Toughie 1093 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1093

Toughie No 1093 by Elgar

A nice end to a sad week in Crosswordland

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

A nasty lurgi has taken over Tilsit Towers, so young Tilsit has produced a doctor’s note to excuse him from blogging and I am dancing solo today. Get well soon.

Having had one of those weeks where setters and I weren’t entirely on the same wavelength, I approached the Friday Toughie with some trepidation. However, it would appear that someone must have given Elgar some new fluffy slippers for his recent birthday as I didn’t have much trouble solving this one, although the time taken to parse a couple of clues moved it up to a 3.75* Toughie difficulty rating. I will be interested to see how many people agree with me.

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     Here is music of summer, not initially hot in autumn (8,4)
{FESTIVAL HALL} Insert into the American word for autumn, a rare adjective meaning of or occurring in summer from which the first letter has been removed (not initially) and the single letter abbreviation for hot, usually found on taps.

9a     The might-have-been is decorating ventilator with reddish-brown interior (3,3,3)
{IFS AND ANS} Things that might have happened but did not. Put a reddish-brown colour inside a rotating ventilating apparatus and then insert the result into IS (from the clue, decorating or going round the outside of) , the result then being split 3, 3, 3.

10a     Saying  this financier is powerful and influential — that’s facetious (5)
{GNOME} A pithy saying or a facetious name for an obscure but powerful international financier.

11a & 12a     Result of first of raids one’s working, having ordered in coppers? (6,8)
{PRISON SENTENCE} Insert into the  coins we call coppers, the first  letter of raids, an abbreviated way of saying one’s, the two-letter adverb meaning working, and a verb meaning sent (ordered).

13a     A resounding element of free choice (2-4)
{RE-ECHO} A verb meaning to resound or repeat is an element of fREE CHOice.

15a     It’s an actress getting in by malicious behaviour (8)
{BITCHERY} Malicious behaviour or talk – Insert IT (from the clue) and the actress/singer beloved of crossword setters into BY (from the clue).

18a     In hindsight, my dad’s endless good fortune has stopped pretentious woman (4,4)
{LADY MUCK} Reverse (in hindsight) MY DAd, having removed the last letter (endless) and insert into good fortune.

19a     Physicist’s not operating a small program (6)
{APPLET} Remove the two-letters meaning working (so not operating) from the surname of a Nobel prize winning physicist whose knowledge of the ionosphere led to the development of radar, and you get a small computer program written in Java that runs within another application.

21a & 23a    Celebrate cracking more than one puzzle in a row (8,6)
{CROSSING SWORDS} Getting the correct definition of ‘in a row’ helps no end! Insert a verb meaning to celebrate into (cracking) more than one of our favourite puzzles.

26a     European title to claim for oneself? The reverse, the reverse (5)
{SENOR} The first ‘the reverse’ refers to the fact that in this Spanish (European) title, the ‘oneself’ part is claimed by or inserted into the abbreviated title – a reversal of the wording in the first part of the clue. The second ‘the reverse’ lets us know that it can found hidden and reversed(!) in foR ONESelf.

27a     European antelope bagged in kill in Chicago, right? (9)
{ICELANDER} A South African antelope is inserted into (bagged) a word meaning to kill in US criminal slang (in Chicago), the result then being finished with the abbreviation for right.

28a     Pure oxygen smuggled in using barrels of blood? (12)
{THOROUGHBRED} Insert O (oxygen) into a preposition meaning using, by means of; then add the abbreviation for barrels and the colour of blood.


1d     Before the game, the referee perhaps makes provision for diver (7)
{FLIPPER} One might describe the referee as this when he spins a coin in the air at the start of a game, but really it is a foot covering for a diver (as currently being worn by No 2 son who is learning to scuba dive in Honduras).

2d     Dish from E America: mum’s collected first of ingredients (5)
{SUSHI} A dish from the Far East is obtained by inserting into an interjection meaning hush (mum) the abbreviation for America and then adding the first letter of ingredients.

3d     Beefy Henry settling in Manitoba for a change (3,6)
{IAN BOTHAM} Here Henry isn’t a man’s name but the SI Unit of Inductance, the single letter symbol for which should be added to an anagram(for a change) of MANITOBA to get a cricketer whose nickname was ‘Beefy’.

4d     Obsessive Sweater Girl lives up to her name (4)
{ANAL} An actress from the 40s and 50s who was dubbed the ‘Sweater Girl’ by MGM Studios. She ‘lives up to her name’ because her surname acts as an instruction to reverse her Christian name in order to get an adjective meaning obsessive. Interestingly an online search for illustrations of this well-endowed lady reveals very few pictures with her actually wearing a sweater!

5d     The instability of Syria, and the frenzy (8)
{HYSTERIA} An anagram (the instability) of SYRIA and THE (from the clue)

6d     Genuine  walk (5)
{LEGIT} The short form of a way of saying genuine, lawful, if split 3, 2 might be an instruction to walk away briskly.

7d     Can strip late night DJ (4,4)
{JOHN PEEL} ‘Late’ indicating that this influential DJ is no longer with us – A slang way of referring to the lavatory (as is can) followed by a verb meaning to strip the skin off.

8d     Not far off  as a result of this (6)
{HEREBY} An adjective meaning not far off can also mean ‘by this’ or as a result of this.

14d     Period not hot on in-depth reviews (3,5)
{END POINT} A full stop (period) or finishing of something is obtained from an anagram (reviews) of ON IN DEPT (not hot tells you to remove the H from depth).

16d      Brutes keeping women in check to make point for Scotland (4,5)
{CAPE WRATH} Insert into the two letters meaning check in chess, two brutes with W for women in between them. The first brute is described by the BRB as a, mainly North American, informal word for a coarse, clumsy or stupid person; the second is a despicable person, either here or in the USA.

17d     Scrutinise one who may be making a granny more parsimonious (8)
{SCANTIER} Parsimonious, mean or meagre – a verb meaning to scrutinise closely is followed by someone who might be making a granny knot to join two ends of string together.

18d     Place and time to see the Destroyer (6)
{LOCUST} The king of a plague of this crop destroying creature was described in the Book of Revelation as the Destroyer. A place or locality is followed by the abbreviation for Time.

20d     Sedater criminal thus? (7)
{TASERED} A criminal that had been incapacitated with this type of weapon might well be sedater. The solution is an anagram (criminal) of SEDATER.

22d     Woman has risen to admit Cairo’s giver of light (5)
{SARAH} Insert the ancient Egyptian sun god (Cairo’s giver of light) into a reversal (risen in a down clue) of HAS.

24d     One up on Germany, Irish boosted (5)
{RIDER} One up on a horse, is a reversal (boosted) of the two letters meaning ‘on the subject of’ , the IVR code for Germany and the abbreviation for Irish.

25d     A first-class arrival at Paddington Station’s point of departure (4)
{PERU} The point of departure for this well-loved bear was a South American country described as ‘Darkest xxxx’ . A preposition meaning A in the sense of each , for every, plus the letter used to mean first or upper class. He also appeared on some ‘first-class arrivals’ too!

Thanks once again to Elgar for a fine Friday Toughie. My favourite has to be 25d as it made me smile the most.

9 comments on “Toughie 1093

  1. Certainly one of Elgars’ more solvable puzzles but nevertheless very enjoyable. Many thanks to Elgar and to Crypticsue.

  2. Got there in the end, but I certainly didn’t find easy, favourites were 3d 7d and 18a thanks to Elgar and to Crypticsue for the dissection.

  3. Not one of Elgar’s toughest, but very enjoyable, with some lovely subtle clues.

    I particularly liked the definition in 21/23a.

    Many thanks to Elgar and to Cryptic Sue.

  4. A nice, straightforward, tough crossword – more like this please. Some clever clues including 21/23a, 1d, 3d, 7d and [once you’ve figured it out] 26a.
    There’s a bit of Yoda-speak in 2d and maybe 18a but who cares.
    Oh – and 4d is very clever too!
    Many thanks to Elgar and CrypticSue

  5. Thank you CrypticSue, without your help I wouldn’t have completed this. 9a my favourite as my Mother was fond of saying “If (9a) were pots and pans, there would be no work for tinkers’ hands”.

  6. Tough enough for me and very enoyable .Last in 7d ,favourite 1d .
    Thanks CS for the solo effort and to Elgar for the challenge .

  7. We found this very tough and failed with 15a. Tried to justify ‘mischief’. This left a bit of a mess in NE corner. The DJ was new to us too. Have to admire the cleverness, and had a warm fuzzy feeling over 25d.
    Thanks Elgar and CS.

  8. Definitely the most enjoyable Toughie of the week. I was thinking that 4d should be ‘Aran’ as it referred to a sweater, but I couldn’t justify this, so I then looked up the connection between Lana and sweaters. I had to search my atlas for Cape Wrath, too. Apart from this it was a very fair and solvable crossword. Many thanks Elgar.

  9. So sorry to hear Tilsit is not well and do hope he’s feeling better soon.
    Elgar is far too difficult for me, but I thought I would see how far I could go. I found it very hard. (He’s wearing new fluffy slippers? Oh my!) I managed fourteen clues. I tried another one, which was wrong. On seeing the correct one, I got 22d as well. That makes a grand total of fifteen. Of the ones I managed, I liked 9a, 3d, and 17d.
    Many thanks to Elgar. And many thanks, too, to Crypticsue for the elucidation.

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