Toughie 2806 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2806

Toughie No 2806 by Django

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

Another enjoyable Toughie from Django,but boy does he make you work hard to parse some of the clues – I’m looking particularly at you 1/16d! I also seem to have typed the word ‘abbreviation’ quite a lot.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a and 6 Across Murder, say, at the address of deranged violent uncle (10,4)
COLLECTIVE NOUN The abbreviation used when you send something in the post to an address not that of the intended recipient and an anagram (deranged) of VIOLENT UNCLE. We have a lot of crows round here at the moment so I know all about a ‘murder’ of them

6a    See 1a

10a    Show interest in Brussels retaining the old power (3,2)
EYE UP The abbreviation for the organisation informally known as ‘Brussels’ into which is inserted (retaining) an archaic (old) word meaning ‘the’ and finish with the abbreviation for Power

11a    Earl cycling around island bike race, about to return overseas correspondence (3,6)
AIR LETTER An anagram (cycling) of EARL goes around the abbreviation for Island, then add an abbreviated motorbike race and a reversal (to return) of the ‘usual’ two-letter preposition meaning about, on the subject of

12a    Staff regret taking drug money (7)
RETINUE A verb meaning regret ‘taking’ the abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy and a slang term for money

13a    Tongue‘s hot following back-to-back drinks (7)
LAPPISH The tongue of the people of Lapland – the abbreviation for hot follows two words meaning drink, the second one reversed so that the last letters are ‘back-to-back’

14a    Author has row about picture for cover, ultimately finding one with wiry hair (5,7)
WELSH TERRIER The Scottish author probably best known for Trainspotting, and a row, the latter going about the ultimate letters of picturE foR coveR

18a    Protest without working — getting warning (6,6)
OBJECT LESSON A synonym for protest, a preposition meaning without and the ‘usual’ two-letter word meaning working

21a    Writers will have no charge for Latin as they read the news (7)
ANCHORS Take some writers and replace the Latin word for as with the abbreviation for No Charge

23a    Inverting periodic sine, mathematically describes results of surface tension? (7)
MENISCI Hidden in reverse (inverting) in periodIC SINE Mathematically

24a    Occasionally suntan lotion’s drunk — it’s got a savoury flavour (5,4)
ONION SALT An anagram (drunk) of the occasional letters of SuNtAn and LOTION

25a    Want missing diamonds home? (5)
EARTH A want or scarcity missing the abbreviation for the card suit of Diamonds

26d and 27 Across This writer attends bespoke shoe fittings — it shows you how things are going (4,2,3,5)
SIGN OF THE TIMES How Django might refer to himself (this writer) inserted into (attends) an anagram (bespoke) of SHOE FITTINGS

27a See 26


1d and 16 Down Henry making new restaurant’s starter on time — extremely sleepy son dropping round salad ingredients (6,8)
CHERRY TOMATOES Find an adjective meaning extremely drowsy or sleeping heavily and drop or move the abbreviation for Son to the end of that word. The result then goes round the word HENRY once you have made or changed the abbreviation for New into the ‘starter’ of Restaurant and T (time)

2d    Stops moving when facing wind from smelliest orifice (4,2)
LIES TO A nautical term meaning to become stationary with head to the wind is hidden in smelLIEST Orifice

3d    After ten games between opponents — main clubs qualify for businessman’s funding? (7,7)
EXPENSE ACCOUNT The Roman numeral for ten and some school games inserted between two bridge opponents, followed by a mass of saltwater (main), the abbreviation for the suit of Clubs and a verb meaning to qualify

4d    Going over VAR alters broadcast (9)
TRAVERSAL An anagram (broadcast) of VAR ALTERS

5d    Popular online video is rapidly adding likes, initially (5)
VIRAL The initial letters of Video Is Rapidly Adding Likes

7d    East German medic tries, regularly, to identify bone issue (8)
OSTEITIS An ‘issue’ or inflammation of the bone – the German word for East and the regular letters of mEdIc TrIes

8d and 20 Down Note, men joining the RNLI, principally giving help to sailors — they’re a phenomenon (8,6)
NORTHERN LIGHTS Abbreviations for Note and the ordinary ranks of soldiers (men) ‘joining’ THE and RNLI (from the clue) and the principal letters of Giving Help To Sailors

9d    Nominal fee for each firm bringing in face masks etc right near hospital department (10,4)
PEPPERCORN RENT A preposition meaning for each and an abbreviated company (firm) into which is inserted (bringing in) the abbreviation for face masks etc, followed by the abbreviations for Right and near, followed by an abbreviated hospital department often found in crosswords

15d    Sports event put strain on marriage (4,5)
TEST MATCH A verb meaning to put strain on and a synonym for marriage

16d    See 1 Down

17d    Phone company with jack breaking copyright on gadget that’s primarily hands free, releasing … (8)
EJECTING The abbreviation for Jack inserted (breaking) a phone company known by its initials, followed by the abbreviation for copyright and a gadget without (free of) the primary letter of Hands

19d    … a counterfeit, inspiring competitor’s final retreat (6)
ASHRAM A (from the clue) and a synonym for counterfeit ‘inspiring’ the final letter of competitoR

20d    See 8 Down

22d    Stole small motor — getting fine (5)
SCARF A nice misleading surface reading – stole here being a noun – the abbreviation for Small, a motor vehicle and the abbreviation for Fine

28 comments on “Toughie 2806

  1. I am not generally a fan of lengthy clues, largely because it often seems to lead to either questionable surfaces or surface padding. However, it appears that Django has mastered the art of combining very wordy clues with meaningful surfaces, and this puzzle is a good example of this.

    Even though 1d/16d was perfectly accurate, I did find it over-complex for my taste but, that aside, this was a very enjoyable and nicely challenging midweek Toughie.

    Despite having lots of good clues to choose from, there is no need to look further than 1a/6a as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Django and to CS.

  2. Great fun. I don’t know about 8d being a phenomenon, I think this setter is a bit of cruciverbal equivalent. A few answers arrived on an earlier bus than the parsings but it’s forever thus for me with Django
    Some very amusing clues (face masks etc..PPE!) of which I liked several, the 1/6a combo plus 21a along with 9&17d foremost amongst them.
    Many thanks to Mr Gorman, and to CS for sorting out some pretty complex wordplay, a couple of which I gave up on.

    1. I suppose he could have said “they are phenomenal “ and it would have worked better but the surface was so superb anyway describing RNLI crews as phenomenal which I think they are, makes it my clue of the puzzle.

      1. What’s wrong with the phrasal definition in 8d? They are (the answer) a wonder/spectacle/clue definition.

  3. Despite enjoying the semi topical 15d I have to admit that I found the convoluted clues over long and irritating. An acquired taste..

  4. I am often intimidated by long, wordy clues, and that was almost the case here, but the four peripheral clues were such fun to disentangle that any feelings of frustration dissipated quite quickly. 21a was favourite ahead of the 1a/6a combo.

    My thanks to Django for the fun, and to CS.

  5. I found this to be rather a slog with too many of the long answers being guessed from the checkers and then retrospectively parsed.

    I was surprised at 8/20d where half the 14-letter answer appears verbatim in the clue.

    Thanks to Django and CS.

  6. Quite straightforward despite some deucedly complex parsing.

    Very enjoyable. Thanks to Django and CS.

  7. I just enjoyed the way that this puzzle fell together. As always checkers are my friends giving some childish glee as I bunged in answers knowing that they were right but having no idea why. I guessed at Django due to the high enjoyment factor. Keep em coming bucko. They’ll do for this boy. Ta to CS for the blog. How many keys do you press to type abbreviation? I’ve just done it in three

  8. Solving this, for me at any rate, consisted mainly of finding a word or words that fitted and then trying to work out how they applied to the clue. Needless to say I found this very difficult and I needed the hints to parse 14a, 21a, 1 & 16d and 3d. Favourite was probably 9d. Thanks to Django and CS.

  9. Loved this, I’m a big fan of Django’s lengthy clues – as RD notes above, the surfaces justify the wordiness, and I think they’re great fun to unravel even if the answer’s initally a bung-in. (Many thanks for the review CS – by the way, the hint for 1d/16d omits one of the crucial Lego bricks, “on time” … as if it wasn’t already complicated enough.) I spent far too long trying to work STRIKE into 18a. Enjoyed the perimeter clues most, perhaps 1a/6a edges it for COTD. Thanks Django!

    1. The T for time was marked on my piece of paper but sadly was left out of my original hint. The parsing of 1/16 took longer than solving the crossword and parsing the other clues

  10. I’m a big fan too. I loved 1d/16d, precisely because of the feeling of triumph when you finally put it all together. Terrific fun, and easier than I expected at first glance. More please!

  11. Enjoyable and satisfying Wednesday Toughie, verging on a Friday/Sunday backpager. Very smooth surfaces but so verbose it felt more like a Times puzzle. Indeed the overly long clues rather threatened to take the edge off the pleasure of the challenge, and more than once I found myself thinking “well, that’s the answer but I can’t be a***d to work out why”. However the wonderful variety of clue types and artistry of construction shone through more brightly than the 8d-20d!

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to Django and to CS

  12. At some stage, I thought 1d/16d was Celery Potatoes. Once I got the correct answer I still couldn’t parse it.
    Didn’t quite understand how the two medical clues referred to their definitions until I read the blog.
    Quite a workout but extremely enjoyable.
    Thanks to Django and to CS for the review.
    Off to have a go at Philistine. So rarely seen in the Graun.

  13. Such heavy-going work for me, the parsing, though he answers came quickly. Is that the way the game ought to be played? I suspect that in my life I have backed myself into acceptable slots many times (like my second, long, tenured professorship, which I just reversed myself into): rather like parallel parking, and then you’re slotted in. Needed a bit of help to finish, as I’d never heard of that nominal fee (it doesn’t begin to exist over here), and at a point somewhere around midway through the laboured solving, I decided to let CS do the parsing for me since I knew that she knew it all. What is that abbreviation that she alludes to in 1/6a, by the way? Must be very different in the UK. Yet, despite all of my demurrals, I did grudgingly enjoy the marathon, especially 26/27a, that Yeatsian ‘Spiritus Mundi’! Thanks to CS and Django.

    1. The abbreviation in 1/6a is ‘care of’, usually written c/o, used when you want to address some mail to someone at another person’s address.

  14. That was a real toughie but with CS’s help all is now clear I doubt I could have got there unaided.
    Thanks to CS and Django – If you get to do the new Sunday Toughie please go easy on us all.

  15. I’m certainly another in the Django fan club. For me it’s try to spot the definition, figure out a plausible answer & then try & make sense of the often convoluted but always precise wordplay which is where the fun starts – 7d&23a my only 2 exceptions & where the wordplay led me to the answer & one of those a lurker. I actually completed the grid quicker than the back-pager but parsing them took some time & gave up with 1/16d & 21a. Standouts for me – 10,13,14,18 &26/27a along with 3,8/20&9d but another vote for the 1/6a kick off as top of the pops.
    Thanks to Mr G & to CS for making sense of the salad – Bletchley Pk had it easier

  16. I’ve only recently started doing the Toughie and I’m finding it to be exactly what it says on the tin. Therefore, I’m delighted to have finished it, even with the help of everything electronic.
    Thanks to crypticsue for the parsing, which I could never have done, and to Django for the sore head.

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