Toughie 2295 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2295

Toughie No 2295 by Dada

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

The days of Fluffy Tuesdays seem to be history. While not the toughest of puzzles, this one was certainly challenging.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Indifference to pain is most unusual dressing raw cut (8)
STOICISM: an anagram (unusual) of IS MOST around (dressing) the first two letters (cut) of a three-letter word meaning raw, when applied to weather

9a    A blithe land (6)
ALIGHT: the A from the clue followed by an adjective meaning blithe or carefree gives a verb meaning to land or descend from an aircraft

10a    Horse in stayer galloping around (4)
GREY: hidden (in) and reversed (around) inside the clue

11a    Opponent splitting bright beam (10)
CANTILEVER: an opponent or someone opposed to inside (splitting) an adjective meaning bright or talented

12a    Large shock-absorber (6)
BUMPER: two definitions

14a    Leaning back, try to drink water — child’s play, is it? (5,3)
TRAIN SET: the reversal (leaning back) of a word meaning try around some water gives a child’s toy

15a    Very little wasted (6)
TIDDLY: two definitions – the second being wasted in the sense of having drunk too much alcohol

17a    Lovely broadcast about certain vessels? (6)
VENOUS: sounds like (broadcast) a beautiful woman (lovely, as a noun) – the vessels are ones that carry blood

20a    Brown fan behind box (8)
CHESTNUT: a fan or enthusiast preceded by (behind) a large strong box

22a    Initially, game of tag’s call hollered, and I’ve caught you! (6)
GOTCHA: the initial letters of six words in the clue

23a    Bones not fixed by the setter in US city (10)
SACRAMENTO: some bones followed by an anagram (fixed) of NOT itself preceded by the first-person objective pronoun (the setter)

24a    Seventh of passengers getting on first? (4)
GOLD: the seventh letter of passenGers followed by an adjective meaning getting on or aged

25a    Test mark about right (6)
STRAIN: a mark or discoloration around R(ight)

26a    Females keeping order in game (8)
DOMINOES: some female animals around (keeping) the Order of Merit and IN from the clue


1d    Embracing daughter and American, spark romantic quality (8)
STARDUST: D(aughter) and the two-letter abbreviation for American surrounded by (embracing) a spark or suggestion

2d    Large spruce (4)
TIDY: two definitions – the first being large in the sense of a large sum

3d    Grinding device caught, someone digging around it (6)
MINCER: C(aught) with someone who digs, for example coal, on the outside

4d    Ally that is holding down defensive barrier (8)
PALISADE: an ally and the Latin abbreviation for “that is” around an adjective meaning down or unhappy

5d    Messages from Homer’s Odyssey? (6-4)
PIGEON POST: nothing to do with the Greek poet, or even a character in The Simpsons, this homer is a bird that has been trained to find its way home while carrying a message

6d    Take one into the outskirts of Venice (6)
THIEVE: I (one) inside THE from the clue and the outer letters of V[enic]E

8d    Very little time (6)
MINUTE: two definitions – an adjective meaning very little and a short period of time

13d    A president, remarkably banal (10)
PEDESTRIAN: an anagram (remarkably) of A PRESIDENT

16d    Distrust primarily in men playing with nail bomb (8)
LANDMINE: the initial letter (primarily) of D[istrust] inside an anagram (playing) of MEN with NAIL

18d    Dramatist putting latest of novels on ice, perhaps? (8)
SCHILLER: didn’t this dramatist make a recent appearance? – the final letter (latest) of [novel]S followed by a refrigerated cabinet

19d    As punishment, hit high (6)
STONED: two definitions – the second being high, as in under the influence of drugs

21d    Framing paintings etc, I say, satisfying (6)
HEARTY: some paintings, etc. inside (framing) an interjection meaning “I say!”

22d    Last of oil covered in sticky substance, well black (6)
GLOOMY: th final letter (last) of [oi]L inside (covered in) a sticky substance followed by an interjection meaning “well!”

24d    Finished where white knight starts? (4)
GONE: a word meaning to travel and a direction which is one of the two (indicated by the question mark) in which a white knight on a chess board can make its first move Take the square on which one of the white knights starts and express it as a letter and number, with the latter in words [thanks Halcyon, I did look at that but didn’t see it as an expansion!]

That was pretty good, although I thought 24d was a bit weak.


15 comments on “Toughie 2295

  1. The right sort of challenge we should expect for a Tuesday Toughie – well I think so anyway – my favourite clue was 5d for several reasons

    Thanks to Dada (more like this please) and to BD

  2. Re 24d – I thought it was a reference to the square number on which one of the white knights starts.
    Thanks for the blog [you’re right about Tuesdays] and to Dada for a toughie.

  3. Very enjoyable – thanks to Dada and BD.
    I think that 24d is the square on the board where one of the white knights starts spelled out (1,3).
    Top clues for me were 17a, 5d and 24d.

  4. A perfect complement to today’s back pager and I would probably classify it as like one of Dada’s more quirky Sunday puzzles – 17a being a good example – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 23a, and 4d – and the winner is 23a.
    Thanks to Dada and BD.

  5. I found this fairly tricky – especially getting started. A nice puzzle which did not extend beyond my limited vocabulary and GK. Lots of nice clues – I liked 14a because the biggest enthusiasts for this form of play that I know are all grown up men, so the “is it?” bit made me laugh. I also liked 5d. Although I have seen Homer used in this way several times in crosswords (but not recently) the clue made me panic a bit as I initially assumed it required some knowledge of old literature which counts me out. I have not seen Homer in the Simpsons sense for a while either.

    Many thanks to Dada for an entertaining puzzle and BD for the blog

  6. Definitely a bit of thought required here particularly with regard to 11a & 5d. I had the same moment of panic as Patch did over the latter. A flash of inspiration gave me 24d so, unlike our blogger, I quite liked that one.

    Top two for me were the boozy ones – 15a & 19d – can’t think why that should be!

    Thanks to Dada and to BD for the review.

  7. Just a thought – is the definition at 7a completely accurate? The answer may well mean ‘showing indifference to pain’ but I don’t think it necessarily indicates that the person concerned isn’t actually experiencing pain.

  8. Sorry BD! I thought 24d was brilliant. A change to have a chess clue. (G1.)

    I also liked 19d and, thanks to Arthur Ransome, 5d was my first one in. Fluffy? No way!

  9. I didn’t have time to tackle this this morning but I am glad I eventually got around to it. It was certainly both challenging and enjoyable.
    My podium comprises 15a, 5d & 24d.
    Many thanks to Dada and to BD.

  10. Quite a bit trickier than we often see on a Tuesday. The RHS much slower than the LHS for us. Chuckles and Dooh moments all the way through for us. No wonder we so look forward to puzzles from this setter.
    Thanks Dada and BD.

  11. I infrequently venture into the Toughie so was pleased to make reasonable progress today apart from stumbling a bit in the NE where some help from BD was sought. 5d also made me think around around Homer’s epics until the other homer dawned on me. Enjoyed fathoming 23a. Thanks Dada and BD.

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