Toughie 1827 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1827

Toughie No 1827 by Elkamere

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


I was a bit pre-occupied with the elections and can’t remember exactly how long this took me to solve, I think roughly 3* difficulty. I do remember I found it massively enjoyable, as usual for an Elkamere. We have the usual conciseness and inventiveness – all great stuff.

Definitions are underlined, the hints should help you nail the wordplay and you can always check the answer by clicking on the TORY LANDSLIDE button. Please leave a message telling us what you thought and how you got on.


1a    3’s ‘6’ sent out, obviously (10)
MANIFESTLY: Anagram (out) of the part of 3d enumerated as ‘6’ + SENT

6a    ‘Goods’ carried by hens regularly (4)
EGGS: An all-in-one: Two abbreviations for good go inside the even letters of hEnS

10a    ‘E’ missing from the suspect’s tattoo (5)
THRUM: Remove E from TH(e) and add a word meaning suspect or odd

11a    Like an officer without a name, ignorant (9)
UNIFORMED: Remove the abbreviation for N(ame) from a word meaning ignorant

12a    Cart found behind tower (7)
TRAILER: Cryptic definition, the tower here is not a building but something that pulls

13a    Dope’s sword not initially polished (7)
GENTEEL: A 3-letter word for dope or info plus a word for sword without the initial letter (not initially)

14a    For this custom, brain’s abandoned (12)
OBSCURANTISM: A semi-all-in-one. Anagram (abandoned) of CUSTOM BRAINS

18a    Iron case for media negotiator (5,7)
PRESS ATTACHE: A verb meaning to iron and a type of briefcase

21a    One cuts intact woolly mammoth (7)
TITANIC: Insert (cuts) the Roman numeral for one into an anagram (woolly) of INTACT

23a    A name, rather short, to describe this person (7)
SOMEONE: A word for rather (as in preferably) without the last letter (short) goes around a pronoun the setter might use for himself (this person)

24a    As smell might be at bottom (2,7)
IN ESSENCE: Two meanings, the first where you might find a smell, the second fundamentally

25a    City tour not to stop (5)
URBAN: City as an adjective. Remove to from tour and add a word meaning stop or bar

26a    Move? Can it heck! (4)
GOSH: A 2-letter verb meaning move plus an interjection meaning can it, as in stop talking ( I really like this clue – short with plenty going on)

27a    This Brie is not too bad (4,6)
HARD CHEESE: Two meanings – something brie is not, and an expression meaning too bad



1d    Mum welcomes a temperature change (6)
MUTATE: A word meaning mum or not speaking contains A from the clue and the abbreviation for T(emperature)

2d    Ordinary seamen or malicious guards (6)
NORMAL: Hidden in the clue (guards)

3d    Not just a parent company? (6,8)
FAMILY BUSINESS: Cryptic definition – this company belongs to not only a parent

4d    In short, cure for fluffing a shot (6,3)
SQUARE CUT: An anagram (for fluffing) of CURE goes inside another word for short, as in thick and dumpy. Took me a while to figure out that this was a cricket reference.

5d    Stretched out or crooked (5)
LYING: Two meanings, the first prostrate, the second to do with falsehood


7d    Work resuming to find myrrh, say (3,5)
GUM RESIN: An anagram (work) of RESUMING

8d     Absorbing material about to absorb artist (4,4)
SODA LIME: A word for about (as in approximately) goes around a Spanish surrealist artist

9d    Sad reason for 16 17 (4,2,3,5)
DOWN IN THE MOUTH: Two meanings, the first an expression for sad, the second more whimsical and requiring the answers to 16d and 17d

15d    Anchorage arranged as date in bar (9)
ROADSTEAD: An anagram (arranged) of AS DATE goes inside another word for bar or pole. Seems a straightforward word but I didn’t know it

16d    A dirty habit, this image is 19 (8)
SPITTING: The answer (this) plus IMAGE gives another definition for 19d

17d    Worries about the plumage (8)
FEATHERS: A word for worries or concerns goes around THE from the clue

19d    Substitute JSA covers UB (6)
DOUBLE: Another word for unemployment benefit (JSA=jobseeker’s allowance) goes around UB from the clue (which is the abbreviation for unemployment benefit, hence a rather nice surface even though it uses abbreviations)

20d    Gathering that welcomes late arrivals (6)
SEANCE: Cryptic definition with a pun on late

22d    Fiddle good with a dance (5)
CONGA: A word meaning fiddle or scam, the abbreviation for good and A from the clue

Plenty to like today. I was taken with 26a, 27a, 2d, 9d with 16 & 17, and 19d. Which were your favourites?

21 comments on “Toughie 1827

  1. Definitely plenty to think about, but immensely satisfying. Liked 1a (once I’d managed to parse it), 6a, 26a, 13a, 14a – but the top spot goes to the 16/17 & 9d combo. ****/****
    Many thanks to Elkamere and to Dutch.

    1. yes of course it is: apologies, I had typed in the wrong word even though I had obscurantism in my solved puzzle – see comment@4

  2. Found this really tricky – needed hints for three clues, and solutions for another three. Cannot make 14a work. Solution from Dutch has only 11 letters, too many Os, not enough Ss and doesn’t use the M.

    Oh well, thanks anyway guys.

    1. 14a oops – you’re absolutely right, i typed in the wrong word as the answer. Now fixed.

  3. A couple of curved balls in this one, Mr. Mayer!
    I didn’t know either the dreadfully convoluted word at 14a or the 15d anchorage. The answer for the latter doesn’t actually sound as though it has anything to do with shipping!
    More problems emerged with the sporty 4d. With just the last letter checker in for the second word I thought I was looking for a snooker term – crikey, there’s a lot of those to wade through.

    Top of my pops were 27a & 20d with a special mention for the 16/19 & 9/16/17 combos.

    Many thanks to Elkamere and to Dutch for an excellent blog. Kitty will be purring happily – although perhaps not over the pic for 9d!
    The cartoon at 1d was rather thought provoking.

    PS If anyone has the chance, the fourth word in the hint for 23a needs a tweak.

  4. Well that was brilliant though I needed hints for 4d, 15d and 23a.
    I loved the 16a/17a /9d combo.
    I think 21a is a perfect little clue.
    Thanks to Dean Mayer and Dutch.

  5. I thought this was a wonderfully enjoyable puzzle. It took me while, but once I had the 9d, 16d and 17d combination (which I thought was both clever and witty), the pace picked up with the NE corner being my last in. I was not aware of JSA in 19d, but a little Google-magic did the trick. Many thanks to all.

  6. I thought that this was just the right level of difficulty for a Friday Toughie after being up all night. I liked loads of clues including the linked 9d, 16d and 17d but my favourite was the superb 27a.
    Thanks to Elkamere and Dutch.

  7. Very nice, we thought, 3*/4*.

    Are we the only ones to consider ‘in passing’ (ooh er, missus) for 24a?!!!?? For a while we thought it fitted quite well, and with the crossing letters we had at the time!

    Favourite was 10a.

    Thanks to Dutch and Elkamere.

  8. I needed 6 hints, so although l filled the grid in 3* time l’d have to accord the extra * for difficulty. My favourite was 26a: short and sweet. Thanks to the Elk – you beat me yet again – and to Dutch.

  9. Great stuff as ever, Dutch – thank you very much, and to all for your kind comments.
    And can I take this opportunity to plug the Macclesfield S&B in July? Would be great to see more of you there. Music on Friday evening, and a Q&A session on Saturday with two top setters and me.

    1. Thanks for dropping in as always Elkamere, great puzzle (as always) and thanks for advertising the Macclesfield S&B crossword meeting in July – which is close to my heart as well.

      I echo Dean’s encouragement, we had a whale of a time last year so do plan to join us on 7 & 8 July, there’s a cheap travelodge on the same street as the railway station (on the Euston-Manchester line) and the venue.

  10. Not sure how long this took me, as it was a very fragmented solve. Certainly had to ponder some awhile.

    Ended up with a completed grid but consulted Dutch for a few parsings/confirmations, notably 14d which was a total guess. I was thinking along film or perhaps photo editing lines. I suppose I could have consulted the dictionary, but the pictures on Dutch’s blog are so much better. (15d was new to me too but it had to be.) My favourites are 6a, 26a, 27a, and 9d.

    Many thanks to Elkamere for another great puzzle and to Dutch for another great blog, beautifully illustrated.

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