Toughie 1709 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1709

Toughie No 1709 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

I didn’t derive a great deal of enjoyment from this puzzle but that could be just my being curmudgeonly. Do show me the error of my ways by proving just how entertaining it is!

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.

Across Clues

1a Outline redraft of the numberless outlines (10)
SILHOUETTE – an anagram (redraft) of THE and OUTLI[n]ES.

6a Like the writer is, mostly in a land far away (4)
ASIA – a phrase, in the first person, meaning ‘like the writer is’ (2,1,2) without its last letter.

9a Journal after this point covers time of family development (10)
HEREDITARY – start with an adverb meaning this point or position and add a journal containing T(ime).

10a Fail to stop thug (4)
GOON – split the answer 2,2 and it means ‘fail to stop’.

12a Incantation: piece taking skill in reflection (6)
MANTRA – a chess piece is followed by the reversal of a word meaning skill.

13a Ineligible? Thrown out during University year (8)
UNWORTHY – insert an anagram (out) of THROWN between the abbreviations for university and year.

15a Doctor returning during famine, once energised, for treatment of migrant workers? (2,4,3,3)
OF MICE AND MEN – treatment here means presentation in a literary work so what we want is a novel about migrant workers. Insert the reversal of an abbreviation for doctor into an anagram (energised) of FAMINE ONCE.

18a One’s used to show invalid value after reprogramming (12)
VAUDEVILLIAN – an anagram (after reprogramming) of INVALID VALUE.

21a Old upper-class mean to protect Queen for definite (8)
OUTRIGHT – abbreviations for old and upper-class are followed by an adjective meaning mean or miserly containing an abbreviation for queen.

22a Invite admission revealing switch in components in funding (6)
INCOME – start with how you’d invite someone to enter (4,2) and change the order of the words.

24a Legal establishments in both ends of the country? (4)
INNS – IN followed by the abbreviations for where you’d find John o’Groats and Lands End respectively in the UK.

25a Give greeting to thespian in play (3,4,3)
TIP ONE’S HAT – an anagram (in play) of TO THESPIAN.

26a Insolent behaviour implying no change in character? (4)
SASS – split the answer 1,2,1 and a letter of the alphabet appears to be unchanged. Hmm.

27a Not keeping up location of clock face? (10)
BEHINDHAND – split the answer 6,4 and it’s where you would find a clock face.

Down Clues

1d Record losing men securing border proposal? (6)
SCHEME – start with a verb to record (a victory, say), take out the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers and insert a border.

2d Negligent about navy guarding unknown internal channel (6)
LARYNX – an adjective meaning negligent or casual contains the abbreviation for our senior service which, in turn, contains an algebraic unknown.

3d Mitre would suggest this elevated position? (5,2,5)
ORDER OF MERIT – a reverse anagram which leads us to MITRE.

4d Some at supper will consume them (4)
EATS – hidden in the clue.

5d Inform American about a rave (or energetic dance) (10)
TARANTELLA – a verb to inform and A(merican) contain A and a verb to rave or shout.

7d Broadcast match including hour and minute when things kick off? (8)
SHOWTIME – a verb to broadcast (seed, for example) is followed by a match (generally one in a knockout competition). After that insert separately abbreviations for hour and minute.

8d Vexatious refusal adopted by some in Government at first (8)
ANNOYING – a word of refusal is contained inside an adjective meaning some. Finish with IN and the abbreviation for government.

11d Start working in the AA, entering Institute (12)
FOUNTAINHEAD – insert an anagram (working) of IN THE AA into a verb meaning to institute or create.

14d In the event, it’s the last thing you expect to come across (6,4)
FINISH LINE – mildly cryptic definition of what a competitor in a race hopes to cross at the end.

16d Flight science? I crashed in river — the reverse of scientific (8)
AVIONICS – I gets inserted (crashed??) into the name of an English river. After that reverse the abbreviation for scientific.

17d Endless clamour has sharp effect on political meeting (8)
HUSTINGS – a word meaning clamour or shouting (often followed by ‘and cry’) loses its last letter and is followed by a verb meaning ‘has a sharp effect on’.

19d Hoax leads to unfortunate arrest — I’m before Judges (6)
JOSHUA – the definition relates to the order of books in the Old Testament. A noun meaning hoax is followed by the leading letters of two words in the clue. This particular meaning of the word for hoax was new to me.

20d Angry leader retaining only half of team (6)
HEATED – a leader or principal contains half of the word ‘team’.

23d High-level apartment falling short (one with limited technology) (2-2)
LO-FI – a room or space at the top of a building loses its last letter and is followed by the Roman numeral for one. It seems quite a stretch to call the place an apartment.

None of the clues really stood out for me but I’ll choose 2d as favourite. Which one(s) had you giving a round of applause?

12 comments on “Toughie 1709

  1. In France a loft is definitely a kind of luxury penthouse apartment.
    Liked the definition for the Steinbeck play in 15a.
    Thought that 25a was going to be another play and started parsing Hi for the greeting, the To from the clue and then some thespian called Nesbit which gave me a beautifully crafted answer (hit one’s bit) before I spotted the anagram fodder.
    Last one in was 19d which has become my favourite.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

    1. Thanks for the info on French lofts, JL. I don’t think that loft has the same meaning in the UK (unless you count it as being a pigeon’s apartment).

  2. Pretty standard fare. Nothing to really criticize or love. Filled the allotted time enjoyably enough so thanks to Kcit and Gazza for the review.

  3. A couple of words that I am not really familiar with, and some complicated clueing, but hey-ho, this is the Toughie.

    I needed a bit of help towards the end, I’ll give it **/***.

    Many thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  4. Loft apartments, often in converted warehouses, are highly sought after here too and don’t come cheap. I did like 15A a lot and 6A raised a smile. I failed to parse 26A. Didn’t realize that word was in use in the UK. All in all, I found this a bit of a struggle in places but I did enjoy managing to fill the grid! Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  5. We agree with your Hmm at the end of the hint for 26a Gazza. Apart from that we thought it an enjoyable and not too difficult puzzle. We puzzled for a while on how the wordplay for 7d worked so will go with that one for favourite.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  6. I haven’t finished this – I’m going to carry on tomorrow.
    What I’ve done I’ve quite enjoyed but I haven’t yet read the hints or comments.
    I haven’t been able to get on to the site all day but popped in because I read Gazza’s preamble and just wanted to say that he is absolutely not a curmudgeon and never will be.
    Back tomorrow, malicious people permitting, but, in the meantime, thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

  7. Struggled to get on the site yesterday

    It took me a long time to get the last 3 in SW, mainly because I didn’t know the political meeting in 17d

    I quite liked the outline thing in 1a, though I had to read the clue several times.

    Many thanks Gazza and Shamus

  8. Couldn’t access the site at all yesterday, so very late to comment.
    Putting SIAM at 6a didn’t help much with the NE corner, neither did the fact that my only familiarity with 10a is in the shape of the gentlemen depicted in Gazza’s review.
    23d was my last one in – not in my repertoire!
    Like Gazza, I wasn’t very happy with 26a.
    No particular favourite but a reasonably enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

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