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Toughie 1056

Toughie No 1056 by Shamus

15-Letter Anagram Day

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I was obviously not on good anagram-solving form this morning because I made heavy weather of 3 of the 4 long anagrams. As a result this puzzle took me longer than it should have done. I suspect that anyone who solved these anagrams quickly would have found this to be a fairly simple puzzle.

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.


8a    Distinct group almost infiltrated by a painter (8)
{SEPARATE} A group of seven with the last letter removed goes round A painter (member of the Royal Academy)

9a    Missile made by revolutionary firm in Texas and Spain (6)
{EXOCET} A reversal (revolutionary) of an abbreviation denoting ‘firm’ inside a shortened form of Texas and the IVR for Spain

10a    Island club overlooking hotel (3)
{COS} A Greek island is a club with the letter H (hotel) removed

11a    Change in coaches one’s put out with official backing (8)
{TRANSFER} ‘Coaches’ with I (one) removed + a reversal of the official in a game of football

12a    What’s recalled in politician giving explanation (6)
{THEORY} A reversal of ‘What!’ inside a right-wing politician

13a    Repair decorator discharged for acquisitive type (9,6)
{CORPORATE RAIDER} An anagram (discharged) of REPAIR DECORATOR gives an individual who seeks to gain control of a business by acquiring a large proportion of its stock

15a    Line in badly finished work by yard showing irregular discolouring? (7)
{BLOTCHY} L (Line) in badly finished work + Y (yard)

18a    Plausible talk about a Northern toady (7)
{SPANIEL} Plausible talk goes round A N (Northern)

21a    Plain lot to touch a monk unexpectedly (3,4,2,4,2)
{NOT MUCH TO LOOK AT} An anagram (unexpectedly) of LOT TO TOUCH A MONK

24a    Islands capital captured in main assault (6)
{NASSAU} The capital of the Bahamas is hidden in maiN ASSAUlt

25a    Fantastic church defending a work of a charity (8)
{OUTREACH) ‘Fantastic’ (5) + A + an abbreviation denoting ‘church’

26a    Rent in Yorkshire place that’s not feasible (3)
{RIP} Remove a 2-letter word meaning ‘feasible’ from the end of the name of a cathedral city in Yorkshire

27a    Offensive characteristic of harmony Spice Girl dropped (6)
{ODIOUS} Remove Scary or Sporty Spice from the beginning of a word meaning ‘characteristic of harmony’

28a    Revolutionary individual originally associated with top duke, one avoiding struggle (8)
{PACIFIST} A reversal of I (first letter of individual) and ‘top’ + duke (but not a nobleman)


1d    What bachelor did to restrain Irish eccentric (6)
{WEIRDO} The bachelor married nobody. Put a short form of ‘married nobody’ round IR (Irish)

2d    Cold milk held up? It’s addictive to a feline (6)
{CATNIP} A reversal of C (cold) and a quantity of milk you were urged to drink each day

3d    Factor superhero represented as a normal occurrence (3,3,3,6)
{PAR FOR THE COURSE} An anagram (represented) of FACTOR SUPERHERO

4d    Hide in part of Mediterranean island furthest from European heartland? (7)
{SECRETE} The south-east part of the Mediterranean island is the part furthest from the European heartland

5d    Cosmetic party activity? Tories plug site devised to cover Conservative (7,8)
{GESTURE POLITICS} An anagram (devised) of TORIES PLUG SITE round C (Conservative) gives activity aimed primarily at satisfying public opinion

6d    Wise, possibly, counter argument seen around print and TV (8)
{COMEDIAN} The Wise is Ernie Wise. A counter argument goes round ‘print and TV’

7d    Salesman getting a lot of ridicule, day before suspension (8)
{REPRIEVE} A salesman + a 3-letter word for ‘to ridicule’ with the last letter removed + the day before

14d    Disorder curtailed in port (3)
{RIO} Remove the last letter from ‘disorder’

16d    Artist becoming fat and round having been around long time (8)
{LEONARDO} A type of fat and O (round) round a long time

17d    Journalists on Telegraph rival getting appointment for TV programme? (4,4)
{TIME SLOT} When split (5,3) this could be the journalists on another national daily newspaper

19d    Bother type having switch of direction (3)
{IRK} ‘To bother’ = a type with L (left) changed to R (right)

20d    Obstreperous agent consuming drink after promotion (7)
{STROPPY} A secret agent goes round a reversal of an alcoholic drink

22d    Unique act implied by a player getting red card? (3-3)
{ONE-OFF} A player getting a red card is an individual who has to leave the pitch

23d    Speak first to soprano in upcoming musical work, ignoring volunteers (6)
{ACCOST} S (first letter of soprano) inside a reversal of a musical work after removal of TA (Territorial Army = volunteers)


18 comments on “Toughie 1056

  1. 3*/4* for me too. A couple of the long anagrams held me up as well, but once i got those, the rest fell into place very nicely.
    Many thanks to Shamus, and to Bufo for the notes.

  2. Easiest one of the week so far, especially if you get the four long anagrams; I did need clarification for 1dn and I find spaniel for toady in 18 ac a calumny upon the noblest and most loyal of dogs, until I checked the dictionary and see that its origins refer to the Spanish. in which case it’s just racist abuse- so that’s alright then.

  3. Not the most difficult Shamus toughie but nevertheless quite enjoyable. Thanks to Shamus and to Bufo for the review.

  4. I found this easier than most toughies – some answers were worked out only because I had filled in the odd letters from other clues – but 1d annoys me as a clue – I had no idea why the ‘o’ was supposed to be on the end, and now that I know why I’m not impressed.

  5. Gentle fare on offer today, favourites were 1d 10a and 17d thanks to Shamus and to Bufo for the comments.

  6. Thanks to Shamus and Bufo. Very enjoyable, just needed the hints for 6d & 18a. Favourites were 2&16d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  7. I got stuck with lots in the right hand side, not helped by being completely unable to do the 21a and 5d anagrams.
    I enjoyed what I managed.
    With thanks to Shamus and bufo.

  8. Our first thought was “Four long multi-word anagrams – this should be easy” but that did not prove to be the case as three of these took a bit of time to yield. A bit of a grind shuffling all the bits and pieces together, but got there in the end. Enjoyed it.
    Thanks Shamus and Bufo.

  9. My first thoughts were heck what a busy grid and there must be a Nina around the edges. Like Jezza 3 / 4 * . I’m going to admit 19d was my last in as I simply could not parse it. Ridiculous in retrospect. Cheers Bufo and Shamus

  10. Thanks Bufo for the explanation and to Shamus for an enjoyable puzzle. determined to solve the anagrams before the rest which helped enormously .fav 1d .

  11. As I like Shamus’ puzzles, I thought I’d try this, especially after seeing comments like ‘gentle fare’, ‘easier than most’ and such like… I found it a very difficult but very enjoyable challenge! It has taken me absolute ages, on and off since last Thursday! The SW corner went in quite quickly, and from then on I battled. Two of the big anagrams (21a and 3d) I found straightforward; the other two definitely not so, but I did eventually work them out. I needed the answers for 18a and 6d, both of which completely eluded me, particularly the allusion to Ernie Wise. I did eventually succeed in getting the right answers for the remainder, but I very much needed Bufo’s elucidations for 10a; the ‘he’ in 12a; for 1d; for 2d (with my name, of course I knew the answer! but didn’t twig onto the ‘pint’); the ‘ri’ in 7a; and for 19d. And although ‘one avoiding struggle’ plus the checking letters gave me the answer, I still don’t get 28a. :oops: The clues I liked the most were 16d and 23d. Overall enjoyment ****.
    Thank you both very much, Shamus and Bufo.

    1. The wordplay to 28a is a reversal (revolutionary) of I (the first letter of individual) and CAP (a word meaning the same as ‘top’), and followed by FIST (duke being a slang word for hand or fist).

      1. Thanks so much, Jezza. I hadn’t heard of ‘duke’ being a slang word for ‘fist’. I now see how the whole clue works. Incidentally, I have just mentioned this slang word to Mr Catnap, who spontaneously replied, ‘Put up your dukes’! He thinks it’s a term used by Georgette Heyer (or was it Jeffrey Farnol?). Pity I can’t draw Mr Catnap away from the Quickies into the Cryptics!

        1. As Mr Catnap realises, it’s usually “dukes” in the plural for “fists”. Apparently it’s rhyming slang – Duke of Yorks for forks/fingers.

          1. Thanks so much, Big Dave. We Catnaps have both been wondering what the original source might have been. Brewer’s Phrase & Fable contains an entry for: ‘‘To meet one in the Duke’s Walk ‘, meaning ‘to fight a duel’. It says that ‘Duke’s Walk near Holyrood Palace was the favourite promenade of the Duke of York’, and it — and also ‘the fields behind the site of the British Museum’ — became ‘the common rendezvous for settling “affairs of honour” ‘. This seems to fit in with the rhyming slang, so maybe this is how the word was derived?

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