Toughie 2194 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2194

Toughie No 2194 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

This is Elgar’s 132nd Telegraph Toughie. And, as usual ever since Elgar reached triple figures (except on Dave’s tenth anniversary), the puzzle cunningly alludes to this number. If you haven’t already spotted the theme during your solve, it won’t take you long to see what is going on after looking at this blog. It felt like this took me less time than most other Elgars, though I did get stuck for a while in SW and NE – I wanted so much to enter ROCKETLESS for 8d. I know, but it just seemed like a nice story.

As always, definitions are underlined. The hints are intended to help you unravel the wordplay, and you can reveal the answers by clicking on the 11×12 buttons. Please leave a comment to tell us how you got on and what you thought. Many thanks.


1a     Estimated data in list equals set here? (5,5)
ROUND TABLE: A word for estimated and a word for ‘data in list’.

6a     Pay fine to, over counter (4)
FOOT: the abbreviation for fine plus a reversal (counter) of TO from the clue and the cricket abbreviation of over

10a     Something stimulating is live on the box, but not half holy (5)
BETEL: A verb meaning live goes on an informal word for the box we watch in the evenings without (but not) the last two letters (half) of holy

11a     Arrangement to teach nurses about twelve little signs (3,6)
THE ZODIAC: An anagram of (arrangement to) TEACH contains (nurses) a reversal (about) of an abbreviated (little) description of twelve (1,3)

12a     Labourer? I give you about one hundred pounds (8)
HERACLES: another way of saying ‘I give you’ (4’1) contains (about) an article meaning one, the Roman numeral for hundred and the abbreviation for pounds

13a See 17a

15a     Grip Spooner’s battle-axe that’s not allowed in pub? (7)
HANDBAG: An old battle-axe who’s been told never to return to a pub would be a (6,3)

17a & 13a One of a brainy 26 making adjustments to a van recliner (7,5)
CRANIAL NERVE: An anagram of (making adjustments to) A VAN RECLINER

19a     Those people must embrace the principles of justice, united by right (3,4)
THE JURY: A pronoun meaning those people contains (must embrace) the first letters (principles) of justice, united by the abbreviation for right. An all-in-one.

21a     Income tax dodges by Cambridge college (7)
TAKINGS: TAX from the clue avoiding (dodges) the letter that is used for multiplication (‘by’) and a well-known Cambridge College

22a See 24a

24a & 22a Forecastable winds instilled with bit of uniformity? (8,5)
BEAUFORT SCALE: Another all-in-one! An anagram (winds) of FORECASTABLE contains (instilled with) the first letter (a bit) of uniformity.

27a     Having to stop working oxen in retirement, he’s penned epic (3,6)
THE AENEID: A reversal (Having … in retirement) of a verb meaning ‘to stop working’ (as your phone or computer might) plus another word for oxen or cattle contains (‘s penned) HE from the clue

28a     Omar repeatedly would carry one such bouquet (5)
AROMA: Hidden (would carry) in OMAROMAR

29a     Drama just after twelve (4)
NOON: A Japanese drama plus a preposition that can mean just after (def 18 in chambers, e.g. ** completing the puzzle)

30a     Leading dog breed whose work will leave a lasting impression? (10)
TYPESETTER: A 6-letter dog, before which (leading) we have a 4-letter word for breed or sort



1d     Is making fun of cage (4)
RIBS: Two meanings, the second protecting the chest cavity

2d     Raise stakes put heated in ground dig mostly ignored (2,3,4)
UP THE ANTE: An anagram (ground) of PUT HEATE(d i)N, ignoring the most of DI(g) from the clue

3d     Having delivered some cards, read out a letter (5)
DELTA: A homophone (read out) of a word meaning ‘having delivered some cards’ (e.g. in poker) plus A from the clue

4d     100 is 2’s to gain – with crown to lose out (7)
ANTILOG: Looking for a mathematical relationship here (base 10). An anagram (out) of TO GAIN plus L, the first letter (crown) of lose.

5d     Closes rank about one of the deposits being blown (7)
LOESSIC: An anagram (rank) of CLOSES goes around (about) the Roman numeral one

7d     The branch at the heart of the stocking trade? (5)
OSIER: The central 5 letters (the heart) of a 7-letter word for the stocking trade

8d     What’s totally wrong about Elliott’s visitor being unable to get home? (10)
TICKETLESS: If you get everything wrong, your homework will lack certain teacher’s marks and be this (8). Put this about Elliot’s visitor in the eponymous Spielberg movie

9d     Fine to load grass up following flash Jacko routine (8)
MOONWALK: An informal 2-letter expression meaning fine contains a reversal (to load … up) of an area of grass, all after (following) an informal word for flash or brief moment

14d     Hit times with maiden spent in what? (5,5)
WHITE SATIN: An anagram (hit) of TI(m)ES IN WHAT (having spent the abbreviation for maiden). Is this an all-in-one? The whole clue is certainly an allusion to the answer.

16d     Actor arresting Anglican is burnt in Rouen (5,3)
BRUCE LEE: The French (in Rouen) word for burnt contains (arresting) the abbreviation for the Anglican church

18d     In it, modified sermon replaces one that’s extremely intimate (9)
INNERMOST: An anagram (modified) of SERMON replaces the second I (one) in IN IT from the clue

20d     Inclination to act loutishly by Hooke (not hook) or by crook (7)
YOBBERY: An anagram (crook) of BY (hook)E OR BY.

21d     Lift weight off bunk (7)
TWADDLE: A reversal (lift) of the 2-letter abbreviation for weight and a word meaning off or rotten

23d     Make up for dropping down to Pyrenean peak (5)
ANETO: A verb meaning ‘make up for’ in which TO from the clue is dropping down to the end of the word

25d     Criticism approaching the end of the 22 (5)
FLAKE: A 4-letter word for criticism plus the last letter (the end) of the

26d     Of course, standard’s one in two (4)
PAIR: A standard score on a golf course includes (in) the Roman numeral for one


My favourite clues were the all-in-ones, because, well, I just like all-in-ones. I also liked the moment I understood 4d. Which clues did you like?

15 comments on “Toughie 2194

  1. Friday Tough but not as Elgar Tough as some have been in the past.

    I was happy that I spotted the theme but then I do have a post-it on the office wall telling me what the next Elgar number is and worked out the link fairly early on in the solving process Lots to enjoy – I’ll particularly mention 19a and 28a but I could list more if I had time

    Thanks to Elgar and Dutch

  2. I agree that this didn’t require the full complement of wet towels usually demanded by an Elgar but it still necessitated a short lie-down to recover after completion.
    It was very enjoyable though I didn’t know the Pyrenean peak, the 5d deposits or what the definition of 4d means.
    I had many ticks including 1a, 19a, 8d and 16d.
    Many thanks to Elgar and Dutch.

    1. I had to really (I mean really really) dig deep to remember the antilog, or antilogarithm and how to calculate , then after a quick bit of scribbling I remembered the antilog of 2 is a 100

  3. Well, I got letters into all the little boxes but certainly needed Dutch to explain some of what I’d entered.
    New things to learn were 27a (I only knew of The Iliad) plus 5,20&23d. As for 4d, I’ll take Dutch’s word for it and move on!

    Haven’t as yet managed to arrive at the required number – think I’m missing two of them. Perhaps Dutch would be kind enough to enlighten me later in the day.

    Thanks to Elgar for the brain befuddlement and the rather nice earworm. Many thanks to Dutch for everything else!

      1. Thanks, Dutch – I’d got my space missions mixed up and obviously can’t count when it comes to ‘cages’!

        1. You probably did not did not get your space missions mixed up – it’s the number of moon walkers to date

          1. 11 & 12a gave the game away for me (well hinted at least), but admit I missed that one Dutch, thanks

  4. As ever, great puzzle from JH and an excellent blog from Dutch. Thanks for explaining 4d.
    Favourites 16d & 21d – very elegant.
    Didn’t see the theme, I think I’ll have to try Crypticsue’s method and write down the next number. Cheers to all.

  5. Looked at whole puzzle. Once off and running and theme established the answers fell into place all but a couple. Used your tips to fill the gaps. Only used answers to cross check afterwards. Great blog. Thanks.

  6. Twice the enjoyment here – once solving the moderately tricky puzzle and once coming here for the enlightenment as to the Elgar number and the subsequent treasure hunt! Loads of fun, thanks Elgar and Dutch!

  7. Having completed the puzzle with no help from these hints, I don’t think I can be totally thick but I can’t see why the theme of all the 12s refers to the fact that it’s Elgar’s 132nd Toughie. Please enlighten me!

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