Hi everyone. Jed brings us another very enjoyable Toughie, which took me some time to get started on but then filled up steadily from the bottom, finishing with a little head-scratching in the NE. If I detected a slight political flavour in some of the clues, I think I’ll not add further comment!
A big warm hello to you all on a day which, here in a sunny Surrey, feels far too spring-like for February. How lovely to see Jed in this spot. I didn’t find this any harder than this setter’s Sunday offerings used to be, and every bit as enjoyable, so would invite those of you who miss Virgilius in the ST to pop a roast in the oven, don your Sunday best, and enjoy a day of rest with an extra crossword.
We have a super puzzle today to celebrate the 500th Toughie, set by the mysterious DiDi Guess (with, as is explained in the paper and on-line, the considerable assistance of eight better known setters). We are promised a breakdown of who set which clues tomorrow, so that means we have the opportunity to show how well (or badly) we recognise the characteristics of the individual setters by making educated guesses today.
As is quite usual for me I missed the theme completely until I’d finished (at least I did spot it then – I quite often miss these things altogether until somebody points them out). It’s all to do with the Roman numeral for 500.
So, let us know how you liked it and who you think set which clues and then we’ll all have a good laugh tomorrow when we find out the correct answers. I’ve put a few of my thoughts at the bottom of the review.
You may have noticed yesterday that I made a complete hash of the wordplay for 23 down, although I did say that I was open to better interpretations. Well, someone did post a far better interpretation, and it was two hours before I tumbled that we had been privileged to receive a fleeting visit from Firefly, yesterday’s setter.
If you have never tackled a Toughie before, then this one would be a good one with which to start, as there are no obscure words and the clues are straightforward – and you’ve got the hints below if you get stuck!