Toughie 869 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 869

Toughie No 869 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A steady solve with no hold-ups. The only minor problem I had was in getting my head round and unravelling some of the longer clues. The setter gets low marks for conciseness

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7a    Is our pub’s reason for disorder showing no end of hubbub this? (14)
{UPROARIOUSNESS} An anagram (for disorder) of IS OUR PUB’S REASON with the letter B (end of hubbub) omitted. The whole clue acts as a definition of sorts

9a    Segmented item shot on grass from the east surrounding island (10)
{GRAPEFRUIT} A fruit consisting of segments = clustered iron shot that scatters when fired + a reversal of ‘grass’ round I (island)

11a    Club protected by pair once (4)
{IRON} Hidden in pair once

12a    Complete
division in court? (3)
{END} 2 meanings: to complete/one of the two halves of a tennis court

13a    Turn to take in food say held back — this food? (10)
{VEGEBURGER} ‘To turn’ round a reversal of ‘food’ and EG (say) gives food for the non-carnivores

16a    Catch special insight by unknown character (4)
{ESPY} ‘To catch sight of’ = an abbreviation for a special insight + Y (unknown character)

17a    At college, charges will be higher (7)
{UPWARDS} ‘At college’ + charges (children you have care of)

18a    Fool perhaps putting hand in front of tailless dog (7)
{PUDDING} An informal word for a hand + a wild dog with the last letter removed. The word for a hand was new to me

20a    Pooch severing leg from meat (4)
{MUTT} Remove an alternative word for leg (in cricket) from meat from a sheep

21a    Efficiency shown by favourite replacing male in start (10)
{COMPETENCE} Take a word meaning ‘to start’ and replace M (male) by PET

23a    Misfortune in work after time is wasted (3)
{ILL} Remove T (time) from ‘to work (on the land)’

24a    Correct legislative body relocating 50% of its membership eastwards (4)
{EDIT} ‘To correct’ = a legislative body with the first two letters moved one position to the right (eastwards)

25a    A new detective with net spread about media boss’s past (10)
{ANTECEDENT} A + N (new) + detective + an anagram (spread) of NET round ED (media boss)

28a    A lecher getting excited with scant hint of right embracing daughter? (6-8)
{CRADLE-SNATCHER} An anagram (excited) of A LECHER SCANT round D (daughter). Again the whole clue provides a definition of sorts


1d    Doubt mostly about a European broadcaster with power gained in series of calls? It’s consumed by loads (7-7)
{QUARTER-POUNDER} Take a 5-letter word for ‘doubt’ and remove the last letter. Inside this you put A + an Irish broadcasting service + P (power) inside a series of calls made by a doctor, postman, etc. This gives you a food item sold by Macdonald’s and thus eaten by loads of people (but not by me)

2d    Mastery in set employee (4)
{GRIP} 2 meanings: mastery/an employee on a film set

3d    Neglected issue with a celebrated poem (4)
{WAIF} W (with) + A + the title of the poem once voted Britain’s favourite in a nationwide poll

4d    Reveal disreputable resort concealing a lot of ugly ground (7)
{DIVULGE} A disreputable resort goes round an anagram (ground) of UGL (a lot of ugly)

5d    Newsroom employee brought up worry over unionist linked to extremely grotesque and evasive conduct (10)
{SUBTERFUGE} A newspaper employee + a reversal (brought up) of ‘to worry’ + U (unionist) + GE (first and last letters of grotesque)

6d    How one might describe lag before advantage in batsman’s unintended shot? (6,4)
{INSIDE EDGE} A word describing a lag (prisoner) + advantage

8d    Retail location providing criminal information on rugby player (8,6)
{SHOPPING CENTRE} ‘Providing information about a fellow criminal’ + a rugby player from the back division

10d    Old Fabian overlooking Western decline (3)
{EBB} Remove W (Western) from the surname of a founder of the Fabian Society

14d    EU tax cited in corrupt form? No scope for uncertainty with it (10)
{EXACTITUDE} An anagram (in corrupt form) of EU TAX CITED

15d    Director confronted by broken rule and going round city describing blackmarket activity? (10)
{UNDECLARED} An anagram (broken) of RULE AND + D (Director) goes round the first part of the postcode for the City of London. The answer describes income that you don’t tell the taxman about. I don’t like D for Director!

19d    Bar creator encountered in hospital with touch of alcoholism (7)
{SMETANA} The name of a composer (bar creator) = ‘encountered’ in a hospital + A (first letter of alcoholism)

22d    Restrict Asian by the sound of it (3)
{TIE} A homophone of a native of the country that once was called Siam

26d    Attractive order to reduce taking of a drug? (4)
{CUTE} When split (3,1) it could be an order to reduce intake of a particular drug

27d    Writer in death all oddly discovered (4)
{DAHL} The odd letters of DeAtH aLl

Writing the report took far longer and much more thought than solving the puzzle


24 comments on “Toughie 869

  1. I found this one quite tricky today. I finished it except for 2d.
    Thanks to Shamus for the enjoyable struggle, and to Bufo for the review.

  2. I am not a fan of a crossword where you need a lie down after reading a clue before you even begin to try and work out what the wordplay means. I would give it 3.5* difficulty/2.5* entertainment for that alone. Just read through again and can’t find any particular favourites either. Thanks to Shamus and Bufo too.

    1. Nothing else to add, 5d in particular had me reading, then re-reading…. snooze. Sorry Shamus on this occasion, and thanks to Bufo

  3. Wish I had persevered with that “Speed Reading” course many years ago! Thanks to Shamus & Bufo!

  4. Reasonably straightforward but a tad long-winded, Favourites 2d 19d and 20a thanks to Shamus and to Bufo for the comments.

  5. First crossword where I’ve needed a bookmark to remind me how far I’d got. A tad hint of verbosity here methinks…but enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to Shamus & to Bufo.

  6. As others have noted, rather long clues,nothing very inspiring. I makes ‘working out which part of the clue pertains to the answer’ more difficult. (There must be a cruciverbalist word for that)

    I finished it, so a big plus there from me!

  7. Not keen on Shamus Toughies – too verbose. Thought his offering in today’s FT (as SLEUTH) was much better and more concise.

    Anyway thanks to Shamus and Bufo.

  8. Recently Big Dave described a puzzle as being “Meccano-like”. Think the description could also apply to this one. A bit more of a grind than the delights of the last couple of days have been. Nevertheless a good workout which kept us out of mischief for quite some time.
    Thanks Shamus and Bufo

      1. :mrgreen:

        You should try your hand at setting!

        I meant the Toughie, which is set by the incomparable Myops tomorrow.

        The back-pager will almost certainly be a Giovanni.

        1. I have submitted two clues to the Sundays Times competition, so far. I can’t think why they haven’t sent the 20 quid.

  9. Ah Shamus, you defeated me today as I managed just over half. **** for difficulty, **** for enjoyment ( of those I could do!) and thanks to Bufo for the review.

  10. Crumbs, only 3 stars!!!!! I’m close to giving up on this crossword, I aint got that long to live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I went to Grammar School as well!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Thanks to Shamus & Bufo for the hints & review. I must stop trying to do the Toughie, it’s so depressing. Only managed 6 answers, and wouldn’t have got the others in a million years.

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