Toughie 1449 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1449

Toughie No 1449 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Toro

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

BD Rating - Difficulty ** - Enjoyment ***

A pleasant first Toughie of the week from Warbler.

Definitions are underlined. 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 English in lament isn't stirring, it's mawkish (11)

7a With gold award, mark author's true identity (7)
AUTONYM Chemical symbol for gold + an award for Broadway theatre + M(ark).

8a Some suggest altering organised unit (7)

10a Bird's not bare-headed (5)
CAPON A variety of poultry which, split (3,2), could mean sporting a kind of headgear.

11a Long-winded account of Mr Al Gore travelling around Italy (9)
RIGMAROLE Anagram of MR AL GORE around I(taly).

12a Pays no attention to topless ladies in Naples sun (7)
IGNORES Italian for ladies minus the first letter, plus S(un).

14a Express dispatched journalist, in essence, perhaps (7)
SCENTED A soundalike of a word meaning dispatched, plus crosswordese for journalist.

15a Crawling pest eating tips of yellow eglantine carries over plant disease (3-4)
EYE-SPOT Anagram of PEST containing Y(ellow) E(galntine) and O(ver).

18a Going to great lengths, former tenor joins regiment (7)
EXTREME A prefix meaning former + T(enor) + the acronym of a British army regiment.

20a Take advantage with beer in barrel? The reverse: it's on tap (9)
AVAILABLE A verb meaning to use or take advantage of + B(arrel) inside a word for beer.

21a Vineyard's given good man livelihood (5)
CRUST A French word for a superior vineyard, plus the abbreviation for saint.

22a Stone-like, old, old man is with band (7)
OPALINE O(ld) + a colloquial word for father + a band or strip.

23a Driven wildly round area, the last to arrive here was Norman (7)
INVADER Anagram of DRIVEN around A(rea).

24a One's paid to polish off performance by Queen (11)
EXECUTIONER Performance or accomplishment of a task, plus the Queen’s regnal initials.


1d Determined to promote new work trucks (3,4)
SET UPON N(ew) + crosswordese ‘work’ + Australian/NZ slang for a pickup truck (in the plural), all reversed.

2d Fabric of part of the UK supported by almost nobody (5)
NINON The abbreviation of a part of the UK plus a word for nobody minus the last letter.

3d Shuts in ascending spirit in house (7)
IMMURES A distilled alcoholic drink inside a typically suburban type of house, all reversed.

4d Becomes involved in rerouting of eastern Ganges (7)
ENGAGES Anagram of E(astern) Ganges.

5d Will volunteers set upon workers in experiment? (9)
TESTAMENT Acronym of what is now called the Army Reserve + workers or workforce, all inside a trial or experiment.

6d Escape from Welsh icon on radio -- not fashionable (4,3)
LEAK OUT Soundalike of a symbol of Wales + no longer in fashion.

7d Graphical representation about Spain suppressing old island group (11)
Newspaper version: Graphical representation about divided old English island group (11)
ARCHIPELAGO Anagram of GRAPHICAL around the IVR abbreviation for Spain [or E(nglish in the newspaper version], then O(ld).

9d Pay attention to dog that's taken second in Crufts, fashionable creature (11)
TRENDSETTER To pay attention to or take care of + a breed of dog, then insert(C)R(ufts).

13d A touch of lemon in mixed puree is coming across very disgusting (9)
Newspaper version: A touch of lemon in mixed puree comes across very disgusting (9)
REPULSIVE L(emon) in an anagram of PUREE IS, then insert V(ery).

16d Issue of rising character in Athens with reputation (7)
EMANATE A Greek letter plus a word for reputation, all reversed.

17d Part of Constable autumn scene (7)

18d In retirement, professors deserve to be surrounded by erudition and intellect principally (7)
EMERITI To deserve, inside E(rudition) and I(ntellect).

19d English copper in East End owned gold in SA republic (7)
ECUADOR E(nglish) + chemical symbol for copper + a synonym for owned minus the H + heraldic gold.

21d Midlands city loses attempt to have witches gathering (5)
COVEN A city in Warwickshire minus a word for attempt.

1a and 23a were my picks today.

Over to you - please rate and comment on this puzzle below.

40 comments on “Toughie 1449

  1. **/****

    I found this a tad easier than the BP. Two hold-ups were 7a and 21a. 7a because I initially put ‘nylon’ for 2d..i.e NY+LON(e). 21a..I read it as ‘likelihood’.

    Favourite clue is 11a with 1a a very close second.

    Many thanks to Warbler and to Toro for blogging.

    1. Good Heavens Hanni, I thought that 21a’s reference to wine would have jumped straight out at you. It did to me

      1. I don’t know what you’re implying

        But yes it was a straightforward clue…trying to figure out what it had to do with ‘likelihood’ puzzled me. I really must concentrate more.

  2. 7d in the paper reads:-

    Graphical representation about divided old English island group (11)

      1. I had difficulty parsing both 7d & 13d in the paper. Maybe the paper versions are not sufficiently accurate – hence the changes? Dunno!

      2. Hi Una

        On the subject of there being different clues in the paper & the on-line version: I thought it would quite simply be a matter of editing the crossword and then putting the “final” version into whichever one that has to “go to bed” first. Then putting the same “final” version into the other one.

        I’ve never been a Crossword Editor. Presumably it is far more complicated than that.

        1. I remember being at the centenary do, Phil McNeil, said in a speech how his heart sinks when he has an early morning e-mail from Cryptic Sue et al ;)

  3. Nice and straightforward today, though not that fast a solve for me. Favorite is 24A with 21A close behind. Thanks to Warbler and Toro.

  4. 13d in the paper reads:-

    A touch of lemon in mixed puree comes across very disgusting (9)

    1. And if anyone can parse this I take my hat off to ’em. I guess that’s why it was corrected for the online version.

  5. I have to agree with Hanni, more of a softie than a toughie, but nonetheless very enjoyable. I never thought I’d be in a position to say that, perhaps it’s a wrong envelope day.
    I can’t quite pick a favourite, 10a gave me a laugh,as did 20a ,21a , 23a and 24a.
    Thanks Toro and Warbler.

  6. I found this reasonably straightforward except for the parsing of 13d, so I checked the hints (I do use the site regularly to see what others thought). I found that the clue as given in the blog differs from the newspaper version, which just says ‘comes across’ rather than ‘is coming’, which makes more sense. **/*** for me as that clue spoiled it. Thanks to Toro and Warbler.

  7. Nothing here to set the stallions cantering round the paddock. A good mixture of clues with some super surfaces (12a as an example) and nailed on definitions. If I was picky, the only one I didn’t care for was 1a as the answer jumped off the page with 4 of the letters in the same order in clue / answer. Haven’t seen 8a for some time and I liked the definition for 24a. I will go for 23a as my favourite of the day.

    Thanks to Warbler for the puzzle and Toro for the review.

  8. Good way to start the toughie week.
    Some new words for me such as 8a which had a great surface and 3d which probably comes from the French walled in.
    Thought 15a was one word. Mind you in the back page the sub woofer should be two words I think. But there doesn’t seem to be rules on hyphens.
    The welsh icon made me smile.
    In 10a you’re right : The bird’s not! Poor animal. Castrated just to get fatter.
    Thanks to warbler and to Toro for the review.

    1. Oh dear, JL – now I’m going to have to get cross with you. You feel pity for the poor bird being castrated to get fatter but, I seem to recall, had no comment to make about the poor geese being force fed to produce foie gras.
      I guess it’s just that you can envisage one circumstance and not the other!

      1. Sorry Jane.
        I was being sarcastic.
        Although I am not too keen on foie gras, preferring a good calve’s liver as it happens, I do look forward to eating a plump chapon at Xmas

        1. I love calves liver in any way, shape or form! When I was a child we always had a capon for Christmas dinner.

        2. My turn to apologise, JL – I should have realised you were just being sarcastic. I think a lot of us carnivores still have the odd bête noire, often based on a personal experience. Mine just happen to be foie gras and veal – relatively easy to avoid in the UK – but a friend of mine will not eat chicken in any way, shape or form, which often does cause embarrassment at dinner parties!

          1. Gosh, Jane, if your friend often causes dinner hostesses embarrassment, perhaps she should let them know ahead of time that while she doesn’t eat chicken she is more than happy with vegetables. Me, I’m willing to give most anything a try. If I have an issue, it’s the texture, not the source. Though I don’t think I could do dog.

            1. Oh that’s just the tip of the iceburg, Chris – she will also only eat fruit and veg that are locally grown, meat that comes from within a certain radius, mileage wise and so on and so on.
              Guess what – she’s coming to stay this weekend!
              Solution – do what I always do – shop early, re-package everything in brown paper bags before putting in the fridge and lie through my back teeth. Works every time.

              1. You know what? In my house she would be told to bring her own food and pointed in the direction of the kitchen! You must be a saint.

                Good job it’s late in the UK. We have kind of gone off at a tangent here!

              2. I do hope she’s not reading this blog Jane

                Personally I enjoy baby’s heads, blood pumps, elephant footprints, a cheesyhammyeggy and last but not least – shit on a raft (I’m sure your future son-in-law will explain)

                1. I know she doesn’t read the blog, SL -but I certainly don’t know about the culinary delights you mentioned! I will ask the future s-in-l when he gets back from his current overseas duties.

                  1. In order:

                    Steak and kidney pudding (tinned)
                    Braised sheep’s heart
                    Spam fritters
                    A fried egg on ham on melted cheesed on toast – heart attack on a bit of bread!
                    Devilled lamb kidney on fried bread

                    The modern matelot may not know all these – they are a bit more health conscious than my generation.

                    Did you know that pre-war RN junior rates thought that mushrooms were the stalks of the aforesaid mushroom? The tops were only served to officers in the workroom. True!

  9. I enjoyed this – as Toughies go I thought it was straightforward.
    I’ve never heard of 8a or, if I have, I’ve forgotten it and I’m not sure that I knew what 7a meant.
    I liked 11, 12 and 24a and 9d. 10a and 21d both made me laugh so either of those could qualify for my favourite today.
    With thanks to Warbler and to Toro.

  10. I agree with 2*/3*. The NW corner held me up a little – l had forgotten about “utes” so needed the hint to see why l had the right answer to 1d. I loved 24a, so will have that as favourite. Thanks to Warbler, and to Toro.

  11. Looks as though I’ll have to be the only one to admit to being an ignoramus today. I had to confer with Mr. Google about 7&8a + 2d – none of those are in my mental dictionary. I also keep forgetting about those 4wheel drive jobs in 2K country!
    I did get there in the end but not with such ease as many of you.
    Very much enjoyed the challenge – I do like a Warbler – and will go along with Expat Chris on the two top clues.

    Thanks to Warbler and to Toro – even though you did profess this one to be really easy and thereby gave my ego a severe jolt!

  12. We had the multi-generational 2K team on this one too. Some of the vocab was outside 14yr old Freddy’s knowledge, but together we did get it all sorted out. Good fun and much enjoyed. 24a appealed to Freddy’s sense of humour.
    Thanks Warbler and Toro.

    1. Just replied to you in the ‘other’ place, ColinK but – well done indeed to Freddy for staying the course into Toughie territory as well!

  13. A pleasant enough diversion for the start of the week, but we have to express our dissatisfaction with the newspaper versions of 7d and 13d, as we could not fully parse the answers, it did spoil the enjoyment somewhat

  14. Needed help with 7a (a new word for me), 2d – it was not nylon after all – and consequently 3d so many thanks to Toro. Was very pleased with myself apart from the over mentioned failures. 21 a made me smile! Like Jane, enjoyed the challenge and this almost success gave my ego a boost as I normally only manage a couple of Toughie clues. So a big thank you to Warbler for giving me the opportunity to have a go at a Toughie!

  15. Thanks to Warbler and to Toro for the review and hints. I managed to get into it, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 24a,2&3d. Favourite was 8a. Last in was 20a. Was 3*/3* for me.

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