Toughie 2452 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2452

Toughie No 2452 by Micawber

Hints and tips by Uriah Heep

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A very nice puzzle to complete. Lots of fun to be had here. A few gimmies to get you started. A few to add from the checkers and the last few to bung in and parse later. Just right for a Thursday.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    High singer‘s tango with feeling of euphoria capturing hearts (6)
THRUSH: The NATO alphabet letter denoted by Tango and what a surge of euphoria might be described as are divided by the abbreviation for hearts.

4a    Who’s ordering ‘redo it!’ (6)
EDITOR: An anagram (ordering) of REDO IT. The word ordering is doing double duty here as both wordplay and anagram indicator

8a    Journey succeeding makes dry land here (8)
AIRSTRIP: A short journey comes after a word meaning makes dry as we do with laundry

10a    The Spanish hombre’s taken trick (6)
DELUDE: A man or guy (informal North American according to the online dictionary) surrounds the Spanish word for the

11a    See inside Khafre’s pyramid (4)
ESPY: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The word inside suggests as such

12a    Firm friends prosper, exporting eastern footwear (10)
WELLINGTON: begin with a 4,2′ phrase meaning firm friends. Add a 3,2, phrase meaning to prosper but remove the abbreviation for eastern. A bung it in because you know it is right and “sort the parsings out later” type of clue

13a    High-up chap pursuing immorality with cleaner, I gathered (4-8)
VICE-CHAIRMAN: A four-part charade with instructions. 1 A chap or a male. 2 A synonym of the word immorality 3 Ones daily cleaner 4 The letter I from the clue. Follow the instructions in the clue to put these four components in the correct order. Fastest finger first

16a    Tory leader in victory drinks getting money during rally? (12)
CONVALESCENT: A four-part charade where each of the four parts follow each other nicely. 1 A three-letter abbreviation for a Tory 2 The initial or leading letter of the word victory 3 Some drinks (served in a pub, does anybody remember that?) 4 Some money. This money could be from anywhere in the world. As this is a Toughie we get no help

20a    Remigrated, moving to join partnership (3,7)
GET MARRIED: Anagram (moving) of REMIGRATED

21a    Change hands over (4)
SWAP: A stretched synonym for ones hands is reversed to find a word meaning to exchange

22a    Number one in school for language (6)
SPEECH: The three-letter abbreviation for school contains what a number one might be called when using the lavatory. The sort of tone lowering clue that belongs in The Grauniad

23a    Appoint member of ruling party bound by condition of celibacy? (8)
NOMINATE: Split 2,4 the lack of a marital partner surrounds what the ruling party are once elected. Those not ruling are like the non-batting side in cricket (which is nothing to do with the clue but it might help)

24a    Like a picture frame picked up, perhaps, with no fuss (6)
EASILY: A word meaning simply or without fuss might just sound like (picked up) something like a picture frame. This is like describing a stick as sticky

25a    Hare from southern Madras? (6)
SCURRY: The abbreviation for southern is followed by what the foodstuff Madras is an example of


1d    Trackers on security code resulting in panic (8)
TAILSPIN: One’s personal identification number follows what trackers might be described as

2d    Out of practice, head of firm’s removed (5)
RUSTY: How a loaf of bread or a firm pie might be described minus its first letter

3d    Nothing’s banned for the worst mangled oath (7)
STREWTH: A delightful anagram (mangled) of THE WORST minus the letter O (nothing’s banned) My father used this word a lot. I do to but mostly to my sister Ruth for reasons that will become clear once you have the answer

5d    Platform adopted by crazy revolutionary movement (7)
DADAISM: A type of platform sits inside the reversal of a word meaning crazy. The answer might also describe a style of setting cryptic crossword puzzles on Sundays

6d    Good on shoot, youngster in charge bagging haunch (9)
TELEGENIC: Another word for a haunch sits inside a word describing a youngster between the ages of twelve and twenty. This is followed by the abbreviations of in charge

7d    Newspaper lacking education about religion reported inaccurately (3-3)
RED-TOP: Anagram (inaccurately). of rePORTED minus (lacking) the initial letters of religious education

9d    Survey island state — how can plants be made productive? (11)
POLLINATION: A survey such as a ballot. The abbreviation for island. A state or country. Easy peasy

14d    Food additives — 100 found inside hampers (9)
ENCUMBERS: The general name given to food additives in accordance with EU directives contain the Roman numeral for one hundred

15d    Regulars in army supporting child soldiers (8)
INFANTRY: Every other letter in the word army sit after another word for a child

17d    Sea creature managed to surface with truncated sound (7)
NARWHAL: The reversal of a word meaning managed is followed by the abbreviation for with and a word meaning sound or healthy minus its last letter (truncated)

18d    Stewed minced veg, topped and tailed, found everywhere (7)
ENDEMIC: This is an anagram (stewed) of MINCED vEg. The veg having its first and last letters removed (topped and tailed)

19d    Minor case involving filling? It’ll bring tears to your eyes (6)
WEEPIE: A word meaning minor or small is followed by a case that needs filling to provide a comforting comestible. It that filling is steak and kidney so much the better

21d    Echo locator at this degree of proximity away from base (5)
SONAR: Find two words 2,4 that mean at this degree of proximity. Remove the. Letter that denotes base in logarithmic functions


29 comments on “Toughie 2452

  1. It has been a while since I managed to complete a Toughie – and today was no exception, but I did come close. I ground to a halt with just over half the answers completed, and used a solver to give me 6d, a word which I didn’t know. This was enough assistance for me to finish the rest bar 21a&d, although I couldn’t parse 2d for the life of me.

    Many thanks to Mr Micawber and to Mr Heap for putting me out of my misery.

  2. I do love a Micawber crossword – the lack of difficulty is more than made up for by the considerable fun to be had while solving it.

    Thanks to him and the ‘umble one!

  3. Totally agree with the **/**** rating. Was able to have a good run at this crossword, and found some of the clues very clever and entertaining. Clue of the week, if not the month, 22a, with an honorary mention for 8a,14d and 19d

  4. A lot of fun. Not particularly quick but I got there. 22a made me laugh a lot as did 19d, so they get joint honours from me today. Thanks to Miffypops and Micawber.

  5. I found it harder than ** but fun. Quick start across the top then slowed down, then the SE was mostly bung-ins and then ground to a halt with 19d/24a to do. Convinced the former was pepper. Penny eventually dropped with a chuckle for 19d, then a groan for 24a.

    Thanks to Micawber and to UH for the blog.

  6. Enjoyed this.
    Indeed, I bunged in the footwear, thanks for the explanation. And for the with in 17d instead of whale
    If the whole clue is the definition, the double duty in 4a becomes ok

    Favourite is the remigrated partnership. Also liked the plant reproduction and the oath.
    Many thanks Micawber and UH

  7. A ***/**** for me, I started slowly in the NW corner then proceeded clockwise to the SW corner where I came to an abrupt halt then 14d and 19d went in and I eventually completed the solve.
    I originally had Finish( the language ) for 22a- with NI in FISH which I thought worked quite well until I solved 14d. Eventually the penny dropped with 19d.
    Last in was 22a,thanks to Uriah for explaining the number 1 !
    Very enjoyable,
    14a had to be my favourite and had that smug feeling when I solved 5d!

  8. Late to the party today! Been watching the downpour in the conservatory. In common with other posters, I enjoyed 19 but 22 gets my vote & a smiley 😊. 3*/3*, thanks Micawber, will now no doubt learn something from Mr Heep (if that is he).

  9. You can imagine my surprise at chancing across Mr Heep in this of all places, after the circumstances of our last encounter. When I said ‘something will turn up’, this was not quite what I had in mind. However, I am not one to bear a grudge, and thank Mr Heep sincerely for this kind review, as indeed I thank all of my good friends for their most generous comments. I must apologise to any gentle readers sharing in the perception that the lavatorial contents of my ‘speech’ at 22a belonged more to the depths of gutter journalism commonly found in the pages of the Manchester Guardian.
    Ever your faithful servant,

    1. Many thanks, Micawber. This was a lovely puzzle. It took me a while to get onto the right wavelength but it eventually all came together nicely except for the parsing of 12a. My podium choices were 13a, 3d & 14d.

    2. So nice to see another of your puzzles, Micawber, we don’t see enough of you these days. Sorry to be so late in thanking you, it’s been my ‘once a week’ visit from No.1 daughter.
      Loved this one and – because it’s you – I’ll forgive the lavatorial reference although please don’t make a habit of it!
      My own picks today were 25a plus 14&15d.

      Many thanks – it’s been an excellent day in crosswordland.

  10. I found this Micawber puzzle more difficult than other solvers … but I always enjoy his limericks:

    Here is today’s … if you don’t follow him on Twitter.

    Two households creating a bubble
    Will no longer get into trouble
    For staying the night,
    Enjoying the right
    To make proper use of that double.

  11. A great day for puzzles, first the splendid Ray T and now this clever, witty, and most amusing Micawber, whose puzzles I really enjoy. 22a made me laugh, as it did others, and 3d sent me back to the days of teaching Shakespeare’s various oaths (and laughing with my students). In addition, I particularly liked 6d, 23a, and 9d. Heck, the whole kit and caboodle! Thanks to the smarmy one and Micawber for the fun. ** / *****

  12. An enjoyable Toughie but I still had to use the hints, I liked 11 & 25 across and 6 down was a new word for me, 9 down was my COTD but like all Toughies always a learning experience Thank you to Micawber Uriah Heep.


  13. Another doable, albeit with a little electronic help, Toughie that I found very enjoyable.
    Wasn’t keen on 24a or 16a where I couldn’t get my head round whether the definition is rally or during rally? 19d was amusing but I’ve never come across that spelling before.
    Lot’s to like, in particular 21, 23 & 25a plus 3 and 14d.
    Many thanks to Micawber and to MP for a top notch review.

  14. The first toughie of the week that I have been able to finish – and a pleasure from start to finish in doing so. Many thanks to Micawber and Uriah Heap.

  15. Such a pleasure to see this setter’s name popping up again. We always enjoy his puzzles so much and this one certainly lived up to expectations.
    With 5d we had the final M in place and thought ” This will be ROSTRUM for platform”. Not a helpful thought as it turned out but soon fixed. Made a similar guess at PEPPER for 19d. All in the fun of solving.
    Thanks Micawber and MP.

  16. Thanks to Micawber and to Mr Heep for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but had real trouble getting on right wavelength. Needed 5 and a half hints to finish. Was 4*/4* for me. Favourite was 25a.

  17. Encouraged to have a go by MP’s ** difficulty rating (didn’t even bother with Tues & Wed) & a first finish of the week in the Graun.
    Certainly glad that I did as it’s kept me entertained on & off throughout the evening while listening to Van the Man. An extremely slow start but the answers were eked out gradually. Echo others thoughts about the quality. 6&14d dead heated for COTD for me. Couldn’t parse the lavatorial one – with 19d it was all that was left & I succumbed to impatience & revealed the P so irritatingly can’t claim an unaided finish.
    Thanks to Micawber & MP – will read the review tomorrow.

  18. Too hard for this bear of little brain. Not helped by two nasty printing creases through all the down clues. Frustration drove me to the hints early on, where when I could read the clues, and sneak a peek at the hints, helped no end. 20a and 9d were most liked here.
    Thanks to Micawber and the very ‘eavy very ‘umble Uriah Heep and a bad mark to the printer who needs to clean his rollers.

    1. Glad you mentioned the creases, John. Almost every copy of the dead tree DT I’ve received over the past week or so has had at least one (very hard to unfold) crease through the down clues. Why does it seem to be confined to the page that contains the Toughie?

      1. When the users of iPads have problems you say that we should just use the actual newspaper. Well I say when the newspaper users have problems I say use an iPad.

      2. I have noticed this as well. There’s a danger of tearing the paper when trying to straighten the creasing out. It’s the same in today’s paper. (Friday 12th)

  19. Was a bit stuck in the SW in this very pleasant crossword.
    Had a good laugh at 13a as it made me think about DSK.
    Dominique Strauss Khan, head of the World Bank, at the Sofitel .
    Thanks to Micawber and to MP.

    1. In case you’re still looking in, JL – any sign of you being able to re-open yet?

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