Toughie 1469 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1469

Toughie No 1469 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating - Difficulty ** - Enjoyment *

There's often a particular quality to Warbler's puzzles -- a kind of affability and desire to entertain that comes shining through. But this one had a strangely perfunctory feel about it. I found most of the clues dull, technically questionable, or both, and am genuinely sorry to give it my first ever one-star review.

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 Note pottery's co-ordination (6)
TIMING A musical note in the sol-fa system + a period style of pottery.

4a Man in Italy gives wave to soldiers (6)
SIGNOR A wave or gesture + acronym for non-commissioned soldiers.

8a Just a short time to get dry (3)
SEC Abbreviation of a small unit of time, and dry (of wine).

10a Consideration shown during sombre spectacle (7)

11a Same? Opposite! (7)
ANTONYM An opposite in meaning, exemplified by the word 'opposite' itself in relation to 'same'.

12a Mysterious fish found by end of jetty (5)
SHADY A fish + (jett)Y.

13a Driving force of sporting people adopting Rugby League, in parts meeting resistance (9)
PROPELLER The letters of the acronym of R(ugby) L(eague) inserted at different points into an anagram (sporting) of PEOPLE, then R(esistance).

14a Ten infiltrating phoney volunteers, without one to make radical changes (13)
REVOLUTIONISE Two letters that together look like the number ten inside an anagram (phoney) of VOLUNTEERS around the Roman numeral one.

17a Go back on holiday; willing to doze on the way back (5,4,4)
BREAK ONES WORD A holiday or rest + a short word meaning willing + a verb meaning to doze, written in reverse.

22a Smoke coming from stew eaten by King Cole! Quite the reverse (9)
PANATELLA First name of singer King Cole inside a stewed rice dish.

23a Dolly was the first of fifty in 99? (5)
CLONE Roman numeral for fifty inside a word for an edible treat of which a 99 is an example.

24a WA native left out from part of Europe (7)
IBERIAN A native of WA (West Africa, not Washington State) minus L(eft).

25a Ridicule for a politician ensnared by bird (7)
LAMPOON The A from the clue plus a UK parliamentarian inside the US name for a type of diving bird.

26a Units for printing items with no computerisation (3)
EMS ITEMS minus an acronym for computers.

27a Divisions of 26 joining in carrying grand flag (6)
ENSIGN Narrower printing units than 26a (but not actually divisions of them) + IN around G(rand).

28a Lashes out in argument (6)
HASSLE Anagram (out) of LASHES.


1d Flier women's group's avoided with haste (6)
THRUSH WITH from the clue minus the initials of a women's organisation + a word for haste.

2d The old woman's wise way of easing tension (7)
MASSAGE The old woman's or mum's + wise.

3d Craving attention, journalist is trapped by mounting desire (5)
NEEDY Journalist in crosswordese inside a desire or yearning, reversed.

5d Hearts in token win, ingeniously having private information (2,3,4)
IN THE KNOW H(earts) inside an anagram (ingeniously) of TOKEN WIN.

6d In Bordeaux, no advantage to puzzle (7)
NONPLUS French for no + an advantage or boon.

7d Notice concerning former currency (6)
REMARK Concerning or regarding + a pre-euro currency.

8d Deviate from the norm? Pals cryptically could illustrate such action (4,3,2,4)
STEP OUT OF LINE The solution looks like a cryptic instruction to place the word PAS around L to get PALS.

9d Whip reforms ten antisocial characters (3-1-4-5)
CAT-O-NINE-TAILS Anagram (reform characters) of TEN ANTISOCIAL.

14d Tease wife facetiously (3)
RIB A verb meaning to tease is also a facetious word for wife taken from the Genesis myth.

15d Kept in suspense like a Eurovision puppet (2,1,6)
ON A STRING As in the title of Sandie Shaw's Eurovision Song Contest-winning song of 1967.

16d Close section of 18 (3)
END Hidden in the solution to 18d.

18d Plasters top of roof with reeds arranged to have new content (7)
RENDERS R(oof) + anagram of REEDS around N(ew).

19d Wildly enjoyable hoots round Oxford University, whereas ... (7)
RIOTOUS Hoots (of wild enjoyment) around the initials of Oxford University.

20d ... Cambridge student's work must be seen over period (6)
OPTIME Crosswordese work + a period or duration.

21d Irishman attracted to church spiritual meeting (6)
SÉANCE Irish male name + Anglican church.

23d Campaigners exclude English from legislative chamber (5)
CAMRA A legislative chamber munis E(nglish).


I did like 23a (the event referred to was in 1996, but close enough!).

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

22 comments on “Toughie 1469

  1. Always feel good when I finish the toughie without using the hints. Learnt a new fish and a student. No stand out clues though. ***/**

  2. Yep, I know what you mean Toro. It did seem to lack a bit of sparkle- but I’d give it 2*. I rather liked 1d and “in parts” [13a] was good, but I wasted a while on 8d trying to do a subtraction rather than a container.

    Thanks for the blog and thanks to Warbler for the puzzle.

  3. */***

    I did like this though it could have fit well on the back page.

    For whatever reason I couldn’t parse 24a. Also had to double check 26a although I’m sure it has come up many times.

    Agree about 23a.

    Many thanks to Warbler and to Toro for blogging.

  4. I missed willing=on in 17a, and I was trying to use roman numerals for 99 – couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t 101 (C-one). Funny how your mind won’t budge once it’s in a rut. Didn’t think of the flake. Also wondered why eurovision was necessary, so many thanks for the review Toro.

    Took me ages to get the mysterious fish (12a). Then I thought Mi was a perfectly acceptable note for 1a, and MIMING a song is coordination, isn’t it? Fixed withe the lovely 1d.

    22a was a new word for a thin cigar, and I hadn’t heard about the Cambridge mathematics distinction (20d).

    I liked the simple 8d (“to get dry”), 28a (“lashes out”) and 14a (tease wife), and my favourite was 23d (campaigners)

    Many thanks Warbler and Toro

  5. Sorry for any confusion over my earlier post – my Mac has decided that my life is far too uncomplicated and it needs to help out.

  6. Not sure what to say about this. I normally enjoy a Warbler puzzle but I’m afraid this one missed the mark. Some clues were a bit too contrived for my liking (13 & 14a) and lacked sparkle. Having said that, I’m sure others will have a different point of view. No particular favourite for me today I’m afraid.

    Thanks to Warbler and Toro.

  7. Thanks to Warbler and to Toro for the review and hints. It must have been an “easy” Toughie, because I managed it without the hints. Like Dave B, I also learnt a new fish and student. I thought the puzzle was a bit of a Curate’s Egg. I made things hard by originally putting in “wag” for 14d, but things got easier when I corrected it. Favourite by a mile was 23a.Was 2*/3* for me. Weather has cleared up now I’m back indoors, harumph.

  8. Didn’t find this as enjoyable as Warbler puzzles usually are, but neither did I find it as easy as the back-pager.
    Took me a while to work out 1d (not helped by the unknown fish in 12a) and hadn’t come across 20d before today.
    Came a bit unstuck with the divisions in 27a – not too happy with that 26/27 combo – and definitely needed Toro’s help to sort the parsing for 14a.

    I did rather like 1d (when I finally got there!), the 9d anagram and good old Nat in 22a.

    Thanks to Warbler and also to Toro, without whose help I would still be struggling to justify some of the answers.

  9. Ah. Cadbury’s 99 flake. I am sure it’s still under a pound.
    And just before that a lovely paella.
    What more do you want?
    Time to think about what I ‘m going to eat tonight. I’m already crossword full.
    Learned about wranglers and optimes.
    Thanks to Warbler and to Toro for the review

    1. Dream on – JL! They’re heading towards £2 now and you only get about half a ‘flake’ (and not often one that tastes as though Mr. Cadbury had anything to do with it).

      1. Thanks for that link, Toro. The truth will obviously never be known.
        One of the comments on that article referred to the addition of ‘monkey’s blood’ on the ice cream. My kids always asked for ‘dragon’s blood’. Goodness knows what was in that – probably a lot of those now reviled ‘E’ numbers!

  10. We agree with the overall views, not the most entertaining, but with a couple of new words and a few which took time to work out the why, not too bad a start to the week. The highlight of the evening is the ale in the Black Bear being rather good.
    What we can never remember (with 2 notorious exceptions) is what we think of the different compilers. Do you all keep a book on them?
    PS to JLC a single Cadbury flake is 60p in ASDA

  11. The allusion to 99 in 23a was a total mystery to us. Seems to be something that never reached this far around the world. We do know Flake, and adding it to soft-serve ice-creams, but never a mention of 99. Like Dutch, we were trying to make some combination with Roman numerals work and they obviously wouldn’t. We filled in the grid very quickly but did need a bit more effort sorting out some of the wordplay on the longer answers (eg 17a). New word in 20d.
    Thanks Warbler and Toro.

  12. Just into 3* time and about the same for enjoyment. 25* was my favourite clue, but only because l love the haunting call of the loon – first heard on Silver Lake not far from Toronto one still but sadly blackfly-infested evening about 30 years ago. Thanks to Warbler for rekindling the memory, and to Toro for the review.

  13. As others have already said this was an easyish Toughie – I could do it so it had to be.
    Stupidly slow to get 1a and 1d for no obvious reason.
    I didn’t know the bird in 25a or 20d – the word not the bird – there isn’t one, unless it’s a female student. Oh dear!
    Spent too long trying to make 12a ‘chary’ which I knew wasn’t right but, having thought of it, couldn’t think of anything else.
    I think my favourite was probably 11a.
    With thanks to Warbler and to Toro.

  14. Plucked this out of my stash of untouched toughies and completed while the launderette did its best to struggle through my washing. I thought it too easy for a toughie, but felt smug nonetheless for finishing without needing Toro’s excellent hints. Thanks to Warbler for making household chores pass in an entertaining fashion. 22a was probably my favourite, but no real stand-outs this time.

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