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Toughie 2165

Toughie No 2165 by Hudson

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

This is Hudson’s fourth Toughie and they’ve all appeared on a Thursday. I thought that this was a very interesting and enjoyable puzzle. The answers went in fairly readily with the SE corner offering most resistance.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Waterproof mink coat found in jumble, small hole at the front (10)
MACKINTOSH: An anagram (found in jumble) of MINK COAT + S (small) + the first letter of HOLE

6a    1’s in retirement rip-off (4)
SCAM: A reversal of the abbreviated form of the answer to 1 across with the possessive ‘S

10a    Rubbish singer who worked with M. Wilson? (5)
DROSS: The initial and surname of a singer who was a member of The Supremes with M. Wilson (Mary Wilson)

11a    Corporate action involving a new Head of Sales gets the bird (9)
MERGANSER: A combining of commercial companies into one company round A and N (new) and the first letter of SALES

12a    Malicious talk about council’s leader’s footwear (7)
SCANDAL: An item of footwear with an openwork upper round the first letter of COUNCIL

13a    Old coin Wodehouse trousers following novel nine (7)
PFENNIG: The initials of Mr Wodehouse round F (following) and an anagram (novel) of NINE

14a    Chopin, Rolling Stones covering comic book (7,5)
GRAPHIC NOVEL: An anagram (rolling) of CHOPIN inside a mass of small mixed stones = a story told in comic-book picture form

18a    Act as agent for Milan team; team I’d put out first in Europe (12)
INTERMEDIATE: A football team from Milan + an anagram (put out) of TEAM I’D + the first letter of EUROPE

21a    Liberation! Benedictine on the house! (7)
FREEDOM: ‘On the house’ + a title given to members of some monastic orders, especially the Benedictine

23a    Bates’ matriarch out of fashion for a year? Nonsense! (7)
MALARKY: Take the name of the matriarch (2,6) who first appeared in The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates and replace a 2-letter word meaning ‘fashionable’ by Y (year)

24a    Church feature, behold, covered by two newspapers (5,4)
ORGAN LOFT: A newspaper + ‘Behold!’ + a newspaper printed on pink paper

25a    Came round in casualty, having consumed Chinese pot (5)
AWOKE: An abbreviation for another term for a casualty department in a hospital goes round a pan used in Chinese cookery

26a    Expressions of surprise about fashionable neighbourhood (or neighborhood) (4)
SOHO: A reversal of interjections expressing triumphant surprise give the name of an area of London (originally a fashionable district for the aristocracy) or a gentrified area of Manhattan

27a    Amalgamated Co-op‘s yellow streak? (7,3)
CHICKEN RUN: ‘Yellow’ or ‘cowardly’ + ‘streak’ = a coop (COOP being an amalgamation of CO and OP)


1d    Inexpensive fashion is on the way (6)
MODEST: ‘Inexpensive’ + an abbreviation for a way or thoroughfare

2d    Sung psalm getting husband in the pink (6)
CHORAL: H (husband) inside a deep orange-pink colour

3d    Dodgy dealing reportedly at work in Shepton Mallet? (7,7)
INSIDER TRADING: This is the criminal offence of using information not publicly-available to deal on the Stock Exchange. The wordplay is a homophone. Bear in mind that Shepton Mallet in Somerset is a prominent producer of a certain kind of alcoholic beverage

4d    Photography technique to record the speed of circuits being discussed (4-5)
TIME-LAPSE: ‘To record the speed of’ + a homophone of ‘circuits’

5d    Paddy serving up fortified wines (5)
STROP: A paddy or fit of bad temper is a reversal of fortified wines

7d    Gustav, on as a comedian, somewhat upset Giacomo (8)
CASANOVA: The surname of an 18th century Italian named Giacomo is hidden in reverse in GUSTAV ON AS A COMEDIAN

8d    It’s St David’s Day, put on yellow flower (8)
MARIGOLD: The date of St David’s Day + ‘yellow’

9d    Dad’s off-break? It must be a new delivery (9,5)
PATERNITY LEAVE: A cryptic definition for the time a new father takes off work immediately after his baby has been delivered

15d    Using common language, mum punches halfwit in charge (9)
IDIOMATIC: ‘Mum’ or ‘mother’ inside a halfwit + the abbreviation for ‘in charge’

16d    Display feminine soft top for sexy thermals, say (8)
AIRFLOWS: ‘To display’ + F (feminine’ + ‘soft’ or ‘quiet’ + the first letter of SEXY. The thermals are those used by gliders

17d    Without working Siri, straight line travelling taking ages (2,6)
AT LENGTH: An anagram (travelling) of STRAIGHT LINE less the assorted (working) letters SIRI

19d    Fire starts off difficult time (6)
ARDOUR: ‘Fire’ or ‘passion’ is obtained by removing the first letters from 4-letter words meaning ‘difficult’ and ‘time’

20d    Monster with very funny name (6)
WYVERN: W (with) + an anagram (funny) of VERY + N (name)

22d    Walk aimlessly around Low Switzerland (5)
MOOCH: ‘To low like cattle’ + the IVR for Switzerland

I’m looking forward to seeing some of you sometime on Saturday

14 comments on “Toughie 2165

  1. I’ll agree with the interesting and enjoyable and the looking forward to seeing some of you on Saturday

    Thanks to Hudson and Bufo – lots to enjoy but my particular favourite was 27a for the d’oh moment

  2. I thought this was great – thanks to Hudson and Bufo.
    My ticks went to 23a, 27a, 3d, 9d and 19d.
    A Hudson Toughie or two would fit nicely in the Wednesday slot. :D

  3. I thought this was lovely. I needed the hint to parse 3D, though. 23A gave me pause on the parsing,
    but I’m rather pleased with myself for unraveling it, probably because the first time I saw the wonderful series was just a couple of years ago on Netflix, so I was able to recall names. 27A is my favorite for the penny-drop moment on ‘amalgamated’, but 23A and 19D are close behind. Thanks Hudson and Bufo.

  4. I thought this was great too. Like Bufo, the SE corner was the last to fall. There were a couple of references that I was not aware of (M. Wilson in 10a for example) and so there were some small leaps of faith, but I ended up with a complete and correct grid. Many thanks to Hudson and Bufo.

  5. I found it more chewy than previous commenters it seems, but good. Wavelength thing I suppose, or perhaps I am distracted.

    Thanks Hudson and Bufo.

    (pssst, Bufo – 1d needs a tweak)

  6. Interesting about 3d. We had the right answer and when we googled Shepton Mallet (which we had not heard of) found that it had, before it closed, the oldest prison in England so took the wordplay to mean someone doing business whilst incarcerated. The homophone explanation is much better. We really enjoyed this one, found ourselves chuckling and smiling all the way through.
    Thanks Hudson and Bufo.

  7. Had a bit of a battle with this one and have to admit that 14a was a guess based on the checkers.

    Very clever setting but the simple 8d took the honours here.

    Thanks to Hudson and to Bufo for the blog.

  8. Yes, like LRoy I found this quite chewy or meaty perhaps. Loved 3 & 8 down and I thought 23 across pretty good too, despite what I thought to be an unusual spelling of the word. I like Hudson’s way of thinking/clueing (or is it cluing?), so the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. Thanks to both he & Bufo.

  9. Interesting puzzle and good fun. Didn’t know about Cider at Shepton Mallet, or the name of the monster in 20d but got both in except for the first letter of the monster.

    Faves for me were 27a and 15d.

    Thanks to Hudson and Bufo.

      1. Thanks, Big Dave. I’ve written in before as GeoffH, but changed to the name I used when compiling a couple of crosswords in the Seventies….seeing Bufo’s name reminded me. Hope that’s ok?

  10. Thanks for the blog to Bufo, and to those who have commented. I hope the gang has a grand day out in Little Venice on Saturday. I’d love to have been able to come – not least because my last home in the UK was in Warwick Ave and I know The Bridge well – but I have been bitten too many times when buying flights to London in January which have fallen victim to an inch of snow.
    Best wishes Rob/Hudson

  11. Thanks Rob or Hudson, who I now know is a moose.

    Very enjoyable, speeded up a lot once i was about half way through. I often struggle with the GK, The Darling buds of May is not really on my radar, so i missed that parsing even though i had the grid entry.

    I really liked 14a, 25a, 27a, 9d, 15d, 16d – and others.

    Thanks Bufo, see you sat.

  12. There I was wondering what was the name of Norman Bates’ mother in Psycho. Guessed the answer to 23a from the def and checkers but was none the wiser.
    Thanks to Bufo, that wonderful series with David Jason came back like a flash.
    Couldn’t parse my answer in 3d either.
    Tried to justify Cryptic Novel as an answer to 14a and left 16d half empty or half full if you prefer.
    Didn’t do too well on that one.
    Thanks to Hudson and to Bufo.

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