Toughie 2056 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2056

Toughie No 2056 by Excalibur

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Hi, and welcome to another Toughie Tuesday brought to you by Excalibur, with your furry hinter here to help.  I didn’t find this too tricky but did enjoy the solve.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the Sorry! There are no answers currently available, so we have replaced them with items of similar or greater value.  If you are unhappy with the replacements you may return them for a full refund 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.



7a    Squeezes casing … it works (8)
WRITINGS:  A word meaning squeezes water out containing (casing) the IT from the clue

9a    Still hiding, very upset (6)
INVERT:  Still or unreactive containing (hiding) V(ery)

10a   Cruel people should be kept outside area (4)
MEAN:  Some people are to be placed around (should be kept outside) A(rea)

11a   In a word, though there’s been a volte face, nothing’s changed (10)
PALINDROME:  A cryptic definition of a word (or phrase, though this clue seems to be specifying a word) that reads the same in either direction.  Senile felines.  Do geese see God?

12a   Abet. Be expelled. Having done wrong, repented (6)
ATONED:  The first word of the clue without the letters of the second (… expelled) followed by an anagram (… wrong) of DONE

14a   In day by day personal fight, going south (8)
DOWNWARD:  Inside two instances of the abbreviation for day we have a word for belonging to oneself and a campaign of fighting

15a   Inessential, having crossed the Channel (2,4)
DE TROP:  An adjective from the French meaning superfluous

17a   They reckon  we may not see them hiding in the grass (6)
ADDERS:  Two definitions: ones who do sums and some serpentine creatures

20a   One will come up after fight and be taking minion into custody (5,3)
BLACK EYE:  BE (from the clue) containing (takinginto custody) a servile follower

22a   Are early settlers (6)
PREPAY:  A cryptic definition: the settlements are financial

23a   Price of a suit? (5,5)
LEGAL COSTS:  Another cryptic definition: the suit is an action at law

24a   Distance I left myself to cover (4)
MILE:  I and L(eft) are surrounded by a personal pronoun (myself to cover)

25a   Areas of factual writing (6)
REALMS:  A charade of factual or genuine and an abbreviation for some writing

26a   Choose one in twelve. It’s mandatory (2,6)
NO OPTION:  Choose (verb) and the Roman-style one inside twelve o’clock midday



1d    Silly dare — break in, getting apprehended by police (8)
ARRESTED:  An anagram (silly) of DARE into which goes a break from activity

2d    Take up music in school (4)
ETON:  Reverse a musical tone to get crossword setters’ favourite public school

3d    Cut one of two pages out and tore to pieces (6)
SNIPED:  Remove (… out) one of two P(age)s from a word for cut with scissors

4d    Did work on the farm — we had traps in now (8)
WINNOWED:  The contracted form of “we had” contains (traps) the last two words of the clue

5d    Whyever set off before it’s all over? (10)
EVERYWHERE:  An anagram (… set off) of WHYEVER plus a poetic word for before.  All over the place, not all over in time

6d    Seismic activity in epicentre more evident (6)
TREMOR:  The answer is included within the words of the clue (inevident)

8d    Food, alas, upset diners — no stomach for it (6)
SALADS:  The second word of the clue reversed (upset) and diners without the inner letters (no stomach for it)

13d   Can’t be frozen. That’s obvious (10)
NOTICEABLE:  Split (3,7) this could mean unable to be frozen

16d   Engaged plethora of actors for film. Dull (8)
OVERCAST:  This could mean hired too many actors.  The weather is dull.  Dull is underappreciated in my book.  I like clouds

18d   It’s about protecting everyone riding a horse (8)
STALLION:  An anagram (… about) of IT’S surrounding (protecting) a word for everyone, then a word meaning riding (a horse or a vehicle)

19d   Why  work out? (6)
REASON:  Two definitions.  The why of something, or to work something out.  My answer to that question is so I can stuff my face full of cake without guilt

21d   Pronounced groundbreaker in German music (6)
LIEDER:  This sounds like (pronounced) a pioneer

22d   Over and over disheartened minister (6)
PASTOR:  A synonym of over and the word over without its innards (disheartened)

24d   Gracious! Half that is sheer fiction (4)
MYTH:  An exclamation like “Gracious!” plus half of the word “that”


Thanks to Excalibur.  I couldn’t pick a favourite today.  Could you?


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.


8 comments on “Toughie 2056

  1. It was somewhat of a relief to come to this one after the ‘tough’ back-pager. This was quite pleasant – thanks to Excalibur and Kitty.
    My favourite clue was 26a.

  2. Lots of lovely clues , 7a , 23a and especially 11a.
    I could add quite a few more .
    Thanks to Excalibur .and Kitty .

  3. When all of the four letter clues went in very easily I thought I was in for a smooth and gentle ride, but the rest of the puzzle put up a good deal more resistance for me. However, I got it all sorted away with little or no reliance on external reference which I very much appreciated, and I enjoyed it greatly in the process. Many thanks to Excalibur and Kitty.

  4. Lovely puzzle, (but while nobody’s looking), it’s certainly not a Toughie.
    13d pdm amused me, thanks Excalibur and Kitty

  5. I found this a little more difficult than our esteemed blogger appears to have done – I’m blaming it on the loss of brain cells courtesy of today’s back-pager!

    Plenty of ticks on my paper – 11,23,25&26a plus 15&24d. Gold medal to 13d which we’ve possibly seen previously but which still made me laugh.

    Thanks to Excalibur and to our Girl Tuesday for a great blog. Particularly enjoyed the two pics for 20a.

  6. Rattled off half in no time, so as cricket on here & wanted to go to ground to see end, showed young Mark (17) who did the rest even quicker! Amusing but not a toughie.

  7. I didn’t find this to be as straightforward as others, but it was still easier than today’s back pager. :-) Say average difficulty. Perhaps it’s just a wavelength thing. Last in 15ac which is obvious when you see it, but not before then.

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