Toughie 2229 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2229

Toughie No 2229 by Stick Insect

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This was a puzzle of two halves for me. The right-hand side went in fairly easily (except for 18 down) but I struggled for a while on the left-hand side

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


8a    Picture getting skittle for a strike (7)
IMPINGE: Take a 5-letter word for a picture and replace the letter A by a 3-letter word for a skittle

10a    Experience less energy (7)
UNDERGO: ‘To experience’ = ‘less’ + ‘energy’

11a    Latin used badly is cut off (9)
INSULATED: An anagram (badly) of LATIN USED

12a    Follow course recording (5)
TRACK: 2 meanings: to follow a trail/one of the items on a gramophone record

13a    Understand part of contrary bishop’s argument (5)
GRASP: Hidden in reverse in BISHOP’S ARGUMENT

14a    Cycling fun: a character coming last is not bothered (7)
UNFAZED: The first letter of FUN moved to the end (cycling) + A + the spelt-out form of the last letter of the alphabet

17a    Pa perhaps in revolutionary claim, with men let out to protect base (8,7)
CHEMICAL ELEMENT: Here Pa is the atomic symbol for protactinium. Take the first name of a Marxist revolutionary followed by an anagram (out) of CLAIM MEN LET round the base of natural logarithms

19a    Most wanted by bureau, possibly, gets to work anywhere (3-4)
HOT-DESK: ‘Most wanted’ + an item of furniture such as a bureau = to work somewhere where each worker is not assigned a particular workstation

21a    Avenger almost left, showing staying power (5)
STEEL: Take the surname of the central protagonist in the TV series The Avengers (John Steed) and remove the final letter. Then add L (left)

24a    Repeated an error, no men involved (5)
RERAN: An anagram (involved) of AN ERR, i.e. AN ERROR less OR (other ranks = men)

26a    In a crude way, old British activity disheartened lady (9)
OBSCENELY: O (old) + B (British) + activity + the first and last letters of LADY

27a    We yearn for variation a week after Christmas (3,4)
NEW YEAR: An anagram (for variation) of WE YEARN

28a    Refuse to bring in Republican over Democrat’s lie? (7)
RECLINE: Take a word meaning ‘to refuse’ and replace D (Democrat) by R (Republican). That gives ‘to lie in a recumbent position’


1d    American’s talking nonsense when wine is imbibed by jerk (6)
JIVING: An American word for ‘talking nonsense’ = the French word for ‘wine’ inside a jerky movement. I didn’t know this Americanism

2d    A job destroyed renegade (8)
APOSTATE: A + ‘job’ + ‘destroyed’

3d    Our friend is a help with login changing (10)
ANGLOPHILE: Someone who likes the English is an anagram (changing) of A HELP LOGIN

4d    After bike, communist seizes mounted horse, maybe (9)
QUADRUPED: A four-wheeled ‘bike’ + a communist round ‘mounted’ = an animal such as a horse

5d    Fix flow backing up (4)
EDIT: A reversal of the flow of the sea

6d    Fake tears upset Zoe at first (6)
ERSATZ: An anagram (upset) of TEARS + the first letter of ZOE

7d    Design a Morse character after US president (5,3)
POLKA DOT: A fabric pattern = the surname of James, the US president from 1845 to 1849 + A + a character in Morse code (not a dash)

9d    Corrodes anode, a right mess finally (4)
EATS: The last letters ANODE, A, RIGHT and MESS

15d    A right lavish binge runs away with church (4,6)
FREE SPEECH: Something recognised as a human right = ‘lavish’ + a binge with the letter R (right) removed + an abbreviation for ‘church’

16d    Support company leaders in panel (9)
BACKBOARD: ‘To support’ + the group of people that administer a company = a panel (e.g. the one behind the basket in basketball)

17d    Lucid old woman’s taken in by coin (8)
COHERENT: O (old) and a female pronoun inside a coin

18d    River development New England excluded in critical description (8)
EXEGESIS: A river in SW England + a development or creation with the letters NE (New England) removed = a critical interpretation of a Biblical text. I knew this was a word but I’d no idea what it meant

20d    Defeated personnel in urban setting (6)
THROWN: The two-letter abbreviation for what used to be called personnel inside an urban community

22d    Amateurs spread pieces (6)
LAYMEN: ‘To spread’ + chess pieces

23d    Employer bottled by Scouse ruffian (4)

25d    Require enmity, lacking the French (4)
NEED: Remove LE (the French) from enmity or dislike


11 comments on “Toughie 2229

  1. Particularly friendly but enjoyable pangram

    Thanks to Stick Insect and Bufo

  2. Fairly gentle but enjoyable – thanks SI and Bufo.
    I thought that 12a was a triple definition, with course being a racetrack.
    My ticks were awarded to 19a and 20d.

  3. I did have to verify the meaning of 18d and also the ‘enmity’ definition required for 25d but otherwise it was just the unknown 17a that caused any problems here. Like Gazza, I thought 12a was a triple.

    Very pleased that my office working days were long behind me before the advent of 19a’ing – can’t imagine anything more likely to destroy harmony in the workplace.

    Thanks to Stick Insect and to Bufo for the blog.

  4. I am someone who has just re-subscribed to Telegraph Puzzles. I had unsubscribed because when I retired just over a year ago I cleared out my files and found I had many hundreds of untouched crosswords (colleagues used to give me broadsheet crosswords). I took them home and when my subscription ran out I started on them. Not surprisingly the last twenty or so puzzles were by Elgar in his various guises and which require a bit of courage and a lot of time to tackle. Now the pile has gone and I am back with Telegraph Puzzles, regular looks at this blog and perhaps an occasional comment under a new post-retirement pseudonym

    I really enjoyed today’s toughie. The setter is new to me. Most unusually for me there was only one unfamiliar word (the Americanism in 1d). I knew the answer to 18d because it appeared in one the Morse series when Lewis tells the superintendent that someone was unavailable because he was studying the *** of ancient grimmoises (no idea of the spelling or what grimmoises are!). I found the reactions of Morse and the super quite funny so it stuck in the mind and I looked the words up (failing on grimmoises)

    Many thanks to Stick Insect for an enjoyable puzzle and to Bufo for the blog

      1. Thanks – I now know the spelling and, after looking, the meaning. It has been puzzling me for twenty years or so.

      2. It has just struck me that the word that I have had no idea how to spell for decades is actually a book of spells.

  5. I liked 7d but it’s a daunting thought to realise Donald Trump is the 45th in a long line of presidents. So many future clues!

  6. A slow start in the NW as we had initially put RAVING in for 1d. We questioned this and got the right answer when we spotted a pangram was a probability. Managed to twig 17a when we had just one checker in place which was a big help in giving letters to work with. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Stick Insect and Bufo.

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