Toughie 1598

Toughie No 1598 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

For once I am glad of a non-toughie Toughie because I have limited time before I have to go out for the rest of the day on dog/child minding duties. I had little problem filling the grid and it was only the parsing of the last couple of entries that took me into the 2* difficulty zone

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Early Pope permits one to misbehave (5,5)
SIMON PETER: The name of one of the Twelve Apostles who is considered to be the first pope is an anagram (to misbehave) of PERMITS ONE

6a    Substantial reversal of power in French company (4)
EPIC: A reversal of P (power) inside an abbreviated form of Compagnie (the French for Company)

10a    Source of wool providing turnover for a lot of shops (5)
LLAMA: An animal that produces wool is a reversal of A and a shopping centre

11a    Exotic lunch idea not for everyone — a Mexican dish (9)
ENCHILADA: An anagram (exotic) of LNCH IDEA (LUNCH IDEA minus U or not for everyone) + A

12a    Describing air? Oxygen in mix, I start to concede (7)
MELODIC: The air is a musical one. O (oxygen) in ‘to mix or merge’ + I + C (first letter of concede)

13a    Rugby player not selected when hands don’t work? (7)
LOCKOUT: One of the forwards in a rugby union team + ‘not selected’ = the exclusion of employees from a factory

14a    Leader’s power, dealing with occupation (12)
PRESIDENTIAL: ‘Leader’s’ or ‘of a leader’ = P (power) + ‘dealing with occupation or living in houses’

18a    He prepares dish without a recipe at first, cooking common meal (9,3)
SHEPHERD’S PIE: An anagram (cooking) of HE PREPES DISH, i.e. HE PREPARES DISH minus A R (first letter of Recipe)

21a    Cricketer supports barracking? (3,4)
LEG SLIP: A cricket fielding position slightly behind the batsman on the on side = ‘supports’ + ‘barracking’ or ‘impudent talk’

23a    Course that’s retained in procedure (7)
ROUTINE: A course round IN

24a    Transported — via Gate 4? (9)
ENTRANCED: ‘Transported’ or ‘filled with delight’ = a gate + a letter denoting the fourth in a series

25a    At no time run two steps forward, showing self-possession (5)
NERVE: Take a word meaning ‘at no time’ and move the letter R (runs) forward two places

26a    American recalled no end of funk (4)
YANK: A reversal of ‘no’ + K (last letter of funK)

27a    Inclined to follow tuna at sea, with no-one in support (10)
UNATTENDED: An anagram (at sea) of TUNA + ‘inclined’


1d    Only bloke without a po? (6)
SOLEMN: ‘Only’ + a bloke minus the letter A = po (as in po-faced)

2d    Millions readily shunned by one of miserable attitude (6)
MEASLY: M (millions) + ‘readily’ with the letter I (one) removed

3d    Worked meaner land than earlier people (11,3)

4d    One exploits Queen engaged in duty with King (9)
EXERCISER: The two-letter abbreviation denoting our Queen inside a duty or tax + R (king)

5d    Top part of converted prison not completed (5)
EXCEL: ‘To top’ or ‘to be superior to’ = a prefix meaning ‘former’ + part of a prison with the last letter removed

7d    Mountain climbing a boost, sidelining thoughts of sex? (8)
PLATONIC: A reversal (climbing) of a high mountain (e.g. in Switzerland) + a boost

8d    Cunningly, airmen landed upside-down within country’s borders (8)
CRAFTILY: British airmen and a reversal of ‘landed’ inside the first and last letters of CountrY

9d    Hold suggestion after party receives cash (14)
DISCONTINUANCE: A hold or a breaking off or a ceasing = a party where recorded music is danced to (5) + a suggestion or subtle difference (6) round cash (3)

15d    Slate data storage — accessed it, but article’s missing (9)
DISCREDIT: ‘To slate’ or ‘to damage the reputation of’ = something used to store data on + ‘accessed data from a storage device’ with the letter A (article) removed + IT

16d    Soprano with little energy intermittently interrupting weak stringed instrument (8)
PSALTERY: S (soprano) and E (little energy) both go inside ‘weak’ to give an old stringed instrument

17d    Hard when you first vote to ignore one European increase (8)
HEIGHTEN: H (hard) + the age when you are first eligible to vote with one letter E (European) removed

19d    Hunter turned in — lot of beds knocked over (6)
NIMROD: A reversal (turned) of IN + a reversal (knocked over) of a room with lots of beds

20d    Induced to include information in story (6)
LEGEND: ‘Induced’ round information = a traditional story

22d    Muscle guy going topless is a nut (5)
PECAN: A large chest muscle + a guy with the first letter removed

Pleasant enough but not taxing enough


  1. dutch
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought this was a really nice puzzle, and it took me a bit longer than I’d hoped. 1a & 2d were last in – I was delaying checking my popes.

    Lovely to see the precision clueing, e.g. ‘intermittently’ in 16d and ‘one’ in 17d.

    I liked it all, brilliant surfaces with plenty of misdirection (yes, I started looking for a mountain for all of 7d – didn’t find one). The ones i TICKed were 18a (he prepares dish – pretty smooth for an anagram), 24a (transported via gate 4), 26a (american recalled no end of funk), 1d (only bloke without a po), 7d (Mountain climbing), & 19d (Hunter turned in..)

    Many thanks Kcit for a great puzzle and many thanks Bufo for a great review

  2. Posted May 5, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Tough enough for me today, and all very pleasant. I was riding along nicely, then hit a bit of a hump and used a little electronic wizardry to get over it.

    The 16d stringed instrument was new to me. 24a is my favourite.

    Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  3. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lots to like in this crossword.
    Nice surface and construction.
    A real pleasure as far as I am concerned.
    Big smile at 7d, 22d and 24a.
    Favourite is 8d.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the review.

  4. crypticsue
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I prefer my toughies to be (a lot) tougher than the inside back pager (I also prefer the back page puzzles to be on the back page) – neither of which was the case today

    I did like the moment when I realised that the po in 1d wasn’t a gazunder.

    Thanks to Bufo and KcIt

  5. Jane
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well – it was more than tough enough for me! Let down by lack of cricket/rugby knowledge and the musical instrument in 16d.
    Think 18a & 7d get my top slots today.

    Thanks to Kcit and also to Bufo – I definitely needed your help with the parsing of 9&15d.

  6. crypticsue
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Elkamere tomorrow

    • Hanni
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 6:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Super happy. His turn in the Times last Sunday and a Friday Toughie too. Goody :yahoo:

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Calm down woman – you’re giving me a sore head with that screaming, hand waving thing (that is one emoticon I certainly didn’t miss). :cool:

        Last Sunday’s Times was a walk in the park and I’m sure tomorrow’s Toughie will be another ‘walk in the park’. He’s not too difficult to work out :whistle:

        • anax
          Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Oh, just as I was enjoying the moment.

          • Posted May 6, 2016 at 12:05 am | Permalink | Reply

            28a … ;)

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted May 6, 2016 at 12:14 am | Permalink | Reply

            I’ve waited a long time to meet you young man. If you’re at the Derby do – I’ll be there.: smile:

            • anax
              Posted May 6, 2016 at 12:18 am | Permalink | Reply

              Oi – less of the ‘young man’. Oh wait, no. Thanks!

          • crypticsue
            Posted May 6, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink | Reply

            Enjoy the moment – I found you as devious as usual – and that’s all I’m going to say here!

      • Hanni
        Posted May 6, 2016 at 12:16 am | Permalink | Reply

        No idea what you lot are on about. Just looking forward to a setter who’s puzzles I like.

    • Gazza
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Permalink | Reply


  7. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We thought this one had a good level of difficulty in a particularly well crafted puzzle. A couple of things that we needed to check like the French company but nothing to cause undue delays. A very pleasant solving experience.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  8. Hanni
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyed this with plenty of smiles inc 24a, 26a, 1d, 7d, 8d, 18d and 22d.

    LOI was 1d,,,just took so long for the penny to drop.

    Favourite is 7d.

    Many thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for a great blog.

  9. Chris
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable with many penny drop moments, and since I managed to get to the end I am very happy. Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  10. Salty Dog
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    2.5*/3*. Much of it felt easier, but the SE corner held me up for a while. 19d was my favourite, but that’s mainly because I love that piece of music. My thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  11. Expat Chris
    Posted May 6, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    I seem to have found this much more of a challenge than any of you! At the end of the day yesterday, I still had eight unsolved clues, mostly in the SW. Not helped there by having Violetta for 16D (don’t ask!!) Then this morning the hold-outs all fell like dominoes. The only thing in my favor is that I managed without any e-help, except for verifying that my (finally) revised 16D was actually an instrument. Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

    So on to the Elkamere now…

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