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Toughie 2918

Toughie No 2918 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

Donnybrook’s turn to provide the Wednesday Toughie and this was, particularly on the right-hand side, a fine exercise of the cryptic grey matter

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1a    Frenchman is harsh about Spain, and unkind, giving offence (12)
MISDEMEANOUR The abbreviation for a French man, IS (from the clue) and an adjective meaning harsh, the latter going ‘about’ the IVR Code for Spain and a synonym for unkind

8a    Pig conceals commotion going on close to Animal Farm (7)
HOLDING A general name for a pig into which is inserted (conceals) a commotion, the latter going on or after the ‘close’ to animaL

9a    Did rebel call round for young Kane’s sled? (7)
ROSEBUD A way of saying did rebel and a reversal (round) of a verb meaning to confer a name or dignity on combine to give the name of the sled given to a young Citizen Kane by his mother

11a    Wild idea: share opinion with God (7)
CHIMERA A verb meaning to agree with (share opinion) and the Ancient Egyptian Sun God

12a    Fine with it when put to Prince Charlie (7)
HALFWIT The abbreviations for fine and with and IT (from the clue) go after (put to) the name given by Shakespeare to the young prince who became Henry V

13a    Articles in the mess used occasionally (5)
ITEMS The occasional letters of In ThE MeSs

14a    Geordie resident misguidedly investing yen (9)
TYNESIDER An anagram (misguidedly) of RESIDENT into which is inserted (investing) the abbreviation for Yen

16a    Biscuit barrel brought back by Biggles’ companion (6,3)
GINGER NUT A reversal (brought back) of a type of barrel follows the name of a friend of Biggles in the books by W E Johns

19a    Very short slogan — a time to go for length? (5)
MOLTO A musical term meaning very – remove the first of the Ts (a time) from a slogan and replace with the abbreviation for length

21a    Gradient obtained from 1+9 divided by 150 (7)
INCLINE The letter representing one and the number 9 written out in full ‘divided by’ the Roman numerals for 150  [I do know the sign doesn’t represent 1:9 but it was the nearest I could find]

23a    Novel monarch returns, useless because without chapter? (7)
REBECCA A reversal (returns) of the regnal cipher of our current Queen and BECAuse (from the clue) without the USE (useless), the latter going outside (without) the abbreviation for chapter

24a    Delivered large pool of money for war-torn region (7)
KASHMIR A homophone (delivered) of a large pool of money, the money going before the pool!

25a    Final result involves corrupt ref — good for one desiring loss? (3-4)
FAT-FREE Inevitable destiny (final result) into which is inserted (involves) an anagram (corrupt) of REF

26a    Panic mode at first — disreputable lawyer entering continent (4,8)
MASS HYSTERIA The first letter of Mode and a continent, an informal name for a disreputable lawyer


1d    Despondency sadly besetting island in Middle East (7)
MALAISE An interjection expressing sadness or misfortune goes round (besetting) the abbreviation for island, the result being inserted into the abbreviation for Middle East

2d    Singular old women to welcome student couplings (7)
SWIVELS The abbreviation for singular and some female partners (old women) ‘welcome’ the abbreviation for student or learner

3d    False stroke — almost bowled when century here achieved? (9)
EDGBASTON A cricket stroke without its final letter (almost), the abbreviation for Bowled, a conjunction meaning when and an informal term for a century

4d    Want missing daughter home? (5)
EARTH Our home planet is obtained from omitting the abbreviation for daughter from a synonym for want

5d    Untouchable Eliot pens story, dismissing American lies close up (7)
NESTLES The surname of the US prohibition agent who led a team known as the Untouchables goes round (pens) a story without the A (dismissing American)

6d    Maybe Diddley single’s covered in pizzicato style? (7)
UNBOWED An informal name used by a number of people, in this clue (maybe) Mr Diddley, the rock and roll singer, is ‘covered’ by a way of saying single or unmarried to give a term used when a stringed instrument is plucked by the fingers

7d    Wine popular doctor chucked into basin shows bold colour (8,4)
SHOCKING PINK A type of wine, the usual two-letter popular and an abbreviated doctor inserted (chucked) into a basin

10d    Editor shuffling around Echo, rebuked, went to pot (12)
DETERIORATED An anagram (shuffling) of EDITOR goes around the letter represented by Echo in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, the result followed by a synonym for rebuked or scolded

15d    Eventual return of online expert in good shape (3,6)
NET PROFIT An online expert could be described as a xxx xxx, follow this with a simple way of saying in good shape

17d    Historic location as Ionic should be restored (7)
NICOSIA An anagram (should be restored) of AS IONIC

18d    Pointed up trap set in identical puzzles (7)
ENIGMAS A reversal (up) of a trap or snare ‘set’ into a synonym for identical

19d    Enormous gun finally replaced by British gang member (7)
MOBSTER Replace the final letter of N in a synonym for enormous with the abbreviation for British

20d    Northern stars Basquiat recalled elevating shows (7)
LACERTA Hidden in reverse (recalled elevating) in basquiAT RECALled

22d    Academician raised in fenland city in distant past (5)
EARLY A reversal (raised) of the abbreviation for a member of the Royal Academy inserted into what is probably Crosswordland’s favourite fenland city

17 comments on “Toughie 2918

  1. I, too, found the RHS a bit harder than the left, with the last few holdouts stretching my solving time. But as always with this setter, the effort was very worthwhile, the whole grid a delight. I had quite a few candidates for favourite, with 3, 5 and 6d fighting it out for top spot.

    A big thank you to Donnybrook and CS.

  2. Didn’t know the sled or the stars but with all the checkers they had to be what they were. Danielle was 3d. Thanks to Donnybrook and CS.

  3. This was quite tough I thought, a typical slightly “off the wall” Donnybrook production. There were several smile inducing clues however when working out the parsings, not least the four long perimeter clues.
    Although the solution was obvious I struggled to get my head completely around 24a and 5d was a bung-in.
    My winners are 12&21a plus 6d along with 3d, where our setter ingeniously managed to include three cricket references in the wordplay
    Many thanks to NYDK and CS for the clarifications and sparing us Led Zeppelin at 24a.

  4. The second enjoyable cranial workout of my Tuesday evening – ***/****.

    A couple of obscurities for me – 9a’s ‘young Kane’ so that was a bung in and I never read any of W E Johns’ books so an e-search was required for 16a, but I didn’t have a problem with ‘Diddley’ in 6d.

    I am reasonably certain that we have seen 20d before but it still caused a few problems.

    With the font that is used on my print-out, from the ‘old’ Puzzles Web site, I couldn’t tell if ‘Ionic’ in 17d started with the upper case form of the 9th letter of the alphabet or the lower case form of the 12th letter so I had to wait for some of the checkers.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 26a and 6d – and the winner is 6d.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and to CS especially for explaining ‘young Kane.’

  5. Great fun – thanks to Donnybrook and CS.
    I’ve never heard of the northern stars but Donnybrook kindly made the wordplay for that one very straightforward.
    Top clues for me were 9a, 23a and 6d.

  6. Had no idea what 3d was all about–and now I’m not at all surprised. Where would cryptics be without cricket, eh? Otherwise, with a bit of electronic help, I managed a full grid and thoroughly enjoyed the solve, with that one exception of course. Ticks everywhere, especially 9a, 11a, & 23a (almost randomly choosing any trio). Thanks to CS and to NYDK.

  7. Couldn’t see 19d for the life of me, but after reading the hint, the final three 19, 23a and 20d went straight in . 26a and 3d my favourites.

  8. Ubiquitous neatness and precision as usual with Donny, and also as usual some smiles along the way.

    I couldn’t get the proverbial fag paper into the fastidiously-made cryptic workings of most of these, so I’ll plump for the two that made me chuckle most, which were 8 Across and 6 Down.

    Pretty tough even for masochist me, so ***/****.

    Great stuff from setter and Sue.

  9. I solved 19 clues, but I never would have guessed the Northern lights or the sled or the wild idea.
    26a was my favourite.
    Thanks to CS and Donnybrook.

  10. This took me four revisits over a period of 2 hours, but wouldn’t let it beat me. Last in was 2d.
    Favourites today were 7d and 21a.
    Couldn’t see how the answer to 9a was meant to be worked out , but knew the
    answer from the flick. Tough but great fun!

  11. Well that was a stiff challenge, but persistence paid off and I got over the finishing line eventually. I spent too longer trying to make TS Eliot fit in 5d before the penny dropped.

    I enjoyed this very much and 3d was my favourite but I don’t understand why the clue doesn’t end “… achieved here?” which reads much more smoothly and doesn’t seem to affect the wordplay/definition.

    Many thanks to Donnybrook and CS.

  12. For some reason it was 2d gave us the biggest delay. Just could not see the answer matching the definition for couplings.
    An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Donnybrook and CS.

  13. Was hoping for something a wee bit less strenuous than yesterday but equally as tough going for me today. Battled to within 5 of a finish then resorted to 3 letter reveals to crack the NW. Like the 2Ks 2d a particular head scratcher. As always masterfully clued. 6d my favourite
    Thanks to Donny & CS.

  14. Toughest Donnybrook yet, but still very enjoyable and fair. 3d was very clever, and I liked 26a and the other three 12 letter words, which were composed carefully incorporating several components. Many thanks Donnybrook and also Cryptic Sue for her blog.

  15. Really enjoyed this cracking puzzle, tackled late last evening – I was evidently fortunate to tune into Donnybrook’s wavelength quite swiftly, and found this a (relatively) more straightforward solve than Tuesday’s Toughie.

    Wonderful clues throughout, though I thought 17d a bit loose : there are lots of Historic locations! Having lived there as a child the name came to mind quickly.

    Many thanks indeed to NYDK and to CS

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