Toughie 2922 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2922

Toughie No 2922 by Django

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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

Django’s Toughie was the perfect thing to cheer up a grey and rainy morning 

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1a    Taxi Driver, for example, dropping straight outside international court (6,7)
MOTION PICTURE A bowel movement (dropping) and an adjective meaning straight, the latter going outside the abbreviations for international and court

9a    Verdi composed lines — adding finishing touches for The Leopard made little sense (9)
DRIVELLED An anagram (composed) of VERDI, two abbreviations for line (lines plural) and the finishing ‘touches’ of thE and leoparD

10a    Call publisher originally to replace book jacket’s design feature? (5)
LAPEL Replace the abbreviation for book in a verb meaning to call or describe with the ‘original’ letter of publisher

11a    Auction item with American sports car (5)
LOTUS An auction item and the abbreviation for American

12a    A short ruler’s similar (4)
AKIN A (from the clue) and a truncated (short) ruler

13a    Matt fixed puncture (4)
FLAT A nice triple definition clue, the surface reading of which made me ponder as to whether No 2 son had ever fixed a puncture! – matt in the sense of dull and lifeless, a synonym for fixed or an informal name for a puncture

15a    State of Delaware ignoring Washington over carbon (7)
DECLARE Ignore or remove the abbreviation for the State of Washington found in DELAWARE and then the remaining letters go over the chemical symbol for carbon

17a    Wearing down gearbox occasionally — is reversing working (7)
EROSION The occasional letters of gEaRbOx, a reversal of IS (from the clue) and the usual two-letter adverb meaning working

18a    Guess it’s sugar making middle of ice-cream very soft (7)
SUPPOSE A type of sugar, where the letters found in the middle of ice CReam are replaced with the musical abbreviation meaning very soft

20a    Problem with seabird penetrating bone (7)
STERNUM A seabird ‘penetrating’ a mathematical problem

21a    Start to record with two taps after introduction to Amazon Prime (4)
ARCH Prime in the sense of first in order or principal. The letter at the start of record and the abbreviations found on bath taps, for example, go after the ‘introduction’ to Amazon

22a    Use cipher once to follow agents’ farewell (4)
CIAO The letter once used in maths as a cipher goes after (to follow) the abbreviation for the American intelligence agency

23a    Regularly visiting guest, unable to get regular order (5)
USUAL The regular letters of gUeSt UnAbLe

26a    Singers some paper reported (5)
CHOIR A homophone (reported) of a measurement of paper (a 20th of a ream)

27a    Aim to have unconfined lions in big top’s opening (9)
INTENTIONS IN (from the clue) and a big top go before (opening) the inside (unconfined) letters of lIONs

28a    Old lady getting into smack on get away — arms are used here (8,5)
SHOOTING RANGE Although I am an example of the lady required to be inserted in a combination of an informal instruction to get away (3) and a small taste of something (smack), I do object to being thought of as ‘old’


1d    Mean policeman with attitude to race? (6,8)
MIDDLE DISTANCE An adjective meaning mean in the sense of average, an abbreviated policeman and an attitude

2d    Fool hiding small kink (5)
TWIST A slang term for a fool ‘hiding’ the abbreviation for small

3d    Doctor Who and Davros absorbing essence of Red Dwarf (10)
OVERSHADOW Django is having fun with misleading capitals today. An anagram (doctor)of WHO and DAVROS ‘absorbing’ the essence or middle letter of rEd

4d    Two chums having webbed feet (7)
PALMATE Two informal friends (chums) combine to give a zoological term for having webbed feet

5d    Number one fast food staple? Hamburger’s a favourite, ultimately (7)
CODEINE A staple part of a long-time British fast-food meal, the German (as used in Hamburg) word for one (a) and the ultimate letter of favourite

6d    Lastly, you mentioning occupational injury is threatening (4)
UGLY The last letters of yoU mentioninG occupationaL injurY

7d    Banishment from unisex pool arranged after dropping a zip (9)
EXPLUSION An anagram (arranged) of UNISEX POoL after dropping one of the letters representing nothing (zip being a formerly US slang term for nothing)

8d    Questionable Lib Dem plan not including university for Harlow, famously? (8,6)
PLATINUM BLONDE An anagram (questionable) of LIB DEM PLAN NOT into which is inserted (including) the abbreviation for university

14d    Sportsman’s warning over athlete’s predecessor (10)
FORERUNNER A golfer’s (sportsman’s) warning goes over (in a Down solution) an athlete

16d    Generous promises to pay after limit placed on account (9)
CAPACIOUS Some promises to pay go after a limit and the abbreviation for account

19d    In hotel it is totally snobbish (7)
ELITIST Hidden in hotEL IT IS Totally

20d    Abridge Sherlock Holmes, initially on Gold, and on catch up (7)
SHORTEN The initial letters of Sherlock Holmes, the heraldic name for gold and a reversal) of a verb meaning to catch

24d    Peacekeepers and press wanting right association (5)
UNION The abbreviation for the world’s peacekeepers and a verb meaning to press without (wanting) the abbreviation for right

25d    Writer’s stomach churning dash (4)
BRIO Take a brand of ballpoint pen (writer) and churn or turn over the letters found in the middle (stomach)


24 comments on “Toughie 2922

  1. Loved this. Not too tough but some amusing creative clues. Biggest smiles were 1a and 5d with 18a also worthy of a mention.

    Thanks to Django and CS.

  2. This was great fun, a breath of fresh air.
    I had to laugh at the wordplay at 1a, (though it may be a touch controversial/tasteless) and the image of gran getting into smack at 28a, after “get away”.
    My (crowded) podium however is 18&21a plus 5&25d. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Django and Cryptic Sue for the top-notch entertainment.

  3. An enjoyable midweek Toughie – thanks to Django and CS.
    I particularly like clues which have well-disguised definitions so I’m selecting three such for my podium: 21a, 3d and 5d (though the fast food staple is fast becoming a high-priced luxury).

  4. Had most trouble with the short ones today, especially 21a until the penny finally dropped with the taps reference.
    Favourites were the aforementioned 21a and 25d.

  5. Excellent! This was the second top notch not-too-tough Toughie of the week, and everything is well set with the prospect of Silvanus tomorrow.

    My only slight hold up was unravelling the parsing for 1a & 28a, but those aside it all fell into place nicely with 13a, 21a & 3d making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to Django and to CS.

    With due respect to CS, 28a reminded me of Jan & Dean doing their best Beach Boys’ impersonation:

  6. Lots of inventive humour on display here, great fun Django, thanks – 3d in particular made me smile :smile:
    Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did CS, and thanks for the blog

  7. Solving this was one thing, parsing it was another altogether. I needed the hints to parse 1a, 22a and 28a, which I still don’t really understand. Favourite was 25d. Thanks to Django and CS

  8. Django’s puzzles always seem to have a contemporary feel to them. Favourites here were 18a and 25d.
    Thanks to Setter and to CS for the blog.

  9. Fun, inventive, accessible and contemporary: I have plagiarised four words from earlier commenters that sum up perfectly my thoughts about this excellent puzzle. I think 3d encapsulates all four words so that can be my favourite.

    My thanks to Django and CS.

  10. Completed but found it harder than today’s main cryptic- a 3 for difficulty!
    I must be flagging in the Oxfordshire heat.

  11. Lovely stuff – missed the middle part of the triple definition in 13a, so couldn’t quite parse it properly, and I didn’t understand ‘cipher’ in 22a. I thought (for these reasons) perhaps 3* for difficulty? Still, it wouldn’t do for us all to be the same.

  12. Loved it all, though I must admit that the ‘dropping’ (‘motion’) is new to me in 1a. Too many favourites to list them all but the four-letter clues are especially rich–and I was delighted by the presence of 8d, the icon and the legend. I think this is the first Django Toughie I’ve ever finished on my own, though I must thank CS for fine-tuning my parsing in a couple places. Thanks to Django and CS.

  13. Fun, not-too-tough (but surely 2+ stars?) puzzle with some nice misleading words.

    5d was last in and my favourite for the ambiguity of the definition.

    Thanks to CS for the blog and Django for the puzzle.

  14. How on earth do you pick a favourite out from that lot. The 4 peripheral long ‘uns were all terrific (1&28a particularly) but if pressed I’d plump for 3&5d in a dead heat for top honours. The only thing that took the shine off my sub *** time completion was a couple of parsing blips – a failure to figure out the hot & cold context at 21a & didn’t get the cipher relevance at 22a. A first class puzzle & fully worthy of all the plaudits.
    Thanks to Django & CS.

  15. Very engaging and satisfying to solve. LOL moment when i read the hint for 1a, as hadn’t really grasped the motion aspect. Many thanks to Django and CS

  16. Django never disappoints – another cracker. Too many good ‘uns to go picking favourites … but I think 10a deserves a mention (alongside all those already highlighted) for a somehow understated but perfectly smooth surface. And all the rest were great too, thanks Django & CS.

  17. Thanks to Django and to crypticsue for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I can’t believe it! My second Toughie completion on the trot, I know they were both on the gentle side, but I’m still happy 😊. Needed the hints to parse 18,28a & 5,20d. Favourite was 1a. Was 2* / 4* for me.

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