Toughie 1948 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 1948

Toughie No 1948 by Dada

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Greetings from Dorset, where I’ve been enjoying some quality sleep and kitty treats.  (I’m not sure who is enjoying the string and laser pointer antics more: me or Willow!)

I didn’t know the identity of the setter when I solved this, and was torn between Dada and another (who I won’t name).  Naturally I opted for the wrong one, mainly because I didn’t find it quite as much funs as is usual for a Dada puzzle.  Also a bit on the hard side, for reasons of vocabulary more than wordplay.

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.



1a    Contaminated waters getting into brew, charge supplier? (5,7)
POWER STATION:  We start with an anagram (contaminated) of WATERS in (getting into) a brew (perhaps a witches’ brew)

9a    Limiting measure, a hundred light feathers (9)
CLAMPDOWN:  Put together the Roman numeral one hundred, a domestic light source and some soft feathers

10a   Central idea in the home, not house (5)
THEME:  You’ll find a central motif in an artistic or literary work contained in two words of the clue minus (not) the abbreviation for house

11a   Insignificant returns in amateur play (6)
LEEWAY:  A Scottish word for little is written backwards (returns) inside an adjective meaning non-professional.  Play here means latitude or give

12a   Cry when jumping child falls back into earth (8)
GERONIMO:  A child according to the law is reversed (falls back) and inserted into a prefix denoting the earth

13a   Fail to lasso equine, African mammal (6)
DASSIE:  This alternative name for the hyrax is formed of fail or completely cease to work around (to lasso) a donkey

15a   Cream buns worryingly close! (8)
SUNBLOCK:  Take an anagram (worryingly) of BUNS and add to close securely.  A protective cream

18a   Wood finding tree, old golfer stymied? (8)
MAHOGANY:  An old golfer inside (stymied by) another name for the hawthorn

19a   Preserve that deep valley (6)
CANYON:  To preserve or tin followed by a poetic, Scots or dialect word for that or those.  The picture is an oil painting by UK artist Tell Hicks

21a   March to so distressingly penetrating beat (8)
FOOTSLOG:  An anagram (distressingly) of TO SO inserted into (penetrating) beat or whip

23a   Article on why failing, regardless (6)
ANYHOW:  A grammatical article and an anagram (failing) of ON WHY

26a   A little co-operation works (5)
OPERA:  The plural of a musical work, especially one numbered in order of publication (opus), is a part (a little) of a word of the clue

27a   Old cat or dog I have, catching fifty rats, say? (9)
EXPLETIVE:  “Rats” is a very mild example of the answer.  Take a prefix meaning old and add an animal which might be a cat or dog, and then the contraction of “I have.”  This lot contains (is catching) the Roman numeral fifty

28a   Butterfly initially beats bird? One’s talking nonsense! (12)
BLATHERSKITE:  The first letter (initially) of butterfly, then an informal word meaning beats or thrashes, then a long-tailed bird of prey of the hawk family



1d    Tool was in the van, smashed (7)
PICKLED:  A tool for breaking up ground followed by “was in the lead/van.”  Smashed as in heavily inebriated

2d    Giant scream heard? (5)
WHALE:  Sounds like (heard) a scream or cry

3d    Delegate in the canteen explaining once more (9)
REPEATING:  A delegate or agent (3) and the main activity carried out in a canteen.  A delegate or agent (3) and the main activity carried out in a canteen

4d    Ace removed from pack of cards, red (4)
TROT:  A (ace) removed from a set of cards.  Red, politically speaking

5d    Dessert rising after nuts taken out of it (6,2)
TANKED UP:  We got “smashed” above, now we have another term for being under the influence.  An informal shortened word for dessert, reversed (rising, in a down clue) comes after an anagram (nuts) of TAKEN

6d    Better, having dismissed gathering (5)
OUTDO:  The definition is a verb.  Dismissed (as a batsman in cricket) plus a party or bash

7d    Is nothing in NI city ridiculous? (8)
DERISORY:  IS from the clue and the letter standing for zero go inside a city of Northern Ireland

8d    Cross somewhat resized on keyboard (6)
ZEDONK:  This animal cross is lurking in part of the clue (somewhat)

14d   Vessel that sails? (8)
SCHOONER:  A drinking or sailing vessel

16d   Necessary to admit playful line is stupid (9)
BRAINLESS:  An informal term for money (necessary) containing (to admit) an anagram (playful) of LINE

17d   Uncivil on the Isle of Wight ferry? (8)
INSOLENT:  Split the answer (2,6) to get the location of the Isle of Wight Ferry when in operation

18d   No way I’m hopping on that! (2,4)
MY FOOT:  What I would be hopping on if I were hopping

20d   Two presents gone (7)
NOWHERE:  Join together two synonyms for present, in time and in space

22d   Stop running  market stand (5)
STALL:  Two definitions which, once identified, I don’t think need further elaboration

24d   Island in heart of this nation (5)
HAITI:  The nation is a Caribbean country.  A small island inside (in) the middle letters of (heart of) “this”

25d   English Prime Minister’s blunted weapon (4)
EPEE:  E(nglish) and the name, missing its end (blunted), of a former Conservative PM


Thanks to Dada.  My favourites are 15a, 5d and 18d.  Which made you jump for joy?


20 comments on “Toughie 1948

  1. I enjoyed this one. A little tricky in places, but in retrospect nothing unfair. 5d was last in – spent a long time looking at it the wrong way round. 13a was new to me. Liked 12a and 17d.

    Thanks to Kitty and Dada

  2. Thanks to Dada and to Kitty for the blog (the 3d hint made me laugh). There seemed to be two mini-10s today relating to inebriated animals (neither of the latter two being known to me). The clues getting stars from me were 12a, 15a and 5d (and 28a because it’s such a wonderful word).

  3. Needed to be told the parsing of 11a. 8d was new to me but, guessing it was a lurker, I did a google search to confirm I was right. Isn’t 28a a lovely word? What a pity it is not in general use. We must do something about that!
    Thanks to Dada and Kitty.

        1. I thought about using that as the illustration, but am not one for deliberate errors. I have enough trouble with accidental ones!

          1. I know. Predictive texting for instance leads us down very strange paths. Keep up the good work, I enjoy your blogs.

  4. I think he’s making the crosses up. And don’t you normally use the first and last bit of two animals like liger or tigon (where the first half is the father)? At least those are in chambers! Suffice to say i hadn’t come across 8d, but it was completely fair as a hidden. Ah, Collins has it on the “suggested word” list since 2013! Maybe I’ll use ZEKEY or DONBRA in future. Ah, the answer (and Zonkey) are mentioned in a wikipedia page for the more generic Zebroid that *is* in chambers, along with Zebrine, Zebrule, and Zebrass(!). Learn something every day.

    Great puzzle as usual from Dada. Thanks Kitty for the old golfer who i didn’t look up.

    Favourites include 11a, 1d, 15a, and more. Hadn’t come across 28a but its a brilliant word, I i got a bit stuck trying to force STEP into the second part of 21a.

    Many thanks Dada and thanks Kitty for a great blog (I also chuckled at 3d)

  5. Not at all sure about the Zebradoodle thingy and such like. Really?? (Note to self; Yes, really. Thanks Dutch)
    Definitely going to drop 28a into conversation sometime soon, sounds so Blackadder. Fave 1d, excellent natural surface, one of many.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Kitty.

  6. A couple of animals that had us reaching for the reference books for confirmation but both fairly clued. We found this one somewhat trickier than Dada often is for us but lots and lots of fun as always.
    Thanks Dada and Kitty.

  7. This was a puzzle of two halves for me. Firstly it took me a very long time to gain a foothold anywhere, but eventually I had all of the puzzle to the right of the diagonal from the SW corner to the NE corner at which time I ground to a halt. I stared at the other half for a very long time before it eventually gave way. I kicked myself for being so slow to get 1d (a great clue and really not hard) which would helped significantly to speed things up. I was zoologically challenged – I had not heard of any of the critters (apart from the giant one of course). I am very glad I persevered, I ended up enjoying this very much although I nearly gave up at several points. This was much more than *** for me for difficulty.

  8. Found it hard to get into and started with the SE slowly making my way anticlockwise from there.
    Learned 4 new words: The 2 animals, the march in 21a and 28a.
    Ticked 1d and 17d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Kitty.

  9. Like Gazza, I thought there was a bit of a tipsy animal theme going on here, two of whom I hadn’t met before – 13a&8d. I was also unfamiliar with 28a – sounded very 7d I thought.

    14d had me slightly worried – seemed too straightforward and I had to, yet again, check on the 24d small island.
    Last to fall were 11a & 4d – oh, THAT pack of cards!

    Podium places to 17&20d. I’m sure that the former has turned up in another puzzle relatively recently but it still made me smile.

    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to our well-rested Girl Tuesday for another excellent blog.

    1. Re 17d, the most recent appearance I can find in the Telegraph is Perhaps swimming off Isle of Wight is disrespectful (8) from back-pager 28320 on Tuesday 10 January, 2017. I remember it because I blogged that one, but it feels much more recent than a year ago.

      1. That’s the one, Mr K, many thanks. I think it stayed in my mind because of the connection to No 2 daughter and the many hours I’ve spent on the wretchedly expensive thing!

  10. Well, according to the internet, the 13a animal is a close relative of the elephant. Looking at Kittie’s picture, it’s rather hard to believe.

    Fair but difficult in parts, we thought and 20d looked familiar (and recent?). Our favourite was 12a.

    Thanks to Kitty and Dada.

  11. I found this hard going and needed electronic assistance to find a few answers along with Google to verify a couple of others. I did at least manage to parse everything. I found the struggle rewarding. I liked 19a, enjoyed learning 28a, smiled at the 1d and 5d pair, and chose 18d as favourite. Thanks to setter and blogger.

  12. Very tough puzzle for me: slow to start and not quite completed. Despite having a Zoology degree, I’d not heard of any of the animals. Favourites were 17d and of course 28a which I incorrectly put as “bletherskite”, wondering why “lether” was missing the “a”!?

    Thanks to Dada and Kitty.

Comments are closed.