Toughie 1329 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1329

Toughie No 1329 by Warbler

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

I made steady progress through this puzzle, which contained some trickier clues along with the more gentle ones I think of as typical of Warbler. A pleasant solve - thanks Warbler.

In case you haven't yet, do listen to last week's David Baddiel Tries To Understand Cryptic Crosswords on Radio 4, which is still available via the link below. It's highly entertaining, and the accompanying downloadable crossword, written specially for Baddiel by Arachne and discussed in the programme, is just delightful.

Here's the link (you'll need to copy and paste since WordPress won't let me create a hyperlink):



1a Woolly old drawing instrument (11)
CARDIOGRAPH ...a piece of medical equipment. A men' s knitted jumper with buttons down the front, the abbreviation for old, and a drawing or diagram.

10a Line in letter read aloud (5)
QUEUE A homophone (read aloud) of a certain letter of the alphabet.


11a Finally develop pride in a newly built water-carrier (9)
DRAINPIPE The last letter (finally) of develop followed by an anagram (newly built) of PRIDE IN A.

12a Schools installing clubs for English scholars (9)
ACADEMICS A word for schools, but replacing the abbreviation for English by that for clubs in cards.

13a Pie's not good with low-calorie cream (5)
ELITE PIE from the clue but dropping a two-letter slang abbreviation of a word meaning good or devout, followed by a term used in marketing meaning low-calorie.

14a Old swear-word -- there's no right justification (6)
EXCUSE A prefix meaning old or former, then a word for an obscenity after dropping the abbreviation for right.

16a Is there time to change top? (3,5)
TEE SHIRT An anagram (to change) of IS THERE along with the abbreviation in physics for time.

tee shirt

18a Remedy for one opposing love (8)
ANTIDOTE A person who is against something, and a verb meaning love or adore.

20a Language school's grasping fellow runs away (6)
SPEECH The abbreviation for school goes round word meaning fellow or equal, after dropping (away) the abbreviation in cricket for runs.

23a Press cuttings (5)
HACKS A double definition, being both a collective (and pejorative) term for journalists and strikes of an axe or other cutting tool.

24a The French expanded in state (9)
LOUISIANA The full (expanded) name of a US state whose abbreviation is a French definite article.

26a Sign fellow's turned east to go by river (9)
NAMEPLATE A word for fellow or chap in reverse (turned), the abbreviation for east and the English name of a river lying between Argentina and Uruguay.

27a Putting bread in that is silly (5)
INANE A kind of bread inside the Latin abbreviation for that is.

28a One thrown off by ancient steed, surprisingly they came first (11)
ANTECEDENTS An anagram (surprisingly) of ANCIENT STEED after deleting the Roman numeral one (one thrown off).


2d Going to Hollywood, earn millions taking off 'Leader of the Pack' (5)
AKELA Kipling's Jungle Book and the scouting movement. Precede the city in which Hollywood lies by a verb meaning to earn minus the abbreviation for millions.


3d Liquid slides, conserving energy in such machines (7)
DIESELS An anagram (liquid) of SLIDES around the abbreviation in physics for energy.

4d Invest one in gold belt (6)
ORDAIN The Roman numeral one goes between the heraldic colour gold and a belt or rank in martial arts.

5d Roll around outskirts of Ashford in sporty vehicle (8)
ROADSTER A roll or list of assigned duties goes round the outer letters (outskirts) of Ashford.

6d Better and better, perhaps they go boating (7)
PUNTERS The plural of a word for patrons of a betting shop.

7d Boring party in government provides military exercise (6-7)
SQUARE-BASHING A word for boring or not hip, a do or party, IN from the clue and the abbreviation for government.

8d Scale down part of outfit employed on converted semi (8)
MINIMISE An item of female wear plus an anagram (converted) of SEMI.

9d Cardinal translated heathen verse being held in total bliss (7,6)
SEVENTH HEAVEN A cardinal number (one, two, three... etc.) followed by an anagram (translated) of HEATHEN around the abbreviation for verse in Bible references.

15d Place to bury queen with a rake! (8)
CATACOMB An animal whose female can be a queen, A from the clue and a verb meaning to rake.

17d Virginia maybe penning English lines making five points, typically (8)
STELLATE What Virginia is an example of, around (penning) English lines.

19d Clean slate? Rubbish, one gathers (7)
DUSTPAN To perform light household cleaning, followed by a verb meaning to slate or criticise severely.


21d The old man's session doing the crossword, say (7)
PASTIME A term for father (plus possessive s) and a word for a session or period of activity.

22d French CID's certain to trap alien (6)
SURETE A synonym of certain goes round (to trap) an acronym meaning from space.

25d Sailor's a foot behind at sea (5)
ABAFT A rank of sailor, A from the clue and the abbreviation for foot.


5d was my clue of the day. Yours?

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

39 comments on “Toughie 1329

  1. Quel dommage.
    I was so eagerly waiting for the review as I am left with 2d only and can’t make any sense of the definition.
    Very clever toughie today with some real challenges.
    Loved 1a, 19d, 6d and 22d bien sur.
    Will go back to that 2d and hopefully will have it sorted by the time the review comes up.

  2. 2d may be a cultural thing, Jean-Luc. By the same token, you might know better than me why 24a is what it is. I’ve just finished solving and the centime on that one hasn’t dropped!

    Writing up now and will post as soon as done. Apologies for the delay today everyone.

    1. I think everyone is right. It’s the French feminine definite article which is also the short term for that US state and if expanded give us the answer.

      1. I am thinking of something very different, but I’m probably trying to be too clever by half!

        1. Can you imagine. If we hadn’t given these territories away, you would be speaking French by now.

        2. My first justification was that it was the state that the french empire was expanded by, which seemed too contrived. The correct version is perfect once you see it.

  3. To coin a MPism this was another enjoyable “breeze”. Thanks Warbler. I’m with you Jean-Luc in not being able to pass my “bung-in” for 2d.

  4. Was just about to comment but will wait for the review now. I thought the same as everyone else about 24a but am completely stuffed with 2d – haven’t even got a “bung in” although I think it must end in LA.

      1. Tempting though it is to write a hint I think we should give Kath a bit more time (if only to prepare for the severe kicking she’s going to give herself )

    1. You were closer than my incorrect bung-in Kath. My feeble excuse is that I have had no exposure to Scouting (apart from having a Baden Powell neighbour for years in London) and stupidly the Kipling association didn’t occur to me.

  5. I was indeed trying to be too clever by half in trying to make the French expansion into North America relevant to 24A. The correct answer is so much more elegant! Apart from that, I didn’t have any hiccups and it was a very pleasant solve. Thanks to both Warbler and Toro.

  6. Enjoyable puzzle! i was stumped for a while on a last few – well, I could fill in the state (24a) but it took me a while to see it was the expanded version of the french article, a nice “aha” ( or maybe doh…) moment. I could only think of arena for 2d, then finally leader of the pack twigged for me and the clue fell into place as my last entry. I didn’t know the military exercise (7d) which gave me problems with 23a and 26a, but this eventually unfolded. It also took me a while to switch my thinking from dustman to the answer in 19d!

    I quite liked 16a (is there time to change top?) and 27a (putting bread in that), but the best aha moments were definitely 24a (hollywood) and 2d (leader of the pack).

    Many thanks Warbler and Toro

  7. Toro – thanks for the link to the R4 broadcast. Currently trying to load up then print the crossword set by Arachne (who, if I may be so bold, has one of the sexiest voices I’ve ever heard)

    Now back to work & the Toughie to look forward to over a (or 2) pre-prandial G&T.

    1. Let us know how you got on with it. It’s not difficult, but huge fun, and the quality of her cluing is sublime.

        1. And Jane was right. The clue with the balm and the large kangaroo is probably the best. CS gave the link last week on the blog. Great stuff indeed. Spoonerism included.

      1. I missed CS’s link of last week so this is the first I’ve heard of this puzzle. Downloaded and done, and what huge fun it was! If there were a review of that puzzle I would itemize the ones I love, but I will make do by saying there were a lot. Thanks so much for posting it Toro and Franco!

  8. Thanks Toro,
    And to think that the jungle book is the first film I ever saw. Was rather young at the time.
    It seems that lately I have been left with just the one clue unsolved. A bit like Chinese people leaving a little bit of food on their plates to indicate to the host that there was enough to eat. If completed, I want to go on to the next one and don’t seem to appreciate it as much. So thanks to Warbler for my daily fare and to Toro for the hard work.

  9. A lovely crossword and, even though someone will say that it wasn’t a ‘proper Toughie’, it was quite tough enough for me.
    I’ve noticed before with Warbler’s crosswords that for some reason I often miss her anagram indicators even when they’re not unusual ones – today I missed ‘newly built’ in 11a and ‘to change’ in 16a – all very odd!
    I did, eventually, remember the leader of the pack from Jungle Book – one of my favourite films and now I’m going to be singing songs from it for the rest of the day!
    I think we’ve had a clue very similar to 24a quite recently but can’t remember whether it was in a back page crossword or a Toughie, or when it was – useless!
    My list of clues that I liked is far too long so I’ll just leave it at that.
    With thanks to Warbler and to Toro.

  10. This was a lot of fun and I agree with the ratings Toro has given. How odd that 2 clues, based around LA caused so much comment. I’m too ashamed to say where I stumbled momentarily. Thanks Toro and Warbler

  11. 3*/4* for my money, and completed without hints albeit with a couple of solutions owing more to inspiration than forensic dissection of the clues. 2d my favourite, partly because l love Kipling and partly because l spent part of my childhood crouched on the floor of the church hall worshipping a very kind young lady from Dunster Avenue. My thanks to Warbler for reminding me of her, and to Toro for the review.

  12. Oh dear – not my finest foray into Toughie territory. Managed precisely 16 answers, which rather took the shine off the day when I read from the comments that most of you found it quite easy.
    Ah well – until a few months ago, I rarely completed a Cryptic so I’ll just have to ‘think positive’!

    Thanks to Warbler for some great clues and to Toro for showing me how I SHOULD have got the answers.

  13. Just managed to finish this puzzle. It took ages to get the two “main” answers, 1a &7d, both of which are excellent! I was totally baffled by the picture clue for 2d – I thought it was meant to be a lion! (I know it’s grey coloured but it could have been an old lion). Very enjoyable, ****/**** for me. Thank you Warbler and thank you Toro. Sh-Shoney.

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