Toughie 2312 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2312

Toughie No 2312 by Stick Insect

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I found this one fairly straightforward with a number of old chestnuts but I did enjoy solving it. I thought that a few of the surfaces (e.g. 4d) were a bit iffy.

Thanks to Stick Insect for the puzzle.

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

Across Clues

1a Check bags cadet vacantly put by old scanner (8)
DETECTOR: a verb to check or discourage contains the outer letters of cadet and the abbreviation for old.

5a This writer is second-class — current chapter’s concerned with feet! (6)
IAMBIC: put ‘this writer is’ into the first person (1,2) and append the letter used to mean second-class, the symbol for electric current and one of the abbreviations for chapter.

9a Shrinks salty cooking in pots without lid (8)
ANALYSTS: an anagram (cooking) of SALTY goes inside types of kitchen pots without their first letter.

10a Men she gets mixed up in tangle (6)
ENMESH: an anagram (gets mixed up) of MEN SHE.

11a Should tough cycling without limits stop? (5,2)
OUGHT TO: cycle the first letter of tough round to its end and add ‘stop’ after removing its outer letters.

12a ‘Local drink’ announced one in the know (7)
INSIDER: stick together homophones of a local or pub and an alcoholic drink.

13a Officer almost into rebuilding firm (11)
CORPORATION: a non-commissioned army officer without his/her last letter is followed by an anagram (rebuilding) of INTO.

16a Student corruptly taps umpire for test sheet (6,5)
LITMUS PAPER: the letter displayed by a student precedes an anagram (corruptly) of TAPS UMPIRE.

21a Outdoor feature film about queen (7)
ROCKERY: the name of a film (the first of a series, starting in 1976 and still going in 2018) contains the regnal cipher of our current Queen.

22a Spurn salesman with line in profit (7)
REPULSE: combine an abbreviated salesman and a synonym for profit or advantage containing the abbreviation for line.

23a Detroit truck reverses over silver statues (6)
IMAGES: we need the prefix for a type of US truck which pulls a trailer with just half of the usual number of axles (i.e. it has no front axle). Reverse that and insert the chemical symbol for silver. I’d never heard of the truck.

24a Immature satirist, one for adult audience finally (8)
JUVENILE: start with the name of a Roman satirist, replace the abbreviation for adult with the Roman numeral for one and finish with the final letter of audience.

25a Grocer gutted river carp (6)
GROUSE: remove the inner letters from gutted and add the name of a number of rivers in England of which the best known is in North Yorkshire.

26a Influence husband, for instance squandering money (8)
HEGEMONY: string together the genealogical abbreviation for husband, the abbreviation of ‘for instance’ and an anagram (squandering) of MONEY.

Down Clues

1d Inside a convent shelters a churchman (6)
DEACON: our only lurker.

2d Chinese dynasty’s adopting western nasal tones (6)
TWANGS: the name of a Chinese dynasty which ruled from the seventh to the tenth century plus the ‘S contain the abbreviation for western.

3d Sob quietly, habitual response describing the Toughie? (7)
CRYPTIC: weld together a verb to sob, the musical abbreviation meaning quietly and a habitual response or involuntary muscle contraction.

4d Perturbed Tory must limit animal strike, initially helped using right characters (11)
ORTHOGRAPHY: an anagram (perturbed) of TORY contains a farm animal, a verb to strike or knock and the initial letter of helped.

6d Failure to recall wounded men trapped in continent (7)
AMNESIA: insert an anagram (wounded) of MEN into the name of a continent.

7d Book perused going to prison store (5,3)
BREAD BIN: assemble the abbreviation for book, a verb meaning perused and a slang term for prison or cell.

8d Company lease housing male orderly (8)
COHERENT: the abbreviation for company and a verb to lease contain a male pronoun.

12d Untimely end of Doctor, trapped by River Song after fashionable operation (11)
INOPPORTUNE: the last letter of doctor goes between an Italian river and a synonym for song or air. All that is preceded by an adjective meaning fashionable or trendy and the abbreviation for a surgical operation. River Song is the name of a female character in Doctor Who – I didn’t know that before today.

14d Trifling with new arrangement? (8)
FLIRTING: this is an all-in-one – it’s an anagram (with new arrangement) of TRIFLING.

15d Tom’s upset man with oxygen disconnected (8)
STACCATO: reverse what a tom is in the animal world, not forgetting the ‘S, then add a word used among jazz fans for a man and the chemical symbol for oxygen.

17d Poor encouragement to economise? (7)
USELESS: split 3,4 this could mean to economise.

18d Full theatre allowed start of expansion (7)
REPLETE: glue together the abbreviation for a type of theatre involving the performance of multiple plays, a verb meaning allowed and the starting letter of expansion.

19d A floor covering contains black and white (6)
ALBINO: A and a type of floor covering contain the abbreviation for black.

20d Vegetable expedition lacks a certain something (6)
CELERY: start with a synonym for expedition or speed and remove a short word meaning a certain something or a special quality.

The clues I liked best were 14d and 15d. Which one(s) made the grade for you?


24 comments on “Toughie 2312

  1. I found all but the SE corner to be rather backer pager in nature. I did not know the satirist. The word for expedition was known to me but so rarely used it took a while to remember it after guessing the vegetable. The clue I liked best was 26a – it took a while for me to see “squandering” could be an anagram indicator.

    Thanks to Stick Insect and Gazza

  2. Agree with your rating Gazza. 24a was a bung in as was 20d, which I still can’t parse but may think about it a bit more; must be a synonym I’ve never heard of. A few old chestnuts I think, and some surfaces didn’t seem to flow, but overall enjoyable nevertheless. I’ll make 14d the favourite for the simple use of a ? Ta to all.

  3. So that’s where the Tuesday back pager went!

    This took me an early week back page time to solve – the same as today’s Jay in fact – although I did enjoy the experience overall, whilst noticing the appearance of a few old ‘friends’

    Thanks to Stick Insect and Gazza

  4. I think ‘Toughie’ perhaps may not be the way to describe this puzzle but it was certainly enjoyable to solve with some pretty slick clueing in evidence.

    Thanks to Gazza and Stick Insect.

  5. A fairly benign puzzle with the SE corner the last to cough up the answers – or should I say ‘the correct parsings’. The only thing I have a bugbear with is the distinction in crosswordland between what constitutes an officer. Nothing against ‘commissioned’ officers, but having had the pleasure of serving 22 years in HM’s Royal Navy from an Able Rating to Warrant Officer (and everything in between) I certainly have never considered myself an ‘Officer’ and I know many ex – RAF and Army SNCO’s who believe the same. Anyway, rant over :cool:

    My favourite COTD was 12d as it had a good Doctor theme running through it.

    Thanks to Stick Insect for the puzzle and to Gazza for his review and the pic @ 4d.

    1. I think you’re right – neither Chambers nor Collins On-line list albino as an adjective as opposed to a noun though Merriam-Webster does, so perhaps it’s a North American usage.

        1. … to be pedantic, ‘white’ is a combination of all colours, though not actually a colour in itself
          A lack of any pigmentation would be black, which is also not a colour
          Just sayin’

  6. Enjoyable straightforward puzzle from my point of view.

    I hadn’t heard of the truck in 23a but the answer was fairly obvious, with 24a I didn’t get the parsing but the answer was clear.

    Favourites were 26a, 14d and 15d.

    Thanks to Gazza and Stick Insect.

    1. The truck is even worse when pronounced over there – “sem eye”.

      Go on Gazza, please give me the synonym for expedient unless there is a word acceleryert ( I’m on holiday and have no BRB with me)

      1. The word for expedition or speed is celerity, so take away ‘it’ (that certain something) to leave celery.

        1. Ta. Never heard of that. How stupid of me. I guess “it” could be a “cert” as in hopeful SA, or maybe that is just the product of a long lazy boozy lunch in the sunshine!

          1. Celerity comes from the Latin “celeritas” (= swiftness or speed) and is used in the famous equation e=mc2 to represent the speed of light (c) squared.

  7. Managed to dredge up the Detroit truck from somewhere but the same cannot be said for the ‘upright characters’ and the ancient satirist. Ashamed that I couldn’t come up with the former but forgave myself where the old Roman was concerned.

    3d made me smile and gets a podium place along with 14d.

    Thanks to Stick Insect and to Gazza for the blog and the always humorous pics.

  8. In France, these articulated lorries are called semi-remorques, so no problem there.
    In fact there were no other problems with this light offering from Stick insect.
    Thanks to him and to Gazza for the review.

  9. First of all, the answer to 2d is missing the final “y”. It really doesn’t need it but Stick Insect insists.
    12a and 17d were very recent chestnuts.
    26a was a word quite new to me.
    12d lovely to meet Alex Kingston. Her “River Song” is my favourite Dr Who character.

    1. Thanks, JB. The hint for 2d has now been corrected (I blame rushing the blog this morning so that I could watch Wales win a famous victory in the Rugby World Cup).

  10. The type of truck in 23a is a name that is used regularly here so that was not a problem for us. The E side went in more easily for us than the W, but overall, no major delays. We missed the subtlety of the Dr Who reference in 12d. A pleasant solve for us.
    Thanks Stick Insect and Gazza.

  11. All straight forward apart from 4D which took as long as the previous 10 clues. A new word to me that I worked out using the worldplay and then had to check online. Thanks to the setter.

  12. With the exception of the last three or four, for which I needed Gazza’s help, this took me no longer then the back pager, which for some reason took longer than a normal Wednesday.
    I thought the surface for the rather obscure 4d wasn’t the best or smoothest but I was highly impressed by 8a and I liked 19d (but I’m not a pedant!)

    Thanks to Gazza for the explanations and amusing illustrations and to Stick Insect.

  13. We enjoyed this and had no issue with surface readings. I’m glad I didn’t give myself a tough word like 4d to clue! 3d was certainly worth a smile. Thank you to Gazza and Stick Insect.

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