Toughie 1170 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1170

Toughie No 1170 by Excalibur

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

A straightforward Toughie to start the week, although I think our setter was in fighting mood when she worked on some of the clues!

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7a One’s fired by company installing organ (7)
{FIREARM} A company or business with an organ of the body inserted.


8a They’re why it wobbles and shifts around (7)
{MOTIVES} Insert a reversal of IT into a verb meaning shifts around.

10a While I drum up business, to speak bluntly (5,2,3)
{SPELL IT OUT} While here is a noun meaning a short period of time which should be followed by I (from the clue) and a verb meaning to drum up business, the result then split 5,2,3.

Spell it out

11a Bloodshed caused by shot, that’s concerning (4)
{GORE} A shot or try followed by the two letters meaning about or concerning, especially in an email subject line.

12a Cast haphazardly in bad ‘B’ Western (8)
{BESTREWN} An old-fashioned way of saying cast about is an anagram (bad) of B WESTERN.

14a Mad with desire, losing head (6)
{RAVING} Simply remove the ‘head’ from a desire or longing for something, quite often food!

15a Not paid yet? That’s just great! (11)
{OUTSTANDING} A way of saying that a bill hasn’t been paid can also be used to describe someone or something really great.

19a Made up to an editor, hugging (6)
{ATONED} AN (from the clue) and the usual abbreviation for editor ‘hugging’ TO (from the clue).

20a Vehicle I parked beside hut is gone (8)
{VANISHED} A small commercial vehicle, I from the clue, and a hut.

22a Transport for penniless hobo (4)
{TRAM} Remove the P (penniless) from a hobo or gentleman of the road.


23a Referee’s instruction is a little mistimed (7,3)
{SECONDS OUT} An instruction from a boxing referee might sound like the time shown by your watch was ever so slightly wrong.

25a Better weather, sure to sprawl outside pub, knocking back (7)
{SUNNIER} An anagram (to sprawl) of SURE with a reversal (knocking back) of a pub inserted.

26a Attacked fliers returning to base (7)
{STABBED} A reversal of fliers quite often found in belfries (we had one flying round ours the other week!) followed by a base or bottom of something.


1d Put L in ‘smile’ (That wasn’t so hard!) (7)
{SIMPLER} Insert L into an affected self-conscious smile.

2d We are going to source (4)
{WELL} Split 2’2, this source of water might sound like we were saying that we were going to do something.

3d Show up without the German driver and are outside (6)
{ARRIVE} The letters left in DRIVER once you have removed the German word for ‘the’ are inserted into ARE (from the clue).

4d Spent one’s energy going walkies? (3-5)
{DOG-TIRED} An expression meaning worn out like an animal that’s been for ‘walkies’.


5d Qualms of girl about being presenter (10)
{MISGIVINGS} Insert a way of presenting something into a young girl.

6d Trying to be sporting (7)
{WEARING} An adjective meaning causing fatigue (trying) or a verb meaning having clothes on (sporting).

9d Declare tip for reliable information? (5,6)
{SOUND ADVICE} Declare or announce followed by a tip or useful piece of counsel.

13d Competition to run, however, meant working (10)
{TOURNAMENT} An anagram (however) of TO RUN followed by another (working) of MEANT.


16d Avoid sun, despite being dressed for it (8)
{SIDESTEP} S (sun) followed by an anagram (being dressed) of DESPITE.

17d Run, wagging, in front with bone (7) (paper version) or Run, wagging in spring with bone (7) (online version)
{STERNUM} I solved this in the paper where it was clear that this was an anagram (wagging) of RUN inserted into the front part of a ship. I only realised the online version was different when the blogging template didn’t match my workings out. Parsing the online version took a little more thought – ‘spring’ and the four-letter word into which the anagram is inserted both mean to arise or come into being.


18d Read through and enjoyed (7)
{PERUSED} The past participle of a verb meaning to read – a preposition meaning through followed by a word meaning enjoyed or took advantage of.

21d How many crammed in boxcar? (6)
{NINETY} The Roman numerals are hidden (crammed) in boXCar.

24d Is unhappy, consequently having case of blues (4)
{SOBS} An adverb meaning consequently followed by the outside letters (case ) of BlueS.

17 comments on “Toughie 1170

  1. The back pager was more difficult than this and that was one of the easier ones, having said that it was reasonable enjoyable, thanks to Excalibur and to Crypticsue for a gem of a review.

    1. yeah, easy , like back page, done in ***** but 17 is a poor clue in the paper as “stem ” not “front” and I had stirrup ( stir = wagging), (up= front) so way out.

      1. Welcome to the blog Mark

        Unlike certain other sites, boasting about solving times will result,as here, in your comment being redacted. I can’t comment on the other point as I never solve puzzles by Excalibur – perhaps you have just discovered why!

    2. I´ll always be well behind ,I get them cut and sent out from UK to Portugal !

  2. Today’s crossword provides a perfect opener for the Toughie week. Plenty of googlies among the clues but none that stumped. Excalibur gets my applause

  3. I admire the brevity and succinctness of the clues. ‘Multum in parvo,’ as my Latin master used to say. A crossword that was a pleasure to solve, in every way

  4. I enjoyed this and didn’t have any trouble, for once.
    I’m a bit ashamed to say that I needed the hint to understand my 21d – if it isn’t one kind of hidden answer that gets me it’s another!
    I liked 8 and 23a and 6d. My favourite was 4d, even though our collie is so unsteady on her pins now that we don’t call them walkies any more – we call them wobblies.
    With thanks to Excalibur and Crypticsue.

  5. Gentle start to the Toughie week, favourites were 21d and 23a thanks to Excalibur and to CS for the comments.

  6. That was fun! Many thanks to Excalibur and Crypticsue too.

    Re 18D; I got the answer, and parsed it OK, but I still checked one more time, just to see if there was any way that it could be “seduced” :-)

  7. I’m a bit off the pace after a couple of days away, so struggled more with this than l perhaps should have done. About 3*/3* for me. I liked 16d particularly. Thanks to Excalibur, and to Crypticsue for the review and hints.

  8. Lots of fun but I do not feel a fully paid up member of The Toughie Club today, just the wrong envelope club.

  9. Excalibur provided a perfect introduction to Toughies for me and I managed it but admittedly aided by Crypticsue on three clues – thank you both.

  10. We got it all filled in without major hold-ups and then spent some time on parsing the last 2. 18d did not crack until we saw ‘per’ for ‘through’ and we totally missed the hidden in the middle wordplay for 21d. Thought 1a was a bit weak with ‘fired’ in the clue and ‘firearm’ as the answer. Gentle fun.
    Thanks Excalibur and CS.

  11. A rare venture into toughie land for me but turned out to be not so tough today. Enjoyed the completion without needing hints for a change. Thanks setter and Sue.

  12. Thanks to Excalibur and to crypticSue for the review and hints. I guessed that this was on the gentle side, as I started solving some clues for a change :-) The NW corner put up a bit of a fight, but last in was 1d. Only my third ever Toughie completion. Most enjoyable.

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