Toughie 545 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 545

Toughie No 545 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A typical puzzle from Kcit, perfectly fair and nothing very obscure.

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1a    Avoiding nothing, put paid to damp, fine rain (6,4)
{SCOTCH MIST} A word meaning “put paid to” is followed by a word meaning “damp” with an O (nothing) removed. This gives you fine rain

6a    Gold extracted from swamp in quantity (4)
{MASS} Remove (extract) OR (gold) from a swamp to get quantity

9a    According to monarch, I remain upset about a King’s dog (10)
{WEIMARANER} “According to monarch, I” is followed by an anagram (upset) of remain containing A + R (king) to give a breed of grey short-haired gun dogs

10a    Italian hothead only somewhat sweet-natured (4)
{ETNA} An “Italian hothead” is hidden in sweET-NAtured

12a    Tarnished jewel girl returned in relationship with wicked don (5,7)
{BLOOD DIAMOND} The tarnished jewel is one that is mined in a war zone and sold to fund a military campaign. It is formed from a reversal (returned) of a girl inside “relationship” and an anagram (wicked) of DON

15a    Hang about — it may be found in arcane lore (6)
{LOITER} IT goes in an anagram (arcane) of LORE to give “hang about”

16a    Endure job for what you get at the end of the day (4,4)
{LAST POST} “To endure” + “job” gives a bugle call denoting the time for retiring for the night

18a    Person imposed on is grounded, sadly (8)
{UNDERDOG} An anagram (sadly) of GROUNDED gives a person dominated, or being or likely to be beaten, by another

19a    Description of gland — long? Entirely lacking length (6)
{PINEAL} “To long” + “entirely” with a letter L (length) removed gives a word relating to an endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain

21a    Getting language wrong, a la Rev. Spooner? It makes you twitch (4-8)
{BIRD-WATCHING} Twitching (spotting as many species as possible) can be spoonerised to appear to be getting language wrong. (Is there a word “to spoonerise”?)

24a    No opening for comic turn (4)
{ROLL} Remove the first letter from a word meaning comic (amusing) to get turn

25a    Shock and endless worry about rear of the railway wagon (7-3)
{FREIGHT-CAR} A railway wagon in the US is derived from E (rear of the) inside a shock + worry with the last letter removed

26a    Wolves, say, bite a man? Not totally (4)
{TEAM} Wolverhampton Wanderers are an example of what is hidden in biTE A Man

27a    The costs of a trip here will be punitive (7,3)
{PENALTY BOX} A cryptic definition for that part of a soccer pitch where you get punished heavily for tripping an opponent


1d    Saying name should be cut (4)
{SAWN} A saying + N (name) gives “cut”

2d    Nothing had an effect in passing comments? (4)
{OBIT} Comments made after someone has passed away are formed from O (nothing) + “had an effect”

3d    Character in cartoon, daily story, like one in The Sun? (7,5)
{CHARLIE BROWN} A cartoon example of “the great American un-success story” is given by a daily (cleaner) + a story (untruth) + the colour you might turn when sunbathing

4d    Business occupying a lot of stable area and pasture (6)
{MEADOW} Business (bother) goes inside a street or yard of stabling with the last letter removed

5d    Writer travelling in Shetland? (8)
{STENDHAL} The surname of a French writer(1783-1842) is an anagram (travelling) of SHETLAND

7d    Go to work with star-lore? I might (10)
{ASTROLOGER} An anagram (work) of GO with STAR-LORE gives someone who studies the influence of stars

8d    Inability to move or tolerate whisky supplier (10)
{STANDSTILL} An inability to move is given from “tolerate” + a piece of equipment used to make whisky

11d    Some released this on a horse initially? No, finally (8,4)
{PARTHIAN SHOT} Some + an anagram (released) of THIS ON A H (first letter of horse) gives an ancient military tactic in which archers, mounted on light horse, would feign retreat. Then, while at full gallop, they would turn their bodies back to shoot at the pursuing enemy

13d    Conservative, very vocal, not working to involve Right in storm (10)
{CLOUDBURST} C (Conservative) + very vocal + not working going round R (right) gives a storm

14d    Panto character recalled in plays (10)
{CINDERELLA} A pantomime character is an anagram (plays) of RECALLED IN

17d    No opportunity to enter church for music at evening (8)
{NOCTURNE} NO + an opportunity inside CE (church) gives a musical composition inspired by, or evocative of, the night

20d    The woman I left’s Australian, as is this one (6)
{SHEILA} The woman + I + L (left) + A (Australian) gives an informal Australian term for a young girl or a woman

22d    Electronic banking system turned up showing evidence of damage (4)
{SCAB} Reverse (turned up) the abbreviation for the Bankers’ Automated Clearing System

23d    A key item in vintage times (4)
{CRUX} A key item (the essential point in a problem) is formed from a vintage (from the French) + X (times)

A pleasant puzzle which is possibly a tad more difficult than some of Kcit’s

35 comments on “Toughie 545

  1. I did enjoy this one. Didn’t take me very long to solve but some nice fun clues. I even thought the Spoonerism one was good and I am not a fan of those clues usually. Thanks to Kcit for a very entertaining start to the day and to Bufo for the explanations.

  2. Nice puzzle.

    I liked the idea behind the spoonerism in 21A, but the first half of the clue seemed to indicate a verb rather than a noun, I thought. Something like, “One getting language wrong…” maybe?

    Other than that, an enjoyable crossword at the accessible end of the Toughie scale.

    1. Oops, mea culpa.

      The clue is actually fine; I was going by the answer in the blog, which is wrong. I’d forgotten what the actual answer was.

    2. surely 21a is watching as the clue needs 8 letters? sure it’s a typo…overall thought this was an ‘easy’ toughie

  3. I’m afraid I have to “buck the trend” as it were, I thought this offering from Kcit a bit back pageish, there was no challenge at all. I’m usually a big fan of Kcit but this just didn’t do it for me. ( Churlish of me to gripe because I could never compose a crossword of any sort. ) Thanks anyhow Kcit, I look forward to your next one, and thanks to Bufo for the review.

  4. Thanks to Kcit for an enjoyable puzzle, and to Bufo for the notes.
    I wonder what we’ll get tomorrow. I don’t think I’ve seen Osmosis for a while…

  5. Pleasantly enjoyable puzzle not too taxing but fair and nothing obscure, favourite for me 3d thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for comments.

  6. Apologies for the mistakes I made in the blog but I had to do it very quickly. I had a train to catch. Well that’s my excuse anyway.

  7. Good toughie, although not as easy as I’d been led to believe by the commentators on the back page.

    I liked the spoonerism, and 27a (last one in, and I love football). 7d also good. No idea about 9a and 11d, had to get lots of letters and crossword buddy to confirm them properly.

    THanks to Kcit and Bufo.


  8. Mant thanks to Kcit for an enjoyable Toughie. Maybe not the hardest for a Thursday but good fun to get your teeth into. Favourite clues were 21a and 3d. Thanks also to Bufo for the review.

  9. That’s 2 Toughies completed this week for me – will there be a third? Ah! Just printed today’s & I think the answer may be no.

      1. 16 IN 20!!! I had 2 after a couple of hours, now about 80% there and am still wrestling. Haven’t spotted any “strange” words so it must just be me having an off day. Perseverate forth.

        1. BD I am the same andy that has been here a few months, I have a new lap top and I messed up typing the e-mail address in which is normally “saved” – can I be reinstated?

            1. It’s still probably messed up I know, but how do I unhise the bar where the e-mail address is written so I can type it correctly?

  10. Re 9ac. I understand ‘we’ being the royal ‘I’, and the anagram of remain, but how can ‘A + R’ mean king? The ‘A’ is surely not necessary

  11. I don’t understand the spoonerism of the answer to 21 ac ,’bird watching’ . is it not ‘word batching’? ‘word’ is language but how is batching a ‘wrong’?
    i presume i am looking at this the wrong way. can you explain it for me just to clear it up for me thanks

    1. Hi Simon – welcome to the blog.
      I think the Spoonerism is meant to be “word botching” (i.e. getting words wrong).

      1. Just so.

        Spoonerisms generally involve transposing sounds rather than spellings, and I thought that this one was rather good.

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