Toughie 1445 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1445

Toughie No 1445 by MynoT

That cat’s in the wrong envelope again!

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

Apart from one clue requiring head-scratching to work out the parsing (which is reflected in the extra half a star Toughie difficulty rating), I found this a straightforward “Toughie” even for a Tuesday.   Was it just me helped by all my years of DT cryptic solving experience? –   I don’t suppose it’ll be long before the usual commenters will let me know!

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           Coffee mostly for our kind of numbers (6)
ARABIC   To get the numerals used in ordinary arithmetic, simply remove the last letter (coffee mostly) from a type of coffee.

5a           Case of a live bat being tormented (8)
ABLATIVE   A grammatical case expressing direction from or time when is an anagram (being tormented) of A LIVE BAT.

9a           Instrument of the French Left’s terrible crime (8)
DULCIMER   The French word for ‘of the’, the abbreviation for Left and an anagram (terrible) of CRIME.


10a         Total column accountant replaces, conceivably (4,2)
CAST UP It is easy to spot the need for the abbreviation for chartered accountant but ‘why’ of the last four letters took a bit of head-scratching until I saw that you need take a verbal phrase  meaning replaces and then do what it says (conceivably) and reverse the first word.

11a         Look into beginning to tweak and monkey with work in continuous recording (4,4)
TAPE LOOP   The ‘beginning’ of tweak, a monkey, an interjection meaning look and the informal abbreviation for work.

12a         Cat following a bit of prey to swoop (6)
POUNCE   The cat whose appearances  in crosswords probably outnumbers the ones  still living in the wild goes after the first letter (a bit) of prey.


13a         Force child on railway (8)
INFANTRY   A small child placed on the abbreviation for railway produces some foot soldiers (force).

15a         Arsenic I start to accumulate in a large area (4)
ASIA   The chemical symbol for arsenic, I (from the clue) and the ‘start’ to accumulate.

17a         Desk used in a management buyout (4)
AMBO   A raised desk or pulpit is obtained by following A (from the clue) with the abbreviated way of referring to a management buyout.


19a         Artworks and so on replacing the beginning of things (8)
ETCHINGS   The abbreviation used to mean ‘and so on’ replaces the ‘beginning’ of things.

20a         Waste, not getting a prize (6)
TROPHY   Remove (not getting) the A from a verb meaning to waste away.


21a         The French in no.12 wasted wealth (8)
OPULENCE   The French definite article inserted into an anagram (wasted) of your solution to 12a.

22a         English tail behind to a great extent (4,2)
EVER SO   The abbreviation for English followed by another way of saying back or reverse of something (tail)

23a         Shut up! Object’s to finish inside (8)
ENCLOSED   A verb meaning to finish inserted into an object or aim.

24a         Inhabitant of no.15 receives Irish Radio and Television kind of well (8)
ARTESIAN   The abbreviation for Irish Radio and Television (taken from the Gaelic name)  inserted into an inhabitant of 15a.

25a         Potter‘s date with stranger (6)
DODDER A verb meaning to potter or ramble –   the abbreviation for date followed by another way of saying stranger


2d           Swiss rolls and runs (8)
ROULADES   As a cake maker, I did know these Swiss rolls but didn’t know that the word could also refer to runs in music.


3d           Bugs I installed in exotic cabaret (8)
BACTERIA   I (from the clue) installed into an (exotic) anagram of CABARET.

4d           Don’t be ridiculous. Get down from there! (4,3,2)
COME OFF IT This informal instruction could be an order to get down from something.

5d           Piano C note heard to be discordant, not enough to matter? (1,4,2,3,5)
A DROP IN THE OCEAN   An anagram (to be discordant) of PIANO C NOTE HEARD.

drop in the ocean

6d           In the morning a Conservative is loving (7)
AMATORY   The two letters used to indicate morning, A from the clue, and an informal way of referring to a Conservative.

7d           Together in time and space, perhaps (2,6)
IN TANDEM   IN (from the clue) the abbreviation for Time, AND (from the clue) and a printer’s space.

8d           Coffee that’s new could be mixed in responses (8)
ESPRESSO If you added an N (that’s new) to this type of coffee and then made an anagram (could be mixed) you’d get the word RESPONSES.

14d         Tear round part of pound that’s abandoned (9)
RENOUNCED   A verb meaning to tear put round part of a pound weight.

15d         Half-hearted girl gets the mother’s curse (8)
ANATHEMA   Remove one of the letters from the middle of a girl’s name (4) and then add THE (from the clue) and an informal way of referring to one’s mother.

16d         Lacking respect at sea? (8)
INSOLENT   Split 2, 6 you might be at  sea off the north coast of  the Isle of Wight.

17d         A hormone producing a heavenly body (8)
ASTEROID A (from the clue) followed by a hormone.


18d         Mark‘s left in rear, I heard (5,3)
BLACK EYE The abbreviation for Left inserted into rear and followed by a homophone (heard) of I.

19d         Sheep let loose by American in ancient city (7)
EPHESUS   An anagram (let loose) of SHEEP followed by an abbreviated way of referring to American.


Toro will resume his Tuesday Toughie blogging duties next week while, after a particularly splendid fortnight off, I’m back to the day job in the morning wp-monalisa icon

36 comments on “Toughie 1445

  1. No, CS it isn’t just all your years of solving.I found it quite straightforward too, and no more difficult than the back-pager.No less enjoyable for all that. I’d award it at least 3* for enjoyment.
    24a was my favourite. Thanks CS and MynoT.

  2. Dear Crypticsue,Please run 10 across past me again.For some reason I don’t get it. Very easy solve otherwise

    1. You’ve dropped a bit of your alias so your comment needed moderation. Both forms of the alias should now work.
      In 10a ‘replaces’ is PUTS BACK, so do as it says and reverse PUTS after the accountant.

  3. I agree with CS and Una – no problems with this one, apart from the first word of 10a – still don’t really understand it.
    That cat does turn up pretty often but he is rather beautiful.
    I enjoyed this one and I thought that 7d was dead clever – my favourite clue.
    Thanks to MynoT and to CS.
    Now I really am going up the garden . . .

    1. i agree about 10a – i’m even having difficulty understanding the explanation from CS.

      1. I can see how the answer is put together I just don’t get what it’s got to do with “total column”. I’ve got a very nasty feeling that I’m being terribly dim here but

        1. Tucked away in the half a page of entries under ‘cast’ in the BRB, it says ‘cast up’ is to total a column of figures.

        2. I can remember accountants at the firm where I worked before having the boys talking about ‘casting up a column of figures’

      2. Thinking about it wihlle coming back from a quick trip to a shop in Whitstable (with the added delight of DFL- watching) I really should have put the ‘puts back ‘ in a ‘click here’ box so that people could have used it if required.

  4. Hmm

    I didn’t find it that straightforward. 23a and 24d caused me quite a few problems. Bunged them in but I had to wait for the blog to fully understand.

    Only in crosswordland have I come across a 9a.

    Enjoyed 7 and 17d, actually quite liked the whole thing.

    Many thanks to MynoT and to CS a brilliant blog.

  5. Quite enjoyable but definitely not tough.
    It’s August, probably nobody in the office to check.
    It’s August, maybe it is a good time to lose all these ounces.
    It’s August, just had the first raspberries. It’s going to be jam time soon.
    Thanks to MynoT and to CS for the review.

      1. I’m not very good at phonetics but it’s pronounced like the first part of 20d in the back page.

    1. Very late raspberries – ours were ‘jammed’ some time ago now, along with the strawberries and recently the apricots.

      1. I don’t know why they are so late. Next week is the start of the violet figs of Sollies. Delicious for chutneys.
        Last of the peaches and apricots down here.

  6. Agreed that this was straightforward to complete, though I needed the review to parse 10A and understand the RTE bit of 24A. No stand-outs for me, though. Thanks to MynoT, and to Cryptic Sue for the review and super illustrations.

  7. 10a eluded me too at the time of solving, which was very early in the morning, and at 30,000 feet flying back home to Valencia. Apart from that one clue, the rest was pretty much read and write.
    Thanks to MynoT, and to CS for the review.

    1. You and family settled in now Jezza ?. Bit different from SW London no doubt, not jealous not jealous..

      1. Hi andy

        Sorry for not replying earlier – only just noticed yours. Yes, we are pretty much settled in and we love it here. We have just come back from a couple of weeks in London/Brighton/Hastings/Bromley (in that order)… stony beaches, cold and windy. Today we went to Malvarrosa beach; blue sky and 35C, and yellow sand :)

  8. I thought someone had made a mistake!! I’ve been “looking” at the Toughie for about a million years now and never achieved more than a few answers, Today I almost completed it!!!! The comments made me realise that I wasn’t having a sudden surge of understanding!

  9. Well I finished it (apart from 10a) so I guess it must have been an easy one.

    9a had to dragged out of the memory banks, 17a I didn’t know but fortunately all the letters were ‘checked’ and the abb. for the Irish Radio & Television at 24a went in simply because it completed the word I’d decided upon!
    10a was a non-starter as I’d never heard of the phrase being used in accounting – shipwrecked mariners etc. getting cast up on the shore is the only way I’ve ever looked at it!

    4d made me smile and I liked 7d.

    Thanks to MynoT and to CS -particularly for the explanation of 10a and the secondary meaning of 2d.

    1. By the way – I finished up putting ‘tart up’ for 10a. The accountant conceivably replacing figures to make the total column look good?!!!

      1. My Dad was a Chartered Accountant. My earliest memory of him was sitting with several enormous books on the table – they had maroon covers and the spine was dark blue. He was adding up long columns of figures and when I wanted to say something to him or clamber onto his knee he started counting out loud – it meant that he’d listen to me in a minute so don’t go away but at the moment he was tied up!

  10. Hurrah I managed to solve a Toughie! Echoing Henry Kaye, I never manage more than a few answers for the Toughie but today I finished it bar 10a, did not know this expression. Admittedly it was an easy one but it gave me so much pleasure. 2*/4* with 20a as favourite – 16d made me smile. Many thanks to MynoT and to CS for a colourful review.

    1. Seems one or two had a problem with 10a but as a retired accountant it was easy for me!!

  11. Nothing to really scare the horses here although I’ve never seen ‘runs’ (2d) used in that form before. Again the name for a girl pops up in 15d – the answer was quite easily found from the rest of the word play and having 15a in place but I really do find it a bit unfair and for me it takes the sparkle off a good clue. Anyway, rant over. I enjoyed the link between 12 & 21a so that (they) will be my favourite for today.

    Thanks to MynoT for the puzzle and CS for her review.

  12. The comment that we wrote a couple of hours ago seems to have disappeared. Perhaps I forgot to press the ‘post comment’ button.
    We found this one quite gentle. Did not know the phrase for 10a but did find it in BRB. !7a was also a new word but hardly a problem with all four letters checked. Enjoyable.
    Thanks MynoT and CS.

  13. I’m only an occasional toughie attempter but even I found this one straightforward. In fact it took no more time than today’s back pager. Still, it was nice to finish.
    Being qualified to put A.C.A. after my name I had no problem with 10a but the second meaning of 2d was not familiar until I read Sue’s explanation.
    Thanks to both MynoT for the extra fun today, and CS for the review.

  14. Ran out of steam last night so finished over morning coffee. 2*/3*, and 18d favourite clue. Ta to MynoT and CS.

  15. Thanks to MynoT and to crypticSue for the review and hints. A very enjoyable but gentle puzzle for a Toughie. Even so, I still needed the hints for 1a and 10a. Favourite was 16d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  16. Supposed to be doing homework for tomorrow morning’s radio, but got seduced into the Toughie by accident. Enjoyed it very much, although the challenge to the addled cranium was a gentle one. 7d was my favourite. Many thanks to MynoT and CS, who was not needed today

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