Toughie 2213 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2213

Toughie No 2213 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I’ve had a complete break from my usual Thursday routine today and it wasn’t until 1.30 that I discovered that it was Thursday and that I had a blog to write. Fortunately this puzzle provided me with my quickest Toughie solve for quite some time and so the blog isn’t as late as it might have been. It’s difficult to give an enjoyment rating when the fun is over so quickly

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Scary pieces in performance having no end of effect (8)
MENACING: Chess pieces + ‘performing’ minus the last letter of EFFECT

9a    Flier‘s overcoat misplaced or untraceable (6)
AVOCET: A type of bird is an anagram (misplaced) of OVECAT, i.e. OVERCOAT less the letters of OR

10a    Group of rescue volunteers held back powerful emotion (4)
LOVE: Hidden in reverse in RESCUE VOLUNTEERS

11a    Rub at smuts spoiling foundation (10)
SUBSTRATUM: An anagram (spoiling) of RUB AT SMUTS

12a    Shadowy overhang built in to gallery’s wings (6)
GLOOMY: ‘To overhang threateningly’ inside the first and last letters (wings) of GALLERY

14a    Working together with officer periodically (2,3,3)
ON AND OFF: ‘Working’ + ‘together with’ + an abbreviated form of officer

15a    International in twenty-four hours? Piece of cake! (6)
DAINTY: An abbreviated form of international inside a 24-hour period

17a    They say starter perhaps is lacking in taste (6)
COARSE: A homophone of what a starter of a meal is an example of

20a    Created a dry pub? That’s not allowed! (8)
DEBARRED: This word could also conceivably refer to the removal of a counter where alcohol is served

22a    Happy the solver’s participating in joke, up to a point (6)
JOYOUS: A pronoun denoting the solver inside ‘joke’ JOSH with the last letter removed

23a    Wing-walking alone? (3,2,1,4)
OUT ON A LIMB: This could conceivably say where you’d be if you were walking on a wing

24a    Husband swallowed powerful emotion (4)
HATE: H (husband) + ‘swallowed’

25a    Fence of stakes to provide odd fish (6)
WEIRDO: A fence of stakes set in a stream for catching fish + ‘to provide’ = an odd fish or an eccentric person

26a    Composing number including middle section in old style (8)
SOOTHING: A vocal number round the middle four letters of a 6-letter word denoting an old style of architecture GOTHIC


1d    Sprang back and did the twist again? (8)
RECOILED: A prefix denoting ‘again’ + ‘wound in rings’

2d    Hamlet — as described by 12 — having some verbena dotted around? (4)
DANE: Hidden in reverse in VERBENA DOTTED. This word is often prefixed by the answer to 12 across to describe Hamlet

3d    Shame about Green Berets’ outerwear — it’s a mess! (6)
PIGSTY: ‘Shame’ round the first and last letters of G[REEN BERET]S

4d    Caper — not cold — put into pudding is capital (8)
SANTIAGO: A caper with the letter C (cold) removed goes inside a pudding to give a South American capital city

5d    Resident bowler in grudge match? (5,5)
LOCAL DERBY: A resident + a bowler (hat)

6d    Beat back expert supporting divinity (6)
REBUFF: Divinity (as a school subject) + an expert

8d    Ignoring following, fobbing off historian (6)
GIBBON: An anagram (off) of OBBING, i.e. FOBBING minus F (following) gives an English historian who wrote about the Roman Empire

13d    Where in Paris I dig difficult road for panel conveying messages (5,5)
OUIJA BOARD: The French word for ‘where’ + I + ‘to dig’ + an anagram (difficult) of ROAD

16d    Plant, originally treating aluminium recyclables, recently accepted glass or nickel (8)

18d    Coming out from questionable interest group, carelessly store away … (8)
ERUPTING: An anagram (questionable) of INTEREST GROUP minus the letters of STORE

19d    … announcements about American university’s grants (6)
ADMITS: Announcements of goods or services round a research university in the Boston metropolitan area

21d    Compositions for training Sue and Ted to play (6)
ETUDES: An anagram (to play) of SUE TED

22d    ‘One Prophesying Destiny’ appearing in miscellany (3,3)
JOB LOT: An Old Testament prophet + destiny

24d    Amused expression from ambassador — on helium! (2-2)
HE-HE: An abbreviation for an ambassador’s title + the atomic symbol for helium

That’s the second time recently that I haven’t remembered that it’s Thursday. I must do better next week.


14 comments on “Toughie 2213

  1. Enjoyable puzzle on the gentle side – thanks to Firefly and Bufo.

    There are a number of ‘opposites’ symmetrically placed in the grid which I wouldn’t have spotted without the double dose of ‘powerful emotion’. This made me wonder whether Firefly has done this before and nobody’s noticed.

    My favourite clue was 22d.

  2. Bufo, if you look at the back-pager blog today you will see that it is not in fact Thursday. According to Ray S, it’s Tdursdat.

    I couldn’t really warm to this Toughie. There were a few clues for which I went hmm after I’d parsed them and, although I haven’t counted, it seemed as if there were an awful lot of cases of chopping off a letter or letters.

    I liked 5d & 22d.

    Thanks to Firefly and to Bufo.

  3. I thought 20a was a bit of a stretch and my concept of 15a is of an individual small cake rather than a ‘piece’. Those aside, this was an OK but not particularly 22a solve.
    9a was my favourite, not due to the clue but simply because it’s in my top three of birds. One of my lounge walls is adorned with a framed photo of the first one I saw – such elegant birds.

    Thanks to Firefly and to Bufo for the blog.

    1. I think you’re being a tad harsh about 15a. A piece can be an individual thing; a chess piece, say, or a 10p piece.

          1. I think that, to follow your analogy, it would have to be sensible for one to refer to a 15a being a ‘cake piece’ and that doesn’t sound right to me.
            Perhaps we just have to agree to differ?

  4. I enjoyed this – I too saw the opposites mentioned by Gazza above – as I said to him earlier today, Firefly’s crosswords are usually short and sweet so it is difficult to remember whether you’ve seen particular devices before

    Thank you to Firefly and Bufo

  5. 22a where does the JOS come from.? It’not Joke with the last letter removed and 3D needs the “s” of Berets.
    Being picky!

  6. Hard to know what I thought of this but hey ho I did it so I’m happy. Isn’t 3d the first and last lawyers of green berets? I do read the hints to make sure my reasoning is correct. Favourites were 14a and 22d just because it to so long to see them. Many thanks to Firefly and Bufo.

  7. We had spotted one pair of opposites but had over-looked the other three sets until we came here.
    Our last in was 18d where it took a while to sort out how the wordplay worked.
    Enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Firefly and Bufo.

  8. Good puzzle, much gentler than yesterday’s. I wouldn’t have spotted the opposites if they hadn’t been pointed out, but nicely done.

Comments are closed.