Toughie 2169 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2169

Toughie No 2169 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I emerged from hibernation to do battle with the Toughie and found it to be a puzzle of two halves. The right-hand side went in with little difficulty but then I struggled with the left-hand side which seemed to contain more than its fair share of less familiar words. But it all worked out in the end and I think I enjoyed it

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Time right to stop puzzles production, creating new fashion (12)
TRENDSETTING: T (time) + R (right) + ‘to stop’ + the production of puzzles such as crosswords

8a    Horseman needs money — gold sovereign? (7)
CENTAUR: A creature that is half man and half horse = a US coin + the atomic symbol for gold + a single letter abbreviation denoting ‘sovereign (or king or queen)’

9a    Looked up to say more about difficulties (7)
ADMIRED: ‘To say more’ round a problematic situation (difficulties)

11a    Answer several letters in order to protect an Asian currency (7)
AFGHANI: A (answer) + four consecutive letters of the alphabet round AN

12a    Mockery scars a wretched maiden (7)
SARCASM: An anagram (wretched) of SCARS A + M (maiden)

13a    Strange way in which rook sent further east? (5)
OUTRE: Take a word meaning ‘a way that is travelled [route]’ and move the letter R nearer the end of the word (towards the east)

14a    Information to include about onion or other vegetable (5,4)
GREEN BEAN: ‘Information’ round ‘about’ + ‘onion’ or ‘head’

16a    Enormous bird with duck having saunter round plant (9)
ROCAMBOLE: An enormous bird of Arabian legend + ‘to saunter’ round O (duck) = a plant closely related to garlic

19a    Lot‘s regret voiced by Terah initially (5)
SIGHT: A lot (a great many) = a sound that might be expressive of regret + the first letter of TERAH

21a    Seeker finding crater’s edge perhaps turned and fell (7)
PILGRIM: A reversal of an edge (possibly of a crater) + ‘fell’ or ‘dire’

23a    Bloomer auntie unfortunately made with parking (7)
PETUNIA: P (parking) + an anagram (unfortunately) of AUNTIE

24a    Mexican state feline found in many a fen? (7)
YUCATAN: A feline inside 100 fen (Chinese money)

25a    Offensive American quartet appearing in Lincoln? (7)
ABUSIVE: ‘American’ and the Roman numeral for 4 inside the short form of President Lincoln’s first name

26a    Negligent Nick could be a minder! (5-3-4)
DEVIL-MAY-CARE: Nick is Old Nick and he could mind


1d    Tense about working after sundown? (7)
TONIGHT: ‘Tense’ round ‘working’ = later on today (after sundown?)

2d    Eastern sea creature sheds tail in spring (7)
EMANATE: E (Eastern) + a large aquatic mammal with the last letter removed = ‘to spring’ or ‘to proceed from some source’

3d    Operas at Bayreuth occasion bold action (7-2)
DERRING-DO: The German name for a cycle of four German-language epic music dramas composed by Richard Wagner (3,4) + an occasion or party

4d    Tests now in the afternoon on school’s instigation? (5)
EXAMS: ‘No longer morning’ (2-2) + the first letter of SCHOOL

5d    Monkey departs, leaving tree (7)
TAMARIN: A small monkey from Central and South America = a large tropical tree with the letter D (departs) removed

6d    In Coleridge finally, sailor rushed up to tell story (7)
NARRATE: A reversal of the last letter of COLERIDGE, a sailor and ‘rushed’

7d    Subject calling for deep consideration? (12)
OCEANOGRAPHY: A cryptic definition where ‘deep’ refers to the sea

10d    Fiend scolded after saint made public protest (12)
DEMONSTRATED: A fiend + the abbreviation for saint + ‘scolded’

15d    Woman keeping place by river that’s perfect (9)
EXEMPLARY: A river in SW England + a woman’s name round the abbreviation for ‘place’

17d    In sequence, a student sees cup-shaped structure (7)
CALYCLE: A and L (student) inside a recurring sequence or series = a cup-like structure, such as the cup of a coral

18d    Revolutionary greeting in foreign language (7)
MARATHI: A noted character of the French Revolution + a greeting = a language of SW India

19d    Essential when climbing to get fruit (7)
SATSUMA: A reversal of an essential and ‘when’ = a type of mandarin orange

20d    No Mormon fellow settled on French island (7)
GENTILE: A fellow + the French word for ‘island’ = anyone who is not a member of a specified religious group, especially the Mormons

22d    Beat somewhat shorter finalist in omnium? (5)
MINIM: A beat (in music) = ‘somewhat shorter (as in a skirt)’ + the last letter of OMNIUM

Now it’s time to hibernate again


11 comments on “Toughie 2169

  1. As I said to an email to someone earlier this morning, I think I was lucky with this one as I knew the ‘words’ needed to complete this enjoyable Donnybrook Toughie, which made it less tricky than some of my previous Donnybrook solving experiences

    Thanks to him and to the hibernating Bufo

    PS: moving my paper to get at some work (!) I realise that I meant to say that I did like 3d in particular, both for the wordplay, and the fact that I started to wonder whether there is much of this particular bold action about these days

  2. Unlike CS, I had to employ the help of Mr Google for a few of these, particularly in the SW corner.

    Enjoyment rating? Not sure on that one but I did have ticks alongside 11&26a.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and to Bufo – enjoy your hibernation, best thing in this weather!

  3. Finished this all but 2d. However, although they weren’t exactly bung-ins, and proved to be correct, I did need Bufo to explain the parsing of some of my answers.
    Hibernating? An excellent choice to cope with today’s sub-zero temperature!

  4. It was a pleasure to meet Donnybrook last Saturday. Thanks to him for the entertaining puzzle and thanks to Bufo for the explanations.

    All my problems were situated in the SW corner but in each case it was a question of 1) assembling what the wordplay seemed to suggest, 2) looking it up with hope rather than expectation, 3) being relieved to find it listed (and with the required meaning).

    My ticks went to 11a, 3d and 19d.

  5. Gazza has perfectly described my general approach to many a clue, especially in toughie-land. I, too, was scrambling in the SW where, for me, there was a concentration of things that were new to me. I think I would add to Gazza’s recipe list a fourth step, that being trying to figure out what order to put the word-play pieces in. For instance I had both the sequence and the student in 17d, but it took me a while to figure out where the student entered the sequence, all for a cup that was unexpected (unlike Gazza’s relief, my reaction was more of astonishment). All this aside, I enjoyed this very much – the more so in that I was able to complete it (after my various inventions). Many thanks to Donnybrook and Bufo.

  6. Needed a bit of googling to check some of the answers.
    In 24a, I Googled yuan fen and it gave me something totally different but quite interesting.
    However, grim fell in 21a didn’t bring up anything.
    Admit to bung in 4d.
    Thanks to Bufo for the explanations and to Donnybrook for the challenge.

  7. We would describe this as a scorpion puzzle with a real sting in the tail located in the SW. Three words we had not heard before, 16a, 17d and 18d plus 22d which we understood as a note but hard to justify as a beat. From the wordplay and a bit of Google help we did get it all sorted. A pleasant solve for us.
    Thanks Donnybrook and Bufo.

  8. An enjoyable and pretty tough Toughie, with some unusual touches. ‘Many a fen’ and ‘fell’ come to mind as I post, with across winner 8, down winner 3. Nice to observe that the tricky words were clued in a very straightforward manner, which I found very helpful. For the record, I don’t mind tricky words in a Toughie, as long as I can work successfully from the clues.

    Thank you so much to Bufo for the informative blog, and to Donnybrook for another classy puzzle.

  9. Most enjoyable. This is a setter who speaks my language (meow!) but who is also well-versed in things I’m not.

    Some of those things got me today (yes, that SW) and, after holding out for some time, in the end I used a bit of looky-uppy help to get everything sorted.

    14a and 19d were good for my health, but my biggest smile was at 26a.

    Thanks Donnybrook and Bufo.

  10. SW corner was my downfall too, so I was grateful for the review. Thanks Bufo and Donnybrook.

  11. Thanks to Donnybrook and to Bufo for the review and hints. Good to meet Donnybrook at the birthday bash the other week. I managed to get into this puzzle and enjoyed very much. I needed 4 hints to finish, and I was pleased that I hadn’t heard of three of the words, or the revolutionary in 18d. Favourite was 7d. Was 3*/3* for me.

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