Toughie 343 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 343

Toughie No 343 by Warbler

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi Tuesday!

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

Today’s enjoyable romp with Warbler was not over-taxing, but did include what were, for me, a couple of new words.

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1a    Over time old British history can be interpreted as murderous (12)
{BLOODTHIRSTY} – an anagram (interpreted) of OLD B(ritish) HISTORY is placed round (over) T(ime) to get a word meaning murderous

9a    Injured miner is caught close to incoherence in talk of the past (9)
{REMINISCE} – an anagram (injured) of MINER then IS C(aught) and E (close to incoherence) gives this talk of the past

10a    Become silent in game (5)
{WHIST} – this looks like an insertion clue, but is actually a double definition – to become silent and a card game

11a    Tree god’s made of stone (6)
{ASHLAR} – a charade of a tree and an ancient Roman household god gives a squared or dressed stone used in building or facing a wall – my first new word today

12a    A lot of seaweed found in crumbling stone framework (8)
{SKELETON} – put most of a large brown seaweed inside an anagram (crumbling) of STONE to get this framework which is usually used for a framework of bones

13a    Organ tuned in key D (6)
{KIDNEY} – this bodily organ is an anagram (tuned) of IN KEY D

15a    Order ready without one once (8)
{FORMERLY} – start with an order, or type, and add a word meaning ready before time without the A (without one) to get a synonym for once, as in once upon a time – unless I have something wrong, I don’t think I would have got this from the wordplay; Bradfords gives the synonym under ready, but not vice versa , and Chambers does not give it at all

18a    Tea is no fun mixed with a touch of ice (8)
{INFUSION} – a pot of tea could result from this brew – it’s an anagram (mixed) of IS NO FUN placed around I (a touch of Ice)

19a    Badgers brother about going to Kansas (6)
{BROCKS} – another word for badgers, as animals, is built up from BRO(ther), a one-letter abbreviation for about and the Zip code for Kansas

Brock the Badger

21a    Female’s superb disguise? Hopefully with this! (4,4)
{FACE MASK} – a charade of F(emale), a word meaning superb and a disguise leads to a particular type of disguise

23a    Manipulate wife’s opinion (6)
{WANGLE} – a word meaning to manipulate is a combination of W(ife) and an opinion or point of view

26a    Corners king trapped by endless snare (5)
{NOOKS} – these corners, or crannies, are formed by putting K(ing) inside most of (endless) a snare which is a loop with running knot which draws tighter the more it is pulled – interestingly Chambers also has the following definition for the snare: a bond generally, especially (jocularly) marriage

27a    Imperturbable four stuck in deadlock (9)
{IMPASSIVE} – this word meaning imperturbable is created by putting the Roman numerals for four inside (stuck in) a deadlock

28a    During filming entire crew’s performance relies initially on him (12)
{SCREENWRITER} – to an anagram (performance) of ENTIRE CREW’S ad R(elies) initially to get the person responsible for the script of a film – the whole clue describes the answer, but this is not a full all-in-one


1d    Garrison placed ban on torture (7)
{BARRACK} – a building for soldiers, especially in a garrison, is a charade of a bar, or prohibition, on (as this is a down clue) a form of torture

2d    (Men may) regularly go for my power and hot sex appeal! (5)
{OOMPH} – the first two words are, rightly, bracketed as they are excluded from the wordplay – take the even letters (regularly) of gO fOr My and add P(ower) and H(ot) to get a colloquial word meaning sex appeal – in some ways I quite like the bracketed addition which improves the wordplay, although it is more Libertarian than Ximenean

3d    Greyish-brown grease spoiled garment (9)
{DUNGAREES} – start with a greyish-brown and add an anagram (spoiled) of GREASE to get these overalls consisting of loose trousers with a bib front and shoulder straps

4d    Watch us snare concealed dog-fish (4)
{HUSS} – hidden inside (concealed) the first three words is a dog-fish, when supplied as food – this is also known as rock salmon, I wonder why they don’t use its real name in fish and chip shops?

5d    What could secure two birds separated by one foot (4,4)
{REEF KNOT} – a speedy return for this means of securing (see DT 26217) – put F (one foot) between two birds: the first is an alternate spelling of the female ruff, the second is a small shore bird of the sandpiper family

6d    Dry hemp fibres over end of fence line (5)
{TOWEL} – to dry oneself after showering is built up from prepared fibres of flax, hemp or jute followed by the end of fencE and L(ine)

7d    After swallowing a lick of ice-cream silly ostrich becomes famous (8)
{HISTORIC} – put a lick of Ice-cream inside (after swallowing) an anagram (silly) of OSTRICH to get a word meaning famous

8d    Tight police trap set by Yard (6)
{STINGY} – a word meaning tight, in the sense of miserly, is built up from a trap for criminals set up by the police and the abbreviation of Y(ard)

14d    Det. Force working to expose traitor (8)
{DEFECTOR} – an anagram (working to expose) of DET. FORCE gives a traitor who deserts his country

16d    In lake catch up with last of eider duck (9)
{MERGANSER} – inside a pool or lake put a word meaning a catch or drawback reversed (up, yes this is a down clue!) then add the last letter of eideR to get a genus of duck that includes the goosander and the smew – my second new word

17d    Plan to study summit (8)
{CONSPIRE} – to plan or plot is a charade of to study and the summit of a church

18d    Babe’s popular number in Grease (6)
{INFANT} – this babe or young child is built up from a word meaning popular (which is popular in Crosswordland) and N(umber) inside a type of grease

20d    Has beer befuddled this creature? (3-4)
{SHE-BEAR} – an anagram (befuddled) of HAS BEER gives this large female animal

22d    Greek character’s thus in art (5)
{MUSIC} – the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet is followed by the Latin for thus to give this art form

24d    The Italian is involved in basic sin (5)
{GUILT} – put the Italian definite article inside a synonym for basic, as in instinctive, to get a word meaning sin, or more accurately remorse for committing a sin rather than the sin itself

25d    Favourable slant of Socialist policies inspired nation first of all (4)
{SPIN} – the kind of favourable slant that bombards us daily from the media comes from the initial letters (first of all) of Socialist Policies Inspired Nation

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10 comments on “Toughie 343

      1. 11a.The Ashlar, both rough and smooth, is used in Masonic Degree ceremonies and is well known to all Freemasons.

  1. Usually struggle with the Tuesday Toughie but really enjoyed this one. Disagree with BigBoab comment on today’s Cryptic that this toughie is easier than today’s cryptic. Like Big Dave I learned a new word in 11 a which I found by looking up the letters of the tree answer in the dictionary and then found the (new to me) word.

  2. Thanks for the review BD.
    I failed on the words that were new to you but with hindsight I have heard of the duck – probably from some old crossword. I thought there were some very good clues here including 1a, 2d and 3d.
    Thanks to Warbler for the puzzle

  3. Good start to the Toughie week – challenging in places, some new words but not too taxing. Many thanks to Warbler for the puzzle, BD for the notes and to Chambers for putting the dictionary on the iPhone so that I could cross-check my answers for some of the words!

  4. Pretty good, I thought. Not sure what the 2 bracketed words in 2d contribute. Doesn’t the clue work perfectly well without them, rather than improve it?

  5. Found this most enjoyable – and much more satisfying than the Cryptic which had us foxed today.

  6. Thanks very much for the review, Dave. I did well on this (I usually fail spectacularly with Toughies). I managed about half on my own.
    Great to see how the answers work.

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