Toughie 2733 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2733

Toughie No 2733 by Moeraki

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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Chris M Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

A comment on an email this morning described this fourth offering from Moeraki as ‘chestnutty’ I cannot disagree. None too difficult and full of old friends. It serves well as a teaser for the more difficult offerings later in the week

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a        Cricketers’ appeal causes storm (6)
OUTCRY: Split 3,3 the answer describes the shout of a cricketer when a batter* is dismissed.

*(See how your blogger is well versed in the vernacular of modern cricket speak? Down there and dirty with the kids. Moving with the times)

4a        Gangster with drink, wearing his hat inside? (2,6)
AL CAPONE: A three letter flat hat usually with a peak together with a word which (of a cap) means wearing sits inside a drink. A drink much loved by today’s blogger. The answer is a  small time American crook from early in the last century who would be forgotten if not for crossword setters dragging him from the grave every couple of weeks to sit in the back of a black sedan next to Che Guevara

10a      Bush‘s history edited in note (9)
FORSYTHIA: An anagram (edited) of HISTORY sits inside one of the notes of the sol fa scale

11a      Lower quarters for yachting week (5)
COWES: A lower here is an animal that lows. She is followed by two points of the compass

12a      Drink. Another, almost perfection (7)
CHABLIS: A Chinese word for tea is followed by most of a word meaning perfect happiness or great joy

13a      Rose-lit resort? (7)
ESTORIL: Anagram (resort) of ROSE LIT

14a      Cancel yearly publication, after fifth has been shelved (5)
ANNUL: A word meaning yearly needs its fifth letter removing

15a      Presidential vehicle appearing in The Chase (3,5)
THE BEAST: Apparently the car used by the President of the USA has the same nickname as British quizzer Mark Labatt from the TV programme The Chase

18a      Dancer from Le Lido with line of heritage in Sussex (8)
BLUEBELL: The dancing girls from Le Lido in Paris share their name with a heritage railway line in Sussex

20a      High car, or hire car the Spanish returned (5)
CABLE:  A car that travels high up on a wire can be found by using the name given to a black taxi and the reverse of the Spanish word for the

23a      It helps asthmatics in hospital with real shivers (7)
INHALER: Begin with the word IN from the clue. Add the abbreviation for hospital. Add an anagram (shivers) of REAL

25a      Time to relax in Hawaii, garland guaranteed (7)
LEISURE: The Hawaiian garland favoured by crossword setters is followed by a synonym of the word guaranteed

26a      Reporter’s evaluation for show (5)
REVUE:  An evaluation and a show can both be described by a word which has the same sound but two different spellings. We need the spelling with five letters

27a      Outfit used in endless sex found by southern police abroad (9)
GENDARMES: First find a word describing a persons sex. Remove its last letter. Insert an outfit, branch or division of an organisation. Add the abbreviation for southern

28a      The plane in flight, a jumbo (8)
ELEPHANT: Jumbo was the name of a cruelly treated African animal who died in 1885. The type of animal is an anagram (in flight) of THE PLANE. A clever clue but a sad story

29a      Last bit of a 27 covers it (3,3)
FAG END:  If one writes out the words OF A (from the clue) followed by the answer to 27 across then the answer to this clue lies hidden within what you have written


1d        Lights out here in France, it’s decreed (8)
OFFICIAL:  Lights here are a foodstuff such as liver and kidneys.  The more common name for this surrounds the French word for here

2d        Land tortoise quietly pushed off (7)
TERRAIN: A type of freshwater tortoise or turtle needs the musical notation for quiet removing from its name to provide the solution to this clue

3d        Constituents of Ely — Labour? Rather a shade Tory (5,4)
ROYAL BLUE: Anagram (constituents of) of ELY LABOUR

5d        Let sleeping dogs lie in desert, completely isolated (5,4,5)
LEAVE WELL ALONE: Synonyms of each of the last three  words in the clue will provide your answer

6d        Charm Frenchman removed in race course (5)
ASCOT: A lucky charm minus its first letter (the French word for a man) becomes a racecourse visited by our beautiful queen last week

7d        Sign of progress where nursing is concerned (7)
ONWARDS:  Split 2,5 where nursing takes place in a hospital

8d        Stands while stuffing fish (6)
EASELS: A two letter word meaning while sits inside some long thin slippery fish

9d        Smoke heroin, as St George did? (5,3,6)
CHASE THE DRAGON: A term describing the smoking of heroin might also describe St George’s pursuit of a creature

16d      Breakdown of niche Russian car making Mexican scoff (9)
ENCHILADA: An anagram (breakdown) of NICHE is followed by a make of Russian car. My brother once owned one of these cars. What was he thinking?

17d      Let out once or twice (8)
RELEASED: Split 2,6 to be hired out once again

19d      Composer imbibes very English port (2,5)
LE HAVRE:  This composer, first name Edwin, born one hundred and fifty six years ago needs to have the abbreviation for very inserted somewhere within his name or as Halcyon suggests a rather better known composer [first name Franz] imbibing very and followed by English. My money is on Halcyon’s hint

21d      Midlander beginning to broadcast game, we hear (7)
BRUMMIE: The initial letter of the word broadcast is followed by a homophone (we hear) of a card game

22d      Castle gutted after catastrophic fire raging (6)
FIERCE: The outer letters of the word castle sit after an anagram (catastrophic) of FIRE

24d      Some pale echo for a doctor (5)
LEECH:  The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word some


23 comments on “Toughie 2733

  1. Both today’s Telegraph crosswords took me the same [mid-week back page] time to solve – this one, possibly because of the many old friends within, seemed when solving to be the more straightforward of the two. My particular favourite was 18a

    Thanks to Moeraki and MP

  2. Gentle but I enjoyed this, chestnuts and all. Scratched my head over the parsing of 29a until the penny dropped. Thanks to MP and Moeraki.

  3. Like others I found this to be a faster solve than the backpager, and that was fairly swift. No doubt we shall be more severely tested as the week progresses. No particular favourite although 18a was fun.

    Thanks to Moeraki and MP.

  4. Found the President’s car on Google but, as I never watch The Chase that link escaped me.
    I thought 27a was convoluted enough without adding 29a to it.
    Who else remembers Carolyn Pickles as Miss 18a? I liked the railway link.
    Can’t say I identified the chestnuts. Just a pleasant solve.

  5. Couldn’t agree more with MP’s preamble with 28a (literally and metaphorically!) the biggest of them all. Nonetheless very enjoyable indeed, probably my fastest ever Toughie solve although a couple of parsings (29a&1d) eluded me.
    Favourites 12&27a
    Many thanks to Moeraki and MP for the entertainment.

    1. As a Steely Dan fan I’m sure 9d must have brought to mind the chorus in Time Out of Mind which I’m guessing Walter penned from experience. My favourite track on the album.

          1. I think I first heard the term on that song Huntsman but like a lot of their drug references (and there were a lot!) it initially went over my head. It’s a great track off a brilliant album but Hey Nineteen and the title track Gaucho are my personal favourites.

  6. Puzzled over the Chase part of 15a but assumed it had to be what it was.
    An alternative for 19d is a rather better known composer [first name Franz] imbibing very and followed by English.
    Nice puzzle for a rainy Tuesday – thanks to Moeraki and MP.

      1. Thanks. I think that reference to Lehare in “On this day” is actually a misprint for the organist called Lemare. Nobody preefroods these online sources anymore!

  7. Have to agree with MP s ratings more a Friday back pager than a toughie, anyway a pleasant solve on a rainy afternoon.
    Thanks to MP for the parsing of 15a which eluded me,had to be the beast or the betsy-no idea where this came from in the distant past.
    12 across is my favourite white,getting more expensive by the hour!
    Remembered the Sussex railway and the dancers ,now I know where they came from.
    Thanks to Moeraki for the fun,

  8. Quickest Toughie I’ve ever done but all jolly good fun. My only slight hold up was with 15a when I was thinking of Tipping Point for some reason! I don’t watch that or The Chase but the answer just popped in from somewhere. Thanks to all.

  9. For some reason, I found this one a bit odd. Presumably I wasn’t really on Moeraki’s wavelength: I think this is the first one by this setter I’ve done.

    Nevertheless, all done and ok. Favourite was 11a, but only because we’ve got a flat there and been to the festivities (including seeing Status Quo) many times.

  10. Do Telegraph Toughie crosswords have the same target audience as afternoon TV quiz shows? I’ve never seen it in my life.

    I managed to fill the grid, but needed the hints to parse quite a few answers.

    Many thanks to Moeraki and MP.

  11. All over in a shade over * time & shaved a couple of minutes off my previous fastest Toughie. About as gentle as it gets but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless & nicely clued throughout. The correct parsing of both 27&29a eluded me however. Unlike Steve Cowling (the oft honourably mentioned) I’ve absolutely no aptitude whatsoever for clue setting but 5d did make me try to think of an alternative that referenced Omar Sharif’s devastating arrival at Ali’s well in Lawrence of Arabia – arguably the greatest shot in cinema.
    Thanks to Moeraki & Miffs

  12. An enjoyable, gentle Tuesday, here and the backpager. Not that I’m complaining, I can’t always finish a Toughie, so it’s always nice when I can. 18a was my pick of the bunch (no pun intended).

  13. I don’t think I have encountered this setter before but I am quite pleased I managed to hit the ground running on my return to toughieland.
    it didn’t take me much longer than the backpager, but that is what the gradual increase in difficulty is about.
    I expect a bump as I hit the buffers tomorrow.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Moeraki.

  14. Very late tonight arriving on the scene (quite unlike Sharif in LOA, though), having stayed up into the wee hours watching the Red Sox win another game by routing the Houstonians. Except for those dancing girls and that railway, I did very well with this gentle Toughie, though I couldn’t parse 29a and never heard of that phrase about using heroin (must have led a sheltered life). I am now humming the Merry Widow waltz tune in tribute to the Hungarian composer who imbibes a very English port. Thanks to MP and Moeraki.

  15. Third consecutive unaided Toughie solve. Who cares if they are only rated * star so may not comply with the Trade Description Act, not I. (Also I know my limits and Thursday & Friday are off them so are avoided).
    Thanks to Moeraki and MP, in somewhat restrained mood I thought.

  16. Very belated comment on a puzzle completed swiftly and with pleasure at lunchtime. With the exception of 15a (where I felt the repeated “The” was poor and “The Chase”, let alone its contestants, means absolutely nothing to me, a state of affairs I am willing to not change) a set of well constructed if not terribly challenging (who cares!) clues. Enough chestnuts to provide stuffing for the turkey.

    Ticks to 1a, 18d and 22d, with 12a my COTD.

    Many thanks to Moeraki and to MP

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