Toughie 2672 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2672

Toughie No 2672 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Even with a bit of Latin I was unfamiliar with (clearly clued), this Elgar was fun and reasonably doable, although it still took me 5* time. Enjoy.

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Some 22, and all other footwear (6)

SANDAL: Hidden (some … ), substituting the answer for 22d into ’22’

5a     Heralds of Cockney birth? Changing first note, do these sound lower? (8)

COWBELLS: ‘Heralds of Cockney birth?’ is a reference to a definition of a Cockney as someone being born within the sound of the ringing of these (3,5). Change the first letter to a different note. A lower of course is an animal that lows

9a     ‘Tired and emotional’ oenophile given a little grape to classify (10)

PIGEONHOLE: An anagram (tired and emotional, i.e., drunk) of OENOPHILE + (a little) G(rape)

10a     Spot what’s not worn by B-team from the East? (4)

TIKA: A reversal (from the East) of a (1-3) phrase that refers to the strip worn by the side above the B-team

11a     Indicate the last job typist wants boss to do today? (8)

SIGNPOST: Split (4,4), the answer could be the last job a typist might want the boss to do.

12a     Poor inamoratas denied special sari, without exception (2,1,3)

TO A MAN: An anagram (poor) of INAMORATAS from which is subtracted (denied) an anagram (special) of SARI

13a     Suffering something picked up from boulangerie? (4)

PAIN: A French word for an item of bakery

15a     Explicitly reviewed when I’m on OED shows (2,6)

EO NOMINE: Reverse hidden (reviewed … shows)

18a     Film director who explored how autocues might be redeployed (8)

COUSTEAU: An anagram (how … might be redeployed) of AUTOCUES

19a     Posh hotel documents delivered? (4)

RITZ: A homophone (delivered) of some documents

21a     Could this render one, in full cry, out of bounds? (3,3)

ROO BAR: The whole clue is a definition of a car attachment that offers protection against bounding animals – would suffice as a cryptic definition, I thought, yet there is also wordplay: a 4-letter ‘full cry’ contains the abbreviation for ‘out of bounds’

23a     Spotted US President now doing U-turn? Not fully (5-3)

POLKA-DOT: The 11th president of the United States plus a reversal (doing U-turn) of a 5-letter word meaning now, without the last letter (not fully)

25a     Oil all but outer area of 17 (4)

OTTO: Remove the outer letters from a 6-letter word meaning 17d

26a     Knockout food shop threatening to break free of shackles (10)

ELIMINATOR: A 4-letter word for a food shop joins an 8-letter word meaning threatening, then losing the outer letters (to break free of shackles)

27a     Nothing the matter? Look at horse! (5-3)

GOOSE-EGG: Some sticky matter, a word meaning look at, and a childish way to say horse

28a     See bolts levered out from vandalised letterboxes (6)

EXETER: Remove (out from) an anagram (levered) of BOLTS from an anagram (vandalised) of LETTERBOXES


Defence attorney likes it better if leads not followed? (5)

ALIBI: First letters, without the rest of the words ( … leads not followed?)

3d/22d     Go working at the local pharmacy? (3,2,4,5)

DIE IN ONE’S BOOTS: A play on the name of a popular pharmacy / healthcare /cosmetics store

4d     Working party in Lisbon evacuated capital (6)

LONDON: A short word for working and a 2-letter party go inside the outer letters (evacuated) of L(isbo)N


5d     Sweet logic on diet – plum duff! (7,8)


6d     Misinterpretation, with and without a part (8)

WRESTING: The abbreviation for with, and what actors say they are doing when they are “between” parts or currently unemployed

7d/16d Odd pieces from Mad Max era later the preserve of the EU? (5,9)

EXTRA MARMALADE: An anagram of (odd pieces from) MAD MAX ERA LATER


8d     Probably parrot will shear mass of tissue up (4,2,3)

LIKE AS NOT: A cheeky New Zealand parrot goes inside (will shear) a reversal (up) of a tissue mass at the back of the throat

14d     Hope to double up this tidy sum? (1,3,2,3):

A BOB OR TWO: The comedian Hope appears to be doubled up

16d See 7d

17d     Bum tune broadcast after 4? (8)

DERRIERE: Read after 4d, we have a homophone (broadcast) of a tune

20d     Catching this fish after 6 could be grave? (6)

PLAICE: Read after 6d, we have a homophone (catching) of a grave

22d See 3d

24d     What braces a person supporting the Socceroos? (5)

OZONE: The socceroos (from soccer and kangeroos) is team Australia, represented by a 2-letter word, and supported (in a down clue) by another word for ‘a person’



My favourites today have to be the entertaining homophones (17d & 20d) extending over two down clues. Which clues did you like?



23 comments on “Toughie 2672

  1. I enjoyed solving this Elgar Toughie – a Friday Toughie time to be sure, but relatively speaking, friendlier than many an Elgar has been. My particular favourites were 5a, 13a and 14d, although I will agree with Dutch about the entertaining homophones in the Down clues. As someone who did German rather than Latin, I’m grateful that the hidden reversed Latin expression in 15d was clear to see once I’d got the checking letters

    Thanks to Elgar for another great crossword and to Dutch for the blog

  2. I thought that Elgar gave us a few more gimmes to start than usual but this still required a fair amount of head-scratching to get to the finish line. Very enjoyable.

    I’d not heard of 27a or 7/16d but both were gettable from the wordplay and checkers prior to verifying (I suppose that 27a is the US equivalent of a duck at cricket).

    I ticked 5a, 3d, 14d and 20d but my runaway favourite was the brilliant pun at 4/17d.

    Many thanks to Elgar and to Dutch.

  3. I can rarely finish Elgar’s puzzles, and this was no exception. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it. Favourite 17d. Reminder please to send me blank Thursday’s Toughie – printing problems with the DT. I requested it yesterday, and was advised it would be sent, but didn’t arrive. Thanks for the explanations today

    1. Yesterday’s Toughie is in today’s paper … together with an apology from DT Towers.

  4. Way above my pay grade – the first time I can remember giving up on a crossword when 75% through. I suppose I enjoyed some of it, but was denied the delayed gratification of finishing.
    Still, I tried!

  5. Most enjoyable and with usual electronic assistance doable.
    I had tow bar for 21ac (but no idea why) and also needed help parsing several, but as Gazza says there were enough gimmes to get a hold on the many obscurities.
    Thanks to Dutch.

  6. Many thanks to Dutch for finishing my Elgar for me; I was quite happy to get as far as I did–delighted to have solved 5a and 9a early on, which got me going a bit, until I hit that brick wall. I think that the combined 4d / 7d has to be my COTD, but I solved only the first half of it. Shucks. What a corker this one is, eh? Thanks to Elgar for the workout. Maybe one day I’ll finish one of his. Hope springs eternal.

  7. I will join others in making the 4/17 combo my top clues of the day. Overall I thought this was Elgar at his friendliest, very solvable as long as one used lots of application and perseverance. A proper workout.

    My thanks to Elgar and Dutch.

  8. He’s definitely getting less complex, though I groaned on first sight of 1a referring to 22d referring to 3d. But got there in the end and no complaints except perhaps the cumbersome ends deletion indicator in 26a [but it fits the surface so…]. And I’ll forgive anything for the brilliant 4/17d. I laughed at 5a as well.
    Thanks to Elgar and to Dutch for the blog.

  9. Not being very good with idioms, I thought 3/22d was tie up ones boots at first so bunged in pinpoint in 11a while I was at it.
    Everything was sorted soon enough but struggled with 5d, 16a and 23a.
    Thanks to Elgar for the workout and to Dutch for explaining my other couple of bung ins.

  10. For the second time running, I completed Elgar and parsed everything before lunchtime. Either I’m getting better, or JH is easing up. I had an unparsed ATAR in 25a for a while (while 17d was still blank).
    I had the LHS complete before anything on the right, then 5d ( a very straightforward anagram for me) helped me make inroads on the RHS.
    I thought 4d, 17d and 6d, 20d were brilliant.

  11. Done because it was there to be done, and doing so was satisfying, but I derived strangely little enjoyment from the completion. As ever this setter’s puzzles feel rather dated (a singer/comedian who would have been nearly 120 years old had he not died 20 years ago, the obscure Latin in 15a, a song/tune written over a hundred years ago), and I admit to being irritated by the lack of indication to consider non-English usage, or even another language (15a, 27a, 17d, 10a) when a similar lack of indication on a backpager leaves me unphased. I always feel testy when a number of clues are each dependent on another (1a,3d/22d; 4d,17d,25a; 6d/20d), which certainly left me grumbling here, and to realise that two of these were to enable the inclusion of puns you’d usually see confined to the Quick Crossword didn’t improve my humour.

    5*/1* (I really was in “bah humbug mode” when I finished!)

    Thanks to Dutch for explaining some of my answers, and to Elgar for the challenge.

  12. Can someone explain 7d/16d for me? It’s an anagram, of course, and I did work it out but I still don’t understand it. Why ‘extra’?

    1. The EU has regulations to do with jam, marmalade and other conserves. 7/16 is just one of the specific definitions of one of these products

        1. What happened to my request to delete this comment on the grounds that it did not use my preferred user name which, incidentally, I now seem to have got back.

          1. Thank you. Unfortunately, my Chambers pre-dates our entry into the Common Market (remember that?). How does the current edition explain it?

            1. OK, are you ready for this, from Chambers Revised 13th Edition:

              Extra Jam or Marmalade – under EU regulations, jam or marmalade containing a considerably higher percentage (by weight) of fruit than that in ordinary jam or marmalade.

              I wonder how many Euro Civil Servants it takes to administer that regulation.

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