Toughie 1163 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1163

Toughie No 1163 by Dada

Blobby Returns

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The only problem I had today was caused by my writing the answer to 6d in the 8d position (I must get some new specs). We’ve probably done enough moaning about Dada appearing to be Paul-lite so I’ll just say that there are some very entertaining clues here, and I did enjoy it, but it’s not really a Toughie and could probably have graced the back page.

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.

Across Clues

7a  Blobby lacking class? (8)
{FORMLESS} – cryptically this could mean not being assigned to a school class.

9a  French confection, skinned cat in skin of newt (6)
{NOUGAT} – remove the outer letters (skinned) from a North American word for a puma and put what’s left inside the outer letters of N(ew)T.

10a  Foot catching cold, as nippy (4)
{PACY} – a verb meaning to foot (the bill) containing C(old).

11a  Particular gold put on face first (10)
{PRIMORDIAL} – string together an adjective meaning particular or punctilious, the heraldic tincture of gold and a face (of a clock, say).

12a  Beam first of rays then (6)
{RAFTER} – the first letter of rays followed by an adverb meaning then or subsequently.

14a  Survey hat with yellow lining (8)
{PANORAMA} – a type of straw hat with that yellow tincture inside it (lining).

15a  Talk about dark horse in game! (6)
{KNIGHT} – a homophone (talk about) of a word meaning dark.

17a  Speciality, level beyond me (6)
{METIER} – a level (in a stadium, for example) follows ME.

20a  Ship  that carries sherry (8)
{SCHOONER} – double definition, the second a large sherry glass.

22a  Fox was feeding until now (2,4)
{TO DATE} – a Scottish word for fox (and a name given to various foxes in cartoon films) followed by a verb meaning had a nice piece of chicken.

23a  Flashy bloke entertaining lad in apartment (10)
{FLAMBOYANT} – a bloke containing a lad all inside an apartment.

24a  Sweet — or not? (4)
{TART} – a type of sweet or dessert is also an adjective meaning the opposite of sweet.

25a  Cook  something stringy? (6)
{FIDDLE} – double definition – to cook (the books, say) and something having strings.

26a  Unknown number in work having a strong desire (8)
{YEARNING} – one of the algebraic unknowns followed by a present participle meaning being in gainful employment.

Down Clues

1d  Killer — on the other hand, Jerry a pacifist? (8)
{TOMAHAWK} – so, if Jerry’s a dove then … (3,1,4).

2d  Bar not opening for TV award (4)
{EMMY} – the bar carried by old-time burglars without its opening letter.

3d  Calm  mood (6)
{TEMPER} – double definition, the first a verb.

4d  Reveal a bit to the auditor (8)
{ANNOUNCE} – this sounds like (to the auditor) a small amount (2,5).

5d  Extraordinary issue, wife not generous enough, might I suggest? (10)
{WUNDERKIND} – what Mozart could have been labelled in his native tongue comes from W(ife) followed by a cryptic way of saying less than generous (5,4).

6d  Greeting makes parent, I’m sad to say, upset (6)
{SALAAM} – an affectionate word for one of your parents followed by an exclamation expressing grief, with the whole thing being reversed.

8d  Leaving little to the imagination, naughty thing, the blue skirts? (6)
{SKIMPY} – a naughty little creature with what ‘the blue’ can mean around it (skirts).

13d  Perfectly fitting, Rialto? (6-4)
{TAILOR-MADE} – this is a reverse anagram, with the first word of the answer the fodder and the second the indicator. The only anagram in the puzzle.

16d  Endless rule under Chinese dynasty — some headache! (8)
{HANGOVER} – a verb meaning to rule without its final letter follows the Chinese dynasty that ruled from 206 BC until AD 220.

18d  Quiet, heading for bed (8)
{RETIRING} – double definition.

19d  Something mighty in shout, so hoarse (6)
{CROAKY} – the mighty tree that is a symbol of power goes inside a shout.

21d  Pass porky dog (6)
{COLLIE} – a charade of a mountain pass and a Cockney’s porky.

22d  Artist — giant around Italy (6)
{TITIAN} – a person of great size and strength contains the IVR code for Italy. A very old chestnut.

24d  Minute — little time during year (4)
{TINY} – string together the abbreviation for time, a preposition meaning during and the abbreviation for year.

There was a photo-finish for admittance to the winner’s enclosure in the Clue Stakes today with those involved being 25a, 1d and 5d. Let us know which one nosed in front for you.

21 comments on “Toughie 1163

  1. The usual enjoyable solve from Dada so thank you to him and Gazza. Once again I concur with the ‘favourites’.

  2. 2*/4* for me too. Many thanks to Dada, and to Gazza; out of your choice of three, my vote goes to 25a.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Had the same three favorites, but 1D pipped 25A and 5D at the post.

  4. Gentle fare on offer today, 1d by a whisker over 25a for me, thanks to Dada and to Gazza for the comments.

  5. Like the Jay crossword today, one of Dada’s easier offerings but extremely enjoyable nevertheless, many thanks to Dada and to Gazza for the usual superb review.

  6. Not really a toughie eh? Well, that’s what I thought as I raced through it until only 1d and 15a remained. And I spent the rest of the morning and half the afternoon staring at them – trying to fit “po” [Jerry] into 1d. When I could stand it no longer I cheated. I’m still kicking myself!. So my favourites have to be 1d [clever and original] and 15a [an old chestnut presented in a fresh way].

    Thanks to Dada and to Gazza for enlightenment.

        1. Oh my heavens! Blushing. I just meant that Halcyon was the answer to one of the quick crossword clues. Ypu made me laugh, though!

      1. Ah yes, so I do. But spent so long on the Toughie I didn’t have time for it.[They’re never that quick in my experience!]

  7. I knew that it wasn’t really a Toughie because I could do it.
    Needed the hint to explain 19d – I interpreted ‘in shout’ as a homophone indicator. Oh dear.
    I liked 23a and 8d. My favourite was 21d.
    Thanks to Dada and gazza.

    1. I thought that your favourite would be 21d. Best wishes to her for a full recovery.

  8. Not a toughie ? How disappointing ! I was pleased with 20 out of 26 and thought I was improving. Oh dear.5d had me completely stumped .Thank you Gazza for the blog although I still don’t get 14a, as survey seems to me to be a verb and panorama a noun, and when survey is a noun , isn’t it a dossier or a file or something like that ?Or is the clue a kind of double definition ? I am not saying you are wrong , or the setter is wrong, just that I don’t get it. Anyway, thank you.

    1. 14a I think that both are nouns. For survey the BRB has ‘a general view’ and for panorama ‘a wide or complete view’.

  9. Thanks to Dada and to Gazza for the review and hints. I think 17a summed it up for me :-) It was beyond me. Managed about half of it, needed the hints after that, and had to look up six. Very difficult. Was 5*/2* for me. Favourite was 9a, which I actually managed to solve.

  10. Lovely fun. Dada always manages to keep us chuckling and smiling throughout the solve as he did today. We knew a schooner as a beer glass and needed BRB to confirm that it is a sherry one too. 5d was our last in. Too many really good clues to make a choice of favourite.
    Thanks Dada and Gazza.

  11. The first part of 22a, and yes CSue that is probably due to my alleged younger years ;) new to me, other than that I found this a really enjoyable solve and agree with Gazza on his ratings and selection of faves. Thank you Gazza and Dada

  12. Daft puzzle that will have taken me longer than most ,last one in 6d , but favourite 1d .
    Cheers to both Gazza and Dada

  13. I was also stumped by 1 down and somehow managed to convince myself it might be NOVACAIN (a pacifist) with CAIN as the killer and A VON as some sort of German (Jerry) ! Needless to say I didn’t get 15 across. I’m glad there’s a better answer.

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