Toughie 2209 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2209

Toughie No 2209 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A pleasant puzzle with very little that was obscure

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Calculating a reviewer dismissing debut will keep them unsettled (10)
ARITHMETIC: A + a reviewer with the first letter removed round an anagram (unsettled) of THEM

6a    Response from energy company, bringing in source of heat (4)
ECHO: Abbreviations for ‘energy’ and ‘company’ round the first letter (source) of HEAT

9a    Good place for running film music (10)
SOUNDTRACK: ‘In good condition’ + a course on which races are run

10a    Name written in blue or yellowish-brown (4)
SAND: N (name) in ‘blue’ or ‘unhappy’

12a    Couple stepping back in little dance (6)
MINUET: Take a word meaning ‘little’ and reverse the last two letters

13a    Item for middle of play requiring space in middle of scenery (8)
ENTR’ACTE: A piece of music or other performance between acts of a play = an extent of space inside the middle three letters of SCENERY. I knew this word existed though I didn’t know what it meant

15a    Poem excited ladies so in actor’s words (8,4)
PARADISE LOST: A poem by Milton = an anagram (excited) of LADIES SO inside the words of a play spoken by an actor

18a    Storm? Provide protection from it, perhaps (5,3,4)
RAISE THE ROOF: This term for ‘to storm’ or ‘to be extremely angry’ could also be something that could be done to keep out bad weather

21a    Fifty tucking into meat, perhaps flambé, visible in the dark (8)
FLOODLIT: L (fifty) inside something that might be meat + ‘flambe’

22a    Article with sentimentality about British raid (6)
AMBUSH: The indefinite article + ‘sentimentality’ round B (British)

24a    First person from Germany to go round North Island (4)
INCH: The German word for ‘I’ round N (North)

25a    Senior role in priesthood (I should replace one old, doddery) (10)
EDITORSHIP: An anagram (doddery) of PRIESTHIOD, i.e. PRIESTHOOD with one letter O (old) replaced by I

26a    Ordinary outlet for fumes more than enough for this kitchen fixture (4)
OVEN: O (ordinary) + an outlet for fumes with the last letter removed

27a    Gloomy tree having special quality in curious sense, one observes (3-7)
EYE-WITNESS: A gloomy tree traditionally planted in churchyards + a special quality inside an anagram (curious) of SENSE


1d    Take on whole wearing legal action? Not at first (6)
ASSUME: The whole inside a legal action with the first letter removed

2d    A summer date picked up after catching new lizard (6)
IGUANA: A reversal of A and the first day of the seventh month round N (new)

3d    Ulterior motive that could delay the meeting? (6,6)
HIDDEN AGENDA: The meeting might be delayed because the programme of business has been concealed

4d    Regret turning up zero money (4)
EURO: A reversal of ‘to regret’ + O (zero)

5d    Including space on record of a provocative nature (10)
INCENDIARY: An abbreviated form of ‘including’ + a space used in printing + a daily record

7d    Happen to find church without name when going round named church? (6,2)
CHANCE ON: An abbreviation for ‘church’ + ‘lacking a name’ round the Church of England

8d    Party upset over million in damages? They’re just a few items (8)
ODDMENTS: A reversal of a party + M (million) in ‘damages’

11d    Remit implied by this honour? (5,2,5)
ORDER OF MERIT: A reverse anagram (or reversal) in which the third word is an anagram of REMIT and the first two words provide an anagram indicator

14d    When a shock is even harder to bear? (3,4,3)
BAD HAIR DAY: A cryptic definition for a period of time that doesn’t start well and then gets worse. The shock is to be found on the head

16d    German noble has tantrum over evidence of vandalism? (8)
GRAFFITO: A German count + a tantrum + O (over)

17d    One’s broken up soldiers heading off into club? (8)
DIVORCEE: Someone who has permanently broken up with their spouse = ‘soldiers’ with the first letter removed inside a disreputable club

19d    Suggestion taken up over her playing card game in Chicago? (6)
EUCHRE: A reversal of a a suggestion round an anagram (playing) of HER gives a North American card game. Fortunately I had heard of this card game

20d    Wrap up copies in various forms (6)
SHAPES: ‘Wrap up!’ or ‘Stop talking!’ + ‘copies’

23d    Tight spot, trouble initially appearing in three directions (4)
STEW: The first letter of TROUBLE inside three of the four cardinal points of the compass


10 comments on “Toughie 2209

  1. This was good fun and relatively straightforward for a Toughie. A plus mark for indicating that the card game in 19d is American and a minus for the incorrect enumeration for 13a. We had the same answer very recently when it was correctly enumerated.

    11d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Kcit and to Bufo.

  2. Pleasant enough – thanks to Kcit and Bufo.
    I used to play the 19d card game but I was surprised to find it classified as American since it’s popular in South-West England.
    Top clues for me were 3d and 14d.

    [I think you’ve got your 1a wrong in the 2d hint]

  3. Enjoyed this one, despite not knowing either the German count or the required card game. I also can’t recall having seen 16d with that last letter before today.
    Took me quite a while to determine the one who’d broken up although I had the right club in mind from the outset.

    Top three for me were 9a plus 3&14d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the blog.

  4. I enjoyed this and found the absence of things that were obscure to me a refreshing change. I even knew the island (which I think has appeared before in a puzzle). I also knew the item in the middle of play in 13a – I think we have had this relatively recently as well, except this time I spelled it correctly, which helped. Many thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  5. 13a was a new word here and its apostrophe didn’t help, needless to say.

    Overall 3*/3* with special mentions to 15a and 7d.

    16d is a word that seems only ever to be used in the true singular in crosswordland, elsewhere the plural is used as a singular. All very odd.

    Thanks to Bufo and Kcit.

  6. I often browse this site from an iPad, thus using Apple’s Safari browser. Since the most recent update, to IOS 12.2 in the last couple of days, I’m now seeing “Not Secure” in grey letters next to the website name. Any ideas anyone (like Mr Kitty)?

    I run a website that’s also from WordPress, but I’m not seeing that there.

    1. Both my pc and my tablet have shown ‘not secure’ in the grey area for as long as I can remember.

  7. We were pleased to find the place where we and the setter live getting a mention in the 24a clue. That has to be our favourite.
    It took us much longer than it should have to sort out the anagram in 25a.
    A pleasant solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  8. An enjoyable puzzle that took me only a little more time than today’s (a little tough!) back pager. Held up somewhat by 13ac and 17d at the close.

  9. A most absorbing solve that took a lot of getting into. Once a few clues were solved, others fairly soon fell into place thanks to a few checking letters and to some help from the hints as well. Too many excellent clues to pick a favourite. Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo.

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