Toughie 2355 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2355

Toughie No 2355 by Dada

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

I made slow progress getting into this puzzle, although on looking back it is difficult to see why. It is certainly not one of the usual fluffy Tuesday Toughies.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Suit passed (6)
SPADES: an anagram (to tailor) of PASSED

5a    Rabble-rousing leader in Spanish newspaper (8)
SEDITION: the initial letter of (leader in) S[panish] followed by a newspaper or publication

9a    Polite expression that makes me happy? (2,8)
MY PLEASURE: could be that this makes me happy

10a    Fruit out of one’s tree (4)
NUTS: two definitions – the second being a word meaning crazy

11a    One after old sheep meat (8)
PASTRAMI: I (one) follows a word meaning old or gone and a male sheep

12a    Short programme about British nation (6)
SERBIA: a program in instalments without its final letter (short) around B(ritish)

13a    Not quite twelve people on a Scottish island (4)
JURA: most of (not quite) the twelve people that comprise the panel in a court of law followed by the A from the clue gives a Scottish Island where an excellent malt whisky is distilled

15a    I doubt starter of gin and tonic as bad (8)
AGNOSTIC: an anagram (bad) of the initial letter (starter) of G[in] with TONIC AS

18a    Looking westward, a Red Sea somewhere in Guyana (8)
DEMERARA: the A from the clue, red when referring to, say, a steak and the thre-letter abbreviation for a particular sea all reversed (looking westward in an across clue) give this place in Guyana that you know, even if you did not know that is where it is!

19a    Construct model that’s detailed? (4)
IDEA: this construct is an abstract noun – to get iy drop the final letter (de-tailed) from a model of perfection

21a    A shout in the opposite direction (6)
AROUND: the A from the clue followed by a shout to purchase drinks in a pub

23a    Sweet container good for sending messages (8)
TWEETING: an adjective meaning sweet followed by a container and G(ood) to get a way of sending messages favoured by some politicians

25a    Photograph opportunity (4)
SHOT: two definitions

26a    Clear head full of gas — too much (4,3,3)
OVER THE TOP: a five-letter word meaning clear or obvious and a head around the chemical symbol for a gas (the one with atomic no. 2)

27a    One following three, and in order (8)
ADHERENT: an anagram (in order) of THREE AND

28a    Put away, outhouse gone? (6)
NOSHED: this colloquial verb meaning put away or eaten, when split (2,4), could mean that an outhouse has gone


2d    Into mountain climbing, extremely healthy biology classes (5)
PHYLA: the reversal of a European mountain goes around the outer letters (extremely) of H[ealth]Y to get these main groupings (classes) of the animal kingdom – if you tried to fit some biology lessons in here, now you know why it didn’t work

3d    Moved leftward, eastern pots (9)
DELFTWARE: an anagram (moved) of LEFTWARD followed by E(astern)

4d    Impostor, an Asian priest (6)
SHAMAN: an imposter is followed by AN from the clue

5d    Flat bit in mound I state, misshapen (6,9)
STUDIO APARTMENT: a four-letter bit or section inside an anagram (misshapen) of MOUND I STATE

6d    Something saucy in doing the opposite of a strip? (8)
DRESSING: this could also mean putting clothes on as opposed to taking them off

7d    Give voice to note — might he? (5)
TENOR: sounds like (give voice to) a banknote

8d    Precariously placed, hoping things don’t crack up? (2,4,3)
ON THIN ICE: if one was here one would be hoping that it doesn’t crack up

14d    Found locked in bureau near the door (9)
UNEARTHED: hidden (locked) inside the clue

16d    Don’t sell as much, being lazy (9)
SHIFTLESS: split as (5,4) this could mean don’t sell as much

17d    Pretty great (8)
HANDSOME: two definitions

20d    Old scientist establishing weight in gas (6)
NEWTON: put W(eigh)T inside a gas that wasn’t discovered until after this old scientist had died

22d    Free turn at dice regularly taken (5)
UNTIE: the even letters (regularly taken) of three words in the clue

24d    Twelve people ultimately — twelve fewer? (2,3)
NO ONE: twelve midday followed by the final letter (ultimately) of [peopl]E – twelve people – (fewer) twelve!

Gazza will be reviewing next Tuesday’s end-of-year Toughie from Micawber, his favourite setter, while I will be gritting my teeth, wondering why I was so generous, as I tackle the Wednesday Toughie.


19 comments on “Toughie 2355

  1. A steady(?) solve. The sort of puzzle where, several times, I was on the brink of putting it to one side then another couple of clues gave up their answers, so carry on, with completion at a Toughie fast canter – ***/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 26a, and 8d – and the winner is 26a.
    Thanks to Dada, pleased that this wasn’t one of your Sunday offerings, and BD.

  2. I bought a copy of the paper today, first time in many years, and had a go at the Toughie. Never done one before, but when I saw it was by Dada I gave it a go. Thoroughly enjoyed it, although it took a little longer than one of his Sunday puzzles. 26a was my clear favourite, and the whole experience was most rewarding. If only we can get Chris Lancaster to put a Toughie in the Subscriber version for iPads.

    Thanks to Dada and, as ever, BD.

    1. I’m still something of a newbie to Toughies and often have to turn to BD for the clues though I try desperately not to press the ‘Click Here’ buttons. Today, rather surprisingly, I got through it quite well and in good time though split into a few shortish sessions without any help. What surprised me most was that I had worked out the answers to 18a, 19a & 5d without understanding the parsing. BD’s explanations meant 3 “Doh’s” in a row. Favourite definitely 9a.
      Thanks to Dada & BD as always and a Merry Christmas to all.

  3. I enjoyed this very much with everything falling into place slowly albeit needing a bit of persistence in parts.

    24d was my favourite, joined on the podium by 28a & 7d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to BD.

  4. Even with the assistance of a young helper, I finished this in the sort of time I’d like Tuesday toughie to take. No particular favourites.

    Thank you to Dada and BD. I too am quite jealous of Gazza’s chance to blog the annual Micawber treat

  5. The recent trend away from fluffy Tuesday Toughies continues. I enjoyed this one – thanks to Dada and BD.
    Top clues for me were 1a, 13a (though the number of people in a jury in Scotland is 15, not 12), 26a and 14d.

  6. I don’t do The Toughie as a rule. However, I had a go today and, while needing quite a bit of help (thank you, BD) I enjoyed it. I suppose it is like all puzzles – it’s just a matter of getting into the mind-set and getting to know the parsing.

    Thank you to Dada and BD.

  7. I came unstuck on 13a and 18A, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment. My favorite is 28A. Thanks to BD and Dada.

    I haven’t been around too much lately. Mr Expat has had a very rough year altogether so I’ve been playing nurse and general factotum which doesn’t leave much time for crosswording. I’m getting pretty good at fixing stuff around the house, though! Hopefully things will pick up after we kick the door closed on 2019. Meanwhile, I wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas!

  8. Just beaten by the pesky 4 letter 19a.
    Quite a bit of eating from the inelegant 28a to my favourite 13a. The thought of whisky is what keeps some of us going through the festive season and beyond.
    Merry Christmas every one!

  9. Beaten by 2d , which I shouldn’t have missed having spent years studying them.
    23a was my favourite , followed by 13a.
    Seasons Greetings !

  10. I’m still something of a newbie to Toughies and often have to turn to BD for the clues though I try desperately not to press the ‘Click Here’ buttons. Today, rather surprisingly, I got through it quite well and in good time (though split into a few shortish sessions) without any help. What surprised me most was that I had worked out the answers to 18a, 19a & 5d without understanding the parsing. BD’s explanations meant 3 “Doh’s” in a row. Favourite definitely 9a.
    Thanks to Dada & BD as always and a Merry Christmas to all.

  11. Didn’t have chance to look at this until late in the day but I’m glad I found time for it, even though it did fall very slowly.
    Tried to fit all sorts into 9a before the penny dropped and have to admit that I didn’t know where 18a sweet stuff came from!
    Favourite was 28a despite the slang, closely followed by 16d which is doubtless a chestnut.

    Thanks to Dada and to BD – best wishes for the festive season to both of you.

  12. I saved this for a Christmas morning treat (sad I know!) and it didn’t disappoint, it was 9a to attempt. I needed two hints for solving and two for parsing, (both of which produced groans). Cryptic and clever sums it up for me. In a strong field I liked the concise 19a and 24d the best.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Big Dave and a Merry Christmas to all

  13. Finally finished a Toughie, albeit using the letter hints allocation – then just needed BD’s hints to explain how I got there………

  14. Very enjoyable. I did most of this after Xmas lunch and finished it off after a walk on a hill overlooking sea and countryside. Thanks to Dada and BD.

  15. Completed this one steadily apart from 18A because I couldn’t find an atlas! And haven’t used RARE for RED before.

  16. The Telegraph site is quite handy as it informs you if you have already opened a crossword with a “resume” window.
    The first unopened toughie was this one and I am not surprised it came from Dada from the enjoyment it brought.
    Thanks to him and to BD for the review.

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