Toughie 1298 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1298

Toughie No 1298 by Shamus

Can it really be Tuesday?

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

This is more like it – a decent Toughie on a Tuesday!

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    Process of brooding? (10)
INCUBATION: a not-very-cryptic definition of the act of sitting on eggs!

6a    Club payments coming directly from the North? (4)
DUES: split as (3,1) this is the direction in which one is travelling when coming directly from the North

9a    A sailor docked with company around island capital (7)
AJACCIO: the A from the clue followed by most of a four-letter word for a sailor and CO(mpany) around I(sland) gives the capital of Corsica

10a    Thrilling experiences touring area to East in walk (7)
TRAIPSE: some thrilling experiences around (touring) A(rea) and followed by E(ast)

12a    Shifted position in earth? (6,2,5)
CHANGE OF HEART: this could describe an anagram to which the answer is EARTH

14a    Encroachment delivering small medicinal box promotion (6)
INROAD: a four-letter word for a small Japanese medicinal box followed by a promotion or plug

15a    Poetic measure by poet left out? It’s a pedestrian recourse (8)
FOOTPATH: a measure used in poetry followed by the surname of the poet who married Ted Hughes, without L(eft)

17a    Breach of the peace in the Spencer fraternity? (8)
DISORDER: split as (2’1,5) this could mean a fraternity belonging to the late Princess of Wales

19a    Person taking out second child half-heartedly (6)
SNIPER: S(econd) followed by a small child with only one of its middle two letters (half-heartedly)

22a    China might offer this benefit? (13)
COMPANIONSHIP: the camaraderie offered by the kind of person for whom china is cockney rhyming slang

24a    Begin, say, current serial that’s broadcast (7)
ISRAELI: this Begin was the sixth Prime Minister of his country – the symbol for electric current followed by an anagram (broadcast) of SERIAL

25a    What was split in some dissection (7)
ANATOMY: the particle that was split by Ernest Rutherford and his team inside a three-letter word meaning some

26a    Comfort in coffee as expected (4)
EASE: hidden inside the clue

27a    Casual worker fixing straight time for Broadway play (3,7)
THE TEMPEST: a casual office worker around (fixing) the abbreviation for HET(erosexual / straight) and followed by the time zone for Broadway, NY – thanks to Jean-Luc for helping me out with a new-to-me abbreviation


1d    Proclamation of Welsh politician and spiritual leader (4)
IMAM: split as (1’1,2) this could be a proclamation made by a member of the Welsh Assembly

2d    Opportunist in section of church switching direction (7)
CHANCER: start with a section of a church and switch the final letter to the opposite direction

3d    A race at a club getting fancy European award (13)
BACCALAUREATE: an anagram (getting fancy) of A RACE AT A CLUB followed by E(uropean)

4d    Rule set in rowdy feeding place (6)
TROUGH: R(ule) inside a rowdy or ruffian

5d    Men admitting first note on cross is sound (8)
ORTHODOX: one of the usual two-letter abbreviations for men or soldiers followed by a three-letter conjunction meaning admitting or allowing, the first note of the scale in sol-fa notation and the letter shaped like a cross

7d    Posh ministerial aide getting dressed in Swedish city (7)
UPPSALA: the letter used to represent posh followed by the three-letter abbreviation for a senior aide to a government minister and preposition meaning “prepared in the manner of”

8d    This wear’s sported over front of torso? (10)
SWEATSHIRT: an anagram (sported) of THIS WEAR’S followed by (over) the initial letter (front) of T[orso]

11d    Boost run-down area this month (1,4,2,3,3)
A SHOT IN THE ARM: an anagram (run-down) of AREA THIS MONTH

13d    Spiteful mood about to disappear after sign of victory (10)
VINDICTIVE: a type of mood (a grammatical term for a form of a verb expressing the mode or manner of an action or of a state of being, not to be confused with a tense) without (to disappear) the A(bout) and preceded by the sign used to signify Victory

16d    Very sinful, like a spicy meal? (8)
DEVILISH: how one might describe a spicy meal

18d    Elite unit protecting carrier miles ahead for tennis star (7)
SAMPRAS: An elite army unit around (protecting) a carrier for small children with the M(iles) moved to the front of the word (ahead)

20d    Father with affectation carrying uncovered son — in this? (7)
PAPOOSE: a two-letter word for father followed by an affectation of mannerism around (carrying) [s]O[n] without its outer letters (uncovered)

21d    Minor fashionable musical composition (not half) (6)
INFANT: a two-letter word meaning fashionable or up-to-date followed by the first half of a musical composition that was popularised by a Disney film

23d    Growth in company significant after internal departures (4)
CYST: drop the inner letters (internal departures) from two words in the clue

Toro had hoped to return today, but was prevented by work commitments.

20 comments on “Toughie 1298

  1. Thanks BD for the opening of today’s blog. 27a you have to take temp and insert het for heterosexual.

  2. I agree. It was a nice challenge for a Tuesday. But very enjoyable indeed. Thanks for the help on that SE corner and sorry about my impatience. Thanks to Shamus too of course.

  3. Great puzzle, though I didn’t manage to fully parse 27a (thank you jean-luc cheval) or 7d (thank you BD – though “getting dressed” = “a la” still seems a bit weird to me).

    A few bits of interesting learning for me today, the capital in 9a, the small medicinal box in 14a, the poet in 15a.

    8a is a nice &lit

    1a reads like a straight definition, you really have to squint to see a cryptic aspect.

    I liked 11a, because even with the answer it took me ages to realise it was an anagram!

    Many thanks Shamus and Big Dave

  4. I really enjoyed this, though it took a bit longer than a usual Tuesday toughie. I did not know the 9A island, and I needed the review to understand how 5D and 27A were fully parsed (never heard of that abbreviation for heterosexual, either. Isn’t is usually hetero?). Loved 24A because I was completely misled for a good while.

    For 16D, I was going along the lines of a particular type of spicy dish, such as deviled eggs, or anything my cookbooks call Diablo.

    Thanks to BD for the review and Shamus for the fun.

  5. Had plenty of time left after the backpage cryptic, so toughie it was, and for a toughie I gave it a **/****,very enjoyable ,needed the HET explanation from Shamus-thanks, the EST time zone has been in three recent crosswords, and originally had Asalcio for 9a, not visited Corsica.

  6. 3*/3* for me, and 27a as favourite clue (even though l needed the hint – and J-LC’s explanation – to parse it properly). Thanks to Shamus, and to BD for the review.

  7. I needed Google to confirm my answers for 9a, 14a and 7d. Had missed the HET part of 27a too. We always seem to get a lot of pleasure out of Shamus puzzles and this lived up to expectations.
    Thanks Shamus and BD.

  8. Well I managed to complete it but with a few question marks where I hadn’t fully understood the parsing. An enjoyable challenge set at just the right level of toughness for me.
    Thanks Shamus and to BD for filling in the gaps in my understanding of 27a and 13d.

  9. Good fun from Shamus – even tho 6a defeated me.

    Particularly enjoyed the devious 12a, the crafty 24a and the chuckleworthy 27a.

    My only criticism is that if you have a rather feeble clue, why on earth put it at 1a?

    Thanks to Shamus and BD

  10. Feeling encouraged by today’s easier back pager I had a try here once more and actually finished this (quite rare for me, and unaided apart from admittedly needing a little electronic help to do the last four or five). It’s the first I’ve finished without reading here that it was easy, too.
    I’m very grateful for BDs decoding of several of my answers, and to Shamus for the enjoyment.

  11. I did not finish unaided but I really enjoyed the clues I got. It was nice to see the reappearance of 24a’s , under a better guise.My cold/man flu has morphed into something like mumps, which one is not supposed to get again.
    Thanks Bd and Shamus.

  12. Thanks to BD for sorting out 13d. In the time i had I would never have parsed properly. 12a, 24a and 27a top clues. Cheers Shamus, as BD says nice to have a toughie on a Tuesday

  13. Had “subs” for 6a which fitted but of course no link to North.
    Must be thick but while I can see 1d reads I ‘m am” where does the Welsh Assembly come in?

    1. Just as MP means “Member of Parliament”, AM means “Assembly Member” (of the National Assembly for Wales), so such a member would be styled “Dai Jones AM”.

  14. Yes! Finished without help, Wednesday morning. However, didn’t understand ; 1d (now explained by BD at 13 above), 15a was too complicated for me but guessed it and 27a was hopelessly convoluted for my brain. Thought 24a was excellent and learnt a new word at 14a. Its great when you work out an unknown word and then find it in the BRB! Despite the “guesses” enjoyed the puzzle, so ***/*** for me. Thanks to Shamus and also to BD. Sh-Shoney.

  15. Finally finished this morning. Took me three goes, but got there in the end. Thanks to Shamus for the workout and to BD for explanations that were beyond me, I just bunged in and hoped. 4*/4*

  16. This took me a while to do, but it was most entertaining. I’ve always liked Shamus’s puzzles, and found plenty of enjoyment to be had in this one. My joint faves are 15a and 8d. ****/**** for me.

    I managed to complete this without help, but I’m delighted to have Big Dave’s excellent review. I, too, had ‘subs’ instead of ‘dues’. No wonder I couldn’t understand why at the time! I parsed 24a correctly, but didn’t make the link with the Prime Minister. Although I had the correct answers, I needed the explanations for ‘the’ in 27a and for ‘la’ in 7a.

    My thanks and appreciation to both Shamus and Big Dave.

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