Toughie 2832 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2832

Toughie No 2832 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A not-overly-difficult puzzle today. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought and how you got on. Definitions are underlined as usual


1a More historic books probing a bit of North America are inside (2,4)

DO TIME: The abbreviation for the older biblical books goes inside (probing) a North American coin (bit – but not the American meaning of bit, where there are two in a quarter!)

4a Scripture carved into holy building’s architecture like this? (8)

MORESQUE: The abbreviation for a scripture lesson at school goes inside (carved into) a holy building

10a/11a Exhausted wife, away from work, grasps the essence of singleton sport (3-2,9)

ALL-IN WRESTLING: A (3-2) phrase meaning exhausted, the abbreviation for wife, then a 7-letter work that can mean having a respite from work includes (grasps) the central letter (essence) of singleton

12a A pupil’s most frequent yen, to break things up? (3,4)

GAP YEAR: A from the clue, the most frequent letter in pupil and the abbreviation for yen currency all go inside (to break … up) another word for things

13a I’ll get excited meeting Kirk – but not Ming (7)

TREKKIE: An anagram (excited) of MEETING KIRK without the letters of MING

14a How one conducted oneself in an emergency? (4,2,3,5)

TOOK UP THE BATON: A cryptic definition with a play on ‘conducted’

17a Level with me from rear, I fasten filibeg – wrongly – in position (4,2,4,2,2)

TELL IT LIKE IT IS: A reversal (from rear) of I from the clue, a 3-letter word meaning fasten, another word for filibeg, and a word meaning wrongly, all inside (in) a word meaning ‘to position’

21a Colour coats not very regular (7)

HABITUE: A 3-letter word for colour contains (coats) a (1,3) phrase meaning ‘not very’

23a I’m unlikely to miss leader – naked – sitting in shade (7)

DEADEYE: (l)EADE(r) from the clue without the outer letters (naked) is contained in (sitting in) a word for shade

24a/25a Words Poirot and Hastings said Christie kept between them, perhaps (9,5)

QUOTATION MARKS: Cryptic definition. Any words spoken by Capt Hastings or Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie would have put between these

26a Return a few minutes after three, Barking area connection (8)

ETHERNET: A reversal of a number of minutes follows an anagram (Barking) of THREE

27a Intricate wordplay’s free of old attempts to brainwash? (6)

PSYWAR: An anagram (intricate) of WORDPLAY’S without (free of) the letters in OLD


1d “Frigid” includes anything “well-ventilated”? (8)

DRAUGHTY: A 3-letter word that could mean frigid includes a word meaning anything

2d/22d The help being arranged to get a start-up in chat-room? (9,5)

TELEPHONE BOOTH: An anagram (being arranged) of THE HELP contains (to get … in) a 3-letter word meaning ‘a’ plus a word meaning to start-up (e.g. a computer)

3d Drink from Cup adorned with United cloak (7)

MANTEAU: A hot drink normally in a cup goes inside (adorned with) a (3,1) team commonly known as United

5d Initiate offers pot, being hidden in jumble (4,3,7)

OPEN THE BIDDING: An anagram (in jumble) of POT BEING HIDDEN

6d The limits provided by context? Remarkable! (7)

EXTREMA: Hidden (provided by … )

7d/15d Effecting rapid response, living with traction? (5,2,3,4)

QUICK ON THE DRAW: A 5-letter word meaning living, then a (2,3,4) phrase for ‘with traction’

8d Young flier upset about broken leg (6)

EAGLET: A word meaning to upset goes about an anagram (broken) of LEG

9d How “dot”, as it were, transformed “tip” (1,4,2,3,4)

A WORD TO THE WISE: An anagram (transformed) of HOW DOT AS IT WERE

16d I’m estimating amounts among Acrosses, say, reading upwards (8)

ASSESSOR: Reverse hidden ( among … reading upwards)

18d Publicity given to unwilling PM’s work (7)

LOTHAIR: The PM is Disraeli. A word meaning publicity follows a word meaning unwilling

19d It’s “times”, then “add up”,for prominent scholar (7)

ERASMUS: A 4-letter word for ‘times’ and a reversal (up) of a word meaning add

20d Order person from Prague, maybe, in proclamation? (6)

CHEQUE: A homophone (in proclamation) of a person from Prague

I like the person getting excited meeting Kirk, the anagram at 9d, and I think my favourite is the clue about words between Poirot and Hastings. Which clues did you like?

13 comments on “Toughie 2832

  1. I thought this was the most difficult Toughie for some considerable time, Elgar or otherwise. I did enjoy the battle and had a hard job deciding which clues to list as favourites so I won’t

    Thanks very much to Elgar and Dutch

    1. Funny isn’t it? Often (normally?) the ones I really struggle with, you find straightforward

      1. I have to say, I came to the blog expecting the Dutch difficulty rating to be 3 as I managed to complete it and fully parsed it, yet I so often come to the blog having been utterly mauled by Elgar to read a CS comment along the lines of “ not so difficult from Elgar today”.
        Perhaps my tussle with Paul first thing this morning honed my skills !

  2. Slim pickings on the first pass but then a friendly grid with some easier long clues got me back on track. My brain hurt parsing 17a and I needed google assistance to make sense of the pm reference in 18d. 13a was a great clue.

    Thanks to Elgar and Dutch.

  3. Well, I spotted 6d straight away, but then what I actually wrote in was the more common word ending in ‘e’, so that did me no favours. I think even without that this would have taken me 5* time, but then when I look at it there are so many I should have got sooner, especially 1d – the NW corner had me stuck for quite a while, but once I got 1d it all fell into place. I confess that I had never heard of a filibeg (thank you, Google!), nor did I know the author of 18d, though this was quite gettable from the first part of the clue, and then, again, Messrs Google come to the rescue.

    I do love how Elgar is able to disguise his definitions – 1a, for example, is so clever, or 23a. I am, as always, filled with admiration, and delighted to have finished unaided. Eventually.

  4. I hesitate to use the word “easy” regarding an Elgar – a relative term – but this one slid into place well within my personal two-star timescale. Admittedly needed some Dutch help to parse but… Thanks for the work-out and the two or three necessary explanations.

  5. Being quite used to spotting anagrams, 5d and 9d went in first and in no time the NE was filled.
    13a will certainly please sloop JB too.
    Loved the reverse charade in 17a.
    The only clue that held me up was 18d.
    Thanks to Elgar for a good challenge and to Dutch for the review.

  6. Another relatively “doable” Elgar puzzle [except perhaps the NW corner, where I struggled] . There seemed a profusion of Ks and Qs at one point but I can’t see anything resembling a NINA. Some clever, but not clever-clever, clues and I particularly liked Kirk and Ming [13a] and Poirot & Hastings [24/5a] but my award goes to 1a [and last in].
    Thanks to Elgar and Dutch.

  7. While this very satisfying puzzle was still a 5* for difficulty, I think I need a more nuanced scale just for Friday Toughies, because this felt almost gentle for an Elgar. Very useful long clues / anagrams provided a helpful framework and the NW contained the last few clues to fall. Thank you, Dutch, for the review – I got lost parsing 17a and could not parse 13a for toffee.

    5* / 4*

    Thank you also to Elgar for the diversion and enjoyment.

  8. Looking for a theme, however tenuous …

    22d was 7d/15d and a 23a. Shot and killed after the assassination, he would never 1a.

    As I said, tenuous!

  9. I didn’t know the book title in 18d but the answer was obvious and checkable with Google. 1a was my LOI and had me chin-stroking for some time.

  10. Read your not overly difficult assessment before starting & expected it would be a case of easy for you to say Dutch. Well I make you right insofar as I’ve 15 answers (correct as I’ve hit the reveal mistakes button to check) when normally I’m happy with 5. Ever the optimist I’ll return to the puzzle later tonight but reckon it’s long odds against completion. As ever the DT digital paper’s ridiculous enumeration of multiple clues was a further challenge in itself.
    Have enjoyed what I’ve managed, parsed most of them but a few bung in lucky/educated guesses too.
    Thanks to Elgar & look forward to the review.

  11. Failed to parse GAP YEAR and didn’t know what LOTHAIR was, but completed it in one session tonight. Not as difficult as some others recently.

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