Toughie 1499 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1499

Toughie No 1499 by Dada

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

There was nothing that caused any problems here. A couple of old chestnuts got me off to a quick start.

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    Bird minding egg, perhaps, the last of three — the one on the right? (11)
THATCHERITE: A small songbird (3) round a 7-letter word that might describe an egg + E (the last letter of threE) = a follower of the policies of a right-wing prime minister

8a    Play with frame removed from car, extreme difficulty cutting through it? (7)
OTHELLO: A car (5) with the first and last letters (frame) removed goes round an extreme difficulty to give one of Shakespeare’s plays

10a    Pair of kings in disapproving utterance (3-3)
TUT-TUT: An ancient Egyptian king + the same ancient Egyptian king

12a    Promise to marry is nonsense, Liz accepts? (7)
BETROTH: Nonsense goes inside another diminutive form of Elizabeth

13a    Try bedding in the plant (7)
HEATHER: ‘To try’ goes round THE

14a    Supply / flower (5)
STOCK: 2 meanings: supply/a garden flower

15a    Constant, and lacking relief? (9)
CEASELESS: C (constant) + ‘lacking relief’. The whole clue provides the definition

17a    Impertinent to claim victory, as ruined (9)
INSOLVENT: ‘Impertinent’ round V (victory) = ‘ruined’ or ‘bankrupt’

20a    Cushion at the rear, cheeky seat? (5)
NATES: N (the last letter of cushioN) + an anagram (cheeky) of SEAT. The whole clue provides the definition

22a    Tragic lover also poking eye (7)
LEANDER: Hero’s tragic lover = ‘also’ inside ‘to eye’

24a    Reminder of setters not cryptic (7)
MEMENTO: A reminder (souvenir) = a pronoun used by the setter + the same pronoun + an anagram (cryptic) of NOT

25a    Supporter torn apart about relegation, ultimately (6)
SPLINT: A support for a broken bone = ‘torn apart’ round N (the last letter of relegatioN)

26a    Paper edited a lot to cover book and papers (7)
TABLOID: A newspaper of small format = an anagram (edited) of A LOT round B (book) + a 2-letter abbreviation denoting ‘papers’

27a    Relative sort of woman Hitler? (6-2-3)
MOTHER-IN-LAW: An anagram (sort of) of WOMAN HITLER


2d    One’s inclined to find something wrong in part of a horse (7)
HILLOCK: A high mass of land much smaller than a mountain = something wrong inside a German white wine

3d    Pain that’s hard also arising in facial growth (9)
TOOTHACHE: A reversal (arising) of H (hard) and ‘also’ inside facial hair

4d    Jerk in difficulty (5)
HITCH: 2 meanings: jerk/difficulty

5d    Exhausting routine beginning to rankle a bit (3,4)
RAT RACE: R (first letter of Rankle) + A + a bit

6d    One of these that disgusts me, one having filled in one in ten? (7)
TOUGHIE: The type of crossword that this is =- ‘that disgusts me!’ and I (one) inside one of ten that you have on your feet

7d    Easily excited with clue, it bombs miserably (11)
COMBUSTIBLE: An anagram (miserably) of CLUE IT BOMBS

8d    Passing round hospital, arrive at troubled district (6)
GHETTO: H (hospital) inside ‘arrive at’ (3,2)

11d    Fight with minimum of satisfaction to fill in these? (5,6)
CROSS SWORDS: S (first letter of Satisfaction) inside the puzzles of which this is an example

16d    Unthinking type taking fruit in autumn, no stomach for it (9)
AUTOMATON: A red fruit inside AUTUMN with a word meaning stomach removed

18d    With a member incarcerated, get away as fluid applied to locks (7)
SHAMPOO: A Member of Parliament inside ‘Get away!’. The locks are locks of hair

19d    Immature director initially taken in by vision of Hollywood? (7)
LADDISH: D (first letter of Director) inside the city where Hollywood is and an attractive person (vision)

20d    Country close to each of Viet, Mal and Ser? (7)
NAMIBIA: Viet*** + Mal* + Ser***. The asterisks each give you another country

21d    Broadcast’s ending with bug in audio system (6)
TANNOY: T (last letter of broadcasT) + ‘to bug’

23d    Turner, stranger to achievement no longer, all may conclude (5)
ROTOR: Last letters of strangeR tO achievemenT nO longeR

Disappointingly easy.

27 comments on “Toughie 1499

  1. Normally I’d agree with Bufo’s Thursday Toughie opinions, but my brain being another year older coupled with lots of interruptions while I was trying to solve both this and the inside back pager first thing this morning meant that I took longer than normal for both a Thursday and a Dada (and the Ray T too come to that).

    Thanks to Dada and Bufo too.

  2. Maybe it’s a wavelength thing but this took me a long time to complete (even after a quick start). Writing in ‘clash’ as the 1st word of 11d didn’t help. Looking back over the clues and the hints above I don’t know why I found it so tricky? I liked 27a.

  3. A slow start for me but the old grey matter eventually got it’s a**e in gear and we finished at a gallop. Overall I found it a bit of a curate’s egg – but not in a bad way – something just didn’t click. Hey Ho.

    Thanks to Dada for the puzzle and Bufo for the blog.

    Many happy returns of the day CS and many more of them to come

  4. ****/***

    Certainly didn’t find this straightforward. In fact I only got 7 on first pass and the bottom half I really struggled with, other than 27a. 27a made me laugh. A lot.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Bufo for blogging.

    Lovely afternoon.

  5. Some lovely stuff, especially the two all-in-ones (15a & 20a), and the classic anagram in 27a, which I’ve seen before, but it is one of the best. nice having a reference to our puzzle (6d) and one on the frustrations of clueing (7d)

    In 1a I got hung up thinking that a “bird minding egg” was a more proactive hatcher than the egg, but eventually spotted the bird.

    Liked the vision of hollywood (19d), wasn’t particularly keen on 20d (country close to…)

    Many thanks dada and bufo (great pics – i hadn’t twigged the garden flower so thanks for that

  6. Did anyone actually KNOW the 20A word? I didn’t for sure and I don’t think I’ll be dropping it into conversation any time soon. Apart from that, this was not as difficult as I thought it would be on the first read through, but must I disagree with Bufo’s assessment of disappointingly easy. Liked 1A, 27A and 6D in particular. Thanks to Dada and Bufo.

    Happy Birthday, CS. I hope someone else made your cake for you!!

  7. 6d – Ugh! Got this one completely wrong …I thought the “ten” was a reference to 10a – Tut-tut!

  8. Having filled in the 4 peripheral clues quite easily, I went to work. When I got back, it was a totally different matter. Stared at it blankly for a while.
    But perseverance paid off and slowly the grid filled itself.
    A bit of GK was needed but the parsing was fair. Well only 22a took a while to parse as I was checking if Leander didn’t just swim the Hellespont but also poked some mythical beast in the eye.
    Liked the 3 crossword related clues.
    Finished with NE corner and 10a made me laugh.
    Joyeux anniversaire to CS.
    Thanks to Dada and to Bufo for the review.

  9. 4/4 for me. Never had heard of 20 across so thanks for that.
    27 across raised a big smile, although mine is a dream, luckily.

  10. Could someone please tellme how to get the toughie on the telegraph app? I seem to be smart enough to do the puzzle, but not smart enough to find it elactronically.

    1. I’m not sure you can – at least I couldn’t when I subscribed, I always thought this was a big drawback of the app

  11. Not a quick solve for us and it kept us smiling and chuckling all the way through as Dada always seems to. Our last ones to go in were 1a and the two clues that both referred to what we were doing at the time, 6d and 11d. Lots of fun and very much enjoyed.
    Thanks Dada and Bufo.

  12. Whilst this was relatively straightforward I find no fewer than 5 asterisks by various clues so I must have enjoyed it a lot. I think the crossword theme helped. The asterisked clues are 24a [setters] 6d [how very true on certain Fridays] 16d [no stomach, even tho obvious] 19d [vision of Hollywood] and 20d [unusual construction that works well].

    One quibble – can anyone explain how “cheeky” works as an anagrind [20a]?

    Thanks to Dada/Meme and to Bufo for the blog.

  13. My word, you are a clever fellow, Bufo! I found this one really hard work, as is usual for me with a Dada puzzle. Almost resorted to the hints for the NE corner.
    My favourite would have to be 27a but I’ll give a mention to 10a as well.
    No Chris – I can’t envisage an opportunity to slip 20a into a conversation either!

    Thanks to Dada for the challenge (a good 4+* for me) and to Bufo for the explanations, despite the fact that I would totally disagree with your difficulty rating!

  14. I struggled with this, partly because I usually find it hard to get on Dada’s wavelength and partly because a fit of misplaced inspiration led me to put “whitethroat” for 1a! This scuppered me for 4d and 6d. All in all, I’d have to score this at 4*/3.5*. Honourable mentions for 12a, 5d and 17a, but my favourite is one I didn’t get (see above): 6d. Thanks to Dada, and to the annoyingly smug Bufo (who found it rather a doddle, obviously!).

  15. We attempted this as Bufo told us it was relatively easy – it wasn’t but we struggled through it and got to the end with quite a few bung-ins on the way. Still don’t know what 20a means. Thanks to Bufo for encouraging us to have a go and to the Setter. A very belated Happy Birthday to CS.

    1. 20a – an all-in-one clue referring to your derriere – I didn’t know the word but its in brb.

  16. Quite liked this and would have sped through it if I hadn’t also put white throat for 1a, ignoring BD’s maxim that if you don’t know why, it’s probably wrong. On 20a (which I thought everybody knew), it’s one of those nouns that has no singular. I drop it into conversation all the time. Thanks to Bufo and Dada 3*/3*

    1. Hi TS,
      Your conversations must be very interesting!
      The John Irving arrived this morning – have just made a start but, as you know, it’s quite a hefty tome so could be a little while before I give you a report.
      Your previous recommendations are piled up awaiting my composition of ‘shortened version’ comments!

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