Toughie 3127 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3127

Toughie No 3127 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I enjoyed this puzzle which was well-suited to a Thursday Toughie – thanks to Kcit.

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

Across Clues

1a Fed with soups or stews? Healthy stuff (10)
SUPERFOODS: an anagram (stews) of FED SOUPS OR.

6a Introduction being missing from explanation could be considered this (4)
LOSS: a word for an explanation or interpretation without its initial G. My last answer.

9a I noted part of clever diagram (5)
VERDI: hidden.

10a Pub adding eggs to beer, ultimately the source of a good idea (9)
INNOVATOR: assemble a type of pub, a word meaning eggs, TO and the ultimate letter of beer.

12a One uses a pedal when cycling from Beijing, perhaps, with flight before noon pushed back (6,7)
SEWING MACHINE: string together an adjective meaning from Beijing perhaps, a synonym of flight and the reversal of ‘before noon’. Now cycle the letters.

14a Galaxy exploit — cry of joy with wife coming aboard (5,3)
MILKY WAY: a verb to exploit and an informal cry of joy with the genealogical abbreviation for wife inserted.

15a Party twisted vote a vague amount (6)
DOLLOP: a festive party and the reversal of a vote or election.

17a Three letters encapsulating Government spies on a small scale (6)
ATOMIC: three consecutive letters of the alphabet (1,2,1) containing the prefix for our intelligence agencies (with numbers originally going up to 19, of which only 5 and 6 are in common use today).

19a A University only brought in arts degree in locations of late? (8)
MAUSOLEA: insert A, an abbreviation for university and a synonym for only into an arts degree.

22a Conventional manners may be contain what’s expected at some farms (13)
STOCKBREEDING: weld together synonyms for a) conventional or predictable and b) manners or gentility.

24a Reserve acceptable among football team after dismissal? One’s part of exchange deal (4,5)
BOOK TOKEN: a verb to reserve is followed by an informal term for acceptable inside the number of players in a football team after one’s been shown a red card.

25a Military boss encountered historic jet (5)
COMET: the abbreviation for a military boss and a verb meaning encountered give us an ill-fated passenger plane of the 1950s.

26a Comfortable? Not comfortable, without question (4)
EASY: remove an abbreviation for question from the front of an adjective meaning not comfortable.

27a Feeling calm, knocked back sweets and most of fruit (10)
UNSTRESSED: put together another word for sweets and a fruit without its last letter and reverse the lot.

Down Clues

1d Bar or shaft with half of it missing (4)
SAVE: remove the second half of the word ‘it’ from a wooden shaft.

2d Study risk if Italy’s replaced by America (7)
PERUSAL: start with a word meaning risk and replace the IVR code for Italy with an abbreviation for America.

3d Evidence of fare in bar means instant eats on a regular basis (7,6)
RAILWAY TICKET: glue together a metal bar, a synonym of means or method, an informal word for an instant and regular letters from ‘eats’.

4d I will probe zero cost of hiring from China? (8)
ORIENTAL: insert I into the zero-resembling letter and a word meaning the cost of hiring.

5d Active person on vacation daringly upheld Arab state (6)
DYNAMO: the outer letters of daringly and the reversal of an Arab state in the Gulf.

7d Criminal 4, not European, facing court (2,5)
ON TRIAL: an anagram (criminal) of the answer to 4d after we’ve removed the abbreviation for European.

8d Conceal outlay involving large part of Hollywood feature (10)
SCREENPLAY: a verb to conceal and a verb to outlay or expend containing the clothing abbreviation for large.

11d Worsening situation here in France, stopping you, in Paris, meeting group of friends (7,6)
VICIOUS CIRCLE: insert the French word for here into a French pronoun meaning you and append a word for a group of friends.

13d Uphill motorway not that good? Blocked entirely (10)
IMPASSABLE: reverse the Leeds-London motorway and add an adjective meaning ‘not that good’ or ‘just about ok’.

16d Brown loaf or cob? (8)
HAZELNUT: a brownish colour and another informal term for what loaf is an informal word for.

18d Loves American to implicate Democrat and Republican regarding a stink (7)
ODOROUS: three occurrences of the letter that resembles love and an abbreviation for American with abbreviations for Democrat and Republican inserted separately.

20d Sticky stuff in residue may be vegetables (7)
LEGUMES: insert some sticky stuff into the residue at the bottom of a wine container.

21d Stony cairn finally reduced to rubble? (6)
BROKEN: a slang adjective meaning stony or boracic and the final letter of cairn.

23d A number of horses bolt (4)
STUD: double definition, the first a collection of horses providing a service.

The clues I liked best were 17a, 19a, 24a and 21d. Which one(s) hit the heights for you?

15 comments on “Toughie 3127

  1. Very enjoyable with some clever wordplay.
    I filled quite a few of these in on a wing and a prayer and worked backwards to justify them. Thought 19a clever (even though I clocked it straight away) but a tad grim and you don’t see two separate French indicators in one clue as per 11d very often but it was a credible surface read.
    My ticks go to 14,15&24a plus 13d&21d
    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza, Matt spot-on as usual!

  2. I thought I had finished until I realised 6a was empty. This then had me working through the alphabet to find the solution and then again to find the synonym. I’m not sure I would have ever solved it without the checkers. Thanks to Kcit for an otherwise enjoyable puzzle and to Gazza.

  3. Perfectly pitched puzzle for a Thursday Toughie. 6a was my last one too and had to trawl the BRB for a suitable synonym to justify it. I liked the clever wordplay in this with some not so obvious definitions to test the noggin. Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  4. Like our blogger and others, it took a trawl through the BRB to arrive at a suitable, if somewhat stretched, synonym to use in 6a. I did, of course, throw a ‘wobbly’ when faced with parsing the cycling clue – I’d arrived at the answer via my mum’s old treadle version of same!
    Rosettes handed out to 24a along with 11&20d and the champion’s crown goes to Gazza’s cartoons!

    Thanks to Kcit for an absorbing puzzle and to Gazza for another of his exceptional reviews.

  5. Certainly a step up in toughness and some clever clues, of which my faves were 11 and 18d.
    Thanks to kcit and to Gazza for the blog and cartoons – loved the one at 3d.

  6. I didn’t think this was that difficult for a Thursday. Like others, I did have to work through the alphabet to decide what the solution for 6a had to be

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  7. Good evening
    At the risk of repeating myself (again…🙄), I don’t often have a crack at the Toughie. But, seeing as I’m on holliers this week, I’ve been giving them a go. I must say many thanks to Gazza for the invaluable hints; I needed one for 6a, the penultimate to fall, which led me to the solution for 8d; I also needed G’s help to parse 12, 17, and 25 across.
    Thanks also to Kcit for the brain exercise

  8. We also had some extra thinking to do before we could fill in 6a. Apart from that it was a pretty smooth ride albeit not a speedy one.
    Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  9. Good puzzle – something of a challenge, especially 6a (LOI) , and I couldn’t be bothered to parse 12a. Some great clueing throughout.

    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

    1. I tried to parse 12a without success! I’ve still got three letters I am unable to account for, even after looking at Gazza’s kindly provided hint.

      1. For 12a stick together CHINESE (from Beijing perhaps), WING (flight) and MA (AM reversed, i.e. pushed back) to give CHINESEWINGMA. Now cycle the first 5 letters of that to the end to get SEWING MACHINE.

  10. Found this pretty tough. Beaten by 6a – would never have got it without the hint. Still one or two parsings to mull over tomorrow. 24a my fav with 8d&19a on the podium.
    Thanks to Kcit for an enjoyably challenging puzzle & to Gazza

  11. Thanks to this excellent site, I often have a go at the Toughie nowadays. I manged about half last night and a few more this morning before looking at hints to instruct me in the rest. Thank you KCit and Gazza.

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