Toughie 2418 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2418

Toughie No 2418 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by Ophelia.
Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning from the slowly beating heart of Downtown L I. If this is the most happening place in the village I dread to think how dull the outskirts and suburbs must be.

As I write this preamble I am awaiting the delivery of today’s Daily Telegraph for a glimpse of today’s Toughie kindly provided by our very own Silvanus. One feature of a Silvanus puzzle that I look forward to are the excellent surfaces of his clues which are all “sanded down and re-varnished rather than just receiving a waft of the Mr Sheen”. If ever the paper delivery person ever turns up I will set to with gusto.

And so it duly arrived Here is my blog.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Boast made by German after chat about restricting weight (7)
SWAGGER: A three-letter abbreviation of German follows the reverse of a three-letter term for chat or gossip which contains the abbreviation for weight

8a    Distinguished artist given space alongside foremost of talents (7)
EMINENT: A very capable and distinguished English Turner Prize winning artist is followed by one of three printers’ spaces which sounds like the letter its space takes up. This is followed by the initial or foremost letter of the word Talents.

10a    Acknowledged grass is necessary around small garden feature (9)
RESPONDED: A tall, slender-leaved plant of the grass family surrounds the abbreviation for small and a garden feature which should be full of frog spawn at this time of year

11a    Bloomer, or catastrophe to pull out police officers? (5)
ASTER: The abbreviation for detective inspectors needs to be removed from the front of a word synonymous with catastrophe to leave a Michaelmas Daisy

12a    Unclear if magazine’s accepting article to replace others originally (5)
VAGUE: An American monthly fashion and lifestyle magazine needs the letter A (article) to replace the letter O (others originally) has anybody ever paid for a single issue of this magazine?

13a    City accountant, male needing some dental work (9)
CAMBRIDGE: The abbreviations for Chartered Accountant and Male are followed by an expensive dental procedure involving a Pontic. How many of you have had a Pontic for years without realising?

15a    Three times required to ring university? Extremely upset son expresses disapproval (3-4)
TUT-TUTS: Begin with three abbreviations for times. Place them carefully around the abbreviation for university. Add the outer letters (extremely) of upset and the abbreviation for son

17a    Airline occasionally kept charge back on board for hot drink (4,3)
BEEF TEA: The even numbered letters of the word kept together with a charge for advice or services are reversed (about) and placed inside (on board) our national airline.

18a    Repeatedly discovered Wendy fears bingo is becoming attractive (9)
ENDEARING: Remove the outer letters of the three words immediately following the words repeatedly discovered

20a    Sudden increase in material being broadcast (5)
SURGE: The material here is a durable twilled woollen or worsted fabric. It sounds like a sudden increase or swell

21a    Person who gives name entering house, say (5)
DONOR: The abbreviation for name sits inside what sounds like the house of a Parisian perfumier

23a    Policeman from Vice vetted criminal, one very withdrawn (9)
DETECTIVE: Anagram (criminal) of VICE VETTED minus one letter V. Very withdrawn


24a    Drowsy and moving unsteadily, about close to exhaustion (7)
YAWNING: A term used to describe unsteady movement of aircraft or boats sits around the last letter of the word exhaustion

25a    Capacity to provide satisfaction (7)
CONTENT: A rather nice double definition to finish off the across clues.


1d    Shrewd language little good in front of heartless heavyweight journalist (3-7)
FAR-SIGHTED: A four-part charade 1. A Persian language 2. The abbreviation for good 3. The outer letters of the word heavyweight 4 Our favourite journalist

2d    Pay no attention to Italian gentleman with face cut (6)
IGNORE: We need an Italian gentleman minus his first letter

3d    Modified crop study shortly will deliver results (8)
PRODUCTS: Anagram (modified) of CROP STUDy

4d    Rarely is student wearing revolutionary fashions (6)
SELDOM: A word meaning fashions or styles in clothes art or literature is reversed and placed around the abbreviation for a student or learner

5d    Quarrel said to erupt with sarcastic expression describing Republican (8)
DISAGREE: An anagram (to erupt) of SAID is followed by a mildly sarcastic expression, typically of surprise, enthusiasm, or sympathy which surrounds the abbreviation of Republican

6d    Sufficient number barely realising what follows what comes next? (4)
LENT: A word meaning a sufficient number has its outer letters removed to leave a word that describes what follows the answer to the next down clue.

7d    You’ve hat and dress sorted for spring blow-out? (6,7)
SHROVE TUESDAY: Anagram (sorted) of YOU’VE HAT and DRESS

9d    Worried vet heartened by British missing equestrian competition (5-3,5)
THREE-DAY EVENT: Anagram (Worried) of VET HEARTENED plus the letter Y that comes from the word BY after the abbreviation for British is removed.

The enumeration for this clue differs on various platforms. Either 5,3,5 or 5-3,5 or 9,5 The words that make up the rather obvious answer are the same. Life is too short to bother.

14d    Something done to keep period at home fixed (10)
DETERMINED: A word meaning something done such as an action or feat contains a period of time maybe part of a school year and a word meaning at home

16d    Fearless peacekeepers advanced and became edgy, reportedly … (8)
UNAFRAID: The abbreviation for our United Nations peacekeepers is followed by the abbreviation for advanced. This is followed by a homophone based on a synonym of the word edgy or of a person’s nerves, frazzled

17d    … significant moment defending second display of force (3,5)
BIG STICK: Two synonyms surround the abbreviation for second. First a synonym of significant. Then a synonym of moment as in a short space of time

19d    Colour that’s receding in sheepdog I’d nicknamed (6)
INDIGO: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. Indicated by the word in. as befits a Toughie puzzle the word you are looking for is reversed as indicated by the words that’s receding

20d    Give support to subordinate (6)
SECOND: Double definition number two. Both accessible

22d    All-points bulletin? (4)
NEWS: The four points of the compass together make up the name of a bulletin of current affairs

A rather endearing but eminent Cambridge detective responded on Shrove Tuesday to the vague news of a surge of trouble at the Indigo Beef Tea Products stand at a three day event. Yawning, unafraid and far sighted enough not to ignore this seldom seen situation he was there in a second all a swagger waving his big stick to the sound of tut tuts from those who disagree with such savagery. A kindly blood donor lent him an aster to calm him down.


31 comments on “Toughie 2418

  1. A lovely friendly Silvanus crossword as we have come to expect, the only bit of brow-furrowing was that caused by 6d

    Thanks to Silvanus and the ever changing blogger

  2. Yes, I’d agree, ** Toughie rating from me, but 6d was out of my league.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and MP.

  3. A pleasant puzzle. Full marks from me for the low level of general knowledge – even I know 13a, it’s where Harvard is. i missed the strange homophone in 21a assuming door could mean property as in next door

    1. I pondered in that direction too. However the word say would then be redundant and with this being a Silvanus puzzle no words will be redundant

      1. I took the say to mean “eg” in the sense next door might be a house, bungalow, the Kings Arms etc. I think the problem is that door does not really mean dwelling or building. I don’t like the homophone but then my French is exceedingly limited and orally backward

      2. That may be so ophelia but I can’t see how door and Dior are pronounced the same

  4. Found this easier than the ordinary cryptic today! Last one in was 6d. Have to admit there were two of us having a go at this.

  5. Last in was 6d which I derived from sufficient without the outside letters, I never considered the following clue-thanks Ophelia for the revelation-and the ‘house derivation- I just assumed that entering a house was achieved by means of a door!
    Anyway agree with a **/****and a pleasant solve,
    No real favourite , lots of my favourite charades.

  6. Surely 21a is nothing to do with Paris parfumiers? ‘… entering house, say’ is ‘going in door’.
    Thanks to Silvanus for a lovely puzzle. Top clues for me were 15a and 6d.

  7. I failed on 6d – even the checkers weren’t any help. Pity – for me it took away from what was otherwise a most enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Silvanus and Ophelia.

  8. At the first read through I thought I would get nowhere. I then solved the obvious 22d and, from then on, with admittedly a little electronic help it was a steady solve upwards. My one failure was the pesky 6d. It became such a tongue twister I was lost.
    Thanks to setter and blogger. Take care, Ophelia, the weather has taken a turn for the worse and the water will be cold!

  9. I tut tut, you tut tut, he tut tuts…never thought it could be a verb, but there it was.
    Loved the 6/7d combo.
    Last in were the two 17s. Looked at recipes for the tea. Use a big pan it said. You bet. An ox carcasse does take a bit of room.
    Thanks to Silvanus for the great fun and to MP for the review.
    Your bedroom seems a bit more tidy than Tracey’s..

  10. Quite a race towards the finishing line, until I crashed into the wall which is 6 down. Never in the whole 40 days & 40 nights would I have got this without Ophelia’s assistance, so thank you, also to Silvanus.

  11. What an odd crossword. 1*-2* difficulty clues all the way and then, completely out of whack with all the other clues, 6d floored us.

    We parsed 21a the same way Gazza and Crypticsue did.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Ophelia.

  12. Many thanks to Ophelia for the decryptions and illustrations and for ingeniously weaving the solutions into what could be the plot of a very bad novel (hidden under the final “Click Here” tab).

    Thank you also to everyone who has taken the trouble to comment, and can I add my congratulations to Jean-Luc on his restaurant’s anniversary today. It must be such a wrench not being able to open at the moment and there must be many sadly in the same boat. We can only hope that some form of normality will be resumed before long.

    Patch, CS and Gazza (and possibly others?) are correct about 21a. “Say” was added for the reason Patch suggested, the editor would not accept “say” as a homophone indicator at the end of a clue anyway, it would need to be “it’s said” or something similar.

    Sorry if 6d was a little sneaky, it was the last clue I compiled for the puzzle, and having -E-T to clue, I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss.

    Stay well everyone.

    1. Very well done, Silvanus, on what was a not-too-tough but excellent Toughie. As others found, 6d was my last one in too.

      My favourite was the linked pair of 6d & 7d, while fighting it out to join them on the podium were 15a, 25a, 1d, 9d & 17d.

      Many thanks, Silvanus, for a nicely challenging puzzle which was a lot of fun. Your customary super-smooth surfaces were the icing on the cake.

    2. Good evening, Silvanus, another excellent and smoothly constructed puzzle which was very much appreciated here.
      I’m another who had 6d as the last one to fall but have to say that 21a didn’t cause me any grief.
      Top two for me were 24a & 9d.

      Many thanks for all the fun – hope you’ll be back in the Toughie slot again very soon.

  13. So nice to see miffypops hosting today’s clever and most enjoyable Toughie! Like so many of you, 6d flummoxed me. I finished the rest of the puzzle in * time and found it a total delight. I think Silvanus is fast becoming one of my favourites (so sorry, kath). Big winners today: 24a, 18a, 15a, and a huge shout-out to the 6/7d combination. Thanks to Silvanus and MP. **** / ****

  14. We’ll join the crowd of those who struggled with 6d. Very clever.
    Much appreciated and enjoyed.
    Thanks Silvanus and MP.

  15. I finished it!! …though I have to admit being unable to parse 6d other than it follows Shrove Tuesday and also failing in the parsing of 8a. I had the whole of the West in in double quick time but the East proved a little tougher with 6d and 17a (surprisingly given the amount of checkers I had) eluding me the longest. All round excellent puzzle, no particular favourites.
    Thanks to Silvanus, and to MP for making it all sound so easy.

  16. Really enjoyable!

    Last in was 6d, which I finally got.

    No perfume-house for me in 21a.

    Thanks to Silvanus and for the blog.

  17. Thought I’d give this a go this morning & agree that it was very accessible which made it enjoyable for me. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever completed so quickly until I hit the brick wall that was 6d. So 2 letters shy of completion for the want of a couple of letters but at least with the consolation that others found it difficult.
    Love The Last Waltz clip MP – Levon Helm has a great voice. If they don’t play his wonderful song When I Go Away at my funeral then I won’t be there……

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