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Double Toughie 100004

Christmas Day Double Toughie No 100,004 by Elgar

“It’s the way I tell ’em!”

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BD Rating – Difficulty *****Enjoyment *****

Elgar has served up another excellent Double Toughie, just like he did last Christmas.  This one is not trivially easy, but neither is it up to the difficulty level he achieved last year.  As ever, reading the instructions carefully is essential.  Like the other Christmas Day puzzles, it is only available online.

I have identified the key answers, namely a, b, c, d, e, x and y, inside the curly brackets, along with the answers.

Discovering the theme, which I did early on, is vital when solving those across clues which lack definition.

By the way, if you can’t find this puzzle on the Telegraph Puzzles site, select the Giant General Knowledge option on the home page, and then GIANT GENERAL KNOWLEDGE – No. 100,004.  Alternatively select Latest Puzzles and then GIANT GENERAL KNOWLEDGE – No. 100,004.  The puzzle can only be downloaded as a pdf file.

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.


(i) Dandy? Tiger’s Topper (5)
{BEAUT} – A dandy followed by the initial letter (topper) of Tiger

(ii) & (xxiv) Shot’s ring is audible (14, 4 words)
{BELLE OF/THE BALL} – sounds like (is audible) a phrase that could mean shot’s (round bullet’s) ring (made by an instrument struck by a clapper) (5,2,3,4)

(iii) Twice one divided round cake (7)
{BISCUIT (a)} – an adverb meaning twice followed by I (one) with a verb meaning divided around it

(iv) Daily paper finally accepts Elgar (7)
{CHARMER} – a daily cleaner followed by the final letter of papeR around (accepts) the first person objective pronoun (Elgar, the setter)

(v) Clique ignores lecturer (5)
{CIRCE} – a clique or group of friends without L(ecturer)

(vi) Medic, full of beer, grabbing snooze (7)
{DAZZLER} – a two-letter medic around (full of) some beer, itself around (grabbing) two letters that represent a snooze

(vii) The scanner’s malfunctioning (11)
{ENCHANTRESS} – an anagram (malfunctioning) of THE SCANNER’S

(viii) Back to front, the aged can produce new colour (8, 2 words)
{EYE CANDY} – start with a charade of the antiquated (aged) form of the definite article, CAN and a verb meaning to produce a new colour for, say, hair then move the final letter to the beginning (back to front)

(ix) Aim at singer touring clubs (10, hyphen)
{EYE-CATCHER} – a verb meaning to aim followed by AT and a US singer around (touring) C(lubs)

(x) Following compiler back and forth: stout porter? (11, 2 words)
{FEMME FATALE (e)} – F(ollowing) then the first person objective pronoun (compiler) reversed (back) and normal (forth), an adjective meaning stout and finally porter or beer

(xi) Rectifying condition, touch up banger, maybe (8)
{FIREWORK (b)} – reverse (rectifying) a two-letter conditional conjunction and follow it with a verb meaning to touch up or modify

(xii) Open issue involving vehicle (11, 2 words)
{FRANK CARSON (x)} – an adjective meaning open or honest and a male issue or child around (involving) a vehicle

(xiii) Nice outfit — two-piece or not? (7)
{GODDESS} – start with an adjective meaning nice and a woman’s outfit, possibly two-piece, then remove (not) OR, one letter from each word

(xiv) Finer one replaced by nothing fine (10, hyphen)
{GOOD-LOOKER} – start with an adjective meaning finer or more substantial then replace the I (one) with O (nothing) and a two-letter word meaning fine or all right

(xv) Would cuckoo rather have partly eaten both nuts? (10, hyphen)
{HEART-THROB} – listen very carefully – start with an anagram (cuckoo) of RATHER then insert half of (partly eaten) an anagram (nuts) of BOTH and follow it with the rest of the anagram

(xvi) Racetrack is unfit (11, 3 words)
{IT’S A CRACKER (y)} – an anagram (unfit) of RACETRACK IS (2’1,1,7)

(xvii) Head back to UK for a break (8)
{KNOCKOUT} – reverse (back) a slang word for the head and follow it with an anagram (for a break) of TO UK

(xviii) Part in film oddly reassigned by Garland (7)
{LORELEI} – start with a four-letter part in a film, change (reassign) the hand of the odd letters then add a garland from Hawaii

(xix) A ship? Funny (8, hyphen)
{ONE-LINER (c)} – the number associated with “a” followed by a passenger ship

(xx) The usual suffering’s cut short (7)
{PARAGON} – the usual score in golf followed by most of (cut short) a word meaning suffering

(xxi) Sun’s naughty secrets about Duke accorded Burmese title (10)
{SEDUCTRESS} – S(un) followed by an anagram (naughty) of SECRETS around D(uke) and a single-letter honorific Burmese title, like the one afforded a former Secretary General of the United Nations

(xxii) Evil clutches the one before me (5)
{SIREN} – a word meaning evil around (clutches) the note before me of the scale in sol-fa notation

(xxiii) Bore nearly all the way through strontium (7)
{STUNNER} – most of (nearly all the way) of a verb meaning to bore or burrow inside (through) the chemical symbol for strontium

(xxiv) See (ii)

(xxv) A little is uneven at back (5)
{VENUS} – hidden (a little) and reversed (back) in the clue

(xxvi) Initially wearing jumper, extra large one (7)
{WHOPPER (d)} – The initial letter of Wearing followed by a jumper


1d First signs ignored, she had my rash (5)
{HEADY] – drop the initial letters (first signs ignored) from three words in the clue

2d Circuit training trophy’s not given up to US local (3)
{RIZ} – drop (not given) the PE (Physical Exercise / circuit training) from the outer letters of a trophy to get a US local dialect word for up

3d Football team not always going in with feet in midfield area (7)
{EVERTON} – NOT is reversed after a word meaning always in such a way that the final letters are together (going in with feet in midfield area)

4d I’ll soon see you capturing upstanding farm, for the most part with violence (2,5)
{BY FORCE} – a word meaning I’ll soon see you or farewell around (capturing) most of (for the most part) the reversal (upstanding) of a small farm

5d From war, military bracelet excavated (5)
{ARMIL} – hidden inside the clue (excavated)

6d Digit as far as fifth in sequence? (3)
{TOE} – a two-letter preposition meaning as far as followed by the fifth in a sequence which starts with A

7d In pool, move green chlorine to edges (5)
{CRAWL} – a verb meaning to move in the swimming pool is derived by putting an adjective meaning green or inexperience inside (to edges) the chemical symbol for chlorine

8d Prepared state banquets in roofless regions (9)
{READINESS} – a verb meaning banquets or feasts inside regions without the initial A (roofless)

9d A little work in M&S becomes apparent (7)
{EMERGES] – a small unit of work inside M & S spelt out

10d Palm starts to reveal one old lover breaking bond (7)
{TROOLIE} – the bussu palm is created by putting the initial letters of (starts to) four words in the clue inside (breaking) a bond

11d Acknowledge and don’t upset — ring! (3,2)
{NOD TO} – an anagram (upset) of DON’T followed by the ring-shaped letter

12d Any part of soap not entirely gentle on nurse (4-5)
{EAST-ENDER} – a generic word for someone who takes a part in a particular soap opera comes from most of (not entirely) a word meaning gentle followed by a nurse or carer

13d Chunk of broccoli causing abdominal pain (5)
{COLIC} – hidden inside (chunk of) the clue

14d One’s willed brave man to catch it right (7)
{HERITOR} – one of Crosswordland’s usual brave men around (to catch) IT and followed by R(ight)

15d Newly petition Kaiser to drop independent reforms (2-3)
{RE-ASK} – an anagram (re-forms) of KA(I)SER without (to drop) I(ndependent)

16d Managed to bloat one-off old composer with constitution of iron (7)
{OVERFED} – drop (off) the final I (one) from O(ld) followed by a composer then insert (with constitution of) the chemical symbol for iron

17d ‘Zero yen,’ Judge admitted, is ‘unlike Fagin‘ (3-6)
{NON-JEWISH} – start with a four-letter word meaning zero and yen or desire then insert J(udge)

18d One beating time is cutting tool for artist (9)
{CHASTISER} – T(ime) and IS inside a tool used by an artist for engraving metal

19d I suspiciously smell this climbing round the papal office (5)
{TIARA} – I inside the reversal (climbing) of what you are said to smell when you are suspicious of something

20d Red Army’s revolutionary in action (2,3)
{AT WAR} – an adjective meaning red or sore and the army of volunteers, all reversed (revolutionary)

21d Tedious rebuilding’s beyond the limit (7)
{OUTSIDE} – an anagram (rebuilding) of TEDIOUS

22d See these embroidering briefcases? (7)
{FABRICS} – a compound anagram () of see and the answer gives briefcases

23d Stops astronauts on these heading for HQ? (7)
{NASARDS} – if these organ mutation stops are split as (4,3) they could the abbreviation of the routes used by astronauts to get to their HQ

24d Not one given to talking through female flier’s publicity (7)
{RÉCLAME} – a very reticent person (not one given to talking) inside (through) a female ruff (flyer / bird) gives a word of French origin for publicity

25d One steps up to give us a summary (5)
{RECAP} – reverse (up) someone who steps

26d 90 in time, but I’m 21 now (2-3)
{EX-CON} – the Roman numeral for 90 inside a long period of time gives someone who is no longer in prison but is 21 down

27d Compare, and be pleased with, name (5)
{LIKEN} – a verb meaning to be pleased with followed by N(ame)

28d Behold, in two seconds, what originally happened in much less? (3-2)
{SLO-MO} – a two-letter word meaning behold inside S(econd) and another short period of time

29d A measure you might look for in beer, in cider, in wine — and in short! (1,1,1)
{ABV) – exactly what it says on the tin, a measure of the strength of beer, cider, wine and a short spirit, in abbreviated form

30d Suffer what they serve in the local, we’re told (3)
{AIL} – sounds like (we’re told) what they serve in your local pub

I’d like to thank Elgar for turning me into a pariah for most of Christmas morning!

If you are having problems working out where the across answers should be inserted, just click on the image below:

Double Toughie 100004 by Elgar

3 comments on “Double Toughie 100004

  1. I did about half of it over a couple of pints in the pub but then had to come home and start ‘cheating’ to finish it.

  2. I got most of the downs and quite a few of the acrosses and then turned on the computer thinking I would have to cheat big time only to see the title of the post, went ‘Aha!’ and returned downstairs to finish off the puzzle. I suppose that is cheating too but not in a big way!

    I would say nearly as difficulty as last year but at least this time the words all went in the correct direction. Thanks to Elgar for keeping me impaled for most of what would otherwise have been quite a quiet Christmas Day and to BD for explaining the ones where I had the right word but wasn’t entirely sure why.

  3. Trying to complete half of this in the pub would probably have resulted in a necessary liver transplant .The hints (answers) saved me from this .
    Quite remarkable and thanks .

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