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Toughie 950

Toughie No 950 by Kcit

Where are the gladioli?

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

One of these days Kcit is going to surprise us with a difficult Toughie, but it’s not today.

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.


8a    Musician playing tune in record (8)
{LUTENIST} – an anagram (playing) of TUNE inside a record or catalogue

9a    Skilful retuning of radio must take time (6)
{ADROIT} – an anagram (retuning) of RADIO followed by T(ime)

10a    Bloke backed chopping a tree (3)
{ELM} – a bloke reversed (backed) without (chopping) the A

11a    Key individual is seen west of European states (8)
{ISLANDER} – someone who lives on a key comes from a charade of the IS from the clue followed by (west of in an across clue) the plural form of a German or Austrian state

12a    Catch chap missing first penalty (6)
{ENTRAP} – a posh chap without his initial letter (missing first) followed by a slang word for a penalty

13a    Down-to-earth about spreading muck around soil — it accompanies many a scene (10,5)
{BACKGROUND MUSIC} – an adjective meaning down-to-earth around an anagram (spreading) of MUCK itself around some soil

15a    After reforming, a clot is not easily moved (7)
{STOICAL} – an anagram (after reforming) of A CLOT IS

18a    Smuggled wine, showing rifle (7)
{RANSACK} – a charade of a verb meaning to smuggle followed by a dry white wine from Spain gives a verb meaning to rifle

21a    Elvis noticeable in broadcast here? (5,10)
{CABLE TELEVISION} – an anagram (broadcast) of ELVIS NOTICEABLE

24a    One in attendance when stuffing is knocked out of cricketer? (6)
{BATMAN} – drop (knocked out) the middle letter (stuffing) from a cricketer

25a    Defensive work to spoil archer’s options at first (8)
{MARTELLO} – a small circular fort that were erected for defence purposes along the coasts of Britain during the Napoleonic Wars is derived from a verb meaning to spoil followed by a famous Swiss archer and the initial letter (at first) Options

26a    The writer turned round, identifying type of music (3)
{EMO} – the first person singular objective pronoun (the writer) reversed (turned) followed by the round letter

27a    Artist that could be behind page in enthralling book? (6)
{TURNER} – the word PAGE followed by the name of this artist gives an enthralling book

28a    Close to bar-room, receiving cold drink before going out? (8)
{NIGHTCAP} – a word meaning close to followed by a room in a bar or pub around C(old)


1d    Trouncing this country has given US airs! (6)
{RUSSIA} – creating an anagram (trouncing) of this country gives US AIRS – or, put differently, this country is an anagram of US AIRS

2d    Observe room on boat housing third of crew (6)
{REMARK} – the abbreviation of R(oo)M and Noah’s boat around (housing) the third letter of crEw

3d    Streaker grinned, upsetting small children (15)
{KINDERGARTENERS} – an anagram (upsetting) of STREAKER GRINNED

4d    All wanting to consume bird’s breast (7)
{STERNUM} – all or total around a seabird

5d    A male, in act, to stay young will adopt a female persona (4,4,7)
{DAME EDNA EVERAGE} – The A from the clue and M(ale) inside an act followed by a phrase meaning to stay young (5,3) around the other A from the clue

6d    Reviews just for the radio having little power in America (5-3)
{WRITE-UPS} – what sounds like (for the radio) a word meaning just or fair followed by P(ower) inside the two-letter abbreviation for America

7d    Health-shop item Australian male found in can in Victoria (7,1)
{VITAMIN C} – A(ustralian) and M(ale) inside (found in) a can all inside the abbreviation for the Australian state of VIC(toria)

14d    My fiddle part’s been cut (3)
{COO} – an expression of surprise similar to My! Is derived by dropping the final letter (part’s been cut) from a verb meaning to fiddle the books

16d    Part of brain in this way split by a punch? (8)
{THALAMUS} – a word meaning in this way aroung the A from the clue and a punch

17d    Provide clearer view of uranium in ailing pit (8)
{ILLUMINE} – the chemical symbol for uranium between an adjective meaning ailing and a pit from which minerals are dug

19d    ‘Ring’ specialist engrossed in opera literature (3)
{ALI} – the name of a famous boxer is hidden (engrossed) inside the clue

20d    Pay-off from union demerger (7)
{ALIMONY} – a cryptic definition of a pay-off that follows a divorce (union demerger)

22d    Time out is upset, seat being jiggled (6)
{SIESTA} – IS reversed (upset in a down clue) followed by an anagram (jiggled) of SEAT

23d    Garage container one left about in the course of working (6)
{OILCAN} – a container found in a garage is derived by putting I (one), L(eft) and the two-letter Latin abbreviation for about inside a word meaning working

A pleasant start to the week.


12 comments on “Toughie 950

  1. Enjoyable enough but not Toughie standard in my opinion, my thanks to Kcit and to BD for the review.

  2. Finished all but 14d. An expression of surprise? I’m surprised at such a rubbish clue and answer!

  3. An enjoyable solve which I began before The Cryptic when I saw it was a Kcit. Thanks to all.

  4. Completed this early this morning when it was snowing and was held up by 13a and 16d .
    Coo! it’s snowing again ! -doesn’t work for me either .
    Enjoyable nontheless
    Thanks very much

  5. Finished very quickly apart from 14d, not a good clue and spoilt an otherwise enjoyable puzzle. Always glad to finish a Toughie unaided even if everyone gives it two stars. It still feels good.
    Thanks very much

  6. It all went in without too much of a fight for us. Did struggle with the word-play on a few eg 10a, 11a and 12a (interesting that they are in sequence). Enjoyed the process. Reckon this difficulty is about right for a Tuesday.
    Thanks Kcit and BD.

  7. I struggled with the 8a, not with the parsing, but to believe it was a word! Many thanks to Kcit and BD.

  8. I picked it up quite late last night, and did all except 2 clues, which I left for further inspiration this morning. None of that was forthcoming, so I looked them up, and I don’t think I’d have got either of them (11a, 2d)

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