Toughie 3091 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3091

Toughie No 3091 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

The last Toughie we had from Kcit had some Ninas but I can’t spot any today. I solved the puzzle from the top down and at first I thought that we were in for an anagramfest but the bottom half of the grid is pleasingly anagram-free.

I thought that the puzzle was fairly gentle for a Thursday. Thanks to Kcit for the entertainment.

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

Across Clues

1a Innermost lap modified for orbiters (5,7)
MINOR PLANETS: an anagram (modified) of INNERMOST LAP.

9a Bury old man away from artist? (5)
INTER: remove the affectionate word for one’s old man from an artist.

10a Start off fighting before hazardous conditions on the way cause a suspension of hostilities (9)
ARMISTICE: split the first six letters of the answer 3,3 to get a cryptic way of saying ‘take the lead in preparing for conflict’. Drop the initial letter from a word for serious fighting and add two conditions that make driving hazardous. [Thanks to Nealchi for supplying the correct parsing].

11a Seeing a confused notice about parking (10)
PERCEPTION: a preposition meaning ‘a’ or ‘for each’ precedes an anagram (confused) of NOTICE containing the map abbreviation for parking.

12a Cuddle? Carol, say, has change of heart (4)
SNOG: what a carol is an example of with its central two letters swapped round.

13a Composer not serious about scheme (7)
COPLAND: a slang adjective meaning not serious or sham contains a scheme.

15a Hazy, close to accepting a lot of nonsense (7)
NEBULAR: an adverb meaning ‘close to’ contains a slang term for nonsense without its final letter.

17a Spain and France involved in endless change, backing area under control (7)
FIEFDOM: insert the IVR codes for Spain and France into the reversal of a verb to change or amend without its last letter.

19a Release arrangements curtailed when apprehended? It may keep the heat off (7)
PARASOL: a word for the arrangements to keep tabs on a released prisoner loses its last letter and contains a synonym for ‘when’.

21a Garment business ignoring traditional fashion (4)
RAGE: an informal phrase for the clothing business (3,5) loses an informal word for traditional (jazz, for example).

22a One offering several angles regarding some farming activists? (10)
PROTRACTOR: split the answer 3,7 and it could describe the viewpoint of some farming activists. I’m not sure that this works very well (unless you’re an MP accidentally watching porn).

25a Broadcast about large train, not a fast mover (9)
SLOWCOACH: a verb to broadcast or spread one’s seed contains the clothing abbreviation for large. Append a verb to train or tutor.

26a Scandinavian writer is hogging British space at printer’s (5)
IBSEN: IS contains an abbreviation for British and that’s followed by a printer’s space.

27a How much would numismatist pay for it? (1,6,5)
A PRETTY PENNY: a lot of money might be paid by a numismatist for a fine example of a particular coin.

Down Clues

1d Really move stern of boat into berth (5)
MOTOR: insert the last letter of boat into a verb to berth.

2d One with charges explosively made ruins (9)
NURSEMAID: an anagram (explosively) of MADE RUINS.

3d Gave hard time to staff about fancy teas (7)
ROASTED: a staff or stick contains an anagram (fancy) of TEAS.

4d Send up satellite, heading off in pursuit of light source (7)
LAMPOON: our very own satellite without its first letter follows something used to lighten the darkness.

5d Issue raised over hot food (4)
NOSH: reverse a male issue and add the abbreviation for hot.

6d Attempts to ensnare loveless Brit in tragic romantic scenarios? (9)
TRIANGLES: a synonym for attempts contains an informal word for a Brit without its final O.

7d Two capturing work in book about film (6)
BIOPIC: two in Roman numerals contains our usual abbreviated work. All that goes between abbreviations for book and about.

8d One requesting, say, clothing for cycling (6)
BEGGAR: join the abbreviation meaning ‘say’ and a word for clothing then cycle the last letter round to the top.

14d Hero for 26 to mature, failing to keep with comparable figures (4,5)
PEER GROUP: the forename of a 26a hero and a phrasal verb to mature (4,2) without the abbreviation for ‘with’.

16d Three taverns, one not entirely welcoming a vulgar sort (9)
BARBARIAN: concatenate three taverns (the first two the same) then truncate the last one and insert A.

17d Natural materials used in newspaper — trees (6)
FOREST: natural materials go inside one of our daily newspapers.

18d Second wild speech about Democrat is incisive (7)
MORDANT: an informal word for a second or short period of time is followed by a wild speech containing the abbreviation for Democrat. I know her name isn’t spelled the same but the lady below is a homophone of the answer.

19d Dance move elevated dance in High Street venue (3,4)
PET SHOP: reverse a dance move and add an informal dance.

20d Contributor to speech negligent about lines, note (6)
LARYNX: an adjective meaning negligent or slipshod contains abbreviations for (parallel?) lines and note.

23d Nice and quick, though temperature not hot (5)
TASTY: start with an adjective meaning quick or perfunctory and change the abbreviation meaning hot (as used in 5d) to that of temperature.

24d Spots staff promoting area (4)
ACNE: a word for a staff or stick with the abbreviation for area moved up.

My ticks today went to 19a, 21a, 4d and 16d. Which one(s) hit the mark for you?

18 comments on “Toughie 3091

  1. A nice Tuesday Toughie, the clues I liked being the same as Gazza’s.

    Thanks to both him and Kcit

  2. Usually print the Cryptic and Toughie puzzles before attempting the Cryptic first. Accidentally printed two copies of the Toughie which I mistook for the Cryptic. I suppose there is not a great difference towards the end of the week.

    This was an enjoyable puzzle with 1a and 27a going straight in to give a good start. Unfortunately, a bung-in of an unparsed synonym to the 10a answer held things up.

    Favourites 22a (where the hinter echoed my thoughts about an MP), 25a and the amusing 27a.

    Thanks to setter and hinter.

  3. I seem to remember enjoying the last couple of this setter’s offerings and I enjoyed this one too, though there did seem to be a few single-letter deletions from the end of words. Having said that, two of my favourites, the very smart 15a (a lot of nonsense, excellent) &4d involve that device. 17d makes up my podium but had several other contenders.
    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza, I laughed at the cartoon for 8d, very funny 🤣

  4. A bit of thought required to nail the 15a mist and the 17a area and I could have done without a ‘cycling’ clue and the dreadful 5d but there was much to enjoy here. Particular favourite was 27a and my other big tick went to 4d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review and cartoons – loved the chap trying to grow his own budgies!

  5. Surely 10a is ar – war (fighting) with the start off – then mist and ice, as conditions is plural.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Nealchi.
      Thanks for that – mea culpa. I’ll update the hint.

  6. I rather enjoyed this. 7d was my favourite although 21a, 4d and 16d were also in contention.

    Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  7. I will happily join those who have 4d as a favourite clue. I thought the whole grid was a delight to complete, and so rewarding and enjoyable to solve.

    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  8. I liked 17d for its surface and 16d. I sort of I liked 14d too [failing to keep with] but seriously, does anyone ever refer to that hero just by his forename?
    Thanks to kciT and to Gazza for the blog.

  9. Super puzzle, a very welcome and enjoyable accompaniment to my afternoon cup of tea. Lovely clueing throughout, witty and amusing. For me Hon Mentions to 15a, 21a & 27a, 14d, 16 & 20d.

    Many thanks Kcit, and also to Gazza – great cartoons as ever, and good to hear that version of Fanfare once more.

    1. I’m finding it hard to understand why that venue was chosen to record in on what appears to be an extremely cold day.

  10. I didn’t find this as straightforward as most but I stuck at it and stumbled over the line in the end. A satisfying solve. Needed the hint to parse 10a. Favourite was 17a. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  11. It’s happened again! A few pages in to my new Val McDermid paperback is 17a – not one of the most commonly used words.

  12. It all slotted together smoothly for us giving a very pleasant solve.
    4d was our favourite.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  13. Fun evening solve whilst watching Andy Murray. SE corner last fall – needed helpful hint to parse 17a. Have never come across 12a with this meaning before. Thanks to all

  14. A nice quick pre lights out solve & very enjoyable too. Ticks aplenty incl all of our reviewer’s selections plus 15,17&27a & my fav which was 14d.
    Thanks to Kcit & Gazza – will read the review properly tomorrow but loved the pics

  15. Good evening
    I don’t often attempt the Toughie – 22 correct solutions; I’ll take that! Thank you Kcit and Gazza

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