Toughie 2609 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2609

Toughie 2609 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Miffypops

I’m not here to be perfect. I’m here to be me.

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Gdanga fellow solvers. Today’s puzzle from Chalicea is, as usual very user-friendly and a delight to solve. A smile in every corner of this puzzle that only just touches the edge of The Toughie Spectrum.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. 


7a        Extremes of risk entertained by female labourer (7)
WORKMAN: An adult female human being that men can’t live without but often find odd to live with contains the outer letters of the word risk 

8a        With booze completely banned, Napoleon arrests doctor (4-3)
BONE-DRY: A nickname for Napoleon Bonaparte who, according to today’s letters page made most of the world drive left handed contains an abbreviation for doctor

10a      Subjected to repression, learned new skills including self-defence, primarily (10)
RESTRAINED: The initial letter of the word salf-defence sits inside a word meaning to have been schooled in new skills

11a      At 90 degrees, starts to experience abnormally sultry temperature (4)
EAST: The initial letters (starts of) of four of the words in the clue make the compass bearing which lies at 90 degrees

12a      Oust from investigating police officer’s position (8)
DISPLACE: The common abbreviation for a detective inspector is followed by a verb or noun meaning position 

14a      What musicians should be   eventually? (2,4)
IN TIME: A cryptic/double definition of how a musician should be in relation to the tempo of the music being played. Although it’s the mistakes that make live music interesting

15a      Miscellanies of different islands surrounding Guam in a hotchpotch (11)
SALMAGUNDIS: A rarely used wonderful word that crops up occcasionally in crossword puzzles is made up of an anagram of ISLANDS and GUAM as suggested by different and the rather nice term “in a hotchpotch”. This word always reminds me of this fellow

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
That was the end,
Of Solomon Grundy

19a      Garment worn by footballers for shooting expedition (6)
SAFARI: A southern Asian ladies garment sits around the abbreviation of the footballers association. The shooting nowadays is mostly done by camera  

20a      One trail roughly coming from the 11 (8)
ORIENTAL: Anagram (roughly) of ONE TRAIL

22a      Lacking effect at first, endlessly scold stroppy child (4)
BRAT: A word meaning to scold vehemently needs to lose both of its letter Es. One being the initial letter of the word effect and the other being it’s final letter

23a      Executive staff going to African country with evil finally going to end (10)
MANAGERIAL: Begin with a three-letter word meaning to staff. Add an African country which owes no money to other countries and has appeared in every Summer Olympic Games since 1964. This country contains the letter L (evil finally). Move it to the end of the word

25a      Modesty of company head hedging yen (7)
COYNESS: The abbreviation for company and a geographical headland surround the abbreviation for yen

26a      Scanty underwear that’s part of a fiddle? (1-6)
G-STRING: A double definition. The fiddle here is a violin


1d        Uneasily compile controversial writing (7)
POLEMIC: Anagram (uneasily) of COMPILE

2d        Small feline caught game (4)
SKAT: A three-handed trick-taking card game that originated in Germany can be made up by adding a homophone (caught) of a feline animal to the abbreviation of small

3d        Not entirely commonplace North American fruit (6)
BANANA: Begin with a synonym of commonplace. An adjective meaning so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring. Remove its last letter (not entirely). Add the abbreviation for North America

4d        Instruction for drivers along the way (4,4)
ROAD SIGN:  A cryptic definition of street furniture designed to give instruction to drivers but mostly ignored due to the sheer number of them nannying our driving. The village of Marton in Warwickshire has 327 of these on the approach from Coventry. At what cost? 

5d        A president dreadfully uninspired (10)
PEDESTRIAN: Anagram (dreadfully) of A PRESIDENT

6d        Irish king a few will find exasperating? (7)
IRKSOME: The abbreviations for Irish and King are followed by a synonym of the word few

9d        A Parisian upset revolutionary foundation characterised by avant-gardism (11)
UNDERGROUND: A three part charade in order. 1 The French word for A. 2 A three-letter revolutionary reversed (upset) 3 A foundation or the earth upon which one stands

13d      Pretence of mountain climbing and sailing hard to avoid (4-6)
PLAY-ACTING: A three-letter mountain is reversed and followed by a word meaning sailing in a medium sized boat equipped for cruising or racing but minus the abbreviation for hard

16d      Over time, graduate in French dwelling-place produces part of superstructure (8)
MAINMAST: A graduate is followed by the word IN from the clue. This is followed by the French word for a traditional house or farm. The abbreviation for time caps it all off

17d      Loyalist quietly attending disturbance (7)
 PATRIOT: The musical notation for quiet. A word meaning attending. A civil disturbanc

18d      Hoard clipped Indian coin, that’s plain!(7)
SAVANNA: A word meaning to horde needs its last letter removing. Add an Indian coin. One sixteenth of a Rupee

21d      Swallow discovered in catering establishment (6)
INGEST: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word discovered 

24d      Uncommon river measurement unit (4)
RARE: The abbreviation for river is followed by a an area of land measuring 0.0247 of an acre


34 comments on “Toughie 2609

  1. I love puzzles by Chalicea because I am right on her wavelength. I nearly finished unaided but had to resort to electronic help for a coupe. I could see 15a was an anagram but, never having heard of the term, I was unlikely to work it out without help. I only solved 11a after I had solved 20a but the parsing of 11a eludes me. Lots to like and my COTD is 8a.

    Many thanks to Chalicea for the challenge and to Miffypops for the amusing hints.

  2. 15a is such a fabulous word that it has to be my COTD. This puzzle may well be at the easier end of the setting spectrum, but the quality and enjoyment makes it a very worthwhile challenge.

    Thanks and congratulations to Chalicea for another excellent crossword; my thanks, too, to MP.

  3. Many thanks Miffypops 22a and 13d now understood. I had play around which did not help! Should have got 13d as Americas Cup is very big back home. Cheers Chalicea for the fun especially liked 25a and 26a.

  4. 2d and 15ac were new to me but an enjoyable start to the toughie week.
    Thanks to both.

  5. Re: 15a I have a book in my possession entitled “Fopdoodle to Salmagundis” which is a collection of ‘words and meanings from Dr Johnson’s dictionary that time forgot’. I recommend it to the house.

    1. Excellent recommendation, I had never heard of that book
      I have also ordered a copy of ‘Codswallop, Crumpet and Caper – Words and Where They Came From’
      Thanks Spindrift

  6. Honours to Chalicea again, especially for the Rabelaisian 15a, which I have used over the years for many things just thrown together into a jumble. Loved this puzzle. Finished in record Toughie time for me, with many peaks of enjoyment–8a, 18d, and 15a, notably. Thanks to the always resourceful MP for the review and to Chalicea for the great pleasure of her company.

  7. Yet to tackle the Toughie MP, but if you return to the cryptic we have a common interest in a pub!

  8. Finished this mid morning but am now repointing in, This was a lovely puzzle which I found so much easier and friendlier than yesterday’s back pager. I just love 15a, I wish I could remember in which cookery book I first came across the expression.(Rabelaisian Robert? Why? It’s cookery!). For me it has the same sort of fascination that Elspeth Huxley’s “Gallipot Eyes” has. A lovely expression which I’ve never completely understood.

    1. JB: Etymologically, according to my sources, the word comes from Rabelais’ ‘Third Book of Pantagruel’, in which it is written as ‘salmigondin’. I know that today’s usage is mostly in cookery, but back in 1546, according to Wikipedia, it meant an assembly of things, ideas, or people. I should not have just used ‘Rabelaisian’ as the adjective meaning bawdy or dirty; instead, I should have found a way to attribute its earliest usage to Rabelais. Sorry about that.

  9. Loved this. Maybe the first time I’ve completed a toughie without help. Chalicea may knock dada off my top spot for setters.
    Thanks to her and MP

  10. Once again an absolute pleasure to solve from this setter. A couple of less familiar words to dredge from the depths of memory but they were there.
    Thanks Chalicea and MP.

  11. Enjoyed this puzzle and was only beaten by 15a. This will be put into the memory for future puzzles.
    Some great clues, but I am not keen on use of foriegn words – unless they are generally well known- as part of the parsing (16d). I got the answer because it was well built up, but I still haven’t found the French translation for Dwelling Place.

      1. Thanks
        I worked it out from the clue and tried to find the translation on a Google translator but couldn’t find it
        Another one for the memory bank in case of future clues

    1. A mas is a French farmhouse normally in Provence, often in other areas of southern France.

      1. A day later than everyone else but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed yesterday’s puzzle and the triumphant feeling on finishing it at breakfast this morning. Lovely clues, I particularly liked the pure simplicity of 2a , I tried to be too clever trying to include Dr.No! 15a a lovely word my grandmother would use, and I liked 19a as well. Many thanks to MP who confirmed my memory of mas and reminded me of the poor unfortunate Solomon Grundy. Otherwise I did it all in my own – yeah. Many thanks

  12. A real Salmagundi of clues for me. Some clunky surfaces – although I may have been spoilt by the smoothness of today’s backpager. I quite liked 3d as an unusual and clever way to clue an often used fruit in crosswords. I held off putting 4d in as it seemed so obvious and uncryptic, I couldn’t believe it was the right answer! Still, thanks to Chalicea for the new word at 15a and MP for the hints – ***/*** for me.

  13. I enjoyed this, didn’t find it that easy if you equate solving a puzzle with precisely parsing each answer (how many people knew of the Indian coin for example).
    Thanks to Chalicea for an entertaining puzzle and MP for a likewise blog, in particular the clip of The Jam.

  14. **/**** apart from 15a which I had to look up. Had the checkers and remaining letters, but couldn’t make a believable word out of it all.
    Thanks to all

  15. I’ve no idea what happened to my previous post nearly three hours ago but it’s disappeared into the ether somewhere. It probably didn’t say anything interesting or important anyway. Suffice to say I enjoyed this, favourite was 10a. Many thanks to Chalicea and MP.

  16. A fast solve in just outside of record Toughie time but unfortunately no all correct message on the iPad so hit reveal mistakes to find I’d got into a pickle with 15a – remembered the word from a previous puzzle but not the recipe since I’d transposed the 2nd A&U. Last in 16d & can’t say I was familiar with the dwelling. The card game at 2d was also new to me & needed Mr G confirmation & didn’t immediately twig caught as the homophone indicator but since the K checker was in it couldn’t be anything else.
    Anyway thoroughly enjoyed this Chalicea cracker. Thought it was packed with super clues of which 8,14,22&23a plus 3,13&18d (yes Stephen I remembered the dish) were my picks. A great start to the week.
    Thanks Chalicea & to MP – good pic for 8a & music clip.

    1. Whenever 15 across turns up I let checkers and Solomon Grundy guide me to the correct spelling. I’ve determined that that I shall blog via my iPad and not use our PC which is a whole heap easier. I’m not up to speed with WordPress and have had trouble posting pictures and clips. But I am slowly getting there.

  17. This Toughie is just a little bit harder than the back pager though comparable.But within reach of the labourer or journeymen of crossword puzzling.

    1. Welcome to the blog Christopher

      I’ve changed your name to lower case as the use of upper case is the internet equivalent of shouting.

    2. Welcome to the blog Christopher. Tuesday Toughies are usually on the lighter side then they get progressively tougher as the week goes by

  18. I’m really happy to have given such enjoyment. Many thanks to Miffy Pops. I loved your skeletal cartoon of the TT fellow and the reminder of poor Solomon Grundy – he didn’t achieve much in his life worth mentioning did he? The word was just so tempting and seemed a good Toughie choice, even for Tuesday.

  19. I don’t know why my comment came out as a reply to no 11. It was meant to stand on its own. I do not seem to find the time to do the toughie until I get in the bath at night and it is often picked up again at breakfast. So I am always one step in arrears!

  20. 2*/5*….
    liked 8A “With booze completely banned, Napoleon arrests doctor (4-3)”…also amused by MP’s hint/pic for this & by his poem for Solomon Grundy.

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