Toughie 2803 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2803

Toughie No 2803 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Even taking into consideration the fact that I solved this whilst watching the curling from Beijing I didn’t think this had much in the way of sparkle. Thanks to Kcit.

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

Across Clues

7a Begin support to take care of individual (7)
PIONEER: a supporting structure contains a word for an individual.

8a Almost everyone unenthusiastic about hot drink (7)
ALCOHOL: join together a synonym of everyone without its last letter and an adjective meaning unenthusiastic containing the abbreviation for hot.

10a Old company chief recalled origins of unusual cookery company: a meat dish (4,5)
OSSO BUCCO: assemble the abbreviation for old, the reversal of a company chief, the starting letters of unusual cookery and the abbreviation for company.

11a Climbing plant concealing golden key (5)
IVORY: a climbing plant contains our usual golden tincture.

12a Expedition experiences odd bits of trek (5)
HASTE: a verb meaning experiences and the odd letters of ‘trek’.

13a It is a chop going off, becoming light green (9)
PISTACHIO: an anagram (going off) of IT IS A CHOP.

15a Journey aboard explosive naval weapon? (7)
TRIDENT: a journey goes inside the abbreviation for an explosive substance.

17a Sailor boasted beside ship (7)
CREWMAN: charade of a verb meaning boasted and a term for a ship (as in “man of war“).

18a Good to slot in better suggestion about delicate control (9)
FINGERTIP: insert the abbreviation for good into a comparative meaning better and append a suggestion or hint.

20a Some lowlife recalled throttling constant hanger-on (5)
LEECH: reverse a word for a disreputable or dishonest person and insert the constant for the speed of light.

21a Regular soldiers had an effect in sphere of action (5)
ORBIT: an abbreviation for regular soldiers and a verb meaning ‘had an effect’ or ‘took a firm hold’.

23a Vibrant military chief mostly calm about our following (9)
COLOURFUL: the abbreviation for a military chief is followed by a period of calm without its last letter containing OUR and the abbreviation for following.

24a Like fighting in a marriage, taking sexual attraction the wrong way (7)
MARTIAL: start with an adjective meaning ‘in a marriage’ and reverse the short word for sexual attraction within it.

25a Regular occupants of farm refuse to return tool (7)
FRETSAW: regular letters of farm and the reversal of a word for refuse or rejected material.

Down Clues

1d Occupation or job curtailed by court hearing? (10)
POSSESSION: a job or position without its last letter followed by the time a court is sitting.

2d Extra support gaining cheers (3,3)
LEG BYE: knit together a supporting member and an informal word for cheers or cheerio.

3d Crazy snooker shot expert gets on top of (8)
CRACKPOT: a successful snooker shot preceded by an adjective meaning expert.

4d Local language I used in sadness, husband having departed (6)
PATOIS: start with a word for sadness or piteousness, insert an I and remove the genealogical abbreviation for husband.

5d Rouse start of play and a TV broadcast with energy (8)
ACTIVATE: concatenate the start of a play (3,1), an anagram (broadcast) of A TV and the abbreviation for energy.

6d Get away to hunt, missing end of shift (4)
SHOO: a verb to hunt (?) without the end letter of shift. Does the required verb mean to hunt?

7d Scaremonger arranged photo op for me, suppressing Democrat (7,2,4)
PROPHET OF DOOM: an anagram (arranged) of PHOTO OP FOR ME containing the abbreviation for Democrat.

9d Be very definite; store wealth for redistribution (3,4,3,3)
LAY DOWN THE LAW: start with a phrasal verb (3,4) to store (wine perhaps) followed by an anagram (for redistribution) of WEALTH.

14d Norwegian city‘s celebration of tools? (10)
HAMMERFEST: this is a municipality in Norway (with a population of fewer than 12,000 I can’t find it anywhere referred to as a city). Split 6,4 it could be a celebration of tools (whatever that is). Having solved 25a I did wonder whether this was a pointer to a tool theme but I can’t spot any others.

16d Shocking vote — not all plutocrats represented (8)
ELECTRIC: a verb to vote (more usually ‘vote in’) and a general term for plutocrats without its last letter.

17d Wary socialists accepting quiet development in publishing (8)
COPYLEFT: synonyms for wary or retiring (3) and socialists (4) contain the musical abbreviation for quiet. I’d never heard of the answer which Chambers tells me is “a method of licensing intellectual property that allows users to modify and redistribute the work without restriction”.

19d Pedant uncovered source of amusement (6)
TICKLE: a synonym of pedant without its outer letters.

20d Poet maybe not worried over line one associated with Hardy (6)
LAUREL: an honoured poet without the verb meaning worried is followed by the abbreviation for line.

22d Poor pub that’s some way down one’s list? (4)
BARE: split 3,1 this could be the fifth pub under consideration.

The clue I liked best was 22d. Which one(s) earned your approval?

26 comments on “Toughie 2803

  1. As Gazza says, not particularly sparkly, and not anywhere near the level of toughness required for a Thursday – perhaps Sparks will provide something more testing tomorrow

    I liked 19d because it made me smile, reminding me about something to do with our resident pedant

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  2. I liked it mainly because I could do it and parse everything. I too liked 19d. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  3. I found this rather heavy-going and it suffers from following yesterday’s gem. 17d was a new one for me, as was the meaning of 12a. I quite liked 9d.
    Thanks to kciT and to Gazza for the blog.

  4. Enjoyed this, and for me felt it deserved Thursday status. Generally smooth surface readings, and a good variety of clue-types. Had never heard of 17d and wasted time trying to fit the traditional colour into the answer; 12a was a bung-in and even with the BRB I don’t see the connection between expedition and the answer. Hon Mentions to 20a, 24a and 2d.


    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza.

      1. Thanks, jane – an example of what is being referred to else-thread as being a “rarely used” synonym!

        1. MG. No, no. That one doesn’t fall into the “rarely used/unfamiliar” category. In my experience it’s a “fairly common usage”.

  5. I too had never heard of 17d, though it was obvious what it had to be. I will confess that for me it was Messrs Google rather than Chambers that provided confirmation. I stared and stared at 10a and could not see the very obvious four letter word reversed inside it, and I was convinced that the officer in 23a was specifically a colonel, which left me scratching my head. When, when will I learn to reverse out of my parsing cul-de-sacs? Or should that be culs-de-sac?

  6. I agree with earlier commenters that this was not especially tricky, but I am glad to have run through it without any real difficulty. 19d proved to be my favourite clue, mainly because I happen to like that kind of construction.

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  7. Enjoyed this rather more than our blogger seems to have done although I would agree that it lacked a bit of sparkle.
    Top two for me due to their surface reads were 15&20a.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza who always manages to find such appropriate cartoons to accompany his reviews!

  8. I’d agree it wasn’t particularly sparkly but I enjoyed it because it was a relatively gentle solve with no parsing headaches. The dish at 10a was unknown to me (looks delicious) as was 17d but the wordplay clear.
    Thanks to Kcit & Gazza

  9. I have to say with the possible exception of 10a along with 14&17d, none of which I’d heard of, I thought this was a fun puzzle and would have rated it one higher than our blogger on the enjoyment scale. Admittedly nothing jumped out at me as an obvious favourite but I did rather like the clever and amusing 19d.
    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  10. I am obviously in a league of my own here. There are Floughies, there are impenetrable Tuffies, and there is this. For me, it hit the spot in every way – a few head-scratchers, a few penny drops, and one or two to ease us in. Loved every moment of the solve. Not by any means a five star for difficulty but an outstanding 5 stars for the pleasure. Thank you KCit, and to Gazza, whose pearls of wisdom I will now peruse.

      1. I thought that those shooting pheasants stood still and had the birds driven towards them rather than actively hunting them?
        I can’t find hunt and shoot as synonyms in any thesaurus or even in the revered Mrs Bradford’s Crossword Solver’s Dictionary.

        1. I regard shoot as a synonym for hunt to be an Americanism, but one which is increasingly being used over here and is not unusual. As in “to go bird hunting” – possibly more accurate for people who attend a rough shoot rather than a driven shoot where, as you imply, those doing the shooting are hardly hunting their quarry.

          Delicious pheasant korma last evening – a bird retrieved by the cocker spaniel we lost last year, and which we retrieved from the depths of the freezer and found to be 4 years old … still here today, though!

  11. It comes to something when my first one in is 8a. A misspent life?
    Disconcerting to find that Eunice has been upgraded to red here. Hope we none of us get blown away!

  12. Having completed this earlier today but unable to comment until now , I wonder why the toughie blog comes out at 2pm and not before. I expect there is a reason.
    Anyway, I think Gazza’s assessment is a bit harsh as for the less able this was just fine, thanks Kcit.
    I’d not come across that adjective for married in 24ac and neither has my version of the BRB.

    1. Marital means ‘in a marriage’ as in ‘marital problems’.

      2 PM is the time that the Toughie blogs have always appeared.

      1. Idiotic me…I thought that the adjective was maral with it back in it …irritating how an idee fixe leads one astray…..couldn’t find maral anywhere…..

    2. I’ve thought for a long time that the Toughie blogs might be posted earlier than 2.00pm. Would they attract more comments if they were?

  13. 17d was new to us but easily guessed and then checked. Everything else slotted in without too much trouble or head scratching.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  14. Very late today, but I did enjoy this last night when I finished it, even though 17d was new to me. Seemed reasonably tough enough for me, though perhaps more Tuesdayish in difficulty. I liked 7d, 14d because I learned it in grammar school from a great geography teacher, and 19d. Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  15. I normally struggle with Kcit, but I really enjoyed untangling this. Just right for the time I had available. Thanks Kcit.

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