Toughie 2002 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2002

Toughie No 2002 by Messinae

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A gentle puzzle but enjoyable enough with some nice touches.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Repairing south-east side of building (6)
SEWING: The abbreviation for ‘south-east’ and one side of a building

4a    Messenger nursing temperature, one that’s hanging on? (8)
COURTIER: A messenger goes round T (temperature) to give someone in attendance at a palace

10a    Notice one’s given by European university that’s so long (5)
ADIEU: A notice + I (one) + E (European) + U (university)

11a    Amazed when lorry picks up both of us (9)
AWESTRUCK: ‘When’ and a lorry round ‘both of us’

12a    Adviser on what to eat composed ditties (7)
DIETIST: An anagram (composed) of DITTIES

13a    Scholarly articles about universal Greek hero (7)
THESEUS: Scholarly articles round U (universal) = the Greek hero who slew the minotaur

14a    The old man putting in earth type of plants suitable for borders providing pleasant environment (14)
FEATHERBEDDING: The old man (parent) round E (earth) + the type of plants suitable for borders

17a    Time Rome’s chief had to be worried? (3,4,2,5)
THE IDES OF MARCH: T (time) + an anagram (to be worried) of ROME’S CHIEF HAD = the date when Julius Caesar was assassinated. A nice anagram

21a    I landed in target backing irregular troops (7)
MILITIA: A reversal of ‘I landed’ in ‘target’ = a military force made up of civilians

23a    Out of the running at this time present (7)
NOWHERE: ‘At this time’ + ‘present@

24a    Decide to put off working (9)
DETERMINE: ‘To put off’ + a working from which minerals are dug

25a    Picture that is providing cover for periodical (5)
IMAGE: The abbreviation for ‘that is’ round a periodical

26a    English people in Orient getting right over neighbouring land (8)
EASEMENT: E (English) and people inside the Orient = a right attaching to a piece of land entitling its owner to exercise some right over adjacent land owned by another person. Thanks to Chambers for that definition

27a    Badly made rum — chuck bottles (6)
SHODDY: ‘To chuck’ goes round (or bottles) ‘rum’ or ‘unusual’


1d    Indefinite number act and stick around for confrontation (5-3)
STAND-OFF: The letter denoting an indefinite number and ‘to act’ inside a stick

2d    Cover up what Hew is fiddling (9)
WHITEWASH: An anagram (fiddling) of WHAT HEW IS

3d    Feed person who damaged cutlery tucking into grub (7)
NOURISH: ‘To feed’ = the first name of someone famous for bending spoons inside grub (food)

5d    Coherent Euro TV broadcast generally available (4-3-7)
OVER-THE-COUNTER: An anagram (broadcast) of COHERENT EURO TV

6d    Learn about alien king, one with new depth? (7)
RETREAD: ‘To learn’ about an alien in a film and R (king)

7d    Toughen up in river (5)
INURE: IN + a Yorkshire river

8d    Dashing without taking care round King’s Square? (6)
RAKISH: ‘Without taking care’ round K (king) and I (one = a square number)

9d    Being abused detrimental to a scruffy person (14)

15d    A U minder’s in order? (9)
NURSEMAID: An anagram (in order) of A U MINDER’S = someone who minds children

16d    I always engaged in your old dishonesty (8)
THIEVERY: I and ‘always’ inside an old word for ‘your’

18d    Meanwhile outside vacation I should get involved (7)
INTERIM: I inside ‘not in the vacation’

19d    Week I laid in military hospital, sickly (7)
MAWKISH: An abbreviated form of ‘week’ and I inside a military hospital (such as featured in a long-running TV series)

20d    Dirty mark from gross mud generally (6)

22d    Place for parking American luxury car (5)
LOTUS: An American car park + America = a British company that manufactures sports cars and racing cars

23 comments on “Toughie 2002

  1. Very floughie indeed. Thank you to Bufo and to Messinae, to whom I’d like to say that his clue in the 2000th Toughie is a very strong candidate for Clue of the Year

  2. Pleasant puzzle though not terribly taxing – thanks to Messinae and Bufo. I liked 6d but my favourite was 17a, an excellent all-in-one.
    In 8d I took King’s Square to be the chess notation for where the king starts out, i.e. K1.

  3. Very enjoyable and, with some electronic assistance, completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 26a, 16d, and 19d – and the winner is 26a.

    Thanks to Messinae and Bufo.

  4. i didn’t know working in that context, not was i familiar with the answers to 26a (the right to neighbouring property) or 9d (what a great word – the hint needs one more A from the clue in the anagram :), which did not detract from an enjoyable solve. I didn’t find it that fluffy.

    I did think one with new depth was pushing things, maybe because i spent too long trying to get it to finish with ind

    In “a U minder” is the U meant to be the Universal film rating that means children can watch? Would anyone say that? seems a bit of an unnatural surface.

    17a is very clever, my favourite

    Many thanks Messinae and Bufo

  5. A welcome let-up in difficulty today, though still a reasonable amount of challenge, and very enjoyable all round.

    I did have to write out the fodder for 9d. Like Dutch, I spent too long trying to end 6d with IND, but enjoyed the moment I twigged. (That’s a word which makes me think instantly of Bridget Jones.) My last in was 26a.

    Thanks to Messinae and Bufo, and to Gazza for explaining the King’s Square (my parsing was as Bufo’s). I’ll copy Gazza’s favourite too.

  6. I really enjoyed this, just starting to get into toughies and I started on the sky train in and had electronic assistance to finish I, 9d was a new word for me.

  7. I found this a hugely enjoyable puzzle. My only disappointment was that it was over far too soon. Like Dutch, 9d was new to me and 17a my favourite. Many thanks to Messinae and Bufo.

  8. Relieved to have completed a Toughie (not a “Floughie” surely?) again after the impossibilities for me of the Millenium and Space Odyssey. Thanks to Messinae for getting me back on track!

    17a I found very clever: 27a last in.

  9. The first Toughie Floughie I have managed for ages.

    17a gets first prize in the anagram competition.

    I also thought that King’s Square was to do with chess. But at least I now know that 1 is a square … not so good at maths.

    Thanks to all.

  10. I loved it .All the anagrams helped .
    14a and 7d were among my best liked .
    Thanks to Bufo and Messinae .

  11. An enjoyable solve although I thought the synonym in 1a was a bit of a stretch and the same could be said for 14a which applies to a very specific modus operandi.
    Didn’t realise that 17a was an anagram – slotted it in very easily from the enumeration.
    9d was a delicious new word – bet I won’t remember it!
    Know all about 26a – I’ve owned two houses where the neighbours were entitled to same across our garden!

    Top marks went to 11a plus 3&6d.

    Thanks to Messinae and to Bufo for the blog.

  12. I enjoyed this and dredged up 9d from the recesses of my brain once I had all the checkers. Whenever I can finish without hints, I know I’ll find a comment from CS saying how easy it is. Thank you setter and Bufo.

  13. A puzzle that kept us smiling all the way through and slotted together without significant delays anywhere. Agree with Gazza’s parsing of 8d.
    Thanks Messinae and Bufo.

  14. Thoroughly enjoyable, and on the easy side which was a relief after the past couple of days. New word of the day 9d.

  15. I enjoyed this puzzle as it had some nice twists in some of the clues.
    I would like to say that the now quite frequent use of the “Floughie” description can be as discouraging to us lesser solvers as the term “read and write” used to be. I am hoping the novelty will wear off!
    Thanks to Bufo and Messinae and, as always, to Big Dave for this site.

  16. 26a took me back to my days as a conveyancer and again leads me to wonder if there is a lawyer amongst the setters.

  17. Thanks to all. Really enjoyed this one. I had never done a “toughie” before. I normally just do the DT back page. Favourite clue was deffo 9d. It was the last one I got and I only knew the fabulous word from an old Queen song!

Comments are closed.