Toughie 1729

Toughie No 1729 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

My grid was filled surprisingly quickly for a Wednesday Toughie with few problems encountered on the way, so I don’t anticipate any complaints about its being too hard. A number of the surface readings (e.g. 14a, 19a and 25a) aren’t terribly meaningful.

Since the festive weekend is fast approaching may I take this opportunity to wish all our setters, bloggers, commenters and lurkers a Very Happy Christmas.

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

Across Clues

1a One note over crime involving a particular South-East Asian (10)
INDONESIAN – assemble the Roman numeral for one, the abbreviation for note, a word meaning over or completed and a crime or transgression containing A.

6a Celebrity opening cut short (4)
STAR – an opening with its last letter cut off.

9a Museum exhibit — going again, missing time at college (5)
RELIC – start with a past participle meaning ‘going again’ (like a fire in the grate), drop the T(ime) and add an abbreviation for college.

10a Revolutionary has value seizing power in times of change (9)
UPHEAVALS – an anagram (revolutionary) of HAS VALUE containing the abbreviation for power.

12a What makes geometry difficult to get into? (8,5)
LEARNING CURVE – this seems to be just a weakish cryptic definition.

14a Musical work (with change of vocal lead) about limit in short-term stuff (8)
EPHEMERA – a musical work with its leading letter changed from one vowel to another contains a verb to limit or confine.

15a Coming period of history has Nationalist kept in check (6)
ADVENT – an abbreviation for the period of history covering the last two millennia is followed by the abbreviation for Nationalist inside a verb to check.

17a Stone garment is light (unsettling, perhaps) (6)
STROBE – in the surface stone is an adjective meaning grey-coloured but for the wordplay we need the abbreviation for an imperial weight. Add a garment to make a type of light (which may be unsettling for those suffering from epilepsy). The bit in brackets seems unnecessary, especially in a Toughie puzzle.

19a Part of ship’s deck not backing marine life (8)
PLANKTON – part of the wooden deck of a ship followed by the reversal of NOT.

21a Military order, one following special degree of concentration (9,4)
ATTENTION SPAN – string together a military order (as may be bellowed on a parade ground), an abbreviation for special and an adjective meaning one.

24a High-quality end to game — it’s the fellow in form (9)
CLASSMATE – charade of an adjective meaning high-quality and the final act in a game of chess.

25a Part 1’s about following circular form of the eye (5)
OPTIC – the abbreviation for part, the Roman numeral for one and a single-character abbreviation meaning about all follow a circular shape. The surface doesn’t mean much.

26a About to replace core part of track (a long path) (4)
TREK – a preposition meaning about or concerning replaces the inner letters of track.

27a Company actor accepting line, dismissing a fixation on line? (7-3)
CLOTHES-PIN – join together the abbreviation for company and a posh word for actor then insert the abbreviation for line and remove the A.

Down Clues

1d Regarding restraint in getting promoted (2,2)
IN RE – a horsey restraint has IN moved to the top.

2d Nemesis of warrior called up to secure line (7)
DELILAH – this is the lady who ‘unlocked’ a Biblical warrior. Reverse a verb meaning called or summoned and insert the abbreviation for line (again).

3d Money lost in the crash? (2-6,5)
NO-CLAIMS BONUS – cryptic definition. The crash is on the road rather than in the stock market.

4d Beautiful women, foremost of them amongst beach worshippers? (8)
STUNNERS – put the first letter of them into those basking.

5d A radiance without repeated element, pale in colour (5)
ASHEN – A is followed by a word meaning radiance or lustre without one of its repeated letters.

7d Hard to leave location of show by energy drink supplier (3,4)
TEA TREE – the building where you’d go to see a show loses the abbreviation for hard and is followed by the abbreviation for energy.

8d Thinking a lot of relaxation, conserving muscle (10)
RESPECTING – a synonym for relaxation contains the abbreviation for a specific muscle.

11d Restless pair connected, likely to fall head over heels? (8-5)
ACCIDENT-PRONE – an anagram (restless) of PAIR CONNECTED.

13d Asp certain to be peculiar pet (7,3)
PERSIAN CAT – an anagram (to be peculiar) of ASP CERTAIN.

16d Clangorous factory used to hide dope (8)
PLANGENT – another word for factory or works contains an informal word for dope or information.

18d Vehicle rising in speed for competition (3,4)
RAT RACE – reverse a road vehicle inside a word for speed.

20d Knight in brown work garment (4,3)
TANK TOP – an abbreviation for knight goes between a verb to brown (like the beach worshippers in 4d) and the abbreviation for work.

22d Completely wrong about North America (2,3)
IN ALL – an adjective meaning wrong or incompetent contains the abbreviation for North America.

23d Examine small jug (4)
SCAN – S(mall) followed by an informal word for what jug is also an informal word for.

My favourite clue today is 2d. Which one(s) took pride of place atop your tree?

It’s time for the best traditional Christmas song:

19 Comments

  1. Miffypops
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I bunged 1d in which was my only uncertainty. Thanks for sorting that Gazza. The rest went in like a slow back pager. Thanks to all. 2d superb.

  2. Jarman Island
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    27a had me scratching my head until I tumbled and checking online told me it was American for something we have a different name for. Felt a little cheated then.

    Apart from that enjoyed it even though it was easier than usual.

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza..

  3. dutch
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I really liked 3d & 11d

    Ah, thanks Gazza for explaining what ‘vocal’ was doing in 14a – I hadn’t come across that meaning

    but also ended up with a few question marks: (with vocal now resolved)
    (1a – ‘particular’ is superfluous, but does no harm as part of def)
    12a doesn’t (necessarily) imply difficulty, does it? I think this needs “what might make…”
    15a, is this period really history? I knew I was getting older, but…
    wouldn’t it be great if 7d really provided the drink? seems to me it doesn’t quite…

    Many thanks Gazza & Kcit

  4. Una
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I really enjoyed this although I am inclined to agree with some of what Dutch said.
    I thought 2d was terrific and 3d ,12a,and 8d.
    I had peg in 27a until I finally worked out 23d.
    Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  5. Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We were still unclear on 14a then dutch’s comment led us to the big red app and enlightenment. It seemed a bit on the easy side as we did it on the bus on the way to pub. Now weem sat here reading beer mats 😐 Thanks and season’s greetings to all betters and sloggers 🎄

  6. jean-luc cheval
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Was that the pogues?
    Great to hear them again.
    Started the crossword from the bottom as 27a was my first in.
    No real problems while solving.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review.

    • dutch
      Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

      i also started from the bottom right hand corner and worked my way back so that 1a was my last one in – a bit silly, that way you end up with the ends of words instead of the beginnings of words, making everything harder.

    • Gazza
      Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes – The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I thought I recognised his lovely smile. But for some reason I was thinking about Sheena Easton for the other half of the duo.

  7. crypticsue
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A treat tomorrow – a Petitjean

    • stanXYZ
      Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Looking forward to tomorrow’s Petitjean!

      Maybe it will be the last?

      RIP – John Pidgeon.

    • halcyon
      Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      What a lovely, unexpected Christmas present.

    • dutch
      Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

      ahh – I was hoping the last one wasn’t the last – live on JP

  8. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We spent a little time sorting out the wordplay for 9a and 15a for some reason that is not obvious now. For us it was one of those puzzles that seemed to start sluggishly and then picked up momentum as we went along. Getting the long 11d anagram was the breakthrough point. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  9. Sheffieldsy
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice. Our eight weeks in the Southern hemisphere without a Toughie has left us severely out of practice. This is the first we finished since (though only the second we tried), so happy to get to the end. 9a was a bung-in needing Gazza’s review to enlighten us. Favourite was 26a. We’ll give it 3*/3* with an annotation ‘can do better’.

    Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It must still be the Southern hemisphere effect applying. Kcit although from the UK lives in New Zealand, not very far from where we are at present.

  10. Expat Chris
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hmm…I commented and posted and my comment got lost somewhere.

  11. Posted December 21, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    No major grumbles from me. At this point in the year an easier one will be welcomed by many. It was a new vocal for me too in 14a, and I also raised an eyebrow at 27a. Unlike Gazza I rather liked 12a, and think the question mark is sufficient to cover Dutch’s point. I enjoyed the penny drop anyway, and so will include it in my list of favourites, along with Dutch’s and Gazza’s picks … and 13d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the words and pictures.

  12. Jane
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Made a really slow start but picked up rapidly at about the halfway point.
    1d was a guess and look-up and I didn’t know the American expression in 27a – doesn’t look remotely like a ‘pin’ to me!

    Favourite was 3d with 11d close behind.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza – despite the music choices!

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