Toughie 2383 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2383

Toughie No 2383 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I enjoyed this puzzle from our editor with its good dose of humour. My main difficulties came from queries of the type ‘How does that mean that?’ followed shortly by ‘Ah, that’s how!’.

Thanks to Samuel.

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

Across Clues

1a Access to go round Bill’s track (10)
RACECOURSE: a synonym for access as in ‘having access to’ contains the abbreviation for a bill or invoice.

6a Go and party (4)
BASH: double definition, the first being a try or attempt.

9a Bond’s raced to find one of a group on the high street? (5,5)
CHAIN STORE: stick together another word for a bond or fetter, the ‘S and an informal verb meaning raced or moved quickly.

10a Most of posse fighting with this nasty piece of work could be hopeless (4)
HEEL: this is a compound anagram. If you make an anagram (fighting) of POSS[e] plus the answer you get ‘hopeless’.

12a Guy felt negative about clothes (4)
GENT: hidden in reverse.

13a Fund artist needing endless help for exhibition, ultimately (9)
RESERVOIR: start with the name of a French Impressionist painter and replace the ultimate letter of exhibitioN with all but the final letter of a verb to help or be of use.

15a Quite a different (and touching) expression for summer? (8)
EQUATION: an anagram (different) of QUITE A is followed by a preposition meaning touching or in contact with.

16a Reveal nothing about European victor returning to follow United (6)
UNVEIL: a word meaning nothing contains the reversal of an abbreviation of European and the letter that victor represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. All that follows the abbreviation for united.

18a Tastier drink, reportedly a delicacy (6)
NICETY: to some people (but not to me) this sounds like a more pleasant hot drink (5,3).

20a Parasites, unknown number, spot host (8)
LICENSEE: string together some nasty little parasitic insects, the letter used in maths to mean an unknown number and a verb to spot.

23a Attack deacon running to cuddle girl (9)
CANNONADE: an anagram (running, in the sense of becoming fluid) of DEACON contains a 3-letter female name.

24a Spluttered, making argument (4)
SPAT: double definition, the second a petty quarrel or tiff.

26a Tramps exposed source of music? (4)
OBOE: another word for tramps or vagrants without its outer letters.

27a Unexpected to receive Oscar for a Western (10)
OCCIDENTAL: start with an adjective meaning unexpected or inadvertent and replace the (first) A with the letter that Oscar represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

28a Depression over new setback (4)
SNAG: a depression or decline contains the abbreviation for new.

29a Popular flier planned to avoid American in captivity (10)
INTERNMENT: splice together an informal adjective meaning popular or trendy, a type of seabird and a verb meaning planned or intended without the single-letter abbreviation for American.

Down Clues

1d Stagger from film finishing early (4)
ROCK: the title of a 1970s film without its last letter.

2d Teach to run a posh estate (7)
CHATEAU: an anagram (to run) of TEACH precedes A and the letter used to mean posh. Run is obviously the anagram indicator du jour – see 23a.

3d Company must replace leader of organisation — that’s the law! (12)
CONSTITUTION: the usual abbreviation for a company replaces the first letter of a word for an organisation or foundation.

4d Corrupt trio rule in the future (8)
ULTERIOR: an anagram (corrupt) of TRIO RULE. I wasn’t aware of this meaning of the answer but it’s in the BRB.

5d Pressure finally breaks lock (6)
STRESS: the final letter of breaks and what a lock tends to be in Crosswordland.

7d Stitch up Cockney dwelling south of area that’s outstanding (7)
AWESOME: the reversal of a verb to stitch and how a Cockney would pronounce a domestic dwelling follow the abbreviation for area.

8d Preacher reportedly punctured car (4,6)
HOLY ROLLER: glue together what sounds like an adjective meaning ‘with punctures’ and an informal term for a posh make of car to get a member of an evangelical group given to frenzied movements.

11d Book German genius missing first international (12)
FRANKENSTEIN: combine a member of an old Germanic people and the name of a scientific genius without the first of his abbreviations for international.

14d Malevolent prince misrepresented debts (10)
PERNICIOUS: weld together an anagram (misrepresented) of PRINCE and our usual debts.

17d In the event of uprising, live somewhere warm (8)
FIRESIDE: reverse a conjunction meaning ‘in the event of’ and append a verb to live or dwell.

19d Uri perhaps seen with a footballer (7)
CANTONA: Uri here is not the cutlery manipulator but an example of an administrative area in Switzerland. Add A to get an old footballer most famous for launching a drop kick at a spectator who had annoyed him.

21d Large number work to dismiss one in city (7)
SEATTLE: start with a word for a large number (a *** of troubles, as Shakespeare had it) and add the name of an artistic work without the Roman numeral for one.

22d Conservative supports banker, flighty type (6)
FALCON: one of the abbreviations for Conservative follows a ‘banker’ in Cornwall.

25d Plan quietly to crush man with salty wife (4)
PLOT: the musical abbreviation for quietly precedes the name of an Old Testament chap whose wife suddenly became more salty.

I ticked 9a, 8d and 11d but my favourite clue was 25d. Which one(s) did you consider worthy of getting on the podium?


19 comments on “Toughie 2383

  1. I took a proper Toughie time to solve this crossword which, as you will imagine, pleased me no end. The clue that held me up the most was not noticing the perishing compound anagram in 10a. I also thought it was quite ‘cornery’ in that I sorted out the NW first, then the SW and so on.

    Thanks to Samuel and to Gazza – my top favourite was 25d too. So that’s a Toughie today, and a Toughie to come on Friday – I wonder whether Beam tomorrow will make it three in a row in one week??

  2. I enjoyed this a lot although it was a tale of two halves in terms of difficulty: the LHS went in reasonably smoothly but the RHS proved to be a real challenge.

    It took me ages to work out the parsing for 10a, 11d & 21d, and, in fact reading Gazza’s review, I can see that I parsed 11d incorrectly. My researches unearthed that “german” was an archaic way of spelling “germane”, and that “frank” was an obsolete meaning of “germane”! I was going to protest that that convoluted derivation was unfair on solvers, although I do think that even the correct interpretation deserves the prefix “old” before “German”.

    I’d never heard of 8d, but, once I’d worked it out, it took the accolade as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Samuel and to Gazza.

  3. I found this one to be quite difficult, where in many cases, I guessed the correct answer without immediately understanding why.
    The only one I failed to get was 10a; with the amount of words in the clue, I gave up trying to work out what was being pointed to.

    Many thanks to Samuel for an enjoyable challenge, and to Gazza for the explanations.

  4. I often think it is funny to compare solvers’ favourites and indeed overall enjoyment.

    How, possibly, can 25d be a favourite above one of the greatest footballers and philosophers that modern times have ever seen?!!

    Must ask Mr K to do some questionnaire about the subject perhaps.

    As to the crossword – ***/***** for me (with several parsed after being what they had to be) and, despite the footballer being there, my fav is the monster. Ta to all.

  5. Got the compound anagram of 10a which finally unlocked the NE corner. I hesitated to enter 13a as I didn’t see it as a “fund” and anyway, couldn’t sort out the parsing. Should have seen the rekrul in 12a.
    Love the picture of Widdie in 23a.
    Thanks to Samuel and Gazza. A real workout.

  6. A lengthy solve, but could never have parsed 13 across without help. I am embarrassed to say I thought 7 down was how a cockney would describe the house of a lady of the night. Thanks to all you brains

  7. As RD experienced, it was the RHS that caused me the most grief and – in my case – led to a few ‘umms’ along the way.
    The German and the large number were late to occur whilst 10a was, needless to say, my last one in. 19a was a case of ‘guess and then look up’ – thank goodness Mr Google backed up my theory!

    Thanks to Samuel and to Gazza – love the cartoons you find to illustrate your reviews.

  8. I too did this in corners. I needed the hint to parse 21d and had to look up Uri to confirm 19d. All the rest eventually became clear if I sat and scratched my head for long enough. I’m going to go with 20a as favourite, though there were a number of contenders. Good crossword. Many thanks to Samuel and Gazza.

  9. A lot of head scratching involved but we did get it all sorted. The parsing of 10a and 21d the last to fall.
    Thanks Samuel and Gazza.

  10. Similar to others this was a game of two halves. At one point I had all the LHS with the RHS bare. Perseverance eventually paid off but it took some time. COTD 13a for me. Thanks to Samuel and Gazza.

  11. Same here.
    A full left side and a right empty for a while.
    22d was a leap of faith that opened it all up.
    Lasts to fall were the book in 11d and the city in 21d
    Favourite is the homophone in 18a.
    Thanks to Mr Ed and to Gazza.

  12. Very hard but enjoyable.Some of the explanations given by Big Dave involve crossword techniques that are a bit advanced for me at present like 10a-a compound anagram-but others that I did not get were within my scope.I was on the right lines with Frankenstein-11 down-but the name of the book never came to me -one of those things.As Philip Larkin wrote “Nothing like something can happen anywhere”.Or as Homer Simpson said”DOH”

  13. Excellent puzzle overall. Just my sort of Toughie level, although the contrast in difficulty between 10a and 12a and the rest was very marked. Couldn’t parse 21d, but it had to be, so thanks Gaza’s for the explanation. Favourite was 8d. Thanks Samuel for a wonderful piece of work!

  14. Had this one stashed away for a rainy day. Great puzzle and explanations as always. I can’t find FAL (21D) in Chambers what is it? Thanks.

      1. I think that you mean 22d, not 21d.
        It was good to have another look at this puzzle which appeared only five months ago but it seems as though it was from another pre-Covid age.

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