Toughie 1927 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 1927


Toughie No 1927 by Elkamere

Hints and tips by Dutch


+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I was pleasantly surprised to find it was Elkamere today. I enjoyed the puzzle a lot. Note the beautifully concise clues.

As always, the definitions are underlined in the clues below. The hints and tips are intended to help you sort out the wordplay. You can always reveal the answer by clicking on the click here buttons. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    What I could be with you? (10)
ANTONYMOUS: The answer describes the relationship of the opposite words I and you

6a    A reduced fee is a long way off (4)
AFAR: A from the clue plus a 4-letter word for fee, normally for travelling, without its last letter (reduced)

10a    M’s predecessor quits in Gulf, redeploying rising agents? (5)
FUNGI: An anagram (redeploying) of IN GU(l)F, omitting the letter that comes before M (M’s predecessor) gives something that rising agents exemplify (the question mark can indicate a definition by example)

11a    Address searches with stamp collecting (9)
DISCOURSE: A 6-letter verb meaning searches goes inside (collecting) a stamp for impressing coins, etc.

12a    National Airlines rejecting name changes (7)
ISRAELI: An anagram (changes) of AIRLI(n)ES without the abbreviation for Name

13a    Most efficient time — that is, about 1 (7)
TIDIEST: The abbreviation for Time, then the Latin for that is (2,3) goes around the Roman numeral for one

14a    Progressive rock music magazine (7,5)
ROLLING STONE: The name of an iconic music magazine can be literally interpreted as a rock that is making progress



18a    Correct co-ordinates, sailor assumes (5,7)
NAVAL UNIFORM: The answer would be the correct set of matching clothes (co-ordinates) that a sailor wears (assumes)

21a    Sedatives work before tea is drunk (7)
OPIATES: The Latin abbreviation for work, then an anagram (drunk) of TEA IS

23a    Bond left after reprimand (7)
RAPPORT: A 3-letter reprimand followed by a nautical left

24a    Dance outside with highwayman (9)
BANDOLERO: A 6-letter Spanish dance goes ‘outside’ a conjunction meaning with

25a    Face regularly aired as cover of magazine (5)
IMAGE: The even letters of aIrEd act as a cover for (i.e., go around) the abbreviation for magazine

26a    Fish from either side of dinghy (4)
DORY: Either side of dinghy would be the first letter OR the last letter

27a    Faint evidence of military success (7,3)
PASSING OUT: double definition, the second relating to completion of military training and often used in conjunction with ‘parade’


1d    What’s inside safe? Just a thing (6)
AFFAIR: The letters on the inside of sAFe plus a word meaning just

2d    Plain fish full of bones (6)
TUNDRA: A 4-letter fish contains (full of) the abbreviation for someone in the medical profession nicknamed ‘bones’

3d    Row of buildings and occupants (5,9)
NOISE POLLUTION: I think that this is just the row as in din that could come from building works and/or people. I might be missing something, please do comment if you have another idea.

4d    Cut of meat Irish house put into fruit (9)
MEDAILLON: The lower Irish house of parliament goes inside (put into) a fruit

5d    Winning some games is a shock result (5)
UPSET: A word for winning plus some games in tennis

7d    Trimming hair in nether regions (8)
FURBELOW: Split (3,5), this word for a ruffled border or flounce would mean hair in the nether regions

8d    Endless energy not unusual for physicist (8)
ROENTGEN: An anagram (unusual) of ENERG(y) NOT, without the last letter of energy (endless)

9d    What you must do is drop object in liquid (3,11)

15d    Port invested in unsafe supply base (9)
NEFARIOUS: A 3-letter South American port goes inside (invested in) an anagram (supply) of UNSAFE

16d    Plant pots not carelessly buried (8)
ENTOMBED: A verb meaning plant contains (pots) an anagram (carelessly) of NOT

17d    Meal eaten straight from the box? (2,6)
TV DINNER: The box here refers to something you might watch in your living room

19d    Island also contains land (6)
TOBAGO: A 3-letter word meaning also ‘contains’ a verb meaning to land or secure

20d    Prove most stout doesn’t have head (6)
ATTEST: Take an adjective meaning most stout and remove the first letter (doesn’t have head)

22d    We should put up a standing stone (5)
STELA: A reversal (put up) of a (3’1) expression that means we should, or why don’t we, plus A from the clue

My favourite clue today is 9d, a very smooth and tidy anagram – though there is plenty to like. Which clues did you enjoy most?

17 comments on “Toughie 1927

  1. Very enjoyable indeed, at the easier end of the Elkamere scale but within the Toughie spectrum (finally – its been a very fluffy week, especially yesterday)

    I liked 2d and, as mentioned by Dutch, 9d, and t I did grin at 7d too

    Thanks to Elkamere and Dutch too

  2. Enjoyable as ever from Elkamere – thanks to him and and Dutch. I didn’t think that this was one of Elkamere’s toughest and I was a bit surprised that there are 7 anagrams (including four in a row) because Elkamere normally limits himself to a maximum of 6. I liked 1a, 24a and 2d but my favourite clue was the LOL 7d. The standing stone at 22d was a new word for me.
    I was hoping that Dutch would have some clever explanation for 3d because I’ve been looking at it on and off all morning and I can only see a weakish cryptic definition.

    1. Well one anagram is as small as can be – maybe partial anagrams only count half?

      I stared at 3d for ages as well

  3. Thanks Dutch. I’ll go with your rating 100%. And a proper Friday Toughie. (BTW what Sue said about yesterday’s.)

    As I have said before, solving on line I have to guess the setter, but today, the wonderful brevity of the clues convinced me it was Elkamere, almost before I started to solve. We are in the presence of a true master of his craft, and it almost feels a privilege to be given the chance to solve the puzzle.

    If that sounds a bit of a grovel so be it, but it is how I feel: the puzzle and the large Glenmorangie I am now enjoying have made my day.

  4. Brilliant stuff as usual from this setter. Hoping for better explanation of 3d but loved 7d and 26ac. Thanks to Dutch.

  5. Thank you very much for the terrific blog (as ever) Dutch. Have to confess I’d completely forgotten it was my shift until I saw it Tweeted.
    3d isn’t the most exciting clue, I’m afraid – it is exactly as it appears to be. When the answer went in and I’d scribbled ‘row’ as a starting point for the clue I imagined working it into something more adventurous, but it started to become forced/convoluted so it was a case of keeping it gentle in a puzzle where there are quite a few clues on the tougher side.
    Gazza is absolutely right about the anagram count. There were no edits I had to be involved in, but 10a was changed from a less common answer and ended up being an anagram. I was happy with the clue offered but didn’t think to go back in and check the anagram count.
    Have a great weekend everyone.

  6. Gentler than expected and very enjoyable. Unfortunately didn’t know 7d so didn’t get a D’oh! moment, 4d had me reaching for the dictionary, puzzled; still not 100% convinced as to why it’s in there. Had to smile at 26a, and I, too thought I may be missing something for 3d.

    Many thanks to Elkamere and to Dutch for the odd nudge.

  7. I did enjoy this, but again, I fell a few (four this time) short of completion. I toyed with the right answer for 1a but I did not think that the descriptor for you and I quite worked, and I was not aware of the Irish house in 4d. I also missed the 16d and 24a combination, and probably shouldn’t have although I am not surprised that the highwayman did not come to me. Many thanks to Elkamere and Dutch.

  8. I’ll admit I had a bit of electronic help but it was worth it to finish a Friday Toughie. My one error was 1a where I had “autonomous” without checking it’s meaning. Silly.
    My favourite was 27a which I thought was brilliant – especially as some cadets occasionally do this when it’s hot!
    Thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. I started off with autonomous being mislead by I=independent, but it didn’t parse any further than that

  9. Not a rapid solve by any means for us but we did eventually get everything sorted. Laugh out loud moment was for 7d and plenty of other smilers too.
    Thanks Elkamere and Dutch.

  10. Only had a couple of minutes to look at this before visitors arrived and only four answers slotted in thus far – will work on it this evening.

    Thank you in advance, Dean – hope you get to see plenty of that young lady in your life over the Christmas hols and trust that her musical career is flourishing.

    1. Right up at the top and beyond of my capabilities but Mr G finally got me there.
      Didn’t know the word at 7d so the humour was rather lost on me but 27a very much appealed as did 17d.

      Thanks again, Anax – sorry I’m not up to your standards – and thanks to Dutch for the whys and wherefores.

  11. This is only the second, or possibly third, Friday Toughie that I’ve ever finished, if one wrong answer counts as having finished it.
    I normally run a mile from Toughies on Friday but I looked and got a few answers – enough to make it worth carrying on.
    4d caused trouble – tried to put I or IR and/or HO into something but who knows what? I certainly don’t. I did get there in the end but think it’s the French spelling although it’s in the BRB so I give in and bow to superior knowledge.
    My favourite was 7d – a lovely clue which really made me laugh.
    With thanks to Elkamere for the Toughie and to Dutch for sorting out why my 1a was wrong.

  12. A very nice end of the weeker Toughie from Elkamere, Clues concise and fair. Thanks to him and to Dutch

  13. Failed on 7d and 22a and must admit that I couldn’t parse 3d and 18a which I can safely consider as proper bung ins.
    The clues I liked the most where the ones with insertions: 24a, 4d and 15d.
    Thanks to Elkamere and Dutch for the enlightenment.

Comments are closed.