Toughie No 115 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 115

Toughie No 115 by Campbell

A good mix of easy and hard clues for this Toughie

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

This was a pleasant enjoyable puzzle which was a little above the average difficulty for a Toughie .  The usual Toughie mix of familiar and unfamiliar words, with a smile or two along the way!


1a Crackling sound in moving pictures (8)

{CREPITUS} – an anagram (moving) of PICTURES gives this word which, according to Chamber’s, means the grating sound produced when an arthritic joint is moved; Webster’s adds the rather more interesting alternative of the noise produced by a sudden discharge of wind from the bowels

9a Dress fabric macaroni ruined (8)

{MAROCAIN} – an anagram (ruined) of MACARONI gives a dress fabric finished with a grain surface like morocco leather

10a Flag officer (6)

{ENSIGN} – a double definition that is very similar to a clue in DT 25877

11a Fine cook, Betty, I suspect (7-3)

{TICKETY-BOO} – a lovely anagram (suspect) of COOK BETTY I gives an informal word for fine, satisfactory – certainly my favourite in this puzzle

12a A nominated American film (7)

{AMADEUS} – A MADE (a nominated) US (American) for a film about Mozart – the use of made as a synonym for nominated just about works because of the context of “made American”

14a London district featured in ‘Marnie’, at first always fine and dry (7)

{MAYFAIR} – M(arnie, at first) then AY (always – mainly used in Scotland and Northern England) and a word used to describe weather that is fine and dry give an upmarket London district

16a Duke during banquet points to gong (5)

{MEDAL} – D(uke) inside dinner (banquet) gives a reward for merit

17a Make runs in team (5)

{BRAND} – R(uns) inside a team of, say, musicians gives a trademark (make)

18a Select English, low in calories (5)

{ELITE} – E(nglish) together with a term which is used to describe products that are low in calories gives a word meaning those chosen (select)

20a Grass – an informant initially arrested by policeman (5)

{PANIC} – AN I(informant, initially) inside (arrested by) PC (police constable / policeman) to give a type of grass – or an expression associated with Sergeant Corporal Lance Corporal Jones!

22a Implanted in Cyborg, a no-nonsense set of principles (7)

{ORGANON} – this set of principles is hidden (implanted in) CybORG A NO-Nonsense

24a One associated with Queen, happy to receive copper (7)

{MERCURY} – MERRY (happy) around (to receive) the chemical symbol for copper gives us a the late, great Freddy of the group Queen – you are meant to think it’s a member of the Royal household!

26a Both rather embarrassed dreamboat (5-5)

{HEART-THROB} – I like this anagram (embarrassed) of BOTH RATHER for a dreamboat

27a Old magistrate, shrewd one mostly (6)

{ARCHON} – a charade of ARCH (shrewd) and ON (One, mostly) means that you can work out this old magistrate and then look him up in Chamber’s

28a Playwright managed to drink a dry one with drop of ginger (8)

{RATTIGAN} – RAN (managed) around (to drink) A and TT (teetotaller / dry) and I (one) and G (drop of Ginger) giving a playright who is very popular with crossword setters

29a Meet ogre, eccentric mathematician (8)

(GEOMETER} – to finish the across clues, an anagram (eccentric) of meet ogre gives us a mathematician


2d One making demands of children’s author right afterwards (8)

{RANSOMER} – the author of such children’s books as Swallows and Amazons then (afterwards) R(ight) gives someone who extorts a price in return for someone or something that they have taken (one making demands)

3d Prince seen with one star singer or another (5,5)

{PRIMA DONNA} – PR(ince) in a duet with I  MADONNA (one star singer) gives another singer

4d Tense worker’s odd fit of temper (7)

{TANTRUM} – a fairly easy charade of T(ense) ANT (worker) and RUM (odd)  gives a fit of temper – see Libellule’s comment below

5d Loud kiss from medium in bed (5)

{SMACK} – M(edium) inside the SACK (bed) for a loud kiss

6d Holloway team finds weapons (7)

{ARSENAL} – a double definition – a North London football club (whose name and that of their manager both start with the same very appropriate four-letter word); a weapon store

7d Greek character, one American ejected from dance (6)

{LAMBDA} – take a dance craze from the eighties and remove one of the three As (one American ejected) to give a Greek character – you know what I’m going to say: it’s in The Mine!

8d Heading in the right direction to find large hall with no roof (2,6)

{ON COURSE} – a large hall or open space, especially in a railway station or airport, without the first letter (with no roof) gives phrase meaning heading in the right direction

13d Irishman entertaining daughter in saloon (5)

{SEDAN} – this Irishman is not the usual Pat or Paddy, but SEAN; he is around (entertaining) D(aughter) to give a word meaning a saloon-car, especially in North America

14d Large racing yacht, millions as a rule (5)

{MAXIM} – MAXI (large racing yacht) and M(illions) give a rule

15d Satisfied, company producing a Michael Palin documentary (4,6)

{FULL CIRCLE} – FULL (satisfied) and CIRCLE (company) give one of the many documentaries by Michael Palin

17d Holiday booklet showing brother on river rounding church (8)

{BROCHURE} – BRO(ther) and URE (river) around CH(urch) for a publication advertising holidays

19d Go on alone in plant (8)

{TURNSOLE} – TURN (go) and SOLE (alone) combine to give a plant whose flowers are supposed to face the sun

20d Transport in harbour – get on (7)

{PORTAGE} – yet another charade – PORT (harbour) and AGE (get on) give a word meaning to transport goods or boats overland between waterways

21d Harpsichord in church left blocking ornate ambo (7)

{CEMBALO} – CH(urch) then L(eft) in an anagram (ornate) of AMBO together give another name for the harpsichord

23d The River Cam’s present area? (6)

{GRANTA} – a charade (yes, another one) of GRANT (present) and A(rea) give another name fot the River Cam

25d Wide round screw (5)

{WRING} – W(ide) and RING (round) are our final charade

Having used the term charade so often in this review, an explanation for those who are not familiar with terms used for types of clue:

A charade is a clue which builds the answer syllable by syllable, or sometimes letter by letter, in a similar way to the game of Charades.

I am planning a small guide to terms like charade, &lit, anagram etc. – watch this space.

If all you need are the answers click here:

9 comments on “Toughie No 115

  1. Is it just me – or has anybody else noticed the similarity of 4d in the Toughie 115 to 19d in 25881?

  2. I liked 14 ac – Marnie is one of my favourite Hitchcock films, but sadly not set in Mayfair, which would have made the clue even better!

  3. The original book was set in England, but I couldn’t find a comprehensive synopsis.

    A piece of useless trivia – while Tippi Hedren was giving birth to Melanie Griffith, Marilyn Monroe was having a miscarriage in the same hospital.

  4. I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t mentioned it – you can say the most outrageous things about some of the clues (like 6 down) and not a murmur results, but get your facts wrong on Dad’s Army and all hell breaks out!!

  5. It was taken in the spirit it was offered – I need to cut back on my use of irony, as it comes over better in the spoken word than it does in the written!!

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