Toughie 2261 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2261

Toughie No 2261 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Kcit seems to have upped the difficulty level in the last two of his puzzles that I have blogged. This was a challenging and enjoyable puzzle. Crypticsue had already alerted me to the problem in 26 across by the time I started solving so I didn’t have to waste any time scratching my head about it

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Criticising Belgium needing illumination about origin of long-term urban decay (8,6)
PLANNING BLIGHT: ‘Criticising’, B (Belgium) and a source of illumination round the first letter of LONG-TERM. This gives a term for the harmful effects of uncertainty about likely restrictions on the types and extent of future development in a particular area on the quality of life of its inhabitants and the normal growth of its business and community enterprises. I lifted that convoluted definition from Collins English Dictionary.

9a    Work repeatedly round part of hospital without a roof (4-3)
OPEN-TOP: Two occurrences of the abbreviation for a musical work goes round a particular department in a hospital to give ‘without a roof (like some vehicles)’

10a    Keep beginnings of old business and start to rally (7)
OBSERVE: ‘To keep’ = the first letters of OLD and BUSINESS and the word for putting the ball into play at tennis so that a rally can start

11a    Frontless lingerie item creating a stir (4)
EDDY: Remove the first letter from a one-piece undergarment for a woman, combining panties and chemise. I had to ask Mrs Bufo about this one because, having led a sheltered life, I had never heard of the undergarment

12a    Back lead craftsman — that will involve one not taking sides (10)
BIPARTISAN: A reversal of the atomic symbol for lead and a skilled craftsman round I (one) = ‘consisting of or supported by two political parties’

14a    Definitely not convenient to limit most of enemy’s retreat (2,4)
NO FEAR: ‘Definitely not!’ = ‘conveniently placed’ round a reversal of an enemy with the last letter removed

15a    Nuisance about airmen needing fine oil (8)
PARAFFIN: A tiresome or annoying person (nuisance) round the branch of the armed services that flies planes and F (fine)

17a    Mob hero is bundle of nerves (8)
GANGLION: A mob + a hero or person of unusual courage = a collection of nerve cells

18a    Welsh girl cheered last members of rugby teams (6)
GLADYS: A given female name of Welsh origin = ‘cheered’ or ‘happy’ + the last letters of RUGBY and TEAMS

21a    Urging son to participate in playing tennis to break ice (10)
INSISTENCE: S (son) inside an anagram (playing) of TENNIS inside ICE

22a    Make unclear comments about book, forgetting book at the end (4)
BLUR: Remove B (book) from the end of a publisher’s commendatory description of a book that is usually printed on the jacket

24a    Feeling strangely warm beside fireplace (7)
ATINGLE: ‘Beside’ + a fireplace

25a    Significant card — hearts — securing current victory (7)
TRIUMPH: A playing card of a suit that ranks above all cards of other suits and H (hearts) round the one-letter symbol denoting electric current

26a    (ORIGINAL CLUE) Legislator to look different about following honest source of money
(REVISED CLUE) Legislator to look different about following male criminal (4,2,3,5)
PEER OF THE REALM: ‘To look narrowly or closely’ + ‘different’ round F (following) + an anagram (criminal) of MALE. The original clue appears to generate an R too many and it has now been replaced in the online version



1d    Nutritional compound for most of soccer team? I will tuck in (7)
PROTEIN: ‘For’ or ‘in favour of’ + one less than the number of players in a soccer team round I

2d    Securing personal best is not yet appreciated (5,2,4,4)
AHEAD OF ONE’S TIME: This term that means ‘having ideas too advanced or progressive enough to be acceptable at present’ could also mean that you have gone faster than ever before

3d    Enthusiastic rising star securing opening in television (4)
NUTS: A reversal of our solar system’s star round the first letter of TELEVISION

4d    Protective item affording you doze, snooze and kip? (6)
NAPKIN: The first three letters form a synonym of ‘doze’, ‘snooze’ and ‘kip’. The second three letters indicate that the words ‘doze’, ‘snooze’ and ‘kip’ are related

5d    A means to support calamity or surprise (4,4)
BLOW AWAY: A sudden misfortune or calamity + A + a means or method = ‘to surprise or excite’

6d    Always demanding abandonment of banalities (10)
INSATIABLE: An anagram (abandonment of) of BANALITIES

7d    Drama: foolish men involved in unavoidable contradiction (5,2,1,7)
HORNS OF A DILEMMA: An anagram (involved) of DRAMA FOOLISH MEN

8d    Trust the French — writer remaining unknown (4,2)
LEAN ON: The French definite article + the name given to an unknown writer

13d    Sweet stuff seeing mega-pulsar spinning (5,5)
MAPLE SUGAR: An anagram (spinning) of MEGA-PULSAR

16d    Turned round holding single from Parisian showing little appreciation of music (4-4)
TONE-DEAF: A reversal of ’round’ or ‘plump’ round ONE and the French word for ‘from’

17d    Stop omitting intro in jazz piece, taking up instrument (6)
GUITAR: ‘To stop’ with the first letter removed inside a reversal (taking up) of a piece of jazz music with a highly syncopated melody

19d    Tropical grass, repulsive, trimmed after rising smell (7)
SORGHUM: A reversal of ‘repulsive’ with the last letter removed + a strong unpleasant small

20d    Put an end to possible cause of alcoholism? (6)
SCOTCH: 2 meanings: to put an end to or frustrate/whisky

23d    Upset for bar bouncer, say (4)
LIAR: A reversal of a bar forming a support give someone who might exaggerate (tell a bouncer)


10 comments on “Toughie 2261

  1. I thought this was 2-3* Toughie difficulty, even allowing for my quest to find a home for the spare R in 26a . I did wonder how many Welsh girls are actually called 18a these days?

    Thanks to Kcit, Bufo and Mrs Bufo too

  2. I found this not too difficult – presumably because of the low level of obscurities and GK. Like Bufo I am not an expert on ladies undies – I guessed it might be “beddy” but no! I have not heard the term in 1a before but it was easily guessed. 4d left me with uncertainty – the answer was obvious with checking letters and I did think of Bufo’s explanation but was far from convinced at the time. I have not seen this use of kin in crosswords before.
    26a was a bit strange but I learn it was an error in the cluing – I had never heard of EAL meaning honest! One of the first words to come into my mind in 18a was hookers – luckily it did not fit and there aren’t any in Wales.
    I had to guess 22d (fortunately, correctly) but did not see a connection with bouncers and I still don’t really understand it after reading Bufo’s blog

    Thanks to the setter and Bufo

  3. Haven’t particularly enjoyed this setter’s recent puzzles in another place but thought this one was perfectly acceptable – except for the ‘R’ problem in 26a.
    Needed Bufo’s help with parsing 4d – maybe a bit of a stretch? – and didn’t know that term for a 23d.

    In my 11 years on Anglesey I have only come across one Welsh 18a and she is definitely a lady of a ‘certain age’!

    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the review.

  4. I think this is the first Toughie I have finished without any help. I had no idea what the undergarment was but took a guess for the answer. What is the first letter that has to be removed? Thanks to all for an enjoyable solve today

  5. No changes to the layout on my windows phone. The site is exactly the same and doesn’t check my browser before opening. Microsoft is just fab.
    Needed Bufo to understand 10a, 4d and the mistake in 26a.
    Thanks to Kcit for the puzzle and to Bufo for the review.

  6. Must admit that we had not noticed the extra R in the wordplay for 26a when we were solving.
    A good challenge and a pleasant solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  7. Agree with CS.

    Thanks to Bufo for a couple of clarifications whilst parsing and thanks to Kcit for an enjoyable puzzle.

  8. Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, it’s taken me since Thursday, gradually whittling it down. Great fun, just needed the hints to parse a few. Favourite was 15a. Was 3*/4* for me.

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