Toughie 1610

Toughie No 1610 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

After a week off I was looking forward to the challenge of a Thursday Toughie but it wasn’t to be. It was only a minor hold-up in the SE corner that took it above the 1* difficulty mark. I always find it difficult to assign an enjoyment rating to puzzles such as this because a lot of the enjoyment of doing crosswords comes from the challenge. It was good to reacquaint myself with some of you (and with the Railway Porter) on Saturday. It’s a pity I couldn’t make it to the Tuesday gathering as well.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


9a    Confectionery spat out in train (5)
SUITE: A homophone (spat out) of an item of confectionery gives a train of followers or attendants

10a    Effect of ‘Good Vibrations’ succeeded in an encore being ruined (9)
RESONANCE: S (succeeded) inside an anagram (ruined) of AN ENCORE

11a    Heads of Counter Intelligence returning in ‘Department S’ shows (7)
DEPICTS: A reversal of CI (the first letters or heads of Counter Intelligence) inside an abbreviated form of ‘Department’ and S

12a    Society after a site offering means of access (7)
AVENUES: A + the site of a sporting or other event + S (society)

13a    Yashmak rubbernecker repelled, making a case for public cover-up? (5)
BURKA: Hidden in reverse in YashmAK RUBbernecker

14a    Industry verges on inching into terrible decline (9)
DILIGENCE: The first and last letters (or verges) if InchinG inside an anagram (terrible) of DECLINE

16a    Babe Ruth, say, or where he shone (8,7)
BASEBALL DIAMOND: The sport associated with Babe Ruth + something highly prized = the playing area where Babe Ruth shone

19a    It’s racial in the guise of irreverent (9)
SATIRICAL: An anagram (in the guise of) of IT’S RACIAL

21a    Friend without question following termination of contract is acquisitive type (5)
TAKER: T (last letter of termination of contracT) + a member of the Society of Friends with QU (question) removed

23a    Dolly with her head in the clouds may be behind this (7)
TROLLEY: A ******* dolly is someone who works on an aircraft (i.e. in the clouds)

25a    Quiffed couriers were in tears (7)
UPSWEPT: A 3-letter abbreviation for the world’s largest package delivery company + ‘were in tears’

27a    Fashion neon jewellery — it can be dignifying (9)
ENNOBLING: An anagram (fashion) of NEON + large and conspicuous jewellery

28a    Quits during elevenses? (5)
EVENS: Hidden in elEVENSes


1d    Pre-owned Subaru sedan parts (4)
USED: Hidden in SubarU SEDan

2d    Narcoleptic’s breakfast? (6)
KIPPER: A fish often served at breakfast is also someone who sleeps

3d    Rogue Serge ultimately charmed ‘BB’ into boudoir (10)
BEDCHAMBER: An anagram (rogue) of E (last letter of SergE) CHARMED BB

4d    Drawn painstakingly and rumoured to be of value (6)
PRISED: ‘Drawn information laboriously out of someone’ is a homophone (rumoured) of ‘of value’

5d    Idiot Delia got up and attacked (8)
ASSAILED: An idiot + an anagram (got up) of DELIA

6d    This bends the definition: born within the boundaries of Knightsbridge (4)
KNEE: ‘This bends’ is the definition. The wordplay is ‘born (used of a man)’ inside the firstm and last letters or boundaries of KnightsbridgE

7d    Suggestion winding-up will split union in confusion (8)
INNUENDO: The winding-up or conclusion goes inside an anagram (in confusion) of UNION

8d    On-air journalist‘s ‘Wanderers’ broadcast covering East (10)
NEWSREADER: An anagram (broadcast) of WANDERERS round E (East)

13d    Cherub model or minder? (10)
BABYSITTER: A cherub + a model = someone who minds young children

15d    Scotsman in sports car sees unruly small and big girls (10)
GIANTESSES: A Scottish man’s name inside a 2-letter designation of a luxury performance car + an anagram (unruly) of SEES + S (small)

17d    In court this could be an advantage (3,5)
SET POINT: A cryptic definition for a term in tennis for something that may arise when one player’s score is ‘Advantage’

18d    Drawing charmed one employed by Fagin? (5,3)
LUCKY DIP: A tub or container from which one draws a prize = ‘charmed’ + a term for a pickpocket

20d    Relax — there’s old and new entering winter sport separately (6)
LOUNGE: O (old) and N (new) both go inside a winter sport event where a competitor lies on the back on a light toboggan

22d    Warden who shows potential for long-term relationship? (6)
KEEPER: This could be someone who holds on to something long-term. Is that all there is to it? It seems a bit weak to me

24d    Globetrotter spilling gin-and-tonic — bounder! — where studs hang out (4)
LOBE: Remove G and T (gin and tonic) and a bounder from GLOBETROTTER and you’re left with part of the body where some people wear studs

26d    The point of some pachyderms (4)
TUSK: A cryptic definition for a pointed part of an elephant

Not one of my favourite toughies.


  1. crypticsue
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    If only it had been on the back page…… but it wasn’t so 1* ‘Toughie’ difficulty and 3* fun – the latter mainly because 23a made me smile.

    Thanks to PJ and Bufo too

  2. dutch
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Back pager took me twice as long (not a bad thing). The hidden clues (1d, 13a, 28a) were amongst my first in, and unfortunately they suffered from comparison with the super-smooth hidden in today’s back pager (which was closet my LOI) – hardly PJ’s fault.

    There have been PJ puzzles I’ve enjoyed much more, but I did like 9a (confectionary spat out in train), 10a (good vibrations), 25a (quiffed couriers). I wanted to like 3d because of the story, but the start felt a little awkward to me.

    Many thanks PJ, looking forward to the next one, and thanks Bufo

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You have to know about French celebrities to get 3d. Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot had a tumultuous affair once. Made me laugh.

      • dutch
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Yes, I picked up on that which is why I wanted to like it, but I didn’t think “Rogue Serge” sounded very natural.

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

          He’s definitely a rogue.
          He even burned some 500 Francs notes on TV because he was paying too much tax.

          • pommers
            Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

            It was easily my favourite clue!

      • stanXYZ
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

          How do you expect us to grow up normally with this kind of cultural background?

          • stanXYZ
            Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Je ne sais pas!

            But it was banned in England – I think?

            What hope for us?

            Back to Roland Garros.

            • Expat Chris
              Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

              I remember it. Probably played on Radio Caroline.

          • ShropshireLad
            Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

            When I lived in Portsmouth we used to have long weekends in St Malo. In those days we all smoked and it was generally Gauloises or Gitanes when sitting having a coffee in the town square. It was there that I understood why Frenchman have ‘hooded’ eyes as in the pic above. It was the smoke from the d****d cigarettes – not to mention the sore throat.

          • Hanni
            Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

            My ex is French and he was normal(ish). He’s from near Lyon.

        • dutch
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I was waiting for this..

        • Hanni
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Stan…I have spent the evening with this song stuck in my head…even on the phone to Jane it was there. Ahhhhh.

  3. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Definitely on the easier side of the toughie spectrum but a few smiles along the way made the experience enjoyable.
    Thanks to PJ and to Bufo for the review.

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Easier than the Ray T for sure, but for me not unwelcome after my Toughie struggles yesterday. 16A and 21A are my picks. Thanks Petitjean and Bufo.

  5. crypticsue
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sparks tomorrow :yahoo:

    • Hanni
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That is good news. Although he made me laugh at CHAS n DAVE and that is bad.

      • Posted May 26, 2016 at 9:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The Spraks is definitely one to do, Hanni. You will love it. :)

  6. ShropshireLad
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not too difficult but enjoyable nonetheless. I hope we don’t have any airline ‘cabin crew’ commenters as I think that 23a might upset them – and you don’t want that on a long haul flight. I quite liked 24d – but 5d conjured up memories of a rather ‘tired’ Delia assailing the fans.

    Thanks to PJ for the puzzle and to Bufo for his review – was nice to see you and Mrs B last Saturday in Derby.

    Anyway, away for a long weekend – so I hope you all have a good time this weekend as well.

  7. Jane
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Like Chris – and unlike Bufo – this came as a welcome relief after the struggles of the past couple of days in Toughie land. I don’t think that’s the reason why I enjoyed it so much but perhaps it is?!!

    Quite a few that received ‘ticks’ but I’ll go for 23a&2d as my top two.

    As for ‘Je T’aime’ – that brought back some memories………

    Many thanks to Shamus for the morale boost and thanks to Bufo for the review – sorry that you felt so let down by the level of difficulty!

    • ShropshireLad
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Shamus ?

      • Jane
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Oh damnation – I meant PJ of course! Many apologies to him and thanks to SL for the timely prompt. Obviously too carried away by the memories invoked by Je T’aime!!!

        • ShropshireLad
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

          You have mail.

  8. Heno
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Petitjean and to Bufo for the review and hints. I managed to get into it, but didn’t really like it. Ran out of steam at the end and needed 6 hints to finish. I would never have got 25a in a million years.

  9. Una
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Petitjean and Bufo for a fun puzzle and a great review.
    I had stars around 2d,21a, 15d, 13a, and 16a.

  10. Hanni
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    OK not the most difficult PJ but it certainly brought some pleasure.

    Had a bit of difficulty spotting the hiddens but always do. Thanks to crosswordland I now know lots about Babe Ruth so 16a wasn’t a problem.

    Really liked 25a and 13d but fave is 3d…now I understand it…before my time.

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

    • Jane
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Oh dear – you don’t know what you missed……….
      Remind me to tell you sometime!

      • Hanni
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I actually know the song but knew nothing about the history.

        Expect an email and/or call…intriguing. :yes:

  11. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Although we got 3d easily enough, much of the subtlety of the wordplay went over our heads so thanks to the commenters for the information.
    Tanks Petitjean and Bufo.

  12. Salty Dog
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A “wrong envelope job” if ever l saw one. The back-pager was rather more testing, I thought. Anyway, 1*/3* and favourite clue either 8a or 11a. Thanks to Petitjean, and to Bufo for the review.

  13. Posted May 26, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I didn’t find this easier than the back page, but it’s been a long day. I had a complete mental block at 9a so it wasn’t a completion for me, and my shins are a little bruised.

    There were lots of really fun elements in this which I appreciated. Good Vibrations all round. It took me an uncharacteristically long time to get 7d.

    Thanks to PJ and to Bufo.

  14. Jon_S
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    About the same time for me as the back-pager, held up for a bit at the end by 18d. A nice change of pace after the past two tough toughies. 24d was nicely done, I thought.

  15. Wolfson Bear
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 9:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m slowly trying to catch up after a long holiday in the US. I found this somewhat harder than most commentators above. Quite a bit of GK needed that is lacking on my part – I certainly found the Ray T on the back page a whole lot easier but he is one setter I seem to resonate with. Also it seemed to me a similar level to yesterday.’s toughie

    Never heard of either person in Stan XYZ’s clip. Seems a good toughie week to me – I cant imagine Sparks being easy tomorrow which is good news

    Thanks to setter and blogger

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