Toughie 914 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 914

Toughie No 914 by Dada

By Jove!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Dada never fails to entertain, but many of us wish that his Toughies were more like those of Paul, his Guardian alter-ego. Toughies aren’t meant to be easy.

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    Very tiny messy sample behind a bag for cosmetics (6,4)
{VANITY CASE} – start with V(ery) then add an anagram (messy) of TINY and a sample and put the last two elements after the A from the clue

6a    Being partial to war, essentially? (4)
{ARES} – the Greek god of war, a supernatural being, is hidden (partial) inside the clue

9a    Lacking in a river, about two pints? That’s no river! (10)
{INADEQUATE} – the IN A from the clue and a river around a measure of two pints without the R (no river)

10a    A love for dye (4)
{ANIL} – the A from the clue and a score of zero (love) in football

12a    Place to break your men, complex maths (6,6)
{NUMBER THEORY} – a place to take a rest when on board a ship inside (to break) an anagram (complex) of YOUR MEN

15a    Monkey in the style of antelope (6)
{IMPALA} – a monkey or mischievous child followed by a two word phrase (1,2) meaning in the style of

16a    Getting toilet seat hollowed out, newly sharpened implement (8)
{STILETTO} – an anagram (newly) of TOILET and SeaT without its inner letters (hollowed out)

18a    Gatecrashing house good for headbanger? (8)
{HANGOVER} – the Royal House whose name was changed by George V around G(ood)

19a    Initially, cultivation time’s cut to press fruit (6)
{CITRON} – the initial letter of Cultivation followed by T(ime) inside (cut) a verb meaning to press

21a    Gas reported swirling on planet, ultimately a distant hurricane (5,3,4)
{GREAT RED SPOT} – an anagram (swirling) of GAS REPORTED followed by the final letter (ultimately) of planeT gives a weather system on the planet Jupiter

24a    Love god seen at horny beast’s rear? (4)
{EROS} – the last four letters (rear) of a horny beast

25a    Daughter, caught between showers east of Bangladeshi capital, minds going abroad? (5,5)
{BRAIN DRAIN} – D(aughter) between one shower and another all to the right (east) of the initial letter (capital) Bangladeshi

26a    Writing ultimately by issue number (4)
{SONG} – the final letter (ultimately) of writinG after a male issue

27a    Always odd bits of work in trouble for author (10)
{PLAYWRIGHT} – a two-letter word meaning always followed by the odd letters of WoRk all inside trouble or predicament


1d    Bottom lifted of disgusting mask (4)
{VEIL} – start with a word meaning disgusting and lift the final letter (bottom) two places

2d    Well-groomed  bovine (4)
{NEAT} – a double definition – the bovine reference only seems to appear in crosswords these days

3d    Picture  everything (3,4,5)
{THE FULL MONTY} – a picture set in Sheffield and the phrase meaning everything on which it was based

4d    Fat  like a fish? (6)
{CHUBBY} – this word meaning fat can also mean like a small European river fish of the carp family

5d    Charge by day, universal charge (8)
{SATURATE} – a charge or fee follows a day of the week and the certificate designating a film that people of any age are allowed to see gives a verb meaning to charge or fill – I think it works better that way than by using the first occurrence of charge as the definition

7d    One of four players getting 0 — 0* runs (5,5)
{RINGO STARR} – something shaped like 0 followed by the letter that resembles 0, another name for an asterisk (*) and R(uns)

8d    Cryptically in top fielding position? (5,5)
{SILLY POINT} – the answer could be a cryptic clue for IN TOP

11d    Something bitter I knocked up in soup that’s hot (6,6)
{CHILLI POWDER} – the something bitter that is proverbially swallowed followed by the I from the clue all reversed inside a thick soup made of fish or clams with vegetables

13d    Higher up, sides of garments tight — like these? (3-7)
{HIP-HUGGERS} – an anagram (tight) of HIGHER UP and the outer letters (sides) of GarmentS

14d    Clean broadcast stank when screened (6,4)
{SPONGE DOWN} – a verb meaning broadcast or planted around a word meaning stank

17d    Clever getting 50% off bran in breakfast (8)
{CEREBRAL} – the fist 50% of BRan inside something eaten for breakfast

20d    Harden hearts of those lasses, pacifist pussycats (6)
{OSSIFY} – the inner one or two letters (hearts) of four words in the clue – one letter if the word has an odd number of letters, two if even

22d    Something in the mouth, new smoke rings (4)
{FANG} – N(ew) inside a slang word for something to smoke

23d    A ropy bird? (4)
{KNOT} – this bird could be tied in a rope!

A much better start to the Toughie week.

14 comments on “Toughie 914

  1. Very enjoyable if untaxing toughie, many thanks to Dada and to BD for a most entertaining review.

  2. Good entertainment on offer today, favourites for me were 3d 7d 8d and 27a thanks to Dada and to Big Dave for the comments.

  3. Lovely stuff – lots of dots by favourite clues. Could have been tougher – 2.5 difficulty for me, but really really enjoyable. Thanks to Dada and BD too.

  4. Great stuff so thanks to Dada. Lots of favourite clues so unfair to name names but 3d raised a smile. Could not see where 24a was coming from at all, d’oh, so thanks to BD for pointing out the ******** obvious :grin:

  5. Nice puzzle. 7d raised a smile and led to the last one in. A reasoned guess at ares because of the included word. Thanks to all.

  6. Really enjoyed this one. Had 24a in correctly but failed to parse it. Even had to stare at the hint and picture for several minutes this morning before the penny dropped. No complaints about the difficulty, its just about right for our skill level. Maximal pleasure, minimal stress.
    Thanks Dada and BD.

  7. Thanks to Dada & Big Dave, I think these Toughies are beyond me, especially when they are “easy” one star or two. I only got 5 answers on the first read through. Perhaps a bit more perservation is needed on my part? When I started looking at the hints, I know I wouldn’t have got any of them in a million years. Managed another 7 answers when most of the checkers were in. What can I say ?

  8. Like Heno after first pass had 6 (the first pass wasn’t swift ) .Took quite a while to make further progress and the last one in was 24a to which the answer was obvious but I would have fossilised before parsing .
    Thanks once again .

  9. Lovely stuff for the most part. 21ac is my clue of the year so far. Isn’t it an and lit [with the whole clue as the definition]?
    Also love the misdirected definition in 25ac.
    Less sure about “when screened” in 14d and the Yodaspeak at 18ac but both are fair enough.

    Many thanks to Dada and BD.

    1. Re 21a: If “on” had been “around” I think that it would have worked better, and probably would have been &lit too. “On” would have been just right for a down clue.

      These are minor quibbles, though.

  10. Finished it off wed. morning but not without the hints. 9a I was nowhere near it, barking up the wrong tree again!

    1. With you on that The Toilets (how bizarre) – completely stuck in NE quadrant & definitely needed BD’s hints to finish. Thanks to Dada & to BD.

Comments are closed.