Toughie 425

Toughie No 425 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I enjoyed this Kcit puzzle. It wasn’t too difficult, it contained nothing too obscure, and I couldn’t find anything to complain about.

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    Hard current measures, with Tory PM impounding a green urban area (9,5)
{HAMPSTEAD HEATH} H + units of electric current + a 1970’s prime minister put round A gives a grassy public space in north-west London

10a    Little good in tossing and turning in the raw — try this! (9)
{NIGHTWEAR} G (an abbreviation for good) in an anagram (tossing and turning) of IN THE RAW gives what you need to avoid sleeping in the raw

11a    One’s nearly exhausted, reaching city in Colorado (5)
{ASPEN} A + a word meaning “exhausted” with its last letter removed gives a ski resort in Colorado

12a    Satisfied with performers in weather programme (7)
{METCAST} Satisfied + performers (as in a play)

13a    Carried over surplus (2,4)
{DE TROP} An adjectival French term meaning “superfluous” is formed by a reversal of an old-fashioned word meaning “carried”

15a    Prison removing first component of chains (4)
{LINK} Remove the first letter from a prison to give part of a chain

17a    Quiet method of working brought in to identify tradesman (10)
{FISHMONGER} An interjection meaning “hush!” + the abbreviation for modus operandi go inside a chiefly US word meaning “to identify as a criminal or suspect”

18a    Hymn’s way to show sea and fog? (4,2,4)
{ROCK OF AGES} The second and third words are an anagram of SEA FOG. The first word is an anagram indicator. The whole is the title of a well-known hymn

20a    Bubbly stuff, mostly buzzing (4)
{ASTI} An Italian sparkling wine (much beloved by crossword setters) is a word meaning “buzzing” with the last letter removed. On my first read through of the clues I entered FIZZ as the answer and then had problems with the resulting Z in 8 down

22a    Clergyman prompt to restrain scoundrel (6)
{CURATE} Prompt (as in the theatre) contains a scoundrel to give a clergyman. I was confused at first because the first three letters of the answer also means a scoundrel.

23a    Hypothesis in that situation involving old money (7)
{THEOREM} “In that situation” contains O (old) and is followed by M (money)

26a    Inventor of counting device heading off for mountain (5)
{EIGER} A mountain in Switzerland with a famous north face is formed by removing the first letter from a German physicist who developed an instrument for measuring radioactivity

27a    I note big company brought in family doctor (9)
{CLINICIAN} I + N (note) + a large chemical company (now part of Akzo Nobel) are put inside a word for “family” to give a doctor

28a    Covert scheme involving a politician broke up favourite spot (8-6)
{STAMPING GROUND} A MP is put inside a covert scheme (a swindle or robbery). This is followed by a word for broke up (reduced to powder). The answer is a place where a person often spends time


2d    Criminal’s speech, cunning, filled with energy (5)
{ARGOT} Slang, originally that of thieves and vagabonds, consists of a 3-letter word for skill containing a 2-letter word for energy

3d    Stone lots of people cut from excavator (6)
{PITMAN} A fruit-stone (especially in North America) + a word meaning “lots of people” with the last letter removed gives a man who digs coal

4d    Exaggerated two articles with another article unfinished, sadly (10)
{THEATRICAL} Use the definite article + the indefinite article + an anagram (sadly) of ARTICL (article unfinished)

5d    Cautious, with setback in first half? Not true (4)
{AWRY} Take a word for cautious and transpose the first two letters to give a word meaning crooked (not straight)

6d    Slow down man with a capacity to forestall decision? (5,2)
{HEAVE TO} A nautical term meaning “to come to a standstill” consists of a man + A + “to forestall decision”

7d    A fight with a severe blow would be more than enough for this spear-carrier (9)
{ASPARAGUS} A + (to) fight + A sudden blast of wind with its final letter removed gives a plant with spears

8d    Screwed up marginal then weakened government? (4,10)
{HUNG PARLIAMENT} An anagram (screwed) of UP MARGINAL THEN

9d    Manila, as it were, in film comedy (6,8)
{ANIMAL CRACKERS} The first word is an anagram of MANILA. The second word is an anagram indicator. The whole is a Marx Brothers film

14d    Parisian is involved in supporting curtailed budget (10)
{SHOESTRING} The French word for “is” is put inside a word for supporting (with a temporary prop) to give a very small or petty amount of money (as in “on a *********”)

16d    Wild iguana seizing vehicle in American region (9)
{NICARAGUA} A vehicle is put inside an anagram (wild) of IGUANA to give a Central American country

19d    Unpopular farm produce in unexpected area of land (7)
{OUTCROP} Unpopular + farm produce = part of a rock formation that appears at the surface of the earth. I don’t really see why it’s unexpected

21d    Sheep, second that Ireland’s brought in (6)
{MERINO} A sheep of a fine-woolled Spanish breed consists of an archaic or poetic name for Ireland inside a second (or very short time)

24d    Queen elevated in restricting Government’s time in power (5)
{REIGN} The usual abbreviation for the Queen is reversed and followed by G (Government) inside IN

25d    Firm invested in fashionable film star? (4)
{ICON} An abbreviation for a firm is put inside fashionable to give someone venerated or uncritically admired (possibly a film star)

A pleasant solve.


  1. crypticsue
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I was obviously having a bad morning with this. For the first time for ages, I read the clues and said Crumbs! A quick email to Gnomethang and Prolixic confirmed it was just me – according to Gnomey, its because men and women are from different planets. I put fizz at 20a too which didn’t help. I cogitated and perservated and when I had finished wasn’t entirely sure why I had struggled. I liked 1a, 28a, 7d, 9d and 14d. Thanks Bufo and Kcit.

    • gnomethang
      Posted September 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      If its any help I nearly put Fizz in myself – Male intuition stayed my hand ;-)

    • moggy
      Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      I’m female too & first response matched yours. Discussions this week found very little differences in brains of men & women so curious how other folk reacted to first sight of puzzle.

  2. moggy
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    On first quick read throughI found I answered nothing but closer look at clues gave answers pretty quickly. First in was 1a & rest followed on from there. Enjoyable puzzle – thanks Kcit & Bufo.

  3. gnomethang
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and not too stiff. Favourites for me were1a and in particular 10a. Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the review.

  4. Jezza
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Bufo, a pleasant solve. The one that caused me the most trouble was 13a. Favourites, 10a, and 7d.
    Thanks to Kcit, and to Bufo.

  5. Prolixic
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword to solve with lots of good clues to mull over and smile when the penny drops. Mnay thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the notes.

  6. gazza
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one, especially after the Cryptic. Thanks to Kcit and Bufo. Favourite clue: 7d. It’s good to see that 10a is not spelt nightware after Crypticsue’s rantette the other day :D

  7. brendam
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Needed Bufo’s hints to complete today’s Toughie. 7d had me completely puzzled and I put “beer” for 20a until 8d came to mind. I found it quite hard but some answers just sprang to mind immediately, then I have to work it out logically, which 17a I couldn’t until reading Bufo’s blog, and the same with 5d. Favourite 14d Big thankyous to Kcit and Bufo. Off to Italy tomorrow so no Telegraph until next week, hope to come back with renewed brain power.

  8. Posted September 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Bufo – off to collect a visiting Kiwi from Hassocks (!) station, so short of time & needed your help with the last couple. Good one, Kcit

    • gazza
      Posted September 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I suppose it has to take the train because it can’t fly :D

  9. BigBoab
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Kcit for a most enjoyable puzzle and thanks Bufo for the review. All in all great fun.

  10. Sludgebucket
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable.

  11. Gari
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    finished the cryptic quite quickly today so had a go at the toughie during my break at work tonight, managed about 50 % before I read the hints and found the hints most helpful thanks Bufo, will definitely have a go at the toughie again thanks to Kcit for setting. :D

  12. Paul Strickland
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    seems like quite a few put FIZZ at first, i was one of them. Thoroughly enjoyable crossword.

    • Posted December 9, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Paul

      Catching up on old puzzles?