Toughie 2195 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2195

Toughie No 2195 by Musaeus

Hints and tips by Kitty

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BD Rating  –  Difficulty ** –  Enjoyment ***


Hi all.  We have a Musaeus puzzle today, which won’t be news to those in possession of the newspaper, but might be for early online solvers.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the Sleep buttons.



1a    One who backs husband against narrow-minded sort? (6,4)
BETTER HALF:  Put together someone who backs in the sense of puts money on, the abbreviation for husband and a narrow-minded man (Chambers doesn’t specify Australian, unlike Oxford and Collins)

9a    Recall grasping fat lady? (4)
DIVA:  Reverse (recall) a word meaning eagerly desirous (for) or greedy

10a   Be tense during windy noises — good luck (4,6)
BEST WISHES:  BE from the clue, then the grammar abbreviation for tense inside (during) the plural of an onomatopoeic word for a sound such as that made by the wind in the trees

11a   Goddess that makes the story exciting or sinks (6)
TETHYS:  This Greek goddess is an anagram of (that makes … exciting) THE ST[or]Y without “or” (or sinks)

12a   A rugby player, very large, is well-chosen (7)
APROPOS:  A charade of A (from the clue), a rugby player and the abbreviation for outsize (very large)

15a   Mediaeval pluckers sit with lust boiling (7)
LUTISTS:  SIT with LUST anagrammed (boiling)

16a   Go round with rapscallion (5)
WHEEL:  The abbreviation for with plus a despicable person

17a   Bread while seated in church (4)
CASH:  Bread and honey: money.  A word meaning while inside (seated in) an abbreviation for church

18a   Ushered back I find some delights in this shop (4)
DELI:  Ushered, reversed (back), plus I from the clue.  A supplementary wordplay: this food shop is also half of (some) delights

19a   Bit of toast, perhaps, cold and kind of red? (5)
CRUST:  The abbreviation for cold (seen on taps for example) followed by a shade of reddish-brown.  (I did wonder for a few seconds whether “rumb” could be a kind of red)

21a   Small, needing to get dispatched to be trained (7)
SKILLED:  The clothing abbreviation for small needs to have appended to it a word for dispatched in the sense of put to death

22a   Turncoat’s ultimate aim? (7)
TREASON:  The last letter of turncoat (turncoat’s ultimate) and then aim or motive, with the whole clue as a definition

24a   A Greek character with skill overturned shock (6)
TRAUMA:  A (from the clue), a Greek letter, and some skill, all reversed (overturned)

27a   Lawmaker improperly hosting party for US singer (6,4)
MEADOW LARK:  An anagram of (… improperly) LAWMAKER containing (hosting) a party or function.  The internet, Oxford and Collins all have this as one word, but (6,4) is what Chambers says

28a   Instrument of heartless caustic criticism (4)
VIOL:  A word meaning bitter criticism or malice (VI[tri]OL) without its central letters (heartless)

29a   Tip at the east end of Derby, say, makes you disgruntled (7,3)
CHEESED OFF:  Tip (a hat perhaps) goes to the right of (at the east end of) something of which Derby is an example (Derby, say)



2d    Uniform case finally dumped (4)
EVEN:  A case or instance in which the last letter has been removed (finally dumped)

3d    Tasteless ornamentation also in military show (6)
TATTOO:  Some poor quality items followed by a synonym of also

4d    Sort of trout I tucked into a brown liquid (7)
RAINBOW:  I (from the clue) inside (tucked into) an anagram of (… liquid) A BROWN

5d    Hotshot getting to grips with hard hurt (4)
ACHE:  A hotshot containing (getting to grips with) the pencil abbreviation for hard

6d    Son enthralled by occasional amount of dollars? (7)
FISTFUL:  Son, abbreviated, inside (enthralled by) occasional or sporadic

7d    Steward has sorties at sea (3,7)
AIR HOSTESS:  HAS SORTIES anagrammed (at sea)

8d    Musical soirée? WI enjoy this when they’re not singing? (3,7)
JAM SESSION:  This could be a period of making a preserve, something the WI are known for

12d   Case which needs objective  prosecuting (10)
ACCUSATIVE:  A grammatical case.  I think this is a double definition but my thinking originally was that “case” is the definition and the rest might have something to do with a type of court case

13d   Supplier of clean gas concerning new airports (10)
RESPIRATOR:  Concerning (2) plus an anagram of (new) AIRPORTS

14d   Singular, grim chip (5)
SHARD:  Join together an abbreviation for singular and grim or severe

15d   Most slight English in terminal (5)
LEAST:  An abbreviation for English goes in terminal in the sense of final

19d   Cold cream I replaced in china cup, for example (7)
CERAMIC:  The abbreviation for cold we saw in 19a followed by an anagram of (… replaced) CREAM I

20d   After caper, old Detective Sergeant stands for cameras? (7)
TRIPODS:  After a jaunt or outing we have abbreviations for old and for Detective Sergeant

23d   Behaved like invaders, possibly being cornered? (6)
ANGLED:  Could this mean behaved like some post-Roman invaders?  Possibly …  

25d   Judge tries this  jacket (4)
CASE:  A double definition.  For further help, you could refer to 12d

26d   In favour of female head of dept at uni (4)
PROF:  “In favour of” and the abbreviation for female.  Dept is used to indicate that the answer is also an abbreviation


Thanks to Musaeus.  Which were your favourites today?


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.


14 comments on “Toughie 2195

  1. A very enjoyable ‘Tuesday Toughie’ to start the Toughie week, completed at a fast gallop – **/****.

    As suggested by Kitty above, I had no idea who the setter was, at the time of solving, as the DT Puzzle Site listing had not been updated. I don’t think that spoiled the enjoyment.

    As I had never heard of her, I did have to look up 11a after coming up with two plausible solutions.

    Favourite – 8d – describing a WI meeting thus just appeals to my sense of humour.

    Thanks to Musaeus and Kitty.

  2. I think that as far as 3 down is concerned, the setter has got it absolutely spot on with just first two words of the clue.

  3. I didn’t know that ‘Alf’ was Australian slang for a narrow-minded person. I thought of Alf Garnett but perhaps I should be thinking of Alf in ‘Home and Away’.

  4. Very enjoyable puzzle, one I would have completed faster had I not opted (as I suspect Senf saw but avoided) for the wrong Greek goddess.
    Mrs B delighted to have spotted her old occupation as 7d which got me back on track with the H in the right place.
    Intentional confusion by the setter or just coincidence, I wonder?
    Anyway, many thanks to Musaeus and Kitty

    1. For the goddess, I saw that it was an anagram, as described by Kitty, and I had the checkers so it was just a case of getting the non-checkers in the right places. Fortunately, my first guess at the last part turned out to be correct.

  5. A pleasant puzzle – thanks to Musaeus and Kitty (especially for the plucking song).
    I share Kitty’s hmming about 23d and I thought that a few of the surfaces (e.g. 11a and 13d) were not terribly smooth.
    My ticks were awarded to 21a and 8d.

  6. Like Mac, I had Alf Garnett in mind for the narrow-minded sort in 1a – the Australian term was something of a revelation.
    I also, like Kitty, wondered briefly about ‘rumb’ as a shade of red until common sense and a checker came to my rescue!
    I did have to look up the 11a goddess – so many of them and most with unlikely sounding names.

    Top two for me were 24a (pleased that Chambers has it as two words) and 8d which conjured up an amusing picture.

    Thanks to Musaeus and to our 24a Girl Tuesday for her usual excellent review and info.

  7. Ditto all of the above. A relatively gentle, but highly enjoyable start to the toughie week. I’m glad I’m not the only one to have been challenged by Greek goddesses, and for me, the US singer was equally off the beaten track. Many thanks to all.

  8. This is very early for me to finish both crosswords apart from I had oboe for 28a and a word very similar to the answer for 12d. However I couldn’t parse it and whilst looking at the hint I inadvertently clicked the answer. Obviously I got 12d straight away but I can’t claim to have completed it. Very enjoyable though. My favourite was 8d for obvious reasons. I do find toughies more difficult than most of you. Many thanks to Musaeus and Mr. K.

  9. I thought the US singer was a Harlem Globetrotter
    I though Alf was of the Garnett persuasion and commented quietly to myself about a bigoted TV character from so long ago.
    I spotted the double deli and got olives and sun dried tomatoes for lunch with crusty bread.
    I thought of Merusa from the other side at 7d
    There is more to the WI in 8d than making preserves and singing
    I rarely bother Greek Godesses. The last one I did have have anything to do with had a father who ran me off with a shotgun and a hunting knife.
    Pleasant puzzle. Ta to all

  10. I don’t usually venture into Toughie Land but I found this relatively accessible and very enjoyable. I needed the odd hint or two plus our friend Mr Google to make a go of it though.
    Favourite definitely 8d.
    Thanks to Kitty for the explanations and to the setter.
    Incidentally did anyone else initially have “scrap” for 14d!

  11. We solved this as a Mr Ron offering but that did not detract from the enjoyment. Our last one in was the goddess so we had all the checkers in place which was a big help.
    Thanks Musaeus and Kitty.

  12. The goddess gave me a little difficulty at the close, as did the musical soiree, but any problems elsewhere were more to do with me running out of steam this time of night than any inherent difficulty. A good puzzle, enjoyed.

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