Toughie 2249 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2249

Toughie No 2249 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It’s almost three years since the first posthumous Petitjean puzzle appeared and the legacy continues to live on. I didn’t think that this was quite as good as some of the previous ones but it was still an interesting though fairly straightforward solve. There was the odd definition that I wasn’t entirely happy with but they caused no real problems

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a / 4a    What a cooped up hen might do — or its thoughtful owner? (4,1,3,3,2)
MAKE A RUN FOR IT: The cooped up hen might try to escape. The owner might construct an enclosure for it

4a    See 1 Across

10a    Having had more than enough of French composer getting extremely trendy (7)
SATIETY: The surname of a French composer called Erik + the first and last letters of TRENDY

11a    Peter out with new date Wilde is relaxed to accept (7)
DWINDLE: Abbreviations for ‘new’ and ‘date’ inside an anagram (relaxed) of WILDE

12a    List that won’t be found 5 Down (4)
HEEL: ‘To list’ is also part of the body not immediately 5 Down. I hope that’s OK

13a    Assault hill held by Sergeant-Major (5)
STORM: A rocky hill inside the abbreviation for ‘Sergeant Major’

14a    Nuances sporadically reviewed for study (4)
SCAN: A reversal of alternate letters of NUANCES

17a    Lost bomb reportedly lethal, having missed area seemingly miles away (6-8)
ABSENT-MINDEDLY: ‘Lost’ + a homophone of a bomb (4) + ‘lethal’ (6) with the letter A (area) removed = ‘seemingly miles away’ or ‘inattentively’

19a    Defective oily train was at halt? (7,7)
RAILWAY STATION: An anagram (defective) of OILY TRAIN WAS AT

22a    Mistake empty port bottles (4)
TYPO: Hidden (bottled) in EMPTY PORT

23a    Turner‘s endless state of agitation (5)
LATHE: A machine for turning wood or metal = a state of agitation with the last letter removed

24a    What are the odds of that: eleven in cab? (4)
TAXI: The odd letters in THAT + the Roman numeral for eleven

27a    Genius mixed balti I will have yen to finish (7)
ABILITY: An anagram (mixed) of BALTI I + Y (yen)

28a    ‘Male Model’ a niche agency (7)
MACHINE: M (male) + an anagram (model) of A NICHE

29a    Inveigh against management grade (8)
EXECRATE: A member of management (4) + ‘grade’ (4)

30a    Test / paper (5)
ESSAY: Test/a written composition


1d    Top of pole? Telegraph, perhaps (8)
MASTHEAD: This word for the top of a pole on a ship is also something that is seen at the top of the front of the Daily Telegraph

2d    More than one way to have these: on edge of seat or in litter (7)
KITTENS: If you have these you might e in a state of excitement or anxiety (on the edge of your sight). A pet might also have a litter of these

3d    Interjection giving you an edge (4)
AHEM: A + an edge

5d    Where drawing-pin might be found in US? (5,4,5)
UNDER ONE’S THUMB: The first part of the American term for a drawing pin appears as the last word of this answer

6d    Parry with fencing sword (4)
FOIL: 2 meanings: parry/a sword used in fencing

7d    Total extremist (7)
RADICAL: A word meaning ‘total’ or ‘thorough’ can also be a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social change

8d    Square gentleman’s jewellery less quiet (3,2)
TIE IN: ‘To square’ = a gentleman’s jewellery item with the letter P (quiet) removed

9d    Professional or my stats any less unreliable? (7,7)
SYSTEMS ANALYST: An anagram (unreliable) of MY STATS ANY LESS

15d    Somewhat close-run? Clearly, it’s relative (5)

16d    Under-18 record raised? (This is on a bike) (5)
PEDAL: A reversal of a young male and a 7-inch record

18d    Slim / suspect (8)
UNLIKELY: 2 meanings: slim or improbable/suspect or dubious

20d    An award announced for tip off (7)
APPRISE: A homophone of an award for success

21d    Inclination for penmanship (7)
ITALICS: A cryptic definition for inclined writing

22d    Kid‘s afternoon service curtailed (5)
TEASE: ‘To kid’ is a service used to provide refreshment in the afternoon with the last letter removed

25d    Worse than a thief? Half palliard? (4)
LIAR: A person thought y some to be worse than a thief is given by four consecutive letters of PALLIARD

26d    Came out top (4)
ACME: An anagram (out) of CAME


20 comments on “Toughie 2249

  1. This was a absolute delight to solve, probably more like a Tuesday Toughie than one for today, completed at a Toughie fast gallop – **/*****.

    Stand out favourite – the 1a/4a combo.

    Thanks to the holders of the Petitjean legacy and Bufo.

  2. I thought this was great fun – I got on hugely better than I did yesterday. I was still chuckling over the 1a/4a combination when I was closing in on finishing. What a treat to be still enjoying a Petitjean puzzle, and thank you Bufo.

  3. Just a plea for an honourable mention for 28a – in my view an artfully misleading clue. Just how many puzzles can Petitjean have
    stored in his locker? I wish somebody would tell us! Thanks to all

  4. Very little opportunity for crosswords this week but I had to find time for Petitjean. Lots to enjoy – I particularly liked 28a

    Thanks to the legacy keepers and to Bufo

    Now back to playing with the grandchildren

  5. I loved it, as is usual with Petitjean puzzles. Thanks to his family and to Bufo for the blog.
    The clues involved in the photo-finish for me were 1/4a, 12a and 5d.

  6. Very enjoyable and not too tricky, though I did think twice about 18d and I didn’t see 26d for way too long.

    Thanks to all who make this possible and to Bufo.

  7. I love the Petitjean’s when they turn up. This was one of his easier ones and also lacked his usual mischief. Good fun, though. I will concur with most of you above by making 1a/4a my favourite.

  8. This puzzle was ideal for me today. With visitors coming time was limited and, since I have struggled somewhat with the previous two RayT’s, I was not expecting to find time for the Toughie. Luckily the back pager seemed easy today and the toughie was fairly gentle without words or GK I don’t know (not strictly true as I have never come across “palliard” in the clue to 25d but the answer was a lurker). Some nice clues such as 1a and 5d to name but two and no need for dictionary or google

    Thanks to our late setter and Bufo

  9. A real pleasure and privilege to have another great puzzle by this setter. Started chuckling with 1a and our smiles lasted right through the solve.
    Thanks Petitjean and Bufo.

  10. Tee-hee at 1a/4a.

    Please can somebody give an example of how ‘agency’ and 28a can be interchanged? Thanks.

    1. I thought political machine = agency. Didn’t satisfy me completely – best I could come up with.

    2. S. Machine = an organized body of people that controls activities, policies, etc. Agency = one of the administrative organizations of a government. I think that shows they’re interchangeable. For example: The Drinking Water Inspectorate is the agency/machine that you need to contact.

      1. Ah, OK. I’ve failed to notice that meaning of ‘machine’ before — thank you for the education.

  11. Bit late to comment but I decided to give Friday’s back pager a miss and give this a go instead on the recommendation of a few of my fellow commenters and what a splendid decision it was. I almost got there, only needing the hint for 28 across, which for this strictly back page solver is something I’m rather chuffed about. Thanks to all.

  12. 4*/4* (back page rating)…..
    liked 25D (worse than a thief? Half palliard?), once I had looked up what a palliard is/was.

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