Toughie 910 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 910

Toughie No 910 by Excalibur

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment *

Everything you expect from an Excalibur puzzle.

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1a    Each even may be very dry inside, done to mush outside (5,6)
{EVERY SECOND} – a phrase meaning each even-numbered item in a sequence is derived by putting VERY and a term used to describe a dry wine with an anagram (to mush) of DONE outside

9a    Took heart, call having come through US state (4)
{OHIO} – the inner letters (heart) of tOOk with a two-letter call inside (having come through)

10a    Microphone should be used for this coaxing? (7,4)
{TALKING INTO} – two definitions

11a    Bringing back drinks from trip (4)
{SPIN} – reverse (bringing back) some small drinks of spirit

14a    Put in the post as promised (7)
{ENGAGED} – took on for a job and promised to someone in matrimony

16a    Quiet and apt to be easily manipulated (7)
{PLIABLE} – the musical notation for quiet followed by a word meaning apt

18a    Composed bars ending with note that’s sharp (5)
{SABRE} – an anagram (composed) of BARS followed by the third note of the diatonic scale of C major gives something that is sharp

19a    Great figure — like the top (4)
{VAST} – the Roman numeral (figure) for five followed by a preposition meaning like and the initial letter (top) of The

20a    Underwear reveals boob? (4)
{SLIP} – two definitions, the second being a mistake

21a    After party passed fool hiding, having taken drugs (5)
{DOPED} – a party followed by PassED without (hiding) a fool

23a    Wood, perhaps, for which there’s no pressing need (3-4)
{NON-IRON} – wood could be an example of this and it’s a description of a shirt that doesn’t need pressing

24a    Daily drink in twilight (7)
{SUNDOWN} – a daily newspaper followed by a verb meaning to drink or swallow

25a    Pull in when I will have left built-up area (4)
{TOWN} – a verb meaning to pull followed by iN without the I (I will have left)

30a    Complete lack of form in seconds (2,4,2,3)
{NO TIME AT ALL} – could describe a criminal who has never gone to prison

31a    Tend  to resent (4)
{MIND} – two definitions

32a    Keep canoodling, being very close (4,3,4)
{NECK AND NECK} – this phrase could mean to keep canoodling or kissing


2d    Crucial time is lost obtaining bottle (4)
{VIAL} – drop the T(ime) from an adjective meaning crucial

3d    Reprobate that’s long in the tooth? (4)
{RAKE} – cryptically defined as a long-toothed garden implement

4d    Match left burns on the outside (7)
{SINGLES} – a match in, for example, a tennis tournament is derived from L(eft) inside a verb meaning burns

5d    Crack  shot? (4)
{CHIP} – two definitions – a crack on a piece of porcelain and a golf shot

6d    Restaurant full, even for celebrity? (7)
{NOTABLE} – split as (2,5) this could indicate that a restaurant is full

7d    Man, that’s sore! (4)
{CHAP} – two definitions

8d    Come back with glass. It’s for the bedroom (11)
{COUNTERPANE} – a verb meaning to come back or retaliate followed by a piece of glass

12d    When tennis play begins in prison (7,4)
{SERVING TIME} – this could indicate when to start a game of tennis

13d    As an illustration, rollicking song is encouraging (4,2)
{EGGS ON} – the Latin abbreviation of AS an illustration or for example followed by an anagram (rollicking) of SONG

15d    He‘s got confounded ball through! (5)
{DAMON} – a man’s name is derived by putting an interjection meaning confounded around (through) the letter that is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional ball (I still detest this construct)

16d    Forces to give said award (5)
{PRIES} – sounds like (said) an award

17d    Thunder and lightning beginning to come in further south (6)
{BELLOW} – the initial letter of Lightning inside a word meaning further south or under

21d    If you sniff it, will it sniff back? (3,4)
{DOG ROSE} – a truly dreadful cryptic definition of a flower

22d    Having done wrong with gun, cast into prison (7)
{DUNGEON} – an anagram (wrong) of DONE around an anagram (cast) of GUN

26d    Wanting insect removed — fly (4)
{WING} – drop an insect from the first word in the clue – similar to 17 down in last Saturday’s puzzle

27d    Blushing caused by something shocking? (4)
{PINK} – the colour of which shocking is a variation

28d    Touched up, are amazing (4)
{STUN} – reverse a word meaning touched or mad

29d    Combine to form sound barrier (4)
{BLOC} – this combination of nations to achieve a common purpose sounds like a barrier

Favourite clues are highlighted in blue.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17 comments on “Toughie 910

  1. Quite pleased with myself. It took a while, but for the very first time I manged to complete a Toughie without any help. I did need the hints to explain the answers to a couple, though, so many thanks, Big Dave.

  2. Straight forward start to the Toughie week thanks to Excalibur and to Big Dave for the comments.

    1. Welcome to the blog Exgnome

      Sorry for the delay but after solving this I wanted to do something more interesting, so I went to watch some paint dry.

  3. Next to Rufus, my favourite setter is Excalibur. Loved this puzzle. It brought a little sunshine into a bleak wintry day. 21d really made me laugh

  4. I thought it was actually the lack of amusement (2 smiles ) in a straightforward puzzle that perhaps let it down .(Sorry Marcus)

    Thanks once again

  5. Well I enjoyed it AND I finished it. I know that it’s not a difficult Toughie.
    Spent a while trying to make the second word of 21d ‘nose’. :roll: I needed the hint to explain how ‘wood’ got into 23a
    Favourite clues were 32a and 6d.
    Thanks to Excalibur and BD.

    1. Hear! Hear! or is it Here! Here!

      I thought Excalibur produced a very entertaining puzzle despite the awful grid. (12 wee stinkers!)

      (24a – Should be highlighted in blue.)

    2. Hear,hear.I enjoyed being able to solve some of it, after an extremely long and exhausting day.It was much more pleasant than many a back pager.

  6. At one point I had SLIP in twice, but it did not quite work for 11a (I’ve drunk a few Pils over the years!).

    1. Yes – I nearly did for 11a too – what is the plural of ‘Pils’ though – not a trick question but have no idea and that’s what stopped me.

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