Toughie 833 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 833

Toughie No 833 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Bufo

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This was a pleasant but extremely gentle puzzle. My only problem came after I had carelessly entered the answer to 25 down into the space for 23 down (where it fits). I then spent some time trying to find an answer to 23 down that fitted in the space for 25 down. I blame senility. This is my first blog since underlining the definition became the fashion. I’ve given it a go although it can’t be used for any of the clues that refer to “17”. The definition in each of these clues is provided by the second word of the answer to 17 across.

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.


8a    Time left in task will 17 (7)
{CHORTLE} T (time) and L (left) inside a task

10a    Abandon French article — it will 17 (7)
{CHUCKLE} ‘Abandon’ + a French word for ‘the’

11a    A Kashmiri husband without work finally trained as an instructor of Hindu (9)
{MAHARISHI} An anagram (trained) of A KASHMIRI H (husband) without the K (last letter or work)

12a    Difficult and tense for king in small boat (5)
{STIFF} A small boat with K (king) replaced by T (tense)

13a    Beginner in South Australia gets assistance for being down under? (5)
{SCUBA} A beginner goes inside SA (South Australia) to give something that is used by a being (person) when underwater

14a    Greasing wound without a can 17 (7)
{SNIGGER} An anagram (wound) of GREASING without the letter A

17a    Coward’s work here is shown by massacre with no onset of shame (7,8)
{PRESENT LAUGHTER} The title of a Noel Coward play is given by ‘here’ + massacre with an initial S (first letter of shame) omitted

19a    Sugar waste found in sack — donkey eats initially (7)
{BAGASSE} A sack + a donkey + E (first letter of eats)

21a    Some wallow in glory that’s due (5)
{OWING} Hidden in wallOW IN Glory

24a    Deduce friend is upset after daughter’s gone away (5)
{INFER} An anagram (upset) of FRIEND without the letter D (daughter)

26a    Striving to remain jolly at heart during flight (9)
{WRESTLING} ‘To remain’ and L (middle letter of jolly) inside ‘flight’

27a    After a touch of Armagnac gran is a preposterous liar (7)
{ANANIAS} A (first letter of Armanac) + gran + an anagram (preposterous) of IS A = a liar (from Acts 5.1-5)

28a    Note my pal — he’s beginning to get dizzy like a young girl (7)
{NYMPHAL} An anagram (get dizzy)of N (note) MY PAL H (first letter of he)


1d    Society groups supporting lively kids (6)
{SCAMPS} S (Society) + groups supporting a certain set of beliefs or doctrine

2d    When end of chain’s severed, frisky hound goes here? (8)
{DOGHOUSE} An anagram (frisky) of HOUND GOES without the letter N (last letter of chain) is where a hound might be seen

3d    Astrologers or simply dreamers? (10)
{STARGAZERS} 2 meanings: astrologers/dreamers

4d    Is singular Welsh charm flourishing in decorative art? (9)
{SCRIMSHAW} An anagram of IS S (singular) W (Welsh) CHARM gives a sailor’s spare-time handicraft such as engraving designs on whales’ teeth, etc.

5d    Birds initiate kissing in Oz! (4)
{AUKS} K (the first letter of kissing) inside Oz (Australia)

6d    Sport pages torn out of cutting (6)
{SKIING} Remove PP (pages) from ‘cutting’ to give a winter sport

7d    Mariner stores water and food in gutted schooner (8)
{SEAFARER} Water (the 2-letter dialect word often encountered in crosswords) and food go inside SR (first and last letters of schooner)

9d    Replaster regularly as an alternative to 16 (4)
{ELSE} Alternate letters of rEpLaStEr gives a synonym of the answer to 16 down

15d    It’s still early enough to improve my expertise first of all after doing nothing for a change (2,4,4)
{IN GOOD TIME} The first letters of To Improve My Expertise go after an anagram (for a change) of DOING O (nothing)

16d    Different variety of white rose (9)
{OTHERWISE} An anagram (variety of) of WHITE ROSE

17d    People generally accepted new landlord (8)
{PUBLICAN} People generally + A (accepted) + N (new) = landlord of licensed premises

18d    Almost understand part of puzzle that’s obscure (8)
{TWILIGHT} ‘Understand’ with the last letter removed + a word used for a word entered in a crossword diagram = obscure (or partial darkness)

20d    Nonsense! American women will 17 (6)
{GUFFAW} Nonsense + A (American) + W (women)

22d    Engagement leads to girl leaving employment to 17 (6)
{GIGGLE} Engagement (of a pop group) + the first letters of Girl Leaving Employment

23d    Piercing
wail (4)
{KEEN} 2 meanings: piercing/wail

25d    Rule out Government control (4)
{REIN} Remove G (Government) from ‘rule’

I was glad of a quick solve today because I’m in charge of keeping a 3-year-old amused

17 comments on “Toughie 833

  1. Very enjoyable – the puzzle and the blog – thank you to both Warbler and Bufo. Thanks also to the Antiques Roadshow without which I would never have know the proper name for decorated whales teeth. I also didn’t know the sugar waste but the wordplay was very clear and a check on line confirmed, as it doesn’t appear to be in Chambers.

    I would suggest you bring the 3 year old down to play with the Duplo which I keep for visits from the great nephews – trouble is by the time you got here it would be bedtime!

  2. No laughs for me – or far too many in the linked clues. Also far too many letters removed, first and last letters of words, etc. etc. In my assessment, Tuesday’s Toughie good, Wednesday’s poor and today’s downright awful

    1. I bet you are looking forward to finding a description for tomorrow’s Toughie if the progression continues. Maybe you should buy a different newspaper.

    2. It’s Elgar tomorrow. Prepare a darkened room. May I suggest the description “terrifying”? It’ll definitely be a battle.

  3. Gentle yet enjoyable fare on offer today. Favourites for me were 2d 19a(new to me) and 22d thanks to Warbler and to Bufo for the comments.

  4. Stumped by 13a & 4d; both evil numbers supposedly. In view of the theme the giggling guru was most appropriate.

  5. Thanks to Bufo for the review and Warbler for another really fun puzzle with a thematic reference. I had trouble on the Sugar waste and the liar and had to riffle through Chambers for help but the rest was nice and straightforward.

    1. Ditto, thanks to Bufo and Warbler yet again, always so enjoyable. Also agree with CrypticSue that the antiques roadshow has its place!

  6. Found this an enjoyable and untaxing puzzle. Once 17a was in, the related clues fell into place giving lots of checking letters around the grid. Actually took less time than the RayT backpager. Favourites were the spinoffs from 17a. Thanks Warbler and Bufo.

  7. Liked this a lot – maybe because it was fun and quick. As a holiday diver I loved the definition in 13 across. 15 down is one of those clues you look at and think “no way”, then after a guess, based on a couple of checking letters, it suddenly makes perfect sense.

    Many thanks to Warbler and Bufo.

  8. I had a go at this one but I always find the crosswords that keep taking you back to one clue very frustrating – if you can’t do the crucial one you’re completely stuffed, and I couldn’t! It feels a bit like Monopoly – do not pass go, do not collect £200 and go straight to jail! I did a few of the other clues that weren’t linked to the dreaded 17a and have now read the hint (and the answer) to 17a but not any of the other hints or comments – might have another go tomorrow if it’s raining.
    In the meantime, while I’m hanging my head in shame, thanks to Warbler and Bufo.

  9. Hi Bufo

    I would have underlined 17 as the def in the clues referring to it. Present (give you) laughter is the definition in all cases as far as I can see.

    Easy puzzle though as 8a went straight in and gave the whole game away, including 17a which I might otherwise have struggled with! I’d say 1* difficulty for a Toughie, as I did it this afternoon, in the noisy bar, watching La Vuelta, with no outside aids, in the time I would award 2* if it had been on the back page. Fun puzzle but a Toughie? – not methinks!

    Good fun while it lasted though so thanks to Warbler (one of my favourites) and to Bufo – hope the 3-year-old was suitably amused.

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