Toughie 2992 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2992

Toughie No 2992 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Ah – I just realised when publishing this that it’s Friday 13th – oh, the perks of blogging!  We have another display of inventive and precise clueing by Elgar. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


8    Vacated Animal House after finally scoring bonkers movie (5,4)

LOCAL HERO: ‘Animal House’ without the inner letters (vacated) plus the last letter (finally) of ‘after’ are inserted into (scoring) another word for bonkers

10    A prayer leader sacrificing his last soul (5)

ANIMA: ‘A payer leader’ (2,4) without the last letter (sacrificing his last)

11    With super-busy 9-5 poster dispatch being held back we start to suspect weird kid (9,6)

WEDNESDAY ADDAMS: A 3-letter word meaning super-busy, a 9-5 period, a 2-letter poster, plus a word meaning dispatch are reversed and included within (with … being held back) WE from the clue and the first letter (begin) to suspect

12/13    Unexpectedly meet the wife in The Blind Beggar? (3,4,7)

RUN INTO TROUBLE: The Blind Beggar is a notorious pub in the East End made famous by the Kray brothers, and serves as a Cockney indicator here for wife. Unexpectedly meeting the wife in a pub may not always be good.

15    In legendary city, inquisitor very wickedly hounded family (3,12)

THE BASKERVILLES: Inside a 6-letter legendary city, we have a 5-letter inquisitor, the abbreviation for very, and a word that can mean wickedly

19/22    Broadcast the results in place of high-frequency station link (7,7)

SHUTTLE SERVICE: An anagram (broadcast) of THE RESULTS plus a word meaning ‘in place of’

24    Creepy-crawly lurks with it, but Cher’s collecting third of stars? (10,5)

BUSHTUCKER TRIAL: An anagram (creepy-crawly) of LURKS + IT BUT CHER contains (collecting) the third letter in stars

26    Make king Charles III confess (5)

CROWN: The abbreviation for Charles III plus a word meaning confess

27    Perennially popular retrospective piece of work by Donne perhaps, during evening of poetry (9)

EVERGREEN: A reversal (retrospective) of a unit of work plus the clerical title of John Donne goes inside a poetic word for evening


1/25    This isn’t the quickest way, with learner driver stuck in London Square

SLOW LANE: The abbreviations for with and learner driver are inserted into (stuck in) a 6-letter London square

2    Tell Uncle Dicky I’ll be visiting (4,2)

CLUE IN: An anagram (dicky) of UNCLE is visited by ‘I’ from the clue

3    Halt opening exchange in No. 1 court feature (8)

DEADLOCK: Take a word meaning No. 1 and a feature of a court room, then exchange the first letters (opening exchange)

4    Soon to be twenty-one, rejecting big city fashions (3,3)

NOT YET: An anagram (fashions) of T(wen)TY-ONE, rejecting a word for big city

5    Oven-baked filling for a tot/a tit? (8)

TANDOORI: Split (1,3,1,2,1) the answer explains the central letters (filling) in ‘a tot/a tit’

6    Wheels in cover for person eating NAHCO3 ? (6)

BICARB: A 3-letter set of wheels goes inside a ‘cover for person eating’

7/24    Means to avail oneself, maybe, of the man keeping Eid? (4-4)

PASS-BACK: A football term, and a reverse clue for ‘Eid’

9    Establishment introducing syncopated dance beat (7)

CADENCE: An establishment or church containing (introducing) an anagram (syncopated) of DANCE

12    Corruption = this fare from India (5)

ROTIS: A 3-letter word for corruption plus a translation of ‘=’

14    Follow the person chasing others out of hotel bathroom (5)

ENSUE: Take a (2-5) hotel bathroom and remove ‘the person chasing others’ in a game of tag

16    At a display that’s ceremonial in parts (8)

ASTATINE: A from the clue, then a kind of ceremonial display containing IN from the clue (parts, as in splits)

17    This refreshes so, relied on endlessly by English! (5,3)

ROSIE LEE: An anagram (this refreshes …) of S(o) RELIE(d) O(n) without the last letters (endlessly), plus the abbreviation for English

18    Old company sports lounge open to the public (7)

LAICIZE: An old British chemical company sports (as in wears) a word meaning to lounge

20    Skyer from batsman, or the catch that is taken (6)

UPSHOT: As in the final outcome. Split (2,4), the answer could be a skyer from batsman

21     “Mad Dan” and what “Mate” Cobblers does to him on air? (6)

ECCLES: Mate Cobblers was a cockney in the Goon show and serves as a Cockney indicator here. Sorry, perhaps this is not helpful enough – See Comment 7 for a more thorough explanation, with many thanks Coatweazel!

23    Strange new name wanting labels anew (6)

RETAGS: An anagram (new) of STRA(n)GE without (wanting) the abbreviation for name

Lots to like as usual, and my favourite today was 24a – using ‘creepy-crawly’ as an appropriate anagram indicator! I also quite liked 14d. Which clues were your favourites?

9 comments on “Toughie 2992
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  1. A good way outside of my comfort zone but kept me occupied during a damp day in Lancashire.
    Thank you for your help and to the setter.

  2. A bit of a mixed bag for me. There were some clever clues like 11a, 15a and 16d and some witty clues like 12/13a and 26a but also a couple of lemons. Has Cher ever been a contestant of IACGMOOH? How would I know? But if not then, for me, the clue’s a clunker as an all in one. 21d requires PhD-level Goon Show knowledge – even after a fair bit of Googling I could find no evidence of ‘eccling!
    But I enjoyed it, so thanks to Elgar and to Dutch for the blog.

  3. Too many leaps of faith for me to say honestly that I enjoyed this much. I struggled through but needed a couple of hints to complete the grid, plus the parsing of a couple more escape me even with Dutch’s help.

    Well and truly beaten, so thanks Elgar for the challenge, and thanks and congratulations to Dutch for blogging this difficult puzzle.

  4. Just a couple short of completion in 10a and 7/24d.
    Guessed the homophone in 21d and couldn’t parse 14d.
    All in all, I’m quite pleased with myself as it has already taken me well over 10 years to get used to this setter.
    Thanks to Elgar and to Dutch for the help.

  5. Hard but enjoyable, until the last 4. Even after Dutch’s explanations I am bemused by 3,7,16 and 21 down. Hugely impressed if anyone worked these 4 out without hints.

    Thanks to Elgar for the workout and Dutch for the answers .

  6. I hope I’m not too late. For me this was a typical Elgar, in that I managed to complete the grid, albeit in 5* time (and the blessing of doing it online is that you know you’ve got them all right if it’s not a prize crossword) but in a few cases I wasn’t at all sure why they were right. I’m afraid the Goon Show is a little before my time, and I am not a fan of celebrity humiliation programmes, so those were my last ones in. I am, as always, left in profound admiration of Elgar for his cleverness, and of Dutch for even daring to blog it, let alone doing so perfectly.

  7. A Saturday morning finish for me, not at all unusual.
    I had to read around the topic to understand 21d – and I hesitate to suggest it, but maybe the explanation in the blog could be improved on.
    The character’s full name seems to have been Mad Dan Eccles. And “on air” in the clue indicates a homophone, heckles, with the “H” dropped.
    Thanks as ever to Elgar and Dutch for the work out.

  8. Failed to get Eccles, and had to check a couple of ideas online, plus needed the hints for parsing a couple. Took ages! All in all a difficult challenge, but fun to get as far as I did.

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