Toughie 156

Toughie No 156 by Warbler

This bird sets pretty Tough puzzles!

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

Another excellent puzzle from one of the Tougher setters.  A handful of easier clues, then you have to work hard to get the rest.


1a See noisy silly person settle for imaginary, impractical scheme (5-6-4)
{CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND} – C LOUD (see noisy) together with CUCKOO (silly person) and LAND(settle) give this imaginary, impractical scheme – I wasn’t too sure about the first part of the wordplay; C sounds like (noisy) see and LOUD (noisy) doesn’t seem quite right – what do you think?

9a Temporary decline in trade rose since restructuring (9)
{RECESSION} – this temporary (we hope!) decline in trade is an anagram (restructuring) of ROSE SINCE

10a Learn about some of marriage nuptials (3,2)
{GEN UP} – these words meaning to learn about are hidden (some) in marriaGE NUPtials

11a Herb sprinkled on roe with a garnish principally (7)
{OREGANO} – this herb is an anagram (sprinkled) of ON ROE A and G (garnish principally)

12a Second dealer lost 100 dollars (7)
{HANDLER} – a synonym for a second (as in boxing) comes from removing the C (lost 100 dollars) from (C)HANDLER (dealer)

13a Finally honoured first class Welshman (3)
{DAI} – D (finally honoureD) and AI (first class) go together to give a Welshman

22a Strangler’s target struggled to keep in centre of crowd (7)
{GAROTTE} – this length of wire or cord used to strangle someone (strangler) is derived from an anagram (struggled) of TARGET around (to keep in) O (centre of crOwd)

14a Showy appearances disguised sad face (7)
{FACADES} – these showy appearances are an anagram (disguised) of SAD FACE

17a Tableland’s mountain pasture over time starts emulating Austrian upland (7)
{PLATEAU} – this tableland is derived by taking ALP (mountain pasture) reversed (over) and adding T(ime) and the first letters of (starts) Emulating Austrian Upland

19a Seat of extreme Arab state (7)
{OTTOMAN} – a seat is constructed by taking OTT (Over The Top / extreme) and adding OMAN (Arab state)

24a Bird resident in Tasmania? (3)
{ANI} – a tropical American black cuckoo with a curved bill and long tail can be found, a long way from home, in TasmANIa

25a Deplorable! A concession’s backing Spanish inns (7)
{POSADAS} – take SAD (deplorable!) and A SOP (a concession) reversed (backing) and you get these Spanish inns

26a Collide with rear of car careering out in middle of Taunton (3,4)
{RUN INTO} – a phrasal verb meaning to collide with is derived by taking R (rear of caR) and following it with an anagram (careering) of OUT IN and N (middle of TauNton)

28a I regularly read first question in National (5)
{IRAQI} – I is followed by RA (regularly / alternate letters of ReAd and Q I (first leters of Question In) to get this National of Iraq – I wondered if the Q I was Question one, but that makes the “in” superfluous (mind you, that hasn’t stopped other setters in the past!)

29a Playing Nixon file for voice modulation (9)
{INFLEXION} – an anagram (playing) of NIXON FILE gives a synonym for for voice modulation – unusual for an anagram containing an X to result in a word that doesn’t start EX…

30a Spenser’s Gloriana twisted feather that is attached to cat by bit of elastic (3,6,6)
{THE FAERIE QUEENE} – Spenser’s Gloriana is an anagram (twisted) of FEATHER followed by IE (id est, that is) then (attached to) QUEEN (an adult female cat) and (by) E (bit of Elastic)


1d One’s fuel consumption is about right? Sadly no on trip to Belgium and France (6,9)
{CARBON FOOTPRINT} – the extent to which a person, community or organization is responsible for the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through use of fossil fuels (one’s fuel consumption) is built from CA (circa, about) R(ight) and an anagram (sadly) of NO ON TRIP TO B(elgium) and F(rance)

2d Short cut’s taken by person at just the right moment (2,3)
{ON CUE} – put CU (short CUt) inside (taken by) ONE (person) to get a phrase meaning at just the right moment

3d Rotter’s lawyer has brilliant defence in the beginning (7)
{DASTARD} – this rotter is made up from DA (District Attorney / lawyer) STAR (brilliant) and D (Defence, in the beginning)

4d As an example Durham schools provide camera supports (7)
{UNIPODS} – Durham is an example of a UNI(versity); add PODS (schools of whales or seals) and you get camera supports – and like me you probably wasted time thinking this was going to be tripods!

5d Could be Henry’s missing good trendy relationship (7)
{KINSHIP} – take KIN(G)S (could be Henry’s), remove the G(ood) and add HIP (trendy) to get a relationship

6d Music maker’s unknown. Answer? Thin material (7)
{ORGANZA} – the music maker is an ORGAN; now all you have to do is add Z (unknown – usually X, Y or Z) and A(nswer) to get a thin material

7d Without second one yearbook (9)
{ANNULMENT} – take an ANNU(A)L (yearbook), remove the second A (without second one) and add MENT, which sounds like (reportedly) meant (destined) and you get a synonym for abolition

8d Going to be idle after leaving here? (9,6)
{DEPARTURE LOUNGE} – words meaning going and idle combine to get a place from which you would leave, say, an airport

15d Eg Portsmouth’s headland depiction in painting (9)
{CITYSCAPE} – CITY’S (Eg Portsmouth’s – although why not Plymouth?) and CAPE (headland) give a depiction in painting

16d Letter regularly sent to Associate (3)
{ETA} – this Greek letter is the even numbered letters (regularly – it was the odd ones in 28 across) in sEnT

18d Unfinished guide to open country (3)
{LEA} – take LEA(D) (unfinished guide) and you get open country

20d Wine produced by Irish American (7)
{MADEIRA} – this wine is constructed from MADE (produced) IR(ish) and A(merican)

21d Northern satire may be more indecent (7)
{NASTIER} – N(orthern) and an anagram (may be) of SATIRE give a word meaning more indecent

22d African native’s blunder about Ireland (7)
{GIRAFFE} – an animal native to Africa ia a GAFFE (blunder) around IR(eland)

23d Thirteen-line poem composed around East (7)
{RONDEAU} – this thirteen-line poem (which can also be ten or fifteen lines and which has a habit of popping up in crosswords) is a clever anagram (composed) of AROUND and E(ast)

This is the best known English rondeau, of fifteen lines:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

27d Mineral water turned green (5)
{NAIVE} – take EVIAN mineral water and reverse it (turned) to get a word meaning green or inexperienced

Having been up half of the night fixing my machine (fingers crossed) and then being out for most of the morning, I am a little late today.  The rest of the down hints are in preparation. 

[If you want to know how not to write a program for editing text, ask WordPress to design it for you!.  Apologies for the interim badly aligned text.]



  1. gazza
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    1a. Chambers has “see” = the third letter of the alphabet, so I think see = C and noisy = LOUD.

  2. libellule
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Dave, agree with Gazza re 1a. thats how I read it.
    BTW I am glad 13a wasn’t Ifor.

  3. bigboab
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Cracking crossword, loved the whole thing!