Toughie No 93 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 93

Toughie No 93 by Jed

A nice easy-going puzzle

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

You may have noticed yesterday that I made a complete hash of the wordplay for 23 down, although I did say that I was open to better interpretations.  Well, someone did post a far better interpretation, and it was two hours before I tumbled that we had been privileged to receive a fleeting visit from Firefly, yesterday’s setter.

If you have never tackled a Toughie before, then this one would be a good one with which to start, as there are no obscure words and the clues are straightforward – and you’ve got the hints below if you get stuck!


1a Get new equipment thief returned (6)
The thief is the kind that steals from shops during a riot – turn him round and you have the answer

5a Kind of North American girl put in prison there (8 )
Nadia (girl) inside can (prison in North America)

9a Composing music for baby (10)
Another word for a lullaby – this one is by Brahms

10a Constable gallery ultimately revealed as fake (4)
Cop (constable) + (galler)y

11a Courteous and kind – what a surprise! (8 )
Double meaning – the second meaning always reminds me of Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren

12a Dictator producing extremely testy diatribe (6)
Ty (extremely testy) + rant (diatribe)

13a Overhead lighting for painting of John, Paul, or George (4)
They are all saints – so what is usually around their heads in a painting (is there a St Ringo?)

15a Argument with Tory leader in airport (8 )
(Ted) Heath (Tory leader) + row (argument)

18a Bad person wrongly reviled, hiding nothing (8 )
An anagram (wrongly) of reviled around o (nothing)

19a For example, private row (4)
Other examples would be corporal, sergeant, captain, giving a synonym for row

21a Take everything out of a French team’s forwards (6)
Un (a, French) pack (forwards in a rugby team)

23a Saint in charge, leading a church (8 )
(Saint) Basil + ic (in charge) + a

25a Case for diamonds, say (4)
Or clubs, hearts, spades

26a Caution after initial moves, always, for one with lots to offer (10)
Auction (caution with the initial “c” moved) + eer (ever)

27a Headgear for ceremonies in Teddy’s family (8 )
Bears (Teddy’s) + kin (family)

28a Good forest or cultivated area (6)
G(ood) + the Forest of Arden


2d Person ruling on right or wrong act (5)
ER (person ruling – Elizabeth Regina) r (ight) or

3d Traditional types ‘ave in ‘and a lot of fish (3,6)
Old (‘ave in ‘and – (h)old) school (a lot of fish)

4d To hide out, sleep in the basement? (3,3)
Lie (sleep) low (in the basement)

5d Get to other side of stream and burn one’s boats (5,3,7)
Double meaning phrase – Julius Caesar did this

6d Drink that goes to one’s head at day’s end (8 )
Another double meaning, a late night drink or something you could wear on your head at night

7d Style used in abode? Correct (5)
Hidden (used in) the clue

8d High-altitude instrument in plane malfunctioning over cape (9)
An anagram (malfunctioning) of plane over (Cape) Horn

14d Something that may come out of one’s mouth about very exciting experience (9)
Advent (something that may come) + u (out of one’s (mo)u(th)) + re (about) giving a very exciting experience

16d Person with strong views found in stern on ship (9)
Hard (stern) on liner (ship)

17d Reminder for reader in part of Bible, one of the gospels (8 )
Book (part of the Bible) Mark (one of the gospels)

20d Submitting a petition, like Martin Luther (6)
As (like) (Martin Luther) King

22d Some financial targets shown in table (5)
Hidden (some) in the clue

24d Town in Western surrounded by Indians (5)
W(estern) inside (surrounded by) Cree (Indians)

It’s been a bit of a rush today as it’s Mrs BD’s birthday (a significant one, but she won’t let me tell you which!) and we are off out to lunch at the Swan Inn (see picture at the top of this page, and in the Gallery).

Feel free to leave comments – especially Jed, if you’re out there!!

3 comments on “Toughie No 93

  1. This one took me 6:16. Maybe I hooked uo to Jed’s wavelength quickly (and gettting three of the first four acrosses on first look helps a lot), but I’ll guess that this was easier than the main puzzle for a fair number of solvers. If they’re still billing this puzzle as “the toughest in Fleet Street” or similar, they need to look at ones like today’s Times – not absurdly hard, but considerably tougher than this.

  2. As usual, got stuck on one 4 letter word, 19a, then I realised I had put headliner instead of hardliner at 16d. Thanks again Dave.

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