Toughie 1178 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1178

Toughie No 1178 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Yet another lovely puzzle from the lovely Warbler. Solving 7 down early on certainly helps as it provides the definition for five other clues.

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1a    Springs flowing back into drains (4)
{SAPS} – the reversal () of some springs results in a verb meaning drains or exhausts

3a    Craftily cad starts to lie over alibi. That’s outrageous (10)
{DIABOLICAL] – an anagram (craftily) of CAD, the initial letters of (starts to) Lie and Over and ALIBI – starts being plural suggests that it’s the initial letter of Over that is the intended wordplay rather than the abbreviation

9a    Sailor left Spain for 7 (4)
{ABLE} – the usual sailor followed by L(eft) and the IVR code for Spain

10a    Subeditors should use this term with restraint (10)
{SPELLCHECK} – a term or period of time followed by a restraint or curb

11a    7 runner’s squarely back to front (7)
{SKILFUL} – a runner that glides over snow followed by an adverb meaning squarely with its final letter moved to the beginning

13a    Empty talk’s thoroughly boring (3,4)
{GAS WELL} – some empty talk followed by an adverb meaning thoroughly or properly

14a    7 English soldier will shortly put back parting under canvas (11)
{INTELLIGENT} – E(nglish), a US soldier and the abbreviated form (shortly) of will all reversed (put back) inside (parting) a phrase (2,4) meaning under canvas

18a    Musically dramatic range — West mostly adapted that of the French (11)
{WAGNERESQUE} – an anagram (adapted) of RANGE and most of WES(t) followed by the French for that

21a    Water drowning middle of littler ship’s rigging (7)
{RATTLIN} – I didn’t know this spelling of the ship’s rigging, but the wordplay was clear – some precipitated water around the middle three letters of liTTLer

22a    Wearing suit rotter falls (7)
{CASCADE] – a cad inside (wearing) a law suit

23a    Zola verged off course becoming glassy-eyed (6,4)
{GLAZED OVER} – an anagram (off course) of ZOLA VERGED

24a    A taste for going round listed building site (4)
{PISA} – the A from the clue and a taste or small quantity of liquid reversed (going round) gives this site where a building is famously listing

25a    Representing first of rap artists on radio (10)
{TRANSISTOR} – an anagram (re-presenting) of the initial letter (first) of Rap with ARTISTS ON

26a    Novelist’s change of direction eventually leading to love in Paris (4)
{AMIE} – start with the surname of an English author (father or son) and change the final S(outh) to a different direction to get the French (in Paris) for a female friend / love


1d    Enterprise, say, puts sailors on board (8)
{STARSHIP} – some sailors on board / inside a vessel

2d    Soften everything before I cut into spread (8)
{PALLIATE} – a word meaning everything and I inside (cut into) a meat spread

4d    Firm up belly suppressing every other urge (5)
{IMPEL} – drop the odd letters (suppressing every other) from the first three words in the clue

5d    Stewed leg bones with a hint of oregano to make sauce (9)
{BOLOGNESE} – an anagram (stewed) of LEG BONES with the initial letter (hint) of Oregano

6d    Carobs have place on winding street (6,5)
{LOCUST TREES} – a word of Latin origin for place or position followed by an anagram (winding) of STREET

7d    Conservative party rises to expert (6)
{CLEVER} – C(onservative) followed by the reversal (rises in a down clue) of a party or celebration

8d    Promising fifty-one grand — see! (6)
{LIKELY} – the Roman numerals for fifty-one followed by the metric abbreviation for one thousand / grand and a well-known see or diocese

12d    Chaps welcoming tramp? Exactly so! (4-7)
{FELL-WALKERS} – the colloquial spelling of some chaps around a verb meaning to tramp

15d    In general debts will amount to 7 (9)
{INGENIOUS} – IN and GEN(eral) followed by the usual debts

16d    Water spirit engulfs one in tank (8)
(AQUARIUM} – another word of Latin origin, this time it’s water and is followed by some alcoholic spirit around (engulfs) I (one)

17d    Give authority to Democrat meeting European ambassador (8)
{DELEGATE} – D(emocrat) and E(uropean) followed by an ambassador

19d    7 runs into wide bay (6)
{BRIGHT} – R(uns) inside a wide bay

20d    Start going through revision in advance of A levels (6)
{STRATA} – an anagram (going through revision) of START followed by the A from the clue

22d    One’s given command to stifle communist belief (5)
{CREDO} – a military commander around (to stifle) the usual communist

If the rest of the week is as good as this one we are in for a treat.

26 comments on “Toughie 1178

  1. I was wondering whether Elgar’s hob-nailed boots were at the menders but it is obvious now that he had lent them to the lovely Warbler. this took me a proper Toughie time to solve but I did enjoy myself so thank you to Warbler and BD. 4*/4* for me.

    For further entertainment, I reproduce below an email message I received this morning about this crossword:

    “A crossword that was both 3a and 15d. If you were not feeling very 7d or 19d you might wish you were more 11a at solving. It is 8d that the less 9a may have 23a by the end.”

  2. I did not have too much trouble with this, although a few in the bottom left took me a while to finish off.
    Many thanks to Warbler, and to BD.

  3. I found this one pretty tough for a Tuesday but I did enjoy it, my favourite was 12d thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the comments. Dave 25a needs amending.

  4. Fairly easy for a Toughie … but nonetheless most enjoyable!

    I do like a good surface reading … so 20d has to be my favourite! (Although at one point I was leaning towards the “Pisa” one.)

    Thanks to Warbler & BD.

  5. I like Warbler s puzzles and mostly liked today but I don t like 21a as “middle” could be one letter rather than three and coupled to an obscure spelling (at least to landlubbers) meant a failure for me. I am also getting very tired of Martin and Kingsley making such regular appearances in puzzles.

  6. I found this extremely difficult but I did eventually complete all but one, and that was 21A. From the checking letters, Ritalin was the only word I could come with and I could probably use some because this toughie had me mentally jumping all over the place. I did enjoy the battle, though, with 12D being tops for me. Thank you to Warbler and to BD for the review.

  7. A bit of googling for 21A brought me to a very happy completion.

    I’m always very chuffed to finish the toughie and this one was very enjoyable.

  8. I always feel that I have achieved what I set out to do if comments from solvers include the words ” enjoy ” or ” enjoyable “.And Mr Big Boab’s ” super ” is the icing on the cake! Thanks.

    1. Far more enjoyable than Enigmatic Variations No.1120: Curious Cocktails.

      Does anyone ever complete Enigmatic Variations?

      I never get beyond reading the introduction …

  9. We found this one tougher than we have come to expect from this setter and enjoyable from start to finish. 7d did not come immediately for us so all its derivatives were also slow in coming to light. With 21a, we got onto the right meaning quite easily but had to investigate the spelling. Favourite was 21a that kept us head-scratching for ages and then a laugh out loud when we got it. Lots and lots of good fun.
    Thanks Warbler (nice to see your comment) and BD.

  10. Another corker from Warbler, had to look up 21a but couldn’t see what else it could be. As with StanXYS I especially liked 20d. Thank you Warbler and BD

  11. Looks like a new setter coming up with the next Toughie. Have looked on ‘Best for Puzzles’ but no mention of ProXimal on there.

  12. Very enjoyable but failed to get a couple of answers and needed the hints to explain a few more.
    I took far too long to get 7d.
    With thanks to Warbler and BD.

  13. Thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I found this very enjoyable, but difficult. Needed 9 hints to finish. Favourite was 2d. Was 4+/4* for me.

  14. Although no hints were necessary to finish crossword, it did take me a week! Thanks for the explanation of 12d. I’m afraid I did not get 7d until late, so that held me up considerably.

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