Toughie 2919 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2919

Toughie No 2919 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Many thanks to proXimal for today’s workout.

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

Across Clues

7a Vulgar female dismissed by Nemo, perhaps (8)
CLOWNISH: start with the type of creature that Nemo is in the animated Disney film (Clownfish) and remove the abbreviation for female.

9a Walk past bar when on time (6)
PROMPT: stick together a short word for a walk and ‘past’ without the synonym of when.

10a Sign letter in Greek and French on back (6)
TAURUS: a Greek letter and the reversal of the French word for ‘on’.

11a Doctor fastening clamping centre of worn raised track (8)
MONORAIL: one of our abbreviations for doctor followed by something used to fasten containing the central letters of ‘worn’.

12a Enjoying being around eastern venture setting up again (2-12)
RE-ESTABLISHING: a synonym for enjoying or appreciating contains the abbreviation for eastern and an informal word for a venture or attempt.

15a Accommodation error picked up (4)
GAFF: this sounds like an embarrassing error.

17a Name of hat covering teacher’s head (5)
TITLE: a dated informal word for a hat contains the first letter of teacher.

19a Rabbit and ass (4)
GOON: split our answer 2,2 to get a phrasal verb meaning to rabbit.

20a European country caught men so suspiciously accepting China’s bribe (6,4,4)
GREASE ONE’S PALM: start with a homophone of a European country and add an anagram (suspiciously) of MEN SO containing what a china is in rhyming slang.

23a Unpleasantly wet spades I’m not sure should be put in hall (8)
SLOBBERY: the abbreviation for the card suit spades and an entrance hall into which an exclamation indicating “I’m not sure” is inserted.

25a On time, vessel proceeds (6)
RETURN: glue together a preposition meaning on, the abbreviation for time and a vase-like vessel.

27a Spirit consumed by tipsy chef (6)
PSYCHE: hidden in the clue.

28a Recently acquired unowned stray eating fine (3-5)
NEW-FOUND: an anagram (stray) of UNOWNED containing the pencil abbreviation for fine.

Down Clues

1d Excuse bound to have lifted pressure (4)
PLEA: a bound or jump with the physics abbreviation for pressure lifted to the top.

2d Blades surfaced at both sides with oars coming up (6)
SWORDS: assemble the outer letters of ‘surfaced’ and a verb meaning oars and reverse the lot.

3d Call for attention having advanced on border (4)
AHEM: the abbreviation for advanced and a border.

4d Prickly parts of small plants (6)
SPINES: the abbreviation for small and types of trees or shrubs.

5d Collecting / large screen (8)
HOARDING: double definition, the second a large screen for displaying advertisements as may be seen in Piccadilly Circus.

6d Issue register for food parcel (6,4)
SPRING ROLL: a verb to issue or arise and a register or list of names.

8d Mo in second, yet at end clutching bronze (7)
INSTANT: knit together IN, the abbreviation for second and the end letter of ‘yet’ containing a verb or noun meaning bronze.

13d Preacher for one section of church turned up on schedule (10)
EVANGELIST: join together the abbreviation meaning ‘for one’ and the central section of a church. Now reverse that and append a schedule or catalogue.

14d Hammered losing first game (5)
LOTTO: an informal word for hammered or drunk without its first letter.

16d Response from pass to defender (8)
FEEDBACK: split the answer 4,4 to get a phrase meaning ‘pass the ball to a defensive player’.

18d Central spot mostly dark-coloured part of pan (7)
EYEBROW: put together a word for the central spot (of a storm, say) and an adjective meaning dark-coloured without its last letter. Pan here is a slang word for the face.

21d Shake a leg alarmed after forgetting Aga cooking foreign bread (6)
SHEKEL: remove the jumbled (cooking) letters of AGA from SHAKE A LEG and make an anagram (alarmed) of what remains.

22d Approaches to mask over sadness (6)
PATHOS: a word meaning approaches or routes conceals within it the cricket abbreviation for over.

24d Pull sturdy animal bearing north (4)
YANK: a sturdy type of ox contains the abbreviation for north.

26d Spoke of work and golf (4)
RUNG: a verb meaning to run or function and the letter that golf represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

Top clues for me were 23a, 25a and 6d. Which one(s) pleased you?

11 comments on “Toughie 2919
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  1. I found this a bit easier than proXimal’s usual and my standout clue was 10a because I spent far too long looking for a role for the French “and” rather than “on”. Runner up was 23a.
    Thanks to him and to Gazza for the blog.

  2. I think this is the first time I’ve ever completed a Thursday Toughie by this setter, with only asking Mr Google about “Nemo” in 7a preventing a completely unaided finish.
    Clues I really liked were 19&23 plus 1&3d with top spot going to 6d.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and Gazza (laughed at the cartoon) for the top-notch entertainment.

  3. Another highly-rated puzzle from proXimal that was quite difficult in places although everything was gettable from the wordplay. I particularly liked 23a and 6d. The use of pan in 18d was new to me.

    My thanks to the aforementioned and Gazza.

  4. eXtremely straightforward puzzle today. As I said to Dutch week before last, a shame this excellent blog tends to feature pictures giving some answers away too explicitly, such as the food item in 6d. Thanks though for creating such a stimulating and entertaining cruciverbalists’ forum.

  5. Some new terms for me–like ‘pan’ for face and the type of creature represented by Nemo–but some Googling and a bit of electronic help to cure my ignorance, and very fair clues helped too! I have a full grid, though cannot claim an unaided finish, technically, but I did enjoy the workout last night. Like halcyon, I tried to employ the French for ‘and’ in 10a until the penny dropped and I giggled to myself, as I did with 23a (lots of giggling these days at my age). I don’t mind proXimal’s occasional baroque surfaces, like 11a, especially when the definition there is so wonderfully unexpected, but my COTD is the splendid 25a. Thanks to Gazza and proXimal.

    Kindest, warmest thoughts for Her Majesty.

  6. Hard work for me but quite a sense of satisfaction on completion.
    Clues that particularly appealed were 23a plus 3,6&16d.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Gazza for the review and the ‘funnies’.

  7. Hallelujah. A relatively (surprisingly) gentle Toughie that hasn’t required a deal of frustrated head scratching & very enjoyable it was too. That said 1a was last in & seriously extended the solve time largely because I was thinking of the captain & giant squid & even when the fella they were trying to find dawned on me hadn’t a clue what type of fish he was so looked it up. Can’t say I considered the answer particularly synonymous with the definition either for that matter but am sure it’s listed as such somewhere.
    Thanks to proXimal & Gazza for some welcome distraction from the very sad & unexpected (in view of the pics from just 2 days ago) announcement today.

  8. Great puzzle, plenty of red herrings, less common synonyms, and very clever clues.

    Many thanks to Proximal and to Gazza

  9. I too got further with this one than I usually do with the toughie. Managed to resist looking at your blog at all until left with 5 unsolved, which is a personal best. An encouraging encounter for which many thanks to proXimal.

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