Toughie 2462 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2462

Toughie No 2462 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The first part of 5 Across and the definition of 28 Across were new to me, but both were both derivable from the clue.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Sadly, son, I can’t give permission (8)
SANCTION: an anagram (sadly) of SON I CAN’T

5a    Attack very light, just opening (6)
ASSAIL: this one is a bit of a stinker! – the first 5 letters are a musical term for “very” (usually preceded by a musical direction such as allegro) which is followed by the initial letter (just opening) of L[ight]

9a    Flog despicable person, pest seen down under (4,4)
CANE TOAD: a verb meaning to flog is followed by a despicable person

10a    Of organisms, one in horse parasite I primarily control (6)
BIOTIC: put I (one) inside a parasite that lives on, for example, a horse then finish with I from the clue and the initial letter (primarily) of C[ontrol]

12a    Restrict amount of drink essentially consumed in desert (6)
RATION: the middle letter (essentially) of [dr]I[nk] inside (consumed in) a phrasal verb meaning to desert or inform against (3,2)

13a    Tricked involving end of lesson taught without challenge (8)
SPOONFED: a verb meaning tricked goes around (involving) the final letter (end) of [lesso]N

15a    Article rejected quotes about conservative man leading disciplined life (7)
ASCETIC: the single-letter indefinite article is followed by the reversal (rejected) of a verb meaning quotes which goes around C(onservative)

16a    Leave droppings (4)
SCAT: two definitions

20a    Afraid leather disguises having nothing on? (4)
IDLE: hidden (disguises) inside the clue

21a    Discipline of type of fiction (7)
SCIENCE: the answer can precede fiction to get a type of fiction

25a    Odd piles, curiously off balance (8)
LOPSIDED: an anagram (curiously) of ODD PILES

26a    Metal splinter left moving nearer to heart (6)
SILVER: start with a six-letter word meaning a splinter and move the L(eft) nearer to the middle (heart)

28a    Indeed, once pig pen could be characterised by upheaval (6)
YEASTY: an old-fashioned (once) word meaning indeed followed by a pig pen – the definition is lifted, not from Chambers, but from the Oxford Dictionary of English

29a    In a frenzy: pet adder’s gone (8)
DEPARTED: an anagram (in a frenzy) of PET ADDER

30a    Credible as beginnings of legal year (6)
LIKELY: a word meaning as followed by the initial letters (beginnings) of L[egal] Y[ear]

31a    Train engineers transport for late passengers (8)
REHEARSE: some military engineers are followed by a vehicle used to transport the dead (late passengers)


1d    Stable and confident embracing rising church (6)
SECURE: a word meaning confident around (embracing) the reversal (rising) of the Church of England

2d    Old yet tipsily found after inn in a riot (6)
NINETY: an anagram (tipsily) of YET follows another (in a riot) of INN

3d    Half of titans think deeply about ordinary little flier (8)
TITMOUSE: the first half of TIT[ans} is followed by a verb meaning to think deeply around O(rdinary)

4d    Boundless optimism in speech (4)
ORAL: drop the outer letters (boundless from a word meaning optimism

6d    Diamonds, for example, and gold for lover (6)
SUITOR: what diamonds are an example of in a pack of cards followed by the heraldic term for gold

7d    Tricky manoeuvre‘s skill whenever on skating rink, say (8)
ARTIFICE: a charade of words meaning skill (3), whenever (2) and, for example (say) a skating rink (3)

8d    Clear thinking with good fortune capturing thicko with no love for king (8)
LUCIDITY: start with a word meaning with good fortune (5) and replace the K(ing) with a thicko without the O (love)

11d    Pampered son accumulated entertaining dross essentially (7)
SPOILED: S(on) followed by a verb meaning accumulated around (entertaining) the middle letter (essentially for the second time!) of [dr]O[ss]

14d    Regrets holding key but frees from captivity (7)
RESCUES: a verb meaning regrets around (holding) a key on a computer keyboard

17d    Treasonous face admitting nothing in cunning (8)
DISLOYAL: a face around (admitting) O (nothing) itself inside an adjective meaning cunning

18d    After confused agitation, sailor gets biscuit (8)
FLAPJACK: a confused agitation (4) is followed by a sailor

19d    Put in motion part four of drama at Globe finally (8)
ACTIVATE: part four of a drama (3,2) followed by the AT from the clue and the final letter of [glob]E

22d    Fall in drops and drips regularly lit up (6)
DISTIL: th odd letters (regularly) of D[r]I[p]S followed by the reversal (up in a down clue) of LIT

23d    Incarnation of backsliding renegade, a vice-admiral (6)
AVATAR: the reversal of a renegade the A from the clue and a Vice-Admiral

24d    Marriage partner introducing grand game (6)
BRIDGE: the person who is marrying the groom goes around (introducing) G(rand)

27d    Limit animal flesh, we’re told (4)
METE: sounds like (we’re told) a generic word for animal flesh

An excellent Tuesday Toughie, not to easy and not too hard.


28 comments on “Toughie 2462

  1. It’s a recurrent theme with Chalicea that I end up checking the odd defintion or struggle with a parse or two. Today is no exception and I did need to check that I had constructed an Australian pest and couldn’t parse 5a for the life of me. Otherwise gentle enough with some spendid clues, 8d being my favourite closely followed by 17d. Thanks to Chalicea and BD.

  2. This was a light but very enjoyable puzzle indeed.

    My biggest challenges were parsing the clearly correct answers which I had entered for 5a & 8d. I never succeeded with the former and the latter took me an age finally to unravel.

    Many thanks to Chalicea for the fun and to BD, particularly for the explanation for 5a.

  3. Chalicea and I have obviously spent far too much time reading anything and everything as I did know the unknowns she’d tried to sneak in to fool me. Solving this took me the same as a Friday back pager which is about right for the Tuesday toughie spot. No particular favourites although I did turn a bit RD while muttering that I’m not sure a 18d is really a biscuit!

    Thanks to Chalicea and BD

    1. I agree about 18d. Definitely not a biscuit. I have the same problem when, despite the BRB, an eclair is called a cake!

      1. I have to agree with you both but the other definitions the BRB gives (a US pancake, a compact, an apple puff or a cake made with oats and syrup) seem no better and Collins has it as ‘a chewy biscuit made with rolled oats’. Cake or biscuit?

        1. I make flapjack as an alternative to cake when the tin is empty or I haven’t any eggs. Definitely cake

          1. We always have eggs Sue. Just nip up to Warwickshire anytime you want some

        2. Doesn’t the word “biscuit” mean “baked twice”? Flapjacks are only baked once so I agree with CS.

    2. I think it depends on how they are made. Some of the shop bought variety and definitely those in the snack bar range look much more like biscuits.

  4. A very pleasant start to the Toughie week, completed at a Toughie gallop – **/****.
    5a was a bung in, so thanks to BD for explaining the musical term. Like Jonners I had to BRB the Aussie pest in 9a and also the organisms in 10a. Otherwise, nothing I hadn’t come across previously.
    Candidates for favourite – 15a, 3d, and 7d – and the winner is 7d.
    Thanks to Chalicea and BD.

  5. Well going for a **/***, I thought that most of the puzzle was back page cryptic standard the exception being the more difficult NE corner.
    Like others 5a was not parsed-thanks BD-one for the memory banks!
    The ‘dropping’ in 16d eluded me -is it animal dung?
    Anyway a treat on a wet afternoon.
    Hard to pick a favourite, maybe 13a

  6. Like senf, I just bunged in 5a so thanks BD for the research. I always like Chalicea’s toughie puzzles, they seem light with a few surprises thrown in. Many thanks

  7. An unusual pleasure for me to complete a toughie.
    A few bung ins so thanks very much for the parsing explanations.
    Dictionary definitions of 16a. can be surprising !!
    West of the Tamar it means demolish.
    I liked too many clues to pick one, although I didn’t like 28a very much.
    Thanks to Chalicea, and BD as always for lockdown salvation.

  8. I’m a 5a – bunger as well – although I am ashamed to admit it because I have the background that should have been able to sort out the word play. 10a held me up a bit – I correctly suspected the construction – I just didn’t know the parasite. I think 19d gets my vote for favourite although there were plenty of candidates. Thank you, Chalicia, for a very enjoyable puzzle, and Big Dave for the review.

  9. We really liked this offering which was completed without any aids. 5a was new to us but not a problem. **/**** COTD 19d.

  10. Gentle start to the toughie week for me, although I abhor this type of grid, so few NSEW checkers – one per corner by my reckoning, and four (?) in the centre. I am also in the 5a camp, never heard of the term. Couldn’t parse 17&19d either. So thanks for that BD, & to Chalicea for the all-too-brief diversion.

  11. Stumped by the musical term in 5a so not fully parsed and thought for a while that 4d was going to pull a fast one on me when I couldn’t think of the root word. The 9a pest was probably my favourite – clue-wise at least!

    Thanks to Chalicea, particularly for the smattering of wee beasties, and thanks to BD for the review and for recalling the musical instruction.

  12. I always feel I have a chance of completion with a Chalicea Toughie and this proved to be the case today albeit with a couple of bung ins in the NE. Quite challenging (for me) but very enjoyable, I particularly liked 13a and the confection that ‘perfectly straddles the divide between cake and biscuit’
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the entertainment

  13. Well, as a musician, I had no problem with 5a at all and thought it one of Chalciea’s better gifts today; it was 7d and 13a that kept resisting me. After sleeping on it (that’s where I’ve been since this morning’s Cryptic post!), I finally yielded and sought three letters. Shucks, I should have gotten both of those! I also had to check on that pest much earlier. So I failed to finish on my own but I do have a grid filled in. Very much enjoyed this. Favourites: 7, 15, 21, and 28a; 22d.
    Thanks to Big Dave and Chalcea for the distinct pleasure.

  14. Many thanks to all – so happy that it went down well, and, of course, special thanks to Big Dave. I had the pest ‘seen in Perth’ (that devious setter gimmick of confusing the solver by suggesting something Scottish – or Aussie, as the case may be – whichever it isn’t) but Chris, the editor, was rather more careful than me in his research and pointed out that there are actually none of those Australian pests to be seen anywhere near Perth.

    Apologies, Nogbad. My use of that grid was a deliberate attempt to add just a hint of difficulty as it is not generous with the oh-so-useful initial letters of clues. And I admit I am the first to moan when we are faced with solving into one of the really nasty Toughie grids.

    Interesting about the term ‘biscuit’. I think English has widened the definition. Shortbread, for example is a biscuit (or is it a cake?) and is definitely only cooked once and not for very long, either.

  15. We’ll join the club of those who struggled with 5a. We have met so many different things called 18d in the past that we accepted the ‘biscuit’ definition without questioning it.
    As ever from this setter, a most enjoyable solving experience.
    Thanks Chalicea and BD.

  16. I seldom comment on the toughie as I save it as a ‘treat’ to do in the bath and then it is too late in the day. But I had to pop in and say thanks because I finished this ( the tricky 5a) by bungins which isn’t really cricket. I really enjoyed the clever clueing- transport for late passengers indeed! And the flustered sailor who is not a biscuit in my book either. Thank you for the puzzle and the parsing help.

  17. A late comment from me as well. I enjoyed this very much.5a was a bung-in for me too! And I really should have known this… Otherwise, all good.

    The agitated sailor has two forms for me. One is made basically of of oats and usually presented as a bar; the other is similar to a pancake mix and dropped onto a hot griddle. I think it depends which part of the world one lives in as the word means one thing in one country and another in a different part of the hemisphere!!! Neither qualify in my book as a biscuit.

    Many thanks to Chalicea for the lovely entertainment and to Big Dave for the clarification.

  18. An even later comment from me. Stared blankly at this yesterday evening & gave up. Buoyed by today’s Toughie completion returned to it & glad that I did. Very enjoyable indeed – don’t know about Friday back page difficulty but very doable & full of delightful clues. Needed BD to clarify the parsing of 5&10a and my parsing of 11a (sped around oil) was wrong plus I’ve learnt a new word for animal droppings but I’ll chalk it up as an unaided finish – a mere 27hrs after opening it.
    Thanks Chalicea & BD

  19. Not as late as me though.
    I shall only have time to do the toughies this week.
    Very enjoyable Chalicea and the right level of difficulty for my tired brain.
    Thanks to her for the fun and to BD for the review.

Comments are closed.