Toughie 397 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 397

Toughie No 397 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Big Dave reckoned that this would be a gentle solve and so it proved. It was a pleasant enough puzzle but far from Toughie standard. There were some answers (10 Ac, 1 Dn, 3 Dn) where I was not familiar with the meanings used, but they were obvious enough from the wordplay.

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1a    Handyman sailor left old sea raft in new condition (4-2-3-6)
{JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES) A word for sailor is followed by an anagram (in new condition) of L OLD SEA RAFT to give someone who can turn a hand to anything

9a    Attentive minister’s department’s nearly perfect (7)
{MINDFUL} Abbreviations for Minister and Department are followed by a word meaning “perfect” with the last letter removed

10a    Good oarsman skirts tip of loose iceberg (7)
{GROWLER} G (good) + an oarsman round L (tip of loose) gives a small iceberg

11a    Glandular trouble almost laid one out (9)
{ADENOIDAL} A three-letter word for trouble with the last letter removed is followed by an anagram (out) of LAID ONE

12a    Inwardly Antigone is cross (5)
{TIGON} The cross is a zoological one and it is hidden in Antigone

13a    In shops criminal diverts funds (7)
{SIPHONS} An anagram (criminal)of IN SHOPS

15a    In confusion, Chay has obligation — to be such a one? (7)
{YACHTIE} An anagram (in confusion) of CHAY is followed by a word for obligation to give what Chay Blyth is

17a    Gains from conflict among communists (7)
{REWARDS} A word for conflict goes inside the usual word for communists

19a    With a guilty look witch swallows head of newt — and tail (7)
{HANGDOG} A word for a witch goes round N (head of newt) and this is followed by a word meaning “to tail”

21a    Moor’s origin discussed (5)
{BERTH} A homophone. A word meaning “to moor” sounds like another word meaning “origin”.

23a    Place to store silverware or most of pot metal maybe (5-4)
{PLATE ROOM} An anagram (maybe) of OR PO METAL, where PO is most of POT

25a    Frivolous jaunt cut through centre of Milan (7)
{TRIVIAL} A word for jaunt with the last letter removed + through + L (centre of Milan} gives a word meaning “frivolous”

26a    Are conservationists finally determined to give back piece in mosaic (7)
{TESSERA} One of the small pieces of which a mosaic is made is given by a reversal of ARE + S (conservationists finally) + a word meaning “determined”

27a    Artfully sister creates a new fabric that is wrinkle-free (6-9)
{CREASE-RESISTANT} An anagram (artfully) of SISTER CREATES A N (new) gives an adjective used to describe some fabrics. I think the clue is faulty in that it ought to lead to the name of a fabric and not to an adjective that describes a fabric.


1d    Chap gets stuck in a state of nervous excitement (7)
{JIMJAMS} A man’s name is followed by a word meaning “gets stuck”

2d    Preserve shell of one boat (5)
{CANOE} A word for preserve is followed by OE (shell of one)

3d    Official flag is blue (3-6)
{OFF-COLOUR} An abbreviation for official is followed is followed by a flag to give a word defined by Chambers as “(of jokes, etc.) smutty, blue”

4d    Refers to an obscene broadcast on Sunday (7)
{ALLUDES} A homophone of an alternative to “an obscene” is followed by S (Sunday) to give a word meaning “refers to”

5d    Support friend in accordance with rules (7)
{LEGALLY} A support + a friend gives “in accordance with the rules”

6d    Bounder has empty squat as sleeping place (5)
{ROOST} The bounder is a young Australian creature. It is followed by ST (empty squat)

7d    Pleased to land in river delta (9)
{DELIGHTED} A word meaning “to land” is put inside a river which flows through Chester and D (for delta)

8d    Odd gangster, robbed of a grand, goes berserk (7)
{STRANGE} An anagram (goes berserk) of GANGSTER without one of the G’s (robbed of a grand)

14d    Cable supplier’s centre provides this in abbreviated form (5,4)
{POWER LINE} The centre of supplier is PL. Treat these as two abbreviations (P and L) and expand them

16d    Agreement reached when official count includes ONS (9)
{CONSENSUS} An official count (of the population) goes round ONS (Office for National Statistics)

17d    Foundation incorporated British in charge of computerised machine (7)
{ROBOTIC} A word meaning foundation goes round B (British) and this is followed by IC (in charge)

18d    Training run plus PE makes one more lithe (7)
{SUPPLER} An anagram (training) of R PLUS PE

19d    Hot water starts to run through heating system in homes (7)
{HEARTHS} H (hot) + a two-letter word for running water + the first letters of “run through heating systems”

20d    Flying gnats surround head of young male athlete (7)
{GYMNAST} An anagram (flying) of GNATS goes round Y (head of young)and M (male)

22d    He is about right: they do succeed (5)
{HEIRS} HE IS goes round R (right)

24d    Sacred syllable for example has a conclusion (5)
{OMEGA} A sacred syllable intoned as part of Hindu devotion and contemplation is followed by EG (for example) + A to give the last letter of the Greek alphabet

I hope for something more challenging next time!

16 comments on “Toughie 397

  1. A very pleasant solve but not exactly tough. Took me less time than the Cryptic. I had heard of the meanings of the ones you hadn’t – 1d was an expression much used by my dad and 10a rang a bell straight away. 19d was the subject of no fewer than 7 different emails between me and a fellow blogger regarding why the answer was what it is and I am not sure I am any the wiser now. Thanks for the review.

  2. Thanks for the review Bufo. Can someone please shed some light on EA=running water? I have seen it before in a toughie (which I think Anax blogged), but I do not fully understand why.

    1. I was confused by that but I have just searched on line and Wiktionary says its Old English for running water. Must file that away in the back of my brain for future crossword solving use. You learn something new every day, don’t you.

        1. I don’t recall it so it can’t have been in a puzzle for some time – probably goes back to the days when I just ‘did’ the puzzle with a sort of long term solver’s instinct rather than my new habit of working out why the solution is what it is.

          1. Try these:

            T 149 (Mynot) – 28a River is returning to loch providing simplicity (8 )

            T 188 (Warbler!) – 4d Puffin or Southern river bird (3,6)

            T 386 (Petitjean) – 28a Open river entering gorge (7)

            1. Don’t know why I missed it on 386 but the other two are definitely pre-analysis days.

  3. I was that fellow blogger! – I can’t recall seeing EA before but it didnt stop getting the answer. Not too Toughie at all but still very enjoyable, as ever, from Warbler (Thanks!)
    Thanks also to Bufo for the review.

  4. Yes, I couldn’t work out the wordplay in 19d, which happened to be last in for me – though more because in was in the lower right corner and all checking letters in place. Nice crossword, but not a Toughie.
    Liked 15a – where, as I commented on today’s cryptic, the anagram is also relevant to the answer.

  5. Thanks, Big Dave, for suggesting this. It was just right for a first visit by a timid CCer, though I’m still trying to work out why some of the answers are what they are. Some words I just put in because they fit and had a lucky guess. Tigon, indeed! :-)

  6. Not hard enough for a Toughie!
    1a and 27a – two easy clues meant that the top and bottom lines were filled in straight away, and that provided plenty of hints for the rest of the puzzle.
    Favourite clue 1d

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