Toughie 2033 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2033

Toughie No 2033 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is an enjoyable midweek Toughie with a number of penny drop moments, although when writing the blog I noticed that there did seem to be a largeish number of insert/contain constructs. Thanks to Donnybrook for the entertainment.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.

Across Clues

1a Liberal, for instance, needing former partner (5)
AMPLE: we have to prefix the answer with our usual word for a former partner to make a synonym of instance.

4a Paper hammered in article editor ran (8)
APPEARED: an anagram (hammered) of PAPER comes between an indefinite article and our usual abbreviated editor.

8a Show less restraint in puzzle (8)
BEWILDER: split the answer 2,6 and it means to show less restraint.

9a Ellington initially inclined to throttle pub trumpeter (8)
ELEPHANT: the initial letter of Ellington is followed by a verb meaning inclined or sloped containing the abbreviation for a pub.

11a Is tango right in number for ancient instrument? (7)
SISTRUM: I’d not heard of this which, apparently, is a percussion instrument used in ancient Egyptian religious ceremonies. However the wordplay is very helpful – insert IS, the letter for which tango is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and R(ight) into another word for number or amount.

13a Variant mallard duck assimilates one protected species (9)
ARMADILLO: make an anagram (variant) of MALLARD, add the letter that resembles a duck at cricket and insert the Roman numeral for one.

15a Traders tempt one wickedly in shop (10,5)
DEPARTMENT STORE: an anagram (wickedly) of TRADERS TEMPT ONE. Very good anagram!

18a Went through stoplight rounding car for late trip (9)
REHEARSED: the colour of a stoplight encloses the car used to transport the recently departed.

21a Coin two Europeans invest in school (7)
EDUCATE: insert an old gold coin between the repeated single-letter abbreviations for European. A bit Yoda-like?

22a Tiresome types speak thus in due course (2,6)
AT LENGTH: double definition, the second meaning finally.

24a Border secured in record time — it won’t last (8)
EPHEMERA: a border or edging goes between an old record format and a word for a long period of time.

25a Anaesthetic introduced to little man restrained (8)
TETHERED: insert Crosswordland’s most popular anaesthetic into an abbreviated male forename (which you have to work out from the checking letters because there’s no further help in the clue).

26a Trilby’s first in hat box for this? (5)
TITLE: insert the first letter of trilby into a slang word for a hat.

Down Clues

1d Graduates down in foreign capital upset official (10)
AMBASSADOR: insert arts graduates and an adjective meaning down or depressed into the reversal of a European capital city (as it’s spelt in its own country).

2d Tools and skip used in business (8)
PAWNSHOP: weld together a word meaning tools or easily manipulated people and a verb to skip or bounce.

3d This blows up general tortured by Resistance (8)
ENLARGER: an anagram (tortured) of GENERAL accompanied by the abbreviation for electrical resistance.

4d Measure of extent of Crusaders’ objective? (4)
ACRE: double definition, the second being the strategically important Middle East port which gave the Crusaders a foothold in the Levant.

5d See pressure in rising river’s slipped away (6)
ELOPED: put an exclamation meaning ‘see!’ and the physics symbol for pressure into the reversal of a river (there are several named thus in the UK).

6d On track to sell direct (6)
RETAIL: charade of a preposition meaning on or concerning and a verb to track or dog.

7d Point made about learner being an idiot (4)
DOLT: a point or small mark contains the abbreviation for learner.

10d First note in French newspaper that’s refreshing (8)
LEMONADE: I think that ‘first note’ here refers to the reference note used for tuning musical instruments (if you know better do let me know). Insert the relevant letter into the name of a prestigious French newspaper (2,5).

12d Monkey overturned stuff doctor put in place (8)
MARMOSET: string together the reversal of a verb to stuff or wedge, one of the abbreviations for a doctor and a verb to put in place.

14d Old authors echo identical means to achieve result (4,6)
OPEN SESAME: assemble the abbreviation for old, a word for authors or writers, the letter for which echo is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and a synonym for identical. The definition is rather woolly.

16d Trout supplier disoriented in butchers? (8)
SCHUBERT: the composer of the Trout Quintet is an anagram (disoriented) of BUTCHERS.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d Men designate good works as embellishment (8)
ORNAMENT: knit together the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers, a verb to designate or nominate and the abbreviation for some of the books forming part of the Christian Bible. I don’t know why the last are ‘good works’ – the only meaning for ‘good works’ in Chambers is ‘acts of charity’.

19d 1 Down given leave to include Mike’s cover for 23 (6)
HELMET: start with the abbreviation for the title awarded to a 1d and add a verb to leave (Shakespearean, according to the BRB) containing the letter for which Mike is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

20d Broadcaster first-rate and free (6)
AUNTIE: the letter used to mean first-rate and a verb to free or release. Did the setter miss a trick in not linking this answer with the proprietor of a 2d?

22d Criminally endorse last thirteen letters? (4)
ABET: start with a word used to describe all 26 letters in English then restrict yourself to the last half.

23d Summit leader in crisis (4)
HEAD: triple definition, the last meaning crisis as in the phrase ‘come to a ****’.

I rarely give ticks to long anagrams but I thought that 15a was excellent. I also liked 18a and 26a. Which clue(s) enthused you?

11 comments on “Toughie 2033

  1. Another of those ‘if Sue’s noticed the double unches, it must be bad’ grids. Didn’t hold me up that much really but …

    Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza – I’m sure I’ve seen something similar to 18a in another crossword recently. Don’t ask me which one though

    1. You did, yesterday FT by Neo 16 Vehicle providing last trip in colour went through (9)

  2. Weeeeell, I finished it, but I will admit to having a little electronic help.

    I haven’t heard of the music in 16d, so there is no way I could have got that. I bunged in 22d, but needed the blog to parse it. I’m afraid 14d needed a word solver. “Woolly” is putting it mildly, Gazza.

    COTD is 13a.

    Many thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  3. I found this another very enjoyable solve. I had heard of the music in 16d – in fact I’ve taken part in a performance of it (a story far too long to recount here). All was going well until the SW corner which took me almost as long as the rest of the puzzle combined. The penny drop, and laugh out loud, moment came in 22d which I think is my vote for favourite. I’m sure I’ve been stung before by the, surely strange, nickname for the B.B.C. It was my last in, and I needed all of the checkers and the wordplay for it to come to me (and the double unch didn’t help either!). Many thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  4. I hadn’t come across the 11a instrument before and tried quite a few different numbers before I found the one that sounded reasonable and could check with the BRB. No problem with the Trout supplier though as I think he’s turned up quite recently – lovely piece of music.

    Like Tony, I had to wait for the penny-drop moment to get the parsing of 22d and that became my favourite closely followed by the humorous 8a.

    Thanks to Donnybrook (nice to meet you at the recent S&B) and to Gazza for the blog – particularly the depiction of the strange looking instrument and the delightful music clip.

  5. I really liked 9a. I was trying to link Duke Ellington to a trumpet player for ages. That and 8a were my favourites.

  6. A groan from us when we noted the 16 double unches but they did not cause too many extra problems in the long run. The ancient instrument was new to us but at least it had helpful checkers to work with. Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Donnybrook and Gazza.

  7. The horrible grid didn’t help matters, but this was still fairly straightforward and enjoyable. I had a last gasp tussle with the NW corner, but everything fell at the close in a fairly respectable time.

  8. Superb puzzle I came to rather late having encountered work commitments en regalia.

    A cornucopia of delights, but I have to plump for the brilliant Butchers anagram with accompanying Trout (Quintet) reference.

    Please more form Donny, and a big thank you to Gazza as well.

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