Toughie 1796 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1796

Toughie No 1796 by MynoT

Hints and tips by Kitty

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hi all.  I hope you had a most enjoyable Easter weekend.  I’ve been able to spend time with both of my siblings and their offspring, but relative peace is returning.

MynoT eases us back into normal life with a fairly standard Toughie.  I did need to verify one or two things and had a few pauses over parsing, but the grid filled smoothly in a time that suited a tired Kitty on blog night.

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



1a    A new tax meeting relative opposition (10)
ANTITHESIS:  Bring together the A from the clue, N(ew) and a tenth of the annual produce of land and stock, originally taken as a tax for the church, followed by (meeting) a short form of a family member

6a    Old fogey in the same manner as before (4)
DODO:  Two instances of an abbreviation for a word (ditto) which means in the same manner or as before

9a    Material study I’m following (5)
DENIM:  A usual crosswordland study room and the next two letters lifted straight from the clue

10a   Having nothing of animal or vegetable origin in newspaper I see (9)
INORGANIC:  A charade of IN, a newspaper or publication, I and see in txt spk (actually, I’m pretty sure that this usage goes back further, as does the acronym OMG)

12a   Expose bold thief falsely entrapping depressed female (4,3,3,3)
BLOW THE LID OFF:  An anagram (falsely) of BOLD THIEF containing a word meaning down, then F(emale)

14a   Individual’s large vessel is a joke (3-5)
ONE-LINER:  Single and a large vessel put together make a little joke.  This weekend my family asked me to stop impersonating a flamingo.  I had to put my foot down

15a   Nimbler and more delicate but not French (6)
AGILER:  Take a word meaning more delicate and remove a the two letter abbreviation for French from the beginning

17a   Master of lengths and angles put cue back with cover on (6)
EUCLID:  Reverse (put back) CUE then add a cover

19a   Ride around with learner needing to keep awake (8)
CAROUSEL:  Abbreviations for about and learner contain (keep) a verb to stir or awake

21a   Transplant earth? (6,2,5)
CHANGE OF HEART:  A reverse clue which seems to be in vogue at the moment.  The answer, which could be an organ transplant (so the underlining caused me problems as the question mark needs to refer both to the definition and wordplay parts of the clue) could also be a cryptic indication of EARTH, containing as it does an anagram indicator and an anagram of EARTH

24a   Burial places in Glasgow that could be dark and risky (9)
KIRKYARDS:  An anagram (that could be) of DARK and RISKY leads to somewhere (in Glasgow, or anywhere else Scottish) where dead may be buried

25a   Talk while stationary (5)
ORATE:  Splitting the answer (1,4) and interpreting the first letter as a number, this could mean having no speed

26a   In Perth not one Chinese male (4)
YANG:  The Scots form (in Perth) of one (YIN) is one of two opposing and complementary principles of Chinese philosophy and religion.  We want the other, masculine, one.  I got this from the definition, but had terrible trouble trying to parse it, boomeranging back and forth between Australia and Scotland before the answer arrived via the US.  Thanks, Mr K! When doubled, this is also a name which has been given to at least two pandas, a male in Atlanta, Georgia, and a female in Vienna, both successful breeders.  Here’s the mother with cubs:

27a   Guns score disastrously with Southern legislature (1,1,8)
US CONGRESS:  An anagram (disastrously) of GUNS SCORE with S(outhern)



1d    Help put on ace opera (4)
AIDA:  Put a word meaning help above (on, in a down clue) an abbreviation for ace

2d    Lowest honour having enough power that can be retained (7)
TENABLE:  The lowest honour card in bridge (I did have to check to see if my hunch was right here) and having the ability (to do a thing)

3d    Increasing speed on outskirts of Londonderry so as to gain time (13)
TEMPORISINGLY:  Speed (5) increasing (6) and then (on) the outer letters (outskirts) of Londonderry

4d    Record fibres in letters (8)
EPISTLES:  A two letter record and then some fibres (which I had to check to verify)

5d    United goalkeeper’s place in line-up not a soul supports (2,3)
IN ONE:  Nobody is underneath (supports, in a down clue) the position of a goalie in a football line-up, written the Roman way.  I got a little bit muddled by thinking at first that the goalkeeper’s position was the second word of the answer

7d    Self-inflicted disadvantage of women in stormy lagoon (3,4)
OWN GOAL:  An abbreviation for women inside an anagram (stormy) of LAGOON.  The one below is sixth on this list, which has nine more for you if you like that sort of thing

8d    Working at church Flora, upset, left finally (4,3,3)
ONCE FOR ALL:  String together working (2), church (2) an anagram (upset) of FLORA and the abbreviation for left and you will finally arrive at the answer

11d   Fetching a son’s grand, being sold for a trifle (5,3,1,4)
GOING FOR A SONG:  The first two words of the answer mean fetching; we then have a couple of words from the clue followed by an abbreviation for grand

13d   Dance that’s hot — fine if daughter’s shown the door by clubs (5,5)
HOKEY COKEY:  Start with H(ot) and add an extended version of fine or alright where D(aughter) has been removed (shown the door) and replaced by C(lubs).  The Americans have a slightly different name for this dance (revealed by clicking on the picture) which sounds like more fun than our version …

16d   This cult society could turn to masochism (8)
MACHISMO:  This (the answer, defined by Chambers as the cult of male virility and masculine pride) with S(ociety) could form an anagram of MASOCHISM

18d   Endless gossip – smile shows embarrassment (7)
CHAGRIN:  Gossip or informal talk missing the last letter (endless) and a wide smile (like the one sported by my Cheshire cousin)

20d   Widow dined to gratify fully (7)
SATIATE:  I had to look up this widow: an Indian widow who burned herself on her husband’s funeral pyre.  After her comes dined or munched

22d   Some progress for cannibals (5)
OGRES:  These man-eating monsters are lurking in the clue

23d   Admit to a band across the middle (4)
FESS:  Two definitions: (usually with up) to admit to a crime, or a horizontal band in heraldry


Thanks to MynoT.  I enjoyed the 13d.  Which, for you, were what it’s all about?


15 comments on “Toughie 1796

  1. Thanks to MynoT and Kitty for the puzzle and blog respectively. I don’t think that 26a works and I dislike the comparatives for nimbler and more delicate in 15a – they may (just about) be valid but surely nobody uses them.
    The clues I liked best were 19a for the good surface and 13d for the laugh.

  2. A bit of an odd mixture, mostly straightforward but a few obscure ones that were tricky to parse – I must admit that 26a went in unparsed so thanks for that.

    Thanks to Kitty and MynoT

  3. ….and 22d, eating humans doesn’t make this species cannibal, does it ?
    Otherwise, ta to MynoT and Kitty

  4. Certainly needed your help with a few bits of parsing, Kitty!
    26a for one – and still think it’s a bit of a stretch.
    2d – the bridge connection was rather lost on me.
    5d – didn’t occur to me that a goalie wears the No. 1 shirt. Jeepers, I thought it was just cricket I had to mug up on!

    The 4d fibres were new to me but I did check with Mr. Google, albeit it with a great deal of doubt in my mind.
    That spelling of the bereaved Indian lady was new and I had to check on the heraldic term in 23d. Should the answer not be given as an abbreviation as far as the first definition is concerned?
    Least said about 15a the better – surely most people would say ‘more *****’ ?

    Not quite as much humour as we’ve had recently from MynoT but I did enjoy 19a and the laurels go to 21a.

    Thanks to MynoT and to our Girl Tuesday. Hope you can enjoy a nice long cat nap today!

    1. I did check to see if the first definition of 23d requires an apostrophe but it’s made the transition to a stand-alone word.

    1. Ah – just realised that you wrote l8r not 18r. No wonder text speak gets folk into so much trouble!

  5. Jane has pretty much summed it up for me – plus 8d; the usual phrase includes the word ‘and’, does it not? 21a fave too.
    Also agree 15a – ‘more *****’ is surely bettererest. Quite enjoyable all the same, thanks to MynoT and to Kitty.

    1. Hi LbRoy,
      That query over the missing ‘and’ was my reason for not putting 8d on the podium with the others. Forgot to mention it in my comment, but then I had already said quite a lot!

  6. The two pesky four letter words in the bottom corners where we stumbled. We did not know the heraldic band or the Scottish dialect word. The rest had all gone together without too much fight.
    Thanks MynoT and Kitty.

  7. I loved a lot of it , including 17a and 10a . I also got held up by 23a and 25d. I think 23a is a bit iffy.
    However 21a really amused me , although I have come across that construction before, but it is still good..
    Thanks MynoT and Kitty.

  8. Thanks to Myno T and to Kitty for the review and hints. Too tough for me needed 12 hints to finish. Some much I’d never heard of.

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