Toughie 2362 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2362

Toughie No 2362 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

I loved this Silvanus puzzle, especially (for obvious reasons) 3d. Tuesday is fast becoming the best day of the Toughie week.

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9a  Cologne’s common accompaniment, pronounced fragrance? (5)
ODOUR: split as (1,4) this sounds like (pronounced) the two words (3,2) that often precede (common accompaniment) Cologne

10a    Officer support for late individual carrying kit to attend active duty (9)
BRIGADIER: put this frame for carrying a dead person around (carrying) some kit and the abbreviation of Active Duty

11a    Singer, performer contracted to go west touring North America (7)
SINATRA: start with a six-letter performer, drop the final letter (contracted), reverse what remains (to go west in an across clue) around (touring) the abbreviation for North America

12a    Moor, say, a vessel having day on board (7)
AFRICAN: this adjective meaning coming from the same continent as a Moor is derived by putting the A from the clue and a container around the three-letter abbreviation for a day of the week

13a    Small bird’s tail (5)
STERN: S(mall) followed by a bird

14a    Taking gamble, Hazel and I developed new line in London (9)
ELIZABETH: put a gamble inside (taking) an anagram (developed) of HAZEL and I to get the name allocated to London’s Crossrail line

16a    Belgium’s grudges about habits of Australian male sunbathers? (6,9)
BUDGIE SMUGGLERS: when BELGIUM appears in a clue it is usually for its IVR code, but here, together with the S from ‘S and GRUDGES, it’s the fodder for an anagram (about) of these close-fitting swimming trunks for Australian men


19a    Conceited types pay quick visit to Leno’s house? (9)
POPINJAYS: a phrasal verb meaning to pay a quick visit is followed by what could describe the house of an American comedian and former late-night television host

21a    Duck approaching lake given peeled fruit (5)
OLIVE: O (duck / score of zero in cricket) and L(ake) followed by [g]IVE[n] without its outer letters (peeled)

23a    Temporary signs, they’re oddly disregarded before motorway turning (7)
INTERIM: the even letters (oddly disregarded) of two words in the clue followed by the reversal (turning) of the UK’s main motorway

25a    Office workers with mediocre investment in retirement plans (7)
SCHEMES: put some office workers around (with … investment) a three-letter adjective meaning mediocre and reverse the lot (in retirement) – I had seen the three-letter word as an interjection expressing indifference or boredom, but never as an adjective

27a    Idiot at one point pens article, generating correspondence (9)
ASSONANCE: an idiot and a word meaning at one point around (pens) the two-letter indefinite article

28a    Sensational attraction briefly reaching papers (5)
LURID: most of (briefly) an attraction followed by some papers which prove who one is


1d    Casualty cast sacrificing time for rehearsal at last (4)
LOSS: start with a verb meaning to cast or throw and replace T(ime) with the final letter (at last) of [rehearsa]L

2d    Black cat makes jump suddenly (6)
BOUNCE: B(lack) followed by a large member of the cat family

3d    Claim source of emotional stress is supporting Spurs regularly (10)
PRETENSION: the initial letter (source) of E[motional] and a word meaning stress below (is supporting in a down clue) the even letters (regularly) of Spurs

4d    Dedicated bishop inside recently after ignoring fine (6)
OBLATE: put B(ishop) inside a phrase (2,4) meaning recently without (after ignoring) the F(ine)

5d    Embracing Welsh day of celebration, American and Italian served up dessert (8)
TIRAMISU: around (embracing) St David’s Day (mmm d) place two-letter abbreviations for American and Italy and reverse the lot (served up in a down clue)

6d    Couple in conference, perhaps overheard (4)
PAIR: sounds like (overheard) the fruit of which conference is a variety (perhaps)

7d    Separate food hotel dumped on island (8)
DISCRETE: a plate of food without (dumped) the H(otel) followed by a Greek island

8d    Person granted exclusive marketing concession, the fifth such one? (10)
FRANCHISEE: Split as (9,1) this could be the fifth exclusive marketing concession

13d    Rock album, it’s including work of unsatisfactory standard (10)
SUBOPTIMAL: an anagram (rock) of ALBUM IT’S around (including) a two-letter musical work

15d    England fan hoping all fans cheer, essentially … (10)
ANGLOPHILE: an anagram (fans) of HOPING ALL followed by the middle letter (essentially) of chEer

17d    … substitute messes it up, edgy about defending (8)
DEPUTISE: hidden (defending) and reversed (about) inside the clue

18d    Expats ultimately approving of congregating together in colonies (8)
SWARMING: the final letter (ultimately) of [expat]S followed by a verb meaning approving or being enthusiastic

20d    Hospital staff member from Barbados is terrific (6)
SISTER: hidden (from) inside the clue

22d    Shut up adolescent losing vacuous argument (6)
IMMURE: start with an adjective meaning adolescent and drop A[rgumen]T without its inner letters vacuous)

24d    Complete degree (4)
RANK: two definitions – the first as in a complete outsider

26d    Knocked back Calvados half-cut, or something fizzy instead? (4)
SODA: the reversal (knocked back) of [Calv]ADOS after cutting the first half

More difficult than usual, but still easier than many Toughies.


22 comments on “Toughie 2362

  1. Very enjoyable and not overly challenging with a dash of quirkiness completed at a Toughie fast gallop – **/****.
    I did have to resort to electronic assistance to decode the 16a anagram – a term I have never heard before and one which I will try to not remember.
    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 21a, and 17d – and the winner is 17d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

  2. ….wondered why my ablaze for 5d failed to meet the bill … thanks for the explanation.
    Other than that ,a super solve with just a hmmm for 25a .
    Thanks to Silvanus and BD

  3. Great fun which I managed to complete in a little over ** time although with a couple I couldn’t parse this morning, 5d ( knew the saint but stupidly forgot to think of the actual date) and 25a (never heard of that three letter word) before I had to get on with other things. But overall **** for enjoyment. Whilst the surface of 16a is very funny, podium places for me were 9a, 19a and 15d. Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

  4. Only noticed that 16a was an anagram when my checkers looked familiar.
    The answer made me laugh.
    Learned everything about Assonance and Alliteration after solving 27a.
    The religious ref in 4d was also new to me.
    Thanks to Silvanus for a super crossword and to BD for the review.

  5. Where to start??? I have far too many ticks (must see the vet) beside so many clues that it would be unfair to single out one. OK – if I must – then 16a (my first one in). Excellent stuff from start to finish with lots and lots of humour. Thoroughly enjoyable.

    Thanks to Silvanus for the puzzle and to BD for the review.

    Not just saying this as I know you, but you are fast becoming one of my favourite setters on the Toughie roster Silvanus. Keep up the good work.

  6. Another master class in the construction of crosswords from this setter who, as everyone probably knows, is my favourite talent to rise through the BD ranks.
    I had to reverse engineer 19a being unfamiliar with the gentleman in question – all I found online was a German footballer – and I owe thanks to one of our erstwhile Tuesday bloggers for the ‘mediocre’ term, Kitty’s the only person I’ve ever heard use it!
    Loved the description of the ‘peeled fruit’ but my podium places went to 9,13&28a plus 5d. I think 9a just edged out the others to take first place.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for the solving pleasure and to BD for the review.

  7. I thought this was a terrific puzzle and hugely enjoyable. It took me a couple of runs to get established – progress was definitely slow until I finally recognized the anagram in 16a which gave me the sunbathers’ habits (that I hadn’t heard of). I think 19a gets my vote for favourite amongst many contenders. Many thanks to Silvanus and Big Dave.

  8. Superb puzzle with lots of delightful touches – thanks to Silvanus and BD.
    My page is overflowing with ticks – I’ll pick out 12a, 21a and 17d but favourite has to be 16a.

    Apparently there was a possibility that 14a would be named after the heir apparent rather than the monarch but the authorities became worried that it would be known as ‘the line of Charlie’.

  9. I would say this is the toughest Silvanus puzzle I have had the pleasure of solving, but it was an absolute joy from start to finish.

    I needed BD’s help to unravel the parsing for 10a as I missed the cleverly disguised “support for late individual” and it never occurred to me that “active duty” would merit having its own abbreviation.

    My page was littered with ticks. 16a got the biggest laugh and 9a & 5d were my joint favourites although many more clues came under consideration.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for as perfect an example of a Toughie you could wish for, and to BD for the excellent review. By the way, I trust that no birds were harmed during the taking of the photograph for 16a.

  10. Well I’ve finally solved a DT Toughie unaided (albeit I did submit a few times to check what I’d input was correct) even if it did take the best part of an eternity. I really do find the gulf in difficulty between the back pager & the Toughie pretty extreme although it’s very rewarding if you’ve the time and patience to battle it out. Luckily BD is on hand to help me parse the bung ins of which, needless to say, there were plenty.

  11. Well what a great Silvanus today, 25a a bung-in which I had to reverse engineer, even though a youthful friend has made me aware of the (reversed) three-letter interjection. 1d (DOCS stuck in mind) caused the greatest consternation until the proverbial penny dropped with a clang to rival Krakatoa. 2.5/4 for me. Thanks Silvanus & BD, even though I didn’t need your wise assistance.

  12. Although we got the answer for 25a easily enough from the checkers and definition it took a while to sort out the wordplay.
    Excellent fun and much enjoyed.
    Thanks Silvanus and BD.

  13. Many thanks to everyone for your kind comments, they are always read with interest and greatly appreciated.

    It may not surprise anyone that the puzzle was built around 16a, which I had never seen in a puzzle before, and my Editor reliably informs me that it is indeed its first appearance in a Telegraph crossword.

    Thanks of course as well to BD, I did think of him as I constructed 3d! I’m sure, when he has a moment, he’ll add “common accompaniment” to the clue for 9a (it was mentioned in the parsing explanation only).

    See you all again soon, I hope!

  14. I got perilously and frustratingly close to solving this but in the end needed 3 hints, which was a lot better than I feared when, after the first read through I had only four in.
    It didn’t take me much longer than today’s back pager but have to admit to one or two bung ins. Like BD, my favourite was 3d but I also liked 19a because it’s such a great word and it gave me a nice penny drop moment on solving.
    Many thanks to Silvanus for a top puzzle to and “hats off” to BD for explaining it all.

  15. Lovely crossword completely at a steady pace so **/****. WE both laughed hugely at 16A, grat fun and thanks to all.

  16. Feeling smug about having completed 90% of a Toughie even though it put up a fight. Had never heard of 19a, which is fine as they don’t sound very nice people, 22d or the coffin carrier and stupidly could not parse 15d. Thank you Silvanus and Dave.

  17. Isn’t it strange. I was completely beaten by this crossword only managing 3 clues. So, I’ve just worked steadily through the hints and can quite see how I failed. Got the wrong end of the stick for most clues and didn’t know ugly words like 8d. It just goes to show how important being on the right wavelength is.

  18. Excellent puzzle which I’ve had to pick up and put down a few times before finishing over a solo lunch today.

    Podium positions go to 16a (which was first in) and the excellent 19a (although as a Gooner I was initially thinking about another Leno). I didn’t really parse 25a fully.

    Thanks to Big Dave for the blog and Silvanus for a most enjoyable solve.

  19. 3*/4*….
    liked 8D ” person granted exclusive marketing concession, the fifth such one? (10) “

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