Toughie 2037 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2037

Toughie No 2037 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Shamus for an enjoyable workout. I thought it was fairly gentle on the whole but, as is usually the case for me, I had most trouble sorting out the two long anagrams.

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

Across Clues

1a Hospital remains in mess (4)
HASH: the abbreviation for hospital and some powdery remains.

3a Drive shown by politician with energy in middle of bill (5)
IMPEL: abbreviations for our usual elected politician and energy go inside the middle letters of ‘bill’.

6a Starting point in military headquarters (4)
BASE: double definition with the first meaning foundation. The two meanings don’t seem to be vastly different.

8a Perfect gin drunk on train — source of refinement? (9,6)
FINISHING SCHOOL: string together a verb to perfect or complete, an anagram (drunk) of GIN and a verb to train.

9a This person is confronting duo causing damage (6)
IMPAIR: a contracted form of ‘this person is’ (from the setter’s viewpoint) and a synonym for duo.

10a Writer about sport through agency of an SA citizen (8)
PERUVIAN: a writing implement contains the abbreviation for a team sport and a preposition meaning ‘through the agency of’.

11a Player’s note requires being outside, as a whole (8)
ENTIRETY: the player here is a musician so we need a musical note with a being or independent body outside it.

13a Brother accepted case in error as go-between (6)
BROKER: assemble an abbreviation for brother, an informal response signifying acceptance or agreement and the outer letters of ‘error’.

15a Lack of progress when one’s tailing good person (6)
STASIS: a conjunction meaning when, the Roman numeral for one and the ‘S all follow the abbreviation for a good or holy person.

17a Proper due’s given out about French painter largely (8)
DECOROUS: an anagram (given out) of DUE’S contains all but the last letter of the name of a French landscape painter (not one I knew previously).

19a Recognise force shown by expert with unusual pout (4,2,2)
FACE UP TO: solder together the abbreviation for force, a synonym of expert and an anagram (unusual) of POUT.

21a Table for writing in office department (6)
BUREAU: triple definition, with an example of the last being the FBI.

22a Cafeteria TV folk renovated in distinctive manoeuvre (8,4-3)
VERTICAL TAKE-OFF: an anagram (renovated) of CAFETERIA TV FOLK. This was my last answer and I needed all the checking letters as the definition is not a great deal of help.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23a Recall tennis player among friends in the distance (4)
AFAR: reverse how a famous Spanish tennis player may be addressed by his friends.

24a Famous refusal to a former PM? (5)
NOTED: split the answer 2,3 to get the answer given by the UK electorate in 1974.

25a Expression of first person’s will in detached community (4)
ISLE: this is a homophone of the contracted form of a statement of intention in the first person. Since lots of these are uninhabited I’m not sure that ‘community’ applies.

Down Clues

1d Male expertise falls short about beginning to train for bulk (9)
HEFTINESS: a male pronoun and a word meaning expertise or subtlety without its last latter but with the first letter of train inserted.

2d Playing area in light fall of rain as it were? (7)
SANDPIT: spell out (1,3,3) a word for a light fall of rain.

3d Working together like parachutists? (2,7)
IN HARNESS: a phrase describing parachutists when they are strapped into all their gear.

4d A new operation put into work in full array (7)
PANOPLY: insert A, N(ew) and the short word for an operation into a verb to work or be engaged in.

5d Hello’s error to feature someone with no star quality? (5)
LOSER: hidden in the clue.

6d Two auxiliaries after taking a cut promise to repay rupees? It’s good manners (9)
BEHAVIOUR: start with two auxiliary verbs (the second without its final letter) and add a promise to repay and the abbreviation for rupees.

7d Men occupying raised platform hoarding (7)
STORAGE: the abbreviation for rank-and-file soldiers goes inside a raised platform.

12d One’s paid to check popular area’s sheltered parking (9)
INSPECTOR: stick together an adjective meaning popular or trendy and an area or zone containing the abbreviation for parking.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13d Endorse senior business group offering rigid product (9)
BACKBOARD: charade of a verb to endorse or champion and the controlling group in a company.

14d What a dealer might do as change for executive body? (9)
RESHUFFLE: double definition, the first what a card player might do prior to dealing.

16d One who takes drink in staggering feat (3,4)
TEA LEAF: we’re in the world of Cockney rhyming slang. Insert an alcoholic drink into an anagram (staggering) of FEAT.

17d Small amount of liquid in sink needing kind of service (7)
DROPLET: knit together a verb to sink or fall and the sort of service that allows the server to have another go.

18d Oppressive single Republican, old American (7)
ONEROUS: a synonym for single and then abbreviations for Republican, old and American.

20d Muscle shown by a Northern nut (5)
PECAN: an informal term for a chest muscle followed by A and the abbreviation for Northern.

The clues on my podium today are 23a, 24a and 2d. Which clue(s) brought a smile to your face?

15 comments on “Toughie 2037

  1. Very enjoyable and reasonably straightforward completed at a (Toughie) fast gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 8a, 15a, 1d, and 3d – and the winner is 15a.

    Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  2. I found this a very enjoyable puzzle – the more so in that I was able to finish relatively easily, but I do agree that this was on the gentler side of tough. I was pleased with myself in that I recognized the cockney slang in 16d, but in truth, I only did so long after I had decided on the answer from the word play and checkers. I hesitated with 6a, like Gazza, thinking that the definitions were not really that different, and wondered if perhaps I had missed something more subtle. Many thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  3. A just above simple solve though I must admit I had an “l” at the end of 11a instead of the required “t”.
    My favourites? 10a and 22a because of Gazza’s illustrations.
    Talking of those, where did he get the one of Rafa? Made him look clean and wholesome for a change! Usually he looks in need of a bit of TLC.

  4. Gentle but enjoyable puzzle from Shamus – just needed to look up the French artist, find a word for 1d that contained a ‘T’ and get enough checkers in place to sort out the 22a anagram.

    Favourite was probably 24a.

    Thanks to the twinkly-eyed one (sorry you didn’t make it to the recent S&B) and to Gazza for the blog and the reassurance that I wasn’t alone in not knowing the painter!

  5. Yes, my vote is for 8A in an entertaining romp.

    I always like the alcoholic ones for some reason.

  6. Took your advice Senf and had a go at this .
    Great! Finished easily and favourite among many great clues was 10 a.
    Thanks for the push!

  7. Light but great fun.

    I didn’t know the French painter and even with Gazza’s explanation I still don’t understand the parsing of 2d.

    Many thanks to Shamus and to Gazza.7

      1. Thanjs Gazza. That was al I could think of but it seems very weak. There doesn’t seem to be any indicator telling you that “spit” needs to split and what part does “as it were” play in the wordplay?

        1. One of the meanings for ‘as it were’ in the BRB is ‘in a kind of way’ so the answer is a way of writing spit. I liked the clue a lot.

  8. We made a bit of a guess about the tennis player’s nickname but with both checkers in it was not difficult. Fairly gentle with lots of smiles sums it up for us.
    Thanks Shamus and Gazza.

  9. Managed it with a bit of help from the blog.
    1d and 7d and10a needed Gazza’s help so thanks for that. I imagine the pic of Mr Nadal will have the same people swooning as went dolally over Aidan Turner in Poldark.
    Lots of dashes and circles of the fodder got 22a eventually but I agree the clue could have led this relative toughie virgin towards the answer a bit better.
    12s and 19a my joint COTD. Thanks to Shamus too for the mental exercise too.

  10. */** for difficulty here, but no complaints, a good time was had throughout. 25ac I didn’t really understand but didn’t really think through either, so thanks for the blog. Last in 11ac, mostly because my initial stab involved an L instead of the final T.

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