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Toughie 2686

Toughie No 2686 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

A friendly start-of-the-week Toughie from Silvanus

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


9a    Saw Bill cycle (5)
ADAGE An abbreviated advertisement (bill) and a period of time when things happen (cycle)

10a    Reveal it’s tricky adapting to different tasks (9)
VERSATILE An anagram (tricky) of REVEAL ITS

11a    Extra from EastEnders broadcast creates excitement (7)
FERVOUR A homophone (broadcast) of how someone from the East End of London might say an adjective meaning extra

12a    Papal authority in Cavan, it disintegrated (7)
VATICAN An anagram (disintegrated) of CAVAN IT

13a    Upset, unfortunately, about Strictly’s opening dance (5)
SALSA A reversal (upset) of an archaic synonym for unfortunately goes ‘about’ the opening of Strictly

14a    Forensic evidence found in lodging-house, according to criminal (9)
KIDNAPPER Some forensic evidence found in a lodging house (3) followed by a word meaning according to [edited hint, thanks Gazza]

16a    Where account may be kept of politician’s election slogan? (8,7)
BUILDING SOCIETY A politician might say that his election promises might help with this aim

19a    Sound of a French mother, advanced in years (9)
UNDAMAGED The French indefinite article, a mother and a simple way of saying advanced in years

21a    Fruit left behind is something highly prized (5)
PEARL The abbreviation for Left goes behind a type of fruit

23a    Attack in Tulsa dispersed by retired South American (7)
ASSAULT An anagram (dispersed) of TULSA goes after (by) a reversal (retired) of the abbreviation for South American

25a    Admittedly worked hard having change of heart (7)
GRANTED Change the letter at the heart of an informal way of saying worked hard

27a    On reflection, son, 24, accepting booing ref regularly is appalling (9)
EGREGIOUS A reversal (on reflection) of the abbreviation for Son and the solution to 24d, the latter ‘accepting’ the regular letters of bOoInG rEf

28a    Organ introduction dropped from musical (5)
LIVER Drop the introduction from a well-known musical


1d    Australian state initially provided for orphaned child (4)
WAIF The initials of an Australian state and a conjunction meaning provided

2d    Watch close to Inuit agitated polar bears (6)
PATROL An anagram (agitated) of POLAR ‘bears’ the letter that closes inuiT

3d    Note parent admits also supporting more cycling (10)
MEMORANDUM An informal female parent ‘admits’ a synonym for also, the latter going after (supporting in a Down solution) an anagram (cycling) of MORE

4d    Distinguished bowler briefly is worn by very old composer (6)
DVORAK The abbreviations for Very and Old are ‘worn by’ almost all (briefly) of a famous Elizabethan bowler

5d    Fashion-obsessed Ivor parading somewhat revolutionary outfits (8)
PROVIDES Hidden in reverse (somewhat revolutionary) in obsesSED IVOR Parading

6d    Point of banquet without starter? (4)
EAST A compass point is obtained by removing the starter from a banquet

7d    Religious follower elected to quit order (8)
DISCIPLE The IN (elected) to quit a synonym for order

8d    Mint coin, sovereign maybe (10)
PENNYROYAL A coin and an adjective meaning relating to a sovereign

13d    Puts down two vessels, worried over breakages ultimately (10)
SUBJUGATES Two vessels, the first abbreviated, and a synonym for worried go over the ultimate letter of breakageS

15d    Oddly cheap current furniture keeps being satisfactory (10)
ACCEPTABLE The abbreviation for alternating current and a piece of furniture ‘keeps’ the odd letters of ChEaP

17d    Business Republican will visit within Springfield, perhaps (8)
INDUSTRY The abbreviation for Republican will visit a simple way of saying within and the name by which the singer Ms Springfield was known

18d    Denial of eating nuts individual left unfinished (8)
NEGATION An anagram (nuts) of EATING followed by almost all of an individual thing or person

20d    Vacuous types, say, with papers to take up and absorb (6)
DIGEST A reversal (to take up) of the outside letters (vacuous) of TypeS, the usual abbreviation for ‘say’ and some identity papers

22d    Lively deliveries essentially following start of play (6)
ACTIVE The essential letters of deliVEries follow the first part of a play

24d    Encourage doctor to discharge child (4)
URGE Discharge or remove the male child from a doctor

26d    Textile worker said to be dreadful (4)
DIRE A homophone (said to be) of a textile worker

32 comments on “Toughie 2686

  1. Straightforward although a slight hold up in the NW when I scribbled the wrong anagram into 2d. Wasn’t so sure about 14a, is the lodging house slang or just a term I haven’t come across ?

    Thanks to Silvanus and CS.

    1. I searched high and low for the origin of this lodging house – I do know there’s a hostel with that name in Canterbury but I was unable to find anything on line no matter how I phrased the question

    2. The lodging-house is just ‘Kip’ (in the BRB) with the last 3 letters meaning ‘according to’.

        1. Thanks, Gazza. For the brothel meaning, the BRB adds “(Irish)”. Perhaps I ought to have linked the clue to 12a somehow ;-)

  2. Well, I finished this but must admit I needed CS’s hints for the parsing.
    COTD is 8d as I recognised the mint. I believe it has some rather dubious medicinal properties.
    Thanks to Sylvanus and CS
    Here’s hoping for better news from BD today

  3. Cracking Toughie from Silvanus that surely merits more than 1* for difficulty IMHO.
    Although I had the answer for 14a and can see roughly how it works I’m not sure that I understand it fully. I’d never heard of the composer at 4d or the mint but got both from the wordplay and checkers.
    Top clues for me are 11,19&25a plus 13d……Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and CS for the top notch entertainment.

    1. Stephen – I think that if you listen to his Symphony No 9 “New World”, especially the second movement, Largo (aka “The Hovis Theme”, from 14’05” in the link below) you may well find that you know his music if not his name.

  4. Very gentle by Toughie standards. I did need to rattle a few electrons around, I’d never heard of 8d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and CS.

  5. Well, that was a very enjoyable head scratcher – 3*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 16a, 13d, and 20d – and the winner is the sublime 16a.

    Thanks to Silvanus and CS.

  6. A very enjoyable puzzle – many thanks to Silvanus and CS.

    I don’t think SA (23a) means South American so it has to be two separate abbreviations for South and American.

    My medals were awarded to 4d, 8d and 17d.

  7. All done and dusted in fairly short order though I needed help to fully parse 1a and 14a, but I’ll settle for that. Favourite was 17d as I had a dog named not after Ms. Springfield but Mr. Hare, the England and Tigers fullback. Thanks to Silvanus and CS.

  8. Great fun as always from Silvanus with some lovely smooth surfaces. It wouldn’t be a Toughie without a couple of bung ins, but all well I explained by CS. 17d the pick of the bunch.

    Thanks to both.

  9. Great puzzle, and took a return visit to complete – a wavelength issue meaning this was rather more than CS’s 1* difficulty for me, more like 2.5*. But what an enjoyable solve, with such smooth surfaces. Needed the blog to parse fully 14a and 20d, and with 5d being one of my LOIs, whilst I’d settled on the answer I was kicking myself for not looking for the lurker but instead trying to parse an anagram of Ivor within pdes …

    Hon. Mentions to 11a, 19a, 25a, 4d, 7d,13d, 17d and 22d, with COTD going to the wonderful 27a.

    Many thanks to Silvanus, and to CS for the review.

  10. A fairly gentle Toughie but a real belter nonetheless. 8d was new to me but thankfully gettable from the wordplay & once again I was nearly tripped up by initially failing to swap out the central letter in 25a but reread the clue & clocked it. Agree with Senf that 16a was sublime & COTD by some margin but there are a host of big ticks for me – 11,14&19a plus 4&17d stood out.
    Thanks to Silvanus & CS.
    Ps One of my clue of the month contenders was Silvanus’ alternative clue in the Indy for 27a though it does require some GK – shocking debts faced by, say, Sir Elton once

  11. Not too tricky but very enjoyable
    Many thanks for the entertainment Silvanus

  12. Very slow to get going for some reason but most enjoyable and suddenly all fell into place.
    No new words but had to check “kip” in BRB.
    Not 1 * for me, either. More like 2-3*/****
    Thanks to Silvanus for the challenge and to CS for the blog.

  13. All the expected enjoyment from a Toughie by one of my favourite setters although I certainly wouldn’t agree with the difficulty rating of 1* accorded by our blogger as I found several of the answers took a bit of teasing out – just as it should be in a Toughie!
    Looks as though votes for favouritism are going to be very diverse – my own choices were 19&28a plus 3,4&8d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to CS for the review.

  14. Gave up with 5 left, pity. I thought 11a was an awful clue. Anyway, it was more enjoyable than typing up yesterday’s Art Society minutes. Thanks to the setter and CS for explaining the last 5.

  15. Thanks as ever to CS and to all those who have taken the trouble to comment.

    Gazza is, of course, correct in his comment above regarding the parsing of 23a.

    My best wishes to Mrs BD.

    1. Good of you to pop in, Silvanus, it’s always greatly appreciated – as are your puzzles.

  16. Terrific Toughie, as usual, by Silvanus. I particularly enjoyed 27a, 11a, and 8d. I did have to Google around here and there and thought that ‘kip’ in 14a was just a cute shorthand way of sayiing ‘sleep’! Thanks to CS and Silvanus.

  17. Top of the shop for me is 16ac. Not difficult but hilarious. I found a lot of the answers just dropped in through word recognition via checkers.
    Nice one, Silvanus. Thank you.

  18. What a day! 1¼ hours to drive to a cricket ground for an away match, a one hour wait to decide whether or not we should start the match due to the weather, half-an-hour to get everything ready to play, twelve minutes’ cricket (during which time I was out :sad: ) before the rains came again with a vengeance, half-an-hour to change, and finally 1¼ hours to drive home. Thank goodness for two absolutely excellent Telegraph puzzles today from two of my favourite setters!

    My page is littered with ticks, and I awarded double ticks to 11a, 13a, 14a, 27a (not that it mattered but the enumeration was missing from the version in the paper), 1d, 4d, 17d & 22d. It was quite a battle to pick a favourite from this list but I think I’ll settle on 4d for the “distinguished bowler”.

    My feeling when I saw “outfits” used a verb that it must be an Americanism. Collins confirms this but I was very surprised when I looked it up later in the BRB that it is not mentioned there.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for a superb puzzle and to CS for the review.

  19. Thoroughly enjoyable solving experience for us. 4d seems such an unlikely collection of letters that it took us a little while to twig who we were looking for.
    Much appreciated.
    Thanks Silvanus and CS.

Comments are closed.