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Toughie 1966

Toughie No 1966 by Micawber

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

This was a rare but welcome sighting of a Micawber puzzle on a Thursday. I found it not too difficult but very enjoyable

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Carry out charge by number of animals? (10)
PERPETRATE: When split (3,3,4) it suggests the price paid for each domesticated animal

6a    Baltic resident of guest-house (4)

10a    One telling tales gets a question in return (5)
AESOP: An ancient Greek story teller = A + a reversal of ‘to question’

11a    Plump kind of pigeon working out? (9)
FATHOMING: ‘Fat’ + a word that describes some pigeons = ‘working out’ or ‘comprehending’

12a    Manipulator of people on half of continent (7)
MASSEUR: The people as a whole + the first half of the name of a continent

13a    Amend socialist platform (7)
REDRAFT: ‘Socialist’ + a floating platform

14a    Done in, two beasts of burden eat half of dinner, being shattered (12)
ASSASSINATED: A beast of burden + the same beast of burden + an anagram (shattered) of EAT DIN (half of DINNER)

18a    Go on the fiddle repeatedly and be ingratiating (3,3,6)
BOW AND SCRAPE: One word for ‘play the fiddle’ + AND + another word for ‘play the fiddle’

21a    Electronic errors, perhaps, in passes (7)
ELAPSES: E (electronic) + errors or failures

23a    Attend promotion for bookmaker? (2,5)
BE THERE: When split (3,4) it offers promotion for bookmaker

24a    One scouring earth — see young birds flying round about (5,4)
STEEL WOOL: A material used for scouring is a reversal of ‘See!’ (2) and young birds of prey (6) round E (earth)

25a    Country ditching no good runner (5)
ELAND: Remove NG (no good) from the name of a country to give a type of antelope (runner)

26a    Blow —- ! (4)
DASH: ‘Blow!’ is also the name of the symbol that follows Blow in the clue

27a    Old man’s moves, inappropriately candid and gauche at first (3,7)
DAD DANCING: An anagram (inappropriately) of CANDID AND G (first letter of GAUCHE)


1d    Grandma, perhaps, drinks litre of liquid (6)
PLASMA: ‘Father’s mother’ (2’1,2) round L (litre)

2d    Refuse further exams after finals are switched (6)
RESIST: Transpose the last two letters in exams taken again after failing

3d    Speak out, and continue after former partner flees, upset (7,7)
EXPRESS ONESELF: ‘Former partner’ + ‘continue’ (5,2) + an anagram (upset) of FLEES

4d    Reports of official mistake likewise curtailed (9)
REFERRALS: An official in charge of a football match + ‘to make a mistake’ + ‘likewise’ with the last letter removed

5d    Member of school of trout swimming (5)
TUTOR: An anagram (swimming) of TROUT

7d    Avoid social workers — they’re worn out, going downhill fast (3,5)
SKI PANTS: ‘To avoid’ (4) + social workers (4) = garments worn by people travelling downhill on snow at speed

8d    Excited to draw around beginning of December, a turning point (4,4)
HIGH TIDE: ‘Excited’ + a draw (with the scores equal) round the first letter of DECEMBER

9d    Right, plane — don’t bust out of this! (7,7)
HOLDING PATTERN: An anagram (bust) of RIGHT PLANE DON’T = a specific course which aircraft are instructed to follow when waiting to land

15d    Clawed, small crustacean showed sign of injury (9)
SCRABBLED: S (small) + a crustacean + ‘showed sign of injury’

16d    Love former queen welcomes in Society Editor that’s fixated (8)
OBSESSED: O (love) + a name for Queen Elizabeth I round S (society) + the abbreviation for ‘editor’

17d    Tops Snow White initially with apples? (8)
SWEATERS: Tops(to wear) = the first letters of SNOW and WHITE + apples (not for cooking)

19d    Rickety plane over India from Kathmandu? (6)
NEPALI: An anagram (rickety) of PLANE round I (India)

20d    Old hand travels northward to either side of land regularly (3,3)
SEA DOG: An experienced sailor = a reversal of ‘travels’ round alternate letters of LAND

22d    Disreputable soak commandeering daughter’s car (5)
SKODA: An anagram (disreputable) of SOAK round D (daughter) = a make of car from the Czech Republic


22 comments on “Toughie 1966

  1. Mrs Sheffieldsy is away with number one daughter this week, so I’m flying solo for a change. I really enjoyed this and consider it’s worth 3*/4.5*.

    Micawber was in quite a mischievous mood today, but droll with it. Favourites were 1a, 11a and 1d but top of the shop was the wonderful 26a.

    Thanks to Bufo and Micawber.

  2. 6a and 27a were unknowns to me, though solvable. Liked 1d. Thanks to Messrs Micawber and Bufo

  3. A very enjoyable crossword indeed – definitely worth 5* of anyone’s enjoyment rating 27a is obviously the clue at the top of a very long list of ‘clues marked with *s’

    Thanks to Micawber for the fun and Bufo for the explanations

  4. Excellent puzzle from Micawber – thanks to him and Bufo. Vying for top honours were 1a, 23a, 1d and 7d but the clear winner for me was the superb 27a.

  5. That was tremendously enjoyable despite the fact that I hadn’t previously encountered 6a and was unsure about 24a where I felt that the answer needed to be preceded by ‘a pad/piece of’ to give the correct definition.

    1d was a real ‘tooth sucker’ – most amusing.

    Tried very hard to justify ‘lap’ as the first word of 27a – the actual answer wasn’t something I’d heard of although I’m sure I’ve witnessed it many times at weddings!

    Podium places went to 1,11&23a along with 7d.

    Many thanks to Micawber and to Bufo for the decryption.

  6. Very good indeed – most enjoyable. It all came together after a slow start once I had adjusted to the right wavelength. 6a was new to me and I needed the review to parse 24a, for which my thanks go to Bufo.

    I had lots of ticks and quite a lot of double ticks. The latter were given to 1a, 11a, 18a, 23a, 1d & 7d. I even had a triple tick – 27a.

    Many thanks to Micawber for a lot of fun.

  7. Thanks Micawber, a lot of fun. 27a my favourite.

    I thought 1a could have been a Snape/Eccles clue.

    Many thanks bufo

  8. This helped to pass a very dreich afternoon and brought a bit of sunshine into the house.. I’d never heard of 27a before. Thank you Micawber and Bufo.

  9. Our log jam was in the NW where both 1a and 1d took us ages to see. 6a was new to us and needed Google confirmation. All excellent stuff that kept us chuckling through the entire solve.
    Thanks Micawber and Bufo.

  10. The midweek Toughies have been humungous fun this week. I’m a happy kitteh.

    6a was unfamiliar but clearly that.

    So many clues I could pick for special mention. 23a, 27a, 1d and 7d all contenders for the top spot, but I loved 11a for the image it created. 26a too.

    Many thanks Micawber and Bufo.

  11. Got everything except 20d! I liked 1d, despite it holding me up for a long time, along with the rest of the NW corner. Overall, 3*/3.5* seems about right. Thanks to Micawber and Bufo.

  12. Splendid fun! 1A and 1D were my last two in and when the respective pennies dropped both earned a tick from me. I also liked 7D and of course 26A. Many thanks to Micawber and Bufo.

  13. Yes 27a for me I think.

    Not too hard as a puzzle, and plenty to enjoy.

    Thanks Micawber and Bufo.

  14. First toughie I’ve had time to look at this week and a really good fight it was too.
    1d 7d and 24a my favourites
    Thanks to setter and hinter for a couple of confirmations

  15. Thanks to Micawber and to Bufo for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. Found it tricky in places, but definitely doable. Needed to lookup 1a,1d&24a. Got 12a from the hints. Favourite was 11a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  16. Could not find the answer to 6A quoted in Google or Bing-only in various crossword sites.
    Lots of nice clues-7D and 11A especially.

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