Toughie 940 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 940

Toughie No 940 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

Another Thursday, another fairly gentle puzzle. I would probably have given it ** for difficulty except that 9 across delayed me at the end. I enjoyed it though and there were some nice clues

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1a    I shun chocolates, possibly being this? (6-9)
{HEALTH-CONSCIOUS} An anagram (possibly) of I SHUN CHOCOLATES gives a word that might describe someone who shuns chocolates

9a    What have you English put on male wearing rejected Scottish clothing? (3,4)
{THE LIKE} ‘What have you’ is defined in Chambers as ‘anything else of the kind’. E (English) follows (put on) a male pronoun inside a reversal of something Scotsmen wear

10a    European holds copper, presumably for regional fare (7)
{CUISINE} When split (2,2,2,1) it could presumably be read as ‘European holds copper’ (E = European, CU = copper)

11a    Covering old-style jazz is way out, with energy to send to a different state (9)
{EXTRADITE} A way out round old-style jazz + E (energy)

12a    Funk from old man, less than agreeable (5)
{PANIC} Old man (father) + ‘agreeable’ with the last letter removed

13a    Strong stream violently split, incompletely then fully (7)
{TORRENT} A word meaning ‘violently split’ with the last letter removed + another word meaning ‘violently split’

15a    Oxygen-deficient earth, markedly greyish-white (7)
{SILVERY} Earth with the letter O (oxygen) removed + ‘markedly’

17a    Fishy pieces for Puss etc? (7)
{SUSPECT} An anagram (pieces for) of PUSS ETC

19a    Personnel keeping community back for a new start in life (7)
{REBIRTH} A reversal of a 2-letter abbreviation denoting ‘personnel’ round a community

21a    A long story of unity among current youth (5)
{ILIAD} I (unity) inside I (current) and a youth

23a    What dulls pain that is new, beneficial to boozer turning in? (9)
{IBUPROFEN} IE (that is) and N (new) round a reversal of ‘beneficial to’ and boozer (where you booze)

25a    He might recall playing one green (7)
{TREVINO} A reversal of ‘playing’ + I (one) + ‘green’ gives a former golfer

26a    Caps reveal deer as lesbians? (7)
{OUTDOES} ‘Caps’ here is a verb. Split it (3,4) and it could mean ‘reveal deer as lesbians’

27a    One of us jerks driver in friendly attempt to save face, perhaps (8,7)
{COSMETIC SURGERY} One of us (but not you) + involuntary jerks + driver inside ‘friendly’


1d    Puzzled as to the responsible position (3,4)
{HOT SEAT} An anagram (puzzled) of AS TO THE

2d    Stop right after wide road (5)
{AVERT} A 2-letter abbreviation of ‘right’ goes after an abbreviation for a wide road

3d    Sloth diminishes in those evacuated from an island nation (9)
{TAIWANESE} The three-toed sloth + ‘diminishes’ inside TE (first and last letters of those)

4d    Revolutionary spray dispenser? (7)
{CHEMIST} The first name of a Communist revolutionary leader + a spray

5d    Core of students comprehending cryptic clue (7)
{NUCLEUS} The abbreviation for a student body goes round an anagram (cryptic) of CLUE

6d    Fellow sees I am standing for a close relative of ours (5)
{CHIMP} Take a word for fellow and replace A by IM (I am)

7d    Over river I make an appearance, bearing east? Could be (9)
(ORIENTEER} O (Over) + R (river) + I + ‘make an appearance’ round E (east). The whole clue is the definition

8d    Kelvin and co. in gibe lacking detail (7)
{SKETCHY} K (Kelvin) + ‘and co.’ inside a gibe

14d    Inclines sons to accept family’s peril (9)
{RISKINESS} ‘Inclines’ and S (sons) round family

16d    I’d free time, time to invest in fixed interest rate (9)
{LIBERATOR} A long time + T (time) inside an interest rate that some banks have been accused of fixing

17d    Referring to nerve agents beset by endless criticism (7)
{SCIATIC} American agents inside criticism with the last letter removed

18d    Mediterranean site to ripen olives, with final losses increasing (7)
{TRIPOLI} Remove the last letter from ‘to’, the last two letters from ‘ripen’, and the last three letters from ‘olives’

19d    Disturbance of usual crow, never-ending, may be this (7)
{RAUCOUS} An anagram (disturbance of) of USUA CRO (usual crow with the last letters of both words removed)

20d    Frankness to rectify bluntness of enclosure (7)
{HONESTY} ‘To sharpen’ + an enclosure

22d    Remove cold coat from apparatus, shedding volume (2-3)
{DE-ICE} Remove V (volume) from an apparatus

24d    Uplifting selection from Boulez or Franck stopped abruptly (5)
{FROZE} Hidden in reversed form in BoulEZ OR Franck

What are the chances of a really difficult one next Thursday? I won’t be around to do the blog


26 comments on “Toughie 940

  1. Thank goodness you are here!

    9a) defeated me and I was fed up with racking my poor brain. Now I can relax and tackle the back page.

      1. Didn’t do that back-pager, but I prefer today’s 9a clue, which was one of my favourites of what was, I thought, a very enjoyable puzzle.

  2. One of the most enjoyable puzzles I have solved for some time!
    A few clues were a case of get the answer and then work out why afterwards.
    Many thanks to Notabilis, and to Bufo for the review. 3.5*/5* for me.

  3. Thank you for the hints. I actually managed to complete this with only a little electronic help but needed the excellent explanations to understand why some of the answers were right!

  4. Agree with everything Jezza says above .
    JB you have my sympathy I nearly threw the towel in with 9a despite yesterday !
    Thanks very much .

  5. What a pity I didn’t get the opportunity to tackle yesterday’s back page. However, reading the clue, I reckon I would have been stumped yesterday too!

  6. What a lovely puzzle – 3.5* difficulty for me – the NW corner and in particular 9a taking a while, despite 9a having been with us only yesterday.. Definitely 5* entertainment, thank you Notabilis, one of those nicely clued toughies that leaves you with a smile on your face. I particularly liked 26a

    Thank you to Bufo too – I wonder what beast of a puzzle we are now going to get next Thursday??

  7. I thought this deserved at least 4* for difficulty and 5* for enjoyment, thanks to Notablis for yet another superb toughie and to Bufo for a terrific review.

  8. Good fare on offer today, favourites for me were 3d 16d and 27a thanks to Notabilis and to Bufo for the review. With Notabilis appearing today instead of his usual Friday slot dare we wish for a Myops puzzle tomorrow?.

    1. I don’t know what to expect from a Myops Toughie but I DO know that I avoid Friday Toughies . . . far too much for ‘a bear of very little brain’!!

      1. It is quite tricky, but I found it really delightful, and well worth the effort required.

        There are one or two Scottish references, as you’d expect from Myops.

  9. Well I’ve popped over hear from the ‘back page’ and decided to tackle a Toughie and rather enjoyed it. Did fairly well but grateful for the hints! Thanks to all.

  10. My first Toughie, and I found it very tough! Thanks for the hints which were much needed and stopped me going crazy.

    At least I remembered 9a from yesterday!

  11. My first Toughie, and I found it very tough! Thanks for the hints which were much needed and stopped me going crazy. At least I remembered 9a from yesterday!

    1. Sorry this appeared twice. I sent it from my Blackberry and got a message saying it couldn’t be posted so I tried again, and got the same message! I then reverted to my computer and saw that both had indeed been posted despite the error messages :-(

  12. Well and truly defeated for the second day in a row – can’t remember Tuesday’s Toughie so I think I’ll just retire hurt from Toughies this week.
    Eventually got an answer for all the clues but only after extensive use of the hints and a bit of help from husband – the bank interest rate in 16d (I’d never heard of it) and the first ‘I’ in 21a – he says it’s a one for unity.
    I enjoyed what I managed – loved 6d.
    With thanks to Notabilis and Bufo.

    1. PS Now I can remember Tuesday’s because it was such a beautiful day that I was in the garden all day so didn’t even look at it. Oh good – that means that I have one to try tomorrow when it’ll be raining again and I don’t have to brave a Friday Toughie.

  13. Thank you Notabilis, if CrypticSue puts this at 3.5 on the scale and I was going to say 4, I might be getting somewhere, but you get more than 5* from me for enjoyment. Absolutely loved 1a as someone who loathes said thing and not the answer. Last to parse 19d. d’oh . Cheers to Bufo as ever

  14. Spent too long on this tonight, but it beats watching telly. Needed a couple of hints to finish it. Didn’t get 9a despite having got the same answer yesterday.

  15. Beyond my solving skills I’m afraid despite having Mrs B, the BRB & the services of Mr Seiko at hand.

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