Toughie 522 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 522

Toughie No 522 by Myops

Not for the faint-hearted!

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

We have waited since last October for this latest magnum opus from Myops – and it was well worth the wait. Tilsit is back in hospital so has missed out on this truly magnificent Toughie.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Tormented soul in Scripture — in OT interpretation, for removal of doubt (10)
{RESOLUTION} – put an anagram (tormented) of SOUL between scripture lessons and an anagram (interpretation) of IN OT to get the removal of doubt

6a    One book after another half mentioned where we may go (4)
{JOHN} – take the book of the Bible that comes after Luke – half of LU(ke) sounds like (mentioned) loo which is where we may go!

9a    It could make one cry after pub lost first malt source (10)
{BARLEYCORN} – put an anagram (could make) of ONE CRY after a pub and the first letter of Lost to get the grain from which malt could be made

10a    Good King Henry may be lying in feather bed (4)
{HERB} – the type of plant of which Good King Henry is an example (may be) is hidden inside feather bed

12a    Hedge? Cut it out! (3,3)
{LAY OFF} – a double definition – what a bookie might do to offset potential losses and an instruction to go easy.

13a    Failing to see both sides in understanding Portugal’s a misrepresentation of the country (8)
{PASTORAL} – an anagram (misrepresentation) of PORT(UG)AL’S A and after UG is removed (failing to see both sides in UnderstandinG) gives an adjective meaning of the country

15a    Pipe burn round old town court house with reconstructed end (12)
{CHURCHWARDEN} – this classic Crosswordland tobacco-smoking pipe is built up by putting a word meaning to burn around an ancient town/city on the Euphrates, Court House and W(ith) and following it with an anagram (reconstructed) of END

18a    The uppers a girl (let alone GI) is thrilled by (6,6)
{PURPLE HEARTS} – in this all-in-one clue, drugs used as uppers are also the name of decorations given to GIs who are wounded or killed in action and you get them by creating an anagram (thrilled by) of THE UPPERS A (GI)RL without the GI

21a    Where granny may sit in a line to get sun, say (8)
{LUMINARY} – this granny is a revolving cap on a chimney pot, so “where granny may sit” is a Scottish term for a chimney followed by IN A and an abbreviation for a train line (2) to give a term meaning something giving off light (such as the sun) [Thanks are due to a friend who lives in Glasgow for the full explanation of this one!]

22a    Totalled and revived (4,2)
{CAME TO} – a double definition of this phrasal verb – totalled or added together and revived or recovered from unconsciousness

24a    Leave really short (4)
{QUIT} – a word meaning to leave is formed by omitting the last letter (short) from a synonym for really or rather

25a    Where one’s prompted to sing soul and after row recedes break for refreshment (7,3)
{KARAOKE BAR} – this establishment where patrons are encouraged to sing along to a backing track is built up from the ancient Egyptian term for the supposed spiritual part of an individual human being or god (soul), a word meaning to row a boat reversed (recedes) and an anagram (for refreshment) of BREAK

26a    Switzerland’s in ecstasy over mountain nymph (4)
{ECHO} – put the IVR code for Switzerland between E(cstasy) and O(ver) to get this mountain nymph

27a    Burgess’s shocking stigma: turncoat — and English! (10)
{MAGISTRATE} – a burgess or member of the governing body of a town is created from an anagram (shocking) of STIGMA, a synonym for a turncoat or traitor (3) and E(nglish)


1d           Barney? Sounds like trouble, losing the head (6)
{RUBBLE} – the surname of Barney, Fred Flinstone’s mate, sounds like trouble without the initial T (losing the first letter of The / losing the head)

2d           Trustee speaks about interference (6)
{STRAYS} – put TR(ustee) inside a word meaning speaks to get atmospheric interference

3d           Iolanthe fled to get round current situation (3,2,3,4)
{LIE OF THE LAND} – an anagram (to get round) of IOLANTHE FLED gives the current situation or how things stand

4d           Fold top of kilt and shorten for taking up (4)
{TUCK} – a fold or pleat in a garment is created by taking K (top of Kilt) and a word meaning to shorten and reversing them (taking up)

5d           Irish assembly carelessly dropping aitches or first of them (10)
{OIREACHTAS) – the legislature of the Republic of Ireland is an anagram (carelessly dropping) of AITCHES OR and A (first of them / first letter of Aitches) – I found it  interesting that the answer is also an anagram of TAOISEACH + R

7d           Driver determined to interrupt magnetic field unit to impose manual control (8)
{OVERRIDE} – put an anagram (determined) of DRIVER inside (to interrupt) the abbreviation for the CGS unit of  magnetic field strength (it wasn’t in The Mine, but it is now!) to get a word meaning to impose manual control

8d           Dwarf: being shaped over very short legs and usually with normal head (8)
{NIBELUNG} – this member of a supernatural race of dwarfs in Germanic mythology is created by putting an anagram (shaped) of BEING around L U (very short Legs and Usually) and N (Normal head)

11d         Sitar playing by 6 in new year? You can’t get out of it (12)
{STRAITJACKET} – start with an anagram (playing) of SITAR and then put the familiar version of the name at 6 across inside the Vietnamese lunar new year (remember the offensive that was named after this festival back in 1968) to get something that you can’t get out of

14d         Song about badly hurt knight and article all about Camelot (10)
{ARTHURIANA} – put an operatic song around an anagram (badly) of HURT and finish with the chess notation for knight and the indefinite article to get a word that means all about Camelot and its legendary king

16d         What daily deters doctor with limited measure of intelligence for all to see for work laid on? (8)
{APPLIQUE} – put the fruit that one a day keeps the doctor away around (limited) a measure of intelligence and the certificate designating a film that people of any age are allowed to see to get this work applied to, or laid on, another material

17d         Being badly dressed try to elicit response when bottom’s tucked in (8)
{FRUMPISH} – an adjective meaning being badly dressed is created by putting a verb meaning to try to elicit a response around (tucked in) a synonym for the bottom

19d         The first person in France to take snake for rodent (6)
{JERBOA} – a charade of the first person pronoun in French, the abbreviation for recipe (to take) and a snake to get this desert rodent that jumps on long hind legs like a kangaroo

20d Other ranks including one in usual designation of Tory party (6)
{SOIRÉE} – put OR (Other Ranks) around I (one) and all inside the phonetic expansion of the letter that represents Conservative (usual designation of Tory) to get an evening party – I’m not convinced by this wordplay and am open to suggestions the wordplay has been confirmed by Myops (see comments below)

23d State before independence headed by King 6 (4)
{KAZI} – put the abbreviation for the US state of Arizona in front of I(ndependence) and after K(ing) to get one of the spellings of a slang word for a toilet – 6 across is also a slang word for a toilet

I leave you with a video of a song that describes how I felt after I had finished this one.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

52 comments on “Toughie 522

  1. I battled my way through this, and got there in the end, using a ‘hint’ letter for 23d (Even with the answer I still don’t understand it).
    Thanks to Myops for a suitably tough Friday puzzle, and to BD for the review.

    1. I struggled as well!

      K(ing), the abbreviation of a US state and I(independence) gives another slang word, like 6 across, for a toilet.

        1. Ah good – not just me then, managed to get all the way through this and then stared at 23d for a long time, tried a couple of possibles on Clued Up to no avail, then gave in and emailed BD for the solution. Big Homer Simpson moment when the answer was explained. Excellent Toughie that kept me occupied on and off for most of the morning.

  2. Well, we were waiting for a proper Friday Toughie and this was definitely it. I too struggled with 23d as I didn’t know you could spell it like that – don’t think I have heard anyone refer to t he smallest room as that since the days of Steptoe and Son!! I am definitely not a fan of those clues like 5d where you can see the anagram fodder but need the interweb in order to find out how to spell what you want – straying into the realms of General Knowledge? It took me on and off all morning to solve this stunningly clever, difficult, exasperating crossword but I wouldn’t have missed it so thanks to Myops, even if my cryptic brain cells were then completely fried and I couldn’t do any of the other cryptics on offer via other publications today. Thanks to BD for the explanations – rather you than me to sort out this lot.

    1. If the comments here count, only five of us have completed it so far and retained the strength to put hand to keyboard to comment :) I am off now to do the shopping and then find a nice darkened room.

  3. I was kippered by 23d so thyanks for that above!. Blinking hard but rewarding challenge from Myops. Thaanks to him and to BD and also crypticsue for some nudges along the way.
    I might try thee Times on the way home but may have had enough for the day.
    Great stuff!

  4. Help! I’ve done it all except 20d & brain has frozen. Any tips or guidance welcome as I’m wanting to get out into the sunshine & mow the lawn. Thanks Myops for tortuous (but enjoyable) Toughie & BD for hints (though it’s the downs I’m needing).

      1. 2d You’re looking for a non-everyday word which refers to magnetic interference. It’s a common word but not in that meaning.

      2. Andy, if you’re still needing help on 2d you need a word meaning speaks around an abbreviation for trustees. This gives a term for magnetic interference.

  5. Oh dear, no, no. no. no. no. I have been struggling all day with 20d and if that is the answer I am very disappointed and wouldn’t h ave got it in a month of Sundays. Very dodgy word play. Most unsatisfactory.

    1. Welcome to the blog Pollythecatwoman

      Are you a regular Toughie solver? If not then this was certainly a Tough introduction.

          1. I was thinking SEE as in bishops but I think its more likely the phonetic thing. Like the name, Polly, but why have you got a picture of our cat Charlie?

          2. I saw it as you saw it in your comment on the clue. When the setter’s stingy with the punctuation the solver may find it difficult to see the partition/supply a stop after “Tory”.

            And thank you all.

  6. With help have finally got there, not sure about 20d but who am i to grumble. I found a few answers like 25a, where the answer was clear but then had to work the clue backwards to be sure it was right. But a hugely enjoyable challenge , to be rewarded with a few pints in the local very soon. Thanks to Myops and hats off to BD, I wouldn’t know where to start in reveiwing this.

  7. This was a proper challenge. It took ages to solve, but I enjoyed every frustrating minute of it.

    Even having finished it, I was still barking up the wrong tree with the wordplay on a couple of clues.

    Maybe we can call this a “Big Stinker” – but in a good way!

  8. Wow. That was worth the wait. Many thanks to Myops for a right royal workout. Got there in the end aside from 23d. Thanks too to BD. Glad it was not me blogging this one. You would still be waiting the explanations :)

  9. Cant believe I did this today albeit with some help with 5 clues in the bottom half. The answers just came to me, I expect on another day I would not get started.
    Thanks to Myops and to Big Dave without whose help I could not have finished.
    I am doing this on an iPad and have yet to discover how to see the answers in the brackets or turn the volum up!!!

  10. I am metaphorically kissing feet and feeling very humble. Think I managed three without the hints and as for the rest of them…??? well, had to look at most of the answers, not just the hints. Have never heard of 8d – knew it was an anagram, but what? Hey ho – have a LONG way to go on Toughies. But it keeps the little grey cells active and I will keep trying.

  11. Well I’ve been out most of the day and only got to grips with this when I came home. I found it very hard indeed and, in the end, was defeated by four of the down clues (for which I needed to consult the notes from BD). Having said that it really was a most challenging and enjoyable puzzle. I must admit I didn’t like 20d much, have never seen 23d spelt that way and still don’t understand how the ‘r’ is got in 19d. But there were some really brilliant, if fiendishly difficult, clues – 16d is absolute magic.

    Wonderful stuff but I wouldn’t care for one like this every week. Thanks to Myops and to BD for the review.

    1. Re 19d – R is the abbreviation for Recipe, which coming from Latin (Recipere), means ‘to take’

  12. Having scooted through the cryptic I was ready for a challenge but I am really struggling with this one. I seem to have most of the acrosses and very few of the downs. My brain has now gone to sleep so I will cogitate and persuverate into tomorrow [and probably Sunday!].

  13. Only 5 left to do but I’m going to throw in the towel and look at the hints – my brain hurts!

    This is a Toughie and a half IMHO!

    Thanks to Myops and BD.

    Now for today’s cryptic . . . .

          1. I suppose C for conservatives, phonetically is ‘see’ put OIR inside this (O R from other ranks with i inside it) and you get your ‘soiree’ – party

  14. Re 20d, I am stiil bamboozled by the clue. BD did not seem at all convinced in the review and Myops did not make it any clearer in his contribution. Where is the phonetic indicator?

    1. The usual designation of Tory (i.e. Conservative) is C, and the word SEE is defined in Chambers as “the third letter of the alphabet (C,c)”. So SEE actually means C and the clue doesn’t need a homophone indicator.

    2. Chambers has three entries for SEE. The third reads:

      The third letter of the alphabet (C,c)

      The usual designation of Tory is C.

      In C. (i.e. SEE) put O – I – R.

      Should I have written

      Other ranks including one accepted by leader of Conservative Party


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