Toughie 2442 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2442

Toughie No 2442 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Tattycoram

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good afternoon from the very still heart of Downtown L I where great excitement has been enjoyed as a Cuckoo has been heard singing his song in the osier beds. The first in many years. Todays Toughie is not too tough although a couple of parsings held me up.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Survive lord who ran to seize power (4)
COPE: This lord who ran won four Olympic medals. His surname grips the abbreviation for power

3a    Like some sugar-free drink in boozer? (5)
LOCAL: Split 2-3 this is how low-calorie items are often advertised

6a    Thought to have a first political adviser (4)
AIDE: A thought or notion needs its letter A moving to the beginning

8a    Traveller taking responsibility for vanished bird (9-6)
PASSENGER PIGEON: A fare paying traveller and an informal noun meaning a person’s particular responsibility or business will provide an extinct bird. This bird was once the most populous bird in North America. Some say possibly the most populous bird in the world. Hunted to extinction. Google for a very interesting and somewhat upsetting diversion

9a    Cooler to decorate with taste (3,3)
ICE BAG: The first word here means to decorate as one might a cake for instance. The second is a rather stretched synonym. It something is not to your taste you might say it’s not my ***

10a    Mineral from old Roman watering-hole (8)
CINNABAR: This old Roman is a conspirator in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. He is followed by another name for a 3 across

11a    Dependable and firm, moment one departs (8)
CONSTANT: Here we go. I hope this helps. Begin with the abbreviation for a business enterprise. Add a word meaning a very short precise moment in time. Remove the letter that looks like the number one

13a    Clash rocked this African fortress (6)
CASBAH: Punk rock group The Clash had a song suggesting one rocked this African Fortress. A very fine piece of music it was too

15a    Old order in Dutch royal house (6)
ORANGE: Begin with the abbreviation for old. Add a verb meaning to place in order

17a    Trouble with one of the taps? (3,5)
HOT WATER: One of a pair of taps is also a description of being in trouble

19a    Indonesian having problem managed after a time (8)
SUMATRAN: The letter A from the clue, the abbreviation for time, a verb meaning managed and a mathematical problem will if arranged correctly give a native of one of The Sunda Islands of Western Indonesia

21a    Involve English with Latin translated (6)
ENTAIL: An anagram (translated) of LATIN also contains the abbreviation for English

22a    Second thoughts about Tory party and dole (15)
RECONSIDERATION: A four part charade. 1 The usual two-letter word for about. 2 The abbreviation for a Tory. 3 A party or contingent. 4 An allowance. The answer is not plural

23a    Italian agreement reversed, by the French, in Ireland? (4)
ISLE: The Italian word for yes is reversed and followed by the French word for the

24a    Investor for show one might be recording (5)
ANGEL: I understand than an investor is a backer of a theatrical production and the recording version is one assigned by God with the task of recording the events, actions, and prayers of each individual human

25a    Governess Grey having lost heart matures (4)
AGES: Governess Grey is a novel by Anne Bronte. Remove the central letter (heart of) from her first name


1d    Lively music in island cricket club I love (9)
CAPRICCIO: Begin with an island in The Bay Of Naples. Add the abbreviations for cricket and club. Add the letter I from the clue. Add the letter that represents the love score in tennis

2d    The old man? Strict, bit of a nag (7)
PASTERN: A two-letter term for your father is followed by a word meaning strict or harsh. The resulting word is part of a horse’s foot

3d    German count with King George entertained by topless servant (9)
LANDGRAVE: A word meaning with and the abbreviation used for King George sit inside a servant but minus its first letter. This servant is forced to work for no remuneration.

4d    All hands to mow crop (4,3)
CREW CUT: Of a ship all of those working aboard. What one does to grass when one mows.

5d    Student at university in bloom (5)
LUPIN: Our usual letter representing a student is followed by the two-letter word denoting one is at university This is followed by the word in from the clue

6d    What held up Greek fleet en route to Troy? (6,3)
AEGEAN SEA: A cryptic description of the waters crossed by the Greek shipping fleet on its way to Troy. Held up as in floated.

7d    Couturier has a mother for a model (7)
DIORAMA: A fashion designer sits in front of the letter A from the clue and an endearing term for your mother. Similar to the endearing term for your dad used in 2 down

12d    Thus drinking in break on island republic (9)
SINGAPORE: Short word meaning thus contains the word IN from the clue and a break or space between two objects. This is all followed by a short word meaning on

13d    Impressive church car halted in crash (9)
CATHEDRAL: Anagram (in crash) of CAR HALTED

14d    What thespian finds tough to memorise brings bad luck (4,5)
HARD LINES: A double definition. Need I say more?

16d    Republican doctors denied initial source of stories (7)
REUTERS: Begin with the abbreviation for Republican. Now find a synonym of the word doctors. Doctors as in what a vet does to your cat or dog to prevent reproduction. Remove the initial letter from this word.

17d    Suspend setter perhaps guilty in manner (7)
HANGDOG: A verb meaning to suspend is followed by a setter. Not a setter of crossword puzzles but a long haired animal

18d    Business given publicity in Herts town (7)
TRADING: A small market town and civil parish in the Borough of Dacorum, Hertfordshire surrounds the shortened form of a method of publicity

20d    Jamaican sectarian overthrows an emperor (5)
RASTA: When reversed this Jamaican sectarian becomes emperor of Russia


23 comments on “Toughie 2442

  1. For the first time in my life I finished this before the hints were published.

    1. I found some clues very clever such as 4d and 10a.

      I loved 13a and took me straight back to the Seventies. Not a decade as good as the sixties but ok.

      Thank you Donnybrook and to MP for the hints – which I did not need. :grin:

    2. Very well done Steve. I’ve just had a go a day late & didn’t find it easy – needed hints for 3.

  2. I thought at first this was Donnybrook in his recent ‘toughie’ mode as the first solution I wrote in was that for 15d. Sadly this was not the case as it took a mere smidgeon longer to complete than today’s very friendly backpager. The usual humour from this setter whichever alias he uses. My favourite was 24a

    Thanks to Donnybrook and whatever name MP is using today – I have a nice chair and a heap of crosswords to test waiting for my attention in the garden and can’t be bothered to scroll up to the top of the page to find out.

  3. Enjoyed this. I struggled a bit with the recording reference in 24a and also the responsibility in 8a as well as needing to check 1d as it wasn’t a term I was familiar with. Otherwise some enjoyable clues although 17a and 14d don’t really strike me as toughie territory. Favourite today was 3a. Thanks to MP and Donnybrook.

    1. I too struggled with the recording reference. So I asked Big Dave. Something pride rarely lets me do. His answer. “It’s simple really”. Great help.

  4. Nearly completed without help, but, as is usual for me, it was the GK that was my downfall.

    I didn’t know either 1d or 3d nor the recorder in 24a or the Governess in 25a. Otherwise, I would say it ws hardly in Toughie country at all.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and MP

    1. But isn’t the fact that General Knowledge usually demands a bit more of us that the Toughie setters employ such clues as 1 or 3d, both of which can be actually ‘worked out’ by the clues themselves? It certainly seems that way to me, but I’m just an old English professor, so do forgive me.

  5. Agree with Tattycoram on a **/***, a typical Tuesday puzzle ,light but enjoyable.
    Liked 13a-it raised a smile, I remembered the video.
    9a didn’t really work for me, tanks to Tatty for the explanation! also the parsing of 16d as I was trying to work around ” reFute an r and an s” never mind.
    19a reminded me of The Sherlock Homes Tale regarding the giant rat of Sumatra, Homes said to Watson that the world was not ready for the story and it never appeared in print !.

  6. Because 16d was my last one in–in this very enjoyable Toughie–I shall award it the Gold, but it may not be the cleverest of Donnybrook’s handiwork here. Such clues as 1, 3, 6, and 7d, for example(s), strike me as being sharply and wittily chiseled. A most enjoyable Toughie, which I finished almost as speedily as I did the Cryptic, though with much more depth of appreciation. Thanks to L.I.’s Tattycoram (haven’t seen you since we last met in Little Dorrit–howdoyedo?) and Donnybrook, whose humour has lifted me up today. ** / ****

  7. I found this a hard solve and made use of the hints provided, thanks Tattycoram.

    stay safe everyone

  8. Unusually, I finished the toughie before bedtime. Sitting in the garden doing nothing is a novelty but it is too hot for me. Some nice clues and high satisfaction in finishing. 13a was a struggle as I think of it as a market place but the Big Book put me right. Thanks to all, the sun is theoretically over the yardarm and a gin and tonic awaits.

  9. Didn’t get the Clash reference but wrote in the answer to 13a regardless.
    Last one in was 16d after a long moment of solitude.
    Took a while to reconcile Taste with Bag in 9a.
    Thanks to Donnybrook and to MP.

  10. Although we are subscribers unable to get the actual paper these days so can only look at Toughie on this blog which I think is disgraceful as I am paying for the puzzle already. Quite tricky to do it this way. However had never heard of the bird in 8a but I did google it and rather wish I handn’t. What a dreadfully sad story of an obviously magnificent bird. The cruelty was heartbreaking, setting fire to the nests quite shocking. On this cheerful note, stay safe everyone.

    1. I too am totally peed off at not getting Toughie puzzles with my Daily Telegraph subscription. The Passenger Pigeon story is also dreadful.

      1. The editor did say he would look into this a few weeks ago.
        His email today offers some succour! Fingers crossed.

  11. I did enjoy this, but I found it a good deal more difficult than others who have commented. There were one or two leaps of faith – I had never heard of the group (fortunately) and therefore not the song referred to in 13a for instance. Many thanks to Donnybrook and Tattycoram.

  12. Pretty straightforward on the whole, the last 3 or 4 clues taking much longer than the rest. 16d last in, and needed help with the parsing. Don’t really like that synonym for “doctors”, but otherwise enjoyable!

  13. I couldn’t figure why Casbah was the right answer to 13a until I saw the video . I just wasn’t a punk, and I can’t imagine many crossword solvers were either but who knows.
    I know a couple who take a conservative way of life to the enth degree who met at a Sex Pistols concert. Whether or not they do do crosswords I can’t say.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  14. A day late. Enjoyed this one & agree it was on the fluffy side but still harder than the back pagers. Needed MP’s excellent hints to parse a few correctly & the hints for 3D & 10a together with annoyingly the bag in 9a.
    Thanks to all

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