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Toughie 2432

Toughie No 2432 by Kcit

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

What took this Kcit crossword from a 5* backpager to a Toughie was the time taken to parse a couple of the clues, including one where I have a large bruise from kicking myself when the obvious was explained.   We also have a lesson in the varying uses of the word ‘in’ and several anagrams, in a crossword where half the clues require something to be inserted into something else, which is probably some sort of record.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Very greedy at home, one tucked into food, swallowing it (10)
INSATIABLE The usual ‘at home’ followed by the letter that looks like a number one inserted into a supply of food, into which is inserted (swallowing) the abbreviation for sex appeal (it)

6a    Miles covered by darn duck (4)
SMEW The abbreviation for miles ‘covered by’ a verb meaning to darn

9a    Children wearing zero fabric (5)
CHINO The abbreviation for children, a way of saying wearing and the letter that looks like a zero produce a strong twilled fabric used to make a particular type of trouser

10a    Stew of manioc brought in to support contribution to protein (5,4)
AMINO ACID An anagram (stew) of MANIOC inserted (brought) in to another word for support or assistance

12a    Source of broader view succeeds, suppressing mild oath about English and French articles (4-5,4)
WIDE-ANGLE LENS Suppressing indicates the need to insert into another way of saying succeeds, a mild oath into which has been inserted the abbreviation for English, and two lots of the French definite article (articles plural)

14a    Home of opera festival in coastal region — pity about closure of theatre (8)
BAYREUTH A coastal region followed by a synonym for pity into which is inserted the ‘closure’ of theatre

15a    Establish a new singing group (not American) (6)
ANCHOR A (from the clue), the abbreviation for new, and a singing group without a two-letter abbreviation for American

17a    Poor treatment almost overlooked around University (6)
MISUSE Almost all of a word meaning overlooked goes around the abbreviation for University

19a    Words recalled reduced measure in a way (8)
LANGUAGE Almost all (reduced) of a measure reversed (recalled) and inserted into a narrow road

21a    Must’ve sensory disorders — affecting this? (7,6)
NERVOUS SYSTEM An anagram (disorders) of MUSTVE SENSORY

24a    Those wanting a handout may be ready with spiel (9)
BREADLINE A slang term for money (ready) with a plausible story (spiel)

25a    Region welcoming new sports venue (5)
ARENA A region ‘welcoming’ the abbreviation for new

26a    Later time for meals or food generally (4)
EATS Move the T (time) in some meals usually taken in the afternoon further (later) down the word

27a    Isotope has decayed in climactic moment (10)
APOTHEOSIS An anagram (decayed) of ISOTOPE HAS produces a highest point or climax


1d    Level of tone not softly played is an irritation (4)
ITCH Remove the letter that represents the musical instruction to play softly from a level of tone

2d    Edge in influence gets access to channel (7)
SLIPWAY Insert an edge into another way of saying influence

3d    We dodged worst rocks: a mixed blessing (3-5,5)

4d    Skill evident in a trim menu offering (1,2,5)
A LA CARTE A (from the clue) and a verb meaning to trim into which is inserted (evident in) a practical skill

5d    Limits to liability in Government’s initial misrepresentation (5)
LYING The outside letters (limits to) of LiabilitY, IN (from the clue) and the initial letter of Government

7d    Scottish monarch and American subject receiving British honour (7)
MACBETH A British honour inserted into the way an American would refer to a particular school subject

8d    Wife favoured framing order restricting son that regards certain movies (10)
WIDESCREEN The abbreviation for Wife and the usual two-letter synonym meaning popular (favourited) ‘framing’ an edict (order) which itself has inserted (restricting) the abbreviation for Son

11d    Change is overt, possibly — this’ll bear a change (9,4)
OVERNIGHT CASE Something the right size for one change of clothing is obtained from an anagram (possibly) of CHANGE IS OVERT

13d    Hateful male I arrest is hiding in a trunk (10)
ABOMINABLE A (from the clue) followed by the trunk of a tree into which is inserted (hiding) the abbreviation for Male, I (from the clue) and an informal word meaning to arrest

16d    Victim? Each of mine turns up in mansion (4,4)
EASY MEAT The two-letter abbreviation meaning each followed by a reversal (turns up) of a way of saying belonging to me (mine) inserted into a mansion

18d    Visit sites on moor, as it were? That’s too much (7)
SURFEIT To visit sites on the internet followed by a reversal of a verb, which if you added the word up, would mean to moor, for example, a boat. This magic word ‘up’ is what tells you to reverse the verb!  

20d    Splendid confusion about student dithering (7)
AIMLESS An adjective meaning splendid and a state of confusion into which is inserted the abbreviation for learner (student)

22a    Pinch page after quick look (5)
SKIMP The abbreviation for page goes after a quick, usually superficial, look

23a    Swamp throwing out gold lump (4)
MASS Remove or throw out the heraldic word for gold from a swamp

22 comments on “Toughie 2432

  1. Despite being very today busy I am more than halfway through this excellent puzzle by taking a sneaky peek here and there. Not enough of a sneaky peak to open up 22 down though. For some strange reason 22 and 23 down both appear as across clues at the end of the downs. Thanks in advance to setter and blogger

  2. A curate’s egg for me, enjoyable in parts. I am not keen on too many tortuous charades nor too many clues where bits are chopped off. Everything in moderation, I say.

    I had my usual problem with the “RN” in “darn” in 6a when printed using the Telegraph’s typeface which I initially read as “dam”! :wacko:

    I failed to parse 15a fully as I assumed the singing group was “choir”, and I couldn’t see at all so how “not American” meant remove the “I”. Parsing the final three letters of 18d also eluded me. So thanks to CS for explaining those.

    Surely the mild oath in 12a is something only an American like Roger Miller would use:

    The announcer’s introduction is bizarre in the extreme.

    Thanks to Kcit and full marks for indicating the American usage in 7d.

  3. I did enjoy that. Tough but free from obscurities. My only slight gripe is the definition in 16d, which I feel might have been improved if the first word of the clue had been ‘hapless’. Not all victims are thus.

  4. I was not really on the setters wavelength today and found this to be quite difficult-a ****/*** for me and a long solve !.
    Anyway eventually unravelled most of the parsing-thanks to cryptic for 8d and 26a.
    10a held me up as I tried to form the definition from bra and manioc which gave me ‘brain coma! don’t we overcomplicate matters sometimes.
    Liked the surface of 14a, will tomorrows puzzle be a *****, I think it was last week,
    Lovely day in Tarporley , mackeral pate with a glass of cold pinot grigio -from Germany for a change-I deserved it!

  5. I thought that this was a pretty straightforward midweek Toughie. Thanks to Kcit and CS.
    My contenders for top clue were 24a and 18d.

  6. I enjoyed this very much. The longer clues came relatively easily which helped greatly in making steady progress. In the current situation, I thought that 14a was a very appropriately worded clue. Many thanks to Kcit and crypticsue.

  7. I needed a couple of visits at this one to finish it. As devartly says above, it was tough but free from obscurities.

    The only word I hadn’t heard of before was 27a, but the anagram fodder was obvious.
    The answer to 18d was evident, but I failed to parse the last three letters until I read the review.
    Plenty to enjoy, but the one I put a tick against was 7d. I thought 18d was pretty good too, now that I understand why.

    Thanks to Kcit and to CS for the explanations.

  8. Finished without any help but had trouble parsing a couple for a bit, but finally made it to ** time, which I consider pretty good for a Thursday Toughie. (In 18d, why do we need ‘up’ when we already have ‘tie’? Is that not enough for ‘moor’? Oh, I see: we couldn’t otherwise reverse the flow UP!) Anyway, I enjoyed this puzzle very much. This was much more pleasurable than the back-pager, and the podiumites are 14a, 7d, and 27a. Thanks crypticsue and Kcit. ** / ****

  9. OK – it was obviously just me who had problems with the home of opera festival and I was also grateful that 27a was an anagram!
    Think my favourite was the ‘darn duck’ although, like RD, I struggled to determine that it wasn’t a ‘dam duck’.

    Thanks to Kcit and to CS for the review.

  10. One of the most straightforward toughies in a long time – by which I certainly do not mean “easy” – imho the clues generally needed a lot of untangling but no (or very few) obscurities or diversionary tactics. 3*/4* for me. Thanks CS, although I didn’t need your inestimable explanations, & also thanks Kcit.

  11. Couldn’t spell 27 across and used a pen for the anagram. I am not worthy. Good fun all through. Thanks to all

  12. Just in from 2 enjoyable hours sitting in the garden. How quiet it is in these lockdown days. Even the Kent air ambulance is grounded for the moment – a reduction in road traffic cuts accidents and therefore those needing airlifting to hospital.

    I found this pretty straightforward and finished it before lunch but did need CS to explain some of the parsing which eluded me although the answers were obvious.

    Had a problem with14a as it obviously couldn’t be Glyndbourne but got there in the end.

    What a blessing these crosswords and this site are proving!

  13. Misread 27a at first and looked for some kind of prehistorical ice age.
    No problem with 14a though. I love Wagner.
    12a and 8d were entered without checking the parsing. Shame on me.
    Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to Kcit and to CS for the review.

    1. Just seen that, as long as your part of France remains in the ‘green’ area of France, you should be able to open your restaurant again in June. Fingers’ crossed

  14. Good stuff although we also thought 15a used choir rather than chorus.

    Thanks to Kcit and CS.

  15. We must have been right on wavelength as we sailed through this in a shorter time than the back-pager. Bit of a head scratch for the parsing of the last part of 18d which was our last penny to drop.
    Good fun.
    Thanks Kcit and CS.

  16. Reading the comments and looking back the crossword, it wasn’t a particularly difficult solve, but a couple of parsings and trying to hint the clues sensibly without giving too much away, particularly with some of the ‘take this bit, add that bit when you’ve reversed it, finish with another bit’ clues did make the whole thing seem more tricky than it probably was

    1. Yours was a fair assessment I thought – one thing to bung a few in, another thing to analyse and explain each one in turn. That’s when you notice
      I thought this was a tad unimaginative, but enjoyable enough. Thanks Kcit and CS
      PS Hope you did the Qaos – very clever and resultant in a dented tea tray. Forgot it was wooden

  17. I finished it with, I admit, a lot of help from crypticsue. I find some clues in The Toughie somewhat obscure but I am encouraged to carry on by a number of things.
    1. I do get a number of clues under my own steam.
    2. I am beginning to understand some of the complicated parsing in some clues. Well, just about!
    3. I have completed a few Toughies on my own (almost).
    4. This wonderful blog helped my solving abilities with regard to the Cryptic so I hope it will do the same with The Toughie.

    Time will tell.

    Many thanks to Kcit and the aforementioned crypticsue.

    1. Steve – just finished this a few minutes ago after numerous revisits over the course of the day. Suspect we’re both at the around the same standard where Toughies are concerned. I’m invariably reduced to bunging in answers & rarely if ever fully parse the lot as the wordplay is often a good deal more complex than the back pager. Quite agree with your points though – keep trying & gradually it gets easier.

  18. Highly enjoyable, few problems and solved albeit a day later than planned. All parsed except 18d. Loved 12a. Thanks to Kcit and CS.

  19. Started and finished this one a day late, because of an unusually busy (in these strange times) day yesterday.

    Completed in the sunshine…..last in was 19a which I found inexplicably elusive until the lightbulb came on.

    Thanks to Kcit and crypticsue for the blog.

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