Toughie 2546 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2546

Toughie No 2546 by Gila

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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

Good morning from Bonny Barrel where next year’s daffodil count will be far higher than this year.

Today we have a good fun puzzle from Gila. Sprinkled with a fresh quirkiness over thirty-two clues. Just what a Tuesday Toughie should be

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a Retired boxer perhaps begins personal decline (2,4)
GO DOWN: The setter here has four legs. He or she is reversed and followed by a word meaning something one possesses which belongs to them

8a In isolation and thus sadly not at home (4,4)
SHUT AWAY: An anagram (sadly) of THUS) is followed by a word suggesting that one is not at home

9a Take top from oil and add to a jug (7)
AMPHORA: Remove the first letter from a type of oil made from a white volatile crystalline substance with an aromatic smell and bitter taste. Add the letter A from the clue

10a Heavy weight is initially attached to front of cement mixer (5)
TONIC: A heavy weight of twenty hundredweight. The initial letter of the word is. The initial letter of the word cement. Together they make a mixer to be served with Gin, ice and a slice of lemon. The perfect drink before breakfast

11a Many a superior spell of cricket … and where they may be seen (9)
OVERLORDS: A series of six balls in cricket is followed by one of crickets most famous grounds found in St John’s Wood, London. Who was Saint John and why does he have a wood named after him?

13a Fine fuel is guaranteed to do the trick (4-4)
SURE FIRE: An adverb used for emphasis meaning fine or certainly is followed by a slightly stretched synonym for fuel possibly as a verb

14a Play the role of a promoter touring clubs (3,3)
ACT OUT: The letter A from the clue is followed by a person who attempts to persuade people of the merits of something. This all sits around the abbreviation for clubs

17a Stop working round religious holiday (3)
EID: An informal verb meaning to stop working can be reversed to form a Muslim religious festival

19a Which people? The ones advising on our wellbeing (3)
WHO: The letters that make up a word meaning which people are also the initials of a global institution within the United Nations

20a Hard day in court facing case of extortion (6)
WOODEN: A three-part charade. 1. A word meaning to court 2. The abbreviation for the word day 3. The outer letters of the word extortion. Put what you have in the order suggested by the clue

23a Visible setback for father and mother? (8)
APPARENT: An informal word for your father is reversed and followed by a noun describing one’s mother (or father actually)

26a A fantastic red room adjacent to end of ornate landing area (9)
AERODROME: An anagram (fantastic) of RED ROOM is preceded by the letter A from the clue and followed by the last letter of the word ornate

28a Remove part of computer as evidence (5)
ERASE: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words part of

29a Danger in the ocean involving journey around island port (7)
RIPTIDE: A trip in a car (or on a horse) surrounds the abbreviations for island and port

30a Implore heads of entertainment show to welcome international stars (8)
PLEIADES: Begin with a synonym of the word implore. Add the initial letters of the words entertainment and show. Introduce (to welcome) the abbreviation for international

31a Take your time possibly and fit in (6)
BELONG: The answer, when split (2,4), makes a phrase meaning take your time

1d A protest largely succeeded already (2,2,2)
AS IT IS: A and a form of protest where a group of people occupy a building has its last letter removed (largely) and the abbreviation for succeeded added

2d Troops at sea keep an eye on nets for fish (7)
GURNARD: The initials of our seafaring armed service sit inside a word meaning to keep an eye on as a sentinel or watchman might

3d ‘Imagine’ released as single? (5-4)
FANCY-FREE: Two synonyms are required here, one for imagine and one for released to find a term describing someone not emotionally involved or committed to a relationship

4d Cause of manufacturing plant closing early (6)
FACTOR: A manufacturing plant has its last letter removed (closing early)

5d City destroyed as work to damage uprising overwhelms soldiers (8)
GOMORRAH: Golly bongs where do I start? To work is to function properly. That’s a good place to start. The soldiers are the other ranks which sit inside the reverse of a word meaning to damage or injure

6d Exclamation pertaining to idiocy leads to youths often fighting here (5)
DOHYO: The ring in which Sumo Wrestling takes place can be found by beginning with Homer Simpson’s regular exclamation of idiocy and adding the initial letters to the words youths and often

7d Large, disorderly crowd outside, excited for some football (5,3)
WORLD CUP: Begin with the abbreviation for large. Wrap an anagram (disorderly) of CROWD around it. Add a two-letter word meaning excited

12d Set about tackling drug check (3)
VET: The abbreviation for the set that used to sit quite unassumingly in the corner of your lounge is reversed (about) and sits around (tackling ) a recreational drug.

15d Excellent overseas law enforcer with one nervous habit (9)
COPACETIC: Begin with slang term for a policeman. Add a word for number one, as in a playing card. Add a nervous twitch to find an unusual English language word (the word overseas indicates a word not commonly used in the UK) in that it is one of the few words of unknown origin that is not considered slang in contemporary usage. … Its most likely origin comes from African American slang in the late 19th century. The earliest known usage given in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1919. Here is an example of its use in a song

16d Artist is finally able to convert products into cash (8)
MONETISE: A French impressionist is followed by the word IS from the clue and the final letter of the word able
18d Undignified, if daring to be different (5,3)
INFRA DIG: Anagram (to be different) of IF DARING

21d Loud American male relatives (3)
FAM: The musical notation for loud is followed by the abbreviations of American and male

22d Gallery in London museum visited by the Queen (7)
VERANDA: A museum in London (and more recently Dundee) known by its initials sits around her majesty’s Regnal cipher

24d Small boat loosely steered at the back with a pole (6)
PEDALO: An anagram (loosely) of the last letter of the word steered and A POLE

25d Belief is maintained by individuals opposing us (6)
THEISM: A pronoun meaning those who are not us sits around the word IS generously given in the clue

27d Best garden party? (5)
OUTDO: Split (3,2) the location of a garden party and a synonym for a party


16 comments on “Toughie 2546

  1. I was left with 5 unsolved clues after a morning of hard graft. What a mixture! Slang and an obscure fighting ring! Did anyone know 6d? It had to be what it was but I needed the big red book to tell me I was right. I didn’t like the abbreviation that is 21d or the ugly 16d but I did however like 3d, and 5d. 30a is my COTD, so clever.

    1. I didn’t know 6d, but I did know the similar word for a judo ring. Which I can never remember how to spell anyway — so I’d presumed it was that, until reading your comment, then checking Miffypops’s hint, and seeing it’s actually a different word. Thanks.

  2. I found this quite tricky to start. Gila’s clueing style and the large number of multi-word solutions take a bit of getting used to – but good fun. I liked 14a, 5d and, in particular, 15d. It’s a word that was popular in the mod/ska scene of the 60s and still used in the reggae world. Anyone interested should google the lovely old ska record of that title by the Rulers which I used to have until somebody pinched it!

    Many thanks to Gila and to Mp for the blog

  3. I enjoyed this, which I did in 3 goes, around mincing the last of the leaves and bagging them up to have a nice snooze under the shrubs. I’ve satisfied my Fitbit, so I’ll be watching more of Veep now.
    OK except for two down clues (2 and 15) and 20 across (no excuse for not getting that really, except I was married to that well-known crosswordy 2 letter abbreviation for court.
    Actually I’ve heard of 2 down – isn’t it one of the ingredients in Bouillabaisse?
    I liked the three- letter answers.

    Thanks for the hints MP. And setter too.

  4. A delightful Tuesday puzzle to kick off the Toughie week. A slow start then a rapid finish once I had got on wavelength. 22d was, I suspect, a golden oldie, but it was still my favourite. Great fun.

    Thanks to Gila and MP.

  5. I look forward to the Tuesday Toughies as they are a step up from the back page cryptic puzzles but not over taxing( usually **/*** difficulty) and always enjoyable, once the star rating goes to ****/***** I am out of my comfort zone battling with the likes of Elgar !
    Anyway todays crossword fitted my bill and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    21a was one of my pet hate abbreviations, one day all crossword clues will be made up this way,
    Thanks MP for the picks especially 19a.
    Favourites were 11a and 22d, and 12 d for its brevity -15d was a new word as was 6d

  6. I’ve been a long-time lurker, but planning to retire next year when I hope to have more time for crosswords, and to post more on here. I really enjoyed this. I didn’t know 6D or 15D, but managed to work them out from the wordplay. I needed the first checker to work out which way round 17A went. It’s hard to pick a favourite but I liked 11A, having enjoyed many a match at the ground it alludes to, and 2D, which I’ve been lucky enough to see whilst diving.

  7. Learnt two new words in 6d and 15d and always have to check on the spelling for 30a. The rest all went together smoothly for us. A pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Gila and MP.

  8. Must have been a gentle puzzle as I managed to complete it although I did have to consult the BRB to confirm my answer to 6d and 15d both of which were new words to me.
    All in all a pleasure.
    Thx to all

  9. I had a go – I was a long way off finishing it but I had a go!!
    I did far better at the top than the bottom and I had several answers that I was sure were right but then I hit the dreaded, ‘yes – but why’.
    In general I enjoyed what I could do and hope that I’ve learnt from what I couldn’t – I will be able to at least have a decent crack at Toughies by the end of lockdown – if I haven’t gone completely barking mad!
    Thanks to Gila and many thanks indeed to MP for the excellent clarification.

  10. Mainly straightforward, but I had to look at the hint for 2d. Being ex-forces, the obvious two-letter abbreviation jarred and I somehow dismissed it, as troops at sea are really the RM!

  11. Just stumped by 9a. Finally conceded as the bake off is on and so I’m on tea making duty. Thanks to MP and Gila.

  12. A very late return to this after doing the south early this morning. No Brian this was not gentle (at least not for me) & I found it a real struggle. With eyelids drooping have admitted defeat & used the hints for 2&6d plus 30a, none of which I was familiar with & the brain was too frazzled to work out from the wordplay. Excellent crossword with some super clues – 3&22d along with 20a stood out for me.
    Thanks Gila & MP

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