Toughie 2923 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2923

Toughie No 2923 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Silvanus has given us a fairly gentle but highly enjoyable Toughie. Many thanks to him.

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

Across Clues

1a Bear with opinion we formed about article on hotel (6-3-4)
WINNIE-THE-POOH: an anagram (formed) of OPINION WE containing a definite article – add the letter that hotel represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

9a French writer’s visiting pianist occasionally in city (9)
INVERNESS: the surname of a French novelist and the ‘S go inside regular letters of ‘pianist’.

10a Time-waster is a little scoundrel, dithering around (5)
IDLER: hidden in reverse.

11a Topless photos, there could be money in them (5)
TILLS: remove the first letter from types of photographs.

12a Asian article of clothing, reportedly (4)
THAI: a homophone of a (usually male) article of clothing.

13a Ill-treatment in hospital wing (4)
HARM: the abbreviation for hospital in maps and a wing or section.

15a Student Frank extremely visible cycling in cloak (7)
ENVELOP: string together our usual abbreviated student, an adjective meaning frank or candid and the outer letters of visible. Now cycle the last four letters to the front.

17a Parted with profit day after store’s closure (7)
YIELDED: start with a word meaning profit or dividend and add the closing letter of store and the abbreviation for day.

18a Found old Conservative worried, being inspired by Liberal Democrat (7)
LOCATED: abbreviations for old and Conservative and a verb meaning worried go between the abbreviations for Liberal and Democrat.

20a Spontaneous individual assured of success (7)
NATURAL: double definition, the second describing someone with an inborn aptitude.

21a Sound of perhaps husky female at rear of court (4)
WOOF: the abbreviation for female follows a verb to court.

22a Discover pair of smalls worn by American (4)
SUSS: two occurrences of the clothing abbreviation for small go round an abbreviation for American.

23a Heard cry from cat, unwell in garage, possibly (5)
MUSIC: homophones of a cat’s cry and a synonym of unwell make what garage is an example of. Sadly no examples of this genre were available for me to include at time of publication.

26a Enhance stew with no end of lamb (5)
RAISE: remove the last letter of lamb from a verb to stew.

27a Deny covering for this regularly absent broker in Wall Street? (9)
NEGOTIATE: a verb to deny or contradict contains ‘for this’ after regular letters have been deleted. The verb to broker is, according to the BRB, a US term.

28a Relish vaguely unknown place to worship film star (7,6)
SHIRLEY TEMPLE: assemble an anagram (vaguely) of RELISH, an algebraic unknown and a place of worship.

Down Clues

1d Those reporting to authorities corruption in football referees? (7-7)
WHISTLE-BLOWERS: double definition, the second cryptic.

2d Unusual number ready in Bulgaria for revolution (5)
NOVEL: an abbreviation for number and the reversal of the Bulgarian currency.

3d Aussie vehicle seen underneath crashed lorries? That’s doubtful (10)
IRRESOLUTE: the abbreviation down under for a pickup follows an anagram (crashed) of LORRIES.

4d Beat constable leaders overlooked for highest position in service, maybe (7)
TREETOP: start with a beat constable (STREET COP) and remove the leading letter of each word. We usually get a few queries when this type of service is seen.

5d Yes, playing with cats will bring delight (7)
ECSTASY: an anagram (playing) of YES and CATS.

6d Nothing to follow essentially cold current savoury dish (4)
OLIO: the letter that looks like zero follows the central letters of cold and the symbol for electric current.

7d Shout from New Yorker also aboard ship (9)
HOLLANDER: a verb to shout with a conjunction meaning also inside it. I’ve been using this verb to shout all my life so I’m glad that the BRB calls it ‘dialect’ as well as North American.

8d Charlie stops Native American pocketing fantastic emerald, note the very best (5,2,2,5)
CRÈME DE LA CRÈME: a Russian doll construct – insert what Charlie stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet inside an anagram (fantastic) of EMERALD and put all that inside a Native American. Finally add a note from tonic sol-fa.

14d Unit to measure heart’s maintaining rhythm (10)
CENTIMETRE: a synonym of heart or core contains a synonym of rhythm or tempo.

16d Triumphs in small Australian state over right-wingers (9)
VICTORIES: the abbreviation (small) of an Australian state is followed by some right-wing politicians.

19d Boy consumes new peeled fruit served up daily (7)
DIURNAL: a boy contains the abbreviation for new and the inner letters of fruit. Now reverse the lot.

20d Posy of flowers, say, gone rotten (7)
NOSEGAY: an anagram (rotten) of SAY GONE.

24d Time for wife during flood to make an impression (5)
STAMP: start with a verb to flood or saturate and replace the abbreviation for wife with that of time.

25d Food store distribution very neglected (4)
DELI: remove ‘very’ from a distribution.

The clues I enjoyed most were 21a, 23a, 27a and 4d. Which one(s) raised your spirits?

16 comments on “Toughie 2923
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  1. What a superb puzzle this was from the master of smooth surfaces. It was great fun, and I particularly enjoyed the challenge of working out some of the more complex parsings. I should also mention the exemplary use of indicators for the two American words included!

    I think I am going to have to cop out on choosing a favourite as all the clues were imperious.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza.

  2. A most appropriate complement to the Ray T back pager, that must be why Silvanus Toughies are scheduled for Thursdays by our esteemed editor – **/****.

    Standout favourite for its connection to Winnipeg – 1a.

    Thanks to Silvanus and thanks to Gazza.

  3. A ‘honey’ of a puzzle from our surface read specialist and as RD rightly says every clue is worthy of a place on the podium.
    My particular favourites were 1,21,23&28a along with 1&14d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for his mastery of the art and to Gazza for an excellent review – so now I know what a 28a & a 7d look like – the former looks decidedly sickly!

  4. I can only add my appreciation to those already expressed by earlier commenters. Like RD, I am going to cop out of trying to nominate a podium as all the clues were top drawer.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for a terrifically fun challenge, and to Gazza.

  5. Very enjoyable indeed.
    The four perimeter clues went in immediately (8d from a stab at the definition and enumeration only) which was obviously a massive help.
    19d a new word but obtainable from checkers and wordplay as was 6d.
    In a strong field I think my favourite was 21a as it was clever and it made me laugh, with 28a and 4d making up the podium.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Gazza, thought the cartoon at the end was very funny.

  6. It took me a while last night, but I delighted in every second working this impeccable Toughie by one of our true masters of the art. As others have said, too many great clues to single out just a few, but I will just mention that the peripheral long ones (perhaps with the exception of 1d) all gave me a feeling of the ‘warm fuzzies’, as we say here, Across the Pond, and for that sense of comfort, many thanks to Silvanus–and of course to Gazza for the review.

  7. I found this surprisingly accessible, maybe even a wee bit easier than some of his recent back-pagers. That said the transport down under (3d), the savoury dish(6d) & the ship (7d) all required a visit to Mr G for confirmation & failed to parse 4d having been just happy to remember the tree. Can’t quite put my finger on why but I wasn’t quite as taken with this one as others were though still found it very enjoyable indeed. I thought 8d a particularly untypical Silvanus (more Robyn)surface that required a convoluted parsing but liked the answer as it instantly reminded me of Maggie Smith & her girls at Marcia Blaine. The big ticks for me were 21,22,23&27a plus 2&4d.
    Thanks to Silvanus & Gazza – love the pic at 21a – where do you find ‘em.

  8. Head-scratching over the (obvious now) 11a denied me the hat-trick of fully completed Toughies this week although admittedly I couldn’t parse 4d.

    Favourite clues were 1a and 22a.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  9. Wonderful, wonderful crossword – thank you, Silvanus. Top clue for me was of course the 100% accurate 5d.

    Thanks also to Gazza for a great review.

  10. Most enjoyable, a happily straightforward solve and one of the quickest I’ve achieved for a Toughie, even than today’s backpager. The (decapitated) beat constable was not an expression with which I was readily familiar, but the tree most certainly was and, with checkers in place, was my LOI. Bulgarian ready recalled, likewise the Dutchman. Lovely surfaces throughout of course, too many smiles to single out any one clue for special mention.

    1* / 4.5*

    Thank you so much, Silvanus, and of course Gazza, too.

  11. Getting the four long perimeter answers without too much struggle was a big help for us.
    A superbly crafted puzzle that was a real pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Silvanus and Gazza.

  12. Thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza for the review and hints. A super puzzle that was great fun to attempt, some really good clues. I almost had an unprecedented three on the trot Toughie completions, but I fell at the last, to use racing parlance. The only thing I could think of for 27a was “nightmare”. I was thinking it might have something to do with Nightmare on Wall Street, but I was well wide of the mark. Favourite was 23a. Well done setter. Was 3* / 4* for me.

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