Toughie 2200 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2200

Toughie No 2200 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Given the amount of GK that’s contained in this puzzle I’m surprised that it didn’t actually pose many problems. I think I was helped by getting all four of the 15-letter answers fairly quickly. I didn’t know the Egyptian god, the Spanish region or the Scottish loch but in every case the answers were readily obtained from the definition and checkers.
Thanks to Donnybrook for an enjoyable puzzle.

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

Across Clues

8a Simple before going by motorway (4)
MERE: the abbreviation for motorway and a poetic preposition meaning before.

9a One swoops near ground, moving left to right (3)
OWL: start with an adjective meaning near the ground and move the leftmost letter (or the abbreviation for left – take your pick) to the far right.

10a Meat one found in the tail? (6)
RABBIT: double definition, the second an informal word for a poor batsman who would be one of the tail-enders in the batting order.

11a Relax in day following success at General Assembly? (6)
UNWIND: the abbreviation for day follows what might be a success at the General Assembly in New York (2,3).

12a Retired aristocrat, one in residence, shows genial nature (8)
BONHOMIE: reverse an informal word for an aristocrat then insert the Roman numeral for one into a domestic residence.

13a When at work, an unhappy doctor gets about very rarely (4,2,1,4,4)
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON: string together ‘after having arrived at work’ (4,2), ‘an unhappy doctor’ (1,4,2) and a preposition meaning about (2).

15a Philosopher‘s stolen meat! (7)
BENTHAM: stick together a slang term for stolen and a type of meat to get the name of an English philosopher and social reformer whose preserved head can still be seen at University College, London (that ‘godless institution in Gower Street’).

17a Wrong skill shown by advanced backing singer (7)
SINATRA: start with a moral wrong then reverse a synonym for skill or technique and the abbreviation for advanced.

20a Emulate Lot’s wife nearing breaking out? That’s drama! (4,4,2,5)
LOOK BACK IN ANGER: a phrase meaning to do as Lot’s wife supposedly did in the Old Testament (4,4) is followed by an anagram (breaking out) of NEARING.
This reminds me of a letter to Private Eye from someone claiming that the cutbacks in funding for public libraries in Essex had led to a “Book lack in Ongar”.

23a Is obliged to cross road in difficulty (8)
HARDSHIP: a verb meaning ‘is obliged or compelled’ contains the abbreviation for road. Finish with an informal and dated adjective meaning in or trendy.

25a Egyptian god captivates American writer (6)
AUSTEN: one of the many mythological Egyptian gods (one of the many that I’ve not heard of) contains a 2-letter abbreviation for American.

26a Burning pictures outside private office (6)
ARDENT: a general term for pictures contains a word for a private office or study.

27a Long time inside after attacks (3)
ERA: hidden in the clue.

28a First Lady having concern ultimately quits (4)
EVEN: the Biblical first lady followed by the ultimate letter of concern.

Down Clues

1d ‘Woman’ writer? New name in Spanish region (6)
LENNON: insert abbreviations for new and name into the name of a historic region in the north-west of Spain.

2d Topping feature one metre from bar (8)
PEDIMENT: remove the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for metre from a word meaning bar or obstruction.

3d What’s received, after dismissal, from much-admired opener? (6,9)
GOLDEN PARACHUTE: this is an informal term for a large payment made to a company executive to compensate for job loss in the event of a takeover or merger. Put together an adjective meaning much-admired or dazzling and something that’s meant to open as it falls to earth.

4d Fabled woodcutter joins a party with a scholar (3,4)
ALI BABA: assemble A, an abbreviation for a political party, A again and a degree.

5d Lawless old Nicaraguan drained northern waterway (5,5,5)
GRAND UNION CANAL: an anagram (lawless) of OLD NICARAGUAN N[orther]N.

6d Sailor leading, say, ladies and maiden out? (6)
ABLOOM: knit together one of our usual abbreviations for a sailor, a facility of which ‘ladies’ is an example and the abbreviation for a maiden over in cricket.

7d Article removed from Floridian city’s unfortunate sewer (4)
MIMI: remove the indefinite article from a city in Florida to get the tragic seamstress from Puccini’s opera La Bohème.

14d Propel boat to Capri regularly (3)
OAR: regular letters from two words in the clue.

16d I knock the top off blocks (3)
EGO: take away the first letter from some plastic blocks.

18d Ideas revised about animal used in sacrificial offering (5,3)
AGNUS DEI: an anagram (revised) of IDEAS contains another name for a wildebeest.

19d One in doze succeeded first as team leader (7)
SKIPPER: the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded precedes someone having a doze.

21d Dye and ink spattered in class (6)
KIDNEY: an anagram (spattered) of DYE and INK gives us a word that can mean class or type.

22d Players finally arrive at Kinross loch (6)
ELEVEN: the final letter of arrive and the name of a loch adjacent to the burgh of Kinross in eastern Scotland.

24d Muslims besieged here exist without cold water? (4)
ACRE: a verb meaning exist or be contains the letter telling you that the water exiting a tap will be cold. The answer is a port city north of Haifa where Muslim forces were besieged during the Crusades.

On my podium today, in no particular order, are 10a, 20a and 6d. Do let us know which one(s) were chosen by you.

12 comments on “Toughie 2200

  1. I really really enjoyed this crossword – I knew all the required stuff so it didn’t take any time at all to sort out but so much to smile at as the pennies dropped, a particularly good example of which was 1d. The low flying 9a appeared in a similar fashion somewhere else quite recently.

    Thanks to Donnybrook for the fun and Gazza for the blog

  2. Very enjoyable and all pretty straightforward, I was thinking until the North-West corner just wouldn’t come to me. Needed the hints for 1d, 2d aand 11a.. Thanks Gazza.

  3. I found this properly tough, and the more so because I was not familiar with a good percentage of the general knowledge (the cricket reference in 10a for one example). The elliptical and general nature of many of the references added to the challenge. The right half went in before the left half which was hindered to a large extent by my entering “handshake” for the second word in 3d. I was pleased to have finished eventually, but I found it a good deal more difficult than **/***, and I spent sufficiently much time wearing out Google for it to be completely enjoyable. Many thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  4. Slightly relieved that even Gazza had to check on the Egyptian god and the Spanish region but I was also at sea with the 10a cricket term, the philosopher, the unexpected meaning of 21d and the second word of 3d. I had confidently put in ‘handshake’ for the latter, which caused all manner of problems!

    Ah well, at least I knew the two long Across answers and the Scottish loch.

    Thanks to Donnybrook for the GK challenge and to Gazza for, as usual, knowing far more than I did!

  5. I liked all the long clues .I never knew that 4d was a wood cutter .
    Lots of great clues , so my favourite is either 20a or 16d .
    Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  6. I needed hints for 15a, I couldn’t get hot for stolen out of my head which left oxo “cubes” as the blocks, which I couldn’t parse and 24d where I was trying to fit in Agra, which I couldn’t parse either. I also needed help to parse 7d, 10a, the first two words in 13a and 23a. Needless to say I didn’t find as easy as some of you. Favourite was 1d for obvious reasons. Thanks to Donneybrook song Gazza for the hints.

  7. It’s great when you make it harder for yourself by entering ‘golden handshake’ instead of what Donnybrook really had in mind, 😉. Otherwise a very interesting solve. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  8. We used a bit of Google help with some of the GK but that is not a problem for us. Took a while to parse 10a as we wanted to make ‘one’ in the clue and ‘I’ in the answer significant. We also started off with handshake as the second word in 3d.
    An enjoyable solving experience.
    Thanks Donnybrook and Gazza.

  9. A wonderful solve. Topper was the ingenious wordplay of 13a. Ironically Gazza’s observation re 25a (one of the many Egyptian gods) was a little bit off the mark as this one was the *only* one in his own time: pharaoh Achnaton attempted to replace Egyptian polytheism with the worship of the One.

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your last comment (in 2012!). Both versions should work from now on.

  10. Great fun puzzle. Personal favourites have to be 1d. , 6d. , 9a. & 23a. Then 10a. had me scratching the noggin. Got the answer but had to check for link to a cricketing term. Well, blow me, you do learn something new everyday.

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