Toughie 1785 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1785

Toughie No 1785 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have a pretty gentle but enjoyable Toughie today – thanks to Kcit. I noticed when writing the hints how often we had to add or subtract the first or last letter from words.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.

Across Clues

1a Run back, getting angry, though not at first at an intense level (4-6)
DEEP-SEATED – reverse a verb to run or hurry and add an adjective meaning angry without its first letter.

6a Part of orchestra obscuring entry of ropey singer (4)
BASS – one of the sections of an orchestra without the first letter of ropey.

9a Suffer endless scramble to secure page in historic paper (7)
PAPYRUS – a verb meaning to suffer or be punished is followed by a scramble without its last letter. Finally insert the abbreviation for page.

10a Captured soldier, deprived of drink, retaining little energy — liable to crumble? (7)
POWDERY – the abbreviation for a captured soldier and an adjective meaning thirsty containing the abbreviation for energy.

12a Left University after work? Mostly stay, seizing the moment (13)
OPPORTUNISTIC – a sailor’s left and an abbreviation for university follow the usual abbreviation for work. Follow all that with a verb to stay or persist without its last letter.

14a Bird accepted bait (small piece of food) (6)
TITBIT – charade of a songbird and a verb meaning ‘took the bait’.

15a Mediterranean port, Nice, unfortunately swamped by molten lava (8)
VALENCIA – an anagram (unfortunately) of NICE inside another anagram (molten) of LAVA.

17a Mobile communicator to get sharper after quibble (8)
CARPHONE – a verb to make something sharper follows a verb to quibble or find fault.

19a Mountain’s gone over by half of visitors, causing bother (6)
PLAGUE – reverse a high mountain and add the first half of a word meaning visitors.

22a Painter’s masterpiece, else his paint misplaced around ceiling, primarily (7,6)
SISTINE CHAPEL – a clever anagram (misplaced) of ELSE HIS PAINT containing the primary letter of ceiling. The painter is Michelangelo.

24a Figure, say, included by artist omitting old man (7)
INTEGER – the abbreviation for ‘say’ goes inside an artist without the affectionate word for one’s old man.

25a Laugh coarsely about the setter eating large apple (7)
BRAMLEY – a verb to laugh like an ass contains a pronoun identifying the setter and that, in turn, contains L(arge).

26a Centrepiece of release by maverick ultimately is disclosure (4)
LEAK – the central letters of release and the ultimate letter of maverick.

27a Put off by a book about holidays, initially unwilling to travel (4-2-4)
STAY-AT-HOME – a verb to put off or suspend followed by A and a large book containing the initial letter of holidays.

Down Clues

1d Fool to try gym at school (4)
DOPE – split the answer 2,2 for the wordplay.

2d Former airman deferring current adventure (7)
EXPLOIT – start with a former airman but hold back the symbol for electric current by two places.

3d I pledge to fill train, providing illumination (5,8)
STRIP LIGHTING – I and a verb to pledge go inside a train or series.

4d Almost certain to replace one of first four letters? Ridiculous (6)
ABSURD – start with the first four letters of our alphabet and replace one of them with an adjective meaning certain without its last letter.

5d Love our family, say, engaged in error, turning up for adoption (8)
ESPOUSAL – the usual letter for love and a pronoun that could mean ‘our family’ go inside the reversal of an error or aberration.

7d A doubter, dismissing second item with germicidal properties (7)
ASEPTIC – A followed by a doubter or cynic without his or her second letter.

8d Startled cry sparks energy to enter building (10)
SKYSCRAPER – insert the abbreviation for energy into an anagram (startled) of CRY SPARKS.

11d Help athlete win when running, avoiding one learner’s impediment (5,8)
WHITE ELEPHANT – an anagram (when running) of HELP ATH[L]ETE WIN without one of the two abbreviations for learner.

13d Unmoved cash register company does it (5-5)
STOCK-STILL – split the answer 6,4 and it’s what a cash register company does. Shouldn’t the definition be ‘unmoving’ rather than ‘unmoved’?

16d About to be nipped by beetle, say, where you wouldn’t want people to see? (2,6)
IN SECRET – insert one of the abbreviations for ‘about’ into what a beetle is an example of.

18d Egyptian city went down in list (7)
ROSETTA – a verb meaning ‘went down’ (like the sun) goes inside a list.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d Miss one thing studied by astrologer or astronomer (7)
GALILEO – concatenate a dialect word for a miss or young lady, the Roman numeral for one and one of the twelve “things” studied by an astrologer.

21d Hesitant about a couple of books in poor condition (6)
SHABBY – an adjective meaning hesitant or cagey contains A and two abbreviations for book.

23d Kind City people will suppress it (4)
TYPE – as is so often the case our final answer is a lurker.

I liked 2d, 4d and 20d but my favourite is 22a. Which one(s) gave you a warm feeling?

On the day that the government is triggering Article 50 to get us out of the EU I thought it would be helpful to hear Sir Humphrey’s explanation of why we joined in the first place:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25 comments on “Toughie 1785

  1. I took the same time to solve both the DT puzzles today – if I tell you that I thought Jay was on the easy side and I took a third less than ‘usual’ to solve him, you’ll understand how exceptionally gentle I found the puzzle on page 18 of the paper. Like Gazza says, it was enjoyable, but it might have been more at home on page 32

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  2. Possibly the easiest “Toughie” I have ever encountered.

    Very surprised that the Crossword Editor didn’t notice all the painters in 22a & 24a. Or was it intentional?

    My main problem was spelling/understanding 7d.

    Favourite: 20d

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza!

  3. I found this quite tricky in places, but very engaging and enjoyable. Fave 4d or 2d, but lots of other good and varied clues.
    Many thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the nudge or two.

  4. I thought it was lovely , although I finished it more quickly than the back pager.A lot of the clues has a humorous twist.
    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  5. Very gentle for a Toughie. I found the back pager harder today. Enjoyed it while it lasted. 1*/3* No particular favourite.

  6. Non of your “easy-peasy” for me! A jolly good, steady slog with smiles and “dohs” on the way and a big sigh of pleasure to finish it off so ***/**** Clue-of-the-day for me – 3 down, nicely led astray by taking “train” as an anagram indicator for the first four words!

  7. Like an idiot I quickly bunged the wrong answer in to 7d, unthinkingly seeing ‘doubter’ as the definition. 6a was then left unsolved. Came here to see what the answer to it was and realised my mistake.

    Other than that I thought it was more challenging than yesterday’s Toughie.

  8. Like CS, I found this one to be on a par with the Jay. However, unlike CS, I didn’t find the Jay puzzle to be a walk in the park!
    Spent a while trying to find some medical terminology to fit into 11d and 5d held out to the bitter end.
    Favourite was 10a.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza – particularly for the reminder of the wonderful ‘Yes Minister’ series.

  9. Once I got the first few the rest fell steadily until I had a letter in every light. A run through revealed that Chubby wasn’t the right answer at 21d. Thanks to Kcit for the puzzle and thanks to Gazza for explaining 4d.

  10. I didn’t find it that easy.
    I got hopelessly bogged down in the top right corner which was much easier once I stopped mixing up 9a with papaya.
    I wasn’t smart enough to sort out 4d for myself.
    I’ve discovered yet another expression that I’ve always misinterpreted – I always thought an 11d was something pretty but of no use at all.
    I liked lots of these and enjoyed it all – 25a and 20d were good but my favourite was 22a.
    With thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

  11. We started off quite slowly but picked up speed as we went along and had a few checkers in place. Enjoyable to solve. We really appreciated your Yes Minister clip Gazza It had us laughing out loud.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  12. Middle of the road for difficulty, pretty enjoyable, so 2.5*/3.5* here.

    Our favourites were 4d and 20d, with the latter the winner.

    Many thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

    We’ll not be commenting on Toughies for a few weeks as we’re off to California tomorrow to spend time with our son who’s working in San Francisco. As iPad print subscriber users we can get the back pager abroad but not the Toughie, although we get both in the paper edition. How does that work, then?

    1. I had a letter today from DT subscriptions. They have hiked the price to £8.50 per week for which I am able to download the paper and also get a hard copy from the newsagents. The iPad version has The Cryptic The Quickie A Codeword and a Sodoffku. No Toughie at all. They say this subscription level is called Premier Complete. I emailed to suggest they renamed it Premier Incomplete because we don’t get The Toughie

      1. I have an app called Crosswords which takes your DT login details and delivers both back pager and toughie in an easy to use form. It mainly carries foreign puzzles but as a bonus you can also access the Independent. I think it cost around a fiver.

  13. Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, and a rare toughie completion for me, so I knew it would have to be on the gentle side! Even so, I needed the hints to parse 1,9,24a and 16,18,20d. I laughed at 25a,but my favourite was 4d, a very clever clue. Was 2*/3* for me.

  14. Maybe this wasn’t as challenging as some would like but I enjoyed it very much. 22A and 16D were my top picks. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  15. Just into 2* time, but I have been awake since 0315 so probably easier than that. 3d was my last in, and gets my vote for best clue. Ta to Kcit and Gazza.

  16. Enjoyed this, and yes, it went in more quickly than the back-pager, but i don’t have any problems with that.

    favourites were 4d, 16d and 20d.
    many thanks gazza and Kcit

  17. On the gentle side, though a bit of a tussle at the end on 1ac and 5d pushed me into *** territory for difficulty. Thoroughly enjoyable throughout.

  18. Fairly gentle for me (gentler than yesterday), but lots of smiles, and a few trickier ones to keep me puzzling into Toughie time.

    I did like 22a, but think that if I had to choose a favourite I’d opt for one of Gazza’s runners-up.

    Sknaht ynam to Kcit and many thanks to Gazza. Loved the 22a illustration and laughed at the Yes Minister.

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