Toughie 457 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 457

Toughie No 457 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I found this far more difficult than I’ve come to expect from Kcit. To some extent this was a consequence of the grid in which there are less checked letters than usual and a lot of first letters that are unchecked. I struggled with the last few answers and eventually had to “cheat” to get 17 down. There appears to be an error in 15 across.

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7a    Student in time getting support for part of maths course (7)
{ALGEBRA} L (student) in a long period of time + the support for part of the female anatomy gives a branch of mathematics

8a    Party goers losing heart under supervision? It’s a drag (7)
{DOGSLED} a 2-letter party + the first and last letters of GOERS + a word meaning “under supervision” gives something that animals drag over snow

10a    Chap lasted out end of Stalinism? Not this poet (10)
{MANDELSTAM} Chap + an anagram (out) of LASTED + M (the last letter of Stalinism) gives a Russian poet who was persecuted by Stalin and died in a labour camp. A nice clue even though I’ve never heard of him

11a    River linking Kiel and Berlin? (4)
{ELBE} Take the last two letters of KIEL and the first two letters of BERLIN.

12a    Row about Government Act upset wild creature (5,3)
{TIGER CAT} A row (line) about G (Government) + an anagram (upset) of ACT gives a general name for some types of middle-sized animals such as the margay, ocelot and serval

14a    News item, mostly substantial, had an effect (6)
{TIDBIT} A mostly American spelling of a piquant item of news (as it’s defined in the Concise Oxford) is derived from a word for substantial with its last letter missing + a word meaning “had an effect”. The Chambers definition doesn’t mention anything about news

15a    Not very clear argument finally leads to tirade about poor clues (11)
{TRANSLUCENT} Neither Big Dave nor I think this clue works but we’ll be happy to be proved wrong. The wordplay appears to give the answer with a letter missing. A word meaning “not very clear” is almost given by T (argument finally) + a tirade containing an anagram (poor) of CLUES

19a    Increasingly prepared to chance some meat (6)
{RASHER} 2 meanings: increasingly prepared to chance/some meat (especially bacon)

20a    Baron? No Baron left — title returned (8)
{NOBLEMAN} NO + B (baron) + L (left) + “title” reversed gives a person who may be a baron

22a    Foreign words helping you to fulfil your duty (4)
{URDU} A language is hidden in YOUR DUTY

23a    Town’s sober nature disturbed without right (10)
{EASTBOURNE} A town on the South coast is given by an anagram (disturbed) of SOBER NATU(R)E

25a    New article produced with intense yellow cloth (7)
{NANKEEN} N (new) + AN (article) + intense = a buff-coloured cotton cloth

26a    Chap’s receiving excessive onset of heat? Not so much, it seems (7)
{HOTTISH} The personal pronoun denoting “chap’s” goes round a three-letter abbreviation for excessive. This is followed by H (the first letter of Heat)


1d    Country shows a wild desire about pound, losing money (7)
{ALBANIA} The name of a European country is derived form A + wild desire with the letter M (money) removed going round the abbreviation for pound (weight)

2d    Legal document left with section missing (4)
{DEED} Remove PART (section) from a word meaning “left” to get a legal document

3d    Sport’s function, mostly one encountered in football club (6)
{FROLIC} “To sport” is derived from a function with the last letter removed + I inside FC (football club)

4d    Superficial SF film carried by Universal (8)
{COSMETIC} ET (SF film) goes inside universal to give superficial

5d    Brutally caned with canes in expression of power (10)
{ASCENDANCE} An anagram (brutally) of CANES CANED

6d    One ball sent flying about for example (3,4)
{LEG BAIL} Here’s today’s cricketing reference. An anagram (sent flying) of I BALL goes round EG (for example) to give part of the wicket

9d    Grandeur shown by gallery products on board (11)
{STATELINESS} A synonym of grandeur is given by the name of an art gallery + products inside SS (on board)

13d    Heart breaking, friend runs off — disaster? (10)
{EARTHQUAKE} An anagram (breaking) of HEART is followed by a member of the Society of Friends with R (runs) omitted

16d    Note riders heading off invaders as before (8)
{NORSEMEN} N (note) + riders missing the first letter gives e.g. Vikings

17d    Person from Pacific island capable of handstand? (7)
{NAURUAN} This is a palindromic word (capable of handstand) for a person from an island republic in the SW Pacific, west of Kiribati, administered jointly by Australia, New Zealand and Britain as a UN Trust Territory before becoming independent in 1968 as a special member of the Commonwealth

18d    Some colours send a scene soaring – here’s impact of blues (7)
{SADNESS} The answer is hidden in reverse in COLOURS SEND A SCENE

21d    A Bishop brought in gift for another primate (6)
{BABOON} A B (Bishop) goes inside a gift to give an African monkey (primate)

24d    Busy with University’s indication of further reading? (2,2)
{UP TO} U (University) + an instruction to look at the other side of a piece of paper

As always from Kcit we have a well-crafted puzzle with some very nice clues.

13 comments on “Toughie 457

  1. This was a proper Toughie in every sense of the word. I did get there in the end but am never quite sure about those crosswords where you have to check whether the poet/news item/Pacific islander and so on, really exist. With the benefit of a couple of hours away from the crossword and a lunchtime party, I now think it was a very enjoyable brain stretcher. My favourites included 19a 26a, 17d and 24d. Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  2. What a cracker from Kcit today. This took me forever and I still needed your assistance with 10a and 14a. Thanks Kcit for a great crossword and Bufo for your assistance. Favourite clues were 20a and 3d.

  3. Re: 15a, I can only assume that ‘argument finally’ means the n & the t?

    Otherwise a good workout/learning curve with a couple to be checked by googling.

    Cheers all round.

    1. Then again that only works if the initial ‘t’ comes from tirades, as well as that meaning rant? my brain hurts.

      1. I can’t find the missing N either. Seems like a genuine mistake. How does one apply for the job of DT Crossword Editor?

  4. 24d Can anyone compose a sentence in which “busy” can be replaced by “up to”?
    16d What is the significance of “as before”?

    1. 24d what are you busy with/what are you up to?

      16d a setter’s note to the editor that made its way into the final version?

      1. Thanks. The definition, as you’ve pointed out, is “busy with” and not just “busy” as I’d assumed.

  5. Did the cryptic in no time so really enjoyed this workout today, Shame about 15 – maybe the clue was self-explanatory! Maybe Mr Kcit can throw some light on the matter. 8 took me ages but a real sense of achievement when the penny dropped. Never heard of Mr 10 but OneLook came to the rescue. Favourites 6 8 17 and 20.

  6. Pretty tough- I had to check whether several of the words were real and wouldn’t have probably got 10, 17 & 26 without the blog….still its a start.

  7. Hello everyone.

    15 – I must put my hand up and claim responsibility here, and I even sneakily managed to slip it past the editor…

    I don’t like these grids with lots of spare unchecked letters around the periphery, so I tend to add a little something. In this case most of the answers (including all the across ones) begin and end with the same letter. Not perhaps a great deal of help when they’re both unchecked, but if you happened to see the pattern, it may have been of assistance.

    I do read your comments, though I tend to be a little dilatory in getting round to doing so. (I was prodded by one of the regulars about today’s mishap.) Thank you for your interest and involvement.

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