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Toughie 1918

Toughie No 1918 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

A pleasant puzzle from Samuel with some nice clues. It is possibly over-anagrammed and it does contain the now seemingly obligatory homophone designed to raise a few hackles. Solving was steady with today’s hold-up being in the SE corner

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Where farmer might be without men skilled and obstinate (11)
INTRACTABLE: The farmer might be in a farm vehicle. Remove men (or other ranks) from it and add ‘skilled’

9a    PM following nobody when European quits (9)
AFTERNOON: The PM is not a prime minister but a time of day. ‘Following’ + nobody with the letter E (European) removed

10a    As lovers, take flight, actor Keith avoiding writer (5)
ELOPE: Remove something you write with from the first name of an actor with surname Keith

11a    Student mislaying letter of representation, something fairly lucrative (6)
EARNER: Take another word for a student and remove the letter L (though I don’t know why that’s a letter of representation). That gives you something fairly lucrative such as a nice little one associated with Arthur Daley

12a    More than one film star’s touring gallery (8)
ACETATES: ‘Star’s (top performer’s)’ round the name of an art gallery

13a    Something with three legs? Time against Bolt! (6)
TRIVET: T (time) + a bolt much used in shipbuilding

15a    Lead Greek character drawn in by bars (8)
GRAPHITE: Pencil lead = a Greek letter inside a framework of bars

18a    With copper standing by, a large number delivered clothes (8)
CULOTTES: The atomic symbol for copper + a homophone (delivered) of a large number = a divided skirt

19a    View a ghost about to vanish (6)
ASPECT: A + a ghost with RE (about) removed

21a    Aboard submarine maybe, with the German leaving light cap off? (8)
UNSEALED: Remove DER (the German) from a word that describes where you probably are when in a submarine. Then add a light-emitting diode

23a    Alternative medicine sending oxygen to the head? (6)
OPTION: An alternative = a draught of liquid medicine with its letter O (oxygen) moved to the front

26a    Peers involved in bout of self-indulgence (5)
SPREE: An anagram (involved) of PEERS

27a    Establish position unsettling to trainee (9)
ORIENTATE: An anagram (unsettling) of TO TRAINEE

28a    Naughty daughter isn’t accepting order to stop working (11)
DISOBEDIENT: D (daughter) + ISN’T round a British order of chivalry and ‘to stop working’


1d    Eureka! The setter’s got sex appeal! (1,4,2)
I HAVE IT: The setter + ‘got’ + sex appeal. Is this wishful thinking?

2d    Teacher‘s badly out, entering first two consonants in turn (5)
TUTOR: An anagram (badly) of OUT inside the first two consonants of TURN

3d    Deal with spy protecting mere criminal (9)
AGREEMENT: A deal = a spy round an anagram (criminal) of MERE

4d    Change of heart for Boris, say, in ancient city (4)
TROY: Transpose the middle two letters of a word that describes Boris Johnson

5d    This source of funds he arranged could give back-hander (4,4)
BANK CARD: The answer with HE provides an anagram of BACK-HANDER

6d    Leave banker by accident on vacation (5)
EXEAT: Formal leave of absence = a river (banker) in SW England + the first and last letters of ACCIDENT

7d    Keep an eye on old vicar promoted by diocese (7)
OVERSEE: O (old) + a reversal of a title used by a vicar + a diocese

8d    Slowcoach trained me and you, reportedly (8)
TORTOISE: A slow-moving animal is a homophone (reportedly) of ‘trained you and me’

14d    Our silly novel is unreal (8)
ILLUSORY: An anagram (novel) of OUR SILLY

16d    Stopped playing around on … on ice? (9)
POSTPONED: An anagram (playing) of STOPPED round ON

17d    Free emperor kidnapped by group, both using the same name (8)
GENEROUS: ‘Free’ or ‘liberal’ = the name of a Roman emperor inside a taxonomic group. The emperor and the taxonomic group have to share the letter N (name)

18d    Advise no clue’s to be tweaked (7)
COUNSEL: An anagram (tweaked) of NO CLUE’S

20d    Annoy Republican exiting during explosive function (7)
TANGENT: ‘To annoy’ with the letter R (Republican) removed inside a high explosive

22d    Answer boss, being forward (5)
AHEAD: A (answer) + a boss

24d    Furious Spock’s second to abandon Bones, perhaps (5)
IRATE: Remove P (second letter of SPOCK) from a person such as Billy Bones from Treasure Island

25d    Branch makes withdrawal from capital I’m banking (4)


18 comments on “Toughie 1918

  1. What a delightful change from yesterday. I didn’t find it easy but at least the clues made sense. I wonder what Gazza made of it? Those homophones! 8d has to be pronounced the way I say it but I know many people do not. A dangerous ploy I think.

  2. Pleased to solve this one, after my struggles with Myops. Favourites were 16d and 17d, though 1 (which came easier also raised a smile.

    Thanks to Samuel and Bufo

  3. What a breath of fresh air after yesterday’s monster!
    I was very slow to get 12a and also took a while to latch onto the importance of ‘delivered’ in 18a.
    No other problems to report and I thought the not-quite-a-homophone in 8d was sufficiently funny to be forgiven.

    Favourite was 1d – good for you, Samuel!

    Many thanks to Samuel for the puzzle and to Bufo for the blog. I reckon that the ‘letter of representation’ in 11a probably refers to L plates on a car.

  4. Enjoyable puzzle. Agreed – a bit of a relief after yesterday’s. **/****. Lots of good clues; particularly, 12a, 19a, 23a, 17d and 20d. But tied for first place were 21a and 8d. I enjoyed the homophone, it made me chuckle. Luckily, I’ve always pronounced it with and ‘tus’ and the end. Nice one Samuel.

  5. Apart from 8d which IMHO is awful, this was an excellent and very enjoyable puzzle which was reasonably challenging.

    1d was my favourite with 1a, 21a & 28a also deserving honourable mentions.

    Many thanks to Samuel and to Bufo.

    1. Everyone to their own, but I thought 8d was amusing, and close enough to a true homophone. But, I don’t want to fall out over it. Opinions seem to be divided.

  6. Thanks to Samuel for the pleasant puzzle (though rather heavy on the anagrams) and to Bufo for the blog. The less said about the 8d ‘homophone’ the better.
    I awarded my ticks to 12a and 17d.

  7. As with all who have so far passed comment, I too found this Samuel puzzle a breath of fresh air after yesterday’s mind boggling horror. Fairly clued and a pleasure to solve. Maybe more on the gentle side for a Toughie – that’s not a complaint though I hasten to add. I really liked 9 across, 2 down and 5 down. 8 down was fun, but there again they all were.Thanks to Samuel and Bufo – most entertaining.

  8. Lewis Carroll used the homophone in 8d and we reckon it is just fine for Samuel to borrow it from him to use here. 20d was our last in as our first guess was looking at TORMENT = annoy with the checkers we had at that point. Soon sorted.
    Plenty to enjoy and it all slotted together smoothly for us.
    Thanks Samuel and Bufo.

  9. Very nice (apart from 8D) and not too challenging. 1A and 7D are my top picks, though 28A made me smile too. Thanks Samuel and Bufo.

  10. Yesterday I was four off a completed grid today I was only one clue short. An improvement of sorts I suppose but no cigar. 12a eluded me despite having plenty of checking letters and I resorted to electronic help. 9a was my favourite clue.

  11. Thanks for the blog and to those who have commented. As has been mentioned, the homophone was used by Lewis Carroll so I thought was okay, but I appreciate that in some (many?) accents it’s not accurate.

    And yes, 1dn is entirely fanciful. Unfortunately I’ve yet to find a word which I can clue as “The setter’s a large, bald middle-aged man”!

  12. As JB said, everything made sense but had to be teased out.
    That took a while.
    Haven’t had time to even look at the back page.
    Favourite 17d. Clever construction imho.
    Thanks to Samuel and to Bufo for the review.

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