Toughie 244

Toughie No 244 by MynoT

Why oh Why?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

By the time I had worked out half a dozen clues, a pattern began to emerge. Ahh MynoT I thought. (Clued up doesn’t tell you who the setter is). Every answer has a “Y” in it, just in case you haven’t noticed.

I do think I need to remind everybody of a couple of comments from the last MynoT Toughie where all the vowels were “U”’s and also that it was the last Toughie in the “vowel” series….

Prolixic – “Maybe MynoT’s next challenge is to compile a grid where every answer has a Q or X or some other lesser used letter!”
Gazza – “I notice that there are no Ys at all in the answers, so perhaps MynoT regards Y as a sixth vowel……”
Looks like you are both “sort of” right.


7. Flawed reasoning to weep about when you heard it about saint (9)
{CASUISTRY} – A word for plausible but flawed reasoning, can be constructed from CRY (weep) about AS (when) U (sounds like you) and then IT about S (saint).

8. Fortune-teller is coming back via Luxembourg (5)
{SIBYL} – IS reversed (coming back) BY (via) L (lLuxemborg).

10. Language’s sprightly return in South Carolina (6)
{SYRIAC} – AIRY (sprightly) reversed (return) inside SC (South Carolina) is the ancient Aramaic dialect of Syria according to Chambers.

11. Supplier of publicity about terrible voyeur (8)
{PURVEYOR} – PR (publicity) around an anagram (terrible) of VOYEUR.

12. Gradually release second person in right place (3,3)
{PAY OUT} – YOU (second person) inside PAT (right place).

14. In enclosure there’s shelter in weather that’s icy (6)
{SLEETY} – LEE (shelter) inside STY (enclosure).

16. Still one may be found in the mountains (4)
{YETI} – YET (still) and I (one).

17. Adolescent unknown to be that small (5)
{TEENY} – TEEN (adolescent) and Y (an unknown quantity).

18. Lacking time yeast could make it light (4)
{EASY} – Remove T from YEAST, and then anagram it (could make it)

19. Old man asked for heater (6)
{GEYSER} – A sounds like (asked for) clue GEEZER sounds like “Old Faithful” for example.

21. Complain about month by the sea in France (6)
{YAMMER} – MAY (month) reversed (about) plus MER (French for sea).

24. Unsupported guys embrace the French (8)
{STAYLESS} – Another word for unsupported or without stays is created by STAYS (guys) around (embrace) LES (French plural for the).

26. This windy hen could be 20ish (6)
{TWISTY} – TWENTYISH is an anagram of TWISTY (this, i.e. the answer) plus HEN.

27. Cook young fish for Queen (5)
{FRYER} – FRY (young fish) and ER (Queen).

28. Jealous European Marshal enthralled by eager desire (5-4)
{GREEN-EYED} – Put E (European) and NEY one of Napolean’s Marshals inside (enthralled) GREED (eager desire) and you have another word for jealousy (the green-eyed monster).


1. Pressed your butterfly (5)
{SATYR} – SAT (pressed) and YR (your) is any butterfly of the Satyridae family.

2. Here I have ox in silicon dish (8)
{SUKIYAKI} – Put UK (here) I and YAK inside SI (silcon) and you have a Japanese dish usually made of thinly sliced beef.

3. Film someone needing an ASBO? (6)
{PSYCHO} – Double definition, the name of a famous Alfred Hitchcock film, could also be the sort of person who might need an ASBO. Although strictly speaking you would think this kind of person would require something a bit stronger.

4. Attempt softly to find cause of sleeping-sickness (4)
{TRYP} – TRY (attempt) and P (softly – piano) is a short form of trypanosome, which is a flagellate protozoan (genus Trypanosoma of various species, family Trypanosomatidae) and a parasitic in the blood of vertebrates which causes trypanosomiasis, or more simply sleeping-sickness.

5. Wife to watch steak (6)
{RIBEYE} – RIB (a wife – from the Bible, Genesis 2.21–23; facetious), and EYE (to watch).

6. He’s left one putting things together and introduced work for Mark, for example (9)
{SYNOPTIST} – The answer to this clue is effectively one of the writers of the Synoptic Gospels, those of Matthew, Mark and Luke, which can be said to have been written from a common point of view. Take the HES (he’s left) out of SYNT (hes) IST and put OP in instead.

9. Loud, dangerous and lively (6)
{FRISKY} – F (loud – forte), and RISKY (dangerous)

13. Strong American abandoning Tao (5)
{THEWY} – The definition for this clue is “strong” and another word for strong can be found from Tao – THE WAY to be followed without (abandoning) A (American).

15. Iron used in priest’s house dining-hall (9)
{REFECTORY} – Place FE (iron) inside RECTORY (priest’s house).

17. Nameless junior warder is a disaster (6)
{TURKEY} – Another word for an under-jailer is TURNKEY, now remove the N (nameless) and you have an American slang term for a play, film, etc that is a complete failure.

18. Cosmetic base for the old ship (8)
{EYELINER} – You need E (the base of the natural system of logarithms according to Chambers), followed by YE (the – old) and then LINER (ship).

20. Bob, holding safety-pins, essentially dictated fashion (6)
{STYLED} – Put SLED (bob) around the middle (essentially) letters of (safe)TY(pins).

22. In jester’s costume Thomas does somersault near meadow (6)
{MOTLEY} – Another name for a jester’s costume can be made from a reversed (does somersault) TOM before LEY (meadow).

23. Swellings in centre of blisters? Certainly (5)
{STYES} – Take the central letters of (bli)ST(ers) and follow this with YES (certainly) and you have a word that describes small inflamed swellings at the edge of the eyelid, caused by a bacterial infection.

25. Nimble having no children to go on railway (4)
{SPRY} – SP (sine prole – Latin, without issue) plus RY (railway)


  1. Posted November 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Where next?

    I think the last two in particular have been less enjoyable than the others.

    One of those strange facts that come out of Mathematics is that e raised to the power of 2πi = 1, where e is the base of natural logarithms and i is the square root of -1

    • Libellule
      Posted November 3, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. I think its probably time for MynoT to “draw a line under this” and consider something new. There are only so many times you can look up words you have never heard of, and never want to hear of again unless you are a Consultant Microbiologist for example.

  2. Libellule
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    On another note – did only three of us do this today :-)

  3. Kram
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, thank you Libellule, got back from the Hospital pm with only three clues solved,y oh y did I even attempt it!, don’t know how you managed to unravel it. This has to be the hardest and least enjoyable Toughie for me since finding Big Dave’s site. As J. Ross would no doubt have described it, all rather 13d and blasted not 18a. Sadly don’t have any favourite clues today!.

  4. Tilly
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    My heart sank when I saw who had set this. At one stage, i thought I would never finish it – quite labour intensive. I think that MynoT has proven his point. He can stop playing with the Alphabetti Spaghetti now.

  5. Big Boab
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Got absolutely nowhere with this! makes me think I’d better stick to the cryptic. I appreciate the skill of the setter but wonder Why? Thank you Libellule for a fantastic blog as usual.

  6. Slim Jim
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I thought that 13d and 26a were just a bit ‘too far-fetched’ to have been worth wasting time on!

  7. nanaglugglug
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Did about half the clues, then nothing – too many words we’ve never heard of. It helped knowing about the ‘Y’ thing, though!

  8. gazza
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only person who solved it without noticing that every answer had a Y in it?

    • Prolixic
      Posted November 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      No. I spotted this after 4 or 5 clues on train this morning. Unfortunately, it then became a little like a game of “Where’s Wally?” looking to see where the next Y fitted into the grid – over 1/3 of which was black (not a good layout). 26a foxed me completely. I agree with the comments above – it is time for a regular cryptic from MynoT or some other form of gimmick.

      • Prolixic
        Posted November 3, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        The first No should have been “Yes!”

  9. Libellule
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Et Al,
    Thanks for the feedback – it really is appreciated. When I did this – I did wonder why…. now I know. I did it for the blog :-)

    • Lea
      Posted November 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Libellule. I worked my way through it – day late but at least did it. Got stuck on 6d – learned a new word – 13d and 7a so improved my knowledge base.

      Thanks for the blog.