Toughie 1475

Toughie No 1475 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Another Thursday and another disappointingly straightforward Toughie.

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    Lack of ability shown by language associated with Philadelphia? (10)
INCAPACITY: An old language of South America + the state where Philadelphia is + the type of settlement that Philadelphia is

6a    Young animal‘s fleshy part (4)
CALF: 2 meanings: a young cow/a fleshy part of the leg

10a    Study good area for dance (5)
CONGA: ‘To study’ + abbreviations for ‘good’ and ‘area’

11a    Reasonable advantage retaining a religious work originally lost (9)
PLAUSIBLE: An advantage (4) round A + a religious book with the first letter removed

12a    Refined head of grenadiers wearing sword (8)
CUTGLASS: G (first letter of Grenadiers) inside a broad, short sword with one cutting edge

13a    Lock put in fortresses (5)
TRESS: A lock of hair is hidden in forTRESSes

15a    Companion with a smile — or disappointment (7)
CHAGRIN: A Companion of Honour + A + a smile

17a    What hard nut might take, ending in recovery? (7)
THERAPY: Blame or punishment (as in ‘take *** ***) + Y (last letter of recoverY). The whole clue provides the definition

19a    Fix game in a losing position (3,4)
TIE DOWN: A game + ‘in a losing position’

21a    Small space in rank for explosive device (7)
GRENADE: A small space in printing goes inside ‘rank’

22a    Show indecision in Georgian house with number missing (5)
HAVER: Remove the 2-letter abbreviated form of ‘number’ from the Royal House to which the first four King Georges belonged

24a    Key is required for this part of estate, say (8)
IGNITION: A cryptic definition in which the estate is a car

27a    Daring account produced in car by old American (9)
AUDACIOUS: An abbreviation for ‘account’ inside a make of German car + O (old) + US (American)

28a    Bit of butter in cheese making grease (5)
BRIBE: B (first letter of butter) inside a French cheese

29a    Dash from tailless animal (4)
ELAN: Remove the last letter from a type of antelope

30a    Prisoner misbehaving around extremists in riot, a furious affair (10)
RIPSNORTER: An anagram (misbehaving) of PRISONER round the first and last letters of RioT


1d    Slight problem eliminating hot source of irritation (4)
ITCH: Remove H (hot) from the start of a slight problem

2d    Firm, not the first to cut off diplomatic residence (9)
CONSULATE: A 2-letter abbreviation denoting ‘firm’ + ‘to cut off’ with the first letter removed

3d    Page with note in newspaper showing crash (5)
PRANG: P (page) + N (note) in a newspaper

4d    Military figure fit to stop killer (7)
CAPTAIN: ‘Fit’ inside the name of the first murderer

5d    Time quickly passed before appearance of model route (7)
TRANSIT: T (time) + ‘quickly passed’ + ‘to model’

7d    Stroll, one bets, avoiding extremities (5)
AMBLE: Remove the first and last letters from someone who bets

8d    One in a race, paddling steel ferry (10)
FREESTYLER: A competitor in a swimming race is an anagram (paddling) of STEEL FERRY

9d    Waiters mixed up starter of ‘escargot’ or ‘espresso’ in manner of speaking (2,2,4)
AS IT WHERE: An anagram (mixed up) of WAITERS + E (first letter of Escargot or Espresso)

14d    Block bug with last of some sticky material (6,4)
SCOTCH TAPE: ‘To block’ + ‘to bug (a telephone)’ + E (last letter of somE)

16d    Vehicle accessory surprisingly OK for car (4,4)
ROOF RACK: An anagram (surprisingly) of OK FOR CAR

18d    One dissecting a military group on film (9)
ANATOMIST: A + an international military group + a film

20d    North American Latin couple protecting plunder in African city (7)
NAIROBI: N *North) + A (American) _ the Roman numeral for 2 (couple) round ‘to plunder’

21d    Information on French art is to be used in group (7)
GENESIS: Information + the French for ‘art’ (as in ‘thou art’) + IS = an English rock band

23d    Runabout needed after very excessive consumption of drugs and drink (5)
VODKA: V (very) + ‘excessive consumption’ + the name of a model of small Ford car (runabout)

25d    Voluntary lot audibly disapprove of ritual restriction (5)
TABOO: An organisation of volunteers + ‘to audibly disapprove’

26d    Present picked up for judge (4)
HEAR: A homophone of present (in attendance)

The performance problems which are currently affecting the site make it particularly difficult to add new posts – hence the delay.  I have submitted a support ticket to the hosting company but have yet to receive a reply.  BD

Reply received at 4:55 pm

Thank you for contacting us.
Performance will take some time to settle down as the new platform uses a multi-tiered SAN – however the SAN needs to tier data according to it’s usage before it performs optimally.
We’re sorry for caused inconveniences.
Server performance will be stabilized soon.
Please hold on.
Denis B.
Support Engineer
Evohosting Ltd

The only bit I understand is “please hold on”!



  1. dutch
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Reasonably straightforward with some lovely cluing. I love the all-in-one at 17a. Also 21a, 28a, 18d, 22a, etc

    Many thanks Shamus and Bufo for the review –

    hope the web site is behaving..

  2. Jane
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Doubt that this will get through but I did enjoy this offering from the twinkly-eyed one. OK – I know Bufo put it into the ‘too easy’ category but that didn’t spoil the enjoyment.
    24a & 26d were joint ‘last ones in’ and 30a was a term I haven’t heard in ages.
    22a I’d settled as ‘hover’ – wrong, but not too far adrift.
    Hard to select a favourite – a really good all-rounder.

    Many thanks to Shamus and to Toro for getting the review online. No such luck at this end!

    • Una
      Posted October 1, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      I had hover too.

    • Jane
      Posted October 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      If only I could get the site to respond, I would edit my comment to give the thanks for the review to Bufo! My profuse apologies.
      Only excuse is that constant attempts to replicate postings inevitably lead to errors.
      Missing you all……

  3. crypticsue
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant but far too straightforward for a crossword in the middle of the paper. Thanks to Shamuis and Bufo.

    A huge thank you to BD too – having just gone through the process of scheduling tomorrow’s Saturday puzzle review, I can confirm it is a nightmare. I don’t think I’ve ever (eventually) pressed schedule before with all my fingers and toes crossed.

    • Kath
      Posted October 1, 2015 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never been so completely panic stricken in my life as when, at about 10.30 am, everything disappeared – a nightmare indeed!
      Poor BD – I imagine that he’s spent all day trying to sort this lot out

    • Kath
      Posted October 1, 2015 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never been so completely panic stricken in my life as when, at about 10.30 am, everything disappeared – a nightmare indeed! and for the Kiwis on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.
      Poor BD – I imagine that he’s spent all day trying to sort this lot out to him.

      • Hanni
        Posted October 1, 2015 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        Huge to BD! And to you lot.

  4. Una
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I just loved it but then I haven’t been solving for 46 years.
    23d is a very sweet little clue, as were 17a and 18d.
    I tried to make a plural of genus in 21d and I also had hover for 22a, which I think is actually a better solution.
    Thanks Bufo and Shamus.
    I am sorry to hear that the software is acting up. I had noticed the page not always loading. I thought of getting on to my broadband provider and giving them an earful.I had already threatened to break my contract with them , penalties and all, when suddenly they insisted on giving me a newer and better modem.Does anybody else remember the BBC broadcasting programmes in the eighties about how we would all spend our new found leisure time when computers would do all the work ?

  5. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    There’s something about a Shamus puzzle that always seems to keep a smile on our faces. Don’t know what it is but it is certainly there again today. It all slotted together smoothly but not too quickly. Good fun.
    Thanks Shamus and Bufo.

    • Jane
      Posted October 1, 2015 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      It’s the twinkly eyes that do it – female K would probably understand that!

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted October 1, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        We met Shamus when we in the UK in May and agree about the twinkly eyes. Both of us!

        • Jane
          Posted October 1, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Ooh – you lucky pair, but….. I’m rather worried about you, Colin!

  6. pommers
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I know Shamus does some of the Tues and Thurs back pagers and I suspect that wsa swhere thispuzzle was intended to go. As usual though it was a smile for most of the way through so many thanks.

    • Jane
      Posted October 1, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Third attempt!
      I could be generous, Pommers, and suggest that, like myself, you’re having so many problems with posting that the concentration has slipped somewhat. However, I might also suggest that the vino collapso is going down well tonight!

  7. Hanni
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 8:38 pm | Permalink


    This might post, it might not. Hey ho.

    Definitely on the easier end of the scale but a wonderful puzzle. 30a was new and what a word!

    22a I had to confirm and now I have ‘The Proclaimers 500 miles’ going around my head!

    Beautiful clues and plenty of smiles.

    Many thanks to Shamus and to Bufo for blogging.

  8. gazza
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Take cover – it’s Elgar tomorrow.

    • Hanni
      Posted October 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Oh gosh! I like Elgar’s crosswords but my goodness I struggle with them. Tin hat at the ready.

    • Jane
      Posted October 1, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Oh for goodness sake – that’s me back on the lunch time booze again!

      • Hanni
        Posted October 1, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        It’s Friday tomorrow. The weekend, so lunch drinks are allowed.

        • Jane
          Posted October 1, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Not so sure about your rules, Hanni. Think I’ll stick with the ‘only on days with a ‘y’ in them’ rule.
          By the way – just finished watching the programme on building the London underground. Amazing stuff!

          • Hanni
            Posted October 1, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

            It’s my, “Try to be good during the week thing”. After a very long day it’s going well. I have G&T next to me.
            Channel please? I shall add it to my catch up. Saw a documentary about the construction of the Panama canal earlier this year. Brilliant.

            • Jane
              Posted October 1, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

              Channel 5 shown at 8pm. Yes, the Panama Canal one was really good.

              • Jane
                Posted October 1, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

                Just thought – G&T, isn’t it still Thursday?

                • Hanni
                  Posted October 1, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

                  Well yes. But it’s almost the weekend. And erm..nope can’t think of a good excuse.

  9. Expat Chris
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Late to the party, because work and hurricane watching have taken priority. Joaquin may or may not pay us a visit in the next couple of days.

    Anyway, to the puzzle. I enjoyed it, even though it was not mind-bending…except for 13A, which I thought was pretty weak for a toughie. I don’t recollect ever seeing 12A as one word, either. Still, those are small beefs. thanks to Shamus and Bufo.

  10. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    This must be at least my fifth attempt at posting a comment.
    I understood everything the engineer said.
    He clearly told us that we moved into a new building but that the upper floors were still under construction.
    Unfortunate really as we stored everything in the attic.
    As far as this offering from Shamus, it brought me the usual pleasure.
    Thanks to him and to Bufo for the review.
    Bring on Elgar. It’s going to rain all day tomorrow. I’ll have plenty of time.

  11. Derek
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    A much easier toughie than normal but nontheless a pleasant solve.

    Am without TV at the moment – my household help who was on holiday all September returned today and did furious hoovering which has mucked up the cable connections! Shall ask my son-in-law to come and sort it out tomorrow – I cannot kneel down any more.

    • Jane
      Posted October 1, 2015 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m trying to feel sympathy for you, Derek, but given that you have both a household help and an IT savvy son-in-law on hand, I’m really, really struggling.

  12. Kath
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Too knackered to go on at length now so I’ll just say that I loved it – straightforward, yes, probably destined for a back page, yes, but so what?
    The two that held me up were 14d – sellotape? and 30a – never heard of this expression/word in my life guv, honest.
    23d reminded me of my Mum – she always described the ‘small Ford cars’ as, “Oh, you know the ones I mean, Kath, they’re the ones with the wheels at all four corners!” I sort of knew what she meant! That was my favourite.
    With thanks to Shamus and to Bufo – it might have been too easy for you but after today I was very happy with it.

  13. Shropshirelad
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable puzzle IMHO – typically Shamus – but not too difficult. I will keep this short due to the problems that BD is having with the upgrade and I don’t want to copy before I post. Good luck BD

    Thanks to all concerned.

  14. Tstrummer
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Sun poking through the morning mist and me feeling too lazy to pop across the road for a paper, I did this one instead. Loved it. I loved the Lego clue at 1a, but 18d takes some beating. A 30a of a puzzle. 2*/4*. Many thanks to Shamus and Bufo. As it is now officially the weekend, I can relax into a lunchtime pint with no feelings of guilt at all.