Toughie 2255 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2255

Toughie No 2255 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Positive proof, as if it was needed, that light and fluffy can be enjoyable! Watch out soon for a special “Fluffy” NTSPP from this setter.

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1a    Organic source of energy from fish circling island (7)
BIOMASS: a fish around the abbreviation for an island in the Irish Sea

5a    Country clubs in unexpected denial (7)
ICELAND: put C(lubs) inside an anagram (unexpected) of DENIAL

9a    Occasionally iffy panties torn? Fix them with this! (6,3)
SAFETY PIN: an anagram () of the even letters (torn) of IFFY with PANTIES

10a    Plant‘s singular advantage (5)
SEDGE: S(ingular) followed by an advantage

11a    Trunk in doctor’s office (5)
TORSO: hidden (in) inside the clue

12a    Stress about papers with small mistakes (9)
ACCIDENTS: a stress or emphasis around our usual papers followed by S(mall)

13a    Nut‘s broken as I chop it (9)
PISTACHIO: an anagram (broken) of AS I CHOP IT

16a    Left in awkward spot with no way out (5)
BLIND: L(eft) inside an awkward spot or problematical situation

17a    Figure way to cope with garden? (5)
DIGIT: split as (3,2) this could be a way to cope with a garden

18a    Grows rapidly? Start moving lodgings! (9)
MUSHROOMS: an instruction, say to a team of huskies, to start moving followed by some lodgings

20a    Find fault with brew including very soft fruit (4-5)
CRAB-APPLE: a verb meaning to find fault with followed by an alcoholic brew around (including) the musical notation for very soft

23a    Tighter without jacket? That’s strange (5)
EERIE: an adjective meaning tighter or more under the influence of an alcoholic brew, without its outer letters (jacket)

25a    Greedy about old duck (5)
AVOID: an adjective meaning greedy around O(ld)

26a    Issue no longer scheduled to appear (9)
OFFSPRING: a three-letter adjective meaning no longer scheduled followed by a verb meaning to appear or emanate

27a    Broadcast vote on PM that’s at the centre of celebration? (7)
MAYPOLE: what sounds like a vote or election is preceded by (on in an across clue) the surname of the current, but not for much longer, Prime Minister

28a    Confines northern missiles (7)
NARROWS: N(orthern) followed by some missiles


1d    Kiss then kill in pick-up location (3,4)
BUS STOP: a four-letter verb meaning to kiss followed by a verb meaning to kill

2d    Present from official turned up (5)
OFFER: a two-letter word meaning from followed by the reversal (turned up in a down clue) of a sports official

3d    For member of high-flying mission, say, set or sound acuity regularly needed (9)
ASTRONAUT: this cleverly concealed word is derived from the even letters (regularly needed) of five words in the clue

4d    Pies cooked a shade of brown (5)
SEPIA: a bit of a gimme – an anagram (cooked) of PIES followed by the A from the clue

5d    Troublesome onions, cut up with ends removed, becoming harmless (9)
INNOCUOUS: an anagram (Troublesome) of ONIONS with CU[t] and U[p], the last two words without their final letters (with ends removed)

6d    Moved carefully, rented without liability initially (5)
EASED: a verb meaning rented a property without the initial letter of L[iability]

7d    Quite speedy and opposed to refusal (9)
ANDANTINO: this musical notation is derived from the AND from the clue, a word meaning opposed to and a refusal

8d    Trimmed rising pudding with date rather than toffee primarily (7)
DRESSED: the reversal of a pudding or sweet with D(ate) instead of the initial letter (primarily) of T[offee]

14d    Indicate a politician’s one in agreement (9)
SIGNATORY: a charade of a verb meaning to indicate, the A from the clue and a conservative politician

15d    Mite might possibly be such material for punster (9)
HOMOPHONE: the relationship between the first two words in the clue could provide material for a punster

16d    Dog secures European record for host (9)
BARKEEPER: a word which could be applied to most dogs (certainly to our Badger) around E(uropean) and an Extended Play record – back in the sixties this type of record was a good way to acquire two singles, together with their flip sides, for less than the price of the two singles [most singles cost 6/8d, 40p in today’s money]

17d    Speak of French island surrounded by shellfish (7)
DECLAIM: the Frech for “of” followed by I(sland) inside (surrounded by) a type of shellfish

19d    10 seconds to describe student’s insults (7)
SLEDGES: the answer to 10 Across and S(econds) around (to describe) the letter which represents a student

21d    What is heard of some Saudi oligarchs (5)
AUDIO: hidden (some) inside the clue

22d    Small and fragile female trapped in rising river (5)
ELFIN: F(emale) inside the reversal (rising in a down clue) of a famous African river

24d    It may charge cash (5)
RHINO: two definitions – an animal that may charge and a colloquial word for cash (that I have only ever encountered in crosswords!)

Delightful, as ever.

16 comments on “Toughie 2255

  1. Pleasant puzzle – thanks to Chalicea and Big Dave.
    I had to laugh at 9a (though I wondered if ‘Extremely frilly’ might be better than ‘Occasionally iffy’?).
    I ticked 17a and 22d with my favourite clue being 18a.

    27a reminded me how important it is to get one’s punctuation correct to avoid getting into trouble:
    a) Theresa, Maypole dancer
    b) Theresa May, pole dancer.

  2. I absolutely loved this from start to finish. The SE took me a little longer than the other three corners, with 19d my last one in.

    9a raised a big smile and gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to BD.

  3. Enjoyed the puzzle-not too hard today but even more so Gazza’s two most amusing jokes. Thanks to all.

  4. Cantered through this enjoyable puzzle **/****. COTD 18A with 9A a close second.

  5. A delightful Tuesday Toughie, not to mention the great jokes from Gazza!

    Like BD, I’ve only come across 24d in crosswords and same goes for 19d. Seems from a bit of research that the latter lives on in the world of cricket but if that’s the case, I’m surprised that it was RD’s last one in.

    Favourite here was 18a, particularly for the use of ‘start moving’.

    Many thanks, Chalicea, and thanks to BD for the review.

    PS 9a isn’t something I’d care to use on either my ‘frilly’ or ‘iffy’ panties!

    1. My delay with 19d surprised me too. I expect you would have been able to hear my “D’oh” in Anglesey.

  6. The top half went in a lot quicker than the bottom. It didn’t help trying to solve 15d as an anagram. 23a and 24d were bung ins. Ta to all.

  7. A slight holdup when our first try at 1a was BIOFUEL but the checkers soon put paid to that and then everything flowed smoothly with several chuckles along the way, especially with 9a. All good fun.
    Thanks Chalicea and BD.

  8. All the anagrams helped this solve a lot .
    I particularly liked 17a . 27a and 25a .
    Thanks to Chalicea and BD .

  9. This Toughie was the furthest I’ve got by myself in ages, before coming here for hints. I managed all of the top half, which is unusual for me. Thank you, Chalicea — and to Big Dave for some much-needed hints in the bottom half.

    I liked 21d because it seemed like it was going to be a homophone indicator, (but that was 15d!) and 8d. Like a few others, my favourite was 18a.

  10. Thanks to Chalicea and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Fluffy it was, but also very enjoyable. My first one in and favourite was 9a. No major holdups, just needed the hints to parse 3d and 23a. Was 2*/4* for me. Great fun.

    1. Heno, your mentioning 3d reminds me (thanks!): can anybody explain what the “for” at the beginning is doing? It makes the definition look like it’d be something used by a high-flyer, rather than a high-flyer themselves.

      Are there any conventions about when the definition isn’t at either of the end of the clue?


      1. Hi Smylers, the for probably means “to get”. I think it’s a bit like a lurker clue where the “in” gives you an idea of what to do to solve it. I commented on your question before I realised that Chalicea had replied. The definition can sometimes be in the middle of the clue, providing it’s not an all in one.

  11. Big Dave’s site has been down so I have had to delay commenting on Gazza’s delightful frilly undies (yes, a better clue than mine). Smylers – yes, that ‘for’ was rather sneaky, but I think I am technically in order. When I started setting (a long time ago) I had ‘For + definition’ ‘Of + wordplay’ Scotch-taped onto the table – taken from Don Manley’s crossword manual. I believe it is still in order even if the ‘for + definition’ creeps to the start of the clue – and, as here, hides the definition word(s). I’ll try any trick in the book to be just that bit less fluffy and really appreciated those comments. Many thanks to Big Dave for the blog.

    1. That’s funny – FOR and OF are nailed to my forehead too (thanks to Prolixic!)

  12. I saved this to do instead of the Friday back pager, which I don’t always get on with. I enjoyed it lots and almost completed it but needed a couple of hints in the SW corner, and confess to not fully understanding18a though it was obvious from the definition and checkers. When I attempt a toughie I always look at the hint for either the first or second accross clue if I can’t immediately get them to get something of a start. In this case it was 1a, which was enough to complete the top and bottom right unaided.
    Anyway, as a regular backpage solver I can safely say that this was still “unfluffy” enough to be a level up from most of them but just as much fun. I liked 9a especially.
    Thanks to Chalicea and Big Dave for their excellent works

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