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Toughie 100005

Toughie No 100005 by Dada

A Cracker at Christmas

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

There’s nothing too taxing in this enjoyable puzzle by Dada. If you can find a moment between the mince pies a comment would be appreciated.
The puzzle can be printed from here.
Across Clues

1a  Challenge authority about first of directives that’s cosmetic (4,6)
{FACE POWDER} – a verb to challenge or confront and a synonym for authority or domination with the first letter of D(irectives) inserted.

6a  Some Santa in New Mexico pinched by a wife (1,3)
{A FEW} – what comes after Santa in the name of the state capital of New Mexico is contained (pinched) by A and W(ife).

10a  Regularly, Oliver Twist is mentioned in the Queen’s Speech? (5)
{OFTEN} – young Master Twist was, of course, an orphan and that’s how HM would pronounce the answer. LOL.

11a  Identify a wit, perhaps, with name for author (4,5)
{MARK TWAIN} – a verb to identify or label is followed by an anagram (perhaps) of A WIT and we finish with N(ame).

12a  Item for stuffingnot a cracker! (8)
{CHESTNUT} – double definition, the second being something tedious and stale and therefore the opposite of what’s exceptionally good (a cracker).

13a  Cut right through grotto (5)
{CARVE} – insert R(ight) in a grotto or underground chamber.

15a  Old man almost stopping any deviation (7)
{ANOMALY} – O(ld) and most of a description of a man go inside (stopping) ANY.

17a  Jazzy ragtime, a cracker? (7)
{MAIGRET} – an anagram (jazzy) of RAGTIME. Do you remember the theme music from the old BBC series?

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19a  It takes a little time to pass very important substance (7)
{VITAMIN} – IT and A (from the clue) are followed by an abbreviated period of time and all of that comes after V(ery).

21a  Draw spirit back for Scrooge (7)
{NIGGARD} – a charade of a verb to draw or pull and some alcoholic spirit, all reversed.

22a  Diabolical figure making Santa tipsy (5)
{SATAN} – an anagram (tipsy) of SANTA.

24a  Singers fighting back learn early renaissance song intros (8)
{WARBLERS} – some military fighting followed by the initial letters (intros) of five words in the clue.

27a  Get on with the blooming thing, entering the writer’s place of worship (9)
{MONASTERY} – ON (from the clue) and a flower (blooming thing) go inside a possessive adjective that the writer would use of himself.

28a  God takes to cross-dressing performance (5)
{PANTO} – a Greek god followed by TO.

29a  Middle torn from book, this time? (4)
{NOEL} – remove the middle letter from a work of fiction.

30a  Fortunate even then, as poor (6-4)
{HEAVEN-SENT} – an anagram (poor) of EVEN THEN AS.

Down Clues

1d  Take last of beef, then cut turkey (4)
{FLOP} – turkey here means a play or film that is a disaster, as celebrated in the Golden Turkey Awards. The last letter of (bee)F is followed by a verb to cut.

2d  Court that misrepresented killer (3-6)
{CUT-THROAT} – an anagram (misrepresented) of COURT THAT.

3d  Shocking  underwear (5)
{PANTS} – double definition, the first a slang way of describing something not terribly good.

4d  Wally oddly claiming sultanate is feminine (7)
{WOMANLY} – the odd letters of Wally containing a sultanate in the Persian Gulf.

5d  English knave into drink — something wrong? (7)
{ERRATUM} – start with E(nglish) then insert a knave or rotter into an alcoholic drink.

7d  Talent has to shine for the audience (5)
{FLAIR} – this sounds like a verb to shine or glitter.

8d  Bury nut finally during extra cold period (10)
{WINTERTIDE} – a verb to bury and the final letter of (nu)T go inside a type of extra at cricket.

9d  King on bed turning up in carol getting a hang-up at Christmas? (8)
{STOCKING} – the chess abbreviation for king follows the reversal (turning up) of a small bed, then that all gets inserted in a verb to carol.

14d  Something worn for piercing injury by an arachnid (10)
{HARVESTMAN} – the ‘something worn’ is an item of underwear – put that inside (piercing) injury, then finish with AN.

16d  Boxing Day food is after a censure (8)
{ADMONISH} – there’s a bit of yoda-speak here – we need to read the first three words as ‘boxing (i.e. enclosing) day is food’. So put a meal or item of food round an abbreviated day of the week, with all that coming after A.

18d  End series to order (9)
{REARRANGE} – a charade of an end or tail and a series or row.

20d  Two presents unlikely to be found? (7)
{NOWHERE} – the first ‘present’ relates to time and the second to place (e.g. “Present, Miss” being your reply during the calling of the school register).

21d  Vixen’s first mince pie managed to be brought up for Rudolf (7)
{NUREYEV} – there’s a clue in the spelling of Rudolf that we’re not talking reindeer here. String together a) the first letter of vixen, b) what a Cockney might term a mince pie and c) a past participle meaning managed. Then reverse the lot (brought up).

23d  Stretched to get present, perhaps? (5)
{TENSE} – double definition, the second what present is an example of in grammar.

25d  Beneath middle of column, attach flower (5)
{LUPIN} – the middle two letters of column are followed by a verb to attach.

26d  Something stuck down the chimney? Santa out of training for starters! (4)
{SOOT} – the starting letters of four words in the clue.

I liked 21d and 26d but my favourite by a long way is 10a. Let us know what appealed to you.

I hope that you’re all having a lovely day and that Santa has given you exactly what you asked for.

I’m going to be out for most of the rest of the day so please forgive the delay in my replying to any comments or queries.



10 comments on “Toughie 100005

  1. Gazza, Thanks for explaining 10a!

    Surprised that you want comments today!

    PS. The Spider seems to have escaped!

  2. Lovely jubbly – I particularly liked the d’oh moment inducing 17a.

    Thank to Dada and Gazza. Happy Christmas to both

    Now back to cooking the dinner and solving the Elgar (one being a much easier process than the other)

  3. Have returned post lunch to say that the Double Toughie is more than worth a persevate. Will comment further when its review turns up.

    Have spoken on Skype to both sons and grandson. Now for a sleep before more eating and drinking

  4. A lovely Christmas present from Dada. We were a bit pressed for time so were grateful that it did not try to use more than its share. All good fun.
    Thanks Dada and Gazza.

  5. A pleasure to solve.A little bit surprised by one clue, I know crossword setters don’t do political correctnness but…
    Thank you Dada and Gazza. Downton Abbey here I come.

  6. This was delightful! Clues I particularly liked were 11a, 12a, 17a, and 14d. My runaway fave was 10a. Brilliant! Many thanks, Dada, for this most entertaining puzzle.
    Many thanks, Gazza, for your excellent hints. (I managed without recourse to them, and, on going through them now, find that my word play was all on target. Think I may be progressing slowly…)

  7. Printed this off yesterday before going to our daughter’s for Christmas dinner and completed it last night while Mrs P watched Downton Abbbey, enjoyed it very much especially after receiving this setters book on Christmas morning. My particular favourite was the yoda-speak 16d thanks to Dada and to Gazza for the review.

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