Toughie 2759 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2759

Toughie No 2759 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

It’s a pleasure to get a visit from Silvanus to Thursday Toughie territory. This one is not too tricky but very entertaining.

Thanks to Silvanus.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.

Across Clues

7a Hardship in Cornish town not unknown (7)
PENANCE: remove one of the mathematical unknowns from the Cornish town which is the terminus of the Cornish Riviera Express and the current home of the Cornish Pirates rugby team.

8a Song about love includes, on reflection, oddly soppy line (7)
CALYPSO: an abbreviation meaning about or approximately and the love-resembling letter contain the reversal of the odd letters of ‘soppy’ and the abbreviation for line.

10a Good example of English way to break record (4,5)
ROLE MODEL: an abbreviation for English and a synonym of way go inside a record or register.

11a Take away by force all others picked up (5)
WREST: a homophone of a word meaning ‘all others’.

12a Group meeting cross, upset by European getting lavish praise (5)
EXTOL: join together a word meaning group and the cross-looking letter then reverse that lot and append it to an abbreviation for European.

13a Endlessly lie over runs on Irish bank (9)
RESERVOIR: string together a truncated verb to lie or recline, an anagram (runs) of OVER and an abbreviation for Irish.

15a Evidence perhaps of defective heating in sleeping area and rodents (7)
DORMICE: split your answer 4,3 to understand the first part of the clue.

17a Repeatedly discovered Hindus, all ages, creating humour (7)
INDULGE: remove the outer letters from the three words referenced.

18a South American doctor, rival occasionally, Costa Rican’s ready to welcome (9)
COLOMBIAN: one of the abbreviations for a medical doctor and the even letters of rival are contained in the Costa Rican currency.

20a Posh replacement for that woman’s aboard racehorse for business mogul (5)
SUGAR: replace the possessive pronoun (that woman’s) with the letter used to mean posh in the name of the famous racehorse stolen in the 1980s.

21a Border  control (5)
LIMIT: double definition, the second a verb to control or restrict.

23a Made too much of duty to conceal mistake in dictionary (9)
OVERRATED: a type of duty or tax contains a verb to mistake and that goes inside the abbreviation for a well-known dictionary.

24a Gear extremely religious European always wears (7)
REVERSE: a Yoda-like clue – a synonym of always is contained inside the outer letters of religious and an abbreviation for European. I hesitate to mention this when the setter is noted for his repetition detecting radar but the abbreviation for European was previously used in 12a.

25a Leaves band over dispute previously, is obliged to go (7)
DEPARTS: reverse a band or belt and precede that with what remains of the word dispute after you’ve removed IS and a synonym of obliged.

Down Clues

1d Nothing worried visiting Russian banker in involving just one party (10)
UNILATERAL: a synonym for nothing and a verb meaning worried are contained in a Russian river.

2d Type of paint Barnstaple man energetically carries around (6)
ENAMEL: hidden in reverse.

3d Angers police officer requiring information leading to armed criminal (8)
GENDARME: an informal word for information followed by an anagram (criminal) of ARMED. The well-disguised Angers is a place in western France.

4d Keeping reserved seats unoccupied for lectures (6)
SCOLDS: the outer letters of seats contain an adjective meaning reserved or aloof.

5d Head of government brought down gave a scowl (8)
GLOWERED: the first letter of government and a verb meaning brought down.

6d Yew, piece cut at intervals that’s used for fencing (4)
ÉPÉE: regular letters from the first two words.

7d In Cup red player, yard away, smashed upright (13)
PERPENDICULAR: an anagram (smashed) of IN CUP RED PLA[y]ER without the abbreviation for yard.

9d Western Isles and Rum, Boris due there? (5,8)
OUTER HEBRIDES: an anagram (rum) of BORIS DUE THERE. A visit by Boris probably wouldn’t go down too well here or anywhere else in Scotland.

14d Ordinary student interrupts important American right-winger as required (10)
OBLIGATORY: start with abbreviation for ordinary then insert our usual abbreviation for student in an adjective meaning important. Finally add an abbreviation for American and a right-winger.

16d Adolescent from Italy and male friend eating curry, keen to leave? (8)
IMMATURE: knit together the IVR code for Italy, the abbreviation for male and another word for friend containing the word curry after we’ve removed what the Scottish verb to keen means.

17d Suggestion of union having struggle to adopt resolution (8)
INNUENDO: an anagram (having struggle) of UNION contains a word meaning resolution or conclusion.

19d Pressed co-chair on education squeezes (6)
IRONED: hidden.

20d Arabic, say, that actor has to learn (6)
SCRIPT: double definition, the second what an actor has to learn to avoid requesting lots of prompts.

22d Touch old volume this writer has penned (4)
MOVE: abbreviations for old and volume are penned inside the objective pronoun for ‘this writer’.

There are lots of ticks on my printout – I’ll just mention 15a, 17a, 20a and 3d. Which one(s) won your plaudits?


21 comments on “Toughie 2759

  1. Rather fluffy for a Thursday but very enjoyable with lovely surfaces. I was pleased with myself for not falling for the old chestnut at 3d but then was unable to parse 25a. Even after your hint Gazza and also consulting Chambers to confirm put = obliged I’m at a loss to see how they are synonymous. Anyone got an e.g.?
    Thanks for the blog and to Sylvanus for the puzzle.

  2. What a delight! This was a lot of fun which I found very challenging in places. I failed to parse 13a (it never occurred to me that “runs” could be an anagram indicator) and 25a, and needed Gazza’s excellent review to understand these two.

    I had lots of ticks on my page with 3d, my favourite, joined on the podium by 17a & 21a.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza.

  3. A very Floughie Toughie, but even so tremendously enjoyable – trademark smooth surfaces, wonderful range of clue-types, and the well-hidden geographic reference in 3d was sublime.

    Hon Mentions to 17a and 20a, but there could as easily have been a dozen more.

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza.

  4. 3d was head and shoulders above everything else, I thought, so easily my clue of the day, possibly the month. The whole puzzle was an absolute delight to complete, straightforward or not, and a perfect example of what a good cryptic should be.

    Thanks to Silvanus for a fine crossword, and to Gazza.

  5. Unlike Halcyon I did fall for ‘Angers’ for quite some time – the only thing that took my time into two stars. Definitely five for enjoyability, as often is the case with this setter. I am grateful to Gazza for his explanation of ‘obliged’, which I think is a stretch but not an unfair one. As well as those already mentioned by others I was especially tickled by 15a. Elgar tomorrow – eek!

  6. Always look forward to a Silvanus puzzle, be it on the back page or in the middle and this didn’t disappoint. Challenging without being headache inducing is my verdict.
    7,15&23a, along with 14d all raised a smile but top spot has to be 3d, a possible clue of the week. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  7. I really enjoyed this floughie. My joint winners were 15a and 3d. Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  8. Many thanks to all for the kind comments so far and of course to Gazza, especially for picking me up on the two instances of “European”. 12a was a late change by me at the request of the Toughie editor, but I ought to have checked that the abbreviation had already been used in 24a. Apologies.

    When constructing 2d, I was unsure whether to use Barnstaple (quite close to Gazza) or Whitstable (not far from CrypticSue) in the clue. I suppose fate decreed that, by opting for the former, the puzzle would fall to Gazza to review, no doubt had I gone for the alternative option, it would have appeared on a Wednesday!

  9. I wrote CONFETTI in the margin for 17d, thinking what an off-the-wall definition it was (confetti in churchyard – ah, there’s been a wedding). It fitted as well, at least with two letters already in, but how to parse it was a mystery. No wonder!

  10. Another gem from possibly my favourite setter. Nothing too difficult in terms of filling in the grid but as usual the correct parsing of a couple of answers was beyond me. My thinking on the 13a wordplay was hopelessly awry, failed at 18a to twig the ready bit & wondered what colon had to do the price of fish (not that I knew the currency anyway) & was nowhere close with 25a, which was my last in. Otherwise ok so I’ll settle for that. Agree with our reviewer’s picks but frankly there were ticks galore. 20a was my favourite for no other reason than I backed the horse (following his debut win as a 2 yr old) ante post for The Derby at very decent odds for one of my biggest wins & was there to see Walter steer him home – happy memories.
    Thanks to Silvanus & as ever to Gazza for filling in the blanks.

  11. Most enjoyable thanks Sylvanus.
    Also to Gazza for parsing (especially 25ac).
    Feeling much less grumpy today…a walk by the sea always helps.
    Agree with your star rating.

  12. I have enjoyed this so far – still got six to go. So far my favourite is 25a.

    I will persevere.

    In the meantime, many thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  13. Much more straightforward than yesterday’s, but great fun. 3d favourite.
    Thanks all

  14. An excellently clued puzzle as always from one of my favourite setters. Managed to solve before meeting a couple of friends for a pre-Christmas lunch – possibly a wise decision to hold it early in the month as goodness knows what restrictions are likely to be placed on us over the coming weeks.
    Masses of ticks on my sheet so I’ll content myself with adopting Gazza’s list and adding to it 5a plus 4d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for the enjoyment and to Gazza for his detailed review. I can think of a couple of people I’d love to get that T-shirt for, but I’d probably have to send them anonymously!

  15. One of the very few Thursday Toughies I’ve finished completely by my own wits, and I’m not surprised that it is Silvanus’s, whose work I always enjoy. 3d, 8a, 18a, & 7a huddle together on a crowded podium in this wonderful puzzle. Thanks to Gazza and to Silvanus. What a joy to behold.

  16. Our GK was rather challenged in places, particularly by 20a and the Costa Rican ready but a bit of guesswork and Googling saw us right.
    A delight to solve.
    Thanks Silvanus and Gazza

  17. Late arrival here, but having achieved a rare unassisted solve of a toughie – and that whilst “watching” the football on prime tv – felt I had to thank Silvanus for a gentle but most enjoyable crossword. By my standards that’s a */*****.

  18. What a treat! An absolute joy to solve. Like others, I loved 3d. Very clever.
    Many thanks, Silvanus. Please keep them coming!
    Thanks also to Gazza for the review.

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