Toughie 1286 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1286

Toughie No 1286 by Warbler

Second star to the right, and straight on till morning

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Another delightful but easy puzzle from Warbler. I have struggled to fully parse 12 across.

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    Welsh factories rebuilt in a straight line (2,3,4,5)
AS THE CROW FLIES: an anagram (rebuilt) of WELSH FACTORIES

9a    Suddenly pitched forward, dog almost died (7)
LURCHED: most of a breed of dog followed by D(ied)

10a    Husband, enthralled by opener for Leeds United score, shouted in ear (7)
LUGHOLE: H(usband) inside (enthralled by) the initial letter (opener) of L[eeds], U(nited) and what sounds like (shouted) a score in football gives a slang word for the ear

11a    Female born in poverty? Not quite (3)
NÉE: the word meaning born, when applied to a woman, comes from most of (not quite) a word meaning poverty

12a    Metro, the London original branch that’s in the red? (7,4)
CENTRAL LINE: I’m not at all sure about this one, the clue seems to be somewhat mangled and makes no sense,  – this branch of the London Underground, shown in red on maps, could be said to define the position of IN – it was not the original one, that was the the Metropolitan Railway which opened in 1863

14a    Robin flying back clutching the old man’s trinket (6)
DOODAH: the reversal (flying back) of outlaw Robin’s surname around a two-letter dialect form of the old man or father

15a    Assert animation loses nothing when revamped (8)
MAINTAIN: an anagram (when revamped) of ANIMATI[O]N after the O (nothing) is dropped (loses)

17a    Time to reserve periodical (8)
YEARBOOK: a period of time followed by a verb meaning to reserve

19a    Famous Russian father’s very loving. Not half! (6)
PAVLOV: this Russian is famous for his dog! – a two-letter word meaning father followed by V(ery) and LOV[ing] without its second half

22a    Facility initially was continuing to be expanded (5,6)
WATER CLOSET: take the initial letters of W[as] and C[ontinuing] and expand them into the full name for this facility!

23a    Neither’s partner is new, on the other hand (3)
NOR: N(ew) followed by a word meaning on the other hand

24a    Anchorite deciphered clues in borders of Rosetta Stone (7)
RECLUSE: an anagram (deciphered) of CLUES inside the outer letters (borders) of R[osetta Ston]E

26a    Song encapsulating backward Northern Australian state (7)
ARIZONA: an operatic song around the reversal of N(orthern) and a two-letter slang word for Australian

27a    Removed corruption from type of art by crazy tainted man (14)
DECONTAMINATED: an art movement followed by an anagram (crazy) of TAINTED MAN


1d    Routine toil behind what could be a Walled Society? (3,2,1,4,4)
ALL IN A DAY’S WORK: some toil preceded by how one might describe the position of the three-letter word inside W[ALL]ED (3,2,1,3) and S(ociety)

2d    Attack fuss about right sort of exercise (7)
TORPEDO: a fuss (2-2) around R(ight) and some Physical Exercises

3d    Codeword, cautionary signal, sent around Switzerland, place where voices resound (4,7)
ECHO CHAMBER: a word from the NATO Phonetic alphabet (codeword) and the colour of a cautionary signal around the IVR code for Switzerland

4d    Yorkshire division is up and running (6)
RIDING: two definitions – an historic division of Yorkshire and a word meaning up on a horse (and maybe “running”)

5d    Cultured spa Berkshire town will have in good shed (4-4)
WELL-READ: a spa followed by a Berkshire town without (shed) the IN G(ood)

6d    On line, say (3)
LEG: the on side in cricket is derived from L(ine) followed by the Latin abbreviation for say

7d    River containing strangely toxic things with a foreign flavour (7)
EXOTICA: a two-letter dialect word for a river or running water, nowadays only used by crossword setters, around an anagram (strangely) of TOXIC

8d    HP deposit secures dream place (5-5,4)
NEVER-NEVER LAND: an informal word for Hire Purchase followed by a verb meaning to deposit or alight

13d    Perhaps Mancunian artisan can offset needing to follow Left (11)
LANCASTRIAN: an anagram (offset) of artisan can preceded by L(eft)

16d    Virus makes bird quiet during party (4-4)
FOWL-PEST: a bird and the musical notation for quiet inside a four-letter word for a party or gathering

18d    Case for a diplomat? (7)
ATTACHÉ: two definitions

20d    Neil could form part of RU formation (4-3)
LINE-OUT: the answer could describe an anagram (could form) to which the answer is NEIL

21d    Like a teeming crowd when excited (6)
ASWARM: a two-letter word meaning when followed by an adjective meaning excited or enthusiastic

25d    International body lifted endless burden (1,1,1)
UNO: start with a burden, drop the final letter (endless) and then reverse (lifted in a down clue) what’s left

Toro is back in the UK and raring to go, so he should be back in this slot next week.

32 comments on “Toughie 1286

  1. Many thanks for the hints for the ones I wasn’t sure about. I think that your answer to 5d is wrong, though, and it should be well-read. I agree re Central Line.

    Many thanks to setter for a good Toughie pitched nicely at my level and to BD.

  2. Gentle fare on offer today, favourites were 16d 22a but the stand out must be 1d thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the comments.

  3. Re 12 ac- I read it as the metro(politan line) being the original, so which branch is in the red? Gentle start to the week.

  4. Gentle as in I didn’t have too much difficulty getting the correct answers, but more challenging in the parsing of a couple or three. I failed to sort out 1D, and was uncertain of 6D, dithering between log and leg, until I subsequently did the cryptic and the 1D clue there provided the answer. I also put in the American ‘doodad’ for 14A at first then realized my error. I did like the10A clue, though I personally dislike the word that’s the answer. Quite good fun, though, altogether. Thanks to Warbler and BD.

  5. Easy fare for most of the puzzle. More like a back pager. I got sorted out by 14ac wanting to put Pa inside the outlaw. and 10ac missing the homophone at the clues end. Also tried to make use of R and A in 24ac but quickly sorted that one.

    1. But can you parse 12a? The reason why I don’t blog, and on a Tuesday ;) Answer obvious but hours later …….

  6. RE- the Central Line – I would just add that although the Central Line was not the first line, it does have the oldest section between Leyton and Loughton which opened in 1856. I used to live in Woodford and caught the Central Line very regularly! An old Friend!

  7. Straightforward for me except for 16d which I’d never heard of (should’ve fathomed it from the wordplay though). Thanks to BD for the review and Warbler for a fun puzzle.

  8. That would have made a nice back pager as an alternative to some of the more predictable fare we get Mon-Fri.
    However, I wish to register a complaint. I have finally weakened and bought a copy of the (in)famous BRB which arrived today. The very first word I looked up (14a) is not in there! It’s enough to make anyone unleash their inner Brian…

  9. I think this is the first Toughie I have ever finished (and fairly quickly) entirely without electronic or other help since learning the art from this wonderful blog. I was aided considerably by getting 1a and 1d almost instantly, though I would appreciate somebody explaining where the “day” comes from in 1d

  10. Lovely puzzle, very enjoyable. Best clue for me def 8d, a real ‘smiler’
    Thx to the Setter and to BD for the hints.

  11. We were hoping to get a full analysis of the wordplay for 12a but no such luck. We had checked on Google that it was the one coloured red so must be right but feel sure there must be more to it than just that. We started off looking for the same town as BD for 5d too. A relatively quick solve with lots to keep us smiling.
    Thanks Warbler and BD.

  12. 2*/3* by my reckoning. I liked 22a and 14a. Not sure 12a works, but the answer was obvious. More like a Monday back-pager than a toughie, but who’s complaining? Thanks Warbler, and thanks Big Dave for the review.

  13. Thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A gentle Toughie, I would agree, but I still needed some hints to finish. Most enjoyable though.

  14. Maybe 12a is just a rather weak cryptic definition of an example of a “metro” ?

    Needed hints for 21d and 16a, otherwise relatively easy and good fun.

    10a was the biggest smile for me.

  15. An enjoyable toughie!

    Faves : 10a, 12a, 26a, 3d, 7d & 16d.

    BD – I think the clue for 12a should have read ….London branch originally in the red?

  16. I found the back pager and Toughie to be both sadly a touch on the easy side today. The Toughie seemed much easier to find the answer than to find the explanation – which seems to be the case with other comment-leavers

    Regarding 12a I had wondered if it was constructed from “all in” in the “centre” = “metro” = “all in (the) centre” = metropolitan (in full) – but that seems too elaborate and overstretched in a fairly simple puzzle so I remain baffled. I seem to remember a while back there was a clue something like “R 60” with the answer “threescore” as “r” is the core of “three” – but I think that was a Friday puzzle

  17. FWIW, I’m with Outnumbered on 12a.

    “Metro” is a generic term for an underground railway in a city (generalised from the Parisian version); “the London original” refers to the fact that London had the first such system (original referring to the concept in general, rather than the line specifically); “branch that’s in the red” refers to the “line” in the iconic diagram.

    I’m not sure where the cryptic element comes in though; perhaps “Metro” in the surface reading is supposed to refer to the free newspaper?

  18. I don’t often have time for the toughie, but with today’s back pager being so straightforward I thought I’d have a crack and was pleasantly surprised to finish without any hints.
    Maybe I’m improving or maybe this was a gentle one, but either way I enjoyed it.

    As a lifelong Leeds fan, I was particularly surprised to see Leeds United appear in a DT puzzle for the second time in recent weeks. I must say that Leeds don’t often score first though and usually seem to be chasing the game, although tonight’s effort was the exception, no doubt inspired by this clue!

    Thanks to Warbler for the extra fun and BD for the review.

  19. I really am trying to ‘up my game’ but confess to struggling where everyone else seems to have found it easy.
    1d – still don’t understand, despite the review!
    4d – can’t justify ‘running’ as ‘riding’.
    7d – what dialect is that?
    20d – where does ‘out’ come into it – apart from the answer being a rugby term?

    Not complaining – aka Brian – just asking for explanation.

    1. I can only speak for myself, of course, but– being brutally honest– sometimes I just don’t care that I can’t parse the clue properly when the answer is self-evident. One more reason why I could never be a reviewer!

      1. Please don’t get the wrong idea, Chris, I wasn’t being ‘picky’ – just asking for explanations of clues that I couldn’t answer, despite the excellent review. You must know the feeling when sometimes the penny just sticks part way down!!!

        1. Didn’t think for a minute you were being picky! Just confessing to my own shortcomings.

    2. 1d – ALL is inside WED(nesday) which gives ALL IN A DAY, then add S(ociety) and WORK (toil)

      4d – It’s a bit tenuous but Chambers gives to run as “to ride at a running pace”

      7d – It comes up from time to time in crosswords. Once again, from Chambers
      ea (dialect)
      * A river
      * Running water
      * A drainage channel in the Fens, sometimes eau, as if taken from French

      20d – It’s a reverse anagram with “out” as the anagram indicator. If “line out” appeared in a clue then the answer could be NEIL

  20. It seems I had the same problems as everyone else in filling in the right answers without understanding all the parsing. Had doodad also for 14a and didn’t get 4d. Apart from that I found this crossword to be a great challenge. In France 1a is much more generic: A vol d’oiseau. Favorite as my windows phone always put it being 22a. Thanks to Warbler and BD for the review. By the way I might be bad at geography but I do know where Reading is. Unlike some!

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