Toughie 2757 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2757

Toughie No 2757 by Moeraki

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

What fun. None too difficult but a refreshing style of clueing that put several smiles on my face this morning

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a        Big cat at bay? (5)
TIGER: A large stripy cat who once came to tea with Sophie in Judith Kerr’s delightful book is also the local name for an area of Cardiff which covered Bluetown  and Cardiff docks. It is Wales’ oldest multi-ethnic community with sailors and workers from over 50 countries settling there in the 1950s

4a        Defend author sheltering dishonourable fellow (9)
BARRICADE: The author of Peter Pan surrounds or shelters a rogue or scoundrel

9a        Being pretentious, striking out at warmth of feeling (9)
AFFECTION: First find a word  that means being pretentious. Remove a single letter A and a single letter T

10a      Battle cry around the City (5)
CRECY:  Place the word CRY which has been generously donated by our setter today around the postcode for area known as The City in London

11a      Retire and start to get going? (7)
TURNING: Begin with a phrase 4,2 meaning to go to bed. Add the initial letter of the word get

12a      The mafia’s Top Ten? (3,4)
HIT LIST:  What the ‘Top Ten’ was to record sales is also the ten people most likely to be ‘liberated’ by The Mafia

13a      Go slow, entering sunbeam — this doesn’t happen often (6)
RARITY: Place a musical term meaning gradually decreasing in tempo (ritardando) inside a synonym of the word sunbeam

15a      Saucy thing that’s not stripping (8)
DRESSING:  Our setters way of asking for the opposite of stripping off one’s clothes perhaps

18a      Tree fellers formally will be senior citizens (8)
ALDERMEN: Two things required here. A tree (Alnus Glutinosa) and a term for some fellows or males

20a      Fish regularly found in warm stormy seas (6)
WRASSE: The alternate letters of the word warm is followed by an anagram (stormy) of SEAS

23a      Circular grassland left rough (7)
LEAFLET: Some grass or meadowland is followed by an anagram (rough) of LEFT

24a      Tear apart 50 per cent of pews in cathedral (3,4)
RIP OPEN: Two of the four letters that make up the word pews sit inside the name of a cathedral in Yorkshire

26a      Month in Guernsey and Jersey, say — or here (5)
CAPRI: The abbreviated fourth month of the year sits inside the abbreviation for the group of islands which includes Guernsey and Jersey. I’m not sure what to underline here

27a      Bread and water in restaurant (9)
BRASSERIE: A synonym for money is followed by some water. One of The Great Lakes

28a      Wife and child one’s taken out somewhere on the farm? (5,4)
DUTCH BARN: An endearing term for ones wife is followed by a term used for a child in Scotland but minus the letter I

29a      Praise is no longer key (5)
EXALT: A two letter term meaning former is followed by a key on ones computer keyboard


1d        First-class crumble and pie served up here? (9)
TRATTORIA: A two letter term meaning first class, a stretched synonym of the word crumble and an open pie are all reversed as indicated by the words served up

2d        Achieve success in the long run? (2,3)
GO FAR: The distance traveled in a long run might also describe a measure of success

3d        Confirmation of right to hold gun overturned (7)
RECEIPT: A rarely used term for a gun is reversed and placed inside an abbreviation for right

4d        Composer’s part for violin (6)
BRIDGE:   The part of a stringed instrument over which the strings are stretched is also the name of the middle eight passage in a piece of music. The word part in the clues seems to be doing double duty as the end of one double definition and the beginning of another so I have underlined the whole clue as the definition

5d        Become depleted, just a single behind (3,5)
RUN SHORT:  The name for a single score in cricket is followed by a synonym of the word behind when describing a quantity that is less than required

6d        Urges reform of cities around North (7)
INCITES: An anagram (reforms) of CITIES which includes the abbreviation for north

7d        Drinks provided in wild parties (9)
APERITIFS: A short word meaning provided sits comfortably inside an anagram (wild) of PARTIES

8d        College servant in alien land (5)
EGYPT: A college servant at the universities of Cambridge and Durham sits inside an extraterrestrial film star

14d      Racecourse favourite giving special welcome (3,6)
RED CARPET: A racecourse in Yorkshire is followed by a three letter favourite (a favourite favourite of cryptic crossword setters)

16d      Fighter that’s seen on the edge of town (5,4)
GREEN BELT:  A double definition. One used by exponents of various Marshall arts to denote the level of their progress within the sport

17d      Bone, green then black in time (8)
VERTEBRA: An alternative name for the colour green is followed by a long period of time which includes the abbreviation for black

19d      Elizabethan favourite in demo, we’re told, for some (7)
RALEIGH: A large gathering or demonstration sounds like a favourite of Elizabeth the first as indicated by the words we’re told

21d      Sally‘s comeback (7)
RIPOSTE: A double definition of sorts

22d      Frock for church (6)
ORDAIN: The answer  is the only word (I think) that fits the checking letters. I can just about see how the answer works with the clue. The answer is a verb meaning to bring into being as a minister or priest. Therefore we have to accept the word frock as a verb as we do with defrock and unfrock

23d      Loud child oddly easily understood (5)
LUCID: The alternate letters of several words of the clue

25d      Leave car, put on a jacket (5)

PARKA: A word meaning to leave ones car in a safe space not endangering people or traffic is followed by the letter A from the clue


22 comments on “Toughie 2757

  1. Loved this. As MP says a different style of clueing Moeraki will be recognisable from his style. I found it a bit more of a challenge than MP did. ****/****. Many smiles. Many bung ins. I am now going to enlist MP help in parsing them. Many thanks to Moeraki and MP

  2. An enjoyable puzzle. Fairly gentle & for me a wee bit easier than today’s back pager. Agree with Miff’s comment about the refreshing style of clueing. 14d appeared in Campbell’s bonus cryptic so that was handy. 12a just pipped 10a as my favourite. 16d can fight it out with 28a for the last podium spot.
    Thanks to M&M for the entertainment

  3. Well constructed and straightforward floughie.
    It may be a wave length thing but this was all over very quickly without much head-scratching.
    Thanks to Moeraki for the enjoyment…maybe bit tougher next time?
    MP…doesn’t 4d refer to Frank Bridge?

  4. An enjoyably different crossword style of a difficulty level which really belonged on the back page on a Thursday, where it would reach a wider audience and entertain more people

    Thanks to Moeraki and MP – I agree with Chris M about Frank Bridge in 4d

  5. I’m with Huntsman, Chris and Sue – thought it was very straightforward. I’m afraid to confess it went by too quickly for me to notice its quirkiness, though I see it on a second look and very much appreciate it. Almost as much as Joan Armatrading: I’ve seen her live three times and she is still superb.

  6. A refreshingly different yet enjoyable puzzle that was not too taxing but enormous fun to complete. 12a came out on top after much deliberation.

    Thanks to Moeraki for the entertainment, and to MP.

  7. I needed help with a couple but other than those this was most enjoyable. It took me a long time to get going but it was fun once I did. It didn’t help that I put the answer to 15a in the 18a slot. My favourite clue was 10a.

    Many thanks to Moeraki for the fun and to MP for the hints.

  8. It took me a while to get going with this but once I did it flowed nicely, though I resorted to electronic help for 22d and the second word of 28a.
    25d tickled me, I thought 9a was clever and I also liked 1&16d in what was a very enjoyable puzzle.
    Many thanks to Moeraki and MP for the review.

  9. Enjoyed it. Completed, but needed MP to explain ‘rit’ (14a). And, having gone to The Other Place, I didn’t know ‘gyp’ (8d). Also … I knew I’d seen 14d in the last few days somewhere… So thanks, Huntsman, for pointing me to yesterday’s extra cryptic. I hope all is okay as can be chez MP following recent bereavement.

    1. Thank you Linda. All is well. The Kitchen Coffins . Com business has re-opened and Bobs Box is nearly finished. Do not look for perfection

      1. Splendidly robust. Here in Devon we specialise in wicker baskets … Although authoress Mary Wesley, who lived/died in nearby Totnes, commissioned a scarlet lacquered number that she used as a coffee table for years until the Day of Reckoning dawned.

  10. A satisfying completion.
    A rare visit to the Toughie puzzle.
    Thanks to Moeraki and MP
    I’d just like to say that I always find MPs hints fantastic.
    Sometimes I find the hints are more obscure than the clues but not with yours.

  11. A few bits like the 8d college servant and the 24a cathedral a bit tricky from this side of the world but we did get them.
    An enjoyable solve for us.
    Thanks Moeraki and MP.

  12. Considering how friendly I found the clues, this took me longer than it should have but was finished in time for lunch.
    I, too, do not understand 22d and can only agree with Miffypops on the frocking and defrocking. Perhaps the setter will enlighten us?
    I liked 1a and 10a.

  13. Very late today…I’ve been online with the NYT book reviewers and editors as they released their 10 Best Books for 2021 list. I had prepared my own Top 5 works of fiction list but not a one of those gems made the final cut. Oh well. Anyway, the Toughie: quite wonderful, I thought; very different stylistically and a joy to solve. I don’t think I knew the ‘gyp’ reference, nor was I sure about Frank Bridge, but a bit of googling took care of my uncertainties. 22d was my loi, and it took a while. Most enjoyable. Thanks to MP for the review and to Moeraki for the great pleasure.

  14. Like others I thought this marginally more straightforward than the back-pager, but good fun nonetheless. I have 28a top of the list.
    Thanks MP and Moeraki

  15. Only tackled this today and rattled through quite quickly. I wonder if the fact that there are those who pronounce the name of the Elizabethan favourite as ‘Rawly’ accounts for the homophone only working ‘for some’.

  16. Thanks Mac. I was wondering why Raleigh was only for some. A nice leisurely solve, even for somebody who only went to a provincial university! I like cheery solutions like 12a.

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