Toughie 202

Toughie No 202 by Warbler

Look Before You Leap!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Today marks a first for yours truly!  I actually agree with the current score given by solvers on Clued Up for the puzzle.  It was a pleasant enough puzzle until I came to submit my entry and found I had three wrong answers.  One was a typo because of the quirkiness of the entry system which frequently sends the cursor off at the wrong angle, but I also had two wrong answers; both of which were down to not reading the clue properly.  Having suitably chastised myself, I  entered the correct solutions and was done for another day.

One of those puzzles that would make a good daily challenge, but on the easy side for a Toughie.  A couple of clever clues and one or two to make me smile.  All in all a nice battle with an amiable setter.

This is the third time I have started this blog.  I saved it to send to Big Dave but forgot that I had transferred it to my laptop and was saving the doc to an email, and of course it didn’t save.


1a Commissioner’s word achieved settlement (10)
{COMPROMISE}  A word sum to start with.  Commissioner (COM) + Word achieved (PROMISE) = a word meaning settlement.  I originally thought the definition was “achieved settlement” but that would have meant a D at the end of the clue.

6a Extra cut (4)
{GASH}  Double definition.  A word that means “cut” and also “spare or extra”.

9a Romantic singing orchestrated in Eastern gardens (10)
{SERENADING}  An anagram (indicated by “orchestrated”} of IN E GARDENS reveals the sort of singing associated with Mario Lanza.

10a Runs into large vessel (4)
{BRIG}  R for runs inside BIG (large) gives a ship that looks a bit like this.

13a Encouraged, cut down, infiltrated by unionist (7)
{FUELLED}  FELLED (cut down) with U for unionist inside.  The definition is “encouraged”.

15a In theatre he attempts to warm up (6)
{REHEAT}  A hidden answer, rather than asking you to search for a person.  Inside “theatre he attempts” is a word meaning to warm up.

16a Broadcast show’s critique (6)
{REVIEW}  You need a word for broadcast that sounds like a word for a show (homophone indicated by “critique”).  The sort of show needed is that associated with the bar run by Paul Raymond in London in the late 60’s and 70’s.

17a Engineering flu with iffy science succeeded in demonstration of independence (4-11)
{SELF-SUFFICIENCY}   I felt this was probably one of the weaker clues today.  The anagram rather leapt out at me.  “Engineering” is the anagram indicator here of FLU IFFY SCIENCE S(ucceeded).   [Thanks for pointing out the omission, Nana!]

18a Unmarried men need help essentially (6)
{MAIDEN}  Another weak clue for me.  I don’t like clues where part of the answer is in the clue; here we have a word for “help”, AID, inside MEN to form a word meaning “unmarried”.  Surface reading is nice, but the clue is weak for a Toughie puzzle.

20a Verse function’s variable in appeal (6)
{STANZA}  Back to fifth-form Maths at Prescot Grammar School and other such horrors!  I hated maths and am proud to be dyscalcic.  To find a word meaning a verse, inside SA (for sex appeal) goes TAN Z which, if my memory serves me correctly, is “Tangent” and “a variable”.  Oh the nightmares!

21a Chooses to set clues cryptically? Not acceptable! (7)
{SELECTS}  Normally clues that talk about crossword setting tend to be esoteric or unfunny, but this works nicely.  An anagram of SET CLUES minus U for acceptable.  Think “U or non-U” to explain acceptable.

22a Note the Queen’s rank (4)
{TIER}  I’ll spare you the song from The Sound of Music as I have something far more insidious later!  A word sum –  TI (note) + ER (queen) = a word for rank or line.

25a Sort out Norway’s government office in a safe place (10)
{STRONGROOM}  Another word sum.  An anagram (out) of SORT + N + G (for Norway and Government) + office

26a Enjoys hot dish of meat and veg (4)
{HASH}  Must get a decent recipe for Corned Beef Hash into Big Dave’s Kitchen!  HAS (enjoys) + H (hot) = the dish for which Corned Beef was invented.

27a Here a good band’s playing for heavy metal fan (10)
{HEADBANGER}  A lovely clue.    An anagram (indicated by playing) of HERE A G (for good) BAND gives you a fan of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Megadeath and suchlike.

Time for some tranquilisers, a coffee and three Jaffa cakes and I’ll be back with the Downs! [I think they must be rather large Jaffa cakes – BD]


1d Ready? Start to cut tree (4)
{CASH}  Word sum:  C (start to cut) + ASH (tree) =  Ready as in money.

2d Damage Cambodia’s symbol (4)
{MARK} One of the answers I got wrong!  I entered MARC without thinking too much and remembering that the IVR for Cambodia was K (for Khmer).  Damage = MAR.

3d One trapped in rabble expired (3,3)
{RAN OUT}  Again I entered RUN OUT at first, and was chunnering to myself about  how on earth could UN = one!  On re-reading the clue of course, the definition is in the past tense, so ONE = AN.  This goes inside ROUT with “expired” as the definition.

4d Bland music could be interpreted as Hero A! (6-2-3-4)
{MIDDLE OF THE ROAD}  A clever clue, but maybe too clever for some.  “Hero A” is the middle of “the road”.  I think I would feel better if Hero A actually meant something or there was a famous piece of music  with that title.  Speaking of music, two for you.

Middle of the Road

As an apology for that I offer something more sublime without an A!

5d He transmits last part in series (6)
{SENDER}  Last part = END inside SER (abbreviation for series).  “He transmits” is the definition.

7d Putting on trial Arabian ruling is heard (10)
{ARRAIGNING}  Another word sum.  AR (Arabian) + a homophone of ruling , reigning (RAIGNING) =  a word meaning  “putting on trial”.

8d Robber’s greeting heard with many a trembling (10)
{HIGHWAYMAN}  A homophone of a greeting, hi, (HIGH) + W (with) + an anagram of MANY A = Dick Turpin.

11d Resorted Scotch rams in compatibility test (5-5)
{CROSS MATCH}  I did think this was a 10-letter word, but it can be two five letter words.  An anagram of SCOTCH RAMS gives something found in Silent Witness or a police forensic show.

12d Cold waterfall filling country’s empty seas (10)
{CHILLINESS)  I bet you didn’t know LIN was a word meaning waterfall, neither did I!  (It’s derived from Old English, Gaelic and Welsh words for pool).  Here LIN goes inside CHILE + S S for seas.  Chambers doesn’t give S for sea(s) though.

13d As female lies perhaps? They’ll increase her frontage! (7)
{FALSIES} The best clue of the day!  A nice clue where the whole thing also helps with the definition.  An anagram (perhaps) of AS F (for female) LIES gives something to enhance the chest.

14d Paints 500 European miniature portraits over time (7)
{DEPICTS}  An unusual crossword use of “over” here.  The setter is asking you to put D (500) + E (European) + PICS (portraits) over (i.e. around) T (time).  Not my cup of tea, but some will like it.

19d Clear line close to sewage plant (6)
{NETTLE}  NETT (Clear) + L + E (close to “sewage”) gives the stinging plant.

20d Without cost magistrate’s terrible disgrace (6)
{STIGMA}   This is a clue known as a compound anagram.  You take a word and either add or subtract from it and resultant anagram gives you the answer.  Hence, MAGISTRATE minus RATE (cost) and then anagram (indicated by terrible) the remainder to get the answer which is a definition of “disgrace”.

23d In Vietnam money’s no good following swindle (4)
{DONG}  NG (No good) after DO (swindle) gives the monetary unit of Vietnam.

24d Muslim prince broadcast around noon (4)
{AMIR}  Broadcast = AIR with M (for midday – meridiem, as in PM) inside, gives the name of a Muslim prince.

Thanks to Warbler for an enjoyable workout today.  Now if only, I could remember to save work appropriately…..  See you on Monday.


  1. nanaglugglug
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Tilsit – getting 17a and 4d was a big help, but think there is as ‘S’ missing in 17a? (or am I losing it?!!) Loved 27a!

    • Posted August 20, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi nana

      Sorry, it was in the first draft S is “succeded” and should be added to the anagram.

      • nanaglugglug
        Posted August 20, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

        guessed this was the case, but think would have been tidier to have ‘SCIENCES’

  2. Posted August 20, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    There are 12 clues in this puzzle that contain an apostrophe. When you do this puzzle online these apostrophes are missing from 4 of the clues.

    I have become used to checking with the printable version when in doubt, but the omissions are very annoying.

  3. bigboab
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this quite hard and was pleased to finish then discovered I had got 23d wrong, I had c instead of d, liked 11d best.

  4. gazza
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    On 12d I thought that the final SS came from empty seas, i.e. S(ea)S.

    • Posted August 20, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I had that in my notes, but missed it when I checked the blog. Well spotted.

  5. Posted August 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Bringing up the rear, I started this yesterday then went out. It provided me with entertainment over lunch today and I would have finished it unaided if I hadn’t initially entered 25a. as STRONGHOLD. Read the clue, Smith!

    Just noticed that I had one wrong – 19d – NETTIE (as in Geordieland loo, hence sewage plant). Oh well…

Leave a Reply, but please read the Comment Etiquette (under Comment on the menu) first. If you are asking a question, please check if it is already answered in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *