Toughie 2671 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2671

Toughie No 2671 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It seems there’s been something of a boo-boo at Telegraph Towers today and this puzzle has failed to make it into the dead tree version. If you’re suffering from withdrawal symptoms and ask nicely here someone will email you a copy.

I thought that proXimal was less tricky today than he can sometimes be and the single X in the grid seemed out of character for him.

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

Across Clues

1a Changes M&S trousers for friend returning legwear (13)
METAMORPHOSES: M and S contain the reversal of ‘for friend’ (3,4) and some legwear.

9a Four-wheel drive intercepting damages police transport (5,4)
SQUAD CARS: a word for four-wheel drive vehicles goes inside a verb meaning damages or disfigures.

10a Sailing boat south with wind (5)
SLOOP: the abbreviation for south followed by a verb to wind (rhyming with bind rather than binned).

11a Spot the Queen band member, perhaps (5)
PIPER: charade of a spot (on a domino for example) and the Queen’s regnal cipher.

12a Shaded house I’d regularly overlooked (4)
HUED: remove regular letters from “house I’d”.

13a Notable person I’m irritated to back (4)
STAR: reverse a mild expression of irritation.

15a Moved to another place and read out aloud (2-5)
RE-SITED: this sounds like ‘read out’.

17a Cunning little bears close to hive (7)
SLEIGHT: an adjective meaning little contains the closing letter of hive.

18a Papers penned by father and aged female worked well (4,3)
PAID OFF: the abbreviation for identity papers is contained in an affectionate word for father, ‘aged’ (as in ‘a man ** forty years’) and the abbreviation for female.

20a Chicken soup’s prepared at home (7)
POUSSIN: an anagram (prepared) of SOUP’S and our usual adverb meaning ‘at home’.

21a Rossini composed, cutting son playing organ part (4)
IRIS: remove the unordered (playing) letters of SON from ROSSINI and make an anagram (composed) of what remains.

22a Obscure book, not complete enticement (4)
BLUR: the abbreviation for book and an enticement or bait without its last letter.

23a Help gassy pets, bringing guts out for both (5)
ASSET: select the insides of two words in the clue.

26a Later in the day not on being drunk (5)
TIGHT: remove ‘on’ from a time later in the day.

27a After moment, cry echoes: one’s involved in shooting (5,4)
FLASH BULB: after a moment or short period of time reverse a verb to weep. The BRB has the answer as a single word.

28a Supreme king in a chamber surrounded by money (3,10)
PAR EXCELLENCE: a Russian doll clue. The Latin word for king goes inside A and a chamber (in a monastery, perhaps). That is all contained in some money or small change.

Down Clues

1d Nick is apt to support Mike (14)
MISAPPROPRIATE: IS and a synonym for apt follow the letter that Mike represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

2d Part of hand cut on opening of policeman’s cuff (5)
THUMP: stick together part of the human hand without its last letter and the opening letter of policeman.

3d Dare stray, shackled by proposal for self-restraint (10)
MODERATION: an anagram (stray) of DARE is contained in a formal proposal.

4d Got to pine wine boxes (7)
REACHED: a verb to pine or long is contained in a type of wine.

5d One entertains those assembled on ship (7)
HOSTESS: an anagram (assembled) of THOSE and our usual abbreviated ship.

6d Small timber frame (4)
SASH: put together the abbreviation for the clothing size small and a type of timber.

7d Period wearing sportswear shows inadequacies (9)
SHORTAGES: a synonym for period or era is contained in what sport players may wear below the waist.

8d On time, fit hospital fixture (9,5)
OPERATING TABLE: string together an adverb meaning on or functioning, the abbreviation for time and an adjective meaning fit or competent.

14d British fellow receiving article in the new inheritance (10)
BEQUEATHAL: an abbreviation for British and a synonym for fellow or peer contain an anagram (new) of THE holding an indefinite article.

16d Becoming stuck measuring around bottom of settee (7,2)
SEIZING UP: a phrase meaning measuring or estimating contains the final letter of settee.

19d Type of pastry top for feast? Answer by organiser (7)
FILOFAX: assemble a type of thin pastry, the top letter of feast, an abbreviation for answer and the letter used in maths to mean ‘by’.

20d Lively revamped bar 1000 spread throughout (7)
PERVADE: an anagram (lively) of REVAMPED after you’ve taken out the Roman numeral for 1000.

24d Reject from London club having final change of direction (5)
SPURN: the short name of a London football club with its final letter changed to the opposite direction.

25d Bustle in which guest of Her Majesty is found (4)
STIR: double definition, the second where Her Majesty’s guest may be spending time.

I ticked 1a, 11a and 7d today. Which clue(s) made the grade for you?


85 comments on “Toughie 2671

  1. Yes please email me a copy of today’s Toughie 2671. I’m having withdrawal symptoms

      1. Saw that you sent the first one at 8.22am this morning – that’s dedication

  2. What an insult in the deadwood version to think we would prefer 6 Japanese number games to our Toughie!
    Thanks very much to CS who has emailed me 2671, I’m about to tackle it,

  3. It was definitely proXimal-lite although still perfectly pitched for a mid-week Toughie – my favourite was 1d

    Thanks to proXimal and Gazza – I keep thinking of all those people who still don’t know about BD’s blog and the ability to request a copy of this crossword, they must be very peeved indeed

        1. Thank you so much for emailing this to me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Tough enough to make me reach for some electronic help but I just about managed to parse all of it.
          Thanks Proximal for a wonderful workout and Gazza for explaining the “of” in 18a.
          Thank you all for such a friendly helpful site which means I can regularly have a go at the Toughie as well as back page.

  4. Another wonderful and immensely satisfying puzzle – what a week this is turning into. Steady throughout and a few chin-scratching moments, but several 27acrosses and the clang of pennies dropping as answers fell into place. No specialist or obscure ‘G’K required, just to read the clues a little obliquely. Ended up with 8 of the 30 clues ticked. Hon. mentions go to 17a, and 26a;1d, 8d, 19d and 24d. Can’t choose between 1a and 27a for COTD so they’ll have to share that acolade today.

    2.5* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to ProXimal, and to Gazza for the review.

  5. The Toughie appeared in its usual slot in the Telegraph Subscriber app on my iPad this morning. Happy days. A good fun solve as one expects from prolixic. Thank to him for the puzzle and to Gazza for the review

  6. Lovely proXimal Toughie, though I needed a bit of an electronic assist in two places, 7d & 17a, but I blame the wee hours of a tiring brain for that. I especially liked 1, 9, 27 and 20a, as well as 24d. Thanks to Gazza for the review and to proXimal for the pleasure.

  7. Please would you very sweetly e-mail me a copy of today’s puzzle. I am lost without it.Thank you. I found it impossible to raise a voice on the telephone at the DT until I found a nice woman, and then she said she sold plants!!

  8. Please could I have an email copy?
    Not sure I’m up to that many Japanese number puzzles!,
    Many thanks

  9. PLEASE send me a copy of today’s Toughie. I’m having withdrawal symptoms.

  10. First time I’ve done it on iPad…..seemed easier than usual.
    That’s after going through the paper several times searching for it.
    I missed being able to jot and doodle so please DT no repeat.
    Thanks to setter (paper version tells you who) and to Gazza particularly for the cartoons.

  11. Please can someone kind who understands crossword withdrawal (I expect that’s most on this site) send me today’s Toughie. I’ve been staring at that numbers puzzle in disbelief.

  12. Middling difficulty, but kept me quiet for a time. Thank you setter and Gazza.

  13. Please, please please email me the Toughie. Suffering severe withdrawal symptoms

    1. That’s brilliant – he’s up to 32 stage wins now. I’ll be watching it this evening. Thanks, Robert.

  14. A puzzle 28a, with any difficulty coming only from the clever wordplay Took me a while to get going but with the benefit of a few checkers, what was previously opaque suddenly started to become clear.
    Where does one start for podium contenders? I’ve ticked 11,22&26a plus 4d with top spot shared between 8&24d. Great stuff.
    Thanks to ProXimal and Gazza, loved the cartoon to 19d.

  15. Yes please send me a copy of Toughie 2671, don’t want to miss a Proximal crossword

  16. Yes please send me a copy of the Toughie which was missing from my hard copy of the DT. I used to post comments on this blog, but have forgotten my ID password

    1. You used to comment as “Richard the Welshman”. I hope that you’ll start commenting again.
      Toughie is on its way.

  17. Another superb and highly enjoyable Toughie from ProXimal full of fun and invention. I cannot pick a favourite as pretty much the entire grid was praise-worthy.

    My thanks to the aforementioned and Gazza.

  18. All the comments! Thanks to commenters commenting on the puzzle and I hope commenters commenting that they haven’t got the puzzle will comment on the puzzle once they have solved the puzzle. Thanks for the review, Gazza.

    1. Thanks for popping in, proXimal, and thanks for the enjoyable puzzle.
      It’s certainly been a strange day.

  19. Staggered through to the end. I did need a little help from Gazza. Well, I was late starting.
    I think the best thing to have emerged from today’s fiasco is the number of new names added to our blog. A big welcome to them and I hope they now continue to post. We are a friendly lot aren’t we?

  20. I’d very much appreciate a copy of today’s toughie, if you’d be so kind!

  21. Been out for much of the day but two good blog friends had realised that I wouldn’t have received the Toughie and had sent it across to me – many thanks to them. Many thanks also to Gazza and CS who ensured that anyone requesting a copy also received them – The DT owes you!
    Very much enjoyed this one on my return and just had a slight hiccough over parsing the ‘aged’ part of 18a.
    Couple of short ones that appealed were 13 & 26a and my favourite was either 28a or 1d.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Gazza for the review – great illustrations as always!

  22. Back from golf to find the problem on the puzzles page. I’d love an email copy please.
    Thanks in advance

      1. Thank you and thank you.

        All duly completed in about *******. 20D was the one that held me up. Very enjoyable puzzle.

        [The convention here is that we don’t quote solving times. Gazza]

  23. Like Jules I’m just in from golf (probably a bad idea with a knackered back but sod it) & noticed 50+ comments for The Toughie. Automatically assumed it must be RD & Jose have a lengthy ding dong about the merits of some clue but see why now. No issues with the iPad as MP smugly pointed out so will tackle it later after a soak & glass of something strong for medicinal purposes.
    Well done Gazza & CS for assisting – trust CL will reward you accordingly.

      1. Thank you very much, Gazza. Husband, Son and myself have now done it, as we do every evening.

  24. Quite early in the solve we had an ‘interesting’ experience with 1d. We had the initial M, saw Nick in the clue and thought, “That must be Mephistopheles”. Sadly, not a helpful thought. Thoroughly enjoyable solve once again from this setter.
    Thanks Proximal and Gazza.

  25. Well, we’ve certainly seen how helpful and all-embracing the toughie family can be. You can all be proud of yourselves.
    Re the puzzle – I solved it after supper and half a bottle of dolcetto so maybe that’s why I found it a bit of a slog. There’s some very clever clueing [eg 18a -of = aged] some rather iffy surfaces [23a, 27a, 2d, 4d, etc] and some real crackers [20a, 19d, 20d].
    Thanks to proXimal and to Gazza for the blog and for the copy of the puzzle.

  26. A most enjoyable mid-week solve. I particularly liked 20d for the way the wordplay was disguised, as well as 1a, 28a, 1d and 5d.
    Many thanks proXimal and Gazza.

  27. I headed off to The Oval this morning with the intention of solving this on the journey. Alas when I opened up the paper the puzzle was nowhere to be seen. Fortunately my friend that I met up with at the match had anticipated my problem and kindly brought along a printed copy which I solved on the journey home.

    What a delightful Toughie, well worth waiting for.

    Many thanks to Proximal and to Gazza whose review I needed to explain where the “of” came from in 18a.

  28. A puzzle in two halves but managed to get there in the end.
    Didn’t know the weep in 27a and 20d was a new word for me.
    19a was such a success at the time.
    Thanks to Proximal and to Gazza.
    Great to see all these newcomers requesting a copy.

  29. Very late start to this & very enjoyable it was too. Thankfully easier than Django yesterday for me at least. The 4 long peripheral clues were great & were a nice entry into the grid. All pretty much parsed ok other than the aged bit in 18a.
    Thanks all.

      1. Thank you for sending copy of puzzle, thoroughly enjoyed solving with a bit of help from your excellent blog

    1. Welcome to the blog, Pat.

      I’m sending it to you but you shouldn’t really need it as it’s printed in today’s (Friday’s) paper.

  30. Quite a fun one. The long, easy 1d was a great help. Hyphen in 15a surprised me; seems a rather dated way to spell it. Got stuck with 17a (the “bears” part went over my head) but it is perfectly fair in hindsight.

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