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Toughie 1932

Toughie No 1932 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Hello crossword friends.  I hope you are all safe and warm.  I’ll have to be brief today as I’ve had less time than usual for this.  It was fortunate then that I didn’t find it as hard as the previous Donnybrook (but if I recall, I found that one tougher than others did).  I did, however, find it even more fun.

The definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the   buttons.  The exclamation mark is not an imperative — click only if you wish to reveal all.

Pictures coming soon …   As usual, you may click on pictures to enlarge them or uncover hidden extras.



1a    Thick liquid covering one in hotel lift (4,6)
DUMB WAITER:  Thick in the sense of stupid and a liquid around (covering) the Roman numeral one.  An evocative surface, the first of a few today

9a    Stick close to concierge in block (4)
BEAR:  The final letter of (close to) concierge inside block or prevent

10a   One-sided varsity man seen around subsequently (10)
UNILATERAL:  Varsity and the abbreviated form of a masculine name go around after

11a   Inventor‘s time at Twickenham recalled (6)
EDISON:  The end of a rugby match (2,4) is reversed (recalled) to give this American inventor and businessman

12a   County town base for leader of Dissenters (7)
BEDFORD:  Base could be a layer or a verb to implant, and after it goes the “for” from the clue and the first letter (leader) of Dissenters

15a   Brought in ripe bananas for ultimate self-catering holiday? (3-4)
EGO-TRIP:  Brought or obtained inside an anagram (bananas) of RIPE.  The quirky definition made me laugh

16a   Resting-place in every church (5)
PERCH:  “In every” plus an abbreviation for church

17a   Data‘s returned concerning UK region (4)
INFO:  A preposition meaning concerning and the initials which stand for a province of the UK, all reversed (returned)

18a   Fellow attorney maybe closing bars (4)
CODA:  Closing bars of music.  A prefix meaning fellow (fellow conspirator is the example that came to my mind) and an abbreviation of a US attorney.  I like how the definition reads in the surface

19a   Daughter, one flirting with this term of endearment, could be dangerous (5)
SUGAR:  A compound anagram.  D(aughter) and ONE, together with the solution make an anagram of (could be) the final word of the clue.  So to go the other way, rearrange the letters of dAnGeRoUS

21a   First man allowed to start with Bible books firm (7)
ADAMANT:  Concatenate the first man according to the biblical creation story, the first letter of allowed (allowed to start), and the later books of the Bible

22a   Pancake containing most of fish sauce (7)
TABASCO:  A Mexican pancake (usually fried crisp) containing most of a type of fish give this sauce which is a usual ingredient of a Bloody Mary

24a   Plant and vase accepted in reward for service (6)
TURNIP:  A vase inside (accepted in) a gratuity

27a   Keep barrier in island on hold, and gather within (10)
PORTCULLIS:  An abbreviation for island after (on) hold or carry, with select from or gather inside (within).  A barrier for a keep – nice definition!

28a   Line that would make Stead sad? (4)
NOTE:  Split, (2,2) or (2,1,1) the answer as applied to “stead” leaves “sad”

29a   In addition, Galen dissected brains (10)
RINGLEADER:  The brains of an illicit operation is found by inserting an anagram (dissected) of GALEN into an addition to a contract



2d    Bone turned up in vegan lunch (4)
ULNA:  The bone is lurking in reverse (turned up) in the last word of the clue.  I was amused by the surface here

3d    Fail to justify felon’s first conviction (6)
BELIEF:  A charade of a word meaning to contradict or show the untruth of and the first letter of felon

4d    Worried parent drinking whisky and port (7)
ANTWERP:  An anagram (worried) of PARENT containing (drinking) W(hisky).  Another nice surface image, which might ring especially true at this time of year

5d    Band on road in Mediterranean city (4)
TYRE:  Two definitions, the first a cryptic description of a wheel covering like one of these

6d    Explorer, bitter, stopping just short (7)
RALEIGH:  Discover this Elizabeth explorer by putting some beer (bitter) inside (stopping) just or fair without its last letter (short)

7d    Severely critical, but course is on anyhow (10)
CENSORIOUS:  An anagram (anyhow) of COURSE IS ON

8d    Good money Scotsman placed in Post Office — sound investment? (5,5)
GRAND PIANO:  G(ood), some South African money and a Scottish name inside (placed in) the abbreviation for Post Office

12d   Hercules, say, sending one aloft in sea vessel (10)
BRIGANTINE:  Something Hercules is an example of with I (one) raised to the beginning (sending one aloft, in a down clue) inside the sea (or any other salt water)

13d   Burn or river slow rodent’s entered (10)
DEFLAGRATE:  The name of a few rivers containing (‘s entered) to slow or diminish (4) and a rodent

14d   Description of 5 perhaps upset maiden (5)
DEBUT:  This reversed (upset) might describe the answer to 5d

15d   Chapter in story elevated brilliant success (5)
ECLAT:  C(hapter) inside the reversal (elevated, in a down clue) of a story or yarn

19d   Trench-digger burying knight’s bad-tempered dog (7)
SNAPPER:  Bury the chess abbreviation for knight inside a digger of trenches or a private in the Royal Engineers

20d   Militant spoke about Conservative (7)
RADICAL:  A spoke (of a wheel, say) around C(onservative)

23d   Email misdirected by alpha female (6)
AMELIA:  An anagram (misdirected) of EMAIL after the letter given in radio communications by Alpha

25d   Book featured dietary component (4)
BRAN:  B(ook) and then featured, as a newspaper or magazine may have featured an item

26d   This writer’s  rich source (4)
MINE:  Two definitions to end.  The ‘s in the first is a possessive


Thanks to Donnybrook.  I indicated in the hints the bits I particularly enjoyed.  The space for you to share your own favourite bits and any other comments is below — I’d be delighted if you’d like to use it!


20 comments on “Toughie 1932

  1. Mostly quite straightforward and entertaining – took me a while to see 19a and I needed that to get 14, which was last in. A pleasing variety of devices. I must admit that I had never heard the rugby term at 11, and I thought I knew rugby quite well!

    Thanks to Kitty and Donnybrook

  2. Very enjoyable puzzle with some excellent surfaces and nicely disguised definitions – thanks to Donnybrook and Kitty.
    I was going to complain that port in 27a doesn’t really mean to hold but I see that one of the meanings of port in the BRB is a military verb ‘to hold in a slanting direction upward across the body’. I thought that the setter could have used the ‘spoke’ in 20d as another type of 5d.
    The clues I liked best were 28a, 6d and 12d.

  3. Good afternoon, I hope everyone is having a good lead-up to Xmas.

    I thought this puzzle was superb, with lovely surfaces (as Gazza mentions), a wide variety of devices (as beery hiker says), and from a technical POV it seems faultless.

    There were many good ones to choose from, but for some reason the Galen image made me laugh, as whilst he was quite well up on the mind, he possibly did not dissect brains!

    Thanks Donnybrook and Kitty.

  4. Really enjoyed this – the perfect difficulty level (i.e. not too, but with a few slightly more challenging numbers) for a Tuesday, not to mention a fair sprinkling of wit. Thanks Kitty and lovely Donnybrook <3

  5. Managed to finish this but needed Kitty to explain the parsing of 12d and 27a.
    1a was my favourite. Thank you Kitty.
    P.S. Where are the cats today?

    1. The lack of cats wasn’t by design particularly: they come when they want to, not when they’re called.
      That said, there’s a cat in the 1a if you click for service, and one hiding in the intro too.

      I was also thinking of using the following video but was a bit worried about the cat’s long-term safety.

        1. It’s certainly growing, but not quiite as big as Google’s … :)

          (… or indeed as well-indexed. More than once I’ve remembered a picture in my collection, but searched online rather than trying to dig it out from my hard drive!)

  6. Needed the review to parse 27a. A right bung in.
    So was 12a for that matter. Didn’t even bother to check if I was right.
    I like when the defs are a bit cryptic and we had a few today.
    Thanks to Donnybrook and to Kitty.

  7. 3* / 4*. Pleasingly challenging and great fun with generally nice brief cluing and smooth surfaces. I needed the review to parse 19a, 27a & 12d.

    11a, 15a & 18a made it to my podium, with 15a in first place.

    Many thanks to Donnybrook and to Kitty.

  8. Excellent puzzle.

    I too favoured the self-catering holiday, but there were a number of contenders here for the number one spot, and some seriously tight clueing.

    Thanks Donny (more from you please) and Kitty for a lovely blog.


  9. We found this trickier than most people seem to be reporting and a great deal of fun. We never did quite sort out how 19a worked but were quite sure we had the right answer when 4 of the 5 letters were checked. 29a also took much longer that it should have done. Good puzzle.
    Thanks Donnybrook and Kitty.

  10. I managed the top half ok but struggled with the bottom and resorted to Kitty’s excellent hints and tips. I liked 15a and 3D.

    Many thanks donnybrook and thanks kitty

  11. Started off thinking that I wasn’t enjoying this one as much as Donnybrook’s previous Toughie puzzle but changed my mind as I got further into it.
    Needed Kitty’s help with the parsing of 6&12d and took ages to remember the sporting connection in 11a.
    Managed to fail on 25d – finished up with ‘iron’ so no wonder I couldn’t parse it!

    The only ones I wasn’t keen on were 19&23d.
    Top three slots went to 1a plus 8&20d.

    Thanks to Donnybrook for the challenge and to our Girl Tuesday for sorting everything out so perfectly.

  12. Just into *** time, but only because l couldn’t crack 26d, so ***/****. Lots of little approving ticks in the margin – 1a, 11a, 15a, 29a, 8d, 14d – too many for me to pick a favourite. Suffice it to say thanks to Donnybrook, and of course Kitty.

  13. I solved this late, while perhaps overtired, and struggled throughout. I did, though, enjoy the struggle through and through. 28ac was very nicely done I thought.

  14. The only Donnybrook that I’ve come across before today was The Donnybrook Two step and its fair to say that this one led me on a merry dance. Many head scratching moments and several peeps at hints and a couple of reveals needed too. Nevertheless this was most absorbing and for me quite a change in the way some of the clues were presented. Looking forward to his\ her next offering. Thanks to setter and to K for the hints. I certainly needed them.

  15. Thanks to Donnybrook and to Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but it was a bit too tough for me. Needed the hints for 12&24a and 12,13,14d. Favourite was 1a. Was 4*/3* for me.

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