Toughie 1242 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1242

Toughie No 1242 by Dada

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

This is the second Dada I’ve reviewed, and I liked it as much as the first. Hints, should anyone need them, follow. Please correct me if you find my 20d!

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 Some mixed-up characters? (8,4)
ALPHABET SOUP A literal or figurative meaningless jumble of letters.


9a One going on tractor or not, here by mistake (9)
CHATTERER An anagram of (by mistake) TRACTOR after deleting the final OR (or not) and HERE.

10a Lowest point in puzzle (5)
FLOOR A double definition, being a noun for lowest point or level and a verb meaning to puzzle or nonplus.

11a Alien forms gulping hot smoke (6)
INHALE An anagram of (forms) ALIEN goes round (gulping) the abbreviation for Hot.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a Contrary to the current use, tram designed to carry people, primarily (8)
UPSTREAM An anagram of (designed) USE TRAM goes round (to carry) the first letter of (primarily) People.

13a Possibly two — but feeling less? (6)
NUMBER The concept of which two (or three, or four) is an example is also an adjective less sensitive to touch or pain.

15a Grit in an urban allotment? (8)
TENACITY A word for grit or doggedness, if split (3,1,4), looks like a formula for doling out a ration to major towns.

18a Eastern vessel by some measure, a lot of rubbish (8)
JUNKYARD …”lot” in the US English sense of a plot of land. A sailing boat common in the Far East plus a unit of distance.

19a Painfully funny — like metal? (6)
IRONIC A word meaning wryly amusing looks like it could be an adjective referring to a particular metal.

21a English stole to steal houses — some craft! (8)
LIFEBOAT A verb meaning to steal goes round (houses) the abbreviation for English plus a word for a stole or scarf. (This is one of those ‘X Y houses/sandwiches’ clues – meaning ‘X houses/sandwiches Y’ – that Gazza calls Yoda-esque!)

23a Country lacking an adequate universal puzzle (6)
SUDOKU The name of an African country after deleting AN (lacking an), then an expression for adequate and the abbreviation for Universal.


26a Hand on a capital city (5)
PALMA The front of the hand, plus A from the clue. (Some setters and editors insist that ‘A on B’ should mean ‘A on the end of B’, i.e. B then A, when in an across clue. What do solvers think? Do you notice? Do you care?)

27a Cold as ‘ice’, but not cold? (9)
HEARTLESS If a crossword clue required you to remove the abbreviation for Cold from the word ICE, what indicator might it use?

28a Adulterous kiss stolen by a liar, matter to be resolved (12)
EXTRAMARITAL The symbol for a kiss goes inside (stolen by) an anagram of (to be resolved) A LIAR MATTER.


1d Sell off university — something to be done about it? (7)
AUCTION A word for a response to a problem or need goes around (about) the abbreviation for University.

2d Nick Cook (5)
POACH A double definition, being a verb meaning both to nick or steal and to cook in a certain way.

3d Weapons poorly inserted into channel (9)
ARTILLERY A word for poorly or unwell goes inside (inserted into) a word for a channel or route.

4d Money nothing to regret, after a raise (4)
EURO The letter indicated by nothing plus a verb meaning to regret, all reversed (after a raise).

5d Poor, getting beaten (8)
STRAPPED A double definition, meaning both short of money and beaten as punishment.

6d One claiming strong is weak? (5)
UNFIT A word meaning the number one goes round (claiming) the musical abbreviation for strong.

7d Press etc gatecrashing party for entertainer (8)
COMEDIAN A word for channels of mass communication goes inside (gatecrashing) the abbreviation of one of the political parties.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

8d End in gaiety in the extreme, in a bad mood (6)
GRUMPY A word for rear end goes inside (in) the outer letters of (in the extreme) GaietY.

14d Piece I gather in various parts (8)
MANIFOLD A playing piece in chess (for example), then I from the clue, and a verb meaning to gather (as in gathering the ends of a piece of cloth).

16d Tune percussion instrument endlessly without a word of appreciation for instrument neither seen nor heard (3,6)
AIR GUITAR A word for a tune or song, followed by the name of a Latin American gourd-like percussion instrument (see clip) minus its last letter (endlessly) which goes round (without) an expression meaning thank you.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d Bishop back to nick the rest (8)
BREATHER The abbreviation for bishop in chess, followed by a synonym for back going round (to nick) THE from the clue.

18d Banger — bird has cut through it (6)
JALOPY A colourful bird of the crow family goes round (has through it) a verb for to cut (hair, for example).

20d Advice on clues misleading (7)
COUNSEL An anagram (misleading) of ON CLUES.

22d Male escorts — those on the fiddle, we might hear? (5)
BEAUX A homophone (we might hear) of the implement with which a violin is played, in the plural.

24d Patent getting done on time (5)
OVERT A word for done or finished plus the abbreviation in physics for Time.

25d Royal address that may be taken up? (4)
MAAM A term of address to female royalty which, being a palindrome, could be equally well be written in reverse (may be taken up).

Over to you – please rate and comment on this puzzle below.

11 comments on “Toughie 1242

  1. A very enjoyable toughie with just the right amount of difficulty for a Tuesday, many thanks to Dada and to Toro for a splendid review.

  2. I really enjoyed this – nice to have a Tuesday Toughie that didn’t make me 8d. Thanks to Dada and Toro.

  3. Gentle start to the Toughie week, but enjoyable nonetheless, favourites were 8d and 27a thanks to Dada and to Toro for the comments.

  4. I fairly romped through this until I came to a grinding halt over the last three (14D, 17D and 21A). Eventually solving 14D gave me 21A. It was a tussle to resolve the word play but manage I did. 17D was last in and I needed one! I needed the review to explain 27A and 7D, so many thanks, Toro. Thanks to Dada also. I did enjoy this.

  5. Having put in “handfuls” for 14d I naturally was completely stumped on 13a. Never mind.

    My favourite clue? 8d. – and, despite the above, I wasn’t !

  6. Loved it. Took about twice as long as the back-pager which is just about where we like it to be on a Tuesday. Smiles and chuckles throughout.
    Thanks Dada and Toro.

  7. I can only echo the comments made previously by ‘2Kiwis’. This was a Toughie that I really enjoyed and one in which I could understand the clues without tearing my hair out in frustration. Thanks Dada and thanks also to Toro for the review.

  8. Having completed 27572 in good time I decided I would attempt the toughie which I rarely have time for. So glad I did as I almost completed but needed assistance with SW corner (14d;22d & 21a). Really enjoyable crossword. I did take ages to get 1a as I thought it was an anagram meaning some . Thanks to Dada and Toro.

  9. I know its Thursday, but I’m always behind the pack. Thought I’d had a result, only to find that PREACHER for 17d was wrong. Never mind – onto Wednesday’s challenge. Thank to Dada & to Toro. Sh-Shoney.

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