Toughie 211 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 211

Toughie No 211 by Kcit
A Tough Time!

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

Yesterday we had one of the tougher Toughies, and we have another today. I struggled with the North East corner in particular but it was, in general, the clues that were hard not the answers. Unfortunately two of the exceptions were the first two across clues, both of which were new words for me.

This week I bought a new laptop, which is currently giving me familiarisation problems. I am trying to post this directly from Word 2007, which will be great if it works but please be patient!


1a Saw little good in most of that poem, unfortunately (8)
{APOTHEGM} – a pithy saying more short, pointed and practical than the aphorism need be (saw) that comes from G (little good) inside an anagram of THA(T) POEM

6a Hot food cheers fellow (6)
{TAMALE} – a highly seasoned Mexican dish of meat, chilli sauce and maize dough wrapped usu in a corn husk and steamed or baked is a charade of TA and MALE

9a Father coming to hide returning outcast (6)
{PARIAH} – PA with HAIR reversed

10a Male worker receiving note about lack of activity? (8)
{STAGNANT} – a male deer (or one of a group of young men out celebrating) and the ubiquitous ANT surround N(ote)

11a TV doctor finally resolved one mystery (8)
{WHODUNIT} – Doctor WHO is followed by the last letter of resolveD and UNIT (one) for a murder mystery

12a Plant found in most of the opening (6)
{THRIFT} – most of TH(E) is followed by a RIFT to get this plant

13a Little time to manipulate subsidiary figure (6,6)
{SECOND FIDDLE} – a small unit of time and a word meaning to manipulate the books give someone who is subsidiary to another

16a Plays a piano badly, stopping Henry becoming ecstatic (5,2,5)
{HAPPY AS LARRY} – the anagram indicator here is badly (not plays) so put an anagram of PLAYS A P(iano) inside HARRY (Henry) and you get a phrase meaning ecstatic

19a Talk incessantly about beginning to raise vegetable (6)
{SPROUT} – put a word meaning to talk incessantly around the beginning to Raise to get this Belgian vegetable!

21a Record of investigation showing mean chef switching starters (8)
{CASEBOOK} – take BASE (mean) and COOK (chef) and switch the initial letters

23a Wild character who loses head in goal, sadly (8)
{HOOLIGAN} – put together (W)HO and an anagram of IN GOAL – in gaol might have been more appropriate!

24a Nut left Scottish man clutching a penny once? On the contrary (6)
{ALMOND} – put L(eft) and MON (Scottish man) around (clutching) A D (an old penny / a penny once) – no, it’s the other way around!

25a Flat county having an attractive quality (6)
{BEDSIT} – this flat is a charade of BEDS (county) and IT (attractive quality, one of those crosswordisms that you learn)

26a Verse showing fool leaving class where I failed (8)
{CLERIHEW} – this verse is making a repeat appearance – combine CL(ASS) and an anagram of WHERE I


2d Occupying camp each year? That’s very nice (6)
{PEACHY} – hidden inside camp each year

3d Criminal group’s court case incomplete — start to despair (5)
{TRIAD} – TRIA(L) with D(espair)

4d Herbal remedy, fashionable, applied to one in grip of dreadful ache (9)
{ECHINACEA} – this herbal remedy is IN (fashionable) with ACE (one) inside an anagram of ACHE

5d Chap securing various huts for part of distillery (4-3)
{MASH-TUN} – put MAN around an anagram of HUTS to get part of BigBoab’s favourite place!

6d Defeated party? Exactly — coming about second (5)
{TOAST} – is this one everybody’s favourite in today’s puzzle? – put TO A T (exactly) around S(econd) and you’re toast! :roll:

7d Servant I’d encountered in island battle (3,6)
{MAN FRIDAY} – this famous fictitious servant is derived by putting I’D inside MAN (island) FRAY (battle)

8d Last letters from Wilf entirely depicting arrival by sea? (8)
{LANDFALL} – combine L AND F (last letters from Wilf) and ALL (entirely)

13d Greek playwright’s second work on absences involving a hint of complacency (9)
{SOPHOCLES} – to get the name of this Greek playwright, put together S(econd) OP (work) and HOLES (absences) around C (a hint of Complacency)

14d Part of bus-trip, following a pause, taking a long time (4-5)
{FARE-STAGE} – it took a while before the penny dropped that “part of bus-trip” was the definition and you get there by stringing together F(ollowing) A REST (pause) and AGE (a long time) – now that’s what I call a charade!

15d Happy drunk’s taken over single communication point (3-5)
{PAY-PHONE} – an anagram of HAPPY is followed by a single ONE

17d It’s not saying much of the people to accept a swindle (7)
{LACONIC} – a word meaning expressing in a few words (in reference to the succinct style of Spartan speech) is obtained by putting LAIC (of the people) around CON (swindle)

18d A Parisian in a theatre box’s to rest (6)
{LOUNGE} – put UN (a in French / Parisian) inside LOGE (a French word for theatre box) to get a word meaning to rest

20d Hose mostly wasted (5)
{TIGHT} – take most of TIGHT(S) and you get drunk (wasted)

22d Book’s range not fully displayed in film (5)
{BAMBI} – a charade of B(ook) and AMBI(T) gives a well-known Disney film

Some of it was heavy going, but there were a few smiles along the way.

17 comments on “Toughie 211

  1. I missed 10a and have yet to get 6d but this is the best I have fared all week.
    I must like the tough ones!

  2. Excellent crozzie; most enjoyable.
    6d gets my vote, took me a while, and then I had to laugh!

    1. CastorFool
      Agreed. One of the last clues I entered as well…. and I have to refer to enjoying a good “Eureka” moment for this one.

  3. A great puzzle and I, too, got stuck in the NE corner but delighted to finish it, once I got 10a.

    11a? Me!

  4. Thank heavens for Chambers, got home with 4d unsolved, and there was the answer on the top of the page for ‘herbal remedy’, haven’t come across this word before so it’s another for the memory bank. Have to agree with all that 6d was a cracker!.

  5. I enjoyed this puzzle but, like BD, I struggled with the top right quadrant. I solved 1a. without knowing the word. 6d. TO A T – only just grasped that one. A nice challenge to help my cocktail go down!

  6. Sorry to go off topic but is anyone else having trouble with their Gravatars? Mine’s disappeared and when I try to load another I get the message “Please close this window if it does not close automatically”. I close it and nothing happens, tried Firefox and IE7.

        1. Gravatars are based on the email address, but be patient as it can take severakl hours for an update to occur, and you may need to clear the cache on your browser before you see it yourself.

  7. Easiest of the week’s toughies for me – probably a combination of knowing the right words and solving many of this setter’s puzzles in the past. I liked the apposite alternative to any mention of Spooner at 21A..

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