Toughie 2053 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2053

Toughie No 2053 by Dada

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Given the number of puzzles that Dada in his various guises produces month after month he keeps up a remarkable standard and this, although it possibly lacks some of the wit that he often delivers, is entertaining stuff (though not terribly tough).

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.

Across Clues

1a Tatty plaid I see in waste (10)
DILAPIDATE: an anagram (tatty) of PLAID followed by I and a verb to see romantically. Waste here is a verb.

6a Wild animal put back, getting well (4)
FLOW: reverse a wild pack animal to get a verb to well or gush.

9a Meat painter (5)
BACON: double definition, the second being the name of a Dublin-born twentieth century painter. Here is one of his self-portraits (perhaps he needed a new mirror?):

10a Continue swinging, following ensemble? It’s a successful trend (9)
BANDWAGON: a phrase meaning to continue swinging (3,2) as a contented dog might do follows an ensemble or group.

12a Brief influences success (6,7)
FLYING COLOURS: stick together an adjective meaning brief or fleeting and a verb meaning influences or distorts.

14a Those on the rails, passing? (8)
CURTAINS: double definition, the second an informal term for passing or death (derived from the conclusion of a play in the theatre).

15a Not opening, funny eye (6)
OCULAR: drop the opening letter of an adjective meaning funny or playful to leave what Chambers calls a facetious term for an eye.

17a Fighting insect with no love for geniality (6)
WARMTH: serious fighting followed by a nocturnal insect lacking the love-resembling letter.

19a Act as a board can be defeated? (8)
BEATABLE: split the answer 2,1,5 and it could mean to act as a board.

21a Joiner in pain during marathon? (7,6)
RUNNING STITCH: this is something used to join fabric. It could also describe the pain often suffered by athletes.

24a I confess, girl is a sticker (9)
ISINGLASS: string together I, a verb to confess to the police and another word for a girl.

25a Irish answer question, one from another nation? (5)
IRAQI: concatenate abbreviations for Irish, answer and question and append the Roman numeral for one.

26a Fix a European city (4)
RIGA: a verb to fix or falsify precedes A.

27a Tailor wants linen for sport played in white? (4,6)
LAWN TENNIS: an anagram (tailor) of WANTS LINEN gives us a topical sport. The question mark indicates that white clothing is no longer de rigueur at all venues.

Down Clues

1d Militant finally given the sack after uprising — a liability? (4)
DEBT: reverse the final letter of militant and what sack is an informal word for.

2d Prince of Darkness, lighter (7)
LUCIFER: double definition, the second being an old word for a match.

3d Change of old, old transport (5-8)
PENNY-FARTHING: what you would have once got in change if you tendered a threepenny bit for an item costing 1 and ¾ old pence.

4d Filleting being done, for the most part, badly (8)
DEBONING: an anagram (badly) of BEING DON[e].

5d Note to take shortly (5)
TONIC: TO and an informal verb to take or steal without its last letter.

7d Yank beneath stage producing funny trick (3-4)
LEG-PULL: a verb to yank follows a stage or section of a journey or long race.

8d With US friend adrift on river, someone riding across the water (10)
WINDSURFER: knit together the abbreviation for ‘with’, an anagram (adrift) of US FRIEND and the abbreviation for river.

11d Immediate action where claws are out? (7,6)
WILDCAT STRIKE: cryptic definition of a sudden and unofficial withdrawal of labour.

13d Race row unfortunately involving Olympic hosts, one seeking natural justice? (10)
ECOWARRIOR: an anagram (unfortunately) of RACE ROW contains the name of the host city of the most recent Summer Olympics.

16d Black is not unusual for ditch (8)
JETTISON: weld together an adjective meaning glossy black and an anagram (unusual) of IS NOT.

18d Position managed, top job (7)
RANKING: join together a verb meaning managed and what could be the top job in a monarchy.

20d Damn monsoon conditions in hot country (7)
BAHRAIN: charade of an interjection expressing annoyance (damn) and monsoon conditions.

22d Gather for hearing in African country (5)
GHANA: this country sounds (to some people, but not to me) like a verb to gather or collect.

23d Affectionate touch in peck is seen (4)
KISS: our one and only lurker.

Top clues for me were 10a and 11d. Do let us know which clue(s) had you waving your football rattles?

16 comments on “Toughie 2053

  1. Oh dear, Gazza, what shall I do with you! I thought this was huge fun and have been recommending it far and wide.

    Just to mention a few of the ticks – 14,19&21a plus 11d. Were there a couple of chestnuts in there? I couldn’t have cared less, too busy having a good time.

    Many thanks to Dada for making my day. Gazza, I’m thinking of sending Mr Happy round to pay you a visit – perhaps with a four-legged friend in tow…………

  2. I agree with Jane , fun and everything else I look for in a crossword .
    My favourite was 3d , but I liked it all really .
    Thanks to Dada and Gazza.

    1. So pleased someone else enjoyed it as much as I did. Just remembered the ‘continue swinging’ – set me off laughing again!

  3. A hugely enjoyable crossword with 14a a clear favourite.

    Dada always delivers a quality puzzle with a good mix of clue types and smiles (we smiled at 10a and 14a to name just two).

    Thanks to Dada and Gazza.

  4. Steady solve in ** time with no problems, comments nor favourites! Just nice enjoyable puzzle.
    Funny how brain works. Yesterday’s was a *.
    I managed 1/4 after a hour and gave up as had to go out!
    Thanks Dada & Gazza

  5. Favourite for me was 10 a “bandwagon”. For 11d, was I the only one who went straight from the “claws out” in the clue to a first word of “scratch”, as in a “pick up game”, “starting from scratch” etc. This delayed the NE corner until 10a came along. I enjoyed the puzzle-thanks to all

  6. Enjoyable enough but hard to see much difference berween this and his regular Monday back page offerings. It certainly took me middling back page time. Hopefully Donnybrook will up the ante a bit tomorrow.

    1. I agree with you about the similarity between this and alternate Monday back pagers as far as difficulty is concerned

  7. I belong to the ‘enjoyed this one’ camp – I think partly because I found it challenging, and became stuck on a number of occasions, but succeeded in completing it in the end with only minimal Google/dictionary reference (I had to check for the painter in 9a for instance) . So, this was more than ** in difficulty for me. Many thanks to Dada and Gazza.

  8. Didn’t realise who the setter was as usual but not surprised as I enjoyed the solve immensely.
    NE corner was last to yield.
    Favourite 14a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Gazza.

  9. Solved with half an eye on the football in a steady if not spectacular time. I got a little hung up in the SW corner, primarily because I had no idea who the Olympic hosts were, but got there in the end. An enjoyable diversion.

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s Toughie but found it a tad easier than the ‘Back Pager’. I love the puzzles from Dada as they are all of a very high standard and consistency whatever guise he adopts. Good humour has always been an important part of his clueing. Long may it last

    Lots to like but my favourite has always been ‘To make cheese, how do you milk a Welsh hedgehog? (10)’. Great stuff :cool:

    Thanks to Mr Halpern for the fun and to Gazza for his review – Go Chiefs

  11. Completed very late last night but I thought this was excellent – very entertaining and just the job after losing at football.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Gazza. Thanks too to Jane for the recommendation.

  12. Thanks to Dada and to Gazza for the review and hints. Not too tough, because I managed to finish it. Very entertaining. Last in was 14a, which was my favourite. Was 2*/3* for me.

  13. Same as Heno in many ways, except that I think this is the first Toughie I have ever managed to do. I have enough difficulty with the back pager. By “managed to do”, I meant “with no help at all”. 13d was difficult for me as I saw “Olympic hosts” as meaning the first and last letters of “Olympic” and I included the “I” from “one” thus making the anagram not work. I saw the “warrior” part of the clue straight away but could not make the rest of the letters fit, so guessed the other three. Only understood the parsing after I had finished and came on here. However this then gave me the letters necessary to get 14a. After racking my brains for what else could run on rails. I even had clothes-hangers!
    Again, 1a was not obvious to me as I originally spelt it with an e second letter, thus again making no sense of the anagram, I also was unsure the answer was a synonym for “Waste” but resisted the urge to look it up.
    Really liked 12a, 27a, 3d,8d and thought 20d was a laugh!
    OK so maybe this was an easier Toughie, but it gives me the confidence to try others! After all, there were still some “read then write ins” such as 6a, 25a, 23d, and 2d. Fun fun!

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