Toughie 1239 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1239

Toughie No 1239 by Kcit

Not keen on frogs?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

In the past I’ve not been the greatest fan of some of Kcit’s puzzles but I really enjoyed this one which I thought was pitched exactly right in terms of difficulty for a Wednesday Toughie. It’s also got a few good laughs which always help the solving and blogging process.

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.

Across Clues

1a Hurried to get cooker cased in iron — one’s not adjusted to escargots and the like! (11)
FRANCOPHOBE – a verb meaning hurried or raced, a slang verb to get or capture and a cooking appliance all go inside (cased in) the chemical symbol for iron. LOL.

10a What’s hydrant extracted from river? Something brown (5)
UMBER – remove the letter used on signs to indicate that there’s a nearby fire hydrant from a river in the North-East of England.

11a Insect that’s bound to nip softly in view? Not initially (9)
CENTIPEDE – a past participle meaning bound or fastened contains (to nip) the abbreviation for softly. Then all that goes inside a view or vista without its initial S.

12a Racket exchanging chlorine for nitrogen? It’s still gas production (9)
NATTERING – start with a racket or clanging noise and replace the first two letters (the chemical symbol for chlorine) with the symbol for nitrogen. That produces gas or hot air of a different type.

13a Couple no good accepting cold, getting colder (5)
ICING – two in Roman numerals followed by the abbreviation for no good with C(old) inserted.

14a Knight meeting a Spanish painter in Japanese city (6)
NAGOYA – the chess abbreviation for knight is followed by A and a Spanish painter.

16a Port not vintage? Have last of Semillon (8)
NEWHAVEN – string together an adjective meaning the opposite of vintage or historic, HAVE and the last letter of Semillon.

18a Variable storms — not very cold — like some of the Med (8)
BALEARIC – an anagram (storms) of (v)ARIABLE without the V(ery) followed by C(old).

20a Revolutionary figure Marat’s article backed after scoundrels rebuffed (6)
SPIRAL – Jean Paul Marat was French so we want a French article reversed (backed) after a dated term for scoundrels or unpleasant people also reversed (rebuffed).

23a State: ‘Times to invest in brewing products’ (5)
TEXAS – insert (to invest) the mathematical sign meaning times into what gets brewed.

24a Broken train isn’t still travelling (2,7)
IN TRANSIT – our second and final anagram of the day is a broken version of TRAIN ISN’T.

26a Prepare to attack excessive rest and obesity, we hear (3,2,4)
LIE IN WAIT – excessive or prolonged rest (3-2) is followed by what sounds like (we hear) obesity or heaviness.

27a Adler, say, showing passion about English Jungian ultimately (5)
IRENE – fans of Sherlock Holmes will have no problems with this one. Ms. Adler was his only notable female adversary (appearing rather strikingly in the recent BBC adaptation) and what we want is her forename. Put a word meaning passion or anger around E(nglish) and the ultimate letter of Jungian.

28a Depression lashes that woman embracing male in Czech Republic (11)
WELTSCHMERZ – this is a word imported from German meaning depression or world-weariness (literally world pain). Start with a word for lashes or blows then we want the IVR code for the Czech Republic containing a feminine pronoun (that woman) which in turn contains M(ale).

Down Clues

2d Provide argument against beginning to run train system in reverse (5)
REBUT – the first letter of R(un) followed by the reversal of the informal term for a train system in London.

3d One develops new series half-cut (judge leaving panel about that) (7)
NURSERY – start with N(ew) then insert half of the word series into a legal panel without its leading J(udge).

4d Plant or sprig lacking in length (6)
ORCHID – OR (from the clue) followed by a sprig or youngster without the letter L (lacking in length).

5d Composer‘s hard on Jamaican music — tossed over without hint of acceptance (8)
HONEGGER – the abbreviation for hard (in a lead pencil), ON and the reversal (tossed over) of a type of Jamaican music without the first letter of A(cceptance) make up the surname of a Swiss composer. If you like steam trains you’ll enjoy his most well-known work Pacific 231:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d Mistake about that article undermining Queen of European country (7)
BRITISH – an informal and dated word for a mistake or blunder contains a pronoun meaning ‘that article’ which itself follows (undermining, in a down clue) a single-character abbreviation for Queen.

7d Sussex council’s task is a never-ending struggle (7,6)
RUNNING BATTLE – the second word here is an appropriately-named small town in East Sussex where a skirmish took place in 1066 (though that’s normally known by the name of a bigger town nearby, presumably to avoid confusion). So the council’s task is to administer this place.

8d Work hard to get story for a faithful follower (8)
BELIEVER – a verb meaning to work hard with an untrue story replacing the A.

9d Encouraging line in improved enquiry from solicitor (7,6)
BEGGING LETTER – a present participle meaning encouraging or spurring and L(ine) go inside a comparative meaning improved.

15d Woman heading alliance securing English stars (8)
GALAXIES – an informal term for a woman (normally reasonably young) precedes (heading) an alliance of countries containing E(nglish).

17d Like a fire, one infiltrating as new revolutionary (8)
MILITANT – a description of a fire and A (one) go inside (infiltrating) an adjective meaning as new or in pristine condition.

19d Playwright missing opening? One should cover up that non-attendance (7)
ABSENCE – a Norwegian playwright without his opening letter is contained inside the term for one in various games.

21d Good article is beginning to monitor key activity (7)
PIANISM – string together an abbreviation meaning good or holy, an indefinite article, IS and the beginning letter of monitor.

22d Jazz fans holding it up still (6)
STATIC – an informal word for jazz fans containing IT, with the whole lot reversed (up).

25d Fight involving energy weapon (5)
SPEAR – a verb to fight or box containing E(nergy).

I enjoyed 7d and 9d a lot but my favourite clue has to be 1a. Let us know which one(s) you liked.

21 comments on “Toughie 1239

  1. A very enjoyable toughie and a superb review, perfect midweek standard, many thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.( loved the Irene Adler picture Lara Pulver is beautiful)

  2. I found this quite tricky in places, but looking back, not quite sure why I made such hard work of it.
    A very enjoyable puzzle; 4*/4* for me. Many thanks to Kcit, and to Gazza.

    1. I too found this very tricky in places and looking back I am perfectly sure why I made such hard work of it!
      Would rate 5* for difficulty just for 28 alone which is a nightmare word if you haven’t come across it before.

  3. Cracking puzzle and a delight to solve, favourites were same as Gazza plus 8d thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review.

  4. Oh dear 27a took me a while because my first thought was Larry!!! I thought it was a good difficulty level, made me think but not impossible. Thanks Kcit and Gazza

  5. Needed a few hints to get going but managed a bit over three quarters on my own which I’m reasonably pleased with… Thanks to gazza for the hints which kick-started the solving for me and thanks to Kcit for an enjoyable puzzle.

  6. I really couldn’t do this at all.
    I managed about three answers, all in the bottom right corner, realised I was getting nowhere fast and ‘popped in’ here for the hints (and answers) for 1a and 7d. Then had another go.
    I still didn’t get very much further. Oh dear!!
    Thanks anyway to Kcit and huge thanks to gazza for what I’ve decided to call some training.

  7. Such a change from yesterday. Romped through the cryptic and stalled on this. Too many words I’d not heard of, 5d and 28a just for starters. I’m in sympathy with Kath.

    1. A friend and I did wonder whether Kcit had borrowed Giovanni’s Book of Obscure Words for Crossword Setters.

  8. I liked all the clues I got , which was 15/28.And it certainly didn’t include 28a. 26a was my favourite.Thanks gazza for the enlightment and explaining 7d.Thanks kcit for the duel that you won.

  9. We are prepared to forgive the setter for the incorrect definition in 11a as it was such a good fun puzzle. One of us even managed to dredge up the name for 28a, much to the surprise of the writer. (I did guess that it might have a dreaded IVR code though). The local geography in 16a and 7d didn’t cause problems on this occasion. A significant challenge for us but we got there. Favourite was 1a.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  10. A real Toughie!! I got a handful of these on my own and then a few more after Gazza’s hints – which more or less finished the NE diagonal. After that it was a case of looking at answers – maybe I might have got a few more if I wasn’t so tired. I would never have got 28a. Still, it was a good challenge so thank you Kcit. And thank you Gazza for the explanations which as Kath says is good training!

  11. Lovely stuff – particularly 7d and 8d. Kcit’s puzzles seem to be getting tougher and more fun. Thanks to him and to Gazza for explaining the scoundrels in 20a, altho they are there in the BRB.

  12. Stumped by 5d until looking at hint, no idea how 11a works despite answer and hint. Those two aside thought this was great fun, thanks to Kcit and Gazza as always.

    1. 11a Bound is TIED – to insert softly means insert P, so TIPED. Now put that inside (s)CENE (view without its initial letter).

      1. Hi Gazza I see that but cannot see what it has do with an insect. Does Chambers say a centipede can be an insect? Surely they belong to different classes?

        1. Apparently it’s an error by the setter – first pointed out by Conrad Cork at #4 above but totally missed by me.

  13. Smashing puzzle ,for me spoilt by 28a which although fairly clued was an obscurity that served no purpose other than perhaps to upgrade the difficulty level .Favourite 1a .
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza yet again

  14. Once again bringing up the tail but another one finished. Even got 28a after much research, although it took me ages to realise that in 23a “Times” = X! Thank you Kcit and thank you GAZZA for your explanations. Sh-Shoney.

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