Toughie 2833 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2833

Toughie No 2833 by Dada

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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Chris M rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the bottom of my Barrel. We have a just right Tuesday Toughie from Dada today. You can go to plenty of countries and study the human skeleton for a while but you won’t find any food here to satisfy the definition at 26 across

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Important couple of restrictions put on a play (5,7)
MAJOR BARBARA: Begin with a synonym of the word important. Now find a three-letter word meaning a restriction and add it twice. Finish off with the letter A from the clue. Your answer is a play which premiered in 1905 and has a number of characters with unlikely surname Undershaft

9a Fancy woman’s beginning on — her partner? (4)
WHIM: The initial letter of the word woman is followed by a male pronoun

10a Fresh nails seen finally after locks fixed (9)
PERMANENT: The word nails here is a containment indicator. The locks surrounding a lions face plus the final letter of the word seen are contained or nailed by a synonym of the word fresh or cheeky

12a Upset, having taken the plunge? (6)
OFFEND: A verb meaning to cause to feel upset, annoyed or resentful when split 3,3 could describe how one dives into water

13a Bunch of flowers made up, primarily interweaving orchids, lilies and irises (8)
GLADIOLI: A feeling of happiness (made up) is followed by the initial letters of several consecutive words in the clue

15a Dress stuffed with gear in robbery (10)
BRIGANDAGE: Some gear or kit sit inside a verb meaning to dress a wound

16a Socialist  resigned (4)
LEFT: A double definition which is rather obvious

18a Respectable  city in Europe (4)
NICE: This European town is rather pleasant. I’ll narrow it down. It’s in France. In the south. On the riviera. Halfway between Cannes and Monaco

20a Machiavellian is now here, backing European president (10)

EISENHOWER: Anagram (Machiavellian) of IS NOW HERE which follows the abbreviation for European

23a Bones: unknown number buried by a pirate all over the place (8)
TRAPEZIA: An anagram (all over the place) of A PIRATE contains a mathematical unknown

24a Frameworks for thinkers seen looking back through certain archives? (6)
CRANIA: The answer lies hidden in reverse within the words of the clue as indicated by the words seen looking back through

26a Done with acquiescence finally, a figure put extra pressure on corporation? (9)
OVEREATEN: Begin with a word meaning done or completed. Add the final letter of the word acquiescence. Add the letter A from the clue. Add a number between nine and eleven. Job done

27a Fix  nature (4)
SORT: A double definition, obvious with or without checking letters

28a A sortie backfiring in Nubia as agitating for Middle Easterner (5,7)
SAUDI ARABIAN: The letter A from the clue and a simple synonym of the word sortie are reversed and placed somewhere within an anagram (agitating) of NUBIA AS


2d Limb figure raised to grip a tongue (8)
ARMENIAN: Begin with a simple limb. Place the letter A inside a number and reverse what you have. Add it to the limb. You now have the language of a European country

3d Roof has blown off chicken houses — oh dear! (4)
OOPS: Remove the first letter (roof) from a structure used for keeping chickens

4d With pins visible, secured catches on French article (10)
BARELEGGED: A two-letter word meaning on and the French word for the sit inside a synonym of the word secured often used by children or childish adults

5d Country getting stick in central part of Israel (6)
RWANDA: A stick used by Sooty perhaps sits inside the two central letters of the word Israel

6d Solvent, wicked quality (7)
ACETONE: Two synonyms are required here. One for wicked and one for quality. The one for wicked uses the more modern and wonderful meaning of the word wicked

7d Surprisingly, Rotarian welcoming the aforementioned expert on creative works (3,9)
ART HISTORIAN: An anagram (surprisingly) of ROTARIAN contains a word meaning the aforementioned

8d Look untidy if thus (6)
SHUFTI: Anagram (untidy) of IF THUS

11d Groom races to grab one item of underwear (12)
COMBINATIONS: To groom as one might groom a horse with a curry and the letter that looks like the number one is followed by a synonym of the word races meaning those people of a similar culture

14d Jockey is trained to keep first of mares in control (10)
ADMINISTER: Anagram (Jockey) of IS TRAINED which also includes the first letter of the word mares

17d Magic is in spell on peak in Africa (8)
CHARISMA: A three part charade. 1. The word IS from the clue. 2 A verb meaning to control by, or as if by magic 3 The peak or leading letter of the word Africa. Arrange as suggested by the clue

19d Headgear bloke put on head of equerry, gold (7)
CHAPEAU: This hat is found by putting a word meaning a bloke or geezer together with the first letter of the word equerry and the chemical symbol for gold

21d Cold land: go south of it (6)
WINTRY: Begin win a stretched synonym of the word land. Add an obvious synonym of the word attempt. Checkers are your friends, particularly where the first three letters are concerned

22d 28’s neighbour at home having turned up after us? (6)

YEMENI: The last two letters here are the reverse of a two-letter word meaning at home. The first four letters when split 2,2 provide an archaic way of saying you and a personal pronoun which our setter might use to describe himself. Together they refer to us

25d Upside-down cakes cut (4)
SNUB: Small round cakes reversed


32 comments on “Toughie 2833

  1. Staightforward solve although parsing 10a required a cranial scratch. Thanks to Dada and MP.

    1. 10 across. Fresh nails seen finally after locks fixed (9)
      You and me both Jonners. The answer came easily from the definition and was confirmed by the checkers from the down clues. My mother was a ladies hairdresser. What is now a perm was then a Permanent Wave using heated things from the scary machine pictured. I considered whether locks were hair. I considered the word fresh to be an anagram indicator and I searched for nails, tacks, brads and so on. It took a while to find the lion and the cheeky girl who were hiding in plain sight

      1. I remember sitting on the hairdressers as a very small girl at the beginning of the war and being terrified that an air raid warning would come. She was fixed into that contraption and the process took a couple of hours. Ugh.

  2. Typical Dada but more of a Sunday cryptic than a candidate for the Toughie spot, Tuesday or otherwise

    Thanks to him and MP

  3. A puzzle that straddled the back and middle pages and was good fun throughout.
    I particularly liked 8,21&22d amongst quite a few others.
    Many thanks to Dada and MP for the fun.

  4. Fairly straightforward and pleasant Tuesday stuff thanks Dada.
    I also had trouble parsing 10ac and th first four letters of 13ac.
    I’m afraid I don’t understand your Barrel reference MP.

    1. Barrel is what the locals call Barwell, Chris – a large-ish village just under 4 miles from Hinckley and about 12 miles from Leicester.

  5. A pleasant Toughie from Dada that was very friendly, with just the parsing of 10a as others have said dragging things out. The 17d charade was my top clue.

    My thanks to Dada for the fun and to MP.

  6. Very nice. I was pushed into 2* time by not remembering the name of the play – otherwise very straightforward. 10a certainly the hardest clue to parse, and I think therefore my favourite, but I also very much liked the use of ‘us’ in 22d. Many thanks as always to the setter and to Miffypops.

  7. Needless to say I found this harder than the more competent commentators before me, but on the plus side I managed to parse it all. I had to use electronic help for a couple 1a and 23a. as if heard of neither before. Favourite was 4d. Thanks to Dada and MP.

  8. I found this a proper Toughie, deserving even of a later day in the week – certainly several steps in difficulty above a normal Sunday Dada, one of my favourite setters and the weekend puzzle to which I most look forward. Some strange surfaces, and the puzzle did have a rather dated feel, but a very satisfying solve nonetheless. I had never heard of 1a, could not parse 4d, and thought “surely not?” of my parsing for 22d … but yes, that’s what MP has also given it as being. Don’t usually highlight anagrams for special mention but thought 20a was very good – a new indicator for me.

    Many thanks to Dada and to MP

  9. Despite my initial reaction, I did manage to finish this. I thought a few synonyms were overstretched particularly the one in 13a. I am also unhappy with 1a. A play? There are hundreds of them!

    1. Plays Rivers Cities Films Boys Girls and various other non definite things are all fair game for setters. The ‘How to solve a cryptic crossword’ articles and books gloss over them. They need a reverse solve from whatever wordplay there is. For example. Sailor boy at home with cover (9) After a few checkers you might be able to guess the sailor at the beginning is a tar. The at home at the end is the word in. A cover beginning with Tar and ending with in will obviously be a tarpaulin. A quick shufti should identify Paul as the boy. Setters like this method of clueing which has been around for ever. Crossword editors are happy to allow it. It’s here to stay. Acceptance is the only option.

      1. I hope my Prior doesn’t read this blog… ‘Acceptance is the only option’ could become his new catchphrase.

      2. On this, I couldn’t agree more MP. Same applies to well-known Americanisms not being indicated. However, I don’t agree with your anarchic attitude to punctuation! But that’s another story …

      1. A Liverpudlian for example would say that they were made up when they were happy about something

      2. Made up is an informal phrase that means to be delighted. I was made up when Saint Sharon agreed to go on a date

  10. Well I’m with MG & TG. I haven’t found this one at all easy & still have 4 unsolved in the SE, which I’ll save for a pre-lights out another look. If I’ve parsed them correctly I did like jockey & Machiavellian as anagram indicators & those 2 clues (nice surface reads too) are my joint favourites. A bit surprised to find 15a was a word as had only come across *******ry before but see they mean the same thing. Like others 10a took a fair bit of pondering to parse
    Thanks to Dada for a very enjoyable puzzle which I’ll hopefully finish & to Miff who’ll no doubt guide me if I can’t.

    1. ‘Twas the post dinner cup of coffee wot dun it. Finally saw the lurker at 24a & the other 3 fell like dominos with 17d last in.
      CS may rate this no tougher than his Sunday stuff but I dread to think what Brian would have to say if it turned up there.
      Review as entertaining as ever & confirmed all parsed.

  11. I got there with a bit of help from the boy in the barrel. 17d my last one today distracted by the pic of Mr Zimmerman.
    19d my favourite today.
    Chapeau to Dada and Miffs.

  12. Very late returning to the blog today…but I enjoyed the solve last night though I too struggled to parse 10a and am relieved to see that others did too. I enjoyed this nice Dada Toughie very much, with 11d, my LOI, an altogether new ‘concept’ for me (and I still don’t know how it relates to underwear). Anyway, I finished on my ownsome, pleased to see the GBS play (one of his funniest and silliest) in the prime spot. He does seem now like an artifact from the deep, dark socialist past, a powerful thinker and at one time quite an icon for me. He ranged the cosmic gamut from Too True to Be Good (or vice versa) to Saint Joan, with a long day’s journey detour to Man and Superman, which offers another detour into Hell itself. Then, there’s always Pygmalion for linguistic and comic relief. Thanks to MP and Dada.

    1. Came across an interesting film question today.
      Who was the only actor (male) to receive an Oscar nomination for a role in a Hitchcock movie ?
      I knew Joan Fontaine won for Suspicion.

      1. Offhand, I can’t remember…Grant, Stewart, Perkins, Olivier, Boyer, etc? I could cheat and look it up, but I won’t. Who is it?

  13. Several ‘second thoughts’ needed for sorting the parsing on some clues but eventually it all came together and kept us smiling.
    Thanks Dada and MP.

  14. As is often the case with the Toughie it was really impenetrable in the bath but waking up this morning and applying fresh eyes I have finished it. I needed MP’s help for 15a as I only got the dressing part. Some lovely clues 1a, 2and 3d, so clever. Many thanks to setter and hinter.

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