Toughie 2792 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2792

Toughie No 2792 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Today Elgar gives us a pangram, which I found useful in some clues.

Please leave a comment telling us how you did and what you thought


We’re going through them, like a solver whose newsagent’s run out of Telegraphs ? (6,5)

TRYING TIMES: Such a solver might be considering an alternative

9 Flooring capacity at Ye Olde Crowne? (8,6)

IMPERIAL GALLON: A pre-metric volume or capacity which if drunk in a pub might indeed floor you

11 Film family five days before assassination in Rome? (4)

MARX: Split (3,1), the answer indicates a date five days before the assassination of Caesar

12 Argued coat of red should be removed altogether (2,3)

AS ONE: Take an 8-letter word meaning argued, and remove the coat of ‘red’

13 Time for Jack’s girl finally to ditch him? (4)

JILT: Replace the last letter of Jack’s girl with the abbreviation for time

16 Hospital worker who’s bound to welcome independent type (8)

SANSERIF : A 3-letter hospital, then a ‘worker who’s bound’ containing (to welcome) the abbreviation for independent

17 Keys ready for American golden oldie record label (2-2-2)

DO-RE-MI: Two definitions, the second a slang word for money. A (1’2) expression meaning golden, plus an old record label

19 Pluck odd selection of brollies to keep dry (6)

BOTTLE: Odd letters of ‘brollies’ containg (to keep) an abbreviation for dry

20 Crew on non-stop Munich train putting Zulu women in tight spot (8)

ZUGZWANG: The German (Munich) word for train without the last letter (non-stop), then a 4-letter word for crew containing (puttingin) the letter with radio code zulu and the abbreviation for women

22 Couples gripped by dolour: sadly, only one of the two bears up (4)

URSA: Hidden as two-letter pairs (couples gripped by …)

23 Boerewors possibly having broken with its country tradition (5)

USAGE: ‘Boerewors on the braai’ is as much of a thing as ‘shrimp in the barbie’. Take a 7-letter word for a meat product exemplified by boerewors and remove the initial abbreviation for the country where it originates

24 Enigmatic clue? Not the first I put in place (4)

LIEU: An anagram (enigmatic) of (c)LUE without the first letter (Not the first) with I inserted (put in)

27 Domestic problem upsetting for hodman, I seek outside employment (10,4)

HOUSEMAID’S KNEE: An anagram (upsetting for … ) HODMAN I SEEK containing (outside) another word for employment

28 This nearly needed my quaintly personal view? (3,5,3)

THE MIND’S EYE: An anagram (quaintly) of THIS NEEDE(d) MY, with the last letter of need omitted (nearly)


Artistic group valued tips for De Nachtwacht painter holds up (14)

REMBRANDTESQUE: A 3-letter group or band, then a French painter containing a reversal (holds up) of a 3-letter word that can mean valued or fixed (like a price) and the first letters (tips) of De Nachtwacht. A nice hint in the wordplay and the pangram helped here, as I wasn’t familiar with the French painter

3 Being horny, I start to bother old flame (4)

IBEX: I from the clue, the first letter (start) to bother, and an old flame

4 Has successful application for charity denied? (8)

GAINSAID: Split (5,3), the answer would mean ‘has successful application for charity’

5 Away from work, fish (6)

IDLING: Split (2,4), the answer reveals two fish

6 A blast from the past to illustrate notice? (4)

EGAD: An old-fashioned way of saying ‘blast’. A Latin abbreviation that means ‘to illustrate’, plus a notice.

7 Thus tallied totality entirely together? (14)

ALLITERATIVELY: Split (3,7), we have a description of 4 successive synonyms for the first (3-letter) word. The answer is exemplified by a device in the clue (Thus … ?)

8 Obsession in the Big Apple for lining border? Not at all (8,3)

ANYTHING BUT: An ‘Obsession in the Big Apple’ would be a (2,5), with the first being an abbreviation. This goes inside (for lining) a word meaning to border

10 Nibble tip of ear-lobe so much beau’s titillated (5-6)

AMUSE-BOUCHE: An anagram (titillated) of the tip of E(arlobe) + SO MUCH BEAU

14 Ring concealed in party for English setter (5)

JELLY: Take a 5-letter party and conceal the ring with the abbreviation for English

15 Crapulent bishop with a proclivity for passing water? (5)

BOOZY: The abbreviation for bishop plus a word meaning with a tendency to leak

18 This bhisti, a real guardian angel coming to grief (5,3)

GUNGA DIN: An anagram (coming to grief) of GUARDIAN ANGEL will give you (the answer) + A REAL.

21 Will the Bees be playing with passion? (6)

ASWARM: A word for playing, eg an actor representing a character, and a word for ‘with passion’

25 Letter R omitted centrally from ‘mooring’ (4)

BETH: R is omitted from the centre of a noun meaning mooring

26 When cycling, fondly touch runners (4)

SKIS: A word meaning to fondly touch with the last letter cycled to the front

Some funny clues today: I particularly enjoyed the naughty cyclists (26d), the crapulent bishop (15d), the titillating ear-nibbling (10d) and the horny ex-hassler (3d). Which were your favourites?

13 comments on “Toughie 2792

  1. Wow that was hard, but fair. Thanks to all for taking up so much of my valuable time today! Agree entirely with the markings.

  2. Another enjoyable battle with the devious mind of Elgar – the possibility of it being a pangram helped no end – lots of lovely d’oh moments and too many clues I liked so I’ll just give special mention to my last d’oh moment of all – 11a

    Thanks to Elgar for the solving treat and to Dutch for the blog

  3. Another great puzzle from Elgar – thanks to him and Dutch.

    I had to look up both boerewors and bhisti. I didn’t know that 17a was American slang for money and parsed the clue incorrectly using D (dollar) for the American ready bit.

    I ticked 1a, 9a and 3d but my favourite was the very amusing crapulent bishop (15d).

  4. Fabulous, as ever, many thanks Elgar – and thank you Dutch. Like Gazza, I parsed 17a in the same incorrect way (wondering if D=dollar was actually recognised), and had to look up boerewors and bhisti too, as well as 20a (immacualtely clued). Also failed to ‘get’ the significance of ‘flooring’ in 9a – the illustration provided certainly helps make this clear! Far too many good’uns to pick a favourite – five stars all round. Thanks again!

  5. Yet another masterpiece from Elgar that was both tough and fair. I needed help with a couple of the parsings from Dutch upon completion, but this was so rewarding to solve with a great sense of satisfaction. 15d proved to be my favourite, although I appreciated the clever construction of 2d.

    My thanks and continuing admiration to Elgar and Dutch.

  6. Another Elgar (thank you) conquered, albeit with a smidge of assistance from Dutch (my thanks) to parse the two (the first of which I had missed) fish. Only realised 2d was what it had to be when the pangram penny dropped. 2* time (goodness knows how, definitely 4* struggle) and 4* pleasure for me.

  7. This is certainly the best I’ve ever done with an Elgar puzzle, but even with my electronic online gift of 5 letters (applied judiciously, I thought), I still failed to solve five clues: the bhisti (which I did Google but that’s as far as I got), the chess move, the ‘setter’, the type, and Jack’s girl. However, I feel quite chuffed that I did as well as all that, and I especially loved the film family, the crapulent cleric, & and the artistic ones (though I flatly failed to parse it). Once I discovered what boerewors was, I solved 23a easily; I also knew and chuckled over our ‘keys’ of dough over here. Many thanks to Dutch for all the help and to Elgar for once again besting me…but that’s perfectly all right.

    1. I just re-read the Kipling poem & am embarrassed to report that I’d forgotten that ‘bhisti’ appears in the first stanza!

  8. I agree also with Dutch’s markings. Devious stuff, but gettable for patient solvers. I have to say though that the combination of today’s daily and Toughie did take up rather more of my free time today than usual. Was it wasted time? Not a bit of it!

  9. Dan Word…….anyone suss this site? He/She have the answers before the clues are written……..anyhow I might be 1 across in future if Elgar is on board……….

  10. Managed most of this last night, but needed another shot at it this morning. I had to look up the german word for train to get me going again.
    Gave up trying to parse 2d, and I parsed 17a as D (dollar) + OR (golden) + EMI (oldie record label).

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