Toughie 2532 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2532

Toughie No 2532 by Zandio

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

I was expecting a challenging Toughie from Zandio but this crossword, although on the Toughie spectrum, would have fitted very well into the Tuesday spot. I know it wasn’t ‘just me’ that thought so as I had an early email from someone (not my usual correspondent on such matters) to say ‘that won’t take you very long’. The crossword was an enjoyable solve just as we expect from Zandio with no obscurities, just good cryptic clues

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Exhibit of ghoulish characters runs in gallery (11)
DEMONSTRATE Some ghoulish characters and the abbreviation for runs in cricket scoring inserted into the name of several art galleries

7a    Two men, one from another country (7)
RUSSIAN Two men’s names combine to give the nationality of someone from another country

8a    Storm seeing fat cat caught out hanging around pub (7)
TYPHOON Take out the cricket abbreviation for caught from a business magnate (fat cat) and replace with the abbreviation for pub

10a    Rogue’s pocketing payment for courses (8)
CURRENTS A scoundrel’s (rogue’s) ‘pocketing’ a payment for use of another’s property

11a    Precinct detective quits firm (6)
STRICT Remove the abbreviation for Detective Inspector (inspector quits) from a precinct

13a    Too regressive, items regularly distributed in loose-leaf (4)
ALSO A reversal (regressive) of some of the letters (items) regularly distributed in lOoSe LeAf

14a    Opposition‘s position is the Queen must retire first (10)
RESISTANCE Reversals (must retire) of the regnal cipher of our current Queen and IS (from the clue) go before (first) a position

16a    Secure stake next to electronic fence outside (10)
GUARANTEED A fence to keep you safe goes ‘outside’ a betting stake and the abbreviation for electronic

18a    Turn over cash here? (4)
TILL A verb meaning to verb meaning to turn over or work the land or somewhere to put cash. Had turn over been one word, this would have made a good cryptic definition/all-in-one clue. The picture reminds me of my Saturday job in Woolworths many moons ago

21a    See guy with energy getting pick out (6)
LOCATE A poetic way of saying see, a slang term for a man (guy) and the abbreviation for energy

22a    Country occupation the locals don’t enjoy? (8)
INVASION A cryptic definition of an unwanted (by the locals) occupation of a country

24a    Do up lounge, with shared part in shot (7)
RESTORE A verb meaning to take it easy (lounge) and part of a verb meaning shot or rushed ‘sharing’ the last letter of the first and the first letter of the second

25a    They’re shelled with a twist of mussel — truthfully, that covers it (7)
TURTLES Hidden in reverse (with a twist) in musSEL TRUThfully

26a    Relative youngsters in a line (11)
DESCENDANTS A cryptic description of offspring from an ancestor



1d    Does fancy ascending sequence from composer I seduced (7)
DESIRES Hidden in reverse (ascending sequence) from compoSER I SEDuced

2d    Woman that’s encoded as ‘M’ (6)
MAIDEN No, not the NATO Phonetic ‘code’ for M, not least because that’s a man; what you need is the word ‘coded’ by M in cricket scoring

3d    Hole where many finish short of a score (10)
NINETEENTH The place where many golfers finish up after their round of golf; a way indicating a number one short of a score

4d    Skirt two boats unloading goods (4)
TUTU Take two small boats used for towing larger ones and ‘unload’ or remove the two Gs

5d    Computer heading getting left out repeatedly shows taste (8)
APPETITE The name of an American computer company and the heading or name of something, both with the abbreviation for Left removed (out repeatedly)

6d    Top book is uplifting, it’s felt (7)
EMOTION A reversal (uplifting in a Down clue) of a way of saying top and a large heavy book

7d    Maybe square uniform sandwiches can’t burst (11)
RECTANGULAR A synonym for uniform ‘sandwiches’ an anagram (burst) of CANT

9d    After tax, the woman’s deposit’s making flat home for a few million (11)
NETHERLANDS An adjective meaning subject to no further deductions (after tax), the female personal pronoun (the woman) and a verb meaning deposits (I presume the apostrophe in the clue word is for the surface reading?)

12d    Bear in the wild died or was dormant (10)
HIBERNATED An anagram (wild) of BEAR IN THE followed by the abbreviation for died

15d    Vehicles laden with Newcastle United strips seen in paper (8)
CARTOONS Some motor vehicles ‘laden’ with the nickname for Newcastle United based on the Geordie pronunciation  of the word town

17d    Hundred broken sauce bottles — daughter held responsible (7)
ACCUSED The Roman numeral for 100 is ‘bottled’ by an anagram (broken) of SAUCE, the result followed with the abbreviation for daughter

19d    Here the French will store cold frozen stuff (7)
ICICLES The French words for here and the ‘store’ the abbreviation for cold

20d    Dancer’s equipment comes with new flat (6)
BARREN A piece of equipment used by a ballet dancer and the abbreviation for new

23d    Something fun that’s unlucky, it’s said (4)
FETE This fun function is a homophone (it’s said) of something unlucky

Thank you to Zandio – I hope your recovery from the dreaded virus is going well

21 comments on “Toughie 2532

  1. As CS says this is on the gentle side but with some great clues, very smooth surfaces and a welcome lack of obscurities. Thanks to Zandio and CS.
    I ticked 8a, 22a and 26a but my favourite is 9d (‘flat home for a few million’ is superb).

    1. 9d was my favourite too – the superb definition reminded me of a penpal my brother had once who was looking forward to coming from Holland to “mountainous Kent” – they never did come over here which is probably a good thing as they’d have been extremely disappointed :D

  2. Quite a dense grid so plenty of checkers helped me along without many hold ups. Thanks to Zandio and CS.

  3. All done very early this morning. All parsed but for 25 across. The cryptic followed soon after. All done. All parsed but for 27 across. Both lurkers. This one was reversed so I’m using that as my excuse for missing it. An enjoyable run through so Thanks to Zandio for the puzzle and to CS for the topsy turvy turtle

    1. Can I just say that if you don’t stop putting an H instead of a G in your email address, you may remain in moderation for longer than you’d like

  4. This seemed very light to me for a Thursday Toughie. I found it of very similar difficulty to Zandio’s back-pager on Friday.

    For anyone who might be worried about my blood pressure, worry ye not. 7a is one of those rarities – a clever clue incorporating not one but two undefined people’s names. It is a similar construction to the legendary “two girls, one on each knee” clue.

    I enjoyed this a lot and my podium comprises 14a, 26a & 9d.

    Many thanks to Zandio. Here’s hoping you are recovering well from Covid-19. Many thanks too to CS for the review.

    1. Pleased to hear the news about your blood pressure – I did get slightly worried when I read that clue!

  5. I thought this one very gentle & certainly easier than the last 2 days which probably accounts for almost halving my quickest ever Toughie solve. That always helps to restore some pride after being done over by a tyrant in the back pager & currently 1 shy in the Quickie also. Though straightforward I still enjoyed this one immensely & thought it nicely clued throughout. Have a suspicion DaisyG will not be enamoured with a cricket then golf related clue one after the other with no flowers to balance things up. A toss up between 7&9d as my pick of the clues.
    Many thanks Zandio & to CS for the review.

  6. 9d my clear favourite from this pleasantly comfortable Toughie. I could not ascribe the term straightforward as there were a couple of clues that took some energetic parsing, but it was certainly enjoyable which is the point of the exercise.

    Many thanks to Zandio for the fun and to CS.

  7. Regardless of what level it came in at, this was one of the most enjoyable puzzles from Zandio that I can remember – plenty of humour and an absence of obscurities.
    My favourite was 3d – accompanied as it was by the excellent cartoon! – and I really liked 22a for very selfish reasons.

    Many thanks to Zandio and to CS for the review.
    PS Thank you so much for recommending ‘The Giver of Stars’, CS. I’m really enjoying it.

    1. You’ve obviously not got to the ‘I can’t put it down, I’ve got to know what happens’ bit if you are still solving and commenting on crosswords!

      1. Oh, I’ve definitely reached that stage but am trying very hard to leave it for my after dinner treat. Reckon I won’t be going to bed tonight until I’ve finished it!

  8. Gentle?! I just cannot get into this at all, even reading the hints isn’t helping. After just 4 answers I’m giving up. Sorry CS and Zandio. This just isn’t for me. Surely I’m not alone?

  9. I agree with Huntsman on 7 and 9d–both marvelous clues. But I again missed a lurker (rather, the rekrul) in 25a last night. I usually find those little critturs first thing, but two misses (one per puzzle) in an hour or two make me wonder if I’m losing the knack. Not to worry, I finished this delightful Zandio, parsing all but 25a (couldn’t figure out those mussels!), even though my bung-in was correct. Thanks to CS and to Zandio, whose puzzles continue to rank up there with Jay’s and Ray T’s.

  10. I didn’t think it was that easy – at least 2.5* for me. I struggled to parse 24a and spent a while looking for wordplay in 22a. My top clues are 14a, 15d [nicely disguised definition] and 9d [ditto, LoL].

    Thanks to Zandio and CS

  11. I enjoyed this very much, but I’m one of those who found it on the more difficult end of the spectrum. Many thanks to Zandio and crypticsue.

  12. Certainly more difficult than one star for us and a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Zandio and CS.

  13. Really enjoyed this despite a slow start. Very much in the vein of this setter’s back pagers I thought with several amusing and clever clues.
    I particularly liked 1,3,9&15d but could have mentioned several others.
    Many thanks to Zandio and to CS for the excellent puzzle and hints.

  14. Bad day at black rock for me, I found this puzzle quite difficult around a ***/***, last in was 25a ,there I was seeking the correct shellfish and dancing dress in some form or other.
    Never mind, my release from boredom on a miserable Cheshire afternoon ,what would we do without our crosswords?
    Favourite was 8a’
    I await my duel with Mr Elgar tomorrow-a ***** awaits with trepidation!
    Thanks to setter and CS for the pics, don’t mess with my 4d,

  15. I don’t think I’m cut out for Toughies although I completed tomorrows with the hints. Couldn’t comment as the internet was down.
    Took me absolutely ages but completed without any “reveals”. Needed to go to and fro to the hints a few times.
    Thanks to CS and Zandio. Can’t really enjoy it much when I find it so hard but will keep trying.

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