Toughie 2152 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2152

Toughie No 2152 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

After yesterday’s pretty tough start to the new year we’re back on gentler ground today with an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Donnybrook.

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

Across Clues

7a Grammatical device that one encounters in Hansard? (8,6)
REPORTED SPEECH: a member’s contribution to a parliamentary debate that may be read in Hansard.

9a Calm cop discomposed by cool criminal partner (10)
ACCOMPLICE: an anagram (discomposed) of CALM COP followed by a verb to cool.

11a Bruised and cut on the tongue (4)
SORE: allegedly this is a homophone (on the tongue). (my lips are sealed).

12a Runner outside failing to finish (3)
SKI: one’s external organ without its last letter.

13a Ms Principal seeing agent’s coming round (10)
SPYMASTERS: a synonym for principal with a secret agent (plus the ‘S) going round it. Clever clue and nothing to do with the Dallas actress who first came to mind.

16a Man one to be flayed soon (4)
ANON: flay (i.e. remove the skin from) ‘man one’.

17a Enigmatic alumnus tested outside clubs (7)
OBSCURE: start with the abbreviation for a former pupil and add an adjective meaning tested or guaranteed containing the abbreviation for the card suit clubs.

18a What’s kept in hillsides and vales is delightful! (7)
WELCOME: a reference to the hospitality of the Welsh (who, if all goes to plan, will be saying hello to the Rugby World Cup later this year).

20a Shakespearean prince with love that could make one light-headed? (4)
HALO: a Shakespearean prince and the letter resembling a love score at tennis.

21a Irish woman can start to gossip — that’s tiresome (10)
IRRITATING: string together the abbreviation for Irish, a woman’s name, a metal can and the starting letter of gossip.

23a Large American lorry stuck in Brighton (3)
RIG: hidden in the clue.

24a Hawk-headed god entertains explosive Titaness (4)
RHEA: the Egyptian sun god, usually depicted with a falcon’s head, contains the abbreviation for an explosive. The Titaness is a mythological goddess of female fertility.

25a Dissent from champion hugging the heartless mistress (10)
HETERODOXY: a champion or brave man contains ‘the’ without its middle letter. Finish with an archaic word for a mistress.

28a Such suits as may look well on Amazon? (6-8)
SINGLE-BREASTED: cryptic definition. Amazon here is not the low-tax-paying mail order company but one of a tribe of fierce woman warriors in Greek mythology who were reputed to have cut off one of their body parts to enable them to use a bow and arrow more effectively.

Down Clues

1d British caprice ordered manifestation of armed power (7,7)
TRICEPS BRACHII: an anagram (ordered) of BRITISH CAPRICE.

2d Surgery, evidently reversible, seen in China (4)
OPPO: the abbreviation for a surgical procedure then its reverse produce what china is rhyming slang for.

3d Set piece player involved in scrum (4)
PROP: double definition, the first being a piece of a theatrical set.

4d Live fish on board as well? (7)
BESIDES: assemble a verb to live and a freshwater fish that’s inside our usual abbreviation for a ship.

5d Mugs people in street for amount to be paid (10)
ASSESSMENT: start with a synonym for mugs or twits then insert a word for people into the abbreviation of street.

6d Hairy pet for each Welshwoman on boat (7,3)
PERSIAN CAT: weld together a preposition meaning ‘for each’, a Welsh female name and the abbreviation for a twin-hulled boat.

8d Toxic gas swirling in mix once on B-road? (6,8)
CARBON MONOXIDE: an anagram (swirling) of MIX ONCE ON B-ROAD.

10d Bird lost taking off close to ditch (3)
MOA: remove the last letter of a defensive ditch to leave an extinct bird.

14d Be satirical about Dutch house plant (4,6)
MOCK ORANGE: charade of a verb to satirise or lampoon and the name of a Dutch Royal House.

15d Called out random number to be put in order (10)
STRAIGHTEN: join what sounds like an adjective meaning random or accidental and a cardinal number.

19d Chapel area in gold and blue (7)
ORATORY: insert the abbreviation for area between our usual gold tincture and an adjective meaning blue (in a political sense).

22d Notice nothing that causes trouble (3)
ADO: an abbreviated notice and the letter resembling nothing.

26d Bay tree not wide (4)
ROAN: a tree (also known as mountain ash) without the cricket abbreviation for wide.

27d Tax on goods and service (4)
DUTY: a straightforward double definition to finish.

I liked 18a with its homage to the Land of My Fathers, 20a and 28a but my favourite clue was 13a for its delightful misdirection. Do let us know which one(s) you favoured.

15 comments on “Toughie 2152

  1. Perhaps it was returning to work that affected my solving ability but I found this quite tricky in places and ended up in a Friday-ish sort of Toughie time. I particularly liked 13a

    Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza

  2. Thanks Gazza, I had not fully parsed the welsh hospitality and the mistress. My last one in was the armed power – I could see where it was going but I needed the checkers before i could get the ending right

    I had to go check the Amazon story. Whatever next. Don’t answer.

    Many thanks Donnybrooks

  3. Had to cheat and ask Mr Google about the 1d anagram and didn’t know the archaic mistress but no other problems to report.
    Tops for me were 20a plus 14d.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and to Gazza – knew that you’d love 11a!

  4. Thanks Gazza and Donnybrook for the second 2019 Toughie puzzle.

    I saw yesterday’s offering rather late, but enjoyed a relatively tricky solve, so like you Gazza this to me seemed gentler, though hardly easy. There were many good clues here, but I must hand the trophy to 13a for the extremely cunning ‘Ms’ definition.

    May I wish all here a happy and preposterous New Year, and thank all the Toughies for their endless supply of enjoyment in 2018.

  5. Seems I found this a good deal tougher than did our esteemed blogger. I had all of the problems noted above and more, which took me well into proper Toughie time. I was also had by Ms, and that is my pick of the bunch.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  6. I agree with Gazza’s comments – well less so about the rugby. Favourite was 1d -mainly because of the unlikelihood of anyone finding an anagram for that particular muscle! Thanks to all and a good New Year.

  7. I got on much better today than I did yesterday, and I enjoyed it a good deal more. I was able to finish in reasonable time without major hold up. However, there were quite a few things that I not familiar with and that I had to look up (the armed power in 1d, the dissent in 25a, the China in 2d, etc). Is it me, but there seems to have been a good many puzzles in recent weeks that have included many unchecked first letters (13 in this one I think) – I was able to cope today, but I always inwardly groan when faced with the prospect, as I find it almost always ratchets up the difficulty level. Many thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  8. Still on holiday so time to do the toughie,
    I really enjoyed this puzzle and agree with Gazza ‘s **/****, I too nearly fell for the ;Dallas Trap’ in 13a.
    I liked 28 a which elicited a smile-thanks all

  9. Definitely not as tough as yesterday, although I think I found yesterday’s less tough than some did. Like Jane, I had to resort to electronic assistance to unscramble the 1d anagram – I think I would still be staring at it if I hadn’t.

    Favourite 7a – although it has an air of familiarity about it – with 28a not far behind.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  10. 2d was something new to us but we got it from wordplay and checkers. Good fun and a nice level of difficulty. 13a was our favourite too.
    Thanks Donnybrook and Gazza.

  11. Well, thanks for the hints ‘cos I certainly needed them. I thought Horus was the hawk headed god and I didn’t have a clue about 1d and the cleverness if 13a eludes me. Where could Dallas have come in? Reckon I am really out of practice!

    1. 13a – Ms is not the one that leads to Ms Principal from Dallas, it’s James Bond’s boss – hence the answer. Wonderfully misleading.

  12. Very pleasing. I’m plumping for 13a — that was fiendish!

    Many thanks Donnybrook and Gazza.

  13. Many appreciative thanks to Donnybrook for a puzzle full of fun and misdirection. 13a was my fave. I must mention 6d because it is what it is. I did manage 25a but had to check for the mistress. 1d was one of my last in — what a penny dropping moment! I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword.

    My appreciative thanks to Gazza for the excellent blog. I needed the explanations for 18a and for 15d. (I should have said the answer to 15d out loud…)

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