Toughie 849 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 849

Toughie No 849 by Warbler

Toughie? No way!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Another non-tough Toughie! I found it so non-tough that I have given a 1* for difficulty for the first ever time. Did other solvers find it as 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.


1a    Worn-out judge assisted in hearing (5)
{JADED} J (judge) + a homophone of ‘assisted’

4a    Vacuous popular poetry’s poor quality (8)
{PROPERTY} The first and last letter of PopulaR + an anagram (poor) of POETRY

8a    Cancels visit by son, needing to get away (5,3)
{CALLS OFF} Visit + S (son) + away

9a    Website‘s piece of information cut off by Kindle perhaps (8)
{FACEBOOK} A piece of information with the last letter removed + Kindle perhaps (1-4) (more correctly it’s something that’s read on a Kindle)

11a    See tot eating one. It’s heaven! (7)
{ELYSIUM} a see (bishopric of Eastern England) + ‘to tot’ round I (one)

13a    Famous Latin academic has a breakdown (9)
{ACCLAIMED} An anagram (has a breakdown) of L (Latin) ACADEMIC

15a    Giddy feeling as lamp shade needs adjusting (5-10)
{LIGHT-HEADEDNESS} Lamp + an anagram (needs adjusting) of SHADE NEEDS

18a    Several companies obtain 50% of talent in a roundabout way (9)
{BATTALION} An anagram (in a roundabout way) of OBTAIN TAL (50% of TALENT))

21a    Item? Cardinal has several (7)
{TWOSOME} An item (a couple in a relationship) = a cardinal number + several

22a    Appropriate outfit’s a black, primarily ladylike ensemble (8)
{SUITABLE} An outfit (set of clothes) + A + B (black) + the first letters of Ladylike Ensemble

24a    Directors seizing Luxembourg’s old money (8)
{GUILDERS} Directors (people who steer) round L (IVR for Luxembourg) = old Dutch money

25a    Drink in Spring term results in fun and games (8)
{HILARITY} A drink (vermouth) inside the Spring term of the High Court of Justice or at Oxford and Durham Universities

26a    Positioned skittles unevenly at end of board (5)
{SITED} The odd (uneven) letters of SkItTlEs + the last letter of boarD


1d    Conservative splits witty clique for racing association (6,4)
{JOCKEY CLUB) C (Conservative) inside ‘witty’ + clique = an association for the promotion and regulation of horse-racing

2d    Playing with daughter’s friend in garden at first (8)
{DALLYING} D (daughter) + friend + IN + G (first letter of garden)

3d    Depress inspector with alcohol (8)
{DISPIRIT} The abbreviation for a Detective Inspector + liquor

4d    One female after another in revolt over advertisement (4)
{PUFF} F (female) + F (female) follow a reversal of UP

5d    Spanish bread past its use-by date used in recipes et al (6)
{PESETA} Hidden in reciPES ET Al

6d    Note shape change for the better (6)
{REFORM} The second note of the scale + shape

7d    New Yorker‘s a jerk! (4)
{YANK} 2 meanings: New Yorker/jerk

10d    Mishap brought about by stress over personality (8)
{ACCIDENT} Stress (6) goes round personality (2)

12d    Bodily changes alter image for the most part (8)
{MATERIAL} An anagram (changes) of ALTER IMA (image for the most part)

14d    Filled with tension faded away in poverty (10)
{DISTRESSED} Tension goes inside ‘faded away’

16d    Flatterer heartlessly courted Salome with cunning (8)
{DAMOCLES} The flatterer of Dionysius of Syracuse = an anagram (with cunning) of CD (heartlessly courted) SALOME

17d    Illustration of former French bridge around North East (8)
{EXPONENT} Former + the French word for ‘bridge’ round NE (North East)

19d    Racial bias initially in competition (6)
{TRIBAL} B (first letter of Bias) inside a competition

20d    Movable image in sci-fi film (6)
{AVATAR} 2 meanings: a movable image used to represent someone in cyberspace/a 2009 sci-fi film written and directed by James Cameron

22d    Old king has lost his head (4)
{SHAH} An anagram (lost) of HAS + the fist letter of His

23d    What a soldier gets for breakfast? (4)
{EGGY} A cryptic definition in which the soldier is a narrow strip of toast

There was nothing wrong with the puzzle apart from its being far too easy

18 comments on “Toughie 849

  1. Agreed a 1* difficulty puzzle which was very enjoyable but certainly not a Toughie. My only slight hold up came from having written the solution to 5d in the space meant for 6d! Thanks to Warbler and Bufo too.

  2. Took me a few minutes to realise I should have had a y at the end of 23d rather than an s, other than that it was very plain sailing indeed and much less difficult than todays RayT. Thanks to Warbler and to Bufo.

  3. As others have posted very gentle today favourites were 5d 16d and 18a thanks to Warbler and to Bufo for the comments.

  4. This one actually took us longer than the RayT but enjoyable all the way. Did a little shudder when we first saw all the double unches but they turned out to be not a problem. Liked 18a and 23d. One of these looked military and wasn’t, while the other didn’t look military but was.
    Thanks Warbler and Bufo.

  5. I eventually managed to finish this one – I can see that it’s not a difficult Toughie but I certainly don’t think that it was easier than today’s Ray T on the back page. I think I’ve pushed myself back into the “Oh, it’s a Toughie so I can’t do it” mentality! Don’t know why but what I DO know is that I’ll steer well clear of the Toughie tomorrow!
    My favourites were 15 and 25a and 5 and 7d.
    With thanks to Warbler and Bufo.

    1. I think it was a puzzle like this that gave me the confidence to tackle a toughie (?). 2Kiwis mentioned double unches, 3 years ago I would thought that a different language.. anyway thank you Warbler and Bufo

        1. Tee Hee, so it is, when else you could you use unch, double unch, and have discussions about the shape of what, basically is a fifteen by fifteen grid. Love it. Got to let my dogs out for a bit but let’s see what tomorrow brings eh….

                  1. The website didn’t say who the setter was when the puzzle went up, but it was pretty obvious.

                    Having seen the additional help that buyers of the newspaper had, it does take an edge off the difficulty level, but it’s still quite tricky.

        2. NZ lost today’s Cricket by an “inch” – What is a Super Over?

          England lost by a mile (we need our full complement of South Africans – without them it’s just not fair!)

  6. 4 down doesn’t seem quite right, or maybe it’s me, but “over” seems to be indicating both a reversal of “up” and also that it’s to be written over ff.
    Enjoyed it though and it took me longer than yesterday’s so 2* at least for difficulty!
    Thanks to bird and amphibian.

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