Toughie 2810 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2810

Toughie No 2810 by Logman

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Logman has given us a proper Toughie, even more so if you don’t know the ‘unknowns’ (I did, which helped). I didn’t enjoy this crossword as much as I usually enjoy a Mr Mutch production – I did seem to mutter ‘not another letter removal’ quite a lot and that’s before I got to the NATO/IVR letter codes!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Understand mantra uttered by patriarch without hesitation (6)
FATHOM A family patriarch without the interjection of hesitation at the end, followed by a sacred mantra

5a    Pleasure entertaining students with low night light? (4,4)
FULL MOON Some pleasure ‘entertaining’ two of the usual abbreviation for student and the noise made by a cow (low)

9a    Cold Tory detailed offensive poster’s device (6,7)
REMOTE CONTROL An adjective meaning cold or aloof, the abbreviation for Tory and almost all (detailed) of a person who tries to provoke controversy on the internet (offensive poster)

10a    Rumoured returns mostly left on adult spread (8)
DIASPORA Spread here refers to a dispersion or migrating of people or communities. A reversal (returns) of a synonym for rumoured, followed by most of a word used to mean, for example, the left side of a ship, the abbreviation for Adult being added at the end

11a    Spoke harshly as understood golf cancelled (6)
RASPED A synonym for understood without (cancelled) the letter represented by Golf in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet

12a    Academic wanting you and I to find artist’s place (6)
STUDIO An adjective meaning academic without (wanting) a pronoun meaning you and I

14a    Follows top players outside university chapters (8)
SUCCEEDS Some top players go outside the abbreviation for University and Chapter – two of the latter being required as the clue says ‘chapters

16a    Cut across line and discussed terms for peace (8)
PARLEYED Part of a verb meaning cut goes ‘across’ a straight line between features of the landscape

19a    Yankee after rejecting suitable working brief (6)
NOTIFY The letter represented by Yankee in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet goes after a reversal (rejecting) of an adjective meaning suitable and the usual two-letter ‘working’

21a    Faithful worshippers ultimately cheated, we hear (6)
STRICT The ultimate letter of worshipperS and a homophone (we hear) of a synonym for cheated

23a    Remedy offered by a new spot in draw (8)
ANTIDOTE A (from the clue), the abbreviation for New and a very small spot inserted into a draw

25a    Pupils contest theory of marks, reportedly (5,8)
CLASS STRUGGLE A collection of pupils and a verb meaning to contest combine to give a theory proposed by a German philosopher and socialist revolutionary whose surname is a homophone (reportedly) of marks

26a    Retired couple beset by ruminants on the way back (8)
REPAIRED Retired here means to withdraw or retreat. A couple ‘beset by’ or inserted into a reversal (on the way back) of some ruminant animals

27a    Hesitant to accept strange material (6)
SHODDY Woollen fibre made by shredding refuse woollen rags – An adjective meaning hesitant to ‘accept’ a synonym for strange


2d    Emergency transport facility offered to skiers, excluding Switzerland (7)
AIRLIFT A facility offered to skiers without (excluding) the IVR Code for Switzerland

3d    Hard politician taken in by American projections (5)
HUMPS The abbreviation for Hard and a politician ‘taken in’ by the abbreviation for American

4d    Stories of my religious studies must omit Spain (9)
MYTHOLOGY MY (from the clue) and some religious studies without (must omit) the IVR Code for Spain

5d    Agents found in most of artificial treatments (7)
FACIALS Some (unindicated) American agents ‘found’ in most of an adjective meaning artificial

6d    Hang around with no good way of going overseas (5)
LINER A verb meaning to hang around without (no) the abbreviation for Good

7d    Disorder in market — there’s mounting feeling (5-4)
MARES NEST A disordered place or situation – insert into a market a reversal (mounting) of feeling

8d    Peanut possibly produced by poor soil on river flowing north (7)
OILSEED A description of a possible description of a use for a peanut is produced by an anagram (poor) of SOIL on a reversal (flowing north) of a river (there’s actual more than one of them in the UK) so useful to crossword setters

13d    Spiritual leader could be a country boy raised outside area (5,4)
DALAI LAMA A reversal (raised) of A (from the clue), an African country, and a boy ‘outside’ the abbreviation for Area

15d    Sees bad rust in features found in road (9)
CONSTRUES An anagram (bad) of RUST inserted into features used to divert traffic around obstacles in the road

17d    What may be read from reported traffic congestion? (7)
AUTOCUE A homophone (reported) of some traffic congestion

18d    Blooming Germany did what the Pied Piper did! (7)
DRATTED The IVR Code for Germany and a description of what the Pied Piper did when he wasn’t kidnapping children – blooming and the solution both being informal expressions of exasperation

20d    Hotel is in luck — maids regularly ignored fool (7)
FATHEAD The letter represented by Hotel in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet inserted into luck or destiny followed by the even (regularly ignored) letters of mAiDs

22d    Stunner — she loses heart, being pinched by sailor (5)
TASER Remove the heart from ShE and then inserted (being pinched by) a sailor

24d    Tail, then vanish out of sight (5)
DOGGO Track and watch constantly (tail) and then ‘vanish’ – the solution meaning to remain quiet and hidden until it is safe


25 comments on “Toughie 2810

  1. A fairly standard midweek Toughie – thanks to Logman and CS.

    I have to raise an objection regarding 12a. “you and I” would be “we” – what’s required here is “you and me”.

    My picks were 25a, 7d and 13d.

    1. And dare I add, ‘you and I’ is the object within the surface read, so needs to be ‘you and me’ anyway?

  2. A gentle Toughie, I thought, enjoyable and straightforward – would not have been out of place as a Sunday backpager. 7d was fairly clued but a new expression both to me and to my old BRB, though I see it does appear as clued in my 13th edition BRB.

    Ticks to 5a, 9a, 18d and COTD 25a.

    Many thanks to Logman and CS

  3. I must agree with Gazza to justify my failure to parse 12a – being fixated on removing “we” from some word that doesn’t exist. I rather liked 25a for putting the homophone in the clue rather than the answer.
    Did anyone else try to fit “ranted” into 11a [granted = understood – g]?
    And it’s good to see 22d again – a gift to setters who end up with t-s-r in their grids – a pity there’s no other word to clue it than stunner!
    Thanks to Logman and CS

    1. Halcyon, you are not alone. I tried to think of a word to remove “we” from in 12a until the penny dropped, and I entered “ranted” at first for 11a until I finally got 7d.

      1. I tried (and failed) with (G)RIPPED, then decided I didn’t know any words for 7d with the pattern M_R_P so that went out of the window.

  4. Very enjoyable…just like a Jay but a smidgen more difficult, can’t compliment it more than that.
    16a came primarily from checkers and wordplay and 7d took far too long to see but those apart, problem free in what I thought was a relatively straightforward Toughie.
    As ever with this setter I liked several but my crowded podium consists of 10a plus 5&17d with top spot going to the amusing 5a.
    Thanks to Logman and CS for lightening the gloom of another wet and grey day.

  5. It looks like I’m in a minority of one so far! I found this really tough in places and, although there were a lot of good clues, overall it was nothing like as enjoyable for me as previous Logman Toughies.

    I didn’t know the line in 16a nor that 27a could be used as a noun, but my BRB helped with both of those. I couldn’t parse my answer to 17d, but having read the review I can see why – I had the wrong answer. :oops: With A – T – C – E as the checkers, I decided that the answer had to be ARTICLE with “what may be read” as the definition. Oh dear …

    Many thanks to Logman and to CS.

    1. I am in near total agreement RD. I knew LEY but still needed the hint to get it and I too entered ARTICLE as “what may be read” and came to the blog thinking oh it’s going to be some dreadful homophone (reported) .
      Overall not the most enjoyable puzzle of the day.

  6. Good fun from Mr Wednesday whichever ‘list’ he is in – 2.5*/4*.

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 19a, 26a, and 15d – and the winner is 15d.

    Thanks to Logman and CS.

  7. Made a real hash of this in places – confidently entered ‘conflict’ as the second word of 25a, ‘ranted’ for 11a and dithered over ‘article’ for 17d. It was a long, uphill battle to rectify those mistakes!
    I did like 1&5a but continue to hold the belief that this setter is infinitely more enjoyable (for me, at least) in his normal Wednesday guise.

    Thanks and apologies to Logman and thanks to CS for the review.

  8. Thanks to Jay for the good fun at silly o clock this morning. This puzzle took a lot more passes to give up its secrets than usual which means that it properly qualifies as a Toughie. Favourite answer 27 across. The history of which together with Mungo fascinated me as a lad self schooling in the local Carnegie Library

    Shoddy and Mungo

  9. The end is easily foretold
    when every blessed thing that you hold
    is made of silver or of gold
    you long for simple pewter
    when you have nothing else to wear
    But cloth of gold and satins rare
    for cloth of gold you cease to care
    Up goes the price of shoddy
    To this conclusion you’ll agree
    when every one is somebodee
    then no one’s anybody.
    WS Gilbert. The Gondoliers.(1889)

    Thanks to Logman and CS.

  10. Learned quite a few things today.
    The Spread in 12a, the cloth in 27a, the disorder in 7d and that’s it come to think of it. Not bad really.
    Wasn’t sure about 26a either and settled for a change of tires rather than the explanation from CS.
    Remembered the term in 16a from pirates movies.
    Got the prompter in 17d but must admit that, like RD, article stayed stuck in my mind for a long time.
    Thanks to Logman for the workout and to CS for the review.

  11. With the exception of one clue I found this easier than Donny’s back-pager though I can’t claim an unaided finish here. Last in was 7d & I looked at the hint which confirmed what I thought I was looking for. It still took a while to finally twig the mounted feeling (irritation in my case) & not sure that I’ve ever heard the phrase. Thoroughly enjoyed the solve as always with one of my favourite setters. Top two for me are 18d & 25a.
    Thanks to Logman & to CS

  12. Failed on 7d until I read the hint, I wasn’t even close. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to Logman and CS.

  13. Spent too long with ranted in 11a and conceded defeat on 7d. Thanks to Logman anf CS.

  14. A thoroughly enjoyable Toughie, which I finished last night in the wee hours (the reason I’m so late today, having slept since my earlier cryptic post). Haven’t yet read the review or other comments but I will shortly. Big winners at 5a, 10a, 25a, and 18d but, as I often say about this top-notch compiler, there’s hardly a dud in the grid. Thanks to CS and Logman.

  15. Many thanks to Sue for the analysis ( on looking back, perhaps too many single letter exclusions; sometimes happens unintentionally!) and to all for your comments.

  16. Looks like we weren’t the only ones to have problems getting past ARTICLE for 17d. A clever clue.
    Great fun as ever.
    Thanks Logman and CS.

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