Toughie 2702 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2702

Toughie No 2702 by Musaeus

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A nice level of Toughie difficulty from Musaeus with a crossword ideal for fans of anagrams!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


4a    Actively stop co-ed becoming a kind of lottery (8)
POSTCODE An anagram (actively)of STOP COED

8a    Engagement rings worn as present (6)
DONATE An engagement or appointment goes round (rings) a synonym for worn

9a    Wisdom runs through banking (8)
LEARNING The cricket abbreviation for runs goes inside (through) part of a verb meaning tilting while turning (banking)

10a    Knowing people would be drunk before time, it returned (8)
LITERATI A three-letter word meaning drunk goes before a period of time and a reversal (returned)of IT (from the clue)

11a    Court detains pain showing street cred, perhaps (6)
CACHET The abbreviation for court ‘detains’ a dull pain

12a    Feel liar gets muddled up in this? (4,4)
REAL LIFE An anagram (muddled up) of FEEL LIAR

13a    Increasing tips from crossword’s relaxed editor on series of clues? (8)
CRESCENT The ‘tips’ from Crossword’s Relaxed Editor on a series of clues

16a    SA location — can we opt out? (4,4)
CAPE TOWN An anagram (out) of CAN WE OPT

19a    Keep an eye on porter gathering fish but wasting hour (5,3)
STAKE OUT The type of beer also known as porter ‘gathering’ a type of fish without the H (wasting hour)

21a    Very busy swot starting late, middle in Latin (6)
RAMMED A verb meaning to swot without its first letter (starting late) and the Latin abbreviation for middle

23a    Benefits arising from realism when flying around Italy (3,5)
AIR MILES An anagram (when flying) of REALISM ‘around’ the IVR Code for Italy

24a    Iron perhaps and where it’s used (4,4)
GOLF CLUB Double definition

25a    Check canopy (6)
SCREEN Double definition – one a verb, the other a noun

26a    Maybe get refurbed unit for storage space (8)
MEGABYTE An anagram (refurbed) of MAYBE GET


1d    Saw lacking coolant? (7)
NOTICED Split another way of saying saw 3,4 and you’d describe something lacking coolant

2d    Sporting mate leaves worked up — no job’s impossible for this one (4,5)
WAGE SLAVE A wife or girlfriend of a sportsperson and an anagram (worked up) of LEAVES

3d    Coop up fighter, perhaps renowned climber? (6)
NEPALI A reversal (up) of a type of coop and the informal way we refer to a famous boxer (fighter perhaps)

4d    Work over bugs then cheat on fixed PC (6,9)
POLICE CONSTABLE A reversal (over) of an abbreviated work, some bugs, a slang word meaning to cheat and an adjective meaning fixed

5d    Probe forward-looking sort about bow (8)
SEARCHER Someone looking into the future goes ‘about’ a bow

6d    Slice of delicacy nicked for one habitually scoffing (5)
CYNIC Hidden in (a slice of) delicaCY NICked

7d    Good one awfully oppressed by dingy prison (7)
DUNGEON The abbreviation for Good and an anagram (awfully) of ONE ‘oppressed by’ or inserted into an adjective meaning dingy

14d    Drink dispenser brewing ice tea, mostly free (9)
CAFETIERE An anagram (brewing) of ICE TEA and most of FREe

15d    What was in the beginning? Scope for wit (8)
WORDPLAY According to the Gospel of St John, this was ‘in the beginning’ – it should be followed by another word for scope

17d    Who’s at sea with a single source of nutrition? (7)
ABALONE An abbreviated sailor (who’s at sea) with A (from the clue) and an adjective meaning single or solitary

18d    Dancer‘s rising career — aim on sign of victory, possibly (7)
NUREYEV A reversal (rising) of a verb meaning to career, a verb meaning to look at (aim) and the letter that looks like a possible sign of victory providing the sign-maker’s hand is the right way round!

20d    Advanced and hybrid unlike this clue (6)
ACROSS The abbreviation for Advanced and a hybrid

22d    Flipping excellent family group of sharks? (5)
MAFIA A reversal (flipping) of a way of saying excellent or first rate followed by an abbreviation for family

19 comments on “Toughie 2702

  1. The Telegraph has introduced a new puzzle this week for us online subscribers – it’s called ‘guess the Toughie setter’. I had a go but failed miserably.

    I thought that this was a typical midweek Toughie with a fairly high ration of anagrams.

    My medals went to 8a, 2d and 22d.

    Thanks to Musaeus and CS.

    1. I’m fortunate to belong to a crossword group where the man himself turned up this morning to let us know that today’s Toughie was set by him

  2. This was all going swimmingly well until I came to a halt in the NW corner. It all came together eventually and was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining solve. 8a was my favourite. I’m sure someone will correct me, but I cannot remember so many anagrams in one grid, certainly not a Toughie.

    My thanks to Musaeus and CS.

  3. I found this a bit lacklustre for a Toughie mainly due to the proliferation of anagrams.

    I can’t recall ever having heard of the answer to 2d before but it was easy enough to work out.

    8a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Musaeus and to CS.

  4. Only managed about half of this I’m afraid. Lovely picture of Cape Town, my adopted home for 10 years. I saw Fonteyn and Nureyev dance when I was about 15 and it didn’t do anything for me at all. Now Matthew Bourne productions, a completely different matter. Thanks to the setter and CS for explaining most of it for me.

    1. A girl after my own heart – Matthew Bourne productions are excellent. His version of Swan Lake was one of the best ‘ballets’ I’ve ever seen and I also loved Edward Scissorhands and Car-men. Sadly, he only brought the troupe to N.Wales on one occasion and I’m no longer sufficiently mobile to travel back to the Lowry Centre in Manchester but I always look out for any performances being shown on TV.

    2. I shook Rudolf Nureyev’s hand at a private gathering to celebrate his last-ever performance in Charleston, in the mid-80s, and we chatted for a few minutes. He was a lovely person and a very great dancer. It’s one of my warmest memories.

  5. I had a few ‘if, but, maybe’ moments along the way but it all came together in the end.
    Top three here were 19a and the simple 24a along with 1d.

    Thanks to Musaeus and to CS for the review.

  6. I got stuck on 2d and 8a.
    I can’t quite align the definition and the solution in 2d.
    Aren’t we all , or most of us anyway, wage slaves?
    I would do it unless I was paid.
    Thanks to CS and Musaeus.

    1. You’re not alone Una – they’re 2 of my 3 currently unsolved despite RD reckoning one of them is easy to work out.

  7. Beaten by 2 letters in 2d. Hadn’t heard of the expression, but shout have got wag. Kicked myself!
    Thanks CS and the setter.
    Golf tomorrow, so lots to look forward to later. 3rd round to get new igolf handicap!

  8. Enjoyed this solve while watching the cricket! what a start.
    13a was a new use for increasing confirmed by Chambers and last in 21a took ages-not ofter seen in the flesh.
    Favourite was 15d and the wordplay of 24a.
    Thanks CS for the picks and Musaeus.

  9. Nobody was more surprised than I when, after applying my 5-letter gift (5 letters scattered here and there), I was told I had all but one correct. That one maverick, which I then solved, was 19a, and so I did finish, thanks to those online lagniappes. Two bung-ins (2d, 21a–neither of which had I heard of) and a Eureka moment with the Gospel of St John, which gave me my COTD, saved the day for me. Thanks to CS for the review and to Musaeus for the huge challenge.

  10. We sailed through the top half but really struggled with the lower one. Eventually got it all sorted.
    Thanks Musaeus (we’d never have guessed) and CS.

  11. Fairly swift solve to within 2 of a finish then stalled & put it aside. No joy after a second stab at it so revealed the 2d/8a checker but still couldn’t see either of them so over to CS. Like Jules annoyed not to have thought WAG (always forget the acronym) as that would have led to the answer. Thought 8a surface cleverly misleading & was suckered, guilty of failing to identify definition from wordplay so it’s my pick of the clues. 4d,10&24a were other likes.
    Enjoyable albeit maybe a few too many anagrams.
    Thanks to Musaeus & CS

  12. I was really pleased to have done the right hand side unaided. I loved 4d which got me started. I then managed most of the rest by checking hints for underlined definition and some electronic help. I was defeated by 1d and 8a, although I can’t imagine why!! Thank you CS for your much needed and clear hints. And thank you Musseus for a great crossword.

Comments are closed.