Toughie 180 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 180

Toughie No 180 by Cephas

Having waited ages to logon to CluedUp, this is what I got

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment *

Being in a generous mood today, I have awarded this puzzle one star for enjoyment.

Like a number of you, I have been experiencing an unacceptable level of service (or lack of it) from the CluedUp website.   As I mentioned on Sunday, the Telegraph Puzzles Editor told me “Regarding the “difficulties” you mention, it does come as a surprise. As far as I am aware the Telegraph has not received any complaints about CluedUp of late!”.  If you are having similar problems then contact the Telegraph at or call them on 0800 316 6977.  Should you not do so then the management there will sit in their ivory towers and continue to think that there is nothing wrong with the site.


1a The French speaker taken in by test centre (10)
{LABORATORY} – LA (the, French) and then ORATOR inside BY for a test centre

6a Some of the goods offered make one curse (4)
{ODSO} – some of the goODS Offered for one of those archaic curses that are still in Chambers

9a Tick line on voucher (6,4)
{CREDIT NOTE} – in this part-cryptic double definition, tick is CREDIT and line is NOTE. as in to drop someone a line

10a You and I accepted £1,000 during vigil (4)
{WAKE} – WE outside A K (a £1000) – there appears to be an “a” missing

12a Position of feudal superior on master vessel (12)
{OVERLORDSHIP} – both definitions use essentially the same meaning of OVERLORD

15a Most unusual to find a rector amongst all the others (6)
{RAREST} – A and R(ector) inside REST

16a Leading tribesman entered Bairiki travelling round country (8)
{KIRIBATI} – the wordplay, an anagram of T plus BAIRIKI, is obvious; that it leads to a place hardly anyone has heard of is pathetic

18a Roughly order in distance medicinal plant (8)
{CAMOMILE} – CA (circa / roughly) with OM (Order of Merit) inside MILE (distance)

19a Unbalanced new spy chief had nothing on (6)
{PSYCHO} – a charade of an anagram od SPY followed by CH(ief) and O (nothing)

21a After lessons its pupils should stay on (6,6)
{RIDING SCHOOL} – a silly cryptic definition as these pupils would sit on their horses during the lessons, but I suppose the suggestion is that they are being taught to stay on

24a Seaweed that’s brown and green to start with (4)
{TANG} – TAN (brown) plus G(reen)

25a Restaurant-car menu? (4,2,4)
{BILL OF FARE} – a cryptic definition of a menu that suggests that, having paid your FARE, you would be eating in the restaurant-car

26a Walk having no time for study (4)

27a Peter testy about printer (10)
{TYPESETTER} – an anagram of PETER TESTY


1d Lap at speed (4)
{LICK} – a double definition – to lap up or to travel at a fair speed

2d Gun man runs in (4)
{BREN} – BEN with R(uns) inside

3d The financier’s new clothes? (12)
{REINVESTMENT} – I hope you were paying attention to Tilsit’s comments on 7 down in yesterday’s puzzle [DT 25979] because here’s that same word again! – this time because they are new clothes there’s RE at the beginning

4d Holding cross over river (6)
{TENURE} – this holding comes from TEN, which looks like a cross when in Roman numerals, and the River URE

5d Back in good health, add new parts (8)
{RETROFIT} – a charade of RETRO (back) and FIT (in good health) together to add new parts

7d Lookout killing first crawler (10)
{DEATHWATCH} – WATCH (lookout) preceded by DEATH (killing) to give a beetle

8d Where those captive are free? (4,6)
{OPEN PRISON} – a cryptic definition

11d Income charge (9,3)
{ADMISSION FEE} – a better cryptic definition than the previous one

13d Agent for cleric stopping short having no right (10)
{PROCURATOR} – a convoluted charade of PRO (for) CURAT(E) (cleric stopping short) O (no) and R(ight) eventually produces an agent

14d Crybaby suffered random pain (5,5)
{PRIMA DONNA} – it’s a good job that there was an anagram of RANDOM PAIN here, as I don’t think I would have got this one from the definition

17d Sort provided’s elegant on the outside (8)
{CLASSIFY} – insert IF (provided) inside CLASSY (elegant) to get a word meaning to sort in this inelegant clue

20d Daughter in the country becoming gentle youth (6)
{CHILDE} – D(aughter) inside CHILE (country) for the eldest son of a nobleman (gentle youth) – this one was new to me!

22d Graduate with nothing less than hot money (4)
{BAHT} – BA (graduate) and H(O)T (nothing less than hot) for the currency of Thailand

23d Equipment changed for hill-climbing (4)
{GEAR} – a final double definition

As ever, your comments are welcome.


5 comments on “Toughie 180

  1. But Investment is described as archaic, so it shopuld be accompanied by , formerly, once or suchlike.

    I complained twice last week on the phone line and was promised a call back.

    Good job I didn’t hold my breath.

  2. Got hung up on 14d being ‘namby pamby’ WHY?!!
    Otherwise found this puzzle not too much more difficult than the cryptic. Enjoyable tho’ for we lesser solvers!

  3. I am surprised that you had not heard of Kiribati. When I discovered it capital Bairiki contains 7 of the 8 letters in Kiribati, I thought this could be utilised in the clue.
    Sorry about the missing a in 10 across. I do not know how it disappeared.

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