Toughie 2332 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2332

Toughie No 2332 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A very pleasant puzzle which didn’t pose too many difficulties – thanks to Donnybrook.

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

Across Clues

1a Coastal road hard to find in mass of snow (8)
CORNICHE: insert the pencil abbreviation for hard into a word that can mean an overhanging crest of snow. I didn’t know the ‘mass of snow’ meaning but the definition was obvious so it was a case of checking out what it had to be.

6a More subtle to invest 1,000 pounds? (6)
NICKER: a comparative meaning more subtle or nuanced contains an abbreviation for 1,000.

9a Caper cut and put on bacon cube (6)
LARDON: fuse together a caper or bit of fun without its last letter and a verb to put on or wear.

10a Concert, absurd performance, extremely great (8)
GIGANTIC: charade of an informal word for a live concert and a Shakespearean word for a grotesque pageant (thanks to Chambers).

11a I concur that woman must catch a bird (4,4)
HEAR HEAR: a female pronoun contains A and a flightless bird.

12a Supporter tense — ambassador to produce champers? (6)
TEETHE: string together a ball supporter, the abbreviation for tense (in grammar) and the abbreviated title used to identify an ambassador.

13a Reformed miser now doctor (12)
MISREPRESENT: an anagram (reformed) of MISER followed by a noun meaning now or the current time.

16a Change bowler is highly successful performer (5-7)
MONEY-SPINNER: stick together a word for change or coins and a type of slow bowler at cricket.

19a Adult thought caused a smile (6)
AMUSED: an abbreviation for adult (as a film classification) followed by a verb meaning thought or pondered.

21a Night-time habit regularly peeping into diary (8)
PEIGNOIR: select regular letters from the last three words of the clue.

23a Messenger over time becomes royal attendant (8)
COURTIER: another word for a messenger or guide contains the abbreviation for time.

24a Spot hook picked up for one to hang outside? (6)
ICICLE: combine homophones of a verb to spot or notice (3) and a hook or curved tool (6).

25a Protective wear brings endless assistance to London force (6)
HELMET: paste together a synonym of assistance without its final letter and the short name of the larger of the main London police forces.

26a Knight takes look through narrow window (8)
LANCELOT: a short exclamation meaning look or behold goes inside a type of narrow pointed window.

Down Clues

2d Persian ass runs on time to come first (6)
ONAGER: the cricket abbreviation for runs is preceded by ON and a significant period of time.

3d Promotion splits Northern Irish, making deep point (5)
NADIR: an abbreviated promotion or puff goes between abbreviations for northern and Ireland.

4d Agreement to involve government statisticians in count (9)
CONSENSUS: insert the abbreviation for the UK government’s statistics organisation (ONS – Office for National Statistics) into a population count. The answer is one of the words that I always struggle to spell.

5d Ready with foil, almost completed wrapping cloth up (2,5)
EN GARDE: a verb meaning completed or finished without its trailing letter contains the reversal of a piece of cloth.

6d Man-at-arms announced time to retire (5)
NIGHT: this sounds like a man-at-arms or mounted soldier.

7d Ordered scones for King Edward? (9)
CONFESSOR: an anagram (ordered) of SCONES FOR gives us the description attributed to the King Edward who was nearly the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.

8d What some observed about Estella’s lover is revelation (8)
EPIPHANY: a curt enquiry meaning ‘what?’ and a synonym for some contain the name of Estella‘s lover in Great Expectations.

13d Upheaval as Merlot replaced with Medoc at first (9)
MAELSTROM: an anagram (replaced) of AS MERLOT followed by the first letter of Medoc.

14d Start to read publication that includes new version (9)
RENDITION: the starting letter of read is followed by a publication or issue containing the abbreviation for new.

15d Soldiers needing minute to enter inviolate spacetime shortcut (8)
WORMHOLE: abbreviations for rank-and-file soldiers and minute go inside an adjective meaning inviolate or intact.

17d Sovereign, having dismissed army’s leader, put in danger (7)
IMPERIL: remove the leading letter of army from an adjective meaning sovereign or majestic.

18d Merchant of Venice’s main scene? (6)
RIALTO: cryptic definition of the central area of Venice, the commercial area where merchants work. There’s a pun on ‘main’ (being on an island, i.e. a place in the main).

20d Go with current meaning (5)
DRIFT: double definition, the second a general implication of words used.

22d What one can make with hooter around? (5)
NOISE: the Roman numeral for one with what hooter is an informal word for around it.

The clues which made it through the heats and on to my podium were 11a, 16a and 5d. Which one(s) did it for you?


26 comments on “Toughie 2332

  1. This was my sort of Toughie. It was very enjoyable and nicely challenging such that the answers could be teased out with slow but steady progress.

    My podium comprises 1a, 11a, 21a & 7d.

    Many thanks to Donnybrook and to Gazza.

  2. I had some time on my hands so the toughie it was for a change.
    I thought that some of the parsing was difficult, 12a was last in and I had not seen the solution before only as a drink!.
    Needed all the checking letters in 15d and 18d before solving.
    Why was the S needed in 6a as the answer was singular not plural? 24A was new to me.
    Liked 26a
    Going for a ***/***

  3. Many thanks Gazza.

    Some really great misleading surfaces here, as we have come to expect from this setter. Enjoyment almost off the scale.

  4. An enjoyable Toughie.I got off to a good start as i knew 1a as the name of a two door roller the rest, with a bit of head scratching, flowed from there. Favourite was 5d.

  5. Far far too solver friendly for the middle of the paper but a joy to solve so that makes up for it – I do like a crossword where I end up with a big smile on my face

    Thanks to Donnybrook for the fun and Gazza for the blog

  6. Must be off form. I had a real struggle with this, especially the SE corner, but a good chuckle at 21a once the penny dropped.
    Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  7. Don’t know if the 2 kiwis will notice that the clues didn’t contain more than 8 words but I did.
    Hope that John Bee has resolved his hardware problems. Thought about him when I saw 15d.
    That’s what I like about this blog.
    Solving a puzzle is always linked to it.
    Very enjoyable crossword from Donnybrook.
    Favourite is 21a.
    Thanks to him and to Gazza for the review.

    1. We normally only check the word count on RayT puzzles but your comment prompted a count on this one. Although it does come close we think you will find that both 1a and 24a have nine word clues.

  8. Goodness me, I googled Persian Ass and got the shock of my life. You may want to redact this! I must be terribly naive!

      1. There’s nothing wrong with your post. It raised a smile and nobody will be offended by it. So stop worrying.

      2. Made me laugh too
        When I used to work in wedding planning, a happy couple came in one Saturday morning and I was keen to show them a recent glowing review, so I did a search for ‘Surrey and Sussex Online’ which was the url for our local newspaper and confidently left them to it while I made tea downstairs
        I had accidentally left a space between the ‘Sus’ and ‘sex online’
        I returned, only to be greeted by glazed eyes; then I realised what I had inadvertently shown them – a list of ‘dogging’ sites in Surrey
        Banged my head on my desk groaning ‘Oh nooo’; eventually they laughed about it and we got the job anyway

    1. I cannot remember who but somebody had a similar post recently and made me laugh. Be careful buying Pantomime tickets for Babes In The Wood.

    2. I cannot remember who but somebody had a similar post recently and made me laugh. Be careful buying Pantomime tickets for Babes In The Wood.

  9. We had to Google the 4d statisticians but the rest all went together smoothly for us with plenty of smiles along the way.
    Thanks Donnybrook and Gazza.

    1. Some similar Googling for me too, plus a couple of pointers in the right direction from Gazza got me successfully through to the finish of this highly enjoyable Toughie. Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza of course.

  10. Excellent and enjoyable crossword from Donnybrook, who has become a very accomplished setter, neither fiendishly difficult nor too easy. Some clever answers here, including 16a, 8d and 15d.

  11. I must have been off the wavelength yesterday, as I struggled with it. However, I finished it this morning apart from two. I didn’t know the bacon cube and had forgotten who Estella was. Google soon sorted me out.

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