Toughie 2225 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2225

Toughie No 2225 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

An enjoyable puzzle that was possibly a tad more challenging than the average Kcit puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Brand market regularly discounted (4)
MAKE: A brand (particular product) is obtained by removing every third letter from MARKET

3a    Enquire about quartet close to the monarch? (5)
PRIVY: ‘To enquire (with impertinent curiosity)’ round the Roman numeral for four

6a    Reprobate, unimpressed, dismissing Liberal (4)
BASE: Take a word meaning ‘unimpressed’ or ‘indifferent’ and remove the letter L (Liberal)

8a    Celeb’s first cry — ‘It’s gruesome’ — after treatment — such as this? (8,7)
COSMETIC SURGERY: The first letter of CELEB + an anagram (after treatment) of CRY ITS GRUESOME gives a treatment that a celeb might undergo

9a    Party leader finally rigged county (6)
DORSET: A party + the last letter of LEADER + ‘rigged’ = a county in SW England

10a    Material long associated with newspaper, perhaps (8)
ORGANDIE: A dress material = a means of communication such as a newspaper + ‘to long’

11a    Object about manipulation of poll: this is traditionally flat (8)
MILLPOND: ‘To object’ round an anagram (manipulation of) of POLL = a stretch of water that is proverbially smooth

13a    Deplorable action linked to a former battleground (6)
CRIMEA: A deplorable action + A = the location of a 19th century war

15a    Armed force disposing of monarch leads to reasonable scandal (6)
AFFAIR: A branch of the armed services with the letter R (king or monarch) removed + ‘reasonable’ = a romantic entanglement

17a    Low charge to secure good area of London (8)
MOORGATE: ‘To low (like a cow)’ + a charge round G (good) = a district of central London

19a    One is enthralled by pleasing features and threatening features (8)
GRIMACES: What the Queen means by ‘one is’ inside pleasing features

21a    Commission executed amongst leaderless crowd (6)
ERRAND: ‘Executed’ inside a crowd with the first letter removed

22a    A naturist option when dancing is the limit (10,5)
SATURATION POINT: An anagram (when dancing) of A NATURIST OPTION

23a    Superior rum knocked back, disposing of one litre (4)
LORD: A superior person = a reversal ‘rum’ or ‘odd’ after removal of one letter L (litre)

24a    Republican suppressed by duke in dominant position (5)
FIRST: R (Republican) inside a duke (part of the hand)

25a    Close off the main line (4)
SEAL: The main (as in the Spanish Main) + L (line)


1d    Stones on the road beginning to interfere with a nut tree (9)
MACADAMIA: Material for preparing a road surface + the first letter if INTERFERE + A

2d    Bird seen in various trees in Asian capital (7)
KESTREL: An anagram (various) of TREES inside the abbreviated form of the name of the capital city of Malaysia

3d    I travel widely, covering France in pursuit of favourite biscuit (5,4)
PETIT FOUR: A favourite + I + ‘to travel widely’ round F (France)

4d    Cool people including first of women in staff (2-5)
IN-CROWD: The abbreviation for ‘including; + the first letter of WOMEN inside a staff

5d    Issue person addressed starts to niggle Government (5)
YOUNG: The person addressed by somebody + the first letters of NIGGLE and GOVERNMENT

6d    Start to ask to play baseball? (9)
BEGINNING: When split (3,6) it could mean ‘to ask for a turn batting at baseball’

7d    Certain to accept espionage group’s hunch (7)
SURMISE: ‘Certain’ round an abbreviation denoting an espionage group and the possessive ‘S

12d    Source of earth contributing to all of mud (churned)? (4,5)
LEAF MOULD: The first letter of EARTH inside an anagram (churned) of ALL OF MUD

13d    Note included in complete equipment, bound together (5-4)
CLOSE-KNIT: ‘To complete’ + ‘equipment’ round N (note)

14d    Obsessive about city spot, according to report (9)
ANECDOTAL: ‘Obsessive’ round the postcode for the City of London and a spot

16d    Scrap during gambling game is disorganised affair (7)
FARRAGO: A scrap of cloth inside a gambling card game (a forerunner of poker)

17d    Less organised, this writer in error turned up without Mike (7)
MESSIER: A personal pronoun denoting ‘this writer’ + a reversal of ‘in error’ with the letter M (Mike) removed

18d    Conservative engaged in a lot of diverse sin (7)
AVARICE: C (Conservative) inside A and ‘diverse’ with the last letter removed = one of the seven deadly sins

20d    Worthless stuff that’s served hot in eatery (5)
CHAFF: H (hot) inside a slang term for a small inexpensive restaurant


14 comments on “Toughie 2225

  1. The nina helped. Thanks to Kcit and Bufo. 21a was my last in until the pdm as to the parsing

  2. I agree that this was a bit more Toughie-like than we normally get from Kcit – thanks to him and Bufo.
    I did wonder whether the way of interweaving the Nina phrases was deliberate or whether Kcit’s original intention was to have each in their own line.
    Top clues for me were 21a and 14d.

  3. I’m in the disagreeing corner again – I thought this was about average for a Kcit, even allowing for how long it took me to see the obvious with 23a for which I have to thank my rare spotting of a Nina

    Thanks to Kcit and Bufo

  4. Definitely tougher than the usual Kcit from my point of view. Sadly, the Nina, which would have helped with my last two, never occurred to me.

    No particular favourite but thanks to Kcit for the challenge and to Bufo for the blog.

  5. I enjoyed this, but it took me a good long time. I found the right hand side a great deal more accessible than the left hand side. I did not spot the Nina when solving – I think I see it now, but I suspect I may not have all of it. Many thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  6. Found this quite hard. Last one in was 23a. did not spot the nina until coming here. Favourites were 14d and 22a.

    Many thanks Kcit and Bufo

  7. It all went relatively smoothly for us until we got to 23a which defeated us. (Pesky 4 letter answers!) If we had spotted the Nina it would certainly have helped but don’t recall seeing one in a Kcit puzzle before so was not on the lookout.
    Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  8. With only 7 comments on this one by this time of night, I think it’s fair to say that it was beyond most mortals.

    With a little help, I am just two short, and haven’t resorted to the hints yet.

    Could somebody please explain the NINA? I’ve read the FAQ but I am none the wiser.

    1. There are two Ninas (if there are more I haven’t found them). One is 1a, 24a, 6a; the other is 23a, 3a, 25a.

      1. Thanks Gazza, but It still didn’t help. I’m afraid it was 6a and 6d which had me stumped. An appropriate word because I know more about cricket than I do about baseball. I resorted to the hints.

        Is Kcit one of our American cousins?

        Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

      2. Found this rather tricky in SE corner: 10a, 25a, 14d. Didn’t spot the Nina obviously.

        Favourites were 17a and 13d.

        Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

    2. I was as much in the dark regarding the Nina (indeed, for that matter all Ninas when they occur) as you were Malcolm, but I daren’t ask. Having now read Gazza’s comment I think I have finally seen the Light – at last ;-) Agreed it was a rather difficult Toughie, but no more so than RayT’s was on the back page. However, confession time now, I had to look to the blog for the answer to 23a. I did have a word that seemed to fit, but somehow didn’t tick all the boxes to be the right one. One reason for few comments may have been because the blog was inaccessible for an hour or two. Probably the result of yet another attack by someone with little better to do with their time. :-(

  9. Fairly straightforward to the north, steadily harder moving south, and then stuck for an age at the close on a couple of the rarer words dotted round the grid. I rarely spot Nina’s, and missed this one as per, which is a pity as it would have helped.

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