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Toughie 2611

Toughie No 2611 by Kcit

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A fairly typical Kcit Toughie, although I will say that if I had a £1 for every time I’d typed ‘abbreviated’ or ‘abbreviation’ and more shops were open, I’d be able to treat myself to something nice!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Party over, that fellow and the writer will make for opera (2,6)
LA BOHEME An abbreviated political party, the cricket abbreviation for over, the male third person pronoun (that fellow) and how Kcit (the writer) might refer to himself

5a    Biting currents one repeatedly dives into (6)
ACIDIC Two lots (repeatedly) of the letter meaning one inserted (dives) into each of the abbreviations for types of electrical current

10a    Deviously enter election with a Democrat breaking this international agreement (7,8)
ENTENTE CORDIALE An anagram (deviously) of ENTER ELECTION with A (from the clue) and D (Democrat)

11a    Amplify a lot of stuff presented in two forms of English (7)
ENLARGE Almost all (a lot of) a verb meaning to stuff with bacon or pork inserted between three-letter and single letter abbreviations (two forms) for English

12a    Country fellow cutting into odd parts of twenty trees (7)
THICKET A derogatory term for a country person ‘cutting into’ or inserted in the odd letters of TwEnTy

13a    University and so on backed intended answers defending copyright (8)
ACADEMIA A reversal (backed) of a synonym for intended and two abbreviations for Answer into which is inserted (defending) the abbreviation for Copyright

15a    Vicar not in, and having no time for someone spurning the collection plate? (5)
MISER Remove (not) the IN and the T (having no time) from a member of the clergy

18a    Fool securing Times opening (5)
ABYSS A fool ‘securing’ a way of saying multiplied into, the T in Times being a misleading capital!

20a    Way of training students variously in production of opera taking year (4-4)
ROLE-PLAY Two of the usual abbreviation for student (variously telling you they aren’t used together) inserted into an anagram (production) of OPERA, taking or adding the abbreviation for Year at the end

23a    Gossiping, excluding source of latest fabrication? (7)
TATTING Exclude the first letter (source) of Latest from some idle gossiping

25a    In Paris, the men from there used in support reflected difficult decision (7)
DILEMMA A reversal (reflected) of some support into which is inserted the French definite article and two abbreviations for French men (both used in Paris and other parts of France)

26a    Mixed messaging from the Italian Tourist Board? (3,6,3,3)
SEE NAPLES AND DIE Because apparently once you have visited this city, there’s nothing left worth seeing!

27a    A soft touch, Henry, gutless, showing disinclination to engage (6)
APATHY A (from the clue), a soft touch and the outside (gutless) letters of HenrY

28a    Feasible to get support that’s blocking of the Speaker in government (8)
MONARCHY An adverb meaning feasible and a support ‘blocking’ the way someone speaking would refer to something belonging to them


1d    Take position over Schubertian article or multiple Schubertian articles (6)
LIEDER A verb meaning to take position over and the German (as used by Schubert) definite article to give us some vocal works – apparently Schubert composed nearly 600 of them, hence the ‘multiple’ in the clue

2d    Incitement to war: assault involving 50, then 100 (6-3)
BATTLE-CRY An assault against a person ‘involving’ firstly the Roman numeral for 50 and then the Roman numeral for 100

3d    Curtailed search risked overlooking a county area (7)
HUNDRED A truncated synonym for search and a verb meaning risked without (overlooking) the A

4d    Setter’s view depends on this? I don’t believe it (2,3)
MY EYE This expression of disagreement might also be what Kcit (the setter) might say his view depends on

6d    Scoundrel quiet about independent source of yellow dye (7)
CADMIUM A scoundrel and an adjective meaning quiet, silent into which is inserted (about) the abbreviation for Independent

7d    No front-line soldiers hit the bottle (5)
DRANK If rows of soldiers standing side by side in a line were listed alphabetically, these ones wouldn’t be at the front, they’d be in fourth place

8d    Repair includes care for headless puppet (8)
CREATURE Insert a synonym for care for without its first letter (headless) into a verb meaning to repair

9d    Prisoner heading for that bar, providing evidence of flight (8)
CONTRAIL A prisoner, the ‘heading’ for That, and a bar

14d    Bloomer made by a doctor in Welsh town (8)
MARIGOLD A (from the clue) and a verb meaning to doctor or manipulate fraudulently inserted into a Welsh town 

16d    Intermittent springs? Small amount supplied without hesitation (9)
SPASMODIC Some [mineral] springs and a small quantity without the two-letter hesitation found at the end of that word

17d    Disney film enthusiast sat up with Pixar regularly (8)
FANTASIA An enthusiast, a reversal (up) of SAT (from the clue) and the regular letters of pIxAr

19d    Small quantity of salt, say, when eating a vegetable (7)
SPINACH The abbreviation for Small and a quantity of salt into which is inserted (when eating) A (from the clue)

21d    Staff not left empty, given a meal (7)
POLENTA A wooden staff, the outside letters (left empty) of NoT, and A (from the clue)

22d    Understand end of austerity receives wonderful joy (6)
GAIETY A verb meaning to understand and the ‘end’ of austeritY ‘receives’ a way of saying wonderful or excellent

24d    Telegraph’s leader bracketed by articles and letter (5)
THETA The ‘leader’ of Telegraph inserted between (bracketed by) a definite article and an indefinite article

25d    Is about to participate in party dancing (5)
DISCO IS (from the clue) and the Latin abbreviation meaning about inserted into (to participate in) a party

25 comments on “Toughie 2611

  1. I got about 80% unaided, which is a record for me on a Toughie this late in the week. I greatly enjoyed it and had a bit of a giggle at 26a. 14d should have come to me sooner as I recently worked in that particular town.

    Many thanks to Kcit and to Cryptic Sue for the hints.

  2. Right on my wavelength today and really enjoyed the solve, finished up in the NE corner last in was 8d the puppet confirmed by my Chambers, remembered 6d, good job I was a chemist and my favourite was 5a -thought CS may have put in a pic for one of my favourite groups!
    1d was a bit of a bung in , the obvious definition once the checking letters were in place-thanks CS for the parsing
    Thanks to KCIT for the entertainment.

  3. A pretty straightforward Toughie – thanks to Kcit and CS.
    26a made me laugh and I also ticked 5a and 24d.

  4. Most enjoyable, which roughly translates as ‘managed it all by myself’ – although it did take a while to fully parse 28a & 8d.
    With several others close on the rails, my top three were 26a plus 4&14d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to CS for the review.

  5. The first time I heard the expression in 26a, I was aboard the old SS ‘Ankara’ tub, about to disembark–in the glory days of Swans Hellenic–and I didn’t quite know what to make of it. On subsequent trips, I knew the very meaning of ambivalence. I really enjoyed this Kcit charmer and finished it all on my own in bonus-points time. Thanks to CS and Kcit.

    1. I never went on Ankara but was close behind on Orpheus. Those early days with Swan Hellenic were magical. Wandering around Delphi, Olympia and Delos and not a barrier in sight!

  6. I enjoyed this but needed assistance to make sense of the parsing of 11a and 3d. 26a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Kcit and CS.

  7. Well I have a completed grid apart from 22d. Know what I’m looking for but the synonym just won’t come. An otherwise fairly brisk completion but there are a number of clues that I’ve yet to parse so will look again at it later. 26a was my clear pick today.
    Thanks Kcit & in advance to CS.

  8. I enjoyed this very much, and I got on a good deal better than I did yesterday. I was fortunate with a couple of entries where I got the correct entry on the basis of the definition and checkers not fully understanding the word play – 14d for example (I didn’t know the Welsh town). In general when a clue mentions flowers or towns, or heaven forbid both, my heart sinks because there are so many of them! I would like to say that I had not heard of the expression in 26a, but it rings a faint bell of recognition – I think it may have cropped up in a previous puzzle? Regardless, I was still chuckling over it long after the puzzle was finished. Many thanks to Kcit and crypticsue.

  9. I found this more difficult than most of our contributors so far, but that’s probably because they’re smarter than me. Needed the hints to parse 11a, 28a, 7d and 14d. Never heard of the meaning for 8d, the town in 14d or the meal in 21d. Phew! On the plus side I put in the right answers. Favourite was 10 mainly because I got straight away. Thanks to Kcit and CS.

  10. This was a steady solve for me. I was under the impression I was solving the back pager until I began to read Kath’s blog! Thank you CS and setter.

    1. Me too. You did better than me JB – I ended up revealing the G checker as couldn’t even get the definition synonym without it.
      Got the Y bit & thought I was looking for a 5 letter word for understand.
      Don’t get the wordplay.

      1. GET or understand
        AI wonderful, excellent
        Y is the letter at the end of austerity

  11. Once I’d got a few checkers in this came together quite smoothly though it still took me over twice as long as the back pager.
    A few bung ins and educated guesses including 26a, which I’d never heard of and 28a, the surface of which I couldn’t make any sense of whatsoever. Still can’t see 11a?
    Podium places go to 13&15a plus 16d

    Thanks to Kcit and CS for the entertainment and explanations.

    1. The two abbreviations for English are ENG and E and into which goes most of LARd, which here is a verb meaning to stuff

      1. 4 or 5 in the east beat me, so thanks to CS for unravelling them. A good toughie to build up for tomorrow’s battle! 1d my favourite.
        Thanks to Kcit as well

      2. I had the two English abbreviations but couldn’t see what the verb was so thank you for clearing it up CS.

  12. Finally completed in 5* time for me, although Toughies are a relatively new adventure, so quite pleased with myself. Favourite 5a, spent too long trying to get DR or MO or GP into the bloomer at 14d. Good stuff, thanks to Kcit and CS

  13. Printed it off on Thursday and never got round to do it. Found it today after doing today’s Toughie. Finished unaided which means it was not at the tough end of the spectrum. Late, but I thought I’d pop in to thank Kcit for an entertaining puzzle. Top spot to 1d.

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