Toughie 1732 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1732

Toughie 1732 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Warmest greetings, Toughieistas.  I hope you have all been having a lovely time.  If you are feeling stuffed following the past few days, you may want to look away now, because the feasting continues.  Samuel has served up some tasty 14d for us to enjoy.

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    and 15: Some 14 that may bring one painfully down to earth (4,6)
COLD TURKEY: Some 14d which many of us are chomping our way through (me as I type this!) is also a term for sudden unpleasant withdrawal

3a    Scottish team moving south includes a colonial (5)
SAHIB: The nickname of a Scottish football club, has S(outh) moved to the front and contains (includes) the A from the clue

6a    Is hot leaving cleric’s dances (4)
BOPS: IS and H(ot) removed from (leaving) a senior member of the clergy

8a    Seethed about a nitrogen pipe that comes from 14 (6,3,6)
BUBBLE AND SQUEAK: Another answer made from 14d.  The recipe for this one is: Take A from the clue and the chemical symbol for nitrogen and insert into seethed or frothed.  Garnish with pipe, here a verb to peep or cheep

9a    Former PM disarmed country (6)
ISRAEL: A former British prime minister with the letters at the sides taken away (disarmed)

10a    Direction that turns boy into yob (8)
BACKWARD: noitcerid siht ni ti etirw ,boy otni yob drow eht nrut oT

11a    Plea for heart of rugby, after playing game (8)
LEAPFROG: An anagram (after playing) of PLEA FOR and the middle letter (heart of) rugby.  An opportunity to reheat this picture, first used on this blog by the 2Kiwis, and serve it up again

13a    Man evacuated emotional place to hear carols? (6)
CHAPEL: A fellow or guy comes before the outer letters (evacuated) of emotional

15a    See 1 Across

17a    Stripped-down type of ship drawing in an animation rejected (8)
SANSERIF: This type of type lacks the nobbly bits at the end of the strokes present on other types of type. Our usual abbreviated steamship contains AN from the clue and is followed by animation, passion, or heat returned (rejected)

19a    Sounds like wet weather, darling? Let’s hope they delivered to you on Sunday (8)
REINDEER: Homophones of wet precipitation and a word meaning darling produce a creature which may have helped a fat fellow get to your house on Saturday night / Sunday morning.  If he did (and it’s a big if) he may then have entered unlawfully and left behind some presents.  I didn’t get a visit from this man, presumably because I have been naughty – though I have been nice too!

21a    Straight over? Yep! (6)
RIGHTO: Straight or direct and the abbreviation for over.  Indeedy

22a    Axe most of greedy bunch crookedly hoarding gold they convert (7,2,6)
BUREAUX DE CHANGE: An anagram (crookedly) of AXE with most of GREEDy and BUNCH containing (hoarding) the chemical symbol for gold

23a    Tip which could make pair terribly peculiar (4)
CLUE: Here’s a tip: peculiar is an anagram of the answer with PAIR

24a    Abandoning hotel, hassle about where to find bargain today? (5)
SALES: Having removed H(otel), an anagram (about) of hASSLE.  You won’t find me near any of these: I’d pay to avoid them

25a    Give the old man two sons (4)
PASS: The old man is followed by two of the abbreviation for son



1d    Accountant with spirit rented vehicle (9)
CABRIOLET: A charade of a type of accountant, spirit or vigour (musically) and rented or leased

2d    Stalin’s heavy behind oddly laid in state (7)
LIBERIA: Put a secret police chief and deputy premier under Stalin after (behind) odd letters of laid to reach a West African country

3d    Geese try swimming across lake to find shade (5-4)
STEEL-GREY: An anagram (swimming) of GEESE TRY around (across) L(ake).  One shade of fifty perhaps

4d    A woman usually needs this bit of help mounting yak (7)
HANDBAG: Women tend to need one of these because of an irritating lack of pockets in feminine clothing, as well as often having to carry more stuff (including those things which won’t fit into the pockets of companions).  Start with a bit of help one might give or lend and place it next to yakety-yak, backwards (mounting, in a down clue)

5d    Simple principle detailed by Conservative (5)
BASIC: A foundation or principle without its last letter (detailed, in the whimsical crossword usage of de-tailed) and the letter which can stand for Conservative

6d    Fed up with wife accompanying fit swimmer (4,5)
BLUE WHALE: Another charade (well, it is the season): marine mammal, two words.  Down or fed up, W(ife), and fit or healthy.  A few more portions of 14d and I will be able to mime this one all in one go

7d    Run into couple? That is plain (7)
PRAIRIE: R(un) inside a twosome and then the abbreviation for that is

12d    Hound lunatic keeping safe on vacation (9)
PEKINGESE: An anagram (lunatic) of KEEPING and the outer letters (on vacation) of safe

13d    Shrinks study publications (9)
CONTRACTS: A verb to study and pamphlets or leaflets, especially of a religious or political nature

14d    Cooked for svelte – resulting in this? (9)
LEFTOVERS: Make a blend of the letters in FOR SVELTE (cooked).  Someone slim might conceivably have more of these remaining after a feast, but it depends not only on how much you eat but on how much you cooked up in the first place

16d    Showing discrimination, fine-tune qualities somewhat (7)
UNEQUAL: A hidden word, indicated by somewhat …

17d    Food eaten by most rude lawyers (7)
STRUDEL: … and, hot on its heels, another lurker included in the clue (eaten by)

18d    Solo in rain flustered singer (7)
RIHANNA: This singer sang about an Umbrella.  The Solo loved by Leia inside an anagram (flustered) of RAIN.  Get well soon, Carrie Fisher.  2016 isn’t going to get you too

20d    Play Queen in Brussels and America (5)
EQUUS: An abbreviation for Queen inside the two lettersfor the organisation which can be metonymically referred to as Brussels, finished with a final abbreviation, this time for the United States.  It’s the play which marked the start of Daniel Radcliffe’s career as a fully grown muggle


Well, that’s my last set of hints of this crazy year.  It’s nearly over.  Assuming I make it through, I’ll see you next year. 

Thanks to Samuel.  I liked the food (I usually do), though I had to bring my own liquid refreshment to wash it all down with.  Which tickled your taste buds and made your mouth water?


27 comments on “Toughie 1732

  1. This was a lot of fun – thanks to Samuel and Kitty. The tastiest clues for me were 4d and 18d.
    Shouldn’t the 12d hound now be called a Beijingese?

  2. A lot of fun and on the Toughie spectrum too – which makes a nice change on a Tuesday.

    Interestingly I solved this before sorting out the 14ds and 1/15 in order to make some 8a for lunch.

    Thanks to Samuel and the purring person

  3. Lots of fun, and done before straining the big pot of the turkey carcass and fixin’s, leaving me with a ton of lovely rich stock. Turkey noodle soup is on the menu for tonight. 17A was my last one in and I confess to a bit of Googling for that. 1d and 2D tickled my fancy. Thanks Samuel and Kitty. Hope your Christmas was purr-fect.

  4. A lot of fun , though I needed some prompting for a few clues.
    I liked all the foody clues and also 19a, 4d and 21 a.
    Lovely illustrations , especially at 1a.
    Thanks to Kitty and Samuel .

  5. Well, if I could finish it with only one hint from Kitty, it can’t have been too hard. Took me a while, but I got there.

    I haven’t seen 17a as one word and I don’t believe I know any of 18d’s repertoire.

    Many thanks to Kitty and Samuel.

  6. Given the food theme I tried (unsuccessfully) to put “The Jam Tarts” in some form or other into 3a.

    I’m becoming very lazy at working out anagrams in their entirety … I just bung ’em in these days .. so thanks to Kitty for unravelling 22a.

    Thanks to Samuel and Kitty.

  7. Wonderful 14d’s from Samuel which took me two sittings to get through but were well worth the effort.
    17a must have been lying dormant somewhere in the old grey cells because I got it once the checkers were in place – hardly on the tip of my tongue, though!
    Had to ask Mr. Google about the solo – are all of our setters fans of Star Wars? Umm – I doubt that Giovanni is, but I may be wrong.
    I rather suspect that the Kennel Club would raise their collective eyebrows over 12d being included in the Hound Group – ah well, it is the festive season.
    4d takes the wishbone.

    Many thanks to Samuel for the reminder of Christmas just past and to our Girl Tuesday for delightfully depicting same. Worry not, I think Rudolph is heading your way in the not too distant future!

  8. Nearly solved hint-less but 17a needed feline help. Seasonal bits helped simplify things
    Frustrated – so near yet so far, all the same satisfied that some days now the (easier) Toughie is nearly doable.
    Thanks to Samuel for the encouraging near-solve and Kitty for the last piece.

  9. At least I got 6d and 24a, apart from that well above my pay grade. that will teach me to attempt the Toughie!!
    I shall go through the hints as usual and wonder why it was so beyond me.
    Thanks Kitty in advance.

      1. Your entry on the back pager encouraged me. Spent too long refusing to be beaten so the re-wirring in the loft hasn’t progressed at all.
        Better half not amused so I blamed you. May have to tell BD not to forward her email!
        Wish you a Happy New Year may your whistle not lose its pea.

        1. Oops, apologies. I forget the gulf between the two crosswords.
          HNY to you too, I played in the Boxing Day foursomes yesterday, a wonderful way to work off the Christmas Day excesses.

          1. Foursomes not fourball!
            I thought tradition was dying. Sadly it is in my club.
            We used to have a six hole cross country on Boxing Day. Now it’s an 4BBB.

            1. Only ever play fourball under extreme sufferance.
              Foursomes is the only game, we play a lot of it still at our club.

  10. It was nice to see the picture for 11a again. Seem to remember that we were given a hard time when we first used it. Not too tricky and fun all the way through.
    Thanks Samuel and Kitty.

    1. Have just heard on the news that Carrie did not make it. Another star to the 2016 list. What a year it has been.

      1. Oh dear.
        And I just saw her in Rogue One.
        Along with Peter Cushing… and he.left us in 1994!

  11. Right up my street this one, apart from 20d reminding me again of my literary ignorance, and just needed a peek for 17a, too.
    Cue schoolboy snigger at the illustration for 19a. Thanks for that, Kitty. Hard to pick a fave, but 23a gets the gong.
    Thanks to all as ever.

  12. No 14d for me.
    Finished my plate.
    Finished this crossword also.
    Nice and airy. These are the actual words that come to mind.
    Thanks to Samuel and to Kitty.
    I shall use your enumeration to wave 2016 goodbye!

  13. The top end of 2* difficulty, I found, but that was because I refused to accept the apparent answer to 12d because of the “g” (I didn’t know it was a valid alternative spelling). I enjoyed 18d particularly. Thanks to Samuel, and to Kitty.

  14. Thanks for the write-up, and to all who have commented. I hope all Toughie solvers have had a good Christmas — and that there aren’t too many leftovers still to work through!

    1. Thanks for a very good puzzle today. What’s your view on 13a on the back-pager? Is that a good clue?
      Thanks again.

      1. I’m okay with 13ac in the backpager, unless I’ve missed something. Assuming I’m looking at the right clue in the right puzzle, Chambers gives ‘hot’ as its second definition for ‘warm’, so the wordplay is WARM (=hot) with LUKE (=gospeller) in front (originally).

    2. Thanks for the comment, Samuel – not to mention the puzzle. I hope you had a good Christmas too. All the best for the new year.

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