Toughie 1035 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1035

Toughie No 1035 by Kcit

Getting Tougher!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Not as gentle as a lot of Kcit’s puzzles, but 5 down certainly deserved a red card!

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    Vendors rejected broadcast work by this writer (7)
{EMPORIA} – reverse (rejected) all of a verb meaning to broadcast, a musical work and the first person objective pronoun (this writer)

5a    Passing first of cases of white wine (4-3)
{DEMI-SEC} – passing or dying followed by the initial letter (first) of Cases

9a    Writing material for offline exam? (9)
{NOTEPAPER} – split the first part as (3,1) and it could mean offline and follow it with an exam

10a    River relocated by clan — this river? (5)
{TIBER} – The R(iver) is moved (relocated) in a tribe

11a    Functionary around Queen may be chased by one! (5)
{CORGI} – the whole clue provides the definition – put a functionary or xxx around the Latin abbreviation for Queen and follow it with I (one)

12a    Is gold set back in crown almost wearing away? (9)
(CORROSION} – IS and the heraldic term for gold are reversed (set back) inside a crown without (almost) its final A

13a    Resort’s second gamble not entirely irregular (9)
{SPASMODIC} – a holiday resort followed by the S from ‘S, a two-letter word for a second or brief period of time and most (not entirely) of a word meaning to gamble

16a    Party reforming but displaying lack of faith (5)
{DOUBT} – a party followed by an anagram (reforming) of BUT

17a    Held back some manure ready for second attempt? (5)
{RERUN} – hidden (some) and reversed (Held back) inside the clue

18a    Redesign of Times a high point, one hazards? (9)
{ESTIMATOR} – an anagram (redesign) of TIMES followed by the A from the clue and a high point

20a    She‘s seduced no curates? (9)
{COURTESAN} – an anagram (seduced) of NO CURATES – semi all-in-one

23a    Tidy place to eat, free of noise, I note (5)
{GROOM} – a place to eat in the home with a noise (3), I and N(ote) removed (free of) from the beginning of the word

25a    Groan, say, that finally is swallowed in rejection of courtship (5)
{TITUS} – the first name of the eponymous hero of the novel by Mervyn Peake is derived by putting the final letter of thaT inside the reversal (rejection) of a courtship or wooing

26a    Woman’s right, envying one retaining their looks? (9)
{EVERGREEN} – the first woman followed by R(ight) and an adjective meaning envying

27a    I’ll probe constellation by end of night, having greatest access to sky? (7)
{AIRIEST} – I inside (probe) a constellation followed by the final letter (end) of nighT

28a    Sailor recalled island hospital with obligation (7)
{YACHTIE} – reverse (recalled) a small island and follow it with H(ospital) and an obligation


1d    Girl upset about Greek character and chaplain, ineffectual men (7)
{EUNUCHS} – a girl’s name is reversed (upset in a down clue) around a character in the Greek alphabet and CH(aplain)

2d    Chap to become exhausted, missing out (5)
{PETER} – start with a phrasal verb meaning to become exhausted (5,3) and drop the OUT

3d    Upset a pilot and member of ground crew? (9)
{REPAIRMAN} – reverse a three-letter word meaning A, as in 60p a pound, and follow it with a pilot

4d    Jelly, when still? (5)
{ASPIC] – a two-letter word meaning when followed by a still photograph

5d    European city investing nothing in doctors, really (9)
{DORDRECHT} – this industrial city and river port in the Netherlands is derived from O (nothing) inside a pair of abbreviations for D(octo)R followed by a word of German origin meaning really or authentically

6d    Saw base, not head, rising (5)
{MOTTO} – a saw or adage is derived from a base without its initial letter (not head) reversed (rising in a down clue)

7d    Calm, with no end of peace and quiet arranged, one’s assumed (9)
{SOBRIQUET} – an adjective meaning calm without the final letter (end) of peacE and followed by an anagram (arranged) of QUIET – I always thought this assumed name was spelt with a U, but both versions are allowed

8d    Brass item, with nothing inserted, appearing as gold item? (7)
{CORONET} – a brass musical instrument around (inserted) O (nothing)

14d    It doesn’t take any pluck to play this (3,6)
{AIR GUITAR} – a cryptic definition of an imaginary musical instrument

15d    Instructions for taking off? (4,5)
{DIET SHEET} – a cryptic definition of the instructions for taking off (or trying to take off) weight

16d    Like great speaker of French, excellent about origins of Gallic opinion (9)
{DEMAGOGIC} – the French for of followed by a colloquial word meaning excellent itself around the initial letters (origins) of the last two words in the clue

17d    Senior soldier in dress cut up cheese (7)
{RICOTTA} – a two-letter abbreviation for a senior soldier inside the reversal (up in a down clue) of most of (cut) dress or garb

19d    An opening for collaboration in capital story (7)
{ROMANCE} – the AN from the clue and the initial letter (opening) of Collaboration inside a European capital

21d    Discrimination some represent as terror-related (5)
{TASTE} – hidden (some) inside the clue

22d    The old penniless writer, upset about daughter lacking funds (5)
{NEEDY} – the old word for “the” and a writing implement without the p (penniless) all reversed (upset in a down clue) around D(aughter)

24d    Finished on time for everyone to see (5)
{OVERT} – a word meaning finished followed by T(ime)

I quite enjoyed this one.

7 comments on “Toughie 1035

  1. I was pleasantly surprised to find this trickier than I was expecting. Last one in for me was 15d.
    Many thanks to Kcit for the enjoyment, and to Big Dave for the notes. 3*/4* for me.

  2. Many thanks to Kcit for a wonderful toughie and to BD for a superb review, I loved 5d personally but my favourite was 28a.

  3. Thanks to Kcit & to Big Dave for the review and hints. I’m back to normal for the Toughie after yesterday’s success. Only managed 3 answers before resorting to the hints, which yielded another 13 via the checkers. Got 6 from the hints and had to look up 10. Found it very interesting but baffling. Favourite was 11a. Geography was never my strong point but 5d was more than a tad obscure.

  4. Probably one of the toughest we’ve had from this setter, favourites were 11a 16d and 28a thanks to Kcit and to Big Dave for the review.

  5. 5d was the last one in for us and needed a confirming Google. It does seem that Mr Henderson from Stokes Valley has found some hob-nailed boots to use for this one. We had the time available (it took quite a lot) and got the whole thing done and dusted. Thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.
    Thanks Kcit and BD.

  6. I see that Kcit has been trying on the boots in anticipation of the oncoming Winter! Much harder than I expected when I saw who the setter was but it was very enjoyable.

    It took ages for the penny to drop on 28a (needed all checkers) which is really sad as I am, or at least was, one!!!! (It was getting 22d which gave me the Y so then the penny dropped with a loud CLANG).

    Thanks for the test Kcit and BD for the blog.

  7. Two expletives passed my lips one for 15 d which was perhaps embarrasingly my last in and 5d which for me was just a necessary evil ,solved only by the checking letters .
    My personal favourite was 13a .
    An enjoyable struggle so thanks to Kcit and yet again BD .
    Enjoyed the usual polished Jay puzzle too despite the hiccup

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