Toughie 1972 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1972

Toughie No 1972 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Hello lovely Tuesday Toughiers.  I really enjoyed this puzzle and, thanks to being tireder than usual and more winey (hopefully not more whiney), I got to spend longer on it than I probably otherwise would have.  I hope that you too have found plenty of puzzling — and other — merriment.

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    Charlie perhaps reported Eastern European issue (10)
CHECKPOINT:  A homophone of (reported) someone from a country of Eastern Europe plus the issue under discussion

6a    Missile succeeded — copper died (4)
SCUD:  String together the abbreviation for succeeded, the chemical symbol for copper and the abbreviation for died

9a    Student, 21, must first get application right (10)
APPRENTICE:  A synonym of the answer to 21d preceded by (must first get) abbreviations of application and of right

10a   Stop European revealing source of misery (4)
BANE:  Stop or prohibit and E(uropean)

12a   Note backed home-made clothes (4)
MEMO:  Part of the clue in reverse (backed) contains (clothes) this note

13a   Sheer toil worried Basil and Sybil? (9)
HOTELIERS:  An anagram (worried) of SHEER TOIL.  Obviously I thought what turned out to be the definition would be misdirection, so at first sought an oracle

15a   Ingenues surprisingly short of understanding (8)
UNSEEING:  An anagram (surprisingly) of INGENUES

16a   Seen with this bone broken? That could be unfeasible (6)
FIBULA:  The bone we want, together with SEEN, is an anagram of (broken) UNFEASIBLE.  So the answer is an anagram of UnFeAsIBLe

18a   Deny description of some clues one’s accepted? (6)
DISOWN:  A category of clues contains the Roman numeral one and the ‘S from the clue

20a   The air’s blue? This is bad! (8)
LANGUAGE:  If the air is blue bad ******** is being used.  I was slow to get this for some reason — in fact it was my last in.  The air may or may not have turned blue …

23a   Recovering addict reflected on resistance shown by toff (9)
RESURGENT:  Someone who takes drugs, reversed (reflected), then R(esistance) and a man of high standing

24a   Do without parking? That’s creative (4)
ARTY:  A do or function without P(arking)

26a   Temporary structure out of its time that’s used in fencing (4)
EPEE:  One of the spellings of a Native American tent without (out of) its T(ime)

27a   Remove the magic from terribly snide song (10)
DISENCHANT:  An anagram (terribly) of SNIDE and then a song

28a   Fall without beginning to lose face (4)
SIDE:  Fall or decline without the first letter of (beginning to) lose

29a   Resentful following sign of age shown by daughter after review (10)
FRUSTRATED:  First we have the abbreviation for following and a sign of age (particularly of iron exposed to moisture).  Then D(aughter) comes after review or appraise.  The answer didn’t readily come to mind from the definition, so this was another that held me up awhile



1d    Tear about with police (4)
CLAW:  Put together an abbreviation, from the Latin, of about and an informal term for the police

2d    Train fails when the setter leaves station initially (7)
EXPRESS:  Fails or dies without a first person pronoun (when the setter leaves) and then the first letter (initially) of station

3d    Honour an agreement and retain a single weapon (4,4,4)
KEEP ONE’S WORD:  Split (4,3,5) we would have a phrase meaning retain a single bladed weapon

4d    Rebuilt tin house is best (8)
OUTSHINE:  An anagram (rebuilt) of TIN HOUSE

5d    Tastier drink, we hear, is a refinement … (6)
NICETY:  This sounds a bit like (we hear) better hot infused beverage

7d    … there’s two more presented by posh estate (7)
CHATEAU:  Two words for the drink heard above next to (presented by) the single letter which can denote posh.  Nice use of linked clues.  (Naturally I ignored the ellipses for ages …)

8d    One whose work covers clients’ slips? (10)
DRESSMAKER:  A cryptic definition where the slips in question are worn

11d   Something in the air that could indicate a curse? (6,6)
FLYING SAUCER:  A reverse clue: the first word is an anagram indicator and the second can be anagrammed to make A CURSE.  Even after crossing clues had put paid to any notion that this might be MIDDLE FINGER, this took me a while even though an inverse clue occurred to me: with all the checking letters I could only think of DANCER for the second word

14d   Run like a bull, without direction (10)
RUDDERLESS:  The crickety abbreviation for run followed by a description (referring to what it lacks) of a bull

17d   Drunken stars met in bed (8)
MATTRESS:  An anagram (drunken) of STARS MET.  Nice springy surface

19d   Delay post about potentially profitable feature (7)
SUSPEND:  To post around a marketing abbreviation USP = unique selling point for a feature that differentiates a product from its competitors

21d   Using art, Eternal City’s characters regularly are seductive (7)
ATTRACT:  Alternate characters from (using …’s characters regularly) three words of the clue

22d   First volume omitted from Revised Version (6)
SENIOR:  An abbreviation for volume omitted from an anagram (revised) of vERSIONS

25d   Boss astounds in prime positions (4)
STUD:  The prime numbered letters (in prime positions) of astounds


Thanks to Samuel.  11d is my firm favourite, for sensible reasons but also because I’d been waiting an age to use that cartoon.  Which do you think is, like a rebuilt tin house, best?


26 comments on “Toughie 1972

  1. Oh why is it the short words elude me – 1d , 10a, 28a
    Otherwise quite straightforward Liked 11 down a lot.

  2. An excellent start to the Toughie week – thanks to Samuel and Kitty. Lots to like and only one whinge (the 5d ‘homophone’). Top of the range clues for me were 11d, 14d and 25d,

    1. You’ll notice I didn’t call it a homophone! I’m happy for sound-alike clues to be not exact homophones – I think that, judiciously used, Eccles/Snape’s “homogroans” just add to the fun.

      1. I like the term homogroans (which I hadn’t heard before) but my view is that they should be restricted to the Quickie puns (where they are most welcome) and not intrude into the cryptic puzzles.

        1. I agree that in the cryptics they need to be pretty close, to avoid ambiguity, but don’t mind minor stretches. If they all had to be a perfect match in every accent there wouldn’t be many possibilities left.

  3. I enjoyed this one, particularly 14d and 25d – the latter always seems to be defined that way but I don’t think I have ever seen prime positions before. Took me quite a while to see the deceptively simple 20a, which was last in.

    Thanks to Kitty and Samuel

      1. Mine *was* almost the same word for word – in my defence I posted it at exactly the same time as BH!

  4. Tougher than the average Tuesday Toughie and rather enjoyable I thouhgt. 20ac was the last one to drop with a real “aha!” moment, even though the word had occurred somewhat earlier.

    My favourite was 14dn. Not *quite* sure how I feel about the “prime positions” device, I’ve seen it on a number of occasions know and it always feels like it’s a little bit too clever-dlever for its own good. But I guess it makes a welcome change from alternates.

  5. Just right for a Tuesday Toughie. I like Toughies to take more passes and more work than back pagers. As usual the four-lettered clues 10ac and 1d took the longest time and as usual now I have them I cannot see why they held me up at all. For those solving in the newspaper the article on the opposite page to The Toughie entitled Keeping Up With The Super Agers has a bit about Giovanni towards the end.(actually over on page 20). Thanks to CL and Kitty.

  6. Much enjoyed although I must admit to getting somewhat 29a over the parsing of 29a – always forget that abbreviation.
    Like Kitty, it took me a while to accept the obvious indicator in 13a – I went looking for a Sybil herb…….

    Top three for me were 1a plus 11d and – with apologies to Gazza – 5d.

    Many thanks to Samuel and to our merry Girl Tuesday.

    PS For someone who said that we may well be seeing less of his puzzles in the future, our new crossword editor is being quite prolific at the moment! No complaints from me.

  7. Was it just me or was this a tad trickier than Samuel’s recent offerings have been? Not that I’m complaining about that. I enjoyed it a lot and, notwithstanding the conversation above, 5d was my favourite – Nicer tea indeed!

    Thanks to Samuel and Kitty – I like the cartoon for 11d as a mate of mine used to have a springer spaniel that was a whizz at catching Frisbees.

  8. I do like CL with his Samuel hat on. Very enjoyable.

    Homophones – there are very few universal homophones so I regard them as just puns, good or awful. Just a bit of tongue in cheek fun in my view. The wider the variety of clue available the better, so homophones, Spoonerisms, reverse alternates – whatever – as long as the clue is fairly constructed it’s fine by me.

    Probably not really worth tuppence, but there you have it anyway. :smile:

    Many thanks to Samuel and to Kitty.

  9. There were quite a few clues that needed significant thinking about, (they all seem to be mentioned in earlier comments) so this was not a particularly speedy solve for us. Two of the pesky four letter answers, 1d and 10a were the last to to fall. Good fun all the way through.
    Thanks Samuel and Kitty.

  10. Halfway through skiing vacation without incident. Glorious blue skies today. Today’s puzzle was something I could still handle after an exhausting day . Favourite run like a bull.

    Many thanks Kitty and Samuel.

  11. I definitely found it quite tricky and failed to solve quite a few.
    I enjoyed the ones I got.
    I don’t know why solvers are expected to be au fait with crickety terms for running .I am aware of probably a half dozen , but as far as I can make out there are an unfathomable number of such terms. Cricket commentators are probably composing more as we solve. Are spectators doing crosswords during the duller bits of a cricket match I wonder ? There would appear to be some unspoken connection between cricket and cryptic crosswords .
    Thanks to Kitty and Samuel.

    1. I’m lost with cricket, religion, celebrities, authors, actors etc – so I’m with you on that.
      Plain old wordplay is what I like in a cryptic…

      1. If a crossword relied on word play , it usually gets a bit dull, but a reliance on general knowledge can be annoying.As for obscure words ….

  12. Guessed 20a but had to check the cheeky cartoon hint to understand it’s meaning.
    Remembered seeing the prime construction in 25d before but such a clever device.
    Like Spoonerisms.
    There could have been one in 17d: Spooner’s rodent has sloppy food in bed (8)
    Thanks to Samuel and to Kitty.

  13. A good start to the Toughie week. Not too difficult throughout, at least that is until the close where I was faced with 1d, 10ac (nice checking letters :-) ) and 20ac, and came badly unstuck. Never mind. Particularly liked 14d and 25d.

  14. Thanks to Samuel and to Kitty for the review and hints. I was pleased that I was able to get into this one, but ran out of steam near the end. Needed the hints for 10,16,20a and 1,11,21d. Favourite was 14d. Was 4*/3* for me.

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