Toughie 2348 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2348

Toughie No 2348 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ***

There’s nothing too demanding here with the main hold-ups being down to a few bits of GK (in 1a and 5d in my case). There are some innovative insert/contain indicators in use in the puzzle. Thanks to Hudson.

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

Across Clues

1a A southern French department is heaven for northerners (6)
ASGARD: string together A, the abbreviation for southern and the name of a department in the south of France (Gard) to get a place occupied by the gods according to Norse mythology.

5a Some Tokyo semi-terraced park, where Sam lives (8)
YOSEMITE: hidden in the clue. I didn’t know the name of the cartoon character though I recognised him after I’d sought help from Mr Google.

9a Palace upset, wasting time playing Sunday side? (5,5)
APPLE SAUCE: an anagram (playing) of PALACE UPSE[t] after you’ve killed off the abbreviation for time gets you something to go with your Sunday roast.

10a Patsy rejected last slice of Yorkshire pudding (4)
DUPE: Stick together the last letter of Yorkshire and an abbreviated pudding then reverse it all. I wonder whether the clue was originally a reversed lurker but had ‘last’ inserted to change the wordplay because there’s already a reversed lurker clue elsewhere in the puzzle?

11a Much the same as 2, caught malaria travelling (8)
CALAMARI: the cricket abbreviation for caught and an anagram (travelling) of MALARIA.

12a Oscar rents ace apartment aboard houseboat? (6)
AFLOAT: the letter that Oscar is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet ‘rents’ (i.e. lives in) A and another word for an apartment.

13a Current Tory sex symbol? (4)
ICON: the symbol for electric current and one of the abbreviations for Tory.

15a Queue go after westbound taxi, last in rank (8)
TAILBACK: paste together a verb to go after or follow, the reversal of a taxi and the last letter of rank.

18a Largely bustling bar, base in city (8)
BRISBANE: start with an adjective meaning bustling or lively and remove its final K (largely). Now add a verb to bar or veto and the letter used to mean the base in logarithms.

19a Bill’s partner will invest Republican capital? (4)
BERN: Bill’s puppet partner contains the abbreviation for Republican. The question mark is there, presumably, because this is not the only way of spelling the capital city.

21a Do brilliant talk (6)
CONFAB: charade of a verb to do or swindle and an informal (and somewhat dated) adjective meaning excellent.

23a Mo — Grade I funny character! (8)
IDEOGRAM: an anagram (funny) of MO GRADE I.

25a Tabloid paper, e.g. the Sun (4)
STAR: this is what our sun is an example of.

26a Old warhorse candid about fresh change? Quite the opposite (10)
COPENHAGEN: ‘What was the name of Wellington’s horse?’ is a common quiz question. An anagram (fresh) of CHANGE contains an adjective meaning candid or frank.

27a One might inspect article penned by retired collier (8)
EXAMINER: one of our indefinite articles is contained in a retired collier (2,5).

28a Posh boy, wildcat every now and again (2-2-2)
LA-DI-DA: a synonym for boy is followed by regular letters from wildcat.

Down Clues

2d Ink producer constant in its environment (5)
SEPIA: put a mathematical constant inside where the answer lives.

3d Shearer left Southampton, November 1st (3,6)
ALL SAINTS: glue together the abbreviated forename of Mr Shearer (the ex-footballer and current pundit – he did at one stage play for Southampton), the abbreviation for left and the nickname of Southampton FC. I’m no expert on Christian festivals but does the answer mean the specified date when it’s not followed by day?

4d Gloomy face, bored by second minute (6)
DISMAL: insert abbreviations for second and minute into the face (of a clock, say).

5d What an Aussie says admiringly, seeing his daughter tearing up? (3,6,6)
YOU LITTLE RIPPER: this was my last answer because I was thinking that ‘tearing up’ meant crying. In fact what it means here is shredding. The last word of the answer is something especially admirable in Australian slang.

6d Upsetting Nato, Iran ecstatically embraces the situation (8)
SCENARIO: a rather good reversed lurker.

7d Recorded fiddle and gong? (5)
MEDAL: this sounds like a verb to fiddle or interfere.

8d Pranced around following tango — a hoofer (3,6)
TAP DANCER: an anagram (around) of PRANCED follows the letter that tango represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and A.

14d Duty paid by hood in America burning new energy on his chopper? (6,3)
CARBON TAX: delete the abbreviations for new and energy from what an American motorist might refer to as a hood (3,6) then append how the same American might spell the word for his chopper (No tittering at the back!).

16d Little Joanna‘s book advanced £1,000, given Times plug (4,5)
BABY GRAND: knit together abbreviations for book and advanced and an informal word for £1,000. Now insert or plug in the word used to mean ‘times’ in multiplications. When I was searching for a picture I discovered that the answer is not just a vague term for a smaller instrument but specifically means one between 5′ 00″ and 5′ 05″ in length – you learn something new every day.

17d Dolly girl almost is able to keep … (8)
BARBICAN: bring together the name of a well-known female doll (now 60 years old) without her last letter and a verb meaning ‘is able to’.

20d … her boyfriend Len over in the doghouse (6)
KENNEL: the name of 17d’s boyfriend followed by the reversal of LEN.

22d In which we discuss freedom of movement, initially hacked by Russia online (5)
FORUM: the initial letters of ‘freedom of movement’ contain the internet suffix for Russia.

24d Leading area manager (5)
AHEAD: the abbreviation for area and another word for manager or boss.

The clues which I liked best were 6d, 16d and 17d. Which one(s) appealed to you?


17 comments on “Toughie 2348

  1. Great fun thank you Hudson – my favourite Across clue was 5a for the smile-inducement and 6d which I probably knew from too much watching of Neighbours many moons ago now

    Thanks to Hudson for the great crossword which would have made a perfect Thursday back pager, and to Gazza for the blog

  2. For me, a little less tricky than todays’ back pager and a lot less tricky than yesterday’s Toughie, completed at a Toughie gallop – **/****.
    With a few checkers, it was relatively easy to work out 5d but it did need a Google check for confirmation (thankfully, not enough Neighbours).
    Favourite has to be the 17d/20d combination although it is sad to admit that I knew the ‘dolly girl’ and ‘her boyfriend.’
    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza.

  3. A very enjoyable **/**** for me on this cold morning, just arriving back to visit England from a glorious 85f sunshine.

    Had to check the house of the Norse gods and needed 11a before realising 2d could not be squid. Great clues throughout but 14d, 16d and 17d take the podium.

    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza; November 1st always has “Day” with it as does November 2nd – at least it does in the RC Church – unless prefaced by “Feast of…”

  4. I was surprised to find that the ink and its producer share the same name. Thankfully I checked with the BRB before commenting. Top prize goes to the Dame Edna clue, just for its silliness.

  5. A pleasing Toughie. 28a perplexed me for a while as i have only seen the answer written with the inclusion of two H’s. 5a made me smile but 17d was my favourite.

  6. Much more fun than the inside back pager. I needed help with 5d but then I’ve never watched “Neighbours”. My favourites were 1a and 26a because they were both GK clues I knew the answers to.

  7. Rather more unknown GK for me than for Gazza, it would seem!
    Worked my way through this but can’t say that I felt as enthusiastic about it as others obviously did.

    Thanks and apologies to Hudson and grateful thanks to Gazza for the explanations. Enjoyed the clip of Fred and Ginger although I believe that he was less than kind to his co-star!

  8. We did not know either the person or the club for 3d but managed to guess both correctly. Our last one in, despite it being in our part of the world, was 18a.
    An enjoyable solve for us.
    Thanks Hudson and Gazza.

  9. 18a – I arrived in the right city … but took the wrong route.

    Thanks to Gazza for the correct explanation.

    Thought it was an anagram (Largely bustling) of BAR BASE IN without one of the letters.

  10. ***/**** 5D was a real head scratcher as was 26A we got there in the end but needed confirmation from the hints. Thanks to all, COTD 5 A.

  11. Not that I want to tread on religious grounds but in France, Nov 1 is just Toussaint. In other occasions the right day is mentioned as in shrove Tuesday or good Friday or bank holiday Monday….
    Loved the little Joanna and the Barbie combo.
    Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza.

  12. My goodness 90% done and failed only on 1a, 18a and the top of 14d. Feeling proud 😊. Thank you muchly Hudson and Gazza.

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