Toughie 2293 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2293

Toughie No 2293 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Yet another Thursday Hudson puzzle and this one was extremely disappointing from the difficulty point of view because all the answers went in very quickly with only 30 across needing any real thought. There seemed to be a lot of single letters used in the wordplay

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Affected adult line’s mobile ringtone sender? (9)
CAMPANILE: ‘Affected’ + A (adult) + an anagram (mobile) of LINE = a bell tower

9a    One presenting a large bill, reducing liquid account by $100 (6)
TOUCAN: A bird with a large bill is an anagram (liquid) of ACOUNT, i.e. ACCOUNT minus C ($100)

10a    Rookie spy succeeded to infiltrate Pravda outlet, perhaps (9)
NEWSAGENT: ‘Rookie spy’ (3,5) round S (succeeded) gives a shop where you might buy Pravda

11a    Bravo! Joey & Chandler’s first two appearances in cameo? (6)
BROOCH: B (Bravo) + a joey + the first two letters of CHANDLER

12a    Security code? I hardly ever see the point of it (6,3)
SAFETY PIN: The second word is the number you need to use your bank card or credit card. The whole is a fastening device with a point that is usually not visible

13a    Consume ecstasy, very hard to get hold of (6)
DEVOUR: E (ecstasy) and V (very) inside ‘very hard’

17a    Hargreaves’s last small, advanced spinning jenny (3)
ASS: A reversal (spinning) of A (advanced), S (small) and the last letter of HARGREAVES

19a    Wicked larcenist losing ‘is key (7)
CENTRAL: An anagram (wicked) of LARCENT, i.e. LARCENIST minus IS

20a    Like chillies Dutch eat in Gouda sandwiches? (7)

21a    Look into head of public railway (3)
PRY: The first letter of PUBLIC and an abbreviation for ‘railway’

23a    In favour of going back into mine to make money (6)
PROFIT: A reversal of ‘in favour of’ inside a mine

27a    Minute signs of growth in Gulf state — regulator (9)
OMBUDSMAN: Rudimentary shoots of a plant inside a country on the Arabian Peninsula

28a    Flashy Onassis is ultimately visiting Grand Hotel (6)
GARISH: A shortened form of the first name of Mr Onassis and the last letter of IS inside G (Grand) and H (Hotel)

29a    Roman school playing EU anthem following Abbado’s lead (9)
ATHENAEUM: The first letter of ABBADO + an anagram (playing) of EU ANTHEM

30a    Straight away, assassin chap going after Sturgeon? (6)
ANGLER: Remove STR (straight) from a murderer to get someone who might be trying to catch a sturgeon

31a    Flying Mach One over English Channel, finally seeing The Lizard (9)
CHAMELEON: An anagram (flying) of MACH ONE over E (English) and the last letter of CHANNEL


2d    Dad’s flipped about scrambled egg — a difference between him and mum? (3,3)
AGE GAP: A reversal of dad round an anagram (scrambled) of EGG A will tell you how much older or younger he is than mum

3d    Bill investing time in puzzle (6)
POSTER: A bill (advertising something) = T in a puzzle

4d    City of Northern Aragón’s premier artist (6)
NAGOYA: A Japanese city = N (Northern) + the first letter of ARAGON + a Spanish artist

5d    McCluskey reportedly ploughs legumes (7)
LENTILS: The first name of the trade unionist called McCluskey + a homophone of ‘ploughs’

6d    Palace insider to woo Sane to move? (9)
COURTESAN: ‘To woo’ + an anagram (to move) of SANE

7d    American grain store turned over Greek rock (9)
ACROPOLIS: A (American) + grain (possibly) + a reversal of a grain store

8d    Home of baked Alaska, crumble or ganache? (9)
ANCHORAGE: A city in Alaska is an anagram (crumble) of OR GANACHE

14d    Patsy Capes, cycling’s ‘Greatest of All Time’ (9)
SCAPEGOAT: CAPES with the last letter moved to the front + the first letters of GREATEST OF ALL TIME (Is this a recognised acronym?)

15d    Aberdeen tour agent catching a train (9)

16d    British monsoon upsetting Met — it’s our nerve centre! (9)
BRAINSTEM: B (British) + ‘monsoon’ + a reversal of MET

17d    Abba’s debut album? It’s peaked in Europe (3)
ALP: The first letter of Abba + an album (record)

18d    Throw quiet party in the end (3)
SHY: ‘Quiet!’ + the last letter of PARTY

22d    Replay gag featuring Emma regularly (7)
REMATCH: ‘To gag (be sick)’ round alternate letters of EMMA

24d    Building where mother’s about to take drugs? (6)
MUSEUM: A building where things are exhibited = ‘mother’ round ‘to take drugs’

25d    Attack wife leaving drunken revelry (6)
ASSAIL: Remove W (wife) from the front of drunken revelry

26d    Singer‘s motor unserviceable and old (6)
CARUSO: The surname of an Italian operatic tenor = a motor + an abbreviation for ‘unserviceable’ + O (old)

Now it’s dentist time


16 comments on “Toughie 2293

  1. It wasn’t just me, then, who found this one uncharacteristically straightforward for a Hudson. I think that all the very easy 3-letter answers in the middle set the pattern for a fairly rapid solve.
    I don’t see the relevance of the ‘baked’ bit of 8d. In response to Bufo’s query I’ve heard the acronym for “Greatest of all time” used quite a bit recently about a number of sportspeople including Roger Federer.
    My favourite clue was 30a.
    Thanks to Hudson and Bufo.

    1. I may be mistaken but I have a feeling the the first GOAT was the MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi.

    2. 8d. I assume the “baked” is in there to give the surface three themed references to foodstuffs instead of just 2, thereby enhancing its misdirection. Presumably to deceptively encourage the solver to think that their “home” must be a kitchen or something.

  2. I’m afraid our setter didn’t have much hope of getting plaudits from me coming so hard on the heels of what I thought was a first class back-pager.
    I agree with Bufo about the use of so many single letters and it was one that avoided that -12a – that got my vote for favourite.

    Thanks to Hudson and to Bufo for the blog. Hope the visit to the dentist was relatively painless!

  3. I think I must have suffered from solving in an optician’s noisy waiting area syndrome (the on-going saga of Mr CS being unable to see through his new reading glasses continues :( ) but I did find this tricky, not least because for the second day running we had one of those ‘its an anagram of that word you know but aren’t really sure how to spell’ (29a)

    Thanks to Hudson and Bufo

  4. a nice friendly puzzle, though i wonder how many young people would know the shortened first name of the shipping magnate in 28a
    but we’re all ancient aren’t we?

      1. Hate to be the one to tell you, LbR, but there is quite a large percentage of the population that would consider even you to be ancient! Mind you, not as ancient as some of us………….
        Ah well – at least I knew the shipping magnate!

  5. Finished this before lunch as it was pretty straightforward. My only problem was 4d. If we must have a Japanese city it could be one we’ve heard of !
    It might be a chestnut, but I did like 12a.., my COTD.

  6. Although we got the answer to 14d quite readily we had never heard of the GOAT ‘acronym’ and then, a couple of hours after solving, we were watching the Aussie version of The Chase and this Goat came up in one of the questions. Spooky! And then 1a was the same word we had written a hint for on Wednesday. Bet we weren’t the only ones who started off thinking the PRO at the start of 23a was the ‘in favour of’ from the clue.
    Despite the four separate puzzles with this grid, it all went together smoothly for us.
    Thanks Hudson and Bufo.

  7. This was enjoyable but it took me just over half the time of the proXimal puzzle that I blogged.

    Thanks to setter and Bufo.

  8. This crossword reminded me how much I like definitions that are more than one word.
    4 star enjoyment for me.
    Thanks to hudson and to bufo for the review.

  9. I really enjoyed both the novelty of being able to complete a Toughie without needing any hints, and so many fun clues. Apologies to those of you who prefer tougher Toughies.

    This grid being 4 separate crosswords very loosely connected, I approached them one at a time (over multiple sessions), solving all of the top-left one before getting any of the rest. Possibly this made each one less daunting than a full-size Toughie!

    I’ve also encountered ‘goat’ in cricket reports, and would’ve been happy enough if it’d been indicated by ‘best ever’ or similar. Do we have to wait for the BRB to include it before that would be acceptable?

    I got lucky in 23a where I also wrote in ‘pro’ as the first 3 letters for ‘for’, leaving the rest blank at that point, but getting a couple of crossers — the right letters, for the wrong reason!

    For 28a I only knew Mrs Onassis, but it stands to reason there would be a Mr, too. I hadn’t heard of the Japanese city either, but they were both easy enough to look up, and reasonable to encounter in a Toughie.

    So many clues made me smile it’s hard to pick a favourite. Maybe 11a? Or 8d?

    Thank you to Hudson for the crossword, and Bufo for explaining a couple of wordplays.

  10. Decided to have a crack at this when I heard it wasn’t too tricky and indeed i found it very doable. Not a fast solve for me but the grid gradually filled up, quarter by quarter. A pleasant accompaniment to my commute home after a somewhat trying week at work, so thanks to both Hudson and Bufo.

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