Toughie 2319 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2319

Toughie No 2319 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Silvanus seems very much at home in this Tuesday slot. This is another excellent puzzle with a wide variety of different clues all making for a pleasurable, if brief, solve.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Club vicar tries out, one just like you? (14)

10a    Key ingredient of a French wine’s the same (9)
UNALTERED: if you are wondering where the first E comes from, then try using the feminine version of the French indefinite article – add a type of wine and insert (ingredient of) one of the keys on the computer keyboard

11a    Affect to reverse decision regarding retirement from theatre? (3,2)
ACT ON: this could mean a thespian has reversed his decision regarding retirement from the theatre

12a    Broadcaster with series that’s famous in New York (7)
SKYLINE: a well-known satellite broadcaster followed by a series

13a    Churlish to hold celebratory day when retired and gorge (6)
DEVOUR: an adjective meaning churlish around (to hold) the reversal (when retired) of a day which celebrates the end of hostilities in Europe

15a    Working amongst island tenants essentially, somewhere in the Hebrides (4)
IONA: a two-letter word meaning working inside I(sland) and the middle letter (essentially) of [ten]A[nts]

17a    Help with stadium environment (10)
BACKGROUND: a verb meaning to help or support followed by a stadium, such as one in which football or cricket is played

18a   Like wide space on the counter and convenience in local shops (10)
NEWSAGENTS: the reversal (on the counter) of a two-letter word meaning like, W(ide) and the smaller of two printers’ spaces is followed by a public convenience for men

20a    To which place has wife gone for present? (4)
HERE: start with a word meaning which place and drop (gone) the W(ife)

22a    Experts ceased putting off work on article being reviewed (6)
ADEPTS: a verb meaning ceased without (putting off) OP (musical work) and the indefinite article all reversed (being reviewed)

23a    Dark-haired woman’s career put out by old city lab equipment (7)
BURETTE: start with a dark-haired woman and replace (put out) RUN (career) with our usual old city

26a    Multinational retailer updates continental stores (5)
TESCO: hidden (stores) inside the clue

27a    Opening month within popular mountainous region cut short (9)
INAUGURAL: the definition is an adjective – put a three-letter abbreviated month between a two-letter word meaning popular and most of (cut short) a mountainous region that separates Europe from Asia

28a    Type of music identifiable in cycling brand? (6,3,5)
RHYTHM AND BLUES: “cycle” BRAND and you get RANDB which when split (1,3,1) and then expanded gives the answer


2d    Cash register, close to empty (5)
READY: a verb meaning to register or display followed by the final letter of (close to) [empy]Y

3d    Drink before Bill turns up? Maybe Tom finds that appealing (6)
CATNIP: a four-letter drink, typically of beer, followed by a two-letter abbreviation for a bill, all reversed (turns up) – this tom is a feline

4d    Having a multicoloured appearance, awfully great idea by Vanuatu’s capital (10)
VARIEGATED: an anagram (awfully) of GREAT IDEA follows the initial letter (capital) of Vanuatu

5d    About to receive papers for travel (4)
RIDE: a two-letter word meaning about around some papers

6d    Admirer of partner wearing gold rings primarily (7)
AMATEUR: definition 1 of this word in the BRB is an enthusiast or admirer – put a partner inside the chemical symbol for gold and add the initial letter (primarily) of R(ings)

7d    Establish core unit prepared to defend Germany (9)
INTRODUCE: an anagram (prepared) of CORE UNIT around the the IVR code for Germany

8d    Fan, upset over game, spouts ‘disgusted’ comments from here? (9,5)
TUNBRIDGE WELLS: the reversal (upset) of a fan or enthusiast is followed by a card game and some spouts to give the place from which “disgusted” typically writes to the newspapers

9d    On set, squirm at working around English TV interrogator, perhaps (8,6)
QUESTION MASTER: an anagram (working) of ON SET SQUIRM AT around E(nglish)

14d    Ray needs Meals on Wheels, a platform to make progress? (10)
SKATEBOARD: another name for a ray (type of fish) followed by a general word for meals provided by a third party

16d    State of recently born calf? (3,6)
NEW JERSEY: this US state could be a recently born calf of a particular breed

19d    Coin that mostly circulated in ancient city (7)
ANTIOCH: an anagram (circulated) of COIN with most of THA[t]

21d    Saving river between France and Portugal, left abandoned (6)
FRUGAL: R(iver) divides the the IVR code for for France and [port]UGAL without (abandoned) the nautical word for left

24d    Reportedly given lessons to make cake (5)
TORTE: sounds like (reportedly) a verb meaning given lessons

25d    ‘Foreign Currency’ sign head of bank gets removed (4)
LIRA: start with one of the three five-letter signs of the Zodiac and drop (gets removed) the initial letter (head) of B[ank]

An object lesson in never repeating an indicator from the “inventor” of repetition radar.


24 comments on “Toughie 2319

  1. Successful solve but didn’t quite understand my answer in 8d.
    Now I see the connection. Great fun.
    So much to like. Hard to pick a favourite.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to BD.

  2. Agree with your rating BD. Great blend of clues. Thought the second part of 14d was a bit of a stretch. Favourite? 28a just ahead of a couple of others. Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

    1. In 14d I thought that ‘on wheels’ formed part of the definition making it less of a stretch.

  3. We’re being spoilt with a Silvanus NTSPP and Toughie within a few days of each other.
    I really enjoyed this – thanks to Silvanus and BD.
    My podium selections are 28a, 8d and 14d.

  4. As Gazza said, we really have been spoilt with offerings from Silvanus recently – long may it continue.
    I had my usual moment of panic when ‘cycling’ appeared in this one but I needn’t have worried and that clue made my leader board along with Mr ‘disgusted’ and the recently born calf.

    There are many differences between rays and the fish mentioned in 14d but that appears not to matter in crosswordland or the BRB so perhaps I’ll just fire off a missive in true 8d fashion!

    Many thanks for a delightful puzzle, Silvanus, and thanks to BD for the review.

  5. My only problem was parsing 28a – thanks BD – I always have problems when “cycling” appears in a clue.

    Thanks to Silvanus & BD.

    My repetition radar hasn’t bleeped yet – must get some new batteries!

  6. Bravo! Superb stuff from start to finish. I was flummoxed by the parsing of 28a (thanks for the explanation, BD) but, that apart, everything came together steadily and smoothly; with smooth also being the apposite word as far as the surfaces are concerned.

    There was a big battle for podium places, but in the end 28a, 8d & 16d got the nod.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to BD.

  7. Beaten by 22ac and needed help with the music at 28ac. A wonderful puzzle. Just right for a Tuesday. Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

  8. Excellent, thanks Silvanus. Wasn’t familiar with 8d (where does that come from?) and I couldn’t parse 28a – D’oh! and thanks to BD
    I’m only familiar with Mr Angry from Purley (Steve Wright R1), and ‘While angry from Manchester writes to complain, about all the repeats on T.V.’ (Del Amitri – Nothing Ever Happens)

      1. Del Amitri were the last band to have a number one single that wasn’t in 4/4 time. Pop pap time. Nothing Really Matters.

  9. 2* difficulty for the rest of you, maybe, but it was more than that for me today.
    I was defeated by my last few, which were all in the top right corner, and by 8d.
    I confess to needing the hint to understand 28a.
    I particularly appreciated 17a and 14d, if only because getting one of them helped me to get the other.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to BD for the hints (and for the answer to 6d)

  10. Thoroughly enjoyable. A real pleasure to solve. 8d is our favourite.
    Thanks Silvanus and BD.

  11. Many thanks to BD for his decryptions and illustrations and to everyone else who commented. Gazza was spot on regarding 14d, and I have found the following link which LbR might find useful:

    It’s always of interest to me which clues are nominated as solvers’ picks, particularly today when my own personal favourite (18a) didn’t get a specific mention!

    1. Dear Sir,

      I don’t understand the surface reading of 18a … and the hint is missing a few words from the clue.

      Yours, disgruntled.

      1. Hi Stan, I’m sure BD will correct the clue for 18a when he has the chance.

        I’m not sure I follow your comment about the surface though, what is it you don’t understand?

    2. Having bunged it in with all checkers present and correct and a direct link to the definition I could not derive the workings of the wordplay. Until I read the blog. So thanks again for the explanations and the setting. We have had a good day. Enhanced by cryptic crossword puzzles and food and beer.

    3. Having bunged it in with all checkers present and correct and a direct link to the definition I could not derive the workings of the wordplay. Until I read the blog. So thanks again for the explanations and the setting. We have had a good day. Enhanced by cryptic crossword puzzles and food and beer.

  12. Came back to this this morning, but still couldn’t complete the NE corner. Very enjoyable puzzle with a great variety. Don’t think I would ever have got 6d simply because I didn’t know that definition of “amateur”.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Big Dave.

    Favourite by far was 28a.

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