Toughie 1272 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1272


Toughie No 1272 by Kcit

Repetitio mater studiorum est *

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A pleasant enough puzzle, but, once again, hardly a Toughie.

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    Try anything, having cooked tarts after batch of eggs was cracked (6,2,6)
CLUTCH AT STRAWS: an anagram (having cooked) of TARTS preceded by a batch of eggs and followed by an anagram (cracked) of WAS

9a    Award for nothing kind of dog with tail put up, coming first (7)
ROSETTE: O (nothing) followed by a kind of dog with its final letter (tail) moved to the front of the answer (put up, coming first)

10a    Poet all but accepting one British Library public reading must be this (7)
AUDIBLE: most of (all but) a British poet around I (one) and the abbreviation for British Library

11a    Sun initiating signs of life? (3)
SOL: the initial letters of three words in the clue

12a    Feature of sturdier legs, perhaps, that keeps daughter doing rounds thus, against the clock? (11)
WIDDERSHINS: presumable sturdier legs have these (5,5), then insert D(aughter) to get a Scottish word meaning going round in an anticlockwise direction

14a    Contributor to order, one secured by company representative (6)
NUNCIO: a member of a religious order followed by I (one) inside CO(mpany)

15a    Irish comedian to freeload in Italian city (8)
MILLIGAN: A three-letter verb meaning to freeload inside an Italian city

17a    Listen about a couple encompassing King’s killing (4-4)
HARA-KIRI: a verb meaning to listen, perhaps to the singing of the Herald Angels, around the A from the clue followed by the Roman numerals for a couple / two around (encompassing) K(ing)

19a    Group, half-startled, repelled invader (6)
CORTÉS: a group and the first half of a verb meaning startled all reversed (repelled) – the invader was a Spanish Conquistador

22a    This writer, mostly ethical, cracked alibi, showing evidence of past activity (11)
MEMORABILIA: the first person objective pronoun (this person) followed by most of an adjective meaning ethical and an anagram (cracked, again) of ALIBI – perhaps Kcit might learn something from Prolixic’s Rookie notes about the repetition of indicators in the same puzzle!

23a    Some whiskey readily knocked back? (3)
RYE: hidden (some) and reversed (knocked back) inside the clue

24a    Soldiers from Italy landed within target, though facing the wrong way (7)
MILITIA: the IVR code for Italy and a three-letter verb meaning landed inside the reversal (though facing the wrong way) of a target or intention

26a    Musical‘s a success, with style foremost (7)
CHICAGO: the A from the clue and a two-letter success both preceded by (foremost) style or elegance

27a    Be very sad and upset once you try and see about son (3,4,4,3)
CRY ONE’S EYES OUT: an anagram (upset) of ONCE YOU TRY and SEE around S(on)


1d    Summer hyacinths I extracted — in replacement, these? (14)
CHRYSANTHEMUMS: an anagram (in replacement) of SUMMER HYAC[I]NTHS without (extracted) the I

2d    Ancient character raised rural storage on end of plantation (7)
UPSILON: this Ancient Greek character is a charade of a two-letter word meaning raised, a grain store and the final letter (end) of [plantation]N

3d    Radio component ideal in quantity? (4-7)
CAT’S WHISKER: this part of an old crystal radio, when pluralised (in quantity), means the ideal thing – in the latter phrase the second word can also be “pyjamas”, but they wouldn’t be much use in a radio!

4d    Programme showing target within range (6)
AGENDA: a target similar to the one in the wordplay for 24 across inside a famous make of range cooker

5d    Prominent people picked up about heading off bogus dodgy medicine (5-3)
SNAKE OIL: reverse (picked up in a down clue) some famous people around an adjective meaning bogus without its initial letter (heading off) – picked up is more usually encountered as a homophone indicator

6d    Nothing removed from cross bar (3)
ROD: Drop one of the Os (nothing) from a type of cross – nice to see that the Kcit doesn’t use the “lift & separate” construct “crossbar”, so beloved of the loonies on a certain other website

7d    Belt material, initially weak, and weakening (7)
WEBBING: the initial letter of W[eak] followed by a verb meaning weakening or declining

8d    ‘Pastoral events’ would misrepresent this problem in the country (8,6)
PEASANTS’ REVOLT: an anagram (would misrepresent) of PASTORAL EVENTS gives Wat Tyler’s uprising of 1381

13d    It deals with faint discharge left on a hat (3,8)
SAL VOLATILE: a discharge followed by L(eft), the A from the clue and that word for a hat which is only seen in crosswords (and The Usual Suspects!)

16d    Bar some game in church — card game? (8)
CRIBBAGE: a bar or support and the result of a day’s game hunting all inside the Church of England

18d    Walker‘s twisted back — doctor left to probe that (7)
RAMBLER: the reversal (twisted) of a word meaning the back or posterior around a two-letter abbreviation for a doctor and L(eft)

20d    Trouble with rent is a blow (7)
TORNADO: some trouble preceded by a verb meaning rent or split

21d    Secure East, not North — that’s what’s always said (6)
CLICHÉ: a verb meaning to secure and E(ast) with the N(orth) removed

25d    Three without one, primarily? (3)
TWO: the prime number which is equal to three minus (without) one comes from the initial letters (primarily) of the first three words in the clue

Bufo is in London next week for the S&B meeting and will be back in a fortnight.

* Repetition is the mother of learning-  which goes to prove that it’s not all bad!

17 comments on “Toughie 1272

  1. My usual failed efforts to complete the toughie were reversed today, so it must have been easier than most! I enjoyed 12a as it was the last entered and I struggled to get this word! I managed to work out the answer but had never come across the word before.

    1. Terry Pratchett has the Widdershins Ocean which flows around the Counterweight Continent to meet the Turnwise Ocean. Just thought you should know that’s all.

  2. Finished it (unusually) apart from 19a. Very pleased with myself…. why, whenever I finish a Toughie everyone else finds it easy!! Really enjoyed this one!

  3. Agree with your scores BD. The big anagrams provided a kick-start – it’s pleasing that “pastoral events” is an anagram of 8d – nice clue. Also liked 1a.

    Thanks to Kcit and BD
    BTW – it looks like the hiding thing [whatever one calls it] hasn’t worked on 14a

  4. Enjoyed this. Made a bit of a change from the back page where I should have stuck to my first instinct and gone for **/**.
    I think 3d might be favourite.

    Anyway, thanks to Kcit and BD.

  5. Another gentle but enjoyable crossword but not a toughie. Thanks to Kcit and to BD for a super review.

  6. I was told as a child that you could raise the Devil by walking 12a around a church. Living in Southern England, I didn’t think the word was exclusively Scottish. Has anyone tried it?

  7. I’d put it a bit nearer 3* than 2* for difficulty, but not too stiff. Quite fun, though, and 1d gets a massive thumbs up from me because it reminds me of my darling sainted Mum who is often pictured surrounded by them. 13d l worked out had something to do with smelling salts, but l needed Mr Google and Mr Wikipedia to get the solution. Thanks, Kcit, and BD for the review.

  8. I found this hard – the pastoral events took me longer than it should have, but there were some central clues that had me stumped for ages 19a 12a 17a 3d

    I thought bar plus big ( for some game) was missing an anagrind inside church for the card game

    Very enjoyable,

    Many thanks Kcit and BD

  9. The long peripheral anagrams fell quite quickly which gave us heaps of checkers to work with. Enjoyed the puzzle with lots of chuckles along the way and we picked 12a as our favourite.
    Thanks Kcit and BD.

  10. Struggled hard and did half in the end! In other words it was tough for me but I enjoyed the challenge( until I ran out of ideas). Thanks to BD and to Kcit.

  11. 3 weeks behind as usual. Yes it IS funny how what is hard for one is easy for another, and vice versa .
    As I had never heard of 12a,14a,13d * 3 down as part of a radio, I was well stuffed . , worse as they depended on each other a little , were long and affected others.
    This is why foe some a 2* , which should be minimum 3* becomes a 4 . They ruined it, and I dont like foreign words , from languages that have different script, as in HARI-KIRI as there are many spellings
    Kcit, must do better, his are the worst

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