Toughie 2713 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2713

Toughie No 2713 by Dada

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from The Roseland Peninsula where the sun is breaking through the early morning haze and casting a sheen upon the waters. With Dada as today’s setter and a grid promising a tough solve with half of the answers having unchecked first letters I wasn’t feeling too confidant when I started solving. Fortunately it all solved itself in back page time thanks to an abundance of helpful checkers and a beautiful view

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a        Military punishment in attack on King Edward? (4-7)
SPUD BASHING: A common term for the peeling of large amounts of potatoes can be found by placing a synonym of the word attack after a common name for a potato. I do hope Jean-Luc attempts this puzzle

9a        Basic framework fractures and I turn to engineer (14)

11a      Instrument my violin player heard? (4)
OBOE:  A one-letter exclamation similar to “my” is followed by a homophone (heard) of what a violinist uses to play his or her instrument

12a      Return of financial supplies for boat (5)
SLOOP: These financial supplies where participants contribute to a central pot are also known as kitties. They need to be reversed to make a sailing boat

13a      Out-of-control movement, small issue (4)
SKID: The abbreviation for small is followed by a child or young person

16a      Sweet, please be aware: one hardened at the centre (8)
NOISETTE: A Russian doll type of clue. The Roman numeral for one together with a word meaning hardened (as cement does) sit inside a word meaning please be aware or mark my words

17a      Separate  song (6)
STRAIN: A double definition the first being to separate as one does tea leaves from a teapot

19a      Champ cut in competition (4,2)
CHEW UP: A word meaning to cut sits inside the name for a competition which is also the main prize

20a      Tudor emblem ultimately wanting, I had to retreat in confusion (8)
DISORDER: remove the final letter from the 3,4 Tudor symbol (ultimately wanting) and add the contracted form of I had. Reverse what you have

22a      Inflexible  press (4)
IRON: A double definition. The second to remove creases from items

23a      Cow, bovine possibly? (5)
BULLY:  The first word in the clue is a verb not a noun. Note the question mark

24a      Relative, first of all, getting rather ancient now (4)
GRAN: The initial letters of four consecutive words in the clue will provide your answer

27a      Dessert on the turn? (6-4,4)
UPSIDE DOWN CAKE: A cryptic definition of a sponge baked over a layer of fruit and inverted for serving

28a      Likely to toy with victim, rat trapping brown relative of his? (3-3-5)
CAT AND MOUSE: A human male rat or bounder surrounds a brown colour. This is followed by a smaller relative of an actual four legged rat


2d        United players criticise book about heroism, surprisingly (9,5)
PANTOMIME HORSE:  These players perform together  on stage. Begin with a three-letter term meaning to criticise. Add a large heavy scholarly book which has an anagram (surprisingly) of HEROISM inserted. There are many funny YouTube clips and images but to use them would have given away the answer to this brilliant clue

3d        River  race (4)
DART:  Double definition. The river flows through Totnes in Devon

4d        Perfect sun welcomed by a Scottish isle (8)
ABSOLUTE: A Spanish word for the sun sits inside the letter A from the clue and a Scottish island in The Firth of Clyde

5d        Blonde film star Warhol reinvented (6)
HARLOW: Anagram (reinvented) of WARHOL. Your grandparents may have told you of this actress

6d        Drink  part of a bottle (4)
NECK: An informal verb meaning to drink something is also the narrow part of a bottle nearest its mouth

7d        Game birds (5,3,6)
DUCKS AND DRAKES: This game, named after two birds is played by skimming flat stones across the surface of water


8d        Band making one group (7,4)
WEDDING RING: Making one is the joining of two people in matrimony. A group is a cartel of people

10d      Bridge I lowered in US state (11)
CONNECTICUT: To bridge as a verb. The letter I from the clue. Lowered or trimmed by mowing perhaps

14d      Flipping exceptional middle of crossword puzzle (5)
REBUS:  A word denoting an outstanding or supreme example of a particular kind of person or thing is reversed and the central letter of the word crossword is added

15d      Paddy harbours upset (5)
STROP: A word meaning harbours where vessels load or unload can be reversed to find a fit of pique

18d      Filled out, invoice outstanding (8)
BILLOWED: A regular term for an invoice is followed by a word meaning outstanding or unpaid

21d      Plain cask difficult to lift, though not hot (6)
TUNDRA: A large cask is followed by the reverse of a word meaning difficult or not easy minus the abbreviation for hot

25d      Odd bits in middle, say, discarded — fancy! (4)
IDEA:  The alternate letters of two of the words in the clue

26d      Four out of five chosen for answer (4)
ECHO: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words four out of


27 comments on “Toughie 2713

  1. I had this completed in less time than today’s back-pager – and I didn’t even finish that! The parsing of a couple delayed me into ** time, but I think that 2d gets my vote for COTD.

    Thanks to Dada and MP.

  2. I found this quite a gentle introduction to Toughie week but most enjoyable. 2d was my favourite clue.

    On another matter I am struggling with a tweet from John Halpern: Of chocolate? (4,6) and would be grateful if anyone could enlighten me.

    Thanks to MP. and Dada.

  3. A very enjoyable mid week back page crossword. My favourite clue has to be 24a as, after a five day family visit (they are on their way home now) where it was lovely but exhausting to spend so much time with the grandchildren after 21 months apart, this 24a is definitely feeling a bit more ancient now

    Thanks to Dada and MP

  4. As Toughies go, this was fairly gentle, but certain UK terms and references like 1a, 2d, and 13d do not come trippingly off this American’s tongue. I got them anyway, but had to use some electronic help here and there to finish, so it was not, technically, an unaided one. Still, I did enjoy the tussle, especially 18 and 21d. Still don’t know about ‘drink’ in 6d. Thanks to MP who really seems to be enjoying his holiday, and to Dada.

  5. Loved this. A nice gentle start to the week. Lots of smiles. **/****. COTD is 20a
    To neck a glass is English slang to drink it Robert
    Thanks MP and Dada

  6. Enjoyed this immensely, 2d was an excellent clue with united players! Also liked the misdirection in 26d.

  7. I thought this was going to be harder than it actually turned out to be getting to 24a before getting an answer. The bottom right triangle was filled in first working up the down clues leaving the top left half which I completed with a bit of head scratching. Favourite was 20a. Thanks to Dada and MP.

  8. Great photo MP. Somewhere near Riviera Lane? I am very envious.

    A very enjoyable R&W (just about) from Dada with 2d, 27a and 28a making the podium.

    Ta to all.

  9. A lovely gentle Toughie & rare benevolence from Dada. Another vote for 2d as pick of the bunch with mentions for 20,27&28a along with 4&21d. Very enjoyable.
    Thanks to Dada & Miffs – glad that you’re both getting the best of the weather

  10. 2d also gets my vote for COTD from this friendly and fun puzzle. A perfect start to the Toughie week.

    My thanks to Dada and MP.

  11. Enjoyable puzzle
    Only beaten by 14d, which I understand only after reading the hint but don’t particularly care for.
    2d, on the other hand, is a great clue and brought a smile when I realised the definition

  12. Great puzzle, one of the more enjoyable BPs or Ts in a long while. It may not have been overly testing, but it was extremely satisfying: many thanks indeed to Dada.

    The five-letter clues with three unches can sometimes be my downfall but 23a and 15d had ticks afterwards, as did 8d and 26d, while my COTD goes to 14d, for being a flipping exceptional clue in the middle of this puzzle.

    Thanks also to MP for the review. My OH used to live in St. Just-in-Roseland and as cut-off backwaters went the Roseland was lovely for being just sufficiently not cut-off nor backwater!

    1. I don’t understand how anyone can have ‘used to live on The Roseland’ why on earth would they leave?

      1. To marry me!

        But lovely though it is, the Roseland really is a pain in the wotsit sort of place to live in during the winter, especially when bad weather closes the King Harry ferry. Or if you want to go to a supermarket. Or if you still work and your business / clients / customers / employer are north, west or east of Tregony!

  13. Excellent Dada Toughie that could have been (just) plucked from his Sunday pile.
    I especially liked 19&20a plus 2,14&15d.
    Many thanks to Dada and to MP for the fun in the South West sun, hope the cider hit the spot!

    1. Thanks to all of you (Huntsman, Charlie3110, MP) who clarified the special use of ‘necking’, something that I have obviously done a few thousand times (back when the ‘neck’ was the elixir of life to me). I have also reconsidered my appreciation of Dada’s great puzzle and would now put 2d at the top of my list of special treats from the Wiz. And I have just googled Peninsula Bay and realise that I was once fairly close to where MP and St Sharon are staying, on the day I spent in Truro ‘doing’ the cathedral.

      1. We will probably take the ferry from St Mawes to Falmouth tomorrow morning and possibly take a boat trip to Truro (or not). The world is our Lobster as they say

  14. Hmmm, I did this yesterday but somehow didn’t get round to commenting. Anyway, thank you, Miffypops — I needed a few hints, though I now can’t remember which ones.

    27a reminds me of when it first appeared on the school menu. A small child was most concerned by the concept: “But won’t the candles be on the bottom?”

    I hadn’t head of Miss 5d, nor 1a — having got the right King Edward, I spent ages trying to get ‘mashing’ (or ‘m⟨punishment⟩ashing’) in there.

    My favourite was 14d’s flipping exceptional puzzle — thank you Dada.

    Enjoy Falmouth or Truro or wherever you end up today. Congratulations on getting into Cornwall. We tried, but ended up with Boscombe instead.

  15. Yet again I never guessed Dada was behind this.
    Very enjoyable but rather slow solve.
    At the Jardin, we have given up on peeling potatoes, skin and all is what you’ll get on your plate.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to our excellent MP for an excellent review.

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