Toughie 2522 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2522

Toughie No 2522

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a very sunny Barrel. Today’s Puzzle by Gila is a perfect Tuesday Toughie. Plenty of starter clues to give a foothold and checkers to work with and then the pesky few at the end sitting there poking fun at you until something clicks and the penny drops.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Airlines flying over the capital of an island (5,6)
SAINT HELIER: Anagram (flying) of AIRLINES which sits either side of the word THE from the clue

9a Flirtatious relationship ultimately destroyed marriage (9)
DALLIANCE: The ultimate or last letter of the word destroyed is followed by an association formed for mutual benefit

10a Oil companies finally accepting international sanctions (5)
FIATS: A word meaning oil or grease in general (what my mother called lard) is followed by the final letter of the word companies and surrounds the abbreviation for international

11a Clubs said to embrace hard type of music (6)
CHORAL: The abbreviation for clubs and a word meaning spoken or said contains the abbreviation for hard

12a Long-distance craft sank at the front, taking sailors with it (8)
STARSHIP: The first letter of the word sank is followed by the plural of an outdated word meaning sailors and a three-letter word meaning with it or trendy

13a Bad thing the head of a certain police department did? (6)
RANCID: Split 3,3 (where the second set of letters are abbreviations) What one who managed detectives did

15a Daughter has strange time getting tattoo (8)
DRUMBEAT: The abbreviation for daughter is followed by a word meaning strange and a musical term for time

18a Union-related crimes involving great female friends abroad? (8)
BIGAMIES: Split 3,5 we have a word meaning great or large and, in French, female friends or lovers

19a Senior writer rebuffed rubbish, incomplete concept (6)
EDITOR: Find a three-letter word meaning rubbish and a four-letter word meaning a notion or thought but minus its last letter. Reverse what you have as indicated by the word rebuffed

21a Attend religious area with Democrat, get exhausted (2,2,4)
GO TO SEED: The first two words here mean attend. The religious area is a diocese. The abbreviation for Democrat finishes things off

23a Departs from a city somewhere in South Africa (6)
DURBAN: The abbreviation for departs is followed by an adjective meaning from, relating to or characteristic of a city

26a In first place, although really only maybe by a nose (5)
AROMA: The initial letters of five consecutive words of the clue provide your answer. Oh no it won’t. See my comment at comment 12. 

27a Attacking an opponent’s character made him no different (2,7)
AD HOMINEM: Anagram (different) of MADE HIM NO

28a Wait and offer to buy everyone a pint? (5,6)
STAND AROUND: Split 5,1,5 how one might have paid for drinks for many people


1d Cocktail served as ‘cider’ (7)
SIDECAR: Anagram (served) of AS CIDER

2d Basic dwelling with one good toilet (5)
IGLOO: Begin with the letter that looks like the number one. Add the abbreviation for good. Add a common word meaning the toilet

3d Asian island is encapsulated by order and loyalty among people (9)
TRIBALISM: I can see a four-letter Indonesian island in my answer. It is surrounded by a four-letter synonym of the word order. That accounts for eight of the nine letters in my answer. I have a spare letter S which I cannot explain. Can you? Maybe a contraction of Island is?

4d Bird about to go north, then north-east (4)
ERNE: Our usual two-letter word meaning about is reversed and followed by the abbreviations for North and East

5d It comes out about right, resulting in a chilling disturbance (3,5)
ICE STORM: An anagram (out) of IT COMES sits around the abbreviation of the word right

6d Direct official accompanying the Queen (5)
REFER: The shortened form of an official keeping order in a football match is followed by the two letters signifying our wonderful queen

7d Perfectionist rejected best stuff from time to time (7)
FUSSPOT: Reading from right to left use every other letter from the word stuff. Add the reverse of a four-letter superlative word meaning best

8d Layer of paint that is soft at the edges and faded in the extreme (8)
WASHIEST: A layer of thinned or diluted paint is followed by the Latin abbreviation (Id Est) for that is. Add the outer letters of the word soft

14d One giant, messy denial (8)
NEGATION: Anagram (messy) of ONE GIANT

16d Old actor steals papers revealing the timing of a Shakespeare play (9)
MIDSUMMER: The papers here are Identity papers. Note the plural and place them inside an actor also known as a guiser

17d Excellent medicine fixed up with a strong drink (8)
DEMERARA: A four-letter word meaning excellent is followed by a three-letter abbreviation of the word medicine. This is all reversed (fixed up) and appended to the letter A from the clue

18d Grand chat about, for example, a rising emotional burden? (7)
BAGGAGE: A four-part charade. 1 The abbreviation of for example 2 The letter A from the clue 3 The abbreviation for the word Grand 4 An informal verb meaning to chat. Reverse the lot

20d Having no lead, gendarme awkwardly called again (7)
RENAMED: Anagram (awkwardly) of GENDARME minus it’s first letter

22d Info obtained from small markings on the skin (5)
STATS: The abbreviation for small is followed by a shortened form of the word describing permanently inked words or pictures on one’s body

24d Bishop reportedly also comprehends a number of foreign languages (5)
BANTU: The abbreviation for Bishop and a homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning also sit around the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for new

25d Slough is quiet and expected to be evacuated (4)
SHED: A two letter sound used to quieten children is followed by the outer letters of the word expected


24 comments on “Toughie 2522

  1. Although it was nice to have a Tuesday crossword actually on the Toughie spectrum, I didn’t enjoy myself quite as much as I’d have hoped but can’t really put my finger on why

    Thanks to Gila and Miffypops – could you send some sun down here please, it is horribly wet and chilly here

  2. Just beaten by 26a and therefore, 22d.
    I must admit I have often wondered what the sanitation is like in a 2d.
    I thought 15a was a good bit of misdirection but my COTD is 16d. I was so relieved I didn’t have to search for a superannuated actor.

    1. If you’d watched the Michael Palin Pole to Pole highlights on Sunday evening, you’d have been reminded of the sanitation options in the artic!

  3. Unlike CS I thoroughly enjoyed this Tuesday Toughie. Most of it went straight in, but there were a few holdouts that eventually fell into place. 8 and 16d were particular favourites with 15a also making it onto the podium.

    Many thanks to Gila for the challenge and to MP.

  4. Phew! A real toughie on Tuesday. As you say MP some simple starters but the endgame was a battle. Gila seems to be the master/mistress of complex reversals [eg 7,17 and 18d] and all of these took a while to crack. I agree that “asian island is” accounts for 5 letters of 3d and my COTD is the elegant 12a.

    Thanks for the blog and thanks Gila for the battle.

  5. Pleased to see that CS at least rated it on the spectrum because I certainly found it plenty tough enough. Sadly/predictably there were a pesky few at the end poking fun at me but in the absence of any clicking MP’ s help was required once I ground to a halt 3 shy. Like JB 26a & 22d were 2 of them, both of which I really ought to have got, but the other was 10a & while it was gettable from the wordplay I had no idea it was anything other than a car. The anagram at 27a was also new to me & needed Mr G to confirm once I’d eventually cobbled something plausible together from the letters. Thoroughly enjoyed it though not maybe quite as much as Hodd’s effort (also tough) in Rookie Corner. A coin flip between 21a & 16d for COTD.
    With thanks to Gila & to MP for the review (await your response to my comment yesterday about your go to music)

    1. Dylan, Morrison, Young, Cohen and Waits. Partial to Ronnie Lane. Enjoy Led Zeppelin. Watch a lot of live jazz but never listen to it other than live gigs. Steely Dan a bit. Bowie. Nick Cave. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones of course. Not forgetting The Who. Sinead O Connor. Whatever is on Radio three. Dylan and Waits are my favourites especially the live stuff.

      1. Tom was always the ponder – should have guessed it was Waits from the others. I go through phases but find my go to choices seem to currently be The Marcus King Band, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell & the 400 unit, John Mellencamp & Michael Kiwanuka.

  6. No 2 Toughie finished with electronic help only for 8d which took some seeing
    Toughies like this are on my limit – time immaterial as long as Mrs LrOK is understanding.
    At least one Toughie a week I can get near now thanks to education from reviews. Old dog learning new tricks is a slow process I fear.
    Thanks to Gila and MP

  7. If ‘Asian island is’ becomes ‘Bali is’ and then abbreviated to ‘Bali’s’ – as in ‘Bali’s a holiday favourite’ – there’s nothing superfluous in the clue.

  8. Very enjoyable. I managed about three quarters unaided, which seems to be as far as I get at the moment. Hopefully, time will improve on this. I especially liked 16d and the neat 2d.

    Many thanks to Gila for the challenge. Thanks, also, to Miffypops for the hints.

  9. We had no idea that 17d was a strong drink,but bunged it in because it was the only word we could think of which fitted. We needed help with the parsing of 10a. 8d our last one in, nice surface but rather unsatisfactory answer. Very enjoyable crossword, thanks to Gila and Miffypops.

  10. Beaten today by 10a and 22d. Annoyed about the latter, the former was a new term to me. Also couldn’t parse 3d and had to check my actors on 16d. I’m happy to come up short as I think that’s what Toughies should be all about. Thanks to Gila and MP.

  11. 8d was my LOI once I sussed the import of 10a. With the aid of my ‘5-letter’ function, I managed to finish in two separate visits, once last night and again this morning. Thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, with my choices 13, 15, 28a, and 18a, which made me laugh. Thanks to MP for the hints, which I’ll read now, and to Gila for the tough love.

  12. Pleased to have finished but the same few as others had me headscratching. Got the right answer in the end for 26a, but completely missed the reason why, so thanks MP. Also agree that 3d’s extra ‘s’ is a contraction of Bali is.
    Thanks to all.

    1. My hint for 26 across isn’t quite right. It is the first letter of only four consecutive words in the clue which sit by the letter A from the clue

  13. It was the SW corner where we got delayed by taking a long time to twig 18d and tried to justify SCARS for 22d as being ‘markings on the skin’.
    Thanks Gila and MP.

Comments are closed.