Toughie 2241 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2241

Toughie No 2241 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

After yesterday’s trials and tribulations it was back to fluffiness today with a puzzle that caused some (but not much) head-scratching.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Lo, a carpet’s unrolled to reveal her (9)
CLEOPATRA: An anagram (unrolled) of LO A CARPET gives the name of an ancient Egyptian queen who once had herself wrapped in a carpet in order to meet Caesar. I didn’t know about this carpet myth but Mr Google does

8a    Freight firm guards silver crossing river (5)
CARGO: An abbreviation denoting a firm round the atomic symbol for silver round R (river)

10a    I will leave lesson for noon aperitif (6)
PERNOD: Take a word for a lesson in school and replace the letter I by N (noon) to get a French aperitif

11a    Return to polish fancy jewellery, making an odd noise (8)
BURBLING: A reversal of ‘to polish’ + flashy jewellery

12a    Punch or ale? (6)
WALLOP: to beat soundly/a slang word for beer

14a    Steal kiss from talent show agent (6)
FACTOR: Remove X (kiss) from the name of a TV talent show

16a    Blubbery-sounding character to blub (4)
WAIL: A homophone of a creature whose fat is called blubber

17a    Slobber over visiting retired peer (5)
DROOL: O (over) in a reversal of a peer

18a    Roadside check reported (4)
KERB: A homophone of ‘to restrain or check’

19a    British news boss, liberal alpha male, creates uproar (6)
BEDLAM: B (British) + the boss of a newspaper + letters denoting ‘liberal’, ‘alpha’ and ‘male’

21a    Show off apartment crammed with unlimited junk (6)
FLAUNT: An apartment round JUNK with the first and last letters removed

24a    Poet‘s moving sonnet that is entertaining only occasionally (8)
TENNYSON: An anagram (moving) of SONNET round alternate letters of ONLY

26a    Dainty city hideaway (6)
ÉCLAIR: A dainty (cake) = the postcode for the City of London + a hideaway

27a    Brief office affairs? (5)
ADMIN: A shortened form for a word meaning ‘the organisation of a business’

28a    Film naked Spanish gentleman going round a rocky hill (9)
GLADIATOR: A 2000 film starring Russell Crowe. Take a 7-letter word for a Spanish gentleman and remove the first and last letters. Then reverse it and follow it by A and a rocky hill


1d    The greatest space movie! (5)
ALIEN: The boxer nicknamed ‘The Greatest’ + a space in printing = a 1979 science fiction horror movie

2d    My new wife advanced ££ here to see Jamaica Inn (8)
CORNWALL: ‘My!’ + letters denoting ‘new’, ‘wife’ and ‘advanced’ + two occurrences of the letter denoting a pound sterling

3d    Old musician into Bach and Elgar (6)

4d    Flipping Shakespeare’s monotonous (4)
DRAB: A reversal of a word that describes Shakespeare

5d    Fish slice skinned, flavoured with this? (6)
GARLIC: A pike-like fish + SLICE with the first and last letters removed

6d    A riot gun prepared to crush onset of clan battle (9)
AGINCOURT: An anagram (prepared) of A RIOT GUN round the first letter of CLAN = a battle of 1415

9d    Formula One’s leader evacuated after crashing, getting large blood transfusion! (6)
ARMFUL: An anagram (crashing) of FRMULA, i.e. FORMULA minus the first letter of ONE gives a quantity of blood that’s just above one pint according to Tony Hancock

13d    Specimen old German coin Joey collected (5)
PROOF: The abbreviation for a former monetary unit of Germany (one-hundredth of a mark) round a joey (marsupial). I’m not convinced by the definition

15d    Islands madcap, ever-decreasing circles (4,5)
CAPE VERDE: An archipelago nation in the Atlantic Ocean is hidden in MADCAP EVER-DECREASING

17d    Passing medium-dry champagne — not cold (6)
DEMISE: A passing (death) = a word describing medium-dry wine with the letter C (cold) removed

18d    Regal kind with daughter getting bumped off? (4,4)
KING LEAR: An anagram (off) of REGAL KIN, i.e. REGAL KIND less D (daughter) gives a Shakespearean monarch with a daughter who was poisoned by another daughter

20d    Pulse fast … one-fifty! (6)
LENTIL: A period of fasting + the Roman numerals for ‘one’ and ‘fifty’

22d    Mature gagging order in matters for discussion (6)
AGENDA: ‘To mature’ + the abbreviation for a non-disclosure agreement (gagging order). I bunged this in when solving and then had to work it out when writing the review

23d    One losing partner making vow in a couple of weeks (5)
WIDOW: The vow made at a wedding inside W and W (a couple of weeks)

25d    Flower sent from Victoria to Alexandria? (4)
NILE: The river that rises in Lake Victoria and enters the sea at Alexandria

One of those puzzles that I appreciated far more when writing the review than I had when solving it. Hence the extra half star for enjoyment.


16 comments on “Toughie 2241

  1. It’s not at all tough (in fact I’m surprised to find it here on a Thursday) but I thought that this was a beautifully polished puzzle with many excellent clues and with smooth surface readings throughout.
    I don’t normally enthuse about anagrams but three here (7a, 9d and 18d) are all superb. In addition I particularly liked 1d, 15d and 25d.
    Thanks to Hudson and Bufo.

  2. Most enjoyable thank you Hudson even if it was as far away from a you know what as it is possible to be – my across favourite was 7a and my down favourite was 9d. Thanks also to Bufo

    Someone asked the other day about my thoughts on the difficulty of cryptic crosswords across the various newspapers – Today’s Fleet Street cryptic difficulty level ranges from Nimrod (Elgar) in the Indy, followed by Picaroon in the Graun, Ray T back pager, the Times and the Sleuth (Jane to note) in the FT were joint 3rd place and the Toughie was the least difficult

    1. Not wishing to bang on about it, but I totally agree with your ratings for today – except I haven’t found a copy of the Indy yet and I’d never heard of the Russian impresario in The Times or Picaroon’s ‘French drunk’. Enough said.

  3. I hesitated before leaving a comment on this Toughie as I appreciate that it may not have been challenging enough for the clever contributors to this site, but I enjoyed it so much I just had to thank Hudson for a very enjoyable solve.

  4. What a difference a day makes! I hugely enjoyed this, but I acknowledge that it was on the kinder side of tough. My last in was 27a (I had it penciled in early on but initially dismissed on the basis it wasn’t really cryptic) and my favourite was the clever and elegant 2d. Many thanks to Hudson and Bufo.

  5. Neatly and nicely done – and what a sigh of relief here after yesterday’s battle.
    The only unknown for me was the Spanish gentleman, with or without his clothes!

    11a gets a mention just for the sound of the word and 19a also gets applause for the surface read.
    Top two here were the simple 14a plus the excellent 1d.

    Many thanks to Hudson for the breath of fresh air and to Bufo for the blog.

    PS Thanks for the heads up on the leprechaun, CS, I’ll pop over to check him out.

  6. I agree with the comments about this being a relief after yesterday – that was a stinker! I think I had a bit more trouble with my last few in the back-pager.
    Last one in was 27a for some reason. Favourites were 10a, 11a, 12a and 18d.

  7. I got to within three of completing this (24a, 25d and 9d) albeit with a couple of bung ins (28a and 18d). I regard myself as a pretty average solver so it would suggest it was on the gentle side of “tough” but IMHO still a notch up overall on difficulty compared to today’s excellent back pager. I thoroughly enjoyed it though, especially 1d, 17a (naturally given my surname) and the brilliant lurker 15d.
    Thanks a lot to Hudson and Bufo

  8. I enjoyed this after yesterday’s debacle. Please don’t knock the easier Toughie because those of us who only have the time to do this and, perhaps, the back page are not like those like Crypticsue who, judging by her post today and other days, seems to be able to solve at least 3 crosswords before breakfast! Does she?

  9. Lovely puzzle. My favourite is 1d, what a great clue. 18d and 7a are also special.
    loads more. Over too soon,
    many thanks Hudson & Bufo

  10. A beautifully put together puzzle that was a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Hudson and Bufo.

  11. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle that was well within my ability range, as opposed to yesterday’s where I managed a grand total of four clues. :-)

  12. Glad I tried this puzzle….
    particularily liked 19A ( British news boss, liberal alpha male, creates uproar).

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