Toughie 2890 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2890

Toughie No 2890 by Logman

Hints and tips by Crypticsue

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

Logman’s turn in the Wednesday Toughie spot on a much better morning for crossword solving and blogging – at the time of typing, it was over 10 degrees cooler than the same time yesterday (it is still about the same difference four hours later!) and we even had a teeny tiny touch of what the weather app optimistically called ‘light rain’.

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1a    Passionately attached to retrospective play (4,4,2,5)
LOOK BACK IN ANGER A two-word phrase meaning passionately attached to, or going after, a way of being retrospective

9a    Killer dog biting large snake (7)
RATTLER A dog known for killing a particular rodent into which is inserted (biting) the abbreviation for Large

10a    Drink and drive round (4,3)
MILK RUN A  drink and a verb meaning to drive

11a    Nothing found in vandalised ancient river repository (9)
CONTAINER O (nothing) inserted into an anagram (vandalized) of ANCIENT, followed by the abbreviation for River

12a    A biblical patriarch ultimately missing bovine creature (4)
ANOA A (from the clue) and the name of a biblical patriarch without the last letter (ultimately missing)

13a    Class must have right to replace new landlord (6)
LESSOR Replace the N (new) at the end of a class with the abbreviation for Right

15a    Fortune belonging to woman Spooner declared bankrupt (4,4)
LAME DUCK A defaulter or bankrupt is obtained by treating, as the dreaded Reverend might, some fortune belonging to a slang word for a woman

18a    How tidings could arrive spread restriction from the east (8)
TELEGRAM A reversal (from the east in an Across solution) of an abbreviated alternative to butter (spread) and a restriction

19a    Goes wrong having a drink after court (4,2)
ACTS UP A (from the clue) and a verb meaning to drink, the latter going after the abbreviation for court

22a    Fruit that won’t ever take off? (4)
KIWI A type of fruit that has the same name as a flightless bird (that won’t ever take off) from New Zealand

23a    Key singer runs, catching a non-stop flight (9)
ESCALATOR A key on your computer keyboard, a singer and the cricket abbreviation for Runs, ‘catching’ or having inserted A (from the clue)

26a    Current info by worker that could help fight infection (7)
ANTIGEN One of crosswordland’s workers, the symbol for electrical current and a slang term for information

27a    Believed sheep to be among ruminants heading west (7)
REPUTED A name for a ram inserted into a reversal (heading west) of some ruminants

28a    Political theorist reportedly spots first line isn’t fixed (7-8)
MARXIST-LENINIST A homophone (reportedly) of some spots, an abbreviation for first, the abbreviation for Line and an anagram (fixed) of ISNT LINE


1d    A daughter banned from radically different musical (7)
LYRICAL An anagram (different) of RadICALLY once the letters A (from the clue) and D (daughter) have been ‘banned’

2d    Moderate losing head time after time (5)
OFTEN Lose the first letter (head) from a verb meaning to moderate

3d    Poor delivery sent north welcomed by large Victorian backwater? (9)
BILLABONG This particular backwater is found in the State of Victoria (and other parts of Australia). A reversal (sent north) of a poor cricket delivery inserted into an adjective meaning large

4d    Smoking student taking no part in Scottish sport (6)
CURING The usual abbreviation for student removed from ‘taking no part’ in a Scottish sport

5d    Lacking principles — must keep time for God, perhaps (8)
IMMORTAL The abbreviation for Time kept inside an adjective meaning lacking principles

6d    Rod could be a larger than normal bloke, ultimately (4)
AXLE A (from the clue), the abbreviation for extra large (larger than normal) and the ultimate letter of blokE

7d    Complacent, rising to welcome East Indian queen getting flowers (9)
GERANIUMS A reversal (rising) of another way of saying complacent into which is inserted (to welcome) the abbreviation for East and an Indian queen

8d    Conducted bag search thoroughly (7)
RANSACK A simple way of saying conducted and a bag

14d    Marine offering wit, anything but dry (9)
SALTWATER A synonym for wit (which I had heard of, and which can found in Mrs Bradford’s Crossword Dictionary, and is defined in Mr CS’s treasured 1895 Lloyd’s Encyclopedic Dictionary as ‘wit, smartness, pungency and sarcasm’) followed by an element that is anything but dry

16d    International group cut down strangely typical trees (9)
EUCALYPTI An abbreviated (cut down) international group of countries and an anagram (strangely) of TYPICAL

17d    Cob appearing from mist initially looks nervous under threat (8)
HAZELNUT A mist, the initial letters of Looks Nervous Under Threat

18d    Understand I must be in before noon train (4,3)
TAKE AIM A verb meaning to understand and I from the clue inserted into the abbreviation for the part of the day before noon – train here referring to guns and telescopes rather than transport

20d    Free cameo — finally in favourite stone (7)
PERIDOT A verb meaning to free and the final letter of cameO inserted into a favourite

21d    Panic about carbon being in short supply (6)
SCARCE A panic goes ‘about’ the chemical symbol for Carbon

24d    Everybody trusts this, oddly (5)
TUTTI An instruction for everyone in an orchestra to play a particular musical passage is found in the odd letters of TrUsTs ThIs

25d    Fruit bugs flip after losing wings (4)
UGLI Lose the ‘wings’ of bUGs fLIp


19 comments on “Toughie 2890

  1. Not knowing the 17d synonym prevented an unaided completion, annoyed with myself as I should have got it from wordplay and checkers as I did 12a. Only other problem was the full parsing of 14d.

    Enjoyable without perhaps having the sparkle of a typical Jay back pager my top three are 15&23a with top spot going to the brilliant 3d.

    Many thanks to Logman and Cryptic Sue.

  2. Good fun from our Wednesday setter in his Toughie guise – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 22a, 26a, 27a, and 18d – and the winner is 27a.

    Thanks to Logman and to CS.

  3. A most enjoyable Toughie that was perfectly pitched for a rapidly cooling Wednesday. Lots to like, but I think 3d has to take top spot for its originality. Quite superb.

    Many thanks to Logman for the fun and to CS.

  4. A pleasant puzzle – thanks to Logman and CS.
    I’ve never heard of the bovine creature but the wordplay is clear.
    I did flirt with the idea that ‘cut down’ in 16d was indicating that there are fewer countries since the UK’s departure but I think, as CS says, it just denotes an abbreviation.

    In 28a ‘line’ is part of the anagram fodder.

    I liked ‘non-stop flight’ so 23a is my favourite clue.

    1. The anagram fodder is correctly marked on my piece of paper but for some reason didn’t make it to the draft blog

      1. That happens to me regularly but in my head. No use writing anything down. I wouldn’t be able to read it

  5. Another fun puzzle. Favourites were 18a [spread…from the East] and the neatly done 6d. I was happy with the “wit” part of 14d but not convinced by “anything but dry” – wet yes, water no.
    Thanks to Logman and CS

  6. Terrific Toughie for me, which I completed all on my own last night while watching the All-Star Game (that’s Major League Baseball). 3d is the runaway COTD for me, but I have special memories of first reading about, then seeing R Burton, in Osborne’s groundbreaking 1a, and I also thought that the wordplay in 28a quite clever. I did double-check the cob in 17d to be sure my memory hadn’t failed me. The bovine creature is an old NYT favourite. Totally enjoyable fare by one of my favourite compilers wearing his Logman hat, so thanks to him and to CS for the review.

  7. Some clues took a bit of fathoming but there was enough straightforward ones to keep me going. I agree with cotd being 3d. Thanks to Logman and CS.

  8. Completely stymied by the Spoonerism (not unusual!) and 10a – the latter due to my scribble making the third letter look like a C.
    The 12a bovine was new to me but fortunately easy to guess and then look up.
    Favourite was probably 23a.

    Thanks to Logman and to CS for the review. By the way, Sue, I’m about halfway through Godmersham Park and greatly enjoying it.

    1. I’ve nearly finished Lessons in Chemistry – a brilliant recommendation, thank you

  9. Good fun. Another vote for 3d. Some obscure words e.g. 20d but fairly clued so getable. Thanks to Logman and CS.

  10. I did feel this rather lacked the setter’s usual sparkle of say a 20d, but it was nonetheless an accessible, enjoyable, and satisfying solve. Add me to the list of those voting for 3d as COTD.

    Many thanks to Logman and to CS

  11. I enjoyed the solve today pre and post a shopping trip. Pre shopping I made slow progress. Post shopping the answers wrote themselves in. I liked the cider at 9 across. Drink plenty of the stuff at 10 across straight from the farm. We once asked what flavour the cheesecake was in a restaurant. A very inexperienced and nervous waitress suggested that it was cheese flavoured. We asked what the topping was and she said cucumber. It was of course the fruit at 22 across. I have had a 22d tree at every property I have owned as an adult with varying degrees of yield. Not in Barrel though but we have several at our allotment. Hoping for a mast year this year. Thanks to Jeremy for the puzzle and Sue for the hints

  12. Like Stephen can’t claim an unaided completion as I looked up meanings for cob (sort of recall it being discussed before) which gave the game away & similarly irritated I didn’t twig the wordplay. Also didn’t fully parse/bunged in 14d.
    Otherwise much easier than Robyn yesterday & it had more than enough sparkle for me. Another vote for 3d as COTD with ticks for 1,15,23,27&28a plus 6&7d. Very enjoyable indeed.
    Thanks to Logman & CS

  13. Agree this was more accessible than yesterday’s, which I needed some e-help for. Liked non-stop flight – making 23a my favourite. Thanks to all.

  14. It is nice to get a mention in 22a. We didn’t see it straight away, probably because in NZ the fruit is always given its full name to avoid any confusion.
    Fun puzzle with just the right amount of head-scratching required.
    Thanks Logman and CS.

  15. My Kentish connection should have given me 17d especially as I have a bag of them waiting to be eaten,
    28a was completely beyond me but I have, like Miffypops enjoyed a glass of 9a.
    My COTD is the lovely stone that is 20d.

  16. Just completed this in the bath – isn’t it odd the way words suddenly recur in the puzzles – we had
    16d last week I believe. I understand you have to keep them cut back if you wish them to retain the bluish
    tinge so beloved by we flower arrangers. I thought 7d rather good. Many thanks to Logman and CS – now if you could just arrange for some rain in Cambridgeshire I would be a happy woman!

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