Toughie 695 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 695

Toughie No 695 by Kcit

Add a little bit of flavour!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A very pleasurable, if comparatively easy, start to the Toughie week.

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    Certain two getting drunk — what’s the drink? (5,5)
{TONIC WATER} – an anagram (getting drunk) of CERTAIN TWO gives a drink I like to add to gin

6a    Turned vulgar, abandoning fourth beer? (4)
{HALF} – take an adjective meaning vulgar or pretentious and reverse it (turned) after dropping the fourth letter to get a measure of beer

9a    Deliveries by rail vehicle are too stretching (10)
{OVERSTRAIN} – a charade of several deliveries on the cricket pitch (at least 12!) and a rail vehicle gives a word meaning too stretching

10a    Language exam: test not of French? (4)
{ORAL} – this language exam is derived by taking a test or torment and dropping DE (of in French) from the middle

12a    Travel document getting one into Vatican City and South Africa (4)
{VISA} – a travel document is created by putting I (one) between the IVR code for the Vatican City and an abbreviation of South Africa (which is not its IVR code!)

13a    Impractical people plan mediaeval combat (9)
{IDEALISTS} – these Impractical people come from a charade of a plan and the boundary of a jousting-ground used in mediaeval combat

15a    Gave news of beer in Yorkshire area (8)
{AIREDALE} – a charade of a verb meaning gave news of and a beer give an area in Yorkshire that is famous for its terriers

16a    Good to get everything working — here’s quantity of fuel (6)
{GALLON} – a charade of G(ood), everything and a two-letter word meaning working gives an obsolete quantity of fuel

18a    Consequence of failure is money getting invested in time (6)
{DISMAY} – this consequence of failure is created by putting IS from the clue and M(oney) inside (getting invested in) a period of time

20a    College holiday including a good break (8)
{CLEAVAGE} – start with C(ollege) and then put a holiday around (including) A and G(ood) to get the kind of break frequently illustrated by Gazza

23a    Very bad for use in a bust (9)
{NEFARIOUS} – this adjective meaning very bad or villainous is an anagram (bust) of FOR USE IN A

24a    Keen to see great singer’s comeback (4)
{AVID} – an adjective meaning keen is created by reversing (comeback) a great female operatic singer

26a    Last course, perhaps, or first, not second (4)
{TART} – what might form the last course of a meal is derived by taking a word meaning the first and dropping the initial S(econd)

27a    Happening almost entirely to be describing theatre music? (10)
{INCIDENTAL} – a charade of a happening or event and most of a word meaning entirely gives an adjective that could describe theatre music

28a    Not quite nine players? Nine short! (4)
{NONE} – almost all of a group of nine players results in a group that is nine fewer!

29a    Like smuggled goods, still coming in? (10)
{UNDECLARED} – this is an adjective that describes goods smuggled past customs that could describe a batting side that is staying on the pitch – if I’m right then it doesn’t quite work for me, if I’m wrong then I’m sure you will tell me!

Sorry for the delay – I was called away to rescue a neighbour’s computer!  Patient and owner are now both fine!


1d           Play about King in ancient city (4)
{TROY} – put a verb meaning to play around the abbreviation of the Latin for king to get a city that was ruled by King Priam, making the surface reading of this clue excellent

2d           Control restraining river set up with fewer resources (7)
{NEEDIER} – put something used to control a horse around one of Crosswordland’s favourite rivers to get an adjective meaning with fewer resources

3d           Type of warehouse ready with article — vehicle under cover? (4-3-5)
{CASH-AND-CARRY} – this type of warehouse is constructed from some readies, the two-letter indefinite article and then put the vehicle inside a word describing what it will be if it is under cover

4d           Excellent rule: stand ready to catch where something may land (8)
{AIRFIELD} – a charade of a rating of excellent, R(ule) and to stand on the cricket field ready to catch the ball gives somewhere that a plane might land

5d           Made changes: lost weight, getting energy above all (6)
{EDITED} – to get this verb meaning made changes to a document start with a different verb meaning lost weight and move the first E(nergy) to the beginning (above all in a down clue) of the word

7d           Lose oar, drifting in spray (7)
{AEROSOL} – an anagram (drifting) of LOSE OAR gives a spray can

8d           Forge links after upsetting traditional entertainer (4,6)
{FOLK SINGER} – an anagram (after upsetting) of FORGE LINKS gives a traditional entertainer

11d         Spoken in ringing tones? (5,2,1,4)
{CLEAR AS A BELL} – a cryptic definition of a phrase meaning  distinct and pure in tone

14d         Tuck in, boarding chaotic trains? Here’s commuter’s view of one! (7,3)
{SARDINE TIN} – put a word meaning to tuck into food inside (boarding) an anagram (chaotic) of TRAINS to get a commuter’s view of a train during the rush hour

17d         No liquid water to be filled with special flavouring (8)
{ALLSPICE} – put a description of water none of which is liquid around SP(ecial) to get our first flavouring

19d         Singular insult, receiving cut in expensive flavouring (7)
{SAFFRON} – start with S(ingular) and add an insult without its final letter (receiving cut) to get our second, much more expensive, flavouring

21d         One brought in a tax on soldiers and one for the RAF? (7)
{AVIATOR} – put I (one) inside A from the clue and a sales tax and then add some ordinary soldiers to get someone who could be in the RAF

22d         Add contribution to Jack’s round, current in pub (4,2)
{JOIN IN} – to get a phrasal verb meaning to add one’s contribution start with J(ack) and a round letter and then put the symbol used in physics for an electric current inside a pub

25d         Cheered, with source of adrenalin releasing it, ultimately (4)
{GLAD} – an adjective meaning cheered or happy is derived by taking the kind of structure in the body that produces adrenalin and dropping the final letter (releasing it, ultimately) of adrenaliNI thought this should be indicated as a “definition by example”

Let’s hope this heralds a good week for Toughies.

24 comments on “Toughie 695

  1. I enjoyed this one, probably because I finshed it without any major problems!

    Agree with your explanation of 29a, I can’t see anything else there, and it doesn’t quite work for me either. I guess it must be OK as I solved after getting some checkers but it’s not great.

    Held up for a moment or two on 9a as I’d got the deliveries, but only 6 of them, and couldn’t think of a 6 letter rail vehicle until the penny dropped and I commenced banging the head on the table!

    Overall an entertaining puzzle so thanks Kcit and thanks to BD.

    1. I wonder whether there’s a “not” missing from 29a. When a team declares they come in (to the pavilion) so “still not coming in” would mean still batting.

      1. Could it be to do with, say, football results on match day? Still waiting for the scores to ‘come in’ would make the results undeclared?

        Not much better I know.

        1. only one I got stuck on today kept trying to work it out with R as the 5th letter then had a Doh !! moment. ;D

  2. I found this one quite hard work but can’t particularly put my finger on why. Thanks to Kcit and BD.

  3. Half of this went in very quickly, and then it was a slower process unravelling the remainder.
    I enjoyed working my way through it, so thanks to Kcit, and to BD.

  4. With Jezza on this, half in steady pace, then much slower going thereafter. On reflection not sure why I struggled where I did. Oh well. Thanks to Kcit and BD

    1. ‘Horses for courses’ I guess. I finished this in a time which would have got a Wednesday Jay a 3* difficulty rating! Strange how different minds work differently, I must have been just on the right wavelenght this morning, but then I always like Kcit puzzles!

      1. Agreed, I don’t normally pay much attention to the star ratings as it’s all so subjective to me anyway, but I did wonder at the 2 star rating on this one.

      2. I can’t speak for others, but I rated this as a Toughie not as a back-page puzzle. Had it been on the back page then I would have increased the difficulty level to 3*.

        1. That’s what I was trying to say! Agree with Andy though that the star ratings are a bit personal so can only be viewed as a guideline at best, If I were ever to blog a Toughie (don’t start getting ideas BD) then I would lengthen the time for each star and then this would be 2*. It fell well in the time allowed for a 3* back pager.

        2. Guess I wasn’t on the wavelength yesterday, it took me much much longer than a typical Tuesday Toughie and as I said when I looked at it again I really couldn’t see why I had any great difficulties.

  5. FOund a few in the SE corner to chew on. Thanks to Kcit and BD. My take on 29a was to do with votes still coming in so the result being the answer – similar to Boxy in fact

  6. Battled through except for 26a and 25d. I needed to look at the hints for these two. I thought both were a bit clunky in comparison to the rest of the clues which were fine.

  7. Work-man-like offering today not over difficult but I enjoyed it, some of the four letter clues were the most challenging for me, thanks to Kcit and to Big Dave for the review.

  8. Perhaps I am ill, but I have never seen such an easy (to me ) Toughie. I had the paper at that page for the Sodukus, and my eye was caught by one clue, then another and another. Couldn’t stop, and completed nearly all of it in one sitting!! Lots of anagrams helped, but really enjoyed my no doubt one off moment of triumph.

    1. Indeed! Wash your ‘mouth out with soap’ as my Gran used to tell me when I was small, long time ago!

  9. You don’t usually see me on this site but thought I’d have a go to-day, so am here to report that I managed only 9 answers before resorting to the hints, so definitely think Toughies are beyond me at present. But good fun trying, even if I do feel my brains are scrambled! 20a – is that really a definition of “break”?? Forget ladies’ bosoms, it seems more like a good clean cut to me!

    1. Hi Addicted
      If you want to cut your teeth on Toughies I an really recommend Kcit. They’re really not too hard BUT remember they are ‘Toughies’ so don’t expect back page stuff!

  10. I think this could easily have gone on back page. No real favourites. 25d was last in but I still don’t think that it reads right.

  11. Thanks to Kcit & Big Dave for the review and hints. Had a good go at this but 6 answers short in the SE corner. Time to look at the hints now. A nice puzzle, favourites so far 15a & 14d.

    1. All done, got 2 from reading the blog, 3 from the hints and actually got 25d myself, although didn’t know why until I read the hint. Thanks all :-)

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