Toughie 1266 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1266

Toughie No 1266 by Messinae

Where’s Wallace?

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A typical Tuesday not-very Toughie with a few smiles along the way.

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    Like a drip, crow about enjoying America? — the opposite (11)
INTRAVENOUS: not a member of the crow family around a word meaning enjoying and the two-letter abbreviation for America, but the opposite

7a    Washer woman (French) beset by rubbish (7)
GROMMET: the abbreviation for a married French woman inside some rubbish – nothing to do with Wallace’s dog!

8a    Support  inobtrusive spy (7)
SLEEPER: two definitions – a support for railway lines and an agent who spends a long time establishing themselves as an inoffensive citizen preparing for the moment when they will be required to spy for a foreign power

10a    One’s wound from weapon character first fired (8)
ARMATURE: this part of a generator that has wire wound around it is derived form a weapon followed by a character or personality without (fired) its initial (first) letter

11a    Medal sunny state’s secured still (6)
BECALM: the three-letter abbreviation for a particular medal around the three-letter abbreviation for a sunny US state

13a    Smooth  author (4)
SAND: two definitions – a verb meaning to smooth and the surname adopted by the French author who had a relationship with Chopin

14a    Internet abuser after material — one means to scrape the bottom (6,4)
TOILET ROLL: an internet abuser or pest preceded by a type of material – love the definition!

16a    Tacky ornament! (5,5)
HORSE BRASS: a piece of equipment used to ornament an equine beast

18a    Book  entertainers (4)
ACTS: two definitions – a book of the New Testament and some entertainers

21a    Stay close by river (6)
ENDURE: a close or termination followed by a Yorkshire river

22a    Son’s given teacher riddle (8)
STRAINER: S(on) followed by a teacher gives something used as a riddle or sieve

24a    Obscure clue Don composed (7)
ENCLOUD: an anagram (composed) of CLUE DON

25a    Ringo fans at university forming a clique (2-5)
IN-GROUP: An anagram (fans) of RINGO followed by a word meaning at university

26a    Difficult situation held by weaker worker long since abandoned (11)
LAMPLIGHTER: a difficult situation inside (held by) an adjective meaning weaker

ARVE Error: need id and provider


1d    Fish leaves rock band to make superhero movie (4,3)
IRON MAN: start with a heavy metal group and drop (leaves) a freshwater fish that is closely related to the chub

2d    Salad ingredient mother’s fed to dog (6)
TOMATO: put a two-letter word meaning mother inside Dorothy’s dog in The Wizard of Oz

3d    Top grade examining body set to right (10)
ASTARBOARD: write out a top examination grade in full (1,4) and follow it with an examining body

4d    Direction of Dawn French is encompassing acting, initially (4)
EAST: The French for “is” around (encompassing) the initial letter of A[cting]

5d    Curious to peer at the Student Prince? (8)
OPERETTA: an anagram (curious) of TO PEER AT gives the type of light musical drama of which The Student Prince is an example (indicated by the question mark)

6d    Really performing rap? Certainly not me (7)
SOPRANO: a two-letter word meaning “really” followed by an anagram (performing) of RAP and a word meaning “certainly not” gives a singer that is definitely not associated with rap

7d    Dairy product sourced from butter (5,6)
GOAT’S CHEESE: this dairy product is sourced from an animal that is known for butting

9d    Sees through holiday hazard warning (6,5)
RUMBLE STRIP: a verb meaning sees through or is not deceived by followed by a holiday or excursion

12d    Shutting up about husband that’s tight (5,5)
CLOSE THING: a verb meaning shutting up or concealing around H(usband)

15d    Wounded hero, I’m keeping watch in part of estate (8)
HEIRLOOM: an anagram (wounded) of HERO I’M around (keeping) an interjection meaning watch or behold

17d    Revolutionary sort of tyre keeping cold (7)
RADICAL: a type of tyre around (keeping, again!) C(old)

19d    Aspect of chart-topper playing all over the country (7)
CONTOUR: the initial letter (topper in a down clue) of C[hart] followed by a phrase meaning playing all over the country (2,4)

20d    Worked in school experiencing stress that’s pronounced (6)
TAUGHT: sounds like (that’s pronounced) an adjective meaning experiencing stress

23d    Wedding vow left one adored (4)
IDOL: A wedding vow (1,2) followed by L(eft)

At least it was more difficult than today’s back-pager which I solved in what was, for me, a new record time (and by quite a margin).

21 comments on “Toughie 1266

  1. I enjoyed this one, favourites were 1a 6d and 14a thanks to Messinae and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. Defeated by 13A (perhaps because of the –for me– non-standard State abbreviation) and the first word of 25D, though Mr. Expat tells me the same expression for a hazard warning is used over here. 14A was a smiler, but I also liked 16A, 7D and 19D. Good fun altogether. Thanks to Messinae and to Big Dave for the review.

  3. I found this quite hard – got there in the end

    BD i think you mean 2-letter in 2d

    loved 14a, wasn’t convinced it was right at first, but yes!

    first in was 4d, Dawn French, which i quite liked. I like 1a as well, actually, many good clues, just took me a while

    many thanks messinae and BD

  4. What a pleasure to be so well connected. Internet makes it so much faster to find synonyms and cross references. Recognised the picture of the railway sleepers from Wikipedia entry for railway tie. I’m starting to use the same sources as you BD. But I don’t think I will surpass my master. I had to reveal at least 5 or 6 answers. Didn’t know 3d and 16a. Had 24a but couldn’t find it in dictionary. Apart from that I found today’s toughie quite enjoyable. Thanks to Messinae and to Big Dave for the review.

  5. Enjoyable, steady solve with a couple of chuckles. Loved 14a, 6d and 25a – never noticed “fans” as an anagrind before. I suppose things “fan out”.

    Thanks to Messinae and BD.

  6. I couldn’t finish it without considerable assistance, but I thoroughly 14a when I finally worked it out.Other likes include 7a and 8a. Thanks Messinae and BD.

  7. Have started attempting Tuesdays toughie and starting to get the hang of them I think. Thought 4d was clever, otherwise no real favourites. Brain aching now. Thanks to all.

  8. Only five off joining the Toughfty Club today but I have a pub to run and crib to play tonight. A sweet little puzzle to start especially Trolley Dash at 14 ac. Well it began with an internet pest. Well done to both the setter and the reviewer

  9. A gentle start to the toughie week but definitely fun. Thanks to Messinae and to BD for the usual superb review.

  10. Why, when I see ‘not very tough’ do I persist in believing that I can do it, even when I know that comment comes from our super-brain – BD!
    Managed seven or eight – mostly courtesy of 7d – before having to resort to the hints.
    Ashamed to admit that even revealing the answers left me in a complete fog on a couple of them.
    Obviously still a long way to go.

    1. Jane,
      If ever you don’t understand a hint or an answer, just ask for clarification. That’s what the blog’s here for.

    2. Keep on trying, Jane. When I first started doing the toughies, I was getting just a handful of answers, sometimes no more than two or three, and I was in awe of those who seemed to sail through them. I’m quite a bit more successful these days, just by being stubborn and persisting. Even so, there are still times I can’t complete without the hints and some days when I’m utterly defeated! I just keep on plugging away.

      1. Thanks to you both – encouragement much welcomed!
        Can you give me a simple break-down of 1a, please.

        1. We try not to give away too much in the hints, but that does not apply to the comments (apart from prize puzzles).

          RAVEN (crow) inside (i.e. the opposite of about) INTO (enjoying) and US (America)

          1. Thanks BD. Confusion arose because ‘America’ came before ‘ the opposite’. I was trying to incorporate the U.S. in the wrong place.
            Sorry if that doesn’t make sense!

  11. 14a induced a snigger and smile and the first word of 9d had us thinking for a while. We do know the word here too. Enjoyed the puzzle.
    Thanks Messinae and BD.

  12. Not really to my taste. I got about two-thirds of it before deciding l didn’t really care if l finished it or not. Looking at the hints for the ones l didn’t get, l see at 3d a word l have never heard of! I know when I’m beaten. Anyway, thanks to the setter for trying, and to BD for trying to keep me onboard.

  13. I enjoyed this a lot, maybe I’m easily amused but 16a was my favourite on that front.
    ***/**** here.

  14. Got there in the end after 4 sessions. Phew! Neither 3d nor 24 are in my BBB (Collins), so thanks to BD for reassuring me that my working out was correct. Thanks to Messinae for the workout 4*/4* for me with 14a as the standout chuckle inducer

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