Toughie 567

Toughie No 567 by Cephas

Nice and easy does it

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This puzzle from Cephas was at the lower end of Toughie difficulty, so why not give it a go?

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    Out cold, come to as arranged (8)
{COMATOSE} – a word meaning out cold or unconscious is an anagram (arranged) of COME TO AS

5a    That which provided speculation? (4,2)
{WHAT IF} – a word meaning “that which” is followed by a word meaning provided to give a short phrase indicating speculation by suggesting a scenario

10a    One unwittingly suffers from it (4,2,9)
{LACK OF KNOWLEDGE} – someone who is uneducated suffers from this

11a    Pot smoker? (7)
{CHIMNEY} – a cryptic definition of a vertical pipe which conducts smoke and combustion gases up from a fire

12a    Did the rounds — Pa went missing and did some fishing (7)
{TROLLED} – take a word meaning did the rounds, as a security guard perhaps, and drop (went missing) the initial PA to get a word meaning did some fishing with a spinning bait

13a    Be said to be made to order (7)
{BESPOKE} – a charade of BE and a verb meaning said gives an adjective meaning made to order or specially tailored

15a    Blunder mismatches some skin (6)
{DERMIS} – hidden inside (some) the first two words of the clue is the true skin

19a    High-spirited lad is hard on pencils (6)
{BOYISH} – an adjective meaning high-spirited is a charade of a lad, IS and H (hard on pencils)

20a    So I might take one over the eight? That would be daft (7)
{ASININE} – a charade of a synonym for so, I and the number which is one over the eight gives an adjective meaning daft

23a    Account for former wife getting even (7)
{EXPLAIN} – a verb meaning to “account for” or “illustrate the meaning of” is a charade of a former wife and a word meaning even or flat

25a    One French flute played outside in musical (7)
{TUNEFUL} – put the French for one inside an anagram (played) of FLUTE to gt an adjective meaning musical

27a    Agile kid ran with haul, about to crack up (5,4,1,5)
{LAUGH LIKE A DRAIN} – an anagram (about) of AGILE KID RAN with HAUL gives a phrase meaning to crack up, as in tp find very amusing

28a    Employment department’s plan to find position (6)
{DEPLOY} – a charade of the Department of Employment and a plan gives a word meaning to take up a strategic position

29a    Set sail from bay in eastern sea (8)
{EMBARKED} – to get a verb meaning set sail put to bay, like a dog, inside E(astern) and the abbreviation of a famous sea


1d    State one’s business — it’s material (6)
{CALICO} – the abbreviation for a US state (three letters – not its zip code!) is followed by I (one) and a short word for a business gives a cotton cloth

2d    Can go round ravine taking right working parts (9)
{MACHINERY} – put an auxiliary verb meaning can around a ravine (like those on the Isle of Wight) and R(ight) to get working parts

3d    Northern god’s anterior point (5)
{THORN} – N(orthern) is preceded by (anterior) the Scandinavian god of thunder to get a point

4d    Dish from southern Britain and two from Rome embracing Asian beast (8)
{SUKIYAKI} – this Japanese dish of sliced meat fried rapidly with vegetables and sauce is built up from S(outhern), the abbreviation for a country often mistakenly confused with Britain and the Roman numerals for two (two from Rome ) placed around (embracing) an Asian wild ox – many setters don’t seem to appreciate that Northern Ireland is not part of Britain!

6d    Hail even masks start of wild night of pranks (9)
{HALLOWEEN} – a greeting and the poetic version of even are separated by W (start of wild) to get a night of pranks

7d    Having ups and downs in liquidity (5)
{TIDAL} – a cryptic definition of an adjective describing the rise and fall of the sea

8d    Pal losing rag initially — his indisposition is extremely unpleasant (8)
{FIENDISH} – start with a pal or mate (6), drop the R (losing Rag initially) and add an anagram (indisposition) of HIS to get an adjective meaning extremely unpleasant

9d    Speaking part (5)
{MOUTH} – a faintly cryptic definition of the part of the body used for speaking

14d    Nut disintegrates as I chop it (9)
{PISTACHIO} – this nut is an anagram (disintegrates) of AS I CHOP IT

16d    Noble cabby (3,2,4)
{MAN OF RANK} – this nobleman could describe a cabby awaiting hire – a question mark might have helped here!

17d    Beadle is struggling having been let down (8)
{ABSEILED} – an anagram (struggling) of BEADLE IS gives a verb meaning let oneself down a rock face using a double rope

18d    Mother is over the line (8)
{ISOTHERM} – an anagram (over) of MOTHER IS gives the contour line of showing equal temperature

21d    A bed in France may be gloomy (5)
{UNLIT} – the French for “a” (2) and “bed” (3) are combined to give a word meaning gloomy

22d    Individual enthralled by disc being copied (6)
{CLONED} – put a word meaning individual (4) inside (enthralled) a Compact Disc to get a word meaning copied

24d    Drop round (5)
{PLUMP} – a double definition – to drop into liquid and round or chubby

26d    Man going up, lady coming down (5)
{NADIA} – reverse a man’s name to get a lady’s name – I bet you didn’t get that one without some checking letters!

By the time you read this I will be on my way to London for the Sloggers & Betters meeting – I hope to see some of you there.



  1. BigBoab
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Not the toughest toughie we’ve ever had but I quite enjoyed most of it. I have never heard the expression at 27a but got the anagram, other than that I found it fairly standard. Thanks to Cephas and to BD for the review.

  2. gnomethang
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I liked 1a and 27s best in this. Whilst not the hardest Toughie it was still enjoyable to solve. Thanks to Cephas and to BD. Hope to catch you later.

  3. Posted May 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Not really a Toughie but very enjoyable.

    • Wayne
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Tough enough for me thanx Brian. See comment on * 11.

  4. Prolixic
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    A nice gentle start to the Toughie week. Many thanks to Cephas for an enjoyable crossword and to BD for the notes.

    Hope to see some of you in the Ship and Shovell later on today.

  5. Qix
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant puzzle with some good clues.

    More back-page than Toughie in terms of difficulty, but still good.

    Thanks to Cephas, and to BD for the blog.

  6. pommers
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    A second pleasant puzle today so thanks to Cephas and BD.

  7. andy
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Adding to the general concensus, not too difficult but no less enjoyable all the same. Did wonder about 9d, It was one of those which I put in, then eagerly awaited the hints to see if I had missed a subtle something. Thanks to Cephas and BD

  8. davelawes
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Very gentle start to the week – nevertheless a neat and enjoyable solve . Thanks .

  9. AnnB
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes agree with all above ,but still an enjoyable solve.
    Thankns to all

  10. Bruce
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Not desperately difficult but for some reason 9d really narked me!!. Otherwise quite good fun.

  11. Wayne
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Followed the advice given on the cryptic blog and the toughie a go. Completed successfully for the ist time. Oh, if only they were all as straight forward as this one.

    • Wayne
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Ooops, should have said “gave the toughie a go”

    • pommers
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Hi Wayne, as I said, a great one to break a ‘Toughie Duck’ (that sounds like something you might get in our local Chinese, which, until I find one worse, I will continue to describe as the worst Chinese in Spain!).

  12. Mike in Amble
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Proudly announced to the wife that I’d finished the Toughie without help. :) “must have been easy then!!” Looking at the earlier comments she was right I guess. :( Nevertheless very enjoyable. Thanks setter and BD

  13. JB
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Just romped through this and enjoyed it as I went.

    The cryptic was a different matter. i did it but, like Gazza said “My greatest difficulty was in working out how some of the answers matched the definitions”. If he had that problem what chance have the rest of us?

    I expect tomorrow will be a different story.

    • gazza
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Tomorrow’s Toughie is by Micawber, so it’s one not to be missed !

      • Qix
        Posted May 24, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink


        Micawber Toughies are worth waiting for.

      • Franco
        Posted May 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        Gazza, you seem to enjoy Micawber! I’ve just looked back in the annals – you have given this setter 5* entertainment for his last 3 puzzles. Are you related?

        • gazza
          Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          You’re comment needed to be moderated because your email address differed in one letter. I’ve now amended it back to your usual one.
          No, I’m not related to Micawber but he is my favourite Toughie setter and he now seems to appear regularly on Wednesdays which is my Toughie blogging day.

        • Qix
          Posted May 24, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

          I defy anyone who enjoys good crosswords not to like Micawber.

          Check out this one from the end of last year if you need convincing.

          • andy
            Posted May 25, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

            That was one of the crossword highlights of the year for me, stunning.

  14. charlie
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Cephas & BD. Can’t have been too tough as I managed to finish it!

    • gazza
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Hi charlie – welcome to the blog.

  15. Nick
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m in agreement with the general opinion here, which is not always the case…

    Quite straightfoward, but also quite enjoyable. Thanks to Cephas and BD.

    I liked 27a best.