Toughie 497

Toughie No 497 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A perfectly reasonable puzzle but I never really warmed to it.

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    Explain advantage of the dole (5,7)
{STATE BENEFIT} “Explain advantage” gives something of which the dole is an example

9a    Went inside, wreathed in smoke, to relax (7,2)
{LIGHTEN UP} EN (the inside of went) goes inside a phrase meaning “to set fire to a cigarette in order to smoke it”

10a    Flat bitter? That is unusual (5)
{EERIE} Flat bitter is bitter with no head. So remove the first letter from what bitter is an example of. Then add IE (that is)

11a    Sad, bad laddism not dead (6)
{DISMAL} An anagram (bad) of LAD(D)ISM (dead = D)

12a    Stick out for diamonds in genuine setting (8)
{PROTRUDE} “For” + D (diamonds) in “genuine”

13a    Huge number in short turned out to be sufficient (6)
{ENOUGH} An anagram (turned out) of HUGE NO (number in short)

15a    Hatred of European Union rule replacing British jubilation (8)
{EUPHORIA} A hatred of the European Union would be an EU ******. Replace B (British) by R (rule)

18a    Somewhat mild praise? (8)
{BLANDISH} 2 meanings: somewhat mild/praise

19a    Launch unexpected attack on leading hospital doctor in Australia (6)
{AMBUSH} An abbreviation for a doctor goes inside AUS (Australian) + H (hospital)

21a    ‘Snoop before loop’ — beginner’s second-rate poetry (8)
{DOGGEREL} Take the rapper Snoop **** + before + L (first letter of loop)

23a    One doing wrong is blue (6)
{INDIGO} I (one) + an anagram (wrong) of DOING

26a    Arterial route with a junction in unfinished road repair (5)
{AORTA} An artery is given by A + T (junction) in an anagram (repair) of ROA(D)

27a    Starting first dance after eight, say, is daft (9)
{SCREWBALL} S (first letter of starting) + an eight (as in a boat) + a dance

28a    Some setters sloppily accepting ‘the ultimate in technology’ for ‘hi-fi’ (6,6)
{STEREO SYSTEM} An anagram (sloppily) of SOME SETTERS goes round Y (the ultimate in technology)


1d    Southern fatso the first to leap in making a big splash (7)
{SPLODGE} S (Southern) + a fat person goes round L (first to leap)

2d    Origin of Adidas, for instance, is sponsorship (5)
{AEGIS} A (first letter of Adidas) + the abbreviation for “for instance” + IS

3d    A nerd gets hopelessly out of touch (9)
{ESTRANGED} An anagram (hopelessly) of A NERD GETS

4d    Essentially quiet nature of volatile mount (4)
{ETNA} This volatile mount is hidden in quiET NAture

5d    Curious about one poem composed on Top Shop (8)
{EMPORIUM} “Curious” goes round I (one) and this goes after an anagram (composed) of POEM to give a large shop

6d    With cigarette end found in pint, turned awkward (5)
{INEPT} E (cigarette end) goes inside an anagram (turned) of PINT

7d    Fussy 4/4 beat (4-4)
{FROU-FROU} An anagram (beat) of FOUR is repeated. This is a new word for me and I was expecting an adjective meaning “fussy” but none of my dictionaries give an adjectival use

8d    Avenge suffering in UN location (6)
{GENEVA} An anagram (suffering) of AVENGE gives the headquarters of many of the agencies of the UN

14d    Hothouse Kid who played trombone without emotion (8)
{ORANGERY} KID *** was a jazz trombonist. He goes round an emotion to give a hothouse where fruit trees are grown

16d    Why Enigma Variation writer isn’t Elgar (9)
{HEMINGWAY} An author’s surname is an anagram (Variation) of WHY ENIGMA

17d    Glasses so restricted boxing adjudicator (8)
{ASSESSOR} The answer is hidden (boxing) in glASSES SO Restricted

18d    Old man housed in unfinished Denby development was warmer before retirement (6)
{BEDPAN} Father (old man) goes inside an anagram (development) of DENB(Y) gives something that was used to warm the bed

20d    Tough cowl on chimney (7)
{HOODLUM} Cowl + chimney gives a tough

22d    Force out old performers (5)
{EXACT} “To force out” is given by old + performers

24d    Get unfit from being a member of a gym? (5)
{INAPT} “Unfit” is derived form “being a member of” + A + one of the usual abbreviations for gym

25d    Spirit of almost entirely hollow braggadocio (4)
{BRIO} Remove the middle 7 letters from br(aggadoc)io

Sorry about the briefer than usual hints but I’m very pushed for time this morning


  1. Rednaxela
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    This was certainly more challenging than today’s cryptic and I needed the hint and explanation for 7d as this is a word new to me, although on re-reading the clue in light of the hint, it is certainly solvable. 15a was my favourite clue. Thanks to Petitjean for the puzzle and Bufo for the review.

  2. Posted January 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    20d was probably my favourite here. Fairly enjoyable and tricky in places.
    Thanks to Bufo and Petitjean

  3. crypticsue
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I agree with both the above comments with regard to challenge and enjoyment level. Didn’t take long to solve but definitely a more pleasurable experience than today’s Cryptic so merci bien Petitjean. I did like 21a – clever cluing for the extra ‘g’. Thanks to Bufo for the hints too.

  4. Digby
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Borderline as to whether this was an easy Toughie or a tough Cryptic. Enjoyable, doable but unremarkable. Thanks for the explanations of 14 and 21 Bufo – I got them, but I’m not into Rapping or Jazz!

  5. Digby
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Closer inspection of the hint for 26 has me a bit confused – AT is supposed to be inside an anagram of ROA, not after it? N’est pas?

    • Andy
      Posted January 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      I agree, had me confused as well.

    • Posted January 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      It’s actually A then (T inside an anagram of ROA).

      • Digby
        Posted January 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Gotcha! I think Bufo’s hint reads a little ambiguously, but I see what you mean.

      • Andy
        Posted January 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Ah, see that now, thanks

    • Franco
      Posted January 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Digby, it’s “n’est-ce pas”, is it not?

      Agree with you on Rapping and Jazz! So failed on 14d and 21a!

      • Digby
        Posted January 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        May wee! My pidgin French bites again!!

        • Franco
          Posted January 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          I forgot – you’re just bi-lingual – English & Yorkshire!

          • Digby
            Posted January 20, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

            Bloody Reet!

  6. pommers
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I think I’m beginning to enjoy Toughies! OK, this wasn’t one of the hardest but at least I completed it. That was unknown 6 months ago!
    Thanks Petitjean and Bufo.

  7. nanaglugglug
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Well, since we managed to complete this it obviously wasn’t too Tough, but we found it most enjoyable – favourite 27a. Thanks Petitjean for the confidence boost and Bufo for the explanations!

  8. honestjohn
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Not difficult but enjoyable all the same. This could have gone in as a ‘cryptic’ but would have been harder than most if it had.

    Thanks to Petitjean for the entertainment and to Bufo for the review.

  9. Spindrift
    Posted January 21, 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    After blitzing the cryptic I turned to the Toughie & cracked that as well!
    I appreciate it wasn’t the toughest of toughies & would have been a contender for a Friday cryptic a few years ago when that was usually the hardest puzzle of the week.