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Toughie 2182

Toughie No 2182 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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

Good afternoon from South Staffs. Dutch is away this week, so I’ve been allowed out of my usual Friday morning slot.

It took me a little while to get going on this puzzle, with some well-hidden definitions and indicators, plus an element of General Knowledge, but once I got a toehold I was able to work steadily through. If there’s a Nina, I haven’t spotted it. Thanks to proXimal for an interesting challenge.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           ‘Babe’ is film about talking animal running round (7)
BAMBINO – An Italian babe – or the figure of the Christ child – is made up of a Disney animated film with talking animals, followed by the reversal (round) of a two-letter word for ‘running’.

Image result for bambino

5a           Rogue Westerner on vacation heading off Asian despot (5’2)
WRONG’UN – Remove all the internal letters (on vacation) from WesterneR, then remove the first letter (heading off) from the name of the current North Korean leader.

9a           Tone of voice, constant to begin with (5)
CORAL – The definition here is a colour or shade. Start with an algebraic constant, than add an adjective meaning ‘of (the) voice’.

10a         Step into cast after joining good school of acting (9)
GRADATION – Put together Good, the acronym for a leading drama school in London, and an anagram (cast) of INTO.

11a         Important day of thinking about university (10)
MONUMENTAL – The short form of one of the days of the week and an adjective meaning ‘of (or ‘relating to’) thinking’, placed wither side of an abbreviation for University.

12a         Caught person following relation (4)
TALE – ‘Caught’ here is a homophone indicator. This homophone of ‘a person following’ is also the relation of a story.

14a         Not recorded children travelling, with count incomplete (12)
UNCHRONICLED – Anagram (travelling) of CHILDREN and COUN(t) with the final letter removed (incomplete).

18a         Fantastic lob before repeat loss (12)
OBLITERATION – Anagram (fantastic) of LOB followed by the repetition of a process, producing loss or total destruction.

21a         Drink in golf cart (4)
GLUG – The letter represented by Golf in the NATO alphabet, followed by a verb for ‘cart’ or ‘carry’.

22a         Start of semester, secure room for minimal rate (6,4)
SNAIL’S PACE – Put together the first letter (start) of Semester, ‘to secure’ (using a metal spike and a hammer), and ‘room to move’, to get a very slow rate of progress.

25a         Fight to end plastic waste makes us full of admiration (9)
AWESTRUCK – Anagram (plastic) of WASTE, followed by a fight for the ball on a rugby field.

26a         Encouraging prompt for one not bright rejected (5)
NUDGE – Put together the Latin abbreviation for ‘for one’ or ‘for example’ and a dull, brownish colour, then reverse (rejected) the lot.

27a         Agreed on party bags (7)
SQUARED – A party of soldiers surrounds (bags) the Latin word for ‘on’ or ‘concerning’.

28a         End of French plot with soldiers in revolution (7)
DESTROY – Put together the French for ‘of’ and the plot of a novel, then reverse (in revolution) the two letters used to indicate soldiers who are not officers.


1d           Got cold in shaft, bottom of mine (6)
BECAME – A shaft of light wrapped around Cold, followed by the last letter of minE.

2d           Sheep farmer in old clothes (6)
MERINO  – Hidden in the clue.

Image result for merino sheep

3d           Light about to disappear within nautical mile at sea (10)
ILLUMINATE – Anagram (at sea) of NAUTI(ca)L MILE, with the Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’ removed.

4d           The drink shot served up, alcoholic drink (5)
OGGIN – An informal word for the body of water also known informally as ‘the drink’. Start by reversing (served up) a shot or attempt, then add an alcoholic drink often served with tonic.

5d           Do you fancy wife? Answer, filling a hot tub excitedly (4,5)
WHAT ABOUT – Start with Wife, then add an anagram (excitedly) of A HOT TUB, and insert Answer.

6d           Mounted gas ring in order (4)
OKAY – ‘Gas’ is an informal word for ‘talk’. Take another informal word for ‘talk’, add a ring-shaped letter, reverse the lot (mounted), and you get ‘order’ or ‘approve’.

7d           Docile boffin drawn into deceit (8)
GUIDABLE – Another word for ‘deceit’ wrapped around a boffin or expert (as in ‘he’s a — hand at…’).

8d           People behind Mario mean on climbing frames (8)
NINTENDO – Reverse (climbing) ON (from the clue) and wrap it around a verb for ‘to mean’ or ‘propose’, to get the producers of a computer game featuring a character called Mario.

Image result for mario nintendo

13d         Large aims for business; selecting interiors for cars (10)
LIMOUSINES – Start with Large, then remove the outer letters (selecting interiors) from (a)IM(s) (f)O(r) (b)USINES(s).

15d         Lectured Tory leader once about leaked document’s source (9)
HARANGUED – One of the Tory party leaders who opposed Tony Blair’s government wrapped around ‘leaked’ (like the dye in fabric being washed), followed by the first letter (source) of Document.

16d         Prisoner free, leaving one’s best wishes (8)
CONGRATS – One of the usual crossword prisoners followed by ‘free’ or ‘for nothing’ with the Roman numeral for one removed.

17d         Inspector caught rascal with gold (8)
CLOUSEAU – One of Peter Sellers’ comic creations is made up of the abbreviation for ‘caught’ on a cricket scorecard, a rascal or despicable person, and the chemical symbol for gold.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d         Support for climber that’s hammered in bed … (6)
LADDER – If you wrap BED (from the clue) around this commonly-seen climbing aid, you get a synonym for ‘hammered’ or ‘extremely drunk’.

20d         … hammered erectly, cutting close to root vegetable … (6)
CELERY – Anagram (hammered) of EREC(t)LY, with the last letter of rooT removed.

23d         … annoyed having one end of stick splitting beetroot (5)
IRKED – Put together the Roman numeral for one and the colour of beetroot, then insert the last letter (end) of sticK.

24d         Our people uprising after trashing leader’s activity (4)
STIR – Remove the first letter (trashing leader) from a shortened form of the word describing the people of these islands, then reverse (uprising) the result.

17 comments on “Toughie 2182

  1. ProXimal went back up the difficulty scale for this one – I didn’t write in a single solution until I got to 20d and then I worked my way, very slowly, back up to the top again. 5*/3* from me

    Thanks to Mr X and Mr DT

    PS: I think this may be the first week where I’ve actually met all the setters of that week’s Toughies. If there was such a week before, I don’t remember it and I’m certainly not going to go back through the lists to find out – lots of better things to do on this beautiful afternoon

  2. A puzzle where many of the answers needed to be slowly prised out with a lot of penny drops along the way making for a very enjoyable Toughie.
    4d was a new word for me (but luckily not for the BRB). I think that a rascal (17d) is more like a lovable rogue and is not as contemptible as a louse.
    I liked 12a, 22a and 19d but my favourite was the excellent 1a.
    Many thanks (for the second day running) to proXimal and thanks to Deep Threat for the comprehensive review (and the Clouseau clip).

  3. This was a slower solve than yesterday’s back-pager, which I suppose is what one would expect from a Friday Toughie. So much to enjoy and appreciate here. I didn’t know 4d, and had to go off to the dictionary and learn it after my first attempt with ocean (no doubt what the setter hoped I would do) couldn’t be parsed. Extra big smiles during the solve for 1a, 5a, 21a, 22a, 13d, and 24d. My standout favourite and a definite laugh out loud moment was the clever 19d. 4*/5* from me.

    Thanks, again, to proXimal for a most entertaining and satisfying crossword, and to DT for an excellent review.

  4. Defeated by12A, 4D wa a new word but solvable, and I couldn’t parse 19D – I’ve never heard of the synonym for hammered. Other than that, i worked my way through slowly but surely. Thanks ProXimal and DT.

  5. This was certainly tough, but a very enjoyable challenge. In the end I was defeated by (and in retrospect shouldn’t have been ) by two of those pesky four letter entries in 6d and 12a. I think my favourite was another of the four letter entries – 21a. Many thanks to proXimal and Deep Threat.

  6. Brilliant stuff. I started out lulled by a sense that this wasn’t proXimal at his most eXtreme, but quite a few clues did put up a fight befitting a Friday Toughie.

    4d was new to me too, and seemed so unlikely I had to consult the brb before, rather than after, submitting my solution. My last in were the intersecting 26a and 19d.

    I loved the very cute 1a, laughed at 21a, and was 25a by 25a. In the downs, I was rather taken with the image of the shabby sheep farmer (2d) and even more taken with 5d. As for 19d – a wonderful way to finish.

    Many thanks proXimal and Deep Threat.

  7. I too was defeated by 12a, (pesky 4 letter with vowel checkers) and took far too long on 24d and 27a. 1a is brilliant closely followed by 25a

    Many thanks proXimal and Deep Threat.

  8. A lot trickier than his puzzle yesterday but just as classy.

    Perhaps 4d is a Manchester word as it s well known to me. My family always refer to the sea as that.

    I think 19d might be favourite but there’s a lot of good stuff to pick from.

    Thanks to proXimal and DT

  9. 21a reminded me of the commenter with the wonderul alias “Nanaglugglug”. We haven’t heard from her for some time – I hope she’s ok.

  10. Certainly needed the blog here for some parsing and for a couple of answers that I’d convinced myself required different wordplay to what was actually required…

    A very good puzzle that was certainly justified in its Friday slot.

    Thanks to DT and proXimal.

  11. Certainly well deserving of a Friday Toughie slot that had us head scratching for a long time as, slowly but surely, the clues gradually yielded their secrets. 19d was the last one in for us.
    Thanks ProXimal and DT.

  12. Failed on 12a and needed DT’s help with parsing the ending of 28a (silly girl) and the wordplay in 19d. The latter then took a place on the podium along with 22&25a.
    Hadn’t come across 4d previously which would lead me to think that Pommers’ idea of it possibly being a Manchester word isn’t correct. However, my family wasn’t involved in water activities so perhaps it was just an ‘in’ word with nautical northerners!

    Thanks to proXimal for the challenge and to DT for the explanations.

  13. We also failed on 12a.

    Other than that, a great way to end the Toughie week. Favourites were 1a and 22a.

    Thanks to ProXimal and DT.

  14. 12a was my last one in, after a lot of puzzling over it. I couldn’t parse several, including 19d and 26a, although the answers were clear enough. This was certainly very worthy of a Friday Toughie slot, with some ingenious clues, such as 5a, 8d and 15d, my favourite, which didn’t refer to Heath or Home ! Many thanks to proXimal and Deep Throat.

  15. Way out of my league. I was back to working my way through with hints, although I managed to fill a few more in with the checkers on my way through. Many thanks to Deep Threat for guiding me through and to proXimal for making me realise how far I still have to go.

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