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Toughie 1974

Toughie No 1974 by Myops

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Hello everyone.  No, it’s not Tuesday again already!  Bufo is otherwise engaged today.

This is only about the second Myops I’ve done and I found it a bit different.  In a good way.  Things started fine but I really had to think in places, and spent quite a while on the last two or three before enlightenment finally came suddenly and pleasingly.

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.

(I’ve not had time to add pictures today, but you won’t have been expecting any anyway so I think that’s ok!)



7a    Pressure cooker beef should contain a touch of mustard (7)
STEAMER:  To get this cooking apparatus, a young ox should contain the A from the clue and the first letter of (touch of) mustard

8a    Getting over cold see slimy discharge return to top of Belfast sink (7)
SUCCUMB:  Around (getting over) C(old) we see a slimy bodily fluid return (i.e. it’s reversed), then we have the initial letter (top of) Belfast.  Ugh!

10a   Multifaceted lives are fittingly given obit in the end (9)
VERSATILE:  An anagram (fittingly) of LIVES ARE with the last letter (in the end) of obiT

11a   Over’s over for England’s opener from the beginning (2,3)
AB OVO:  A preposition meaning over has the abbreviation for over in place of (for) England’s first letter (opener)

12a   Number that is drowning singular sound (5)
NOISE:  Abbreviations for number and that is containing (drowning) an abbreviation for singular

13a   Remake of ET involved same PR on a new day (9)
AMPERSAND:  The rearranged letters (involved) of SAME PR followed by A from the clue and abbreviations for new and day.  The misleading capitalisation of ET and the fact that “remake of” could be an anagram indicator caused me some real trouble.  For some interesting information about this character see under 2d here

15a   Hostilities only stop security (7)
HOSTAGE:  The abbreviation for hostilities only, used to designate service in the Royal Navy during wartime, then a stop or place.  I had to do some research to understand the first part of this clue

17a   First Lady in Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Oregon area (7)
PANDORA:  Assemble the abbreviations for the three named states and for area.  For once the first woman is not our usual biblical one but one from Greek myth

18a   Bread for jam (4,5)
EASY MONEY:  A cryptic definition, where the slang bread replaces its synonym in a saying in which I’m more used to having old rope than jam

20a   List revised and left all the same (5)
STILL:  An anagram (revised) of LIST and the abbreviation for left

21a   Healthy eating advocate say in host’s most advanced party (5)
VEGAN:  The Latin-derived abbreviation for for example (say) inside the foremost (of an army etc).  I’m not sure how many people follow this diet for health reasons rather than animal welfare

23a   Game fish blowing the gaff (9)
WHISTLING:  A (tricky?) card game and a fish of the cod family

24a   Avenger: what Honor, Diana, Linda and Joanna have in common I seem to recollect with Steed initially (7)
NEMESIS:  The letter common to the named Avengers, an anagram (to re-collect) of I SEEM and the initial letter of Steed.  We’re in the realm of the Greek gods again

25a   Side by side sailor and cardinal point crossing river (7)
ABREAST:  One of our usual sailors and a point of the compass around (crossing) R(iver)



1d    Where Georgie Porgie would be or might have been crashes (4,6)
NEAR MISSES:  Georgie Porgie got close enough to the girls to kiss them and therefore could be so-described

2d    Spit after demon drink (6)
IMPALE:  A little demon and a fermented drink

3d    Cross over drilling platform to find water (8)
IRRIGATE:  Cross or angry around (over) an oil drilling platform

4d    In at the earliest shelter for latest adult hibernating (6)
ASLEEP:  In an abbreviation for a phrase meaning at the earliest achievable, we substitute a shelter for the last A(dult)

5d    Cape folded in press provides protection in freezing conditions (3,5)
ICE APRON:  An anagram (folded) of CAPE inside press (clothes) gives a structure on a bridge pier to protect it from floating frozen water.  A new structure for me

6d    In court, lord’s announced, nothing counters battle to win it (4)
LUDO:  Follow a lord’s address in court with the letter that looks like zero

7d    Happening upon hot haul in tin is utter bliss (7,6)
SEVENTH HEAVEN:  A happening or occurrence, H(ot) and haul or pull all inside the chemical symbol for tin

9d    West End finally supersedes West End opening in Broadway. Answer? It’s brilliant (5,8)
BROAD DAYLIGHT:  The last letter (finally) of “West End” replaces (supersedes) the first letter (opening) of “West End” in the word Broadway.  Adding an answer in a crossword gives us this answer here.  A bit cheeky to have to take West End as a single unit here, but a very nice idea.  I spent ages unable to think of an answer to fit, thinking that “opening in Broadway” gave the first letter only and puzzling over letters 2-8 of the solution.  Well, at least that helped me get 8a

14d   Earliest beau regularly promoted novel (10)
ABORIGINAL:  Regular letters of beau reversed (promoted, in a down clue) plus novel or creative

16d   Minos had monstrous counsel (8)
ADMONISH:  An anagram (monstrous) of MINOS HAD

17d   Examination  material (8)
PHYSICAL:  A very pleasing double definition: a type of examination and material or tangible

19d   Relatively recent Tyneside aspiration? (6)
NEWISH:  Split the answer to get a Tyneside area (2) desire (4)

20d   Denunciation sent up via veritas vita, essentially (6)
SATIRE:  The answer is reversed (sent up, in a down clue) in the centre of (via … essentially) via veritas vitaI wasn’t keen on the fact that this hidden word didn’t straddle the two words of fodder.  Thanks to Gazza below for the clarification

22d   School piano’s waterproof cover (4)
GAMP:  A school of whales is followed by the musical abbreviation for piano


Thanks to Myops for the entertaining challenge.  Among many sparkling clues 20a actually stood out for me as an example of simple elegance, but my clear favourite is 13a.  Which clues would you select for West End stardom with the review, “It’s brilliant!”?


26 comments on “Toughie 1974

  1. A bit trickier than the ones I am used to seeing on Tuesdays, but it all fell into place quite nicely in the end, with 1d last in (and in retrospect my favourite).

    Thanks to Kitty and Myops

  2. Really enjoyable with some very inventive clueing – thanks to Myops and Kitty. Top clues for me were 13a, 19a and 6d.
    In 20d I think that the hidden word is reversed at the centre (essentially) of the 14-letter phrase ‘Via Veritas Vita’ (which is the motto of Glasgow University).

    1. Kitty is at work, where she can read the blog but not write on it. She says thanks for the explanation. I’ve updated the hint.

  3. A lot of head scratching and some electronic assistance but I staggered to completion. Some very clever clues – 8a and 9d for example.

    Candidates for favourire – 18a, 7d, and 14d (took some time to finally decide on the definition and that novel wasn’t an anagram indicator) – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to Myops and Kitty (especially for the double duty).

  4. Quirky and fun, even if I’m not sure 4d quite comes off and am not convinced by ‘fittingly’ as an anagram indicator. Thank to Kitty for unravelling 15a.

    I am ashamed to say that for far too long I had a very different ‘slimy discharge’ in my attempted parsing of 8a before my neural passages were unblocked.

  5. Glad I didn’t volunteer to blog this one when BD said Bufo was otherwise engaged today. I have a correctly filled grid but there’s a couple where I’ve had to go to Kitty’s hints for the parsing. Think I agree with the ****/**** rating.

    Enjoyed the tussle though so thanks to Myops and to Kitty.

  6. I managed to finish this but – like Pommers – needed Kitty’s help for several parsings eg 11 and 15 a, 4d,6d and 9d.

    In jest might I suggest that 18a (“easy money”) might be the motto of several centres of higher education, for them if not, nowadays, their students.

    Thanks to all

  7. I doubt very much that the diet of 21a can be called “Healthy” but it let me solve 22d where the 3 letter word for a school of whales was new to me.

    As you say, nice to get a different First Lady.

    Thanks for the parsing Kitty. I had a couple of correct bung ins. It’s good to know why they were right.

  8. Enjoyed those I got, but overall I found this confusing, even for a Toughie. Not my favourite, they can’t all be. DNF.
    Thanks Myops and Kitty

  9. There was plenty to like in this, but not sure it merits 4* for difficulty – 3*/4* from us.

    We liked 1d and 9d a lot, laughed at 6d and thought 24d was clever in the extreme. We needed Kitty’s hints to understand our bang in at 15a.

    Thanks to Kitty and Myops.

  10. Took a few leaps of faith in this one – specifically 11a & 5d which were new to me and 9d where I waited for all the checkers to be in place before slotting in what fitted and then worked out the parsing in retrospect.
    Didn’t realise that HO was a recognised naval definition – thought it almost always related to a ‘lady of the night’ in crosswordland!

    Many clues that I enjoyed – top spots going to 23&24a plus 1d.

    Thanks to Myops and to our Girl Tuesday on a Thursday – thought for a minute that I’d got the days mixed up!

  11. Parsing 15a took ages and a dictionary search for the HO abbreviation. Found this one quite tricky but eventually got it all sorted. Enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Myops and Kitty.

    1. Crossword buffs refer to the blank squares into which the answers are written as “lights”.

    2. See the tagline at the top of this very page, Mac!

      I used to assume that the lights were the white squares (as opposed to the black ones) and am sure that meaning is used in the wild. But I later learned that lights are the crossword answers (or letters of), which is the definition that Chambers includes.

  12. This is probably about the limit of my toughie solving abilitity. Pleased to have completed it, albeit with Kitty’s help in parsing some of my answers, many of which were bung ins. I really did like 17 & 24a – they were my favourites, but my vote for the most horrible clue has to go to 11a. This is purely a personal thing in that I simply detest Latin expressions as answers, unless of course they occur in GK crossword puzzles. That apart, a most absorbing crossword puzzle. Thanks to Myops and Kitty.

  13. Whew! Back now after a long one. It was in retrospect a very silly day for me to volunteer to do a blog, but I offered first and thought later … and then there were no other takers so here I am :) .

    Not complaining of course. Who knows when the next chance to blog a Myops may arise.

    Thanks to the essential Gazza for via veritas vita.

  14. I’ve once again failed in my attempt to avoid knowing the Toughie setter in advance (am beginning to think that an exercise in futility). Anyway, tomorrow’s (revealed here) is one to look forward to :) .

  15. I don’t usually even look at the Toughie (I know my limitations) but being one of the throng of Ray T-ophobes I’ve resolved to give it a go every other Thursday rather than endanger my blood pressure with his back-pager. It’s tough isn’t it? I’ve nowhere near finished it but at least they’re proper clues. One black mark: 7a. I suppose that pressure cookers cook with steam, but a steamer is not a pressure cooker. Other than that, firm but fair.

  16. About three quarters of this was pretty straightforward, but the rest? That more than pushed it into **** territory. :-) I needed help with a few at the end, especially in the NE corner, but got there in the end.

  17. Just realised that I didn’t solve 22d.
    Didn’t know either word actually.
    Loved the Remake of ET in 13a.
    Very enjoyable crossword from a rarely seen setter.
    Thanks to Myops and to Kitty.

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