Toughie 2881 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Toughie 2881

Daily Telegraph Toughie No 2881
Hints and tips by Miffypops
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This weeks Toughie Setters
Tuesday Gila. Wednesday Giovanni. Thursday Firefly. Friday ProXimal

Good Afternoon. As this fine puzzle by Gila appeared in my digital subscription newspaper yesterday, I solved it yesterday and wrote this blog. This gives me nothing to do today and all day to do it. A rare blogsters treat


7ac  Company is initially misled into accepting a large merger (9)

COALITION: A five part charade that needs putting into the correct order as suggested by the wording of the clue. 1 The abbreviation for company. 2 The initial letter of the word is. 3 An anagram (misled) of INTO.  4 The letter A from the clue 5 The abbreviation for large

8ac   Evidence of damp at the rear part of a building (5)

PROOF: The last letter of the word damp is followed by a part of a building. The part on top that I replaced on my house earlier this year

10ac Room boarded in wood from an organ (6)

DERMAL: An abbreviation for room is surrounded by a type of pine wood used in building

11ac Simple note from king leading to troubles (2,6)

NO FRILLS: Abbreviations of note and from are followed by a Latin abbreviation for king or Rex and a synonym of the word troubles

12ac Person tending to be bored by the mid-point of their
working life (6)

CAREER: Find a word meaning a person tending to another person. Insert the middle letter of the word their

14ac Online picture puzzle is hell! (6)

EREBUS: The abbreviation for electronic now seems to be fair game for setters to clue as online. Begin with the abbreviation for electronic or online. Add a puzzle in which words are represented by combinations of pictures and individual letters

16ac Piece of artwork needed to provide support for a proposal? (4)

KNEE: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words piece of. Here are my mates. He refuses to buy an automatic vehicle and suffers as a result

17ac Fringe benefits primarily reduced anxiety (5)

BANGS: The primary letter of the word benefits is followed by a noun meaning a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general but without its last letter

18ac Bill‘s constant success (4)

CHIT: The abbreviation for constant is followed by a great success. The older among us who remember the popular music charts should recognise this word instantly

19ac My house, in retrospect, ultimately required attention (2,4)

OH DEAR: Reverse the abbreviation for house. That’s the first word sorted. Begin the second word with the last letter of the word required. Add a word meaning attention. The attention demanded by Mark Anthony perhaps

21ac Power wielded by very harsh foreign correspondent (3.3)

PEN PAL: Find an adjective meaning a very harsh or extremely severe regime. Insert the abbreviation for power and split what you have 3,3

24ac Significant pressure attached to ruling (8)

PREGNANT: The abbreviation for pressure is followed by a synonym of the word ruling or reigning

26ac Staff could occasionally come together (6)

CUDGEL: The alternate or occasional letters of the word could are followed by a word meaning or of a project or idea, come together, take a definite form or begin to work well

27ac Role given to unknown person (5)

PARTY: A role for an actor is followed by a mathematical unknown

28ac Guys agree, stupidly, to adopt one group of animals (9)

MENAGERIE: Begin with a synonym of guys or fellows. Add an anagram (stupidly) of AGREE plus the letter that looks like the number one



1d He wrote epic stuff in rhymes, to begin with (5)

HOMER: Begin with a word meaning in as in one’s house and not out and about. Add the initial letter of the word rhymes

2d Innocent child wearing coat for a seaside picnic (8)

CLAMBAKE: A term for an innocent child, one being led to slaughter perhaps is surrounded by a synonym of the word coat. Here is some of the best food we have ever seen in a crossword. Oh my life! Yes please!

3d Old politician sheltered to keep dry (6)

ATTLEE: A four-letter adjective meaning situated on the side of a ship that is sheltered from the wind surrounds an abbreviation of teetotal (dry)

4d Don’t stop, dimwit! (4)

GOON: Split your answer 2,2 to find a phrase meaning continue

5d Teams gathered for boat trip (6)

CRUISE: The word gathered here means heard and is a homophone indicator. The teams may be those operating the boat in the clue

6d Original luscious number one from Motown? (4.5)

SOUL MUSIC: Anagram (original) of LUSCIOUS which includes the first letter of Motown

9d Supports getting rid of the first and last course (6)

AFTERS: The supports supporting the feature at 8 across needs their first letter removing

13d Amassed well-informed following, competed for office (3,2)

RAN UP: A word meaning well informed upon or very knowledgeable about is preceded by a word meaning competed for office or stood for election

15d Ovid heartlessly taking various parts of another novel (2,3,4)

ON THE ROAD: The outer letters of the word Ovid contain an anagram (various parts of) of ANOTHER

17d Pouches and seed-cases are emptied (6)

BURSAE: A fluid-filled sac or saclike cavity, especially one countering friction at a joint can be found by placing the outer letters of the word are after a word for seed cases. I thought these prickly seed cases had a double letter in them but not here apparently

18d Name adopted by extremely clever crime writer (8)

CHANDLER: The outer letters of the word clever contain a synonym of the word name to form the name of the author of The Big Sleep, The Little Sister and Farewell, My Lovely

20d Figure of influence abandoned by wife (6)

EIGHTY: Remove the abbreviation for wife from a word meaning of influence

22d Cut down on salt and anything sweet (6)

NECTAR: I’m at a loss for the first three letters here. Is the cut a neck (of lamb) with the word down suggesting losing the last letter? Who knows? Hopefully someone out there. The Salt is a sailor so the last three letters form another term for a sailor.

And somebody did know how the first three letters of the answer are to be parsed. Fez at comment number two has nailed it fair and square. Thank you Fez

23d Colour of pie changed when covered in it (5)

SEPIA: An anagram (changed) of PIE is surrounded by it when it refers to sex appeal

25d Where it’s somewhat flipping rank (4)

TIER: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word somewhat. It is reversed as indicated by the word flipping


15 comments on “Toughie 2881
Leave your own comment 

  1. 22d ‘cut’ a word that means ‘down’ (as you might ‘down’ an alcoholic drink, perhaps) This was my favourite clue from a fine selection. Thanks Gila & MP

  2. I think the ‘nec’ in 22d comes indeed from removing the last letter of neck, but in its meaning as to ‘down’ a drink in one go. Good puzzle today. Thanks to Gila and Miffypops.

  3. Gila is a setter whose wavelength I struggle to get on, mainly because of extremely clever wordplay plus the odd obscurity and so it was today where I needed some electronic help in the NW to complete this quite challenging but enjoyable puzzle.
    My podium is 16a plus 22d, the latter just being nudged out of first place by 12a.
    Many thanks to Gila and MP.

  4. Thanks to Gila for the struggle, much of which took some teasing out. Thanks also to MP for parsing my three bung-ins. All in all an enjoyable use of my spare time.

  5. 17d was a new word for me and I parsed it as the seed cases with the first R removed. I struggled with a lot of the rest too. A very satisfying solve though. Favourite was 16a, others ran out close. Thanks to Gila and MP.

  6. I too did not parse the first three letters for 22d, thanks to MP for the probable explanation.
    More difficult for me than the usual Tuesday Toughie and agree with MP with***/***
    17d was new to me -or forgotten! confirmed by my fraying Chambers.
    Enjoyed the solve and the picsi liked Canned Heat.

  7. Like our reviewer I completed this yesterday morning on the iPad version and have completely forgotten everything about it, other than it took me a while to crack the compiler’s code.

    Thanks to Gila for an enjoyable start to the Toughie week and to MP.

  8. I was quite delighted when I finished this considerably tough Gila last night, even though, as with others, 22d was a bung-in. Still, I did finish, all on my lonesome, with 12a, 16a, 24a, 14a, and 1d (for old times’ sake) taking top honours from me. Thanks to MP and Gila.

  9. A n enjoyable solve that all flowed smoothly for with smiles all the way. Just what we love to see on a Tuesday.
    Thanks Gila and MP.

  10. Slow to start, sped up considerably when I remembered that this is the “add a letter, take away a letter” compiler. As when there are too many anagrams in a puzzle I felt the repetition of the same clue type detracted from the overall enjoyment of what was a clever and challenging Toughie.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP

  11. I tried to do this in the bath last night – oh boy! I know I am very behind in commenting but I thought 16a was beyond brilliant. What a mind! And also particularly liked 12a. Couldn’t possibly have finished it without MP. Many thanks to both.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.