Toughie 2990 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2990

Toughie No 2990 by Logman

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment *** 

Logman set a crossword which, had it not been for the SW corner, could have easily been a Jay back-pager rather than a start-of-the-week Toughie

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a    A most unusual church organ (7)
STOMACH An anagram (unusual) of A MOST followed by an abbreviation for church

9a    Processed meat gone with butter by one (8)
PASTRAMI A synonym for gone, an animal that buts and the letter representing one

10a    Block out bits of film seen during middle of week (7)
ECLIPSE Some sections of a film inserted into (seen during) the letters in the middle of wEEk

11a    Great wife with a desire to keep quiet (8)
WHOPPING The abbreviation for wife and part of a verb meaning with a desire, into which is inserted (to keep) the musical abbreviation meaning to play quietly

12a    Bad luck, seeing which people perform for the audience (6)
HOODOO A homophone (for the audience) of a two-word question asking which people perform

13a    A scream from university sportsman — several heading off (10)
UPROARIOUS Something very funny (a scream being an informal term for anything or anyone supposed to make one scream with laughter) – the abbreviation for university, an abbreviated professional sportsman and a synonym for several without its first letter (heading off)

15a    Sauce requiring no time or money (4)
PESO A type of sauce made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil without (requiring no) the abbreviation for time

16a    This could close media enquiry without conclusion (5,4)
PRESS STUD The print media and an enquiry without its final letter

21a    Pledge unbounded hate (4)
OATH The inside (unbounded) letters of a synonym for hate or dislike intensely

22a    Underwear with lace designed for model (5-5)
SMALL-SCALE A jocular euphemism for underwear and an anagram (designed) of LACE

24a    Bank on resistance accepting answer, but not often (6)
RARELY The abbreviation for Resistance followed by a verb meaning to bank on, the abbreviation for Answer being inserted (accepted) between the two

25a    Satisfaction guaranteed following appeal (8)
PLEASURE An adjective meaning certain, guaranteed, goes after an appeal

27a    Couldn’t a thankyou be a work of music? (7)
CANTATA A musical work, if split, 4,1,2 might be a way of asking couldn’t a [informal] thank you

28a    Lazy and cheeky son to be replaced by daughter (8)
INDOLENT The abbreviation for son in an adjective meaning disrespectful (cheeky) is replaced by that for daughter

29a    Indication of second unknown politician backing test (7)
SYMPTOM The abbreviation for second, a mathematical unknown, an abbreviated politician and a reversal (backing) of the annual test for a motor vehicle


2d    Finished lower than second as idle (4,4)
TICK OVER Idle in the sense of being inactive, or letting an engine run gently. A synonym for finished goes under (lower than) an informal term for a short period of time (second)

3d    Delivery post procedure subject to doctor (4,4)
MAIL DROP Some post and an abbreviated procedure, the latter going under (subject to) an abbreviated doctor

4d    Person in suit taps vacantly and stews (10)
CASSOULETS A person inserted between a [law] suit and the outside (vacantly) letters of TapS

5d    Clean coat put on by artist (4)
WASH A verb meaning to clean or a thin layer of paint an artist puts on a canvas

6d    Power in drubbings lifted state of shock (6)
STUPOR The abbreviation for power inserted into a reversal (lifted) of some utter defeats (drubbings)

7d    Creature found in vehicle I purchased with 50 per cent off (7)
CARIBOU A vehicle, I (from the clue) and the first half (50 per cent off) of a synonym for purchased

8d    Put off seeing inspector’s enthusiasm cut short (7)
DISGUST An abbreviated detective inspector plus an S (inspector’s) and some truncated enthusiasm

11d    Plant with due respect to designated area in office (9)
WORKSPACE Plant in the sense of factory and a Latin preposition meaning with due respect to

14d    Prepared to act — that must change before day breaks (2,3,5)
AT THE READY An anagram (must change) of THAT, a literary preposition/conjunction meaning before and an anagram (breaks) of DAY

17d    Bread ultimately fed poorest vagrant (8)
DOORSTEP The ultimate letter of feD and an anagram (vagrant) of POOREST

18d    Weapon fired up in dispute (8)
STILETTO A reversal (up) of a synonym for fired inserted into a fight or argument (3-2)

19d    Promoted spooks will take 30 days to get clean (7)
ASEPTIC A reversal (promoted) of the American ‘spooks’ into which is inserted an abbreviated month with 30 days

20d    Loans due after roughly the beginning of the month (7)
CALENDS A way of saying loans goes after an abbreviation meaning roughly, about, to produce the first day of each month in the ancient Roman calendar – a word I found hiding at the back of my brain somewhere as I hadn’t heard of it for a very long time

23d    Endure Lombardy on vacation, bringing up the rear (6)
LASTLY A verb meaning to endure and the outside (on vacation) letters of LombardY

26d    Farrow can but produce one! (4)
RUNT The smallest pig in a litter (farrow)


13 comments on “Toughie 2990
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  1. First year Latin to the rescue for 20d! Funny how that one just came forth, no longer lurking after 70 years. A bit tougher perhaps than one of Jay’s midweek cryptics but even more enjoyable for that. I especially enjoyed discovering the ‘Plant’ and more Latin in 11d, the ‘bad’ stuff in 12a, and the ‘Great wife’ in 11a, which is my COTD. Not a dud in the grid and a real charmer to work. Thanks to CS and Logman.

  2. It may be at the easy end of the Toughie spectrum but there are some beautifully crafted clues here, nearly all with super-smooth surfaces. Favourites, out of many, are 1a, 25a and 20d.
    Thanks to Logman and CS.

  3. I enjoyed this a lot. 4d was new to me but obtainable from the wordplay and checkers. My only other slight hold up was the parsing of 11d
    The surface read of 11a made me smile, 13a is a great word (and good clue) and I thought 16a was nice but I think I’ll go for 2d as favourite.
    Many thanks to Logman and Cryptic Sue.

  4. Relatively straightforward for a Toughie but most rewarding and entertaining. 11a was my personal favourite ahead of 18d.

    Thanks to Logman for the fun, and to CS.

  5. I found this not to tough and great fun.

    I’m not totally convinced by “subject to” in 3d being an instruction to place something after or below something else.

    My top picks were 1a, 11a & 2d.

    Many thanks to Logman and to CS.

  6. Gave myself a problem by being fixated on ‘blue’ for the university sportsman in 13a so that was one of my last entries along with 20d which I had to check.
    Top three here were 1,25&28a.

    Thanks to Logman Jay and to CS for another of her beautifully illustrated reviews.

  7. I found this a lot more difficult than the previous commentators mainly due to 3 new words for me and a couple of parsings that I needed the hints for, I didn’t do French at school let alone Latin. Hey ho I got there. Favourite was 29a. Thanks to Logman and CS.

  8. I found this a step up from the previous two days and similar to CS found quite a roadblock in the SW corner. I didn’t know (or more likely have forgotten) 20d and couldn’t decipher 19d though now I read the hints it’s clear. I thought the convention that written numbers referred to other clues? Clearly not always! I thought 28a was excellent in its simplicity but I needed checkers to help. I agree with previous commenters that the smooth surfaces throughout were the standout, so 22a and 29a deserve am honourable mention, but COTD goes to 28a. ***/***

    Thanks to Longman and CS for the hints

  9. Had some hesitation over the Latin section of 11d but did get the right answer.
    A most enjoyable solve that we obviously found a bit trickier than the blogger did.
    Thanks Logman and CS.

  10. Surprised by the swiftness of the solve, but seeing our esteemed blogger’s rating , I can only agree.
    Thanks to Logman for the distraction and to CS for the review.

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