Toughie 1025 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1025

Toughie No 1025 by Firefly

Whatever happened to the Common Market?

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This was to be a Batman and Robin production, but Robin was recalled at short notice for some tests in his second home.  Enjoyable, but not as tough as we have come to expect on a Friday.

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    Maybe the Communist Manifesto — with Lenin’s lead — set rebels off? (10)
{BESTSELLER} – an anagram (off) of the initial letter (lead) of Lenin’s with SET REBELS

6a    Smart hippie girl’s losing weight (4)
{CHIC} – a hippie girl without (losing) the final letter K (weight / kilogram)

9a    Growth on seafood a threat to the harvest? (10)
{CORNCOCKLE} – a growth on a toe followed by some seafood gives this tall-growing weed with reddish-purple flowers that could be a threat to the harvest

10a    Off and on, admire our Maker? (4)
{DIEU} – the even letters (off and on) of two words in the clue

12a    Markova’s spring and summer in Paris with Jack? (4)
{JETÉ} – this jump could have been performed by Alicia Markova, the English ballerina – the French for summer preceded by J(ack) – unusually, both wordplay and answer have an acute accent

13a    Perhaps clip joint‘s near top of town, see? (9)
{NIGHTSPOT} – a word meaning near followed by the initial letter (top) of Town and a verb meaning to see or notice

15a    ‘La Mer’, say, only in unusual tempo (4,4)
{TONE POEM} – ‘La Mer’ by Debussy is an example of this type of orchestral composition – a word meaning only or sole inside an anagram (unusual) of TEMPO

16a    Amount made by returning ingredient for cheese? (6)
{TENNER} – this amount of money is derived by reversing (returning) an ingredient used in the manufacture of cheese

18a    Mark’s two spots of legerdemain amuse (6)
{TICKLE} – a mark, possibly one used by a teacher when marking homework, followed by the first two letters of LEgerdemain

20a    Spin wicked tale about human (8)
{FALLIBLE} – the reversal (spin) of an adjective meaning wicked with a tale around it

23a    Tread softly on boat — it helps with starting (6,3)
{LAUNCH PAD} – a verb meaning to Tread softly preceded by a boat

24a    Century’s a long time in prison (4)
{CAGE} – C(entury) followed by a long time

26a    Italian’s on extra leave (4)
{EXIT} – IT(alian) preceded by EX(tra)

27a    Beeb labours endlessly breaking down community jargon (10)
{EUROBABBLE} – an anagram (breaking down) of BEEB and LABOUR(S) without its final letter (endlessly) gives the kind of nonsense spoken by overpaid politicians in Brussels and Strasbourg

28a    Work  the checkout? (4)
Newspaper  version – Register for work? (4)
{TILL} – two definitions – the second one being at the supermarket!

29a    No tweezers used to make ersatz snuff (10)
{SNEEZEWORT} – an anagram (used) of NO TWEEZERS gives a species of yarrow once used as a substitute for snuff


1d    American novelist another one dumped in the water (4)
{BECK} – start with a nine-letter American novelist and drop (dumped) (Gertrude) STEIN (another American novelist)

2d    Caviare producer cuts time for operator (7)
{SURGEON} – drop the T(ime) from the fish that produces caviare

3d    Leicester cop drafted into NKVD, perhaps (6,6)
{SECRET POLICE} – an anagram (drafted) of LEICESTER COP – Tilsit emailed me this clue from today’s Times: “An old European, NKVD leader, wearing clothes (7)” – please don’t discuss here, answer can be found on Times for The Times

4d    Landlord‘s worrying silence over second instalment of rent (8)
{LICENSEE} – an anagram (worrying) of SILENCE followed by the second letter (instalment) of rEnt

5d    Praise gained from trade association journal upon end of display (6)
{EULOGY} – what was supposed to be a trade association (the one where they speak 27a) is followed by a journal and the final letter (end) of displaY

7d    Bent husband to reveal private number (7)
{HAIRPIN} – an adjective applied to a sharp bend comes from H(usband) followed by a verb meaning to reveal and a private identification number

8d    Ruling cabal’s first error — to tangle with leaders of union and demonstrators (5,5)
{COURT ORDER} – the initial letter (first) of Cabal followed by an anagram (to tangle) of ERROR TO UD (the initial letters (leaaders) of Union and Demonstrators)

11d    See the places reassigned in race (12)
{STEEPLECHASE} – an anagram (reassigned) of SEE THE PLACES

14d    Most impressive gallery in Sweden is situated on edge of Trelleborg (10)
{STATELIEST} – an art gallery inside S(weden), a verb meaning is situated and the initial letter (edge) of Trelleborg

17d    Hackney is said to be attractive (8)
{HANDSOME} – sounds like (is said) a light two-wheeled horse-drawn hackney carriage

19d    Key to unlock circular saw was right twisted and unused (7)
{CRUCIAL} – an adjective meaning key comes from an anagram (to unlock) of CIRCULA(R SAW) without (unused) WAS R(ight) reversed (twisted)

21d    Tap phone of sailor getting rings — it’s an alarming thing (7)
{BUGABOO} – a verb meaning to tap a phone followed by a sailor and two Os (rings)

22d    Surge precipitous (not half!) on vessel (6)
{UPTURN} – drop the ABR (not half) from a word meaning precipitous and add a vessel

25d    Fell  race? (4)
{PELT} – two definitions – a fell or skin and to race

I found this better on second reading, so upped the enjoyment from *** to ****.

15 comments on “Toughie 1025

  1. Thanks to Firefly and BD for an enjoyable if gentle toughie and an excellent review.

  2. Very solver friendly for a Friday, favourites were 1d 17d and 20a thanks to Firefly and to Big Dave for the review. Dave paper version for 28a reads Register for work? (4).

  3. 28a is different in the paper and not so clear. “Checkout” is better than “register”.

    1. Why are there differences between the Paper version and the On-Line version?

      Perhaps, the DT Crossword Editor could explain. (I think he reads this Blog?)

      1. One reason is if a clue is very specific to one or the other medium. For example in Wednesday’s Toughie there was a clue on the back page:

        The iPad largely replaced this? (5,9) – the definition being this and the answer Daily Telegraph.

        If that had appeared on-line unchanged it would have made no sense, so the on-line clue read:

        The iPad largely replaced paper? (5,9)

  4. I enjoyed solving this one – grateful for the fact that the meaning of fell in 25a was in a Times cryptic the other day and I actually remembered it!

    Thanks to Firefly and BD

  5. We enjoyed this one and actually completed it in much the same time as the back page. However were stumped by 25d, never heard of the definition for pelt. It will doubtless crop up again soon, by which time we will have forgotten it!
    Thanks to the setter and blogger.

  6. Thanks to BD for flying solo at short notice. Took this with me to hospital and filled it in in fairly quick sticks.

    If you are at a loose end, go find today’s Arachne Guardian puzzle, a lovely puzzle by a brilliant setter!

  7. Not easy for me. Didn’t help with 8D that I initially had nightclub for 13A and the ingredient rather than amount for 16A. But I finished with just four hints so I’m happy. Thanks to Firefly and BD.

  8. The first and last of the down clues, 1d and 25d were the last for us to complete but we got there. Spent ages trying to make Pearl Buck fit the wordplay for 1d before rejecting that option. Found this one quite a lot harder than other Fireflys we have done and really good fun.
    Thanks Firefly and BD.

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