Toughie 1282 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 1282

Toughie No 1282 by Shamus

Mungo and Jerry

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The traditional easy start to the Toughie week, but nonetheless an entertaining puzzle.

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.


7a    One attending course as form’s student (8)
RACEGOER: if the setter had given this gambler as “one attending course as a student of the form of horses” it would have been too easy!

9a    Like a frustrated caller or cargo deck passenger? (2,4)
ON HOLD: don’t you just hate it when the person you are speaking to on the telephone goes away and all you can hear is bland music – it could also mean a ship’s cargo deck passenger, but I would have thought that the first word would usually be different in this context

10a    Use spoon in kitchen for porridge (4)
STIR: porridge here is prison, not a breakfast dish – personally I used a spurtle instead of a spoon for my porridge this morning!

11a    Outcry with jail riots? Sign of wit is needed (10)
JOCULARITY: an anagram (riots) of OUTCRY with JAIL

12a    Ointment? Masseur’s beginning with a large amount put back (6)
BALSAM: the initial letter (beginning) of M[asseur], the A from the clue and a large amount, particularly of cake, all reversed (put back)

14a    Park, perhaps, showing old twisted rope around lake, right? (8)
EXPLORER: cunningly concealed by the capitalisation used for the first word in the clue, Mungo Park is an example (perhaps) of this type of adventurer – a two-letter word meaning old, as in an old or former partner, followed by an anagram (twisted) of ROPE around L(ake) and finally R(ight)

15a    Read in addition about retired gent with yen like a fusspot? (6)
PRISSY: the two-letter abbreviation for an addition made to a communication around the reversal (retired) of a gent and followed by Y(en)

17a    Figure is protecting back of demonstration, rallies, etc? (6)
TENNIS: a cardinal number (figure) and IS around the final letter (back) of [demonstration]N gives a game that involves rallies etc.

20a    Confused chap: ‘I’m the missing husband, that’s definite‘ (8)
EMPHATIC: an anagram (confused) of CHAP I’M T[H]E without (missing) one of the H(usband)s

22a    Time to get screw? (3,3)
PAY DAY: a cryptic definition of when to collect one’s wages (screw)

23a    Touch down east of borough in New York state (10)
QUEENSLAND: a verb meaning to touch down, of an aircraft, to the right (east in an across clue) of a borough in New York gives a state in Australia

24a    Manage to get part in comic opera (4)
COPE: hidden (part) inside the clue

25a    Claim to reduce workforce by day (6)
DEMAND: a verb meaning to reduce the workforce followed by D(ay)

26a    Harps played by group wanting bass for emotional piece (8)
RHAPSODY: an anagram (played) of HARPS followed by a group or organization without (wanting) its initial B(ass)


1d    Like a final wheeze, just in time? (4-4)
LAST GASP: a word meaning final or ultimate followed by a wheeze or noisy intake of breath

2d    Paralympic champion making feature crossing river (4)
WEIR: the surname of a famous Paralympic wheelchair athlete is also a dam across a river

3d    Record predicament in bottleneck (3,3)
LOG JAM: a record or journal followed by a predicament

4d    Pass round Home Counties and break down (8)
COLLAPSE: a mountain pass followed by a ring or circuit and the location of the Home Counties

5d    Italian lady getting cautious about wine (10)
CHARDONNAY: a courtesy title used for an Italian lady inside an adjective meaning cautious or careful

6d    Bookish graduate, one with credentials having no concerns (6)
BLITHE: a graduate with a “bookish” degree followed by the title given to an accredited ambassador

8d    Criminal enterprise  that conveys great volume? (6)
RACKET: two definitions – the second being a loud unpleasant noise

13d    Sun on excitable sheikh snubbing tiny meat dish (5,5)
SHISH KEBAB: S(un) followed by an anagram (excitable) of SHEIKH and a word meaning tiny without (snubbing) its final letter

16d    Varied details left out in case of strange agricultural scheme (3-5)
SET-ASIDE: an anagram (varied) of DETAI[L]S without the L(eft) inside the outer letters (case) of S[trang]E

18d    Fearsome rush made pets scamper (8)
STAMPEDE: an anagram (scamper) of MADE PETS

19d    Something for sweet city refuge? (6)
ÉCLAIR: the postcode of the City of London followed by a refuge or retreat

21d    Cat in address of male bordering river (6)
MOUSER: this cat that is kept in order to catch rodents is derived by putting the two-letter form of address for an adult male around a Yorkshire river

22d    One, say, in velodrome reported as small-time retailer? (6)
PEDLAR: sounds like (reported) someone who could be cycling round a velodrome

24d    Find player to make throw (4)
CAST: two definitions – to find someone to play a part in a drama and a verb meaning to throw

For those of you who don’t know, Shamus, as Philip Marlow, sets some of the questions in Only Connect

29 comments on “Toughie 1282

  1. Nice one. Never heard of 14A, but worked it out from the clue and confirmed on Google. Also worked out the 11A anagram but I don’t understand the definition. The only one I could not solve was 2D, another person I’ve never heard of until now. I liked 17A and 20A. thanks to Shamus, and BD for the review.

  2. Great start of the week. Even though I had to reveal 6d. I didn’t get the b”lit” for bookish graduate. And 17a also. Fave was 22d. I do like those “sounds like”. Thanks to shamus and M&J for the review

      1. Just listened to the lyrics to that golden oldie – they were definitely smoking herbal cigarettes in my opinion…

      2. M&J was not completely wasted … it helped me solve today’s offering from Shamus.

        Thanks for reminding me about Only Connect … forgot to record it yesterday… iPlayer to the rescue! I don’t know who are cleverer … the contestants or the question setters?

  3. I really enjoyed this.
    I was defeated by 2d – there’s always at least one whenever I venture into Toughie Land.
    7a took me forever and was my last answer – not good at racing.
    I’ve never heard of the 14a explorer but found him, eventually, and I dithered about the first bit of 9a but that was sorted out by 4d.
    I liked 10 and 20a and 5 and 18d. My favourite was 1d.
    With thanks to Shamus and to BD.

    1. So glad your comment persuaded me to give this one a go. Didn’t quite match Tony’s red letter day – I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know the name of 2d and I wrongly parsed 5d so was trying to get the Italian lady round the cautious/wine. You will not be surprised to learn that there isn’t an Italian lady whose name contains ‘rioja’
      Needless to say, that left me with somewhat of an issue concerning 17a!
      Thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and will def. try another Shamus Toughie in the future. Many thanks both to him for the puzzle and to BD for putting me right via the hints.
      By the way, Kath, younger daughter ‘phoned AGAIN tonight!!!

      1. Well I gave it a go…and I got all but five. Though I did get 5d. 4d and 14a flummoxed me completely. 15a was a complete guess.
        Favourites were 7 and 23a.
        Thank you to Shamus and to BD for blogging. Love that you are a porridge man and use a spurtle. Porridge is a serious subject.
        Jane, only a few more days to go. You’re doing well.

      2. They’ve rumbled you and are now trying to find out what it is that you’re not telling them – speaking as the voice of experience here. Last time I tried to keep something from our two (a really nice surprise) they were on the phone to each other faster than rats up drainpipes.

        1. Think I may still be safe – her reason for calling was to tell me that the young man in question had told her that he is taking her to Paris for her birthday. All quiet on the elder daughter front, so far!

  4. Thanks to Shamus and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Too difficult for me, needed 13 hints to finish.

  5. Not surprisingly we had to seek Google help for 2d. Perhaps if the clue had read “One going on the radio making feature crossing river” would have been fairer to distant solvers and given us an extra chuckle too. Sorted everything out without too many hold-ups. Enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks Shamus and BD.

  6. A gentle but not unenjoyable puzzle: 2*/3* or so. Favourite was 14a (and l rarely go for an anagram). Thanks to Shamus, and to Big Dave (l preferred MJ’s cover of the Stones’ “l just wanna make love to you” to “In the Summertime”!).

  7. I’d never heard of the alternative meaning of screw, flummoxed on that one but did know 1a. 30a made me laugh. Thanks Shamus and BD

        1. Hi Derek, Lordy how I miss your wine choices. Not Scottish as far as I am aware, but until I was 21 I had dual nationality as an American. Never really been sure where I belong, my adopting parents separated and went to Greece and Turkey..adopting Mum from Newport south Wales and adopting Dad a Lymington boy. Hampshire.

  8. Not a very tough toughie!

    Faves : 12a, 14a, 5d & 13d.

    Forgot to print out the grid and clues to the cryptic but will do so now!

  9. 30/10/14. Just finished Tuesday’s Toughie which while not as hard as some was nevertheless enjoyable. 22a was a new one on me. Because of engineering background I was checking all sorts of unheard-of reference books about screw types and forms, none of which helped! Also had to look up Google for 2d (WEIR), and 14a (PARK the explorer). Is this considered poor form for solvers or am I still able to claim a “finished” having resorted to such underhand tactics? Anyway, many thanks to Shamus and BD for his explanations. Sh-Shoney

    1. There is no such thing as cheating, if there was there would be no need for this blog! Just set your own personal target.

      By the way, all comments are date and time stamped.

Comments are closed.