Toughie 3027 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3027

Toughie No 3027 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

I’m afraid my enjoyment of this puzzle was reduced a lot by the number of clues requiring the insertion and/or deletion of single letters.

Thanks to Kcit.

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

Across Clues

1a Prepare to shoot back, but for being in drinking venue (8,3)
COCKTAIL BAR: assemble a verb meaning to prepare to shoot a firearm, a synonym of back or rear and a preposition meaning ‘but for’.

7a Pivotal point not all complete — bit brief? (7)
FULCRUM: words meaning complete and a bit (of bread, say) both without their last letter.

8a It’s often made of yew or pine wood? Not entirely (7)
LONGBOW: a verb to pine and a wood (one with bias) without its last letter.

10a Inspire announcement of personal sorrow after student leaves (5)
IMBUE: start with how the setter might admit to being sad (1’1,4) and remove the abbreviation for student.

11a Detective and prisoner accepting rubbish given by one delivering sentences? (9)
DICTATION: our usual senior police detective and an informal word for a prisoner contain a word meaning rubbish and the Roman numeral for one.

12a Quick to have one replacing America’s candour (7)
HONESTY: replace an abbreviation for America in an adjective meaning quick with ONE.

14a Beginning to tremble after admitting small amount (7)
THOUGHT: the first letter of tremble follows a conjunction meaning admitting or ‘granted that’.

15a Avoids predicament, heading away when rounding headland (7)
ESCAPES: a synonym of predicament without its first letter contains a headland.

18a Airman’s first to board smart chopper (7)
CLEAVER: the first letter of airman goes inside an adjective meaning smart or bright.

20a Lady’s initial charm lay in disposition of tears (9)
LACHRYMAL: the initial letter of lady and an anagram (in disposition) of CHARM LAY.

21a Exclamation of surprise — gin running short (Queen’s favourite?) (5)
CORGI: an exclamation of surprise and gin without its last letter.

22a Not too many people perhaps backing low force in control? Not quite (7)
ROOMFUL: insert the reversal of a verb to low and the physics abbreviation for force into a verb to control without its last letter.

23a Send packet in time, missing post’s latest strike (7)
IMPINGE: a verb to send a packet of data goes inside the word time without the last letter of post.

24a Very well — I start to admit — after medical trips seen in selfies and posts? (6,5)
SOCIAL MEDIA: an adverb meaning ‘very well’ (and what the BRB calls ‘a meaningless interjection used to start a sentence’) is followed by I and the first letter of admit after an anagram (trips) of MEDICAL.

Down Clues

1d Conservative articles Liberal plugged for monstrous figure (7)
CALIBAN: an abbreviation for Conservative followed by two grammatical articles containing an abbreviation for Liberal make a Shakespearean monster.

2d Radiation pioneer finding iodine in salt (5)
CURIE: put the chemical symbol for iodine into a verb to salt or preserve.

3d Curtailed period without reason, without courage (7)
TIMIDLY: a period (the same one as in 23a) without its last letter and an adverb meaning ‘without reason’.

4d Evil couple, with only one in court regarding criminal behaviour (7)
ILLICIT: start with an adjective meaning evil or sinister and add the Roman numeral for a couple one half of which goes inside the abbreviation for court.

5d Report learning about American Indian city (9)
BANGALORE: synonyms for report and learning bracket an abbreviation for American.

6d Difficulty with seventh lot of wine generating friction (7)
RUBBING: Hamlet’s difficulty followed by what could be the seventh place of storage for wine (3,1).

7d The hard life sadly driving daughter away, to adopt a fringe practitioner (5,6)
FAITH HEALER: remove the abbreviation for daughter from THE HAR[d] LIFE, make an anagram (sadly) of what’s left and insert A.

9d Turn by air, securing sources of reliable basic electric current? That’s how I work (4,7)
WIND TURBINE: stick together a verb to turn and a musical air and insert the first letters of ‘Reliable Basic’ and the symbol for electric current.

13d Poor sci-fi, after editing? Dull (9)
SOPORIFIC: an anagram (after editing) of POOR SCI-FI.

16d One wouldn’t need binoculars to see policemen around Yard receiving tips from criminal (7)
CYCLOPS: an informal word for police officers contains the abbreviation for yard and the outer letters of criminal. Perhaps a telescope would be more appropriate.

17d Old African state in southern area — or eastern area? (7)
SOMALIA: insert the abbreviation for old and an African country into abbreviations for southern and area to get a country on the eastern side of that continent.

18d Claim Cu transmuted into another metal (7)
CALCIUM: an anagram (transmuted) of CLAIM CU.

19d What makes Vera stoop in US? (7)
VERANDA: to understand the wordplay split your answer 3,3,1.

21d Something regurgitated about religious deity (5)
CUPID: what’s regurgitated by ruminants for further chomping contains a short adjective meaning overtly religious.

The clue I liked best was 19d. Which one(s) hit the spot for you?

18 comments on “Toughie 3027

  1. 16d, hands down for me, but with a nod to 19d now you have explained it, Gazza thank you. Loved the cartoon at 9d. 14a it was most enjoyable Kcit. I quite like the challenge of deleting and adding letters.

  2. At the exceedingly friendly end of the Toughie spectrum. The clue I liked best was 16d

    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  3. I invariably enjoy this setter’s clever and quirky puzzles and this was no exception. I hadn’t noticed the number of deletions etc until reading Gazza’s preamble but now you come mention it!
    I thought the “Bin G” was a bit of a stretch in 6d but there was a lot of clever stuff elsewhere.
    Quite difficult to narrow down a podium but I’ll go for 21a as it made me laugh, plus 9d with top spot shared by the very smart 16&19d.
    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  4. Relatively straightforward but for the parsing of 6d and enjoyable enough while it lasted. 11a and 19d were my co-favourites.

    My thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  5. Great fun and completed swiftly over lunch, but had I bothered to parse four of my biffed answers I should probably have stared at the page for considerably longer! Very amusing throughout and some great surfaces, so for me the special mentions were 20a, 22a, 19d and COTD 16d.

    Many thanks Kcit and Gazza

  6. I’m struggling to put ‘thought’ in a sentence for ‘small amount’ but it is in te BRB.

  7. I did enjoy this late-week Toughie, surprised and pleased at how quickly I finished it. 16d was my COTD, with 20a and 19d rounding out the podium. Like devartly above, I foo struggled to put ‘thought’ in a sentence with that particular meaning, so what I came up with was “Oh, it’s just a thought.” Thanks to Gazza, especially for the very amusing cartoons, and to Kcit.

  8. Last one in was 14a as the definition took some time to justify for us. not too taxing and a pleasant solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  9. I found this pretty gentle for a toughie, with all four long clues being easily accessible and giving me a good set of checkers. I too queried ‘thought’ = ‘small amount’, and even with examples I’m not really convinced. However, lots I did like in quite a quirky and memorable puzzle – 8a, 21a and 16d being my stand-outs.

    Thanks to Kcit for the fun and Gazza for help with a couple of parsings

    p.s. small error in 7d hint, it’s THE rather than A in the fodder

  10. Took me a while to get going but gathered pace as I went. Funny know 14a in that sense or the monster. Good fun though. Cotd 16d. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  11. Well I got there in the end, largely down to the anagrams giving me enough checkers that I could put the words in, but many I only parsed after reading the wonderful hints. My favourite was 19d for its simplicity once the penny dropped.
    Many thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the very much appreciated hints

  12. KCIT has become one of theToughie setters whose puzzles I have come look forwad to. This one today was a gem IMHO, despite some finding it gentle. Like others,16d was my clear favourite, but with 1a & 7d in hot pursut – love the cartoon :-)
    Thanks to setter for a most enjoyable solve and also to Gazza.

  13. Finished all bar a few on the RHS last night, then woke up this morning and wrote them straight in. Strange how that happens. Most enjoyable with thanks to Kcit and Gazza
    Re 14a when I was growing up in Aberdeen and one was offered a drink refill the invariable reply was “och, just a thoughty” (pronounced thochty) meaning “just a little”

  14. A day late to this. A quick solve but like MG above I biffed in one or two with little heed to the parsing. I’d have spent all evening (not) getting to bin G & couldn’t see thought = small amount. 1d required confirmation too. Top 3 for me – 11a,16&19d.
    Thanks to K&G – great cartoon.

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