Toughie 2052 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2052

Toughie No 2052 by MynoT

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Warm hellos to you all, and welcome to the start of another week of Toughies.  I found this very gentle with some nice touches.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the buttons.  The exclamation mark is not an imperative — click only if you wish to reveal all.

As usual you may click on pictures to enlarge them or uncover hidden extras.



1a    Flirt terribly with employees on vacation — perhaps they’re full of sherry? (7)
TRIFLES:  Make an anagram (… terribly) of FLIRT and add the outer letters (… on vacation) of employees to make some desserts which are a good way of getting rid of sherry

5a    Apply to have fresh Scots Own (7)
PERTAIN:  Fresh in the sense of a bit cheeky followed by a Scottish word meaning own

9a    Papers backed writing of poetry that offers variety (15)
DIVERSIFICATION:  The reversal (… backed) of some documents plus “writing of poetry”

10a   Unpleasant area holy person’s seen in big city (5)
NASTY:  Abbreviations for area and a canonised person inside a big US city

11a   Pain suffered in extra time initially by Scots and other countrymen (9)
EGYPTIANS:  Pain (3) inside the abbreviation (… initially) for extra time by some people with our usual Scottish forename.  I was surprised that the initially needed to be included as it’s such a widely-used abbreviation, but when I looked in the major dictionaries, was surprised to find it absent from them

12a   Whole armies unexpectedly present, briefly (9)
SUMMARISE:  Whole or total followed by an anagram (… unexpectedly) of ARMIES

14a   Ancient Greek  pigeon (5)
HOMER:  Two definitions, one literary and one flighty

15a   Burn record that’s got left out (5)
SINGE:  A music recording missing L(eft)

16a   Charity given to canine artist put over as sweetener (4,5)
PALM SUGAR:  Some charity (4) inserted into (given to) a breed of dog and the reversal (… put over) of a royal academician

18a   After a time payment made for property (9)
ATTRIBUTE:  After A (from the clue) and T(ime) goes a payment.  The property is not somewhere to live but a feature

21a   What property is supposed to be in the paper? (5)
THEFT:  The answer split (3,2) is the pink newspaper

22a   You can’t enter this time (6,9)
FOURTH DIMENSION:  I think this is a cryptic definition, but not one I’m convinced by.  You can’t enter this as such, but we are moving through it at a rate of one second per second.  I’ve just underlined the precise definition therein as I think that’s more helpful hintwise.  Please tell me if I’ve missed something

23a   Left race and repaired wheels in America (7)
RETIRED:  Split (2-5) this would mean, in N American English, to replace the bit that goes around the rim of a wheel

24a   Measurements of heat with nothing in container (7)
THERMOS:  A unit of heat containing (within) O (nothing) gives the brand name (derived from the same root) of an insulating container



1d    News three times a day in grammar school (7)
TIDINGS:  A charade of a Latin-derived abbreviation (used in prescriptions) for three times a day, IN (from the clue) and the abbreviation for grammar school.  I had to look up the first three letters of the answer to see what that was about, but guessed it might be a prescriptions thing, like our r = take

2d    How priest’s arrayed with faith — one that’s saved may have this? (10,5)
INVESTMENT TRUST:  How a priest may be clad (2,8) with faith or confidence.  Not one whose soul is saved, but one who has saved, in more earthly ways

3d    Bread-like composition made by distressed lackey in a way? On the contrary (5,4)
LARDY CAKE:  An anagram (distressed) of LACKEY is surrounding (in … On the contrary) A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for road (way)

4d    Goon makes point (5)
SPIKE:  One of The Goons (the chief creator and main writer) has a name which is also a word for a hard pointy thing

5d    What could follow Lord putting lock on lavatory? (5,4)
PRIVY SEAL:  Lock or fasten, with wax perhaps, follows an old word for a lavatory

6d    About turn to perform again (5)
REACT:  About (2) and a turn or performance.  This definition of the answer (unhyphenated) surprised me a little but is in the book

7d    Mammals eating in broadcast may reveal it (6,9)
ANIMAL MAGNETISM:  A nice anagram of (… broadcast) MAMMALS EATING IN

8d    One that abstains from exercising neurons (3-4)
NON-USER:  An anagram (exercising) of NEURONS

13d   This person is beaten up and and confined (9)
IMPOUNDED:  The contracted form of “this person is” in the first person plus beaten up or pummelled (and and a bonus “and”)

14d   Delay is nice — haste foolish (9)
HESITANCE:  An anagram (… foolish) of NICE HASTE

15d   Employee with rod in front of Queen (7)
STAFFER:  A stick or pole followed by two letters which stand for our queen

17d   Seamen in tatty clothes collecting money (7)
RATINGS:  No, the seamen are not any of our usual wordplay components.  Find them by putting a slang term for money inside some tatty clothes

19d   Bury together (5)
INTER:  This word meaning bury is also a prefix meaning together

20d   Gathered to follow space tourist visiting Cornwall (5)
EMMET:  A printer’s space followed by gathered together or assembled.  Tourists visiting Cornwall absolutely must visit this wonderful beach, which I learned of in this blog (see 26a and Gazza’s comment @2)


Thanks to MynoT.  I liked 1a, 12a, 18a, 2d, 8d, 13d, 14d and 17d.  What did you enjoy?


These hints and tips are for anyone who might find them of use (and who doesn’t need help now and then?).  The asides and illustrations are to add a personal perspective and some colour.  The comments section is — or should be — for everyone.  Please do ask if you need anything clarified, have any suggestions as to how the blogs could be improved, or have anything else you’d like to say.


26 comments on “Toughie 2052

  1. Straightforward enough but all very pleasant. My favourite was 3d because it reminded me of my great aunt’s teas.

    Thanks to Kitty and MynoT

  2. As favourite, a small plea for 11a which I found a strangely funny way of leading to Egyptians!

  3. For the second Tuesday in a row, not very tough (wrong envelope?) and very enjoyable completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 5d, and 20d – and the winner is 5d – very humorous.

    Thanks to MynoT and Kitty.

  4. Once again I failed to spot the typo (13d) until I read the blog – my only excuse is that the ‘ands’ are on separate lines in my printout. I thought that the puzzle was fairly gentle (although I was hoping for some help in working out what 22a is all about) but pleasant.
    Top clues for me were 18a and 2d. Thanks to MynoT and Kitty.

  5. Enjoyable start to the week. Odd that Scots and property appeared twice in the across clues.

    Loved 5d but favourite today was 2d.

    Sorry to be absent bloggers for so long, but the World Cup, a slew of golf and death of a cat by car have taken precedence.

    Thanks to Kitty and MynoT.

  6. This was fun. I loved 1a; 5d and 14a. I always spell the pain felt in 11a with an “i” but I quickly cottoned on.
    A good day, much cooler and the Thai cavers are all out safely. A relief on both counts!

  7. No problems to report although, like Kitty, I made an assumption regarding the first three letters of 1d and then checked for the actual Latin phrase. I also looked up the derivation of the 21a saying and the ingredients of lardy cake, which I’ve heard of but never seen.

    Interesting that reference was made to the American spelling in 23a but no comment about the American word for an employee in 15d which I hadn’t heard of previously.

    Favourite beyond a doubt was his lordship’s loo!

    Thanks to MynoT and to our Girl Tuesday for the blog – really chuckled over the abridged classics.

      1. That’s the great thing about clues with wordplay and a definition. I’m not sure I’d heard of it either.

  8. We appreciated the four full length answers and getting these gave heaps of checkers to help the solving process. Another enjoyable solve.
    Thanks MynoT and Kitty.

  9. Thanks kitty for three times a day.

    Mixed feelings about this crossword. I thought the anagram in 7d was very nice.

    4d makes? ‘Goon’s point’ would be fine by me.
    7d an almost brilliant clue, if only MynoT had used ‘who’ instead of ‘that’ (yuk).
    5d “on” in a down clue? come on.
    21a i get the wordplay but not sure about the definition, i’m missing something.
    15a unfortunate that the rod is already sufficient for employee
    11a not sure about scots=ians

    1. manners – many thanks MynoT for the enjoyment and many thanks Kitty for the usual amazing blog

    2. Yeah, it was one of those crosswords where I felt grumbly at times during the solve, but then at the end found a bunch of contenders for favourite clue.

      Missed the on in 6d. Yes.

      21a refers to the saying that property is theft.

        1. oops – i already said that. thanks kitty, i’ve never heard of property is theft, and i’m still trying to understand what it means

  10. Can hardly concentrate with all these people beeping their horns outside.
    Strange time for a wedding.
    Found today’s toughie quite pleasant and must admit to fill 1d without checking the first part of the clue.
    So thanks to Kitty for doing it for us and to Kcit for the crossword.

    1. . I look forward to watching France play on Sunday. I’d like to think I’ll be doing so from behind the sofa but … well, we shall see. We do live in strange times after all.

  11. A gentle start to the Toughie week. Enjoyable throughout, with lots to appreciate. Another vote here for 11ac. :-)

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