Toughie 1310 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1310

Toughie No 1310 by Warbler

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BD Rating - Difficulty */** - Enjoyment **

Whatever charm this crossword had was perhaps wasted on me as I'm suffering a heavy cold. I found it run-of-the-mill if I'm honest.


1a Old college, as well as railway, drawing various fellows into partnership (9)
POLYANDRY A former type of education institution, the word for as well as or plus, and the abbreviation for railway.


6a Fruit worker's success (5)
MANGO A charade of words for a worker and a success (as in to make a success of something).

9a Lucerne Academy has pursued Garnett twice (7)
ALFALFA The forename of fictional Mr Garnett from the British sitcoms of the 1960s-1980s, written twice, and followed (pursued) by Academy.

10a Pool said to revive seabird (9)
KITTIWAKE A homophone of (said) a pool or common pot of money, then a verb meaning to revive.

11a Young crabs? (7)
NIPPERS A word for children also suggests it could refer to crabs.

12a Flower on the house is falling back by start of autumn (7)
FREESIA Gratis or on the house, a reversal of (falling back) IS from the clue, and the first letter (start) of autumn.

13a One that's offended by rambling naturist: 'Gaol would be well done' (15)
CONGRATULATIONS A person sentenced for a crime plus an anagram of (rambling) NATURIST GAOL.

18a Satisfied traveller left before Parisian summer (7)
REPLETE A travelling sales agent, the abbreviation for left and the French word for summer.

20a Pitches needed by terrace for an 11 with bigger members (7)
LOBSTER A charade of pitches or throws and the abbreviation for terrace. (This seems to me a slightly loose cross-reference because 11 is in the plural.)

22a Year sitting in weird company making study of fire signs? (9)
PYROMANCY A two-letter abbreviation inside (sitting in) an anagram of (weird) COMPANY.


23a Among relics therein lies a cross (7)
MONGREL The solution is hidden in (therein lies) AMONG RELICS.

24a One featured in Chaucer's tale about first woman (5)
REEVE A charade of about and first woman, both familiar crossword elements.

25a Nun swore to reform grasping daughter and Aussie loafer (9)
SUNDOWNER An anagram of (to reform) NUN SWORE into which is inserted (grasping) the abbreviation for daughter.



1d Topical broadcast gets across name of philosopher (8)
PLATONIC An anagram of (roadcast) TOPICAL goes round (gets across) the abbreviation for name.

2d Story about fine periods of sleep reflecting normal existence (8)
LIFESPAN A story or falsehood goes round the abbreviation for fine and is followed by a word for short sleeps.

3d Claim to see rising jazz queen turning up for one (6)
ALLEGE A reversal of (rising) a famous jazz singer's forename, followed by an abbreviation for meaning for one, also reversed (turning up).

4d Duke up North tracks birds (6)
DRAKES An abbreviation for duke plus a Northern English word meaning tracks or grooves.

5d Vigorous lad's not quite 18 Across (8)
YOUTHFUL A word for lad and a synonym of 18a minus its last letter (not quite).

6d Rule out first name misspelt in list of passengers (8)
MANIFEST An anagram of (misspelt) FIRST NAME after removing (out) the abbreviation for rule.

7d Rovers on form regularly will gain advantage over Sweden (6)
NOMADS Alternate letters of ON FORM, the abbreviation for advantage in tennis, and the one-letter abbreviation for Sweden.

8d 'Dropsy' found in dictionary condensed by English graduate (6)
OEDEMA A dictionary known by its acronym (condensed), then English, then a graduate.

14d 'Buck up!' Doctor came offering marsh plant (4-4)
REED-MACE The animal that is a buck if male, reversed (up),  and followed by an anagram of (Doctor) CAME.

15d Time's made to meet small Scottish head, showing affected prettiness (8)
TWEENESS The abbreviation for time, Scots for small, and a coastal head.

16d Mounting number held up by corrupt hunter pursued by police (2,3,3)
ON THE RUN An abbreviation for number followed (held up) by an anagram of (corrupt) HUNTER.

17d 'Singular creep, supported by Queen,' one writes in haste (8)
SCRAWLER The abbreviation for singular, a verb meaning to creep, and the abbreviation of Queen Elizabeth in Latin.

18d Entranced by golden eagle? (6)
RAPTOR A word meaning entranced or absorbed, then a heraldic word for gold (not really golden).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d Colour that's successful for a patch but too ornate for a passage (6)
PURPLE A colour that can be combined with patch or passage with different meanings. The surface suggests the process of choosing a wall colour.

20d Wager chap's no expert (6)
LAYMAN To stake or wager, plus a chap or male person.

21d Carried over Asian island (6)
BORNEO A word meaning carried plus the abbreviation for an over in cricket.

I quite liked 12a, 13a and 17d.

Over to you - please rate and comment on this puzzle below.

20 comments on “Toughie 1310

  1. Bit harder than 1* for difficulty for me but then the toughie is virgin territory for me. Learnt a new word in polyandry, the French for summer, a character in Chaucer and a marsh plant so all in all very educational.
    Not quite sure about 1d, the philosopher is Plato so why platonic, shouldn’t the clue read philosophy?
    Apart from that very enjoyable. Thx to all.

    1. I initially thought the same as you, but the clue wording is OF philosopher, ie of plato,so platonic works.

  2. Agree it was not very tough today but as I’ve got a cold as well it suited me fine so a **/***..Couple of new words in1A ,Thanks for the pic reminder Warbler-( i forgot yesterday ) and 22A.Oh and 24 was a new tale for me.

  3. I was slow to start, but picked up speed and finished without hints. While 19D could not have been anything else from the checking letters, I have never heard of a purple patch before today. The definition in 25A was also new to me. I’m checking that one with my brother in Perth!

    Pleasant, but no stand-outs for me. Thanks Warbler and Toro. hope your cold soon gets better!

      1. Thanks for the link. That was interesting. I’ve heard of purple prose, so I interpreted passage to be a piece of writing. As for sundowner, the definition I know best goes in a glass and is enjoyed at the end of the work day!

  4. Bottom half went in first. Some nice new words for me today, which were also my favourite clues – 1a and 22a.

    In 20a I agree, the “an nippers” hurt a bit.

    I also liked the long clue (naked rambler) which revealed itself after a few checks.

    Many thanks Warbler and thanks Toro

  5. A very Merry Christmas to Big Dave and all the bloggers! And thanks for your kind comments throughout the year.

    1. Sentiments echoed (even if this blogger was perhaps a bit Scrooge-like in his assessment yesterday!). Happy Christmas Warbler and keep up the fun puzzles.

  6. A solo solve, rather late at night for us, after a very busy day, so was pleased to find it not too tricky. 1a was the last in as I had convinced myself that the old college was some ancient Oxbridge institution I had never heard of, until the penny dropped. Good fun, enjoyed it.
    Thanks Warbler and Toro.

  7. More fun than today’s back pager, and not much tougher than a typical one either. 1a was the only one that stumped me, I just couldn’t see the “old college”…

  8. I kept having to leave this to put away ducks, get in the nags and make pizza, so couldn’t really concentrate on it. As a result it added up to 3* time, but probably should have been a 2*. On balance, then, call it 2*/3*. Favourite clue 3d, in honour of the lady. Thanks to Warbler, and to Toro for the review.

  9. I thought it was witty and enjoyable, and having found a few clues in the bottom half that I could do, the top half followed.
    Many thanks to Warbler and Toro.

  10. Good fun, and challenging without being over tough.

    I orignally put philandry for 1a, having decided correctly from the clue that the answer ended “andry”. I had the checking “p” for the first letter and I convinced myself that the meaning just about fitted with the clue – even though I couldn’t see how “phil” related to old college :-(. Of course that made a complete mess of 2d. I eventually unscrambled that corner after a quite a bit of cogitation..

    I needed my BRB to discover how Lucerne related to the answer for 9a, and I also checked it to confirm 14d which was enumerated (8) and not (4-4).

    Many thanks to Warbler and to Toro.

  11. So is Lucerne a type of Alfalfa then? Like Brian , quite a struggle.I did not know the Chaucer character or the marsh plant.I liked all the anagrams, especially 22a and 13a, although I didn’t see it in 6d. ThanksWarbler and Toro.

  12. I enjoyed this and finished it ( Saint Sharon got the last two 1d and the long one across) whilst i was busy. Guessed at the marsh plant and a couple of others. Ta to all.

  13. Yes, this was fairly easy by the usual standards – it must be – it took me less than a morning, which is rare. Nevertheless, it was still fun to get a softer one and I enjoyed it. Thanks to Warbler and no doubt more serious challenges await us in the future. Hope your cold is better, Toro. Sh-Shoney.

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