Toughie 3003 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3003

Toughie No 3003 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We seem to have had a reversal of the usual order of Toughie difficulty so far this week with this puzzle being as straightforward as any Toughie in recent times. Thanks to Kcit.

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

Across Clues

1a Million on course? That’s a lucky thing (6)
MASCOT: the abbreviation for a million and an English racecourse.

5a Advanced equipment in Welsh town will do for flowering plant (8)
MARIGOLD: insert the abbreviation for advanced and a piece of equipment into the county town of Flintshire in North Wales.

9a Epidemic? Change will involve steps (10)
PESTILENCE: the sort of change found in your pocket or purse contains some rural steps.

10a Subsequent difficulty about kiss (4)
NEXT: a word meaning difficulty (it is in the BRB) contains the letter used for a kiss.

11a Epic place where many live in wisdom (8)
SAGACITY: charade of an epic or long literary work and a place where many people live.

12a Scientific model compounded error with variable (6)
ORRERY: an anagram (compounded) of ERROR followed by a mathematical variable.

13a Spoils component of the foregoing (4)
MARS: double definition, the second being a component of the answer to the previous clue.

15a First thing about the mouth when imbibing one drink (8)
ORIGINAL: an adjective meaning ‘about the mouth’ contains the Roman numeral for one and an alcoholic drink.

18a Get on with Antonio at the end? I do (8)
PROSPERO: a verb to get on or thrive and the last letter of Antonio. This Shakespearean character forgave Antonio at the end of the play.

19a Fan’s heading off for a measure of cricket? (4)
OVER: remove the first letter of a fan or aficionado.

21a Ragamuffin, in scrape, mustering resistance (6)
SCRUFF: a verb to scrape of graze contains the electrical abbreviation for resistance.

23a Take away agreed-to changes (8)
DEROGATE: an anagram (changes) of AGREED-TO.

25a Demonstration quietly removed top of building (4)
ROOF: a demonstration or validation without the musical abbreviation for quietly.

26a Give up wrapping most of present for regular criminal (10)
REOFFENDER: a verb to give up or hand over contains a verb to present or tender without its final letter.

27a We run into a place? Kind of (2,2,4)
AS IT WERE: insert WE and the cricket abbreviation for run into A and a verb to place or position.

28a Fruit, lightly cored, served with a lot of food (6)
LYCHEE: the outer letters of lightly and a word for food or fare without its last letter.

Down Clues

2d Ground about to be swamped by boundless watercourse (5)
ARENA: a preposition meaning ‘about’ is contained inside an inland watercourse without its outer letters.

3d Jazz enthusiast has to suppress cause of pain in release of emotions (9)
CATHARSIS: an informal word for a jazz enthusiast and ‘has’ containing the abbreviation for a cause of pain (especially for those who write a lot in longhand).

4d Is subdued by remarkable English composer (6)
TALLIS: IS preceded by an adjective meaning remarkable or far-fetched.

5d Easy income this elderly guy perhaps makes at auction? (5,3,3,4)
MONEY FOR OLD ROPE: guy here is not a man but something inanimate. Nice clue!

6d The various common soldiers, enthralled by a lot of sonorous oratory (8)
RHETORIC: an anagram (various) of THE and the abbreviation for common soldiers are contained in an adjective meaning sonorous or luxurious without its last letter.

7d Individual interrupting old King will be somebody facing death (5)
GONER: insert a word meaning individual into the regal cipher of one of our old kings of which we’ve had six so far with another one lined up for the distant future.

8d Dodgy tax rule I use initially offering delight (9)
LUXURIATE: an anagram (dodgy) of TAX RULE I U[se].

14d A small group, American, holding company up? Dreadful (9)
ATROCIOUS: string together A, a small musical group and one of the abbreviations for American. That lot contains the reversal of the abbreviation for company.

16d Popular newspaper possibly I start to consider as containing no life (9)
INORGANIC: assemble an adjective meaning popular, a term used for a newspaper or propaganda sheet, I and the starting letter of consider.

17d Necessarily how military rations are allotted? (8)
PERFORCE: split the answer 3,5 to see how military rations may be allocated.

20d Toxic Cockney? It’s as much as a member can take (6)
ARMFUL: an adjective meaning toxic or hazardous pronounced in the Cockney fashion.

22d Female in military squad is not suitable (5)
UNFIT: insert the abbreviation for female into a military squad.

24d Yonder article borders on remarkable (5)
THERE: a grammatical article and the bordering letters of remarkable.

My co-favourites today were 18a and 5d. Which clue(s) delighted you?

17 comments on “Toughie 3003
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  1. Perhaps not as quirky as some of this setter’s puzzles can be but very enjoyable nonetheless. I was lucky enough to be on wavelength from the get-go, or more likely it was just gentle!
    12a was new but easily guessable from wordplay and checkers and that was my only slight problem.
    I particularly liked 18&27a plus 3,5&20d
    Many thanks to Kcit and Gazza

  2. Very straightforward for a Toughie, yet still great fun to solve. 5d went in quite quickly and that helped so much as a cross-checker for a number of across clues. It was also my favourite.

    My thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  3. A little less challenging than other Toughies from this setter have been but very enjoyable – just the composer I had to check on.
    It was nice to see 28a spelt in a more familiar way than we saw recently and I did smile at 20d.
    Think my top two were 5&17d.

    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review – wonder which job in the bank that interviewee had set his sites on!

  4. Didn’t know the composer either and found his music a bit too churchy for my liking.
    Was checking the wrong play in 18a at first (merchant of Venice) and got it once all the checkers were in place.
    The repetitive stress injury in 3d always makes me smile as the acronym in french is for Regime Social des Indépendants to which I have to contribute a huge percentage of my earnings. Definitely a cause of great pain.
    Thanks to Kcit and to Gazza for the review.

  5. Faith in my solving ability somewhat restored after a stroll through this in back-page ** time. The composer unfamiliar but otherwise fairly straightforward. Gentle by Kcit standards but no complaints from me on that score. Very enjoyable & with podium spots for 5&6d plus best of all 18a.
    Thanks to Kcit & Gazza – The Blood Donor my fav HHH – comedy perfection.

  6. I’ve come across the composer before in crosswords and I knew of 12a so a straightforward solve. Good fun though. Hard to look past 5d for cotd so I won’t. Thanks to Kcit and Gazza.

  7. Very enjoyable puzzle while it lasted, completion delayed by my failing to parse 18a: I’ve evidently forgotten too much of that Shakespeare which I ever knew! Cannot recall when I first heard 4d’s Spem in Alium ( ), but it is easily one of my favourite pieces of music, so an extra reason for me to be grateful to Kcit for today’s crossword. Tremendous fun throughout.

    Many thanks indeed to Kcit and to Gazza

  8. So much better than yesterday. I could reach the end of the clue without forgetting how it started! Django proved too wordy for me
    COTD 11a
    Thank you kcit and Gazza

  9. I have to agree with Gazza on this, as I can’t ever remember a KCIT Toughie that was as straightforward as this one was – but I’m certainly not complaining. A most enjoyable post evening meal solve, with favourites that included 5a and 20d. I also liked the12/13 connection, which for me was probably best of all. Thanks to KCIT and Gazza.

  10. A superb Toughie, the kind that restores my faith in my oft-rapidly-dwindling sleuthing skills. 18a my runaway favourite, of course, though I was quite taken by the very clever 4d (well known to me because of Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia upon his themes & variations) and quite amused by the 12/13a combination. Thanks to Gazza and Kcit.

  11. This bordered on back-page territory for me but nethertheless an enjoyable solve. I thought the link between 12 and 13 very originally done, and luckily I looked up the model before I got to 13a as I hadn’t come across it before. Quite a few recent repeats, 1a and 2a for example, I guess that’s luck of the draw. Otherwise I liked 19a for the surface and cricket reference, whilst 20d was witty and got my COTD

    Thanks to Kcit and Gazza for the help with parsing.

  12. Oh joy. Just finished this at breakfast 24 hours later than anyone else I stupidly put in Talisk ((too much whisky on my mind maybe) and so I couldn’t get11a. When the penny dropped I stopped trying to think of Athenian temples of wise women many thanks to Kcit and Gaza.

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