Toughie 2582 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2582

Toughie No 2582 by Django

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Django has given us a fairly gentle and enjoyable puzzle with a commendable lack of obscurities. Many thanks to him.

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

I won’t be around much this afternoon as I have to travel to our designated place of vaccinations for my jab.

Across Clues

9a Suggestive European against dancing avec toi (9)
EVOCATIVE: string together abbreviations for European and against and append an anagram (dancing) of AVEC TOI.

10a University student and no-good teacher make 3 28 monument (5)
ULURU: abbreviations for university and student are followed by a spiritual teacher without the abbreviation for good.
Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock)

11a Defeated in golf — within four inches of glory initially (7)
HANGDOG: insert what golf stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet into what measures four inches in the horsey world. Finally add the initial letters of ‘of glory’.

12a Carry On Behind ultimately replacing first edition of American Idol (7)
GODHEAD: start with a phrasal verb meaning ‘carry on’ (2,5) and replace the first occurrence of an abbreviation for American with the ultimate letter of ‘behind’.

13a Carpenter might apply herself at this Labour seat (9)
WORKBENCH: glue together a synonym for labour and a type of seat.

15a Dish seen when hobbits and orcs get together in retirement (5)
RÖSTI: hidden in reverse when you join ‘hobbits orcs’ together.

17a Leaves, cycling A-to-B, calves, to begin with, firm (7)
TOBACCO: cycle the first letter of A-to-B to the end and add the first letter of calves and the abbreviation for a firm. I know that everyone will have seen this before but it still makes me laugh:

19a Good fashion designer’s stimulating (7)
PIQUANT: concatenate a short adjective meaning good or holier-than-thou and the name of the fashion designer who earned the gratitude of men everywhere by inventing the miniskirt.
Mary Quant

20a Union contract about becoming international model (3-2)
PIN-UP: start with an informal word for a legal contract drawn up prior to a wedding and change the preposition meaning about or concerning to an abbreviation for international.

21a Kylie left one day to pursue very adult music genre (4,5)
SOAP OPERA: a word meaning day or period of time follows an adverb meaning very, the abbreviation for adult and a type of music.

24a Extremist King made rich pals all disrobe (7)
RADICAL: an abbreviation for king followed by ‘made rich pals’ all without their outer letters.

26a Where you might find Rupert Murdoch, essentially going after half-cut Bono — entertaining U2 (7)
NUTWOOD: the central letter of Murdoch follows half of the word Bono which contains the expanded form of U2.

28a Columnist on easily losing some weight (5)
STONE: lose some of the letters of the first three words.

29a Bono blowing top, heading for Murdoch in cab with note relating to name-calling (9)
TAXONOMIC: the cast of 26a make an encore. Insert Bono without his first letter and the first letter of Murdoch into a cab and append a musical note.

Down Clues

1d Relative climbing fence, fell (6)
NEPHEW: reverse a verb to fence or confine and add a verb to fell.

2d Type of ferry carrying German and British during competition (5,5)
ROUND ROBIN: start with an abbreviated type of ferry (2-2) and insert the German word for ‘and’. Finish with an abbreviation for British and a synonym for ‘during’.
Ro-Ro ferry

3d Polish hospital close to overcrowded (4)
SAND: an informal word for a type of hospital and the closing letter of overcrowded.

4d Mixed language from winger on the radio (6)
PIDGIN: this sounds like something with wings.

5d Briefly, maybe Sonic Aeroplane’s focus is to fly low (5-3)
HEDGE-HOP: the type of creature known as Sonic in the world of video games is shorn of its last letter and has the central letter of Aeroplane added.

6d Daughter wearing joke jumper is without question getting something in return (4,3,3)
QUID PRO QUO: the abbreviation for daughter is contained in a joke. Add to that an Australian jumper containing one of the abbreviations for question. It’s interesting that we had a debate in the back-page blog only yesterday on the validity of ‘without’ as a containment indicator. Personally I don’t have any issues with it – it may not mean ‘surrounding’ but it certainly means ‘outside’.

7d Pretty clever (4)
CUTE: double definition.

8d For example, Richard Gere‘s contracted American friend hits out (8)
BUDDHIST: bolt together an informal word for a friend in America without his last letter and an anagram (out) of HITS.

14d Support rugby players on TV show — one travelling light (10)
BACKPACKER: charade of a verb to support, the collective word for the rugby players who provide the grunt in a team and a US medical TV show.

16d Private cabins order more toasts (10)
STATEROOMS: an anagram (order) of MORE TOASTS.

17d Dignitaries lifting trophy — supporters start to sing (3,5)
TOP BRASS: reverse an informal word for a trophy and add our usual women’s supporting garments and the first letter of sing.

18d Discontinued outside broadcast — one nudging bounds of taste (8)
OBSOLETE: stitch together the abbreviation for outside broadcast, an adjective meaning one or only and the outer letters of ‘taste’.

22d Content to remain in Cannes seeing odd bits of X-Men and additional material (6)
ANNEXE: retain just the inner letters of Cannes and add the odd letters of X-men.

23d Mad dictator imprisons fanatical devotee (6)
ADDICT: hidden word.

25d Consultant possibly scrapping court access (4)
DOOR: start with what a consultant (or a registrar, say) may be and remove the abbreviation for court.

27d Last vestiges of light industry on the river (4)
TYNE: the final letters of four words in the clue.

My top clues were 20a, 21a and 1d. Which ones made it to your podium?


45 comments on “Toughie 2582

  1. Enjoyable. Struggled to parse 20a and failed on 12a having spent a while trying to parse Godsend. Favourites were 5d, 6d, and 17d. Thanks to Gazza and Django.

  2. All great fun.
    10ac was new to me and I’m probably being dim but why the feminine in 13ac?
    Thanks to Django and Gazza, especially for the picture of Mary.

    1. Why wouldn’t the carpenter be female?

      If the clue had said ‘apply himself’, you could reasonably have asked why the masculine term was used.

      1. I thought this was to remind me of the singer Karen Carpenter. Took me ages to realise it was a misdirect,

  3. A most enjoyable, perfectly pitched early in the week Toughie. I liked the same clues as Gazza.

    I don’t mind ‘long’ clues if they tell a story but I didn’t think 29a quite worked as a story that you could solve and parse as you read along, whereas 22d, for example, certainly does

    Thanks to Django and Gazza

  4. Enjoyable stuff and the right puzzle to brighten a gloomy Wednesday. Lots of ticks next to clues and some nice kick-yourself moments. 26a and 8 down particular favourites.

    If 26a and 29a had been next to each other, there’d have been a run-on clue there, methinks!

    Ready for the next one!

  5. Really enjoyed this one. Found the south considerably easier than the north where I was reduced to a couple of bung ins & the need to confirm my answer to 5d. Nowhere near correctly parsing 2d plus 11&12a. For 2d I wasn’t familiar with the acronym, annoyed I didn’t twig the horsey measurement in 11a but still don’t really understand 12a even after reading the hint – it was a toss up between send & head as all I could fit in & guessed correctly. The picks for me were 6d plus 10&29a although there were any number of other worthy contenders.
    Thanks Django & to Gazza for the explanations

    1. On a rare outing to M&S Food just now, someone actually used the phrase in the first two words of 12a when one or other of us had to move right out the way to avoid non-distancing and he let me go first. As Gazza says, take this phrase and change the A at the start of the second word (the first ‘edition’ or use of A for American) with the ultimate letter of behind

      1. The best M&S offer was their Dine In For A Tenner which included a 750cl bottle of wine. Saint Sharon bought and cooked the food. I sold the wine at four quid a 250cl glass. Ten quid out. Twelve quid in. Happy days

        1. I see that Brexit has already taken it’s toll. You’ve already forgotten all about the decimal system. 750 CL is well over 1,5 gallons.

            1. Fun music themed offering from Qaos in the Graun which brought back memories & encouraged me to listen to some.

  6. For some reason this blog has been headed Toughie 2578, when according to my paper it is 2582.

    I nearly finished this in *** time, but the NE beat me. I was unable to get the second part of 12a and even if I had, I still would never have got 8d. Two clues, both with the word American in them.

    Many thanks to Django and Gazza.

    1. Corrected. One of the ways we can create a blog post is by cloning a previous one. Gazza was obviously so excited about getting his vaccination, he didn’t change the number before he scheduled the post

  7. This was fun. So much lateral thinking. I didn’t get 11a ( was looking for an obscure golfing term) and went astray with 29a. The 26a reference to Rupert Bear was clever.
    COTD? Has to be 19a to remind me of my youth!

  8. A very enjoyable start to the day. I too wondered why our carpenter was a female. I had no idea who the setter was but wasn’t surprised to see that it was DJango considering the wordy clues. Great fun throughout despite the presence of Bono and Murdoch. (I vaguely remember a story from the Wild West about an ‘Evil Murdoch’. A horse if I remember rightly) last ones in 10 across and 8 down. How was I supposed to know that? Thanks to Django who is on my list of setters I would like to write the blog for one day. Thanks to Gazza too. Beam tomorrow I see. That’ll slow me down

    1. You’ll have to join the I’d like to blog a Django Toughie queue. I’m hoping I’m in first place

      1. It’s been an absolute age since we have had to swap around or stand in for anybody Sue. We are all far too reliable. I wonder who is champing at the bit ready to have a go at blogging puzzles. Rahmat Ali has made a good start while the 2Ks are away

  9. Thanks Gazza. And thanks for the comments so far.

    I thought I’d pop in early in order to mention this event. (I hope that’s okay – do feel free to delete if this isn’t good form).

    On the evening of February 12th, I’ll be joining John Halpern (Paul/Dada/Mara/Punk) for a Zoom event where we – I expect, largely he – and you if you want to join us, will create a crossword on the theme of Madness. (The band)

    It’s free but we will be asking those that can afford it to donate to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

    If that’s of interest, you can sign up here ->

  10. Good fun although, for me, a little harder than the rating given by our blogger. I think I sometimes try and make some clues harder than they really are, rather than take each word and look for the hidden meaning. 26a was a good example of what I mean, and my favourite once the coin hit the floor.

    Thanks to Django for the challenge and to Gazza.

  11. I enjoyed this. In particular the Bono/Murdoch clues but plenty of other nice clues (17a 27d join the Irish feller and the Aussie newsagent on my podium) I had the right answer for 20a but nowhere near parsing it. A few in the NE corner needed a nudge from the hints.
    I doubt that Sonic the H… has appeared in a DT crossword before but I enjoyed it. I have watched too many shoe repair YT videos to have 3d and polish as synonyms but that’s my bad.
    The reverse lurker with a filler word in between took a fair bit of thinking about. and I was thinking of Karen of that ilk for 13a for a while but the gender of the carpenter is of no matter here.
    Thanks to Gazza and Django

    1. Thanks John… I wouldn’t sand my shoes either… but sand is still a synonym for polish:-

      Sand – transitive verb – to smooth or polish with abrasive material, esp sandpaper (Chambers)

  12. Finished! Yay. Maybe no obscure words, but some GK needed – 8d, 10a, 26a. The latter took me as long as the rest of the puzzle. Been a long time since I read any Rupert! Really enjoyable, thanks to all.

        1. I believe that the convention is that if Numerals (3 28) are in the clue it refers to other clues in the crossword and if spelled out they are part of the wordplay. There are exceptions though as in this crossword U2 is a hint to spell out TWO.

  13. Most enjoyable. I didn’t know Richard Gere was an 8d, but a quick visit to Google soon put me right. I couldn’t parse 5d as I’d never heard of Sonic. Favourite was 26a with numerous others coming close. Many thanks to Django and Gazza.

  14. Great fun. Spotted the hedgehog ref and Rupert but also spotted the Carpenter misdirect and spent some time, fruitlessly with Karen. Also thought Kylie’s def would be the music genre so it took a while to sort that one. I’ve no objection to wordiness if it’s needed but 22d is on the cusp, what’s wrong with just “Content in Cannes…”?
    Favourites were 20a, 29a, 6d and 17d [perfect wordplay and surface].
    Many thanks Django and Gazza [especially for “Nutty Walt”]

  15. Really enjoyable crossword.
    Didn’t know about Richard Gere (pronounced Jir in France) but it was fairly clued.
    Favourite 2d.
    Thanks to Django and to Gazza.

  16. Many thanks Django!

    i enjoyed the repeat of the Murdoch/Bono pair (though I hope they only have dealings in crossword land), especially also including U2 – I think 26a is my favourite clue, though I also liked Kylie. I enjoyed the French anagram fodder – that might open some doors! And points for the female carpenter.

    Many thanks Gazza – very pleased you’ve had a jab

  17. Stand out clue for me was 6 down . Supersmooth surface, spot on definition.
    20a gets the silver!
    Thanks all

  18. After his last Toughie, I was apprehensive when I saw the page once again filled with words and almost no white spaces, which is obviously this setter’s style. Happily it didn’t lead to any clunky surfaces (I did find both 17a & 16d slightly stilted, although I can see what the intention was for each of them), and I enjoyed the clever wordplay of most of the clues.

    5d beat me because I have never heard of that expression, and I couldn’t parse 21a as I had become transfixed that “opera” must be the music genre. Many thanks to Gazza for the review and for explaining those two.

    Fighting it out for podium positions were 15a, 26a, 29a, 6d, 8d & 17d.

    Many thanks too to Django for a fun solve.

  19. I find this setter’s style quirky and entertaining in equal measure and he’s now become one of the setters whose puzzles I look forward to.
    I needed Gazza’s excellent explanations for a couple in the North and my 12a bung in turned out to be incorrect but I enjoyed the whole experience. I particularly liked 21a plusthe Ray T like 17d but could have mentioned several others.
    Many thanks to Django and Gazza .

  20. Completed the puzzle this morning before my ‘trip out of the month’ i.e. a visit to the dentist! I was very interested to read the comments on my return and it looks as though this setter has found himself a new fan club from amongst the BD rank.
    I’m sorry to say that the combination of verbosity of clues, odd surface reads and remote definitions such as ‘Kylie left one’ mean that I won’t be applying for membership.

    Sorry, Django, although you possibly expected nothing less, and thanks to our freshly ‘jabbed’ Gazza for both the review and the evergreen Bob Newhart clip – what brilliant scenarios he conjured.

  21. I do have a twinge of what Jane describes, but that is far outweighed by my enjoyment of the puzzle overall
    The contemporary references are a welcome breath of fresh air and I look forward to seeing more from this setter
    Many thanks Django for an entertaining puzzle – if you could just be a teeny weeny bit more concise in places… but I am well aware this lark is not easy!
    Thanks also to the newly fortified Gazza

  22. Awfully late today, but I actually ‘finished’ this wild Django creation last night–with an application of four of my electronic-letters online option–but there really is so much this American has yet to learn (and will, in some cases–like Kylie, Sonic, Rupert the Bear–never learn, but so be it). Goodness knows we have had enough of Murdoch over here (Fox News, insurrectionists, Trump, ad nauseam), but the Bono-Murdoch couplings were brilliant, I thought. So thanks to Gazza for the hints and to Django for the originality and challenge.

  23. Thanks to Django and to Gazza for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but found it trickier than yesterday’s Toughie. I thought the wordplay was quite difficult. I managed about 75% of it, but was left with a lot of gaps on the right hand side, where I was let down by my lack of General Knowledge. Was 4* /3* for me. Favourite was 29a.

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