Toughie 1576 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1576

Toughie No 1576 by Warbler

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Well, here we are at the start of another Toughie week and what a nice and gentle way to ease into it. I like a Warbler puzzle and this one is quite enjoyable, but I just felt I was typing ‘an anagram’ too often. Having said that, there is a good mix of clue constructions so it should help people new to the ‘Toughie’ to have a go. We even have a couple of homophones, one of which (I guarantee), you will groan at.

I do hope my hints will help in the solving of the puzzle although I don’t think the ‘old hands’ will find anything too challenging. The definitions are underlined and if all else fails, you can ‘see’ the answer by clicking on the grey ‘Click Here’ button.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Choral work about Knight’s farewell (7)
CANTATA: Take the 2 letter abbreviation for ‘about’ (not Re) and add the abbreviation for ‘Knight’ (on a chessboard and finally an informal term to say ‘farewell’.

5a    Stabilising material delivery to a street (7)
BALLAST: Another term used for a ‘delivery’ in cricket followed by ‘a’ from the clue and the 2 letter abbreviation for ‘street’.

9a    Strike horseman capturing a thief with vehicle? (3-6)
RAM-RAIDER: A 3 letter word for ‘strike’ (as in ‘hit’) and a general term used for someone on horseback (horseman) and insert (capturing) the ‘a’ from the clue.

10a    See 5 Down

11a    Princess embraced by secret society member becoming President (7)
MADISON: The usual crosswordland name of a Princess inserted in (embraced) a secret society member

12a    A jolly grapple in wrestling (7)
ARMLOCK: A semi all-in-one. Take the ‘a’ from the clue and add the abbreviation for a Royal Marine (jolly) and add a 4 letter word for ‘grapple’. In all my 22 years of service in the RN – I never came across the term ‘jolly’ used for a Marine Commando. A ‘jolly’ to a sailor is more commonly used for a ‘run ashore’ preferably at someone else’s expense.

13a    Bird that’s scary was wild about nothing (9)
CASSOWARY: An anagram (wild) of SCARY WAS and insert (about)
the letter for ‘nothing’.

16a    Surrender yard for furlong in open country (5)
YIELD: Take a 5 letter word for ‘open country’ and substitute the first letter of f(urlong) for y(ard).

17a    Tobacco tin no longer in fashion (5)
SNOUT: Chemical abbreviation for ‘tin’ and add a term for ‘no longer in fashion’.

18a    Significant part in MOT is damaged (9)
IMPORTANT: An anagram (is damaged) of PART IN MOT.

21a    Gran eager to get cloth (7)
NANKEEN: Affectionate 3 letter word for ‘gran’ and add a 4 letter word for ‘eager’.

22a    Type of vehicle with clear roof (4-3)
OPEN-TOP: Is this a cryptic clue or an &lit? Anyway, the clue is the answer. Not my favourite clue.

25a    Old US money in pilgrim’s pouch (5)
SCRIP: I would take this as a double definition, the latter being the name for a type of satchel.

26a    Article is rewritten true to life (9)
REALISTIC: An anagram (rewritten) of ARTICLE IS.

27a    Exercise routine consisting of one carrying sheets of metal? Quite the opposite! (7)
PILATES: This clue is meant to lead you to try and use a term for ‘one’ containing (carrying) ‘sheets of metal’. It is, in fact, the other way round (quite the opposite).

28a    Penetrate a length of intestine (7)
ENTERAL: A 5 letter word for ‘penetrate’ (ie ‘go into’) with the ‘a’ from the clue and the abbreviation for ‘length’.


1d    Friend in Roman Catholic church first to get hard material (7)
CERAMIC: To start with, take the 2 letter abbreviation for the Church of England (church first) and take a French ‘friend’ and put him in the abbreviation for Roman Catholic.

2d    Rover‘s escalating curse about love (5)
NOMAD: A 4 letter mild expletive (curse) and reverse it (escalating – turn a word ‘up’ in a ‘down’ clue) and enter (about) ‘O’ (love).

3d    Store that offers a service (5)
AMASS: Take the ‘A’ from the clue and add a religious service.

4d    Study in summer, that’s said to provide supplementary material (7)
ADDENDA: One of the usual 3 letter words for ‘study’ (not ‘con’) and put it into (in) a homophone of what someone could be construed as if they were totalling a sum (summer). Groan.

5d & 10a    Dickens work translated by graduate with no time to adopt ‘new British’ in parts (7,5)
BARNABY RUDGE: An anagram (translated) of BY GRADUATE, with the abbreviation of ‘time’ removed (no time) and add (adopt) the abbreviations for ‘new’ & ‘British’.

6d    City’s municipal officer left day room refurbished by the end of October (4,5)
LORD MAYOR: Another anagram (refurbished) of L(eft) DAY ROOM and add the end letter of ‘October’.

7d    Group of stars with capital deserted America (9)
ANDROMEDA: Take the 3 letter word for ‘with’, add a European city (capital) and the abbreviations of ‘deserted’ & ‘America’. A bit too bitty, if you know what I mean.

8d    Journeyed long and hard with two kings usurping son in Gobi rising? (7)
TREKKED: Take what the ‘Gobi’ is and reverse it (rising – again an indication of reversal in a ‘down’ clue), remove the abbreviation for ‘son’ and replace (usurping) it with the chess abbreviation for King x 2.

14d    Rascal unscrambled clues on empty road (9)
SCOUNDREL: Yes, another anagram (unscrambled) of CLUES ON and RD (empty ‘road’).

15d    In difficulty  there and then (2,3,4)
ON THE SPOT: A term for being in a difficult situation also means right there and now.

17d    Makes fun of cat climbing to eat what’s left? (5,2)
SENDS UP: 4 letter word for a ‘cat’ reversed (climbing – indicator blah, of up blah, blah – you get the general idea) with ‘end’ (what’s left) inserted (eat).

18d    Pays no attention to Italian ladies, first to last (7)
IGNORES: Take the Italian word for ‘ladies’ and move the first letter to the end (first to last).

19d    Gas for audible suffering (7)
PROPANE: 3 letter term for ‘for’ and add a 4 letter homophone (audible) of a type of ‘suffering’.

20d    Current destroyed coal pit (7)
TOPICAL: An anagram (destroyed) of COAL PIT.

23d    Order English thesaurus (shortened version) (5)
EDICT: The abbreviation for ‘English’ followed by a shortened version of what a thesaurus might be called or, more appropriately, the BRB.

24d    Common vegetable forming part of pasta terrine (5)
TATER: Last but not least – a lurker.

That’s my stint of cover for Toro now over, I hope you haven’t missed him too much. I’ll leave you all to decide which clue(s) tickled you today. Have fun.

69 comments on “Toughie 1576

  1. “Typing in an anagram too often” I know exactly how that feels Jim. I love solving them (Mentally) but hate reviewing the things.

    1. I love solving the too…have I ever mentioned how I solve them? I don’t think I knew that you solved them mentally. You should have said. I use a pencil.

  2. Gently gently to start the week. The only hold up was when I needed to email Jane for 21a just to check that it is a real thing. It was very fairly clued though.

    But oh no! I also put that a 13a could sit down next to me and I wouldn’t have the first clue what it was. Having now seen a picture of does look quite ‘distinctive’.I mean I’ve heard of them but couldn’t quite place them in my head. Big aren’t they? Jane’s going to laugh at me, again.

    The rest was straightforward although it took me awhile to see the veg in 24d. I knew it was a hidden clue but still.

    Anyway I really enjoyed this and all the anagrams. Biggest smile is from 14d.

    Many thank to Warbler and to SL for a great blog. Come back soon. Two points. Why just why the picture for 12a and having done 27a for a long time I have never done that move before. I shall try.

    1. Re 12a picture – I just thought it displayed the wrestling hold quite well, but on second thoughts maybe it’s more illustrative of a ‘wing**k’ :). I can assure you that I found quite a set of intriguing photos to symbolise the exercise, but I thought they were a bit too illustrative – Wink, wink, nudge, nudge (blushing red face thingy).

      Edit – the bird is quite a bit scary imho. You should have a look.

      1. I’ve just had a look. There is the odd odd one yes. I don’t think I can eat chicken again.

        I Googled the bird. Don’t want that thing anywhere near me. It’s bigger than me.

        1. Not only bigger than you but also the most dangerous bird there is. In fact, if you don’t want to be attacked by one of those, you have to avoid the whole of Australia, NZ and New Guinea.

          1. Yep – it may be shy but it can swim oceans, jump up to 5 feet and can inflict fatal injuries with it’s 5 inch central claw. It also reaches speeds up to 31 mph through dense undergrowth. You can run but you can’t hide.

        2. Is it really the most dangerous bird? Surely it can’t swim though? I didn’t read the whole article just that it can attack people. I know you two are joking me but maybe this is what velociraptors turned into.

            1. OK you’re not joking me. Good grief. Glad he used a remote control camera. They are super scary. I shall avoid Australia for the foreseeable future (but that’s mostly because of snakes). Quite cool picture though that first one. How weird that is mentioned dinosaurs too though.

              Thanks for the link. :-)

              1. I was going to use a picture of the UK’s poisonous snake in 4d – I restrained myself (only just, mind) :)

                1. So thoughtful SL…I bet you were really tempted though! They will be out basking on the moors soon.

  3. I love Warbler puzzles – my level of Toughie.

    Got off to a good start by picking up on the cricket reference straight away – first time for everything!
    21a seemed far too obvious – waited a while before entering it in the grid.
    Didn’t know the ‘pouch’ meaning of 25a and thought describing it as ‘money’ was perhaps a bit of a stretch.
    Had to check with Mr. Google on my answers for 21&28a.
    Confess to not bothering to work out the 5/10 bits and pieces – just as well I wasn’t blogging!

    My top slots go to 1&17a.

    Thank you, Warbler – most enjoyable. Also many thanks to SL – you’ve done Toro proud. However, I second Hanni’s comments re: the 12a pic and also the portrayal of 27a. Unlike her, I do not feel under any compunction to try out the latter at home………

    1. Hi undefined.

      I agree about the money bit of 25a. Oh I shan’t try that at home. I hope you’ve had a good afternoon?

      1. You know very well what I’m doing this afternoon – drying out my wireless door bell in the oven. Seem to recall that you found that amusing. It will amuse you even further to learn that, thus far, it isn’t working. It did last time………..

        1. Yes…nearly crying with laughter all over again. First rate. I better think about dinner for later. I wonder how you make poached eggs?

      1. She’s Australian? Ah – that explains it then.

        Looked at the scrip info – thank you for that. Still not happy about defining it as ‘money’ though. BRB does give ‘wealth’ as one of the definitions of money, so maybe that’s considered to be close enough?

  4. Definitely on the easy side.
    Even the anagrams were simple.
    Thanks to Warbler and to SL for the review and fun pictures.

  5. Enjoyed this but, as I said elsewhere, it would only have got ** for difficulty as a back pager. Still **** fun though.

    Isn’t it about time that Princess Diana was allowed to rest in peace?

    Thanks to Warbler and SL.

    1. Well done for finding today’s deliberate mistake HYD. You’re the first person to ever find one.

      Psssst – BD can you sort it please?

  6. Ages since I tried a Toughie, but this one was good fun and not too hard. Still don’t understand 12a though. Nearly missed the Latin for “tin” in 17a but being a retired cop knew all about “snout” for tobacco. Thanks to Warbler and Shropshire Lad. Sh-Shoney.

    1. 12a – A (from the clue) and R(oyal) M(arine) ‘jolly’ and LOCK ‘grapple’. Altogether it gives ARMLOCK, which is a hold in wrestling. My accompanying picture of two chickens demonstrating the hold was meant to be funny – in retrospect I maybe should have used a different picture :)

      Hope that clears it up.

      1. I liked the piccy, but then I am, to quote pommette, ‘strange and unusual’ in my tastes’. :-)

  7. Right – try again. I got lulled into a false sense of security in the ‘other’ place and tried to write a comment a while ago here – vanished! Oh dear!
    I agree this wasn’t difficult and would have been fine as a back-pager but I enjoyed it anyway.
    I know that we had 25a a short while ago – it had a different meaning – I didn’t get it then – I didn’t get it this time either.
    A truly fearsome bird is 13a – I asked Mr Google all about him – what a clever clue.
    I always get in a muddle with clues like 16a and end up picking the wrong option.
    I liked 13 and 17a and 19d. My favourite was 17d – very appropriate after the weekend we’ve had fighting with elder Lamb’s cat who thinks that he’s allowed to eat everything in reach.
    With thanks to Warbler and to SL.

    1. Re 25a – BRB: adj relating to, within, or by way of the intestine. I thought that one would have been right up your street Kath.

      1. Suspect you mean 28a rather than 25a and anyway, no thanks!! I’m more of a cardiology nurse – 25a is all a bit mucky! :-(

          1. Certainly not – you have to remember that I only trained for three years. I can make toast, and just about manage to make beds but that’s it.

  8. If I wasn’t so snowed under with other things, this would have been one to do. Oh well.

    The 13a bird was new to me. My question concerning it is, is it good to eat?
    25a was unfamiliar on both counts.
    The noise I made at 4d was not so much a groan as “yeesh!”

    I liked the climbing cat in 17d, so that is my favourite today.

    22a reminds me of many years ago when a boyfriend had a new convertible. The family came out to admire it, but it was my (very young at the time) nephew’s comment that made me laugh: unimpressed, he protested, “but the roof’s missing!”

    Thanks to Warbler for a puzzle that has me determining to try your next one properly. Thanks to SL – your reviews are going from strength to strength.

    1. Some New Guinea Highlands societies capture cassowary chicks and raise them as semi-tame livestock, for use in ceremonial gift exchanges and as food – they probably taste like chicken :)

      1. I like chicken, so that’s a yes. :)

        It’s rather lively over here today. Spring madness?

  9. Nice gentle start to the Toughie week and perhaps a record solve time for a Toughie (record low time!)

    Favourite was probably 1d, but not a lot in it.

    On 25a, we learned two new meanings of this word today. We previously knew it as paying a share dividend in yet more shares. Now we find it also means a pilgrim’s pouch and and old form of paper US currency in denominations under a dollar. What a wonderful language our English is.

    We give it */***

    Thanks SL and Warbler.

  10. Both of the meanings of 25a were new to us so a bit of research required there. The rest all went together without much of a fight. Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Warbler and SL.

  11. A Tickle Toughie. For those who might be interested I wrote out the letters to solve the anagram at 13ac. I have no idea why, I send to wrestle these birds for a living when I ran away to join the circus.

    1. I’m so happy Miffypops. Like a kid a Christmas. Grinning like a Cheshire cat. Feels good doesn’t it.


    2. I’m sure there must be a play on words in this comment – is there? Only the people who live on the planet ‘Downtown LI’ know.

        1. You certainly have. So tell me…how does it work? A young Miffypops runs away to the circus. All around him are other eager things ready to try their hands. Does the circus master point at you and say ‘juggler”…and then the next one “acrobat”? If so that’s quite an interesting premise that he looked at you and said “Forget lions…’re going to wrestle giant psychotic birds that might claw you to death and are super fast”! Must be your rugby background.

          1. The circus is hooded in secrecy Hanni. What goes on in the circus stays in the circus

            1. That’s the magic circle, Whitehall and the Heinz factory. The circus is an open book…one that hasn’t been ameliorated by chopping it into manageable pieces. Be a cool thing for a CV though.

                1. I’m right there with you pommers.

                  I notice that my user name and email address have disappeared again.

  12. A fairly gentle start to the week, perhaps the editor has decided we’re feeling a little delicate after the bank holiday? Getting the anagram right at 13ac caused some difficulty, and I had to lookup 25ac, but apart from those we were well within the kind of times seen for a back pager.

  13. Must be the easiest Toughie for ages! I normally have some problems finishing these (or even starting them sometimes) but this was quite a breeze. I Liked the cassowary clue…..remember being in a play at school which involved a cassowary and a missionary….don’t ask…….I cant remember anything else about it. I Thought this was easier than the back page today 1*/3* Thanks to setter and blogger, but didnt need clues for once.

  14. Right hand side went in fine, then watching England sent me into a coma that I never really emerged from so needed a few hints.
    Lots of good clues and a nice puzzle for a novice like me.
    Thanks to Warbler and SL

      1. Thanks Hanni, I am on hols this week, so I managed to fit the crosswords in between the gardening.

      1. Thanks Dave, dunno what happened there, suddenly my email disappeared, now it’s back again….

  15. As you say, SL – a good “entry level” Toughie. Right on the 1/2* cusp, and 3* for enjoyment. 7d has to be my favourite; it may be a bitty clue, but to me it conjures up happy memories of the mid-70s in Her Majesty’s War Canoe of the same name. Those pesky cod never knew what hit them, I tell you! Thanks to Warbler and SL.

    1. F57 no less – my first ship was HMS Juno (F52). They were the days when we had 27 Leander class frigates – I think that’s more ships than the whole fleet has nowadays. Were you on board during the collision?

  16. Thanks to Warbler and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. A very enjoyable but easy Toughie, just about my level. Last in was 25a. Favourite was 12a. 13a are really scary, excellent clue. Was 1*/3* for me.

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