Toughie 620

Toughie No 620 by Kcit

A Stroll in the Park?

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This puzzle by Kcit is fine and enjoyable but doesn’t really warrant being called a Toughie. In my view it could easily have appeared on the back page.
Let us have your views and please take the time to click on one of the stars below to register your enjoyment.

Across Clues

1a  Comical PC wasted energy getting a second criminal (10)
{ACCOMPLICE} – an anagram (wasted) of COMICAL PC is followed by E(nergy) to make a criminal’s assistant.

6a  Repeated statement backing Church House (4)
{ECHO} – reverse (backing) the abbreviation for the Church of England and add the abbreviation for house.

9a  Storm about fashions initially available in second-hand event (6,4)
{GARAGE SALE} – put a storm (rated 7-9 on the Beaufort Scale) round fashions or temporary enthusiasms followed by A(vailable) to make an event where you may buy all the stuff that you’ll be trying to sell at the next event.

10a  Biography, or story about fellow (4)
{LIFE} – an untrue story contains F(ellow).

12a  Australian state, with little hesitation, linked to capital of Australia for solution (6)
{ANSWER} – the abbreviation of Australia’s most populous state is followed by the usual little hesitation and this is all attached to the first letter (capital) of A(ustralia) to make a solution.

13a  Male absorbed by plan, ultimately (2,3,3)
{IN THE END} – the definition here is ultimately. Put a male pronoun inside (absorbed by) a verb meaning to plan or determine.

15a  Medical intervention a conflation of mercy and rigours? (12)
{MICROSURGERY} – this procedure is an anagram (conflation) of MERCY and RIGOURS.

18a  Safe with endnotes, possibly — musical notes not appreciated with this (4-8)
{TONE-DEAFNESS} – this is a hearing defect which reduces one’s appreciation of music. It’s an anagram (possibly) of SAFE and ENDNOTES.

21a  Suffering regarding heart beat, fellows heading off to be confined (8)
{LOVESICK} – a bit of lifting and separating is required here, the definition being suffering regarding heart. Put an informal verb to beat or overcome round (to be confined) an old-fashioned slang word for fellows from which the initial C has been dropped (heading off). The surface doesn’t make a great deal of sense.

22a  Chamber regrets backing dilettante (6)
{POSEUR} – the definition here is dilettante, i.e. someone who affects to have an interest in the arts but with no real substance. Start with a shortened form of a very necessary bedroom facility (chamber) prior to the days of “en suite” then reverse (backing) a verb meaning regrets. This reminds me of the old music hall joke: “Where’s the chambermaid?” – “Stoke on Trent”.

24a  Quantity of tuition yielding some better minds (4)
{TERM} – hidden (some) in the clue is a quantity of tuition lasting some 13-14 weeks on average.

25a   Malnourished but tucking into — say — the lot (10)
{EVERYTHING} – the definition here is the lot. A phrase (4,4) meaning malnourished is tucked into the abbreviation of for example or say.

26a  Finished line from girlfriend? (4)
{OVER} – remove L(ine) from a girlfriend (or boyfriend).

27a  Defensive element in card game after selection of cards? (10)
{DRAWBRIDGE} – a card game for four people goes after the selection of cards in some varieties of poker to make part of the defence of a castle.

Down Clues

1d  Good hospital introduced by a devotee of Asian country (6)
{AFGHAN} – an adjective describing someone or something from an Asian country is formed by putting G(ood) H(ospital) inside A and a devotee or supporter.

2d  Additional material in heart — subject of autopsy (6)
{CORPSE} – the focus of an autopsy is made by putting how you might prefix some additional material at the bottom of a letter inside a synonym of heart.

3d  Computer hardware represented in enigmatic CDs? (8,4)
{MAGNETIC DISC} – an anagram (re-presented) of ENIGMATIC CDS.

4d  Malformed sound is evident in recording (4)
{LISP} – this malformed sound comes from putting IS inside a vinyl recording.

5d  Settling point, one Government restricts crime (10)
{COLONISING} – the definition is settling. Start with a punctuation mark (point) and add I (one) and G(overnment) containing (restricts) a synonym of crime.

7d  Stately home, cold, inhabited — one should go for energy (8)
{CLIVEDEN} – this is a stately home in Buckinghamshire, now owned by the National Trust but once the abode of Nancy Astor, the first female MP. Start with C(old) and add a phrasal verb (5,2) meaning inhabited, but with the second I replaced by E (one should go for energy).

8d  Stop after work, say, developing public access events (4,4)
{OPEN DAYS} – these public access events are formed by putting a verb to stop after the abbreviation for an artistic work, then finishing with an anagram (developing) of SAY.

11d  Instrument on board with siren? One’s bang on target (12)
{SHARPSHOOTER} – this is an expert marksman. Put a musical instrument inside the usual abbreviation for ship, then add something that makes a warning sound (a siren, perhaps).

14d  Suddenly appear as stand-in for someone having a bit of a rest? (5,5)
{BREAK COVER} – this phrase means to appear suddenly after having been concealed. Cryptically it could also describe someone standing in for someone else during the latter’s rest period.

16d  Steps leading to excessive climbing? That’s the point (8)
{STILETTO} – steps (to enable you to get from one field to the next, perhaps) are followed by the abbreviation of a phrase meaning excessive which is reversed (rising, in a down clue) to make something that tapers to a point.

17d  Creation of marriage poem not working (8)
{UNIVERSE} – start with a charade of a synonym for marriage and a poem, then remove the short word meaning working or functioning to leave the whole of creation.

19d  Stop rising anger in capsule (6)
{PERIOD} – this is what North Americans call a full-stop. Reverse (rising) a synonym for anger inside a capsule.

20d  Died, being given disruptive parachute (6)
{DROGUE} – this is a type of parachute (smaller than a normal one, but which can be deployed at higher speeds). Start with D(ied) and add an adjective meaning disruptive or mischievous.

23d  Crest’s curved shape punctured by river (4)
{BROW} – a curved shape has R(iver) inserted to make a crest (of a hill, say).

The clues I liked best today were 13a, 22a and 16d. How about you?


  1. crypticsue
    Posted August 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza – I agree with absolutely everything you say, difficulty, enjoyment, favourite clues and the odd 21a which was my last one in. Thanks to Kcit too.

  2. Jezza
    Posted August 24, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant, although not overly testing.
    Thanks to Kcit, and to gazza for the review.

    A typo is showing for the answer to 15a.

    • gazza
      Posted August 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Jezza – now fixed.

  3. Heno
    Posted August 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Kcit for the puzzle and to Gazza for the hints. Very difficult for me, only got 15 answers. Needed the hints for the rest, of which I still had to look 4 up. Any more than 2* and I’d be completely bamboozled :-) Enjoyed 15a, as I got it :-)

  4. pegasus
    Posted August 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    A stroll in the park was the ideal headline for this one, nonetheless most enjoyable favourites for me 22a and 25a. Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review.

  5. Posted August 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I would agree with all of m’learned friends. Fun to solve but not too difficult. Thanks to gazza and to Kcit. 22a was a firm favourite.

  6. seemore
    Posted August 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I rarely have a go at the toughie, but having whipped through the back page on my way up to London, I had a go and got on surprisingly well…..needed some help for a few…but it must have been quite easy if i could do it!! Thanks to both!

    • Posted August 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      I described it as ‘Easy-ish’. Certainly a good entry point – maybe not so many clues that used the more devious devices that a pack page would not allow but well done!,