Toughie 1015 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1015

Toughie No 1015 by Dada

What Do You Call a Burnt Beefburger?

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

The name of today’s setter wasn’t available on-line when I when to bed last night so it was a pleasant surprise this morning to find a Dada puzzle and very enjoyable it is.

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.

Across Clues

1a  Publicly quiet word with press having failed to hide a woman’s secret? (5,7)
{STAGE WHISPER} – an anagram (having failed) of WITH PRESS containing (to hide) what some women are reluctant to reveal.

8a  Something piped here in Europe, no good (5)
{ICING} – the French word for here followed by the abbreviation for no good.

9a  On your bike, left to tuck in bottom, hurried away (9)
{SCRAMBLED} – start with an instruction to go away (on your bike!) then insert (tuck in) L(eft) in a word for bottom (of a river, for example).

11a  Blade I push into monarch, one less battle, ultimately (5-4)
{KNIFE-EDGE} – I and a verb to push (coins into a meter, for example) go inside a male monarch without the I (one less). Finish with the ultimate letter of (battl)E.

12a  Copper gets to marry babe (5)
{CUTIE} – the chemical symbol for copper followed by a verb meaning to marry.

13a  Tip up rubbish bin on island, initially into hole (9)
{POURBOIRE} – the initial letters of five words in the clue are inserted into a hole in the skin.

16a  Failing school’s closure put before part of the church (5)
{LAPSE} – the closing letter of (schoo)L is followed by part of the structure of a church.

18a  Turkish confection, 3/8 given to Virginia (5)
{HALVA} – a word which could be expressed mathematically as 4/8 loses its last letter thus being reduced to 3/8. Add the standard abbreviation for the state of Virginia.

19a  Is an imperfect gymnastics score so indefensible? (9)
{UNTENABLE} – cryptically how you might describe a less than perfect score in a gymnastics competition.

20a  Contract made verbally, great thing (5)
{TITAN} – this sounds like a verb to contract.

22a  Birth control instruction? You cannot be serious! (2,7)
{NO KIDDING} – LOL – the instruction that a parent might fix to their teenager’s bedroom wall.

25a  Server requiring skill to break knee, perhaps (9)
{BARTENDER} – insert (to break) a word meaning skill or craft inside how you could describe  a knee.

26a  Child I kept in outbuilding (5)
{BAIRN} – I gets inserted in a farm building.

27a  Venus of the cosmos? (4,8)
{MISS UNIVERSE} – cryptic definition of the most beautiful young lady.

Down Clues

1d  Religious practice under secular leader, devout (9)
{SPIRITUAL} – a two-letter abbreviation meaning very religious and a practice or formal ceremony all follow the leading letter of S(ecular).

2d  Top knot in view (5)
{ANGLE} – Behead (top) a knot or confused mass.

3d  Relaxed while in river, doing a backflip (5)
{EASED} – a synonym for while inside the reversal (doing a backflip) of the name of a river (you have the choice of several in the UK, the most well-known ones being in Northern Scotland and North Wales).

4d  So the mare getting cooked? (9)
{HORSEMEAT} – an all-in-one clue with the answer being an anagram (getting cooked) of SO THE MARE. I’m surprised that Dada resisted the temptation to mention burgers or lasagne.

5d  Pass through centre in French city, northbound, making mark (9)
{SEMICOLON} – a mountain pass and the central letter of thrOugh get inserted in the reversal (northbound) of a city in the south of France.

6d  Romance turns up at port (5)
{EILAT} – reverse (turns up) a romance or fictional statement and add AT to make a port on the Red Sea.

7d  Pay for truck, Greek character broke for a start (4,2,3,3)
{PICK UP THE TAB} – string together a type of truck (4-2), the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet and the starting letter of B(roke).

10d  Driver of vehicle possibly needing oil, not oxygen, see? (6,6)
{DIESEL ENGINE} – an anagram (possibly) of NEEDING (o)IL (without the chemical symbol for oxygen) and SEE.

14d  Thick, black and dry (9)
{BRAINLESS} – B(lack) is followed by a word meaning dry (like the spell of weather that we’re currently enjoying).

15d  Over river, I shoot to bag a duck, getting old lizard (9)
{IGUANODON} – ahead of the name of a river (one in Russia being the most famous) we need a) I, b) a verb to shoot (normally followed by ‘down’) containing (to bag) A and c) O (duck).

17d  Plug I use with clip, desperate to cover opening in bath (9)
{PUBLICISE} – an anagram (desperate) of I USE CLIP contains (to cover) the opening letter of B(ath).

21d  Is heel turned over to reveal bones in the foot? (5)
{TARSI} – a charade of IS and a heel or cad, all reversed.

23d  Drink finished, Queen off to see ballet company (5)
{KIROV} – a drink containing dry white wine and crème de cassis is followed by an adverb meaning finished from which the Queen’s cipher has been removed.

24d  Banish pet biting bishop (5)
{DEBAR} – a term of affection like pet goes round (biting) the abbreviation for a bishop in chess.

I thought that 25a and 4d were very good but the clue of the day for me is 22a. Do let us know what did the trick for you.

9 comments on “Toughie 1015

  1. Lucky gazza, clever Dada, super crossword, ‘dotty’ day with the same favourites as gazza and more.

  2. Good fun and very enjoyable, favourites were 4d 22a and 25a thanks to Dada and to Gazza for the review.

    1. The Toughie is not (as far as I am aware) available via the Daily Telegraph digital version. However, if you have a subscription to Telegraph Puzzles, there is a crossword app called Crux that enables you to download the backpage cryptic and quick crosswords and the Toughie. You also get access to the Independent crosswords and the Globe & Mail (Canadian) crosswords whose cryptic is I believe set by Rufus.

  3. It took me a while to finish this one off, but I was in no hurry, sat in the garden on a day off from work, with a fridge full of beer to keep me company (much more satisfying than the normal costa coffee routine on the way into the office). Many thanks to Dada, and to Gazza.

  4. I just loved 22a . I laughed out loud for for so long my patner thought i was having a baby.

  5. Like Gazza, when we solved this, we had to assume that it was by Mr Ron. Thoroughly enjoyed the solve, so were not surprised to eventually find out that it was by a setter who’s puzzles we have invariably found delightful. Our starting point which had us laughing right from the outset was 22a, with its allusion back to McInroe from last week.
    Many thanks Dada and Gazza.

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