Toughie 2629 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2629

Toughie No 2629 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The late posting was due to a problem at the hosting site which caused an outage.

A typical Tuesday Toughie from Chalicea.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Reuters with test page oddly going wrong for sensationalist rags (6,5)
GUTTER PRESS: an anagram (going wrong) of REUTERS with the odd letters of TeSt PaGe

9a Fox and domestic fowl, headless farm animals (4)
OXEN: [f]OX and a domestic fowl, both missing their initial letters (headless)

10a Importunate about change in condition (11)
PERMUTATION: an anagram (about) of IMPORTUNATE

11a Somewhat degenerate element of heredity (4)
GENE: hidden (somewhat) inside the clue

14a Bands associated with stars (7)
STRIPES: … on the US flag

16a Conservative admitted to being pleased with defeat (7)
LICKING: C(onservative) inside (admitted to) a verb meaning being pleased with

17a A property right for foreigner? (5)
ALIEN: the A from the clue followed by a property right

18a Fierce monster or moggie with tail docked (4)
ORCA: OR from the clue followed by most of (with tail docked) a moggie

19a Let loose frisky hound abandoning start of house-training (4)
UNDO: an anagram (frisky) of [h]OUND without the initial letter (start) of H(ouse-training)

20a Discard back to front gambling game (5)
SCRAP: a gambling game (played with dice) with its final letter moved to the beginning

22a Strive to be like one friend possessing sex appeal (7)
IMITATE: I (one) and a four-letter friend around (possessing) the two-letter word for sex appeal

23a Type of light lake punt Royal Navy pursues (7)
LANTERN: a charade of L(ake), a gambling bet (punt) and the abbreviation for the Royal Navy

24a Detestable person kicked, reportedly (4)
TOAD: sounds like (reportedly) a verb meaning kicked a ball

28a Haplessly indeterminate, I’m reflecting lacking provided food and drink (11)
ENTERTAINED: an anagram (haplessly) of INDETER[MI]NATE, without (lacking) the reversal (reflecting) of I’M

29a Birds giving distressed cries not initially heard (4)
OWLS: drop the initial letter of H[eard) from some distressed cries

30a In resort, replayed set extremely badly (11)
DESPERATELY: an anagram (in resort) of REPLAYED SET


2d Some chores unfortunately upset employer (4)
USER: hidden (some) and reversed (upset) inside the clue

3d Grave disease consumes old male (4)
TOMB: a two-letter abbreviated disease around (consumes) O(ld) M(ale)

4d Renegade said run away from verminous parasite (3-4)
RAT-FLEA: a renegade followed by what sounds (said) like a verb meaning to run away

5d Outdated feeling of pity for biblical woman (4)
RUTH: two definitions

6d Inaugurated showing the effects of age involved in moral shortcoming (5,2)
SWORN IN: a word meaning showing the effects of age inside (involved in) a moral shortcoming

7d Wise specialist mostly sorted out niece and daughter (11)
EXPERIENCED: most of a specialist followed by an anagram (sorted out) of NIECE and D(aughter)

8d Related to subversive activities of a French revolutionary uprising with foundation’s support (11)
UNDERGROUND: the French indefinite article followed by the reversal (uprising) of a revolutionary and a foundation

12d Alliance when very good intelligence agency stands over state missing two leaders (11)
ASSOCIATION: two-letter words meaning when and very good followed by a US intelligence agency and state or country missing its first two letters

13d Endless training with supporter in a workable manner (11)
PRACTICALLY: most of a word meaning training followed by a supporter

15d Small parasites that infest piece of bread (5)
SLICE: S(mall) followed by some parasites that infest

16d Empty little liquid measure accepted by law (5)
LEGAL: the outer letters (empty) of L[ittl]E followed by a liquid measure

20d Unfamiliar street limits (7)
STRANGE: ST(reet) followed by some limits

21d Decorator‘s suffering — short term (7)
PAINTER: some suffering followed by most of (short) TER[m]

25d Continue to make brief look from below (4)
KEEP: the reversal (from below) of a brief look

26d Gold-coloured young sow (4)
GILT: two definitions

27d Reportedly make acceptable one-room dwelling (4)
CELL: sounds like (reportedly, for the second time) a verb meaning to make acceptable (yes, it’s there in the BRB as definition 5)

A pity about the repetition of reportedly as a homophone indicator, but an excellent puzzle nevertheless.


20 comments on “Toughie 2629

  1. Quite gentle but good fun throughout. 26d and 27d took a bit longer than they should have. Thanks to Chalicea and BD.

  2. Thank goodness the site is up and running again. It’s like having a close friend going AWOL.

    I didn’t find this remotely tough, but it was a lot of fun. The young sow was a new meaning of 26d for me.

    My podium places went to 1a, 17a & 12d.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to BD.

  3. This is my best Toughie to date needing electrons for only two clues so a very satisfying solve for me. Getting a fair number of the long ones at the start helped greatly because of all the checkers they gave. I have not heard of 4d and, by the sound of it, I think I prefer not to know more. Favourite clue is 1a but others were close behind.

    Many thanks, Chalicea for the entertainment and to BD for the hints which, for the first

  4. Quite gentle even for a Tuesday but the usual enjoyable puzzle from this setter.
    No real favourites but I quite liked 4&15d and the homophone at 24a where the checking letters led me to initially think of another example of the definition.
    Many thanks to Chalicea and BD for the entertainment.

  5. A good puzzle completed in full without needing reference to hints.
    Glad I didn’t need hints as Dave had gone to sleep 😄
    Still can’t understand 27d but it is what it is.

    1. Re 27d….think of “to sell oneself or an idea”….to present oneself or an idea favourably in order to make them acceptable.

  6. This definitely must be on the easier end of the spectrum for a Toughie as I did quite well today. I’ve been having a stab at a few Tuesday puzzles lately, even though I don’t often manage to completely finish the cryptics without at least a look at the picture hints. I rather enjoyed this one, thanks to setter and Big Dave.

  7. Took just slightly longer to complete than the backpager, but just as enjoyable to solve. Held up by putting OGRE into 18a (with no real justification except I had the ‘o’). This made 13d impossible until the penny dropped. New meaning for gilt. Thanks to everyone, especially to BD for getting the site back up and running. Felt bereaved this afternoon.

  8. Lovely crossword just right for a Tuesday, for me anyway. I rebooted my phone twice when I couldn’t get in this afternoon to no avail but got straight into the cryptic so popped in here too. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 14a. Many thanks to Chalicea and BD. This site has improved my crossword solving skills immeasurably to the point I can actually do toughies as opposed to reading the clues to see if I could do any. Thanks again.

  9. Just held up by the young sow and stupidly couldn’t think of the required word for gold-coloured even with the checkers in place.
    Pennies dropped with dull thuds once I’d consulted Mr G!
    Favourite was the succinct 17a.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to BD for the review.

  10. As I have said before, any day that I complete a Toughie, is a good day for me. I couldn’t fully parse 13d, 26d or 27d but a full grid is a full grid!

    1a went straight in, but all the other 11 letter answers took some extracting.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and BD.

  11. The sow was also new to me, and in all the years when I visited my uncle Connor’s pigfarm, I never heard him use that little ‘honorific’! It’s nice to know, though. (“How’s the little gilt today?”) I love Chalicea’s puzzles, and it’s always a pleasure to finish one of hers. 1a and 10a were my last two in and are thus my CsOTD. Thanks to Big Dave for the review and to Chalicea.

  12. Really missed this site yesterday. Not being a Facebook devotee I was lost.
    I always feel the 20a game could have a less vulgar name.
    I thought 14a was very clever and is my COTD
    Now to tackle today’s offering.

  13. Enjoyed this, just about my level. Missed the anagram in 28 across, otherwise, all my own work.
    Thank you.

  14. Yes, we, too, really missed the Big Dave site yesterday. Thanks, Big Dave and to all the commentators.

  15. Although it is now Friday and I’ve more or less given up on toughies I was tempted by the fact it was Chalicea as I spotted her name on the blog and really like her puzzles. Also its been a terrible week for me on the cryptics.
    Lovely puzzle. Thanks to Chalicea and BD

  16. It’s May 3rd and I’ve just gotten round to solving this delightful Chalicea puzzle…..thanks to Chalicea and BD!
    It’s 3c and raining here in Perthshire with snow on the hills….surely it’s not really May 3rd??!!

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