Toughie 1572

Toughie No 1572 by Samuel

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good Morning everyone. I have the pleasure of doing today’s Toughie review as Toro is busy for the next couple of weeks. I do like Samuel’s puzzles and this one is no exception. As is the current trend with Tuesday Toughies, it is at the easier end of his range (or at least I think so). Mind you, on the first read through I got no inspiration at all and thought – ‘ooer missus’ I might need to ‘phone a friend. But, as I have no friends, I gave myself a good ‘talking to’ and that seemed to work.

There are good clue constructs, the surfaces read smoothly and there are a variety of clue types to keep you interested.

The definitions are underlined and (if my hints don’t seem to help) you can view the answers by clicking on the ‘Click Here’ button – as a last resort.

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    Rebel‘s to confirm getting framed in Dundee, perhaps (8)
MAVERICK: A 4 letter term to ‘confirm’ inside (getting framed in) Dundee. Not the place or the cake, but Paul Hogan’s crocodile wrestler’s character.

5a    Liveliness displayed by imp cycling backwards (6)
ESPRIT: One of the six names used in the Brownies (pictured) with the last letter moved to the front (cycling backwards). Thanks to BD for reminding me that this a construct that Elgar uses quite a lot. The ‘reverse’ – moving the first letter to the rear would be ‘cycling’.

9a    Perform state offering (8)
DONATION: A charade of a 2 letter word for ‘perform’ and a state (as in a country).

10a    Season drink containing drop of tequila and drop of rum (6)
WINTER: Take a drink produced from grapes, insert (containing) a drop of T(equila) and end with a drop of R(um).

12a    Approach nervously about unknown books of uncertain origin (9)
APOCRYPHA: Anagram (nervously) of APPROACH, around (containing) an unknown variable.

13a    Enemy finally took out former capital (5)
KYOTO: Anagram (out) of TOOK with enem(Y) finally.

14a    Back in arrears (4)
REAR: Our first ‘lurker’ of the day.

16a    Half come back from the east and rush platform (7)
TERRACE: Begin with a 6 letter word for ‘come back’, use 50% of it (half) then reverse it (from the east) and add a 4 letter term for ‘rush’.

19a    Moan about cops retiring unsettled (7)
NOMADIC: Anagram (about) of MOAN followed the abbreviation of a group of British detectives reversed (retiring).

21a    Green  exhaust (4)
JADE: Double definition.

24a    Row about good and formidable opponent (5)
TIGER: A 4 letter word for ‘row’ containing (about) g(ood).

25a    Annoy crooked garage claiming tax (9)
AGGRAVATE: Anagram (crooked) of GARAGE around (claiming) a form of tax – The 10% tax at point of sale introduced on the 1st July 1973 to replace purchase tax which was added at production. It has been one of the biggest cash cows for all governments ever since.

27a    Support one city? Clever! (6)
BRAINY: The usual body support for ladies and I (one) followed by an American city. …That never sleeps, apparently.

28a    In international, overwhelmed by playing fresh striker (8)
FINISHER: Use ‘in’ from the clue with the abbreviation of I(nternational), contained in (overwhelmed by) an anagram (playing) of FRESH.

29a    Thus the chancellor begins his address in the Spanish uniform (6)
ELEVEN: Take the word for ‘the’ in Spanish followed by a 4 letter term for ‘uniform’. I think the definition is a tad ‘wordy’ or am I missing something?

30a    Sit around during dance backing non-believer (8)
AGNOSTIC: Anagram (around) of SIT, in (during) a type of dance normally performed by drunken revellers, reversed (backing).


1d    Middle-of-the-road journalist with Independent punches bloke (6)
MEDIAN: Take our usual abbreviations for ‘journalist and Independent’ and insert (punches) 3 letter term for ‘bloke’.

2d    Seller travelled around north, rising after five (6)
VENDOR: Take a 4 letter term for travelled (ie on a horse) containing (around) N(orth), reverse it (rising in a down clue) and put it all ‘after’ the Roman numeral for five.

3d    Corrupt men that will make revolutions (5)
ROTOR: Take a 3 letter word meaning ‘corrupt’ followed by the abbreviation for ‘men’ in the Armed Forces to find a palindrome.

4d    Axe Commonwealth’s top jumper (7)
CHOPPER: Commonwealth’s top = ‘C’ and a term for ‘jumper’. I think the synonym for ‘jumper’ is a bit of a stretch.

6d    Queen in Dickens novel laughed (9)
SNICKERED: Take the usual abbreviation for ‘Her Maj’ and insert it in an anagram (novel) of DICKENS.

7d    Limit supply going to empty arsenal — that’s intelligent (8)
RATIONAL: Limit supply (i.e. of food and other commodities during times of shortage) and (going to) empty A(rsena)L. Empty Arsenal could be a synonym for how the team is completing its season. Sorry to any ‘Gooners’ out there.

8d    Steal from sales (8)
TURNOVER: Seen as term to con or steal from someone 4,4

11d    Trade centre vehicle that’s on the up (4)
MART: A type of public transport system, reversed ‘that’s on the up’ (in a down clue).

15d    Finish wretched run with ace stamina (9)
ENDURANCE: A 3 letter term for ‘finish’ with an anagram (wretched) of RUN & ACE. This is not a picture of ‘Floaty MacBoaty’.

17d    Rocky islands in Shetlands and Tuscany, where one’s returned (8)
UNSTABLE: Take two islands – One, the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles and the other, in Tuscany, reversed (returned).

18d    Hard to leave hermitage when unsettled — one needs to resettle? (8)
EMIGRATE: An anagram (unsettled) of HERMITAGE minus the H (hard to leave).

20d    Talk about Derby? (4)
CHAT: The usual single letter abbreviation for ‘about’ and a type of headgear.

21d    Stimulating  exercise (7)
JOGGING: I see this as a double definition.

22d    Prestige and pain in court (6)
CACHET: A term for ‘pain’ inside (in) the 2 letter abbreviation for ‘court’.

23d    Presume trick involves system of weights and measures (6)
METRIC: Our second ‘lurker’.

26d    Friend‘s run after another (5)
AMIGO: Take a 2 letter term for ‘run’ as in ‘leave’ followed by (after) another term for ‘friend’. Unfortunately there is no indication that the ‘friend’ is French.

I hope that the hints are of use and that you have an enjoyable solve. There are some very good clues and I will opt for 1a as my favourite. Which one(s) floated your Macboaty? Over to you.


  1. bifield
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    A slow start but gathered speed as the puzzle progressed. It was a long time before the penny dropped for 29a although the answer was obvious. Thanks to Samuel and to Shropshire Lad for the hints and review.

  2. Gazza
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Samuel and to SL for the blog. My favourite clue is 6d.
    So the answer to 21d is not ‘dogging’ then? :D

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Nearly, very nearly Gazza – if it had a ? it could have been a very good cryptic. I’m surprised the Editor didn’t see the possibility :)

    • dutch
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      but you couldn’t have had the nice pic of SL running on his hols…

    • Hanni
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Oh that’s made me laugh Gazza! Nicely done.

  3. dutch
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    NW was last in – I liked 1a, not sure I’ve seen that before, and I think I was lucky to spot the reference. Some interesting definitions – I’ve only just twigged 29a. I liked the imagery of the imp cycling backwards. 12a has been popular recently. Many thanks Samuel and Shropshirelad

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Very pleasant puzzle. Rather pleased with myself to have twigged 29A straight away. My favorite was 1A, though I’d rather have had a photo of Paul Hogan than that Top Gun feller. I know it wouldn’t have fit the answer, but I do like a man with a lived-in face. Thanks Samuel and thanks also to SL.

  5. Jane
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Only just returned home, so about to make a start on this one. Thought I’d take a peek to see what you made of it, SL. Please be assured – you have lots of friends, just that some of them (me for instance) probably couldn’t help you out with a difficult crossword!

  6. Kath
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I agree with 2* difficulty but would probably give it a bit more than 3* for enjoyment.
    I didn’t know the Dundee bit of 1a so, although the answer had to be what it was, it was a mystery as to why.
    Never heard of 28a so it was a good thing that it was an anagram otherwise I’d never have got it.
    29a and 17d took ages.
    I liked 5 and 21a and 6d.
    With thanks to Samuel and to SL – well done to you!

  7. mre
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    My inaugural vist to the Toughie blog due to the back pager being on the quick side and The Times being in use.

    Mostly straightforward with 12 solved on each of first two passes. Subsequently trickier with only three more solved. Didn’t see the logic for 29a across and still don’t.

    Unsolved (1a, 1d, 8d, 13a and 16a) probably should have seen them all really but was timed out so I’ll say three star difficulty.


    • Hanni
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the dark side.

      • mre
        Posted March 22, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Thank you.

  8. Hanni
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Oh I did like this! I had quite a few bung it in moments and figure it out later. Never did get the Dundee part of 1a and 5a caused me no end of problems along with 29a.

    Like Kath 28a was also a complete mystery.

    Lots to enjoy though. 5a is very clever but 6d gets the favourite award by a mile.

    Many thanks to Samuel and to SL for a lovely blog and a few references to Boaty McBoatface.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Hang on SL…what’s this whole no friends thing? Ylem and prawn cocktail ring any bells? *cool smiley face*

  9. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Of course we are your friends SL, but when it comes to crossword solving it’s everyone for him or herself 😩.
    I sincerely believe that Samuel has yet to show us what he is made of. So far he is more suitable for the back page IMHO.
    The “green exhaust” in 21a was clever.
    Checked HMS endurance. Talk about endurance. 18 years lifespan. Rather short.
    Thanks to Samuel and to SL for the great review.

    • Kath
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      I agree – I think Samuel is just ‘testing the water’ in Toughie territory – I’m more than happy to have the occasional non-tough Toughie but I do appreciate that others are less keen and need to flex their crossword muscles.

  10. Kitty
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Decided not to do this in the end because I have a few others outstanding and also want to spend more time on other hobbies. But since SL seems to think he lacks friends, how could I not read the review and leave a friendly comment?

    No idea how long this would have taken me, but probably a long time. I am a back page girl.

    24a is very easy but very nice. 21d is a double definition, but the whole thing also makes up a definition. I did this earlier, so am feeling virtuous. Is someone who hasn’t done the legwork still allowed a favourite?

    Apologies to Samuel and thanks to Shropshirelad, a lovely chap with plenty of friends. (If you come to the next meet up you’ll find out just how many – and that’s just out of the crossword nerds!)

  11. Miffypops
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    This would have made a perfect Thursday back page puzzle. Very enjoyable solve with a few bung ins as usual. 1ac sorted from checkers and I had no idea about the Mick bit. Not a film for me. 6d made me smile and 5ac eluded me so thank you to my very good friend (well he bought me a beer, I’m easy like that) The Shropshire Lad. Thanks also to Samuel for a nice teatime workout. Shackleton and Endurance. Two words made for each other. We are off to lose again at crib tonight. An awful season under our new captain. Captain Wigley. We miss Captain Cobley.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Captain Cobley is a living legend.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted March 22, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Have I missed something? Who are Captains Wigley and Conley?

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted March 22, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          That should have been ‘Cobley’

        • Hanni
          Posted March 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          Captain Wigley is the new crib captain and evidently not very good. Captain Cobley is the old crib captain and has an ace name therefore is a legend. Plus they won the season last year under her…but that’s besides the point. Do you not remember the weekly crib updates?

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted March 22, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

            Vaguely – I’m just nonplussed that you seem to know everyone’s comings and goings. Is this the reason that your ‘child type thing’ has been demonstrating a tendency toward Earth domination?

            • Hanni
              Posted March 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

              I don’t. I just remember the weekly crib updates and about Captain Cobley..sounds like a character in a film.

              I do know that I am the undisputed uckers champion.

              Right back to the quiz.

        • Miffypops
          Posted March 23, 2016 at 12:46 am | Permalink

          Butchers 5 – 2 Green Man.

  12. Gazza
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s Petitjean tomorrow – get your mad hats ready.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      I’m on back page duty tomorrow – good luck.

      • Gazza
        Posted March 22, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        Thank you … and to you.

  13. snape
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t had chance to look at this or the back pager today, but thought I’d have a quick read, and say Hi to my friend ShropshireLad, (although I wasn’t so foolish to give him my phone number).

    Why does cycling have to be that way round? I can’t see that cycling has to be in a particular direction. Apologies to Samuel for not getting more involved, and to SL.

    Oh, and just for Gazza…

    • Kitty
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      You guys are excelling yourselves today. Amazing.

    • Gazza
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, snape – I’d not seen that before. It’s hilarious.

      • Salty Dog
        Posted March 22, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        If you get the chance, go see them live.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      I had no idea what the reference to dogging was about. I do now.

      • Hanni
        Posted March 22, 2016 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear Chris. 😃

        • Expat Chris
          Posted March 22, 2016 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          In my day, we just had a different way of describing it.

          • Jane
            Posted March 23, 2016 at 12:16 am | Permalink

            Worry not, Chris – I’m back in the same days as you!

        • Hanni
          Posted March 23, 2016 at 12:18 am | Permalink

          I dare not ask either of you!

  14. Jane
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Looks as though this isn’t going to turn out to be one of my better weeks – had quite a fight on my hands with this one and only got there in fits and starts.
    Not sure I’d ever thought about Mr. Dundee having a Christian name and, in common with several others, 28a was a ‘well, it must be’ and 29a was a ‘why’.
    This ‘cycling’ business still bothers me – don’t understand how or why it indicates that only one letter changes its place.
    My top three are 25&27a plus 20d.

    Thanks to Samuel and to our much-loved SL for the very professional blog. Trying to think of an appropriate comment about the 4d pic but perhaps advisable not to?!!

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      I believe that 28a is trying to play on a football match theme – hence ‘international’ and the reference to bringing on a new striker to overwhelm the other team (centre forward in old money). I’ve only heard the term ‘finisher’ used when a pundit or commentator is talking about a striker aka ‘he’s a good finisher’.

      I didn’t quite take to 29a either and the ‘cycling’ confused me as well – I had to take advice on that one.

  15. Jon_S
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    A rare occasion where the Toughie took considerably less time than the back pager. A grid which conspired to give us effectively four unconnected crosswords made things a little more difficult, but failed to win the day. * for difficulty then, **** for enjoyment.

  16. Salty Dog
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    2*/3* or thereabouts, and favourite clue either 1a or 17d. Ta to Samuel and to Shropshirelad. Is that the old “Red Plum”, or is it the current holder of the role?

    • Salty Dog
      Posted March 22, 2016 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Ah! I’ve just answered my own (silly) question…

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted March 22, 2016 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        She was the old MV Polar Circle taken out of service in 2008 after she was nearly sunk by her crew.

  17. Samuel
    Posted March 23, 2016 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the positive blog (and the excellent pictures!), and to all those who have commented.

    I had been a bit concerned as to whether solvers would have heard of Mick Dundee, as the film is rather long in the tooth (and rather dated, sadly). As for the possible answer of dogging in place of jogging – well! I have to say that never occurred to me. I think the least said about that, the better!

    • dutch
      Posted March 23, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Many thanks for dropping in Samuel – that is always highly appreciated and makes it a more interesting blog

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Sorry – I missed your comment. As Dutch has already said, it’s great when the setter takes the time to comment on the blog and is much appreciated. 1a was amongst the first clues to be solved as I well remember Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee – such a good and funny film.

  18. Jane
    Posted March 23, 2016 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Nice of you to pop in, Samuel. At least you have the satisfaction of knowing that one of us didn’t find it that straightforward!

  19. Samuel
    Posted March 23, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Well, it would be a bit grumpy not to pop in. It’s always good to see what does and doesn’t go down well – and the pictures, if there are any, are always interesting. I’m just not sure what to make of the fact that I was more interested to see a picture of Roy of The Rovers then I was to see either of those that have bare flesh on display…