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Toughie 2641

Toughie No 2641 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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

Welcome to Toughie Pleasureland. This puzzle from Donnybrook does exactly as asked of it. A good fun solve and a joy to blog. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. 


1a        Copperfield rewritten retains area as special location (5,2,5)
PRIDE OF PLACE:  An easy anagram starts proceedings today. The indicator is rewritten and the fodder is COPPERFIELD together with the abbreviation for area A

8a        A fine paper under consideration (2,5)
AT ISSUE: Split 1,6 Begin with the letter A from the clue and add a disposable piece of absorbent paper

9a        Pawn that queen needs to move? (4-3)
CATS PAW: This pawn is a person who is used by another to carry out an unpleasant or dangerous task.

11a      Solution adjacent to page? Time for second port (7)
ANTWERP: Begin with what you are seeking from the clue here plus the abbreviation for page. Change the abbreviation for second to the abbreviation for time to find a European seaport

12a      Guest at last ordered ravioli, having no love of trifle (7)
TRIVIAL: The last letter of the word guest is followed by an anagram (ordered) of RAVIOLI without the letter that represents the zero score in tennis 

13a      Gold, Sarkozy’s said, seen in financial check (5)
AUDIT: The chemical symbol for gold is followed by a French word meaning said as indicated by the name Sarkozy. Possibly Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa who is half Hungarian, quarter Greek and a bit French. Ooh La La!

14a      Vice and brace put on freezer? (6,3)
NUMBER TWO: This second in command or deputy is found by placing the number in a brace upon an anaesthetic used to ease or deaden pain

16a      Light colour is masking Greek element in perfume (9)
AMBERGRIS: A three part charade. 1 One of the colours of a traffic light 2 The word is from the clue 3 The abbreviation for Greek. Arrange as instructed by the clue

19a      French cheese following — not lasting long (5)
BRIEF: Pick the obvious one of over a thousand French cheeses and add the abbreviation for following 

21a. Certain Country backed deporting international journalist (7)
ASSURED: The reverse of a very large country minus the abbreviation for international is followed by the usual term for a journalist

23a      African giant contrived to annex northern city (7)
MANDELA: This African giant was a Statesman and President of South Africa. The abbreviation for northern is surrounded by (annexed by) a word meaning contrived or created deliberately. An American city often known only by its initials follows

24a      Pleasant month in excellent Tuscan island to the west (7)
AMIABLE: Two letters which denote excellence surround the abbreviation for month. This is followed by the reverse of an island once landed on by Jason and his Argonauts

25a      Small scene where satellite appears in tense situation (7)
DIORAMA: The most volcanic of Jupiter’s moons sits inside a play for theatre, radio or television 

26a      At an early stage continent’s bananas went by rail (5-7)
POTTY TRAINED: A synonym of the word bananas, daft, or barmy is followed by a word describing how one may have travelled by rail


1d        Rook, leaving Bury, coming into Hull? It’s telling (7)
POINTED: The chess notation for a castle or rook is removed from a word meaning to bury. This is then surrounded by a word meaning to hull as one might when shelling peas or instance

2d        Look closely at Portugal — fly round? (7)
INSPECT: A fly or any other six legged creature surrounds the abbreviation for Portugal or possibly the IVA code

3d        Observe bat in wonder? (3-6)
EYE OPENER: A three-letter verb meaning to see is followed by a cricketing term for the first batsman of an innings 

4d        Small plane ultimately inadequate, in truth (5)
FACET: The final letter of the word inadequate sits inside a thing known to be true

5d        Slow to arrest Resistance in place soldiers go? (7)
LATRINE: A word which can be an adjective or adverb meaning to be behind in time sits around an abbreviation for resistance and the word in from the clue

6d        Islander in disturbance after drink reportedly (7)
CYPRIOT: Begin with a homophone of a verb meaning to drink by taking small mouthfuls. Add a civil disturbance seldom seen in England but usually quite necessary when they occur and dare I say it, great fun

7d        I’m going to entertain artist with Indian spices for dip (12)
TARAMASALATA: There are three parts to this charade. 1 A short phrase used by some when saying goodbye. 2 The abbreviation for an artist who is a member of the Royal Academy. 3 A spice used extensively in Indian cooking. Arrange as instructed by the clue

10d      Dad was all for getting reinvented culinary classic (7,5)
WALDORF SALAD: An anagram (getting reinvented) of DAD WAS ALL FOR. A dish few of us had ever heard of (and few of us have ever tried) until it featured in an episode of an obscure comedy show written by John Cleese and Connie Booth in the last century

15d      American ship on sea in sight capsized in channels?(4,5)
MASS MEDIA: Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin. Listen carefully, I will say this only once. Begin with the abbreviation for American. Add the Abbreviation for a steamship. Add the abbreviation for a large sea that lies between Europe and Africa. Put what you now have inside the reverse (capsized) of what you do when looking at a target along the barrel of a gun

17d      I must enter wild region and produce chivalric code (7)
BUSHIDO: Forget the letter I mixing with an anagram (wild) of REGION. That clever misdirection won’t work with this bad boy clue. However a trip to Japan should lead you to an answer. The letter I sits between a wild region of the Australian outback and a verb meaning to produce or to perform an action

18d      Savoury dish lightly cooked, needs while (7)
 RAREBIT: A word used in cookery to mean very lightly cooked (of a steak perhaps) is followed by a short period of time to find this culinary delight that has its own International Centre situated in The Old School, High Street, Defynnog, Brecon Beacons National Park. Five star reviews all round and well worth a visit

19d      Cattle brought into West African republic for compound (7)
BENZOIN: The West African republic has been in the news recently as museums such as The Horniman decide wether or not to return looted treasures. A type of cattle (a cross between a yak and a cow) needs inserting into this republic

20d      One spring flower missing in eastern nation (7)
ICELAND: Begin with the letter that looks like the number one. Add a spring flower minus its last three letters which are the word IN from the clue and the abbreviation for eastern. The spring flower is a bit of a thug but was the subject of three overlong poems by William (the wuss) Wordsworth

22d      That is taken from German newspaper, it’s often thought (5)
DWELT: The Latin abbreviation for that is needs to be removed from the name of a prominent German Newspaper 

32 comments on “Toughie 2641

  1. Another splendid crossword from Donnybrook and an actual Toughie on a Tuesday to boot

    Thanks very much to him and MP

  2. Decent toughie. I needed a bit of electonic help with a couple of downs in the bottom half.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and MP.

  3. Just right for Tuesday. Laughed out loud at 26a and admired 1d.
    Thanks to DB and MP

  4. Top half seemed straightforward but the lower was halted by intersection of two new words at 16ac and 17d. Must try and retain new stuff!
    I also hadn’t heard of the cattle and got no help from the thesaurus.
    However, it all came together eventually and was an enjoyable toughie.
    I particularly liked 14ac.
    Thanks to DB and MP.

  5. A cracking Toughie from one of my favourite setters. My COTD was the laugh-out-loud 26a, which perhaps should go hand-in-hand, as it were, with 5d. Overall a memorable and rewarding puzzle.

    My thanks to Donnybrook and MP.

  6. Waited to have a few more checkers in 1a as I never know which word to put first.
    Quite a bit of geography needed for today and was trying very hard to put Ox in 19d.
    I like a nice 10d but only in the autumn.
    Thanks to Donnybrook for the fun and to MP for the review and the explanations of 9a which I got from the missing wordplay.

  7. Great fun. Completed in xxxxxxxxxx Would have been less if (for reasons that I am unable to fathom) I hadn’t initially inserted ‘place of pride’ as the answer to 1ac!!

    1. We don’t mention solving times as many people may take longer than others.

      Pride of place describes somewhere you’d put something you are very proud of

  8. I gave up trying to solve this unaided with just under two thirds completed and I’m glad I did. Way beyond me. Hey ho. Favourite was 26a even though I needed the hint. Thanks to Donneybrook and MP for the assistance.

  9. A Donnybrook Toughie always lives up to the epithet so I needed some electronic help and a fair bit of perseverance to get over the line.
    The only slight criticism is that there seemed to be a lot of clues that relied on abbreviations
    I got three of the four perimeter clues quite quickly, which gave lots of much needed checkers. I particularly liked 13,14&26a (very smart) plus 3&18d.
    Funny how differently 1d was clued in this and the back pager, by the way.
    Many thanks to Donnybrook and MP for the fun and enlightenment.

  10. Completed in ***** time for me. Four clues really held out – 17, 19 and 20d and 26a, the latter registering a Lol moment, so probably favourite, though had previously ticked 23a. Thanks to DonnyBrook for the brain exercise and MP for the well-written hints.

    1. That’s how I saw it and sent a little pique to our absent blogger.
      I suspect 24h licensing is back in the UK. Our turn in a week. Can’t wait.

  11. A late posting after a busy day.
    I was amused to find that, with only an “a” in place, I immediately thought of an answer to 7d and I was right.
    Was surprised at 5d thinking it a little coarse and, being of a certain age, feel 26a really should be started at much earlier stage than it is today!
    For the rest, an enjoyable puzzle with 9a (see comment 11) being my COTD

    1. For the wordplay a female cat is a queen and the answer is the appendage that she needs to be able to move.

  12. Some head-scratching required in a few places but it all came together with lots of smiles along the way.
    26a our favourite for the penny-drop moment.
    Thanks Donnybrook and MP.

  13. I love Donnybrook’s puzzles even though I didn’t quite finish this one on my own devices. Failed to work out the charade for the dip (because I never heard of the dip, for one thing); missed the best of the clues altogether by being completely blitzed by 26a; and (shamefully) kept looking for a city instead of finding my man Mandela. Still, this was a source of great enjoyment for me, and I am grateful to MP for his enlightening review and much beholden to Donnybrook for the pleasure he always gives me.

    1. I wonder if my favourite brasserie in Paris still serves the best rarebit I’ve ever eaten? Just after you cross the little bridge onto the Ile Saint-Louis, across the plaza there is a brasserie (where I’ve dined on three separate trips, the last one in 2008) that serves the most delicious rarebit (friends of mine agree!). Our lunches there have been Hall of Fame moments.

  14. Sorry Miffypops but in relation to 10d I object most strongly to your reference to Fawlty Towers as being “an obscure comedy show”. It stands at the very pinnacle of British comedy and is still widely-known and indeed venerated within the UK.

  15. Let me give a shout out to Waldorf salad, which I made on Saturday (with chicken). Very good if I do say so.
    This Donnybrook puzzle was very good too…all done except for 19 down.
    Thanks! 😊

  16. Thanks to Donnybrook and to Miffypops for the review and hints. What a super puzzle. I managed about three quarters of it, but completely ran out of steam in the SE corner. Needed the hints for 17,19,20,22d and 16a. Still don’t understand the hint for 20d. I thought of Benin for 19d, but hadn’t heard of a Zo. Thought 20d was Ireland, but couldn’t parse it. Didn’t know the German newspaper in 22d. Fell for the I & region anagram misdirection in 17d, and had never heard of 16a. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. Favourites were 14 & 26a, couldn’t split them. Looking at the answer for 9a, I wondered if Donnybrook might be a Trekkie? Great puzzle. Was 4* / 5* for me.

  17. German newspaper was 22d, and the Heraldic code was 17d. Comment editor frozen on Save…..

  18. Many thanks to Donnybrook for the entertainment in yet another sleepless night! Paired with a cup of hot chocolate and a digestive biscuit this was great fun if slightly lavatorial! I got completely stumped by the compound and needed your help MP for that corner. Incidentally my camomile seedlings are still absolutely minute in the propagator, how are yours doing in the open soil?

  19. Thanks all, esp Miffs.

    I’m not a Trekkie, as it’s all about horrid colonialism, and … (cont. p.94)

  20. I always enjoy a Donnybrook toughie and can usually manage to finish. This was no exception but I was completely stuck on 23a! Spent hours looking for names of cities and giants. Seems I wasn’t alone in this which is some comfort. Looking forward to the next one!

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