Toughie 1174 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 1174

Toughie No 1174 by Dada

So good he said it twice!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A fun puzzle from one of my favourite setters. 18 down added one of the enjoyment stars.

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    Old couple lagging behind everyone in fight to get big jumper (8)
{WALLAROO} – O(ld) O(ld) (a couple of olds) after a word meaning everyone inside a fight

5a    Rash getting better on cuckoo (6)
{MADCAP} – a verb meaning to better preceded by an adjective meaning cuckoo or crazy

9a    Stout-hearted female lacking in a sense, then? (8)
{FEARLESS} – F(emale) followed by an adjective meaning lacking in one of the senses

10a    Key  number one or two? (6)
{OPENER} – a key used to undo a can and one of two batmen at the start of an innings

12a    Book that’s funny, article written on it (6)
{LOLITA} – textspeak for “that’s funny” and the indefinite article preceded by IT

13a    Vegetable  producer in pictures? (8)
{BROCCOLI} – a green vegetable and the producer of many James Bond films

15a    Turn Casanova back to extremes of virtue (7)
{REVOLVE} – a Casanova reversed (back) and followed by the outer letters of VirtuE

16a    Slimy fellow in bedgulp! (4)
{SLUG} – a slimy garden pest and a gulp of, usually alcoholic, liquid

20a    River cold for high-flier (4)
{EXEC} – a river in southwest England followed by C(old)

21a    Balm in use, rubbing head (7)
{UNCTION} – a use or purpose without (rubbing) its initial letter (head)

25a    Skilful player, one with teething problems? (8)
{DRIBBLER} – someone without teeth, usually a toddler

26a    Attachment to a Victorian woman causing stir (6)
{BUSTLE} – two definitions – the first being a frame for making a skirt stand out from the hips

28a    A mount, ultimately, on which more than one pair in Ark rested? (6)
{ARARAT} – the whole of this clue describes a mountain where Noah’s ark came to rest – the A from the clue and the final letter of mounT preceded by the first two letters of ARk repeated

29a    Welshman perhaps carrying one note then another as singer (8)
{BARITONE} – a resident of the British Isles (Welshman perhaps) around a note of the diatonic scale of C major and followed by another such note

30a    Getting high, with a rush (6)
{FLYING} – two definitions

31a    Information stored by factory that’s booming (8)
{PLANGENT} – some information inside (stored by) a factory


1d    Rabbit on  something for breakfast (6)
{WAFFLE} – two definitions – a verb and a noun

2d    Likely story about murder victim (no evidence at first) (6)
{LIABLE} – a story or untruth around the fist murder victim, the latter without the E (no Evidence at first)

3d    Entire crew in a muddle (3,2,3)
{ALL AT SEA} – this could describe the entire crew of a ship

4d    Cook removing lid for oven (4)
{OAST} – drop the initial letter (lid) from a verb meaning to cook

6d    Face snake etc snaking (6)
{ASPECT} – a snake followed by an anagram (snaking) of ETC

7d    Pet is able to scratch bottom of many (8)
{CANOODLE} – this verb meaning to pet or cuddle is derived from a verb meaning is able followed by a word meaning many without (scratch) its final letter (bottom in a down clue)

8d    Breakfast that’s served at Her Majesty’s pleasure? (8)
{PORRIDGE} – a slang word for time spent in prison

11d    Force down sauce, swallowing it (7)
{GRAVITY} – to get this downward force put a sauce around IT

14d    It’s quite the opposite, one adds (7)
{COUNTER} – two definitions

17d    Star that’s rare, one of seven (3,5)
{RED DWARF} – red when applied to meat followed by one of seven followers in a children’s story

Red dwarf

18d    Avoiding the other bicycle, a convertible (8)
{CELIBACY] – I won’t spoil the laugh-out-loud moment by explaining the definition! – it’s an anagram (convertible) of BICYCLE A

19d    End of a problem, like that one in Bedfordshire town (8)
{SOLUTION} – a two-letter word meaning like that followed by I (one) inside a town in Bedfordshire

22d    Get on a bit, decrepit (6)
{OBTAIN} – an anagram (decrepit) of ON A BIT

23d    In two articles, order maintained (2,4)
{AT HOME} – an indefinite article and the definite article around the Order of Merit

24d    Leave the country? That’s a mistake (6)
{DEFECT} – two definitions

27d    Bird in bar (4)
{RAIL} – two more definitions

Rather a lot of double definitions today!

17 comments on “Toughie 1174

  1. Good fun puzzle, favourites were 10a 18d and 26a thanks to Dada and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. Great stuff! 3*/4* for me. A couple took me a while to crack – esp the anagram at 22d.
    Many thanks to Dada, and to BD for the review.

  3. Splendid stuff as to be expected from Dada – agree that 18d is clue of the day. Thanks to Dada and BD.

  4. Great fun, I loved 10 and 25a and 17 and 18d. Many thanks to Dada and BD, superb stuff.

  5. I absolutely loved it! 18D, when I finally got it, definitely had me laughing out loud. Although I had the correct answer, I don’t understand the explanation for 29A but music appreciation class was never my strong point. Also liked 11D and 17D.

    I used to be frightened of even trying a Dada but he and I have been getting along well recently.

  6. Thanks to Dada and BD, good fun, 12a had me laughing, can’t remember LOL being used, or have I been asleep?

  7. I loved this – I found it quite tricky but anything that has Toughie at the top always has that effect on me.
    I needed the explanation for 29a.
    I agree that 18d was absolutely brilliant but lots of others made me laugh too – 16 and 26a and 7 and 27d.
    With thanks to Dada and BD.

  8. Very enjoyable puzzle but I had to work hard at it! Thanks BD for the explanations – particularly of 10a (cricket!) , 8d (slang meaning totally new to me) and 29a – I was thinking “b” and “tone” for the musical references but who is this Welshman called “Ari” :)
    Really liked 25a, 26a and 18d,
    Thanks to Dada and again to BD

      1. Thanks Dave – I did get that from your hint. I was just explaining my confusion before I read your hints. That is – I was laughing at myself!

    1. Yes – I agree. 10a – cricket – I can’t do it. My other one was, like you, 29a.

  9. It is now about 18 hours since we did this puzzle and we are still laughing about 18d. The highlight of what was a really good fun puzzle that all went together smoothly without major hold-ups.
    Thanks Dada and BD.

  10. A bit too clever for me, Dada, but thanks anyway. I managed all but 18d and the SE corner unaided (l hate those double definitions), but needed three or four of BD’s hints to fill the grid. 4* plus for me, and 18d is most definitely a super clue!

  11. Took me three goes at this one before finally filling in the SE corner. Phew. Thanks to Dada for the challenge and to BD for explaining how I met it. PS agree with all about 18d, my favourite clue for ages 4*/4*

Comments are closed.