Toughie 327 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 327

Toughie No 327 by Warbler

Birds of a Feather

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

I always look forward to Warbler’s puzzles, but felt that this one was not as good as the previous one. We know that she can set harder puzzles as she was responsible for last Sunday’s Enigmatic Variations No 908.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Stylish young woman living in Cyprus (6)
{CLASSY} – a word meaning stylish comes quite easily from putting a young woman inside CY, the IVR code for Cyprus – I have recently updated the countries and IVR codes section of The Mine; if you have any additions or corrections I would be delighted to hear from you, but please note that the Wikipedia page on IVR codes is not entirely correct

4a    State copper left university to begin studying branch of Maths (8)
{CALCULUS} – word-sum time! – CAL (the abbreviation, not the zip code, for the state of California – I need to update this page in The Mine!) CU (the chemical symbol for copper) L(eft) U(niversity) and S (to begin Studying) give this branch of Maths – there was no known practical use for this branch of Maths until many years after it was discovered which seems strange today!

10a    Bobbysoxer’s first to get into car to get to dance (5)
{LIMBO} – put the first letter of Bobbysoxer (Bobbysoxer’s first) inside the abbreviation for a posh car to get a West Indian dance in which the dancer bends backwards and passes under a bar which is progressively lowered

11a    Diamond’s new part broadcast in this music (4,1,4)
{ROCK’N’ROLL} – a charade of another name for a diamond, particularly a large one, with N(ew) and a word that sounds like (broadcast) role (part) in this great form of music

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a    Daft lump almost floundered in part of estuary (7)
{MUDFLAT} – an anagram (floundered) of DAFT and LUM(P) (lump, almost) gives a stretch of land, especially near a river mouth, submerged at high water (part of an estuary)

13a    Australian team beaten by retired sport enthusiast (7)
{AMATEUR} – an abbreviation for Australia (one again not its IVR code which is AUS) is followed by an anagram (beaten) of TEAM and the sport of Rugby Union reversed (retired) gives an unpaid enthusiast

14a    Quirky personal test included time and time again for such researchers (6,8)
{TALENT SPOTTERS} – an anagram (quirky) of PERSONAL TEST around (included) TT (time and time again) gives these researchers employed by, among others, football clubs

17a    Crow parrot played for time (14)
{COCKADOODLEDOO} – my favourite clue in today’s puzzle requires you to start with COCKATOO (parrot) and insert DOODLED (played) instead of T(ime) to get an imitation of this sound made by a bird – my only issue with this clue is that the numeration should really be given as (4-1-6-3)

21a    Editor backs revised set-up and passes authority to someone else (7)
{DEPUTES} – put ED(itor) reversed (backs) in front of an anagram (revised) of SET-UP to get a word meaning passes authority to someone else

23a    Wearing a touch of pink material is suitable (2,5)
{IN PLACE} – if you are wearing something you could be said to be IN it – follow this with P (a touch of Pink) and a delicate ornamental material made by looping, knotting, plaiting or twisting threads into definite patterns to get a phrase meaning suitable – Chambers gives arranged, in order, in position, in the correct position, set up, working and opportune as synonym,s so I think this one is a bit of a stretch

24a    Chana delicacy only half cooked in spicy dish (9)
{ENCHILADA} – an anagram (cooked) of CHANA and DELI (delicacy, only half) gives a Mexican dish consisting of a rolled stuffed tortilla cooked with a chilli-flavoured sauce

25a    Former president receives a threat finally living in exile (5)
{EXPAT} – run together EX (former, as in former partner), P(resident), A and T (threaT finally) and you get someone who is living in exile – it has been mentioned before that P as an abbreviation for President is not given in Chambers, but it is in Chambers XWD (a Dictionary of Crossword Abbreviations) and Bradford’s

26a    Black bird woman had driven away (8)
{BANISHED} – a charade of B(lack) with ANI (a tropical American bird with a curved bill and long tail, largely unknown outside of Crosswordland) and SHE’D (woman had) gives a word meaning driven away

27a    Improved diet altered principals of existence daily (6)
{EDITED} – a word meaning improved is an anagram (altered) of DIET followed by E D (first letters, principals of Existence Daily)


1d    Disaster! Alma got lost in large town (8)
{CALAMITY} – a disaster results from an anagram (lost) of ALMA inside a large town

2d    Could be gun trouble involving evil American native (9)
{ARMADILLO} – start with ARM (could be gun) and follow it with a synonym for trouble around (involving) a word meaning evil to get an American mammal with long snout, tubular ears and large front claws, an edentate whose body is covered with bands of bony plates

3d    Special tax on Spain’s new bread (7)
{STOLLEN} – run together S(pecial), a tax on use of a road, the IVR code for Spain and N(ew) to get this rich, sweet German bread made with raisins, etc. and coated with icing sugar

5d    In old, old Gallic area rebuilding church could be described thus (14)
{ARCHAEOLOGICAL} –inside an anagram (rebuilding) of O(ld) O(ld) GALLIC AREA place CH(urch) to get an attempted all-in-one that doesn’t quite come off for me

6d    Person one can call on to learn diplomacy (7)
{CONTACT} – this person one can call on is a charade of CON (to learn) and a synonym for diplomacy

7d    Unfasten John’s empty suitcase (5)
{LOOSE} – a word meaning to unfasten comes from LOO (John) and the outside letters of SuitcasE without the ‘s empty suitcase

8d    Thwarted lust starts to render youth hot with anger (6)
{SULTRY} – an anagram (thwarted) of LUST is followed by the initial letters of (starts to) Render Youth to get a word meaning hot with anger

9d    Excessive use of strikes is settled in stormy Irish debates? (7,7)
{BRITISH DISEASE} – a term used to describe the excessive use of strikes in this country is generated by putting IS inside (settled in) an anagram (stormy) of IRISH DEBATES

15d    Yorkshire town’s favourite treatment for important people (3-6)
{RED-CARPET} – a the favourite from a Yorkshire town gives the treatment given to important people

16d    Initially moderate opinions for fear that journalist is annoyed (8)
{MOLESTED} – another word-sum – M O (Initially Moderate Opinions) followed by a word meaning “for fear that” and finally the ubiquitous journalist gives a word meaning annoyed, in the sense of pestered

18d    Outfit restricts funds (7)
{KITTIES} – a simple charade of an outfit an a word meaning restricts gives funds that are pooled together

19d    Al pried craftily and understood mouthed comments (3-4)
{LIP-READ} – an anagram (craftily) of AL PRIED gives a hyphenated word meaning understood mouthed comments

20d    Short notice? Book quickly, say (6)
{ADVERB} – shorten ADVER(T) (an abbreviation for advertisement / notice) and add B(ook) to get a part of speech of which quickly is an example

22d    Nut’s cold afternoon lying in enclosure (5)
{PECAN} – this nut is built up by putting C(old) and A(fternoon) inside (lying in) an enclosure

Here’s hoping for tougher test next time!

11 comments on “Toughie 327

  1. Agreed it was a bit less tricky than usual Warbler’s. I struggled on 17a, which was also my favourite, until I got the last two checking letters. Nice to see th German Bread back!!.
    Thanks to BD and to Warbler for the review/puzzle.

  2. Easiest Toughie for some time.

    17a last to be completed and didn’t get the construction until the review appeared by which time I had formulated my own clue:
    ‘Parrot lost time and outplayed crow’

    Also agree about the numeration.

  3. Enjoyable crossword from Warbler, loved 17a and 9d, not too sure about 16d as I’ve never heard it used in this context but I’m sure your right Dave.

  4. I agree that this was a gentle Toughie but there were some nicely observed clues. Many thanks to Warbler for her puzzle and to BD for the notes.

  5. Enjoyable crossword and thanks for the review.

    A little less troublesome for me than some have been recently – 15d helped as I am a native of Redcar – pleased to see it recognised as being in Yorkshire, or at least what used to be Yorkshire before the local government vandals struck.

  6. I can fully understand why the experts may have found this a little on the easy side but I’m doing a happy dance. Not often at all I finish a Toughie completely unaided..Therefore I loved it :-) . Good day for me with the normal being about as tough as this was for me but completed both unaided.
    Good day at the office. Did not understand why cockadoodledoo until reading the blog or that Ani was a bird, but got the answers anyway.
    thanks for the explanations and the hard work.

  7. Needed some help today but solved the majority. Can’t say I have a favourite. Rather run-of-the-mill, I thought

  8. I am always suspicious of crozzies where I can immediately insert 1a and 1d without
    engaging brain or having had a preliminary scan of the clues. Suspicion was soon
    overcome with this disappointing effort.
    Totally agree with BD on 17a numerotation.

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