Toughie 2292 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2292

Toughie No 2292 by Musaeus

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

This is pretty standard fare for a midweek Toughie with nothing to really scare the thoroughbreds.
Thanks to Musaeus.

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

Across Clues

1a Laid up the French cutters (7)
SICKLES: put together an adjective meaning ‘laid up’ or incapacitated and one of the French definite articles.

5a Getting on with daily game (3,4)
OLD MAID: charade of ‘getting on’ (in years) and another word for a daily or cleaning woman.

9a Adult in new resort, perhaps one’s just too steamy? (7)
ROASTER: insert the abbreviation for adult into an anagram (new) of RESORT.

10a Render rank? (4,3)
TURN OFF: concatenate a verb meaning to render or cause to become and an adjective meaning rank or putrid. It always used to amuse me to see Motorway signs announcing “Rank service station”.

11a Supposedly potent reporter that makes a connection (5,4)
PRESS STUD: this could be a media man who’s sexually potent. If you haven’t already read the definition of the second word of the answer in Chambers I recommend it for a good laugh.

12a Focus for Detective Frost? (5)
CRIME: an all-in-one clue. The central letter (focus) of detective is followed by a type of frost.

13a Gag on English issue (5)
EQUIP: a gag or witticism follows an abbreviation for English.

15a This increase would be harsh if Right were left (9)
INCREMENT: if you changed the abbreviation for right in the answer to that of left you’d get an adjective meaning harsh (of the weather).

17a From the off baristas always yonks serving their stuff? (9)
BEVERAGES: fuse together the first letter of baristas, an adverb meaning always and what yonks is an informal word for. The surface seems awkward and non-grammatical – I wonder if ‘take’ or similar prior to yonks got lost at some stage.

19a Spanish beach‘s sport area (5)
PLAYA: a synonym for sport or recreation and the abbreviation for area.

22a Bins rules and regs (5)
SPECS: double definition, the first an informal word for aids to vision.

23a Settle up with this knowing wag (5,4)
SMART CARD: stick together an adjective meaning knowing or streetwise and a word for a wag or amusing character.

25a Old wrought iron company seeing one tidying up at Wimbledon? (7)
ORINOCO: assemble the abbreviation for old, an anagram (wrought) of IRON and the abbreviation for company.

26a European succeeded leaving Russian, perhaps (7)
IBERIAN: a really old chestnut. Remove the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded from someone living in a very cold part of Russia.

27a Such as aged gathered about husband that’s a know-all (7)
EGGHEAD: start with an abbreviation meaning ‘such as’ and append an anagram (gathered) of AGED containing the abbreviation for husband.

28a Wind up willing — mate follows this (7)
ENDGAME: concatenate a verb meaning to wind up and an adjective meaning willing or plucky. A question mark would be appropriate here because in practice this rarely leads to an actual mate (as opposed to a draw or resignation).

Down Clues

1d Doubt cryptic clue’s about Republican and later power (7)
SCRUPLE: an anagram (cryptic) of CLUE’S with abbreviations for Republican and power inserted separately.

2d Natter over Evian, say, for house (7)
CHATEAU: a word meaning natter precedes what Evian is in its native language. I suppose the answer is a sort of house but it’s rather a posh one.

3d Where to park American motor? (5)
LOTUS: weld together a patch of ground that may be used as a car park (especially in North America) and one of the abbreviations for American.

4d It’s hunger possibly causing nap (4,5)
SURE THING: an anagram (possibly) of IT’S HUNGER. Nap here is a racing tipster’s most confident offering.

5d Chose ‘jerks’ for entry in dictionary (5)
OPTED: an abbreviation for physical jerks at school goes inside the abbreviation for a major dictionary.

6d Super-affordable channel crop slightly overlapped (4,5)
DIRT CHEAP: synonyms for a channel or trough and a verb to crop or harvest are put together but with an overlap.

7d Worry is in past over Tyneside (7)
AGONISE: insert IS into an adverb meaning past and the abbreviation for the area of England where Tyneside is to be found.

8d Head off from excellent lecture (7)
DEFLECT: concatenate a slang term meaning excellent or very cool and an abbreviation for lecture.

14d Aid which helps you see pier and copse if blurred (9)
PERISCOPE: an anagram (if blurred) of PIER COPSE.

16d Dispense with actors by private words (4,5)
CAST ASIDE: weld together a word for all the actors in a production and words from the stage which can be heard by the audience but not by the other actors.

17d Virtually ideal jab just for you (7)
BESPOKE: a superlative meaning ideal without its last letter precedes another word for a jab or nudge.

18d A chance to weigh up member after fight (7)
VIEWING: a bodily member (of a flying creature) follows a verb to fight or compete.

20d A boozer picked up one about to get coffee (7)
ARABICA: collate A, the reversal of a boozer (the place, not the individual), the Roman numeral for one and an abbreviation meaning about or approximately.

21d Firm party to ribald enterprise (2,5)
AL DENTE: our only hidden answer.

23d Southern term for steel (5)
SWORD: the abbreviation for southern followed by a synonym of term.

24d Close to aghast having taken in what’s on Pirelli? (5)
TREAD: the last letter of aghast and a past participle meaning ‘taken in’ or perused.

I liked 11a and 25a but my favourite clue today was the clever 12a. Which clue(s) featured on your list of likes?


8 comments on “Toughie 2292

  1. The sort of time I’d expect for an average sort of Toughie but not quite as fun filled as I’d like

    My favourites were 12a and 25a. Thanks to Musaeus and Gazza

  2. Quite enjoyable with some head scratching, a supper break helped – ***/***.
    Candidates for favourite – 2d, 3d, 5d, and 21d – and the winner is 21d, my last one in and a deafening clang when the penny dropped on it being a lurker!
    Thanks to Musaeus and Gazza.

  3. 26a may be a chestnut Gazza but I became convinced, having 3 checkers, that it must be Italian. This rather inhibited any solution to 24d. All in all a bit of a struggle with 18d and 22a last in.
    I liked the neat 12a and laughed at 11a for the “supposedly” which suggests Musaeus has read his Chambers.
    The surface of 6d seems gibberish, or perhaps it’s just me.

    Thanks for the blog and thanks to Musaeus for the contest.

  4. Far from being a ‘favourite’ puzzle for me but I rarely seem to gel with this setter. So glad that our blogger suggested looking in Chambers for the definition of the second word in 11a – that really did make me laugh!
    If pushed to name a favourite, it would be 12a.

    Thanks and apologies to Musaeus and thanks to Gazza for the review.

  5. I had the grid completed in **** time, but some of the parsing was well beyond me, especially the NE corner.

    Thanks to Musaeus and Gazza.

  6. Started off in the NW corner quite quickly but then it was slow going – especially having to try and make sense of some clues (17a being a prime example). All a bit of a curate’s egg I’m afraid although I did like the simplicity of 12a.

    Sorry to the setter for not enjoying the puzzle as much as I probably should have. Thanks to Gazza for the review and joke at 23a.

  7. A pleasant solve that flowed smoothly for us with just a couple of hiccups in the SW that, in retrospect, should not have held us up.
    Thanks Musaeus and Gazza.

  8. I haven’t tackled a toughie for some time, but I found.this accessible and enjoyable. Now to google 25a. Thank you setter and Gazza.

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