Toughie 793 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 793

Toughie No 793 by Dada

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I thought that this was a nice puzzle even though I didn’t find it very challenging. It looked as though I was on for a record time when I filled the bottom half in extremely quickly, with only 24 down needing pause for thought. I slowed down on the top half but encountered no major difficulty. There are a lot of good clues with more ‘double definitions’ than usual

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1a    I bought various outstanding memorabilia primarily for braggart (8)
{BIGMOUTH} An anagram (various) of I BOUGHT goes round (outstands) M (first letter of memorabilia) to give a braggart

5a    Judge — silly woman? (6)
{ASSESS} ‘To judge’ is formed by putting a suffix denoting a female after a word for a fool

9a    Vehicle relative’s claimed difficult to balance on? (8)
{UNICYCLE} A vehicle that is difficult to balance on is given by a male relative going round ‘difficult to balance on’ (because of the sub-zero temperature)

10a    Polish returned vital stuff overseas, leaving office (6)
{BUREAU} A reversal of a word meaning ‘to polish’ + a foreign word for water (vital stuff) = office

12a    Its members scaled a building full of children (6)
{SCHOOL} A word for a shoal of fish (which have scales) is also a building where you will find children

13a    Flier looking to impress Labour leader (8)
{STARLING} A common bird = ‘looking’ round L (first letter of Labour)

15a    What’s held to be happy (7)
{CONTENT} 2 meanings: that which is contained/quietly happy

16a    16 Across, to some extent, sixteenth I solve? (4)
{THIS} The answer is hidden in sixteenTH I Solve

20a    Arrest one that’s hammered (4)
{NAIL} 2 meanings: to arrest/a metal spike that’s hammered

21a    US city, holders of personal information backing African country (7)
{SENEGAL} A reversal of a US city and holders of personal information (units of heredity) gives a West African republic

25a    Study land agreement (8)
{CONTRACT} ‘To study’ + an area of land = an agreement

26a    Black rat in women’s clothing (6)
{BLOUSE} B (black) + rat (despicable person) = a woman’s garment

28a    English duck to have tail docked? Stop! (6)
{ENOUGH} E (English) + duck (zero) with the last letter removed = Stop!

29a    Croatian’s worn something for the outdoors (8)
{RAINCOAT} An anagram (worn) of CROATIAN gives a garment worn on wet days

30a    Dolly the model (6)
{SITTER} 2 meanings: dolly (easy catch)/model (someone who poses)

31a    Nice and sure? Wrong! (8)
{INSECURE} An anagram (wrong) of NICE SURE gives a word that means ‘not nice and sure’


1d    Go red, welcoming indigo — as somewhat different hue? (6)
{BLUISH} ‘To go red (in the face)’ goes round I (indigo) to give ‘of a somewhat different colour’. I am not convinced by I = indigo

2d    Girl attending man, his age indecent (6)
{GEISHA} A Japanese girl providing entertainment for men is an anagram (indecent) of HIS AGE

3d    Old axes used on brainless type pretty ugly, for example? (8)
{OXYMORON} O (old) + the axes on a graph + a brainless type = a figure of speech of which ‘pretty ugly’ is an example

4d    Unlikely to be over six feet, perhaps? (4)
{TALL} 2 meanings: unlikely/over six feet, perhaps

6d    One hundred, perhaps, antediluvian (6)
{SQUARE} 2 meanings: a type of number of which 100 is an example/old-fashioned or boringly traditional and orthodox

7d    Faculty certainly maintained by crew (8)
{EYESIGHT} The faculty of being able to see = ‘certainly’ inside a crew of a rowing boat

8d    Slow, slimy, and leaving a trail? (8)
{SLUGGISH} A word meaning ‘slow’ is derived from the name of a creature that is slimy and leaves trails

11d    Taser a beauty? (7)
{STUNNER} 2 meanings: a taser, possibly/a very attractive person

14d    Extend sentence (7)
{STRETCH} 2 meanings: to extend/a prison sentence

17d    Underwear thieves, by the sound of it (8)
{KNICKERS} An item of women’s underwear is a homophone of a word for thieves

18d    Pointer points, showing limits after a diversion (8)
{SIGNPOST} A pointer is an anagram (after a diversion) of POINTS SG (the first and last letters of showing)

19d    Normal weapon, in a manner of speaking (8)
{PARLANCE} ‘Normal’ + a pointed weapon = a manner of speaking

22d    Oxford accent (6)
{BROGUE} 2 meanings: Oxford (shoe)/an Irish accent

23d    Puzzle to solve in Britain, to feed us up (6)
{SUDOKU} A number puzzle that can be formed from DO (solve) inside a reversal of UK (Britain) and US. But I can’t quite make this fit the clue. Am I missing something?

24d    It’s comfortable for the solver, might you say? (6)
{SETTEE} The name of a long seat (that one hopes is comfortable) could be a fanciful word for a solver in that the ‘–er’ on the end of the person who compiles a crossword has been changed to ‘-ee’

27d    Indian food that may be served up? (4)
{NAAN} This Indian food has a palindromic name

The enjoyment was over far too quickly

27 comments on “Toughie 793

  1. Over far too quickly indeed. One of those puzzles which proves that it doesn’t have to be exceptionally difficult to be extremely enjoyable. A very ‘spotty’ day for me, hard to pick a top favourite but I think I will go for 16a and 24d. 2*/4* for me. Thanks to Bufo for the review.

    Hippo Bathday Mr Halpern and thank you for, as usual a very nice crossword.

  2. Once I’d written “Sinecure” I couldn’t be moved. And got the weapon, but the not the norm. Nearest ever to doing a Toughie all by myself. Thanks to the setter and Bufo.

    1. I had sinecure too and it really screwed things up! If it hadn’t all gone wrong there I might even have finished it all on my own!!

  3. I agree that the enjoyment was over far too quickly!
    Thanks to Dada, and to Bufo for the review.

    Re 23d, I think it is DO (to solve) in UK(Britain), and then these 4 letters inside (to feed), a reversal (up) of US.

          1. Thanks, Radler!

            …but it’s one of “those ghastly Americans” providing the commentary! (or maybe he’s Canadian ?)

  4. Italy time is an hour ahead of the U.K. so I have to wait until after 3.00pm local time for the hints, which I usually need, I do as much as I can first and finish it with the blog. In fact I found this quite difficult, completing about half before going through it with Bufo’s hints so thanks to Dada for making me think and thanks to Bufo for helping me to finish — a temperature of 94 outside doesn’t help!!
    Favourites, 11 and 17D

  5. More or less agree with what’s been posted, favourites being 9a 24d and 28a thanks to Dada and to Bufo for the comments.

  6. Agree with eveyone else’s commetnt – great stuff!

    I too was fixated on the wrong UK for a while :oops: but spotted how it works eventually.

    Not sure of a favourite but I think 16a – it was my first in :grin:

    Many thanks to Dada and Bufo.

  7. I found this to be a relatively unchallenging toughie and unlike most of the others I didn’t really enjoy it, not sure why. Thanks to Dado and to Bufo.

  8. Agreed with the fast but fun sentiments. Thanks and Hippy Bathday to Mr Halpern and thanks to Bufo for the review.

  9. Bufo – re I = Indigo – what about the rainbow mnemonic Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain?

    1. I’d thought about it being the I in ROYGBIV but it’s a little too tenuous for me

  10. That’s more like it. Nice succinct clues and no childish “odds and evens”. Sorry to see a
    (13a) Labour leader, though – that’s been done to death. Ah, well…nothing’s perfect

  11. I was pretty close to finishing this without any hints until it all went a bit wrong in the bottom right corner. Putting “sinecure” in for 31a didn’t help with 27d although it didn’t really make much difference to my inability to do 23 and 24d. Never mind – along with the very entertaining comments in “the other place” this has kept me happy and occupied on an otherwise grey, wet and generally unpleasant day, so thanks to Dada and Bufo.
    One day I will finish a toughie that has more than 2* for difficulty!! Until then I am quite happy to manage more than about five answers.

    1. Hey Kath – don’t knock yourself! If you did most of this without help you’re pretty good :grin:

      Keep at it girl – you’ll be telling us all how it works one day !

  12. Thanks to Dada & to Bufo for the hints and tips. A virtual beer all round, Worthington “e”, I actually finished it unaided. I’m in a state of shock :-) Started with 1a, finished with 6d. favourites were 5,9,21a & 3d. Many thanks to Cryptic Sue and Pommers and anyone else I’ve forgot to mention, for encouraging us mere mortals to try the Toughies.

  13. OK, so I’m a fortnight behind…..but I did a Toughie! repeat, I did a Toughie! My solving skills have soared since using this blog. Thanks to all.

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