Toughie 707 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 707

Toughie No 707 by Messinae

The Devil is in the details

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Although this Toughie was easier than it’s back-page partner, I found it to be considerably more enjoyable.

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    Cheer pilot flying — in this? (10)
{HELICOPTER) – an anagram (flying) of CHEER PILOT gives what the pilot might be flying

6a    Something dirty upsetting stomachs (4)
{SMUT} – this mildly obscene remark is created by reversing a colloquial word for stomachs or bellies

10a    Unorthodox ritual expelling one hardliner (5)
{ULTRA} – an anagram (unorthodox) of R(I)TUAL without (expelling) I (one)gives a hardliner or extremist

11a    Leave crease in some game (9)
{PARTRIDGE} – a charade of a verb meaning to leave or go away and a crease gives a game bird

12a    One working till put away (7)
{CASHIER} – a double definition – someone working a till and a verb meaning to put away or discard

13a    Rod gets car tax returned to build on (7)
{DEVELOP} – reverse (returned) a rod and the abbreviation for car tax (Vehicle Excise Duty) to het a verb meaning to build on or elaborate

14a    Wanderers hosting leaderless side is overwhelming (12)
{STEAMROLLERS} – put some wanderers or itinerants around a sporting side without the initial T (leaderless) to get a verb meaning is overwhelming or imtimidates

18a    Lieutenant, foolish type losing head, occupies digs in town (6,6)
{MILTON KEYNES} – put the abbreviation of Lieutenant and a foolish type (6) without his initial D (losing head) inside a verb meaning digs or excavates to get a town in Buckinghamshire, famous for its concrete cows

21a    Scratch match (7)
{LUCIFER} – a double definition – another name for (Old) Scratch (the devil) and a match made of wood tipped with a combustible substance – note that the required capitalisation of Scratch is concealed by being the first word in the clue

23a    Angela’s cooked hot dish (7)
{LASAGNE} – regulars will recognise this anagram (cooked) of ANGELA’S which gives a hot Italian dish (but not Sophia Loren!)

24a    Actor Tom embracing revolutionary craft left singers (9)
{CONTRALTI} – put the surname of actor Tom (the one that could be out-acted by a plank of wood) around (embracing) the reversal (revolutionary) of craft (3) and L(eft) to get these operatic singers

25a    Eating bit of chicken a la king? Oh dear! (5)
{ALACK} – put the initial letter (bit) of Chicken inside A LA K(ing) to get an archaic word meaning “oh dear!”

26a    One fixing bank (4)
{TIER} – a double definition – someone fixing with string and a bank or row

27a    One searching for risky venture that’s primarily gold (10)
{PROSPECTOR} – this person searching, perhaps for gold, is a charade of a prefix meaning for, a slang abbreviation for a risky venture, the initial letter (primarily) of That and the heraldic term for gold


1d    Intuitive feeling about a piece of meat (6)
{HAUNCH} – put an intuitive feeling around A to get a piece of meat taken from the leg and loin

2d    Louisiana’s international news (6)
{LATEST} – a charade of the abbreviation of Louisiana and an international sporting match gives the up-to-date news

3d    Film sprinter finally entering if his footrace rearranged (8,2,4)
{CHARIOTS OF FIRE} – to get this film, loosely described by the whole clue, put the final letter of sprinteR inside an anagram (rearranged) of IF HIS FOOTRACE

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d    Book old man a support (9)
{PAPERBACK} –this soft-covered book comes from a charade of the old man (2), A (as in “a square yard” or “each square yard”) and a verb meaning to support

5d    Put off, not brilliant having made a mistake (5)
{ERRED} – take a word meaning put off or postponed, drop the first three letters, which form a colloquial word meaning brilliant, anf the result is a verb meaning made a mistake

7d    Wore on catwalk fashion lifting depression (8)
{MODELLED} – this verb meaning wore on the catwalk, by someone like Kate Moss, comes from a fashion or style and the reversal (lifting in a down clue) of a depression or hollow

8d    Unlawfully enter health resort having broken lock (8)
{TRESPASS} – to get this verb meaning to unlawfully enter put a health resort inside (having broken) a lock of hair

9d    E.g. Ancient Mariner’s story — several tell tar to get lost! (10,4)
{TRAVELLER’S TALE} – this type of story, of which the poem of the Ancient Mariner is an example, is an anagram (to get lost) of SEVERAL TELL TAR

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15d         Payments such as Mike Tindall has (9)
{ROYALTIES} – split these payments made to authors and composers as (5,4) and it could represent what Mike Tindall has following his marriage to Zara Phillips

16d         Trouble-maker within the law without saying (8)
{IMPLICIT} – a charade of a trouble-maker and an adjective meaning within the law gives a word meaning without saying

17d         Adventurous girl takes TV host in Spanish resort (8)
{ALICANTE} – put the girl whose adventures were chronicled by Lewis Carroll around one half of an overrated pair of TV presenters to get a Spanish resort

19d         Turkish commander’s time to be shocked (6)
{AGHAST} – an alternative spelling of this Turkish commander is followed by the S from ‘S and T(ime) to get an adjective meaning shocked or stupefied with horror

20d         Cook putting last bit of cheese in container (6)
{BEAKER} – put a person who cooks bread around the final letter of cheesE to get a drinks container

22d         Governor to regret taking in one side and another (5)
{RULER} – this person who governs is created by putting a verb meaning to regret around L(eft) and then add the opposite side

A very relaxing start – crosswords can get much Tougher than this!

20 comments on “Toughie 707

  1. Enjoyed this one and also found it easier than the back-pager! No real favourites but there’s a lot of good stuff in here.

    Thanks to Messinae and Big Dave.

  2. Thanks to Messinae for the puzzle that was a pleasure to solve. Nothing too tricky; the only thing I did not understand was the first three letters (not brilliant) of 5d, although I am sure it has arisen before. Thanks also to BD for the review.

  3. Good fun but definitely not toughie standard. Thanks to Messinae for the crossword and BD for the hints.

  4. Tried to do this while sitting in the dentist’s waiting room & I’ve got to agree with BD on it’s comparative ease with its backpage cousin today. Enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to Messinae & to Big Dave.

    New dentist wearing chain mail gloves instead of the plastic surgical variety (well that’s what it felt like to this big wimp), large filling & now anesthetic is wearing off. Time for the Nurofen or perhaps a stronger tincture…

    1. I thought it was easier than todays cryptic too – had fun with it though….. and ohhhhh the dentist (was not that a recent down clue?) – not good. Enjoy the tincture :-)

  5. A big relief after the back page tussle. Definitely a toughie, although at the easier end of the spectrum. Thanks to Messinae and BD too.

  6. Thoroughly enjoyable start to Toughie week favourite 14a I bet Pommers smiled at 17d thanks to Messinae and to Big Dave for the comments.

  7. Agreed,easier than ,’ the,back page puzzle’-left hand side anyway!
    Probably back down to earth tomorrow waiting for ‘toughie clues’

  8. Enjoyable but not really tough. I ripped through it, apart from 14a which eluded me until BD’s explanation, whence I hang my head in shame. Thanks be to BD. :-)

  9. As everyone supposes it’s likely to be a tad more difficult tomorrow – we have an Elkamere.

  10. Many thanks to Messinae for an enjoyable romp through the Toughie (took half the time than the back page today) and to BD for the review.

  11. I have to say that I found your use of that picture of Sophia Loren to be entirely gratuitous.

    Good work.

  12. Ridiculous! I romped through this while at Maidstone eye hospital this morning. (No aids,no big red book, nothing) The cryptic on the other hand has me completely beat. I have yet to put in one answer!

  13. Work commitments including driving meant that I had a couple hamnging out here. I would certainly agree on the enjoyment. Thanks to Messinae and BD for the review.

  14. I enjoyed this. It’s the first time, I think, that I’ve ever finished a toughie on my own. It took about a quarter of the time that the back page crossword did. Can’t lose today – I did the back page puzzle and ended up feeling triumphant (and knackered) and now feel pleased with myself for, finally, managing a toughie, albeit an easy one!!
    With thanks to Messinae and BD.
    :smile: Off to bed now – sleep well all.

  15. This was not as difficult as the cryptic but a lot more enjoyable. So many good clues of which 14 and 15 stood out. No silly zowie moments either. Last in was 24 which went in with a large groan.

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