Toughie 2807 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2807

Toughie No 2807 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Firefly for an enjoyable puzzle.

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

Across Clues

1a Sweet spoils hero may initially grant (11)
MARSHMALLOW: string together a verb meaning spoils, the initial letters of Hero May and a verb to grant.

8a Depression, daughter admitted, can be merciless (4-7)
COLD-BLOODED: charade of a depression in the mountains, the genealogical abbreviation for daughter and a verb meaning admitted or initiated someone into an activity. Did anyone else start out by trying to justify ‘hearted’ for the second bit?

11a Skunk consuming some tomato ketchup (4)
ATOK: hidden in the clue is a species of skunk (the animal not the dope!). Not a word I knew.

12a Periodical laziness girl’s shrugged off (4)
ZINE: remove the girl from the word laziness.

13a Train  voice (7)
EXPRESS: double definition – the first a noun and the second a verb.

15a Fabulous creature sappers in the end disinterred, retaining name: ‘Fabulous Creature‘ (7)
CENTAUR: make an anagram (fabulous) of CREATU[re] after you’ve removed the abbreviation for sappers at its end and insert the abbreviation for name.

16a Weapon oddly scabbarded (5)
SABRE: just the odd letters of the final word.

17a Container  captain‘s caper (4)
SKIP: triple definition. Caper here is a verb.

18a Mark‘s wrong to accept Young’s tip (4)
SIGN: a moral wrong containing the last letter of young.

19a This plus insect flying around provokes apprentices daily (5)
PAPER: this is a compound anagram. An anagram (flying around) of the answer (i.e. this) plus INSECT produces APPRENTICES.

21a Quietly embellish account within advert (7)
PLACARD: start with our usual abbreviation for quietly and add a verb meaning to embellish (a talk or document with extra material) with the abbreviation for account inside it.

22a Spectacle cases years in long … (7)
PAGEANT: a synonym of years is contained in a verb to long or ache.

23a … fabricated cover lined with ermine’s tail (4)
LIED: a cover has inside it (is lined with) the tail letter of ermine.

26a Girl backing article by parson (4)
VERA: one of our indefinite articles and the abbreviated title of a parson all reversed.

27a Took counsel when brought back to gaol? (11)
DELIBERATED: cryptically, with the insertion of a hyphen perhaps, this could mean returned to gaol.

28a Set out urn and teapot, Ma, in case (11)
PORTMANTEAU: an anagram (set out) of URN TEAPOT MA.

Down Clues

2d Crazy morning, yes? (4)
AMOK: the usual abbreviation for in the morning and a short question hoping for an affirmative response.

3d Son’s on notice, with head getting grief (7)
SADNESS: splice together the genealogical abbreviation for son, an abbreviated notice and a head or promontory.

4d Powder in very small measure (4)
MILL: double definition – the first is a verb meaning to reduce something to powder and the second is a monetary amount equal to one tenth of a US cent.

5d Seek frantically after facilities for gander (4-3)
LOOK-SEE: an anagram (frantically) of SEEK follows an informal word for very necessary facilities.

6d Listen! You could be putting on weight! (4)
OYEZ: an old word for you is contained in an abbreviated imperial weight.

7d Drink flexibly — it’s essential for life (5,6)
WATER SUPPLY: stitch together what ‘the drink’ is an informal term for and an adverb meaning flexibly.

8d Get this straight — accept I’m old and confused! (11)
COMPLICATED: an anagram (get this straight) of ACCEPT IM OLD.

9d Shabby lad I titivated with very good old hat (11)
DILAPIDATED: assemble an anagram (titivated) of LAD I, an abbreviated adjective meaning very good (in a smarmy way) and an adjective meaning ‘old hat’.

10d Deterioration in sport — consequently a drop (4,3,4)
WEAR AND TEAR: a verb to sport, a conjunction meaning consequently and a drop secreted.

14d Hotchpotch of pitiful housing left uninhabited in centre (5)
SALAD: an adjective meaning pitiful contains the abbreviation for left and the central letter of uninhabited.

15d Equal rises to Charlie and Inch (5)
CREEP: reverse a word for an equal after the letter that Charlie is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

19d Shot captures Ruby, first to tender bet (7)
PREDICT: a shot or photo contains a synonym of the falsely-capitalised ruby. Finish with the first letter of tender.

20d Rearing sheep, Dad closes in sylvan tract (7)
RAMPANT: paste together a sheep, an affectionate word for one’s dad and the closing letters of the last two words.

24d Stripped-down comedy coming up in March, perhaps? (4)
DEMO: remove the outer letters of comedy and reverse what’s left.

25d Second-class in tube train leaving Turin (4)
BETA: remove the letters of Turin from ‘tube train’ – there’s no need for an anagram indicator because the letters are in the correct order.

26d Leading light from Brussels area? (4)
VEGA: an abbreviation for what Brussels are an example of and the abbreviation for area.

The clue I liked best were 17a, 6d and 26d. Which one(s) met the criteria for your podium?

20 comments on “Toughie 2807

  1. Took longer than it should. Just as well I had nothing planned for this morning.
    I, too, was looking for a drug in 11a. Took a punt on the letters in a word search and there the animal was. Will we remember it?

  2. I dismissed “hearted” from 8a once I had 5d but still couldn’t equate “admitted” to the 2nd part so thanks for that Gazza. Obvious really!
    The compound anagrams crop up as always but I thought the little ones were the best – especially 6d and 26d.
    Thanks to Firefly and thanks again Gazza.

  3. Thanks for the blog Gazza, and for finding my car
    I thought 25d was pretty neat
    Thanks for the entertainment Firefly

  4. My initial thought for 11a was toke but I soon dismissed that notion. I needed the hint to parse 19a. but I’ll settle for that. Apart from that slow but steady progress. Favourite was 27a when the penny dropped. Thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  5. Good fun, I thought, and not too taxing. I struggled initially to parse 11a and 25d, but a had second look before resorting to Gazza’s blog and saw both (not that Gazza’s blogs aren’t a pleasure to read for their own sake of course). I always enjoy Firefly, too, so many thanks to both.

  6. I’m sorry to say I found this a real struggle and not at all my cup of tea. Some slightly strange surfaces didn’t help.

    Thanks anyway to Firefly. I’m glad others have enjoyed it. Thanks too to Gazza.

  7. Can’t claim an unaided completion unfortunately. Pressed reveal mistakes at the end to see I had 4d incorrect (malt) then bunged in mill & confirmed the monetary bit which was new to me. One of these days I will parse a compound anagram (a Firefly trademark?) but not today. Otherwise reasonably straightforward with the 4 peripheral clues & very enjoyable too. Most new stuff learnt doesn’t stay learnt for long but I’ve a feeling the atok like the agouti has a fair shout. Unusually for me the wee ones the picks for me – 17a plus 6,24&26d
    Thanks to Firefly & to Gazza.

  8. As usual thanks to Gazza for help parsing 19d and 21ac which held me up.
    The rest seemed accessible..even the Peruvian skunk.
    Thanks to Firefly.

  9. I could not improve on our blogger’s selection of top three clues from this tricky but ultimately satisfying solve. I had a pretty slow start, but then it all went in nicely.

    Many thanks to Firefly for an entertaining challenge, and to Gazza.

  10. Really enjoyed this rewarding and satisfying puzzle – 11a was new to me but had to be what it was, and there were a couple that I could not parse, but this was otherwise a fun and quite benign Thursday Toughie, I thought.

    Too many clues ticked to list, but I’ll pick 25d as my COTD.

    Many thanks to Firefly and to Gazza.

  11. Not my favourite Toughie but very cleverly constructed with some crafty misdirection, one I appreciated, (with the exception of a couple of the short ones) more going over the parsings (for which I thank Gazza) than at the time of solving.
    I particularly the triple definition at 17a, the amusing 27a and the clever 26d.
    Thanks to Firefly and and our aforementioned reviewer.

  12. Really enjoyed the solve.
    The 12 four letter clues didn’t even bother me.
    The hardest to parse was 15a.
    A good Thursday toughie methinks.
    Thanks to Firefly and to Gazza for the review.

  13. 11a. Unfortunately TOKE also works as it is contained in tomato ketchup and means inhaling (consuming) skunk!

    1. You’ve changed your alias so your comment required moderation. Both aliases will work from now on.

      I did consider ‘toke’ but it doesn’t fit the checking letters.

  14. Got there in the end last night but needed some electronic help to do so. The skunk was obviously new to me, and I couldn’t even find it on a cursory Google. Just shows how distracted I was by all of the terrible news from Ukraine. Thanks to Gazza for helping me parse quite a few, and to Firefly for the challenge.

  15. Not a quick solve for us and once again several of the four letter answers such as 11a earned the title of ‘pesky’ as they often do.
    All good fun and much appreciated.
    Thanks Firefly and Gazza.

  16. Thank you (belatedly) for these hints, Gazza. I really enjoyed the puzzle, but couldn’t have finished it without you (which I did a couple of days late, after returning from a trip to London to see the Beano exhibition at Somerset house).

    I do like clues like 19d and 21a where I just do what they say, cautiously putting in letters as apparently instructed while thinking that it isn’t going anywhere, then finding to my surprise that a word has appeared.

    I also admired 25d for its cleverness, and really liked 12a; 24d’s stripped-down comedy was my favourite. Thank you, Firefly — I’d definitely try one of yours again.

  17. Got there eventually but needed help with 4d and 8a. Tried desperately to fit hearted in. Some new words learned.

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