Toughie 1369 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1369

Toughie No 1369 by MynoT

“You can’t see the join”

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

A typical Tuesday Toughie – not too difficult but sadly lacking in sparkle.

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    Prepare to battle upstream furiously in Alaska? On the contrary (4,2,4)
TAKE UP ARMS: an anagram (furiously) of UPSTREAM not in the abbreviation for Alaska, but around it (on the contrary)

6a    In Paris I could go to hospital, heading off unruly fast driver (4)
JEHU: the French (in Paris) first person subjective singular followed by H(ospital) and the initial letter (heading) of U[nruly]

9a    Evil man provided backing, ending with little money (10)
MALEFICENT: a man followed by the reversal (backing) of a two-letter word meaning provided and a small amount of foreign money

10a    Take a risk with girl before church (4)
DICE: a girls name followed by the Church of England

12a    Eastern fighter concerned with one who’s left (6)
ÉMIGRÉ: E(astern) followed by a jet fighter and a two-letter word meaning concerned with

13a    Hereabouts he’s left to become a destroyer (8)
SABOTEUR: an anagram (to become) of [HE]REABOUTS without (left) the HE

15a    In expansion getting badly paid leads to ruin (12)
DILAPIDATION: an expansion around (getting) an anagram (badly) of PAID

18a    Avenge mortal that’s destroyed what may determine the flow of power (12)
GALVANOMETER: an anagram (destroyed) of AVENGE MORTAL

21a    Child’s vehicle holy man placed in front of car (8)
STROLLER: the usual two-letter abbreviation for a holy man followed by a colloquial word for a posh car

22a    Tear shown by minister to Queen (6)
CAREER: a verb meaning to minister to or tend followed by the Queen’s regnal cipher

24a    Wise to get out iron initially for an eagle (4)
ERNE: drop the initial letter of I[ron] from the first name of Eric Morecambe’s comedy partner

25a    Windy state of Elizabeth, having to hold on and, in short, book in (10)
BREEZINESS: the four-letter familiar name for Elizabeth around (having to hold) a two-letter word meaning on or concerning, the abbreviation for a book of the Old testament and IN

26a    Strip seen in Senegal at harvest-feast (4)
LATH: hidden inside (seen in) the clue

27a    Perhaps showing around even Poland in wake of credit for script (10)
SCREENPLAY: a three-letter word meaning perhaps of for example around the poetic word for even and the IVR code for Poland, both preceded by (in wake of) CR(edit)


1d    Warning doctor in row (6)
TIMBER: this warning cry from a lumberjack is derived by putting a medical qualification inside a row

2d    Temperature of 56 in east south-central state (6)
KELVIN: this measure of temperature is derived by putting the Roman numerals for 56 inside the abbreviation for an east south-central state of the US

3d    Big foul raven could be allowed no excuses (12)
UNFORGIVABLE: an anagram (could be) of BIG FOUL RAVEN

4d    Principal  structure (4)
ARCH: two definitions

5d    Fellow feeds a rook having got in for fruit (10)
MANDARINES: a fellow and a verb meaning feeds around the A from the clue and R(ook)

7d    Widespread infection of the outer skin? That’s not right (8)
EPIDEMIC: start with an adjective meaning of the outer skin and then drop (that’s not) the R(ight)

8d    Pope is said to be such a Continental monarch, with supporting sect (8)
UNERRING: a charade of the French (Continental) indefinite article, our monarch’s regnal cipher and a sect or group

11d    Elderly minority rushed over to meet Scotsman (12)
NONAGENARIAN: elderly, as in not yet a hundred years old, comes from minority or legal infancy, the reversal (over) of a verb meaning rushed and one of Crosswordland’s favourite Scotsmen

14d    Graduate needs capital and artifice, mostly being concerned with pressure in the air (10)
BAROMETRIC: a graduate followed by a European capital city and most of an artifice or deception

16d    Bombs ruin delicate finish (8)
EGGSHELL: a colloquial word for bombs or mines followed by ruin or havoc

17d    Instrument nun keeps at home to accompany tenor (8)
CLARINET: a member of an order of nuns around the two-letter word for at home and followed by T(enor)

19d    Disclose one in merrymaking (6)
REVEAL: A (one) inside some merrymaking

20d    Playful, loud and dangerous (6)
FRISKY: the musical notation for loud followed by an adjective meaning dangerous

23d    Only  a small pond (4)
MERE: two definitions

Let’s hope for better luck next week.

20 comments on “Toughie 1369

  1. 1*/2* – held up for a millisecond by the alternative spelling in 5d. Thanks to MynoT and BD.

  2. Managed to finish this one last night while listening to the blog conversation between Pommers, Kitty, Jane and the rest of the night shift.
    Quite a read and write compared to the back page.
    The only mistake I made was to put the answer of 7d in 8d. I’m not the pope obviously.
    Thanks to MynoT and to BD for the review.

  3. It amounts to the same thing BD but an alternative way of looking at 1a is with the “on the contrary” bit applying to the wording of the clue, thus changing it to “Prepare to battle Alaska in upstream furiously” MynoT does this a lot when one of his clues would “on the contrary” read as gibberish!
    Quite enjoyed 8d in an otherwise rather workaday puzzle.

    Thanks to MynoT and BD.

  4. Some education for me, hadn’t come across the wild charioteer (6a), the bible book abbreviation EZ (25a), or clare=nun (17d).

    I liked 1a (upstream in alaska, nice construction), 10a (take a risk with girl, nice surface), and I liked the “elderly minority” juxtaposition in 11d.

    I did think “east south central” (2d) was amusingly vague, leaving out only north and west, then I noticed that’s exactly how wikipedia describes this state. The answer is a scale rather than a temperature, but anyway.

    Many thanks MynoT and Big Dave

  5. Reasonable enough puzzle but, as BD pointed out, lacked a bit of sparkle. Thought 14d a bit wordy but enjoyed 10a for being concise and a trifle risque. Not very much more to say about it – so thanks to MynoT for the puzzle and BD for his review.

  6. Thanks to MynoT and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Very enjoyable needed 4 hints to finish. Favourite was 18a, Kirchoff’s Laws and all that. Was 3*/3* for me.

  7. Don’t usually attempt the Toughie, although is I have finished one or two in the dim and distant past (before discovering this blog) but thought I’d give it a go…. And what do you know.. Managed to finish it with a little bit of electronic input and a check on 9a which I had got wrong…’malefactor’ instead of ‘malificent’… Thereby not being able to get 5d.. Knew what it should be but with the wrong letters……..?for me this was definitely a ***\*** but then not being a Toughie regular, I have nothing to compare with. Might give another one a go.

    1. Well done Liz! Keep on trying the other setters of the ‘Toughie’ even if it means using the hints to help. You will soon pick up their traits.

  8. We did not race through this one. More like a steady plod but no major delays along the way. 25a was the last one for us to get our heads around.
    Thanks MynoT and BD.

  9. Bit of spare time (car in for repair) so thought I’d give this one a go. Didn’t find it as easy as others have done but got there with the aid of a few hints. 6a was a new one, as was the biblical abbreviation in 25a and the alternative spelling in 5d. Ashamed to admit that I didn’t know the eagle!

    No particular stand-out favourite although 10a raised a smile.
    Thanks to MynoT and BD.

  10. I think I am in line with general opinion on this one. I struggled with the back pager so the two puzzles together nicely filled the time available so I don’t have the “bad value for money” feeling that has happened on a few recent Tuesdays. Glad to say I had no trouble with Rufus this week

  11. Found this on a par with today’s cryptic for solving time and difficulty level. My only hang up was 6a, that I initially convinced myself was some sort of nickname for Jensen Button. Never a fan of convenient ‘alternative’ spellings anyway, so 5D irritated a bit. Thanks to MynoT and BD.

  12. I was somewhat off wavelength, so this didn’t go in easily for me. 3*/3*, l think, and my favourite has to be 6a. I seem to recall that he was beloved of Wodehouse, and often got a mention in Wooster’s ramblings. Thanks to MynoT, and to BD for the review.

  13. Golly gosh.

    I take comfort in the fact that some found this almost a breeze. It gives me something more to aspire to. The LH caused few problems. I wish I could say the same about the RH. 6a is certainly a new one.

    Many thanks to MynoT and to BD for blogging. How’s the Spitfire coming on?

  14. What with all the election debate excitement, I forgot to bring the paper home tonight, so had a go at this one in my rainy-day Toughie pile. I knew what 5d had to be, but my dictionary doesn’t give the alternative spelling, so that was my least favourite among a fairly dull bunch of clues. Still, I managed to finish without help, which is not always the Toughie way. Thanks to BD for the review and to MynoT for trying.
    3* difficulty, 2* fun

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