Toughie 2227 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2227

Toughie No 2227 by MynoT

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Congratulations to MynoT for hitting a century of Toughies.

Blog will be updated later.



1a Lacking parking, place second street last (6)
UTMOST: place or set down without P (lacking parking) + second (2) + street (2)

4a His tempo when playing could be the devil (8)
MEPHISTO: HIS TEMPO, anagram (playing)

9a On Nile flowing back, one goes east to find current (2,4)
EL NINO: the first two words of the clue reversed (flowing back) where I (one) is moved to the left (goes east)

10a Rebel in study with time could become lacking in moral vigour (8)
DECADENT: the surname of a fifteenth-century rebel goes in a study room + T(ime)

11a This should not be removed from fine pasty after cooking (6,3)
SAFETY PIN: FINE PASTY, anagram (after cooking)

13a Mournful music brought back by English network (5)
DIRGE: reversal of (brought back by) E(nglish) + a network/framework

14a Fish getting on boat for sport (13)
SKATEBOARDING: type of fish + getting on a boat or other vehicle


17a Snappish storm spoilt fair play (13)

21a Voluntaries regularly appearing to be extravagant (5)
OUTRE: regular letters (regularly appearing) of vOlUnTaRiEs

23a Outpouring from snout with broken bones and head, reportedly (9)
NOSEBLEED: anagram (broken) of BONES + homophone (reportedly) of head/front

24a Heard lord chant, very loud (8)
PIERCING: homophones (heard) of a noble and to utter melodious sounds

25a Dress for races in river (6)
ATTIRE: annual motorcycle races held in the Isle of Man go inside a Yorkshire river

26a Using two languages at that time causes increase in duration (8)
LENGTHEN: abbreviations for Latin and English + ‘at that time’

27a Withdraw to have 31 days back in Rome? (6)
SECEDE: reverse (withdraw) the abbreviation for a 31 day calendar period inside something of which Rome is an example (another would be Ely)



1d A French female swallowing rough sea causing apprehension (6)
UNEASE: French female indefinite article containing (swallowing) anagram (rough) of SEA

2d Written declaration of opinions is plain ordinary (9)
MANIFESTO: ‘plain’ + abbreviation for ordinary

3d Singer‘s evil towards regiment (7)
SINATRA: evil (3) towards (2) + the artillery arm of the British Army

5d River monuments heartlessly vandalised send everyone away (6,5)
EXEUNT OMNES: river in SW England, then anagram of (vandalised) MONUmENTS without middle letter heartlessly)

6d Hard instruction about a magpie (7)
HOARDER: H(ard) + instruction/command around A

7d Medium in dried-up sample on slide (5)
SMEAR: M(edium) in dry and withered

8d With Vogue short of capital in a mess this will preponderate (8)
OUTWEIGH: WITH [V]OGUE without its first letter (short of capital), anagram (in a mess)

12d Having more importance than others in front of cardinal (3-8)
PRE-EMINENCE: prefix ‘in front of’ + cardinal

15d Mischievous child concerned about half of HM Excise being inexact (9)
IMPRECISE: mischievous child (3) + concerned about (2) + half of HM Excise

16d Halt exercises in railway bar (8)
ESTOPPEL: halt (4), school exercise lessons (2), inside a US informal shortened form of an elevated railway

18d Rhyming lines in service accompanied by tango (7)
TIERCET: alternative spelling of a church service (link) + Tango in the NATO alphabet

19d Regular attendant sees a drop in colour (7)
HABITUE: a drop, a small amount (1,3), inside colour/shade

20d Stick publicity in this place (6)
ADHERE: publicity (2) + ‘this place’

22d Position of wheels that is returning in fashion (3-2)
TOE-IN: Latin ‘that is’ reversed (returning) in an old-fashioned word for fashion


Thanks to MynoT, and congratulations again.

20 comments on “Toughie 2227

  1. Nothing too difficult here, and that was welcome after a lengthy tussle with Vlad in the Guardian. Enjoyed this one.

    Thanks to Kitty and MynoT (and congratulations on the ton)

    1. Yep, been a good day in crosswordland today. Hope The Times is better than yesterday to make a perfect four.

  2. A very good start to the Toughie week completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 14a (although I am not sure it is a (true) sport), 6d, and 15d – and the winner is 15d.

    Thanks to MynoT, and congratulations on the ton, and Kitty.

  3. The only thing which made this mostly pleasant Toughie in anyway tough were a couple of bits of obscure general knowledge: the rebel in 10a and the service in 18d. Fortunately I was familiar with 5d from my schooldays.

    I would say this wouldn’t I, but I think the Americanism in 16d should have been indicated (although I suppose to be fair it seems to be fairly commonplace in crosswordland).

    12d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to MynoT and congratulations on 100 up. Many thanks too to Kitty.

    1. RD. 16d: normally, I don’t mind unindicated Americanisms because they are usually pretty well known in the UK. But I think you’re right to mention it here – a very obscure, shortened Americanism indeed! Using the old chestnut – Halt exercises in the Spanish bar (8) – might have been better, considering it was generally a pretty mild Toughie.

  4. This was so much nicer than the back page which I found difficult and unfriendly . Reading the back page blog I do seem to be in the minority.

    My only hiccup here was the spelling of dried up. To me that is “sere” while ““sear” is to burn. However, the BRB gives both spellings .

    Thank you to MynoT and Kitty despite lulling me into a false sense of superiority as I started the back page!

    1. Like you, JB, I have always thought of dried up synonym being as per “in the sere and yellow”.

  5. I’m more than a bit puzzled by 9a.

    Going east is to the right … isn’t it?


    1. After the reversal of the whole lot (ELINNO), the I does move to the right

  6. A pleasant puzzle which I found less of a struggle than the pack-pager. Thanks (and congratulations on reaching the milestone) to MynoT and thanks to Kitty.
    My ticks went to 24a, 5d and 19d.

  7. Have been out living the high life today so haven’t had chance to look at this one as yet – will report back in due course.

    1. There is a bit of ‘General Knowledge’ needed here. Google the answer or look for it in BRB and all will become clear.

  8. Well, talk about horses for courses – I thought the back-pager from Mister Ron was a walk in the park by comparison!
    Quite a few bits and pieces that I had to look up and some remarkably unhelpful surface reads. Not my favourite puzzle of the week.

    Nevertheless, congratulations to MynoT on his century and many thanks to our Girl Tuesday for the much appreciated links which helped enormously with some of the parsing.

  9. That was a lot more entertaining than the Cryptic – thank you JB for the recommendation. 7d and 22d had to be but they were unparsed by me (thanks Kitty for making all clear). So many ingenious clues hence disinclined to nominate a top dog. Thanks MynoT and felicitations on your century.

  10. Thought that the rebel in 10a was a cad and couldn’t account for the extra E.
    There was a mistake already in Monday’s 551 and cursed at the DT for not proofreading properly. My mistake this time.
    Funny how both kitties gave us such straightforward reviews. Is it full moon?
    Lots of love to you two and thanks for the reviews.

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