Toughie 2380 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2380

Toughie Cryptic No 2380 by Kcit

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

You do know what to expect when Kcit sets the ‘Toughie’ and this one was no exception. I’m not quite sure whether the number of picture opportunities he’s provided for the blogger makes up for the number of clues where we have to ‘remove a letter’ – certainly something I’d have flagged for attention if I’d been the test solver.  I don’t know whether it counts as a Nina, but there’s something interesting going on in the diagonal letters across the NW and SE corners of the grid

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    A study adopted by group urges breakfast? (5,3,4)
BACON AND EGGS A (from the cue) and a synonym for study ‘adopted’ by a group and an informal way of saying urges

9a    What induces international to come in to face the bowling? (4)
BAIT The abbreviation for International inserted into (to come in) a verb meaning to face the bowling

10a    Vulgar type secures the bar, having offloaded one religious building (9)
CATHEDRAL A vulgar type of person ‘secures’ THE (from the clue) followed by a horizontal bar without the I (having offloaded one)

12a    Island between river and a lake: closed area of Venice (6)
RIALTO The abbreviation for Island goes between the abbreviation for River, A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Lake, the result finished off by a word meaning closed which I always associate with my Yorkshire Granny, who would ask you to ‘put the door xx’

13a    Origin of Commonwealth: memory expertly provided by this Commonwealth leader (8)
CROMWELL The ‘origin’ of Commonwealth, an abbreviation for a type of computer memory, and an adverb meaning expertly provided

15a    Crack to extend, doing for flower (10)
SNAPDRAGON A verb meaning to crack in the sense of break and a two-word expression meaning to extend slowly and tediously

16a    Support ditching leader in speech (4)
TALK Remove the first letter (ditching leader) from the sort of support that is part of  a 15a or 6d 

18a    Inclination Conservative has to avoid restraint (4)
RAMP The abbreviation for Conservatives is left off (has to avoid) a restraint

20a    Working for another redefinition of ritual, getting lot of criticism (10)
ALTRUISTIC An anagram (redefinition) of RITUAL with almost all (lot of) of an informal term for criticism

23a    Not quite every item about it will identify singer (8)
BARITONE A two-word expression meaning not quite every item goes about IT (from the clue)

24a    Absorbed by a film about Germany (6)
AMIDST A (from the clue) and a thin layer (film) go ‘about’ the IVR code for Germany

26a    Start one new plan, swindle having failed (9)
INCEPTION The letter that looks like a number one, the abbreviation for New and a plan or thought without (having failed) a slang word for swindle

27a    Bank response ignoring pence (4)
RELY Ignore the abbreviation for Pence in a response

28a    Reason to monopolise light in film (9,3)
GROUNDHOG DAY A reason, a verb meaning to monopolise and the time from sunrise to sunset (light)


2d    American liberty? Not American high point (8)
ALTITUDE The abbreviation or American and a synonym for liberty without the A (not American)

3d    Phrase not initially a pained expression? (4)
OUCH A verb meaning to phrase or express in language without its initial letter

4d    Late upset for the USA involving Republican (5,5)
AFTER HOURS An anagram (upset) of FOR THE USA and an R (‘involving’ Republican)

5d    Unsympathetic about each male expecting the unattainable? (6)
DREAMY Insert (about) the abbreviations for each and male into an adjective meaning distantly unsympathetic

6a    Are British, say, rearing plant with showy flowers? (7)
GERBERA A reversal (rearing in a Down clue) of the abbreviated way of saying for example, the abbreviation for British and ARE (from the clue)

7d    Italy tackles rebuilding conurbation (4,4,4)
SALT LAKE CITY An anagram (rebuilding) of ITALY TACKLES

8d    Nearly all nuts and fruit (6)
BANANA Almost all of a slang term (as is nuts) for crazy

11d    Money heading off major loss shown in production of figures on paper (5,7)
BRASS RUBBING An informal term for money and a thorough defeat without its first letter (heading off)

14d    Chance to meet clever guy going to hospital after military command (4,2,4)
FALL IN WITH A clever guy and the abbreviation for Hospital go after a military command to take places in ranks

17d    Maiden with a sexy persona picked up song — it’s the drink (3,5)
TIA MARIA The abbreviation for Maiden goes after a reversal (picked up) of A (from the clue) and an informal term for sex appeal, the result followed by a song

19d    Starts to run off couple of chapters bound in product of cow (leather) (7)
MOROCCO The ‘starts’ of Run Off, two lots (couple) of the abbreviation for chapter all bound or inserted into the noise (product of) made by a cow – this was my favourite clue

21d    Drunk fairly good after swallowing quantity of drink? (6)
TIDDLY Insert the abbreviation for a small quantity of liquid ( drink) into an adjective meaning fairly good which always makes me think of Nessa in Gavin and Stacey

22d    Suppress encouragement to speed — it isn’t necessary (4,2)
STEP ON A slang term telling someone to hurry up (encouragement to speed) without the IT (it isn’t necessary)

25d    Rising profits, ignoring current problem (4)
SNAG A reversal (rising in a Down clue) of some profits ‘ignoring’ the abbreviation for electrical current


19 comments on “Toughie 2380

  1. I wasn’t left with any strong feelings about this either in terms of difficulty or enjoyment, except that, as CS has already mentioned, there are far too many clues where the solver needs to remove a letter, including the use of “ignoring” twice.

    I got delayed slightly by spending time trying to justify “after shock” as the answer for 4d using the definition “late upset”.

    Thanks to Kcit and CS.

  2. I too missed the meaning of to in 12 across despite the fact that all of my family use the expression including me. Great entertainment as usual solved going to and from our new house which is rapidly becoming habitable. I don’t much mind how our setters set. It’s their puzzle. Thanks to Kcit and Sue.

  3. Somewhere around a */** **/***.
    Apart from the last two letters of 12a, a straight forward solve-thanks Crypticsue for the explanation.
    I too noted the excessive letter removal.
    Favourites 19d if only for the moo and liked the surface of 11d.
    28a is a favourite film-I keep on watching it!

    1. Me too – goodness knows how many times I’ve watched it even though it does leave you with a dreadful earworm!

  4. This took me a bit longer than normal to solve – four attempts to complete! I bunged in 21d and despite CS’s explanation I am still in a fog over the parsing of it!! Must be a bit dense today! But otherwise quite enjoyable. 3*/3* for me today.

    1. TIDY (fairly good) as in ‘he made a tidy profit’…. into which is inserted DL (decilitre, quantity of drink)

      1. Right. Thanks CS! I didn’t think of that meaning for fairly good, but it does make sense. And being a chemist I would not think of a capital d for deci, but of course, in a crossword that is how it would be.

  5. I hadn’t noticed the letter pattern in the NW/SE corners and I wonder what it means – if anything? (wise bees?).
    I did notice the high number of letter deletions. Thanks to Kcit and CS.
    My favourite clue was 12a where I think the whole clue could just about form the definition.

    1. Is it just that they appear “four times”?

      Three days of gentle but enjoyable Toughies. Is it Elgar tomorrow?

  6. It took me a while but I thoroughly enjoyed this today. Like others I missed the connection on the end of 12a. Favourite clue was 15a if for no other reason than I spent a few minutes fearing it would be an obscure answer beyond my GK before the answer dawned. Thanks to Kcit and CS.

  7. For me, another very enjoyable puzzle, but again, I found it a good deal harder than other others have. For a long time I had the right half complete, and the left half was a total blank. However, and after a good while, the singer came to me and allowed me to get established in the left half and eventually finish off. 12a was my last in – borrowing crypticsue’s Yorkshire Granny would have been very helpful! Many thanks to Kcit and crypticsue.

  8. I really enjoyed this. A lot of the time I’d got the answer before even thinking of parsing it. Started with a giggle on 1a.

    I then tackled the back page. Oh, what a slog! The quickie was difficult and the back page puzzle was just hard work – no laughs at all. It really made me appreciate Kcit’s lightness of touch.

  9. Didn’t really get onto the setter’s wavelength today but perhaps I was in too much of a rush this morning – that’s my excuse any way!
    No particular favourite, just annoyed with myself for leaving it unfinished.

    Thanks to Kcit – and apologies for not trying harder – thanks also to CS for the blog.

  10. I found this tougher than the blogger obviously did and took ages to see the flower in 15a for some reason.
    A pleasant solve.
    Thanks Kcit and CS.

  11. Everything went smoothly until I hit a brick wall in 11d and 18a.
    Had to reveal these two.
    Thanks to Kcit for the challenge and to CS for the review.

  12. No criticism but I really couldn’t get along with this one, I put it down and came back to it at least 3 times until 11d, 15a and 23a finally yielded . I’d say 4* difficulty and 2* enjoyment. Is it really Elgar yet again tomorrow? OK, what does 142 signify???
    Thanks to KciT and CS [really 1* difficulty ma’am?]

  13. Like Tony, I didn’t find this one easy. I did the right side quickly but did not think of snapdragon as I always try to find a river for flower! I was also convinced that 11d was something to do with accountancy.

  14. Thanks to Kcit and to crypticSue for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but found it very difficult. Needed 9 hints to finish. Couldn’t get the flowers, or find hardly any of the definitions. Was 5*/2* for me.

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