Toughie 2198 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2198

Toughie No 2198 by Artix

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

An interesting puzzle by Artix with a nice variety of devices. I got the He (12a) before the She (1a), and for some time I was trying to find a suitable partner for him. I’m not completely sure about 22a and 19d, suggestions welcome.

The definitions are underlined as usual. The hints are intended to help you unravel the wordplay, and you can reveal the answers by clicking on the ANSWER buttons. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    She … let the racy lad run amok, ending in pregnancy? (4,10)
LADY CHATTERLEY: An anagram (run amok) of LET THE RACY LAD plus the last letter (ending) in pregnancy

9a    Acoustic musician’s band (7)
WRAPPER: A homophone (acoustic) of a musician who talks not sings

10a    Conclude radioactive element briefly leads to fire (7)
INFERNO: A 5-letter verb meaning to conclude or deduce plus the chemical symbol (briefly) of a radioactive element

11a    With hail ahead, this storm‘s mean (4)
RAGE: A verb meaning storm. If you place the Latin for hail before the answer, you get a word for mean

12a    He … had following after appeal to snatch lost grail? (3,7)
SIR GALAHAD: HAD from the clue comes after (following) an abbreviation for Sex Appeal containing an anagram (lost) of GRAIL

14a    Cricket team like beanpole being not out (6)
WITHIN: A 2-letter abbreviation for a cricketing nation plus an adjective meaning “like beanpole”

15a    Mammoth show to make viewers cough? (8)
TELETHON: A cryptic definition for a long tv show designed to make viewers cough up (money)

17a    International police unit involved in domestic crime (8)
HOMICIDE: The abbreviation for International plus a 3-letter abbreviation of a police unit go inside (involved in) a word meaning domestic

18a    ‘Saucy‘ accountant nicking jazzy tie (6)
ACETIC: A 3-letter abbreviation for accountant goes around (nicking) an anagram (jazzy) of TIE

21a    Burnt remains cleaned out by new detective (6-4)
CANDLE-ENDS: An anagram (out) of CLEANED plus the abbreviation for new and a 2-letter abbreviation for a detective

22a    Wave combo in pools (4)
PERM: Two meanings, the first referring to a hairdo and the second I assume is short for a permutation or combination in betting

24a    Job’s welcome, perhaps, for player from Stratford (7)
OTHELLO: The answer is a Shakespearian character. Job is a biblical character in the old testament, so his welcome might be an (1,1,5)

25a    Make one punt with wise bet excluding outsiders (7)
UNITISE: Central letters (excluding outsiders) in “punt with wise bet”

26a    Challenge posh character before ally uncovered goods impounded by Ulster criminal (6,8)
UPHILL STRUGGLE: The abbreviation for upper-class, a Greek character, the central letters (uncovered) of ally, then two G’s (goods) go inside an anagram (criminal) of ULSTER. Phew – a challenge indeed.


1d    Non-intellectual argument in support of blue book (7)
LOWBROW: A 3-letter argument is underneath (in support of) a word meaning blue or down plus the abbreviation for book

2d    Game staff’s informed about skill (on paper) (15)
DRAUGHTSMANSHIP: A board game where you capture opponents by jumping over them, a verb meaning to staff or crew (plus the ‘S) then an informal 3-letter word meaning with it, or informed about, as in *** to the jive

3d    Head & Shoulders. They’re covered in it
CAPE: A headland as well as a garment covering the shoulders (thank you halcyon and Sheffieldsy). Apologies for illustration where it also covers the head, should have had supergirl.

4d    Don’t start air force attack with wind up (6)
AFRAID: The 3-letter abbreviation for the air force without the first letter (don’t start), then a word meaning attack

5d    What-d’you-call-’em left out of blurred sightline (8)
THINGIES: Remove (out of) the abbreviation for left from an anagram (blurred) of SIGHT(L)INE

6d    Beaming, as cold’s restricted by new green fuel (10)
REFULGENCE: the abbreviation for cold goes inside (restricted by) an anagram (new) of GREEN FUEL. A new word for me.

7d    Ground-breaking? (5-10)
EARTH-SHATTERING: A cryptic definition where the answer is both a literal and figurative equivalent of the clue

8d    Kim’s ready to accept poetry’s dull (6)
WOODEN: Kim’s ready, i.e., the North Korean currency, goes around (to accept) some poetry

13d    Relish sound of easy task in garden (10)
PICCALILLI: A homophone (sound of) of a not-so-strenuous task in the garden (4,1,4)

16d    Maybe saw if you do this it’ll produce goalless draw? (4,4)
EDGE TOOL: A saw would be an example of the answer. Read cryptically with the first word as a verb, the answer would produce OO, a goalless draw

17d    Greek fighter to do as Harrier does (6)
HECTOR: A Troyan warrior is also a verb meaning to harry or annoy

19d    Appear to mob a presenter (7)
COMPERE: Ah, many thanks CS and others. A verb meaning to appear or show up goes around (to mob) a 3-letter word meaning a (as in a head)

20d    Regulate pop-up? Barely! (6)
ADJUST: A 2-letter promotion exemplified by a pop-up (or maybe as some have suggested, a reversal (up) of dialect for pop or father) and an adverb meaning barely or scarcely

23d    What bouncer does to get university place (4)
LIEU: A bouncer is also a fibber, I’ve learnt. So, what a bouncer does plus the abbreviation for University. Apparently this clue was different in the paper version, though it’s the same wordplay construction.

My favourite clues were 17a & 25a and I also thought 1a and 12a were pretty good, with the wordplay forming extended definitions. Which clues did you like?

30 comments on “Toughie 2198

  1. This week’s one Toughie certainly did what it says on the tin. It was at times a 26a but I got there in the end. I did the opposite to Dutch and got 1a first and spent a while trying to fit the matching He in 12a

    22a my dad did the football pools where you had to ‘perm any one from, say, three’

    19d COME (appear) ‘mobs’ or goes round PER (a)

    Thank you to Dutch and especially to Artix for a crossword with which a solver could actually do battle

  2. I didn’t think this was quite as tough as Artix has given us in the past (or perhaps I’ve got more attuned to his style) but still definitely worthy of the Friday Toughie slot. I enjoyed it a lot – thanks to Artix and Dutch.
    My podium was populated by 1a, 24a and 4d.

    The 23d meaning of bouncer was new to me.
    I did wonder whether the pop-up in 20d was simply the intrusive and annoying ad or whether it was meant to be a reversal of Da (dialect word for father/pop).
    I remember my father doing a 22a every week when he entered his selections on the football pools.
    19d is simply COME (appear) containing (to mob) PER (“a”).

      1. I didn’t, pop-up is plainly an ad in my book.

        CL (and Dutch) have clearly had problems today, didn’t spoil my paper solve of a very good crossword.

    1. I confess I didn’t see the reversal. The question mark steered me straight to a definition by example, though it could also be an excuse for the hyphen.

  3. Nice crossword and agree with Dutch’s ratings. Needed Dutch to explain the full parsing of 16d.

    For 19d we had come = appear around per = a (as in 23p a dozen/per dozen).

    Favourite clue was 11a.

    Thanks to Dutch and Artix.

  4. Re 3d: Your garment doesn’t necessarily cover the head and neither does the other one with a different first vowel.
    Thanks for the blog and thanks to Artix for the puzzle.

    1. Ah. I think you and shefieldsy are right. Definition is head. am assuming the surface refers to the anti-dandruff shampoo.

      Will fix. Argh, I’m not doing very well.

      1. As Sheffieldsy says in the comment below – double definition – the solution is a ‘head’ of land and also a garment covers the shoulders

  5. Interestingly, the clue to 23d in the actual paper edition has no reference to bouncer. It reads, “Fib to get university place”. And for 3d, surely head = cape and the garment just covers the shoulders?

    1. I wondered why I didn’t understand Dutch’s hint – comes of solving the crossword some five hours before the review appears

    2. Wonder why the change? Anyway, I don’t get the paper, I only see the online version.

      And I think you are right with head, as is halcyon. Will change that too. Argh, not doing too well here!

  6. I got almost all of this, but in the end I was stung by a couple of the four-letter entries. I didn’t know the bouncer reference and thus I missed on 23d – (‘situ’ was the best I could come up with – I think I would have got it had the clue been as Sheffieldsy indicated it was in the paper edition) and I couldn’t figure out the wave in 22a. I was disappointed in getting so close but not being able to finish. However, I did enjoy the challenge. Many thanks to Artix and Dutch.

  7. This was a mite too tough for me and needed quite a bit of help from Dutch. 17d – well, I knew he definitely wasn’t a Greek fighter but of course he was a fighter of the Greeks. Got me! I liked the challenge and was pleased with the ones I could solve. The hardest of the week, methinks. 13d – I had all the Ls, but not necessarily in the right order. Didn’t help!

  8. That was certainly a true Toughie – thought that CS would have enjoyed it!

    I might have got 22a more quickly with the online clue, the dead tree version had the clue as ‘wave prediction’. Same would probably not have been true of 23d where the paper version of the clue was easier.

    Most of my problems came in the SW corner and 16d was the last to fall. Didn’t and still don’t care for that one – I wouldn’t ever describe a saw as a 16d and neither does the BRB from what I can see.

    Podium places went to 1,9&15a plus the neat 7d.

    Thanks to Artix and to Dutch for the blog.

    1. Ah – I’ve just looked at the hint again. Perhaps it should read that the second word of the answer is possibly a saw?

    2. blimey, another difference between the paper and online version – any more?

      The 2-word answer to 16d, according to Chambers, is a tool with a sharp edge, which could possibly be a saw. Many tools to choose from, i’m guessing saw was chosen because it is also the past tense of see, for the surface.

      1. Yes, two more:

        24a: ‘Job’s welcome, perhaps, for one in Shakespeare’.

        8d: ‘Kim’s ready to accept written work that’s dull’.

        1. interesting – i did think ‘player from Stratford’ was inaccurate. Does that the suggest the paper is a “final” version and the online version missed out on a few final edits?

          1. I’m not sure about that. In 8d, ‘poetry’ seems more to the point than ‘written work’, although I think that ‘poem’ would have been even better. Perhaps, someone from the Telegraph could explain.

  9. We had 23d wrong. We had been kind to our bouncer and given him a chair. The dead tree version would have been much more straightforward. Certainly quite a tough challenge and good fun to slowly work through it all.
    Thanks Artix and Dutch.

  10. Too tough for me, although I made a good start on the top half I came to a grinding halt lower down and had to give up and consulted Dutch!
    In the answer given to 13d I think Dutch has made the same spelling mistake as I did, which stopped me getting the first word of 26a, and despite Dutch’s explanation I’m still unsure about 16d.
    Down to earth with bump today, but I did enjoy the struggle.
    Thanks anyway to Dutch and Artix.

    1. Ah, well spotted. I had 26a already, so i did manage to spell it correctly during the solve. Anyway, fixed, with thanks.
      16d if you “edge” (i.e. remove the edges of) TOOL you are left with OO

  11. Just done this one on holiday at Plettenberg Bay. A real Toughie in my book. Entered “Ophelia” for 24a (work=op, rest not figured out) so failed to get 16d which in truth I probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway.

    Rest all ok, using the paper version.

    Belated thanks to Artix and Dutch.

Comments are closed.