Toughie 2245 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2245

Toughie No 2245 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A steady and an enjoyable solve in which I didn’t come across the only anagram until right at the death. It was the SE corner that caused me most grief but this was only because I’d bunged in a wrong answer to 28 across

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Positive sales talk is what identifies good auditors (8,5)
ABSOLUTE PITCH: ‘Positive’ + a sales talk = something that music lovers may have

9a    One captures most of kingdom in fairytale situation (9)
UNREALITY: ‘One’ round a kingdom with the last letter removed

10a    Revolutionary times after importation of British weapon (5)
SABRE: A reversal of ‘times’ or ‘ages’ round B (British)

11a    Suggestion about international group making connection (3-2)
TIE-UP: A suggestion or hint round a group of countries

12a    Avoid / garbage collector (4)
SKIP: 2 meanings: to avoid/a large container for transporting waste

13a    Rotten bounder back chasing power (4)
POOR: P (power) + a reversal of an Australian marsupial

15a    Study about financial district: clearly lacking guts and proper behaviour (7)
DECENCY: A study round the postcode for the City of London + the first and last letters of CLEARLY

17a    Way to get money but not wife? It’s sneaky (7)
STEALTHY: An abbreviation denoting a way or thoroughfare + lots of money with the letter W (wife) removed

18a    Think highly of that female character one’s encountered in chapter (7)
CHERISH: A pronoun denoting that female character + I (one) + ‘S in the abbreviation for ‘chapter’

20a    High-flier‘s position? Family’s taken aback about that (7)
SPUTNIK: An early spacecraft = ‘to position’ inside a reversal of ‘family’s’

21a    What describes the Northern English around outskirts of York? (4)
TYKE: A Northern form of ‘the’ and E (English) round the first and last letters of YORK = a Yorkshireman. The whole clue provides the definition

22a    Article falls from part of flight producing commotion (4)
STIR: Remove the indefinite article from part of a flight (from one floor to the next)

23a    Father retreating amidst a lot of political upheaval in holiday venue (5)
CORFU: A reversal of an abbreviated form of ‘father’ inside a political upheaval with the last letter removed = a Greek island

26a    College that is blocking alternative source of lectures (5)
ORIEL: An Oxford college = the abbreviation for ‘that is’ inside an alternative and the first letter of LECTURES

27a    Over-excited, fail to hold gaze, missing initial connection (9)
HYPERLINK: ‘Over-excited’ + ‘fail to hold gaze’ with the first letter removed = a connection on a website

28a    Commit money received, subsequently reducing gamble (4,3,6)
TAKE THE PLUNGE: ‘Money received’ + ‘subsequently’ with the last letter removed + a gamble


1d    Cut up about newsman interrupting praise for training (5,9)
ADULT EDUCATION: A reversal of CUT round a newspaper chief inside praise = training for the more mature

2d    Agreed to accommodate grand movement of the masses (5)
SURE: ‘Agreed!’ round G (grand)

3d    Writer I found in confines of cell attached to main prison (4,6)
LEAD PENCIL: A writing implement = ‘main’ + a prison + I in the first and last letters of CELL

4d    Dry river passing through current place (middle of factory yard) (7)
THIRSTY: R (river) inside the present time or place + the middle letter of FACTORY + Y (yard)

5d    Science films covering year probing hydrogen and sulphur (7)
PHYSICS: A scientific subject = ‘films’ round Y and round the atomic symbols for hydrogen and sulphur

6d    Trial? There’s some magistrates there (4)

7d    Traveller, not completely drunk, swallowing first drop of gin, the nasty creature (9)
HOBGOBLIN: A traveller (tramp) and ‘drunk’ with the last letter removed round the first letter of GIN = a frightful apparition

8d    Rather daring in the way of osso buco? (4,3,7)
NEAR THE KNUCKLE: The last word is the main ingredient of osso buco

14d    Pulse racing about choir, nothing less, offering gloomy tones (10)
SEPULCHRAL: An anagram (racing) of PULSE + ‘about choir’ with the letter O (nothing) removed

16d    What’s used to verify threat to King going over border (9)
CHECKLIST: A threat to the king in chess + a border

19d    Funny thing about time with mum being ace (7)
HOTSHOT: A funny thing round T (time) and ‘Mum!’ = an ace

20d    Second figure of speech framing hard stanza (7)
STROPHE: S (second) + a figure of speech round H (hard)

24d    Restriction limiting head of Government’s time in power (5)
REIGN: A restriction round the first letter of GOVERNMENT

25d    Criticism showing reduction in scale (4)
FLAK: A small flat scale with the last letter removed


13 comments on “Toughie 2245

  1. I enjoyed this very much, although my progress was pretty slow. In the NW corner I did not help myself by putting BLUE as the first word in 3d, and it took me while to sort it all out. (I am more used to PERFECT for the expression in 1a which further added to the challenge.) In the SE corner, it took me a long time to get the longer expressions in 8d and 28a. I was also slower than I should have been in getting 14d (which I think is my favourite). Many thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  2. Still solving this toughie !
    On checking Bufo’s hints-why is list a synonym of a border, I cannot find this anywhere ?

    1. I seem to remember from my marquee sewing days that ‘list’ is the selvage or unfraying border/edge on a roll of canvas or any other cloth.

  3. This one seemed as touch harder than what we have been offered this Toughie week. Like Bufo I found the SE corner the most problematic with 19d taking longer than it should, 20d being a word I have seen in crosswordland before but do not really know and 27a proving tricky without the first two checking letters. Favourites include 1a, 9a, 20a, 27a and 19d. Overall a pleasant enough puzzle

    I once ordered osso buco in Rome and was brought quite literally a meatless bone in a thin broth that was virtually devoid of flavour – so 8d brought back a memory

    Many thanks to Kcit and Bufo

  4. A steady solve.
    The answer to 2d needs amending – add the “g”.
    What fun to see 20a after all these years. We’ll have the music for Telstar next!

  5. Thoroughly enjoyable and no great difficulty in completing it, although we didn’t have LBR’s needlework knowledge and needed to consult the dictionary to check it.

    No particular favourite today, so thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

    1. It was quite a while ago, long before the aluminium extrusions that make ‘frame tents’ came about. Finials, kingpins, ridges, dolly knots, mains, block and tackles and banging loads of pegs into tree roots and chalk, both of which can be extremely difficult to pull out again.

      My area of speciality was working out the cutting measurements to make a) gable ends, (sections are straight) and b) linings (run and fell seams) that would sit away from the canvas so as not to leak by capillary action. Tricky maths – the gable corner cannot be straight, it has to be curved, so pi comes into play.

      Never mind the whipping in of eyelets by hand with a ‘palm’, which, if you get it wrong, will shove a four inch needle up your wrist, which is not ideal.

      Sorting out computers is much easier and better paid, but actually, I prefer gardening for a pittance!

  6. LIST for border needed a confirming dictionary check but it was somewhere in the back of our minds. An enjoyable tussle that all went together relatively smoothly for us.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  7. Thanks Bufo & Kcit – a steady solve. didn’t understand why list was border but bunged it in. Funny, took me a while to see 1a, I’m more used to “perfect pitch”.
    I liked 6d.

  8. Yep, steady and at a reasonable pace, with a question mark by “list”. As ever an enjoyable solve from Kcit.

  9. A steady solve here too except I didn’t know the figure of speech and I’d never heard of the stanza, so needed the blog’s assistance.

    Enjoyable puzzle, with thanks to Bufo and Kcit.

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