Toughie 220

Toughie No 220 by Warbler

Four Play

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Not a particularly difficult Toughie today and generally enjoyable, in fact the kind of Toughie that all solvers of the normal daily Telegraph cryptic crossword should try. There are (for me) a couple of new words. However I did find the grid a little strange with what seemed like a large number of four letter answers spread all around the edge, but then maybe that’s just me.

As ever please feel free to leave a comment.


1. Insect found in store among squashed grapes — run! (11)
{GRASSHOPPER} – An insect is created from SHOP (store) among an anagram (squashed) of GRAPES and R (run).

9. Book one in Glasgow — it brings misery (4)
{BANE} – B (book) and ANE (an obsolete scottish word for one according to Chambers).

10. Type of jazz? Turkey has more, we hear (11)
{TRADITIONAL} – TR (Turkey) and sounds like (we hear) ADDITIONAL for a type of jazz.

11. Leave off cover after end of April’s gone (4)
{QUIT} – Cover is QUILT, now remove (gone) L (end of April).

14. A rowdy area disrupted thoroughfare (7)
{ROADWAY} –An anagram (disrupted) of A ROWDY and A (area).

16. British island’s line in rich buttery bread (7)
{BRIOCHE} – BR (british), I (island) and OCHE (the line behind which a darts player must stand).

17. Attractive young women’s party will shortly start to swing (5)
{DOLLS} – DO (party), wi (LL) (shortly) and the first letter (start to) of S(wing).

18. No time for chatty drunk (4)
{ALKY} – Remove (no) T (time) from TALKY (chatty).

19. Element that’s unknown in Cuba (4)
{ZINC} – Z (unknown) IN C (Cuba).

20. Smell isn’t bad with a touch of fragrance included (5)
{SNIFT} – An anagram (bad) of ISNT with F (a touch of fragrance) inside (included) is another word for “to sniff or snivel”.

22. Bird flags (7)
{BUNTING} – Double definition, small strips of coloured cloth or paper hung from strings as decorations or any of the small finch-like birds of the subfamily Emberizinae.

23. Crazy American in fact is a zealot (7)
{FANATIC} – An anagram of A (American) and IN FACT.

24. Adjust excursion that is defunct (4)
{SORT} – Excursion is SORTIE, now remove (defunct) IE (that is – id est).

28. Experimental surgery altered six voices in time (11)
{VIVISECTION} – An anagram (altered) of VI (six) VOICES IN T (time).

29. Decapitated bear found in whirlpool (4)
{EDDY} – Take the T off of Teddy (bear) – (remove the head).

30. Stupidly senator on borders of Spokane sells off last of property (11)
{SENSELESSLY} – SEN (ator) and the outside (borders) letters of S (pokan) E and an anagram (off) of SELLS with the last letter Y of property for a word that means in a meaningless and purposeless manner.


2. One regiment after another is excellent (4)
{RARE} – RA (Royal Artillery), and RE (Royal Engineers).

3. President displays arrogance (4)
{SIDE} – The answer to this is a hidden word inside (Pre) SIDE (nt), but whether the answer equates to arrogance or not is moot.

4. Impetuous person gets cold feet? Quite the reverse (7)
{HOTHEAD} – What is the direct opposite of cold feet? Exactly, quite the reverse.

5. Water game (4)
{POOL} – Double definition, a small body of still water, and another term for pocket billiards.

6. Adverse changes for shirkers (7)
{EVADERS} – An anagram (changes) of ADVERSE are shirkers.

7. In a devious way Private Investigator must scan king’s hand-written documents (11)
{MANUSCRIPTS} – A little convoluted this one. You need an anagram (devious way) of PI (Private Investigator), MUST, SCAN and R (King). Once unscrambled you have another word for hand-written documents.

8. We have change of heart over leader. He often swaps allegiance (11)
{WEATHERCOCK} – WE, an anagram (change of) HEART above (over) COCK (a strutting chief or leader – slang) is both a weathervane and someone who changes his or her opinions, allegiance, etc easily and often.

12. Cereal-growing region reportedly produced British minced steak (11)
{BREADBASKET} – The definition for this is cereal-growing region. Sounds like (reportedly) BRED (produced), B (British) and an anagram (minced) of STEAK.

13. Kid ran padre ragged in city transport system (4,3,4)
{PARK AND RIDE} – An anagram (ragged) of KID RAN PADRE.

15. Junior year at Oxford University’s no good (5)
{YOUNG} – Word sum. Y (year) OU (Oxford University) N (no) G (good).

16. Outspoken expert in Latin? Just the opposite! (5)
{BLUFF} – BUFF (an enthusiast, fan or expert) around L (Latin) is also “direct in speech and behaviour” (outspoken) in the Oxford Dictionary of English, but for some reason Chambers does not appear to have this definition.

20. Strange noise with cold frozen slush (4-3)
{SNOW-ICE} – An anagram (strange) of NOISE W (with) and C (cold) for ice formed from freezing slush or compacted snow.

21. Sailor’s a despicable person. He comes from North Carolina (7)
{TARHEEL} – TAR (sailor) HEEL (despicable person). Is a nickname given to someone who is a native or a resident of North Carolina (the Tar Heel State). This can be found in Chambers as two words rather than one (3,4).

25. Cut up pegs (4)
{PINS} – Reverse (up) SNIP (cut) for pegs.

26. Trucks are useless around centre of Chesterton (4)
{UTES} – A colloquial Australian term for a pick up truck. Take US (unserviceable) and place it around the centre of (Ches) TE (rton).

27. Trifle’s a dessert (4)
{FOOL} – A double definition of “to trifle or to play the fool” and a puree of fruit scalded or stewed, mixed with cream or custard and sugar.


  1. Nubian
    Posted September 22, 2009 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed this one more than the cryptic, does it really qualify as a toughie ?

  2. nanaglugglug
    Posted September 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Just 2 we needed help with, 20a – never heard of this word without ‘er’ on the end? 21d was new to us also. Apart from that, very enjoyable and do-able from a very expensive Spanish Daily Telegraph! 3 euros 20c!! Time for lunch, I’m in danger of becoming an 18across!

    • Nubian
      Posted September 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      If you subscribe to Clued up it’s only about 4 quid a month and you can read the telegraph on line. Here in sth France the papers are always a day late as well!

      • Posted September 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        They do subscribe!

        Hotlips is currently No 13 on the Leaderboard.

        • Nubian
          Posted September 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          Sorry apologies I’ll crawl back into my position at 344. I still think it doesn’t qualify as a toughie,,,all right I’m going

          • Libellule
            Posted September 22, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

            I wouldn’t worry about it – at least you have an official position.

          • nanaglugglug
            Posted September 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

            Aww!! Nubian, Hotlips would like me to tell you that theres nothing like the smell of newsprint,(plus the internet is very expensive here) AND he says he can’t walk about with the computer folded up under his arm as he does the Telegraph. I’m waiting for the day when Oled newspapers are available so I can download every day and he can scuttle off to wherever he disappears to!

      • Harry Shipley
        Posted September 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Do you really only get the papers next day? I too live in the south of France and get the Telegraph hot off the presses in Marseilles the same morning, at least in summer. In winter they print in Brussels, so it is a day late.

  3. bigboab
    Posted September 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword though like others I have never heard of 20a without the er. I would argue with Chambers (which is my Bible) re 9a being obsolete, it is heard almost daily up here eg. he is the ???? of my life.

    • Paul
      Posted September 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      I think it is the ??? rather than the ???? that is considered obsolete!

      • Libellule
        Posted September 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Exactly….. ANE is supposed to be the obsolete scottish word.

    • Posted September 22, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink


      It’s only weekends you can’t actually mention the answers!

  4. newtocryptic
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Tried the Toughie after the Cryptic to see if my skills have improved. About 70% was OK but couldn’t do several without the hints, far too many very obsure words. ANE, SNIFT, TARHEEL, UTES

    I don’t see how a crossword like this can be done without all the reference books to hand and therefore not suitable for long train jouneys etc. Do all you guys that are much more skilled than me finish puzzles like this without searching through websites and books?

    Anyhow, if this was an easy Toughie I’m going back to the normal Cryptic!

    • Libellule
      Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      70% isn’t a bad return on this puzzle :-). If you look at the clues involved for the words that you consider obscure, examine the wordplay carefully. The wordplay and definitions lead you to the answer, even if you do not directly know what the answer is. Then when you think you know what the word “might” be, you look it up to confirm. Thats the way I do it anyway :-)

      • newtocryptic
        Posted September 23, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Good answer – it makes me feel much better!