Toughie 1166

Toughie No 1166 by MynoT

Over, Under, Sideways, Down

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A fairly benign offering from Mynot, which features apposite answers on the four sides.

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    Bath love seat could provide privileged position (5,3,4)
{ABOVE THE SALT} – this anagram (could provide) of BATH LOVE SEAT gives a phrase indicating where the privileged diners sat at the table

8a    Play  moves before mating (7)
{ENDGAME} – the title of a one-act play by Samuel Beckett is also the moves made in the final stage of a game of chess which usually lead up to checkmate

9a    Sailor having broken arm in A&E in Boston (7)
{MARINER} – an anagram (broken) of ARM followed by IN and the US (in Boston) equivalent of A&E

11a    Unwarranted interference with no hesitation in filling a hole (7)
{TAMPING} – start with some unwarranted interference and remove (with no) the ER (hesitation)

12a    Dancing bird in front of fish (7)
{REELING} – the female ruff followed by one of Crosswordland’s usual fish

13a    Loud creep gets bird (5)
{FINCH} – the musical notation for loud followed by a verb meaning to creep or move slowly

14a    Steps to attic of the highest class (3-6)
{TOP FLIGHT} – could be the stairs up to the attic

16a    Safely established wall bracket finally? (9)
{ENSCONCED} – start with a candle holder that is attached to a wall with an ornamental bracket and then follow the instructions given by a phrase (2,3,3) that means finally

19a    Article leads to thank you letter (5)
{THETA} – the definite article followed by a word of thanks

21a    Soft touches? No credit, not one shilling! (7)
{TICKLES} – manufacture a word that could mean no credit and drop one of the S(hilling)s

23a    Indian state leader is 3 (2-5)
{GO-AHEAD} – an Indian state followed by a leader gives an adjective meaning the same as the answer to 3 down

24a    Almost identical to king’s circumference (7)
{EQUATOR} – most of a word meaning identical followed by TO and the Latin abbreviation for king

25a    Shop unit and logo revamped (7)
{GONDOLA} – an anagram (revamped) of AND LOGO

26a    Illegal position of trousers (5,3,4)
{BELOW THE BELT} – an illegal punch in boxing is also where most of a pair of trousers can be found


1d    Alto and bass head on to North Central region (7)
{ABDOMEN} – A(lto) followed by B(ass), a slang word for the head and N(orth)

2d    Book contains nothing evil — short shock turns up at the end (7)
{OBADIAH} – this Book of the Bible is derived from O (nothing) followed by an adjective meaning bad and the reversal (turns up) of most of (short) a shock or tress

3d    Active criminal Green’s name going round (9)
{ENERGETIC} – an anagram (criminal) of GREEN followed by the reversal (going round) of a verb meaning to name

4d    Measure of poet‘s pigeon (5)
{HOMER} – a triple definition – Hebrew measure of capacity, a Greek poet and a type of pigeon

5d    Socially acceptable bishop in impression that’s bizarre (7)
{SURREAL} – a letter which means socially acceptable followed by the form of address for a bishop inside a piece of wax impressed with a device and attached as a means of authentication

6d    Surgery  school? (7)
{LANCING} – two definitions – an action used in surgery and a public school

7d    Politically pink, perhaps, that could stand as Conservative? (4-2-6)
{LEFT-OF-CENTRE} – the position of a Tory wet

10d    Third hangman executed personal assistant (5-4,3)
{RIGHT-HAND MAN} – an anagram (executed) of THIRD HANGMAN

15d    Teacher of sports class died overseeing game in fever (9)
{PEDAGOGUE} – a two-letter abbreviation for a sports class followed by D(ied) and a board game, the latter inside a fever

17d    Shut off obscene broadcast after little time (7)
{SECLUDE} – a syllable that sounds like (broadcast) an adjective meaning obscene preceded by an abbreviated (small) interval of time

18d    Very forward pupil beginning to yield to Oscar (4,3)
{ONLY TOO} – very, in the context of “I knew him very well” is derived from a two-letter word meaning forward, the single-letter abbreviation for a pupil, the initial letter (beginning) to Yield, TO and the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO Phonetic alphabet

19d    Novice‘s support in wet weather? On the contrary (7)
{TRAINEE} – not a support for a golf ball inside some wet weather, on the contrary the wet weather inside the support

20d    Smooth happening around corresponding university (4,3)
{EVEN OUT} – a happening or occasion around the abbreviation for a university that corresponds with its student by mail

22d    Support  parade (5)
{STRUT} – two definitions

Unless I’ve missed something I thought 7 down was a bit weak.


  1. gazza
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I think that 7d means that the left-hand letter of Centre is the abbreviation for Conservative, although I was initially led up the garden path by the centre of ‘leFT of’ being a pink paper.

    • Posted April 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      That’s better than anything I could think of.

  2. BigBoab
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable toughie with the exception of 18d which I just didn’t like at all, many thanks to MynoT and to BD for the superb review.

  3. Pegasus
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Typical fare for a Tuesday, thanks to MynoT and to Big Dave for the comments. Dave 11a needs a slight tweak.

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Mostly enjoyable except for 18D and I fully agree with Big Boab there. I didn’t know the supermarket meaning of 25A. My mind went straight to those shopping baskets we girls all carried in the 60s. Liked 6D and 9A. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the review.

  5. Framboise
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Almost completed the Toughie for the first time today thanks to BD’s help – still stuck on 18d. I have improved in great strides since discovering this blog, again thank you BD! All this is great fun.

  6. Salty Dog
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I got on very well until drawing a blank on much of the LH side. I didn’t actually get as far as needing a hint, but Big Dave’s preamble about opposite sides of the grid having opposite solutions was enough to set me on the right track (thanks, BD). Thanks too to MynoT for what l would rate as a 3*/3* puzzle.

    • Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      I actually said apposite – but I’m glad you got there!

  7. andy
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Salty Dog, I really took far too long on the left hand side. Didn’t know the play in 8d, had to check 11a. That said quite enjoyed it. Thank you BD and MynoT

  8. 2Kiwis
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to having put our clocks back, we were able to get both the puzzles out of the way before having to go to afternoon Bridge. A definite sign that it was on the gentle side for a Toughie. The four long answers around the perimeter went in easily giving lots of checking letters to work with. Enjoyable solve,
    Thanks MynoT and BD.

  9. Outnumbered
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    ***/*** for me! a little bit stiffer than a back pager but very solvable.

  10. Tstrummer
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    On a boating holiday, puzzles are hard to find – no shops, dodgy internet etc. however, got hold of a DT today and found this very doable, except for 18d, which I thought was a shocking clue. I got the answer, but needed BD to tell me why, so thanks for that.