Toughie 2262 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2262

Toughie No 2262 by Elkamere

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

One of the joys of the Friday slot is having an Elkamere to blog and finding out it is a pangram. I made more use of Chambers than usual, though turns out I had come across all of the grid entries before. 2d was my first one in, then 9d gave me access to the rest of the puzzle, with SW wielding last.

Definitions are underlined as usual. The hints are intended to help you untangle the wordplay, and if need be you can reveal the answers by clicking on the click here buttons. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Vanishing cream consumer? (8,3)
CHESHIRE CAT: Cryptic definition – not a person using vanishing cream, but a cream consumer who vanishes

10a    Sound reason for not becoming an alien? (5)
NOISE: Split (2,2,1), the answer is an instruction to transform NOT from the clue into an alien

11a    Rattle stone that’s found outside (9)
CREPITATE: The stone in a fruit that has (that’s) another word for found or establish around it (outside)

12a    Just the thing to be put in uniform (9)
EQUITABLE: A 2-letter pronoun meaning the thing goes inside (to be put in) a word meaning uniform or smooth

13a    I’ll ultimately bring in master (5)
LEARN: The last letter (ultimately) in I’ll, plus a verb meaning to bring in or take home, as in pay

14a    World works to conserve energy (6)
PLANET: Works or a factory contains (to conserve) the abbreviation for energy

16a    A monster we love, contrarily (8)
WEREWOLF: WE from the clue plus the reversal (contrarily) of a dialect term of endearment, similar to love or pet

18a    Capital Radio presenter absolutely cracks North America (8)
N’DJAMENA: A 2-letter abbreviation for a radio presenter plus a prayer conclusion that can mean absolutely goes inside (cracks) the abbreviation for North America – to give the capital of Chad

20a    Champ is wearing gold, by the way (6)
OBITER: A verb meaning champ goes inside (is wearing) the heraldic colour gold to give a Latin word

23a    Write off to incomplete address (5)
TOTAL: TO from the clue plus the first 3 letters (incomplete) of a 4-letter address or speech

24a    On strike, cutting the wrong wire (9)
TELEGRAPH: A cricket term meaning on plus a verb meaning strike go inside (cutting) an anagram (wrong) of THE

26a    Control guards on retreat (9)
MONASTERY: Control as in domination or the upper hand contains (guards) ON from the clue

27a    Mathematician’s second to divide double two (5)
TWAIN: The second letter in mathematician goes inside (to divide) an adjective meaning double

28a    Right pocket (11)
APPROPRIATE: Two meanings, the second a verb meaning to take


2d    Kublai Khan rewritten to omit awful blank verse (5)
HAIKU: An anagram (rewritten) of KUBLAI KHAN to omit an anagram (awful) of BLANK

3d    Small ribbon perhaps around small cupcake (7)
SWEETIE: The abbreviation for small and a ribbon or fastener goes around a Scottish word for small to give an item of confectionery which doubles as a term of endearment

4d    Smart young reporter, one causing nightmares (6)
INCUBI: A short word meaning smart or trendy, a junior reporter, and the Roman numeral for one

5d    English name assumed by awesome miser (8)
EBENEZER: The abbreviation for English, then the abbreviation for name is contained in (assumed by) a Scottish slang word meaning awesome

6d    Rough area seen in cut armpits (7)
AXILLAE: A word meaning unwell (as in feeling rough) plus the abbreviation for area go inside (seen in) a verb meaning cut

7d    How a childhood romance may start (4,4,1,4)
ONCE UPON A TIME: Cryptic definition referring to a children’s story

8d    Fun-seeker‘s complaint when catching a fish (8)
GADABOUT: A painful complaint of the big toe goes around (when catching) A from the clue plus a kind of fish

9d    Old bicycle in bits? (5-8)
PENNY-FARTHING: Bits as in coins

15d    Notice project given to soldier, possibly an officer (8)
ADJUTANT: A notice or bill, a verb meaning to project, plus a 6-legged soldier

17d    Cast-off clothes? (8)
KNITWEAR: A cryptic definition with a pun on cast-off, which here refers to a technical term used in the preparation of woolly garments using two needles

19d    Chicken breeds must be in shock (7)
MILKSOP: Another word for breeds or types goes inside a slang word for hair or shock

21d    Sports car craze? Attending this regularly (7)
BUGATTI: A craze or obsession, a preposition meaning attending and the odd letters (regularly) of this

22d    Spotlight malfunction (4,2)
PLAY UP: Two meanings, both verbal, the first to emphasize in importance

25d    A great stop! (5)
AVAST: A from the clue plus a word meaning great or immense


I enjoyed the cryptic definitions today, especially 7d. I liked the clever misleading surfaces of 10a, 14a, 23a, 17a, 22a, and more. Which clues were your favourites?

15 comments on “Toughie 2262

  1. I really enjoyed this – a Toughie that was joy from start to finish as the pennies began to drop . Nice to have clues which are clever without being over verbose.

    Thanks to Elkamere for the fun – I particularly liked 1a and 17d although I could list many many more but I have to get the housework done before Roger and Rafa come on court. Thanks too to Dutch

  2. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle. Not often I finish an Elkamere but they are always fair and it is my laziness that usually leaves a couple. Some I put in without being positive of my parsing but all correct. My favourite is 18a.
    Thanks to Elkamere and Dutch to unlock the mysteries of my parsing.

  3. Very enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Elkamere and Dutch.
    It took me ages to parse 10a as I started out by trying to find an appropriate word from which I could delete ‘ise’. The penny eventually dropped with a loud clang.
    I particularly liked 1a, 12a and 23a.

  4. We particularly liked 1ac. Thanks to Elkamere and to Dutch for some delightful illustrations.

  5. When it comes to beautiful and very clever clue writing then I think Elkamere is the best. Unfortunately for me he also makes use of words and GK outside my range. In today’s puzzle the count for unknown words or background knowledge was 14 (whole word, part of word or in clue) so tackling the puzzle was a research project with ipad in hand. The answer to 1a came to me very quickly but I only knew of the animal grinning. I never remember how to spell the NZ rugby war dance despite it appearing in crosswords fairly regularly. Of the clues I managed unassisted I particularly liked 24a, 26a and 27a. I have seen variants to 17d and 28a fairly recently so I managed those without too much fuss.

    Many thanks to Elkamere for an entertaining research project and to Dutch, especially for clarifying the Scottish “awesome”, which I failed to find even with my iPad.

    1. The new Zealand Maori ceremonial dance is a HAKA.
      A HAIKU is a japanese poem of 3 lines: 5, 7 and 5 syllables.

      I’m guessing you may have found the illustration confusing

  6. I agree that this was a wonderful puzzle and hugely enjoyable. The NE corner held me up for quite a while – although the miser should have been obvious enough, like Patch, I had never heard of the ‘awesome’ in 5d, and nor, for that matter, the rattle in 11a or the armpits in 6d. However, I did get it all eventually . Like others, 1a gets my vote for favourite. Many thanks to Elkamere and Dutch.

  7. Lunch date meant that I had to leave this one with three clues unsolved – SO frustrating. Not to worry, I took great delight in regaling my dining companions with 1a, quite the most amusing clue I’ve come across in a long while.

    On my return, I realised that my three problem clues revolved round an incorrect answer for 11a. Thought I’d been so clever finding ‘cresselle’ – a wooden rattle used in the RC church – even though I couldn’t work out the parsing. That will teach me………….

    Long list of favourites – 1a in the top spot followed by 5,7,17 & 25d.

    Many thanks, Elkamere, and thanks to Dutch for the blog and the brilliant pic at 1a!

    1. That’s a coincidence – yesterday I was tackling a (non-Telegraph) puzzle and got stuck on a clue, reached for the ipad and came up with “cresselle” which seemed to fit the definition perfectly and … well it was unparsable. Oddly, for one of limited vocabulary, I was familiar with the word that is the answer to today’s 11a but only in the sense of it meaning “crackling”; “crackling” and “rattling” may not be as different as “sweet” and “sour” but they seemed too different to be credible – but the dictionary accepts both.

  8. Thoroughly enjoyable solve that I found slightly less demanding than some Elkamere’s, but still a very stern test for me.

    Thanks to Dutch and Elkamere.

  9. 10a, still no clue about the alien thing! 7d and 9d absolutely read-n-write-in. 2 down relatively easy, 18a never knew the meaning of Amen, despite saying it at least once a day when at school!
    Like may others never knew the Scots slang expression, or the Latin word for nightmares nor the answer to 20a meaning “by the way”, the dictionary may accept “bite” as meaning “champ” but to me “chew” is closer to “champ” , Latin too? Got 24 across but had to read the tips to see why it was right. Spent ages trying to find an anagram of “armpits” that meant “rough area” ! Why did I think of Scrooge straight away but not his first name!!!
    Overall, a stinker as usual. That’s why it is called the Toughie and thickos like me should stick to the back page. But thanks for all the help, although 10a still escapes me!

    1. Hi Stanley,
      Take the answer NOISE and split it as per Dutch’s hint so that it reads NO IS E. Then take NOT from the clue and follow the instructions – NO (becomes) E. So, instead of having NOT, you have our favourite alien ET. Ergo – NOT becoming an alien.
      Hope that helps!

Comments are closed.