Toughie 1427 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1427

Toughie No 1427 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I made slow progress until I’d cracked 2 or 3 of the anagrams. It was then plain sailing until I got to some of the accursed four-letter answers at the end. I enjoyed this one. There are a few slightly obscure answers but I had no problems understanding any of the wordplay

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    Diamonds — arranging of date, ending in ceremony –- eternally devoted? (4-6)
ROCK-STEADY: Diamonds + an anagram (arranging of) of DATE + the last letter of ceremonY

6a    Try to eradicate a black plant (4)
HERB: ‘To try (a court case) with the letter A removed (eradicated) + B (black)

9a    A shocking time, in terms of shock? (3,4,3)
BAD HAIR DAY: The shock is one that grows on the head

10a    Go out, avoiding sun — coming back, suffer effects of sun? (4)
PEEL: A reversal of ‘to go out’ with the letter S (sun) removed

12a    Court dismissing last two tribunals after review and lots of study (12)
LUCUBRATIONS: An anagram (after review) of COU TRIBUNALS. The answer is a word that I knew existed but I had no idea what it meant. I needed the checking letters to work out the anagram

15a    Blinking line I exhibit when cycling? (6)
OWLISH: Take L (line) and I and ‘to exhibit’ and then put the last two letters at the front

16a    Ape, losing head, stepping back, cracking principal weapon (8)
SCIMITAR: A reversal of ‘to ape’ with the first letter removed goes inside ‘principal’ to give a type of sword

18a    Naughty once, with mother restricting one’s praise (8)
ENCOMIUM: An anagram (naughty) of ONCE + mother round I (one)

19a    Required US industrialist to accommodate church (6)
FORCED: The surname of a US industrialist round one of the usual 2-letter abbreviations denoting ‘church’

21a    Second chance to view translation of poetical yarn (6,6)
ACTION REPLAY: An anagram (translation of) of POETICAL YARN

24a    Man‘s son abandoning eggs (4)
PAWN: A chessman = a mass of eggs laid in water with the letter S (son) removed

25a    Ritual representing one miracle (10)
CEREMONIAL: An anagram (representing) of ONE MIRACLE

26a    Secure note provided by musical sense (4)
EARN: Musical sense + N (note)

27a    Flight arrangement done in stages (4,2,4)
STEP BY STEP: How a flight of stairs is arranged


1d    Massage daily finally makes you red (4)
RUBY: ‘To massage’ + the last letter of dailY

2d    Some people do computing, picking this up (4)
CODE: Hidden in reverse inside peoplE DO Computing. The whole clue provides the definition

3d    Item with cachet a smutty slob’s ruined (6,6)
STATUS SYMBOL: An anagram (ruined) of A SMUTTY SLOB

4d    Reprimand, and what it may make you, if not at first (6)
EARFUL: A reprimand = ‘ready to cry’ with the first letter removed

5d    Vehicle in view, heading off and moving up in driving contest (4,4)
DRAG RACE: Put a road vehicle inside ‘to view’ with the first letter removed. Then reverse the result to get a contest in which cars accelerate from a standing start

7d    Detective with careful approach securing prisoner’s appearance of trust? (3,7)
EYE CONTACT: A detective (usually preceded by ‘peivate’) + a prisoner + a careful approach

8d    Labour upset American business support (10)
BALUSTRADE: A reversal of an abbreviated form of Labour + American + business

11d    Ranting to baffle Catholic congregation (5,7)
STUMP ORATORY: A rant, often by a US political figure, = ‘to baffle’ + one of various congregations in the Roman Catholic Church

13d    Say dealing in currency’s substantial (3,7)
FOR EXAMPLE: An abbreviated form of Foreign Exchange + substantial

14d    Notice haulier’s under municipal feature (5,5)
CLOCK TOWER: A slang word for ‘to notice’ + a haulier (one who hauls)

17d    Food? Fruit split has one tucking in (8)
NUTRIENT: A fruit with a hard shell + split (a past participle) round I (one)

20d    Running costs continue, after switching components (6)
UPKEEP: ‘Continue’ (4,2) with the 2-letter word moved to the front

22d    Talent? Minimum of talent linked to moving image (4)
GIFT: A standard computer image file format (which can be used for moving images) + the first letter of Talent

23d    Escape‘s a narrow thing (4)
SLIP: 2 meanings: escape/anything slender or narrow

Trickier than many Kcit puzzles (and much the better for that)

18 comments on “Toughie 1427

  1. Yes, I think Kcit’s puzzles have been getting trickier and this one took a bit of getting into. Some of the 4-letter words were quite challenging. 4d was quite neat.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the blog.
    ps there’s a typo in “private” [7d] – shows I read it all!

  2. Many thanks Bufo, I think you’ve done well, there were two words I did not know existed let alone what they meant (12a, 18a) as well as two meanings that were new to me (15a, 11d).

    For 4d (reprimand) I saw “fearful” and didn’t bother looking further, but “tearful” I think works better.

    For 22d, I also wondered about GIF as a moving(?) image and thought it might instead be FIG, as in figure, with “moving” as the anagram indicator. FIG is in brb (as is GIF).

    Even though I had never seen the word, I thought 18a was a nice clue (naughty once..)
    I also liked 27a (flight arrangement.) and 14d (Notice haulier’s under..).

    Many thanks Kcit

  3. As Kath would say, “Oh dear”!

    I got so close to finishing this but one mistake messed everything up. For 14d I had ‘watch tower’. This made 15a impossible to fathom.

    I had to check 12 and 18a were correct.

    A very enjoyable romp otherwise.

    Many thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for blogging.

  4. Before I read the review, I was coming up short on 12A and 4D. I needed to look at the answer for 12A, and then the extra checking letter that provided for 4D enabled me to solve it before I read the hint. I would never have got 12A in a month of Sundays. I also need the hint to parse 22A. 18A was a new word, but solvable from the clue. I found this very challenging, but I am pretty pleased with my effort. Absolute favorite is 15A. Thanks to Kcit for the workout and to Gazza for the typically quality review.

  5. Funnily enough, I found it relatively easy and finished it last night before going to bed. Well, when I say finished, I couldn’t get 15a for the life of me. But now that I have read the hint, I get it. Never heard of it but I imagine that owls do blink.
    This puzzle put me in a real disco move as I was humming 27a and 21a.
    14d is my favourite. I do miss Crouch End and its clock tower.
    Thanks to Kcit for the super crossword and to Bufo for the review.

    1. Hi JL – don’t forget the Rock Steady Crew at 1a! Maybe not the best singers in the world but their street dancing ain’t half bad.

  6. I got about half way there so thanks for the all the nudges and hints.I liked 4d, 9a ans 27a.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  7. Good heavens, I finished it and all by myself.

    Hadn’t heard of either 12 or 18a but managed to work them out and goodness knows how far down I dug to drag out 11d.
    Best of the bunch for me were 1,9&27a plus 7&13d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo – can’t believe I managed one that you rated as 4* for difficulty – think I shall go and lie down in a darkened room now……………

    1. Well done Jane. Further than I got..stupid mistake. Do you want a drink bringing to you in your darkened room?

        1. Consider it done. And just think, it’s the Don tomorrow on the back page and a Friday Toughie. I think might need a lie down now.

  8. Thanks for the excellent review, Bufo, I did need to check one or two – the full parsing of 5d ‘drag race’, and would you believe ‘peel’….But I finished it without help, and enjoyed it hugely, thanks to Kcit for a lovely puzzle.
    Toughies are all 5 star difficulty for me still….

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