Toughie 1228 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1228

Toughie No 1228 by MynoT

A load of 20 across?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

A relatively straightforward Toughie from MynoT. One enjoyment star has been docked for the howler in 6 down.

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    Writing from time to time (4)
TEXT – a two-letter prefix meaning from followed by T(ime) and preceded by T(ime)

3a    Remark about German with loyalty (10)
COMMITMENT – a remark around the German for with

8a    Sign of stone in Italy (6)
GEMINI – this sign of the zodiac is a charade of a precious stone, IN and the IVR code for Italy


9a    Local man returns to English class able to solve problems with figures (8)
NUMERATE – a dialect word for man is reversed and followed by E(nglish) and a verb meaning to class or categorize

10a    Objectively-speaking they died as gangsters (3,3)
THE MOB – the objective form of they followed by the two-letter Latin abbreviation for died

11a    My author’s terrible port (8)
YARMOUTH – an anagram (terrible) of MY AUTHOR

12a    Pepper old gangster every so often (8)
SEASONAL – a verb meaning to add pepper followed by the usual old gangster

14a    One that supports a parasite  horde (4)
HOST – two definitions – an organism on which another lives as a parasite and a horde or crowd

16a    Devious people, they’re often pickled (4)
EELS – two definitions – some devious people and a fish that is often pickled but more usually jellied

18a    Cast off under manoeuvres, keeping low (8)
UNMOORED – an anagram (manoeuvres) of UNDER around a verb meaning to low like a cow

19a    Raised space in front of chief journalist (8)
EMBOSSED – one of the usual spaces used in printing followed by (in front of) a chief or manager and the usual journalist

20a    Talk of cake (6)
WAFFLE – two more definitions

21a    Officer and men notice nothing in river (8)
COLORADO – a charade of a three-letter abbreviation for a military officer, the usual uncommissioned army men , a two-letter notice and O (nothing)

22a    ‘This plant is yellow,’ child is told (6)
ORCHID – the heraldic term for yellow/gold followed by what sounds like (is told) a child

23a    Former breakfast pastry is superfluous (10)
EXCRESCENT – a two-letter word meaning former, as in a former partner, followed by another name for a croissant (breakfast pastry)

24a    Mark made in red not allowed (4)
SCAR – a shade of red from which LET (allowed) has been dropped (not)


1d    Mellow temperature? It’s high for exercising (8)
TIGHTISH – T(emperature) followed by an anagram (for exercising) of IT’S HIGH

2d    Short distance in unfinished Italian port is most tidy (8)
TRIMMEST – the two-letter abbreviation for short metric distance inside most of (unfinished) a port on the Adriatic coast of Italy

3d    Bill upset in necklace perhaps causing inflammation (9)
CHILBLAIN – an anagram (upset) of BILL inside what could be (perhaps) a necklace

4d    Only food emperor chewed: a piece of cake? (5,3,3,4)
MONEY FOR OLD ROPE – this anagram (chewed) of ONLY FOOD EMPEROR gives a phrase meaning a piece of cake or very easy

5d    Warm heart confused with beginnings of mutual love (7)
THERMAL – An anagram (confused) of HEART with the initial letters beginnings of the last two words in the clue

6d    Going west in Spain, St Anthony’s cross with warning from Rome to move away from danger (8)
EVACUATE – something went wrong with this clue as “going west” is an across clue construct so it should have read “going north” – the IVR code for Spain followed by the type of cross associated with St Anthony, named after the Greek letter it resembles, and the Latin (from Rome) warning used by schoolboys in old books, all reversed (going west north) – ridiculous as it may seem in retrospect, as a child I was 6’d to Sheffield in 1944

7d    Force supporter to get over Tottenham Hotspur taking the lead twice (5)
TEETH – a support used for a golf ball followed by the initial letters (taking the lead twice) of T[ottenham] H[otspur]

13d    Point to or read up what Victorians put in puddings (9)
ARROWROOT – a point or indicator followed by the reversal (read up in a down clue) of TO OR

15d    Representative, following return of my son, cast out acid from vehicle? On the contrary (8)
SYMBOLIC – to get this adjective meaning representative MY S(on) is reversed and followed by, not an acid cast out from s vehicle but, a type of acid without (cast out) CAR (vehicle)

16d    European takes a risk about providing buildings (8)
EDIFICES – E(uropean) followed by a verb meaning takes a risk around the usual two-letter word meaning provided / providing

17d    Socialist rising against little beast is more astute (8)
SHREWDER – the usual communist (socialist) is reversed (rising in a down clue) and preceded by (against) a small creature (little beast)

18d    Rising swell American eating soft egg (7)
UPSURGE – the two-letter abbreviation for American around the musical notation for soft anf followed by a verb meaning to egg or persuade

19d    Gallantry award for 14 spelt out (5)
EMCEE – two definitions, both spelt out – a gallantry award and a different meaning of 14 across

Bufo should be back next week.


16 comments on “Toughie 1228

  1. I thought this was more back page than Toughie, thanks to MynoT and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. apart from 6d not working, it took me a while to convince myself 1a and 7d were ok. happy with 1d but i think i would have preferred a different definition for 7d. 23a was my last entry, couldn’t think of this word for breakfast pastry. i think 14a was my first entry. I liked 18a, 19a, and 21a, as well as 4d.

    many thanks MynoT for an entertaining puzzle, and thanks very much Dave, especially for the reassurance I hadn’t lost it concerning 6d.

  3. A gentle but entertaining “toughie” yet again, we seem to have been getting rather a lot recently, never mind, the weather is too nice to be messing about with difficult crosswords. Thanks to MynoT and BD.

    1. I think by the time you rate anything above ‘gentle’ the rest of us will have taken up golf!

      1. 16. I was looking for a Nina. Elgar some time ago used the double unches to actually express his opinion of them :)

  4. A very disappointing effort after Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s puzzles, which I thoroughly enjoyed solving. Many very poor surface readings, particularly 2d ,3d and 15d

  5. After looking at all the double unches and giving a groan, when we got into the puzzle, we found that they were not really a problem, It all fitted together without major hold-ups. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks MynoT and BD.

  6. Apart from the awful grid and the blooper at 6d I thought this was quite a good MynoT puzzle. A bit less “Senior Common-room” than usual and some neat clues [3a, 21a, 13d, 18d].

    Did anyone else notice the repeated words and themes in the clues? Time, Italy, gangster, port, rising, cake , Europe- what does it all mean!

    Thanks to MynoT and BD.

  7. Enjoyable solve.

    Faves : 3a, 16a, 22a, 2d, 13d & 19d.

    We have had thunder this evening in the Var so perhaps it will rain overnight!

  8. A bit of a struggle but that was at least partly because a printer glitch had meant that this one printed out so small that l had to read it with a magnifying glass, and use a very fine pencil indeed. Otherwise, l suppose 3*/3* is about right. I liked 4d, which reminded me of a Goon Show episode (can’t remember which one, but Gritpype-Thynne’s answer to Seagoon was something like “ it? I would have thought you’d buy something more useful”. 18a was clever too. Thanks Myno T for the eyestrain, and BD for the review.

  9. Fair wordplay (6d excepted )meant for a relatively easy solve but at the expense of surface reading .10’a made me smile the most .Cheers Myno T and BD

  10. This must have been an easier toughie than usual as I got to within three of solving with no help. 20a and 17d were my Achilles heal though I had sussed the meaning I couldn’t find the cake and beast to fit. Also did not know what a St Antony’s cross was. I don’t understand the mellow part of 1d,for 16a I’d have preferred jellied as I don’t know the pickled variety and I’ve never heard the alternative term for a certain French roll in 23a.

  11. Just finished 1228 (its now Tuesday). Never even noticed the “mistake” 6d! Sometimes it helps not to be too good at puzzle solving. Very enjoyable and thanks to all concerned. Now then, lets have a look at todays …..

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