Toughie 715 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 715

Toughie No 715 by Kcit

Food for thought

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I had to check a couple of the answers in this puzzle, but those answers were well clued. There’s a mini-theme which is alluded to in the sub-heading!

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9a    High-flier restraining ego in part of flight (5)
{STAIR} – put a high-flier or successful entertainer around the ego or first person to get part of a flight of steps

10a    I manage leading pair of companies badly, but I can’t imagine anyone else in the job! (9)
{EGOMANIAC} – an anagram (badly) of I MANAGE CO (leading pair of companies) gives a self-seeker who can’t imagine anyone else in the job

11a    A third testicle? That’s unusual (7)
{ODDBALL} – what could be a description of a third testicle is actually something that is unusual

12a    A line that gets cricket side run out quickly (7)
{ALLEGRO} – one for the cricket lovers! – A L(ine) is followed by another name for the “on” side in cricket and the abbreviation of Run Out to give the musical notation for quickly or lively

13a    Long-established pop star rocks at the seaside (5)
{CLIFF} – the first name of the UK’s Prince of Pop is also a high steep rock face bordering the sea

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14a    Guy getting doctor brought in to cure bishop’s seat? (9)
{CATHEDRAL} – start with an archaic word for a guy who loves jazz and then put the abbreviation for doctor inside a verb meaning to cure or make well to get the principal church of a diocese, containing the bishop’s throne

16a    Member with strong impulse: see her getting upset about cold dairy product (9,6)
{LIMBURGER CHEESE} – a member, could be an arm or a leg, is followed by a strong impulse and an anagram (getting upset) of SEE HER around C(old) to get a dairy product from Belgium – I’ve never eaten nor heard of this dairy product, but the wordplay was reasonably easy to follow once a few checking letters were in place

19a    Easily annoyed, showing a lot of anger, anger about bill (9)
{IRRITABLE} – this adjective meaning easily annoyed is constructed from most of a three-letter synonym for anger followed by a verb meaning to anger with the bill that you pick up in, for example, a restaurant inserted

21a    Deputy Officer in Charge interrupting Mass, though having no power (5)
{LOCUM} – this deputy, usually a substitute doctor, is created by putting the abbreviation of the Officer in Charge inside a mass without the final P(ower)

23a    Soldier with exposed emotions, one turning this? (7)
{ANTIWAR} – start with a soldier insect and then reverse (turning) both an adjective meaning with exposed emotions or naïve and I (one) to get an adjective that is loosely defined by the clue

25a    Brainy cooks adopting international dish (7)
{BIRYANI} – an anagram (cooks) of BRAINY followed by I(nternational) gives an Indian dish

27a    A marine, leading old servicewomen, capturing soldiers and weaponry (9)
{ARMAMENTS} – A from the clue is followed by a Royal Marine and a member of the service which preceded the Women’s Royal Army Corps around (capturing)some soldiers to get this weaponry – HRH Princess Elizabeth was the most famous of these servicewomen during WWII

28a    Track transport system that’s behind time (5)
{TRAIL} – this verb meaning to track is derived by putting a transport system run by overpaid executives after T(ime)


1d    It shows up some yobs, actually (4)
{ASBO} – an abbreviation of a court order that places restrictions on a person who has been found guilty of antisocial acts is hidden (some) and reversed (up in a down clue) inside the clue

2d    National leader offering three letters in a row? (6)
{GANDHI} – the name of this former leader of India can be split (1,3,1,1) to give three consecutive letters of the alphabet

3d    Ready and able to accommodate sport? That’s nourishing food for you (10)
{BREADFRUIT} – start with a slang word for ready, in the sense of ready money, and add a word meaning able around (to accommodate) the sport in which Ireland recently snatched defeat from the jaws of victory to get some nourishing food

4d    Head of big English college upheld English writer (6)
{BELLOC} – the initial letter (head) of Big is followed by E(nglish) and the reversal (upheld in a down clue) of a lesser-used abbreviation of COLL(ege) to get an English writer and poet remembered chiefly for his Cautionary Tales for Children (1907)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d    Gas, including oxygen, beginning to materialise? It’s not important (2,6)
{NO MATTER} – put a word meaning to gas or gossip around the chemical symbol for Oxygen and M (beginning to materialise) to get a short phrase meaning it’s not important

6d    Love will have one in fix (4)
{NAIL} – another word for love or zero around A (one) to get a verb meaning to fix

7d    Underwear? Grand passion raised when in particular brand (8)
{LINGERIE} – this underwear would be a gift for one of Gazza’s illustrations! – put G(rand) and the reversal (raised) of a passion inside a brand or make of clothing

so I couldnt resist it!

8d    Period of study sees fishes being given name (6,4)
{SCHOOL TERM} – a period of study in an educational establishment is a charade of a collective noun for fishes and a name or expression

13d    Stop after 24 hours? (4,2,1,3)
{CALL IT A DAY} – this phrase suggests stopping after a period of 24 hours

15d    Reapplication of heat and I relax in delight (10)
{EXHILARATE} – an anagram (reapplication) of HEAT and I RELAX gives a verb meaning to delight

17d    Stay put when exam result comes out (4,4)
{MARK TIME} – a phrasal verb meaning to stay put could be when the exam results are released

18d    Catch up with soldiers reaching one African city (8)
{GABORONE} – reverse (up in a down clue, again!) a verb meaning to catch game and follow it with the soldiers who are neither commissioned nor non-commissioned officers and ONE to get the capital city of Botswana (yes, it’s in The Mine)

20d    Provide relief for current speaker, after upsetting manager (6)
{EMBOSS} – a verb meaning to “provide relief for” or “carve or mould a design on a surface so that it stands out in relief” is created by reversing (upsetting) the first person objective pronoun (current speaker) and following it with a manager or chief

22d    Tax applied to revolutionary bow tie replacement (6)
{CRAVAT} – put a sales tax after the reversal (revolutionary) of a bow or curve to get something that might be worn instead of a tie

24d    Ineffective operator heads for wall in monetary panic (4)
{WIMP} – “ineffective operator” is a rather polite way of describing this person; Chambers Thesaurus gives fool, softy, clown, milksop, weed, namby-pamby, clot, drip, wally, wet, jerk, nerd, tonk and, my personal favourite, wuss – he comes from the initial letters (heads) of the last four words in the clue

26d    Vain Sarkozy’s key when bringing in Germany (4)
{IDLE} – to get this adjective meaning vain or useless take the French word (as President Sarkozy might say) for a key, like those in Florida, and then insert (bringing in) the IVR code for Germany

A pleasant start to the Toughie week.

26 comments on “Toughie 715

  1. Agreed a very nice start to the Toughie week. These days the only time I ever see 16a is in crosswords! Thanks to Kcit for the crossword and BD for the illustrated enlightenment.

  2. I enjoyed this one – not much harder than a tricky back pager but entertaining!

    I think I knew 16a because it’s in the Python cheese shop sketch (I think). Until I got some checkers I was thinking that 14a was going to be some obscure word for a Bishop’s chair, that I’d probably never heard of, and then the penny dropped!

    Favourite 2d.

    Many thanks to Kcit and BD for the review (and the picture!).

        1. In the sad way that sixth formers do we used to re-enact the Monty Python sketches at school the day after they were broadcast. Somebody used to go the trouble of making a tape from the TV! Negotiating the purchase of cheesy comestibles…great memories. Thanks BD.

        2. A couple of weeks ago I frittered away a quiet morning in the office looking at some of the old sketches on youtube. Some of them are priceless; I think one of my many favourites is the camp soldiers performing a military drill.

    1. Hi Pommers. Given that cathedra is the Latin for seat or throne, 14A DID involve an obscure word for chair, and you DID remember it!

  3. Very enjoyable start to Toughie week favourites 3d 7d and 20d thanks to Kcit and to Big Dave for the comments.

  4. No complaints from me – just about the right level of difficulty before the Crescendo as the week progresses.
    23a was my last one in (once I got 18d).
    Thanks to Kcit, and to BD.

  5. Thanks to Kcit for an enjoyable crossword and to BD for the hints/review. I found it quite straightforward but struggled a little with the last clue 26d.

  6. I always put in the word breaks before settling down to read through the clues in detail…. in doing so, 13d went straight in, followed by 16a – and I though ‘great!’ But that’s as far as it went with the ‘quick’ solutions – after that it was a slow and difficult haul for me with lots of head scratching and a number of d’oh moments. Lots of fun though and I feel very satisfied that I got through it. Thanks to Kcit for a tricky (for me) crossword and thanks to Big Dave for the Hints and Tips.

  7. A very pleasant Tuesday Toughie, albeit not all that tough.

    Some nice clues, and I particularly liked the idea of a tax on that neckwear item.

  8. Thanks to Kcit & Big Dave for the review & hints. I always struggle with a Kcit puzzle. This was no exception, needed lots of hints. Very well set puzzle, but completely over my head.

  9. Only 2 **. No wonder I could do it.
    14a CATHEDRAL was clearly the answer but CAT = GUY is a bit wierd.

  10. Am very cross that I couldn’t parse 19a. Eek. For once a four letter will be my fave, 26d.Thanks to Kcit and BD

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