Toughie 871 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 871

Toughie No 871 by Dada

Sweets for my Sweet

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

It’s always a pleasure to have a Dada puzzle on Tuesday, even though this one is not as difficult as those by his Guardian alter-ego.

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.


9a    Semi-hyperopic tongue! (5)
{FARSI} – the first half (semi) of an adjective meaning hyperopic or able to see for a long way ahead gives a tongue or language

10a    One pretending to steal gold for outsider (9)
{FOREIGNER} – someone pretending outside (to steal} the heraldic term for gold

11a    Rude individual nicking degree, English (7)
{OBSCENE} – an individual outside nicking a science degree and E(nglish)

12a    Fifty brutal bites demanding rescue (7)
{SALVAGE} – the Roman numeral for fifty inside (bites) an adjective meaning brutal

13a    Drink at home in sink (5)
{PINOT} – a word meaning at home inside a verb meaning to sink a snooker ball

14a    Perhaps a rubbish store for cast-offs, primarily? (9)
{SCRAPHEAP} – an anagram (rubbish) of PERHAPS A around (store for) the initial letter (primarily) of Cast-offs – &Lit

16a    This sweet and long drink quaffed by Catholic, ere converting (9,6)
{CHOCOLATE ÉCLAIR} – a soft drink inside (quaffed by) an anagram (converting) of CATHOLIC ERE – if you haven’t looked this up in Chambers then you have missed a treat!  “A cake, long in shape but short in duration”

19a    Criminal tennis player? (9)
{RACKETEER] – this criminal could, cryptically, describe a tennis player

21a    Shoot  jet (5)
{SPRAY} – a double definition

23a    Shake edges of smallish milk container (7)
{SHUDDER} – the outer letter (edges) of SmallisH followed by a bovine milk container

25a    Boy trapping vermin recoiled a fraction (7)
{DECIMAL} – a boy around (trapping) vermin all reversed (recoiled)

27a    Nasty sweet then? (9)
{UNSAVOURY} – if it is this then it could be sweet

28a    Engaged in assassination in Japan, might one be? (5)
{NINJA} – hidden inside (engaged in) the clue


1d    A short jumper, big style? (4)
{AFRO} – the A from the clue followed by all but the final letter (short) of a creature that jumps

2d    Cooler bird catching worms, finally (6)
{PRISON} – this cooler or jail is derived by putting a small petrel of the southern seas round (catching) the final letter of wormS

3d    Tenner splashed with miso soup (10)
{MINESTRONE} – an anagram (splashed) of TENNER with MISO

4d    T-Z are so sweet (6)
{AFTERS} – split this sweet as (5,1) and it describes the position in the alphabet of the letters T thru Z

5d    Keep page with book (8)
{PRESERVE} – a verb meaning to keep comes from P(age) followed by a verb meaning to book

6d    Dig for source of cash (4)
{TILL} – a double definition – a verb meaning to dig and something in a shop which contains cash

7d    Unseen, torrential rain came (2,6)
{IN CAMERA} – an anagram (torrential) of RAIN CAME

8d    Political alliance, colour inspiring constituent to follow a couple of environmentalists? (5,5)
{GREEN PARTY} – a colour around a constituent or component itself preceded by (to follow) the first two letters (couple) of ENvironmentalists

13d    Rascally nurses in a state of vexation (10)
{PICARESQUE} – a verb meaning nurses inside a state of vexation or irritation

15d    Endoscopic shot in very little time (10)
{PICOSECOND} – an anagram (shot) of ENDOSCOPIC

17d    Certainly going astray, one less strong (2,6)
{OF COURSE} – going astray without one of the Fs (one less strong)

18d    Trouble about ecstasy, high teenagers, say? (3,5)
{AGE GROUP} – a five letter slang word for trouble around (about) E(cstasy) followed by a two-letter word meaning high

20d    Problem with photo, picture ultimately in colour again (3-3)
{RED-EYE} – the final letter (ultimately) of picturE inside a verb meaning to colour again

22d    Extremely risky touring country for traveller (6)
{ROMANY} – the outer letters of (extremely) RiskY around (touring) a country at the eastern corner of the Arabian peninsula

24d    Flipping passionate high-maintenance woman (4)
{DIVA} – an adjective meaning passionate reversed (flipping)

26d    Bread  head (4)
{LOAF} – a double definition

When you have finished this one you should have time to solve Alchemi’s topical puzzle in today’s Indy.

17 comments on “Toughie 871

  1. Thoroughly enjoyable crossword, many thanks to Dada and to BD for the review. 3*/5* for me. Favourite clue was 4d.

  2. Although on the gentle side I did enjoy it, Favourites were 9a 17d and 18d thanks to Dada and to Big Dave for the comments.

  3. Can only agree with others comments.
    Favorite for me was 14a – I do like an &lit clue that really works.

    Thanks to Dada and Big Dave.

  4. Great start to the week. 3*/4* for me.
    I didn’t realise that a p—n was a bird as well as a proteinaceous infectious organism, so that has to be my favourite clue.
    Thanks to Dada and BD.

  5. Thoroughly enjoyable romp. Got a bit held up in NW corner until Mrs B helped with the correct language.
    Thanks Dada and BD.

  6. Really enjoyed this puzzle! Got stuck on 2d until I verified the bird on google. Tried every bird I knew first though. Then my last 2 went in 13a and 13d. 4d and 27a were my favorites – clever and amusing – the best type of clue.
    Many thanks to BD and to the setter.

  7. I had the correct answer from the definition of 20d, but the wordplay escaped me.
    many thanks BD for the review and to Dada for an entertaining puzzle.

  8. 4d. Big Dave “split this sweet as (5,1) and it describes the position in the alphabet of the letters T thru Z ” THRU??!! Shame on you!

  9. Tremendous fun as always from Dada, but I think that he must have a soft spot for Telegraph readers. This was about as tough as Makka Pakka in a fur-lined box full of pompoms.

    Highly enjoyable though, and would have been a perfect back-pager.

  10. all but the p???n which I didn’t know was a bird as already stated, did enjoy this, thanks to BD and Dada

  11. I put this together throughout the day (on breaks) so don’t rate it as that easy – having said that I was shouting D’OH on the train home as the remainders fell.

    You are all wrong about the best clue in the puzzle, BTW – It is 2d for the brilliant antithesis of “The early bird catches the worm” in the surface reading.

    I always like to see a crow wearing shades saunter out of the roost at about 11 a.m., have a fag and a cup of coffee then maybe grub around a bit for brekkie…..

    Many thanks to Dada for the puzzle and to BD for the review.

  12. Thanks to Dada and BD. Very entertaining, managed three quarters of it, but got stuck in the SW corner.

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