Toughie 2157 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2157

Toughie No 2157 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

As usual from Kcit we have a perfectly fair and doable puzzle I did slow down a tad towards the end but everything went in relatively easily. I also enjoyed writing the review even though I had to work harder than usual because there were 32 clues to explain (which must be about the maximum you get in a 15 x 15 puzzle)

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


3a    Game employee recalled cheers with booze being brought round (6)
BEATER: A person who rouses game for shooters = a reversal of ‘Cheers!’ inside booze

6a    Well to dispute costs? Not good repeatedly (4)
HALE: Take a word meaning to ‘dispute costs’ and remove two occurrences of the letter G (good)

8a    Duty to restrain source of rudeness — such as me? (5)
TROLL: A duty (tax) round the first letter (source) of RUDENESS. Although I don’t know how Kcit behaves when he’s using the Internet I couldn’t see why he’d describe himself as one of these. Then I realised that the whole clue provides the definition

9a    What’s excellent about seat is discovered from experience (1,10)
A POSTERIORI: I couldn’t immediately bring this Latin expression to mind so had to wait for the checkers (which were not over-helpful). Two letters that can denote ‘excellent’ or ‘first class’ go round ‘seat’ or ‘buttocks’

10a    Daughter thrown off vehicles is sad (5)
MOPES: Remove D (daughter) from lightweight motorcycles

11a    Meal had no impact? First items should be switched (6,5)
PACKED LUNCH: A meal prepared at home and eaten elsewhere is obtained from a 2-word phrase meaning ‘had no impact’ by swapping the first letters of the two words. Spoonerisms don’t seem too bad when the word Spooner isn’t mentioned

16a    Saving penny, economises a small amount (6)
INCHES: Remove P (penny) from ‘economises’ gives a small distance

17a    Minister that is right about our people becomes critical sort (8)
REVIEWER: An abbreviated form of a minister’s title + ‘that is’ @ ‘our people’ + R (right)= a writer of critiques

19a    Overreact and pay for nothing in University event after reflection (2,3,3)
GO TOO FAR: A reversal of ‘pay (the bill)’ and O (nothing) inside a University money-raising event

20a    Hide source of gold in agitation (6)
FURORE: A hide (skin) + a mineral aggregate that gold might be obtained fom

22a    Bring round secateurs, working to clip it (11)
RESUSCITATE: An anagram (working) of SECATEURS round IT

25a    Scoundrel lacking singular quality (5)
WATER: Remove S (singular) from a scoundrel or good-for-nothing to get ‘quality’ (as in ‘of the first *****’)

27a    Revolutionary ceremonial garb — easy thing to be seen around Queen and King (11)
ROBESPIERRE: A figure associated with the French Revolution = ceremonial garb + an easy thing (as in ‘easy as ***’) round ER (Queen) and R (King)

28a    Where you’ll find ultimate in sportswomen in field? (5)
ARENA: A sporting venue = the last letter of SPORTSWOMEN in a field

29a    Fuse and join on both sides of line (4)
WELD: ‘To fuse’ = ‘to join (in marriage)’ round L (line)

30a    Grand, then not so grand? Not a good look (6)
GLOWER: G (grand) + ‘not so grand’ = a fierce or threatening star stare


1d    I work in various places with no positive object (4)
ITEM: I + ‘to work in various places’ with the letter P (positive) removed

2d    Unexpectedly spot hydrogen escaping chemical compounds (11)
COMPLICATES: An anagram (unexpectedly) of SPOT CEMICAL, i.e. CHEMICAL less H (hydrogen) = ‘compounds’ or ‘makes worse’

3d    Poems translated with a blush, featuring strong language (11)
BLASPHEMOUS: An anagram (translated) of POEMS A BLUSH

4d    Expert apprehending fashionable stuff without delay (2,4)
AT ONCE: An expert goes round ‘fashion’

5d    Logs, say, gathering bit of moss in remote places (8)
EXTREMES: What wooden logs might be considered as (2-5) round the first letter (bit) of MOSS

6d    Pithy lines covering reduced European country needing revolution (5)
HAIKU: A short verse form = ‘covering (on the head)’ with the last letter removed + a reversal of our country

7d    Words left one in flood of tears, upset (5)
LYRIC: The words of a song = L (left) + I (one) in a reversal of a flood of tears

12d    One certain partners will appear in real jazzy tracksuits and the like (11)
LEISUREWEAR: I + ‘certain’ + two letters denoting partners at bridge inside an anagram (jazzy) of REAL

13d    Vegetables suggesting pâtés too? (3,8)
NEW POTATOES: A reverse anagram. The second word is an anagram of PATES TOO and the first word is an anagram indicator

14d    Insect: swarm died out around November time (6)
HORNET: A large kind of wasp = a swarm with the letter D (died) removed round N (November) + T (time)

15d    Identify some staff in Germany (6)

18d    Football organisation to be in disarray about Independent article suggestive of nepotism? (8)
FAMILIAL: The organisation that runs soccer in England + ‘to be in disarray’ or ‘to move in an aimless or confused manner’ round I (independent) and A (article)

21d    Trouble in pub in Cumbrian town (6)
BARROW: A pub + a noisy squabble = the short form of a town in Cumbria (formerly in Lancashire). Many years ago I went there on a Sunday and found it was shut. I returned years later on a weekday to find it open

23d    Bring to mind fair held in period before festival (5)
EVOKE: ‘fair’ or ‘satisfactory’ inside the day before a festival (e.g. Christmas)

24d    Have unsettling effect on writer chasing university degree, initially (2-3)
UP-END: U (university) + a writing implement + the first letter of DEGREE

26d    Republican Party head over heels about a course (4)
ROAD: R (Republican) + a reversal of a party round A

We’ve still got central heating problems. The next attempt to cure it is this afternoon. Here’s hoping!


19 comments on “Toughie 2157

  1. I found this an awful lot trickier than I was expecting from a Kcit Toughie

    Thanks to him and Bufo too

  2. I really enjoyed this and found it at just the right level of difficulty for me for a Toughie.

    In spite of Bufo’s explanation, I am still struggling to understand the definition for 8a. Can someone please explain?

    My two favourites were 5d (“logs, say” is brilliant) & 13d.

    Many thanks to Kcit and to Bufo.

    1. I think the definition is ‘source of rudeness such as the answer (me)’. I don’t like it much.

    2. No, I still don’t understand it either. I did wonder whether there is one by this name in a movie, but drew a blank

  3. I agree with CS that this was a step up, in both difficulty and enjoyment, from previous Kcit Toughies.
    I liked the disguised Spoonerism (11a), the ‘logs’ in 5d and the quality in 25a.
    Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

    I’m wondering whether the fierce and threatening star in 30a could be Ray Winstone? :D

  4. Again I find myself in two minds with this setter. There are some gems as has been noted, but clues like 8a and answers like 27a leave me cold – I didn’t actually bother with 27a, just came here and revealed, without any real interest in the answer.

    Thanks to Kcit and Bufo

  5. Quite tricky in places still don’t get 4d. ACE round TON? Never heard of ton meaning fashionable.
    Thanks for the help

    1. The second definition of ‘ton’ in my electronic dictionary states,” Ton – fashionable style or distinction.” Can also mean “fashionable society.” Well, whaddya know? I certainly didn’t until I checked.
      Btw, I’m still seething over 9 across.

  6. Found this appreciably tougher than the usual offerings from Kcit in his various guises.
    Left 2d well alone until I could no longer avoid it, ditto for 9a when I realised I was going to be faced with Latin and 8a finished up being the last in as I wasn’t very happy about it.

    I did particularly like the logs in 5d and – wonder of wonders – the excellent Spoonerism in 11a.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for all the hard work on the blog.

  7. I thought this was a great puzzle. I agree with others that the ‘logs, say’ was wonderful and kept me chuckling for the rest of the puzzle. Thank you, Bufo, for explaining how ‘quality’ relates to the definition in 25a (my last in). I hadn’t heard of the Latin expression in 9a. I found this harder than ***, but well worth the effort to complete it. Many thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  8. Most of this flowed pretty well during my nocturnal solving session, but I detuned from the wavelength at the end and slept on the last few. So would agree with Bufo’s assessment.

    My favourites were 11a, 30a and 5d.

    Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  9. Yes, certainly quite a challenge with this one. Also had doubts about 8a and on completion searched through the meanings of the answer to 25a to see whether this definition was in there. Sure enough it is. 2d was our last one in because of the clever misdirection (to us) for the definition.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  10. Glad to read that others found this tricky too , though I usually find Toughies tricky .
    I liked 3a , 17a , 22a, 27a , but my favourite is 11a .
    6d seems strangely apt in the current political situation .Personally I can’t see any merit in a no deal bla bla bla ..
    Thanks to Kcit for the challenge and thanks also to Bufo .

  11. I really enjoyed this Toughie. It is difficult to pick out a fave — perhaps 11a, although I greatly enjoyed several others, like 27a and 5d.

    I did find this quite difficult. I found it easier to begin at the end (as I very often do) and work my way up to the beginning. I couldn’t get 6a nor 9a, so looked up the answers here, which is great. Once these were in, I was able to complete the puzzle with 6d and 7d.

    Grateful thanks Kcit for a lovely Toughie and to Bufo for for the elucidation.

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