Toughie 2282 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2282

Toughie No 2282 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Fair, not overly difficult and enjoyable puzzle from proXimal today. I started with 8a and worked systematically anti-clockwise, giving me the illusion of being in control.

Many thanks Tilsit for looking after last Friday’s toughie

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Sense to bridge a river having heard Don sinks, perhaps (8,4)
SANITARY WARE: A 6-letter word for sense or soundness of mind goes around (to bridge) A from the clue plus the abbreviation for river, then a homophone (heard) of a word meaning don or put on

8a    Losing rag in road rage, criminal bearing blades (5)
OARED: An anagram (criminal) of ROAD (rag)E without (losing) RAG

9a    Slang for all to see reflected in a pub sign (9)
AUTOGRAPH: A reversal (reflected) of a 5-letter word meaning slang plus the film classification “for all to see” goes inside (in) A from the clue plus the 2-letter abbreviation for pub

11a    Soldier on a plain (9)
PERSEVERE: A 3-letter word meaning a (as in: 50p *** kilo) plus a word meaning plain, or austerely restrained or simple in appearance (as in clothing, perhaps)

12a    Folding part of piano tested (5)
NOTES: Hidden (part of …). I had to check Urban Dictionary to verify this slang definition

13a    Trapped inside school, a dumpy hairy creature (9)
SASQUATCH: The 3-letter abbreviation for school contains (trapped inside …) A from the clue plus a 5-letter word meaning dumpy

16a    Another newspaper job? (5)
THEFT: Not the Telegraph, but … (3,2)

18a    Happy scratching place making you relieved (5)
EASED: A 7-letter word for happy or contented without the initial 2-letter abbreviation for place

19a    Fit rival? Not disheartened (9)
COMPETENT: A verb meaning to rival plus N(o)T from the clue without the central letter (disheartened)

20a    Lean back embracing a stunner (5)
TASER: The reversal of a verb meaning lean or support contains (embracing) A from the clue

22a    Clasp and wheel bearing breaking after almost year (6,3)
SAFETY PIN: A 4-letter verb meaning wheel or turn round contains an anagram (breaking) of AFTE(r) without the last letter (almost) plus the abbreviation for year

25a    Police officers frequently very forgiving (9)
SUPERSOFT: An informal word for police officers plus a word for frequently

26a    Board transport, moving left to the end (5)
PANEL: A type of transport moving the abbreviation for left from the second position to the end

27a    Cents, say, nerd nervously takes in outing for US tender (5-7)
CANDY-STRIPER: The abbreviation for cents plus an anagram (nervously) of SAY NERD goes around (takes in) a 4-letter outing or excursion


1d    Bombshells, you are texted, force put aboard ship (9)
SURPRISES: The texted version of ‘you are’ plus a 5-letter word meaning force or lever goes inside (put aboard) the abbreviation for ship

2d    New talent show employee, not the first to be prompt (5)
NUDGE: The abbreviation for new, and a word for a talent show employee such as Simon Cowell or Tom Jones without the first letter (not the first)

3d    Whiff from tense people (5)
TRACE: The abbreviation of tense plus a word meaning people or nation

4d    Northern town‘s alternative starter of haggis in batter (9)
ROTHERHAM: A 5-letter word meaning alternative plus the first letter (starter) of haggis go inside (in) a verb meaning batter

5d    Engineer collecting missing base for carriage (9)
WAGONETTE: A well-known Scottish engineer goes around (collecting) a word meaning missing, plus the base of natural logarithms

6d    Oppose republican even dropping by (5)
REACT: The abbreviation for republican plus Chambers definition 11 for ‘even’, without (dropping) the letter that is used as an arithmetic symbol for multiplication (‘by’)

7d    Having gathered pieces, dress is all there (6,6)
COMPOS MENTIS: A word for dress or fertilise contains (having gathered) another word for pieces (from a chess set), plus IS from the clue

10d    Homeless dental hygienist working in indecisive manner (12)
HESITATINGLY: An anagram (working) of (den)TAL HYGIENIST without the ‘home’ at the beginning

14d    Student experience mostly excellent (9)
UNDERGRAD: A 7-letter word for experience or suffer without the last letter (mostly), plus a slang word for excellent (as in short for radical)

15d    Vehicles offloading right skips for food stores (4,5)
TUCK SHOPS: Vehicles used for haulage without (offloading) the abbreviation for right, plus a verb meaning skips

17d    Enlightenment from revolutionary Frenchman, author captivating you once (3-6)
EYE-OPENER: A reversal (revolutionary) of a French first name and a macabre American author contains (captivating) an old-fashioned way (once) of saying you

21d    One trapped by distant relatives raised tone (5)
SEPIA: The Roman numeral for one goes inside the reversal (raised) of some evolutionary distant relatives

23d    Stench from feet, two are scrubbed intermittently (5)
FETOR: Even letters of 3 words in the clue (scrubbed intermittently)

24d    Covertly approach area close to that upset dog (3,2)
TAP UP: A reversal (upset) of the abbreviation for area plus the last letter (close) of that, plus a young dog

My favourite clues today were 9a (pub sign!) and 27a (US tender!). Which clues did you like?

16 comments on “Toughie 2282

  1. I was expecting something trickier from Mr X on a Friday but an enjoyable time was had. Thanks to him and Dutch

  2. I almost finished a Friday puzzle without any recourse to electronic systems (a rare event!) but fell short with the hairy creature clue. I was quite surprised to find out I have previously never known the “short and stout” meaning of the word dumpy. I have been familiar with the slang meaning of unattractive or ugly since childhood. I have probably encountered the word in the sense of squat several times over the last fifty years and assumed it meant unattractive. So, by not relating dumpy to short and stout and not knowing the hairy animal, I could not guess the answer. I failed to figure out the wordplay for 12a, 22a and 14d but got the correct solution.

    I was for the first time looking out for the pangram – X but it seems there are a few more letters missing than the X.

    It was a pleasant enough puzzle.

    Thanks to Proximal and Dutch

  3. I really enjoyed this. I approach Friday Toughies with trepidation, but, even though it took me several sittings to solve, everything slowly but steadily fell into place with 7d my last one in. Ultimately I only needed Google to check that my seemingly unlikely answer to 27a was correct, plus Dutch’s help to understand the parsing of 9a.
    My podium in fact comprises the three aforementioned clues.
    Many thanks to proXimal and to Dutch.

  4. Like CS, I was expecting a full house Toughie too and though this is only slightly shy of the mark it is made up for by the enjoyment factor.
    Thanks to proXimal and to Dutch

  5. I didn’t find this one as straightforward as others but I did enjoy it a lot. I didn’t know the 23d stench or the 27a tender – for some time I tried to make the second word of 27a ‘scraper’ until sense prevailed.

    My ticks went to 11a, 7d and 21d. Thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

  6. I confidently wrote “alert” in 21d….. so that held me up a bit. Got there in the end thanks to a train journey from Sheffield to Exeter. Hard but fair, like Norman Hunter.

  7. Found this somewhat more difficult than others seem to have done. I had to guess at the ‘slang’ in 25a & 14d and didn’t know the term to describe such words as used in 9a. Then I had to deal with the unknowns at 27a & 23d and convince myself that the second part of 6d could mean ‘even’.
    Enjoyed the puzzle despite all my problems – sign of a good setter.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Dutch for the review. So pleased to see you back in the Friday slot but could have done without the illustration at 17d – made me feel positively queasy!

  8. Far too difficult for me especially not having never heard of 12a and the curious 27a. I’m not averse to Americanisms but these really were too obscure.

    1. And what about 4d. Weren’t we all agreeing a couple of days ago that place names etc. were unwelcome?

  9. As one who is still very much a Toughie novice especially Friday Toughies I found this particularly to my liking. Similarly to Dutch, I worked anti clockwise, but starting with 1 down. 1 across held me up for ages; I guessed that ‘ware’ must be the second word in the answer, but it took a while for the penny to fall. 4 down, home to my elder son, was easy to fathom due to its familiarity to us. Many enjoyable clues, but won’t bore you all with a list. A thoroughly enjoyable solve, thanks proXimal and thanks Dutch also – I really did appreciate your notes for parsing some of my answers.

  10. A thoroughly enjoyable Friday Toughie for us. 1a had to wait until we had several checkers in place before the penny dropped and at the bottom of the grid, luckily, one of us had heard of the answer. A fun solve that kept us smiling all the way through.
    Thanks proXimal and Dutch.

  11. Good all round Friday Toughie, but like some didn’t like the Americanism in 27a especially as I kept wanting to put ‘Fetid’ in 23d! Favourite probably 13a though had to check the spelling had an idea there was a ‘K’ or A ‘W’ in that word though the parsing showed there couldn’t be!

  12. Reading this blog I’m trying to work out why a puzzle, enjoyed by so many, defeated and irritated me. I’ve come to the conclusion that it was because my first solve was 13a which I found by accident because someone had already asked for internet help and posted the answer. A combination of annoyance by this display of what I felt was cheating and realising I’d never heard of this animal somehow made me feel inadequate before I’d even really started. A pity.

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