Toughie 2367 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2367

Toughie No 2367 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

In some ways I was quite pleased to get a gentle puzzle today as I’m recovering from a severe bout of manflu. However, I suspect that those wanting a ‘proper Toughie’ will have found that this one didn’t really cut the mustard.
My anagram counter got to nine and they included no less than five in consecutive clues – is that a record? Something else slightly unusual is that all the answers are single words.
Thanks to Serpent for the puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.

Across Clues

1a Lord having no right to accept jibe about ancestry (8)
PEDIGREE: remove the abbreviation of right from a lord and insert a jibe or snide remark and a preposition meaning about.

5a Read novel receiving the author’s backing and respect (6)
ADMIRE: an anagram (novel) of READ contains the reversal of ‘the author is’ from the writer’s viewpoint.

10a State lacking any sense working to stop dissemination of union’s success (15)
UNCONSCIOUSNESS: an adverb meaning working or operational goes inside an anagram (dissemination) of UNION’S SUCCESS.

11a Stage performer provoked a stir and emptied theatre (7)
ARTISTE: an anagram (provoked) of A STIR followed by theatre without its contents.

12a Threat posed by introduction of Calor gas (7)
CHATTER: an anagram (posed) of THREAT follows the introductory letter of Calor.

13a Ingredient that’s specially cut and ground (8)
ALLSPICE: for our fifth anagram in a row we have to cut the last letter off SPECIALL[y] and make an anagram (ground) of what we have left.

15a Steal from fashionable man (5)
ROBIN: charade of a verb to steal from and an adjective mean fashionable or trendy.

18a Person valuing limited company could be auditor’s mortgage provider (5)
LONER: this sounds like a finance company that’s providing a mortgage.

20a Convincing conclusions of diplomatic dossier fit for public consumption (8)
CREDIBLE: join together the concluding letters of diplomatiC and dossieR and an adjective meaning fit for public consumption.

23a Crime close to cricket ground (7)
TREASON: the closing letter of cricket and a synonym of ground or excuse.

25a Recalled slave interrupting that woman to update display? (7)
REFRESH: insert a feudal slave into a pronoun meaning ‘that woman’ then reverse it all.

26a Perhaps overthink cryptic clues a little in English (15)
INTELLECTUALISE: an anagram (cryptic) of CLUES A LITTLE IN followed by the single-letter abbreviation for English.

27a Help whistleblower to suppress story (6)
RELIEF: a sporting whistleblower contains a fake story.

28a Average cost of fashion? (8)
MODERATE: split the answer 4,4 and it could mean the cost of fashion.

Down Clues

1d Having more than one place on river (6)
PLURAL: the abbreviation for place followed by the name of the river considered to form part of the boundary between Europe and Asia.

2d Told he can broadcast series of events (9)
DECATHLON: an anagram (broadcast) of TOLD HE CAN.

3d Book band or creative event (7)
GENESIS: triple definition, the book being one from the Old Testament.

4d Host starts to make conversation audibly (5)
EMCEE: just pronounce the starting letters of ‘make’ and ‘conversation’.

6d Hopelessness of the French demeanour under pressure (7)
DESPAIR: string together the 1d version of the French word meaning ‘of the’, the abbreviation in physics for pressure and a synonym for demeanour or manner.

7d Lifeless King’s body finally left by the Queen (5)
INERT: start with the body, i.e. the core bit, of the word ‘king’ then add the last letter of ‘left’ next to our Queen’s regnal cipher.

8d Making certain call provides new basis for result (8)
ENSURING: start with a 5-letter verb to result or ‘come next’ then replace the final letter with a verb to call.

9d Specific material used for construction (8)
CONCRETE: double definition, the first an adjective meaning specific or definitive.

14d Criminal sinned when stealing church’s cross (8)
INCENSED: an anagram (criminal) of SINNED contains the abbreviation for the established church in England.

16d Footballer inadvertently tackles dancer (9)
BALLERINA: hidden.

17d Tailor item in sale acquired by nouveau riche (8)
CLOTHIER: an item in an auction goes inside an anagram (nouveau) of RICHE.

19d Determination to repeat what you wish to do (7)
RESOLVE: split the answer 2-5 and it could mean to repeat what you’re trying to do when tackling a crossword.

21d Blow up lines following shelling around plain (7)
INFLATE: remove the outer letters of ‘lines’ and insert an adjective meaning plain or unqualified.

22d Appropriate time to realise when account’s been hacked (6)
THIEVE: assemble the abbreviation for time and a verb to realise or clinch once you’ve removed to abbreviation for account.

24d Raised fortune by end of June to much acclaim (5)
EXTOL: the definition here, in spite of the split infinitive, is a verb. Knit together a word for fortune or fate, the letter used in maths to mean ‘by’ and the end letter of June. Now reverse the whole thing.

25d Speech laid bare relationship between two figures (5)
RATIO: a posh word for a speech without its outer letters.

My favourite clue was 14d. Which one(s) hit the heights for you?


19 comments on “Toughie 2367

  1. Quite straightforward, especially once all the anagrams were solved. I was a bit puzzled by 24d as the relevance of ‘by’ was missed by me! The answer had to be what is was despite that.

    2*/3* I would say.

  2. This was nothing like as tough as Serpent’s previous Toughie but I did enjoy it with a host of excellent clues and smooth surfaces throughout.

    My only moan is about 4d. What a dreadful and unnecessary word! Why was it ever invented? If you are writing, you would use either Master of Ceremonies or MC, and, if you are speaking, it is irrelevant. The only use I can see for it is when a crossword setter needs it as a grid filler when faced with E-C-E. (The same applies to the equally horrible “deejay”). Rant over…

    I awarded ticks to 18a, 26a, 27a & the clever triple definition in 3d.

    Many thanks to Serpent and to Gazza.

  3. No mustard was cut here difficulty-wise but I did enjoy the solve, apart from sharing Rabbit Dave’s rant about the dreadful word that is the solution to 4d

    Thank you to Serpent and also to Gazza – get well soon :rose:

  4. The SW corner gave me trouble until I sussed 23a was a crime not a cricket ground like Lords. Then it all fell into place. 22d put up a fight too.

    COTD? Probably 23a

    Thanks to Serpent and a convalescent Gazza

  5. Admittedly not so tough, but a pleasant puzzle to solve with a few that had to be teased out.

    Thanks to Serpent, and to Gazza.

  6. A pleasant solve. Not really a Toughie. I didn’t much like 4d either, like some of you others.

  7. This was quite tough enough for me and thoroughly enjoyed my unaided though very laboured completion. The top half was a breeze but I stalled badly down under. 13a was my last in and the penny dropped just before I gave in & read Gazza’s review.
    Thanks to all

  8. I knew I should have written these letters in a circle for 10a as I wrote unconscientious at first.
    Made a bit of a mess in the NE until everything came back in order.
    Didn’t repeat my mistake for the other long anagram in 26a though.
    Liked the simplicity of 9d and the surface in 11a and 13a among others.
    A very enjoyable crossword on the whole.
    Thanks to Serpent and to Gazza.

  9. I’m in the “I don’t mind them a bit on the easy side” camp. I needed help to parse 22d and 8d though they had to be the answers, so it wasn’t that easy. Favourite 28a. Thanks to Serpent and Gazza.

  10. The most enjoyable offering I’ve come across from this setter both here and elsewhere but maybe that accounts for Gazza’s low rating for difficulty! I invariably find it very hard to get onto the right wavelength for Serpent but this has given me the confidence to try any subsequent puzzles.
    Podium places went to 18a plus 3&9d.

    Thanks to Serpent and a plea for more of the same. Thanks also to Gazza – hope the man flu leaves you soon, I understand that it’s far worse than the type of flu we lesser mortals contract :wink:

  11. Really quite enjoyable, if not overly taxing. Some very nice clues, we thought. COTD was 7d for a great surface.

    Thanks to Gazza and Serpent.

  12. Gazza
    Provides help to anyone who has a
    Grid with gaps for clues less fluffy
    In a Wednesday Telegraph Toughie.

  13. I felt the over reliance on partial or bitty anagrams took the shine off this otherwise enjoyable and relatively accessible Toughie.
    I’m pretty sure 3d came up in last Wednesday’s back pager, as a double definition but this setter gave us a triple!
    I parsed 20d slightly differently to Gazza in that I took the plain/flat synonym to be referring to land.
    I liked 1a (for obvious reasons) and 26a plus 6 and 7d.
    Many thanks to Serpent and to Gazza for his guidance .

  14. We started very slowly but accelerated to a satisfying solve, 4D is not a word!! Thanks to all, COTD 18A.

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