Toughie 942 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 942

Toughie No 942 by Excalibur

Hints and Tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment *

I can say nothing polite about this puzzle so I will say nothing.  This will be the last time I ever look at a puzzle from this setter.

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.


7a    Break or make the star (7)
{SHATTER} – an anagram (make) of THE STAR

8a    Cut to a lake, showing divers (7)
{SEVERAL} – a verb meaning to cut followed by the A from the clue and L(ake)

10a    Having a lot in common, attempt to win over (3,7)
{BID AGAINST} – what you do in order to win an auction lot when someone else wants it as well

11a    Girl in colourful band viewer really needs to see (4)
{IRIS} – a girl’s name or part of the eye

12a    They pull up  corks (8)
{STOPPERS} – two definitions

14a    Let through misprint — a keen reader might spot ‘absorption‘ (6)
{INTAKE} – hidden inside the clue

15a    They’ll set tongues wagging! (4-7)
{BELL-RINGERS} – these tongues are also called clappers – Chambers gives the enumeration as (11)

19a    Dope linked to ‘friend’ over computer (6)
{LAPTOP} – a drug followe by a friend, all reversed (over – a construct usually found in down clues)

20a    Sweet tart? Decline! (4,4)
{ACID DROP} – an adjective meaning tart followed by a decline

22a    Tantrums back stage (4)
{STEP} – reverse (back) some for tantrums

23a    On the rocks but unable to dive? (2,3,5)
{IN LOW WATER} – a phrase meaning short of funds could be somewhere one is unable to dive

25a    Had row about figure drawn from bank (7)
{CLASHED} – around a Roman numeral put a verb meaning drawn money from bank

26a    Looking back, I would fall between study and skill being educated (7)
{TRAINED} – the reversal () of I sandwiched between a study and a skill


1d    Your rent is included. That’s saving money (7)
{THRIFTY} – an archaic word for your around a rent or gap

2d    Having gone up before, it’s liable to go up again (4)
{ETNA} – reverse (Having gone up) a word meaning before

3d    People crack under intimidation (6)
{MENACE} – some people followed by (under) an adjective meaning crack or outstanding

4d    Furious look given by whatsit (8)
{SEETHING} – a verb meaning to see followed by a whatsit or object

5d    Wild tigers lurking in grass made an impression (10)
{REGISTERED) – an anagram (wild) of TIGERS inside a type of grass

6d    Afraid wages cut will go through (7)
{PANICKY} – wages around (will go through) a cut

9d    ‘I will get home — I’m not incapable.’ Priceless! (11)
{INESTIMABLE} – a charade of I, a home for a bird, I’M and a word meaning not incapable

13d    Pickle‘s lovely — hand over (6,4)
{PRETTY PASS} – a pickle or predicament comes from a charade of an adjective meaning lovely and a verb meaning to hand over

16d    Cuts one dead in front of my boss. That’s out of line (8)
{LOPSIDED} – a verb meaning cuts followed by I (one) D(ead) and the setter’s boss

17d    Ticket with permit to get back in to see drawings (7)
{PASTELS} – a ticket around (to get … in) the reversal (back) of a verb meaning to permit

18d    ‘In sickness or…’ Till death and beyond? (7)
{FOREVER} – inside a sickness put OR

21d    Occupying hospital bed, private (6)
{INWARD} – split as (2,4) this could mean occupying a hospital bed

24d    I heard he dropped round wanting a drink (4)
{ARID} – an anagram (round) of I (HE)ARD without (dropped) HE


14 comments on “Toughie 942

  1. 15a and 13d held me up for a while. I really did not like the wording of 25a, but I did like the surface of 3d.

  2. Run of the mill stuff from Excalibur but who am I to criticise, I could no more set a crossword than milk a bullock so, thanks to Excalibur and to BD for the hints.

    1. Maybe I should have qualified my initial comment above. I couldn’t compile a crossword for all of the tea in Cuba so chapeaus off to those who can.

      1. There are lots of things that I can’t do – compiling crosswords is just one of them which is why I would never criticise any of them. Some are way beyond me (most of the Toughies are) but that’s my fault.
        Three cheers to all the setters.

  3. I enjoyed it – and I could do it – well, almost.
    I couldn’t do 15a which didn’t help with 16d (and neither did having ‘at’ as the first word of 23a.)
    I thought that 13d was really clever and also liked 10 and 12a and 3, 4 and 24d.
    With thanks to Excalibur and BD.

      1. As someone who only ever went ringing once (30 years ago), my instructor told me the the clappers could also be called the bell tongues!

  4. Dont usually try the toughie,but had time after the ‘back page cryptic’ It seemed to me that this was not really toughie standard in the way the clues were constructed,if it had appeared on the back page,i don’t think anyone would have noticed the difference.,liked 10a and struggled with 15a until i looked up the various meanings of ‘tongue’

    1. I have a sneaky feeling that you’re right about it not being difficult enough for a Toughie – my logic is that if I can do it then it isn’t! :sad: One day I’ll be able to.

  5. Gentle start to the Toughie week, I did like 3d and 10a thanks to Excalibur and to Big Dave for the comments.

  6. Thanks to all concerned, way too difficult for me, had to look up 15 answers. Managed to solve 6.

  7. Thanks to Excalibur and BD – this completed the journey to St Pancras quite nicely. I enjoyed 8a as one who holds a (lapsed) SCUBA ticket.

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