Toughie 2368 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2368

Toughie No 2368

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

A typical Ray T puzzle which just crept over the border into Toughie time, I’ve added half a star to the difficulty time to allow for a couple of bits of tricky parsing, not to mention the fact that I did have to do a  bit of dictionary synonym checking while producing the blog.  Nice to see the return of Her Majesty but we are definitely missing a sweetheart! My favourite clue was 6d.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Tested guided missile power at first (7)
SAMPLED A surface-to-air missile and the abbreviation for power precede (at first) part of a verb meaning guided

5a    Ashes following maiden for fellows? (7)
MEMBERS Some red-hot ashes follow an abbreviation used in cricket to represent a Maiden over

9a    Wretched end over European Union’s accepting nothing (7)
PITEOUS A word used in an informal expression meaning the absolute worst possible (end) goes over A reversal (over) of an end followed by the abbreviation for European Union’s, the latter having accepted the letter that looks like nothing

10a    One lying about securing international portfolio (7)
DOSSIER A person who lies about ‘securing’ the abbreviation for international

11a    Morons laugh tactlessly seizing offensive (9)
ONSLAUGHT Lurking in (seizing) moronS LAUGH Tactlessly

12a    Initially is not upset regarding excessive temper (5)
INURE Although the surface reading implies otherwise, temper here is a verb, a synonym for which can be obtained from the initial letters of Is Not Upset Regarding Excessive

13a    Force shot occasionally hooked on driving area (5)
TEETH A reversal (hooked) of the occasional letters of sHoT goes on or after a golf driving area

15a    It’s unwise being disrespectful about Republican (9)
IMPRUDENT A way of being disrespectful goes ‘about’ the abbreviation for Republican

17a    Warning of endless damage facing Netflix addict? (9)
HARBINGER Remove the final letter (endless) from some damage and follow with someone who might be addicted to watching Netflix

19a    Aggregate’s put round opening of petrol reservoirs (5)
SUMPS Some aggregates put round the ‘opening’ of Petrol

22a    Sees red and scraps conserving energy (5)
RAGES Some scraps of material, perhaps, ‘conserving’ the abbreviation for Energy

23a    Scorn embroiling premier back in public eye (9)
SPOTLIGHT A verb meaning to treat disrespectfully (scorn) into which is inserted (embroiling) a reversal (back) of a synonym for premier

25a    Vault over line, a fair game (7)
TOMBOLA A vault, the abbreviations for Over and Line followed by A (from the clue)

26a    More beefy mass, one consumed by consumer (7)
MEATIER The abbreviation for Mass and I (one) consumed by a consumer

27a    Old boy reportedly perceived to be off-colour (7)
OBSCENE The abbreviation for Old Boy and a homophone (reportedly) of a simpler way of saying perceived

28a    Socialist, without ceremony, rejected left (7)
RETIRED The colour used informally to indicate a Socialist goes ‘without’ a reversed (rejected) ceremony


1d    Prop having increased intensity in game (7)
SUPPORT An adverb meaning having increased intensity inserted into a game or activity

2d    Girl welcomes a tense English artist (7)
MATISSE A young girl ‘welcomes’ A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Tense; the abbreviation for English is added at the end

3d    Sponge from a sucker being set up (5)
LOOFA A reversal (set up in a Down clue) of A (from the clue) and a sucker or gullible person

4d    Crafty, stooping to pinch shilling (9)
DESIGNING A verb meaning stooping or condescending to do something into which is inserted (to pinch) the abbreviation for Shilling

5d    Thick fog seen around break of day (5)
MIDST I had to check the BRB but the solution is one of the definitions of thick. Some fog seen round the first letter (break) of Day

6d    Nice men? (9)
MESSIEURS How the French would refer to men in the city of Nice, or elsewhere in France for that matter

7d    Great kipper knocking out a cold gourmet (7)
EPICURE Take a word meaning great or large-scale and a verb meaning to preserve by smoking (kipper), and merge together once you have removed one of the Cs (knocking out a cold)

8d    Browse with boosted connection finding stuff (7)
SURFEIT To browse (the internet) followed by a reversal (boosted) of a connection [Thanks to Gazza for pointing out the blooming obvious]

14d    Drop of the hard stuff? (9)
HAILSTONE A cryptic definition of something hard that drops from the sky

16d    Part super for Mermaids actress? (9)
PERFORMER Lurking in part of suPER FOR MERmaids – hands up who else started looking to see whether Cher (who starred in the film Mermaids) might fit into the solution before realising that there was an obvious lurker??

17d    Nelson and Hardy’s first speech unfinished (7)
HORATIO The first letter of Hardy and almost all (unfinished) of a speech

18d    Half grand, Queen uplifted governments (7)
REGIMES A reversal (uplifted) of a prefix denoting half, the abbreviation for Grand and the regnal cipher of our current Queen

20d    The first person seized by robber getting closer (7)
MUGGIER The letter used to represent the first person ‘seized’ by a robber

21d    Certain about you French Germany stitched up (7)
SUTURED An adjective meaning certain goes about the French word for you, the result followed by the IVR code for Germany

23d    Fish travel on ice (5)
SKATE A nice double definition, the surface reading of which conjures up an amusing image

24d    Inclined to have hard time (5)
LEANT Hard in the sense of unproductive followed by the abbreviation for Time

22 comments on “Toughie 2368

  1. All went in very quickly until I came across 5d, 10a and 8d which took some time to understand! Ah well! An enjoyable solve even if it left me scratching my head.

    Not really a Toughie, though.

  2. Beam provides, as always, an enjoyable puzzle, albeit slightly less tough than he can sometimes be. Thanks to him and to CS.
    My ticks went to 1a, 25a, the succinct 6d and 14d.

    8d is less complicated than the blog suggests – ‘boosted’ is signalling a reversal.

    1. Thank you – mind you I did like my ‘inventive’ investigoogling results – who knew there was such a thing as an EIT

  3. I agree not too tough today, but nicely challenging and as enjoyable as ever for this setter.

    On my podium are 23a, 25a & 6d.

    Many thanks to Beam and CS.

  4. As already said above, not so tough, but enjoyable as always from Beam.

    Favourite clue – 14d.

    Thanks to Beam, and to crypticsue.

  5. As a relative newcomer to the Toughie I was pleased to find this was another comparatively gentle test that I was able to complete without too much bother and in a record time for me. It would have been a good deal quicker if I’d selected the correct spelling for the Gallic fellas. As usual required CS’s excellent review to help me parse a few bung ins (9a, 13a & back end of 8d) and had never seen 3d spelt without an h. Suppose it’s too much to hope for similar benevolence tomorrow for a full house of unaided finishes this week.

  6. I think I should write at the top of every Mr T Toughie – ‘Don’t even try for an anagram’!
    Loved this one, of course, and think 17a took pole position here.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to CS for the review.

  7. So, yet again we are questioning the “F” being omitted from end of 3d! I wonder where and when it went?

    1. I wanted to say “there’s no F in Loofah” but unfortunately there is, so I can’t. I assume you meant “H”!

      I agree with you, but Chambers gives three spellings: loofah, loofa and luffa.

      1. Must admit, I wouldn’t have known the third one – sounds like something employed in the air by the Germans during World War Two!

  8. CS, I parsed 9a as TIP ( end going over) + EU’S containing O

    Haven’t tackled a Beam for ages and it took a while to get back into the groove

    Thanks all

  9. I understood boosted as in upped but hooked as a reversal indicator still baffles me.
    Apart from that, I found it quite gentle for a Beam.
    Thanks to him for the fun and to CS for the review.

  10. It can’t have been that hard as I managed to do it almost completely unaided and managed to parse it all by myself, so I’m a happy bunny. Lots of favourites but if had to pick one it would be 23a. Many thanks to RayT and C.S. I’m going to treat myself to fish and chips to celebrate plus a bottle of wine obviously.

  11. Started well but became stuck in the NE corner and couldn’t finish after putting in DENSE for 5d, which I would argue was a plausible, some might even say better, answer! At least it helped pass the time whilst waiting for my computer to update to Windows 10. Roll on tomorrow!

    Thanks to crypticsue and Beam

    1. You’re not alone – I did the same initially which together with 6d misspelling was problematic

  12. Same as yesterday – enjoyable without being overly taxing.

    Despite recognising all the fodder early on it took a good while to convince ourselves that you really could find a word made from MIST with a D in it for some reason.

    Thanks to CS and RT.

    1. Good evening, Mr T – you seem to be one of the very few setters we can now rely upon to turn up on regular days. Thank goodness for a bit of sanity in this crazy world and thank you for another enjoyable Beam puzzle.

  13. I loved this and even got up early in order to finish it!
    I’m probably wrong but the synonym at 27a seems stretched (though the answer was obvious from the checkers), I would never have associated those two words. The two lurkers were tremendous I thought, and I also liked 10a and 20d amongst many others.
    Many thanks to Mr T and to CS for her explanations, though I do agree with comment 8 re the parsing of 9a!

  14. Only picked up this paper (on my travels) today and enjoyed it. Had a bit of trouble with the NE corner for a while.

    Favourites were 17a, 25a and 5d.

    Thanks to Beam and Crypticsue.

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