Toughie 2838 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2838

Toughie No 2838 by Gila

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Gila’s turn to provide the Wednesday “Toughie” – I found this more straight-forward than the backpager,I wonder if anyone will agree with me?

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Moody chap is more disposed to get tense (11)
ATMOSPHERIC An anagram (disposed) of CHAP IS MORE into which is inserted (to get) the abbreviation for Tense

7a    Card-sharp initially changing hand with someone at the table? (7)
CHEATER The initial letters of Changing Hand with someone at a [dining] table

8a    Supply teas now, and a piece of cake! (2,5)
NO SWEAT An anagram (supply) of TEAS NOW

10a    Person residing in a European house (5)
ABODE An originally military slang word for a person residing in, or inserted between A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for European

11a    Unmarried parent, experienced in a different way (9)
OTHERWISE Remove the abbreviation for Married (un married) from a female parent and add an adjective meaning experienced

12a    Think obsessively about diet, primarily, and about keeping fit (5,2)
DWELL ON The primary letter of Diet and a preposition meaning about, with respect to, between which is inserted (keeping) a synonym for fit in the sense of healthy

14a    Release a collection of songs at no cost (3,4)
SET FREE A collection of songs performed by a singer at a concert and a simple way of saying ‘at no cost’

15a    Boy grabs 24 hours in Paris for a visit (7)
SOJOURN A male child (boy) ‘grabs’ the French word for day (24 hours in Paris)

18d    Wild young politician accepts short prompt (4-3)
LION CUB An abbreviated member of a particular political party ‘accepts’ a truncated phrase meaning ‘just at the right moment’ (prompt)

20a    Bulk of important record held by private landlord (9)
INNKEEPER Most of (bulk) a three-letter synonym for important, a type of record inserted into (held by) a synonym for private

21a    Dog endlessly pursuing evasive rodent (5)
COYPU Most of a small short-haired dog with a wrinkled face (endlessly) goes after (pursuing) an adjective meaning evasive

22a    Nurse has right permit (7)
ENTITLE An abbreviation for a nurse plus a right to something

23a    Complaints in muscles overwhelming some guys (7)
LAMENTS Some abbreviated muscles in the lower back ‘overwhelming’ a more formal word for guys

24a    Revive and reshape it with secateurs (11)
RESUSCITATE An anagram (reshape) of IT with SECATEURS


1d    One on spree ultimately not flipping solvent! (7)
ACETONE A one in cards or dominoes goes on a reversal (flipping) of the ultimate letter of spreE and NOT (from the clue)

2d    Dull thing that doesn’t end (5)
MATTE Another clue requiring a letter to be removed (doesn’t end), this time from a thing

3d    Look adopted by gentleman with trendy cut (7)
SIRLOIN An archaic interjection meaning look is ‘adopted by’ or inserted between a gentleman and another word for trendy or fashionable

4d    Suspicions created by hotel meals lacking a starter (7)
HUNCHES The abbreviation for Hotel and some meals without their first letter (lacking a starter)

5d    Lacking energy, otter tries swimming to get a drink (9)
RISTRETTO An anagram (swimming) of OTTER TRIES produces a short, concentrated drink of espresso coffee

6d    Chef’s prime chop that is rubbery on top and harder to bite into (7)
CHEWIER The ‘prime’ letter of Chef, a verb meaning to chop with blows of a cutting instrument, the abbreviation meaning that is, and the ‘top’ letter of Rubbery

7d    Covert network in clubs certain to get snubbed (11)
CLANDESTINE A computer abbreviation for a Local Area Network inserted between the card abbreviation for the suit of clubs and a synonym for certain or sure to, without (to get snubbed) its final letter

9d    American involved in three fantastic fights, give or take (11)
THEREABOUTS The abbreviation for American inserted (involved) in an anagram (fantastic) of THREE followed by some fights

13d    Poets, as a rule, worked without them regularly (9)
LAUREATES An anagram (worked) of AS A RULE goes round (without) the regular letters of ThEm

16d    One who cleans rubbish up after New Year’s Day (7)
JANITOR A reversal (up) of some rubbish goes after an abbreviated way of referring to New Year’s Day

17d    Geordie that was close with southern relatives? (7)
NEPHEWS The abbreviation for that part of the country where Geordies come from, an interjection of relief (that was close) and the abbreviation for Southern

18d    Rock singer‘s age-old stories, all notedly spicy in the middle (7)
LORELEI Some age-old stories and the middle letters of aLl notEdly spicy

19d    Foreign money invested in source of sugar and pepper (7)
CAYENNE A particular type of foreign currency ‘invested’ in a source of sugar

21d    Insect about to cover over 1,000 miles (5)
COMMA The two-letter abbreviation meaning about ‘covers’ the cricket abbreviation for Over, the Roman numeral for 1,000 and the abbreviation for Miles

If I’d been sent this to test solve, I’d certainly have remarked on the number of times clues required the removal of a letter

20 comments on “Toughie 2838

  1. The second enjoyable and relatively gentle Toughie of the week, this one just having the edge on the enjoyment factor for me.
    What a coincidence, after the back page steak we have another one here!
    Top two for me, 11&15a, the latter being a lovely word to boot, with 17d making up the podium.
    Many thanks to Gila and Cryptic Sue (yes I agree re your comparison with the back pager)

  2. Breezed through this floughie with just the insect requiring confirmation. Thanks to CS and Gila.

  3. Also agree – and with Jonners about the insect. Definitely easier than yesterday’s Toughie, though actually I did get through the back page even more quickly. This one took me literally a few seconds over what I feel is the maximum acceptable time for a back pager.

  4. Amazingly, the top three clues I’d picked earlier this morning–11a, 17d, & 15a–are precisely the three that Stephen has chosen as his. Great minds, eh SL? Seriously, I really enjoyed this one, which may have been more straightforward than the backpager today but was also, for me, considerably more enjoyable. It’s also nice to finish a Toughie without having to consult Google and/or go electronic for extra letters. Thanks to CS and Gila.

  5. A good deal easier than the back-pager for me also & a much quicker solve. The coffee new to me but the wordplay thankfully clear. Couldn’t parse 7d but otherwise problem free & a very enjoyable puzzle. 18d my favourite followed by 20a&13d.
    Thanks to Gila & CS

  6. I agree with our esteemed reviewer that this is more straightforward than today’s back-pager. Thanks to Gila and CS.
    None of the clues stood out for me.

  7. This was very light for Toughie, with my only real hold up unravelling the parsing for 7d. However, I do enjoy Gila’s puzzles and this was no exception with 11a my favourite hotly pursued by 15a in second place.

    Many thanks to Gila and to CS.

  8. 15a was my top pick from this very accessible and friendly Toughie. Relatively straightforward it may have been, but I still really enjoyed the challenge. I see Elgar is lying in wait for us on Friday……

    Thanks to Gila and CS.

  9. I must be losing it. None of the above – easier, straightforward, accessible etc – applied to my way of thinking, although my train of thought – such as it was – was interrupted on numerous lengthy occasions. However a pleasant enough tussle, thanks to Gila and CS, whose help was not needed on this occasion. Elgar Friday. Wry smile.

  10. With only 4 answers on my first pass this turned out to be not as difficult as I first thought despite 5d being new to me and having to check the French for day and the muscles. I did manage to parse everything though. Most enjoyable. Favourite was 18d. Thanks to Gila and CS.

  11. Really enjoyed this one so knew what CS was likely to say about it from a difficulty point of view!
    Hadn’t previously come across the type of coffee but, my goodness, there are so many these days it gets quite bewildering – so many people look at you blankly if you ask for an ordinary cup of coffee with some cold milk……..
    Tops for me, and for several others it would seem, were 11&15a plus 17d.

    Thanks to Gila for a fun puzzle and to CS for the nicely illustrated review.

  12. I chuckled at three in a row [16, 17 and 18 d] in this gentle puzzle but took a while to parse 20a [the 3 letter synonym for important just wouldn’t come to mind.
    Thanks to Gila and CS for the blog. btw Sue the hint for 20a needs amending – it’s a synonym for private doing the holding.

  13. Yes , very enjoyable , but a one star difficulty ? Hmmmph !
    My grown up daughter and a 21 across gave each other such a fright that she fled with haste. Following quite a few minutes behind, we found hundreds of her dollars on the path. That was in Panama.
    I loved 18d and 7d.
    Thanks to CS and Gila.

  14. So all the above knew the answer to 5d? Even with the crossing letters it was beyond me,

    1. Never heard of it but as an obvious anagram, minus the letter E for energy the rather friendly checking letters led me straight to it.

    2. I am a bit of a coffee buff (some would say bore) but I had to follow the instructions as Miffs explained and the answer was there in the back of my brain. I prefer mine more of a longo rather than espresso. 5d is a tad too strong for me.

  15. Great puzzle, very enjoyable. I found it on a par with the backpager today, and would have rated it a mid-late week backpage puzzle had I not known otherwise.

    11a, 6d and 17d were my chosen trio.

    Many thanks to Gila and to CS.

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