Toughie 2431 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2431

Toughie No 2431 by Gila

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Gila for a pleasant puzzle which was enjoyable but not too tough.

Do leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.

Across Clues

1a Sympathetic behaviour principally seen in bearded men, curiously (7,6)
BEDSIDE MANNER: an anagram (curiously) of S[een] IN BEARDED MEN.

9a Begrudge admitting endless desire is on the rise (9)
RESURGENT: a verb to begrudge contains a desire or impulse without its last letter.

10a Time to relax, kid! (5)
TEASE: the abbreviation for time and a verb to relax or loosen.

11a Discontented Americans ultimately say they’ve got to date (2,3)
AS YET: string together the outer letters of Americans and the last letters of three words in the clue.

12a Tied game of rugby seeing both wings sent off (4)
EVEN: start with a form of rugby involving fewer players than in the standard game then remove the outer letters (both wings).

13a Jelly can go awry every now and then (4)
AGAR: regular letters from three words in the clue.

15a Delegates situated in the outskirts of Dartford? (7)
DEPUTES: the definition here is a verb. Insert a past participle meaning situated or placed into the spelled-out letters at either end of Dartford.

17a Scornful language and right after it, audible yawning (7)
SARCASM: the single-letter abbreviation for right follows an abbreviation for “it”. Now append what sounds like a yawning or large opening.

18a Profile clubs playing a series of games abroad? (7)
CONTOUR: the abbreviation for the card suit clubs followed by a phrase (2,4) meaning playing a series of games away from home.

20a Checked the fit of extremely refined clothing that is in fashion (5,2)
TRIED ON: a Russian doll clue. The outer letters of RefineD contain the abbreviation for ‘that is’ and all that goes inside a noun, from French, meaning fashion or style.

21a Healthy produce brought about some cardiac advantages (4)
AÇAI: hidden in reverse in the clue. I didn’t know this term for a small purple fruit valued for its nutritional qualities. It’s claimed that it’s good for your heart (among other things) so I’ve taken this to be a semi-all-in-one clue.

22a Somewhat misleading thing I might signal (4)
ISLE: the answer is hidden and is a word for which I is an abbreviation.

23a Utmost efforts getting over to isolated land (5)
ATOLL: a word for utmost efforts (as in ‘they gave their ***’) contains TO.

26a Equipment put round most of the perimeter (5)
GIRTH: reverse a word for equipment or gear and append two-thirds of the word ‘the’.

27a Queues stopping organs arriving ahead of schedule (9)
EARLINESS: a synonym for the sort of queues we’re now used to seeing outside supermarkets goes inside some bodily organs.

28a Power-hungry people manage oil scam at sea (13)
MEGALOMANIACS: an anagram (at sea) of MANAGE OIL SCAM.

Down Clues

1d Finance business in Belgium earned a huge cut, mostly in error (6,2,6)
BUREAU DE CHANGE: the IVR code for Belgium followed by an anagram (in error) of EARNED A HUGE CU[t].

2d Lifeless, occasionally dour, dirty place (5)
DUSTY: knit together occasional letters from ‘dour’ and a dirty place.

3d Anger from one clergyman given unopened summons (10)
IRRITATION: start with the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviated title given to a bishop then add a summons to appear without its opening C.

4d Small holes allowed to penetrate parts of potatoes (7)
EYELETS: a synonym for allowed is inserted in the name for round spots on a potato from which new shoots can grow.

5d Bullock, for example, about to be held by a lock (7)
ACTRESS: the single-letter abbreviation for about or approximately goes between A and what a lock often is in Crosswordland.

6d Last bits of production to get redone and set to music (4)
NOTE: the definition here is a verb which is assembled from the last letters of four words in the clue.

7d Body of soldiers behind a drug bust (9)
REARGUARD: concatenate another word for behind or buttocks and an anagram (bust) of A DRUG.

8d Removes legal stipulations represented in disclaimers covering term of use (14)
DECRIMINALISES: an anagram (re-presented) of IN DISCLAIMERS containing the terminating letter of [us]E.

14d Following a limited diet is terribly unfair — it primarily alters recipes (10)
FRUITARIAN: an anagram (terribly) of UNFAIR IT A[lters] R[ecipes].

16d Repressed memory restricting limits of acting star (9)
PENTAGRAM: a shortened form of an adjective meaning repressed or ‘held in’ and a type of computer memory contain the outer letters of ‘acting’.

19d Rooms oddly chosen, very possibly where visitors crashed? (7)
ROSWELL: odd letters of ‘rooms’ and an adverb meaning very or considerably give us the name of the place in New Mexico where an Air Force balloon crashed in 1947 giving rise over the years to all sorts of conspiracy theories about UFOs and extraterrestrial visitors.

20d Rule requiring rock to be stored in the mine’s entrance (7)
THEOREM: insert a type of rock or solid mineral aggregate between THE and the first letter of ‘mine’.

24d The final part is over. Great! (5)
OMEGA: forge together the cricket abbreviation for over and an informal adjective meaning great or enormous.

25d Tough person also hot in drag
THUG: insert the abbreviation for hot (as seen on taps) into a verb to drag. ‘also’ seems redundant.

My contenders for podium places were 12a, 20a, 5d and 19d. Which one(s) appealed to you?

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15 comments on “Toughie 2431
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  1. This was my sort of Toughie – nicely challenging and a lot of fun.

    Wouldn’t 8d be more accurate and have a slightly more meaningful surface if “term” was replaced by “termination”? 14d was a new word for me but derivable from the wordplay, and I needed Google to check why the answer to 19d was defined by “possibly where visitors crashed?”

    Many thanks to the 2Gs.

  2. I thought this was going to be a total write in, then spent as long solving 19d and 22a as all the rest.
    Liked 17a and 24d

    Thanks to Gazza and Gila.

  3. Very much enjoyed Gila’s Toughie today, although 14d took almost as long as the rest of the puzzle, and I finally had to Google around to come up with a term I don’t recall having heard before. Best clues: 17a, 18a, and 1d, with many fine contenders for the podium. Thanks to Gazza and Gila. **** / ****

  4. Not much to say about this. Thought 21a was suspect as it didn’t stick to our alphabet and needed the explanation for 24d. Apart from that, straightforward and a bit dull.

  5. Sat in the garden birdwatching and solving the cryptics , I thought that this puzzle was a **/*** as did Gazza.
    Plenty to enjoy but certainly at the lower end of the toughie scale.
    21a was a new word for me, thought of alar which is a spray used to enhance the quality of produce-fruit and vegetables-also the letters were nearly alarm-which a cardiac arrest could be-never mind!
    Liked the surfaces of 1a,and 19d,I can never remember the spelling of 23a for some reason
    Thanks to Gazza for the parsing of 17d which eluded me..

  6. After yesterday’s Surprise Toughie, this one was ‘normal service has been resumed’ as, because I knew the 14d took me a Friday backpager time, always assuming that Friday is the most difficult day of the week either there or in the middle of the paper. As I was solving, I did think there was a lot of ‘doing something with a letter’ going on

    Thanks to Gila and Gazza

  7. Came to a dead halt with 14d although I’m sure I’ve heard of it previously and it also took me a ridiculous amount of time to ‘see’ the parsing of 22a.
    20a amused and got my vote for favourite.

    Thanks to Gila and to Gazza – nice 1a you’ve got there!

  8. Very nice, with a few old favourites to keep us grounded. My wife’s surname is Rowsell and she gets annoyed when people write it 19d (all the time, basically). The finance business was my last one in. I liked the long anagrams, bearded men, oil scam at sea. Great when it reads so naturally.

    Many thanks Gila & Gazza

  9. Not too tough today but lots of teasing out needed in order to make progress. 14 and 24 down eluded me so thanks Gazza for those. Thanks also to Gila for the puzzle. A lovely day here in our garden in South Leicestershire spoilt only by murderous magpies.

  10. I’m in today’s club that struggled with 14d. I also had to look up 21a to check the definition & wasn’t so sure about the parsing for the first two letters in 17a. Belter of a puzzle and a nice build on the back page which was also excellent today. Thanks to Gila and Gazza.

  11. Took a while to get the right fodder for some of the anagrams but managed it all in the end.
    Great meaningful surface throughout.
    Favourite the Russian doll clue in 20a.
    Thanks to Gila and to Gazza.

  12. Well that took longer than usual. I’ve now got to look at the hints & make sure my several (!) bung-ins are correct, & why! Thanks for the workout Gila, & thanks in advance to Gazza for your undoubted wisdom.

  13. I did enjoy the puzzle, but I did not know the crash site in 19d (although it was nice to see Aunt Hilda featured in Gazza’s picture), and I was mildly astonished to discover the dieter I made up for 14d actually existed (it all seemed nuts to me). Many thanks to Gila and Gazza.

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