Toughie 735 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 735

Toughie No 735 by Petitjean

The Only Way Is Essex

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I thought this puzzle lacked the sparkle of some of Petitjean’s earlier Toughies.

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    Non-RP sound upset Nigel’s mum (7,7)
{ESTUARY ENGLISH} – RP is the abbreviation of Received Pronunciation, the particular pronunciation of the language which is generally regarded as being least regionally limited, most socially acceptable, and is considered the standard – this version, more likely to be heard on TOWIE, is a sound or inlet of the sea followed by an anagram (upset) of NIGEL’S and finally a two-letter instruction to stay mum [I am pleased to be able to say I have never watched said TV program]

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a    What’s left for O’Connor comeback? It’s entertaining troops (8)
{SEDIMENT} – what is left after the wine has been decanted is created by reversing (comeback) the first name of the allegedly humorous Mr O’Connor followed by IT around some troops

10a    Delight in tips from gardeners ushering slugs to oblivion (5)
{GUSTO} – this delight or zest comes from the initial letters (tips) of the last five words in the clue

12a    Could bedrooms off and on be his playground? (4)
{EROS} – the even letters (off and on) of bEdRoOmS give the Greek God of Love

13a    Letting in a ball stopped by hand (10)
{ADMITTANCE} – this letting in is derived from A from the clue and a ball or social gathering placed around (stopped by) a slang word for the hand

15a    Confusing Independent for Unionist moderate (8)
{MIDDLING} – in this poorly constructed clue you don’t know whether to take a word meaning confusing and put an I(ndependent) instead of the U(nionist) to get an adjective meaning moderate or the other way around (and the grid is of no assistance) – it’s actually the former

16a    Alight having missed right stop (6)
{DETAIN} – take a word meaning to alight from a railway carriage and drop (missed) the R(ight) to get a verb meaning to stop or hold back

18a    New global organisation getting firm about international ambassador (6)
(NUNCIO} – start with N(ew and a Global peace organisation then add a firm or business around I(nternational) to get this papal ambassador to a foreign court or government

20a    Energy put into much smaller game (8)
{FEARLESS} – put E(nergy) inside an adverb meaning much or greatly then add an adjective meaning smaller to get an adjective meaning game or daring

23a    Justifiable to run away with his second partner? (10)
{LEGITIMATE} – this adjective meaning justifiable or reasonable is a charade of a slang phrasal verb meaning to run away (3,2), the second letter of hIs and a partner or chum

24a    Prog rock initially banned from broadcast; turn over for a classic (4)
{EMMA} – remove (banned) PROG and the initial letter of Rock from the start of a broadcast and reverse (turn over) what is left to get a classic novel – one of my personal favourites, the one about the handsome, clever, and rich Miss Woodhouse!

26a    Predator almost devoured drenched in endless blood (5)
{GATOR} – the shortened form of a reptile related to the crocodile is messily constructed from most of (almost) a three-letter word meaning devoured inside most of (endless) some clotted blood – personally I dislike clues involving two shortened words

27a    Dislike American translation (8)
{AVERSION} – in this old chestnut a dislike is created from A(merican ) followed by a translation

28a    Safeguard inactive board member’s name (4,4,6)
{DEAD MAN’S HANDLE} – this safeguard, used by the drivers of trains on the London Underground and elsewhere, is a charade of a word meaning inactive, a member on a chess board, the ‘S from the clue and finally a slang word for a name


2d    Initial advantage to English at the side of Nelson maybe (7)
{TOEHOLD} – this initial advantage is a charade of TO, E(nglish) and a move in wrestling, like (maybe) the nelson in which the arms are passed under both the opponent’s arms from behind, and the hands joined so that pressure can be exerted with the palms

3d    Greedy fool returns after end of tea (4)
{AVID} – an adjective meaning greedy or zealous is created by reversing (returns) a slang word for a fool after the final letter (end) of teA

4d    Amenable Scottish individual embodying the opposite of casual at golf (8)
{YIELDING} – an adjective meaning amenable or compliant is derived by putting a Scottish word for an individual (like Billy Connelly) around (embodying) the reversal (opposite) of a word meaning casual and finally adding the letter represented by Golf in the NATO phonetic alphabet

5d    Idiot can back ingenuity (6)
{NITWIT} – this idiot is created by reversing (back) a can and adding some ingenuity or Intelligence

6d    So far lethargy is uncommon (5-5)
{LIGHT YEARS} – this very long distance, in multiples of 6 trillion miles, is an anagram (uncommon) of LETHARGY IS

7d    Girl in Sweden new in steamy sauna (7)
{SUSANNA} – this girl’s name (the last resort of a poor grid fill!) is created by starting with the IVR code for Sweden and then adding N(ew) inside an anagram (steamy) of SAUNA

8d    See red and end up like a disgraced tabloid editor? (4,4,3)
{LOSE ONE’S RAG} – this phrase meaning to see red could be how a disgraced tabloid editor ends up

11d    Part of academic year consisting of science and language (11)
{TERMINOLOGY} – a charade of a part of the academic year, a two-letter word meaning consisting of and the kind of science beloved of Beattie in the old BT adverts gives this language or jargon

14d    Sheltered from reality, minor celeb admits nothing in confrontation with journalist (10)
{CLOISTERED} – this adjective meaning sheltered from reality is created by putting a very minor celeb who is in neither the A group nor the B group around (admits) O (nothing) and then adding the usual senior journalist

17d    Dead newt by Scottish water facility (8)
{DEFTNESS} – a charade of D(ead), a newt and a Scottish water or loch which is allegedly home to a monster gives a noun meaning facility or proficiency

19d    Sort of thing that is rarely seen by day? (7)
{NIGHTIE} – an anagram (sort) of THING followed by the abbreviation for “that is” gives a cryptically defined item of feminine slumberwear which lends itself beautifully to an illustration!

21d    Model designed with nothing in timber (7)
{ELMWOOD} – how Yoda might have put an anagram (designed) of MODEL around W(ith) and O (nothing) gives this timber

22d    Claim palaeolithic fragment could be creature (6)
{IMPALA} – hidden inside (fragment) the first two words of the clue is this graceful African antelope

25d    Less men suffering memory loss may be continent (4)
{ASIA} – in another Yodaesque clue, remove (less) an anagram (suffering) of MEN from the loss of memory to get a continent

A pleasant if untaxing diversion.

13 comments on “Toughie 735

  1. Pleasantly untaxing for me too – more fun than the back pager. Thanks to Petitjean – I did smile at 12a and to BD for the excellently illustrated review.

  2. Thanks to Petitjean for an enjoyable if untaxing toughie and to BD for an equally enjoyable review.

  3. Gentle start to Toughie week favourites 1a 4d and 28a thanks to Petitjean and to Big Dave for the comments.

  4. Agree with Big Dave’s final comment – at least I didn’t need the ‘slightly mad hat’ today!

    Favourite 24a, once I’d worked out how it worked!

    Thanks to Petijean and BD.

  5. eek, all went quite enjoyably until 28a. Never heard of the expression, and for the love of … could I parse a possibility. Seriously sat on stupid step!! Ta to BD and petitjean

  6. This was a curate’s egg. Some really nice clues such as 1 8 12 23 24 and 28 but some naff ones including 7 18 and 20. Spent a long time on 14 as I was convinced it started with a ‘B’ as I didn’t realise that this list was so extensive.

  7. 16a was my downfall – Duh me!. I had the idea but didn’t see the right word. Nevertheless I enjoyed this. Thanks ti Petitjean and BD.

    1. Hi Gnomey, hope u ok. Hey, we all have d’oh moments, me many more than you!! Won’t make the northern sloggers and betters as still in this bl%%dy wheelchair but hopefully catch up at at the next do when i can write / type with my right hand as opposed to the frusrtaingly stupid left.

      1. Evening Andy – important for you to get better so no drama. I’m fine but a tad too busy at the moment so I need to find out where my next holiday is coming from. Reading the News I reckon the 18th July for a couple.
        At least you can do crosswords whilst sitting down!

  8. Big Dave, I agree 100% with your comments and criticisms, but I do wonder whether the picture for 12A is appropriate… are you subscribing to the democratic fallacy?

    It won’t surprise you to hear that I have a problem with the name of Clock Tower (or the clock itself) being confused with the name of the great bell in the Palace of Westminster…

    As for the statue which represents the Angel of Christian Charity, well!

Comments are closed.