Toughie 805 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 805

Toughie No 805 by Petitjean

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

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

Actually I found it quite satisfying to finish though I still haven’t decided whether I enjoyed it or not. I thought I might find the puzzle on the easy side because I instantly made the connection between it and an item I’d heard on this morning’s Today programme. But despite knowing the theme I still found it a struggle and I felt quite exhausted by the time I’d finished it. I then came across an article on page 3 of the Daily Mail which improved my understanding of some of the answers.

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.


7a    Neither up nor down, contrary Old Duke after a kiss? That’s an absurd proposition (7)
{PARADOX} Neither up nor down (as your score on the golf course might be) + a reversal (contrary) of O D (Old Duke) + X (a kiss) = an absurd proposition

8a    Celebrant of golden anniversary today may be worried thus about taxman taking millions (3,4)
{SIR MICK} A member of the 21 down (title and forename) = ‘worried’ round the organisation that taxes you and M (millions)

10a    Original member of 21 getting 15 covered by Tina Turner (3,7)
{IAN STEWART} The original keyboard player with the 21 down is an anagram of the second part of 15 across (the anagram being indicated by the first part) inside an anagram (Turner) of TINA

11a    Curry this third day being 21’s creation (4)
{RUBY} Rhyming slang for a curry is a word that goes before the third day of the week to give the title of a song written by members of the 21 down

12a    Cool jazz guitarist missing Juliet’s dance (8)
{FANDANGO} ‘To cool’ goes before the first name of a famous jazz guitarist with the letter J (Juliet) omitted. This gives an old Spanish dance

14a    The truth goes out of the window embroiling party leader at length (6)
{GOSPEL} ‘The truth’ is an anagram (out of the window) of GOES round P (first letter of party) + L (length)

15a    Dusty warmed up for 21 — an inspiration (5,6)
{MUDDY WATERS} An anagram (up) of DUSTY WARMED gives a US blues singer who was a hero of the 21 down. In fact they took their name from one of his songs

19a    One was one of 21 at 17; later, one was one of 21 in the park; rock royalty, almost! (6)
{TAYLOR} The answer is the surname of two people who played with the 21 down. One was Dick, a bass player who played with them at the 17 down in 1962, and the other was Mick who joined them in 1969 and who played with them in Hyde Park in that year. The answer is an anagram (rock) of ROYALT (royalty, almost)

20a    Does a runner’s muscle lose energy in moments? (8)
{ABSCONDS} ‘Does a runner’ = a muscle + moments with the letter E (energy) omitted

22a    Liquid weedkiller missing standard tamper-proof top (4)
{AQUA} A liquid = the name of a poisonous weedkiller from which a synonym of standard has been removed from the front and the letter T (first letter of tamper-proof) from the back

23a    Obese and without a roof over one’s head, ignoring inevitable conclusion is beyond comprehension (10)
{FATHOMLESS} Obese + ‘without a roof over ones head’ with the letter E (last letter of inevitable) omitted = ‘beyond comprehension’

25a    21 recording half this lament without original tune (7)
{CENTURY} 21 down are celebrating half of one of these today. It is made up of ‘lament’ round an anagram (original) of TUNE

26a    21 rivals get the better of the French (7)
{BEATLES} 21 down‘s great rivals = ‘get the better of’ + ‘the’ in French


1d    Pair shaken by 8’s mascara running (7)
{MARACAS} What 8 across used to shake is an anagram (running) of MASCARA

2d    Popular bar in ruins (4)
{MARS} 2 meanings: a popular chocolate bar/ruins

3d    21 45 grow carrot (4,2)
{COME ON} The title of 21 down‘s first release on a 45 also means ‘to grow’ and is a carrot (incentive). I bought a copy of this 45 and must still have it somewhere. I’m feeling old!

4d    Don’t move with new variety of tit in view (3,5)
{SIT TIGHT} ‘Don’t move’ = an anagram (new variety of) of TIT inside a view

5d    One organising 21 had this in Oldham (10)
{IMPRESARIO} An organiser in the entertainment world. The one that organised the 21 down had the surname Oldham

6d    Crossed the line, afraid right away, clutching ‘Brideshead Revisited’ (7)
{SCABBED} ‘Crossed the (picket) line’ = ‘afraid’ with the letter R (right) omitted goes round two B’s (first letter in Brideshead)

9d    Metal fan who upset 8’s tasteful alter ego? (3,2,6)
{MAN OF WEALTH} An anagram (upset) of METAL FAN WHO. I didn’t know the connection with 8 across but Google tells me it’s a line in Sympathy of the Devil

13d    Pet Shop Boys and Wham among others turn into clones (6,4)
{DOUBLE ACTS} Pet Shop Boys and Wham both had two members. The answer is derived from ‘a turn’ inside ‘clones’

16d    Dash for side of road where 8 lived (8)
{DARTFORD} ‘Dash’ + FOR + D (last letter of road) is the town where 8 across lived

17d    Brand new interior for birthplace of 21 on 12 July 1962 (7)
{MARQUEE} A brand (e.g. of a car) + E (middle letter of new) = the club in London where, on 12 July 1962, the 21 across filled in for the regular band who had been booked to perform on the BBC

18d    The old pair of smalls you originally put on clean for return journey (7)
(ODYSSEY) A reversal (return) of an old word for ‘the’ + S S (pair of smalls) + Y (first letter of you) + ‘to clean’ = a journey

21d    With Ecstasy and no end of pot back on board ship there’ll be a party tonight for this crew (6)
{STONES} A reversal of E (Ecstasy) + NO + T (last letter of pot) goes inside SS (ship) to give the abbreviated name of the ‘crew’ celebrating their golden anniversary

24d    Vintage Tull out-take reviewed in ‘Melody Maker’ (4)
{LUTE} This Melody Maker (musical instrument) is hidden in reverse form in Vintage Tull

The puzzle was fine for an oldie like me but I suspect that many punters will hate it.


21 comments on “Toughie 805

  1. Like Bufo, I’m not certain if I enjoyed this or not. A mixture of fairly obvious clues and some fairly obscure ones which is, I suppose, a good definition of a toughie, all in all I would have said 3*/3*. My thanks to Petitjean for stirring my old memories and to Bufo for an excellent review.

  2. I probably count as an oldie too but I loved it even though I was more of a fan of the 26a. Although I had to check/confirm some of them, all the answers were there in the wordplay if you looked at it enough. Don’t know whether any of the 21d would do the DT Toughie but I bet they would have been pleased with all the work that obviously went into this one. Thanks to Petitjean and Bufo too.

  3. I thought it was absolutely brilliant, being a big fan of the earlier stuff they made. Favourites were 3d 5d 10a 15a and 25a thanks to Petitjean for the nostalgic challenge and to Bufo for the comments.

  4. I liked this and managed over three quarters of it unaided, largely due to being a 60s music anorak. One could hardly miss the theme, given today’s press coverage. Thanks to Bufo for providing the more obscure answers (at least to me), such as 9d.

  5. Dont often try the toughie , usually just do the cryptic, but having ‘rumbled’ the theme set about it with relish, as they are my favourite band ,bit of a treat for me today,i agree with Pegasus that the early stuff is best, but it always seems to be the case with ‘pop’music with the opposite being the case for classical music- anyway reached Nirvana today!

  6. A fine puzzle finished with a lot of head scratching. Thanks to petitjean and our man Bufo for the review.

  7. Could I see 22a, not for most of the day, at least parsing it anyway, pesky four letter words! Am i wrong in thinking in 6d that Revisited means the B from Brideshead is used twice? Not that it matters, great clue and superb crossword which was finished with aid of Google and Newspaper columns. I’d like to say I was too young, my Birthday yesterday indcates not!! Many thanks to Bufo and Petitjean

    1. I’m with you on the BB Andy but I did get a flash of inspiration on PARAQUAT!.

    2. Perhaps it wasn’t made clear, but Bufo’s hint does say “revisited” indicates repeating the B(rideshead), so your definitely not wrong!

      1. ‘Crossed the (picket) line’ = ‘afraid’ with the letter R (right) omitted goes round two B’s (first letter in Brideshead)
        Where is the ‘revisited’ indicator BD? I just thought the clue was cleverer than it looked, using Revisited to get two Bs

  8. A cracker from a compiler who always raises a chuckle. Loved 10a [when the penny dropped] and 18d [although it was messed up in the paper version]. Many thanks to Bufo, especially for the explanation of 19a, and to PJ [Brideshead Revisited revisited!]
    Am I allowed to advertise? If so, Father Brian and others who like this sort of thing might enjoy

    1. Feel free to advertise your own handiwork.

      Why not submit a puzzle for the NTSPP series? It will probably be solved by more people than on similar sites and certainly get more (i.e. some!) feedback.

  9. I chickened out of this one – did SO badly with the back page crossword that I thought today was not my day! I’ve had a very busy day and so not enough time – a good excuse! I haven’t read the hints or comments yet but, if the rain keeps going as it is at the moment, I might try it tomorrow. I got the theme from the “other place” – I was much more a fan of the Beatles so know less about this lot.

  10. I can see why Bufo thought people might hate it; I was on the verge, but ended up just mildly irritated. I do like themed puzzles, but only if they can be solved without an in-depth knowledge of the theme. Looking back, this one does just about pass that test though I didn’t think so at the time. As it turned out, the most obscure reference for me was the guitarist in 12a who, as far as I know, has nothing to do with 21d.

    Was I alone in being slightly thrown by the misspelling of Wham! in 13d?

    1. Further to my slightly grumpy comment above, I should mention that I particularly liked 8a and 6d, along with 20a, 22a, 18d, and 24d.

  11. I preferred the Beatles, too, but was helped by the substantial anniversary article in the same paper!

    2d seems to be a reference to the apocryphal tale involving Ms Faithfull and one or more members of the21d. Or is that just me being grubby?

    1. I’m sure that 2d was no accident and was probably smuggled past the editor! I still remember the cover of Private Eye at the time.

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