Toughie 970 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 970

Toughie No 970 by Petitjean

Handle with care

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A tougher than usual puzzle for the start of the Toughie week.

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    Youth lusts after grand affairs to be treated discreetly with a couple? (3,6)
{KID GLOVES} – a youth or child followed by a verb meaning lusts itself preceded by G(rand)

8a    Groom quiet about bride’s last name (5)
{PREEN} – the musical notation for quiet followed by a two-letter word meaning about, the final letter (last) of bridE and N(ame)

10a    Lots race to fill empty seats (6)
{SHARES} – a verb meaning to race inside (to fill) SeatS without the inner letters (empty)

11a    Following team takes silver (8)
{EQUIPAGE} – a general word for a motor-racing team around the chemical symbol for silver

12a    Shout bravo, female’s leaving partner (6)
{BELLOW} – the letter represented by Bravo in the NATO phonetic alphabet followed by a partner without (leaving) the F(emale)

14a    Bad-tempered taxi driver hogging middle of the road (6)
{CRABBY} – a taxi driver around (hogging) the middle letter of “the Road”

16a    Things revolve around this original character with enormous energy (4)
{AXLE} – the first letter of the alphabet followed by enormous as a clothing size and E(nergy)

17a    Bishop overcome by kind of fever or bug (5)
{HARRY} – the two-letter abbreviation for the title of a bishop inside (overcome by) a kind of fever gives a verb meaning to bug or annoy

18a    Answer to question: ‘Uganda’s borders can be fluid?’ (4)
{AQUA} – A(nswer) followed by Q(uestion) and the outer letters (borders) of UgandA

19a    Lacier pants that may be mostly cream (6)
{ÉCLAIR} – an anagram (pants) of LACIER

21a    Toughen Queen record with Police backing (6)
{TEMPER} – the single-letter Latin abbreviation for Queen followed by a vinyl record with 2 tracks on each side and the abbreviation for the London police, all reversed (backing)

24a    Composer’s extremely experimental or single-minded individual (8)
{BACHELOR} – a four-letter composer followed by the outer letters (extremely) of ExperimentaL and OR gives an individual intent on remaining single

26a    What commentator does in game (6)
{RABBIT} – two definitions, the second being game as an animal hunted for sport

27a    Slight pressure to indulge in conspicuous consumption (5)
{SLURP} – a slight or insult followed by P(ower)

28a    Find out a banker in South Africa’s all the rage (9)
{ASCERTAIN} – the A from the clue followed by a banker or safe bet inside the abbreviation for South Africa and a two-letter word meaning all the rage


1d    Snake’s movement shedding skin is supple (5)
{LITHE} – a snake’s movement without (shedding) its outer letters (skin)

2d    A finicky veggie assumes right to offend (8)
{AGGRIEVE} – the A from the clue followed by an anagram (finicky) of VEGGIE around (assumes) R(ight)

3d    Antique pair of smalls in check (6)
{FOSSIL} – S(mall) and S(mall) inside a verb meaning to check or block

4d    Praise paper covering eastern Europe (4)
{FETE} – the pink newspaper around E(astern) and followed by E(urope)

5d    Good hip-hop singer’s vocal ought to show spirit (6)
{GRAPPA} – G(ood) followed by what sounds like (vocal) a hip-hop singer

6d    Hour being wasted in local (9)
{NEIGHBOUR} – an anagram (wasted) of HOUR BEING

9d    Old-fashioned curry oddly causing show of anger (6)
{OUTCRY} – a word meaning old-fashioned or dated followed by the odd letters of CuRrY

13d    Most unpleasant stuff journalist ignored (5)
{WORST} – some stuff or material without (ignored) the final ED (editor / journalist)

15d    Atrocious manager confronting mob without alternative plan (9)
{EXECRABLE} – a four-letter word for a manager or director followed by a mob without a letter that follows Plan to indicate an alternative policy

17d    Change of temperature in turn creating obstacle (6)
{HURDLE} – change the C(old) at the beginning of a word meaning to turn or go sour to a different temperature

18d    Endless bacteria about with unknown virulence (8)
{ACERBITY} – an anagram (about) of BACTERI(A) without its final letter (endless) followed by a mathematical unknown

20d    Stick a Band-aid eventually on this spot (6)
{ADHERE} – the A from the clue followed by the final letter (eventually) of Band-aiD and a word meaning on this spot

22d    Damage half of manuscript and stand there open-mouthed (6)
{MARVEL} – a verb meaning to damage followed by half of a manuscript or parchment

23d    Watch dotty minor characters interrupting very good line (5)
{VIGIL} – put two dotty letters between (interrupting) V(ery), G(ood) and L(ine)

25d    She makes Lee a cuppa (4)
{ROSY} – a girl’s name which, when followed by Lee, gives Cockney rhyming slang for a cuppa tea

Let’s hope this is the sign of a good week ahead in Toughieland.

14 comments on “Toughie 970

  1. Don’t really know why it took me so long in hindsight but agree with ***/**** -maybe my recovery from Rugby tour is taking longer than I thought!

    thanks as ever to setter and blogger

    ps liked the photo yesterday…now I feel a bit more like I ‘know’ the contributors!

  2. Entertaining start to the Toughie week, favourites were 14a 17d 21a and 27a thanks to Petitjean and to Big Dave for the comments.

  3. Brilliant toughie from Petitjean, my thanks to him and to BD for a superb review, 4*/5* for me.

  4. ‘Pants’ as a slang word suddenly seems to be in favour – in both crosswords today. Thankfully a junior colleague uses the word a lot or I would have been a bit lost.
    I agree with the * ratings. Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.

  5. Very enjoyable start to the week – a nicely pitched level of Toughieness rather than softieness. Thanks to PJ and BD.

  6. Beam tomorrow (that’s information rather than an instruction, though both may apply).

  7. Thanks to Petitjean and to Big Dave. I’m glad I followed Jezza’s advice and had a go at it, it was most enjoyable. I needed 5 hints, two of which I had to look up. Had never heard of 11a. Favourite was 7a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  8. Strangely, we rattled through this one in 2* time. Must have been in the right zone. Some very clever clues. Have not struck one like 29d before, and enjoyed the penny-drop moment. Really good fun.
    Thanks Petitjean and BD.

  9. Sorry. Didn’t do it for me at all. I found it very dull and was glad when I’d finished solving it.

  10. Fun stuff as always from PJ.
    Particularly tickled by 17a, 19a, 13d and 17d.
    Many thanks to Setter and to BD for the review.

Comments are closed.