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Toughie 463

Toughie Cryptic No 463 by Warbler

Bits and Pieces

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Too many bitty clues for my liking, but not a bad puzzle from Warbler.

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7a    Could be Scorsese remake of torrid epic’s lacking heart (8)
{DIRECTOR} – Scorsese here is a definition by example, which is signalled by some, but not all, setters with a question mark – it’s a straightforward anagram (remake)of TORRID E(PI)C

9a    Murmured comments about singular fateful day (6)
{ASIDES} – these murmured comments are a charade of A(bout), S(ingular) and a fateful day in March for Julius Caesar

10a    Essentially magistrates in court are rigorous (6)
{STRICT} – presumably this is a charade of magi(STR)ates I(n) and C(our)T to give a synonym of rigorous – Chambers gives I’ as form of IN

11a    Rest? The British are working! (8)
{BREATHER} – this rest break is an anagram (working) of THE BR(ITISH) ARE

12a    Be quiet not loud. He’s gone bananas (4,4,6)
{HOLD ONE’S TONGUE} – a phrase meaning to be quiet is an anagram (bananas) of NOT LOUD HE’S GONE

15a    Nymph featuring intermittently in epic by Hugo (4)
{ECHO} – the nymph deprived of speech by Hera in order to stop her chatter, and left able only to repeat what others had said, comes every third letter (intermittently) of EpiC by HugOwhat do you think of this construct?

17a    Dish served without right dressing (5)
{SAUCE} – remove the R(ight) from the end of a dish to get this dressing

19a    What could become an increase in relaxation (4)
{THAW} – an anagram (could become) of WHAT gives an increase in relaxation

20a    As most women are with overlapping fronts! (6-8)
{DOUBLE-BREASTED} – a part-cryptic double definition – I’ll resist the temptation to provide a picture for the first definition!

Changed my mind!  Thanks Digby

23a    Conclude leaders of National Animal League are very annoying (8)
{INFERNAL} – a word meaning to conclude, in the sense of to deduce, is followed by the initial letters of N(ational) A(nimal) and L(eague) to get an adjective meaning very annoying

25a    Get together to fight closure of office (6)
{SCRAPE} – to get together or collect by laborious effort is a charade of to fight and the last letter of (office)E

27a    Does it bring luck if mother rests here? (6)
{MASCOT} – this bringer of good luck if split (2’1,3) could at a stretch mean somewhere mother rests

28a    Most of ships returned to protect front (8)
{VANGUARD} – reverse most of the whole of a nation’s ships-of-war and add a word meaning to protect to get those who lead the way


1d           Extreme elements in War Department seize the Italian flag (4)
{WILT} – put the outside letters (extreme elements) of War DepartmenT around the Italian definite article to get a verb meaning to flag

2d           Flouted condition raised in act (6)
{DEFIED} – a word meaning flouted is formed by putting IF (condition) reversed (raised) inside an act

3d           Number leaving to light up after good food (4)
{GRUB} – remove N(umber) from the end of a word meaning to light which is then reversed and placed after G(ood) to get some food

4d           Look admiringly at heads of blossoming orchids from here perhaps (6)
{GAZEBO} – a word meaning to look admiringly at followed by the initial letters (heads) of Blossoming Orchids results in a summerhouse giving a commanding view of the landscape

5d           Following Southern Hungary’s defection turbulent high strait is impenetrable (8)
{AIRTIGHT} – an anagram (turbulent) of HIGH STRAIT  after removing S and H (following Southern Hungary’s defection) gives an adjective meaning impenetrable

6d           Slow down in river when treacle’s poured in (10)
{DECELERATE} – a word meaning to slow down is generated by putting an anagram (poured) of TREACLE inside a river

8d           UN state obliterated disease (7)
{TETANUS} – an anagram (obliterated) of UN STATE gives a disease

13d         Without a hint of toughness old Clint acted comically in Western (10)
{OCCIDENTAL} – an anagram (comically) O(ld) CLIN(T) ACTED without a T (hint of Toughness) gives a word meaning Western

14d         Young bird, quarrelling, lost jewellery (5)
{SQUAB} – a young pigeon or rook is generated by dropping BLING (jewellery) from the end of a synonym for quarrelling – I’m in the process of setting up a page for The Mine about animals (homes, male, female, young, collective nouns, adjectives and sounds): you can see a preview here

16d         As a result of splitting up Northern couple ultimately lose wealth (8)
{OPULENCE} – an anagram (as a result of splitting up) of N(orthern) COUPLE and E (ultimately losE) gives a word meaning wealth

18d         Initially Forster expresses hesitation about US poet (7)
{EMERSON} – a charade of the initials of the author of A Passage to India, ERS (expresses hesitation) and ON (about) gives a US poet who evolved the concept of Transcendentalism

21d         Extent of English in Lithuania’s close to zilch (6)
{LENGTH} – a word meaning extent or distance is built up from ENG(lish) inside LT (the IVR code for Lithuania) and finally H (close to zilcH)

22d         Watery grave lacks one (6)
{SEROUS} – a rather unusual word that means watery is found by removing I (one) from a synonym of grave or important

24d         In Bulgaria ready to finally pay tax (4)
{LEVY} – a charade of ready money (cash) in Bulgaria and Y (finally paY)

26d         Drink up too much in Bordeaux (4)
{PORT} – if you reverse this drink you get the French (in Bordeaux) for too much – I suppose you could read this as “a drink when up is the French for too much”, but I don’t like it as it suggests that the drink should be reversed to get the French word

I didn’t rate this puzzle very highly as there were too many clues with the “cheap” technique of using odd bits of words (first of, last of etc) – a few would have been  fine.

17 comments on “Toughie 463

  1. Excellent crossword, enjoyed every moment
    All clues were favourite apart from 15a which I thought was a bit rain affected.
    Thanks to Big Dave and Warbler

  2. Thanks Warbler, a very entertaining crossword if not too taxing. I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks BD for the review, sorry about the missed opportunity to outdo Gazza but some of the posters yesterday will be pleased I suppose.

  3. An enjoyable and (comparatively) easy start to the toughie week. Nothing much to moan about except for 26d, where I needed a checking letter to confirm which way round (although I suppose the other offer might not be in Chambers).
    Thanks to Warbler, and to BD.

  4. Possibly a bit easy for a ‘toughie’ with no really challenging clues that I could see. Still it is only Tuesday so no doubt things will get more difficult as the week progresses.

    I didn’t like 20a very much.

  5. Really enjoyed this workout. Best was 12a as it had misdirection but I laughed when the penny dropped. Also liked 4 5 14[ kept trying to put ring in and forgot about the bling thing] 17 18 24. I am still waiting for reaction to 20. Come on BD!!

  6. Very enjoyable start to the week, although I am waiting for the downs to be posted so I can get a clue to my last unsolved (21d). It’s going to be so blatantly obvious but I just can’t see it. Have found looking at the hints really helpful, wouldn’t have known until recently how “essentially” would help in 10a lead to the “str”, so thanks to all reviewers for hints and tips, always welcomed. Thanks Warbler and BD

    1. 21d – The definition is ‘Extent’ constructed by an abbreviation for English inside the IVR for Lithuania, and followed by the last letter (close) of zilch.

        1. Which seeing as 25a is a similar construct and I got straight away makes me feel somewhat daft now!! Oh well, we live and learn

  7. I think 15a works OK – it clearly indicates a “missing letter construct”, and not too difficult to solve from there. Agree with Jezza on 26d – it was the first clue that I inserted – backwards as it turns out!

    1. Re 26d – I waited until I got one of the across clues before putting it in, but if I hadn’t, I would have made the same mistake!

  8. A pleasant start to the Toughie week.
    I would agree with Jezza re 26d, assuming that the French word would not be in most Dictionaries.
    I also don’t mind 15a as intermittently can mean every third etc so long as the interval is consistent.
    Thanks to BD and to Warbler

  9. I too thought this most enjoyable, partly because everything fell into place relatively quicker than in the Cryptic. My favourite of many good clues was 19a, mainly because it was a classic example of a D’Oh!. Thanks to Warbler and BD.

  10. Thank you BD for not supplying an illustration of overlapping-fronted wimmin – we see enough of them in Burgess Hill on Saturday morning.
    I like 22d for teaching me a word I’d never heard of, but apart from that it was a bit sloppy.

  11. I got SHROUD for 22d (you once buried people at sea sewn into a hammock, as opposed to a lined coffin) but BD’s solution is clearly correct.

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