Toughie 799 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 799

Toughie No 799 by Excalibur

Not for me

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Not one of my favourite puzzles.

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1a    Resources may be in question, nevertheless (11)
{WHEREWITHAL} – these resources or means are a charade of a question (5) and an archaic word meaning nevertheless

9a    Say nothing, nothing, nothing — just go! (4)
{SHOO} – a two-letter word meaning say nothing or keep quiet is followed by a double dose of nothing to get a verb meaning just go away

10a    Alternately, the whole time (5,6)
{EVERY SECOND} – a double definition – alternately or taken in turn and the whole time

11a    Loot was distributed by gang leader (4)
{SWAG} – this loot comes from an anagram (distributed) of WAS followed by the initial letter (leader) of Gang

14a    Taking no time about getting letters after one’s name (7)
{HONOURS} – put NO inside some time to get these letters after one’s name

16a    Did nothing, as agent possibly does (7)
{REPOSED} – to get this verb meaning did nothing start with an agent and add an anagram (possibly) of DOES

18a    Got up to do cartwheels at one point (5)
{STOOD{ – a verb meaning got up is derived from TO, DO reversed (cartwheels) preceded by a compass point

19a    Little container for a part of angler’s equipment (4)
{BAIT} – put little or a small amount around (container for) A to get this part of an angler’s equipment

20a    As a performer, he’s superior to the other chaps (4)
{ALTO} – this singer has the highest male voice

21a    Subdued, turn round and drive back (5)
{REPEL} – put the musical notation for subdued or quiet inside a verb meaning to turn to get a verb meaning to drive back

23a    Having caught the germ, was furious (7)
{SEETHED} – put THE inside (having caught) a germ to get a verb meaning was furious

24a    Dope cut work when going to college, say (7)
{DECLARE} – drop OP (work) from D(OP)E and add a Cambridge college to get a verb meaning to say

25a    Headless ghost wandering about? Piffle! (4)
{TOSH} – an anagram (wandering about) of (G)HOST without its initial letter (headless) to get this piffle

30a    For ‘Journey’s End’, Keaton got less (3,8)
{BUS TERMINUS} – the end of a journey by public transport comes from a charade of the first name of comic actor Keaton followed by a word meaning less or without

31a    Make complaint after fellow takes over (4)
{MOAN} – a verb meaning to make a complaint is derived by putting a fellow around (takes) O(ver)

32a    Both passport and birth certificate do look old (4,4,3)
{SHOW ONE’S AGE} – something that a passport and a birth certificate both do is actually a phrase meaning to look old


2d    Be forced to pare the top off (4)
{HAVE} – to get a verb meaning be forced to drop the initial S from (top off) a verb meaning to pare

3d    Bloody marvellous! (4)
{RARE} – a double definition – bloody as a lightly cooked steak and marvellous

4d    Do they keep taps clean? (7)
{WASHER} – a part of a tap is also someone who cleans

5d    Second credit (4)
{TICK} – this double definition is an old chestnut

6d    Crotchety when anyone goes off key (7)
{ANNOYED} – an adjective meaning crotchety comes from an anagram (goes off) of ANYONE followed by a musical key

7d    After church people came back to eat (4)
{CHEW} – after CH(urch) put you and me reversed (came back) to get a verb meaning to eat

8d    Set on producing home-made bread (6,5)
{FORGED NOTES} – the answer could be a clue for an anagram of SET ON but it actually means counterfeit currency made at home

12d    When it would be most opportune to produce a record? (3,4,4)
{THE BEST TIME} – the most opportune period would produce a record for a race

13d    With sound perception, urge on (6)
{INCITE} – with what sounds like perception is actually a verb meaning to urge on

15d    Horse detested jogging, finally dislodging man (5)
{STEED} – this horse is an anagram (jogging) of DETES(TED) without (dislodging) the man’s name at the end (finally)

16d    Travelled by water and land route for the hearing (5)
{ROWED} – this verb meaning travelled by water using oars sounds like (for the hearing) a land route

17d    It’s an insult, kind of, dropping in to see ruler (6)
{SULTAN} – an anagram (kind of) of AN (IN)SULT without (dropping) IN gives a ruler

21d    Concerned with caress, this should improve image (7)
{RETOUCH} – a charade of a two-letter word meaning concerned with and a caress gives what should improve a photographic image

22d    One girl hobbled — by this? (3-4)
{LEG IRON} – an anagram (hobbled) of ONE GIRL gives something that could hobble a girl

26d    It remains after the theatre’s closure (4)
{SCAR} – this is what remains after being closed up in an operating theatre

27d    Pack, sweetheart gone, and cry (4)
{STOW} – this verb meaning to pack comes from S(wee)T without its inside letters (heart) and a cry

28d    In these times, one is overwhelmed — son helps (4)
{AIDS} – inside what some now call the Common Era (these times) put I (one) and add S(on) to get a verb meaning helps

29d    Climbing animals performed (4)
{SUNG} – another old chestnut – reverse (climbing in a down clue) some animals to get a verb meaning performed a vocal


19 comments on “Toughie 799

  1. Personally, I enjoyed this crossword, not overly tough or tricky and fairly enjoyable, thanks to Excalibur and to BD for the hints.

  2. Gentle start to Toughie week favourites were 8d 13d and 14a thanks to Excalibur and to Big Dave for the hints.

  3. What a treat. A souffle instead of the leaden dumplings we so often get. Loved the whole thing

  4. A couple of wrinkly nosey clues but on the whole I found this entertaining enough. Thanks to Excalibur and to BD.

  5. I managed to finish this without the hints apart from 8d – couldn’t get dough out of my head. I enjoyed it – I’m sure that it wasn’t difficult enough for the experts but, as I know I’ve said before whenever I am able to do a Toughie, just occasionally it’s nice to have one that is possible for the less than expert. It’s encouraging and if they are always VERY difficult it does make it tricky for any of us to make the jump between back page cryptic and Toughie.
    I liked 1, 9, 25, 30 and 32a and 6, 13 and 26d.
    With thanks to Excalibur and BD.

  6. I agree with the posters – easy for a Toughie but at my level. I liked this one much more than the back page today so I’m afraid BD is out-voted! :)

  7. A couple of ‘yoda-ish’ clues; other than that, no real complaints.
    Pleasant enough for a Tuesday – thanks to Excalibur, and to BD.

  8. Thanks to Excalibur & to Big Dave for the review & hints. Enjoyed this one because it was do-able. Needed 3 & half hints to complete, and had to look up 24a, as I’d never heard of the College. Favourite was 30a by a mile.

  9. I got the connection to counterfiet money, but the couldn’t get away from ?O?G?D = DOGGED in SET ON.

    I too like a Toughie I can almost finish, even if it is too easy for the experts. I liked 30 and 32.


    1. I’d call that a vote of no confidence in the NHS, although I see what you mean!! :smile:
      By the way, my husband may be a doctor but he’s NOT a surgeon!!

    2. Q. What’s the difference between God and a surgeon?
      A. God knows that he’s not a surgeon!

  10. I agree wholeheartly with the posts’ it’s nice occasionally to have a more gental Toughie.
    Thanks for the hints, needed less than usual, but i would not have fully completed without them

  11. First time for ages that I’ve finished a toughie without help. Enjoyed this much more than to-day’s back page. Agree that 30a is the best clue – I think even the ‘youngsters’ will have heard this famous name from the earliest days of film making! Thanks for the review BD. Hate to disagree – but I think the general census is that most of us liked this one. More please Excalibur.

  12. Ok, my main problem at first glance was the grid, 14 four letter words i think which instantly makes me groan, BUT and its a big but, I did enjoy this , and I am not in the “expert” category by any means. Thanks BD and Excalibur

  13. Printing time again.
    I will go to my bed dreaming that 26,909 is closer to 800.
    800 is closer to 26,909.
    It’s what dreams are made of.

  14. Did this yesterday as have not had a DT since Tuesday!
    Thought that 30a was magnificent.

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