Toughie 885 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 885

Toughie No 885 by Myops

Dedicated follower of fashion

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment *****

Bufo is taking a day off, leaving me to review this superb puzzle from Myops, one of my favourite setters. Some easier clues are intermingled with the more complex constructions, giving a way into the puzzle.

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    County set has preserved refined mores (8)
{SOMERSET} – SET around (has preserved) an anagram (refined) of MORES

5a    What Lindisfarne could be finer with? It already is (6)
{ISLAND} – an anagram (could be) of L{IN)DIS(F)A(R)N(E) without the letters of FINER – or more accurately LINDISFARNE is an anagram of FINER and the answer – which describes “what the answer is”

9a    Rhodesian now and then forgetting he’s a sculptor (5)
{RODIN} – R(H)OD(ES)I(A)N without (forgetting) the scattered letters (now and then) of HE’S A

10a    Make and test inlaid work (9)
{MARQUETRY} – a charade of the word for a make of, for example, a car and verb meaning to test

12a    New tail taken apart by cat and mouse losing theirs — so devastating (10)
{CALAMITOUS} – Rearrange (new) TAIL into LA and IT and insert the two parts separately (taken apart) into CA(T) and MOUS(E)

13a    Rent Burlington House and French retreats (4)
{TEAR} – start with the Royal Academy, the society based at Burlington House in Piccadilly, add the French for “and” and then reverse the lot (retreats)

15a    When I pass out second son makes spiteful remarks (11)
{WASPISHNESS} – an anagram (out) of WHEN I PASS followed by S(econd) and S(on)

16a    If French or Spanish is spoken it could be the Mediterranean (3)
{SEA} – what sounds like (is spoken) if in French or Spanish gives the body of water of which the Mediterranean is an example (could be) – perhaps someone might like to confirm that this is true for Italian as the pronunciation I could find doesn’t sound quite right

17a    Flu MacTavish catches where there’s a draught (3)
{LUM} – hidden inside the clue is a Scottish word for a chimney

18a    Skill for a fluid European side means being able to adapt (11)
{FLEXIBILITY} – start with a word meaning skill and replace the A with FL(uid) E(uropean) and the Roman numerals that represent a football or cricket side

20a    Heartless gold-digger turned out to be man-eater (4)
{OGRE} – an anagram (turned out) of GOld-diggER without some of its inner letters (heartless)

21a    Where Lendl’s so embarrassed with no tops or shorts (10)
{LEDERHOSEN} – an anagram (embarrassed) of (W)HERE (L)ENDL’S (S)O without their initial letters (no tops)

24a    Timetables for post-school education at university and LSE perhaps (9)
{SCHEDULES} – after (post) SCH(ool) put ED(ucation), U(niversity) and an anagram (perhaps) of LSE

26a    Part provided for old firearm (5)
{RIFLE} – start with a part in a play and insert a two-letter word meaning provided instead of the O(ld)

27a    Mental health: in New York it is associated with sex appeal (6)
{SANITY} – inside the abbreviation for New York put IT and precede the result by (is associated with) Sex Appeal

28a    Weaker batsmen due run for wide turned out well (8)
{TAILORED} – a four-letter word for the weaker batsmen who come in towards the end of an innings followed by a word meaning due in which R(un) replaces W(ide)


1d    Well-turned-out Southern Republican dressed in deep purplish-pink (6)
{SPRUCE} – S(outhern) followed by R(epublican) inside (dressed in) a deep purplish-pink

2d    Prize accolade men pinned up (5)
{MEDAL} – hidden (pinned) and reversed (up) inside the clue

3d    Call on original top compere (10)
{RINGMASTER} – a charade of a call and an original of a film or record gives the compere in the big top

4d    Refreshment that elsewhere Anna would serve, early or late (3)
{TEA} – take either the initial (early) or the final (late) letters of three words in the clue

6d    Ours turned and turned (4)
{SOUR} – an anagram (turned) of OURS

7d    Painting the French will have done with guile or without guile (9)
{ARTLESSLY} – a charade of painting as a creative activity, the French plural definite article and an adjective meaning done with guile

8d    Duke ready to drift off before noon in brown study (8)
{DAYDREAM} – D(uke) followed by an anagram (to drift off) of READY to drift off and the period before noon

10d    The sort of house where a woman succeeds holds me in Tara: I’ll have it restored (11)
{MATRILINEAL} – an anagram (have it restored) of ME IN TARA I’LL

11d    Horse-breakers hung over right side determined to curb resistance (11)
{ROUGHRIDERS} – an adjective meaning hung over feeling unwell followed by R(ight) and an anagram (determined) of SIDE around (to curb) R(esistance)

14d    Bewitching creature, superior to chum, holding her to be of lesser importance (10)
{PERIPHERAL} – a bewitching creature from Persian mythology followed by (superior to) a chum around (holding) HER

15d    What finer sort of slice is there? (5-4)
{WAFER-THIN} – an anagram (sort) of WHAT FINER

16d    Sister with sheltie’s mounting for a general view (8)
{SYNOPSIS} – SIS(ter} is followed by a sheltie (equine not canine) and the S from ‘S all reversed (mounting)

19d    Earmark one number — 500 — to be divided by 10 (6)
{INTEND} – I (one), N(umber) and the Roman numeral for 500 around (to be divided by) 10 spelled out

22d    Attraction of pin-up? Whistler hung up is more prudent (5)
{SAFER} – Sex Appeal (attraction of pin-up) followed by the person who uses a whistle in a football match reversed (hung up)

23d    Correct form of diet for (4)
{EDIT} – a double dose of wordplay – take your pick from a) an anagram (form of) of DIET or b) E(nglish) followed by the French for to say

25d    Does this swallow make what ‘olidaymakers ‘ope for? (3)
{EAT} – a verb meaning to swallow food would be what ‘olidaymakers ‘ope for if an H was to be added to the front

I’ve added a few new entries to The Mine – Cities, Currencies and Planets – and tidied up the menu to group a number of pages, including The Mine, under Features.

18 comments on “Toughie 885

  1. Well, I thought this the most entertaining puzzle for some time! A bit “Myops-lite” perhaps but none the worse for that, I normally struggle a bit with this setter but today’s went in fairly easily – 2*/5* for me.

    Not really fair to pick a favourite but if pushed I would go for 21a – the image of Ivan Lendl waering the shorts made me smile :smile:

    Many thanks to Myops and BD – you seem to be busy this week with covering for scchua yesterday as well as this one!

    1. BTW, I didn’t read 20a as an anagram as such. You get the GOER from the heartless gold-digger but then I took it that “turned out” meant to turn it inside out, i.e reverse the first 2 letters and reverse the second 2!

  2. Very gentle fare on offer but still enjoyable favourites 16d and 18a thanks to Myops and to Big Dave for the comments. Dave 10d needs amending.

  3. Another top quality puzzle from a top quality setter. A nice mixture of easy clues, and some that required plenty of thought from me. Many thanks to Myops, and to BD for the notes.

  4. A rare occurrence in that I completed this Toughie without the need to visit this blog. However, I’d never heard of the term ‘Brown Study’ before and had to check the dictionery to see why it gave the answer it did to 8d. So you live and learn!

  5. Lovely thank you Myops – 2.5/5 for me. Thanks to BD too – it really is Big Dave’s Crossword Blog this week. :)

  6. I think we must have all been very well behaved lately to have been given two special treats of puzzles today. This one did not fight back very much for us and we were rather surprised to see the *** rating. Thoroughly enjoyable and clever clues throughout. We did wonder who the setter was as it was still not listed on the DT site when we went to bed last night.
    Thanks Myops and BD.

  7. Thanks to Myops & Big Dave. I don’t know about gentle, see Big Boab’s comment, but amazingly I’ve solved 20 clues unaided. Brain siezed up, off to the pub now.

  8. Late start ,late finish but thoroughly enjoyable .
    Thank you again (visiting the toughies too often !)

  9. My first contribution to this site.

    Really enjoyed this crossword from one of my favourite setters.

Comments are closed.