Toughie 393

Toughie No 393 by Kcit

Going through (Spaghetti) Hoops!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A fine Thursday puzzle by Kcit with a good set of challenging clues beautifully written with nice surface readings. The answer to 1 across appeared in DT Cryptic 26263 last month, which I also blogged.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish my dear friends John H  (Elgar / Enigmatist / Nimrod) and Jane T  (Jetdoc) all the best on the occasion of their wedding tomorrow. I hope to be at the reception and look forward to toasting their health and happiness, along with many crossword friends.


1a    Skimpy bit of clothing — this part gets excited father turning round (9,5)
{SPAGHETTI STRAP} We start today with an anagram (indicated by “excited”) of THIS PART GETS and then a short word for father is reversed and then added. This leads to part of a style of fashionable dress.

9a    Hoping for reduction in medicine (7)
{ASPIRIN} A definition for a word that means hoping or wishing for something needs to lose its last letter and forms the common name for the medicine known properly as acetylsalicyclic acid!

10a    Sonorous noise not initially containing nonsense (7)
{OROTUND} An unusual word meaning sonorous, having a deep rich voice. It’s made up by taking a word meaning noise. Remove the first letter (S) and then wrap the remainder round a word meaning rubbish, trash etc.

11a    Run out of fruit and veg (3)
{PEA} Take the name of a fruit (think Comice and Conference as types) and remove R to get the name of a vegetable, whose varieties include Alaska, Tall Telephone, Mr Big and probably the most famous Kelvedon Wonder.

12a    Fairy having month without part of body elf hexed (6,2,3)
{MORGAN LE FAY} The fifth month of the year holds the name given to a vital part of the body (not a specific part) and an anagram of ELF. You’ll find this gives you the name of a person from Arthurian legend whom I thought was a witch, but is, according to t’Internet, half human half fairy.

14a    African Christian is displacing introduction of creation science (6)
{OPTICS) A Christian in Africa probably belongs to this Church, especially in Egypt. The S needs to be added (from IS in the clue) and then the first letter removed (displacing……creation) Add the IS and then displace / move  the first letter (introduction) of Creation.  This gives you the name of a science.

15a    Type of pyramid — woven Giza rug has back of it (8)
{ZIGGURAT} An anagram of GIZA RUG, plus T “(back of it“) give the name for one of those biblical towers / pyramids.

17a    A sign of fire damage in chimney looks like plant (8)
{LABURNUM} Think of A sign of damage by fire and but this inside the Scots’ word for chimney, as in the phrase “lang may your – – – reek”.  This will give you the popular shrub found in many gardens.

19a    What possibly inculcates jolly hospitable attitude? (6)
{WARMTH} A clever little “& lit” clue. An anagram (indicated by possibly) of WHAT has the abbreviation RM (for sailor or “jolly Jack Tar)” leads to a word for “hospitable attitude”, but the whole clue could also read as a definition.

22a    Device for shoppers remains cordoned off by working mechanic (4,7)
{CASH MACHINE} A word for “remains” is placed inside an anagram (working) of MECHANIC to get a device used by those “shopping” for money.

23a    Reduction in traditional knowledge leads to concerned exclamation (3)
{LOR} Tradition knowledge is “folk _ _ _ _” If there’s a “reduction”, it means remove the last letter, and you are left with an expression often used by Billy Bunter.

24a    Indebted former schoolfellow misled, getting grand invested (7)
{OBLIGED} A former school person is an Old Boy, abbreviated here, “misled” as in not told the truth with a G (for grand) inserted. This leads to a word meaning indebted.

26a    A male’s account involving one historic speech (7)
{ARAMAIC} A and a word for a male (sheep) + AC (for account) has I (for one) inside it.

27a    A stricken vessel at sea with no end of dire journey trouble (6,8)
{TRAVEL SICKNESS} Another really good surface reading with an anagram of A STRICKEN VESSEL minus E (indicated by “with no end of dire“) gives a word for nausea encountered while moving.


1d           Hobbyist’s prayer? Male pastor upset about that (5,9)
{STAMP COLLECTOR}  An anagram (upset) of M (male) PASTOR around an old word for a prayer.  This leads to you to the name of someone with a liking for philately.

2d           When parking, come to a stop, doing for road surface (7)
{ASPHALT}  A word sum.  AS (when) + P (parking) + HALT (Come to a stop) = a word for a road surface.

3d           Rash murmuring about a curious indication of injury (5-6)
{HARUM SCARUM}  I worked this out early this morning and managed to lose the plot with this!  Thanks to BD who got me back on track.  HUM (murmuring) around A RUM (a curious) SCAR (indication of injury) with “rash” as the definition.

4d           Job security? Hurry up in support (6)
{TENURE}  RUN reversed (hurry, up) inside TEE (a support) gives a word meaning security of a job.

5d           Description of part of weather map is ‘Nothing except a lot of ice’ (8)
{ISOBARIC}  A word sum.  IS + O (nothing) + BAR (except) + IC  (a lot / most of the letters of)  ice.  This gives a word describing things found on a weather map.

6d           Anything vulgar upset couple (3)
{TWO}  Probably the clue I disliked.  Placing upset in the middle of two definitions means that you need to rely on grid entries to decide which answer is correct, something I feel is a little unfair.  OWT (a vulgar way of saying “anything”) reversed gives a word meaning a pair.

7d           A question, I fear, that excludes a water-source (7)
{AQUIFER}  A slightly more complicated word sum.   A QU (a question) + I FEAR – A = a natural source of water.

8d           Film punting excursion? (1,3,2,3,5)
{A DAY AT THE RACES}  A cryptic definition for a famous and wonderful film.  Nothing to with boats, think of another meaning of the word punt, as in to have one.

13d         Pistol about to silence Jack, not Judge offering support for cases? (7,4)
{LUGGAGE RACK}  A pistol (LUGER) around a word meaning to silence (GAG) and to this is added JACK without J (for Judge), gives you a support for your case and other bags.

16d         Source of Merlot (as clued in error) (8)
{MUSCADEL}  M (Source, i.e. first letter, of Merlot) + an anagram (in error) of AS CLUED gives a word for a variety of something that will give you wine, but not Merlot.  In fact it normally produces Asti Spumante!  So the second part of the clue is very very appropriate!!

18d         Plates finally carried by servant, active fellow (7)
{BUSTLER}  S (last letter of “plates” – finally) goes inside the name for a servant. This will give you a word for someone who is always busy.

20d         Conflict restrained by bloke’s computer programs (7)
{MALWARE}  WAR (conflict) inside MALE (Bloke) gives the name for anti-viral computer software.

21d         One regulation I’d promoted for Indian festival (6)
{DIWALI}  A word sum:  I (one) + LAW (regulation) + I’D – all reversed to give the Hindu Festival of Lights.

25d         Good type of radiation, mate (3)
{GUV}  Another word sum.  G  (Good)  + UV (Ultra Violet – type of radiation) = an affectionate way of addressing a friend.

Thanks to Kcit for a splendid puzzle.

I hope to be at the Narrow Boat in Islington tomorrow to celebrate with the happy couple and hope to see some of you there too.  I’ll be the one on very large casters.



  1. crypticsue
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I loved this puzzle. I tried very hard to pick one or two or more of the clues to be my favourites but gave up as it was so hard to choose between all of them. My only quibble – where were J and X – once I spotted the Z I looked very hard for a pangram but alas it was not to be. Thanks to Kcit for the joy and Tilsit for the review.

  2. Prolixic
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Great fun to solve. Many thanks to Kcit and to Tilsit for the review.

  3. Posted July 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Excellent. 5* enjoyment from me. Didn’t quite know what a 1a was (even though I must have done DT26263 and the answer was obvious from the clue construct and checking letters), consequently one of the last in…….

  4. Jezza
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Kcit for a super puzzle. Fortunately, I remembered the answer to 1a from the cryptic that Tilsit blogged last month, so it was one of my first to go in!

  5. Libellule
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Needed this after the cryptic – most enjoyable. Top marks for Kcit

  6. brendam
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Actually found this quite difficult! Some leapt to mind immediately, others I had to leave and come back to later. I knew 10a as a word but didn’t think it meant sonorous and even after Tilsit’s blog don’t understand 14a — just put in something that fitted. Not my favourite puzzle, partly because I put 6d the wrong way up and couldn’t get 1a in!! Anyway thanks to Kcit and Tilsit

    • Posted July 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Although I discussed this with Tilsit before it was published, I now think it is COPT IS with the C(reation) displaced / moved

      A Copt is a Christian descendant of the ancient Egyptians

      • Libellule
        Posted July 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Thats how I read it …

  7. Pete
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Well I did it, not sure how. 1a was a new one for me (where have I been?) and so was 12a. I really enjoyed the challenge especially since it is chucking it down outside.

  8. gnomethang
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Corker of a puzzle from Kcit today – many thanks. 19a was a firm favourite.
    Thanks to Tilsit for the review.

  9. nanaglugglug
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Really good!! Managed to do this with only a bit of help for 14a and ended up feeling very pleased with ourselves! (unlike yesterdays Toughie which was really hard going, for me anyway!) Thanks for the blog, Tilsit, and Kcit for a most enjoyable 40 minutes!

  10. Hertsgnome
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to compiler (most enjoyable) & Tilsit (very thorough). I agree with the comment about 6 Dn (particularly since I initially went for the wrong option – which held up completion of that corner).

    Turning to the explanation for 20 Dn, surely malware is the target of anti-viral software?

    • Nora
      Posted July 23, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      I had 6d backwards for a long time as well, which really messed up everything in the top right. Once I realised, it all came together very nicely. I didn’t like 20d and thought brand names were frowned upon. Surely this word is not in dictionaries, or am I very out of date?