Toughie 543 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 543

Toughie No 543 by Cephas

Nice ‘N Easy does it!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

This puzzle from Cephas could easily have been a Saturday prize crossword. I’m sure the rest of the week will be more difficult.

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    Second pun — could one be foiled by it? (9)
{SWORDPLAY} – a charade of S(econd) and a word, familiar to readers of this blog, that means a pun gives an activity that could involve using a foil

9a    Posh Colin’s turn to get straight (6)
{UNCOIL} – the usual one-letter abbreviation for posh is followed by an anagram (turn) of COLIN to get a verb meaning to straighten

10a    Intoxication from tiny beer I ordered! (9)
{INEBRIETY} – a word meaning intoxication or drunkenness is an anagram (ordered) of TINY BEER I

11a    Refuse to talk about said meat at university (4,2)
{CLAM UP} – a phrasal verb meaning to refuse to talk is a charade of the single-letter abbreviation for about, a homophone (said) of a type of meat and a word meaning at university

12a    Relentless assassin (3-6)
{CUT-THROAT} – a double definition – an adjective meaning relentless and an assassin

13a    Exchange one to be replaced by a sample (6)
{SWATCH} – take a word meaning to exchange and replace the I (one) with an A to get a sample of cloth

17a    Old craft floating home (3)
{ARK} – this old craft was Noah’s floating home during the flood

19a    Where one may go could be determined by accident (9,6)
{AMBULANCE DRIVER} – a gently cryptic definition – this paramedic attends the scene of an accident

20a    Not drinking this wine perhaps (3)
{DRY} – a double definition – how someone who is not drinking alcohol is described and a wine classification

21a    After end of term, one place setting (6)
{MILIEU} – a charade of the last letter of terM, I (one) and a place gives a setting or environment

25a    Statement’s invalid if David’s fat son and daughter abscond (9)
{AFFIDAVIT} – this written statement, confirmed by oath, is used as evidence in court – it’s an anagram (invalid) of IF DAVI(D’S) FAT after S(on) and D(aughter) have been removed (absconded)

26a    Mare maybe followed by a third horse, dead worried (6)
{NAGGED} – start with a horse, especially one that is old or in poor health, and add one third of a child’s word for a horse and D(ead) to get a verb meaning worried or pestered

27a    One caring about lack of education (9)
{IGNORANCE} – an anagram (about) of ONE CARING gives a word meaning a lack of education or knowledge

28a    Offer formerly a few old pence (6)
{EXTEND} – a verb meaning to offer or grant is built from a prefix meaning former, a small number and the abbreviation for old pence

29a    Thwarted by awful crookedness not going to extremes (9)
{SNOOKERED} – a verb meaning thwarted is an anagram (awful) of (C)ROOKEDNES(S) without the outside letters (not going to extremes)


2d    Close company (4,2)
{WIND UP} – this is a not-very-cryptic definition of a phrasal verb meaning to close a company

3d    Discount variable base rate, not so (6)
{REBATE} – this discount is an anagram (variable) of B(AS)E RATE without AS (so)

4d    In preference it’s not included at church (6)
{PRIORY} – start with a word meaning a preference and drop IT (IT’s not included) to get a convent of monks or nuns (church)

5d    One needs to set one’s sights high when using it (4-8,3)
{ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN} – a cryptic definition of a weapon used against hostile planes

6d    Bait male? Wrong, wrong! (9)
{ANGLEWORM} – this bait used by rod fishermen is an anagram (wrong) of MALE WRONG

7d    Moulding style of presentation I have followed (9)
{FORMATIVE} – an adjective meaning moulding or determining is a charade of a style of presentation followed by the abbreviation of “I have”

8d    Turn over map to find pad (4,5)
{FLIP CHART} – a charade of to turn over and a map gives a pad on which information can be displayed in sequence during a presentation

14d    Bet about magistrate taking on belligerent person (9)
{WARMONGER} – place a bet around the abbreviation for a Resident Magistrate and ON to get a belligerent person

15d    They are compulsory for the players (9)
{OBBLIGATI} – a cryptic definition of pieces of music that must be played

16d    Gloomy reply about first person in Rouen’s clothing (4,5)
{BLUE JEANS} – put a synonym for gloomy and an abbreviation for a reply around the French (in Rouen) first person singular clothing

17d    Bandit held moreover (3)
{AND} – the first word in the clue contains (held) a word meaning moreover or furthermore

18d    Opener of vital performance (3)
{KEY} – a double definition – a noun meaning something that opens a door and an adjective meaning of vital performance

22d    Robe on round lady first (6)
{KIMONO} – this traditional Japanese loose robe with wide sleeves is derived from ON and a round-shaped letter preceded by a lady’s name

23d    Motor home (6)
{GARAGE} – a home for a motor car

24d    Crowd round (6)
{CIRCLE} – a double definition – to crowd or surround and a round or band

The now-traditional easy start to the Toughie week.

I nearly forgot to add that this is one of those cornery grids, but as it was so easy it didn’t matter this time!

20 comments on “Toughie 543

  1. As you say, a very easy start to the Toughie week indeed – thanks to Cephas and to BD for the hints and pics.

  2. And there was me thinking I’d finally got the hang of the “Toughie” when you then tell me it ‘s more suited to a Saturday back pager! I feel slightly deflated but I do recognise that my hubris will lead to nemesis eventually…thanks to Cephas & to BD – I enjoyed it anyway

    1. Spindrift, my sentiments exactly – whenever I manage to complete a Toughie it’s never a Toughie.

      Still unsure of the swordplay in 26a – what is the child’s word for a horse? (also there’s a typo in the review for said clue)

      1. The typo has been corrected, my clumsy use of HTML has also been corrected….and I now know how to divide “Gee-Gee” by 3. Thanks! :oops:

        1. Franco – I meant to say thanks earlier for pointing out the typo. I presume I guessed correctly that only the S was meant to be struck out?

          1. BD. You guessed correctly. Only the “S” was supposed to be struck out (re: 1a) . Oh well – no-one likes a smart-arse!! In future, I must try to write a sensible comment before indulging in Real Ale – or is that a different puzzle?

  3. Thanks to Cephas for the gentle starter, and to BD for the notes (which showed my error for 15d – I had an ‘o’ as the final letter, which presumably would be either an adjective, or singular noun).

  4. It was probably blog fatigue but I made heavy work of the NW corner before it fell to a succession of D’Ohs.
    Thanks to Cephas and to BD.

  5. Indeed the gentlest of starts. Nothing that really caught my eye.

    Pleasant diversion! Thanks to Big Peter and Dave!

  6. A nice start to the week IMO. Agree not too hard but enjoyable.
    Unlike Gnomey it was the SW corner that held me up longest, but that’s probably mother-in-law fatigue! At least her fight was on time and she’s just phoned from the UK to say she’s home. Situation back to normal now for 18hrs until we fly to the UK tomorrow (not to visit the MiL!!!!!!!).
    Thanks to Cephas and BD.

  7. Pommers
    As a matter of interest who had you arranged for the MIL to fight? Sounds a tad Freudian to me…

  8. Well if that was considered easy, it’s no wonder I can’t do the hard ones!!!!!! Have finished, but not without help (thanks BD). Realise lateral thinking is not enough – it has to be tri-lateral, I think, at the very least. Will keep plodding on though.

  9. Enjoyable puzzle, and very accessible for a Toughie.

    I had “chaser” as the second word in 19A at first; perhaps I’ve done too many drink-related crosswords recently.

    Thanks to Cephas and BD.

  10. Not much to add except my thanks to Cephas for easing us into the Toughie week. Like Gnomethang, I found the NW corner the trickiest part of the crossword. In part this was down to the nature of the grid which was four mini-crosswords joined in the centre.

    No particular favourites today – just some nice entertainment for the daily commute.

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