Toughie 1741

Toughie No 1741 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

We have a fairly standard puzzle today with nothing to stampede the steeds or get us too excited.

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

Across Clues

1a Skin needs to be treated during second half of weak game (4-3-4)
HIDE-AND-SEEK – an animal skin is followed by an anagram (to be treated) of NEEDS inside the second half of the word ‘weak’.

7a Against one male withdrawing from protest film (5)
VIDEO – the abbreviation for against and the Roman numeral for one precede a protest without the abbreviation for male.

8a Paint and fuel company to look threatening (3,6)
OIL COLOUR – charade of a type of fuel, the abbreviation for company and a verb to look dark or threatening.

10a Lots of noise? One not commenting regarding team I support (7)
CLAMOUR – an informal term for someone very tight-lipped is followed by a possessive adjective relating to something belonging to us (which could, I suppose, be a team identified as ‘us’ rather than ‘them’). The second half of this seems very weak – am I missing something?

11a Material for writer found in indulgence not a piece of jewellery (7)
TRINKET – insert liquid used by a writer into an indulgence or luxury without the letter A.

12a Sport finally sliding into red (5)
RUGBY – the final letter of sliding goes inside a red colour.

13a Scottish Queen returns in dressy plaid, covering solid figure? (9)
PYRAMIDAL – reverse the name of a Scottish Queen (probably the only one most of us have heard of) into an anagram (dressy) of PLAID.

16a Note workers providing display facility (9)
FLAGSTAFF – charade of a note or marker and employed workers.

18a Secretary, mostly disinclined to work inside, finding outdoor area (5)
PLAZA – the abbreviation for a senior secretary includes an adjective meaning disinclined to work without its last letter.

19a They crash into the beach cars (7)
ROLLERS – double definition, the second being an informal word for very posh cars.

22a Informed of colour used in sign (3,4)
LET INTO – insert a colour or shade into one of the signs of the zodiac.

23a Hike — sorry, rambling — in moorland area? (9)
YORKSHIRE – an anagram (rambling) of HIKE SORRY.

24a TV programme from outdoors possibly reflected blue as a green shade? (5)
BOSKY – this is an adjective meaning shady or covered by trees (not a word I knew). Reverse the abbreviation for a TV programme made away from the studio and add a sort of blue.

25a Swindle, not exactly subtle, regarding certain credit cards (11)
CONTACTLESS – join together an informal word for a swindle and an adjective meaning blunt or not subtle.

Down Clues

1d Reduction in water supply ruined most of aged flowering plant (9)
HYDRANGEA – start with a connection (normally found on the street) to the water supply, drop its last letter (reduction) and add an anagram (ruined) of AGE[d].

2d Picked up work in noisy yard for couple of suppliers (7)
DUOPOLY – ‘picked up’ doesn’t signal a homophone but a reversal. Insert the usual abbreviation for work into an adjective meaning noisy, reverse it all and add the abbreviation for yard.

3d Dad interrupts one exclamation and suppresses another — they’re not necessarily believed (9)
APOCRYPHA – insert an informal word for dad into an exclamation (the one favoured by Alan Partridge). Now insert another exclamation or shout into what you have.

4d Line in neat ceramics? (5)
DELFT – insert the abbreviation for line into an adjective meaning neat or skilful.

5d Understood island in Middle East picked up self-confidence (7)
EGOTISM – a verb meaning understood or twigged and one of the abbreviations for island are contained in the reversal of the abbreviation for Middle East.

6d A couple of thousand to secure one outsized booth (5)
KIOSK – two abbreviations for a thousand bracket the Roman numeral for one and an abbreviation meaning outsized.

7d Dodgy clergyman — endless weakness for a bar, getting drunk daily, ultimately (5,2,4)
VICAR OF BRAY – this is a fictional clergyman satirised in song who swallowed his principles and see-sawed from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism and back according to whatever was the current state religion in England from the sixteenth century onwards. Start with a weakness or shortcoming without its last letter, add an anagram (getting drunk) of FOR A BAR and finish with the ultimate letter of daily.

9d Returning fake royal attire (11)
RETALIATORY – an anagram (fake) of ROYAL ATTIRE.

14d Give more food to man lacking a little energy, producing a beam (9)
REFULGENT – join together a verb meaning to give more food to or ‘top up’ and a man then remove the second E(nergy) from what you’ve assembled.

15d Verdict: is engaged in air support, getting elevated (9)
DIAGNOSIS – insert IS into an air or ditty and a synonym for support then reverse it all.

17d Keeps suggesting retaining headgear (7)
STETSON – split the answer 5,2 and it could (just about) mean keeps giving an instruction to retain the original text.

18d European bearing bill is welcomed by drinkers (7)
POTABLE – a European national contains a bill or tally.

20d Notably Rice pens this (5)
LYRIC – hidden word.

21d Location of activity curtailed, restricted by South American destroyer (5)
SHIVA – the Hindu god worshipped as a destroyer comes from inserting a place of great activity without its last letter between the abbreviations for South and American.

The clue I liked best was 25a. Which one(s), if any, got your hearts aflutter?

10 Comments

  1. Jane
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Two new words for me at 24a & 14d and, although 2d had to be what it was, can’t say that I’ve seen it used previously.
    As Gazza mentioned, the last part of 10a seemed a bit vague and I also wasn’t very happy about 17d.
    1&13a raised a smile but 25a takes the honours.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza – superb pic for 1a, Kitty will love it!

  2. dutch
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I didn’t know the green shade or the dodgy clergyman, or the beam or the pair of suppliers, but all could be fairly generated from wordplay.

    My last to parse(?) was 10a, and I thought exactly along the same lines as Gazza.

    Lots of nice surface readings, I enjoyed 18a, 23a, 25a, 18d, and I thought the 20d all-in-one hidden was neat.

    Predictably, I think 4d is superbly illustrated

    many thanks Kcit and Gazza

  3. Kath
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I did, eventually, manage to get an answer to all the clues except 24a but I was a long way off understanding all of them.
    I’ve never heard of 2d but it was pretty obvious what the first three letters were so a spot of BRB trawling came up with it.
    I didn’t understand 10a – never even got as far as the ‘clam’ being a tight-lipped one.
    I liked 13 and 18a and 1 and 7d. My favourite was 23a.
    With thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

  4. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    One of our team actually knew the word in 24a which rather surprised the other member so that meant there was nothing that needed checking in this one. We quite like a gentle Toughie on Wednesdays after we have written our blog and this one fitted the bill perfectly.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  5. Gazza
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Firefly tomorrow.

  6. LetterboxRoy
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this difficult., made more so by a couple of silly mistakes – 3d ending with ‘y’ for example. Do’h!

    24a I considered (the right answer), but thought it too silly a word to be correct, so last one in. Didn’t know 7d or 14d; couldn’t understand 8a so lobbed it in anyway towards the end. Thought generally the clues were somewhat disjointed, so more like ****/*** for me.

    Liked 23a & 7a but top spot goes to 22a. Simple but effective with no messing about.

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza for the necessary aids.

  7. Salty Dog
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I didn’t get 15d, or would have completed in 2* time, so call it 3*/3*. As for a favourite clue, either 11a or 25a. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  8. Jon_S
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Probably not too difficult, but I was solving with half an eye on the president elect’s mightily entertaining press conference, so some of the more obscure answers didn’t fall that easily. 24ac was one of those where it had to be the answer, but you didn’t believe it until you checked. 25ac threw me for a bit – for some reason I associate them with debit rather than credit cards.

  9. Posted January 11, 2017 at 11:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this pretty hard, and I reached for a little assistance with half a dozen to go. Cue a few facepalm moments. Long clues and lots of fiddling, quite fun to grapple with for a while but less so by the end. It’s been a longish day, that’s my excuse.

    Thanks to Kcit and many more to Gazza for all the untangling. I think the kitteh in 1a may be seeking some bigger prey …

  10. Expat Chris
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 1:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    Gentle? Not for me. I had no clue about 24A, 25A, 13D and 15D. What on earth is a contactless credit card? And bosky? I suppose OB is an acceptable abbreviation in the UK for outside broadcast, but it was way off my radar. I did have a tick against 3D and 21D. Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

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