Toughie 2302 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2302

Toughie No 2302 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Another very nice puzzle from proXimal, not stupidly hard, great surfaces, just my kind of thing – a great way to start the day.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. Definitions are underlined as usual, the 23d’s are intended to help you unravel the wordplay but you can always reveal the answer by clicking on the click here buttons


1a    Fruity preserves for coppers (11)
BLUEBOTTLES: A 4-letter word for fruity or saucy and another verb for preserves

7a    Length of clip changed for cinema’s third screen (7)
CURTAIN: Take a word for clip or shorten and change the abbreviation for length to the third letter of cinema

8a    Personal problem is fault exposed in discussion (7)
BUGBEAR: A fault, especially in a computer program, plus a homophone (in discussion) of exposed or naked

10a    Note, going round Siena, grub regularly seen? (8)
LINGUINE: An all-in-one. A 4-letter written note going around the even letters (regularly seen) of Siena grub

11a    Sumptuous drink consumed by another (4-2)
SLAP-UP: To drink as dog might inside (consumed by) to drink as a person might

13a    Name and location reported (4)
CITE: A homophone (reported) of a word meaning location

14a    Worker admits messing about in task (10)
ASSIGNMENT: A 6-legged worker contains (admits) an anagram (about) of MESSING

16a    Doubts generous girl represses (10)
MISGIVINGS: A word for girl contains (represses) a word for generous

18a    Occasionally missing, wetsuit container (4)
ETUI: Every third letter (occasionally) missing in wetsuit

21a    Working hard, take food that’s prepared to mate (2,4)
ON HEAT: A 2-letter word that means working, the abbreviation for hard, and a verb meaning take food

22a    Sailor nearly lost gold aboard craft (8)
ARGONAUT: A 4-letter word meaning lost or disappeared without the last letter (nearly) plus the chemical symbol for gold go aboard another word for craft

24a    Concerning time backfiring, car stops (7)
TERMINI: A reversal (backfiring) of a short word for concerning or with respect to plus the abbreviation for time, then a small car

25a    Apparent way to escape conflict with daughter (7)
OUTWARD: The way or direction of escape, a conflict, and the abbreviation for daughter

26a    Source of global vision? (7,4)
CRYSTAL BALL: A cryptic definition of a round device for seeing ahead


1d    Fellow that’s titled Oscar in ‘Hair’ (7)
BARONET: The letter with radio code Oscar goes inside (in) a slang word for hair

2d    God from holy book — leader to overlook us (6)
URANUS: This Greek god comes from an alternative spelling for the book of Islam without its first letter Q (leader to overlook), plus US from the clue

3d    Potential cause of downfall in cuckoo family (6,4)
BANANA SKIN: A 7-letter word for cuckoo or crazy plus a word for family

4d    Cylinder cut potato, perhaps (4)
TUBE: The type of plant exemplified by potato without its last letter (cut)

5d    Theme park on old dock (8)
LEGOLAND: A cricket term meaning on, the abbreviation for old, and a verb meaning dock

6d    Tower initially positioned in metal base (7)
STEEPLE: The first letter (initially) of positioned goes inside (in) a type of metal, plus the irrational base of natural logarithms

7d    Officer shelled dome on keep after Washington’s minor reassurance (4,7)
COLD COMFORT: A 3-letter abbreviation for an officer, then DOME from the clue without the outer letters (shelled) goes on top of (on) another word for keep or stronghold, and underneath (after) the area where Washington USA is located

9d    Sent home a treat arranged with pride (11)
REPATRIATED: An anagram (arranged) of A TREAT + PRIDE

12d    Handle bend on lake in small vessel (10)
FINGERBOWL: A verb meaning handle or touch, a verb meaning bend, and the abbreviation for lake

15d    D.H. Lawrence with such glee makes version of The Railway Children (8)
HILARITY: DH LAWRENCE plus [THE ANSWER] (another word for glee) provides an anagram (makes version) of THE RAILWAY CHILDREN

17d    Like 2 seconds with cipher to crack (7)
SPHERIC: An anagram (to crack) of S(econds) + CIPHER

19d    Labour: Tory oddly ready, but not able (7)
TRAVAIL: The odd letters of tory plus a 9-letter word meaning ready without the ‘able’ at the end

20d    Selection of parts ordered up in stages (6)
ROSTRA: Reverse hidden (selection of … up)

23d    First letter falls in transparent clue (4)
HINT: Take a word meaning transparent and drop the first letter to the bottom

I think my favourite is 26a, it often seems that way. Which clues did you like?

10 comments on “Toughie 2302

  1. My major problem was writing the answer to 25a in the 24a place – soon sorted out but I really do need to go to Specsavers. I anticipate a few more silly errors over the next few weeks when trying to multi-task crossword solving with watching the Rugby World Cup.

    I enjoyed the puzzle which was enough of a challenge to be fun without being mind-blowingly difficult – thanks to proXimal and Dutch. My ticks went to 1a, 3d and 5d.

  2. A very nice puzzle without the difficulty of many Friday puzzles. I took a while to get started then made steady progress until slowing in the NE corner and 15d which I feared incorrectly involved general knowledge. Fortunately once the checking letters were in place there were not many possibilities for 15d and I finally figured it out. I wonder how the setter managed to figure out the clue

    Favourite clues are 3D, 5d, 2d and of course 15d

    Many thanks to proXimal and Dutch

  3. Many thanks to proXimal for an ingenious and entertaining start to the weekend and to Dutch for the hints.

    I don’t understand “Like 2” in 17d. “Like 26” makes more sense.

  4. Got off to a very slow start and then the light dawned over 1a and things speeded up – with a quick blip over the unfamiliar spelling of the holy book. Slowed down again towards the bottom of the grid – the device used in 15d fools me every time and I was unsure of the parsing of 17d.
    Made it eventually and gave the top three places to 1&16a along with 3d.

    Thanks to proXimal for the brain strain and to Dutch for the blog – laughed at the cartoon depiction of 5d!

  5. The device in 15d fools me every time too, but I was fortunate to guess the definition word correctly and entered the right answer solely on the basis of it. The NW corner went in very slowly too, but I got all sorted out eventually – and somewhat surprisingly (for me) for a Friday. Many thanks to proXimal for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to Dutch for another excellent review.

  6. 15d took us ages and a lot of, what turned out to be irrelevant, discussion before we eventually twigged what was going on.
    A thoroughly enjoyable solving experience for us.
    Many thanks proXimal and Dutch.

  7. Discovered this morning that I hadn’t finished this one. All done now and very entertaining. I can’t decypher 15d despite Dutch’s hint. 1a was my pick of the day.

    1. It’s one of those wretched subtractive anagrams that always fool me!
      Take THE RAILWAY CHILDREN and remove the letters of DH LAWRENCE from it. What you’re left with forms an anagram of HILARITY.

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