Toughie 479 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 479

Toughie No 479 by Cephas

The lull before the storm!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Cephas gives us a very gentle start to the week – it could well get tougher in the run-up to Christmas!

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    Discordant cheering going round West London borough (9)
{GREENWICH} – put an anagram (discordant) of CHEERING around W(est) to get a South-East London borough

6a    Cover monkey that’s half grey first (5)
{DRAPE} – a verb meaning to cover is built by putting a word meaning to monkey or mimic after DR(ab)

9a    Tell fidgety neurotic one is missing (7)
{RECOUNT} – a word meaning to tell is an anagram (fidgety) of NEUROT(I)C

10a    Consequence of losing one’s balance (9)
{OVERDRAFT} – what you get if you spend more money than you have in your bank account

11a    Not much money once VAT has been removed (7)
{CENTAVO} – this small Spanish American coin is an anagram (has been removed) of ONCE VAT

12a    Down mature fruit first (7)
{PLUMAGE} – down, in the sense of feathers, is derived by putting a verb meaning to mature after a fruit

13a    He dominates a foe becoming too progressive (5,2,4,4)
{AHEAD OF ONE’S TIME} – an anagram ()becoming of HE DOMINATES A FOE gives a phrase meaning too progressive

17a    One calls for item hidden in mask (7)
{VISITOR} – a person who calls on someone is constructed by putting IT (item) inside (hidden in) a mask

19a    With German agreement, he replaced one in path of Noachic descendant (7)
{JAPHETH} – the German for “yes” is followed by PATH with HE replacing the A (one) to get a son of Noah, traditional ancestor of the peoples living round the Mediterranean

22a    Saw something for him to do (9)
{CARPENTER} – a slightly cryptic definition of a tradesman who uses a saw

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23a    Be brave enough to have short skirt in front in Ireland (7)
{KILDARE} – put a word meaning to be brave enough after most of (short) a skirt to get a county in Ireland

24a    Was evasive but did not start having advanced gradually (5)
{EDGED} – drop the leading H (did not start) from a verb meaning was evasive to get a different verb meaning advanced gradually

25a    Brown grease spilt on clothing (9)
{DUNGAREES} – a type of brown followed by an anagram ()spilt of GREASE gives work overalls, especially loose trousers with a bib front and shoulder clothing


1d    Plant fish on top of no end of parasites (6)
{GARLIC} – this plant, whose bulb has a pungent taste and very strong smell, is a charade of a fish and some parasites without their final letter (no end of)

2d    Replace old money (8)
{EXCHANGE} – a verb meaning to replace is a charade of a prefix meaning old and some money

3d    In China use aspirin with feeling of revulsion (6)
{NAUSEA} – hidden inside the clue is this feeling of revulsion

4d    Completely fashionable round, small drink included (2,4)
{IN TOTO} – the Latin for completely or entirely is constructed by taking a word meaning fashionable and O (round) and putting them round (included) a small drink

5d    Rustic having taken a turn in one’s house first (8)
{HOMESPUN} – a word meaning rustic or simple is derived from a verb meaning having taken a turn preceded by a word meaning in one’s house

6d    Duke had mature spirits from equatorial region (8)
{DOLDRUMS} – a charade of D(uke), a synonym for mature and some alcoholic drinks (spirits) gives those parts of the ocean near the equator where calms and baffling winds prevail

7d    A church has articles on mysteries (6)
{ARCANA} – a charade of A, the Roman Catholic church, and two indefinite articles gives these mysteries or secrets

8d    How agreement may be made across the bridge? (3,2,3)
{EYE TO EYE} – this agreement could be made across the bridge o the nose

13d    Recommend one pressing a suit (8)
{ADVOCATE} – a double definition – the suit being pressed in court!

14d    Diane gave article to left-winger who was hesitant (8)
{DITHERED} – a charade of DI(ane), the definite article and a left-winger gives a verb meaning was hesitant

15d    Tree reported, about time, needing emergency attention (5,3)
{FIRST AID} – put a coniferous tree and a verb meaning reported around T(ime) to get this emergency attention – I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wasted time trying to find a homophone!

16d    Takes fancy diamonds originally from boot! (3,5)
{ICE SKATE} – an anagram (fancy) of TAKES is preceded by a slang word for diamonds to get a boot used on frozen water

18d    Beginning well (6)
{SPRING} – a double definition

19d    Yours truly in Provence right to take nearest and dearest’s coat (6)
{JERKIN} – a charade of the French for I (yours truly in Provence), R(ight) and one’s nearest and dearest gives a sleeveless coat

20d    Father takes two Spanish articles from dish (6)
{PAELLA} – a charade of a short synonym for father and two Spanish articles gives a Spanish dish of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, etc., cooked and served in a large shallow pan

21d    Poles support own harbours (6)
{HAVENS} – put N(orth) and S(outh) after (support in a down clue) a verb meaning to own to get these harbours

A pleasant, if relatively easy, puzzle.

13 comments on “Toughie 479

  1. As you say, a nice gentle start to the Toughie week, but very enjoyable. No particular favourites, just an all-round good solving experience, thanks and Happy Christmas to Cephas.

  2. I didn’t really enjoy this today, I really didn;t think it was up to the usual Cephas standard and was much easier than the cryptic. Thanks BD for the review.

  3. Many thanks to Cephas for easing us into the Toughie week with an engaging puzzle.

    Happy Christmas to our setter and thanks for the Saturday puzzles and monthly Toughies.

  4. Nothing really wrong with this – just far too easy for a ‘Toughie’.

    Let’s hope for a better challenge tomorrow.

  5. Many thanks Cephas – I did have to look at the blog for 3 hints, but then the lights went on very quickly, so equal thanks to BD

  6. Happy Christmas to you too.

    As you say, a gentle start to the week – or so I thought until I reached 18d. I still think “source” fits the clue better!

  7. No headaches here and an enjoyable solve. Thanks to Cephas for this and all his other puzzles this year. Thanks to BD for the review.

  8. The Cryptic & Toughie puzzles today could have been transposed without too many complaints. Slightly delayed by 1a, where I was looking for the wrong anagram – CHEERING and L (West London) – but once that was resoved the rest of the solve was pretty, plain pleasant sailing. My thanks to C & BD.

  9. You may think this was easy, I didn’t! But considering usually Ionly get the odd few clues and today I finished bar 7d and 16d, well I suppose it MUST be easIER. I’m still pleased to have done as much as I have Thanks toCephas and B.D. for the hints I needed to finish

  10. There’s nothing wrong with a straightforward crossword with honest clues, especially when your family have been through heathrow hell earlier in the week and cannot now reach Dilmun in time for Christmas with us. Thanks to BD for the review – I love the pictures and clips! – and Cephus for a very enjoyable crossword.

  11. I enjoyed this Toughie a lot more than the cryptic today – so thanks Cephas. It’s not often that I can complete a Toughie on my own (without pommette) and without resorting to a hint or two from the blog.
    Agree with Digby that the two could have been swapped today without anyone noticing!
    Anyway, nice puzzle and also thanks to BD for the review.

  12. Not a toughie by any means but still most enjoyable. I found this easier than the cryptic. Fav clue was 16 but all the clues were good but not too difficult. Mary, where are you, its your big chance!

  13. Happy Christmas to all!! Good puzzle, agreed it was easier than the Cryptic, but more enjoyable! Ooooh I wish this snow would melt!

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