Toughie 2008 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2008

Toughie No 2008 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Welcome all.  There’s nothing too fiendish here, but clues constructed seamlessly enough to provide some challenge and all very nice indeed.  What more could we ask of a Tuesday Toughie?

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    Room at home to accommodate the French official (11)
CHAMBERLAIN:  A room and our usual two-letter “at home” are to contain (to accommodate) a French definite article

9a    Find anagram behind row (9)
REARRANGE:  A charade of the hindmost part and a row or line

10a   Snakes finally eat crow (5)
BOAST:  Some snakes (feathered ones?) and the last letter (finally) of eat

11a   See you with two extras (3-3)
BYE-BYE:  A cricketing extra – and the same one again

12a   Heat to make hard plastic tile — plastic! (8)
BAKELITE:  Start with “heat to make hard” and add an anagram (plastic) of TILE

13a   Old-fashioned rings worn by short male relative (6)
UNCOOL:  Two of the ring-shaped letter inside (worn by) a male relative minus the last letter (short).  I feel that the rings are wearing the short relative here, though I’m sure a case can be made for this way round too

15a   Dives and attacks rocket coming in (8)
FLEAPITS:  Some attacks (of illness maybe) with the insertion of (… coming in) to surge or soar

18a   Harmless drugs with rank smell succeeded (8)
PLACEBOS:  A charade of rank or position, a personal smell and the abbreviation for succeeded.  These drugs might be harmless, indeed beneficial, but there are harmful ones too

19a   Guard nameless customer, 50 (6)
PATROL:  A (regular) customer without N (nameless) and then the Roman numeral fifty

21a   One with Irish roots and reggae on ship? (8)
DUBLINER:  A type of reggae music (3) and a ship

23a   Inane half of Sex Pistols song that’s not pretty? (6)
VACANT:  The other half of a Sex Pistols song starting with “Pretty.”  I really liked this but the fact that I just felt compelled to capitalise the P in this hint makes me wonder if perhaps its decapitalisation in the clue is not strictly correct.  Still, if we can’t allow a little anarchy in this clue, where can we?  And it’s not capitalised on the album cover, which is good enough for me

26a   Gather while mum’s inside (5)
AMASS:  A conjunction which can mean while, with a word for mum – and the ‘S – inside it

27a   Order to reverse how numbers appear on clock? (5-4)
ABOUT-FACE:  the words of the answer might describe the arrangement of numbers around the dial of a clock

28a   Lousy, abrasive brass tacks (5-6)
NITTY-GRITTY:  Lousy, as in infested with lice.  Then abrasive, having or containing hard particles



1d    Wild animal in estate, say, one about to lose coat (7)
CARIBOU:  Something of which estate is a type (say) followed by one in (Roman) numeral form and then “about” minus its outer letters (to lose coat)

2d    Silver monkey with open mouth (5)
AGAPE:  The chemical symbol for silver and a primate

3d    Drew, perhaps, lines in horrible amber with gold filling (9)
BARRYMORE:  The abbreviation for the type of lines trains run on inside an anagram (horrible) of AMBER, with the heraldic tincture gold also inserted (with gold filling)

4d    Part of Steps flee with H’s neighbour (4)
RUNG:  To flee and one of the letters neighbouring H in the alphabet.  Since the surface is all about the group Steps (H being one of the members), I’m afraid that bloggers’ rules oblige me to bring you the following:

5d    Accommodating model, ban emailing about clothes (8)
AMENABLE:  This clue, reversed (about), contains (clothes) the answer lurking within

6d    A car this aristocrat damaged could end up in Barcelona (5)
NOBLE:  A CAR plus the answer could be anagrammed (damaged) to end up in the form “Barcelona.”  So the answer is an anagram of BarcELONa

7d    Female hears criminal will host Top of the Pops? (7)
FATHERS:  F(emale) and an anagram (criminal) of HEARS with the first letter of (top of) the

8d    Dummy providing current résumé turned up for packaging (8)
PACIFIER:  Providing (2) plus the physics symbol for electric current, both contained within (having for packaging) a summary reversed (turned up, in a down clue)

14d   Broadcast fake animal noise material (8)
CHAMBRAY:  A sound-alike (broadcast) of a synonym of fake and the noise of a long-eared animal

16d   Soft rock, like Bonham’s number one with Plant (9)
ALABASTER:  You need no musical knowledge to decipher this: it’s like or in the manner of (1,2), Bonham’s first letter (number one), and finally one of a certain genus of flowering plants

17d   Agreement that’s new between man and worker? (8)
COVENANT:  N(ew) goes between an old slang word for a man or chap and a worker insect

18d   School actors in online recording (7)
PODCAST:  A school, especially of whales or seals, comes before a group of actors

20d   Draw carnivore in empty lorry (7)
LOTTERY:  This prize draw is found by placing an aquatic fish-eating carnivore inside lorry without its interior letters (empty)

22d   Writer promoted one’s birthday cakes (5)
IBSEN:  Some of the clue reversed (promoted) surrounds (cakes) this playwright and poet

24d   Sailor with terribly fat behind (5)
ABAFT:  One of our usual sailors and an anagram of (terribly) FAT

25d   One blue play about Republican (4)
TORY:  To play (with) around (about) an abbreviation of Republican


Thanks to our hard-working puzzles editor for yet another great puzzle.  With my shortlist for favourite rather long – 9a, 10a, 4d, 7d, 16d and 24d – I’m having trouble whittling it down.  Which is your Top of the Pops?


16 comments on “Toughie 2008

  1. A very pleasant puzzle – thanks to Samuel and Kitty. I didn’t know the word for reggae in 21a though the answer was clear and I had to Google the name of the Sex Pistols song. I have a big question mark written on my printout beside 13a.
    Top clues for me were 9a, 7d and, for the amusing surface, 24d.

  2. Nice Tuesday fare, enjoyed 7d and as Gazza said I liked the amusing surface in 24d. I too keep pondering 13a, but too much to do today to ponder further
    Thanks to Kitty and Samuel

  3. Hands up – I put in 23a based solely on the enumeration. I know all I ever wanted to know about the Sex Pistols i.e. almost nothing and didn’t feel inclined to ask Mr Google for any more info on them!

    For once I twigged whatever type of clue 6d is called – cause for a glass of wine here – but I so dearly wanted 24d to be ‘avast’!

    Last to fall were 15a & 8d – despite having been in plenty of the former. I seem to recall that the term was usually applied to old cinemas in urgent need of restoration.

    Favourite, with apologies to our Crossword Editor, was the amazing diamante headdress in the clip for 4d!

    Many thanks to Samuel and to our Girl Tuesday – loved the anagram assortment.

    PS I do like this new idea of giving us the names of the Toughie setters for the forthcoming week but – it’s rather intimidating seeing the name Elgar creeping ever higher up the list………..

  4. Agreed, a nicely entertaining Tuesday Toughie, perhaps Floughier than some. I’m afraid that I too started chuckling a little to readily at the overweight sailor, but I suppose you can’t help sickness.

    Thanks to Samuel and to Kitty for her great blog.

  5. As Jane, my last ones in were 8d and 15a as I wasn’t very happy with the defs.
    No problem with the reggae in 21a. Spent a few all nighters at the Dub Corner during the Garance festival in my mum’s town. Unfortunately the festival is no longer welcome by the local authorities. It was so nice to see Jah Shaka again last time I attended. Used to go to his Shaka nights on the Holloway Rd in the late eighties. Now the place to go is the Rototom in Valencia. Very good alternative.
    7d favourite.
    Thanks to Samuel and to Kitty for the review.

  6. We had to use Mr Google to confirm that there was a Sex Pistol song that fitted with what we had worked out it should be. The extent of our knowledge of the group was that they did something with your national anthem at some stage. The group Steps was also new to us but that was not needed to solve the clue.
    Plenty to keep us smiling.
    Thanks Samuel and Kitty.

  7. A nice way to start this week’s Toughies.

    Favourites were 3d, 7d and 8d. 28a was nice and easy but made us smile.

    Thanks to Kitty and to Samuel. Is this the first ever review from Kitty without a picture of a cat anywhere?

  8. We had a couple of answers which needed verification, including 13a.
    The 4d group connection passed us by.
    Compared to the really uninspiring alleged 2 year crossword which an alleged friend sent us at the weekend, it has been a joy to return to clever clueing.
    Thanks Samuel and Kitty.

  9. Enjoyable today. I made steady progress anticlockwise from NW. I needed hints for a couple (25d 19a) and a couple more remained beyond my brain even with the hint (19a 8d) clues like 8d seem to break my spirit I knew it would have if backwards in it but I always get my electrical terms mixed up and with the resume and the reversal my brain failed.
    Thanks to Samuel and Kitty.
    My fave was 16d and I was hoping for a nice bir of Zep to Illustrate the answer but as Kitty pointed out the answer had nothing to do with Led Zep so I will climb the stairway to heaven (bed)with…

  10. Whitehall 1212 rings a bell. Isn’t that the telephone number for Scotland Yard. Has Kitty been phoning missing persons to see if they have found the cats? 🐺🐱

    1. On the contrary, Missing Felines makes regular checks that there are no cats snoozing under my bed or hidden behind the sofa. Sadly, there are none to be found anywhere.

  11. i did this yesterday morning but didn’t get around to commenting.

    Enjoyed it, things like birthday cake, terribly fat behind, Top of the Pops, etc do the trick for me. Many thanks Samuel.

    Thanks Kitty. Hadn’t heard the word nocebo before.

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