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Toughie 2666

Toughie No 2666 by Logman

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

Another Wednesday Toughie from Logman – the difficulty level of this one was on the cusp between a Friday backpager and a start of the week Toughie (which is just what the Crossword Editor said the most straightforward Toughies should be).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Idiot with income said to be moderate (7)
ASSUAGE An idiot and a homophone of a type of income

9a    Live as locals turn green — about time (2,6)
GO NATIVE A ‘turn’ at something and green in the sense of inexperienced ‘about‘ the abbreviation for Time

10a    Uniform worn by crazy student, trendy and emotional (7)
MAUDLIN The letter represented by Uniform in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet is ‘worn‘ by a synonym for crazy, the result followed by the usual abbreviation for student and a simple way of saying trendy

11a    Appeals — or answers — must cover unsuccessful contestants (4-4)
ALSO-RANS Hidden in (must cover) appeALS OR ANSwers

12a    Enclosure sees NCO losing plot, oddly (6)
CORRAL Remove the odd letters of PlOt from a non-commissioned officer

13a    Duty of current head of government in offering at Eucharist (10)
OBLIGATION The symbol for electrical current and the ‘head’ of Government inserted in an offering in worship, especially at Eucharist

15a    Put a block on Doctor Who at last (4)
VETO A type of doctor and the last letter of whO

16a    After golf, can I ever set score? (9)
GRIEVANCE The letter presented by Golf in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet and an anagram (set) of CAN I EVER

21a    Appearance of this person in pieces (4)
MIEN How the setter would refer to himself inserted into some chess pieces

22a    Strange, how fat fell when cooked (3-3-4)
OFF-THE-WALL An anagram (when cooked) of HOW FAT FELL

24a    Set line to be adopted by home help (6)
INLAID The abbreviation for Line is ‘adopted‘ by the usual ‘home’ and some help

25a    Degenerate nation imprisoning a grand knight (8)
STAGNATE A nation ‘imprisoning‘ A (from the clue), the abbreviation for grand, and the chess abbreviation for knight

27a    Self-serving individuals say nothing subsists without reserves (7)
EGOISTS An abbreviation meaning say, the letter representing nothing and the letters remaining after you have removed the reserves from subsISTS

28a    Charlie, excited, went on a drunken spree (8)
CAROUSED The letter represented by Charlie in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet and a synonym for excited

29a    Bitterly dispute women’s right to confront opinion (7)
WRANGLE The abbreviations for Women and Right ‘confront’ an informal way of looking at something (opinion)


2d    Person who tracks disreputable bunch capturing lady’s heart (8)
SHADOWER A slang disparaging term for a disreputable bunch of people ‘capturing‘ the letters at the heart of lADy

3d    This competitor may be less than good after party (8)
UNDERDOG A prefix meaning less than and the abbreviation for Good, the latter going after a party

4d    Parliamentary device requires luck in stopping deceit (10)
GUILLOTINE A drastic rule for shortening a Parliamentary discussion requires a synonym for luck or fate ‘stopping‘ some deceit

5d    Rising depression about love for material (4)
WOOL A reversal (rising) of a depression goes about the letter representing love

6d    Part of Polynesia invaded by small grub (6)
SAMOSA Part of Polynesia invaded by the abbreviation for Small

7d    Huge nervous reaction potting one brown (7)
TITANIC A nervous reaction ‘potting‘ the letter representing one and a tawny-brown colour

8d    Get in, as out raising nap (7)
TEASING An anagram (out) of GET IN AS produces a word relating to the raising of the nap on some cloth

11d    1 may be vile possibly in a recent environment (9)
ALLEVIATE An anagram (possibly) of VILE inserted between A (from the clue) and an adverb meaning recently

14d    Nursing leg wound, one may shoot (10)
GUNSLINGER An anagram (wound) of NURSING LEG

17d    Liquid material used for a coat? (8)
EMULSION A cryptic definition of a type of paint

18d    Hand in genuine reference to another authority (8)
REMITTAL A slang term for a hand inserted into an adjective meaning genuine

19d    Company cars wrecked crossing international region of France (7)
CORSICA The abbreviation for company and an anagram (wrecked) of CARS ‘crossing‘ the abbreviation for International

20d    A force just before the start of secret liaisons (7)
AFFAIRS A (from the clue), the abbreviation for Force and an adjective meaning just go before the ‘start’ of Secret

23d    Thing Chinese dog lifted? (4-2)
HANG-UP A member of the Chinese native people and a reversal (lifted) of a type of dog

26d    Row as result of clock losing minutes? (4)
TIER Remove (losing) the abbreviation for minutes from a clock

My experience of solving and then blogging today’s crossword makes me believe that I’ve worked out the identity of Logman!  

26 comments on “Toughie 2666

  1. I did enjoy this despite needing one or two hints. I spent ages trying to get “egotist” out of my head for 27a and that held up the SE corner. There were far too many good clues to be able to single one out as a COTD but, if pushed, I would nominate 13a

    Many thanks for the challenge, Logman. Thanks also to CS for the hints.

  2. Held up a little by 21a which was my last one in but otherwise a reasonably gentle puzzle. Thanks to Logman and CS.

  3. Another lightish Toughie, but I did enjoy it apart from 17d which I thought was very weak, possibly because I spent all my working life in the paint industry.

    My biggest hold-up was trying to find the definition for 11d but this was simply because I read the first “word” as I not 1. Specsavers, here I come.

    Many thanks to Logman and to CS.

    1. There was no “.” after 1 in 11d so I think you were expected to be misled. No need to go to Specsavers quite yet!

  4. The reveals for 2d and 28a need tweaking.
    Another entertaining crossword needing a bit of lateral thinking.
    I particularly liked 9a.
    Now, as it was not too taxing, I await the derogatory comments!

  5. Well it may only get one star for difficulty but this is the first toughie for ages that required no electronic or BRB assistance, so thanks very much Logman!
    Is it more difficult to set without any strange words i wonder? Or do other setters deliberately include obscurities as some solvers may be familiar with them even though most who comment here have to consult dictionaries?
    Thanks to CS for the hints which (rarely for me) weren’t required.

  6. A pleasant midweek Toughie – thanks to Logman and CS.

    I can never see or hear the 2d ‘disreputable bunch’ without thinking of that funny actor Terry-Thomas.

    Like RD I thought that 17d was rather weak as a cryptic definition.

    My podium contains 15a, 3d and 23d.

  7. Banged in “whoa” for 15a that threw me! Still don’t understand the homophone for income in 1a! Please explain why I’m so thick😁

      1. Well there’s a word I’ve been mispronouncing all my life, sewage in my part of the east Midlands!

  8. It’s eight hours since I solved this puzzle so I can barely remember what or why I wrote this morning. It all fell together nicely with 17 down being the last one bunged in to fit the checkers which I assumed at the time was an anagram (liquid) of whatever word followed. I now see that is not the case. Thanks to Logan for the awakening and to CS for the review

  9. I also struggled with the 1 in 11d, thinking it was the pronoun; otherwise, a fairly gentle Toughie for me. I especially liked 9a, 10a, and 14d. Enjoyable and fun. Thanks to CS and Logman.

  10. That was a tremendously fun puzzle, for which my thanks to Logman, and to CS for the review.

    On the more straightforward end of the spectrum, with a nice range of clue types if a little heavy on anagrams; plenty of chuckles and smiles, lovely smooth surfaces, and afterwards I found I had ticked fully one third of the clues for special remark – too many really to list and difficult to pick a single COTD, so I’ll share it between 10a and 23d.


  11. Needless to say, this took me rather longer than it apparently did our reviewer but I would also give it more stars for enjoyment.
    Took a while to sort out 4&11d – waited for a few checkers – and I did need to make sure of the definition of 18d.
    Top marks went to 13a plus 23d with a nod to 10a for being such a delightful word.

    Thanks to Logman and to CS for the review.

  12. Apart from having to check the offering in 13a as I never go to church other than weddings and funerals, mainly the latter in recent years, this was straightforward and, above all, enjoyable. Favourite was a toss up between 1a and 9a, heads so 9a. Thanks to Logman and CS.

  13. I’m on a roll this week. Toughie number 2 completed alone and unaided (unless you count pressing the ‘reveal mistakes’ button…..I hadn’t made any but needed the reassurance).

    Thanks to Logman and to CS WHO I needed for help with some of the parsings

  14. Like Ora above, I too finished this without help. Either we are getting better or the puzzles have been easier – let’s hope the former. Last one in litle 21a. Anyway good fun so thanks to all.

  15. I suspect 21a was last in for many of us. Again, completed without help, so can only be rated *. I did have to check that 27a was a real word, only being familiar with the other version.

    Many thanks to Logman and CS.

  16. Not too tough but really enjoyable was how I remember this from earlier this morning. My thanks to Logman and CS.

    We just returned from a trip, by two pretty empty trains, to a very socially-distanced concert at Symphony Hall Birmingham. Project fear is very much alive and well in the Midlands, despite the demographic being double-jabbed older people attending the concert. There were plenty of youngsters on the train not wearing face masks, yet they are the ones most at risk. We even had to wear masks during the performance, yet no one was nearer than three or four yards. Madness. Apparently it is fine for football fans to congregate in large numbers with complete disregard for anyone else, but the rest of us have to toe the line. Rant over.

  17. I really liked this, I think our reviewer has been a tad parsimonious with the enjoyment rating.
    17d stood out as a bit of weak link in an otherwise excellent puzzle. Lots to appreciate but the two linked clues at 1a&11d plus 10and 25a along with 2d stood out for me.
    Thanks to Logman and CS.

  18. Enjoyable solve for us. Took a while to twig what 4d was about that that gets our vote for favourite.
    Thanks Logman and CS.

  19. Enjoyed this one a lot. 75% of it flew in & then I struggled to see the obvious though finished in a respectable time. I will say that I suspect our reviewer had it solved & half the review written in the time it took me to come up with a four letter material other than coal or a three letter synonym for depression. No real favourites but nicely clued throughout.
    Thanks Logman & to CS

  20. Learned new things in 2d and 8d.
    The little French island in 19d was nicely clued.
    Thanks to Logman and to CS.

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