Toughie 2525 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2525

Toughie No 2525 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

A gentler proXimal with some lovely clues, making for an enjoyable solve.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a    I’m frustrated because dog hides when ready to return (3,5,4)
FOR PETE’S SAKE: A 3-letter word meaning because, then a contracted informal word for a Chinese dog breed containing (hides) the reversal (to return) of a 2-letter word meaning when plus a 3-letter word meaning ready

8a    Bugs enter chest in opposing directions (5)
NARKS: Place a word meaning chest or coffer in between two opposite compass points

9a    Money from selling small pies (9)
TURNOVERS: An 8-letter word for money from selling (normally over a certain period) plus the abbreviation for small

11a    Moving book recalled Scottish island lake (9)
EMOTIONAL: The reversal (recalled) of a 4-letter book or volume, a Scottish island, and the abbreviation for lake

12a    Undesirable duck sauce (5)
PESTO: A word for an undesirable plus the letter that looks like the score of a duck (no runs) in cricket

13a    Naive daughter tucked into spicy dish, not half keen (9)
CHILDLIKE: The abbreviation for daughter goes inside a spicy dish, often made ‘con carne’, plus KE(en) from the clue without the last two letters (not half)

16a    Destroy quiet, primarily rural parts (5)
ERASE: A word that can mean quiet or peace is parted by the insertion of the first letter (primarily) of rural


18a    Occasionally take against guard (5)
AEGIS: Even letters (Occasionally …)

19a    Anagram in that clue omitting L? True (9)
AUTHENTIC: An anagram of (anagram … ) IN THAT C(L)UE, omitting the L.

20a    Cleanser customer emptied in vessel (5)
SCRUB: C(ustome)R from the clue without the inner letters (emptied) goes inside (in) an underwater vessel

22a    Worry about one on popular junction (9)
INTERFACE: The reversal (about) of a verb meaning to worry, then a card with value one, all following (on, in an across clue, as in “added on to”) a short word meaning popular or trendy

25a    Covered in wounds, not totally afraid around weapons (9)
SCIMITARS: A word for wounds covers the reversal (around) of a 5-letter word meaning afraid or shy, without the last letter (not totally)

26a    Marker that’s raised Scots kid’s initially downgraded mark (5)
CAIRN: The Scottish word for a child in which the first letter (initially) is downgraded a mark

27a    Single people new in hostelry getting drunk with ale (6,6)
LONELY HEARTS: Insert the abbreviation for new inside (in) an anagram of (… getting drunk with …) HOSTELRY + ALE


1d    Wrinkling and hair falling out (9)
FURROWING: The hair of an animal and falling out or arguing

2d    Sage butter is hideous to sample (5)
RISHI: Hidden (… to sample)

3d    Learner in school is John, perhaps (5)
ELTON: The abbreviation for learner goes inside (in) a posh school

4d    Environmentally bad bar vainly struggling for registration (9)
ENROLMENT: A subtractive anagram: an anagram (bad) of ENVIRONMENTALLY but not including (bar) an anagram (struggling) of VAINLY

5d    Exhibit hospital in broadcast item (9)
SHOWPIECE: The abbreviation for hospital goes inside a 3-letter verb meaning broadcast, plus another word for item or article

6d    Capsized glossy boats (5)
KEELS: The reversal (capsized, in a down clue) of a word meaning glossy or smooth

7d    The poorest orders in hierarchy are given here (12)
UNDERCLASSES: Argh, this took me a while because i got stuck thinking the definition was longer, the first 5 words! However, the last 6 words of the clue relate to taxonomy, and for it to make sense we need to split the answer (5,7)

10d    Cross men seek to confound cover-ups (12)
SMOKESCREENS: An anagram (to confound) of CROSS MEN SEEK

14d    Centre in Bordeaux housing big silo to recycle refuse (9)
DISOBLIGE: The centre two letters in Bordeaux contain an anagram (to recycle) of BIG SILO

15d    I’m getting old, short and fairly regularly ignored — it’s not real! (9)
IMAGINARY: I’M from the clue, a word meaning ‘getting old’ without the last letter (short) and the even letters in fairly (regularly ignored)

17d    Deed reportedly you sign for assessors (9)
ACTUARIES: Another word for a deed, a homophone (reportedly) of you, plus a sign of the Zodiac

21d    Large beast in grass; be aware, we’re told (5)
RHINO: A homophone (we’re told) of a type of grass related to wheat and a verb meaning ‘be aware’

23d    Sense leader in country should be demoted (5)
TASTE: Another word for country or nation in which the first letter (leader) is moved down 2 places (should be demoted)

24d    One speeding about, vehicle coming north (5)
RACER: A short word meaning about or concerning plus a vehicle, all reversed (coming north, in a down clue)

There were some nice anagrams today; I particularly liked 27a and 10d. I also liked 11a for surface. Which clues did you like?

24 comments on “Toughie 2525

  1. What a delight! A Friday Toughie with no pretentious cleverness, just a pleasant solve. More like this please.

  2. I only attempt the Friday Toughie when Elgar is not on duty … enjoyed it but puzzled by why 19a looks like a hint rather than a clue?

    1. This happened before. It’s as if the setter has noted that the clue is unfinished but suits an anagram.

  3. It’s a nice feeling to finish a Friday toughie unaided and in a good time. Thanks to Proximal for the workout and to Dutch for explaining those I couldn’t parse.

    1. My sentiments entirely. A thoroughly enjoyable Friday Toughie. 22a was my last in and provided me with a huge penny dropping moment, but 5d was my favourite, I think. Thanks to Proximal and to Dutch for a few much needed parsings.

  4. proXimal is in an unexpectedly benevolent mood today and has given us an enjoyable puzzle which didn’t cause too many hold-ups – thanks to him and Dutch.

    My ticks went to 1a, 18a and 7d.

  5. What a relief to get a Friday Toughie that, unlike yesterday’s, didn’t require referring to CS’s book of obscure words!
    Some reverse parsing required with 1&25a but an eminently solvable and most enjoyable puzzle.
    Top two here were 12a & 1d.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Dutch for the review.

  6. Yes, this was very friendly for a Friday Toughie and very enjoyable too.

    2d was a new word for me and 6d involved a new meaning. I couldn’t parse 7d so was grateful for the review for the explanation.

    My podium comprises 1a, 9a & 11a.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Dutch.

  7. ProXimal at his friendliest, I thought, with 1, 18, & 26a making the podium for me. 22a & 23d were my last two in, and I sought two letters (from the electronic function) to solve those two. (I just went blank at the end, though in my mind, I kept thinking ‘interface’ but couldn’t parse it properly. It had been a long night!) Thanks to Dutch for the hints and to proXimal for the fun.

  8. I too found this a comfortable and fun solve. Seeing it was by proXimal I approached it in a spirit of optimism and was well-rewarded. Some excellent clues, among which was my favourite, 27a.

    Thanks to proXimal for the challenge and to Dutch.

  9. Any time I finish a Friday Toughie, I should have a smile on my face, but this is a grimace. My back is killing me. Roll on the physio in an hour.

    Grid completed in *** time, but I did need the hints to fully parse 1a, 16a, 22a and 15d.

    Thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

  10. What’s going on? I found this the easiest of this week’s 4 toughies, but no less enjoyable for that. It took me a shamefully long time to parse 23d and to twig the homophone at 21d. I liked 25a and the subtractive anagram at 4d was more elegant than they often are.
    Thanks to proXimal and to Dutch for the blog.

  11. Well. What do you know. I’ve finished a Friday Toughie unaided. Not helped by having ‘lower’ for the start of 7d for a while. Why doesn’t lower work as well? Pity it was a fairly gentle Toughie, so I can’t get too smug. All very enjoyable. Thank the X man.

  12. I enjoyed this very much. I had a couple of self inflicted wounds in the NE corner that slowed progress. (I started off with SHOWTHING for 5d and (although the word play is perfectly clear) I had initially reversed 6d). I got it all sorted out eventually, and was able to finish in order to enjoy the unusual pleasure of having completed a Friday toughie. Many thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

  13. We’re still chuckling over the homophone in 21d. A delightful puzzle to solve and much appreciated.
    Thanks proXimal and Dutch.

  14. Always nice to have a Friday Toughie that mere mortals can complete so thanks for that proXimal. A very entertaining solve despite the fact that I made rather heavy weather of it. 26a was my last in & must confess that I lost patience & went to the hints where the picture revealed all but thought the wordplay very clever so will select it as my pick.
    Thanks to Dutch whose review I’ll now read.

  15. After a lot of effort I solved this crossword but for one-18 a-.It pleases me to do well on any toughie.It was certainly not a crossword for beginners but was within reach for those with some experience.So those of us who are obsessed rather than gifted had a chance.The rating of three is about right.

  16. A splendid crossword. Thanks Proximal. I spent two hours between 11PM and 1AM this morning and finished it off with my morning cup of tea. A beautiful way to start the day. My parsing was for once entirely in line with yours Dutch which pleased me no end, Many thanks and my favourites were 17d and 21d

Comments are closed.