Toughie 2575 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2575

Toughie No 2575 by Kcit

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

The first proper Toughie of the week with several clues that were as complicated to explain as they were to solve

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a    Damage shoreline heartlessly (4)
COST Damage is an informal term for this loss – simply remove the middle letter (heartlessly) from a shoreline

3a    Feasible American soldiers will occupy lakes and part of US (4,6)
LONG ISLAND An informal adjective meaning feasible and some abbreviated American soldiers are inserted (will occupy) between two abbreviations for Lake, the result followed by AND (from the clue)

9a    Fashionable, residing in last section of Sloane Square (4)
NINE Sneak capitals time, the solution is a square with a lower-case S. The usual synonym for fashionable inserted (residing) in the last section of sloaNE

10a    Old man’s attempt to manipulate baker (10)
PASTRYCOOK An informal term for father’s (old man’s), an attempt, and a verb meaning to manipulate for any purpose

11a    Source of this disorder is fungus (7)
TRUFFLE The ‘source’ of This and a verb meaning to disorder

13a    People soon surrounding husband (7)
INHABIT A three-word phrase meaning soon ‘surrounding’ the abbreviation for Husband

14a    Record of death: two sons being laid out in shroud (7,4)
PASSING BELL Two lots of the abbreviation for Son and an anagram (laid out) of BEING inserted into a shroud

18a    ‘Hip doctor’ is wrong here (11)
CHIROPODIST An anagram (wrong) of HIP DOCTOR IS produces someone working on a much lower part of the body than the hip

21a    Bishop meeting stranger, spurning last city resident (7)
BRUMMIEThe chess abbreviation for Bishop and a less common way of saying stranger without (spurning) its last letter

22a    Copper quietly willing to nab one buffer (7)
CUSHION The chemical symbol for copper, an instruction to behave quietly, a preposition meaning willing into which is inserted (to nab) the letter representing one

23a    Minister’s seeing student replaced by that man of fanciful views (10)
CHIMERICAL Replace the abbreviation for student in an adjective meaning belonging to the [church] minister with the male objective pronoun (that man)

24a    Exclamation of surprise with one of the lines overlooked in part of religious picture (4)
HALO Remove one of the Ls (one line ‘overlooked’) from an expression of surprise

25a    Steady weather set to turn stormy (10)
SWEETHEART An anagram (to turn stormy) of WEATHER SET

26a    What droplets are, nothing less! (4)
MIST Without the O, this description of water droplets produces some watery vapour

Down

1d    Quality raised in top hospital monument (8)
CENOTAPH A reversal (raised in a Down clue) of a quality inserted into a verb meaning to top, the result followed with the abbreviation for Hospital

2d    Polish students upset, with 25% of students supporting light explosion (8)
SUNBURST A reversal (upset) of a verb meaning to polish and the abbreviation for the Students’ Union followed by 25% of the letters in STudents

4d    No longer too young to work hard in Rome (odd parts excepted) (2,3)
OF AGE A verb meaning to work hard in the even letters (odd parts excepted) of rOmE

5d    Become aware of, say, rising energy in dance leading to love (3,4,2)
GET WISE TO Another reversal (rising), this time of the abbreviation meaning ‘say’, followed by the abbreviation for Energy inserted into a dance from 1959 to the early 60s, leading to or finishing with the letter representing love

6d    Islanders certainly upset about welcome provided by island (11)
SEYCHELLOIS A reversal [!] (upset) of an agreement (certainly), the Latin abbreviation meaning about, a word of welcome and the two-letter abbreviation for island

7d    A graduate securing second degree ultimately is simple creature (6)
AMOEBA A (from the clue) a Bachelor of Arts (graduate) ‘securing’ the informal word for a short period of time (second) and the ultimate letter of degree

8d    Old plane satisfactory in a little soaring (6)
DAKOTA A reversal (soaring) of A (from the clue) and a little bit into which is inserted the simplest way of saying satisfactory

12d    ‘Attractive and how French?’ It’s a reasonable thing to say (4,7)
FAIR COMMENT A synonym for attractive and the French word for how

15d    House style, say, covering variant spelling of i.e. ‘dueling’ (9)
GUIDELINE An anagram (variant spelling) of IE DUELING – an interesting surface reading given that the correct spelling of the final word has two Ls

16d    Liqueur couple found around club in Pacific country (8)
KIRIBATI A liqueur made of white wine and blackberry syrup, the Roman numeral for two (couple) ‘around’ a club

17d    Stout, conceivably excellent example (8)
STANDOUT The word STOUT could be conceivably said to be the first two letters XXX the final three

19d    A banking system enshrining universal approach to counting (6)
ABACUS A (from the clue), the acronym for the bank clearing service ‘enshrining’ the abbreviation for Universal

20d    Useless dossier — just regularly missing inside (6)
FUTILE The even letters of jUsT inserted into a dossier

22d    Run and run in pursuit of tea (5)
CHAIR – Run a meeting perhaps. The cricket abbreviation for Run goes ‘in pursuit’ of a type of spiced tea

 

22 comments on “Toughie 2575
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  1. Enjoyable but 16d defeated me. I was also surprised to see 10a as one word which I needed to check. A step up in difficulty today. Thanks to Kcit and CS.

  2. Nothing to frighten the horses too much – thanks to Kcit and CS.

    I don’t much like ‘last section’ in 9a to mean two letters (though the clue number is very appropriate) and I don’t think that 26a really works as a clue.

    My ticks were awarded to 12d and 17d.

  3. I found this nicely challenging and good fun, although it was a bit of a shame to see “upset” used in the same way twice.

    I wasted some time trying to unravel 22d as I couldn’t see past “tea” being “cha” until the penny finally dropped.

    There were a lot of good clues but for me the outstanding one was 15d. By the way, when and why did “outstanding” turn into 17d?

    Many thanks to Kcit and CS.

  4. Well, what a treat by Kcit! [And I have actually been to 16d: thought I’d never see or hear about that strange little island again. It was part of my retirement-travel odyssey.] It took me several visits, over several time-frames, but I finished all on my own, though parsing is still a work-in-progress for several, so I must read CS’s review now. I was especially proud of myself that I unwrapped that ‘bishop/stranger’ clue in 21a. And at 14a I paused a moment to remember Wilfred Owen’s great sonnet’s opening, “What passing bells for these who die as cattle?” (And ends: “And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.”) Two splendid puzzles today, this and the cryptic, so thanks to Kcit for this gem, and to CS, whose review I’ll now read.

  5. I had to resort to working through the alphabet to get the Pacific nation, which in turn gave me the checking letter for 26ac, which you might say was a bit nebulous.

  6. More of a toughie today. I think kciT’s puzzles have become a lot more interesting of late and this was great fun, as well as rather taxing, to solve. I liked the 2 different ways of clueing “on” in 3a and 22a and the clever construction in 15d which solves the setter’s problem of inconveniently spelled anagram fodder. To be pedantic I am not convinced [and neither is my Chambers] that there is any such word as “rummier” [btw CS your hint for 21a needs the last letter spurning!] and neither is there a liqueur in 16d – it’s a cocktail. The liqueur used to make it is Cassis/Creme de Cassis.

    Thanks to kciT and to CS for the blog.

    1. I spent so long trying to find rummier that I got fixated on the (now removed) R. I did find it in on-line dictionaries

  7. I had the same reservations about the liqueur as halcyon, but otherwise this was a comfortable and enjoyable puzzle that was pleasantly challenging and rewarding to complete. 12d was my own COTD. Kcit is fast becoming a favourite setter of mine.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and CS.

  8. 16d and 26ac defeated me, but otherwise a struggle worthy of the effort.
    Thanks to CS for parsing of 1d which as always is blindingly obvious once explained.
    Thanks also to setter.

  9. Got there in the end without too much help but as others have said understanding the parsing is another thing!

    21a caused a bit of frustration until I realised the answer was the city where I was born, which made me smile.

    Just needed help with 16d and 23a, way too obscure for my level of solving.

    Good workout so thanks to Kcit and CS for the excellent explanations.

  10. Mixed feelings about this one but perhaps that’s down to how long it took me to complete as much as anything else!
    I’ll put 6d at the top of my pile if only to record how delightful I found those people when I was lucky enough to spend three weeks in their company. Quite some years ago now but I do hope ‘modernisation’ hasn’t changed them one iota.

    Thanks to Kcit and to CS for the review and justification of some that I was decidedly doubtful about!

  11. A tough Toughie but then it is Thursday. I managed to finish but not without consulting the excellent hints from CS for a number. I agree with Halcyon that there is no liqueur in 16d but a cocktail that can either be Kir, Kir Royal or Kir Breton.
    Although I had to use the hints, I enjoyed the tussle and that is what the Toughie is about. I am not in the league of those who can solve all of them.

    Many thanks, Kcit and also to CS.

  12. CS you are brilliant! I only managed about 5 clues. My problem with 24a is that I always spell it with an “e” not an “a” but there is no excuse for the rest of my failures except to breath an exhausted “wrong wavelength”!

  13. A long while since I’ve commented on a toughie blog as I’m months behind on them. Today I decided start afresh and did yesterday’s this morning and with difficulty most of today’s this afternoon finally being defeated by the SE corner for which I needed hints. In the words of general MacArthur “I’ll be back”. Thanks to Kcit and CS.

  14. Found this super tough. Finding the answers was hard enough, reverse engineering the parsing even harder. One final assault before bed eventually got me to within 15&16d of a finish before admitting defeat & seeking CS’s help. With 15d I somehow miscounted the letters & therefore discounted the anagram & annoyingly with 16d thoughts of gin distracted me from earlier notions of bat being involved. Pleased to have got so close really though it took 3 visits. Really enjoyed the tussle though glad they’re not as tough as this every day.
    Thanks Kcit & to CS.

  15. I didn’t start this until this morning and ploughed through it fairly steadily. I got held up in the SE corner because I couldn’t be bothered to get out of my chair to check the Pacific island in the gazetteer in Pears Cyclopaedia. I had a rough idea of what it was but wasn’t sure of the spelling. Ignorance helped me here. I had no problem in identifying kir as a liqueur because I was confusing it with kirsch!

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