Toughie 1097 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1097

Toughie No 1097 by Notabilis

Certainly not a load of 10 across

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

With the exception of the obscure (to me) Korean port in 1 across this was a very enjoyable puzzle.

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    Where ships leave Korea and make gradual forward progress? (6)
{INCHON} – split the name of this South Korean port as (4,2) and it could mean make gradual forward progress

4a    Devious characters of girls born together (less in sons) (8)
{TWISTERS} – start with two girls born together (4,7) and drop (less) IN and S(ons)

10a    Succeeded with profuse drivel (5)
{SLUSH} – S(ucceeded) followed by an adjective meaning profuse

11a    Use contractors for courteous works (9)
{OUTSOURCE} – an anagram (works) of COURTEOUS

12a    Tricky questions useful for coarse sorts? (7)
{RIDDLES} – can also be coarse sieves used for sorting, for example, stones from soil

13a    Countryman almost getting ribbon reversed in livery? (7)
{HEPATIC} – most of a four-letter word for a person who lives in the country around the reversal of a ribbon – livery here means “of the liver”

14a    Remnant, about 10, with opportunity for tightly capped growth (6,8)
{BUTTON MUSHROOM} – a charade of a remnant, a two-letter word meaning about, another word for 10 across and opportunity

17a    Much Ado About Nothing‘s end (with nothing to show for earlier energy) in the bag, finished (5,2,1,6)
{STORM IN A TEACUP} – start with a verb meaning to end, put O (nothing) instead of the first (earlier) E(nergy}, insert this inside a bag or pouch and finally add a two-letter word meaning finished

21a    Share of recompense issuable to the West Islanders (7)
{AUSSIES} – hidden (share of) and reversed (to the West in an across clue) inside the clue are these inhabitants of a pretty large island

23a    Grow food over very long time (7)
{BURGEON} – reverse (over) a colloquial word for food and add a very long time

24a    Seed bun with filling of slaw and Ritz crackers (6,3)
{BRAZIL NUT} – an anagram (crackers) of BUN with the inner letters (filling) of sLAw and RITZ

25a    Sacred time’s filled with Passion (5)
{HOTLY} – an adjective meaning sacred around T(ime)

26a    A British mob said to be very unpopular (8)
{ABHORRED} – the A from the clue and B(ritish) followed by what sounds like (said) a mob

27a    Outstanding power in international humanitarian support? (6)
{UNPAID} – this word meaning outstanding or owing is derived by putting P(ower) inside some international humanitarian support (2,3)


1d    Bone breaking since frantic chase (8)
{INSCRIBE} – a bone inside an anagram (frantic) of SINCE gives a verb meaning to chase or engrave

2d    Forced update to country’s leadership? (4,1’4)
{COUP D’ETAT} – an anagram (forced) of UPDATE TO C (Country’s leadership)

3d    Play that’s ending misery in no-score draw (7)
{OTHELLO} – the final letter (ending) of thaT and a word meaning misery inside the representation of a no-score draw (1-1)

5d    Contest for mate between salt and seaman on tub in latenight meeting (7,7)
{WITCHES’ SABBATH} – a contest which usually finishes in checkmate between salt or humour and the usual sailor and followed by a tub

6d    Perhaps Pinkerton‘s second number cut short Madame Butterfly, say (7)
{SNOOPER} – this slang word for private detective (perhaps Pinkerton) is derived from S(econd), a two-letter abbreviation of number and the type of entertainment of which Madame Butterfly is an example(say} without its final letter (cut short)

7d    Leigh’s regular parts (opposite ones for Rhett) as lily-white creature (5)
{EGRET} – the even letters (regular parts) of lEiGh followed by the odd letters (opposite to even) of RhEtT give a white heron

8d    Evidence of corruption at a young age in school (6)
{STENCH} – a three-letter number that represents a young age inside SCH(ool)

9d    After maybe 45 minutes I’d make sense, resolving a problem for scrubbers (10,4)
{HOUSEMAID’S KNEE} – three-quarters of a 60 minute period followed by an anagram (resolving) of I’D MAKE SENSE

15d    Entrances with uplifting composition but no piano? Perhaps it does (9)
{ORCHESTRA} – some covered entrances followed by the reversal (uplifting) of a composition without (but no) the leading P(iano) from the first word – the whole of the clue provides a sort of definition

16d    Fully aware East London’s given a sweetener to host Games? (4-4)
{OPEN-EYED} – how an East Ender might say “given a sweetener” around (to host) the two-letter abbreviation for school games

18d    Peak in Washington  providing more drops? (7)
{RAINIER} – two definitions

19d    Potter’s work is often needing attention subsequently (7)
{EARTHEN} – a three-letter word for attention followed by an adverb meaning subsequently

20d    Explorer not achieving ends in Indonesian island vessel (6)
{BALBOA} – the name of this Spanish explorer who, when he reached the western coast of the isthmus of Darien (Panama) in 1513, became the first European to see the eastern shores of the Pacific Ocean is derived by dropping the final letters (not achieving ends) from four-letter words for an Indonesian island and a vessel

22d    Lived within quiet sound of water (5)
{SWASH} – a verb meaning lived inside an exhortation to keep quiet

Dashed off in haste as Tilsit was unavailable (he damaged his knees while dancing with Iveta Lukosiute last weekend!) .

18 comments on “Toughie 1097

  1. Re:1a – A significant battle was fought there in the Korean War I think it was mentioned in MASH.

  2. Is there perhaps a typo in the concealed answer to 20D)?

    I think the explorer was BALBOA.

    Thanks for the clues – I was hopelessly stuck

  3. We’ve actually been to 1a. The airport is also there and we have used it as a convenient stop-over point on a couple of trips to the UK. Three of the long clues went in relatively easily which gave lots of useful checking letters to work with. One of those puzzles that kept us smiling all the way through. Never quite sure how some setters always manage to do this. Good fun.
    Thanks Notabilis and BD.

    1. Since writing this I have just checked with Google and the airport is INCHEON., not INCHON. Ah well, it did help get the correct answer anyway. :)

  4. Thanks to Dave for helping out. I am getting last minute calls to go for tests as surgery is imminent.

    A lovely puzzle to end a cracking week of Toughies.

  5. Superb toughie once again from Notablis and a cracking review from BD, many thanks to both.

  6. Good finish to the Toughie week apart from the anti-climax Nina, favourites were 9d and 17a thanks to Notabilis and to Big Dave for the review.

  7. I was OK with the Korean port but needed the hint for 20d having spent half an hour taking both ends off explorers!
    Pretty tough then but good fun – loved 4a, 13a and the NINA.

    Thanks to Notabilis and to BD, particularly for explaining 16d

  8. Thanks to Notabilis and BD, especially for the parsing of 16d. (I’ve lived in East London for 25 years and guessed it was a dropped ‘H’ but still couldn’t see it!).
    PS. I can’t spot the Nina – help appreciated.

  9. Thanks from me too for parsing 16d .Took ages and last one in was 20d which became favourite for swallowing the misdirection .
    Cheers again Notabilis .

  10. Thanks BD, that’s excellent. In a hundred years I would not have seen that. How does anyone spot these things!

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