Toughie 968

Toughie No 968 by Busman

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

It’s typical, isn’t it? You wait ages for a Busman to turn up and then two come along in quick succession. This one provided the usual smooth comfortable ride with no hold-ups en route.

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    Go via Rye, opening trivial charge (10,4)
{PEPPERCORN RENT} Go (energy) (3) + via (3) + rye (4) + an opening (4)

9a    On the way back, once more, some rain falls (7)
{NIAGARA} A reversal of ‘once more’ + the first two letters of RAin

10a    Southern Spain — travel through Spanish city (7)
{SEGOVIA} S (Southern) + the IVR for Spain + ‘travel’ (2) + ‘through’ (3)

11a    Haul made by New Yorker? (4)
{YANK} 2 meanings: to haul/someone from New York possibly

12a    Winds pick up vessel headed by master making peculiar signs (10)
{TRADEMARKS} Winds (which blow towards the thermal equator and are deflected westward by the eastward rotation of the earth) go round Noah’s vessel preceded by M (master)

14a    Arrive mob-handed — getting very drunk, almost (4,2)
{ROLL IN} Remove the last letter from ‘very drunk’

15a    It’s not easy to shake off this goose? (8)
{BARNACLE} 2 meanings: a companion not easily shaken off (or a clinging crustacean)/a type of wild goose

17a    African runner‘s bounding run by stake (8)
{ANTELOPE} A bounding run follows a stake in poker

18a    Make good press following wreck being discovered (6)
{RECOUP} A press (publisher) based in a university city follows the middle three letters of wRECk (dis-covered = having had the covers taken off)

20a    Quick to accept one old coin for collectors’ fair (4,6)
{FLEA MARKET} ‘Quick’ goes round A and an old German coin

21a    It will attract attention from posh set’s regulars (4)
{PSST} Alternate letters of PoSh SeT

23a    Restricted cover hides very little (7)
{LIMITED} A cover goes round a very small amount

24a    Sight the compiler viewed, he said (7)
{EYESORE} A sight (in the sense of something unsightly) is a homophone of ‘the compiler viewed’

25a    Capital thoroughfare where ‘orse has nothing to show, returning between haunts (5,3,6)
{UNTER DEN LINDEN} A boulevard in Berlin = an ‘orse + ‘nothing’ reversed (returning ) placed between two occurrences of a word meaning ‘haunt’


1d    Dreyfus planned new magazines (5,9)
{PENNY DREADFULS} An anagram (new) of DREYFUS PLANNED = cheap sensational serial publications

2d    Nothing less than compensation he’ll set for secret police (12,3)
{PLAINCLOTHES MEN} An anagram (set) of COMPENSATION HE’LL with the letter O (nothing) omitted give police who are not in uniform

3d    Oath exemplified by commercial (4)
{EGAD} ‘Exemplified by’ + commercial

4d    Presides over church broadcasts (6)
{CHAIRS} An abbreviation denoting ‘church’ + ‘broadcasts’

5d    Unstable lira used in payment to film actor (8)
{RESIDUAL} An anagram (unstable) of LIRA USED = a payment to an actor for later use of a film in which he or she appears

6d    Classified course note receiving degree (10)
{REGIMENTED} A course (of treatment) + the seventh note of the scale + D (degree)

7d    You’ll need it to win the Dunmow flitch and certainly not this? (5,1,5,4)
{NEVER A CROSS WORD} To win the Dunmow flitch a couple must convince a jury that, for a year and a day’ they have never regretted being wed. They must swear that there have been no ‘household brawls or contentious strife’. The answer to the clue shows there has been no contentious strife. But when split (5,1,9) it cannot be true or I wouldn’t be writing this blog.

8d    Clydeside sales talk with name for fabric (7,7)
{PAISLEY PATTERN} A Clydeside town + sales talk + N (name) = fabric with an ornamental device known as a ‘cone’

13d    Short distance in borders of Timor — two miles off, about (10)
{MILLIMETRE} TR (first and last letters of TimoR) inside an anagram (off) of MILE MILE

16d    Given higher award — possibly DD (Prague) (8)
{UPGRADED} An anagram (possibly) of DD PRAGUE

19d    Whither Einstein? The answer’s there (6)
{HEREIN} The answer is hidden in WhitHER EINstein

22d    Singular trousers, apparently, for Jacob’s son (4)
{LEVI} Remove the S from the end of a brand of denim trousers

The journey was over far too quickly


  1. crypticsue
    Posted April 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Definitely another ‘softie’ Thursday – the Bufo effect again I suppose – but enjoyable for all its softness. Thanks to both the Bs.

  2. BigBoab
    Posted April 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword from Busman, I particularly enjoyed 2d ( I spent 25yrs as one in Greater Manchester) and 8d (I recall going to Love St as a young boy to see my team the Third Lanark beat the home team St. Mirren) Many thanks to Busman for the memories and to Bufo for an excellent review.

    • albatross
      Posted April 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Whatever happened to Third Lanark? I too have been to (the old) Love St.

      Lovely crossword – thanks to Busman and Bufo.

  3. Pegasus
    Posted April 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff on offer today, not overly difficult yet very entertaining. Favourites for me were 7d 13d 18a and 25a thanks to Busman and to Bufo for the comments.

  4. 2Kiwis
    Posted April 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    2d was our last one in. Mainly because we had put “roar in” instead of “roll in” for 14a. It does work equally well for the clue. This made a mess of our anagram fodder. However got there eventually. The clue that gave us most pleasure was 7d. Never heard of it so a bit of investigoogling to start. Wonder how much bacon we two would qualify for in the last 46 years………..
    A real pleasure to solve. Thought it quite tough at the time, but when we got to the end, found it was well within 3* time for us.
    Thanks Busman and Bufo.

  5. una
    Posted April 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Fabulous puzzle from Busman (very like a virgilus ).Kicking myself for looking up hints for the last few.Pity this wasn’t on the back page instead of the one we got.This is the first toughie I (almost ) finished, and probably the last too.Thanks to Busman and Bufo.

    • Franco
      Posted April 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Una, I may be wrong but I may be right! Are you Irish!

      A clip from Virgilius (My Favourite)

      • una
        Posted April 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I am.The weird thing is I had just viewed the same video clip, though he doesn’t mention the pseudonym Busman. Virigilius is also my favorite along with Micaber and Rufus and Don Manley.

      • crypticsue
        Posted April 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        They are two completely different people. The best way to find out about setters and their aliases is to go to

        • una
          Posted April 25, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for that.

  6. Vigo
    Posted April 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I was quite pleased to finish most of this without hints but was left having to highlight (and in one case copy and paste due to no iPad definition) two answers (10 and 25 across). Having done so I didn’t feel a ‘doh’ moment just a ‘huh?’ moment. Sorry if I’m just very under informed but I really have never heard of either of these answers. I was close to filling in 10a anyway but 25a I’m really sorry but way beyond my general knowledge and I found it annoying (and unfair). Sorry. Thanks to Busman and Bufo’s.

  7. marcus brown
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I normally like Boatman but this wasn’t up to standard. 25a, for instance, was not at all what one would expect of him. Still, it’s better than the Thursday back page.

    • Posted April 26, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      This was by Busman – Boatman is a Guardian setter.

  8. marcus brown
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for that. It was a slip of the mind. The message was about Busman