Toughie 2106 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2106

Toughie No 2106 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This was a fairly gentle puzzle to get me back into blogging mode after a two-week absence gallivanting round Scotland. But the puzzle did take me longer than it should have done. I was especially obtuse when doing the left-hand side though it’s hard to see why.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Giant mushrooms no good for muscle (6)
BICEPS: ‘Giant’ (3) with the letter G (good) removed + ‘edible mushrooms’ (4)

4a    Vicious Scotsman pursuing alumnus produces glass (8)
OBSIDIAN: An abbreviation denoting an alumnus + the first name of the punk rocker Mr Vicious + a Scottish forename = a coarse green glass used in the making of bottles

10a    Tight cord flexed when first pulled (9)
STRINGENT: A cord (6) + ‘flexed’ (4) with the first letter removed

11a    Stock set with food as image shows (5)
ASPIC: A savoury jelly = AS + an image

12a    Lively ball requires tough doorman (7)
BOUNCER: This word for a burly doorman employed by a club or pub, etc. can also refer to a short-pitched fast delivery in cricket

13a    Ultimately servile brute — United follower? (7)
EPIGONE: The last letter of SERVILE + a brute + ‘united’ = a follower or successor (from Greek mythology)

14a    Churchill at Chartwell stays closer to door (5)

15a    Dine out to entertain three kings in dream (8)
IMAGINED: An anagram (out) of DINE round the Three Kings from the East

18a    Dry grass now transported, brought to the old Welsh town (3-2-3)
HAY-ON-WYE: Dry grass + an anagram (transported) of NOW + the old word for ‘the’

20a    Punch adult companion (5)
CHINA: ‘To punch below the mouth’ + A (adult) = rhyming slang for a mate or companion

23a    Conservative lives alone in retreat for notables (7)
COLOSSI: C (Conservative) + a reversal (in retreat) of ‘lives’ and ‘alone’ = persons of gigantic power and influence

25a    Old southern lawgiver one for eastern assimilation (7)
OSMOSIS: O (old) + S (southern) + an Old Testament lawgiver with E (eastern) replaced by I (one)

26a    Belief choirmaster’s beginning to repeat (5)
CREDO: The first letter of CHOIRMASTER + ‘to repeat’

27a    Possibly regal English employed in socialist newspaper (4,5)
REED ORGAN: Here the regal is a small portable type of musical instrument. E (English) inside ‘socialist’ + a newspaper

28a    Leander certainly wasn’t this central character (8)
ANTIHERO: Leander certainly wasn’t opposed to the woman he loved

29a    Players notice team’s leader training inside (6)
SEPTET: A group of musicians = ‘to notice’ and the first letter of TRAINING round physical training


1d    Wicked party game for swingers? (8)
BASEBALL: ‘Wicked’ + a party or dance = a game in which a bat is swung

2d    Pervert to produce contented sound climbing into bed (7)
CORRUPT: A reversal of a contented sound (such as that made by a cat) inside a small bed

3d    Film of feature length, perhaps fix copies in state (9)
PINOCCHIO: A feature-length animated film from 1940 = ‘to fix’ + carbon copies inside a state of the USA

5d    Enemy takes both manoeuvres similarly (2,3,4,5)
BY THE SAME TOKEN: An anagram (manoeuvres) of ENEMY TAKES BOTH

6d    Arab or Irish-American taking first question? (5)
IRAQI: Abbreviations for ‘Irish’ and ‘American’ + Question one

7d    Politician appears in Oldie that’s reviewed collapse (7)
IMPLODE: A member of parliament inside an anagram (that’s reviewed) of OLDIE

8d    Change in US prison essential after evacuation (6)
NICKEL: A US coin = a prison + the first and last letters of ESSENTIAL

9d    One offering vision of what may come to pass (4-4,6)
REAR-VIEW MIRROR: In which a motorist can see vehicles that might be going to overtake

16d    Hassle as government department cuts pay (9)
INCOMMODE: ‘To hassle’ = a government department responsible for defence inside ‘pay’

17d    Sleeping place for baby at home that dog must guard (8)
BASSINET: ‘At home’ inside a type of hound with long ears

19d    Rancid meal in time causes illness (7)
AILMENT: An anagram (rancid) of MEAL IN + T (time)

21d    Understanding current things differently (7)
INSIGHT: The symbol for electric current + an anagram (differently) of THINGS

22d    Article about Langley people in plant (6)
ACACIA: The indefinite article + an abbreviation denoting ‘about’ + a US agency based in Langley, Virginia

24d    Don’t talk about fate or sin (5)
SLOTH: ‘Don’t talk!’ round ‘fate’ = one of the deadly sins

Thanks to the kind souls who substituted for me on the last two Thursdays. I should now have a clear run until next year

19 comments on “Toughie 2106

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this in spite of not knowing the 13a follower or the regal meaning in 27a – in both cases the wordplay led to the right answer.
    I ticked 28a, 8d and 24d but my favourite was 9d.
    Thanks to Donnybrook and Bufo.

  2. Yes, absolutely, a fine puzzle.

    I went for mushrooms at 1a, the dd at 12a, the anti-United clue at 13a, the swinger at 1d, and the clever definition at 8d. My favourite is 3d however, which I think has a punning definition, the ‘feature-length’ idea.

    Bravo Donnybrook, and thank you to Bufo for an excellent blog.

    1. Ah, I did think of it – but wasn’t sure it was intentional – silly me, of course it was.

  3. I did need a little help from Mr G to verify the 4a glass, the servile brute, the location of the Langley people and the definition of ‘regal’ in 27a but the puzzle was well worth the effort and much enjoyed.
    Particularly liked the anagram indicator in 19d – a new one for me.

    Podium places awarded to 28a plus 9&16d.

    Many thanks to Donnybrook and to our returning Bufo for the blog – hope you enjoyed your Highland fling!

  4. Enjoyed this- 9d my favourite. Did anyone else -like me who grew up in Liverpool- initially put “whack” for 20a? Further thought convinced me that the “h” was problematical, however. Thanks to all.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this. For a moment I had a case of deja-vu with, today, the right side completely entered and the left side almost blank. However, unlike yesterday, the rest of the puzzle slowly emerged with the SW corner being by far the most resistant. I had to go searching for the Welsh town – the search made easier by beautifully precise word play – and I was not familiar with the regal reference in 27a. Many thanks to Donnybrook and Bufo.

  6. A bit out of my league today. Enjoyed what I could do – about two-thirds. Then I had to resort to Bufo – thanks. 9d was my favourite.

  7. A very enjoyable puzzle, which I worked steadily through with dreams of finishing unaided – a rare event for me – but then came to a shuddering halt on 13a and 27a.
    Unable to progress until Bufo came to the rescue!
    Many Thanks to Donnybrook and Bufo

  8. Excellent puzzle today which I thoroughly enjoyed. Didn’t know 13a or 27a although one could work them out. Major do’h moment for me followed wondering why Yemen (letters I had left from anagram in 5d) was synonymous with “enemy”!! Two really good puzzles today, thanks to all.

  9. G had the monopoly on this today and did really well.
    J got the significance of ‘feature length’ and the answer to 28a but we still haven’t really understood it, a lack in classical knowledge we think.
    Nonetheless very enjoyable.
    Thanks Donnybrook and Bufo.

  10. Solved in one go in considerably less time than the backpager, sitting with my granddaughter fast asleep in her pram, while the family went on yet another ride at Chessington World of Adventures. I did ‘get’ the feature length reference which made me smile and so that’s my favourite.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and Bufo

    1. You need to remember what happened to a particular facial feature belonging to the film’s title character ;)

      1. Thank you. It had occurred to me at last about ten minutes before I saw your reply. So, I am not actually dim, just slow!

  11. Very late to the fray, but what a delight this was. Lovely surfaces and lots of wit. Thank you to Donny and to Bufo.

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