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Toughie 1284

Toughie No 1284 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I found this to be a trickier than usual Kcit puzzle. It didn’t help that I couldn’t give it my undivided attention because I had to keep an eye on a 5-year-old at the same time that I was solving it. Even so I think it was definitely in the 4-star difficulty zone. It was an enjoyable puzzle in which some of the wordplay needed a bit of thought.


7a    Include free ticket? That’s a deception (8)
COMPRISE: An abbreviated word for a free ticket + a deception (or the sport of making a butt of someone in deception)

9a    Ape goes round an overhanging mass of foliage (6)
CANOPY: ‘To ape’ round AN

10a    Tabloid editor, agitated, scrapping one page (3-3)
RED TOP: An anagram (agitated) of EDTOR (EDITOR less I) + P (page)

11a    Guzzle meal, including most of melon cocktail (8)
DEMOLISH: To guzzle (eat up greedily) = a meal round an anagram (cocktail) of MELO (MELON minus its last letter)

12a    Naval record, showing oysters grilled at sea (6,8)
LLOYD’S REGISTER: A record of merchant ships is an anagram (at sea) of OYSTERS GRILLED

15a    Nothing had an effect in late notice given by newspaper (4)
OBIT: O (nothing) + ‘had an effect’ = a notice of someone’s death in a newspaper

17a    Helpful fellow, diving into river (2,3)
OF USE: F (fellow) inside the name of a Yorkshire (or Sussex) river

19a    Solemn when turning round in Church vestment (4)
COPE: A reversal of solemn (as in **-faced) inside the Church of England = a liturgical vestment

20a    Patisserie hands turned out no end of these! (6,8)
DANISH PASTRIES: An anagram (turned out) of PATISSERIE HANDS minus a letter E (last letter of thesE). The whole clue provides the definition. The answer is called Vienna bread in Denmark

23a    Someone further up tree glances to rear, missing things on either side (8)
ANCESTOR: Someone further up the family tree is hidden in glANCES TO Rear

25a    Had a bit of a jog, mostly finding release (6)
RANSOM: Remove the last letter from a phrase (3,4) meaning ‘had a bit of a jog’ to give release from captivity (after money has been paid)

27a    Notes I will ignore the French power (6)
MUSCLE: Notes (as played on an instrument) with the letter I removed + a French word for ‘the’

28a    Failure of power backed study from other hands (3-5)
PRE-OWNED: An anagram (failure) of POWER + a reversal of a study


1d    Someone who doesn’t understand / information (4)
DOPE: 2 meanings: someone who doesn’t understand (i.e. a fool)/information

2d    A personal appearance undercut by your historic lack of interest (6)
APATHY: A + an abbreviation of ‘personal appearance’ + an old word for ‘your’

3d    Stop supporting student grant (4)
LEND: ‘Stop’ follows L (student or learner)

4d    First traces of slick immediately surrounding affected prawns (6)
SCAMPI: The first letters of Slick Immediately round ‘affected’

5d    Articles beginning to lament urban uprising, leading to resolution (8)
ANALYTIC: An indefinite article + another indefinite article + L (first letter of Lament) + a reversal (uprising) of ‘urban’

6d    Sort of digression, or signal not always well placed? (10)
APOSTROPHE: 2 meanings: a sudden turning away from the ordinary course of a speech to address some person or object present or absent / a signal (sign or mark) that is often misplaced (especially by greengrocers reputedly)

8d    How browser reports dictionary location of ‘painting technique‘? (7)
IMPASTO: Someone browsing the dictionary from the beginning might say *’* **** * when they reach the letter P (for painting). The answer is a technique in painting involving laying paint on thickly

13d    Student couple, tender intimately, sense it’s lustful (10)
LIBIDINOUS: L (student or learner) + the Roman numeral for two (a couple) round ‘to tender’ + common sense

14d    Spain’s crack outfit (5)
EQUIP: The IVR for Spain + crack (clever remark) = ‘to outfit’

16d    Most of soccer team refuse to accept coach’s initial direction (8)
TENDENCY: One less than the number of players in a soccer team + ‘to refuse’ round C (first letter of Coach)

18d    Film studios promoted the French film actress endlessly (7)
ELSTREE: A reversal of a French word for ‘the’ + the surname of an Oscar-winning actress with the last letter removed

21d    State of play: forward is moving up (6)
SITREP: A report on the current military position = a reversal of ‘forward or saucy’ and IS

22d    Celebrity currently engaged in opening? Not entirely (6)
RENOWN: ‘Currently’ inside an opening with the last letter removed

24d    Line turning up in middle of news item? (4)
ROPE: Reverse the middle 4 letters of a 6-letter word for a news item

26d    Nothing very new about energy being required for heater (4)
OVEN: Single letters denoting ‘nothing’, ‘very’ and ‘new’ round one denoting ‘energy’

Not bad for a Thursday!

14 comments on “Toughie 1284

  1. I managed most of this. The two long anagrams were very helpful for me in getting a foothold. However I was largely defeated by the SE corner. I had not heard of sitrep in 24d, nor am I familiar with the film studio in 18d. I thought ransom was a bit of a stretch for release, but perhaps that’s me being a sore loser! On the whole I enjoyed this very much, and my disappointment in not finishing is tempered by the **** rating for difficulty!

  2. It took a good while for the penny to drop for 12A, and although I had parsed 21D correctly the resulting word looked to be nonsense, so I dismissed it. Other than that, I had no problems and found it considerably more straightforward than yesterday’s 2-star-rated Elkamere. I liked 6D in particular (grammarly clues always appeal to me) and also 8D. Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  3. Hello everyone As usual the short words gave me the most trouble. Was defeated by 21 and 22d for which I thought the spelling was reknown. Such an easy mistake for the French to translate word for word. Sitrep was totally new to me also and I still can’t understand the parsing of 13d. 7a was a “bung in” as most people say as I had the comp from my days at the D of Y theatre in London, but rise being a deception is new to me. 6d was very fitting as I never know how to use an apostrophe correctly. Thanks to Kcit and Bufo for the review.

  4. I have second thoughts about 6d. In France a digression would be more a parenthesis rather than an apostrophe.

  5. Enjoyable puzzle!

    Faves : 12a, 20a, 28a, 8d, 18d & 24d.

    Another magnificent day weatherwise here in NL but a tad colder.

  6. Definitely very difficult. I only managed half a dozen clues. I then tried Bufo explanations on a couple and tried to restart but still couldn’t make much head way. Until this week I thought I was progressing but yesterdays and todays had me baffled,

  7. 21d was a word that we had not encountered before and although we had worked out how the wordplay should work, it took us a long time pondering before we checked it out in BRB. Quite challenging and pleasant enough to solve. 6d was our favourite.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

    1. With dope rope and cope was looking for a nina to no avail. 21d and 13d get my vote. Thanks to Bufo and Kcit

  8. I thought this was going to be a shoe-in, then got stuck on 21d. Enjoyed 9a and 20a but I’m with Jean-Luc re 13d. Is “intimately” meant to indicate the insertion of BID??? Perhaps we should be told!

    Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

  9. Managed 12 answers and then resorted to Bufo’s hints. Relieved to learn that I was on the right track with most of the rest and only needed to reveal the answers for 21d (new word) and 28a – had completely missed the parsing of the latter.
    Glad I gave it a try and loved the parsing for 8d!

    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for making it all clear.

  10. Very enjoyable,and it waseven more enjoyable to be able to do most of it.21 down eluded me (and it still does)and for some reason 28a as well. I just didn’t grasp the definition in that one. Thanks Kcit and Buffo.

  11. Impressed myself by doing all but one (24d), but now discover I had two wrong. Put dupe for 1d (couldn’t really justify it) and surprise for 7a, which I convinced myself was a deception, though couldn’t see where free ticket fitted. Happy to accept **** for difficulty! Thanks to all, though don’t suppose anyone still reading the blog the day after the event!

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