Toughie 1465 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1465

Toughie No 1465 by Dada

Hints and tips by Toro

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

A bright and breezy first Toughie of the week from Dada.

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.



8a Fly in pain, by the sound of it (4)
SOAR Soundalike of a word meaning hurting.

9a Low figure getting high? (3)
ONE Split (2,1), the solution could mean experiencing a drug-induced high.

10a Story books as a gift (6)
TALENT Story or narrative + abbreviation for some books of the Bible.

11a Appropriate account filed by four neighbouring characters (6)
HIJACK Abbreviation of account inside four consecutive letters of the alphabet. The definition is to appropriate as a verb.

12a Before ending in servitude, no slave in anthem has inspired a singer (8)
BARITONE Member of an obscure jingoistic tribe who never never shall be slaves, taking in A from the clue, then (servitud)E.


13a So sage and things getting cooked, nevertheless (15)
NOTWITHSTANDING A (2,4) phrase meaning very clever or so sage, followed by an anagram of AND THINGS.

15a Fool serving fish with pork pie (7)
CHARLIE Variant spelling of a trout-like fish + a pork pie in the Cockney rhyming slang sense.

17a Father of all insects? Sure! (7)
ADAMANT Split (4,3), the answer could suggest the forefather of all insects of a certain kind.


20a Bodybuilder's drug -- finding a trace in blood is devastating (8,7)

23a Promise to keep relative in want (8)
COVENANT A particular family member inside to want or desire.

25a Eat for a laugh, audibly? (6)
INGEST Soundalike of a phrase meaning for a laugh or as a joke.

26a Nasty attack overshadowing nice, oddly (6)
RANCID Word for attack around N(i)C(e).

27a All ends when police arrive, once called (3)
NEE Final letters of (whe)N (polic)E (arriv)E.

28a Game with cash for spending a penny, did you say? (4)
LUDO The answer sounds like it could mean money for admission to a toilet.



1d Cocktail -- magical concoction containing vermouth (6)
MOJITO Magic, or a magical charm, around dated British slang for Italian vermouth.


2d Sustained course of action, as fish out of water swimming (5,3)
GREAT WAR A type of fish outside an anagram of WATER.

3d Dickens character suffering, one in Shakespeare's game (6,9)
POCKET BILLIARDS Surname of a character from Great Expectations, then a word for suffering inside a word meaning poet's that is typically reserved for Shakespeare.

4d Ending in diatribe thus, note cut up, as prolix (7)
VERBOSE (Diatrib)E + thus + a musical note minus last letter (cut), all reversed (up).

5d Terrible sadness about journey under famous flag (5,3,7)
STARS AND STRIPES A word meaning famous or celebrity (as adjective), then a journey inside an anagram of SADNESS.

6d Happy journalist keeps missing the deadline? (6)
ELATED A journalist in crosswordese around an adjective that could mean missing a deadline.

7d Author's work lacking an initial? (4)
ANON The authoritative version of an author's works, minus the first letter, the whole clue suggesting the author of an unattributed work.

14d One who prays towards Heaven or Hell? (3)
NUN Palindromic word (the same whether read up or down) meaning a member of a religious community.


16d Layer wrapped in polythene (3)
HEN Hidden inside POLYTHENE, an animal that lays.

18d Plant -- a source of oil in Welsh town (8)
MARIGOLD The A from the clue + a place where oil is extracted, all inside a Flintshire town.


19d Solvent, brilliant colour (7)
ACETONE Brilliant or fab + colour or hue.

21d Around fifty, strand gets to turn white (6)
BLEACH Roman numeral for fifty inside a verb meaning to strand or drive aground.

22d Batting team avoiding a downpour, perhaps? (6)
INSIDE Batting in cricket + team.

24d Donne's island lacking leadership as a country (4)
OMAN From John Donne's famous line of verse, "(2,3) is an island", minus the first letter.


The lovely 2d and the apt anagram at 20a were this solver's picks. What were yours?

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

24 comments on “Toughie 1465

  1. Lots to enjoy but even with my confusion when I was trying to make an anagram of the first four words of 13a, I barely crept into 2* toughie time. I would give it 4* for entertainment.

    Thanks to Dada and Toro.

  2. ***/****

    Didn’t find this all that easy. The 4 long clues went in fairly quickly along with the top half. Although I did try to make an anagram of ‘so sage and things’, for 13a. In the end I saw the answer and worked backwards to parse it.

    Favourite is 14d…a palindrome, with 20a coming a close second.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Toro for blogging.

  3. This was at least 3* difficulty for me – it’s taken me quite a long time – very enjoyable too.
    I have to confess that I didn’t take 13a apart to see where the anagram came from as the answer was obvious.
    I needed the hints to understand a few of my answers – particularly 9a and 18d which well and truly beat me.
    I spent a while trying to make the 15a ‘pork pie’ a hat so that one took some time.
    I liked 11 and 20a and 1 and 16d. My favourite (and last answer) was 15a.
    With thanks to Dada and to Toro.

  4. Another 3*/4* coming in from me along with a confession that I put in both 13&20a before working out the anagrams.
    Most of my ‘likes’ came from fairly simple ones – 9,11,25&28A plus 19d and I thought 20a had a great surface read.

    Very enjoyable thank you, Dada – also thanks to Toro whose help I needed to unravel the parsing of a couple of my answers.

  5. Got a bit confused with my last ones in which were 2d and 11a.
    For 2d, I thought it was trade war but couldn’t find a fish called rad. Got it the other way round.
    Same thing for 11a. I read filled instead of filed.
    Took ages to get it out of my mind and eventually managed to complete the grid.
    Favourite is 12a.
    Thanks to dada and to Toro for the review.

  6. Super fun and over all too quickly. Some easy clues to get you started (13 & 20a) and then a couple of tricky ones where the answer was obvious but the parsing wasn’t (12a & 4d). I loved the palindrome indicator at 14d and enjoyed 28a. This is called ‘Uckers’ in the RN and I’ve seen many a board upturned when somebody is about to get an ‘8 piece d*****g – it is not a game for the faint – hearted.

    Anyway, there are far too many super clues to single one out so I shall demur.

    Thanks to Dada for the excellent puzzle and Toro for his review.

    1. Hi SL,

      Do you have a portable version for the birthday bash? If so I want to play. Any board game that can turn into a contact sport, has the potential to use cut up broom handles, suckback on X, mini blobs, timber shifting, a random pipe and where cheating is allowed…is fine by me.

      The weather is awful here.

        1. mornington crefent.An early Tudor version of the game. This was played at court with each move having to be officially sanctioned by the king who acted as umpire. Only a short extract from the original rule parchment survives: Giovanni will surely find a way……;)

  7. Thanks to Dada and to Toro for the review and hints. A bit too tough for me, needed 8 hints to finish, but enjoyed what I could do. Was 5*/3* for me. Favourite was 28a.

  8. Thanks to Dada and to Toro for the review and hints. A bit too tough for me, needed 8 hints to finish, but enjoyed what I could do. Was 5*/3* for me. Favourite was 28a.

  9. Sign me up for the “so sage and things” anagram club [13a] even tho there’s only one pretty well-known 15 letter equivalent of nevertheless in crossword land.
    I’m with Shropshirelad – it was short-lived fun. Faves were 12a [no slave in anthem] 17a and 28a.

    Many thanks to Dada and Toro.

  10. We had the grid filled reasonably quickly, sorting out the very clever wordplay to parse the last few added a significant amount of extra time. Well worth it though as lots of laughs available. 12a, 13a and 28a for example Exactly what we look forward to and appreciate with Dada puzzles.
    Thanks Dada and Toro.

  11. Completed on a real newspaper using a hotel pen, having been awake since 0415 this morning in order to catch a flight from Exeter to Jersey! Had a few probs in the NW corner, so probably 3*/3* for me. 17a my top clue. Shropshire Lad – I too much prefer the robust naval version of Ludo known as Uckers! “Out piece and hack”, l say! One particular marathon session l can recall, in the good ship ANDROMEDA on Cod Patrol in the winter of 1975. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I sure shifted a lot of timber that day…

    Thanks to Dada and Toro.

    1. Hi SD my old oppo– I remember the good old days when we had 26 (?) Leander Class Frigates. I do believe that’s more ships than we can muster in the RN today

      Was that ‘Uckers’ timber shifting or damage control a la ‘splinter boxes and shoring’? Probably the latter I suppose during the Cod War. Do you think we could show these lovely people how to play Uckerts at BD’s birthday bash next year?

  12. I just loved it although I did uncover a few in the end because I am suffering what I will describe as a ” tummy upset” and it is so late and I am not really au fait with Dickens characters.
    Anyway brilliant and not too hard.
    With thanks Dada and Toro..

  13. Funeral yesterday of a motorcycle friend who had pulmonary fibrosis. This was a slow and steady solve for me. I loved the palindrome indicator. Clues I ticked were 9a 11a 13a 23a 28a 1d 14d 16d. Now that Toro has fully explained it, I also find 7d quite clever

    Many thanks Toro and Dada

  14. Thanks for a lovely puzzle and review and in particular for help on 23 across – which for some unknown reason I simply could not see,
    even when I had let it stew overnight! It is strange how the brain works or on this occasion did not .

    Thanks again

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