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Toughie 2503

Toughie No 2503 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

In her blog on Kcit’s last puzzle Crypticsue wrote that Kcit was in a very ‘kind to solvers’ mode. Well his charity appears to have continued because this was as straightforward a Wednesday Toughie as I can remember (and I’ve been blogging the Wednesday Toughies since 2009 with little time off for good behaviour). Thanks to Kcit for the puzzle.

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

Across Clues

1a Cane table is feature of exchange (11)
SWITCHBOARD: stick together synonyms for a cane or flexible rod and table.

9a Perhaps Liberty’s the inspiration for this bedcover? (7)
VALANCE: this could be the surname of someone known as Liberty who was killed in a 1962 Western (The man who shot Liberty Valance).

10a Place to get calm, if you don’t mind (6)
PLEASE: the abbreviation for place (in street names) and a verb to get calm.

12a Revolutionary court decision’s beginning significant growth (7)
REDWOOD: stitch together a left-wing revolutionary, a verb to court and the first letter of decision.

13a Fight after second old person gets public platform (7)
SOAPBOX: a verb to fight or spar follows abbreviations for second and an old person.

14a A limit to hardened English army (5)
HORDE: one of the limits (outside letters) of hardened (1,2,1) and an abbreviation for English.

15a Check if given free rein, unfortunately tense inside (9)
INTERFERE: an anagram (unfortunately) of FREE REIN with the grammatical abbreviation for tense inserted.

17a Drink untouched? Record after a short month (4,5)
MINT JULEP: assemble an adjective meaning untouched or immaculate, a month without its last letter and an abbreviated record format.

20a Success securing student ideal of perfection (5)
BLOOM: a success (especially with regard to the economy) contains the abbreviation for our usual student.

22a Compendium, second recalled by writer (American) (7)
OMNIBUS: reverse a second or tick and add something used to write and a 2-letter abbreviation for American.

24a The French, and the rest, backing navy stand (7)
LECTERN: charade of a French definite article, the reversal of an abbreviation meaning ‘and the rest’ and the abbreviation for our navy.

25a Man cradling daughter, born to bring about such chaos (6)
BEDLAM: bolt together a synonym of man containing the abbreviation for daughter and the genealogical abbreviation for born. Now reverse it all. I’m not sure what ‘such’ contributes to the clue.

26a Resentment at being interrupted by new lover (7)
GALLANT: start with a word meaning resentment or annoyance and add AT containing the abbreviation for new.

27a Study of control systems and science overturned by breaking recent limits to biology (11)
CYBERNETICS: reverse an abbreviation for science and precede it with an anagram (breaking) of RECENT B[iolog]Y.

Down Clues

2d Very sweet Riesling, perhaps — a few, not all, tucking in (7)
WINSOME: what Riesling is an example of with most of a word meaning ‘a few’ inserted.

3d Time to study English philosopher — dull work (9)
TREADMILL: concatenate the abbreviation for time, a verb to study at university and a 19th century English philosopher.

4d Expects to see parking in gardens (5)
HOPES: insert the abbreviation for parking in a verb meaning gardens.

5d Ordinary couple keeping space outside (4-3)
OPEN-AIR: the abbreviation for ordinary and another word for a couple containing a small space (as used in printing).

6d Source of ruin in sight — not very funny (7)
RISIBLE: the first letter of ruin followed by an adjective meaning ‘in sight’ without the abbreviation for ‘very’.

7d Elated — but can’t we try for Mars now? (4,3,4)
OVER THE MOON: this could possibly relate to a request from Nasa, for example, saying “That’s done, can we move on to the next stage?”.

8d Original idea losing million before bringing in top aircraft (6)
GLIDER: a word for an original or initial idea loses the abbreviation for million and has a top or cover inserted.

11d Nasty extreme tin automaton’s opener? (11)
EXTERMINATE: this is a clever all-in-one identifying the way the nasty metal automaton usually opens a dialogue. It’s an anagram (nasty) of EXTREME TIN and the opening letter of A[utomaton].

16d Best approach to the attic (3-6)
TOP-FLIGHT: with a space rather than a hyphen this could provide the means of access to the attic.

18d Note military practice removing leader in religious establishment (7)
NUNNERY: replace the leading letter from a word for military practice (by the Royal Artillery, say) with an abbreviation for note.

19d Festival month sees indefinite number succumbing to ill temper (7)
JUBILEE: start with a month (not far distant from the month in 17a) and replace the abbreviation for an indefinite number with a word for ill temper.

20d Rural youngster kept up with stomach trouble and shared cold (7)
BUCOLIC: knit together the reversal of a young animal and a stomach problem usually caused by wind. Now remove one of the abbreviations for cold from the pair of double letters at the join.

21d Modern area in old city finally showing some control of traffic (3-3)
ONE-WAY: insert an adjective meaning modern and the abbreviation for area between the abbreviation for old and the final letter of city.

23d Name from France is taken north to be English name as well (5)
SIMON: combine the French word for ‘name’ and IS then reverse it all.

My favourite clue is 11d. Which clue(s) tickled your fancy?


30 comments on “Toughie 2503

  1. No contest – it has to be the LOL 11d, both very funny and very clever.
    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza [I was hoping you’d use the Pitney track – I used to dismiss him as a “girlie” singer [one’s GFs always fancied him] but there’s a lot more to him than that].

    1. Pitney? Brilliant.I always thought that if ever a bloke is going to ditch his Mrs, 24 Hours from T is the way to do it. Just send her a letter and run!

        1. Yep! There’s a book “Remarkable Names of Real People” that can be found on’t Internet for more of the same.

    2. Never mind Gene Pitney, I was rather thinking we’d get ‘Summer the first time’ as an accompaniment to 17a!

      1. Ahh. Nice one. Bare shoulders wasn’t it?

        1976 was a great year. And it was indeed a very, very hot dry summer, even in Manchester!

        Whilst I know this is an adult only site😇😂 I think one should say no more. 😉

  2. More straightforward than some backpagers recently. Grid filled in */**, but I did need help parsing a few.

    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  3. Over very quickly but thoroughly enjoyable. For example, I liked the use of “a limit” in contrast to “limits”. Podium places to 9a, 11d and, simply because I haven’t had one for ages, 17a. Thanks KCit and Gazza.

  4. I found three quarters of this relatively straightforward but, for reasons that are difficult to understand with hindsight, the NW corner took me quite a while to complete. I did enjoy the solve although I do find clues like 27a a bit wearisome which are so convoluted that the surface reading becomes decidedly dodgy.

    I couldn’t parse either of my answers to 14a & 6d and so resorted to “phone” a friend to put me out of my misery.

    11d was my runaway favourite.

    Many thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

  5. My first thought was that this was quite straightforward for a Thursday toughie by proXimal, and then my next thought was this does not feel much like a proXimal puzzle…..Oh dear… enough said!!

    Many thanks to Kcit. There were a couple that needed some thought to untangle, but on the whole this flowed quite nicely. 11d was my favourite too. Thanks also to Gazza for the write-up.

  6. I’m still having trouble parsing 11d; what kind of dialogue, etc? I had no problem answering the clue but the parsing has eluded me (as did that for 8d, which Gazza has resolved). Most enjoyable workout for me, though tougher than the earlier comments indicate, for me at least. Favourites: 12a, 19d, 3d. **** / **** Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

    It just occurred to me! Dalek in Dr Who, right? A show I have never watched but know about…I’ve lived in a Sci-Fi Wilderness

    1. I don’t know how well “Dr Who” has travelled abroad but the Daleks are his long-standing enemy. Their often-repeated cry is “Exterminate!”.

    2. I bet all 60-ish years of Dr Who are available to watch on Catch-up Tv of some form. You should watch a couple with the Daleks in and see why they were never able to conquer the Universe – a bit like 16d.

      1. Thank you, both. “Dr Who” has been over here for decades; it is I (c’est moi) who have resisted it, despite most of my literary and literate friends (and students, and colleagues) protesting, accusing me of snobbish elitism, etc. I “do” baseball, opera, cryptics, books, and a lot more stuff, and so now I must yield and “do” Dr Who. If for no other reason than today’s 11d. (Actually, my partner, who lives with me and watches TV when I’m otherwise engaged, did in fact watch an old Dr Who episode a few nights ago…so he has just told me.)

        1. I wouldn’t bother with the modern Dr. Who. I remember seeing the very first episode back in the sixties and it was much better then.

          1. I remember one episode with giant spiders which still gives me nightmares! I think that was in the days of Worzel Gummidge (aka Jon Pertwee)

            1. Jon Pertwee was a great Doctor. As a family, we saw him at Theatre Clwyd in a production of Dr Who and The Daleks. It was a good production that poked “tongue in cheek” fun at itself. At one point, Jon stated “Amazing what these Daleks can do with just a sink plunger and an egg whisk!”

              Today, Dr Who takes itself too seriously and I won’t watch it.

  7. Another great Toughie solved at daybreak. I cannot thank enough the team that got The Toughie included with the newspaper app. A pleasure from start to my last one in at 27 across which I passed thus: An anagram (overturned) of SCIENCE together with the outer letters (limits to) of RecenT and BiologY. But looking at it again, I think Gazza is right as usual. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  8. Yes, it has to be 11d and I wondered whether there was a tie-up with the other perimeter answers? I also rather liked 19d – could be a story to tell in that one!

    Thanks to Kcit and also to he who gets little time off for good behaviour – maybe you’ve sinned from time to time?

  9. Cracking puzzle, really enjoyed it, thanks to Kcit.
    Thanks to Gazza for help in parsing.
    11d, brilliant!

  10. My first Toughie attempted (and fully solved) using the App. A new experience.

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  11. Solved! A great challenge and most satisfying.

    Many thanks to Kcit for the entertainment and to Gazza for the hints. I needed a few but not many.

  12. I know I will get my comeuppance on Friday but I found this very straightforward. As a relative newbie via the app I am still patting myself on the back for completing it. Like others, 11d was my standout favourite clue.

    Thanks very much to Kcit and Gazza.

  13. Yesterday I had to dismiss this as too hard and too little time to get into it but this morning (thurs) my printer decided to go on strike and this was the only puzzle on my clipboard. I did better than expected for Kcit ( who I always seem to have problems with) and only needed a hint for 8d and 12a.
    17a and 11d were on my faves list but they move down a step because 11d was quite an easy anagram and 17a used the same shortened month as 19d my COTD is therefore 20d.

    Thanks to Gazza and Kcit (I won’t avoid your puzzles in future)

    When I got home printer has decided to be a bit more complicit so I now have today’s cryptic and toughie to play with tomorrow along with Fridays cryptic, that is 3 puzzles behind and gives me the perfect chance to save the paper and printer ink I may have wasted on the Elgar!!

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