Toughie 187 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 187

Toughie No 187 by Myops

This one might grow on you!

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

I found this puzzle to get better as I spent time on the analysis. The surface reading is excellent, but full resolution of the wordplay was a bit tricky.  This is the first Toughie from Myops since the landmark Toughie 100.  Those of you in Glasgow may be interested to know this setter is responsible for the fiendishly difficult Wee Stinker (or so I have been reliably informed).


1a Perpetrator of this foul is (for one slap) ordered off (12)
{PROFESSIONAL} – excellent surface reading for a deliberate foul in football that is an anagram (ordered off) of IS FOR ONE SLAP

9a Ray may be not unknown. Maybe (4)
{BEAM} – a ray can be constructed from an anagram (maybe) of MA(Y) BE without the Y (unknown)

10a Scrubbing clue that’s not acceptable, having answer in grid to begin with (9)
{CLEANSING} – a word meaning scrubbing that is a charade of CL(U)E without the U then ANS(wer), IN and G (grid to begin with)

12a Grow old and lax about things requiring attention (6)
{AGENDA} – further excellent surface reading, so much so that I found myself identifying with the sentiment! – the wordplay is easier than you might think; AGE (grow old) followed by an anagram (lax) of AND

13a Laxative that is swallowed by anxious parent (8)
{APERIENT} – this laxative is derived by putting IE (that is) inside an anagram (anxious) of PARENT – the surface reading is, once again, very good

15a Frequently found in idleness and crime (10)
{INFRACTION} – put FR(equently) inside INACTION to get this crime

16a Bed of gold? Miss West’s heading that way (4)
{SEAM} – this is MAE’S (Miss West’s) reversed (heading that way, i.e. West)

18a A speech ought to reveal essentially sound reflection (4)
{ECHO} – hidden inside speECH Ought

20a Cook cannot stir for embarrassment (10)
{CONSTRAINT} – it wasn’t stir “cook cannot” so it had to be cook CANNOT STIR

23a Disfigurement caused by unfortunate accident going round second base (8)
{MISSHAPE} – this disfigurement is caused by MISHAP (unfortunate accident) going round S(econd) and followed by E (base of natural logarithms)

24a Move up or down a list (6)
{SCROLL} – a cryptic definition which looks as if it contains more than it does

26a Lever for organist we’ll supply with prayers’ support (4-5)
{KNEE-SWELL} – this piece of wood above the reeds (lever for organist) is a charade of WE’LL following KNEES (prayers’ support)

27a Unobstructed work space (4)
{OPEN} – OP (work) and EN (space in printing, the width of the letter n) – you have to admire the surface reading for this simple clue

28a What clues should be in the answers worked out – not what shows determination (12)
{RESOLVEDNESS} – clues should be SOLVED, put this inside an anagram (worked out) of (TH)E (A)NS(W)ERS without WHAT (not what) – once again, I bet you didn’t work that out from the wordplay!


2d Likely to heal in the case of yours truly, laid up (8)
{REMEDIAL} – RE (in the case of) ME (yours truly) and LAID reversed (up) – I wasted time looking for the outside (case of) of yours and/or truly until the penny dropped

3d Confront the alchemist’s accomplice (4)
{FACE} – a double definition with a literary allusion to Captain FACE in Ben Johnson’s “The Alchemist

4d It’s not completely hopeless for manufacturing: employment will make it tick (5-5)
{SHEEP-LOUSE} – start with an anagram (for manufacturing) of HOPELES(S) (not completely hopeless) and add USE (employment to get this tick that infests sheep

5d Bypass region that’s overtaxed (6)
{IGNORE} – overtaxed indicates that there is an anagram of REGION

6d Topless one introduces flamboyant Evita putting nothing on at all (7)
{NAIVETE} – put (O)NE (topless one) around (introduces) an anagram (flamboyant) of EVITA

7d In conformity with the law I get hitched having first run away with Lucy in the Borders (12)
{LEGITIMATELY} – a charade of I MATE (I get hitched) after (having first) LEG IT (run away) and then LY (LucY in the Borders)

8d German court held earlier concerning this (6)
{HEREOF} – put HOF (German for court) around (held) ERE (before / earlier) to get a word meaning of or concerning this

11d PM perhaps initially edgy at brink came up with reshuffle (12)
{CABINETMAKER} – someone who forms a cabinet (Prime Minister, perhaps) comes from an anagram (reshuffle) of E(DGY) (initially Edgy) and AT BRINK CAME

14d Hearts may be affected by poem pervading feeling (10)
{ATMOSPHERE} – an anagram (affected by) of HEARTS and POEM

17d Mma Ramotswe serves rice up so exotically (8)
{PRECIOUS} – the The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective, Mma PRECIOUS Ramotswe is an anagram (serves … exotically) of RICE UP SO

19d She entertains those at sea on steamship (7)
{HOSTESS} – this lady who entertains is an anagram (at sea) of THOSE followed by SS (steamship)

21d Cymbeline’s daughter – one that’s married and gone off (6)
{IMOGEN} – the daughter of Cymbeline, in Shakespeare’s play of that name, is derived from I (one) M(arried) and an anagram (off) of GONE

22d ‘Chiels that winna ding’ but would do for 11 (6)
{CHISEL} – an anagram of CHIELS could be used by the tradesman in 11 down – the full quotation from the Burns’ poem Burns’ poem A Dream is ‘But facts are chiels that winna ding, An downa be disputed’ which can be translated as ‘But facts are fellows that will not be overturned, And cannot be disputed’ which does make you wonder how “that will not be overturned” could be considered as an anagram indicator, but by the time I had googled the details I no longer cared!  Perhaps BigBoab could enlighten us here.

25d Typical male chauvinist turns up with new tart (4)
{FLAN} – take ALF Garnett (the typical male chauvinist from Till Death Us Do Part) reversed (turns up) and add N(ew) to get a tart

Did you struggle with this one? Several clues took me a long time to confirm the wordplay – ironic since the wordplay is supposed to lead to the answer rather than the other way around. My favourite was the pure simplicity of 27 across.

7 comments on “Toughie 187

  1. I enjoyed this one, liked 13a and 25d, I had never heard of 26a and would not have got it without your wee hint, thanks BD.

  2. 28A

    Very nearly got it from the word play alone! Suspected from a long time it was a modified anagram of ANSWERS round the outside.


  3. A different puzzle compared to yesterday’s but enjoyable nonetheless. The care taken in crafting clues reminds me of somebody else.
    New word(s) 26a.

  4. I found this pleasant and agree with Big Dave’s rating. I found the “chiels” clue to be too clever for its own good.

  5. Well I really enjoyed this – best one of the week – favourite clue was 11d and I liked the not-too-obvious anagrams. Hotlips

  6. Big Dave, re 22d, as far as I’m aware you’ve got it about right, I would substitute lad for fellow as a chiel was a young man ar boy in Scots and I think the word downa should read daurna or dare not therefore “facts are like young men , they will not wear away and cannot be defeated” Burns of course was a political animal, but pure dead Brill!

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