Toughie 778 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 778

Toughie No 778 by Micawber

Magical Mystery Tour

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

What a week of Toughies for me – first Dada, then Notabilis and now Tilsit has gifted me a Micawber while he goes to chat up the nurses at the hospital.  And what a great puzzle it is.

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1a    Inefficient delivery of what’s native to these shores — shingle? (6,7)
{BROKEN ENGLISH} – this Inefficient delivery of the language that is native to these shores suggests an anagram of SHINGLE

9a    Discharges new media projects (9)
{EMISSIONS} – these discharges could, if split (1-8), be new media projects

10a    Sound ensuing from car’s idling speed (5)
{AUDIO} – this sound is a charade of a German make of car and the speed at which a car travels when idling

11a    South-east Asian girl (5)
{KAREN} – a double definition – a member of a Thai people of East and South Burma and a girl’s name

12a    A rejection from Le Monde for apparently prolific author? (4)
{ANON} – the A from the clue followed by a French (from Le Monde) rejection gives an apparently prolific author

13a    Adult in loudest possible fuss (4)
{FAFF} – put A(dult) inside the musical notation for as loud as possible (fortississimo) to get a fuss

15a    Company beset by money troubles might blame it (7)
{ECONOMY} – put CO(mpany) inside(beset by) an anagram (troubles) of MONEY to get something said company might blame for their money troubles

17a    One displaying gamesmanship essentially hassled German (7)
{SLEDGER} – someone displaying gamesmanship or, more accurately, unsporting behaviour, is hidden inside (essentially) the clue

18a    Drink is English stimulant (7)
{GINSENG} – a charade of an alcoholic drink, the shortened form of is, as in that’s for that is, and ENG(lish) gives a stimulant

20a    Northern guard sent back to be put in the picture again (7)
{REDRAWN} – N(orthern0 and a prison guard are reversed (sent back) to get a word meaning to be put in the picture again

21a    Not bad painter of lady’s fingers (4)
{OKRA} – a charade of a two-letter word meaning not bad and the usual artist gives a vegetable also known as lady’s fingers

22a    I don’t know how to cross mountains (4)
{PASS} – the response given by a Mastermind contender when the answer is unknown is also a route across mountains

23a    Striking unfashionable note (5)
{OUTRÉ} – this adjective meaning striking comes from a charade of a word meaning unfashionable and the second note of the scale in sol-fa notation

26a    Indian leader rejecting women-only sport (5)
{NEHRU} – the surname of an Indian leader is derived by reversing (rejecting) a women-only night out and adding a two-letter abbreviation of a sport

27a    There’s nothing scariest rides exclude (9)
{OSTRACISE} – O (nothing)ride is followed by an anagram (rides/ badgers) of SCARIEST to give a verb meaning to exclude

28a    Procedural motions could be explosive option for reds (6,2,5)
{POINTS OF ORDER} – these procedural motions come from an anagram (explosive) of OPTION FOR REDS


1d    Pioneer Running Bear was familiar with terrain (5,3,6)
{BREAK NEW GROUND} – this verb meaning to pioneer is built up from an anagram (running) of BEAR followed by a verb meaning was familiar with and some terrain

2d    Willowy cider drinker, head down (in book) (5)
{OSIER} – to get this adjective meaning willowy start with the person with whom Laurie Lee drank cider in the well-known book and then move the first letter to the end (head down)

3d    Old American hawk — now I see her flying (10)
{EISENHOWER} – the surname of this famous American General is an anagram (flying) of NOW I SEE HER

4d    Max, involved with English goy, marrying out (7)
{EXOGAMY} – an anagram (involved with) of MAX, E(nglish) and GOY gives a word meaning marrying outside of one’s own group

5d    USA goes mad, substantially lacking boundaries (7)
{GASEOUS} – an anagram (mad) of USA GOES gives an adjective meaning substantially lacking boundaries

6d    Islamic leader ruled country (4)
{IRAN} – the initial letter (leader) of Islamic is followed by a verb meaning ruled to get this Islamic country

7d    Bush went like the clappers in London Park area (9)
{HYDRANGEA} – to get this bush put a verb meaning went like the clappers of a bell inside a London Park and then add A(rea)

8d    Possible fruit of debate about protection surrounding queen and prince during race (10,4)
{CONFERENCE PEAR} – to get this type of fruit, possibly for a debate, [listen very carefully!] start with a two-letter word for about (not re), add some protection around (surrounding) Elizabeth Regina (queen) add a P(rince) and put the whole lot inside (during) an anagram (rearranged) of RACE

14d    Type of capital supplied by dope at minimum rate is source of growth for Jersey? (4,6)
{SEED POTATO} – start with a type of capital provided to allow a new company to finance the costs of producing the business plan necessary to raise further capital for development (thanks Chambers) and add some dope or marijuana, the AT from the clue and the minimum rate of progress to get the source of growth for Jersey Royals

16d    Possession of drugs not primarily cool (9)
{OWNERSHIP} – a word meaning possession is derived from some drugs without their initial D (not primarily) and an adjective meaning cool or trendy

19d    Indian holiday tummy, perhaps? Try a different course (2,5)
{GO ABOUT} – split the answer as (3,4) and it could be a tummy bug from a region of India, but it’s actually a verb meaning try a different course

20d    Carb-heavy dish is too much in the middle of prom (7)
{RISOTTO} – to get this Italian dish of rice cooked in stock with meat or seafood, onions and other vegetables, and cheese put IS and a three-letter abbreviation of meaning too much inside the middle letters of pROm

24d    Mysticism’s central part in traditional Chinese society (5)
{TRIAD} – put the middle letter (central part) of MystIcism inside TRAD(itional) to get a Chinese secret society

25d    Mystic raising question about our identity (4)
{SUFI} – if this adherent of a Muslim group who aspires to a state of union with God through mystical contemplation is reversed and split as (2,2) it could be a question about our identity

What a week!  Can next week be as good?

14 comments on “Toughie 778

  1. As BD says, what a great puzzle! A perfect end to the week.
    Many thanks to Micawber, and to BD.

    Re 9a, I thought the E came from the middle letter of NEW (media indicating the middle letter – Chambers).

      1. You’re right. I could not understand how NEW on its own fitted the wordplay. I forgot that NEW MEDIA refers to electronic forms of media.

  2. The toughie won.
    Lots of nice clues, and with 6d, even a repeat from the cryptic.
    TVM M & BD
    Now for some tennis!

  3. Best overall Toughie week we’ve had for a long time is rounded off by the brilliant Micawber, favourites were 1d 13a 15a and 26a thanks to setter and to Big Dave for a sterling weeks work.

  4. And another ‘spotty’ day to finish the great Toughie week. You always know you are going to have fun with a Micawber and today was no exception. Too many favourites to list. Thanks to him and BD too.

  5. Great fun but I thought it was easier than the back pager. Many thanks to Micawber and to BD.

  6. A lovely puzzle to finish a great Toughie week. 8d was sublime!. Thanks to Micawber and to BD for the review.

  7. Did this over the breakfast cuppa or two and a lot of fun it was – fine puzzle to start the day.
    Agree with the gnome about 8d – obvious answer but parse it? Took a while I have to say!

    Thanks to Micawber and BD

  8. What a brilliant crossword – tantalizing hints of eastern promise. And many thanks to BD for the invaluable clues to the clues. Some very stimulating anagrams there. And I loved 19d’s double meaning.

    (Just wondering though, in case anyone can help – ‘Rides/badgers’ in 27a – how on earth (no pun intended) does ‘rides’ or ‘badgers’ get to be an anagram signifier?)


  9. PS The asterisk was my monogram, not my rating – I’d give this one millions of *******

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