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Toughie 437

Toughie No 437 by Busman

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

I sailed through this one, so much so that I’m only giving it one star for difficulty.

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    Maybe open acclaim’s what’s expected of a yes-man (12)
{COMPLAISANCE} An anagram (maybe) of OPEN ACCLAIM’S

9a    Attack on front of London arts venue (4)
{BARB} The first half of a London arts venue is an attack (a deliberately hurtful remark)

10a    He travels unto a star (9)
{ASTRONAUT} An anagram of UNTO A STAR gives someone who might travel there

12a    Pastry cook in charge with earl (6)
{ÉCLAIR} An anagram (cook) of IC (in charge) and EARL

13a    Old relative, awfully rude, showing dignity (8)
{GRANDEUR} An old female relative followed by an anagram (awfully) of RUDE

15a    Over-egg, somewhat! (10)
{EXAGGERATE} I suppose that this is merely a cryptic definition

16a    Eastern fashion is such a mess (4)
{ETON} E (Eastern) + a word for fashion gives a place-name that goes before mess in the name of a dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue and cream

18a    Point-to-point at lodge (4)
{STOW} One point of the compass TO another point of the compass

20a    A safe place (10)
{STRONGROOM} A cryptic definition for somewhere where things are kept safe

23a    Malta pilot losing books about red light (4,4)
{TAIL LAMP} An anagram of MALTA PILOT without OT (books) gives something found on the back of a car

24a    Exactly like a singleton domino? (4,2)
{SPOT ON} This term means exactly (and is hyphenated in Chambers). Is the word singleton meant to imply that the domino in question is blank-one?

26a    Three months to decorate compound (9)
{TRIMESTER} A period of three months is made up of “to decorate” + a chemical compound formed by condensation of an alcohol with an acid

27a    Trickster’s admission is good for image (4)
{ICON} What a trickster might admit to is an image

28a    Panorama’s about to broadcast ‘What’s on the boundary’ (5,7)
{SIGHT SCREENS} Items that can be found on the boundary of a cricket pitch are given by panorama’s put round broadcast (as on TV)


2d    Apparently singular game on paper, and another at seats of learning (8)
{OXBRIDGE} The first two letters represent “nought and cross” (apparently singular game). Then follows a card game.

3d    Brilliant, but outwardly peculiar (4)
{PEAR} The first two and the last two letters of peculiar gives a brilliant (gem)

4d    Heartless row bringing revision (10)
{ALTERATION} Remove the middle letter (C) from an 11-letter word for a row (argument) and get a revision

5d    Old clubs’ courts (6)
{SPOONS} 2 meanings: old-fashioned golf clubs/indulges in (sentimental) courtship

6d    Half our relatives are in home (7)
{NEAREST} ARE in a word for home gives the first word of an expression (7,3,7) for one’s closest family and friends

7d    Work to rule after this act (12)
{ENTHRONEMENT} This act creates a monarch who will then rule

8d    Foreign dish of pickled pea and bits of lentil, leek and aubergine (6)
{PAELLA} An anagram (pickled) of PEA + the first letters of Lentil, Leek and Aubergine

11d    Renders obligatory one’s entry in state midst disorderly scenes (12)
{NECESSITATES} I put inside STATE put inside an anagram (disorderly) of SCENES

14d    Subject to change one-time chart (10)
{ARITHMETIC} A subject studied at school is an anagram of I (one) TIME CHART

17d    Say! Pity about a north African (8)
{EGYPTIAN} An abbreviation for say (for example) + an anagram (about) of PITY + A N (north) gives an African resident

19d    Thinking of love and yearning (7)
{OPINING} O (love) + yearning = thinking

21d    Thirty-one days with French king on duty (6)
{OCTROI} The three-letter abbreviation for a month having thirty-one days + the French word for king gives a duty (toll or tax)

22d    Wake-up call about Black Prince (6)
{ALBERT} The name of a prince consort is given by “wake-up call” around B (black)

25d    Barrister cut cheese (4)
{BRIE} A word for a barrister with its last letter removed gives a type of cheese

Disappointing because it is far from true toughie standard.

14 comments on “Toughie 437

  1. I struggled with this for some time but with hindsight think this is because I was trying to make the clues/solutions harder than they were. No particular favourites at all today, sorry Busman. Thanks Bufo. BTW the stars are missing from the end.

  2. I agree that this was a bit too easy for a toughie, nevertheless I quite enjoyed doing it and I learned one new word ( 21d ). Thanks Busman and thanks also to Bufo for the review, I personally would have said 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment, I guess we are all different. I liked 5d best.

  3. The only clue that caused me any difficulty was 3d, and how ‘Brilliant’ fitted the answer. Thanks to Busman, and to Bufo for the explanations.

  4. I too fell into the trap of thinking these clues were harder than they were! But the puzzle is enjoyable and would make a good cryptic. Incidentally, wasn’t the DT cryptic so much better than the normal Thursday standard. I had to check my calendar to make sure today was a Thursday rather my weekend, which starts tomorrow.

  5. I’d give it 2*, if I could, but not in Firefox. Not as difficult or entertaining as today’s Cryptic, but nonetheless definitely worth the effort. 26a was new to me, and 2 & 22d stood out. Thanks to “The B Team” (no slight intended)

  6. I had the same problem as Jezza on 3d. I had it penned in lightly but was unsure of the definition until Prolixic put me straight.
    Fairly easy but enjoyable today.
    Thanks to Busman and Bufo.

    1. I’m sure you’re right, Gazza. That subtlety had passed me by. It’s now a better clue than I thought it was.

  7. It’s all very well for you BUT on a coach, miles from a dictionary, electronic or otherwise, this was not easy!
    Which brings me to ask, how permissable is it to use electronic aids? In my book it’s cheating but times may have changed?

  8. Just when I thought I was beginning to learn cricket terms along comes another one I’ve nver heard of- 28a. 21d was a new word for me. Definitely more than one star for dificulty.

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