Toughie 2167 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2167

Toughie No 2167 by MynoT

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Hello all.  I thought today’s Toughie a little trickier than the usual Tuesday, but that could well be down to being tired after a week of fun in London and having to get up at silly o’clock this morning.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the six legs: good; two warts: bad! buttons.



1a    Old man in mine, he is unable to regularly take hard work (15)
PITHECANTHROPUS:  Put together a mine, HE from the clue and “is unable to” then take alternate letters of (regularly take) hard, and finally add a work (perhaps a musical composition).  The old man is this fossil hominid (who I don’t recall having met before, though I’m bad at remembering names at the best of times)

9a    Coats, for example, being dated, we are modelling to get right (9)
OUTERWEAR:  After dated or no longer fashionable goes an anagram (… modelling) of WE ARE then an abbreviation for right

10a   No introduction of butter in cooked bistro dish (5)
ROSTI:  Without the first letter of (no introduction of) butter, an anagram of (cooked) bISTRO

11a   Embraced by grandmother, Queen Victoria returned in a blissful state (7)
NIRVANA:  Inside a familiar word for a grandmother is the three-letter abbreviation for Victoria, Empress and Queen, reversed (returned)

12a   In the air, uncertain when girl will have left (7)
AMBIENT:  A word meaning uncertain or mixed without a female name (when girl will have left) (AMBIvalENT)

13a   Large bird in Truro cathedral (3)
ROC:  This enormous bird of Arabian legend is contained in the last two words of the clue

14a   Laver perhaps as selected player held in respect? On the contrary (7)
SEAWEED:  One of the top players in a tournament selected so as not to meet in the early rounds containing (held in … on the contrary) respect or wonder

17a   In French red wine, English find friendly relations (7)
ENTENTE:  Concatenate “in” in French, a deep-red Spanish wine, and an abbreviation for English

19a   One thousand were sitting, set as a task (7)
IMPOSED:  The Roman numerals for one and for a thousand followed by a word meaning were sitting, perhaps for an artist

22a   Second stop in NCP, say, by learner with electronic dash (7)
SPARKLE:  An abbreviation for second and a verb to leave a vehicle in a place such as (… say) an NCP, next to (by) abbreviations for learner and for electronic

24a   Devour repasts regularly (3)
EAT:  Regular letters of rEpAsTs

25a   Archdeacon in terrible rage gets one retaliating (7)
AVENGER:  The honorific prefix to the name of an archdeacon (abbreviated) is inside an anagram of (terrible) RAGE

26a   Supposes former exercise before court succeeded (7)
EXPECTS:  A prefix meaning former here prefixes abbreviations for some school exercise, for court, and for succeeded

28a   In this state I had to return nothing (5)
IDAHO:  To get this US state, we need to take the I from the clue, to reverse (to return) HAD (also from the clue), and then add the letter signifying nothing

29a   Ad-lib production of optimum PR (9)
IMPROMPTU:  An anagram of (production of) OPTIMUM PR

30a   Despite having to sit, presumably? (15)
NOTWITHSTANDING:  Split (3,4,8) this could mean (perhaps in a vehicle or entertainment venue) not having an unseated option



1d    In favour of philosopher no one thanks over forecast (15)
PROGNOSTICATION:  Join together in favour of (3), an adherent of a type of religious philosophy, and the reversal of (… over): NO (from the clue), the letter which can stand for one, and a short informal word for thanks

2d    Short king with gold for teacher (5)
TUTOR:  The colloquial shortened name for a young pharaoh of ancient Egypt is followed by the heraldic tincture gold

3d    Runny brie consumed when drunk (7)
EBRIATE:  An anagram of (runny) BRIE plus consumed (food)

4d    Lincoln meets fat French cleric (7)
ABELARD:  The short form of US President Lincoln goes next to (meets) some animal fat

5d    Three-nation stand (7)
TERRACE:  Three letters which in combining form mean three, then a group of people

6d    Unusual crunched cheese dish (7)
RAREBIT:  Unusual plus crunched with the teeth

7d    Boris, perhaps, taking rope to Alaska (9)
PASTERNAK:  An obsolete term for a rope used to tie up a horse by the leg plus the abbreviation for Alaska.  This Boris

8d    Food is served up after holy man becomes exhausted in former capital (5,10)
SAINT PETERSBURG:  An informal word for some food reversed (served up) comes after a canonised person and becomes exhausted or fades away

15d   Dessert’s earlier temperature has become cold; this upset could throw plans into confusion (5-4)
APPLE-CART:  We need to make it so that in a fruit desert, the earlier appearance of T (temperature) has changed to (has become) C (cold)

16d   One from Genesis that has an echo just the same (3)
EVE:  An early character from Genesis whose name is a palindrome, i.e. its reversal, or echo, is the same

18d   Pinch  tot (3)
NIP:  Two definitions, the second being drinkable

20d   Italy to engage men first, its own men (7)
SIGNORI:  We have the IVR code for Italy, but first we have to engage (4) and some of our usual military men.  This gives us some Italian men

21d   Oil is hot for fraternity member (7)
DERVISH:  Assemble diesel oil, IS from the clue, and the abbreviation for hot to get a member of a Muslim fraternity professing poverty and austerity

22d   Rise of leading Tory moderates simmering here? (7)
STEWPOT:  The reversal of (rise of) leading (3) and a derogatory (derogaTory?) term for moderate conservatives

23d   Measure of acidity in a once lost instrument (7)
ALPHORN:  A measure of acidity goes inside the combination of A from the clue and an archaic (… once) word meaning lost or forsaken

27d   Limit religious teaching in island (5)
CAPRI:  Limit (3) and the abbreviation for what school religious lessons used to be called


Thanks to MynoT.  I can’t pick a favourite clue today.  Can you?


These hints and tips are for anyone who might find them of use.  Asides and illustrations are to add a personal perspective and some colour.  The forum is for everyone.  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.


18 comments on “Toughie 2167

  1. Most of this went in pretty quickly, but there were a few trickier ones at the end – 5d was last in, and the rope in 7d was unfamiliar.

    Thanks to Kitty and MynoT, and sorry I didn’t make it to London on Saturday – maybe next year…

  2. An excellent toughie which again gave much enjoyment, thanks. Two really good puzzles today and, if pushed, 20D was my favourite

  3. I really enjoyed this, which I found about as a tough as a medium hard back-pager. I seemed to get on the right wavelength quickly and the four long solutions soon provided the framework for the rest of the puzzle.

    I’m not normally a fan of wordy clues, but I have to say that I really liked 1a &15d. 22d is nicely topical and made me laugh.

    Many thanks to MynoT and to Kitty.

  4. I agree with Kitty that this was somewhat trickier than the average first Toughie of the week. Notwithstanding the level of trickiness, it was very enjoyable and completed at a (Toughie) gallop – ***/****.

    I did need electronic help on 1a, never ever seen the word before, and, given some of the discussion in today’s back pager blog, it was interesting to see that three of the 15 letter clues were single words.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 30a and 15d (despite its wordiness).

    Thanks to MynoT and Kitty.

  5. Not a puzzle that will remain long in the memory but I did like 14a with its clever misdirection to Rod Laver so that’s my favourite.
    Thanks to MynoT and to Kitty.

  6. Very enjoyable puzzle from Mynot.

    I’m far too old a man to get 1a even with all the checkers.

    (Ps. I notice that tomorrow’s Toughie is by Jed … is that Mr Greer?)

  7. Having started to congratulate myself in a possible record time for solving a Toughie I came to an abrupt halt at 1 across. Having all the checking letters in place I still couldn’t come up with a word, until eventually electronic or rather battery driven help had to be sought. Good fun overall, with nothing else to cause headaches. I also had 14 across as my favourite, with 8 down in second place. Thanks to Mynot, Kitty and our battery operated Franklin.

  8. Certainly tough! LOI was 1 ac and I was so pleased to have worked it out:-)

    I thought 10ac an ingenious clue; also a mention for 12ac, 14ac, 17ac and 6dn.

    Still haven’t parsed 7dn, 8dn and 15dn, so here I am. Ah, and I got 15dn wrong!

    Thanks setter and Kitty

  9. I forgot to mention that I knew 1a thanks to a Charles Mingus album from the 50s. Nice…

  10. Pleased to have solved without e-help, even 1A! 12A and 14A tickled my fancy today. Thanks to MynoT and Kitty.

  11. A welcome relief after the trauma of last Friday’s impossible Toughie.

    Just did a silly with 15d – forget to freeze it!

  12. I enjoyed this very much as well. I thought the four long clues around the edge were very clever – the more so in that none of them involved anagrams. I hadn’t met the old man in 1a, but once the mine became clear, and with some of the checkers, the word play took over. There were one or two other things that were new to me (the Victoria reference in 11a and the rope in 7d). I also had trouble finding the drunk definition in 3d in any of the reference sources I turned to. Many thanks to MynoT and Kitty.

  13. My kind of Toughie – not too tough. All went in reasonably readily but I need the hint for 14a. I had the SEED but in the wrong place. Sounds a bit like Eric Morecombe–I had all the right letters but not necessarily in the right order! I’ll pick 23d as my favourite. Thanks Kitty and the setter.

  14. Pretty straightforward solve. Went anticlockwise from the NW and ending with 1a after checking if the charade made sense.
    Thanks to MynoT and to Kitty.

  15. We haven’t posted for a while due to family commitments and a well-deserved week in Cape Verde, but should have fully caught up and be back on track soon. A belated HNY to all!

    This went reasonably well and is probably worth 2* for difficulty, but 3* for enjoyment. All went in at a fair lick with 15d as favourite. Needed to think a bit about 8d, assuming that Saint Peter was the holy man and couldn’t fathom where becoming exhausted fitted at first.

    Thanks to Kitty and MynoT.

  16. We needed quite a few checkers in before 1a revealed itself and also had to check the answer for 14a in BRB. Spent some time trying to anagram A ONCE as part of the answer for 23d until the penny dropped. Apart from those it all went together relatively smoothly with plenty of smiles along the way.
    Thanks MynoT and Kitty.

  17. The NW corner was perhaps a little tricky, but the rest went in with little ado. No back pager, but no tough Toughie either. Enjoyable throughout.

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