Toughie 3143 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3143

Toughie No 3143 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment ***

I thought that Kcit had upped his normal difficulty level for this one. Having not had too much success at the top initially I ended up solving it from the bottom up. Thanks to Kcit for the challenge.

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

Across Clues

1a Not stocking bit of pornographic material — it’s inappropriate (3,2,5)
OUT OF PLACE: assemble a phrase meaning ‘not having in stock’ (3,2), the first letter of pornographic and a delicate fabric.

6a Racing driver that’s not noted for attachment to fast-moving things? (4)
MOSS: proverbially what’s not gathered by something 7d. The racing driver (1929-2020) was famous in the 1950s.

9a Bishop unexpectedly all cheery? Not this guy! (10)
BELLYACHER: the chess abbreviation for bishop followed by an anagram (unexpectedly) of ALL CHEERY.

10a Reasonable skill, though not large (4)
FAIR: a word for skill without the clothing abbreviation for large.

12a Dash back in shock (4)
STUN: dash here is an expression of mild disappointment. Reverse another word for the same thing.

13a Confess study implicates a Far Eastern country (9)
SINGAPORE: verbs to confess and study (the second usually followed by ‘over’) bracketing A.

15a Person’s heading off — makes claim backing famous traveller (8)
ODYSSEUS: a synonym of person with the ‘S but without its first letter followed by the reversal of a verb meaning ‘makes a claim’ or petitions.

16a Aperture that’s kept knowingly vacated, illuminated from above (6)
SKYLIT: a narrow aperture contains the outer letters of knowingly.

18a Becomes successful at bowls? (4,2)
ENDS UP: a player leading 9-7 in a game of bowls would be described as ‘two **** **’.

20a Objects for sports events (8)
PROTESTS: a preposition meaning for or ‘in favour of’ and some international sports events.

23a Ruffian longs to knock one out in each disturbance (9)
DESPERADO: an informal verb meaning longs or aches (for something) loses the Roman numeral for one. That’s followed by ‘in each disturbance’ (3,3).

24a Top primate seen with cross (4)
APEX: a primate and the letter that resembles a St. Andrew’s cross.

26a Man, perhaps, would be bewildered with doctor around (4)
ISLE: if you enclosed your answer in one of our 2-letter abbreviations for doctor you’d get a verb meaning bewildered or deceived.

27a Star in west: what, if red, is changing? (5,5)
WHITE DWARF: the abbreviation for west followed by an anagram (is changing) of WHAT IF RED.

28a Bets and gambles, losing head (4)
LAYS: a verb meaning gambles (in a casino perhaps) without its first letter. I’m not too keen on this – bets and gambles here mean pretty much the same thing.

29a Translation of “morgen”, note, would be “jutro” here? (10)
MONTENEGRO: an anagram (translation) of MORGEN NOTE. There’s a two-staged process required for the wordplay here – you need to know what Morgen (which should really be capitalised, as all German nouns are) means in German then you need to verify that ‘jutro’ means the same thing in Serbo-Croat. Hands up those whose Serbo-Croat is a bit rusty!

Down Clues

1d Universal out of difficulties after second of Golden Globes (4)
ORBS: remove the abbreviation for universal from some Shakespearean difficulties and precede that with the second letter of golden.

2d Writer opening up common Christmas present (7)
TOLSTOY: reverse a narrow opening (not quite the same as the aperture in 16a but similar) and add a common Christmas present for a child.

3d Long-distance vehicle apparently suggesting car use (6,6)
FLYING SAUCER: a reverse anagram which should lead you to ‘car use’.

4d American chances to find extracts expressing power (5,3)
LUCKS OUT: to get an American phrasal verb (meaning almost the opposite of what it means in the UK) remove the physics abbreviation for power from the start of a phrasal verb meaning extracts.

5d Removes filth from film stores, including Fifty Shades’ penultimate feature (6)
CLEANS: containers for storing films in pre-digital days contain the Roman numeral for fifty and the penultimate letter of shades.

7d Doing well identifying location of sandwich filling? (2,1,4)
ON A ROLL: where you find sandwich filling (although isn’t it more likely to be ‘inside’?).

8d Hollywood procedure rocks resort? About time (6,4)
SCREEN TEST: start with a word for loose bits of rock and append a place of resort or lodgement containing the abbreviation for time.

11d Score grade ten, unfortunately, leading to growing concern (6,6)
MARKET GARDEN: a synonym of score followed by an anagram (unfortunately) of GRADE TEN.

14d Explosive daughter lowered onto stream? It’ll make a hole (5,5)
POWER DRILL: a type of explosive containing saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal has its abbreviation for daughter moved to the end. Finish with a small stream.

17d Sound unhappy over figure in cooler (8)
CRYOSTAT: rivet together a verb to sound unhappy, the cricket abbreviation for over and an informal word for a figure.

19d Show is taking place in time (7)
DISPLAY: insert IS and the street abbreviation for Place into a period of time.

21d Report supporting the woman in affair (7)
SHEBANG: a report or loud noise follows a feminine pronoun.

22d Read the next page about material still remaining in Afghan language (6)
PASHTO: an abbreviation meaning ‘look overleaf’ contains some remains.

25d Some major fashions picked up hairstyle (4)
AFRO: hidden in reverse.

The clues I liked best were 1a, 18a and 3d. Which one(s) scaled the heights for you?

19 comments on “Toughie 3143
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  1. I’m glad I wasn’t alone in thinking that Kcit had upped the difficulty level (although not quite as much as Stick Insect did yesterday).

    My favourites were 6a (I met him once many many years ago), and 26a

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  2. Pretty tricky, even for kcit and Thursday – but I found the top easier than the bottom, apart from 2d where my inability to spell the traveller at 15a meant it ended in a D. The brief Russian course I did umpteen years ago came in handy for 29a [utro/yutro] but the anagram’s obvious enough. He also seems to be fond of rather “sci/techy” clues [like 17d] which is a nice change. I also liked 3d and the concise 19d.
    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

    1. Part of my Slavonic Studies course many, many years ago was Serbo-Croat … after 50+ years … it has finally proved useful!

      Thanks to all.

      Hvala (Croatian) / Хвала (Serbian cyrillic)

  3. Didn’t enjoy it but felt good to finish it without hints. Worked out well though since the cryptic was straightforward today.

  4. Funny thing, this felt a lot less challenging than yesterday’s beast of a puzzle. *** / ****. As so often, it could simply be a wavelength matter.
    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  5. Very enjoyable.
    I agree with Sue that this was tricky but not quite as tricky as yesterday.
    21d was a partial bung and I thought the racing driver at 6a could have benefited from the adjective “old” at the beginning bug it’s a very clever clue so I’ll put it on my podium along with 1a and probably my favourite (as I really like this clue type) 13d.
    Many thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  6. Slightly easier than yesterday’s mind-bender but still needed Gazza’s help to correctly parse a couple of my answers – 26a being one of them.
    20a sits atop my leader board followed by 3&21d – the latter simply because it’s a great word.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the explanations and cartoons – particularly the avian menu!

  7. Funny, isn’t it, how wavelengths can vary between setters and solvers? I found this distinctly tougher than yesterday’s from Stick Insect, and while in places I was able to motor on at a good rate, at others I was pulled up at the roadside for ages. Coffees came and went!

    With 10a and 26a I went looking for a Nina that I don’t think is there, but pretty much everything appeared to be very fairly clued – though I had to come here to understand some of my answers, so thank you Gazza. I tend to expect my sandwich filling to be in rather than on, and spent far too much time trying to think of a racing driver’s name from which I could remove a musical or other note.

    4* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Kcit & Gazza

  8. Very very tough but a better showing by me than yesterday’s dnf (by a distance I might add). 4d was a bung in as I hadn’t heard of the term. Satisfying to finally solve and find even my bung in was correct. Favourite was 6a. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  9. Very enjoyable and a proper Thursday workout. So many cleverly constructed clues, but 6 and 26a along with 21d will do for a podium.

    My thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  10. No letter reveal but not an unaided completion as I hit the reveal mistakes button & made 2 corrections en route & had to look up jutro. Tough but mercifully easier than yesterday. Ticks for 15,18&26a + 2,3,19&22d with 3d my clear fav.
    Thanks to Kcit & to Gazza – thanks for the music clip – am listening to the live album.
    Ps have only heard lucked out used over the pond & it always strikes me that it should mean the opposite of what it does.

      1. Gamble – to play games of chance per OED. The clue works for me.
        I enjoyed this challenge although defeated by 17d as I had put contests at 20a which I think can also mean objects.
        With thanks to Kcit and Gazza for revealing my error.

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