Toughie 2132 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2132

Toughie No 2132 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


A big warm fluffy welcome to you all.  Today’s puzzle in the Toughie slot is one of those I’m happy to recommend to back page solvers.  A couple of unfamiliar words for me didn’t slow down the gridfill or dent the enjoyment.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the 1d in the name of the law! buttons.  As usual you may click on pictures to enlarge them or uncover hidden extras.



1a    Fashionable crowd getting implant (5)
INSET:  A charade of fashionable and a crowd or group

4a    Join fine bones held in after being trimmed (9)
AFFILIATE:  The abbreviation for fine, plus the plural of a wide bone which forms part of the hip, inside (held in) all but the last letter of after (after being trimmed)

9a    Exclusion of exposure to sun’s rays, avoiding tan finally (9)
ISOLATION:  A word meaning exposure to the sun’s rays missing (avoiding) the last letter of taN (tan finally).  I wasn’t familiar with the solar irradiation, but there was one logical place to insert an N to make a plausible-sounding word

10a   Damage consuming most of old grinder (5)
MOLAR:  Damage or spoil containing (consuming) most of the word old

11a   Willing to assist young lad not initially following university line (7)
HELPFUL:  A puppy or, dismissively, a young man, without his first letter (not initially), then abbreviations for university, for following, and for line

12a   Yours truly volunteers, facing work to return Greek expat? (7)
ITALIOT:  “Yours truly” and the old name for some army volunteers next to (facing) the reversal of (… to return) some hard work.  The expat, previously unknown to me, is an ancient Greek inhabitant of Italy

13a   Bizarrely, watch king giving hefty blow (6)
THWACK:  An anagram of (bizarrely) WATCH K(ing)

15a   French who study in a state of silence (8)
QUIETUDE:  French words for who and for a study

18a   Retire accompanied by reactionary minor in one’s charge (8)
WITHDRAW:  A preposition meaning accompanied by, then a reversed (reactionary) minor under the care of a guardian

20a   Label put back on unwrapped particularly good example of cake (6)
GATEAU:  A label reversed (put back) goes next to (on) an informal word for something exceptionally good (bEAUt) without its outer letters (unwrapped)

23a   Vehicle I half purchased — a beast! (7)
CARIBOU:  Concatenate a common type of vehicle, the I from the clue, and half a synonym of purchased

24a   Unlimited air journey set back; have a smoke! (5,2)
LIGHT UP:  An air journey without its outer letters (unlimited) followed by the reversal (… back) of a three-letter word meaning set or place

26a   Criticise British and survive (5)
BLAST:  An abbreviation for British plus a verb to survive or endure

27a   Bear in the wild’s sleep in winter (9)
HIBERNATE:  BEAR IN THE, anagrammed (wild)

28a   Check booth that’s put in position again (9)
REINSTALL:  Check or halt (4) and a booth

29a   Participated in trading of wood — tons (5)
DEALT:  The soft wood many of us know only from crosswords and then the abbreviation for tons



1d    Short of time, we stir this cooked dish (5,4)
IRISH STEW:  Without (short of) one occurrence of the symbol for time, an anagram of (… cooked) WE STIR tHIS

2d    Threatening look of heifer perhaps within bounds of stall (5)
SCOWL:  The animal which is known as a heifer when young goes inside (within) the outer letters of (bounds of) StalL

3d    Trade  vehicles (7)
TRAFFIC:  Two definitions

4d    Upset prima donna left Broadway finally in a fervent manner (6)
AVIDLY:  A prima donna reversed (upset), the abbreviation for left, and the last letter of BroadwaY (Broadway finally)

5d    Whimsical admirer caught by one female upper-class girl ultimately (8)
FANCIFUL:  Join together an admirer, C(aught), the Roman numeral one, F(emale), the letter symbolising upper-class, and the last letter (… finally) of girl

6d    Concoction involving brew of fermented honey drink (7)
LIMEADE:  A concoction or untruth containing (involving) a drink made by fermenting honey to give us a different drink altogether

7d    See ritual organised in an unhurried way (2,7)
AT LEISURE:  An anagram (… organised) of SEE RITUAL

8d    Feel sorrowful for losing river bird (5)
EGRET:  Rue or mourn missing (losing) the abbreviation for river

14d   Extra wait, sadly, for service in Venice? (5,4)
WATER TAXI:  An anagram (… sadly) of EXTRA WAIT

16d   Tackle film enthralling crack soldiers (9)
EQUIPMENT:  A film (whose full title is longer, but which is usually referred to by this shortened version) containing (enthralling) a crack or witticism and some soldiers

17d   Granny of US President engaging in degree with spirit (8)
BABUSHKA:  A former US president in between (engaging in) an arts degree and an ancient Egypt concept of an individual’s spirit

19d   English bishop involved in social appointments for discussions (7)
DEBATES:  Abbreviations for English and Bishop inside (involved in) some social, perhaps romantic, appointments

21d   Portended outcome of erratic undergraduate, not terribly ardent (7)
AUGURED:  Take an anagram of (terribly) ARDENT away from an anagram of (erratic) UnderGRADUatE

22d   Compact mass, almost entirely ball-shaped (6)
GLOBAL:  A dollop of stuff (4) plus most of (almost) a word meaning entirely

23d   Brace to move what might be thrown (5)
CABER:  BRACE is jumbled (to move) to produce something that might be thrown — or indeed tossed — at a Scottish athletic event

25d   Cheers about independent artist’s crowning glory? (5)
TIARA:  An informal word of thanks (cheers) around (about) an abbreviation for Independent; this is followed by our usual artist, the Royal Academician


Many thanks to Chalicea.  In 4d, I smiled at the image of the upset prima donna flouncing off in a huff.  I also liked 2d and 25d.  What would you choose as today’s crowning glory?


These hints and tips are for anyone who might find them of use.  The asides and illustrations are to add a personal perspective and some colour.  The forum is for everyone.  Please do leave a comment if you need anything clarified, have any corrections or suggestions, or if there’s anything else you’d like to say.


23 comments on “Toughie 2132

  1. A very enjoyable partner to today’s back pager that was quite gentle for completion at a (Toughie) gallop – **/****.

    Joint favourites – 15a, not often that we get a French test of two words, and 17d, both raised a smile.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Kitty.

  2. Easy but enjoyable – the exposure to solar radiation was new to me too.

    Thanks to Kitty and Chalicea

  3. A very light but fun Toughie. I only struggled with three things, all of which Kitty has expertly explained. I’ve never heard of the exposure to sun’s rays in 9a, nor the answer to 12a, and, although I knew that I was looking for a five letter word _EAU_ meaning particularly good for 20a, I couldn’t think of one.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to Kitty.

  4. As others had said, a couple of new words but not at all tricky.
    Thanks Chalicea and Kitty.

  5. A very gentle start to the Toughie week. Thanks to Chalicea and Kitty.
    Like others I didn’t know the exclusion from sun’s rays or the Greek expat but the wordplay was very clear in both cases.
    My favourite was 17d because it’s such a lovely word.

  6. A very nice Tuesday puzzle and hopefully one that might encourage more folk to step out of the back-page comfort zone.

    Same new words for me as others have noted – sadly, I’m unlikely to remember them!

    The president’s Granny made me smile the most and I liked 13a just for the word itself.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to our Girl Tuesday for the illustrated blog. Loved the 11a shark!

    1. I think a lot of people inadvertently stepped out of the back page comfort zone on Sunday. It didn’t go well!

  7. A light relief after Sunday’s. Perhaps Chalicea can swop with Dada as we’d then get all the answers to the much tougher crossword. Only finished Sunday’s yesterday so it helped fill the Monday lack of toughie but brain has only just stopped aching. Is it really nearly ten years since BD started this site? A truly amazing achievement!

  8. Thanks to Chalicea and to Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, not too tricky as Toughies go, but I still needed the hints for 12&15a and 5,6,16,17d. Certainly didn’t know 17d was a granny. Had heard of 12a,but couldn’t get the wordplay, thought it ended in “iot” but I came up short. Got 4a from the checkers, but still don’t know what the bone’s called? Was 3*/4* for me.

  9. Straightforward enough, although I didn’t know the word in 12a before.

    17d gave me the most trouble.

    Thanks to Kitty and Chalicea.

  10. Gentle and enjoyable sums it up for us too. Needed to check in BRB that the answer for 12a actually was a word.
    Thanks Chalicea and Kitty.

  11. Somehow I printed the Toughie instead of the Cryptic this morning and was half way through completion before I realised the error of my ways! With one or two hints (thanks Kitty), duly completed and enjoyed! Good puzzle thanks.

  12. Yep, Chalicea’s Toughie gets the thumbs up from me too. The Greek ex-pat is a new word to add to my vocab and 17 down confounded me right to the end. Two really enjoyable puzzles on a dreary cold and Shropshire Tuesday. Tomorrow it warms up they say – back into shorts? We’ll see ;-) Thanks Chalicea and Kitty.

  13. As usual I am agreeing with everything that has been said. I finished it withou the hints and put in 12am’s because it had to be that, although I have never come across the word before. I loved the fierce picture of your friend, Kitty.

  14. I love it when I can complete a Toughie unaided – even when there are a couple of words I haven’t come across before but I can work out. Having said that, when there’s a Toughie I cannot finish, I get a lot of pleasure out of the clues I can solve–and I do believe I am improving with the marvellous support of our dedicated band of blogger – thanks all.

  15. Thank you, Kitty. Your threatening little 2d is a star. I started setting this one with the 17d granny – a lovely word, I think, and one that is, I hoped, familiar to many, and not therefore likely to merit the editorial red pen. The Greek expat almost earned it though. I do really appreciate the positive response here and hoped this one would be enjoyed, as I feared it might not be much more difficult than the back-page cryptic. However, I am delighted if it has prompted more good solvers to have a go at the Toughie. Thanks to all.

    1. I did indeed enjoy it, and it definitely has prompted me (time permitting) to have more goes at the Toughie…….that’s not to say I consider myself a good solver 😉

  16. A rather late post from me to say I enjoyed this very much indeed. Like Jane, I liked the President’s Granny. That’s my fave. Lovely!

    Many appreciative thanks to Chalicea.

    Three new words for me too. I need Kitty’s lovely blog to unentangle those for me, for which very appreciative thanks.

  17. Not having today’s paper I dug out this from Tuesday’s. I was feeling quite pleased with myself to have almost finished it (a first for a toughie) so imagine my disappointment when it’s only given 1* for difficulty! 😂
    Anyway must attempt more of these.
    Thanks to all

  18. 3*/4*….
    liked 14D (extra wait, sadly,for service in Venice?)….
    also liked the disapproving looking feline in the picture to 2D in the hints and tips.

Comments are closed.