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Toughie 2661

Toughie No 2661 by Moeraki

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This is Moeraki’s third Toughie (the last one was back in March). It contains several words that may not be in the vocabulary of many solvers, but all answers were easy enough to derive.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1d    Small lock causing tension (6)
STRESS: S(mall) and a lock of hair

4d    Precipitate from a Jersey evacuation? (4,4)
ACID RAIN: the A from the clue followed by Channel Islands (Jersey) and a verb meaning to evacuate or empty

10d    Leading man — a star that’s seen on the dance floor (5,4)
BOSSA NOVA: a manager (leading man) followed by the A from the clue and a star that suddenly increases in brightness for a number of days or years

11d    Part of forge in Roman villa (5)
ANVIL: hidden (in) inside the clue

12d    Narrow-minded communist with audacity (7)
REDNECK: a communist and a colloquial word for audacity

13d    Prison warden losing head — nothing new in section of wing (7)
AILERON: a prison warder/warden without his initial letter (losing head) followed by O (nothing) and N(ew)

14d    The beliefs of company Leftist embraced (5)
CREDO: CO(mpany) around (embraced) a Leftist (12d’s communist!)

15d    Redrafted letter after party flyer (8)
DOTTEREL: an anagram (redrafted) of LETTER preceded by a two-letter party

18d    Record mostly minor changes in style of movie (4,4)
FILM NOIR: most of a record or set of records followed by an anagram (changes) of MINOR

20d    Returning, achieved very good times (5)
TEMPI: the reversal (returning) of a three-letter verb meaning achieved followed by an adjective meaning very good

23d    Cocky type rounded hill, was almost captured (4-3)
KNOW-ALL: a rounded hill around (captured) most of WA[s]

25d    Small collie that may be ordered to ‘Heel’ and ‘Sit’! (7)
SHELTIE: an anagram (ordered) of HEEL with SIT

26d    Eastern criminals — one into jazz (5)
TRIAD: I(one) inside a style of jazz

27d    Carts taking in poor view in approaches to manor-houses (9)
DRIVEWAYS: some brewers carts around an anagram (poor) of VIEW

28d    Western peak attracting almost nobody (4,4)
HIGH NOON: the Western that once was shown nearly every Christmas is derived from a peak and most of a word meaning nobody

29d    Ancient Jew from German city quarter (6)
ESSENE: a German city followed by a compass quarter


1d    Take off from PSV going over country (8)
SUBTRACT: the reversal of a PSV (Public Service Vehicle – not to be confused with a Dutch football club) followed by (going over in a down clue) some country land

2d    Negotiated rise expected remains (7)
RESIDUE: an anagram (negotiated) of RISE followed by a word meaning expected

3d    Sir Roger criticises being put up — here? (5,4)
SPARE ROOM: the surname of actor Sir Roger and a verb meaning criticises all reversed (being put up in a down clue)

5d    Daily performance controversial in nature? Typical! (14)
CHARACTERISTIC: a charade of a daily help (4), a performance (3) and rarely-used adjective meaning “of or relating to controversy or argument”

6d    Speech by Texan, say, upset minor learner (5)
DRAWL: the reversal (upset in a down clue) of a minor (who is under a guardian) and L(earner)

7d    Dire commercial jingle (7)
ADVERSE: a commercial and a jingle or rhyme

8d    Partners accepting only twisted leggings? (6)
NYLONS: a pair of bridge partners around (accepting) an anagram (twisted) of ONLY

9d    Fellow artist initially idly drew ducks and crow (4-1-6-3)
COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO: a colloquial word for a fellow followed by the initial letter of A[rtist], a verb meaning drew idly and two Os (ducks)

16d    Meet stern eccentric getting something to eat (9)
ENTREMETS: an anagram (eccentric) of MEET STERN

17d    I can’t see flicks. That’s tricky for me! (8)
CINEASTE: an anagram (flicks) of I CAN’T SEE

19d    Pressing chore (7)
IRONING: a cryptic definition of the household chore of pressing clothes

21d    Macbeth’s query about his status, it would seem, is a gas (7)
METHANE: split as (2,5) this could be (it would seem) Macbeth’s query about his status

22d    Bow of sailing boat in outline (6)
SKETCH: the initial letter (bow) of S[ailing] followed by a small boat

24d    Irish missionary — top judo expert? (5)
AIDAN: a two-letter word meaning top ranking followed by a judo expert

An excellent puzzle. The unindicated use of the American warden rather than warder in 13a could indicate that the setter is not British!


29 comments on “Toughie 2661

  1. Enjoyed this. Just testing enough to get the Toughie week off to a gentle start. Learnt a couple of new words too.
    Thanks to Moeraki and BD

  2. I know it’s only Tuesday, but a completed Toughie will always put a smile on my face. Done in *** time, I did resort to electronics for the anagrams at 15a, 16d & 17d which turned out to be words outside my vocabulary. I didn’t quite get the Macbeth relevance either. My knowledge of Eng. Lit. is limited to The Beano.

    Many thanks to Moeraki and BD.

  3. Never heard of 16d and with four consonants which could have gone anywhere I didn’t find it “easy enough to derive”. It doesn’t look too appetising in the picture above either! Maybe some indication of it’s Frenchness would have helped.
    That apart it was a Tuesday gentle introduction to the week.
    Thanks to BD for parsing of 5d and Moeraki (?derivation?).

  4. Enjoyable Toughie
    Made good progress through the puzzle but got a bit bogged down in the SE corner. Needed to resort to trial & error for 16d and 17d, both of which were obviously anagrams but new words to me.
    Loved 3d

  5. Very enjoyable apart from the words I didn’t know or have forgotten (13a, 20a , 16d and 17d.).
    I liked 3d and 9d.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  6. I’m in the “never heard of 16d or 17d or the last part of 5d” camp this afternoon, but it’s a toughie after all. Anyway I have now. Apart that pretty straightforward. Favourite was 9d. Thanks to Moeraki and BD.

  7. A very pleasant and comfortable solve for a sunny Tuesday. I agree that any difficult or new words were fairly clued so absolutely no complaints from me. 9d was my top pick of many candidates. Throughly enjoyable.

    My thanks to Moeraki the fun and to BD.

  8. 16 and 17D were my stumbling blocks. I did work them out but it was more luck than judgement. Happy to have finished in time to join in the conversation for once. Thanks to BD and Moeraki.

  9. A gentle start to the Toughie week and a satisfying and fairly swift one to solve. Too many full or partial anagrams (8 in 30 clues) in my view, but I know others differ on that subject! I think 16d has appeared in a puzzle recently (though I may confusing DT and Times puzzles), and 17d was new to me but couldn’t have been much else. Plenty to smile about and a good scattering of ticks afterwards – hon. mentions to 4a, 28a, 8d, 9d and 21d but my COTD is 25a for its clever and wonderfully smooth surface read, a lovely clue.

    Many thanks to Moeraki, and to BD for the review.

  10. Same unknowns for me as for others, it would seem – 16&16d plus the second part of 5d.
    Biggest smiles came from 10a plus 9d with a nod to 7d for the extremely apt surface read!

    Thanks to Moeraki – I do hope you’ll introduce yourself to us this time – and to BD for the review.

  11. Like others all good except had not come across either16 & 17d . As Taylor says it is a Toughie so to get within 2 leaves me content.
    Thank you Moeraki and Big Dave.

  12. As others have have said this was a very gentle Toughie even for a Tuesday.
    Thanks to Moeraki and BD.
    My favourite clue was 9d.

  13. Had to look up a few of my answers to check definitions and a couple of parses. I liked 4a and 3d.

    Thanks to Moeraki and BD.

  14. Moeraki Boulders NZ. Can our setter be another brilliant kiwi? I’ve a sneaking feeling I looked this up on his/her last outing.
    I really enjoyed this and found it more friendly than the back page.
    There weren’t any words unknown to me so. COTD is difficult. Perhaps 10a.
    Hoping to hear from our setter. Thanks to all

    1. From my introduction to the review of Moeraki’s first puzzle (Toughie 2550) – “Moeraki is a small fishing town on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, which suggests a Kiwi connection”.

  15. This was indeed gentle by Toughie standards and I enjoyed the exercise. A few to add to my vocabulary e.g. 15a, 25a and 17d. 10a clue is a bit sexist! Thank you Moeraki and BD (your across hints show d’s rather than a’s).

  16. Some unusual/unknown words in this, but otherwise an interesting puzzle.

    I liked 28a and 21d.

    Thanks to Big Dave and Moeraki.

  17. Very enjoyable even if I did had to look up the meaning of 15a, 20a and 29a none of which meant anything to me but the clueing worked well.
    Thx to all

  18. What an enjoyable and satisfying solve. Finished it last night before doing the backpager and feared that CS might deem it unworthy of being called a Toughie, but I think it belongs here with the Tuesday crowd. 9d tickled me, as did a similar bit of whimsy in the Cryptic today, with ‘tittle-tattle’. The language is so gifted! Thanks to BD and to Moeraki. Do come back soon.

  19. I sometimes have a stab at the Tuesday Toughie, more as a learning experience, than as any expectation of actually finishing it unaided. Like several others have already said, 15a, 16d and 17d were all new words. Doubt I will remember them though, but managed to solve 14 clues, with 28a falling right into my lap as we got married at that time, and joked about the film title. Thanks to Moearaki and to Big Dave. Now I have no excuse to not go and finish the housework…

  20. The SE corner was where we had to make the most use of references to check a couple of answers, but they were able to be deduced from wordplay.
    We also would love to hear whether the setter does have connections with NZ or just likes the shape of the name and how it suggests (to us anyway) a wild coastal landscape strewn with round boulders.
    An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Moeraki and BD.

  21. First Toughie I have got to nearly finish with only two answers needed. Feeling better about crosswords with the back pager done and dusted as well. 17d a terrific clue.

    Mind you it’s only Tuesday. I may be paraphrasing Schopenhauer by the end of the week.

    Thanks to Moeraki and BD.

  22. Late to this one & what a pleasure it was. Much of it was very gentle but there were a few unusual words to keep us on our toes & I’d agree with BD’s assessment that it was an excellent puzzle. I flew through it in record time for me only to come to a juddering halt with 29a & the second letter of 24d to go. I did figure out the former from the wordplay but didn’t twig my missing letter until I read the hint – doh! I didn’t parse the last bit of 9d & 15&20a plus 16d also needed confirmatory checks.
    As a confirmed 17d perhaps my favourite genre is classic black & white 18a & 28a along with 12 Angry Men is perhaps the best movie shot in real time. I’ll plump for a podium of downs at 3,9 & 21.
    Thanks Moeraki & BD.

  23. A nice Tuesday Toughie let down only by the awful cliche at 19d. Lots of anagrams but very well done, especially 25a and17d.
    Thanks to Moeraki and BD

  24. Nice to see that more people are having a go at the toughie.
    Really enjoyable solve and always a pleasure to have a few French references in 13a, 18a, 16d and 17d.
    Thanks to Moeraki and to BD.

  25. 2*/3*….
    liked 3D ” Sir Roger criticises being put up — here? (5,4)”

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