Toughie No 2707 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***/**** – Enjoyment **/***
We have another gloomy day in North Devon but at least it’s not raining. I thought that this was a fairly tricky midweek Toughie with a few head-scratching moments but no really long hold-ups.
Many thanks to Kcit.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Assume trios, once played, will provide what you want to hear (5,2,4,4)
MUSIC TO ONE’S EARS: an anagram (played) of ASSUME TRIOS ONCE.
9a A crazy effort involving country — America (7)
DINGBAT: a word meaning effort or force (seen these days mainly in the phrase ‘by **** of’) contains abbreviations for a country (?) and America. The 2-letter abbreviation is not strictly speaking a country.
10a Flamboyant love aboard boat in Antibes (7)
BAROQUE: Antibes is a French fishing port so what we need is a word for a boat there with the zero-resembling letter inserted.
11a Red chicken existing without head (9)
COCHINEAL: stick together an Asian breed of chicken (Cochin) with built-in leg warmers and an adjective meaning existing or tangible without its first letter. I didn’t know the chicken.
12a Tailor’s initial choice fabric (5)
TWILL: the first letter of tailor and a synonym for choice or desire.
13a After bungle, source of light is softened (7)
MUFFLED: a verb to bungle is followed by a source of electric light.
15a Popular musical recording: brief movement? (7)
DEMOTIC: charade of a musical recording and a brief movement or jerk.
17a Equivalent muscle in mammal moving in opposite direction (7)
RELATED: the abbreviation of a back muscle is inserted in the reversal of a hoofed mammal.
19a Dreadful tools for sewers scratching all examples of English dresses (7)
DIRNDLS: start with what could be dreadful tools for sewers (4,7) and remove all occurrences of the single-letter abbreviation for English.
21a America finished importing European sap (3,2)
USE UP: a 2-letter abbreviation for America and an adverb meaning finished contain an abbreviation for European.
23a Equally big name in charge, leading a country (5,4)
COSTA RICA: stitch together a performer sharing top billing, the abbreviation for ‘in charge’ and A.
25a Match in character not entirely unsuited to the top flight? (7)
AMATEUR: a word meaning match or equal is contained in a word for character or quality without its last letter.
26a Cordial and welcoming one visit (7)
ANISEED: AND contains the Roman numeral for one and a verb to visit.
27a Trap soldiers, all taking off to defensive position (6,9)
BUNKER MENTALITY: assemble another word for a trap on a golf course, ordinary soldiers and a word for ‘all’ having removed ‘to’.
1d Mother accepting of poetry? A little (7)
MODICUM: an affectionate term for mother containing an adjective meaning ‘relating to poetry’.
2d Working with sound, throwing a lot of noise about (5)
SONIC: an anagram (throwing) of NOIS[e] followed by an abbreviation meaning about.
3d Wire, tense, wrapped around big city vehicle (9)
CABRIOLET: a synonym for wire and the abbreviation for tense contain a large South American city.
4d Like people of fashion in a row about first pair of trousers (2-5)
ON-TREND: a phrase (2,3) meaning ‘in a row’ or ‘one after the other’ contains the first two letters of trousers.
5d Aristocrat was source of leak, being subversively persuaded (7)
NOBBLED: glue together an informal word for an aristocrat and a verb meaning ‘was source of leak’.
6d Channel goes under stone support (5)
STRUT: a channel or furrow follows the abbreviation for a stone avoirdupois.
7d Performed? Performed, carrying pack in (9)
ACQUITTED: a verb meaning ‘gave a performance’ contains a verb meaning ‘pack in’.
8d Material in historic record? Attack account (7)
SHELLAC: join a verb to attack with artillery and the abbreviation for account. The answer was a predecessor of vinyl in records.
14d Sandy going round London university in a day, giving deceptive impression (5,4)
FALSE DAWN: a Russian doll clue. A sandy colour contains a university in London (3) which is bracketed by A and the abbreviation for day.
16d Alcohol to impair walking style around river area (9)
MARGARITA: string together a verb to impair and a manner of walking containing the abbreviation for river, then finish with the abbreviation for area.
17d Run pub in transport centre, say? Nonsense (7)
RHUBARB: start with the crickety abbreviation for run and add a synonym of pub inside a centre of activity.
18d Festive period, then over booze? That’ll do for sobriety (7)
DECORUM: an abbreviated festive month followed by the cricket abbreviation for over and a type of booze.
19d Democrat’s elected, receiving US lawyer’s scorn (7)
DISDAIN: bring together the abbreviation for Democrat, the full form of ‘S and an adverb meaning elected. Now insert our usual US lawyer.
20d Place for spectators, barely emptied, is ready for future use (5-2)
STAND-BY: a raised structure holding spectators at a sports event is followed by the outer letters of barely.
22d Annoyance the day before exercising? (5)
PEEVE: split 2,3 this could mean the day before doing physical exercises.
24d Ancient people mostly ready for Americans to occupy islands (5)
ICENI: an American coin without its last letter sits between two occurrences of an abbreviation for island.
My favourite clue was 24d. Which clue(s) came up to scratch for you?