Toughie 2211 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2211

Toughie No 2211 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by Kitty

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BD Rating  –  Difficulty ** –  Enjoyment ***


Hi all.  Another very pleasant puzzle from Silvanus to get the four-day week of Toughies underway.  And a four-day weekend to look forward to as well!  I’m not quite sure how to rate the difficulty because most of it yielded easily, but there were a couple of stragglers and one (17d) which stubbornly refused to budge: I stared at for a few minutes at the end, teased by the helpful-looking checking letters, before giving in to temptation and using the Chambers app.

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    T-shirt, say, thrown over by salt pool (7)
JACKPOT:  What a T-shirt is an example of (T-shirt, say) reversed (thrown over) goes next to (by) — in this case after — a sailor (salt).  A pool of money to be won

5a    Flexible review of transaction with endless credit (7)
ELASTIC:  The reversal of (review of) a transaction of something in exchange for money with (not reversed) some credit or delayed payment minus its final letter (endless …)

9a    Queen maybe takes Queen at the end of game fifty (5)
RULER:  Two letters which stand for our current queen go at the end of the abbreviation for a game played with odd-shaped balls and the Roman numeral fifty

10a   Popular soldier behind the scenes (2,7)
IN PRIVATE:  The popular crossword word for popular plus a type of soldier

11a   Doctor, for instance, in period of residency (10)
OCCUPATION:  A double definition, the first being a job or profession, of which doctor is an example (say)

12a   Flood of ugly truths at heart (4)
GLUT:  The central two letters of (… at heart) each of the central two words of the clue

14a   Trained professional restoring nice portrait (12)
PRACTITIONER:  An anagram of (restoring) NICE PORTRAIT

18a   Every sled run is different? Absolutely (12)
UNRESERVEDLY:  EVERY SLED RUN is anagrammed (… is different)

21a   Outrageous if one child goes behind teacher’s back (4)
RICH:  The combination of the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for child follows (goes behind) the last letter of teacher (teacher’s back)

22a   Pioneer way to get friend mobile (10)
PATHFINDER:  A way or thoroughfare next to (to get) FRIEND, anagrammed (mobile)

25a   Having change of direction, quick to put on sporting event (9)
WIMBLEDON:  With one compass point exchanged for another (having change of direction), a word meaning quick or spry, then a verb to put on (clothing)

26a   Vast quantity of liquid applied when sunbathing topless, reportedly (5)
OCEAN:  Start with some sun protection goo without the first letter (topless) and listen for a word which sounds like the result (reportedly).  That’s the one we want

27a   One offering compensation concerning scratched piece of furniture (7)
DRESSER:  A compensator, with two letters meaning concerning or with reference to removed (scratched) (reDRESSER)

28a   Disdains tea dance gathering as an alternative option (7)
INSTEAD:  The first three words of the clue are containing (gathering) the answer



1d    Clash mostly over slang (6)
JARGON:  Clash or grate and all but the last letter of (mostly) a word meaning over or finished

2d    Material about love chaplain oddly suppresses (6)
CALICO:  Start with the single-letter abbreviation from the Latin for about and the letter symbolising love or zero.  The collection of the odd letters of (… oddly) ChApLaIn goes before (suppresses, in a down answer)

3d    Suspect a rapper has to express words differently (10)
PARAPHRASE:  An anagram of (suspect) A RAPPER HAS

4d    Fools succeeded being promoted, that’s an unexpected development (5)
TWIST:  Some idiots in which the single-letter abbreviation for succeeded is moved up (being promoted, in a down answer)

5d    Touchy student visiting exhibition is upset and very irritable ultimately (9)
EXPLOSIVE:  The letter which can stand for a learner diver (student) inside (visiting) an exhibition, followed by IS reversed (upset), the abbreviation for very, and the last letter of (… ultimately) irritable

6d    Heading away from work of Michelangelo deeply enthusiastic (4)
AVID:  The first letter (heading) removed from (away from) a famous sculpture by Michelangelo

7d    Pursuing trouble in Hertfordshire town (8)
TRAILING:  A synonym of trouble goes inside a small market town in Hertfordshire

8d    Awfully cute rare animal (8)
CREATURE:  An anagram of (awfully) CUTE RARE

13d   Bad holiday home overlooks fine house essentially (10)
VILLAINOUS:  A holiday home, especially abroad, precedes (overlooks, in a down answer) the interior letters (… essentially) of fine and of house

15d   Plant of Scotsman breaking new record (9)
CORIANDER:  One of our usual Scottish names inserted into (breaking) an anagram of (new) RECORD

16d   Had argument after coat becoming creased (8)
FURROWED:  A word meaning had an argument goes after a coat of animal hair

17d   Each month husband anticipates club perhaps rejecting old-fashioned coins (8)
DRACHMAE:  The combination of abbreviations for each, for month and for husband goes before (anticipates) something which may be a club, perhaps (or spade, or heart, or diamond); this lot is going backwards (rejecting).  As mentioned above, I failed here despite the helpful checkers.  Grr!

19d   Stick is occasionally handy where wife goes (6)
ADHERE:  Regular letters of (occasionally) hAnDy, plus the fifth word of the clue missing the abbreviation for wife (wife goes)

20d   Paid to keep secret what one did making Bush appear smart? (6)
PRUNED:  An abbreviation for paid containing (to keep) a secret or a mystic symbol, spell or song

23d   Content of dispatch in diplomatic language (5)
HINDI:  The answer is found as part of (content of) the last three words of the clue

24d   To the French it’s more  advantageous (4)
PLUS:  Two definitions to finish: a French word for more, or an English one which I can’t quite see on its own as an adjective meaning advantageous, but it’s in Chambers


Thanks, Silvanus.  I enjoyed 26a, and thought 8d an awfully cute anagram.  Which appealed to you?


These hints and tips are for anyone who might find them of use.  The asides and illustrations are to add a personal perspective and some colour.  The forum is for everyone.  Please 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.


17 comments on “Toughie 2211

  1. Three to go. Lovely puzzle. 1ac is a belter. Harder than the previous two puzzles published here by Silvanus. Thanks to Silvanus and to Kitty

  2. Very nice indeed. I would estimate that about half of my answers went in fairly smoothly and the other half needed some persistence to crack. The last elements for me were solving 26a & 20d and unravelling the parsing of 17d. (Kitty, in your preamble you mention 16d but did you mean 17d?)

    As usual Silvanus’ surfaces are super-smooth, and my page is littered with ticks. 26a was my favourite which is joined by 25a, 8d & 24d on my podium.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Kitty for a great Tuesday double-act.

  3. Super start to the Toughie week – let’s hope the rest of the week lives up to this one. My ticks went to 22a, 26a (excellent – I very rarely choose homophones for my ‘likes’ but this was great, and amusing to boot, implying that the sunbather had rather a large area to cover), 28a and 20d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and Kitty.

  4. Nothing too difficult here but this still took me a while to finish. Liked 26.

    Thanks to Kitty and Silvanus

  5. I too needed electronic help with 17d as I didn’t know that was the plural. It is I checked. I also had to check the meaning of the middle for letters of 20d.I know now. Too many favourites to list. Most enjoyable And most unusual for me to have finished both crosswords this early. Many thanks to Silvanus and Kitty for hosting the blog.

  6. Very enjoyable and, on completion, very pleased to find out that it was another from Silvanus – 2.5*/3.5*.

    Favourite a toss-up between 12a and 28a.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Kitty.

  7. I doubt that any other setter consistently produces such smooth surface reads as Silvanus – so much appreciated here.
    Took me a while to register that part of the required plant in 15d was an anagram and my other pause was with 11a where, with the first two checkers in place, I couldn’t get ‘oncologist’ out of my mind.

    Different choice of podium places to most other commenters – I went for 1&11a plus 1&7d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for a most enjoyable puzzle and to our Girl Tuesday for the blog – think I might need a sand kitten!

    1. I always feel it’s a sign of a good, well-balanced puzzle when many diverse favourites are nominated.

  8. Many thanks to Kitty for her decryptions and to everyone else who took the trouble to comment, it’s always interesting to read which clues were liked the most.

  9. Really enjoyed this, had no problem with 24d, as the phrase that is a **** came straight to mind. My ticks are by those already mentioned. Great surfaces. Thanks to Silvanus and Kitty

  10. We were a bit slow getting started at our usual starting point in the NW corner but once we were underway it all flowed relatively smoothly. Really good fun to solve and much appreciated.
    Thanks Silvanus and Kiity.

  11. This has my appreciation too. Took me a little longer than usual to find a way in, but slowly and surely it all came together. Thanks Silvanus, most enjoyable and thanks Kitty also for some much needed parsing along the way.

  12. Another really good puzzle which I enjoyed enormously. I had to think long and hard in places but the result was penny-drop moments, not groans. 26a is fab, in good company.

    Up there with the best and I look forward to more of these. Thanks Silvanus and Kitty for the blog.

  13. Was encouraged to have a go at this by recommendations from Cryptic bloggers and was not disappointed. Several anagrams made for a helpful kick-off. So many smooth surfaces make it difficult to pick a top dog but perhaps I will plump for 25a. Thank you Silvanus and Kitty.

  14. Well I am so glad, Kitty, that you were hung up on 17 d because that was my sticker. Even more confused because I tried to put an ‘s’ on the end but knew it wasn’t parsing. I did like 25a – I went to school there!

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