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Toughie 920

Toughie No 920 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Yet another gentle puzzle from Kcit. What more is there to say?

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    Insisting on protocol, Queen blocks movement in street (6)
{STRICT} The one-letter abbreviation for queen goes inside an involuntary movement which then goes inside ST (street)

4a    Account and targeted article backing educational establishment (8)
{ACADEMIA} An abbreviation for account + a reversal of ‘targeted’ and A (article)

9a    Nut tree ready? Cut, then chop (6)
{CASHEW} Remove the last letter from ready (money). Then add ‘chop’

10a    Nothing by my side, ultimately affected — thus? (3-5)
{ONE-ARMED} O (nothing) + ‘by my side’ (4,2) + the last letter of affected. The whole clue provides the definition

11a    One, possibly probationary (they will need development) (8)
{NEOPHYTE} An anagram (possibly) of ONE + P (probationary driver) + an anagram (will need development) of THEY. Again the whole clue provides the definition

13a    To express agreement is not for a scoundrel (6)
{CONCUR} ‘Not for’ (i.e. ‘against’) + a scoundrel

15a    Retuned TV unassisted, restricting onset of certain irregular movements (2,5’1,5)
{ST VITUS’S DANCE} An anagram (retuned) of TV UNASSISTED goes round C (first letter of certain)

18a    Endless vice of this man, I fancy, would be clothes (7,6)
{FASHION VICTIM} An anagram (fancy) of VIC (endless vice) OF THIS MAN I. The whole clue provides the definition

22a    Zero-tax company turned over in paper? (6)
{OCTAVO} A reversal of O (zero), a tax, and CO (company)

24a    Find mutant absorbing uncommon radiation (8)
{INFRARED} An anagram (mutant) of FIND around (absorbing) ‘uncommon’

26a    Fashion business newspaper rated ‘collapsing’ (3,5)
{RAG TRADE} A newspaper + an anagram (collapsing) of RATED

27a    One’s crazy to interrupt this writer for a short time (6)
{MINUTE} I (one) and crazy (person) goes inside ‘this writer’

28a    Heart but not head starts to accede to your plea (8)
{ENTREATY} ‘Heart’ with the first letter removed + the first letters of Accede To Your

29a    Stuff I leave in place (3,3)
{PIG OUT} ‘To stuff (your face)’ = I + ‘leave’ in ‘to place’


1d    Back among the losers? (6)
{SECOND} ‘To back’ = someone who just failed to win

2d    Theatre individuals repeatedly interrupted by singular replies (9)
{RESPONSES} Theatre + individuals round S (singular) twice

3d    Knockout volume about hospital suppressed by revolutionary Russian writer (7)
{CHEKHOV} Abbreviations for ‘knockout’ and ‘volume’ round the abbreviation for ‘hospital’ follow a well-known revolutionary

5d    Inclination to discontinue treatment, ultimately (4)
{CANT} ‘To discontinue’ + the last letter of treatment

6d    No girl recalled Germany as brilliant (7)
{DIAMOND} A reversal of NO and a girl + D (Germany)

7d    I’m upset over Mike, an impressionist (5)
{MIMIC} A reversal of IM + an alternative spelling of mike (microphone)

8d    Writer on the move in Ardennes? (8)
{ANDERSEN} An anagram (on the mover) of ARDENNES

12d    Carrying drink, Carol loses head (6)
{TOTING} A small drink of alcohol + ‘to carol’ with the first letter removed

14d    Allocate a second feature of horoscope (6)
{ASSIGN} A + S (second) + a twelfth part of the zodiac

16d    Italian cardinal’s expression of ego? (6,3)
{NUMERO UNO} The Italian for ‘number one’ (one being a cardinal number)

17d    Certainly from Carnoustie? (2,6)
{OF COURSE} ‘From’ + what Carnoustie is an example of

19d    Opposite — to prose? (7)
{IN VERSE} If something is not in prose then it will be ** *****

20d    Expression in second of dictionaries — it means ‘ends’ (7)
{TERMINI} An expression + IN + the second letter of dIctionaries

21d    Bill Parry receives degree (6)
{ADVERT} ‘To parry’ goes round D (degree)

23d    Well-oiled hose getting cut (5)
{TIGHT} Remove the last letter from pantyhose

25d    Opening you wouldn’t make a dash for? (4)
{ADIT} An opening (especially into a mine) = A + a word representing the dot (not dash) in the spoken form of Morse code

I would definitely have given it * for difficulty had I not stalled for a minute or two on the last couple of answers.

13 comments on “Toughie 920

  1. Agree that it just snuck into 1.5 difficulty territory but not by very much – 1.25 perhaps? Thanks to Bufo and Kcit

  2. Well as a real ‘newbie’ ( this is only my second ever attempt), I suppose it’s not surprising that I struggled to complete this, & needed a lot of help with at least four clues. 29a I still can’t get. The answer in relation to ‘stuff’ is fine – but how does ‘I leave in places’ fit in or connect?. Same with 21d… It’s obviously goin to take me a while to get on the same wavelength (& as an enforced period in bed has given me the chance to join, I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to continue!). Many thanks to the setter & to Kcit for much needed assistance.

    1. And I need to post yet another apology this morning :-( I’m so sorry, Bufo, I see it was your hints that so helped me, and Kcit who set it. Many thanks.

        1. Oh dear, I tried to retrieve it earlier when I saw my mistake, but ” it” wouldn’t let me! Thanks for that help. What an excellent bunch you all are.

  3. Poppy,

    29a – The letters I GO (I leave) go inside (in) PUT (place) P{I GO}UT
    21d – Avert ( another word for parry) goes around the letter D (abbreviation for degree).

    1. Thank you very much indeed, Prolixic. It now makes real sense. Phew! Once you know you know it …. :-)

  4. Good honest toughie with few pretensions, I enjoyed it very much even if it was a tad on the easier side. My thanks to Kcit and to Bufo.

  5. Straight forward puzzle today, favourites 16d and 25d thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the comments.

  6. Very amusing and not too difficult .Absolute Fav 16d but quite a few other smiles .
    Thanks to both

  7. I found this more difficult than everyone else seems to have done.
    Part of the problem was putting the answer to 12d in the space for 14d and not spotting the mistake for ages – it really messed up 15, 18 and 24a. Oh dear – how stupid.
    Various other problems that I had were nearly all to do with getting the definition wrong.
    I liked 9, 18 and 29a and 16, 21 and 23d.
    With thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  8. Found that this one gave in without too much of a fight which suits us on a Thurs as the puzzles have to squeeze in between golf and evening bridge for KiwiColin on that day.
    Took a bit of effort to parse 29a but did get it. A fun puzzle to do.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  9. Thanks to Kcit & to Bufo for the review & hints. Hooray a Toughie completion, only my second ever. So it must have been on the gentle side. That said, it was still very enjoyable. Started with 17d, finished with 29a. Favourites were 15a & 16d.

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