Toughie 100008 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 100008

Toughie No 100008 by MynoT

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***


Mynot provides us with a seasonal offering that won’t delay you long from your  present unwrapping or festive food and drink consumption.  The only chestnuts to be found here are a couple of the old friends of the cryptic crossword solver.   1a 4a to MynoT and setters, bloggers and solvers everywhere. 



1a           Lively planet has no copper (5)
MERRY The planet nearest the sun has the chemical symbol for copper (no copper) removed to give us the first part of our setter’s seasonal greeting

4a           Monarchists not on to play in season (9)
CHRISTMAS And an anagram (to play) of MONARCHISTS, once you have removed the ON (not on) gives you the second part of the message.

9a           How a piano operates in a factory (4-5)
SOAP-WORKS An adverb meaning how, in this manner, A (from the clue), the abbreviation used in musical notation to mean piano or soft, and a verb meaning operates

10a         Boat with internal cover (5)
LINER A large passenger boat or an internal cover

11a         Misprint lines introducing irate broadcast (7)
LITERAL Two abbreviations for Line (lines plural) ‘introducing’ or having inserted an anagram (broadcast) of IRATE

12a         University theologian embraced by Peg gets good dessert (7)
PUDDING The abbreviation for University and the two-letter abbreviation for a theologian are embraced by, or inserted into, a type of peg, the result followed by the abbreviation for Good

13a         Country of heartless warder (6)
TURKEY Remove the middle letter (heartless) from an under-jailer (warder)

15a         When asked, moaned terribly, meeting nerd on vacation (2,6)
ON DEMAND An anagram (terribly of MOANED, meeting the outside letters of NerD (on vacation indicating the need to remove the insides)

18a         Origin of witch employed without introduction and approved (8)
ENDORSED The place of origin of an Old Testament witch (I Sam xxviii) and a verb meaning used without its ‘introduction’ or first letter

20a         Goat for example and one of its products (6)
BUTTER A goat is an example of an animal that strikes you with its head and this word can also be used to describe a product made from goat’s milk

23a         Second prince turns up and shoots (7)
SPROUTS The abbreviations for second and prince and a verb meaning turns up produces some shoots – or a type of vegetable we’ll all be eating quite a lot of today, chocolate or otherwise!

24a         Staggering monarch pursuing legendary bird (7)
ROCKING A male monarch pursuing or going after an enormous bird of Arabian legend

26a         A detective goes after reasonable African native (5)
OKAPI A private investigator (detective) goes after an informal adjective meaning satisfactory or reasonable

27a         Cut up birds for last course? (5,4)
MINCE PIES A verb meaning to cut up into small pieces and some black and white birds.  Charlie the cat never did get the hang of crosswords but he knew a good ‘last course’ when he saw one!

28a         Bill’s quote for French city’s joint letting (9)
COTENANCY In order to understand the ‘Bill’s quote’ part of this wordplay, you need to look up the first four letters of your answer in the BRB, where you will discover, as I did, that it is a Shakespearean (Bill’s!) word for quote.   The second part of the solution is a French city that appears to be crossword setters’ city of the month.

29a         Draw once more? Not again, we hear (5)
RETIE A homophone (we hear) of [K]NOT AGAIN  


1d           Light fog allowed nameless one cover for a smooch? (9)
MISTLETOE A light fog, part of a verb meaning allowed, and ONE (from the clue) once you have removed the N (nameless)

2d           Retreating Russian leader eats nothing for main course (5)
ROAST A reversal (retreating) of an old Russian leader ‘eats’ O (nothing)

3d           Source for longbow you heard has pedigree (3,4)
YEW TREE A homophone (heard) of YOU and a [family] pedigree

4d           Go off dog that’s led badly (6)
CURDLE A worthless dog and an anagram (badly) of LED

5d           Sentimental pair of flowers (4-4)
ROSE-PINK Two flowers go together to make an adjective meaning sentimental

6d           Herb has a coming out for PC big splash (7)
SPLODGE Take a verb you’ve probably put into a stuffing mix this morning, remove the A (a coming out) and replace with a slang term for a policeman, apparently originating from name of the character in Enid Blyton’s Noddy stories

7d           Begging to show reform — it’s beyond me! (9)
MENDICANT This alternative term for begging always makes me smile when I think of splitting it 4, 1, 4, which if you do the same, you’ll understand the wordplay

8d           Young child‘s new skipping jump (5)
SPRIG Remove the abbreviation for new (new ‘skipping’) from a verb meaning to jump

14d         Bird enlivened drab trees (9)
REDBREAST An anagram (enlivened) of DRAB TREES.   The pillar boxes in Herne Bay have been enlivened by festive knitters, this one having some splendid examples of the relevant birds.

16d         Promoted soldier is No.1 following free, rising state control (9)
DIRIGISME A reversal (promoted) of an American soldier, IS (from the clue) and MynoT himself (no 1, oneself) all follow a reversal (rising) of free in the sense of remove or clear

17d         National cheat on island (8)
WELSHMAN To cheat or fail to pay one’s debts followed by an island found in the Irish Sea

19d         Coming together again in island (7)
REUNION A meeting after separation or an island in the Indian Ocean

21d         Obscure Arab supports relative (7)
UNCLEAR The abbreviation for Arab supports or goes after in a Down clue, a male relative

22d         Make unknown drink (6)
BRANDY A make of something and a mathematical unknown combine to give us an ‘old friend’ of the crossword fraternity, especially at this time of year

23d         Thus about to be indifferent to pleasure or pain (5)
STOIC A Latin term meaning so or thus goes ‘about’ TO (from the clue)

25d         Fool hid bin on site using prime positions (5)
IDIOT So the solution is really obvious but how does the wordplay work?  The letters you need are those in the positions of prime numbers in the words HID BIN ON SITE.   I toyed with marking them for you but decided you could do what I did and remember all about prime numbers for yourself.

Two Telegraph Christmas cryptics solved, one blog about to be scheduled, one template created ready for blogging the Virgilius, turkey cooking nicely, veg all prepared (thank you Mr CS), spoken to Son No 2, currently teaching English to small children in Ho Chi Minh City (as you do on Christmas Day); Skyping with No 1 Son and the best grandson in the world later on, so all (ha ha!) there is left to do is print off and solve the Elgar Double Toughie

Hope you all have a lovely day with family, friends and crosswords too.




11 comments on “Toughie 100008

  1. Happy Christmas everybody – and sorry to appear thick, I subscribe to the Telegraph puzzles online but I can’t find this Toughie crossword or the double Elgar mentioned by CS – can someone please point me in the right direction or give me a link. Many thanks

    1. Below today’s puzzles there is a list of all types of puzzles. Click toughie and you will see it.

    2. Thank you all.
      Success, I now have both and can settle down for a cerebrally stimulating evening whilst erstwhile watching typical Christmas fare on the telly with the rest of the family

  2. A few unknowns for me in this one:-
    11a – new definition
    18a – the witch’s origin
    28a – Bill’s quote
    5d – I’ve heard of rose-tinted specs but not rose-pink sentimentality!
    16d – new word

    So – just as well I wasn’t trying to juggle as many balls in the air as your good self, CS. Many thanks for finding the time to bring us the review and I do hope you get the chance to relax at some point over the holiday.
    Thanks also to MynoT for the puzzle.

    1. I’ve been relaxing most of the afternoon and evening, the most exhausting bit being choosing which naughty but nice goodie to eat

  3. Thank you MynoT and CS, this Toughie was definitely worth the effort, though I had the wrong vowel in at 8d and therefore sought help in parsing it.
    The double Elgar is another kettle of fish entirely….only eight answers so far, way beyond my paygrade methinks

  4. Held up in the SE corner with 25d and 29a.
    Apart from these two, everything went smoothly.
    The only thing missing was the custard in an otherwise interesting and well balanced menu.
    Thanks to MynoT.
    Thanks to CS for saying where the Elgar was hiding. Couldn’t find it either and now that I have, I almost regret it.

  5. Did this in small bites yesterday, in a haze of seasonal cheer. It wasn’t entirely trouble-free: there were a couple of sticking points.

    Thanks to MynoT and to CS – nice to see the 27a pic again. Charlie does indeed look more interested in the mice pies than the crossword!

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