Toughie 498 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 498

Toughie No 498 by Shamus


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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This puzzle from Shamus is very pleasant, but lacks the usual teeth of a Friday Toughie. Although a few of the constructs are a little harder than those found in a regular cryptic, this should be within the scope of the average solver.

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.


8a    Idle sort representing US university endlessly? (8)
{LAYABOUT} – if you split this idle sort as (3,5) it becomes an instruction to reverse the first three letters, giving a US university without its final letter (endlessly)

9a    Course of action followed by a new Asian (6)
{PATHAN} – a course of action is followed by A N(ew) to give a people from Afghanistan and north-west Pakistan

10a    Exercise taking place in museum (3)
{USE} – a word meaning to exercise or operate is hidden inside the final word of the clue

11a    Advance good Greek character, academic authority (3,5)
{GET AHEAD} – to advance or make progress is a charade of G(ood), the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet and an academic authority or principal

12a    Old artist getting praise in church (6)
{CLAUDE} – this artist was known by his first name – put a word meaning to praise inside the Church of England – I did consider Monet, but he is usually known by is surname.  Confused? Click on the picture below:

13a    Indignities a law contrived for figures in court? (6-2-7)
{LADIES-IN-WAITING} – an anagram (contrived) of INDIGNITIES A LAW gives these figures in the Royal Court – last seen as recently as DT 26447!

15a    Load getting scare around back of bonfire (7)
{FREIGHT} – this load or cargo is created by putting a scare around E (back of bonfirE)

18a    One backing odds regarding very good racehorse initially (7)
{SPONSOR} – this person who supports or finances is a charade of betting odds, regarding, very good and R(acehorse)

21a    Possible summary of teetotaller’s position contrary to natural inclination? (7,3,5)
{AGAINST THE GRAIN} – this could be a summary of a teetotaller’s position regarding whisky, but is actually a phrase meaning contrary to one’s natural inclination

24a    God taken to heart by slavish nuns (6)
{VISHNU} – this Hindu god is hidden inside the last two words of the clue

25a    Passage around opening of drama I have abridged? It could provide colour (8)
{ADDITIVE} – put a passage into a mine around the first letter (opening) of Drama and follow it with the abridged form of I have to give something that could provide colour

26a    Single infantry soldier removing coat (3)
{RUN} – a single in cricket is a slang word for an infantry soldier without (removing) G and T , its outside letters (coat)

27a    Already experienced Democrat leading island largely protected by international grouping (4,2)
{DÉJÀ VU) – an originally French word meaning already experienced is built up from D(emocrat) followed by most of (largely) an Indonesian island inside (protected by) an international grouping of which includes the UK

28a    Fool consuming foreign bread I’d rejected — and drink! (3,3,2)
{GIN AND IT} – put a word meaning a fool around (consuming) Indian bread and I’D reversed (rejected) to get an alcoholic drink


1d    European infiltrating drinkers’ group a negative source? (6)
{CAMERA} – put E(uropean) inside (infiltrating) a group of beer drinkers to get this apparatus for recording an image on a light-sensitive medium (negative source)

2d    Fear curtailed in African country? Another one (6)
{MALAWI} – put most of (curtailed) a synonym for fear inside one African country to get another

3d    It could solve rush to get a sure source of synonyms? (6,9)
{ROGET’S THESAURUS) – in this all-in-one clue, an anagram (it could solve) of RUSH TO GET A SURE and S (source of Synonyms) gives a source of synonyms used by crossword solvers

4d    One in form maybe in showy performance getting hold of pair of deliveries (7)
{STUDENT} – someone at school in a form is created by putting a showy performance around (getting hold of) the first two letters (pair of) DE(liveries)

5d    Constable in van restricting parking making one-sided argument (7,8)
{SPECIAL PLEADING} – put a person who is trained to act as a police officer on particular occasions and a word meaning van or front around (restricting) P(arking) to get a one-sided argument aiming rather at victory than at truth

6d    Characteristic found in foreign money put into difficulties (8)
{STRAITEN} – put a characteristic or distinguishing feature inside (found in) a small unit of currency from south-east Asia to get a word meaning to distress or put into difficulties

7d    Steps made by supporter before game to retain on reflection basic material? (8)
{FANDANGO} – an old Spanish dance (steps) is derived by putting a supporter of a sport or hobby and a Japanese board game of territorial possession and capture around (to retain) a self-replicating material which is present in nearly all living organisms (basic material)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d    Outstanding chaperone (not half) (3)
{DUE} – a word meaning outstanding or owing is created by dropping the second half of a lady who chaperones a younger lady

16d    Island captured by unpredictable grandee won back (8)
{REGAINED} – put I(sland) inside (captured by) an anagram (unpredictable) of GRANDEE to get a verb meaning won back

17d    Joyce, perhaps, is introduced to queen in ME country (8)
{IRISHMAN} – James Joyce is one – put IS and the title of the Queen inside a country in the Middle East

19d    A lot of unwanted junk mail in resort (3)
{SPA} – most of a word for unwanted junk mail gives a resort

20d    A gent’s drunk imbibing last of spritzer and rum (7)
{STRANGE} – put an anagram (drunk) of A GENT’S around (imbibing) R (last of spritzeR) to get a word meaning rum or peculiar

22d    Dish good to move to the end for assessment (6)
{RATING} – take a dish containing cheese and move the G(ood) from the beginning to the end to get an assessment

23d    Popular humour by the sound of it with no purpose (2,4)
{IN VAIN} – a charade of popular and a word that sounds like vein (humour / mood) to get a phrase meaning with no purpose

I doubt that Shamus expected that this would be published on a Friday – if he had I’m sure he would have given it the teeth that it lacks. Tomorrow’s NTSPP should be a bit harder than this!

16 comments on “Toughie 498

  1. Very gentle stuff for a Friday Toughie but very enjoyable all the same. Thanks to Shamus and BD. Will go and rest the grey matter ready for tomorrow’s NTSPP!!

  2. I think I’m about to find out what the CC went through yesterday with all the Grumpies (including me) complaing the crossword was too easy/poor when they were simply pleased to have completed it.
    I’ve completed Toughies 2 days in succession for the very first time but I bet you’re all going to say they are hardly Toughies!
    No pas nada – lo me gustan!

    1. Oops – manners!
      Thanks very much Shamus. Really enjoyed this one.
      Thanks for the (for once not needed) hints BD.

  3. No, this wasn’t the hardest ever but still a good crossword with some nice clues. I enjoyed it and expect others will too.

    Thanks to Shamus for the entertainmment and to BD for the notes.

  4. I would concur – perfect for a Tue/Wed but I think we are all used to getting something pretty stiff on a Friday.
    Still enjoyable though – thanks to BD and to Shamus

  5. Not the toughest but good honest cluing and plenty of clues to get you thinking. This week seems to have bucked the trend with the Toughies getting progressively easier as the days ticked by.

    Many thanks to Shamus for the crossword and to BD for the review.

  6. Well I have to admit this was beyond me, have finished it with the blog but it will have to be a lot easier before I can claim a toughie!

    1. Well done! I told you it was accessible and a very well constructed puzzle. Oh that all Toughies were similar – unfortunately not ( unless you really like a challenge)!
      Keep trying, it’s only about 6 months since I completed a Toughie and now I’ve done 2 in a row (OK not the toughest Toughies but who cares!)!

      Happy solving!


  7. Getting 3 of the 4 long ones (5d is a new expression to me) certainly helped. After the week I’ve had I appreciated a milder Toughie, and now look forward to a pleasant weekend. Hope BD has pulled out of his Sir Grumpy dive, and thanks to him & Shamus.

  8. As has already been said, not too tricky for a Friday, but pleasant nevertheless.
    28a puzzled me for a while – I always thought the bread had an additional ‘a’.
    Thanks to Shamus, and to BD.

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