Toughie 2974 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2974

Toughie No 2974 by Logman

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

A nice ‘start of the week’ Toughie from Logman

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9a    Energy of politician interrupting — that’s a nice surprise! (5)
OOMPH An abbreviated politician inserted into (interrupting) an interjection of surprise

10a    Strange objects may see rejected expert keep Tories worried (9)
ESOTERICA A reversal (rejected) of an informal term for an expert into which is inserted (keep) an anagram (worried) of TORIES

11a    Floor regularly covered by endless old-fashioned filth (7)
SQUALOR The even (regular) letters of fLoOr inserted into (covered by) an adjective meaning boringly traditional (old-fashioned)

12a    Splitting job with a change of gender (7)
FISSION Change the gender  (M – male) at the start of a job or errand with a particular purpose to an F (female)

13a    ‘Slough Spades’ gardening supplies stores (5)
SHEDS A verb meaning to cast off (slough) and the card abbreviation for the suit of Spades

14a    One may raise the issue seeing person leading talks on drunk … (9)
HIGHCHAIR A person leading talks at a meeting goes on or after a synonym for drunk

16a    … in spite of having no status (15)
NOTWITHSTANDING Merge a three-word phrase meaning having no status

19a    Spooner’s cut head and he looks for understanding (3-6)
LIP-READER How the dreaded Reverend might say a verb meaning to cut and a head or chief

21a    Bar in Spain — go there! (5)
INGOT Hidden in spaIN GO There

23a    Fruit may see small areas full of mould returning (7)
SATSUMA The abbreviation for Small and two lots of the abbreviation for Area (areas) into which is inserted a reversal (returning) of some mould

25a    Polish workers getting increase (7)
BEESWAX Some of crosswordland’s workers and a verb meaning to increase

27a    Fifteen planned to take on 101, working with speed and economy (9)
EFFICIENT An anagram (planned) of FIFTEEN into which is inserted (to take on) the Roman numerals representing 101

28a    Cleansing procedure featuring in hygiene magazine (5)
ENEMA Hidden (featuring) in hygiENE MAgazine


1d    They ruminate and Venetian rulers take heart (4)
DOES The rulers of Venice without the letter in the middle (take heart)

2d    Animal essentially downright corrupt (6)
IMPURE The essential letters of anIMal and an adjective meaning downright

3d    Discovering this table in wood is tasteless (10)
PHILISTINE The inside (discovering) of tHIs and a table inserted into a type of wood

4d    Need curtains to be about right (6)
DEARTH Curtains is a slang term for the end of life into which should be inserted (to be about) the abbreviation for right

5d    High-level engagement, a contest for setters? (8)
DOGFIGHT This high-level engagement between warplanes sounds like it could be a contest for canine setters

6d    Requirements for opening bars? (4)
KEYS A cryptic definition of requirements for opening a door, for example’ or musical bars

7d    Most of Britain surprisingly supportive of King and one’s country (8)
KIRIBATI An anagram (surprisingly) of most of BRITAIn goes after (supportive in a Down solution) the chess abbreviation for King and the letter representing one to give us an island country in the central Pacific Ocean

8d    Craftsman‘s not wrong to chase success across American West (10)
WAINWRIGHT The opposite of (not) wrong goes after (to chase) a success into which is inserted the abbreviation for America, the abbreviation for West being inserted between the two

13d    Star talks about line and help for viewers in summer (10)
SUNGLASSES A star and an informal way of saying talks goes ‘about’ the abbreviation for line

15d    May I not celebrate over support (10)
CANTILEVER A more informal way of saying ‘may I not, followed by a reversal (over) of a verb meaning to celebrate riotously or noisily

17d    Court official‘s argument about criminal past (8)
TIPSTAFF A slight argument goes ‘about’ an anagram (criminal) of PAST

18d    Moisturises as result of unusually dry heat and sun, principally (8)
HYDRATES An anagram (unusually) of DRY HEAT followed by the principal letter of Sun

20d    Discount miscreant sacking spin doctor (6)
REBATE A villain or rogue (miscreant) without (sacking) an abbreviated Public Relations Officer (spin doctor)

22d    How a graduate may be in regretting own education? (6)
GOWNED Hidden in regrettinG OWN EDucation

24d    Uniform on officer is something new in Scotland (4)
UNCO The letter represented by Uniform in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet and an abbreviated military officer

26d    Time of year celebrated by degrees (4)
XMAS The letter used to indicate ‘by’ in a multiplication sum and some abbreviated University degrees

13 comments on “Toughie 2974
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  1. I didn’t find it quite so easy as our blogger and had to check a couple of things on my way through. I left 19a until I had all the checkers as I detest Spoonerisms.

    All said an enjoyable solve although no ticks.

    Thanks to Logman and CS.

  2. I will modify a comment I posted on Silvanus’s Toughie 2967 – I can never quite understand why Logman’s Toughies always appear on a Wednesday – they seem more like Tuesday Toughies to me. As enjoyable as ever – 1.5*/3.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 25a, 5d, and 8d – and the winner is 8d.

    Thanks to Logman and CS.

  3. I thought this was quite quirky but enjoyable with the NW last to fall after I looked up Venetian rulers, spoiling an unaided finish.
    I liked 9a&14a plus 26d but top spot goes to the excellent and Lol 19a.
    Many thanks to Logman and Sue.

  4. After yesterday’s struggles with a dastardly Dada a lovely Logman to restore confidence. Very enjoyable indeed & made all the more so by being quickly on wavelength for a surprisingly speedy finish. As ever nicely clued throughout & with a pleasingly lack of anything obscure – only 24d requiring confirmation. I had numerous ticks – 11,2,14,25&28a along with 2,3,5,20&26d my picks of an excellent assortment & not a dud to be found.
    Thanks to Logman & to CS – your back page comment made me laugh.

  5. Well I thought this was rather tough especially in the NW corner but it was certainly very enjoyable with 14a & 26d sharing top place.

    Many thanks to Logman and to CS.

  6. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Logman and CS.
    We do seem to have had more than our fair share of the ‘cleansing procedure’ recently.
    My ticks went to 9a, 19a, 5d and 26d.

  7. 5 and 26d were my co-favourites from this fun and accessible puzzle. Lots of humour, a few tricky ones and a rewarding solve throughout.

    My thanks to Logman and CS.

  8. Really nice crossword with some clever clues, good lurkers and amusing answers . Thought 14a might be two words , though suppose ii might be either . Slightly more difficult than * ; I would go **/***. many thanks to all .

  9. I seem to get on better with Logman toughies than Jay cryptics and this was straightforward enough with some tricky clues in there. I had to check 24d as it was not a word I’d come across before, I knew the 1d rulers though. Several clues made me laugh. Favourite was 3d, my last in. Thanks to Logman and CS.

  10. I just loved this one last night as I breezed through most of it, with only 22a holding me up a bit at the finish. Too many favourites to cite, but 9a, 14a, and 15a might be just a cut above all of the other gems. Thanks to CS, whose review I’ll read now, and to Logman for the great pleasure.

    Sorry to be so late today but I had to finish my new mystery after commenting on the backpager, and then Morpheus welcomed me into his blessed arms. Oh, I must add my thanks to the great poet Robert Burns for teaching me one of the first Scottish terms I ever learned at a very young age: 24d.

  11. Struggled with this one a bit and ranked it as 3*/3*
    Didn’t know the answer in 7d, but managed to work it out eventually.

    Favourites include 9a, 11a, 27a, 5d & 26d with winner 26d

    Thanks to Logman and CS

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