Toughie 2794 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2794

Toughie No 2794 by Logman

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This Logman Toughie had just the right level of difficulty for a mid-week Toughie

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1a    Rebuked by Conservative politician accepting a set scale (10)
CALIBRATED Insert (accepting) A (from the clue) between the abbreviation for Conservative and a member of another political party and then follow with a verb meaning rebuked

6a    Depressed, back following Romeo (4)
WOLF A reversal (back) of a simple way of saying depressed, followed by the abbreviation for Following produces an informal term for a man who insatiably pursues and seduces women (Romeo)

10a    King and country type (on paper) (5)
ROMAN The Latin abbreviation for King and a country on the Arabian Peninsula

11a    Island people win at sea, moving with energy (9)
TAIWANESE An anagram (moving) of WIN AT SEA with the abbreviation for Energy

12a    Spooner’s greeting by friend getting post like this (4,4)
HATE MAIL How the dreaded Reverend might hear a greeting from a friend would mean some correspondence containing anything from insults to death threats

13a    Fast mover adopting new hopeless case (5)
GONER Something that travels very fast, into which is inserted (adopting) the abbreviation for New

15a    Picnics (4,3)
EATS OUT Picnics here being a verb describing the action of having a meal in the fresh air.  As RD says, the first word of the solution can, provided you aren’t too pedantic, can also be a noun.    As Halcyon says, using the second word of the solution as an anagram indicator, a rearrangement of the first word will also describe picnics

17a    Beastly affliction that is attached to dump (7)
SCRAPIE A nasty disease of sheep – the abbreviation for that is attached to, or going after a verb meaning to dump or discard

19a    Be flexible, importing new set for a little lamb (4,3)
BEST END A verb meaning to be flexible ‘importing’ an anagram (new) of SET

21a    Germany must be gutted after a game defence (7)
APOLOGY A (from the clue), a game played on horseback) and the outside (must be gutted) letters of GermanY

22a    Spring may see love unchanged (5)
OASIS The letter representing nothing (love) and a two-word phrase meaning unchanged

24a    Left after seeing country gent sheltering Republican hoard (8)
SQUIRREL The abbreviation for Left goes after a country gentleman ‘sheltering’ the abbreviation for Republican

27a    Short answer is in case of typecast writer (9)
DRAMATIST A short measure of spirits and the abbreviation for Answer followed by IS (from the clue) inserted into the case of TypecasT

28a    Put a date on the setter’s public face (5)
IMAGE Put a date on something follows (on or after) the way our setter might refer to himself

29a    Abuse rejected by a council that’s elected (4)
DUMA An elected council, especially in Russia, is obtained by following a reversal (rejected) of some abuse with A (from the clue)

30a    Positional advantage gained from game of cards with boss (10)
BRIDGEHEAD A game of cards and a boss


1d    Angler’s target may be better across river (4)
CARP A verb meaning to better goes ‘across’ the abbreviation for River

2d    Criticises evening shifts covering degrees in management (9)
LAMBASTES An informal way of referring to evening shifts of work ‘covering’ some abbreviated management degrees

3d    Crown at one time in support of bishop (5)
BONCE A slang term for the head (crown) – an adverb meaning at one time goes after (in support of) the chess abbreviation for Bishop

4d    Appeal to a non-drinker that’s holding dray up (7)
ATTRACT A (from the clue), an abbreviated non-drinker followed by a reversal (up) of a dray

5d    Wait to be given a lift, with the French beginning to supply food (7)
EDIBLES Reverse (to be given a lift) of a verb meaning to wait and follow with the French plural definite article

7d    Lyric poem about musical theatre (5)
ODEON A lyric poem and the preposition meaning about

8d    Iris lost fluids freely if out (5-2-3)
FLEUR-DE-LYS This iris seems to be Crossword Setters’ Word of the Year So Far – an anagram (lost) of FLUIDS FREELY without (out) IF (it has to be the second F that is ignored as otherwise there would have to be an indication that the letters were not in that order)

9d    Bounder in court without legal authority? (8)
KANGAROO An animal which bounds or a court without legal authority such as that operated by a mob

14d    Studied broadcast and initiated macho (3-7)
RED-BLOODED A homophone (broadcast) of a synonym for studied and a verb meaning initiated

16d    Take advantage of host concerned with check (8)
OVERSTAY A preposition meaning concerned with and a verb meaning to check or restrain

18d    Dance for soldiers with a heartless date? (9)
PROMENADE A preposition meaning for, in favour of, some soldiers, A (from the clue) and the outside (heartless) letters of DatE

20d    Rough sleeper should keep one written account (7)
DOSSIER A rough sleeper should keep I (one)

21d    Joined, contrary to expectation gripped by new date (7)
ABUTTED A conjunction meaning ‘on the other hand’ (contrary to expectation) ‘gripped’ by an anagram (new – the repetition radar bleeped here!) of DATE

23d    Small and friendly crowd on the move (5)
SWARM The abbreviation for Small and an adjective meaning friendly

25d    Promote review, lacking application (5)
RAISE A review without (lacking) the three letters that are a computing abbreviation for application

26d    There’s no end of danger in money drop (4)
BEAD Remove the R (there’s no end of danger) from a slang term for money

24 comments on “Toughie 2794

  1. What a delightful Toughie – nicely challenging and bags of fun.

    29a was a new word for me, but readily derivable from the clue and confirmed with a quick Google.

    I took 15a to be a very clever cryptic definition for which both the clue and the answer can each be read as a noun or a verb. This was my favourite (despite my usual objection when “eats” is used as a noun).

    Many thanks to Logman and to CS.

    1. I too thought of ‘eats’ as a noun but I knew someone ;) wouldn’t like it so I left well alone!

  2. For me, possibly the most challenging Logman Toughie so far – 3.5*/3.5*.

    Favourite — a toss-up between 17a and 18d – and the winner is 17a.

    Thanks to Logman and CS.

  3. Very enjoyable, slightly tougher I thought than this setter’s last couple.
    I liked several including, dare I say it,15a plus 22a along with 25d but my favourite was the LOL Spoonerism.
    Many thanks to Logman and CS for the top puzzle and review.

  4. Terrific fun – most grateful to Sue and to Logman, whose work I always enjoy. I too loved 15a. Had to stop by to check what was missing in 25d, and now I know!

  5. Not at all sure about 15a, I have to think about it to make it cryptic; perhaps the word ‘…seat’ is missing
    Plenty to like so thanks Logman and CS

  6. Absolutely marvellous! Took me two visits last night (one before dinner, one afterwards) but there’s not a dud in the grid. I must thank CS for the illustration for 15a: she never could have known that my earworm this week has been “When you go out in the woods today….Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic!” As a child, I always listened to Big John and Sparkie on the radio, and that was their theme song, and in my second childhood it keeps revisiting me. This uplifting Toughie has given me such a rush of frissons, especially the 4-letter clues, with Romeo my favourite. Thanks to CS and to our Wednesday maestro wearing a different hat today: many thanks, Logman.

  7. Hard to look beyond the commendably brief and very clever 15a for my COTD, possibly of the week. Our compiler has given us a most enjoyable puzzle, full of guile and misdirection, yet eminently solvable. Great fun.

    Thanks to Logman for the challenge and to CS.

  8. As CS says this is an enjoyable mid-week Toughie. Thanks to Logman and CS.

    I though that 15a was a terrific clue being both a verbal and a nounal phrase. As Halcyon says it could also be a reverse anagram leading to ‘teas’ although that would work better with a question mark.

  9. Excellent puzzle. Can’t say I thought much of 15a (noun or verb) but there were lots of good clues. The penny took a while to drop for last in 26d & thought I’d be beaten for the want of 2 letters. Top clue for me a toss up between the clever wordplay of 18d&27a. 16d reminded me of a marvellous old film called The Man Who Came To Dinner – Monty Woolley as Sheridan Whiteside & he certainly did.
    Thanks to Logman & to CS for the review which I’m about to read.

    1. Oh I love that great old Kaufman-Hart movie, with two of my favourite women, Davis and Sheridan. Talk of wearing out one’s welcome, eh? I’ll bet that the original staging at the Music Box Theatre must have been a riot.

  10. The two four letter words in 6a and 29a needed a bit of extra thought in this otherwise straightforward puzzle.
    A couple of new words in 3d and 17a but easily checked.
    Thanks to Logman and to CS.

  11. Very nice puzzle. 6a was my last in – took me ages trying to get it starting with an ‘R’ – dope! 15a was my clear favourite with 19a as runner-up.

  12. Very enjoyable, thanks Logman and CS.
    But a few very minor quibbles. Like LbR and Huntsman, I wasn’t keen on 15a, but it seems we’re in the minority. And CS’s review confirms that “A (from the clue)” was used five times … does this not count on the repetition radar? 12a’s definition seemed a bit loose to me, too.
    19a, and spelling of 2d, new to me but both immacualtely clued. Favourites amongst many splendid clues, 23d and 26d.
    Thanks again!

  13. Excellent thanks Logman.
    Like others I hadn’t come across 29ac before, nor the extra E in 2d.

  14. Our biggest stumbling block was 29a in what we thought was a quite challenging and enjoyable Toughie.
    Thanks Logman and CS.

  15. An enjoyable puzzle with 6 and 29 across holding out the longest. I had to revisit this Toughie and today’s cryptic to see what I remembered of them from first thing this morning. Thanks to Logman for the fun and to CS for the review.

  16. By virtue of using ‘picnics’ as a verb, I managed to avoid the horror of introducing that hated noun which seems to have crept into our language so thanks to our setter for giving me the option and also thanks to him for using the version of 8d with which I’m familiar.
    I was rather taken with the soldiers dance and also the Spoonerism although I’m not sure what’s happening to me, that’s at least the second time the reverend has made my leader-board!

    Thanks to our Logman Jay and to CS for the review – not to mention the illustration for 24a which really made me smile.

  17. Re 21d, does not “abutted” equate to “adjoined” rather than “joined” as in the clue?

  18. Didn’t start this until this morning and worked my way through fairly steadily in a couple of sessions. I parsed 5d slightly differently from CS, using the masculine singular of the French definite article plus the first letter (beginning to) of ‘supply’.

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