Toughie 936 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 936

Toughie No 936 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I’m into recycling and so today I’m just going to recycle some of my comments about previous Kcit Toughies: “Yet another gentle puzzle from Kcit”; “Another gentle puzzle of the standard we have come to expect from Kcit”; “Another fairly straightforward puzzle from Kcit which is on the easy side for a Toughie”; “A pleasant enough puzzle but somewhat on the easy side for a Toughie”; “Another pleasant offering from Kcit which didn’t cause too many problems”; “You always know what you’re going to get with Kcit. Yet another fairly gentle puzzle”; “A typical puzzle from Kcit, perfectly fair and nothing very obscure”; “Another gentle puzzle from Kcit which should not have caused many problems”; “A run-of-the-mill puzzle which was pleasant enough to solve but not very taxing on the brain”; “I had no problems at all with this one. I solved it without breaking sweat and could understand all the clues without difficulty”; “I enjoyed this Kcit puzzle. It wasn’t too difficult, it contained nothing too obscure, and I couldn’t find anything to complain about”

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    I start working beside railway, showing skill (8)
{ARTISTRY} An anagram (working) of I START + the 2-letter abbreviation for railway

5a    Right to swap parts by proxy (3,3)
{PER PRO} Take a 6-letter word meaning ‘right and put the second half of it before the first half. This gives an abbreviated Latin phrase meaning ‘by proxy’

10a    Local building in broadcast of my concert minuet (9,6)
{COMMUNITY CENTRE} An anagram (broadcast) of MY CONCERT MINUET

11a    Last features conforming with Society (7)
{INSTEPS} The last is one a cobbler uses. ‘Conforming’ (2,4) + S (Society)

12a    Expert correctly recorded about one being commonplace (7)
{PROSAIC} An expert + ‘correctly recorded’ (when printed in brackets in quoted matter to show that the original is being faithfully reproduced even though incorrect or apparently so) round A (one)

13a    Trade sadly coming in low, not very lively? (8)
{MODERATO} An anagram (sadly) of TRADE in ‘low (as cows do)’ gives a musical term

15a    Pawns also leap squares initially (5)
{TOOLS} ‘Also’ + the first letters of Leap Squares

18a    Notes a lot of soft stuff and a lot of frozen stuff (5)
{MUSIC} Soft stuff (4) with the last letter removed + frozen stuff (3) with the last letter removed

20a    Farm feature possesses point, while retaining unknown quantity (8)
{HAYSTACK} ‘Possesses’ + a pointed piece of metal round Y (unknown quantity)

23a    Bird identified from owl’s wings in gold and brown (7)
{ORTOLAN} The first and last letters (wings) of OwL inside gold (2) and brown (3)

25a    Most vulgar of Parisian to puncture pie topping (7)
{CRUDEST} The French word for ‘of’ inside the top of a pie

26a    Mistakenly thinks the album should include college drawing (9,6)
{THUMBNAIL SKETCH} An anagram (mistakenly) of THINKS THE ALBUM round C (college)

27a    Part of service showed no discrimination between candles? (6)
{LITANY} A prayer (part of service). Split it (3,3) and it might suggest that it doesn’t matter which candle you light

28a    Pollutant found in a Guernsey sewer? (4,4)
{ACID RAIN} A + the abbreviation for the island group to which Guernsey belongs + sewer


1d    Icy cold aboard lorry (6)
{ARCTIC} C (cold) in lorry

2d    They’re required when arranging meetings by many (4,5)
{TIME SLOTS} ‘(Multiplied) by’ + many

3d    Still kept up in second clamour? It’ll do for sleep (4-3)
{SHUT-EYE} A reversal of ‘still’ inside S (second) clamour

4d    Broken pieces I dropped in streams (5)
{RUINS} I inside streams

6d    Still asleep? It’ll give you balance (4,3)
{EVEN OUT} Still (4) + asleep (3)

7d    Historic city favoured by deity (5)
{PETRA} A rose-red city…. = someone favoured + an Egyptian deity

8d    Start theatrical run with actors describing various digs? (4-4)
{OPEN-CAST} ‘Start theatrical run’ + a company of actors = a word describing some mines

9d & 16d    Contralto and soprano interweaving with — yes — rhythm band (8,9)
{SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA} An anagram (interweaving) of C (contralto) SOPRANO YES RHYTHM

14d    Three articles about rising fashionable European city-dweller (8)
{ATHENIAN} An indefinite article, the definite article and another indefinite article round a reversal of ‘fashionable’

16d    See 9 down

17d    Wrong about time, though unaffected by time? (8)
{IMMORTAL} ‘Wrong’ round T (time)

19d    Monster with insufficient excuse put in prison (7)
{CALIBAN} A “monster” in The Tempest is an excuse with the last letter removed inside prison

21d    Last of it’s heaped and carried by wagon (7)
{TRUCKED} The last letter of iT + ‘heaped’

22d    Long term cut for river (6)
{ITCHEN} ‘To long’ + term (last part) with the last letter removed = a river in Hampshire (or another one in Warwickshire)

24d    Mock fan turning up without a ticket at the outset (5)
{TAUNT} ‘To mock’ = a reversal of a fan (enthusiast) round A + T (first letter of Ticket)

25d    Endless chill one caught, giving stomach trouble (5)
{COLIC} Chill with the last letter removed + I (one) + C (caught)

“What more is there to say?”

17 comments on “Toughie 936

  1. Say what you like about Kcit, this is a setter who always delivers a very enjoyable crossword, I know they are not as difficult as many from other compilers but I really enjoy, them so thanks Kcit for another lovely toughie and thanks Bufo for the review.

  2. Not as easy for me as others have found it, but I did enjoy it very much.
    Many thanks to Kcit, and to Bufo for the notes.

  3. Hello Bufo. I have just read your opening remarks and they are exactly what I feel when I have completed the cryptic without stretching my imagination whatsoever, as on Monday this week..

  4. OK, they’re not the hardest Toughies by a long way but I always enjoy Kcit’s puzzles. This one took me less time than today’s what-used-to-be-on-the-back-pager but maybe that’s because I didn’t do any stupidities :grin:.
    Some well crafted clues today as usual.

    27a last in and favourite.

    Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  5. We feel a special connection with this setter as we understand he lives in NZ. A very pleasant solve that nicely balanced the challenge of the back-pager. Particularly liked the 9/16d anagram.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  6. I don’t expect there’ll be too many complaints about the Toughie being easy tomorrow – Vlad’s back!

  7. Since the tv is hors de combat I had a go at this; and very pleasant after-dinner entertainment it proved to be.That rose-red city again!
    What would setters do without Ur and Petra? (probably introduce more Mexican dishes).

  8. Obviously there is something lacking in my ability. Everybody says how simple this one is and I am really struggling. I take my hat off to you all but I must concede defeat. I am just not up to it.

  9. Have to confess ,needed hints for two (including said river ) .But life goes on .
    Thanks very much

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