Toughie 1122 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1122

Toughie No 1122 by Warbler

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A typical Tuesday Toughie – not too difficult but very enjoyable.

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    A change of face tint giving unnatural appearance (11)
{AFFECTATION} – the A from the clue followed by an anagram (change) of OF FACE TINT

9a    Mission number one, to retract post about ‘reactionary’ Humphrys, perhaps (8,6)
{QUESTION MASTER} – combine a mission or expedition, the reversal (to retract) of the two-letter abbreviation for number and I (one), a post of the kind from which a flag may be flown and the reversal (reactionary) of the two-letter word meaning about to get the role of John Humphrys in Mastermind

11a    Oars in line at start of sculling (4)
{ROWS} – a line followed by the initial letter (start) of Sculling

12a    POW camp housed in regal fortress overthrown (5)
{OFLAG} – this POW camp for officers is hidden (housed in) and reversed (overthrown) inside the clue

13a    Wide boy‘s odds on kind of drip (4)
{SPIV} – the two-letter abbreviation for the betting odds as at the start of a race followed by a kind of slow continuous drip introducing solutions into the body

16a    Papers, in review: ‘Has red transformed ultra-conservatives?’ (8)
{DIEHARDS} – the two-letter abbreviation for papers which serve to establish who the holder is reversed (in review) followed by an anagram (transformed) of HAS RED

17a    Old woman’s murderer turned psychotic (6)
{MANIAC} – the old woman followed by the reversal (turned) of the biblical character who murdered his brother

19a    Nearly all of Scottish promontory is hard and unyielding (6)
{MULISH} – nearly all of a Scottish promontory, like the one in Kintyre, followed by IS and H(ard)

20a    The solution is imminent when one sees this! (8)
{DAYLIGHT} – a cryptic definition of what is said to be seen when one begins to understand what was previously puzzling or unclear

22a    Inherently insane Roman fiddler (4)
{NERO} – hidden (inherently) inside the clue is this Roman emperor who is aptly described by the whole clue

23a    Spud‘s underground root tip (5)
{TUBER} – the London Underground followed by the initial letter (tip) of Root

24a    Two-faced German? (4)
{OTTO} – a palindromic German forename whose popularity with crossword setters comes from the fact that it is just about the only word that fits the checking letters

27a    Twice Verne recreated light imaginary place (5-5,4)
{NEVER-NEVER LAND} – an anagram (recreated) of VERNE VERNE (twice) followed by a verb meaning to light or disembark

28a    In conversion a light is mostly good for one depicting saints (11)
{HAGIOLOGIST} – an anagram (In conversion) of A LIGHT IS with most of GOOd gives someone who writes about the lives and legends of saints


2d    Reportedly in favour of disc power for this type of vehicle (4-5,5)
{FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE} – a charade of a what sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning in favour of, a disc and a verb meaning to power or propel

3d    Timeless concise language (4)
{ERSE} – drop (less) the T(ime) from an adjective meaning concise

4d    Threatening plants first scrambled round tops of fences in dark (8)
{TRIFFIDS} – the threatening plants from John Wyndham’s science-fiction novel are derived from an anagram (scrambled) of FIRST around the initial letters (tops) of three words in the clue

5d    Heartless canny character in Oz? (3,3)
{TIN MAN} – a cryptic definition of the character who follows Dorothy along the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City to get a heart from The Wizard of Oz

6d    Sultanate featured in romance (4)
{OMAN} – hidden (featured) inside the clue

7d    Means to pass over water in nine pots arranged in stages, holding gallons (8,6)
{STEPPING STONES} – an anagram (arranged) of NINE POTS inside some stages and around (holding) G(allons)

8d    Expert’s calling for stimulation (11)
{PROVOCATION} – an expert followed by a calling or occupation

10d    Before celebration Amin changed new parliament’s last ruling (11)
{PREDOMINANT} – a three-letter prefix meaning before followed by a two-letter celebration, an anagram (changed) of AMIN, N(ew) and the final letter (last) of parliamenT

14d    Work out clue, maybe, with distribution of spare letters (5)
{PARSE} – an anagram (distribution of … letters) of SPARE

15d    Fellow’s clever story (5)
{FABLE} – F(ellow) followed by an adjective meaning clever

18d    Get on successfully in vale (8)
{FAREWELL} – split as (4,4) this means to get on successfully – vale here means goodbye

21d    Components of arms found in river island, not British (6)
{HUMERI} – these bones found in the arms are derived from a river in North-east England and I(sland) without (not) B(ritish)

25d    Feeling a back strain? (4)
{ARIA} – a feeling or impression followed by the A from the clue, all reversed (back)

26d    Book list shows published journal (4)
{BLOG} – B(ook) followed by a list gives a published journal just like the one you are reading right now

By the time you read this I hope to be in Bristol researching (well that’s my word for it!) possible locations for our birthday bash.

15 comments on “Toughie 1122

  1. A nice, gentle start to the toughie week. No setbacks apart from 25d, which was my last in.
    Thanks to Warbler, and to BD.

  2. Gentle fare on offer today 25d also last in for me, thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the comments.

  3. A lovely crossword.
    I’ve never heard of the POW camp but, for once, spotted it and looked it up.
    I got stuck with four right at the bottom – 18, 21 and 25d and, the cause of the hold-up, 28a which I didn’t know. I could see it was an anagram but managed to convince myself that it had to begin with ‘halo’ because of the saint bit. Stupid – once I realised what the last seven letters were likely to be I guessed it and looked that up too and the remaining ones fell into place.
    I think my favourite was probably 14d because it’s what I seem to do all the time!
    With thanks to Warbler and BD.

  4. An interesting grid with two barely linked triangles. The one to the SE took a little longer than the NW to sort out. The long answers fell quite easily which was a big help. We, as ever, enjoyed Warbler’s slightly quirky cluing style.
    Thanks Warbler and BD.

      1. I don’t know. did once finish one of his puzzles but it was a day when someone, can’t remember who, said that it wasn’t one of his less difficult ones. I won’t know unless I try, will I?

  5. Not difficult but difficult not to enjoy so thanks Warbler and BD .
    Last one in 21d which became my favourite .

  6. Hardly a Toughie if I can complete with only minimum help on couple of four-letter words but very enjoyable so thanks to BD for that and also to Warbler for enjoyable puzzle. ***/***.

  7. I thought this was a lovely puzzle. I was intrigued by the grid with its two triangles. Like the 2Kiwis, the SW triangle took longer to sort out. But, I did see 20a, and managed to complete without hints and without getting in a tangle with the parsing. My fave was 13a. (I think I first came across this word as a young teen. I may be wrong, but I think it was used by Sir Nigel Molesworth in Down with Skool, a book I loved at the time!
    Many thanks to Warbler for much enjoyment, and many thanks to Big Dave for super clarification.

  8. Finally got round to finishing this today after work got in the way when I was half way through. Good fun and no more than 2* difficulty, I reckon. Thanks to Warbler and BD for the entertainment

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