Toughie 2188

Toughie No 2188 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

I’m sure I wasn’t grumpy when I started to solve this puzzle but I had quite a few niggles along the way and I was glad to get it finished. Thanks to Kcit.

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

Across Clues

1a Worth setting puzzles produced under assumed name (5-7)
GHOST-WRITTEN: an anagram (puzzles) of WORTH SETTING.

9a Treatment for bats without vision, though not initially about to use eyes? (7)
LINSEED: these bats are not the flying kind. An adjective meaning lacking vision, without its first letter, contains a verb to use one’s eyes. Strictly speaking it’s the oil that’s derived from the answer that does the treating.

10a Newly visible item? That’s standard with planet (Sun’s beginning to disappear) (7)
PARVENU: stick together a noun meaning standard or normal and the name of a planet without the first letter of Sun. I’m puzzled by the definition here – I’ve found a slang meaning of item which says it’s “a person whose positive attributes make them a coveted rarity” so I suppose that must be it, though I can’t find that meaning in any standard dictionary. Am I missing something obvious? I now think that the answer is an adjective (newly visible) – stick together an item that’s standard or normal and the name of a planet without the first letter of Sun.

11a Stumped, perhaps, following minimal level in discharge (7)
OUTFLOW: knit together what you are in cricket if you’re stumped, the abbreviation for following and a synonym for minimal level.

12a Sack is carried by daughter and another young girl (7)
DISMISS: insert IS between the abbreviation for daughter and the title of a young girl.

13a Show host responsible for music at start and finish? (5)
EMCEE: this is a horrible word, a vocal rendition of a 2-letter abbreviation consisting of the first and last letters of ‘music’. I considered underlining the whole clue as the definition but I don’t think that really works.

14a Swan to have more value than rotten tree (9)
TRUMPETER: a verb meaning to have more value than or surpass followed by an anagram (rotten) of TREE. What do you suppose the surface means?

16a Dine extravagantly, going to hot food counter in Scottish city (9)
EDINBURGH: there are only seven Scottish cities and only two of those are 9-letters long so one has a good chance of getting this right by accident! Start with an anagram (extravagantly) of DINE then reverse the abbreviation (on taps, say) for hot and an informal word for food.

19a Early Pope regularly heard by favourite (5)
PETER: an adjective meaning favourite and regular letters from ‘heard’.

21a Sort out Shakespearean character in hollow (5,2)
CLEAR UP: insert the name of a Shakespearean king into another word for a hollow or depression.

23a Long expression of surprise about source of legendary old science (7)
ALCHEMY: weld together a verb to long or yearn and an ejaculation of surprise then insert the first letter of legendary.

24a Fruit: a thing you have to try, returning to chase after it (7)
SATSUMA: reverse A and something that shouldn’t be missed after a 2-letter abbreviation for “it”.

25a Recalled time mostly squandered? Just a bit (7)
DRIBBLE: reverse a rhyming slang word for time inside and append an informal verb meaning squandered without its last letter.

26a Recalled enthusiasm about orbiter, following a rage for not getting involved (7-5)
LAISSEZ-FAIRE: reverse (recalled – for the second consecutive clue!!) a synonym of enthusiasm or fervour and insert inside it the 3-letter abbreviation for a man-made object orbiting the earth. Now add the abbreviation for following (the same one we met in 11a), A and a synonym for rage.

Down Clues

1d Dope brought up evidence regarding family sources (7)
GENETIC: cement together another slang word for dope or information and the reversal of a verb to evidence or show proof of.

2d Be above complete fabrication (7)
OVERLIE: charade of an adverb meaning complete or finished and a fabrication.

3d Murphy gathering one source of liquid — or another? (9)
TIDEWATER: murphy is an informal word for a specific vegetable. Put another informal word for the same thing round the Roman numeral for one and a source of liquid (usually in the early morning).

4d Express criminal charge with documentation (5)
RAPID: a slang term for a criminal charge and an abbreviation for documentation.

5d Drink supplied after performer arrives (5,2)
TURNS UP: a verb to drink follows a word for a performer (especially one in a variety show).

6d Gloomy poet, say, enthralled by fifth-rate celebrities? (7)
ELEGIST: the abbreviation meaning ‘say’ goes inside an adjective (1-4) which could describe fifth-rate celebs.

7d Baffle Queen, participating in duty for Olympic event? (5,8)
FLOOR EXERCISE: a verb to baffle or stump with our Queen’s regnal cipher inserted into a type of duty or tax.

8d Recent issue may present an appreciation of such songs (7,6)
NURSERY RHYMES: cryptic definition. Recent issue is a young child.

15d Found out about judge? Inconceivable (7-2)
UNHEARD-OF: an anagram (out) of FOUND contains a verb to judge a case in court.

17d Passivity in time stifling rise in sexual activity (7)
INERTIA: weld together IN and a long period of time then insert the reversal of an informal word for sexual activity (the same word that the 24a clue urged us to chase after).

18d Vessels in unending search for harbour obstruction? (7)
BARQUES: a search for an obstruction or sandbank at the mouth of a harbour would be 3,5. We just have to remove the last letter.

19d Composer caught after punch-up in Italy (7)
PUCCINI: the crickety abbreviation for caught follows the reversal of an alcoholic punch. Finish off with IN and the IVR code for Italy.


20d Chorister swallowing first bit of milk shake (7)
TREMBLE: a young chorister contains the first letter of milk.

22d Form of transport some way down the list of options? (5)
PLANE: split the answer 4,1 to identify the fifth option down.

My favourite clue was the cryptic 8d. Do let us know which one(s) got you excited.

13 responses to “Toughie 2188

  1. Sort of what you expect from this setter, although I will second some of Gazza’s niggles – anyone else spend a while thinking we were on for a Pangram?

    Thanks to Kcit and gazza

  2. Only just able to access this site. I know the Toughie is posted later but the cryptic has been unavailable too. Gremlins?
    My favourite clue was 8d and I did feel smug remembering, as a non cricket player, that 9a was used in treating bats,

      • Having spent more time looking at 10a I now think that the definition is probably just the first two words (the BRB does admit that the answer can be an adjective) and that the first three letters of the answer are “Item that’s standard”. I still don’t like it much but I will update the blog.
        Any better ideas out there?

  3. On my first go-around I came up with nothing, and I was afraid that I wasn’t going to find any entry point at all. When I did, it was the word play in 10a. I am relieved that I wasn’t alone in not seeing the definition, but the pencilled in checkers gave me enough to start and I gradually filled in the right hand half followed by the left. I think my favourite was 22d (when I tumbled to the word play involved). Overall I did enjoy this, but it was a good deal harder than ** in difficulty for me.

  4. Some rather strange surface reads in this one and a couple of definitions I wasn’t happy with at 1&10a. Definitely not my favourite puzzle from this setter.

    Think my favourite was probably 5d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the blog.

  5. Right then – here I go.
    Not much time for crosswords recently so I’ve rarely got as far as looking at Toughies – that means that I’ve gone back into my ‘it’s a Toughie so I can’t do it’ mindset.
    This one was, for me, far more difficult than a 2* and far more enjoyable than that for enjoyment too.
    At one stage I almost gave up but I didn’t – and did, eventually, finish it.
    I screwed up 23a by automatically spelling with an ‘I’ at the end!
    The clues that I liked particularly included 9 and 16a (even if I can’t spell it reliably) and 19d. My favourite was 8d.
    With thanks to Kcit and to Gazza

  6. I thought at first that I was not going to get very far – I solved about six or seven and came to a complete standstill. But then I went back to it and it gradually fell into place except for 13a which I thought was a horrid word. I thought that 10a could only apply to a person such as nouveau riche?

  7. I ended up with 90% bung ins putting in every other letter and had answers to every clue. I then managed to convince myself why they were right as I filled in the missing letters. I then read the blog and unbelievably they were! I had the same reservations as all the above. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza for the precise explanations.

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