Toughie 1387 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1387

Toughie No 1387 by MynoT

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

Was it just me who was on song this morning or did others find this puzzle to be absurdly easy? It was a complete read-and-write for me except for the last two answers (4 across and 8 down) which needed a few seconds thought. I always find it difficult to assign an enjoyment rating when a puzzle doesn’t put up any kind of fight. Even the blog didn’t take long to write.

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    Bank where one can safely dive without first ending in slime (6)

DEPEND: Remove the first occurrence of the letter E (last letter of slime) from that part of a swimming pool (4,3) where you may safely dive

4a    Seer welcoming son for poetic king … (8)

PSALMIST: Someone who’ll tell your fortune by studying your hand goes round S (son) to give a word that describes King David

10a    … king with brass instrument following even as raw youth (9)

GREENHORN: King George + an abbreviated form of ‘even’ + a brass instrument

11a    Pecuniary resources of little value leading to distress finally (5)

MEANS: ‘Of little value’ + S (last letter of distress)

12a    Pet we blame for running wild (3-4)

EWE-LAMB: An anagram (running wild) of WE BLAME

13a    Throne room column becoming more unbalanced (7)

LOOPIER: A throne room (toilet) + a column supporting an arch or bridge

14a    Part of act appreciated by audience (5)

SCENE: A subdivision of an act of a play is a homophone (by audience) of ‘appreciated’

15a    Expressed in small space, smell faded away (8)

EMBODIED: A small space in printing + a smell cause by lack of personal hygiene + ‘faded away’

18a    Wrongly foretell no charge (4-4)

TOLL-FREE: An anagram (wrongly) of FORETELL

20a    Sergeant perhaps abandons dance for love (5)

FLAME: Remove the abbreviation for a non-commissioned officer (sergeant perhaps) from a Spaish dance

23a    Wine remains to develop with time for bit of maturity (7)

RETSINA: An anagram (to develop) of RETAINS, i.e. REMAINS with T (time) replacing M (first letter of maturity)

25a    Border with herb surrounding more than half of gnomes (7)

SELVAGE: A border on a piece of cloth = a herb (4) round the first 3 letters of a 5-letter word for ‘gnomes’

26a    A memory stored with a scent (5)

AROMA: A + a type of computer memory + A

27a    He meets Democratic American groups in opposition (4,3,2)

THEM AND US: ‘He’ (3,3) + D (Democratic) + US (American)

28a    There’s fish after function for end of day (8)

EVENTIDE: A function + a fish

29a    Stretches of colour on board (6)

STINTS: A colour goes inside SS (i.e. it’s on board a steamship)



1d    Remove fat when dividing amount (8)

DEGREASE: ‘When’ (2) inside ‘amount’ (6)

2d    Softly decline to be in the van (7)

PRECEDE: P (softly) + ‘to decline’

3d    Open-air dancing in Holland is like none other (9)

NONPAREIL: An anagram (dancing) of OPEN-AIR inside the IVR for the Netherlands

5d    Ringlets debase tailored style of jacket (6-8)


6d    Ostentatious vehicle carrying bachelor to dance (5)

LIMBO: An abbreviated form of the name of a large motor car goes round B (bachelor)

7d    Devise international colour supplement in Spain (7)

IMAGINE: I (international) + an abbreviated form of a word for a publication such as a colour supplement + IN + E (Spain)

8d    Dirty shirt (one a month) (6)

TISHRI: An anagram (dirty) of SHIRT I (one) gives a month in the Jewish calendar

9d    Kind of garment that’s worth 5/5? (6-8)

DOUBLE-BREASTED: 5 refers to the answer to 5 down

16d    An oil unusually absorbed by dexterous stripper (9)

DEFOLIANT: An anagram (unusually) of AN OIL inside ‘dexterous) gives something that removes leaves

17d    Setbacks concerning poetry (8)

REVERSES: ‘Concerning’ + poetry

19d    Result of old notes about company (7)

OUTCOME: O (old) + the first note of the scale (now superseded by do) + the abbreviation for company + the third note of the scale

21d    Wantonness wearing a ring? (7)

ABANDON: Someone wearing a ring has * **** **

22d    Make a speech about knight being decorated (6)

ORNATE: ‘Make a speech’ round N (knight in chess)

24d    It’s clumsy to splash paint (5)

INAPT: An anagram (splash) of PAINT

Easy even by Thursday Toughie standards

28 comments on “Toughie 1387

  1. Definitely a read and write – and I knew the Jewish month too so that didn’t hold me up either.

    Thanks to MynoT and Bufo – perhaps we’ll get a Toughie tomorrow.

  2. I found this difficult. I was sure ‘defoliant’ was correct for 16d without really understanding why. Completely failed to get 25a. Guessed at 23a then had to look it up.

    8d eluded me too.

    Many thanks to MynoT and BD for your much needed help.

    God I feel stupid today.

    1. I’d also like to thank Bufo! Good grief what’s wrong with me today? Bufo I’m so sorry.

  3. Easy for you guys!! But having said that, I was making really good time until all that was left was 4A and 8D. I confess to using some e-help for 4A, then worked out 8D from the remaining letters and confirmed with a quick Google. In retrospect, the answer to 4A has come up before and I just didn’t remember it. I found lots to like…1A, 13A ( favorite), 15A, 20A and 27A. Thanks to MynoT and Bufo.

  4. I have to agree this was very easy for a Thursday Toughie – even a Tuesday one. The only clue I needed an explanation for was 19dn. I had never heard of “ut” as a note, but the answer was pretty obvious, Thanks to Bufo for the explanation and here’s hoping MynoT gets a bit tougher next time, Roll on Friday!

  5. Thanks for the blog Bufo. Could not see the parsing for 20a although I had nco in my mind. Pretty obvious now though!
    Thanks also to MynoT

  6. This was a close to a read and write for me too until I came to 8d, which was easy to figure out from the clue, but I did have to look it up to be sure.

    1*/3* for me.

  7. I concur (mostly ) ..except for 12a , which was obviously wee **** , so a bit of a snafu top left.

    Thanks to setter and review

  8. Agree that it was easy for a toughie as most of the word play was very logical, but a **/** for me. Not heard of UT as a precursor of DO and I assume the solution under the click here’ for 19d is not outcame! but a co for the ca , and the 5/5 for 9d didn’t work for me or am I missing something- liked 4a,Thanks Bufo.

  9. I thought this was easier than the back pager today. I liked13a, but no particular favourites. **/*** didn’t need to use the hints either (for a change) just needed to check the reasoning for one or two Thanks to setter and to Bufo

  10. I agree. In contrast to yesterdays this one got easier and easier, leaving only 4a and 8d to puzzle over.
    Favourites were 13a [can’t resist a lavvy joke] and 20a.

    Thanks to MynoT and Bufo.

  11. Please help me out with the reasoning behind 1d – i can’t get the wordplay

  12. Did spend less time on the toughie than the back page but was left with 8d alas.
    5d and 9d were such a good present it did make it easier.
    Had wee lamb originally for 12a also but 1d soon rectified that.
    Quite liked 20a but favourite is 3d.
    Thanks to MynoT and to Bufo for the review.

  13. Being at the easier end of the toughie scale , I really enjoyed it. I liked the biblical references, and the anagrams and 9d, but my stand out favourite was 27a. I also liked the little joke in 1a.
    Thanks MynoT and Bufo (I needed some hints).

  14. Sure it did not take a long time, but nevertheless an amusing interlude. Like everyone else the two that gave most problems were 4a, 8d. Favourite was 20a where we liked both the surface reading and the wordplay.
    Thanks MynoT and Bufo.

    1. Perhaps it’s just not used these days. I learned it in sewing class at school. It’s the self-finished edge of fabric that prevents it from fraying. In my day, the preferred spelling was selvedge. Boys who were stamp collectors knew it as the while edge around a sheet of stamps.

      1. Clear to me as I worked for a cotton printer for a few years. Agree about the spelling but . . .

      2. I was a stamp collector when I was a lad … just like my friend from Cambridgeshire – Phil at Ely?

  15. I thought Bufo was more than a bit critical. I found this quite problematic (even though I often finish the 4 and 5 star ones at times) plus I;m not Jewish, so 8 down did for me,

  16. This was a very hard one for me, new as I am to the Toughie. I should have known 6a, it being the Hebrew meaning of my name! Thanks setter and Bufo.

  17. I found RHS very tricky though Los no more difficult than a back page one. That said with a couple of pointers from Bufo I managed to complete. 8d had to be an anag and with only the vowels left it had to be what it is.

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