Toughie No 100 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 100

Toughie No 100 by Myops

The landmark 100th Toughie lived up to its name

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

Was it as good as last Friday’s?  Not quite, but a good puzzle nevertheless.  I found it difficult to get started, and had to fight my way out of the bottom right-hand corner.

I hope these were worth waiting for:


1a A motorist should engage it sitting (6)
A double definition – what a motorist should engage before changing gear; a hen sitting on eggs

4a Early English subsuming Augustan poet’s epic (6)
E(arly) E(nglish) around POPE (Augustus was a Pope, many years ago) giving a word meaning an epic poem

8a Relaxing with eleven endlessly to watch the box (8).
This is an anagram (relaxing) of WIT(h) ELEVE(n) (with eleven endlessly / without the last letter of each word) giving a word for watching television

10a Treatment of arts that is Juvenal’s forte (6)
An anagram (treatment) of ARTS IE (that is) giving the forte of the Roman poet Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, known in English as Juvenal

11a Determined to have no need of love or money (4)
FUND (money) – F(o)UND (determined) without the “o” (to have no need of love)

12a Faulty wiring in what could be disastrous for vehicle manufacturer (10)
A very neat pair of anagrams of WIRING (faulty) inside WHAT (could be disastrous) giving the manufacturer of vary old vehicles, from the time of John Constable

13a Criminal grants (copper reflected) his way’s hard proverbially (12)
An anagram (criminal) of GRANTS precedes ROSSER (a term for a policemen, more usually spelt rozzer) reversed (reflected) giving a synonym for a sinner
(his way is hard, proverbially)

16a Cut-offs for cyclists and other road users (5-7)
PEDAL-PUSHERS could be another name for cyclists, and is a name for women’s trousers reaching just below the knee (cut-offs)

20a Shot Seve’d “urned” but not earned (10)
An anagram (shot) of SEVE’D URNED giving a synonym for not earned

21a Ready for Gym after Scripture (4)
PE (gym) after RI (Religious Instruction / Scripture)

22a Idle fancy by American composer (6)
An anagram (fancy) of IDLE before US (American) giving an English composerit’s a strange fact that some of the best English composers, like Holst, have very non-English surnames

23a Star rode around in open car (8).
An anagram (around) of STAR RODE giving an open car, like Bergerac used to drive

24a Moral Rearmament adopts a text for meditation (6)
MANTRA (text for meditation) – MRA (Moral ReArmament) around (adopts) NT (New Testament)

25a Constant? Too much in New York’s complicated (6)
K (Boltzmann constant in physics or velocity constant in chemistry) with OTT (Over The Top / too much) inside NY (New York’) giving a word that means complicated


1d Noisy game in country house (8).
The Prime Minister’s residence near Princes Risborough (country house) – sounds like (noisy) the American name for the game of draughts

2d Air-trap you see very little of under basin, on purpose (1-4)
The initial letters of Under Basin (you see very little of) then END (purpose) giving an air-trap

3d Women aching to exchange gossip (7)
A anagram (to exchange) of W(omen) ACHING to give a colloquial word for gossip

5d A sweep’s a way of making money (7)
PESEWAS (money – 1/100 of a cedi – today 1 British Pound = 20,312.9 Ghanaian Cedi, so we are not talking a lot of money!!) – an anagram (a way of making) A SWEEPS

6d Lot say altered definition of 2 Chambers has initially (9)
An anagram (altered) of AIR TRAP (definition of 2 down) then Chambers Has (initially) giving a description of Lot, the nephew of Abrahamnote how the word Lot begins the clue to disguise the fact that it needs to have a capital L

7d They are not quite refined or unrefined (6)
An anagram (refined) of THEY AR(e) (not quite they are) giving a word meaning unrefined

9d School leavers with one who’d sell them out (5,6)
WHITE SLAVER (who’d sell them out) – an anagram (school) of LEAVERS preceded by WHIT (one / the smallest particle imaginable)

14d Name one of the Muses of logarithms (9)
My favourite clue in this puzzle, by a short head – N(ame) A (one) with a word meaning coming from the home of the Muses giving a type of logarithm

15d Useless trifles: QI chairman accepts Pied Piper (8).
The name of the presenter of the TV program QI around (accepts) an anagram (pied) of PIPER gives useless trifles (which is what the program is all about) – I wonder what Dr B will make of this one!!

17d One who puts clothes on sideboard (7)
A double definition, and, by a long way, the weakest clue in this puzzle

18d Awful pun about tie being raised to a higher level (7)
An anagram (awful) of PUN around a synonym for a tie in, say, a football match (soccer to you Dr B – it’s not allowed to happen in the American version) giving a clumsy word for raised to a higher level

19d Archbishop of Canterbury is surprisingly male non smoker (6)
An anagram (surprisingly) of MALE and NS (non smoker) gives the name of a former Archbishop of Canterbury

21d Trees trained to form fence (5)
A simple little anagram (trained) of TREES to give a Scottish name for a receiver of stolen goods (fence) a Scottish word meaning to receive (or fence) stolen goods

A very enjoyable puzzle, sorry I made you wait, but I enjoy writing up the better puzzles so it takes a little longer.

Please leave your comments, especially to say what you thought of this one.

3 comments on “Toughie No 100

  1. A good challenge. The Scots fence was new to me. If I’m reading Chambers right, it has to be the verb rather than noun meaning – i.e. “to receive stolen goods”. Pesewas was also new – I await a clue based on changing one letter in pesetas…

  2. You’re being a bit hard on yourself – the DSL has “II. 3. A person who affords shelter to a fugitive, esp. one proscribed by the law; a resetter (of a criminal); a receiver of stolen property.”

    But I’d hope that apart from proper nouns, Toughie setters would restrict themselves to the meanings in Chambers or other one-volume dictionaries. The website information about the DSL talks about combining the content of one twelve-volume dictionary and one ten-volume one – a mighty dictionary, but rather too much power to put in a setter’s hands!

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