Toughie 2244 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2244

Toughie No 2244 by Messinae

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This is a relatively gentle Toughie with a few literary allusions. I enjoyed it. Thanks to Messinae.

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

Across Clues

1a Peace gesture that will come to a ‘sticky’ end (5,6)
OLIVE BRANCH: sticky here meaning ‘like a stick’ or woody.

10a Suffer because of dog (5)
INCUR: stick together a preposition meaning ‘because of’ and a non-pedigree dog.

11a What can make meats tender is attached to this (5,4)
STEAM LOCO: a reverse anagram where the fodder precedes the indicator in the answer.

12a Teacher’s perhaps to express contempt for one working (9)
DISTILLER: charade of an informal verb to express contempt for and a person working the soil.

13a A German newspaper retracted spontaneous comment (2-3)
AD-LIB: A followed by the reversal of the most popular German newspaper.

14a Argue about your old mayor? (6)
WORTHY: reverse a verb to argue or quarrel noisily and add an old word meaning ‘your’.

16a Good university disco includes One Direction (8)
GUIDANCE: assemble abbreviations for good and university and a verb to disco. Finally insert the Roman numeral for one.

18a Simple conundrum for Sherlock? (8)
HOMESPUN: conundrum can mean a riddle involving a play on words and what we have here (5,3) might well have featured on the top row of our daily Quick Crossword.

20a One getting rid of vermin has way of working with consumer (6)
MOUSER: concatenate an abbreviation for a way of working and a synonym for consumer.

23a One reluctant to mate perhaps has the makings of a parent (5)
PANDA: over the years we’ve had many stories about the low libido of this animal in captivity. Split the answer 1,3,1 to get the parent.

24a Disguise for jailbreaker in famous tale from Hollywood strip (9)
LAUNDRESS: solder together the US city where Hollywood is found and a verb to strip. The jailbreaker is the notorious road hog from The Wind in the Willows.

26a Organised special op controlled by bishop (9)
EPISCOPAL: an anagram (organised) of SPECIAL OP.

27a Dog not second class but it’s well below par (5)
EAGLE: remove the letter used for ‘second class’ from a breed of dog to get a very good score on a hole on the golf course.

28a They fix pitch to get bats out with a spinner (5,6)
PIANO TUNERS: an anagram (bats) of OUT A SPINNER.

Down Clues

2d Hair raising devices for sailors (5)
LOCKS: double definition. These sailors are to be found on inland waterways rather than the high seas.

3d Disappear with Romeo in Japan? (7)
VARNISH: a verb to disappear contains the letter that Romeo is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

4d Student found with ecstasy after arrest gets stir (6)
BUSTLE: abbreviations for a student and the drug ecstasy follow an informal verb (mainly North American) meaning to arrest.

5d Cohort fighting on horseback around Spain (3,5)
AGE GROUP: I didn’t know this meaning of cohort but it’s in Chambers as a set of people with a shared characteristic. Pin together an informal word for fighting or violent behaviour and an adverb meaning ‘on horseback’ then insert the IVR code for Spain.

6d Fellow goes round motorway in what might be battered Fiat (7)
COMMAND: a Russian-doll clue. Put the abbreviation for motorway inside another word for a fellow then insert all that in what might be battered down the chippie.

7d One has no intention of buying computer system with large storage facility (6-7)
WINDOW-SHOPPER: weld together a computer operating system and a large storage facility (for grain for example).

8d Bird of prey alights around part of Scotland (8)
LOWLANDS: a bird of prey is contained inside a verb meaning alights.

9d Cheats involved cruel boss in scams (6-7)
DOUBLE-CROSSES: a verb meanings cheats or betrays comes from an anagram (involved) of CRUEL BOSS inside a verb meaning scams or cons.

15d I’m Carton in disguise as Darnay perhaps (8)
ROMANTIC: both Carton and Darnay are characters in A Tale of Two Cities but Darnay succeeds in winning the hand of the girl they are both courting. We need an anagram (in disguise) of I’M CARTON.

17d Writer believed to have written all the works of Shakespeare (5,3)
QUILL PEN: cryptic definition of what Will (and all other writers at the time) would have used to write down his plays.

19d Actress called Greta amazing as chic lead in Camille (7)
SCACCHI: I knew the actress (who did indeed star in the film Camille) but spelling her name was another matter. Her surname is an anagram (amazing) of AS CHIC and the leading letter of C(amille).

21d Who Wooster might have addressed bald one casually (3,4)
OLD BEAN: an anagram (casually) of BALD ONE.

22d Consider extremely elegant hairstyle (6)
MULLET: a verb to consider or ponder followed by the outer letters of elegant produces a far from elegant hairstyle.

25d Composer protege of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? (5)
ELGAR: our only lurker. ‘Protégé of’ means ‘under the protection of’ so that works for me as an indicator. However the last word of the clue isn’t used in the wordplay which is not ideal.

I had lots of ticked clues on my printout including 11a, 23a, 24a, 2d and 15d. Do let us know which one(s) had you reaching for your 17d.

13 comments on “Toughie 2244
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  1. I liked a lot of the clues , 23a stands out . 12a amused me when the penny finally dropped , as did 14a .
    Thanks to Messinae and gazza .

  2. The only one to beat me was 11a. Shaming as I spend a lot of time with preserved railways. GWR of course!
    Another plug for Teachers whisky I see. I’ve said before. It seems to have disappeared from the supermarket shelves and only seems to be available online.
    COTD? Difficult. I think I’ll plump for 7a. I get so many scam calls about this product. I tell the scammers they are criminals but the calls keep coming. Perhaps I’ll change my mind and go for Mr Toad instead.

  3. Chambers definition of 22d: Mullet: noun. a hairstyle that is short at the front, long at the back, and ridiculous all round.
    Thank you Messinae & Gazza.

  4. After last Wednesday’s Zandio puzzle I was wondering what to expect this week. What we got was a gentle but enjoyable puzzle. My only significant problem came from the actress Greta (never heard of her or the film mentioned) and the crossing 23a. The actress clue was obviously an anagram but with some unusual letters. I opted first for a name beginning with a Germanic “Sch” and spent a while trying to figure out if “punch” or “pinch” could be explained away. Eventually the penny dropped when considering the option to 23a that ends with a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the blog

      1. I didn’t know that – presumably a clever attempt to mislead by the setter. Luckily Garbo doesn’t fit as it only has 5 letters.

  5. Shouldn’t there be a homophone indicator in 18a?

    Pleasant puzzle with lots of nice touches. I really liked Teacher’s, Hollywood Strip, hair raising devices, and i even liked the cricket clue 28a.

    Many thanks Gazza and Messinae

  6. A lot easier than last Wednesday but hard enough. I needed the blog to parse 11a and 24a and how I didn’t spot 21d was an anagram I’ll never know. Favourites were 12a and 17d. Many thanks to Messinae and Gazza for the hints.

  7. 19d was a person we had not met before. The two clues that gave us most pleasure were 11a and 24a from a big list of entertaining clues.
    Thanks Messinae and Gazza.

  8. Great fun with 18a our clear favourite.

    We too wondered about the superfluous word in the lurker.

    Thanks to Messinae and Gazza.

  9. Didn’t mind 25d as the double barreled surname is not necessarily hyphenated in Spanish but it’s part of his name. A bit like IDS. Can’t just have Ian Duncan.
    Failed on the Shakespeare clue though.
    Thanks to Messinae and to Gazza.

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