Toughie 2369 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2369

Toughie No 2369 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A very worthy Friday toughie. I’m in a bit of a rush today. Thank you Gazza for the parsing of 1a!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Thrill from boy that’s loving and giving? (7)
FRISSON: Split (3’1,3), the answer becomes a reference to “Friday’s child is loving and giving” from the song

5a    Bit around fine, first-rate dessert (7)
PARFAIT: Another word for bit goes around both the abbreviation for fine plus two characters that mean first-rate

9a    Man a subject of biography turning the stomach (5)
ALFIE: A from the clue plus the subject of a biography with the centre two letters swapped (turning the stomach)

10a    Virtuous ladies endlessly going around slums (9)
WHOLESOME: A 5-letter word for ladies without the last letter (endlessly) going around a 5-letter word for slums or dives

11a    Compatriots reckon right, millions invested in foreign currency (10)
COUNTRYMEN: A 5-letter word meaning reckon or enumerate, the abbreviation for right, then the abbreviation for millions inside (invested in) Japanese currency

12a    Reportedly despatched continental bread (4)
CENT: A homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning despatched

14a    Answer model about female wearing fur’s morals (6,6)
AESOP’S FABLES: The abbreviation for answer, a reversal (about) of a word meaning to model, then the abbreviation for female inside (wearing) a kind of fur together with the ‘S

18a    Stressing, not getting enough goals, perhaps (12)
UNDERSCORING: How we highlight the definitions. The answer could mean getting less than an expected number of goals

21a    Stand pruning plant (4)
DAIS: A common flowering plant with the last letter removed (pruning)

22a    Dejected sister, lips quivering (10)
SPIRITLESS: An anagram (quivering) of SISTER LIPS

25a    Highland photographer not working in Iona (9)
SNOWDONIA: A photographer who married princess Margaret plus Iona from the clue without (not) the central 2-letter word meaning working

26a    Be prejudiced with no front (5)
EXIST: A word meaning gender-prejudiced without the first letter (with no front)

27a    Reserved books primarily examining small canines (7)
COYOTES: A 3-letter word for shy or reserved, some biblical books, the first letter (primarily) of examining and the abbreviation for small

28a    What set back ape? Blocked by large plant (7)
HEMLOCK: A reversal (set back) of a 2-letter expression meaning what, then a verb meaning to ape or mimic/ridicule containing (blocked by) the abbreviation for large


1d    Cafe noir exhausted — that’s drunk here (6)
FRANCE: An anagram (that’s drunk) of CAFÉ N(oi)R without the central letters (exhausted)

2d    New bug caught by team going up stream (6)
INFLUX: The abbreviation for new plus a bug as in virus common this time of year go inside (caught by) the reversal (going up) of a Roman numeral describing a sports team

3d    Dear piglet’s cry in street; catch piglet’s tail (10)
SWEETHEART: Piglet’s cry in the ‘this little piggie’ rhyme goes inside the abbreviation for street, then a verb meaning to catch or understand plus the last letter (tail) of piglet

4d    Unwisely heading off, is disappearing rashly, lately (5)
NEWLY: An anagram (rashly) of uNWisELY without the first letter (heading off) and IS (IS disappearing)

5d    Don has Charlie replacing loud electronic device (9)
PROCESSOR: An academic don in which the F (loud) is replaced by a C (Charlie)

6d    South American native that would be an idiot cutting aid (4)
RHEA: A 7-letter word for an idiot in which the outer letters AID are removed (cutting)

7d    Criminal that mainly in court could be uncollaborative (5,3)
ABOVE ALL: An anagram (criminal) of [the answer] + IN COURT gives UNCOLLABORATIVE

8d    Source of paper cups: it’s a recycled paper (8)
TREATISE: The source of wood, paper, etc contains (cups) an anagram (recycled) of IT’S A

13d    Regular international among male side gaining runs (10)
MAINSTREAM: The abbreviation for international goes inside (among) a (3’1,4) expression for male side into which we insert (gaining) the abbreviation for runs

15d    Residents plaster over part of toilet blocks (9)
OCCUPANTS: A reversal (over) of type of plaster wall-covering into which the main porcelain part of a toilet is inserted (blocks)

16d    Accused rogue hemming in learner driver in street (3-2-3)
CUL-DE-SAC: An anagram (rogue) of ACCUSED contains (hemming in) the abbreviation for learner driver

17d    Consulting advert on screen, terminal in library (8)
ADVISORY: A 2-letter advert, a screen used as eye protection, and the last letter (terminal) in library

19d    Home club contracted US player (2,4)
DE NIRO: A 3-letter home (of a wild animal perhaps) plus a golf club without the last letter (contracted)

20d    Area scrubbed twice in duplicated job: I disapprove! (3,3)
TSK TSK: Remove (scrubbed) the abbreviation for area in both repetitions of a word meaning job or piece of work

23d    Hand of 6 bananas, about to split that (5)
REACH: An anagram (bananas) of 6d contains (to split that) the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about

24d    Revise Law, skipping chapter (4)
EDIT: A 5-letter word for a law or order without (skipping) the abbreviation for chapter

I liked the piglets, which was your favourite clue?

18 comments on “Toughie 2369

  1. I always usually struggle with a proXimal Toughie and was in two minds about whether to even start the crossword this morning. I am so glad I did because I found this very friendly, the sort of level I’d expect for a 3* Toughie with lots to enjoy along the way. I’d give it 5* for fun too

    I did like the 1a thrill, the man in 9a because its the name of our grandson and the piggies in 3d because my granddaughter and I did do quite a lot of ‘this little piggy’ playing at Christmas. I also grew up on 14a so really the clues were definitely written with me in mind!

    Thanks to Mr X and to Dutch

  2. :phew: That was a genuine Toughie requiring several sittings and a lot of persistence – a three-pipe puzzle in Sherlock Holmes’ terms – and it was very enjoyable. proXimal has certainly mastered the art of tailoring his puzzles to be appropriate for his various slots: Mr. No X on Thursdays; Mr. 4X on Fridays; and Friday Toughies.

    I was born on a Friday so I didn’t have a problem with 1a which was my favourite. The one I didn’t manage to parse was 7d, so thanks to Dutch for the explanation.

    Many thanks to proXimal for a very rewarding challenge.

  3. Great stuff, a proper Toughie with loads to enjoy – thanks to proXimal and Dutch.
    I’d select for special mention: 1a, 9a, 8d and 19d.

  4. England have scored another100 runs & Dave Gilbert has raced into a 3 frame lead while I’ve managed to fill in the southwest corner but am utterly nonplused elsewhere. Will adopt a Robert the Bruce mindset and soldier on unaided but almost certainly to no avail as clearly Friday toughies are way beyond my limited capabilities…….

  5. I thought this was a terrific puzzle and highly enjoyable. I was held up in the NW corner – I had an incorrect entry for 9a for a while, but 1d eventually came into focus which put me on the track to successful completion. I think 1a gets my vote for favourite, although it did take a very long time for the penny to drop with ‘loving and giving’. Many thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

  6. Excellent fun that had us working really hard. The last three to get parsed were 15d, 6d and 7d. We’re not convinced that 7d actually works as a cryptic clue although all the elements are there.
    Nominate 15d as favourite but there were heaps of contenders.
    Thanks proXimal and Dutch.

  7. I’d tend to agree with CS and suggest that this was towards the less demanding of proXimal’s spectrum but certainly no push-over for me.

    Lots to enjoy here.

    Thanks to Dutch and proXimal

  8. Took me quite a while but well worth the effort. 1a was almost the first to fall and I did like the construction of same. Almost failed on 25a as I sat pondering whilst gazing out at same through the window – dim or what – and fell into my usual trap when it came to working out 7d. 19d was my LOI and joint favourites were 1&14a.

    Thanks to proXimal for the work-out and to Dutch for the review.

  9. Dutch
    Provides explanations that are much
    Appreciated by those who try
    To do the Toughie on a Fri.

  10. Thought 1a might be a homophone of free for loving and giving. Didn’t know that Friday’s son bit.
    Took a while to get the fables in 14a.
    Last one in was 20d. Had to check if that succession of letters really existed.
    Thanks to Proximal and to Dutch.

  11. Eventually got to within 6 answers shy of completion unaided (1 short even with the hints). Some really super clues with 14a my pick of the ones I cracked. Would never have solved 1a in a month of Sundays or Fridays for that matter – 9 & 28a not far behind.
    Still it was fun trying – thanks to all & well done to those good enough to tame this beast

  12. I very much echo Huntsman’s comment in that I got to within a handful unaided but in the end had to throw in the towel despite having a copious amount of checkers. Frustrating but pleased to have got so far on what was rated a five for difficulty Toughie.
    I liked 18 and 27a plus 13d in particular.
    Many thanks to proXimal and to Dutch for sorting and explaining.

  13. A visit to Duxford air museum then down to London to see our son on Friday, Mr Sheffieldsy’s birthday, meant we didn’t even start this until Saturday evening when we were back, and just finished this morning. Maybe the extra year has helped Mr Sheffieldsy as we did this unaided.

    1a bypassed Mr Sheffieldsy, but not Mrs Sheffieldsy. Thought 4d was a lovely little clue but favourites were 14a and 1d for the penny drop moment when parsing the answer.

    Thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

  14. Too hard for me really.10 across (wholesome)was within my reach but I reached for the Thesaurus to give me another word for virtuous but wholesome was not there.You can sometimes sell yourself short by relying on aids

  15. an excellent puzzle by proximal. I had solved it in two sessions by yesterday evening but I could not parse 7d. I have failed on this type of clue before so I hope that next time such a clue occurs I will wake up.
    thanks for your excellent explanations.

  16. Took me a while. Top left corner most difficult for me. Need to get used to phrases like ‘turning the stomach’.

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