Toughie 2689 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2689

Toughie No 2689 by Dada

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Dada has presented a grid of only twenty-eight solutions today. 16 of those have unchecked first letters which always increases the difficulty level of a puzzle. However, as usual steadily working through the clues will give more answers and therefore more checking letters. The five letter answers to the left and the right of the grid might prove to be a bit trickier so good luck with those

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6a        In a basin, hole fixed by fingers, initially (11)
FASHIONABLE:  An anagram (fixed) of A BASIN HOLE sits next to the initial letter of the word fingers

9a        Workshop: small one in house reduced (6)
STUDIO:  The abbreviation for small is followed by a royal household minus its last letter into which the letter that looks like the number one has been inserted

10a      Nonconformist spirit laid back, unconventional I mean (8)
BOHEMIAN: An archaic sprite or hobgoblin (hob)goblin is reversed and followed by an anagram (unconventional) of I MEAN

11a      Book, as the case may be, fine (6,4)
VANITY FAIR: A book by a geezer with an unusual middle name can be found by placing a type of case containing a mirror and make up before an informal adjective meaning in a satisfactory or pleasing manner

14a      Cooler  chip (4)
NICK: A double definition. The first being a place of incarceration

15a      Shape I choose, and about right — twenty-sided figure (11)
ICOSAHEDRON: An anagram (shape) of I CHOOSE AND which also includes the abbreviation for right

21a      Partially seen from behind, sculptor I mistook for painter (4)
MIRO:  The answer lies hidden and reversed within the words of the clue as indicated by the words partially seen from behind

22a      Open: Lord’s venue for playing (10)
UNRESOLVED: Anagram (for playing) of LORDS VENUE

25a      Flannel cook squeezes well! (8)
FLUMMERY: A dated informal exclamation of surprise sits inside a method of cooking in hot oil

27a      Coloured   house (6)
ORANGE: This house or dynasty is also a colour. Nothing to do with the clue but it is also a fruit

28a      Diary emptied to accommodate private sector function (6,5)
DINNER PARTY: The outer letters of the word Diary surround a word meaning (of thoughts) private or secret and a synonym of the word section


1d        Two consecutive characters, one resisting leader (6)
GANDHI: Two consecutive letters of the alphabet are separated by the word and. This is followed by the letter that looks like the number one 

2d        Parking nonsense bringing exclamation of disgust (6)
PHOOEY: The abbreviation for parking is followed by an informal North American term for nonsense

3d        Lot of money,   mine (4)
BOMB: A double definition. The amount of money supposedly made by any publican in his little gold mine or an explosive device

4d        Smoother ruby flogged (8)
LATHERED: This smoother is a machine used for turning metal or wood. It is followed by the colour of a ruby

5d        On fire, love bird (8)
FLAMINGO:  When ablaze something might be said to be thus. Add the letter that looks like the love score in tennis

7d        Meat supporter heard (5)
STEAK:  A tasteles chewy stringy overpriced cut of meat sounds like (heard) what the marketing men who have decided that such rubbish is what the public wants should be tied to. I remember the tasty cuts of my childhood that would ooze sumptuous fat that we would fight over for the chance to dip our bread into

8d        Striker  fit (5)
MATCH: A double definition. The first being what might be used to light a fire

12d      Figure anything can come up (3)
TWO: This word which, when reversed tells what nowt will not get you is a number

13d      Despise offence initially, then again (5)
ABHOR: The three-letter abbreviation for a serious offence of violent assault (not grievous, the other one) is followed by a two-letter word meaning then again

16d      Setter at home after dog food from Chinese restaurant (4,4)
CHOW MEIN: A breed of dog originally from northern China is followed by a personal pronoun that our setter might use to refer to himself and word meaning at home

17d      Cook last bits of butter in fine wine (8)
SAUTERNE: Begin with a word meaning to fry quickly in a little hot fat. Add the last letters of the three words suggested by the clue

18d      Bounder cross when bottom kicked (3)
ROO:  This name for a jumping animal can be found by removing the last letter from a crucifix

19d      Weapon    search (5)
RIFLE:  A double definition one to search hurriedly in pursuit of theft. The other being a long barrelled gun

20d      See fit European mentioned (5)
DEIGN:  A verb meaning to see fit to do something is also a homophone of a European national from the country where Tollund Man was found

23d      Slowly and deliberately work on an advertising phrase (6)
SLOGAN: A word meaning hard laborious work is followed by the word an which is a gift from our setter today

24d      Building worker dividing house (4-2)
LEAN TO:  A social insect worker sits inside a house of the zodiac

26d      Short distance carrier pushed uphill (4)
YARD:  The vehicle which delivers beers to pubs can be reversed to give a distance of three feet



24 comments on “Toughie 2689

  1. Another very enjoyable offering from Dada. After a slow start, the pace picked up considerably although I did need to check the painter in 21a. My favourites included 9a,1d and 17d.

    Thanks to Dada and MP.

  2. A benign offering from Dada, to start the Toughie week. I’m not sure that the device used in 4d is a ‘smoother’, I don’t know the painter in 21a and I couldn’t really parse 11a.

    But, I had the grid filled in ** time, to the accompaniment of loud banging and “Answer this door or I’ll flipping kiss you!” (I think). It ended with wailing sirens, and the satisfying thump of a transit’s rear doors being slammed shut. That sort of entertainment is usually reserved for the hours of darkness in these parts. Someone was heading for the 14a.

    Thanks to Dada and MP.

        1. TikTok scores over YouTube because TikTok clips are only up to one minute in length. If you have some prior knowledge of a subject you don’t need all of the waffling that comes with YouTube.

  3. Another nice puzzle
    First time that I can remember completing both back pager and Toughie before their respective hints appeared.
    Encouraging start to the week

  4. Maybe with regular Sunday offerings I’m getting onto his wavelength, but this seemed more straightforward than usual.
    All accessible (even the painter, though I had to check).
    Thanks to Dada and MP.

  5. Well I’d never have guessed it was Dada. I found it nowhere near as benign as Malcolm did. I initially had bags in for 3d which halted progress up north until I twigged 6a & I had my O & A the wrong way round at 15a until 11a then 12d dawned on me. Had to check on the Spanish brushman & the five letter expression of surprise in 25a, neither of which I knew. Last 2 in were 18d&22a where it took an embarrassingly long time to realised the latter was an anagram. Still an unaided finish & all parsed ok unless Miffs tell me otherwise so a nice start to the Toughie week. Picks for me were 9&10a plus 1,2,&17d with the geezer in the dhoti taking top spot for the crafty wordplay.
    Thanks to Dada & MP – will save your review for later.

  6. I looked up the twenty sided figure on Google, realised the answer fitted the bill and I was away. There were several that I couldn’t parse but the answer had to be what it was. 13d was a case in point. I was beaten by 1d despite having all the crossing letters. My COTD? Has to be 2d, a marvellous evocative word with 25a a close second.

  7. A comfortable and very accessible Toughie that was good fun to solve and well clued throughout. 16d made me laugh and proved to be my favourite ahead of the reverse lurker.

    My thanks to Dada for the enjoyable challenge and to MP.

  8. This took longer than I would have expected for a Tuesday and a Dada even allowing for a conversation about the possible origins of 25a

    Thanks to Dada and MP

  9. A slow start but once underway a strait forward but enjoyable solve.
    Last in was 25a,failed to parse it, thanks MP-remember the ‘well’ bit from my granny but have never seen it in print.
    Like most going for a **/****. good job 15a was an anagram! Favourite was 11a.
    Thanks MP for the 21a painting, liked the one with a the man wearing a bowler hat with an apple on his face! think I saw it in the national many years ago,

  10. Really enjoyed this challenge from Dada, although I did find it harder than a typical Tuesday Toughie. 15a and the S fell quicky, but for no good reason almost each clue in the N was something of a struggle, with 13d my LOI. I lost Dada’s wavelength and could not retune! Very fair and rewarding cluing, deceptive phrasing, good red herrings, and some admirable (and for me perplexing) brevity.

    2d and 25a my favourites in this grid.

    Many thanks to Dada and to MP.

  11. I enjoyed this Toughie very much, although I didn’t know the expression for ‘Well!’ in 25a. Worked it out nonetheless. Finished without any assistance–hurray! Favourite is 1d because I liked the clue and the man in the dhoti is a hero of mine, but I also liked 11a by that Makepeace man. Thanks to Dada for the fun and to MP for the review.

  12. Several head-scratchers for us with 13d the one that caused the biggest delay. Lots of fun as usual from this setter.
    Thanks Dada and MP.

  13. Just completed this with one hint only. 2.5*/**** for me. Enjoyed immensely sitting in the afternoon sun on the garden, with new puppy sleeping in the shade!
    Favourites include 11a, 14a, 28a & 1d

    Thanks to Dada and mp

    1. Somehow the posting missed the favourite of all …. this was 16d … made me laugh

  14. Like JB getting help early to solve the strategically positioned 15a got me off to a good start. Throughout there were several d’oh moments when pennies eventually dropped however Dada’s cryptic style is always fun to work on. Thank you Dada and MP (have just noticed the addition of an extra letter in concealed solution for 1d hint).

    1. Thank you Angellov. I’ve already altered an incorrect answer for 1 down to another incorrect answer for 1 down. Third time lucky I hope.

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