Toughie 895

Toughie No 895 by Busman

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Busman’s recent puzzles have been a significant improvement on his earlier ones, and this is no exception. Perhaps a notch up from a standard back-page puzzle, but not too difficult.

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    Mathematician’s measurement mid-June? (6,2,6)
{HEIGHT OF SUMMER} – could mean how tall is a Mathematician

9a    Sixties teenager’s first point for milliner maybe (7)
{MODISTE} – a sixties teenager who rode a scooter followed by first as an ordinal number and a compass point

10a    Record-breaking autumn, apparently, hasn’t begun (3-4)
{ALL-TIME} – start with what could be autumn (4,4) and drop the initial F (hasn’t begun)

11a    Average tinker’s no joiner (2-2)
{SO-SO} – a tinker or rascal without the “and” that joins the two parts

12a    Alright! In uproar, ref strode around, impassive (5-5)
{POKER-FACED} – two letters that mean alright followed by an anagram (In uproar) of REF all inside a verb meaning strode

14a    Homes … or ‘omes? (6)
{EARTHS} – homes for badgers or foxes or, preceded by H, another word for homes

15a    In which posh canapes may be cooked (8)
{SAUCEPAN} – an anagram (cooked) of the single-letter that represents posh and CANAPES

17a    Spoke twice to get measurement? (8)
{DIAMETER} – two opposite spokes combine to make this measurement of a circle

18a    Assemble register at university (4,2)
{ROLL UP} – a register followed by the two-letter word meaning at university

20a    Display ground outside, at the front (10)
{EXPOSITION} – a ground or situation preceded by a prefix meaning outside

21a    Food and ride expenditure, for starters (4)
{FARE} – the initial letters (starters) of four words in the clue

23a    Evert  to make an appearance (4,3)
{TURN OUT} – a double definition

24a    Very silly, because 1 precedes 9 (7)
{ASININE} – a charade of a two-letter word meaning because, I (Roman numeral for 1) and 9 spelled out as a word

25a    Almost crazed mastermind’s 3As (2,4,2,6)
{AS NEAR AS DAMMIT} – an anagram (crazed) of MASTERMIND’S AAA


1d    Common  phrase for gnashers (9,5)
{HAMPSTEAD HEATH} – a double definition – the second one being the full rhyming slang for “gnashers” – as I have said many times before, the whole point of Cockney rhyming slang is that the rhyming word is, unlike here, dropped; e.g. apples (and pears, stairs), boat (race, face)

2d    Trading estates needed where river’s quiet with boats under test (10,5)
{INDUSTRIAL PARKS} – an Asian river followed by the musical notation for quiet and boats used during a flood, the last two elements being preceded by a test

3d    Cooked meat from the mess (4)
{HASH} – a double definition

4d    King from Borneo (6)
{OBERON} – Shakespeare’s Fairy King is an anagram (from) of BORNEO

5d    Interval piece for one who’s out of this world (8)
{SPACEMAN} –can interval followed by a chess piece

6d    Criminal testosterone? (10)
{MALEFACTOR} – split as (4,6) this could be testosterone

7d    A Sicilian Pope’s rewritten mass in religious doctrine (15)
{EPISCOPALIANISM} – an anagram (rewritten) of A SICILIAN POPE’S followed by M(ass)

8d    Gift new design dept redesigned to overcome resistance (7,7)
{WEDDING PRESENT} – an anagram (redesigned) of NEW DESIGN DEPT arouns (to overcome) R(esistance)

13d    So … eight make a duck — total sixty (10)
{THREESCORE} – what happens when eight batsmen out of eleven make a duck (5,5)

16d    He’s willing to have exam list overturned (8)
{TESTATOR} – an exam followed by the reversal (overturned) of a list

19d    Boozers like diet drinks? (6)
[ Newspaper version – Boozers like diet drink with first slug of scotch – thanks Pegasus]
{LOCALS} – could be like diet drinks, if split (2-4)  [like a diet drink (2-3) followed by the initial letter (first) of Scotch]

22d    Mrs T‘s comment, in short: ‘Some of humanity is for turning!’ (4)
{TINA} – the initial letters (in short) of a famous quote from Mrs Thatcher are hidden (some) and reversed (for turning) inside the clue

The usual bright start to the Toughie week.



  1. crypticsue
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    A lovely start to the Toughie week – it didn’t take me very long at all to solve – perhaps I was in the zone – and I did enjoy myself immensely. Thanks to Busman and BD.

  2. vambo
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Aha! Enlightenment! Thanks. Couldn’t quite figure out 19d…

  3. Big Boab
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Busman for a very enjoyable toughie and to BD for the review.

  4. jezza
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I put 3/4 of this in without any problem, then a slow process to finish it off. 3.5* on both counts for me.
    Thanks to Busman, and to BD for the explanations.

  5. Pegasus
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this one favourites were 13d 19d and 24a thanks to Busman and to Big Dave for the comments. Paper version for 19d reads Boozers like diet drink with first slug of scotch.

  6. Liverpool Mike
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I thought that 22d was more to do with Tina Turner rather than our beloved Maggie!
    I agree with the ratings.

    • Posted December 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      That was my first thought, but it doesn’t work very well. Mrs T many times said There  Is  No  Alternative

  7. Kevmcc
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Still don’t get 22d. I can see the backwards thing, and was going to be my answer, but don’t understand the thinking?

    • Posted December 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      See my answer to the previous comment.

  8. pommers
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Don’t see Busman very often but if he continues like this he can set as often as he likes as far as I’m concerned.
    Good start to the week so thanks to Busman and BD.

    • andy
      Posted December 18, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink


      • pommers
        Posted December 18, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Pommette returns your greeting from the other day and wishes you and the dogs a merry Xmas and all that sort of festive stuff – as do I :smile:

        • andy
          Posted December 18, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

          thank you both, reciprocated thoughts. woofs from cynth and cuth, sat with me tonight on this overlarge sofa. Very busy week ahead but have promised them when we get to the New Forest on Saturday big runs and family fusses. What I mean is I can take them for big runs avoiding the family ….. any excuse!!

  9. Digby
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Some terrific penny-drop moments, particularly 13d – which as a cricket nut I really should have cracked.
    Thanks to B & BD for brightening up the day – only another 8 to go, and Christmas will be over again.

  10. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable puzzle that fell into place without too much struggle although we had thought that Mrs T was Turner with Thatcher as mis-direction. Find it strange to have the answer as the first letters of a quote that is not the one in the clue. We don’t remember having struck this before. Lots of smiles and chuckles.
    Thanks Busman and BD.

    • Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I perhaps didn’t give a full explanation. Mrs Thatcher was called Tina by some because of the quotation.

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Thanks BD, now it makes more sense to us. Hadn’t realised that. Cheers.

  11. gnomethang
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    1d did for me for a long time as ‘Homespun Wisdom’ fitted the checking letters. I KNOW it doesn’t work!.
    I did enjoy this one though! Thanks to Busman and to BD,

    • Heno
      Posted December 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      I thought of homespun truth, but that was worse than your one! Eventually the penny dropped.

  12. Heno
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Busman & to Big Dave. Wonders will never cease, I only needed two hints. 22d, I could only think of “the lady’s not for turning” & 19d, which I should’ve got. Great fun though, favourites were 1d & 25a.

    • Posted December 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      The clue is alluding to that quote, but it’s a red herring.

      • Heno
        Posted December 18, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Dave, I was well & truly red herringed :-)

  13. Only fools
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable . 13d seems to be a recurring clue in one guise or another .
    Thanks yet again .

    • Heno
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Previous one was R60, which was unfair. I like this one better, a clever clue.