Toughie 2530 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2530

Toughie No 2530

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from an overcast Barrel. It’s a short-change Toughie day today with only twenty six answers to find. However, eighteen of these answers have unchecked first letters which always increases the difficulty factor. Some less well-known words and a few stretched synonyms bring this puzzle into Tuesday Toughie territory. There is a lot of fun to be had along the way and a rather nice Spooner clue which gave the setters name away. (The Daily Telegraph Subscription App version doesn’t give the setters name) Silvanus appears to have got stuck in reverse whilst compiling this puzzle. l enjoyed it and I hope you do too.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a Comparatively weighty kitchen item picked up (7)
GREATER: This kitchen implement used for cheese, carrots and nutmeg sounds like something more important than it is.

8a Controversial European, one interrupting presenter (7)
POLEMIC: A native of a Central European country is followed by the initials given to a compère or Master of Ceremonies split by the letter that looks like the number one

10a Rogue discovered absconder returning, say, to pinch vehicle (10)
SCAPEGRACE: Begin with a noun describing someone who has absconded from somewhere, usually prison. Remove the outer letters of this word (discovered). Now place the initials suggested by the word say or for example around the vehicle most of us own and drive and reverse the letters you have

11a Tree branch pruned with minimum of energy (4)
LIME: Remove the last letter of a word describing a tree branch and replace it with the abbreviation for energy to find a tree

12a Bakery ad broadcast first thing in the morning (8)
DAYBREAK: Anagram (broadcast) of BAKERY AD

14a 12 heading off to find shade (6)
AWNING: Find a synonym of the answer to 12 across and remove its first letter

15a Disbelief from university student being solvent around end of January (11)
INCREDULITY: Find a term 2,6 which means financially solvent. Insert the abbreviations for University and our usual student. Append the last letter of the word January

19a Offended whenever served meal after Mike (6)
MIFFED: A two-letter conjunctional supposition is placed between the letter suggested by Mike in one of the phonetic alphabets and a word meaning to have been supplied with a meal

20a Subject to review, policeman resumes keeping computer ID (8)
USERNAME: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The word keeping tells us so. It is reversed as indicated by the words subject to review

22a Mechanic to abandon shabby style (4)
CHIC: Remove a synonym for the word shabby from the word mechanic. What you have left is your answer

23a Given to weeping, my Carole’s potentially capturing hearts (10)
LACHRYMOSE: Anagram (potentially) of MY CAROLES also including the abbreviation for hearts

25a Possible consequence of close election result, in detail (7)
RECOUNT: What the tellers do after a very close result in a poll

26a Daring act involving extremely desperate undergraduate (7)
STUDENT: The outer letters of the word desperate sit inside an action displaying spectacular skill or daring


1d Very important circular shortly to be distributed (7)
CRUCIAL: Anagram (to be distributed) of CIRCULA(r)

2d Projection supported by pollster at first is exaggerated (4)
CAMP: A projection on a rotating part in machinery sits above the initial letter of the word pollster

3d Barker and Corbett essentially superior to old comic (6)
BEAGLE: The central letter (essence) of Corbett is followed by an old children’s comic of Dan Dare fame. What a lovely and mischievous clue

4d Joint vote arranged in parliament (8)
DOVETAIL: An anagram (arranged) of VOTE sits inside the upper house of the Irish Parliament

5d City houses exposed to typhoon’s tail (10)
WELLINGTON: This answer can be found by waiting for all of the checkers to fall into place and filling in the gaps. If you have a town or a dog, have a re-think. If you have a city or an item of footwear shout BINGO and reverse parse your answer thus:
Find a word meaning houses. Remove the outer letters as suggested by the word exposed. Add the word to from the clue and add the last letter of the word typhoon

6d Diminutive type bowled no maidens, somewhat upset (7)
DIAMOND: A type of printing font measuring 1.588 millimetres can be found hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word somewhat. The word upset tells us that it is reversed

9d Spooner’s had little bite in food prepared for excursion, perhaps (6,5)
PACKED LUNCH: A phrase of two words describing something that doesn’t live up to its reputation or description can have its two initial letters swapped in order to make food prepared at home and eaten elsewhere

13d Live Geordie performer secures female financial backer (10)
BENEFACTOR: Begin with a two-letter verb meaning to live or exist. Add the initials of the area a Geordie might come from. Add a stage performer and throw in the abbreviation for female

16d Raised occasionally tender, large foreign flower that’s fragrant (8)
REDOLENT: This whole clue works in reverse. Begin with every other letter of the word tender. Add the abbreviation for large. Add a river (flower) that rises in The Czech Republic

17d Aircraft about to be unloaded from vessel (7)
FIGHTER: A large aircraft designed to carry goods in bulk needs the two- letter regular word for about removing

18d Funny man is excited to entertain posh gathering finally (7)
AMUSING: A three-part charade. 1. An anagram (excited) of MAN IS 2. The single letter suggested by the word posh 3. The last letter of the word gathering. Arrange as suggested by the clue

21d Hear trial that regularly is making mistakes (6)
ERRATA: The alternating letters (regularly) of the first three words of the clue will lead to your answer

24d Fashion, cut maybe in a striped pattern reportedly (4)
MODE: To have cut your grass in such a way that it left a striped pattern sounds like a fashion in clothes, art or literature


47 comments on “Toughie 2530
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  1. Very enjoyable. I got off to a slow start but rapidly picked up the pace. A couple of hmms on the synonyms in 2d and 6d & I was a bit confused on the parsing of 17d for a while when I had lighter in my grid. Loved 3d, great misdirection and whilst no fan of Spooner I also think 9d works very well. Thanks to Silvanus and MP.

  2. A fun solve. It was 10a which I had to reverse-engineer after consulting Chambers; 5d went in fairly early. At first I thought 14a lacked a homophone indicator – then I realised I had the wrong synonym for 12a. I liked 15a because it’s a good clue and it reminded me of my student days.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Miffypops

  3. That was a nice toughie I managed quite well. I needed a bit of help parsing a couple(6d and 24d) but MP has thrown light on my bung ins.12a I tried to justify a headless morning homophone but the headless dawning should have been more obvious. It is always a good day when I can see the Spoonerism but I will concur with Jonners and elect 3d as my COTD.
    Thanks to MP and Silvanus

  4. Fabulous. Totally accessible and great fun, which seem to be hallmarks of Sivanus’ setting style. Although not a Spooner fan, 9d really worked for me, but 3d takes the top spot today.

    Thanks so much to Silvanus for the challenge and to MP.

  5. With our printer having given up the ghost and the new one late in arriving I had to resort to solving, first the Guardian and just now the Toughie on an iPhone 7plus.
    The puzzles were enjoyable and the Guardian app worked fine.
    Regrettably I found the Telegraph an absolute nightmare. It took me 58 minutes of scrolling back and forth, being forced to make notes in order to complete. Is it just me?

    1. Possibly just you gsolphotog. I much prefer solving Daily Telegraph puzzles on my iPad to either The Gaurdian or any of this sites puzzles. There may be a settings option somewhere that may help. Or not.

        1. Yes I think so. I have seen Telegraph puzzles solved on an iPad and they seemed very straightforward but not the case with the iPhone.

      1. With the recent updates, the only gripe I have still with the iPad version is that there’s no margin in which to scribble the letters of an anagram.

        1. Point I was making is that gsol was using the iPhone App not ipad & because of the screen size difference the formatting could be different. Certainly was for the website I used to edit.
          I am the archetypical silver surfer it was just a thought.

        2. I spent years writing out anagrams before Saint Sharon and I bought iPads. I’ve never written them out since. I decided to learn how to mentally solve them without pencil and paper. I did so and you can do so too. Try it. You might like it.

          1. MP I did take on your suggestion / mantra (as I think I have said) & it has improved my “sight solving” of anagrams no end.
            When I got my tablet (poor pensioner, ipad too expensive, Mrs LrOK is the Apple profit contributor) I kept reverting to the pencil way. Now hardly ever.

            1. Actually I quite enjoy printing the letters out in a circle and appreciate it when there is a nice clear advertisement adjacent to the puzzle to work on. But george always says anagrams are my forte and I don’t often have to do it!

  6. I see you almost got included in 19a, Miffypops.
    I loathe and detest Spoonerisms, so I just guessed it.
    I liked the 12a and 14a combo.
    Thanks to all concerned.

    1. Miff is my normal nickname Una. I’m sure Silvanus will have had a smile as he put that word into his puzzle. I’m never keen on Spooner clues either and usually leave then right until the end. This one was ok though and well clued enough for me to solve it straight away.

  7. I agree with Una in that a ‘nice Spoonerism’ is an oxymoron. However, I did get this one. I came to grief in the NW corner with three things that were obscure to me. I did not know the projection in 2d (machinery and I generally do not get along), and I had never heard of the comic in 3d, (I know others liked this clue but it gets a thumbs down from me) nor the rouge in 10a. It was unfortunate they were all intersecting with each other. I did enjoy this otherwise, and thanks to Silvanus and Miffypops.

  8. Oh dear. Within 3 letters of a finish & mentally went through entire kitchen to no avail for 7a & let out an almighty groan when I read the hint. I’d echo YS’s spot on comment at 4. I did find the NW hard going however largely because 10a was a new word to me (couldn’t quite parse properly either) & the 3 letter projection at 2d took a while. Other than that pretty straightforward other than the hiccup of bunging in bondswoman in 13d which was soon corrected. Another vote for 3d as COTD where I had the answer & was trying to remember a comedian called Eagle before the penny dropped.
    Thanks to Silvanus for a great crossword & to MP for the review – noticed that BBC4 is screening an old Play For Today tonight starring Frankie Miller playing the hard man so have been listening to some of his stuff today. I’d quite forgotten how good he was & remarkable how on various songs to me anyway he sounds like Bob Seger then Paul Rogers & occasionally Rod Stewart.

    1. I join many others in voting 3d my COTD. It had me 23a with mirth. Thanks to Silvanus and Miffypops, although I didn’t need the hints to solve the puzzle they did confirm my parsing of 5d.

  9. I nearly finished it but was defeated by my last few answers and needed some hints to get the ‘why’ bits of a few more.
    I’ve never heard of 10a and completely missed the 20a reverse lurker.
    I enjoyed what I managed very much so thanks to Silvanus and to MP.

  10. Many thanks to MP for his Hints and Tips and to all those who have taken the trouble to comment.

    It is the second time I’ve managed to include Ronnie Barker within the wordplay of a clue (some may remember the homophone for BARCAROLES a while ago) and he more than anyone else fostered my love for wordplay with the clever sketches he wrote and performed in The Two Ronnies manipulating this wonderful language of ours. If he thought Spoonerisms were fair game then I certainly think so as well, providing they are not too contrived.

    I hope Daisygirl is convalescing well after her surgery and I trust that the 2Kiwis will appreciate a geographical solution much closer to home for once!

    1. Thanks Silvanus for a most enjoyable start to the Toughie week.
      I can’t help wondering how long you have had 10a sitting in a ‘words to get into a puzzle’ folder. I had not heard of it until today and while I had got the correct absconder to ‘discover’ I did need some electronic assistance to ‘discover’ the rest of it.
      My favourite is 13d.
      Thanks again.

      1. Thank you, Senf.

        I happened to see 10a mentioned in a Telegraph obituary last year for the actor Freddie Jones (describing one of his roles not the actor himself, I hasten to add) and I thought it would make a good word to use in a puzzle. I couldn’t recall having seen it appear before, and just over a year later it now is in a Toughie!

        1. Such marvelous characters that the 10a word describes appear fairly often in Victorian novels, which is where I first remember seeing the term. Generations ago. And I have often used the word to describe such creatures as the current POTUS. And thank you, Silvanus, for the great puzzle and for joining us here.

    2. Thanks very much for popping in Silvanus and for providing us with a nicely challenging and extremely enjoyable Toughie.

      I learned a few new words/meanings in 10a, 6d & 16d, and my page was littered with ticks. My favourite was 3d, and fighting it out for podium places were 15a, 22a & 9d.

    3. So good of you to pop in as usual, Silvanus. Took me a while to twig the parsing of 5d, despite the reference to houses and I had to build up 10a in stages until a very faint bell started to ring.
      Favourite? Well, I have 9 of them but Kath is obviously around so I should adopt RD’s approach and just refer to a page littered with ticks. On the other hand – 5,14,15,25&26a plus 4,13,17&24d came up trumps. To be honest, 24d made me laugh the most.

      Many thanks, Silvanus, that was a pleasure to solve.

    4. Silvanus. Thanks for thinking of us with 5d. It was actually our last clue to get sorted. We saw the possibility of the place we were visiting just a couple of days ago but thought ‘surely not’ and went looking for other options. Eventually with all the checkers in place we decided it must be right but still took ages to twig the wordplay. Can’t decide whether to make that one our favourite or the two Ronnies one which had us laughing out loud when the penny dropped.
      The whole puzzle was a delight to solve so many thanks and to MP.

    5. Sylvanus how kind of you. As you may see from the time, sleep is impossible and your lovely toughie has amused me during the small hours. We had a copy of the surgeons report to my doctor today and he said it was a particularly bad case and, in the words of (damn I’ve forgotten his name) I turned to george and said There. I told you I was ill’ now I shall spend the rest of the night trying to remember his name, I can see his face ……..

      1. Spike Milligan allegedly said he wanted ‘I told them I was ill’ put on his gravestone. Hope that helps and good luck with your exercises. I have a friend who had two knee ops in a year – last year and it has changed her life – she still marvels that she can walk and kneel.

  11. Thanks very much for popping in Silvanus and for providing us with a nicely challenging and extremely enjoyable Toughie.

    I learned a few new words/meanings in 10a, 6d & 16d, and my page was littered with ticks. My favourite was 3d, and fighting it out for podium places were 15a, 22a & 9d.

  12. As Young Salopian said, this was really a ‘fabulous’ puzzle, which I finished and fully parsed last night. Even though I too usually dread Spoonerisms, I must include today’s 9a gem among my many favourites, among which I’d cite 12/14a, 8a, 10a, 23a, but my COTD is 15a. 3d was my LOI. Many thanks to MP and to Silvanus for the magic.

    1. Now having read MP’s review, I must confess that 3d was a semi-bung-in; I had a different ‘Eagle’ comic reference in mind. I’d never heard of Dan Hare comics. So I did NOT ‘fully parse’ all 26, did I?!

      1. Robert,
        Remember getting the first Eagle comic, when I was 8. It was a game-changer, brilliant story lines, better colours, sport & superb exploded diagrams of ships & machines.

  13. Thank you Silvanous for a Toughie just out of reach but a really absorbing challenge for me. That and a neat Spoonerism entices me to visit the Tuesday Toughie regularly from now on.
    9d gets my COTD ( never thought I’d say that)
    MP’s hints might soon get me over line unaided, if not it’s down to my shortcomings.

  14. What a cracking puzzle, not easy but not mind bendingly difficult either, just clever and very crafty, right up my street. On the parsing front I have one question and that is the function of the word “superior” in 3d. I take it that it indicates a position “above” in a down clue?.
    I have a love/hate relationship with Spoonerisms but this one I loved as it made me laugh out loud. I liked the smooth 8&26a plus the aforementioned 3d in particular too.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and to MP for a top notch puzzle and review.

  15. Nearly finished a toughie – and I thought this might be the one, but thwarted at the death. 6d, 10a and 8a not even a bung in because of ignorance but I could parse with the hints ( brilliant as always). However can someone help with the parsing of 7a – where does the e come from and why to add to grater? As for the clue of the day -probably my favourite clue ever, in my relatively short foray into the world of cryptics has to be 3D- totally bamboozled, misled , misdirected – as intended I’m sure, I was convinced it must be Ronnie which was my first put in – no wonder NW corner was a car crash. Thanks to the setter and Mp.

  16. Enjoyed this – largely because I was able to finish it!! 3d brilliant when the penny dropped. Fork handles!! Thanks to Silvanus for the challenge.

  17. And thanks to Miffypops too of course
    Without your hints I would not have completed it. I don’t think I have come across that rogue.

  18. Lots to enjoy in this Silvanus Toughie … my favourite and last one in was the brilliant 3d.

    I had expected to see this sketch in the blog … it’s been seen before but it’s always worth another viewing.

    1. I’ve seen that clip so many times, but it still makes me laugh. Goodness knows how they managed to keep their faces straight – perhaps it needed a lot of ‘takes’!

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