Toughie 1057 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1057

Toughie No 1057 by Firefly

Childhood Memories

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

One of the problems with themed puzzles is that if the theme is cracked early on then the rest falls into place very quickly. This was certainly the case for me. The surface readings of the clues with the thematic answers are well-chosen to fit the stories associated with those places.

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.


5a    Abject prodigal son travelling to point of origin (7)
{SLAVISH} – an adjective meaning prodigal preceded by (travelling to point of origin) S(on)

7a    Suit acquired from meagre earnings (5)
{AGREE} – hidden inside (acquired from) the clue

9a & 21d    Raging hell erupting in a 20 (6,4)
{GRANGE HILL} – Tucker Jenkins and his mates kick off today’s thematic answers with an anagram (erupting) of RAGING HELL

10a    Followers of Yeats upset about depression (8)
{ACOLYTES} – an anagram (upset) of YEATS around a depression or pass in a mountain range

11a    Fresh spin given to disputes — your paper’s characterisation of it? (10)
{NEWSWORTHY} – a three-letter adjective meaning fresh followed by the reversal (spin) of some disputes and the old word for your

13a    Secret trip to Spain (4)
{RUNE} – a trip followed by the IVR code for Spain

14a    Shady bolt-hole revealed in a 20 (9,4)
{DOTHERBOYS HALL} – Charles Dickens’ contribution to the theme is an anagram (revealed) of SHADY BOLT-HOLE

16a    Grand to fill a month in Paris with wise guys (4)
{MAGI} – G(rand) inside (to fill) a French month

17a    Article by informant admitting nearly all for regulator (10)
{THERMOSTAT} – the definite article followed by an informant around (admitting) a word meaning nearly all

19a    Lay bare twisted conflict (5,3)
{CIVIL WAR} – an adjective meaning lay or secular followed by the reversal (twisted) of an adjective meaning bare

20a    Train — half of one — stuck on southern line (6)
{SCHOOL} – to get this verb meaning to train start with either half of a child’s word for a train, precede it with S(outhern) and follow it with L(ine)

22a    Patch‘s appearance spoken of? (5)
{MANOR} – this copper’s patch sounds like (spoken of) an appearance or posture

23a    Extraordinary order apparent in heart of specious arguments (7)
{STELLAR} – a verb meaning to order or command inside the middle three letters of the final two words in the clue


1d    French staff a nuisance? (4)
{PAIN} – a double definition – the staff of life in French and a nuisance

2d    Volume about anger with society is tedious (8)
{TIRESOME} – a large volume or book around anger and S(ociety)

3d & 17d    Moral story we interpreted in a 20 (6,6)
{MALORY TOWERS} – Enid Blyton’s contribution to the theme is an anagram (interpreted) of MORAL STORY WE

4d    Rudely rag ref, sir? Unknown entering a 20 (10)
{GREYFRIARS} – the Fat Owl of the Remove makes an appearance in the theme – this time it’s an anagram (Rudely) of RAG REF SIR into which a mathematical unknown is inserted

5d    Material upswing reported (5)
{SERGE} – sounds like (reported) an upswing

6d    Candid discussions representative for Arkansas cut short? (5-2-6)
{HEART-TO-HEARTS} – this could describe where the abbreviation (cut short) of AR(kansas) can be found

8d    Persistent eastern bird landing on American lake (7)
{ETERNAL} – E(astern) followed by one of Crosswordland’s favourite seabirds, A(merican) and L(ake)

12d    20 trains nits to misbehave? (2,8)
{ST TRINIANS} – the final thematic answer features Ronald Searle’s anarchic girls – this time it’s an anagram (to misbehave) of TRAINS NITS

14d    Philosophical doctrine Archbishop put up is initially mocked (7)
{DUALISM} – reverse the name of the Archbishop of Canterbury who was executed for treason during the 19 across and then add IS and the initial letter of Mocked

15d    Term of esteem jet-set hears regularly (8)
{SEMESTER} – this term at any of today’s thematic places comes from the even letters () of three words in the clue

17d    See 3 Down

18d    Infinite mood swathing instant romance (5)
{AMOUR} – most of (in-finite) a mood or ambience around (swathing) an instant of time

21d    See 9 Across

Tilsit is once again visiting his second home, but hopes to be back next week.

8 comments on “Toughie 1057

  1. Very enjoyable crossword if not exactly a toughie, I really liked the theme which took me back much further than I would like to say. Many thanks to Firefly and to BD for the excellent illustrations and review.

  2. A long way away from tough, I found the backpager more difficult I did like the way the themed clues had appropriate wordplay for the establishments in question.

    Thanks to Firefly and BD.

  3. I thought this was a decidedly gentler puzzle, felt a bit uneasy that all the themed answers were anagrams. Would have been nice to have had a bit of inspired wordplay.

    Thanks to Firefly and BD for covering!

  4. My only complaint about this was the fact that to get 20ac it really helped to have 21dn,which was part of the theme. I found this a pretty good toughie for a Friday. Thanks to BD for the explanations for 6dn and 23ac, and Firefly for a good end to the week.

  5. I agree it wasn’t very difficult but I did enjoy it, nice to see Bunter again after all these years, Favourites were 1d 15d and 19a thanks to Firefly and to Big Dave for the comments and illustrations.

  6. Thanks to Firefly and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Totally over my head, only managed to solve 7 clues. Got 8 from the hints, and looked up 13.

  7. We found this quite tricky as it took us a little time to twig the theme, and then Carol’s literary knowledge really came into it’s own with 14a as the first of the themed answers. We never did manage to work out the parsing of 6d. Kept looking for something more complicated. Good to have something a bit different from the norm to amuse us on a Friday. Enjoyed it.
    Thanks Firefly and BD.

  8. Bizarrely On Wednesday I set a Quiz to be used on Sunday which included a small section on fictional schools which helped a great deal !
    Same problem as others with 6d so Thanks to BD for that and thanks to Firefly too for an enjoyable puzzle .Favourite 19a .

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