Toughie 2819 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2819

Toughie No 2819 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Thanks to Silvanus for another of his 12a puzzles. 24a was new to me but the wordplay was clear.

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

Across Clues

1a Coins perfect name I wanted for tiny creature (10)
SILVERFISH: bring together types of coin and a verb to perfect or complete without the abbreviation for name and I.

6a A graduate fired by incredible energy (4)
ZING: remove A and an arts graduate from an adjective meaning incredible.

10a Fairly insignificant flier read aloud (5)
MINOR: this sounds (to some people) like a tropical bird which can imitate human speech.

11a US soldier eating mostly dry, plain biscuit (9)
GARIBALDI: the abbreviation for a US ordinary soldier contains 75% of an adjective meaning dry and an adjective meaning plain or unadorned.

12a Flawless set of rules heralded by model (8)
COPYBOOK: a set of rules (as in ‘they acted by the ****’) follows a synonym of model or replica.

13a Greek character: individual sharing love for foreign flower (5)
RHONE: assemble a Greek letter and a synonym of individual and share the last letter of the first and the first letter of the second.

15a Fitting some shelving I’d no choice over (7)
CONDIGN: hidden in reverse.

17a Rapidly tell dance has been cancelled (4,3)
REEL OFF: a terse way of announcing that a Scottish dance is cancelled.

19a Considered discount food shop being carpeted (7)
BERATED: remove a food shop from the start of a verb meaning considered.

21a Worker’s adept at first with tool (7)
HANDSAW: string together a manual worker plus the ‘S, the first letter of adept and the abbreviation for with.

22a Skilful performer in protest against station’s closure (5)
DEMON: a public protest and the closing letter of station.

24a Chat about Italian’s love for Native American chief (8)
SAGAMORE: reverse an informal verb to chat excessively and append the Italian word for love. A new word for me.

27a Making a comeback, Metallica vocalist holds sway (9)
VACILLATE: hidden in reverse.

28a Joanna adding negative reply to sanctimonious article (5)
PIANO: a negative reply follows a short adjective meaning sanctimonious and one of our indefinite articles. Joanna is Cockney rhyming slang for the answer – Cockneys pronounce piano as pianna.

29a Good to move out of train compartment (4)
ROOM: remove the abbreviation for good from a verb to train or prepare (a verb that has acquired a more sinister meaning since the arrival of the Internet).

30a Achievement Dundee surprisingly claims, not losing any games (10)
UNDEFEATED: an achievement or accomplishment is contained in an anagram (surprisingly) of DUNDEE.

Down Clues

1d Boggy place overlooking large reservoir (4)
SUMP: a boggy place (the definition comes straight out of Chambers) loses the clothing abbreviation for large.

2d Touring Northern Ireland county, learn about estate proprietor (9)
LANDOWNER: around one of the six counties which make up Northern Ireland we need an anagram (about) of LEARN.

3d Heading off almost before appointed time (5)
EARLY: remove the first letter from a synonym of almost.

4d Voice bellowing out with obscure musical instrument (7)
FOGHORN: charade of a verb to obscure and a wind instrument.

5d Footballer, one barely running, essentially having international replacement (7)
STRIKER: start with one barely running (or one running barely) and replace the central two letters with the abbreviation for international.

7d Extremely imposing facilities in domed residence up north? (5)
IGLOO: the outer letters of imposing and an informal word for ‘the facilities’ or what my Welsh uncle used to call ‘the office’.

8d Resolved along with wife to keep posh poultry (6,4)
GUINEA FOWL: an anagram (resolved) of ALONG WIFE containing the letter used to mean posh.

9d City of Lincoln right to expect rising poverty (8)
ABERDEEN: start with the abbreviated forename of Mr Lincoln and add the abbreviation for right and the reversal of a synonym of poverty.

14d Advise Bruce endlessly to train as frogman (5,5)
SCUBA DIVER: an anagram (to train) of ADVISE BRUC[e].

16d Popular wine (Lombardy) drained with eagerness (8)
INTENTLY: assemble an adjective meaning popular, a Spanish wine popular with crossword compilers and L[ombard]Y without its contents.

18d Attentive and obedient butler initially on retainer (9)
OBSERVANT: the initial letters of Obedient Butler precede a retainer.

20d Contempt shown by dad is awkward at home (7)
DISDAIN: an anagram (awkward) of DAD IS and an adverb meaning ‘at home’.

21d Excellent cloth, it’s said, for cleanliness (7)
HYGIENE: pin together homophones of a) excellent (as in ‘**** principles’) and b) a hard-wearing cloth that we see more often in its plural form.

23d Aggressively virile current husband punches married Lothario finally (5)
MACHO: a type of electric current and the genealogical abbreviation for husband are inserted between the abbreviation for married and the final letter of Lothario.

25d Tree pollen regularly shed behind old lady (5)
MAPLE: pollen loses its even letters and the remainder follow an affectionate word for one’s old lady.

26d Obligation to pay  union (4)
BOND: we have a double definition to finish, the first a written obligation to pay a sum.

The clues I liked best were 13a, 19a, 27a, 5d and 7d. Which one(s) were awarded favoured status by you?


35 comments on “Toughie 2819
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  1. We have indeed been blessed today: Ray T on the back page and now Silvanus occupying the Toughie slot. From a great selection of very elegant clues, I have gone for 5d because it made me laugh. 1a was my final entry, mainly because I had trouble justifying the parsing.

    Many thanks to the aforementioned for a terrific puzzle, and to Gazza.

    1. YS, I am very happy to return the compliment you paid me by echoing my comment on today’s back-pager, and simply say, I totally agree even down to 5d as my favourite and 1a my last one to be parsed.

      Yes – a terrific puzzle!

  2. Most enjoyable entertainment on a lovely sunny day.
    Thanks to Silvanus. 24ac was new, 15ac dredged up from somewhere but all well clued.
    That Spanish wine again! Must try it.
    Needed parsing assistance with 1ac thanks Gazza.
    Those biscuits always look unappetising.

    1. Despite that plonk being served often of late it still took me an embarrassingly long time to think of it.

  3. On the gentle side for a Silvanus Toughie but absolutely agree with Gazza it was, as you would expect, a 12a puzzle. Both 15&24a were new to me but the answers obvious. As usual parsing some of the answers was a delight. There’s comfortably enough clues to fill 3 podiums but I’ll plump for 19&27a along with 5&8d as my standouts.
    Thanks to Silvanus & Gazza.

  4. 10a A very brave homophone from Silvanus … I’m sure that he knew that Gazza would be in the blogging chair today.

    1. Hi Stan,

      Yes, I do know that Gazza is the regular blogger on a Thursday but there’s no guarantee that my puzzles will appear on that day, it’s down to the editor’s scheduling.

      Gazza, more than anyone else, has made me far more sensitive these days about differences in pronunciation than when I started compiling, and I must admit that 10a could (and perhaps should) have had a qualification such as “to some” or something similar.

  5. I completely agree with all the above comments despite there being two new words for me, 15a and 24a they were very fairly clued. Favourite was 5d for the same reason as YS. Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  6. Silvanus and Jay on the same day! Thoroughly enjoyed this one, though I noticed there was a lot of dropping things off and leaving things out, all of which I managed to twig. I did stumble a bit in the NW and needed a letter or two for 1a & 12a, and my pronunciation of 10a certainly doesn’t have an ‘r’ at the end. Nice to see that old chieftain again in 24a. 5d & 8d my favourites, I think. Thanks to Gazza and Silvanus.

  7. Very enjoyable indeed, with some super wordplay 6&19a plus 5d being prime examples.
    4d and 11a were real “smilers” too. Probably my favourite is the brilliant reverse lurker at 27a. Dare I put a clip of the band up?
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Gazza for the top notch entertainment.

    1. Please do post a clip of the band at 27a Stephen. Never thought I’d see my favourite band name-checked in a cryptic crossword! James Hetfield is a legend.

      Loved the puzzle, thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza for the blog. And RayT on the back page… definitely a blue-ribbon day in crossword land.

  8. A nice cranial workout and I had plenty of brain cells left after solving the ‘gentle’ Ray T back pager and still plenty left after solving this one – 2.5*/4.5*.

    I did have to BRB check 15a, but not 24a, and the whole neighbourhood must have heard the tea tray sized PDM for 6a.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 28a, 9d, and 25d – and the winner is 9d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  9. As Gazza remarked, this was a 12a puzzle and I enjoyed every minute of solving it. I did need to investigate the 24a chief, check on the definition of 15a and reassure myself about the boggy place but in each case the clues were totally fair.
    1a took me back to my teenage years spent living in an old cottage where the wooden inglenook around the fireplace was obviously a breeding ground for them. They’re actually delightful little creatures to watch but my dear old dad spent a great deal of time trying to get rid of them – with varying degrees of success!
    Smiled at the rather different clue for 7d and packed several podiums with all the clues others have already mentioned plus 17a which made me laugh.

    Many thanks indeed to Silvanus for the fun and to Gazza for rounding things off with a great review.
    Wonder how long I’ll have to wait before my top two setters appear on the same day again!

  10. A benign Thursday Toughie that would not have been out of place as a backpager, reasonably enjoyable and typically smooth. For me the repetitive “think of a word and take something away from / insert something into it” clues detracted from the overall quality of the puzzle, on the other hand I greatly enjoyed the well-hidden lurkers (27a my COTD). “Slump” as a boggy place was new to me, likewise the tribal leader, but both easily answered from the clueing.

    8d … amusing on the ground, quite startling in the air, and delicious on the plate!

    2* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza

  11. Many thanks to Gazza and to all commenters, much appreciated.

    Funnily enough, I thought that this puzzle was a little trickier than my normal standard, mainly due to the inclusion of some unfamiliar solutions, so clearly I’m not the best judge of difficulty!

  12. I don’t know where I had heard 24a across before, but it definitely rang a bell, though I will confess initially I looked up the same word but beginning ‘bag’. Computer said ‘no’ and then it came to me.
    Quick to finish but a second star for the parsing of 1a and 19a, although I really should have seen the latter straight away. I reproach myself with whips and scorpions. Many thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  13. No problem finishing this, glad I wasn’t the only one to have problems parsing 1a & 5d, got them now thanks Gazza, and of course thanks Silvanus for the 2* / 3* game.

  14. We are also in the ‘Didn’t know the 24a guy’ club. Slow start in the NW and gathered speed as we worked round the grid.
    Most enjoyable.
    Thanks Silvanus and Gazza.

  15. I found this quite straightforward although a couple of parsings had me scratching my head. 24a was new to me as well. Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  16. Definitely on the kinder side for Silvanus as I could actually finish this one, albeit with some help from Gazza. Half way through the Ray T, and after a break for Wordle, I thought I’d have a stab at this one and am glad I did. 11a practically wrote itself in, but I’d never heard of 24a, so a fair balance. Several clues held out for a while and required some head scratching, but eventually it was done. Lovely, thank you.

  17. Enjoyably undemanding way to relax prior to retiring and I agree with MustafaG it could well have been a back-pager. Numerous crafty surfaces so I will refrain from singling out a Fav. Many thanks Silvanus and Gazza.

  18. Thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza for the review and hints. What a super puzzle, most enjoyable. My LOI was 24a, which I’d never heard of. I managed to get the first three letters from the wordplay, but guessed the rest having also not heard of the Italian for love! Favourite was 11a. Was 2* /4* for me.

  19. Belated thank you to Silvanus and Gazza, whose rating prompted me to have a go at this Toughie. I did need some hints, but still enjoyed it.

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