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Toughie 2402

Toughie No 2402 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Silvanus once again achieves what is expected from a Tuesday Toughie.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Little image I doctored that’s improper (12)
ILLEGITIMATE: an anagram (doctored) of LITTLE IMAGE I

9a    Hybrid vigour evenly distributed in sheep, they’re of such impressive size originally (9)
HETEROSIS: the even letters of (evenly distributed in) three words in the clue followed by the initial letters (originally) of three other words

10a    Articulate supporter of Hull University (5)
KEELE: sounds like (articulate) part of the hull of a ship

11a    Question put in vulgar language (6)
BASQUE: QU(estion) inside an adjective meaning vulgar

12a    Shorten lead of Newfoundland approaching pet right outside (8)
TRUNCATE: the initial letter (lead) of N[ewfoundland] and a pet go inside a word meaning right

13a    Stand with legs splayed out from port I’d drunk (6)
TRIPOD: an anagram (drunk) of PORT ID

15a    Learn panel member is someone capable of trickery (8)
CONJUROR: a verb meaning to learn is followed by a member of a panel

18a    One’s enthralled by subject in school essay that shows creativity (8)
ARTISTRY: I’S (one’s) inside a school subject and an essay or attempt

19a    Rarely struts catwalk promoting line from the East (6)
SELDOM: start with a verb meaning struts the catwalk, “promote” the L(ine) by moving it one position nearer the start off the word then reverse the lot (from the East in an across clue)

21a    Norm shreds vegetables (8)
PARSNIPS: a norm, such as a standard score for a golf hole, followed by a verb meaning shreds

23a    Inform university a German is joining about end of April (4,2)
CLUE IN: U(niversity) and the German indefinite article are preceded by (joining) the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about and the final letter (end) of [Apri]L

26a    Shock of orchard essentially disappearing in morning mist (5)
AMAZE: start with the two-letter indication of morning and a mist and drop the middle letter (essentially) of [orc]H[ard] from the mist

27a    Active English politician, gutless to block call for review (9)
ENERGETIC: E(nglish) and an eco-friendly politician without his middle letter (gutless) inside (to block) a verb meaning to call or name all reversed (for review)

28a    Unfortunately we fear latest governmental social benefit system (7,5)
WELFARE STATE: an anagram (unfortunately) of WE FEAR LATEST


1d    Restrict interest about who is regularly meeting heads of British Intelligence (7)
INHIBIT: INT(erest) around the even letters (regularly) of two words in the clue and the initial letters (heads) of the last two words in the clue

2d    Large round bottom, hard to ignore in yoga position (5)
LOTUS: L(arge) and the round letter followed by a colloquial word for the bottom without (to ignore) H(ard)

3d    Chatty daughter gets posh replacement in organisation of Lord Sugar (9)
GARRULOUS: an anagram (organisation) of LOR[D|U] SUGAR with the D(aughter) replaced by the letter that means posh

4d    President Donald‘s tense over son visiting this country (4)
TUSK: this Polish politician (the idiot who said there was “special place in hell” for “those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it out safely”) used to be president of the EU Council – T(ense) followed by S(on) inside our country

5d    Rubbish seen over heathland about to increase rapidly (8)
MUSHROOM: some rubbish followed by the reversal (about) of a heathland

6d    Score for perfect dive secures satisfactory mark (5)
TOKEN: put the score for a perfect dive around (secures) a two-letter word meaning satisfactory

7d    Went and got married again? (8)
REPAIRED: split as (2-6) this could mean got married again

8d    Agree never to bring up somewhat superficial appearance (6)
VENEER: hidden (somewhat) and reversed (bring up) inside the clue

14d    Break in play when vile rant is broadcast (8)
INTERVAL: an anagram (broadcast) of VILE RANT

16d    Average chap, patient individual, fells timber we hear (3,6)
JOE BLOGGS: what sounds like (we hear) a patient biblical character and a verb meaning fells timber

17d    On sale, 50% off, spot a fine sort of table (4-4)
DROP-LEAF: the last half (50%) of [sa]LE preceded by a spot and followed by the A from the clue and F(ine)

18d    Attractive quality that a cricketer hopes is successful? (6)
APPEAL: two definitions

20d    In Paris, my uncle loses second new visual aid (7)
MONOCLE: start with the French (in Paris) for my uncle (3,5) and drop the second occurrence of N(ew)

22d    Name that is extremely crude to give a relative (5)
NIECE: N(ame) followed by the Latin abbreviation for “that is” and the outer letters (extremely) of C[rud]E

24d    Run more than usual (5)
EXTRA: two definitions – the first being a run in cricket

25d    Eyes Mark endlessly, before Gregory it was Julian! (4)
YEAR: drop the outer letters (endlessly) from the first two words in the clue

Very enjoyable.


24 comments on “Toughie 2402

  1. A very good cranial exercise that did require some head scratching towards the end for completion at a Toughie fast canter, is Silvanus getting Tougher – ***/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 2d, and 4d – and the winner by several lengths is 4d for the different President Donald!
    Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

  2. Silvanus never fails to delight with well-crafted clues and beautifully tarmacked surfaces. Thanks to him and BD.
    There are many ticks on my printout including 10a, 3d, 7d and 16d but my favourite clue (for the big laugh) was 2d.

    1. Well it looks wrong but I know better to question Gazza. Tarmacked. I’m not going to check it. It would look worse with a double C

  3. What a remarkably talented setter – as Gazza said, he never fails to delight with his abilities.
    Think I’ve got ticks alongside every clue (apart from 9a where I was simply grateful for the wordplay!) but my favourite has to be 16d. Such a relatively simple clue but it was only getting the ‘panel member’ in 15a that allowed the penny to drop here – it really made me laugh.

    Many thanks for the enjoyment, Silvanus, and thanks to BD for the review.

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Good mix of clues, some great surfaces and not too tough. 16d favourite just ahead of the University (nice capitalised mis-direction).

    9a a new word for me but able to work out the construction, with all checkers in place, and then google it.

    Thanks to Silvanus and BD.

  5. Yep, I’m on board. Loads of lovely, inventive clues with amusing surfaces. Particularly taken with 23a [for its perfect wordplay] and 25d [because it’s clever].
    Thanks to BD for the parsing of 27a [which I struggled with, having started on the wrong E] and a fine blog; and many congrats to Silvanus [a cricket-playing scientist?] for the lovely clueing.

  6. I think the low level of unusual words made this puzzle feel relatively easy to me and I was a bit surprised it got two stars from BD. It took me about the same time as the back page puzzle. The only word I did not know was 9a but that was easily assembled from the cryptic clue and the first six letters are a well known prefix. It was a very enjoyable puzzle
    With thanks tot he setter and BD

  7. What a splendid puzzle which was nicely challenging and great fun. The accuracy of the cluing and the super-smooth surfaces are an absolute delight.

    But, oh dear, oh dear, something I never thought I would find with this setter, there are two unindicated Americanisms! The BRB and Collins online agree with me about the bottom in 2d, as does Collins online regarding the answer to 23a although the BRB begs to differ on this one.

    The only new word for me was 9a, but it was readily derived from the wordplay and checked in Chambers.

    How to choose a favourite from such a fine selection with almost every clue coming into consideration? Not easy but, after some deliberation, 10a, 3d, 4d, 7d, 16d & 25d are fighting it out to get on the podium.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to BD.

  8. Many thanks to BD for his decryptions (22d needs “relative” to be underlined though) and to everyone else who has taken the trouble to comment.

    I’m very conscious of RD’s sensitivities and I would always indicate an Americanism where the BRB says just “US”, but for the second part of 2d, the BRB shows it as “chiefly US”, so in those cases don’t think any qualification is needed.

    I hope everyone stays healthy and safe in these challenging times.

  9. The Who sang Wont Get Fooled Again but I always am fooled again.This time by 10 across which tricked me into believing Hull University was part of the definition instead of Hull —University.Four candles or Fork handles?Enjoyed it though.Still trying to complete a toughie for the second time,though I accept this was not a tough Toughie.

  10. Brilliant, just brilliant–and I finished in * time (for me), only the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve ever accomplished that feat for a Toughie, though I had trouble parsing the EU chap and managed to parse 2a (a new word for me, but what a great one) because of the clever clueing. Even managed to get UK’s equivalent of Mr Mits (Man in the Street) or Joe Blow or John Doe. Thanks to Silvanus and Big Dave. Too many favourites (sorry, Kath) to pick just one. * / *****

  11. Bits of GK that were new to us. The university in 10a and the president in 4d but we managed to get both from the wordplay and then confirmed on Google.
    Lots of ticks on our page and thoroughly enjoyed.
    Thanks Silvanus and BD.

  12. Loved this although needed hints for 25d (now kicking myself). Some cracking clues, I particularly liked 20d with 12a a close runner up. Thanks to Big Dave for the hints and Silvanus for a most enjoyable puzzle.

  13. Albeit with a little electronic help, frustratingly fell one short, 25d which I still don’t understand? 9a is a new word for me too.
    Got held up a a little by having “de parted” for 7d but 15a was obviously correct so eventually got there. Great fun and just the right level of difficulty, favourite in a strong field 21a.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and to BD for the excellent review.

    1. Hi Stephen,

      Tip from the setter for 25d: type the answer plus Gregory and Julian into Google and see what results!

      1. Dire times provide time to tackle toughies, new and scary territory for me. If they re all this enjoyable it will be time well spent. Thx!

        PS loved image of 2d. A riot!

  14. Excellent puzzle and a tonic for these difficult times to enjoy in the evening.

    No real favourite: all excellent!

    Thanks to Silvanus and Big Dave.

  15. Just completed unaided this evening although heaven knows how as the parsing of numerous clues completely eluded me. Fully agree with others that Silvanus puzzles are an absolute pleasure – the perfect antidote to the never ending tide of utterly depressing news. Oddly enough 9a, though a new word to me, was one I did parse but like others 16d took the accolade as COTD once I’d worked out the wordplay. Took me at least twice as long as the back pager so hats off to Patch for completing in the same time.
    Thanks, as ever, to BD for enlightening me as to why I stumbled on the correct answers……

  16. Thanks to Silvanus and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one tremendously. Managed to solve most of it without too much trouble. Which left me with 25d, which I guessed, 4d which I eventually solved, and last in 9a,which was a total guess. After Googling it was amazed to see the definition, was able to parse it after that. Favourite was 4d for the misdirection, and the satisfaction of solving. What a great puzzle. Was 2*/4* for me.

  17. 2*/4*……..
    liked 25D ” eyes Mark endlessly, before Gregory it was Julian! (4) “

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