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Toughie 2273

Toughie No 2273 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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

Greetings once more from Jena!

The weather has broken slightly, and we had some rain yesterday, which cleared the air a little. Had a really interesting day in the Bauhaus and New Weimar museums looking at some of the amazing artworks from the period between the wars.

So who better to blog while I am in Germany than our locally based (give or take several hundred miles) setter of today’s Toughie?

Hudson is settling down nicely into either of the two midweek Toughie slots and produces quality puzzles that contain a good mix of humour and challenge. After a first read of the clues, there were a couple of ones to write in and I could then move on from there, though I was held up with the bottom right corner – more anon.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Pleasant housing over the way, within budget (10)
AFFORDABLE:    Something that is within your budget when it comes to spending can be found by taking something meaning pleasant and putting it around (housing) an abbreviation for over and a type of way or route.

6a    Exclamation suppressed by William, George and Andrew? (4)
WHAM:        The name of a pop duo that comprised two people named George (Michael) and Andrew (Ridgeley) is revealed by taking a short expression and placing it inside an abbreviation for the name William.    

10a    Jogged with PG Tips, causing an accident (5)
PRANG:        Something meaning jogged has P before it and G after it – PG Tips (geddit?). This gives a word for a small car accident.

11a    Bug truncated record tweet, possibly (9)
MICROBLOG:    Not to be found in too many on-line dictionaries, and as my BRB is 1332.8 km away, I can’t confirm it’s in there. A way of a describing a tweet, perhaps, is found by taking the name for a small bug or germ and removing the last letter (truncated) and adding it before something that means a record or diary.

12a    Marsupial suggested by Eliot’s feline versifier? (7)
OPOSSUM:    Clever clue. Take the name of the (fictional) writer of the Eliot work that inspired the (soon to be a film) and stage musical Cats; however, you should abbreviate the first word of that person’s ‘name’ to get the creature.

13a    Shaky’s half-seen with one’s microphone (7)
SEISMIC:     Take 50% of the word SEEN, add a way of saying one’s and an short way of saying microphone and you’ll get something that refers to a lot of shaking in a geological way.

14a    Early Conservative cuddling daughter, perhaps 9 (7,5)
BEDTIME STORY:    An archaic way of saying early and an abbreviation for the politician has the short one-letter way of meaning daughter inside. This will then give you what the answer to 9 could be?

18a    Hard bargaining disrupted North Sea rig, restricting commencement of drilling (5-7)
HORSE TRADING:    An anagram of NORTH SEA RIG with the first letter of DRILLING gives you a term for the way some may see certain negotiations going.

21a    Catch streetcar No.1 of Metropolitan eastern line (7)
TRAMMEL:    A word for a streetcar, like the ones I have been travelling on for the last week, plus the first letter of METROPOLITAN, EASTERN and LINE, all together give you a word for a catch or net.

23a    Theft of Brie reportedly ending in acrimony (7)
LARCENY:    A word meaning theft is outrageously made up by taking a homophone of the surname of the actress below (whose real name is Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers, no wonder she changed it!) and adding Y (ending in acrimony). Please address your grumbles to Hudson, somewhere nice in Germany.

24a    Relieved by flying ace, I flirted outrageously (9)
AIRLIFTED:    A way of saying having provided relief by flying transport is revealed by taking A (ace) and adding an anagram of I FLIRTED.

25a    With which one gets tanked up in holiday dive? (5)
SCUBA:        A cryptic way of describing something that a diver may use on holiday (did you know it’s an acronym?).

26a    European future pilot abandoning port in Tanzania (4)
DANE:        Another to make you groan slightly. Take the name of the ‘pilot of the future’ and remove the name of a famous port in Tanzania and you are left with a European nationality.

27a    Gather hempen cord in knots (10)
COMPREHEND:    An anagram (in knots) of HEMPEN CORD gives a word meaning to gather, mentally,


1d    Roughly speaking, computer program is awesome! (6)
APPROX:    The name for a modern computer and mobile (or, as Germans call them – Handy) program and a homophone for a trendy way of saying something is awesome, gives you a short way of saying roughly speaking.

2d    Ensign attached to vessel (6)
FLAGON:    A vessel (usually full of cider) is found by taking another word for an ensign and adding a short word that means ‘attached to’,

3d    Important letter greeted Sir Liam at work (10,4)
REGISTERED MAIL:    A type of post you can get that’s important is an anagram of GREETED SIR LIAM.

4d    Old college to adapt, admitting two graduates (4,5)
ALMA MATER:    The name for your old educational establishment is found by taking a word meaning alter and putting on two abbreviations for those with a major degree.

5d    Base swear-word uttered in this place (5)
LOCUS:        A word meaning place (often in police procedurals) is a homophone of a word meaning base and one meaning swear-word,

7d    Gloria working to host band in satellite appearance? (4-4)
HALF-MOON:    Something that symbolises glory, plus a short word meaning working has a (radio wave) band inserted to give a way of seeing our satellite.

8d    Wise men about to look at radio tuner (5,3)
MAGIC EYE:    I’d never heard of one either. The name for a type of old radio tuner is found by taking the name for the three wise men in the new Testament, a one-word letter for about and a short word meaning look,

9d    Chap booked to be on island by Friday (8,6)
ROBINSON CRUSOE:    A cryptic way of describing a famous book about an adventurer who ends up on an island with a famous manservant.

15d    Make fresh start to embrace political party in a mess (7,2)
MUDDLED UP:    Here you take a word meaning EMBRACE and change the first letter. Add to this the abbreviation for a UK political party.

16d    The lads going on tour, taking in Northern isles (8)
SHETLAND:    Around the abbreviation for Northern goes an anagram of THE LADS, to give the name of some UK islands.

17d    Testing time to manage introducing Arab currency (5,3)
TRIAL RUN:    A type of test is found by taking T (time) a word meaning MANAGE, and a type of Arab currency inside.

19d    Fed up with American English? Calm down! (6)
DEFUSE:     Reverse the word FED and add the abbreviations for American and English to give a word meaning to calm down.

20d    Ring round unknown hotel as 3 is delivered (2,4)
BY HAND:    The way a 3 down is delivered is found by taking a word for a ring and putting it around a letter for unknown things and H (hotel)

22d    Drunk, going topless for game (5)
LOTTO:        The name of a game is that of a word meaning drunk minus the first letter.

Thanks to Hudson for a splendid puzzle that made me smile and challenged me in equal measure. I’ll see you all again soon!


19 comments on “Toughie 2273

  1. I’d agree with a combination of smiling and challenging – I could say what I think about 23a but I’m sure others will come along and express similar views later, but probably more politely!

    Thanks to Hudson and Tilsit

  2. Enjoyable and amusing – thanks Hudson and Tilsit.
    I’m not going to carp at 23a because at least the homophone works for me (which makes a nice change).
    I’d never heard of 11a or 8d but they’re both in the BRB.
    My podium places go to 6a, 12a and 26a.

  3. This was very much a curate’s egg for me with some good things (e.g. 6a, 12a & 19d) and some bad (e.g. 23a, 26a & 15d) in equal measure. In addition, parts of it were very tough and parts easy.
    19d was my favourite and could have been written just for me. :wink:
    Thanks to Hudson and to Tilsit.

  4. Definitely sat in the grumpy corner for much of this solve. Some of it was my own fault due to not making the Mr Michael connection in 6a or the ‘gloria’ in 7d but I certainly didn’t know the ‘pilot of the future’ (doesn’t the port have a rather longer name than that?), the 23a actress nor 11a & 8d. The infamous ‘bung-ins’ all round with those!

    Mood was distinctly lightened by 12a and the thought of how RD would react to 19d!

    Thanks to Hudson and to Tilsit for the review – I only fully realised quite recently about 25a being an acronym, think it made an appearance in a recent puzzle.

  5. Captain marvel is one of the most popular films out ( see tilsit’s Illustration). Hence 23a is fine by me, and was my first one in (well I had a preview of the clue on Twitter)

    I struggled more with Gloria and Eliot.

    Great puzzle, liked 3D/20a and more

    Many thanks Hudson and tilsit

  6. Thank you for the wonderful explanations for some new words to me 21a and 11a. I got them anyway. Must be my mind but I found this much easier than the back-pager which has a * rating. 23a was easy to put in but I just couldn’t see why…Oh, and I got my bus-pass since I recently completed 60 solar orbits ☺

  7. Back to normal after a short holiday in Edinburgh. I guessed wrongly for 6a – I had heard of the group but had no idea of its members or any of its hits. Similarly I could not parse 23a as I know little about movies but the answer was obvious. I successfully guessed 12a and 26a and after reading the blog I still do not understand the parsing as I don’t know the GK involved.

    Overall not too difficult but too much GK for my taste although there were some nice clues

    Thanks to Hudson and Tilsit

    1. Hi Patch,
      12a relates to ‘Old Possum’s book of practical cats’ written by Eliot (basis for the musical Cats) and, according to Mr Google, the ‘future pilot’ in 26a was Dan Dare – so you need to remove an abb. for Dar es Salam (Dar) from his name to finish up with the answer.
      I was OK with the former but had to do the homework for the latter!

      1. As Tilsit says in his hint for 26a, and as any boy of my age can tell you, Dan Dare was certainly known, in the Eagle comic, as “Pilot of the Future” .

        1. Not forgetting a girl with a long memory whose brother used to read the Eagle and so she did too!

      2. Thanks
        A quick use of Google shows the Eagle stopped being published when I was 11 years old. I had heard of the comic and Dan Dare but I had no idea he was a pilot. I can’t remember ever reading an issue of eagle and I don’t recall other boys buying it. That’s probably why it stopped publication! I would do better with clues referring to the Beano

  8. I, too, found this easier than the back pager which had several dodgy and dubious clues.

    I was just beaten by 6a. The gentlemen are all princes and this didn’t help a bit.

    1. I totally agree about 6d, I had the same thought process. I also agree that this puzzle was much better than the back pager which I found somewhat challenging and not enjoyable.

  9. This puzzle made us grumpy, mainly because of the amount of GK required. 6a, 23a and 26a all had stuff we had never heard of and were not that easy to check on Google. For example ‘future pilot’ did not give Dan Dare although ‘pilot of the future’ did and can’t find in the usual references Dar being short for Dar es Salaam.
    Lots of clues we did like though and we did eventually manage a filled grid.
    Thanks Hudson and Tilsit.

    1. The Wikipedia entry for Dar es Salaam says it’s also known as ‘simply Dar’ (and DAR is also the IATA code for its international airport although I don’t know if that’s relevant).

  10. Must admit to bung in my last two in 15d and 23a. Didn’t know the latter and couldn’t get that cheese out of my head. For the former I thought the wordplay was ending with E from “stat to embrace” and the DUP for the usual political muddl didn’t make any sense for make fresh.
    Not sure that 9d is a 14a.
    Loved 6a.
    Thanks to Hudson and to Tilsit for the review.

  11. Nice crossword. Like several posters (microbloggers?) above, thought Dar in 26a a step too far. Our favourite was 14a with an honourable mention to 10a and 5d.

    Thanks to Tilsit and Hudson

  12. Entertaining puzzle…
    liked 26A “European future pilot abandoning port in Tanzania (4)”…spent many of my formative years in Tanganyika -the port was known colloquially as “Dar”-I even remember the comic!

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