Toughie 2635 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2635

Toughie No 2635 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Kcit has given us an enjoyable puzzle – thanks to him.

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

Across Clues

1a Possibly quick source of discomfort (3,2,5)
BED OF NAILS: for a cryptic reading of the answer think of ‘quick’ as a noun.

6a Live recording disheartened composer (4)
BERG: a charade of a verb to live and the outer letters of recording produces an Austrian composer.

10a Second place, not first, to find ruminant (5)
MOOSE: glue together a short word for a second or short time and a verb to place without its first letter.

11a Quiet geese disturbed with interruption by family dog (9)
PEKINGESE: the musical abbreviation for quiet is followed by an anagram (disturbed) of GEESE containing a synonym of family.

12a Start to rant, for one drink’s overturned, making derisive noise (7)
SNIGGER: assemble the starting letter of rant, an abbreviation meaning ‘for one’, an alcoholic drink and the ‘S. Now reverse it all.

13a Reputation not good? Substitute required (5-2)
STAND-IN: a word meaning reputation without the abbreviation for good.

14a One oversees the correct placing of landings between flights (7,5)
CONTROL TOWER: whether you think this is a cryptic definition or just a plain definition probably depends on whether your first thought was of staircases or not.

18a A line and leads found tangled, delivering shock? (3,2,1,6)
ALL OF A SUDDEN: A and the abbreviation for line followed by an anagram (tangled) of LEADS FOUND produce a phrase meaning ‘with no warning’. I wasn’t sure whether to underline the last two words or just the last.

21a Funny black stuff coating item used by stand-up? (7)
COMICAL: black stuff from below ground contains an abbreviated item used by a stand-up performer.

23a Put on the radio, say, man on the radio offers news from overseas (7)
AIRMAIL: join together a verb to put on the radio and a homophone (on the radio) of a word meaning man.

24a Staff outside welcoming lad in navy (9)
PERSONNEL: a Russian doll clue – the outside (of an apple, say) contains the abbreviation for our navy which in turn contains a synonym of lad.

25a Proposing to offer no sign of gratitude for jewellery (5)
BLING: start with another word for proposing (a parliamentary question, for example) and remove a short word of thanks.

26a Poverty line finally pinned down in revolutionary study (4)
NEED: the last letter of line goes inside the reversal of a study.

27a Solid sound of parrot and wading bird clashing around back of shed (10)
POLYHEDRON: bang together (clashing) a homophone of an informal word for a parrot and a long-legged wading bird containing the last letter of shed.

Down Clues

1d Puzzle? Happen to get inspiration (6)
BEMUSE: charade of a verb to happen and a source of artistic inspiration.

2d Suppose cut will undermine doctor making visit (4,2)
DROP IN: a verb to suppose or declare without its final E follows an abbreviation for doctor.

3d Recompense performer about large mistake about director’s initial positive content? (4-4,6)
FEEL-GOOD FACTOR: a word for recompense or payment and a role-player contain the abbreviation for large and a blunder or foolish mistake. We’re not finished yet because we now have to insert the initial letter of director.

4d Airborne soldier invested in suitable American kit (9)
APPARATUS: an airborne soldier goes inside a synonym of suitable. Finish with an abbreviation for American.

5d Fake news securing 1000 responses on website? (5)
LIKES: a blunter word for ‘fake news’ contains one of the abbreviations for 1000.

7d Looks at feathers in preparation for game? (4,4)
EYES DOWN: a verb meaning ‘looks at’ and a synonym for feathers.

8d British writer with lines depicting forests etc (8)
GREENERY: I can never think of this British writer without remembering Kingsley Amis’s name for him of ‘Grim Grin’. Add the abbreviation for railway lines.

9d Unruly infernal teen brat yielding a name — this? (6,8)
ENFANT TERRIBLE: an anagram (unruly) of INFERN[a]L TEE[n] BRAT without A and the abbreviation for name.

15d Historic release during proceedings upset the ancient court (3,6)
OLD BAILEY: string together a synonym of historic, the temporary release of an accused person and the reversal of an ancient form of ‘the’.

16d Kitchen implement in brass, with a lot of glass (8)
SAUCEPAN: weld together a synonym for brass or cheek and a sheet of glass without its last letter.

17d Exclusive location on course invaded by river plant (4,4)
PLUM TREE: an adjective meaning exclusive or highly desirable and a location on a golf course containing the abbreviation for river.

19d Charge that is running into furthest tip of silver sword (6)
RAPIER: assemble an informal word for a criminal charge, the abbreviation for ‘that is’ and the last letter of silver.

20d Stick with using semaphore to get quantity of drink (6)
FLAGON: if you split the answer 4,2 it could mean to continue using semaphore.

22d Language making you gloomy? Not half (5)
LINGO: split the answer 1,2,2 to get what’s needed to make one half of the word gloomy.

The clues on my podium are 13a, 9d and 22d. Which one(s) did the business for you?


34 comments on “Toughie 2635

  1. Great puzzle. Took me way too long to parse 22d but when the penny dropped I immediately promoted it to the top of my podium.

    Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  2. Most enjoyable thanks Kcit.
    Some surfaces seemed clunky (eg 3d 23ac) but all accessible and no need for BRB.
    Help needed in parsing 25ac and 22d, thanks Gazza.

  3. I have to agree with Jonners, 22d is COTD.

    I will admit that I had to use electrons to get me 1a, but when that penny dropped, it was the leader of the pack.

    Completed in about *** time, lunch and a trip to the butchers in the middle, I’m always a happy man when I complete a Toughie. Well, that, and Mr Fox paid a visit to the garden last night, first time for a couple of weeks.

    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  4. Great fun, a lovely puzzle full of smiles and chuckles. A most enjoyable lunchbreak solve. The Toughies this week have provided a lot of satisfaction, but the Friday nemesis is just round the corner to jolt me out of my complacency …

    Much pleasure to be had in most of the clues today, but especially liked 11a, 18a, 3d, 8d & 9d, with 27a taking pride of place on the podium for its laugh-out-loud ingenuity. ** / ****

    Many thanks to Kcit, and to Gazza for the review.


  5. All perfectly straightforward, unlike the NE corner of yesterday’s cryptic, although I needed the hint to parse 22d. Good fun though. Favourite was 27a. Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  6. I must be thick but I do not see how quick refers to 1a. I know some bright spark will enlighten me!
    For the rest a reasonable solve. I must say I smiled at Grim Grin. He really was the most depressing of writers….all that negative religion.
    I know it’s hackneyed but I like 27a with 22d being my COTD.

    1. Quick is the name of the sensitive flesh under your nails. It’s used in the expression ‘to cut someone to the quick’.

      1. Oh, thanks. That makes a lot of sense. It is also another name for couch grass so I wondered if it was a play on “couch” as in settee and so to bed.

  7. I was very gloomy when I couldn’t parse 22d … but then Gazza came to the rescue.

    Gazza, thanks for the explanation.

  8. This is so brilliant, beginning with 1a and ending with 22d, both of which I did answer correctly but neither of which could I parse, so thanks to Gazza for those hints (and others), and to Kcit for a thoroughly enjoyable and incredibly bright puzzle. (I did finish it without any outside aid but my mind blocked on parsing ‘fake news’ until Gazza came to the rescue there too.) 22d is my COTD as well.

  9. I’ll own up, Gazza, I spent quite a while part way up a flight of stairs! I also failed to parse 22d without your help.
    First prize awarded to 1a with 13a a commendable second.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review – I’m still trying to work out why Llanelli had 16ds on top of their rugby posts!

    1. It’s a tribute to LLanelli’s tin plating history. The song ‘Sosban fach’ is a favourite of the Scarlets’ supporters. Living as you do in Wales, Jane, I’m surprised you didn’t know that. :D

      1. Ah – but I have no interest in rugby! Which does mean that I often have to tune into Irish or Scottish TV channels to avoid same……….

  10. My parsing of 10 ac has ‘place’ as in come second or third in a horse race and so not having won you must have lost. This seems very tortuous and if it is correct then I am surprised others have not commented. Am I missing something?

      1. I know the answer. I was just trying to not use the word ‘lose’ for ‘place’ in my question. I ran through the alphabet in front of ‘ose’ and lose was the best I could come up with.

          1. Thanks Gazza, that works much better. I did consider pose, as in ‘pose a question’, which could be ‘set a question’ and ‘set’ could also mean ‘place’ (as in set down), but that required a change in the middle of a chain of synonyms which seemed even more stretched than my contrived solution. Why I couldn’t see the much more obvious artistic usage I don’t know.

        1. I’m really bad at these clues when you have to remove the first letter of a synonym … I suppose it’s “pose”?

          But, I may be wrong!

          Oops! Too late. Gazza wins again!

      2. I understand the second being Mo but which of these is a verb meaning place? Aose Bose Cose Dose Eose Fose Gose Hose Iose Jose Kose Lose Mose Nose Oose Pose Rose Sose Tose Uose Vose Wose Xose Yose Zose. Or am I being a bit dim here?

  11. This very friendly grid meant that after the first lot of answers were in then a lot of answers could be worked out from what fit in the checking letters. Altogether a good fun puzzle. Flights and landings always makes me think of a spiral staircase which was no use to me today until I visited the bell tower at my new local church. Health and Safety obviously doesn’t exist in Barrel. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  12. Best crossword of the week so far as far as I am concerned.
    Enjoyed every minute of it.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

  13. A real cracker. This week’s Toughies are shaping up to be a match for the superb quartet the week before last. Am inclined to agree with Jean-Luc that this is the best so far (tight photo finish with Silvanus). A little disappointed I failed to parse 1a but could have been here until Christmas & wouldn’t have bet good money on correctly deciphering 22d. Fortunately the answers were obvious. An otherwise problem free & brisk solve with the remainder parsed ok. Couldn’t begin to pick a favourite from so many excellent clues but I’m ruling out one of Gazza’s selections – 23d.
    Thanks Kcit & Gazza.

    1. Thanks, Huntsman. Not for the first time I’ve nominated a nonexistent clue – now corrected.

  14. Like MP, most of my answers came from fitting words between what few checkers I had and then reverse parsing. Although completed, I’m not yet at the stage of enjoying this kind of solving, but prior to lockdown I’d have not even started this puzzle, so progress is being made. ****/*** Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  15. Our usual starting place of the NW was slow to yield so we moved on and eventually came back to it. A real penny-drop moment when we eventually twigged the wordplay for 1a.
    A most enjoyable solve and really appreciated.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  16. Two superb back pagers and Toughies on the bounce, we have truly been spoilt this week.
    Couldn’t for the life of me parse 22d and 16d took some time to see but other than that I solved it relatively problem free. Favourite could have been 1a or 22d with a plethora of candidates in between. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to Kcit and the font of all knowledge, Gazza.

  17. Hello
    I regularly use your site for assistance with the Telegraph cryptic crossword.
    I know this is an old puzzle but having read the posts I still don’t understand the solution for 22d on the 2635 toughie.
    Can someone please help

      1. Thank you but that’s not 22 down clue for toughie. It’s ” Language making you gloomy? Not half”

        1. I realised that, I was orginally looking at two different open web pages and got in a muddle

          The first half of the word gloomy has an L in GO which combines to give you LINGO

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