Toughie 879 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 879

Toughie No 879 by Kcit

A piece of (lemon drizzle) cake!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Once again we start the Toughie week with a puzzle that is very much on the easy side.

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    US writer consuming nuts in dressing (6)
{POMADE} –the surname of a famous 19th century US writer goes around an adjective meaning nuts or crazy giving a dressing used on the hair

4a    Small container long embedded in stone (6)
{SACHET} – a verb meaning to long or pine inside ST(one)

8a    ID marker‘s characteristic, having name obscured (3)
{TAG} – a characteristic flavour without the N(ame) (having … obscured)

10a    Screen feature that’s extremely cruel, ultimately, to lawyers (7)
{TOOLBAR} – not the cinema screen but a feature of a browser or other computer program – a three-letter word meaning extremely, the final letter (ultimately) of crueL and the legal profession collectively

11a    German city church’s distinctive feature (7)
{ESSENCE} – a German city followed the Church of England

12a    Small bird of prey that hurts Grant (5)
{OWLET} – a cry of “that hurts” followed by a verb meaning to grant

13a    Digerati perplexed by a classic vote of thanks? (3,6)
{DEI GRATIA} – an anagram (perplexed) of DIGERATI followed by the A from the clue – by the grace of God

14a    Fail to follow instructions, causing problem on flight? (4,3,2,4)
{STEP OUT OF LINE} – this could be a problem on a flight of stairs!

17a    Bureaucrat skirts restaurant, being in love, mostly (13)
{ADMINISTRATOR} – Gazza’s favourite short skirts and an abbreviated word for an Italian restaurant inside most of a verb meaning to love or worship

22a    Lack of decision in the case under review (9)
{HESITANCE} – an anagram (under review) of IN THE CASE

23a    Sauce from annoying character, nothing more (5)
{PESTO} – an annoying character followed by O (nothing)

24a    How one keeps operating in the red makes you baffled (2,1,4)
{AT A LOSS} – cryptically how one keeps operating a business while in the red, rather than in the black!

25a    Church with active role linked to a dangerous disease (7)
{CHOLERA} – CH(urch) followed by an anagram (active) of ROLE and the A from the clue

26a    Add  whisky? (3)
{TOT} – a double definition – to add up and a quantity of whisky

27a    Catch comment about festival being curtailed (6)
{SAFETY} – this catch is the kind often found on a firearm – a verb meaning to comment around most of (being curtailed) a festival

28a    Put back  closure of Parliament (6)
{RECESS} – a double definition


1d    Love, in some ways, is a sentimental feeling (6)
{PATHOS} – O (love) inside some ways used by pedestrians

2d    Doctor discussing literature describing romantic scenes? (7)
{MOONLIT} – an abbreviation for a doctor followed by a two-letter word meaning discussing or concerning and LIT(erature)

3d    Entry in one column bound to reflect about book (5)
{DEBIT} – this entry appears in one column of a ledger – an adjective meaning bound or fettered reversed (to reflect) around B(ook)

5d    Country street, with distinctive air about it, reversing distress (9)
{AUSTRALIA} – ST(reet) inside (about it) a distinctive air and followed by the reversal of a verb meaning to distress or trouble

6d    Devon town hospital: head receiving a bit of treatment (7)
{HONITON} – H(ospital) followed by a slang word for the head around (receiving) the initial letter (a bit) of Treatment

7d    One’s turned over in upper part of shoe (6)
{TOECAP} – the one in a pack of playing cards reversed (turned over) inside an adjective meaning upper

8d    Congress member, active in deputations, having run for power (5,8)
{TRADE UNIONIST} – an anagram (active) of IN DE(P|R)UTATIONS after putting R(un) instead of P(ower)

9d    Participate legislatively? (3,2,2,3,3)
{GET IN ON THE ACT} – could become involved legislatively!

14d    Ocean‘s a source of coal? Not entirely (3)
{SEA} – a source of coal minus its final letter (not entirely)

15d    Indicates piston? (6,3)
{POINTS OUT} – the answer is an anagram which results in PISTON

16d    What Cockney uses it to do? (3)
{EAR} – reinstate the initial H commonly dropped by a Cockney to get what he uses this to do

18d    Girl’s employees female? (7)
{DISTAFF} – one of Crosswordland’s favourite girls is followed by a some employees to get the female side of a family – the spear side being male

19d    Description of some blue movie, presumably part filmed on location? (7)
{OBSCENE} – split as (2,5) this could be a part of said movie that is filmed on location

20d    Jenny‘s insolence about the bloke (3-3)
{SHE-ASS} – surprisingly this female donkey is not in Chambers – a colloquial word for insolence around the male pronoun

21d    Confused situation, the principal part involving soldiers (6)
{MORASS} – the principal part or main body around (involving) soldiers who are not officers

23d    Not against most of relations producing writing (5)
{PROSE} – a word meaning in favour of as opposed to against followed by most of a word meaning relations or intercourse

Once again the Tuesday Toughie could be a good starting point for those that usually avoid these puzzles – especially as the one on the back-page should take less time than a cup of coffee.

19 comments on “Toughie 879

  1. I usually enjoy a Kcit Toughie and this was no exception. Not difficult by Toughie standards but harder than a back-pager methinks.

    No stand outs for me but thanks to Kcit and BD.

  2. Gentle but lovely – just like my famous lemon cake!

    Thanks to Kcit and BD. My favourite was 12a.

  3. Drawn to the toughie by the disappointment of today’s back-pager .i have to say that I enjoyed this .struggled at first with the NW corner .20 d gave me a problem as I had what I thought was the correct answer but as you say not in Chambers .

  4. Had this been on the back page it wouldn’t have been out of place.
    A well-compiled and enjoyable challenge, however, and Kompliments to Kcit
    Hadn’t come across the required slang in 6d, so thanks for the explanation BD

  5. I could do this one, for once, and really enjoyed it – it cheered up a wet miserable afternoon. I did need a few explanations.
    I liked 12a and 15, 16 and 20d.
    With thanks to Kcit and BD.

  6. The four long clues that make up the centre of the grid went in without too much fight and this really opened up the rest of the puzzle. We had to scroll through the Wikipedia list of Devon place names for 6d and our efforts were rewarded this time. (Unlike Cornwall last week.) An enjoyable solving experience.
    Thanks Kcit and BD.

    1. I actually visited the museum in Honiton that is pictured, it was a very interesting, they used to make lace.

  7. A very gentle but very enjoyable toughie, thanks to Kcit and to BD ( I think the picture clue for 20d equals Gazzas offering in the back pager)

  8. I can’t say I found this particularly easy, especially the NW corner. A couple of penny-drop momnets there (eventually) In mitigation I had just got back from my 2-year-old Grandson’s birthday bash and my head is still ringing, and NO lemon cake. Whats the world coming to?

    Amused by 16d, not impressed with 8a.

  9. I was short of a couple, but i am glad, your pic for 20d spread light on a dark day.

    Many thanks to yourself and to the setter.

  10. Got some of it, so must be very gentle indeed.To BD see 4a.Thanks for the hints and explanations.And a big thanks to Kcit.

  11. Thanks to Kcit & to Big Dave for the review & hints. As usual with the so called easy Toughie, I still needed 7 hints :-) However, I still enjoyed the struggle. Favourite was 19d which I actually solved.!

    1. That was one of the ones that I needed the explanation for. OK pedants – I know – grammar not right but it is, after all, nearly 11.00pm.

  12. Did this in quick time apart from NE corner which took a bit longer. Full of good clues of which favourite [ and last in] was 12 which gave me a chuckle. Also liked 2 4 7 18 and 19. Nice start to the Toughie week.

  13. Re the picture for 20d. My flatmate when I was at Uni had that poster on the wall at the foot of his bed! He hasn’t improved with age!

Comments are closed.