Toughie 2655 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2655

Toughie No 2655 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

No anagrams, no obscurities with the ‘toughness’ coming from the wordplay (although there are also some ‘gimmes’ to get us started) – what’s not to like?

Thanks to Kcit.

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

Across Clues

7a Serious complaint not initially plaguing second person in Paris (8)
GRIEVOUS: a complaint or whinge without the initial letter of plaguing is followed by a grammatical second person in French.

9a Enquire about current leading men in religious institution (6)
PRIORY: a verb to enquire or investigate contains the symbol for electric current and the abbreviation for men in the forces.

10a Sport arising from running round in square (4)
FOUR: string together the abbreviation for a 15-a-side sport and a preposition meaning ‘arising from’ then reverse it all.

11a I travel beside trail filled with colour (10)
IRIDESCENT: charade of I, a verb to travel and a trail or spoor.

12a Women’s puzzle book overlooked, and not a convincing explanation (6)
WAFFLE: the abbreviation for women and a verb to puzzle or perplex without its initial B[ook].

14a Vermin? Note: contact landlord (8)
LICENSEE: splice together some parasitic vermin, the abbreviation for note and a verb to contact or meet.

15a Experimenter and demonstrator dismissing expert (6)
TESTER: remove a 3-letter expert from the beginning of a demonstrator.

17a Engineers to get involved in instruction to restore highway (6)
STREET: the abbreviation for our army engineers goes inside an instruction to restore the previous version in some text.

20a Mishap I had when overwhelmed by stress (8)
ACCIDENT: the contracted form of ‘I had’ is contained in a synonym of stress.

22a Treatment of wound succeeded — tomorrow sees female heading off (6)
SUTURE: the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded followed by what ‘tomorrow’ can mean in a literary sense without its heading letter (the abbreviation for female).

23a Unfocused, losing money, snatching wader without thinking? (10)
INDISCREET: start with an adjective meaning unfocused or fuzzy, remove the dated word for money and insert a 3-letter female wading bird.

24a Gather summary has omitted central item (4)
REAP: omit the central letter from a summary.

25a The epitome of romance seen around European places (6)
VENUES: the name of the Roman goddess who epitomised romance contains an abbreviation of European.

26a Pleasure — it has returned in Conservative Party? (8)
FUNCTION: start with a synonym for pleasure or enjoyment then reverse IT inside one of the abbreviations for Conservative.

Down Clues

1d Superior total, sealing game up (8)
ARROGANT: an adjective meaning total or utter contains the reversal of a board game.

2d Rent adjacent locations in elite area (4)
TEAR: hidden.

3d Who’ll have staff apprehending one leader of criminals? (6)
POLICE: a semi-all-in-one. A staff or post contains the Roman numeral for one and the leading letter of criminals.

4d After meal fails to start, split punch (8)
UPPERCUT: glue together a meal without its first letter and a verb to split or sever.

5d Recording being played: something sure to provide surprise (10)
DISCONCERT: assemble a medium for recording music or data, an adverb meaning ‘being played’ and an informal word for ‘a sure thing’.

6d Condition shown by medium dog biting man’s bottom (6)
TRANCE: a verb to dog or follow contains the bottom letter of man.

8d Block steps to secure source of funding (6)
STIFLE: steps in the countryside contain the first letter of funding.

13d Particular rapid way of speaking abandoned by last of Americans? (10)
FASTIDIOUS: bring together an adjective meaning rapid, a way of speaking or dialect without its last letter and an abbreviation meaning ‘of Americans’.

16d I’m not sure to intervene in tax trouble (8)
EXERCISE: an exclamation meaning “I’m not sure” goes inside a fiscal tax.

18d Black badger regularly taking aromatic plant (8)
TARRAGON: a verb to cover with a black substance is followed by a verb meaning to badger or scold and an adverb meaning ‘regularly taking’ (medicine, say).

19d Emphatic view of it is restricting tense team in Bundesliga? (6)
ITSELF: IS contains the grammatical abbreviation for tense. Follow that with what a team in the Bundesliga might be called if a team in the UK is called an eleven.

21d Pace is lacking in case (6)
CANTER: remove IS from a case or container.

22d Opinion offered about metal with a lustrous surface (6)
SATINY: an opinion offered (as in “can I have my *** now?”) contains a metal.

24d Buccaneer not showing very good speed (4)
RATE: start with a buccaneer and remove the short word meaning very good or holy.

For the podium I’ve picked 7a, 12a and 19d. Which one(s) featured in your list?

 

23 comments on “Toughie 2655
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  1. I found the LH side of this Toughie much more difficult than the right. My favourite clue was 19d

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  2. Some neat clues here. Favourites were 17a [instruction to restore] 13d [last/of Americans] 18d [regularly taking] and top pick 19d.
    Thanks to kciT and Gazza.

  3. Fairly hard going I thought.
    Right half easier than left as CS said.
    1d and 7ac defeated me as I was looking for the second person singular!
    I still don’t see the wader in 23ac….but feel it’s just a bad day.
    Thanks to KCIT and Gazza for parsing and for the cartoons.
    ****/**

  4. I enjoyed this very much – the more so in that I was able to complete this without finding any Heffalump traps with things that lie off (my) beaten track. (However, I was fortunate with the checkers in 19d (my last in) – I would be ashamed to admit that my German doesn’t quite stretch as far as needed in the wordplay (actually it doesn’t stretch at all)). I found myself completing this from left hand side to right hand side although I found both halves equally challenging. Lots of beautifully constructed clues – no stand-out favourites. Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  5. So, tell me today isn’t Friday! I only manage 3 clues and, reading the blog, know I could never have improved on that. Oh dear! I’m sure I’ve done better with KCIT before.

  6. Eventually managed to fill the RH side but plenty of blanks on the left that required the assistance of our excellent reviewer.
    Like Chris M, I opted for the wrong ‘second person’ in 7a which made a complete Horlicks of that one and I failed totally with the pesky 4-letter 10a.
    Oh dear – like JB, I’m sure I’ve done better with a Kcit puzzle in the past.

    Thanks to Kcit for the ‘torture’ and to Gazza for his much needed hints.

  7. A slow steady solve for us but everything eventually fell into place with the SE being the last to yield. Must remember ‘regularly taking’ for ON so not held up next time. Also know a lot more about German football teams than we used to.
    All good fun.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  8. I really enjoyed this, but found it very tough – I needed electronic help for a couple, and needed the blog to parse 18d. I think there is a Nina of sorts: although there are no anagram clues, there are several symmetrical pairs of answers that are anagrams of each other. If I’d spotted that earlier I might have solved 1d without help!

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  9. I realise it’s almost 11 pm in the UK, but I always try to post a comment when I’ve attempted a Toughie, which I did last night before tackling the backpager. (I know, bassackwards.) In the past, I have done well with Kcit’s grids but didn’t fare so well this time, even though I very much enjoyed the challenge. I probably managed about 60% on my own; the rest, with thanks to Gazza and Google. Thanks too to Kcit!

  10. Crikey that was a tough nut & particularly the LHS. I ground out a finish at the third attempt but it was very much a case of take a punt at the definition, find a synonym & then try to figure out the wordplay. The last bit of that was beyond me for both 23a & 19d – didn’t know the wader & initially had unfocused as the definition/indistinct as the answer until I got 16d & can’t count to 10 in German. My picks of the clues were probably the gimmes Gazza referred to & ones that I did twig from the wordplay – 7&11a plus 1,5&13d.
    Very enjoyable although probably right at the limit of if not beyond my solving abilities.
    Thanks Kcit & to Gazza
    Ps great spot Scotty re the anagram pairs – I’d love to be able to pick up on that sort of thing but am too busy trying to make sense of the bloody clues……

    1. Your final comment made me laugh so much, Huntsman, my own feelings exactly – particularly where this one was concerned!

  11. Couldn’t complete after two sittings, but had noticed the central anagrams. Should have looked wider … thanks to all

  12. That was a jolly tough Toughie, and for the first time in a while I needed hints, four of them (thank you, Gazza). Did not like 19d (though can apprecate the artistry of the clue) or 22d (valid though it is, using it just feels wrong and clumsy), but the cluing was all very fair, with plenty of red herrings and not too many obscurities.

    4.5*/2.5*

    Many thanks to Kcit & Gazza.

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