Toughie 2950 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2950

Toughie No 2950 by Robyn

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A perfect autumn morning brings another splendid crossword from Robyn, this one just right for a Wednesday Toughie

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a    Maybe like Hannah‘s buddy Mike bagging Rodin bust (11)
PALINDROMIC Hannah being an example (maybe) of a word that can be read backwards or forwards. An informal friend (buddy) and an abbreviated microphone (mike) ‘bagging’ an anagram (bust) of RODIN

10a    Total bill before course gets sent back (3,2)
ADD UP An abbreviated bill goes before a reverse (sent back) of an informal term for part of a meal

11a    Period when expecting a lot of frost in high street (9)
TRIMESTER Almost all (a lot of) some frost inserted into an anagram (high) of STREET

12a    Online magazines containing not a single subject (9)
ECONOMICS The letter indicating that something is online and some illustrated magazines ‘containing’ an adverb meaning not a single

13a    Lady from Italy together with man from France (5)
IRENE The IVR Code for Italy together with a name usually associated with a Frenchman

14a    Split in the camp of King Edward (6)
FORKED In the camp of, or in favour of, the chess abbreviation for King and a diminutive form of Edward

16a    Succeeded leaving awful manipulative fellow (8)
SVENGALI The abbreviation for succeeded and an anagram (awful) of LEAVING

18a    Flatter paper’s held by really elderly person (4-4)
SOFT SOAP The pink newspaper ‘held’ by a two-word expression meaning really, the result followed by an abbreviated elderly person

20a    Disreputable person ordered goods (3,3)
BAD EGG A poetic way of saying ordered and two abbreviations for good

23a    Youthful rogue screens old mockumentary film (5)
BORAT A badly behaved young person (youthful rogue) ‘screens’ the abbreviation for old

24a    Something delicate in stew? Partook regularly (3,6)
HOT POTATO A type of stew and the regular letters of pArToOk

26a    In Spain, what stops revolutionaries having many ups and downs (9)
CHEQUERED The Spanish word for what ‘stops’ or goes between crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary and a colour associated with a revolutionary

27a    Ancient civilisation’s preserved? (5)
INCAN This term relating to things associated with a particular ancient civilisation could if split 2,3 mean that something was preserved

28a    Woke up and reached crisis point (4,2,1,4)
CAME TO A HEAD An expression meaning woke followed by a word meaning up split 1, 4


2d    Sound wheel found beneath wheels (5)
AUDIO The wheel-shaped letter is found beneath a car marque (wheels)

3d    Better electoral system? I suggest accepting it (7)
IMPROVE A formal way of saying I suggest ‘accepting’ an abbreviated electoral system

4d    Particular case of embezzlement in House of Parliament (6)
DETAIL The case or outside letters of EmbezzlemenT inserted into the lower house of the Irish Parliament

5d    Love letter not saying everything (8)
The letter representing love and a letter

6d    African overlooking lake in a certain peninsula (7)
IBERIAN Someone from a particular African country ‘overlooking’ or leaving out the abbreviation for lake

7d    Get bread promptly and force a podgy male to eat seconds (4,1,4,4)
MAKE A FAST BUCK To force something, in this case a podgy male to ‘eat’ the abbreviation for seconds

8d    See great works in cheap accommodation (8)
STEERAGE An anagram (works) of SEE GREAT

9d    Complimentary ginger beer, drinking round? This is very cold (8,5)
FREEZING POINT A synonym for complimentary, some zest or spirit (ginger) and a quantity of beer ‘drinking’ the round letter

15d    E.g., Martin Luther King back from service late (8)
REFORMER The Latin abbreviation for King, the letter at the back of servicE and an adjective meaning late or in the past

17d    Old fighter flipping sore and gruff in speech (8)
WARHORSE A reversal (flipping) of a synonym for sore followed by a homophone (in speech) of a word meaning gruff or rough in sound

19d    Mandarin tests? I don’t know answer! (7)
SATSUMA Some abbreviated school tests, an interjection of uncertainty (I don’t know) and the abbreviation for answer

21d    Ordinary, large punches a mistake in scrap (7)
ABOLISH The abbreviations for Ordinary and large inserted between (punches) A (from the clue) and an informal word for a mistake which I always associate fondly with the Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge

22d    One cuts piece of jewellery, ring that’s flat (6)
STUDIO I (one) ‘cuts’ a piece of jewellery, the result followed by the ring-shaped letter

25d    Accountants are up and down, investing right capital (5)
ACCRA The abbreviation for Right is ‘invested’ between the abbreviation for Chartered Accountant is firstly reversed (up) and then read as normal (down)


18 comments on “Toughie 2950
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  1. Great stuff from Robyn – thanks to him and CS.
    Amongst the clues I ticked were 11a, 26a, 28a, 15d and 17d.

    [The last 5 letters of the 28a answer are a synonym of ‘up’ (from the clue) in the sense of leading.]

  2. I really enjoyed this, a proper Toughie. I thought Robyn a little more with his Picaroon hat on maybe.
    Wasn’t overly keen on 13&23a, the latter I vaguely remembered but the wordplay and checkers got me there (the subject matter definitely not my idea of fun) and I had to check the “nearly” ice in 11a (great clue with a nicely disguised definition)
    Plenty of goodies throughout the grid including 18,20&28a plus 2d with my favourite being the quite brilliant 3d. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Robyn and Cryptic Sue

      1. I didn’t know this either but, based on today’s offering, I’ll look out for the Picaroon cryptic in the Graun in the future. On the subject of the Graun, today’s offering (by Brummie) is very good too.

  3. Top notch. Even better than Sunday’s one & that was a cracker too. A slow start like Jonners but a faster than usual finish for me with this setter. Only a failure to parse the clever 26a took the shine of a hugely satisfying completion. Not a dud in there & I’ll pick 1a as my fav for the simple reason it was the last penny to drop & I love the illustration in the review.
    Thanks to Robyn & CS

  4. It’s taken me a while to get onto Robyn’s wavelength but he’s definitely now one of the setters I look out for and today’s puzzle was another excellent Toughie – testing in places but nicely-clued and, as CS points out, well pitched for the Wednesday slot. Particularly liked 11a, 16a, 3d but 23a (and the incomparable Kazakh) gets my vote for COTD. Many thanks to Robyn and to CS for the blog.

  5. I found this a real challenge, as I often do with this setter. Eventually getting 1a was a real help but I still ground to a halt in the SW corner where 15d, 14a and 23a held out to the end. I’ll give 15d my vote, with 11a [lovely definition] the runner-up.
    Thanks to Robyn and CS.

  6. Came to Toughie land today based on the recommendations of a couple of cryptic commenters, and I’m glad I did. So many clues to like, but I’ll go with 11A, 24A and 26A. Thanks Robyn and CS.

  7. 1a took us ages to twig and a real penny-drop moment when we did, which delayed our solve somewhat.
    Excellent cluing throughout and a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Robyn and CS.

  8. Brilliant. The best Robyn yet. 26a, 1a, and 15d my favourites. Thanks to CS, especially for that delightful 1a pyramid, and to Robyn for the work of art.

  9. Cracking puzzle, again, from Robyn – either he’s been more gentle on these last two outings or I’m finally getting to grips with his style. Could nominate many for special mention but will limit to 1, 11 20 & 28a, 2, 3, 9 & 15d.

    Many thanks to Robyn and CS.

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