Toughie 409

Toughie No 409 by Kcit

Where Have All the Anagrams Gone by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I had no real difficulty with this one. The anagram lovers will be feeling a little deprived because there’s only one in the entire puzzle.

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    Cake accepted by test panel (8)
{TRIBUNAL} A cake (3) is put inside a test (5) to give a board appointed to adjudicate in some matter

9a    A college article, pointed, recalled professors etc (8)
{ACADEMIA} This is made up of A + C (college) + A (article) + a reversal of a word meaning “pointed”

10a    German certainly taking in a very tropical island (4)
{JAVA} The German for “yes” goes round A V (very)

11a    Hollywood’s drink problem, perhaps, is standard in America (5,3,4)
{STARS AND BARS} The nickname of the flag of the Confederate States of America is made up of people you might see in Hollywood and where they might drink

13a    Typist’s requirement? A light dress — crucial (5,3)
{SHIFT KEY} A loose dress + a word meaning “crucial” gives part of a typewriter or keyboard

15a    Problem: what’s needed for meal without indulgence? (6)
{TEASER} The indulgence is VICE and this is removed from the end of a set of utensils for serving a particular meal

16a    Waste water container not initial choice for water container (4)
{EWER} Remove the first letter from an underground conduit where waste water goes

17a    Fellow fortunate to avoid cold? Fortunate (5)
{FLUKY} F (fellow) + a word meaning “fortunate” with C (cold) removed gives another word meaning “fortunate”

18a    Fine sweet wine? No time for that (4)
{OKAY} Remove T (time) from the front of a Hungarian wine

20a    Working Conservative entirely available (2,4)
{ON CALL} Working + C (Conservative) + entirely gives available (if required)

21a    Lots of people coming to see cemetery (8)
{HIGHGATE} The London cemetery where Karl Marx is buried sounds like a lot of spectators at a football match (4,4)

23a    Contract’s humbling — comedian’s heading for Hartlepool (4,4,4)
{COME DOWN WITH} To contract (a disease) is given by a humbling (8) + a comedian (3) + H (first letter of Hartlepool)

26a    Eagerly expecting attempt to infiltrate a government (4)
{AGOG} An attempt (2) is put inside A G (Government)

27a    Hospital sketch involving trace of rude language (8)
{SANSKRIT} An old abbreviated form of a hospital + a satirical sketch containing R (trace of rude) gives a language spoken in India

28a    Standard drink in ranch area? (8)
{STOCKADE} An enclosure of stakes possibly found on a ranch is formed from a word meaning “standard” + a suffix attached to the name of a fruit to give a fizzy drink


2d    Sticks with methodology when holding a promotional event (8)
{ROADSHOW} Put A inside sticks (pieces of wood) + methodology to give a promotional event

3d    Blaze excellent, surrounding ultimate source of fiery hot spot (5,7)
{BLAST FURNACE} A hot spot where smelting takes place is given by blaze (4) + excellent (3) surrounding ultimate (4) + F (source of fiery)

4d    Raised extent of knowledge about conflict in US city (6)
{NEWARK} “Extent of knowledge” is reversed and put round “conflict” to give a city in New Jersey. It’s also a well-known anagram in Nottinghamshire

5d    Woman’s position in society? Not first (4)
{LASS} Remove the first letter from a social rank (e.g. upper, middle, lower)

6d    Sources of water: river the most important one (8)
{MAINSTAY} Pipes that deliver water to houses + Dundee’s river gives the chief support

7d    Brought up endless material to assail English novel (4)
{EMMA} A novel about Miss Woodhouse is formed by reversing a familiar contraction of a word for bullets, etc. with the last letter removed and E (English)

8d    Wages securing South Balkan resident’s walk-on role? (6-2)
{PASSER-BY} Wages (3) goes round S (South) + Balkan resident (4)

12d    How might you identify a teacher starting work without much difficulty? (2,1,4,5)
{BY A LONG CHALK} The teacher starting work has not yet begun to use the blackboard

14d    Children present in nursery out here (5)
{YOUTH} The answer is hidden in “nursery out here”

16d    Perverse micro-sex — a priestly activity? (8)
{EXORCISM} An anagram (perverse) of MICRO SEX

17d    Here’s how to get the bird: do badly with study, forgetting one’s lines (8)
{FALCONRY} Remove I (one) from do badly (4) + study (3) + an abbreviation for railway (lines)

19d    A sex hormone found in marine life-form (8)
{ASTEROID} A + a compound which might be a sex-hormone gives a starfish (or something found in the Solar System)

22d    Turn to snatch item of jewellery from English-speaker (6)
{GRINGO} An English speaker in Spanish America is given by a turn containing an item of jewellery worn on the finger

24d    Naughty child getting you the smallest amount cross (4)
{MINX} Who remembers Minnie in The Beano? This is an abbreviated form of a word meaning “the smallest amount” + the letter shaped like a cross

25d    Practice offered by chamber works, ignoring opening number (4)
{NETS} Remove NO (number) from the start of compositions for nine performers to give cricket practice

A pleasant puzzle


  1. crypticsue
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    After the dull Cryptic, this Toughie was a joy. Average time to solve but such splendid clues. I put marks by my favourite clues and today the paper looks quite ‘spotty’. 16d, 19d and 24d stand out particularly. Thanks to Kcit for the fun and Bufo for the review.

  2. BigBoab
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword from Kcit, not overtaxing but fun. Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  3. Across_Tick
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Managed to complete it with lots of help from Crossword Solvers and Dictionaries – still required Bufo’s explanations of 16a, 5d and 7d. Particularly entertaing clues are 13a, 23a and 12d. But top MARX of the day go to 21a.

  4. mary
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Way beyond me, only managed 3 without the blog, can’t see half of them even with the blog, sorry definitely don’t like this one

    • BigBoab
      Posted August 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Keep trying Mary, it’s just a case of getting under the skin of the compiler. This crossword took me quite a long time and a short time ago would have defeated me entirely, keep plugging away.

    • lizwhiz1
      Posted August 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      My second attempt at a toughie and I managed about 5 by myself and a few more with the help of word wizard! Have to say I don’t think I’ll ever manage to get the hang of these. Stick to the cryptic!!

      • crypticsue
        Posted August 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        I thought that when I started the Toughie in its early days. And I didn’t know this blog existed so was alone in the wilderness. I ‘perservated’ and looked at the solution the next day and gradually built up. I seem to remember starting the Cryptic in a similar fashion when the person who ‘showed me how’ gave up commuting and left me to get on with it on my own. Now look at me – mind you its been a long 41 years!!!

  5. Pete
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Tried this today but needed the hints to complete. Clearly not on the right wavelength for 15a, 26a, 8d, which I thought very clever, 19d, and 22d. My thanks to Bufo

  6. brendam
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Still working on this one! Leaving it until tomorrow, you never know my brain just might click in. Thanks to Bufo for the blog and Kcit for setting it.

  7. gnomethang
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to crypticsue for ssightenkng me up on the SE corner. The starfish was daft as we have seen it recently.
    Nice fun puzzle but I have been s bit distracted today.
    Thanks Bufo for the review and Kcit for the continued excellent puzzles.

    • Posted August 19, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

      If I could work out what it should have been, i would have corrected the typo!

      • crypticsue
        Posted August 20, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        I read it as ‘straightening’!

  8. ChrisH
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Comments mainly as above – not my wavelength, lots of distractions, completed about half without the blog, will attempt to finish tomorrow.
    Not my cup of tea, didn’t rate 7d or 23a at all. What’s the relationship between material and bullets?

    • Posted August 19, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      The definition of ammo here is “material to assail “.

      • ChrisH
        Posted August 20, 2010 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Fair enough. I’m afraid the logic in many of the clues in today’s (Thurs) puzzle was one step too many for my aged brain!

  9. Prolixic
    Posted August 20, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Singularly failed to comment and to compliment Kcit yesterday for a superb crossword. Many thanks to him and to Bufo for the review.