Toughie 2865 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2865

Toughie No 2865 by Chalicea
Hints and tips by Miffypops
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
Chris M Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Good morning. We have a toughie from the easy pile to start the Toughie week. A few jumpoutatcha anagrams and some very obvious definitions should give most solvers a good start and plenty of checking letters to help with the meatier stuff. The sun has burned away the morning fog. I have some overgrowth to attack so the big boys toys have been fired up ready for action. The winces that Nurse Ninepence gives when I’m using the chainsaw are well worth the effort I’ll be putting into the job

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a Rises in opposition concerning horses’ dressage movements (7)
REVOLTS: Begin with a two-letter preposition meaning about or concerning. Add movements performed in dressage and classical riding, in which a horse describes a circle of 6 yards diameter.

5a Richly furnished residences in buildings around America (7)
PALACES: Buildings here are those used for a specific purpose. They surround the abbreviation for America

9a Son telephoned during exam — most unusual! (9)
STRANGEST: Begin with the abbreviation for son. Insert a word meaning telephoned inside a synonym of the word exam

10a Hint of tense competition (5)
TRACE: Begin with the initial letter of the word tense. Add a sporting competition between runners

11a Fails to win, nearest sides forfeited (5)
LOSES: Remove the outer letters from a word meaning nearest CLOSEST

12a Made solemn avowal in favour of trial edition (9)
PROTESTED: A three part charade in the correct order. A three-letter prefix meaning in favour of. A trial or examination. The abbreviation for edition

13a Advance money to sailor, say, for sandwich (9)
SUBMARINE: A loan or advance (usually of wages) is followed by a member of a body of troops trained to serve on land or sea,

16a Relatively ironic radical makes a comeback accepting religious instruction (5)
DRIER: The abbreviation for religious instruction sits inside the reverse of a radical, left winger or communist

17a Apprehend oceans, we’re told (5)
SEIZE: A straightforward homophone (we’re told) of a word meaning oceans. What O Level results do you need to join The Royal Navy? Seven C’s

18a Calculators added up people showing promise (9)
COMPUTERS: The answer is obvious from the first word of the clue. These wonderful devices have transformed our lives. How the rest of the clue works I have no idea so I’ll throw it out to the good folk on this blog and hope for enlightenment. See the thread at comment No 1 on today’s back pager DT 30007

20a Large room, one we organised to show scary movie (9)
HALLOWEEN: A large room usually an entrance to a building is followed by an anagram (organised) of ONE WE

23a My  weekly  greeting (5)
HELLO: Possibly a triple definition. The third is obvious. The second is a magazine that is issued weekly. The first is unusual and reminds me of Terry Thomas

25a Knight accompanying King and master (5)
LEARN: An overworked Shakespearean king is followed by the chess notation for the piece known as the knight or horsey

26a Accomplished aim, sowed grass round University College court principally (9)
SUCCEEDED: The abbreviations for University, College and Court sit snugly inside a word meaning to have sown grass or a cereal crop for instance

27a Retiring maestro tersely frames sharp responses (7)

RETORTS: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word frames. It is reversed as indicated by the word retiring

28a Delay for a time America blocking outlay (7)
SUSPEND: One’s outlay or amount of money used surrounds the abbreviation for the United States


1d Troubled Ulster’s outcomes (7)
RESULTS: Anagram (troubled) of ULSTER’S

2d Virtuoso, too disrupted, overlooked corrupting influence (5)
VIRUS: Remove the letters of the word TOO from the word virtuoso

3d Comes to shore on promontory for creative sort of gardening (9)
LANDSCAPE: A word meaning comes to shore as a boat might is followed by a geographical feature

4d Female record for woolly ruminants (5)
SHEEP: A feminine pronoun is followed by the abbreviation for an extended play vinyl record

5d Melt ore, put mostly in order, for fuel source (9)
PETROLEUM: Anagram (in order) of MELT ORE PUT without the last letter of the word put as indicated by the word mostly

6d Unit central to rising infertility (5)
LITRE: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words central to. It is reversed as indicated by the word rising

7d Foolishly locates in land along the shore (9)
COASTLINE: Anagram (foolishly) of LOCATES IN

8d Barely sufficient society, principally one advancing cash (7)
SLENDER: The principal or leading letter of the word society is followed by a simple synonym of an advancer of cash. A loaner. A usurer. Dad perhaps or Mum

14d Splendid fish pursued by one worker (9)
BRILLIANT: A European flatfish that resembles a turbot is followed by the letter that looks like the number one and a social insect worker. Not a bee. The other one

15d Additions in lines on cricket grounds (9)
INCREASES: Begin with the word IN from the clue. Generously gifted by today’s setter. Add the lines painted onto a cricket wicket

16d In trouble, guards the family members (9)
DAUGHTERS: Anagram (in trouble) of GAURDS THE

17d Learned person‘s panic mostly about short vacation (7)
SCHOLAR: An alarm or panic minus its last letter surrounds an abbreviation for a holiday

19d Rebuked in Telegraph’s cold editorial (7)
SCOLDED: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word in

21d Dispiriting experience, but not at first, for possessor (5)

OWNER: A word describing a bad experience needs to lose its first letter

22d Pilfers ladies’ undergarments, we hear! (5)
NICKS: A word meaning pilfers or steals sounds like (we hear) some ladies panties

24d Lake boundary’s shelf of rocks (5)
LEDGE: The abbreviation for lake is followed by a boundary


29 comments on “Toughie 2865

  1. Enjoyable but very straightforward, even by back page standards.
    Re 18a…..”put” (added) inserted into (up) “Comers” (people of repute). The only way I can justify it.
    Thanks to Chalicea and Mark for the fun

  2. Yep – “up” used as an insertion indicator, as in “they don’t like it up ’em”. Otherwise it should have been on the back page – but enjoyable enough.
    Thanks Chalicea and MP

  3. Calculators added up people showing promise

    Unless the third word of 18a is a VERY rude container indicator, I’m almost (operative word) sure there must be a mistake here, as the clever contributors, for me, have all the elements in the right place.

    Otherwise a fine Tuesday Toughie, and as I say I’m always happy to be corrected where my own often dubious understanding fails :D

  4. Elegantly constructed and fun to complete with only 18ac parsing help required.
    All over too quickly and a lot easier than many back page puzzles.
    Thanks to both.

  5. Annoyingly I needed help with 1a otherwise it would have been an unaided finish – not a thing that happens often with me and Toughies. The two Toughie setters I do stand a chance with are today’s and Hudson so I was pleased to see Chalicea in the frame.

    Like others, I am not sure about 18a but the rest, apart from 1a, were most satisfactory.

    Thank you, Chalicea for the fun and giving me another Toughie to put under my belt. Thank you, Miffypops for the hints.

  6. Very enjoyable, thanks Chalicea and MP. Mostly straightforward, apart from the dressage movements and perhaps the solemn avowal … and of course 18a – I’m not sure about “up” as an insertion indicator but Chambers does have it as “to or in an inner … part of”. I think I may be warming to it, in a Toughie context. Anyway, favourite was 23a. Thanks again!

  7. Oh, good – I’m glad I wasn’t the only one stumped by the parsing of 18a. The rest, a piece of cake. I saw that it was ‘put’ inside ‘comers’, but still couldn’t quite see how it works. I remain only semi-convinced. But, that aside, a very gentle start to the week. I’d never heard of the dressage thing, either, but that was easy enough to Google. Dressage really is quite hilarious, is it not?

    1. You occasionally see racing jockeys dressaging (is that a word?) racehorses before a race. Voltes are a common exercise while waiting to be led into the starting stalls. Some racehorses join the dressage circuit after finishing racing. Kauto Star being a case in point

  8. Indeed, thanks, that difficult clue is being discussed (amusingly) on the back page site and I’ve commented there that I was actually solving the Tuesday cryptic and the Toughie with my husband (who hadn’t seen either and is briefly in hospital – didn’t know it was mine – he found it an easy Tuesday Toughie but liked the setter’s style – big smile from me!). That clue held him up too, though the answer was evident. Yes, the ‘up’ was an insertion indicator to put the PUT into COMERS. This clue was tweaked into its present form by the new assistant puzzles editor and had me struggling too but it was a Toughie, after all. Many thanks, Miffy Pops.

  9. Might be the fluffiest toughie yet. Can’t remember a puzzle where the wordplay and definition were so readily derived. But because of lack ot time, suited me down to the ground. Despite my comment, Chalicea continues to be one of my favourite setters for both cryptics and thematics. Thanks to her and Miffypops for the blog.

  10. Such a comfort to finish a Toughie whatever the difficulty level. Now to look at the back page.
    The clever Mr K has solved my signing in problem. I’m all set up and ready to go!

  11. Like others I needed the hints to parse 1a and 18a. I was surprised to find that 13a was a sandwich, I’ll try to remember that for future reference. Apart from those, no hold ups. Favourite was 15d. Thanks to Chalicea and MP.

  12. A lot of very quick fun and enjoyment from the most gentle of puzzles, even were it to feature as an early-week backpager rather than as a Toughie. My COTD was the silk-smooth surface and triple definition of 23a

    0.5* / 3*

    Many thanks indeed to Chalicea and to MP for the review.

  13. Being a Toughie virgin and having read the comments beforehand thought I’d have a go.
    Half an hour later, all done without hints. Some inspired guesswork – for example 1a.
    No doubt such hubris will be rewarded with a swift downfall but for the moment rather chuffed. Thanks to the setter for my gentle deflowering.

    1. The Toughies shouldn’t hold any fears for reasonably competent solvers. They might take a fair bit longer to solve because they tend to have overstretched synonyms from the lower reaches of the dictionary. The odd unusual word here and there. Unusual anagram indicators. Fewer anagrams. But keep plugging away and be happy with a nearly finished puzzle

  14. I enjoyed this floughie.

    Thanks to MP and Chalicea (not least for popping in to confirm 18a)

  15. I almost forgot to comment as a few of us added some thoughts at #1 on the backpage blog. It just remains for me to say a big thank you to Chalicea for a fun puzzle that was, as always, a pleasure to solve. Relatively easy it may have been, but I am always in awe of our setters’ abilities to produce these terrific grids.

  16. It was a very quick and pleasant solve for me last night, though I actually hiccupped a bit with both 18 & 23a. I didn’t know about the magazine in 18 and simply decided that ‘up’ signalled an insert for 23. Beyond those two, everything else was peaches and cream, as is usual for puzzles by this wonderfully lovely compiler. Thanks to MP for the review and to Chalicea for the treat.

  17. Thanks for the puzzle Chalicea…..I’ll save it for Friday! I just don’t seem to get on with the Friday setters these days, so will enjoy your toughie, even if it is a floughie, then!

  18. Enjoyed this Toughie today and found it was relatively straightforward with no obscure clues or words. 2*/4.5* for me on this one.
    Podium contenders include 9a, 17a, 2d, 14d & 22d with winner 14d but 22d close behind (no pun intended!)

    Thanks to Chalicea and MP

  19. Thanks, all, for this, Romped home, but – as others – a bit baffled by 18a. Missed MP’s usual blast-from-the-past Hit Parade numbers, But I can see that only 13a had a slim chance of sneaking in (but without a hint of yellow in the clue, alas). Did we all have a great Jubilee? And was there anything at all to top HM and Paddington Bear?!

  20. Enjoyed this more than the back pager today. If only I knew more about dressage I could have finished unaided. But delightful nonetheless. Great clues which allow one to gradually tease out the answers without using other sources. My kind of puzzle. Thanks to Chalicea and Miffypops.

  21. Thanks to Miffs and Chalicea, The much discussed 18a had me puzzled too. Reading both today’s blogs has enlightened me but for a while, before I got here, I wondered if the old fashioned term for people who count (Compters)could have a u put up inside it, but I was obviously grasping at straws.

  22. We also did some head-scratching about 18a in this delightful romp of a puzzle.
    Thanks Chalicea and MP.

  23. Blimey Miff, I managed to complete this in xxxxxx after 2 hours in the Weavers! Good fun though!

    Comment redacted as it is the blog’s policy not to mention actual solving times.

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