Toughie 1716 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1716

Toughie 1716 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


A warm welcome to you all from a chilly but sunny Surrey.  After a week where I had to provide imaginative pictures, followed by one when I feared I may have to present hints in a similarly imaginary way, Big Dave has provided us with a reminder of the adage that good things come to those who wait.  Mere seconds, in this case.  I hope my little corner of this wonderful blog is worth waiting five seconds for.

I’m a little out of practice lately, with a pile of outstanding Toughies still remaining from last week, and I think that is the only reason I took a little longer today than I normally do with Samuel’s crosswords.  It is, however, perfectly accessible to solvers of the back page puzzles, and comes with my pawprint of recommendation.

The definitions are underlined in the clues below, and you’ll find the answers inside the boxes.  The exclamation mark is not an imperative – click only if you wish to reveal all.

Do leave a comment telling us how you found it and what you thought.



1a    Lasso part of train? (10)
COWCATCHER: This apparatus found on the front of a (North American) train could also describe a lasso

6a    Dandy with insert of ‘Beryl’s Final Fall‘ (4)
FLOP: A coxcomb containing the final letter of Beryl

9a    Man seen in ‘Some Like It Hot’ (5)
KEITH: This man lurks in some of the film title

10a    Ottoman? He moved out (3,2,4)
NOT AT HOME: An anagram (moved) of OTTOMAN HE

(link: things my cat does when I am this)

12a    Suffering similarly, like shipmates (2,3,4,4)
IN THE SAME BOAT: All in this together, possibly up the creek without a paddle.  It literally describes the situation of a crew of a ship, or indeed all on board

14a    Superlatively poor trial involving hotel and pub (8)
THINNEST: A trial contains the abbreviation for hotel and a pub

15a    One might dig it lots? All but the finish (6)
SEXTON: Digging is among the duties of this man.  Take a word meaning it or the other and add most of (all but the finish) a colloquial word meaning lots

17a    Royals clash over indications of sympathy (6)
RAJAHS: Reverse a verb for clash or conflict and add noises which may express sympathy to find a member of Indian royalty

19a    Test locations losing account for prototypes (8)
EXAMPLES: A test is followed by locations without (losing) an abbreviation for account

21a    Claim sand, say, shifting around new overseas territory (6,7)
CAYMAN ISLANDS: An anagram (shifting) of CLAIM SAND SAY around N(ew)

24a    Barking welcomes parent using dialect (9)
IDIOMATIC: A word which can mean barking (mad) or silly contains (welcomes) a pet name for a parent

25a    Rubbish journey east (5)
TRIPE: Follow a journey, usually a short one, with E(ast)

26a    Half of West Country see about big cheese (4)
EXEC: Take the first half of a Devon city, which is also a diocese covering the county, and add one of the abbreviations for about

27a    Straight-talking banker? Correct (10)
FORTHRIGHT: Although I accept its use, I’m really not enamoured with the croswordese use of banker to mean river.  Still, this is what we need here, before correct or true



1d    Fancy playing Ace when holding King (4)
CAKE: An anagram (playing) of ACE around one of the letters signifying king

2d    Almost cry about topless lout appearing twice in beach resort (7)
WAIKIKI: Three of the four letters (almost) of a loud cry around two instances of a lout or oaf without the first letter (topless).  This word for lout is invariably voiced in m head by Boris Johnson

3d    Some uplift when sweltering and not quite ready to fight? (1,4,2,3,3)
A SHOT IN THE ARM: Put together a conjunction meaning when, sweltering, and all but the last letter (not quite) of a phrase (2,3,4) meaning enlisted in one of the forces.  Thanks, Dutch!

4d    Study poetry for talk (8)
CONVERSE: A straightforward charade of one of our usual words for study with a bit of poetry

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d    Concentrate when court goes unused (5)
EXTRA: Take a concentrate or essence of something and remove the abbreviation for court (when court goes)

7d    Guard in place to go and whip missing knight (7)
LOOKOUT: Start with a place to go, a small room, and then add a whip (knout) without (missing) the chess abbreviation for knight

8d    13 state journalists going round gambling without limits (10)
PRETTINESS: This 13d quality, especially if feminine, is found by wrapping a collective term for journalists around the internal letters (without limits) of a word meaning wagering

11d    Retro hit with leader of artificial men travelling across time? (3,10)
THE TERMINATOR: A lovely all-in-one.  The letters in RETRO HIT with the first letter (leader) of A(rtificial) and MEN anagrammed (travelling) around (across) T(ime)

13d    Pleasant-looking area in home without roof (10)
ATTRACTIVE: Refreshingly, area here is not the letter a: it’s a stretch of land, contained in home or domestic minus its first letter (without roof, in a down clue)

16d    Clear chemists to replace oxygen in milk (8) 
Updated version: Having captured fantastic clip, leave plain (8)
EXPLICIT: Milk in the sense of overuse or take advantage of with the chemical symbol for oxygen to be replaced with some chemists.  If the chemists Samuel means are of the company ICI, we have an extra I … it’s clear there’s either an error in the clue or I have made one of my own.  Update – the clue has now been replaced online
Updated version: leave containing (having captured) an anagram (fantastic) of CLIP

18d    Dream reindeer regularly take sleigh without permission? (7)
JOYRIDE: A dream or pleasure is followed by regular letters of reindeer.  It would be unusual for the vehicle to be taken to be a sleigh, but I like the image

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d    Left sat around at home, needing good following long-term (7)
LASTING: The abbreviation for left then an anagram (around) of sat, after which our usual crosswordland at home and the abbreviation for good follow on to give us something enduring

22d    Ace cast with this opening passage could get reaction (5)
INTRO: An anagram (cast) of ACE with this short opening passage would give a REACTION

23d    Outdo  George? (4)
BEST: A verb to outdo or a late, great footballer who said, “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars.  The rest I just squandered.”


Thanks to Samuel.  My favourite today is the stunning all-in-one 11d.  Which were the greatest hits with you?

I’m off out for a bit shortly, but I’ll be back


12 comments on “Toughie 1716

  1. I thought that this was Samuel’s most enjoyable Toughie since he joined the setting squad. Thanks to him and to Kitty for the review. Vying for top spot for me were 15a, 17a and 3d. 18d also provided a good laugh.

  2. I enjoyed the all-in-one at 11d as I’m sure others have. I liked using some in the film title as part of the hidden indicator (9a). The rest of the puzzle was very pleasant, though I didn’t parse 26a ( I was stupidly using the see to mean C – as in brb – which left me wondering just why the town was picked and what ‘about’ was doing) – and I also didn’t parse 7d – so thanks Kitty for putting me straight.

    I thought not quite ready to fight was ‘in the arm(y)’

    many thanks Samuel and Kitty

  3. I was really surprised by 16d as yet another mistake appeared in the crossword. What goes on in the editing suite of the DT is beyond me.
    Enough grumbling.
    Enjoyed the solve even if it was more suitable for a back page.
    Only 15a held me up a bit.
    Favourite 3d.
    Thanks to Samuel and to Kitty. Loved the talking cats in 4d.

  4. Shame about 16d – even allowing for the fact that the chemists in the original clue are usually referred to as ‘old’ chemists, as I would agree with Gazza that this is Samuel’s most enjoyable Toughie to date.

    Thanks to Samuel and the purring one.

  5. Certainly agree with Gazza that this was Samuel at his most enjoyable but that isn’t to say that I didn’t find a few pitfalls when it came to parsing!
    2d – took ages to think of the lout (dim, as Kath would say).
    3d – thank you, Dutch!
    7d – didn’t know the whip and tried every possible place to put the ‘knight’ bar the correct one!

    15&26a were the last to fall – loud clangs as the pennies dropped.
    16d – I obviously suffered from a touch of the ‘Samuels’ as I never noticed the redundant ‘I’.

    Would love to concur with your choice of favourite, Kitty, but I know absolutely nothing about 11d – it was only the anagram fodder that gave me an answer.

    Many thanks to Samuel and also to our Girl Tuesday – loved the cartoon at 27a and the talking cats.

  6. 26a took us ages to sort out. Perhaps if we had known more details about UK geography and cathedral cities it might have made more sense. However we did eventually get it sorted with electronic help. Plenty of clues that we did enjoy though with a special grin when the penny dropped for the wordplay for 18d.
    Thanks Samuel and Kitty.

  7. Completed this one today during my hospital appointment. Needed a lot of help with the parsing after I got home. Thanks to Samuel for the puzzle and to Kitty for helping me unravel my answers.

  8. I struggled to get on wavelength, but completed in the end. I suppose 3*/3* is about right, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the usual Samuel puzzle. 15a is a clever clue, but I confess I needed the hint above to crack it. Nevertheless, thanks to Samuel and Kitty.

  9. I flew through three quarters of this and then struggled with the remaining clues. No errors by the time I got round to solving, thankfully.

  10. Exceptionally good fun for a Tuesday puzzle not by your favourite setter’s mine. My favourite clue was the same as most other people’s obviously, as a film and SF buff… Thanks Samuel and Kitty!

  11. Thanks Samuel and Kitty
    Any chance of clarification on 1D please -cake = fancy ???


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