Toughie 2573 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2573

Toughie No 2573 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I was expecting more of a struggle, but Donnybrook has been very generous today.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Shield quickly attached to vehicle (8)
CARAPACE: a five-letter adverb meaning quickly follows a motor vehicle

9a    Leaves tip — fiver’s inside (6)
ENDIVE: these salad leaves are derived from a charade of the end or extremity and the inner letters of [f]IVE[r] – my first thought, quickly dropped because of the lack of necessary capitalisation, was the rabbit in Watership Down

10a    Heartless boasting punished in disorderly house (6)
BAGNIO: an anagram (punished) of BOA[st]ING without its middle letters (heartless) gives this, new to me, disorderly house

11a    Parish, so unsettled, put an end to row? (4,4)
SHIP OARS: an anagram (unsettled) of PARISH SO gives the action of a crew at the end of a row

12a    Serious measure to change unpopular work period (9,5)
GRAVEYARD SHIFT: a charade of a five-letter adjective meaning serious, a four-letter measure and a verb meaning to change

15a    Satanists’ leader breaks mirror in church recess (4)
APSE: the initial letter (leader) of the first word in the clue inside (breaks) a verb meaning to mirror or copy

17a    English sovereign beheaded calculating Swiss (5)
EULER: E(nglish) and a general word for a sovereign without its initial letter (beheaded)

19a    Bird on horse: bay? (4)
HOWL: a three-letter bird preceded by H(orse) – both H and horse can refer to heroin

20a    Stylish gesture reworked for panto dames (3,4,7)
THE UGLY SISTERS: a clever anagram (reworked) of STYLISH GESTURE gives these panto dames from Cinderella

23a    North American imperfections backing spurious argument (5,3)
STRAW MAN: N(orth) AM(erican) and some imperfections, all reversed (backing) gives a sham argument set up for the sake of disputation

25a    Goods brought in having weight (6)
IMPORT: two definitions, the first usually being in the plural

27a    Floor, so very old, in state (6)
KOSOVO: a charade of a verb meaning to floor, SO from the clue, V(ery) and O(ld)

28a    Turn over to face husband, soak hanging around disgraceful place? (8)
DOGHOUSE: a two-letter turn is reversed (over) followed by H(usband) inside (hanging around) a verb meaning to soak


1d    Embed at Aleppo gathers information (4)
DATA: hidden (gathers) inside the clue

2d    Trips director in seat on truck coming north (6)
SATNAV: in a seat followed by the reversal (coming North in a down clue) of a truck

3d    This allows for precise focus in French commune (4)
LENS: two definitions

4d    One in family group shows exceptional intellect (6)
GENIUS: I (one) inside a taxonomic group

5d    Caution Scottish man an attractive person embraces (8)
ADMONISH: a Scottish word for a man inside (embraces) A (an) and an attractive person

6d    Retreat from tooth-puller? (5,5)
IVORY TOWER: a word for a tooth followed by a puller

8d    Attendant always protecting Colonel Lawrence? (7)
ACOLYTE: a two-letter poetic word for always around (protecting) COL(onel) and followed by the initials of Lawrence of Arabia

13d    Getting into part, Monroe finally established name (10)
REPUTATION: inside a part place the final letter of [Monro]E and a verb meaning established

14d    Republican supporter good news on Wall Street? (5)
RALLY: R(epublican) followed by a supporter

16d    Lift to reveal flaps (8)
ELEVATOR: an anagram (flaps) of TO REVEAL

18d    Two swimmers, the first heard making complaint (7)
RAILING: what sounds like (heard) a large flat fish is followed by Crosswordland’s favourite fish

21d    Bit of a pig, loading bullets into gun that’s empty (6)
GAMMON: some bullets inside (loading) G[u]N without its inner letter (empty)

22d    Excellent prize fund mine when given raise (6)
TIPTOP: the reversal (given raise) of a prize fund and a mine

24d    What distinguishes regulated from deregulated crossing? (4)
NODE: split as (2,2) this is what distinguishes regulated from DEregulated

26d    Runs when piano gives rough sound (4)
RASP: a final charade, this time of R(uns), a word meaning when, and P(iano)

Not exactly a Tuesday Floughie, but enjoyable nonetheless.


33 comments on “Toughie 2573

  1. Solved at a steady pace but I was expecting it to be easier given some of the comments on the back page blog. Some great clues. I particularly liked 9a, 6d and 21d. Thanks to Donnybrook and BD.

  2. Just about crept over the border from backpager to Tuesday level Toughie. The usual Donnybrook enjoyment factor

    Thanks to him and BD

  3. Another one within my ability, thank you.
    To do a ‘Brian’…I didn’t like 2d much.
    Did like 9ac and 6d.

  4. After feeling I’d never get anywhere I solved a couple and from there on I made steady progress. Surprised myself by knowing 10a but needed Google for the obscure, to me, 17a. No doubt someone will assert that Mr Euler is famous, they usually do!
    20a was a very clever anagram.
    I did like 6d and that’s my COTD.

    1. We frequently come across ‘base’ meaning e (in logarithms) – well it’s called e because it’s also known as Euler’s Number, about 2.718

    2. There are so many things named after 17a, that a joke among mathematicians is that they had to start naming things after the second person to discover them.

      Pronounced more like “oiler” than “you-ler”.

  5. I did need help for about 7 or 8 clues but, on the whole, this was a most enjoyable puzzle from Donnybrook. There were some good clues and my favourites are 27a, 21d and I have to mention 6d because of my erstwhile career. However, my absolute favourite and COTD is the very short and sweet 24d.

    I did not know the word at 10a but I have led a sheltered life!

    Many thanks, Donnybrook and thanks to Big Dave for the hints.

  6. I, too, got most of this, but then just needed a helping hand to finish it off in *** time. 28a was my last in, but COTD has to be 12a.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and BD.

  7. I enjoyed this not too tough Toughie a lot.

    I’m not entirely convinced by by the singular answer to 25a with a plural definition.

    Like BD, my first thought on reading 9a was the Watership Down rabbit, particularly as mine used to enjoy eating the answer. I couldn’t parse 13d – so simple when BD spells it out!

    My podium comprises 12a, 6d & 18d.

    Many thanks to Donnybrook for the fun and BD for the review.

  8. Enjoyable and not too fiendish – thanks to Donnybrook and BD.
    My only real difficulty was with 13d where I was misled into looking for an anagram initially as 9 out of the 10 letters of the answer are ‘into part [monro]e’.
    My podium consists of 12a, 6d and 8d.

  9. Very enjoyable and not too taxing. Is this now the standard for a Tuesday Toughie? 10a was a new word for me. I managed to construct it, and then into the dictionary to confirm. As RD above, I had the same uneasiness with the singular for 25a. 6d was my pick of the puzzle with honourable mentions to 9a, 28a and 22d.

    1. If it is the new standard for the Tuesday Toughie, RayS then I, as a relative newcomer to Toughie solving, welcome it. 👍

      1. The same trickery as in a normal cryptic but maybe the synonyms and crypt definitions are stretched a little more. I’m not keen on Toughies that make a meal of the stretch or those that litter the grid with obscure words.

  10. Hooray! After a week without a computer I’m back on line & looking forward to tackling the backload of puzzles that I’ve now downloaded. Well that’s if my bloody temperamental printer doesn’t throw a Wendy…

  11. Before Toughies appeared in the Newspaper App I started my days with the Codeword, the Quickie (to warm up for The Cryptic) and then the Cryptic. Now I begin with The Toughie. Today’s was a nice steady solve helped by a good first pass. The anagram at 11 across had me for too long and 23 across was my last one in only knowing these men from The Wizard of Oz and T S Elliot’s Hollow Men ‘We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! A very satisfying start to the day. Thanks again to Donnybrook and to Big Dave keeping his hand in with a blog. I remember a few years ago when he seemed to be blogging almost every day – ‘If anybody wants to volunteer’ he said

  12. A few things that I had to look up – 13&17a plus the actual meaning of 23a – but I really enjoyed this one.
    My ticks went to 12a&21d but my absolute favourite was 6d, still laughing about that one!

    Thanks to Donnybrook for an excellent puzzle and to BD for the review.

  13. A puzzle of the middling sort. I too had some difficulty with 25a altho we do talk of “import tax” and not “imports tax” so maybe it’s OK.
    Thanks to DB and to BD – especially for the Lord Rockingham clip. Ah Cherry Wainer!!

  14. Learned a few new things in 10a, 11a and 23a but the parsing led me to the correct answers.
    The French town in 3d is quite famous now with its annexe of the Louvre Museum.
    Nice anagrams in 20a and 16d.
    Thanks to Donnybrook and to BD.

  15. Very enjoyable puzzle and completed at a slow but steady pace which makes for a satisfying solve.

    3d had me stumped, I thought it must be the focus device but had never heard of a French Commune called by this name. Like others the plural/singular mismatch with the clue in 25a made me doubt I had the correct answer.

    Loved 7a although I think I saw it before a couple of months or so ago? COTD for me was 23a. Needed the hints for 9a and 19a so thank you BD.

    Thanks Donnybrook, I do like your puzzles!

  16. Difficult to look further than 6d for a favourite, although the ridiculously simple 24d is worthy of a mention. Overall this was a very accessible Toughie, just right for the first of the week.

    Thanks to Donnybrook for the fun and to BD.

  17. Mamma Mia! Here we go again … another entertaining puzzle from Donnybrook!

    Think I preferred the Saturday Prize Puzzle?

  18. I thought this had a lot of the sparkle that the back pager lacked, certainly no Floughie for me though, I needed the hints or 10&17a and help on a couple of parsings.
    I particularly liked 12&23a plus 6&22d.
    Have to admit to a second take at the surface read of 16d!
    Many thanks to Donnybrook and BD for the fun.

  19. That’s probably only about the second Toughie that I’ve ever finished – I did finish one a very long time ago by Micawber.
    I’m going to start looking out for crosswords by Donnybrook now – I loved Saturday’s SPP and I also really enjoyed this one.
    Didn’t know 17a but guessed and looked it up.
    Too many good clues to pick out a favourite but it could be any of 12, 20 and 28a and 6, 18 and 24d.
    Thanks to Donnybrook and to BD.

  20. An enjoyable start to the Toughie week. 10 across was new to me too but could be solved from the wordplay. Thanks to Donnybrook and Big Dave.

  21. There is a talent to limiting the difficulty of a puzzle without making it any less interesting, and Donnybrook is the expert there. I’m very impressed.

    many thanks

  22. Well this took 3 visits & an awful lot of head scratching while muttering to myself that Steve said it was gentle. The NE was blank other than 4d but once I eventually got the caution synonym having known for an age that dish was the looker the corner fell like dominoes. Had to Google the Swiss bod which left 2. Even if I’d twigged the wordplay in 10a I wasn’t familiar with the word nor with the 23a phrase so was indebted to the hints to see me home. Favourite was a toss up between 6d & 12a in a thoroughly entertaining crossword.
    Thanks Donny & to BD for putting me out of my misery.

  23. I managed to finish on my own without any hints but did need a bit of help parsing 13a, though it had to be what it was. Love Donnybrook’s puzzles, with the whole NE taking the cake for me. Thanks to BD and to Donnybrook. Great stuff.

  24. Thanks Big Dave, and thanks to all for the comments. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Looks like the ed got it in on the right day!

    Off now, as it is a mate’s birthday, for a Zoom curry. Yes, that’s right, a Zoom curry. One of the strangest things I’ve ever participated in, and that’s saying something I can tell you.

    Thanks to all, and please stay safe: don’t go near Priti Patel whatever you do.


    1. Thanks for calling in, Donny. Enjoy your curry. I hope the “zoom” part is not a rapid retreat to the latrines! 🤣
      I am sure it is not and many thanks for the puzzle.

  25. Thanks to Donnybrook and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I always find Donnybrook’s puzzles very interesting and entertaining. This was no exception. Quite tough for me, but I managed to get into it. I had “wailing” for 18d, which stopped me from getting 17a. Also needed the hints for 10,19,23a and 6&24d. Had never heard of 10&23a. Favourite was 28a. Great fun, very enjoyable. Was 4*/4* for me.

  26. Fraid to say that the SE corner of this eluded me, after a good pace for the rest.

    Great fun with 6d my clear favourite.

    A Zoom curry for some reason reminds me of Vesta Chow Mein…..??

    Thanks to Big Dave for the blog and to Donnybrook.

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