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Toughie 1934

Toughie No 1934 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I was held up briefly by the last 2-3 answers in the top half. Otherwise it was completed without any difficulty. I was glad it wasn’t too difficult because I had a lot of other things that needed to be done this morning

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Tea is only half-brewed? It may impress some (8)
CHARISMA: ‘Tea’ (4) + IS + the first half of a four-letter word meaning ‘brewed’

9a    Academic back to suppress revolution in education (6)
READER: ‘Back’ goes round a reversal of an abbreviation for ‘education’

10a    Book Two covering family — it provides little coverage of the individual (6)
BIKINI: B (book) + the Roman numeral for two round ‘family’

11a    Tense examination once securing power for senior people? (3-5)
TOP-LEVEL: T (tense) + a former British school examination round P (power)

12a    Organ teaching possibly involves source of religious music in church (9,5)
GREGORIAN CHANT: An anagram (possibly) of ORGAN TEACHING round R (first letter of RELIGIOUS)

15a    Seizes head of partner in crime, making retreat (4)
NIPS: A reversal of P (first letter of PARTNER) in a crime

17a    Ancient tax covering last of transactions (5)
DUSTY: A tax round S (last letter of TRANSACTIONS)

19a    Political discourse a little lacking in character (4)
SPIN: Remove the last letter from a 5-letter word meaning ‘character’

20a    Reasonably good string playing interrupted by song by man (4,2,8)
FAIR TO MIDDLING: ‘Playing a string instrument’ (8) round a song (3) and a man’s name (3)

23a    Fine diatribe keeping newspaper in good odour? (8)
FRAGRANT: F (fine) and a diatribe round a newspaper

25a    Ask identified person to appear in comic vein (6)
INVITE: An identified person inside an anagram (comic) of VEIN

27a    Flight highpoint between mid-West and East (6)
ESCAPE: A highpoint (lid or cover) inside the middle 2 letters of WEST and E (East)

28a    Saw a source of colours for use around house (8)
APHORISM: A saw (proverb or maxim) = A + a glass object that separates white light into its components round an abbreviation for ‘house’


1d    Many shops endlessly supplying tea (4)
CHAI: Remove the last letter from a group of shops owned by the same company. This gives tea made by boiling tea leaves with milk, sugar, and sometimes spices

2d    Hard working, in terms of judges (6)
TRYING: What a judge may be doing

3d    Orchestral component supporting piano with skill (4)
PART: P (piano) + skill

4d    A degree of latitude is right in subject (6)
TROPIC: One of two lines of latitude round the Earth = R (right) in a subject

5d    Artist is able in translation to deliver French writer (8)
RABELAIS: A 2-letter abbreviation denoting ‘artist’ + an anagram (in translation) of IS ABLE

6d    Agitated President buttonholing a person in the street (10)
PEDESTRIAN: An anagram (agitated) of PRESIDENT round A

8d    Jug with wine given a shake (7)
STIRRED: Jug (prison) + wine (not white)

13d    Most uncommon to receive data identifying location of habitat loss (10)
RAINFOREST: ‘Most uncommon’ (6) round data (4)

14d    Tea service upset after end of tea (5)
ASSAM: A (last letter of TEA) + a reveral of a church service

16d    Water creature near, circling river area (8)
STINGRAY: ‘Near’ or ‘mean’ or ‘miserly’ round R (river) and A (area)

18d    Amateur handiwork overturned something attractive leading to language (7)
YIDDISH: A reversal of work done by oneself rather than by a professional + something attractive = a Jewish language

21d    Time line incorporates enthusiastic journey (6)
TRAVEL: T (time) and L (line) round ‘enthusiastic’

22d    Irritable / servants will appear in it (6)
LIVERY: 2 meanings: livery or liverish (irritable as though having a disordered liver)/a uniform worn by a servant

24d    Something that’s played up, causing dangerous situation (4)
TRAP: A reversal of something that’s played when making a contribution

26d    Moonshine upset hard drinker (4)
TOSH: Moonshine or nonsense = a reversal of H (hard) and a drunkard

Nina spotters will have noticed that the answer to 19a is the reverse of 15a, likewise 24d and 3d.  Is there anything else I have missed?  BD

11 comments on “Toughie 1934

  1. Agree, not too hard today. By the way, is it just me, but when I click on the first 5 answers, they won’t open, although all the rest do!
    I very much liked 12a and 20a.
    Thanks to all.

  2. Happily completed without any hold-ups. Of course, I didn’t spot the nina! 16D is my pick today. Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  3. Took me a while to find a way into this one but at least Kcit had provided plenty of cuppas to keep me going!
    I did turn to the BRB to justify three or four of the synonyms used – 15a plus parts of 25a, 16d&21d. Think I’ve encountered the one in 16d before today but I still don’t particularly like it.

    Top spots – in line with Ash – went to 12&20a for their originality.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Bufo – hope you got through all of today’s job list!

  4. It took longer to solve 12a than it should have considering that is is an anagram, and this was the most significant hold-up. We did spot the Nina which was a bit of help too. A pleasant solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Bufo.

  5. Mr and Mrs Sheffieldsy are spending three nights Pickering to celebrate their pearl anniversary. After a walk around town we sat in the Black Swan, where we’re staying, warmed up with the Times then this Toughie. Have to say we found this harder than Bufo’s **. 3.5*/4* for a solve with only one lookup, to check the 1d tea.

    Our favourites were 20a and 28a. We got a little held up when CHIN was bunged in for 19a (chinwag less wag (character) – seemed very reasonable).

    Thanks to Bufo and Kcit. Whitby tomorrow!

  6. 2*/3*. 1d was my last in. l had heard of it as an alternative word for tea, so put it in as a guess; now l learn from Bufo that it was made in the way my dear old Dad preferred (perhaps as a result of wartime service in India). 18d was my favourite. Thanks to Kcit for the tussle, and Bufo for the education.

  7. Favourites were 10a, 20a and 22d. Last in was 9a. Saw the 3a/24a Nina, but (curiously) not the other one.

  8. Probably the first time here where the Toughie has taken less time than the back pager, so a most definite * for difficulty. Last in 2d, which really shouldn’t have taken as long as it did to get. Enjoyable throughout.

  9. I didn’t have any idea whose work this was when I started, and was equally clueless when I finished. Found it less difficult than I usually find Kcit puzzles but enjoyed it and, like Bufo, didn’t mind the easier ride.

    Missed the nina though, so maybe I should pay more attention.

    Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

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