Toughie 2197 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2197

Toughie No 2197 by Micawber

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Bufo is hors de combat this week so you’ve been landed with a double dose of me (and I’ve been given the cherished opportunity to blog a Micawber puzzle). I found this was surprisingly gentle for a Micawber but as entertaining as ever.

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

Across Clues

1a False part of argument by those in favour (10)
PROSTHESIS: an argument or proposition follows those (voting) in favour.

6a Settler succeeded in the modern age (4)
SNOW: the genealogical abbreviation for ‘succeeded’ and ‘in the modern age’ or presently.

9a Time to get letters in order (5)
SPELL: double definition, the first a synonym for a length of time or a period.

10a Pal and I dabbled with crime, as established by trial (9)
EMPIRICAL: an anagram (dabbled) of PAL I and CRIME.

12a Millennial figure’s unworldly — time to intervene (7,6)
DIGITAL NATIVE: this is a phrase (new to me) describing someone who has grown up with modern technology (as opposed to having to try to pick up all the new stuff as an adult). Stick together an adjective meaning ‘relating to a numeric figure’ and an adjective meaning unworldly or inexperienced with the abbreviation for time inserted.

14a Past legislation performs badly (8)
OVERACTS: charade of an adjective meaning past or ‘no more’ and another word for legislation or laws.

15a Fruit husband brought into school (6)
LYCHEE: insert the abbreviation for husband into a French word for a state school.

17a Your old blankets and so on getting ratty (6)
TETCHY: an old form of ‘your’ contains an abbreviation meaning ‘and so on’.

19a Wastes food (8)
FRITTERS: double definition, the first a verb meaning wastes or squanders.

21a Ceremony for ape is stage managed? (4,2,7)
RITE OF PASSAGE: an anagram (managed) of FOR APE IS STAGE.

24a Tory bid to be candidate (9)
CONTENDER: fuse together an abbreviation for Tory and a synonym for bid or offer.

25a Long months before November (5)
YEARN: a period of months (twelve usually) precedes the letter that November is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

26a Spoon in top of bottle (4)
NECK: double definition. Spoon here is a verb.

27a Fly low — that takes courage (10)
BLUEBOTTLE: knit together an adjective meaning low or depressed and a slang term for courage.

Down Clues

1d Drive from hospital after discharge (4)
PUSH: the mapping abbreviation for hospital follows a nasty discharge from infected tissue.

2d Outstanding feud revolutionary suppresses during rising (7)
OVERDUE: hidden in reverse.

3d Newspaper survey reported support for pre-wireless communications (9,4)
TELEGRAPH POLE: the name of a newspaper which should be familiar to those accessing this blog is followed by a homophone of a type of survey where the questions are normally cleverly worded to achieve the result desired by the organisation paying for it.

4d Toothless old prime minister installed as head of state (8)
EDENTATE: start with the word ‘state’ and replace its leading letter (head) with the name of a British Prime Minister from the 1950s.

5d Force politician into convoluted lie (5)
IMPEL: insert our usual elected politician into an anagram (convoluted) of LIE.

7d I will get stuck into refried Chinese — mostly quite good (7)
NICEISH: an anagram (refried) of CHINES[e] has I inserted.

8d Fierce eastern insects beginning to taunt antelope (10)
WILDEBEEST: assemble an adjective meaning fierce or untamed, the abbreviation for eastern, some insects and the first letter of taunt.

11d Order for starters prepared today with eggs half-heartedly scrambled (5,6,2)
READY STEADY GO: start with a synonym for prepared and append an anagram (scrambled) of TODAY EG[g]S.

13d Latin American actor with ego has ability (5,5)
COSTA RICAN: string together one of the leading actors in a production (2-4), what ego means in Latin and a verb meaning ‘has (the) ability (to)’.

16d To keep bouncing ball may be such an activity? (8)
PRESERVE: split the answer 3-5 and one of the activities carried out at this time may be ball bouncing (possibly to concentrate the mind in preparation for all the grunting).

18d City lost in billowing Atlantic, one submerged as this was? (7)
TITANIC: remove the abbreviation for a US city from Atlantic, make an anagram (billowing ) of what remains and insert the Roman numeral for one.

20d The Spanish say member of social network is stylish (7)
ELEGANT: bring together a Spanish definite article, the abbreviation meaning ‘say’ and a member of a social network.

22d Edmondson perhaps breaking record during climb to cause a revolution in cycling? (5)
PEDAL: stick the forename used by Mr Edmondson the comic actor into a record format and reverse the lot.

23d Eager to lift foot above middle part of leg (4)
KNEE: start with an adjective meaning eager and raise its bottom letter (foot) to a position above its middle.

My ticked clues included 17a, 27a, 4d and 16d. Do let us know which one(s) worked best for you.

18 comments on “Toughie 2197

  1. A very pleasant interlude – my only hold up was trying to decide whether there was such a person as a 12a but, the wordplay was very helpful

    Thanks to Micawber and Lucky Gazza

  2. I hadn’t heard of a 12a and wasn’t very keen on 7d but, apart from those, another enjoyable puzzle from Micawber.

    My favourite was 27a with a nod to the ‘settler’ in 6a and the wasted food in 19a.

    Thanks to Micawber and to Gazza for stepping in to man the fort. Hope Bufo soon recovers.

    1. ‘Hors de combat’ was a bad choice of words. I don’t believe that Bufo is ill, just unable to blog today.

    2. I rarely attempt the Toughie but found this one quite approachable. I hadn’t heard of a 12a but guessed the first part and worked out the second part. Live and learn.

  3. I did enjoy this although the NE quadrant took me longer than the rest of the puzzle combined. It was partly self inflicted; I am used to ‘set’ as the middle word of 11d and so that was slow to go in. It took me a while to get the settler in 6a. Then, like Jane and Gazza, I did not know the millennial figure in 12a (I had figured our the first word but the second was very slow in coming). 7d was not in most of the dictionaries I checked. Many thanks to Micawber and Gazza (again).

  4. Needed help to parse 9a (why?) and 13d (I was trying to make an anagram of actor) never heard of 12a or 4d (well I have now) and I always wondered what 21a meant (I do now, I looked it up). Favourites were 19a and 28a. Thanks to Micawber and Gazza for the explanations.

  5. 12a across was our last one in. Even with all the checkers in place it took some time before a vague memory kicked in to give us the second word. Excellent fun as ever from this setter.
    Thanks Micawber and Gazza.

  6. We’re in a pub near York (Three Hares, Bilborough), Mrs Sheffieldsy’s balloon flight tomorrow morning having been cancelled while we were on the way, so drinks are in order (whoopee).

    This was a thoroughly enjoyable crossword. Like a few others, we too had to use the wordplay to home in on the second word of 12a.

    16d was our clear favourite.

    Thanks to Gazza and Micawber.

  7. Like others, I’d never heard of 12a. Favourites were 27a and 16d.

    Thanks to Micawber and Gazza.

  8. Enjoying Mister Twister more these days, thought this was good fun but 12a?? Grid-filler?

    Thanks also to Gazza for an amusing blog

  9. With all of its checkers 13d failed to reveal itself for a long time of looking. I wrote it out horizontally and it jumped straight out at me. How does that work? Excellent puzzle. Smiles all round. Ta to all

  10. Loved it — because I could do it. In fact, I found this slightly easier that today’s back pager.. Difficult to pick a winner out of a very enjoyable bunch. Revenge of the Toughie tomorrow, I suspect.

    1. V enjoyable. We parsed 22d as a two letter abbreviation of Edmondson put inside the reverse of a three letter track record (during climb). Not as elegant or accurate but it worked. Any term for a clue that can work two ways? Polydiadrome perhaps?

      1. Full marks for ingenuity, PatentMan, but I can’t see how Ed is an abbreviation for Edmondson.

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