Toughie 972 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 972

Toughie No 972 by Warbler

Wake up and smell the 1 across!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

This must be the most straightforward Toughie that I have ever solved

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    Business charge including fellow’s drink (6)
{COFFEE} An abbreviation denoting ‘business’ + a charge round F (fellow)

5a    Soldier left undisciplined in apparent change of position (8)
{PARALLAX} A soldier dropped from the air + L (left) + ‘undisciplined’

9a    In Spain the brewed beer runs dry hence a type of wine is produced (10)
{ELDERBERRY} The Spanish word for ‘the’ + an anagram (brewed) of BEER R(uns) DRY gives a fruit used for making wine

10a    River / supports (4)
{TEES} 2 meanings: a river in NE England/supports used by golfers

11a    Letter shape in convoluted prose is a kind of 1 (8)
{ESPRESSO} The shape of the 19th letter of the alphabet goes inside an anagram 9convoluter) of PROSE

12a    Stays abed at home after first signs of severe enteric illness likely to return (4,2)
{LIES IN} ‘At home’ follows a reversal of the initial letters of Severe Enteric Illness Likely

13a    Among a million one died (4)
{AMID} A + million + one + died

15a    Animal lacking height has a tail wagging by end of run (8)
{ALSATIAN} An anagram (wagging) of HAS A TAIL with letter H (height) removed + the last letter of ruN

18a    Covered in scratches, champion advances rapidly (8)
{SCORCHES} ‘Scratches’ round CH (champion)

19a    Make lovey-dovey noises to the Northern bird (4)
{COOT} ‘Make lovey-dovey noises@ + T’ (the Northern)

21a    Poet‘s beginning to recite most of song before the Queen (6)
{RHYMER} The first letter of Recite + a song of praise with the last letter removed + the Queen

23a    Occasional gesture’s vulgar on looking back (3-3-2)
{OFF-AND-ON} A reversal (looking back) of a gesture of the head + vulgar + O’ (on)

25a    Constituent of vital chemical that is found at the bottom of Moh’s scale (4)
{TALC} Hidden in viTAL Chemical

26a    Top composer’s ego lost over type of 1 (10)
{CAPPUCHINO} Top + an Italian composer with the letter I (ego) removed + O (over)

27a    Cameron manoeuvres to right. He tries to woo us (8)
{ROMANCER} An anagram (manoeuvres) of CAMERON + R (right)

28a    Net forms part of creels etc (3-3)
{EEL-SET} Hidden in crEELS ETc


2d    Amorous glances from nasty fellow changing direction before seduction begins (5)
{OGLES} Take a nasty fellow and change R (right) to L (left). Then add the first letter of Seduction

3d    As one not paying for union privileges, I referred in error (4-5)
{FREE-RIDER} An anagram (in error) of I REFERRED

4d    Raise in relief exploded bombs, not one British, in European square (6)
{EMBOSS} An anagram (exploded) of BOMBS minus one of the letter Bs (one British) goes inside E (European) S (square)

5d    Son’s a proper help — sadly one will have counsel in store (8,7)

6d    Cavalier man’s on a roll (8)
{ROYALIST} A man’s name + A + a roll

7d    Centre of dish displays variety of 1 (5)
{LATTE} The middle 5 letters of a 7-letter word meaning ‘dish’

8d    Nice aroma drifting about in kind of 1 (9)
{AMERICANO} An anagram (drifting about) of NICE AROMA

14d    Scot has talk about one over sort of 1 (9)
{MACCHIATO} A Scotsman + talk round I (one) + O (over)

16d    Strangely the laconic will have nothing to lose in kind of hitch (9)
{TECHNICAL} An anagram (strangely) of THE LACONIC with the letter O (nothing) removed

17d    Cold follows hot in aortic malfunctioning of the chest (8)
{THORACIC} C (cold) goes after H (hot) in an anagram (malfunctioning) of AORTIC

20d    There’s no right for rubbish around top of field to be spread (6)
{EFFUSE} ‘Rubbish’ with the letter R (right) removed goes round F (first letter of field)

22d    Instant tea variety of 1 (5)
{MOCHA} An instant + tea

24d    Cat on one occasion grabbed emu’s tail (5)
{OUNCE} ‘On one occasion’ goes round U (last letter of emu)

One of the most straightforward cryptic crosswords I have ever solved

18 comments on “Toughie 972

  1. Definitely not a Toughie – once you had realised about the 1s and written them in, the rest just slotted quickly into place. The backpager was harder work than this

    Thanks to Bufo and Warbler too.

  2. Not a difficult puzzle, but an enjoyable one. Thanks to Warbler, and to Bufo.

  3. Very simple for a “toughie” but an unusual theme, I have never had a 5d but I do have a “personal spender” Thanks to Warbler and to Bufo for the hints.

  4. Never heard of 14D, but then I don’t frequent places that have baristas! Also stuck on 18A and not very satisfied with the answer. Otherwise, it was a slow but quite enjoyable exercise. Many thanks to the setter and to Bufo for the two needed answers, the hints not being enough for me to work them out.

  5. Gentle offering from todays setter, favourite 20d thanks to Warbler and to Bufo for the hints.

  6. I don’t like theme puzzles even when they’re good and this one wasn’t good. No creativity. LIke painting with numbers

  7. This was fun. Light hearted and lightweight.

    The back page is a different story. I’m still struggling!

  8. A wonderful crossword , once I got 1a. I sincerely hope this pattern of doable and fun crosswords on a Thursday continues. Thank you Warbler and Bufo. Long live the Bufo effect !

  9. The first comment I saw when reading this blog was “This must be the most straightforward Toughie that I have ever solved”. That is all very well for the seasonned solver to say, but it gives very little encouragement to those of us on a lower rung of the solving ladder who found it more challenging. Yes, I have completed it and I have done so without resorting to hints from the above, but PLEASE don’t make comments that could make some of us feel ashamed of our ‘ability’. Having completed the back page puzzle as well today I feel quite pleased with my efforts.

      1. Hello Big Dave. Thanks for the welcome. Yes, I guess you have a point. Similarly with GK, the question is always easy if you know the answer – I needed a coffee with something in it after working a couple or more of those little caffeine loaded clues!

    1. I can 100% guarantee no-one at all will be claming that today’s Toughie is straightforward.

      1. Great news! Unlike everyone else it seems I struggled with this Toughie – not helped by sitting in a hospital waiting room which had Radio 1 blaring out. My excuse & I’m sticking to it.

  10. I spent less time on this than on the bacl pager but it was still a fun (if short) solve. Thanks to Warbler and to Bufo for the review.

  11. I also found it easier than the back page, and good fun. Thanks Warbler.

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