Toughie 2110 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2110

Toughie No 2110 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

7 down was the key to this puzzle. I solved the anagram early on which made the related clues much easier than they might have been. There were no major hold-ups and I enjoyed the exercise.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    7’s ‘pots and pans’? (11)
KITCHENWARE: This words for pots and pans and other items used in a particular room of the house could also conceivably be used for the equipment used by a 7 down

10a    25 characters from Daniel Deronda (5)
ELDER: Another word for the answer to 25 down is hidden in DANIEL DERONDA

11a    General finds equal among British — near Darjeeling mostly? (9)
BONAPARTE: The name of a French military general and statesman = ‘equal’ (2,1,3) inside an abbreviation for ‘British’ + something that might be Darjeeling with the last letter removed

12a    Trawl round America for 7’s implement (9)
CASTANETS: ‘To trawl fish)’ (4,4) round A (America) = something that might be used by a 7 down

13a    Floated quietly in flood (5)
SWAMP: ‘Floated’ + P (quietly) = ‘to flood’

14a    Bribe criminal bounders to leave Delaware (6)
SUBORN: An anagram (criminal) of BOUNRS, i.e. BOUNDERS minus DE (Delaware)

16a    Figure (on the 24?) which doesn’t strike a chord at once (8)
ARPEGGIO: Is this just a cryptic definition for a chord of which the notes are performed in rapid succession?

18a    Loads of Latins dancing, large and small (8)
INSTALLS: ‘Loads’ (as a verb) = an anagram (dancing) of LATINS + L (large) + S (small)

20a    Drugs stashed in footwear? (6)
UPPERS: This word for drugs that produce a stimulant or euphoric effect also refers to parts of boots and shoes

23a    Rock bottom, Adrian! Head off and work! (5)
NADIR: An anagram (work) of DRIAN, i.e. ADRIAN with the first letter removed

24a    Cross yard to cut and polish 7’s implement (9)
XYLOPHONE: A cross-shaped letter + Y (yard) + ‘to cut’ + ‘to polish’ = something that might be used by a 7 down

26a    Early intelligence has numbers admitting: ‘Almost ruined’ (9)
SOUNDINGS: Sample testing of opinion (early intelligence) = numbers (musical ones) round ‘ruined’ with the last letter removed

27a    Steer clear of this type of truck (5)
DODGE: 2 meanings: ‘steer clear of’ or ‘evade’/an American brand of trucks

28a    Authorised carer making notes, maybe (5,6)
LEGAL TENDER: ‘Authorised’ + a carer = banknotes or coins which must be accepted as payment


2d    River of stars? (5)
INDUS: 2 meanings: the longest river in Pakistan/a constellation in the southern sky. I didn’t know it was a constellation

3d    ‘Schon Rosmarin’ — oddly right for such a craft (7)
CORSAIR: Alternate letters of SCHON ROSMARIN + R (right) = a type of ship. ‘Oddly’ usually refers to the odd-positioned letters but not here

4d    Kind of dashes round outskirts of Bristol to win badge (6)
EMBLEM: A dash used in printing + the first and last letters of BRISTOL + the same dash used in printing

5d    Royalty in knots? (8)
WINDSORS: This term for the UK royal family (from the name they adopted in 1917) can also refer to wide triangular knots used in tying ties

6d    Sally‘s inscription on bone leads to thoughtful examination (7)
RIPOSTE: A sally or repartee = an inscription found on tombstones + a bone + the first letters of THOUGHTFUL and EXAMINATION

7d    I sus inspector out — he’s a big hitter! (13)

8d    7’s implement getting group of scientists in muddle (8)
TRIANGLE: Something that might be used by a 7 down = a British organisation devoted to scientific education and research inside a muddle

9d    Stuffed again with queer-looking strudel — hope sappers are on top of it! (13)
REUPHOLSTERED: The Royal Engineers (sappers) + an anagram (queer-looking) of STRUDEL HOPE

15d    7’s implement‘s in fish barrel (4,4)
BASS DRUM: Something that might be used by a 7 down = a sea fish + a cylindrical barrel

17d    Plant‘s unexpected gain, stocking smoked fish with hint of incense (8)
GLOXINIA: A plant with bright bell-shaped flowers = an anagram (unexpected) of GAIN round a kind of smoked salmon and I (first letter of INCENSE). I managed to dredge up the smoked fish

19d    Reduce rating on area of high pressure (7)
ABRIDGE: A rating (sailor) + a long narrow area of high pressure

21d    Conveyed – like haggis or gas? (5,2)
PIPED IN: The haggis is brought in to musical accompaniment. Gas is brought into the house this way

22d    Privy Councillor’s first to waste time (6)
CLOSET: A privy (lavatory) = The first letter of COUNCILLOR + ‘to waste’ + T (time)

25d    Senior serviceman stripped (5)
OLDIE: Remove the first and last letters from a serviceman

20 comments on “Toughie 2110

  1. Firefly isn’t a setter I’d associate with crosswords that make me grumpy, but I ended up spending an age on and off on this one and ended up properly grumpy – I’m not a particular fan of ‘solve one clue, then you can solve several more’ type of crossword which didn’t help.

    Thanks to Firefly (sorry I didn’t get on with this one) and to Bufo

  2. This was pretty tough but a lot of fun.

    Bufo, I think you are right about 16a. It’s perhaps worth mentioning in relation to 1a that the themed section of an orchestra is often referred to as the “kitchen department”.

    I’d never heard of Daniel Deronda, but not knowing didn’t affect the solving of 10a, and I needed to check on the smoked fish in 17d.

    My joint favourites were 28a & 21d.

    Many thanks to Firefly and to Bufo.

  3. Can’t make up my mind. On one had, there are some good clues – on the other, I do find that multiple cross-references become slightly irritating. 50/50 it is.

    I am sure I have never come across the fish before. Thanks to Firefly and to Bufo.

  4. Am I missing something, but I don’t follow the parsing of 26a? I get SONGS around UNDI. The latter is RUINED minus RE, not the last letter D. Or am I just being thick. Anyway, I didnt manage all of it (GLOXINIA for one) but thanks to Firefly and Bufo.

    1. I think that ‘ruined’ is UNDID (as in ‘Woe is me, for I am undone’) so almost ruined is UNDI.

  5. Ah, I now see that in Bufo’s parsing he does put ‘RUINED’ to indicate the need for a synonym. Thanks Gazza.

  6. Thanks Bufo, and Firefly too. I liked this a lot.

    Particularly pleased to see arpeggio properly defined. Chambers of course has it totally wrong.

    “performed,,, in rapid (normally upward) succession.”

    An arpeggio just is: it doesn’t have to be performed.

    Speed and direction have nothing to do with an arpeggio.

  7. I made a real dog’s dinner of this. Having worked out that I needed 7d to have any chance of solving various other clues I solved that first but then wrote the answer in the right-hand rather the left-hand column. This made solving many of the clues impossible. I eventually realised my mistake and struggled to the finish.

    The wordplay in 11a doesn’t work very well for me – if ‘among’ is an insertion indicator then the ‘near’ is not needed.
    I don’t like ‘oddly’ in 3d (and the first word needs an umlaut – without it the German phrase means something different).
    I also spent some time looking for some wordplay in 16a (including whether the last two letters were meant to match the first letter of xylophone) before concluding that it was a sort of cryptic definition.

    As CS and LbR have said, having cross-references all over the place does become a bit irritating.

    My favourite clue was 22d. Thanks to Firefly and Bufo.

  8. I too found 16a hard to understand. Not sure the hint is correct for 26a. Aren’t the 1st and 5th letters removed?

    Thanks to Firefly and Bufo

    1. Huh? My comment was posted a long time before it appeared so apologies I now see it has been answered earlier

  9. An odd sort of puzzle. There were all the links to 7d (and I did know about 1a) and then an out of context general in 11a. Somehow it falls between 2 stools.
    Never mind. I finished it.
    Thanks to setter and blogger for the work out.

  10. Thanks Firefly and Bufo.

    Quite tough, but I enjoyed it. IMHO, 3 is just wrong – it should read ‘not oddly’ or ‘oddly not.’ I’ve never seen it mean the even letters.

    I ticked 11,12, 22 & 28.

  11. Add me to those who are not generally fond of puzzles that contain multiple references to a single clue entry. However, and fortunately, and as others have pointed out, in this case the key entry clue in 7d was relatively very gentle, and the entry itself evocative of potential references. Also, add me to those who started with the odd letters of 3d. However, 12a (and I think my favourite) had me chuckling for much for the rest of the puzzle. With 17d and 24a, I thought this may have been my day to actually recognize a pangram before finishing a puzzle . . . . . but not to be. I did enjoy this, and was able to finish without excessive reliance on Google which always adds to my enjoyment level. Many thanks to Firefly and Bufo.

  12. Luckily I got 7d early on which made the solving much easier. A good challenge and all went in quite steadily. Had to confirm 17d electronically, and putting ‘older’ carelessly in 25d held me up somewhat and caused 26a to be last in.

  13. Thank goodness we had that particular type of 1a quite recently – made a world of difference to the speed of solving even though I still got tripped up by a couple of non-related answers in the RHS.

    Top two here were 28a and 21d.

    Thanks to Firefly and to Bufo for the blog.

  14. I’m with crypticsue, who summed up my feelings on this puzzle exactly. I got 7d straight away but still struggled badly and couldn’t finish. Not a good day for me, but thanks anyway to Firefly and Bufo.

  15. This is my first comment here thanks to Big Dave.
    I enjoyed this but I struggled and needed help with 16a and 26a but that’s what it’s all about.
    My favourite was 11a.
    As I don’t get hold of the paper for days sometimes and my snails pace solving my comments are rather late appearing

    1. Welcome to the blog

      It doesn’t matter how long you take to comment as the person who posted the blog will always get an email when a comment is made on that particular post. Once your comment appears in the recent comment box on the RH side, quite a few interested people like me will always look to see what’s been said too.

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