Toughie 1262 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1262

Toughie No 1262 by Warbler

An ideal back-page puzzle

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Such a pity that we only get one Warbler puzzle a month – I would ask her for a back-page puzzle each week. As Toughies go, this was very easy, as a puzzle it was very entertaining.

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    Tangle between rival gangs (4)
ALGA: this tangle is a type of seaweed and it’s hidden (between) inside the clue

3a    Toddler is an example of one finally asleep in cot (5)
BIPED: I (one) and the final letter of [aslee]P inside a cot or place to sleep

6a    High rise shown by northern rent (4)
TORN: a rocky height (high rise) followed by N(orthern)

8a    Initially 10 led 9 rebel astray like Day-Lewis (6-9)
DOUBLE-BARRELLED: an anagram (astray) of the initial letter of the answer to 10 across, LED, the answer to 9 across and REBEL gives an adjective that describes surnames like Day-Lewis

9a    What mothers have been through  work? (6)
LABOUR: two definitions

10a    Overall, perhaps, you would wear one to avoid getting one (8)
DUSTCOAT: wear this to avoid getting covered in fine particles of solid matter (4,4)

11a    Misleading details about debt (8)
SPECIOUS: some details around the usual acknowledgement of a debt

13a    Old money advanced to join exercise group (6)
PESETA: A(dvanced) preceded by some Physical Exercises and a group

15a    What was counted on from a graduate course, oddly (6)
ABACUS: the A from the clue followed by the usual arts graduate and the odd letters of C[o]U[r]S[e]

17a    Sign of heraldry with Queen in closest buckles (8)
CROSSLET: the Latin abbreviation for Queen inside an anagram (buckles) of CLOSEST

19a    Suspend international union backing protecting artist’s aggressive speech (8)
HARANGUE: a four-letter verb meaning to suspend is followed by the reversal (backing) of the international union that many in this country would rather we hadn’t joined and then the usual artist is inserted

21a    Almost everything’s built without it in France (3,3)
ALL BUT: a three-letter word meaning everything followed by BU[il]T without the French impersonal pronoun (it)

22a    Delighted when told foot op cast will wrap up right (2,3,2,3,5)
ON TOP OF THE WORLD: an anagram (cast) of WHEN TOLD FOOT OP around (will wrap up) R(ight)

23a    Miss  dance (4)
SKIP: two definitions

24a    Duck‘s hit over by railway (5)
PARRY: the reversal of a hit followed by R(ailwa)Y

25a    Scans MPs’ votes according to Speaker (4)
EYES: sounds like (according to speaker) positive votes from MPs


1d    Spanish region with a Latin institute in America (9)
ANDALUSIA: a three-letter word meaning with followed by the A from the clue, L(atin) and I(nstitute) inside a three-letter abbreviation for America

2d    Moan about investing money in food — the Parisian style (7)
GRUMBLE: M(oney) inside a colloquial word for food followed by the French (Parisian style) definite article

3d    Busy person needs to sort out vegetables (9)
BEETROOTS: a busy person, so-called because of a busy insect, followed by an anagram (out) of TO SORT

4d    Punctilious, quaint, picky, quirky? No doubt you’ll mind these! (2,3,2)
PS AND QS: a collection of words beginning with these two specific letters of the alphabet are used in an expression meaning “mind your manners”

5d    Tears produced by taking up violin (5)
DARTS: the reversal (taking up in a down clue) of the abbreviated form of a famous make of violin

6d    Programmes allow retired actors to cut directions (9)
TELECASTS: the reversal (retired) of a verb meaning to allow followed by the usual group of actors inside two different compass directions

7d    Not good for environmentalist to exert force to establish law a second time (2-5)
RE-ENACT: drop the initial G(ood) from an environmentalist and then add a verb meaning to exert force

12d    Strut about ring in high spirits (4-1-4)
COCK-A-HOOP: a verb meaning to strut followed by A(bout) and a ring of the kind often used as a toy

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13d    Irreverently disrupted replay of gripping National (9)
PROFANELY: an anagram (disrupted) of REPLAY OF around N(ational)

14d    Strangely it updates natural abilities (9)
APTITUDES: an anagram (strangely) of IT UPDATES

16d    Fifties dropout‘s exhausted family flips (7)
BEATNIK: an adjective meaning exhausted followed by the reversal (flipped in a down clue) of a three-letter word meaning family

17d    Fellow leaves one city for another (7)
CHESTER: drop MAN (fellow) from the name of one city to get another city

18d    Right  cheek (7)
LIBERTY: two definitions – a right or privilege and cheek or impertinence

20d    Mature women will desert Take That, perhaps (5)
GROUP: start with a phrasal verb meaning to mature (4,2) and drop (will desert) the W(omen)

Toro is on a business assignment in Africa for the next four weeks.

15 comments on “Toughie 1262

  1. Thank you bd for opening the blog on that toughie 1262. I was waiting for that 4d which was the last remaining blank in my grid as a two letter word starting with a “p” looked so improbable that my biped sounded wrong. Thanks again for the hints and to warbler for the clues

  2. Thank you for the Manfred Mann!

    Lovely puzzle, I enjoyed it from the word go. Yes, it wasn’t outrageously difficult, but in terms of quality it stands well above most of our back-pagers. I don’t believe a puzzle has to be hard to be good. Even though I got through fairly quickly, I was initially well-misdirected by the simple 6a, 1a, 18d, 20d, 13d, – etc, all great clues.

    I liked 3d.

    Thanks Warbler and Big Dave

  3. Enjoyable as we have come to expect from Warbler. I agree with BD’s introduction.

    Wednesday appears to be the new Friday – its Notabilis tomorrow.

  4. Not a lot to put between this and today’s back-pager for difficulty, although for style and amusement value this won hands down.
    I thought 24a was a dodgy synonym – one being a positive action the other entirely negative. No doubt someone will tell me that it’s in the BRB and therefore ok!

  5. Lots of good fun clues to keep us amused and finished in time that did not require a folded copy to be put in a pocket to be finished during afternoon Bridge. Just what we like to see on a Tuesday. 17a is a word to add to our list of words to be remembered for next time.
    Thanks Warbler and BD.

  6. PLEASE stop telling me how easy it was – I was so proud of myself for getting through a Toughie! 17a was the last one in – needed all the checking letters and a bit of a wild guess.
    3a was my fav.
    21a – shouldn’t the last word in the hints be il rather than it?

    Many thanks to Warbler and also to BD – even if you did only give it 1* for difficulty!

  7. I think this would have been at least 3 or 4 difficulty stars as a backpager… But I enjoyed it and was pleased to get there in the end.

  8. This took me about half the time that today’s (inside) back page did and even that was quite a long time.
    Very enjoyable.
    My last two were 10a and 6d followed by 17a which I was sure had to be right but couldn’t find it anywhere to check.
    I liked 3a and 2 and 4d. My favourite was 20d.
    With thanks to Warbler and to BD.

  9. Once more a puzzle that illustrates the huge gap between the experts and us mere mortals. I managed one answer!

  10. Wednesday morning and hurray! Finished without help (rare). Liked 3a, 7d (last one in) and 25a. Thanks to Warbler for the fun and BD for the explanations. Now, to the dentist for a root canal filling…..

  11. Enjoyed this one very much. Much easier and more fun than the back-pager. Thanks to Warbler and, as ever, to BD for explaining why 20d was correct. 2*/4* for me

  12. 2*/4*. Having read BD’s introduction I couldn’t resist having a go at this untough “Toughie”, and I am very glad I did as I really enjoyed it. I agree wholeheartedly with BD’s sentiment that it would be nice to see Warbler getting a regular back page slot – DT crossword editor, if you are reading this, please note!

    17a was a new word for me, but obvious from the clue and checking letters, and I always thought that 24a meant to block, but the BRB tells me it can also mean to evade (= duck).

    Many thanks to Warbler and to BD.

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