Toughie 1129 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1129

Toughie No 1129 by Elkamere

The Daily Politics

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

Well, we asked Elkamere for a tougher Toughie, and here it is.

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    Winter vehicle currently parking in shed (10)
{SNOWPLOUGH} – a three-letter word meaning currently and P(arking) inside a verb meaning to shed or cast a skin

6a    Piece of intrigue (4)
{PLOT} – two definitions – a piece of land or an intrigue or ruse

9a    Light, fine fabric (5)
{FLAME} – F(ine) followed by a fabric in which metallic threads are interwoven

10a    It lobs more endless rocks (9)
{STROMBOLI} – an anagram (rocks) of IT LOBS MOR(E) without the final letter (endless) gives this volcano which is loosely described by the whole clue

12a    Pulling apart jumble as I had to return flashy jewellery (13)
{DISASSEMBLING} – reverse (to return) some jumble, AS and the abbreviated form of I had and follow that with some flashy jewellery

14a    Heat source removes water from various things (8)
{SUNDRIES} – a source of heat, particularly in the summer, followed by a verb meaning removes water from

15a    I’ll settle credit without fail (6)
{CLOSER} – CR(edit) around (without, say no more!) a verb meaning to fail

17a    Secure last bits of uneaten fruit (6)
{ENGAGE} – the final two letters (last bits) of uneatEN followed by an alternative name of a green fruit

19a    Ed volunteers to carry one ancient projector (8)
{BALLISTA}- the surname of the current shadow Chancellor (and long may he stay in that position!) and the volunteer soldiers around (to carry) I (one)

21a    As 33 is here, so is No 102 (8,5)
{PERIODIC TABLE} – As (arsenic) is 33 and No (Nobelium) is 102!

24a    Spooner’s fix changes TV series (4,5)
{TWIN PEAKS} – swap the first two letters of the first word of this TV series about Laura Palmer, which went on for so long that I, for one, had lost interest ages before it had finished, with the first letter of the second word (Spooner style) and this could mean fix and makes small changes

25a    Sort of early religious sect? (5)
{AMISH} – split as (2-3) this could mean sort of early in the morning

26a    New parts to go on tug (4)
{YANK} – N(ew) inside (parts) a verb meaning to go on, and on and on ….

27a    Fish about to be battered, he’d pay for kipper, usually (10)
{SLEEPYHEAD} – reverse some slippery fish and follow them with an anagram (to be battered) of he’d pay


1d    Stone walls provided screen (4)
{SIFT} – ST(one) around (walls) a word meaning provided

2d    Ever see granny hugged by old teacher? (2,3,2)
{ON AND ON} – a three-letter word for a granny inside (hugged by) O(ld) and a university teacher

3d    Lobby 6? (8,5)
{PRESSURE GROUP} – a lobby of people who campaign to persuade legislators is made up from the word for which the first letter of 6 across is an abbreviation and synonym of the other three letters

4d    Held up by stewardesses, boy’s preoccupied (8)
{OBSESSED} – hidden (held) and reversed (up in a down clue) inside the clue

5d    Blood’s full of good stuff (5)
{GORGE} – another word for blood around (full of) G(ood)

7d    A turn-up for Christmas: work secretary seen in showers? (7)
{LEONIDS} – reverse another word for Christmas and follow it with the initials of the current Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to get an annual meteor shower

8d    Bound to turn up with European assassin (10)
{TRIGGERMAN} – reverse (to turn up in a down clue) the past participle of a verb meaning to bind with a belt and follow it with a European national that Basil Fawlty doesn’t want you to mention!

11d    Works inside this institution that’s stopped lending (6,7)
{MOBILE LIBRARY} – when this vehicle stops it lends out works of fact and fiction

13d    A versifier very upset over your massage (10)
{OSTEOPATHY} – the A from the clue, a versifier and a two-letter word meaning very are all reversed (upset in a down clue) and followed by an archaic word for your

16d    Duke, surrounded by staff, eats fancy delicacy? No (3,5)
{BAD TASTE] – D(uke) inside a staff or club and followed by an anagram () of EATS gives something that is definitely not a delicacy

18d    Work managed to keep detective involved (7)
{GORDIAN} – a two-letter verb meaning to work followed by a verb meaning managed around a detective to get an adjective meaning involved, like the knot that was sliced in half with a stroke of the sword by Alexander the Great

20d    Dry stone’s dropped on bug (7)
{STERILE} – ST(ON)E without (dropped) ON followed by a verb meaning to bug or annoy

22d    With everything counted  at last, without limits (2,3)
{IN ALL} – an adverb meaning at last without its outer letters (limits)

23d    Country clubs enjoyed (4)
{CHAD} – C(lubs) followed by a verb meaning enjoyed or experienced

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20 comments on “Toughie 1129

  1. Best Elkamere so far, definitely becoming one of my favourite setters. Many thanks to Elkamere and to Big Dave for the superb review.

  2. Best puzzle this week with lots of penny drop moments, favourites were amongst a host of others 3d 7d 11d and 25a thanks to Elkamere and to Big Dave for the review.

  3. Too tough for me but completed eventually with a lot of assistance from the hints. Thanks to Elkamere and to Big Dave for the invaluable help.

  4. I decided to be brave and have a go – managed almost all of the top half but very little in the bottom half. It was much too difficult for me but that’s what I expected.
    Lots of very clever clues – too clever for me. My favourite was 25a.
    With thanks to Elkamere and BD.

  5. Just to be contrary – A.N.Other and I thought it was Pink Fluffy Elkamere – enjoyed the solve but for us definitely at the easier end of the Elkamere spectrum. I liked 10a and 11d.

    Thanks to Elkamere and BD.

  6. Excellent stuff! A nice mix of difficult and not so difficult clues. Many thanks to Elkamere for the mental exercise, and to BD for the explanations (especially 7d, where for the life of me I could not understand my last 3 letters!).

  7. We got there eventually except for 7d, which we should have got as we have met them before in a crossword. A bit disappointed that 7d and 19a both need knowledge of politicians who would rarely be heard of outside the UK. 21a was a real penny-drop moment. A long hard struggle for us.
    Thanks Elkamere and BD.

  8. I actually found this a lot easier than the usual Friday challenge – 90% done before help needed (usually in the region of 20% on a Friday!)

  9. I liked this a lot. Pretty tough but not so tough that progress was impossible. I’m not sure that any cruciverbal osteopaths would be happy with 13d equating their practice to “massage”. I’d suggest “manipulation?” might have been a bit more acceptable [and would have given a smoother surface]. Very taken with 21a – and both 25a and 7d raised chuckles.

    Many thanks to both Elkamere and BD.

    1. I’ve been to both an osteopath and a chiropractor for my sins in a previous life. To be fair to the osteopath (that I saw), I was massaged for a few minutes first, prior to the wrestling match.

  10. Brilliant! Had a minor hiccup at 9a. where I put FLINT, but soon spotted the error of my ways. So many excellent clues but the standout for me was 21a. – Genius! Many thanks to Elkamere for a truly outstanding crossword and to BD for some great commentary.

  11. At my first pass l saw nothing at all to get me within groping distance of a solution. After some frightened cowering in my mental kennel l plucked up enough courage to return to it, and answers slowly began to emerge. In the end I only needed help with four of the more obscure and convoluted. I thought 10, 12 and 27a were splendid, as were 2 and 7d. All in all, a very stiff challenge for me, l’m afraid.

  12. Smashing puzzle ,personal favourite 25 a closely followed by 21a ,NE sector took ages .
    Cheers BD and to Elkamere for taking more of my time than I dare admit

  13. What a brilliant crossword! I loved 21a, but there were so many great clues…10a especially. It’s Elkamere and Elgar for me, every time!

    Thanks to Big Dave and Elkamere!

  14. What a super puzzle! of the clues I found very difficult. I completed without hints, but with queries beside some of my answers, which, although they proved to be correct, needed explanation. (I couldn’t work out the Spoonerism for 24a. I also needed the reasoning for 3d. In 20d, I carelessly missed the ‘on’ needing to be removed and put in the necessary ‘e’ without realising it. Otherwise, all was well.
    Among the clues I most enjoyed were 10a, 25a, 27a, and 7d.
    Much appreciation both to Elkamere for the most enjoyable challenge, and to Big Dave for his invaluable clarification.

  15. What a challenge I found this one. Needed several hints to finish, so thanks BD for rescuing me. Enjoyed some excellent clues, though, especially 21a and 7d, so thanks too to Elkamere, who continues to win every battle in our little war.

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