Toughie 462 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 462

Toughie No 462 by Notabilis

The Master at work!

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

Tilsit has sneaked back to hospital for a few days – you just can’t keep him away from those nurses!  The good news is that he has already lost five stones in weight.  The bad news, for Tilsit, is that he has missed out on reviewing this puzzle.

Once again Notabilis has given us an excellent Toughie. This time it’s not as difficult as some of his earlier puzzles, but the quality shines through.

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    Aromatic plant no good in borders of large swamp (5,5)
{LEMON GRASS} – this aromatic plant is built up by putting NG (no good) somewhere inside LE (the borders of LargE) and a swamp

6a    Kind of walk seen in ‘Ashes to Ashes’ (4)
{STOA} – a classical portico or roofed colonnade is hidden inside the last three words of the clue

10a    The thing which coats energy cereal (5)
{WHEAT} – put “the thing which” around (coats) E(nergy) to get a cereal crop

11a    Distress is said not to be professed (3-6)
{SOI-DISANT} – an anagram (distress) of IS SAID NOT gives an adjective, originally French, meaning professed or self-styled

12a    A vote against retaining record correspondence (7)
{ANALOGY} – put A and a vote against around a record to get this correspondence or agreement

13a    Perhaps prevent household litter fragment (7)
{SNIPPET} – split this fragment as (4,3) and you get a way to prevent dogs or cats from producing a “litter”

14a    Grand to shell out for total control (12)
{STRANGLEHOLD} – an anagram (out) of GRAND TO SHELL gives total control over a situation

18a    Condition of tramp steamer carrying very much like new product ranges (12)
{SLOVENLINESS} – this one needs you to separate tramp from steamer! – the condition that describes a tramp is built up by putting a steamship around (carrying) a word meaning to very much like, N(ew) and product ranges

21a    Demanding a person stir in reduction (7)
{ONEROUS} – a word meaning demanding is a charade of a person (particularly a Royal person!) and a word meaning to stir or awaken without its last letter (in reduction)

23a    After exchanging hands, experienced anger liable to multiply? (7)
{FERTILE} – take words meaning experienced or suffered (3) and anger (3) and swap the R(ight) and L(eft) (after exchanging hands) to get a word meaning virile or liable to multiply

24a    Southern shopping centre tolerated, not of high calibre (5-4)
{SMALL-BORE} – a charade of S(outhern), a shopping centre and a word meaning tolerated gives a description of a firearm with a barrel having a calibre of not more than .22in

25a    Apply turned timber to adorn cross (5)
{EXERT} – a word meaning to apply or bring to bear is derived by reversing a timber producer around a letter shaped like a cross

26a    Song cover securing first in Eurovision (4)
{LIED} – this German song is constructed by putting a cover or top around E (first in Eurovision)

27a    Part of race row danger in desert? (10)
{HEATSTROKE} – a charade of an eliminating round in a race and word meaning to row in the lead position gives a condition that is a danger in a desert


1d           Lighter for cigarettes? (3-3)
{LOW-TAR} – a cryptic definition of a type of cigarette that is a bit like smoking a piece of rolled-up paper

2d           Mother upset Hamlet, say — she’s beside herself (6)
{MAENAD} – start with a shortened form of mother and then reverse (upset) the nationality of Hamlet to get a female follower of Bacchus – a woman who is beside herself with frenzy

3d           Never at all unearthly? (3,3,3,5)
{NOT FOR THE WORLD} – two definitions, the second one (unearthly) is cryptic

4d           Cocktail shaking, truly a sin (5,4)
{RUSTY NAIL} – a cocktail containing whisky and Drambuie is an anagram (shaking) of TRULY A SIN

5d           Nationality of small West Indies’ society (5)
{SWISS} – this nationality is a charade of S(mall) WI’S (West Indies’ / of the West Indies) and S(ociety)

7d           A pot’s stirred with one? (8)
{TEASPOON} – a brilliant all-in-one clue where the whole clue describes an item that is an anagram (stirred) of A POT’S and ONE – some might object to the anagram indicator being in the middle of the fodder, but I loved it!

8d           Bent posture, getting pressure for the first time (8)
{APTITUDE} – a bent, in the sense of a natural ability, is derived by starting with a word meaning posture and putting a P(ressure) instead of the first T(ime)

9d           Collar without filth? (8,6)
{CITIZEN’S ARREST} – a cryptic definition of collaring a criminal without the help of the police

15d         Keeping enjoyment up, good to choose to show respect (9)
{GENUFLECT} – put a short word for enjoyment (3) reversed (up) inside G(ood) and a word meaning to choose in preference to other options to get a word meaning to show respect by bending the knee

16d         Displaced Poles touring America for adoption (8)
{ESPOUSAL} – an anagram (displaced) of POLES is placed around (touring) another word for America to get this adoption of a cause

17d         Computing pioneer has nothing on Net (8)
{LOVELACE} – the daughter of Lord Byron, who became assistant to Charles Babbage and worked with him on his mechanical computer is a charade of a score of nothing in tennis and a fine open fabric of cotton or silk (net)

19d         English playwright’s ‘Holy Roman Emperor’ (6)
{PINERO} – this English playwright is a charade of a word meaning Holy and a Roman Emperor

20d         This light is to be converted, to be agitated (6)
{SEETHE} – split this word meaning to be agitated as (3,3) and follow it with light and you get the feeling experienced when you solve this clue

22d         Loudly asserted raised voice’s ending arguments (5)
{SWORE} – a verb meaning loudly asserted, maybe with four-letter words, is built from E (voicE‘s ending) and arguments all reversed (raised)

An embarrassment of riches among which I particularly enjoyed 13a, 7d, 9d and 20d.

20 comments on “Toughie 462

  1. Had I not got the wrong playwright in 19d, this would have been a record Toughie solving time for me today. A very enjoyable crossword with some excellent clues I did like 9d but my clue of the day is 20d because of the major D’Oh moment when I realised what the word was! Thank you Notabilis for an excellent Friday toughie and to BD for the review.

          1. I hadn’t forgotten at all, just didn’t want to admit my lack of knowledge. Mr P didn’t strike me as being an Englishman, but I did know that the only chap that the Gnome and I could make from the checking letters wasn’t right either.

        1. The one that we both thought was wrong but was a Roman poet/playwright.
          I hadn’t heard of the former and didn’t manage to parse the clue.

  2. Same here with 20d and then it dawned!! It was the last to go in and I looked at it for ages. Thanks for the review BD

  3. I didn’t get 20d but, having seen Dave’s blog, agree – what a great clue. Apart from that the rest of the puzzle was not too difficult but there really were some terrific clues. In particular I liked 8d,9d and 18a but others came pretty close.

    Well done Notabilis.

  4. Loved this, especially 20d and 9d, but there were lots of ‘make you smile’ clues here today. Hope Tilsit is on the mend!

  5. Brilliant puzzle! Notabalis keeps getting better and better! My overall favourite is 9d.
    Thanks to Notabilis, and to BD for the review.

  6. Wonderful crossword from Notabilis. Favourite clue was 13a. Off now to see the new Harry Potter film.

  7. As Tilsit said via email today – “Best Toughie for a long time!”
    Very accessible but with plenty of penny drop moments. Favourites were 11a and 9d. Thanks to CSue for a couple of pointers in the SE corner, to BD for the review and Notabilis for an excellent Friday Toughie.

  8. Brilliant clues, even if I couldn’t solve some of them! Thanks to Notabilis and B.D. Favourite has to be 9d

  9. Lovely puzzle with many nice clues. Favs 7 13 14 16 and best of all 20. Didn’t like 17 – Linda yes but Ada no. 2 really good workouts today.

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