Toughie 906 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 906

Toughie No 906 by Warbler

Snakes alive!

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Once again the Toughie week begins with a puzzle at the lower end of the difficulty scale.

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    Annoyed supporters (7,3)
{BRASSED OFF} – those famous female support garments followed by an anagram (rioted) of OF FEDS

6a    Reptile protects its own head at the earliest opportunity (4)
{ASAP} – put a three-letter type of snake round its own initial letter (head)

9a    At the outset Pyrrhus rushed in and murdered Trojan king (5)
{PRIAM} – the initial letters (at the outset) of five words in the clue

10a    Illegally importing drink subsumes attack by government (9)
{SMUGGLING} – a drink of spirits and water sweetened and flavoured around an attack with the intention of robbing and G(overnment)

12a    Local Stoke band loses nothing playing in this type of joint (4-3-6)
{BALL-AND-SOCKET} – an anagram (playing) of LOCAL ST(O)KE BAND without (loses) one of the Os (nothing)

14a    Monitors  draughts in New England? (8)
{CHECKERS} – a double definition – New England being in the United States!

15a    Female frame is more beautiful (6)
{FAIRER} – F(emale) and a frame used for drying clothes

17a    Scandinavian kronor dictate taking a 50/50 split (6)
{NORDIC} – hidden inside the clue – half (50/50 split) inside each of two words in the clue

19a    I abandoned Corfe site’s redevelopment without penalty (4-4)
{SCOT-FREE} – an anagram (redevelopment) of CORFE S(I)TE without (abandoned) the I

21a    Hear chaps are among volunteers in school locality (9,4)
{CATCHMENT AREA} – a verb meaning to hear or understand followed by some chaps and the volunteer soldiers around ARE

24a    Central characters in rally vote cemented ground for cultivation (9)
{ALLOTMENT} – the inner letters (central characters) of three words in the clue

25a    Gold-coloured foreign sea shell (5)
{ORMER} – the heraldic term for gold followed by the French (foreign) for sea

26a    Deserter returned to northern lake (4)
{TARN} – reverse a deserter and follow him with N(orthern)

27a    Shortened timber surrounds long solid small verandah (10)
{BALCONETTE} – a strip of wood (timber) without its final letter (shortened) around (surrounds) L(ong) and a solid geometric shape


1d    Rolls spaghetti bolognese out — note the eggs/oil blending before separation (4)
{BAPS} – an anagram (out) of SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE without (separation) the letters assorted (blending) of NOTE THE EGGS OIL – or, to put it differently, SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE is an anagram of the answer with NOTE THE EGGS OIL


2d    Do I have the capacity to be pleasant? (7)
{AMIABLE} – split as (2,1,4) this could mean do I have the capacity

3d    Wilder work; look the time is changing (4,4,2,3)
{SOME LIKE IT HOT} – this classic film, directed by Billy Wilder, is an anagram (changing) of LOOK THE TIME IS

4d    Troubled sad priest almost gives up hope (8)
{DESPAIRS} – an anagram (troubled) of SAD PRIES(T) without the final letter (almost)

5d    Experienced  cast (5)
{FOUND} – a double definition

7d    Joins together again to turn over very difficult question (7)
{STINKER} – the reversal (to turn over in a down clue) of a verb meaning joins together again

8d    First of punk generation’s act before the Queen is a thriller (4-6)
{PAGE-TURNER} – the initial letter (first) of Punk followed by a three-letter word for a generation, a stage act and the regnal cypher for the Queen

11d    Greeting expanded mg cryptically (4,9)
{GOOD AFTERNOON} – split as (4,5,4) this could describe the position of the word which abbreviates to G with respect to the time of day represented by M(eridiem)

13d    Tory involved in stoical manoeuvring. One attacks traditional ideas (10)
{ICONOCLAST} – a three-letter abbreviation for a Tory inside an anagram (manoeuvring) of STOICAL

16d    Full of rapture heart of austere ascetic is transformed (8)
{ECSTATIC} – an anagram (transformed) of the middle letter (heart) of ausTere and ASCETIC

18d    Crawler. It moves at a fast pace (7)
{RATTLER} – a double definition – the first of which is a type of snake

20d    Further concede inclusion of notice in terms of reference (7)
{READMIT} – insert a two-letter word for a notice inside terms of reference

22d    Dropsy ‘became debilitating’ — internal evidence seen in retrospect (5)
{EDEMA} – the medical name for the disease dropsy is hidden (internal evidence) and reversed (seen in retrospect) inside the clue

23d    Poetry’s not very Gaelic (4)
{ERSE} – start with some lines of poetry and drop (not) the initial V(ery)

A puzzle doesn’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable!

15 comments on “Toughie 906

  1. Straight forward Tuesday fare whjch I did enjoy thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. Having solved the back page cryptic and reading the blog, it was apparent that the toughie was ,by all accounts, the easier of the two.Fortified by this information i tried the toughie and have to agree that it was easier than the back page puzzle.I did enjoy it as it fell into place and agree with the */**** rating. Thanks Warbler for the blog,i was’nt sure what the ‘m’ stood for in ‘mg’,and to setter for an enjoyable ‘romp’.

  3. A pleasant, witty romp of a puzzle. Just what we needed to restore our self esteem and confidence after our struggles with the back-pager. Liked the wordplay of 11d.
    Thanks Warbler and BD.

    1. I’ve just gone through it again – Thanks Warbler there is some great stuff here – the surface reading at 12a and teh Chutzpah of the removal at 1d – I chuckled when I wasted all my ink and was left with 4 letters (as I suspected!)

  4. Thanks to Warbler & to Big Dave. Too tough for me, could only solve 8 clues before resorting to the hints.

  5. I didn’t have time yesterday to look at this one, so playing catch up today. 2*/4* fun for me. No problems to complete, although I was lazy and took a flier on 1d without writing all the letters down.
    Thanks to Warbler, and to BD.

  6. Rather straightforward, but so very enjoyable! I was particularly taken with 9A – sheer brilliance!

    Re 1D; is this some sort of record for how many letters to remove from an anagram???

    Thanks to Warbler, and to BD.

    P.S. I learnt a new word today, the answer to 27A. It had to be the answer, but to check I Googled it and my, what a lot of lovely lingerie I found! I trust, BD, that you won’t be offended that I was a little disappointed at your choice… “Well, nobody’s perfect”…

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