Toughie 1230 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1230

Toughie No 1230 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Toro

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A straightforward but rather good (I thought) puzzle from Shamus today. Apologies for the delay in posting and the lack of multimedia enrichment but work meant I wasn’t able to start until after the usual posting time.

Definitions are underlined. Click between the braces {LIKE THIS} to reveal the answer to each clue. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought and add your assessment by selecting one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a Evil found in quick source of drugs? (8)
{PHARMACY} – A word for evil inside a word for quick (as of a bowler in cricket , say).

5a Dumb boss probed by investigator (6)
{STUPID} – A boss (as in a decorative protruding piece of metal) contains (probed by) the abbreviation for a private investigator.

9a What could deflate conclusion, we hear, is irritating(8)
{TIRESOME} – A homophone (we hear) of two words, the first being something that could deflate if punctured and the second a conclusion or overall upshot.

10a Appraise minister that is meeting wife (6)
{REVIEW} – A charade of abbreviations for a clergyman, that is, and wife.

11a Shout from trio of Roman figures on board European train (7)
{EXCLAIM} – Three Roman numerals go inside (on board) the abbreviation for European and a verb meaning to train or set one’s sights.

12a Books and article penned by writer describing some gardens? (7)
{BOTANIC} – … Kew, for example. Part of the Bible and a grammatical article go inside (penned by) a writing implement.

13a Harmful type of service in river and port facing these people (11)
{DELETERIOUS} – A type of service call in tennis goes inside a Scottish river, followed by a port city much beloved of crossword setters, and then by the pronoun meaning these people (myself and others).

16a Livelihood is best analysed in paper city backed (11)
{SUBSISTENCE} – An anagram (analysed) of IS BEST inside a tabloid title, followed by a reversal (backed) of the two-letter postal district in which the City of London lies.

21a Partner to dish ensuring a good reception?(7)
{ANTENNA} – A nice cryptic definition. Think satellite TV.

22a Treatment’s obtained in rush in certain area(7)
{HECTARE} – … a measure of land. The acronym for a last-resort form of psychiatric therapy goes inside (obtained in) a verb for to race madly.

23a Serve inside presumably as a shining light(6)
{BEACON} – Split (2,1,3), the solution could be read as a phrase meaning to do time in prison.

24a North, say, and East getting early screening(8)
{PREMIERE} – What Lord North was in 18th century Great Britain plus the abbreviation for east.

25a Dope features in US city trial (6)
{LATEST} – … dope meaning information or the low-down. A US city’s acronym plus a synonym for trial.

26a Holder of drink is put off consuming slammer (8)
{DECANTER} – … a container for wine or spirit. A verb meaning to put off contains (consuming) a slang term for prison or slammer.


1d Largely model sales talk? (6)
{PATTER} – A word for model, mould or template minus its last letter (largely).

2d A French gallery in old colonial area(6)
{AFRICA} – A charade of the letter A from the clue, the two-letter abbreviation for French, and a London gallery and cultural venue.

3d Relish vilification about celebrity (7)
{MUSTARD} – Vilification or dirt goes round (about) a word for a celebrity.

4d Oatmeal and mince, not new, for cooking?Liquid refreshment needed (8,3)
{CAMOMILE TEA} – An anagram (for cooking) of OATMEAL and MINCE minus the single-letter abbreviation for new (not new).

6d Overly sentimental expression cut short one’s social networking(7)
{TWEETER} – …a person who uses a form of social networking. A word for overly sentimental or cutesy plus a word for an expression or phrase minus its last letter (cut short).

7d Feature of window, we hear, with a lot of sound quality in Devon resort(8)
{PAIGNTON} – A homophone (we hear) of a section of window glass plus a word for the quality or timbre of a sound minus its last letter (a lot of).

8d Gloomy group on stage near Belfast? (8)
{DOWNCAST} – Split (4,4) the solution could be read as a group of actors performing in a county of Northern Ireland that borders Belfast.

12d Cricketer regaining power? Such can restrain a hostile crowd(5,6)
{BATON CHARGE} – A playing role in cricket plus a phrase (2,6) describing a device when its batteries are being replenished.

14d Slab unit moved in foreign city(8)
{ISTANBUL} – An anagram (moved) of SLAB UNIT.

15d Stealwork by Kandinsky?(8)
{ABSTRACT} – A double definition, being both a verb meaning steal and a work of art in the style of Wassily Kandinsky and others.

17d Like some rock, i.e. song played around university (7)
{IGNEOUS} – An anagram (playing) of IE SONG goes around the one-letter abbreviation for university.

18d Such in main come to be composed showing no end of acclaim?(7)
{ENCOMIA} – An &lit clue, to be read both as a definition meaning eulogies or tributes, and as an anagram (to be composed) of MAIN COME minus the last letter (showing no end) of ACCLAIM.

19d Old man’s tear for old woman, perhaps(6)
{PARENT} – A term for father plus a word for a rip or tear gives a word that could mean mother.

20d Artist needing name to stand in for jolly appearance(6)
{VENEER} – … a superficial gloss or lustre. The name of a Dutch artist in which the single-letter abbreviation for name replaces (to stand in for) the two-letter abbreviation for a navy soldier also known as a jolly.

Lots of nice clues here, even though I wasn’t wildly enthused by the clunky &lit at 18d. But I’d better get this post up rather than linger over favourite clues. What were yours?

Over to you – please rate and comment on today’s puzzle.

32 comments on “Toughie 1230

  1. Yet another fairly “untough toughie”, enjoyable enough but not very exciting, thanks to Shamus.

  2. Good Lord! I’ve solved it before the review. Now that’s a first. Seriously though, this was a toughie that was well within my comprehension – for once, lol. Most enjoyable – thank you Shamus.

  3. I was able to complete this one without recourse to big dave. I think that’s the first time cheers Shamus.

    1. jotar,
      You’ve changed your alias so your comment needed moderation. Both should work from now on.

  4. Completely stuck on two in the bottom right corner.
    I’ll just have to be patient.

    1. Stuck on one in the bottom right (25a), just can’t see it at all. Bugging the hell out of me and I’m trying to work as well. Not good at multitasking ;)

      1. Definition is “dope” as in the lowdown rather than a twit. Two letter abbreviation for a city in California followed by another word for a trial.

    2. I’ve now done the two that I couldn’t do before – just goes to show that if I “perservate” for long enough I usually, well sometimes anyway, get there “all my own self”!

  5. Very doable, with no hold-ups for me. I do have a question on 6D, though. I have the answer but the “one’s” is confusing. Is it a contraction of one who is?

    1. That’s how I read it too, though it does seem a bit of an odd construction. In posting here, have we just “social networked”?

      NB. Solutions and explanations will be up shortly – not that it looks like they will be needed much!

      1. … a superficial gloss or lustre. The name of a Dutch artist in which the single-letter abbreviation for name replaces (to stand in for) the two-letter abbreviation for a navy soldier also known as a jolly.

        1. Thanks very much. I had it but couldn’t explain why and so didn’t trust it. Jolly will have to go into a new section of the blog ‘Not So Usual Suspects’.

  6. Hard slog but finally finished before hints. Had a complete blank with 12d – first word ok but the second …. had not heard the saying (if it is a saying) before. Thanks to Shamus for a good workout.

  7. A very enjoyable puzzle as expected from Shamus but definitely one that was put into the wrong envelope before posting to Telegraph Towers. Thanks to him and Toro.

  8. I just about finished this before Toro posted the review which just goes to show that if I persevere I can do it even if I need a little electronic help finding one or two words.
    As everyone has been saying, a good brain workout – thank you Shamus.
    And thank you Toro for fitting this into what seems to have been a busy day for you. I did need the review to work out the finer points of some of the answers such as 2d (not familiar with that particular gallery) and 7d (I couldn’t work out how I got the last 3 letters) and I searched for a construct from the clue for 21a not realising that it was cryptic definition. I was thrown by the word “needed” at the end of 4d clue but I guess it is an instruction telling me what is needed to answer the clue rather than an answer needing liquid refreshment. My favourite 11a when I finally pieced it all together.

  9. A fun puzzle that took us almost exactly the same time as the backpager.
    Thanks Shamus and Toro.

  10. I thought this was a Toughie if only because of the bottom right corner which caused me a load of grief.
    If the hints had been there I would have looked but did eventually sort them all out for myself so I was quite pleased that they were late.
    In 5a we had the investigator who caused problems in one the back page crosswords last week.
    If anyone had asked me I would have said that I’d never heard of the 18d answer but it came to me so I must have done.
    I like Shamus’s crosswords.
    My favourite was 3d.
    With thanks to Shamus for the crossword and to Toro for finding the time to do the hints.

  11. Thanks to Shamus and Toro. Very enjoyable puzzle, needed 7 hints and 1 look up to finish. Was completely stuck in the SE corner. Had never heard of 18d. Favourite was 23a, took ages for the penny to drop. Was 4*/3* for me.

  12. Almost there without help- little harder than normal cryptic. Needed help with 18d as I had the letters for the anagram but didn’t know the word. Also had the correct artist for 20d but couldn’t see what the new replaced.
    Thanks to Toro for pointers and to shamus for an enjoyable offering.***/*** for me

  13. Just completed this, and most enjoyable it was, too! I do like Shamus’ puzzles. I liked many of the clues, including 23a, 12d, 15d, and 20d.

    Did this ‘all my own self’ (to quote Kath). Going through Toro’s review now has been very useful. Despite having the right answers, I did have difficulty parsing 13a ( didn’t know what the ‘type of service’ was, but had the rest all right) and 22a. I wasn’t sure if 18d was an all-in-one or not. For the rest, all was correctly parsed.

    Many thanks to Shamus for a pleasurable solve. Appreciation and thanks to Toro for the excellent review and for finding the time to do it.

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