Toughie 490 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 490

Toughie No 490 by Notabilis

OK, I failed to spot Nina!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Tilsit has been called up for family chauffeuring duties and has left me with an excellent puzzle to review for the second consecutive week.

Look at the two across rows and the two down rows which have three answers.

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    Churchwarden possibly married mother in the afternoon (3,4)
{PIP EMMA} – start with what a churchwarden is an example of (possibly), add M(arried) and mother to get the First World War signallers’ name for the letters P and M

5a    A king enters without a consort (still sleeping) (7)
{UNWAKED} – put A and K(ing) inside a word meaning not married to get an adjective meaning still sleeping

9a    Mutual need to bury deep, scattered around terminal enclosure (15)
{INTERDEPENDENCE} – this mutual need is built from a word meaning to bury followed by an anagram (scattered) of DEEP placed around a word meaning terminal and an ENC(losure)

10a    Not all of inevitable punishment (4)
{FINE} – a punishment is hidden (not all) inside the clue

11a    Perhaps canine’s beginning to howl after blast (5)
{TOOTH} – in this definition by example (perhaps), a canine is constructed from H (beginning to Howl) after a blast on a horn

12a    It may help to part company with doctor (4)
{COMB} – an example of how you need to lift and separate correctly! – the definition is “it may help to part” and it’s a charade of CO(mpany) and a doctor

10a/11a/12a is a line in this song:

15a    Regalia displayed in place for the rest of the cattle (7)
{LAIRAGE} – an anagram (displayed) of REGALIA gives a place where cattle may be rested on the way to market

16a    Girl is French and in French city mostly (7)
{NANETTE} – a girl’s name (No, No!) is created by putting the French word for “and” inside most of the sixth largest French city

17a    Poles on benefit holding mass in stone tombs (7)
{DOLMENS} – put both poles after a slang word for benefit which is around M(ass) to get these megalithic tombs with a large flat stone laid on upright ones

19a    Sun and Express having a reasonable balance? (7)
{SOLVENT} – a charade of the Latin for the Sun, especially when personified as a god, and to express, as in to express one’s anger, to get a word meaning having a reasonable balance in one’s bank account

21a    Caught by worker, for one insincere talk (4)
{CANT} – in one of the easier clues, a charade of C(aught) and a worker gives this insincere talk

22a    Rush spicy dish with starter made hot (5)
{HURRY} – rush or haste is derived by taking a spicy dish from Big Dave’s kitchen and replacing the initial letter (starter) with H(ot)

23a    Left unfulfilled about romantic attachment (4)
{LOVE} – L(eft) followed by a word meaning about which is minus its final letter (unfulfilled) gives a romantic attachment

21a/22a/23a is part of the title of this song:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a    Unusually sincere builder’s extreme simplicity (15)
{IRREDUCIBLENESS} – an anagram (unusually) of SINCERE BUILDER’S gives one of those words that nobody uses meaning extreme simplicity

27a    Unmoved doctor departs when nursing you — once, twice! (3-4)
{DRY-EYED} – a word meaning emotionally unmoved is built from DR (doctor) and D(eparted) placed around (nursing) an old word for you, not once but twice

28a    Large vessel added to crush Afghan people (7)
{PASHTUN} – put a large vessel after a brief infatuation to get people inhabiting NW Pakistan and SE Afghanistan


1d           Distressing father almost completely (7)
{PAINFUL} – a word meaning distressing is built up from a father followed by almost all of a phrase (2,4) meaning completely

2d           Internet-age ploy adjusted work capacity based on position (9,6)
{POTENTIAL ENERGY} – an anagram (adjusted) of INTERNET-AGE PLOY gives the power of doing work possessed by a body in virtue of its position – as discovered by Sir Isaac Newton when hit on the head by an apple

3d           Queen is allowed to imprison republican (4)
{MARY} – this Queen is built from a word meaning is allowed placed around (to imprison) R(epublican)

4d           Bloomer once more cut reduced funds (7)
{ANEMONE} – this bloomer is a charade or two truncated words – the first one meaning once more (4) and funds (5)

5d           Aristocratic groom is not put away (7)
{UNEATEN} – a term applied to the aristocratic lifestyle followed by a word meaning to groom gives a word applied to food that has not been “put away” or consumed

6d           Extended line taken from Irish writer (4)
{WIDE} – a word meaning extended is created by removing L(ine) from the Irish author of The Picture of Dorian Gray

7d           Oak family over rising mist, lifting around natural resources (4,2,3,6)
{KING OF THE FOREST} – How the oak is often described is created from a word meaning family followed by a thick mist reversed (rising in a down clue) and then a word meaning lifting or stealing placed around natural mineral resources

8d           Bed layer mostly churned up, ready for infusion of colour? (7)
{DYEABLE} – an anagram (churned up) of most of BED LAYE(R) gives a word meaning ready for infusion of colour

13d         Regular supplies from blackberry tart producer (5)
{BAKER} – the odd (regular) letters of BLACKBERRY spell out the tradesman who makes, among other things, tarts

14d         Germanic settler’s point of view (5)
{ANGLE} – a double definition – a descendant of a German tribe from Schleswig that settled in Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia during the 5th century and a  point of view

17d         Condemned credit interest’s introduction in legal document (7)
{DECRIED} – a word meaning condemned or criticised is constructed by putting CR(edit) and I (Interest’s introduction) inside a legal document

18d         Sandwich-ready, maybe holding last of tofu, thoroughly rinsed (7)
{SLUICED} – bread ready to make sandwiches is placed around U (last of tofU) results in a word meaning thoroughly rinsed

19d         Small hollow needs internal massage to prepare for operation (5,2)
{SCRUB UP} – put S(mall) and a name for a hollow around a massage to get a word meaning what a surgeon does to prepare for an operation

20d         Chief of the senses in which government is undermined (7)
{TREASON} – T (chief / head of The) is followed by sense or logic to give the undermining of government

24d         Some turbulence in cases of extended delay (4)
{EDDY} – this turbulence is created by combining the outside letters (cases) of E(xtende)D and D(ela)Y

This is pure self-indulgence!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25d         Tends to ignore article that may change one’s view (4)
{LENS} – start with a word meaning tends or inclines and remove the A (indefinite article) to get a part of an optical device such as a camera or microscope that changes one’s view

I enjoyed this, as I enjoy all of Notabilis’s puzzles.

15 comments on “Toughie 490

  1. No theme or gimmick? What about the phrases such as MARY BAKER EDDY, WIDE ANGLE LENS, FINE TOOTH COMB and CAN’T HURRY LOVE that the grid reveals?

  2. Excellent crossword from Notabilis. Very unusually for a Friday Toughie I managed to complete this before reaching the office – is our setter going soft on us? Many thanks too to BD for the review.

  3. Agreed – an excellent puzzle – and a fun gimmick. Not as difficult as some Friday Toughies (thankfully), but an enjoyable solve.

  4. An excellent crossword. I got 1a from the clue, but couldn’t understand what it had to do with anything, until I read your explanation – so thank you BD for that. Thanks also to the setter.

  5. Not overly difficult for a Friday but still requiring some thought and – in my case anyway – a couple of visits to Chambers. For entertainment value I thought this was well up to this setter’s usual standard and provided a most enjoyable and satisfying solve.

    Many thanks Notabilis.

  6. Not too difficult but very entertaining. I hadn’t noticed the messages either. My favourite clue was 12a – simple but clever at the same time. Thanks to Notabilis, BD and Prolixic (for pointing out what we should have seen).

  7. Very Nice! Got stuck on 1a – mainly as I’ve never heard these two words together. Noticed the across messages but not the downs -seem to have a bit of a problem reading downwards!

  8. Got to this late but thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Notablis for a very fine and amusing crossword, the only word I had never heard before was 28a but even this was doable with the assistance of Chambers . thanks Dave for a great review, like you I did not see the theme until long after I had completed the pertinent clues. Favourite clues were 1a, 15a and 17a.

  9. Is it me? I cannot read the answers – everything is a very faded blue -virtually no contrast at all.

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