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Toughie 411

Toughie No 411 by Warbler

Warble a happy tune!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

OK, it’s a corny subheading but I couldn’t think of anything else!  Give me something better and I’ll change it.

A straightforward but pleasurable puzzle from Warbler today. About on a level with today’s regular cryptic in terms of difficulty (but only warranting two difficulty stars as it’s a Toughie). I understand some entered a musical note at 27a, a trap I didn’t fall into as I already had 20d.

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.


7a    Worthless money, lots of it, starts to overburden new place in Gloucestershire (9)
{BADMINTON} – a charade of worthless, lots of money and the initial letters of  O(verburden) and N(ew) gives the country seat of the Duke of Beaufort in Gloucestershire

8a    Daughter’s part said to be amusing (5)
{DROLL} – combine D(aughter) with a homophone (said) of a part in a play gives a word meaning curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement

10a    Perceptive representation of statue (6)
{ASTUTE} – a word meaning perceptive is an anagram (representation) of STATUE

11a    Conservative motorway vehicle check turns into absolute nonsense (8)
{TOMMYROT} – take a Conservative, a M(otorway) and an annual vehicle check and reverse the lot to get absolute nonsense

12a    Sharp and dry in the centre of Iberia after redevelopment (6)
Newspaper version – Being very cold bird’s tail fell off (6)
{BITTER} – a word meaning sharp or tart is derived by inserting TeeTotal inside an anagram (after redevelopment) of the centre of I()BERI(A)

14a    In danger from rickety stair by front of kitchen (2,4)
{AT RISK} – a short phrase meaning in danger comes from an anagram (rickety) of STAIR followed by the front of K(itchen)

16a    Every now and then nerdy guy gets irritable (4)
{EDGY} – the alternate / even letters (every now and then) of nErDy GuY gives a word meaning irritable

17a    A hundred and fifty object to demand (5)
{CLAIM} – a hundred and fifty in Roman numerals is followed by an object or purpose to get a demand

18a    Support for central portion of rampart (4)
{PROP} – this support is a charade of a word meaning for and the central portion of ramPart

19a    Grasp cutter with up and down motion (6)
{SEESAW} – a charade of to grasp or understand and something used to cut wood results in an up and down motion

21a    Jazz lover’s unusually sympathetic when rendering of ‘Misty’ is omitted (6)
{HEPCAT} – this old-fashioned jazz lover is an anagram (unusually) of (SYM)PATHE(TI)C when the letters (rendering) of MISTY are omitted – Chambers gives the enumeration as (3-3), the ODE as (6)

24a    In the cooking of red meat a touch of tarragon was important (8)
{MATTERED} – into an anagram (cooking) of RED MEAT insert a touch of T(arragon) to get a word meaning was important

26a    Assume influence (6)
{AFFECT} – a double definition

27a    Note number on back of car (5)
{FIVER} – this colloquial term for a banknote is a charade of a number and the last letter (back) of caR

28a    Ruination of all independent English pubs is likely (9)
{PLAUSIBLE} – an anagram (ruination) of ALL I(ndependent) E(nglish) and PUBS gives a word meaning likely


1d           Old-fashioned dance step’s odd parts (5)
{PASSÉ} – a word meaning old-fashioned is a charade of a dance in ballet and the odd letters (odd parts) of StEp – Chambers defines the first three letters as “a step or dance especially in ballet”

2d           Mischievous kid has a total freedom from punishment (8)
{IMPUNITY} – a charade of a mischievous kid and has a total or a single whole leads to freedom from punishment

3d           Design under canvas (6)
{INTENT} – a word meaning design or purpose is where you might be if you were under canvas

4d           Left bit of rusk in cup (4)
{PORT} – the nautical term for left comes from a bit of R(usk) inside a trophy cup

5d           May I ask the Queen for a petition ? (6)
{PRAYER} – an old-fashioned way of saying “may I ask” is followed by Elizabeth Regina to get a petition

6d           Person ruined has trapped look that’s inflamed (9)
{BLOODSHOT} – the person is a BOD! – follow this with a synonym for ruined and then insert (trapped) a short word for look and you get inflamed, invariably in connection with the eye

9d           Preserve tree with injection of mould breaking antibodies initially (6)
{EMBALM} – a word meaning to preserve a body from decay is built up by putting a tree (of which there are a lot fewer than there used to be) around the initial letters of M(ould) B(reaking) A(ntibodies) – a sort of allusion to the disease that destroyed a lot of said trees

13d         Extend right to everyone (5)
{REACH} – a synonym for to extend comes from R(ight) and everyone

15d         With new aid learn to develop hormone (9)
{ADRENALIN} – an anagram (to develop) of N(ew) with AID LEARN gives a hormone

17d         Faint-hearted playwright/composer (6)
{COWARD} – a double definition – faint-hearted is an adjective, and I didn’t know this answer could also be an adjective (other than as the ubiquitous nounal adjective) but Chambers says it can

Which gives me the chance to post this spoof version of the Master singing “Rehab”

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d         Couple accommodating non-professional fellow act honestly (4,4)
{PLAY FAIR} – put a couple around (accommodating) non-professional, usually pertaining to people who are not members of the clergy, and F(ellow) to get a phrase meaning to act honestly

20d         Fixed support for long seat (6)
{SETTEE} – a word meaning fixed is followed by a support for a golf ball to get a long seat

22d         Prince has fever for capital (6)
{PRAGUE} – PR(ince) and a fever lead to the capital of the Czech Republic

23d         Climb in exotic places without permission at first (5)
{SCALE) – a word meaning to climb comes from an anagram (exotic) of (P)LACES without the initial letter (without … at first) of Permission

25d         Indolence secures benefits (4)
{DOLE} – the first word hides (secures) a slang term for benefits

30 comments on “Toughie 411

  1. Hi BD and thanks for the blog. Never been first to comment before!
    Enjoyed this aand it’s only the 2nd Toughie I’ve ever finished without a bit of help!
    Pommette had your construct for 7a but I thought bad (worthless), lots of money (mint) and the the ON. Don’t need the initial letter of TO.
    Perhaps the heat is bringing out my pedantic side!

  2. I fell into the MINIM trap on 27a! In the paper the clue for 12a is “Being very cold bird’s tail fell off.”

    Enjoyable puzzle from Warber. Many thanks to her and to BD for the notes. Favourite clue was 6d.

  3. A fun and gentle start to the Toughie week. Favourite clue was 28a followed by 6d.
    I think Pommers is right with the Typo at 7a – initials of Overburden and New to finish the word off.
    Thanks to BD and Warbler

  4. Agree with Pommers on 7a – the inital letters are of Overburden and New, not To. I can’t see the other explanation.

    Any idea why the clue for 12a was changed? Nothing wrong with the paper clue.

    1. Seems strange as both clues work perfectly well. I prefer the Cluedup one but only because there are thousands of Egrets in this part of Spain!

  5. Can’t quite push the enjoyment factor as far as your 4*, but pleasant enough I suppose. Rather a lot of anagrams, and I’m now prepared for the missing apostrophes (21a) in CluedUp after your explanation the other week, BD

  6. I thought this 4* enjoyment. I was silly enough to fall into the minim trap, despite on first reading the clue thinking “the r from car will be in the answer” – soon sorted once I put in 20d. My main struggle was with 6d which of course I ‘saw; as soon as I invoked the law of the Gnome. Thanks Warbler and BD too.

      1. I like my invention – the Gnome’s Law, closely followed by my other ‘invention’ the “numberal”. Only wish I didn’t have to use the Law at all, saving the email as a draft doesn’t work at all, you just have to click on ‘send’ for enlightenment to dawn.

    1. I didn’t fall into the trap as I had a T as 4th letter – for some reason I had written ‘SETTLE’ instead of SETTEE. I really must be getting dyslexic! So, stuck for ages, and about resort to the hints when the answer hit me!
      Is this Gnomey’s Law in action?

        1. Ah, but if we all did that Gnomethang would get loads of emails which don’t need a reply but how is he to know? Verging on Spam I’d say!

          1. I still maintain that you don’t actually have to send the email. The act of writing down your thoughts us enough,
            The act of hitting send is merely an addition.
            So long as you don’t all start doing it! (although apart from the bloggers only Nubian and Pommers have my address)

  7. Thought this was going to be a gentle intro to the week but stummbled a bit at the finish.Resorted to the blog for 27a (no, I didn’t fall into the minim trap, I’d got all the cross letters.) I just couldn’t see it, but it’s so obvious. No clue stood out as an obvious favourite, perhaps 21a.

  8. Completed without use of the hints so feeling very satisfied. Does’t often happen.
    Thanks to Warbler and Big Dave.

  9. Very enjoyable and a good workout. These toughies are becoming a lot more doable and I put that down to this Blog site and all the practice at clues over the year, so thanks t one and all.
    Still trying to work out how I got 1d. I just can’t see it yet although I know the answer means old fashioned.
    Thanks to Warbler and Big Dave.

  10. Sorry BD, don’t know what’s got into me today (must be the 37C heat) but shouldn’t 1d read something like –
    ‘a word meaning old-fashioned is a charade of a dance and the alternate letters (odd parts) of StEps’?
    Don’t see where the ‘most parts’ comes from.
    Clever clue – like it!

  11. Been at the pictures all afternoon with my good lady so I have just got round to the toughie, found it most enjoyable and very straightforward, liked 27a.

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