Toughie 1008 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1008

Toughie No 1008 by Elkamere

Was it really 32 years ago?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Elkamere had apologised in advance for “one very obscure grid entry. It was forced by having to change an answer with unfortunate connotations but two of its checkers couldn’t be changed, resulting in almost zero alternatives”. From this I assumed that the two checkers must be thematic and so it proved although they were nothing to do with July 4th and Independence Day. I made heavier weather of the puzzle than perhaps I ought to have done but I found it to be a very enjoyable challenge

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1a    Learning? This setter’s the one to check (5)
{LIMIT} L (learning?) + ‘this setter’s the one’ (2,2). I’m not very keen on L = learning?

4a & 9a    ‘In or out?’ scene by a volatile old American (3,6,2,7)
{YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS} An all-in-one clue where the whole clue provides a definition. The whole clue also provides the wordplay as follows: an anagram (volatile) of IN OR OUT SCENE BY A + O (old) + US (American). The answer became the catchphrase of an American tennis player after he said it in 1981 after a disputed line call

9a    See 4 Across

10a    Way in or out, evidently (5)
{ROUTE} Hidden in oR OUT Evidently

11a    Footballer Butt playing in reserves (7)
{CANTONA} A French footballer = an American term for butt (buttocks) + ‘playing’ inside reserves (soldiers)

12a    It’s a strange laugh, mostly a sneeze (7)
{ATISHOO} An anagram (strange) of IT’S A + a laugh with the last letter removed

13a    Subs supply to a sub (1-5)
{U-BOATS} An anagram (supply) of TO A SUB

15a    Managed, after pressure, to have control of a meal (8)
{PRANDIAL} ‘Managed’ after P (pressure) + a control

18a    Say snooker player pots green at first — not the yellow (3,5)
{EGG WHITE} an abbreviation denoting ‘say’ + the surname of a snooker player (never world champion but 6 times runner-up) round G (first letter of green)

20a    Mike’s father wants no point of view rejected (6)
{EDISON} An inventor (father) of a microphone (mike) = a reversal of NO and ‘point of view’

23a    Chambers includes new name for Muslim (7)
{SUNNITE} Chambers (a set of rooms) goes round N (new) N (name)

24a    Less precise shape or huge radius (7)
{ROUGHER} An anagram (shape) of OF HUGE R (radius)

26a    A model turned author (5)
{AESOP} A reversal of A and ‘to model’

27a    Mayfair doctor tempted to find location further south (9)
{WIMBLEDON} The postcode area that includes Mayfair + an abbreviation for a doctor + ‘tempted’ (3,2). This was one of the answers that Elkamere couldn’t change…

28a    Was boxing champion, say, for two weeks (9)
{FORTNIGHT} …and this is the other. A homophone (say) of ‘was boxing’ and ‘champion’

29a    Find time to meet people (5)
{TRACE} T (time) + people


1d    Throws up half of cold milk stew (9)
{LOBSCOUSE} Throws up (a ball) + CO (half of cold) + ‘to milk’

2d    Two family members, one craftsman (5)
{MASON} Mother + one of her children

3d    Emerge from gate (7)
{TURNOUT} Emerge (4,3) = gate (attendance)

4d    The old country farmer (6)
{YEOMAN} The old word for ‘the’ + an Arab state

5d    United players extremely tense, arrogance at higher level (8)
{UPSTAIRS} U (United) + PS (first and last letters of players) + T (tense) + arrogance

6d    A check on broadcasting charge (7)
{ARRAIGN} A homophone (broadcasting) of ‘a check’

7d    2000-2009 not short of games? Not initially (9)
{NOUGHTIES} ‘Not short of’ with the first letter removed + games

8d    Form of exercise, turning round and round (3-2)
{TAE-BO} A new word for me which Chambers tells me is an exercise system that combines the techniques of tae kwon do with aerobics and dance routines. A reversal of O (round) and round (as walked by a policeman)

14d    So, rearing ugly head? (9)
{ORGANISER} An anagram (ugly) of SO REARING

16d    Future life’s starting on farm (4-5)
{LONG-RANGE} L (first letter of long) + ON + a farm

17d    Silesian duchess, good woman wanting drink without the duke (2,6)
{ST HEDWIG} Here’s the very obscure one. She became the Duchess of Silesia in 1201 (after marrying Henry I the Bearded) and was involved in numerous charitable enterprises. A deep draught of drink goes outside THE D (duke)

19d    Sky blocks instalment plan at home — very tight (7)
{HAIRPIN} ‘Sky’ inside an abbreviation for an instalment plan (the never-never) + ‘at home’ = very tight (as a bend might be)

21d    Piece of clothing available in cotton or winceyette? (7)
{DOUBLET} When split (6,1) it becomes something found in the words cotton and winceyette

22d    Supply lines training south of the front (6)
{PROMPT} (Physical) training goes under (south) of the front (at the seaside)

23d    Man‘s a crook (5)
{STAFF} 2 meanings: to man/a crook (of a shepherd or a bishop)

25d    In jeopardy, having turned evil (5)
{HYDRA} Hidden in reverse in jeopardy having

Thanks to Elkamere for an enjoyable puzzle that taxed me more than many a Thursday puzzle

15 comments on “Toughie 1008

  1. Very enjoyable crossword from Elkamere and an excellent review from Bufo I have to admit that the only Hedwig I had ever heard of was the owl in Harry Potter.

  2. I always enjoy a battle with Elkamere, and this was no exception. Quite tricky for me, but I found it easier than Loroso in the FT yesterday. I had to cheat on 17d.
    Many thanks to Elkamere, and to Bufo.

  3. The two i had trouble with were 8 and 17 down, the latter I could get from the good clue ,and only needed confirmation from Bufo, however 8 dn was a new one on me ,and beat for round is a bit rough, however the rest was good fun, favourite must be 4+9 ac, didn’t even realise it was an anagram! Thanks to Bufo and Elkamere

  4. Super stuff, really enjoyed this one. Favourites among a host of others were 4&9a 18a 19d and 27a thanks to Elkamere and to Bufo for the comments.

  5. Lovely puzzle with the &Lit AT 4/9 being the runaway favourite. I had toi google the duches too!. Thanks to Elkamere and Bufo for the review.

  6. Super puzzle from the master of disguise. Particularly liked 20a [Mike’s father indeed!] 23a and 21d. 17d is perfectly fair for me – clearly defined with straightforward wordplay – and after H Potter, perfectly guessable.

  7. Took yonks but worth it had to google both 17d and 8d .Agree with others re 4/9 ,staggered I didn’t see it sooner !
    Thanks to Elkamere and Bufo .

  8. I wonder how many of us are trying to work out which word Elkamere intended originally for the answer to 17d…

  9. Nearly surrendered several times today but kept on coming back and eventually managed. Spindrift, also would love to know original answer for 17d which I found quite fair. Brilliant puzzle and excellent review, thank you to both. Dave I managed to pick up a Brunsviga 13 calculator today. Any good? Amazing condition for a vintage piece. Do we have to fear tomorrow?

  10. A great deal of very hard work and a little bit of investigoogling finally saw us over the finishing line. 8d was the last little blighter to yield. The completed grid looks a real mess this morning with lots of over-writing where we were forced to change our “first-thoughts”. All very clever and challenging.
    Thanks Elkamere and Bufo.

  11. That was a really nice puzzle to solve. Short clues, many nicely misleading. I’d say well done, Elkamere

  12. Would not have completed this without investigoogling but thoroughly enjoyed it. In 1a I took the L as in a learner driver has an L plate, but as usual, probably way off the mark. Cheers Bufo and Elkamere

  13. Oh no! The ipad version must be different from the paper version today. It’s usually the same. It’s only no 246 which seems strange. Better get on with it as no help available today

  14. It wasn’t the toughie. We don’t get that on the ipad. It’s the cryptic
    I’ve done it all except one now

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