Toughie 2172

Toughie No 2172 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I found this to be about standard in terms of difficulty for a midweek Toughie. It has lots of bits of wordplay (especially insertions and truncations) but with no cryptic definitions or double definitions – so the puzzle did seem to be a bit short on variety. Thanks to Kcit.

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

Across Clues

7a This represented nothing slightly less than precious or important (8)
HISTORIC: an anagram (re-presented) of THIS is followed by the letter that resembles nothing and an adjective meaning precious or luxurious without its last letter.

9a Ancient area that has English investing in precious metal (3-3)
AGE-OLD: start with the abbreviation for area and append a precious metal with E(nglish) inserted.

10a Comfortably disposing of tin offensive to look at (4)
UGLY: an adverb meaning comfortably or cosily with the chemical symbol for tin removed.

11a Restaged opera primarily unmusical? That’s defamatory (10)
CALUMNIOUS: an anagram (restaged) of O[pera] and UNMUSICAL.

12a Expressions of surprise about odd parts of some universe (6)
COSMOS: expressions of surprise contain the odd letters of ‘some’.

14a Notes eliminating one late flourishing grape variety (8)
MUSCATEL: a word for a composition of (preferably harmonious) notes loses the Roman numeral for one and that’s followed by an anagram (flourishing) of LATE. Here are some harmonious notes expertly played on a theremin in a performance of Morricone’s theme to ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’:

15a Tear round US state in bright colours (6)
GARISH: a tear or deep cut contains the abbreviation for a small US state.

17a Severe technique mostly evident in stone (6)
STRICT: a technique or knack without its last letter goes inside the abbreviation for a stone in weight.

20a Arrangement for April day set in stone (8)
LAPIDARY: an anagram (arrangement) of APRIL DAY.

22a Some energy lost in cut? Variable (6)
SUNDRY: remove the abbreviation for energy from a verb to cut or split apart and append one of the algebraic variables.

23a Newspaper, in covering single Conservative, is unequal when referring to marriage (10)
MORGANATIC: a word for a newspaper which is the mouthpiece of a specific party or movement is contained inside a floor covering. After that we need the letter representing single and an abbreviation for Conservative. This is a marriage involving partners of unequal rank where the lower-ranked spouse and their children cannot inherit the other’s titles – see here.

24a Get last of children out of front of that part of building (4)
TWIG: as is so often the case it is the small words which cause most problems and this was my last answer. Start with the first (front) letter of that and add a part of a large building without the last letter of children.

25a Autonomous program used around every election (6)
BALLOT: a computer program which performs a routine task without human intervention contains a synonym for every.

26a Way to work cast in plays following order (8)
MONASTIC: the abbreviation for a way of working (used especially for a criminal’s habitual methods) is followed by an anagram (plays) of CAST IN.

Down Clues

1d Wrong percussion instrument swamping singular choral performance (8)
SINGSONG: string together a moral wrong and a percussion instrument containing the abbreviation for singular.

2d Suspend time lying in state (4)
STAY: insert the usual abbreviation for time into a verb to state.

3d Copper is coming round about to get summary (6)
PRECIS: the abbreviation for a copper’s rank and IS contain a preposition meaning about or concerning.

4d Monkey blight fixed after brief time (8)
MARMOSET: stick together a verb to blight or spoil, the abbreviation for a short time and an adjective meaning fixed or determined.

5d Negotiation about constant treatment regime (10)
MEDICATION: the type of negotiation that Acas does contains the constant used for the speed of light.

6d This includes separate article and second part of sentence (6)
CLAUSE: this (i.e. 6d) is what you are trying to solve. Insert separately an indefinite article and the abbreviation for second.

8d Not in favour of accepting piece cut in newspaper article (6)
COLUMN: an adverb meaning ‘not in favour of’ contains a piece or chunk without its last letter.

13d Windswept market possibly providing bit of tack (10)
MARTINGALE: tack here is equestrian equipment. Split the answer 4,2,4 to get what could be a windswept market.

16d Stop shifting taste in food, after reflection (8)
STAGNATE: insert a word meaning taste or flavour into an informal word for food then reverse the lot.

18d Eye taking in one tree and river, looking up — splendid (8)
TERRIFIC: an abbreviation for an eye (a private one) contains the reversal of the Roman numeral for one, an evergreen tree and the abbreviation for river.

19d Limits to sanitary block arrangement (6)
SYSTEM: the outer letters of sanitary and a verb to block or staunch.

21d Unprincipled priest turned up embracing men (6)
AMORAL: reverse a Buddhist priest and insert the abbreviation for rank-and-file soldiers.

22d Support senior officer in post (6)
SECOND: insert the abbreviation for a senior officer into a verb to post.

24d Trial storm after European politician’s dismissed (4)
TEST: remove abbreviations for European and our usual elected politician from a violent storm.

I ticked 24a and 6d. Do let us know which one(s) you selected for the podium.

10 Replies to “Toughie 2172”

  1. I found this reasonably enjoyable and moderate in terms of difficulty.

    I’m glad I’m not alone in that it took me quite a while to 24a the answer to 24a, so that’s my favourite too.

    Many thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

  2. I agree with Gazza about the limited feel of the puzzle, but it was well-crafted. I’m with Sue on 24a.

    Thanks Kcit, thanks Gazza.

  3. Pretty tough for me – took some head scratching. I needed a hint for 24a and 22a. Like Sue, I will have to vote for 24a even though it beat me. 6d was pretty good too. Nice one Kcit and thanks Gaza

  4. Wow, that was much tougher than 3* for me but got there eventually except for 23A, even with the checking letters, which was new to me. For some reason I could not get on the same wavelength for ages (well into 5* for me) but in the end, I enjoyed the challenge. Thanks to the setter & Gazza.

  5. Loved the illustration to 5d. If only people saw their pills lumped together like that they might think a bit more before swallowing so many!
    Like the rest, 24a was the last to go in. A clever clue but, as I commented on the back page cryptic, there does seem an inordinate number of truncated words in use today.

  6. I made very heavy weather of this. I got there eventually, but well into ***** territory of difficulty for me. I got 24a relatively early on, but it was the SW that put up the most resistance, not helped in that I had heard of neither the tack in 13d nor the unequal marriage in 23a. I am sorry, but this turned into too much of a slog to be truly enjoyable, but I did admire the cleverness of the construction of many of the clues. Many thanks to all.

  7. Learned a new word in 23a.
    Last one in 24a also.
    Not overly difficult but enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to Kcit for the crossword and to Gazza for the review.

  8. We were going to comment on our last one in and favourite, 24a, but looks like everyone has beaten us to it.
    We enjoyed the unpicking process and found this one a lot of fun.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  9. Not just me with 24a – good! I also had to pause for thought over 22a, worried that ‘variable’ might have been playing a different role.
    Have to say that I enjoyed the ride and gave top billing to the afore-mentioned 24a along with the cleverly constructed 6d.

    Thanks to Kcit and also to Gazza for the blog, humorous illustrations and the fascinating musical clip at 14a. Must look into the workings of a theremin.

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