Toughie No 2765 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 2765

Toughie No 2765 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

The combination of the Toughie not appearing in the puzzles section when Miffypops downloaded the Daily Telegraph this morning and his brother-in-law’s funeral taking place today, means that we have swapped days and he’ll be blogging tomorrow’s Stick Insect crossword

I hadn’t solved a Chalicea Tuesday puzzle for quite a long while now and this one was, for me,  of midweek backpage difficulty, even allowing for 18a. A crossword with a lovely lot of picture opportunities – it is going to be hard to decide which eight to choose.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Misfortunes of relaxed obligations (10)
CASUALTIES Split 6,4 these misfortunes would be relaxed obligations

6a    Celebrate twofold backing (4)
LAUD A verb meaning to celebrate or praise is a reversal (backing) of an adjective meaning twofold

10a    Reportedly modify what’s needed for mass (5)
ALTAR A homophone (reportedly) of a verb meaning to modify

11a    Troublesome inertia on sides of railway route (9)
ITINERARY An anagram (troublesome) of INERTIA followed by (on) the letters at the sides of RailwaY

12a    Mostly support a sort of posh little restaurant (3,4)
TEA SHOP Most of a golf support, A (from the clue) and an anagram (sort) of POSH

13a    Some brutally honest sportsman’s cry (5-2)
TALLY-HO Hidden in some of bruTALLY HOnest

14a    Caricatured and nastily patronised me (12)
IMPERSONATED An anagram (nastily) of PATRONISED ME

18a    Deviously revise target; change sides (12)
TERGIVERSATE A verb probably only remembered by people like me who ‘love words’ – An anagram (deviously) of REVISE TARGET

21a    Ravenous young creature who’d left crumb, oddly (4,3)
WOLF CUB The odd letters of WhOd LeFt CrUmB

23a    Honour the French after their good turns (7)
ENNOBLE The French definite article goes after a reversal (turns) of their [feminine] word for good

24a    Mini cyclone‘s vibratory sound and large twist (9)
WHIRLWIND An alternative spelling of a vibratory sound, the abbreviation for Large and a verb meaning to twist

25a    Serviceable East Anglian river circling edge of Fens (2,3)
OF USE There are several rivers with this name – Chalicea is thinking of the ‘Great’ one that flows through Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk to drain into the Wash and the North Sea near Kings Lynn – the name of the river ‘circling’ the edge of Fens

26a    Word of consent about new cravings (4)
YENS The most commonly used word of consent goes ‘about’ the abbreviation for New

27a    Journalist on rum, say, essentially dallying exuberantly (10)
SPIRITEDLY The abbreviation for the top journalist goes on or after a type of drink of which rum, say, is an example, the result followed by the essential letters of dalLYing


1d    Sexually virtuous and pursued we’re told (6)
CHASTE A homophone (we’re told’ of a synonym for pursued

2d    Santa confused? Very — needs this maybe (6)
SATNAV An anagram (confused) of SANTA followed by the abbreviation for Very

3d    A bill anchor-man organised (US president) (7,7)
ABRAHAM LINCOLN An anagram (organised) of A BILL ANCHOR MAN

4d    Bit of a fiddle to closely follow dramatic composition (9)
TAILPIECE A verb meaning to follow closely and a dramatic composition

5d    Order ready for publication, maintaining copyright principally (5)
EDICT A verb meaning to ready for publication ‘maintaining’ the principal letter of Copyright

7d    People examining one article after another on broadcast inventories (8)
ANALYSTS One indefinite article goes after another and is then followed by a homophone (broadcast) of some inventories

8d    Drapery and the like of teetotal well-behaved son (3,5)
DRY GOODS A synonym for teetotal, an adjective meaning well-behaved and the abbreviation for Son

9d    NZ city expressed disapproval finally about footwear? (10,4)
WELLINGTON BOOT A New Zealand city, an expression of disapproval and the final letter of about

15d    Singular upper-class profligate, one that keeps stocking up (9)
SUSPENDER The abbreviation for Singular, the letter used to indicate upper-class and a recklessly extravagant person (profligate)

16d    Pull off after second person desiring free passage (8)
STOWAWAY Synonyms for pull and off follow (after) the abbreviation for Second

17d    An enormous number freely roll in it (8)
TRILLION An anagram (freely) of ROLL IN IT

19d    Ludicrous unlimited cabs US rejected on highway (6)
ABSURD The inside (unlimited) letters of cABs, a reversal (rejected) of US followed by an abbreviated highway

20d    Lament about occasionally mealie vegetable (6)
CELERY A verb meaning to lament goes about the occasional letters of mEaLiE

22d    Second-class flabby airship (5)
BLIMP The letter used to indicate second-class and an adjective meaning flabby


40 comments on “Toughie No 2765

  1. A very Floughie Toughie to start the week. Finished in * time, quicker than the back-pager.

    Not being a string player, I didn’t know the term at 4d. I don’t know where I got 18a from. I also needed all the checkers to get 23a, as I had forgotten the feminine French spelling.

    How many others put PIE (from PIER) as the first word of 12a? Come on fellow Northerners, admit it!

    Many thanks to Chalicea and CS.

    1. I am a violinist so 4d was no problem. This was certainly the easiest “Toughie” that I have ever done.

  2. A most enjoyable if very straightforward solve.
    I’m sure many backpageonlies could tackle it.
    Agree with your star rating.
    Thanks to both.

  3. This was the second light delight of the day.

    I didn’t know 18a. Solving it was a matter of jiggling the letters of the anagram fodder in the gaps left by the checkers, and then reaching for my BRB. I have also never come across whirr spelt with only one R. 8d is the American term for drapery.

    I am quite happy to ignore a split infinitive when it is necessary for the wordplay, but I don’t see why the adverb in 4d is needed at all.

    With lots to enjoy, my podium comprises 1a, 1d & 15d.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to CS.

  4. Gentle but good fun. 18a was the only head scratching required today. Thanks to Chalicea and CS.

  5. I really enjoyed this. It might be a little lightweight but none the worse for that. I thought of CS when my online dictionary threw up 18a. I don’t think I have ever seen that word before.
    3d was a very clever anagram and my COTD

  6. Very Floughie but good fun, except for the ‘I hope I forget very quickly’ 18a – */****

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 1d, 22d – and the winner is 22d.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to CS.

  7. Solved the old fashioned way with pen and paper (did I really used to do them all like this!) but fun, light and very enjoyable nonetheless. 18a a new word for me.
    1&2d made me smile and I thought 23a rather clever.
    Many thanks to Chalicea and CS with best wishes to MP.

  8. 18 ac the only tricky bit … like many others I got it by playing with the anagram fodder, then looking it up. A well-clued and entertaining puzzle and I particularly liked 16 dn.

    Thanks to Chalicea and CS

  9. Good fun while it lasted, and yes, a little quicker than today’s backpager, though even that was quite a rapid solve: light and straightforward, with Chalicea’s trademark humour, polish and great variety of clue types. 18a new but as SW has noted, ascertainable from the checkers and subsequent confirmation.

    1* / 3*

    Thank you to Chalicea and to CS

  10. Put me down in the ‘never heard of 18a camp’ and sadly I’ll probably say the same if it ever pops up again!
    Liked 1a which put me in mind of ‘Brief Encounter’ and my favourite was 1d.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to CS for the pictorial review, particularly the shot of the young 21a.

    1. Ah yes, Jane: 1a (lovely clue) with Celia, Trevor, and that glorious Rach 2 throughout, one of my all-time favourites.

  11. Nice puzzle albeit pretty gentle. I did wonder what one of Robert’s favourite 12 letter words was going to be & like others had never heard of it. Joint favs the 1a&d combo that kicked the puzzle off.
    Thanks to Chalicea & to CS

  12. Not surprisingly I have also never heard of 18a, but with all the checkers in place it was simply a matter of elimination until I got the right combination. 1a was clever and my top clue. Gentle fun, with some humorous entertainment along the way.

    Thanks to Chalicea for the challenge, and to CS for filling in.

  13. Yes, 18a is one of my favourite words but over the years I’ve used it quite sparingly–among us word-nerds, it’s always a howler–and was delighted that Chalicea chose to give me an early Christmas present like this one. A very enjoyable puzzle, indeed, and interestingly enough, I found myself a bit stumped at first by 4d, my LOI until my Damascus Moment. Many thanks to CS and to Chalicea.

  14. I too am in the 18a never heard of camp and I’ll confess to using an anagram solver. The americanism in could have been avoided by removing the last letter from normal spelling. Apart from those, no problems and enjoyable. Favourite was 23a as it contained two of the few French words I know. Thanks to Chalicea and CS.

  15. With CS reviewing, we could be sure of some fine illustrations and the delightful little creature at 21ac was my early Christmas gift – thank you CS, as well as for the breaking-down of all those clues. (With regard to split infinitives, as a retired English teacher, I like to totally ignore some of the so-called rules that, I feel, have no logical justification, so I am afraid that I shall continue to boldly go …etc and hope the friend who regularly mutters about them will learn to generously accept that they will continue to happily appear in Floughie Toughies).
    Yes, we too love relatively obscure words like 18ac and, of course, our editor would not allow us to (carelessly) use them (I had to put one in there – smile) even in a Toughie, without a generous clue that spells things out.
    Many thanks for the warm solver comments and best wishes for the coming season to all.

    1. split infinitives have never bothered me in the least. Thanks for the puzzle & continue to boldly go….

    2. I blame my English teacher (now long retired to the heavens) for my inbuilt paranoia of split infinitives. I have come a long way since taking up solving cryptic crosswords in retirement and have been able to shake off a lot of the brain washing I was subjected to at school. As I said in my earlier comment I am (very!) happy to ignore them when they are necessary for the wordplay. After all, it is only a crossword :wink:

      Only a crossword, maybe, but a lot of fun. Many thanks again, Chalicea. I am in awe of all our setters’ skills which regularly and royally entertain us.

      1. I dare say a very high percentage of English speaking people would have no idea of what an infinitive is, let alone a split one!

  16. With a pathological hatred of cookies I have been reading the banner that obscures and demeans this site. No luck! The “reject all” decision just isn’t there. Oh, Big Dave, what have you signed we free spirits up for?!

  17. A great way to ease myself back into Toughies after being crossword-free for a couple of weeks or more.

    Like most, 18a was a new word for me and one I doubt I will use again.

    Thanks to CS for the blog and Chalicea for the puzzle.

  18. A delightful toughie as is the norm from Chalicea. Like others, 18a was new to me but with checkers, it had to be ( and had to be checked in BRB) It took a while for the penny to drop on 8d too. We have a 12a for Celia and Trevor too.
    I am not a fan of 20d ( not the clue, the vegetable) Tastes foul, stringy bits in teeth, and provides fewer calories than used in its consumption.

  19. “Oh good, it’s Chalicea today”, I said to myself excitedly. At my level, I know I’m in for a good ride for most of the day with a Chalicea offering (just finished, with a teensy bit of help for 18a). Favourite: 23a.

  20. So pleased to see Chalicea at the helm today, enabling me to get both the back pager and the Toughie done, a rare event. I am sure there were many more out there who were very pleased to tackle this one. Didn’t know 18a of course, and had completely forgotten 3d Britspeak for GPS, as we call it over here. Thank you to a Chalicea and CrypticSue.

  21. Just did this after reading the comments about it in the cryptic blog. Very nice puzzle and was able to complete this Chalicea puzzle without any help or hints. 1.5*/**** My second Chalicea I had no problem with and was on same wavelength.
    Candidates for favourite 1a, 1d, 2d, 16d & 20d and the winner is 16d.
    Lots of clues that were really fun like 1a, 25a & 9d
    Never heard of the word in 18a, and likely never will again! Yikes …

    Thanks to Chalicea and to CS.

  22. Can anybody help? I am unable to download the toughie. All other puzzles and news etc download but not the toughie. I have uninstalled and reinstalled multiple times to no avail. Samsung tablet.

    1. I have the same problem – it’s not available on the iPad version for either Tuesday or Wednesday (today).

        1. I have tried to phone the DT but they don’t reply and I’ve tried their contact chat line, but no reply. I only buy the paper for the 2 crosswords!

          1. Delete the app and reinstall it. The puzzles editor was unaware of the problem but got it sorted very quickly once I informed him. Ten out of ten Mr Lancaster

  23. Came to this toughie late on the recommendations from the back page. Indeed, a lovely puzzle and very doable for someone who struggles with standard end of week cryptics. Thank you Chalicea! **/****

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