Toughie 1373 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1373

Toughie No 1373 by Warbler

1066 and all that!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Another typical Warbler puzzle– not too difficult but as enjoyable as ever.

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    Manoeuvre National Trust to block rebuilding of route in Perth (5-5,4)
THREE-POINT TURN: to get this driving manoeuvre but the abbreviation for the National Trust inside (to block) an anagram (rebuilding) of ROUTE IN PERTH

10a    Remember cars parked in sports area will need licence ultimately (9)
REMINISCE: some small British cars inside the three-letter abbreviated word for a sports area and the final letter (ultimately) of [licence]E

11a    Burning wood in last month but not first three (5)
EMBER: drop (not) the first three letters from the last month of the year

12a    Slaughter horse — though it appears it’s being looked after! (7)
CARNAGE: put a colloquial word for a horse inside a word meaning to look after

13a    A foreign character’s craft overturned. What a shock! (6)
TRAUMA: the A from the clue, a Greek letter and craft or creative work, all reversed (overturned – more frequently a down-clue construct)

15a    Stingers, headless. They still bite (4)
ASPS: drop the initial letter (headless) from some stinging insects

17a    Pub entertainment. It’s electronically produced (5,5)
HOUSE MUSIC: another name for a pub or inn followed by some entertainment

18a    Pocket on part of pants (7-3)
TROUSER-LEG: a slang verb meaning to pocket or steal followed by the on side in cricket

20a    Old PM‘s garden (4)
EDEN: two definitions

22a    Drink for each young child (6)
NIPPER: a small tot of drink followed by a word meaning for each

23a    Intellectual woman trashed baubles (3-4)
BAS-BLEU: an anagram (trashed) of BAUBLES – new to me, but easily resolved once the checking letters were in place

26a    Implied it’s time to do something about independence (5)
TACIT: T(ime) and a verb meaning to do something around I(ndependence)

27a    Army loses, almost routed by 100 blades (9)
CLAYMORE: an anagram (routed) of ARMY with most of LOSE[s] preceded by the Roman numeral for 100

28a    What Foreign Legionnaires are known for — eating second pudding dishes (7,7)
DESSERT SERVICE: what Foreign Legionnaires are known for (6,7) around (eating) S(econd)


2d    Epic Greek  flier (5)
HOMER: no, it’s not Icarus! The second of these two definitions is a type of pigeon

3d    Fiery, a la Sicilian, and born French, to go by article (6)
ETNEAN: The French for “and” and “born” followed by the two-letter indefinite article

4d    Sham marrying spread to borders of Bulgaria (10)
PASTEBOARD: an anagram (marrying) of SPREAD TO with the outer letters (borders) of B[ulgari]A

5d    Some bile aggravating intestines (4)
ILEA: hidden (some) inside the clue

6d    English soldiers in the money? That’s just speculation (7)
THEOREM: E(nglish) and some non-commissioned soldiers inside THE and M(oney)

7d    After scrabbling about under bus I will come out as spotless (9)
UNBRUISED: an anagram (after scrabbling about) of UNDER BUS I

8d    Wisdom to learn, seeking outcome of immigration from France (6,8)
NORMAN CONQUEST: the first name of the late comedian Wisdom followed by a verb meaning to learn and a seeking or search

9d    Put off as hype action started in a whirl — need to drop a little temperature (14)
PROCRASTINATED: the two-letter abbreviation for hype or the maintenance of a favourable image followed by an anagram (in a whirl) of ACTION STAR[T]ED without (need to drop) the abbreviation (little) of T(emperature)

14d    Rally about silver collection (10)
ASSEMBLAGE: a verb meaning to rally around the chemical symbol for silver

16d    Searches for  wide views (9)
PROSPECTS: two definitions – searches for. perhaps, gold and wide views or panoramas

19d    Wild spree around court shows spirit (7)
SPECTRE: an anagram (wild) of SPREE around C(our)T

21d    When I’m old, very, I’ll be a sci-fi writer (6)
ASIMOV: a two-letter word meaning when followed by I’M, O(ld) and V(ery)

24d    Unlikely riches will offer something to sing about? On the contrary (5)
LYRIC: hidden (will offer) inside the clue – the final phrase works as a semi-all-in-one

25d    Small incision in tail (4)
SCUT: S(mall) followed by an incision

Toro hopes to return next Tuesday.

37 comments on “Toughie 1373

  1. Quite a challenge , as a toughie is supposed to be. I liked 8d and 21d best, also 3d which took me a while to work out.
    Thanks BD and Warbler.

  2. Yes, as BD said, not too difficult and enjoyable. Last one in was 18a (pocket on …) because as always it took me ages to see the cricket reference for the second word.

    I also hadn’t seen 23a (intellectual woman) before but realised it was a translation of the english..

    I liked 4a for surface – very clever – and “marrying” is an interesting anagram indicator.

    Many thanks Warbler and BD

  3. As BD has said, an enjoyable if not too taxing Toughie to start the week. Never heard of 28a or 23a, but solvable with the wordplay and checking letters. I liked 8d as it gave me a laugh – both for ‘Mr Grimsdale’s’ nemesis and for the fact that ‘invasion’ can be construed as immigration.

    Thanks to Warbler for the puzzle and BD for the review.

  4. I go along with BD’s rating.
    A well constructed crossword with definitions easy to parse.
    No real stand out clue though.
    Thanks to Warbler and to BD for the review.

  5. I do like a Warbler puzzle. Never too hard but always a joy to solve. This was no exception. **/**** from me too.

    Favourite was 8d but there’s a lot of other good stuff to choose from.

    Thanks Warbler and thanks to BD

  6. Can’t tell you how dispiriting it is to emerge triumphant from a foray into Toughie territory then rush eagerly to the blog only to find BD et al saying how easy it was.

    Well – I thoroughly enjoyed it and am jolly proud of myself. SO THERE! 3*/4*.

    Learned a new description at 23a (should have seen the translation of blue stocking) and now have an in-depth knowledge of ‘100 blades’ – sadly not needed for the answer but nevertheless v. interesting.

    Favourite is either 9d – because it’s such a lovely word or 1a – because I can well remember blocking all sorts of routes whilst practising them for my driving test.

    Many thanks to Warbler and to BD – even though you didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear!!!

    1. Don’t put yourself down Jane, I think it’s a great feeling to complete a Toughie and something you should be proud of. Some days I sit and look at the Toughie / back pager and find it baffling when other contributors say they find it easy. But perseverance wins the day, albeit if you need to use some help.

      1. Thank you, Shropshirelad – I have to keep remembering that it’s not so long ago that I couldn’t even finish a back-pager.
        This blog is brilliant for showing us how to improve our solving skills.

  7. Thoroughly enjoyable toughie solved sitting in glorious sunshine on Beadnell beach Northumberland. Thanks BD for revue. Thanks to Warbler for an excellent puzzle.

  8. A very nice Toughie from Warbler as usual … thanks to BD for the review.

    8d – reminds me of gazza’s splendid anecdote in his review of DT 26363 way back in October 2010 – See 12d .

    DT 26363

  9. Like others I found this fairly straightforward but enjoyable. My only difficulty came with the 4d and 17a pair that cross. I have never heard 4d used to mean sham and I had no idea if 17a was electronic in nature. Anyway, got there with the aid of a dictionary.
    Thanks to Warbler and BD

  10. Not sure it was 2* more like a 3.5 but very enjoyable if it did take two sittings to complete. Did like 8d esp, I was always a fan of daft Norman and Mr Grimsdale.
    Thx to all

  11. This was a good start to the week and was most enjoyable. Managed to complete it but I needed help with 4d as I couldn’t see “pasteboard” as meaning “sham”. I’d give it ***/****. Thank you Warbler and also BD. Sh-Shoney.
    p.s.In 6d does “OR” in THEOREM” stand for “other ranks”, i.e. the soldiers? S_S.

  12. What a nice lot you all are ! I found 7 instances of the word ” enjoyable ” in your comments. That, for me, means that I have succeeded in what I was aiming for. Thanks.

    1. Hi Warbler – how nice of you to fly in. It’s so rewarding when setters bother to check up on how their puzzles have been received. I’m not one of the ‘elite’ on this site and found it hard work but, at the end of the day, I didn’t have a single answer with a question mark by it. In my book, that says a great deal for your abilities.

      Heard my first Willow Warbler singing a couple of weeks ago – your mates are back for the Summer!

    2. Hi Warbler, I didn’t actually use the word “enjoyable” but I only attempted to do this toughie because it was a Warbler, which I always enjoy.

    3. Hi Warbler, I meant exactly what I said #5. Did you count “joy to solve” in your 7 instances?

    4. Hi Warbler, as I’ve said before it’s great that the setter pops in to converse with the bloggers. Thank you for a very enjoyable puzzle – keep them coming

    5. Thanks Warbler. We took quite some time to solve this puzzle but solved it we did! Very enjoyable and amusing. loved 18a.

  13. Make that 8 instances of enjoyable Warbler. We always find you puzzles thus and really look forward to them. Nothing held us up for long and we smiled all the way through.
    Thanks Warbler and BD.

  14. Yeehaa! Please excuse the exuberance ! Managed to finish this one with only a little bit of help from the hints. I particularly liked 23a….. Immediately got the ‘ blue stocking’ link, but failed at first to realise there was a French literal translation ( apologies to Jean Luc And our other Gallic friends). Struggled a bit with 28a…got the dessert bit but had to have help with second word. I’m sorry to say I had not heard of the sci-fi writer but managed to get him anyway. Altogether an enjoyable puzzle……. The more so for actually being able to finish it….after last Friday’s miserable attempt!
    ***/*** for me. Thanks to Warbler and BD for helping to restore brain to function mode.

    1. Well done, Liz – and in a remarkably short time (by my standards!). If that’s the ‘easy’ Tuesday Toughie, I may well go AWOL for the rest of the week.

      1. Thanks Jane……… And I went for my 45min Power Walk in between starting and finishing………North Sea oxygen to the brain helps no end!

              1. Have you 2 ever thought of getting together and doing a review of one of the puzzles? I think you would be brilliant! Do think it over.

                1. Oooeer! Think it might be a bit early in my blogging career to consider such a monumental step up……. What do you think Jane?…

                  1. Think I’d need to be a lot more confident about my ability to finish and fully parse puzzles on a regular basis before I teetered over that particular brink. Not to mention the fact that my IT abilities are abysmal.

                    Nice thought though – how about you show the way, Shropshirelad?

                    1. Miffypop’s radar is farseeing and very persuasive – ask Kath and Kitty.

                      I’m in the chair on Thurs – you want to contribute a hint or two? You would be very welcome. I’m just an email away.

  15. Thanks to Warbler and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Too tough for me, needed 9 hints to finish. Never heard of 4d .

    1. Look at this way, Heno – if you only needed 9 hints then you got a great many all by yourself.

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