Toughie 2971 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2971

Toughie No 2971 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza

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

My progress through this puzzle was steady rather than speedy. Thanks to Kcit for an enjoyable challenge.

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

Across Clues

1a Put out about lines presented by shop discounting soft toy (5,5)
DOLL’S HOUSE: a verb to put out a fire contains two abbreviations for line and ‘shop’ without the musical abbreviation for soft.

6a One keeps working banking system in recession (4)
SCAB: reverse an acronym for an electronic system for processing financial transactions in the UK.

9a Set of viewers prohibits receiving half of vaccinations (10)
BINOCULARS: a verb meaning prohibits contains the first half of a synonym for vaccinations.

10a Target I eliminated before second round? (4)
AMMO: remove the I from a target and add a short word for a second.

12a Article in papers about Holland away from the coast (6)
INLAND: one of our indefinite articles goes inside the abbreviation for identity papers. Now insert the IVR code for the country which we (incorrectly?) tend to call Holland.

13a Hard to follow revolutionary mood enshrined in top monument (8)
CENOTAPH: the pencil abbreviation for hard follows a synonym of top in which is contained the reversal of a mood or aura.

15a I’ve had limited success on housing couple in English block (3-3,6)
ONE-HIT WONDER: start with ON and add a synonym of couple inside an abbreviation for English and a verb to block or delay. The answer could describe someone like Joe Dolce.

18a Husband getting care, then let out for community support? (6,6)
HEALTH CENTRE: the genealogical abbreviation for husband and an anagram (out) of CARE THEN LET.

21a Rulers prepared to participate in demo before end of day (8)
MONARCHY: an adjective meaning ‘willing to participate’ goes inside a demo or rally. Finish with the end letter of day.

22a A lot of notes presented by old book (6)
OCTAVO: a word for a series of eight notes without its last letter is followed by the abbreviation for old.

24a Unrelenting satirical attitude not carried through? (4)
IRON: a word for a satirical attitude without its final Y.

25a Wrong speed — holding it to end of race, unable to understand the instructions? (10)
ILLITERATE: an adjective meaning wrong or bad and a synonym of speed contain IT and the last letter of race.

26a Irritation, dropping goods in river (4)
NILE: a word meaning irritation or hassle loses both of its abbreviations for good.

27a Conversation starter: “How to freeze a wave” (10)
ICEBREAKER: stick together a verb to freeze and a large wave.

Down Clues

1d Father and daughter upset about British ruins (6)
DEBRIS: paste together a father (maybe equine) and the genealogical abbreviation for daughter, reverse it and insert an abbreviation for British.

2d Left cathedral site after working without support? (6)
LONELY: the abbreviation for left then a cathedral site in Cambridgeshire follows an adverb meaning working or in operation.

3d What environmentalists note we don’t have? It’s only to be expected (6,6)
SECOND NATURE: I think the first sentence here is saying that environmentalists stress that we only have one world and if we destroy it we can’t make another one. Let me know if you have an alternative explanation.

4d Take top off protective cover smeared in grease? (4)
OILY: remove the first letter of a lacy mat put under plates on the table (a word I hadn’t heard for ages).

5d Observed point about acceptable speech taking a convoluted tack (10)
SERPENTINE: a past participle meaning observed contains the abbreviation for acceptable speech (variously known as the King’s English or how posh people talk). Append a sharp point.

7d Sound of surprise about doctor bandaging male soldier (8)
COMMANDO: a Russian doll clue. Put an exclamation of surprise around one of our abbreviations for doctor which contains a male person.

8d Mate correct about hospital booklet (8)
BROCHURE: a short informal word for a mate and a verb to correct or remedy containing the map abbreviation for hospital.

11d Standard border in church’s interior design component (6,6)
COLOUR SCHEME: a word for a standard or flag (especially of a regiment) followed by a border inside one of our abbreviations for church.

14d Stomach upset, swallowing dodgy hooch? One can’t keep away from bars (10)
CHOCOHOLIC: a stomach upset often suffered by babies contains an anagram (dodgy) of HOOCH.

16d Fellow, one about to receive foremost of medals? (8)
CHAMPION: an all-in-one clue. Another word for fellow, the Roman numeral for one and a preposition meaning about are strung together with the first letter of medals being inserted.

17d Want to fly with a shrill cry? This bird will do (5,3)
TAWNY OWL: an anagram (to fly) of WANT is followed by a shrill cry.

19d Material in petition in support of parent (6)
DAMASK: a verb to petition to request follows a parent (maybe the mate of the father in 1d).

20d Disreputable Observer article from the past presented in volume for us (6)
VOYEUR: an old definite article goes inside an abbreviation for volume and a possessive adjective meaning ‘for us’.

23d Uncertain state that’s ignored over border (4)
LIMB: a period of uncertainty awaiting a decision loses the cricket abbreviation for over. I had to check how the answer means border – the BRB says it’s ‘an edge or border, eg of the sun, etc’.

The clues I liked best were 15a, 14d, 16d and 20d. Which one(s) did the business for you?

11 comments on “Toughie 2971
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  1. Excellent puzzle, just the right level of difficulty for me ie steady solve. Shamingly, took me a while to solve 6a considering I was once a Director of said” banking system” ! 27a my fave. Thanks to all.

  2. Very enjoyable teasing out the solutions and thankfully no parsing issues.
    10a came up elsewhere very recently so that was one of the few gimmes
    I thought 9a was a good spot by the setter and I really liked 15a plus 14&20d but my favourite my was a the excellent 17d.
    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  3. Good fun this, hard but not impossible, with some inventive clueing. 6a was a particular favourite, along with 17d, although 14d was pick of the crop.

    My thanks to Kcit for the challenge, and Gazza.

  4. Slim pickings on my first pass through but enough finger and toe holds to facilitate a solve at somewhere between andantino and moderato. I thought 16d was an excellent clue, 26a made me smile.

    Most enjoyable, thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  5. Started off apace, slowed in the middle & then staggered over the line with all but 2 correctly parsed. Still at least it was finished in a single sitting which isn’t always the case. A very entertaining puzzle & plenty tricky enough for me especially on the parsing front. 14,16&17d my top 3 though there wasn’t a dud in there.
    Thanks to Kcit & Gazza (great pics as per) for explaining 10 & 15a – with the latter I’m glad I hadn’t a clue who Joe Dolce was.

  6. I made heavy weather of this but managed to stumble over the line. Favourite was 16d, very clever. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  7. Had to leave this partway completed due to yet another hospital appointment but almost finished it on my return – just needed Gazza’s help with 15&24a.
    Top two for me were 14&17d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to the lovely Gazza for both the review and his always appreciated selection of cartoons.

  8. Slow steady progress towards a satisfactory conclusion. Initially had an incorrect middle word in 15a which held us up for a while.
    Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Kcit and Gazza.

  9. The top half went in easily then I ground to a halt until 14d yielded. Some cleverly constructed clues of which 21a and everyone else’s pick 16d, were my winners.
    Thanks to kciT and Gazza. Loved your cartoon at 9a – why do I think of James Thurber?

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