Toughie 1938 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1938

Toughie No 1938 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

More gentle Thursday fare, this time from our editor elect. It was a quick solve which was helped by the generous number of anagrams. I hope there weren’t too many cricket references

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Representative REM songs can upset (11)
CONGRESSMAN: A member of the US House of Representatives is an anagram (upset) of REM SONGS CAN

9a    Political movement that could make war on blue? (3,6)
NEW LABOUR: An anagram (could make) of WAR ON BLUE

10a    Subject to constant cold (5)
TOPIC: TO + a mathematical constant + C (cold)

11a    Cute piece about wife (6)
SHREWD: A piece or fragment round W (wife)

12a    Dexter perhaps quits cold-hearted dilapidated town (8)
ROCHDALE: Remove the first name of one-time England cricket captain Mr Dexter from DILAPIDATED and then find an anagram of what’s left. That will give you a town in Greater Manchester where I once saw Gracie Fields kick off a rugby league match. I must be old!

13a    Reporters on Daily Record ignoring first place that’s buzzing (6)
APIARY: An abbreviation for an American multinational not-for-profit news agency + someone’s record of each day minus the first letter = a home of buzzy insects

15a    Time to study skins from sole moose shot by Queen (8)
SEMESTER: The first and last letters (skins) of SOLE, MOOSE and SHOT + our Queen

18a    Demand cricket article — and somewhere to write one? (5,3)
PRESS BOX: ‘To demand’ or ‘to insist on’ + something worn by male cricketers to preserve their manhood = an area set aside for the use of reporters

19a    Almost keep writing in tempestuous times (6)
STORMS: ‘To keep’ with the last letter removed + an abbreviation denoting ‘writing’

21a    Pass port? Not at first, drink! (8)
OVERTAKE: ‘To pass’ = a port in Kent with the first letter removed + ‘to drink’

23a    Writer that’s found in library or sitting-room? (6)
MANTEL: The surname of a writer who has twice won the Booker prize is also part of a fireplace and so could be found in a sitting-room

26a    Gun shot with hesitation — do a stick-up? Quite the opposite (5)
UNGUM: An anagram (shot) of GUN + 2-letters that represent ‘hesitation’

27a    Hound carer that’s prettiest modelling (3-6)
PET-SITTER: An anagram (modelling) of PRETTIEST

28a    Former leader led geology trips around river (5,6)
LLOYD GEORGE: A one-time British prime minister (who definitely didn’t know my father) is an anagram (trips) of LED GEOLOGY round R (river)


1d    Game players must pen article … and another (7)
CANASTA: A card game = a company of players round one form of the indefinite article + the other form of the indefinite article

2d    Opponents and partners right to get more ‘with it’? (5)
NEWER: Two opponents at bridge + two partners at bridge + R (right)

3d    Jam makers? (9)
ROADWORKS: A cryptic definition of repairs that may cause traffic jams

4d    Leave part of London with husband getting promoted (4)
SHOO: ‘Leave!’ = part of London with H (husband) moved to the front

5d    Monkey with lady’s address, possibly, beginning to edit out knight (8)
MARMOSET: A form of address possibly to female royalty + a beginning with the letter N (knight) removed

6d    Cut instruction that could make lecher leer (5)
NOTCH: When split (3,2) it could show how LECHER can be made into LEER by removal of two letters

7d    Obscure type of weapon with elevated level of uranium (7)
NUCLEAR: Take an adjective describing certain weapons and move the letter U (uranium) to the start of the word

8d    Second dish is a mess (8)
SPLATTER: S (second) + a large flat dish

14d    Leaves / obstacles in the main (8)
ICEBERGS: 2 meanings: leaves used in a salad/huge masses floating in the sea

16d    Send back papers rejected in what might be ‘bye’ note? (9)
EXTRADITE: A reversal of identity papers inside what may be a bye (in cricket) and a musical note

17d    Respect search for what’s found at the centre of atom (4,2,2)
LOOK UP TO: This term for ‘to respect’ could also tell you to search for the middle two letters of ATOM

18d    Food for Mussolini? (7)
PRODUCE: ‘For’ + an Italian title used by Mussolini

20d    Push to accept place in extravagant display (7)
SPLURGE: ‘Push’ round PL (place)

22d    Follow around maiden from the subcontinent? (5)
TAMIL: ‘To follow’ round M (maiden) = an adjective referring to a people of SE India and Sri Lanka

24d    Such as King Edward’s stateroom? Just part of it (5)

25d    Departs after shock, missing finish from Jenson Button (4)
STUD: ‘To shock’ minus the letter N (last letter of Jensen) + D (departs)

A marry Christmas to all and I’ll be back next week to wish you a Happy New Year


13 comments on “Toughie 1938

  1. I think that the U should be moved up in the answer to 7d as per your hint.
    Thanks to Bufo and Samuel.
    Happy Christmas to everyone.

  2. In 13a I think you mean that Mr Dexter’s name is to be removed from Coldhearted, which then has to be “dilapidated” ie find an anagram. Plenty of anagrams as you say. Specially liked 26ac. Thanks to all

  3. Didn’t find this quite as gentle as Bufo obviously did but perhaps my brain was tired after a harder than usual fight with the back-pager.
    A little concerned about the possible double entendre in 11a but I’ll give Samuel the benefit of the doubt!
    23a – wonder how much longer we have to wait for the long-promised last part of the trilogy?

    Rather liked 10a but top spot saved for 18d with a mention for 14d which may well be a chestnut but still amused.

    Thanks to Samuel (do we have to call you Sir from here on in?) and to Bufo for the blog. All good wishes for the festive season to both of you.

  4. I was able to finish this, and enjoyed it very much on the way. I was fortunate with some in that I was not aware of some of the references (Dexter in 12a and the writer in 23a for instance). It did take me quite a while and so I would say that is was more than ** in difficulty for me. Many thanks to Samuel and Bufo.

  5. On holiday so time for the back page and the Toughie for a change.
    Solved in fits and starts’ I knew it wasn’t difficult for a toughie but I was a bit slow on the uptake today..
    Anyway spent a pleasant time solving it and going for a ***/****.
    Last in was 12a.after seeing Sir Ted, always rains when I go there-famous for Gracie and the first CO-OP !
    Thanks all.

  6. I actually found this puzzle to be slightly less demanding than the back-pager but I’m certainly not suggesting it was a breeze for me.

    Thanks to Bufo and Samuel

  7. Cricket certainly featured here with 12a, 18a and 16d all needing a bit of knowledge. The name of Dexter in 12a probably better known in UK than here, as with the town but both eventually came to mind. As CS says above a real mixture of fluffy ones with some sneaky others as well. Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Samuel and Bufo.

  8. Lovely puzzle from Samuel.

    My favourite was 9a

    26a seems an ugly word but it made me smile.

    12a Not knowing my cricketers very well, I first thought Dexter might be a “Det.”, as in the tv series, but the cricketer makes for a much more elegant subtraction.

    Many thanks Samuel and many thanks Bufo

  9. Very good. I liked the elevated level of uranium. 26A is something that would be useful sold in tubes!

  10. I really enjoyed this particularly after the disappointing back-pager. This was a joy from start to finish, fairly challenging but not particularly tough.

    I couldn’t parse 13a fully due to the unindicated Americanism but the cricketing clues more than compensated.

    I gave double ticks to 15a, 18a, 6d, 14d & my favourite 18d.

    Many thanks to Samuel and to Bufo.

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