Toughie 569

Toughie No 569 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Bufo

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A pleasant puzzle which I didn’t find very difficult. 14 across, the key to several other clues, was readily solved and after this the puzzle was fairly straightforward.

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.


7a    Father John heads for ecumenical religious conference (7)
{PALAVER} Father + John (toilet) + the first letters (heads) of ecumenical religious gives a conference

8a    Processed last of garlic oils in this Californian valley (7)
{SILICON} An anagram (processed) of C (last letter of garlic) OILS IN gives a word that describes a Californian valley noted for its information technology companies

10a    I get a frame constructed in memory of sight (5-5)
{AFTER-IMAGE} An anagram (constructed) of I GET A FRAME gives something that persists after you’ve looked at an object

11a    Dip for Marie? (4)
{DUNK} A cryptic definition where Marie is a type of plain biscuit that you might dip in your tea

12a    Young 14 storming angrily about end of race (8)
{YEARLING} A 14 that has not yet reached the age of 2 is obtained from an anagram (storming) of ANGRILY round E (last letter of race)

14a    Animal’s one of five discovered in Eastern Spain (6)
{EQUINE} An animal is made up of one of five children born at the same time to the same mother inside E (Eastern) E (Spain)

15a    A mastermind contrived to produce reduction in weapons (11)
{DISARMAMENT} An anagram (contrived) of A MASTERMIND gives a reduction in weapons

19a    Foreign 14 from Birmingham in reserve (6)
{BRUMBY} An Australian wild 14 is got from an informal name for Birmingham + “in reserve”

20a    Removal of smeared stain from novel installations leaves a 14 (8)
{STALLION} An anagram (novel) of INSTALLATIONS after removal of INSTA (smeared stain) gives a male 14

22a    British aircraftsman’s a fool (4)
{BERK} B (British) + RAF slang for an aircraftsman gives a fool

23a    Moneymen, surprisingly, resurrect American society without a hint of corruption (10)
{TREASURERS} People who handle organisations’ funds are an anagram (surprisingly) of RESURRECT A (American) S (society) without the C (first letter of corruption)

25a    Contributing to drinking in Nelson’s back alleys up North (7)
{GINNELS} A Northern England word for alleys is hidden in “drinkinG IN NELSon’s”

26a    Wave runs into vessel (7)
{BREAKER} A wave hitting rocks or the sure is formed from R (runs) inside a drinking vessel


1d    Panic rises involving unknown old 14 (7)
{PALFREY} This one needed some thought because I am not familiar with the answer. A reversal (rises) of “panic” + “involving” + Y (unknown) gives a 14, especially for a lady’s use (in Spenser’s Faerie Queen applied to Una’s ass). WARNING – do not google “Una’s ass” to try and find a picture of it

2d    Injure European 14 (4)
{MARE} Injure + E (European) gives a female 14

3d    Erecting say small sign (6)
{GEMINI} A reversal (erecting) of “say” + “small” gives a sign of the zodiac

4d    Period set — as seen on TV (4,4)
{TIME TEAM} “Period” + “set” gives the name of a Channel 4 archaeological programme

5d    Aerodynamic apparatus with independent chimney (4,6)
{WIND TUNNEL} Apparatus used in aerodynamic investigations is formed from W (with) + an abbreviation for “independent” + a chimney

6d    To drink spiked gin is depressing (7)
{DOWNING} “To drink” + an anagram (spiked) of GIN gives “depressing”

9d    Brag about refurbished steamer? Being in charge he might (11)
{BARGEMASTER} An anagram (about) of BRAG + an anagram (refurbished) of STEAMER gives the proprietor of a freight vessel

13d    Leader pursues distraught airman trying to break drought (10)
{RAINMAKING} A leader follows an anagram (distraught) of AIRMAN to give “trying to break drought”

16d    When at first you became a thief? It’s a medical condition (8)
{ASYSTOLE} “When” + Y (first letter of you” + “became a thief” gives the inability of the heart to pump out blood

17d    Cerasin treated as poison (7)
{ARSENIC} An anagram (treated) of CERASIN gives a poisonous element

18d    Fast 14. He swears about nothing (7)
{COURSER} A swift 14 is given by someone who swears around O (nothing)

21d    Del Boy’s bird’s under 17 — class! (6)
{ASSORT} A slang term for an attractive woman follows the atomic symbol for 17 to give “to class”. I’m not sure of the significance of Del Boy in this clue {He used the word a lot in “Only Fools and Horses” ! BD]

24d    It’s a short way to the bottom of Wincanton for a dark 14 (4)
{ROAN} A word for a way with the last letter removed + N (last letter of Wincanton) gives a 14 with a bay or dark coat sprinkled with white hairs

There were too many anagrams for my liking but overall it was a nice puzzle



  1. BigBoab
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable enough but too many anagrams, nice theme however. Thanks Warbler and Bufo.

  2. Qix
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Very straightforward puzzle, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. “Father John” in 7a is very good.

  3. JB
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure about 5d. There is a wind “funnel” which surely is more of a chimney?

    • Bufo
      Posted May 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      I must admit that I filled in funnel when I solved the puzzle. But when I wrote the report and thought about it I decided that it had to be tunnel. Tunnel = chimney is given in Chambers

    • Posted May 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      I solved on paper today but having submitted TUNNEL on DT Puzzles it is the correct answer.

  4. davelawes
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Mixed for me – I found most of it fairly straightforward after 14a , but struggled towards the end – still baffled by 21d and needed help with 25a ,19a and 16d – so all in all , not my greatest solve.

  5. Posted May 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    My only hold up was throwing in BAIN at 11a – French for a bath or dip (Marie being a French name or also husband!). Apart from that I spotted the 14a quite quickly and all was well. A straightforward but nicely observed puzzle, I didn’t notice the amount of anagrams at all.
    Thanks to Warbler and to Bufo!.

    • Libellule
      Posted May 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Ditto @ 11a (surprise surprise), but I enjoyed both crosswords today, not the most complicated, but both had very different styles and were good fun,

      • Alan Dawes
        Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink


        Also none to happy with 21d

  6. Jezza
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I got a little bogged down on a couple of the clues, and had to buy some letters online to complete it.
    Thanks to Warbler for the puzzle, and to Bufo for the notes.

  7. pommers
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this but, yep, I fell into the bain trap as well!
    Enjoyed this and it made my first ever hat-trick of Toughies! OK, I know they weren’t that hard this week but 3 in a row does it for me! Bring on an Elgar or Osmosis tomorrow – I’m ready for you guys!
    Thanks to Warbler and Bufo..

    • Jezza
      Posted May 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      …. tomorrow, it’s Notabilis.

      • Posted May 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        He told us on Tuesday night but he wasn’t 100% certain!

      • Posted May 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        Just checked on DT Puzzles and Ooh Goody, it IS Notabilis!

      • pommers
        Posted May 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Ready for him to. ! Famous last words methinks! I’ll no doubt crash and burn!

  8. charlie
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Solved all except 1d. Thanks to Bufo & Warbler.

  9. Nick
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Warbler for an enjoyable crossword and to Bufo for the review.

    Fair clues, too many anagrams (!). 1d new to me, put it through ‘crossword buddy’ …

  10. Prolixic
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to our young filly Warbler for an entertaining crossword. Not quite a steeplechase to solve but enjoyable with a nice theme. Thanks too to Bufo for the review.