Toughie 2925 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2925

Toughie No 2925 by Gila

Hints and tips by StephenL

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone from a lovely early Autumn day here on the South Devon coast.

Tuesday rolls around again and we have a very enjoyable and clever puzzle from Gila to kick off the Toughie week. A couple of new words in there but the wordplay was very clear and helpful.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a Attempted to reserve quiet hotel, after a little hesitation, and succeeded (9)
TRIUMPHED: Place a synonym of attempted around (to reserve) a 2-letter exclamation indicating hesitation, the usual musical abbreviation to play quietly and the abbreviation for Hotel.

6a Stay, mainly to case the back of gin joint (4)
KNEE: A word meaning stay in the sense of remain loses its final letter and is placed around (to case) the final letter of giN.

10a Graduates working for a famous lawyer (5)
MASON: The abbreviation for some (high level) graduates and a 2-letter adverb meaning working.

11a Those queuing up to get hold of current flash American automobile (9)
LIMOUSINE: Took me a while to see how this was constructed. Start with what is formed by those queueing up (very topical). Insert the abbreviation for electric current, a 2-letter abbreviation for a short time (flash) and one of the abbreviations for American

12a Writer regularly sneers about writers (7)
SPENSER: Place regular or alternate letters of SnEeRs around some writing implements

13a View from the middle seems quite exciting (7)
EYESHOT: Start with the middle letter of seEms. Add a synonym of quite as an affirmative and an adjective meaning exiting or thrilling.

14a Taste using a plastic pipette (8)
APPETITE: A from the clue and an anagram (plastic) of PIPETTE.

16a Puddles of water around boat (5)
SLOOP: Reverse (around) some small areas of water.

19a Fruit and veg given to companion (5)
PEACH: Start with a humble green vegetable and add the abbreviation for a Companion of Honour.

21a Dish mostly said to be rustic (8)
PASTORAL: A staple dish loses its last letter (mostly) and is followed by a synonym of said or spoken.

24a Humourless manipulation accepted by ship’s mates (7)
SPOUSES: A 2-letter word that (when placed before faced for example) can mean humourless plus a simple synonym of manipulation are “accepted” by crosswordland’s staple ship.

25a Two vehicles filled with a company of people (7)
CARAVAN: Two vehicles are split by A from the clue.

27a Condemn nasty creep in court (9)
DEPRECATE: Insert an anagram (nasty) of creep into a synonym of court in the sense of “take out” or woo.

28a Order employing sarcasm right away (5)
IONIC: Remove the abbreviation for Right from a synonym of sarcastic or caustic (employing sarcasm)

29a Most of land next to river is sparse (4)
RARE: Another letter removal, this time the final letter of some land. Append the result to the abbreviation for River.

30a Flashy display from gutted sommeliers introducing house whites? (9)
SHOWINESS: Place the outside (gutted) letters of SommelierS around (introducing) the abbreviation for HOuse and some drinks of which white is an example.


1d By initially trailing a politician, one tracks when events occur (9)
TIMESTAMP: Start with a synonym of by in a mathematical sense, add the initial letter of Trailing, A from the clue and our usual 2-letter Member of Parliament.

2d Take legal steps to support one’s children (5)
ISSUE: A synonym of prosecute (take legal action) “supports” or goes below the letter that looks like the number one plus the possessive S

3d Be bothered by rigid attitude (7)
MINDSET: Synonyms of “be bothered by” or care and rigid or inflexible.

4d Woman (or man) drinks vermouth for fun (8)
HILARITY: A female or male Christian name goes around (drinks) an informal name for vermouth (as in gin&it)

5d Type of bread containing more moisture (6)
DAMPER: Double definition, one a type of soda bread, the other a comparative adjective.

7d Be rough in freaking out somebody close to you (9)
NEIGHBOUR: Anagram (freaking out) of the preceding three words.

8d Leave without scarf (5)
EXEAT: The usual preposition meaning without plus scarf as a verb.

9d Force don to tour university (6)
DURESS: Don here is a verb and we need to place it around (to tour) the abbreviation for University

15d It’s hard to see past this presenter’s first great broadcast (3-6)
PEA-SOUPER: Two homophones (broadcast) required here. The first is of how you would say the initial letter of Presenter,  the second a synonym of great or fantastic.

17d Small marks covering single items of clothing (4,5)
POLO NECK: A small mark or spot goes around (again!) a synonym of single.

18d Come and hang out for Spanish food (8)
MANCHEGO: Anagram (out) of COME and HANG.

20d Moderate leader shed tear (6)
HASTEN: A synonym of moderate in the sense of subdue loses its first letter (leader shed). My last one in and a well disguised definition. My COTD.

22d They’re oddly compact in size for transport hubs (7)
TERMINI: Alternate letters of ThEyR plus a prefix meaning small or compact in size.

23d Hollywood stars covet these huge SUVs? (6)
OSCARS: Some annual (I think) awards given to self-important luvvies. If you split the solution 2,4 you’ll see the wordplay.

24d Extremely sinkable claret served up for a celebratory meal (5)
SEDER: The outside letters (extremely) of SinkablE plus a reversal (served up) of the colour or type of wine of which claret is an example.

26d Way to snub a rendezvous (5)
VENUE: Remove (to snub) A from a tree-lined way or road.

Thanks Gila. My winners were 13a plus 15&20d. Which did you like?





14 comments on “Toughie 2925
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  1. You can usually rely on Gila to give us a Toughie on a Tuesday and this one was enjoyable too

    Thanks to Gila and to Stephen – my favourite has to be 24a although that has more to do with the cartoon than the clue!

  2. Surprisingly, I found this a bit less challenging than the backpager and finished it in one of my faster Toughie-solving times, with my top two clues, 20 & 15d, my last two in. I also liked 4d, 13a, and 11a. I did have to google to confirm my answer to 5d, a new term to me. I really enjoyed this nice workout last night, so thanks to Gila, and to StephenL for his hints, which I happily did not need.

  3. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Gila and StephenL.
    I needed to check on the 5d bread.
    My selections for the podium are 3d, 8d and 15d.

  4. Very nice. I enjoyed the challenge a lot with 23d my favourite.

    I knew the bread in 5d but not the specific meaning of scarf needed in 8d nor the celebratory meal in 24d, but everything was fairly clued.

    Many thanks to Gila and to SL.

    1. Hi Tyke

      I have the 1948 cloth-bound 40th anniversary edition, and having had a very enjoyable few minutes scanning the obvious places (index under D, and both pages mentioning bread) sadly cannot see a reference to 5d. It does reference a twist, however, which I can recall making at camp fires back in the 1970s!

  5. Needed the hint to parse 11a, I just couldn’t see it but it had to be what it was, and 18d and 24d were new to me but fairly clued. Apart from those, reasonably straightforward. Favourite was 15d. Thanks Gila and SL.

  6. With the exception of the last 4 clues a reasonably straightforward Tuesday Toughie. My LOI was the same as Stephen’s, and my inability to parse my answer required the hint to verify that I was right. Some wonderful clues and for me the highlights were 12a, 21a, 1d and 15d, with COTD 23d.

    Many thanks to Gila and to SL

  7. Completely forgot about that dreadful ‘scarf’ and did need to check on the celebratory meal but otherwise made it through OK.
    Top three for me were 1a plus 3&23d.

    Thanks to Gila and to Stephen – I may not share your taste in music but your reviews are greatly appreciated!

    1. I’d never heard of scarf in that sense until looking it up. The word exeat evokes fond memories of the 1 Sunday (after chapel) per term when boarders could be taken out of school by their parents for the day – a chance to eat some decent food & return laden with goodies.

  8. Disappointingly fell 1 shy needing Stephen’s help to see 20d – failed to twig the wordplay nor the context of the definition. Three quarters of it went in ok but it was a struggle in SW – meal new to me also. 4&15d my top 2.
    Thanks to Gila & Stephen

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