Toughie 804 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 804

Toughie No 804 by Dada

One hump or two?

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Those of us who regularly follow Dada wearing his other hats know that he can be quite a bit tougher than this one, which is fairly gentle (for him). It’s still very enjoyable, though, with a fair supply of d’oh moments.
Let us know how you got on and please take the time to record your assessment of the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below,

Across Clues

1a  Essential food one spotted for US musician (4,6)
{FATS DOMINO} – a legendary US musician appears when you combine one of the essential food groups and a small oblong tile marked with spots.

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6a  Among cast, a really big name (4)
{STAR} – a big name is hidden (among) in the clue.

9a  Costa del Sol home, perhaps, popular for gangster (7)
{VILLAIN} – the sort of expensive home that British gangsters used to buy on the Costa del Sol when life got too hot for them in the UK is followed by an adjective meaning popular or fashionable to make a gangster or criminal.

10a  Horse race contested the wrong way, swear by the odds! (7)
{NURSERY} – this is a race for two-year old horses which are just being introduced to racing. Reverse (the wrong way) a past participle meaning contested or staged and follow this with the odd letters of ‘swear by’.

12a  Beast often spitting germs, lacking energy, arrived in outskirts of Nepal (8,5)
{BACTRIAN CAMEL} – an animal given to spitting comes from a word for germs without the E (lacking energy) followed by a synonym for arrived inside the outer letters of N(epa)L.

14a  Time to be viewed through a microscope? (6)
{MINUTE} – double definition – a period of time and a description of something which, because of its size, can only be seen through a microscope.

15a  Bound to lie back, taking in slowing match (8)
{PARALLEL} – a synonym for match or equivalent comes from reversing (to lie back) a verb meaning to bound and inserting (taking in) an abbreviated musical direction to gradually decrease speed.

17a  Ringtone’s maddening — it dominates the atmosphere (8)
{NITROGEN} – a gas that makes up about 78% of the earth’s atmosphere is an anagram (maddening) of RINGTONE.

19a  Who’s beautiful? There’s your answer, if you fancy the teacher! (6)
{ADONIS} – a beautiful youth in Greek mythology is also, as (1,3,2), the answer to the question in the clue.

22a  Adjustment of rent, a decision proving thoughtless (13)
{INCONSIDERATE} – an anagram (adjustment) of RENT A DECISION.

24a  Condition that’s malleable in metal (7)
{AILMENT} – an anagram (malleable) of IN METAL.

25a  Undergarment, not undergarmentt? (7)
{SINGLET} – an undergarment which, as (6,1), also emphasises its correct spelling.

26a  Current generated, dynamo’s maintained (4)
{EDDY} – a watery current is hidden (maintained) in the clue.

27a  Tie suited game as possible means of access (10)
{DRAWBRIDGE} – a possible means of access to a castle comes from a tie or dead heat combined with a game involving suits (suited – Thanks Jezza).

Down Clues

1d  Fit, but losing it, this setter has some figure! (4)
{FIVE} – F(it) without the IT is followed by a contracted form of ‘this setter has’ put into the first person.

2d  Fundamentalist group beat walls in defence, endlessly (7)
{TALIBAN} – a fundamentalist Muslim group comes from an informal verb to beat (as a punishment) which contains (walls in) a possible defence in a criminal trial without its final I (endlessly).

3d  Temporary recovery abated once cud chewed (4-3,6)
{DEAD-CAT BOUNCE} – this colourful phrase is used in the City to describe a small and temporary rebound in a share’s price after it has suffered a significant fall. It’s an anagram (chewed) of ABATED ONCE CUD.

4d  Gardener’s assistant, bloke with flower (6)
{MANURE} – something that assists a gardener to grow better crops is a charade of a synonym for bloke and the name of a river in North Yorkshire.

5d  Thin animal’s skin is unable to cause death (3-5)
{NON-FATAL} – a compound adjective which is normally used to describe foodstuffs aimed at those on a diet could also mean thin. Follow this with the outer (skin) letters of A(nima)L.

7d  Column aired appreciative letters initially supporting the marines (7)
{THERMAL} – column aired is a cryptic way of describing a rising current of warm air. The initial characters of A(ppreciative) L(etters) follow (supporting, in a down clue) THE and the abbreviation for our marines.

8d  Hand of ally shaken during race (5,5)
{ROYAL FLUSH} – an excellent hand in poker comes from an anagram (shaken) of OF ALLY inside a verb to race.

11d  Hitler’s favourite, with reputation initially tough to shake among nicer characters (7,6)
{RICHARD WAGNER} – this is Hitler’s favourite composer (with similar racist views). Start with the initial letter of R(eputation) then insert a synonym of tough and a verb to shake inside (among) an anagram (characters) of NICER.

13d  Free photo celebrity put up, then took down (10)
{EMANCIPATE} – to get this verb meaning to free join together an abbreviated photograph and another term for a celebrity, then reverse all that (put up, in a down clue). Finish with a verb meaning took down (into the stomach).

16d  Charity turning up in force, or go-between (8)
{MEDIATOR} – this is a go-between. Reverse (turning up) a synonym for charity or welfare inside the abbreviated name of the capital’s main police force, then add OR.

18d  Attempted change of course, then went ahead (7)
{TACKLED} – a change of course at sea is followed by a verb meaning went ahead to make a synonym for attempted or took on.

20d  Pines so annoyed? (7)
{NEEDLED} – double definition, the first how you might describe pines, i.e. pines (are) so.

21d  Alternate view, now and then (6)
{SEESAW} – this, as a verb, means to alternate or yo-yo. It’s also a verb meaning to view, firstly in the present (now) and secondly in the past (then).

23d  Minor irritation to have you canonised? (4)
{STYE} – a minor inflammation could also, very cryptically, be how an old word for you might have been referred to in the past (2,2) had it been canonised. Hmm – a bit weak.

I enjoyed many of these (12a, 19a and 3d to list just a few) but my favourite today is 21d.

20 comments on “Toughie 804

  1. Lovely stuff as usual from Dada – as you say not that difficult a solve but such fun throughout. In addition to Gazza’s favourites, the top one for me being 21d, I did also enjoy 25a with its ‘is it a typo, no it isn’t?’ inducing moment.

    Having done all today’s cryptics, I have to say a big thank you to Dada for my puzzle of the day. Thanks to Gazza for the blog too.

  2. Thank you to Dada for a most enjoyable puzzle, that was neither too hard, nor too easy; just about right, and also to Gazza for the excellent review.

    Re 27a, is the ‘suited’ not referring to the card game, ie a game with suits, rather than meaning combined with?

  3. Excellent stuff from my favourite setter!

    Agree 21d is favourite but it’s really unfair to single out 1 clue from all the rest.

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun and to Gazza for the review.

    PS Anyone notice we have “spotted” for the second word of 1a and the same word is clued as “Dotty” in the Grauniad – spookily similar!

  4. Thoroughly enjoyable fare on offer today, new word for me was rall in 15a, favourites being 3d 10a 13a 21d and 27a thanks to Dada and to Gazza for the comments.

    1. I’m sure you’d know it as’ rallentando’…most fun for ages in a toughie

  5. My favourite was 3d in a greatly enjoyed puzzle that was over a bit too quickly. Thanks to Dada and to gazza for the review.

  6. Didn’t do too badly – eventually gave in and looked at the hints for about five, but didn’t need any of the answers inside the brackets having read the hints. I didn’t get beyond thinking that the double letter in 25a was a typo. Never heard of 3d but managed it as it was very clearly an anagram.
    Favourites were 1, 12 and 19a and 8, 18 and 21d.
    Thanks to Dada and gazza.

  7. I didn’t do too badly. Eventually gave in and looked at the hints for the last five that I just couldn’t do.
    I didn’t get beyond thinking that the double letter in 25a was a typo. I’ve never heard of 3d but got it as it was very clearly an anagram.
    Clues I liked included 1, 12 and 19a and 8, 18 and 21d.
    With thanks to Dada and gazza.

  8. Sorry all – I’m sure that you didn’t want to read that twice – the first comment didn’t seem to go but obviously had!

    1. I’m quite impressed that you remembered what you wrote the first time, as the second comment is almost word for word the same as the first. :)

      1. I am, if nothing else, consistent! What the brain DIDN’T do is remember that I could have deleted the second two comments – I’m so used to seeing the “delete” and “edit” thingies that I no longer even notice them! :roll: By the time I’d remembered I was out of time!

  9. Enjoyed this. Micawber Excalibur and Dada are the only Toughies that show any wit. They are my three favourites.

    1. You are certainly entitled to your favourites but I disagree with the statement.

    1. Something mysterious is happening to your comments – they all needed approval for some reason. I just approved one of the two similar comments you sent earlier.

  10. Late input from me.
    Faves were : 1a, 12a, 19a, 25a, 3d, 8d, 11d & 20d.

    Got a. new laptop!

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