Toughie 2336 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2336

Toughie No 2336 by Gila

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is the first Gila puzzle that I’ve had the pleasure of blogging. Thanks to our setter.

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

Across Clues

1a Leak of crude oil messed with skin of seals (10)
DISCLOSURE: an anagram (messed) of CRUDE OIL and the outer letters of S[eal]S.

6a The high point is when one gets married (4)
ACME: the playing card that counts as one in some games contains the genealogical abbreviation for married. I don’t like ‘gets’ as a containment indicator.

9a Honey, in addition to fruit (5)
MELON: bolt together the Latin word for honey and a preposition that can mean ‘in addition to’.

10a Watching musical, laid back, drinking wine (9)
ATTENTIVE: reverse the name of a Lloyd Webber/Rice musical and insert the name of a deep red Spanish wine.

12a Actor hit Italy, then a country near there (7)
CROATIA: an anagram (hit) of ACTOR is followed by the IVR code for Italy and A.

13a Guitarist in AC/DC? (5)
SLASH: the stage name of the one-time guitarist from Guns N’ Roses is found at the centre of “AC/DC”.

15a Trendy resort that’s in England, not Belgium! (5-2)
RIGHT-ON: remove the IVR code of Belgium from the name of an English south coast resort.

17a Tense debate in anti-government action (7)
TREASON: the grammatical abbreviation for tense precedes a verb to debate or think through.

19a Very mindful of extremely atypical partner (3,4)
ALL OVER: stick together the outer letters of atypical and a sexual partner.

21a Old, empty toilet in prison house (7)
COTTAGE: put the abbreviation for old and the outer letters of toilet into another word for a prison or lock-up.

22a Doctor carries performance enhancer around for cheating athlete (5)
DOPER: one of the abbreviations for doctor contains the reversal of the abbreviation for Erythopoietin (a performance enhancing drug).

24a Many changes spoil part of South-east Asia (7)
MYANMAR: knit together an anagram (changes) of MANY and a verb to spoil.

27a Being on the bench/left out is unrewarding (3-6)
NON-PAYING: remove the abbreviation of left from a term meaning ‘on the bench’ (i.e. identifying a substitute who’s not in the team’s starting line-up).

28a US narcos oddly lose supplies of drugs (5)
DEALS: the abbreviation for the US organisation which has the job of combating drug trafficking is followed by the odd letters of ‘lose’.

29a Small, pale-coloured bird (4)
SWAN: stick together the abbreviation for small and an adjective meaning pale-coloured.

30a Styptic thread in a hospital department (10)
ASTRINGENT: this is a substance applied to the skin to stop or reduce bleeding. Insert another word for thread or cord between A and the only hospital department known in Crosswordland.

Down Clues

1d Piece of well-made, modern music from an unsigned band (4)
DEMO: hidden in the clue.

2d Drying agent — all but illegal — is manufactured without copyright (6,3)
SILICA GEL: an anagram (manufactured) of ILLEGA[l] and IS containing the abbreviation for copyright.

3d Large, independent charity possibly making very specific terms (5)
LINGO: string together abbreviations for large and independent and the abbreviation for a non-profit organisation that is not part of the government (e.g. a charity).

4d Rigorous thing boxers do — train regularly! (7)
SPARTAN: what boxers do as part of their training followed by the odd letters of TrAiN.

5d Upstanding president takes time to withdraw (7)
RETRACT: reverse the surname of a US President from the 1970s and append the abbreviation for time.

7d Punch a friend (5)
CHINA: glue together an informal verb to punch someone in the face and A.

8d Worker made matching boxes for fair (4-6)
EVEN-HANDED: a verb meaning ‘made matching’ or equalised contains (boxes) a manual worker.

11d Simple food, mostly with fresh tea (2,5)
NO SWEAT: concatenate an informal word for food without its final H, the abbreviation for with and an anagram (fresh) of TEA. The answer is nothing to do with Prince Andrew’s excuse explaining why he couldn’t be guilty of anything!

14d Mongrel enraged at first sign of some big dogs (5,5)
GREAT DANES: an anagram (mongrel) of ENRAGED AT followed by the first letter of ‘some’.

16d Tax rises are about to overwhelm new European restaurant (7)
TAVERNA: reverse a tax on goods and services and add the reversal of ARE containing the abbreviation for new.

18d Principal lawsuit covering the start of ill-fated flight (9)
STAIRCASE: weld together a word for the principal or main performer in a film, say, and another word for a lawsuit then insert the first letter of ill-fated.

20d Dead body is still (7)
REMAINS: double definition, the second a verb meaning ‘is still’ or ‘continues to be’.

21d Put something in the base of solar battery unit (7)
CHARGER: a verb to put something in or fill (a glass or a gun for example) followed by the last letter of solar.

23d Endangered animal in the outer parts of Patagonia? (5)
PANDA: the outer letters of Patagonia (1,3,1) make the animal’s name.

25d I’m upset and assume a potentially silly position (3-2)
MID-ON: reverse I’M and add a verb to assume or wear. The answer is a fielding position in cricket (a variant of which is closer to the batsman and prefixed by ‘silly’ – silly here doesn’t mean daft but has an archaic meaning of defenceless).

26d Rider on way over here (4)
PSST: combine abbreviations for a rider or additional bit added at the end and a way or urban thoroughfare.

The clues which I ticked were 8d, 20d and 25d. Which one(s) won your approval?


16 comments on “Toughie 2336

  1. This seemed to take longer to solve than my finishing time would suggest. I suppose it took me a while to get on the Gila wavelength. No particular favourites

    Thanks to Gila and Gazza

  2. Finished a Toughie without any hints, good for me, and very rare.😊
    A few parsings needed, so looking forward to checking Gazza’s hints.
    Thanks all.

    1. Yes, Gazza has explained all. I have never heard of the SE Asia country, but managed to guess from the wordplay, who says bung-ins don’t work!
      Thanks again Gazza, fed up with this rotten cold.

  3. A pleasent enough Toughie. I liked 18d but 15a far from being trendy is at least 40 years out of date man.

  4. I struggle to get onto Gila’s wavelength and today was no exception. I didn’t know the drugs references or the guitarist (quite glad to be ignorant having listened to that solo!) and had ‘umm’ written alongside a few others.
    Not to worry – I’ll keep trying to get 15a!

    Thanks to Gila and to Gazza for the review.

  5. It took me a little while to get on the right wavelength but after I had done this all came together quite smoothly and I enjoyed the challenge. We have yet another setter with a seemingly encyclopaedic knowledge of drugs. Those are the clues I often struggle with and that was the case today.

    Special mentions go to 20d & 25d, but 13a was my runaway favourite. Slash is one of my favourite guitarists but, although that performance is technically accomplished, for me it doesn’t show him at his best; his solos with Guns ‘n’ Roses are far more melodic.

    Many thanks to the 2Gs.

  6. I couldn’t parse 9A though the answer couldn’t have been anything else and although I knew the guitarist, it took a while to parse the clue. When I did, that became my favorite. I also rather liked 26D Thanks Gila and Gazza.

  7. I enjoyed this – 13a was a massive D’oh!! No problem with the typical quiz question country either
    Many thanks Gila and Gazza

  8. I did enjoy this, and I thought it was a well constructed puzzle. I did not know the guitarist, and solely on the basis of the picture in Gazza’s review, I was not remotely tempted to play the clip. I had some self inflicted pain in the NW corner. I did not recognize ‘hit’ as an anagram indicator – clever though it was, and the charity did not mean anything to me in 3d. Also, I was not able to come up with the reversed president in 5d, although this, again, was a clever clue, and in retrospect I should have been able to sort it out. Many thanks to Gila and Gazza.

  9. I felt some of it was very obscure. Having worked in a factory I knew all about 2d but does everyone? Having been there, 24a posed no problems but 13a was a pig. Young from the band AC/DC fitted in but was obviously wrong and my search along dubious sexuality lines failed too. In the end it was the only word that fitted in with the cross checkers and Google confirmed it. A real waste of time. However, I had no problem with the cricketing term and even the sporting 27a resolved nicely. In fact, I’d say that was my COTD.

    Thanks to Gila and Gazza. How alliterative!

  10. I really liked the guitarist clue.

    Got myself in trouble entering ALL EARS for 19a – well that would be an extremely atypical partner, wouldn’t it?

    Many thanks Gila & Gazza

  11. Afraid we had never heard of the guitarist so a few problems there. Needed to check the 28a narcos but had worked out what the answer had to be.
    An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Gila and Gazza.

  12. I tend to do the Toughie when other reviewers say it’s doable, if you follow!
    4*/3* took a while to get on wavelength but the results did come quicker as I did. Still a challenging enjoyable solve in front of the fire .
    Many thanks to Gila & Gazza for review & direction

  13. I enjoyed this puzzle. I thought it was only slightly more difficult than the average back-pager. 25d was my pick of the clues.

  14. Thanks to Gila and to Gazza for the review and hints. What a super puzzle, never tried one of Gila’s before. Took a while to get on the right wavelength. Favourite was 13a because of the misdirection, before I had any checkers, I wondered if the answer was Angus, but couldn’t see why it would be. Guessed 9a, thanks to Gazza for the explanation. Needed the hints for 1d, thought it might be a lurker, but for some reason, I couldn’t find it. Needed the hints for 26d too. Very enjoyable was 3*/4* for me.

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