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Toughie 1812

Toughie No 1812 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating  – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****


Greetings from London, where I shall raise a glass to your good health.  We have a special Toughie today:

The definitions are underlined in the clues below, and you’ll find the answers inside the HAPPY 100th Warbler! buttons.  The exclamation mark is not an imperative – click only if you wish to reveal all



1a    To spoil fun teen mostly misbehaves to be different (4,3,2,4)
STEP OUT OF LINE:  An anagram (misbehaves) of TO SPOIL FUN TEEn (teen mostly)

9a    Incessant bell-ringing entertains favourite during game (9)
PERPETUAL:  The ringing of a bell contains (entertains) a favourite which is in turn inside (during) the two letter abbreviation for a game (the one where people play with oddly shaped balls)

10a   Swim about naked on lake (5)
CRAWL:  This swimming stroke is formed of a single letter abbreviation for about, a three letter word meaning naked or plain and the abbreviation for lake.  (Those who don’t like on to mean preceding in an across clue might complain here, but I’m yet to hear from anyone who cares about this particular convention)

11a   Finally after failure pupils taking technology do exam again (5)
RESIT:  The last letters (finally) of after, failure and pupils respectively followed by technology of the computer kind (abbreviated)

12a   Push a spike in part making hinged plate (4)
HASP:  The first words of the clue contain the answer (in part)

13a   Tidal flood is a nuisance (4)
BORE:  Two definitions: an eagre and a tedious person

15a   Fresh entrance for old prison (7)
NEWGATE:  This old London prison is formed of fresh or original and a type of entrance

17a   NB: Jaipur strangely has no rule for this language (7)
PUNJABI:  An anagram (strangely) of NB JAIPUr without R(ule)

18a   Busy doing the present? So far! (2,2,3)
UP TO NOW:  Busy doing (2,2) and the present, time-wise

20a   Mum and John playing good game (3-4)
MAHJONG:  Take a familiar term for mother and add an anagram (playing) of JOHN and then G(ood)

21a   Hilary’s time at Oxford (4)
TERM:  One of these is, at Oxford University (as well as Dublin University and Deepdene School), called a Hilary, for reasons I … have just googled.  It’s named for a feast day that falls during that time

22a   A strange variety of lily (4)
ARUM:  Take the A from the clue and add something odd

23a   Diner vehemently grasps bottle (5)
NERVE:  The first part of the clue contains (grasps) the answer

26a   Soldiers left over end of poop deck (5)
ORLOP:  Some of our usual soldiers followed by abbreviations for left and for over and then the final letter (end) of poop take us down to the lowest deck of a ship

27a   Secure old robber’s vehicle (4,5)
LAND ROVER:  An informal term for secure or bag and an obsolete (old) word for a pirate or robber

28a   Having spread out wild roses tear aquatic plants (5,8)
WATER SOLDIERS:  An anagram (having spread out) of WILD ROSES TEAR.  New plants for me



1d    Great! A country that includes most of NUT pension (14)
SUPERANNUATION:  Start with great or smashing and add A (from the clue) plus a state containing most of NUT

2d    Wallaroos are ready (5)
EUROS:  A subspecies of wallaroo is also the name of a currency (ready, as in money).  This was my last in and I had to look up my guess to find the wallaroo connection

3d    Works too hard on public transport (10)
OVERTRAINS:  A charade of on top of or above plus some public transport of the kind I’m relying on today.  This was easy enough to solve, but I stupidly went up a couple of blind alleyways with the parsing

4d    See 19

5d    Spill half of fuel all over the place. Starts to cry (5,2)
FILLS UP:  An anagram (all over the place) of SPILL and half of FUel

6d    Irritation caused by letter having no answer (4)
ITCH:  The full name of a letter of the alphabet minus A(nswer)

7d    Madly adore man with old Spanish lover (9)
ENAMORADO:  An anagram (madly) of ADORE MAN plus O(ld).  Chambers says this Spanish term for a lover is obsolete, so I find it a little unsatisfying that old has to be part of the wordplay rather than part of the answer

8d    Ideal plants for do-gooders (8,6)
BLEEDING HEARTS:  More new flora for me, but what a sight they are!  These plants have a common name which is also a derogatory term for people who make often unwelcome efforts to benefit others.  (It amused me that Chambers defines the term as a contemptuous name for a do-gooder, where the term do-gooder is itself less than complimentary)

14d   See 19

16d   Separate bird with tail pushing up twice in current (5,4)
WATER FLOW:  We need to take a type of bird and split (separate) it into two words, before taking its final letter (tail) and moving it up two places (pushing up twice)

19d   4 & 14 Oddly, I being a dropout, our uni ordered new high table – to mark this occasion? (7,7,3,7)
WARBLER TOUGHIE ONE HUNDRED:  An anagram (oddly) of the following words, once one of the Is has been removed (I being a dropout): OUR UNi ORDERED NEW HIGH TABLE.  I must confess that I entered the answer long before I took a deep breath and started shuffling letters.  Clearly there was some anagramming going on here, but there were a few indicators to ponder and another device present, so it took a little unscrambling.  Friends being in possession of the paper meant that I knew what this occasion was, but as far as I can see, solvers online and on the app would have been left to work it out from the anagram

20d   Objectively I start to make scribbled note as a reminder (7)
MEMENTO:  The objective form of the first person pronoun (I, objectively) then the initial letter of (start to) make followed by an anagram (scribbled) of NOTE

24d   Show’s verbal critique (5)
REVUE:  This theatrical show sounds like (verbal) an appraisal

25d   Regularly supports locality (4)
SPOT:  Alternate letters (regularly) of the second word of the clue


Thanks and congratulations on the milestone to Warbler.  My favourite was 16d.  Which would you tweet about?


21 comments on “Toughie 1812

  1. Not the easiest Tuesday toughie I have seen, but nothing too obscure – must admit I didn’t parse the anniversary clue which just dropped out once a few crossers were in place. 28a was new to me as was one of the meanings of 2d, but both of these were easy enough to guess and confirm.

    Thanks to Kitty, thanks and congratulations to Warbler

  2. As those of us who get the puzzle online are neither told the name of the setter nor given the introduction, I suppose we are meant to divine what is going on with 19/4/14 by extrasensory perception?

    1. The Toughie setter.s name is always(?) available on-line!

      Click on “The knowledge” … then “Inside Puzzles” then “Telegraph Toughie Compilers”

      ps. Congratulations to Warbler for making the ton.

      1. pps. Why the Daily Telegraph cannot put the name of the Toughie Setter on the on-line version remains a mystery to me.

        Probably too hard for their IT department?

        1. I get the Toughie via the Crosswords app on my ipad, not from the Telegraph web site, so mostly I don’t bother to look up the setter. I prefer not to know the identity in advance anyway. In this instance it was a fairly vital piece of information and the editor should have realised it. Mind you if I was editor I would not have allowed the clue in the first place…

      2. So I have to be a member of your little clique to be able to solve the on-line puzzle for which I pay a subscription? I have no wish to know the setters identity nor do I want to know of their esoteric achievement. The crossword is published in an online publication and I should not have to go to other sites to fin.d a solution. Ruined a most enjoyable crossword.

        1. I get the paper, so I had the extra clue (you’d have to be some sort of quiz to know that fact offhand), and I completely agree you MMM – particularly as it’s a real mouthful of a clue.
          Not only that, I am also mystified (as is SXYZ) as to why the online version doesn’t display the same info.

  3. I have to admit, the 19-4-14 was my last one in. The 2d was a bung-in. A fairly benign offering apart from those two.

    **/** for me.

    Congratulations and thanks to Warbler and thanks to Kitty.

  4. Fun but not too testing – except the obscure Aussie critter and the 19/4/14d combo. 2*/3.5*, and my favourite was 1d. Solved either en route from Bristol to Rome, or on the bus from Fiumicino. Now for some of that “dolce vita”! Thanks (x100) to Warbler, and to Kitty.

  5. Sorry to be so late in, Kitty – been out gadding with the girls!
    Always enjoy the natural history Toughies from Warbler – Ms. Willow Warbler by the looks of your pic. The garden is currently awash with 22a’s and my little pond was a mass of 28a’s until I did a fairly brutal clear-out last weekend, so neither of those clues caused any problems.
    Must admit that 2d was a ‘bung it in and let Kitty do the homework’ and the 19,4,14 was reverse parsed as, being a paper solver, I knew almost exactly what the answer would be.
    Think my top three were 13&22a plus 8d.

    Many thanks and congratulations to Warbler and well done to Kitty for a great blog. Hope the adrenalin keeps you going tonight!

  6. A pretty benign offering from Warbler today – 1.5*/4*. We didn’t know the 28a flowers either, but they seemed fairly obvious from the wordplay. The additional information at the top of the grid was a give-away for the 19,4,14 combination so that/they went in early and we didn’t really look back. Favourite was 11a with 9a not far behind.

    Kitty – it’s been mentioned before, but you cannot get the Toughie via the app (not the iPad app, at any rate) – a source of continual frustration when we’re abroad. Yet another fail by the Telegraph IT department.

    Thanks to Kitty for the review and massive respect to Warbler on her centenary offering.

  7. Also a bit late in commenting.
    I always enjoy Warbler’s crosswords – I’m surprised that no-one has yet said that it’s not really a Toughie – suits me!
    Too many good clues to pick any in particular so a random few are 10 and 21a and 2 and 3d, and the 28a (a new one to me) and 8d plants.
    Thanks and congratulations on the 100th to Warbler and thanks for hints and pics to Kitty.
    It’s a very ‘planty’ crossword day today, the two that I’ve just mentioned and the one in the back pager.

    1. As it is a celebration, I won’t say it ;)

      Just on train after lovely day in London. Congratulations to Warbler and thank you to my savoury co-blogger

  8. On-line subscriber so didn’t get the memo about the occasion. First time I’ve ever got the name of a toughie setter before the review! I really enjoyed this except for 2D and I had no clue, so to speak. 10A is my favorite. thanks to Kitty, and congratulations to Warbler!

  9. We also confess that with 19-4-14 we only worked out enough of the wordplay to confirm that we had the right answer and decided to leave the fiddly bits to the blogger. A delightful puzzle as ever from Warbler .
    Thanks and congratulations Warbler and thanks Kitty.

  10. This was great fun, and everything I wanted to say has already been said particularly by Kitty in her excellent review.

    Many thanks and congratulations to Warbler.

  11. Fun, and a fairly easy start to the Toughie week. Congratulations to Warbler, here’s to 100 more! :-)

  12. Congratulations to Warbler, and thanks to Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but very gentle for a Toughie. I was beaten by 2d, needed a bit of Googling to get 21a. Needed the hints to parse 9&11a. Last in was 2d. Favourite was 8d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  13. Sorry to spoil the party, but someone has been getting Diane Abbott to add up the number of Toughies.

    This is only Warbler’s 97th Toughie, after including the total screwup that resulted in the partial release of Toughie 751 on 10th April 2012. To get to 100 the three collaborations in which Warbler took part need to be included, and this was not done when celebrating the centuries of any other setters.

    My figures can be seen here:
    … just reveal the text under “The Setters”

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