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Toughie 2494

Toughie No 2494 by Gila

Hints and tips by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty**Enjoyment ****

Hi everyone.

Nice to be back on Toughie duty, even if it’s at the gentler end of the scale. Our puzzle today is set by young Gila who has quickly learned how to turn out friendly accessible and enjoyable puzzles.

Nothing terribly challenging here, as befits a Tuesday Toughie but some nice surface readings and a few clues to make you smile. A few newish words and terms on duty today too.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Mum’s with it — she supplies things for others (10)
MOTHERSHIP    A word for mum’s and one that means you’re with it to give you something from sci-fi that has come into almost everyday use.



6a    Mike’s wearing great top (4)
ACME    Place a word meaning great or super over M (for Mike) and you get a word meaning the top or summit.    

9a    Taking jobs abroad, before syndicate cancelled majority of production (10)
OFFSHORING    In front of a word meaning a group or syndicate goes something meaning cancelled and most of a word for a (stage) production. This gives you a business term for moving a business or roles within the business elsewhere (as is happening to my job, next month!!).

10a    Reptile caught by fabulous flying creature (4)
CROC    The short name for a reptile is revealed by taking the abbreviation for caught in cricket, and adding the standard crossword word for the definition ‘fabulous creature’ which invariably means the one is Sinbad the Sailor.

13a    Short-term base artist used to produce painting (7)
TEMPERA Go on! Who else had a U in 4th place? Thanks to a certain lady for making me realise the error of my ways! A type of painting style involving eggs is found by taking a shortened word for short-term, add the abbreviation for base and the one for artist.

15a    Offer more than is available, then wait endlessly (6)
OUTBID    A term I am more used to in bridge. If something is available, it may be said to be this, and then add a word meaning to wait, minus its last letter (endlessly).

16a    See rage held back on the inside, strangely (6)
EERILY    Inside the name of a See (standard Crossword meaning of one, and the location of the most famous one) goes the word for anger, reversed.

17a    Politician more unsettled with a trade bill blocked by Conservative (7,8)
LIBERAL DEMOCRAT    The name for a member of a British political party is revealed by rearranging (unsettled) MORE A TRADE BILL and wrapping it all around C (conservative).

18a    Quits ahead of time and ultimately avoids incidents (6)
EVENTS    A word meaning quits in a sporting sense goes before the abbreviation of time and the last letter (ultimately) of AVOIDS.

20a    Account hidden in single location where taxes may be avoided (6)
MONACO    Find the name of a tax haven by taking the abbreviation for account and putting it inside a prefix meaning single, or one.



21a    Fantastic tale in which queen and knight get together for ever (7)
ETERNAL    Inside an anagram (fantastic) of TALE goes the abbreviation for the Queen along with one for a knight in chess.

22a    Run out of fruit and edible seeds (4)
PEAS    Take the name of some fruit and remove R (for run) and this gives some edible seeds!




25a    Looking tired, yet just about in bed early for a change (6-4)
BLEARY-EYED Inside an anagram of BED EARLY goes almost the full word of YET to confirm how I feel at the moment…..

26a    American loaves maybe react to the addition of yeast, it’s said (4)
RYES    The name for some types of loaf across the pond, sounds like what happens when you put yeast into your dough.

27a    A new job’s holding certain appeal for solitary people (10)
ANCHORITES    After A and N (new) goes a word for a (household) job, and this has the word for sex appeal inside. This reveals a way of describing hermits and suchlike.


1d    Feeling low and close to dismayed (4)
MOOD    A word for a feeling can be found by taking a word meaning to low (like a cow) and adding D (last letter or close to DISMAYED).    

2d    Food is for pleasure, mostly (4)
TOFU    This artificial food, only vaguely edible if it is smoked, is found by taking a short word meaning FOR and adding most of a three-letter word for pleasure or enjoyment.




3d    Copied article removed from each reference book (6)
ECHOED Remove the A from each and add a famous dictionary that isn’t big or red, but does employ the lady on the left.



4d    Shoppers with a card start to feel distressed, going round tense and broke (8,3,4)
STRAPPED FOR CASH    Today’s award for the most convoluted clue (and probably puts Osmosis to shame!) goes to a phrase meaning broke. An anagram of SHOPPERS CARD and F (start to feel) all gets put around the abbreviation for tense!

5d    I travel across far side of town on bypass (6)
IGNORE    A word meaning to bypass something is found by taking I and a word for travel, putting it around N (last letter or far side of TOWN) and then adding a word meaning on or about.

7d    Airline introducing secure container for duty free? (7,3)
CARRIER BAG    After a description of an airline goes a word meaning to secure or grab something.

8d    Form of security in one complex protecting underground chamber (10)
ENCRYPTION    A way of making things safe on line is found by rearranging IN ONE and wrapping it around the name for a burial chamber.

11d    Banks perhaps aim to maintain excellent rates in the first instance (10)
GOALKEEPER    The Banks in this clue is a person who sadly passed away last year. His day job could be revealed by taking a word for aim and adding something meaning maintain and then adding E and R the first letters of EXCELENT and RATES

12d    Colleague is firm friend (10)
STABLEMATE     A word meaning firm and a word for a friend.

13d    Measure strength and speed of bird? (7)
TITRATE If you were looking at the speed of birds like Coal, Blue, Great and Marsh you may consider this as a definition (tongue-in-cheek as indicated by the question mark). It’s also in full the method of measuring strength in chemistry.

14d    A flipping angry look upset one under pressure? (7)
AEROSOL    A plus something meaning angry, reversed, then a short word meaning look!, again reversed gives something that contains pressurised stuff.

19d    Hot Christmas cake left to be taken away (6)
STOLEN    Something meaning hot (as in ‘hot property) is the name of a Christmas cake, minus one of the l’s.



20d    European publication gets positive response in Germany, we’re told (6)
MAGYAR    The name for an Eastern European (or possibly a central European post-Brexit!) is found by taking the name for a publication or periodical and adding a homophone of the German word for affirmative.

23d    Bankruptcy strongly restricts growth (4)
CYST    A hidden answer in BANKRUPTCY STRONGLY

24d    Publicity leads to huge troubles (4)
ADOS    A short word for publicity plus an abbreviation for a large size gives something meaning troubles.

Thanks to Gila for this enjoyable start to the week and it looks like it should be a pretty good week of Toughies, although I do hear the sound of clomping boots which means only one thing for Friday……

I’ll see you on Saturday!

44 comments on “Toughie 2494

  1. A gentle and enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Gila and Tilsit.
    My podium contenders were 1a, 20a, 11d and 14d.

  2. For heaven’s sake, ditch the disgusting 2d. It’s an abomination! Something tell you I don’t like it?

    1. I totally agree, JB, the so-called “food” is disgusting not at all pleasurable.

      1. It reminds me of the old joke:

        – What’s tofu?
        – It’s bean curd
        – Never mind what it’s been. What is it now?

    2. Oh well, just me then
      It’s not that disgusting when you consider that some people eat snails, brains, tongues and bulls testicles
      Fine in a stir-fry and not much different to Spam, except it’s fat free and full of protein and fibre – and doesn’t cost the earth (literally) to produce

  3. When I solved Gila’s Indy puzzle yesterday, I found it a bit of curate’s egg and was in two minds whether or not to attempt today’s Toughie. I’m very glad I did tackle it and can give it an unqualified thumbs up even though it wasn’t at all tough.

    9a is one of those ugly manufactured words that I don’t like, but, fair play to the setter, it is in the main dictionaries.

    My favourite was 11d referring to one of my heroes.

    Many thanks to Gila for the fun and Tilsit for the review.

  4. Really enjoyed this one & unlike the back pager finished it unaided & fully parsed though I will read the review to check with our Saturday sage. Agree it was at the easier end of the Toughie spectrum but no less enjoyable for me anyway. Favourites were the perimeter clues at 1&27a and 8&11d but 3d just edges it as COTD for me.
    It’s finally stopped raining so a walk beckons.
    Many thanks Gila & Tilsit.
    Ps – shout out for a great Picaroon Cryptic in the Graun.

  5. Thoroughly enjoyable semi-Toughie, with fresh clues and definitions. I particularly liked 1a, my COTD, as well as 8d, 27a, 25a, 20d, and 9a, my LOI. Thanks to Tilsit (nice to see you here) and to Gila. *** / ****

  6. 11d was my clear favourite from this very enjoyable and accessible puzzle. This was my first experience of a Gila Toughie and I trust our it won’t be the last. Many thanks to our setter and to Tilsit.

  7. Think I enjoyed this more in retrospect than I did at the time – strange how that can happen.
    9a caused problems a) on the parsing front and b) didn’t know the required term but I was OK when it came to the spelling of 13a because this site has drummed in E = base on so many occasions!
    Have to confess that both 17a & 4d were solved by enumeration, checkers and guesswork – parsing came later.

    Top two here were 20a plus 14d.

    Thanks to Gila, wonder how young you are given Tilsit’s comment, and also to the afore-mentioned Tilsit for the review.

  8. Never heard the 9a expression (certain Tilsit would have preferred not to either) so needed the hint. As I had for 1a. So annoying – 2 away from solving the Toughie unaided. That it was at the easy end of the Toughie spectrum isn’t relevant to me.
    Took stratospheric time but who cares? (well Mrs LrOK would have done except she was still asleep)
    11d COTD. Greatest of All Time in my book. As a goalkeeper I watched / studied the best from Frank Swift onwards & he was the best of them. His positional sense (a forgotten art these days) was sublime.
    Thanks to Gila & Tilsit for the review.

  9. 11d was our very last to go in and we dislike the UK media and sports references in crosswords (we don’t live there and they often find us at a loss) but we found this a fine Tuesday Toughie, enjoyable and gentle.

    1. Couldn’t agree more about those types of references – to me, a cryptic clue should be stand-alone solvable with the synonyms or wordplay etc provided
      I don’t consider names of celebrities and such like as general knowledge in the same way as, say, the moons of Jupiter or the periodic table

      1. So what about 26a? Has anyone this side of the pond known it as a synonym for a certain kind of bread?

        1. ryes is the plural of rye, but ryes does not mean types of bread; it describes a type of grass the seed of which may be transformed into a bread of sorts
          I think I’m agreeing with you :smile:

  10. I always struggle with Toughies but always try to solve them, but this one for me stood out and I agree with Gazza for favouries1a, 20a, 11d, 14d, sad to say I still do not understand the parsing for 2d so if some one can help TIA. Thank you to Gila and Tilsit for all they do.

      1. Pleasure. What pleasure? See my comment 2!

        So sorry to hear about the fall. I hope the damage was more to your pride than corporal?

        1. JB
          Tofu &Gluten Free pasta hopefully will not happen in my house, did I mention I married to an Italian!

  11. My solving of this crossword was definitely affected by my trying to recover from a nasty fall on Sunday evening (although the other crosswords I did today didn’t seem as tricky). However, at least I could tell my batter from my paint!

    Thanks to Tilsit and Gila

    1. Sorry to hear of the fall CS. Hope the damage was not too serious & that normal service is resumed soon.

      Best wishes

    2. So sorry to hear about your fall: it can be very unsettling, as well as painful. I hope you recover as quickly as possible. Just as well you were able to tell your batter from your paint, just imagine what might have happened when the paint hit the hot fat!

      1. Feeling better this evening. The reference to batter v paint refers to Tilsit’s problems with 13a

    3. Oh dear, the thought of falling makes me go
      funny inside. It is a horrible feeling. do take care, I’m glad there was no real damage done.

      1. Daisygirl,
        For some days there’s been an error in your email address (an extra ‘man’ in the middle) pushing your comments into moderation.

        1. I am sorry I shall try to be more careful. My computer and this laptop save
          my details but for some reason my iphone doesn’t and I have to type it in
          each time and I am always too quick.

  12. 11d was a guess from the checkers, never in a million years otherwise! To begin with I was looking at the first letters of maintain excellent etc giving me merit so I was way off beam. Still working on it about six to do.

  13. We really liked this puzzle which was the first one by Gila that we have encountered. COTD 13D **/***

  14. I decided to give this a go today given the awful weather which put me off going out to do anything. I managed to solve all except 1a and I’ve never heard of the solution, so something to remember for the future. I did work out all the others but must say I’ve not come across 9a before. I’ve never eaten 2d so can’t comment – well I could but I don’t want to upset anyone! Each to their own and all that. My favourite clue was 8d with 7d runner up. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit for his review.

  15. Enjoyed this and found it reasonably gentle but with some entertaining clues. 7d is my favourite although I’m also partial to a bit of 2d in my miso. Thanks to Gila and Tilsit.

  16. 11d was someone that we needed to Google but had guessed correctly. Struggled with 24d for some reason. Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Gila and Tilsit.

  17. I have just finished this – in the bath as usual, with Badedas (other bath liquids are available) and one
    chocolate, my one weakness. I just could not get 6a – probably because I put 18a in the wrong space – pesky
    four letter clues – and was battling with an R. A quick reveal put me right. What a day, howling winds and
    torrential rain. My dahlias will not be up to scratch for Sunday. Thanks to Gila and Tilsit. I love stollen – I wonder
    what Christmas will be like this year? 🤔

  18. Thanks for Toughie. Helps to keep me occupied when I’ve finished Quick one and Cryptic omr

  19. I’m a day behind (local lockdown meaning the children can’t go to grandparents), but got quite far with this before using any hints (so it did indeed turn out to suit me better than Monday’s backpager — or maybe I’m just in a better 1d today?). Thank you to both Gila and Tilsit, and sorry to hear what’s happened to your job.

    Lots of clues to like, including 1d (which made me laugh), 3d, 6a, 13a, and 19d (once I’d got the right Christmas cake — I always make a chocolate YU-E -OG, but that wasn’t much help here).

  20. 2*/4*…..
    liked 25A “looking tired, yet just about in bed early for a change (6-4)”
    Sorry to hear about the job Tilsit.

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