Toughie 2252 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2252

Toughie No 2252 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I thought that this was a pleasant but fairly straightforward puzzle which for the most part would not have been out of place on the back page. Thanks to Samuel.

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

Across Clues

1a Rubbish clinician reversed procedure to restrict small obstruction (10)
CODSWALLOP: reverse an informal abbreviation for a clinician, add an abbreviated surgical procedure and insert the abbreviation for small and the type of obstruction favoured by President Trump.

6a First bit of brown sauce could make one hiccup (4)
BLIP: the first letter of brown and another word for sauce or cheek.

9a Tendency for Gap to stock large one for adult (10)
PROCLIVITY: string together a preposition meaning for or ‘in favour of’ and a gap or hole then replace the abbreviation for adult with the abbreviation for large and the Roman one.

10a Adore slovenly clothes (4)
LOVE: hidden in the clue.

12a Knight‘s the first person in Paris I’d backed (4)
JEDI: join together the French pronoun meaning I and the reversal of I’d.

13a Book accepting nothing host cooked will be appetising (9)
TOOTHSOME: a large book contains the letter that resembles zero and an anagram (cooked) of HOST.

15a Drama for a bloke finally entering capital city (not Washington) (8)
OPERETTA: insert the preposition meaning ‘for a’ or ‘for each’ and the last letter of bloke into a Commonwealth capital city without the standard abbreviation for Washington (that’s the state, not the city).

16a Auntie’s boss will be taken in by genuine tramp (6)
TRUDGE: insert the abbreviation for the boss of the corporation familiarly known as auntie into a synonym of genuine.

18a Men with time to stop work with corporation (6)
PORTLY: abbreviations for military men and time go inside a verb to work steadily.

20a Unknown act playing around 1? The opposite — they aren’t the genuine article (8)
COPYCATS: the answer to 1d contains an algebraic unknown and an anagram (playing) of ACT.

23a Try and receive insufficient money? (9)
UNDERTAKE: if split 5,4 the answer could mean to receive insufficient money.

24a See article in advance (4)
LOAN: stick together an archaic exclamation meaning see or behold and one of our indefinite articles.

26a Sudden shot (4)
SNAP: double definition, the first an adjective meaning sudden as in a sudden election.

27a Five tied in swimming final (10)
DEFINITIVE: an anagram (swimming) of FIVE TIED IN.

28a On leaving, atone for judge (4)
DEEM: start with a verb meaning to atone or compensate for and remove the preposition meaning on or concerning.

29a Forward in game put up with character wearing check trousers (6,4)
RUPERT BEAR: insert an adjective meaning forward or cheeky between the abbreviation for the 15-a-side game and a verb to put up with. The definition here does rather give the answer away.

Down Clues

1d Panda owners perhaps seen in endless wood (4)
COPS: drop the final letter from a wood or thicket.

2d See rubbish letters broadcast (7)
DIOCESE: hmm – I can only assume that this is our editor’s entry in the most horrible homophone of the year competition. With an amount of mangling some people (but not I) might be able to make the answer sound like an adjective meaning rubbish or terrible (4) and multiple occurrences of one of the letters of the alphabet (4).

3d My healthy cocktail of cider and ale (4,1,7)
WELL I DECLARE: an adjective meaning healthy followed by an anagram (cocktail) of CIDER and ALE.

4d Float independent gallery situated under Bulgarian capital (8)
LEVITATE: an abbreviation for independent and our usual art gallery follow the name of the Bulgarian currency.

5d Choice of medicine when papa falls down (6)
OPTION: we had a very similar clue (but working the opposite way round) in last Wednesday’s Toughie by Musaeus. Start with a word for a liquid medicine and drop down the letter that papa represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

7d Parking under sign, regularly ogled Victoria’s relative (7)
LEOPOLD: put the abbreviation for parking after a sign of the Zodiac then append regular letters from ‘ogled’. The old Queen had so many royal relatives spread throughout Europe that it’s difficult to know which one is meant here but this chap (her uncle) was definitely one of them.

8d Fail to survive the last month in rep performing ‘The Life of Riley’ (10)
PREDECEASE: insert the abbreviated final month of the year between an anagram (performing) of REP and a word meaning the life of Riley.

11d Change producer? Queen might find that refreshing (3,5,4)
THE ROYAL MINT: cryptically this could be something for the Queen to suck on. When the change producer moved to Llantrisant in Wales in 1967 the town became known as the hole with the mint.

14d French negative, then positive — oddly, see Germany at a loss (10)
NONPLUSSED: assemble a French negative, a positive or something desirable, the odd letters of ‘see’ and the IVR code for Germany.

17d Previous maths lesson read out (8)
SOMETIME: this sounds like a maths period (3,4).

19d Depart terribly stifling European bureaucracy (3,4)
RED TAPE: an anagram (terribly) of DEPART contains an abbreviation for European.

21d Greed shown by a reserve supporting system to help referees (7)
AVARICE: start with A then place a synonym for reserve or froideur after the abbreviation for the recently introduced and controversial technological aid to football referees.

22d After golf, scoffed a posh cake (6)
GATEAU: weld together the letter that golf represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet, a verb meaning scoffed, A and the letter used to mean posh or upper-class.

25d Having lost two weeks, fresh fighting is close (4)
NEAR: start with fresh serious fighting (3,3) and remove the two abbreviations for week.

I liked the simple but effective 24a and 3d but my favourite clue was 11d. Do let us know which one(s) got you going.

14 comments on “Toughie 2252

  1. Very enjoyable and, as Gazza says, could easily be a (Thursday?) back pager – completed at a Toughie fast gallop – **/****.

    Without knowing who the setter was, I did think it might be Mr Greer when the penny dropped on 12a.

    Candidates for favourite – 15a (even if it was slightly convoluted), 18a, and 11d – and the winner is 11d.

    Thanks to Samuel and Gazza.

  2. Found this rather more difficult than ** and needed some help with the rather devious 15A. COTD is 11D by a mile.
    ***/**** & ****. Thanks for the hints.

  3. I did enjoy this, although, as is usually the case in a Gazza review, I found it a notch more difficult than his rating. I was looking forward to the review to figure out how the word play in 2d worked, and thank you Gazza for the attempt, but I am not sure I am really much the wiser. I had FORETIME for 17d which seemed to satisfy both definition and wordplay, but I do acknowledge that the ‘real’ answer is more convincing. My favourite, by a long way, is 11d. Many thanks Samuel and Gazza.

    1. I think that 2d is meant to be a homophone of DIRE (rubbish, dreadful) and CEES (letters) though that doesn’t sound like the answer to me.

      1. Thank you very much – I think you are right, but neither half really works for me.

      2. Oh – I thought it was a homophone of ‘D’ ‘I’ ‘O’ and ‘C’s – no wonder it didn’t quite make sense.

      3. With you on that one Gazza – worse than ‘Polish or sticky’ (starfish) but the podium’s now full (Grub got the dubious gold!)

  4. I agree with Gazza – this could have been a back pager. However, very entertaining with some good clues. I needed help to parse 9a.
    I liked 1a, 18a, 28a, 2d and 17d with 8d taking pole position.

  5. We struggled with 17d until we had most of the checkers as we kept wanting FORM to be part of the answer. An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Samuel and Gazza.

  6. If this had been a back pager I would have packed my bags, given up and gone home never to be seen again.
    I’m horribly out of practice with Toughies – there’s barely enough time to do the back pagers at the moment – so I’ve gone back into my ‘it’s a Toughie so I can’t do it’ mind set.
    I did just about manage it and only had two answers that I couldn’t get – 20a and 17d – might have got 17d had I not had 23a as ‘underpaid’ in my head . . .
    I really enjoyed this – so many good fun clues/answers.
    I liked 1, 3 and 11d and my favourite was 1a.
    Thanks to Samuel and to Gazza.

  7. Fairly straightforward but no pushover. Would agree with Gazza’s assessment.

    Thanks to Gazza and Samuel.

  8. A late comment from me. I found this a nice enjoyable puzzle which I was able to finish without electronic assistance (a rarity!) I believe I was a little lucky as I don’t think I would have got 29a if it had not been for the bear appearing in another puzzle a few days ago. I did like the bear’s cartoons as a child and I remembered him wearing a scarf regardless of the weather but I could not picture his trousers. 5d was a write in after a similar clue appeared last week – this time without needing obscure druids

    Thanks to Samuel and Gazza

  9. 11d gets my top vote and I liked 3d also .
    I failed on Rupert bear , I kept trying to think of some kind of chef .
    Thanks to Samuel and Gazza .

  10. Trying again this morning. A back pager? I found this completely off my wavelength and only managed half a dozen clues if that. I was amused to find one of my answers, 12a is now mainstream.

    Now I’ll try the real back pager. Hope it is more my sort of thing.

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