Toughie 2707 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2707

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.

Across Clues

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’.

Down Clues

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?


25 comments on “Toughie 2707

  1. Afraid I pretty much blanked on this, must be having a brain dead day – I blame a lack of Glenfiddich
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza

    1. OK nobody else here, so I’ll talk to myself
      Don’t know how ‘BBC’ BD is, but other fine Scottish whiskies are available, and I won’t even mention Glenmorangie…
      (auto correct suggested ‘glenohumoral’ – anyone know what that means?)

      1. Glenfiddich (in the days when I was allowed to drink malts) was never my favourite Speyside. Favourite was Glenlivet unless you count The Macallan which although it says Highland malt on the bottle it’s really a Speyside.

        1. Yes, not generally keen on Speyside, too harsh
          My Club only serves Bells, some awful house Poacher stuff, Glenfiddich (££) or Jamesons
          Jamesons is easy to make friends with :smile:

          1. I good few years ago now I was given a bottle of Midleton which was very impressive indeed & is now horrendously expensive. I rather wish I’d kept it but doubt it lasted beyond a week.

  2. I found this definitely the trickiest of the Toughies this week, but perseverance paid off. Like our reviewer, 24d proved to be my favourite once I had remembered what ‘ready’ can mean. All in all a most enjoyable puzzle.

    My thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  3. I’m didn’t feel sure about equivalent meaning related. The OED says it can mean corresponding and corresponding can mean related so I suppose the clue is OK.

  4. Loved this. Took several sittings to get there but I did even though a few were bung ins. Thanks to Gazza for sorting out the mysteries. And to Kcit for the challenge. Several favourites but 19a just makes my COTD

  5. Not surprisingly help required to get me over the line with this one. Got to within 5 of a finish but ground to a halt in the NE so reluctantly revealed the 7d/10a checker & as luck would have it Q appeared & immediately rattled off 4 of them which left 19a. Have never heard of the dresses & even though both components occurred I needed the hint for the letter removal. After reading the review there were a further 5 that I failed to parse correctly. Found it tough enough to get the answers never mind figuring out the wordplay. My favourite has to be 27a since I spend so much time in the bloody things on the golf course.
    Thanks Kcit for a very challenging & entertaining puzzle & to Gazza for explaining it.

      1. I did and I agree. The ‘pirate’ always produces excellent crosswords, both here, in the Graun, the Indy and the FT – and the Times too – although you can’t very often tell when it is one of his there

  6. Finally finished but it was slog!! Just not on the right wavelength, then see a word that fits but not sure why. Eventually, with a full grid, seven explanations still needed to confirm. Therefore not the best for enjoyment but that’s just a personal opinion. 5*/2* for me Thanks anyway to setter for the challenge as I certainly would not know where to start!!

  7. Really struggled with this one – firstly because I was racing to complete it before friends arrived for a ‘sandwich’ lunch and secondly because said lunch was accompanied by a fair amount of alcohol and my subsequent revisit was suitably impaired as a result!
    Of those that I managed, 12&19a were my preferences but you definitely beat me this time, Kcit.

    Thanks to you for the challenge and definitely to Gazza for the ‘this is how you should have worked it out’!

  8. Took two sittings, and needed hints for 19a, and the front half of 27a. Like Huntsman, I spend plenty of time in them with varying results. Should have twigged that, particularly with 14d mentioning sandy. I’ll try and avoid them tomorrow.
    Nice puzzle all the same. ***/****
    Thanks all

  9. I’m unhappy wit 22d. Being peeved is being annoyed but I don’t see peeve as a synonym for annoyance. The tenses are all wrong.
    Love the dissertation on Scotch whisky. My favourite is Shackleton as it was supplied to the 1907 British Antarctic expedition and has been reissued by White and Mackay. We always raise a glass to The Boss and remember when we poured a libation on to Shackleton’s grave in the South Atlantic.

    1. Chambers says that a peeve (noun) means a fretful mood; a grievance, grouse or cause of annoyance.

  10. We were slowed down considerably in the SW, particularly with the second word for 14d, but eventually got everything sorted.
    A pleasant solve for us.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  11. Found this quite hard going, with quite a lot of back solving from the checkers. Never heard of the chicken. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

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