Toughie 2839 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2839

Toughie No 2839 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Hudson has given us a puzzle low on difficulty but high on enjoyment. Do you agree or disagree?

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

Across Clues

1a Nobel Laureate lady upset with new hairstyle at the front (3,5)
BOB DYLAN: an anagram (upset) of LADY and the abbreviation of new follow a hairstyle. Here’s Adele’s cover of one of the laureate’s songs.

5a Persuade merry old king to receive heads of Al Jazeera (6)
CAJOLE: a merry old nursery rhyme king contains the starting letters of Al Jazeera.

9a Cadet squad Sten stripped down OK (8)
ADEQUATE: strip away the outer letters of the first three words of the clue.

10a Wind associated with blocks of French cheeses being delivered (6)
BREEZE: a homophone of more than one block of a soft French cheese.

12a Say acne is revolting? Shut up! (6)
ENCAGE: reverse the abbreviation meaning ‘say’ and ACNE.

13a It’s employed for skirting wagon tax (8)
WAINSCOT: charade of an old word for a wagon (the subject of Constable’s most famous painting) and an historical tax (which we see mainly these days in the word ****-free).

15a Generally speaking, UK commercials should conform to it (2,1,4)
AS A RULE: split the answer 3,4 (or possibly 1,1,1,4) to get the regulation of the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK.

16a Second Hand Rose finally showered with $ (4)
USED: the final letter of Rose is contained inside an abbreviation for the $.

20a Popular name for statue of Peter O’Sullevan? (4)
EROS: the popular, but incorrect, name of the statue in Piccadilly Circus is hidden in the clue.

21a How to kill a werewolf that is trapped? (7)
AGROUND: split 2,5 to get the type of bullet sure to kill a werewolf.

25a Beer bottle emptied — stocks ran low, sadly (5,3)
BROWN ALE: the outer letters of bottle contain an anagram (sadly) of RAN LOW.

26a The Old Riddler, Scotland’s No 1 pub, broadcasting tattoos? (6)
SPHINX: string together the first letter of Scotland, the map abbreviation for a pub and what sounds like an informal word for tattoos. The answer was a creature from Greek mythology who stood at the entrance to Thebes and asked all who tried to enter the riddle: What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the evening?

28a English police in charge? That’s sickening (6)
EMETIC: assemble an abbreviation for English, the short name of London’s police force and the abbreviation for ‘in charge’.

29a Spattered gold between bunks (8)
BEDAUBED: insert the chemical symbol for gold between repeated places where you sleep.

30a Shark biting journalist? One has to get on with it! (4,2)
MAKE DO: a large shark contains our usual abbreviated senior journalist.

31a Rubbish film franchise that attracts a high level of interest? (4,4)
JUNK BOND: join together a synonym of rubbish and a film franchise about a British secret agent. The answer is a financial product that needs to pay a high level of interest because of its high risk.

Down Clues

1d Mug Rolls dealer touring Spain (6)
BEAKER: a maker and seller of rolls contains the IVR code for Spain.

2d Toxic chemical left in Strand (6)
BLEACH: insert the abbreviation for left into what strand is a literary word for.

3d Most junior solver finding gents busy (8)
YOUNGEST: the solver (from Hudson’s viewpoint) followed by an anagram (busy) of GENTS.

4d Pretentious content of one prepared to die for the cause (4)
ARTY: start with a word for someone prepared to die for their beliefs and remove the outer letters.

6d Broadcasting couple shifting piano (6)
AIRING: a synonym of couple without the music abbreviation piano.

7d Completed toss in bad light (8)
OVERCAST: fuse together an adverb meaning completed and a verb to toss.

8d A tranche of credit never used up, at the end of the day (8)
EVENTIDE: hidden reversed in the clue.

11d He provides help for those engaged in court activity (4,3)
BALL BOY: cryptic definition of an assistant at Wimbledon, say.

14d Flimsy paper dossier locked away (7)
FRAGILE: a word for a dossier contains a pejorative term for a newspaper.

17d When loch removed laser beam zapping fish (3,5)
SEA BREAM: an anagram (zapping) of [L]ASER BEAM after the abbreviation for loch has been removed.

18d Top down, German car leading (4,4)
POLO NECK: a verb to down or drink follows a VW car.

19d Odd bits of pasta popped into gift bag (8)
KNAPSACK: pop the odd letters of ‘pasta’ into a gift or talent.

22d Victory in Germany…and relax! (6)
UNWIND: a synonym of victory goes inside the German word for ‘and’.

23d Brill! O, bravo! Regularly knocked out Athletic here (6)
BILBAO: knock out regular letters from the first three words to leave the place in Spain which has a football team called Athletic.

24d Former husband, weird dude, wept (6)
EXUDED: glue together the short word for a former husband and an anagram (weird) of DUDE.

27d 20 allegedly holds this lover (4)
BEAU: this sounds like what 20a holds in his hand.

I’ve chosen for my podium 26a, 31a and 18d. Which clues feature on yours?


34 comments on “Toughie 2839
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  1. Whistled through this like a knife through butter until the SE, where 19 & 26 held me in thrall, then technically a dnf as I had to (a) reveal a letter in 31 and (b) google it. Great puzzle, thanks Hudson and Gazza, whose parsing I did not need. I also didn’t realise that Mr Z was a Nobel laureate.

  2. The usual great crossword from Hudson, this one was definitely a 1* Toughie but with loads of enjoyment throughout. My favourites match those of Lucky Gazza

    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza

  3. Bit like Ray T on the back page – not difficult but a real beauty & for me comfortably the best of this week’s puzzles thus far. I ticked all 3 of Gazza’s top 3 selections & also very much liked the 1a&d starters. There wasn’t a dud to be found in this excellent pangram.
    Thanks to Hudson & Gazza.

  4. Well that’ll do me for a Thursday Toughie. Some easy answers to be got from the clues and some written from the checkers leaving a few to seriously think about. All quite obvious once solved. Loved the clue and answer at 26 across. There are many awards our setter could have used at 1 across. My man’s mantelpiece must be groaning under the weight

  5. I didn’t find this pangram at all difficult but I enjoyed it a lot with 21a, 26a & 18d on my podium.

    Many thanks to Hudson and to Gazza.

  6. Totally agree with Gazza’s intro. I always look forward to this setter’s Toughies, with his wit and innovative clueing style.
    I particularly liked 1&26a with top spot going to the super 18d. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Hudson and Gazza for the top notch entertainment

  7. My eyes light up when I see we have a Hudson. Many smiles in all of his crosswords. SE corner slowed me down and 21a. We don’t get many werewolves out in the Suffolk fields but I will stock up on silver bullets just in case. Too many favourites to mention because as soon as I think that this clue is my favourite I find another.
    Many thanks to Gazza and Hudson.

  8. I agree with Gazza’s top three choices and would add 29a mainly because I like the word and it made me chuckle. I always enjoy Hudson’s lovely puzzles, and this one was a real beauty. Great day, with Mr T on one side and Mr H on the other. Thanks to Gazza and Hudson.

  9. Took me a while to parse 21a and I did have to check on both the shark and the required bond. 23d was a ‘suppose it must be’ once I’d accepted a spelling of 26a that I wouldn’t use so I can’t claim to have found this as easy as others seem to have done!
    Top three here were 10,12&15a.

    Thanks to Hudson and to Gazza for the well illustrated review – that’s some 18d you found!

  10. All very enjoyable although a bit of google assistance required to parse 21a.

    My top clue was 26a although a few others also stood out.

    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza.

  11. What a wonderfully enjoyable puzzle – for once at this end of the week more straightforward for me than the backpager, and I startled myself by seeing the pangram early. Found it difficult to stop grinning as the clues fell, and how kind of Hudson to give us such a full grid – no risk of feeling short-changed here! Could pick any number for accolades, but will limit the Hon Mentions to 9a, 21a, 23d and the 20a/27d (and I do dislike linked clues!), with COTD to 31a.

    Many thanks indeed to Hudson, and to Gazza for the review. And many happy returns of the day to BD.

  12. Sat down to do this after doing by printing stint. Unfortunately with 5 to go I hit the ‘reveal all’ button which is such a shame and I couldn’t ‘unsee’ what I had seen. I know its easier than the usual Toughie but people like me enjoy these a lot. Anyway thanks to Hudson and Gazza.

      1. We do on the newspaper app on some devices Gary. It’s on my iPad but not the iPhone I have at the moment It’s a discipline I have never to use it. I’ll photoshop the choices when I get home after this pint.

  13. For the first time in a long time I managed to do a Toughie but, like Manders, five clues eluded me and I just had to reveal the hints. That was annoying because given more time I might have got them. I couldn’t see the parsing for a couple until I saw the hints. I have ticks by many clues but the one that amused me most 3d.

    Many thanks to Hudson for the fun challenge and, of course, Gazza for the hints.

    1. You often comment that you have resorted to looking at the hints Steve. Try putting the puzzle down for an hour and picking it back up. Golly Bongs they tend to fly in

      1. I often do as I did with the back pager this morning, MP but Arbroath Smokies will not wait so I gave in. :grin:

  14. Another wittily-clued and gentle puzzle to make 3 in a row. Doubt the trend will continue tomorrow. Last one in was 21a and I had to start going thro the alphabet, fortunately for not very long. So thats my cotd, runner up is 18d.
    Thanks to Hudson and Gazza. Another awful DT grid. Why?

      1. I notice those grids that seem to be more black than white but otherwise I tend to look at the clues more than the grid

  15. A dnf for me as I did not know about a 31a and I couldn’t make head nor tail of 27d. I remember the gasp at 1a and the final letter of 26a gave me the very clever answer. Not an entirely wasted morning.
    Elgar tomorrow? I shall leave that to his devotees of which I am not one!

  16. Took us a little while to twig the wordplay for 21a but te penny did eventually drop’
    Excellent fun from start to finish.
    Thanks Hudson and Gazza.

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