Toughie 2306 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2306

Toughie No 2306 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Dutch

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A pleasant and entertaining puzzle from Firefly with some great definitions. A couple of new words were clued fairly and easily. I was lucky to get the long clues straight away, speeding up my solve

Definitions are underlined as always. The hints are intended to help you unravel the wordplay, and you can reveal the answers by clicking on the You’ll never walk alone buttons. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Tipple for noisy consumers? (8)
CHAMPERS: Two meanings, the first slang for a celebratory drink

5a    The setter, dropping out from playing ‘Dormouse’, gets bouquets (6)
ODOURS: Remove the letters in a first-person pronoun meaning the setter from DOR[m]OUS[e] and then create an anagram (playing)

10a    Where one is permanently off-colour? (5,3,7)
UNDER THE WEATHER: Two meanings, the first a literal interpretation, the second feeling ill

11a    Saw press release concerning bishop (7)
PROVERB: The abbreviation for press release, a 4-letter preposition meaning concerning (definition 14 in Chambers), and the abbreviation for bishop

12a    Diplomat (he or emissary) can issue proposition (7)
THEOREM: Hidden (… can issue)

13a    Desirable to engage naughty nude for swinger (8)
PENDULUM: An adjective derived from a fruit meaning choice or desirable contains (to engage) an anagram (naughty) of NUDE

15a    Probe descendant of French (5)
SONDE: A relative or offspring plus French for of (not a word I knew)

18a    Crowded area considered flipping hot (5)
AWASH: The abbreviation for area, reversal (flipping) of a verb that can mean considered (definition 7 under intransitive in Chambers), plus the abbreviation for hot

20a    His voice perhaps is to preclude Charlie from exceptional notice (8)
BARITONE: A verb meaning to preclude or forbid, plus an anagram (exceptional) of NOTI[c]E without the letter corresponding to the radio code Charlie

23a    Derailed and disconnected? (3-4)
OFF-LINE: Two meanings, the second referring to computers

25a    Spray petrol about inside centre (7)
CORSAGE: The American word for petrol is reversed (about) and placed inside a word meaning centre or heart

26a    Twice met for nosh-up in mess — unplanned (4-2-3-6)
SPUR OF THE MOMENT: An anagram (in mess) of MET MET FOR NOSH-UP (twice met)

27a    Presumably Ms Allen accepts vacuous karaoke (6)
LIKELY: I doubt it. The first name of singer Ms Allen contains (accepts) K[araok]E with the internal letters removed (vacuous)

28a    Small exhibition space rented in Monaco, say? (8)
STATELET: The abbreviation for small, the name of a gallery, and another word for rented


1d    Idiots introduce pressure among friends (6)
CHUMS: The abbreviation for pressure is introduced into an informal words for friends

2d    Topless girl about to show up for gathering of stars (9)
ANDROMEDA: A 6-letter girl’s name without the first letter (topless) contains the reversal of a shortened form of a verb meaning to show

3d    Point to what might indicate the open sea? (7)
PORTEND: Spilt (4,3), the answer might indicate the open sea. We seem to have a repeat definition

4d    Turning up regularly in beachwear is form of therapy (5)
REHAB: Reverse (turning up) regular letters in beachwear



6d    Boxes of pants? (7)
DRAWERS: Two meanings, the first sliding boxes in furniture, the second underwear

7d    Show female into nave of church (5)
USHER: A female pronoun goes into the central letters (nave) of church

8d    Millions invested in modified timers for ultimately cutting-edge system (8)
STRIMMER: The abbreviation for millions is invested into an anagram (modified) of TIMERS, then the last letter (ultimately) of for

9d    Couple acquiring programmer — one capable of misbehaving? (3-5)
TWO-TIMER: A number that could be a couple, plus a device that would programme the timing for lights, boiling eggs, etc.

14d    Book of words: ‘Release upset marine mammal’ (8)
LIBRETTO: A shortened form of a word meaning release (as in Woman’s ***), then the reversal (upset) of a marine mammal

16d    Matchless pearl in no setting (9)
NONPAREIL: An anagram (setting) of PEARL IN NO

17d    Musical about to excite listener at the start (8)
CAROUSEL: A Latin abbreviation for about, a verb meaning to excite, and the first letter (at the start) of listener


19d    Shower swamps most of metal lock controller (4,3)
HAIR OIL: A shower of frozen water contains (swamps) the first 3 letters (most of) a 4-letter metal

21d    Switch off water heater taken in by huckster (4,3)
TURN OUT: A 3-letter water heater for tea, perhaps, goes inside (taken in by) a huckster or hawker

22d    Given a major share of supreme happiness, do a runner! (4,2)
BEAT IT: Take the first 6 letters (given a major share) of a 9-letter word meaning supreme happiness

24d    Fear of failure? Quite the reverse when taking on student (5)
FLUNK: Quite the reverse instructs you to swap the words fear and failure in the clue. The clue becomes “Failure of fear when taking on student”. Take an informal 4-letter word meaning fear or panic, and insert (when taking on) the abbreviation for learner

25d    Rock with that lady in Connecticut (5)
CHERT: A pronoun meaning that lady goes inside (in) the 2-letter abbreviation for Connecticut (not a word I knew)

My favourite today has to be “cutting-edge system” (8d). Which clues did you like?

8 comments on “Toughie 2306

  1. A nice Friday back pager (or what I’d like for a Tuesday Toughie – take your pick). I too chose 8d as my favourite

    Thanks to Firefly and Dutch

  2. Apart from the excellent ‘cutting-edge system’ (8d) I wasn’t overly taken with this puzzle and didn’t think it really cut the mustard as a ‘Friday Toughie’.
    I spent some time (to no avail) trying to find something a bit more cryptic in 10a.
    Thanks to Firefly and Dutch.

  3. Quite a gentle puzzle for a Friday but there is nothing wrong with that and I would also rate it 2* difficulty. I found it a bit of a mixed bag of clues, some very good and others rather flat. Oddly I counted Dutch’s favourite 8d as one of the dull ones – it was my last one in, mainly due to writing down a wrong letter in the anagram. Looking at it now I can see a different angle to the clue where “edge” means the “edge of lawn” not the blade edge which I assumed when I finally cracked the anagram. My strimmer just has a nylon string as the (edgeless) cutter and so I put it in the class of clues that are a bit misleading technically (eg the clue a few weeks ago that described a V1 as a rocket) which I don’t like much. But this one is a bit cleverer than I realized at first. The spray in 25a was the only word I did not know but the two words used in the cryptic were straightforward. And only 2 unknown words in the back pager – I wonder if our friends from New Zealand were busy googling Kent today.
    Many thanks to Firefly (I’ve upped my enjoyment rating to 3* whilst typing) and to Dutch

  4. For some reason I found this far easier than today’s back pager. 25d was unknown to me but the parsing fitted. I also didn’t like the American petrol in 25a
    Favourite? Has to be the clever 5a,

  5. Jogged along quite happily until I had to put the puzzle aside owing to a lunch date. Coming back to it later, I struggled a little with two that didn’t really convince me – 21&24d and three new words in the shape of 15 & 28a plus 25d.
    Plenty to enjoy and I picked out 3&8d as my top two.

    Thanks to Firefly and to Dutch for the words and music – well, maybe not the Amy Winehouse! Such a shame that the lovely song from Carousel was reduced to being a football chant.

    1. I do so agree with you, Jane, about “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. In another life I conducted the show and I stared at the score through damp eyes every night as that last chorus ended. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s best, I reckon. Thanks for the comments – always useful!

      1. Jane and Firefly, I too wept as a child over the ending of Carousel, and have always loved that Rodgers and Hammerstein favourite but I also find it very moving when a crowd of thousands sing (as near to ‘singing’ as they can) in unison – especially this August when they expessed their joy at beating Spurs, in music. Their adoption of that song has brought it back to life and you can find a wonderful rendering of it in ‘The Last Night of the Proms’ (on U-Tube) which, for me, is even more moving than the original was.

        Thanks to Firefly and Dutch.

        We have found all the Toughies relatively gentle this week – and fun to solve.

  6. That’s three Toughies in a row I have solved unaided. Either I have become a genius all of a sudden or it’s been a gentle three days. Judging by the comments above, I guess I will have to pass on the genius bit.

    Enjoyable all the same.

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