Toughie 602 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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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


11 comments on “Toughie 602

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

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

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