Toughie 956 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 956

Toughie No 956 by MynoT

Nothing to write home about

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

I thought this MynoT Toughie was a bit dull, but maybe it’s just me.

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    Ring chimes for infant (6)
{CYGNET} – this infant bird sounds like (chines) a type of ring

4a    Use back ring for cooking seafood (4,4)
{KING CRAB} – an anagram (use … for cooking) of BACK RING

9a    Separate rule for Sweden to come to an end (3,3)
{RUN DRY} – start with a word meaning separate or various then insert R(ule) instead of the IVR code for Sweden

10a    Green European support provides some backbone (8)
{VERTEBRA} – the heraldic term for green followed by E(uropean) and a lady’s support garment

11a    Priest mostly cut in biographical poem (8)
{CLERIHEW} –most of a priest is followed by a verb meaning to cut

Sir Humphrey Davy
Abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.

13a    Disconnect suspect kiln after beginnings of ugly noise (6)
{UNLINK} – an anagram (suspect kiln) of KILN follows the initial letters (beginnings) of two words in the clue

15a & 18a    Crushed men beam, particularly in Paris, finding way of governing Germany and others (13,13)

18a    See 15 Across

22a    Lining up legions no good (6)
{INSOLE} – an anagram (up) of LEGIONS without (no) the G(ood) – although I have seen “up” used to indicate an anagram before, I don’t think it’s a very good one

24a    A special measure for water valve when pushed? (2,1,5)
{AT A PINCH} – the A from the clue followed by what could be a special measure for a water valve – I looked for some saving grace in this clue, but as far as I can determine there is no such measure – over to you!

26a    Monkey with most of ceremony providing drink (8)
{APERITIF} – a monkey followed by most of a ceremony and a two-letter word meaning providing

27a    What’s gone is one 26 (6)
{PASTIS} – a word meaning what’s gone followed by IS gives an example of the answer to 26 across

28a    Message that includes note on sheep (8)
{TELEGRAM} – the seventh note of the scale in sol-fa notation followed by the alternate cricketing for the on side and a male sheep

29a    Capital worried merchant losing money and a bit of custom (6)
{TEHRAN} – an anagram (worried) of merchant losing money and a bit of custom


1d    Clerical position for copper that’s naughty (6)
{CURACY} – the chemical symbol for copper followed by an adjective meaning naughty or risqué

2d    Drink stimulated PE groping? (6,3)
{GINGER POP} – an anagram (stimulated) of PE GROPING

3d    Peer that is right to be more advanced? (7)
{EARLIER} – a Peer of the Realm followed by the Latin abbreviation for that is and R(ight)

5d    Couple with sex appeal repel me (4)
{ITEM} – the two-letter word for sex appeal followed by ME reversed (repel)

6d    Acquire share of metal, having gone recycling fencing (3,2,2)
{GET IN ON} – a metallic element with an anagram (recycling) of GONE around it (fencing)

7d    Expounder of the law sees international law overturned by British first (5)
{RABBI} – I(nternational) with a word for law or the legal profession reversed (overturned in a down clue) and B(ritish) in front of it (and B(ritish) (first)

8d    Crawler consumed by live mouse (5,3)
{BLACK EYE} – a crawler or toady inside (consumed by) a verb meaning to live gives a discoloured swelling

12d    Evoke endless happiness (6)
{ELICIT} – a word meaning happiness without its outer letters (endless) F and Y

14d    One representative’s performance causes shock (6)
{IMPACT} – I (one) followed by a representative in Parliament and a performance

16d    Carpet American cut for church (9)
{AXMINSTER} – the American spelling of a verb meaning to cut down followed by a large church

17d    Item manufactured with skill and current reality (8)
{ARTIFACT} – a skill followed by the symbol for electric current and a reality

19d    Advertising  fond talking (7)
{BILLING} – two definitions, the second of which is often followed by “and cooing”

20d    Undisturbed, putting away a pressure cooked pecan pie (2,5)
{IN PEACE} – an anagram (cooked) of (P)ECAN PIE without (putting away) one of the P(ressure)s

21d    Selected socks hoarded by loveless prisoner (6)
{CHOSEN} – an old-fashioned word for socks inside (hoarded by) prisoner without the O (loveless)

23d    Acolytes could be this coy to move stealthily (5)
{STEAL} – the answer together with COY are an anagram (could be) of ACOLYTES

25d    Twelve points for one international cycling (4)
{PICA} – to get this old type size of 12-points, start with I (one), add an international sportsman and then cycle the final letter to the beginning

Next Thursday’s Toughie should be an easy one, as Bufo will be back in this chair!

14 comments on “Toughie 956

  1. I found this a relatively straightforward puzzle which only just creeps into toughie range, fairly enjoyable however. Thanks to MynoT and to BD.

  2. Not sure about some of the surfaces, but many thanks to MynoT for the puzzle, and to BD for the comments.

  3. The third gentle offering in a row leads me to suspect there’s probably an Elgar puzzle tomorrow.Thanks to MynoT and to Big Dave for the comments.

      1. If the balance is to be redressed I wager he’s wearing seriously hob nailed boots, hopefully

  4. I struggled mightly to get on MynoTs wavelength this morning – I was only saved by Gnome’s Law (not asking about specific clues you understand, just a simple ‘is it me or him?’ ). Thank you to both MynoT and BD.

    1. At the same time as the email I was about 70% through which for me is reasonable for a *** on the commute.

  5. Spent more time than I would like to admit on 25a but other than that delay fairly straightforward .
    Thanks very much

  6. We were totally defeated by 25d. Even overnight cogitation didn’t help and we had to come to the blog this morning with 2 blank squares on the grid. No excuses as it is gettable. Found the whole puzzle quite challenging. Getting the two long anagram answers 15a and 18a early on helped with checking letters.
    Thanks MynoT and BD.

  7. Well, I did manage to solve this Toughie, partly thanks to a couple of sneak peeks at one or two of the ‘hints’ above, but for the life of me I couldn’t see the connection betwen ‘mouse’ and the answer for 8 down – until I checked it in the dictionary. Y’learn something new every day – it’s a new expression to me. Today’s may have been a straightforward puzzle to some, but it kept me well occupied on a bitterly cold afternoon. My thanks to MynoT.

  8. Started this much later in the day than usual and had to pick it up and put it down between work that pays. In terms of making positive Toughie progress, I am 3 for 3 this week. 15/18A came to me in a way that often happens when I’m stuck. I took a 1/2 hour lunchtime nap (I work from my home office) and the answer just floated into the front of my brain as I was drifting off.

    In the end, there were 5 that I needed help on…1A and 11A (new word for me), and 1, 12 and 25D. Many thanks, Big Dave for the usual excellent review and thanks to the setter. I think I will probably give Elgar a miss tomorrow!

  9. 11a a new word , one of those has to be but why, and Like 2Kiwis failed on, once again a four letter word, 25d. Thanks MynoT and BD

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