Toughie 2162 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2162

Toughie No 2162 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This was just right. A not-overly-difficult puzzle with loads of well-crafted surfaces. I’m always happy (relieved, perhaps) when I can solve a proXimal in reasonable time.

Definitions are underlined. The hints and tips are intended to help you with the wordplay, and you can reveal the answers by clicking on the One more week! buttons. Please leave a comment letting us know what you thought and how you got on.


9a    No good sacking leader to be profitable (5)
UTILE: A 6-letter word meaning no good without the first letter (sacking leader)

10a    Botched up art containing winged deity that once flew (9)
PTEROSAUR: An anagram (botched) of UP ART containing a cupid-like deity

11a    Left in charge of building construction (7)
PORTICO: A nautical left, the abbreviation for in charge, and a shortened form of ‘of’

12a    Set straight a learner breaking rule (7)
REALIGN: A from the clue plus the abbreviation for learner go inside (breaking) another word for rule

13a    Fill big belly with popular drink (5)
PINOT: A type of big belly to contain (fill … with) a word meaning popular

14a    Colleague unworthy of covering government department left (9)
BEDFELLOW: A preposition meaning ‘unworthy of’ is covering the abbreviations for a government department and left

16a    Without concern, angrily imprisoning knight with Spanish page (15)
INCONSIDERATELY: A word meaning angrily containing (imprisoning) the chess abbreviation for knight, the Spanish for with, and the abbreviation for page

19a    Cut queue? That could be a result (9)
SCORELINE: A word for a cut and a word for a queue

21a    Beginning to crave lighter device to hold (5)
CLAMP: The first letter (beginning) of crave plus something that produces light

23a    Old bit of Circle Line unused in frozen rain and cold (7)
ARCHAIC: A 3-letter bit of a circle, some frozen rain without (unused in) the abbreviation for line, and the abbreviation for cold

25a    Creatures shot, pelts picked up (7)
GOPHERS: A shot or attempt plus a homophone (picked up) of a word meaning pelts

27a    Plant eastern bank over river before erosion at the sides (9)
EVERGREEN: The abbreviation for eastern, another word for bank (as in border or edging) going over the abbreviation for river, then the extreme letters (at the sides) of erosion

28a    Box 19 having article inside swapped with second in 14 (5)
TELLY: A word with the meaning of 19a has an indefinite article replaced by the second letter in the answer to 14a. I might be missing the surface here. A reference to a game show perhaps?



1d    Crack that would be issue beneath base (4)
QUIP: A word for crack or joke would mean issue if it followed (beneath, in a down clue) the base of natural or Napierian logarithms

2d    Small length of machine’s lead caught in appliance (6)
MICRON: The first letter (lead) of machine, then the abbreviation for caught goes inside (in) a household appliance I haven’t used in years (neither has my wife, just in case you thought … )

3d    Rebellious group‘s concerning opinion about current head of state (10)
RESISTANCE: A short word meaning concerning or in regard to, then a word for opinion or view goes around (about) the physics symbol for current and the first letter (head) of state

4d    Coolness from a doctor holding device endlessly (6)
APLOMB: A from the clue plus an abbreviation for doctor containing (holding) either of two 4-letter words PLOT or PLOY meaning device or scheme without the last letter (endlessly)

5d    Resent new girl oddly ignored in shift (8)
BEGRUDGE: Remove the odd letters (oddly ignored) from ‘new girl’ and place in a verb meaning shift

6d    One serving a drink (4)
COLA: One serving (as an officer in the military) plus A from the clue

7d    Bones from male evil adult concealed in sack (8)
MAXILLAE: The abbreviation for male, then a 3-letter word for evil or bad plus the abbreviation for adult are inside (concealed in) a verb meaning to sack or fire

8d    Wow, angry eccentric completely flipped, perhaps (5,3,2)
WRONG WAY UP: An anagram (eccentric) of WOW ANGRY plus a 2-letter word that can mean completely (definition 30 in BRB)

13d    Bread in French stick must be superior to Republican — one’s fussy (10)
PAINSTAKER: The French word for bread and a stick with a point used for killing vampires sit on top of (must be superior to, in a down clue) the abbreviation for Republican

15d    Fraudulently tape cinema release (10)
EMANCIPATE: An anagram (fraudulent) of TAPE CINEMA

17d    Furniture around entrance of rancid squats (8)
CROUCHES: Some living-room furniture goes around the first letter (entrance) of rancid

18d    Absurdities from rant about leaving dictionaries in a mess (8)
IDIOCIES: An anagram (about) of RANT is removed from (leaving) an anagram (in a mess) of DICTIONARIES

20d    Space no longer available after one’s replaced old machinery (6)
ENGINE: A printer’s spacing measure, then a word meaning no longer available or disappeared in which the roman numeral for one replaces the abbreviation for old

22d    Ancient European invading or supporting area (3-3)
AGE-OLD: The abbreviation for European goes inside (invading) another word for or, the heraldic colour, all underneath (supporting, in a down clue) the abbreviation for area

24d    Ship from Volgograd returned (4)
ARGO: Reverse hidden (from … returned)

26d    Legume very ably cored and served up (4)
SOYA: A 2-letter word meaning very, then a reversal (served up) of A[bl]Y from the clue with the centre removed (cored)

I particularly liked the surfaces of 9a, 10a, 11a, 3d, 6d, 15d, 17d. Of these, 6d is probably my favourite, though it was my last one in. Which clues did you like?

10 comments on “Toughie 2162

  1. That was a real Toughie for me but one which was extremely enjoyable. All the wordplay could be unlocked with varying degrees of persistence and it was a pleasure to solve. 16a took me the longest to parse and 26d was my last one in.

    The beautiful surface of 15d won the battle to be awarded the accolade of my favourite.

    Many thanks proXimal and to Dutch.

  2. A proper Friday Toughie and very enjoyable – thanks to proXimal and Dutch.
    My attempt to solve it from the top down didn’t go terribly swimmingly so I started at the bottom and worked up which was much more successful.
    My podium selections are 19a, 25a and 2d.

  3. I rarely complete solving a Toughie before the hints become available and today was no exception. I did get there in the end, though perhaps I should own up to using a little electronic help along the way. 7 & 9 were both unknown to me and for the life of me I couldn’t parse 1 down. Having said all, I’m very happy to have at least completed a Friday Toughie grid. Some great clues to unravel on a raw and damp Shropshire afternoon. Thank you proXimal for the challenge and thanks also to Dutch for some parsing or should that be parsings?

  4. Nearly finished this. Never heard of the shortened 9a or 19a.I had’t realised 26d was a legume but, as a bean, it has to be. I liked the residual anagram in 18d.Very clever.
    Here where I’m visiting in Devon it is very cold, very wet and very dark. An alcohic 6d is in order I think!

  5. We really enjoyed that. Certainly not an easy solve for us but very satisfying and good fun to get it all sorted.
    Thanks ProXimal and Dutch.

  6. This seemed very hard at first look this morning. When I came back to it, things flowed much better … until I got stuck with four remaining.

    All brilliant stuff, well worth the brain cells expended.

    Thanks proXimal, and thanks Dutch for the hints and pics.

  7. Needed a bit of electronic help with the new words for me at 7,9&10 but managed the rest unaided.
    A satisfying solve in which 11&19a made my leader board.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Dutch for the blog. See you next Friday – usual place!

  8. Like others, I thought this was a terrific puzzle, although by no means easy. I was able to get a foothold in the NW corner and then spread, very slowly, over the remainder of the puzzle. Although there were one or two things that were new to me, I was able to finish this with only minimal reference to dictionaries and web searches. Many thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

Comments are closed.