Toughie 2602 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2602

Toughie No 2602 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

When I first scanned the clues I thought this puzzle was going to be tricky but it turned out to be both straightforward and highly enjoyable with a good few laughs. Many thanks to Hudson.

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

Across Clues

1a Pancake landing’s first thing tackled by the majority of WWII fliers (6)
WAFFLE: the first letter of landing is contained in more than half the name of an enemy air force in WWII. I’m not sure that I’d call this a pancake but I’m prepared to be corrected.

5a Tofu head smoked, lacking energy (4,4)
BEAN CURD: a slang word for head and a synonym of smoked or preserved without the abbreviation for energy.

9a Criminally cheat in shielding tax area guarded by Swiss (3,7)
THE VATICAN: an anagram (criminally) of CHEAT IN contains a type of tax that the Chancellor has promised not to increase today.

10a Item on Fox trashing Republican president (4)
BUSH: the tail of a fox without the abbreviation for Republican.

11a Daughter studying with some apprehension (8)
DREADING: the abbreviation for daughter and a present participle meaning studying.

12a Astrolabes unfortunately in pieces, leaving flashing light (6)
STROBE: remove individual bits (in pieces) of a word meaning unfortunately from astrolabes.

13a Tehrani regularly flying one further east? (4)
THAI: take away regular letters from Tehrani.

15a Old park-keeper, Head of Yeovil Conservatory (8)
ORANGERY: string together the abbreviation for old, a park-keeper and the first letter of Yeovil.

18a Sugar-coated Ginger Spice from the Maghreb? (8)
ALGERIAN: the first name of Ginger Spice is contained (coated) in the forename of Lord Sugar.

19a State with Portuguese flavour home to Yankee artist (4)
GOYA: the Indian state which was formerly Portuguese contains the letter that Yankee represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

21a Idiot reportedly looks at jury in Edinburgh (6)
ASSIZE: stick together an idiot and a homophone of ‘looks at’ to get a Scottish word for a jury.

23a Chap taking on legal manoeuvring, straight-talking fellow? (8)
MAGELLAN: another word for a chap contains an anagram (manoeuvring) of LEGAL to get the name of the navigator who gave his name to a homophone of straight (Strait of Magellan) in the southern hemisphere.

25a Solid Tory base (4)
CONE: one of the abbreviations for Tory and the letter used for the base number in logarithms.

26a Get lippy with wife on vacation in miserable snack bar (6,4)
ANSWER BACK: the outer letters of wife go inside an anagram (miserable) of SNACK BAR.

27a Tyrannical Democrat in charge smuggling ecstasy tablets and marijuana (8)
DESPOTIC: abbreviations for Democratic and ‘in charge’ contain the abbreviations for ecstasy tablets and an informal word for marijuana.

28a HMRC chap Spooner’s browned off, completely? (6)
TAXMAN: Spooner might change this to what one might get from a long period under a sunlamp.

Down Clues

2d Loathe one in HMS Pinafore Covent Garden’s mounted (5)
ABHOR: lash together an abbreviation for someone serving on HMS Pinafore (or any other ship) and the reversal of the abbreviation for the arts venue which is located in London’s Covent Garden.

3d VVV? (4-1-4)
FIVE-A-SIDE: a type of football usually played indoors involving V versus V.

4d English/Latin translation’s clause affecting Will (6)
ENTAIL: an abbreviation of English followed by an anagram (translation) of LATIN produces a legal restriction on how an estate may be disposed of.

5d Sourcing bad muck to be broadcast in a lift? (10,5)
BACKGROUND MUSIC: an anagram (to be broadcast) of SOURCING BAD MUCK.

6d He’s likely to forget taking part in ‘Courcais en Marche!’ uprising (8)
AMNESIAC: hidden in reverse. Google tells me that Courçais is the name of a commune in central France.

7d Taxi driver’s bottom pierced by tip of elephant trunk (5)
CABER: another word for a taxi and the last letter of driver with the first letter of elephant inserted.

8d Blunder in Times after file item got in a jam (9)
RASPBERRY: insert a verb to blunder into a word meaning ‘times’ in maths and precede all that with a coarse file.

14d 9 occasionally emits this exclamation (4,5)
HOLY SMOKE: double definition – what appears from 9a every few years and an exclamation of the type uttered by Batman’s companion.

16d Set ventriloquist’s hat decoration on chest (6-3)
GOGGLE-BOX: start with how a not-too-good ventriloquist might pronounce a small ball attached to a hat and append a chest or crate. Does anyone remember Peter Brough (with his doll Archie) who was useless as a ventriloquist but who overcame this problem by mainly performing on the radio so that nobody could see his lips move?

17d Boarding budget-fare Filipinos capsized small boat (4,4)
LIFE RAFT: hidden in reverse.

20d Soprano, good for learner, upset old king (6)
EGBERT: start with a high singing voice (more or less equivalent to soprano) and replace our usual learner driver with the abbreviation for good. Finally reverse it to get the name of 9th century king of Wessex.

22d Turning puce, I freeze over (3,2)
ICE UP: an anagram (turning) of PUCE I.

24d Leaders of African city conducted round another African city (5)
ACCRA: a ‘first letters’ clue.

The clues I ticked included 23a, 5d and 16d but my favourite has to be the Sugar-coated 18a. Which ones did the business for you?

 

36 comments on “Toughie 2602
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  1. I’m always delighted to find that Hudson has set the Toughie, even if they aren’t really……..

    I’d agree with Gazza’s choice of favourites, although I could have added more. 23a got a rare award of 2**

    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza for their parts in cheering up a cold foggy day in lockdown

  2. For me, Hudson could have easily traded places with Jay today, completed at a Toughie gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 26a, and 14d – and the winner is 26a.
    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza – I agree with you on 1a; the BRB describes is ‘a cake’ and I am not sure that I agree with that either.

  3. Too many excellent and fun clues to pick a favourite this morning. I found this to be probably the most straightforward of Toughies to date, but nevertheless a very enjoyable solve. My thanks to Hudson and Gazza.

  4. A lot of fun and definitely at the easier end of the toughie spectrum. 18a and 23a are noteworthy although 8d gets my vote today as they are my favourite fruit.

    Thanks to Gazza and Hudson

  5. Thanks Hudson and Gazza.
    Enjoyable and accessible and within my solving abilities.
    Chambers Thesaurus has all sorts of things that I wouldn’t have thought were pancakes…but 1ac is one of them

  6. Like CS, I thought 23a the creme de la creme of today’s Hudson. Didn’t know 16d, but since ‘giggle’ didn’t work, I rather fell into the right choice. Because I had the wrong enumeration (5,4 sic) in my cockeyed mind for 14d–and you may laugh at this if you like–I thought I’d try “Here’s Pope!” just for the fun of it. So 9a/14d get high honours, as well as 5d and 26a. Thanks to Gazza and Hudson.

  7. This was nicely challenging but not overly difficult. I was grateful to Gazza for the parsing of 2d, and the legal meaning of 4d was new to me. The use of ventriloquists’ pronunciation could open a whole new can of worms.

    Isn’t “trashing” in 10a surface padding?

    23a was my favourite, closely followed by 18a & 3d.

    Many thanks to Hudson and to Gazza.

    1. If you removed ‘trashing’ from 10a how would you remove the required letter from the ‘Item on Fox’?

  8. What a fun puzzle – nearly fell off me chair Brian. I loved 18a, 23a, 28a, 2d and 8d but the winner of the Petitjean memorial mad hat award has to be 16d.
    A propos your comment Gazza I remember Peter Brough vey well. Even as a kid I’d figured out that a radio series had to be a dream gig for a ventriloquist.
    Thanks for the blog and five gold stars to Hudson.

  9. After yesterday’s stern examination paper it was lovely to waltz through this delight. Certainly easier than Jay & I think possibly the more enjoyable of the two. Nothing obscure, a sprinkling of humour & excellently clued throughout & reckon I’d even risk a few bob that I’ve parsed them all properly for a change. Plenty of podium contenders but if forced to I would plump for 23a ahead of the 9a/14d combo & 27a
    Thanks Hudson & Gazza – will read your review after my walk.

  10. Beyond the fact that a batter mix is involved, I can’t quite see how 1a equates to a pancake but that, along with 16d, were the only eyebrow raisers in a very nice puzzle. Like RD, I learned something new in the legal definition of 4d – bet I don’t remember it!
    My favourite was 14d and other podium places went to 16,23 & 26A.

    Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza for the review.

  11. Thanks to Hudson for a very entertaining puzzle. Thanks to Gazza for the review.

    My favourite was the ventriloquist one.

    I wonder if Archie was present at the radio broadcasts?

    1. Yes, I have a photo somewhere. So who was the best vent?

      Mind you, many broadcasters have a good face for radio.

      Thanks for the puzzle Hudson.

  12. Started very slowly and then a steady solve. Magellan was new to me and like the backpager today the last one in was a four letter answer, 25a. Needed Gazza’s explanations for a couple as not up with the play on Spice girls. Favourite was 14d. Cheers Gazza and Hudson for the fun.

  13. Very enjoyable puzzle from Hudson . I too had to ask my cookery expert son to confirm that a waffle is close enough to a pancake.
    I didn’t see the reversal indicator at 20d but was amused to find https://www.anna-lena-elbert.de/ this soprano which works very well if you ignore the word ‘upset’ (unless of course King Egbert was for some reason upset) : D

  14. I found this harder than most of our contributors and our esteemed blogger, but that’s probably because you’re all better at it than I am. Having said that I managed to do it, always a bonus. Favourite was 14d. Thanks to Hudson and Gazza.

  15. Not really a Toughie-standard solver, but this was nearly easy enough for me. Unlike yesterday where I found Dada inpenetrable.
    But eventually another near-miss, just 2 hints needed (18a and stupidly 2d ). Really enjoyed the challenge.
    Thanks to Hudson for the entertainment & Gazza for helping me over the line.

  16. Very enjoyable puzzle from Hudson. I managed all apart from one – 20d. I just could not parse it, lurk it or generally get it. Thanks to the hint from Gazza, I now understand it but don’t think I would have got it on my own. My favourite clue is 17d.

    Many thanks to Hudson for a great challenge and to Gazza for the hints.

  17. I found this very enjoyable and got on hugely better than I did yesterday. Last in, and favourite, was the old king in 20d. Many thanks to Hudson and Gazza.

  18. First toughie completed, though needed the hints to understand the parsing of 3 clues.
    Thanks to the setter for giving me a chance .

  19. Like others, I thought this as straightforward as the backpager, but lots of fun nonetheless. With the varied and straightforward contrivances in the clueing, it must have appealed to those who normally don’t try the Toughie; I hope they find it a great confidence booster!
    Many thanks to Hudson, and to Gazza

  20. Great puzzle
    No obscurities or unknown GK, just good wordplay clues giving the lateral thinking brain a bit of exercise .
    Too many good clues to pick an outright favourite but 3d was very clever.

  21. An absolute delight to solve. We chuckled all the way through. No chance of picking out only one clue for favouritism.
    Thanks Hudson and Gazza.

  22. I always enjoy a wrestle with this setter. Always good fun. Thanks Hudson. Thanks Gazza for a couple of enlightening moments

  23. I can only add to the plaudits on this, my level of Toughie.
    Re 16d, as RD alluded to, maybe Hudson has invented a whole new genre of clue!
    The 28 Spoonerism made me laugh so that sits on the podium along with 18a and favourite, 26a.
    Many thanks to the Hudson and to Gazza for his explanations where needed.

  24. A very enjoyable Toughie and solved with help of Gazza and electronic aids, I agree with Gazza as I do not think 1a is a cake.

    Thank you to Hudson and Gazza

  25. Like others, found this easier than the backpager. The sugar coated spice girl was my last in and a LOL when I twigged, so gets my favourite vote. Been a good day of crosswords. Thanks to all.

  26. With my shifts of homeschooling over — for at least this lockdown, possibly for ever? — I treated myself by staying up late with this delightful Hudson crossword. Thank you Gazza for the hints; when I came to a stop partway through, reading your hints for 1a and 18a were enough to get me restarted and able to fill in the rest.

    I thought I was going to struggle to pick my favourite from 15a’s conservatory, 25a’s solid Tory, or 17’s hidden Filipinos, till I got to 3d, which gets my pick as a VVV good clue.

  27. Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza for the review and hints. What a super puzzle, really enjoyed this. I can claim a rare Toughie completion, but only just as I needed the hints to parse 1d19a and 2,4,7,16&20d 😁
    So many good clues, 28a,3&14d, but my favourite was 5a, which made me laugh. Was 3* /4* for me.

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