Toughie 2065 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2065

Toughie No 2065 by Stick Insect

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

There’s nothing too tricky here today but my enjoyment was spoiled somewhat by the fact that a number of the surfaces (e.g. 23a and 1d) don’t really mean a great deal. Thanks to Stick Insect for the puzzle.

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

[Apologies for the late publication which was due to technical problems]

Across Clues

1a Shrewd dean’s embracing company people in a higher office (11)
ARCHDEACONS: our editor’s playing a little joke because this is pretty much the same as 1a in the back-pager. Stick together an adjective meaning shrewd or cunning and DEAN’S containing the abbreviation for company.

7a Looking at rear, Donne’s animated (3-2)
END-ON: an anagram (animated) of DONNE.

8a Stick fast with Susan, possessing a surfeit with no backer (9)
SUPERGLUE: the diminutive form of Susan contains “a” (as in ’50p a kilo’) and a synonym of surfeit without its last letter.

10a To idolise cat is ailurophile’s end (7)
LIONISE: string together a big cat, IS and the trailing letter of ailurophile. No prizes for guessing that this may be our very own blogging ailurophile’s favourite clue.

11a Girl takes on commander-in-chief of the highest rank (7)
CLASSIC: a word for a young girl goes inside the abbreviation for commander-in-chief.

12a Clever St Martin extracts broken metal (5)
SMART: remove a silvery white metal (broken, i.e. in two parts) from ‘St Martin’. “extracts” doesn’t seem right since it’s the solver that has to do it, not the subject, so “extracting” might be better.

13a Insensitive person vacantly read my cheap novel (9)
PACHYDERM: an anagram (novel) of R[ea]D MY CHEAP gives us a thick-skinned person.

16a Offered protection, the woman left note, apparently ashamed (9)
SHELTERED: assemble a female pronoun, the abbreviation for left, a note from tonic sol-fa and the colour associated with shame or embarrassment.

18a A blue jean occasionally can be capital (5)
ABUJA: start with A and add the odd letters of ‘blue jean’ to get the capital of Nigeria. Hands up those, like me, who if asked for the capital of Nigeria would have said Lagos.

19a A risk is diverted with this greeting? (3,4)
AIR KISS: an anagram (diverted) of A RISK IS.

22a Uncovered Greco paintings for kicks (7)
RECOILS: weld together the inner letters of [G]REC[o] and types of paintings.

23a Food not off, no opening for bitter disgrace (9)
DISHONOUR: bring together a word for food or course, the opposite of ‘off’ and an adjective meaning bitter without its first letter.

24a Repair ships trapped in centre of Sweden (5)
EMEND: insert a word for ships (more often seen followed by ‘of-war’ or preceded by ‘merchant’) between the central letters of Sweden.

25a First of July gone, fly if nice jet’s arranged economically (11)
EFFICIENTLY: an anagram (arranged) of FLY IF NICE [j]ET without the first letter of July.

Down Clues

1d Way of recording gold stamp involves old bug (9)
AUDIOTAPE: start with the chemical symbol for gold and add a stamping device containing the abbreviation for old and a verb to bug or listen in.

2d Sentence in chapter applied to winner, or not? (7)
CONVICT: cement together the single-letter abbreviation for chapter, a preposition meaning ‘applied to’ and a synonym of winner without “or”.

3d Rage follows Sid reversing former confusion (9)
DISTEMPER: a synonym of anger or petulance follows the reversal of Sid to get an old word for a state of disorder (thanks to Chambers).

4d A reduced flavour in jelly (5)
ASPIC: A and a word for flavour or seasoning without its final letter.

5d Madonna is frequently topless without notice (3,4)
OUR LADY: an adverb meaning frequently or at regular intervals without its first letter contains an abbreviation for a notice or poster. I was going to object that the adverb doesn’t necessarily mean frequently only to find that the BRB lists that very word.

6d Betrays sex, surrendering kiss for 50 pound settlement at first (5)
SELLS: replace the letter used for a kiss in ‘sex’ with the Roman numeral for fifty and the abbreviation for a pound sterling. Finish with the first letter of settlement.

7d Immigration site‘s measure is repeatedly light (5,6)
ELLIS ISLAND: I remembered this from a boat trip around New York bay – it’s the place where immigrants to the USA from Europe were processed. Start with an old measure of length (originally linked to the length of the human arm), add ‘IS’ twice and finish with a verb to light or alight.

9d Space commander flew by and circled (11)
ENCOMPASSED: fuse together a word for a space in printing terminology, an abbreviation for commander and a verb meaning flew by or elapsed.

14d Plant weapon concealed by church freemen every now and then (5,4)
CEDAR TREE: a pointed missile is contained between one of the usual abbreviations for church and regular letters from ‘freemen’.

15d In a deceptive way, have little in silly EU supply (9)
ELUSIVELY: insert the short form of ‘have’ which normally follows an apostrophe into an anagram (supply) of SILLY EU.

17d Become less trouble when aristocrat’s around (4,3)
TAIL OFF: a verb to trouble goes inside an informal term for an aristocrat.

18d Old soldier consumes nice bubbly (7)
ANCIENT: our usual soldier insect contains an anagram (bubbly) of NICE.

20d Laurie’s girl discovered crook (5)
ROSIE: a crook or hooked staff carried by a bishop without its outer letters (dis-covered). Laurie here is the forename of an English writer who wrote of enjoying alcohol with the named girl.

21d Philosopher enthralled by trips to Iceland (5)
STOIC: a member of an old philosophical school is hidden in the clue.

My favourite clue was 20d. Do let us know which one(s) floated your boat.

21 comments on “Toughie 2065

  1. 19a I put in ASK SIRI at first since it is a valid anagram of “a risk is” and I have young friends who “speak” to Siri (and Alexa) all the time. Soon found it didn’t work thankfully.

    Nice gentle puzzle today; enjoyed “pachyderm”.

    1. The answer is “a very large mammal, with thick skin”, not a person necessarily. So I didn’t enjoy it at all!

      1. One of the meanings for pachyderm in Chambers is “an insensitive person” which is exactly what the setter has used as the definition.

        1. Fair enough, I didn’t look in Chambers.
          I agree with you about 1d. Leaving out the first two words of the clue would have made it more accurate.

          I agree with Mac totally about 2d. It is like saying that an aircraft is a wheeled form of transport. In fact technically that would be more accurate.

          7a; rear is not the definitive “end”.

          16a; what has “Offered” got to do with it? If one agrees with the convention that the synonym comes right at the end or right at the beginning of the clue. Same problem as 1d.

          Or as Butch Cassidy said, maybe the only rule is that there are no rules.

          So I agree totally with you when you said that some of the surfaces spoiled enjoyment somewhat.

          Perhaps I am too pedantic and intolerant.

          So please keep up the good work, and thank you for putting up with someone a long way behind you at solving these things.

  2. I agree that there are a couple of odd surface readings, that it was nice and gentle and my favourite was 20d too

    Thanks to Stick Insect and Gazza

  3. This was the second enjoyable Toughie this week, and it provided lots of laughs along the way despite some iffy surfaces.

    My first thought on solving 8a was, “surely the answer can’t be a verb” but my BRB put me right. I also found myself referring to Chambers regarding 2d. I don’t think the answer is synonymous with “sentence” and on this one my BRB agrees with me.

    Despite only missing 2 letters, 20d beat me all ends up, which is very annoying as it refers to one of my favourite books.

    I had many contenders for favourite, but the LOL 5d was head and shoulders above the rest.

    Many thanks to Stick Insect for the fun, and to Gazza, particularly for the answer to and parsing of 20d.

    1. As a former criminal lawyer, I agree about 2d. Sentencing follows conviction, so ‘sentence’ and ‘convict’ are not the same. That aside, I enjoyed the puzzle. 7d was probably my favourite.

  4. I noticed that 1across is the same answer for the cryptic and toughie crosswords

  5. I found this another very enjoyable toughie. There were no real hold-ups but it did take me quite a bit longer than yesterday’s. I hesitated with 17d because my on-line version was missing the apostrophe in aristocrat’s. Add me to those with hands up on thinking Lagos was the capital of Nigeria – I don’t think I’d heard of the ‘real’ capital. Many thanks to Stick Insect and Gazza.

  6. I had to work hard to see beyond the dodgy surface reads in this one although, to judge by the comments thus far, others don’t necessarily set so much store by them.

    Needless to say, I found the solve appreciably more difficult than Gazza did!

    To three here were 19a plus 9&20d.

    Thanks to Stick Insect and to Gazza – particularly for the pics that accompanied 7&8a.

  7. Agree with Jane, except that like RD, I thought 5d was the pick of the bunch. I think RD is also probably correct in that passing judgement is not the same as to sentence, and I will also own up to Lagos.

    Many thanks to the Sticky (or Polish?) One, and to Gazza.

  8. A very enjoyable puzzle with a couple of iffy surfaces but most appealed to my sense of humour despite the slur against elephants.
    I’ve never heard of ships referred to as men.
    With many thanks to Stick Insect and Gazza, and special thanks to CrypticSue for the Eccles/Snape recommendation in the Independent – another excellent puzzle

  9. I seem to be the kind of happy crossword solver who notices and appreciates good surfaces, but isn’t usually too bothered if they aren’t perfect. Or maybe one of the surfaces put me in such a purringly good mood from the start that my enjoyment was in the bag.

    Yes, Gazza is of course right about my favourite.

    Many thanks to the sticky six-footer and to Gazza.

  10. 1a gave us a flying start and then plenty of chuckles through the rest of the solve.
    Thanks Stick Insect and Gazza.

  11. Well I finished it ok, but I have to say the amusement of everyone else rather ‘wooshed’ over my head, I am afraid I am not as bright as everyone else!! Blissful ignorance and all that.
    A few I could not parse, so looking forward to perusing Gazza’s hints.
    Weird about both the 1a’s!!
    Thanks all.

  12. Pleased to have completed three Toughies in a row, so not too bothered about the surface constructions.

    Last in, for whatever reason, was 1a.

    Favourite was 13a.

    Thanks to Stick Insect and Gazza.

  13. Thanks to Gazza for the blog and to all for the comments. Good to have the detail on what didn’t work so well. Glad Kitty liked “her” clue though!

    1. Thanks for dropping in Stick Insect – we do appreciate it when setters take the time to do that.

  14. The trouble with 1a was that I couldn’t believe that the same answer would appear in both puzzles.
    Agree totally about the definition for 2d, needed hints to parse 5d, although I bunged it in. No chance of getting 18a although parsed it and wrote it in. Thought 24a should have started with an “a “, but loved 19a- 6d and 21d were also nice.

    My praise to all you clever people who can do these without help.

    Loved the pic to go with 7a by the way!!!

Comments are closed.