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Toughie 329

Toughie No 329 by Elgar

The F Word!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A pinch and a punch it’s the first of the month and an entertaining puzzle by Elgar which has a definite eye on the calendar. Compared to some we have seen recently, this is a true Toughie that should delight the connoisseur and really stretch the newer solvers.

Elgar has worked so hard to ensure that all the across clues and several down clues all contain the F Word, and each one refers to a different word that means the F Word; a quite breath-taking feat. I would recommend having Mrs Bradford and her marvellous book at your side, if you still plan to tackle this and haven’t done so.

As usual the clue answers are hidden between the curly brackets for you to highlight with your mouse, if you wish to see them. We welcome your comments after the blog and you can rate the puzzle with our star system.

Masochists needing a further fix of today’s setter can find one just for today at this web link: –

As an extra bit of help today, here are the words for fool used in the puzzle, but not in any particular order!


Off we go!


6a    Cacophony — fool’s anticipating cane’s corrective function (6-5)
{DINNER-DANCE} – A word sum to get under way today. A word meaning cacophony or racket + a word for a fool + an anagram (indicated by corrective) of cane leads to a social event often associated with organisations.

9a    Laughter follows fool’s Fate (6)
{CLOTHO} – A short word for an expression of laughter comes after a word for a fool to give the name of one of the classical Fates.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a    Organised political attempts to stir fool to put together a source of support (8)
{AGITPROP} – One of those words from the halcyon political days of the 1970’s. Another fool word inside ‘a’ + a word for support.

11a    Dupe fool at government assembly (10)
{CONCRETING} – A word meaning assembly is made up of a word meaning to swindle plus a word for Fool, and G (for Government) follows on.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14a    Portion of bread left by fool (4)
{LOAF} – L (for Left) plus another word for fool gives a word meaning a large portion of bread.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15a    A fool gets into vehicle after upsetting eggs and fruit (7,4)
{AVOCADO PEAR} – A fool inside a word for a vehicle all coming after OVA (eggs) reversed

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a    The gal left by fool (4)
{LASS} – Similar to 14 across, Left plus a word for fool gives a word for a young lady.

22a    Everything’s OK for Aussie fool in fitful sleep with Mum (4,6)
{SHE’S APPLES} – A phrase from down under meaning all’s well is made up of a fool inside an anagram (indicated by fitful)of sleep, all following a short word meaning “Quiet!”.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25a    Making bigger fool at work locally hate overall? (8)
{UPRATING} – Another fool + In (at work) word inside UG

27a    O’s neighbour on table takes one fool for another (6)
{NITWIT} – The definition is a common word meaning a fool (not listed above).    You need to start with element next door to O(Oxygen) in the periodic table, plus I (for one) and  add another fool.  Very clever!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

28a    One unwanted greeting 8’s fool is getting in Mirror (7,4)
{GLASGOW KISS} – The word for fool here is one sometimes used to mean an April Fool, hence the clue includes the solution at 8 down. Add to this IS and place both inside an alternative word for a mirror to get an unwanted greeting from a Scotsman i.e. a head-butt.

1d        Not averse to fighting Troy in sci-fi novel (6)
{FISTIC}   A new word to me.   A word that means enjoying a good punch-up is made up of an anagram (indicated by novel) of SCI-FI with T (for Troy weight) inside.

2d        Cut up, coming across individual at front of grid (2,4)
{ON POLE} the grid here is the one favoured by Messrs Hamilton and Button.  A word for individual with a word meaning CUT reversed inside.

3d        A killer’s written in for donor card (4)
{ORCA)  A hidden answer. Inside “for donor card” is a word meaning a killer (whale).

4d        Ludicrous — plain guy’s confinement (6,2)
{LAYING UP}  An anagram of PLAIN GUY gives a word meaning confinement(see Chambers)

5d        Frenetic social involving work plant required for calming effect! (8)
{SCOPOLIA}  A short word for work inside an anagram (frenetic) of SOCIAL leads to a plant used by herbalists to make relaxants (the genus of plant is shown in Chambers under scopolamine).

7d        Permit scene of execution to have fencing removed (5)
{ALLOW}  The name of a place where hangings took place needs to have its first and last letters (fencing) removed to give a word meaning permit.

8d        Lots of 1 across around now — going on for 48 hours without women (5)
{TODAY}.  To form the definition, you have to read across from 1 to get a five letter word associated with today and with this puzzle.  The subsidiary indication refers to  a period of 48 hours. I can see that some will say that 48 hours actually should give a plural answer.  However, here our setter refers to it adjectivally.  You then need to remove W (for women) to give you the required answer.

12d      Oar, we’re told, seven after 19 (3)
{RHO}  A double definition clue.   A word that sounds like to use an oar.   It also means seven letters after19 down in a certain alphabet.

13d      Name one spotted following current form of music (5)
{INDIE}  N(ame) and DIE (the singular of dice, one spotted) following I (electric current) gives a form of music.

16d      Kevin (without Ken) — and Sarah (without you) seen thus? (8)
{VISUALLY} EV (Kevin minus the letters in KEN) plus  SALLY with U (you) inside leads you to a word meaning.

17d      Ethics trained outside America — nothing could be easier! (8)
{CUSHIEST}  An anagram of ETHICS with US (for United States) inside to give a word

18d      Remote talent at large in the spring (3)
{ESP}  A hidden answer for a special talent.  Hidden inside ”the spring”

19d      Manager selecting national team announced Greek character (5)
{KAPPA}   A homophone for what an international soccer manager does, i.e. awards caps.  I wonder whether this clue should have a question mark to

20d      OK within the law to run away (3,2)
{LEG IT}  Double definition.  A slang expression for legal, when split up forms a slang word meaning to run off.

23d      Rice on TV served up by Hom, dividing in equal quantities (6)
{ANNEKA}  Clever clue.   Ken Hom is a famous TV chef and this is inside an abbreviation for “in equal quantities” (found on prescriptions) and then all reversed.   This gives you the Christian name of a famous lady named Rice.  Here she is:-

ARVE Error: need id and provider

24d      Old-time fondness for someone outside compound (6)
{POTASH}  An abbreviation for passion, an archaic word but actually coming back into vogue amongst da yoof, which goes around OT for old time.  This leads to a chemical compound.

26d      Nearly lose fondness for fool (4)
(GOOF)  If you stop liking someone or something you GO OFF, so remove the last letter (nearly) to make another word for fool.

Thanks to Elgar for a splendid romp!

Finally, this was my favourite topical link!

18 comments on “Toughie 329

  1. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Thoroughly excellent puzzle from Elgar today – Many Thanks!
    After getting about halfway I reached for the Chambers Thesaurus to pick up some more muppets and managed to complete (having also checked the plant at 5d).

    6a and 15a were great but hats off to the Elgar for 22a and particularly 28a.
    Thanks for the review Tilsit. (can you unmoderate the misspelt username for me! – Cheers!)

  2. Great puzzle from Elgar today, I really struggled all morning but they finally fell into place. Loved 6a, 1d and 19d but my absolute favourite was 28a. I did not get 22a until I saw your clue Tilsit for which I’m grateful. Great blog.

  3. Not had much time to look at this but did I spot the word fools spelled out across the top of the grid?

    1. I spotted that having originally thought the ‘1a’ reference in 8d was another prank of some description!.

    2. Good spot!! I assume you to be correct, though I can’t find the answer for 5d in my reference material. So it starts with “S” then?

      1. As it happens, it is not in my Chambers for iPhone – I had to google it to confirm. Strictly speaking it is an anagram of social with op inside it – the remainder is the definition.

  4. Highly enjoyable and clever puzzle today – thanks for the review which has gone some way to answering most of the word play I struggled with.

    Hate to carp in view of the pleasure I got from this, but….

    11a – is this really a synonym for “assembly”? Don’t have Chamber’s to hand but I find it hard to reach.
    14a – similarly – this is truly an over large portion, isn’t it? “Portion of” could have been omitted from the clue, I think.

    Also, I don’t understand the “UG” reference in the review for 25a; and 27a leaves me unclear about the “table” reference in the clue, unless it’s referring to the alphabet as a table – not a usage I’ve come across before.

    1. MIke,
      UG is an expression of disgust (as in UGH) referred to by Hate – this crops up from time to time and it is one that I am not so happy about.
      Assembly = building = concreting appears to be the synonyms – At a push yes but it does improve the surface reading.
      14a – Take it or leave it I think. One might have said ‘Some bread’ but it only indicates the word for a certain amount
      re: table – I think you are right – the alphabet table.

      1. Actually I am about to amend it, it’s the Periodic Table! What sits next to O in the top rowof the Table? It’s a really clever clue!

      2. Thanks for that Gnomethang – I eventually saw the “UG”/hate idea after I’d posted – I don’t like it much either.

  5. Didn’t like it at all, sorry. But then I had a repaired computer to reinstall as well.

    Harry Shipley

  6. I blow a (welcome, I hope) 28ac. to salute the apt acrostic and the clues so neatly rounded off.

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