Toughie 2242 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2242

Toughie No 2242 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Great stuff from Notabilis as always. The Nina helped me with several answers, e.g. 3d & 28a.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Many thanks BD for covering for me while I was away.


8a    Grub Street area’s odd characters recalled (4)
EATS: A reversal (recalled) of the abbreviation for street plus the odd characters in area

9a    A rather quiet sound is increased by this (3)
AMP: A from the clue plus the music abbreviation for moderately quiet

10a    No one in fury repeatedly exposes president (6)
REAGAN: Remove the I’s (no one) from both a word meaning fury and a word meaning repeatedly

11a    In W Indian region, twerp who rode bareback? (6)
GODIVA: In a 3-letter tourist destination in W India, put another word for twerp (one I did not know)


12a    In Lille, he boards Eurostar, say, and initially goes at the back (8)
TRAILING: The French (In Lille) word for he goes inside (boards) the type of transport exemplified by Eurostar, plus the first letter (initially) of goes

13a    Perhaps people conspiring to hack graphic devices (7,8)
DIGITAL PLOTTERS: The answer whimsically suggests people conspiring to hack computers

15a    Heavenly saints, each half-lost, out of Paradise (7)
ELYSIAN: An anagram (out) of half of each of the two words heavENLY SAInts

17a    Skimmed folio about stopping destiny (3-4)
FAT-FREE: The abbreviation for folio and a word meaning about or concerning go inside (stopping) another word for destiny

20a    Plain situation requiring a microscope? (3,4,2,4,2)
NOT MUCH TO LOOK AT: If it requires a microscope, it can’t be substantial

23a    Lid that collapses partly caught a hare poacher from behind (5,3)
OPERA HAT: Reverse hidden (partly … from behind)

25a    Site of historic drownings needs new stakes (6)
NANTES: The abbreviation for new and another word for stakes

26a    Online address retained by the female member of Irish sports team (6)
HURLER: An online www address goes inside (retained by) a female pronoun 

27a    Find out location of LA (3)
SUS: Split (1,2), or more accurately (1,1,1), the answer indicates the location of LA

28a    Kojak? Which part of that best matches his head? (4)
THEO: Split (3,1), the answer suggests which letter in Kojak corresponds to the rest of the clue


1d    I degenerate when getting raised awareness all of a sudden (6)
SATORI: The answer is a Zen term. A reversal (raised) of I from the clue, a verb meaning degenerate, and another word for when

2d    Say something abstract out loud when Phil goes and gets set (8)
OSSIFIES: A homophone (out loud) of a verb that would mean to say something abstract or deep, then remove the ‘Phil’ from the front (Phil goes)

3d    Unstable time and very hard stuff an unhappy American brought up (3,2,1,5,4)
MAD AS A MARCH HARE: A reversal (brought up) of: a time or age, the pencil abbreviation for very hard, a verb meaning to stuff or pack, and a (1,3,2) phrase for an unhappy American (the latter abbreviated)

4d    Untidy heap around grave and nearby inscription (7)
EPITAPH: The nearby refers to the grave. An anagram (untidy) of HEAP goes around another word for grave or hole in the earth

5d    Disloyal quality enables senators to be corrupted (15)
TREASONABLENESS: An anagram (to be corrupted) of ENABLES SENATORS

6d    Ranting actor allowed Danish role (6)
HAMLET: Someone who is overacting plus a verb meaning allowed

7d    Scotsman‘s fixation with odd losses (4)
IAIN: Even letters (with odd losses) of fixation

14d    What’s commonest in barrels aged the whiskey (3)
RYE: The most common letter in barrels plus the old (aged) word for ‘the’

16d    Privy Council veto NGO’s conclusions (3)
LOO: Last letters (conclusions)

18d    It’s not very important to pay bill (as Americans would have it) (8)
FOOTNOTE: A verb meaning to pay plus some currency that Americans call a bill

19d    Politician immediately about to have a parliamentary place set up (7)
STATIST: The Latin abbreviation for immediately goes around (about) a reversal (set up) of a verb meaning to have a parliamentary place

21d    Brother turns in man that won’t yield, possibly an ally (6)
MARBLE: The abbreviation for brother is reversed (turns) in another word for man. I imagine the first definition refers to the hardness of the answer, while the second refers to a kind of the answer used in a game

22d    First Labour’s place secures vote over ruthless cost-cutters (6)
AXEMEN: A reversal (over) of the site of the first Herculean Labour containing (secures) the mark you make when you vote

24d    Top of phone exposed to prepare for selfie? (4)
POUT: The first letter (top of) phone plus a word meaning exposed or revealed 

I laughed at the selfie preparation. I liked the reverse hidden and the Kojak clue. Which clues were your favourites?


16 comments on “Toughie 2242

  1. Notabilis toughies are the best,although I am intrigued as to what was the reason behind the Nina

    Thanks to Notablis and Dutch

  2. Wow, I did enjoy that!. Our setter must have had his smiley face on when compiling this and the only one I wasn’t keen on was 5d.
    I did need to check up on a few bits of GK and haven’t heard of a 13a before today but beyond that it was just the wretched grub that held me up until the Nina came to my rescue. Meantime, I did learn some interesting facts about Grub Street!

    Podium places handed out to 17,23&28a plus 2&16d.

    Many thanks to Notabilis for a fun solve and to Dutch for the blog – hope you had an enjoyable holiday and that dogs (and presumably their minders in the shape of your in-laws!) survived in your absence.

    1. Ah, left the wife at home to look after the dogs, together with son who is in middle of gcse’s.

      I took my 14yr old daughter to Cuba.

  3. Very enjoyable – thanks to Notabilis and Dutch.
    My top clues were 10a and 28a.
    For once I had no difficulty spotting the peripheral Nina but I’m not sure that I’m still not missing a bit – what is the ‘something’ that it quotes?

  4. I enjoyed this very much. I was able to finish, but only with Dutch’s nudge to look for a Nina – and even then, and with a lot of the letters, I needed Dutch’s teeth reference for me to tumble to what it was. With the peripheral letters I was then able to fill in the remaining clues that I was missing. In 13a, I had the second word long before I got the first word (I might have got it sooner had I heard of the awareness in 1d). I thought the four long clues in the centre of the puzzle were somewhat abstruse (as in 13a), and added to the difficulty (for me), but I thought lurker in 23a was wonderfully hidden. Many thanks to Notabilis and Dutch.

  5. Beaten by 28a which I still don’t really understand. I know it’s Kojak’s first name. The “O” like an egg and therefore bald as an egg? Not very funny.

    Had to look up the twerp in 11a, my first one in and didn’t know about 25a although it was easy enough to work out.

    For once I’ve seen the Nina but too late to be of any help.

    Apart from this, a doable Toughie and on a Friday too!

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  6. A very enjoyable puzzle that I managed to finish correctly without understanding all of the parsing. I have never spotted a Nina until pointed out by the blog afterwards! I got the Kojak one with the correct reason but I was most unsure and I had a vague memory his name was Theo. I was also very unsure about sus until I got the politician. Informal short forms of words often cause me difficulty There were a few words / GK I did not known but the word play was clear enough

    Many thanks to the setter for a fine puzzle and to Dutch for the blog

  7. Excellent puzzle, 11a made me smile in particular.
    Thanks Notabilis and Dutch.

  8. Learned a couple of new idioms along the way.
    Mad as a March horse would suit me better as I was born on St Patrick’s day and feel quite unstable at the moment.
    Unstable vis à vis the blog of course. Been so busy that my daily crossword solving time has been drastically reduced.
    I’m rarely in synch but managed to solve today’s crossword on the actual day.
    Always go on the blog to read the comments when I finish a puzzle though.
    Thanks to Dutch for the review and to Notabilis for the fun.

  9. My favourite setter never fails to disappoint. Nearly went awry with the superb misdirection in 11a. Ta very much to Dutch and Notabilis

  10. Really good fun. Found the Nina on completion and then spent half the night trying to find something in the grid to explain it. The explanation at #3 above never occurred to us. Very clever.
    Thanks Notabilis and Dutch.

  11. So good, really enjoyable

    Finally got a nina and it helped me, yay
    Cheers all

  12. I particularly liked 3d. The creature in question caused us lots of problems in the Listener crossword some time ago – the first three words, as clued, were a stroke of genius.

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