Toughie 2809 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2809

Toughie No 2809

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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ChrisM Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment *****

Many thanks to Gila for a perfect Tuesday Toughienough puzzle which provided an excellent start to my day. It will be downhill all the way from here

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a        Rushed inside to get ready and make a call before dinner (11)
PREPRANDIAL:    A short word meaning to have rushed rather than walked, sits in between a word meaning to get ready (often used with regard to food) and a word meaning to make a call on an old telephone

9a        Taxi order received by phone for nightclub (7)
CABARET:   A regular taxi is followed by a homophone of an ordered series or arrangement ARRAY

10a      In France, you study Italian (6)
TUSCAN:  One of two French words meaning you is followed by a synonym of the word study or read carefully

12a      Lie in ditch, penned by wild hunt (7)
UNTRUTH:   A long deep ditch usually made by the wheels of a vehicle is surrounded by an anagram (wild) of HUNT

13a      Competition split open by complete whitewash (5-2)
COVER UP:  A competition known by the same name as its trophy surrounds a word meaning complete or done

14a      Gong finally sounded going into lunch? (5)
MEDAL:  The final letter of the word sounded sits inside what lunch, dinner or tea might be called

15a      Crew member so upset with man-o’-war (9)
OARSWOMAN:  Anagram (upset) of SO with MAN O WAR

17a      Sailor, visiting part of Scotland with daughter, took a plane? (9)
SKYJACKED: A jolly type of sailor sits inside a Scottish island where I am pictured after a swim in the Fairy Pools with the only towel I could find. The abbreviation for daughter rounds things off

20a      Incomplete check leading to zero sound (5)
AUDIO: A financial check swaps it’s last letter for a letter that suggests zero

22a      Europeans sealing United’s second defeat on the road (2,5)
EN ROUTE:  A three part charade. 1. The word Europeans. Note the plural form of this word which is clueing twice the abbreviation for European 2. The second letter of the word united. 3. A verbal synonym of the word defeat or trounce. Arrange to suit the instructions in the clue

24a      Schoolboy briefly touring southern country (7)
ESTONIA: A schoolboy from a public school near Windsor loses his last letter but gains the abbreviation for southern which is painfully inserted somewhere about his person

25a      Criminal expert about to stop working (6)
BADDIE: A three-letter expert usually followed by the word hand is reversed and followed by a word meaning to stop working. One day our bodies will stop working in this way

26a      House started occasionally being invaded by cops in New York (7)
THEATRE:    Three alternate letters of the word started contain an American slang term for the police not heard since the nineteen seventies

27a      Directors strike after drinking a port (11)
IMPRESARIOS: The letter A from the clue together with a South American port sit inside a word meaning to strike favourably or to find something particularly interesting or noticeable


2d        Large mammal in river — or bird passing over one (7)
RORQUAL: The abbreviation for river plus the word or from the clue are followed by a small short-tailed game bird resembling a tiny partridge, typically having brown camouflaged plumage minus the letter that looks like the number one


3d        Meat cut with long, loud implement (9)
PITCHFORK:   Find a word meaning to long, yearn or pine about something. Add the musical abbreviation for loud. Insert what you now have into some pig meat

4d        A dry, mostly cold, often dusty space (5)
ATTIC: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the abbreviation for an abstainer from alcohol. Add a word meaning very cold or below freezing point minus its last letter

5d        Reject police officers with leads from any very odd witnesses (7)
DISAVOW:  The plural abbreviation for Detective Inspectors is followed by the first letters of the last four words in the clue

6d        A couple of animals headed east to the Dead Sea, perhaps? (7)
ANAGRAM: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add an old worn out horse and a male sheep. What you have now have describes the relationship between the phrases HEADED EAST and THE DEAD SEA found in the clue

7d        Head of the pack barking at customers (11)
SCOUTMASTER:   Anagram (barking) of AT CUSTOMERS

8d        Dropped off after a short time in a cot? (6)
ABATED: Two times the letter A, one abbreviation for time and a synonym of the word cot can be arranged according to the instructions within the clue to form a word matching the underlined definition found at the beginning of the clue

11d      Narrow-minded and silly idea with no point (11)

16d      Special final bit of veal taken out for small dog (3,6)
RED SETTER: A joyous very special sort of occasion or day needs the final letter of the word veal exchanging for the abbreviation for small

18d      Vehicle turned up to provide weapons and support for a ship (7)
YARDARM:   A vehicle often used to deliver beer is reversed and a word meaning to equip with weaponry is added

19d      American star ultimately injected huge power into parts (7)
ASUNDER: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the name of the nearest star to the earth. Add the last or ultimate letters of three word in the clue

20d      Firm follows unconventional trade style (3,4)
ART DECO: The abbreviation for company follows an anagram (unconventional) of TRADE

21d      Teacher had to be charitable (6)
DONATE:  A teacher in a university is followed by a word meaning to have had in the sense of to have eaten

23d      They manage without webcast occasionally (5)

EXECS:   A two-letter word meaning without, once or former is followed by the alternate letters of the word webcast


21 comments on “Toughie 2809

  1. Thank you to Gila for a Toughie of the correct difficulty level one should expect in a Tuesday Toughie. My favourite was 5d.

    Thanks to MP for the blog – I’m more than a little relieved that the photograph mentioned in your hint for 17a has failed to appear!

  2. I found this to be quite tricky and frustratingly had to resort to electronic help for 2d in order to complete it.
    Enjoyable though, I have several ticks including 10,17&25a plus 3&5d.
    Thanks to Gila and MP for brightening up a miserable day here on the South Devon coast.

    1. Me too re 2d. Never heard of the term. Disappointed not to twig it from the wordplay.

  3. I have just started this and was amused to see that we have a repeat of 15a which was used in Sunday’s Toughie I think. Nice to see the correct terminology instead of rower!

  4. Thanks to Gila for a most enjoyable puzzle.
    2d was a new one for me but all was accessible and such excellently constructed clueing.
    As always thanks to MP too.
    Just in the toughie range.

  5. 2d was new to me and 16d took an age to parse but I got there in the end, which is rarely the case for me. Favourite was 6d. Thanks to Gila and MP.

  6. I very much enjoyed this proper Toughie last night even though I did need some Googling to finish, with 2d and elsewhere. I especially liked 1a, 26a, and 3d, but there’s not a dud in the grid. 15a seems to be quite popular lately. Thanks to MP and Gila.

  7. My thanks to Gila for a most enjoyable puzzle to kick start the Toughie week. Like CS, I thought 5d was an excellent clue with a smooth surface. An honourable mention too, to 7d.

    Thanks to MP for his review.

  8. Cheated & looked 2d up in the BRB but otherwise very accessible. TG wasn’t alone in taking an age to for the letter sub parsing at 16d. Some great clues – 26a my clear favourite with ticks for 17&25a plus 11d
    Thanks to Gila & MP whose review I’ll read later.

  9. Got 16d round the wrong way settling for special and not for dog.
    Had forgotten the NY cops in 26a so couldn’t parse the clue.
    Found this friendlier than yesterday’s back page which I just couldn’t get a handle on.

    1. From 1975
      When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
      Just like the time before and the time before that
      In Paterson that’s just the way things go
      If you’re black you might as well not show up on the street
      ‘Less you want to draw the heat

  10. Good stuff – I agree with Miffypops’s ratings entirely, and just wanted to say how much I enjoyed 6d – possibly the best variant on this classic way of clueing the answer that I’ve ever seen.

    Happy pancakes to everyone.

  11. Enjoyed our Tuesday treat, ready for the more difficult Toughies to follow, completed the right hand side of the puzzle then ground to a halt until I twigged 7d ,thought 9d was obvious but needed MP’s homophone explanation later.
    Last in was 6d and the only word I could find-again MP to the rescue
    Favourites were the 3d and 17a charades, glad I had the checking letters for 23d, last week it was suits.
    Thanks to setter and MP, going for a **/****

  12. Damn! Came here to check the parsing of 16d and just realised it passed me by.
    Will go back and look in a minute.
    Was on pangram alert at some point.
    Great crossword.
    Thanks to Gila and to MP for the review.

  13. 2*/4*….
    liked 6D ” A couple of animals headed east to the Dead Sea, perhaps? (7) “

  14. Found this more like a 3-4* as opposed to a 1*
    LOTS of electronic help required on this one. Quite a slog to get through it.
    Favourites were 6d, 16d & 18d
    Never heard of 2d

    Thanks to Gila and MP

  15. Forgot to do this yesterday. All good fun although a bit of help required for 2d. Belated thanks to Gila and MP.

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