Toughie 2569 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2569

Toughie No 2569 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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

Good morning from locked down Barrel where life is similar to the unrestricted Barrel. Not a lot going on around here. It’s sharp and sunny though which is better than grey and dreary. Sharp and sunny sums up Chalicea’s puzzle today as always. Not a dull moment and nothing to dislike. Perfect for a Tuesday Toughie.

I am still failing to get illustrations to load via my iPad. At least I have gaps where illustrations should be.

Here we go then.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. 


1a        Rumours going round regularly fall for dieters’ concerns (8)
CALORIES: An extremely stretched synonym of the word rumours surrounds the alternate letters of the words fall for. A saved by the definition clue for me

5a        A very loud broadcast is happening! (6)
AFFAIR: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the musical notation for very loud. Add a verb meaning to broadcast on the radio or television

9a        Bit of a kip invites efforts (8)
ATTEMPTS: A Kip is the basic monetary unit of Laos. Begin with one hundredth of a Kip and add a word meaning invites or entices

10a      Stage playwright succeeded, securing Oscar (6)
BOARDS: A playwright such as William Shakespeare is followed by the abbreviation for succeeded and contains the letter represented by Oscar in the phonetic alphabet

12a      Angry, ignoring short article’s vision (6)
SEEING: A word meaning boiling angry needs the letters th removing. The being the article to be shortened

13a      Fair maiden playing the violin topless? (8)
MIDDLING, The abbreviation for maiden is followed by an informal verb meaning playing the violin but minus its first letter

15a      Degrading pre-eminent male following ill-doing (7)
SINKING: Given that Elizabeth The Second is our Pre eminent female, a pre eminent male follows an act of ill doing than is against the laws of divinity

16a      Push five to quit Oxford? (4)
SHOE: Begin with a word meaning to push roughly and remove the Roman Numeral for five. 


20a Repair part of 16, we’re told (4)
HEAL: To repair here is to medically mend. It sounds like part of an Oxford brogue says he trying to be as cryptic as our setter. Whatever happened to ‘crossword clues explained in plain English’

21a      Dispute and squabble for Cock Robin’s killer (7)
SPARROW: Begin with a word meaning to argue with someone without marked hostility and add a word meaning simply to argue



25a      Grazing land beyond ancient city on banks of Euphrates (8)
PASTURES: A three part charade. 1 A word synonymous with beyond 2 The regular ancient city. 3 the outer letters of the word Euphrates

26a      Second piece about one going downhill (6)
SKIING: The abbreviation for second, the letter that looks like the number one and a piece on a chessboard rearrange themselves to suit the underlined definition found at the end of the clue

28a      Description of Tudor monarch‘s  interval of twelve semitones (6)
EIGHTH: The numerical description appended to the name of the second of the Tudor monarchs 



29a      Roughly ten hours from London, for example (8)
SOUTHERN: Anagram (roughly) of TEN HOURS

30a      Keeping quiet, suffers meals prepared in particular way (6)
DISHES: A two-letter sound used to call for quiet sits inside a synonym of the word suffers. The most suffering of ways to suffer methinks. The absolute form of suffering to which we are all headed. It will be a welcome release from the rigours of modern day living I suppose

31a      Inclination to manage English clubs in US city (8)
TENDENCY: Beginning with a word meaning to manage as a nurse might to a patient. Add the abbreviation for English and the abbreviation for an American city which surrounds the abbreviation for clubs


1d        Rough path reportedly (6)
COARSE: A way or route can sound rough or uncouth

2d        Measures left tiers altered (6)
LITRES: The abbreviation for left is followed by an anagram (altered) of TIERS

3d        Fanciful upright type with idiosyncratic feature (8)
ROMANTIC: The upright type here refers to type as set by a printer. Nowadays we would refer to it as a font. It is followed by an idiosyncratic feature such as a twitch

4d        Place at table, lower head and scoff! (4)
EATS: A word meaning to place a person at the table as one is by a waiter perhaps has its first letter moved to the end of the word

6d        Knocked out on leaving son in swamps (6)
FLOODS: Begin with a term meaning to be knocked out by a boxer perhaps. Remove the two-letter word meaning on and add the abbreviation for son

7d        Top Republican, drunk beyond question (8)
AIRTIGHT: Begin with an adjective of two characters, one a letter and one a number. Add the abbreviation for republican and a word meaning drunk or tipsy

8d        Calmly submissive, committed to further engagement (8)
RESIGNED: A double definition. The second being Split 2,6 to mean how one might have formally committed to an agreement for the second time

11d      Scran cooked in ewers (7)
WIENERS: Anagram (cooked) of IN EWERS. I love the word scran. It takes me back to my early days at work when I took packed lunches



14d      Head of stinking fish for captain (7)
SKIPPER: The initial letter of the word stinking is followed by a fish which has been smoked

17d      Guide quietly separating female and male on road (8)
SHEPHERD: Two pronouns, the first feminine and the second masculine are separated by the musical notation for quietly and followed by the abbreviation for road. A clue and answer that raised a smile

18d      Salvation Army ways of handling 11, say (8)
SAUSAGES: The abbreviation for the Sally Annie’s is followed by a word meaning ways of handling in normal and correct ways. The answer to 11 down are these

19d      By arrangement kept code concealed (8)
POCKETED: Anagram (by arrangement) of KEPT CODE

22d      Marine creature‘s time to move rapidly without hesitation at first (6)
TURTLE: Begin with the abbreviation for time. Add a word meaning to  move rapidly, often in an uncontrolled manner but minus then first letter of the word hesitation 

23d      Randomly despoiling when smashed lids removed for hoax (6)
PIGEON: Remove the letters of the word lids from the word despoiling. Make an anagram (smashed) of what you have left. The answer is a gullible person, the victim of a confidence trick or gambling swindle

24d      Advanced info over case of counterspy operation (6)
AGENCY: Beginning with the abbreviation for advanced. Add a short word meaning information. Add the outer letters or case of the word counterspy

27d      Ponder  minute passage (4)
PORE: A double definition and my last one in. Pesky four letter words with two vowels as checkers


28 comments on “Toughie 2569

  1. Delightful throughout.
    Thanks for explanation of 9ac. Pesky currencies always defeat me.
    Thanks to Chalicea also.

    1. I forgot that I had not fully parsed 9ac till I saw your post. I am glad I did because I would have wasted a lot of energy trying to suss it out. Looking it up on Mr Gooogle I can only find the coin as ‘att’ which dose not really work with the second bit of lego. Does another source, that I haven’t found list it as an ‘at’ I wonder?

      1. Life’s too short but Google’s dictionary has this: the basic monetary unit of Laos, equal to 100 ats

        1. I learnt a new word at 1a. Cories being the plural of Cory. Well worth a look up…I think the clue is stretched. I bunged in a few due to checkers bit had some trouble parsing so many thanks to MP.

          Sometimes is helpful the setter can contribute also.

          Many thanks to the setter for a good challenge today.

  2. Finished this all but 2. The parsing of several escaped me so thanks for the hints.
    COTD has to be 7d.
    I see it’s stopped snowing.

  3. Wonderful! I enjoyed this immensely. There were some great clues but my absolute favourite is 25a.
    Many thanks, Chalicea. Thanks, too, to Miffypops but, for once I did not need the hints. I will now read them.

  4. A really enjoyable trip into Toughieland for me this afternoon. Lots to like, only the Laos unit of currency defeated me in the parsing. I traded many currencies during my time in the city and the Far East, but that wasn’t one of them. 7d and 25a take the honours.

    Many thanks to Chalicea for the fun and to MP.

  5. I fully agree with Steve C–wonderful, with 25a winning the Gold! I love Chalicea’s craftiness; her puzzles always send me into a happy zone, which is what I desperately need these days. Finished this little gem alone, without assistance, and quite joyously, though I did need MP to parse that currency from Laos. As he says, life’s too short for me to go googling for a little ‘at’! 13a wins the Silver; 27d the Bronze (how clever is that!?). Thanks to MP and to Chalicea.

  6. Witty and precise clues make a nice start to the toughie week. I took a while to really get going then it all fell nicely. I wrote in 9a and put a ? by it so am now kicking myself for not spotting the misdirection – so that’s on my podium, along with the beautifully smooth 29a.
    Thanks to Chalicea and MP – now back to The Numpties and the fiendish proXimal EV.

  7. Very enjoyable puzzle; thanks to the setter. One small point, doesn’t 11D need to be WIENERS to make 13A work? Good start to the Toughie week.

    1. Hi Deebee. It is indeed I before E. I will alter the answer. It is probably the first time I have ever had to write the word out and I don’t think I have ever used it orally. Thanks for pointing it out

  8. When the NW yielded with barely pause for thought (albeit with no clue as to the parsing of the first 2 letters of 9a) I mistakenly thought this was going to be a breeze. How wrong can you be. The remainder was like trying to escape from the centre of Hampton Court Maze after 10 pints. I went up more dead ends & just when the finishing line was there a further eternity was taken finding the right 2 consonants for 27d. Still got there in the end & fully agree this was a cracker. Thought 17d was a superb clue & tops it for me ahead of 7d & 25a. My one query is with 23d where I would have thought the answer was the mark rather than the hustle itself.
    Thanks to Chalicea for the entertainment & to our clothed reviewer for currency enlightenment.

  9. Definitely a lot to like in this lovely puzzle.
    Had to check a couple of things like the kip and the number of semitones in an octave just to be sure of the answers.
    2d was very topical as your 4 tiers seem to change regularly.
    Favourite 25a also.
    Thanks to Chalicea and to MP.

  10. A relatively slow start for me before rapidly picking up pace for a sprint finish. As our esteemed blogger has often said “it’s amazing what a few checkers can do”
    I note that Chalicea has clued 4d as a noun….I liked it but I’m surprised she hasn’t incurred the wrath of Jane! Others that stood out for me were 1,25a&29a plus 7&17d .

    Many thanks to Chalicea and MP.

  11. Totally agree with Robert Clark’s comment about Chalicea’s puzzles and a happy zone. It is just like that for us and we always look forward to and enjoy them.
    Thanks Chalicea and MP.

  12. Really enjoyed this one and overall found it rather straightforward. Except I struggled with 27d and eventually wrote in “mope” as my last one in. Does it just about work?

    Thanks to Miffypops for the blog and Chalicea for the puzzle.

    1. Your comment reminded me of the opes in Plymouth and the artist Robert Lenkiewicz. Well worth a google and a pint in The Dolphin and Beryl Cook.

  13. I am delighted to have provided a bit of a challenge and a lot of pleasure with this first Tuesday Toughie of the year. Apologies for the obscure currency – grids sometimes oblige a setter to use a word. The comedy of 27d was that my in-house tester who solved this one months ago did the puzzle again yesterday and couldn’t get 27d – he asked me and I couldn’t either, so it clearly was just a bit unfair. Warm regards to all for 2021 and many thanks to Miffy Pops.

    1. Your comment about 27 down made me smile. You have said before that you have needed the hints to solve your own puzzle. Thanks for the puzzles. They are a pleasure to solve and a second pleasure to explain.

    2. A belated thanks from me too Chalicea for a hugely enjoyable puzzle and the little amusing anecdote

    3. I have just come across your post, Chalicea. Thank you for a wonderful puzzle and reinforcing my determination to tackle more Toughies. My heart lifts when I see you are the compiler.

  14. A fine puzzle apart from my lack of knowledge of currencies. But I had a very small part of a cat nap for ‘bit of a kip’ so arrived at the answer anyway. I liked 13a the most.

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