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Toughie 2412

Toughie No 2412 by Kcit

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A proper Toughie with some head scratching required while parsing a few of the clues (not to mention when dealing with the army of ants who appear to have invaded the ‘office’ and are marching up and down the desk as I type, very much in an manner of those ants in old Tom and Jerry cartoons). A fair bit of dictionary checking of synonyms was also required as, even though you know x can mean y, when preparing a review, it is always best to double-check. Kcit also provides a lesson in the way some letters can be used as abbreviations for a variety of different words

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Betraying opinion, stifling question identifying consumer requirement? (8,6)
SHOPPING BASKET Another way of saying informing on (betraying) and an opinion into which is inserted a verb meaning to question

10a    Again pondered about allowing it at last (9)
RETHOUGHT The preposition meaning about, a conjunction meaning allowing and the last letter of iT

11a    Short male escaping charge (electric primarily) (5)
TERSE Remove (escaping) the abbreviation for male from a charge and add the ‘primary’ letter of Electric

12a    Medic about right, with one attempt to determine source of giddiness (7)
VERTIGO An abbreviated medical person goes about the abbreviation for Right and is then followed by the letter representing one and an attempt

13a    Core elements of rights presented by current proponent of independence (6)
GANDHI If you were asked what the core or innermost ‘elements’ of the word riGHts were, you’d say x xxx x – add the symbol for electrical current at the end, and the result is the name of someone who was in favour of Indian independence

15a    Supporting Vote Republican for a time (4)
YEAR A supporting vote followed by the abbreviation for Republican

17a    American attempts to get behind independent businesses (10)
INDUSTRIES An abbreviation for American and some attempts go after (get behind) a three-letter abbreviation for independent

18a    Freshly deploy material recently restricting military commander (10)
REALLOCATE An adjective meaning existing (material) and a way of saying recently ‘restricting’ an abbreviated Officer in Charge (military commander)

20a    Reduced opening for staff symbol (4)
CLEF A musical symbol obtained by reducing or removing the final letter from a narrow opening

22a    Shilling in reserve is not very substantial (6)
SPARSE The abbreviation for Shilling inserted into a verb meaning to keep in reserve

23a    Gas: average energy including couple of therms? (7)
METHANE An adjective meaning average and the abbreviation for Energy into which is inserted the first two letters (a couple) of THerms

26a    Opening in Test, but only opening, getting run out (5)
INTRO IN (from the clue), the ‘opening’ of Test and the cricket abbreviation for Run Out

27a    Descriptive of special treatment favoured by Yorkshire resort (3,6)
RED CARPET Split this form of special treatment 6, 3 and you’ll see someone who might be favoured in a Yorkshire seaside resort

28a    No aimless activity for selected doctors? (6,8)
TARGET PRACTICE How you might select a particular group of doctors


2d    One dislikes half-hearted contributor to top fashion? (5)
HATER Remove one of the letters (half-hearted) at the middle of the trade of someone who makes or sells fashionable ‘tops’

3d    Naval officer with reduced inclination to grasp hot thing (6)
PHOBIA An abbreviated naval officer and almost all (reduced) of a one-sided inclination or prejudice ‘grasp’ the abbreviation for Hot

4d    Sound less inclined to escape? (2,4,4)
IN GOOD NICK If a prisoner was confined in a place as described by this informal phrase meaning sound or in good condition, they might well be less inclined to escape

5d    First of goals worried crowd (4)
GATE The first letter of Goals and part of a verb meaning worried

6d    Cheers up, about to enter restaurant to engage in seduction? (7)
ATTRACT A reversal (up in a Down clue) of an informal way of saying thank you (cheers) followed by the Latin abbreviation for about entering the short form of a type of Italian restaurant.

7d    This, by the way, is appropriate behaviour (4,5)
KERB DRILL Appropriate behaviour before you cross the road (way)

8d    Such a blow, with touch of calamity, could result in this shock defeat (3,4,2,5)
THE KISS OF DEATH I spent quite a time looking at this clue and had decided that a description of the light touch (of a snooker ball perhaps) should be followed by OF (from the clue) and the C that is a touch of Calamity – the final word of the solution being, as we have sadly found out lately, is the worst sort of calamity.  It is only just as I’ve come to write the hint that I’ve seen that the solution is also an anagram of (could result in)  THIS SHO[C]K DEFEAT without the C that is a touch of calamity

9d    Nasty fight with adversary when there are fewer people around? (9,5)
GRAVEYARD SHIFT An anagram (nasty) of FIGHT with ADVERSARY

14d    Hesitation over a limited broadcast on various channels (10)
MULTIMEDIA A reversal (over) of an expression of hesitation followed by an anagram (broadcast) of A LIMITED

16a    A synthetic flower looking very white? (9)
ALABASTER Split a way of saying looking as white as a particular type of gypsum used for ornamental purposes 1, 3, 5, and you’ll see a description of a flower produced as part of an experiment

19d    Almost lean over, with a quantity of yielding (7)
LISSOME Almost all of a verb meaning to lean over with a short way of referring to a quantity

21d    Finally being the sole provider? (2,4)
AT LAST Where someone working at providing soles for shoes might work

24d    A small photo showing lavender (5)
ASPIC A (from the clue) the abbreviation for small and an abbreviated photo combine to produce a variety of short-leaved lavender

25d    Snack with clout? (4)
WRAP The abbreviation for With and a blow (clout)

I have seen 27a several times before but it never fails to make me smile as I imagine such a favoured seaside person. However, my top favourite today was 7d – were you a member of the Tufty Club or more of a Green X Code follower??

23 comments on “Toughie 2412

  1. After the first read through I had one answer. 21d. After the second read through I had two answers 21d and 2d. I may read through again later. May being the operative word. Ta to all

  2. Crikey that was a tough Toughie. Parts of it were quite straightforward but other parts definitely very challenging.

    I spent a long time trying to parse 8d. What I decided eventually is similar to your final thought, CS, except that it needs to be extended to add a C (touch of calamity) to the answer so that THIS SHOCK DEFEAT provides the fodder. I also think “such a blow” is the definition.

    The surface of 19d seemed a bit strange. 16d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Kcit and to CS.

    1. I blame being distracted by the ants – who appear to have gone away since I sprinkled a lot of ant killer powder on the floorboards in the corner under the desk. I’ll tweak the hint

      1. I hope your plague of ants have stayed away, CS. I’m just back from my daily brisk walk in our local park. I see you’ve tweaked the definition but you still need to mention removing the C from Calamity from the anagram fodder.

        1. You know how there are sometimes crossword clues that you remember for a long time because you enjoyed solving and explaining them…..

          Not an ant in sight at the moment. They took advantage when Mr CS was replacing the outside door to our utility room – the nice warm house was obviously too tempting for them. I thought I’d got rid of them, but obviously not quite all.

    2. I came to the same conclusion – it was one of the first clues I solved.. It is purely the anagram minus the c , everything else is waffle IMHO.

  3. A tricky little blighter – thanks to Kcit and to CS for the blog.
    The clues which appealed most were 13a and 4d.

    It’s Elgar again tomorrow I see. That’ll make 7 out of the most recent 13 Friday Toughies. Whereas an Elgar puzzle is always welcome I wonder what’s happened to Elkamere, Artix and Micawber?

  4. When I was at school I used to work the 9dn in a very hot rubber factory in the summer holidays … but not alone, there were plenty of people toiling with me! I simply could not work out this anagram and so was fairly stuck in the SW. I had to resort to the blog for the answer and a few hints.

    I too had 2dn and 21d in early on and a guess for 1ac that had to be right but could not fathom out the “opinion” – new word for me.

    A tough challenge.

    Thanks CS and the setter.

  5. I enjoyed this. It took a little while to lock onto the setter’s wavelength and then it flowed fairly steadily. No need for any aids. Rather like yesterday, the long ones at the top and left side make a big difference. The only word I did not know was the lavender but the cryptic description in the clue was simple enough. No mythology thank goodness!

    I am of the kerb drill generation. My primary school was very hot on it and the head would often pick on someone at random in assembly to say the kerb drill – if correct then the person was awarded a road safety pencil (one with the (then) new road signs on). A few years later, in my brother’s time at the school, it became the green cross code and the new head abandoned road safety pencils. I guess “drill” was beginning to sound rather military. I have not heard of the tufty club before.

    Thanks to Kcit and CS

  6. I enjoyed this, too. It took me while to track 7d down – but I didn’t help myself in the NE corner by initially misspelling 13a. 16d gets my vote for favourite. Many thanks to Kcit and crypticsue.

  7. Well, this certainly saved me from an afternoon of housework! Would have helped if I’d realised that 8d was basically an anagram and also that the ‘hot thing’ wasn’t a hob……..
    Plenty of clever stuff here – my personal preferences being 17&27a plus 7&21d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to CS for the review – both Tufty and the Green X code were too late for me – I learnt via the old rhyme about looking both ways before you move your feet!

  8. Working this one into the wee hours of the morning (it was 0200 when I finished), I kept thinking ‘I’m never going to finish this one, but the pennies kept dropping…slowly. When I finally decided that I was never going to solve 3d and sought two letters, I breathed a contented sigh of accomplishment, even though I’d had to go electronic at the very end. What a great, super-duper workout this was, and I loved every minute of it. (I know we’re not supposed to mention the time-factor but you can send me to the naughty corner when I tell you it took me two hours…even though I had ‘The Barber of Seville’ live-streaming from the Met Opera at the same time,) I don’t think I’d have solved 3d if I lived to be 100. Earlier, I had no clue about the Yorkshire resort or ‘curb’ training, but some Googling got me there.

    Two nights in a row I’ve worked the Toughie before sleeping and then waking up late (coffee, then Cryptic) in the morning I have no idea why my crazy brain is going so topsy-turvy; must be the cabin fever. Anyway, I thought the four long answers were head-shakingly quite wonderful, and I’d like to give the Gold to all four (4-way tie?) if so many of the others didn’t cry Unfair! Like 19,12, & 13a and esp. 27a, which was my next-to-LOI. As Merusa might say, Wotta Lotta fun. Thanks crypticsue, whose hints I’ll now read, and Kcit. ***** / *****

  9. This was a proper toughie and agree with Crypticsue’s ****/***.
    Like most people I have time on my hands and am grateful that I can while the time away solving crosswords.
    9d and the SW corner took up most of the time and only when I parsed 9d did all fall into place.
    Difficult to arrive at a favourite, going for 8d and the interlinking 13a, generally tough but challenging cluing throughout and a sense of achievement on completion-thanks all.

  10. When I see this kind of grid, I always start with the 4 perimeter clues and they fell quite easily.
    The rest followed in good time.
    I put it down to wavelength.
    Hope that tomorrow will be the same.
    I doubt it somehow.
    Thanks to Kcit and to CS.

  11. CS You recently explained your method of awarding stars for difficulty and it made perfect sense and has proved very useful as I always wait to do the Toughie (by printing the online version) after knowing the Setter’s identity and the stars awarded.

    I wonder how you assess your enjoyment as your comments suggest (at least in this instance) more than 3 stars…or were you just annoyed by the ants? :D

    1. If I really enjoy solving a particular crossword then it gets 5*. If I didn’t really get a lot of fun from it, then 1*. Today’s was in the middle of the enjoyment scale, hence the 3*

  12. Bloody hard. Thanks for help.
    28a should be “target practise”? Threw that corner a bit.

  13. Strange thing these crosswords!! Having really struggled with yesterday’s (and not enjoyed it), this was the opposite. Still a toughie but great enjoyment in solving it. Thanks to setter 4*/5* for me. 16D edged 27A as COTD for me although the latter generated a smile in these surreal times.

  14. We wonder if any one else noticed that THE IDES OF MARCH fitted the enumeration for 8d with just a couple of checkers in place. It must have been one of the most unhelpful thoughts we have had in a long time.
    We certainly found the puzzle trickier than average and enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Kcit and CS.

  15. It’s just taken me a substantial part of the evening & four complete Van MorrIson albums to get within 3 of completion (27a, 3d & 25d) before throwing in the towel & reading the hints. I’m too embarrassed to admit to how few I correctly parsed.
    Thanks to the setter & to CS for showing me how it’s done properly…….

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