Toughie 1429 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1429

Toughie No 1429 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Dutch

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

A nice and gentle offering from Warbler today, no harder than the back-pager, to start our Toughie week, although I was misled by 7d which had me concerned about my lack of Latin education – however, turns out it was my musical education that was to blame.

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    Apt place for carpenter to get a meal (6)
CHIPPY: This fast food outlet is also slang for carpenter (and for a flirtatious or promiscuous woman, apparently, in N America)

4a    Degree at college finally includes a graduate’s computer files (8)
DATABASE: Abbreviation for D(egree), AT from the clue, then the last letter from collegE (finally) but first we insert (includes) A from the clue and the abbreviation for a Bachelor of Arts (graduate) – without forgetting the ‘S from the clue.

9a    Swimming on a regular basis infant gains time (6)
NATANT: Even letters in (on a regular basis) iNfAnT gAiNs with the usual abbreviation for T(ime). I remember this word p

10a    Aroma is fantastic around Britain’s heavenly food (8)
AMBROSIA: Anagram (fantastic) of AROMA IS around the abbreviation for B(ritain)

11a    Headgear of smart urbanite (6)
TURBAN: lurking in smart urbanite

12a    Things hospital department is keeping secure (8)
ENTITIES: Crossword-land’s favourite hospital ward followed by IS from the clue which contains (keeping) a 3-letter verb meaning secure or fasten

14a    Instrument softly then loudly … (10)
PIANOFORTE: this instrument split (5,5) reveals two musical instructions, to play softly and to play loudly

18a    … played Gounod, too presto at first on the fiddle (2,2,2,4)
UP TO NO GOOD: Anagram (played) of GOUNOD TOO as well as the first letter (at first) of P(resto)

22a    Widespread alarm grips most of protesters (8)
PANDEMIC: A 5-letter noun for alarm contains (grips) 3 out of 4 letters (most of) describing a group of protestors, or a demonstration.

23a    Removal of mass from firedamp produces gas (6)
ETHANE: firedamp is mostly methane, so when you remove the abbreviation for M(ass), you end up with this gas. Feels a little odd since methane is also a gas, fitting the definition – might have been nicer for the clue to read “produces another gas”?

24a    Cures will be found after engineer’s sad demise (8)
REMEDIES: Two letter abbreviation for engineer, followed by an anagram (sad) of DEMISE.

25a    Music journalist was shocking (6)
ROCKED: A type of modern music, or what you might do to a cradle, plus the usual abbreviation for journalist

26a    Sailors love music-maker, that’s certain (8)
ABSOLUTE: 2-letter abbreviation for sailor plus the S (since we have sailorS), the tennis score called love, and a mediaeval stringed instrument

27a    Record of US city monument’s first distinguishing title (6)
EPONYM: Abbreviation for an old 45rpm record usually containing 4 songs rather than just 2, the shortened form of “of”, Abbreviation for the US city that never sleeps, and the first letter from M(onument).


1d    Winding path once leading to memorial (8)
CENOTAPH: Anagram (winding) of PATH ONCE

2d    Domestic name for velocity in space (8)
INTERNAL: Take a word for a space (in time), but use an N instead of V (name for velocity).

3d    Write label on plane figure (8)
PENTAGON: Three-letter verb meaning to write, a three-letter word for label, plus ON from the clue

5d    Warning poster has proposal about Ulster (10)
ADMONITION: 2-letter word for a poster, plus a 6-letter word for a proposal brought to the table which surrounds (about) an abbreviation for the region where Ulster is located

6d    Arterial where lorry carries oxygen (6)
AORTIC: A lorry with a detachable front cab around (carries) the chemical symbol for oxygen

7d    Criticise Italian musical — very Latin (6)
ASSAIL: The Italian musical instruction for “very”, followed by the abbreviation for L(atin)

8d    Pass electronic circuits with lower energy (6)
ELAPSE: The abbreviation for electronic seen in e-mail, e-cigarettes, etc, followed by a 4-letter word for circuits (of a racetrack, for example), and add at the very bottom (with lower, in a down clue) the abbreviation for E(nergy)

13d    Remark about Poet Laureate initially invites praise (10)
COMPLIMENT: A remark, of the type you may wish to leave below on this web site, which contains (about) the abbreviation for Poet Laureate and the first letter (initially) of Invites.

15d    After injury pa’s foot’s flatter (4-4)
SOFT-SOAP: Nothing to do with being flat-footed. Anagram (after injury) of PA’S FOOT’S

16d    Fail to keep promise, say, and continue gathering support (2,4,2)
GO BACK ON: this expression meaning to betray, or fail to keep promise, can be derived from a phrasal verb meaning to continue (2,2) around (gathering) a 4-letter word meaning support, or bet on. Thanks BD for steering me in the right direction here

17d    Demand revised covers of the French supplement (8)
ADDENDUM: Anagram (revised) of DEMAND surrounds (covers) the French for “of the”

19d    Ancient city‘s sculpture found in spring (6)
SPARTA: Sculpture is one for of a 3-letter word (Painting might be another) which is inserted into (found in another word for a mineral spring or a health resort. I’m missing a definition by example indicator for sculpture, e.g., “sculpture perhaps”

20d    Saws for fellers in the garden? (6)
GNOMES: This word for sayings or maxims is also used to describe tasteless garden statuettes which reputedly help with garden chores at night

21d    Know boy brought up in Cumbrian town (6)
KENDAL: Scottish word meaning to know, plus the reversal (brought up) of a word mean boy or young man

15d made me chuckle and is probably my favourite. What is yours?

22 comments on “Toughie 1429

  1. Easy or not , I liked it very much.The only real difficulty was 7d, like Dutch,with no Latin or Italian.I just took a stab at and it turned out to be right.
    What I liked about this crossword was the smooth surface reading , such as 14a,26a,13d,3d, 19d and 27a.
    Thanks Warbler and Dutch.

  2. Today, I actually went out to buy the paper. My printer was totally out of ink and shops were closed Sunday, Monday and today. I managed to write the missing clues yesterday but today the pages were almost blank.
    Had to reveal 7d. Couldn’t make any sense of it.
    20d made me laugh. We have one at Le Jardin and he gets the blame everytime something disappears.
    The picture of 11a made me laugh too. Is he the one that Disney banned from the theme park? ( see Saturday DT)
    9a was a new word for me.
    Thanks to Warbler and to Dutch for the review.

    1. Hi Jean- Luc! Had to do the same thing for 7d. 9 was also a new word for me. A very enjoyable and satisfying solve for me – I still find Toughies incredibly hard so today’s was a godsend!

  3. I needed the hints to solve 9A and parse 7D and 22A. Good fun, though. Thanks Warbler and Dutch.

  4. I enjoyed this very much and found it a lot easier that the back page. Last one in was 25a – just could not see the music! **/****. Thanks to Warbler and Dutch for your review.

  5. Every cloud etc…….
    After the NTSPP, the Rookie and a harder than usual back-pager, this one was definitely the silver lining. Thank you so much, Warbler, I enjoyed it immensely. 1.5*/4* for me.

    14a – I have to admit I’ve never thought about the 4,4 aspect before – perfect!
    23a – I did worry a little about writing one gas in place of another – glad you felt the same, Dutch.
    7d – yes, I did retrospectively ask Mr. Google about the musical term.

    Plenty of podium nominations but I’ll give it to 1a simply because it made me giggle.

    Well done again, Dutch – a 13d from me (in its entirety).
    ps. Great turban!

  6. Many thanks to Warbler for a Toughie that I could actually solve – a rare occurence for me. 2*/4*. 1a made me laugh and 14a was very clever. Many thanks to Dutch for the review needed to parse a few of my answers and to solve 7d which unfortunately I could not get.

  7. Just a thought re: 24a. REME + dies works just as well to get the answer, even though it doesn’t parse correctly.

    1. yes, funny, that’s where i started with RE & ME for engineers and “dies” as a sad demise.. but the apostrophe was all wrong, as was the verb/noun thing with demise.

  8. Well! Strike a light and stone the crows! I actually managed to finish this without looking at the hints! First Toughie for a while, but I thought more than just a one star rating. Some really nice clues….particularly 7d…I love the musical ones (choir practice tonight!). There were a few guesses…23a and 27a for instance and some help from my electronic friend. Still in my book, the means justify the end…or is it the other way around? Nice puzzle ..I’d give it 2*/3* and thanks to Warbler and Dutch.

    1. Strike a light and stone the crows? I learn something new every day..

      Is it Australian?

      Anyway, congratulations and wishing you many more victories

      1. Hi Dutch! No, not Strine, strictly saarf London, although a little bit Cockney too!

  9. Oh so much more satisfying than the back page. I agree with Dutch’s ratings.

    Very little to hold me up, although I nearly put ‘grandpiano’ in for 14a, which makes no sense.

    7d caused a little head scratching.

    Favourite is 15d but 1a was a close second.

    Many thanks to Warbler for a great puzzle and to Dutch for a top notch blog. Great 11a pic.

  10. Dutch, 9a hint is lost on me ;) As Hanni my votes go to 15d and 1a. Cheers to Warbler and Dutch

    1. Hi Andy,

      It’s just every second letter in INFANT GAINS plus T for time. This gives you NATANT, which means swimming. I followed this with an added comment that seems to have been cut off somehow, perhaps that was confusing, all I tried to say was that I remember this word only with the prefix “super” in chemistry class, supernatant ( which means swimming above, ie the liquid in a mixture that is floating). Not sure the added comment was worth the space it was written in! Apologies.

  11. This week I am completely in agreement with Dutch – fortunately the back-pager was a touch harder than usual so the combined time filled the space available.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  12. I’m a bit off form today, and this took me close to 3* time. I needed the hint for 20d – l’d never heard of the word used in this context. 1a made me laugh when l finally spotted it, so gets my vote for top clue. Thanks to Warbler, and to Dutch.

  13. Bit of a struggle but we got through it without too many hitches.
    We found it more tricky than the back pager but good fun anyway……**/***
    Thanks to Dutch & Warbler.

  14. Thanks to Warbler and to Dutch for the review and hints. I thought it would be rated easy, as I almost managed to complete it :-) Just needed the hints for 2d, 7d,&20d. Favourite was 5d. Was 3*/3* for me. Makes a pleasant change to get into a Toughie.

  15. Haven’t done a puzzle for ages so was highly delighted to be able to rattle this one off in quick time. I should have guessed really, but I was slightly disappointed to find it was only rated as a * by the professionals! Still, never mind, I liked it. Thanks to all concerned in its writing and helpful hints. Sh-Shoney.

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