Toughie 2004 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2004

Toughie No 2004 by MynoT

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Hi everyone.  I found today’s Toughie very smooth-going indeed … until I didn’t.  Sorting out the last few clues accounted for a large proportion of my solve.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the
Help me! I am trapped
in a haiku factory.
Save me before they
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 .



1a    Masterstroke, having attachment to Bond? (6)
COUPON:  A masterstroke one might pull off plus a preposition meaning in contact with gives a voucher

4a    Get used to current trade (8)
ACCUSTOM:  Join together a type of electric current and regular trade

9a    Property of French art gallery (6)
ESTATE:  French art won’t fool the regulars but is likely to stymie those new to it: it’s the French word for “art” as in “thou art.”  Add to this a(n art) gallery oft-visited by crossword setters to arrive at this property

10a   Maintenance person needs space, hoisting machine constantly (8)
ENGINEER:  A charade of a printer’s space, a hoisting machine, and a poetic word meaning constantly or eternally

11a   Parisian’s goodness, offering useable mobile with admission for clubs by right (5,4)
SACRÉ BLEU:  A French exclamation like “goodness!” is an anagram (mobile) of USEABLE containing (with admission for) C(lubs) next to (by) R(ight)

13a   Prime trees will take time (5)
FIRST:  Some evergreen trees written by (will take) T(ime)

14a   What some politicians believe in; populace being taken in remains confused (13)
REPUBLICANISM:  The people inside (being taken in) an anagram (confused) of REMAINS

17a   Failing stamina? Turn to alchemy (13)
TRANSMUTATION:  An anagram (failing) of STAMINA TURN TO

21a   Prisoner and Georgia dance in chains (5)
CONGA:  A short word for someone in jail and the state abbreviation for Georgia

23a   Large numbers of appeals needing god’s intervention (9)
PLETHORAS:  Some appeals containing (needing …’s intervention) a Norse god

24a   Cheeky, diving into a river opening (8)
APERTURE:  A word meaning cheeky or [] in between (dividing into) the A from the clue and a river []

25a   Lighting controller‘s not so clever (6)
DIMMER:  Two definitions.  Something to adjust brightness, or less bright

26a   What a gull does perhaps above French country (8)
OVERPAYS:  In the definition, the gull is a gullible person.  Above or higher than plus a word which means country in French

27a   Brand new acceptable sculpture of nudes (6)
UNUSED:  A single letter which can mean (socially) acceptable (only really used today in crosswords) followed by an anagram (sculpture) of NUDES



1d    Line of credit given with no difficulty (6)
CREASE:  A line made by folding, pressing or crumpling (also a line in cricket and other sports) is formed of an abbreviation for credit by (given with) a word meaning no difficulty

2d    Rash song supporting primitive movement that can’t be controlled (9)
URTICARIA:  The medical term for nettle rash is a song following (supporting, in a down clue) a prefix meaning primitive or original and an involuntary bodily movement

3d    Going places? Stupidly, he put ‘No’ (2,3,2)
ON THE UP:  An anagram (stupidly) of HE PUT NO.  I can’t find this phrase with this definition in the dictionaries – they all want a longer one (on the up and up)

5d    Cohabitation of Tory with young pup when old (11)
CONCUBINAGE:  This cohabitation is formed of a concatenation of a word meaning Tory (abbreviated), a young animal, and two words (2,3) that can mean when old

6d    Excerpt from Rasputin, framed as below (2,5)
UT INFRA:  A Latin phrase is an excerpt from two words of the clue

7d    Kick bishop? That is human (2,3)
TO ERR:  To kick plus the abbreviation for a title given to a bishop

8d    I am in troubled market — keep going without progressing (4,4)
MARK TIME:  The abbreviated form of “I am” inside an anagram (troubled) of MARKET

12d   Political organisation‘s social work changing priorities? (6,5)
LABOUR PARTY:  Two words – a social function and work or toil – in the opposite order to that given in the clue (changing priorities?)

15d   Illiterate Italian lady with letter that’s moving succeeded after all (9)
IGNORAMUS:  Find this illiterate by starting with an Italian lady and a Greek letter, then moving S(ucceeded) to the end.  I was going to query the definition but it checks out

16d   Lloyd Webber work sent back by censor with separate notes (8)
STACCATO:  A Lloyd Webber musical (not Evita for a change) reversed (sent back) followed by the Roman statesman known as “the Censor”

18d   Establish Italian restaurants? (5,2)
START UP:  A reverse clue which took me a while to parse.  The first word of the answer is (a short form of) some Italian restaurants, reversed, with the second word functioning as the instruction to make that reversal

19d   Popular to keep chapter end as motto (3,4)
ICH DIEN:  Our usual short word for popular is to contain (to keep) an abbreviation for chapter and a verb to end (permanently).  The answer is the motto of Prince Charles

20d   Apply to get free access code (4,2)
USER ID:  Apply or employ (3) and free (3)

22d   Relative‘s base in French city (5)
NIECE:  The base of natural logarithms inside a French city


Thanks to MynoT
My favourite is 16d
Which did you like best?


16 comments on “Toughie 2004

  1. This was mostly very straightforward apart from the parsing of 18, perhaps because the tricks (9a) and obscurities (6d) were familiar from previous crosswords. All very enjoyable.

    Thanks to Kitty and MynoT

  2. Very surprised to see that 23a can be used in the plural.

    And I’m still trying to decide how many syllables there are in “favourite”.

    My Thanks to Kitty
    And also to MynoT
    Quite easy today

    1. I guess two plethoras would be two abundances, or two large amounts, possibly but not necessarily of the same thing. Hmm. Three countries had a plethora of fruit, but Spain had plethoras of fruit and ham?

  3. Certainly needed you today, Kitty. The middle section of 10a is – to me – either something that one pours a soupcon of tonic into for the sake of appearances or one of those nasty animal catchers. I spent ages wondering why my answer’s first 6 letters weren’t being hoisted and what had happened to the space!
    Problems also with 12d where I kept attempting to exchange various ‘lefts’ and ‘rights’. Short on lateral thinking…….

    5d was a new word for me – ‘living over the brush’ seems a far easier way to describe said arrangement – and 6d was a pure guess, fortunately verified by the BRB.

    Got there in the end and put 20d on top of the pile.

    Thanks to MynoT and to our Tuesday Batwoman – the 10a flow chart was pitched just at my level and the alt. pic for 3d almost made me spill my 10a hoisting machine!

  4. I liked the French swear word and the German motto, both used by the Prince of Wales.

    Some unusual vocab today i thought. Can’t imagine me using 14a in a sentence. I had to look up the rash.

    I liked the kick bishop.

    Many thanks MynoT and batgirl

  5. Enjoyable puzzle – thanks to MynoT and Kitty. I didn’t know the Latin expression (6d) which I had to verify.
    Top picks for me were 7d (made me think of the Father Ted episode called, I think, ‘Kicking Bishop Brennan up the a**e’), 12d and 18d.

  6. This must have been easy – it’s the first toughie I’ve managed to complete unaided. I’d say it was harder than back page but once into it built quite quickly. 1ac and 20d were my last 2 but don’t know why.

  7. 3d. Denis Waterman was in a sit com of this name 1990-1992. He also, as was his wont, sang the title song.
    Favourite clue 11a. Do the French still say it?

  8. Enjoyed this one considerably and managed to complete the grid unaided, but needed the hints for the parsing of 18d. Others were new to me, 5d and 6d, but they had to be what they turned out to be. Flowed very well at first and then slowed a little , taking ages over 5d which was my last one in.
    Thanks to MynoT and Kitty

  9. I found this to be at the expected level for a Tuesday Toughie, with no help required for parsing and which made reading Kitty’s blog pure pleasure.

    Thanks to Jane for making me go back to the pics and revealing the angel!

    I am also rather surprised that plethora has a plural.

  10. Was probably on the right wavelength as everything fell in smoothly.
    Had to check the Motto though. My German being inexistent. Senf can vouch for that.
    Even thought it came from that famous phrase: Ich dien ein Berliner. What do I know?
    Didn’t realise that Prince Charles used 11a. I can imagine him saying: Sacrebleu, je parle aux arbres!
    Thanks to MynoT and to Kitty.

  11. Zut alors! That was fun, completed at a steady trot, to adapt Senf. Many thanks to Mynot and Kitty.

  12. 5d was the one we had the biggest head-scratch about and we needed all the checkers before we had it sorted. Needed BRB confirmation for the 6d phrase. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks MynoT and Kitty.

  13. A ** on the Toughie difficulty scale. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself after managing to get 2d from the wordplay, but was then faced with 5d which is obvious when you see how it works, but wasn’t when solving and took an absolute age. 11ac indeed.

  14. Over far too quickly. A real Floughie. We enjoyed it, though.

    Thanks to mynoT and Kitty.

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