Toughie 681 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 681

Toughie No 681 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A run-of-the-mill puzzle which was pleasant enough to solve but not very taxing on the brain.

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1a    Gossip from poor player (6)
{RABBIT} 2 meanings: gossip/poor player

4a    Recalled line, a quote linked to work of verse (8)
{POETICAL} A reversal of L (line), A, ‘quote’ and ‘work’ gives ‘of verse’

10a    Nice grave vandalised, leading to complaint (9)
{GRIEVANCE} An anagram (vandalised) of NICE GRAVE leads to a complaint

11a    Highly-sexed extremes of rumpy-pumpy? (5)
{RANDY} ‘Highly-sexed’ = the first letter AND the last letter of rumpy-pumpy

12a    Working with chamber group, going round a province (7)
{ONTARIO} ‘Working’ + a group of musicians (possibly playing chamber music) round A = a Canadian province

13a    Children supplying zero information in probe (7)
{PROGENY} ‘Children’ = O (zero) + information inside ‘to probe’

14a    Peak hour activity initially getting highest rating (5)
{ALPHA} A peak (in central Europe) + H (hour) + A (first letter of activity) = ‘highest rating’

15a    Velocity and pace with no initial lack of content (8)
{VAPIDITY} V (velocity) + a synonym of pace with the initial letter removed = ‘lack of content’

18a    Soldier despatched on raid by the Spanish (8)
{SENTINEL} A soldier (on guard) = ‘despatched on raid’ (4,2) + ‘the’ in Spanish

20a    Go out in the near future to embrace women (5)
{SWOON} ‘To go out (lose consciousness) = ‘in the near future’ round W (women)

23a    Copy the very thing required to intervene in one game’s conclusion (7)
{IMITATE} ‘To copy’ = ‘the very thing’ inside I (one) + the conclusion of a game of chess

25a    Boat engineers needed after stern lost in journey (7)
{TRIREME} An ancient Greek boat = an abbreviation for a corps of military engineers coming after a journey with the last letter (stern) removed

26a    Selection of books offering some terrific stories, on reflection (3-2)
{SCI-FI} A literary genre is hidden in reverse in terrIFIC Stories

27a    It’s corn, as manufactured for breakfast item (9)
{CROISSANT} An anagram (manufactured) of IT’S CORN AS gives part of a continental breakfast

28a    Curtailed article in post reaching US lawyer, a woman (8)
{MATHILDA} Remove the last letter from the definite article and put it inside post (letters). Add an abbreviation for a US lawyer and you get a woman’s name (but not the usual spelling of it)

29a    I’m second in race — not very strong at all (6)
{FLIMSY} IM S (second) goes inside ‘to race’ to give ‘not very strong at all’


1d    Monarch’s circling island on covering local area (8)
{REGIONAL} ‘Monarch’s (of a king)’ goes round I (island) IN to give ‘covering local area’. The Scottish island that appears in the answer has nothing to do with the clue

2d    Objection at university outside the Italian town (5-2)
{BUILT-UP} An objection + ‘at university’ goes outside the Italian word for ‘the’ to give ‘town’ (as an adjective)

3d    Unchanging in verse, song’s not without heart (9)
{INVARIANT} ‘Unchanging’ = IN V (verse) + a song + NT (not without heart)

5d    Arranged proper cut in production of eggs in excess numbers (14)
{OVERPOPULATION} An anagram (arranged) of PROPE(R) (cut = remove the last letter) inside ‘production of eggs’ gives excess numbers (of people)

6d    Body, scientific body, that’s brought in as well (5)
{TORSO} ‘Body’ = the abbreviation for a learned scientific society inside ‘as well’

7d    Oppose prisoner getting trial (7)
{CONTEST} ‘To oppose’ = a prisoner + a trial

8d    Parking spaces — store last of trolleys here! (3-3)
{LAY-BYS} Places you can park at the side of roads = ‘to store’ (3,2) + the last letter of trolleys

9d    Nice at sea, with one navy assembled around, having put out (14)
{INCONVENIENCED} An anagram (at sea) of NICE goes inside I (one) N (navy) ‘assembled’ to give ‘put out’

16d    Chipped dish and religious book in sack (9)
{DISMISSAL} Dish with the last letter removed (chipped) + a book containing the complete service for mass throughout the year = ‘the sack’

17d    Line dances, overlooking daughter’s attempt (8)
{ANCESTRY} Line (lineage) = dances without the initial D (daughter) + attempt

19d    English literature is primarily too exclusive? (7)
{ELITIST} E + an abbreviation of literature + IS + T (first letter of too) = ‘exclusive’

21d    Unusual volume in very short time turning up, following regular delivery? (7)
{OVERARM} A reversal of ‘unusual’ V (volume) inside a very short time gives a word which describes the usual method of bowling in cricket

22d    Not enlightened over everything in Chinese food (3,3)
{DIM SUM} ‘Not enlightened’ + everything = a selection of Chinese foods

24d    A desire to skip party? Here’s an excuse (5)
{ALIBI} A + sexual desire with DO (party) removed gives an excuse

A bog standard Kcit puzzle. What more is there to say?

12 comments on “Toughie 681

  1. Coming to this straight after the backpager, I found this one both relatively easier and much more enjoyable. No particular favourites, just a nice midrange Toughie. Thanks to Kcit and Bufo too.

  2. I was held up for a time by thinking 1a was an anagram of player (parley), other than that I found this quite straightforward and fairly enjoyable. Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the hints.

  3. I enjoyed this one so thanks to Kcit.
    Finished a lot quicker than today’s pack page and would have been even quicker if I hadn’t been another to fall into the parley trap!
    Thanks to Bufo for the review.

  4. Found it slightly easier than usual for a Toughie (with one or two very simple anagrams (10a, 27a) and other easy clues (e.g. 12a)) so I might have given it two stars. However, generally enjoyable and I particularly liked 11a and 24d. Just one point, I’m still unsure of the derivation for 9d – Bufo’s explanation just seems to cover the prefix IN and the embedded string IENC – can anyone clarify the derivation of the other letters, please? Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  5. As others have commented a very gentle puzzle today but quite enjoyable thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the review.

  6. Agreed to all the above. Had the “possible” Petijean on the backpage been swapped with Kcit they would both have been great crosswords in the top end backpage / straightforward Toughie crosswords range.

    I enjoyed both setters’ crosswords today and found them pretty much on a par.

  7. I thought this was easier than the cryptic today. I didn’t fall into the parley trap but i got stuck in the SE corner for a while until I saw the light and solved 17, which I thought was the best clue. i thought 28 was the pits – a christian name and not even spelled right. On the whole, a good puzzle but not a Toughie.

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