Toughie 2769 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2769

Toughie No 2769 by Dada

Hints and tips by Miffypops

I’m not here to be perfect  I’m just here to be me

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Chris M Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Dada? Really. Well I never. The Tuesday Toughie remains accessible to most competent back page solvers. A good entry level puzzle for those wanting to step up to Toughie level.

As this is my last blog before Christmas I would like to wish everybody who visits Big Dave’s site a happy Christmas. That’s everybody with no exceptions

Thanks to all who contribute, setters, solvers, bloggers, those who comment and those who visit the site only occasionally. Collectively you bring this site alive

Take care, stay warm, be kind and remember “it’s only a crossword puzzle”


Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a        Secured by clasp, rather loose warm covering (6,3)
HEARTH RUG:  Wrap a word meaning clasp or embrace around an anagram (loose) of RATHER

8a        Show without a party (5)
REVEL:  Remove the letter A from a word meaning to show or make known

10a      Covers torn from work by fine author (6)
ORWELL:  Remove the outer letters from the word work and add a synonym of the word fine

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” George Orwell

11a      One of two still in building is in flat (8)
FINALIST:Anagram (building) of IS IN FLAT

12a      Fruit: piece of bread almost sandwiching it (6)
CITRUS: The slice of bread cut from either end of a loaf of bread, minus it’s last letter, surrounds the word IT which has been generously donated by today’s setter

14a      Prisoner great success in conference (6)
POWWOW: The abbreviation for a prisoner of war is followed by a noun used to describe a sensational success

16a      Gas inhaled by someone once (4)
NEON: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words inhaled by

17a      Daft infant goes on one (5)
POTTY:   When I was a wee wee tot.

They took me from my wee wee cot.

They put me on my wee wee pot.

To see if I would wee or not.

And when they found that I would not.

They took me from my wee wee pot.

And put me in my wee wee cot.

And then of course I weed a lot

18a      Side   pocket (4)
BANK:  A double definition. The first being the side of a river. The second a little more obscure

19a      What once may have carried people in April and August (6)
LANDAU: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word in

21a      Sharp tip on new machinery at the back (6)
POINTY:  An anagram (new) of TIP ON is rounded off by the last letter of the word machinery

24a      Stupid — unlike 24 Across? (8)
CLUELESS: As today’s setter has provided a clue here we are not without one although we might still be stupid. Stupid is not a nice word and it’s use should be limited

26a      Local connection keeping personal (6)
TOWNIE: A formal verb meaning to admit or acknowledge that something is the case or that one feels a certain way (personal) sits inside a link or bond

27a      Panel jaded, we hear? (5)
BOARD: A word meaning jaded or fed up sounds like (we hear) a word describing a panel of interviewers perhaps

28a      State of the US not entirely sensible with criminal offence (9)
WISCONSIN: One of the United States of America can be found by following the three instructions in the clue in the order that they appear


1d        Female ultimately dressed by poet in male attire (5)
BEARD:  A word describing a poet (Shakespeare maybe) surrounds the final letter of the word female

2d        Beef in a liquid under some potato (8)
FRIESIAN: A portion of potatoes as they are called in some restaurants (especially fast food outlets) are followed by an anagram (liquid) of IN A

3d        Hunter: one complaining, audibly (6)
WHALER:  The word audibly suggests a homophone. The hunter is one such as Captain Ahab. The moaner might be in Bob Marley’s backing band

4d        Muscular   aficionado (4)
BUFF: A double definition. The second being more accessible

5d        Spineless  blonde (6)
YELLOW: The colour of cowardice is suggested by this double definition

6d        Second of threads in novel valid, one sniffing out a story? (9)
NEWSHOUND:  A three part charade. 1 the second letter of the word threads. 2 A word meaning novel. 3 A word meaning valid. As valid as a pound. Arrange as suggested by the wording of the clue

9d        Quicklike a photograph? (6)
SNAPPY: An amusing double definition

13d      Group nearing peak, perhaps, found (3,2)
SET UP:  A group of similar objects and your position when nearing the top of a mountain. The definition here is a verb

15d      An old lime spoiled cut of meat (9)
MEDALLION: Anagram (spoiled) of AN OLD LIME

17d      Exercise in flat temporarily stopped (6)
PAUSED: Two synonyms are required here. One to exercise or employ and one for a flat as in accommodation. One sits inside the other

18d      Country dancing wasn’t grasped by South American native (8)
BOTSWANA: An anagram (dancing) of WASN’T sits inside an animal found in South America

20d      Appreciation of music breaking tedious routine (6)
DREARY:  Two three letter words are required here, one inside the other. A word describing an appreciation of music sits inside a word meaning tedious

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

            Only this and nothing more.”

22d      Fashionable delicacy, perfect (6)
INTACT: A two letter word meaning fashionable is followed by a word meaning delicacy of manner or diplomacy

23d      Last of the Georges in hat, black and blue (5)
LIVID: The Roman numerals appertaining to the last of the kings of England named George are surrounded by an informal term for a hat

25d      Underwear   gaffe (4)

SLIP:  A simple double definition


25 comments on “Toughie 2769

  1. I’m afraid I had to record a DNF with four missing in the SE. 18a was the key, and I often struggle with two-word clues. The linked 18d, 26a and 23d were the others. The rest was completed in ** time, but of course that doesn’t count.

    Many thanks to Dada and MP.

  2. A rare example of a Tuesday Toughie that fitted the description of an ‘easy’ Toughie in that it should take about the same time as a difficult Friday backpager.

    Thanks to Dada for the crossword and MP for the blog

  3. Cracking puzzle from Dada, with the NE placing it just into Toughie territory.
    I don’t think I’ve come across 14a before so a guess from the checkers and wordplay.
    As always with this setter a plethora of podium contenders but I’ve gone for 24a plus 6&20d.
    Many thanks to the aforementioned Dada and to MP for a top review.

  4. I really enjoyed this, with only a couple in the NW quadrant holding me up. 24a, 2 and 23d comprise my podium this afternoon. Great fun.

    Thanks to Dada for the challenge. Thanks, too, to MP for this and all his other entertaining reviews over the year.

  5. Currently shy of an answer to 2d but will resist hints or a letter reveal & look later. Found the NE/SW diagonal reasonably straightforward but stalled a bit elsewhere. Got there bar one after a few PDMs & agree that it wasn’t overly challenging but by no means a floughie, for me anyway. No real favourites but I did like 14a & 3d.
    Thanks to Dada & Miffs

    1. Funny how answers just randomly occur when you’re not even thinking about crosswords. 2d popped into my head while doing something unrelated. Had to look at the clue again though to clock liquid as the crafty anagrind for the last 3 letters.

      1. Hadn’t read your review when posting MP – just to second the Friar’s comment. Ta for all of your witty reviews throughout the year & enjoy Christmas.

  6. Thanks to Dada for enjoyable puzzle. 1d and 18ac were a bit iffy in my view but the rest was precise and on the toughie spectrum.
    Thanks to MP who’s gone all poetic today.

  7. Unlike CS, I would not consider this an ‘easy’ Toughie, though I did manage 90% of it on my own until I simply gave up in the (now obvious) NW corner. The term for the beef is not a familiar one over here (only Holstein), but I also failed (24a me) to uncover the famous author whom it was my joy for decades to teach, especially his Burmese Days & ‘Politics and the English Language’. Dada has defeated me twice in two days, but this is a splendid puzzle. I particularly liked 6d and 14a, but it was all pretty grand stuff. Thanks to the Miff for unravelling it all and to Dada. Merry Christmas to you both.

  8. I agree with Miffypops’s ratings, like Stephen L finding the NE corner just tough enough to push me to a 2* rating for difficulty, though it’s one of those where as soon as you finish it, you can’t think why they weren’t all obvious straightaway. I would never have known it was a Dada offering.

    More importantly, I would like to thank Miffy (may I call you that, for short?) for the hilarious wee poem and kind Christmas wishes, which I warmy reciprocate. We could all do with a bit of joy to the world, could we not?

    1. It’s Miff in preference. Miffy is ok. Miffs in the plural is silly. Thanks for the thanks. It keeps us going

  9. I found this harder than most but I usually do. I did manage to parse it all myself which I usually don’t. Lots of contenders for favourite but I’ll go with 6d. Thanks to Dada and MP.

  10. We haven’t been able to access the Telegraph puzzles site today and wonder whether we are alone in this – so sorry, no reaction to the Toughie.

    1. Try a reboot. Delete and reinstall the app. If it works it works if it doesn’t, well whats the worst that can happen?

  11. Happy Christmas, MP – and special thanks for 18a. The husband and I have escaped to La Gomera for some festive cheer and have just whooped round our balcony to the strains of ‘Running Bear’ – not once, but twice! (The Canarian sack out here sure hits the spot!)

    1. Postman Pat sang this at our wedding. Our drummer (can’t remember who) pounded out the beat. The bass man (Trevor) underpinned it. The lead guitarist (John Williams) made it special and I just rhythmed (is that a word)? along on my Stratocaster. The assorted guests joined in with gay abandon. I’ve not seen such pure joy since.Glad you enjoyed it too

  12. We were beaten by 18a. Just could not see the second definition at the time but on further thought guess that as a verb meaning ‘take out of circulation’ fits the bill.
    Enjoyable solve as ever.
    Thanks Dada and MP.

  13. Haven’t looked at this yet, saving for tomorrow. Spent all afternoon printing our Glaven Valley News and noticed a mistake (my fault) so took 2 hours to rectify. But wanted to use this opportunity to wish MP and all the wonderful people running this site a wonderful Christmas and thanks for being a little oasis of peace and humour in a rather turbulent world.

  14. Started and finished this today. I would not have got stuck on 2d if I had known how to spell it. Regarding 26a, is that not what locals call someone who is not a local? Grouse over. A Merry Christmas to all.

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