Toughie 775 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 775

Toughie No 775 by Dada

Hello Mudda, Hello Dada

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment *****

Dada on a Tuesday? Yes. But it’s not as ferocious as some of the Paul puzzles from the same setter, but just as 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    50 per cent ruined, employ the other half (6)
{SPOUSE} – drop the trailing ILT (50 per cent) from a word meaning ruined and then add a verb meaning to employ to get the other half of a marriage

4a    Shame about extremes of griminess — here? (6)
{PIGSTY} – put a word meaning shame, as in it’s a shame, around the outside letters (extremes) of GriminesS to get somewhere famous for griminess

8a    Two pages, one due to be edited, made more public (6,2)
{OPENED UP} – an anagram (to be edited) of two P(age)s ONE DUE gives a phrasal verb meaning made more public

10a    Basic centrefold feature? (6)
{STAPLE} – this adjective meaning basic can be found, as a noun, in the middle of a centrefold

11a    French produce short cut (4)
{BRIE} – to get this French cheese drop (cut) the final F from a word meaning short

12a    National member dressed in cloak, uprising (10)
{COMPATRIOT} – a national or fellow countryman is derived by putting a Member of Parliament inside a cloak and then adding an uprising

13a    Sweet, say, with odd bits of sock, covered in fluff (12)
{BUTTERSCOTCH} – this sweet is built up from a word meaning to say and the odd letters of SoCk inside a verb meaning to fluff

16a    I don’t recall who has composed a new smash hit (5-3-4)
{WHAT’S-HIS-NAME} – this hyphenated word meaning I don’t recall who comes from an anagram (composed) of A NEW SMASH HIT

20a    Small tipple favoured by Beelzebub possibly fighting fatigue (10)
{SHELLSHOCK} – S(mall) is followed by what could be (possibly) a tipple favoured by Beelzebub (4’1,4) gives this fatigue caused by fighting in a war

21a    Cheat where the innocent lie? (4)
{CRIB} – a cheat used as an aid by students is also where innocent children may lie to sleep

22a    Trash beginning to moulder — correct (6)
{MALIGN} – to get this verb meaning to trash someone’s reputation start with the initial letter (beginning) of Moulder and add a verb meaning to correct or straighten

23a    Revolutionary book I study showing modern expression of feeling (8)
{EMOTICON} – reverse a large book and then add I and a verb meaning to study to get this -> :-)

24a    Political theorist partially bends leg neatly to the left (6)
{ENGELS} – this father, alongside Karl Marx, of Marxist theory is hidden (partially) and reversed (to the left) inside the clue

25a    Little sustenance for love story, perhaps? (6)
{WEEPIE} – a charade of a Scottish word for little and some sustenance favoured by Desperate Dan gives what is possible (perhaps) a love story


1d    Pub user twisted bottom of leg, getting nasty strain (8)
{SUPERBUG} – an anagram (twisted) of PUB USER is followed by the final letter (bottom) of leG to get a nasty strain of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics

2d    Cat pound sixteen times greater? (5)
{OUNCE} – sixteen of these large cats might weigh a pound!

3d    Travesty of cider as cocktail (7)
{SIDECAR} – this could be a travesty that is an a anagram (cocktail)of CIDER AS, but it’s not, it’s an anagram (travesty) that gives a cocktail

5d    Second name Laurel, it claims (7)
{INSTANT} – to get this second or moment put N(ame) and the first name of the Laurel half of the famous duo inside (claims) IT

6d    Scorch beard, possibly, eating unusual starter, marine animal (3,6)
{SEA URCHIN} – pu a word meaning to scorch and the part of the face that may possibly sport a beard around (eating) the initial letter (starter) of Unusual to get this marine animal

7d    Canary unlike a lion? (6)
{YELLOW} – canary as a colour gives, as an adjective, a characteristic that is unlike a lion – apart from the one in the Wizard of Oz of course

9d    Scrubber has come in upset, all over the place (6,5)
{PUMICE STONE} – this item used to scrub the skin is an anagram (all over the place) of COME IN UPSET

14d         Top less soft and flowing, as bathrobe fabric (9)
{TOWELLING} – start by removing (less) the musical notation for soft from TO(P) and follow it with a word meaning flowing or issuing forth to get this bathrobe fabric

15d         Man perhaps in move, or otherwise (8)
{OMNIVORE} – this could be, perhaps, man or any creature that eats just about anything and everything and is an anagram (otherwise) of IN MOVE OR

17d         Eleven weapons here (7)
{ARSENAL} – this eleven-man football team used to be based at a weapon store in Woolwich

18d         Smokier bombs causing irritation (7)
{IRKSOME} – an anagram (bombs) of SMOKIER gives an adjective meaning causing irritation

19d         Grammatical term wears out, they say (6)
{PHRASE} – this grammatical term sounds like (they say) a verb meaning wears out

21d         Response initially outlined by token tweet (5)
{CHIRP} – put the initial letter of Response inside (outlined by) a gambling token to get a tweet

What a corker to start the week!

18 comments on “Toughie 775

  1. 1* Toughie time so definitely not ferocious but 5* fun. Lots of dots by ‘favourite’ clues today. Thanks to BD for the hints and Dada for this, and all your other equally entertaining crosswords today.

  2. A fine puzzle which I found more enjoyable than his offering in today’s Grauniad.

    Nice to see the cat back – don’t think I’ve seen him for a while :grin:

    No stand-out favs, just all good stuff

    Many thanks to Dada and BD.

  3. Great fun! A nice gentle start to the toughie week.
    Thanks to Dada, and to BD.

  4. Enjoyed this one, favs included 4a 13a 19d and 23a thanks to Dada and to Big Dave for the comments.

  5. I really enjoyed this crossword, so many times I try the Toughie and even when I have the answers can’t see any connection between the two but for once I managed the majority without any help and feel triumphant!! Silly, I know, it’s only a crossword, but I did it!! No doubt it is far too easy for most of the people who do the toughie regularly — it’s so nice to actually solve the clues and I feel totally encouraged to try again. Very heartfelt thanks to setter and B.D.This has been a red-letter day!!Favourite must be 19D

    1. It’s been said very often on this blog that a puzzle doesn’t have to be mind-bogglingly hard to be enjoyable and this one is proof of that.

      May not be the hardest Toughie ever but it was still a ‘Toughie’ so well done to you :grin: Keep up the good work and perhaps we’ll see you tomorrow?

      1. I just returned to the computer to find that Pommers has said more or less exactly what I was going to. Well done Brenda. What you need to do is to look and whether us ‘old hands’ found the crossword enjoyable or not as that is just a part of the Toughie solving process as waiting for some light bulb moment to appear in the back recesses of our minds. We also have the problem that if a Toughie is straightforward and we don’t say so for fear of offending, people might wonder why we are still fighting on after in my case nigh on 42 years :)

  6. Very easy – very enjoyable!

    I rarely finish a Toughie, but today I managed without help. However, needed BD to explain the “Butterscotch” clue! Ta!

    Disappointed by the emoticon (23a) in the review – I’m sure that Pommers would have provided something more entertaining. :wink:

    1. Can’t resist a challenge, and as I have a severe case of man-flu (according to pommette) at the moment this seems appropriate :grin:


  7. THanks Dada – an ace puzzle to start the Toughie week. I didn’t manage to finishe on the commute (phone calls interrupting) but all got polished off on the platform at Stratford. I would go for **/****. Thanks to BD for the review, I would agree witht he sentiments!

  8. What a good start to the week, Csue and Pommers have said What I would have to Brenda and with so much more eloquence and authority so to do. Windows open, dogs sleeping. Dare not look at the weather forecast, we are going to pay for this respite. Thanks to BD and Dada

  9. Enjoyable and untaxing, thanks to Dada and BD, a nice start to the toughie week.

  10. Solved this after dinner tonight.
    Very enjoyable : faves were : 1a, 13a, 20a, 25a, 1d, 3d, 6d & 17d.

    Have been sitting in short sleeves and summer shorts as the weather has gone from miserable spring to full summer these last few days!

  11. Too busy yesterday so did this one first thing this morning. Very entertaining with some lovely clues of which I thought 16 was the best for the surface reading. It also gave me a giggle. We don’t see enough of Dada.

Comments are closed.