Toughie 1347

Toughie No 1347 by MynoT

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Back to normal this week. I breezed through this and only the time spent sorting out the last two answers (7 down and 18 down) lifted it into the 2-star difficulty zone. I bet Gazza’s glad that the Wednesday and Thursday envelopes didn’t get mixed up this week

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    2 conceivably sad? (11)
HEARTBROKEN: This answer could give a cryptic indication for the answer to 2 down. It consists of an anagram of the answer of 2 down and an anagram indicator

9a    Trouble with navy’s dress (5)
ADORN: ‘trouble’ + the abbreviation for the Royal Navy

10a    Carrier‘s short suit (9)
BRIEFCASE: ‘Short’ + a suit (in the legal sense)

11a    I turn green in Paris at first — it’s the Eiffel Tower effect (7)
VERTIGO: I and a turn are preceded by the French word for ‘green’

12a    The actor playing a Roman emperor, for example (8)
THEOCRAT: An anagram (playing) of THE ACTOR

14a    Journalist‘s on malt liquor (8)
REPORTER: ‘On’ + a dark-brown malt liquor (I could just fancy a pint)

15a    Identity of most of meat rejected (4)
SELF: A reversal of ‘meat’ after the last letter has been removed

17a    Irreverent devil’s in debt? On the contrary (7)
IMPIOUS: A debt goes inside ‘devil’s’

19a    Fail to use essential courteousness (4)
OMIT: The middle four letters of a 6-letter word meaning ‘courteousness’. The 6-letter word is one that I knew existed but I’d no idea what it meant

20a    They put fizz in a cooked roaster (8)
AERATORS: A + an anagram (cooked) of ROASTER

21a    As inheritance, limited by invalid dateline (8)
ENTAILED: An anagram (invalid) of DATELINE

23a    Monster ring located by sun-god (7)
CHIMERA: ‘To ring’ + an Egyptian sun-god

25a    Side by side with subsequent partner (9)
LATERALLY: ‘Subsequent’ + a partner

26a    From trawler, I caught ling (5)
ERICA: Hidden in trawlER I CAught

27a    Sent here with aid, like Father William (5-6)
WHITE-HAIRED: An anagram (sent) of HERE WITH AID. ‘You are old Father William’, the young man said, ‘And your **** has become very *****’


2d    Some fear this wire (5)
EARTH: Hidden in fEAR THis

3d    Run through fish, tucking in right away (4,3)
REEL OFF: A long smooth fish goes inside R (right) and ‘away’

4d    Moor could be working behind the scenes? (8)
BACKROOM: This answer could give a cryptic indication for MOOR. It consists of a reversal indicator and a reversal of MOOR

5d    Capital? I’ve assembled a thousand to start with (4)
KIEV: The capital of the Ukraine is an anagram (assembled) of IVE following a single letter that denotes a thousand (but not the Roman numeral)

6d    Common sense about area of shellfish (8)
NACREOUS: Common sense goes round a unit of area of land

7d    Very old soldier is crossing Italy crushing mass communist principles (9)
SOVIETISM: ‘Very’ (2) + an old soldier (3) and IS round the IVR for Italy + M (mass)

8d    Badly cut corner newsman left erroneous (11)
UNCORRECTED: An anagram (badly) of CUT CORNER + the top man at a newspaper

12d    Try lighters in competitions (4,7)
TEST MATCHES: ‘To try’ + lighters (e.g. for cigarettes)

13d    Tours round a base to make long tiring walk (7)
TRAIPSE: ‘Tours’ round A + the base of natural logarithms

16d    Sign I raised regularly for bookshop (9)
LIBRAIRIE: A sign of the Zodiac + I + alternate letters of RaIsEd

17d    Made of choice marble, capturing that woman, naked (2,3,3)
IN THE RAW: ‘Made of’ (2) + a choice marble (3) round ‘that woman’ (3)

18d    Last of many, posh member’s ties now out of date? (8)
UMPTIETH: A single letter denoting ‘posh’ + a Member of Parliament’ + an old fashioned form of the verb form ‘ties’

19d    Folding old gear with friend (7)
ORIGAMI: O (old) + gear + a French friend

22d    French female embraces one as an English woman (5)
ELLIE: The French word for ‘she’ goes round I (one)

24d    Great Britain once not supported by French city (4)
ALBI: Remove a 2 –letter word meaning ‘supported by’ from the end of an ancient and poetic name for Britain

An OK puzzle with nothing of particular note



  1. crypticsue
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Difficulty 2* (because of the struggle with a couple of clues) Enjoyment 2* Grumpiness Factor 5*

    Thanks to Mynot and Bufo.

    Do you think we’ll actually get a ‘Toughie’ tomorrow?

    • Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      It is four weeks since we last heard the sound of stomping boots! Put your ear to the ground, you never know!

      • crypticsue
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Chatting to him at Little Venice, I got the impression that we still might have a while to wait before another impaling.

      • gazza
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        We’ll have to wait a little longer for the booted one. It’s Notabilis tomorrow.

  2. Pegasus
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward stuff today, favourite 7d thanks to MynoT and to Bufo for the comments.

  3. Kath
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one.
    Needed the hints to explain 19a – it couldn’t have been anything else but I don’t think I knew the synonym for courteousness and I didn’t know 16d either but worked that one out.
    I particularly liked 4 and 17d.
    With thanks to MynoT and bufo.

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    No grumbling from me. I enjoyed it immensely and whistled through with just a hold-up on 7D. I needed the review to understand the “ties out of date” part of my 18D answer and although I was correct on 19A I have no idea what the 6-letter word is. Favorites are 1A and 4D. Many thanks to MynoT and Bufo.

    • Physicist
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      The six-letter word is comity, as in the phrase “the comity of nations”. Like Bufo, I had come across the word but didn’t know exactly what it meant.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Thank you!

  5. Shropshirelad
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    A relatively easy ‘Toughie’ today with no real stand out clues. So thanks to MynoT for the puzzle and Bufo for the review.

    Bufo – with regard to 17a, I parsed it as ‘devil’s in debt’ (meaning the ‘devil’ would be inside ‘debt’) then ‘on the contrary’ meaning the ‘devil’ is not in ‘debt’, therefore *** + ****. I’m probably wrong so I do apologise in advance.

  6. spindrift
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of the answer for 16d & neither it seems has Chambers.

    • Posted February 19, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary – Chambers has heard of it:

      libraire (French)
      * A bookseller

      librairie noun
      * Bookselling
      * A bookshop

      We have warned before that the free online version of Chambers is not the BRB that we all know and love.

      • spindrift
        Posted February 20, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        I really should pay more attention! I was in my office & the BRB was in my study & being lazy I went on-line to check. Thanks for putting me right.

        • Posted February 20, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          If Chambers gave away all of the BRB as a free online service they wouldnt sell many books. It did used to be offered as a subscription service but that ended several years ago.

  7. 2Kiwis
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    It took us quite some time to work out the wordplay for 7d, and also, the word that had to be topped and tailed to give 19a was unfamiliar to us. However we did get there. Probably best enjoyment came from the back-formatted 1a and 4d.
    Thanks MynoT and Bufo.

  8. Gordianus
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Complete fail on 21,23 & 25 ac and 16,22 & 24 dn. kicking myself on 23,25&26 ac shoulda got them

  9. Wolfson Bear
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    A couple of words unfamiliar to me but close enough to known words to work out from the word play. So far not a great toughie week but I think it would be a surprise if Notabilis does not weave his usual magic tomorrow.

  10. Miffypops
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Nearly there. No time, as usual. I think I might retire.

  11. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 20, 2015 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Had to check the hints for 7d and 18d.
    7d was a bit of a guess and for 18d I could only see umpteenth which was too long. So I ended up with umpteeth unfortunately.
    Not sure we can say that a Roman Emperor is necessarily a theocrat as the clue suggests.
    It’s a bit late to start a debate.
    Didn’t realise you use the word librairie in the UK.
    Favourite is 4d.
    Thanks to MynoT and to Bufo for the review.

  12. Sh-Shoney
    Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Just struggled to the finish with this. I was going well but hit the buffers in the SE corner, especially with 18d,24d and 27a. Also, like jean-luc cheval above I’m unclear about the connection between the Roman Emperor and a theocrat in 12a. I know the Wizards are complaining about the simplicity of this week’s puzzles, but for lesser mortals it has been a very enjoyable. (For me, anyway although I haven’t started today’s offering yet). So thank you to MynoT and to Bufo. Sh-Shoney.

    • halcyon
      Posted February 20, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      The Roman emperors passed themselves off as gods, thus their dictatorships were also theocracies and they were theocrats by definition.

      • Sh-Shoney
        Posted February 20, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Wow – thanks for that. Sh-Shoney.

  13. Salty Dog
    Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Yes, 2*/3* or thereabouts, and 1a as favourite clue. Thanks to MynoT and Bufo.

  14. halcyon
    Posted February 20, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Well I’m glad you lot thought it was easy but I found this the most difficult puzzle I’ve attempted all year! Either that or I was having a bad day. Just could not get into more than half of it until I finally twigged [the rather obvious] 19d and then the rest rather grudgingly fell into place.
    I enjoyed 1a, 11a and 18d but thought 22d was the feeblest clue ever.

    Thanks to MynoT for the humiliation and Bufo for the review.