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Toughie 1830

Toughie No 1830 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Thanks to BD for covering for me last week. I think the week off must have dulled my brain because this puzzle took quite a bit longer than I thought it was going to. In the end it all worked out and proved an enjoyable challenge though there were a couple of definitions that I wasn’t completely convinced by

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    23‘s sixth sense welcomed by confused Highland guide (5,9)
DIZZY GILLESPIE: A 23 across (i.e. a jazz trumpeter) = ‘confused’ (5) and a highland guide (6) round an abbreviation denoting ‘sixth sense’ (3)

9a    Satire we deployed, in a way (2,2,4)
AS IT WERE: An anagram (deployed) of SATIRE WE

10a    Gallop ahead — odds incidental in the beginning (5)
ALPHA: Remove the odd letters (odds incidental) from GALLOP AHEAD

12a    Trump‘s neckwear (4)
RUFF: 2 meanings: to trump (in a card game)/a frill worn round the neck in times past

13a    Amazonian region? (2-4-4)
NO-MAN’S-LAND: Are only members of the female gender permitted in this disputed or neutral region?

15a    Break-up of band aborted quietly, somewhere around London (8)
COLLAPSE: A band worn round the neck with the last letter removed (aborted = cut short) + P (quietly) + a 2-letter point of the compass that describes where London can be found. This is the one that I had most difficulty parsing

16a    Jeffrey‘s one used to taking a bow (6)
ARCHER: 2 meanings: an ex-politician and novelist/one who shoots with a bow

18a    Useful chemical features endless stimuli when shaken (6)
LITMUS: An anagram (shaken) of STIMUL (STIMULI with the last letter removed)

20a    Time to position article from Paris — on these? (8)
TRESTLES: T (time) + ‘position’ + the French definite article = supports with a horizontal beam and sloping legs

23a    That woman embracing low-born flying officer in fiction (10)
HORNBLOWER: A pronoun meaning ‘that woman’ goes round an anagram (flying) of LOWBORN = a fictional naval officer

24a    Ham uncovered brief evidence (4)
AMMO: Remove the first and last letters (uncovered) from cured meat from a pig = an abbreviated form of a word that can mean ‘evidence’

26a    One may be drawn discreetly, we hear, to be of use (5)
AVAIL: A homophone of something that may be drawn discreetly as in the phrase “draw a **** over”

27a    Very warm current crossing river (8)
TROPICAL: ‘Current’ or ‘up-to-date’ round R (river)

28a    Most singular or eccentric 23 (5,9)
LOUIS ARMSTRONG: An anagram (eccentric) of MOST SINGLUAR OR = a 23 across (i.e. a jazz trumpeter)


2d    Vibrant — as is Bronze Star? (7)
ZESTFUL: The first four letters of the answer are hidden in BRONZE STAR and so Bronze Star is *******

3d    Even the setter’s a hirsute specimen (4)
YETI: ‘Even’ (3) + a single letter representing the setter

4d    Hot inside island church on river, but cold in here! (3,5)
ICE HOUSE: H (hot) inside I (island), ‘church’ (2) and a Yorkshire river (4)

5d    Latitude with fish turning up on journey (6)
LEEWAY: A reversal of a long fish (3) + ‘journey’

6d    Sewer displaying strain under main motorway (10)
SEAMSTRESS: A sewer (one who sews) = The main + M (motorway) + ‘strain’

7d    Denounce little devil to everyone (7)
IMPEACH: A little devil (3) + everyone (4)

8d    Source of problems in cruise-line bars at sea, with old getting cross (8,3)
PANDORA’S BOX: A cruise-line (1,3,1) + an anagram (at sea) of BARS + O (old) + X (cross)

11d    Parking Lycra kit, he rectified itching (7,4)
PRICKLY HEAT: P (parking) + an anagram (rectified) of LYCRA KIT HE

14d    CIA worried about suspect ring being origin of conflict (5,5)
CASUS BELLI: An anagram (worried) of CIA round ‘suspect’ (3) and ‘to ring’ (4) = a Latin term for something that causes war

17d    Lacking structure, let out class (4-4)
FREE-FORM: ‘To let out (or release)’ + a class in school

19d    ‘Tempest‘ failing on the road, male drops out (7)
TORNADO: An anagram (falling) of ON T ROAD, i.e. ON THE ROAD less HE (male)

21d    Pain when deadheading sea pink? (7)
LUMBAGO: A pain in the back = a genus including the sea pinks with its first letter removed

22d    Flat out, with pet sadly carried off in stages (6)
ROSTRA: Remove (carried off) the assorted (sadly) letters of PET (i.e. P … TE) from a 9-letter word meaning ‘flat out’ or ‘lying with the body stretched out’

25d    Duck out of soggy film (4)
MIST: Remove O (duck) from ‘soggy’ or ‘damp’

I must get this sent off before a man turns up and switches the power off while he installs a smart meter

16 comments on “Toughie 1830

  1. Thanks Bufo, and especially Firefly. Agree totally with the BD rating, and found it huge fun.

    With the added bonus (is there another kind of bonus?) of a couple of examples, 1 and 28, of answers right on my own home turf.

  2. many thanks Bufo, especially for the parsing of 2d and 21d – i didn’t know sea pink let alone the genus. for 2d I was desperately trying to find a star from AS IS and TAN for bronze, but finally figured our the answer from the checkers.

    had to look up 14d. spent far too much time trying to get 11d to finish with ACHE.

    got the magic 23a late in the game, which gave the two delightful top and bottom clues, making it all worthwhile.

    i really liked 3d, 6d, 9a 13a, 16a (where i tried to find a violinist)

    many thanks Firefly

  3. I had the pleasure and satisfaction of finishing this, but in truth I was fortunate. I had not heard of 14d, and the 23s were not really on my home turf. Also, there were a number that I needed Bofo’s parsing to understand fully why they were what they were. Overall, hugely enjoyable, and pardon me whilst I go and rest on my laurels! Many thanks to Firefly and Bufo.

  4. I found this quite hard work, but quite doable. I’ll plump for 6d as a favourite today. ***/***
    Many thanks to both Firefly and Bufo.

  5. Took a while to get 1a but it certainly raised a smile when I finally arrived at the answer.
    Don’t think I’ve previously come across ‘aborted’ used as an indicator of last letter deletion – I would have thought it more likely to refer to taking out the middle!
    Spent far too long trying to get a version of ‘thrift’ into 21d and had to resort to looking up 14d – is the latter somewhat obscure to most people or just me?
    I also wasn’t familiar with the card playing definition of 12a so thank you for that, Bufo and also for the correct parsing of 22d.

    Top spots went to 6,7&11d.

    Thanks to Firefly for the challenge and to Bufo for the excellent decryption. By the way, the parents of a young friend of mine live in Nomansland in the New Forest and I can assure you that there are plenty of men in evidence there!

    1. J. Aborted is an excellent and fairly common last letter/s deletion indicator. It’s not being used in the miscarrying sense, but simply as arrest/discontinue/cut short. Just trying to help…

      1. Thanks, Jose – think I’m too bound up with the former definition as my daughter is only about a week off producing my first grandchild!

  6. I increased the difficulty level for myself by failing to see the anagram indicator in 23a , although I got the two Jazz musicians , so I tried hard to think of a female Jazz musician with ten letters beginning with an H .
    However it was very enjoyable .Lots of great clues . 12a made me smile.
    Thanks to Firefly and Bufo.

  7. We have those smart meters in France. They are called Linky.
    Watch out. They can tell at what time you switched the kettle, did the washing, watched TV etc etc.
    Big Brother is only round the corner.
    For the crosswords, it was nice so see the jazzmen. Remembered those cheeks on 1a.
    No need for pictures. Have them all in my head. Even the lovely flowers in 21d.
    Very pleasant crossword.
    Thanks to Firefly and to Bufo.

  8. needed solutions for 14d and 23d. neither meant anything to me. Didn’t like 20a. Surely should be articles (in the plural). Also needed hint for 21d. Not the best of fun – I slept on it and still couldn’t complete this morning. Thanks anyway guys.

  9. Not to be a nit-picker, but Sea Pink, (or Thrift) isn’t Plumbago, though it is distantly related. It is actually Armeria Maritima. Good puzzle though

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      Round here, we call it ‘pedantic’ rather than nit-picking :)

  10. Did this today in the heat. Still don’t understand why 24a is what it is. I wrote it in and hoped for elucidation from Buffo, but I’m still in the dark. Good fun puzzle though and I’ll give my gold disc to the 23s. Thanks to B and Firefly. 2*/3*

    1. 24a is [g]AMMO[n] – short for ammunition, which the BRB defines as ‘anything that can be used in fighting (literally and figuratively)’. So, for example, ‘The report provided ammunition/evidence for legal action’.

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