Toughie 1053 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1053

Toughie 1053 by Elgar

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

This week’s Toughies have been disappointingly straightforward, but one can normally rely on Elgar to provide the required brain tormenting challenge. Today’s puzzle, whilst being very entertaining, has a helpful theme which ensures that although this isn’t his fluffiest work, it certainly isn’t excessively hob-nailed either.

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7a & 8a Analysing, for instance, 4 — if it bears info for bankers (9,5)
{FINANCIAL TIMES} The first of today’s theme-relevant clues/solutions. An anagram (analysing) of INSTANCE, the four letters of the solution to 4 Down, and IF.

10a ‘Junk’ Indian meal nine individually cancelled after ordering? (6)
{ADMAIL} An anagram (ordering) of INDIAN MEAL once you have removed the letters NINE (nine individually cancelled).

11a Dublin location to have a sly look around this month (8)
{LEINSTER} Dublin is the largest urban area in this County of Ireland. Insert the abbreviation meaning this month into a sly look.

12a Don’t leave me this way, love — I subsequently laid into nearest (2,4)
{NO EXIT} Insert into an adjective meaning immediately following (nearest) O (love) and I (from the clue).

14a & 9d Old musical organ the enemy picked up for a competitor in the market (6,6)
{RECORD MIRROR} Back in the 60s there were two competing music periodicals (organ) – one forms the solution to this clue and gives two words which form part of the theme; the informal way in which we referred to the second publication is a homophone (picked up) of ‘enemy’ and wins the award for ‘D’oh of the Day’!

16a Top actor‘s beginning, but not end (4)
{STAR} Remove the last letter (not end) from a synonym for beginning.

17a Producer of Pibroch, or the Walford Gazette? (5)
{PIPER} A pibroch is a form of music for bagpipes. The second part of the clue refers to the way some living in the East End of London (the home of the fictional borough of Walford) might refer to his local journal.

18a Wide angle to some extent opening aperture (4)
{GAPE} One of the definitions in the BRB is a wide opening or angle. The word is hidden in (to some extent) openinG APErture.

19a Boil? ____ quack! (6)
{SEETHE} The meaning of boil here relates to being extremely angry. However, split the solution 3,3 and put it where the dash is in the clue and it becomes a medical problem for which one should visit the doctor (quack).

21a & 6d Our sister American is back, wandering legendary path (6,9)
Online version: Returning American wandering legendary path is one of ours (6, 9)
{SUNDAY TELEGRAPH} ‘Our’ here refers to the home of our crossword. A reversal (back) of the abbreviation for American followed by an anagram (wandering) of LEGENDARY PATH.

24a Allowed Roma’s wingers to fix transfer system (8)
{LETRASET} Another blast from the past! Part of a verb meaning allowed, the outside letters (wingers) of RomA, and a verb meaning to fix.

26a Debuts for Arsenal defenders in side finding progress difficult (6)
{WADING} Insert the ‘debuts’ or first letters of Arsenal Defenders into a side.

27a & 28a National grid displays many such here, two having gone bust! (5,9)
{DAILY NEWSPAPER} A cryptic definition which gives us the theme of today’s crossword. [see below for the explanation of “two having gone bust”.]


1d Nervous, following a convoluted course abounding in words (5)
{WINDY} A triple definition – a slang term for frightened; describing a convoluted course; given to prolonged or boastful speech.


2d A head that strikes through to take the role of mother’s lover (8)
{PARAMOUR} To be able to understand ‘take the role of mother’ you have to go back to the days when people used a teapot more than they do today. Someone would usually say ‘Shall I be mother?’ and serve the tea. Take the verb which describes this action and insert A (from the clue) and the head of something that forces with heavy blows .

3d Hooked head‘s given pass into Congress (6)
{SCOLEX} Apologies to anyone eating while reading this but the hooked head refers to that of an intestinal tapeworm. Insert a type of mountain pass into the simple way of saying intercourse (congress).

4d Miles:millilitres, in which there’s one:one correspondence (4)
{MAIL} Insert into the abbreviation for mile and/or millilitres, the indefinite article and I (both of which could be described as ‘one’).

5d Poor Isaac and Rebecca primarily need to breathe (3-3)
{AIR-SAC} An extensions of the lungs which increases the efficiency of respiration in birds. An anagram (poor) of ISAAC and R (the ‘primary’ letter of Rebecca).

6d See 21 Across

9d See 14 Across

13d Not what you’d expect double helping of pasta to include! (5)
{TAPAS} If you write down PASTA PASTA you will find hidden in the middle food from Spain rather than Italy.

15d Knackered pacesetter relinquishing lead for others … (2,7)
{ET CETERAS} Remove the first letter (relinquishing lead) of PACESETTER and an anagram (knackered) of the remaining letters gives you the Latin expression meaning others, all the rest.

17d Perhaps the foundation for smoothie hairdresser perking locks up (6)
{PRESSÉ} A drink made from freshly squeezed fruit juice, sugar and ice, might well be added to a fruit smoothie. It is hidden and reversed (up) in hairdrESSER Perking.

18d & 23d Caretaker has King and I translated in foreign language (8,5)
{GUARDIAN ANGEL} An anagram (translated) LANGUAGE with R (Rex, king) AND I (from the clue) inserted.

20d This swimmer FBI’s clobbered with rifle-butt? (6)
{TURTLE} An anagram of RIFLE-BUTT once you have removed (clobbered) the letters of FBI.

22d Extremely young crossword compilers comfortably ensconced? (6)
{NEWEST} How crossword compilers collectively might refers to themselves should be inserted (comfortably ensconced) into a cosy or secluded place

23d See 18 Down

25d Not our diminished ego (3,1)
{THE I} Remove the last letter (diminished) from an identifier meaning belonging to them.

Did you spot the themed items? {Financial Times, Times, [Daily] Record, [Daily] Mirror, [Daily] Star, Sunday Telegraph, Indy, [Daily] Mail, [Daily] Telegraph, Guardian, The i} The ‘two having gone bust’ were {Express – split (bust apart!) between 3d and 17d, and The Sun, split between 19a and 21a}

In case you are wondering where Fred is, he spent some time last night warming up and then this morning remembered he’d not collected his dancing pumps from the menders. I am sure he will be back next Friday, either with a solo performance or a duet with me.

11 comments on “Toughie 1053

  1. So tough for me that I left it for a while, made some fudge and completed the killer soduko – but I still needed your hints and tips for 14a/9d and I was around in the 60’s :-)

  2. Certainly not the toughest crossword Elgar has set but very enjoyable nevertheless. My thanks to Elgar and Crypticsue.

  3. Thanks to m’learned friend for flying solo after the problems last night and this morning.

    Looks like a weekend laid up at home for me.

    As Madame says, not his nastiest, but nonetheless enjoyable and full of clever stuff as usual.

  4. Im not used to doing the toughie so found this quite tricky and the assistance here very helpful – however, 15d…cannot make sense of this – the clue states 2,7….but the answer is only 2,6,

  5. The usual infuriating mix of inspired but flawed [2d] and plain awful [12a, 5d] clueing, but great fun overall and a very well developed theme. I thought there might be a NINA in the NE corner but I’m no longer sure that “rag” is significant.

    Thanks to Elgar and CSue

  6. Well this one kept us out of mischief for a large part of yesterday afternoon, but we did get there in the end, apart from parsing 20d which now looks so obvious when we see it this morning. Some of the newspapers were not as familiar to us of course, although spotting the theme, which did not happen immediately, did make the going a little easier. Particularly enjoyed the word-play for 2d.
    Thanks Elgar and CS.

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