Toughie 2055 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2055

Toughie No 2055 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I was relieved that this proXimal wasn’t overly difficult; I managed it comfortably before the school run. There are some nice anagrams to get you started. And no obscurities, though perhaps I need to brush up on which names are Scottish.

As usual, the definitions are underlined. The hints aim to help you unravel the wordplay, and if you wish to reveal the answer you can click on the CLICK HERE buttons. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Dish one has designed with ceramic base (8,6)
MACARONI CHEESE: An anagram (designed) of ONE HAS + CERAMIC, plus the base of natural logarithms

9a    More liquid one fed to climbing plant (7)
RUNNIER: Place the Roman numeral for one inside (fed to) a climbing plant

10a    Busy male close to stopping, aware of limits (2,3,2)
ON THE GO: A male pronoun plus the last letter (close to) in shoppinG is surrounded by (limits) a (2,2) phrase meaning ‘aware of’

11a    Bladed items airline, possibly, reported (4)
HOES: A homophone (reportedly) of an air-line, possibly, or perhaps more often a water-line

12a    Critical journalist blasted the match with article (7,3)
HATCHET MAN: An anagram (blasted) of THE MATCH plus a 2-letter article

14a    Full barrel in bar (6)
ROTUND: A 3-letter barrel goes inside (in) a 3-letter bar

15a    Opening of craft beverage with pronounced sound (8)
PORTHOLE: A beverage that goes well with stilton plus a homophone of a word meaning sound or intact

17a    Whizz kid almost entirely rejected the French waster (8)
PRODIGAL: A 7-letter whiz kid without the last letter (almost entirely) plus a reversal (rejected) of ‘the’ in French

18a    Crook admitting penitency at last over past (6)
BEYOND: A 4-letter word meaning crook admitting the last letter in penitency plus the abbreviation for over

21a    Collection of petitions: Restore poor bakery (6,4)
PRAYER BOOK: An anagram (restore) of POOR BAKERY

22a    Drink that perissodactyl has (4)
SODA: Hidden (that … has)

24a    Least productive outings at stores (7)
ARIDEST: A 5-letter word for outings is contained within (stores) AT from the clue.  Do people actually say this? I think I’d go for ‘most ****’

25a    Rodents take from kitchen regularly (7)
DORMICE: a 2-letter verb meaning take (as in ** drugs) then the even letters (regularly) of ‘from kitchen’

26a    Insecure teen’s tried on garment for personal benefit (6,8)
VESTED INTEREST: An anagram (insecure) of TEEN’S TRIED follows (on) a 4-letter garment


1d    Male person with weapon is soldier, perhaps (7)
MARCHER: The abbreviation for Male and a person armed with a bow and arrow

2d    Make usual pact — one’s to split beer (15)
CONVENTIONALISE: a 10-letter pact or agreement followed by another word for beer into which I’S (one’s) is inserted (split by)

3d    One of two downfalls fitting here; don’t put right answer in (4)
RUIN: Two possible downfalls would fit the checkers, do not enter the one created by the abbreviations for Right and Answer plus IN from the clue – enter the other one.

4d    Stock sweet liquid extracted from pulped watermelons (6)
NORMAL: Extract an anagram (liquid) of SWEET from an anagram (pulped) of WATERMELONS

5d    Redouble constant hard work and get on with it (4-4)
CHOP-CHOP: Take the abbreviations for Constant, Hard and work and repeat (redouble)

6d    Requests a vermouth served up between courses (10)
ENTREATIES: A from the clue plus a reversal (served up) of a two-letter word that is short for Italian vermouth goes inside (between) courses (of a meal)

7d    Train second side, not all there on ground (5,10)
STEAM LOCOMOTIVE: The abbreviation for second, another word for a sports side, a word meaning not all there or crazy, plus a ground or reason

8d    European city that is attractive (6)
BONNIE: A German ex-capital city plus the abbreviation for that is

13d    Carrot stick with covering of peanut oil oddly ignored (10)
ENTICEMENT: A verb meaning stick or glue comes after (with covering of) the even letters (oddly ignored) of ‘peanut oil’

16d    Went on large shed from rickety bird table (8)
RABBITED: Remove (shed) the abbreviation for Large from an anagram (rickety) of BIRD TAB(L)E

17d    Uniform leaves in tree (6)
POPLAR: Remove (leaves) the letter for which Uniform is the international radio communication code from a word meaning in or trendy

19d    Policeman tense arresting Scotsman and Geordie, perhaps … (7)
DIALECT: The abbreviations for a senior policeman and tense contain (arresting) a 4-letter typically Scottish name

20d    … caught Scotsman, not initially Geordie fence … (6)
CORDON: The cricket abbreviation for caught, plus a male name which apparently is also Scottish without the initial G (not initially Geordie)

23d    … Cockney trio released (4)
FREE: How a cockney would pronounce ‘three’

I think 1a was my favourite today. I also liked 12a with a topical football surface, and 3d for the unusual construction. Which were your favourites?



10 comments on “Toughie 2055

  1. Not as tricky as proXimal can be but enjoyable – thanks to him and Dutch.
    My favourite clue, by a long way, is the clever 3d – I don’t think I’ve ever before seen a clue where all the wordplay for an answer is laid out for you but you’re told that the answer which that gives you is wrong.

  2. Agree with Dutch that this is not overly tough for a proXimal, but it’s still tough.

    I also raised an eyebrow at 24a; can -est be added to any adjective? Doesn’t sound right to me.

    Relatively simple, but 23d made me smile so that’s my pick. Liked 24a too, very tidy.

    Many thanks to proXimal for the challenge and to Dutch for the write-up.

  3. “Hard but good” was what I scribbled down. I did this on paper in the garden, distracted by cat and frog (and trying to ensure that the one wouldn’t eat the other) and found this slow-going but worth persevering with.

    3d earned a big . Wordplay for the wrong answer – whatever next?

    Many thanks proXimal and Dutch. Re the 14a pic, I’ll repeat what I said the other day – please don’t use photos of me without asking first!

  4. My only complaint is the illustration for 7d! What’s wrong with Mallard or, my all time favourite, Tornado? Perhaps they are “trains” and 7d is a “loco”?

  5. This must have been relatively straightforward from proXimal as I didn’t have to fight anywhere near as hard as I usually do with one of his puzzles!

    A few that I wasn’t overly keen on – 9,11&24a plus 1d. Not suggesting that they’re wrong, just that they didn’t particularly appeal. On the other hand, there were many that I really enjoyed and 3d scored highly for its novelty value, once the penny dropped.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Dutch for another excellent and well-illustrated blog.

  6. Having done so poorly yesterday, and having had minimal success with other proXimal puzzles, I approached today’s puzzle with some trepidation. However, as others have commented, this one was on the gentler side of the proXimal spectrum, and for me, much the more enjoyable. A steady solve, with no real hold-ups – 3d was certainly a head-scratcher (and my last in) but fun once the penny dropped. Many thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

  7. Nice and steady solve helped by the long clues which were eluded early in the process.
    Clever 3d.
    Thanks to proXimal and to Dutch.

  8. We did this crossword over a pub lunch and thoroughly enjoyed both.

    Liked the craft opening, the use of crook in 18a and thought 17d was very neat. COTD – nay, clue of the month – is the phenomenal 3d.

    Thanks to Dutch and proXimal.

  9. Tough Toughie, and enjoyable too!

    I’m afraid I’m not an ****EST fan either though!

  10. An enjoyable puzzle from proXimal but not an overly tough ‘Toughie’. Lots of clever clue constructions and pleasing surfaces. Got the answer to 1a virtually straight off but procrastinated putting it in as I couldn’t find the extra ‘e’ required to parse the clue – D’oh! Note to self – remember mathematical constants.

    3d was my favourite by a country mile – very clever

    Thanks to proXimal (even tried to fit in his name in 17a) for the fun and to Dutch for his review.

Comments are closed.