Toughie 224 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 224

Toughie No 224 by Micawber
Result happiness!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We have been having some nice easy Tuesday Toughies for a few weeks now…. Well its time to wake up and smell the coffee. A really enjoyable crossword, with some great surface readings and clues to make you smile.  Getting some of the longer answers early on will help.

Feel free to leave a comment.


1. Cash wanting as monstrous car eats petrol — that’s taking the pee! (7,7)
{CHELSEA TRACTOR} – First smile of the day – An all-in-one, take C (as) H plus an anagram (monstrous) of CAR EATS PETROL, minus the P (taking the pee) is literally a monstrous car that eats petrol!

9. Mine’s principal source of replacement fuel (3,4)
{PIT STOP} – PITS (mine’s) TOP (principal).

10. Migrant perhaps said to have travelled with disease (4,3)
{BIRD FLU} – Second smile, the migrant in this case is a BIRD, and said to (sounds like) FLEW (travelled).

11. One to the left’s wrong turn (4)
{TROT} –  TORT (a wrong), reversed (turn) for a lefty.

12. Mean, inflamed spot and bit of fuzz, perhaps — teenager beginning to get old (4,4,2)
{BOIL DOWN TO} – BOIL (inflamed spot), DOWN (bit of fuzz), T (beginning, first letter of teenager) and O (old) is to mean, or to signify when reduced to essentials.

14. Bacon’s cubist piece in the Louvre? (6)
{LARDON} – Smile three. Nice and easy for me, a cryptic definition of a LARDON which is the french word for a bacon cube. For example Frisée Aux Lardons

15. Veggie family having fool and most of ice in two cups (8 )
{BRASSICA} – Smile four – ASS (fool) IC (most of ice) inside BRA (two cups) for a well known vegetable family.

17. Following father back, I catch glimpse of Auntie’s special bloomers (8 )
{FREESIAS} – FR (father) followed by I SEE (catch) reversed (back) followed by A (glimpse of Auntie) and S (special) are a type of flowers (bloomers).

18. Take in how truth’s said to be commonly expressed (6)
{INGEST} – “Many a truth is told in jest”.

21. Weird men, loners, collecting car model registrations (10)
{ENROLMENTS} – An anagram of MEN and LONERS (weird) plus T (Model T Ford) is the act of enrolling or registering.

22. Youth cutting male worker? (4)
{HEBE} – The goddess of youth is made up of HE and BE (e) (a cut male worker)

24. Man in fool’s garb (7)
{CLOTHES} – HE (man) in CLOTS (fools).

25. I loved pa madly? Not very this then! (7)
{OEDIPAL} – An anagram (madly) of I LOED PA, without the V (not very) is just the opposite.

26. When crossing flowers, plant two feet down here, one after the other (8,6)
{STEPPING STONES} – A gentle cryptic definition that refers to flowers as rivers (as they are usually) and a possible way to cross.


1. Moscow gold? (7)
{CAPITAL} – Double definition.

2. Look in envy at our toy there, a ukulele starter set (3,4,5,3)
{EAT YOUR HEART OUT} – An anagram (set) of AT OUR TOY THERE A U (first letter of ukulele – starter) is another term that can mean to look in envy.

3. Fill up half tank in Spain (4)
{SATE} – ES (internet suffix for Spain – not in the online version of Chambers ) around TA (half of ta nk) reversed (up).

4. Short about an infectious disease including publicity (6)
{APPROX} – A POX (infectious disease) around (including) PR (press release or public relations).

5. Blair torn over ironic comedy (8 )
{RIBALDRY} – Anagram of BLAIR (torn) above DRY (ironic).

6. What’ll clean up pollution from vehicle emissions and black stuff around the ends of the earth (6,4)
{CARBON SINK} – CAR (vehicle), BO (emissions – body odour) NS (north and south – the ends of the earth) followed by INK (black stuff).

7. After murder by space apes, now I’ve fashioned dagger, perhaps (9,6)
{OFFENSIVE WEAPON} – OFF (murder), EN (space) and an anagram (fashioned) of  APES NOW IVE is a dagger – perhaps….

8. Dome of copper mainly from the ends of the earth (6)
{CUPOLA} – CU (copper) and POLA (r).

13. Power lunch is so drunken at overseas office (10)
{CONSULSHIP} – An anagram of P (power) and LUNCH IS SO is the post of an official appointed by a government to reside in a foreign country and represent his or her government’s commercial interests and assist its citizens etc.

16. Stir wake at sea? (5-3)
{WATER-SKI} – Another all-in-one, an anagram of STIR WAKE, is a sport involving ski’s and power boats.

17. Sting run by church (6)
{FLEECE} – Penultimate smile – a word meaning to charge someone exorbitantly is made up of FLEE (run) and CE (Church of England).

19. Prune plant climbing window ledge and frame (7)
{TRELLIS} –  TRE (e) (pruned plant) and reverse (climbing) SILL.

20. Powerful holy man’s not the first to sin (6)
{STRONG} – ST (Saint – holy man) and (w) RONG. (sin). Remove (not) the first letter

23. Correct to keep going for now? (4)
{EDIT} – Final smile – To keep going for now is TIDE OVER – so a reversal (over) of TIDE gives…

13 comments on “Toughie 224

  1. What a belter, I had never heard of 1a and only got it by guessing after getting the others, loved 2d and 7d. Excellent!!

      1. Libellule

        Well let me wake you up!

        A good challenge after I had scratched my head for 1 across. Not living in UK on occasions does present some diffs. with somewhat colloquial expressions.

  2. I really enjoyed this one. I struggled with 23d – not the answer but the clue – thank you for the explanation! I loved 14a; the surface reading was elegant. 10a was good fun and 1a was a clue to grapple with, one of those where you have an idea what’s going on – an anagram there somewhere – but I had to approach it from several angles before I got it.

  3. For the first time I had to cheat and check your explanation for 6d Libellule, I had never come across the answer , keep up the good work,thought 14a was a give away for anyone with catering experience, but loved 26a.

  4. We found this very difficult-only just finished with quite a bit of help (25a, 26a,13d and 6d).Really tough

    1. Everybody, thanks for dropping in.
      Dave – Agree whole heartedly… I thought this was excellent – too complicated for Tuesday, and this bear of little brain.
      Yoshik – You are not the only ex-pat :-)
      Nana. Kram, Birdie – thanks for the feedback – appreciated… perhaps Phil should schedule Micawber for later in the week… but then I would miss it…. how many of you understood the “Result happiness!” reference :-)

  5. I really enjoyed it (15a was my favourite), but I think that Libellule missed a trick by not putting in a link to Penelope Pitstop, one of my favourites, on 9a See here.

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