Toughie 1086 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1086

Toughie No 1086 by Kcit

“Please, can I kill him now?”

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Back down to earth this week with a typical Tuesday “Toughie”. The hardest thing about this one was parsing some of the clues. Memories of Casablanca flooded back when I solved 28 across!

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    Upset by locks? You’ve got them in your sights (10)
{CROSSHAIRS} – an adjective meaning upset followed by locks or tresses – the sights in question are gunsights

6a    Medium with a lot of animation, on reflection (4)
{FILM} – M(edium) followed by most of a word meaning animation or existence, all reversed (on reflection)

10a    Brilliant note put out by the same novelist (5)
{DEFOE} – a slang word for brilliant followed by a word meaning the same without the N(ote)

11a    Volume one edited’s retracted — keep silent about city guidebook (4-5)
{VADE-MECUM} – V(olume) and the indefinite article (one) followed by the reversal (retracted) of ED(ited) and an interjection meaning keep silent around the postcode of the City of London

12a    City male to fall into line? Not half (8)
{HELSINKI} – the male pronoun followed by a verb meaning to fall into inside LIne without its second half

13a    Male notes a hair colour? (5)
{HENNA} – The male pronoun followed by two N(ote)s and the A from the clue

15a    Forming unit — redesigned unit, see? (2,5)
{EN SUITE} – an anagram (redesigned) of UNIT SEE

17a    Round things rolling around when observed (2,5)
{ON SIGHT} – the round letter (another of my least-favourite constructs) followed by an anagram (rolling around) of THINGS

19a    Footballer runs working business, accommodating 50 (7)
{RONALDO} – this famous Brazilian (not the poor Portuguese imitation of similar name) footballer is derived from R(uns) followed by a two-letter word meaning working and some business or fuss around (accommodating) the Roman numeral for 50

21a    Something thrown at second debate (7)
{DISCUSS} – something thrown by an athlete followed by S(econd)

22a    Meat company breaking embargo (5)
{BACON} – CO(mpany) inside an embargo

24a    Drunk about to leave, finishing early, when the night’s still young? (8)
{TWILIGHT} – an adjective meaning drunk around most of (finishing early) a verb meaning to leave or bequeath

27a    Stop boring pest holding one back (9)
{TERMINATE} – an insect that bores holes in wood around the reversal (back) of the two-letter indefinite article (one)

28a    Former actor swashbuckling colleague brought back? (5)
{LORRE} – reverse (brought back) the first name of the swashbuckling hero of films like The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Sea Hawk

29a    Give away? Not if this business situation is to succeed! (4)
{SHOP} – two definitions – to give away or betray and a retail business location

30a    Fail, say, in retracting expression of condolence that’s immediately swallowed (3,7)
{GET NOWHERE} – the Latin abbreviation for say / for example reversed (retracting) followed by an expression of condolence around (swallowed) an adverb meaning immediately


1d    Fake drug regulations (4)
{CODE} – an adjective meaning fake followed by Crosswordland’s usual drug

2d    Opposed settings covering shipping areas when business is slack (3,6)
{OFF SEASON} – the opposed settings of a switch (3 and 2) around (covering) the areas where shipping can usually be found

3d    Instructions for making lamp shades? (5)
{SPECS} – these could be (indicated by the question marl) instructions for making a lamp and they are a slang word for shades or glasses

4d    Further velocity carried by a ball (7)
{ADVANCE} – V(elocity) inside (carried by) the A from the clue and the kind of ball where Fred and Ginger might trip the light fantastic!

5d    Composer‘s baton — kit taken by leader of orchestra (7)
{RODRIGO} – a baton followed by some kit and the initial letter (leader) of Orchestra

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d    Former tribesman’s preserved? (5)
{INCAN} – split as (2,3) this could mean preserved

8d    Actor playing Mum or Mam tries it out (4,6)
{MIME ARTIST} – an anagram (out) of MAM TRIES IT

9d    European politician retains and lives for stress (8)
{EMPHASIS} – E(uropean) and a politician followed by verbs meaning retains and lives

14d    Refunds brought round for those accused of patronising loose women? (10)
{REPROBATES} – some refunds around a three-letter word meaning for or in favour of

16d    Evil is around in Ohio or somewhere similar (8)
{ILLINOIS} – an adjective meaning evil and IS around IN and O(hio)

18d    France curtailed its girl’s clumsiness (9)
{GAUCHERIE} – drop the final letter (curtailed) from a former name for France and add a French girl or sweetheart

20d    Student fliers, crashing into tree, ultimately take the biscuit? (7)
{OATCAKE} – the organization for cadet airmen inside (crashing into) a tree and followed by the final letter (ultimately) of take

21d    Daughter torn about Independent’s description of film (5-2)
{DRIVE-IN} – D(aughter) and an adjective meaning torn around I(ndependent)

23d    Bygone revelry cut short after appearance of copper (5)
{CURIO} – this bygone or knick-knack is derived from most of a revelry after the chemical symbol for copper

25d    New line supported by a wife chasing one’s relative (2-3)
{IN-LAW} – N(ew) and L(ine) followed (supported in a down clue) by the A from the clue and W(ife) and preceded by (chasing) I (one)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26d    Dog heading away from Liverpool suburb (4)
{PEKE} – drop the initial S (heading away) from a Liverpool suburb

You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.

9 comments on “Toughie 1086

  1. Gentle fare today 3d last one in, favourite 8d thanks to Kcit and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. 3*/3* for me. A few I liked, a few I disliked… I’ve never liked def meaning brilliant, and I’ve never heard anyone say it.
    Thanks to Kcit, and to Big Dave for the review.

  3. I didn’t like this at all. Defo is often used by young people to mean brilliant or definitely – well in my part of the world anyway. Thank you BD for your hints.

  4. Thanks to Kcit and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A bit too tough for me, managed 17 answers, 5 hints and 9 look ups. Got 10a, but never heard of def meaning brilliant. 11a and 5d were complete mysteries to me. Found the wordplay very difficult, favourite was 14d. Was 4*/2* for me.

  5. I did really badly with this one.
    I was let down by my lack of general knowledge of shooting (1a), Latin (11a), footballers (19a although I did eventually get that one), old actors (28a), and Liverpool suburbs (26a).
    I did get, and liked, 2, 3 and 5d.
    With thanks to Kcit and BD.

  6. The two short words in the SW corner, 23d and 29a took us ages to work out but got there after over-night cogitation. Seem to remember the Liverpool suburb from a previous puzzle, fortunately. Much of the rest slotted in without too much of a fight.
    Thanks Kcit and BD.

  7. I needed a couple of hints, three outright answers, and explantions for a couple of my inspired guesses. Still, I enjoyed the battle. 7D was a joy. Many thans to the settter and BD.

  8. Thought 11 a one of the best constructed clues for what was for me an obscurity .
    Fave 19a for sporting reasons ,could not agree more re def but there you go .
    Thanks BD and KCit

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