Toughie 817 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 817

Toughie No 817 by Dada

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A very nice puzzle even though it was not very difficult and caused no significant problems.

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.


1a    The arm designed to pack stream, perhaps — of fire? (5-7)
{FLAME-THROWER} An anagram (designed) of THE ARM goes inside a stream, perhaps (a word often used in crosswords to define a river even though it’s use isn’t justified by Chambers). This gives a weapon that releases a powerful jet of burning liquid

9a    Capital among five I know backwards (4)
{KIEV} The capital of The Ukraine is hidden in reverse in fiVE I Know

10a    Art nicely represented? Yes! (9)
{CERTAINLY} An anagram (represented) of ART NICELY gives ‘Yes!’

12a    Old accommodation beginning to erode recently (2,4)
{OF LATE} O (Old) + a type of accommodation + E (first letter of erode) = ‘recently’

13a    Language observed as single sailor joining a vessel knocked over (8)
{GUJARATI} A language spoken in west India is a reversal of I (single) + sailor + A + vessel

15a    Shorts older, sheen gone (10)
{LEDERHOSEN} An anagram (gone) of OLDER SHEEN gives short leather trousers worn in Germany

16a    Austrian composer a hazard in the main (4)
{BERG} The surname of an Austrian composer (known for Lulu) is what did for the Titanic

18a    Scottish town a slow burner? (4)
{WICK} A town in the far north-east of Scotland is the part of a candle where the flame is produced

20a    Worrying nuclear aim of government in some countries (10)
{UNICAMERAL} An anagram (worrying) of NUCLEAR AIM is the principle of having one legislative chamber

23a    Cold? Then raise the temperature for a tight result (4,4)
{DEAD HEAT} Cold + ‘raise the temperature’ gives a race in which two or more competitors finish level

24a    Bit of light in study for children’s writer (6)
{CRAYON} A narrow beam of light goes inside ‘to study’ to give something a child might write with

26a    Bending elbow, hen imbibing a stiffener (9)
{WHALEBONE} An anagram (bending) of ELBOW HEN goes round A to give a material used for stiffening , e.g. in corsets

27a    Earth needing a drink (4)
{SODA} Earth + A = a fizzy drink

28a    Beautiful — like a punch in the midriff, perhaps? (12)
{BREATHTAKING} A word for ‘beautiful’ or ‘astounding’ also describes the effect that a punch in the midriff might have


2d    Hot stuff! Politician getting something to go on! (8)
{LAVATORY} Hot stuff from a volcano + a right-wing politician = something to go on

3d    Spray used to attack staff (4)
{MACE} 2 meanings: a type of tear gas/a staff carried as a mark of authority

4d    A mover and shaker, when upwardly-mobile? (10)
{TURBULENCE} A cryptic definition of what causes shaking experienced during an aeroplane flight

5d    President on for a second term, one missed? (6)
{REAGAN} the surname of a former US president = ‘on’ + ‘for a second term’ with the letter I (one) removed

6d    Aspirant having to take in decline (7)
{WANNABE} An aspirant (a Spice Girl?) = ‘to take (seize)’ inside ‘to decline’

7d    Moving rashly to restrict dynasty no good where China is an ally? (7,5)
{RHYMING SLANG} An anagram (moving) of RASHLY goes round a Chinese dynasty. This is followed by NG (no good) to give the type of language in which China (plate) means ‘ally’ or ‘mate’

8d    Bird went ahead to get styled (6)
{TITLED} A small songbird + ‘went ahead’ = ‘styled’

11d    Medium that connects you, you, you, you, you and you, might you say? (5,4,3)
{WORLD WIDE WEB} This is a medium that connects people, the abbreviation for which takes much longer to say than the full form and which sounds like ‘you, you, you, you, you and you’ when the ‘yous’ are taken in pairs

14d    Fair thing? Not exactly (10)
{ROUNDABOUT} 2 meanings: a fairground ride/not exactly

17d    Mischievous child the teacher’s standing over, shut up (8)
{IMPRISON} A mischievous child + a reversal of a male teacher + ‘over’ = ‘to shut up (confine)’

19d    Fake fish produced without a head (7)
{CHARADE} A fake (ridiculous pretence) = a fish of the salmon family + ‘produced’ with the first letter removed

21d    Capital investment in birthday I rushed to take up (6)
{RIYADH} The capital of Saudi Arabia is hidden in reverse in birtHDAY I Rushed

22d    Religious education essential to anything but this menace (6)
(THREAT} RE (Religious educaton) goes in the middle of the opposite of ‘this’ to give a menace

25d    Kiss a Hollywood idol (4)
{PECK} 2 meanings: kiss/a Hollywood idol

From an entertainment point of view it’s a pity that it wasn’t a tad more difficult

14 comments on “Toughie 817

  1. Not difficult all but superbly entertaining from start to finish, thank you Dada and Bufo too.

  2. Most of this went in without much of a problem. My last couple in were 4d, followed by 13a (I spent an eternity trying to find that synonym for ‘vessel’ !).
    Thanks to Dada for the amusement and the enjoyment, and to Bufo for the review.

  3. Dada on top of his form! More like this please.
    2d was favourite for it’s splendid definition.

    Many thanks to Dada and Bufo.

  4. Gentle fare on offer today, favourites 2d 4d and 28a thanks to Dada and to Bufo for the hints.

  5. Thoroughly enjoyable. Thought 11d was brilliant . And I learned something – I had never realised that china was rhyming slang; thanks Buffo! Thanks too to Dada of course.

  6. Had a bit of spare time after the back page cryptic so checked the toughie blog and as it was rated as ** thought i’d give it a go; got there in the end and i agree that it was certainly enjoyable;had’nt heard of 20a-or if i had i’d forgotten it.6d was the last in-is this a ‘real’ word?lots of excellent clues7d my favourite, did’nt get the plate till i rang the blog-thanks Bufo -and Dada for the entertainment.

  7. Phew! As a mere Toughie novice I didn’t find that easy at all – in fact I thought it was really difficult! Have finished it now but it took me SO long that I could probably say just HOW long and get away with it – couldn’t possibly be discouraging to anyone!
    I very nearly gave up with just 4d to go but having got that far the bloody-mindedness in me made me carry on “perservating” and eventually got it. Having said all that I DID enjoy it very much. I didn’t understand the significance of all the “you you you” etc in 11d.
    Favourites 28a and 2 and 7d.
    Thanks to Dada and Bufo.

  8. Definitely not one of his hardest but extremely enjoyable nonetheless. Many thanks to Dada and to Bufo.

  9. I had some fun, particularly with 13a (the same as Jezza as usual – Rajarati anyone?). Thanks to Dada and to Bufo for the review.

    1. My first thought for vessel was urn… then pan… then pot… then I was in trouble for a while.

  10. Loved it, 13a had all the pitfalls, what to use as a sailor, is a vessel a ewer etc. And spent ages trying to Den into the childrens writer, oops. Thanks Bufo and to DadA

  11. Re;13a – I think it should be GUJARATI in the review. Just a small matter but one does like to have things absolutely tickety-boo.

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