Toughie 188

Toughie No 188 by Warbler

Fun without being too difficult

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

I enjoyed this puzzle without feeling that I had been over-stretched.  I even survived interruptions from the dog, the window-cleaner and the postman!


1a After accident tenor bathes lip in vessel (10)
{BATTLESHIP} – after accident signals that you need an anagram of T(enor) BATHES and LIP to get this navy vessel

6a Old clumsy fellow was injured close to pub (4)
{SWAB} – I didn’t know this slang term for a lubber or clumsy fellow, but the wordplay, an anagram of WAS followed by the last letter of puB, and the checking letters left only one option – Chanbers did the rest

10a Having lost time dread making a slip (5)
{ERROR} – (T)ERROR without the T(ime)

11a Bad acknowledgments of debt dog poor actor (9)
{ATROCIOUS} – the acknowledgements of debt (IOUS) were easy, but I played around with ham for poor ACTOR until I realised that it was an anagram

12a Competitor in Spanish valley’s warm coastal area (7)
{RIVIERA} – another one of those where I worked back from the answer to get VIER (competitor) inside RIA (Spanish valley)

13a Blobs spattered on Queen? That’s drivel! (7)
{SLOBBER} – an anagram (spattered) of BLOBS is followed by ER (the ubiquitous Queen)

14a American banner’s description; special parts designed to frame end of standard (4-8)
{STAR-SPANGLED} – a charade of S(pecial), an anagram (designed) of PARTS, ANGLE (frame) and end of standarD

18a We hear electrical flow produced this sweet fare (7,5)
{CURRANT BREAD} – sounds like current bred

21a Fisherman’s disturbed water with long rod at first (7)
{TRAWLER} – this fishing boat is an anagram (disturbed) of WATER and L R (Long Rod at first)

23a Famous tunnel discovered in hospital department (7)
{EMINENT} – the mind boggles at the thought of a famous tunnel being in a hospital! – but it’s simply MINE inside ENT

24a Leaders of Heathrow Institute give honour to pilot. He’s going somewhere (4-5)
{HIGH-FLIER} – the first letters of Heathrow Institute Give Honour are followed by FLIER

25a It’s irrelevant in English training (5)
{INEPT} – a charade of IN with E(nglish) and P(hysical) T(training)

26a Wooden border partly decorated a dormitory (4)
{DADO} – this wooden border is hidden inside decorateD A DOrmitory

27a Why Mick starts to act so silly mixing drinks (6,4)
{WHISKY MACS} – was this the first clue solved by BigBoab? – mixing is an appropriate indicator of the anagram of WHY MICK and A S S (starts to Act So Silly) that is required to get these favourite Scottish tipples


1d In the outskirts of Barnsley old king appears drowsy (6)
{BLEARY} – inside BY (the outskirts of BarnsleY) put King LEAR

2d Before the end of June those houses rose in value. Starters only do well (6)
{THRIVE} – before the end of (Jun)E put T(hose) H(ouses) R(ose) I(n) V(alue) (starters only)

3d Exaggerated energy after falling rather awkwardly (6,4,4)
{LARGER THAN LIFE} – put E(nergy) after an anagram (awkwardly – I liked that one!) of FALLING RATHER to get a synonym for exaggerated

4d Puffin or Southern river bird (3,6)
{SEA PARROT} – this alternate name for the puffin is a charade of S(outhern),  EA (river, running water) and PARROT (bird)

5d Welsh giant died in goddess’ embrace (5)
{IDRIS} – put D(ied) inside IRIS (the rainbow goddess) to get a Welsh giant whose rock-hewn chair on the summit of Cadair Idris was supposed to mete out death, madness, or poetic inspiration to whoever spent a night upon it – does anyone remember Idris lemonade?

I drink Idris when I’s dri,
Idris is the drink to buy,
I drink Idris, I drink Idris,
Idris when I’s dri.

7d Holding end of gizmo blow up everything that might be found in sheep’s stomach (4,4)
{WOOL BALL} – put end of gizmO inside BLOW reversed (up) and add ALL (everything) to get something that might be found in sheep’s stomach

8d Defended top highway reportedly (8)
{BESTRODE} – a charade of BEST (top) and RODE (sounds like road / highway)

9d A constant number’s power? State of being answerable (14)
{ACCOUNTABILITY} – another charade, this time A C (A Constant),  COUNT (number) and ABILITY (power)

15d Character wanders around centre of Kew’s formal flower beds (9)
{PARTERRES} – take PART (character) and add ERRS (wanders) around E (centre of KEw) and you get a formal arrangement of flower-beds

16d With opening of clinic the doc’s angry and frustrated (8)
{SCOTCHED} – an anagram of C (opening of Clinic) and THE DOC’S

17d Settled stretch of open country encircled by a road (8)
{ARRANGED} – RANGE (stretch of open country) inside (encircled by) A RD (a road)

19d He had time for a climber (6)
{HEDERA} – HE’D (he had) and ERA (time) give another name for ivy

20d Position of importance for early design on board (6)
{STATUS} – put TATU (early design / an old name for a tattoo) inside SS to get a position of importance

22d European residing in wealthy German state (5)
{REICH} – E(uropean) inside (residing in) RICH (wealthy) gives a German state

Warbler consistently produces puzzles with good surface reading and noticeable lack of ambiguity.  I particularly liked 23 across – have you got a favourite?

You can rate your enjoyment of this puzzle by selecting 1 through 5 stars below:

8 responses to “Toughie 188

  1. Although both the normal cryptic and the Toughie were relatively easy today, that did not detract from my enjoyment of them. I considered both crosswords to be well done. That’s my 2p before everybody else wade’s in :-)

      • You can’t win – if I had put 2c – then some “pedant” would have chipped in that you use pence in the UK :-)

        • I must throw my tuppence worth in, keep up the banter you two, makes the comments worth waiting for!. I rated it as 3 for enjoyment although too easy.

  2. I always thought that Snowdon was called Cader Idris, but a check via Google show that both spellings are acceptable.

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