Toughie 2109 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2109

Toughie No 2109 by Stick Insect

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Today we have a pangram – it’s a solid puzzle without, for me anyway, a great deal of oomph. Thanks to Stick Insect.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.

Across Clues

7a Rod discovered coupon to get carriage (8)
BAROUCHE: stick together a synonym for a rod or pole and a type of coupon without its outer letters (dis-covered).

9a Article with all points arriving at right solution (6)
ANSWER: assemble an indefinite article, all four cardinal points and the abbreviation for right.

10a Lacking scales, a claw moves on (6)
ATONAL: start with A and a bird’s claw then move the ‘on’ back a bit.

11a Flirt with cake, losing resistance (8)
COQUETTE: a type of small savoury cake without the symbol for electrical resistance.

12a Focus of betrayal for retailers (8,6)
SHOPPING CENTRE: cryptically this could be a hub of betrayal or ratting.

15a Habitual responses in reversing plebiscite (4)
TICS: hidden in reverse.

17a Belts this person in vacuous zealousness (5)
ZONES: a pronoun (much favoured by our royal family) that can be used to mean this person or I goes inside the outer letters of zealousness.

19a Idiot in rash move (4)
SHMO: a US slang term, derived from Yiddish, for an idiot is hidden in the clue.

20a Grey, fifties? Cor, this could be one’s first and last record shop (8,6)
REGISTRY OFFICE: an anagram (could be) of GREY FIFTIES COR provides the commonly used (though incorrect) name for the place where births and deaths are recorded.

23a A tease immersed in immorality in Marple murder location (8)
VICARAGE: insert A and a verb to tease or ridicule inside another word for immorality or depravity.

25a Twice daughter runs out of currency (6)
DOUBLE: the abbreviation for daughter is followed by a European currency without the cricket abbreviation for runs.

27a Spell a neon compound (6)
HEXANE: fuse together a word for a spell (of the Harry Potter variety), A and the chemical symbol for neon to make a chemical compound (not a word I knew). The first half of the answer is the Greek word for six indicating that this compound has six carbon atoms.

28a Medicine container Scot hurried to use occasionally (8)
TINCTURE: bring together a metal container and every other letter of ‘Scot hurried’.

Down Clues

1d Large volume shown by a stone (4)
VAST: the abbreviation for volume, A and the abbreviation for a stone (14lbs).

2d Little woman in uniform going to Portugal to enrol (4,2)
JOIN UP: stitch together the name of one of Ms. Alcott’s Little Women, IN, the letter that uniform represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and the IVR code for Portugal.

3d Soldier‘s claim to be religious? (4)
MERC: split 2,2 this could be an ungrammatical claim to belong to a specific Christian denomination.

4d Design tent without base (6)
MARQUE: a large tent without its last letter.

5d Like first-class seaman that can’t be fired? (8)
ASBESTOS: convene a preposition meaning like, an adjective meaning first-class or supreme and one of the two-letter abbreviations for a seaman.

6d Half of huge alternative computer devices wasting energy from subterranean heat (10)
GEOTHERMIC: weld together half of the word ‘huge’, an adjective meaning alternative or different and some computer devices without the abbreviation for energy.

8d Prison is unfriendly, it’s said (7)
COLDITZ: an adjective meaning unfriendly or frosty followed by what sounds like “it’s”.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13d Locks Sierra hybrid in terrifying tale (4-6)
HAIR-RAISER: what ‘locks’ often means in Crosswordland and an anagram (hybrid) of SIERRA.

14d First to generate big lie — he’s toast (5)
GONER: the first letter of generate followed by an informal word for a big lie. The ‘big lie’ is in the BRB but I can’t say that I’ve ever seen or heard it used in real life.

16d Leo perhaps has a means to transfer (4,4)
SIGN AWAY: charade of what Leo is an example of, A and a synonym for means or method.

18d Son got over Russian river and mountain (7)
SNOWDON: concatenate the abbreviation for son, the reversal of a verb meaning got or secured and the Russian river that doesn’t make a lot of noise according to the epic novel.

21d Last of all, puss got banana milk: one gluttonous kitty (6)
STAKES: the last letters of six words in the clue.

22d Touring university, arranged first dates maybe (6)
FRUITS: an anagram (arranged) of FIRST contains an abbreviation for university.

24d Rust-belt sties containing country pigs (4)
ELTS: hidden in the clue is a pretty obscure dialect word for young sows who have not yet farrowed. I presume that ‘country’ here means ‘rural’ but since almost all pigs are raised in rural areas I can’t see what it adds to the definition.

26d Lake vessel’s a joke (4)
LARK: bind together the abbreviation for lake and a Biblical vessel.

The clue I liked best today was 23a. Do let us know your pick(s).

15 comments on “Toughie 2109

  1. A mix of the straightforward and the ‘what?’ leading me to take a mid toughie time to finish.

    No particular favourites – just thank you to Stick Insect and Gazza

  2. Definitely needed your help today, Gazza! Didn’t have a clue where to start looking for 27a, hadn’t appreciated that 3d was a recognised abbreviation and my research into what had to be the answer to 24d only uncovered details of English learning tuition (yes, CS, I know I should have consulted the BRB on that one!). I had also never come across the ‘big lie’ before the BRB confirmed it.

    No particular favourite but thanks to Stick Insect for the challenge and to Gazza for bringing light into my darkness.

    1. I too wrote in IMPI on first reading the clue – took me an age to realise that none of the other clues worked with it – I wasn’t keen on the real solution

      1. Luckily 7a was the first answer I wrote in – otherwise I might have gone down the same route.

  3. Thanks Stick Insect and Gazza.

    I put in GALL for 1d, which seemed to me to be a reasonable 9. That meant I could only fit in something concerning genetically identical people in 10. I also failed on 3 as my soldiers wouldn’t fit in, and I didn’t know the Russian river.

    I liked the medicine container and the first-class seaman.

  4. still enjoying this crossword, when is the telegraph crossword site being updated? Hopefully better than todays FT.

  5. For once my ignorance helped me because I hadn’t heard of Impi – but then neither had I heard of the ‘real’ answer. There were quite a few other things I was not familiar with (compounds, country pigs, Russian rivers, carriages et al) all of which necessitated some quality electronic search time, and which generally detracts from my enjoyment. However, I was eventually able to finish which always adds to my enjoyment. Many thanks to Stick Insect and Gazza.

  6. 3D doesn’t work for me a very informal word almost slang in my book, never heard of 19A, another slang maybe? Also the pigs are a new one on me despite living in the country! Otherwise a nice Wednesday offering. Thanks to Gazza for the hints and tips needed on a couple 😀👍

  7. Two days running where the Toughie has been relatively benign and very enjoyable. Not sure about 20a – it should be a Register Office, shouldn’t it? Although Registry seems to be in common parlance. No particular favourite, but that’s not to say anything bad about the clues. I guess tomorrow’s will be a stinker!

    1. It did occur to me that the setter meant ‘country’ to mean ‘dialect’ but I really can’t see how ‘country pigs’ can mean ‘a name used for pigs in some areas of the country’.

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