Toughie 942

Toughie No 942 by Excalibur

* **** ** ****

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment *

I can say nothing polite about this puzzle so I will say nothing.

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.


7a    Break or make the star (7)
{SHATTER} – an anagram (make) of THE STAR

8a    Cut to a lake, showing divers (7)
{SEVERAL} – a verb meaning to cut followed by the A from the clue and L(ake)

10a    Having a lot in common, attempt to win over (3,7)
{BID AGAINST} – what you do in order to win an auction lot when someone else wants it as well

11a    Girl in colourful band viewer really needs to see (4)
{IRIS} – a girl’s name or part of the eye

12a    They pull up  corks (8)
{STOPPERS} – two definitions

14a    Let through misprint — a keen reader might spot ‘absorption‘ (6)
{INTAKE} – hidden inside the clue

15a    They’ll set tongues wagging! (4-7)
{BELL-RINGERS} – these tongues are also called clappers – Chambers gives the enumeration as (11)

19a    Dope linked to ‘friend’ over computer (6)
{LAPTOP} – a drug followe by a friend, all reversed (over – a construct usually found in down clues)

20a    Sweet tart? Decline! (4,4)
{ACID DROP} – an adjective meaning tart followed by a decline

22a    Tantrums back stage (4)
{STEP} – reverse (back) some for tantrums

23a    On the rocks but unable to dive? (2,3,5)
{IN LOW WATER} – a phrase meaning short of funds could be somewhere one is unable to dive

25a    Had row about figure drawn from bank (7)
{CLASHED} – around a Roman numeral put a verb meaning drawn money from bank

26a    Looking back, I would fall between study and skill being educated (7)
{TRAINED} – the reversal () of I sandwiched between a study and a skill


1d    Your rent is included. That’s saving money (7)
{THRIFTY} – an archaic word for your around a rent or gap

2d    Having gone up before, it’s liable to go up again (4)
{ETNA} – reverse (Having gone up) a word meaning before

3d    People crack under intimidation (6)
{MENACE} – some people followed by (under) an adjective meaning crack or outstanding

4d    Furious look given by whatsit (8)
{SEETHING} – a verb meaning to see followed by a whatsit or object

5d    Wild tigers lurking in grass made an impression (10)
{REGISTERED) – an anagram (wild) of TIGERS inside a type of grass

6d    Afraid wages cut will go through (7)
{PANICKY} – wages around (will go through) a cut

9d    ‘I will get home — I’m not incapable.’ Priceless! (11)
{INESTIMABLE} – a charade of I, a home for a bird, I’M and a word meaning not incapable

13d    Pickle‘s lovely — hand over (6,4)
{PRETTY PASS} – a pickle or predicament comes from a charade of an adjective meaning lovely and a verb meaning to hand over

16d    Cuts one dead in front of my boss. That’s out of line (8)
{LOPSIDED} – a verb meaning cuts followed by I (one) D(ead) and the setter’s boss

17d    Ticket with permit to get back in to see drawings (7)
{PASTELS} – a ticket around (to get … in) the reversal (back) of a verb meaning to permit

18d    ‘In sickness or…’ Till death and beyond? (7)
{FOREVER} – inside a sickness put OR

21d    Occupying hospital bed, private (6)
{INWARD} – split as (2,4) this could mean occupying a hospital bed

24d    I heard he dropped round wanting a drink (4)
{ARID} – an anagram (round) of I (HE)ARD without (dropped) HE




  1. spindrift
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Best described as humdrum & pedestrian IMHO. No favourites but some real groaners.

  2. Jezza
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    15a and 13d held me up for a while. I really did not like the wording of 25a, but I did like the surface of 3d.

  3. BigBoab
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Run of the mill stuff from Excalibur but who am I to criticise, I could no more set a crossword than milk a bullock so, thanks to Excalibur and to BD for the hints.

    • spindrift
      Posted March 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Maybe I should have qualified my initial comment above. I couldn’t compile a crossword for all of the tea in Cuba so chapeaus off to those who can.

      • Kath
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        There are lots of things that I can’t do – compiling crosswords is just one of them which is why I would never criticise any of them. Some are way beyond me (most of the Toughies are) but that’s my fault.
        Three cheers to all the setters.

        • pommette
          Posted March 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          Round of applause

  4. Kath
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed it – and I could do it – well, almost.
    I couldn’t do 15a which didn’t help with 16d (and neither did having ‘at’ as the first word of 23a.)
    I thought that 13d was really clever and also liked 10 and 12a and 3, 4 and 24d.
    With thanks to Excalibur and BD.

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Speaking as a 15a, I have never heard of ‘tongues’ used in this connection.

      • pommette
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        As someone who only ever went ringing once (30 years ago), my instructor told me the the clappers could also be called the bell tongues!

  5. Beaver
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Dont usually try the toughie,but had time after the ‘back page cryptic’ It seemed to me that this was not really toughie standard in the way the clues were constructed,if it had appeared on the back page,i don’t think anyone would have noticed the difference.,liked 10a and struggled with 15a until i looked up the various meanings of ‘tongue’

    • Kath
      Posted March 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I have a sneaky feeling that you’re right about it not being difficult enough for a Toughie – my logic is that if I can do it then it isn’t! :sad: One day I’ll be able to.

  6. stanXYZ
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Oh Well! I enjoyed today’s offering from Excalibur. Many Thanks!

    Same old. same old … from the reviewer!

    How many variations of * **** ** **** are there?

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      I may skip the review altogether next time, then at least I won’t lose two hours of my life that I’ll never get back.

      • Kath
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        I’m sorry about the missing two hours of your life but please don’t skip the review. Where would we all be? Perhaps I should rephrase that and say where would I be!!

        • mary
          Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          Ditto, not that I often attempt a toughie, seriously, though, I am grateful to all of our ‘reviewers’ as Kath says where would we be without them

      • spindrift
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        I felt like that on Sunday afternoon after the England/Italy game – right result but the wrong team won.

      • Franco
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        But why do you always post such derogatory comments about this compiler?

        As you have said in the past – where would we be without the setters?

        • Posted March 12, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          What was derogatory about saying that I derived no pleasure whatsoever from solving this puzzle? Perhaps you would like to review the next one – if so the floor is yours.

          • Franco
            Posted March 12, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

            My interpretation of * **** ** **** was derogatory. Maybe I am wrong?

            • Posted March 12, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

              You didn’t take up my offer then!

              Since you seem to be able to read my thoughts *** ** ** **** **

              • pommette
                Posted March 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

                So why do you have to be so rude to Excaliber . . . And Franco too?
                What has Franco ever done to upset you?

                And for that matter Excaliber?
                You ALWAYS make some some of comment about her puzzles – albeit in a negative way.
                Never anything good to say.

                If you “can say nothing polite about this puzzle so I will say nothing” then why not ask one of the other bloggers to do her puzzles?

                They aren’t always “my cup of tea” either – but no way could I even contemplate thinking about setting a puzzle – nor blogging one. But let’s play fair here.

                If you can’t say anything nice – then don’t go out of your way to say what you do. Just say nothing at all.

              • Franco
                Posted March 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

                I cannot read all your thoughts.

                What does *** ** ** **** ** mean?

                • crypticsue
                  Posted March 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

                  I am all for free speech and all the rest of it, and that people want to air their grievances, but isn’t it time we let this one alone and got back to the nice atmosphere which made us all join the blog in the first place

                  • mary
                    Posted March 14, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

                    Yes please! This is all too much :-(

                • Posted March 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

                  This subject is now closed, as far as I am concerned.

                  • mary
                    Posted March 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

                    Thank goodness for that!

  7. Pegasus
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Gentle start to the Toughie week, I did like 3d and 10a thanks to Excalibur and to Big Dave for the comments.

  8. Heno
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to all concerned, way too difficult for me, had to look up 15 answers. Managed to solve 6.

  9. gnomethang
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Excalibur and BD – this completed the journey to St Pancras quite nicely. I enjoyed 8a as one who holds a (lapsed) SCUBA ticket.

  10. pommers
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I have just resigned from BD’s blogging team so adios to one and all.

    I get slagged for disliking Elgar’s puzzles but it’s quite OK for BD to insult Excalibur and her puzzles at every available opportunity over the last two or three years – how does that work? Well, it’s because it’s his blog and he’s the boss. I’m voting with my feet, or mouse?

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry that you feek like that.

      There is a big difference. I was asked by the setter concerned to pull your comments and I refused. I only stopped you when you made personal comments about him rather than his puzzles.

      • pommers
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        Did Nuala Considine ever insult you personally?

        • una
          Posted March 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          I hesitated yesterday to say anything, to see if you would work it out for yourselves, but that doesn’t seemed to have happened.You have only recently recovered from a very serious illness. We all invested a lot of emotional energy , willing you better.Recuperation takes a long time,it is probably best not to make big decisions whilst still in the recovery mode. Since your offer of resignation isn’t at all desirable, can I take it that you will of course blog ( and hopefully argue,perhaps with me) soon?look, you Queen has cancelled some engagements due to her illness, but she hasn’t thrown in the towel.

          • pommers
            Posted March 13, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

            Hi Una – see my most on today’s blog. Us chemists need to stick together in our arguments.,

            • una
              Posted March 13, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

              bonding is very important and explosions must be avoided !