Toughie 2435 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2435

Toughie No 2435 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

There’s quite a bit of GK in this puzzle but I don’t think any of it is too esoteric. I enjoyed unravelling it all. Thanks to Hudson for the entertainment.

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

Across Clues

1a Tipsy chef downing spirit (6)
PSYCHE: hidden (indicated by downing, i.e. imbibing) in the clue.

5a Slash price of Honiton product (8)
LACERATE: mash together the fabric for which Honiton is known and a synonym for price.

9a Tethers donkey; always a drag to do this (5-5)
CHAIN-SMOKE: charade of a verb meaning tethers and an informal word for a donkey.

10a Fine underwear (women’s) (4)
BRAW: the answer is what precedes ‘bricht, moonlicht nicht’ in an old Scottish cliché. Stick together our usual female underwear and the abbreviation for women’s.

11a Hmm … but to recast the subject of folklore tales … (3,5)
TOM THUMB: an anagram (recast) of HMM BUT TO. I wonder if the setter has been reading Senf’s blogs?

12a Hare-brained plan going around Washington aborted at the start (6)
MADCAP: put a plan or chart round a metonym for the US capital (and an abbreviation of the District where it’s located) and the starting letter of ‘aborted’.

13a The church introducing order to the teaching of scripture (4)
ROME: insert an honour in the personal gift of the sovereign into the abbreviation for scripture teaching.

15a Imprisoned legendary King losing old city, victim of the Punic Wars (8)
CARTHAGE: remove our usual old Biblical city from the name of a legendary British king and put what you have left into a synonym for prison to get the name of the North African city destroyed by the Romans in the Punic Wars.

18a New in: silver dollar that is back as part of the service (5,3)
AGNUS DEI: insert the abbreviation for new between the chemical symbol for silver and the abbreviation for the dollar across the pond. Finally reverse the abbreviation for ‘that is’ to get the name of a prayer used in the Mass.

19a Shopping centre‘s public transport withdrawn (4)
MART: reverse a public service vehicle.

21a One hoping to net Boston assassin straight away (6)
ANGLER: the nickname given to a notorious US serial killer in the 1960s was ‘the Boston *********’. Remove the abbreviation for straight. I spent some time trying to find out in what sense the abbreviation is used for straight. My initial thought was that it is used in horse racing to mean the final furlongs of a race but I can’t substantiate that and it could also mean heterosexual. If you know where it’s used please let me in on the secret.

23a Mad somersaults aboard his flying carpet (8)
ADMONISH: weld together an anagram (somersaults) of MAD, a preposition meaning aboard and a further anagram (flying) of HIS.

25a Prising the lid off troublesome Aussie’s beer cooler (4)
ESKY: troublesome here is the adjective that we often use for tricky 4-letter clues (just like this one). Remove the initial P to leave a term used down under for a portable cooler.

26a Puffy character planning a blowout pork feast? (3,3,4)
BIG BAD WOLF: cryptic definition of the villain in a classic fairytale.

27a Great quality conveyed by Sterling, Rand, Euro (8)
GRANDEUR: hidden in the clue.

28a Long-awaited character returns, holding lead of young Yorkie? (3,3)
TOY DOG: reverse the name of the long-awaited character in the Samuel Beckett play and insert the leading letter of young.

Down Clues

2d Fool Louis Armstrong forgetting a finale for trumpet! (5)
SCHMO: start with Louis Armstrong’s nickname and take away both the A and the final letter of trumpet.

3d Emirates served up cocktail of citron, first liqueur (9)
COINTREAU: reverse the abbreviation for a state on the Persian Gulf (capital Abu Dhabi) and precede that with an anagram (cocktail) of CITRON. Here’s a spoof on the long-running series of adverts about this liqueur (you need to watch it to the end):

4d Relax, popping ecstasy in each drink (4,2)
EASE UP: insert the abbreviation for the drug ecstasy into the abbreviation for each and a verb to drink.

5d ‘Barcelona King’ Messi reportedly OK to enter play (4,4,2,5)
LOOK BACK IN ANGER: an anagram (indicated by what sounds like Messi) of BARCELONA KING with OK inserted. A clever surface because Lionel Messi is a top player at Barcelona FC.

6d My career working in the dairy business (8)
CREAMERY: an anagram (working) of MY CAREER.

7d Barking pub rejected proof of age (5)
RABID: reverse a synonym for pub and add what you may need there to prove your age.

8d American flag abused in Turkey/Arab battle (9)
TRAFALGAR: an abbreviation for American and an anagram (abused) of FLAG go between the IVR code for Turkey and the abbreviation for Arab.

14d One planning newspaper lives on the fringes of Exmoor (9)
ORGANISER: concatenate another word for a newspaper (especially one which promotes a specific set of views), a verb meaning lives or exists and the fringe letters of Exmoor.

16d Writer‘s block, age-weary every now and again (9)
HEMINGWAY: assemble a verbal phrase (3,2) meaning to block and regular letters from age-weary.

17d Lovely winding road on Med isle heading north (8)
ADORABLE: an anagram (winding) of ROAD precedes the reversal of a Mediterranean island.

20d Communicate the writer’s role (6)
IMPART: how the writer says that ‘he is’ followed by another word for a role in a film, say.

22d Store performing without PG Tips (3,2)
LAY IN: start with a present participle meaning performing or acting and then remove the letters P and G at either end of it.

24d Small avion regularly fired shots (5)
SALVO: regularly selected letters from the first two words.

My contenders for the podium today were 9a, 26a, 5d and 16d. Which one(s) made you sit up?

28 comments on “Toughie 2435
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  1. What a great Toughie week this is turning out to be! Following Donnybrook’s excellent puzzle yesterday, we have an equally good one from Hudson today with the prospect of Silvanus tomorrow and proXimal on Friday. It doesn’t get much better than that!

    I thought 25a was a bit odd although its provenance was clearly indicated and Googling “Australian cool box” immediately reveals the answer; and surely 2d is an unindicated Americanism?

    I remembered 10d from my youth, inspired by this:

    I felt spoilt for choice when trying to pick a favourite, but I think 5d just edges it with its great surface and wonderfully inventive anagram indicator.

    Many thanks to Hudson and to Gazza.

  2. Wasn’t this fun! Such a change from yesterday’s slog. Although there was quite a bit of GK it was presented in a quirky way with quite a bit of misdirection. Who, for instance would have expected Nelson, not Lawrence of Arabia, in 8d? I just loved 23a after expecting Aladdin and enjoyed removing our perennial ancient city from King Arthur in 15a,
    COTD is 9a. A lost art I believe, thank goodness!

    1. Thanks, LbR. The BRB does sometimes identify the field in which an abbreviation is used – I think it would be an improvement if they did that for all abbreviations.

      1. Umm, marine mapping is surely about Straits not Straights. Could Hudson perhaps have made a slip here. Anyway- I agree -a most enjoyable puzzle and I am full of admiration for 5d!

        1. STR. is definitely an abbreviation for straight because it’s given in Chambers so I don’t think it’s a mistake.

  3. A very entertaining puzzle and not too tough. I liked the general knowledge content – not everyone’s cup of tea, I know. I think I’ll just pick out 28a as my favourite.

  4. A most entertaining puzzle and completed with the minimum of help and that is a first for me when it comes to the Toughie.
    There were many good clues but I liked 5a and 21a. Unfortunately, I put Spartans in for 15a, which held me up for a while until I solved 5d.

    Many thanks to Hudson for the most enjoyable challenge. Many thanks, also to Gazza for the excellent hints.

  5. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a relatively easy crossword as much in a long time. Almost every clue’s surface was a joy to read, the wordplay precise and often funny and the whole thing so very well polished. Difficult to nominate winners but a special mention must go to 5d. Purists might object to “Messi reportedly” as a clue within a clue but in the right context [as here] it works perfectly. Others of particular note include 15a [imprisoned], 26a [lol], 28a [long-awaited], 6 and 7d [both perfect] and 22d [ditto].

    Many thanks Gazza [loved the 3d video] and many thanks Hudson [lots more please].

  6. Great Toughie from Hudson! Finished in ** time, faster today than Jay’s, with 25a being a pure guess and my LOI. Thought 1a and 2d were just the cat’s whiskers, and a sheer delight. No problems with the GK at all and the podium stars are 1a/2d, 15a (I’ve been to what’s left of Carthage–pretty much nothing), and 5d (Burton at his peak in the film). Good week for Toughies so far. ** / **** Thanks to Gazza and Hudson for the joyride.

  7. I really enjoy Hudson crosswords, not least because we are usually on the same wavelength and know the same words and ‘stuff’, not to mention the splendid clues which flow from one to another as a finely crafted crossword should. This one was most enjoyable but because of the wavelength thing, didn’t last very long at all . I’d be interested to know whether he chose this particular grid because of the two H for Hudsons in the middle?

    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza – my favourites was 26a and 5d

  8. Only had to check the Australian portable ice box in this very entertaining crossword.
    Loads of clues were ticked during the solve.
    Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza.

  9. Right on my wavelength today and a **/**** as everything fell nicely in place . Great fun all round
    I remembered 18a and 25a from previous puzzles which helped.
    Favourite was 26a when the penny dropped . Liked 8d,once went to a celebratory dinner in Liverpool where the baron of beef was paraded, prince Andrew was at the top table.
    10a was a new word and last in.
    Thanks to Gazza for explaining 12a

  10. An excellent puzzle as usual from Hudson. I struggled to parse Red Riding Hoods friend and had one too many letter Ms in the authors name. I do like the fact that all bloggers have their own very individual styles. Senf solves on a horse. Mr Kitty solves from a pet shop, zoo or cattery. Gazza has been in his kitchen workshop today with his masher, his welding gear and his crowbar at 5, 23 and 25 across. As for the Mmms Gazza, they are all over the blog like the Coronavirus. I’m sure they will go away soon. Thanks to Hudson for a top Toughie and thanks (and apologies) to Gazza for the review

  11. I was fine with the GK with the exception of the Aussie cooler which took a chat with Mr G to confirm. Couldn’t help but think that there’s something of a mix of tenses in 15a – shouldn’t the first word in the clue be ‘imprison’?
    Top two for me were the puffy character and the writer’s block.

    Many thanks to Hudson for a great puzzle and to Gazza for the equally great review.

  12. We knew the Aus cooler but over here they are always called chilly bins. In fact we did know all the GK needed for this one and the solving all flowed smoothly.
    Good fun.
    Thanks Hudson and Gazza.

  13. I thought there were some great clues here. 9a, 26a and 16d were my favourites. I needed to check the defintion of 25a. Highly enjoyable. Thanks to Hudson & Gazza.

  14. the aussie cooler was no problem, it’s where you keep your tinnies.

    Bit surprised to have to use wordplay to arrive at the wordplay but I’ll gladly accept halcyon@7’s take.

    So much to like. I particularly enjoyed 1a, 5a, 6a (a great start!), 26a, 6d, 20d, 23d

    many thanks Hudson & Gazza

  15. A good day today. A really enjoyable back pager and a toughie I managed to get all by my self. :) I knew the Aussie cooler and the moment that the Scottish Fine came to me led me to a Harry Lauder youtube extravaganza. and 18a eventually led me to this;
    https://youtu.be/YVowLNuV4Zk
    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza

    puts a feather in his cap but expects to be cut down to size tomorrow.

  16. Frustratingly got to within 3 of an unaided finish late last night before sneaking a peek at the hints for 1a, 2d & 10a. I don’t know what it is about lurkers but I just don’t spot them easily – even 27a took a while.
    In terms of difficulty I again found this tough but immensely satisfying when the penny eventually dropped. When I read RC’s comment that he solved it in ** time & quicker than the back pager my jaw drops – reckon I could have done 4 Jays in the time spent on this.
    So many super clues to pick from – podium contenders 9a,26a,28a, plus 5d,8d&16d. Tough to pick a winner but Osborne pips Ernest & Yorkie in a three way photo finish.
    Many thanks to Gazza for parsing a couple for me & to Hudson for the entertainment

  17. Running a bit late, but this was a cracker! Just the right level of difficulty, and very well clues. Favourites 9 and 26. Thanks to Hudson for a really fun solve!

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