Toughie 2762 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2762

Toughie No 2762 by Logman

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

The time taken to solve my last two clues took this crossword over the border between a back page cryptic and a Toughie – making it another ‘ideal for newcomers to the Toughie’ crossword

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Lloyd Webber musical mainly featuring naked floor show (7)
CABARET Almost all (mainly) of a Lloyd Webber musical ‘featuring’ another word for naked

9a    Golf in Germany may need such a course (8)
AUTOBAHN The course taken by a German make of car such as a Golf

10a    Game requiring select players to hold an ace (7)
CANASTA A select group of players to ‘hold’ AN (from the clue), the result finished with the abbreviation for Ace

11a    Feature of Porterhouse that’s blemish on conspicuous wealth? (8)
MARBLING A feature of a choice cut of beefsteak (porterhouse) – a verb meaning to blemish and some conspicuous wealth

12a    Line needed for bishop in improved communication (6)
LETTER Replace the chess abbreviation for Bishop in a synonym for improved with the abbreviation for Line

13a    Pompous official judge’s first with spirit after censure (10)
PANJANDRUM The first letter of Judge, a conjunction (with) and some alcoholic spirit go after a verb meaning to criticise harshly (censure)

15a    European woman seeing sharp practice curtailed? (4)
FRAU ‘Curtail’ or remove the final letter from some sharp practice

16a    Lad’s holding fly that bites little bits (9)
SMIDGEONS A lad ‘holding’ a biting gnat-like fly

21a    Feeling of pressure prime minister’s limited? (4)
HEAT Almost all of the surname of a Conservative Prime Minister from the early 1970s

22a    It’s widely known duck enclosures on island last given precedence (4,6)
OPEN SECRET The abbreviation used in cricket scoring to indicate a ‘duck’, some enclosures and a Greek island with the final letter moved to the front of the name (last given precedence)

24a    Money requires care and attention after losing time (6)
ROUBLE Some care and attention without (after losing) the abbreviation for Time

25a    Arsenal weekly? (8)
MAGAZINE This arsenal is not the football team (as you might think because of the capital letter as the word starts the clue, but a place for military weapons and ammunition; the second definition relates to a weekly publication

27a    Rests players at last after pride’s shattered (7)
SPIDERS The last letter of playerS goes after an anagram (shattered) of PRIDES

28a    Utterly destroyed and unlikely to have kicked about (8)
TOTALLED I did dither a bit here as I wondered if the clue required something other than an unindicated  American slang word meaning utterly destroyed as its solution. I bet there was much muttering in the rabbit hutch too. Insert a word meaning hardly to have been believed (unlikely) into part of a verb meaning kicked

29a    Intense as lifebelt may be described (7)
SEARING Split this synonym for intense 3, 4 and you might well be describing a lifebelt


2d    You are soundly invested in a partner’s lovers (8)
AMATEURS These lovers are people who do something for the ‘love of it’ rather than for payment. Letters that sound like you are ‘invested’ in A (from the clue) and a partner’s

3d    Growth of hypocrisy and end of faith in Australia (8)
ACANTHUS Some hypocrisy and the ‘end’ of faitH inserted into the abbreviation for Australia

4d    Initiative to go in with award for broadcast (10)
ENTERPRISE A verb meaning to go in and a homophone (for broadcast) of an award

5d    Area south of Bear island (4)
CUBA The abbreviation for Area goes south (in a Down solution) of a baby bear

6d    Sweet note found during blessing (6)
BONBON A Latin instruction to take notice (note) ‘found’ inside a blessing

7d    Bore‘s degree of suitability (7)
CALIBRE The diameter of a gun or tube and or a figurative word for a degree of suitability or excellence

8d    Moves to mate, perhaps willing to support objective (7)
ENDGAME An informal word meaning willing to act goes after (to support in a Down solution) an objective

11d    Maiden horse surrounded by spooky group of creatures (9)
MENAGERIE The cricket abbreviation for a Maiden [over] and an informal term for a horse, the latter inserted into another word for spooky

14d    Butchers notoriously miss this change of direction in address (10)
APOSTROPHE A double definition clue: Firstly, a punctuation mark notoriously missed by butchers [and greengrocers]. Secondly, a sudden turning away from the ordinary course of a speech  to address some person or object present or absent

17d    Bear has an obligation to the Queen (8)
SHOULDER Part of a verb meaning ‘has an obligation to’ and the regnal cipher of our current Queen

18d    Accomplice must finish early, pinching antique Scottish pot (8)
CAULDRON Almost all of an accomplice (must finish early) ‘pinching’ a Scottish word meaning antique

19d    Go to the office, maybe work out after a change of heart (7)
COMMUTE Change the middle letter (heart) of a verb meaning to calculate (work out)

20d    Demanding way in which rowing crew will replace American (7)
WEIGHTY Replace the abbreviation for American in the word ‘way’ with a rowing crew

23d    Show great excitement as wife leaves cheat (6)
SIZZLE The abbreviation for Wife leaves an informal fraud (cheat)

26d    Take heart from new time of celebration (4)
NOEL Remove the middle letter (take heart from) an adjective meaning new


38 comments on “Toughie 2762

  1. All over in ** time, although I will admit that I had to use a few electrons to get the last couple (7d & 18d). I really couldn’t parse 14d no matter how long I stared at it, and I am still none the wiser after reading the hint, although it does appear in the BRB.

    Thanks anyway to CS and Logman.

    1. Although butchers do often miss the 14d from their signs, it was hard to find a pictorial example of one – whereas had Logman used ‘greengrocers’ I’d have been spoilt for choice

      1. I thought it was more cunning of Logman to use Butchers rather than Greengrocers because some people (I, for example) might be initially misled into thinking of the rhyming slang for the former whereas Greengrocers (as far as I know) isn’t slang for anything.

  2. An enjoyable midweek Toughie – thanks to Logman and CS.
    I didn’t know (or possibly had forgotten) the second meaning of 14d and had to consult the BRB.
    My honourable mentions went to 13a (wonderful word!), 28a and 2d.

  3. As straightforward a Toughie as you could wish for, with nothing too awkward apart from the second meaning of 14d. 9a was my favourite for the misdirection.

    I saw a Jay in the garden today this morning, so thank you to his alter ego Logman and to CS for her review.

  4. Loved it. A very enjoyable solve. Thank you Logman and thank you Cryptic Sue who knew a second definition of 14 down. You can add Miffypops to the list of those who find apostrophes silly

  5. Thanks to CS and Logman.
    All enjoyable.
    I also was mystified by 14d and lazily waited for enlightenment.
    As far as 10 ac is concerned, does anyone still play this?
    I remember my parents playing it in the 1950’’’s…( the more apostrophes the better)
    **/****. As 29 ac stupidly took ages.

  6. I think that the second reference in 14d is actually a literary device, a poetic address to something or someone not visible…as in ‘Death, be not proud’ or ‘Milton, thou shouldst be living at this hour’. Anyway, that’s how I read it. I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely Toughie, which I finished without any outside aids, and which I thought was our usual Wednesday setter as his most artistic. 13a, 16a, and 20d head a podium chockful of too many stars to mention. Thanks to CS and to Logman / Jay.

  7. Some slight delay over 14d (yes, greengrocers would have been a much easier clue, would it not?) and the clever 9a pushed me just into 2* time, very slightly longer than today’s back page. Favourite clue probably 29a, but favourite answer definitely 13a. Very enjoyable, thanks to CS and to Logman.

  8. Unlike Gazza, my choice of ‘wonderful’ word is 16a – so expressive.
    Got myself in a bit of a pickle with 2d but the checkers made the answer apparent.

    Thanks to Logman and to CS for the review.

    1. I think there’s something wrong at 16ac. The hint is for 16d and it should be 9 letters.

      Struggling with this one … don’t know why but simply not on wavelength.

      Thanks Logman and CS.

      1. The template we used to create the blog posts automatically makes all the Across clue numbers have a ‘d’ so you have to remember to change them to an ‘a’. I probably omitted the S at the end of the solution because I used the singular form of the word such a lot

  9. I haven’t tackled this puzzle but have read (as always) the clues and interesting review, and comments so far. Something is bothering me about the first definition in 14d. Butchers (and greengrocers) don’t “notoriously miss” apostrophes, they notoriously add them where they are not required. As in: Apple’s – 8 for a £1. Or have I missed something?

    1. I was just going to make exactly the same point, Jose, but you have saved me the trouble.

        1. I was waiting to see if anyone was going to make this point so thank you RD and Jose.

          I am very surprised so many commenters above missed this glaring error!

          1. G. I changed my mind, I now don’t think it is an error – see further comments below. But feel free to disagree!

    2. * Maybe the clue is referring not to “missing” apostrophes on produce labels but to those missing on shop front signs. A Newsagents shop sign should probably read Newsagent’s?

        1. I think you’re overthinking this now, Jose…

          … or should I say, I think your overthinking this now, Jose? :wink:

          1. I do tend to over-analyse (good for understanding chess openings) but now realise that the clue is referring to shop signs (and thus OK) and am just explaining why I’ve changed my mind from my original comment. I had missed something!

    3. Good point. Jose’s point is true as far as it goes, but the shops signs aren’t notorious for this: notoriety definitely applies to superfluous punctuation, example’s of which I see very often in the nearby open market – some but fewer in the nearby indoor market where the butchers’ [sic, right?] shops are to be found.

      All of which being said, I don’t think the clue is at all unfair, though as previously mentioned it did push my time up one star.

      1. Thank you, FR. I think I’ve sussed it now (see just above). I do think the clue is referring to shop signs and is therefore OK. Luckily, I added the codicil “Or have I missed something?” to my original comment – doing that makes it easier to redeem oneself later on!

  10. This was nicely challenging and great fun. I didn’t know the second meaning of 14d. What a strange word.

    Although spoilt for choice, on reflection, I am going to settle on 9a as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Logman and to CS.

  11. Only managed about half this * puzzle yet completed yesterday’s *** puzzle. I think this was far more tricky. I am an apostrophe ‘nut’. If you don’t know how to use it, don’t use it at all. I went into a posh shop in London and asked the twenty somethings lounging about how many Queens were celebrating the Jubilee as the sign in the window said Sale to celebrate the Queens’ Jubilee! They had no idea what I was talking about. What do they teach kids today? Thanks to Logman and CS for the explanation.

    1. The blog template shows the difficulty and enjoyment rating as 3* and bloggers then change it to their thoughts about the crossword. Miffypops never alters the ratings but you can tell from what he says in his prologue that he found yesterday’s crossword friendlier than 3*

      1. Thanks CS. Trouble is I am quite guided by the stars given. However if I see it is an Elgar I don’t even attempt it!

  12. Ideal for newcomers? You have to be joking! I’m not a tyro but I just couldn’t get a handle on this. I was going to shriek that Cabaret was not a Lloyd Webber musical only to find it was a misdirect. Downhill all the way from there I’m afraid. Oh well, you can’t win them all.

  13. Very enjoyable indeed. Like a lot of Toughies it took me a little while to break into it but once I did it probably took only a little longer than the back pager but somehow didn’t feel as hard work.
    In a strong field my favourite was 13a (great illustration) with 9&11a plus 23d making up the places.
    Many thanks to Logman and CS .
    Many thanks to

  14. I too needed the hint to parse 14d and I’d never heard of 13a. Apart from that pretty straightforward. Favourite was 18d. Thanks to the setter and CS.

  15. A bit of head-scratching about the second meaning of 14d and, for some reason that we can’t fathom now took a while to twig 7d.
    Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Logman and CS.

  16. A really enjoyable Toughie, with plenty of “Doh!” moments as pennies dropped. Wonderfully clever, absolutely fair, but for me very definitely a Toughie (2.5* on my Toughie scale) and nowhere near a backpager.

    9a my LOI – until I had the final checkers I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind of placing a G in some abbreviation for Germany … but that’s what red herrings are all about, of course. Used to play 10a until about 20 years ago, great game. So many wonderful clues – loved 13a, 18a, 2d, 28d and various others as well.

    Thank you to Logman, and to CS.

  17. I managed about 80% of the clues which is pretty good for me but I tend to demand too much precision/logic and often get all ‘Mr Spockish’. Even though I parsed it accurately, I really struggled to equate amateurs as lovers. Surely an amateur is someone that engages in something on an unpaid basis? That does not necessarily mean they actually love it. Perhaps I need to get out more.

  18. Very annoyingly needed the hint to get 7d, which I ought to have got & never heard of the alternative meaning of 14d. Otherwise pretty straightforward & very enjoyable indeed. I thought the first 2 across clues were crackers but COTD for me was 13a because it’s such a wonderful word.
    Thanks to Logman & CS

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