Toughie 733 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 733

Toughie No 733 by Messinae

Hints and tips by Bufo

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This is only the second Messinae puzzle that I have blogged. I gave 4* for difficulty to the last one which was unusual because bloggers usually only give Messinae puzzles 2* for difficulty. This one was 2* at most and I might have been tempted to give it 1* had I not had to think a little about the last couple of answers. So once again we have a Toughie that is anything but tough.

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    Long drinks disposed of in American home market (5,2,3)
{YARDS OF ALE} The answer is alcoholic drinks consumed from tall glasses approximately 0.9144 metres long, shaped with a bulb at the bottom, and a widening shaft which constitutes most of the height. It is derived by putting OF inside a sale of second-hand goods held in a garden in America

6a    Mistake knocking back lager (4)
{SLIP} A mistake is a reversal of a type of lager beer

10a    Search over jazz group (5)
{COMBO} ‘To search’ + O (over) = a small jazz band

11a    Inn for particular purpose mostly to get excited about (9)
{ROADHOUSE} The answer is an inn catering for motorists, cyclists, etc. Take a Latin term (2,3) meaning ‘for a particular purpose’, remove the last letter, and put the rest inside ‘to get excited’

12a    Ancient god put back in piece of mosaic (7)
{TESSERA} A reversal of the Greek god of war + ‘put’ gives one of the small pieces of which a mosaic is made

13a    Tackle leading Nazi guarding a navy (7)
{HARNESS} ‘To tackle’ = the surname of a German Nazi leader put round A RN (navy)

14a    Aid for newsreaders somehow let ’em report without pressure (12)
{TELEPROMPTER} A device allowing someone on TV to see a projection of what he or she is to say is an anagram (somehow) of LET ‘EM REPORT round P (pressure)

18a    Putting forward magician’s art concealing shocking treatment (12)
{CONJECTURING} ‘Putting forward’ = a magician’s art (9) round the abbreviation for a form of treatment using electric shocks

21a    One taking on predator endlessly savaged (7)
{ADOPTER} ‘One taking on’ is an anagram (savaged) of PREDATO (predator without the last letter)

23a    Make false representation about alcoholic drink being soft one (7)
{LIMEADE} ‘Make false representation’ surrounds an alcoholic drink made from honey to give a soft drink

24a    18th-century prime minister revelling in confusion (9)
{GRENVILLE} The surname of the British prime minister from 1763 to 1765 is an anagram (in confusion) of REVELLING

25a    Bury football team? (5)
{INTER} ‘To bury’ = a football team from Milan

26a    Daughter feasted on fruit (4)
{DATE} D (Daughter) + ‘feasted’ = a fruit

27a    Official to turn back after hazard (10)
{CHANCELLOR} An official = a reversal of ‘to turn’ following a hazard


1d    Craft with support rising round Switzerland (6)
{YACHTS} Craft (boats) = a reversal of ‘support’ round the IVR for Switzerland

2d    Sloppy about girl (6)
{REMISS} ‘Sloppy’ = about (2) + girl (4)

3d    Crime fighter with dodgy secret vetoed it (5,9)
{STORE DETECTIVE} A crime fighter in a shop is an anagram (dodgy) of SECRET VETOED IT

4d    Secure guys round a traveller’s first canopy (9)
{FIRMAMENT} ‘Secure’ and ‘guys’ round A followed by T (first letter of traveller) = canopy (the sky)

5d    Whip to keep European in line (5)
{LEASH} ‘Whip’ containing E (European) is a line for holding a dog

7d    Gold about to be accepted by former recipient of honour (8)
{LAUREATE} The atomic symbol for gold + about inside ‘former’ gives a person honoured by a distinction

8d    Open country’s beset by sheer delight (8)
{PLEASURE} ‘Open country’ + ‘S inside ‘sheer’ gives delight

9d    Wrapped in flag, brave man locks politician in great power once (3,5,6)
{THE ROMAN EMPIRE} ‘To flag’ (4) goes outside a brave man (4), locks (hair) (4), and politician (2) to give an ancient civilisation that was a great power

15d    Alan, ruder, upset clergyman (5,4)
{RURAL DEAN} An anagram (upset) of ALAN RUDER gives a clergyman

16d    Special constable getting teased attacked (8)
{SCRAGGED} SC (special constable) + ‘teased’ = ‘attacked’

17d    Where 1 down may be found with brass (8)
{INSOLENT} IN + the stretch of water between the Isle of Wight and the mainland (where 1 down may be found) = ‘with brass (effrontery)’

19d    Alliance with former president finally switching sides (6)
{CARTEL} An alliance = the surname of a former US president with the final letter changed from R (right) to L (left)

20d    Servant touring East is more exposed (6)
{BEARER} A native servant in India = ‘more exposed’ round E (East)

22d    Fiennes perhaps — one leading role mostly first-class (5)
{RALPH} The first name of the actor Fiennes = R (the first letter of role) + first-class with the last letter removed

Pleasant enough to do but short on duration (as Gazza put it yesterday)

10 comments on “Toughie 733

  1. I thought this was quite gentle, even more so because I assumed I was solving a puzzle from Firefly (which is actually tomorrow!).
    Pleasant enough, although I thought the surface of 16d a little odd.
    Thanks to Messinae, and to Bufo for the review.

  2. More or less a write it all one crossword, 1.5* difficulty at most. As you say, pleasant enough but definitely not a Toughie. Thanks to Messinae and Bufo.

  3. Not very taxing but pleasant enough favourites 11a and 17d thanks to Messinae and to Bufo for the hints.

  4. Well we were very grateful for this one…. the first Toughie completed without help for ages!

  5. I agree with most of the earlier posts, this was a not so tough toughie but enjoyable enough, thanks to Messinae and to Bufo.

  6. There were lots of good clues in this, not so hard but of a good standard for all. I liked 1a very much and also 16d as it is a word that is not so common but very nice to get from teh wordplay. Thanks to Messinae and to Bufo for the review.

  7. Solved this after dinner.
    Faves : 6a, 11a, 18a, 23a, 7d, 9d, 17d & 22d.

    My late parents retired to the I.O.W. so I crossed the Solent many times!

  8. A nice enough solve but this is the 3rd softie toughie this week. All would have not have been out of place on the back page. What’s the betting we have a stinker tomorrow.

  9. Too many ‘general knowledge’ type for my taste. Also many laboured contrived clues. I much prefer straight cryptic clues that elegantly constructed – and true. Sadly rare these days.

  10. Thanks to Messinae & the reviewer. Very enjoyable, needed 4 hints to finish. Favourite 17d.

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