Toughie 2502 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2502

Toughie No 2502 by Dada

Hints and tips by Bill Brewer

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I found this a very straightforward solve today. Possibly helped by using an iPad which makes everything about filling in a grid so much easier and neater. Hopefully the inclusion of The Toughie in the newspaper app will lead to more people attempting the Toughie puzzles. If you are new to Toughie solving please let us know how you are getting on with them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a I appreciate that is found in luxury fertiliser (6)
POTASH: A small word of thanks (I appreciate that) is found in a synonym of the word luxury

4a Up after midnight in central part of Sweden (6)
ELATED: The period of time after midnight is not considered to be early. Therefore, place what it is considered to be inside the central two letters of the word Sweden

8a Attack sleazy bar lot (4-4)
DIVE-BOMB: Two synonyms required here. An obvious one for a sleazy bar and a less obvious one for the word lot

10a Diminutive dish in sad film (6)
WEEPIE: Split 3,3 and moved to Scotland this tearjerker could be a small meat filled comestible surrounded by pastry

11a Could disheartened pony be looking game? (1-3)
I-SPY: A word meaning could be is followed by the outer letters (disheartened) of the word pony

12a Serious prodder confronted (5-5)
POKER-FACED: A prodder that may be used to prod a fire is followed by a word meaning confronted

13a Lethal weapon, the arm tossed into river (5-7)
FLAME-THROWER: An anagram (tossed) of THE ARM sits inside a word for a river much favoured by crossword setters

16a Faculty backs learner doing badly in mathematical process (4,8)
LONG DIVISION: A three-part charade. 1 A faculty, one of the five senses 2 An anagram (badly) of DOING 3. The abbreviation of learner. Arrange as suggested by the clue

20a Agree about tank, dropping back — that’s hairy! (10)
CHIMPANZEE: A stretched synonym of the word agree sits around a common form of German military tank minus its last letter

21a Horse training for The Derby consistently bringing up the rear (4)
GREY: The last letters of a run of words in the clue as suggested by the words bringing up the rear

22a Little hollow beside root for insect (6)
BEETLE: A root vegetable is followed by the outer letters of the word little as suggested by the word hollow

23a Pain is in fine detail (8)
NUISANCE: A fine detail here is a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound. The word IS from the clue needs to be inserted into this word

24a Royal informer with a series of blunders (6)
ERRATA: The Queens royal cipher is followed by an informer and the letter A from the clue

25a Horrified, scallywag has tickled nurses (6)
AGHAST: The answer here lies hidden within the words of the clue as hinted at by the word nurses


1d Smashing reply: it’s divine (8)
PRIESTLY: An anagram (smashing) of REPLY IT’S

2d Odd bits required, these only in pocket (5)
TEENY: The odd bits or alternate letters of two of the words in the clue produce something small enough to fit into one’s pocket

3d Still place for Olympic event (4,3)
SHOT PUT: Two synonyms required here. One for the word still when a still is a single photograph from a motion film. Another for the word place

5d Popular little ridge (7)
LOWBROW: A synonym of the word little is followed by a synonym of the word ridge. Neither are immediately obvious

6d Writer’s helper that man has in house (9)
THESAURUS: A sign of the zodiac contains the diminutive form of that man has (2’1)

7d Wind power beautiful, ultimately (6)
DRIVEL: Power as in carry along by force followed by the last letter of the word beautiful

9d Bread’s OK for kneading: simple approach for batch of loaves? (6,5)
BAKERS DOZEN: An anagram (for kneading) of BREADS OK is followed by a form of relaxation and meditation

14d Measurer of distance given more time for adjustment, nailing length (9)
MILOMETER: Anagram (for adjustment) of MORETIME which includes the abbreviation for length

15d Sulk about gang turning up when it gets dark? (5,3)
POWER CUT: A four-letter word meaning to sulk surrounds the reversal (turning up) of a gang where the word gang refers to a working party

17d Most within reach are in retreat (7)
NEAREST: The word ARE from the clue sits inside a cosy retreat

18d Battle member, acting as witness (7)
VIEWING: A word meaning to fight against is followed by an arm (member). One on a bird perhaps

19d Bronchodilator required for this? Great idea (6)
WHEEZE: A bronchodilator will help if you have a chesty rattle when breathing. What this is known as is also a jolly jape or a hoot or a great idea

21d Country starts to get happier adopting new approach (5)
GHANA: The starts or initial letters of five consecutive words in the clue will lead to a country

23 comments on “Toughie 2502

  1. As has become my habit lately, I finished this most enjoyable Toughie last night before doing the Cryptic and found it quite wittily Dadaesque. Except for the simian block at 20a and some sticklers in the NE, everything flowed smoothly. I did need an electronic assist (two letters) for 20a to enable me to finish the grid (I became fixated, for some bizarre reason, on an ‘-azzled’ suffix and couldn’t unblock my fixation, nor could I remember the German tank). I thought that 5, 6, & 7d, as well as 10a, were brilliant. Thank you Dada! And to Billy B for the hints, which I’ll read now. **** / ****

  2. I found this straightforward apart from the NE corner where 4a and 5,6,7 d were last to yield -so those are my top clues.
    Thanks to Dada and BB. [BTW I find a pen pretty neat too!]

    1. I envy people who can write. I cannot and thereby hangs my love of keyboards and printers or iPads and puzzles. I bed you haven’t scoured the alphabet for a word beginning with the letter C only to find it was the letter L all along. Bs and Ds are indistinguishable. My letter Ns look like an italic letter I. Give me the iPad every time.

  3. I enjoyed this. At first I got nowhere then, with the aid of electronics, lateral thinking and inspired guesses, I finished it and enjoyed the ride. I was pleased not to need the hints. Much more fun than the back page which was really rather a slog.

  4. Most enjoyable and not too difficult- other than the synonym for lot in 8a, I still can’t justify the answer.
    Thanks to Dada and Bill Brewer

  5. After a first quick read through I’d filled in about 3 clues and was thinking this was pretty tough for a Tuesday. A bit more mental effort a second time round solved most of it, with 13a, 15d and 19d being favourites. But the NW corner kept me scratching my head as I tried to find any way that sand pit or wine-snob might fit. Once I accepted that they wouldn’t, I was able to complete the grid.

  6. I hardly ever try Toughies partly on grounds of time but mainly because I know I can’t do them.
    Anyway, had a go today and almost got there – just scuppered by four that I really couldn’t do and a couple more that I couldn’t quite see ‘why’.
    My favourite was either 8 or 25a.
    Thanks to Dada and to BB.

  7. I like Toughies so far, even to the extent that I missed not doing one yesterday – are they rationed?
    This was right up my street, just stretching enough, and amusing too.

  8. Somewhere around a ***/*** for me as per MP.
    Spent an entertaining solving the puzzle and watching the exiting bits of the cycling! what a beautiful country France is,
    Anyway some complex parsing , not sure about 2d- you can have a big pocket too.
    Thanks to MP for the Scottish parsing of 10a’
    Favourite was 20 a , loved the ‘nearly tank’

  9. I am new to the toughie. I started when it appeared on the iPad. It must be 10 years since I had the dead tree version and would occasionally look at it but never knew what to do with it. It shows how much this blog has helped me as I completed it without help.
    I’ve really warmed to Dada on a Sunday and enjoyed this.
    Thanks to Dada and mp.

  10. Tuesday through to Thursday I find most accessible, and this was no exception. Friday is a different story. I always enjoy Dada’s puzzles and this was thoroughly good fun to complete. 20a was a real cracker, my final entry and favourite.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and MP.

  11. I’m so glad to have learned this was the Toughie, and is new to the app! I did struggle with it, then when I read hints for the regular cryptic I wondered what on earth was going as I’d not spotted that. I’ll try again but for now I’m shrinking back to my Safe Space… 😊

  12. I was left with two but after checking the hints, I was able to finish off under my own steam. Very enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks to Dada and Bill.

  13. Very enjoyable. Solved at a steady pace but I thought it was well clued with plenty of smiles as the penny dropped. Thanks to Dada and BB.

  14. We’re always pleased to see Dada’s name on a puzzle and once again we were not disappointed.
    Thanks Dada and MP.

  15. Did the top half easily enough. The bottom was a different kettle of poison. 19d 24a and 15d (I would Pout about it too but instead I moped) all needed a nudge from the hints.
    I am coming to the conclusion that Toughies are not very different really just the synonyms are stretched a bit further. 20a being an example I saw the tank and removed the r but agree = chime took longer to drop than pocket = teeny.
    Thanks to BB and Dada.
    Must get back to reading I have a long list of recommendations to study next!

  16. Thanks to Dada and to Bill Brewer for the review and hints. I do the Toughie when I have time, but it’s usually getting late, and my brain runs out of steam. This puzzle was enjoyable. Needed the hints for 4&20a and 2&15d. Favourite was 13a.

  17. Started too late & the eyelids are drooping 6 shy of a finish so they’ll have to wait until the morning. Much easier than his Graun Cryptics but plenty tough enough for me. I’ve already bunged in a few & figured out the parsing afterwards – 9d, 16a & 20a.
    An enjoyable tussle as always where Dada is concerned & it remains to be seen whether MP’s help will be required but I’m sure the review will be entertaining

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