Toughie 2741 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2741

Toughie No 2741 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the outskirts of Barrel where we have woken up to a cloudless sky and a light frost. Donnybrook has produced a very nice Tuesday Toughie for us today. Perseverance is the key to completion here. Several clues kept their secrets close and I required help from checking letters and a revisit to the lesser used synonyms in the memory bank. Moccasin and Fell indeed. Need I say more?

Sometimes bunging in the only word that fits is a suitable and helpful option. It provides checkers to assist with solving other clues and a spot of reverse parsing won’t hurt you.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a        Short note Stateside lawyer returned promptly for example (6)
ADVERB: Reverse a double whole musical note minus its last letter and the initials of an American lawyer to find an example of what the word promptly is

9a        Academic worried by Burke or Hare finally choosing body (10)
ELECTORATE: A three part charade. In this order. 1 The final letter of the words Burke or Hare. 2. An academic. A lecturer, especially one employed in a foreign university to teach in their native language. 3 A verb meaning worried

10a      Supporter brings complaint about northern player (10)
BENEFACTOR: Also a three part charade. 1 A complaint (also a type of meat). 2 The abbreviation for Northern. 3 A player in a theatre production. Arrange as suggested by the clue. You can be one of these here if you want to

11a      Yucatan native is allowed to answer (4)
MAYA:  A verb suggesting that you are allowed to do something is a followed by the abbreviation for answer

12a      Fierce chap avoiding pained expression (4)
FELL:  This noun meaning fierce can be found by removing a cry of pain from the end of a word meaning chap, bloke, geezer or man. Your obvious answer is not such an obvious match to the underlined definition here which makes this a perfect Toughie clue

14a      Island retreats predicted to keep one healthy (4-6)
ABLE BODIED: Begin with the reverse of an Italian island known for its ancient granite goat stores. Add a word meaning to have been a portent of a predicted outcome.  Insert the letter that looks like the number one

17a      China to annex central region in large coastal town (7)
MARGATE:   The Cockney rhyming slang suggested by the word China (plate) surrounds the central letters of the word large. I’ll spare you the Chas and Dave song

18a      Peach stone brought to athlete missing start (7)
STUNNER:  The abbreviation for a stone in weight is followed by an athlete minus his or her last letter

20a      Poor Kathleen stops totally heartless devil passing on ring (5,5)
DEATH KNELL:  A anagram (sadly) of KATHLEEN sits inside the outer letters of the word devil

21a      Page cut from agreements in book before Romans (4)
ACTS: The abbreviation for page is removed from some formal agreements between individuals or parties to find the book that precedes Romans in The Holy Bible

22a      Energy from cheese endlessly served with egg? (4)
BRIO: Remove the abbreviation for energy from a soft French cheese then add the oval shaped letter

23a      Slap bottom? (10)
FOUNDATION: A double definition. The first being make up applied by theatricals as a base layer

25a      Intruder right to chase second ball lodged in tree (10)
TRESPASSER:   Place the abbreviation for second plus an action made by a footballer sending the ball to a teammate inside the word tree which our generous setter has gifted to us. Add the abbreviation for right

26a      Lover no longer kissed we hear — imagine! (6)
EXPECT: Our usual former lovers are followed by a homophone of the word pecked


2d        Slow down in river when treacle stirred in? (10)
DECELERATE:  Begin with one of our three letter rivers of which there are many to choose from. Insert an anagram (stirred) of TREACLE. Given the definition that river wasn’t so hard to find was it?

3d        Language Beardsley uses occasionally (4)
ERSE: The alternate letters of the word Beardsley spel out an old Scottish or Irish Gaelic Language

4d        Composer able to play with another? Fair enough (4,6)
BELA BARTOK:  An anagram (to play with) of ABLE is followed by the composer of the musical Oliver! This is followed by a short declaration meaning all is well. The whole spells out the Hungarian composer of Bluebeard’s Castle

5d        Traveller with hat and moccasin perhaps (7)
REPTILE: The shortened name for a commercial traveller is followed by an alternative name for a hat used exclusively by crossword setters nowadays

6d        Irish giving support to saint excited reaction (4)
STIR: Two abbreviations required here. Can you see which two?

7d        Opera singer, new in Norma, paid badly (5,5)
PRIMA DONNA: Anagram (badly) of IN NORMA PAID which also contains the abbreviation for new

8d        Hawk-headed god restrained outside produces trumpet (6)
HERALD: The Egyptian Sun God with the head of a Falcon sits inside a word meaning restrained, kept or detained

13d      Creep around behind seven others, hiding head in tower (10)
LIGHTHOUSE:  Where you would be placed in a race if you finished after seven other people needs its first letter removing. Place what is left inside a word meaning a contemptible or unpleasant person

15d      Fought over Scandinavian money racket (10)
BATTLEDORE: This forerunner of a Badminton racket can be found by adding the smaller Scandinavian coins to a verb meaning to have fought as in a war perhaps

16d      Digital TV one cleric ordered, lacking in volume (10)
ELECTRONIC: An anagram (ordered) of TV ONE CLERIC without the abbreviation for volume

19d      Check on heartbeat (7)
REPULSE: A short word meaning on is followed by ones heartbeat

20d      Be sent north in time for discussion (6)
DEBATE: Reverse the word be from the clue and insert it into a period of time from your diary perhaps

23d      Skin taken from disloyal follower in uprising (4)
FLAY: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words taken from. It is reversed as indicated by the word uprising

24d      Son leaving belt in corner (4)
TRAP: Remove the abbreviation for son from a belt or long thin piece of leather


24 comments on “Toughie 2741

  1. And that, dear solver, is exactly what a Tuesday Toughie should be – taking slightly longer to solve than a Friday backpager (or even today’s particularly tricky for a Tuesday back page crossword) – and with, as we expect from this setter, lots of enjoyment throughout

    I haven’t got any particular favourites although I will admit to being slightly ashamed as to how long it took me to see the place ‘just down the road’ in 17a

    Thanks to Donnybrook and MP (did you forget to put your clocks back as this seems to have been published an hour earlier than ‘usual’

    1. I thought that 17 and 18 across together were a reference to you Sue. You live somewhere down that way I think. As to the timing. Just a typo. I saw an email saying the blog had been published and left it alone in case my tinkering had an adverse effect

      1. Mr CS laughed when I read the first line of your comment out to him. As he says, we live on the wrong side of the Wantsum River to be associated with 17a

  2. That was a lot of fun that took a bit of teasing out & required a couple of checks to confirm parsing. I enjoyed a visit to 17a last week, 13d was my favourite.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and MP.

  3. Great stuff.
    Most enjoyable.
    Didn’t know moccasin,fell or the racket but that was all fine.

    1. I’d call two of those stretched synonyms. The ones from the bottom of the dictionary listings. A place only Toughie setters go

  4. Delightfully tricky and very rewarding to solve and complete. This setter invariably sets a cracking Toughie and this was no exception. So many candidates for top clue but I shall go for 21a.

    Thanks Donnybrook for the fun and to MP. Is that a photograph of your old parish being plundered by HS2 in today’s paper?

  5. Good fun with some clever clues with well-disguised definitions. Favourites were 9a [choosing body] 20a [passing on ring – MP you need to extend the underlining] and 13d [behind seven others].
    Manny thanks DB and MP

  6. Nice start to the toughie week, with no problems. On reading the hints, I think you’ve underlined the wrong bit of 5d MP!
    23a favourite today.
    Thanks MP and Donnybrook

  7. I finished this superb Toughie last night all on my own and did so in record time for me. I found myself on a rare roll and just kept vibrating on the setter’s wavelength. That kind of feeling of being simpatico with a compiler happens quite rarely for me, and I just luxuriated in the frissons of fun. Favourites; all the 4-letter ones, especially 12a, as well as 14 and 20a. Thanks to MP and Donnybrook.

  8. Can’t in all honesty claim an unaided finish as I pressed reveal mistakes when the iPad declared my completion incorrect – I’d bunged in tex on top of my tile at 5d & immediately corrected. I found it pretty tricky though in the event it was a speedier solve than the first read through suggested it was going to be. Still a few to parse satisfactorily so I’ll save the review for later. Knew neither the game nor the currency at 15d but couldn’t be owt else & Mr G explained all. Too many good ‘uns to pick out a favourite – 9,10,14,17,20&23a + 4d all in the mix. Lovely start to the Toughie week.
    Thanks Donny & Miffs.

    1. Add13d now that I’ve parsed it. See Miffs has posted a pic from the Robert Eggers movie – 2 stunning performances.

      1. I knew that game from generations of doing the NYT puzzles but also from some Edwardian fiction set in India, as I seem to recall. That currency is also a NYT regular. And for some strange reason, when I was a student at Clemson U back in the 50s we actually called badminton by its ancestral name 15d. I have no idea why.

  9. A cracking and quite challenging Toughie full of clever misdirection and wit, plus a few less than obvious synonyms. Done over two sessions with, I have to admit, some electronic help.
    I liked several, 1,14,20&23 plus 13d foremost amongst them.
    Many thanks to Donnybrook and MP for a top puzzle and review.

  10. More tricky than we have come to expect on a Tuesday. We always groan when we see a geographical clue like 17a but we did know this one.
    Lots of good misdirection and good fun to solve.
    Thanks Donnybrook and MP.

  11. Well I did unbelievably badly which I egotistically attribute to the heat (30 degrees).
    Obviously I’m not at home.
    Thanks to Donnybrook for taking me down a peg or three and to Miffypops.

  12. I seem to remember battledore went with shuttlecock?
    COTD has to be 23a
    Off to have my booster jab later. I hope all the references to a sore arm that I’ve been reading about are not inevitable. I didn’t have one with AZ when, I’m told, I went off my food but not alcohol!

  13. Great puzzle which I did a day late.

    Favourite was surely 20a, but none disappointed.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and MP for the blog.

  14. Thanks Miffs et al. Sorry to be in so late but your comments much appreciated as ever.


  15. 2*/3*…
    liked 20A “Poor Kathleen stops totally heartless devil passing on ring (5,5)”

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