Toughie 191 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 191

Toughie No 191 by Osmosis

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

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

You have to work to get the answers in this very enjoyable puzzle.  One or two clues have wordplay that takes a bit of unravelling, but there is nothing here that is beyond the capabilities of the average Toughie solver. That’s what I wrote twelve weeks ago, the last time I reviewed a Toughie from this setter, and little seems to have changed!


1a Passage taken from unionist book disturbs authority (6)
{SUBWAY} – this passage under ground is taken from U(nionist) B(ook) inside SWAY (authority)

4a Special roast husband starts to cook, secretly knocking back booze (8)
{SCHNAPPS} – put together SP(ecial) PAN (roast) H(usband) and C S (starts to Cook Secretly) and then reverse the lot (knocking back) to get this booze

10a Dickensian chap Jimmy takes two hours to circulate university reviews (5,4)
{URIAH HEEP} – this character from David Copperfield (Dickensian chap) comes from, and I do hope I’ve got this right, PEE (Jimmy Riddle / piddle – Cockney rhyming slang) H H (two hours) AIR (to circulate) and U(niversity) all reversed (reviews)

11a Latest bit of sirloin sure to be cooked tender? (5)
{NURSE} – N (latest bit of sirloiN) and an anagram (to be cooked) of SURE to give someone who tends the sick

12a Facing photo of gibbon reveals another primate possibly (7)
{BIGFOOT} – hidden inside (reveals) phoTO OF GIBbon but reversed (facing) is an alleged ape-like creature purportedly inhabiting forests (primate possibly)

13a Stones, capturing band’s core energy, rock (7)
{GRANITE} – GRIT (stones) around (capturing) AN (bANd’s core) and then E(nergy) give this rock

14a More than one spoke, reassessing aid in Indonesia (5)
{RADII} – more than one radius (spoke) comes from an anagram (reassessing) of AID inside RI (Republic of Indonesia)

15a Two men, inside six months, perhaps confronted crime (8)
{ENORMITY} – by now you should be looking for the answers being back to front! – put TIM and RON (two men) inside YE (half of year, six months perhaps) and reverse the lot (confronted) to get this crime

18a Party time camaraderie unfulfilled showbiz entertainer (8)
{LIBERACE} – a charade of LIB(eral) (party) ERA (time|) and C E (CamaraderiE unfulfilled) gives this former showbiz entertainer

20a In hindsight, precision bypassed car plant (5)
{YUCCA} – take ACCURACY (precision) and then reverse it (in hindsight) to get Y(CAR)UCCA; now remove CAR (bypassed car) to get this large plant

23a Harry’s picking up past president, Ian’s outside getting rest (7)
{NAPPING} – inside (picking up) NAG (harry) put PP (Past President) and IN (IaN‘s outside) to derive a synonym for getting rest

25a To excite nurse repeatedly, guards left a rude sign? (7)
{ENLIVEN} – a word meaning to excite that comes from putting EN EN (Enrolled Nurse repeatedly – no longer State Enrolled Nurse!) around L(eft) I (a, one) and V (rude sign)

26a Declaim goddess swapping characters left and right (5)
{ORATE} – to declaim comes from swapping the first and last characters (left and right as this is an across clue) of ERATO (the Muse of lyric love poetry)

27a Sack restaurant worker nicking one strong drink (9)
{FIREWATER} – FIRE (sack) the WA(I)TER (restaurant worker nicking one) for this strong drink

28a Giant home’s converted through lottery cash ultimately (8)
{BEHEMOTH} – this giant comes from an anagram (converted) of HOME inside BET (lottery) and H (casH ultimately)

29a Appliance, from 1st of February, with free overhauling for example (6)
{FRIDGE} – a kitchen appliance that comes from F (1st of February) with RID (free ) and GE (e.g., for example) reversed (overhauling)


1d Awkward pulling back bananas to eat – very black and yellow (8)
{STUBBORN} – a word meaning awkward comes from reversing (pulling back) NUTS (bananas) and inserting (to eat)  BB (very Black) and OR (yellow in heraldry)

2d Made a connection from South Wales town, shifting north (7)
{BRIDGED} – a word meaning made a connection comes from BRIDGE(N)D (South Wales town) without the N (shifting North) – my first thoughts were that shifting meant moving the letter N

3d One in the Prado repositioned Classical model (9)
{APHRODITE} – put I (one) inside an anagram (repositioned) of THE PRADO to get this Classical model, the Goddess of Love

5d Co-op bars Reg, with eye roving – bit of a tart there? (4,10)
{CAPE GOOSEBERRY} – an anagram (roving) of CO-OP BARS REG and EYE for the strawberry tomato, that could be made into a tart, but I prefer plain gooseberries

6d Martial artist imparts physical damage (top half) during an uprising (5)
{NINJA} – this exponent of the martial arts comes from INJ(URY) (physical damage, top half) inside (during) AN reversed (uprising as it’s a down clue)

7d Doggedly continue training scientists first (7)
{PERSIST} – a word meaning to doggedly continue is a charade of PE (Physical Exercise, training) RS (Royal Society, scientists) and 1ST (first)

8d One tries more mild, but with a different head (6)
{SEEKER} – someone who tries comes from taking (M)EEKER (more mild) and changing the M for an S (with a different head)

9d Grasp the principle of airing clothes? (3,3,4,2,2)
{GET THE HANG OF IT} – a double definition with a smile

16d Gobble latest bit of takeaway in paper that’s thrown over bush (9)
{MAYFLOWER} – put WOLF (gobble) and Y (latest bit of takeawaY) inside REAM (paper) and reverse it all (that’s thrown over) to get a bush

17d Without bread in France? A piece of cake perhaps (4-4)
{PAIN-FREE} – a cryptic definition, FREE of PAIN (without bread in France) and a normal definition, a piece of cake perhaps

19d Criticize condescending label identifying fruit? (7)
{IMPEACH} – the cryptic part of this double definition is I’M PEACH (I am peach / condescending label identifying fruit)

21d Highly-desired doctor seen in school (7)
{COVETED} – a word meaning highly-desired is derived by putting VET (animal doctor) inside CO-ED (Co-Educational school)

22d Corrupt old member, heading southwards. Bury? (6)
{ENTOMB} – I loved this one – a charade of BENT (corrupt) O(ld) and M(ember) with the B moving to the end (heading southwards) for a word meaning to bury

24d Food processor taking seconds off serving up breakfast cereal (5)
{ILEUM} – previously we had enema as a pipe-cleaner, now we have the lowest part of the small intestine as a food processor! – you get this from MUE(S)LI (breakfast cereal) without the S (taking Seconds off) and reversed (serving up)

I would imagine that you will have spotted the reversal theme well before complting this puzzle.  This one was a pleasure to solve and even more of a pleasure to review.

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7 comments on “Toughie 191

      1. Nope, I must confess, I got the answer but the wordplay had me foxed, made me like it even more. Like Gazza I also had put in painless at 17d.

  1. I thought that this was excellent, and I didn’t help myself by initially writing in “painless” for 17d.
    Favourite clues 10a and 22d.

  2. I am suprised that Big Dave made no comment about 15a’s use of names, and abbreviated ones at that!, for me this clue ruined an enjoyable farewell to the Toughies until Tuesday.

    1. It’s a difficult balance, but as far as I am concerned the use of common names in the wordplay is OK, I just don’t like names as answers unless they are specific pieces of general knowledge such as Marie Stopes and John Stuart Mill in today’s main cryptic.

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