Toughie 1168 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1168

Toughie No 1168 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I enjoyed this puzzle which I thought was somewhat more difficult than Kcit puzzles normally are. It was still fairly straightforward and, unlike last week, there were no problems in sorting out the wordplay. The diagram with its four isolated corners probably added to the difficulty although it was nice not to be held up by tricky four-letter answers

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    Food shop just opened covering Hungary’s capital city (3,5)
{NEW DELHI} A food shop just opened is a *** ****. Put this round H (first letter or capital of Hungary) to get the capital of India

5a    Article recalled English in America showing feeling of disgust (6)
{NAUSEA} A reversal of a form of the indefinite article + E (English) in America

9a    Backed cut-down outlet to supply current? Nothing else comes to mind (4,4)
{IDÉE FIXE} A reversal of all of the following: an outlet (way out) with the last letter removed + ‘to supply’ + I (electric current)33..

10a    Corporal punishment drawing in American tyrant (6)
{SATRAP} Corporal punishment goes round A (American)

11a    Demonstrated Northern church’s involvement in regressive bar (7)
{EVINCED} N (Northern) CE (church) inside a reversal of a disreputable bar

12a    Language rules, good rules about form of ‘to be’, viewed from all sides? (7)
{GRAMMAR} G (good) + RR (rules; R = rule) round the first person singular of the verb ‘to be’ and a reversal of the first person singular of the verb ‘to be’

13a    Most of islander information snatched by determined spy (6,5)
{SECRET AGENT} An inhabitant of a Greek island with the last letter removed + information inside ‘determined’

16a    Cues Enigma Variations around start of week for ambient sounds (3,3,5)
{NEW AGE MUSIC} An anagram (variations) of CUES ENIGMA round W (first letter of week)

21a    Run back to gather our various widely-spread crime-fighters (7)
{EUROPOL} A reversal of ‘to run with a long stride} round an anagram (various) of OUR

22a    Losing head, shows a little passion before energy dip (7)
{IMMERSE} ‘Shows a little passion (being close to an outburst of emotion)’ with the first letter removed + E (energy

23a    Trim end of curtain attacked by moths (6)
{NEATEN} ‘To trim (make tidy) = N (last letter of curtain) + what moths might have done to a curtain

24a    Exploit deception involving a bit of leg (4,2,2)
{CASH IN ON} ‘Exploit (turn to one’s advantage)’ = a deception round A part of the leg below the knee

25a    Doctor probing flag’s colour we hear (6)
{TIMBRE} An abbreviation denoting a doctor goes inside ‘to flag’ to give the quality of a sound (colour we hear)

26a    Newspaper department’s popular, snapping Queen in leather (8)
{DEERSKIN} A department in a newspaper office + ‘popular’ round the Queen


1d    Trouble in dive, doing a somersault — snatched (6)
{NAILED} ‘To trouble’ inside a reversal of a dive (a disreputable place)

2d    Pest‘s not great, not nice, not finished (6)
{WEEVIL} ‘Not great’ + ‘not nice’ with the last letter removed

3d    They’re not really what you see at the movies (7)
{EFFECTS} A cryptic definition of illusions used in the film industry to simulate imagined events

4d    Hard test around start of last month virtually completely relating to computer characters (11)
{HEXADECIMAL} H + a test round the first day of the last month of the year + ‘completely’ with the last letter removed

6d    US state following President’s lead? Not his lead (7)
{ALABAMA} Following President’s lead (1,2,6) with the first letter of the President removed

7d    She’s primarily brazen item? (8)
{STRUMPET} The first letter of She + a brass instrument. The whole clue provides the definition

8d    Sound one’s Hs, as with Hook? (8)
{ASPIRATE} AS + Captain Hook, for example

12d    Gets me a suit tailored for a rather dodgy figure (11)
{GUESSTIMATE} An anagram (tailored) of GETS ME A SUIT

14d    Trainee’s supported by alien communication set-up (8)
{INTERNET} A trainee (6) + an alien (2)

15d    Weapon carrier travels by water, turning up right in blockade of river (5-3)
{SWORD-ARM} A reversal (turning up) of ‘travels by water’ + R in something that blocks a river

17d    Lively appreciation of music including piano? One’s not studying now (3,4)
{GAP YEAR} ‘Lively’ and ‘an appreciation of music’ round P (piano)

18d    Liniment affected head of runner initially (7)
{CAMPHOR} ‘Affected’ + the first letters of Head Of Runner

19d    Composer‘s candid about origin of composition (6)
{FRANCK} The surname of a French composer = ‘candid’ round C (first letter of composition)

20d    The French facing their vote against accepting new or old pop star (6)
{LENNON} The French for ‘the’ and the French for ‘no’ round N (new)

A pleasant diversion

6 comments on “Toughie 1168

  1. Many thanks to Kcit for a very enjoyable toughie and to Bufo for the excellent review.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this, particularly 24a, 7D and 18D (my favorite). Many thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this, particularly 24a, 7D and 18D (my favorite). Many thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  4. We take special delight in the puzzles from this setter, probably because of his connection with NZ. This one did not disappoint. Kept us working for quite some time but we did get there. 4d was a new word for us but we worked it out from the wordplay and checked in BRB as was the case with 21a. Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  5. Well now here’s a funny thing. Woke up, printed out the Cryptic crossword and armed with a good cafetiere of espresso returned to bed. After a wee while I started to curse Ray T for producing one of his difficult ones. Really struggled. Going to abandon it but persevered. Gradually made good headway and finished with about eight not done. You can see where this is going!

    Waited to get the hints to discover….you’re ahead of me, I can see… that I’d had a senior moment and done the Toughie! And it’s rated as a reasonably tough Toughie….so triply chuffed,

    Thanks to the setter and for the hints

  6. Got round to this a day late, having strummed and mown Cornwall yesterday and been too tired to grapple with a Toughie. Completed without needing any of Bufo’s hints (for which VMTs). 9a my favourite, but plenty of good clues. As for a rating – about 3.5*/4* for me.

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