Toughie 2682 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2682

Toughie No 2682 by Logman

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

Logman’s Toughie uses that really annoying grid where you are solving four separate crosswords – in my case solving the SE, NE, SW and then NW. I was further irritated by the number of clues in a row using similar devices, not to mention the lesson in abbreviations using the letter S. I did, however, smile at the definition ‘baby birds’ in 10a

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Leather seat wrecked by sweet little child? (8)
LAMBASTE Here leather is a verb – an anagram (wrecked) of SEAT goes by (after) a sweet little child (possibly one of Kath’s lovely daughters)

5a    Assumed authority of crew left in case of trouble (6)
MANTLE A verb meaning to supply with a crew followed bby the abbreviation for Left inserted into the outside (case) letters of TroublE

9a    Draw analogies with accepting daughter as friend (8)
COMPADRE To ‘draw analogies’ accepting the abbreviation for Daughter

10a    Lectures broadcast on southern baby birds (6)
STORKS A homophone (broadcast) of some lectures goes on or after the abbreviation for Southern

12a    Getting on track after view across north (9)
SENESCENT Characteristic of old age – a track goes after a verb meaning to view into which is inserted (across) the abbreviation for North

13a    Bit of a hand needed to cover singular song (5)
PSALM A bit of a hand to cover the abbreviation for Singular

14a    There’s no end of comfort in amphibian’s intelligence (4)
NEWS Remove the T (the end of comforT) from a type of amphibian but remember to keep the S!

16a    Vote against bolshie tweeter (7)
REDPOLL A vote goes against or after the colour associated with a person holding left-wing views (bolshie)

19a    Offered to host wildly excessive dance (7)
GAVOTTE A verb meaning offered to ‘host’ the three-letters used to mean wildly excessive

21a    Essentially animal sounds in addition (4)
ALSO Hidden in the middle (essentially) of animAL SOunds

24a    Millions put on bear image (5)
TOTEM The abbreviation for Millions put on a verb meaning to bear

25a    Challenges of Haggard confronting obstacles (9)
GAUNTLETS The capital H in haggard is misleading as we need an adjective meaning haggard followed by (confronting) some archaic obstacles

27a    Challenged, became greatly upset (4,2)
TOOK ON A double definition, the second one being an informal phrase meaning became distraught

28a    Leader of sheep taught under pressure (8)
STRAINED The ‘leader’ of Sheep and part of a verb meaning taught

29a    Company girl’s long back? (6)
DISNEY It is not often a clue makes me channel my inner Rabbit Dave but here we are supposed to find a random company by taking a nebulous girl, adding an S (girl’s) and then reversing (back) a verb meaning to desire (long) – the checking letters and a trawl through the alphabet really help with this one!

30a    Such a bottle best given to person employed in prison (8)
SCREWTOP Follow a slang term for a prison officer with a synonym for best


1d    Voracious type from place east of Somerset (6)
LOCUST A place followed by the letter at the east end of SomerseT

2d    Importance of people to have time under doctor (6)
MOMENT Some people and the abbreviation for Time go under an abbreviated doctor

3d    Drinks cupboards used to store acid, originally (5)
ARAKS Some items which are more chests than cupboards store the original letter of Acid

4d    Unsuccessful ventures of nameless gaolers of the past (7)
TURKEYS Remove the abbreviation for Name from some historical gaolers

6d    Opposites may be pointed out in a second (9)
ANTIPODES An anagram (out) of POINTED inserted between A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Second

7d    Ring fighter to study enlisted men (8)
TOREADOR TO (from the clue) a verb meaning to study and the usual abbreviated enlisted men

8d    Badge mostly used by Mensa insiders and musicians (8)
ENSEMBLE Most of a badge goes after the ‘inside’ letters of mENSa

11d    Mark on head of horse for leading performer (4)
STAR Double definition

15d    Former European politician in split that’s unplanned (9)
EXTEMPORE The usual two-letter ‘former’ and a verb meaning split into which are inserted the abbreviations for European and a politician

17d    Campaigned showing signs of nervousness (8)
AGITATED Double definition, the latter being probably more well known than the former

18d    Cheers new methods, ditching bar (8)
OVATIONS Ditch or remove a public house (bar) from some new methods

20d    Something that may cut advantage? (4)
EDGE Double definition

21d    A nervous response comes after a question of water (7)
AQUATIC A (from the clue) and a nervous response come after another A from the clue and the abbreviation for question

22d    Rising price for organic agent? (6)
RENNET A reversal (rising) of an informal term for a monetary note which may or may not be the price of this organic agent

23d    Exhausted provincial party supporting employment (4,2)
USED UP A NI (provincial)political party ‘supporting’, or going after in a Down solution, some employment

26d    Feudal lord of Chinese dynasty occupying Tien, oddly (5)
THANE A Chinese dynasty ‘occupying’ the odd letters of TiEn


20 comments on “Toughie 2682

  1. All went well until 3d which stumped me. Definitely a game of four quarters today. Thanks to CS and Logman.

  2. 2 days in a row must be a record for me. I agree with CrypticSue. I don’t like the 4 in one grids. If you can’t break in then you are a bit stymied. I managed to get through most corners but needed a little electronic help to unlock the NW but then done. Thanks to the setter and CrypticSue, managed without hints but a good load of synonyms for leather were needed.

  3. Thanks to Logman for the midweek Toughie and to CS for the review.
    3d was my last answer and I couldn’t equate ark with cupboard but a little investigoogling elicited the fact that a Holy Ark is a cupboard in a synagogue where the Torah scrolls are kept.
    I did like the 10a ‘baby birds’ and that would have been my favourite but for the horrible homophone which disqualified it so that I had to promote 1a to favouritism.

  4. I enjoyed this. Wasn’t aware the grid was hampering my solving. I strive and struggle to solve every day whatever the grid and most days I am delighted if I finish. A little more testing than yesterday but I got there. I look forward to an even more testing challenge tomorrow before the impossible Elgar on Friday when whatever the grid layout the clues are mostly beyond me. Therefore rather a doable Logman with his testing grid than an impossible Elgar with his helpful grid.
    Many smiles and lightbulb moments today. Thanks to Logman and CS

  5. 12a was a new word for me as was 3d so electronic help required and then reverse engineering. Apart from those everything else was reasonably straightforward albeit tough. Favourite was 9a. Thanks to Logman and CS.

  6. I didn’t like this. Did just over 2 puzzles. I.e. the right hand side but then ran out of steam. Blame it on the weather here in Devon where it is too hot. To think only a couple of weeks ago there was a complaint that it was soggy!

    1. Same here JB. Completed the RHS other than 25a earlier then put it aside. About to have another go at the left but don’t hold out much hope.

  7. As one who has been ‘getting on’ for a while, I needed 12a to help break that logjam in the NW. I had been doing so well, except for the inconsiderate 29a clue, everywhere else thinking I had mastered another Toughie, but I just couldn’t see ‘leather’ as a verb (it isn’t in our American idiom, as far as I know). Loved those gaolers and those birds. Really a crackerjack puzzle, on the whole. I have many reasons to dislike that company, by the way (their far-rightness is just the beginning of my dismay with them, and its founder), but that clue–which I needed an electronic assist to solve–was just a bit much, and I completely agree with CS, whom I thank for the review. Thanks too to Logman for the challenge.

    1. The spelling of the answer at 1a is certainly new to me Robert as I’ve never come across it with an e – must be your side of the pond.

      1. H, we see both spellings over here (and hear both pronunciations). I grew up saying it without the ‘e’, however, and don’t know when the addition occurred.

    2. For me, 12ac was the last to go in – I have no recollection of ever having come across the word before.

  8. Didn’t find a lot to ‘write home about’ in this one although the ‘baby birds’ were definitely a redeeming feature.
    Apologies to our setter but I think your talents are far better showcased elsewhere.

    Thank you nonetheless and thanks to CS for the review.

  9. Clockwise from the NE corner went smoothly (a slight issue with 29a) but stalled at the NW. When I finally clocked 1ac I thought it was a great clue. Never heard the word in 12ac so couldn’t even complete with all the checkers in.
    Good Toughie.

    1. I’ve used the word many times over the past few years (I’m almost 83) and recently came across the verb ‘to senesce’ in a journal somewhere. The language is so wonderful, isn’t it?

  10. Well beaten with this one unfortunately. A couple of strategic letter reveals kicked started things but needed 4 hints to get me to the finish line (12,19&29a + 3d). Still didn’t break the tape as couldn’t get 3d even after reading the hint.
    Too tough for me in this heat & probably in any temperature if truth be told so my enjoyment of it was somewhat compromised but it was excellently clued other than 29a which I didn’t care for.
    Thanks Logman & CS for the much needed hints & explanations.

  11. Screwcap also fits 30a, which itself would have stymied my completion, had I already not had to use a couple of hints.

  12. Curiously, 12a jumped out at me and all I had to do was parse it. Once I realised that ‘scent’ was used as a synonym for ‘track’, I was home. I was a little dubious about the synonym, however. Also, my equine phraseology may be awry but I thought that a mark on a horse’s head was a ‘blaze’.

  13. A proper Toughie for me which has kept me from my bed for too long. Di has been around for so long that she is my go to girl for a quick fix which made 29 across a write in. The significance of the baby in the baby birds took a while to sink in but raised a laugh when it did. Too many Efts were swimming about blocking out the rather obvious news. Overall a tidy challenge I never notice much about grids and the scattergun solve meant that I would not notice clue style repetition. Thanks to Logman for the challenge and to CS for the lovely review. Time for bed said Zebedee

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