Toughie 1118 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1118

Toughie No 1118 by Kcit

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

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

Definitely tougher than the average Kcit puzzle.

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1a    Suits insects gathering most of source of honey? (7)
{BECOMES} – the insects who gather honey around most of a source of honey

5a    Some police snatching book back for the people (7)
{DEMOTIC} – some plain-clothes police around (snatching) a large book, all reversed (back)

9a    Work and money? Agree to participate (3,2)
{OPT IN} – a musical work followed by a slang word for money

10a    A top officer’s about to dismiss sound study (9)
{ACOUSTICS} – the A from the clue, the abbreviation for a top military officer and the S from ‘S around a verb meaning to dismiss or expel

11a    Happen to meet church expert well-informed about introducing hint of novelty (6,4)
{CHANCE UPON} – CH(urch), an expert and a phrase meaning well-informed about (2,2) around (introducing) the initial letter (hint) of Novelty

12a    Stop American leaving power (4)
{STEM} – drop the A(merican) from a type of power

14a    Incontrovertible report traces all slips (7,5)
{CRYSTAL CLEAR} – a verb meaning to report or say something loudly followed by an anagram (slips) of TRACES ALL

18a    Key? What’s key about appearing droopy or beat? (3-9)
{ALL-IMPORTANT} – to get this adjective meaning key or essential put a three-letter computer key around an adjective meaning appearing droopy, the OR from the clue and a verb meaning to beat

21a    Cut opening of soliloquy about male’s grave (4)
{TOMB} – drop the final letter (cut) from the opening two words of Hamlet’s soliloquy and put what’s left around M(ale)

22a    Check popular area after power input (10)
{INSPECTION} – a two-letter word meaning popular followed by an area or region with P(ower) inserted (input)

25a    More complex to hold in moneyman (9)
{FINANCIER} – an adjective meaning more complex around (to hold) IN

26a    Friend quit after a failure, abandoning ship (5)
{AMIGO} – a two-letter verb meaning to quit after the A from the clue and a failure from whip SS (steamship) has been dropped (abandoning)

27a    Leaves in bog or in circles amidst three lakes (3,4)
{LOO ROLL} – these leaves found in a bog or toilet are derived by putting OR inside two circular letters and the whole lot inside three L(ake)s

28a    Meat infection that river’s brought into European city (7)
{HAMBURG} – some meat and a colloquial word for an infection with R(iver) inside (brought into)


1d    Error penning line making inky mess? (6)
{BLOTCH} – an error or shambles around (penning) L(ine)

2d    Long account upset sleep (6)
{CATNAP} – a verb meaning to long or desire followed by AC(count), all reversed (upset in a down clue)

3d    Dull ramble round North European city (10)
{MONOCHROME} – a verb meaning to ramble or loiter around N(orth) and followed by The Eternal City

4d    United supporters kept up confused activity (5)
{SNAFU} – U(nited) followed by their supporters all reversed (kept up in a down clue)

5d    It stops you humming but not singing (9)
{DEODORANT} – a cryptic definition of a substance that conceals unpleasant smells

6d    After getting up, son tucked into meat and potatoes? (4)
{MASH} – some meat, last seen in the wordplay of 28 across, around S(on) all reversed (after getting up in a down clue)

7d    Floor that’s not always there? What’s flimsy about end of floor support? (8)
{THIRTEEN} – this unlucky number is often missed out when numbering floors in a large building – put an adjective meaning flimsy around the final letter (end) of flooR and a support used by golfers

8d    Queen doubly swathed in covering of wool (8)
{CASHMERE} – the abbreviation of the form of address for the Queen and her regnal cipher inside (swathed in) a covering or container

13d    I’m about to study shifting coals, deconstructing images? (10)
{ICONOCLASM} – I’M around a three-letter verb meaning to study and an anagram (shifting) of COALS

15d    Bird to show affection repeatedly (9)
{SPOONBILL} – a charade of two old-fashioned ways to show affection

16d    Cheers arrangement for flutes with discrimination (8)
{TASTEFUL} – a two-letter word meaning cheers or thank you followed by an anagram (arrangement) of FLUTES

17d    Lover leading officer a dance (8)
{FLAMENCO} – a lover followed by a Non-Commissioned Officer

19d    Expression of hesitation raised about one story’s setting (6)
{MILIEU} – a two-letter expression of hesitation reversed (raised in a down clue) around I (one) and a story or untruth

20d    Working lad’s good, in form (2,4)
{ON SONG} – a charade of a two-letter word meaning working, a male offspring (lad) and G(ood)

23d    A church pew? (5)
{PERCH} – the three-letter word meaning a, as in 50p a lb, followed by CH(urch) gives a pew or seat

24d    Article in Paris Match leading to party’s ruin (4)
{UNDO} – the French (in Paris Match) indefinite article followed by a party

An excellent start to the Toughie week.

12 comments on “Toughie 1118

  1. Best Tuesday puzzle we’ve had for ages, favourites were 7d 18a and 23d thanks to Kcit and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. I really liked this one; tricky in places, but 5* for enjoyment from me.
    Many thanks to Kcit, and to BD for the review and the forwarded pdf.
    17d needs an officer at the end.

  3. Just when I thought that I might be beginning to get the hang of Toughies . . .
    I could hardly do any of this one – I managed the top left corner and had a few other answers splattered around the place, but not very many.
    Oh dear – never mind and keep trying, I suppose.
    With thanks to Kcit and BD.

    1. It was a start with the downs and then think very laterally sort of Toughie.

      I enjoyed it very much. Thanks to Kcit and BD.

      1. Yes – not enough lateral thinking. Another way of putting it would be that it was just well and truly beyond me – I do intend to get to grips with these beasties.

  4. I had a short flight today which gave me some spare time to look at this. Slow going, but I got there in the end apart from 1A where I had BEHOVES (I wasn’t totally confident on the wordplay, but that’s often the case for me with Toughie clues). Thanks to BD for the correction on 1A which allowed me to finish the rest off, and the explanation for 10a.

    Must say that 27a raised a big laugh.

  5. Smashing puzzle , although stuttered a while in NE ,favourite for me 7d by quite a margin .
    Cheers Kcit and BD

  6. I loved this puzzle. has taken me ages and it was difficult. I finally admitted defeat, needing four answers in the top right corner — 5a, 12a, 6d, and 7d. I didn’t parse 2d correctly, but somehow arrived at my name!
    I have the correct answer for 18a. I tried and tried but couldn’t fathom the word play. And, despite your splendid hints, Big Dave, I still don’t get it. Please, could you parse it out for me?
    These apart, my answers and the word play were accurate. Had a big chortle at 27a. Plenty of delightful clues in this puzzle.
    Many thanks to Kcit for an entertaining and very thought-provoking puzzle.
    And much appreciation for Big Dave without whose wonderful blog I would still be totally floundering.

    1. 18a Key ? What’s key about appearing droopy or beat? (3-9)

      ALL IMPORTANT – ALT (computer key) around LIMP (droopy) OR and TAN (beat)

  7. Catching up on the backlog of missed puzzles from last week. Really glad we bothered with this one as we thought it was great fun. Laughed out loud at 27a. Off for a walk now where we might see some 15d .
    Thanks Kcit and BD.

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