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Toughie 2410

Toughie No 2410 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by The Man with No Name

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good Morning. The sun is shining here in Downtown L I. It is still deathly silent so we can hear the mice in the attic going about their business (Not for much longer they won’t be) Our twelve rehomed hens are becoming more normal as each day passes. When we first released them into their five-star luxury coop they stood stock still not knowing how to be chickens. What a difference freedom makes. What a friendly bunch they are.

Today’s puzzle is a suitably tender Tuesday Toughie. Nothing too obscure and full of Chalicea’s trademark fun.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Secret devotee of Latin, even in translation (9)
VALENTINE: A very nice anagram (in translation) of LATIN EVEN to start us off.

8a    Little hut for Mac and Morag as well, with yard (5)
BOTHY: Begin with a word that might describe two people together. Add the abbreviation for yard to find a little hut used to provide shelter on mountains. Our setter has used Mac and Morag to suggest that the answer is Scottish in origin

10a    Source of danger lacking power in sacred text (6)
MANTRA: A device that may once have been a source of danger to poachers and trespassers has the initial letter of the word power removed. Make them legal I say.

11a    Took exception to profits and material help (8)
GAINSAID: A word meaning profits is followed by a word meaning help, typically of a practical nature

12a    Most basic bank website ignoring the odds (6)
BAREST: A bank such as Dogger made of a large sand mass is followed by the odd numbered letters of the word website.

14a    Pet butterfly, say (6)
STROKE: A double definition. To pet or caress a pet or a particular style of moving the arms and legs in swimming.

16a    Tart left in cooler (4)
FLAN: Place the abbreviation for left inside a rotating cooler

17a    Inactive liquor apparatus (5)
STILL: The apparatus used to make spirits (whisky, gin, etc.) can also mean inaction

18a    Commonly quit humbug (4)
BUNK: Another double definition. The second being used in a famous quote by Henry Ford. “History is more or less ****. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history that we make today.”

19a    Duke holding base adult party (6)
FIESTA: A duke here is a clenched hand ready for fighting. It needs to hold the relatively new addition to our crosswording memory bank, the logarithmic symbol for base. It’s the letter E. commit it to memory. It’s being used quite a lot lately. In fact, I would like to ask Chalicea when she first became aware of this useful addition to her array of tricks. Add the abbreviation for Adult

21a    Brawl after anger almost produces depression (6)
FURROW: Place a loud disturbance (brawl) after a truncated (almost) word meaning extreme anger or violent rage

24a    American appeal for help securing top quality insulating material (8)
ASBESTOS: A three-part charade. 1 The abbreviation for American 2 The international Morse Code three-letter Mayday call. 3 A word meaning top as in finest or greatest. Arrange to suit the wordplay

26a    Twisted nose is comely in Scotland (6)
SONSIE: Anagram (twisted) of NOSE IS. A new word to me.

27a    Chilli used in Mexican chowder (5)
ANCHO: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. Indicated by the word in

28a    Doddery elder aunt, not linked by blood (9)
UNRELATED: Anagram (Doddery) of ELDER AUNT. Saint Sharon had three Mums and three Dads. She also has a Sister who is no blood relation whatsoever. I gave up long ago


1d    When upset, youth leaves for lunch? (5)
SALAD: A two letter word meaning when is reversed (upset). It is followed by a male youth

2d    All others fall: hold back! (8)
RESTRAIN: Two synonyms needed her. One meaning the others and one meaning fall as in water droplets from the sky

3d    A flirt with no worries (2,4)
AT EASE: Split 1,5 we have the letter A from the clue followed by a verb meaning to flirt with someone. If you want to see how the youngsters of today go about flirting have a browse through TikTok. You will be either appalled or jealous of their freedoms

4d    In good order, arms given up (4)
SNUG: Arms or weapons collectively reversed (given up)

5d    Cat runs after its prey (6)
MOUSER: The usual prey of a cat is followed by the cricketing abbreviation for runs.

6d    Showing reluctance, northern monarch shoulders honorific Indian title (9)
SHRINKING: The abbreviation for northern is followed by a male monarch. Together they sit beneath a word of Indian origin meaning a title of respect used before the name of a man, a god, or a sacred book.

9d    Islam’s regulated prayer book (6)
MISSAL: Anagram (regulated) of ISLAMS. My auntie Nellie bought me of these for Christmas in 1962. I still have it.

13d    Criminal one caught by the force (5)
THIEF: The letter that looks like the number one is caught by the word the from the clue. Together they are followed by the abbreviation for force

15d    Obvious issue with middle of religious chant (9)
PLAINSONG: A synonym of the word obvious is followed by one’s issue as in children. You either have boys or girls. When you work out which is required you can add the central letter of the word religious

17d    Recoil about worker’s crude shelter (6)
SHANTY: A verb meaning to recoil or step suddenly aside from contains one of our two worker insects

18d    Treacherously water-borne but neither English nor European pest (5,3)
BROWN RAT: An anagram (treacherously) of WATeR BORNe minus the abbreviations for English and European

20d    Surge of rising river essentially overwhelming (6)
SEETHE: A river from the north east of England is reversed (rises) and joins the central two letters of the word overwhelming (essence)

22d    More risky section of cutter? (6)
RASHER: A slice of cured meat cut from a section or quarter of a pig.

Farmer Jones got out of his car and while heading for his friend’s door, noticed a pig with a wooden leg. His curiosity roused, he asked, “Fred, how’d that pig get him a wooden leg?”

“Well, Michael, that’s a mighty special pig! A while back a wild boar attacked me while I was walking in the woods. That pig there came a runnin’, went after that boar and chased him away. Saved my life!”

“And the boar tore up his leg?”

“No he was fine after that. But a bit later we had that fire. Started in the shed up against the barn. Well, that ole pig started squealin’ like he was stuck, woke us up, and ‘fore we got out here, the darn thing had herded the other animals out of the barn and saved ’em all!”

“So that’s when he hurt his leg, huh, Fred?”

“No, Michael. He was a might winded, though. When my tractor hit a rock and rolled down the hill into the pond I was knocked clean out. When I came to, that pig had dove into the pond and dragged me out ‘fore I drownded. Sure did save my life.”

“And that was when he hurt his leg?”

“Oh no, he was fine. Cleaned him up, too.”

“OK, Fred. So just tell me. How did he get the wooden leg?”

“Well”, the farmer tells him, “A pig like that, you don’t want to eat all at once!”

23d    Four managed outside and survived (5)
LIVED: To manage is to lead. Place a word meaning to have managed outside the Roman numerals for the number four

25d    Celebrated 4, name dropping (4)
SUNG: A delightful clue that refers back to 4 down. Take the answer to 4 down and drop the abbreviation for name all the way to the bottom of the word. Too many clues referencing other clues will put me off a puzzle. Once is just right.


30 comments on “Toughie 2410

  1. Found this much easier than yesterday’s back pager! 1*/4* for me. Thanks Chalicea & MP.

  2. The biggest challenge with today’s Telegraph cryptic offerings came from the time it took me to persuade the printer that, yes I had inserted two new cartridges (b&w and colour), yes I had printed off the alignment sheet and asked it to align itself, so why wouldn’t it print!!!

    When I eventually sat down with pen and paper, the back pager offering was a nice straightforward 1* difficulty and the Chalicea crossword took exactly twice as long, so about a 2-3* difficulty back pager and if you think of it as that, then an average amount of enjoyment was had.

    Thanks to Chalicea and MP

  3. A nice start to the week and to combat our enforced restlessness.

    Thanks to Chalicea and the character played by Clint Eastwood.

  4. An enjoyable leisurely ramble today, just about to go out for my Hancocks half hour.
    For some reason a police car has been up and down the road at least 6 times today-there are more dogs than walkers and no groups greater than two people !
    Am enjoying a rerun of the old Spooks series-brilliant.
    Thanks to setter for the amusement.

    1. Best thing on my walk this morning was watching a gentleman rhea trying to persuade his lady friend that he was ready and willing when she was with a sort of dance involving much large wing flapping. She didn’t seem particularly bothered! I wonder if he had more success this afternoon?

      Before you ask, yes I am still in East Kent, not South America!

  5. A very nice puzzle that was not difficult. Slightly spoilt, for me, by unknown Scottish and Indian words in the crossing 8a and 6d – but I managed to guess correctly. I did not know the chilli (chillis seem to be a hot topic with setters in recent months) and had pencilled in the wrong possible lurker for a while. I also did not know the meaning of 26a but knew it as a Scottish word from Burns’ greeting to a haggis. I think I would describe the answer to 24a as “a serious financial liability” rather than an insulator!
    With thanks to Chalicea and Miffypops

  6. Bit of an achievement for me today. This is only the second time ever I have finished a Toughie but the first time I have completed without the need for hints. There might be hope for me yet! Thanks to Chalicea for the offering and to MP for the blog.

  7. Still needed the trusted BRB for some of the answers.
    The chilli, the little hut and the Indian title although I remembered the latter when I was working for the UN in London during the biannual conferences as the Secretary General was called Srivastava.
    The Scotsman newspaper confirmed the existence of 26a.
    Looked for a Nina and couldn’t believe that the first 4 letters of the top row was that coronavirus that already killed so many people at the turn of the century (SRAS) in French.
    24a favourite. I don’t think these bin bags will protect these poor Americans.
    Thanks to Chalicea and to MP.

  8. ** / *** An enjoyable romp through some pithy clues with elegant surfaces and nothing that made us bristle or groan! Favourites – 1 (witty) and 7 (nice synonym). Last clues in were 21, 22 and 26. We’ve been following and enjoying the blog for some time now but never usually get round to finishing crosswords in time to comment – things have changed! Thanks to Chalicea and TMwNN.

  9. Very much enjoyed this though I needed my brb – and i thought i knew my chillies!
    I liked the adult party, the religious chant, the Latin translation, the twisted nose that Scots seem to like, and the symmetric 4/25 pair.

    Many thanks Chalicea and Miffypops, a true pleasure to see you here. Blimey, things are looking up, I can now play the whole Tom Waits album while I do the next crossword (oops, that is of course in no way whatsoever meant to suggest typical solving times)

  10. Thoroughly enjoyed the solve that all went together smoothly for us.
    Thanks Chalicea and MP.

  11. First toughie I’ve been successful with for ages. Felt rather smug knowing 26a, my Scottish in-laws used to use it.

    Strangely, I found both Monday & Tuesday cryptics and todays toughie straightforward, unlike Sunday’s offering. Reading comments on this excellent blog, others found the opposite. All about wavelengths, I suppose.

  12. I think this is the first time I’ve completed a Toughie without resort to any outside help, (other than to check 26 and 27a). Really enjoyed it with the “cat chasing its prey” my favourite in a strong field.
    Many thanks to both Chalicea and to MP for their excellent works.
    Ps I know you’ll probably choke on your bitter MP but The Eagles do a lovely cover of the opening track on the Tom Waits album.

      1. Likewise and very true. In this case however I’d heard The Eagles version long before the original, not even realising it was a cover. I think they did it justice.

  13. Yes, indeed, a real pleasure to see you here, miffypops! And what a pleasure this Toughie was–even though I didn’t ‘know’ the Scottish words or the chili, I worked them out from the clues and checking letters. One of the few times (probably only a handful) I’ve finished a Toughie without any help at all. 3d (always tickles me), 11a, and 15d my three winners today, with that lovely 26a my LOI (Burns greeting a haggis, really? I must have forgotten that one). Looking good, miffypops, and thanks too to Chalicea.

  14. Yes, indeed, a real pleasure to see you here, miffypops, and what a pleasure this Toughie was–one of the few (probably a handful) I’ve finished without any help. **/ *** 3d (always makes me laugh), 11a, and 15d my three winners, with 26a my LOI (Burns’s greeting to a haggis, really? Guess I’d forgotten that). I didn’t ‘know’ any of the Scottish words or the chili, but managed to work them out from the clues and checking letters. Looking good, miffypops, and thanks to Chalicea.

  15. I am really happy to have helped so many to a first unaided Toughie finish in these troubling times. We, in France, are on day 13 of total lockdown and it is eerie with crosswords coming to our rescue for some of the looming empty hours. Miffypops, we were highly entertained by your anecdote at 22d but just a little bit sorry for the poor pig. Many thanks for the blog.

    1. Chalicea, many thanks for popping in and thanks very much for an entertaining puzzle, which was nicely challenging and good fun.

  16. I do seem to do rather well at Chalicea’s toughies. I knew the Scottish hut and have stopped in quite a few in my munroing days and the haggis is usually toasted here with a bit of Rabbie. The chilli was a new one but when in doubt look for a lurker. The pudding at 16a looks an awful lot like the posset from the other day. have the setters got no teeth left?
    Nina spotting got me nowhere but I did notice DEKE down the right and immediately thought of Deke Leonard of the Man Band and Iceberg and I vowed to read his brill story of life on the road with Man Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics. One of the funniest books about music I have read.

    1. John Bee, my father decided to complete the Munros when he found that he had already done half of them. He held a party on the top of Schiehallion, his last, with all the friends who had climbed with him over 60 years. I did about a hundred of them with him (some like Leathach which counts as five, I think). Indeed we enjoyed the haggis and the wee drams inthe ‘little hut’, as you did. Lovely memories in these house-bound times, thanks.

      1. I haven’t completed them myself and am unlikely to now. I seem to have stalled about halfway, but I have attended a few Last Munro ascents on Bidean Nam Bian, Ben Lomond and Schiehallion itself. The favourite little hut was Sheneval between An Teallach and the Fisherfield forest but as you said fond memories of some great days when we weren’t housebound. Favourite wee dram is Laphroaig.

        1. Yes, the Sheneval bothy is familiar. There was a super book published, last year, I think, called something like ‘The Bothy Bible’. We gave it to my brother as a Christmas present. Take a look – it could cheer these days of isolation.

  17. Just a little over my back page time today, so definitely on the gentle side, but as enjoyable as Chalicea’s offerings always are. Only the odd Scottish words gave much pause for thought, but were perfectly gettable.

  18. So enjoyable that I kept a couple over to complete with lunch today!

    Thanks to Chalicea and Miffypops for the blog.

  19. Late on parade, but thought I’d pop in to say thank you to Chalicea. Not too tough a Toughie.

  20. Thanks to Chalicea and to The Man with No Name for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. No major hold ups. Favourite was 22d. Was 2*/3* for me.

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