s strange… (5)
chEER + IE

5 Responses to “Guest Puzzle 4 by Panthera”

  1. dtw42 said

    Thanks JoW and Panthera!
    Well, I spotted that this had been posted late last night, so printed it off last thing before bed and made a start (of sorts) then. At that point I thought this was very difficult. Made better progress this morning and filled in the bottom two thirds, as well as 5 and 6dn. At that point I guessed that 1ac might be STUFFED ANIMALS though I couldn’t see why/how. With a bit of electronic assistance I finished the rest of it, but there were several I couldn’t parse (yes, including 14dn).
    There were quite a few clues to nod at, though: I liked 17, 25, 26, and 27ac, and 5, 6 and 13dn. Was fine with 21dn (common enough in linguistics, I think, to mean cutting letters out of a word). I took far too long to spot the two consecutive hiddens! “Beefy eunuch” got a chuckle when the penny finally dropped.

  2. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    11ac: isn’t the cox in a boat a director, of sorts, directing the eight when to pull (or whatever they do – I never rowed in my student days, I just remember hearing them shout “pull”, from the towpath if I was ever up early enough).

    I found this to be quite challenging, but very much on the rewarding side. There were a few where the word-play was tantalisingly just out of reach, in particular the long anagrams of STUFFED ANIMALS, BIOLUMINESCENCE and PACKAGE HOLIDAYS, which I got from the crossers and definitions only. And “cray-cray” in NEOLIGISE I hadn’t heard of. STATUS QUO I don’t get, either.

    All in all thoroughly enjoyable on a long weekend! Beefy eunuch my fsvourite! ☺

    Thanks to Panthera and to Jon.

  3. batarde said

    Thanks to setter and blogger both.

    This was my sixth crossword of the day (yes, I’m a glutton), the others all being from The Times and I think it’s safe to say that this one would not appear there. More of a Guardian vibe, and on a particularly libertarian day at that. There were several instances of over-reach in my opinion, but since I managed to solve it on screen in a reasonable sort of time without recourse to references it wouldn’t do to complain too much. Lots of potential here.

    I too took the Cox in question to be Alex, director of Repo Man – a film of which I am very fond indeed.

  4. Cornick said

    Many thanks Panthera, an excellent addition to the idothei series.
    Solved? Yes indeed, without course to dictionary or IT – although I did put in Fossi at first for the cat-like creature, which held me up for a long time on 12a.
    Enjoyed? Most definitely.
    So those are the two important things.
    Was it fully understood? Well, not quite. Cray-cray, Fossa, 14d, 23d plus a few like 12a and 19a took quite a bit of unpicking.
    So a good stiff challenge, with my favourites being 10a, 15a, 17a, 15d and top of the crop for me 25a.
    FWIW I took cox to be one who directs certain types of rowing boat.

  5. allan_c said

    Late to the party – a busy weekend meant I didn’t even download it till this morning. A bit tricky in places and a little electronic assistance required. That, and looking for a K to complete the pangram enabled me to get UNLOCKING, PACKAGE HOLIDAYS and SKIMP (three K’s in the end), my last ones in. And the parsing of COX had me puzzled till I checked ‘ox’ in Chambers and found “… esp a castrated male …” – surprising what you can learn from doing crosswords.
    Thanks, Panthera.

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