Toughie 2687 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2687

Toughie No 2687 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I made harder work of this than I should have (which I put down to watching the Olympics at the same time as solving). A lot of the clues did seem rather ‘samey’ and 17 out of the 30 clues require us to insert or delete a single letter.

Thanks to Kcit.

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

Across Clues

1a This would be wrongly seen as poor in watts, without energy (5,7)
POWER STATION: a semi-all-in-one clue where the answer is an anagram (wrongly seen as) of POOR IN WATTS containing the abbreviation for energy.

9a An old word, failing to capture a disorder (9)
ANARCHISM: start with AN and a term for an old word and remove an A.

10a Try anything, initially, to escape storm in valley (5)
GORGE: stick together a try or attempt and a verb to storm and delete the first letter of ‘anything’.

11a Attractive Royal appearing after cheers (6)
TAKING: a royal person follows a short word of thanks.

12a Soldiers caper, stealing knight’s weapons (8)
ORDNANCE: the abbreviation for rank-and-file soldiers and a verb to caper containing the chess abbreviation for knight.

13a Farm animal that is eating river shellfish (6)
COWRIE: a farm animal and the abbreviation for ‘that is’ containing the abbreviation for river.

15a Make a bet about regulation regarding discharge (8)
PURULENT: a verb to make a bet contains a synonym of regulation.

18a Moral type keeping a detective back — what’s the cost? (5,3)
PRICE TAG: a self-righteous moral type contains the reversal of A and an informal word for a detective.

19a Flier, not fully fit, seen returning around part of airship (6)
ICARUS: reverse a verb to fit or match without its final letter around a word for the passenger compartment of an airship.

21a Long to suppress most of restraint? That’ll be nice (8)
PLEASANT: a verb to long contains a restraint without its final H.

23a Composer giving us a lot of hell? (6)
HANDEL: split the composer 1,3,2 to understand the wordplay.

26a Suit line adopted by boys in uniform (5)
CLUBS: the abbreviation for line is inserted in junior members of a youth organisation.

27a Stone used in wall, say, in brief (9)
BARRISTER: the abbreviation for a stone (14lb) inserted in what a wall is an example of.

28a Shakespeare character, explorer carrying black instrument (5,2,5)
VIOLA DA GAMBA: knit together a female Shakespearean character and a Portuguese explorer (2,4) containing the abbreviation for black to get a musical instrument resembling a cello.

Down Clues

1d Easily influenced to stay in shot (7)
PLASTIC: insert a verb to stay or endure into a shot or snap.

2d Reporter attending start of week-long strike (5)
WHACK: an uncomplimentary word for a reporter follows the starting letter of week-long.

3d Arcane religious practice involving supporter, not leader (9)
RECONDITE: a religious practice or ceremony contains a supporter or backer without the first letter.

4d Go over suggestion to involve Republican (4)
TRIP: a suggestion or hint contains (involving, for the second clue in a row) the abbreviation for Republican.

5d Afraid, when climbing, to pass over most of fire (8)
TIMOROUS: a verb to pass over or leave out is reversed and that’s followed by a verb to fire or enthuse without its last letter.

6d The Telegraph, say — not alluring in part of Wales (5)
ORGAN: start with a part (and former county) of South Wales and remove the informal adjective meaning alluring.

7d Recent British monarchs touring university in high style (8)
GRANDEUR: the regnal ciphers of our previous and present monarchs (2,3,2) containing an abbreviation for university.

8d Fix Maine? Little money there to secure it (6)
CEMENT: the standard abbreviation for Maine is secured inside the small monetary unit in use there.

14d Audible comment about pointlessness of selling things in blizzard conditions (5-3)
WHITE-OUT: this sounds like a query about the usefulness of selling (3,4).

16d Theatre ultimately invested in opening, not ending (9)
UNCEASING: the ultimate letter of theatre goes inside a present participle meaning opening (some luggage, say).

17d Consumer wanting their own point accepted by channel (8)
CANNIBAL: a pointy thing goes inside a watery channel. Did anyone else, with a few checkers, try to justify ‘wannabee’ at first?

18d Father with speed identifying Father’s position (6)
PAPACY: charade of an affectionate word for father and an adjective meaning ‘with speed’. The capital F in the definition is relevant.

20d Nothing missing from diva’s performance, say, in spa rooms (7)
SOLARIA: remove the second occurrence of the letter resembling zero from what could be a diva’s performance (4,4).

22d Say nothing over one ignoring a hot dish from the East (5)
SUSHI: a request to keep quiet followed by the Roman numeral for one with the first occurrence of the abbreviation for hot left out.

24d Second person in Paris coming in to block piece of information (5)
DATUM: grammatically the second person in French goes inside a verb to block.

25d Crossword? Hard work not new (4)
GRID: a word for hard dull work without the abbreviation for new.

The clues I liked best were 23a and 7d. Which clue(s) did the business for you?


17 comments on “Toughie 2687

  1. Well. I was well and truly beaten. Only managed 4 answers. Worse than an Elgar.
    So many deleted or inserted letters 17! It’s no wonder I was confused.
    Any news on our poorly contributors?

    1. I had an email conversation with Kath at the weekend. She’s doing well but still finding the ‘stroke stuff’ very frustrating

  2. Despite 15a being a new word to me and never having heard of the instrument in 28a I managed to complete this AND parse it, the first for some time. Favourite was 7d. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  3. Definitely a toughie. I too noticed all the do something with a letter clues

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza. My favourites were 26a and ,6d

  4. Had a few sticky moments with the parsing of 19a as I didn’t recognise the name for the passenger compartment on an airship but OK elsewhere.
    13a made me smile as I’ve been obsessed with collecting them since a childhood meeting with a family on holiday who were busily scouring the shoreline for examples. I now have a large brass jam pot almost filled to the brim – including a few ‘exotics’ from a trip to the Seychelles.
    Top three for me were 11a plus 7&14d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review – loved the takeaway!

    1. 7 reveals?

      Puzzles.telegraph only gives us 5.

      Needed every single one today … but still failed to finish.

  5. Did most of the Left hand side and then hit the proverbial brick wall! Couldn’t parse 5d, but the parts of the grid I did complete were v enjoyable 👍

  6. With 5 scattered letters from my electronic assist, I managed to finish all but one clue (I’m embarrassed to admit that it was 10a), but I enjoyed plugging in a letter here and there and doing whatever else I could conjure up to fill the grid. 7d was clearly the runaway winner, and I also liked 28a and 19a. Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  7. I thought that perhaps I was making hard work of this rather than the level of difficulty being high, but maybe not. Took me longer than usual to finish and then I received the dreaded ‘not all correct’. Turned out that I had put ‘de’ instead of ‘da’ in 28ac so not too upsetting.There were sveral charming clues – I must start to make notes!
    A difficult but do-able challenge which tomorrow’s, for me, probably won’t be.if it’s the dreaded Elgar!

  8. So we weren’t the only ones to find this one tricky. However we did persevere and eventually got everything solved and sorted.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  9. I found that a full 4.5* for difficulty, but for the life of me could not see why when I had a full grid: it was all very fair, but I found most of the clues tough nuts to crack. After today’s Giovanni and now this, I’m not sure I have the mental energy left to tackle The Times!

    Gazza’s comments about it feeling samey and the excessive number of clues with letter additions / removals strike a chord: for me the feeling on finishing was one of relief rather than satisfaction, and while clues like 7d and 23a (my CsOTD) were excellent, I was rather surprised to see that I’d ticked no other clues, save 17d.

    GK was up to the task other than 15a, which while being new to me was clearly and fairly clued.

    Thank you to Kcit and to Gazza for the review – I needed a couple of your clear explanations as to why I had the correct answers that I did!

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