Toughie 2727 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2727

Toughie No 2727 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

It’s Kcit’s turn today – thanks to him.

There’s nothing very obscure here (good) and the wordplay is all very fair but I did find a lot of clues were a bit repetitive with lots of little bits to be assembled and not a lot of laughs.

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

Across Clues

1a Work on a new look — continue appearing in shot, getting good in certain lines (7,7)
PLASTIC SURGERY: insert a verb to continue into an informal shot then insert the abbreviation for good into a synonym of certain and finish with an abbreviation for lines.

9a Collector in greyish-brown carrying amounts around (7)
DUSTMAN: a greyish-brown colour containing the reversal of the abbreviation for amounts.

10a An opening for dramatics claimed by average awkward person (2-3-2)
SO-AND-SO: a term meaning average (2-2) contains AN and the opening letter of dramatics.

11a No specific number entertained by popular hostelry (3)
INN: insert the symbol for an unspecified number into an adjective meaning popular.

12a Attraction leading to attempt to marry? Legal intervention here (6,5)
APPEAL COURT: charade of a word meaning attraction or allure and a verb to date someone with a view to marriage.

14a Race completely in control of Republicans (6)
GALLOP: an adverb meaning completely is contained by the abbreviation for the Republican Party in the USA.

15a Remains bored, withdrawing our team’s boxing debut at last (8)
DETRITUS: the reversal of an adjective meaning bored and a pronoun meaning ‘our team’ contain the last letter of ‘debut’.

17a Voluntary work involving keys will engross island (8)
OPTIONAL: splice together the usual abbreviation for work and an adjective meaning ‘relating to musical keys’ containing an abbreviation for island. Did anyone else try initially to use the name of a Scottish island in the wordplay?

19a Officer of the law rejected loophole (3-3)
COP-OUT: put together an informal word for a law officer and an adjective meaning rejected or no longer in fashion.

22a Crazy suggestion backed eating large dessert (6,5)
BANANA SPLIT: an informal word for crazy followed by the reversal of a helpful suggestion containing the clothing abbreviation for large.

23a Couple and haul, moving weight forwards (3)
TWO: a verb to haul with the abbreviation for weight moved towards the front.

24a A little taken aback, interrupted by chap refusing to back down? (7)
ADAMANT: A followed by the reversal of a small amount with a synonym for chap inserted.

26a Piano melody, getting loud, starts to unwind later in high-spirited style (7)
PLAYFUL: string together the abbreviation for piano, a literary word for a song, the abbreviation for loud and the starting letters of ‘unwind later’.

27a Refuse to associate with second attempt securing expulsion of witches? (4,2,8)
SEND TO COVENTRY: the abbreviation for second and an attempt contain a phrase (3,2,5) which could mean ‘no more witches’.

Down Clues

1d Character in series displaying power, enhancing northern show (10,4)
PADDINGTON BEAR: glue together the abbreviation for power, a phrase (6,2) meaning enhancing, the abbreviation for northern and a verb to show.

2d Ways gunmen raised weapons (7)
ARSENAL: some ways or roads and the abbreviation for army gunmen all reversed.

3d Malt whisky confusing to man clutching old whiskey label (5,6)
TAMLA MOTOWN: just when I thought we were heading for an anagram-less puzzle we get a clue containing two anagrams. Start with an anagram (whisky, in the manner of a whisk?) of MALT and add an anagram (confusing) of TO MAN containing the abbreviation for old and the letter for which whiskey is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

4d Issue about a new projection (6)
CANOPY: an issue or edition contains A and the abbreviation for new.

5d November in American harbour is rather hairy (8)
UNSHAVEN: the letter that November represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet goes inside an abbreviation for American and a synonym of harbour.

6d Region of India not Liberal in ambition (3)
GOA: remove the abbreviation for Liberal from an ambition.

7d Have third thoughts about defensive structure? (7)
REDOUBT: this could be a verb meaning to have third thoughts about.

8d Armies move easily around Spain, uplifting the historic catering supplier (7,7)
HOSTESS TROLLEY: a word for armies and a verb to move easily and casually contain the IVR code for Spain. Finally add the reversal of an historic word for ‘the’.

13d Concern about profits almost entirely seen in marketplace? (3,4,4)
CAR BOOT SALE: a word meaning concern contains an obsolete word for profits or advantages (nowadays only seen in the phrase ‘to ****’ meaning ‘in addition’) and an adverb meaning entirely without its last letter.

16d Elevated speech from founder, losing one argument (8)
FALSETTO: rivet together a verb to founder or break down without the Roman numeral for one and an argument (3-2).

18d Someone complaining in manner having weight (7)
TONNAGE: a constant complainer goes inside a synonym of manner or character.

20d Excluded over infiltrating organisation (3,2,2)
OUT OF IT: the cricket abbreviation for over infiltrates another word for an organisation or business.

21d A sign restricting parking repeatedly in Middle East city (6)
ALEPPO: A and a zodiacal sign contain a repeated abbreviation for parking.

25d Sum? Am splitting final figure (3)
ADD: we’re back in a Roman maths lesson. Start with the A of ‘am’ and split its second (final) figure into two equal parts.

My favourite clue was 7d. Which one(s) did it for you?


16 comments on “Toughie 2727

  1. I enjoyed this more than the back page today. Took me a fair while to see the parsing of 25d. 9a was my favourite. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  2. I found this quite difficult and, apart from the four clues round the outside, not a lot of fun

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  3. Yes, all accessible but still needed help with parsing/explaining 5 answers.
    Never heard of 3d nor the abbreviation in 14ac, and 9ac and 16ac would have burst Brian’s spleen!
    Still I did get 25ac even though I think the Latin is never used as lower case.
    Thanks Gazza for the cartoons and explanations and to Kcit too.

  4. After the utter lack of pleasure I took in solving yesterday’s Serpent grid – unlike most respondents to the blog – I really enjoyed this puzzle today. Indeed I’d done about half of it before thinking “gosh, this is rather testing for a backpager” … and then realised it was the Toughie! (I have the puzzles subscription and duplex-print the two puzzles each morning). Felt for quite some while that it was a Beam, then finally found an anagram.

    Clever and witty clues, fairly constructed, nothing too obscure. Thought the four perimeter clues were good, especially 27a and 1d; Hon Mentions also to 14a and 21d, while I loved the smooth surface to and solution for 12a, my COTD.

    3.5* / 4*

    Thank you, Kcit, I shall really look forward to the next one, and thank you also Gazza.

  5. Bit of a struggle with this one today. The cogs were definitely not engaging very quickly but got there in the end. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  6. Not too difficult today but enough head scratching brought about by the cluing.
    Why was there a third thought in 7d, is a second thought not just doubting again to provide the defensive structure
    Is there an abbreviation for amounts in 9a-not in my Chambers.
    Surely 16a is ‘elevated singing’ not a type of speech.
    Anyway going for a ***/***, plenty of good cluing, liked 3d and 27a.and 1d.
    Thanks to kcit -how does it sound? and Gazza for the pic jokes.

    1. 7d I suppose that to doubt something is to have second thoughts so to redoubt is to have third thoughts.
      Chambers has ‘amt’ as the abbreviation for amount so amts (with a bit of a stretch) is amounts.
      ODE says falsetto is ‘a voice or sound that is unusually high’.

  7. Infrequently have a go at Toughies and this doesn’t encourage me to change my ways – reassuring to know you too had reservations today CS. Had forgotten the 14a Grand Old Party. I suppose an 8d “supplies” the catering? Thank you MrG’s search engine for help on 3d. Think I might stick to just my daily dose of Cryptic. Thank you Kcit and Gazza

  8. I really couldn’t get on with this. The clues were so wordy. I want to solve a crossword not read a novel!

  9. Managed to solve everything but 3d and 15a. Never heard of the first but should have got the latter. Especially enjoyed the perimeter clues and the 3-letter clues: that’s the long and short of it! Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  10. We came here to check the parsing of 17a. We were convinced that the Scottish island had to be involved. That’ll teach us!
    Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  11. Didn’t quite get there on my own having forgotten the 14a party name and totally fluffed 3d. Hardly a barrel of laughs but the surface of 24a raised a smile and Gazza’s illustrations always hit the spot.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review and the very necessary couple of hints.

  12. I had most of this completed earlier without too many problems but struggled with 13d as I had the wrong answer for 19a. Hey ho I got there eventually. I also spent far too long thinking the last word in 22a was salad. Favourite was 3d. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  13. A bit surprised this hasn’t got a more enthusiastic reception. Like Jonners much preferred it to the back pager. Thought all 4 perimeter long ‘uns good clues & didn’t mind the wordy clues in the least. Last in was 3d & once the penny dropped it just pipped 7d as my favourite clue. Fond memories of the 22a TV show & spent an age trying to think of the American punk band who covered the theme song (The Dickies).
    Thanks to Kcit & to Gazza.

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