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Toughie 737

Toughie No 737 by Warbler

Beehives and Pompadours!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Bufo is taking a sabbatical this week, so Digby has done my back-page review and I have taken over the responsibility for the Toughie review.

It doesn’t take long to realise that there is a theme in today’s puzzle. Fortunately 23 across, the key to the theme, is a straightforward anagram and that makes the whole puzzle relatively easy.

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    Gosh! Game point may be subject to bribes (7)
{CORRUPT} – a charade of an exclamation similar to gosh! and the abbreviations of a team sport and point gives an adjective meaning subject to bribes

8a    Boasted appealing short 23 (7)
{CREWCUT} – a charade of a verb meaning boasted and an adjective meaning appealing from which the final E has been dropped (short) gives a (short) 23 across

10a    Managed terminals in court’s boundaries (9)
{TRAMLINES} – an anagram (managed) of TERMINALS gives the boundaries of a tennis court

11a    Violin is intrinsically dramatic (5)
{AMATI} – this violin is one of those made by a famous Italian family and is hidden inside the final word of the clue

12a    Earl’s wearing gold-coloured waistcoat (5)
{GILET} – put E(arl) inside (wearing) an adjective meaning gold-coloured to get a light sleeveless padded waistcoat

13a    Republican American’s bribe starts only hope in Leningrad. He admires things Soviet (9)
{RUSSOPHIL} – string together R(epublican), an abbreviation for American, a bribe and the initial letters (starts only) of the next three words to get someone who admires the culture, language, political system, etc. of the former Soviet Union

15a    Accumulates assortment of UK pedal cars (5,2)
{RACKS UP} – this phrasal verb meaning accumulates is an anagram (assortment) of UK, the abbreviation of the foot-operated pedal on a musical instrument and CARS

17a    Quiet, reformed yob harbours mature 23 (7)
{PAGEBOY} – the abbreviation of the musical term for quiet and an anagram (reformed) of YOB are placed around (harbours) a verb meaning to mature to get another 23 across

18a    Losing heart senoritas act wildly — playing these? (9)
{CASTANETS} – an anagram (wildly) of SEN(ori)TAS without the middle three letters (losing heart) and ACT gives something the senoritas might be playing

20a    Empty net (5)
{CLEAR} – a double definition – to empty and net of deductions

21a    Fasten back a climber (5)
{LIANA} – reverse (back) a verb meaning to fasten with a steel pin and add the A from the clue to get a climbing plant

23a    Try Sheila’s unusual arrangement of locks (9)
{HAIRSTYLE} – an easily spotted anagram (unusual) of TRY SHEILA gives an arrangement of locks or tresses

24a    A marine tracking beam that capsizes destroyer’s bow and mast (7)
{YARDARM} – A from the clue and the abbreviation for a marine follow (tracking) a beam that has been reversed (capsizes – more usually used in a down clue) and the initial letter (bow) of Destroyer’s to get a mast, or more accurately the tapering outer extremity of a long beam on a mast

25a    Husband gets antique — a fifty-litre receptacle (7)
{HOLDALL} – a charade of H(usband), an adjective meaning antique, the Roman numeral for fifty and L(itre) gives a receptacle for carrying clothes


1d    Reportedly physicians have studied Latin inside 23 (10)
{DREADLOCKS} – put what sounds like (reportedly) a slang word for some physicians around (have … inside) a verb meaning studied and L(atin) to get the next 23 across

2d    Scottish promontory and French 23 (6)
{MULLET} – a Scottish word for a promontory like Kintyre is followed by the French for and to get a much-maligned 23 across that is short at the front, long at the back, and ridiculous all round [thanks to Myops for reminding me of the definition given in Chambers]

3d    Catching cold, prone to off-colour 23 (4,4)
{ETON CROP} – put C(old) inside (catching) an anagram (off-colour) of PRONE TO for another thematic answers

4d    Represents criminal 18, bypassing web (4,2)
{ACTS AS} – a phrasal verb meaning represents is an anagram (criminal) of 18 across after dropping (bypassing) the world wide web

5d    Understand nearly everything about government and manage well (3,5)
{GET ALONG} – a charade of a verb meaning to understand, most of (nearly) a word meaning everything, a word meaning about or concerning and G(overnment) gives a phrasal verb meaning to manage well

6d    Rocky coast loses last of stratous area of cloud (4)
{OCTA} – an anagram (rocky) of COA(S)T without (loses) the final (last) letter of stratouS gives a unit equal to one-eighth of the sky area, used in specifying cloud cover for airfield weather condition reports (area of cloud)

7d    Without question spiteful woman, say, by word of mouth, encapsulates vice intrinsically (13)
{CATEGORICALLY} – to get this adverb meaning without question or absolutely start with a spiteful woman (3) then add the abbreviation of the Latin for say or “for example” and an adjective meaning by word of mouth, the last part being placed around (encapsulates) the middle letters (intrinsically) of vICe

9d    In translation a bold literary test of endurance (5,2,6)
{TRIAL BY ORDEAL} – an anagram (in translation) of A BOLD LITERARY gives a test of endurance

14d    Time period whereby era is transformed (6,4)
{HEBREW YEAR} – this period of time of 12 or 13 months each of 29 or 30 days is an anagram (is transformed) of WHEREBY ERA

16d    Boozer’s acting style leading to depression (8)
{SOAKAWAY} – a charade of a boozer (the drinker, not the place), A(cting) and a style gives a depression into which water percolates

17d    In Germany I will take part in bygone European imitative work (8)
{PASTICHE} – put the word for I in Germany inside (take part in) an adjective meaning bygone and E(uropean) to get this imitative work

19d    Bring up again nasty smell in river (6)
{EXHUME} – a verb meaning to bring up again a previously buried body is created by putting a nasty smell inside a river in Devon

20d    Barbara or Roy move on board (6)
{CASTLE} – the surname of former politician Barbara or former entertainer Roy is also a move involving the king and the rook on the chessboard

22d    Demoting leader in Portuguese city results in 23 (4)
{AFRO} – drop by one position (demoting in a down clue) the initial letter (leader) of a Portuguese city to get our final 23 across

This was good fun to solve, but not particularly tough.

My favourite video related to today’s theme!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16 comments on “Toughie 737

  1. Good fun and not taxing – A case of hair today and gone tomorrow perhaps? Certainly not a Toughie that I had to put to one side to mullet over and cogitate.

    With thanks to Warbler for the entertainment and to BD for the review.

  2. I enjoyed this one. Nothing tricky today, although I had to think about the anagram fodder in 15a (P-Pedal, as I discovered in Chambers).
    Thanks to Warbler, and to BD.

  3. A most enjoyable themed Thursday Toughie – I enjoyed the crossword very much and was then further entertained by our friend Prolixic who sent me pun-filled emails similar to those prize-winning puns in his comment above. He forgot to mention that he ‘wasn’t too disTRESSed by the time he got to Waterloo :D

    A big thank you to Warbler especially, and to BD and Prolixic too.

    The sun is shining the sky is blue (for the first time this week the heavy cold mist has gone) so I am off home to enjoy the weather while it lasts.

  4. Straightforward entertaining puzzle today, favourites 1d and 16d thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the comments.

  5. After reading the comments of the bloggers,and the general concensus that today’s offering was ‘not tricky’decided to have a go.I gave it ***/****as i struggled on some clues but got there in the end,luckily solved 23a early on, which was the key to success. Only try the ‘hard ‘toughies when i’ve got lots of time and no work to do-usually weekends! Anyway all seemed to enjoy it-cheers.

    1. Don’t forget that Toughies are not assessed by the same criteria as pack-page puzzles. This would probably have crept into 3* difficulty there.

  6. A little taxing for a newcom(b)er but it only took the time it takes for a wash & blowdry – and without assistance. Now off to pack for a weekend solving the clues of the geological puzzles of the Charnwood Forest.

  7. A most amusing and interesting puzzle. 2 was a new one for me and I am not sure if 13 was spelt correctly. So many good clues of which I think 1d was the best. Many thanks to Warbler.

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