Toughie 2281 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2281

Toughie No 2281 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A gentle work-out this morning with no significant hold-ups.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Food and sleep blocked by father (6)
REPAST: A meal = ‘sleep’ or ‘repose’ round ‘father’

4a    Hot day — and climbing outside (8)
SCALDING: ‘Hot (like water near boiling point)’ = D (day) inside ‘climbing’

9a    Ring to evoke military service (4,2)
CALL UP: 3 meanings: to ring or telephone/to evoke/(with a hyphen) conscription into the armed forces

10a    Something arousing? Aroused, I must cut sexual desire (8)
STIMULUS: An anagram (aroused) of I MUST + sexual desire with the last letter removed

11a    Get rid of the clergy in show of penitence (9)
SACKCLOTH: ‘To get rid of’ or ‘dismiss from employment’ + the clergy = coarse material formerly worn in penance

13a    Mostly fit to consume mum’s rice dish (5)
SUSHI: ‘To fit’ with the last letter removed round ‘Mum!’ or ‘Not a word’ = a Japanese rice dish

14a    Fellow handling striker — may win this? (3,2,3,5)
MAN OF THE MATCH: In the cryptic reading the striker is something used to strike a light

17a    Like kind people that rendered condolence ultimately when in distress (6-7)
TENDER-HEARTED: An anagram (when in distress) of THAT RENDERED E (last letter of CONDOLENCE)

21a    Completed penning opening of radical flyer (5)
DRONE: ‘Completed’ round the first letter of RADICAL

23a    Again impose eco-squad, say, with gallons going to waste (2-7)
RE-ENFORCE: What could be an eco-squad (5,5) with the letter G (gallons) removed from the front

24a    Describing vision embracing many years of dramatic spectacles (8)
OPERATIC: ‘Relating to sight’ round an age

25a    Cactus to look short? Small variety coming up inside (6)
PEYOTE: ‘To look narrowly or closely’ with the last letter removed round a reversal of a dwarf breed (e.g. a dog). This would have been better as a down clue

26a    Allies retreating a small amount in disorderly fashion (8)
SLAPDASH: A reversal of allies or friends + a small amount of added ingredient

27a    Arrived with artist, a provider of pictures (6)
CAMERA: ‘Arrived’ + a Royal Academician


1d    About to engage in leisure in a different form (6)
RECAST: An abbreviation denoting ‘about’ inside leisure or refreshing inactivity. A similar construction to 1 across

2d    Much of country retaining reserve militia primarily as law enforcer (9)
POLICEMAN: A European country with the last letter removed round ‘reserve’ and the first letter of MILITIA

3d    A little misrepresentation regarding a course? (7)
SOUPCON: A hardly perceptible quantity = a course of a meal’ and a misrepresentation or swindle

5d    Some difficulty in speaking on stage involving actor’s latest slogan (11)
CATCHPHRASE: An indistinctness in speaking caused by strong emotion + a stage round the last letter of ACTOR

6d    Consequences of assault, perhaps, with some hesitation, producing single pay-out? (4,3)
LUMP SUM: Swellings (which might be caused by an assault) + an interjection denoting hesitation

7d    ‘Inches‘ is not so much when trimmed (5)
ISLES: IS + ‘not so much’ with the last letter removed

8d    Silver reflected delicate illumination (8)
GASLIGHT: A reversal of the atomic symbol for silver + ‘delicate’ = a form of illumination

12d    Mistakenly hail efforts appearing disorganised (3,3,5)
OFF THE RAILS: An anagram (mistakenly) of HAIL EFFORTS

15d    English symbol died in uplifting defeat, and then became more prominent (5,4)
TUDOR ROSE: The heraldic emblem adopted by Henry VII = a reversal of ‘defeat’ round D (died) + ‘became more prominent’

16d    Thoughtful bosses accepting promise of recompense (8)
STUDIOUS: Projecting bosses round a promise to pay back a loan

18d    Gem Queen set in ornate medal (7)
EMERALD: Our queen inside an anagram (ornate) of MEDAL

19d    Thin stuff, reverse of rich, sort of cheese (7)
TAFFETA: A thin glossy silk fabric = a reversal of ‘rich’ + a Greek cheese

20d    Greeting knight, say, after climbing in Swiss location (6)
GENEVA: A reversal of a greeting, the letter denoting a knight in chess, and an abbreviation denoting ‘say’ or ‘for example’

22d    Nothing of great significance in the end (5)
OMEGA: O (nothing) + ‘of great significance’


11 comments on “Toughie 2281

  1. Gentle enough to be a Tuesday back page crossword. I too noticed the double appearance of REST in 1a/1d
    Thanks to Kcit for the crossword and Bufo for the blog

  2. I thought that this was pretty run-of-the-mill with not much sparkle. Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.
    I had to employ Mrs Bradford for the cactus but otherwise it all went in with no difficulties. I was surprised that the same word appeared in 1a and 1d and 14a doesn’t work for me. Surely ‘coming up’ as a reversal indicator (25a) should be reserved for down clues?
    proXimal tomorrow so we should get something a bit more stimulating.

  3. A very gentle Toughie which was quite pleasant on the whole.
    25a is a very obscure answer which is not helped by being clued incorrectly (“toy” is reversed but it is not “coming up”), and the “consequences of assault” in 6d seems a very strange way to clue “lumps”.
    11a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo.

  4. Sorry to say that Kcit in his various guises has rather slid down my list of preferred setters in recent months, something of the old ‘sparkle’ seems to have deserted him.
    No problems here beyond the somewhat obscure 25a.
    I did rather like 11a and the surface of 8d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the review.

  5. A fair bit easier than I was expecting on a Thursday but that happened to be convenient for me as I ended up having less crossword time than usual and I found the Ray T back pager a touch harder than usual. I did not need the iPad to finish this one which is nice. Oddly for me, the one with poor GK, I knew the cactus which I think can be used for hallucinating experiences.

    Thanks to knit and Bufo

    For the first time, I will be looking out for a pan gram minus X tomorrow

  6. As you say, not much to comment on. My only surprise was to realise sushi was supposed to be rice based. I’d always thought it was a raw fish dish with the rice as a cheap filler. One lives and learns.

  7. My fastest Toughie completion ever – probably took a quarter of the time it took for me to finish today’s back pager. A perfect solve for those trying to get a toehold on Toughie solving I would imagine. I needed some electronic help for the little cactus, but otherwise plain sailing. Difficult for me to pick a favourite, but I quite liked 7 & 16. Thanks to Kcit & Bufo, but unlike yesterday I had no need to have my hand held, ;-)

  8. Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the review and hints. I found this quite straightforward, but was beaten by 25a. I agree with Gazza that toy is not coming up, as it’s an across clue. Was 2*/2* for me.

  9. This was a new one on me:
    “Inch” in Scottish and Irish placenames (an anglicisation of the Gaelic innis) usually meaning an island or meadow”. Thanks Wiki.

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