Toughie 361

Toughie No 361 by Kcit

Hints and Tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

After the puzzles of two weeks ago (too easy) and last week (too obscure) I had hopes that Kcit would pitch it just right. I wasn’t disappointed.  I got becalmed with 4 answers to go but eventually got moving again.
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 & 5a Short-lived assets: runs to invest in Surrey town and London? (7,7)
{WORKING CAPITAL} The first word consists of R (runs) put inside a town in Surrey. The second word is given by “London?” The whole is defined by “short-lived assets”.

9a           One’s almost bare without tip of branch being this? (2,3)
{IN BUD} Start with one = I. Then take a word for bare without its last letter and put this around (without) B (the tip or first-letter of branch). The whole clue provides the definition.

10a         An important first, perhaps, from revolutionary? (9)
{ANARCHIST} AN + a word meaning important + a representation of “first” leads to a revolutionary.

11a         Chair stuffing to stop floating around? (6,4)
{SETTLE DOWN} A type of chair (a long, high-backed bench) is followed by something used for stuffing (e.g. cushions) to give a phrase meaning “to stop floating around”.

12a         Stop game (4)
{HALT} 2 meanings (stop & game). “Game” here means “lame” and the answer is another word for “lame” and is labelled (Bible, archaic) in Chambers. It appears, for example in Luke’s gospel: “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the ****, and the blind).

14a         Oscar’s a scoundrel, expression of astonishment interrupting each charge (7,5)
{ACADEMY AWARD} The definition is Oscar (as given to film stars). It is made up of A + a word for scoundrel + an expression of astonishment inside each (abbreviation) charge (care or custody).

18a         The Lancet’s upset with her clinic? (6,6)

21a         Darkness turned peculiar by end of week (4)
{MURK} A word meaning “peculiar” is reversed and K (end of week) is added to give a word meaning “darkness”.

22a         Faithful guy’s wet, embracing no endless bit of fun (10)
{MONOGAMIST} This guy is faithful to one partner. A word for “wet” is put round NO + a “bit of fun” without its last letter.

25a         Watching man following someone he knew at school? (9)
{OBSERVANT} A man (male attendant) follows an old boy (OB) to give a word meaning “watching”.

26a         What top performer going round India’s capital may have? (5)
{SITAR} A word for top performer goes round I (India’s capital) to give something associated with Indian musicians.

27a & 28a             It provides scaled-down opening for theatre performance (7,7)
{KEYHOLE SURGERY}. A cryptic definition. The theatre is of the hospital variety.


1d           Question about one manuscript’s gentle fantasy (6)
{WHIMSY} A word used in asking a question is put round I (one) MS (manuscript) to give a gentle fantasy.

2d           Uneven rhythm’s a difficulty at end of concerto (6)
{RUBATO} A word for a difficulty is followed by AT O (end of concerto) to give a word meaning “uneven rhythm”.

3d           Risqué show, involving a good deal of leg being raised (10)
{INDELICATE} A word meaning “to show” goes round EL (a good deal of leg being raised) to give a word meaning “risqué”.

4d           Article used in elevated medicine security (5)
{GUARD} Put A (article) inside a word for “medicine” which has been reversed.

5d           Meeting convenor suppressing one? Here’s one who does (9)
{CHARWOMAN} Remove I (one) from someone who presides at a meeting to give “one who does” (do = clean, tidy).

6d           Resourcefulness, having forgotten line in Shakespearean role (4)
{PLUCK} Remove L (line) from a word meaning “resourcefulness” to give a Shakespearean character (MND).

7d           Condition for sailing: one organised boat (8)
{TRIMARAN} The answer is a type of boat. It is made up from “condition for sailing” + A (one) + “organised”.

8d           Commonplace ignoring piano’s range (8)
{LATITUDE} Remove P (piano) from the front of a word meaning “commonplace” (as a noun) to give a word meaning “range”.

13d         Girl’s inhaling air, and air’s polluted — it’s a shocking tale (4-6)
{HAIR-RAISER} Put AIR + an anagram (polluted) of AIR’S inside a word for “girl’s” to give a tale of terror.

15d         Spot to make speech about college degree (9)
{DOCTORATE} C (college) is put inside a word for “spot” (as a noun) and a word for “to make speech” to give a degree.

16d         Tribute band’s output? It may be lucky for some (8)
{SHAMROCK} The answer is a plant believed by some to bestow good luck. The name suggests a counterfeit type of music.

17d         Church office, for example, occupied by councillor is ultimately competent (8)
{SACRISTY} The answer is a room in a church. A word for “for example” goes round CR (councillor) IS T (ultimately competent).

19d         Volume One, questionably true, shows inherent power (6)
{VIRTUE} V (volume) I (one) + an anagram of TRUE.

20d         Dirty lie about money (6)
{STORMY} The definition is “dirty” as used in connection with the weather. A word for “lie” (untruth) goes round M (money).

23d         Doomed explorer, giving nothing to comrades, heading off (5)
{OATES} The answer is an explorer who failed to return home made up of O (nothing) = a word for comrades without the first letter. I suppose “heading off” might describe what he did.

24d         Small group orgy? Time to take leading role (4)
{TRIO} A word for “orgy” with the T moved to the front of the word gives a small group.

A competent enjoyable puzzle


  1. Posted May 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the review Bufo. as stated elsewhere I got off to a slow start but then things fell into place apart from that pesky 12a. I finally settled on the correct answer by elimination and without knowing the biblical reference.
    Elsewhere I found this very enjoyable with 10a, 11a, 5d and 6d being among the favourites.
    Thanks to Kcit for a very pleasant solve.

  2. crypticsue
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I had originally commented elsewhere that I was struggling with this one but eventually I got it all except 12a – I even went through the alphabet, came up with the answer but didn’t see what it had to do with game. All in all a very enjoyable toughie.

  3. digby
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Funny how different minds work – 12a was one of the first to go in for me. Needed your help with 20d Bufo, as I couldn’t relate the answer to dirty; so thanks to you and Kcit for an hour’s good fun.

  4. Prolixic
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Great fun to solve. Like most I got 12a from the checking letters and not the second part of the DD.

    Many thanks to Kcit and to Buffo for the notes.

  5. BigBoab
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Great crossword and review, thanks to Kcit and Bufo. Like Digby, I found 12a almost immediately but struggled with 20d. I enjoyed 11a, 14a and 2d particularly.

  6. chris
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    enjoyable stuff….proper toughie
    Thanks as usual.

  7. Wideernie
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    This took me a while over a couple of pints but I got there in the end. My mate who does the Express Crusader crossword was completely flummoxed on every clue!!!:-) Great crossword!

    • gazza
      Posted May 28, 2010 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Hi Wideernie – welcome to the blog.

      • Wideernie
        Posted May 28, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        I’ve been lurking for ages. I don’t get the Telegraph every day but when I do I always enjoy the Toughies. I reckon some of 5 star toughness rated are arguably the hardest around. There are some evil buggers setting these days!

    • Posted May 28, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      He he!. That’ll learn him!

      • Wideernie
        Posted May 28, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        The cryptic definitions did for him:-)