Toughie No 2949 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 2949

Toughie No 2949 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Stephen L

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

Chalicea gets the Tuesday gig this week, which should please solvers who like a not very tough “Toughie”. My only problem was parsing 7a but the proverbial penny eventually dropped.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Changed over coaches, missing one, then taken by boat, missing another one (11)
TRANSFERRED: Remove the letter representing one from some coaches then do the same from a verb meaning conveyed by boat.

7a Forceful call centre nag him, occasionally (7)
RINGING:  Place a synonym of call around (centre?) the occasional letters of NaGhIm. Its unfortunate (or clever) that said synonym appears in its entirety at the front of the solution.

8a Deprived of cover, former partner assumed an attitude (7)
EXPOSED: The usual prefix meaning former and a word meaning “assumed an attitude” as an actor or model may do.

10a Publicly calls for literary writings (5)
PAGES: Double definition, one a verb, the other a noun.

11a Consciousness of garbled answers with disheartened age (9)
AWARENESS: Anagram (garbled) of ANSWERS and the outer letters (disheartened) of AgE.

12a A compulsory financial levy, we’re told, approaches (7)
ATTACKS: A from the clue and a homophone (we’re told) of a levy such as VAT.

14a Scene of action‘s menace with resistance pushed back east (7)
THEATRE: Start with a synonym of menace and move the abbreviation for Resistance to the back of the word. Add the abbreviation for East.

15a Combined after base came into view (7)
EMERGED: A mathematical base is followed by a synonym of combined or amalgamated.


18a Piece of inflammable material journalist made harmonious (7)
MATCHED: Something that could be used to light a fire (or 13d) and our usual abbreviated senior journalist.

20a Host of internet broadcast’s biting answer (9)
ENTERTAIN: Anagram (broadcast) of INTERNET “biting” or going around the abbreviation for Answer

21a Support for women with essentially fine intellect (5)
BRAIN: A crosswordland staple support worn by women and the inner or essential letters of fINe.

22a Area of land or vehicle working it (7)
TRACTOR: An area or expanse of land plus OR from the clue gives a vehicle loved by farmers but not by motorists when stuck behind one.

23a Limits spoil drinks (7)
MARGINS: A 3-letter synonym of spoil or ruin and some (quite fashionable) alcoholic drinks.

24a Measuring instrument — article Republican doctor encountered in front of emergency room (11)
THERMOMETER: A real “do as it says on the can” type clue. Start with the definite article, add the abbreviation for Republican, one of the abbreviations for a doctor, a synonym of encountered and the abbreviation for Emergency Room.


1d Thing to put in order this evening (7)
TONIGHT: Anagram (put in order) of THING TO.

2d One young lass astray (5)
AMISS: An indefinite article and a title that could be given to a young lady.

3d Adjusted glass in apparatus for transmitting information (7)
SIGNALS: Anagram (adjusted) of the following two words.

4d Refined English member with a set of books (7)
ELEGANT: The abbreviation for English, a member or limb, A from the clue and some abbreviated biblical books.


5d Feel remorse about resolution to provide job for an MP (9)
REPRESENT: A verb meaning to feel or express remorse (of one’s sins maybe) is placed around what I assume is the abbreviation for RESolution.

6d Sweet course: son tucked into justly earned thing (7)
DESSERT: Insert (tucked into) the abbreviation for Son into a “justly earned thing” (usually pluralised, I have to say).

7d Provision of substitute for wonky temperance, consuming alcohol finally (11)
REPLACEMENT: Anagram (wonky) of TEMPERANCE around (consuming) the final letter of alcohoL.

9d Offspring drawn regularly into paths leading downwards (11)
DESCENDANTS: Insert the regular letters of DrAwN into some “paths leading downwards”.

13d Smoke Channel Islands fish better trimmed at both ends (9)
CIGARETTE: The abbreviation for Channel Islands is followed by a 3-letter fresh water fish and the inner letters (trimmed both ends) of bETTEr. The definition is a noun.

16d Copy passages from old political pamphlet (7)
EXTRACT: A prefix meaning old and a short article expressing an opinion on a religious or political subject.

17d Figure of helper upset over weight (7)
DIAGRAM: Reverse (upset) a 3-letter helper and follow it with a small metric weight

18d Very little mother? The smallest possible (7)
MINIMUM: A prefix meaning “smaller version” is followed by an informal name for mother.

19d More highbrow gag about current head of Russia (7)
HEAVIER: A synonym of gag in the sense of retch is placed around (about) the abbreviation for electrical current. Add the “leader” or initial letter of Russia (who induces said retches!)

21d Inflamed with passion only involving our navy (5)
BURNT: A synonym of only in the sense of just goes around (involving) the abbreviation for Royal Navy.


Nothing really jumped out as favourite today in a very gentle but pleasant solve. Thanks Chalicea.

22 comments on “Toughie No 2949
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  1. Good fun from the Floughie Lady probably not at her floughiest – 1.5*/3.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 15a, 22a, and 18d – and the winner is 22a.

    Thanks to Chalicea and StephenL.

  2. Well I thought that was about as floughie as she’s ever been or maybe I just happily tuned in to the right wavelength quicker than usual. Shame about tract appearing twice so near to each other in the grid. As ever some very 4d (eg 7d) surfaces in a fun solve. 1a kicked it all off with a super clue & wasn’t bettered for me though 7a & 13d ran it close.
    Thanks to Chalicea (good to have you back – won’t hold my losing bets on guess the setter against you due to your disappearance on Saturday for what seems like an age). Thanks to Stephen – needed your explanation to parse 19d as didn’t peg the correct context of gag (doh). Pleased to see you grasped another opportunity to feature an attractive young lady to illustrate an answer.🙂

  3. This was not too tricky and good fun despite having a few questions.

    Is “centre” in 7a OK as an insertion indicator? I’m puzzled by the description of 3d as “apparatus” (either singular or plural), and is a match in 18a really a material?

    SL, I think perhaps “to provide” needs to be underlined as part of the definition for 5d as the answer is a verb but, even so, it doesn’t seem quite right to me. Also I would have thought that “just desserts” are always plural.

    My pick of the clues were 1a, 13d & 18d.

    Thanks to Chalicea for the entertainment and to SL for the review.

    1. I think centre’s ok as a verb, after all the ngi are in the centre of call, rather than just inserted . This was my LOI

  4. More a gentle Monday backpager than a Toughie, but no less enjoyable for that. As with Stephen, parsing 7a was the only hold-up for me and was my LOI. The surface read of 23a gave rise to a broad smile!

    0.5* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to Chalicea and Stephen.

  5. I’m quite happy with a floughie to cheer me up on this dank and foggy November day. 18D made me smile. At under 5 ft. 2in., that could be me. Thanks Chalicea and StephenL.

  6. This was a speedy, enjoyable and fairly simple solve that still managed to be entertaining. No particular favourite although 18d made me smile. The illustration at 8a was very timely, given the news about our erstwhile Health Secretary.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and SL.

  7. Not sure I like 16d and 22a having corresponding bits, but a fairly straightforward solve. Never heard of the highbrow usage in 19d but it’s in the BRB.

  8. I really enjoyed this, nothing eying with a gentle start to the toughie week. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to Chalicea and SL.

  9. A perfect floughie accompaniment to our splendid backpager today: two setters with style and a sense of surface-clarity not always present in some of our most celebrated compilers I thought that 1a just took a slight backseat to 19d as my COTD, but both were top-notch. Thanks to Stephen and to Chalicea. Always a pleasure.

  10. Did this after the Thursday cryptic and enjoyed this more.

    Favourites include 1a, 12a, 22a, 24a & 9d with winner for its lego quality 24a
    13d and 18d made me laugh.

    Thanks to Chalicea and StephenL

  11. 1*/4*…
    liked 1A “Changed over coaches, missing one, then taken by boat, missing another one (11)”…
    some entertaining pictures in the hints & tips.

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