Toughie 473

Toughie No 473 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A pleasant enough puzzle but somewhat on the easy side for a Toughie.

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    Slasher movie and book fit to include British jargon (12)
{PSYCHOBABBLE} A Hitchcock movie described by some as ‘the mother of all slasher films’ followed by B (book) + “fit” round B (British) gives a type of jargon

8a    Cracked toilet plainly emptied (5)
{LOOPY} Cracked (crazy) is give by another word for a toilet + the first and last letters of plainly

9a    Cleaner put off by bloke (9)
{DETERGENT} A word meaning “to put off” and a bloke gives a cleansing agent

11a    Annoyed after swallowing one insect in bakery item (9)
{CROISSANT} “Annoyed” containing I (one) + an insect gives a crescent-shaped bread roll

12a    Roughly note name of film director (5)
{ORSON} Roughly (2,2) + N (note) gives the first name of a famous film director (1918-1985)

13a    Runs into bacterium, say, on head of weak beer (9)
{MICROBREW} R (runs) goes inside a very small organism (e.g. a bacterium). This is followed by W (head of weak) to give beer produced by a small independent brewery

16a    Little power in endless source of light? That’s a mistake (5)
{LAPSE} P (little power) goes inside a device which amplifies an input of light (with the last letter removed)

18a    Popular group seen in smaller photo? (5)
{INSET} Popular + group gives a small photo inserted in a spare corner of another

19a    Girl left with guy — time to go out on the town? (9)
{GALLIVANT} Girl + L (left) + a man’s name (possibly a Russian) + T (time) gives “to go about in search of pleasure”

20a    A tribe or two surrounding half of centre (5)
{ICENI} Two in Roman numerals surrounds half of the word “centre”

22a    Sad vain poseur I passed over for an outstanding star (9)
{SUPERNOVA} An anagram (sad) of VA(I)N POSEUR gives a star that suddenly increases in brightness

25a    Regarding figures, George’s satisfied: endlessly wealthy (9)
{GEOMETRIC} An abbreviated form of George + satisfied + wealthy without the last letter

26a    Interrogate, taking breather around end of hour (5)
{GRILL} Breather (part of a fish) around R (end of hour) gives “to interrogate”

27a    She uncovered traveller taking tea without one (5,4,3)
{GYPSY ROSE LEE} An American burlesque entertainer (1911-1970) famous for her striptease act is formed from one of the travelling people + rhyming slang for tea with the letter I (one) removed


1d    Trunk call initially is supporting professional senior manager? Not entirely (9)
{PROBOSCIS} A trunk or long snout is formed from C (call initially) + IS following PRO (professional) + a senior manager with the last letter removed. I thought that Kcit had boobed again because the last two words of the clue were originally not present in the online version

2d    Toys counting for nothing in day-to-day affairs, ultimately (2-3)
{YO-YOS} Put O (nothing) in the last letters of day-to-day affairs

3d    Water organism found in filthy drains (5)
{HYDRA} An organism found in water is hidden in filthy drains

4d    Washroom item crumpled at the bowl (4,5)
{BATH TOWEL} An anagram (crumpled) of AT THE BOWL

5d    Swiss mathematician implicated re bullion (9)
{BERNOULLI} An anagram (implicated) of RE BULLION gives the surname of a family of Swiss mathematicians in the 18th century. Wikipedia gives 6 members of the family

6d    City director tucking into last of drink (5)
{LEEDS} D (director) goes inside sediment that forms during the fermentation or aging of wine to give a city in Yorkshire

7d    Baron, wanting to secure part of armour, raising money (12)
{BLACKMAILING} B (baron) + wanting (being deficient in) round defensive armour for the body gives “extorting money from”

10d    One guy I brought into reckoning indirectly (12)
{TANGENTIALLY} AN (one) + “guy” + I inside “reckoning” gives “indirectly”

14d    Support crews deliver in target areas (9)
{OUTRIDERS} “Deliver” inside parts of a target (e.g. in archery) gives people who ride beside a vehicle as a guard

15d    Doctor placing point right in the backside (9)
{REGISTRAR} The main point of a matter + R (right) inside the backside gives a hospital doctor

17d    Father’s present passion involving one component of instrument (5,4)
{PIANO WIRE} Father + the present time + passion with I (one) inserted somewhere gives part of a keyboard instrument

21d    Last of the spare wood (5)
{EBONY} E (last letter of the) + spare (not fat) gives a black, heavy wood

23d    Groups heard as wanting cessation of hostilities? (5)
{PACKS} A homophone of a 3-letter word for “peace” or “(let’s call a) truce”

24d    Gear upset the French star (5)
{RIGEL} Another word for gear (equipment) + a reversal of the French word for “the” gives the brightest star in Orion

Disappointing because I didn’t break sweat today


  1. honestjohn
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I had to look up the Swiss mathematician but, apart from that, much too easy for a toughie (in my humble opinion).

  2. gnomethang
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    22a was among my favourites in a pretty straightforward but enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo.

  3. BigBoab
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward crossword, only just in the toughie bracket, saved by one or two clues which made me scratch my head for a couple of minutes, fun though. Thanks Kcit and thanks Bufo for the review.

  4. Prolixic
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I have to say that I whizzed through this in less time than the back page cryptic today. When I see Kcit as the setter I usually steel myself for an enjoyable battle. Although this was enjoyable, it was a walk in the park compared with most of his puzzles. Not up to his best, but an entertaining diversion.

    • keldorn
      Posted December 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      I normally come here because I get stuck on Toughies. Today I came to see whether anyone else had spent more time on the back apge cryptic than the Toughie. I see I’m not.

      Anyway, good website. Thanks to everyone who contributes.

      • gazza
        Posted December 9, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        Hi keldorn – welcome to the blog.

  5. crypticsue
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Probably would have found this as straightforward as everyone else, but I was trying to solve it at the same time as giving the illusion that I was working hard at my desk! I thought there were some good clues and quite fun in places. My favourite was 27a. Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  6. Upthecreek
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Suffered from last clue blues today in both puzzles. This time it was 12a that took the time – I am just not geared up for Christian names. Still I got it in the end by a process of elimination. Fav was 27. Other good clues 1d 2 5 [remembered from Fluid Mechanics] 7 10 19 and 22. Not very happy with 15 – is he a doctor? Overall most enjoyable.

    • Andy
      Posted December 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Hi UTC, re 15, they are usually junior doctors in training either to be a GP or a Consultant in a Hospital from memory.

      • Upthecreek
        Posted December 10, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Thanks Andy. Its a new one for me. I put it in as it was the only word that would fit but I hadn’t a clue why!

  7. Digby
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Without Mr 5d we used to claim that flying wouldn’t have been invented – his theory about decreasing pressure over a wing as the airflow speeds up is where lift comes from. If night flying from the aircraft carrier was looking a bit iffy, the cry would go up “Not enough 5ds around tonight!” I digress – the puzzle was fine, though it took me less time than the cryptic. Thanks KC & B.

  8. Kath
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I almost never look at the toughies – two reasons really – can rarely do more than a handful of clues and can’t quite allow myself to get addicted to anything else or I would never do any of the other things that I should be doing. Today I decided to have a go, partly because of some encouraging comments about it being one of the easier ones and also because I REALLY don’t want to do the rest of the addresses on the Christmas cards! Did all but three (12a and 1 and 10d) before resorting to the hints. Enjoyed it very much especially 1, 8 and 27a and 7d. Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  9. Pete
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Yes I know it is late but I sat down with the Toughie later this evening and to my surprise managed to complete it. In a number of places I did check the hints to fully understand the real reasons for the answers I put in.
    I enjoyed it on the whole even though many thought it rather easy.
    Thanks to Kcit and Bufo for the hints.

  10. nanaglugglug
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Bit late tonight, but thoroughly enjoyed this crossword. Favourite clue 27a

  11. Qix
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice puzzle, but a little too easy, as others have said.

    Still well worth solving, though, and the setter’s efforts are appreciated.