Toughie 2134 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2134

Toughie No 2134 by Messinae

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I had to check the term for the police in 8 down but otherwise it was all plain sailing

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Period that’s rotten in terms of radio, according to some (6)
DECADE: Some people say this word for a period of 10 years so that it sound like a synonym for ‘rotten’

4a That’s sweet, girls following criminal system (8)
MOLASSES: A thick substance obtained from sugar during refining = an abbreviation for a way of doing things (such as a criminal enterprise) + ‘girls’

10a Get tired workers something to keep up standards (9)
FLAGSTAFF: ‘To become tired’ + a body of workers = something a standard is hoisted on

11a Eat lots of Cheddar perhaps (5)
GORGE: Also a geographical feature such as is found at Cheddar in Somerset

12a Spies also dashed around avoiding company (7)
ASOCIAL: An anagram (dashed) of ALSO round a US intelligence service

13a Developing new way up (7)
NASCENT: N (new) + a way up a mountain, perhaps

14a Squad of police holding runs (5)
CORPS: A slang word for police round R (runs)

15a Window has a small sticker on the outside (8)
CASEMENT: A and S (small) inside a substance used to stick two objects together

18a Refuse to go in this ship after circling point (3,5)
BIN LINER: A bag that refuse (rubbish) is put in = a reversal of the point of a pen + a cruise ship

20a Mighty like a superior room (5)
LOFTY: This could conceivably be used as an adjective to describe a room at the top of the house

23a Advertising book for children with good ending (7)
PUFFING: The imprint that Penguin Books use for children’s books + G (good)

25a Lazy son’s gone missing (7)
LACKING: Remove S (son) from the start of a word meaning ‘lazy’

26a Cancel book published regularly with answer missing (5)
ANNUL: Remove A (answer) from a book that’s published once a year

27a & 28a Get in a store of food for animals that’s hard to find (6,2,1,8)
NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK: ‘To get’ or ‘to irritate’ + IN A + a store of animal food

28a See 27 Across

29a Chapter with afterword about lord heading west to find tuberous food (6)
CRISPS: C (chapter) and an afterword (addition to a letter) round a reversal of a gentleman = a snack made from potatoes


1d Intended following of French resistance (8)
DEFIANCE: The French word for ‘of’ + an intended (the one you’re betrothed to)

2d Outcry seeing silent type, sullen, blowing top (7)
CLAMOUR: A very reticent person + ‘sullen’ with the first letter removed

3d Show lack of respect for prayer book, being caught perhaps (9)
DISMISSAL: ‘To show lack of respect’ + a prayer book. Caught is a method of getting out at cricket

5d Whence to choose one’s dessert bananas (3,4,7)
OFF ONE’S TROLLEY: This term for ‘bananas’ or ‘crazy’ could also mean whence to choose one’s dessert

6d Lookout is in disagreement with ecstasy being taken (5)
ARGUS: A lookout or vigilant watcher = ‘is in disagreement’ with the letter E (ecstasy) removed

7d Second to provide encouragement to doctor (7)
SURGEON: S (second) + ‘to provide encouragement’ (4,2)

8d Keep quiet about police providing cover (6)
SHEATH: ‘Keep quiet!’ round a US slang term for the police

9d Like some illegal drugs? In Hull, cocaine dealt nets £1000 (14)
HALLUCINOGENIC: An anagram (dealt) of IN HULL COCAINE round G (£1000)

16d One burrowing dog bites the French in little bits (9)
MOLECULAR: An animal that burrows and casts up heaps of soft earth + a dog round the feminine form of the French definite article

17d Energy shown by the old tumbler maybe for single viewer (8)
EYEGLASS: E (energy) + the old form of the definite article + a vessel such as a tumbler

19d Childhood as imagined (7)
INFANCY: When split (2,5) it could mean ‘as imagined’

21d Little people‘s gala is packing English in (7)
FAIRIES: A gala + IS round E (English)

22d Big story in newspaper cut to fit in page (6)
SPLASH: ‘To cut’ round P (page)

24d Being regularly insolvent is key perhaps (5)
ISLET: Alternate letters of INSOLVENT

A pleasant enough puzzle but too straightforward for a Toughie

20 comments on “Toughie 2134

  1. As Bufo says a pleasant puzzle but not really a Toughie.
    I didn’t know the word for police in 8d and BRB says it’s US slang so perhaps the clue should have said ‘US police’. I also thought that 20a should have had a question mark.
    My favourite clue was 10a.
    Thanks to Messinae and Bufo.

  2. Thank you so much for this — I’m only an occasional crossworder, and the hints here are invaluable.

    My favourite was 23a.

    In 5d, I tried so hard to make ‘bananas’ be an anagram indicator — and also learnt that I shouldn’t presume a word can’t be in the answer simply because it’s also in the clue.

  3. I agree with Gazza – not really a Toughie – enjoyable nonetheless. Maybe the compiler has made a small mistake in using ‘one’s’ in the clue for 5d and should have used ‘your’ since’one’s’ is in the answer? Held myself up with 29d since I had molecules for 16d for a while.

  4. I found this a steady, but very enjoyable, solve without any significant hold-ups. Speaking of hold-ups, I did know the police in 8d (maybe I’ve watched too many US gangster movies), however, even thought it obviously couldn’t be correct, for far too long I held on to the hope of incorporating ‘ROCKER’ into the final part of 5d. Many thanks to Messinae and Bufo.

    1. Hi. Is it possible without breaching comment etiquette for you to provide any context as to how the term in 8d would be used (in said movies or otherwise)?

      Following the explanation above, I’ve got the ‘quiet’ bit round the outside, and that leaves a 3-letter word in the middle which I really can’t see being a synonym for ‘the police’ (but maybe I’m not imagining hard enough). Thanks.

      1. Hi Smylers,
        You only need 2 letters for the ‘quiet bit’ round the outside, which leaves you with a 4-letter word in the middle.

        Apologies, Ray – I must have been typing as your comment was posting!

      2. Just like the time before and the time before that
        In Paterson that’s just the way things go
        If you’re black you might as well not show up on the street
        ’Less you wanna draw the heat

        B.Dylan. Hurricane

        1. Thanks, all. That makes sense now. I spelt the ‘quiet’ word with 3 letters, and since all 3 were there, I didn’t think to try not using one of them.

          Now all I’ve got to do is unlearn my new ‘fact’ that American gangsters refer to the cops as “the eat” …

  5. I was fine with the 8d police, it was the 6d lookout that had me reaching for the BRB!

    Enjoyed this one and finished up with 10a & 5d vying for top spot.

    Thanks to Messinae and to Bufo for the blog.

  6. Pleasant enough but more straightforward than many an inside back pager

    Thanks to Messinae and Bufo

  7. A pleasant puzzle, with 6d, my last answer, being the only stumbling block.

    Pedantry alert:

    In 29a, am I wrong to think that a Lord is not normally addressed as Sir, and so a more appropriate clue might have been Knight?

    Many thanks to Messinae and Bufo

  8. An enjoyable solve. 8d made me realise why, in the US series “Castle”, his fictional police heroine is called “Nikki Heat”. One lives and learns!
    I was also taken down Memory Lane with 23a. How good to know those junior penguins of my children’s childhood are still published.

  9. We had a slightly hesitant start in the NW but once we sacked the Polish people we had initially employed in 10a momentum picked up a lot. A bit of head scratching with 6d too.
    Plenty of smiles along the way.
    Thanks Messinae and Bufo

  10. Finished without too much difficulty once I’d completed 2133. Favourite was 17d.

    Not sure that “according to some” was really required in 1a after “radio”.

    Thanks to Bufo and Messinae.

  11. Less tough than today’s back pager, but enjoyable nevertheless. It’s free today on the puzzle site, I guess they went for an easy one to attract new customers. I ran into real problems in the SE corner, finally cracked by getting 25ac, but elsewhere didn’t run into too much difficulty.

  12. Thanks to Messinae and to Bufo for the review and hints. Yes, not really a Toughie, but still a fun puzzle. To use horseracing parlance, I fell at the last. Had “aegis” for 6d, which I couldn’t parse. Ironic that the correct answer is the name of a favourite album of mine by Wishbone Ash! Also couldn’t get 8d, hadn’t heard of the police slang, one for the memory banks. Favourite was 5d,which made me laugh. Was 2*/4* for me.

Comments are closed.