Toughie 2175 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2175

Toughie No 2175 by Musaeus

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Hello and welcome one and all.  Musaeus is fairly new to the Toughie series and so far I’ve had rather mixed experiences with his puzzles.  For me this was a return to the Musaeus we saw in his first appearance here: not too hard but very enjoyable.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the buttons.  As usual you may click on pictures to enlarge them or uncover hidden extras.



1a    Cover pan with a lid wanting soft snack (6,6)
JACKET POTATO:  Put together a cover or coat (6) and a kitchen container with the A from the clue and a three-letter lid without (wanting) the musical abbreviation for soft

9a    Plastic in globe’s base (7)
IGNOBLE:  An anagram of (plastic) IN GLOBE.  The answer always reminds me of these brilliant awards

10a   It’s a big blow being in two minds before a party (7)
TORNADO:  “In two minds” comes before A (from the clue) and our usual two-letter party or function

11a   Sincere Director-General avoiding Plod (4)
TRUE:  Don’t be misled by the capitalisation: plod here is to tread wearily.  Remove the abbreviation for Director-General from a suitable synonym and what you’re left with will be right

12a   One travelling in caravan arrived close to pound (5)
CAMEL:  Arrived (4) next to (close to) an abbreviation for pound

13a   Pieces on board you loudly list (4)
MENU:  Pieces on a chess or draughts board followed by the letter which sounds like (… loudly) you

16a   Robin was one in need of support I learnt sadly (7)
RELIANT:  The Robin was a make of car by this manufacturer.  An anagram (… sadly) of I LEARNT

17a   Such as could sink some layabout or PE dodger (7)
TORPEDO:  This underwater missile is contained within some of the words of the clue

18a   Cancelled test, for example, with a holler (7)
WASHOUT:  The test might be a cricket match.  Concatenate the abbreviation for with, A (from the clue), and a loud call

21a   Scare off — right time to get involved? (7)
STARTLE:  Slightly off, or no longer fresh, with abbreviations for right and for time inserted (to get involved)

23a   In bag’s a compact (4)
NEAT:  In a verb to bag or catch is (‘s) the A from the clue

24a   Power behind serve (5)
PLATE:  The physics symbol for power is followed by behind or overdue.  Serve or dish out food

25a   A con set back festival (4)
GALA:  A plus a jailbird all reversed (set back)

28a   Old city male, one folding paper? (7)
ORIGAMI:  Assemble in order the abbreviation for old, the capital of Latvia, the abbreviation for male and the Roman numeral one

29a   Prudent to have liquidity in encouraging economic situation (7)
UPTREND:  PRUDENT anagrammed (to have liquidity)

30a   Rum snaps hid a crack in cake (6,6)
DANISH PASTRY:  An anagram of (rum) SNAPS HID A plus a crack or attempt



1d    Flower Juliet stuck to detailed duvet (7)
JONQUIL:  The letter represented in the NATO alphabet by Juliet (actually spelled Juliett to make it clear that the final T is pronounced), then stuck to or next to (2), and finally all but the last letter of (de-tailed) a padded bedcover.  I had to rely on the wordplay anyway, but the flower is actually a flower

2d    Prompt accepting book is the product of three factors (4)
CUBE:  A prompt containing (accepting) the abbreviation for book.  In maths, the product of three equal factors

3d    Fine European member on social worker (7)
ELEGANT:  This is a charade of an abbreviation for European, a bodily member, and a social worker insect

4d    Forgiving touch over one hospital dept? (7)
PATIENT:  A light touch preceding (over, in a down answer) the Roman one and a hospital department (abbreviated, as generously indicated by dept)

5d    Limit where Queen is in matter (4)
TERM:  This was my last to parse as I’d seen the queen in the middle of the answer and was trying to understand why the remaining two (or indeed three) letters could mean matter.  Nope! — it’s the location of the two letters which stand for our queen (or alternatively a single-letter abbreviation for a queen) in the word “matter”: at the end or limit

6d    Where swingers swing? Turning role without difficulty, we hear (7)
TRAPEZE:  A role, reversed (turning …), followed by a homophone (… we hear) of a word meaning lack of difficulty

7d    International Court in perfect slot? You’ll see the whole view here (7,6)
PICTURE WINDOW:  Abbreviations for international and for court go in perfect or unadulterated.  After this goes a slot or a place in a schedule

8d    Cracking upside with doorman — this shows how it’s done (5,8)
MODUS OPERANDI:  This way of working (one often abbreviated and used in wordplay) is an anagram of (cracking) UPSIDE with DOORMAN

14d   We paddle in this wild ocean (5)
CANOE:  An anagram of (wild) OCEAN

15d   Bishop pored over brass (5)
BREAD:  The chess abbreviation for bishop precedes a word meaning studied written information.  Brass is, like the answer, a slang term for money

19d   Wrong about cap on American energy (7)
STAMINA:  A wrong or misdeed goes around (about) a type of cap; this all goes before (on, in a down answer) an abbreviation for American

20d   Demanding the other hard shawl for prayer (7)
TALLITH:  A charade of demanding (as in a ____ order), “the other” (2), and the pencil abbreviation for hard.  A Jewish prayer shawl

21d   Pottery that is sort of orange (7)
SATSUMA:  Two definitions: a type of Japanese pottery, or a small citrus fruit.  When searching for images, I was amused by the inclusion in some of an object to show scale: naturally, an apple.  And one banana

22d   Elderly going into venture for, say, Sophoclean drama (7)
TRAGEDY:  An adjective meaning elderly inside (going into) venture or endeavour

26d   I had a week getting up in dry bed (4)
WADI:  The contraction of “I had,” A from the clue, and an abbreviation for week, all reversed (getting up, in a down answer).  A dry riverbed

27d   Don’t change this! Cowboy hat son disposed of (4)
STET:  An instruction to ignore an alteration on a proof is formed by taking a famous brand of cowboy hat and removing “son” (son disposed of)


Thanks to Musaeus.  My favourites today are 1a, 9a and 29a.  I might also mention the simple gems 23a and 24a, and I also liked 19d.  Which did you find tasty?


These hints and tips are for anyone who might find them of use.  Asides and illustrations are to add a personal perspective and some colour.  The forum is for everyone.  Do leave a comment if you need anything clarified, have any corrections or suggestions, or if there’s anything else you’d like to say.


16 comments on “Toughie 2175

  1. I didn’t find this particularly tough but it was certainly very enjoyable.

    I didn’t know (or had forgotten?) the answer to 20d and the non-fruity meaning of 21d. I couldn’t parse 5d or understand how “close to pound” led to the last letter of 12a until I read Kitty’s review.

    Many thanks to Musaeus and to Kitty.

  2. I’ve not a lot to say about this one. I didn’t know the 1d flower or the 20d shawl (but both were gettable from the wordplay) and I wasn’t keen on ‘without difficulty’ in 6d requiring the homophone of a noun.

    My favourite clue was 21a. Thanks to Musaeus and Kitty.

  3. Any puzzle that provides food a 1ac will float my boat. If it also gives us a loaf, fruit and cake its a winner all round. We even got a list of meals and something to eat them off. Thanks to a pre-emptive Kitty for removing the Director General. I am not sure I would ever have got rid of him or her.. Thanks to the Masseuse (I haven’t got my glasses) for the rub down.

  4. For 5d I had TURN as the answer.

    ER comes after T in MATTER. If the queen is after (a cup of) tea then she will be at the tea urn (T URN).

    Well it made sense to me!

  5. Quite easy. Actually I would go as far as to say that there are one or two real back-pager clues (polite term for ‘chestnuts’) here, inc the OCEAN one.

    I too liked the use of ‘off’ in 21a, so I’ll plump for that one.

    Thank you Museaeus and Kitty.

  6. Fairly straightforward and reasonably enjoyable although some of the surface reads made me wince a bit.
    I did need to check on the 20d shawl (probably just forgotten it) and wasn’t very keen on 5d.

    Favourite was 24a.

    Thanks to Musaeus and to our inimitable Girl Tuesday. Thoroughly enjoyed reading about the 9a awards and learning how to roll a 16a!

  7. We had real problems with the pesky four letter 5d. We had the right answer from definition and checkers but could not work out the wordplay. We always think of ‘term’ as a period of time and needed a browse of BRB this morning to note that the first meaning listed there is “an end” so at last it all makes sense.
    The rest of the puzzle had all gone smoothly for us with plenty of smiles.
    Thanks Musaeus and Kitty

  8. Yes , very enjoyable . All the anagrams helped .
    My favourite was 2d and I admired the surface reading of 14d , among others .
    Thanks to kitty and Musaeus .

  9. Thanks to MP & Kitty for hints to try the “dark side” in the backpager blog.
    Only needed 3 hints to finish what was fot me very enjoyable & just doable for me.
    My first car was the forerunner to the Robin the Regal 3/25 which I could drive on a motorbike licence. 3 wheels & 25 horsepower as I recall. All 25 of the horses must have been ready for the knackers yard though.
    Thanks to setter & Kitty for review and needed explanations.

  10. Quite enjoyed this rare ( for me anyway) excursion into Toughie Land, but was effectively beaten by 5d. Having thought about the hint for a while I can now ‘see’ it. Quite clever. Thanks to all.

  11. Just started and finished this this morning. All straight forward and enjoyable, but I still don’t understand 5d despite Kitty’s best endeavours.

    1. Hi Ray. It’s hard sometimes to give hints which are also full parsings. Spelling things out without spelling things out is the challenge of blogging for BD!

      ER (the queen) is at the end (term) of mattER. It slightly complicates things that you could alternatively take the queen as R (regina).

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