Toughie 2886 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2886

Toughie No 2886 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Another splendid start-of-the-week Toughie from Hudson. It was one of those crosswords where you needed to know ‘stuff’ but finding that you actually did remember them, for me anyway,  just added to the enjoyment factor

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7a    Bloke putting out large cigar crashed light goods vehicle (5,4)
CARGO BIKE Remove (putting out) the abbreviation for Large from BlOKE and an anagram (crashed) of what’s left plus CIGAR will reveal a light goods vehicle

8a    Crazy times packing a gun? (5)
BARMY A preposition meaning times in the sense of multiplied ‘packing’ a weapon

10a    Bringing back a bear found around Lima is fair game (4-2)
HOOP-LA A reversal (bringing back) of A (from the clue) and a fictional bear into which is inserted (found around) the letter represented by Lima in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet

11a    At the border, board wagon’s sleeper accommodation (8)
WAINSCOT A hay wagon, an S (wagon’s) and some sleeper accommodation for a young child

12a    Never takes exercise in linen (6)
NAPERY An archaic or dialect word meaning never into which is inserted (takes) some abbreviated [school] exercise

14a    Small domestic animal that is nursing temperature (6)
PETITE A domestic animal and the abbreviation for that is, the latter ‘nursing’ the abbreviation for Temperature

16a    Oxygen trapped in intestine? This can be extremely painful (4)
GOUT The chemical symbol for Oxygen ‘trapped’ in the alimentary canal (intestine)

17a    Intense criticism — England’s opener is a bit stuck on 99 (5)
FLAKE Some intense criticism and the ‘opener’ to England. While we were driving to Dublin last month, there was a lot of discussion on the local radio about how people were ever going to cope with the extreme shortage of these vital parts of a 99!

18a    Wallop bird heading west (4)
TONK An informal verb meaning to strike hard (wallop) is a reversal (heading west) of a small wading seabird

19a    Followed orders of “Ottoman governor” (as found in dictionary) (6)
OBEYED An Ottoman governor inserted (as found) in an abbreviated dictionary

21a    Brainless comments I ignored completely in French city (6)
NANTES Remove all the Is (I ignored completely) in some brainless comments

24a    Saxon prince’s most precious slivovic Tori Amos guzzled? (8)
VICTORIA The most precious person in the life of a particular Prince of Saxony is found (guzzled) slivoVIC TORI Amos

26a    Being more theatrical, runs about naked (6)
CAMPER Remove the outside letters (naked) of a way of saying runs about

27a    Cut. Bad cut (5)
SEVER Truncate (cut) a synonym for bad

28a    Watch out! His Majesty is dishing out a beating! (9)
THWACKING An anagram (out) of WATCH followed by the person you’d refer to as ‘His Majesty’


1d    For example, very old packed theatre (5)
SAVOY The abbreviations for Very and Old packed into an adverb meaning for example

2d    Gateleg G Plan table laden with natural produce (8)
EGGPLANT Hidden in (laden with) gatelEG G PLAN Table

3d    Wear diamonds deposited in a Scottish bank (6)
ABRADE The abbreviation for Diamonds ‘deposited’ between A (from the clue) and the Scottish word for a river bank

4d    Starts to speak King’s English with a slight twist (4)
SKEW The ‘starts’ to Speak Kings English With

5d    One picks up scent of fish Ernest gutted (6)
BASSET A type of fish and the outside (gutted) letters of ErnesT

6d    Press disrupted routine, holding Prime Minister up (9)
IMPORTUNE An anagram (disrupted) of ROUTINE ‘holding’ a reversal (up) of the abbreviation for Prime Minister

9d    Daughter (minx!) left last bit of guacamole dip (6)
DIMPLE The abbreviation for Daughter, a minx, the abbreviation for Left and the last ‘bit’ of guacamole

13d    Long, ultimately dire boring thread (5)
YEARN The ultimate letter of dirE ‘boring’ some thread

15d    Aga saga’s hastily written sequel? (9)
POTBOILER A work of literature produced merely with regard to saleability, split 3,6 It could sound like something you’d use an Aga for!

17d    Travelled back after seeing opening of Fred Astaire’s Top Hat (6)
FEDORA A reversal (back) of a synonym for travelled inserted between the ‘opening’ of Fred and the ‘top’ of Astaire

18d    Tomsk, eh? Unusually eastern name for a capital (3,5)
THE SMOKE An informal name for a metropolitan area characterised by atmospheric pollution, especially London -an anagram (unusually) of TOMSK EH followed by the abbreviation for Eastern

20d    Rabbit stuffing Loretta Young served up (6)
YATTER Hidden (stuffing) in reverse (served up) in loRETTA Young

22d    Delicious drink reportedly quaffed on Capri occasionally (6)
NECTAR A homophone (reportedly) of a slang verb meaning drank (quaffed) goes on (in a Down solution) the ‘occasional’ letters of cApRi

23d    He was into balloons; not once seen cycling (5)
VERNE Cycle the first two letters of an adverb meaning not once to the end of the word. I didn’t realise how ‘into balloons’ this French author was until I investigoogled this morning

25d    Pain van Gogh’s doctor uncovered (4)
ACHE The surname of van Gogh’s doctor ‘uncovered’ or without the outside letters

Thanks very much to Hudson.  I could have listed lots of clues for favouritism, but my top two were 24a and 17a

14 comments on “Toughie 2886

  1. A very enjoyable first Toughie of the week – thanks to Hudson and CS.
    I thought some of definitions were brilliant, e.g. ‘At the border, board’, ‘a bit stuck on 99’ and ‘Saxon prince’s most precious’. So I’ve chosen for my podium 11a, 17a and 24a.

  2. As usual I found this a lot harder than our esteemed blogger, but i got there. I needed the hints to parse 26a and 25d. Favourite was 10a. Thanks to Hudson and CS.

  3. Certainly not the most contemporary of puzzles but more than made up for by the number of smiles around the grid.
    Had to check the governor and the doctor for the parsing of 19a&25d but they were my only questions
    17a was my favourite with the risqué 20d along with 23d completing the podium.
    Many thanks to Hudson and CS for the fun, great stuff

  4. Just brilliant. I say that and I genuinely mean it even though this is the second time in a fortnight that ’99’ in a Toughie has caught me out (the item is not something even remotely known here Across the Pond), though I actually solved the thing; the clue was that transparent. And I must admit that 25d was a total guess: I’ve been on Van Gogh pilgrimages twice in my many travels, spending time in Arles and nearby locations in Provence and seen paintings of the famous doctor but couldn’t remember his name. (I know it now of course.) I think that two of Gazza’s three choices, 11 & 24a, are my top two here, but 8a, 28a, & 23d deserve Clarkies for making me laugh. Thanks to CS and Hudson.

  5. Had a few wavelength issues with this one, not helped by the fact that I didn’t know the term for the light goods vehicle, Van Gogh’s doctor or which gentleman had a penchant for balloons. And – whilst I’m having a whinge – I can’t abide that particular word for wallop!
    Top answer here and miles ahead of the pack was 17a.

    Thanks to Hudson, sorry I wasn’t quite with you today, and to CS for the review.

  6. Like Jane, it took me a while to get on board with this, as at first glance it seemed hard to obtain a foothold. But, as is often the case, perseverance won the day and I sailed through once I had cracked the setter’s code. On such a hot day, 17a has to be my COTD. Top entertainment all round.

    Thanks Hudson for the fun challenge, and to CS.

  7. This was good fun and not too challenging, and yes, I can confirm from experience that 16a can be extremely painful.

    I’ll go along with those choosing 17a as favourite, although England’s batting at the moment is on a par with 16a as a source of extreme pain.

    Many thanks to Hudson and to CS.

  8. What a change from yesterday . More challenging and so much more enjoyable . many excellent clues incl 19a , 21a
    15 and 25d and the lovely 10a . Many thanks to Hudson , my favourite setter .

  9. Absolutely bluddy cracking, a super just-about-Toughie with sparkling wit and humour throughout. My puzzle sheet has more ticks than a dog in summertime. Forgot the doctor, and had never hear of the bike, but neither mattered because the answers were fairly clued. Just the right number of anagrams – thank you Hudson for your moderation.

    Hon Mentions all over the place – 8a (remembered this usage of times for once), 11a, 17a, 27a (laughed out loud), 28a (loved it, unusually for an anagram), 1d (good surface & answer) & 23d. COTD almost 21a (another laugh moment; went there many many yonks ago), pipped to the post by the quite brilliant 19a.

    1* / 4.5*

    Many thanks indeed to Hudson, and of course to CS for the blog.

  10. I have never heard of a 7a and was cross not to solve 23d. Well, I’d put that author under the sea with Captain Nemo before thinking of him up in the sky.
    My COTD is 17a. Just what we need on a hot day like today.

  11. The treat in 17a was something we knew from previous crosswords. They do not exist here. Luckily one of us had heard of the 25d doctor too so most of the puzzle went together smoothly for us in a reasonable ‘Toughie time’.
    Lots of smiles and chuckles.
    Thanks Hudson and CS.

  12. Unlike most others, I struggled to finish this – taking me way past ***** time and needing to return to it a couple of times. Failed on the balloon man but loved 17a once I’d read the hints. Thanks everyone.

  13. A one-* difficulty for this is, I would respectfully suggest, is rather low as well as being a bit demoralising.

    Couldn’t quite finish it even this morning mainly because I’ve never used an aga and I had no idea about Jules’ hobby.

    17a was COTD for me.

    Thanks to CS for the blog and to Hudson for the challenge.

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