Toughie 2236 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2236

Toughie No 2236 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

There’s nothing too tricky in this enjoyable puzzle, although I’m not sure that I’ve fully understood 3d.

Thanks to Samuel for a fun puzzle.

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

Across Clues

1a Busy taking into custody copper beginning to solve a case (10)
ACCUSATIVE: an adjective meaning busy or lively contains the chemical symbol for copper, the first letter of ‘solve’ and A. As may be seen from the following table “the German” in a crossword clue is not always ‘der’.

6a Engrossed, talked out loud (4)
RAPT: this sounds like a verb meaning talked informally.

9a Study good area for dance (5)
CONGA: string together a verb to study or commit to memory and abbreviations for good and area.

10a Advocate very legal alternative (9)
SOLICITOR: charade of an adverb meaning very, an adjective meaning legal or lawful and a conjunction identifying an alternative. I wasn’t convinced that the answer means an advocate but the BRB says it does so “only in Aberdeen” – how odd!

12a Emperor broadcast very strange lies describing one foolish European (5,8)
HAILE SELASSIE: start with a homophone of an adverb meaning very or vastly and follow that with an anagram (strange) of LIES containing one (who is) foolish. Finally append an abbreviation for European.

14a American regularly shouts about hypocrisy for Bush? (8)
ACANTHUS: a single-letter abbreviation for American and regular letters from ‘shouts’ contain a synonym of hypocrisy.

15a Sisters tidy, both having misplaced one new throw (6)
UNSEAT: stick together words for religious sisters and tidy after you’ve removed one instance of N(ew) from each.

17a Prefer to ignore first piercing shout by George (6)
CRIKEY: insert a verb to prefer or favour without its first letter inside another word for shout.

19a What’s required to reproduce article introducing posh hero (8)
SUPERMAN: male reproductive fluid (Come, come – stop tittering at the back) contains the single letter meaning posh. Finish off with a form of the indefinite article.

21a Need a platform to face student taking on accountants being ineffectual (13)
LACKADAISICAL: a phrase that could mean ‘need a platform’ (4,1,4) and the usual letter for a student contain the abbreviation for a professional body of accountants.

24a Banks perhaps going after trendy new host (9)
INNKEEPER: what the Mr Banks who died recently was a famous example of follows an adjective meaning trendy and the abbreviation for new.

25a Possibly narrow victory for United (2,3)
IN ONE: 1-0.

26a Joy seeing Leeson inside (4)
GLEE: hidden in the clue. Nick Leeson was sent to prison for unauthorised trading which lost his employers, Barings Bank, over £800 million and brought them down.

27a Discouraged dip (not cold) in water feature? The opposite! (10)
DESPONDENT: a dip or downward slope without the abbreviation for cold contains an outdoor water feature (in which you might keep your koi carp).

Down Clues

1d Cunning tramp, not married (4)
ARCH: remove the abbreviation for married from a verb meaning to tramp.

2d Woman in yacht at sea (7)
CYNTHIA: an anagram (at sea) of IN YACHT.

3d Insult, the result of stupidly eating pancake? (4,2,3,4)
SLAP IN THE FACE: I don’t like this much (unless I’m missing something, which is always a distinct possibility). If, being stupid, you ate your make-up (pancake) you might end up with another, informal, word for make-up in one of your features. If you ate it wouldn’t it be in your mouth or stomach rather than where the answer has it? I could have understood it a bit better if the clue had said sloppily, for example, rather than stupidly.

4d Pleasing but ultimately spendthrift, wife’s thrown out (8)
TASTEFUL: the ultimate letter of ‘but’ is followed by an adjective meaning spendthrift without the abbreviation for wife.

5d Gents perhaps put up five to lead energy regulator (5)
VALVE: reverse an informal word for what gents is an example of and append the Roman numeral for five and the abbreviation for energy.

7d Playing with this performer, Ned could be reinstated (7)
ARTISTE: a compound anagram. If you make an anagram (playing) of NED and the answer you’ll end up with ‘reinstated’.

8d Resin from tree put in ground around November (10)
TURPENTINE: an anagram (ground) of TREE PUT IN containing the letter that November stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

11d Row over allergy that could get out of control (5,8)
CHAIN REACTION: another word for a row or series is followed by an allergy or bodily response.

13d Evacuating hotel, pick up everyone in grand display of disapproval (10)
CATCALLING: weld together a verb to pick up or hear without the letter that hotel is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet, a synonym for everything, IN and the abbreviation for grand.

16d Better away kit (8)
OUTSTRIP: bring together other words for a) away from home and b) sports kit.

18d Anger that might be sensed in church? (7)
INCENSE: double definition, the second what might assail your nostrils in a High Church service.

20d The setter bamboozled loser in Scottish town (7)
MELROSE: the 1a form of the personal pronoun identifying the setter is followed by an anagram (bamboozled) of LOSER to make the name of a town in the Scottish Borders which is most famous for being the birthplace of Rugby Sevens.

22d Spot daughter’s left something to eat (5)
APPLE: remove the abbreviation for daughter from a spot of colour or light. The BRB only has the spot as an adjective or verb but the ODE also has it as a noun.

23d Calm gentlemen returning clothes (4)
MELT: hidden backwards in the clue is a verb which can mean to calm or soften.

The clues making it on to my podium today were 15a, 17a and 24a. Do let us know which one(s) were grade A in your estimation.

15 comments on “Toughie 2236

  1. The only thing that was in any way tough about this crossword was, like Gazza, trying to work out what 3d was all about – I did wonder about a link to a custard pie – but I think the make up link must be the right one.

    Thanks to Samuel and Gazza

    1. Surely it’s slap as in make up? I seem to remember a pancake version of pressed face powder?

      1. There’s certainly a brand of foundation called Panstick that was marketed by Max Factor (still available on-line!) but I couldn’t make that quite fit with the clue.

  2. No problems to report beyond wondering about 3d and not being very keen on either 25a or 23d.
    Always baulk at the prospect of spelling that emperor but got there OK today.

    Favourite was 11d but that probably had more to do with a lifetime of dealing with No.1 daughter and her ‘allergies’ than the cleverness of the clue.

    Thanks to Samuel and to Gazza for the blog – I’m with the Witherspoons when it comes to 18d!

  3. My first one in was 12a which shouted at me – however, I needed it explained. Another of those drafted homophones!

  4. Re 3d, the answer with “on” as the second word could describe sensible application of make-up. I can’t get 100% comfortable with it, but perhaps “stupidly eating” is supposed to be an instruction to change “on” to “in”?

    1. Thanks for trying to help with 3d, Mr K. I can see that a sensible application of make-up could give us ‘slap on the face’ and that stupidly applying make-up could (at a big stretch) result in ‘slap in the face’ but how does ‘eating’ fit in with that?
      I hope that Samuel will look in to explain all.

  5. I made heavier weather with this than I should have. For a long time I was bogged down with 25a/23d, and in the end I was defeated by 17a (which I shouldn’t have been, but it’s not a word that I have met often). I, too, was puzzled by 3d, and I also had to go searching for the Banks reference in 24a. I did like 15a. Many thanks to Samuel and Gazza.

  6. I took 3d literally – stupidly eat pancake as in just slap it in your face.

    There is an oft used phrase in these parts: ‘Spent the night at the pub, then rubbed a kebab round my face’ ie ate it drunkenly/sloppily/stupidly.

    Contrary to Jane I rather liked the 1-0 clue amongst others.

    Thanks Samuel & Gazza

  7. 1a was the clue for me. It always is when you say “of course!” 25a was the low point. I don’t think that “in one” has a meaning of united. I got 17a but couldn’t work it out. An excellent puzzle that kept me going back and back. Thank you Samuel

  8. A pleasant puzzle that was not too demanding – for a change I knew all the GK and vocabulary. I made life difficult by writing 9a with an o at the end instead of a – I have no idea why as I knew how to spell the dance. It then made 3d a bit tricky until I spotted the mistake.

    Thanks to Samuel and Gazza

  9. Came here hoping to see how the wordplay for 3d worked. So we weren’t the only ones.
    We got 20d from wordplay and Google but………
    We did enjoy a lot in this puzzle with 15a and 17a putting up the biggest resistance.
    Thanks Samuel and Gazza.

  10. I don’t think that there is a problem with the answer to 10a. My elderly (1972) BRB does not mention Aberdeen but, after listing a number of duties, adds, ‘and acts as an advocate in the inferior courts’, which is what I did throughout my professional career – not in Aberdeen or even in Scotland!

  11. Not knowing 12ac, or how the name is supposed to be pronounced meant I resorted to Google, but the rest went in without too much ado. To add insult to injury in retrospect I’m sure he’s cropped up before here or elsewhere, but I have a memory like a sieve and will no doubt have forgotten him again by tomorrow.

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