Toughie 3211 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Toughie 3211

Toughie No 3211 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Thanks to Kcit for a gentle puzzle which I thought was rather lacking in 18d.

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

Across Clues

1a Astronomical measure taking pages in work on hydrogen filters, possibly (7,5)
DOPPLER SHIFT: insert the abbreviation for pages between a verb to work or perform and an anagram (possibly) of H(ydrogen) FILTERS.

9a Fine drink, with second consumed? Not so (5)
FALSE: the pencil abbreviation for fine and an alcoholic drink containing the abbreviation for second.

10a Flapper beginning to dabble in sport? No great amount (9)
GOLDFINCH: insert the first letter of dabble into a type of sport and append a small imperial measure.

11a Fixed gaze from detective not favouring discretion (3,7)
EYE CONTACT: assemble an informal word for a detective, an adverb meaning ‘not in favour’ and a synonym of discretion.

12a Tough vegetable, not cooked at first (4)
HARD: a variety of beet without the first letter of cooked.

13a Observe Germany is leading European research centre (7)
DISCERN: glue together the IVR code for Germany, IS and the European research centre the name of which is derived from Conseil européen pour la Recherche nucléaire.

15a Leader of Spain is repeatedly collaring European wets (7)
SISSIES: stick together the first letter of Spain and IS. Now repeat that and insert an abbreviation for European.

17a German design centre‘s expression of annoyance about University linking to Australia (7)
BAUHAUS: an expression of annoyance contains an abbreviation for university. Append the IVR code for Australia to get a German design school.

19a Book, sale item gent returned in South-Western city (7)
BRISTOL: start with the abbreviation for book then reverse an item at auction and a gent’s title.

21a Worthless sort initially dumped for reliable sort (4)
ROCK: drop the initial letter from a word for a decrepit person.

22a Need to bracket anything Republican in sounds of hilarity (5,5)
LAUGH TRACK: a synonym of need or want contains an archaic word for anything and the abbreviation for Republican.

25a Repository of champagne: pour after formality? (3,6)
ICE BUCKET: a verb to pour (down from the heavens?) follows a synonym of formality or reserve.

26a Good storyteller held back object of quest (5)
GRAIL: the abbreviation for good and the reversal of a storyteller.

27a Upset in tummy seems a response by this? (6,6)
IMMUNE SYSTEM: an anagram (upset) of IN TUMMY SEEMS.

Down Clues

1d Limitations to dialogue, as it happens, precluding one search (5)
DELVE: rivet together the limiting letters of dialogue and an adjective meaning ‘as it happens’ without the Roman numeral for one.

2d Unusual things father noticed about woman and blokes pursuing love (9)
PHENOMENA: an affectionate word for father can be seen around a word for a woman in Scotland and another word for blokes following the love-resembling letter.

3d Add humour to difficult situation, heading off doom almost entirely (7)
LIGHTEN: a difficult or dangerous situation without its first letter and a synonym for doom or extinction without its last letter.

4d Survivors beginning to read extracts, needing to forget one island (7)
RELICTS: the first letter of read and a verb meaning extracts or brings forth without one of its abbreviations for island.

5d Sound of steam-train initially cut — something done on board? (4)
HUFF: the sound made by a steam engine without its first letter. The answer means the removal of one of your pieces in the board game draughts because you’ve failed to make a mandatory capture.

6d Books, in current form, adopted by generous visionary (9)
FANTASIST: the abbreviation for some Biblical books and a phrase (2,2) meaning ‘in current form’ go inside an adjective meaning generous or large.

7d Away to finish revolt (6)
OFFEND: an adverb meaning away and a verb to finish.

8d Greek island runs hot with poems by Sappho? (6)
RHODES: abbreviations for runs (cricket) and hot (tap) followed by poems by Sappho.

14d What’s best with tart? (4,5)
SOUR CREAM: a synonym for best or elite follows an adjective meaning tart or acidic.

16d Poor illumination, with line disconnected, offering some constraint (9)
SKINTIGHT: a synonym for poor or broke and an illumination without the abbreviation for line.

17d American composer, person almost enthralling both sides (6)
BERLIN: a word for a person or individual without its last letter contains abbreviations for both sides.

18d Malaysian city swamped by surplus vitality (7)
SPARKLE: the abbreviation for the capital of Malaysia is contained inside an adjective meaning surplus or extra.

19d Significant attempt to suppress love, showing prejudice (7)
BIGOTRY: an adjective meaning significant and a synonym of attempt contain the letter that resembles love (the same one that we met at 2d).

20d Flower covering half of lake? That’s probable (6)
LIKELY: a type of flower contains half of the word lake.

23d Alert, as you’d expect the Marines to be? (5)
ALARM: a phrase (1,2) meaning ‘in the manner of’ and the abbreviation for our Marines.

24d Quantity of hair standing up on head of University tutor? (4)
GURU: reverse an informal word for some (often artificial) hair and add the first letter of university.

My favourite clue was 7d. Which one(s) did the business for you?

14 comments on “Toughie 3211
Leave your own comment 

  1. You nailed it, Gazza. 1a just made my head hurt – as alien to me as football – and that pretty much set the tone, with some rather fussy constructions detracting from the surfaces. But the plod turned into a trot once I had some checkers and there was fun to be had. 11a and 16d just don’t read that well despite being beautifully put together. Does anyone actually ever say “laugh track” instead of laughter track or canned laughter? More importantly, why do they even still exist? 27a was clever and I did like the sly 6d but the elegantly simple 14d gets my vote. One to admire perhaps rather than to love. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  2. A fairly solid work through for me, no real stumbling blocks that could not be worked through, though as is often the case for me with toughies I had a couple of GK education opportunities to contend with.
    There were a number of clues for me to like today, with 2d, 14d & 18d contending but 16d winning my prize for the day.
    Thanks to kcit and to Gaza

  3. Middling in Toughie toughness for me, but I was surprised on coming in here this afternoon to see it was a Kcit production, for I usually enjoy their puzzles considerably more than I did today’s challenge. I found it surprisingly repetitive (in 3 successive clues German & Germany and 2 x European, with 8 single-letter deletions) and the surfaces were unusually awkward at times with some stilted constructions. OTOH I did like the (rather verbose) 17a, which almost made it to a podium occupied by 2d & 8d (for their surfaces) & 23a.

    Thank you to Kcit and to Gazza

  4. As usual I found this harder than those commenting before me and I needed the hints to parse a couple. The bottom half went in fairly smoothly although I couldn’t believe 22a was the answer. All in all I quite enjoyed this. Favourite was the delightfully succinct 1d. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  5. I plodded through this, rather in the way the setter seems to have done with a bunch of rather uninspiring clues. Think of a word, add a letter and take another one off, etc.

    I’ll concede that I quite liked 14d though.

  6. We needed a few checkers before we sorted out 1a but otherwise it flowed smoothly enough for us.
    Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  7. I always think of Kcit as the C P Snow of crossword setters – he thinks we need to be familiar with a wide range of sic/tech topics, hence clues like 1a, and it makes a nice change. I also liked 14d.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for an amusing blog.

  8. Couldn’t give this puzzle my full attention until much later in the day, but now able to post. 1A and 22A took the most time to solve. I enjoyed several clues, my favourites being 25 and 27A and 14D.
    Thanks to Gazza and Kcit .

  9. I found this fairly straightforward and satisfying which usually means a gentle standard as I am no kind of expert. But I did not appreciate 22A at all which I feel was poor judgement by the setter. And not sure about ice equating to formality.

  10. More a DNS than a DNF. Got only 3 answers in the first 10 mins & with eyelids drooping it looked too tough for a pre lights solve so revealed all & just parsed the answers. 10a was my favourite.
    Thanks anyway to Kcit & to Gazza

  11. I needed my trusty spanner to unbolt some of these clues, but I must say I thoroughly enjoyed myself in so doing.

    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.