Toughie 847 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 847

Toughie No 847 by Messinae

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Much like last Tuesday, a puzzle that would have been better suited to the back page. There are setters out there capable of compiling tougher puzzles than this, but the Telegraph continues to ignore them.

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    In France it’s good overturning the aristocracy (6)
{NOBLES} – reverse (overturning – works better in a down clue) the French for good and follow it with the plural form of the French definite article

4a    Food brought back with p-pork in store (8)
{CUPBOARD} – food that is brought back by an animal such as a cow around P and the flesh of a male pig

9a    Wet engaging a left-winger (6)
{MAOIST} – an adjective meaning wet around (engaging) A

10a    Char speaking with a pleasant manner (5,3)
{ROSIE LEE} – rhyming slang word for a cup of char sounds a bit like (speaking) an adverb meaning with a pleasant manner

11a    They’re after a good time, terribly dishonest (9)
{HEDONISTS} – an anagram (terribly) of DISHONEST

13a    Gulf states first-to-last accommodating British (5)
{ABYSS} – start with a verb meaning states, move the first letter to the end and then insert B(ritish)

14a    End of long race — get tired after Queen gets applauded round (9,4)
{CHEQUERED FLAG} – a verb meaning to get tired preceded by QU(een) inside (gets … round) a verb meaning applauded

17a    Worker after job following surgery (4-9)
{POST-OPERATIVE} – a worker after a job – the definition is an adjective

21a    Cryptically expressed to hoax journalist (5)
{CODED} – a charade of a verb meaning to hoax and Crosswordland’s usual journalist

23a    Restaurant egg has peculiar taste about it (9)
{ESTAMINET} – this small French bar or café comes from an explosive “egg” inside (has … about it) an anagram (peculiar) of TASTE

24a    Witness beauty willing to participate (6-2)
{LOOKER-ON} – a beauty followed by a two-letter word meaning willing to participate

25a    Tramps rejected A levels (6)
{STRATA} – reverse (rejected) some tramps or trollops and add the A from the clue

26a    I sated in chomping small cakes (8)
{DAINTIES} – an anagram (chomping) of I SATED IN

27a    Bug broadcasting equipment in extremes of trade (6)
{TSETSE} – radio or TV equipment inside the outer letters (extremes) of TradE


1d    Young girls from American city high school entertaining politician (6)
{NYMPHS} – two-letter abbreviations for an American city and High School around (entertaining) the usual politician

2d    Wild country intimate with weeds (9)
{BOONDOCKS} – a charade of an intimate or close friend and some weeds

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d    Being ascetic accepting Church initially (7)
{ESSENCE} – a member of an ancient Jewish ascetic sect, widely regarded as the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, around the initial letter of Church

5d    Posh toff’s valet failing to attend (11)
{UNOBSERVANT} – the usual single letter for posh followed by a three-letter word for a toff and a valet – the definition is failing to pay attention

6d    Ship with pirate (7)
{BRIGAND} – a charade of a two-masted square-rigged ship followed by a preposition meaning with

7d    A cry goes up in bowling area (5)
{ALLEY} – the A from the clue followed by a cry reversed (goes up) gives an area used for ten-pin bowling

8d    Challenges Egghead missing first answer — one must be up for this competition (8)
{DRESSAGE} – start with a five-letter verb meaning challenges or provokes and an egghead or wise person then drop the first A(nswer) – an event where one must be riding a horse (up) in order to compete

12d    Girlfriend in just win (7,4)
{SQUEEZE HOME} – a colloquial word for a girlfriend followed by a word meaning indoors gives to win by a very small margin

15d    We initial redrafts to prepare for surprise appearance (3,2,4)
{LIE IN WAIT} – an anagram (redrafts) of WE INITIAL

16d    Spotted quantity of dry goods in dray (8)
{SPECKLED} – an archaic measure for dry goods inside a dray used to travel on snow

18d    Leftover rum needed by chaps getting tense (7)
{ODDMENT} – a three-letter word meaning rum or unusual followed by some chaps and T(ense)

19d    Cons favoured friends (7)
{INMATES} – these cons are prisoners – a two-letter adjective meaning favoured followed by some friends

20d    A guy relaxed (2,4)
{AT EASE} – the A from the clue followed by a verb meaning to guy

22d    You may find some round hot Indian (5)
{DHOTI} – a Hindu loincloth is hidden inside the clue – presumably intended as &Lit

Things can only get better as the week progresses – at least I hope so.

24 comments on “Toughie 847

  1. Not overly tricky, but a couple to think about, and I preferred it to the other puzzle today.
    3*/3* from me. Thanks to Messinae, and to BD.

  2. I have to agree with Jezza 3*/3* for me also, not overly demanding but fairly enjoyable. Thanks to Messinae and to Big Dave.

  3. 2*/2.5* for me. Could have definitely been on the back page rather than the middle of the paper. I liked 10a. Thanks to Messinae and BD too.

  4. I made a fatal mistake entering Corsair for 6d which held me up for a while, However I did enjoy the puzzle favourites were 10a 12d and 24a thanks to Messinae and to Big Dave for the comments.

    1. I made the same mistake with 6d – it really messed up that corner and I took ages to even question it!

  5. It seems like ages since there was a Messinae Toughie, so this was nice to see. I enjoyed it, although, as others have said, it was fairly gentle for a Toughie. Tomorrow’s Firefly puzzle is likely to be trickier.

    Many thanks to Messinae and BD.

  6. First half went in pretty quickly, then stumbled and also put corsair in. I quite liked it. Not too tough but then not too simple. 3/3. If you study the patterns, it’s about normal. Tomorrow will be tougher, Thursday more so.

  7. Because I could do this one I was pretty sure that all the clever people would think that it was too easy to be a Toughie! Anyway, did it and enjoyed it. I’m not even going to try to decide how many * for difficulty or enjoyment.
    I needed the hint to explain 4a – I’d managed to get completely the wrong end of the stick with that one. 23a – I didn’t know that egg could be a bomb or a mine and with 2d I didn’t know that meaning of boon. I DID remember squeeze for girlfriend which I learnt in a crossword fairly recently. So, quite a few new words for me today – wonder how many I will remember next time that I need them!
    I liked 1 and 25a and 16d.
    With thanks to Messinae and BD.

    1. If its any consolation Kath I completed it but didn’t know that peck was a measure until I read the hints, we live and learn, every day…..

      1. You are too young my boy. In our childhood, notebooks from Woolworths came with the back page covered in lovely information such as the times tables, measurements such as rods, poles and perches, pecks and bushels and all sorts of other lovely words relating to distances/amounts that sound so much more romantic than all this metric nonsense.

        1. Today’s Times (which is a cracker, BTW) had GILL, another imperial measure, which is pretty well-known to whisky drinkers, at least north of the border.

          1. Am familiar with that one Qix, but isn’t it good to learn more?!!! Only do the Times as a joint effort with friends over a beer or two, three… on a friday, but If I can get hold of a PDF of todays will give it a go, still laughing over todays guarniad offering.Cheers

        2. mea culpa….scruples and batmans m’dear. With a bit of chopin (scot) thrown in. Hope the eye is better, yours not the paper

  8. We found this one quite easy (about the same as the backpager) until we hit a real brick wall with 10a. This one sat there for ages mocking us until the penny dropped. We do have a little dictionary of Cockney Slang but do you think we looked at it? No! Mrs Kiwi got it while Mr Kiwi at Bridge.
    Thanks Messinae and BD.

    1. 2Kiwis,

      I always like to be alone and completely undisturbed when I “try” to do the Crossword.

      What is the strategy when you two do it together?

      I suppose it’s “Good Morning” to you rather than “Goodnight” – British Summer Time: 20:18.

      British Summer Time? An oxymoron?

      1. I, the Mr K have been doing cryptics on and off for about 50 yrs. Mrs K is much newer to the addiction. We do find that doing them together is a very pleasant activity. We are old fashioned enough to prefer working on paper so we print off two copies and work together on each clue. Our specialty areas seem to complement each other. Great to share the D’OH moments, and then to share them later on this blog. Yes it is morning for us here. We are about to go for our regular walk along our local estuary and beach. Cheers

  9. Finally finished. Needed a few hints (but only 2 full answers i’m pleased to say).

    Looking forward to tomorrow. Many thanks to BD and the setter.

    1. I’m sure you don’t mean to be rude, but that’s the way it comes across.

      The answer can be revealed by selecting the space between the curly brackets.

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