Toughie 1196 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1196

Toughie No 1196 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A pleasant though not very taxing puzzle

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.


2a    Arrangement of some partners in a style of government (12)
{COHABITATION} 2 meanings: living together as husband and wife/government by a head of state and a ruling party of opposing views

8a    A delay put back sporting occasion (4)
{GALA} A reversal of A and a delay

9a    Gall from retiree detaining a knight with short appeal (3,5)
{OAK APPLE} A gall (abnormal growth on a plant) = an old age pensioner (retiree) round A K (knight) + an appeal with the last letter removed

10a    Recognise female expert with awkward pout (4,2,2)
{FACE UP TO} F (female) + an expert + an anagram (awkward) of POUT

11a    Determine to get a board giving trader’s name, reportedly (6)
{ASSIGN} A homophone (reportedly) of A and a board or panel giving a shopkeeper’s name

12a    A plan around year’s end followed by one in seat, military official (4,2,4)
{AIDE DE CAMP} A + a plan round the abbreviation for the last month of the year + someone with a seat in Parliament

13a    Power source in front of estate? (6)
{ENGINE} A source of power found in the front of an estate car. Is there more to it?

16a    Fund invested in umpteen dowries (5)
{ENDOW} Hidden in umpteEN DOWries

17a    Oscar’s successor holding a yen for fruit (6)
{PAPAYA} The word that follows Oscar in the NATO phonetic alphabet goes round A Y (yen)

18a    Singular elegance about theory volunteers rejected being fractious? (10)
{SCHISMATIC} S (singular) + elegance (4) round a theory (3) and the reversal (rejected) of an abbreviation denoting volunteers (2)

21a    Revolutionary party with song lacking in middle? That’s something peculiar (6)
{ODDITY} A reversal of a party (2) + a song (5) with the middle letter removed

23a    Foreign character in case that’s disputed, troublesome type (8)
{NUISANCE} A letter of the Greek alphabet + an anagram (disputed) of IN CASE

24a    Sound wine, we hear, typical of cultured sort? (4-4)
{WELL-READ} Sound (healthy) + a homophone (we hear) of wine of a particular colour

25a    Stack of tables in comfortable residence (4)
{NEST} 2 meanings: a stack of tables fitting one within another/a comfortable residence

26a    Male in remote club relocated with time in area near city? (8,4)
{COMMUTER BELT} M (male) in an anagram (relocated) of REMOTE CLUB + T (time)


1d    A fellow in exotic dress in tropical trip (6)
{SAFARI} A F (fellow) in a garment worn by Hindu women

2d    Bit of coffee and tea, fare I fancy here? (9)
{CAFETERIA} C (first letter of coffee) + an anagram (fancy) of TEA FARE I. The whole clue provides the definition

3d    Ring one vacant bird (6)
{HOOPOE} A ring + OnE with the middle letter removed

4d    Sensational Latin pair with daughter in group, striking phenomenon (5-3-7)
{BLOOD-AND-THUNDER} L (Latin) + 2 letters denoting a pair (of spectacles), i.e. 2 scores of zero in by a single batsman in a cricket match + D (daughter) inside a group + a natural phenomenon that accompanies lightning strikes

5d    Sit down in tense area with a gym in London suburb (4,1,3)
{TAKE A PEW} T (tense) + A (area) + A and an abbreviation for gym (as a lesson) in a London suburb with some famous gardens

6d    Draw off a second set of appetisers (5)
{TAPAS} ‘To draw off’ + A + S (second)

7d    Serving man wearing ring and jewellery is courteous (8)
{OBLIGING} A man serving in the US army goes in O (ring) and jewellery that’s large and conspicuous

14d    Female earlier in line with jazzy gear getting jibe (5-4)
{GREAT-AUNT} An anagram (jazzy) of GEAR + ‘jibe’

15d    Feature of beach I doubly detected in US city (3,5)
{SAN DIEGO} What you find on a beach + I + another word for ‘I’

16d    One’s readily overcome in unconstrained hunting event, we hear (4,4)
{EASY MEAT} ‘Unconstrained’ + a homophone (we hear) of a hunting event

19d    Piece of stodgy dessert right away making one choke (6)
{STIFLE} The first letter of Stodgy + a dessert with the letter R (right) removed

20d    Cut niceties in exchange putting off unworldly figure (6)
{INCISE} ‘To cut’ = an anagram of NICIES, i.e. NICETIES with ET (unworldly figure) removed

22d    Creed in society pervading northerly African country (5)
{ISLAM} S (society) goes inside a reversal (northerly) of an African country

A typical Thursday puzzle.

12 comments on “Toughie 1196

  1. Gentle offering today, favourites were 5d and 22d thanks to Shamus and to Bufo for the comments.

  2. A not very tough toughie from Shamus today but enjoyable nonetheless, my thanks to him and to Bufo for the review.

  3. I found this easier than today’s back page crossword – complete luck.
    Spent too long trying to fit an abbreviation for an estate into 13a – just didn’t think about a car – and I needed the hint to untangle 4d.
    I liked 10a and 5 and 7d. My favourite and last answer was 22d.
    With thanks to Shamus and Bufo.

    1. Thx for the tip Kath, I would never normally attempt the Toughie but this was good apart of course from 18a which I needed help from the hints. Not a word I’ve come across before.

  4. Completed without hints but I was left with a couple of questions. 13A didn’t sit too well with me. I am not familiar with the answer to 4D and although I solved it from the checking letters, I couldn’t parse it. Also missed the theory part of 18A. Nice puzzle, though. 15D was my favorite, although I liked 5D also. Thanks to Shamus and to Bufo for the review and unraveling.

  5. Solved this toughie before I even printed out today’s cryptic.

    Faves : 17a & 14d.

    Will tackle the cryptic later.

    Very quiet here in NL as it is Ascension Day (Hemelvaartsdag in Dutch).

  6. I didn’t find this easy, and it struck me as something like 3*/3*. 18a and 5d vied for favouritism, but in the end l plumped for 22d. Many thanks to Shamus, and to Bufo for the review.

  7. This one took us a significantly shorter time to complete than the RayT. However they were both very enjoyable puzzles to work on, despite their styles being totally different. We enjoy sorting out the bits and pieces to put together to build the answer in many Shamus clues. Good fun.
    Thanks Shamus and Bufo.

  8. Thanks to Shamus and to Bufo. After yesterday’s success, this was much more difficult. Enjoyed the challenge though. I was doing ok, but my brain seized up towards the end, and I needed 9 hints to finish. Must leave it until the next day next time. Never heard of 18a, favourite was 24a. Good fun.

  9. I agree with the 2kiwis – this was decidedly simpler and more entertaining than the Cryptic. Thanks Shamus for that and Bufo for sorting a couple in the SE corner for me.

  10. I enjoyed this a good deal. Fave was 5d, and I also singled out 9a and 7d.

    I completed this without hints, but appreciate being able to go through this review now. I missed two double definitions — 2a and 25a. I didn’t pick up the cricketing allusion in 4d. These aside, there were no other problems. Like the 2Kiwis, I enjoyed piecing together the wordplay.

    Thank you very much, Shamus, for an entertaining puzzle. And thank you very much, too, Bufo, for the invaluable review.

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