Toughie 379 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 379

Toughie No 379 by Warbler

I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Warbler turns into Tweetie Pie today. It was especially easy for anyone who read my inadvertent tip about American railways last Saturday!

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1a    Black bishop installed in Cheshire town (5)
{SABLE} – the heraldic term for black is created by putting B(ishop) inside a Cheshire town

4a    Transfer Duke inside royal house (4,4)
{HAND OVER} – this phrasal verb meaning to transfer is derived by putting D(uke) inside the Royal House to which British monarchs from George I through to Victoria belonged

10a    Clean district surrounding university before Queen’s arrival (7)
{LAUNDER} – a word meaning to clean, which can be applied to clothes or money, is built up from a district around U(niversity) followed by the usual two-letter abbreviation for the Queen

11a    Around middle of Stone Age lots of people got hit on the head (7)
{CROWNED} – start with the middle two letters of Stone Age and put a multitude of people around to get a word meaning hit on the head

12a    Son avoids dull service (4)
{DUTY} – take the S(on) away from a word meaning dull to get a synonym for service

13a    Massage joint’s said to lie at end of road (5)
{KNEAD} – a word meaning to massage comes from a syllable that sounds like a joint in the leg followed by D (end of roaD)

14a    Heart of Lancashire is unaltered (2,2)
{AS IS} – a charade of the middle two letters (heart) of Lancashire and IS leads to a term meaning unaltered

17a    Progressive in favour of adjusting work load in Government (7-7)
{FORWARD-LOOKING} – an adjective meaning progressive is built up from a word meaning in favour of, an anagram (adjusting) of WORK LOAD, IN and G(overnment)

19a    Being ingratiating former pupil, forgetting time and name, excitedly questions upper-class head (14)
{OBSEQUIOUSNESS} – to get this word meaning being ingratiating string together the usual two-letter former pupil, an anagram (excitedly) of QUES(T)IO(N)S without the T(ime) and N(ame) but with U (upper=class) and finally a headland

22a    Flood’s a nuisance (4)
{BORE} – a double definition – the first one being a tidal flood that rushes with great violence up the estuaries of certain rivers, especially the Severn

23a    Chinese own Scottish links (5)
{CHAIN} – a charade of CH(inese) with the Scottish word for own or belonging to leads to a series of links

24a    Fellow regularly eats American cheese (4)
{FETA} – F(ellow) E(a)T(s) and A(merican) combine to make a Greek cheese

27a    Carved figure is about right height (7)
{STATURE} – put a carved figure around R(ight) to get a person’s natural height

28a    Stuffy Earl is a touch superior in a funny sort of way (7)
{AIRLESS} – get this word meaning stuffy from an anagram (in a funny sort of way) of EARL IS and S (a touch Superior)

29a    Secure fake nuts among acorns (4,4)
{MAKE FAST} – a verb meaning to secure is an anagram (nuts) of FAKE inside the fruit of beech, oak, chestnut, and other forest trees, especially as food for pigs

30a    Carry on playing with stick (5)
{BATON} – split this (3,2) and it means to carry on playing cricket, as (5) it means a stick used by the conductor of an orchestra


1d           Substantiate smelly condition in outskirts of Selby (8)
{SOLIDIFY} – a word meaning to substantiate or make stronger is generated by putting a synonym for smelly and a condition inside the outside letters (outskirts) of SelbY

2d           Butler’s developing swagger (7)
{BLUSTER} – an anagram (developing) of BUTLER’S  leads to a swagger or bravado

3d           Headless toy found in swirling water (4)
{EDDY} – remove the first letter from the toy made famous by Theodore Roosevelt to get swirling water

5d           Chief, reasoning correctly, preserves most of vast age. It’s all to do with excavation (14)
{ARCHAEOLOGICAL} – in between words meaning chief and reasoning correctly place most of AEO(N) (vast age) to get a word meaning to do with excavation

6d           Mounting anger leads to ruin (4)
{DOOM} – reverse a word describing anger to get ruin, destruction or some other terrible fate

7d           Essentially event is about game (7)
{VENISON} – the middle letters (essentially) of event are followed by IS and  word meaning about to get a game animal, especially its flesh as food

8d           In the end Caesar’s fateful day oppresses (5)
{RIDES} – combine R (In the end CaesaR‘s) with Caesar’s fateful day to get a verb meaning oppresses or annoys

9d           Relatives at beginning of disaster shrug danger off (14)
{GRANDDAUGHTERS} – these young female relatives  come from an anagram (off) of AT D (beginning of Disaster) SHRUG DANGER

15d         Roll sack over railroad in Chicago (5)
{BAGEL} – this hard leavened ring-shaped roll reminds me of midnight trips to Brick Lane for one of these with salt beef and mustard – put a sack over the American railroad I said, as recently as last Saturday, had not been given an outing for some time!

16d         Former Tsarist edict from this country’s a hollow statute (5)
{UKASE} – get this Former Tsarist edict from a charade of this country with A and SE (hollow StatutE)

18d         Adam’s first son, ultimately jealous, sadly is not quite sane. He’s a killer (8)
{ASSASSIN} – string together A (Adam’s first) S(on) S (ultimately jealouS) and an anagram (sadly) of IS and SAN (E) (not quite sane) to get this killer

20d         Heckle President’s broadcast (7)
{BARRACK} – a word meaning to heckle sounds like (broadcast) President Obama’s first name

21d         European omitting introduction to Attlee’s first principle (7)
{ELEMENT} – start with E(uropean) and then Attlee’s first name without its first letter (omitting introduction) to get a first principle

22d         The sort of pal to hug to one’s chest (5)
{BOSOM} – a cryptic definition of a particular buddy

25d         In Paris you run fine horse-racing (4)
{TURF} – the French for you (singular, used to address somebody in a similar social situation) followed by R(un) and F(ine) to get a word used to describe horse-racing

26d         Steal Conservative’s wife (4)
{CRIB} – to steal someone else’s work is combination of C(onservative) and a biblical term used to describe a wife

Genesis 2.21–23

21: And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22: And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

23: And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man….

This one didn’t trouble the timekeeper – perhaps Barrie is right and we should get Ray T to set Toughies!

11 comments on “Toughie 379

  1. I must agwee dat dis was a bid ob a Puddy Tat!. I always enjoy Warbler’s puzzles though and this was still lots of fun and a good start to the week. 16d was favourite for me.
    Thanks to BigDave and Warbler.

  2. A gentle but engaging start to the week from Warbler. Many thanks to her for the crossword. Favourite clue was 17a.

  3. Fav 19a, I hate having to spell that word, I’m glad I use Cluedup or I would need a few DTs to get it right.
    I thotoughly enjoyed the puzzle.
    Thanks for the blog Big Dave and to Warbler for a fine crossword

  4. I’m with The Gnome and Proxy on this one. Plus, I’m not keen on wordy or complicated clues where you can spot the answer, but then have to work out why it’s correct – 19, 29 and 5 being examples today. But very enjoyable nevertheless – thanks Warbler & BD.

    1. There were a couple that went in before the wordplay was sorted out but I think that it was more to do with the checking letters helping rather and the definition being clear. A slight difference to similar instances last Friday when the wordplay still eluded me!!

  5. I was tempted by another to look at the puzzle before 9 this morning – its usually my second puzzle at lunch time – but didn’t regret the temptation as I thoroughly enjoyed it. A very quick solve but I think the very good clues justified the toughie designation.

  6. Well I enjoyed this puzzle and actually finished it once I spelled 19a correctly! Fav 17a but also liked 4a, 16d. Still don’t understand 18d, can’t work that one out logically at all. Help!!

  7. This really should not have been designated a Toughie. A decent enough puzzle for the back page (or Monday’s Guardian), but hardly challenging.

    1. Hi Jetdoc
      The Telegraph does seem to have acquired a number of Toughie setters that are better suited to the regular cryptic. Messinae aka Merlin had a huge success with last Thursday’s regular puzzle.

  8. …and there was me – thinking I’d had a moment of brilliance!! Didn’t find it THAT simple either! Got stuck on 16d so thanks Dave! Good puzzle tho’!

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