Toughie 988 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 988

Toughie No 988 by Warbler

More Fluffy than Toughie?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment ***

For once I’m glad it’s an easy Thursday puzzle because I’m pushed for time this morning. A pleasant puzzle but far too easy for a Toughie and with too many anagrams for my taste

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1a    Biscuits served in small squares (5,5)
{PETIT FOURS} Small (from the French) + the plural of a square number

6a    Leader leaves group of soldiers in square (4)
{QUAD} Remove the first letter from a group of soldiers

10a    Panic when spot is discovered on middle of cheek (5)
{SCARE} A spot + the middle letter of chEek

11a    At home carelessly fail to note increase (9)
{INFLATION} ‘At home’ + an anagram (carelessly) of FAIL TO + N (note)

12a    Insulating material in Lyons is restricted by court orders (8)
{ASBESTOS} The French word for ‘is’ inside court orders that place restrictions on people guilty of antisocial acts

13a    Subject of article covering European money (5)
{THEME} The definite article round E (European) M (money)

15a    Pass on reminder about letter (7)
{PROCEED} A reminder round the spelt-out name of the 3rd letter of the alphabet

17a    New titles will embrace a touch of olde-worlde understatement (7)
{LITOTES} An anagram (new) of TITLES round O (first letter of olde-worlde)

19a    Revolutionary doctor takes local father hostage in gorge (7)
{CHEDDAR} A revolutionary + the abbreviation for ‘doctor’ round a dialect form of ‘dad’

21a    Make note: Around noon arrive at National Trust (7)
{COMMENT} ‘To arrive’ goes round M (meridiem = noon) + NT (National Trust)

22a    Foreign / film (5)
{ALIEN} 2 meanings: foreign/a 1979 science fiction horror film

24a    Drawing of frigate briefly scribbled (8)
{GRAFFITO} An anagram (scribbled) of OF FRIGAT (‘frigate’ with the last letter removed)

27a    Playing such role with Ecstasy might be seen as lewd (9)
{LECHEROUS} An anagram (playing) of SUCH ROLE E (Ecstasy)

28a    Some unlawful trafficking is extreme (5)
{ULTRA} Hidden in unlawfUL TRAfficking

29a    Cut’s said to be painful (4)
{SORE} A homophone of ‘to cut’. It doesn’t work in my northern accent

30a    Act calmly in Hamlet. Personal magnetism’s admirable (4,2,4)
{PLAY IT COOL} Hamlet (possibly) + personal magnetism + admirable


1d    Author Edgar maintains society attitude (4)
{POSE} The surname of an author with the first name Edgar goes round S (society)

2d    Rearranged stops near interchange (9)
{TRANSPOSE} An anagram (rearranged) of STOPS NEAR

3d    13 exchanging money for king’s word of approval (5)
{THERE} Take the answer to 13 across and replace M (money) by R (king)

4d    Note: Tense and time in dictionary left out (7)
{OMITTED} A musical note + T (tense) + T (time) inside the abbreviation for a well-known dictionary

5d    Flare up about American rejection (7)
{REFUSAL} An anagram (up) of FLARE round American

7d    Join in retinue making its way back (5)
{UNITE} Hidden in reversed form in rETINUe

8d    Daughter and son accessing internet — mostly dodgy special services (6,4)
{DINNER SETS} D (daughter) + S (son) in an anagram (dodgy) of INTERNE (internet minus the last letter) + S (special)

9d    Fellow with coat flapping on stomach’s a general dogsbody (8)
{FACTOTUM} F (fellow) + an anagram (flapping) of COAT + stomach

14d    Shows risky investment over ruined castle (10)
{SPECTACLES} An abbreviated form of a risky investment + an anagram *ruined) of CASTLE

16d    Cease hostility or risk extinction (8)
{ENDANGER} ‘To cease’ + hostility

18d    Score’s deuce, and there’s a chance of a further score if this line is crossed (6-3)
{TWENTY-TWO} A score + deuce = a line on a rugby pitch

20d    Tease pretty girl for becoming a plaything (3,4)
{RAG DOLL} ‘To tease’ + a pretty girl

21d    Shout about girl lowering head in a stupid way (7)
{CRASSLY} ‘To shout’ goes round a girl with the first letter (head) placed at the end

23d    Suffer drastic ruin around second of October (5)
{INCUR} An anagram (drastic) of RUIN round C (the second letter of October)

25d    Imperfection in fine gold leads to loss and tears (5)
{FAULT} F (fine) + the atomic symbol for gold + the first letters of Loss and Tears

26d    Judge’s sitting with trouble in Parkhurst?

{JAIL} J (judge) + ‘to trouble’

A good morning’s work. Now off to the pub

17 comments on “Toughie 988

  1. A lovely fluffy crossword but not really a Toughie. Thanks to Warbler and Bufo – wish I could join you in the pub!

  2. For me, easier than the cryptic today. I was held up by having the wrong 3-letter word in 20D ( it made perfect sense to me at the time). And I’d quibble a bit about 1A being biscuits. I thought I had the correct answer for 24A but couldn’t justify the parsing. Now I know why! Most enjoyable, though. Many thanks to the setter and to Bufo for the review.

  3. Have to agree with previous comments, a very enjoyable crossword but not a toughie, thanks to Warbler and Bufo.

  4. I don’t very often do the Toughies but it’s raining (again) and I quite liked the idea of a fluffy one!
    I agree with Expat Chris that it was probably easier than the cryptic. I also started off with the wrong 3 letter word in 20d – probably the same one. I was almost defeated by 8d – thinking of all the wrong kinds of services.
    With thanks to Warbler and bufo.

  5. Straightforward yet enjoyable fare on offer today, thanks to Warbler and to Bufo for the comments.

  6. Held up by 18d- just as I don’t know about carpentry (main CW today), I also don’t know about Rugby……
    Also 17a was only vaguely known (knew word- didn’t know definition).
    Liked 21d though …and 12a.
    Now I’ve finished one easy toughie, I will try more. Can afford the time whilst weather stays grim…….
    Thanks for explanations!

    1. Tomorrow is an Elgar Toughie – highly unlikely that it will be fluffy!

    2. I agree with almost everything that you’ve said! The list of things that I don’t know anything about increases all the time. :smile:
      My advice would be to steer well clear of Friday Toughies, particularly Elgar ones – I think that I might have got one answer in one of his crosswords a long time ago, and that was only because some kind people pointed me in the direction of the right clue.

  7. Easy yes, mind you after the nestor in the indy and loroso in ft I needed that. Thanks bufo, perhaps you do get the easy ones….

  8. Easy yes, mind you after the nestor in the indy and loroso I needed that. Thanks bufo, perhaps you do get the easy ones….

  9. Clearly, someone decided to 2d the Toughie and the one on the back page.

    1. Nice idea, but Warbler doesn’t set back-page puzzles (perhaps she should, I can think of a day that I would rather see a puzzle from her than from the current incumbent!)

      1. OK, you have me intrigued now – who would you like to replace with Warbler?
        Rufus, Jay, Giovanni and Virgilius are the only ‘incumbents’, as far as I know, as the other days don’t have regular setters.

        Might be nice to have Warbler on Tues and alternate RayT and Petitjean on Thurs – but that’s probably asking a bit too much!

  10. Not many problems with this one for us. Initially tried to put “crazily” for 21d, Liza backwards for the girl, but soon found that did not work.
    Thanks Warbler and Bufo.

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