SP – 008 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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SP – 008

Special Puzzle – 008

Ten Glorious Years by Elgar

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

This is a special version of Toughie 2166, with some blog-related clues replacing the originals, used for the presentation on the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of Big Dave’s Cossword Blog.

A review by crypticsue follows:

When one thinks of Elgar Variations they are usually of the musical variety. Our Elgar has produced a fine variation of his original Toughie (T 2166) to make more of the clues relate to the blog. Jane Teather (Jetdoc) produced a beautiful framed presentation copy of the crossword together with photos or avatars of the bloggers (she’s down at the bottom RH corner too) which was presented to BD at the birthday bash. Enormous thanks to both John and Jane for all their hard work on this ‘production’

Having acted as an ‘adviser’ to Micawber and Encota on Saturday afternoon, I realised that you need to know your bloggers to fully appreciate the wonder of this feat of crossword setting.


7 Swinging Kiwis making point change summer habits (7)
BIKINIS An abbreviated way of saying ‘swinging both ways’ followed by KIWIS where the compass point West is changed for another to get some summer ‘habits’ [2Kiwis]

8 Compositions from a Lad by a gate to Shropshire (7)
SONATAS A lad, another way of saying by a and the ‘gate’ to Shropshire [ShropshireLad]

10 Bud Street’s included in A to Z book (10)
STATOBLAST Start with the abbreviation for street, add A TO (from the clue) and the position of Z in the alphabet and then insert the abbreviation for Book. As Micawber and Encota said on Saturday afternoon ‘What??’

11 What’s left in Toughie diagram? I can help (4)
AIDE Lurking in reverse in toughiE DIAgram

12 Untried name crossword enthusiasts should put about (8)
UNSOUGHT A pronoun that would be used for we crossword enthusiasts goes ‘about’ the abbreviation for name and the result followed with a verb meaning should

14 What setter must check for with son (6)
PROOFS Another way of saying for, in favour of; OF (with) and the abbreviation for Son

15 A possible cause of death on board, CS tackled in manoeuvres (11)
CANDLESTICK An anagram (manoeuvres) of CS TACKLED IN produces a possible cause of death in a game of Cluedo [CS = crypticsue]

19 Being set back essentially involves Pommers & Pommette maybe cutting out air conditioner (6)
PAVLOV A reversal (set back) of the ‘essential’ letters of involves and what Pommers and Pommette are without the AIR. If you’ve never heard of Ivan Pavlov, an investigoogle will reveal all about the ‘conditioning’ [Pommers]

20 I felt that service should be included in credit for Fred’s Ginger, perhaps (2-6)
CO-WRITER A way of saying ‘I felt that’ and a service included in the abbreviation for credit [Tilsit and crypticsue’s double act alias]

22 Pairs of performers look to be missing Dutch city (4)
OSLO Remove (missing) a two-letter abbreviation for Dutch from some pairs of performers and then add an interjection meaning look [Dutch]

23a By which to ‘largely’ advertise one working out last of down answers? (4,6)
NEON LIGHT An anagram (working out) of ONE, followed by the ‘last’ of dowN and a crossword term for ‘answers’

25 What painter’s used for gold one little chap’s endlessly taken aback about (7)
MOORING The painter being a rope! The heraldic abbreviation for gold inserted into a reversal (taken aback) of a small chap without its last letter (endlessly) [Gnome(thang)]

26 Gene, dodgy vicar, first to exact retribution (7)
REVENGE An anagram (dodgy) of GENE is preceded by an abbreviated vicar (vicar first). Apparently I’m not supposed to ask as to why Elgar refers to our Prolixic as the Dodgy Vicar – the mind boggles. [Prolixic]



1 Frolicsome nut in pool (7)
KITTENY A printing space the width of an N (nut being an alternative term for this space) inserted into KITTY (pool) [Kitty and Mr K]

2 What clues up Kath in Tilsit’s posting (4)
HINT Lurking in KatH IN Tilsit [Kath and Tilsit]

3 Yarn without end Digby’s spinning one condensed? (6)
LIEBIG A yarn or fabrication and an anagram (spinning) of the middle letters (without end) of dIGBy [Digby]

4 Weakness in the end solvers frequently see (4,4)
SOFT SPOT The final letter (in the end) of solvers, an archaic or poetic way of saying frequently, and a verb meaning to see

5 Toy you shouldn’t have received having broken the speed of sound (10)
TAMAGOTCHI An informal way of saying thank you (you shouldn’t have) and a synonym for received inserted into the speed of sound

6 Colonel presenting large front to dominate the Zones of Gascoigne on Hamilton’s Field (7)
GADDAFI This was the only solution changed from Toughie 2166 – the latter having a Q at the start of the colonel’s name. ‘Presenting large front’ refers to two letters used to indicate the size of a particular garment on a well-endowed letter – these two letters should replace the Z (zones) in the nickname of Paul Gascoigne, and then the abbreviation for [Lewis] Hamilton’s field should be added at the end [Gazza]

9 Where things happen unmoderated, ‘fat’ creator’s sacked (4,7)
FAST REACTOR An anagram (sacked) of FAT CREATORS This clue is also theme-related – I’m not going to say anything about creators, fat or otherwise!

13 So Bufo moves from south of plain before bear with a cut (2,3,5)
ON ALL FOURS A reversal (from south) of OF (from the clue) and another word for plain goes before the Latin word for bear without the A (A ‘cut’) [Bufo]

16 In singularly drink-induced disorder, welcome bread for Laureate (8)
DAVENANT Not the most well-known of the Poets Laureate – This drink-induced disorder is usual referred to in the plural – remove the S from the end to make it singular and insert a Latin word for welcome and some Indian bread [DT = Deep Threat]

17 Sensible distance out of reach of talons? Frustrated falcon’s released (7)
EARSHOT Remove the letters FALCON (frustrated tells you they aren’t in that order) from REACH OF TALONS and an anagram (out) of the remaining letters will provide a distance ‘reached’ by one of your senses [Falcon]

18 Clue for Senf is … Give “Miffy” cuddles (7)
VESTIGE An anagram (Miffy) of GIVE ‘cuddles’ the French word for is – Senf lives in Canada, where the second language is French [Senf and Miffypops]

21 Love beginning to solve cryptic with pre-eminent team (6)
WOLVES Pre-eminent tells you to put the abbreviation for With at the top and then follow with an (cryptic) anagram of LOVE plus the ‘beginning’ of Solve

24 Move on — without husband, it’s clarified (4)
GHEE A way of telling a horse to move on goes ‘without’ H (husband) – without husband describes any crossword widower such as Mr CS

The answers, including the highlighted Nina:

12 comments on “SP – 008

    1. The pdf is the revised Toughie – the ‘solve on line’ clues you first encounter are from Windsurfer’s SP 007

        1. I often forget to change that reference – i have to dig into the html to get at it. It should be OK now, although you may need to force a reload with Ctrl+F5 to avoid getting a cached version.

  1. Remarkable. Don’t know what else to say.

    Elgars ‘Dodgy Vicar’ made me, well, laugh out loud! (Sorry P)

    Have been enjoying the pics that have been posted and pleased to see everyone looking well.

  2. How clever is that. I did the puzzle on the train on the way home from the bash – it wasn’t too difficult to get the answers because I remembered them from Friday but finding all the references to the bloggers was a joy. Thanks to Elgar and CS for the explanations.
    I’m slightly disappointed that Elgar didn’t include the ‘all fours’ at the bottom of column 4 in his Nina to make BigDave44.

  3. I don’t get to do many Toughies but of those that I have attempted, that was the toughest! Although I gave up with four answers still to get, I still felt a sense of achievement having got that far, so thanks, Elgar, you kept me amused/occupied for the thick end of a whole day! Brilliant blogger/setter references.

    Those that I didn’t get were 19a, 3d, 13d and 16d. I got 18d but couldn’t parse it – I didn’t know about Senf’s domicile and convinced myself that the clue concerned German mustard!

    Favourite clue was 15a.

    Many thanks Elgar and Sue.

    P.S. Do you think that bloggers and setters should receive royalties for appearing in clues?!!

  4. We had solved the original Toughie and found it such a challenge that we ended up revealing several letters to get it finished. It was fun to work through it again to try (mostly successfully) to understand the new parsings. An amazing feat by the setters.

    1. Jane (Mrs E) and I did discuss John’s amazing skills to write one set of clues and then transform them to fit the bloggers. Given the wordplay of your clue, we then wondered if people really know what goes on inside those special birds’ burrows :)

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