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Toughie 2343

Toughie No 2343 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Chalicea has settled into the “easier” Tuesday Toughie slot. Why puzzles like this don’t appear on Saturday’s back page is beyond me.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Rectified golf map’s means of making route clearer (3,4)
FOG LAMP: an anagram (rectified) of GOLF MAP

5a    Two Americans hearing one will leave from the south (7)
AUSTRAL: two Americans, one single-letter the other two followed by a court hearing from which I (one( has been dropped (will leave)

9a    Novel of hauntings? Not H. G. Wells! (9)
FOUNTAINS: an anagram (Novel) of OF [H]AUNTIN[G]S without (not) the H or the G – ignore the capitalisation of the definition!

10a    Inundate exchange, taking in million (5)
SWAMP: a verb meaning to exchange around (taking in) M(illion)

11a    Independent new logo for the White House? (5)
IGLOO: I(ndependent) followed by an anagram (new) of LOGO

12a    Brussels ruined typical producers of oil (9)
EUCALYPTI: the bloated organisation mainly based in Brussels followed by an anagram (ruined) of TYPICAL

13a    Doddery OAP pores over a TV serial (4,5)
SOAP OPERA: an anagram (doddery) of OAP PORES around (over) the A from the clue

16a    Flashy singer hugs student (5)
BLING: put this crooner (singer) around the letter that represents a student

17a    Quiet! Papa’s involved in home-improvement activity. Crazy! (5)
DIPPY: the musical notation for quiet and the letter represented by Papa in the NATO Phonetic alphabet inside some home-improvement activity

18a    Warder, one raising game, accepting back pay? (9)
BEEFEATER: a person who rouses wild game from woodland, undergrowth, etc. around the reversal (back) of a payment

20a    Fighter sick with fever cycling round both sides of river (9)
GUERRILLA: a three-letter word meaning sick and a four-letter fever are “cycled” around RR (both sides of the word RiveR)

23a    Retiring flier must receive a settlement (5)
KRAAL: the reversal (retiring) of a bird (flier) goes around the A from the clue to get a South African village of huts surrounded by a fence

25a    March in time with soldiers these days (5)
TREAD: T(ime) followed by some soldiers and the old way of describing the years since Christ was thought to have been born before the PC brigade decided that it should be CE (Common Era)

26a    Worried microbiologist, not stoic, possibly in a mess (9)
IMBROGLIO: an anagram (worried) of M[IC]R[O]BIOLOGI[ST] after removing (not [again, see 9a!]) the various letters (possibly) of STOIC

27a    Plate of beetroot, say, with a crimson tinge (7)
REDDISH: split as (3,4) this could (say) be a plate of beetroot

28a    Small vehicle followed by large one, another in-between (7)
MINIBUS: a small vehicle followed by a large one gives a vehicle that is in-between in size


1d    Good cricket scores, maybe, provided in fine drawn matches (7)
FIFTIES: England could do with a few more of these good cricket scores which are derived by putting a two-letter word meaning provided inside F(ine) and some drawn matches

2d    Starving, ultimately regret having left thin watery stuff (5)
GRUEL: the final letter (ultimately) of [starving]G followed by a verb meaning to regret and L(eft)

3d    House study? (9)
ASTROLOGY: the study of the twelve houses of the Zodiac!

4d    Poacher gutted fish for cats? (5)
PRIDE: P[oache]R without its inner letters (gutted) followed by a three-letter fish, closely related to the chub, gives a collective name for certain members of the cat family

5d    Colleague developed sea-coast around island (9)
ASSOCIATE: an anagram (developed) of SEA-COAST around i(sland)

6d    Dieticians: ‘Is All-Bran partly fibre?’ (5)
SISAL: hidden (partly) inside the clue

7d    Fix again concerning a parking place (9)
REAPPOINT: a two-letter word meaning concerning followed by the A from the clue. P(arking) and a place

8d    Paw frantically in heather for type of plover (7)
LAPWING: an anagram (frantically) of PAW inside another word for heather

14d    Understand paper scrambling to cover hotel death (9)
APPREHEND: an anagram (scrambling) of PAPER followed by H(otel) and a word meaning death

15d    Improve the appearance of space quite like a Clanger? (9)
EMBELLISH: the larger of the two printing spaces followed by an adjective meaning like a clanger

16d    Reportedly check on sad collapse (9)
BREAKDOWN: a word that sounds like a word meaning check or curb followed by an adjective meaning sad

17d    Follow celebrity that’s easy to spot at night (7)
DOGSTAR: a three-letter verb meaning to follow precedes a celebrity

19d    Run out lines initially of new style corsets (4-3)
ROLL-ONS: the cricketing abbreviation for run out followed by a couple of L(ine)s and the initial letters of three words in the clue

21d    More than one spoke of excellent couple (5)
RADII: a three-letter word meaning excellent followed by the Roman numerals for two (couple)

22d    Book a large seat (5)
ALBUM: the A from the clue, L(arge) and a colloquial word for the seat or backside

24d    Off-the-cuff comment in sad libel (2-3)
AD-LIB: hidden (in) inside the clue

I don’t think Chalicea got the memo about restricting the number of anagrams in a puzzle! I counted nine clues which included them.

21 comments on “Toughie 2343

  1. I rarely solve any DT puzzles apart from Toughies and Dada’s Sunday offering.
    I am sure however that I have solved more difficult back pagers than today’s Toughie. On the other hand this was great fun with lovely humour ( picture the doddery oap fiddling with his aerial ).
    Also worth mentioning the beautifully constructed 9 across so in conclusion, never mind the difficulty, feel the joy. Thanks Chalicea!

  2. Definitely very gentle even for a Tuesday Toughie, but very enjoyable – completed at a Toughie gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 1d, 3d, and 15d – and the winner is 15d, my first thought on seeing the capitalised Clanger was of the old children’s TV programme.
    Thanks to Chalicea and BD.

  3. An absolute joy! Despite being on the easy side, even for a Tuesday Toughie, every clue was a winner. The surface readings, with few exceptions, are excellent to superb – and all are achieved without either mangling the wordplay to fit or using superfluous padding words.
    Yes, rather a lot of anagrams but all nicely done with indicators that don’t require a suspension of disbelief.

    Favourites of many- 9a and 6d.

    Many thanks Chalicea and BD.

  4. I agree with Senf that this was very gentle and very enjoyable. I don’t like the horrible word for excellent in 21d which I suspect has its roots across the pond, but that apart this was great fun from start to finish.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to BD.

    1. The excellent word in 21d definitely has its roots across the pond (didn’t that start out in the USA as well?) – the BRB states ‘sl, esp and orig US.’

  5. I liked 12a 23a 27a most I think, and also enjoyed 22d. Always a good sign when people have different favourites, obviously plenty to choose from. Many thanks Chalicea & BD

  6. I’ve always thought Chalicea’s crosswords would be perfect for the back page on any day of the week

    Thanks to her and BD

  7. I did need to check on the settlement and learnt to my cost that I can’t automatically spell 20a but I enjoyed this one.
    Re: 21d – not a word for ‘excellent’ that will be entering my vocabulary any time soon!
    Favourite has to be the large seat at 22d.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to BD for the review. Mention of Right Said Fred always puts me in mind of Bernard Cribbins’ tale of the piano shifters!

    1. … but can you remember the proper name of ‘the things wot held the candles’?
      Would never have looked it up but for that song

        1. Yep, related to the word ‘e(n)sconced’ – basically a safe place, from ‘abscondere’ – ‘to hide’
          Think I prefer the things wot held the candles though :smile:

  8. I am delighted, as usual, to be giving enjoyment and always appreciate your generous responses.
    Big Dave, apologies about the excess of anagrams but three were editorially added in adjustments of my original clues – (one n.p.c. word play – I was ‘throwing up bones in the wordplay of 5d, one considered too obscure – I had a double definition clue in 5ac – and one technically flawed as I has a plural word where my S was just added in the wordplay). I resort too easily to anagrams, I know, but do rigidly stick to the six in Toughies – and everywhere else too.
    Cryptic Sue, thank you, I must try to sneak into one of those slots but I might have a few tougher Toughies coming up with slightly less generous grids. Good luck on Saturday.

  9. An absolute joy to solve as we know it is going to be whenever we see this setter’s name at the top of the page. Biggest chuckle was for 22d.
    Thanks Chalicea and BD.

  10. Chalicea seems to be more and more comfortable with all the devices a setter can use and her style is definitely growing on me.
    Not that I disliked her previous offerings but I always thought they were a bit text book. Maybe a way to guide us towards what the setter is really made of.
    I already look forward to next Tuesday.
    Thanks to Chalicea and to BD for the review.

  11. It is still a rare treat for me to complete a toughie without resort to hints or other aids. I concur with BD and would love to see puzzles of this standard on a Saturday. I did have to check the fish in 4d and spent rather a long time on HO for house in anthology but couldn’t make it work. I remember cluing GRUEL in my rookie puzzle and much prefer the “professional” version here.
    Too many great clues to pick one and I agree with Dutch that it is a sign of a good puzzle where a very wide range of clues deserve a mention.
    Thanks to Chalicea and BD

    1. Hi John
      Did your rookie puzzle ever see the light of day? I’ve looked out for it, hope I haven’t missed it?

  12. Thanks to Chalicea and to Big Dave for the hints. Definitely on the easy side for a Toughie, but no matter, what a lovely puzzle. I thoroughly enjoyed solving it from start to finish. Last in was 5a. I laughed at solving 11a, but my favourite was 4d. Great fun. Was 2*/4* for me.

  13. 4*/4*…..
    liked 17A ” Quiet! Papa’s involved in home-improvement activity. Crazy! (5) “

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