Toughie 966 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 966

Toughie No 966 by Kcit

Learn your periodic table!

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

Kcit’s puzzles are seldom difficult, but this was a tad more so than most. What doesn’t change is the enjoyment level.

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    What makes you unlikely to open up  book? (7)
{RESERVE} – two definitions – shyness and a verb meaning to book a place

5a    Writer is taken aback about retirement fund (7)
{PENSION} – a writing implement followed by IS reversed (taken aback) and a two-letter word meaning about

9a    Is coming in half cut, initially, showing quakiness (7)
{SEISMIC} – IS inside a four-letter word meaning half and followed by the initial letter of Cut

10a    One’s slow returning quantity of money, looking embarrassed, keeping pound back (7)
{DAWDLER} – a returning quantity of money reversed (returning) followed by an adjective meaning looking embarrassed around (keeping) the single-letter abbreviation for a pound all reversed (back)

11a    Opening in dance mostly a minor matter (9)
{BAGATELLE} – an opening into a field inside most of a type of classical dance

12a    After losing head, scatters item of clothing (5)
{TREWS} – drop (losing) the initial T (head) from a verb meaning scatters

13a    Scavenger‘s racket meeting with success? (5)
{DINGO} – a three-letter racket followed by a success

15a    Quantity of drink and chap’s occupying a seat drunkenly (6,3)
{TASMAN SEA} – this drink is for sailing not drinking! – a chap and the S from ‘s inside (occupying) an anagram (drunkenly) of A SEAT

17a    Computer program always operated in reverse? It bears fruit (5,4)
{APPLE TREE} – a six-letter word for a small computer program followed by the reversal (operated in reverse) of the poetic word for always operated in reverse

19a    Poet‘s English work rebuffed (5)
{ELIOT} – E(nglish) followed by the reversal of some hard work

22a    Starts to unveil reasonable flair on board? (5)
{SURFS} – the initial letters of (starts to) three words in the clue inside a two-letter abbreviation for a vessel – the definitions is something that someone on a board does in the sea

23a    Cut-down rifle repelled smearing of oil in battle (9)
{GALLIPOLI} – most of (cut down) a verb meaning to rifle or sack reversed (repelled) followed by an anagram (smearing) of OIL

25a    Gas swallowed up recent arrival (7)
{NEONATE} – a gaseous element followed by a verb meaning swallowed up

26a    Opening one No Trumps, I almost entirely enthral Institute (7)
{INITIAL} – I (one) followed by the abbreviation for No Trumps, the I from the clue, and most of a three-letter word meaning entirely with I(nstitute) inserted (enthral)

27a    Impressions from assessor brought in by Civil Service (7)
{CRATERS} – an assessor inside(brought in by) the abbreviation for the Civil Service

28a    Telephone component document’s first presented in German, perhaps, and French (7)
{HANDSET} – the initial letter (first) of Document inside () a German name and the French for and


1d           Mogul’s childhood memory became prominent, supported by friend (7)
{ROSEBUD} – the childhood memory of Charles Foster Kane comes from a charade of a verb meaning became prominent supported by /over in a down clue a colloquial word for a friend

2d           A little insect found in tin (7)
{SMIDGEN} – an insect inside the chemical symbol for tin

3d           Mounting row about money transfer (5)
{REMIT} – reverse (mounting in a down clue} a row around M(oney)

4d           Internal flight that’s a moving experience? (9)
{ESCALATOR} – a cryptic definition of a moving flight of stairs

5d           Minister to walk quietly about (5)
{PADRE} – a verb meaning to walk quietly followed by a two-letter word meaning about

6d           Treads, perhaps in rags? (9)
{NEWSTRADE} – split as (3,6) this could indicate an anagram for which the answer is TREADS – these rags are the press

7d           Condition‘s calm, once stone’s dislodged (7)
{ILLNESS} – start with a word meaning calm and drop (dislodged) the ST(one) from the beginning

8d           Shakespearean maid set up as seductive woman (7)
{NERISSA} – the name of Portia’s maid in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice is derived by reversing (set up) AS and a seductive woman

14d         Make too much of country having finished first (9)
{OVERSTATE} – a general name for a country preceded by a word meaning finished

16d         Hermit, perhaps, not considering others, adopting hard line in separate instances (9)
{SHELLFISH} – hermit, a type of crab, is an example (perhaps) of this – start with an adjective meaning not considering others and insert (adopting) H(ard) and L(ine) in separate instances, i.e. into different parts of the word

17d         As for this, it’s dispersed in scare (7)
{ARSENIC} – the element with the chemical symbol As is an anagram (dispersed) of  IN SCARE

18d         No spare change? That’s in character (7)
{PERSONA} – an anagram (change) of NO SPARE

20d         Is about to strive to secure gold, showing keys (7)
{IVORIES} – IS around a verb meaning to strive itself around the heraldic term for gold gives these piano keys

21d         Drug experience allowed for one of siblings (7)
{TRIPLET} – a drug experience followed by a word meaning allowed or permitted

23d         Reckon those staying will be out of time (5)
{GUESS} – start with those staying in a hotel and drop (will be out of) the T(ime)

24d         A tormented figure, I will lead soccer team and cricket side (5)
{IXION} – this king was punished by Zeus ,for attempting to seduce Hera, by being pinned to a fiery wheel that revolved unceasingly through the underworld – the I from the clue followed by the number of players in a soccer team and another name for the leg side in cricket

Looks like being a good week!

10 comments on “Toughie 966

  1. 3*/4* for me too. I got bogged down in the top left for a while, but once I got 2d, the rest fell into place.
    A good start to the toughie week. Thanks to Kcit, and to BD.

  2. A very enjoyable toughie from Kcit which I had a lovely time solving. Many thanks to Kcit and BD.

  3. Good puzzle today and very enjoyable, favourites were 2d 6d and 15a thanks to Kcit and to Big Dave for the comments.

  4. Did not fly through this but enjoyed it a lot .Completed order SW,NW,SE,NE .
    Faves 2d ,8d ,25a .
    Thanks very much .

  5. Perhaps I’m just used to kcit as phi but I flew through this, a pleasant diversion on train home. Thanks bd and belated happy birthday.

  6. Well we didn’t need to go to Wikipdia for 15a. All we needed to do was look out our front window, across the estuary, and there it is in the distance, with waves breaking across the bar at the river mouth. Tomorrow for us, 25th April, is Anzac Day, so the answer for 23a is most appropriate in this part of the world. Our delight in finding both these clues in the puzzle pushes it straight into 5* enjoyment for us. No great hold-ups and a lot of fun throughout.
    Many thanks Kcit and BD.

  7. Am too in the enjoyed this camp, like Jezza found 2d the problem in the nw. Thanks BD and Kcit

  8. ***/**** for me, I needed help with 20d, just couldn’t see what would fit despite having four letters in it !

  9. Thanks to Kcit and to Big Dave for the review and super hints. For once I feel that I can comment on a Toughie, as I managed to complete three quarters of it before resorting to the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I managed all the chemical clues, but stumped in the NE corner and by 20d. so needed 7 hints to finish. Once I had the checking letters I managed to get 8d. I really enjoyed the challenge because when a Toughie is 3* difficulty or more, it’s normally right over my head. Almost got sunburn today, but the cold will be back by Friday. Enjoyment was 4*

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