Toughie 2351 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2351

Toughie No 2351 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Another excellent puzzle from Donnybrook – there’s little more I can say.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Display attitude that’s no longer relevant? (10)
EXPOSITION: an attitude preceded by a prefix meaning no longer relevant

6a    Agriculturalist, never right, comes to prominence (4)
FAME: drop boyh of the R(ight)s from this agriculturalist

8a    Closely allied, two divisions circling home (3,2,3)
ARM IN ARM: put two divisions of, say, a large organisation around (circling) a two-letter word meaning home

9a    Unnatural Germanic god peripheral to Ring? (6)
WOODEN: put a Germanic god around (peripheral to) the ring-shaped letter

10a    Stubbs for one was about to enter without warning (8)
UNAWARES: the first name of, not as I first thought painter George, a comedienne named Stubbs is followed by WAS around (to enter) a word meaning about

11a    Where dragonfly might land, making surge forward? (6)
ONRUSH: split as (2,4) a dragonfly might land here

12a    Clubs held by United — but not now? (4)
ONCE: C(lubs) inside (held by) a word meaning united

14a    Bean and cheese served with meat that’s no good (7)
EDAMAME: a type of cheese is followed by a meat without its initial G(ood)

18a    Golden vegetable seen in cultivated land (7)
ORCHARD: a gimme! – the heraldic term for golden followed by a type of vegetable

20a    Wystan Hugh leaves university for foreign climes (4)
ADEN: start with the surname of the author usually known by his initials (WH) and drop the U(niversity)

23a    Letter to Greek business graduate, one in City (6)
MUMBAI: a letter in the Greek alphabet is followed by the letters a business graduate may place use and I (one)

24a    Apprehensive about daughter going to Berkshire town (8)
DREADING: D(aughter) followed by a Berkshire town

25a    Unfinished food placed alongside great stuff (6)
FABRIC: a staple food without its final letter (unfinished) is preceded by (placed alongside) a colloquial word meaning great

26a    Distress over large insect found in banana (8)
PLANTAIN: some distress around (over) L(arge) and an insect

27a    What guest might do, perhaps consuming tons (4)
STAY: a word meaning perhaps around (consuming) T(ons)

28a    Often changing precise time to restrain prisoner (10)
INCONSTANT: a precise period of time around (to restrain) a prisoner


1d    Judge, Conservative replacing Liberal, to leave premises (8)
EVACUATE: stat with a verb meaning to judge and replace the L(iberal) with a C(onservative)

2d    Undermine plan to return Argentine parts (6)
PAMPAS: A three-letter verb meaning to undermine and a plan are all reversed (to return):

3d    Heroic storyteller, in black, placed in grave (6)
SINBAD: IN B(lack) inside an adjective meaning grave or sorrowful

4d    Ruined page in ripped back of tattered dictionary (9)
TORPEDOED: P(age) inside a verb meaning ripped followed by the final letter (back) of [tattere]D and a large dictionary

5d    Ill omen with crew’s latest arrival (8)
NEWCOMER: an anagram (ill) of OMEN with CREW

6d    School member admits dirty look and gesture (8)
FLOURISH: a creature that could be a member of a school around (admits) a dirty look

7d    Dairy product from base in Irish province (8)
MUENSTER: put the base of natural logarithms inside an Irish province

13d    Singer, bad lot, supporting old Nicaraguan guerrilla (9)
CONTRALTO: an anagram (bad) of LOT follows (supporting in a down clue) a former Nicaraguan guerrilla

15d    New player included in side, but antagonised (8)
DEBUTANT: hidden (included in) inside the clue

16d    Drunk to devour onion where starter denied in fruit (8)
MULBERRY: an adjective meaning drunk around another word for an onion without its initial letter (starter denied)

17d    Musical heroine with cold welcome for Mexican player (8)
MARIACHI: the heroine of The Sound of Music fb C(old) and a greeting gives this member of a group of strolling musicians that, fortunately, I have encountered in several previous puzzles

19d    Rats devouring dead swimmer (8)
DRAGONET: a slang interjection expressing irritation or annoyance, similar to “rats”, around (devouring) a word meaning dead

21d    Nice neighbour one scratched among dogs (6)
CANNES: this resort near Nice is derived by dropping (scratched) the I (one) from a word meaning dogs

22d    Scoundrel in American intelligence finds bug (6)
CICADA: put a scoundrel inside the US intelligence service – when I visited Washington DC many years ago I asked about the incessant background noise which turned out to be caused by these bugs; the locals were so used to it that they were oblivious

Only a week to go and it will be Christmas Eve!


14 comments on “Toughie 2351

  1. The sort of Toughie I’d like to get every Tuesday p- the perfect difficulty level (on the cusp of a hard back pager and what one really hopes for every Tuesday but rarely gets) and lots of enjoyment as is to be expected from this setter

    Thanks to Donnybrook and BD

  2. An enjoyable Toughie. The fish and the cheese were new to me but fairly clued, 15d was my favourite as it took me ages to see.

  3. Quite a struggle for me with about half a dozen things I had to ask Mr G about and many other totally blank moments along the way.
    Thank goodness for Ms Stubbs, that’s all I can say!

    Thanks to Donnybrook for the work-out and to BD for the review. Speaking of it being Christmas Eve next week – any chance of getting the snow soon?

  4. I thought this was a terrific puzzle. The NW corner put up fierce resistance – not helped by my not knowing either the Stubbs (I did not have anything to replace George with) or the the Argentine parts (I thought the definition was a grass). In general this had more obscurities than I prefer, but it was fun to unravel it all. Many thanks to Donnybrook and Big Dave.

  5. This is the second proper Tuesday Toughie in a row – does this mean the end of fluffy Tuesdays? Let’s hope so. I enjoyed the puzzle – thanks to Donnybrook and BD.
    I didn’t know the Japanese bean dish or the US cheese but both were sympathetically clued such that it was possible to get them once a couple of checkers were in place (and then check them out in Google).
    My ticks went to 6a, 6d and 15d.

  6. I really enjoyed this. Everything fell into place slowly but surely and even 17d & 18d, which were new words for me, were derivable simply by following the instructions in the clues.

    Many thanks to Donnybrook and to BD.

  7. I’m not a regular Toughie solver – or, more properly, attempter. I had a stab at last Friday’s Elgar and found it to be as impenetrable as an old London pea-souper – I experienced the last one as a child in 1962 or 63. This, however, was a real delight – nicely challenging without causing grey cells to explode and fairly clued (e.g. 7d and 19d which I had not heard of before). Favourite was 4d simply because it’s such a lovely word. Many thanks to Donnybrook and BD.

  8. I really thought I wasn’t going to get anywhere with this, but got there in the end. Had to check the bean, and I had no idea who Wystan Hugh was. Thankfully the three checkers left only one possible answer. I spent a while trying to find a university which was an anagram of Wysten Hugh and the answer, but eventually gave up and came here for the parsing.

  9. Really good fun. A couple of answers, 7d and 19d that we had to check in Google but we had worked them out form the wordplay. Did a groan when we read 24a but it turned out to be a town that we had heard of although didn’t know its county.
    Enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Donnybrook and BD.

  10. NE was last to yield in this very pleasant crossword.
    The synonym in 6d was new to me and checked the cheese and its spelling.
    Thanks to donnybrook and to BD.

  11. Lovely sunny day here in Michigan with a light dusting of snow. We made slow but steady progress on this very enjoyable solve only needing a hint for 16D. My COTD was 17D , she, as an American, liked 19D. Thank you Donnybrook

  12. Sorry, but I hated this! A real slog with, I thought, too many obtuse GK answers. I finished it, with Google and electronic help but…..I’m so glad others didn’t feel this way. I’d hate Donnybrook to give up just because of me! Better luck tomorrow.

Comments are closed.