Toughie 2555 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2555

Toughie No 2555 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We have a fun puzzle which is fairly gentle today. Thanks to Hudson.
I spent longer pondering about 14d than on the rest of the puzzle combined. As far as I can see aparting isn’t a word so I’m assuming a typo.

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

Across Clues

1a Week-end winter sport enthusiast decidedly more perky (8)
FRISKIER: when split 3,5 the answer could mean someone finishing the week’s work early for a weekend of winter sport.

5a Navy flier circling Sandhurst area (6)
ARMADA: an abbreviated flier or promotion contains the abbreviation for what Sandhurst is (Royal Military Academy). Finish with the abbreviation for area.

9a Rodney say, giving guacamole and hummus the thumbs-up? (8)
DIPSTICK: what guacamole and hummus are and a sign of approval (thumbs-up).

10a Grab tin ‘elmet — church needs evacuating (6)
SNATCH: glue together the chemical symbol for tin, what a helmet is without its first letter and an abbreviation for church.

12a New owner, new reputation (6)
RENOWN: an anagram (new) of OWNER followed by the abbreviation for new.

13a Confirms retiring number one getting hostility (8)
AVERSION: a verb meaning confirms or asserts followed by the reversal of a way of writing ‘number one’.

15a Bloke under the influence of spirits creosoting draining can, drunk (7)
SCROOGE: remove a synonym of can from CREOSOTING and make an anagram (drunk) of what remains.

16a Five, 4 beginning to love meat (4)
VEAL: assemble the Roman numeral for five, the abbreviation of 4d and the first letter of love.

20a Swedish foursome swings both ways (4)
ABBA: cryptic definition of some palindromic Swedes.

21a Suspend boring Grauniad journalist (7)
ADJOURN: hidden in the clue.

25a British manservant finishing off Windolene shiner (5,3)
BLACK EYE: string together an abbreviation for British, a word for a manservant and the last letter of Windolene.

26a Time to pursue character from Lewis sloping off (6)
ASLANT: the abbreviation for time follows a character created by C. S. Lewis.

28a Customer rights over property settled in court (6)
CLIENT: a word for rights over a property is placed inside the abbreviation for court.

29a Video ref in Dakar bust-up that’s typically seen in Africa (8)
AARDVARK: the abbreviation for the recently introduced and controversial video ref in football goes inside an anagram (bust-up) of DAKAR.

30a Knievel evacuating Yukon, calling for war? (6)
EVELYN: the forename of Mr Knievel the stunt performer is followed by the outer letters of Yukon to get the first name of the author whose surname sounds like war (to some perhaps, but not to the millions of people like me who actually take the trouble to pronounce the letter R).
Evelyn Waugh

31a Erotic novel featuring naked Turk, lady-in-waiting? (8)
COURTIER: an anagram (novel) of EROTIC containing the inner letters of Turk.

Down Clues

1d Lining ripped out of female explorer’s hat (6)
FEDORA: join together the outer letters of female and the name of the young female explorer in an American TV series (Dora the Explorer).

2d Threaten current elected politician on purpose (6)
IMPEND: assemble the symbol for electric current, our usual elected politician and a word for purpose or goal.

3d Ford making two circuits of roundabout in the city (8)
KATOWICE: a model of Ford car is followed by a word for ‘on two occasions’ going round the letter that resembles a roundabout to make a city in Poland.

4d All heads of Europe attract considerable hostility (4)
EACH: initial letters in the clue. The surface perhaps reflecting the response we’re going to get from our popular press if Boris doesn’t get a deal.

6d Currency run on yen drained reserves (3,3)
RAN DRY: cement together an African currency, the cricket abbreviation for run and the abbreviation for the Japanese yen.

7d Got intro of Argentinian tango rehearsed right away (8)
ATTAINED: the first letters of Argentinian and tango followed by a verb meaning rehearsed or practised without an abbreviation for right.

8d A bit of Bach in G, lyrical in an excruciating way (8)
ACHINGLY: hidden in the clue.

11d Aircraft carrying German bailed out somewhere in Provence (7)
AVIGNON: a word, from French, for an aircraft containing the outer letters of German gives us the place in Provence famous for its ‘pont’.
Le pont d'Avignon

14d Grow old, regularly missing extra aparting (7)
GOODBYE: the odd letters of ‘grow old’ and an extra at cricket. Since ‘aparting’ isn’t a word and ‘apart’ isn’t a verb I’m assuming that the first letter of the definition is a typo and it should be ‘parting’ which would make the surface all about elderly people (men really) losing their hair.

17d Where to get a burger, beer? (Cuba brewed) (8)
BARBECUE: an anagram (brewed) of BEER CUBA.

18d Case of extreme importance coming up in Lincoln (8)
ABLATIVE: an adjective meaning ‘of extreme importance’ gets reversed inside the abbreviated forename of Mr Lincoln. The case is a grammatical one – doing Latin at school continues to be useful!

19d Bloody bow falls over, catching American campaigner! (8)
CRUSADER: stick together an adjective meaning bloody and a synonym of bow then reverse that and insert a two-letter abbreviation for American.

22d Spare family housed in southern state (6)
SKINNY: a word for family sits inside the abbreviation for southern and the standard abbreviation for a US state.

23d Son no. 1 tackling a distant expedition (6)
SAFARI: the abbreviation for son and the Roman numeral for one contain A and an adjective meaning distant.

24d Pull on reefer held by senior crewman (6)
STOKER: an informal verb to have a drag on an exotic cigarette goes inside the abbreviation for senior.

27d Boundless peace and glory (4)
HALO: a word from Hebrew meaning ‘peace’ (used as a greeting) loses its outer letters.

My ticks today were awarded to 9a, 15a and 18d. Which clue(s) were the highlights for you?


28 comments on “Toughie 2555

  1. Had never heard of the Polish City but easy enough to construct and then check. Hadn’t occurred to me whether aparting was a typo or not but I concur perhaps so. Otherwise all quite gentle although 21a held me up a tad. Thanks to Gazza and Hudson.

  2. Another wonderful crossword from Hudson – more ‘clues I really liked’ than sticks I could shake them at.

    Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza – 1’d say 14d was definitely a typo

  3. Quite enjoyable, almost as Floughie as yesterday’s Chalicea, completed at a Toughie gallop because I was slowed down by 6d – **/****.
    I agree on the typo in 14d but considered that it was a missing space and that the definition should be ‘a parting’ as in ‘a farewell.’
    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 10a, and 18d – and the winner is 10a.
    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza.

    1. The problem with making the last bit of 14d “a parting” is that then the surface is pretty meaningless.

  4. I am a glad our blogger and CS has the same problem as me with 14d. That apart, this was a very pleasant and not too testing Toughie for a Wednesday. In terms of difficulty, quality and fun this was right up there. Our overseas friends may have some problem with 9a but it t was definitely my favourite. 18d was a close second.

    Many thanks to Hudson for a terrific puzzle and to Gazza.

  5. Took a while for the 30a penny to drop, otherwise fairly straightforward
    Entertaining, thanks to Hudson and Gazza

  6. Thanks for the blog, dear Gazza. I can’t explain the rogue “a” in the clue for 14d. It wasn’t in the files I submitted, and the clue hasn’t been changed by the editor. I must have missed it when I looked over the final proof, which does indeed contain it. Very rum.
    Sorry if the puzzle is too easy for the slot.
    Best wishes to all, Rob/Hudson

  7. I thought this was a bit of a curate’s egg, but one with more good parts than not. A couple of the surfaces seemed decidedly iffy (e.g. 15a & 17d), and it was a shame about the typo in 14d and the use of a French word in 11d. (I see that for some strange reason “avion” appears in the BRB but it is indicated there as French). It was good to see that the setter resisted the temptation to use a nebulous female in 1d, even though I hadn’t heard of the American cartoon character referred to! I put “Dora the explorer” into Google with no expectation that it would provide a result, but I was wrong!

    I assumed that week-end being hyphenated in 1a meant Friday as the last day of the working week as opposed to weekend meaning Saturday and Sunday. My apologies, Gazza, if that is simply restating what you have written.

    A special mention for cluing 29a using a clever football reference. This one joins 9a, 31a & 18d on my podium.

    Many thanks to Hudson and to Gazza.

  8. Super crossword & a really enjoyable solve. By no means tough but a fair bit more challenging than yesterday, for me at least. Agree with Senf’s call on 14d, which was my last in. Got the Polish city but was nowhere close to parsing it (very clever) & also failed to twig the RMA bit in the 5a wordplay. Lots of excellent clues of which 9,15&30a stood out for me though 24d raised a smile & memories of days of yore.
    Thanks Hudson & to Gazza for the explanations

  9. Is “aparting” perhaps a Hudson neologism for the opposite of greeting? It isn’t in my Chambers so it’s that or a typo. There seem to be a lot of gremlins/Ralph around the DT puzzles site today which might argue for the latter. Apart from that this was a lot of fun with some slightly mad hat clues [e.g. 3d, 10a] clever constructions [6d] a suggestive surface [31a] and my favourite, playing on 2 meanings of “reefer” [24d]. There was a fair bit of GK but nothing that wasn’t clear enough from the wordplay.

    Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza for the blog. [Good pick for 20a – a change from the usual]

  10. Another enjoyable time spent solving the toughie and I am trying a new way of solving the toughie with mixed success, I have never heard of the Ford in 3d and agree with what has already been said about 14d, my COD was 21a.

    Thank you to Hudson and Gazza

  11. I did smile when it came to 30a, thinking of who was in the blogging chair today! Hadn’t heard of the explorer although Mr Google had, which was a blessing.
    Have to agree with RD about the odd surface reads at 15a & 17d – does nobody care about those these days?
    Podium places handed out to 10,21&25a plus 18d.

    Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza for the review along with one of my favourite Abba clips and the brilliant picture to accompany 26a.

    1. Great to finish a Toughie in one sitting after a bit of an absence from solving……thanks Hudson for making that possible.

      Favourite was 9a and last-in 15a.

      Thanks to Gazza for the blog.

  12. Only had to check the Polish city and the video in this very satisfying crossword.
    Lots of laughs in 9a, 25a and 24d.
    Great to see Mr Waugh as my first address in London was his old flat at No 14A Hampstead Lane.
    Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza.

  13. Very enjoyable and a fair bit tougher than the back pager, especially the South where I needed a touch of electronic assistance.
    Wasn’t helped by trying to fit TMO into 29a, I’d temporarily overlooked the much maligned football version, and I was also unaware of the Lewis character.
    Podium places go to the amusing 9&25a along with the excellent lurker at 21a.
    Many thanks to Hudson and Gazza.

  14. Isn’t it strange how the mind works? I did manage to finish this very nice Hudson grid without any electronic help, though I had some parsing problems, esp. with the ‘drunk bloke’. However, I thought that 14d was just missing a hyphen, as in ‘a-parting’–e.g., “a-wooing we will go; a-parting we will end up”!! As I said, strange are the ways of the mind. I did know the Polish city, though not the Ford car (back in Walesa’s day, Gdansk and 3d played big roles, as I recall). Thanks to Gazza for the review and to the compiler Hudson, and also for stepping in to explain the inexplicable. Most enjoyable. 9a, 29a, and 30a are my stars on the podium.

  15. Thanks for the explanation for 14d. We were still scratching our heads there.
    An enjoyable solve for us.
    Thanks Hudson and Gazza.

  16. Great fun today. Not too difficult. Loved the clue for 12 across. Never heard of the city so looked that up then struggled to see the wordplay but got there eventually. Saint Sharon had the Ford car in 3 down (it was a pound less per month than a Jag) I drove it once. Glad to see the website back to normal, thanks to whoever sorted that. Thanks to Hudson for the puzzle and to Gazza for the explanations

  17. I thought this was a very clever and amusing crossword which I enjoyed immensely. I’d give it ***/****

  18. I didn’t find this as simple as others evidently did. I didn’t know the Polish city or the word for dragging on a reefer. I struggled with 15a until the answer jumped out at me and I could then parse it. The typo in 14d didn’t bother me. I just thought that ‘aparting’ was an old word that I hadn’t come across before!

  19. I was informed of this puzzle from Hudson. I don’t have access to the Telegraph’s website, so last night I copied the clues from here on to a blank document, while trying not to look at the hints (I couldn’t avoid seeing the pictures).
    Today I printed it, and taped on a piece of squared paper, thus starting with a blank grid. The puzzle was definitely on the easy side, so this just made it slightly more difficult.
    Thanks Rob and Gazza (although your hints weren’t needed).

Comments are closed.