Toughie 2662 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2662

Toughie No 2662 by Hudson

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

A perfectly pitched start-of-the-week Toughie (falling exactly on the border between a difficult backpager and a friendly Toughie).

Thanks to Hudson for another splendid crossword – I’m sure I’m not the only solver to have a smile on their face once they’d completed the grid – my particular favourites (from quite a long list) were 11a and 18a.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Where some Italian bankers deposit, AAA credit is reviewed (8,3)
ADRIATIC SEA An anagram (reviewed) of AAA CREDIT IS produces somewhere some Italian ‘bankers’ end

10a    Spice Girl associated with K. Cobain? (5)
CLOVE The name of Kurt Cobain’s wife written in the same way as the clue shows his name

11a    Did his band hope to have a hit with ‘I Shot The Sheriff’? (5,4)
ROBIN HOOD A great cryptic definition

12a    Find undressed squaddie behind closed doors (2,7)
IN PRIVATE The inside (undressed) letters of fINd and the more formal term for a squaddie

13a    Tree loggers discontented, wearing sheepish expression (5)
BALSA The outside (discontented) letters of LoggerS ‘wearing’ or going inside the expression made by a sheep

14a    Baby bird beginning to eat tip of shoelace (6)
EAGLET If like me you like unusual words, you’ll know the word for the plastic or metal tag at the ends of a shoelace. This goes after the ‘beginning’ to Eat

16a    Microphone capturing a gag — absolutely magnificent! (8)
MAJESTIC An abbreviated microphone ‘capturing’ A (from the clue) and something spoken in fun (gag)

18a    Audition for dangerous part in B movie? (3,5)
THE STING The homophone (audition) relates to the B – the solution is both its dangerous part and the name of a movie

20a    After changing diapers, I will be off food (6)
SPREAD An anagram (after changing) of DiAPERS without the I (I will be off)

23a    Animal consumed food held in both paws (5)
RATEL A simple way of saying ‘consumed food’ held in the abbreviations for each of your ‘paws’

24a    Shamelessness of older lady dressed with fine, delicate material (9)
FLAGRANCE An abbreviated older lady ‘dressed’ in the abbreviation for Fine and some delicate material

26a    NHS Apr pay reviews — a pain in the backside (5,4)
NAPPY RASH An anagram (reviews) of NHS APR PAY

27a    With regard to tackling United, become hardened! (5)
INURE A Latin expression meaning with regard to ‘tackling’ the abbreviation for United

28a    Pantomime dame’s finale chasing the groom — so funny! (6,5)
MOTHER GOOSE The ‘finale’ of damE going after (chasing) an anagram (funny) of THE GROOM SO


2d    Fall over; fall over inside (5)
DROOP The cricket abbreviation for Over goes inside a verb meaning to fall

3d    Record part of hit EMI series (7)
ITEMISE Found in part of hIT EMI SEries

4d    Possible punishment for a cycling cheat over missing headgear (6)
TURBAN Remove the cricket abbreviation for Over from a possible punishment for a cycling cheat

5d    Gondola caught sailor on lake, upsetting competition (5-3)
CABLE CAR The cricket abbreviation for Caught, an abbreviated sailor, the abbreviation for Lake and a reversal (upsetting) of a competition

6d    Put in ermine Jenny, Toby and Alex all skinned (7)
ENNOBLE To raise to the ranks of the nobility (who wear ermine as part of their ceremonial robes) – the inside (all skinned) letters of jENNy rOBy aLEx

7d    A hag downing pint Dec ordered is likely to crash the broomstick! (8-5)
ACCIDENT-PRONE A (from the clue), another word for a witch (hag) into which is inserted (downing) an anagram (ordered) of PINT DEC

8d    Obstruction blocking road, could be a wheel (8)
ROULETTE An obstruction ‘blocking’ a road produces a wheel from which a gambling game gets its name

9d    Poor Dave cleaned lav lacking a qualification (8,5)
ADVANCED LEVEL An anagram (poor)of DAVE CLEANED LV (lacking a telling you to omit the A from LAV)

15d    Neutral tone sound recording, possibly a gorilla (5,3)
GREAT APE A homophone (sound) of a neutral tone followed by a recording

17d    Last foxtrot delayed as hot very suddenly (2,1,5)
IN A FLASH The letter represented by Foxtrot in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet is ‘delayed’ or goes further down a word meaning last, the result followed by AS (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Hot

19d    Hard to believe … Hoy broadcast call when riding (5-2)
TALLY-HO A word used with tale to mean hard to believe and an anagram (broadcast) of HOY

21d    Covered entrance, current century, standing in Iberian city (7)
PORTICO The abbreviations for electrical current and century inserted into (standing in) the second largest city in Portugal (Iberian city)

22d    Present day worker smiled as he received parcels (6)
DASHER Parcelled in smileD AS HE Received

25d    Common sense to embrace new words for things (5)
NOUNS Some common sense to ’embrace’ the abbreviation for New

32 comments on “Toughie 2662

  1. Beaten by 4d as I went for punishment not headgear and I’d never heard of 22d except as a pal of Rudolf’s.
    For the rest a pleasant puzzle with no annoying homophones. COTD has to be 26a

    1. As a pal of Rudolph’s, doesn’t that make him a ‘present day worker’ too??

  2. Enjoyed this. Not too tricky but I did learn a bit more about shoelaces. 10a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Hudson & CS.

  3. I thought this a terrific puzzle, full of inventiveness and wit.
    18a was a bung in (how clever when explained) and had never heard of the animal at 23a but sympathetically clued.
    I’ve ticked 10,11,26&27a plus 4&7d but could have mentioned several more.
    Many thanks to Hudson and CS, whose knowledge of the grunge scene is most impressive!

  4. A glorious, hugely enjoyable puzzle, for which my grateful thanks to Hudson. So many chuckles and laughs, such smooth surface reads and witty constructions, I’ve seldom had so much fun completing a grid. No more than a 1* on the Toughie Toughness Scale, and I just wish this had been a backpager so more people would have been tempted to try it!

    It seems almost unfair to single out any clues for hon. mentions, let alone for COTD, but here goes: for the former, 10a (brilliant), 13a, 24a, 6d, 7d, 8d, 19d and 25d; for the latter, by a damp nose, 22d – a real laugh out loud moment and a lurker of absolute genius.


    Thanks again to Hudson, and to CS for her review.

  5. A very enjoyable beginning to the puzzling day. A satisfying smile as I used my knowledge of shoelace nomenclature and vintage rock bands from 1987. Thanks to Hudson, I do like your puzzles, and thanks to CrypticSue who I am picturing dancing around to Smells Like Teen Spirit

  6. A top drawer puzzle full of clever and witty clues – thanks to Hudson and CS.
    It was difficult to select a podium from such a good selection – I went for 18a, 4d and 17d.

  7. Completed this far quicker than Jay’s back pager & might have been in with a shout at my fastest Toughie solve had it not been for the two that caused JB problems. I was slow to twig Santa’s helper which then left 4d & bunged in threat which I knew would be wrong & the iPad confirmed incorrect completion. Only then did I see the hat synonym & clocked the wordplay. All parsed ok which is always a plus though I did have to remind myself what sort of a critter 23a was & confirm the shoelace thingy.
    Fully agree that this was a super puzzle & a real pleasure to work through. CS’s picks were mine too along with Kurt’s missus though there were any number of cracking clues.
    Thanks to Hudson & to CS.

  8. Great puzzle, and very enjoyable. I did get 4d, but only on the basis of the checkers and definition – but the wordplay (thank you crypticsue) was very clever. I loved picture in the hint for 7d! Many thanks to all.

  9. Absolutely brilliant, from first to last. Hudson in his glory. So much to like, especially 4d, my LOI and COTD, if not COTW. 10a and 18a round out my podium choice, with many honourable mentions vying for pride of place. I loved this puzzle, a most memorable endeavour. Thanks to CS and Hudson.

  10. I think this was one of the most enjoyable puzzles we’ve seen from this setter – truly a laugh-a-minute compilation.
    Had to remind myself of the 23a animal and the shoelace thingy but no other problems to report.
    So many podium places awarded but I’ll just mention 11,18&28a plus 7&22d.

    Many thanks to Hudson and to CS for the review.

  11. Needed the hint to parse 18a and to solve 4d, I’ll settle for that. I knew the shoelace end. Favourite was 15d. Thanks to Hudson and CS.

  12. Yipee, finished unaided – a really enjoyable puzzle, much nicer than the back pager today. Thanks to Hudson and CS.

  13. Excellent fun, beautifully clued. A perfect example of how relatively straightforward can also be hugely enjoyable.

    My grateful thanks to Hudson and CS.

  14. What great fun.
    It had us chuckling all the way through.
    If there were a way of measuring how long people have been solving crosswords it would probably be based on whether or not they knew the shoelace bit in 14a. We’ve been around long enough that we wrote it straight in.
    Many thanks Hudson and CS.

    1. Coincidentally I came across the following comment moaning about how video assistant refereeing was ruining the European football championship – “is anyone else utterly dispirited by the Euro VAR aglet cops? How many more games will they fillet?”

      1. Frankly don’t give a jot. The sooner England are out the better, a load of overpaid yobs IMHO! sorry, well slightly sorry. Why is a yobbish footballer paid per week what our PM is paid for a year? Disgusting

        1. Frankly, I like football. So I hope England stay in. Why not just comment on the crossword?

            1. Many years ago now, we had a commenter who got very cross when Mary and I used to discuss the difference between the weather here in Kent and where she was in Wales, as this is a crossword blog where only the crossword should be discussed. How times have changed!

  15. Thanks to Hudson and to Cryptic Sue for the review and hints. I needed the hints to parse, 2d, still don’t understand why fall is in the clue twice. 18a, I had “The Stand”. 4d, I had “threat”. 17d understood. 22d, what kind of worker is a dasher? Very nice puzzle, not too tricky. Favourite was 11a. Was 2*/4* for me.

    1. Dasher is one of Santa’s reindeer!
      If you don’t understand the parsing for 2d [Offensive comment redacted – this is a yellow card, next time it will be red. BD].Drop=1/droop=2.

  16. Came home very tired having played cricket in hot and humid conditions until early evening, and mentally tossed a coin to decide whether or not to bother to tackle this. Well, I did, and I am very glad I did. It was absolutely excellent from start to finish.

    My top two from a brilliant selection were 11a & 18a.

    Many thanks to Hudson and also to CS.

  17. Always enjoy compilations from this setter.
    Took a while to understand 18a. Great pdm when I twigged.
    Learned a new word with the shoelace.
    Lance Armstrong came to mind in 4d.
    Thanks to the bear for the great fun and to CS for the review.

    1. Hi Jean-Luc, I hope you’re well – long time no see unfortunately…re your comment: my original clue read “Punishment meted out to Lance Armstrong over missing headgear? (6)” but Samuel – on whom there are very few flies – pointed out that this was technically incorrect since Armstrong’s purge from The Tour occurred after he had retired. Thanks to CS and everyone who commented and best wishes to all. Rob/Hudson

  18. All been said. Favourite 10a, though had to google who K. Cobain’s girl was. Turned out he had a few… but only one fitted the grid. Thanks to all

  19. I was out to lunch all day yesterday then had to watch gli Azzurri deal with Switzerland so saved this for today and glad I did. Hudson puzzles are always great fun – clues crafted with real wit as well as skill. Faves were the sheepish expression at 13a, the B movie at 18a, the neat anagram and def at 26a and Santa’s worker!
    Many thanks Hudson and CS for the review.

  20. Not too tough it seems. My second “Toughie” I have tackled.
    Needed a few hints, but not bad. Liked 11a, 26a, 28a & 22d with winner 26a
    Also knew the word in 14a too

    Thanks to setter and CS

  21. 2*/5*…
    liked 7D “A hag downing pint Dec ordered is likely to crash the broomstick! (8-5)”

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