Toughie 606 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 606

 Toughie No 606 by Elgar

Putting the Pieces Together

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley. Apologies for the slight lateness due to dental and medical appointments. Why is it that when I sat in the Dentist’s waiting room, all I could think of was Pam Ayres and her wretched poem?

It’s the return of the wonderful Elgar today and he has provided us with a really enjoyable challenge that is not one of his harder ones, although 25 across held me up for a little while. Today’s Toughie features a collection of phrases obtained by putting the answers together.

Plenty of clues to make you smile and think in equal measure. If you would like one of his harder ones, then grab a copy of today’s Times and you will find another corking challenge.

Favourite clues as usual are highlighted in blue. 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    Young girl’s brief account’s twisted — this is the way prosecutor does things for Scotland (8)
{FISCALLY} We start off today with a word that described how the Crown prosecution Service equivalent in Scotland works, it’s derived from the second part of the name for a State Prosecutor north of the border.

5a    See 20 down

9a    Cause watercourse in Alsace to wander (8)
{CANALISE} An anagram (indicated by “to wander”) of IN ALSACE gives a verb that could have applied to Ferdinand de Lesseps and other such luminaries for the work they did.

10a    See 20 down

11a    It’s hateful, Heather, to admit use of swear-word (8)
{LOATHING} A word for despising is found by taking the word for a type of heather and inserting something that sworn in a court.

12a    See 3 down

14a    Member of the Green Party being into religion, you should get it back (10)
{RECOMPENSE} A cryptic description of Caroline Lucas who is in Parliament for the Green Party, plus a psychological term for “being” all go inside the abbreviation for the school subject of religion. This leads you to a term for a reward.

18a    One following rock band is at death’s door (2,8)
{IN EXTREMIS} The Latin phrase meaning “the moment of death” is obtained from the following wordsum: ONE + a word meaning FOLLOWING + The US band fronted by Mr Stipe + IS. So let’s have some music….

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22a    See 2 down

23a    Financially poorer, fellow after acquiring new woofers (5,3)
{WORSE OFF} An anagram of N (New) WOOFERS takes F (fellow) afterwards to give an expression meaning “not as well off”.

24a    See 1 down

25a    Two people striking in fear about source of timber (8)
{REWAREWA} I guess this will be the one that causes the trouble today. A way of saying someone who is struck by fear is cryptically described as this. If you double the word and reverse it, you get the name of a tree from New Zealand that is called honeysuckle over there. I think I personally would have liked a question mark at the end of the clue to say it was a cryptic way of saying as the word isn’t actually in Chambers Big Red Book.

26a    See 2 down

27a    He’s got the authority to go around a camp (8)
{PATENTEE} Probably my favourite clue of the day! Elgar at his naughtiest! A word meaning someone who has a licence to do things can be found for taking a word meaning to go (as in to the loo!) is placed around a single outdoor place to sleep at night.


1d, 24a & 21d    What points you to your doom, like offer affecting divers? (6,6,2,4)
{FICKLE FINGER OF FATE} A famous phrase that originated in Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In is an anagram of LIKE OFFER AFFECTING (divers is the indicator).

2d, 26a & 22a    Animated canine alternates the pills with the jitters (6,6,6)
{SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER} The name of Bart and Lisa’s pet pooch is an anagram of ALTERNATES THE PILLS.

3d, 12a & 19d    How they named the Globe Theatre? (3,3,6,1,5)
{ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE} – a cryptic definition

4d    Legless, on a party, see gallons shifted in the city (3,7)
{LOS ANGELES} Not one but two anagrams of LEGLESS ON A and SEE GALLONS reveal the name of a Californian city.

6d    ‘Something similar’ is order for topless bar (8)
{ISOMORPH} A term meaning something similar is found by solving the following wordsum: IS + The name of an award bestowed by the Queen + (f)OR [‘for’ topless] + an abbreviation for a Pub.

7d    Form of crowd control is OTT, being locked up in cask (8)
{KETTLING} When the new Chambers Dictionary is released in a couple of weeks’ time, will this word be in there with this definition? The method of police control is found by taking the word for a barrel (usually of beer) and inserting O (well a word meaning it!)TT backwards!

8d    Comparatively showy one secreted in chest of drawers (8)
{DRESSIER} Something said to be more garish can be found by placing I inside the name for a type of chest of drawers.

13d    Patience, say, with which I manage resistance, having suffered head injury? (5,5)
{COMIC OPERA} Inside the name for the outcome of a head injury goes I + a word meaning “manage” + R (for resistance). This will lead you to a description of the word “Patience” by Gilbert and Sullivan whence came the name of my favouritest crossword compiler, Reginald Bunthorne!

15d    Proper scary, blowing top? (8)
{RIGHTFUL} A word that means proper and justified can be found by taking a word that means terribly or scary and removing its first letter.

16d    Compact women ring up about lecturer (4-4)
{WELL-KNIT} After W (for women) reverse a word meaning “ring a little bell” and insert L (for lecturer)

17d    It’s essential to get here alone from heaven! (8)
{ETHEREAL} Inside the phrase “to get here alone” is a word meaning heavenly.

19d    See 3 down

20d, 10a & 5a    I’m a busy man, so the others have gone to get some candles? (2,4,3,3,6)
{NO REST FOR THE WICKED} I did think this was an anagram plus a cryptic definition, but I think it’s a straight forward cryptic def clue. One of the oldest cryptic definitions in crossword land is “Wicked thing?” (6) which relates to a mean of giving light that has a wick.

So here, if you send people to buy these products, you could say this about them…..

21d    See 1 down

Thanks to Elgar for a cracking puzzle and I would urge you to keep your eyes peeled some of the weekend puzzles for special things. All will be revealed in the fullness of time!

9 comments on “Toughie 606

  1. Many thanks to Elgar for the crossword. As you say not his most fiendish 25a apart. Thanks too to Tislit for the review.

  2. BD referred yesterday to Elgar as Vlad the Impaler of Crosswordland (or something along those lines). Well today’s Toughie was, for me, Vlad with his Fluffy Slippers on so I would give it 2* difficulty. It only took me a whisker longer than the back pager (possibly a world record for an Elgar Toughie, or even most Toughies come to that). I was held up by 25a as I had to check that the doubled non-Chambers word actually did make a source of timber. Definitely 5* enjoyment so thank you to him and to Tilsit too.

  3. 4d – I noticed two lots of anagram fodder for “Los Angeles” but could not see anything in the clue indicating a double anagram.

    I went elsewhere and found that “party = do = ditto”. (Not my own work!)

  4. This is the first Elgar Toughie that I’ve finished (he must be losing his grip), albeit with a search for 25a. Should that have been (4-4) rather than (8)?

      1. It was 8 on Google searches too. After much trawling through reference books, I found ‘awer’ in my husband’s treasured Lloyd’s Enclcopaedic Dictionary (1895) where apparently AWER is Olde English for anywhere. Not relevant to the clue but it’s always good to learn something obscure you will never need again!

  5. Very enjoyable some really nice clues of which my favourites were 14a 27a 6d and 16d thanks to Elgar and Tilsit for a fine review.

  6. Really enjoyed this one. Luckily, the linked clues were quite easy so that gave a good start. Not sure about the ‘ens’ bit in 14. Also had trouble with 25 which took as long as the rest put together. I thought this was a lot of fun, which is a nice change for a toughie.

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