Toughie 976 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 976

Toughie No 976 by Dada

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I must really have been on the setter’s wavelength today because I rattled through this without a single hold-up

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1a    Vigorous / act of corporal punishment (8)
{SPANKING} 2 meanings: vigorous (lively, brisk)/an act of corporal punishment (by slapping the buttocks). There are two acts of corporal punishment that fit the checked letters but the other one doesn’t mean ‘vigorous’

5a    First of rockets in space travelling an astronomical distance (6)
{PARSEC} R (the first letter of rockets) in an anagram (travelling) of SPACE

9a    Taste in drink good in Canadian city (8)
{WINNIPEG} A taste (small quantity) in an alcoholic drink + G (good)

10a    Court office unable to act (6)
{WOODEN} ‘To court’ + a private domestic room or office

12a    Europeans prove noxious among extremists in Germans (6)
{GREEKS} ‘To prove noxious (by emitting fumes)’ in GS (first and last letters of Germans)

13a    Parrots, say, cross over the threshold (8)
{DOORSTEP} A reversal (over) of domestic creatures (e.g. parrots) + a cross (in a church)

15a    Old Roman officer with air passing round part of the chest (7)
{TRIBUNE} An air (melody) round a bone in the chest

16a    North African range viewed from the east (4)
{MOOR} A reversal (from the east) of ‘range’

20a    Holly I left, then old flame (4)
{ILEX} I + L (left) + an old flame

21a    Why one’s snoring in bedroom when poorly? (7)
{BOREDOM} An anagram (poorly) of BEDROOM

25a    Chinese food in loose pouches ending in belly (4,4)
{CHOP SUEY} An anagram (loose) of POUCHES + Y (last letter of belly)

26a    A word from the Beagle, say, as ship? (6)
{BARQUE} A homophone (say) of the noise a beagle makes

28a    Get a vessel with cargo of tea emptied (6)
{ATTAIN} A + vessel round TA (first and last letters of tea)

29a    Token to cover in a playful conversation (8)
{BADINAGE} A token goes round (covers) IN A

30a    Manage right place for county (6)
{DORSET} ‘To manage’ + R (right) + ‘to place’

31a    Hard-working trader initially calm (8)
{TIRELESS} T (first letter of trader) + calm (not angry)


1d    Waste card? See about that! (6)
{SEWAGE} SEE round a card (comical person)

2d    Happen to be sad, every so often, where one temporarily stops breathing (6)
{APNOEA} Alternate letters (every so often) of hApPeN tO bE sAd

3d    Elasticated items creating bother! (8)
{KNICKERS} 2 meanings: Elasticated items (of underwear)/Bother! (a mild expression of exasperation)

4d    Christmas ‘caro’ with this, did you say? (4)
{NOEL} ‘Caro’ is ‘carol’ with ** **

6d    Nothing in a poet on craft (6)
{ABOARD} O (nothing) in A + poet

7d    State of calm required — agitated instead, gulping oxygen (8)
{SEDATION} An anagram (agitated) of INSTEAD round O (oxygen)

8d    Be in cahoots against some of the church (8)
{CONSPIRE} ‘Against’ + part of a church

11d    Heavy / trampolinist? (7)
{BOUNCER} 2 meanings: a heavy (employed to deal with undesirable people)/a person who may go up and down on a trampoline

14d    Terribly bad sign for some body (7)
{ABDOMEN} An anagram (terribly) of BAD + a sign = part of the body

17d    Cut up tough fish (8)
{PILCHARD} A reversal (up) of ‘cut’ + ‘tough’

18d    Marine mammal sees dog eating a duck (3,5)
{SEA OTTER} A dog (and I don’t mean Dada!) goes round A O (duck)

19d    Having absorbed phosphorus, I moaned about chemical in the brain (8)
{DOPAMINE} P (phosphorus) inside an anagram (about) of I MOANED

22d    Aim to discuss a looker (6)
{ASPIRE} A homophone (discuss) of A looker (one who looks)

23d    Stuffy,/ like this puzzle? (6)
{SQUARE} 2 meanings: stuffy/the shape of this crossword grid

24d    Holiday / bay (6)
{RECESS} 2 meanings: a holiday period/a bay (alcove)

27d    Monkey among monkeys, a killer (4)
{SAKI} Hidden in monkeyS A KIller

It’s a non-tough Toughie so it must be Thursday!


10 comments on “Toughie 976

  1. Thanks for the explanations. Like you I found it fairly straightforward and enjoyable. More so than today’s back pager which I really struggled with for no particular reason.

  2. The other reason that it’s a non-tough Toughie is that I managed it and it caused me fewer problems than the back page puzzle did.
    Really enjoyable.
    I liked 26a and 11d. Absolutely loved 21a and 3d.
    With thanks to Dada and bufo.

  3. I put the wrong answer in to 1a, which I did not realise until I submitted the puzzle. Apart from that, all plain sailing.
    Thanks to Dada for a few smiles, and to Bufo for the notes.

  4. I know it was not a “toughie” but still enjoyable .Faves pretty much the same as Kath’s .
    Thanks very much .

  5. I loved this. I needed the explanation for 13A and I plumped for the wrong punishment for 1A. Also tried hard to make an anagram of boat the first part of another word for get in 28A but could not rationalize the last two letters. Otherwise smooth sailing. Lots of smiles from me. I am well over the grumps engendered by the cryptic. Many thanks to the setter and to Bufo for the review.

  6. Not a tough toughie at all,but several smiles on the way, thank you Dada. Thanks to Bufo too.

  7. We sailed through this one with lots of smiles and chuckles along the way.
    Thanks Dada and Bufo.

  8. Lovely fun – opinion as others. When is Bufo gonna get a stinker? :-)
    Thanks to him and to Dada.

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