Toughie 587 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 587

Toughie No 587 by Cephas

Brush up your Shakespeare!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Apart from a couple of answers, both of which were obvious from the wordplay, this could have easily been a back-page puzzle.

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1a    Tribal character in charge booted out of football team (4)
{CELT} – to get this tribal character, remove (booted out) the abbreviation for In Charge from the name of a Glasgow football team

3a    Fasten stand after losing time at first (5)
{RIVET} – to get a word meaning to fasten drop the initial T (losing Time at first) from a teapot stand

6a    Cheaply-built, with crack showing after the Spanish returned (4)
{LEGO} – this toy consisting of small interlocking plastic pieces can be used as an adjective meaning cheaply-built – put a crack or attempt after the Spanish definite article has been reversed

8a    Shakespeare’s fast woman (8,7)
{MISTRESS QUICKLY} – a cryptic definition of an inn-keeper from several Shakespeare plays

9a    Record spread of stoppage (3,3)
{LOG JAM} – a charade of a ship’s record and a spread that goes on toast gives a stoppage

10a    Unstable British settling east of drowned valley, in another valley (8)
{VARIABLE} – a word meaning unstable is constructed from B(ritish) to the right (east) of a drowned valley (3) and then inserted inside a poetic word for a valley

11a    Transmutational alchemist with no aspiration to be climber (8)
{CLEMATIS} – an anagram (transmutational) of ALC(H)EMIST without the H (with no aspiration) gives a climbing plant

13a    Following degree, I was first given a posting (6)
{MAILED} – a charade of a higher university degree, I from the clue and a word meaning was in first place gives a word meaning sent a letter

15a    Some forgotten recipe for Madagascan hedgehog (6)
{TENREC} – hidden inside (some) the second and third words of the clue is a Madagascan hedgehog – I bet you’ve never heard of this one!

17a    Beautifying of the universe around and in France (8)
{COSMETIC} – to get a word meaning beautifying put an adjective meaning of the universe around the French for “and”

19a    Cooker being put in is unable to bond (8)
{COVENANT} – put a cooker inside a word meaning “is unable to) and the result is a bond or contract

21a    Book of Numbers in church (6)
{HYMNAL} – a cryptic definition of a book containing numbered songs of praise, used in church

22a    One is fit to eat with it (7,8)
{HEALTHY APPETITE} – a cryptic definition of a very strong desire to eat

23a    Horses with no room in yard? On the contrary (4)
{STUD} – these horses kept for breeding are created by dropping the Y(ard) from the end of a room

24a    November is a new month (5)
{NISAN} – a charade of N(ovember), IS from the clue and N(ew) gives a month in the Jewish calendar

25a    Joy in church’s area when bishop retires (4)
{GLEE} – to get this word meaning joy drop the B(ishop) from the land attached to a parish church


1d    Company member’s allowed to be participating in wrongdoing (9)
{COMPLICIT} – a charade of CO(mpany), a Member of Parliament and an adjective meaning allowed or permitted gives a word meaning participating in wrongdoing

2d    Angela’s cooking savoury dish (7)
{LASAGNE} – an anagram (cooking) of ANGELA’S gives an Italian savoury dish

3d    Loft extension, say, may be turned over for joint sufferer (9)
{RHEUMATIC} – reverse (turned over) two words that give a loft extension, and the result sounds like (say) this person who suffers from pain in the joints

4d    With regard to two passport stamps: one missing article (3-1-3)
{VIS-À-VIS} – a hyphenated word meaning with regard to is created from a passport stamp followed by another from which the final A has been dropped (missing article)

5d    Interpret second half right — it’s less inaccurate (5)
{TRUER} – drop CONS from the first half of a verb meaning to interpret and add R(ight) to get an adjective meaning less inaccurate / more accurate

6d    Money-making vital cure dispensed (9)
{LUCRATIVE} – an adjective meaning moneymaking or profitable comes from an anagram (dispensed) of VITAL CURE

7d    Girl one brought to shelter in place of miracles (7)
{GALILEE} – a charade of a girl, I from the clue and shelter gives a place where miracles were performed

12d    Wimpy Ltd remake determined by demand (6-3)
{MARKET-LED} – an anagram (wimpy) of LTD REMAKE gives a word meaning determined by commercial demand

13d    Distorted spin has me confused (9)
{MISSHAPEN} – an adjective meaning distorted is an anagram (confused) of SPIN HAS ME

14d    Cutie taking in European clubs then summer in Nice wearing a low-cut dress (9)
{DÉCOLLETÉ} – start with a cutie or attractive young woman, insert E(uropean) and C(lubs) and then add the French (in Nice) for summer to get an adjective meaning wearing a low-cut dress

16d    Galloped into hospital department, being caustic (7)
{ERODENT} – put a word meaning galloped on horseback inside Crosswordland’s usual hospital department to get an adjective meaning being caustic

17d    Stop filming young lady’s arm (7)
{CUTLASS} – a charade of the word used to stop filming and a young lady gives an arm or weapon

18d    Cartoonist having (7)
{TENNIEL} – the English cartoonist who illustrated Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is an anagram (disposition) of LENIENT

20d    Pale like bird (5)
{ASHEN} – an adjective meaning pale can be split (2,3) to mean like a female bird

Why not enter the 3D Crossword Championship in August?

19 comments on “Toughie 587

  1. This was a tad easy – except for my mental block over 6a for a while.

    I liked 8a, 21a and 24a.

  2. I enjoyed this one – as BD implies it was a fairly gentle Toughie but very enjoyable. The months turn up regularly in the Saturday GK crossword so the only one I didn’t know was the, obvious from the wordplay, Madagascan hedgehog – now where can I bring that new bit of knowledge up in general conversation? :) My favourite was the slightly risque 14d. Thanks to Cephas for a nice start to Tuesday and to BD for the hints and illustrations.

  3. Well there’s anothe bit of Flora and Fauna to add to ASTILBE and RATEL!. No complaints here – a Tuesday starter Toughie that was a pleasant solve.
    14d was an absolute gimme of a pic!.
    Thanks to BD and to Cephas for the puzzle.

  4. Many thanks to Cephas for an enjoyable romp through Toughie land. Favourite clue was 21a. Thanks too to BD for the review.

    Slightly damp at the moment having being caught in a thunderstorm returning to the office from birthday drinks!

  5. Gentle but enjoyable solve the hedgehog and the low cut dress were new to me, Thank’s to Cephas and to Big Dave for the comments.

  6. Nice puzzle, fairly straightforward apart from a couple of vocabulary issues.

    I don’t think that the pic in 14d qualifies as a dress. It looks more like a skirt with sleeves.

      1. I’d like to make it clear that (for me anyway) the picture for 14d is highly acceptable. I’d hate Big Dave to think that we want more coverage……

  7. My children and grandchildren would be mortified if they knew Lego was used as a derogatory term. In their minds they build masterpieces!

  8. I enjoyed that- it seemed easier to me than the Back Page, but good fun.

    Can anybody explain how “Wimpy” indicates an anagram?
    Is it from Wimplike? A burger chain? A building firm? That bloke out of Popeye? Or something to do with Wellington bombers?

    Confused of Devon.

    1. I assume “Wimpy” implies uncertainty, weakness – and thus qualifies as an anagram indicator. It might refer to the condition of the large mass subatomic particle that interacts with other particles. ;)

      1. I knew I should have paid attention in the Atomic Sub Particles class instead of looking out the window.

  9. p.s. Top tip for today- under no circumstances write “dray” in 22a.
    I did, and it makes that corner tricky. :-(

  10. Thanks to Cephas & Big Dave, I don’t normally attempt the Toughie, but was encouraged by BD’s comments to have a crack.
    Glad I did, it was quite enjoyable, I only needed a few hints.
    Favourite was 11across.

  11. Whisper it softly but this is the first Toughie I have been able to complete for some time (albeit with the help of my trusty sidekicks Bradford & Seiko).

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