Toughie 1841 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1841

Toughie No 1841 by Dada

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Thanks to Dada for a really enjoyable puzzle with lots of witty clueing.

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

Across Clues

8a Star runner going backwards (4)
NOVA – the runner is sometimes a flower in Crosswordland.

9a Location in which to find South American plant (3)
OCA – hidden in the clue. I didn’t know the plant but with two checkers out of three it became obvious.

10a Capital that’s in order in Belfast, Brasilia and Tashkent? (6)
ATHENS – split the answer 1,4,1 to get what may be found in order in the three cities mentioned.

11a Female coming in close, I look round (6)
SHUFTI – insert the abbreviation for female into a verb to close then append I. The answer is an old slang term, from Arabic and originally used by the RAF from about 1925, for a quick look round or reconnoitre. *****-kite was an old RAF slang term for a reconnaissance aircraft and *****-scope was used informally for an invasive medical instrument.

12a Rather outstanding captain and helmsman both launching ship (8)
SCHOONER – a synonym for rather or preferably goes outside the initial letters (both launching) of captain and helmsman.

13a Rule scaled down in support for politician (7,8)
FOREIGN MINISTER – a word for a period of rule and an adjective meaning scaled down or small-scale go inside a verb to support or nourish.

15a Order potential bromance? (7)
MANDATE – split the answer 3,4 and it could be the precursor to a bromance.

17a Cushion on the floor reportedly for a large animal (7)
BUFFALO – put together homophones of another word for a cushion or bulwark and an adjective meaning ‘on the floor’ or at ground level. Well, I’m happy with the second homophone!

20a Emotional support in reality bunk fabricated within religious cult (8,7)
SECURITY BLANKET – insert an anagram (fabricated) of REALITY BUNK into a religious cult.

23a Caught feeding stray lately, a wild thing (5,3)
ALLEY CAT – the cricketing abbreviation for caught goes inside an anagram (stray) of LATELY A.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25a Victim in pit (6)
QUARRY – double definition, the first being the potential victim of a predator, say.

26a Five elected initially to enter parliament — I for one, and four others (6)
VOWELS – this was my last answer and it took some time for the penny to drop even with all the checkers. Start with the Roman numeral for five then insert the initial letter of elected into what parliament is a collective noun for.

27a For starters, love essentially is symbol of Polynesian affection (3)
LEI – the starting letters of three words in the clue.

28a Beat with good smack (4)
TANG – a verb to beat and the abbreviation for good.

Down Clues

1d I’m sad British hospital has rings run around it (3-3)
BOO-HOO – start with single-letter abbreviation for British then put a series of ring-shaped letters around the abbreviation for hospital.

2d Tease over speciality for US president (8)
GARFIELD – reverse a verb to tease and add a speciality or discipline to get the name of an assassinated US president.

3d Jerk got in massive car, US people carrier (6,9)
MOVING STAIRCASE – an anagram (jerk) of GOT IN MASSIVE CAR. I’m a bit perplexed by the ‘US’ – the answer is, if anything, a British term. I wonder if ‘US’ was a late addition to the previous clue and it somehow got inserted into this clue as well?

4d Orange pots (7)
SATSUMA – double definition, the second a type of Japanese pottery.

5d Cleaner whips a gun out, left with very little money? (7-2,6)
WASHING-UP LIQUID – start with an anagram (out) of WHIPS A GUN then add L(eft) and a small amount of money (1,4).

6d Auden, oh dear, oh dear! (6)
WHOOPS – the initials of Mr Auden the poet followed by an exclamation recognising that one’s made a boo-boo.

7d Stake, pole piercing goddess of folly (4)
ANTE – the abbreviation for one of the geographic poles goes inside the Greek goddess of mischief.

14d Fish skin not soft (3)
EEL – skin (of a 4d, say) without the musical abbreviation for soft.

16d Wicked one (3)
ACE – double definition. Wicked is being used in its informal sense meaning excellent.

18d Beautiful things approaching amid uncontrollable laughter (4,4)
FINE ARTS – insert an adjective meaning approaching or impending into a word for periods of uncontrollable laughter.

19d Gutless story took a heartbeat (7)
SYSTOLE – the outer letters of story are followed by a verb meaning took illegally.

21d Rough — as are odds? (6)
UNEVEN – a cryptic description of all the odd numbers.

22d Job in foreign currency under a sovereign (6)
ERRAND – a foreign currency follows our current sovereign.

24d Upside-down puppet in sack (4)
LOOT – reverse another word for a puppet, pawn or poodle.

There are honourable mentions for 10a, 15a, 1d and 6d but I’m awarding my prize to 26a. Which one(s) had you cheering?

17 comments on “Toughie 1841

  1. Frist day back at work after a nasty lurgy which may or may not have influenced my taking 3.5 – 4* difficulty time to finish this one off. I’d definitely award it 4* for enjoyment

    Thanks to Dada and Gazza too

  2. 26a is Gazza’s favourite. It was very clever and beat me completely. Thank you for the explanation.

  3. Should have guessed it was a Dada considering the level of enjoyment.
    Last in were 6d and 10a.
    26a takes the podium too.
    Thanks to Dada and to Gazza.

  4. I found this a hugely enjoyable puzzle. I was fortunate to get 26a – it was the second part that gave it to me, and it was only much later that I realized there was a collective noun at play. 16d was my last in – the wicked part gave me pause. I found that the two long clues, across and down, were very helpful in getting footholds for the rest of the puzzle. Many thanks to Dada and Gazza.

  5. We are indeed enjoying toughie land recently. Today’s favourites 10a and, no surprise, 26a. And, no surprise, Gavin is now going for a beer.
    Thanks Dada and Gazza.

  6. Yes , that was fun and very hard . Unsurprisingly ,I just could not get 26a.
    I liked 1d , 5d, and 6d.
    Thanks to Dada and gazza.

  7. 26a was also our last one in and favourite. We spent ages trying to work out how voters could be justified. Excellent fun from Dada as ever.
    Thanks Dada and Gazza

  8. Surprised myself by completing this without hints or electronic help. Lots of clues to savour but 6d and 15a were set for me.

  9. Right at the top of my dififficlty level, this took ages to do, and was not quite finished, but nevertheless very satisfying and very enjoyable. Thank you Dada and Gazza.

  10. A Toughie indeed. Completed in 3* time but I had guesses (wrongly!) at 26a, so l cannot claim total success. I loved 18d. Thanks to Dada and Gazza.

  11. Very late here tonight – brilliant Toughie but 3* difficulty? – rather more than that for me and I didn’t quite finish it.
    I was defeated by 26a.
    I loved 10, 11 and 15a and 1d but my favourite has to be 6d.
    Thanks very much to Dada and to Gazza.

  12. Once again I completed this early this morning and am now just getting around to commenting. I, too, was defeated by 26A (it would have been the stand-alone favorite if I’d solved it!) but otherwise my solve time was reasonable. I ticked 11 and 15A and 1 and 6D. The second definition of 4D was new to me. Thanks Dada and Gazza. I shall try to be more timely tomorrow.

  13. I don’t know why I had quite as much trouble with this one as I did. Lack of sleep perhaps, or lack of brain. Anyway, thanks to Dada for the puzzle and to Gazza for the help.

  14. I finished this last night apart from 26. I spent ages checking out the halogens as I had the ‘ve’ in the middle and Iodine is one of 5 . I then went into all the parliaments I could think of but no joy. The answer came at about 3 am when I was woken by the eureka moment. What a brilliant clue! I also liked 1 3 5 10 18 and 23.

  15. 17a: Buffer low a homophone for BUFFALO? Just about, I reckon – you have to give the setter a little bit of leeway to bend the rules slightly. They’re only word puzzles…

  16. Brilliant! ****/****
    Many thanks to Dada, and to Gazza for some elucidation.

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