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Toughie 994

Toughie No 994 by Shamus

Who’s the b*st*rd in the black?

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

As many of you have already found, one of today’s clues is flawed. Expect an apology in tomorrow’s newspaper.

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    Official purpose in Spain linked to peculiar popular vote (10)
{REFERENDUM} – the three-letter abbreviation for a football official followed by a purpose inside the IVR code for Spain and an adjective meaning peculiar

6a    Preserve  feature of castle (4)
{KEEP} – two definitions

9a    Statement from first person entering road in US city (5)
{MIAMI} – a statement from first person (1,2) inside (entering) a major road

10a    Care taken by liberal in section of party to offer flattery (9)
{WHEEDLING} – a word meaning care or attention followed by L(iberal) inside a section of a political party

12a    Generous wine and whisky, say, for one of similar outlook? (7,6)
{KINDRED SPIRIT} – an adjective meaning generous followed by a type of wine and an alcoholic drink of which whisky is an example

14a    A whistling sort seen in bay largely is nonchalant (8)
{CAREFREE} – the A from the clue and the whistling official from 1 across i9nside most of (largely) a bay

15a    Material observed in second musical (6)
{MOHAIR} – a second or short period of time followed by a controversial musical

17a    Sign around island left for those on platform (6)
{OILMEN} – a sign or portent around I(sland) and L(eft)

19a    Genuine gift nothing less found by assistant touring France (4,4)
{BONA FIDE} – a gift without one of the Os (nothing less) followed by an assistant around the IVR code for France

21a    Holy book a rector found by church in unexpected relief — and clerical item (5,4,4)
{LEVER ARCH FILE} – the abbreviation for the third book of the Old Testament followed by the A from the clue, R(ector) and CH(urch) inside an anagram (unexpected) of RELIEF

24a    A gathering of elders? (9)
{ARBORETUM} – a cryptic definition of a garden of trees

25a    Graduate put back equipment for cloth design (5)
{BATIK} – an Arts graduate followed by the reversal (put back) of some equipment

26a    Suitable  hunting event (4)
{MEET} – two definitions

27a    What might be supporting e.g. India for rebuilding? (7,3)
{FOREIGN AID} – an anagram (rebuilding) of E.G. INDIA FOR


1d    Drink taken by leader of pirates as booty? (4)
{RUMP} – an alcoholic drink followed by the initial letter (leader) of Pirates gives the kind of booty that can be shaken!

2d    Dessert on side of road cut, one in pack? (7)
{FLANKER} – a dessert followed by the side of the road without its final letter (cut) gives someone in the pack in a Rugby Union team

3d    Loony fringe to slip in revolutionary period (5,2,6)
{REIGN OF TERROR} – an anagram (loony) of FRINGE TO slip followed by a slip or mistake

4d    Part of flight around South about to be seen in film (8)
{NEWSREEL} – a post that forms part of a flight of stairs around S(outh) and a two-letter word meaning about

5d    Overturn in court reform having spent money (5)
{UPEND} – a two-letter word meaning in court followed by a verb meaning to reform without the M(oney)

7d    Period in which exotic rite takes place in country (7)
{ERITREA] – a large period of time around an anagram (exotic) of RITE

8d    Mention of musical actress and singer in thrilling work? (4-6)
Newspaper (and early online ) version – Musical actress and singer in thrilling work?
– what sounds like the surname of musical actress Elaine followed by the surname of singer Tina – the original version is flawed

11d    Big capital MOD spent? It avoids normal inspection (10,3)
{DIPLOMATIC BAG} – an anagram (spent) of BIG CAPITAL MOD

13d    Prim type in train with lover of pop, a source of mischief? (10)
{SCHOOLMAAM} – a verb meaning to train followed by the person married to pop, the A from the clue and the initial letter (source) of Mischief

16d    Friendliness that is associated with Northern hotel in prosperous time (8)
{BONHOMIE} – the Latin abbreviation for that is preceded by N(orthern) and H(otel) inside a prosperous time

18d    Nothing about a vacant brothel is endearing (7)
{LOVABLE} – a score of nothing in tennis around the A from the clue and BrotheL without its inner letters (vacant)

20d    Lethargy ruined Britain with leader yielding to European (7)
{INERTIA} – an anagram (ruined) of ERITAIN – Britain with its initial letter replaced by (yielding to) E(uropean)

22d    A proportion of literati overlooked (5)
{RATIO} – hidden inside the clue

23d    Heart of music shown by guy in uncontrolled movement? (4)
{SKID} – the middle letter (heart) of muSic followed by a young guy verb meaning to guy or make fun of [thanks Gazza]

An enjoyable puzzle, in spite of the minor mishap.

[From Wednesday’s newspaper – “Yesterday’s Toughie: Apologies for the mistake in the clue for 8 Down, ‘Page-turner’. The musical actress is Elaine Paige, of course, not ‘Page’.”]


20 comments on “Toughie 994

  1. Enjoyable crossword if not really up to toughie standard, thanks to Shamus and BD for the hints.

  2. Agree with BB that this was a very Tuesday-ish level Toughie. It would have been nice to have something a little more trying as the boss is away at a conference (not that I am implying that I might look at crosswords during office hours :) ) . I probably spent more time in email conversations with fellow bloggers about Mr CS’s least favourite singer than I did solving the puzzle.

    Very enjoyable despite its Tuesday-ish-ness, thank you to Shamus and to BD too

    1. Mr CS and I appear to have something in common. I had to wait for her to leave Evita, Cats, Piaf and Anything Goes before I was prepared to watch them.

      1. …and as for the patronising radio show on Saturday afternoons…it makes me want to hurl the set in the Trent.

        1. Mr CS has to be restrained from doing similar things (we are a long way from the Trent) with his radio in the greenhouse.

  3. Finished this quicker than the back page puzzle. Still at the stage when I am really thrilled to complete a Toughie, so was a little disappointed that it was only rated a 2 star. Really enjoyed it though.

  4. Enjoyed this very much but hadn’t realised I was solving the Toughie until I went to read the Cryptic revue – I inadvertently shuffled my printed out crosswords and didn’t look at header til I realised was looking at wrong puzzle here – going to tackle cryptic now. Hope it’s as much fun as this one. Liked 21a and 13d very much – hadn’t seen lover of pop for ma before.

  5. Gosh. Easy? I found it very hard going. I needed the hint to resolve 1A, which gave me three others, but I had no idea on 10A and 2D (which I did not like at all). Took forever to work out the word play for 21A, after I had the answer. I did like 12A and 24A, though. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the help.

  6. Not that I am particularly taken by the subject of the picture for 1d but that is a really really clever effect.

    1. For some reason it makes me feel seasick. I recommend the old adage that less is more…

      1. Enjoyed the toughie for a change,dissapointed it was only **,my old grandad was always saying that many have too much,but none enough! i can see what he was getting at.

  7. Gentle fare on offer today, favourites were 3d 16d and 24a thanks to Shamus and to Big Dave for the comments.

  8. Enjoyed this a lot more than the back pager .
    Favourites 21a and 24a.
    Thanks to Shamus and BD

  9. This had to be relatively easy as I did it in ** time which doesn’t happen often. I have to go **** for enjoyment just through having complete a toughie w/o hints.

    I liked 27a and also wasn’t put off by the “elders” in 24a as I’d coincidentally just googled the image of the tree to see if the thing over our back fence is one (it is).

  10. We seem to have found this one a bit tougher than most people. A very typical Shamus with lots of “Lego” clues. The answer put together from many small components. We enjoy the exercise. We had missed spotting the error in 8d. Had put in the correct answer without questioning the spelling. 14a held us up for a while too. In our part of the world is a small stream and we were not familiar with the bay meaning until we checked in BRB.
    Thanks Shamus and BD.

    1. I agree with you on 14A. It’s a small stream here, too. In my 30-odd years in the UK, a bay was a bay and a small bay or inlet was always called a cove. Still, it doesn’t do to disagree with the BRB. Heads have rolled for less!

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