Toughie 2929 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2929

Toughie No 2929 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by StephenL

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone from a blue skies but slightly Autumnal South Devon. Chalicea kicks of the Toughie week with an enjoyable puzzle that, as expected from this setter, was relatively gentle but good fun

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Cunningly altering figure (8)

TRIANGLE: Anagram (cunningly) of ALTERING.

5a Steps up tense atmosphere on board ship (6)

STAIRS: Place the abbreviation for Tense and a synonym of atmosphere inside (on board) crosswordland’s staple ship.

9a Regulated precisely following a draft initially by editor (8)

ADJUSTED: String together A from the clue, the initial letter of Draft, a synonym of precisely and the usual abbreviation for EDitor.

10a Ship retiring in hopeless event (6)

VESSEL: Hidden and reversed (retiring in) the final two words of the clue.

12a Wrongdoings of naughty children not principally tolerated (6)

ERRORS: Remove the principal letter of Tolerated from some naughty children.

13a It’s not fair when this protection is required (8)

UMBRELLA: Cryptic definition, the fair referring to the weather.

15a Made structural changes, given warning before shifting over a ton (7)

ALTERED:  Start with a word meaning “given warning” or a heads up and shift or move the abbreviation for Ton towards the front of the word.

16a Make acceptable little brother’s room, we’re told (4)

SELL: A homophone of a “little brother’s room”, the little a reference to the size of the room, the brother being a monk. My last one in and a good clue.

20a Employs stratagems without reason at first (4)

USES: Remove the initial letter of Reason from the beginning of some stratagems or cunning ploys.

21a Withdraws troops on manoeuvres (7)

REMOVES: Put together the abbreviation for Royal Engineers and a synonym of manoeuvres.

25a Expend about pound on one daughter — very good (8)

SPLENDID: Insert the abbreviation for pound as a unit of currency into a synonym of expend or lay out and add the single letter abbreviations for one and daughter.

26a Value of American horse (6)

AMOUNT: An abbreviation for American plus a horse or steed that is available for riding.

28a Tended sick shark beached finally (6)

NURSED: A type of shark and the final letter of breacheD.

29a Period intervening in poor sentence (8)

MEANTIME: Two synonyms needed here, the first a synonym of poor in the sense of shabby, the second a (prison) sentence.

30a Some high-level destiny for first-born (6)

ELDEST: Hidden in the clue as indicated by “some”.

31a Surprisingly lucid end made part of set (8)

INCLUDED: Anagram (surprisingly) of the following two words.


1d Detected in-patient’s heart beat faster than usual (6)

TRACED: Append a word that could mean beat  faster than usual when applied to the heart to the middle letter (heart) of in-paTient. Good clue.

2d Annoyance among committee of adjudicators (6)

INJURY: A preposition that could mean among and a committee of adjudicators in a court of law.

3d Enjoy set articles regularly producing these features (8)

NOSTRILS: The regular letters of eNjOy SeT aRtIcLeS.

4d Reportedly spill the beans one’s bought from the greengrocer (4)

LEEK: A homophone of spill the beans in a metaphorical sense.

6d Inheritors pursuing terrain primarily belonging to them (6)

THEIRS: Another clue where we need the initial letter of a word, this time it’s Terrain and it’s pursued by some beneficiaries of a will.

7d Treated with contempt, placed in isolation lacking means essentially (8)

INSULTED: Remove the essential letter of meAns from a word meaning “placed in isolation” or protected.

8d Basely confused about lines in segment of speech (8)

SYLLABLE: Place an anagram (confused) of BASELY around a repeated abbreviation for Line.

11d Unit of measurement for each gold sovereign (7)

EMPEROR: String together a measurement used in type, the usual preposition meaning “for each” and the heraldic symbol of gold.

14d Obtain advantage from unusually fine bet (7)

BENEFIT: Anagram (unusually) of the following two words.

17d Annoying thing is involved in subtle difference (8)

NUISANCE: Place IS from the clue into a subtle difference or refinement.

18d Announced day English nun died (8)

DECLARED: The abbreviations for Day and English are followed by an Italian Saint and the abbreviation for Died.

19d Final word in a line (8)

TERMINAL: In and A from the clue plus the abbreviation (again) for Line follow a synonym of a word or expression.

22d Registers resorts in Texas (not Cuba) (6)

ENTERS: I think this is the American spelling (in Texas) of a synonym of resorts with the IVR code for Cuba removed from the front of the solution. Good clue.

23d Blotted from memory second-class old city that is ultimately dead (6)

BURIED: Bit of a Lego clue. The letter that represents “second class” plus crosswordland’s favourite ancient city are followed by the 2-letter Latin abbreviation for “that is” and ultimate letter of deaD.

24d Be present at a motorcycle race finish (6)

ATTEND: A from the clue, a motorcycle Time Trial where you have to either have a death wish or be a lunatic to take part in and a synonym of finish.

27d Check weather broadcast (4)

REIN:  A homophone of a type of weather that we were short of this Summer but will no doubt catch up on in the coming months.

The clues that I liked best were 16a plus 1&22d.

Today’s music comes courtesy of a band I admired a lot back in the Eighties and have recently been revisiting.



19 comments on “Toughie 2929
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  1. Very enjoyable, and a good complement to the back pager, which I thought was slightly less floughie than usual – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 26a, 4d, and 17d – and the winner is 17d.

    Thanks to Chalicea and StephenL.

  2. Ha! The ones that I didn’t understand are the two that you’ve remarked upon as ‘good’. Now you’ve explained, yes, aren’t they?! Thank yous to Chalicea and Stephen.

  3. As our blogger said in his preamble, relatively gentle but good fun sums up nicely my thoughts on this puzzle. Some very good clues, of which my favourite was 17d.

    My thanks to Chalicea and SL.

  4. Agree with Senf that this was somewhat less floughie than we’ve come to expect from this setter. Only actual mistakes I made were to pencil in ‘raincoat’ for 13a on the first run through and to assume that ‘amen’ would be involved in 19d.
    Plenty of ticks on my paper – 12&20a plus 1,4,17&19d all worthy of mention.

    Thanks to Chalicea for the puzzle and to Stephen for the review.

  5. This was the second light but fun puzzle of the day for me. 22d was my favourite – I particularly liked the subtle indication of the American spelling needed. Joining it on my podium were 4d and 19d.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to SL.

  6. Raced through this until brain fog in the NW but once those headless blighters dawned on me the 3 remaining fell like dominos. Light but good fun & as entertaining as we’ve come to expect of a Chalicea production – one which I’m sure Steve Cowling will approve of. Another vote for 17d as my top clue with 13a (raincoat my first thought too Jane) & 22d.
    Thanks to Chalicea & Stephen

    1. Very entertaining–with 22d, 8d, and 29a (the three clues that kept me from my fastest-ever Toughie finish) making the podium. Thanks to Stephen and Chalicea.

      I’d like to add that I think 22d one of the cleverest ‘American’ clues I’ve seen in some time.

  7. We wondered for a while how ‘integral’ related to figure for 1a, This held us up for a while. Finally saw the light and plain sailing after that. Really good fun to solve.
    Thanks Chalicea and SL.

  8. Held up in the NW by putting in the wrong answer to 1a plus quite a few head scratchers. Mrs. TWLC didn’t like 16a but I insisted. Favourite was 13a. Thanks to Chalicea and SL. Our first weekday toughie together.

  9. Thanks to Chalicea for the puzzle which I enjoyed but couldn’t complete without the extra hints and two answers from SL – both remarked on as good – but beyond me! I’m really missing some of the old regulars and I agree withTerence that it’s with a heavy heart that I comment. I really enjoy this blog and I look forward to reading the comments as much as the crosswords and extra clues. So thanks to everyone.

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