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Toughie 529

Toughie No 529 by Dada

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

Dada is a new Toughie setter but he is an experienced setter and is well-known in other publications as Paul, Mudd and Punk. Here he has produced a real Toughie which gave the brain an excellent work out. I have given it 4 stars for both difficulty and enjoyment but I did consider giving it 5 stars for both. That’s how good it is.

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    Americans go nuts for their old policy (11)
{REAGANOMICS} An anagram (nuts) of AMERICANS GO gives an economic policy characteristic of a particular president

10a    Poem one read in youth, beyond one? (5)
{ILIAD} I (one) goes inside a youth. This is preceded by I (one) to give a Greek epic poem

11a    Before first of assaults, extraordinary nose in perfect state (9)
{MINNESOTA} A (the first letter of assaults) is preceded by an anagram (extraordinary) of NOSE inside “perfect” to give a state of the North central US

12a    Leaving north, Air Uganda judders past heading for Luton Airport (2,7)
{LA GUARDIA} An anagram (judders) of AIR UGA(N)DA (omitting N = north) follows L (first letter of Luton) to give an airport in New York

13a    Ch-cheeky monkey? (5)
{CHIMP} CH + a cheeky monkey gives an anthropoid ape

14a    Pass it to the left, sensible drink (6)
{TISANE} A reversal of IT (passed to the left) + “sensible” gives an infusion of e.g. herbs or flowers

16a    Swimmer’s bottom given a good beating (3,5)
{SEA TROUT} The name of a marine fish (swimmer) is given by a bottom (what you sit on) + a good beating

18a    Prepare to sail, vessel taking short cut into old city (2-6)
{UP-ANCHOR} A vessel used for cooking + a word meaning “cut” with its last letter removed both go inside an ancient city of Sumer

20a    Litter, a line on the horizon? (6)
{FARROW} A word for a litter of pigs suggests a line that is in the distance

23a    Leave a coat (5)
{PARKA} Leave (a car) + A gives a windproof garment with a hood

24a    Erstwhile lover is encapsulated by ‘pretty beautiful’ (9)
{EXQUISITE} A former lover is followed by IS inside “pretty” to give “beautiful”

26a    React oddly, given square round fruit! (9)
{NECTARINE} An anagram (oddly) of REACT goes inside a square number to give a variety of peach

27a    Passage through India is lengthy (5)
{AISLE} Hidden in IndiA IS LEngthy

28a    Rewrite literal with King David, perhaps (5-6)
{GIANT-KILLER} An anagram (rewrite) of LITERAL KING gives a description of David on the occasion he slew Goliath


2d    Beginning to extend arm, old handle mixing soap and oil? (5)
{EWING} E (first letter of extend) + an arm gives a surname (handle) of an oil baron in a US soap opera. It has been reported recently that an updated version of this soap opera is to be made

3d    Accursed companion of sunbathing Englishman up before noon (7)
{GODDAMN} A reversal (up) of a creature that goes out with an Englishmen in the midday sun is followed by N (noon) to give “accursed”

4d    Boy raised to gather nuts for travellers (6)
{NOMADS} A reversal (raised) of a boy goes round nuts (crazy) to give travellers (wanderers)

5d    Pa untidy, but ___ a tiger, say? (3-5)
{MAN-EATER} If pa is untidy then mother might not be so untidy. This gives a term that might describe a tiger

6d    Redundancies made? On GI’s head be it! (4,3)
{CREW CUT} The name of a style of haircut adopted by the US armed forces during WWII suggests that the ship’s company has been reduced in number (i.e. redundancies made)

7d    Passage about Beelzebub lauding evil for starters, carrying the vehemence of preachers (5-8)
{BIBLE-THUMPING} A passage (excerpt) goes round BLE (first letters or starters of Beelzebub lauding evil). This is followed by an informal word for “carrying” to give an activity indulged in by vigorous, aggressive or dogmatic Christian preachers

8d    Knight dividing state over gold, inferior to king’s crown jewel (3-1-4)
{KOH-I-NOOR} N (knight) goes inside a Midwest US state. This is followed by OR (gold) and the whole lot follows K (king) to give a large oval Indian diamond to be found in the British crown jewels

9d    Cleaner reprimands hired mourner (6-7)
{CARPET-SWEEPER} An apparatus with a revolving brush and a dustpan is made up of “reprimands” + a hired mourner

15d    Leaf having broken arm, traumatised? (8)
{SHAMROCK} An apt answer for today. This trefoil leaf is derived from an anagram (broken) of ARM inside a blow to the emotions (in ***** means traumatised)

17d    Wag tail in agitation after protest held up by investigators (8)
{COMEDIAN} A wag (a funny man) consists of N (last letter of agitation) following a reversal of a form of protest inside an agency of the US Government

19d    Bread I covered with some butter after tea (7)
{CHAPATI} A thin flat piece of unleavened bread is given by tea + a small soft mass of butter + I

21d    Party girl, a serious pain (7)
{ABIGAIL} This girl’s party features in a play for stage and television. Her name can be read as a serious pain (1,3,3)

22d    Noise from mouse given close shave? (6)
{SQUEAK} 2 meanings: the noise a mouse makes/a close shave

25d    Children the problem? (5)
{ISSUE} 2 meanings: children/problem?

If only all Toughies were like this (especially Thursday ones).

20 comments on “Toughie 529

  1. Something of a red letter day to have a new Toughie setter. With crosswords like this from Dada we are in for some real treats in the coming months. Almost too many good clues to select favourites but 1a and 16a are among the top entries.

    Many thanks and welcome to Dada and thanks to Bufo for the review.

  2. A super puzzle today, that was most enjoyable to solve. I was defeated by 2d (irritating, considering it was probably my favourite all time television series), and needed the help of Bufo to put me out of my misery!
    Many thanks to Dada, for a welcome breath of fresh air, and to Bufo for the notes.

  3. A superb debut Toughie :-) I really enjoyed this. I hope the Telegraph Puzzles Editor commissions more Toughies from this setter.

  4. Immensely fun puzzle with many great clues.

    This one is gentler than usual for this setter, who is one of the very best in the business.

    Can’t wait for the next Dada puzzle!


  5. Very enjoyable crossword from Dada, I do hope he is to be with us for some time to come, loved 5d. Thanks Bufo for a masterly review.

  6. I loved this. Dada joins a small but elite group of proper Toughie setters.

    It was nice for Bufo to get a real challenge this Thursday.

  7. This is the perfect example of a Toughie. Part straightforward, part brain stretching, with both D’oh and Laugh Out Loud moments. Superb. Thank you Dada – let’s hope we see more of you in the future. Thanks to Bufo too for the review.

  8. Very enjoyable – needed your help for 2d , not too hot on old soaps , loved 1a and 8d

  9. Outstanding. 5* enjoyment in solving this from me, and hopefully an ‘Ausgezeichnet mit 5 Sterne’ from my avatar were he not too preoccupied with today’s Leitmotiv.

  10. A really excellent puzzle so thanks to Dada. More please!
    I too struggled to see 2d. Stared at it for ages but even with 3 checking letters in a 5 letter clue just couldn’t see it. Too impatient to wait for the blog so used a letter hint to get the W then nearly fell off my chair as the penny dropped and the wordplay became clear!
    I agree with Qix that this seemed a little gentler than some of the Paul puzzles in the Grauniad. They usually stump me!
    Too many good clues to mention them all but 3d is my favourite.
    Thanks to Bufo – I bet you enjoyed blogging this one!

  11. I liked this one very much although, personally, I didn’t find it as difficult as yesterday’s. There were lots of good clues and I couldn’t really choose between them. Hope to see a lot more of this setter in the future.

    Thanks to Dada for the crossword and Bufo for the notes.

  12. It’s fantastic that Dada has joined the Toughie stable. This was an excellent puzzle (though perhaps a bit orthodox by his usual standards) – my favourite clues were 3d and 21d. Thanks to him and Bufo.
    Now, we just need Anax to join the setters ……

  13. Not very much I can add to what’s been posted, thoroughly enjoyable solve favourites 3d and 6d,Thanks to Bufo for the review and thanks to Dada hurry back soon.

  14. Quite hard going for me but thoroughly enjoyable puzzle.Thankyou setter and Bufo for some needed hints.

  15. I’ve not been following Twitter lately else I would’ve spotted @crypticpaul announcing his impending Dada debut and copied this Toughie to have a go on my own. Thoroughly enjoyed what little I had time to collaborate on with my PinC today, and mystified but delighted by a lot of the surface readings I hadn’t solved.

    So glad to be able to get still more crosswords from my favourite setter, whether or not they differ in style thanks to editorial policy.

  16. I can only echo the sentiments above. An ace puzzle that was pitched about middle for the Toughie week but I know that the setter can go up or down on difficulty as required. I had to buy a lettter on 2d and then laughed my head off.
    Thanks to Dada and to Bufo for the review.
    Again, more please!.

  17. Found this very difficult today: we usually do Gorridian crosswords in our local crossword club, but i don’t know from which setter, and in any case they are a joint effort with a few others

    Couldn’t have finished at all without the v welcome hints : thanks..

  18. A lot of head scratching today in between cricket and football. Finally cracked it with 2d last in and clear favourite. Very good puzzle with wide range of different solves. Thanks to our new setter.

  19. Ditto, ditto, ditto. Great stuff, Dada. And thanks to Bufo for the hint on 15d which brought enlightenment with the first few words. We really should have got it sooner, but it was the last to be solved, and the head-scratching had gone on long enough.

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