Toughie 2698 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2698

Toughie No 2698 by Logman

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

A typical Logman Toughie which, once I’d got on his wavelength, was solved in a ‘start of the week’ time. Thinking it might be a pangram (it wasn’t) did help towards the end of the solve

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Formal document incorporating a copyright stamp (9)
CHARACTER A formal document incorporating A (from the clue) and the letter which if you put a ring round it would mean copyright

6a    Reminding both sides to drop out of sport in winter (5)
CUING Remove the letters indicating both sides from a winter sport

9a    Tree surgeon’s first answer after rejecting party (5)
BALSA The first letter of surgeon and the abbreviation for answer go after a reversal (rejecting) of an abbreviated political party

10a    Simple couple coming across very sad (9)
PLAINTIVE A synonym for simple and a verb meaning to couple, the latter coming across the abbreviation for very

11a    Naval unit die in action, being so old (12)
ANTEDILUVIAN An anagram (in action) of NAVAL UNIT DIE

14a    Charges with gas main from the east must incorporate value (7)
AERATES A reversal (from the east in an Across solution) of the body of water also known as the main must incorporate a verb meaning to value

16a    Unable to decide, laid low, regularly getting wind (7)
TORNADO A verb meaning unable to decide and the regular letters of lAiD lOw

17a    Question commonly asked about unfamiliar shooter’s weapon? (3)
UZI The name of this submachine gun (weapon) sounds like a question asked about an unfamiliar person

18a    Maybe queen should have expensive French slip? (7)
CATCHER Not Her Majesty, this queen is a female feline who should be followed by the French word for expensive

20a    Better line developed for fish (7)
CAPELIN To do better than followed by an anagram (developed) of LINE

22d    It’s not cricket trousers worn here (5,3,4)
BELOW THE BELT To do something unfairly (the original expression coming from boxing) describes where trousers are worn

26a    Was mummy missing papa after uncommunicative type made a lot of noise? (9)
CLAMOURED What you’d have done if you’d asked ‘shall I be mother?’ without the letter represented by Papa in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, goes after an uncommunicative type

27a    Nothing may be seen in nasty thin material (5)
VOILE The letter representing nothing seen in a synonym for nasty

28d    Call island hosting head of production (5)
SKYPE A Scottish island hosting the ‘head’ of Production

29a    Receive interest (9)
ENTERTAIN Double definition


1d    Transport offered by people not on strike heading off? (4)
CABS Remove the heading from some people not on strike

2d    What might be left when the wheels come off? (4)
AXLE The part of a car that remains once you’ve taken the wheels off

3d    Pick up in a way that’s touching (7)
AGAINST A way of saying pick up inserted between A (from the clue) and an abbreviated way

4d    Reservation often securing such accommodation (5)
TEPEE A cryptic definition of the type of accommodation you might find on a Native American reservation

5d    Top stars in Nazi state mostly true to life (9)
REALISTIC The way we refer to top stars inserted into most of the German (Nazi) state

6d    Best do what in Spain and run? (7)
CONQUER A verb meaning to deceive (do), the Spanish word for what and the cricket abbreviation for run

7d    Unique car turned up on one list (10)
INIMITABLE A reversal (turned up) of a small car goes on the letter representing one and a table

8d    Recruits may see drinking vessel perhaps employed by eco-politicians (10)
GREENHORNS A type of drinking vessel employed by the informal way we refer to eco-politicians

12d    Cars obtained from group journalists, according to Spooner (10)
HATCHBACKS How the dreaded Reverend might refer to a group of journalists

13d    Perennial work in field accepted by group of brothers (10)
FRITILLARY A verb meaning to work the land accepted by a group of monks (brothers)

15d    Increase needed to cover fish supplement (9)
SURCHARGE An increase to cover a type of fish

19d    Poorly cow in house for what reason? (3,4)
HOW COME An anagram (poorly) of COW inserted into a house

21d    Song and dance from China, say (7)
PALAVER An informal friend (China) and a verb meaning to declare positively (say)

23d    Feature of bathroom offering tarry bottom of seat? (5)
BIDET A verb meaning to linger (tarry) and the ‘bottom’ of seaT

24d    City giving initially profitable savings scheme (4)
PISA The initial letter of Profitable and an abbreviated savings scheme

25d    Intended to finish early, being tight (4)
MEAN Truncate (finish early) part of a verb meaning intended to


16 comments on “Toughie 2698

  1. Enjoyable puzzle but not too taxing – thanks to Logman and CS.

    I thought 2d was rather weak.

    An ‘almost-pangram’ seems to be popular these days – I wonder why, especially since this one could be converted to the full deal by a simple change to 25d.

    I ticked 18a, 26a and 21d but top honours go to the LOL 23d.

    1. Probably to con idiots like me into assuming the J must be contained in last few head scratchers…

      1. If this was a back page crossword I’d rate it 3* . I don’t always attempt the toughie but finished today’s so it must have been mild . Very enjoyable.

  2. I agree with Gazza about the possible change to 25d to complete a pangram. I will also go for 23d as my top clue. This was another not too tough Toughie, but still very enjoyable and great fun to solve.

    Thanks to Logan and CS.

  3. I loved this Toughie. I managed 99% on my own but needed one letter, the initial one for that perennial, to finish and then kicked myself for having to yield to the online crutch. 21, 23, and 13d win the medals for me, but it was a crapshoot (so many good ones to choose from). Thanks to CS, whose hints I didn’t need for a change, and to Logman for the delight.

  4. I enjoyed this which was about the right level for a Toughie for me.

    I didn’t finish as the middle letter of 17a eluded me.

    6a is an American spelling in my book and 8d is am American word. I’ve never heard of 20a but it was easy enough to guess.

    My top three were 22a, 4d & 23d.

    Many thanks to Logman and to CS, particularly for the Z!

    1. Neither the BRB or Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable mention American in connection with 8d – the BRB also offers the alternative spelling of 6a without any mention of America either.

      1. …and as an American, my first thought was that 8d was British and so was the spelling of 6a! Thanks for double-checking, CS.

  5. Got caught out by the ‘naval unit’ which caused some head-scratching – silly girl – but fairly plain sailing elsewhere. Still find it hard to accept this setter’s style but that’s doubtless my problem rather than his! Top two for me were 29a & 21d.

    Thanks to Logman and to CS for the review.

  6. Mercifully easier than Donny yesterday but needless to say for me a good deal more tricky than a * star difficulty rating & certainly more enjoyable than ** stars. Completed unaided but annoyingly the parsing of 26a eluded me & didn’t twig the right context of couple at 10a so the last bit was a mystery. The perennial, the fish & the material also all needed Mr G’s confirmation but the wordplay was clear. 17a was my clear favourite with ticks aplenty elsewhere – 6,18&26a plus 12,13,19&23d.
    Thanks to Logman & to CS.

  7. A touch tricky for me today and certainly not a * as per Huntsman.
    Gradually worked clockwise from the NW and came to a halt in the SW quadrant, did not help when I initially put under for below in 22a, never mind got there in the end with last in 28a, liked the12d Spoonerism.
    Going for a pint.

  8. We also pondered why the J was missing.
    An enjoyable solve for us with 23d our favourite.
    Thanks Logman and CS.

  9. I feel into the pangram trap too. Good fun though. Favourite was 22a. Thanks to Logman and CS.

  10. Made a good start, then made a rare visit to the pub. The lubrication helped the solution of the remaining clues, without recourse to the hints. I thought it harder than the 1* rating though. I’d say **/***. I liked 11a, but 12d gets top marks for me. Thanks CS and Logman.

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