Toughie 2364 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2364

Toughie No 2364 by Hudson

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

An enjoyable Toughie – I added an extra half a star for difficulty for the time it took me to parse a couple of the clues. A Nina that even this famed non-noticer of Ninas couldn’t miss (once 12 and 14a have been solved it is very obvious!) – although I could probably have done without the double earworms from both the Nina and the first definition of 4d!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Chastise lord often firing raw material? (4,5)
CANE SUGAR To chastise with a stick and a lord often seen on television firing candidates!

8a    Desperate character fitted with drip in bed (5)
DIVAN The Desperate character found in The Dandy into which is inserted the abbreviation for an intravenous drip

10a    Element of one from Latvia according to one from Estonia? (6)
COBALT Latvia and Estonia are two of the countries known as Baltic States – someone from Latvia might consider someone from Estonia to be a xx-xxxx

11a    Leaves container transporting dead cat back in Bentley (3,5)
TEA CADDY An anagram (transporting) of DEAD CAT followed by the ‘back’ in BentleY

12a    Friendless, having abandoned east side of capital for city in Cambs (6)
LONELY ‘Abandon’ or remove the three letters at the east side of our capital and add a city in Cambridgeshire often defined in crosswords as a ‘see’

14a    They beat Scottish team … (6)
HEARTS – Bodily parts that beat or the name of a Scottish football team

16a    … beat leaders of Champions League (United & Barcelona) (4)
CLUB The ‘leaders’ of Champions League United and Barcelona

17a    King Welshman rejected for a card of lesser value (5)
KNAVE The abbreviation for King in chess notation followed by the reversal (rejection) of a Welsh man’s name

18a    Outlaw head of drug ring (4)
BAND A verb meaning to outlaw and the ‘head’ of Drug

19a    In Copenhagen, cybersex is a business providing a service (6)
AGENCY Lurking in CopenhAGEN CYbersex

21a    Cameron’s returning to visit North American state (6)
NEVADA A reversal (returning) of the informal way we’d refer to Prime Minister Cameron inserted into the abbreviation for North American

24a    NCO despatched to receive drug rehab at regular intervals (8)
SERGEANT A synonym for despatched into which is inserted (to receive) the regular letters of dRuG rEhAb

26a    Capsicum season (6)
PEPPER Double definition, the second being a verb

27a    Cycle round ace country (5)
SPAIN A cycle ride goes round the abbreviation for Ace

28a    Successfully making seven 14? (5,4)
GRAND SLAM I know next to nothing about the card game of bridge but apparently if you bid to the seven level, perhaps using cards in the suit of 14a, you achieve the solution


1d    Explorer‘s moggy carrying bad smell (5)
CABOT A more formal name for a moggy into which is inserted (carrying) an abbreviated bad smell

2d    4 come to make a great sacrifice (8)
HECATOMB An anagram (to make) of the solution to 4d and COME produces a great sacrifice of 100 cattle – I did know this word as I’ve seen the hecatomb altar in Agrigento, Sicily but sadly can’t find the photo I took of it

3d    A free broadcaster? (6)
AUNTIE A (from the clue) and a verb meaning to free go together to produce an informal name for a British broadcaster

4d    In Ilkley, without currency (4)
BAHT A Yorkshire (as used in Ilkley) dialect word meaning without has the same name as the currency of Thailand

5d    Bug 17a held by US spooks (6)
CICADA A synonym for the solution to 17a held by, or inserted into, the abbreviation for the American ‘spooks’

6d    Waste dominates town in Kent (9)
MAIDSTONE An anagram (waste) of DOMINATES produces a town in Kent which Mr CS and I agreed recently ‘isn’t the place it was’

9d    Mothers hurry, being 16 (6)
MASHIE An old-fashioned 16a is obtained by taking some informal mothers and adding an archaic/poetic word meaning to hurry

13d    Long story involving 27    (5)
YEARN Insert (involving) the IVR code for the country that is the solution to 27a into a, quite often long, story

15d    Spooner’s crone grabs forty winks in high-rise digs (4,5)
SLAG HEAPS How the dreaded Reverend might say that an ugly old witch has ‘forty winks’

17d    One used when entering Florida island apartment? (6)
KEYPAD A Florida island and an informal term for an apartment

18d    Belgium updates building in the capital (8)
BUDAPEST The capital of Hungary is obtained from the IVR code for Belgium and an anagram (building) of UPDATES

20d    Nut Newton going nuts (6)
NOGGIN Both nut and the solution are informal terms for the head – the letter used to indicate the SI Unit of Force (Newton) and an anagram (nuts) of GOING [Yes I know the picture isn’t exactly relevant but it is the first thing that comes to mind when you write in the solution]

22d    Nag VIP about polluting the atmosphere? (6)
VAPING An anagram (about) of NAG VIP gives an alternative way of polluting the atmosphere

23d    Burp Parisian artist (5)
DEGAS A verb meaning to eject or emit a gas (burp) or, with a capital letter, a famous Parisian artist

25d    St Laurent occasionally cleaned out pool (4)
TARN ‘cleaned out’ indicating that you only need the occasional letters of sT lAuReNt

Our setter has another earworm inducer of a crossword in today’s Independent – must be the day for a good sing song!

18 comments on “Toughie 2364

  1. I really enjoyed this one. On the whole not too tricky, but my last three (which included 4d) in the top left took me as long as the rest of the puzzle.

    Many thanks to Hudson, and to crypticsue.

  2. Was eagerly waiting for the review to get the last one in 28a.
    Would never have got it on my own.
    Got 4d from 2d but didn’t understand why.
    The Spooner made me laugh and noticed the Nina from 24/25a.
    Thanks to Hudson and to CS.

  3. I do enjoy Hudson’s puzzles. Thanks to him for this one and to CS for the review.
    I didn’t know the 2d great sacrifice but I did spot the Nina (too late of course to be of any use in solving).
    My ticks went to 7a, 10a and 4d but my favourite was the LOL 23d.

  4. Managed this one more easily than I usually do when this setter’s in the chair but still managed to miss the obvious Nina. Don’t worry, CS, the one from 4d will doubtless stick with me for the rest of the day!
    Favourite was a tie between 7a and 4d.

    Thanks to Hudson and to CS for the review.

  5. I found this pleasant but not too tough. Like Gazza I spotted the Nina when it was too late to be of any use, but it is one of my favourite records which brings back some wonderful memories of listening to great music in 1967 instead of studying.

    2d was a new word for me and 23d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Hudson and CS.

  6. Pleasant enough with not too many hold ups, despite that grid. I needed electronic help with the 2d anagram as I have never heard of the word, and to check the last 3 letters of 9d which I doubt if many people have heard of. Especially liked 4d and 8a but I will make 11a the favourite for the surface and the image. Many thanks to Hudson and CS.

  7. I needed 2D to get 4d, reminding me to exchange the few thousand 4d I still have in my wallet. Loved 10a, 18a,19a plenty more. Also loved the setters puzzle in the independent today. Good going! Thanks Hudson and cs

  8. Magic: a 6 word nina. Especially enjoyed 20d, which is another of my many nicknames. Needed help with 7a but the rest dropped in. Several smiley moments including 3, 4, 10, 15 among others. Thanks CrypticSue & Hudson.

    1. I agree. I guess no one will read this now, but maybe a “ high rise pile” (as in a penthouse maybe) might have worked more easily. Tomorrow is another day. I think that BD indicates it is Elgar. God help us. 😀

  9. Good fun that all went together smoothly for us. Did a groan when we read 6d but luckily it was somewhere we had heard of. Had a special chuckle about 23d.
    Thanks Hudson and CS

  10. Felt really pleased with myself having laboriously toiled to what is only my second unaided Toughie completion. Whilst I agree that a good deal of the clues were at the easier end of the Toughie spectrum 7a & 15d took an age before the penny dropped. Had never heard of 2d & Googled my stab at the answer more in hope than expectation. Certainly needed CS ‘s excellent review to parse a couple of my answers (23d in particular) and needless to say I didn’t spot the 6 word nina (another new term to me) even though those answers were probably amongst the first I entered. Thanks to all.

    1. Having got 14a, 16a, 17a and 28a I spent too long looking for a Spade, a Diamond, a king and a queen. Wrong theme, I now see. Was anyone else similarly fooled? Also struggled with the firing lord, but otherwise most enjoyable. Thanks to setter and blogger.

  11. As an Ilkley resident, I was alarmed to discover from this crossword that I’ve been mis-interpreting 4D for years!

    Many sources render the song title as On Ilkla Moor Bah T’at, giving the impression that just ‘bah’ means ‘without’ (like ‘bar’ in standard English), and the ‘t’ is a clipping of a different word. But it it turns out Hudson is right: 4D is Yorkshire dialect for ‘without’.

    The local pub spells its name Bar t’at.

  12. The first toughie that I have completed unaided.

    They are either getting easier or I am getting better at solving. I suspect the former.

    1. The first toughie that I have completed unaided.

      They are either getting easier or I am getting better at solving. I suspect the former.

Comments are closed.