Toughie 1457 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1457

Toughie No 1457 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Toro

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

Misdirections and alternative meanings abound in this very nice puzzle from Shamus which I found more stretching than some Tuesday Toughies.

Definitions are underlined. 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 Clear rustic land for development (10)

6a Sales patter giving away cold substance (4)
PITH Remove C(old) from a sales presentation.

10a Making a comeback, popular Ivorian clothing as an internet sensation (5)
VIRAL Hidden in reverse inside POPULARIVORIAN.

11a Follow work behind monarch (4,5)
TAKE AFTER A word for work or succeed (in plant grafting) + behind in nautical terminology + the Queen's initials.

12a Agent overlapping location in temporary delay (7)
RESPITE A word for agent and a word for a location, with the last letter of the first word and the initial letter of the second word toggled.

13a Support academic (not half) over speech (7)
DIALECT A word for support in reverse, then the first half of an academic position. (I don't get the word order in the clue. Can anyone help me?) 

14a Runs name into online page that's altered modern education (4,8)
OPEN LEARNING R(uns) N(ame) inside an anagram of ONLINE PAGE.

18a Muddle made by criminal in heated riots destroying hotel (12)
DISORIENTATE Anagram of IN HEATED RIOTS after deleting H(otel).

21a By the sound of it, regret fat in dish (7)
ROULADE A soundalike of regret fat.

23a Educated woman to host company, then finish off Merlot and cheese (7)
RICOTTA Abbreviation for company plus (Merlo)T, all inside the title character of a film about a woman's education.


24a Delicate base for service, singular feature in airline (4,5)
BONE CHINA Singular plus a facial feature, all inside an airline known by its initials.

25a Consummate artist full of energy when cycling (5)
IDEAL E(nergy) inside the surname of a famous 20th century artist with the last letter 'cycling' round to first place.


26a Uniform in athletics competition clipped (4)
EVEN Contest in an athletics discipline minus the final letter.

27a On reflection, ponder what should be wrapped round a new present (4,3,3)
HERE AND NOW To ponder or question plus an interjection meaning 'what?', all reversed and going round A N(ew).


1d Retired priest entering function in drinking establishment (6)
TAVERN Reverse an abbreviated word for a clergyman inside a trigonometric function.

2d Seize a potter's device, we're told (6)
ARREST Soundalike of a device sometimes used when potting in snooker.


3d Policeman frets, found out in conceit (4-10)

4d How one might find Etna to increase danger? (2,3,4)
UP THE ANTE How a cryptic setter might indicate the word Etna.

5d Liqueur first to last has journalist disgusted (5)
IRKED The name of a liqueur with the first letter moved to the end, then a journalist n standard crosswordese.

7d Vaguely prevalent like oxygen? (2,3,3)
IN THE AIR Where oxygen is found.

8d Birth-related condition in retreat with money spent (8)
HERITAGE Delete M(oney) from a recluse's dwelling.

9d Caption rotated possibly safeguarding essential details (4,10)

15d Remove completely old flag that captivates postman (9)
EXTIRPATE Old or former plus a kind of flag going around a fictional postman.

16d Lovely ground abroad supported by the French (8)
ADORABLE Anagram of ABROAD + a French definite article.

17d Point in dispute about African party for promulgation (8)
ISSUANCE A matter being debated around the ruling party of South Africa.

19d Start of several on golf course, we hear, being dispersed (6)
STREWN S(everal) + a soundalike of a famous Scottish golf course.

20d Inexperienced actor (6)
CALLOW The surname of a British actor is also a word for inexperienced.


22d Cream close to exquisite and not loaded with calories (5)
ELITE (Exquisit)E + lo-cal.


I enjoyed 14a and 21a in particular. Some nice anagrams today.

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

21 comments on “Toughie 1457

  1. Thanks to Shamus, and for the hints Toro.
    I feel this puzzle wouldn’t have been misplaced on the back-page (or inside it as often happens).
    Like you I found 13a a bit clunky.
    Having watched the Open there in 1989 I enjoyed 19d.

  2. Definitely trickier than most Tuesday toughies – strangely it felt like it took longer to solve than it actually did.

    Thanks to Shamus and Toro

  3. Tricky in parts, but saved by the nice long anagrams. Quite a few single letter deletions, started looking for them – helped me in 8d. Thank you Toro for the full parsing of 11a.

    I also thought the “over” in 13a needed to indicate reversal of support rather than the half academic.

    Liked 23a when I I finally got the educated woman. Liked the surface in 1a.

    many thanks Shamus and Toro

  4. Shamus always finds some interesting words to put in his crosswords and today was no exception.
    17d was new to me.
    Thanks to him and to Toro for the review.

  5. CRUMBS! This must have been an extra easy Toughie as I managed to finish it (for a change) …and without using the hints. Although of course my answers may not all be correct…but they fit. My main hold up was with 20d where I had ‘Newman’ instead of ‘Callow’ which I thought was quite obvious at first..until I came to a grinding halt in the SE corner. Only when I got the cheese at 23a did I realise I must have something wrong. I also nearly came unstuck with 10a where I had ‘vinyl’ for a while although I couldn’t relate it to the internet…or the clothing ..although ‘making a comeback’ fitted, but then it dawned. An enjoyable puzzle…more so for me as I rarely attempt the Toughie and often cant finish it, so today is to be relished! 2*/4* thanks to Shamus and to Toro.

    1. Yes, I had Hamlet for 20d the “inexperienced actor”.
      Needed Toro’s help to explain 25a.
      Not seen “overlapping” before as in 12a to indicate construction of the answer.
      But I finished without resorting to electronic help so quite chuffed with myself when Toro gave it *** for difficulty.
      Many thanks to both Shamus and Toro

  6. Thanks to Shamus for an enjoyable puzzle and to Toro for the review.
    13a looks like a bit of a boo-boo.

  7. I never know when embarking on the Toughie, as I sometimes do if I have the inclination, just what sort of task it is going to be. But this one was very straightforward, I thought. No more difficult than some back pagers.

    Very enjoyable – 2*/4* for me.

  8. Very enjoyable , even though I had to resort to many hints. I blame the appalling shock to the system I have suffered after returning to work from a three month break.We teachers in Ireland are very spoilt, however we do more hours teaching per week than for example the Germans do. I think most teachers teach about the same numbers of hours throughout Europe.
    Anyway, thanks Shamus and Toro.

  9. As usual with Shamus puzzles, I found some of the parsing difficult and was glad of Toro’s review to set me straight – 11,13&25a were cases in point. It also took me a long time to register the correct potter!
    Best of the bunch for me were 21&23a plus 7,15&19d.

    Many thanks to the Irish ‘devil’ and to Toro for a most helpful blog.

  10. Right on the 2/3* cusp for difficulty, and 3* for enjoyment. I really liked 4d and 23a. Ta to Shamus and Toro. Easy-ish for a Toughie, but it is only Tuesday.

  11. Once again the setter attribution was not on the Telegraph website when we solved this so it was Mr Ron for us at the time. We tried guessing and Shamus was one we considered but not with any certainty. Anyway, it was good fun to solve. 3d although a pretty straight forward anagram seemed such an unlikely possibility on first looking at it that it gets our vote for favourite. We agree with Toro that the reversal instruction (over) seems to refer to the wrong bit of the clue for 13a, but we worked it out despite this.
    Thanks Shamus and Toro.

  12. Like Digby, I was a spectator in 1989 at the Open held at the course mentioned in 19d. Thought this was fairly easy for a Toughie, but I enjoyed it. Thank you Toro and setter.

  13. I finished without hints, but at the end I felt anagrammed out. There probably weren’t that many…it just seemed like a lot. I, too, needed the review to fully understand some of the parsing. No stand-outs for me today. 15D was a new word. Thanks to Shamus and to Toro for the review.

  14. A bit late to comment, I know, but I’ve only just (almost) finished this one – ran out of time and energy (and little grey cells) last night.
    I never did get the first word of 11a or understand 13a
    Just as enjoyable as Shamus’s crosswords always are so thanks to him and to Toro for the hints.

  15. Thanks to Shamus and to Toro for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with some great clues. I’m very late commenting, as the last clue,13a, took me 11 days! Kept looking at it, and the penny finally dropped this morning. Favourite was 24a. Was 3*/4* for me.

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