Toughie 1198 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 1198

Toughie No 1198 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Toro

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

[ Today I am pleased to introduce a gamekeeper turned poacher. You might know Toro from his puzzles in the NTSPP series and now he is trying his hand at blogging. An excellent debut. BD ]

A first outing for me as a blogger, and am I dreaming, or is that a personal message to me from Warbler in the form of 5d? (Well, not just to me of course). A lovely witty bit of setter-solver dialogue there, and I also enjoyed the imagery of 9a and the ingenuity of 17d.

Otherwise more straightforward than I had expected, so I’ll plump for ** for difficulty and *** for enjoyment. Perhaps BD’s breaking me in gently…

But never mind all that – you know the Toughie better than I do. What did you think?

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    For some time wonder about rise being cut (6)
{AWHILE} – A word for wonder or amazement goes around a word for a rise or elevated land minus its final letter (being cut)

5a    Dickens character runs into problem with it (8)
{CRATCHIT} – …from A Christmas Carol. The one-letter abbreviation for runs in cricket goes into a word for a problem or snag, followed by IT from the clue

9a    I just shuffled behind odd characters to join up for martial art (3-5)
{JIU-JITSU} – An anagram (shuffled) of IJUST comes after the odd letters of (odd characters to) JoInUp

10a    Language not quite relevant (6)
{GERMAN} – A word meaning relevant or pertinent, minus its final letter (not quite)

11a    Croc wallowing in black oil that’s obscured greens (8)
{BROCCOLI} – An anagram (wallowing) of CROC goes between the one-letter abbreviation for black and an anagram (obscured) of OIL

12a    Argument about hollow life is unconvincing (6)
{FEEBLE} – A word for argument or disagreement is reversed (about) and followed by the outer letters (hollow) of LifE.

13a    Nitrogen and oxygen, e.g., make the weather (8)
{ELEMENTS} – …when thought of in harsh and vivid terms. What nitrogen and oxygen are examples of in chemistry.

15a    Old artist returns without son (4)
{AGED} – Reverse the name of a famous French artist after dropping the one-letter abbreviation for son.

17a    A wide track turning to one side (4)
{AWRY} – The A from the clue plus the one-letter abbreviation for a wide in cricket and the two-letter abbreviation for what trains run on.

19a    Rigid small boat in Loire, good for going around river (8)
{STUBBORN} – The one-letter abbreviation for small, followed by a three-letter colloquial word for a boat, then by the French (in Loire) for ‘good’ into which the one-letter abbreviation for river is inserted.

20a    MP gets the bird! (6)
{REDCAP} – A term for an MP (not a parliamentarian but a member of the Royal Military Police) is also a country name for a goldfinch that no-one’s used for hundreds of years. (Cue flood of contradictions?!)

21a    Flower, say, planted in imaginary land (8)
{LILLIPUT} – Two syllables that sound like (say) a type of flower, plus a word for ‘planted’ or placed.

22a    Frank is caught with papers (6)
{CANDID} – The one-letter abbreviation for ‘caught’ in cricket, then a synonym for ‘with’, and then an abbreviation for ‘papers’ used for personal identification.

23a    Tees  backs up (8)
{SUPPORTS} – A double definition that is both what golf tees function as, and a word meaning ‘backs up’ or reinforces. The surface suggests the River Tees becoming clogged.

24a    Cherished abstract housed in Oxford University. Quite the opposite! (8)
{PRECIOUS} – not an abstract housed in Oxford University, but quite the opposite – the abbreviation for Oxford University goes inside (housed in) a word for an abstract or summary.

25a    Make stew from leg bone? There’s no time (6)
{PAELLA} – Remove T (‘no time’) from the name of a bone in the leg (the kneecap).


2d    Initially when Harriet is running jewellery makes a vibratory noise (8)
{WHIRRING} – The first letters of (initially) ‘When Harriet Is Running’ followed by an item of jewellery

3d    Inspired one judge to get into decent novel (8)
{INJECTED} – The Roman numeral one, followed by an anagram (‘novel’) of DECENT containing an abbreviation for judge. (I can’t readily think of a sentence in which definition and solution could be swapped with equivalent meaning, can you?)

4d    Sociable former girlfriend’s some treasure! Right? (9)
{EXTROVERT} – A word for a former lover is followed by a word that has come to mean a find or hoard of treasure, and the two-letter abbreviation for ‘right’ (in parliamentary address especially).

5d    You’re probably one of these brave critics with lust almost for upsetting (15)
{CRUCIVERBALISTS} – An anagram (for upsetting) of BRAVE CRITICS and LUS (lust almost) gives a word for crossword enthusiasts – and in particular (if the definition extends to the whole clue) those cowardly, spiteful bloggers and reviewers. (A plaintive reminder to us that setters have feelings too!)

6d    Greek hero accordingly besieges eastern borders of Syracuse (7)
{THESEUS} – A word for ‘accordingly’ or ‘so’ goes round (besieges) the abbreviation for East(ern) and the outer letters (borders) of SyracusE.

7d    Drink in mixture (4-4)
{HOME-BREW} – A type of alcoholic drink (referring to where and how it was made) is a charade of a word for ‘in’ (as opposed to being out of the house) and a word for a mixture or infusion.

8d    Number refuse to accept Catholic inclination (8)
{TENDENCY} – A particular number (written out as a word) followed by a synonym of ‘to refuse (someone something)’ taking in a one-letter abbreviation for ‘Catholic’.

14d    Spooner’s dog advice cheers (6-3)
{TOODLE-PIP} – A breed of dog followed by a word for a bit of advice, when Spoonerised, give a phrase meaning ‘cheers’ or goodbye.

15d    Designed pan shot through with carbon, gold and copper as receptacle for fruit (5-3)
{ACORN-CUP} – An anagram (‘designed’) of PAN is interspersed at different points (‘shot through’) with, in turn, the chemical symbol for carbon, the two-letter heraldic word for gold and the chemical symbol for copper.

16d    Proof of empty dialogue in show (8)
{EVIDENCE} – The outer letters of (empty) DialoguE go inside a verb meaning ‘to show’ (as in to exhibit certain traits or characteristics).

17d    Could it prevent a sort of tainted love being embraced? (8)
{ANTIDOTE} – An anagram of (sort of) TAINTED containing the letter denoted by ‘love’. (The solution is a cure for poisoning that punningly suggests a prophylactic against infatuation.)

18d    Objection put in afterwards, mounting argument against (8)
{REBUTTAL} – A word for an objection or caveat goes inside a reversal of (mounting) a word for ‘afterwards’ or ‘subsequently’, to give a word meaning a counterargument or claim to the contrary.

19d    African people sail with storms when temperature’s dropped (7)
{SWAHILI} – An anagram (storms) of SAIL WITH after dropping the one-letter abbreviation for temperature.

Same time next week? Meanwhile, please do share your thoughts on today’s Toughie below.

21 comments on “Toughie 1198

  1. A gentle, but enjoyable puzzle to ease us into the toughie week.
    Many thanks to Warbler, and thanks to Toro for an excellent debut review.

  2. Many lovely clues in this tuesday tickler,managed it in record time, but needed Toro’s explanation for 24ac-DOH! So thanks and welcome Toro and thanks to Warbler for an enjoyable start to the 5dn’s week.

  3. Usual gentle Tuesday fare, thanks to Warbler and to Toro on his first outing in the blogging chair.

  4. I liked this very much. The only hold-up I had was working out 15D. Once that was in, 20A (which I initially thought was a person’s name) became clear. Many thanks to Warbler, and a warm welcome to Toro.

  5. Thanks Warbler for a lovely though not very difficult puzzle. After all, I was able to do it, all except the spoonerism, which I missed by one letter.I like all the clues, perhaps 18d the most. Thanks Toro !

  6. I shall have a go at this later as I have an easy night for a change. It is very brave of you to begin blogging with a toughie Toro. Well done you.

  7. Re 3d “Some of us are hoping that Mr Hodgson will inspire/inject the team with enthusiasm”

  8. Great crossword and blog. Thanks to Warbler and Toro for the hints of which I needed one – otherwise, fairly plain sailing.

  9. Haven’t posted for a long time but just had to say we thoroughly enjoyed this !!

    1. Yeah – nanaglugglug is back.
      Just for those who don’t know, a long time ago I asked people why they called themselves whatever it was. Her reply was my favourite. It was “Because I am and I do!”

  10. Thanks to Warbler and to Toro for the review and hints. Just couldn’t get on the wavelength, only managed to solve two clues, 11a & 4d. The rest was a complete mystery. Only managed to get 8 more from the hints, had to look the rest up.

  11. A very gentle start to the toughie week but fairly enjoyable, many thanks to Warbler and to our debutant Toro for an excellent review.

  12. Thank you Warbler for an entertaining though not overtaxing puzzle, and thank you Toro for an excellent debut review. I would rate this one at 2*/3* or thereabouts. Favourites were 5a and 14d (although l’m not usually a fan of Mr Spooner’s influence on crossword clues). One minor quibble – 25a is surely a fricassee rather than a stew.

  13. The Spoonerism was the last one to yield for us. Having P_P for the second word and DOG in the clue we convinced ourselves that PUP had to be part of the answer. Eventually sorted. The rest all went together smoothly with lots of smiles along the way.
    Thanks Warbler and thanks and welcome to Toro for an excellent debut review.

  14. I loved this but didn’t find it quite as straightforward as the rest of you did.
    As usual with Toughies there was one little ****** that I couldn’t do – today it was 12a which might have been doable if I’d spelt 6d correctly!
    Too many good clues to pick from so just a few are 21a and 5d. My favourite was 14d – I always love Spoonerisms but this really was an absolute ace and it made me laugh.
    With many thanks to Warbler for such a good crossword.
    With thanks and congratulations to Toro – I thought it was a really good review – I also think you’re very brave!

    1. I dislike Spoonerisms almost as much as anagrams but this was a cracker, I loved it.

  15. This was the first toughie I’ve attempted as the normal cryptic was so easy and I was stuck on a train. Managed to get three quarters of it done only struggling with the south east corner. Even if this was an easy toughie (that sounds weird…), I shall definitely attempt them more regularly.

  16. A lovely Warbler Toughie! 5d was definitely my fave, but there are so many other excellent clues as well. I did like 5a, 9a, 11a, 25a, 15d and 17d.

    I completed this without hints. 14d was my last in. Loved it — when the penny eventually dropped! On going through Toro’s excellent review against my copy, I note I incorrectly marked 13a and 7d as double definitions. Otherwise, all was well.

    Many thanks to Warbler for a delightful puzzle. Many thanks and big congratulations to Toro on this top-notch debut review.

  17. Most enjoyable in every respect. Kept me nicely ensconced over lunch hour and I completely forgot about the marking. Bonus!

  18. Got round to this this morning after the radio and it slipped in like a warm knife in Brie. Lots of smiles along the way, particularly 5d and 14d. Thanks to Warbler and well done Toro, although I didn’t need your help today. 2*/4*

  19. Since Gazza says reviewers are notified of posts, thank you Toro for an absolutely excellent job, so clear and concise, and what a super puzzle to start on, I hate spoonerisms but this one made me laugh out loud!

Comments are closed.