Toughie 2048 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2048

Toughie No 2048 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Hi folks.  I found this an enjoyable puzzle with a bit more meat on the bone than we often get a Tuesday.  No gristle, and much enjoyed.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the buttons.  The exclamation mark is not an imperative — click only if you wish to reveal all.

As usual you may click on pictures to enlarge them or uncover hidden extras



1a    Second chance to see trio, anyplace, anyhow (6,6)
ACTION REPLAY:  We kick off with an anagram which should give us a nice gentle start but which I had my customary trouble untangling: an anagram (… anyhow) of TRIO ANYPLACE

8a    Disprove one posting videos online is making a comeback? Not you (5)
REBUT:  Somebody sharing videos on a popular video sharing site is a You*****.  Without the you (not you) it’s reversed (…making a comeback).  I said no gristle, but I’m slightly tempted to grizzle that the removal of comes after the reversal and so it’s really “uoy” being removed.  I think I can make it work though: the thing making a comeback doesn’t include “you”

9a    Dash it! (9)
HYPHENATE:  Not a double definition but a fun cryptic definition: to add a kind of dash similar to, but not the same as a – or a —).  I certainly said something like “dash it!” when I got this, but may not have used those exact words

11a   Peacekeepers recklessly say help is out of proportion (9)
UNSHAPELY:  An international peacekeeping organisation followed by an anagram (recklessly) of SAY HELP

12a   Run  more? (5)
EXTRA:  A double definition: a type of run scored at cricket is also a word meaning more or additional

13a   Change schools when one goes silent (9)
TRANSMUTE:  Schools or coaches when the Roman numeral one is removed (goes) plus silent or voiceless

16a   Band lisped musical number (5)
THONG:  A musical piece, written as if lithped

18a   Incident, obvious, papers ignored (5)
EVENT:  Obvious or clear with some papers (2) left out (ignored)

19a   Shriek from animal on a rock face, we hear (9)
CATERWAUL:  An animal (my kind of animal) next to (on) sound-alikes (… we hear) of “A” (with its schwa sound) and a very steep rock face

20a   Happen to find ring caught by dog (5)
OCCUR:  The ring-shaped letter and an abbreviation for caught by a (not highly-valued) dog

22a   Joust between two adults good with just uncovered spears? (9)
ASPARAGUS:  To joust between two instances of A(dult), then G(ood) and the inner letters (… uncovered) of just

25a   Almost twenty, part of face finally getting hot (9)
SCORCHING:  Most of (almost) a word meaning twenty (or thereabouts) and a facial feature, followed by the last letter (… finally) of getting

26a   Lover briefly embraces married instructor (5)
SWAMI:  Most of (… briefly) a poetic and archaic word for a lover or suitor (which I dug out from somewhere but did have to double-check) goes around (embraces) M(arried) to give a Hindu religious instructor

27a   Anger shown by celeb upset about cross opponents (12)
BELLIGERENCE:  An anagram (… upset) of CELEB surrounding (about) a big cat cross (not a tion, the other one) and some bridge opponents.  More aggression than anger to my mind



1d    Waylay coach, boarding in the morning, tailed by young officer briefly (9)
AMBUSCADE:  The coach is a passenger vehicle and when operating in the morning might be termed an ** ***.  It’s followed by (tailed by) an officer in training without the last letter (briefly).  (I originally thought “boarding” was a positional indicator but reconsidered when writing this)

2d    This swimmer fighting with cops could be spectator (5)
TETRA:  This tropical fish when anagrammed (fighting) with COPS could form the last word of the clue.  So we need an anagram of spEcTAToR

3d    Unpleasant task fetching up old gold (5)
OCHRE:  An onerous task in which O(ld) is raised to the top (fetching up, in a down clue).  The answer is a slang term for money, but also a colour of a goldish tone, which was my first understanding of the definition before I checked with the trusty brb

4d    Settlement that could be an early one if put under pressure? (9)
REPAYMENT:  When this monetary settlement is put after (under, in a down clue) P(ressure) we have the same type of settlement made early

5d    Bedgrudge standing in for a person on screen? (9)
PRESENTER:  To feel bitter about inside (standing in) “for a”.  I’m wondering what a “bedgrudge” might be …

6d    Isolated in flat, people with time to spare (5)
APART:  Start with some accommodation — a flat (APARTment).  There are some people with the symbol for time at the end of this word, which we are to leave out (… to spare)

7d    Debate targets house undergoing renovation (5,3,4)
ARGUE THE TOSS:  TARGETS HOUSE anagrammed (undergoing revolutionI thought about using yesterday’s Cyanide and Happiness cartoon to illustrate this, but wouldn’t dare …

10d   In revolutionary church, angry vigilantes like a preacher (12)
EVANGELISTIC:  Inside the abbreviation of a type of church, reversed (revolutionary), goes an anagram (angry) of VIGILANTES

14d   Style of humour that could become racialist (9)
SATIRICAL:  An anagram of (that could become) RACIALIST

15d   Without pause announce a singer’s engaged (9)
UNCEASING:  A lurker, indicated by ‘s engaged

17d   Pop could get Oscar, having managed G. Depardieu on a regular basis (9)
ORANGEADE:  The letter represented by Oscar in the NATO alphabet is followed by managed or directed and alternate letters (… on a regular basis) of G. Depardieu

21d   Block  narrow  road (5)
CLOSE:  Three definitions, verb, adjective and noun respectively

23d   On opening, promoted communications device (5)
PAGER:  Our usual short word meaning on or about and an opening or aperture, all reversed (promoted, in a down clue)

24d   Sticky stuff? Be naughty again (5)
RESIN:  Split this sap or its synthetic analogue (2-3), and its meaning changes to: to do naughty things, not for the first time.  We finish with a happy ending


Thanks to Samuel.  My many likes include 9a, 5d, 10d and the refreshing (and clever) 17d, but my favourite for topicality (though almost thirty is more the case here, and yesterday I was trapped working in heat that hit 35 degrees C!) is 25a.  Which got you hot under the collar?


These hints and tips are for anyone who might find them of use (and who doesn’t need help now and then?).  The asides and illustrations are to add a personal perspective and some colour.  The comments section is — or should be — for everyone.  Please do ask if you need anything clarified, have any suggestions as to how the blogs could be improved, or have anything else you’d like to say.


33 comments on “Toughie 2048

  1. Not very tough (wrong envelope?) and very enjoyable completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Joint favourites – 22a and 15d.

    Thanks to Samuel and Kitty.

    1. I don’t think I’d ever claim a “gallop” (not when there are people like Magoo around), but this one for me was certainly within the Toughie remit, if at the gentler end.

      1. A subjective term which I will not define as, for me and in this context, it would require identification of applicable solving times.

  2. Due to my lackadaisical approach to 2d (assuming that removing ‘cops’ from ‘spectator’ left ‘otter’) I gave myself significant problems in the NW corner. Once I’d sorted that out it all came together very smoothly and I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks to Samuel and Kitty.
    I’ll nominate 9a, 16a, 5d and 24d for the gold medal.
    Before reading the hints I never noticed the typo in 5d.

    The hint at 12a (unlike the picture at 16a) is possibly too revealing!

  3. Managed to finish this in, for me, reasonable time, however i cannot parse 6d. I get the “apt” but who are the people using “ar”?

    1. Start with a synonym for a flat and remove some people from it, nothing to do with the abbreviation you have used.

  4. I was on a similar wavelength for 9a, however putting punctuate in didn’t help
    Also spelling 10d correctly would have helped.

  5. Thanks to Kitty, the queen of the Tuesday Toughie blog.

    Needed your help to explain 2d. I never understand this clue construction. What is the technical term?

    Seems more indirect than the most indirect anagram possible!

    1. I think this one is a compound (or composite) anagram rather than a subtractive anagram (though the two are similar). Prolixic explains the difference in sections 9.5 and 9.6 of his Brief Guide to the Construction of Cryptic Crossword Clues.

        1. Ah yes, it’s clear now. There’s a reason why I got it wrong, but it’s not very interesting so I won’t go into details.

      1. Which otherwise translates as – take the word you first thought of, remove the characters you’ve been fighting with, then muck about with what you’ve got left until it resembles something that with luck the BRB will tell you is a fish. Simples!

  6. I really enjoyed this. It was nicely challenging and a lot more fun than the back-pager.

    I too wondered what a “bedgrudge” might be. I suppose the setter will blame the editor for missing the typo and vice-versa. :wink:

    Many thanks to Samuel and to Kitty, whose help I needed to parse 27a.

  7. There are occasional advantages to being stuck back in the dark ages – a reversal of the answer to 8a could well be a person who posts videos for all I know!

    Haven’t come across that term for money before today – ‘filthy lucre’ is the closest I could get to it.

    Oh yes – like you, Kitty, I really want to know what a bedgrudge is – I’ve come up with a few ideas………..

    Thanks to Samuel for the fun and to our Girl Tuesday for the blog – I had to get my eyes adjusted to realise what was going on with the pic for 16a – which was one of my top clues along with 9a.

      1. I know that now but initially I was rather concerned about the bloke on the left!

  8. Dash! Would have done in * if I had nt bunged in ‘expletive ‘.!!!
    Otherwise steady enjoyable solve at challenging enough Tuesday level.
    Liked 17, 19, 22 & 25.
    Had nt heard of the fish, 1d’s ending nor the instructor… But all had to be.
    Thanks Samuel + Kitty.

  9. found time between the football games.

    15d was my last one in – i guessed the answer from the checkers before i realised how the clue worked – what a fantastic hidden!

    Many thanks Samuel & Kitty

  10. We had not noticed the 5d typo until we read the comments here. We did briefly consider a different 3 letter ending for 9a which is also in BRB. Sorting 6d confirmed which option was needed.
    Plenty to enjoy here so we’re happy.
    Thanks Samuel and Kitty.

  11. A good start to the Toughie week. A little tricky here and there, notably for me in the NE corner, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome. Yes, I managed to finish. ;-) Last in 6d, a good clue among many.

  12. Failed in NE…..too much football to watch plus wondered about the bedgrudge.

    I liked 22a best, not least because it’s a veg I like to eat.

    Thanks for the helpful hints.

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