Toughie 172

Toughie No 172 by Busman

Was the Busman on holiday?

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

This one was a bit too easy!


1a The times are changing, son (4)
{ERAS} – these times are an anagram of ARE with S(on)

9a Celebration of ten-year trance without a change (12)
{TERCENTENARY} – a celebration of rather more than ten years is an anagram of TEN-YEAR TR(A)NCE without one of the “A”s

10a & 7d Legitimate target at coconut shy, say (4,4)
{FAIR GAME} – a novel idea, two clues for the price of one (also known as BOGOF!) – this one is a part-cryptic double definition

11a Community’s paying of an account (10)
{SETTLEMENT} – a non-cryptic double definition

15a Formula One driver Lauda, we hear, is fussy (7)
{FINICKY} – FI and NICKY (Niki Lauda, we hear)

16a What the French said for “duplicate” (5)
{DITTO} – according to Chambers it’s from the Italian, but then what do they know?

18a Hut as new, keeping back copy of ‘How to heat your villa’ (9)
{HYPOCAUST} – an anagram of HUT AS around COPY reversed gives this Roman version of under-floor central heating

19a Fighting Italian army back first (2,2)
{AT IT} – IT(alian) preceded by TA reversed

20a River – one from in Germany – No! (4)
{AVON} – A VON  – according to Mrs BD, von does mean from in German

21a Indispensable lease isn’t renewed (9)
{ESSENTIAL} – an anagram of LEASE ISN’T

23a Deity: one from animal life (5)
{FAUNA} – an ancient Italian deity with A (one) giving animal life which is often paired with flora

24a See-green! (7)
{LINCOLN} – Robin Hood’s diocese?

26a He’s walking around desert, in awful pain (10)
{PEDESTRIAN} – two nested anagrams: DESERT inside PAIN

29a Average emergency coming to nought (2-2)
{SO-SO} – SOS with O (nought) just about describes this clue

30a Inability to take part in contest in pub against the church (12)
{INCOMPETENT} – COMPETE inside INN followed by CE

31a Some redhead is heavenly (4)
{DISH} – hidden inside redheaD IS Heavenly – an attempted all-in-one that forgot there should be a definition somewhere


2d Selling lions or hot cakes? (7,5)
{ROARING TRADE} – a cryptic double definition

3d Tidy up after shattering into pieces (10)
{STRAIGHTEN} – an anagram of SHATTERING – I thought I had seen this before, and I had: Shattering into pieces – sort it out (10) is from Toughie 113 by, yes you’ve guessed it, Busman

4d Search following hazard? (5)
{FRISK} – a charade of F(ollowing) and RISK

5d A proper get-together (4)
{MEET} – as in meet and proper

6d Celebrities having goal during stages of journey (7)
{LEGENDS} – these celebrities come from inserting END into LEGS

7d & 10a County show – one with mega-RAF involvement (4,4)
{FAIR GAME} – the other half of this two for one offer is an anagram of I and MEGA-RAF

8d Island in Hackney, otherwise in Chiswick (4)
{EYOT} – hidden inside HacknEY, OTherwise is an island that gets a mention every year during the Boat Race

12d Carefully watch batsman that’s startling (3-6)
{EYE-OPENER} – a cryptic definition

13d Hairy creature – thanks to natural mutation (9)
{TARANTULA} – TA with an anagram of NATURAL give us this hairy creature

14d Their country’s champions – like Red Rum and Mon Mome? (12)
{NATIONALISTS} – this cryptic definition is an unconvincing pun on the Grand National winners

17d Such characters are inclined to be idealistic, maybe (10)

22d Orange porcelain (7)
{SATSUMA} – a double definition of fruit and Japanese porcelain

25d Crazy Annie is senseless (5)
{INANE} – crazy is the anagram indicator for ANNIE, but could just as easily been the definition

26d Quiet tune or two (4)
{PAIR} – P (quiet) and AIR

27d Love-bird (4)
{DUCK} – I’ve never seen this double definition before!

28d Very keen on part of Spain – Torremolinos (4)
{INTO} – a horrible modern synonym for “very keen on” is hidden in SpaIN – TOrremolinos

I guess if I had compiled this puzzle then I would have been quite pleased with it.  But then I would not have dared to submit it as a candidate for the Toughie.

I’ve only just noticed that half of the down clues were missing – I put them up hours ago and can’t understand why they had disappeared.


  1. Libellule
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    16a French for say “dit” + “to”

    • Posted June 30, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      I did know that “dit” was the past tense of to say, but are you saying that the “to” comes from duplicate = too = to. That’s why I ruled it out. :(

      • gazza
        Posted June 30, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink


        I took it be for = to (as in “I’m heading for Glastonbury”).

        • Libellule
          Posted June 30, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          Gazza – thats how I read it too…

          • Posted June 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            I must admit to being so unconvinced.

  2. gazza
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I presume that “the French said” is dit (past tense of ‘dire’).

    • Libellule
      Posted June 30, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Gazza 100% correct – see comment above. You would expect me to comment on this wouldn’t you. :-)

  3. nms
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I also thought dit +to was what was intended. Agree that puzzle was very easy.

  4. bigboab
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    It was tripe!!!!!