Toughie 3195 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3195

Toughie No 3195 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I seemed to be on Kcit’s wavelength today and this didn’t cause me many problems. It contains only two anagrams which is a bonus as far as I’m concerned although there were more than enough single letter deletions. Thanks to Kcit.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you liked about the puzzle.

Across Clues

1a Case unfinished in month, needing year to establish pro-women rule (10)
MATRIARCHY: insert a legal case without its last letter into a month and append the abbreviation for year.

6a Number covered by dreadful group (4)
BAND: an abbreviation for number goes inside a synonym of dreadful.

9a Schoolboy howler not at first recalled (5)
PUPIL: reverse a howler or gaffe without its first letter.

10a Yearns to be seen around facilities in underwear (4,5)
LONG JOHNS: a verb meaning yearns contains a (mainly US) word for ‘the facilities’.

12a Goes on binge, losing head — wakes (7)
AROUSES: a verb meaning goes on a binge without its first letter.

13a Look after new money after dropping penny (5)
NURSE: the abbreviation for new and a word for money (or what you might carry it in) without the abbreviation for penny.

15a I feel bad backing lad’s affair (7)
LIAISON: reverse a phrase (1,3) meaning ‘I feel bad’ and add a synonym of lad.

16a Celebrity flat is a place for comment? (7)
NOTEPAD: clip together a word for celebrity or fame and an informal word for a flat.

18a Don’t come to see comedian (5-2)
STAND-UP: with a space in place of the hyphen this could mean fail to show for a date.

20a Expression of love involving ultimately playful smack (7)
FLAVOUR: an expression or token of love (as might be presented to a medieval knight by his lady) containing the ultimate letter of playful.

21a Frighten one away from person following regime (5)
DETER: start with a person who might have started to follow a new regime on New Year’s Day and remove the Roman numeral for one.

23a Fool entering shot with old artist (7)
PICASSO: insert a synonym of fool between a (snap)shot and the abbreviation for old.

25a Leading figure to make small point in front of our group’s historian (9)
HERODOTUS: string together a leading figure or protagonist, a verb to make a small point and a pronoun meaning ‘our group’ to make a Greek historian.

26a Mockery and a lot of anger over US city (5)
IRONY: a synonym for anger without its last letter, the cricket abbreviation for over and the abbreviation for a US city.

27a Succeed in love, though not in accepting love (4)
PASS: start with a word meaning love or desire and remove IN containing the zero-resembling letter.

28a Fine, perhaps, to fight where shootout occurs? (7,3)
PENALTY BOX: what a fine might be and a verb to fight in the ring.

Down Clues

1d I am surprised about work without much purpose (4)
MOPY: an expression of surprise containing our usual abbreviated work.

2d Chief plant-holder, overturned, almost cracked (3,6)
TOP BANANA: reverse a plant-holder and add an informal adjective meaning cracked or crazy without its last letter.

3d I will study team on the left, making the wrong choice? (3-10)
ILL-CONSIDERED: assemble the contracted form of ‘I will’, a verb to study attentively, a synonym for team and the colour indicating ‘on the left’ politically.

4d Crime discovered after quantity of money turns up (5,2)
ROLLS IN: a crime or moral lapse follows a quantity of banknotes.

5d Applied transfers (5-2)
HANDS-ON: with a space rather than a hyphen this would be a phrasal verb meaning transfers.

7d Have nothing to do with criminal injury provided by soldiers (5)
ABHOR: the abbreviation for criminal injury that someone may be charged with followed by the abbreviation for rank-and-file soldiers.

8d Failure to limit minor upset for busy German city (10)
DÜSSELDORF: we have to wait for 8d to find our first anagram. A word for a failure or damp squib contains the reversal of an adjective meaning minor. Finish with an anagram (busy) of FOR.

11d Irish writer quick to support king’s son (8,5)
JONATHAN SWIFT: an adjective meaning quick follows a king’s son. I assumed that the king was one from the Old Testament and sure enough it turns out that he was the son of King Saul.

14d Union arrangement ended quiet operation (6,4)
CLOSED SHOP: a verb meaning ended or concluded, a request to keep quiet and the abbreviation for a surgical operation.

17d Post Office, suppressing recent failure, compromised image (9)
PHOTOBOMB: the map abbreviation for Post Office contains an adjective meaning recent or fresh and is followed by an informal word for a failure or flop. Possibly a comment on the scandal involving the Post Office which prosecuted many sub-postmasters for theft when the fault lay in its own computer system.

19d Favourite time, tucking into dessert? One could shift some drink (7)
PIPETTE: insert a synonym for favourite and the physics abbreviation for time into what you might have for dessert.

20d Such, if replanted, will lead to a blossom (7)
FUCHSIA: an anagram (replanted) of SUCH IF followed by A.

22d Rhubarb served up with American donut (5)
TORUS: reverse a word for rhubarb or nonsense and add an abbreviation for American.

24d Cat lady’s limitations? One will abandon nothing (4)
LYNX: the limiting letters of lady followed by a slang word for nothing without the Roman numeral for one.

The clues I liked best were 4d, 14d and 19d. Which one(s) passed muster for you?

17 comments on “Toughie 3195
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  1. Not too hard for a Thursday Toughie but fun to solve nonetheless. 17d was my favourite ahead of 2d and 4d.

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  2. Very breezy for a Thursday. Much to like though, perhaps oddly, I have especial admiration for the elegant 9a. The “discovered” in 4d threw me briefly, I’ll never forget how to spell 25a again and I’m delighted that I was (finally) on the right lines parsing 11a. I spent far too long thinking about Jonathan King, which can never be a good thing. Many thanks to Kcit, and Gazza, of course.

  3. I found this offering a somewhat more straightforward solve than today’s back pager from Ray T which caused me some struggle in the second half.
    That said I found plenty to slow me down in this, 25a was clear from the build but I had look it up to confirm it was actually a historian. 6a was simple but took me far too long to see, ending up as one of my last ones in. 21a successfully misdirected me into entirely the wrong kind of regimes ( actually I rather like a good misdirect especially once the proverbial penny has bounced off the floor ). I was also stumped by the parsing of 24d until I read the hints.
    There was of course much to like here as well and it was 3d and 7d that got double ticks from me.
    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  4. Today’s backpager and Toughie could be swapped, I found this less of a battle than the RayT puzzle. Needed Gazza to explain 24d. Got the ‘LY’ but never heard of nix.
    Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  5. On the generous side for Kcit but there were a few challenges, especially 27a [my last in] so an award for that plus the other little one at the bottom24d.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the fun blog [albeit a tad unkind to the England chaps methinks].

  6. I do generally enjoy a Kcit Toughie, and today was no exception. A reasonable but not overly demanding challenge, an admirable dearth of anagrams, largely fluid surfaces, plenty of wit and considerable satisfaction on completion. Though with a full and complete grid I did need Gazza’s explanations to understand the parsing of a few clues – 25a, 27a & 8d.

    Many thanks to Kcit & Gazza

  7. Strange how we all differ, I found the back-pager far easier than this one. Couple of answers that I needed to verify with Mr G – the historian and the donut, something of a guess with the king’s son and parsing problems with the obvious answer to 8d.
    Ah well – all’s well that ends well and I had ticks alongside 9,18&20a as well as 3&14d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review and the ‘back to basics’ cartoon which really made me smile.

  8. Agree with Philbert, this was a very easy, yet pleasant stroll. 9A wins for me.

    Many thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  9. Solving was one thing, parsing another altogether. I needed the hints for a couple, 11d in particular, and many of the ones I did manage to parse took longer than coming up with the answer. Favourite was 14d. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  10. My only hold up was the three attempts it took me to spell 20d correctly, turns out I required both 23a and 25a to get it right. Otherwise sign me up to the “breezy” club.

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  11. Well I’m with Jane in finding the back-pager far less tricky than this one. That said it was mercifully easier than the last 2 days & though a brisk grid fill parsing the blighters was another matter. I also initially had the wrong last letter for last in 1d (E instead of Y) so no unaided first time finish either. Don’t know what it is with the 20d blossom but I can never seem to remember where the S goes. 25a reminded me I’m long overdue a rewatch of The English Patient, a much deserved best picture Oscar winner. Anthony Minghella, the director, lived in the same road in Hampstead as I did & he was a delightful fella – a tragic loss to cinema when he died in his early 50s. Anyway top 3 for me 4,14&24d.
    Thanks to Kcit for an enjoyable puzzle & to Gazza for explaining the whys – required for 8d & the king’s son.
    Ps if 17d is indeed an allusion to the shocking Post Office scandal it’s timely as the pretty good 4 part ITV dramatisation concludes tonight followed by documentary featuring some of those portrayed.

  12. Middle of the night so this is a wasted exercise, but just to let someone know that a good guzzle is great for an insomniac. Pure joy and somehow with nothing else going on (apart from the relentless rains pounding down) a cup of hot chocolate and a digestive biscuit my brain seems more receptive. Loved this, especially 10,23a and 7,24d. Many thanks to all. Good night.

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