Toughie 602

Toughie No 602 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Many thanks to Tilsit for agreeing to swap days with me this week so that I could spend yesterday on a course for investors (although the investments I made at Uttoxeter were not brilliant ones). Tilsit has had a lot of difficult Friday puzzles to contend with in recent weeks. Therefore I feel quite guilty about taking this one from him because it must be as easy a Friday Toughie that there has ever been. I have given it two stars for difficulty but that may be over-generous. Two stars for enjoyment as well because I wasn’t too taken with some of the clues and I was expecting something more challenging.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    ‘Yes, Ezra, we know — shut up!’ (7)
{IMPOUND} How Ezra, the American poet, might have introduced himself is a word meaning “shut up” or “confine”

5a    Somewhat cash-strapped, I cable for a taxi (7)
{PEDICAB} A tricycle with a seat for passengers available for hire in some Asian countries is hidden in cash-strapPED I CABle

9a    Reportedly, river advanced towards train (4,3)
{TAKE AIM} A homophone of “a Scottish river advanced” gives “train” (as a gun)

10a    Morning cuddled by sugar, maybe — plus afternoon? Wowee! (7)
{CARAMBA} AM (morning) goes inside an abbreviation for one of a class of compounds that includes sugar. This is followed by A (afternoon) to give a Spanish interjection expressing admiration, annoyance or surprise

11a    Ended Gulf involvement in a no-fly zone? (9)
{UNFLEDGED} An anagram (involvement) of ENDED GULF gives a word applied to young birds that cannot yet fly

12a    Striking coincidence? (5)
{CLASH} An inconvenient coinciding of events is also a loud noise such as is caused by the striking together of sheets of metal

13a    Without question, every so often Herculean task brings distinction (5)
{ÉCLAT} Remove ASK (question) from Herculean task to give HERCULEANT and then take every second letter to get distinction

15a    Grand about the Band Convention … (9)
{GATHERING} G (Grand) + A (about) + THE + a band gives a convention

17a    … holding it in America, perhaps (9)
{CONTINENT} 2 meanings: holding (restraining)/a vast landmass such as America

19a    Requisition jam (5)
{PRESS} 2 meanings: to requisition/to jam

22a    Dish is useless on board vessel without power (5)
{SUSHI} US (useless) goes inside a vessel with the letter P (power) missing to give a Japanese dish

23a    Motley crew’s not initially savouring high spot (5,4)
{CROW’S NEST} An anagram (motley) of CREWS NOT S (first letter of savouring) gives an elevated platform near the top of a ship’s mast

25a    Article takes shape about university clanger (7)
{ANGELUS} AN (article) + “takes shape” round U (university) gives a bell rung in Catholic countries

26a    Take care, stupid, when cutting off redhead’s bun (7)
{TEACAKE} An anagram (stupid) of TAKE CARE omitting the R (redhead) gives a bun

27a    No tears in grass-stained overall (3-4)
{DRY-EYED} “Tearless” is formed from a type of grass inside “stained”

28a    Support from the Spanish returning after tense interval (7)
{TRESTLE} A support is given by a reversal of the Spanish word for “the” following T (tense) interval


1d    It’s impolite around mid-morning to barge in (7)
{INTRUDE} IT + impolite goes round N (middle letter of morning) to give “to barge in”

2d    Penny has fine pieces of ‘export’ fabric under legitimate contents of bag (7)
{POKEFUL} P (penny) + fine (2 letters) + the first letters of Export Fabric Under Legitimate gives the contents of a bag (which usually contains a pig)

3d    Consumption of fuel rising in borders of Ukraine (5)
{USAGE} “Consumption” is given by a reversal (rising) of a fuel inside UE (first and last letters of Ukraine)

4d    Leader from French periodical popular? Not very (9)
{DEMAGOGUE} A leader of the people is given by the French word for “from” + a periodical + a word meaning popular (fashionable) with the letter V (very) omitted

5d    Strode’s College Head of Economics getting into print (5)
{PACED} “Strode” is given by C (College) E (first letter of Economics) inside a footprint

6d    Hat priced stupidly — going for a song (4,5)
{DIRT CHEAP} An anagram (stupidly) of HAT PRICED gives “extremely inexpensive”

7d    Drink party almost dry (7)
{CAMPARI} An Italian aperitif is formed from a party (faction) + “dry” with the last letter removed

8d    Suffer tailless monster’s grip (4,3)
{BEAR HUG} “To suffer” + “monster” with the last letter removed gives a tight embrace

14d    Frivolously hide bottle in bishop’s missing hat (9)
{TRIVIALLY} “Frivolously” is given by a bottle (usually for medicine) inside a soft felt hat with the letter B (bishop) removed

16d    ‘Measure for Measure’ in full East-ender’s headgear? (3,3,3)
{TIT FOR TAT} ‘Measure for Measure’ (an eye for an eye) is Cockney rhyming slang for hat (better known in its abbreviated form)

17d    Ring changes with posh creme anglaise for apple (7)
{COSTARD} Take crème anglais and replace U (posh) with O (ring) to get a large variety of cooking apple

18d    Posy’s curious about developing age (7)
{NOSEGAY} Posy = “curious” round an anagram (developing) of AGE

20d    Handsome show of bare leg, Antonia! (7)
{ELEGANT} “Handsome” is hidden in barE LEG ANTonia

21d    Drunk in the neighbourhood? That’s it! (2,5)
{SO THERE} A drunkard + “in the neighbourhood” gives “That’s it!”

23d    Checked out luggage on Delta (5)
{CASED} “checked out” = an item of luggage + D (Delta in the phonetic alphabet)

24d    Touch-screen? (5)
{SHADE} 2 meanings: a touch/screen




  1. crypticsue
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Agree that it wasn’t the world’s toughest Toughie but quite enjoyable for all that – my top clues were 10a and 17d. Took me ages to ‘see’ 9a, even with the well signalled homophone indicator. Thanks to Firefly and to Bufo too.

  2. Jezza
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I quite liked it – fairly straightforward, but a few to think about. No particular favourites, although I liked 27a.
    Thanks to Firefly, and to Bufo.

  3. andy
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I think I spent longer on 2d and 9a than the rest put together. Madness! And originally having angular for 25a didn’t help with 23d until I spotted the correct answer. Thanks to both Firefly and Bufo

  4. Posted July 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I took it with me to the surgery and did most of it while waiting to be seen. Fairly straightforward stuff although 1 across foxed me for a while I just didn’t get it, although I knew about Ezra Pound.

    Thanks to Firefly and Bufo for the blog.

  5. gazza
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    A bit of an upside-down Toughie week with Friday’s the least tricky. Thanks to Firefly and Bufo. My favourite clue was 17a which made me laugh.

    • Franco
      Posted July 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      I liked 17a as well! Reminds me of a bit of grafitti on the A120.

      The advert said – “Harwich for the Continent”.

      The Grafitti said – Frinton-on-Sea for the Incontinent!

  6. BigBoab
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Not too tough but quite enjoyable nonetheless, thanks to Firefly and to Bufo

  7. pegasus
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward fare for a Firefly puzzle favourites being 1a 9a and 17d. Thanks to Firefly and to Bufo for his comments.

  8. Heno
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Firefly for a nice puzzle, and to Bufo for the review and hints. Glad this was a 2*, just 3 clues short, got 11 & 17 a from the hints but 24d defeated me. Favourites were 1a & 16d.

  9. Derek
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Finished this in dribs and drabs after getting the DT late yesterday.
    Spent a lot of time on 1a after having Googled “Yes Ezra” and got a lot of completely useless information (although interesting in itself) – eventually became British again and remembered E. Pound!
    Faves were : 9a, 23a, 7d, 16d & 17d.

    Used to drink a lot of 7d à l’orange here in PACA and also in Italy – unfortunately all alcohol is now forbidden for me!

  10. Derek
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Shan’t go first-footing with a bottle of malt aaaand a lump of coal any more !!