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Toughie 2791

Toughie No 2791 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I do enjoy a bout with proXimal and I found this quite tricky especially in my last (South-East) corner. Thanks to him for the puzzle.

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

RIP Barry Cryer, a very funny man, who has died aged 86.

Barry Cryer (1935-2022)

Across Clues

1a Broadcasters requiring pilot for agricultural coverage (11)
CROPDUSTERS: cryptic definition – see the illustration. In these days of drones an on-board pilot is not always required.

9a Universal parts further extended seat (7)
LOUNGER: the abbreviation for universal goes inside a comparative meaning ‘further extended’.

10a Yen to end in recycling, ignoring green adherent (6)
CLINGY: remove the green or public area used for sport or leisure from recycling then move the abbreviation for yen to the end. Adherent here is an adjective.

12a Tone of small clipped insult (7)
SAFFRON: the clothing abbreviation for small and an insult without its final letter.

13a Comparatively stout bucket linked to carrying frame (7)
TUBBIER: join together a type of bucket (one used for bringing up coal in a mine according to the BRB) and a stiff carrying frame.

14a Picked up fruit slices (5)
PARES: a homophone of types of soft fruit.

15a Renewed quote to bring forward end building (9)
REFRESHED: a verb to quote or mention with its end letter brought forward is followed by a simple building.

17a Rascal, old subordinate to one taking over (9)
IMPOUNDER: cement together a young rascal, the abbreviation for old and a preposition meaning ‘subordinate to’.

20a Latin American dismissing that man’s fear (5)
PANIC: remove “that man’s” from a Latin American.

22a Work hard tackling university room disarray (7)
TURMOIL: a verb to work hard contains abbreviations for university and room.

24a Metal flux around piston (7)
WOLFRAM: reverse a synonym of flux and add a type of piston to get another name for tungsten.

25a One moved to east of Scots town, a Lewis location (6)
NARNIA: start with a town on the Moray Firth, move the Roman numeral for one as far east as possible and finally add A. Lewis here is not the Hebridean island but the children’s author.

26a Part of exchange gleaned from vocal board row (5-2)
TRADE-IN: this sounds like a board for carrying things (4) and a row or great noise (3).

27a What Boris does is important news (4,7)
LEAD STORIES: split the answer 5,6 and you have what Boris does (at least for the time being).

Down Clues

2d Soldiers picked up visors for eyes (7)
REGARDS: the abbreviation for a corps of the British army and what sounds like visors or protectors.

3d Collaborated with Communist after capture in revolution (9)
PARTNERED: our usual colourful Communist follows the reversal of a verb to capture.

4d Regularly funny, Crufts before editing (5)
UNCUT: regular letters from two words in the clue.

5d Troubled as nest removed from establishment moved small amount (7)
THIMBLE: remove the jumbled (troubled) letters of ‘as nest’ from ESTABLISHMENT and make an anagram (moved) of what you have left.

6d Redesign of housing getting resistance for new arch (7)
ROGUISH: replace the abbreviation for new with that of electrical resistance in HOUSING and make an anagram (redesign) of what you now have.

7d Showy vessels harbouring in volatile areas (11)
FLASHPOINTS: assemble an informal adjective meaning showy or ostentatious and some cooking vessels containing IN.

8d Climbing about, very strong American bear (6)
SUFFER: string together a preposition meaning about, the musical abbreviation meaning very strong and one of the abbreviations for American. Reverse all that.

11d The last word in divine jam (11)
PREDICAMENT: stick the last word in a Christian prayer into a verb to divine.

16d Strong drink giving circus performer change of bearing (9)
FIREWATER: start with a circus performer (4-5) and change one of his/her bearings to its opposite.

18d Be involved in performing karate following pressure (7)
PARTAKE: an anagram (performing) of KARATE follows the physics symbol for pressure.

19d Possibly derelict posh home secured to the north (7)
UNOWNED: stitch together an animal’s home and a verb meaning secured or gained. Now reverse that and append it to the letter used to mean posh.

20d With most of extract, fill drum (7)
PULSATE: rivet together a verb to extract or draw out without its final letter and a verb to fill or satisfy.

21d Annoyed exposed bears run (6)
NARKED: an adjective meaning exposed contains the cricket abbreviation for run.

23d Vaulted area in the French parliament vacated (5)
LEAPT: insert the abbreviation for area between one of the French definite articles and the outer letters of parliament.

I liked 25a, 11d and 19d but my favourite, for its topicality, was 27a. Which one(s) appealed to you?


28 comments on “Toughie 2791

  1. Failed on two – 1&25a – but didn’t think that was a bad score for a decidedly tough Toughie.
    20a raised a smile and top marks went to 27a & 11d.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Gazza for the review and the assistance with my problem clues.

  2. I have to admit to needing one hint and a touch of electronic help with this excellent Toughie that broke the run of gentler offerings this week.
    In a very strong field I’ll go for 2,11,16&20d along with the clever and possibly soon to be outdated 27a as podium contenders.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and Gazza for a top puzzle and blog.

  3. Definitely a real Toughie, but I ploughed through it slowly!
    I agree with Jane on the top clues – 11D and 27A

  4. I cannot improve on Jane’s selections either for favourite clues. This was decidedly Tough, the hardest for some time, so very rewarding and satisfying to complete. I confess I only finished it because I can check letters on the iPad Edition.

    My thanks to proXimal and Gazza.

  5. Surely I can’t be the only one who went down the blind alley of trying to justify tell as the first word for 27a.

  6. My goodness that was tough, but very enjoyable. It took me several sittings to complete but was well worth the effort with 27a & 11d my top two, aligning with Jane’s choices.

    Many thanks to proXimal who has mastered the art of setting Friday back-pagers and late-week Toughies with appropriate but very different levels of difficulty, and many thanks too to Gazza for his usual excellent review.

    1. You won’t have long to wait for proXimal’s next Toughie as he’s setting the first Prize Toughie which will appear next Sunday (30th).

        1. It’s encouraging that prize puzzle number one is by proXimal. There’s already a very gentle ‘prize’ puzzle every Saturday so let’s hope the new Sunday Toughie ones are rather more demanding.

  7. This was my first proper go at a ProXimal and thought it very enjoyable, witty and inventive. 1a is such a lovely CD.
    Just one minor quibble/ query. Is unowned by definition derelict?
    Thanks all

  8. A very good Toughie indeed, and a top day’s solving in the DT too with today’s daily also being for me rather fabulous.

    There have been some very amusing clues recently in the daily, and in other puzzles around Crosswordland, having a shot at the Supreme Leader. Today’s is an alternative take, observing the status quo, and a very nice clue.

    Thanks setter and Gazza.

  9. Very tough but it’s Friday and it’s ProXimal. I needed some electronic help and the hint to parse 10a but I’ll settle for that. Favourite was 27a. Thanks to ProXimal and Gazza.

    1. It may already be Friday in some parts of the world but it’s definitely still Thursday in the UK. :D

  10. Took several sittings but finally got there. 16d gets my vote. Thanks to Proximal and Gazza.

  11. I’ll go along with 27a and 11d as the sublime icing atop a very rich spread of goodies. I did need a bit of electronic help to finish (2 letters strategically placed), but this is almost as well as I’ve done on a Thursday Toughie recently. 24a rounds out my podium choices. But there’s not a dud in the grid. Thanks to Gazza, especially for helping me parse 19d, my LOI, and to proXimal for the entertainment.

  12. So it was not just me who found this a tricky nut to crack. Eventually got it all sorted but lots of head-scratching along the way.
    25a and 27a were the two that stood out for me but plenty of others could have made the cut.
    Thanks proXimal and Gazza.

  13. Hugely enjoyable, as you’d expect from this setter. Fave 1a – brilliant CD. Must watch North by Northwest again! Thanks proXimal and Gazza.

  14. Darn it. Beaten by 25a (despite having played golf in Nairn) where CS never occurred to me. This took 4 sittings & endless head scratching but it was worth it to get so close. Impeccably & very fairly clued throughout but very difficult in spite of a lack of anything obscure. Can’t look beyond Boris for my favourite (clue that is for the avoidance of any doubt) but huge ticks for 1,17,20&25a along with 2,3,7,11&16d.
    Thanks proXimal & to Gazza

  15. Most of this went in quickly for me today. However, I was held up considerably by half a dozen which slowly yielded bar two. Didn’t manage 1ac which I was constantly trying to turn into a charade / container type clue. The second problem was 25ac where I enlisted google maps and spotted the Scottish town and chuckled when I saw immediately both the definition and wordplay.

    Highly enjoyable solve for me with thanks to Gazza and the X man.

  16. Completed this morning after several sessions. I was on the point of seeking electronic help for 1a when the penny dropped. Regarding 18d, am I wrong in thinking that ‘partake’ is not the same as ‘take part’?

  17. I failed miserably on this one I’m afraid.
    SE corner was almost empty.
    Needed a lot of hints to finish.
    Definitely felt like a Friday….and I don’t think I fared better in the next one.
    Thanks to ProXimal and to Gazza.

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