Category Archives: Toughie Crosswords

Toughie 1285

Toughie No 1285 by Osmosis

Scraping the barrel

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This otherwise pleasant puzzle was, for me, somewhat spoilt by the inclusion of a second-rate US Politician and, in the wordplay for 17 down, a long-forgotten US actor.

Toughie 1284

Toughie No 1284 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I found this to be a trickier than usual Kcit puzzle. It didn’t help that I couldn’t give it my undivided attention because I had to keep an eye on a 5-year-old at the same time that I was solving it. Even so I think it was definitely in the 4-star difficulty zone. It was an enjoyable puzzle in which some of the wordplay needed a bit of thought.

Toughie 1283

Toughie No 1283 by Elkamere

Elementary, my dear Watson

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I’m pretty sure that I completed this in record time for an Elkamere or Anax puzzle, which means either that I’m getting better at them (unlikely, given the rate of disappearance of my brain cells) or (more probably) that Elkamere is in a charitable frame of mind. That said, I did enjoy it a great deal, especially the brilliant 5d and 11a.

Toughie 1282

Toughie No 1282 by Shamus

Mungo and Jerry

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The traditional easy start to the Toughie week, but nonetheless an entertaining puzzle.

Toughie 1281

Toughie No 1281 by Elgar

Chaos is come again

Hints and tips by Fred and Ginger

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from the Locarno Ballroom, Rhyl. Your terpsichorean twosome are running a Teach Granny to Dance session. Fred’s really proud of Ginger’s endeavours in the recent Times Crossword Championship, though he suspects she’s struck Notabilis off her Christmas Card list!

Anyway, in between dancing sessions we tackled today’s Elgar and it is a lot tougher than most Toughies seem to be at the moment, though Elgar isn’t in full Toughie mood. Very enjoyable and no detectable theme, although a couple of pairs of answers are connected.

Toughie 1280

Toughie No 1280 by MynoT

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

After a three-week break I was looking forward to resuming work at the Toughie gridface but it was not to be. This was yet another puzzle that totally failed to live up to its Toughie billing and I was able to complete it without breaking sweat. Even the blogging phase was easier than usual with only 26 answers to explain. I haven’t spotted a MynoT theme. Is there one? [Perhaps you didn't have TIME to look for one! BD]

Toughie 1279

Toughie No 1279 by Firefly

Chips or chips?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

I found this one a bit of a slog with not a lot to lighten the mood and some of the clues are not very smooth. Also, I’m not at all sure that I’ve fully understood 24a so any better interpretation for that would be welcome.

Toughie 1278

Toughie No 1278 by Giovanni

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment *

It is rumoured that Giovanni has strong words to say about crossword blogs in the forthcoming update of his beloved manual. If he continues to produce puzzles like this one then it is not surprising that the Arsène Wenger of Crosswordland gets bad reviews.

Toughie 1277

Toughie No 1277 by Notabilis

How do you make a 1 across?
Don’t answer that!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Notabilis never fails to both challenge and entertain, and this excellent puzzle is no exception.

Toughie 1276

Toughie No 1276 by Petitjean

Of Mice and Men

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Gather ye all the old chestnuts and save them up for Christmas!