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Toughie 2467

Toughie No 2467 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This is a fairly gentle but entertaining puzzle with a theme (identified by 24a). Thanks to Hudson.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.

Across Clues

7a Breaking news: Spooner — poor chap — stripped of his status (3-6)
NON-PERSON: an anagram (poor) of SPOONER goes between two occurrences of N(ew).

8a Foreign film (5)
ALIEN: double definition, the second being the first in a series of science-fiction/horror films released in 1979.

10a Undesirable pub song penned (6)
PARIAH: the map abbreviation for pub contains a song.

11a Pass made by S. Spielberg’s favourite actor after new Oscar (2,6)
NO THANKS: the abbreviation for new and the letter that Oscar stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet precede the American film actor (1,5) who is apparently Spielberg’s favourite.

12a Jilt Juliet in Crete when sozzled (6)
REJECT: what Juliet means in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet goes inside an anagram (when sozzled) of CRETE.

14a Neat, if simple retro housing eccentric (6)
MISFIT: hidden in reverse.

16a Good, free crossword? (4)
GRID: the abbreviation for good and a verb to free.

17a Send abroad fabric — tons leaving repeatedly (5)
EXILE: start with a synonym for fabric and remove both occurrences of the abbreviation for tons.

18a Former president familiarly ignoring bill for sailing ship (4)
BARK: remove the abbreviation for a bill or invoice from the forename of a recent US president from the time when the office had some dignity.

19a Adult sin? I think so, too (6)
AGREED: stick together the abbreviation for adult and one of the deadly sins.

21a Elmer left base to go on a bender (6)
FUDDLE: it’s said that the Inuit languages have more than fifty words for snow and English has a similar surfeit of words for drink or drunk. I didn’t know this one which is a verb meaning to drink to excess (though it’s a common word when prefixed by be-). Join together the surname of Elmer the cartoon character who’s the foe of Bugs Bunny, the abbreviation for left and the letter used for the base in logarithms.

24a Striking actors start to sabotage The Vanquished (8)
OUTCASTS: string together an adverb meaning striking (in the sense of refusing to work), the actors in a production and the first letter of sabotage. The answer identifies today’s theme.

26a Benefit one writing cheque returned (6)
REWARD: reverse the word for someone writing a cheque. If this crossword is still around in twenty years time there’ll be queries along the lines of “What’s a cheque?”.

27a Article dropped by someone jumping — he’s untouchable (5)
LEPER: remove an indefinite article from someone jumping.

28a Bath’s no.1 forward Thiebaud regularly getting sent off, the idiot (9)
BLOCKHEAD: assemble the first letter of Bath, a second-row rugby union forward and what’s left of Thiebaud after removing regular letters.

Down Clues

1d Hill-climbing traveller? (5)
NOMAD: there was a penny-drop moment when the correct Hill came to mind. Just reverse his first name.

2d Pay money to bandage inflamed hair fracture (5,3)
SPLIT END: a verb to pay money contains an adjective meaning inflamed.

3d Cathar chieftain kidnapping Sussex lad (6)
ARCHIE: hidden in the clue is the name of a young lad who may (or may not, I don’t know and don’t care) still be classed as a royal.

4d Pull in finally in London? (4)
TOWN: a verb to pull and the final letter of [i]N.

5d Irish county’s banning golf forever (6)
ALWAYS: a county on the west coast of Ireland plus the ‘S has the letter that golf is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet removed.

6d Log rolling — ready kids? (4,5)
DESK DIARY: an anagram (rolling) of READY KIDS.

9d Motorway’s boring eyesore spoiling green strategy (6)
STYMIE: our primary north-south motorway is inserted in what is literally an eyesore. The answer is a problem on the putting green when an opponent’s ball blocks the way to the hole.

13d Husband wearing cravat. Loud. Criminal, actually (5)
THIEF: insert the genealogical abbreviation for husband into something like a cravat and finish with the musical abbreviation for loud.

15d Wearing short dungarees to work, question artiste (4,5)
DRAG QUEEN: the single-letter abbreviation for question is contained in an anagram (to work) of DUNGAREE[s].

17d Real adversity oddly bypassed first-born (6)
ELDEST: regular letters from the first two words of the clue.

18d/25d When ordering hotel tables, wife’s admitted in the cheap seats? (5,3,4)
BELOW THE SALT: an anagram (when ordering) of HOTEL TABLES with the genealogical abbreviation for wife inserted. See here for an explanation of the answer.

20d Shun key hospital we set up (6)
ESCHEW: rivet together one of the keys on a computer keyboard, the map abbreviation for hospital and reversal of ‘we’.

22d Frank Capra for one robbed of gold (6)
DIRECT: start with what (Frank) Capra was in the film industry and remove the tincture of gold.

23d 500! Five hundred sheets! Imagine! (5)
DREAM: charade of the Roman numeral for 500 and a word for 500 sheets of paper.

25d See 18d

The clues I liked best here were 1d, 3d, 18/25d and 22d. Which one(s) topped your list?


22 comments on “Toughie 2467

  1. A gentle crossword and our setter will be delighted to learn that I spotted the theme. Lots to enjoy- my particular favourites were Elmer in 21a and 3d

    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza

  2. For the second day this week, this was a not-too-tough-Toughie, which I enjoyed apart from 21a where a very obscure word is clued using what to me is a very obscure character.

    I did wonder if 7a should, strictly speaking, have specified two occurrences of new, although that can just about be inferred from “breaking”. Also the pedant in me feels obliged to point out that 17d is only correct if the first-born has two siblings. Ah well, it’s only a crossword. :wink:

    My podium comprises 16a, 19a, 28a & 20d.

    Many thanks to Hudson and to Gazza.

  3. Bit of a Film theme here too. I enjoyed it and hope it doesn’t get stick for too much GK. I had to rack [what’s left of] my brains to remember Elmer in 21a but being familiar with the 1,001 words for intoxicated helped. Not sure what “actually” is doing in 13d but that’s a minor beef.
    Favourites were 7a [small penny-drop on realising it ain’t a Spoonerism] 19a and 23d for their elegant simplicity and the cunningly disguised 9d.

    Thanks Hudson and Gazza

  4. Well, I suppose it was fairly ‘gentle’ if you happened to know who counts as Spielberg’s favourite actor and were aware of any Elmer beyond the stuffed elephant in children’s story books! Not to worry, at least I knew the racing driver, the director and the 19/25 combo – the latter doubtless from a previous crossword.
    Don’t think I’ve encountered the obscure definition at 21a previously but I was mightily relieved that the old reverend in 7a was taking on a different role today – albeit in what counts for me as a ‘non-word’!
    I put 16a plus 18/25d and 22d on my podium.

    Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza for the review and the asides :wink:

  5. I was delighted with 7a. At last that abominable Mr Spooner got his comeuppance and was taken apart. If only that was really the end of him!
    Wasn’t 3d fun? Such a blatant invasion of privacy, just wait for the outrage from those new inhabitants of LaLa land.

  6. 11a won my heart and a chuckle or two in this delightful, be-themed Hudson semi-Toughie. I think I was subliminally aware of the theme, but I mostly registered several movie titles, as well as the terrifc clue for 22d. Capra and Spielberg together at last! Too many outstanding clues to list them all, but a loud shout-out to 11a, 22d, and 15d. (I knew Elmer but bunged-in the answer.) Thanks to Gazza for the hints, which I’ll read now, and to Hudson for a lovely puzzle. ** / ****

  7. I enjoyed solving this and agree with JB but to me it was a good clue to solve, 18 & 25 down were new to me as well as 21 across, my COTD were 16& 19 across.

    Thank you to Hudson and Gazza

  8. Quite a bit of GK needed but fortunately I knew all the protagonists.
    Favourite 1d.
    Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza.

  9. Highly enjoyable and not too taxing. Hadn’t heard of Frank Capra but enough blockers to deduce his occupation. 28a and 1d were my favourite clues today. Wasn’t paying attention and so completely missed the theme. Thanks to Hudson and Gazza.

  10. Just to add to your vocabulary – a 21a is a (works) party to which participants contribute snacks & (usually non-alcoholic) drinks, at least in the Mansfield / Nottingham area. A good but not taxing workout for the grey matter today. Thanks Hudson & Gazza.

  11. I enjoyed this greatly but needed a few hints to get across the finishing line. I thought there were some really good clues and I give 11a the top spot on the podium with the excellent reverse lurker in 14a taking second place.

    Not often I finish a Toughie so feeling smug. :smile:

    Many thanks to Hudson for the workout and Gazza for the hints.

  12. Cricket rained off so time available for the toughie and again an entertaining puzzle , agree on Gazza’s **/****.
    Last in was 1d when eventually the penny dropped and parsing was complete .
    .Remembered Elmer’s surname but not the spelling ! the left base solved that one.
    Liked the misleading spoonerism. Favourites 10a and11a.
    Thanks all for a pleasant experience on a wet afternoon.

  13. Thoroughly enjoyable and finished in time to comment while you are all still awake over there, which as not been the case lately. Thanks Gazza and Hudson.

    1. Nice to hear from you, Chris. I guess you’ve been finding life a bit tough recently and it’s good to know that you’re managing to soldier on despite it all.

  14. Totally missed the theme but still enjoyed the solve. Head scratched over the wordplay for 1d until the penny dropped.
    Thanks Hudson and Gazza.

  15. I got there in the end. Just in time for bed. I needed a lot of help – thanks Gazza and Hudson. I am impressed by the amount of theme words in this, Are the initial letters of 16a 19a 24a 27a GAOL part of the theme? perhaps the ultimate destination for the 24a.

    1. I did notice ‘gaol’ down the left-hand column but I couldn’t find anything else so I think it’s just a coincidence.

  16. Relatively straightforward, except 21a. I had F?D?LE and still couldn’t get it. Never heard of Elmer Fudd nor Fuddle. Live and learn, I suppose.

  17. Nearly but not quite – fell 2 short & needed Gazza’s hints for 10a & 21a. Spotting the correct theme would have helped with the former though really ought to have got it anyway but the other was completely new to me. Didn’t mind the GK content & found it very enjoyable without being particularly taxing. Favourite clues were 10,11&28a plus 1,9&22d. Guess I should also admit to spotting the 3d lurker without twigging in the least the Sussex lad bit.
    Many thanks Hudson & Gazza.

  18. Not too hard, but several LOLs and some really great surfaces. Very entertaining.

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