Toughie 212 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 212

Toughie No 212 by Campbell

A gentle start to the week

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Only a handful of tricky clues separate this Toughie from a regular daily cryptic. I haven’t been out to get a paper today, so don’t know who the setter is yet.

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1a Chief journalist bowed (6)
{ARCHED} – a reasonably easy start has ARCH (chief) and the ubiquitous journalist combining to give a word meaning bowed

4a Cake Alice baked — last piece for Hatter (6)
{ÉCLAIR} – this cream cake is an anagram (baked) of ALICE followed by the last piece of HatteR – maybe at his tea party?

8a Alight unsteadily on me, a huge stone (8)
{MEGALITH} – an anagram (unsteadily) of ALIGHT is preceded by ME to get a huge stone – I still don’t understand how A on B results in BA; perhaps someone can explain the logic to me

10a Unnerve one who works with a wand (6)
{RATTLE} – a synonym for unnerve is also the name of a famous conductor

11a Produced round cheese (4)
{EDAM} – MADE (produced) turned around gives a cheese – hands up if you haven’t seen this old chestnut before

12a Amphibian in box by shelter (10)
{HELLBENDER} – this salamander is a charade of HELL (a box where cast metal “sorts” are thrown after printing ) and BENDER (a temporary shelter consisting of a shell of woven branches covered with tarpaulins or plastic sheeting) – a couple of lesser known synonyms used here!

13a Complaint to hotel — feast badly cooked (8,4)
{ATHLETE’S FOOT} – this infection that affects athletes, among others, is an anagram (badly cooked) of TO HOTEL FEAST

16a Aid female in fire, out of control (6,6)
{FAMINE RELIEF} – this type of aid work is an anagram (out of control) of FEMALE IN FIRE

20a What may become a hit soon after its release? (4,6)
{CLAY PIGEON} – a clever cryptic definition of a saucer-shaped disc thrown from a spring-loaded trap and shot at as a substitute for various types of game bird

21a A villain may give one a turn (4)
{IAGO} – this Shakespearean villain is constructed from I A and GO

22a Introduction to football player’s agent (6)
{FACTOR} – a charade of F (introduction to Football) and ACTOR (player) gives an agent

23a Dramatist to stay with friend in America (8)
{STOPPARD} – this famous dramatist is a charade of STOP (stay) and PARD(ner) (friend in America) of which the least said the better

24a Bloodhound in film (6)
{SLEUTH} – a private detective and a film about a private detective that constitute a double definition

25a Harmonious, bar clubs around the Seychelles (2,4)
{IN SYNC} – a term meaning harmonious that comes from INN (bar) and C(lubs) around SY (the Seychelles)


1d A memo about European diplomats and an urban myth (8)
{ANECDOTE} – A NOTE around E(uropean) and CD (diplomats) gives another name for an urban myth

2d Daily Mail’s leader, a pleasing feature (5)
{CHARM} – a charade of CHAR (daily) and M(ail)

3d Tag article in English coalmine (7)
{EPITHET} – this tag comes from putting THE inside E(nglish) PIT

5d A cobra slithering round a buffalo (7)
{CARABAO} – an anagram of A COBRA and A gives this buffalo

6d Social worker, woman, having short chat before the baby’s born (9)
{ANTENATAL} – this charade puts together ANT (social worker) ENA (woman) and TAL(K) (short chat) to give a word meaning before the baby’s born

7d Extremely rare, inaccurate statements from banks? (6)
{RELIES} – here you need to combine RE (extremely RarE) and LIES (inaccurate statements) to get a word meaning banks, as in banks on

9d Celebrated golfer chasing underworld gang (5,6)
{HELLS ANGELS}- put SANG (celebrated) and (Ernie) ELS (golfer) after (chasing) HELL (underworld) to get a motorcycle gang

14d Revolutionary still imprisoned by the French lot (9)
{LAFAYETTE} – this famous veteran of both the American and French revolutions is derived by putting YET (still) inside (imprisoned by) LA (the French) and FATE (lot)

15d French actor in book — varied career includes ‘Gigi’, primarily (8)
{BERGERAC} – I’m not sure if thisFrench actor is Jacques or Cyrano de Bergerac or even the part played by John Nettles, but whoever it is take B(ook) followed by an anagram (varied) of CAREER around G (‘Gigi’, primarily)

17d I’m great (though unorthodox) detective (7)
{MAIGRET} – continuing the theme we have a fictitious French detective whose name is an anagram of I’M GREAT

18d Find ladder put away (3,4)
{RUN DOWN} – a synonym for to find that is a charade of RUN (ladder in, say, stockings) and DOWN (put away, as in to gun down)

19d Means to support a lecturer, whatever the circumstances (6)
{ALWAYS} – WAYS (means) are under (to support) A L(ecturer)

21d Suggest just disposing of leader (5)
{IMPLY} – simply drop the S from (S)IMPLY

6 comments on “Toughie 212

  1. I found this quite tricky in parts, probably because I’ve had a wee break doon South and got out of the swing, enjoyed it though, especially 20a and 9d.

  2. First attempt at a toughie – solved with generous lashings of Google and the usual interplay with Mrs Paul (one of us gets the answer and the other works out why the devil it is the answer).

    Somewhat apprehensive that you say this is an easy one, but we will try to soldier on.

  3. I’m sure by now you probably know the setter is Campbell. Its 11pm and we’ve just got back from watching Hampton and Richmond FC lose 3-1 to Bishops Stortford (well one of us has!!) so just finished this quite enjoyable Toughie.

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