Toughie 1078 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1078

Toughie No 1078 by Warbler


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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Once again my favourite lady setter on the Telegraph panel demonstrates that a puzzle doesn’t have to be difficult to be very enjoyable. There’s a collection of thematic answers and, in 22 across and 20 down, a clever construct that I don’t recall seeing before.

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    People claim street’s gone quiet in the same place (8)
{POPULATE] – this verb meaning to people is derived from a verb meaning to claim in which the ST(reet) is removed (gone) to be replaced by P (quiet)

5a    Disable tailless reptile, seen without tail? (4)
{CROC} – start with a verb meaning to disable and drop the final letter (tailless) to get the abbreviated form (seen without tail) of a reptile

9a    Trained coppers will take time to search (8)
{PROSPECT) – an anagram (trained) of COPPERS around (will take) T(ime)

10a    Arsenic found in old mother cow’s stomach (6)
{OMASUM} – the chemical symbol for arsenic inside O(ld) and a three-letter word for mother

11a    I heard aircraft making a 7 (8)
{EYELINER} – a three-letter word that sounds like (heard) I followed by an aircraft

12a    Poster outlet is coming (6)
{ADVENT} – a two-letter word for a poster followed by an outlet

14a    Cast adult into new 7 (10)
{FOUNDATION} – a verb meaning to cast or mould ffn A(dult) and an anagram (new) of INTO

18a    Native American warrior has chief part in film (10)
{BRAVEHEART} – a Native American warrior followed by the chief or essential part

22a and 20d    make a buddy movie. Male is left out — he needs to regroup (6 and 6)
{THELMA and LOUISE} – note that the definition here includes the clue numbers and this is echoed in the enumeration! An anagram (needs to regroup) of MALE IS L(eft) OUT HE

23a    Vapours sprayed from planes circling sun (8)
{AEROSOLS} – some planes around (circling) the Latin for the sun – a small quibble here as the word used for a plane is a combining form, and on its own it is an adjective which cannot be pluralised

24a    A graduate starts to construct unusual scientific calculator (6)
{ABACUS} – the A from the clue followed by a graduate and the initial letters of (starts to) three words in the clue

25a    Section of orchestra to play passage (8)
{WINDPIPE} – a charade of a section of orchestra and a verb meaning to play or whistle (Chambers Thesaurus also gives to warble, which I found very appropriate!)

26a    7‘s start of match on outskirts of Hull (4)
{KOHL} – the start of a football match followed by the outer letters (outskirts) of HulL

27a    Curiously give ear about Government distress (8)
{AGGRIEVE} – an anagram (curiously) of GIVE EAR around G(overnment)


2d    Guilty verdict in Perth for five heartless Englishmen (6)
{PROVEN} – the guilty verdict in a Scottish law court, this Perth being the one in Scotland, comes from a charade of a three-letter word meaning for, the Roman numeral for five and E(nglishme)N without their inner letters (heartless)

3d    Edge pastry with 7 (6)
{LIPPIE} – an edge followed by a pastry dish

4d    Most of military discharge above port ran gently (6,4)
{TICKED OVER} – most of a slang word for what a military person receives when discharged from the armed forces followed by (above in a down clue) a port in SE England

6d    Offering a cure for wound — i.e. dermal (8)
{REMEDIAL} – an anagram (wound) of I.E. DERMAL

7d    Beauty preparation to me is wasted in cold climates initially (8)
{COSMETIC} – this beauty preparation is the key to the thematic entries – an anagram (wasted) of TO ME IS inside C(old) and the initial letter of Climates

8d    Society occasion boosted single musical interval (8)
{SEMITONE} – S(ociety) followed by the reversal (boosted / pushed up in a down clue) of an occasion and a single

9d    Bird fails to hold on to extra large victim (4)
{PREY} – drop (fails to hold on to) OS (outsize / extra large) from a bird

13d    Closely related generation dining out eats cheese, it’s rumoured (10)
{INBREEDING} – an anagram (out) of DINING around (eats) what sounds like (it’s rumoured) a French cheese

15d    Painting sailors’ area (8)
{ABSTRACT} – the usual two-letter abbreviation for a sailor followed by the S from ‘S and an area

16d    7 confront group (4,4)
{FACE PACK} – a charade of a verb meaning to confront and a group

17d    Drink  it! (8)
{VERMOUTH} – two definitions – one form of this drink is often abbreviated from ITalian to IT

19d    7 Duke’s in authority (6)
{POWDER} – D(uke) inside authority or strength

20d    See 22 Across

21d    Man’s one that may be regularly insulted (4)
{ISLE} – the necessary capitalisation is disguised by putting Man as the first word in the clue – the odd letters (regularly) of the final word in the clue

A power cut just as I was about to start this puzzle put me a little bit behind schedule. The power company even phoned me back to check that everything was alright – that’s a first.

15 comments on “Toughie 1078

  1. I thought this enjoyable, particularly the ‘special’ bit of 22a/20d

    Thanks to Warbler for an entertaining start to Tuesday and to BD for the explanations.

  2. Very enjoyable toughie from Warbler with a most unusual theme. Many thanks to Warbler for bringing out my feminine side and to BD for the usual superb review.

  3. Dipping my toes into Toughie territory occasionally and really enjoyed this one as I managed to do most of it without resorting to clues or the BRB. My thanks to setter and WW. I would hate the time pressure and having the confidence to know I could solve an entire Toughie (or Cryptic for that matter as it has been known!) knowing that I am down to right the hints.

  4. BD – As far as your power company is concerned then I suspect their CEO was stuck on one of the down clues and needed to get you back online so that he could finish his crossword before his afternoon nap.

  5. Gentle offering today yet enjoyable, favourite for me 1a thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the comments.

  6. A gentle, fun start to the toughie week. All quite straightforward; the only word I checked was the cow’s stomach.
    Thanks to Warbler, and to BD.

  7. Thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the review and hints. An unusual occurance for me, I managed a good go at the Toughie :-) A very entertaining puzzle, luckily I got 7d early, so was able to get the theme, however 26a had me stumped. Also needed the hints for 1a & 22a & 20d, got the latter after I obtained the correct anagram fodder from the hint, but had never heard of the film. Favourite was 4d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  8. I really enjoyed this.
    I was defeated by 20a/20d even though I know the film and our eldest daughter’s two cats are called those names – the fact that they’re both male was only discovered when they were taken to be spayed – their names haven’t changed!
    I liked all the themed clues, specially 26a. My favourite was 17d even though it took me forever.
    With thanks to Warbler and BD.

    1. From what I remember I think that Micawber is just about OK for me to have a go at. I did a Friday one of his, I think, when pointed in the right direction by a helpful person. Will wait to see what else is thrown at me tomorrow . . .

    2. Good stuff as always from Warbler, thanks to BD for sorting my shame at coming utterly unstuck at Parsing 1a,

  9. Needed to look up the “passage”, I found it enjoyable enough, and not really much harder than a standard back pager.

  10. Last in and much enjoyed was the 20 and 22 combo. A good fun puzzle again.
    Thanks Warbler and BD.

  11. Thought I’d try this and found it fun. **** for enjoyment. I guessed the first part of 22a/20d, but I needed the answer and your explanation of it, Big Dave. I also needed the explanation for my answer to 8d. Otherwise, the rest was all right, much to my pleasure.
    Big thanks to both Warbler and Big Dave.

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