Toughie 1875 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 1875

Toughie No 1875 by Elkamere

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Hello friends.  We come to the end of the Toughie week, and to the beginning of September (how did that happen?), with another excellent Elkamere.

I’m not sure what this setter has against the ends of words, but I did find myself removing quite a few last letters here (instead of discarding them I found them a new home on this page).  Do support the last letter sanctuary by leaving a word or two in the comments!

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



1a    The final insult? Charge cut by 25 per cent eats funds (2,3,2,3)
TO CAP IT ALL:  A charge, perhaps for use of a road, without the last of its four letters (cut by 25 per cent) contains (eats) finance.  Chambers defines the answer thus: as a (frequently unpleasant) climax

6a    Chasing opponents, one may initially feel dizzy (4)
SWIM:  After (chasing) some bridge opponents place the numeral one, Roman-style, and the first letter (initially) of may

9a    About to chase rare bird, one seeing another nest? (4-1-5)
PIED-À-TERRE:  About or concerning is to follow (to chase) firstly a less common name for a type of bird and then someone seeing another romantically.  The nest is for humans.  In googling to find out why the bird would be rare, all I could find were the things pictured below

10a   Child’s put in new class (4)
KIND:  Take a young person and put in it the abbreviation for new.  An appropriate clue for the time of year

12a   Sort of dress that’s good to have (4)
GOWN:  Follow the abbreviation for good with a verb to have or possess

13a   Racecourse jockey not scared (9)
DONCASTER:  The letters of NOT SCARED anagram (jockey) into position to form a South Yorkshire town and racecourse

15a   Furious with remote uni having curtailed play (8)
OUTRAGED:  A distance learning and research university and then a type of play without its last letter (curtailed)

16a   Stress I had to leave crash (6)
ACCENT:  A collision from which I’D is to be removed (to leave)

18a   Drink very quietly hidden in hat (6)
TIPPLE:  The musical indication for very quietly inside a slang word for a hat

20a   The same people present (8)
DONATION:  Abbreviation for ditto (the same) and a body of people

23a   Miles and Oleg cut short country dance (9)
FARANDOLE:  A long way, then the AND and most of (cut short) the second name from the clue.  A new dance for me, one which I constructed and checked

24a   Norman is one into Cheddar Cheese (4)
ARCH:  Look into the end of the clue to find the answer lurking there

26a   While talking, fold fleece (4)
ROOK:  Fleece is a verb here and this word might in some accents (not mine) sound like (while talking) a wrinkle or crease (RUCK), so it depends who’s talking … or maybe I’m missing something

27a   I doubt drunk is not given case of rum (10)
QUESTIONER:  An anagram (drunk) of IS NOT is surrounded by (given case of) an adjective meaning rum or odd

28a   Heading off by reversing truck (4)
SEMI:  An arithmetical synonym of “by” missing its first letter (heading off) and written backwards (reversing)

29a   Satisfied nursing home has good company (10)
CONTINGENT:  Satisfied or fulfilled containing (nursing) our usual two-letter word meaning (at) home and G(ood)



1d    The best place to climb (4)
TOPS:  A place or site reversed (to climb, in a down clue)

2d    Bird’s swallowed her cigar (7)
CHEROOT:  A water bird having taken in (swallowed) the HER from the clue.  I prefer the birds to the cigars – they taste look much nicer – so will picture one of those instead.  Click on the pic for a video of mother with chicks

3d    Comfortable flats? Well, no (5,7)
PLAIN SAILING:  Concatenate flats (6) and not well (6) then respace.  Well, no indeed!

4d    I’ll attempt to hold butt in more? (8)
TRENDIER:  One who will attempt contains (to hold) a base or tip.  Funny surface and fiendishly well-hidden definition!

5d    Cat has hair regularly stuck in part of throat (6)
LARYNX:  A big cat (pictured) has within it (stuck inside) regular letters (regularly) of hair.  A clue to make me want to go and eat grass!  

7d    Time to grab extremely short pipe (7)
WHISTLE:  A period of time around (to grab) the outer letters (extremely) of short

8d    Way sailor is controlling (10)
MODERATING:  Join together a way or manner (4) and a non-commissioned sailor in the Navy (6)

11d   Favour a foreigner’s pronunciation of ‘Dionysiac‘ (12)
BACCHANALIAN:  The pronunciation of this sounds like “favour a foreigner” (4,2,5) (BACK AN ALIEN).  Laugh out loud time

14d   Endless fuel for ranches as standard? (4,2,4)
COAT OF ARMS:  A fossil fuel missing its last letter (endless), then a preposition which can mean for, and then some ranches

17d   Very short river heading for this county (8)
SOMERSET:  Very (2), a river of NW England missing its end (short), and the beginning only of (heading for) this

19d   Effect of a protocol (7)
PERFORM:  Of a (3) plus protocol (4).  Effect here is a verb

21d   Perfume from nettle? (7)
INCENSE:  Two definitions, the second being to enrage

22d   What pigeon goes across to pull flying lemur (6)
COLUGO:  What does a pigeon go?  Once you realise you may make an expression of surprise!  COO!  So we start with the noise of a pigeon, and this surrounds (goes across) a verb to pull.  I had to guess at a couple of words before I found our lemur: here he is:

25d   Dry, although with river running through (4)
BRUT:  Although surrounds (with … running through) the abbreviation for river


Thanks to Elkamere for today’s entertainment.  I liked a great deal of this, but will limit myself to mentioning 9a, and the chuckle-inducing 11d and 22d.  Which tickled you?

It’s been fun getting my teeth into a couple of Friday Toughies, but I’m looking forward to Dutch’s return – you’ll be happy to hear that he’ll be back next week.




22 comments on “Toughie 1875

  1. Really enjoyed this one but needed Kitty’s help in parsing 15, 26 and 22. Not keen on 26 but absolutely loved 22. Couldn’t see it at all until I read Kitty’s excellent blog. Never heard of 23 so needed electronic help with that one.14 is a cracker too.

    Many thanks to Elkamere and Kitty.

  2. Thanks to Elkamere for the enjoyable puzzle and to Kitty for the enjoyable review. I went through the same process as Kitty in trying to find out why the 9a bird is rare and ended up with the same oddly-shaped objects sticking out of pies. I know that I occasionally complain about ‘homophones’ that others find acceptable but I can’t believe that anyone anywhere pronounces the two words in 26a the same way.
    Medals go to 29a and 3d but the gold is reserved for 4d.

  3. One day I’ll complete a Friday Toughie unaided, but today was not that day. It didn’t help that I fell for the misdirection in 1d and started out with peak in there. But I was at least able to parse everything and so appreciate all of the brilliance on display here. Smiles in particular for 6a, 12a, 15a, 20a, 3d, and 19d. I cannot remember ever meeting a better homophone than 11d, where I laughed out loud. Laughter was also induced by 22d, and I’m with our Kitty in choosing 11d and 22d as joint winners in the favourite stakes. 22d reminded me that while we know how the pigeon goes, the fox presents more of a challenge. Thanks muchly to Elkamere and to Kitty.

  4. Coo, indeed. 19, 26 and 28 defeated me (semi being a truck was totally unknown to me). But very enjoyable so *****/***** for me. 11 warranting clue of the year ☺

    1. “All the little birdies on Jaybird Street/Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet…” (Rockin’ Robin)

  5. Bit of a hectic day so have only just settled down to have a ‘serious’ go at this one. Possibly at the halfway point but definitely struggling.
    Just popped in to see how Kitty had rated it – don’t feel too bad now!

  6. For the longest time I was stuck with just the NW largely completed. When I eventually tumbled to the (easy) anagram in 13a, that was sufficient for me to get 11d and I was off and running again. I did get 26a, but I’m not sure I see (or hear) the ‘fold’ part of it. I thought this was a very enjoyable puzzle, and I was pleased (and a little surprised) to have completed it. Many thanks to Elkamere and Kitty.

  7. OK – so, I’d never heard of the 28a truck, couldn’t make the 26a homophone work, still don’t really like the ‘rare’ bird and spent far too long trying to make Donington fit with 13a! Apart from that, all went well – although I did have to look up the adorable 22d (think I might need one).

    Without a doubt, 11d gets my gold medal award – brilliant, Dean.

    Thanks to Elkamere (hope all is well with your talented daughter) and many thanks to our Girl-Tuesday-on-a-Friday. Loved the 18a depiction (can’t think why!) and the outfit at 14d.

  8. How good was this 😊, we enjoyed this muchly. I especially enjoyed 11d, which came to me on the way to the pub (coincidence? – I don’t think so). Many thanks to Elkamere and Kitty.

  9. This was entertaining but pretty tough to finish, despite having some help in the pub. We were defeated by the truck and the parsing of 26. My favourite was 11

    Thanks to Kitty and Elkamere

  10. Came close to finishing but was defeated by the truck ( I still don’t get it though our felinophilic blogger has clearly explained what has been reversed). Never heard of the dance but the word play made it possible to solve.11d took me an unconscionable amount of time but gave me a lot of satisfaction when I finally cracked it.

  11. The ones that had me confused like the rare bird in 9a and the homophone in 26a were the stumbling points for others too it seems. For 22d I worked out what it could be and then was surprised to find it in BRB. Certainly a significant challenge and all good fun.
    So all the fill-in Friday Toughie Bloggers have managed to dodge blogging an Elgar puzzle, I can almost hear the sighs of relief in chorus with ours.
    Thanks Elkamere and Kitty.

      1. Thank you Kitty. I think I messed up editing my first remark to include thanks to all who do the blog. I love the roughtie toughtie and do it every day, often check here to see how people have done or get explanations, esp with the dreaded Elgar

        So thank you all!

  12. I did know the truck. It’s a common American term. I came up short on several, I’m afraid. This is just not my week. Thanks to Kitty and Elkamere.

  13. As my Dad would have said – “B*gger me with the rough end of a pineapple!” – that was a real toughie and I’m blinded by the number of white spaces remaining on my print-out.

    Thanks to Kitty for putting me out of my misery & to Elkamere for areal challenge.

Comments are closed.