Toughie 183 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 183

Toughie No 183 by Firefly

Another fine puzzle

+ – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

To be honest, this was light relief after yesterday’s marathon.  You need to get 5 down early on otherwise a large section of the puzzle will be made more difficult than necessary.


1a One laying on endless publicity for a 5dn (6)
{HYPHEN} – put HEN (one laying) after HYP(E) (endless publicity) for the first punctuation mark of the day

5a Train with ‘a couple of swells’? (4-4)
{PUFF-PUFF} – a double definition for a children’s train

9a A long run I managed round island is not the first (10)
{UNORIGINAL} – managed indicates than an anagram of A LONG RUN I should be placed around I(sland) for something that is not the first

10a Hi! ‘Food’, did you say? (4)
{CIAO} – a double definition of a greeting that sounds like chow (food)

11a One getting away in patched-up spacesuit, taking third place in shuttle (8)
{ESCAPIST} – lovely surface reading for this anagram (patched-up) of SPACES(U)IT without the U (taking third place in shUttle

12a Feed’s about right for a 5dn (6)
{STROKE} – to STOKE (feed) is around R(ight) for another punctuation mark

13a Stumped by postscript? Please pay attention! (4)
{PSST} – ST(umped – cricket again!) and PS (PostScript)

15a Spray of roses I’m struggling with at son’s passing-out (8)
{ATOMISER} – a spray from an anagram of ROSES I’M and AT without an S (Son’s passing-out)

18a Give back piece from Magritte: ‘Roman Cupids’ (8)
{AMORETTI} – reversed (give back) and hidden inside (piece from) MagrITTE: ‘ROMAn are some cupids

19a Dead wood for a 5dn (4)
{DASH} – D(ead) and ASH – if you haven’t got the theme by now then you are in trouble!

21a Arranger uses French horn in mid-section of group’s ‘Erasmus’ (6)
{SCORER} – nothing to do with cricket this time! – this arranger is derived by putting COR (French horn) inside SER (mid-section of group’S ‘ERasmus’

23a On 7th of March, for example, lots losing head — there’s nothing like it! (8)
{NONESUCH} – a charade of NONES (the ninth day before the ides of a month, which for March is the 7th) and (M)UCH (lots without the M (losing head)

25a Bullet hit swallow (4)
{SLUG} – a double triple definition, where it is swallow as in gulp

26a Landladies’ meeting-places? (10)
{BOARDROOMS} – a part cryptic double definition, landladies providing board and rooms

27a Predictable tap-dance? (4-4)
{KNEE-JERK} – another part cryptic double definition

28a Seamen fashioning pipe-cleaners? (6)
{ENEMAS} – did this anagram of SEAMEN make you wince?


2d One of New England’s earliest of seagoing tugs (5)
{YANKS} – a double definition of tugs on the one hand and Yankees on the other

3d Rex and Thea free to plan a heavenly time (9)
{HEREAFTER} – an anagram of R(ex) and THEA FREE

4d Spirit lacking around Government for poll? (6)
{NOGGIN}  – just put NO GIN (spirit lacking) around G(overnment) to get another word for the head (poll)

5d Muck up Tarantino’s production, making literary point, e.g.? (11,4)
{PUNCTUATION MARK} – the key to this crossword is an anagram of MUCK UP TARANTINO – I thought at first that “muck up” was an anagram indicator!

6d Packed dishes up for a 5dn (4,4)
{FULL STOP} – FULL (packed) and POTS (dishes) reversed (up)

7d Go over and over early leader (5)
{PACER} – to go over is to RECAP, reverse this and you get an early leader in a race (although they are usually called pacemakers)

8d Fellow’s point about status showing sincerity (9)
{FRANKNESS} – F(ellow) and NESS (point) around RANK (status) giving a word meaning showing sincerity

14d Console I’m performing on for a 5dn (9)
{SEMICOLON} – this one’s an anagram of CONSOLE I’M

16d In the underworld, to posture is to create aversion (9)
{INDISPOSE} – a nice charade of IN DIS (the underworld) and POSE (to posture) gives a synonym for to create aversion

17d Uprising in island corrupts and can be put down (8)
{STORABLE} – ELBA (island) and ROTS (corrupts) all reversed (uprising, for a down clue) gives something, like wine, that can be put down a word meaning can be put down, as in a wine than can be put down

20d Diogenes is going shaky and tense (2,4)
{ON EDGE} – here the anagram indicator is shaky, so you need to apply that to D(I)OGENE(S) without the IS (is going) to get a synonym for tense

22d Wayward arrow gouges unevenly (5)
{ROGUE} – a word meaning wayward comes from the even letters of aRrOw GoUgEs – unless I’m wrong, this is the second error in a clue this week, it is possible you could say that unevenly means remove the odd letters but I just can’t see it that way

24d Maiden’s in stupor with 5dn (5)
{COMMA} – a bit easy this one, as we are running out of punctuation marks! – M(aiden) inside COMA

I fine end to the week from another of my favourite setters.  Comments are, as ever, welcome

22 comments on “Toughie 183

    1. Clue of the week, hmm clue of the month :-)
      Bit late doing the Toughie today for obvious reasons. However an email from Gazza told me it was worth it just for just 28a :-)

  1. Got 17d but but don’t know why – look forward to the explanation. Got 5d very early and it all just fell into place.

  2. Thanks to everyone – what a lovely lot you are; you’ve made my weekend!

    “Kneejerk” can be adjectival, hence “predictable”. And it’s what happens when the doctor taps you with his little hammer…. Big Dave’s right as (nearly) always!

    He also fully explained 17dn, I reckon, except you have to take “can be put down” as the definition of “storable”..

    Best wishes


    1. At 17 down, I guess I was guilty of trying to improve the surface reading! It’s sorted now, so thanks for pointing it out.

  3. Agree 28a as superb clue – my opinion not diminished in spite of the fact that at the time of solving, was having my lunch!

  4. Sorry Dave – meant to say that 22dn was a total bloomer. It was a clue I had to change for the Editor and had a bit of a brainstorm in the doing of. Hope I’ll be forgiven….


  5. I am so glad that I took the advice from a friend to start doing the Toughie, although it is taking time to adjust to the depth involved in the clues, I would have missed out on what many above are descibing the clue of the month, namely 28a,once solved I almost coughed up my breakfast!

  6. I thought the punctuation clues were very predictable but found some of the others very difficult, especially 7d,17d & 21a. I loved 5a & 28a.

Comments are closed.