Toughie No 131 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 131

Toughie No 131 by Citrus

A sweet puzzle from Citrus!

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

A very enjoyable puzzle that took longer to complete than I thought it should, but then hindsight is always 20/20 vision!


1a Helped while little girl spread hay (8)
{ASSISTED} – this word meaning assisted is a charade of familiar crossword terms: AS (while) SIS (sister / little girl) and TED (to spread hay)

5a He rejects last of French to abandon resistance (6)
{DENIER} – it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees here, but having wasted time taking the h (last of French) from he and getting nowhere the penny dropped: a person who rejects (often used to describe those strange people who believe that the Holocaust never happened) is simply derived from DE(R)NIER (last, French) without the R (to abandon Resistance)

9a Discussed and learned about unit of sound (8)
{REASONED} – a synonym for discussed) comes from READ (learned) around SONE (unit of sound on a scale such that the numerical value is proportional to the perceived loudness)

10a American list has one stone pine (6)
{AROLLA} – another charade – A(merican)  ROLL (list) and A (one) gives the Swiss stone pine or Siberian cedar

12a One probes the act of developing training (9)
{EDUCATION} – A (one) is inside (probes) EDUCTION ( the act of developing) to give a rather more familiar word meaning training

13a Section central to a part of stage performance (5)
{SCENA} – you are allowed to groan when you see that S(ection) CEN(tral) and A give a part of the stage performance of an opera

14a Measure popular in middle of receptions (4)
{PINT} – finding new clues for short, frequently used, words must be difficult for the setter, so this one which takes IN (popular) and puts it in the middle of recePTions deserves some credit

16a Nieces bustle about college getting knowledge (7)
{SCIENCE} – bustle signals this anagram of NIECES is around C(ollege) to give knowledge that could well be taught at the college

19a Encourage fowl to eat most of treat prepared (7)
{HEARTEN} – a word meaning to encourage comes from HEN (fowl) around (to eat) an anagram  (prepared) of TREA(T) (most of treat)

21a Hamlet was one to condescend, we hear (4)
{DANE} – the nationality of the Prince of Denmark is a homophone (we hear) for deign (to condescend)

24a I leave friendlier parent at school (5)
{MATER} – take I away (I leave) from MAT(I)ER (friendlier) to give how every public schoolboy is supposed to refer to his mother (parent)

25a Scatter presuming they attack (9)
{IMPUGNER} – a neat anagram (scatter) of PRESUMING gives the type of person who attacks verbally

27a Island king returns to kingdom, once (6)
{ISRAEL} – IS(land) and, wait for it, King LEAR reversed (returns) to give a country that was once a kingdom

28a Proceeding, no press release given, carried out in Rwanda (8)
{GENOCIDE} – this dreadful crime that was carried out in Rwanda comes from an anagram (carried out) of (PR)OCEEDING (without PR / no Press Release given)

29a Cherished sick user in state (6)
{NURSED} – this word meaning cherished is an anagram (sick) of USER inside ND (North Dakota / US state) – there should really have been an indication that the abbreviation of the state is being used

30a Money nothing more for woolly garment (8)
{CASHMERE} – a pleasant charade of CASH (money) and MERE (nothing more) gives a woolly garment


1d Was compatible with one vice (6)
{AGREED} – this word meaning Was compatible with comes from A (one) and GREED (vice)

2d Main problem is raising Irish lad (6)
{SEAMUS} – SEA (main) and SUM (problem) reversed (is raising) gives an Irish lad – my distaste for proper names in cryptic crosswords, unless relevant to the clue, is well known by now

3d Opening for cat in South America (5)
{STOMA} – this word meaning an opening is derived from TOM (cat) inside SA (South America)

4d Writer gets lie disseminated (7)
{ELEGIST} – this writer is a rather obvious anagram (disseminated) of GETS LIE

6d Leaving as green is so rough (9)
{EGRESSION} – the anagram (rough) of GREEN IS SO is easier to spot than it is to resolve to give this synonym for leaving

7d At first Giovanni Bellini suffered bad health (3-5)
{ILL-BEING} – at first applies only to the G(iovanni) not to BELLINI all of which go into an anagram (suffered) to give a synonym for bad health – the opposite term well-being is probably better known

8d Fine beverages in drum reported before jumble sale (4,4)
{REAL ALES} – REAL is a homophone (reported) for reel (drum) and is followed by an anagram (jumble) of SALE to give these fine beverages

11d Responsibility with respect to America (4)
{ONUS} – this responsibility or burden comes from ON (with respect) and US (America)

15d Plead for most of season to get sow announced (9)
{INTERCEDE} – this word meaning  to plead is derived as (W)INTER (most of season) and CEDE a homophone (to get … announced) for seed (sow)

17d Bob, who rode the Wonder Horse (8)
{CHAMPION} – two references here – firstly to Bob the jockey who won the Grand National on Aldaniti and secondly to the Wonder Horse of the 1950s TV series

18d He arrests most of old troop in escapade (8)
{CAPTURER} – this person who arrests comes TUR(M) (most of a word for a troop that is so old that only today’s setter had heard of it) inside CAPER (escapade)

20d Scots own name Ian, perhaps (4)
{NAIN} – even my Scottish friend BigBoab thought that this was a bit naff – N(ame) and an anagram (perhaps) of IAN give a Scots word for own which is more usually given as ain – and, especially for Nanaglugglug, I hope this example from the Dictionary of the Scots Language makes it clearer!

“Teir cowns …
Tey pe sa pra an syd

Not like her nain cootwife’s at hame,
Tat scarce her pottocks hide”

21d Flies lower rate flying (7)
{DIPTERA} – we get this order of flies from DIP (lower) and an anagram (flying) of RATE

22d Next to East in second team (6)
{BESIDE} – a word meaning next to created by putting E(ast) inside B SIDE (second team) – when you are trying to get a foothold in a puzzle like this one then it’s clues like this that you look for!

23d Ascetic’s actual existence, one not getting old (6)
{ESSENE} – this Jewish ascetic is ESSE (actual existence) and (O)NE (one not getting old)

26d England captain once had sentimentality over centre-half (5)
{GOOCH} – I had eliminated David Gower and Tony Greig before realising that this former England captain was made up of GOO (sentimentality) over (down clues only) CH (centre-half)  – and I wasted a lot of time trying to fit AL, the centre of hALf into this one

Coffee and blog now finished, I can put my feet up for a while.  What did you make of this one?

4 comments on “Toughie No 131

  1. Finished it, more luck than judgement !!- can you explain 20d for me please? (and maybe drink your coffee quicker please)

  2. Now that I have seen your wee bit ditty in explanation of the word nain I can finally understand it. I have never heard it used however nor have any of my friends and family. Just shows, you learn something every day.

  3. Thanks for that – what on earth is a ‘pottock’ ?

    Hotlips has his cootie in his hand and we’re away sit in the but an’ ben to have our crowdie.

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