Toughie No 124 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 124

Toughie No 124 by Jed

One of the easier Toughies

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

After last Friday’s struggle, I found this one to be much easier.  As always when a puzzle contains four long answers, getting at least two of these early on is the key to success.


1a Irish writer trapping silly Charlie in futile enterprise (4,5,5)
{WILD GOOSE CHASE} –  the Irish writer is Oscar WILDE and he is around (trapping) GOOSE (silly) and CHAS (Charlie) to give a futile enterprise

9a It can be unorthodox for assembled ministers (7)
{CABINET} – unorthodox signals a clever anagram of IT CAN BE to give an assembled group of Government ministers

10a Day in a US prison for person from continent (7)
{AFRICAN} – not today, but FRI(day) is in A CAN (a US prison) to give a person from the Dark Continent

11a Yob left before getting dismissed (4)
{LOUT} – this yob comes from L(eft) and OUT (dismissed, particularly in cricket)

12a Cut off, some island is in her itinerary (10)
{DISINHERIT} – this word meaning to remove from a will (cut off) is hidden (some) in islanD IS IN HER ITinerary

14a Importance of women’s crew (6)
{WEIGHT} – a synonym for importance is found from W(omen) and the sort of crew that rowed in the Boat Race

15a They should pay landlord any rent, as arranged, on time (8)
{TENANTRY} – these people who should pay rent are an anagram (as arranged) of ANY RENT and T(ime)

17a Secretive, taking it back in late (8)
{RETICENT} – this word meaning secretive comes from TI (taking IT back) inside RECENT (late)

18a Boys like Basil, for instance? (6)
{HERBAL} – a clever charade of HERB and AL (boys) gives a word meaning like an aromatic plant used in cookery (like basil, for instance)

21a Plot, with prisoners, a crime (10)
{CONSPIRACY} – another nice charade of CONS (prisoners) and a crime committed on the high seas gives a plot

22a A delay held back a sporting event (4)
{GALA} – straightforward reversal (held back) of A LAG (a delay) gives a sporting event

24a Fabric acceptable for American Indian (7)
{CHINOOK) – this strong cloth of twilled cotton (fabric) used mainly for making trousers is followed by OK (acceptable) to give a tribe of Native Americans

25a Reduce, as cook, disorder in kitchen (7)
{THICKEN} – this very appropriate anagram (disorder in) of KITCHEN gives what happens when a sauce is concentrated by boiling to evaporate water and reduce the volume

26a Nobody else could be so concerned about personal gains (4-10)
{SELF-INTERESTED} – a cryptic definition of having regard for one’s own advantage


1d Candle nearly out, in part of Ireland (7)
{WICKLOW} – the candle is nearly out because the WICK is LOW

2d Party hard, using lots of staff (6-9)
{LABOUR-INTENSIVE} – the LABOUR party is followed by INTENSIVE (hard) to give a synonym for using lots of staff

3d Resounding blow gets a medal (4)
{GONG} – reasonably straightforward double definition

4d Group of people exhausted by sudden attack (6)
{OUTFIT} – OUT (exhausted) and FIT (sudden attack) combine to give a group of people

5d Fire up underground worker who asks tough questions? (8)
{EXAMINER} – AXE (fire) reversed (up) and MINER (underground worker) gives someone who asks tough questions

6d Hurried to introduce key point, tough and realistic (4-6)
{HARD-HEADED} – HARED (hurried) around (to introduce) D (key in music) and HEAD (point) gives a synonym for tough and realistic

7d Kind of guarantee covering all cases that’s comforting (8,7)
{SECURITY BLANKET} – a very clever double definition – on the one hand an official set of measures applied to conceal a matter of national security and on the other a piece of material that a child comes to depend upon for a sense of comfort – my favourite clue of the day

8d Like a granny, perhaps, difficult to deal with (6)
{KNOTTY} – another relatively straightforward double definition

13d Not easily disturbed, so unaffected by live wire (10)
{SHOCKPROOF} – quite a neat cryptic definition

16d Still wild, and in one piece (8)
{UNBROKEN} – and yet another double definition

17d Run old companies in old-fashioned style (6)
{ROCOCO} – a charade of R(un) O(ld) and CO CO (companies) give this old-fashioned style

19d Wise King Edward (7)
{LEARNED} – I really liked this charade which combines Shakespeare’s most famous King with NED (Edward) to give a word meaning wise – this one was a close second for clue of the day

20d Do some damage in Chartres cathedral (6)
{SCATHE} – this word meaning to do some damage is hidden in ChartreS CATHEdral

23d OK one form of punishment (4)
{FINE} – our final double definition of the day

An enjoyable puzzle, but several of the  double definitions were a bit too easy for my liking.  What did you make of it?

2 comments on “Toughie No 124

  1. Thought I’d done really well until I read that you thought it was one of the easier toughies! Anyway, managed all but one before I had to resort to your help.
    Sorry to hear Tilsit is not well – missed any previous references to his health, so hope he’s on the mend.

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