Toughie 2179 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2179

Toughie No 2179 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating  –  Difficulty ** –  Enjoyment ***


Hi all, and welcome to Toughie corner on a Tuesday which is sunny and bright at time and place of writing.  Whatever the weather where you are, we have a bright and breezy puzzle from Chalicea to warm us up.

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



1a    Moan sadly about Gulf inhabitant’s obsessive single-mindedness (9)
MONOMANIA:  An anagram (sadly) of MOAN around (about) someone from an Arab country on the Persian Gulf

8a    Withstand disaster, according to Spooner — one might be counted out? (13)
FEATHERWEIGHT:  Take a word meaning withstand (7) and disaster or doom (4) and spoonerise them.  Someone who might be counted out in the boxing ring

11a   Beer feast mostly backfiring (5)
LAGER:  All but the last letter of (mostly) a verb to feast, reversed (backfiring)

12a   My US soldier’s pet (5)
CORGI:  My! or wow! plus our usual US soldier

13a   Attitude about son’s power (5)
POSSE:  A stance or attitude goes around (about) the genealogical abbreviation for son

16a   Soccer star circling essentially dribbles round stone (6)
PEBBLE:  A famous Brazilian footballer going around (circling) the central two letters of (essentially) dribbles

17a   Error of rabid consumerism, ignoring set norms (6)
MISCUE:  This is an anagram of (rabid) ConsUmErISM without (ignoring) an anagram of (set) NORMS

18a   Pancake party principally held by North American (5)
CREPE:  The first letter of (… principally) party inside (held by) a member of a Native American tribe

19a   Intricate manual for graduate? (6)
ALUMNA:  An anagram of (intricate) MANUAL.  My habitual anagram-blindness struck here and I spent an age trying to put a graduate at the end

20a   Stay frolicking in harem when husband leaves (6)
REMAIN:  An anagram of (frolicking) IN hAREM without the abbreviation for husband (when husband leaves)

21a   Filthy, backward little old medical establishment with empty treasury (5)
NASTY:  First goes the reversal of (backward) a shortened word for a medical establishment originally for people suffering from tuberculosis.  With this is the outer letters of (empty) treasury

24a   Securing hospital after end of clean-up, understood scornful reaction (5)
PSHAW:  After the final letter of (end of) clean-up, we have a word meaning understood containing (securing) the single-letter abbreviation for hospital

26a   Prejudiced person shot during scrap (5)
BIGOT:  A shot or attempt inside (during) a small amount (scrap)

27a   Absent-mindedly musing; getting gist of yarn maybe (4-9)
WOOL-GATHERING:  A definition and literal interpretation of the answer: the yarn is not the tale the surface would have us believe but is made of the stuff which the cheeky jackdaws below are collecting

28a   Twice set about sly parasite (6,3)
TSETSE FLY:  Two copies of (twice) an anagram of (about) SET followed by sly or knowing



2d    Cycling path further from centre (5)
OUTER:  A path or way is cycling in the cryptic sense, with all the letters moved around in order.  In this case the first letter of the path is moved to the end

3d    Exaggerate about event (6)
OVERDO:  A charade of about and an event or function

4d    Races to finish after a boat capsized every time (6)
ALWAYS:  The last letter of races (races to finish) goes after A (from the clue) and a type of boat, reversed (capsized)

5d    Like certain body parts found in Brasilia cemetery (5)
ILIAC:  This adjective relating to part of the lower body is found in the last two words of the clue

6d    Beastly noise and odour hob developed in vicinity (13)
NEIGHBOURHOOD:  A noise made by a horse is followed by an anagram (… developed) of ODOUR HOB

7d    Dealing dishonestly, putting on fresh cycling gear, say (5-8)
SHORT-CHANGING:  This could whimsically mean replacing clothing on the lower body

9d    Punch-drunk mates upset and mildly inebriated (4-5)
SLAP-HAPPY:  Some chums reversed (upset) plus tipsy or merry

10d   The bear in troubled sleep (9)
HIBERNATE:  THE BEAR IN is anagrammed (troubled)

13d   Nut in correctional institution pursuing sport (5)
PECAN:  A slang term for a prison (correctional institution) following (pursuing) school sport

14d   Gets rid of detective supporting that woman (5)
SHEDS:  A rank of detective after (supporting) a pronoun meaning that woman

15d   Male into strange rock (5)
EMERY:  Putting the abbreviation for male into an alternative spelling of an adjective meaning weird or strangely frightening gives us a very hard mineral used for polishing and filing nails

22d   Lion seen on top of track that’s at an angle (6)
ASLANT:  The Lion from Narnia is before (seen on) the first letter of (top of) track

23d   The techie set intermittently producing laughing sound (3-3)
TEE-HEE:  Alternate letter (… intermittently) of the first three words of the clue

25d   Southern county loses vigour (5)
WILTS:  An abbreviated form of a county in South West England

26d   Pale greenish part of rubbery leaves (5)
BERYL:  We finish with a lurker: the answer is contained in part of the last two words of the clue


Thanks to Chalicea.  I can’t pick a favourite today, so will leave it to 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.


29 comments on “Toughie 2179

  1. Very enjoyable with some head scratching required for completion at a fast gallop – 2.5*/3*.

    Hard to find a favourite, but 25d did raise a smile.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Kitty.

  2. Found this quite straightforward apart from the definition in 13a, but that had to be right from the crossers…

    Thanks to Kitty and Chalicea

  3. This was a very light “Toughie” which took me less time than today’s back-pager. However I really enjoyed it.

    I didn’t know (or had forgotten) that one of the meanings of 13a is “power”, and for 15d I was surprised to find that “eery” exists as an alternative spelling of “eerie”.

    I particularly liked the 8a Spoonerism, 12a, 20a (and not just because of the possibly unintended Brexit reference), 7d & 25d.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to Kitty.

  4. Fairly gentle – thanks to Chalicea and Kitty.
    7d seems a bit odd – shouldn’t the cycling gear be a plural word?

    1. I did wonder, tongue-in-cheek, if the answer might just possibly be considered analogous to “trouser-pressing” meaning “to press trousers”.

      It was one of my favourite clues today so I would dearly love to find a suitable explanation. :wink:

      1. The difference is that trouser can be used as an ‘adjectival noun’ e.g. ‘his trouser pockets were too large’. On the other hand ‘his short pockets were too large’ doesn’t seem quite right.

        1. I’m not sure the ‘say’ is helping much: a QM would have sufficed for me. But I’m seeing the answer and the cryptic as equivalent parts of speech.

          An easy one this. I do prefer my Toughies tougher, and my back-pagers easier.

  5. I had the same thought about 7d, and was about to write a note to that effect when I started to worry I might have missed something. So I left it, with the reasoning that a short error would be less embarrassing to correct!

  6. Fairly straightforward although 1a hardly tripped off my tongue and I did check with the BRB about the definition of the root word in 11a and 13a – let down by little knowledge of Latin in the latter.

    Rather liked the angled lion in 22d and the sad southern county.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to our lovely Girl Tuesday for the blog. Nice profile pic of you in amongst the bash photos.

  7. Very enjoyable crossword.
    Did hesitate in 25d as I couldn’t get Wales out of my head. Being neither in the south nor a county, I needed a map.
    Thanks to Chalicea and to Kitty for the review.

  8. I thought this was a step up in difficulty from previous Chalicea puzzles, but still fairly gentle for a Toughie and very enjoyable. Likes today included 8a, 19a, 26a, 28a, 10d, 22d, 25d, and the two illustrations for 22d. Many thanks to setter and blogger.

  9. Still a fluffy for us, over too quickly but delivering plenty of smiles.

    Meaning of 13a was new to us, too.

    Mrs Sheffieldsy burned her hand while I was out golfing today by picking up the omelette pan that had been under the grill with her bare hand – the other hand had the oven glove on!

    Thanks to Kitty and Chalicea.

      1. Well It would have been Jane but you know how it goes. Talk about slow play. The muppets in front had no idea. The greens were too fast/too slow. Why do they/don’t they allow buggies on a day like today? I do wish golfers would change the record.

  10. I don’t know what happened to my post of half an hour ago but I was saying I’m on a roll, two in the same day early enough to bother posting. I had electronic help on the Spoonerism and failed to spot the anagram in 17a even after I had removed the relevant letters. It was my last in and do plenty of those when playing snooker.

    1. I’ve just discovered where it went, it’s on the back page blog! And i haven’t touched a drop yet.

      1. Haha! I’ve deleted the other one, since comments on the wrong puzzle’s page are potential spoilers and so not allowed.

    2. With you on the snooker front! I also play guitar – is the one in your avatar yours? It’s a beauty.

      1. Not quite. I blagged the picture off the internet, but I have one exactly like it with the matchbook body. I have two Taylor’s also, hence the pseudonym.

        1. Aha! Lucky you, superb guitars. I play a very old Tanglewood acoustic – unique sound and a lovely smooth, slim rosewood neck. I think it’s designed for country n Western, but playing Spanish Classical on it sounds great, especially with old strings. Have to tune it very carefully though, and play it in some. Nice to make your acquaintance TG.

  11. I am delighted that this one was enjoyed and maybe considered a little tougher than my earlier ones. Kitty’s cat posse and the happy lion were lovely – thanks Kitty, as always, and how kind of you and all the commentators not to grumble about the horrid grid – my test-solver did. Of course, the longer words allow some setter freedom. I really dislike spoonerisms in crosswords but that one was irresistible.

Comments are closed.