Toughie 3182 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3182

Toughie No 3182 by Silvanus

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Toughie Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

For the second Wednesday running we have a crossword that could be described as ‘doesn’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable’

Please let us know what you thought


1a    Right away fiddler rushed to play Yorkshire venue (12)
HUDDERSFIELD An anagram (to play) of FIDDLEr RUSHED without one of the R’s (Right away)

8a    Stutterer unfortunately introduces broadcast again (5)
RERUN Hidden (introduces) in the first two words of the clue

9a    Appalling actor is condemned around Oxford University (9)
ATROCIOUS An anagram (condemned) of ACTOR IS put around the abbreviation for Oxford University

11a    Reportedly vote against book belonging to us reaching someone close (9)
NEIGHBOUR A homophone (reportedly) of a vote against, the abbreviation for Book and a simple way of saying ‘belonging to us’

12a    Fencing area initially within boundaries of pasture (5)
PISTE An abbreviated way of saying ‘initially’ goes inside (within) the boundaries of PasturE

13a    Discovered man makes sound recording of bushbabies (5-4)
NIGHT-APES The inside (discovered) letters of a chess man followed by ‘makes sound recording’

16a    Cycling centre where we live (5)
EARTH ‘Cycle’ the first letter of a synonym for centre to the end of the word

18a    Element, small number facing sack, to retire (5)
BORON A reversal (to retire) of an abbreviated number and a verb meaning to sack or plunder

19a    Person with experience of working at Lord’s, e.g. (3,6)
OLD STAGER An anagram (working) of AT LORDS EG

20a    Stroll is pleasant, ignoring road going west (5)
AMBLE A synonym for pleasant ‘ignoring’ a reversed (going west in an Across clue) major UK road

22a    Dead-end streets copper classed ill-designed (3-2-4)
CUL-DE-SACS The chemical symbol for copper and an anagram (ill-designed) of CLASSED

25a    Fresh denial by Democrat about weed (9)
DANDELION An anagram (fresh) of DENIAL goes by or after the abbreviation for Democrat, a preposition meaning about being added at the end

26a    Asian garment attractive princess wears? Au contraire (5)
DHOTI To obtain an Asian garment, do the opposite (au contraire) of how the clue reads and insert an informal adjective meaning attractive into the abbreviated way we refer to a particular princess

27a    Fool, Arab perhaps, claiming he’s a fashion-conscious dresser (7-5)
CLOTHES-HORSE An informal fool, an animal of which an Arab is an example (perhaps) between which is inserted (claiming) HES (from the clue)


1d    “Prince endlessly hosting orgy” (Herald) (9)
HARBINGER The forename by which a particular Prince is known without its final letter (endlessly) ‘hosting’ a bout of overindulgence (orgy)

2d    Excellent study Switzerland supports (5)
DENCH A study ‘supported’ in a Down solution by the IVR Code for Switzerland go give a UK urban slang synonym for excellent

3d    Muse on coming up with tattoos every so often (5)
ERATO A reversal (coming up) of the ‘usual’ on [the subject of] followed by the even (every so often) letters of tAtToOs

4d    Heard schoolmaster, highly regarded, gets caught unawares (9)
SURPRISED Homophones of a schoolmaster and an adjective meaning highly regarded

5d    One feeding giant chimp peanuts regularly for newborn (9)
INCIPIENT The Roman numeral for one ‘feeding’ the regular letters of gIaNt ChImP pEaNuTs

6d    Aircraft manoeuvres in wind, turning around (5)
LOOPS A reversal (turning around) of a verb meaning to wind

7d    Support for pressing elected government’s head to stop insensitive management (7,5)
IRONING BOARD Insert (to stop) an adverb meaning elected and the ‘head’ of Government between an adjective meaning insensitive and an administrative body,

10d    Twice he’s ripped off procuring meat dish (9,3)
SHEPHERDS PIE An anagram (off) of HES HES (twice) RIPPED

14d    Most kind offer opponents tabled originally (9)
TENDEREST An offer, some abbreviated bridge opponents and the original letter of Tabled

15d    Denounce piece of writing that employs plagiarism (9)
PROSCRIBE A piece of writing into which is inserted (that employs) a verb meaning to steal another’s work (plagiarism)

17d    Independent needs good month to fill position in long-winded process (9)
RIGMAROLE Abbreviations for Independent and Good, followed by an abbreviated month, inserted into (to fill) a position

21d    Ordinary American student under 15 (5)
BANAL The abbreviation for American and the usual letter representing a student go under a synonym for the solution of 15d

23d    Begin clearing area for meal (5)
LUNCH Remove (clearing) the abbreviation for Area from a synonym for begin

24d    Two foreign articles of prior origin (5)
ELDER Definite articles used in Spain and Germany


26 comments on “Toughie 3182
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  1. CS is spot on when she says it doesn’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable. Who cares when the clueing is as good as this and when the surfaces are as smooth as these? This was a truly magnificent puzzle.

    I didn’t know that Dame Judy had earned her very own adjectival entry in the dictionary until I looked up what the answer to 2d had to be in my BRB.

    Many thanks to SIlvanus and to CS.

    1. New to me too & very appropriate for Judi. Apparently the word was invented by the rapper Lethal Bizzle (never heard of him) & JD was thrilled to be asked to wear a T shirt with Stay Dench on it.

  2. The digital version of the puzzle does not include the name of the Toughie setter, so I am grateful to Stephen L for advising that today we are treated to a puzzle by Silvanus. He did not disappoint, but then again, he never does.
    Really smooth surfaces and a degree of difficulty which I would put at being somewhere between a back pager and a Toughie.
    A domestic feel to the puzzle with 27a and 1d and some culinary references at 10d and 23d, but being a modern man, these went straight in!
    I did not know the solution to 2d, but I do now. It’s origin is either from urban slang or, if you believe Chambers, it is a nod to the great dame. I prefer the latter.
    I am familiar with the “cycling” technique in 16a, but I still don’t really understand why “cycling” should indicate moving a letter from the front to the back or vice versa. Can someone please put me out of my misery on this?
    Great fun. Thank you Silvanus and CS.

    1. Shabbo, for “cycling”, it’s not a question of just moving a letter. Write the source word in a circle and then find another word by going round the circle starting from a different place.

  3. A really 2d puzzle. Thanks to Silvanus and CS.
    I’d never actually heard of the 2d term before today but I’ve just watched the Dame herself on the Graham Norton show confirming that it is a slang word for cool which she’s happy to be associated with.
    Top clues for me were 16a, 4d and 7d.

  4. This puzzle has quality in all four quadrants and was an absolute delight to solve. Like others, 2d was a new term to me, though obvious from the wordplay. As for a favourite, 16a will do nicely.

    My thanks to Silvanus and CS.

  5. Super puzzle as always. I agree (rarely do) with our reviewer’s difficulty assessment for this one having found a few of his recent back-pagers a bit trickier than this one. 12a was the main head scratch as I only knew it as a ski run & was slow to twig the initially bit. 4d rang a bell then realised it was in the AP puzzle of a couple of weeks ago. 5d my pick from a host of ticks.
    Thanks to Silvanus & to Sue

  6. Loved that and agree it was at the easier end of the toughie spectrum, like others I was pleasantly surprised to find the Yorkie Judy has made the BRB
    Thanks to CS and Silvanus

  7. Another 2d puzzle from Mr Smooth, although I have to confess that was a new word for me as was 12a when used in relation to fencing. I’ll try to store them away for future reference but the odds aren’t great………
    13a was the last to fall and a name I had to verify. I’ll stick with bushbabies, thank you, so much more ‘cute’ sounding!
    Top marks awarded to 25&27a plus 7&15d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to CS for the review.

  8. Another belter from Silvanus. He always makes it look so easy when it is, of course, anything but. Delighted to see 2d pop up, made me smile. It can now only be a matter of time before “rizz” makes an appearance! Perhaps it already has?
    Huge thanks to the old pro, and CS, of course.

  9. A lovely puzzle that was a real pleasure to solve from first (who’d a thought such an unglamorous place could produce such an amusing clue) to last.
    I especially liked 1&17d as they’re both great words, the succinct and clever 23d (10d will do nicely) but my favourite was the super 7d.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Sue.

    1. Those unglamorous corners of West Yorkshire are lumped under the heading of the Metropoliton Borough of Kirklees, I am not alone in giving it the better name of Cleckhuddersfax
      Like most places there are some gems that need to be visited, Halifax Piece Hall for one and Silvia Plath’s home town of Hebden Bridge and my own favourite the mill town of Slaithwaite (pronounced Slawit)

  10. Many thanks to Sue and to everyone for such kind comments.

    Dame Judi celebrated her birthday last Saturday, so it is fortunate for 2d to appear just a few days afterwards.

    2023 has seen more of my Toughies published (12) than in any of the previous years since I joined the Telegraph, so I am very grateful to Chris Lancaster for the extra opportunities.

  11. Because I print off the online version each day, I never know who the setter is until I visit the blog. I wasn’t at all surprised when this smooth setter was revealed. He always produces such an enjoyable challenge. I hadn’t heard of 2D, but the wordplay made it obvious after looking up. I didn’t know 12A other than as a ski slope. I took 16A to be an anagram of another word for centre.
    My favourites from a super puzzle were 7D and 27A.
    Many thanks to CS and Sylvanus

    1. Regarding 16a, your suggestion would constitute an “indirect anagram” which is strictly taboo. The “cycling” technique used is very succinctly explained by RD in Comment 2. above.

  12. Thanks Stephen and indeed Hunstman, I took your advice from yesterday and had a crack at this, and like all others above I really enjoyed it. Indeed I was in a real flow for a while til I got caught out with a few. 2d is definitely a new word for me but now that I know the Dame Judy derivation I will fond excuses to use it a lot. 12a was not a new word but definitely a new use of the word for me, I live and learn (slowly…).
    I still needed help for a couple of parses (thanks Crypticsue) but my favourite today was definitely 7D.
    Thanks to Silvanus for the fun (and indeed thanks to anybody else who is feeling left out as I seem to have thanked rather a lot of people today!)

  13. We will join the company of those who had not heard 2d before but still solved it from the wordplay.
    A sheer delight to solve.
    Thanks Silvanus and CS.

  14. Add me to the ‘doesn’t have to difficult to be enjoyable’ cohort. Spot on puzzle. I think I’ve come across 2d before in another crossword, I had no idea where it came from I assumed it was one of these made up words. I know now however. Favourite was 1d even though it included a reference to to that rather tiresome Prince who I wish would realise how lucky he is and shut up. Thanks to Silvanus and CS.

  15. Favorite was 21d. It took a while to figure out the reference to 15.

    I didn’t notice the 2d word until I read these comments. I filled in the answer and paid no attention to its meaning.

  16. Hadn’t heard of 2d either and had to check a couple more in 1d and 5d.
    Favourite 7d. Loved the “insensitive management” .
    Thanks to Silvanus and to StephenL.

  17. Another toughie completed albeit over a number of days and with a bit of help from CS. So thank you for the tips and thank to Silvanus, excellent as usual

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