Toughie 1969 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1969

Toughie No 1969 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

When I started this in the North-West corner I thought it was going to be a doddle but things got a bit more difficult as I travelled South-East. I didn’t find it all that enjoyable as the wordplay contained masses of abbreviations and “drop the last letter” constructs which made writing the hints a bit of a chore.

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

Across Clues

1a Face slump in contest (6)
VISAGE: a verb to slump goes inside a verb to contest or compete.

4a Comment on artist’s popularity bearing fruit (6)
RAISIN: split the answer 2,2,2 and it could be saying that an artist is popular.

8a Daughter is avoiding person uncovered as crazy (3)
NUT: start with a person who likes being uncovered and remove the abbreviation for daughter and IS.

10a Ear catching business graduate with old complaint (7)
LUMBAGO: an informal word for an ear contains the degree awarded to a business graduate. Finish with the abbreviation for old.

11a Turn up, finally coming with lots of cash (7)
ROLLING: a phrasal verb to turn up or arrive in a casual sort of way (4,2) followed by the final letter of coming.

12a Number of thieves favouring heartless thievery (5)
FORTY: a preposition meaning ‘in favour of’ and the outer letters of ‘thievery’.

13a Faint illumination to begin enveloping a lot of land (9)
STARLIGHT: a verb to begin contains a verb to land or come to ground without its last letter.

14a Flapping facing pioneer birdman? (6,7)
PIGEON FANCIER: today’s only anagram (flapping) of FACING PIONEER. Even though I identified the correct fodder it took me some time to work out the birdman because I was initially looking for the name of an aviator.

17a Longed to constrain one to leave American attraction (7,6)
PAINTED DESERT: this attraction (which I’d never heard of) lies near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Join together a verb meaning longed or yearned containing the Roman numeral for one and a verb to leave or forsake.

22a Carry sandwiches for every person with holiday clothes (9)
BEACHWEAR: a verb to carry or convey contains an adverb meaning ‘for every person’ and the abbreviation for ‘with’.

23a Respectable European country having King within a year (5)
PUKKA: the abbreviation for a European country (well known to most of us) and the chess abbreviation for king go inside an abbreviation meaning ‘a year’ or ‘every year’.

24a Bays? A lake has bays (7)
ALCOVES: string together A, the abbreviation for lake and another word for sheltered bays or inlets.

25a Zero outlay to secure latest school event? (4,3)
OPEN DAY: start with letter resembling zero, add a verb to outlay or expend and insert an adjective meaning latest or final.

26a Book falling from stand gets attention (3)
EAR: remove the abbreviation for book from a verb to stand or stomach.

27a Failing to retain river in desertification? (6)
DRYING: a present participle meaning failing or conking out contains the abbreviation for river.

28a Pop star‘s names appearing in and around sign? (6)
LENNON: insert two instances of the abbreviation for name into a sign of the zodiac and add another instance of the same abbreviation at the end. I suppose that ‘around’ here means ‘nearby’ rather than ‘on each side’ but I don’t like it very much.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Down Clues

1d Verse he read in French — Kipling poem, variable rubbish (6)
VILIFY: knit together the abbreviation for verse, the pronoun meaning ‘he’ in written French (and indeed in spoken French), the name of Kipling’s most famous poem and one of the algebraic variables. ‘Rubbish’ here is an informal verb meaning to treat as worthless.

2d I will need a drink when upending warrior (7)
SAMURAI: bind together I, A, an alcoholic drink and a synonym for ‘when’. Now reverse it all.

3d Seriously offloading the Spanish funds (5)
GRAVY: start with an adverb meaning seriously or solemnly and take away a Spanish definite article.

5d A legal graduate has need of rugby players (3,6)
ALL BLACKS: charade of A, the degree awarded to a law graduate and a verb meaning ‘has need of’ or ‘is deficient in’. The answer is the name of the national rugby team where 2Kiwis live.

6d One carries hard stones (7)
SHINGLE: an adjective meaning one or sole containing the abbreviation for hard.

7d Deny most of additional spectators (6)
NEGATE: an adjective meaning additional or fresh loses its last letter and that’s followed by a word for the total number of spectators attending a game.

8d Nobody will accept reduced cast and cuts in production of Lear? (8,5)
NONSENSE VERSE: a synonym for nobody (4) contains a past participle meaning cast or propelled without its last letter and a verb meaning cuts or separates.

Beneath these high Cathedral stairs
Lie the remains of Susan Pares.
Her name was Wiggs, it was not Pares,
But Pares was put to rhyme with stairs.

9d Experimental justification for the Court of Appeal? (5,3,5)
TRIAL AND ERROR: the raison d’être of the Court of Appeal is to right mistakes made in lower courts.

14d Sharp operation bottling champagne (3)
POP: hidden word.

15d A German pacifist securing hearts going to Northern Dutch city (9)
EINDHOVEN: a German indefinite article is followed by someone who is less warlike than a hawk containing the cards abbreviation for hearts. Finish with the abbreviation for Northern.

16d Half-hearted support? Nonsense (3)
ROT: start with the part of a plant which supports it by conveying nourishment to it and remove one of the two central letters.

18d Cunning involved in some chaos (7)
ANARCHY: an adjective meaning cunning or roguish goes inside a synonym of ‘some’.

19d Gathered playboy oversees racket (5,2)
RAKED IN: charade of a playboy or libertine and a racket or loud noise.

20d A poet’s written about love on a cruise? (6)
ABOARD: A and a literary word for a poet contain the letter that resembles love.

21d Peer round unknown atomic particle (6)
BARYON: a member of the British nobility contains a letter used for an unknown quantity in mathematics. I didn’t know this word which the BRB defines as “a heavy subatomic particle involved in strong interactions with other subatomic particles and composed of three quarks bound together by gluon.” – so now you know!

23d Grouse mostly favoured the day before festival (5)
PEEVE: stick together an adjective meaning favoured or cherished without its last letter and a word for the day preceding a festival.

The best clue for me was 8d. Which one(s) would you nominate?

18 comments on “Toughie 1969

  1. The second Floughie of the week – 8d made me smile as I was initially misdirected into thinking about the ‘wrong’ Lear

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  2. This gave me a few troubles but some smiles also.

    In 13a I stupidly failed to get the lot of land. Had anther failure when I couldn’t think of the first word of 17a and just looked online.

    I thought in 28a that there are names in the sign but not around it, so was interested to see Gazza’s take on that.

    It was nice for me to see 21d in the grid but I thought there might be complaints.

    Thought 26a and 27a and 6d very neat. Also liked the the production of Lear (8d), and smiled (and thought of Merusa!) at 23d. 15d was my last in.

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  3. Not too hard. in contrast to Gazza I breezed through the southern half but found the top harder. Liked 8d but 14a also made me smile-I too was looking for aviators.

  4. Quite a few clues today where the answer was clear from checkers and looking at both ends of the clue, followed by a spell with pen and paper to unpick everything into a satisfactory parse (e.g. 13a and 8d). I much prefer clues like 2d where just following the wordplay reveals the answer. Always nice to meet a puzzle where the GK did not require any reference sources – I’ve been to the 17a and 21d was no problem (the BRB entry would be improved by adding that protons and neutrons are the most common 21ds). My favourite was 23a.

    Thanks to Kcit for the challenge and to Gazza for a blog that captures some convoluted wordplay in a set of impressively clear and concise hints.

  5. Let me be the first to whinge about 21 down ; there are , I believe over 50 sub atomic particles so I really don’t know if anyone has them at the tip of their tongue.I may be wrong but I think physicists got so fed up with the ever expanding number of sub-atomic particles that someone came up with string theory instead.
    I loved 8 and 9d and many other clues.
    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  6. Defeated by 19d and 23a. Another puzzle where I thought there were too many examples of taking away letters from your first answer. As confusing to winge about as confusing to explain!

  7. Enjoyable enough from a solver’s point of view although I thought a couple of the 3-letter clues were a bit weak (14&16d).
    I did need to consult Mr Google about the American attraction but have to admit that it did ring a faint bell when I arrived at the answer. He was also needed to help out with 21d – well beyond both my knowledge and sphere of interest.

    Think I’ll go along with Una and award top spots to 8&9d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza – oh, how well I can identify with the cartoon at 12a!

  8. I enjoyed that.
    I’ve never heard of the 17a American attraction or the 5d legal degree.
    Needless to say I didn’t know the ‘sciency stuff’ in 21d – to quote the Elder Lamb, “I’m good at other things”.
    Rather stupidly I got into a pickle with 4a – the answer was obvious but I had the artist with his ‘S which left me with a spare ‘I’ floating around.
    I liked 22 and 24a and 8 and 9d. I also thought that 14a was a good anagram – I liked the anagram indicator.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

  9. The SE defeated me. And, coincidentally, I guess that is the only place you would find 23a. It certainly isn’t a word used up here! (But I have watched Only Fools).

    I’ll join the griping queue for 21d. I’m pretty sure they hadn’t been invented when I went to school. I’d never heard of 17a, but if Wiki is accurate, I’ve driven through it!

    I’m always happy if I score 90% or more on any Toughie.

    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  10. I had to resort to crossword solver for 15D, but otherwise not too bad. My favorite has to be 17A. A good few years ago, my brother, on vacation here from Australia, and our cousin, on vacation from the UK, arrived on separate coach trips at a truck stop in the Painted Desert on the same day at the same time. The coaches pulled up next to each other, the doors opened and my brother and cousin emerged face to face at the same time. Neither knew the other was in the US.

    I also like 23A and 8D. Many thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for sorting out my parsing questions on a couple of other clues.

  11. Nice and, for us, one * above a “Floughie” – 3*/4*.

    21d was not a problem. It’s not one of (according to Una) 50 particles – it’s one of (I think) three classes of particles that all 50 fit into. It’s rather like mammals are a category of vertebrates; I don’t need to know all vertebrates!

    We thought 13a is a bit dodgy – isn’t the “land” fodder also in the answer? It looked inelegant.

    Our favourite clue today was 24a.

    Thanks Gazza and Kcit.

  12. Not hard to guess that 5d would be our favourite and worth pointing out that the setter also lives in the same country. Like CS we were looking towards the wrong Lear until there were a few checkers in place. Enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  13. Was pleased to have solved this Toughie without needing to refer to Gazza’s hints, although I did have to resort to electronic help for 21d and I needed to check that my answer to 17a was right as that too was new to me. Othwise a very entertaining solve and a rare Kcit solve at that as far as my Toughie solving skills are concerned. Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  14. An enjoyable ** and a bit for difficulty. No hold ups, nothing obscure or controversial, just a good solid puzzle. I got myself into a little bother in the SE corner where I couldn’t think of the required European country (doh!) or the peer, but got there in the end. I’m more familiar with the Lear referenced at 8d than the Bard’s, so that one was a write-in, as was the long clue to the right. 17ac I was surprised to find is actually a real thing rather than something I’d dreamt up from the wordplay.

  15. Enjoyable and not too difficult: except like most I’d never heard of 21d.

    Favourite for me was 14a.

    Enjoyed the comments and thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

    My feedback a bit delayed because I couldn’t access the blog for a while…..

  16. I really had to work hard at this with 23ac and 21d stumping me ( even though I’m a chemist ). Main problem was I also didn’t trust my answers to 23d and 28 ac so whole bottom rh corner was a no no for me

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