Toughie 2094 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2094

Toughie No 2094 by Musaeus

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This is a very unhelpful grid with its four separate corners and few answers where the first letter is checked. I managed to fill the bottom half in without much difficulty but then needed a long time for the top half (possibly because I’d lost interest by then). There were also several occasions where I needed some convincing that I’d got the right answer. I hope I have got them all right

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Courteous founders get stuff from elsewhere (9)
OUTSOURCE: An anagram (founders) of COURTEOUS

9a    The Crown‘s bottled export? (6)
CORONA: This word for a crown is also a brand of Mexican lager produced in bottles for export

10a    Pitch outside rec is not flat (9)
SPARKLING: ‘To pitch’ round a piece of land for recreation = not flat (of wines and other drinks)

11a    Coppers (in disguise) in Welsh river wrap up (6)
DECIDE: A branch of the police force to which plainclothes detectives belong goes inside a river flowing through North Wales and into Cheshire to give ‘to wrap up’ or ‘to settle completely’

12a    Church in High Street, right place for wounded to lie (9)
STRETCHER: An abbreviation for ‘church’ inside an anagram (High) of STREET + R (right)

13a    Genesis reformed cutting English rock (6)
GNEISS: An anagram (reformed) of GNESIS, i.e. GENESIS minus E (English), gives a type of metamorphic rock

17a    American, not heartless, that may be a soldier (3)
ANT: A (American) + NOT with the middle letter removed

19a    Blessed with continued luck, winner’s name is put here (2,1,4)
ON A ROLL: This phrase could also mean ‘on a list of people whose deeds or achievements are honoured’

20a    Gent sent back fish dish (7)
RISSOLE: A reversal of a title given to a gentleman + a flatfish

21a    Go on about this reward in greens? (3)
PAY: A reversal (about) of ‘to go on’ or ‘to speak constantly’. Greens = money

23a    What’s central to kebab? Wife’s beset by whiffs from the east (6)
SKEWER: W (wife) inside a reversal of ‘whiffs’

27a    What goes round could possibly be mere tripe (9)
PERIMETER: An anagram (could possibly be) of MERE TRIPE

28a    Distributes bulbs, the first couple being free (6)
ALLOTS: Remove the first two letters from onions of a certain variety

29a    Person making the running in UN, say, last of three shunned (9)
PACEMAKER: A word that might describe the UN has the letter E (last letter of THREE) removed

30a    Chirpy historian accepting article in Spanish (6)
LIVELY: The name of an ancient Roman historian round the Spanish definite article

31a    Please do stay chez moi (2,2,5)
BE MY GUEST: A phrase used to express willingness and approval for a proposed action literally means ‘come and stay with me’

[I couldn’t resist this song from the late, great Fats Domino.  I saw him in concert several times – his party piece was to leave the stage at the end of the show while playing “When the Saints” and pushing the piano with his thighs.  BD


2d    Arrogant in court, a matter of some regret (6)
UPPITY: ‘In court’ + a matter of regret

3d    Blind / test (6)
SCREEN: 2 meanings: a blind/to test (e.g. for illness)

4d    Free one in French bar (6)
UNLOCK: ‘To free’ = the French word for ‘one’ + ‘to bar’

5d    Terrier, e.g., may drink from this — could a young person? (7)
CANTEEN: A flask used by soldiers or a cafeteria used by soldiers (e.g. terriers). When split (3,4) it means ‘could a young person?’

6d    Form of art flummoxing more minds (9)
MODERNISM: An anagram (flummoxing) of MORE MINDS

7d    I instruct player in court well — right on gold (9)
SOLICITOR: ‘Well’ (2) + ‘right’ or ‘lawful’ (5) + ‘gold’ (2)

8d    ‘Crossroads’ for viewers? One leaves server near Slough (9)
WATERSHED: Someone who serves in a restaurant with the letter I (one) removed + ‘to slough’

14d    Busy oilworker perhaps gets one over panel (9)
CONSTABLE: A busy (police officer), also the surname of a famous artist (oilworker perhaps) = ‘gets one’ + a panel

15d    Chap who can’t afford a break desperately leaves card above (4,5)
WAGE SLAVE: A card (comical person) + an anagram (desperately) of LEAVES

16d    Plant trees on each and every stop (9)
FORESTALL: A tract of land covered with trees + ‘each and every’

17d    Climbing sport cut short here (3)
ALP: A reversal of ‘to sport’ after removing the last letter = a high mountain

18d    Pulling article from charger give it a whirl (3)
TRY: Remove A (article) from a charger (flat dish)

22d    Mean to maintain maturity (7)
AVERAGE: A mean = ‘to maintain’ + ‘maturity’

24d    Prompt tiny boy to overlook city (6)
TIMELY: A ‘tiny’ boy in A Christmas Carol + a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire

25d    Uneasy feeling due to model gulping most of coffee (4,2)
DEJA VU: An anagram (to model) of DUE round a variety of coffee with the last letter removed

26d    Host rising round mostly deft hero who’s famously pious (6)
AENEAS:A reversal of a host (large quantity)round ‘deft’ with the last letter removed = a Trojan hero described by Virgil as being remarkable for his piety

Thanks to Kitty for covering for me last week. Also thanks in advance to the two kind souls who will be covering the next couple of weeks while I’m gallivanting round Scotland.


29 comments on “Toughie 2094

  1. Wonder if this is a setter we know under a different name? Like Donnybrook.
    29a might be a clue!
    Like to speculate anyway, and good for the compiler to get unbiased responses. Ours is we liked the clues very much, the pattern not so much.

  2. Many thanks bufo for the parsing of 21a, where I was trying to find some complicated compound anagram – and also for fats domino. When you do illustrate, you sure get it right.

    Not just the grid, but omg, all those vowel checkers. A hard puzzle made harder by its construction, and some gk. It was taking me too long, so I resorted to revealing letters.

    My favourite clue was 13a, I also quite liked 4d. Some clever definitions, I struggled with 8d until I saw waiter.

    Many thanks museaus, a good toughie challenge

  3. Apologies but this one really didn’t float my boat. I didn’t find the solve overly difficult but some of the surfaces and definitions definitely raised the eyebrows.

    Interesting that Bufo referred to 9a as a brand of beer – my recollection is of a brand of fizzy pop!

    Thanks to Musaeus and also to Bufo – particularly for explaining the ‘busy’ reference in 14d – new one for me.

  4. I thought that having four barely-connected corners made this a bit of a slog. I didn’t know the pious chap in 26d so that was my last answer with considerable help needed from Mr Google.
    My favourite clue was 14d.
    Thanks to Musaeus and Bufo.

  5. Not just me then? Sorry Musaeus but I had a lot more crossword fun in two other places today – thank you anyway

    Thanks also to Bufo – enjoy your holiday

        1. The paper and online versions don’t have a backslash so I think that’s just the Bufo version

          1. That would explain it, I’ve had sight of neither today so I (semi) solved from the blog clues with a blank CC grid, trying to ignore the hints.

  6. It’s time this dreadful grid was consigned to the scrap heap.
    Not particularly tough but I struggled for a long time to find the required two synonyms to identify which particular pious chap might be required, while
    -O-I-I-O- is not the most helpful set of checkers for the court instructor.
    On balance I think the Fats Domino clip was my favourite bit.

  7. 26d Where is def with the last letter missing? And where is the host. Apologies in advance for being baffled by the solution and the tip.


  8. I do agree with those who have commented on the grid. I could not get a foothold in the NW corner (although I should have recognized the anagram indicator in 1a, and didn’t) and since I knew that there was no possible way of getting checkers to help from the rest of the puzzle, I gave up then and there not even reading the clues in the remainder of the puzzle. In retrospect a pity because I should been able to get a lot of this.

  9. A bit of a grind but in the end, with a little bit of help from Google, we did get everything sorted so some satisfaction from that.
    Thanks Musaeus and Bufo.

  10. I’m afraid I too had a bit of a slog with this one. And the grid did NOT help!

    Thanks Musaeus and Bufo.

  11. As per all the above. I don’t mind a difficult puzzle, but I’m afraid I gave up the ghost by the close.

  12. Apologies to the setter, but not my cup of tea in any respect. Too many ‘iffy’ clues and a terrible grid. Lost interest halfway through.

    Congrats to Bufo for persevering to the end and producing his blog.

  13. Well, I am glad it was not just me who found this tricky. I managed to get most of the bottom half done but needed Bufo’s hints in the north, for which many thanks.

  14. Well, I enjoyed this a lot, especially AENEAS, than whom no one was more pious, if a little insufferable, perhaps.

    Grids are like Ninas to me – never notice them.

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