Toughie 1836 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1836

Toughie No 1836 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Kitty

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BD Rating  –  Difficulty ** –  Enjoyment ***


Hi all.  I hope you are well.  Today we have a nice feathery offering from Warbler, with only a few bits of beak and claw to watch out for, suitable for anyone (or at least, anyone who likes anagrams) to have a go at. 

The definitions are underlined in the clues below, and you’ll find the answers inside the According to Grumpy Cat,  most of the answers are, “No” buttons.  The exclamation mark is not an imperative – click only if you wish to reveal all



1a    Puts up with small cat having pains losing energy (8)
STOMACHS:  Bring together the abbreviation for small, a cat of one sex and some dull pains minus (losing) E(nergy)

9a    Particle, when realigned, is right on top (8)
POSITRON:  An anagram (when realigned) of IS R[ight] ON TOP

10a   Short luxurious advantage (4)
PLUS:  Luxurious (5) missing the last letter (short)

11a   Vet’s audition turned out to be accidental (12)
ADVENTITIOUS:  An anagram (turned out) of VET’S AUDITION.  I did have to quickly check that this wasn’t a word I’d made up

13a   Flier, not married, came across strict disciplinarian (8)
MARTINET:  A feathered creature that flies (pictured) is followed by a word meaning came across without (not) M(arried)

15a   First section of play’s initially very entertaining, and brisk (6)
ACTIVE:  Write the first section of a play in an abbreviated form (3,1) and add the first letters (initially) of very and entertaining

16a   Wife one’s to succeed, after husband’s cut out barrier (4)
WEIR:  W(ife) and someone who is to inherit stuff, having lost (cut out) H(usband)

17a   Unadulterated European pulp (5)
PUREE:  Follow unadulterated or clean with an abbreviation for European

18a   Novelist‘s friends in Toulouse (4)
AMIS:  The surname of a novelist or two is also a French word for friends

20a   Two drinks, one knocked over in kerfuffle (6)
RUMPUS:  A drink which you may drink and then (to) drink, both of which are three letters, and one of which (the second) is reversed (knocked over)

21a   Work forwards and backwards then place face to face (8)
OPPOSITE:  An abbreviation for a (usually musical) work written first forwards then backwards and followed by a word meaning place

23a   Empty bagel served with minced pig and duck for part of breakfast? (5,7)
BLACK PUDDING:  The outer letters of bagel and an anagram (minced) of PIG AND DUCK

26a   Spanish river‘s swirling bore (4)
EBRO:  An anagram (swirling) of BORE.  I had to check this river, but I suspect it’s a crossword regular

27a   Having independent spirit in exam is creative (8)
ORIGINAL:  I(ndependent) and a spirit drink (our second today, and we’re still only on the acrosses!) inside one of crosswordland’s favourite types of exam

28a   In a state of excitement tie 25 with ecstasy at this time of year (8)
YULETIDE:  The answer to 25d is anagrammed (in a state of excitement) along with TIE and E(cstasy)



2d    Allow gallery to adopt different role (8)
TOLERATE:  An art gallery is to contain (to adopt) an anagram (different) of ROLE

3d    Right! I can stop him, with manipulation, having a hatred of mankind (12)
MISANTHROPIC:  Another anagram (with manipulation): of R[ight] I CAN STOP HIM

4d    Long for start of night? That’s cowardly (6)
CRAVEN:  A charade of long for and the first letter (start) of night

5d    Fresh  pair of horses (4)
SPAN:  Two definitions, the former only familiar to me when preceded by spick and

6d    East-ender’s house, say, might not have one (8)
ASPIRATE:  An East-ender might drop this from words of which house is but one example (say)

7d    Cabriolet is full of vivacity (4)
BRIO:  The first bit of the clue contains (is full of) the answer

8d    Start to grill new slices of bacon having no recipe. We’ll use these when they’re served (8)
GNASHERS:  The initial letter of (start to) grill, N(ew), and some bacon slices having trimmed off (having no) R(ecipe)

12d   During exercises in which this person falls down, fellow is obstinate (12)
INTRANSIGENT:  During, (2), and exercises or drills in which the first person pronoun has been moved to the end (falls down, in a down clue), after which comes a fellow or man

14d   Sort out old trunk (5)
TORSO:  An anagram (out) of SORT plus O(ld)

16d   What you might be using to help solve this (8)
WORDBOOK:  I can’t find anything cryptic about this – it’s something which may be used as an aid in solving crosswords.  (Probably not the one pictured below.)  I did indeed actually have to check in one of these that this was a real word, as I wasn’t sure, and had also been wondering if the answer could instead be a word with a different third letter

17d   Delay office party’s beginning to hour after noon (8)
POSTPONE:  Office (4), the first letter of party (party’s beginning) and the hour of the clock after midday

19d   Overcommitted playing for Man United? (2,3,3)
IN THE RED:  Owing some money or how you might be clad if you’re playing for the team which was described chucklesomely in the last Indy puzzle by Eccles.  (25a.  To try the puzzle, click here; to skip straight to the review, click here.  To find out which of the clues featured in another newspaper’s crossword roundup, and why, click here)

22d   Kind of scream from mate holding on to edge (6)
PRIMAL:  A mate or chum containing (holding on to) an edge

24d   Sarcastic answer given by hero (4)
ACID:  A(nswer) and a medieval Spanish hero

25d   Almost boring year, as expected (4)
DULY:  Almost all of a word meaning boring or plain plus Y(ear)


Thanks to Warbler.  I liked the drinks and the breakfast items.  Which did you find tasty, and did anything ruffle your feathers?



24 comments on “Toughie 1836

  1. I guessed that it was Warbler (Honest Guv). The DT website still hasn’t revealed the name of today’s Toughie setter.

    Maybe Kitty has inside information – from the inside of the paper?

      1. I still do not understand why the DT cannot simply put the name of the Toughie setter on the top of the on-line version – they always manage to put it at the top of the newspaper version.


  2. Mostly pretty straightforward, though I did take a while to see 5d and 6d, and I’m not sure I’d come across 11a before. One pedantic quibble – 8d still has one of its two recipes?

    Thanks to Kitty and Warbler

  3. Light fare for a Toughie, but very enjoyable. Like Kitty I thought 16d was a bit strange. 6d was my last one in, and 20a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Warbler and to Kitty.

  4. Not as much wildlife in this one as we normally get from Warbler but nonetheless enjoyable.
    Struggled a bit in the NE – both 9a & 5d took a while to surface and, like Kitty, I had to check on 11a.
    As others have commented, 16d seemed rather strange – not something I’ve come across before today.

    Favourite for me was the old trunk at 14d.

    Thanks to Warber and to our Girl Tuesday – nice pic of the House Martin, we’ve got quite a number of them about at the moment.

  5. Wordbook is a Microsoft computer app, so maybe that’s the ‘cryptic’ connection.

    Nice straightforward start to the Toughie week and I don’t mind that at all. 17A and 23A tickled my fancy. Thanks Warbler and Kitty.

  6. Most of it was straightforward for me too. Thank you Kitty for those lovely pictures of Dennis’ partner in crime. Still makes me smile and transports me to my Dandy and Beano filled childhood.

  7. We also had no idea who the setter for this one might be, so just now we have had a look at the Telegraph puzzles site where it now lists Samuel as the setter for Toughie No 1836. Suspect that should read 1837 for Samuel and Warbler has been left off the list.
    Had hoped for enlightenment on what we were missing on 16d as felt sure there must have been a cryptic element somewhere, perhaps it is the App that Expat Chris mentions.
    It all went together more quickly than the back-pager for us with plenty of smiles along the way.
    Thanks Warbler and Kitty.

  8. Didn’t know who the setter was!

    Favourites were the particle in 9a, two drinks in 20a, and the cliffhanger scream in 22d.

    Many thanks warbler and kitty

  9. I solved this more quickly than a pack pager.Very enjoyable.
    I’ll pick 10a or else 20a and 22d.
    Thanks Kitty , once again , and Warbler .

  10. Solved at a canter. Like many, we felt 16d was an odd offering. 2*/3* here.

    Liked your picture for the aforementioned 16d, Kitty. There is an iPad app for the Profanisaurus which is a great thing to surf through now and then – very entertaining. I showed it to an American lad a few years ago – he couldn’t get over how extremely non-PC it was, but laughed uproariously anyway.

    Thanks Kitty and Warbler.

  11. I really enjoyed this one. The little twists are a welcome deviation and made me smile with a wrinkled nose.
    Thanks to Warbler and to Kitty. ***/*****

  12. I got stuck in the NE corner. In 5d, didn’t know the horse part of the double meaning and I’m not quite convinced by the synonym for fresh without its partner. I also had PRELATIC for 5a – an anagram of Particle and a prelate is right on top of the church hierarchy. In the end I was disappointed not to have finished.

  13. Just into 2* time, but not much to savour. No particular favourite clue, I’m afraid. Thanks to Warbler and Kitty.

  14. For the most part solved at the same rate as the back pager, before I got to 5d and 6d where I was totally mystified. The former has two pretty obscure definitions, it must be said…

  15. Thanks to Warbler and to Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but I’m sure it was on the gentle side for a Toughie, as I managed to complete it :-) 18a made me laugh. I thought 1a was very good, but my favourite was 8d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  16. I didnt find this tough it took me the same time as the back page, i found them both pretty much the same, the only quibble being span i agree with the spick and comment and i thought the hero was el cid but perhaps it is simply cid? Not sure, but for me not true toughie material, enjoyable nevertheless

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