Toughie 1750 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1750

Toughie No 1750 by Dada

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

Thanks to Dada for another genuinely tough and enjoyable puzzle. It didn’t turn out as difficult as I thought it would after I made a very slow start


1a    Heavy 24? (7)
BOUNCER: This word for a heavy (a large man at a nightclub door) could also conceivably mean the answer to 24 down

5a    Time for running repairs when edge of vessel knocked about (3,4)
PIT STOP: Time for running repairs on a racing car = a reversal of a vessel’s edge (4’1,3)

9a    Little room to throw on skirts for cha-cha (5)
CABIN: The first and last letters (skirts) of Cha-chA + ‘throw (away)’

10a    Reserve figure about right for possible classic buyer? (4,5)
BOOK TOKEN: ‘To reserve’ + a cardinal number (3) round ‘right’ (2) = something you might use to buy a classic

11a    Charles Bronson, perhaps, embodying fine criminal (10)
MALEFACTOR: Charles Bronson’s gender and his occupation round F (fine)

12a    Brandy in 24.8 days? (4)
MARC: 24.8 is 80% of 31. The answer consists of the first four (of five) letters from a month that contains 31 days

14a    Screen entertainment set in ruins of Rome came good to get wrapped (8,4)
COMPUTER GAME: ‘To set’ inside an anagram (ruins of) of ROME CAME round G (good)

18a    Bird almost replete, it’s suggested? (6,6)
STORMY PETREL: A reverse anagram. The first word is an anagram indicator and the second word is an anagram of REPLET

21a    Delightful / boozer (4)
LUSH: 2 meanings: delightful/a boozer or drunkard

22a    Talk about member preserving energy — that’s healthy and satisfying (6,4)
SQUARE MEAL: ‘To talk (or turn informer)’ round a member (limb) containing E (energy)

25a    Fashion boxing career with beginnings in Charlton Heston’s exclusive club (9)
TRUNCHEON: Fashion (3) round ‘to career’ and the first letters of Charlton Heston’s Exchange

26a    Plant more sage, possibly? (5)
ELDER: The name of this shrub or tree also means ‘having lived a longer time’ and therefore possibly wiser

27a    Given back dependable type, sack disgraced priest (7)
DEFROCK: A reversal of ‘given’ + a dependable type

28a    Side following ball not using wings (7)
LATERAL: ‘Following’ + the middle two letters of ball


1d    Get busy type to host business meeting, initially (6)
BECOME: An insect said to be busy goes round a business and the first letter of Meeting

2d    Lout made a mess of covering note to open gate? (6)
UNBOLT: An anagram (made a mess of) of LOUT round an abbreviation denoting ‘note well’

3d    Conservative was on form after diverting potential trouble (3,2,5)
CAN OF WORMS: C (Conservative) + an anagram (after diverting) of WAS ON FORM

4d    Old instrument providing backing for popular reggae and superb dance music (5)
REBEC: The last letters of popular, reggae, superb, dance and music

5d    Copy useless to shop, worthless stuff (9)
PHOTOSTAT: An anagram (useless) of TO SHOP + worthless stuff

6d    Skirt mummy put on everyone can see (4)
TUTU: The abbreviated form of the name of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh whose mummy was discovered in the 1920s + the letter denoting a film that people of any age are allowed to see

7d    Chinese, for example, appropriate? (8)
TAKEAWAY: When split (4,4) it means ‘to appropriate’

8d    Alarmed, seeing old man in handcuffs? (8)
PANICKED: Old man (father) + ‘arrested (hence possibly in handcuffs)’

13d    Irish torn about always being rude (10)
IRREVERENT: An abbreviated form of Irish + ‘torn’ round ‘always’

15d    Escape beyond Dickensian character, insignificant type (9)
PIPSQUEAK: The principal character in Great Expectations + an escape (especially a narrow one

16d    One getting criticised about duck that’s rare (8)
ISOLATED: I (one) + ‘criticised’ round O (duck)

17d    Something beautiful, stolen goods? (3,5)
HOT STUFF: This term for something that is outstandingly remarkable, excellent, vigorous or attractive could also refer to stolen goods

19d    More sore on the rise or fall? (6)
REDDER: A palindrome

20d    Maybe sheep or deer drained pool and river? (6)
PLURAL: The first and last letters of PooL + a Russian river

23d    Invalidate article removed from publication (5)
ANNUL: A (article) is removed from a publication that appears once a year

24d    A couple after Charlie consumed by the chocolate (4)
ECHO: The word in the phonetic alphabet that comes two places after Charlie is hidden in ‘the chocolate’

I may or may not be there on Saturday but I’m sure you’ll all enjoy yourselves anyway.

17 comments on “Toughie 1750

  1. NW was last, perhaps because of the dependence of 1a on 24d, both fun clues.

    The quirky 12a was my first one in, also a fun clue. Liked 20d too.

    plenty more to like, exclusive club (25a), plant more sage (26a), delightful boozer (21a), skirt mummy put on (6d) and so on…

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen a 5d, and i thought the combination of reverse anagram + last letter deletion was maybe pushing things… (18d)

    Many thanks Dada and Bufo

  2. Unlike Dutch, 24d was my first in although it didn’t help much as I originally wrote an entirely different solution for 1a than the one required.

    Thanks to Dada for, as Bufo says, a genuine Toughie with lots to enjoy. Thanks to Bufo too – I do hope we see you on Saturday (and/or Dada too if he fancies a trip to Little Venice)

  3. Great fun – thanks to Dada and Bufo. I actually got 1a before 24d – in fact I completed all the top half of the grid before getting going on the bottom half. Like dutch I was a bit dubious about having a reverse anagram (18a) where the anagrammed fodder is not an actual word.
    I liked 12a despite having to use my calculator to verify the answer but my favourite was 8d.

  4. I enjoyed this so much! Not only was it fun but I didn’t have to resort to the internet at all. Lots to like…5A, 12A, 18A, 20A, 20D (my favorite) and 24D. Thanks Dada and Bufo. I hope you all have a lovely time on Saturday. I shall be quietly envious all day.

  5. Didn’t bother to calculate the 80% of the month in 12a as the answer was nicely bunged in.
    Needed to check the bird in 18a and the instrument in 4d.
    Last two were 15d and 22a and definitely needed all the checkers to get there.
    Favourite 8d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Bufo.

  6. JLC must have read my mind. Ditto, except I had to check 27a, too.I do think 14a is a bit of a mouthful and agree with Dutch re 18a.
    Nice to see the return of one of MP’s new words at 23d, ‘nnual’.
    Very enjoyable so thanks to Dada and to Bufo.

  7. Great fun to solve albeit quite slowly. I needed the hint for 18ac as I’d completely forgotten the first 6 letter word and given the amount of anagram indicators out there; I decided against staring at the grid for too long.

    Thanks to Bufo and Dada – very enjoyable.

  8. I occasionally tackle a Paul in the Grauniad and rarely complete them. As Dada I find some of his clues impenetrable. Today I am struggling so I am pleased to see this described as a genuine toughie. If at first you don’t succeed and all that.

  9. Excellent fun from start to finish. NE corner was last in for us, probably because it took us some time to link the wordplay with Egypt in 6d and had instead an item of clothing familiar in the Pacific that also ends in U. We hadn’t bothered to check this as we knew it so well but a peek in BRB just now shows it is not there anyway. Once this was sorted the words that crossed it yielded readily.
    Thanks Dada and Bufo.

    1. yes, I also had mumu first – but like you, couldn’t find it in chambers – guess it’s not an English word….

  10. Really enjoyed this although it took me quite a while – not helped by a blunder in the NE, where I’d bunged in the wrong second word for 10a.
    Winced a little over the ‘y’ in 18a but note that it is a recognised alternative.
    Hard to pick a favourite but 17d gave me the biggest smile.

    Thanks to Dada and to Bufo – do hope you manage to join us on Saturday.

  11. Well, am getting there! Needed nudge on first hard five then began to roll. 25a fashion = TON? .
    Liked 11,18,27.a 5a beyond my grey matter”s ability! Never heard of 4 d
    5 pm here. Chucking it down so behind you lot at 7 pm!

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