Toughie 1407 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1407

Toughie No 1407 by Excalibur

I’m feeling grumpy

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Life ain’t fair! How come that Gazza seems to get decent puzzles on a Wednesday including an Elkamere one yesterday and I end up with yet more typical Thursday fare? Does he have friends in high places or is he into bribery and corruption in a big way? Today’s puzzle was laced with anagrams especially in the down clues. Now I start solving with the down clues so that by the time I’d done the first read through of the clues most of the grid was completed and I started to lose interest

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1a    Drink knocked back, be aggravating and mean (6)
PALTRY: A reversal (knocked back) of ‘to drink’ + ‘to be aggravating’

4a    Rather curt ‘Quiet!’ or ‘Hist!’ ruffled (8)
SHORTISH: ‘Quiet!’ + an anagram (ruffled) of OR HIST

9a    A jerk to tease child (6)
TWITCH: ‘To tease’ + an abbreviation for ‘child’

10a    Matches in general as opposed to big matches (8)
CONTESTS: ‘opposed to’ + big matches (especially at cricket)

11a    Appeal what was said? (4,4)
HOW’S THAT: In cricket a verbal appeal to the umpire to give a batsman out

13a    Recovered myself, having undone coat to wrap round (4,2)
CAME TO: ‘Myself’ inside an anagram (undone) of COAT

15a    Personality had been gifted perhaps, being totally in control (4-9)
POSSESSED: Personality + ‘had been gifted perhaps’

18a    Not a spirit of forgiveness (8,5)
AVENGING ANGEL: A cryptic definition for a spirit who is seeking to take vengeance for or on behalf of someone

22a    Breaks down when pronouncing sentence? (6)
SPELLS: I think this is another cryptic definition for ‘breaks a word down into its individual letters and reads these out’

24a    Filed story, left in rush (8)
REPORTED: The left side on a ship inside a rush (plant)

26a    Eat too much duck ourselves. Yummy (8)
GORGEOUS: ‘To eat too much’ + duck (nothing) + ourselves

27a    No end worried, this person most of all (6)
DENIAL: An anagram (worried) of END + ‘this person’ + ALL with the last letter removed

28a    Rub out odd number written in (8)
STRANGLE: Rub out (kill) = ‘odd’ round a Roman numeral

29a    When class and society may show what one owns (6)
ASSETS: ‘When’ + a class + S (society)


1d    Yacht sailing from Portugal; sometimes rough, sometimes smooth (6)
PATCHY: An anagram (sailing) of YACHT follows P (the IVR for Portugal)

2d    Detail being wrong, housing was devastated (4,5)
LAID WASTE: An anagram (being wrong) od DETAIL round (housing) WAS

3d    Later, treated cold I caught — that’s a performance (7)
RECITAL: An anagram (treated) of LATER round C (cold) I

5d    Bear up — there’s a steel band! (4)
HOOP: A reversal of the name of a fictional bear = a circular band (but not necessarily of steel)

6d    Go over with backing of English and former US president (7)
RETRACE: A reversal of E (English) and the surname of a US president

7d    Web wastes time, to start with, for children (5)
ISSUE: Remove T (time) from the front of ‘web’

8d    Argues that ‘is intended to be read’ (3,5)
HAS WORDS: If something *** ***** then it is capable of being read

12d    Add: ‘Scratch pad and ballpoint inside’ (6)
APPEND: An anagram (scratch) of PAD round

14d    Better see alternative tours agency for flight (6)
ESCAPE: ‘To better’ inside an anagram (alternative) of SEE

16d    Realist, I prepared to capture love with expensive bauble (9)
SOLITAIRE: An anagram (prepared) of REALIST I round love (nothing)

17d    Extracts from ‘Turn, Fool, to Those More Wise Than You’ (8)
PASSAGES: A reversal of a fool + wise men

19d    Neck one’s broken in vessel (7)
GALLEON: Neck (insolence) + an anagram (broken) of ONE

20d    Following first of great lovers, worried. Evidently feels inferior (7)
GROVELS: G (first letter of great) + an anagram (worried) of LOVERS

21d    Is corrupted, having bad end, involved in crooked deals (6)
ADDLES: D (last letter of bad) inside an anagram (crooked) of DEALS

23d    Something wrong with wheel in car following Her Majesty (5)
ERROR: Her Majesty + a letter shaped like a wheel inside a make of expensive car

25d    Upturned and half full, swig (4)
PULL: A reversal (turned) of UP + the second half of the word ‘full’

Ah well! There’s always next week

18 comments on “Toughie 1407

  1. I loved it., as I did Elkamere’sToughie yesterday Favourites were 7d 12d 16d and 17d Lovely surface readings . Thanks Excelsior and grumpy Bufo, though I didn’t need explanations

  2. No hold ups here.
    Everything went in smoothly.
    Thanks to Excalibur and to Bufo.

  3. Tough luck, Bufo – you obviously haven’t been using the brown envelopes! :D
    My anagram counter reached 12 on this one – not quite a record but not far off.

  4. Sorry, Excalibur, for calling you Excelsior. An excellent puzzle, by any name!

  5. After my less than sterling effort yesterday, I was very happy to get a puzzle that was on the easy side! Thanks to Excalibur and to Bufo.

  6. Thanks for the review Bufo. This was a difficult one and not helped by some very misleading clues. I put the correct word in foe 21d for example and was convinced 29a must therefore be wrong. Is corrupted is surely past tense but the answer is present tense. The word sentence in 22a fooled me for a long time. In the context of the answer one does not pronounce a sentence, only the words within.

    1. yes, I struggled with the tense of “is corrupted” too. I tried to convince myself the “is” is key and it is present. Not sure it will hold up in court.

      1. “Is corrupted” is present tense, meaning “is in the process of being corrupted”. The past tense would be “was corrupted”.

  7. Like Rod , I was stumped by 22a, but unlike Rod I remained stumped and in the end , clicked here.But otherwise it was a fine accessible crossword .My favourite was 27a.
    Thanks Excalibur and Bufo.

  8. I struggled with this today, but I often do with excalibur – got there in the end. In 14d, for example, I was quite comfortable with escape=flight, complete with “for” as link, but struggled with agency. “Agency for flight” sounds a bit weird to me as a definition. Similarly I had “spells”, but took me ages to decide it must be “breaks down when pronouncing” and “sentence”, though the plural “spells” worried me with sentence. So yes, maybe it’s all one sentence. I assumed “twit” had to mean tease.

    Once parsed, many clues are quite nice. I liked 10a (matches), 26a (eat too much duck), 27a (no end worried) 1d (yacht sailing from Portugal) and 5d (bear up).

    Many thanks Excalibur and Bufo for the review

  9. Not the most exciting of crosswords for me I’m afraid. It seemed to take me an age to complete and, when finished, I did wonder why. Perhaps it was sitting outside under the parasol with a well earned drop of Sauvignon Blanc having completed some much needed gardening. There was some clever clue construction going on but a few too many anagrams for a Toughie.

    No particular favourite today, but thanks to Excalibur for the puzzle and poor Bufo for the review (chin up old chap – I’m sure something more exciting is in the pipeline).

  10. This one was not a walk in the park for me but all went together relatively smoothly. I was surprised to read how high the anagram count was. Had not noticed that when working through the puzzle, probably because many of them are part anagrams. Equating ‘cap’ for ‘better’ was the last bit to work out, and had consultation with the other K who had come home by then. Enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Excalibur and Bufo.

  11. This was a difficult but very enjoyable puzzle for us. We had to resort to the Miffypops style of solving on occasions…..If you think it’s right, bung it in…and it worked.
    Thanks to Excalibur and Bufo (who seemed to be rather disinterested in this one, like Serena Williams in her semi final at Roland Garros earlier on).
    All done, all dusted and looking forward to tomorrow’s back pager….Will it be Giovanni again?…after his midweek birthday celebrations.

  12. I am one not on this setters wavelength. Neither easy nor difficult and the difficult ones dont seem difficult afterwards but then neither were they much fun. 25d is a classic example of a style of clue i dislike. On first sight the answer was an obvious but not a convincing possibility

  13. Didn’t think I had time to do this yesterday – was wrong. I did it really quickly this morning – it took just one cup of tea. Didn’t need any hints, just clarification of SPELLS. It didn’t make me smile, but maybe that’s because it is early morning!

  14. Thanks to Excalibur and to Bufo for the review and hints. Things are looking up. Another Toughie that I managed to get into. Got the wrong tense on the first word of 8d. So that stopped me getting 10a. Needed the hint for 27a. Managed to solve the rest. Was 3*/3* for me.

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