Toughie No 2945 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 2945

Toughie No 2945 by Gila

Hints and tips by StephenL

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

Hello everyone from a super-mild South Devon coast. Is it really late October?

Anyway Gila kicks off the Toughie week, (and what a week it is with Django and Silvanus to follow) with an enjoyable puzzle that I thought perfect for the Tuesday spot. I warmed to it even more on doing the review as I appreciated the very clever wordplay throughout

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

8a Aussie pick-up brought back one small case (4)
ETUI: Reverse (brought back) an informal name in the antipodes for a utility vehicle and add the “single” letter.

9a Excess load of deliveries leading to rush (10)
OVERCHARGE: Six cricket deliveries precede (leading to) a verbal synonym of rush. The solution is a noun.

10a It is coated in oils to make appetisers (8)
CRUDITES: The word IT sits inside (coated in) some unrefined oil.

11a Cycle home and go to bed (4,2)
TURN IN: A synonym of cycle in the sense of rotate and the usual 2-letter word meaning at home.

12a Foolish New Yorker tackling salesperson about so-called health product? (9)
SUPERFOOD: Start with a 6-letter American simpleton and place it around an abbreviated salesmen . Reverse (about) the result.

13a Simple shot generally is much, much easier — but only from the front (5)
GIMME: The initial letters (only from the front) of the five words following the definition.

15a A phoney journalist is humiliated (7)
ASHAMED: A from the clue, a synonym of phoney or fake and our usual abbreviated senior journalist.

17a Certain style encapsulating almost every old Italian city (7)
PALERMO: A (rather unattractive I think) hairstyle once popular goes around a synonym of every, which is missing its final letter and the abbreviation for Old is appended to the result.

20a Drop left in engine’s oil reservoir (5)
SLUMP: Insert the abbreviation for Left into the part of an engine housing the oil.

22a Be mature and shut up about male lover having run away with female (4,2,3)
COME OF AGE: Harder to parse than solve, the enumeration alone almost gave it to me. A verb meaning to shut up in the sense of incarcerate goes around an iconic male lover without the initial R (run away from) and the abbreviation for Female. Great clue…and it gives me the opportunity to post this great song.

25a Song made up by a new group opposing us? (6)
ANTHEM: A from the clue, the abbreviation for New and a group that could be described as opposing us.

26a Farm building — excellent — housing large goose (8)
BARNACLE: A farm building is followed by an informal word meaning excellent into which is inserted (housing) the abbreviation for Large.

27a Dessert is deformed when cooked (10)
SEMIFREDDO: Anagram (when cooked) of the preceding two words.

28a Rabbit for a Londoner and another pet for a Parisian? (4)
CHAT: A word used by traditional Londoners for talk (at length) is also the French for a feline pet.

Down

1d Companies often invested in drinks, including bitter (5-3)
START UPS: An informal verb meaning drinks “including” a synonym of bitter or acidic. I thought the wordplay very clever here.

2d Belt held right over trousers (6)
GIRDLE: (Well) hidden (trousers) and reversed (over) in the clue.

3d Given support during diet, if struggling (9)
FORTIFIED: A synonym of during is followed by an anagram (struggling) of IF DIET

4d Pounds I applied to savings fund (7)
PENSION: The pounds here have nothing to do with sterling but are enclosures. Follow them with I from the clue and a preposition which could mean applied to.

5d American with charming accent (5)
ACUTE: An abbreviation for American and a synonym of charming or sweet.

6d Very fine hotel provided by travel company (8)
HAIRLINE: The abbreviation for Hotel is followed by something provided by a travel company such as easyJet.

7d Bias is hidden by a person considered admirable (6)
AGEISM: Insert IS from the clue into (hidden by) A from the clue and how one could describe an admirable person.

14d Place offering lots of fancy aerosols and misters, primarily (9)
SALESROOM: Anagram (fancy) of AEROSOLS and the initial letter of Misters.

16d Amateur is seldom ultimately drawn in by mischievous look (8)
ARMCHAIR: Insert the final letter (ultimately) of seldoM into a synonym of mischievous and add a synonym of look in the sense of appearance or aura.

18d Explorer and crew taking a set line (8)
MAGELLAN: A verb meaning to crew goes around (taking) A from the clue, a synonym of set in the sense of stiffen and the abbreviation for Line.

19d In favour of nasty drug getting outlawed (7)
FORBADE: A 3-letter word meaning in favour of, a simple synonym of nasty and the abbreviation for Ecstasy.

21d Narrow opening guarded by surveillance team (6)
LANCET: Hidden (guarded by) in the clue. The opening is a window.

23d Provide money — though only one note, as intended (6)
FIANCE: Remove one of the abbreviations for Note in a verb meaning to provide money or fund.

24d Electronically controlled trucks turned up (5)
SMART: Reverse (turned up in a down clue) some trucks (that run on rails).

Thanks Gila, my ticks go to 22a plus 1,4&16d.

28 comments on “Toughie No 2945
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  1. Like our blogger, 22a was my top pick from a goodly selection of excellent clues. Most of the grid went in very smoothly, but there were one or two holdouts that certainly made this into a proper Toughie.

    My thanks to Gila and SL.

  2. Thanks to Gila for an entertaining Tuesday Toughie and thanks to StephenL for the top-rate review.
    I think the foolish New Yorker in 12a is a 6-letter word.
    For my podium I’ve selected 11a, 1d and 16d.

  3. An excellent start to the week & mercifully easier than the Sunday Toughie which took me 6 stabs over 2 days to finally complete. The Italian dessert was new but arranged the fodder around the checkers for what looked the most plausible & Mr G confirmed. Can’t say I’ve come across doof before but have a mate who frequently behaves like one so it’ll come in handy & the goose rang a bell but had to check. Solved both 2&21d before realising they were both well disguised lurkers. Failed to parse 4d (wrong pounds) & moved on with 22a after twigging cage. Tops for me 1,7&16d. Looking forward to DG & Silvanus.
    Thanks to Gila & Stephen for the explanations

  4. Rather sloppily put in ”onside” for 7d , [ hidden lurker ?], though didn’t have much to do with bias ,i admit . Ruined RH corner. Otherwise pretty fair though I didn’t like ”doof” in12a , but loved 28a, continuing my theory that short clues can often be the best .

  5. What an excellent not-too-tough Toughie. It all came together steadily and I enjoyed it a lot.

    My top picks were 11a, 22a & 4d.

    Many thanks to Gila and to SL.

    1. So disappointed in myself–needed SL’s hints for three (12a, 4d, 6d). Never heard of that health product; would never have thought of the American term for simpleton (it must be more British than American). I think that 6d, which I flubbed, is my favourite. Probably the worst I’ve done on a Toughie in ages, but I did enjoy the huge challenge and I like this setter’s style. The fault, dear Gila, lies in myself, that I am the underling (with apologies to the Bard). Thanks to Stephen for the considerable help and Gila.

      Oops. Sorry RD. I meant this as a separate comment.

      1. No problem, Robert. Always good to hear from you.

        I’ve never come across doofus as a British word, and various reference sources (Chambers, Collins, and others) seem to be unanimous that it is a US term.

  6. The bottom half of this went in without problems but struggled a bit with the top half, finally giving in to the hints for 9a (I should be on the lookout for cricketing clues by now!), 12a and 1d. I especially liked 22a, 25a and 16d. Thanks to Gila and StephenL.

  7. Very enjoyable and reasonably mild as Toughies go. It must be Tuesday. Some very entertaining clues. Not come across that meaning of ‘arch’ before but it had to fit. I thought 2d was a brilliantly disguised lurker! Top marks to 13a and 22a.
    Had a bit of success in the prize department: a fountain pen and a notebook for a prize Toughie and a notebook for an ordinary cryptic. I’ve been waiting for these buses for a while and now two have come along together.
    Mind you, the fountain pen had no innards. I have written to Mr Lancaster a week or so ago, but no response yet. Hey-ho. He might read this?

      1. Correct. Not the end of the world, but a response would be good. It wouldn’t replace my Pelikan fountain pen anyway.

  8. The Italian desert was a new one on me as was the American fool. Some really difficult clues but that only adds to the enjoyment on completion. Favourite, and last in, was the devilishly hidden rekrul in 2d. Thanks to Gila and SL.

  9. Thoroughly enjoyed this, taking about the same time as the backpager, though both interrupted by stopping to watch speeches from outgoing and incoming PMs. Had to google the dessert and completely missed that 21d was a lurker, even though the answer couldn’t be anything else. I’ll choose that as my favourite. Top drawer Gila, thanks, and to SL.

  10. A great Tuesday Toughie with just 24d not hitting the spot for me.
    Top three here were 11&27a plus 1d.

    Thanks to Gila and to Stephen for the review.

  11. Struggled to get home due to NW corner. 1d and 22a get my votes for the cleverest clues. Thanks to Gila and StephenL

  12. Managed about three quarters unaided and then ground to a halt.
    Despite my advanced age and North American links, I got 12a without ever having heard of a doof or doofus. Where have I been?
    I must contest 24d….along with motorways and households, “smart” means anything but these days!
    COTD? The simple 28a
    My name and email address have once more disappeared. Anyone else have the same problem?

  13. I ground to a halt after about half completed, but a few to Google, goose and dessert among them, before resorting to SL’s hints, so thanks in advance for them. And of course to Gila.
    After today’s letter from DT subs, my monthly payment is going up from £33 to over £70 at the end of November for print version. After an extended phone call they could bring it down to a little under £60. So regrettably I’ve cancelled. Papers got a bit thin lately anyway!

    1. Why not subscribe to the digital version Jules, you could get a full year for less than you’re currently paying for one month.

      1. Thought about that, but don’t have a laptop, just use the phone for all things internet. Also like the paper. A bit, or rather, old fashioned I know, but I can take the paper anywhere in darkest Sussex where there’s no signal! Thanks for pointing it out though

  14. When I (Colin) was a child we sometimes were served tapioca pudding which we thought slimy and horrible and we called ‘Frog’s eggs’. The name of the dessert in 27a reminded me of that so induced a involuntary shudder.
    An enjoyable solve for us that did not give us too many problems.
    Thanks Gila and SL.

  15. Thanks to Gila and to StephenL for the review and hints. I could only solve 6 clues. Perhaps it was a wavelength thing, but having looked at the hints, I would never have got any of them. Totally beyond me.

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