Toughie 2046 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2046

Toughie No 2046 by Stick Insect

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This was fast becoming another easy solve to match those of the last two days when I suddenly started to struggle on the NW corner. Having finished it I can’t see why I should have struggled. It’s a double pangram but that didn’t help me with the solving

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    I have to enter fight or surrender (6)
WAIVER: ‘I have’ in a fight or conflict = a surrender or voluntary relinquishment

4a    In Paris, the writer and journalist will welcome spring to get stoned (8)
JEWELLED: The French word for ‘I’ (the writer) and a senior journalist round a spring supplying water

9a    Continue to avoid eastern part of Red Sea (6)
REMAIN: RED with the last letter (eastern part) removed + the high sea

10a    Got paper after a hundred died (8)
ACQUIRED: A + the Roman numeral for 100 + 24 (or 25) sheets of paper + D (died)

12a    Run time backwards — that’s unusual (4)
RARE: R (run) + a long time reversed

13a    Hasty Queen beheaded devil (5)
QUICK: A 2-letter abbreviation of ‘Queen’ + the Devil (as in Old ****) with the first letter removed

14a    Surrender offspring in hearing (4)
CEDE: ‘To surrender’ is a homophone of offspring or descendents

17a    Endlessly windy poet’s taking over competition site (12)
DRAUGHTBOARD: ‘Windy’ with the last letter removed + a poet round O (over) = the playing surface for an indoor game

20a    Occupies and destroys ability to influence others (6,6)
PEOPLE SKILLS: ‘Occupies’ (7) + ‘destroys’ (5) = the ability to work or deal with others harmoniously

23a    Around six, Bill is hungry (4)
AVID: A bill (item of publicity) round the Roman numeral for 6

24a    Poet removing king’s watch (5)
VIGIL: Remove R (king) from the name of an ancient Roman poet

25a    Pivot left in chopper (4)
AXLE: L (left) in a chopper

28a    Restaurant‘s pie containing two mystery ingredients, right one appetising at first (8)
PIZZERIA: PIE round two instances of a letter denoting an unknown quantity + R (right) + I (one) + the first letter of APPETISING

29a    Yogi’s follower pushing out two ducks to get in the morning grass (6)
BAMBOO: Remove OO (two ducks) from the name of Yogi Bear’s constant companion and replace them by ‘morning’

30a    When Toughies come out, needing 25% extra time, feeble bewilderment may be heard (8)
WEEKDAYS: Homophones of ‘feeble’ and ‘bewilderment’. Toughies appear Tuesday to Friday but not Monday

31a    Count departs terminus (6)
DEPEND: ‘To count’ = a 3-letter abbreviation for ‘depend’ + a terminus


1d    Result of engagement in battle? (3,5)
WAR BRIDE: A cryptic definition for a soldier’s wife that he met during a time of conflict

2d    Olympian‘s unscrupulous boxing tactic for opening (8)
IMMORTAL: Olympians live forever. ‘Unscrupulous’ goes round (boxes) the first letter of TACTIC

3d    Retreat from former geek’s passion? (4)
EXIT: ‘To retreat’ = ‘former’ + computer studies (a passion for a geek?)

5d    All you need to know is in this new play, I concede (12)

6d    Birds flying from either end of museums (4)
EMUS: An anagram (flying) of MUSE or EUMS

7d    Fat jerk discovered where food is kept (6)
LARDER: Fat used in cookery + the middle letters of JERK (dis-covered)

8d    Cowboy town foreshadows the end of rustler and trickster (6)
DODGER: A wild frontier town of the Old West (***** City) + the last letter of RUSTLER

11d    Host put illicit rum with my round (12)
MULTIPLICITY: A host or great number is an anagram (rum) of PUT ILLICIT inside MY

15d    Losing head, grieve for heron (5)
EGRET: ‘Grieve’ or ‘wish otherwise’ with the first letter removed = a species of heron

16d    Restrain degenerate coming after bishop (5)
BRAKE: B (bishop) + a degenerate or debauched person

18d    Run away, holding eleven billion litres in plastic (8)
FLEXIBLE: ‘To run away’ round the Roman numeral for 11, B (billion) and L (litres) = ‘plastic’ or ‘bendy’

19d    Doris ate cooked starfish (8)
ASTEROID: An anagram (cooked) of DORIS ATE

21d    Strike over hand getting fruit (6)
PAWPAW: ‘To strike out with the hand’ + a hand = an American fruit

22d    In light rain, doctor is fine to go out (6)
FIZZLE: Take a word for light rain and replace DR (doctor) by F (fine)

26d    In abandoned rehearsal sent back crowd (4)
HERD: Hidden in reverse in ABANDONED REHEARSAL

27d    Trick Jack with copy (4)
JAPE: J (jack) + ‘to copy’

I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine. I’ve just spent a few days in Wales and it seemed unnatural for it not to rain.


14 comments on “Toughie 2046

  1. The NW corner was the one that held me up a bit too but the friendly toughie week continues. Thanks to Stick Insect and Bufo

    We had more sunshine in Northern Ireland than we’ve had since we got back but now I’m at work again, it doesn’t seem to matter as much as it might have done

  2. A double pangram with a welcome lack of obscurities – that’s some feat. I thought that this, once more this week, was on the gentle side but I found it really enjoyable. Thanks to Stick Insect and Bufo.
    29a and 11d vied for favouritism with me.

    1. I knew there was something I had to comment on – must remember to write things like Pangram or Double Pangram on the newspaper so when I come to comment six hours after the solve, I remember what I wanted to say

  3. I found things a bit Stickier than previous puzzles from this Insect, mainly due to that NW corner, where I used a few electrons to get unstuck.

    My favourites are 9a, 7d and 11d.

    Thanks to Stick Insect and Bufo.

  4. Just beaten by. 31a mainly, I think, because it is missing a word. Surely it should be “count on” to make sense?

  5. I enjoyed this very much. 1d was my first in, and soon after 1a, and together helped me get established in the NW corner. I found the interlocking longer clues in the central core of the puzzle helpful as well. I did notice the pangram, but I have yet to notice one in time for it to be helpful for me, and today was no exception – that it was a double pangram went completely over my head. I, too, appreciated the helpful lack of obscurities. Many thanks to Stick Insect and Bufo.

  6. Very much enjoyed this one although I did suck my teeth a little over the ‘competition site’ and needed to check on the starfish family.

    I liked 20a and 1d, favourite slot going to the 7d fat jerk!

    Thanks to Stick Insect for a fun puzzle and to Bufo for the blog – still no sign of any rain in Wales!

  7. We also had most trouble with the NW corner for no reason that makes any sense now. Once we had picked, quite early on, that a double pangram was in the offing, we found it quite a help as we kept a lookout for the high scoring Scrabble letters.
    An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Stick Insect and Bufo.

  8. I enjoyed this one and found it trickier than the previous two Toughies this week. I had trouble in the NW and used the hint for 1d which enabled said corner to fall.

    Thanks to Bufo and Stick Insect

  9. Got undone by 17a & 21d as I was rushing to get back to Leeds on train. Otherwise a **.
    Thanks to S.I. and Bufo

  10. Thanks to Bufo for the review and to all for the comments – all appreciated as ever.

  11. Yep, struggled in the NW corner as well after having a pretty easy time of it elsewhere. 2d proved to be the key to getting the rest, with my last in 17ac.

  12. Couldn’t get 17a so thought I’d have another go today: but failed again. Very obvious once the blog read so many thanks for that.

    I also liked 7d and 11d.

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