Toughie 1112 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1112

Toughie No 1112 by Excalibur

A Grumpy New Year to One and All

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment *

I lost interest in this puzzle half-way through and would have given up on it had I not had a blog to write. It took me far to long to do and I didn’t enjoy it at all. I must be turning into a grumpy old man.

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    Drink after drive back from bank (6)
{MARGIN} A reversal of ‘to drive hard down’ + an alcoholic drink gives a bank (edge or border).

8a    Fragrant spray I am to put in new car (8)
{AROMATIC} An anagram (spray) of I AM TO inside an anagram (new) of CAR

9a    Also say it’s housing a number of slaves (7)
{ADDICTS} ‘Also say’ + ITS round the Roman numeral for 100

10a    Unsung? Contrarily, it’s set to music (5)
{NOTED} 2 meanings: the opposite of ‘unsung’/set to music

11a    Quite happy to shelter in Europe? (9)
{CONTINENT} ‘Quite happy’ goes round IN

13a    Foreseen before: artist making comeback (8)
{PRESAGED} ‘Before’ + the surname of a French artist especially identified with the subject of dance

14a    What makes gold-digger loving? (6)
{TENDER} I think this relies on two meanings of the answer: a formal offer of a sum of money/loving

17a    Very young catch thrown back (3)
{TEN} A reversal of ‘to catch’

19a    Write — or crib (3)
{PEN} 2 meanings: to write/an enclosure for animals??

20a    Very fearful, can’t ant put off bird? (6)
{CRAVEN} CANT with ANT removed + a bird seen at the Tower of London

23a    Girl beside one almost getting killed? (4,4)
{NEAR MISS} A girl beside one would be a **** ****

26a    First mother’s reading perhaps with young one from the nursery (9)
{EVERGREEN} The first mother (in Genesis) + R (reading is one of the three Rs) + young = a tree or shrub that might be bought from a nursery

28a    Bare, with grass beginning to come in — one needs to dig (5)
{NUDGE} Bare goes round G (first letter of grass) = to dig (poke)

29a    Lost hour going through debris receptacle (7)
{ASHTRAY} ‘Lost’ goes round H (hour) to give a receptacle for dog-ends, etc.

30a    Moor to put booster in engine (4,4)
{MAKE FAST} This term for ‘to moor’ is also what you’d do to a car if you put a booster in its engine

31a    Gracious about jumble sale but not at all generous (6)
{MEASLY} ‘Gracious!’ round an anagram (jumble) of SALE


1d    The rest of our pets? (6)
{CATNAP} A cryptic definition for a brief sleep (rest) named after a pet animal

2d    Type of jeans suitable for visit to shebeen? (7)
{BOOTLEG} This word for a type of jeans also means ‘produced illicitly (like liquor in a shebeen)’

3d    Devastated by having contributed to egg mountain? (4,5)
{LAID WASTE} ‘Produced an egg’ + superfluous material such as might form a mountain (a large excess)

4d    Cruel ‘Shame on you, losing a race!’ (6)
{FIERCE} ‘Shame on you!’ + RACE with the letter A omitted

5d    About time to intervene in brood (8)
{MEDITATE} ‘To intervene in a dispute) goes round T (time) to give ‘to brood’

6d    Check over government rule (5)
{REIGN} Check round G (government)

7d    The boyfriend and no mistake! (8)
{INTENDED} 2 meanings: a fiancé (boyfriend)/planned (not by mistake)

12d    Rum for p-party brought back (3)
{ODD} A reversal of p-party

15d    Transports to make appearances (9)
{ENTRANCES} 2 meanings: transports (fills with rapture)/appearances

16d    Including about five cases treated for deep depression (8)
{CREVASSE} ‘About’ and V (five) inside an anagram (treated) of CASES = a deep depression (in a glacier)

18d    Request ingress to have meal therein (8)
{ENTREATY} ‘To have meal’ inside an ingress

21d    Reportedly came out on top in both halves (3)
{ONE} A homophone of ‘came out on top’ = ½ + ½

22d    One keeps talking of current case (7)
{WINDBAG} A current (of air) + a case

24d    Objective? Are out to ingratiate (6)
{ENDEAR} An objective + an anagram (out) of ARE

25d    Not a word about police activity in this case (6)
{SHEATH} ‘Not a word!’ goes round a period of intensive search by the police after a crime has taken place

27d    Homophonically, corresponds with ‘ceremonies‘ (5)
{RITES} A homophone of ‘corresponds with’

Writing the blog wasn’t much fun either

9 comments on “Toughie 1112

  1. A couple of tricky ones in what was generally a gentle solve, favourites were 9a and 23a thanks to Excalibur and to Bufo for the comments.

  2. A not too tough toughie but pleasant and enjoyable. Many thanks to Excalibur and to Bufo.

  3. A great week for Toughies. Micawber, Elkamere and now the delightful Excalibur. A really enjoyable solve, as always, and just the right degree of difficulty.

  4. I ground to a complete halt with the last few, as I nearly always do with Toughies. This year I aim to be able to finish them most days – except Fridays of course.
    I liked 30 and 31a and 2 and 22d.
    Thanks to Excalibur and bufo.

  5. As far as Toughies go, this was reasonably straightforward and an enjoyable solve. Hope Bufo feels better tomorrow.

  6. A couple in the NW corner, 2d and 10a were the last two to be confirmed. Generally found the wordplay quite challenging but a pleasant solve nevertheless.
    Thanks Excalibur and Bufo.

  7. Not too tricky and no hints needed, but it also took me far too long. I must be getting past it

  8. As soon as I printed this off, I knew the answer to 1d, so I had to try this! I found it quite difficult to get into Excalibur’s word play, and this puzzle took me a while. I completed all but six clues, and left it on the back burner for a while to see if the penny would drop. It hasn’t, so I am most grateful to Bufo for explaining my missing answers. My fave has to be 1d, but I also liked 3d very much. I also found this an enjoyable challenge.
    Many thanks to both Excalibur and Bufo.

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