Toughie 819 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 819

Toughie No 819 by Kcit

Getting tougher!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Kcit’s puzzles are typically at the easy end of the Toughie scale, but I found this a little harder than usual.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Atmosphere around college mostly productive? That’s a crucial point (11)
{CLIMACTERIC} – put atmosphere or ambience around C(ollege) and follow it with an adjective meaning productive or fruitful without its final H (mostly) to get a crucial point or critical period

7a    Last one to abandon top of spire? (5)
{FINAL} – this word meaning last is derived by dropping (to abandon) the I (one) from the decoration on the top of a spire – you are more likely to come across this decoration on the end of a curtain pole

8a    Piece of music with a note on it reversed (9)
{ANDANTINO} – this passage of music which is marked to be performed in a particular way is derived from a three-letter word meaning with, the A from the clue, N(ote) and ON IT reversed

10a    Linen, cold material, not fine, swaddling male (7)
{CAMBRIC} – this lightweight, closely woven, white linen is built up from C(old) followed by some material with the initial F(ine) omitted around (swaddling) MALE

11a    Jars filled by a doctor recalled in temporary measure (7)
{STOPGAP} – start with some jars, as in containers, insert the A from the clue and the abbreviation for your local doctor then reverse the lot (recalled) to get a temporary measure

12a    Satisfied around half-time or raising a stink? (5)
{FETID} – put a verb meaning satisfied one’s appetite around the first half of Time to get an adjective meaning raising a stink or smelling extremely unpleasant

13a    Light switch without is turned on in wet situation (9)
{IMMERSION} – start with a type of light switch without its initial (front) D, reverse (turned) IS then add ON to get a wet situation

16a    Newsreader presenting articles about Church coming by gold — millions (6-3)
{ANCHOR-MAN} – this newsman is created by putting two indefinite articles (the two-letter versions) around CH(urch), the heraldic term for gold and M(illions)

18a    Mature student given work in Old English (2,3)
{OF AGE} – this phrase meaning mature is derived by putting a student at a boarding school who is given work by a senior student inside the abbreviation of Old English – I knew that reading all those schoolboy books like Tom Brown’s School Days would come in useful some time!

19a    Identifying label: satisfied one is carried by badger (4-3)
{NAME-TAG} – to get this identifying label put a verb meaning satisfied an obligation and A (one) inside (carried by) a verb meaning to badger or pester

22a    Province’s expression of disapproval following return of government department (7)
{FIEFDOM} – this province or area comes from a three-letter expression of disapproval, F(ollowing) and the reversal (return) of a government department

23a    Consecutive letters on chests forming identifying features (9)
{LANDMARKS} – start with two consecutive letters of the alphabet (1,3,1) and add some wooden chests of the kind used to house the tablets of the laws of the ancient Israelites to get these identifying features

24a    Stone room church has abandoned (5)
{AMBER} – to get this yellowish stone start with a room and drop (abandoned) the initial CH(urch)

25a    Musical activity’s affected, along with half of your dancing (11)
{CAMPANOLOGY} – this musical activity is practised every Tuesday evening in our village – start with an adjective meaning affected and follow it with an anagram (dancing) of ALONG and half of YOur – well done if you got the answer from the wordplay rather than the other way around


1d    Boundless back pain holding blokes up in regard to filming (9)
{CINEMATIC} – put a back pain without its outside letters (boundless) around (holding) some blokes reversed (up) to give an adjective meaning with regard to filming

2d    Coarse left-winger chasing one legal degree (3-4)
{ILL-BRED} – an adjective meaning coarse is built up from a three-letter word for a left-winger after (chasing) I (one) and a degree in law

3d    Opposition to government elaborated in a march around Sunday (9)
{ANARCHISM} – this opposition to orderly government comes from an anagram (elaborated) of IN A MARCH around S(unday)

4d    Seasons having day occupied by Cup matches? On the contrary (5)
{TIDES} – these seasons that proverbially wait for no man are generated not by putting D(ay) around some cup matches but the other way around (on the contrary) – I don’t think this kind of clue works when the outside part of the wordplay consists of a single letter

5d    Animosity activated most of monarch’s followers (7)
{RANCOUR} – this animosity comes from a verb meaning activated followed by the entourage of a monarch without (most) its final T

6d    Losing passion, losing any sign of love? Hold on (5)
{CLING} – start with a word meaning losing passion and drop (losing) both of the Os (any sign of love) to get a verb meaning to hold on

7d    Resist soft soap? One shouldn’t (4,7)
{FACE FLANNEL} – combine verbs meaning resist and to soft soap to get something that shouldn’t resist soft soap

9d    Atom scientist’s work with writer — I’m here for editing (11)
{OPPENHEIMER] – this atom scientist comes from a short word for work, a writing implement and an anagram (for editing) of I’M HERE

14d    Employee of site defaced statement of intent (9)
{MANIFESTO} – combine a three-letter word for an employee with an anagram (defaced) of OF SITE to get a statement of intent – perhaps one that Nick Clegg should read properly!

15d    I buy land for tilling around Institute (though not so as you’d hear) (9)
{INAUDIBLY} – put an anagram (for tilling) of I BUY LAND around I(nstitute) to get an adverb meaning not so as you’d hear – I’ve mentioned before that there are two types of quote marks on Telegraph Puzzles: those that display online and those, like this one, that don’t

17d    Best drug involves time and money, variously (7)
{OPTIMUM} – to get this word meaning best put a drug around T(ime) and M(oney) – nice to see variously used to indicate that the letters are inserted into different places

18d    Soldiers turned up on time in plant (7)
{OREGANO} –these soldiers who are not officers are followed by ON and a period of time reversed (turned up) to get this Mediterranean aromatic herb used in cooking

20d    Bananas? Starchy plant, nothing less (5)
{MANIC} – to get this adjective meaning bananas or bad start with a starch plant, also called cassava, and drop the O (nothing less)

21d    Newspaper upset lawyer and policeman (5)
{GARDA} – reverse a derogatory word for a newspaper (the Daily Mail perhaps!) and follow it with the abbreviation for an American lawyer to get an Irish policeman

I quite enjoyed this puzzle.

7 comments on “Toughie 819

  1. Harder than normal for a Tuesday, and a couple of answers I needed to confirm.
    Thanks to Kcit, and to BD for the review.

  2. I didn’t find this one hard at all, 2* difficulty for a Toughie, perhaps it was being left alone to solve it as husband and brother-in-law had got fed up while trying to ‘help’ with the back pager.

    I did get 25a from the wordplay but perhaps it helped that I do practice this activity :)

    Thanks to Kcit for a nice gentle start to the Toughie week and to BD for the explanations.

  3. Agree a tad trickier than the usual Kcit but I quite enjoyed it too.
    Favoriute was 21d.

    Thanks to Kcit and BD.

  4. I enjoyed this one very much. At first glance not a lot came to mind but little by little it nearly all fell nicely into place…. apart from NE corner. My fault for having wrong ending for 1a. Thanks setter and BD for help with aforementioned clue.

  5. Ah well the paper I used to print this puzzle will make 2 x A5 shopping lists for the trip to Mozzie’s so it wasn’t a complete waste then…

  6. I found this a lot more difficult than the usual Kcit puzzles and very enjoyable also. Many thanks to Kcit and to BD.

  7. Pleasant enough start to Toughie week thanks to Kcit and to Big Dave for the comments.

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