Toughie 827 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 827

Toughie No 827 by MynoT

Return of the Grockle!

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

Back in February Gazza posed the question “What Happened to Grockle, Heckle and Jekyll?” when MynoT skipped a few consonants. Well here’s the answer – the grockle was on holiday. Another yawn of a puzzle – knowing that there is a particular consonant in every answer takes most of the fun away from solving.

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. Definitions are underlined in the clue.


1a    Comedian‘s agent pocketing a grand (6)
{GAGMAN} – an American government agent from the FBI around A and G(rand) – the agent was allegedly given that name by gangster George “Machine Gun” Kelly

4a    Too many words, essentially adverbial, become dated (8)
{VERBIAGE} – the middle five letters (essentially) of adVERBIal followed by a verb meaning to become dated

9a    Drive finding green disconcerted first of youths (6)
{ENERGY} – an anagram (disconcerted) of GREEN followed by the initial letter (first) of Youths

10a    Socialist serious actor (8)
{REDGRAVE} – a charade of a socialist and an adjective meaning serious

11a    Hybrids would be no good in mushrooms … (8)
{MONGRELS} – put the abbreviation for No Good inside some mushrooms – I thought I would look up the mushrooms in Chambers where they are described as edible discomycete fungi; then I looked up discomycete “a group of fungi with open apothecia” and then on to apothecia “open fructifications in discomycetes and lichens, often cup- or saucer-shaped” and finally fructifications “a fruiting body” at which point I gave up, none-the-wiser

13a    … to consume by way of mouth — not seriously? (6)
{INGEST} – split as (2,4) this sounds like a phrase meaning not seriously – the question mark indicates that there is something unusual about the clue, but I don’t recall it being used to indicate a homophone

15a    Double a profit repeatedly (5,3,5)
{AGAIN AND AGAIN} – split as (1,4,3,1,4) this could be a profit followed by another profit

18a    Char and lance swimming in Gulf state pursuing glaucous water primarily (8,5)
{CLEANING WOMAN} – an anagram (swimming) of LANCE and the IN from the clue followed by a Gulf state itself after (pursuing) the initial letters (primarily) of Glaucous and Water

22a    Ecstasy used by director-general in government fringe (6)
{EDGING} – E(cstasy) followed by the abbreviation for Director-General, IN and G(overnment)

24a    It shows how far one’s gone to follow discussion in American state (8)
{ODOGRAPH} – three-letter words meaning to follow and a discussion inside the abbreviation for an American state

26a    Altering itself is intrinsic (8)
{INTEGRAL} – a new twist on an old chestnut – an anagram (altering) of ALTERING

27a    Old officer‘s nuts to get cocktail of gin (6)
{ENSIGN} –another word for nuts, as printing measures, followed by an anagram (cocktail) of GIN

28a    Talk about European mixed diet and become overambitious (3,5)
{GET IDEAS} – boastful or garrulous talk around E(uropean) and an anagram (mixed) of DIET

29a    Confused mass of seaweed (6)
{TANGLE} – a double definition


1d    Creates illumination for opening of Gregorian manuscript found in meadow? On the contrary (6)
{GLEAMS} – reverse the instructions in the clue (on the contrary) and put a meadow inside the initial letter (opening) of Gregorian and the abbreviation for manuscript

2d    Good Book again bears fruit (9)
{GREENGAGE} – G(ood) followed by a verb meaning to book again

3d    State of a lager I brewed (7)
{ALGERIA} – an anagram (brewed) of A LAGER I

5d    Keen but not active? That’s a bore (4)
{EGER} – start with an adjective meaning keen and drop the A(ctive) to get a bore like the one on the River Severn

6d    Get away, going to Iowa leaving behind English flower (7)
{BEGONIA} – an exhortation to get away is followed by the abbreviation for the US state of Iowa then E(nglish) is dropped (leaving behind) from the first word

7d    Turning over in sleep, a gastronome’s yawning (5)
{AGAPE} – hidden and reversed (turning over) inside the clue

8d    Time in twilight for equestrian competition (8)
{EVENTING} – T(ime) inside another word for twilight

12d    Heather’s holding popular material (6)
{LINING} – another name for heather around (holding) a two-letter word meaning popular

14d    At heart Wagner, stricken by fear, worried persistently (6)
{GNAWED} – the middle two letters of WaGNer followed by a word meaning stricken by fear

16d    Girl has a fish — it’s strengthening (9)
{ANNEALING} – a girl’s name is followed by the A from the clue and a fish to get a verb meaning strengthening glass or metal by heating and cooling gradually

17d    School supported by Eastern dynasty is intriguing (8)
{SCHEMING} – SCH(ool) followed (supported in a down clue) by E(astern) and a Chinese dynasty

19d    Without horse, Opposition leader is in minority (7)
{NONAGED} – start with a phrase that could mean without a horse (2,3) then add the first name of the current Leader of the Opposition to get an adjective meaning still legally an infant

20d    Bleat about chap in pink (7)
{MAGENTA} – a word that sounds like a bleat from a goat around a posh chap

21d    Shift to be exhibited in church (6)
{CHANGE} – a verb meaning to be show in an art exhibition inside the Church of England

23d    Game bird — that’s understood (3,2)
{GOT IT} – a two-letter game of skill for two players, who take turns to place black or white stones on a board, followed by a small bird

25d    Earth is seen to be first-class in Georgia (4)
{GAIA} – the goddess or personification of Earth in Greek mythology is derived from a two-letter word for first-class inside the abbreviation for the US state of Georgia

I wait with bated breath to see which letter MynoT tackles next!

11 comments on “Toughie 827

  1. Average grade again given against higher judgement.
    Glaringly recognizable design.
    Telegraph toughie missing g-spot!

  2. 1.5 for difficulty, 2 for enjoyment (I did smile at 10a) and apart from wanting to see how MynoT would get on trying to put a Q in every solution, I do wish he could abandon the alphabeticals and give us an ‘ordinary’ Toughie.

    Thanks to BD.

  3. This is the first time we have encountered a MynoT puzzle and it was not until we got out of bed this morning and looked at the blog that we realised that there was a G in every answer! Although we got finished without too much hassle, it would have made life easier if we had. 5d was a new word to us and one we had trouble locating to confirm. Eagre as a synonym for bore gave us a nudge in the right direction though. We know what to watch for on our next MynoT. Thanks setter and BD.

    1. We have already had all the vowels, and in the consonants series we have all from B to N except J and M. This series has been running since September last year.

  4. I have only recently seriously started switching from pure back page to back and toughie. It is an interesting learning curve and whilst I found today’s far easier I was still not able to finish by myself. A few of the but parts I was lacking, 11a, did not know the mushroom and did not twig a mongrel was a hybrid. Gman as an agent is new to me but may be too young for that one, good knowledge. Nuts is ens, new one to me. I probably got more joy out of today’s than many if you but think the rating was right taken in context.

  5. Got bored with this about halfway through and gave up :sad: Bring on the Q and then can we call it QUITS :grin:

  6. Does MynoT ever read this blog? does he realise everyone is totally bored with this self indulgence, c’mon mynot abandon this rubbish and start setting entertaining solvable puzzles that are worth the £1.20 it costs me each day

  7. I agree with much that Tordy wrote. I only have time to try about one Toughie a week, and this is my first Tuesday effort. I didn’t find it as trivially easy as some here (!), but it didn’t seem any harder than the Cryptic.

    BD, you have a typo in your answer to 14D – it’s only six letters :-)

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