Toughie 1158 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1158

Toughie No 1158 by Shamus

Could I induct Incitatus as a blogger?

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

Shamus lets us gently into this new Toughie week with an enjoyable puzzle.

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    Error in game description of elected politician shunning formality (2-3)
{IN-OFF} – a phrase meaning holding a formal position(2,6), as an elected politician might, without (shunning) the ICE (formality)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4a    Newspaper’s stolen commercial literature (8)
{MAILSHOT} – a charade of a daily newspaper, the S from ‘S and an adjective meaning stolen

8a    Nuisance getting perhaps a single rehearsal (5,3)
{TRIAL RUN} – a nuisance or troublesome thing followed by a score in cricket that could (perhaps) be a single

9a    Obscure source of explosion amid riots orchestrated in city (8)
{ESOTERIC} – the initial letter (source) of Explosion inside (amid) an anagram (orchestrated) of RIOTS all inside the postal code for the City of London

11a    Person with stock managed singer (7)
{RANCHER} – a three-letter word meaning managed followed by one of Crosswordland’s favourite singers

13a    Softening type of music initially lifting one in austere period (9)
{EMOLLIENT} – a type of guitar-based popular music featuring brooding and introspective lyrics followed by the initial letter of Lifting and I (one) inside a pre-Easter period of austerity

15a    A chief’s enrolled surprisingly in student digs (4,2,9)
{HALL OF RESIDENCE} – an anagram (surprisingly) of A CHIEF’S ENROLLED

18a    TV show is following numbers in forecast (9)
{PROGNOSIS} – an informal word for a TV show then IS preceded by (following) an abbreviation for numbers

21a    Sanction flickering of amber before green (7)
{EMBARGO} – an anagram (flickering) of AMBER followed by what is indicated by a green light

22a    Unionist blocking representation of a Gallic imperial figure (8)
{CALIGULA} – U(nionist) inside (blocking) an anagram (re-presentation) of A GALLIC

24a    A number arranged to tour river in county (8)
{SOMERSET} – an indefinite part of the whole number and a verb meaning arranged around (to tour) R(iver)

25a    Attractive woman that is following match in competition (5-3)
{CUTIE-PIE} – the abbreviation of the Latin for “that is” following a match or game inside a knockout competition

26a    It’s put in to raise unknown point (5)
{YEAST} – a mathematical unknown followed by a compass point


1d    How one might count notes around front of rough joint being a trainee? (10)
{INTERNSHIP} – how one might count banknotes (2,4) around the initial letter (front) of Rough and followed by a joint in the body

2d    New volunteers in college from Asia? (8)
{ORIENTAL} – N(ew) and the volunteer soldiers inside an Oxford college – just as the IR should now be referred to as “former taxmen”, presumably it should be “former volunteers” as they are now known as the Army Reserve!

3d    Fine looker moving around hotel, one much admired? (4,4)
{FOLK HERO} – F(ine) followed by an anagram (moving) of LOOKER around H(otel)

4d    Rich source in fur queen avoided (4)
{MINE) – a type of fur without (avoided) the ER (Elizabeth Regina / queen)

5d    Vegetarian food provided by lake bordering Italy (6)
{LENTIL} – a verb meaning provided and L(ake) around (bordering) the IVR code for Italy

6d    Harsh area fringed by bay maybe (6)
{HOARSE} – A(rea) inside the type of animal of which a bay is an example (maybe)

7d    Powder put into vital curry (4)
{TALC} – hidden inside (put into) the clue

10d    Film music cut by southern European director (8)
{SCORSESE} – film music (in the plural) around (cut by) S(outhern) and followed by E(uropean)

12d    Light’s thrown on Irish priest mounting revenge (8)
{REPRISAL] – a type of light around (thrown on) IR(ish) and P(riest) all reversed (mounting)  [Thanks Milvus]

14d    Holder of drinks and pastry right away for regulator (10)
{THERMOSTAT] – a container that maintains the temperature of drinks, whether hot or cold, followed by a pastry without (away) R(ight)

16d    Stupid irritability one’s overlooked by broadcaster (8)
{DIMBLEBY} – a three-letter adjective meaning stupid followed by irritability without (overlooked) the I (one) and the BY from the clue

17d    State banks are struggling (8)
{NEBRASKA} – an anagram (struggling) of BANKS ARE

19d    Expressions of pain and annoyance in Russian district (6)
{OBLAST} – a single-letter expression of pain followed by an expression of annoyance

20d    Deny Geordie scandal? (6)
{NEGATE} – the Geordie area of England followed by the suffix used to indicate a scandal since the infamous Nixon escapade

22d    Style‘s hard to be seen in military bigwig (4)
{CHIC} – H(ard) inside the abbreviation for a military bigwig

23d    Former tennis star essentially confounded (4)
{ASHE} – this former tennis star is making his second appearance in Toughieland in less than two weeks – the internal letters (essentially) of a verb meaning confounded

There’s a picture of Shamus and Kcit at last Saturday’s Listener Dinner in The Gallery!

18 comments on “Toughie 1158

  1. Gentle but enjoyable puzzle, favourites were 20d and 26a thanks to Shamus and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. I liked this very much, with my only difficulty being with 19D and trying to fit ‘ow’ in the solution somehow. I got there in the end, though. 26A is my favorite today. Many thanks to BD and to Shamus.

  3. A very enjoyable toughie from Shamus today, generally on the gentle side but with a couple of tricky ones to keep us on our toes. Many thanks to Shamus and to BD for a super review.

  4. Like Expat Chris, I struggled with19d (Never heard of the place!). I also wasted time by trying to fit “dumb” into 16d. Thx to all.

  5. We had a quick look at the grid, noted the 16 double unches and gave a groan. However they did not cause any undue delay in what we found a most enjoyable puzzle. Had to check up on 18d as it was a new word for us and we wanted more than just “O” for ouch but BRB was happy with O so we are too.
    Thanks Shamus and BD.

    1. Thanks for the Listener photos Dave. Nice to put faces to so many of the names we recognise. What is Kcit doing there? We had assumed that he was still living not too far from us. Cheers.

  6. I was defeated by a couple so I didn’t think it was quite as straightforward as the rest of you did. I also needed the hints to explain a few more.
    My favourite was 15a – I always did like anagrams.
    Thanks to Shamus and BD.

  7. Thanks to Shamus and Big Dave. I really enjoyed the challenge, but needed 6 hints to finish. Surely the hint for 25a should be an anagram of cup tie followed by ie. Was 4*/4* for me. Favourite was 2d.I couldn’t get 24a because I read the clue about half a dozen times and thought I was looking for a country instead of a county, doh! Off to watch the Gooners, from behind my seat :-)

  8. Thank you Shamus for this pleasant but not overly taxing puzzle, and Big Dave for the review. I think 1d is my favourite, but there were some other nicely-pitched clues. My rating for this one is 3*/4*.

  9. I suggest that the answer to the question in your heading has to be “Neigh”!

  10. 16 double unches. Utterly disgraceful that the DT Editor still allows this type of foul grid when the likes of Elgar have made such a point before. Inexcusable. 19 and 20d share first prize. Thanks to Shamus and BD

  11. Thank you very much, Shamus. Enjoyed this! Fave clue was 19d, and a big chuckle. It was my last in, once I got away from thinking ‘ouch’ and ‘ow’. I also particularly enjoyed 25a, and 26a.

    Thank you very much too, Big Dave. Completed this without any hints, but needed the explanation for my answer to 20d. Otherwise, all was well. Mr Catnap helped with 1a, gleaned from his student days! ‘In-off’ is a good move in billiards but an error in snooker. (He asks, ‘Are the rules still the same?)

  12. Thanks for the review of a very enjoyable and not too taxing puzzle. Explanations were needed for me to fully understand the reasons for a couple of my answers.

    The hint for 12d doesn’t mention the fact that the whole lot needs to be reversed (mounting).

  13. Not too tricky for a Toughie, but it still took me three passes interrupted by cookery to cross the line. Maybe my brain’s had enough after catching up with a couple of back-pagers first. What to do now? Oh yes, go shopping. Sigh. 3*/3*. Thanks to BD for the review and Shamus for reminding me yet again that I’m not as clever as I think. Not nearly…

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