Toughie 2168 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2168

Toughie No 2168 by Jed

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

When (to universal sorrow) Virgilius announced that he was giving up the Sunday Prize slot he said that he would continue to contribute to the Telegraph on an ad hoc basis. This is the first of those contributions and very enjoyable it is. It’s pretty gentle (with just a couple of clues where a bit of thought is required to get the full explanation) and it should certainly appeal to all those who enjoyed his Sunday treats (that’s pretty much everyone).

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

Across Clues

8a Test cricket, for instance, accommodating minimal change (7)
INSPECT: what a cricket is an example of contains our least valuable bit of small change.

10a Quantify average cut with certainty (7)
MEASURE: stick together a truncated synonym of average and an adjective meaning ‘with certainty’.

11a A head we encountered in pub in holiday gear (9)
BEACHWEAR: insert ‘a head’ and WE into another word for a pub.

12a Unfashionably old saw (5)
DATED: double definition, the second a verb meaning saw romantically.

13a When provoked, one may charge cash (5)
RHINO: another double definition – the first what seems to be the creature of the month for crossword setters and the second an old slang term for money.

14a Textual error in a line at end of American volume (7)
LITERAL: append A and the abbreviation for line to the American spelling of a unit of volume.

17a Scrambled jet, tho’ under fire, in sci-fi movie (6,2,3,4)
RETURN OF THE JEDI: an anagram (scrambled) of JET THO UNDER FIRE.

19a With maximum possible speed, move fast to discipline (7)
CHASTEN: bring together the symbol for the speed of light (maximum possible speed) and a verb to move fast.

21a Counter in bank holding page (5)
REPLY: a verb to bank or depend contains the abbreviation for page.

24a Unfriendly second row (5)
STIFF: the abbreviation for second and a minor row or spat. Lovely surface evoking visions of a hulking great rugby forward.

26a Prohibits discussion about European epitome of rapid growth (9)
BEANSTALK: something that proverbially grows fast comes from a verb meaning prohibits and a synonym for discussion with the single-letter abbreviation for European inserted.

27a Fighting about hard time getting across (7)
ATHWART: a phrase (2,3) meaning engaged in fighting contains the abbreviation for hard. We finish with the abbreviation for time.

28a People improperly taken into state (7)
MENTION: fuse together a word for people in general and an anagram (improperly taken) of INTO.

Down Clues

1d Able to move supply and perhaps arm monarch (6)
LIMBER: run together what an arm is an example of and our monarch’s regnal cipher.

2d Writer contributing to stories, say, I study (8)
ESSAYIST: today’s lurker.

3d Tailored trenchcoat for scientific expert (10)
TECHNOCRAT: an anagram (tailored) of TRENCHCOAT.

4d Position that’s not ethical in test breaking up friendship (9)
AMORALITY: insert a type of test or examination into a synonym for friendship.

5d Something players try to avoid in club, for example (4)
CARD: double definition. The first, which might be yellow or red, is what sports players are keen to avoid.

6d Parking, say, in golf club (6)
PUTTER: the abbreviation for parking followed by a verb to say.

7d Lied when corruptly generating capital (3,5)
NEW DELHI: an anagram (corruptly) of LIED WHEN.

9d Removal of this large plant makes street shorter (4)
TREE: remove this large plant from street and you get a shorter version of the same thing.

15d In speculative activity, one is right, possibly (10)
THEORISING: an anagram (possibly) of ONE IS RIGHT.

16d Short excerpt from substantial amount of information heard (5,4)
SOUND BITE: cryptic definition of   this is a short pithy section that those making a speech (especially politicians) include in the hope that it will make the 6 o’clock news. A synonym of substantial or sturdy is followed by what sounds like a small unit of computer storage. (thanks stanXYZ).

17d Two-wheeled vehicle putting strain on writer (8)
RICKSHAW: concatenate a verb to strain and an Irish dramatist. The dramatist and Winston Churchill were not best friends and there is a (probably apocryphal) story that he sent a note to Churchill saying “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend—if you have one.” Churchill replied “Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second—if there is one.”

18d Badly misshape? It’s stress (8)
EMPHASIS: an anagram (badly) of MISSHAPE.

20d Get out or in (6)
ALIGHT: double definition, the second describing a fire (method of heating) that has been set going.

22d Joining army, finally agreeing (6)
YOKING: the last letter of army and a (rather ugly) verb form meaning agreeing or approving.

23d Learner in academic stream still (4)
CALM: insert the abbreviation for learner into a river that flows through one of our oldest university cities (so, cryptically, it’s an academic stream).

25d Fiercely criticise fallacy, oddly enough (4)
FLAY: the odd letters of fallacy are sufficient for the answer.

I liked 8a, 14a and 24a but my favourite today was 9d. Do let us know which one(s) made your day.

19 comments on “Toughie 2168

  1. What a joy throughout – my particular favourite was the self-referencing 17a

    Thanks to Mr Greer for his part in a most pleasurable day of cryptic crossword solving.

    Thanks to Gazza too

  2. What an absolute delight this was, just like a typical Sunday puzzle of one of Mr Greer’s other alter egos and not overly Tough. As far as I can tell from the web site, this is the first Jed solo Toughie since number 124 (he has participated in multi-setter celebratory puzzles since then). Just like a typical Sunday, completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 11a and 26a, but the coin may fall in favour of 26a.

    Big thanks to Mr Greer and Gazza.

  3. When it comes to double acts, it doesn’t get much better than Greer & Gazza. Many, many thanks to both those gentlemen.

    Apart from what I thought was a bit of an iffy synonym for “agreeing” in 22d (which I was aghast to find in my BRB), this was a joy from start to finish with more clues ending up ticked than not ticked.

    My double ticks went to 8a, 12a, 17a, 24a & 16d with a rare triple tick for my favourite, 9d.

  4. Nice to see Mr Greer again.

    16d I parsed this differently. I thought is was a synonym of substantial followed by a homophone of byte (amount of information heard).

    But Gazza is always right!

    1. Oh no he’s not. Thanks stan – I never even looked for some wordplay. I’ll update the blog.

  5. Great to see the 17a … found this Toughier in the south, but fun throughout. Wondered a little about how the “enough” works in the cryptic grammar of 25d.

    My favourites were 17a, 9d and 16d.

    Many thanks to Jed and Gazza.

  6. Great fun! It took a while for the penny to drop, but I liked the academic stream in 23d! Many thanks Jed and Gazza.

  7. A fine puzzle as expected, though I do hope setters will get bored with 13a sometime soon and I wasn’t sure about 20d. 9d gets top spot on the podium today.

    Many thanks to Jed for the fun, and to Gazza for the review and the 17d story which amused, true or not.

  8. We hesitated for a bit with 20d. Had trouble understanding how the IN worked. It occurred to us that the clue would have made more sense as “Get off or on”. We totally missed the clever self-reference in 17a so thanks for pointing it out CS.
    A real pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Jed and Gazza.

  9. Rare appearance from Mr Greer but always a pleasure.
    We only saw him twice as Brendan in the Guardian in 2018.
    Didn’t get the first word in 16d.
    Liked the message in 17a.
    Thanks to Jed and to Gazza.

  10. Thanks Gazza, I shall defer solving this until Sunday as an alternative to the usual Dada slog.

  11. Very late in but couldn’t miss the 17a.
    No particular favourite but a genuine pleasure to solve.

    Many thanks to Jed and to Gazza for the blog.

  12. I do not usually have time to do the Toughie on regular basis, but I had to find time to do this, and a very enjoyable solve it was too, reminding me of many past sunday mornings.

  13. Kept this puzzle (plus a few others) to do while on holiday. Very enjoyable.

    I didn’t spot though the double meaning of 17a, so thanks to Gazza for pointing that out and for the blog. Thanks too of course to Jed.

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