Toughie 1121 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1121

Toughie No 1121 by Notabilis

The Devil Rides Out

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

Most of the answers in this puzzle had to be teased out, one at a time. And what an enjoyable process it was.

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    Masquerade in belfry’s embroiled with scandal (5,5,4)
{FANCY DRESS BALL} – an anagram (embroiled) of BELFRY’S with SCANDAL

10a    Perhaps help to recover a fort before installing motor (9)
{AFTERCARE} – the A from the clue followed by the abbreviation for F(or)T and a poetic word meaning before around (installing) a motor vehicle

11a    Rear view of run-down walker? (5)
{PACER} – the reversal (rear view) of a run-down or overview

12a    Unethical businessman‘s stretch in jail’s hysterical (7)
{SHYSTER} – hidden (stretch) inside the clue

13a    Jacket not covering waist, trunk or back (6)
{BOLERO} – the trunk of a tree followed by the reversal (back) of OR

15a    To try to catch is hard on undersized mitt (4)
{FISH} – H(ard) preceded by most of (undersized) a mitt or clenched hand

17a    Rambling measure to restrict Old English charter? (10)
{INCOHERENT} – a small measure of length around (to restrict) O(ld) and followed by E(nglish) and a verb meaning to charter or hire

18a    Earth mover protects navy before British advance for mineral (10)
{HORNBLENDE} – a garden implement used to move small quantities of earth around (protects) the abbreviation for the Royal Navy, B(ritish) and a verb meaning to advance or loan

20a    Potassium-bearing liquid that stains ditch (4)
{DYKE} – a liquid that stains around (bearing) the chemical symbol for Potassium

22a    Briefly placed motor in reverse, on coloured lines? (6)
{RACIAL} – most of a verb meaning placed and a motor vehicle all reversed

23a    Letter opening during depression, having first dropped one a line (7)
{INITIAL} – a two-letter word meaning during followed by a depression without its initial letter P (having first dropped), I (one), the A from the clue and L(ine)

26a    Pet taking kitten’s lead, to move with stealth (5)
{SKULK} – a pet or mood around (taking) the initial letter (lead) of Kitten

27a    Wasted kid on glue is only human (9)
{UNGODLIKE} – an anagram (wasted) of KID ON GLUE

28a    Watchable play requirements: cheers, high points and drink (9,5)
{SPECTATOR SPORT} – a charade of some requirements, a two-letter word meaning cheers, some high points in, for example, Devon and a fortified drink


2d    Vacant teenagers entering at all excited? (5)
{ANTSY} – drop the inner letters (vacant) from TeenagerS and insert what is left inside a word meaning at all

3d    Organise, as an exhibition, avant-garde art with prompt framing (6)
{CURATE} – an anagram (avant-garde) of ART with a prompt on the outside (framing)

4d    Image that might explain silent phone call? (4,6)
{DEAD RINGER} – a phone call from a deceased person could be silent!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d    Pitcher in opposition to rammer? (4)
{EWER} – the female (opposite) version of ram-mer

6d    Picture pages, extra large in petition (7)
{SUPPOSE} – two P(age)s followed by an extra large size in clothing inside a verb meaning to petition

7d    Brooder among Anglicans in service seeing Satan (4-5)
{ARCH-ENEMY} – a brooding creature inside the Church of England all inside a military service

8d    Beelzebub diabolically rides off to Hell (4,2,3,5)
{LORD OF THE FLIES} – an anagram (diabolically) of RIDES OFF TO HELL

9d    Weak champion’s splitting merchandise in dynastic struggle (4,2,3,5)
{WARS OF THE ROSES} – an adjective meaning weak or lenient, a champion or person of courage and the S from ‘S all inside (splitting) some merchandise

14d    Elderly female trapped by flame-haired movie villain (10)
{GOLDFINGER} – an adjective meaning elderly and F(emale) inside (trapped by) an adjective meaning flame-haired

16d    Trials halved with court bound by certain constraint (9)
{STRICTURE} – the first half of TRIals and C(our)T inside (bound by) an adjective meaning certain or confident

19d    Pretend not to notice Spielberg film coverage (7)
{BLANKET} – a verb meaning to pretend not to notice followed by the two-letter title of a Spielberg film

21d    Finish success with risen dessert (4-2)
{WIND-UP} – a success followed by the reversal (risen in a down clue) of a colloquial word for a dessert

24d    More treacherous in command? That is Republican (5)
{ICIER} – the abbreviation for In Command followed by the Latin abbreviation for that is and R(epublican)

25d    Resign amid announcement of thick-wittedness? (4)
{QUIT} – sounds like (announcement) part of (amid) thicK-WITtedness

Hark, I think I can hear the sound of hobnail boots approaching!

12 comments on “Toughie 1121

  1. Not overly difficult for a Friday but most enjoyable, favourites were 4d 6d 17a and 25a thanks to Notabilis and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. Really good puzzle, thanks to Notabilis.

    This was my sort of Toughie. Hard enough to warrant the title but not mind-bending and a joy to solve. 5d was favourite among a lot for great clues – cheeky or what? ****/***** from me too.

    Thanks to BD for the review

    Now off to try the Giovanni over a pre-pandial while watching the sun go down.

  3. Quality puzzle joint favourites 4d and 7d .
    Failed to fully parse a couple so cheers BD and much thanks to Notabilis for a most enjoyable end to the week .

  4. Very enjoyable – thanks to Notabilis and BD – but I didn’t think that 5d really worked. Surely the opposition to rammer would be ewemer?

  5. I was going to repeat what Jezza said but I also agree with Gazza about 5d and the ewemer.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  6. Thanks to Notabilis and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Amazingly I found this easier than the back pager. Needed 2 hints, 13&17a. Favourite was 4d. Was 3*/4* for me. A very enjoyable puzzle.

  7. Finished this , at least **** time and **** enjoyment. Thanks BD for explaining some of the wordplay.

  8. What a super puzzle! Parsing the clues was most enjoyable — doubly so now on discovering it was all done correctly. (This is the first time I’ve ever managed to complete a Toughie without hints and answers.)
    Many thanks to Notablis. Many thanks and appreciation to Big Dave.

  9. Hard, but fair. Very hard, in fact, but got there in the end. Agree with all previous comments. Thanks to Notablis and ,as ever, to BD

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