Toughie 807

Toughie No 807 by MynoT

Low aspirations!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Mynot’s tour of the consonants takes a few steps back to pick up a letter that I thought, or was that hoped, had been missed from this boring sequence. Once you have identified the theme letter (after just two clues in my case) the puzzle becomes very easy to solve.

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    One who needs roasting about absent archdeacon (4-3)
{HAVE-NOT} – this person without anything is derived by putting an adjective meaning roasting, as on a summer’s day for those with memories long enough to remember summers, around A(bsent) and the abbreviated form of address for an archdeacon

9a    Dance with goddess around a bar (8)
{HABANERA} – to get this Cuban dance put a Greek goddess around A and a bar or veto

10a    Anyone with gardening tool’s almost green (7)
{WHOEVER} – this pronoun meaning anyone is derived from W(ith), some gardening tools and most of an heraldic term for green

11a    Unfortunately breathalysed with dabs roughly taken? Tough (8)
{LEATHERY} – an anagram (unfortunately) of (B)RE(A)THALY(S)E(D) without (taken) the assorted letters (roughly) of DABS gives an adjective meaning tough

12a    Bold commander embraces independence after that woman (6)
{HEROIC} – an adjective meaning bold is derived from an abbreviation for an officer commanding around (embraces) I(ndependence) all after the pronoun for that woman

13a    Principal title held by Pole? Just the reverse (10)
{HEADMASTER} – this school principal is derived, not from a title of a document inside (held by) a pole but the reverse, a pole inside a title

15a    Husband’s popular — time to get intimate (4)
{HINT} – combine H(usband), a two-letter word meaning popular and T(ime) to get a verb meaning to intimate or suggest

16a    Controls runs round headland (9)
{HARNESSES} – a verb meaning controls a horse, for example, is derived by putting a verb meaning runs quickly around a headland

21a    It’s an imitation, not quite genuine, Oscar (4)
{ECHO} – this imitation or repeat comes from most of (not quite) an adjective that was new to me meaning genuine or authentic followed by the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Oscar

22a    Othello returns after Ron goes into the toilet? (6,4)
{THRONE ROOM} – put the reversal of Othello’s ethnic origin after RON inside (goes into) THE to get this slang expression for a toilet

24a    Not very bright chap could be hoaxed (6)
{OXHEAD} – this not very bright chap comes from an anagram (could be) of HOAXED

25a    Stiff leading actor (that Italian) died (8)
{STARCHED} – to get this adjective meaning stiff combine a leading actor, the Italian for that and D(ied)

27a    Record harim played for tribal leader (7)
{EPHRAIM} – an extended play record is followed by an anagram (played) of HARIM to get this Israelite tribal leader

28a    Dig in unusual tree in front of new church with name inscribed (8)
{ENTRENCH} – to get this verb meaning to dig in put an anagram (unusual) of TREE in front of N(ew) and CH(urch) and then insert (inscribed) N(ame)

29a    Introduced the man with right to have second-hand clothing (7)
{USHERED} this verb meaning introduced is derived by putting the male pronoun and R(ight) inside (to have … clothing) a word meaning second-hand


2d           Vigorous lithe cat exercised (8)
{ATHLETIC} – this adjective meaning vigorous comes from an anagram (exercised) of LITHE CAT

3d           Canine still also rising in early hours primarily (3,5)
{EYE TOOTH} – this canine is not a dog but is found in the mouth – combine a word meaning still with one meaning also, the second being reversed (rising) then put the whole lot inside the initial letters (primarily) of two words in the clue

4d           Have grocer to amend unreasonable price (10)
{OVERCHARGE} – an anagram (to amend) of HAVE GROCER gives an unreasonable price

5d           Healthy hot beer (4)
{HALE} – to get this adjective meaning healthy combine H(ot) and a beer

6d           Lady to damage bizarre hat (6)
{MARTHA} – this lady’s name comes from a word meaning to damage followed by an anagram (bizarre) of HAT

7d           Last day of competition in outskirts of Slough (7)
{SEVENTH} – the last day of the week, if you count them, is derived by putting a competition inside the outside letters (outskirts) of SlougH

8d           Rope left in half of ditch next to American’s garden (7)
{HALYARD} – to get this rope put L(eft) between (either) half of a hidden ditch and what the Americans call a garden

11d         Legal expert acquiring rest house as property investment (9)
{LEASEHOLD} – put the abbreviation for a Doctor of Laws around (acquiring) some rest or relaxation and HO(use) to get a property investment

14d         2 types; some strangely change shape at beginning of season (10)
{MESOMORPHS} – these types or people are like 2 down – an anagram (strangely) of SOME is followed by a verb meaning to change shape and the initial letter (beginning) of Season

17d         Fish cast ashore in Kent, maybe (8)
{SEAHORSE} – this strange-looking fish is derived by putting an anagram (cast) of ASHORE inside the area of the UK where Kent, maybe/for example, is situated

18d         I am in possession of your vitamin (8)
{THIAMINE} – put I AM inside an old-fashioned word for your to get vitamin B1

19d         Secretly kept stoats regularly in hut (7)
{STASHED} – this word meaning secretly kept is derived by putting the even letters (regularly) of sToAtS inside a hut

20d         Dimension of loaf that’s half cut (7)
{BREADTH} – to get this dimension, a loaf is followed by the TH(at) without its second half (half cut)

23d         Name richest avoiding extremes in recessions (6)
{NICHES} – N(ame) is followed by (R)ICHES(T) without its outside letters (avoiding extremes) to get these recessions

26d         Print some sketches (4)
{ETCH} – a verb meaning to print the kind of works of art that young ladies used to be invited to come up and see is hidden (some) inside the last word of the clue

Here’s a suggestion – why not get rid of all the remaining consonants (G, J, M, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X and Z) in one puzzle and move on to a more interesting theme?


  1. crypticsue
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    It is very easy to solve, even if one is looking for a complete different theme letter! I thought we were getting closer to the end of the alphabet but MynoT obviously learnt his alphabet in a different order to the rest of us. I wouldn’t mind seeing how he fits Q into every clue, but it would be nice to have a non-themed puzzle from him for a change.

    thanks to BD for the explanations.

  2. pommers
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I’d completely forgotten the theme and didn’t notice until I’d nearly finished and it was still very easy to solve!

    No real favourite but 22a across raised a smile because of my schoolboy sense of humour :grin:

    Thanks to MynoT and to BD – enjoy your lunch!

  3. Pegasus
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I truly feel that this pattern of puzzles has gone on a tad too long. Favourites 3d 13a and 20d thanks to Mynot and to Big Dave for the comments.

  4. Prolixic
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    The Khmer alphabet in Cambodia is the largest alphabet in the world (where individual letters represent a consonant or vowel sound). It consists of 33 consonants, 23 vowels and 12 independent vowels. That would give Mynot nearly 5 year’s worth of Toughies :)

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      You’re not helping :D

  5. spindrift
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    IMHO I think there’s a degree of unwarranted harshness in the blog today. To create a crossword and then include a theme of an ongoing nature is something the majority of us mere mortals can only ever dream of achieving. So I think we should all play nicely & not be at home to Mr Grumpy when he calls.

    • Kath
      Posted July 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      I agree! :smile:

    • Franco
      Posted July 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Well said, that Man!

      It’s very easy to criticise, but IMHO it’s only valid if you can do better yourself!

  6. phercott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Boring, boring, boring. Enough already of the themes! And could we have some decent surface readings, please – please?

  7. Kath
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I feel as if I’m a bit out on a limb today. I enjoyed this and the back page puzzle – most others don’t seem to have enjoyed either very much. Oh dear!
    I didn’t have any idea what letter to expect but it didn’t take too long to sort out the one that I was after. Having a particular letter in every answer is quite an easy way into a puzzle – a bit like anagrams are, for me anyway. I’ve never heard of the four letter word for “imitation” in 21a.
    I liked 10 and 13a and 2 and 20d.
    With thanks to MynoT and BD.

  8. gnomethang
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I had no issues with this today. Straightforward once I got the letter apart from 1a which was hanging out on its own for a bit. I quite enjoyed myself, albeit briefly. Thanks to Mynot and to BD.

  9. BigBoab
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I find myself in total agreement with Gnomethang even down to 1a, thanks to MynoT and BD.

  10. William Geddes
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    One of the reasons I hate scrabble is those expletive deleted who choose to play words like AA or XI in the game. Whilst I appreciate this is legal it is, in my opinion, the sort of nonsense that should be stopped very quickly in its tracks.
    Why in all that is holy should WITH become ‘w’. Why?

    • Kath
      Posted July 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      I think the rule is that anything in BRB is OK – w is a recognised abbreviation of with.

    • Franco
      Posted July 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      (W)ith great respect…Chambers has “W” as an abbreviation for “with”.

      Why Chambers defines the rules?……no idea!

      • Posted July 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Probably because it has the richest vocabulary of all the main dictionaries.

    • pommers
      Posted July 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      W for WITH is used widely in adverts. W/AC for a car would mean with aircon but I think the main use is in prescriptions.

      Have a look hjere

  11. Up The Creek
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mynot for a really nice puzzle with the wonderful 22a to top it off. Wonder what letter he will think of next?

  12. Heno
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to MynoT & to Big Dave for the review & hints. I quite enjoyed it, but was stuck on 1,9,10a & 8d. Could only get 10a from the hints & had to look up the other three. Still, I learnt a few new words and abbreviations. Favourite was 22a.

  13. Heno
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Dave, what was the word that meant real in 21a please?

    • pommers
      Posted July 18, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink

      Hi Heno – you an insomniac too? Join me and Wozza!

      The word in 21a for real is ECHT. It’s actually a German word but it seems to have crept into the English language. It’s in the BRB so what more can I say :smile:

      Had to look it up myself although the answer to the clue was fairly obvious, parsing was a different matter – makes life interesting!