Toughie 256 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 256

Toughie No 256 by Citrus

A View From the Bridge

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Another Tuesday Toughie that’s worth having a go at. There are several anagrams, and some easy cryptic definitions and other clues to get you going. Then you can take a bit more time with some of the more difficult clues. All in all it should prove to be an enjoyable adventure. Especially if you tried to tackle last Friday’s Toughie equivalent of Everest.

If you want to leave comments, please do. You can the answers directly by highlighting the letters inside the curly brackets.


1. Note, evangelist’s brag! (4,2,5)
{MARK MY WORDS} – A double definition, an allusion to what a bragging apostle might have said is also a phrase typically used when you want people to pay attention to what you are saying because it is true and important.

8. HMS Belfast? (7,4)
{CAPITAL SHIP} – A warship of the largest and most heavily armoured class in a fleet is literally this. Unlike the type 42 destroyers.

11. A service returned from a distance (4)
{AFAR} – A and RAF (service) reversed (returned).

12. Material from Luxembourg’s excellent (4)
{LACE} – L (Luxembourg) and ACE (excellent).

13. Girl leaves before rain spreads (7)
{KATRINA} – KAT (or more commonly spelt as khat) is a shrub whose leaves are chewed or taken as tea for their stimulant effect, followed by an anagram (spreads) of RAIN gives you a girls name or the name of one of the deadliest hurricanes to hit the USA.

15. Endlessly embroider strange platitude (7)
{BROMIDE} – First, remove the first and last letters (endlessly) of embroider, E and R, then make an anagram (strange) of EMBROID and you have a salt of hydrobromic acid or another word for a platitude.

16. A cook’s beginning to keep almost all fruit (5)
{ACKEE} – The first letters of (beginning) A C(ooks) followed by almost all of KEE(p) is an edible fruit, often used in Caribbean cookery.

17. Arkwright’s active in Japanese drama (4)
{NOAH} – A (active) is placed inside NOH (a form of classical Japanese musical drama) for a builder of an ark.

18. Robe tailored for bishop (4)
{EBOR} – An anagram of ROBE (tailored) is the Archbishop of York. Why you ask – because “It is customary for a Church of England Bishop or Archbishop to sign himself with his given name and the (usually abbreviated) Latin name of his See – in the case the see of York which is “Ebor”, short for Eboracum”.

19. No lad flies like a knot (5)
{NODAL} – Another anagram (flies?), this time of NO LAD for another word for knotty. Interesting surface reading, or rather what surface reading?

21. Kitchen ordered to give more substance to soup (7)
{THICKEN} – Yet another anagram (ordered) of KITCHEN is to make or become thick or thicker, something you might do to watery soup.

22. No energy to instruct year about theoretical particle (7)
{TACHYON} – A more convoluted clue. With T(e)ACH (instruct – minus the E, energy) , and Y (year) plus ON (about) is believe it or not, a theoretical elementary particle that moves faster than light.

23. Sediment from river with a bit of sludge (4)
{LEES} – Another word for sediment is made up of LEE (river) and a bit of S(ludge).

26. Keen to roll joint (4)
{KNEE} – An anagram (roll) of KEEN.

27. Camp bed? (8,3)
{SLEEPING BAG} – A cryptic reference to what you might sleep in if you were camping.

28. Lurid reading. Hardly! (6,5)
{YELLOW PAGES} – Colourful reading, sort of – this is a cryptic reference to a telephone directory.


2. Partly open a small bottle (4)
{AJAR} – A JAR (bottle).

3. Deity has rink altered (7)
{KRISHNA} – An anagram (altered) of HAS RINK is a Hindu deity.

4. Period in which any earnings are declared (4)
{YEAR} – Hidden in the clue is a word used to describe a period of 12 months.

5. Objection to son’s treatment is not easily understood (7)
{OBSCURE} – OB (objection), S (son), and CURE (treatment).

6. Boy climbed around Island house (4)
{DAIL} – The lower house of the legislature of the Republic of Ireland is made by putting LAD (boy) reversed (climbed) around I (island).

7. Proud as one on stilts (7,4)
{WALKING TALL} – Yes you would be wouldn’t you.

8. Catharine’s chewed about five hundred Spanish flies (11)
{CANTHARIDES} – An anagram of CATHERINES and D (roman for five hundred) are blister beetles or a medical preparation originally used to to produce blisters and also an aphrodisiac.

9. Rush to purchase grass! (5,6)
{PANIC BUYING} – Panicum or Panic is a large genus of grasses having one or two-flowered spikelets in spikes, racemes or panicles. You can work the rest of this out for yourself.

10. The Spanish interpret curious creed as an example (11)
{TELEPRINTER} – An anagram (curious) of EL (Spanish for the) and INTERPRET is a type of telegraph transmitter with typewriter keyboard.

14. Operation to remove one stuffed jacket (5)
{ACTON} – A stuffed jacket worn under a coat of mail, is found by removing I from ACTION (operation).

15. Gideon’s first in defeat, as Enoch did for Methuselah (5)
{BEGAT} – The first letter of Gideon, is placed inside BEAT (defeat) for an old word (usually biblical) for producing offspring.

19. Fresh arrangement that begins when contract’s made (3,4)
{NEW DEAL} – New arrangements or conditions considered better than previous ones could also be a reference to bridge, where you deal afresh after a contract has been made.

20. The French decline North American dish (7)
{LASAGNA} – LA (the French) SAG (decline) NA (North American).

24. Bush is pronounced to be boring (4)
{SLOE} – The blackthorn bush sounds like (pronounced) SLOW.

25. Opportunity of seeing stake won (4)
{VIEW} – VIE (stake) and W (won).

26 Cabbage broth is starter in Kinross feast (4)
{KALE} – A scottish cabbage soup (also a variety of cabbage with open curled leaves), is formed from the first letter of Kinross and then an archaic word for feast, ALE.

17 comments on “Toughie 256

  1. Plenty of new words and definitions in there for me – 9d, 6d, 10d, 13a to name but some. Mostly they didnt stop me putting the answer in but it always worries me when I have not sussed the wordplay completely.
    Favourite clues were 17a and 15d.

  2. I thought it seemed easier than 26,094, got off to a great start,but hit a brick wall 22 across and 10 down, quite pleased with myself though.

  3. Got there in the end. Couldn’t work out 22a though so that made 9d more difficult than it should have. Thanks for the good review – enjoyed it.

    Once again it was nice to get 1a straight away.

  4. This was an enjoyable puzzle but with some more unusual words in the cluing. Just to be contraversial, since this blog seems a little slow today, does putting 6 or 7 more obscure definitions in the clues among the remainder of the clues that were more of the Daily crossword standard justify the puzzle being a Toughie?

    1. I must admit that this fact did take the shine off the enjoyment factor. I would not have got 10d without the blog.
      On rereading 28a I am not too impressed either!

    2. I knew enough of the odd stuff for the puzzle to seem pretty easy – so for some solvers, using words like 16A, 14D or 8D may not be enough to make it a Toughie – nor definitions like creed in 10D, even with the dodgy lack of a capital C.

      The “lurid” part of 28A surely comes from yellow = lurid and sensational, when describing writing – my first try was “yellow press” but that didn’t explain the “hardly!”.

  5. First post – love the blog

    10down. Suggest insert “. Creed” after INTERPRET, Creed is the name of the teleprinter manufacturer of a device.

    1. Welcome to the blog Charles

      You are correct, and that was what Libellule intended. (I didn’t see the link on the word type either – I’ve extended the hyperlink)

      1. Way back in the dark ages – first job after college – I used a teleprinter with paper tape reader. Not sure if it was a Creed but looks very similar (memory hasn’t faded that much).

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