Toughie 2875 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2875

Toughie No 2875 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Kcit for a fairly straightforward puzzle.

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

Across Clues

1a Place swathed in unadulterated colour (6)
PURPLE: insert the map abbreviation for place into a synonym of unadulterated.

4a Friend back in court, facing charge? Nonsense (8)
CLAPTRAP: reverse a friend inside the abbreviation for court and append an informal word for a criminal charge.

9a University abandoning agreement about course rendered void, making particular point (6)
NICETY: a word meaning agreement loses the single-letter abbreviation for university and contains the outer letters of ‘course’.

10a Run into bone in pit — nasty (8)
HORRIBLE: a Russian doll clue – insert the cricket abbreviation for run into a bone (which most humans have 24 of) and insert that into a synonym of pit.

11a Pardon Minister shedding tear about snoops mostly (8)
REPRIEVE: start with the title of a member of the clergy, drop a verb to tear and insert a verb meaning snoops without its last letter.

13a Around Calais I recalled part of ship in marine debris (6)
JETSAM: the word used for I in the Calais area followed by the reversal of a feature of a sailing ship.

15a Local government group in city beginning to heed lawyer when speaking (6,7)
PARISH COUNCIL: string together a European capital city, the first letter of heed and what sounds like a lawyer in court.

18a Resolved actual origins of body tissue (13)
CARTILAGINOUS: an anagram (resolved) of ACTUAL ORIGINS.

22a Pursued switching bridge partner for nothing (6)
NOUGHT: start with a verb meaning pursued or tried to obtain and change the initial letter from a bridge player to his/her partner.

24a Remarkable Irish airport no longer under consideration? (8)
KNOCKOUT: the old name of an airport in Ireland which was very controversial when it was built is followed by an adverb meaning ‘no longer under consideration’.

26a Leeway shown by account in theatre poster (8)
PLAYBILL: charade of words meaning leeway or latitude and an account or invoice.

27a Put up with sound of activity coming from us (6)
HUMOUR: a sound of activity or buzz and a possessive adjective meaning ‘coming from us’.

28a Small muscle, nothing less — not really there at all (8)
SPECTRAL: stick together the clothing abbreviation for small and a chest muscle then remove the letter that looks like nothing.

29a Theatre song gets a further look? (6)
REPLAY: join together a type of theatre putting on a selection of plays and a literary word for a song.

Down Clues

1d Agreement about operation to reverse poverty (6)
PENURY: an informal word of agreement contains an operation or function (?). Now reverse the lot. I can’t come up with a satisfactory sentence where the required word means operation – can you? See Physicist’s suggestion at comment #3.

2d Church Father wrapped in older sheets? (4,5)
RICE PAPER: the abbreviation for the established church in England and an affectionate word for father go inside a comparative meaning older or more mature.

3d Instrument maker stripping casing of woodwind instrument yesterday in Amiens (7)
LUTHIER: remove the outer letters of a woodwind instrument and add the French word for yesterday. Not a word I knew but the wordplay is clear.

5d John and Mark at first become more prominent (4)
LOOM: what john means (especially in the USA) and the first letter of Mark.

6d One newly famous symbol of eroticism, mostly substandard (7)
PARVENU: a classical symbol of eroticism without its last letter comes below (sub) a word for standard (especially on the golf course). As Prolixic would probably say if this clue appeared in Rookie Corner ‘Some editors won’t allow …’.

7d Argues against timeless puzzle (5)
REBUS: a verb meaning argues against or contradicts without the physics abbreviation for time.

8d Opening comments in quiet talk vaguely about energy (8)
PREAMBLE: the musical abbreviation for quiet and a verb to talk vaguely or prattle containing the physics abbreviation for energy.

12d Bottle containing a lot of drink, judging by eye (6)
VISUAL: a small bottle contains a verb to drink without its final letter.

14d No opening for group court case (6)
ACTION: remove the first letter from a group or clique.

16d Players get disturbed about old treatment for internal problem (6,3)
CASTOR OIL: a word for all the players and a verb to become disturbed or turbulent contain the abbreviation for old. We always used Syrup of Figs in our family.

17d School is out? Head of Physics coming in for drink (8)
SCHNAPPS: an abbreviation for school and a verb meaning ‘is (crashed) out’ with the first letter of physics being inserted.

19d Occupy hotel — soon to accept that (7)
INHABIT: the letter that hotel identifies in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet is contained in a phrase (2,1,3) meaning soon.

20d Stop offering crosswords initially clued day earlier (7)
OCCLUDE: the initial letters of ‘offering crosswords’ followed by the word ‘clued’ with the abbreviation for day getting promoted.

21d Passionate romance enthralling Mike (6)
STORMY: a romance or work of fiction contains the letter that Mike represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

23d America, say, elevated idiom (5)
USAGE: an abbreviation of America and the reversal of an abbreviation meaning say.

25d Circus performer of note entertaining the French (4)
FLEA: a note from tonic sol-fa contains one of the French definite articles.

I liked 4a and 6d. Which clue(s) appealed to you?

16 comments on “Toughie 2875
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  1. About the right level of difficulty I like to find on a Thursday – no particular favourites

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  2. Thanks Kcit and Gazza. 18a a clever anagram, also liked 28a & 6d. On reflection, agree re ‘operation’ in 1d … but it seemed fair enough at the time!

      1. As long as you’re happy with “yep” rather than “yup” it makes sense.
        ‘Run’ as a noun is standard in computer operation. Also in printing.

  3. Quite surprised when Gazza only awarded 2* for difficulty but, despite what seemed like sweated labour at the time, the answers do appear to be quite straightforward in hindsight. I parsed 1d in a similar way to Physicist although I had a print run in mind.
    Quite a few ticks on my sheet but 4a earned the biggest laugh.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review. Could you put me out of my misery by posting the quiz answers at some stage – a couple of them are ‘doing my head in’!

        1. The penultimate one is: An inside job.
          I spent a long time trying to find the answer to the last one (I wish I hadn’t bothered). I’m told the formula gets resolved to i < 3u and i <3 u in text(?) speak means: I love (heart) you. Who knew?

          1. Your penultimate answer is far better than mine – I had banjo-playing. As for the last one – words fail me, makes absolutely no sense in my world. Thank you for doing the homework, Gazza, although I can’t imagine it will come in useful!

  4. I enjoyed this, which took a bit of unpicking. As a former ZX81 owner I was happy with 1d. Favourite was 3d, which I came to discover when junior split his double bass.

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  5. I thought this was nicely challenging with a couple of difficult parsings to stretch out my solving time. Of many fine clues I appreciated the long anagram at 18a the most.

    Many thanks to Kcit for the challenge and to Gazza.

  6. After electronically solving the incredible 18 a and laughing at 4a I found I really hadn’t the will to go on. So, I’ve enjoyed reading the hints realising there were some clues I would never have solved.
    I was amused by Gazza’s Californian Syrup of Figs. As a child I never forgave my mother for making me think it was a sweet treat!
    Am I the only one still having to sign on manually?

  7. Last one in was 24a as had never heard of the airport. Certainly plenty of head-scratching involved but slowly and surely it all came together. 4a gets my tick for favourite.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  8. Well, for a long time that felt marginally less painful than pulling teeth! I simply couldn’t get close to Kcit’s wavelength until the final third, at which point they started to fall like ninepins at last. Very challenging, very satisfying.

    A properly tough Thursday Toughie for me, so thank you to Kcit and to Gazza.

  9. Good evening, all. Late because I just watched my beloved Atlanta Braves hold off a very spirited San Francisco Giant team (we’re talking baseball here), 7:6, as the Braves took three of four from the Giants. Very much enjoyed this puzzle last night and solved and parsed them all except 24a, which, even with all the checking letters, just seemed terra incognita to me, with no idea whatsoever about the Irish airport (and I even googled ‘Irish airports’!), so thanks to Gazza for the hint for 24a, which allowed me to finish.. Really liked 6d & 17d. Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

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