Toughie 1274 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 1274

Toughie No 1274 by Dada

Back to the Future

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Once again Dada has chosen to send one of his easier puzzles for the Toughie slot.  Perhaps one day he will put a “Paul” puzzle in the wrong envelope!

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    Artificial frequency unit doesn’t start without it (6)
ERSATZ: the derived SI unit of frequency without its initial letter (doesn’t start) around (without) the two-letter abbreviation for “it” or Sex Appeal

5a    Worthless items shut up, and shut up again! (6)
SHLOCK: this word, of Yiddish origin, for worthless items is a charade of a two-letter exhortation to shut up followed by a verb meaning to shut up securely

10a    American event went on and on, endlessly (5)
RODEO: a charade of a verb meaning went on a horse and O[n] without its final letter (endlessly)

11a    Cook only in a case of sauce with onions (9)
LYONNAISE: an anagram (cook) of ONLY IN A and the outer letters (case) of S[auc]E

12a    Butterfly working in spring (7)
MONARCH: a two-letter word meaning working inside a Spring month

13a    Label clocks back to front (7)
STICKER: start with a slang word for clocks or timepieces and then move the final letter (back) to the front

14a    Then for future? Duck as starter (9)
ANTIPASTO: in a sort of negative convoluted way the first eight letters could mean then for the future, but I think it’s a lot to ask, just add O (duck) to get an Italian starter dish – am I missing something her?

17a    Assistant on a round  box (5)
CADDY: this person who assists on a round of golf is also a type of box for storing tea

18a    Better artist, film director (5)
CAPRA: a verb meaning to better followed by the usual artist

19a    Dairy product representative fed to milk drinker? (9)
CAMEMBERT: a representative, like one who represents a constituency in parliament, inside (fed to) a domestic pet that laps up milk

21a    European nation — country near to collapse, describing Italy (7)
UKRAINE: a country that nearly ceased to exist followed by an anagram (to collapse) of NEAR around the IVR code for Italy

23a    Show off snake’s head and dog’s tail? (7)
SWAGGER: the initial letter (head) of S[nake] followed by a word that could be the tail of a dog

25a    Something rounded and transparent, where dog keeps half-cooked dinner (3,6)
BOW WINDOW: a childish term for a dog around an anagram (cooked) of the first half of DIN[ner]

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a    Unfamiliar story in article (5)
ALIEN: a story or untruth inside the two-letter indefinite article

27a    Cold, strong and hard (6)
FRIGID: the musical notation for strong or loud followed by an adjective meaning hard or unyielding

28a    One dashing  nose? (6)
RUNNER: two definitions – the second being the nose of someone with a cold


2d    Element took charge of welcoming party (5)
RADON: a verb meaning took charge of around the two-letter word for a party

3d    A converted Roman Catholic official initially happy to see texts removed from the Bible (9)
APOCRYPHA: the A from the clue followed by an anagram (converted) of the abbreviation for Roman Catholic with the initial letter of O[fficer] and HAPPY

4d    Nothing left in European city, old city abandoned (5)
ZILCH: L(eft} inside a European city from which the usual two-letter old city has been dropped (abandoned)

5d    Partners — most row badly in bitter experience (9)
SNOWSTORM: two of the usual bridge partners followed by an anagram (badly) of MOST ROW

6d    One after something inspirational? It’s a wrap! (5)
LUNGI: I (one) after the organ used for breathing (inspiring)

7d    After some editing, I checked a flier from North America (9)
CHICKADEE: an anagram (after some editing) of I CHECKED A

8d    Atrocity has a place in war (6)
CRIMEA: an atrocity or misdeed followed by the A from the clue

9d    Robust  sailor? (6)
HEARTY: two definitions – an adjective meaning robust and an old form of address, usually in the plural, for a sailor

15d    First-class prizes brought over (3-6)
TOP-DRAWER: two words for a prize, both reversed (brought over)

16d    Came first — or came after? (9)
SUCCEEDED: two definitions – came first or won and came after or followed

17d    Second invitation — sorry? (4,5)
COME AGAIN: this could be an invitation to pay a repeat visit

18d    Gosh, there’s not much to eat! (6)
CRUMBS: if this is all that’s left then it’s not much to eat!

20d    Seat unseated, say? (6)
THRONE: sounds like (say) an adjective meaning unseated or ousted

22d    Topping passage of music in Gloriana (5)
ICING: hidden (passage of) inside the clue

23d    One working with cloth in filthy place (5)
SEWER: two definitions – someone who works with cloth and a filthy place full of liquid waste

24d    Men discussed appearance (5)
GUISE: sounds like (discussed) some men

Toro should be back from his travels by next week.

15 comments on “Toughie 1274

  1. I agree that this was not all that challenging. I did fall short on 6D and bunged in Lanai. I couldn’t justify it from the wordplay but it is a wraparound porch! I loved 7D because they’re favorites of mine and we have them in our garden. Thanks to Dada and to BD for today’s review.

  2. I enjoyed this offering from Dada very much even if it was a bit on the gentle side, many thanks to him and to our leader for the excellent review.

  3. I really enjoyed this puzzle, some quirky words and definitions. Quite a few cute moments while solving this. Many nice clues, particularly liked 25a, 5a, 22a, 19a 11a etc. I also thought “then for future” was a bit bizarre but it was clear enough what the answer needed to be.

    many thanks Dada for a most entertaining puzzle and thanks BD for review

  4. I have a problem with 5a because of the extra letter “C” – 7 letters rather than the 6 asked for? Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed solving this gentle Dada offering.- thanks to Dada and BD for the review.

      1. BD, elcid was pointing out that you analysed and explained 5A perfectly, but actually wrote down SCHLOCK rather than the required SHLOCK.

  5. First toughie I’ve had time for in a while. I struggled to complete but only needed help with 9d. As I don’t usually get very far with toughies I suppose this was relatively easy but much harder than back page. For me it would be ***/**** for difficulty and **** for enjoyment. Thanks to BD for help on 9d and confirmation of 6d.

  6. Even with the clues, I only got halfway through this one. Proof, yet again, that I’ve still got a long way to go. Many thanks BD – the reviews provide a great way to learn.

  7. Some clever stuff, and a few laughs. I found it hard and needed 2 hints, but with hindsight I can see why some of you thought it was relatively simple. ****/****

  8. 3*/3* for me. I got held up in the NW corner last night, so didn’t try again until this morning. I could see what 1a had to be, but have never heard of the abbreviation “sa” in that context. 25a and 4d were top clues; forced to choose between them l would plump for the former. Thanks to Dada, and to BD for enlightening me about sex appeal!

  9. Again strange how many find one puzzle easy and someone else (me) not so, and voce vers others. This is a *** because I could nt do NW corner, and some very poor clues, made so to confuse, and so without setter´s skill.
    1a Yes. guessed, but SA for “it” ?? No, sorry.
    5a. Yes , again guessed but why would we know yiddish words, never used by real Brits?
    8d Crime is an atrocity ? .A sin perhaps, but very OTT !!
    12d W have to be experet lepadoprists , or whatever, do we ? And the “spring” or leap from spring to March …?

    So NW spoit. Maybe I should have managed it, but…
    Finally “hearty” = sailor , mmmmmm

    1. Most of your complaints are about generally accepted crossword constructions. Perhaps you should think about the difference between a poor clue and one that you are unable to solve.

      By the way, all of your comments are subjected to moderation because of earlier abusive remarks, and will stay that way.

Comments are closed.