Toughie 801 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 801

Toughie No 801 by Warbler

Wot no biscuits?!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Bufo is having a holiday today, so Gazza has helped out by doing the back-page puzzle and I’ve got this delightfully themed one from Warbler. It helps if you solve 10 across quickly.

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    Short not loud 10 (4)
{BRIE} – take a ford for short, drop the F (loud in musical notation) from the end and the result is an answer, thematically defined by 10 across, which comes from France

3a    Compares an unusual 10 (10)
{MASCARPONE} – another anagram (unusual) of COMPARES AN hives a thematic answer from Italy

8a    Division of territory is unable to return 50% (6)
{CANTON} – to get this division of territory take a word meaning is unable to and reverse the last three letters (return 50%)

9a    Greeting with hesitation one 10 (8)
{HALLOUMI} – a charade of a greeting, a word of hesitation and I (one) gives this thematic answer from Cyprus

10a    Child’s pronounced quiet smile — saying this (6)
{CHEESE} – CH(ild) is followed what sounds like (pronounced) quiet or relaxation to get what one says while smiling for the camera

11a    Dressing first of littlies in knitted bootees is old hat (8)
{OBSOLETE} – insert (dressing) the initial letter (first) of Littlies inside an anagram (knitted) of BOOTEES to get a word meaning old hat or out of fashion

12a    They enlighten worshippers downgrading God (8)
{EDIFIERS} – these people who enlighten come from some worshippers after the D (Deus / God) has been downgraded or moved along

14a    Some hips wobble when back is bent (4)
{BOWS} – hidden (some) and reversed (when back) inside the clue is a word meaning is bent

16a    Force English volunteers into 10 (4)
{FETA} – a charade of F(orce), E(nglish) and some military volunteers gives this thematic answer from Greece

18a    Henry, with money at last, equips new build (8)
{PHYSIQUE} – put H (the abbreviation for the Henry, SI unit of conductance) and the final letter (at last) of moneY inside an anagram (new) of EQUIPS to get build or figure

19a    Primate’s endless desire to swallow a beer say (5,3)
{GREAT APE} – to get this primate put most of (endless) a desire to consume too much around (to swallow) A and a type of (say) beer served straight from the barrel

20a    Guarantee runs out in middle of week (6)
{ENSURE} – this verb meaning to guarantee is derived from an anagram (out) of RUNS inside the internal letters (middle) of wEEk

21a    In Paris one location surrounding most of its island is pristine (8)
{UNSPOILT} – the French (in Paris) for one is followed by a location around (surrounding) most of the French for island to get an adjective meaning pristine

22a    Bovine delouser unknown in old time (2-4)
{OX-BIRD} – to get this bovine delouser put a mathematical unknown inside O(ld) and some time in prison

23a    Noble artist becomes involved in stoic art movement (10)
{ARISTOCRAT} – to get this person of noble birth put the usual artist inside (involved in) an anagram (movement) of STOIC ART

24a    Eastern block 10 (4)
{EDAM} – E(astern) followed by a verb meaning to block gives this thematic answer from Holland


1d    Encourage search to create bouffant look (4-4)
{BACK-COMB] – a charade of a verbs meaning to encourage and to search gives a way of creating a bouffant hairstyle

2d    One has gone too far if one reaches these (8)
{EXTREMES} – a cryptic definition of these utmost points

3d    Brother sits on top of yob! Is he behaving like a 19A? (9)
{MONKEYISH} – a brother in a monastery is followed by (sits on in a down clue) an anagram (behaving) of the initial letter (top) of Yob and IS HE gives an adjective meaning like a 19 across

4d    Train revolutionary European conscript — leaving college, one may write about class struggles (6,9)
{SCHOOL INSPECTOR} – a verb meaning to train is followed by an anagram (evolutionary) of E(uropean) CONS(C)RIPT) without (leaving) one of the C(ollege)s to get someone who may write about struggles in classrooms

5d    Run out lines of new style corsets (4-3)
{ROLL-ONS} – one for the girls! – the abbreviation of Run Out is followed by a couple of L(ine)s, O(f) and the abbreviation of New Style to give some corsets

6d    Old money will secure the essence of full luxury (8)
{OPULENCE} – put O(ld) and some money around the internal letters (essence) of fULl to get this luxury

7d    Best cut off time for start of duty (5)
{ELITE} – to get this word meaning the best take a verb meaning to cut off a syllable in a verse and insert T(ime) instead of the initial letter (start) of Duty

13d    10 keep following music broadcast (9)
{ROQUEFORT} – this thematic answer from France, a personal favourite, is derived from a keep or stronghold following what sounds like (broadcast) a type of music

15d    Platform for one who stands for progress on the surface? (5-3)
{WATER-SKI} – a cryptic definition of this platform for one who stands while being towed along to make progress on the surface – apparently they do it for pleasure!

16d    Possible outcome of base life (8)
{FEASIBLE} – this adjective meaning possible is an anagram (outcome) of BASE LIFE

17d    PS: Day in port, mostly quiet (8)
{ADDENDUM} – this PS or supplement is derived by putting D(ay) inside a Yemeni port and then adding most of a word meaning quiet or not speaking

18d    Extinguishes French completely after rising up around centre of Carcassonne (4,3)
{PUTS OUT} – to get this phrasal verb meaning extinguishes the French for completely comes after the reversal (rising) of UP and is then put around the middle letter (centre) of CarcaSsonne

19d    10 sites university department in Indian state (5)
{GOUDA} – our final thematic answer, our second from Holland, is derived by putting U(niversity) and D(epartment) inside an Indian state

Happy birthday to Tilsit, who is still recovering from his operation last week.

16 comments on “Toughie 801

  1. Lovely crossword thank you Warbler. Anyone else always have trouble spelling 3a or is that just me? Thanks to BD for the blog too – lucky that gazza isn’t going to illustrate 18a :D

    Happy Birthday Tilsit – hope you are soon back to fighting (and blogging) fitness. CSxxx

    1. I can never spell 3a either and as for the illustrations I think I might be a bit more worried about one of his for 5d!

    2. I too had to check the spelling, but then again it is not something I would choose to eat. I tend to go for the really really stinky cheeses from France and Italy, which I am forced to keep in a sealed tupperware container.

  2. Very gentle but most enjoyable fare on offer today, favourites being 12a 18a and 22a thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the comments.

  3. I liked this one. My second answer in was 16a (first was 16d), which gave me the theme straight away.

    Thanks to Warbler, and to BD for the notes. Happy Birthday Tilsit.

  4. I enjoyed this too and have finished it although I needed the hints to explain a couple. I did get in a terrible muddle with 8a and even having read the hint still didn’t understand it – have finally got there! I thought “unable to” was “can’t” and just couldn’t see where the last bit came from.
    I was pretty slow to get 10a but, once I had, all went OK.
    I liked all the “cheesy” clues (not being rude at all) and 18a, even though when I first wrote down the letters that I thought made up the anagram it did look a bit unlikely! Think that I will steer well clear of the Toughie tomorrow!
    Thanks to Warbler and BD.

    1. I doubt it will be Elgar tomorrow, and we have seen Firefly, Osmosis, and Notabilis recently. Perhaps Myops ?

      1. But aren’t Fridays always difficult, even on a non-Elgar day? I haven’t done too badly on the Toughies this week – not sure I want to risk putting a dent in the new-found confidence!!

        1. All of the ones I have mentioned I find difficult, whatever the day… but Friday does tend to take longer than the other days to complete.

          1. I’ll wait and see what other people say about it before I risk taking a peep out of one eye!!

  5. Very enjoyable and not too difficult for a toughie, many thanks to Warbler and to BD.

  6. As ever from Warbler a lovely crossword, a pleasure to solve, no having to resort to the dictionary of unused words which yesterday entailed. Many thanks Warbler and to BD and hope Mr Tilley makes a speedy recovery, Happy birthday to you from me and the Doglets

  7. The girly clue came eventually after I got the illuminati. A very fun puzzle from Warbler – I do like her themed puzzles. Thanks to Warbler and to BD for the caesiform fun.

  8. Hi Dave
    As someone who hates cheese (body reacts mercilessly if consumed), I found this crossword mega tough!
    I simply could not have completed it without your help.
    You have saved my mental health and labour many times, can’t thank you enough.
    Please maintain your excellent service.

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