Toughie 433 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 433

Toughie No 433 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I struggled with this one and it took me far longer than usual. Perhaps I wasn’t on form today! I wasn’t familiar with a couple of words used in the wordplay but otherwise I had no problems understanding the clues.

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1a    Carpet stand fringing big town ground overlooking wicket (5,2,4)
{BRING TO BOOK} A phrase meaning “to carpet (reprimand)” is given by a word meaning “to stand (endure)” round an anagram (ground) of BIG TOWN with the W omitted (overlooking wicket)

9a    It might be consumed in Tijuana chow? (5)
{NACHO} The answer is hidden in TijuaNA CHOw

10a    Earmark space for fighting criminal (4-5)
{RING FENCE} Space for fighting (boxing) + criminal (a receiver of stolen goods) gives “earmark”

11a    Approach around London college that’s far from conventional? (7)
{NUCLEAR} The “not conventional” is as applied to weapons, warfare and energy sources. A word meaning “to approach” is put round the abbreviation for the largest constituent college of the University of London. This abbreviation is not given in Chambers

12a    Gave a summary description of long-time international footballer? (8)
{RECAPPED} A footballer playing in his second or subsequent international could be said to be ********

14a    International financier getting clipped, one facing New York in disgrace (8)
{IGNOMINY} I (International) + a financier (associated with Zurich) without its final letter (clipped) + I (one) + NY (New York)

15a    Poetic heroine embraced by warm audience (4)
{MAUD} Someone who was asked to come into the garden is hidden in warM AUDience

17a    One once waiting endlessly during TV for item of news? (7)
{SNIPPET} Remove the last letter from a one-time waitress in a Lyons teashop and put it inside a television . Even I’m too young to remember these waitresses!

19a    Long time needed to take in tons in Berkshire town (4)
{ETON} T (time) is put inside a long period of time

20a    Turn buns in barbecue getting very red? (8)
{SUNBURNT} An anagram (in barbecue!) of TURN BUNS

21a    Common illness fellow avoided starts to die away in couple of years (8)
{EVERYDAY} F (fellow) is removed from an illness (scarlet or yellow?). Then the first letters of Die Away are put inside YY (a couple of years) to give “common”

23a    Nerve perhaps encapsulating Conservative advocate of reform (7)
{RADICAL} A word describing a nerve in the human body that supplies the upper limb goes round C (Conservative)

25a    Partner getting a meat dish skirting two islands in retreat (9)
{ASSOCIATE} I (island) + a Greek island are reversed and put inside A Malaysian dish of marinated meat barbecued on skewers, usually served with a spicy peanut sauce (Thanks to Chambers for that)

26a    Item of punishment releasing sweat (5)
{TAWSE} An anagram (releasing) of SWEAT gives a leather strap used for corporal punishment

27a    Besides Troy, bust is found amid wild excitement (11)
{FURTHERMORE} T (troy) + a head or bust on a square base (often double-faced) goes inside wild excitement to give “besides”. I didn’t know this bust.


2d    Gallery is beginning to employ lift (5)
{RAISE} The Royal Academy + IS + the first letter of Employ

3d    I’m near overturned drink? Tiresome thing on reflection (7)
{NIGGARD} Someone who’s near (stingy) is given by a reversal of an alcoholic drink + a reversal of something tiresome

4d    Drunk has pint around back of dive — Guinness maybe (8)
{THESPIAN} Sir Alec Guinness, for example, is given by an anagram (drunk) of HAS PINT round E (back of dive)

5d    View oddly taken in working part of range? (4)
{OVEN} VE (the odd letters of view) are put inside “working”

6d    Foreman’s aim, maybe, that’s excellent? (8)
{KNOCKOUT} 2 meanings, one of which refers to George Foreman

7d    Group on board beset by rest finally dismissed as extremely eccentric (9)
{SCREWIEST} A ship’s company (group on board) goes inside a midday or afternoon nap with the last letter removed

8d    Cheer supported by woman, your uppity boisterous type (6,5)
{HOORAY HENRY} A cheer (hip, hip) + a woman + the abbreviation for “your” reversed gives a young upper-class man with an effectedly ebullient manner

12d    Protest about battle site attended by Republican in leaderless country (11)
{REMONSTRATE} “To protest” is given by RE (about) + a First World War battle + R (Republican) inside a word for country with its first letter removed

13d    Inspector transported into Kent in row (7)
{DISPUTE} A Detective Inspector + “transported” inside SE (Kent) gives a row (argument)

16d    Unstable pound dawned sadly after exposure of leading journalist (2-3-4)
{UP-AND-DOWN} An anagram of POUND DAWNED with the ED (editor) omitted

17d    Second source of catering in cooking house attracting following? (4-4)
{SOUS-CHEF} A restaurant worker who’s second in the hierarchy is given by S (second) + C (source of catering) inside an anagram (cooking) of HOUSE + F (following)

18d    Woman that’s first bound to hide new cover for note (8)
{ENVELOPE} The first woman + “to bound” goes round N (new) to give “cover for note”

19d    Delightful place? See one in total (7)
{ELYSIUM} A see (or diocese) + I (one) in “total”

22d    Island lacking money and rule, site of worship? (5)
{ALTAR} A Mediterranean island with M (money) removed + R (rule)

24d    Bachelor abandoning premier hideout (4)
{LAIR} Remove B (Bachelor) from the name of a former prime minister

I think this puzzle is perfectly acceptable but nothing really stands out for me

15 comments on “Toughie 433

  1. Took me a long time to finish, this and when I had, I couldn’t see why I had found it difficult. Thanks Shamus for a good hard workout and thanks Bufo for a great review. I liked 1a and 21a but really didn’t like 3d or 11a.

  2. I’ll join the harder than usual camp too!
    I threw a few in without getting the wordplay ( Inc. The Lyons waitress) so thanks to Bufo fir the blog and Shamus for the workout.

  3. Sorry I am in the other camp (quite a quick solve for a Toughie for me) although I did need an email from BD earlier to confirm the mysterious wordplay on 1a and 27a – had never heard of that type of bust! Thanks Shamus, Bufo and BD.

  4. I will be contrary today and did not find this as tricky as I was expecting. There were a few that I had to reverse engineer to understand the wordplay once the answer was clear. I think Shamus must have been given the bumper book of subtraction indicators recently from the number of clues that required letters to be removed :)

    Favourite clues were 4d and 6d.

    Many thanks to Shamus for the crossword and to Bufo for the notes.

    1. Agreed. Got the answer to 3 clues without understanding why till I checked the blog. 27a a case in point. Seemed to me to be unnecessarily complicated, when use of a smaller Channel Island could have worked just as well. But, I guess that’s why it’s a Toughie. Wonder if Nubian is back from his bike-ride yet? It must be getting dark in Northumberland!

  5. I found this a stoncker. Wasted an inordinate amout of time trying to justify answers which were just guesses. Eventually gave in and turned to this blog to
    a) confirm (or otherwise) about 5 answers
    b) seek guidance (often to no avail) on about 4 answers
    c) cheat (look up the answe)r on about 4.

    That sort of puzzle is too obscure for me and gives limited enjoyment. Well, at least I’m honest!
    I note that there are only 5 previous comments. Perhaps I am not alone.

    Thanks to Bufo for providing a degree of enlightenment.

            1. Yes, beastly!! Unfortunately I submitted on Cluedup accidentally with one wrong answer, 28a.
              S?E? I’ll have to wait for the review to see what it was.

              1. You conform if you walk in this. This is also a word for a small space according to Chambers.

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