Toughie 1028

Toughie No 1028 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I found this very straightforward apart from a couple of words that I didn’t know and had to check at the end

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    Spots broadcasting contract (6)
{FLECKS} A homophone (broadcasting) of ‘to contract (a muscle)’

5a    Most exuberant attempts to enter boat the wrong way (8)
{GUSHIEST} Attempts inside a reversal of a boat used for towing

9a    Acrobatic feat in what sounds like two seasons (10)
{SOMERSAULT} A homophone of a season of the year and ‘to season’

10a    Security for something fixed on two pieces of wood (4)
{BAIL} 2 meanings: security/a crosspiece that lies on the top of two stumps (pieces of wood) in a wicket

11a    Nice beef, well cooked — that’s living! (8)
{BENEFICE} An anagram (well cooked) of NICE BEEF

12a    Spoiled tot to get taken in hand? (6)
{ADDLED} ‘To tot’ + ‘taken in hand’

13a    Satisfactory recipe for getting ace dish (4)
{OKRA} Satisfactory + R (recipe) + A (ace)

15a    Thoroughfare across a sort of valley that’s associated with disease (8)
{MALARIAL} A thoroughfare (shaded avenue) round A and a drowned valley

18a    Study faces in the auditorium? These bits stick out (8)
{CONDYLES} ‘To study’ + a homophone (in the auditorium) of faces = rounded projections on the articulating ends of bones such as the ball portions of ball-and-socket joints. This is one I had to check

19a    Female associated with victory ultimately won by US President (4)
{NIKE} The last letter of won + Eisenhower’s nickname

21a/2d    Country is reversing blunder without help — chance finally grasped (6,5)
{SIERRA LEONE} A reversal of IS + ‘to blunder’ + ‘without help’ round E (last letter of chance)

23a    Looking briefly to be attached to good independent school (8)
{GLANCING} G (good) + an independent school in West Sussex

25a    Wise person cut down, wanting zero pudding? (4)
{SAGO} A wise person with the last letter removed + O (zero)

26a    Where domestic aerials may be attached free (2,3,5)
{ON THE HOUSE} Home TV aerials are usually attached here

27a    After expression of approval, plant fruit-bearing shrub (8)
{OLEASTER} An exclamation of approval (heard at bullfights) + a flowering plant (a Michaelmas daisy) = a shrub with olive-like fruits

28a    Moves slowly as deliverer of people across the unknown (6)
{MOSEYS} The deliverer of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt goes round Y (unknown)


2d    See 21 Across

3d    US President intelligent but not right for leading country (9)
{CLEVELAND} The only US president to serve two non-consecutive terms = ‘intelligent’ minus the letter R (right) + country

4d    Bird is protected by outer covering (6)
{SISKIN} IS in outer covering

5d    Graduate is mug, I suspect, to be outside university rendering its song? (9,6)
{GAUDEAMUS IGITUR} An anagram (suspect) of GRADUATE IS MUG I round U (university) gives the Latin title of a song sung at some graduation ceremonies

6d    A bestial drunk that can be filled to capacity (8)
{SATIABLE} An anagram (drunk) of A BESTIAL

7d    Put down as having arms and legs but no head (5)
{IMBED} Remove the first letter (head) from a word meaning ‘having arms and legs’

8d    Pair carrying diamonds in bag that may be put in the kitchen (5,4)
{SPICE RACK} PR (pair) round ‘diamonds’ inside ‘bag’

14d    King at this time one towering clever dick (4-2-3)
{KNOW-IT-ALL} K (King) + ‘at this time’ + I (one) + ‘towering’

16d    The components of the answer here don’t meet! (3,6)
{RUN ACROSS} The letters in this down answer don’t do this

17d    Garment contains bit of corn — otherwise it’s empty (5,3)
{CLEAR OUT} A garment goes round a bit of corn to give ‘to empty’. I didn’t know this word for garment

20d    Women for intimate relationships? Fast type needs them (6)
{HAREEM} An animal that can run fast + an abbreviated form of ‘them’

22d    Woman‘s fancy hairdo putting one off (5)
{RHODA} An anagram (fancy) of HARDO, i.e. hairdo less I (one)

24d    There’s no holding a good man down? It’s awkward (5)
{NASTY} ‘No’ round an abbreviation for a good man

Far too gentle for my liking


  1. the dodger
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    re 17 down- remember the saying – ” Ne’er cast a clout ’till May is out” Which refers to not shedding ones winter garments before the May bush/tree blossoms,
    18 ac had me stumped but I was on the right lines,if not the right spelling.
    Thanks to Bufo and Giovanni

  2. BigBoab
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Not really a toughie but fairly enjoyable, this took me far less time to do than the “back pager”. Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo.

  3. spindrift
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Re:17d In Yorkshire “clouts” is an old fashioned word for underpants, especially those of an apple catcher size.

  4. Pegasus
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Gentle fare on offer today, favourites were 1a 10a and 16d thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo. With a bit of luck we might get a Myops puzzle tomorrow.

  5. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    We, of course, had to Google-check the school in 23a. As ever, the obscure words in the grid were so well clued that any references used were for confirmation rather than searching. An elegant, enjoyable puzzle in our opinion.
    Thanks Giovanni and Bufo.

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I had one of my rare forays into the Toughie world today, and, like BigBoab, I completed it faster than the back pager (that wasn’t on the back page again).

    I really enjoyed this and my rating is **/****. I might even have given it 5* for enjoyment except I was put off by the obscurity of 18a and 5d. Still, mustn’t grumble, they are both in the BRB!

    Many thanks to Giovanni and Bufo.

  7. Heno
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo for the review and hints. Wasn’t straightforward for me. I needed 20 hints to finish. Just can’t fathom these Toughies.

  8. Only fools
    Posted August 9, 2013 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Simple insertion of obscurities into a reasonably enjoyable puzzle to categorise it as a “toughie ” detracted from the enjoyment for me .Perversely the back pager was my quickest solve of the week but the most enjoyable so far .
    We are all different and keep going Heno it only gets easier if you keep trying .
    Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo and to Pegasus whose favourites were identical to mine .

    • Posted August 9, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      I couldn’t agree more about the insertion of “obscurities … to categorise it as a ‘toughie’”. Very few of the Toughie setters have properly embraced the genre.

    • spindrift
      Posted August 9, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      I couldn’t name an independent school in my own post code never mind one in the home counties!

    • Heno
      Posted August 9, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the encouragement :-)