Toughie 1393 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1393

Toughie No 1393 by Dada

How did Dada know the Liberals would get a beating?

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

I found this to be a bit tougher than usual for a Tuesday, which was a very pleasant surprise.

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    Machiavellian as a physiotherapist? (12)
MANIPULATIVE: this could describe a physiotherapist

9a    Priest screening sinful, sexy dance (7)
LAMBADA: a Buddhist priest around (screening) an adjective meaning sinful

10a    Vessel almost entirely filled with iodine for scientist (7)
GALILEO: most of a vessel of the kind which was used formerly by Spaniards for carrying treasure around the chemical symbol for iodine

11a    Youth finds place for driving van, finally (4)
TEEN: a place for driving on the golf course followed by the final letter of [va]N

12a    Something black in a seam round back of collar, a shade of pink (5)
CORAL: something black that is usually found in an underground seam around the final letter (back) of [colla]R

13a    For example, a straight  worker (4)
HAND: two definitions – the first being what a straight is an example of in poker

16a    Blissful, yes, with nail getting hammered? (7)
ELYSIAN: an anagram (getting hammered) of YES with NAIL

17a    Steep cracks then fashionable for sculptor (7)
EPSTEIN: an anagram (cracks) of STEEP followed by the two-letter word meaning fashionable

18a    Deer carrying piano is a musician (7)
HARPIST: a male red deer around P(iano) and IS

21a    Bumps felt by Liberal after a beating (7)
BRAILLE: these bumps that are felt by the blind are an anagram (after a beating) of LIBERAL – did our setter anticipate last week’s general election result?

23a    Britain behind 193 states backing northern capital (4)
NUUK: a two-letter abbreviation that represents part of the British Isles follows (behind) the reversal (backing) of the two-letter abbreviation for the worldwide organisation that is formed of 193 states

24a    Antigonus somewhat cross (5)
TIGON: hidden (somewhat) inside the clue is a cross between two of the larger members of the cat family

25a    Mint, one eaten by someone serving porridge (4)
COIN: this verb meaning to mint is derived from I (one) inside (eaten by) someone serving porridge or time in prison

28a    Constant, heading off straight? (7)
ENDLESS: the only thing I can come up with is to drop the initial B from a phrase (4,4) that could, at a pinch, mean straight – have you any better ideas?

29a    US states including Illinois — location of East and South? (7)
MIDWEST: split the answer as (3,4) and it could describe the location of E(ast) and S(outh)

30a    Appearing twice, quite over-decorated (6-6)
PRETTY-PRETTY: two instances of the same word (appearing twice) meaning quite or nearly


1d    The Queen Mother’s embraced pretentious ceremony (7)
MUMMERY: the Queen’s regnal cipher inside (embraced) a five-letter word for mother

2d    Cool, though without ice? (4)
NEAT: two definitions – cool or excellent and whisky, for example, without ice – serving whisky with ice should be a capital offence!

3d    Unit overly into design (7)
PLATOON: an adverb meaning overly inside a design

4d    Toboggan packed with funny cases (7)
LUGGAGE: a light toboggan around a funny or joke

5d    Unlikely  description of a giraffe? (4)
TALL: two definitions – unlikely, of a story, and a description of a giraffe

6d    Identification device injected into rodent showing current potential (7)
VOLTAGE: a three-letter device used for identification inside (injected into) a rodent

7d    The angler’s choice halved, curiously one’s hooked (7,6)
CLOTHES HANGER: an anagram (curiously) of THE ANGLER’S with half of CHO(ice) – I know it’s clued with an anagram, but this definition is particularly weak

8d    My word is no bond — get rent out! (6,7)
GORDON BENNETT: an anagram (out) of NO BOND GET RENT

14d    Feature of a score rising and falling (5)
MINIM: a palindromic (rising and falling) note (feature of a musical score)

15d    Quality cuppa dope takes before midday (5)
ASSAM: my favourite type of tea (quality cuppa) comes from a charade of a dope or fool followed by a two-letter abbreviation meaning before midday

19d    Turn over or below a complete circuit in a game (7)
ROUNDER: the reversal (turn over in a down clue) of OR followed by a word meaning below or beneath

20d    Feeling dehydrated, a bunch of fives catching southpaw’s head (7)
THIRSTY: a number that is a multiple of five around the initial letter (head) of S[outhpaw]

21d    Flowerthat’s made with flour! (7)
BLOOMER: two definitions – another word for a flower and a longish crusty loaf of white bread

22d    Ladies and gentlemen, a cathedral city, more or less (7)
LOOSELY: ladies and gents are two of these – just add the usual cathedral city

26d    One side  set out (4)
LEFT: two definitions – one of the two sides and a verb meaning set out or departed

27d    Censor film about princess (4)
EDIT: Crosswordland’s favourite two-letter Spielberg film around a former princess

Toro is unavailable today.

23 comments on “Toughie 1393

  1. Finished this one on the train heading back to London from Brighton this morning. Guessed the correct northern capital from the wordplay but it was new to us. A decent challenge for us and heaps of fun. Really enjoyed it.
    Thanks Dada and BD.

  2. I thought that it was going to be normal Tuesday fare until I got stuck on the SE corner. With a little electronic aid I eventually finished. So agree with the ***

    Thanks to Dada and BD for the review.

  3. Argh! I had the 193 states but stupidly failed to translate Britain into UK, so I missed that one – many thanks BD for the parsing.

    The rest was fine, many thanks Dada

  4. No trouble with this one.
    That makes a nice change as I haven’t been able to complete a full grid for a while.
    Found most of the clues were rather well written and a real pleasure to solve.
    Favourite is 21a.
    Thanks to Dada and to BD for the review.

  5. I made my way through this one with a little electronic help. I had never heard of 21d referring to bread, nor of the interesting creature in 24a.

    But all in all I thought this was quite doable for a toughie, unlike some!

    3*/4* would seem about right!

    Thanks for the enjoyment Dada and BD for the hints which did clarify some of the word plays that I had guessed at!

    1. A very enjoyable puzzle for the start to the ‘Toughie’ week from Dada. Like Liverpool Mike, the SE corner held me up but when completed I couldn’t see why.

      Thanks to Dada for the puzzle and BD for the review. Favourite was 1a as it immediately sprang to mind and started me off in fine style. I will hopefully see some of you next Tuesday at the George – looking forward to that.

      1. Sorry George, don’t know how my comment ended up in your thread. My keyboard’s probably on it’s way out, much like me

  6. Found this very difficult …only managed to finish with help of the hints… thanks to BD for that. I didn’t get 23a….where is that anyway? And had trouble with 17a by making it more difficult for myself by trying to use ‘sheer’ instead of ‘steep’ in the anagram, but got there eventually. My favourite clue was 8d…that made me laugh! A favourite expression in our house and one I only heard after I moved to Norfolk. I also liked 21d.An enjoyable puzzle once I had got started, but for me quite an effort. ***/***

    1. 23a is the capital of Greenland. A fact that I did not know until today.

  7. Almost all of the top half went in quickly, but the bottom half was a much slower effort. 8D was almost the last one in. I’m familiar with the expression, but even when I lived in the UK I don’t recall anyone I knew ever using it. We tended to be somewhat more earthy. I missed out on 23A (OK, I admit it. I threw ‘noun’ in there). 22D was my runaway favorite, though I did like 21A also. I did enjoy this, so thanks to Dada, and to BD for the review.

    1. I only heard this expression when I was still in the UK and my sister married a cockney many years ago – when it became all too well known under some circumstances!

  8. Needed quite a bit of electronic help for this one – above my pay grade, I think!
    Even with the hints, I don’t ‘get’ 29a – can someone help out, please?

    Thanks to Dada, whose puzzles I never expect to conquer, and to BD for the voice of reason.

      1. If you could have seen the scrap of paper on my desk where I was working trying to parse this particular clue . Fermats theorem seemed a piece of cake

    1. I will try. Illinois is one of the US States that make up what is known as the American Midwest (US States including Illinois). Now, treat Midwest as a hyphenated word (mid-west). You will see that the 1-letter abbreviations for east and south make up the middle (mid) of the word ‘west.’ (location of east and south).

    2. Many thanks, Gazza & Chris. I think I was looking for something far too complex – even resorted to poring over maps of the US!
      Funny how the Midwest isn’t, if you see what I mean. Must investigate further.

      1. It is confusing, because it’s really North Central in terms of location, and a couple of the 12 States designated as Midwest are actually in the Eastern time zone. This is one of those clues that I’m sure Rabbit Dave would not approve of being included in a British newspaper!

  9. The only one l didn’t get is 7d. Fair clue, l suppose, but l was seduced down a piscatorial blind alley so didn’t make the connection. I liked 22d. 3*/3* overall is about right. Ta to Dada and BD.

  10. Thanks to Dada and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Really enjoyed this, but ran out of brain , needed 5 hints to finish, should’ve left it til the morning. Favourite was 29a. Was 3/3* for me.

  11. I couldn’t see 7d either, but it’s pretty obvious once you know! Agree BD that the def is a bit feeble. On the other hand I loved 21a [yessss], 8d and 22d. A bit tougher [and a lot more fun] than usual from Dada – thanks to him and to BD for the explanations. Re 28a – that’s all I could come up with too.

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