Toughie No 95 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 95

Toughie No 95 by Messinae

A really enjoyable puzzle with some literary allusions

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I found myself appreciating this puzzle even more as I prepared the hints – there are references to three classic books, and a nursery rhyme.  While not trivially easy, this is a well constructed puzzle which is well worth the effort taken to solve.  Don’t forget the highlighted items give supplementary information and, usually, the answer.


9a A shopping centre rejected unorthodox source of wool (5)
A mall (shopping centre) reversed (rejected) giving a woolly South American animal (unorthodox source of wool)

10a What carries the injured needing time on emergency room (9)
Time, as in time spent in prison + ER (emergency room)

11a Salmon? Scotland’s foremost certainly as Jock would say (7)
A type of salmon – S (Scotland’s foremost / first letter) and the rest of the solution sounds like (as Jock would say) och aye (certainly, Scottish)

12a Who killed Robin in bar brawl (7)
Synonyms for bar and brawl put together to give the perpetrator of the heinous crime of “Who killed Cock Robin

13a Soup, unadulterated, with natural base (5)
The wordplay for this could be tricky if you don’t know that e is the base of natural logarithmsone of my favourite equations is e to the power of 2πi = 1 (where π is pi and i is √-1)

14a Herald comes round again, endlessly left outside (9)
A nice clue – recurs (comes round again) with por(t) (endlessly left) outside giving a herald or forerunner

16a What’s lucky at wedding …… it moves with the times (5,6,4)
(Chimney) Sweep (what’s lucky at wedding) second hand (something old) giving the hand on a clock that indicates seconds

19a Like robbers, gives stress to hotel (9)
As (like) together with robbers operating in the caribbean, giving the sound represented by the letter h (of hotel, for instance)

21a Lee’s drinking companion reared around inn primarily (5)
Laurie Lee wrote an autobiographical account of drinking cider with this young lady

23a Feature shown by Oliver, say, could be moreish (7)
An anagram of moreish that is a synonym for courage (feature shown by Oliver Twist when he asked for more)

25a Invite bids for uranium in case (7)
U(ranium) in action (case) giving a a method of selling goods or property by inviting bids

27a Deliver bad ball – batter hit cover point’s head (9)
An anagram of “hit cover p(oint’s head)” giving a badly delivered ball in cricket

28a He had a tale to tell about first lady (5)
He told one of the Canterbury Tales – re (about) plus Adam’s wife (first lady)


1d One old railway charity (4)
A LMS (London Midland and Scottish Railway)

2d Delicate stroke beheaded king and cavalryman (6)
(G)lance (delicate stroke beheaded) R(ex / king) giving a cavalryman

3d One serviced both Chatterleys’ venery (10)
Oliver Mellors looked after both Sir Clifford and Lady Chatterley

4d Picked up skins one having dropped off (6)
Peels (skins) plus “a” (one) reversed (picked up)

5d Get on with old Shakespearean character (8 )
Prosper (Get on) with o(ld) giving the principle character in The Tempest

6d Base of Vulcan fleet navy retains (4)
Hidden (retains) in the clue – this mountain was the realm of Vulcan, god of fire

7d Old reform movement out of time has a special attractiveness (8 )
Chartism (old reform movement) without the “t” (out of time) plus “a” (has a) giving a synonym for a special attractiveness

8d Take out capo perhaps and keep protection (10)
Draw (take out) bridge (a capo is a movable bridge secured over the fingerboard and strings of a guitar) giving a feature of a keep or castle

13d Nuts – this is a cop out (10)
A neat anagram (out) of “this is a cop” giving some nuts

15d Give emphasis in category of music (10)
Draw a line under, to give background music

17d One no longer loved stout trader (8 )
Ex (one no longer loved) porter (stout / ale)

18d This person is dividing property rate (8 )
I’m (this person / the setter) inside (is dividing) estate (property)

20d Mow down heavily armed police with high explosive (6)
SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics / heavily armed police) with HE (high explosive)

22d See lofted shot going round bunker (6)
I loved this one – v (vide / see, Latin) with skier (lofted shot) outside (going round) – giving someone who does a bunk

24d Naughty children in The Simpsons (4)
A not very subtle hidden word

26d Festival when French emperor’s not half upset (4)
(Napo)leon (French emperor’s not half) reversed (upset – a down clue construct) giving another name for Christmas

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