Toughie 1010 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1010

Toughie No 1010 by Busman

Don’t know much about history

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A couple of lazy anagram indicators (not and from), an obscure, for me, reference to ancient French literature and a technical flaw in 8 down, together with a grid which almost splits this into two separate puzzles, rather spoiled this otherwise enjoyable puzzle.

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1a    Alternative grassed areas — that’s usual (6,2,6)
{COMMON OR GARDEN} – a choice between two grassed areas

9a    A soft cheese? No thanks. Fruit please (7)
{APRICOT} – the A from the clue followed by the musical notation for soft and an Italian cheese without the final TA (no thanks)

10a    Hideous outside broadcast by Panorama (7)
{OBSCENE} – the abbreviation for Outside Broadcast followed by a panorama

11a    Asymmetrical gardens — first add topsoil? (4)
{SKEW} – some famous London gardens preceded by (first add) the initial letter (top) of Soil

12a    Lead actors dressed for the priesthood? (10)
{SACERDOTAL} – an anagram (dressed) of LEAD ACTORS

14a    Lionel adapted ornamental engraving (6)
{NIELLO} – an anagram (adapted) of LIONEL

15a    Shopping and business area in a certain Newcastle? (8)
{DOWNTOWN} – split as (4,4) this could describe Newcastle in Northern Ireland

17a    Not happiest mementoes (8)
{EPITAPHS} – an anagram (not) of HAPPIEST

18a    Tissue to remove bit of scum from wine (6)
{RETINA} – to get this light-sensitive tissue in the eye drop (remove) the initial letter (bit) of Scum from an aromatic Greek wine

20a    Endeavour to put down with force (10)
{ENTERPRISE} – a verb meaning to put down, as in to put down one’s thoughts in a diary, followed by a verb meaning to force with a lever

21a    Surrounded by a number in support (4)
{AMID} – a Roman numeral inside a verb meaning to support or assist

23a    Thick fellows, endlessly calm during this (7)
{THIEVES} – these fellows are metaphorically thick! – an adjective meaning calm or composed without its initial and final letters (endlessly) inside THIS

24a    Trouble with names one’s beginning to admit (7)
{AMNESIA} – I can’t remember this one! *

25a    Concerned with medicines from Utah plc, America (14)
{PHARMACEUTICAL} – an anagram (from) of UTAH PLC AMERICA


1d    French epic showing 100 desecrated headstones including separate parts for English (7,2,5)
{CHANSON DE GESTE} – this old French epic poem is derived from the Roman numeral for 100 followed by an anagram (desecrated) of headstones into which the assorted letters (separate parts) of ENG(lish) have been inserted

2d    Actress serving men with real full-flavoured planned food, first (7,8)
{MARLENE DIETRICH} – an anagram (serving) of MEN with REAL and an adjective meaning full-flavoured, the latter being preceded by (first) a planned food regime

3d    Finger — when the top’s missing, that hurts! (4)
{OUCH} – drop (missing) the initial letter (top) of a verb meaning to finger

4d    Cost of exchanging model railway components (6)
{OUTLAY} – split a model railway and exchange the two components

5d    Familiar fruit that’s good with eggs — mixed with three eggs (8)
{GOOSEGOG} – G(ood) followed by an anagram (mixed) of EGGS and OOO (three eggs)

6d    Bird out west around edge on these French homes (10)
{RESIDENCES} – start with a small bird, remove the initial letter W (West out), put what’s left around an edge and then add the French for these

7d    Critic (see column) savaged Stockhausen’s work? (10,5)
{ELECTRONIC MUSIC} – an anagram (savaged) of CRITIC SEE COLUMN

ARVE Error: need id and provider

8d    Novel start to historical work (7,3,4)
{DECLINE AND FALL} – this novel by Evelyn Waugh is the start, or more accurately the middle, of the title of historian Edward Gibbon’s account of the latter years of the Roman Empire

13d    Theatrical flower penniless hubby’s got by cutter (2,3,5)
{OL’ MAN RIVER} – the “flower” that features in the musical Show Boat is derived by dropping the D (penniless – it’s usual to indicate when obsolete terms are being used} from a colloquial word for a husband (3,3) and adding an agent noun derived from a verb meaning to cut

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d    Impressive quality of cleaner — one’s mother (8)
{CHARISMA} – another word for a daily cleaner followed by I’S (one’s) and a two-letter word for mother

19d    I am leaving judge’s property (6)
{ESTATE} – drop (leaving) the I’M (I am) from a verb meaning to judge

22d    Tangle with leader on Kawasaki doing 100mph? (4)
{KNOT} – the initial letter (leader) of Kawasaki followed by 100mph reversed (up, from the phrase meaning doing 100mph)

* Oh yes, it’s an anagram (trouble) of NAMES followed by I (one) and the initial letter of (beginning to) Admit

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

Sam Cooke – Wonderful World

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22 comments on “Toughie 1010

  1. I needed google assistance for 1D and made a wild guess at 8A that google confirmed, but otherwise I didn’t need hints so it was a good toughie day for me. I did need explanations for 15A and 4D and I still don’t understand 4D even with the hint.

    I would have thought that the more correct answer for 11A would be the 4-letter answer given preceded by A but Chambers disagees with me. I did like 13D and 23A particularly. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

    1. The model railway components are layout. You then need to swap the order of the two syllables.

  2. 1d, 13a and 14a were totally unknown to me but it was nice to see a reference to a (for me) long unused word, a memory from childhood in 5d.
    Many thanks to Busman.

  3. According to the Oxford companion to Literature one down should be Chansons de geste. Not a great start to the week.

  4. Good start to Toughie week, favourites were 4d 22d and 23a thanks to Busman and to Big Dave for the comments.

  5. Left puzzle quicker than the right with the exception of 1d which was last in .
    Favourite clue 5d for the same reason as Himself .
    I enjoyed it .
    Thanks very much to Busman and to BD (thank God you didn’t write my school reports
    Although on reflection perhaps you did!)

  6. I was enjoying myself so much sitting outside in the sun doing the backpage crossword, that when I’d finished I decided to tackle the Toughie. I actually completed it in a similar time although I sought help (electronic and BRB) to check seven of my answers and needed BD’s review to explain the wordplay for 15a (not being aware of a Newcastle in Ireland!) and 22d (where I simply couldn’t understand why “ton” needed to be reversed).

    I was fixated for a while trying to reverse two parts of Hornby for 4d until I got 1a and 9a.

    Thanks very much to Busman for a most enjoyable excuse not to cut the grass and to BD for his ever helpful hints.

    I’d better tackle the grass now before Mrs RD gets home. I adopt the same convention as this blog and never say how long it takes me :wink:

  7. Our Gazza will have a big smile on his face in the morning – he gets to enjoy tomorrow’s Micawber toughie twice over. The rest of us will just have to settle for the fun of solving it.

  8. Forgot to mention I would have much preferred a picture of Petula Clark for 15a

  9. We had trouble fully understanding the word-play for both 4d and 15a, despite having the correct answers. Feel that we can be forgiven for the Newcastle one though. Enjoyed the puzzle and finished in time that it did not need to be put in a pocket and cogitated over at the Bridge club. (Always a good judge of difficulty on a Tuesday.)
    Thanks Busman and BD.

  10. The only French epic I’ve heard of is Chanson de Roland, so I was almost there with 1d. Google kindly filled in the missing bit for me. I enjoyed this because it wasn’t too tough.

  11. I’m new to trying the Toughie – it wasn’t printed in NZ but I am now in Hove, and possibly competent enough to have a stab at it. 24A – is there anything to indicate that this was an ‘all in one’ clue? How would I know that Trouble was serving two purposes?

    I shall enjoy trying to get better at these, with your help :o)

      1. Cheers BD, that was part of my, er, trouble! I was still reading the definition as ‘Trouble with names’. Thanks for the link…. how often is the Toughie published?

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