Toughie 1455 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1455

Toughie No 1455 by Dada

Bottoms up!

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

Another fairly easy puzzle from Dada, but more fun than many previous ones.

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    In Scotland, it flows  away (5)
FORTH: two definitions

4a    Violence, as bear enters outskirts of Torquay (8)
THUGGERY: what you might call a bear, based on the tight embrace with which it is associated, inside the outer letters of T[orqua]Y

10a    While for instance in South Africa, one finds a spear (7)
ASSEGAI: a two-letter word meaning while followed by the two-letter Latin abbreviation of “for instance” inside S(outh) A(frica) and finally I (one)

11a    A bird — or two? (7)
TITLARK: split as (3,4) this gives two birds

12a    Container that’s white, by the sound of it? (4)
PAIL: sounds like an adjective meaning white or light in colour

13a    Try removing odd bits of peas, perhaps (5)
ESSAY: remove the odd bits of [p]E[a]S and add a three-letter word meaning perhaps

14a    Pine for a girl (4)
MISS: two definitions – the second being a word for a girl rather than a girl’s name

17a    Soft deckchair then designed to receive someone’s rear (7-7)
CHICKEN-HEARTED: once you have decided on the definition the rest, an anagram (designed) of DECKCHAIR THEN around (to receive) the final letter (rear) of [someon]E, is quite easy

19a    One first in pants bemoaning elastic (7,7)
OPENING BATSMAN: once again the hardest bit is isolating the definition, and realising that it relates to cricket – an anagram (elastic) of PANTS BEMOANING

22a    Taste of tobacco came as leaf chewed (4)
COCA: hidden (taste of) inside the clue is a leaf that can be chewed

23a    Fast — opposite primarily being slow (5)
LENTO: a period of fasting followed by the initial letter (primarily) of O[pposite] gives a musical term meaning play slowly

24a    Tail on rabbits, short? (4)
SCUT: to get the object described by this all-in-one clue, the final letter (tail) of [rabbit]S is followed by an adjective meaning short

27a    Experiencing much good fortune, spread here perhaps? (2,1,4)
ON A ROLL: one of the places where you might find spread or butter

28a    Ring back shortly, soon in the country (7)
LEBANON: most of (shortly) a verb meaning to ring is reversed and followed by a word meaning soon

29a    African American accommodating European in empty space (8)
SUDANESE: a two-letter American around (accommodating) a European nation all inside S[pac]E without its inner letters (empty)

30a    Design steps for climbing over a fence, did you say? (5)
STYLE: sounds like (did you say) some steps for climbing over a fence


1d    Boring group requiring assembly (4-4)
FLAT-PACK: an adjective meaning boring or dull followed by a group of animals

2d    Notedly great Italian ship heading for Istanbul in cast iron (7)
ROSSINI: the usual two-letter ship and the initial letter (heading) of I[stanbul] inside an anagram (cast) of IRON

3d    Drunk  on a plane, perhaps? (4)
HIGH: two definitions

5d    Trouble with nerve getting warmer (3-5,6)
HOT-WATER BOTTLE: some trouble followed by a word meaning nerve or courage

6d    Grit in food-processing system (4)
GUTS: this part of the body could be described loosely as a food-processing system

7d    Tool coming up with explosive test (7)
EXAMINE: the reversal (coming up in a down clue) of a three-letter tool followed by an explosive device

8d    Watch out certainly, carrying one grand (5)
YIKES: a word meaning certainly around (carrying) I (one) and an abbreviation for 1000 (grand)

9d    An uncomfortable feeling for those cushioned? (4,3,7)
PINS AND NEEDLES: these items may be kept in a cushion

15d    Film extra’s heart broke (5)
SKINT: a film or layer followed by the middle letter (heart) of [ex]T[ra]

16d    Beast finds dry lake, finally (5)
BRUTE: a word of French origin meaning dry or unsweetened followed by the final letter of [lak]E

18d    Nine cats going to the dogs, for example (8)
INSTANCE: a delightful anagram (going to the dogs) of NINE CATS

20d    Duck feeding fish to whales (7)
POCHARD: a type of fish inside a school whales

21d    Once translated, king impressed, taken in by my phoney language (7)
MOCKNEY: an anagram (translated) of ONCE around (impressed) K(ing) all inside (taken in by) MY gives the phoney language epitomised by Dick Van Dyke’s performance as cheerful chimney sweep Bert in Mary Poppins

22d    Short  mule, perhaps? (5)
CROSS: two definitions – short or irritable and the type of hybrid animal of which a mule is an example (perhaps)

25d    Doctor working, drop one’s trousers (4)
MOON: an abbreviation for a doctor followed by a word meaning working

26d    For starters, immense boot is supposed to be a wader (4)
IBIS: the initial letters (starters) of four words in the clue

Bufo should be back next week

19 comments on “Toughie 1455

  1. I’d give it 2*/4* as I did enjoy myself and was delighted to see the return of the duck that was a regular in DT back pagers in the early 70s.

    Thanks to Dada and BD.

  2. ***/*****

    Oh I thought this was fantastical fun. On first read through I only got a handful of clues and I had a sinking feeling that I was in for another yesterday. So I had a break.

    When I came back to it, it all fell into place. Some real laugh out load moments with 18d and 19a. Just so clever.

    Many many thanks to Dada and to BD for blogging. Great pic re 24a. God only knows what you Googled to get the 25d one??? Unless you own it and just took a picture…I hope not.

  3. Far be it for me to disagree with Big Dave , but I really couldn’t describe this as fairly easy. Not that I want it to be easy, it is called a Toughie, after all.I acknowledge that the good sprinkling of anagrams helped a lot and about 7 gettable clues to nudge one on .
    My best likes were 1d, 2d, 8d and the four long clues.
    I found 21 d took a long time to tease out and I needed several hints.
    Thanks Dada and BG.

  4. Fun and happy it wasn’t too taxing, the back pager took me longer.

    I thought 19a was a great anagram, even though it had a cricket answer, and I thought 22a had a great surface. I liked 5d (trouble with nerve) and 26d is another example of a very refreshing new take on an old friend, quite clever i thought with the boot/wader and a smooth surface for an acrostic.

    Nice to see countries mentioned that take me back to my childhood years (Sudan, Lebanon)

    Many thanks Dada and BD for review. I was hoping there was a bit more to 24a, thanks.

  5. Loved this one! And laughed out loud at both the pictures BD…so glad I decided to read the blog to see if I was correct in my parsing. I am really enjoying the toughie challenge whilst I have the time. Thanks Dada and BD…I think I am improving…

  6. The one that took the longest to parse was 20d as I thought it was the name of a duck and also that of a fish that whales like to feed on. A pod of whales was new to me.
    For 5d, no trouble down here. The temperature of the sea is 25C.
    A few friends from London, including my ex partner Brendan are coming for the bank holiday. Perfect weekend ahead.
    Favourite is 15d.
    Thanks to Dada and to BD for the blog.

  7. Definitely back in my place today. I always find Dada puzzles difficult and this was no exception – had to resort to the hints to get the last couple, 8&21d.
    Liked 27a & 25d, favourite slot goes to 18d.
    Thanks to Dada (one day I’ll find your wavelength!) and to BD – although I hated the 24a pic.

  8. That was really good fun – I enjoyed it very much and it didn’t take as long as the back page crossword, but then not many do.
    I didn’t get 21d even with more letters in than gaps left.
    I loved the piccy for 24a – what a good thing that RD is away – he’d be very upset!
    I did get in a muddle with definition/anagram indicators with 17 and 19a.
    Too many good clues to choose from so, pretty much at random, the ones that made me laugh were 4 and 17a and 1 and 6d. My favourite was 25d.
    With thanks to Dada and to BD.

  9. A laugh a minute as far as I’m concerned and made even more special by Gazza’s picture hint at 24a – not to mention 25d

    Lots of favourites today but I’ll go for 19a as my number one.

    Thanks to Dada for the puzzle and to Gazza for his brilliant review. You are one majorly talented blogger my man, it’s a privilege to know you.

    Won’t be around until next week, so I hope you all have a super weekend – Mrs SL and I are off for a slightly squiffy weekend at Edgbaston.

    1. Whilst Gazza is a first rate blogger that makes me smile…I think BD blogged this. What a good way to spend the weekend. Enjoy.

      1. Ooooops

        Grovel time, of course I meant BD and not Gazza – not that Gazza isn’t as good…….. Is that the sound of a JCB starting up?

        I will now retire and consider my future on this site – many apologies.

  10. Ah, so that is who the setter was. No wonder we enjoyed it. Our stumbling blocks were in the SW corner. we had never heard of that duck and it took a long time to sort out a potential answer from the wordplay alone and then check in BRB. This gave checkers for the other missing answers in that corner. The four long answers had yielded relatively easily which was a big help in getting many others. Really good fun we thought.
    Thanks Dada and BD.

  11. Found this one on the coffee table after my return from boating. Did it before work and it was great cheered-upper. Loved it. Needed the hint for 21d, but otherwise plain sailing with smiles throughout. A dead heat between 27a and 8d for the blue ribband. VMTs to BD and Dada

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