Toughie 2042 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2042

Toughie No 2042 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I had no real problems until I ran out of steam when I reached the NE corner.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Spooner’s named boy, boy in crazy fashion (4,3)
LIKE MAD: A boy’s name and a synonym for ‘boy’ exchange initial letters

5a    Movers exciting Don Quixote? Initially the old man dances (7)
PAVANES: The old man (father) and moving parts of a windmill = slow dances of Spanish origin popular in the 16th and 17th centuries

9a    Havin’ intimate relations in the morning (5)
MATIN: ‘Having intimate relations’ with the G at the end removed

10a    What causes hallucinations? Claim seen to be false (9)
MESCALINE: An alkaloid that produces hallucinations is an anagram (false) of CLAIM SEEN

11a    Host needs to call maiden back, having been cut off prematurely (10)
RINGMASTER: The host of a circus = ‘to call’ + the abbreviation fr ‘maiden’ + ‘at the back of a boat’ with the last letter removed

12a    Woman with upper hand, getting husband for daughter (4)
LEAH: A woman’s name = the upper hand or advantage with D (daughter) changed to H (husband)

14a    Nerdy type teaches Harry new tricks maybe (12)
TRAINSPOTTER: ‘Teaches’ + the surname a fictional character called Harry. Is such a person any more nerdy than a crossword compiler?

18a    Emphasising what a consistently poor batsman is doing? (12)
UNDERSCORING: This word for ’emphasising by drawing a line beneath it’ could also describe what a consistently poor batsman is doing

21a    Put down using language that’s heartless (4)
LAIN: Remove the middle letter from an ancient language

22a    Ghastly and horribly pale? Get suntan relaxing outside (10)
UNPLEASANT: An anagram (horribly) of PALE inside an anagram (relaxing) of SUNTAN

25a    Garment an abomination putting me off — no brand to follow (9)
CRINOLINE: A hooped petticoat or skirt = a 5-letter word for ‘abomination’ with the letters ME removed from the end + NO + a brand

26a    Top layer in old British firm no good (5)
ICING: The layer on top of some cakes = an old British chemical company + NG (no good)

27a    Avenger somehow settled score (7)
ENGRAVE: An anagram (somehow settled) = ‘to score’

28a    Our group, going into shed, stop for a while (7)
SUSPEND: A pronoun representing ‘our group’ inside ‘to shed’


1d    Animals slumbered uneasily without bed (6)
LEMURS: An anagram (uneasily) of SLUMRE (i.e. SLUMBERED less BED)

2d    Chemical’s essential quality featured in report (6)
KETONE: An organic chemical compound is a homophone (in report) of ‘essential’ (3) and ‘quality’ (4)

3d    Book collection and a thousand paintings maybe in extra arty city area (10)
MONTMARTRE: Part of the bible, the Roman numeral for 1000 and ‘paintings maybe’ inside ‘extra’ = a district of Paris where many artists worked

4d    Hoi polloi in marches? (5)
DEMOS: 2 meanings: a Greek word for ordinary citizens/protests such as marches

5d    Law enforcers on ship with soldiers who will make legal claim? (9)
POSSESSOR: A group of people summoned to assist law enforcement + a steamship + soldiers not holding commissions

6d    Container of drug that is nasty, we hear (4)
VIAL: A small bottle usually for medicine is a homophone (we hear) of ‘nasty’

7d    Sweet dog lacking tail with leader at the front (8)
NOISETTE: A nutlike or nut-flavoured sweet = 3-letters that can indicate ‘leader (or number one)’ + a gundog with the last letter removed

8d    Guide quietly leading the girl maybe into outhouse (8)
SHEPHERD: P (quietly) and a female pronoun (the girl maybe) inside an outhouse

13d    Stars appearing after spring — see them on cricket fields (10)
BOUNDARIES: ‘To spring’ + a sign of the Zodiac (stars)

15d    At home with minimal cash, the setter has motivation (9)
INCENTIVE: ‘At home’ + the lowest value coin in many countries + ‘the setter has’

16d    Flourish as scoundrel with dreadful clue one penned (8)
CURLICUE: A flourish (especially in handwriting) = a scoundrel + an anagram (dreadful) of CLUE round I (one)

17d    Recommending a holy condition, I render hymn perhaps (8)
ADVISING: A + an abbreviation meaning ‘God willing’ (i.e. a holy condition) + I + ‘to render a hymn perhaps’

19d    Case of fruit placed outside Roman square (6)
DATIVE: A case in grammar = a fruit round the Roman numeral for a particular square numver

20d    Like a lads’ party journalist organised (6)
STAGED: A word describing a party attended by men only + a senior journalist

23d    City with modern lights, minimal energy being consumed (5)
LEEDS: A Yorkshire city = semiconducting devices used in lights round E (energy)

24d    Mark loses heart in a state of stupor (4)
COMA: Remove the middle letter from a punctuation mark

Once again I went away and missed a Micawber puzzle. I must choose my Thursdays away more carefully in future!

13 comments on “Toughie 2042

  1. I found the top much harder than the bottom although leaving to cogitate while we went shopping did the trick as everything except the woman at 12a wrote themselves in in our return

    Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo

    1. Have you seen The Alice Clock in Fontaine Square? Have you shopped in Sawyers Deli underneath it. There is a pretty good seafood restaurant there too called Mourne’s I think.

  2. A slow but steady solve. Got but couldn’t parse 5a and was beaten by 12a -was it for bridge enthusiasts? Thought 1a contrived but then I thoroughly dislike Mr Spooner!

  3. NW corner held out longest for me. 14a is fast becoming an old chestnut and I didn’t like the Spoonerism. Top clues were 5a and 19d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo.

  4. Doing this online , I began to suspect Giovanni after solving 5a .
    I failed at 12 and 19a .
    I really liked 13d and , most oddly for me , 1a .
    Thanks to Bufo and Giovanni .

  5. That was a fight that I can’t honestly say that I won. Failed on 12a and couldn’t parse either 4d or 17d – it was the ‘holy condition’ that did for me on that one.

    Favourite was 9a -made me smile.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo for the explanations.

    1. Jane 17d has thrown me too, not really sure I understand despite the hint by Bufo, A face palm awaits

      1. Andy, 17d is A + DV (‘deo volente’ meaning ‘if God is willing’ so a holy condition (‘if’ being a condition)) + I SING (I render hymn perhaps).

  6. We enjoyed that. A nice level of difficulty that kept us head scratching but every clue gave up its secrets after a bit of lateral thinking. Just what we like from a puzzle. 19d gets our vote for best clue.
    Thanks Giovanni and Bufo.

  7. Completed this AND parsed it (not something I can always say!). 19d was my last in. Having studied the language in 21a at school, I really should be more alert when I see the word ‘case’.

  8. Seems a short blog today, so I thought I’d add my appreciation for the crossword. I rather liked 5a, but that’s probably because I thought it one of tthe harder clues and it fell into my realms of literature and classical music. Thanks guys.

  9. A good, fairly challenging puzzle. Lots of words I didn’t know it was a pleasure to get from the wordplay, and much fun to be had unpicking the cryptic elsewhere. Finished in something like *** time for a Toughie – never a walkover, but solvable with a little persistence.

  10. I found this another very enjoyable toughie. It was a slow but steady solve for me. The slowness was, in most part, self-inflicted. For instance, I spent far longer than I should have trying to make 14a ‘brain’-something. There were one or two things that I had not heard of, but in all cases the word play came to the rescue. Many thanks to Giovanni and Bufo.

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