Toughie 1060

Toughie No 1060 by Messinae

14-Letter Anagram Day

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Today’s four 14-letter anagrams succumbed more readily than last week’s 15-letter anagrams. This led to a quick problem-free solve. I don’t particularly like all the long answers in a puzzle being clued by anagrams but I suppose it makes up for yesterday’s anagramless 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.


1a    Row of houses whose rafters so rickety (4,2,3,5)
{WARS OF THE ROSES} A historical row (conflict) between two Houses is an anagram (rickety) of WHOSE RAFTERS SO

10a    Old Indian city has backed faith school (9)
{MADRASSAH} The old name of the Indian city of Chennai + a reversal of HAS

11a    More brilliant lights reflected in European river (5)
{NOVAE} Stars that suddenly increase in brightness = a reversal of E (European) and an English river

12a    Run out to play instrument with strings on stage (7)
{ROSTRUM} The abbreviation for ‘run out’ + to play an instrument with strings (e.g. a guitar)

13a    Helping attractive girl with work (6)
{DOLLOP} A helping = an attractive girl + an abbreviation denoting ‘work’

15a    What’s company about? It produces drug (4)
{COCA} The abbreviated form of ‘company’ + ‘about’ = an Andean shrub whose leaves contain a drug

17a    Antiviral agent physician’s injected iron men sent back (10)
{INTERFERON} A protein with the ability to inhibit viral growth = a resident assistant physician in a hospital round the atomic symbol for iron and a reversal of men (in the army)

18a    Arrange start of espousal with mate handy (4,3,3)
{NAME THE DAY} An all-in-one clue. It is an anagram (arrange) of E (start of espousal) MATE HANDY. The whole clue provides the definition

20a    Perhaps Cornish sailor will get to clean the deck (4)
{SWAB} When split (2,2) it could be an able-bodied seaman from the southwest of England

22a    Nut‘s part of vegetarian diet (6)
{NOODLE} Nut (blockhead)/something vegetarians eat. I’m not convinced that nut = ******

23a    Noah’s upset about an exclamation of praise (7)
{HOSANNA} An anagram (upset) of NOAH’S around AN

26a    Chase popular song (5)
{INLAY} ‘To chase (insert)’ = popular + song

27a    Order given to marchers certainly leads to support for drill in the back (4,5)
{EYES RIGHT} A drill command given to a group that is marching = ‘certainly’ and a support for a drill in a reversal of THE

28a    A standard worry — wonky knee cracking up (3,4,3,4)
{NEW YORK, NEW YORK} A standard (song that has remained popular) from the 1944 musical On The Town is an anagram (cracking up) of WORRY WONKY KNEE


2d    Rising tide has Midwest state within range (5)
{ANDES} A reversal of ‘tide’ round the abbreviation for a state in the US Midwest = a mountain range

3d    Wakes around middle of day for flight (6)
{STAIRS} ‘Wakes’ goes round A (middle letter of day)

4d    Klutz gets in processed seafood — from him? (10)
{FISHMONGER} Another US slang term for klutz (idiot) goes inside a small oblong cake of processed seafood to give a person who sells seafood

5d    Boundary in park comprising two hectares (2-2)
{HA-HA} A sunken fence = two occurrences of the abbreviation for hectare

6d    Stop phoning Beatle, foremost of Fab Four (4,3)
{RING OFF} One of the Beatles + the first letters of Fab Four

7d    Has a very bad argument from which expensive suit may come (6,3)
{SAVILE ROW} An abbreviated form of ‘has’ + A + ‘very bad’ + argument = somewhere in London where you might buy an expensive suit

8d    Heroine having a pulse yet being out (8,6)
{SLEEPING BEAUTY} The heroine of a fairy tale who is still alive (with a pulse) when unconscious (out) for 100 years is an anagram (out) of PULSE YET BEING

9d    I’m in a rain dance possibly (8,6)
{AMERICAN INDIAN} An all-in-one clue. An anagram (possibly) of I’M IN A RAIN DANCE gives a member of a native tribe who might take part in a rain dance

14d    Versatile sportsman allowed to enter cheated appallingly (10)
{DECATHLETE} ‘Allowed’ in an anagram (appallingly) of CHEATED

16d    Shortly show up loose woman, about 50, not actually married (6-3)
{COMMON-LAW} ‘To show up’ with the last letter removed + an anagram (loose) of WOMAN round L (fifty)

19d    Call on Hunt to put in partner with hospital (5,2)
{TALLY HO} A huntsman’s call = TO round partner and H (hospital)

21d    Bird soaring well above quarry (6)
{OSPREY} A reversal (soaring) of ‘well’ + quarry (hunted animal)

24d    Engineers snare uprising in African country (5)
{NIGER} A reversal of the Royal Engineers and a snare

25d    Kiss / old film star (4)
{PECK} Kiss/the surname of one of the world’s most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s

Another pleasant puzzle that was by no means tough


  1. Gilbert
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    !A without the anagram fodder would have been a good clue to rival ‘Bar of soap’.

  2. crypticsue
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    A very very gentle Toughie, but then I suppose it is Thursday! Thanks to Bufo and Messinae.

  3. Expat Chris
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Took me a little while but I got there, all except for 10A, for which I was trying to conjure up an old Indian city as the answer. I enjoyed this puzzle more than today’s cryptic. Thanks to Messinae and to Bufo for the review.

  4. Beaver
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Don’t often try the toughie but found it fairly straightforward after solving the ‘frame’ anagrams -1a and 9d were very witty. Not heard of 10a and needed a little help , otherwise probably a good back page cryptic standard, i did enjoy it, pity it was only a **!

  5. WhirredPLAY
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Why is it that every time I complete a Toughie it is marked as ** on this forum !!!

    • Heno
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      It’s too do with the difficulty level :-) I know what you mean, the only time I can get into a Toughie is when it’s one or two star for diff.

  6. gazza
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Osmosis tomorrow.

  7. Heno
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Messinae and to Bufo. Must have been on the gentle side, I only needed three hints, but had 15a as coco, doh! Enjoyed the anagrams, especially 9d & 28a.

  8. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Running late as we did not have time yesterday to look at the toughie, so saved it for after breakfast this morning. Pleasant solve, straightforward enough once the boundary anagrams worked out.
    Thanks Messinae and Bufo.

  9. michael mason
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I thought this was a really good puzzle with nice surface readings. Perhaps too many marathon anagrams. And I agree !a was spoiled by the anagram part.