Toughie 2356 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2356

Toughie No 2356 by Gila

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Apologies for the late appearance of this review.  This was due to visitors and a long lunch chez BD.

Most of it went in with litte difficulty though I did have to work on the last 2 or 3 answers and the words that were new to me.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Thin fabric put around thick cheese (7)
TAFFETA: A reversal of ‘thick’ + a Greek cheese

8a    Track electronic vehicle reversing by road (7)
RACEWAY: A reversal of E (electronic) and a vehicle + a road = a track where vehicles areput through their paces

10a    MP playing with another’s mobile (10)
SMARTPHONE: An anagram (playing) of MP ANOTHER’S

11a    Boy repulsed by hospital food (4)
NOSH: A reversal of a male offspring + H (hospital)

12a    Happen to see two students outside a comprehensive (5-3)
CATCH-ALL: ‘To happen to see’ and LL (two students) round A

14a    Remarkable person immediately beginning to envision taking over (3,3)
THE ONE: ‘Immediately’ and the first letter of ENVISION round O (over)

15a    Make tons of essentially yummy veg, say, without a steamer (4-7)
MASS-PRODUCE: The middle letter of YUMMY + crops such as vegetables round A SS (steamer)

19a    ‘Casablanca star’ as crossword answer? (6)
INGRID: The first name of the female lead in the film Casablanca. When split (2,4) it tells you where crossword answers go

20a    Lots of punishment (8)
LASHINGS: 2 meanings: lots (as in ******** of ginger beer)/punishment

22a    Nepalese dumpling made in a couple of seconds (4)
MOMO: A word I didn’t know. A second (short period of time) appears twice

23a    Dam conveniently supplying somewhere in Scotland (10)
MOTHERWELL: A dam (parent) + ‘conveniently’

25a    Locomotive transported by doubly small tugs (7)
STRAINS: A locomotive inside SS (doubly small).

26a    Work leads to tedious extra work (7)
OPERA: A musical work + the first letters of TEDIOUS and EXTRA


1d    Two-thirds of poor meat primarily found in ‘authentic’ pub grub? (3,4)
BAR MEAL: The first two letters of a three-letter word meaning ‘poor’ + the first letter of MEAT inside ‘authentic’

2d    Middle part of expedition is a great distance out (4)
AFAR: The middle fpur letters of a six-letter expedition to view animals

3d    More work needed to make knockout opiates (6)
UTOPIA: A work by Sir Thomas More is hidden in KNOCKOUT OPIATES

4d    Gifted editor provides conclusion for story books (8)
TALENTED: A story + some of the books of the Bible + ‘editor’

5d    Rider with nicer pants — it’s the latest fashion (7,3)
DERNIER CRI: An anagram (pants) of RIDER NICER. I didn’t know this term

6d    Admin worker taking advantage of break (7)
PAUSING: An admin worker (personal assistant) = ‘taking advantage of’

9d    Liberal poet producing cliché-ridden material (11)
BOILERPLATE: An anagram (producing) of LIBERAL POET. Yet another new word for me

13d    Senior exec in a car now, travelling with him (10)
CHAIRWOMAN: An anagram (travelling) of A CAR NOW HIM

16d    Deposit of 10c enclosed in dispatched mail (8)
SEDIMENT: A US 10-cent coin inside ‘dispatched mail’

17d    Full-length intro to ‘Halloween’ contains nothing rude (7)
UNCOUTH: ‘Full-length (having had nothing removed) and the first letter of HALLOWEEN round O (nothing)

18d    Soldier fired into area close to enemy, showing quick-wittedness (7)
AGILITY: A US soldier and ‘fired’ inside A (area) and the last letter of ENEMY

21d    Dozy American general captured by foreign agent (6)
SLEEPY: An American Civil War general inside a foreigh agent

24d    Send a message with indignation (4)
WIRE: W (with) + indignation

I think my brain’s still frazzled after my battle with yesterday’s Elgar Double Toughie [Tilsit’s review will be posted as soon as it is available BD].


8 comments on “Toughie 2356

  1. A lovely , challenging and entertaining puzzle, which I preferred to today’s back pager. An ideal way to pass some time on a wet Boxing Day.

    Many thanks to Gila for the puzzle and to Bufo for the excellent hints.

  2. Couldn’t parse, and didn’t like, 14a. What with the French 5d, the Nepalese 22a and the American 9d there is quite an international touch to today’s puzzle. A good work out for a miserable Boxing Day. Now, prompted by the Enid Blyton expression in 20a, it is time for a restorative whisky in front of a log fire. Things are looking up!

  3. Must be a case of ‘horses for courses’ – I really struggle to get onto this setter’s wavelength.
    I’m not convinced by either ‘immediately’ = ‘then’ or ‘conveniently’ = ‘well’ and I didn’t know 22a or 9d. 8a is only familiar with ‘speed’ as the first part of the word.
    Ah well – I did like 16&17d so all is not lost.

    Thanks to Gila and to Bufo for the blog. Bet you had a good lunch chez BD if their menu from last year is anything to go by!

  4. A good challenge which I enjoyed apart from the 22, 5 & 9 grid-fillers; there were alternatives. I do wonder why, when setters are clearly talented at constructing clever surfaces and intriguing wordplay, they sometimes opt for foreign words, obscurities, names etc?
    I am now going to take a leaf out of JB’s book – chuck another log on the fire and settle down with a Glenmorangie or two
    Thanks Gila and Bufo

  5. Lovely sunny day here in Michigan and surprisingly warm (8C) for the time of year. Slow progress with this one which pushed it towards 4*. We do wish that the setters would not include obscure foreign phrases, certainly brought the enjoyment level down. COTD 19A which brought a smile to both of us. Thanks Bufo needed your help with 5 & 14.

  6. Happy boxing day to all and hope that everyone had a good Xmas.
    Just arrived in Paris after spending some time with my dad. No internet, TV, or anything remotely modern since Sunday.
    Managed to find an internet café to print today’s offering. Forgot about the Elgar though.
    Gila is still a hard nut to crack but I’m slowly getting the hang of it.
    Wrote Dalh in 11a as I never know how to spell these Indian lentils only to find out that it was another boy that we had to look for. 5d put me straight bien sur.
    Thanks to Gila and to Bufo for the review.

  7. Absolutely loved this brainstraining workout. Everything fell into place, clever clueing and logical solving. More of the same please! ***/***** for me. Many thanks to Gila, plus congrats to Bufo for the clarification.

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