Toughie 1936 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1936

Toughie No 1936 by Dada

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Hello and welcome one and all.  I’m a little bleary-eyed today as we’ve just had an early extra Christmas with those of the family sensible enough to be jetting off to warmer climes for the thing itself.  It was a typical Christmas, featuring sprouts and chaos.  Auntie Kitty spent some time being a zombie shuffling after the kids trying to eat their brains (not that I’ve managed to find any yet!).  It’s a win-win as they have fun and it doesn’t take much acting on my part.  The best bit is that I get to have an extra Boxing Day:

Meow then, the crossword, which was everything we expect from Dada: lots of fun and a nice level of difficulty for a Tuesday Toughie.

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.

As usual you may click on pictures to enlarge them or uncover hidden extras.



1a    Weapon, favourite part sawn off a lot (6,4)
PETROL BOMB:  Join together favourite, a part (in a play, for example) minus its last letter (sawn off), and an informal word for a lot (of money)

6a    All originally unfettered, slaves, every day, exploited (4)
USED:  An acrostic of the initial letters (originally) of four words of the clue

9a    Slowly continue to add to bark, as plant (10)
SNAPDRAGON:  Start with bark or make a sudden aggressive utterance; to this add a (4,2) phrase meaning slowly continue

10a   Colours  fade (4)
FLAG:  The colours are a banner or standard.  Fade as in lessen or diminish

12a   Lofty quote naming suspect, criminal finally caught (12)
MAGNILOQUENT:  An autological word for lofty or pompous is an anagram (suspect) of QUOTE NAMING containing (having caught) the last letter of criminal (criminal finally)

15a   Collecting runs, stop — behind this? (6)
CREASE:  A synonym of stop containing (collecting) the cricket abbreviation for runs.  The definition refers to cricket too

16a   Eurasian city in the east of an Asian country and west of a European? (8)
ISTANBUL:  This Turkish city can be formed of the last (eastern) five letters of an Asian country (you can take your pick of several) followed by the first three letters of a European one (BULgaria)

18a   Port drinker recalled by hospital department (8)
ENTREPOT:  After crosswordland’s favourite hospital department goes a drinker, reversed (recalled).  I will admit that I thought this was an actual port, and looked to see where it is.  I felt stupid, and now can share my shame with you!

19a   Oh dear, what’s left after shelling peas? (6)
SHUCKS:  An informal interjection — oh dear! — is also a (N American) word for husks, shells or pods.  This was late in for me because pre-checkers I was trying to do something with pEAs, and I wasn’t too familiar with the second definition

21a   Inferred recent model featured here? (6,6)
CENTRE SPREAD:  Ooh, one of those reverse clues.  I’ll tell you that it’s an anagrammy one and that the first word is an anagram of RECENT.  For the second part, therefore, you want an anagram indicator.  (Pictures from here)

24a   Backing singer who’s male poet (4)
OVID:  The reversal (backing) of a male singer (the female one being common in crosswords, while this chap is not to be found even in Chambers) is a Roman poet

25a   A little shy around groom (10)
SPRINKLING:  Shy in the sense of throw around groom, titivate or smarten

26a   One’s often lit upgreen (4)
LUSH:  Two definitions, lit up in the first meaning drunk

27a   Opening seized by a German painter, mercenary (10)
ADVENTURER:  an opening or aperture inside (seized by) the A from the clue and a German painterI had trouble equating the definition with the answer, but one of the definitions of the latter in Chambers is a soldier of fortune



1d    Nonsense is accommodated in drinking establishment (4)
PISH:  The second word of the clue inside (accommodated in) the map abbreviation for a pub

2d    Weasel pulled by the ears? (4)
TOAD:  This sounds like (to the ears) pulled or tugged.  The weasel is a contemptible person, the answer a similar word but a different animal

3d    Plant where father’s dinner might have lodged? (3,4,5)
OLD MAN’S BEARD:  The plant is named for its appearance: of something in which a hirsute father might accidentally leave bits of food when eating

4d    Bright, getting top grade in the main (6)
BRAINY:  Put a top grade into the sea — that’s clever

5d    Awfully solemn, so dark perhaps? (8)
MOONLESS:  Like a dark night: an anagram (awfully) of SOLEMN SO

7d    Primate needing two seconds? (10)
SILVERBACK:  String together a second place medal and to second or endorse

8d    With one stuck in, I get dials moving, ready for computer? (10)
DIGITALISE:  An anagram (moving) of I GET DIALS with the Roman numeral one added to the mix (with one stuck in).  The answer is a verb

11d   One might be taken to court to keep the noise down? (6,6)
SQUASH RACKET:  This implement for a court sport could also mean to suppress a din

13d   Fragments of rock, food left for bird (7,3)
SCREECH OWL:  Follow some loose bits of rock with some food and the abbreviation for left.  The bird pictures is the ruphous morph, which seemed appropriate as our Monday setter begins his retirement

14d   Island group in Sweden, is it misplaced? (4,6)
WEST INDIES:  An anagram (misplaced) of SWEDEN IS IT

17d   Rubber mat doctor has to utilise flat, say? (8)
MOUSEPAD:  A small smooth mat you might find on your desk (rather smoother than that pictured) is a charade of one of the abbreviations for a doctor, utilise, and somewhere to live (flat, say)

20d   Cook is breaking bank in Scotland (6)
BRAISE:  IS from the clue inserted into (breaking) a Scottish word for a sloping bank or hillside

22d   Row, as one forming a union? (4)
TIER:  A row or level.  Alternatively, someone making a knot or binding something together

23d   Jelly in a dish, Indian formula served up (4)
AGAR:  The dish might be a petri dish.  The answer is a reversal (served up, in a down clue) of a traditional Indian musical mode


Thanks to Dada.  My favourite today was 2d (click here for bonus pics).  Which did you enjoy 2d-ay?

As this is my last blog before Actual Boxing Day, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas.  See you on the other side!


15 comments on “Toughie 1936

  1. A pleasant Dada puzzle – thanks to him and to Kitty for the blog. I too tried to make something from [p]EA[s] in 16a and I also had a bit of trouble with 23d, not knowing either the jelly or the formula. I’d also never seen the male singer before but it couldn’t be anything else.
    Clues making the podium for me were 1a, 21a and 25a.

  2. Lots of great clues . including 1a and 3d and 11d.
    I needed a few nudges.
    Thanks to Kitty and Dada .

  3. All very pleasant and entertaining. As usual with Dada plenty of useful crossers to help with the more obscure solutions.

    Thanks and Happy Christmas to Kitty and Dada.

  4. Having achieved an objective of completing most back-pagers without blogger’s hints, I have begun to crack some of the toughies and was pleased to complete this one with the minimal use of electronic aids and only 1 hint 1a and a confirmation of the wordplay -7d.

    So pleased to get this far. My Mum would have been pleased.( She did the DT back pagers from at least the 50s until she died in the 80s -by which time she was able to complete many of them in her head then fill in the grid to check she was right! I only started after retirement in the 00s.)


    Thanks to the setter for the challenge and all the bloggers and contributers for their unwitting encouragement over the years.

  5. I really enjoyed this – a Dada puzzle is always liberal with fun, frolics, and good words and this was no exception. I must confess to always thinking that an 18a was something you could eat. Lots of very good clues but I’ll give today’s favourite to 7d, “two seconds” is very neat. Thanks Kitter and setty, or vice versa… And merry Xmas to all if I don’t see you again before then.

  6. I thought this was a great start to the toughie week. Just the right difficulty for me. There were one or two things on which I had to resort to Google, but everything fell into place nicely and I was able to complete it without serious hold-up. Many thanks to Dada and Kitty.

  7. Our reaction on printing out was “Oh good, a Dada”, and our expectations were well met once again. A few hold-ups and some beak scratching along the way but all sorted without too much strife and plenty of chuckles.
    Thanks Dada and Kitty.

  8. Made life difficult for myself by putting in ‘mat’ as the second part of 17d – fitted well with the wordplay but, as I subsequently discovered, would have been differently enumerated!
    Really proud of myself for clocking both cricket references in 15a and for not falling into the trap of looking for a specific port in 18a – goodness knows how I registered the correct answer but pleased that I did.
    I didn’t know 12a and it seems like a rather unnecessary word – one of those ‘why make it easy when you can make it far more difficult’ concoctions!

    2d was a real penny drop moment and gets my vote for favourite with 9a & 3d not far behind.

    Thanks to Dada and to our Girl Tuesday for her blogging skills – lovely reference to Mr Squires in your hint for 13d.

  9. Overall an enjoyable puzzle with some good word play, and a lot of enjoyment, except 24a… which I found very disappointing, but that’s just me. I think a curry will cheer me up.
    Thanks to Dada & Kitty

  10. Good fun from Dada. I had the male singer in the back of my mind but couldn’t find it in chambers – maybe it was because of il divo as JB suggests. anyway, turned out to be right.

    plenty to enjoy and thanks kitty for an enjoyable blog as well

  11. For some reason, we couldn’t spot the homophone indicator in 2d so we needed Kitty’s blog for that, our LOI.

    A real Dada special, solved, apart from 2d, at 2* pace and some nice smiles along the way, so 3.5* for enjoyment. Thought 16a was clever and had 25a marked as our COTD.

    Thanks to Kitty and Dada.

  12. I think this is the first Dada l have ever completed unaided, which makes me proud indeed. Was it perhaps a little gentler than his usual level? Anyway, top end 2* and 4* enjoyment. My favourite was the distinctly left-field 7d, which was my last in. Thanks to Dada, and to Kitty.

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