Toughie 1822 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1822

Toughie No 1822 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Another gentle Thursday puzzle with nothing causing any significant problems

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Singer‘s keen to go to part of London in fall (5,5)
DAVID BOWIE: A singer who died in 2016 =’keen’ and a district in the East End of London inside ‘to fall’

6a    Sensible article introduced by leaders in Sunday Express (4)
SANE: A form of the indefinite article inside the initial letters of Sunday and Express

9a    True, lies, or possibly uncertain (10)
IRRESOLUTE: An anagram (possibly) of TRUE LIES OR

10a    Sack right servant after tip-off? (4)
RAID: ‘To sack’ = R (right) + a female servant with the first letter removed

12a    Pass women with new dress (4)
GOWN: ‘To pass’ + W (women) + N (new)

13a    Shoot prisoner backing communist plot having used this? (9)
GUNPOWDER: ‘To shoot’ + someone held prisoner by the enemy + a reversal of a communist = an explosive

15a    He and I, perhaps, in key parts (8)
ELEMENTS: A bit of an old chestnut where He = helium and I = iodine

16a    Pressure? Rush forward and dive in (6)
PLUNGE: P (pressure) + ‘to rush forward’

18a    Foolish sailor almost certainly died (6)
ABSURD: An abbreviation denoting a sailor + ‘certainly’ with the last letter removed + D (died)

20a    Incorrect term found in revolutionary theorem on simulation (8)

23a    Thunderous accompaniment from inn rocking during torch song’s climax (9)
LIGHTNING: An anagram (rocking) of INN inside ‘torch’ and G (last letter of song).

24a    Flee north-western town when legless (4)
BOLT: Remove ON (leg) from the name of a town in Greater Manchester

26a    5 plus 7 and 3 plus 9 are not level? (4)
EVEN: 3, 5, 7 and 9 are not examples of this kind of number

27a    Work capturing gang, English, chasing gold vehicle (10)
AUTOMOBILE: The atomic symbol for gold + ‘to work hard’ round a gang + E (English)

28a    Carry child close to home (4)
TOTE: A child + the last letter of HOME

29a    Calls excitably then elopes (10)
TELEPHONES: An anagram (excitably) of THEN ELOPES


1d    Weakling departs with rent (4)
DRIP: D (departs) + ‘rent’ or ‘tear’

2d    Wordy poem describes heart-throb’s final love (7)
VERBOSE: Poetry goes round the last letter of HEART-THROB and O (love)

3d    Smash and dig up bottomless jar (12)
DISINTEGRATE: ‘To dig up (a corpse)’ with the last letter removed + ‘to jar’

4d    Make entrance after former pupil, fifty-one (8)
OBLIGATE: ‘To make’ or ‘to force’ or ‘to compel’ = a former male pupil + fifty-one + an entrance

5d    Plan date after endless camping? (6)
INTEND: ‘Camping’ (2,4) with the last letter removed + D (date)

7d    Answer row about boy’s theatrical character (7)
ALADDIN: A (answer) and a row (noise) round a boy = a pantomime character

8d    After son leaves, pensioners cook Mary fruit (10)
ELDERBERRY: Pensioners with the letter S (son) removed + the surname of a cook called Mary

11d    One’s cross to be penned in here (7,5)
POLLING BOOTH: A cryptic definition for where most of you will be next Thursday penning (or pencilling) a cross

14d    Journalist upset over criminal trial about soldiers leaving tracks (10)
DERAILMENT: A reversal of a senior journalist + an anagram (criminal) of TRIAL round soldiers = leaving train or tram tracks

17d    Identify area in mine with smell (8)
DIAGNOSE: ‘To identify the nature of an illness’ + A (area) in a mine + ‘smell’

19d    Part from good guys in group (7)
SEGMENT: G (good) and guys inside a group

21d    Large number in factory working after one (7)
MILLION: A factory + I (one) + ‘working’

22d    Lads swimming with this character could be lifeguards (6)
FIGURE: An anagram (swimming) of LIFEGUARDS minus the letters of LADS

25d    Last of clues after the setter finally quits in confusion (4)
MESS: A personal pronoun denoting the setter + the last letter of CLUES + the last letter of QUITS

I won’t be around next week. I’m going away to avoid the election

[7d + 6a is the title of an album by 1a.  Are there any more?  BD]

12 comments on “Toughie 1822

  1. Samuel has provided wonderful puzzles for about half of my recent back page blogs, so I had to venture over to this side today and see what he’s like in Toughie mode. I got off to a good start because knowing his taste in music meant that the (5,5) singer in 1a went straight in. However, it was only in hindsight that I realized that 1a is part of a theme running through the puzzle, with the 7d/6a and 23a/24a pairs perhaps indicating a favourite album? 18a/20a seems too like it might mean something, although I’m not sure what. I especially liked the topical 11d, the clever 8d, where I spent ages thinking it was an anagram, the neat 13a, the well-disguised 20a, and the clever 22d. Favourite has to be 8d for the eventually penny drop, which would not have occurred had “Bake Off” not travelled all over the world. So, thank you BBC. And thank you to Samuel for a most entertaining puzzle, and to Bufo for the hints.

    Here’s a picture to go with 23a/24a and 7d/6a:

  2. I’ve found all the Toughies this week to be sadly dull and uninspired. Not even the glimmer of a smile anywhere. I do so crave humour and originality.

  3. I found enough entertainment to make it a pleasant solve – 14d, 8d, 29a… Didn’t notice the theme until I read Mr K’s observations.
    Not sure about the clue/definition at 3d; I suppose it sort of works… ho hum.
    An engaging puzzle. Thanks to Samuel and to Bufo for the review. ***/*** For me.

  4. Good fun despite my lack of knowledge about 1a’s music.
    Needed Bufo’s help to parse 15a – it may well be an old chestnut but not one that was familiar to me in that guise.

    Top three places went to 18&24a along with 2d.

    Thanks to Mister Samuel Ron and to Bufo for the review. Bet Mr. K’s sorry he didn’t get that one to illustrate!

    1. Yes, Jane, I would have enjoyed seeing this one on a Tuesday back page. At least I had a suitable picture ready to go.

      Re 15a, I guess that whether a clue is chestnut or not depends on how long and where one has been solving. It was new to me, and the only similar previous appearances in the Telegraph and the Guardian that I can find are:

      Tue 3 Jun 2014 TOUGHIE 1198 by Warbler Nitrogen and oxygen, e.g., make the weather (8)
      Fri 19 Jun 2009 GUARDIAN 24730 by Arachne They’re essential. Am I? (8) [Am = Americium]
      Mon 30 May 2016 GUARDIAN 26897 by Rufus He is a colourless one (7)

      I was happy to meet him for the first time today.

  5. I only occasionally dip into the Toughie world but, like Mr Kitty, having enjoyed Mister Ron’s back-pagers I decided to give this one a try. And very good it was too!

    I needed Bufo’s help to parse my “two bung-ins” 15a (shocking that as a [ex-]chemist I missed this one) and 22d.

    Lots of goodies here but 2d is my favourite. It’s a word I often use about some setters, but not for this one – nice concise cluing in evidence :good:

    Many thanks to Samuel and to Bufo.

  6. I was more than happy with this, since it’s the first toughie all week that I’ve managed to solve. Although i did have the correct answer for 22d based on the checkers and ‘character”, I had no idea how to parse it. 15A was the same. 8D tickled my fancy. Thanks Bufo and Samuel.

  7. We were impressed with the quality of the surface readings here. It made for a most enjoyable solve for us that all went together a little more easily than the RayT puzzle. We suspected there might be some 1a themed answers somewhere but it is not something we know much about so did not go searching. We eventually recognised the wordplay in 15a as something that had tripped us up before, but it did take some time. Really good fun.
    Thanks Samuel and Bufo.

  8. Rather a doddle for a Toughie: 2*/3*. 17d my favourite. Thanks to Samuel and Bufo.

  9. Very pleasant but not very tough.
    Got the singer straight away too but didn’t notice any connection with the rest of the crossword.
    Nice surface all round.
    Thanks to Samuel and to Bufo.

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