Toughie 2710 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2710

Toughie No 2710 by Django

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Another enjoyable Toughie from Django, the SW corner holding out for the longest.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a    Champion left after drink (7)
SUPPORT The left side of a ship goes after a verb meaning to drink

5a    Coach penning collection of books, wanting iodine for blisters (7)
BUBBLES A type of coach ‘penning’ a collection of books without (wanting) the chemical symbol for iodine

9a    Mature women to leave party (5)
GROUP The abbreviation for Women ‘leaves’ a two-word expression meaning to mature

10a    Monorail late as everyone’s hiding on edge (3,2,4)
ILL AT EASE Hiding in monoraIL LATE AS Everyone’s

11a    Baghdad’s initial caliphate developed a sort of order (10)
ALPHABETIC An anagram (developed) of the initial letter of Baghdad and CALIPHATE

12a    Long-distance motorists meeting resistance touring France (4)
AFAR A motoring organisation ‘meeting’ the abbreviation for Resistance, the result ‘touring’ the IVR Code for France

14a    Playboy model — not a woman but … (3-5-4)
MAN-ABOUT-TOWN An anagram (model) of NOT A WOMAN BUT

18d    … fine provided, that is, old man gives notice (10,2)
CLASSIFIED AD A slang adjective meaning first-class, fine), a conjunction meaning provided, the abbreviation for that is, and an informal way of referring to your father (old man)

21a    Naked 2 frolic (4)
ROMP Naked indicates the need to undress or remove the outside letters from your solution to 2d

22a    Ostentatious property where violence may break out (10)
FLASHPOINT Another word for ostentatious and a property

25a    Perhaps German 14 in Kent transfers (9)
HANDOVERS Do exactly what the solution to 14a says and put a German male Christian name round a place in Kent

26a    Planet spun quickly by the sound of it (5)
WORLD A homophone (by the sound of it) of spun quickly

27a    Insects scratching head, leading to disease (7)
RICKETS Scratch or remove the ‘head’ from some insects

28a    Cathedral on return of holy relic I exported especially (7)
LARGELY The Cathedral in the See most loved by crossword setters follows a reversal (return) of a holy relic without the I (I exported)

Down

1d    Occasionally swing on ball is remarkable (6)
SIGNAL The occasional letters of SwInG oN bAlL

2d    Incite riot ultimately — hype old politician first (6)
PROMPT The ultimate letter of rioT goes after some abbreviations, firstly of publicity (hype), then old, then a politician

3d    In retirement some days I ‘ad a spoonful — it’s said to help after a fall (4-1-5)
OOPS-A-DAISY Hidden in reverse (in retirement) in daYS I AD A SPOOnful

4d    Second double whiskey replaced by rum with no hesitation (5)
TRICE Replace the W (Whiskey in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet) in an adverb meaning double with an R (Rum without the hesitation)

5d    Contentious corporations virtually acquiring companies (9)
BELLICOSE Virtually all of some stomachs (corporations) ‘acquiring’ some abbreviated companies

6d    To take effect, archbishop’s focus must be on essence of volunteering (4)
BITE The focus or centre of archBIshop goes on the ‘essence’ of volunTEering

7d    Suspect golfer’s taking in a quiet game (8)
LEAPFROG An anagram (suspect) of GOLFER ‘taking in’ A (from the clue) and the musical abbreviation meaning to play quietly

8d    Fleecing that girl over a piece of jewellery (8)
SHEARING That girl goes over A (from the clue) and a piece of jewellery

13d    Joseph Bazalgette used this design to map sewer (5,5)
STEAM POWER An anagram (design) of TO MAP SEWER – at the time, the pumping engines used in his sewer system were the biggest in the world (and the building housing the one at Crossness is possibly the most beautiful)

15d    First of all, American western films upset Leone — now even Sergio shoots horror (9)
AWFULNESS – The first of American Western Films Upset Leone Now Even Sergio Shoots

16d    A remarkable thing to see composer accepting honour (8)
SCORCHER An informal term for something remarkable – Insert (accepting) the abbreviation for the Companion of Honour into someone who writes music (composer)

17d    Arm and leg invested in this musical (8)
HARMONIC ARM (from the clue) and the ‘leg’ side of a cricket pitch inserted (invested) in a demonstrative pronoun meaning this

19d    Powerful European Commission whistle-blower raised outside Italy (6)
FIERCE A reversal (raised) of the abbreviation for the European Commission and someone who blows a whistle, the latter going outside the IVR Code for Italy

20d    Extremely sweet, old, grey and boring (6)
STODGY The ‘extreme’ letters of SweeT, OlD and GreY

23d    Plant 1 Down with spades for garden’s borders (5)
SISAL Take your solution to 1d and replace the letters found on the borders of GardeN with the abbreviation for the card suit Spades

24d    Low-down fool (4)
DOPE The solution can (informally) mean both low-down and fool

39 comments on “Toughie 2710
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  1. I thought this was excellent, my favourite Django to date. I particularly enjoyed 5a, 14a and 13d but plenty of ticks today. I did scratch my head over a couple of synonyms. Thanks to CS and Django.

  2. Great fun. Some very well crafted clues here, of which my favourites were 14a, 3d and especially 4d.
    Many thanks to Django and to CS for the blog.

  3. I agree with Jonners that this was Django’s best puzzle so far. I was very pleased to see very little evidence of the wordiness which has characterised his previous offerings, and I enjoyed this a lot.

    My only question relates to 22a. Why does “property” = “point”?

    25a (using a very neat cross-reference) and 13d (a perfect surface which links meaningfully to the answer) were my top two.

    Many thanks to Django and CS.

      1. Thanks, Stephen, but I’m not quite convinced. Although “point about” could mean “property of“, wouldn’t the “point of” the phone be its raison d’être not a feature/property of it?

        1. I supposed that different materials have different temperatures at which they combust so that point is a defining property
          Best I can do

        2. Point:
          3 (noun) in the sense of aspect
          Definition
          a characteristic
          The most interesting point about the village is its religion.
          Synonyms
          aspect
          detail
          feature
          side
          quality
          property***
          particular
          respect
          item
          instance
          characteristic
          topic
          attribute
          trait
          facet
          peculiarity
          nicety

          1. Thank you for proving my point with your example, Jose. Point about = property of, i.e. not synonymous in that context.

            However Gazza’s briefer explanation almost nails it for me. :wink:

            1. The word-play merely involves a synonym of ostentatious (FLASH) with a synonym of property (POINT). Why introduce about and of into the equation? I am willing to be convinced.

              *Could Gaza’s explanation be expanded to: He has both good and bad points/properties? If so, I can’t see that any controversy exists.

            2. Incidentally, that isn’t “my” example and it does not “prove” any point you have asserted. That example is merely one possible usage and appears at the top of a list of stand-alone synonyms for POINT (c/p directly from Collins Online) under the general meaning of aspect/characteristic.

              Just to get the facts correct for any others who may be reading. :-)

            3. Furthermore (Poland v England isn’t quite commanding my undivided attention), in the sense of “concerning” the word “of” can = “about”. So, any combination in the following would be fine: The worst point or property of/about/concerning the phone is its short battery life. So, SL’s example is therefore OK.

              1. I’m very surprised to see this causing any consternation.
                Chambers has
                Point = a distinctive mark or characteristic
                Property = a characteristic

                1. Exactly! Thank you for confirming that – perhaps RD will now be convinced, straight from the horse’s mouth. Just like Chris Lancaster did the other week in the DT Puzzles Newsletter, where he confirmed my explanation in the great Jobs Description debate.

                  1. I hesitate to reply to you because you seem to have a knack of making a mountain out of a molehill (although you may well level the same charge at me :wink: ) and the rest of the commentariat will probably be bored to tears by our exchanges. I asked a simple question and Django’s comment gave a simple answer.

                    Your very lengthy original answer included an example which demonstrated in that specific case that the two words were not directly interchangeable (which is surely a requirement for a synonym) and I felt this should be pointed out. Over and out.

                    1. With the greatest respect RD, your assertions are (again) at best misleading and at worst plain wrong:

                      *I have not given any example demonstrating any “specific case”. My first answer was merely a longish list of stand-alone synonyms for point c/p directly from Collins Online (none of it written by me) and purely to demonstrate that the two words are synonyms – no contextual situation was intended.

                      *Your simple question had already been clearly answered by me at 5.01pm therefore Django’s input wasn’t really necessary, but was certainly welcome. You chose to contradict both SL and myself, thus unnecessarily extending this thread.

                      Personally, I think this type of discussion/debate is exactly what should happen on here, especially when the truth of an issue needs resolving (so long as it is done in a friendly/polite way). If you can’t discuss clues, semantics and grammar on a serious crossword blog like this, where the hell can you do it?

                      Keep up with the good work, your comments are very interesting, and usually right! :-)

  4. Mercifully easier than Serpent yesterday & great fun. I really like Django’s puzzles & this was no exception. Anyone who can fashion a clue like 3d is ok in my book. Struggled a bit in the SW & even thought I may fall 2 letters shy of completion as last in was 24d & couldn’t even think of the obvious synonym never mind the other meaning. The penny did drop however so an unaided completion other than looking up the chappie at 13d. Think I have them parsed ok but no doubt the review will disabuse of that notion.
    Tick for 5,11,14&25a plus 3,5,7&15d.
    Many thanks to Django & to CS

  5. A real step up the difficulty ladder from Django in my opinion. Some very clever stuff and great fun. Thank you Django.

  6. The NW corner was the last to fall in this hugely enjoyable and testing Toughie. Like Gazza, 25a was my standout clue, with 13d a worthy runner up. Great fun.

    Thanks and congratulations to Django for a terrific puzzle, and thanks too, to CS.

  7. Difficult but darned sight easier than yesterday’s for which I had to resort to the hints. Favourite was 5a. Thanks to Django and CS.

  8. What fun. From start to finish with every clue a winner. Two excellent hidden word clues (have we seen 3 down in another puzzle by this setter in another paper)? Keep em coming Mr Gorman. I like em. Thanks to Cryptic Sue for the hints. My friend saw this creature close to your house yesterday. Be careful … it’s dangerous out there

    1. Thanks Miffy. I haven’t clued Oops-a-daisy before this. Of course it’s possible that someone else has come up with it before now, but I can’t find it anywhere else!

      1. Django. I was just finishing off a recent back-pager and came across the answer Oops-a-daisy – just the other the other week in DT 29756, August 17th. Thought you might be interested…

  9. An excellent puzzle from Django. Excellent clues, an excellent challenge and excellent enjoyment. Overall: Excellent! Fav: 25a. 3*, 4*.
    *3d tickled me! On Toughie 2681, in a reply about the answer OOPS, I wrote:

    Jose
    July 20, 2021 at 3:32 pm
    I used the expression “oops-a-daisy” a lot when my godchildren were kids and a mishap occurred. Well, that’s just what you do with toddlers, isn’t it. Trouble is, it stuck and came out later in other situations. You can be on the receiving end of some intense mickey-taking if you inadvertently blurt out “oops-a-daisy” on a city-centre building site!

  10. What a brilliant puzzle, I loved it from start to finish. Two of the best lurkers I can remember would justifiably sit on the podium as would 18a along with 5&13d. However COTD goes to the sublime 25a, with a nod to 14a.
    Many thanks Django for the great fun and CS for a top review.

  11. Generally an enjoying puzzle for me except for 16d ,the only ‘remarkable thing’ to my mind is a hot day! and I assume the hic in 17d was from Latin.
    Regarding ‘point’ in 22a ,property is confirmed in my Chambers so must fit- the setter is always right.
    Favourite 11a followed by 28a.
    Thanks to CS and Django.

    1. Thanks Beaver.
      If you’re happy to use Chambers to confirm that point/property is sound, then I hope you’ll also be happy to use it to confirm my use of ‘scorcher’. Definition 2 = A day of scorching heat. Definition 3 = Something remarkable.

  12. Not only did I finish this brilliant Django all on my own, I thought it the best of his I’ve yet worked. I especially enjoyed the 14/25a connection, but there isn’t a dud in the grid. Thanks to CS, whose review I’ll read now, and to Django for the pleasure.

  13. A most enjoyable solve, for which many thanks to Django. Had the correct answers for 25a and 23d but needed CS’s explanations as to why! Thank you CS for the review.

    Some outstanding clueing, I thought – 11a, 3d, 4d, 13d stood out for me, with the smoothly surfaced and wonderfully creative 15a my COTD, by a nose.

    3* / 4*

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