Toughie 483 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 483

Toughie No 483 by Warbler

Primary Qualities!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

To understand the mini-theme in today’s puzzle, 7 down and 28 across must be solved first. Overall I found the puzzle a bit disappointing, and the reversal clue at 26 across should never have seen the light of day.

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    One of 7,28 is quite cool (7)
{JUSTICE} – split this 7,28 as (4,3) and you have synonyms for quite and cool (as a verb)

5a    Incompetent institute’s beginning to criminalise sex. That’s not lawful! (7)
{ILLICIT} – a charade of a word meaning incompetent, I(nstitute) C (beginning to Criminalise) and a word often seen in Crosswordland for sex gives an adjective meaning not lawful

9a    International trade, in a small way, initially affects resort (5)
{IBIZA} – a charade of I(nternational), a shortened form (in a small way) of a synonym for trade, and A (initially Affects) gives a Balearic resort

10a    Sheltered women mostly breed indiscriminately (9)
{EMBOWERED} – a word meaning sheltered with trees is an anagram (indiscriminately) of WOME(N) BREED

11a    Paint new church for one of 7,28 (10)
{TEMPERANCE} – a charade of an emulsion paint, N(ew) and the Church of England gives another 7,28

12a    Finally cook gnocchi well in oven (4)
{KILN} – the final letters of four words in the clue give a type of oven

14a    Processing grubs with offal as cattle food (7-5)
{BUFFALO-GRASS} – an anagram (processing) of GRUBS OFFAL AS gives a plant used as cattle food

18a    Argues with Conservatives about China’s economic transformation (4-2-6)
{RAGS-TO-RICHES} – a word meaning argues or torments is followed by another word for Conservatives with CH(ina) inserted to get an story of economic transformation

21a    Introduction of demon drink to valley (4)
{DALE} – the first letter (introduction) of Demon is followed by a drink to get another name for a valley, particularly in Yorkshire

22a    Mark one point by Irish director in musical interval (5,5)
{MINOR THIRD} – a charade of M (Mark, as in the former German currency), I (one), a compass point (in full rather than the more usual abbreviation), IR(ish) and D(irector) gives this musical interval of three semitones

25a    Deadhead? Quite literally! (9)
{NUMBSKULL} – this deadhead is dead and head when split as (4,5)

26a    Cut off returning magistrate in ancient Rome (5)
{ELIDE} – a word meaning to cut off is formed by reversing (returning) a magistrate in ancient Rome – we have complained in the past about reversals where you need checking letters in order to work out which of two alternatives is the answer, well with this one you can’t even do that; the only way I know which was the intended answer is because my first attempt was rejected by Telegraph Puzzles

27a    Heraldic star found in ladies’ toilet (7)
{ESTOILE} – this heraldic star with wavy points is hidden inside the last two words of the clue

28a    With difficulty strive to absorb universal good qualities (7)
{VIRTUES} – an anagram (with difficulty) of STRIVE around (to absorb) U(niversal) gives these good qualities which are a required part of the mini-theme


1d    Beams of happiness heard on street start to subside (6)
{JOISTS] – these beams, used to support the roof or floor of a building, are a charade of a homophone (heard) of happiness, ST(reet) and S (start to Subside)

2d    Dance about in underwear (6)
{SHIMMY} – a double definition – the dance is one that I wish I could do like my sister Kate!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d    Time to abandon antiquated resort. Energy’s not up to scratch (10)
{INADEQUATE} – an anagram (resort) of ANTIQUA(T)ED without the T (Time to abandon) is followed by E(nergy) to get a word meaning not up to scratch

4d    Rising sea fills channel causing accumulation of fluid (5)
{EDEMA} – the shortened form of a sea is reversed (rising) inside (fills) a drainage channel in the Fens to get an accumulation of fluid in tissue spaces

5d    Stumbling I climb across mounting freeze. How foolish! (9)
{IMBECILIC} – put an anagram (stumbling) of i climb around frozen water reversed (mounting in a down clue) to get an adjective meaning foolish

6d    Partial flaw noted in linen (4)
{LAWN} – hidden inside (partial) the clue is a type of fine linen

7d    Can laird become chief? Yes, with skulduggery (8)
{CARDINAL} – an anagram (with skulduggery) of CAN LAIRD gives a word meaning chief, and the first word of the mini-theme

8d    Shambolic side isn’t in order (8)
{TIDINESS} – an anagram (shambolic) of SIDE ISN’T gives a word meaning in order

13d    Astronomically 1966 was one for soccer fans (1,5,4)
{A GREAT YEAR} – in astronomy this is the length of time (about 25,800 years) it takes for the equinoctial points to make a complete revolution – let’s hope we don’t have to wait that long for England to win the Football World Cup again!

15d    One of 7,28 is in favour of elaborate duetti (9)
{FORTITUDE} – back with the mini-theme – a word meaning in favour of is followed by an anagram (elaborate) of DUETTI

16d    One of 7,28’s power game’s reportedly compact (8)
{PRUDENCE} – the final quality is a charade of P(ower), the abbreviation of a game played between teams of fifteen and a homophone of a word meaning compact

17d    Take note: legitimate manoeuvring is what bars under-18s from voting (3,5)
{AGE LIMIT} – an anagram (manoeuvring) of LEGITIMA(TE) without TE (take note) gives what bars under-18s from voting (or drinking in a pub!)

19d    Michigan’s position is above centre of plush environment (6)
{MILIEU} – a charade of MI(chigan), the position of a golf ball and U (centre of plush) gives a person’s social environment

20d    Dreads awful summers (6)
{ADDERS} – an anagram (awful) of DREADS gives these summers

23d    Being a learned Irishman, old Liam listed antiquated volumes, but only first editions (5)
{OLLAV} – this learned man among the ancient Irish comes from the initial letters (first editions) of five words in the clue

24d    A prison has no right to produce wine (4)
{ASTI} – A and a slang word for prison, without the final R (no right) gives this Italian white wine

It looks as if the Toughies will get progressively harder again this week.

19 comments on “Toughie 483

  1. A very gentle start to the toughy week although I didnt understand the second def at 2d – apparently a contraction of chemise. Apart from that a very quick solve. I didnt have the problem at 26a as i just thought of ‘cut off’ and wrote the answer in. Looking at it now I would agree with BD.
    Thanks to him and to Warbler

  2. Must have been a gentle Toughie as even I solved it!
    I got the 7,28 fairly quickly and that then gives 4 other answers without much thought.
    I agree with BD about 26a, bad clue IMHO.
    Anyway thanks to Warbler and BD.

  3. Sorry you did not like my puzzle today.
    I actually sent in an alternative clue to 26A which somwehow did not get printed.

    1. I did like the puzzle, apart from 26a for the same reasons as BD.
      I’m not usually able to complete a Toughie so when one of you setters occasionally gives us one I can solve it really makes my day.
      So thanks again for this puzzle.

    2. Warbler, I think if you have another wee look at the comments you will find that so far no one has said they disliked the crossword, only that it was not very difficult. I personally enjoyed it as you will see from my post.

    3. I enjoyed it. I liked the theme, and it was a harder challenge than the normal cryptic today. So thanks.

    4. I enjoyed it too. Sometimes a gentle Toughie just hits the spot nicely and this one had a lovely theme.

  4. Agree all round – a gentle start to the week although I did need my Chambers to confirm one or two answers. I too couldn’t decide which way round 26a should be although, thanks to BD, I happen to have got it right!

  5. Not the most difficult toughie but fairly enjoyabe nonetheless, I enjoyed the theme. Thanks Warbler and BD.

  6. Feel much the same as the others about this. Unless I am very much mistaken, if the answer to 26a had included the letter ‘x’ (which an alternative answer could easily have done) we would have had a pangram. This would have avoided the difficulty with the current answer and, for me, added something to the crossword.

    Thanks Warbler and BD.

  7. Please come back and re-read the comments Warbler – we did like your puzzle, honest. I even thought that 26a was OK, but would like to see your alternative clue. And I so wanted 4d to be enema, but couldn’t quite make it work!

  8. I thought this was a nice start to the Toughie week. Many thanks to Warbler for the crossword and to BD for the review.

  9. I managed about three quarters of this before I admitted defeat and read the hints – this, for me, is pretty good so I agree with those who have said that it is an ‘easy’ toughie. Having read the hints I discovered that there were a few answers I would never have got – that always makes me feel better – a bit like being let off the hook somehow!! I have never seen 4d spelt like that before. Anyway, a good way to spend the end of a chilly afternoon. Thank you to Warbler and to BD.

  10. For someone who can’t simply reel off the 7 28 this was an enjoyable and educational challenge, and more to the point, the sort of pleasant Toughie with an interesting thematic component where my PinC and I don’t feel as if we’ve been bludgeoned about the head. I was unaware of the fenland drainage channel in 4d and the Roman magistrate in 26a My PinC and I got a bit held up in the NW corner, but it fell into place rather suddenly once we made a breakthrough. Bravo! Thanks to Warbler and BD.

  11. Nice puzzle.

    Probably not tough enough to be a Toughie, but pretty good all the same.

    I agree with BD’s comments about 26A, although I think that ambiguous reversals where the checked letters make the answer clear are OK. In any case, it’s always nice to have a chance to use the Latin vocab!

    Cheers to Warbler and BD.

Comments are closed.