Toughie 1165 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1165

Toughie No 1165 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley. Managed to tackle today’s blog in between daily trips back to my second home at Calderdale Infirmary. I was very pleased to tackle one of my favourite setters and Notabilis did not disappoint today with an enjoyable puzzle that just nicely stretched my mental muscles.

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    Perhaps deconstruct music for Rattle? (10)
{DISCOMPOSE}     We start with a word meaning rattle (rather than Sir Simon!) A way you may say deconstruct or strip down music is a word meaning to rattle someone.

6a    Frivolity daughter’s to pay for (4)
{FUND} A word meaning frivolity or enjoyment is added to D (daughter) to give a word meaning to pay for something like a scheme.

9a    Possibly healthy dessert craze includes odd rituals (5,5)
{FRUIT SALAD}    Something that you eat for dessert when on a diet is a craze around an anagram (odd) of RITUALS.

10a    Country for departure? (4)
{TOGO}    The name of an African country is the same, when split into two two-letter words, as an expression meaning ready for departure.

12a    Woman politely sent back whoppers after herb trifles (5-7)
{DILLY-DALLIES) After the name of a herb, one used in the making of the Scandinavian dish gravlax, goes the reversal of a word for a woman. After this goes a word for which whoppers is a slang word. When put together it gives an expression meaning trifles or minor irritations.

15a    Conventional thing often tied in proportional representation (6)
{PROPER} Inside the abbreviation for the electoral method, goes something that you tie. This will lead you to something that means conventional or normal.

16a    Proportional representation voided for lawsuit (8)
{FRACTION}    Nothing electoral here. A way of showing a proportion is found by taking FR (‘for’ voided) and adding the name for a lawsuit.

18a    Chinchilla, not hot at all, surprisingly cold? (8)
{CLINICAL}    Probably my favourite clue of the day. Remove both H’s from CHINCHILLA and jumble it (surprisingly) to give you a word meaning cold, matter of fact.

19a    Attempts retreat into road in reverse (6)
{TRIALS} Something meaning attempts of tries something is an animal’s retreat or den inside the abbreviation for a road.

21a    Crew that rows craft backwards in victories uses gym machines (6-6)
{WEIGHT-TRAINS} Inside something that means victories go the name for a rowing team and the reverse of something that means craft or style. This gives you an expression meaning to use equipment at your gym.

24a    Anchor  fell (4)
{MOOR}     A double definition. A word that means to anchor a boat is the same as a fell in the country.

25a    Youth I hate inwardly enters covered in blood of ancient fighters (10)
{GLADIATORY}         An adjective that refers to ancient Roman warriors is revealed by taking a word meaning a young man, adding I and the innards (inwardly) of HATE and putting it all inside an adjective meaning covered in blood.

26a    Numbers presented with hospital food (4)
{NOSH}        A slang word for food is found by taking an abbreviation for numbers and adding H (hospital).

27a    Wiener’s place of origin? Person in denial has skinned ferret for the heart (10)
{OSTERREICH} The local name for the country whose capital’s local name is Wien (still with me?). If you take ERRE (Ferret, skinned) and replace R in a word meaning someone who denies, you get the local name for that country.


1d    Broken  seat (4)
{DUFF}    Two meanings of a word that has five or six in the Big Red Book. A word meaning defunct or broken is also a name for your bum!

2d    Bellow was one constant emitted by upcoming American director (4)
{SAUL} The first name of author Mr Bellow can be found by dropping the C (constant) from the surname of a famous film director and then reversing what remains

3d    No left-winger directly flanks one of opposed parties (7,5)
{OUTSIDE-RIGHT} The name of a position in soccer is cryptically defined here. An eight-letter word meaning directly is divided by (flanks) one or other of opposed parties [Many thanks to Myops for pointing out the correct wordplay.]

4d    Parking in good time to reach such gates, one’ll be late (6)
{PEARLY} The type of gates you could encounter when you are no longer here, are described here. P (parking) plus a word meaning in good time is how it’s made up.

5d    Flag stone also placed on a road (8)
{STANDARD} A word sum. ST (stone) + AND (also) + A RD (a road) = a type of flag.

7d    Lion shot with airgun that’s second-hand (10)
{UNORIGINAL} A word that means second-hand is an anagram (shot) of LION and AIRGUN.

8d    Habit involving snow I mixed for narcotic effect (10)
{DROWSINESS} Inside the name of a garment goes an anagram (MIXED) of SNOW I and this will lead you to a word that refers to sleep-inducing.

11d    Bonding couple excited re erotic plan (8,4)
{ELECTRON PAIR} An anagram (excited) of RE EROTIC PLAN gives you a scientific term used in physics for two parts of atoms that link.

13d    Distant traveller getting brilliant clip uploaded in time (10)
{SPACEWOMAN} The name for someone like Valentina Tereschkova is found by taking an exclamation meaning brilliant or great and adding a word meaning clip (grass) and reversed (uploaded) all inside something that means duration or time.

14d    Concerned over America, therefore allowed to go first (10)
{SOLICITOUS} A word-sum. Something meaning ‘therefore’ + a legal term meaning allowed + O (over) + an abbreviation for America. When put together you get a word meaning ‘concerned’.

17d    Principally, Nemo’s aboard, using this in leagues under sea (8)
{NAUTILUS} The whole thing really defines this. The craft from the book 20000 Leagues Under the Sea which features Capt Nemo is revealed by taking the first letters of everything after “Principally”, which indicates this.

20d    Preserve state benefit, scrapping nothing that’s useful if power’s cut (6)
{CANDLE}    A word meaning preserve goes before a name for the state benefit minus O. This leads you to something handy when the lights go out!

22d    Call for attention, meeting private master of posturing? (4)
{YOGI}        A trendy way of shouting for attention (part of the name of a sushi bar!) is added to the abbreviation for a private in the US army and leads you to the master of an eastern art.

23d    Some weighty matters must overturn a delusion (4)
{MYTH} Hidden and reversed inside WEIGHTY MATTERS is a word meaning delusion.

Thanks to Notabilis for a splendid puzzle. Lots of favourite clues, with two central rows and two central columns containing well-known and not-so-well-known pairs of words. Hope to see you next Friday!

15 comments on “Toughie 1165

  1. Immensely enjoyable toughie although on the gentler side from this superb compiler, many thanks to Notablis and to Tilsit for an excellent review.

  2. After yesterday’s Toughie (a non-starter for me) this was a joy. Loved every bit of it. 12A, 2D, 4D and 17D were my standouts. Many thanks to Notabilis, and to Tilsit for the review.

  3. Very enjoyable and a good challenge. I almost gave up in the SE corner but then the penny dropped with 25a and the rest followed.

  4. Not as tough as we sometimes get from Notabilis and I spotted two of the connections. I might have spotted the Down ones too if I’d heard of them or had time to look them up before work.

    Thanks to Notabilis and Tilsit too.

  5. Groaned a little when we saw the grid with all the four letter words, but this time they did not present too much of a hurdle and it all fitted together smoothly although not swiftly. We had not noticed the connected words crossing the grid. Must remember to look for things like this in Notabilis puzzles. A lot of good fun, and a very satisfying solve.
    Thanks Notabilis and Tilsit

  6. I have 19 across as Trials, not Trails. Yes, another very entertaining and quite challenging Notabilis puzzle; many thanks. Plenty of very subtle clues; I particularly liked 8 down and 25 across among others. At least there’s no Toughie tomorrow, so I can focus my attention on the National, for which I have a strong preference for Big Shu. Let’s hope there are no injuries to horses or riders.

  7. No crosswords at all yesterday, so l was a bit off the pace with what l thought was a pretty stiff Toughie. After a long day putting the boat back in the water, this was a struggle. Certainly 4*/4* for me (thank you, Notabilis) but l managed all but one clue unaided. Even with the benefit of Tilsit’s hint l cannot get 22d, and probably don’t know the word anyway. 27a was my favourite.

  8. 22d took me a while and 17d I just cannot believe I missed the “principally” for so long. and is my favourite despite that. Thanks to Tilsit and Notabilis. Rows 3 and 13 also could be linked words maybe in a homophonic way?

  9. This one didn’t present too many problems (for a change), although we needed to confirm that our answers for 1d and 2d were correct. 27a was our favourite

  10. This was a thoroughly enjoyable challenge. Fave was 17a, with 12d and 13d very close behind.

    I needed the answer to 27a. I got as far as the ‘erre’ in it, but couldn’t get further. Inexcusably, I had the wrong last letter in my answer to 25a, which meant I couldn’t work out 23d. I needed the explanation for my answer to 2d. Otherwise all was well.

    Appreciative thanks to Notabilis for an excellent puzzle and to Tilsit for valued explanations.

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