Toughie 175

Toughie No 175 by Excalibur

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Apologies for the late posting of this review. Big Dave normally does the Friday Toughie but he has suffered a catastrophic hardware failure and cannot get on-line, so I’ve done a quick mini write-up in his place. He also asked me to apologise for the late arrival of his full review of last Sunday’s puzzle – he’ll post it as soon as he is able.

As for today’s effort, I found it more irritating than satisfying – but there were a couple of clues I liked.

Across Clues

7a  Hard part is training the instrumentalist (7)
{HARPIST} – anagram (training) of PART IS after H(ard).

8a  Make clearly understood you’ll use as cover (3,4)
{PUT OVER} – double definition.

10a  Heap to scare a mouse? (10)
{RATTLETRAP} – double definition – one meaning an old banger.

11a  Said I wouldn’t recognise (4)
{KNOW} – sound-alike of NO (I wouldn’t).

12a  With a bad cold, one’s cheered up (8 )
{CONSOLED} – anagram (bad) of COLD ONE’S.

14a  Programme plan takes shape at last (6)
{FORMAT} – shape is FORM followed by AT.

15a  Back a little and you’ll have had it! (4,7)
{MILD FLUTTER} – small bet.

19a  Accumulates in banks while one lives the vagabond life (6)
{DRIFTS} – what accumulates in these banks is snow.

20a  A rendering that is an abomination (8 )
{AVERSION} – double definition.

22a  Split! Run! (4)
{TEAR} – another double definition.

23a  Establishes particular animal has caught it (10)
{ASCERTAINS} – particular is CERTAIN – put an ASS round it.

25a  Lots with nothing in them. Some may contain gifts (7)
{PARCELS} – the answer means both packages and patches of ground (lots). I don’t understand the significance of “nothing in them”, except that these patches of ground may possibly not be built on – if you have a better explanation please leave a comment!

26a  Unhappy creature with matted fur hiding inside (7)
{TEARFUL} – an anagram (matted) of FUR inside a sort of duck.

Down Clues

1d  Soft angora for knitting is perfection (7)
{PARAGON} – anagram (for knitting) of ANGORA after P (soft) to produce a perfect person.

2d  A blemish revealed by the light (4)
{SPOT} – double definition – libellule thinks that this one has escaped from The Sun!

3d  Also dividing total by three quarters (2,4)
{AS WELL} – total is ALL – put three points of the compass inside.

4d  The young blubber (5,3)
{PUPPY FAT} – cryptic definition of temporary chubbiness in adolescence.

5d  Was told what to do when one became a father (4,6)
{TOOK ORDERS} –  double definition – father could be a monk.

6d  Getting rid of a lover prowling round – married (7)
{REMOVAL} – anagram (prowling) of A LOVER round M(arried).

9d  It’s not a female protest against marriage! (6,5)
{BRIDAL MARCH} – cryptic definition of the music played when the wedding party enters the church (although Chambers does not seem to recognise the term).

13d  What body snatchers demanded of their clients? (5,5)
{STIFF PRICE} – cryptic definition.

16d  Sadly, the figure is my all, when you work it out (8 )
{DISMALLY} – the figure is D (Roman numeral for 500) – follow this with an anagram (when you work it out) of IS MY ALL.

17d  Little stand-up fight outside in the road (7)
{FREEWAY} – little is WEE which is reversed (stand-up) with FRAY (fight) outside.

18d  Concluded, when teased (5,2)
{WOUND UP} – double definition.

21d  Received in the post (6)
{EARNED} – cryptic definition – post here is position at work.

24d  Measure crack rain initially got through (4)
{ACRE} – crack is ACE – put R (rain initially) inside to get a measure of land.

The clues I liked best, from a pretty short list, were 5d and 6d sorry, meant 4d and 5d – what do you think? – leave us a comment!



  1. Libellule
    Posted July 3, 2009 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Gazza, I think you liked more clues than I did …. and thats saying something…. its that old sunday feeling.

  2. tilsit
    Posted July 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I thought it the worst of the week.

    6d doesn’t read, to me.and 5d has been seen several times before.

    I’ll spare everyone my thouhts on 9d!

    • gazza
      Posted July 3, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      I meant to type 4d and 5d as “best” clues rather than 5d and 6d – now amended.

  3. bigboab
    Posted July 3, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    I liked 4d and 5d also but couldn’t get 15a or 13d without your help, thanks again.

  4. nanaglugglug
    Posted July 3, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Very irritating!! we could see a variety of answers but couldn’t definitely make them fit the clues. Was looking forward to 13d but found the answer very random. Thanks Gazza and I hope BD gets mended soon!

    • gazza
      Posted July 3, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      On 13d “stiff” is an old crossword favourite for corpse, as in the classic clue “stiff examination (4,6)” (post mortem).
      When I spoke to Dave he was just on his way to PC World for the second time today in a noble attempt to rescue them single-handedly from the recession. He hopes to be back in harness tomorrow.

  5. libellule
    Posted July 3, 2009 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    nanaglugglug, my first attempt at an answer for 13d was Stiff Drink…. seemed good to me :-)