Toughie 2219 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2219

Toughie No 2219 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Kitty

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BD Rating  –  Difficulty ** –  Enjoyment ***


Hi everyone.  Today is a Chalicea Tuesday — yay!  I found it of a normal difficulty level for the day and the setter.  I’m not quite sure which way is up at the moment so I’ve left the enjoyment rating untouched, but please shout at me if you think it should be higher!

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



1a    Brief  union (7)
COMPACT:  We start with a double definition: brief or concise, or an alliance or treaty

5a    Clumsy homeopaths dropping the prepared cleansing liquid (7)
SHAMPOO:  An anagram of (clumsy) HOM[e]OPA[th]S without (dropping) an anagram of (… prepared) THE

9a    Synthetic, mouldable material; it’s making a comeback in building, mostly (7)
PLASTIC:  IT’S, reversed (making a comeback), inside most of a word meaning a building (building mostly)

10a   Fliers love victims on board (7)
OSPREYS:  The letter which looks like a love score in tennis is followed by what a predator hunts inside the two-letter abbreviation of a type of ship (on board).  When searching for pictures, I found many results from a particular live cam, so thought I’d include the link to that for the bird-lovers among us — enjoy!

11a   Nine tricks of a rabbit mating display? (9)
ABUNDANCE:  Split (1,3,5) this might be a courtship display of a rabbit.  It’s also nine tricks in solo whist (something I had to check, as I had only the faintest recollection that the answer was something-or-other in cards)

12a   Aides working privately (5)
ASIDE:  AIDES anagrammed (working)

13a   Requires massages, it’s said (5)
NEEDS:  The answer sounds like (… it’s said) massages (6)

15a   Delegated group to reach around a little bit over time (9)
COMMITTEE:  To reach or arrive (4) goes around a small amount, in turn containing (over) the letter used as a symbol for time

17a   Leader of tour intercepting hapless laggers who’d ultimately wandered from group (9)
STRAGGLED:  The first letter of (leader of) tour is inside (intercepting) an anagram of (hapless) LAGGERS.  Finish with the last letter of (… ultimately) who’d

19a   Framework we’re filling involving new drudgery (5)
GRIND:  That which we’re currently engaged in filling with letters containing (involving) the abbreviation for new

22a   Put out about female getting sack (5)
RIFLE:  Put out or irk around (about) the abbreviation for female.  Sack in the sense of plunder

23a   Grease-monkeys in disastrous mischance (9)
MECHANICS:  An anagram of (disastrous) MISCHANCE

25a   When owls fly in a gallant manner, we’re told (7)
NIGHTLY:  This sounds like (we’re told) an adjective meaning gallant or chivalrous

26a   Most important person is turning to face the Queen, becoming louder? (7)
NOISIER:  Combine the most important person (2,1), written in an abbreviated way, IS (from the clue) reversed (turning), and the two letters which can stand for our current queen

27a   Barely sufficient society, principally one advancing cash (7)
SLENDER:  The first letter of (… principally) society plus someone from whom a borrower borrows

28a   Suspected pirate died having penned lines (7)
SMELLED:  A pirate from Peter Pan and the abbreviation for died containing (having penned) two instances of the abbreviation for line



1d    Leader fit to stop first son (7)
CAPTAIN:  Fit or appropriate inside (to stop) the first son in the Bible

2d    Short drink, certain to be of specified size (7)
MEASURE:  Join together most of (short) a brew of honey and water and a synonym of certain

3d    Contents of upset muscadet cask produced an effect (5)
ACTED:  The answer is part of (contents of) the reversal of (upset) two words in the clue

4d    Doubtfully ethical, involving separate new chapter requiring special knowledge (9)
TECHNICAL:  An anagram of (doubtfully) ETHICAL containing (involving), separately, abbreviations for new and for chapter

5d    Grunting sound of shattered prophet quitting Hamlet’s castle (5)
SNORE:  An Old Testament prophet in two separate pieces (shattered …) is removed from (quitting) Hamlet’s castle

6d    Attractive area, very quiet venue of film studio (9)
APPEALING:  Abbreviations for area and for very quiet (in music) plus the district of west London which is home to, and gives its name to, a famous film studio

7d    Estimate consequence of ancient Briton consuming Chianti, say (7)
PREDICT:  An ancient Briton containing (consuming) something of which Chianti is an example (say)

8d    Indecent fuss in support of former pupil (7)
OBSCENE:  A fuss or commotion is after (in support of, in a down answer) an abbreviation for a former pupil.  Might refrain from illustrating this one …

14d   Cunningly nested gem cleaved into sections (9)
SEGMENTED:  An anagram of (cunningly) NESTED GEM

16d   Remedies of powerful Italian family head cut back (9)
MEDICINES:  Take a prominent Florentine family in history and add a geographical head without its last letter (cut back)

17d   Jumps up to find what might be after Alice? (7)
SPRINGS:  This word meaning jumps up is also something which can follow Alice to give an Australian town

18d   Fugitive freezes, regularly skirting smoky atmosphere on end of ridge (7)
REFUGEE:  Regular letters — in this case the even-numbered ones — of freezes wrapped around (skirting) a dense, often smoky atmosphere; this all sits atop (on, in a down answer) the last letter of (end of) ridge

20d   First language one recalled going round Italy (7)
INITIAL:  The language of ancient Rome and its empire is followed by the appropriate numeral for one, all reversed (recalled) and containing (going round) the IVR code for Italy

21d   Lusted-after teacher caught in act (7)
DESIRED:  The title used for a (male) teacher inside (caught in) an act.  Maybe another one to leave unillustrated

23d   Head of corporation‘s serious, undergoing change of heart (5)
MAYOR:  Serious or important with the middle letter changed (undergoing change of heart)

24d   Boxer on day of victory demonstrating chi? (5)
ALIVE:  The name of a celebrated boxer is written before (on, in a down answer) a day of victory in WWII


Thanks to Chalicea for today’s mid-paper grid-based fun.  My favourite has to be 11a.  Which one(s) did the trick for you?


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


16 comments on “Toughie 2219

  1. Much more solver friendly and more enjoyable than today’s back pager – **/****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 11a and 5d.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Kitty.

  2. Fairly gentle but enjoyable – thanks to Chalicea and Kitty.

    I seem to remember Giovanni (the fount of all knowledge on the OT) insisting once that Eli (5d) was a priest, not a prophet – or have I confused him with someone else (Eli that is, not Giovanni)?

    As someone who used to play Solo Whist I loved the rabbit mating display of 11a so that’s my favourite. Others that I ticked were 22a and 21d.

    1. According to the fount of all knowledge (Wikipedia), the Bible says he was a priest and the Talmud says he was a prophet – heads or tails?

      1. I’ve been searching for the Giovanni comment and eventually found it on Toughie 1967 by Sparks – see here. He definitely thinks that Eli was no prophet.

  3. This was light but great fun. Needless to say 11a was my favourite and I love Kitty’s wonderful pole dancing rabbit.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to Kitty.

  4. Impossible to see beyond the pole-dancer for favourite in today’s enjoyable offering from Chalicea. Guessed that the reference was to a card game but it could just have easily been bridge to my uneducated brain!

    Thanks to Chalicea and to our lovely Girl Tuesday for today’s blog. I often look at the Osprey webcams although it tends to be those on the Dyfi and Glaslyn projects. The resident female at Glaslyn, Mrs G, has produced three eggs this year – a record clutch for England and Wales.

  5. Well,I am in total agreement with our dear blogger and all commentators so far, that 11a is today’s star clue.

    I did not like plac(e) for building though and unfortunately I solved it very early on which put me in an over critical mood for the rest of it.

    In retrospect it was a better puzzle than I felt at the time.

    Thanks to Chalicea and of course Kitty

  6. The easiest Toughie for a while for us, but good fun too.

    We also liked 11a but 25a ties with it on our podium.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Kitty.

  7. We worked out what the answer to 11a had to be but the definition was new to us. Google was not much help so went back to the good old BRB and there it was in the definitions of the answer. We were kept smiling and chuckling right through the solve.
    Thanks Chalicea and Kitty

  8. As expected a gentle, enjoyable start to the Toughie week. * for difficulty, **** for entertainment value.

  9. Thanks to Chalicea and to Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite gentle for a Toughie. No major problems, I just about remembered 11a. Some lovely surfaces and good clues. Favourite was 21d, great double meanings. Was 2*/3* for me.

  10. Many thanks to all and especially to Kitty for the dancing bun (and, of course the review). I am certainly getting a reputation for being the gentlest Toughie but so glad to read that word ‘enjoyment’ in your comments.

  11. Enjoyable solve…
    liked 11A (nine tricks of a rabbit mating display?) and the cartoon to the hints !

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