Toughie 2382 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2382

Toughie No 2382 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Silvanus has staked his claim to a regular slot on the Tuesday Toughie schedule. As you would expect, the cluing is immaculate. The thought of taking something to Paddington in 16a amused me, but although the surface reading of 15d starts well (vermilion-coloured crab wandering around island) it seems to taper off.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Rod, having wasted time, also stops for snack (8)
SANDWICH: start with a rod or cane, typically one used for punishment, drop (having wasted) the T(ime) and insert (stops) a word meaning also or as well

5a    Mention being upset by letter that brings everything up (6)
EMETIC: the reversal (being upset) of a verb meaning to mention is preceded by the phonetic representation of a letter of the alphabet

9a    Disrespectful and unwise to snub Republican (8)
IMPUDENT: drop (to snub) R(epublican) from an adjective meaning unwise

10a    Introductory textbook, gloss over it perhaps? (6)
PRIMER: a coat of gloss paint could go over this

11a    Cooked crepes, one is filling for definite (7)
PRECISE: an anagram (cooked) of CREPES around (filling) I (one)

12a    Little Abraham suffered cut after pruning prickly shrub (7)
BRAMBLE: a four-letter shortened (little) version of Abraham, popularised by the author of Dracula, followed by most of (after pruning) a word meaning suffered a cut

13a    Gut originally enormous, suggestive of eating good food (11)
GASTRONOMIC: the initial letter (originally) of G[ut] followed by an adjective meaning enormous

16a    Transport as far as Paddington, say, provides exercise (5,2,4)
BRING TO BEAR: this could mean to transport as far as a fictional visitor from deepest Peru!

21a    Weak sun out, moving over rear of house (7)
TENUOUS: an anagram (moving) of SUN OUT around (over) the final letter (rear) of [hous]E

22a    City content to cancel live show, on reflection (7)
SEVILLE: hidden (content to) and reversed (on reflection) inside the clue

23a    Discovered how Sikh men traditionally appear elegant (6)
URBANE: start with an adjective meaning how Sikh men traditionally appear and drop its outer letters (dis-covered)

24a    Plant boss sacking staff leads to acrimonious trade union meeting (8)
AGERATUM: start with a word for a boss and drop the first three letters, a verb meaning to staff, then add the initial letters of (leads to) four words in the clue

25a    Kew Gardens at intervals shut off southern exit (6)
EGRESS: drop the odd letters from (at intervals shut off) the first two words in the clue and add S(outhern)

26a    Rise in subsidy about to stop suddenly (8)
GRADIENT: a subsidy around a verb meaning to stop suddenly


1d    Independent politician described by broadcaster as mean … (6)
SKIMPY: I(ndependent) and a politician inside (described by) a satellite broadcaster

2d    … to arrest a small child (6)
NIPPER: a three-letter verb meaning to arrest followed by a word meaning a, as in tuppence a bag

3d    Church ceremony, baptism, requires two days for tourist on vacation (7)
WEDDING: start with a word for baptism and insert DD (two days) in place of T[ouris]T without its inner letters (on vacation)

4d    Pore over periods announced to obtain reduced-price tickets (11)
CONCESSIONS: a three-letter verb meaning to pore over is fb what sounds like (announced) some periods

6d    Bovine epidemic in Northern Ireland area half-ignored, strange to recall (7)
MURRAIN: the bovine epidemic is the definition, which meant that I wasted my time trying to fit BSE into the answer – N(orthern) I(reland) is followed by AR[ea] with its second half ignored and an adjective meaning strange, all reversed (to recall)

7d    Picked up dessert with herb topping, one due to go off later? (4,4)
TIME BOMB: sounds like (picked up) an ice-cream dessert frozen in a round-shaped mould preceded by (topping) a herb

8d    General acceptance of groom keeping bride’s last name undisclosed essentially (8)
CURRENCY: a verb meaning to groom a horse around (keeping) the final letter (last) of [brid]E, N(ame) and the middle letter (essentially) of [undis]C[losed]

12d    Buys a larger, boiled type of sweet (6,5)
BARLEY SUGAR: an anagram (boiled) of BUYS A LARGER

14d    Bet Russia surprisingly losing international is hard to understand (8)
ABSTRUSE: an anagram (surprisingly) of BET RUSS[I]A without (losing) the I(nternational)

15d    Vermilion-coloured crab wandering around island, attracting news article (8)
CINNABAR: an anagram (wandering) of CRAB around I(sland), NN (new + new =news) and the single-letter indefinite article

17d    Justification for area of land that encircles building (7)
GROUNDS: two definitions

18d    Greatly admired wine always gets consumed (7)
REVERED: a type of wine around (gets consumed) a word meaning always

19d    Occasionally call out that fellow as cover (6)
CLOTHE: the odd letters (occasionally) of two words in the clue followed by the two-letter pronoun meaning that fellow

20d    Agree to how to restyle one’s hair? (6)
PERMIT: split as (4,2) this could be how to restyle one’s hair

Very enjoyable.


25 comments on “Toughie 2382

  1. Lovely stuff but I was beaten by three clues. 5ac. 6d and 8d. Thanks to the home grown timber that is Silvanus. Thanks to Big Dave for the enlightenment

  2. As is my wont, tackled and completed without knowing who the setter is and towards the end I decided it was almost certainly a Silvanus, completed at a very enjoyable Toughie gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 13a (an oldie but goodie?), 6d, and 8d – and the winner is 6d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

  3. Another highly enjoyable puzzle from Silvanus. I thought he’d increased the toughness slightly by including two words that I didn’t know (24a and 6d) though the wordplay in both clues was impeccable so that it was a question of working out what the answers should be and then verifying with the BRB that I’d got them right.
    Lots of potential podium contenders – I’ll go with the beautifully disguised reverse lurker (22d), the paired 1d/2d and 20d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

      1. You’ve extended your usual alias so this comment needed moderation. Both versions will work henceforth.

  4. Mostly straightforward for me but took me longer to solve than it should, I think, when looking back over it when complete. I took longer on the NE corner and had to look up 6d as I had never heard of this word before. 3*/4*.

  5. Wonderful stuff, not too tough overall, some great surfaces, laughs along the way (like the bear and the Sikh without his full hat on) and even clues for the more obscure or frankly, in my case, “unknown”, words (6d), that provide the answer so well even if it then needs checking (a good guide I would have thought for those compilers who like to use answers that only they have ever heard of!). Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

  6. Another enjoyable and “Doable” Toughie. Thank you to the setter, afraid my detective skills are not yet good enough to discern who you are!

    I have to confess that several of my answers, such as 1a and 5a, were bung-ins so I was very grateful for the explanations from BD.

    Thought the lovely 16a was a very enjoyable sort of clue.

    Never heard of 6d or 24a, hopefully they are now in the memory bank.

    1. If you only do the puzzle online, then have a look at BD’s Homepage, scroll down and there are shown this week’s Toughie compilers. I was only put onto to that a month or so ago.

  7. Agree with BD on a **/***/ ****..
    Thanks also to BD for the ‘discovered’ explanation of 23a.
    Strong cluing throughout , new plant for me to, I remembered the bovine epidemic not the wrong spelling-o for u , which did not help!
    Favourites 16a and 10a when the penny dropped re ‘gloss’
    A pleasure to solve.

  8. An excellent puzzle from one of my favourite setters, beautifully clued as always.
    Took me a little while to work out the parsing of 1&12a plus 3d, whilst 6d had to be dredged up from the very dark recesses of the old grey matter.
    Podium places galore but I have to give a special mention to 16a for the laughter it engendered.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and also to BD for the review.

  9. Beaten by 5a, 6d, 8d and 15d today but only really annoyed about 5a and 8d as haven’t heard of the other two. Thanks to Big Dave and Silvanus.

  10. Wonderful stuff from the setter whose surfaces are as smooth as Anton du Beke’s foxtrot, and just right for a Tuesday Toughie.

    There were two new words for me in 24a & 6d but both were easily derived from the wordplay and checked with Mrs RD for the former and my BRB for the latter.

    I would very much like to have more than one favourite but I shall resist the temptation whilst I recover from the (utterly warranted) verbal lashing from Kath yesterday and nominate 8d.

    I will mention that 12a, 16a, 22a, 1d & 2d all came into contention.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to BD.

  11. An excellent puzzle that we thoroughly enjoyed. Struggled with the parsing of 24a by trying to make the 3 letter short form of Abraham work. Ticks all over the place so won’t select any one as favourite.
    Thanks Silvanus and BD.

  12. Just home after visiting an elderly friend.
    The top half put up a bit of a fight but I got there. A most enjoyable puzzle. Living in Kent, I should have got 1a far quicker than I did. As so many setters depend on sport, I’m surprised it’s golfing connections weren’t mentioned!
    COTD ? Has to be the little bear from Peru (16a)
    Thanks to setter and our own BD

  13. Very enjoyable puzzle with most difficulty in the NE corner.

    I liked several, but the clue that made me laugh was 20d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

  14. Would never have guessed it was from Silvanus. Thought I was solving a Kcit in fact.
    Failed on 6d and couldn’t parse 17d.
    Tried so hard to have Un for the first letters of 23a.
    Thanks to Silvanus for the workout and to BD for the review.

  15. Many thanks as ever to BD for his decryptions and to all those who took the trouble to leave comments, they are always read with interest and greatly appreciated.

  16. Good fun, some new words. The cow disease and the plant. The red crab and 5a needed a nudge from the hints. Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

  17. I finished this in two sittings doing the cryptic in between as I’d ground to a complete halt. On returning I finished first the NE and then the SE corners reasonably quickly. Like others there were some words I didn’t know but isn’t this part of the joy of doing crosswords? But any road up I looked them up to confirm they were really words and happy days they were. Favourite16a which I had long before I put it in. Many thanks to Silvanus and BD.

  18. Thanks to Rabbit Dave’s recommendation in another place I really enjoyed this challenge. I was cheered to know that I was in good company with Senf and Paige inter alia in having come up against some snags in the NE. 16a amused but I think 13a was Fav due to its good surface. Many thanks Silvanus and BD.

  19. Generally a straightforward solve for me but a couple of clues needed to be teased out.

    As others have remarked – smooth surfaces throughout the puzzle which made for an enjoyable solving experience.

    Thanks to BD and Silvanus

  20. Have just battled to a finish after numerous revisits and using only 1 reveal a letter hint. I’ve no idea how much time I actually spent looking at it but completion time was 15hrs & 9mins.
    I remain in awe of those able to decipher crosswords of this level of difficulty with apparent ease.
    Loads of great clues and thanks to BD for explaining my answers

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