Crossword Genius

Back being tough (5)


I believe the answer is:


Here is my best explanation:

This clue is a double definition.

'back' is the first definition.

(stern is a kind of back)

'tough' is the second definition.


'being' is the link.

This clue was last seen in The Telegraph

(Other definitions for stern that I've seen before include "Unpleasantly serious", "Grave; rear", "Demanding < back", "Severe and unremitting: area of a ship", "Grimly serious; back", "Severe part of the ship?", "at the back of the galley!", "Forbidding, austere", "Severe, demanding" and "Strict, grimly serious".)


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