Toughie 2149 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2149

Toughie No 2149 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Christmas has gone and there is a semblance of normality about today. It was nice to get a puzzle from a graduate of Rookie Corner and a very good puzzle it was too. It took an average time and the only thing I had to check was the Captain Kirk reference (since Star Trek forms a black hole in my knowledge bank)

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Greeting to welcome student for hard ski race (6)
SLALOM: Take a Hebrew greeting and replace H (hard) by L (student)

5a    Family from Aylesbury possibly getting a horse (8)
BUCKSKIN: Aylesbury’s county + ‘family’ = a horse of greyish-yellow colour. I’ve never heard this word applied to a horse before

9a    Mind keeping minutes internally for intensive group discussion? (13)
BRAINSTORMING: ‘Mind’ + ‘keeping’ round M (minutes)

10a    Spooner’s interpretation of good-looking Native American as happy-go-lucky (8)
CAREFREE: A Spoonerism of ‘good-looking’ and ‘Native-American’

11a    Extremely hot theme in Hollywood TV shows (6)
BAKING: Hollywood refers to Paul Hollywood and the answer is the subject of a TV show that he appears in

12a    Token lump by my shoulder’s beginning to recede (6)
SYMBOL: A reversal of a lump, MY, and the first letter of SHOULDER

14a    Doctor refused to accept female endured pain (8)
SUFFERED: An anagram (doctor) of REFUSED round F (female)

16a    Worried song idea needs new arrangement (8)
AGONISED: An anagram (needs new arrangement) of SONG IDEA

19a    Cut down on consuming mead with lunch regularly (6)
REDUCE: ‘On’ goes round alternate letter of MEAD LUNCH

21a    Favour from a boxing judge (6)
PREFER: ‘A’ (as in threepence a person) goes round (boxes) a judge (sporting official)

23a    Various traps through an oddly abandoned wood (8)
MAHOGANY: ‘Various’ goes round (traps) the even-positioned letters of THROUGH AN

25a    Uncertain having organised teatime and dinner (13)
INDETERMINATE: An anagram (organised) of TEATIME DINNER

26a    Gradually stop aggressive move by Captain Kirk perhaps, ignoring resistance (5,3)
PHASE OUT: You get the first word by removing the R (resistance) from the end of a phased array pulsed energy projectile weapon that features in Star Trek. Thanks to Mr Google for that information

27a    Selfish individual employs a German for gardening work (6)
HOEING: A selfish individual goes round the German word for ‘one’


2d    Balance railway building with works that are shelved? (7)
LIBRARY: A balance as found in the Zodiac + the abbreviation for ‘railway’

3d    Desert / holiday (5)
LEAVE: 2 meanings: to desert/holidays

4d    Old woman with new training routines for primates (9)
MANDRILLS: ‘Old woman’ or ‘mother’ + N (new) + training routines = large African baboons

5d    Brandy and Peanut, maybe, or another name given to goats? (7)
BUTTERS: Pluralise a word that can follow brandy and peanut. The term might also refer to goats (at least in a crossword puzzle)

6d    Language coach born south of India’s capital (5)
CARIB: The language of a race of Native Americans inhabiting parts of Central and northern South America = a coach + the first letter of INDIA + B (born)

7d    Icy Kent’s dreadful day that brings disaster (6,3)
STICKY END: An anagram (dreadful) 0f ICY KENT’S + D (day)

8d    Naive girl in grand location going topless (7)
INGENUE: IN + G (grand) + a location for a sports event or concert with the first letter removed

13d    Sad fib one treated in good faith (4,5)
BONA FIDES: An anagram (treated) of SAD FIB ONE

15d    Distance across river daughter works out immediately (9)
FORTHWITH: A river in Scotland + the distance across it minus the letter D (daughter)

17d    Decorate rear of mansion having vulgar exterior (7)
GARNISH: The last letter of MANSION inside ‘vulgar’ or ‘gaudy’

18d    Entire media, on reflection, admitting fault (7)
DEMERIT: Hidden in reverse in ENTIRE MEDIA

20d    Have something to do with / business (7)
CONCERN: 2 meanings: to have to do with/a business establishment

22d    Now and again arrest crook, old-fashioned in style (5)
RETRO: Alternate letters of ARREST CROOK

24d    Audibly horses chomp on pasture (5)
GRAZE: A homophone of horses of a particular colour

That’s it for 2018. A Happy New Year to one and all and I’ll see you in 2019.


13 comments on “Toughie 2149

  1. The friendliest of the four crosswords I solved this morning. Enjoyable while it lasted so thank you to Silvanus and Happy New Year to him and Bufo

  2. Any one else waste time on MARMOSETS for 4d? (MA for old woman; SETS for routines; the middle part of course not fitting). Since I eventually got there 4d is my favourite. Thanks to all

  3. A fairly gentle and very enjoyable puzzle.
    I didn’t know (and therefore had to check) the ‘lump’ in 12a or that 5a could be a horse.
    Lots to enjoy – I particularly liked 11a, 21a and 27a but my favourite was 2d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and Bufo and Happy New Year to both.

  4. As Bufo said – a very good puzzle it was too.
    I did have to look up the Star Wars reference and spent a while looking for the missing daughter in 15d but everything eventually fell satisfactorily into place.

    2d was definitely my favourite.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for the fun and to Bufo for the blog.

  5. On my hols so time to do the toughie.
    Last in was 5a and was a new horse for me too.
    Liked 26a and 23a which took a bit of phasing,
    2 d was clever and my favourite too-thanks all.

  6. We did not have the GK to understand the wordplay for 26a but got it from checkers and definition before checking with Google. It all flowed together smoothly and was really good fun.
    Thanks Silvanus and Bufo.

  7. Many thanks to Bufo for his review and Season’s greetings to him and all the other bloggers who do such a superb job, as well as all the Telegraph’s regular solvers whose comments are always read on here with great interest. Thank you all and best wishes for 2019.

  8. Very enjoyable up to three quarters of the way through. Then I gave it to a customer to read who has taken it home. Thanks mate. Thanks to Silvanus for the enjoyment so far. Thanks to Bufo. Is it really Thursday? I had no idea.

  9. I really enjoyed this toughie, as I managed to complete most of it on my own. Still not sure how I did that! Thanks to Bufo for help explaining the clues and Silvanus for the crossword. I too have lost track of what day it is, but need to keep checking as it’s back to granny duties soon.

  10. Thanks to Silvanus and to Bufo for the review and hints. Much easier than the back pager, but brilliant. I’m over the moon, a Toughie completion that wasn’t one or two star difficulty. Needed the hints to parse 11,19,23a. I thought the clueing was very good apart from 5d, which seemed a bit of a giveaway. My favourite and last in was 26a, which took me ages before the penny eventually dropped. Was 3*/4* for me.

  11. I finished this on Thursday morning just before the family hoards descended and one of my granddaughters used my newspaper as a canvas for a painting so poor Silvanus got completely obliterated.

    All I can remember is that it was nothing like as tough as the back-pager but it was brilliant and nicely challenging.

    Many thanks to Bufo and to Silvanus.

  12. I don’t buy the Sunday Telegraph and I had croossword withdrawal symptoms so decided to do this one as I remembered various comments saying it was less difficult than the back pager of the day. Well it was and a lot more enjoyable too.
    I wouldn’t usually give an anagram COTD but I did like 7d just because it’s one of those great English idioms.
    Thanks to setter and reviewer if you read this!

Comments are closed.