Toughie 3159 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3159

Toughie No 3159 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable midweek Toughie – thanks to Kcit.

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

Across Clues

1a Fellows attending school, a good one in Yale’s view? (6)
MENSCH: weld together a synonym for fellows and an abbreviation for school to make a US slang term, from Yiddish, for a principled person.

4a Validation problem with bill (8)
CHECKSUM: an arithmetical problem follows a restaurant bill. The answer is a method of checking that data has been transmitted without errors.

9a Part of speech in German (and still in German) (6)
GERUND: an abbreviation for German and ‘and’ in German.

10a Not to be trusted as footwear? (8)
SLIPPERY: an amusing cryptic description of an item of footwear.

12a Curse the quota of suits? (10)
EXECRATION: split the answer 4,6 to get the quota of suits (where suits is an informal term for senior managers).

13a Dog dropping much-favoured stick (4)
CANE: a synonym for a dog loses an adverb meaning much-favoured or popular.

14a Second half of insurance document giving you chills? (3)
ICY: what a contractual insurance document is called without its first half.

15a Competition status given by violinist heading panel (11)
LEADERBOARD: the usual name given to the first violin in an orchestra followed by a synonym of panel.

18a N Armstrong, I fancy, is an astronomical phenomenon (7,4)
MORNING STAR: an anagram (fancy) of N ARMSTRONG I.

20a Joking, removing pin in expensive car (3)
JAG: another word for joking or jesting without ‘pin’.

21a Love bores little contemptible person (4)
TOAD: the letter that resembles love or zero goes inside a word for a small amount.

22a Place to play it provided by celebrity performer (10)
RECITALIST: assemble the abbreviation for a public place to play sports, IT and an adjective (1-4) describing a top celebrity.

24a American football club following framework (8)
GRIDIRON: a golf club follows a framework.

25a A lot of nonsense about regressive atmosphere in religious service (6)
BURIAL: an informal word for nonsense or pretentious talk without its last letter contains the reversal of a synonym for atmosphere. I don’t think that religion is necessarily involved.

26a Say I should have detectives coming in about high-class murder (8)
REGICIDE: an abbreviation meaning ‘say’, I and the police detective department all go inside a preposition meaning about.

27a City now restyled — wild? Not totally wild (6)
MADRAS: an adjective meaning wild or angry and an adjective meaning wild or impetuous without its last letter.

Down Clues

1d Publication on web is source of much attraction (9)
MAGNETISM: an abbreviated publication and a synonym of web followed by IS and the first letter of much.

2d Unknown broadcast picked up involving series for the young (7)
NURSERY: one of the mathematical unknowns and a verb to broadcast get reversed around the abbreviation for series.

3d Singers — choir’s foremost lot train badly (9)
CONTRALTI: an anagram (badly) of C[hoir] LOT TRAIN.

5d Moving in the circle, going round ring, like many orbits (12)
HELIOCENTRIC: an anagram (moving) of IN THE CIRCLE containing our ring-shaped letter.

6d Policeman attached to Yard providing material for newspaper? (4)
COPY: an informal word for a police officer and the abbreviation for a yard in length.

7d Czech composer encountered an article in support of Suk, primarily (7)
SMETANA: a synonym of met, AN and one of our indefinite articles all follow the primary letter of Suk (who, I learn, was another Czech composer).

8d Picked up morning Times, upset over Spain, perhaps (5)
MAYBE: reverse the abbreviation for ‘in the morning’, reverse another word for ‘times’ in maths and finish with the IVR code for Spain.

11d Unusual carrier taking on couple of lines, achieving total dominance (12)
STRANGLEHOLD: an adjective meaning unusual and a carrier seen on a building site with two occurrences of the abbreviation for line inserted separately.

16d Hinder Dracula flying, seeing off large voracious predator (9)
BARRACUDA: a verb to hinder or obstruct followed by an anagram (flying) of DRACU[l]A without the clothing abbreviation for large.

17d Understand previously Europeans ignoring a new heart drug (9)
DIGITALIS: an old slang verb to understand followed by some southern Europeans without their second A and the abbreviation for new.

19d Taking steps to rule out Open University (7)
READING: a present particle meaning ‘taking steps’ without its opening letter. I had to be persuaded by the BRB that open, as a noun, can meaning an opening.

20d Most of trial group retaining formality around one offering greater scandal (7)
JUICIER: a Russian doll clue. A group of twelve people (in England, fifteen in a criminal trial in Scotland) without the last letter contain a synonym of formality containing the Roman numeral for one.

21d Row engulfing golf opponent (5)
TIGER: a row or bank contains the letter that golf represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. My initial thought was that this was a reference to Mr Woods but the BRB says that the answer can mean a formidable opponent.

23d Planet possibly cold, being overshadowed by Pluto (4)
DISC: the tap abbreviation for cold preceded by a name for the god Pluto.

The clues I liked best were 9a, 27a and 11d. Which one(s) appeared on your 15a?

14 comments on “Toughie 3159
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  1. I had all sorts of problems finishing the NE part of the puzzle, as I very foolishly bunged in WHIP(PET) at 13a, even though whip is not the best synonym for stick!
    Anyway, I got there in the end…
    Many thanks to kcit, and to Gazza for the write-up.

  2. A most enjoyable and straightforward Toughie for this late in the week. Only holdups were in the S, where I’d forgotten that particular city now had a new name (“Waiter, I’d like a lamb chennai please” doesn’t have the same ring) and not being entirely confident about that one of the three Rs. I felt that maybe there should have been a question mark at the end of 19 to suggest a DBE.

    Lots of great clues, so will limit mentions to 5d, 21d, 10a & 12a – though many more could have made it to the podium.

    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  3. Right at the top end of my abilities and I was almost sunk by 4a which I hadn’t previously encountered. Dogged determination and the promise of Gazza’s cartoon selection spurred me on and I eventually crawled across the finish line.

    Respect to Kcit for the puzzle and many thanks to Gazza for another great blog and extras.

  4. Very enjoyable and not too challenging.
    I did not know 4a, but then my knowledge of all things relating to IT is severely limited, as Gazza knows only too well!
    Ticks for 12a, 13a, 14a, and 1d. I loved the cartoon for 26a – very amusing!
    Fortunately I knew the Czech composer, probably most famous for his Ma Vlast tone poem.
    I initially had 17d ending with an N, but then the parsing didn’t work.
    I would have been disappointed not to get 19d, as it is where I played rugby for three years back in the 70s!
    I don’t think I have seen S used as an abbreviation for series before?
    Good stuff. Thank you Kcit and Gazza.

  5. A very enjoyable solve but needing some Mr Google help along the way. I hadn’t heard of 1A before but the parsing got me there. 4A was also new to me. There were so many excellent clues that it would be almost unfair to pick a podium winner. However I thought 21A although simply parsed was clever and intended.
    Many thanks to Gazza for the explanations and cartoons ( I’m definitely not taking up wrestling) and of course to Kcit for the workout.

  6. Well unlike Shabbo & MG I found this extremely trocky (™Chriscross) & particularly so in the SE. It took 4 visits & all of my patience to resist the temptation to succumb to a letter reveal but crawl to the finish line I did albeit passed by Jane in the home straight. Not sure why really as 4a the only new word there – just slow to twig the wordplay I guess as evidenced by my fruitless attempts to shoehorn my regressive atmosphere into a religious service until I remembered the heart drug & the L checker made me see the light. Anyway all correctly parsed I think, thoroughly enjoyable & very well clued throughout. 11d my clear fav from numerous ticks – 1,9,25&27a + 1,16,17&19d other likes.
    Thanks to Kcit & to Gazza for the review which I’ll now read.

  7. Late getting round to this but very enjoyable indeed.
    I liked several including 9,26&27a plus 8 (for the well-disguised definition) 19&20d.
    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza
    Ps…. anyone else tempted to put in “Flipflop” for 10 ?!!🤣

  8. Both 1a and 4a gave us some problems so we ended up starting a bit further down on the grid and worked back to them to finish.
    An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  9. A bit of head scratching and a couple of trips to google later I got there. I used to get 4a errors but it was so long ago I can’t remember the context. 11d was my pick. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

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