Toughie 359 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 359

Toughie No 359 by Warbler

A chirpy puzzle

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Warbler always delivers an enjoyable puzzle and today’s is no exception. Tuesday has become the repository for the easier Toughies, so today is a very good day if you want to start trying them.

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    Unexpectedly bad issue is set right (8)
{DISABUSE} – an anagram (unexpectedly) of BAD ISSUE gives a word meaning to set right, as in to persuade someone that an idea or belief is mistaken

5a    Smear Duke involved in smooth enterprise initially (6)
{SMUDGE} – this smear or blotch is derived by putting D(uke) inside a word meaning smooth, as in self-satisfied, and adding E (Enterprise initially)

9a    It is a march. Or could be (8)
{CHARISMA} – the definition here is IT, as in sex appeal or the “It Factor”, and is an anagram (or could be) of IS A MARCH

10a    Lawman loses prisoner in outbuilding (6)
{STABLE} – drop Crosswordland’s ubiquitous prisoner from the start of your local bobby to get this outbuilding used for keeping horses

12a    A lot of positive time and energy combined in stoker’s station (9)
{FOOTPLATE} – an anagram (combined) of A LOT OF P(ositive) T(ime) and E(nergy) results in the platform for a stoker on a steam engine

13a    Set piece of brick on church (5)
{BATCH} – a set is made up from a little-known (by me) word for a piece of brick and one of the standard abbreviations for a CH(urch)

14a    Sailor gets close to girl (4)
{ABBY} – a charade of a sailor and a synonym for close, or near to, gives this girl’s name

16a    Rough non-unionist builder worked around Lough (3-4)
{ILL-BRED} – a hyphenated word meaning rough is an anagram (worked) of B(U)ILDER without the U (non-Unionist) placed around L(ough) – makes a change from lake = L

19a    Some elements briefly support a method of calculation (7)
{ALGEBRA} – a charade of AL(uminium), GE(rmanium) and a support garment leads to a branch of mathematics (method of calculation)

21a         Internal stitches irritate (4)
{ITCH} – the answer is hidden inside (ST)ITCH(ES)

24a         I will broadcast in passageway (5)
{AISLE} – this passageway sounds like (broadcast) I’LL (I will) – an old chestnut that may help you into this puzzle

25a         Wearing mink, perhaps, one starts to antagonise the econuts leading to anger (9)
{INFURIATE} – the first five letters, when split as (2,3), could mean (perhaps) wearing mink – to that add I (one) and A T E (starts to Antagonise The Econuts) to get a word meaning to anger

27a         Began to write in wordbook (6)
{OPENED} – A word meaning began is formed by inserting to write inside a well-known multi-volume dictionary – not, of course, Chambers!

28a         Fit lively German replacing one in bit part (8)
{FRAGMENT} – an anagram (lively) of GERMAN replaces the I (one) in FIT gives a bit or part of the whole

29a         Cancel delegate’s Parisian summer (6)
{DELETE} – to get a synonym for to cancel run together an abbreviation for DEL(egate) with the French / Parisian for summer

30a         Guide rope almost lasts out (4,4)
{POLE STAR} – this guide pointed the way for travellers of old – it’s an anagram (out) of ROPE and LAST(S) (almost)


1d           Drink from French restaurant that’s inexpensive (6)
{DECAFF} – a mild coffee is found by combining from (in French) with a slang term for a cheap restaurant  (like a greasy spoon)

2d           Rising smells engulf area in autumn, say (6)
{SEASON} – reverse (rising) a verb meaning smells around A(rea) to get Autumn – say here indicates a definition by example

3d           Glitch involving mobile airship (5)
{BLIMP} – put a glitch, as in an  unforeseen irregularity, around M (Mobile, as in m-banking, m-ticket) to get a non-rigid dirigible lighter-than-air craft

4d           Abstract’s reportedly like warm weather (7)
{SUMMARY} – an abstract of the main points sounds like (reportedly) summery ( like warm weather)

6d           Absurd claim to be about chemical processes in the body (9)
{METABOLIC} – an anagram (absurd) of CLAIM TO BE gives a word meaning about chemical processes in the body

7d           Democrat angrily berates those who argue (8)
{DEBATERS} – start with D(emocrat) and add an anagram (angrily) of BERATES to get those who argue in formal discussions

8d           Converting a seedy hotel by the end of June will offer protection from the sun (8)
{EYESHADE} – an anagram (converting) of A SEEDY H(otel) next to (by) E (end of JunE) gives a piece of transparent material, worn like the peak of a cap, to protect the eyes from the sun

11d         Having died out deity mutates into mythical creature (4)
{YETI} – take the D(ied) out of (D)EITY and then an anagram (mutates) of what is left gives a mythical creature

15d         I’ll bet fibbers essentially did for fundamentalist Southern states (5,4)
{BIBLE BELT} – an anagram (did for!) of I’LL BET and the middle part (essentially) of (FI)BBE(RS) gives these fundamentalist Southern states

17d         Wanderer in African country eaten by very active leopard in the end (8)
{VAGABOND} – this idle wanderer is rather awkwardly made up from GABON (African country inside (eaten by) V(ery) A(ctive) and D (leoparD in the end)

18d         For example the tops of her long legs could be thin and delicate (8)
{EGGSHELL} – string together the abbreviation for Exempli Gratia (for example in Latin) with an anagram (could be) of H L (tops of Her Long) and LEGS to get something thin and delicate

20d         American hero can be sarcastic (4)
{ACID} – a combination of A(merican) and the name by which Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was known (Spanish hero) to get a word meaning sarcastic

21d         Melting iron consumes new iron in huge fire (7)
{INFERNO} – Inside (consumes) an anagram (melting) if IRON place N(ew) and the Chemical symbol for iron to get a huge fire

22d         Warning about inclusion of Ecstasy in tax (6)
{CAVEAT} – this warning is constructed from the two-letter abbreviation for CircA followed by E(cstasy) inside (inclusion) a sales tax

23d         More suitable for punter (6)
{BETTER} – a nice easy double definition

26d         Rascal’s activity rises in street in Marseilles (5)
{ROGUE} – this rascal comes from a word meaning activity or energy reversed (rises) inside the French for street (street in Marseilles)

Just the right level of puzzle for a warm sunny day!

5 comments on “Toughie 359

  1. More “Cryptic” in difficulty, but enjoyable nonetheless. Liked the wordplay in 30a and 1d.

  2. Agreed on the difficulty and also the enjoyment factor.1a was a favourite as well as 30a for the surface reading.
    Thanks to Warbler and BD for what I fully expect to be a great review!.

    1. I’ve been enjoying watching the opposition benches squirming during the debate on the Queen’s Speech. Back to the blog soon!

  3. Enjoyable crossword if a bit on the” daily cryptic rather than toughie” side.

  4. Finished thanks to the hints. I’m fairly new to the “Toughie” but I seem to be able to complete more each day I attempt it. By the way if anyone wants a challenging brainteaser then I would recomend “The Oldie” magazine’s Genius crossword – I have difficulty understanding the instructions never mind completing the blessed thing!

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