Toughie Crosswords – Page 223 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 194

Toughie No 194 by Busman

Charabancs of Fire!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Calderdale Hospital, where I am having a very short stay (hopefully home this evening!).  I have just been served with a bowl of the finest NHS Chicken Soup and a Cheese Sandwich for lunch.   Rather oddly, I have also been served with Cheese and Biscuits for dessert!

I was admitted at some rather ungodly hour this morning and while waiting for the ambulance to bring me in, I managed to tackle this Toughie.  When I eventually solved it, I tried to play the game of guess the setter (I do wish they would tell us on the website!) and came up with six other suspects rather than Busman.

I have a feeling this may divide the Community; some will like it and others hate it.  I am disappointed with the rating it got on the website,  it certainly wasn’t that weak.

Whether it’s the medication I am been filled up with, I feel rather sanguine about it.  In some ways I am disappointed as Busman’s alter ego produces some absolutely terrific puzzles in The Spectator series ( was last week’s cracker), and this doesn’t feel like a Toughie (today’s DT 26000 was much more ferocious!), but there were clues to make me smile and 8 across was a brilliant clue.  When I finished solving online, I submitted the solution and found I had five mistakes – two were typos, but 2 down,  21 down and 26 across left me having to rethink.

Anyway, let’s dive in and see what lurks within.

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Toughie 193

Toughie No 193 by Shamus
Hints and Tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This is an interesting puzzle from Shamus who has been kind enough to make all four of the 15-letter clues relatively easy, which is a massive help in solving the rest. I’d like to give it two and a half stars for difficulty, but that’s not possible – how many would you give it? – leave us a comment!
Also, please don’t forget to vote for the entertainment factor by clicking on one of the stars at the bottom of the review.

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Toughie 192

Toughie No 192 by Giovanni

Giovanni gives us an easy ride

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Last time we had a puzzle from Giovanni, it was a tough time.  This time he has been a lot kinder to us.  A smattering of new / lesser known words, but altogether the same excellent standard that we have come to expect.

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Toughie 191

Toughie No 191 by Osmosis

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

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

You have to work to get the answers in this very enjoyable puzzle.  One or two clues have wordplay that takes a bit of unravelling, but there is nothing here that is beyond the capabilities of the average Toughie solver. That’s what I wrote twelve weeks ago, the last time I reviewed a Toughie from this setter, and little seems to have changed!

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Toughie 190

Toughie No 190 by Kcit

Elegant and Enjoyable

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

Greetings from a soggy Calder Valley (Hebden Bridge sur mer!) and here are the results of Thursday’s Toughie Jury.   In his various guises, Kcit is one of my favourite setters and like Giovanni produces beautifully consistent and elegant puzzles.  Today’s is no exception and contains clues to make you smile, as well as clues that are technically sound and accurate.

Incidentally some news for those of you who also tackle the Guardian puzzle.  One of their long-running setters, Albie Fiore, who compiled under the pen-name Taupi (and Satori in the FT) died yesterday.  Albie’s puzzles were usually fiendishly difficult, but always fair and contained elegance and wit in every clue.  A sad loss to the world of crosswords.  My condolences to his wife and family.

Don’t forget you can rate the puzzle by awarding it a star rating below left. Your comments are always welcome and positively encouraged.  New posters always take a little longer to appear as the first post has to be approved to check for spammers. Continue reading “Toughie 190”

Toughie 189

Toughie No 189 by Campbell

A Delight for the Polymath

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

Having completed this puzzle, I felt that it had taken me longer than it should have done. It’s a good solid Toughie with a couple of new words (to me, at least) thrown in, and enough classical, literary, floral and geographical references to delight any polymath. There is an error in the version on Clued Up which has the wrong length for 9d.
Please take the time to vote for the entertainment factor by selecting and clicking on one of the stars at the bottom of the review. As always we’d be delighted to get your comments.

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Toughie 188

Toughie No 188 by Warbler

Fun without being too difficult

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

I enjoyed this puzzle without feeling that I had been over-stretched.  I even survived interruptions from the dog, the window-cleaner and the postman!

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Toughie 187

Toughie No 187 by Myops

This one might grow on you!

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

I found this puzzle to get better as I spent time on the analysis. The surface reading is excellent, but full resolution of the wordplay was a bit tricky.  This is the first Toughie from Myops since the landmark Toughie 100.  Those of you in Glasgow may be interested to know this setter is responsible for the fiendishly difficult Wee Stinker (or so I have been reliably informed).

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Toughie 186

Toughie No 186 by Elgar

Outrageous Stuff!

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

Unless you know different, as a woman with big teeth used to say on TV, today’s Toughie breaks new ground.   I don’t think that crosswords in the DT have had more than one or two cross-referencing clues.   Today’s had quite a few and that added to the fun.   Obviously you had to solve these to proceed further with other clues.

This was a Toughie to savour and it had everything including some absolutely top-drawer clues.   My only tiny grumble was that where answers were linked – like  22, 10 and 23, 2 down, in other publications the complete indications are shown at the first answer.  It just confused me a little.

Where to start?   Probably with the three letter answers.  They are quite good ways to get into the puzzles with quite friendly clues.

What did you think about it?    Feel free to comment after the analysis.

The clue answers are contained within the curly brackets.   Highlighting the space between them will reveal the answer.  If you are posting a comment for the first time, there may be a slight delay while your first post is approved.  This is purely a precaution against the board being hijacked by spammers.

On with the motley and let’s go!

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Toughie 185

Toughie No 185 by MynoT

Swallowing a Dictionary

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment **

If ferreting out obscure words is your bag then you’ll be in your element with this one! It is certainly a challenge, and I had particular difficulties in the top left-hand corner, with Chambers in overdrive.
As always the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal them. Do leave a comment to let us know what you thought of it!

Continue reading “Toughie 185”