Toughie 2464 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2464

Toughie No 2464

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

The Toughie week got even gentler today, not to mention the fact that I lost count of how many times I was ‘doing something with a letter’

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Go off vehicle used by independent mum (6)
VANISH A vehicle, the abbreviation for independent and an instruction to be silent (mum)

4a    Team’s method is a distraction (8)
SIDESHOW A team’s plus a way of indicating a method of doing something

10d    Extended left side of pitch by manor-house (4-5)
LONG-RANGE The abbreviation for left, the name given to one side of a cricket pitch, and a manor house

11a    Bag containing initial slice of rich cake (5)
TORTE A large shopping bag into which is inserted (containing) the initial ‘slice’ of rich

12a    Problem article from the Sorbonne blocking underpowered graduate (7)
DILEMMA The French (as used in the Sorbonne) definite article blocking or inserted between an adjective meaning not bright (underpowered) and a holder of second University degree (graduate)

13a    Instant cut involving air service following illegal trading (7)
TRAFFIC Cut or remove the last letter from a short period of time (instant) and then insert (involving) the abbreviated way we refer to our ‘air service’ and the abbreviation for following

14a    Scientist fully prepared to return, abandoning last student (5)
TESLA A reversal (to return) of a way of saying fully prepared – without one of the Ls (abandoning last student)

15a    Postpone aeroplane yarn? (8)
MOTHBALL A light aeroplane and a mass of wound yarn

18a    Exhausted and through with an exalted self-image (6,2)
PUFFED UP Exhausted, especially when out of breath, followed by an adverb meaning at a finish (through)

20a    Start to triumph in element of Scrabble championship (5)
TITLE The ‘start’ to triumph inserted into something used in Scrabble games

23a    Island trying to dispose of seagull droppings? No no (7)
ANTIGUA Someone or something trying to get rid of something, [possibly] some seagull droppings without the NO at the end

25a    Explorer just stopping short, interrupted by porter? (7)
RALEIGH Truncate (stopping short) a synonym for just and insert (interrupted by) some beer (porter)

26a    That chap’s tense about international criminal operation (5)
HEIST A way of saying that chap’s and the abbreviation for tense go ‘about’ the abbreviation for international

27a    One’s worked out amount of tax? (9)
DEDUCTION Something that is worked out could be an amount of tax taken off your salary

28a    Think it’s included in medicine consumed orally? (8)
MEDITATE An abbreviation for medicine and a verb meaning consumed orally into which is inserted (included) IT (from the clue)

29a    Collection of religious songs gutted holy men most of all (6)
HYMNAL Gut or remove the middle letters of HolY and MeN and then add two (most) of the three letters of ALl


1d    Confirm I had a brief time in glen (8)
VALIDATE A short way of saying I had, A (from the clue) and an abbreviation (brief) for time inserted into a poetic valley (glen)

2d    Shock intelligence about new place (7)
NONPLUS Some intellect put ‘about’ the abbreviations for new and place

3d    What this rugby player demands? Namely, spirit and quantity of beer, perhaps (5,4)
SCRUM HALF The Latin abbreviation meaning namely, some alcoholic spirit and a quantity of beer

5d    Current detained party may be wheeled out here (8,6)
IDENTITY PARADE The abbreviation for electrical current and an anagram (may be) of DETAINED PARTY

6d    Time to absorb Times and Telegraph’s first special edition (5)
EXTRA A period of time absorbs the letter used in multiplication sums to mean by and the first letter of Telegraph

7d    Dangerous load carried under end of arch (7)
HARMFUL The load a person could carry goes under the letter at the end of arch

8d    Poor figure — crone — about to replace one (6)
WRETCH Replace the I (one) in a crone with the preposition meaning about

9d    Feature of many a pub upsetting to barman indeed (3-5,6)
ONE-ARMED BANDIT An anagram (upsetting) of TO BARMAN INDEED

16d    About to engage in assault after line’s encouragement to attack (6-3)
BATTLE-CRYThe abbreviation for about goes after an assault (fight) and the abbreviation for railway (line) is added at the end  Insert into a synonym for assault, the single-letter Latin abbreviation meaning about; the abbreviation for line is inserted earlier on in the synonym, rather than as the clue suggests after the ‘about’ (see the comments below on this clue – as usual Gazza had the correct explanation, although I quite like my early morning attempt at parsing)

17d    Satisfied husband with an unfinished vintage spirit (8)
METHANOL A way of saying satisfied, the abbreviation for Husband, AN (from the clue) and almost all (unfinished) of a synonym for vintage

19d    Free to bring in Republican that’s inexperienced (7)
UNTRIED Free from a rope, perhaps, into which is inserted (to bring in) the abbreviation for Republican

21d    What teachers offer, I note, abandoning sense (7)
TUITION Remove (abandoning) I (from the clue) and the abbreviation for note from some instinctive knowledge (sense)

22d    Lots dismissing new border chaos (6)
MAYHEM Dismiss or remove the abbreviation for new from a great number (lots) and add a border

24d    Nobbled board-game? Rubbish (3,2)
GOT AT A board game and some informal rubbish

This crossword would have made a nice midweek back page cryptic. I have a feeling we won’t be saying that tomorrow!


22 comments on “Toughie 2464

  1. A pretty straightforward puzzle without any stand-out clues – thanks to Kcit and CS.

    I was a bit puzzled by 16d – I assume that assault is ‘battery’ into which we have to insert C (about) and L(ine) but the way the clue reads the C really ought to come immediately after the L (which it doesn’t).

    14a Can one be last of only two grammatically?

  2. Agree with 1* difficulty but I enjoyed this more than CS’ 2*, especially 14 & 23a. Gazza, I have no problem with losing the last (or latter) of the two letters signifying a student. Plus, the C does come after the L in 16d, just not straight after. I prefer CS’ parsing. Perhaps we’ll agree to differ. Thanks CS & Kcit.

  3. Its not often that a toughie gets a * difficulty, but I concur with Cryptic sue on this occasion,
    Certainly a pleasant straight forward solve with nothing obscure- except maybe 14a , *** for enjoyment.
    23a was a bit different so making it my favourite, 9d raised a smile.

  4. Pleasant enough but not really a Thursday Toughie
    Thanks to CS and to Kcit for adding to a very mild day in crosswordland

  5. Our setter on a gentle curve today but I quite enjoyed it.
    23a made me laugh so takes ‘favourite’ slot.

    Thanks to Kcit and to CS for the review – take heart, your day will come tomorrow!

  6. The one star difficulty must be the reason I enjoyed this so much.
    I liked 22d , 16d , 17d and 15a among others.
    Thanks to Kcit and CS.

  7. This toughie week reminds me of a friend who would always ask for a chicken korma….but not too hot. I did enjoy this however and ticked 23a and 25a as my favorite clues. I don’t like the abbreviation in 13a regardless of how correct it may be. Agree on the difficulty but probably closer to 3* enjoyment for me if you ignore how quickly it was over. Thanks to CS and Kcit.

  8. Must say I thought the korma comment from Jonners bang on. Hardly a Toughie more a middle of the road back pager so perfectly suited to the likes of me. Given my comment on the ease of today’s back pager I’m conscious that most will prefer a much stiffer test. All I hope for is that tomorrow will be on the right side of utterly impenetrable…….
    Thanks to Kcit & CS (am sure I’m being dense but still don’t really understand 23a)

      1. Thanks Sue. What with scat recently my file of faecal facts is certainly expanding.

  9. I wondered when I was awarded bonus points for finishing this so quickly–i.e., for a Toughie–whether I was smarter than usual or it was as unchallenging as it seemed to be. Apparently the latter, from what the rest of you have said. Still, I thought it quite good, even better than that in a number of places–e.g., 2,8d; 4, 15, 18,,23, and 25a. I don’t mind a breezy Toughie now and then. ** / ****

    1. I forgot to thank Kcit for the lovely puzzle and crypticsue for the excellent review and whose decryption of ‘battle-cry’ I think is the better one, though Gazza makes a strong argument. Wonder if Kcit might step in and offer a view? I don’t like ‘last’ instead of ‘latter’ of two, Gazza, speaking as an old grammarian. Very old today.

      1. I’d like to call into evidence for the parsing of 16d Chambers Crossword Dictionary and Mrs Bradford both of which list ‘battery’ under ‘assault’ whereas neither lists ‘battle’.

          1. You know, Gazza, it’s almost as if Kcit has fused two parsings, if such were possible.

        1. Technically, according to the Law, I think I seem to recall that A & B are different things, the latter involving actually touching somebody. Or maybe that’s only when it is “common assault”.

          1. I parsed the same as CS but am now thinking Gazza may well be correct. Most people say all roads lead to Rome but I’ve ended up in Montespertoli a few too many times to believe that. Would love to hear from Kcit.

  10. Just failed on the island. Knew I was looking for guano but my lack of knowledge of islands failed me.

  11. It all went together smoothly for us. 3a gets our vote for favourite clue.
    Thanks Kcit and CS.

  12. Thanks to Kcit and to crypticSue for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, would agree with the one star for difficulty. Having said that, I still needed the hints to parse quite a few, especially 16d. Favourite was 25a. Was 1*/2* for me.

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