Toughie 904 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 904

Toughie No 904 by Petitjean

Give me your answer, do

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I made steady progress with this puzzle. It was only the bit of thought that I needed to get the final few answers that just about pushed the difficulty rating up to 3*.

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    Property first of all placed aboard ship (6)
{ASSETS} A (the first letter of all) + ‘placed’ in SS (on board ship)

4a    Look into flight being cut (8)
{ESCALOPE} Look (2) inside flight (6) gives a boneless cut of meat

10a    Verbal invention in some lingo or other (9)
{NEOLOGISM} An anagram (or other) of SOME LINGO

11a    Tense after dog’s lead is lost in public (5)
{OVERT} T (tense) follows a name often given to dogs with its first letter removed (lead is lost)

12a    Glut of small rotten fruit around base of tree (7)
{SURFEIT} S (small) + an anagram (rotten) of FRUIT round E (the last letter of tree)

13a    Ignoring the odds older man getting married in space (7)
{LEGROOM} The even letters of older + a man getting married

14a    Still missing Sunday supplement (5)
{INERT} Remove S (Sunday) from a supplement

15a    Almost a disaster being close to teacher (4,4)
{NEAR MISS} Close to + a female teacher

18a    Ring Jules about party getting ruined (8)
{OVERDONE} O (ring) + a party in the surname of the French author Jules

20a    The same thing with over-the-top personality backfiring (5)
{DITTO} A reversal (backfiring) of the abbreviated form of over-the-top and part of the personality in psychoanalytic theory

23a    The first person at gala opening? A Northern stand-up getting vulgar (7)
{IGNOBLE} The nominative singular of the first personal pronoun + G (first letter of gala) + the surname of a stand-up comedian from Northumberland (first name Ross)

25a    Poles after Israeli psychic claiming children to be guttersnipes (7)
{URCHINS} NS (poles) follows the first name of an Israeli psychic famed for bending spoons round CH (Children)

26a    It’s dark near tunnel entrance (5)
{NIGHT} Near + T (first letter of tunnel)

27a    Rancorous quote with new chanteuse’s latest records reviewed (9)
{SPLENETIC} A reversal (reviewed) of ‘quote’ + N + E (last letter of chanteuse) + vinyl records

28a    Policeman dispatched to impound bent gear (8)
{SERGEANT} ‘Dispatched’ goes round an anagram (bent) of GEAR

29a    Regular perjury by third of vandals in court (6)
{CLIENT} A regular customer = a perjury + N (third letter of vandals) inside CT (court)


1d    Sceptic casting about assuming nothing (8)
{AGNOSTIC} An anagram (about) of CASTING round O (nothing)

2d    Singular bravery removing a thorn in one’s side (7)
{SCOURGE} S (singular) + bravery with the letter A removed

3d    Daisy wheels? (9)
{TWOSEATER} A cryptic definition for a word that describes the vehicle that Daisy Bell would have looked sweet on at her non-stylish wedding. I’m surprised that Chambers doesn’t hyphenate this word

5d    All at once usual solemnity is disrupted (14)
{SIMULTANEOUSLY} An anagram (disrupted) of USUAL SOLEMNITY

6d    In the midst of raising young, no man’s content (5)
{AMONG} Hidden in reversed form in younG NO MAn’s

7d    ‘Rooney almost abandoned United?’ Sun’s demanding (7)
{ONEROUS} An anagram (abandoned) of ROONE (Rooney almost) + U (United) + S (Sun)

8d    Put a lid on extremes of emotion before start of trouble by unruly mob (6)
{ENTOMB} The first and last letters (extremes) of emotion + T (first letter of trouble) + an anagram (unruly) of MOB

9d    Take advice to heart and fake tolerant noises (6,2,6)

16d    Therapeutic house in Florence next to new health centre (9)
{MEDICINAL} A house (family) associated with Florence + N (new) + AL (middle letters of health)

17d    Domestic creature with nothing apart from dressing gown (5-3)
{HOUSE-CAT} Remove O (nothing) from a woman’s dressing gown worn at home

19d    Vintner initially in rage over undrinkable wine (7)
{VINEGAR} V (first letter of vintner) + an anagram (over) of IN RAGE

21d    Times wrapping up the man’s article from France that’s prickly (7)
{THISTLE} TT (times, i.e. time x 2) round ‘the man’s + the French definite article

22d    Favourite No 1 is keeping goal, fans (6)
{FIENDS} The first letter of favourite + IS round ‘goal’ gives fans (devotees)

24d    Give stick to ambassador and find oneself in hot water? (5)
{BATHE} A stick + an abbreviation denoting an ambassador

A fairly gentle start to my blogging year


25 comments on “Toughie 904

  1. This all went in without any problem, although I had to check the stand-up part of 23a (never heard of him).
    Thanks to Petitjean, and to Bufo for the review.

        1. Mr Noble, has, in his career, raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity. I do not see the comedy in this. I would not call any person with that desire to help others “an annoying little runt”.

          1. I am seriously sat, nay impaled on the stoopid step, totally missed the hidden word in 6d, had to be but….. d’oh d’oh d’oh, Best New Year wishes to Bufo and Petitjean

  2. Another lovely puzzle – how lucky we are at the moment.
    It’s the second day in a row that I’ve finished the Toughies and taken less time to do them than the back page puzzles – that run of good luck will come to an abrupt halt tomorrow!
    I did need the hint to work out why my answer for 27a was OK.
    I liked 10 and 12a and 2, 3, 9 and 24d.
    With thanks to bufo and Petitjean.

    1. Hi Kath. Second day in a row for me too! This obviously can’t last!
      Really enjoyed this puzzle. 13a was very funny.
      Nearly noon here and I haven’t accomplished much except the puzzles. Worth it though when you can finish them!
      Thanks to bufo and Petitjean.

      1. Definitely can’t last – I don’t know what you’re like with Friday Toughies but I only ever dare to have a quick peep out of one eye – that’s usually enough to make me go and lie face down on the sofa!

          1. Is that good or bad? I don’t mean will it be a good crossword because, in their own ways, they all are – I mean is it worth having a look or shall I just draw the curtains, light the fire and lie on the sofa? Call me a defeatist if you like but I do know when I’m beaten!

            1. Osmosis is normally one of the less difficult Friday setters, so definitely worth having a go, I’d have thought.

        1. I’m ever hopeful that I will one day be able to solve one. Usually though it’s like fighting my way through dense undergrowth!

  3. Even having to spend a Gnoment working out what 2d had to do with Daisy, this still fell comfortably into 2* toughie difficulty territory.

    Thanks to Petitjean for an enjoyable toughie and to Bufo for the equally enjoyable review. Happy New Year to both of you.

  4. I was out earlier so have only just done the Toughie and finished without hints but needed explanation for 23 and 27A so I am a happy bunny —- haven’t tried a toughie for some time, must start again. Famous last words! Thanks to Petitjean and Bufo.

  5. An enjoyable and not too tricky puzzle. We also had to track down the northern comic for 23a. Interesting that both 3d and 26a have both been answers in the last couple of days. Think that the cluing for both is better in this puzzle. 3d was our last in and favourite.
    Thanks Petitjean and Bufo.

  6. Funnily enough I also struggled with 23a even though I have seen him on Have I got news for you .I actually like Petitjean’s attempts to contemporise his puzzles although in this case the universality is questionable as mentioned (although I now find he is very popular in Australia)
    Very enjoyable .

  7. I am seriously sat, nay impaled on the stoopid step, totally missed the hidden word in 6d, had to be but….. d’oh d’oh d’oh, Best New Year wishes to Bufo and Petitjean

    1. The point i was making, is that anybody who takes the time to help others should not be lambasted.
      I watch QI, great TV.

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