Toughie 1409 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 1409

Toughie No 1409 by Busman

Easy Peasy

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

If you had been waiting at the bus stop for this Busman, then you would have been there since November 2013. Was it worth the wait? Only if you like your Toughies to be easier than a typical back-page puzzle.

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    Irritability shown by politician that’s given entry to deviant US singer (10)
GRUMPINESS: the usual politician inside an anagram (deviant US singer) of US SINGER

6a    Asian with some straight hair (4)
THAI: hidden (some) inside the clue

9a    Eleanor the actress, young girl, is making a complaint (10)
BRONCHITIS: the surname of British actress Eleanor followed by a word for a young girl, which Chambers lists as being derogatory, and IS from the clue

10a    Stickiness of food (4)
TACK: Two definitions

12a    Horticulturists’ paradise in short road, cryptically (6,6)
GARDEN CENTRE: RD, a short road, is cryptically defined by the answer

15a    Took notice of the chap meeting two journalists (6)
HEEDED: the male pronoun followed by two of the usual journalists

16a    ‘Charisma’ — new yet old term (8)
ARCHAISM: an anagram (new) of CHARISMA gives an old term or word

18a    Pawnbrokers at the forefront of America? Latterly, yes (5,3)
UNCLE SAM: some affectionate terms for pawnbrokers followed by the first two letters (forefront) of AM[Erica] to give a personification of America

19a    We should leave now for releases (4,2)
LETS GO: two definitions – the first being enumerated (3’1,2)

21a    Violins getting marks from teacher. Rubbish! (12)
FIDDLESTICKS: a colloquial word for word for some violins followed by some marks given by a teacher (should the work be done correctly!)

24a    Fruit cores taken from huge saplings (4)
UGLI: the middle two letters (cores) of two words in the clue

25a    Ruling from chap pocketing deliveries to outskirts of Nottingham (10)
GOVERNMENT: a chap or man around a set of six deliveries in cricket and the outer letters (outskirts) of N[ottingha]M

26a    Mark 5 has to be recalled (4)
SPOT: the reversal (recalled) of another type of 5 down

27a    Don’t learn enough, showing reserve (10)
UNDERSTUDY: split as (5,5) this could mean to not learn enough


1d    Pass the fish (4)
GOBY: split as (2,2) this is a phrasal verb meaning to pass

2d    They may come up from boundaries of Uranus (4)
UFOS: hidden (from) and reversed (up) inside the clue

3d    Holiday offers for parcels around Kentish Town (7,5)
PACKAGE DEALS: some parcels around a town in Kent

4d    Diana dancing with southern river nymphs (6)
NAIADS: an anagram (dancing) of DIANA followed by S(outhern)

5d    Spiders or cricket types? (8)
SPINNERS: two definitions – and you’ll find a third definition in the wordplay for 26 Across

7d    He takes his latte out. It does him most good (10)
HEALTHIEST: HE followed by an anagram (out) of HIS LATTE

8d    Heath likely playing Othello (6,4)
ILKLEY MOOR: an anagram (playing) of LIKELY followed by Othello’s race

11d    Carol, you, him and me going to college (2,5,5)
WE THREE KINGS: you, him and me (2,5) followed by the name of a college

13d    Car drivers display costly wraps, we’re told (10)
CHAUFFEURS: sounds like (we’re told) some costly wraps or coats

14d    Fault of Spooner’s record company getting support (10)
PECCADILLO: split as (5,5) and swap, Spooner style, the initial letters to get the record company that turned down The Beatles and a support for the head

17d    Service with unusually non-U china, say, or cutlery? (4,4)
MASS NOUN: a church service followed by an anagram (unusually) of NON-U gives a part of speech of which china and cutlery are examples

20d    Purchase some sheets, it’s suggested, for boat (6)
BIREME: split as (2,4) this sounds like (it’s suggested) a phrase meaning to purchase 480 (inflation has recently increased the quantity to 500!) sheets of paper

22d    Land of Hope? Ruritania (4)
PERU: hidden (of) inside the clue (for the third time)

23d    Visit small river (4)
STAY: S(mall) followed by a Scottish river

Toro dodged this one!

23 comments on “Toughie 1409

  1. Yes, I think this was easier than many of the back page puzzles. Anyway, I still enjoyed it and it is nice to finish a Toughie once in a while!
    I enjoyed14d which was my last in because it reminded me of buying LP’s and the answer is such an interesting word!

    1*/4* for my rating.

  2. I agree with you BD. However, I’m probably being dim but I don’t see the definition in 18a? What is “latterly yes” all about? Thanks for the blog and thanks to Busman for a [very] short trip.

    1. I took “latterly” to refer to the final word of the wordplay, i.e. “America”. I didn’t look at it in any depth as it was one of many “write-ins”.

      1. Thanks BD, I’m sure you’re right. As often in this sort of clue I was looking for a bit more than was actually there!

    2. yes, clearly a reference to US, but I didn’t fully understand “latterly” either which i think means “of late” – maybe it just sounds unusual to me, e.g. “the latter” is similar and would have been fine for me.

  3. Just as straightforward as the back pager but we really liked some of the clues. In any case, whether easy or not we always enjoy the achievement of finishing a Toughie. 4d was our favourite, hence the attachment. Thanks to BD and Busman **/***

    1. What a shame. Due to copyright restrictions I can’t see the clip in France. Studiocanal has the thing sawn up.

        1. Thanks BD.
          I remember that film now.
          John Torturro was just splendid.

  4. Yes, no real problems here. 26a was my last one in, cricket synonyms not being my forte.

    I liked 12a (short road cryptically), 16a (new yet old term, and a tricky anagram I thought), 19a (We should leave now), and 2d where I started by looking at the boundaries of Uranus (U & s). Also 17d is a type of clue that I like as well.

    Many thanks Busman and Big Dave

  5. I enjoyed this one – as others have said it’s always nice to (almost) finish a Toughie even if it is a straightforward one.
    I failed on the first word of 17d and bunged in 26a without understanding why.
    I liked 9 and 21a and 11 and 14d.
    Thanks to Busman and to BD.

  6. I made this one 2*/3*, and agree that it was on the easy side for a Toughie. Some nice clues, though (eg 8, 17 and 20d). Thanks to Busman, and to BD for the review.

  7. Not much to say apart from the obvious 1a. I’m slowly turning into a Victor Meldrew character.
    First time I see chit for a girl.
    Quite liked the homophone in 13d and the fish in 1d.
    Thanks to Busman and BD for the review.

    1. Chit would not normally stand on its own – typically it would be in a phrase like “she’s a mere chit of a girl”.

  8. Enjoyable if not all that challenging. I liked 13D and 20D particularly, but 8D is my favorite. I did need the review to parse 12A. Thanks busman and Big Dave.

  9. Wonderful to finish a toughie albeit an easy one… Very enjoyable indeed. Liked 21a and 11d among lots of clever clued. 8a was my first one in and 8d was my last one as I struggled a bit to find the anagram for likely. Many thanks to Busman and to BD for the review which I needed to check my answers were correct.

  10. For some unknown reason it took us ages and a spell of cogitation (not to mention the cursing of 4 letter answers) to spot the wordplay for 26a. The rest all went together very easily. Enjoyed sorting out 8d.
    Thanks Busman and BD.

  11. Thanks to Busman and to Big Dave for the review and hints. It must have been easy, as I managed to complete it. Favourite was 12a. The Spoonerism made me laugh. Last in was 1d. Had never heard of food as tack, but figured it was a double definition, and bunged it in. Was 1*/3* for me.

  12. As I finished it ,it must have been easy. 17d was my last as I’d never heard of that part of speech. 8 & 11d were favorites.

  13. Hi, only just had a chance to do this one – mother staying! Pretty busy. Even with your hint I cannot understand 12a. Hopefully not too late too elaborate and educate me. Everything else straightforward. Thanks guys

    1. We have a self-imposed restriction which makes it difficult to explain further in the hints, but the comments are the correct place to ask for further elaboration (except when it’s a prize puzzle).

      The answer is “garden centre” and RD (short for road) is the centre of gaRDen, so the answer could be a clue for which leads to RD

      1. Der – the penny just dropped! Sorry to impose upon you. Many thanks. Can now sleep easy for my afternoon kip. May even try 1410 today – I have been working since 5.30 am, plus mother! Thanks again, I am really enjoying the Toughie and the site.

Comments are closed.