Toughie 225

Toughie No 225 by Notabilis

Taken at the Flood

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

There’s a bit of a theme involving water and leaks in this puzzle by one of my favourite Toughie setters. Getting the answer to one of his clues is often only the first step – you then have an enjoyable battle with the wordplay to try to understand it fully. This puzzle does not disappoint, with some lovely twists.

This week’s Toughies are looking good so far – let’s hope the trend continues! We’d love to get a comment from you, whether containing bouquets or brickbats.

Across Clues

1a  Old record is used in the writer’s article to develop stories (11)
{MYTHOLOGISE} – the definition is to develop stories – put O(ld) LOG (record) IS inside MY (the writer’s) and THE (article).

8a  Ran with door left off? That might explain the flooded laundry (5-6)
{FRONT-LOADER} – an anagram (off) of RAN DOOR LEFT produces a type of washing machine. In the unlikely event that one of these would actually start with no door, it would cause a bit of a mess.

11a  Tip of wafer in sweet cornet, say (4)
{HORN} – an abbreviated term of endearment (sweet) is HON(ey) – put the last letter (tip) of wafeR inside to get a type of brass instrument such as a cornet.

12a  Wet politician behind prosecutor (4)
{DAMP} – a charade of DA (prosecutor) and MP (politician).

13a  Given a shocking time since before first of December (7)
{TASERED} – put together T(ime), AS (since), ERE (before) and the first letter of D(ecember).

15a  Cross-reference in magazine for cause of 12? (7)
{SEEPAGE} – the cross-reference is, for example, “SEE PAGE 94” and the 12 refers to clue 12a.

16a  Message received for one otherwise backing Resistance (5)
{ROGER} – a word used in radio communication to mean received and understood is constructed from EG (for one, for example) and OR (otherwise), both of which must be reversed (backing) and then followed by R(esistance).

17a  Hide right inside short book (4)
{LURK} – a verb meaning to be concealed is constructed by putting R(ight) inside LUK(e) (one of the books in the New Testament).

18a  Bishop getting on heavy type of font (4)
{BOLD} – B(ishop) plus OLD (getting on).

19a  Some mop up, niggling over carrying litter (2,3)
{IN PUP} – hidden (some) and reversed (over) in the clue is an expression meaning carrying litter.

21a  Literature recalled for Heathcliff primarily affecting his lover in spiteful ways (7)
{CATTILY} – start with Heathcliff’s lover, CATHY, and replace (for) the H (his first letter, primarily) with LIT(erature) reversed (recalled).

22a  Fretful, servile character backtracking about classical strength (7)
{PEEVISH} – the servile character is Dickens’ Uriah Heep – reverse his surname (backtracking) and inside it put VIS (latin word for force or strength).

23a  Dull fellow not sympathetic with inner turmoil … (4)
{CLOD} – start with COLD (not sympathetic) and reverse the inside characters (inner turmoil).

26a  … experiencing the same change, only for little fruit (4)
{SLOE} – … and carry out the same operation on SOLE (only).

27a  Holding two notes apart, not a hope for easy air (11)
{NONCHALANCE} – not a hope is NO CHANCE – put separately (apart) in this two notes, N and LA.

28a  You’re to mend tattered book (11)
{DEUTERONOMY} – an anagram (tattered) of YOU’RE TO MEND produces a book of the Old Testament.

Down Clues

2d  How Rumpelstiltskin or Cinderella story ends up? (4)
{YARN} – an attempt at an all-in-one – take the last letters (ends) of Rumpelstiltskin or Cinderella story and reverse them (up).

3d  Someone who copes with litres filling the ship (7)
{HANDLER} – the definition is someone who copes – put AND L (with litres) inside HER (a ship is traditionally referred to as female).

4d  Lines (including Circle Line) are sprawling (4)
{LOLL} – you need three Ls (lines) and one O (circle).

5d  Windows specialist less willing to work below $1,000 (7)
{GLAZIER} – the reference to Windows is nothing to do with the overblown operating system – put LAZIER (less willing to work) after G (grand).

6d  Dump in hangar, perhaps (4)
{SHED} – double definition – a verb meaning to drop or dump, and a noun meaning a structure for storing things, such as a hangar.

7d  Small building such as Scot erected in belt that’s hit by rackets (11)
{SHUTTLECOCK} – the definition is hit by rackets. I was fooled initially into thinking that small building is S HUT, but in fact small building is just HUT and this, together with CELT (Scot) which has to be reversed (erected), have to be put inside SOCK (belt).

8d  Fine plant fungus on allotment causes annoyance (11)
{FRUSTRATION} – string together F(ine), RUST (plant fungus) and RATION (allotment).

9d  Stew a turtle with oil and a caper (11)
{RATATOUILLE} – an anagram (caper) of A,TURTLE, OIL and A produces a type of stew.

10d  Partly make a bed as a table? (11)
{SPREADSHEET} – double definition, the first cryptic.

14d  In marriage presentation, knight replaces king with a bit of fluff (5)
{DOWNY} – marriage presentation is DOWRY – replace the R (Rex, king) with N (knight in chess notation).

15d  Drink to swallow without spice (3,2)
{SEX UP} – drink is SUP – put (swallow) EX (without, excluding) inside to get a phrasal verb meaning to present something in a more interesting way (spice up).

19d  Naughty characters in attic? I’ll investigate from below (7)
{ILLICIT} – hidden (characters in) and reversed (from below, in a down clue) in the clue is an adjective meaning naughty or forbidden.

20d  With power to eclipse the crown, sure to be related (7)
{PERTAIN} – start with CERTAIN (sure) and replace (eclipse) the first letter (crown, in a down clue) with P(ower) to get a verb meaning to be related.

24d  Forty winks or 9.6? (4)
{DOZE} – it’s no coincidence that 9.6 is four-fifths of 12.

25d  Feminine demeanour that’s not dark (4)
{FAIR} – put together F(eminine) and AIR (demeanour).

26d  Problem involving constant filth (4)
{SCUM} – insert C (constant standing for the speed of light, as used in Einstein’s famous equation) inside SUM (problem).

The clues I liked included 23a, 5d and 10d, but my clue of the day is 21a – how about you? Let us know via a comment, and please take the time to record your vote below.


  1. bigboab
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Cracking crossword. I liked 10d best but as I struggled with 15d I think I’ll add that as a favourite also.Great blog as usual Gazza.

  2. gnomethang
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one despite failng on the 15s.
    19d and 14d were favourites along with the pairing of 23 & 26a.

  3. nanaglugglug
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Great blog, Gazza – we also liked 10d and 7d. It helped having a couple of straightforward anagrams – 28a, 9d

  4. Prolixic
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful stuff. I agree with the previous posters that 10d is one of the top clues.

  5. Gnome
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed 5 down. Thought 15 across was v clever. And felt extremely 22 across when I failed to solve it.

  6. Anna Gramme
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Far too clever for me today.
    8d frustration all the way.
    Favourite clue 24d doze

    Posted October 1, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Can somebody please explain in the answer to 27a how N and LA are notes.

    • Libellule
      Posted October 1, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      N = an abbreviation of n (ote)
      LA = the sixth note of the scale in sol-fa notation