Toughie 1306 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1306

Toughie No 1306 by Dada

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BD Rating - Difficulty **/*** - Enjoyment ***

A fairly typical Tuesday-level puzzle with flashes of Dada playfulness and wit. An extra half-star for difficulty because I made heavy weather (even by my standards) of some clues in the bottom half.



1a Club doctor weeding around first of grass on field (8,5)
PITCHING WEDGE An anagram of (doctor) WEEDING around the first letter of grass goes after (on) a field of play in sport.

9a Recall crimes in shocking case, finally (9)
REMINISCE An anagram of (shocking) CRIMES IN followed by the last letter of (finally) case.

10a Soft and sexy old image (5)
PHOTO A charade of soft or quiet (as a musical instruction), a word for sexy and the abbreviation for old.

11a Woman drinking last of lager, overweight (5)
LARDY An increasingly quaint-sounding word for woman goes round (drinking) the last letter of lager.


12a Something clarified as every conclusion in dealing with case vague (4)
GHEE The respective last letters of (every conclusion in) dealing with case vague.


13a Fine spring (4)
WELL A double definition of a word meaning both in good health and a water source.

15a Damaged crate in a state in part of plant (7)
NECTARY An anagram of (damaged) CRATE inside a US state.

17a Capital -- could it be holding politician back? (7)
TBILISI A phrase meaning "could it be..." round (holding) a party politician, all reversed (back).

18a Break down, needing stretcher in competition (5,2)
CRACK UP A gruesome stretching device inside a trophy tournament.

20a Vicious circles with Welsh flower, female (7)
DISTAFF ...the female side of a family. A notorious Mr Vicious of the 1970s, reversed (circles), and followed by a Welsh river.

21a Audible testosterone-fuelled letters (4)
MAIL A homophone (audible) of the sex associated with testosterone.

22a African land for consumption elsewhere? (4)
TOGO Split (2,2), the solution gives a phrase meaning for takeaway.


23a One's roused to take back knight and queen (5)
RISER A reversal of (take back) the title given to a knight, plus the Queen's initials.

26a Beastly sound, no sound? (5)
NEIGH A homophone (sound) of an archaic or dialect word for no.

27a Victor contrived gain in old country (9)
CHAMPAIGN A tournament winner plus an anagram of (contrived) GAIN.

28a Insignificant sum of fifteen cents? (6-3-4)
NICKEL AND DIME Two US coins that add up to fifteen cents.


1d Setter left country, then the setter's in the money! (8,6)
PORTLAND CEMENT Left in nautical language, followed by a word for country, then the pronoun the setter uses to refer to himself inside a monetary unit.

2d Watch to send, wound up (5)
TIMER A verb meaning to send, reversed (wound up).

3d The other item pocketed, Ned Kelly initially in the money (5-5)
HANKY-PANKY A pocket accessory, followed by the initials of Ned Kelly inside a word for money or earnings.

4d Many years among that upstanding, fragrant bunch (7)
NOSEGAY A word meaning a long time inside (among) an old or dialect word for that, all reversed (upstanding).


5d Question's penned before, so there! (7)
WHEREAT A question word goes round ('s penned) a poetic word for before.  The solution is a conjunction meaning "at which point" or "upon which".

6d Dummy drug (4)
DOPE A double definition, the answer meaning both a fool and a drug (or to drug).

7d Curious things to see with car I customised (9)
ESOTERICA An anagram of (customised) TO SEE and CAR I.

8d A log, it's suggested, by which two elevens may be divided? (4,10)
GOAL DIFFERENCE A criterion used to determine football league table standings could be read as an anagram indication of A LOG.

14d Longed to clothe skin as describing some suits (10)
PINSTRIPED Longed or yearned around (to clothe) a verb meaning to skin or peel off.

Pinstriped car.

16d Two in union, one in wrong location? (9)
COALITION The Roman numeral one inside an anagram of (wrong) LOCATION.

19d Potter needs one mere reminder to act? (4,3)
POOL CUE A mere or similar body of water, plus a signal for an actor to move or speak.

20d Scene I love in play (7)
DIORAMA The Roman numeral one plus a nought (love in tennis), inside a theatrical work.


24d Novel views of what's coming shortly (3-2)
SCI-FI A cryptic definition of a futuristic genre of novel-writing.

25d Fashionable Marx, though baseless (4)
CHIC One of the Marx brothers, minus the final or bottom letter (baseless).

1d was my favourite of a number of clues with monetary references.

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

17 comments on “Toughie 1306

  1. Thanks for the hints Toro – needed a couple to finish. I enjoyed solving (most of) this – thanks to Dada too.

  2. Pleasant, steady solve. Enjoyed 1d [clever use of “setter” not seen before] but I have an aversion to clues about golf clubs.

    Thanks to Dada and Toro.

  3. My solving was delayed by my writing a few correct solutions in the grid but not necessarily in the squares they were supposed to go in

    A very slight increase in ‘toughness’ compared to recent Dadas and with a hint of the Halpern fun factor too. Thanks to him and Toro.

  4. Really enjoyed it. Difficult enough to keep us amused for a reasonable time with plenty to chuckle about. 1d was the last one to yield.
    Thanks Dada and Toro.

  5. This is another toughie that I thoroughly enjoyed. SE corner was generally the last in for me. Many thanks to all.

  6. Great fun and about 3*/4* for me. Some nicely misleading clues; I particularly liked 1 and 19 down. Many thanks to Dada, and to Toro for the review.

  7. Took me ages (so far all the Toughies do) but enjoyed the challenge and finished (eventually!) without needing any hints. Lots to enjoy in the wit and wordplay. 4-5*/4*.
    Thanks to Toro and to Dada.

  8. Can’t say that it was an easy ride. Took me a while to get into it but when 1d was sorted, everything fell in quite nicely. The only one I didn’t get was 26a. And I didn’t understand my right answer in 20a apart from the sex pistols singer. Thanks to Toro for the explanations and to dada for starting a tough week.

  9. Ps: Oh dear! Just looked up neigh in the dictionary. How could be not know that word.

  10. Much enjoyed this puzzle, though 6d (dummy drug) appeared in last thursday’s Times crossword, exactly the same (??!)

    i like 26a for repeating “sound”, and ok I liked 3d (the other). I also enjoyed the misdirection of the first setter in 1d. Took me a while to get the novel in 24d. I really liked the 15 cents (28a), but stupidly misspelled the ending of the first word ( with -LE) which made it hard for me to get the potter in 18d – but all was resolved

    Many thanks setter and toro

  11. I’m not a regular Toughie solver but when time permits I do enjoy a crack at them. Happy to say I completed this one unaided although 24d was my last one in and it took ages for the penny to drop, even with the checking letters in place. When it did, it was a real “doh!” moment.
    Thank you Dada for an enjoyable challenge, and to Toro for the review.

  12. Had a go. Confidant I could have finished it. Work/play got in the way. As usual Time Time Time. I would love The Toughies to appear on the ipad

  13. First toughe I’ven had time for in a while and throughlt enjoyed. Not too difficult. I needed a couple of hints in SE corner and a couple of confirmations where I had the correct answer but couldn’t get the rationale. Particularly liked all the long edge clues except 1ac-I don’t do sport!

  14. I didn’t get around to this Toughie until this morning (Wed) and very pleased I am that I did – partly because I completed the solve with very few hints, but mostly because in my opinion it was a puzzle more in keeping with how the Telegraph back page puzzles used to be. If I’d not looked at the hints so early in the solving in order to get 28 across, I maybe could have finished it unaided. That said, its not an expression I’ve come across before and one for the memory bank. A most enjoyable tussle, thanks to Dada and to Toro for the hints.

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