Toughie 577 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 577

Toughie No 577 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This was slightly trickier than I thought it was going to be in that a bit of thought was needed to work out some of the wordplay.

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1a    Twiggy, say, acting beside filming equipment held by European director (without US agent) (4,6)
{BABY BOOMER} Someone born just after WWII (such as Twiggy) is given by A (acting) + BY (beside) + a movable beam that holds an overhead camera or microphone all inside the surname of a Swedish film director with G-MAN (US agent) removed

6a    Acknowledge hotel facing trouble (4)
{HAIL} Acknowledge = H (hotel) + to trouble

10a    Mother boycotted new cinema close to dive — and other in family (5)
{NIECE} An anagram (new) of CINEMA with MA removed + E (close to dive) gives a family member

11a    A special individual broken by origin of ignoble slur (9)
{ASPERSION} A + S (special) + an individual containing I (origin of ignoble) = a slur

12a    A writer coming forward finally to get round a dry place providing neat dispatches? (8)
{ABATTOIR} A + a type of pen with the last letter brought forward goes round A TT (dry) to give a place where cattle (neat) are killed

13a    Pretty drug counsellor’s advice? (5)
{QUITE} A drug counsellor’s advice might well be to **** * (or give up a particular drug). The answer means pretty (somewhat)

15a    Problem faced by trains German article ignored producing disorder (7)
{AILMENT} Remove DER (German article) from something untoward that might happen to a train to get a disorder

17a    Dictionary in study largely associated with northern school (7)
{ROEDEAN} The abbreviation for a large dictionary goes inside “to study” with its last letter removed. Addition of N (northern) then gives the name of a girls’ school near Brighton (and good girls are we!)

19a    Journey taken by unpredictable synod not new? Certainly on reflection (7)
{ODYSSEY} A long journey is given by an anagram (unpredictable) of SYNOD without N (new) + the reversal of a word meaning “certainly”

21a    Companion to mandarin a necessary element say in retirement (7)
{SATSUMA} A fruit related to a mandarin orange is given by a reversal of A + necessary + element. I hope that that’s right where the element is arsenic

22a    Statesman once swapping latest in style for a religious garment (5)
{BURKA} Take the surname of Edmund, a prominent 18th century politician, and change the E (latest in style) to A. This gives you a garment worn by Muslim women

24a    Rough note composer left before end of symphony (8)
{GRAVELLY} G (note) + a French composer + L (left) + Y (end of symphony) gives a word meaning “rough” which also describes a hill in Birmingham near the M6

27a    A university tutor initially consumed by unusually bitter characteristic (9)
{ATTRIBUTE} A + U (University) T (tutor initially) inside an anagram (unusually) of BITTER gives a characteristic

28a    Leave river with retired volunteers (5)
{EXEAT} Formal leave of absence is given by a river of SW England + a reversal of the abbreviation for a voluntary military force

29a    School given weight on the web? (4)
{ETON} A well-known public school is formed from E- (on the web) + a weight

30a    Mention of plain bachelor associating with corrupt types gradually (4,2,4)
{STEP BY STEP} A homophone of a Russian plain + B (bachelor) + an anagram (corrupt) of TYPES gives “gradually”

1d    Tilt in air bench (4)
{BANK} 2 meanings: (of an aircraft) to tilt in turning/a bench (for rowers in a galley)

2d    One with buzz barely to be moved after swapping bit of alcohol for litre — showing evidence of this? (4,5)
{BEER BELLY} An insect that buzzes + an anagram (to be moved) of BARELY with A (bit of alcohol) replaced by L (litre) gives something caused by excessive drinking

3d    Beef from table cooked (5)
{BLEAT} An anagram (cooked) of TABLE gives “to beef”

4d    Inferior sofa damaged by wine quietly removed (2,1,4)
{OF A SORT} “Inferior” is given by an anagram (damaged) of SOFA + a type of wine with the letter P (quietly) removed

5d    One displaying authority in temper ordinarily (7)
{EMPEROR} Hidden in tEMPER ORdinarily

7d    Excuse in the same place defended by notable figure in ring (5)
{ALIBI} An excuse is given by a 2-letter abbreviation of a Latin word meaning “in the same place” inside a former heavyweight boxing champion

8d    Source of enlightenment followed by tedious talk? It makes one look drawn (7,3)
{LANTERN JAW} A lamp (source of enlightenment) + tedious talk gives a facial feature that gives the face a drawn appearance.

9d    Haunt fine part of hospital accommodating masses (not half) (8)
{FREQUENT} “To haunt” is made up of F (fine) + an abbreviation for a particular hospital department round the first half of a word for masses (services) for the rest of the soul of the dead

14d    A Greek character touring lake died in middle of area getting sharp cut from this? (5,5)
{RAZOR BLADE} For once the Greek character is not a letter of the Greek alphabet but a character in a 1964 film starring Anthony Quinn. A + this Greek character round L (lake) + D (died) all inside RE (middle of aREa) gives something sharp for shaving

16d    Look mostly about special director once being joyful (8)
{ECSTATIC} Take a Latin word meaning “behold” with the last letter removed and put it round S (special) + the surname of a former French film director. This gives you “joyful”

18d    Boiling temperature faced by a lot of overbearing chaps in East close to sun (9)
{EBULLIENT} A word meaning “boiling” is formed from T (temperature) coming after overbearing chaps with the last letter removed inside E (East) N (close to sun)

20d    It comes from dairy ultimately with rough fermenting over time (7)
{YOGHURT} An anagram (fermenting) of Y (dairy ultimately) ROUGH followed by T (time) gives a dairy product

21d    Quiet amateur has energy to circumvent unionist and develop (5,2)
{SHAPE UP} SH (quiet) + A (amateur) + a word for energy going round U (unionist) gives to “develop”

23d    Revolutionary group in poor territory invoking the past (5)
{RETRO} A word for “invoking the past” is hidden in reverse inside poOR TERritory

25d    Noted captain lacking nothing in case of excessively hostile party (5)
{ENEMY} The captain of the Nautilus loses O (nothing) and goes inside EY (case of exceptionally) to give a hostile party

26d    Restrain part of organ (4)
{STOP} 2 meanings: restrain/part of organ

The puzzle was fair enough though I did find some of the clues somewhat convoluted.

18 comments on “Toughie 577

  1. I enjoyed this one, 12a in particular. Crypticsue had to point me to the last word in 8d as I couldn’t get away from Gas.
    Thanks to Bufo for the review and to Shamus for the challenge.

  2. I liked this one. Not too tricky, and good fun.
    Thanks to Shamus, and Bufo for the notes.

  3. Some of the wordplay I found unneccesarily complicted (eg 1a) so thanks Bufo for the explanation. Plenty of good clues to compensate (eg 15a), so many thanks and bejabers Shamus.

    1. This is the value of this blog-I’m sure I’m not alone- I get the right answers but often don’t really know why….sometimes I know it’s pure laziness to think more but sometimes it really helps to have them explained! thanks all for your comments/explanations

  4. Agree with the convoluted clues, when you print out a Toughie to do on paper and it stretches to two pieces of A4 you do wonder about it. On the other hand generally good fun and a classic Shamus pangram to boot!

  5. Many thanks to Shamus for a cracking crossword and to Bufo for a cracking review, I found that I needed your assistance for the reasoning behind 1a though I got the answer easily enough. Liked 2d best.

  6. A very good Thursday Toughie – thank you Shamus. I don’t think I have seen a crossword with such lengthy clues for a long time. Thanks to Bufo for the explanations – especially 1a. I did try to start to work it out but gave up. My favourites include 12a and 14d.

    1. One of the nice things about the DT Toughies is that the setters have a good deal more newsprint to use that most newspapers can spare.

      1. And with just over an inch of blank space left for anagrammy doodling too :)

  7. Bufo you did a great job in working out then explaining the wordplay for some of these. 14d took me longest to unravel, but was entered long before! Thanks to Bufo and Shamus

  8. I found this a very satisfying puzzle – much quicker to fill in, then quite a lot of thought to justify the answers (I also needed to rethink my spelling of niece ! ) Overall I thought it hit the spot with14d &12a favourites. Thanks to Shamus and Bufo .

  9. I really enjoyed this one – thought it was pitched exactly right for a Toughie. Thanks to Shamus and Bufo. Favourite clue: 12a.

  10. Enjoyed this, probably because I managed to finish it unaided, although I did need Bufo’s
    guidance as to why 1a and 9d were what they were.
    Thanks to Shamus & Bufo and to BD for this excellent site.

  11. Many thanks to Bufo for his blog and all for comments. I do aim to make the wordplay a bit more complicated and challenging than a normal cryptic while trying hard to avoid being unnecessarily convoluted – there’s obviously a delicate balance to be struck and the feedback here as always is very helpful for future puzzles!

    1. This required a little more thought than the usual back-pager, and that is exactly as it should be. The clues were all perfectly fair, and I agree with Gazza that it was very well-calibrated.

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