Toughie 2617 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2617

Toughie No 2617 by Logman

Hints and tips by Miffypops

Too many dogs

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

Gdanga. Make the most of the sunshine today folks. It might not last.

Today’s Toughie from Logman apparently lives up to its name but has several laughs along the way particularly when Santa’s helper arrived. I wasn’t expecting that. 

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. 


1a        Group organising games involved in snack food (7)
TAPIOCA: The abbreviation for the organising committee of a four yearly global competition for sportspersons sits inside a snack food popular in Spain and served with a drink at the bar

9a        User sadly installing a software application that’s a spoiler (8)
SABOTEUR: The letter A from the clue and an autonomous programme on the internet or another network  that can interact with other users or systems is surrounded by an anagram (sadly) of USER

10a      Feel pressure line evident in adult head (7)
PALPATE: The abbreviations for Pressure, Adult and Line are followed by a persons head

11a      Dreamer‘s first to go after independent trade (8)
IDEALIST: The three letters that look like the shortened form of first when written with the number one at the start are preceded by the abbreviation for independent and a word meaning to trade

12a      Drug with no name? Charlie is daring (6)
HEROIC: Begin with an addictive drug. Remove the abbreviation for name. Add the abbreviation for Charlie

13a      Scoundrel holds women and rest back, being a vicious and unscrupulous type (10)

ROTTWEILER: A cad blunder or scoundrel surrounds the single letter abbreviation for woman and the reverse of the sort of rest, often followed by the word down as some solvers claim to do in a darkened room after a long drawn out solve

15a      Jupiter’s lost love for one dance (4)
 JIVE: An alternative name for Jupiter the Roman God has the letter representing the love score in tennis replaced by the letter that looks like the number one

16a      Gun dog’s promise of a good day ahead? (3,6)
RED SETTER: A cryptic definition of the sun as it goes down that might delight shepherds

21a      Scheme requiring energy instead of quiet style (4)
ELAN: A scheme or intention has the musical notation for quiet replaced by the abbreviation for energy 

22a      Well-heeled American should follow the Duke of Milan (10)
PROSPEROUS: The regular two-letter term for an American follows The Duke of Milan, the main character in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest

24a      Bones in fish that’s plain (6)
TUNDRA: Bones here is a shortened form of the word Sawbones a name given to military surgeons due to their propensity towards amputation. An abbreviation for bones or doctor sits inside a fish that belongs to the tribe Thunni, a subgrouping of the Scombridae family

25a      Gamble of career is in chest (3,1,4)
RUN A RISK: Begin with a three-letter verb meaning to career. Add a chest such as the one of the covenant said to contain the holy grail into which is inserted the word is from the clue

27a      Relaxes, seeing what toilets have to protect women’s rear (7)
UNBENDS: A section of pipe (plural) shaped like a letter contains the last letter of the word woman

28a      Arrange time for Olympic event (8)
DRESSAGE: To arrange as one might with food on a plate followed by a period of time 

29a      People who lend money certain to be found in contents of purse (7)
 USURERS: A word beloved of setters and meaning certain is surrounded by the internal letters of the word purse


2d        Professor of French Military Intelligence taken in by current account? (8)
ACADEMIC: The French word for of and the abbreviation for Military Intelligence sit inside an electronic current and the abbreviation for the word account 

3d        The compiler’s support about to be set up wrong (8)
IMPROPER: How the setter might say I am. A support such as those holding up a hooker in the game of rugby or the ceiling in a mine. The reverse of a short word meaning about

4d        Loopy game and musical bed for baby (4,6)
CATS CRADLE: This game of twisting string in the fingers is mage up of a dreadful and boring  musical which premiered on my younger sister’s birthday in 1981 and a babies bed


5d        Part of prison where voters will be found? (4)
WARD: An area within a prison looked after by a warder is also an area that might be voted for in a local election

6d        Warning about a good search around (6)
FORAGE: The letter A from the clue together with the abbreviation for good sit inside a golfers warning cry

7d        Carrier needing to change hospital for small blister (7)
VESICLE: This carrier might be a car, a bus, a lorry or anything used to transport people or goods. Change the abbreviation for hospital to the abbreviation for small

8d        Research establishment missing party in chapel (7)
ORATORY: A research establishment with test tubes, petridishes, Bunsen burners and people in white coats needs to lose the abbreviation for one of the major political parties in England 

11d      Refit kitchen and do up (2,3,4)
IN THE DOCK: Anagram (refit) of KITCHEN and DO

14d      Survives using seats for spectators (10)
WITHSTANDS: A rather stretched synonym of the word using is followed by a word used for the seated areas at sports grounds 

17d      Dancer perhaps drops broadcast, put off having dropped female (8)
REINDEER: A homophone of drops of water falling from the sky is followed by a word meaning to put of minus the abbreviation for female. Just how many legs were you expecting this Dancer to have?

18d      Canine artist with daughter in work in America (8)
LABRADOR: The abbreviations used for an artist and a daughter sit inside the Noah Webster’s spelling of a word meaning work toil or graft. What do you call a magical dog? A Labracadabrador.    

19d      High level promotion (7)
 UPGRADE: Aword meaning on high and a word meaning a level of quality 

20d      Collapse of architect (7)
FOUNDER: A double definition, the first being to stumble or fall

23d       Peculiar city hall — everybody’s gone (6)
PARISH: The capital city of France is followed by the word hall without the letters of a word meaning everybody

26d      Green spangles not regularly available (4)
SAGE: Remove the odd numbered letters of the word spangles as indicated by the words not regularly




32 comments on “Toughie 2617

  1. Needed loads of e-help but enjoyed it , nevertheless. I’m not claiming to have solved it but it is good to see how the clues work for future reference.

    Many thanks to Logman for the challenge and to MP for the hints.

  2. A proper Toughie on a Tuesday, whatever next?!

    It helps to remember the definition of 23d if you know that Westminster abbey is a Royal Peculiar

    Thanks to Logman (any relation to Loglady in the Indy?) and to MP

    PS if Jane is reading this, her favourite non-irish detective is in trickier than usual form in today’s FT

    1. Thanks, CS, I’ll give it whirl although if you’re saying it was tricky, I might not get very far!
      I also wondered about Loglady/Logman – seems too much of a coincidence.

    1. It wasn’t but it is now. Thank you. I caught The Holy Garlic at 25 across just in time

  3. Very enjoyable.

    Solved largely unaided although I did need to check the definition in 23d.

    Thanks to Logman and MP.

  4. I fond this enjoyable and reasonably straightforward for a toughie. Thank you to setter and dylanophile.

  5. I really enjoyed this proper Toughie by Logman, with several new terms for me, especially that of the Royal Peculiar (thanks, CS), which, with the word ‘donative’, is a wholly new concept for me. (Lord, how we do live and learn.) When I started this one (amazingly, my first answer was Santa’s helper), I had no idea that I would finish it, but persistence paid off finally. Top choices: 22a, 7d, 9a, & 25a. I resisted 13a until discovering its secondary definition, and I don’t consider 1a (my LOI) to be snack food, but ‘chacun a son gout’! Thanks to MP for the review and to Logman for the challenge.

    1. Mea culpa: I totally missed the application of ‘snack’ in 1a. Thanks, MP. No wonder I struggled with the solution. (‘Tapa’ of course.)

      1. That reminds me of the comment complaining that Iran was not a southern country. It isn’t the word southern was part of the wordplay as was the word snack in 1 across. Best not to read the clues if you want to succeed at solving cryptic crossword puzzles

  6. Star Trek, Santa’s helper, Stratford’s finest & some dogs – what’s not too like? Nearly made it under my own steam but was stuck on 7d. Was fairly sure of the definition but eventually used a letter reveal (S) & got it straight away & was then annoyed I didn’t twig it from the wordplay despite realising S needed to be substituted for H (thinking the wrong carrier). A new word to me anyway. Other than failing to parse 1a (something to do with taco or CIA nearest I got) fairly confident the remainder is parsed ok. I did think 27a somewhat tenuous as a synonym for relaxes mind you. Anyway thoroughly enjoyed it & always just that bit more of a sense of worth if CS declares it proper.
    Thanks Logman & as ever to MP.

  7. Can’t remember solving anything from this setter before but the experience was most enjoyable.
    Didn’t know the relation between 5d and voters although the answer was quite obvious.
    The game in 4d and the particular in 23d were also new to me.
    Thanks to Logman for the good head scratching and to MP for the entertaining review.

  8. Add me to those who found this very enjoyable – the more so in not having to spend time in long searches for things that I hadn’t come across. I even knew the Royal Peculiar (although I don’t quite know why). Just the right level of diffuclty for me. Many thanks to Logman and Miffypops.

  9. I too am in the thoroughly enjoyable camp this afternoon. I also hadn’t heard of 23d in that sense so Google came to the rescue and I have now. Really hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go for 11d. Many thanks to Logman and MP.

  10. Considering how many people on this blog are animal lovers, I’m surprised no one has challenged 13a. Isn’t the problem with the owner not the dog?

      1. Don’t joke. A friend of mine had to have her puppy put down because it was so vicious. A congenital breeding fault it seems

  11. Tougher than most Tuesdays. ***/***
    Is the setter new? Perhaps he’ll pop in to say hello.
    Thanks to MP for 19 and 20d, both of which escaped me.

  12. We suspect that one of the reasons this one took us longer to solve than usual was that it took a while to get onto the wavelength of a setter who is new to us. Once we were into it things started to come together with lots of chuckles and penny-drop moments. Hope the setter pops in to introduce himself.
    Thanks Logman and MP.

  13. Took a while to get into this, possibly because [a] the setter is new and [b] the trickier clues were up the top. Good fun though and 24a is a cracker.
    Thanks to Logman and MP.

  14. Seeing “too many dogs” prompted me to have a bash. Got about 80% in 4* time. 1a and 9a needed hints to complete and get the other three to finish. Thanks MP for the help.
    Above my ability but it was enjoyable in a masochistic sort of way.
    Wish I could say 18d was a gimme but I did get it unaided.
    Thanks to Logman and MP. I’ll go back the ground floor again.

    1. Can’t be above your ability if you got 80% unaided & CS says it’s proper. I used to get half a dozen on a good day but manage to finish a fair percentage now. They’re often more fun than the back pager. Elgar remains root canal treatment though.

      1. Oi, Huntsman! I was an endodontist and I never made my patients suffer. Barack Obama has a lot to answer for.
        I made root canal treatment a pleasant experience for my patients, which is more than can be said for Elgar and his Toughies.

        1. Obama and dentistry? What’s the deal here? He has a 70 % approval rating four years after his presidency.

  15. A great new setter ! I liked the slightly saucy or left field clues, which my favourite setter Osmosis often provides, such as 27a, 17d and 18d, which are clever in their subtlety once you’ve worked them out. I’ll look forward to future puzzles by Logman.

  16. I found this quite a challenge and was much helped by Miffypop’s excellent blog – and as always, thank you you for the music.
    Great stuff Logman, thanks

  17. Defeated by top right corner. Had next to nothing solved last night but tried again this morning and more fell into place. Thanks to MP for the explanations. Very clever. Thanks to Logman for the brainache.

  18. Just had time to finish this excellent puzzle by a setter who’s new to me. Thanks Logman. As I’ve been involved in the timber business most of my life, I’m very pleased to have got to the end unaided. I had a good laugh at my first unscrambling of 11d having decided up was on horseback. An interesting Spoonerism of the correct answer, which was obviously inappropriate for this newspaper!
    Thanks to MP as well

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