Toughie 1467 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 1467

Toughie No 1467 by Micawber

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Expectations were high after Crypticsue said I’d be rejoicing and Big Dave told me I was a lucky chappie. Therefore it was frustrating that technical problems (a printer that wouldn’t print, a PDF file that wouldn’t open, and an email system that denied me access) prevented me from starting the puzzle until after 1 o’clock. But it was worth the wait. It was very enjoyable to do and not too difficult. There is one thing that I don’t understand but I’ve no time to think about it further.

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    East End believers go for hard work (8)
INDUSTRY: Adherents of a particular religion with the H removed from the start + a go

5a & 11a Grasps experience with drug is a warning to slow down (6,5)
RUMBLE STRIP: ‘Grasps’ + a drug experience = a rough-textured area on a road surface to warn drivers of a hazard ahead

9a    Unimaginative motor-racing clubs (9)
FORMULAIC: The highest class of motor racing (7,1) + C (clubs)

11a    See 5

12a    Slight loss at end of this month and last one (6)
INSULT: A slight = ‘this month’ with the last letter removed + ‘last month’

13a    Bush‘s expression of approval accompanied by hesitation (8)
OLEANDER: An evergreen shrub = an expression of approval heard at bullfights + ‘accompanied by’ + hesitation

15a    Eccentrically-constructed airport without terminal rejects third of drones (5-8)
HEATH-ROBINSON: A word used to describe an over-ingenious, ridiculously complicated or elaborate mechanical contrivance = A London airport with the last letter (terminal) removed + ‘rejects’ + two of the six letters of DRONES

18a    Batting averages, possibly, that might be seen on cup (6,7)
WILLOW PATTERN: This blue design of Chinese character but English origin used on china could conceivably be construed as ‘batting averages’ in that the first word is the wood from which cricket bats are made

22a    Occasional table, kind of? (8)
PERIODIC: This word is applied to a table of chemical elements

23a    Horrified at abandoning Christie on street (6)
AGHAST: The first name of the author Christie with AT removed + ST (street)

26a    International winter sportsman perhaps heading off back for massage (5)
REIKI: A reversal of I (International) and a winter sportsman with the first letter removed = a form of Japanese natural therapy involving the laying on of hands or gentle massage (not genital massage which is how I read the Chambers definition to begin with)

27a    Finish one semester every four years, according to report? (9)
TERMINATE: A semester is a half-year period in a school or university, especially in North America; split the answer (4,2,3) and it sounds like one such period every four years.

28a    Local newspaper journalist rang (6)
ECHOED: A word used in the name of several local newspapers (e.g. in Liverpool) + the abbreviation for the top journalist

29a    Did umpire upset Federer, giving point in? (8)
REFEREED: An anagram (upset) of FEDERER round E (point)


1d    Informal, frivolous kind of movie (2-6)
IN-FLIGHT: An abbreviated form of ‘informal’ + ‘frivolous’ = a word descrining a movie watched on an aeroplane

2d    Police officer employing skill in board game (5)
DARTS: A detective sergeant goes round ‘skill’

3d    Gurgling noise to suppress almost completely during school (7)
SQUELCH: ‘To suppress’ with the last letter removed inside an abbreviated form of ‘school’

4d    Study in Scarlet, A (4)
READ: ‘To study’ = A inside scarlet

6d    Opens international naval force? (7)
UNSEALS: An international organisation + Sea, Air and Land Teams as found in the US Navy

7d    Rural event‘s place to drink riotously and neck, mostly (4,5)
BARN DANCE: A place to drink + an anagram (riotously) of AND NEC (neck, mostly)

8d    Dab‘s no longer fresh (6)
EXPERT: A dab hand = no longer + fresh

10d    Muse about rise of evil couple disregarding the odds (8)
CALLIOPE: The Muse of epic poetry + ‘about’ + a reversal of ‘evil’ + the even letters of COUPLE

14d    Trouble with heel? Put ‘Cobblers’ on this (2-2,4)
TO-DO LIST: Trouble (2-2) + ‘to heel’. I’m not sure where the cobblers come into it but I’m sure someone will enlighten me

16d    Fighting that erupts involving kingmaker but not Conservative king (2,3,4)
AT WAR WITH: An anagram (erupts) of THAT round the name of the 15th century ‘kingmaker’ with the letters C (Conservative) and K (king) removed

17d    Ass pulled up two-thirds of the way through eating sweet plant (8)
KNOTWEED: A reversal of the first four letters of a 6-letter word meaning ‘ass’ goes ‘sweet’ to give a plant (the Japanese variety of which is an invasive species which is difficult to eradicate)

19d    Adult avoiding inappropriate liaison before end of village fête (7)
LIONISE: An anagram (inappropriate) of LIISON, i.e. LIAISON minus A (adult) + E (last letter of village)

20d    Slogan has Liberal in a stew (3,4)
TAG LINE: L (Liberal) inside a North African stew cooked in a conical clay pot

21d    Thin pieces of wood on top of earth (6)
SPARSE: Pieces of wood + E (earth)

24d    Native American leaving husband swiftly (5)
APACHE: Remove H (husband) from a Native American

25d    Honest regret follows deed lacking in tact (4)
TRUE: ‘To regret’ follows T, i.e. TACT less ACT

Good stuff.

21 comments on “Toughie 1467

  1. A pleasant solve, I thought. Re: 14d, If you have trouble with a heel (of your shoe), you need to put ‘Cobblers’ on your 14d.

    Thanks to Micawber and Bufo.

  2. I do enjoy a good Micawber as he is one of my favourite setters. However, this wasn’t as fun packed as his toughies usually are. Really good clueing and surfaces abound but just lacking that bit of sparkle for me. Maybe it was because I did the Ray T before coming here. Anyway, still an enjoyable solve with 22a as my favourite’

    Bufo – re 14d, if you had trouble with the heel on your shoe, a visit to the cobbler would be needed and you’d probably use the answer to remind you (oops – Physicist got there before me).

    Thanks to Micawber for the puzzle and Bufo for his review.

  3. I don’t know whether Ray T wore out my cryptic grey matter but this lovely toughie took me 4 star time to sort out. Thanks to Micawber for the 4 star fun and Bufo for the review.

    I wonder what Osmosis has in store for us tomorrow.

  4. Thanks for the hints, I believe there should be an equals sign after poetry rather than a plus sign. For 10d.

  5. A game of two halves Brian. The top part was more or less a write-in but the bottom much more challenging, with 14d and 16d proving particularly recalcitrant. Can anyone see the point of “giving” in 29a [other than to help the surface]? But some great clues as always from Micawber – I particularly liked 15a [airport without terminal] 23a [simple, clear and elegant] and 19d [lovely surface & well-disguised anagram]

    Many thanks to Micawber and to Bufo for the blog.

  6. Much to enjoy.

    Loved the motor racing club (9a). And this month and last one (12a). The first long one made me laugh (15a, eccentrically-constructed airport) but I didn’t like “third of drones”.

    The second long one left me cold (batting averages, 18a). I was lucky to have encountered 22a before (occasional table) and to have a friend who’s into 26a.

    27a (one semester every 4 years), 1d (kind of movie – I checked the abbreviation and yep, its in Chambers), 2d (board game!), 7d (rural event) and 14d (cobbler) were all delightful.

    Not sure I’m happy with UN=international, and wasn’t sure who the kingmaker was, but a very enjoyable puzzle.

    Many thanks Micawber and Bufo, well done completing the review under time pressure.

  7. Thanks to Micawber and to Bufo for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but most of it was way over my head. Needed 6 hints and 5 lookups to finish. Got 17d, but don’t understand the hint. Favourite was 15a. Was 5*/3* for me.

    1. Hi Heno – Ass (donkey) pulled up (reversed) but take away a third (two thirds of the way through) and insert (eating) a four letter word for ‘sweet’

  8. Thanks to Micawber for the usual very enjoyable puzzle and to Bufo for the blog produced under time constraints. For 23a I considered all manner of Christies (Julie, Linford, Tony) before the penny dropped. My favourite was the brilliant 9a.

  9. *****/***+

    Just not my day.

    Need the hints for about 8 clues. Had to doublecheck 15a. Never heard of 19d. Bunged in 14d as it seemed the only thing that fit with the checkers. Couldn’t parse 17d.

    It sounds like I did enjoy this but I did. A lot.

    Thought 9a was a fantastic clue along with 22a.

    Many thanks to Micawber and to Bufo for blogging. Gosh I needed the help plus you made me laugh re your hint for 26a.

  10. Had to resort to the hints for the NE corner.
    Just couldn’t see 5/11 and 6d at all.
    18a took some head scratching too as I was quite satisfied with wallop pattern.
    16d was a bung in.
    The rest, if any, was OK.
    Haven’t had time to look at RayT yet.
    Thanks to Micawber and to Bufo for the much needed help.

  11. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy this anywhere near as much as either yesterday’s MynoT or today’s Mr. T. 4*/2* for me.
    Particular dislikes were 1a + 14&25d.
    However, I certainly did like 9,15,18&27a, so all was not lost!

    Thanks to Micawber and to Bufo for blogging despite the odds. By the way, the answer you gave for 23a is the first name of the author rather than the word required!

  12. A very pleasant puzzle, not too taxing, although I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to fit Express & Star into 28a. Didn’t really understand about cobblers or semesters. Thanks to Micawber and Bufo

  13. I couldn’t manage much of this , so I studied the hints and almost finished.
    I liked 5/9a and 15a and 18a but 22a is my favourite.
    Thanks Micawber and Bufo for the clear hints.

  14. Only a year or so ago l would have done no more than to stare at this in perplexity (if that’s a word); now l find l can complete it – albeit in 3* time. That’s got to be progress! I thought some of the clues were excellent (13a, 5/11a, 14d, 17d etc) and l’m only surprised that l managed to solve them all. Definitely a 4*+ for enjoyment. Many thanks to Micawber, and to Bufo for his review.

  15. Not a quick solve for us but certainly a most enjoyable one. 16d gets our vote for favourite. Really good fun.
    Thanks Micawber and Bufo.

  16. Took me longer than most Micawber Toughies, but this was a very satisfying and enjoyable puzzle. I loved 15a, 14d and 17d in particular.

  17. Only a few weeks late….but must thank Bufo for the hints, needed for some detailed parsing only as I managed to complete this solo. But no-one would be discouraged if I admitted how long it took me! Thanks so much to Micawber, my favourite toughie setter.

Comments are closed.