Toughie 2947 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2947

Toughie No 2947 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Silvanus provides today’s Toughie with his usual impeccably polished clues. Thanks to him.

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

Across Clues

1a Refuse facility ultimately lacking in Irish county (5)
OFFAL: start with the name of an Irish county (which is sometimes the subject of an unflattering homophone) and remove the ultimate letter of facility.

4a Shoots messenger at first when visiting state official investigating complaints (9)
OMBUDSMAN: a verb meaning shoots or germinates and the first letter of messenger go inside a Middle-Eastern country.

9a Having had treatment, Scot with fewer wrinkles (5-4)
CROW’S-FEET: an anagram (having had treatment) of SCOT FEWER.

10a Number imprisoned by extremely vile Frenchman showing spite (5)
VENOM: an abbreviation for number is contained inside the outer letters of vile and the abbreviated title of a Frenchman.

11a Stuff covering some rope (7)
LANYARD: a verb to stuff (with bacon perhaps) contains a synonym of some.

12a Part of torpedo roll bird’s tucked into (7)
WARHEAD: a roll (of banknotes perhaps) contains a large bird.

13a Settle bill exactly (6)
ADJUST: charade of an abbreviated bill or poster and an adverb meaning exactly.

15a Succeeds with prison pardon Northern Ireland rejected (8)
INHERITS: string together a slang word for prison, an interjection meaning pardon and the abbreviation for Northern Ireland. Now reverse it all.

18a Eulogy once performed by parent, inspiring one (8)
ENCOMIUM: an anagram (performed) of ONCE is followed by an affectionate word for a parent containing the Roman numeral for one.

20a Conservative, originally opposed, is backing new detailed artwork (6)
FRESCO: an abbreviation for Conservative and the original letter of opposed follow an adjective meaning new without its final letter.

23a Disinfect beds in same place, occasionally all over (7)
CLEANSE: regular letters of words 2-5 in reverse order.

24a Follow track cycling story (7)
UNTRUTH: stick together a verb to follow or chase and a track or furrow then cycle the first letter to the end.

26a Live with bigoted character needing no introduction (5)
EXIST: a bigoted character without his first letter.

27a Stress evident in Victoria, perhaps lower than before (9)
UNDERLINE: what Victoria is an example of in the London Underground is preceded by a preposition meaning ‘lower than’.

28a Suspect grubs ate hedges close to vegetable crop (5,4)
SUGAR BEET: an anagram (suspect) of GRUBS ATE contains the closing letter of vegetable.

29a Algerian ready at home before American doctor rings (5)
DINAR: an adverb meaning ‘at home’ and an abbreviation for American are enclosed in an abbreviation for doctor.

Down Clues

1d Wag from Bootle regularly entertaining small Liverpudlian chanteuse (9)
OSCILLATE: regular letters from Bootle contain the clothing abbreviation for small and the name of an old Liverpudlian singer.

2d Facial expression of individual depressed by empty freezer? (5)
FROWN: an adjective meaning individual or personal follows the outer letters of freezer.

3d Eastern sailors continue briefly circling reef (7)
LASCARS: a verb to continue or endure without its final letter contains a word for a reef in the sea.

4d Exaggerate mounting neighbourhood revolt to some extent (6)
OVERDO: hidden in reverse.

5d Ship’s officer, third to last leaving island country (8)
BOTSWANA: start with a ship’s officer (the full title, not the usual abbreviated version) , move its third letter to the end and delete the abbreviation for island.

6d Old Catholic enters seedy bar that attracts his condemnation? (7)
DIVORCE: abbreviations for old and Catholic go inside a word for a disreputable bar.

7d Traditional Christmas food specimen I prepared (5,4)
MINCE PIES: an anagram (prepared) of SPECIMEN I.

8d Working around Barking, one always on the move? (5)
NOMAD: reverse an adverb meaning working and add an adjective meaning barking or nuts.

14d Observing American sportsman’s superior manoeuvring (9)
JOCKEYING: a synonym for observing with an informal US term for a sportsman above it.

16d Hare bolts, worrying large mammal (5,4)
SLOTH BEAR: an anagram (worrying) of HARE BOLTS.

17d Singers collectively meditated, some said it provides calm (8)
QUIETUDE: double homophone of a) an organised group of singers and b) a verb meaning meditated or reflected. I appreciate the inclusion of ‘some’.

19d Set up office divided by metal screen (7)
MONITOR: start with a synonym of office (in the sense of place of work) with a silvery-white metal inserted then reverse it all.

21d Went to pit and changed to slicks, as told over the radio? (7)
RETIRED: this sounds liked ‘changed equipment on a car’ (to handle dry conditions during an F1 race, for example).

22d Authority imposed around India that is unrestricted (6)
PUNDIT: a past participle meaning imposed or placed containing the inner letters of India.

23d Overlooking some French titled lady for musical (5)
CHESS: a titled lady without a French word meaning ‘some’.

25d Discovered cause of sore feet is rugby, maybe? (5)
UNION: inflamed swellings on the feet without their outer letters.

My ticks included 12a, 27a, 6d, 14d and 21d. Which one(s) made the grade for you?

20 comments on “Toughie 2947
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  1. What a delight to have a Ray T back pager followed by a Silvanus Toughie. If only tomorrow, as a member of the Friday triumvirate, we could have a Silvanus back pager but my five bob says that is unlikely to happen. 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 27a, 1d, and 8d – and the winner is 27a.

    Thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza.

  2. Yet another little masterpiece from a Silvanus that was certainly tricky in places but so beautifully and accurately clued that it was perfectly solvable given time. I picked 14d early on as a likely favourite and so it proved. Great fun.

    Thanks very much to the aforementioned, and to Gazza for the blog.

  3. Really enjoyed this, stylishly clued with smiles throughout the grid. I particularly liked 4&15a plus 1,14,21&25d in that respect but could have chosen more.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Gazza for top-notch entertainment.

  4. It was no surprise to find a puzzle of this excellence from this setter. Three quarters of it was challenging and I found the SE very tough indeed, but the enjoyment factor was tip-top throughout.

    Of the plethora of ticks on my page, 14d took first place.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza.

  5. I love Silvanus’s Toughies but I found this one very difficult, and still cannot parse 17d, even with Gazza’s hint (the term for meditate?), nor could I even approach solving 21d since ‘went to pit’ remains a phrase I’ve never heard before, and I have no idea what ‘slicks’ refers to. I was just not on this master craftsman’s wavelength today, but I certainly did enjoy the challenge last night. I especially delighted in solving 5d, which is my favourite today. Thanks to Gazza and Silvanus.

    1. 17d meditated is chewed.
      21d Pit is slang term for bed. Slicks are smooth tyres used in motor racing when the track is dry.

      1. ‘Choir’ + ‘chewed’ = thanks, Gazza. I never would have arrived at ‘chewed’ in a thousand years. And the slang for bed is altogether new to me. I must live in a foreign country indeed.

  6. I found this very difficult in places. 18a was a new word for me as was the American sportsman. I needed the hint to parse 24a but I managed all the rest. I thought this was going to be a pangram but try as I might I couldn’t fit a ‘Z’ in anywhere. Favourite was 22d. Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  7. Again, I haven’t tackled this Toughie but have read the clues, H&Ts and comments. I’m waiting patiently for DOUGHNUT/S to crop up once more in a Gazza blog, so he can include his favourite risque cartoon (again) and I can respond with my usual humorous comment (again). Maybe one day soon …

  8. Like others I found the bottom half, particularly the SE corner, the toughest. The rest went in easily enough because so many of the definitions were obvious, but despite that all the clues were beautifully constructed. Top picks for me are15a, 6d, 22d and the star of the show 27a – what a superb clue.
    Thanks to Sylvanus and Gazza.

  9. Late to this today due to half term grandparent duty. Found it to be fairly gentle with one or two head-scratchers along the way.18a and 3d were new words for me but easily worked out with the checkers in place. Apart from needing help to parse 24a a fairly steady solve. Favourites were 27a, 1d and 5d , the winner being 5d. Thanks to Silvanus for the enjoyment and Gazza for the hints.

  10. Many thanks as always to Gazza for his Hints and Tips and, as usual, excellent cartoons!

    Thanks as well to everyone for their contributions, much appreciated.

  11. Didn’t know the sailors in 3d, nor that “scar” is a synonym for “reef”.

    Apart from that, all flowed and a most enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks to Gazza and Silvanus.

  12. High quality and enjoyable puzzle as we’ve come to expect from Silvanus. Tough in places and working out 17d took me almost as long as the rest of the solve. Thought 1d was brilliant.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza for the blog.

  13. One of my infrequent forays into Toughie territory was a very real pleasure with just the SE proving to be slightly bumpy and I also needed MrG’s help with 18a. TVM Silvanus and Gazza.

  14. Superb though very tough for the likes of me & particularly so down south. 17d last in – eventually twigged the double homophone after looking for an alternative to 23a as an excuse to bung quaalude in. Wasn’t familiar with 18a & slow to realise the use of superior in the wordplay at 14d. Top 3 for me – 1,5&22d
    Thanks to S&G

    1. Thanks Huntsman for summing up my experience mostly within your comment (once again).

      As per Gazza, I liked the way ‘some said’ was used in 17d.

      Thanks all.

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