Toughie 2732 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2732

Toughie No 2732 by Artix

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A few clues I didn’t understand, hopefully some of you can help. Some lovely definitions!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Message from Sky when A&E show suffers power cut (10)
AEROGRAMME: A&E from the clue plus another word for a (tv) show without the initial P (suffers power cut)

6a    After retiring, President died (4)
ABED: A 3-letter US president’s first name plus the abbreviation for died

10a    Vacuous troll barracking immature use of Net (5)
TRAWL: T(rol)L without the inner letters (vacuous) accommodates (barracking) another word for immature

11a    Promise to go with you to the grave, perhaps (9)
UNDERTAKE: To organise a funeral

12a    75 per cent of brewer’s output facing rash cuts ahead (8)
BEEHIVES: The first 3 letters (75%) of a popular beverage plus a kind of rash



13a    Viz not usual standard fare (5)
SCOFF: A 2-letter Latin abbreviation meaning viz, and a word meaning ‘not usual standard’

15a    Office worker lodges religious don who’s scraping to get by? (7)
FIDDLER: A 5-letter office worker contains (lodges) an abbreviation for a religious don

17a    Lift status: ascent quiet if maintained within two years (7)
YUPPIFY: The definition is verbal! A short word meaning ascent, the musical abbreviation for quiet, and IF from the clue go in between (maintained within) two abbreviations of year

19a    Last documents to be shredded after copper’s gone (7)
ENDMOST: An anagram (to be shredded) of DO(cu)MENTS without the chemical symbol for copper

21a    Skipping regularly, Kirby exercises leg, producing gas (7)
KRYPTON: The odd letters (skipping regularly) of Kirby, the abbreviation for exercises and a cricket term meaning the leg side

22a    Japanese consumers love this piece of inglorious US history (5)
SUSHI: Hidden (piece of … )

24a    Content of family tree is wrong, as it happens (4-4)
REAL-TIME: An anagram (is wrong) of the inner letters (content) of (f)AMIL(y) + TREE

27a    Charge with indecency (9)
OFFENSIVE: Two meanings, the first nounal and the second adjectival

28a    Lech Walesa’s last letter hampers quiet youngster superficially (5)
SATYR: The last letter of Walesa is inserted into (hampers) a less usual abbreviation for quiet plus the outer letters (superficially) of youngster

29a    Met governor, one originally from Asia (4)
KHAN: The mayor of London is also the police governor, and the name means a governor from Asia

30a    Day One, Two, Three … could be start of original new version of this? (3,4,3)
THE YEAR DOT: Not sure exactly how this works – is there an anagram in there? DAY O T THREE?


1d    Deep-voiced female singer in Toto? Get her to quit! (4)
ALTO: Take a 10-letter word meaning ‘in toto’ and remove ‘get her’

2d    If you clipped all of grey car’s fender, driver in front would be ____-_____ (4-5)
REAR-ENDED: Remove the outer letters (if you clipped … ) of ‘GREY CARS FENDER’ plus the first letter (front) of driver

3d    Fertiliser that’s good for minute valley (5)
GULCH: A 5-letter fertiliser where the abbreviation for good replaces the initial abbreviation for minute

4d    Answer question the setter’s rejected at first as poorly composed (7)
AQUIVER: The abbreviations for answer and question, another way of saying the setter’s (the setter has, from his perspective), and the first letter of rejected

5d    Pen in support of form and decency (7)
MODESTY: A pen for animals goes underneath (in support of) a form or way

7d    From the outset, besotted Romeo adored virtues of Juliet? (5)
BRAVO: First letters (from the outset … ). The definition refers to a tv police series.

8d    The way to make sea sprats in grapeseed for starter? (4-6)
DEEP-FRYING: Another word for sea, another word for sprats, IN from the clue and the first letter (starter) of grapefruit)

9d    Peevishly incarcerating leader of Persians in Tyre (5-3)
CROSS-PLY: A word meaning peevishly includes (incarcerating) the first letter (leader) of Persians

14d    Dessert wine that may cause rumbling down below later (10)
AFTERSHOCK: A 6-letter word for dessert and a 4-letter type of wine

16d    Exotic Asian lot? (8)
LAOTIANS: An anagram (exotic) of ASIAN LOT

18d    Scared witless, I’d gone — made me think (9)
INTIMATED: An 11-letter word for scared witless without I’D from the clue

20d    Dull, sort of like pool? (7)
TARNISH: Dull as in a verb could also mean like a small mountain lake

21d    Behaving like Jack, King and Queen in service (7)
KNAVERY: The abbreviation for king, then an abbreviation for our queen goes inside a military service

23d    Thereafter car company fails to get foreign capital (5)
SOFIA: A short word that could mean consequently or thereafter, plus an Italian car without the last letter? (fails? – not at all sure about this)

25d    When cycling, criticise noiseless wheels (5)
TESLA: As in an electric car. A 5-letter word meaning criticise has the last two letter cycled to the front

26d    Tat fringe on jumper during work time (4)
GROT: The last letter (fringe) of jumper is inserted into a 2-letter word meaning work, plus the abbreviation for time

My favourite today is 15a for the definition. Which clues did you like?

18 comments on “Toughie 2732

  1. I enjoyed this although it took me a while to unravel. Lots of very entertaining clues. I struggled to parse 28a and can only think that 30a is literal that if you went back to the answer it would start with day 1, 2, 3 etc. Thanks to Gazza and Artix.

  2. Very enjoyable – I’d have said *** for difficulty, and a great deal easier than last Friday’s. 1a was a new word to me, but guessable. 1d made me groan and 15a made me smile. 12a ‘ahead’ means ‘on the head’…? Really? And a lovely bit of nostalgia from 7d. Many thanks to Artix, and to Dutch for the parsing of 8d – I was trying to do something much more complicated and failed to see the much more straightforward explanation.

  3. Very enjoyable with some great clues.

    I couldn’t parse 28a but wondered whether the first of the “…” played some part in the wordplay.

    Juliet Bravo was the name of a TV cop show in the 1970s.

    Was I the only one to think of “Dick” for 29a?

    My ticks went to 12a, 29a, 2d, 8d, 14d and 25d.

    Thanks to Artix and Dutch.

  4. Really enjoyed this puzzle (I do look forward to the all too infrequent Artix grids), a good end of week Toughie. I needed Dutch’s hint for 28a, thinking it would be my LOI, however then realised I’d got 26d wrong!

    The abbreviation for quiet in 28a was new to me, and the little I’d ever recalled of my latin was not up to 13a, albeit I’d bunged-in the right answer. Not sure I would describe a 25d as being noiseless, which I thought rather misleading. Relatively quiet, maybe, but not noiseless. Not being able to find a clean anagram I took 30a as being a straight cryptic, days 1, 2, and 3 of the period starting ‘…’

    Some cracking clues, with HMs to 15a, 9d, 12a and 14d, but 2d probably my COTD.

    4* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Artix and to Dutch.

  5. The parsing for 28a eluded me, and I had the cryptic definition of 30a as others before me have mentioned. 15a was my outstanding clue; reads beautifully. Overall I thought this was pleasingly tricky, but very rewarding to complete.

    Thanks to Artix and Dutch.

  6. On the first read through I didn’t understand one clue. However I persevered and finally solved 10. Like Dutch, there were still some clues that I just didn’t get.
    Being my initials I should have got Juliet Bravo but I didn’t expect to go that far back in time and there is nothing in the clue to suggest a tv series.
    Oh well, it is Friday and obscurity is the name of the game!

  7. I found this a bit of a stinker – in terms of toughness rather than enjoyment. Some inventive, almost off-the-wall clueing [eg 2d]. I particularly liked the Lech and the noiseless wheels but took exception to “fringe” in 26. In retrospect it’s prob OK given a fringe is usually on the bottom [except for the surrey]. I, too, am completely baffled by 30a – perhaps the setter will pop in and enlighten us.
    Thanks to Artix and to Dutch.

  8. Dutch is right with 30a. The answer is an anagram of “day one two three” without “o” (start of original) and “new”. A first rate puzzle, thanks.

  9. A slow steady solve for us with great Ahaa moments all the way through. We also struggled to parse 30a.
    Thoroughly enjoyable.
    Thanks Artix and Dutch.

  10. 2d & 17a are the picks of the 13 answers I’ve managed so far, one of which I can’t parse. Very tough & probably well beyond me but will resist the review & may have another few stabs at it over the weekend before accepting failure & letting Dutch explain it all – as is usual with Elgar & a fair few other Fridays.
    Thanks Artix & Dutch

  11. Very enjoyable puzzle; thanks to setter. 14D was my favourite. Definitely 5* for enjoyment on completing the challenge.

  12. Because I believe in the integrity and value of this blog, I always like to post even when I have performed as badly as I did with this Toughie. I think I managed ten on my own, but even applying the electronic gift of five letters, I didn’t fare much better. Still, I did enjoy this very great challenge, and of the ones I answered on my own, 17a gets my nod. Many thanks to Dutch (how do you do it, sir?) and to Artix.

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