Toughie 986 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 986

Toughie No 986 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

The usual gentle start to the Toughie week, which took me almost exactly the same time as the back-page puzzle.

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1a    The French: not crazy about good pasta (7)
{LASAGNE} – the French feminine definite article followed by an adjective meaning not crazy around G(ood)

5a    Looking horrified at Society backing criminal group (7)
{STARING} – AT and S(ociety) reversed (backing) followed by a group of criminals

9a    Run out of cash? Deliveries are kept on hold (9)
{OVERSPEND} – sets of six deliveries in cricket followed by a verb meaning are kept on hold

10a    Military boss advanced to seize head of regiment roughly (5)
{CIRCA} – the three-letter abbreviation for a military boss and A(dvanced), as in a level of examination, around (to seize) the initial letter (head) of Regiment

11a    University book including chapter giving result (7)
{OUTCOME} – the two-letter abbreviation for a UK University and a large book around (including) C(hapter)

12a    Slip — or its content? (7)
{ERRATUM} – a slip of paper inserted into a book listing a slip or mistake found after publication

13a    Revenue collectors? Everyone upset about Government filling bags! (9)
{TOLLGATES} – another word for everyone reversed (upset, an indicator usually only used in down clues) around G(overnment) all inside (filling) some large shopping bags

16a    Person on boards tense, blocking a company’s source of recovery (5)
{ACTOR} – T(ense) inside (blocking) the A from the clue, CO(mpany) and the initial letter (source) of Recovery

17a    Went wild — greatly desired to keep volume up (5)
{RAVED} – an adjective meaning greatly desired around V(olume) all reversed (up, another indicator usually only used in a down clue)

18a    Always disputing description of singular downpour? (3-3-3)
{CAT-AND-DOG} – an adjective meaning constantly quarrelling (always disputing) could be the singular of a downpour, but more usually both nouns are pluralised

21a    Gun company hogging attention (7)
{FIREARM} – a four-letter word for a company around (hogging) attention or willingness to listen to others

22a    A liqueur rejected after soft food — it’s peppery (7)
{PAPRIKA} – the A from the clue and a liqueur made from dry white wine and cassis reversed (rejected) after some soft food

25a    Composer drank endlessly (5)
{SUPPÉ} – to get the name of this Austrian composer, drop the final D (endlessly) from a verb meaning drank

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a    Go downhill, trying to get tennis star’s autograph? (3,2,4)
{RUN TO SEED} – could be construed as rushing towards a tennis player who has been selected so that he doesn’t meet other top players in the early rounds of a tournament

27a    For example, no good reason not to translate T S Eliot (7)
{LITOTES}- “no good reason not to” is an example of this grammatical construct involving the negation of the contrary meaning (“not a little” and “I shan’t be sorry” are others) – an anagram (translate) of T S ELIOT

28a    Material influence not about to be enveloped by cheers (7)
{TAFFETA} – start with a verb meaning to influence, drop (not) the C (circa / about) and put what is left inside (to be enveloped by) a two-letter word meaning cheers or thank you


1d    Ring certainly being snatched by hooligan — take care! (4,3)
{LOOK OUT} – the letter shaped like a ring (yuk!) followed by a two-letter word meaning certainly or alright inside (being snatched by) a hooligan

2d    Attractive selection of pieces on the radio (5)
{SWEET} – sounds like (on the radio) a selection of pieces of furniture

3d    Substance not entirely used on second machine (5)
{GISMO} – almost all of (not entirely used) the substance or main point of a matter followed by a second or short period of time

4d    Magazine finally fast to secure this writer as contributor? (7)
{ELEMENT} – the final letter of magazinE followed by a period of fasting around (to secure) the first person objective pronoun / this writer

5d    Not generally the emotion of a blue movie? (7)
{SADNESS} – a word meaning the emotion of being blue or unhappy – in a blue movie the word blue has a rather different connotation!

6d    Make sure it’s a crane that’s taken apart (9)
{ASCERTAIN} – an anagram (taken apart) of IT’S A CRANE

7d    Taxmen assessed about it getting annoyed (9)
{IRRITATED} – the taxmen (or rather the old name for the taxmen, they are now the HMRC) followed by a verb meaning assessed around IT

8d    Live with damage found on Greek language textbook (7)
{GRAMMAR} – a two-letter verb meaning to live or exist followed by a verb meaning to damage after (on, usually only used in this way in an across clue) GR(eek)

14d    Sign of age in meat — best to be returned (5,4)
{LIVER SPOT} – some offal followed by the reversal (to be returned) of a word meaning the best

15d    Grand poet, struggling, finds sponsor (9)
{GODPARENT} – an anagram (struggling) of GRAND POET

17d    Result of declining to create cut in curtailed area (7)
{REFUSAL} – a verb meaning to create or complain without its final S (cut) inside an area or domain without its final M (curtailed)

18d    Angler’s action almost catching American snappers (7)
{CAMERAS} – what an angler does to throw his fishing line into the water without its final T (almost) around the four-letter abbreviation of AMER(ican)

19d    Hairstyle upset Kitty — Kitty’s foremost fashionable style made over (7)
{TOPKNOT} – reverse (upset, correctly used in a down clue) a kitty or accumulated pool of bets and follow it with the initial letter (foremost) of Kitty and the reversal (made over) of a fashion or style

20d    Relative of note embraced by successful student gaining qualification (7)
{GRANDMA} – N(ote) inside (embraced by) the four-letter shortened form of a word for a successful student and the qualification he may have gained

23d    Academic keeping old coin for display (5)
{PROOF} – the four-letter shortened form of a word for an academic around O(ld) gives a coin intended for display rather than circulation, struck from polished dies on polished blanks

24d    Girl‘s anger one initially ignored (5)
{IRENE} – a girl’s name comes from a charade of anger and (O)NE without its initial letter (initially ignored)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

It may be that I am being pedantic, but I was disappointed with the way in which some reversal indicators were used, the use of on meaning before in a down clue and the taxmen not being preceded by old.

14 comments on “Toughie 986

  1. The day isn’t dismal here and nor did I find this so .Oddly I also completed in the same time as the back pager and grumbled about the abbreviation for tax office .
    Enjoyed this rather more than tother .
    Faves 3d,9a,18a.
    Thanks very much .

  2. Not dismal here either. It’s a beautiful day. I enjoyed the puzzle evern though I was stumped on 10D, incorrect on 2D, and needed lots of explanations as to why other answers were correct. I learned a new word in 27A. 18A was my favorite, closely followed by 22A.

    I very much appreciate all the setters and Big Dave and all of his reviewers. Even on days when I’m defeated, or don’t enjoy a particular puzzle as much as usual, I do make an effort not to be discourteous and I would never be dismissive of their work.

  3. I’m afraid I agree with Marcus Brown about both puzzles – and with Only Fools that this one was (for me ) better than the other. Oh well, better luck tomorrow

    1. Well you would agree with yourself wouldn’t you! Your comments and those of your alter ego are being closely monitored. I thought it was only me and others on the team that had made the connection, but so had a couple of the setters I met last week. Using multiple identities is known as trolling, and if it persistes will result in both of your aliases being banned from this site.

      1. I’ve always thought of the two muppets. Guess this might need moderation.

  4. I struggled with this one and had to go back to it on the way home. i found it quite fun so thanks to Kcit and BD.

  5. Never seen phi make mistakes in across downs like this. Editor influence?

  6. As far as trolling goes this is pretty tame if it is. You should see IT blogs. Just wonder why anyone would troll as benign a thing as a crossword blog. Anyway thanks phi

  7. As is usual with Kcit puzzles, we really enjoyed this one. It can’t be just that he lives about an hours drive from where we live, as we had no idea who the setter was when we solved. The DT site was still showing a blank when we went to bed last night. The only problem we had was with the parsing of 17d for which we needed the hint this morning. Lots of fun clues.
    Thanks Kcit and BD.

  8. My last 2 in were 4 and 5d . 4d because I stupidly missed the “fast” and am still missing something or trying to read too much into 5d, I get sad equals blue but why movie?. Apoligies for denseness BD. And thanks to Phi if it is he who I regard highly from the Indy

  9. I wasn’t aware of having a clone. I will watch him closely from now on. I wish he would do my work for me too

  10. I am the only person using my computer and don’t use anybody else’s. Also your alter ego idea is weird. My comments, for what they’re worth, are all my own.

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