Toughie 427 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 427

Toughie No 427 by Warbler


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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Another pleasant puzzle from Warbler that is about the same difficulty as the typical daily cryptic.  Thanks for the sub-heading Gazza.

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1a    Joker’s in awful bind. Just the reverse — he’s full of hot air! (7)
{WINDBAG} – instead of putting a joker inside an anagram (awful) of BIND you have to do the opposite to get someone who is full of hot air

5a    Horsey type eats single sausage (7)
{BALONEY} – put a reddish-brown horse around a word meaning single or solitary to get a type of sausage

9a    Common woman is wearing silver and a touch of eyeshadow (7)
{AVERAGE} – a word meaning common or usual comes from a girl’s name inside the chemical symbol for silver and followed by E (a touch of Eyeshadow)

10a    Cars damaged through using this perhaps (7)
{SCRAPER} – an anagram (damaged) of CARS followed by a synonym for through to get something that could damage a car (perhaps!)

11a    Salts help us initially to assimilate sugars in a roundabout way (9)
{SULPHATES} – these salts are an anagram (in a roundabout way) of HELP US and T A S (initially To Assimilate Sugars)

12a    Quite cold and thin (5)
{CLEAN} – a synonym of quite, in the sense of completely but not one that readily came to mind, is a charade of C(old) and a word meaning thin

13a    Following rehab European star is a stunner (5)
{TASER} – an anagram (following rehab) of E(uropean) STAR gives a small gunlike device which fires electrified darts or barbs, used to immobilize or stun

15a    They harbour impractical dreams of plans to fence in border (9)
{IDEALISTS} – these people who harbour impractical dreams are derives by putting plans around (to fence in) a border or selvage, another usage with which I was not familiar

17a    It’s a mistake to give South Home Rule — or could be (9)
{OVERSIGHT} – this mistake is an anagram (could be) of TO GIVE S(outh) HR (Home Rule)

19a    Ferment when in still (5)
{YEAST} – to get this verb meaning to ferment, or be covered with froth, (I was more familiar with the noun which is the agent used to create the fermentation) put a synonym for when inside one for still

22a    Capital forecasting site shows drop in pressure (5)
{DELHI} – the capital territory of India, which includes the “newer” city, is found by dropping the P(ressure) from the seat of the Oracle, whose riddling responses to a wide range of questions were delivered by the Pythia

23a    Compost in meadow starts to form methane early we’re told (4,5)
{LEAF MOULD} – this form of compost is a charade of a meadow, the initial letters of (starts to) Form Methane and a syllable that sounds like early or ancient

25a    Pacemaker, for instance, is at heart simple worker (7)
{IMPLANT} – a pacemaker is an example of this – take the inside letters (heart) of sIMPLe and add a worker

26a    I fled Scotsman’s language (7)
{IRANIAN} – a charade of I, fled or bolted and an archetypal Scotsman gives a middle-eastern language

27a    Sailors broadcast first of signals using this SI unit (7)
{SIEMENS} – take what sounds like (broadcast) some sailors and add S (first of Signals) to get the SI unit of conductance – there’s a section on SI units in The Mine

28a    What helps in government re-establishing courses (7)
{ENTRÉES} – hidden inside the clue are some main courses of a meal – I can’t see the point of the first two words


1d    Cooking with fat’s not fine for thingamy (7)
{WHATSIT} – an anagram (cooking) of WITH (F)AT’S without the F (not Fine) gives a thingamy

2d    Pointers are almost completely unnecessary (7)
{NEEDLES} – these pointers are most of (almost completely) a word meaning unnecessary

3d    Run away from quarrel to shore (5)
{BEACH} – take R(un) away from a quarrel to get the seashore

4d    Wow! Take in smart underwear (3-6)
{GEE-STRING} – combine a synonym for wow with R(ecipe) (take) inside to smart to get an alternative spelling of this skimpy item of underwear – newcomers may not be familiar with this use of recipe, often shown as or Rx, which comes from the Latin for to take and is used in prescriptions

5d    Groundwork of book unaltered (5)
{BASIS} – this groundwork is a charade of B(ook) and a synonym for unaltered (2,2)

6d    Lily and Carly are dancing in an expressive way (9)
{LYRICALLY} – an anagram (dancing) of LILY and CARLY gives a word meaning in an expressive way

7d    Young crabs? (7)
{NIPPERS} – a cryptic definition young children which could be applied to crabs (old or young)

8d    They cover more than 4 variable aspects (1-6)
{Y-FRONTS} – these items of underwear cover up more than 4d – a variable is followed by aspects

14d    Note chap’s involvement in clever plan to live in the country (9)
{RUSTICATE} – put the seventh note of the scale in sol-fa notation and a jazz fan slang word for a chap) (it’s in Chambers – a man, chap (slang)) inside a cunning plan to get a word meaning to live in the country (or to be sent there from a college for misbehaviour)

16d    What may be needed to achieve result from faulty taximeter (5,4)
{EXTRA TIME} – a period of additional time allowed at the end of a match to achieve a decisive result when the score is level is an anagram (faulty) of TAXIMETER

17d    Invests gold with Scandinavians reportedly (7)
{ORDAINS} – a word meaning invests with ministerial functions is a charade of the heraldic term for gold and what sounds like (reportedly) people from a Scandinavian country

18d    Broken pieces left in total darkness (7)
{ECLIPSE} – an anagram (broken) of pieces and L(eft) gives total darkness when the moon covers the sun – this event does not always lead to TOTAL darkness!

20d    Tail-gating a vehicle four finally become loud and coarse (7)
{ABUSIVE} – after (tail-gating) a public-service vehicle put the Roman numerals for four and the last letter (finally) of becomE to get a word meaning loud and coarse

21d    Head of Times International rings in news (7)
{TIDINGS} – the initial letters (head) of T(imes) is followed by I(nternational) and a verb meaning rings

23d    Latvians hired out vacant tenements (5)
{LETTS} – these people inhabiting what is now Latvia are a charade of hired out and the outside letters of (vacant) T(enement)S

24d    Regularly meet at noon — on time as intended (5)
{MEANT} – the odd letters (regularly) of MeEt At are followed by N(oon) and T(ime) to get a word meaning intended

Worth a go if you don’t normally tackle the Toughie – you can always come here for any hints you might need.

Pictures especially for Gazza and Crypticsue!

27 comments on “Toughie 427

  1. I found this most enjoyable, although I did need Gnomethang’s help with a couple of bits of wordplay. My favourite is 8d although I have marked others including 10a 1d and 4d. Thanks Warbler and BD. I look forward to the pictures as it may stop Gazza and me from trying to outpost each other with underwear related comments.

  2. Pleasant and non-too taxing. Ideal start to a Toughie week. Many thanks to Warbler for the entertainment and to BD for the notes.

  3. I usually struggle on Tuesday having had the weekend off and an easy Monday, but this was an enjoyable romp with not too many really hard ones. Thanks to Qarbler & BD.
    Are some of you over obsessed with under garments?

  4. Toughie No 427. I have a question about 24 down: I have always thought that “regularly” meant the even numbered letters. Any comment?

  5. Took 2 attempts but finally finished it apart from 27a and groaned when I read B.D’s blog! I’d never have got it on my own. Thanks to Warbler and B.D.

  6. Finished this and the cryptice before I had to go out for the day, two thoroughly enjoyable puzzles without straining the little grey cells, thanks Warbler and special thanks to BD for the picture for 4d ( even better than Gazzas )

  7. Struggled with this quite a bit. Had two stabs at it but still needed assistance for 2 or 3 clues.
    I think that the perceived level of difficulty is often related to how much other stuff you have going on in your mind/ in your life, at any given time, and I have an awful lot at the moment. I’ve struggled with every Toughie for over a week now! Must try harder.

  8. Hi BD. I’ve been shot down on my last two contributions to the blog, but I’m going to stick my neck out again. Regarding 14dn and your explanation of ‘cat’ being a synonym for ‘chap’. I agree ‘cat’ is a word for a jazz fan, but having checked four dictionaries including Chambers and also Wikepedia, I can find no reference to ‘chap’ being a word for a jazz fan. I wonder if there’s any other way ‘cat’ could be a synonym for ‘chap’!

    1. BillyBusker

      I’m inclined to agree with you on this one. I could see no obvious way of getting from chap to cat and I did mean to go back and explore further.

      1. Don’t know where you’ll start your explorations, BD. Is it possible to consult the Warbler? Keep up the brilliant work!

        1. Unfortunately Warbler has never commented on the blog, so I have no way of contacting her. [Subsequent investigation reveals that she left a comment back in February.]

      2. Chambers does have under cat:
        a man, chap (slang)

        and my Dictionary of Slang has cat as ‘hippy term for any male within the hippy world or the drug scene’.

    2. Thanks Gazza and Jezza. Chambers certainly does have cat meaning a man. Never thought to check it that way. We live and learn!

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