Toughie 2657 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2657

Toughie No 2657 by Gila

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I found today’s Tuesday Toughie to be a perfect puzzle to start the Toughie week. Just enough gentle clues to give a way into the puzzle. Some harder clues to flesh it out and a small few to really exercise my single brain cell. This will please some solvers and irritate others. Long may it continue to be so.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1          Low charge for data transfer (8)
DOWNLOAD: Two synonyms are required here. One meaning low in mood or spirit and one meaning charge as one might a shotgun

5          Passionate student hugged by a celebrity (6)
AFLAME: Begin the letter A from the clue. Now add a noun meaning celebrity into which the abbreviation for learner needs to be inserted

9          The hi-fi’s outside and I get excited for a big birthday celebration? (9)
EIGHTIETH: The outer letters of Hi-fi together with the words THE and I GET all provide the fodder for an anagram as indicated by the word excited

11        Uncover smooth type of coffee (5)
 LATTE: Remove the outer letters from a word meaning to smooth

12        Encourage boy to bandage disinfected cut (4,2)
SPUR ON: Wrap ones male offspring around three quarters of a word meaning disinfected or free from any contamination

13        Bolt secured by elite climber (8)
ALPINIST: A Three letter word describing a bolt sits inside a description of a major celebrity according to their desirability to be seen at celebrity functions

15        A crowd fleeing unexpectedly nasty weather (4-5,4)
GALE FORCE WIND: Anagram (unexpectedly) of A CROWD FLEEING

18        Single rod shattered by strong tool (9,4)
SOLDERING IRON: An anagram (shattered) of SINGLE ROD is followed by a word meaning strong

22        Standard location in which you’ll find a freeloader (8)
PARASITE: A three part charade. 1. The standard score expected for a round of golf 2. A location 3. The letter A from the clue. Arrange as suggested by the clue

23        Blogger gutted with every disagreement (6)
BREACH: Remove the inner letters from the word Blogger. Add a word meaning every person

26        Money from European banker — that’s surprising, we’re told (5)
RHINO: The European banker here is a German River. Use it with a short expression of surprise to form  a homophone (we’re told ) that sounds like an animal, the name of which is used by some to mean money.

27        Risk assessors do something with figures essentially, then sign (9)
ACTUARIES: Begin with a three-letter word meaning to do something. Add the central (essential) letter of the word figures. Add a star sign. One of the zodiac

28        Confront about reversing price to be paid (6)
ACCOST: A two-letter Latin abbreviation for about (usually referring to a date) is reversed and a word meaning the price of an article is added

29        It symbolises everything base and grisly (8)
ALLEGORY: A three part charade. Everything (3) A mathematical base (1) A word synonymous with grisly (4)


1          Groom needs time for horse training (8)
DRESSAGE: Begin with a word meaning to give a neat and tidy appearance to a person or animal followed by a period of time

2          Method used primarily to store good, quality beef (5)
WAGYU: Begin with a three-letter method and the initial letter of the word used. Throw in the abbreviation for good

3          Felt flustered accepting very fine excuses (4,3)
LETS OFF: An anagram (flustered) of FELT includes a word meaning very and the abbreviation for fine

4          Cuts in state contributions following leader’s departure (4)
AXES: The state contributions we willingly and gladly pay to the central treasury for the common good of all minus their first letter

6          Film director was killed in Italy (7)
FELLINI: A verb meaning to slay or bring down plus the word IN from the clue all capped off with an abbreviation of Italy

7          Complete lifting of revolutionary’s loss of rights (9)
ATTAINDER: A word meaning to complete or to succeed in achieving is followed by the reverse of crosswordlands favourite revolutionary as described by colour so not Mr Guevara then

8          They happen — in fact — to struggle at first (6)
EVENTS: A four-letter word meaning in fact is followed by the initial letters of the words to struggle

10        Swiss doctor visiting Chile, mysteriously (8)
HELVETIC: An anagram (mysteriously) of CHILE sits around a doctor of animals

14        Come inside again shortly after golf to get a drink (5,3)
GREEN TEA: A term meaning come in again minus its last letter sits inside the letter suggested by Golf in phonetic alphabets and the letter A from the clue

16        Current fed into new cardless media storage device (5,4)
LASER DISC: Anagram (new) of CARDLESS which also includes the abbreviation for electric current

17        Individual takes most of what we have here surreptitiously (2,3,3)
ON THE SLY: A word meaning individual and no one or nothing more besides contains a word meaning more than one of something minus its last letter

19        Not as many alternatives for landladies? (7)
LESSORS: Split 4,3 we have a simple definition of not as many followed by the plural of a word used to define an alternative

20        Rubbish receptacle in French train station (7)
GARBAGE: A French train station contains a receptacle one might use to carry goods. The only French railway station I have ever visited contained paintings

21        Special area houses drawings depicting ancient city (6)
SPARTA: The abbreviations for special and area are separated by a generic term for paintings which hang on walls

24        Nice friend gets work for pal in Ibiza (5)
AMIGO: Nice here is a city on The French Riviera. So we want the French word for friend followed by a word meaning to work or function properly

25        Departed, heading north (and other places) (2,2)
ET AL: Reverse a word meaning departed due to death


24 comments on “Toughie 2657

  1. That made a lot more sense than the back-pager. Just about the right level for a Tuesday. I took a little while longer than I should, by mis-spelling the massaged cows at 2d.

    There were a few bung-ins, but the explanations above have solved those particular mysteries.

    Thanks to Gila and MP.

  2. Excellent toughie thanks Gila. Such good clueing.
    I’d not heard of 2d before and really that was the only one that held things up.
    Parsing 12ac took an unnecessary time as I’m not sure that pure is synonymous with disinfected.
    (Probably is, on reflection.)
    Any idea why rhino came to mean money?…BRB Says origin obscure.
    Thanks to MP though on this rare occasion I didn’t need the help. The pictures are appreciated.

  3. Am in a bit of keep getting stuck with two to go rut at the moment. Breezed through this & was in with a shout at beating my quickest Toughie completion until 7d & 13a. Briefly feared I may be looking for another climbing plant I’d never heard of but thankfully the wordplay dawned on me before too long. 7d quickly followed & though I had heard of it I checked the definition. Found this nice & gentle, with parsing headaches for a change & enjoyed it much more than than the back pager. Guess I’ll have to plump for 13a as my pick plus it was nice to see one of cinema’s true greats making an appearance at 6d.
    Thanks to Gila & Miffs

  4. A couple of ‘never heard ofs’ but that’s to be expected and had to Google the French station obviously. Apart from that, all pretty straightforward. Favourite was 29a thanks Gila and MP.

  5. I needed the hints for a few but I got there in the end and enjoyed it more than today’s back-pager. I have not heard of 7d but it could be nothing else if the clue were followed. Like MalcolmR, I mis-spelled 2d and had a “N” not a “T” in 10d. Favourite clue is 21d.

    Many thanks to Gila for the puzzle. Thanks also to Miffypops for the much needed and amusing hints.

  6. Agree with MP that it was an excellent crossword, my favourite puzzles are the’ midweek Toughies, not too difficult but very enjoyable with enough head scratching to enjoy the solve.
    A ***/**** for me, bird watching-lots of swifts- and a cold lager completed the day.
    Roughly remembered the beef ,the cluing was good,
    Difficult to pick a favourite
    liked the 29 and 13charade and the surface of 24d

  7. I enjoyed this very much. A couple of things I didn’t know – I’m glad the beef had some very helpful and helpfully placed checkers. Many thanks to Gila and Miffypops.

  8. An excellent (and proper) Toughie for me. I did have to ask for a letter here and there, but I thought this a splendid start to the week’s run of Toughies. I still have wonderful memories of 6d’s ship passing at sea in ‘Amarcord’, an image that recurs periodically in my mind and warms my heart. Thanks to Gila and MP.

  9. A gentle start to the Toughie week with some terrific clueing to keep me entertained throughout the solving process. Of many fine clues, 13a was my top pick.

    Thanks and congratulations to Gila for a fine puzzle, and to MP.

  10. Flying with this … until I wasn’t! An enjoyable and initially swift start to the Toughies, starting in the S and moving to the NW, before stuttering to a halt with four to go in the NE. When 6d finally succumbed, 5a, 8d and 13a ‘fell’ swiftly, and I’m still bemused as to how it took me so long to see 4d, my eventual LOI.

    Some lovely clues, with 27a & 29a pipped to the post for me by 25d. 26a was new to me and while it had to be what it was, needed DDG to verify.

    Many thanks to Gila for the challenge, and to MP for the review.

  11. Being last from the printer, this ended up on the top of my growing pile of undone crosswords.
    Agree with the ratings as a couple took a while to get.
    7d was new to me
    Favourite 15a. Nice anagram.
    Thanks to Gila and to MP for the review.

  12. An excellent accompaniment to today’s top notch back pager, although a fair bit tougher I thought, which is just how it should be.
    I’d never heard of the director or 7d but both were obtainable from wordplay and checkers, so no complaints.
    I particularly liked 13&22a plus 8&24d.
    Many thanks to Gila and MP for the entertainment.

  13. 10d was a new word for us but we did work it out from the wordplay before checking in BRB. We’ll make that one our favourite but there were plenty of other contenders too.
    Thanks Gila and MP.

  14. This is the first time I have felt compelled to comment and only because, for once, no-one else has pointed out something I noticed. I was under the impression that “not as many” is fewer, as in number, rather than the actual answer to the wordplay in 19d, which means “not as much” as in volume. I’m sure the BRB allows both (haven’t checked) so I’m prepared to be contradicted. Having said that, I really did enjoy the puzzle with just a couple of “never heard ofs” 26a and 7d which needed the hints to complete. Well done to both Gila and Miffypops for the excellent puzzle, hints and photos

      1. Thanks. I’ve been “stalking” for years. Found it a really helpful solving aid and always enjoyed reading other solvers’ comments

    1. Well Juliet thanks for your comment and welcome to the blog. Grammer is not my strongpoint but I do try

      1. No offence intended and in fact I have now decided I have less interest and fewer motives for pursuing this further 🤣

  15. Nicely challenging but mostly gettable. Didn’t know the beef or the loss of rights word, but got both from the checkers and from checking! Many thanks to Gila, Piffymops and all bloggers.

  16. I enjoyed this very much, although I haven’t marked any particular favourites. I managed to parse all but one correctly. My appreciative thanks to Miffypops for the answer to 10d. Had a real blank there!
    Many thanks to Gila for a lovely Toughie and to Miffypops for an excellent review.

  17. 3*/4*…
    liked 29A “It symbolises everything base and grisly (8)” & Mifftpop’s snap.

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