Toughie 635 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 635

Toughie No 635 by Excalibur

Don’t blame the messenger!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment *

Same old grid, same old clues, same old …….

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1a    One’s present girlfriend since just after midnight? (7,4)
{CURRENT DATE} – a double definition – how one could describe one’s present girlfriend and the period of time that started just after midnight

9a    One has nothing against the Army (or very little!) (4)
{IOTA} – a charade of I (one), O (nothing) and the volunteer army gives a very small amount

10a    Easy way to deduce there’s been a wedding? (5,2,4)
{PIECE OF CAKE} – a phrase meaning easy could, at a stretch, be a way to deduce there’s been a wedding

11a    Drink you’d rather not have in garden (4)
{SLUG} – a double definition – a shot of drink and a garden pest

14a    Not invited into nude gathering, want to know why? (7)
{UNASKED} – a word meaning not invited is created from an anagram (gathering) of NUDE with to want to know why inserted

16a    He calls for it in a flap, to save face (7)
{VISITOR} – this person who calls is created by inserting IT inside a flap that protects the face

18a    Returning to base inconclusively, you put your foot in it (5)
{SABOT} – reverse (returning) TO and BAS(E) without its final letter (inconclusively) to get a wooden shoe that you put your foot in it

19a    Young male with young female (4)
{LADY} – a charade of a young male and Y(oung) gives a female

20a    Hence, with respect to back leave (4)
{ERGO} – a word of Latin origin meaning hence or therefore is created from a word meaning with respect to or concerning reversed (back) followed by a verb meaning to leave or depart

21a    ‘Notices,’ you say, in quotes (5)
{CITES} – this word meaning quotes or mentions sounds like notices or sees

23a    Turkish for ‘black out’? (7)
{DELIGHT} – a confection which is usually preceded by the word Turkish could mean to black out (but doesn’t)

24a    Keeping gold gates for enclosure unlocked (7)
{STORAGE} – a word meaning keeping or preservation is created by putting the heraldic term for gold inside (enclosure) an anagram (unlocked) of GATES – yet another example of indecipherable Yodaspeak

25a    Him heap man! (4)
{RICK} – a man’s name is also a heap or stack

30a    A row may get results (5,3,3)
{CLEAR THE AIR} – a part-cryptic double definition – what a row or argument may do could achieve what an anti-pollutionist wants

31a    Place that’s perfect for retirement (4)
{SPOT} – a place or location that, when reversed (for retirement), gives a word meaning perfect

32a    Having no bumps for phrenologist means ‘sensible’ (5-6)
{LEVEL-HEADED} – this could mean there are no bumps for the phrenologist to read and actually means ‘sensible’

Malt whiskies strong several after back I’ll be.  Yoda BD


2d           One metal cup coming up! (4)
{UNIT} – one is the definition – reverse (up) a metallic element and a type of cup used as a seal

3d           Top off instant pudding (4)
{RICE} – remove the initial T (top off) from an instant to get a type of pudding

4d           Heads for comfort food (7)
{NOODLES} – a slang word for heads is also a type of food

5d           Avoid being smitten by love (4)
{DUCK} – a double definition  – to avoid and a score of zero in cricket – as love is zero in tennis and the answer is zero in cricket, can one be used to define the other?

6d           Presumes, when one doesn’t reject the offering (5,2)
{TAKES IT} – a double definition

7d           Ambition to capture a record in comeback (4)
{GOAL} – an ambition is, in Yodaspeak, to capture A inside a record or diary reversed (comeback)

8d           Return from mission from which one might not have returned (6,5)
{DANGER MONEY} – the return or recompense from a risk mission

12d         It should ensure delivery of entire speech (4,7)
{FULL ADDRESS} – what is needed on an envelope, along with a stamp, to ensure it is delivered is also the entire speec

13d         On beach alone, removing one item of apparel (6)
{SANDAL} – another word for a beach is followed by AL(ONE) to get an item of footwear

15d         It creates suspense when lifeboat’s lowered (5)
{DAVIT} – one of a pair of devices used for lowering a lifeboat

16d         Violet’s lost it, seeing! (5)
{VOLES} – remove the separate letters (lost) of IT from V(I)OLE(T)’S to get these small furry creatures

17d         River creature rising and surfacing (6)
{TARMAC} – a charade of a river in a university city and a creature is reversed (rising) to get a road surfacing

21d         He’s got a fish — a whopper! (7)
{CHARLIE} – this man’s name is a charade of a fish and a whopping untruth

22d         Challenge bird (7)
{STRETCH} – a double definition – to challenge or extend and bird (Cockney bird lime) or time in prison

26d         Animal scoffing hot dog (4)
{CHOW} – put a farm animal around (scoffing) H(ot) to get a type of dog

27d         Said it’s the carriage entrance (4)
{GATE} – this word that sounds like carriage or bearing is an entrance

28d         Fellow fed up with Greek food (4)
{FETA} – F(ellow) with a word meaning fed reversed (up) gives a Greek cheese

29d         Awful day leading to bad temper (4)
{DIRE} – a word meaning awful is a charade of D(ay) and bad temper

The last clue says it all!

17 comments on “Toughie 635

  1. Definitely not a toughie – took me less time than the back page today (and come to that the FT and Times too). Thanks to BD for the review. As Scarlett O’Hara would say ‘tomorrow is another day’!

  2. I used to find Excalibur toughies a struggle but even my limited intellect found this to be on the gentle side however I did quite enjoy it. Thanks Excalibur and BD for the review.

  3. Definitely an easy Toughie! I didn’t enjoy it, mainly because of the grid – 14 “wee stinkers”. It can’t have been much fun for the setter either – unless she chose the grid herself.

  4. Childish I know, but I did like 23a.

    Just watched “The Listeners” . Congratulations! I’ve set the video up for next week.

  5. Sorry but I did not enjoy this one iota, 15d wasn’t even cryptic best clue probably8d. Thanks to Excalibur and to Bid Dave for his comments. Congratulations to Dave Tilsit and his team on their success last night.

  6. Laid up with a bad back and very bored don’t usually have time for Toughie but was really pleased I did all but 2 so a gentler one was much appreciated. Thanks to BD for getting me the final 2. I’ll have to continue now

  7. What does “Yodaspeak” mean? Did have a quick go at the toughie today – gardening was “rained off” – managed some (of the crossword I mean rather than the gardening) and needed the hints for lots. Thanks to Excalibur and BD.

    1. Off gardening rained was… Yoda was an ill-advised addition to the characters in the Star Wars films. I think he was intended to add a comedic element – it didn’t work. Some of the surface readings in some crosswords read as if they were spoken by Yoda and it’s one of my bug-bears. I really don’t mind if a clue is fairly easy but I hate contrived and nonsensical surface readings, Of course I may be wrong. Ask BD! :)

  8. I had everythiing taped up apart form the NE corner from which I managed to make 7d Hope, 11a Weed, and 8d Wanders over. Oh, how dim, you might well say.

    Obviously I could’nt quantify ‘wander sover’. Clearly I was way off the mark with a couple of clues, but thank you to this site for setting me straight.

    One can be so easily thrown off the track by believing that one has solved a clue which one ultimately discovers is not the right answer. Big lesson learnt!

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