Toughie 2470 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2470

Toughie No 2470 by Dada

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Yet another Toughie from our Sunday setter that makes you think, but is still solvable.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Possibly bitter about everything, commercial singer (9)
BALLADEER: a drink of which bitter is an example (possibly) around a word meaning everything and a two-letter commercial

8a    Name top city in Western Asia (5)
DUBAI: a three-letter verb meaning to name followed by top or first rate

10a    Lead from pistol puncturing kidneys from behind, assassin hiding (6)
SNIPER: the initial letter (lead) of P[istol] inside the reversal (from behind) of an archaic word for the kidneys

11a    Man trapping a rabbit for sport (8)
KAYAKING: a (chess)man around (trapping) the A from the clue and a three-letter verb meaning to rabbit

12a    Indian scholar not to mention in hell (6)
PANDIT: a word meaning “not to mention” or plus inside a three-letter word meaning hell

14a    Disease in cattle fed string — feed on grass (6)
BROWSE: a disease in cattle around (fed) a string

16a    Do business right (4)
COOK: a two-letter abbreviation for a business followed by an expression meaning right or correct

17a    Photograph, all the same (5)
STILL: two definitions

18a    Slimy thing, sock (4)
SLUG: another two definitions – the second being a blow

19a    First step, not last, to reach a country (6)
GAMBIA: most of a first step, particularly one used in chess, followed by the A from the clue

21a    Huge figure enough to completely stuff bowler? (6)
HATFUL: this bowler is the kind worn on the head!

24a    Alluring trap in spelling? (8)
MAGNETIC: a trap goes inside the art of casting spells

26a    Grey clothes on — yes! (6)
AGREED: grey or getting on in years around (clothes) a word meaning on or about

27a    Load ton on mythological ship (5)
CARGO: the Roman numeral for a ton or 100 followed by Jason’s mythological ship

28a    Split open on the outside, tine originally prodding uncooked sausage (9)
BRATWURST: a word meaning split open around (on the outside) the initial letter (originally) itself inside (prodding) an adjective meaning uncooked


1d    Ferret out to catch a plague (5)
HAUNT: a verb meaning to ferret out around (to catch) the A from the clue

2d    Panic over salt in sweet cake (8)
FLAPJACK: combine four-letter words meaning a panic and a salt or sailor

3d    Brouhaha rare for beloved (6)
ADORED: combine three-letter words meaning a brouhaha and rare (when referring to a steak)

4d    Idiot preserved meat (4)
JERK: another two definitions

5d    Daffy bird (6)
CUCKOO: and another two definitions

6d    Odd bits removed, see ship in bottle that’s silvery-white (9)
MAGNESIUM: drop the odd letters from two words in the clue and insert what’s left inside a large champagne bottle

9d    Reportedly, logo for plate clashed? (6)
CYMBAL: this musical? Instrument sounds like (reportedly) a logo

13d    Time off for some member (5)
THIGH: T(ime) followed by an adjective meaning off or rancid

15d    Turn hand and flip one’s lid (2,7)
GO BANANAS: a turn is followed by some fruit that often come in a bunch known as a hand

17d    Main tune hasn’t complex melody at the end (6)
SHANTY: an anagram (complex) of HASN’T followed by the final letter (at the end) of [melod]Y – main here refers to the sea

18d    Confront someone winning by four, perhaps? (6,2)
SQUARE UP: a quantity of which four is an example (perhaps) followed by a two-letter word meaning winning

20d    Gentle spirit coming over in mountain (6)
BENIGN: the reversal (coming over) of an alcoholic spirit inside a Scottish word for a mountain

22d    Warm to a beastly home (6)
TOASTY: TO and A from the clue followed by a beastly home

23d    Extract from screenwriter, seriously short (5)
TERSE: hidden (extract from) inside the clue

25d    First of all, can everyone read this? Sure thing (4)
CERT: the initial letters (first of all) of four words in the clue

An excellent puzzle.


26 comments on “Toughie 2470

  1. Both today’s DT puzzles took me exactly the same time – on the border between 5* backpager and 1* Toughie so this Dada offering was just right for the start of the Toughie week – no particular favourites although I was pleased to see 2d described as a cake this time!

    Thanks to Dada and BD

      1. I think it depends where you live and what your mother baked! (I wonder how they managed to creep into two successive Tuesday Toughies – no conniving, I promise!) But we were happy to have it a cake and liked Dada’s compilation. Thanks to Big Dave, too.

  2. ooph – took me a while, nearly gave up a few times but got there eventually. I liked “main tune” and many others. Many thanks dada & bd

  3. I’m more of the BD view than the CS view – I thought this was quite tricky and struggled to complete the squiggle of clues down the middle [12a,13d,21a,22d]. It reminded me a bit of an Elkamere puzzle [when’s he coming back?]
    Thanks to Dada and BD
    btw Has Ralph got into your parsing of 8a?

    1. 8a I suspect that BD has a Word shortcut for a ‘3-letter verb’ which somehow went awry,

      1. Good guess. 3l -> three-letter and vm -> verb meaning, but only if you leave a space between them! So 3lvm doesn’t work. Now corrected, thanks.

  4. I thought that this was pitched just right for a Tuesday Toughie – thanks to Dada and BD.
    My ticks went to 11a, 17d and 22d.

  5. The same 4 clues as Halcyon held me up no end but perseverance paid off.
    I much prefer Middle East rather than Western Asia for 8a.
    11a made me laugh.
    Thanks to Dada and to BD.

  6. 25d made me laugh as something must have gone awry at Telegraph Towers and the dead tree version has the clues in smaller font and all squashed together with a large space left below. So the answer to the question posed is – no, I was almost cross-eyed by the time I’d finished solving this one!
    Couple of new things for me in the 10a kidneys and the Indian scholar. I’ve also not previously come across the large amount in 21a – must belong to a chap with a rather large head!
    Tops here were 7,11&17a.

    Thanks to Dada for quite a work-out and to BD for the review. Think I need to rest those weary eyes now………

  7. I enjoyed this very much, but there were a couple of places along the way where I struggled. I didn’t know the Indian scholar in 12a, nor would have I associated hell with the needed element in the word play. In the same vein, I wouldn’t normally think to associate the definition in 21a with ‘Huge figure’. However, it all came together nicely in the end. Many thanks to Dada and Big Dave.

  8. A nice easy start to the week no real favourites for me, I did finish but as always with toughies needed help, living in Canada I am in agreement with JB,

    Many thanks to Dada & Big Dave

  9. I do the puzzles online through Telegraph Puzzles and I think it would be good if it included the setter’s name.

    1. Hi.
      If it’s any help the Toughie setters for the week are listed on this site. Tomorrow it’s Giovanni.

    2. On puzzles.telegraph, you can find the name of the Toughie setter by pressing the link to “The Knowledge” … then “Toughie Crossword Compilers” … then …

      Why the setter’s name cannot appear on the top of the Toughie grid as in the paper remains a mystery.

      It should also be quite easy to put the clues that form the quickie pun in Italics in the online version … as in the paper.

      Progress ?

      1. Don’t hold your breath. We’ve been asking for both of those features since 2009.

  10. I had drongo in 5d which held up the northeast, and I had to check the old kidneys. This solve took me a long time, but I have no complaints with any the clues. All things considered a very enjoyable crossword. Sadly non of the list of jobs has been completed, and the management is due back any minute. Oops.

  11. I knew when my 1st clue in was 22d that this would be a slow affair, and indeed it took me a much longer time than usual for a Tuesday. 10a was a bung in as hadn’t heard of this term for kidneys & I’m more than a bit dubious about the defintion in 14a. 28a and 6d were my favourites. Definitely not a member of the easy camp today. Thanks to Dada and Big Dave.

  12. This was a really classy Toughie, I thought, but I needed considerable electronic help to finish, since 16d (4-letter clues are my betes-noires), 10a (didn’t know the old word for kidneys), and 26a (!!!) just wouldn’t budge at all in my mind. But I really liked 6d, 22d, 20d, and 28a. Thanks to Dada and Big Dave for all the help. ***** / ****

  13. Much trickier for us than we are used to finding on a Tuesday with a few bits of GK such as the old kidneys that we had to research. Plenty of smiles and chuckles along the way as the various pennies dropped.
    Thanks Dada and BD.

  14. I always struggle with Dada. Only managed about half of this, and wouldn’t have got any of the rest by staring at it for longer !

  15. Thanks to Dada and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, managed about three quarters of it before resorting to the hints. Needed help with 8,11,12,14a and 6d, and to parse 9d. Favourite was 28a, was 4*/3* for me.

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