Toughie 3004 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Toughie 3004

Toughie No 3004 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Sometimes it takes me a while to get on to proXimal’s wavelength. Luckily, he has included a number of easier clues to get you started, much appreciated!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


8a    I understood strain back in tooth is foreboding (15)
PROGNOSTICATING: A reversal (back) of I from the clue, a 5-letter word meaning understood, and a word for strain or melody goes into (in) a 5-letter tooth or spike

9a    Bet consuming this completely would make you dance (3)
ALL: If you place this answer inside BET from the clue, you get a word meaning a dance

10a    Warehouse worker that’s essential, more expensive according to Spooner (11)
STOREKEEPER: A spoonerism of words meaning essential and ‘more expensive’

11a    Old level crossing opening in road (5)
TIRED: A word meaning level or equal is crossing the first letter (opening) in road

12a    Tailor Victor shunned by fussy Muscovites (9)
CUSTOMISE: An anagram (fussy) of MUSCO(v)ITES with the letter with radio code Victor omitted (shunned)

15a    Nocturnal bat, black on back (7)
CLUBBER: Nocturnal is a noun here. A 4-letter bat, the abbreviation for black, and a reversal (back) of a short word that can mean ‘on’

17a    Rodent cat’s beheaded for food (7)
RATIONS: A 3-letter rodent, then the cat that is king of the jungle without the first letter (beheaded), and including the ‘S

19a    Outsiders from Utrecht filling forms for weapons (9)
CUTLASSES: The outer letters (outsiders) from ‘Utrecht’ go inside (filling) forms of the kind you find in a school

20a    Not moving fish nets close to quay (5)
LYING: A fish contains (nets) the last letter (close) of ‘quay’

21a    Coronets had distorted shapes (11)
OCTAHEDRONS: An anagram (distorted) of CORONETS HAD

24a    Answer and baffle cop (3)
GET: Three meanings (see Chambers). The first as answer the door or the phone, the last as in catch

25a    Folds worn-down hides (4,11)
GOES UNDERGROUND: A (4,5) expression meaning folds as in becomes bankrupt, and a word meaning worn-down


1d    Overall part protecting ship’s gun at centre (6,4)
BOILERSUIT: A 3-letter part or piece contains (protecting) a type of ship (including the ‘S) plus the centre letter in ‘gun’

2d    Not happy, in the morning going spare (6)
UNUSED: An 8-letter word meaning not happy, as queen Victoria perhaps, with the abbreviation meaning ‘in the morning’ omitted (going)

3d    Regarding business in possession of idiot (2,8)
AS CONCERNS: A business or firm is contained by (in possession of) a 3-letter idiot

4d    Exposed beams for some distance (4)
MILE: Take a 6-letter word meaning beams and remove the outer letters (exposed)

5d    Supporter‘s social media entry showing match attendance? (8)
GATEPOST: Split (4,4), this could be a social media entry (like a tweet) describing the match attendance

6d    Slowly draw one pin after another (4)
LIMP: A cryptic definition based on another interpretation of ‘pin’

7d    Public spaces once vacated are occupied by fit soldiers (6)
AGORAE: ‘Are’ without the inner letter (vacated) containing (occupied by) a 2-letter word meaning to fit or match with (as in clothing) and the abbreviation for some soldiers.  Many thanks to Stephen L. (comment 2) for correcting my previous parsing, which didn’t work.

8d    Modifiable picture frames at the back (7)
PLASTIC: A shortened form of ‘picture’ contains (frames) a word meaning ‘at the back’

13d    Revolutionary brags Tours is French city, but wasn’t always (10)
STRASBOURG: An anagram (revolutionary) of BRAGS TOURS

14d    Settling initially irritable lordless samurai with disease (7,3)
IRONING OUT: The first letter (initially) of irritable, a ‘lordless samurai’, and a very painful disease that normally affects the big toe

16d    Garment on friend covering one part of limb (8)
BRACHIUM: A female undergarment plus a friend containing (covering) the Roman numeral for one

18d    Saw is located, we hear (7)
SIGHTED: A homophone (we hear) of a word meaning located

19d    Flier has hack about hotel (6)
CHOUGH: A hack that clears your throat goes around (about) the abbreviation for hotel

20d    Gloss surplus, treating fences (6)
LUSTRE: Hidden ( … fences)

22d    Youngster taking out can from cafeteria (4)
TEEN: Take a 7-letter word for cafeteria and then remove (taking out) the ‘can’

23d    Repeatedly trick clumsy beast (4)
DODO: A 2-letter word for trick, repeated

Today I most liked “Coronets had distorted shapes” for its simple elegant surface. Which clues were your favourites?

11 comments on “Toughie 3004
Leave your own comment 

  1. I always enjoy this setter’s offerings, and today’s was just right. Slightly easier bottom half, I thought, with the one exception that brought me here, which was 24a. A triple definition simply didn’t occur to me, so ‘baffle cop’ left me … well, baffled. He really *** me there, in fact.

    I too loved 21a, and I will freely admit feeling a little too please with myself for getting 7d almost instantly. An advantage of teaching Greek, I suppose…

    As always, huge thanks to our very clever setter, and our equally clever and ever-reliable blogger.

  2. I came up one short on this, 7d which I don’t think I’d have ever got and still not sure I understand. Surely it’s “are” that’s vacated and occupied not “once” as per the hint? Also surprised to see nocturnal can be a noun but it’s there in the Chambers small print.
    Anyway, as ever with this setter, very enjoyable with my winners 9,11&24a plus 2&6d.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and Dutch.

  3. I parsed 7d differently, once being part of the definition and then vacate are around fit and soldiers. Thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

  4. After a very slow start, I suddenly got onto the right wavelength, then I was away. I found the whole puzzle excellent, including the Spoonerism. 21a came close to being my favourite, but that position is held by 11a.

    Thanks to proXimal for the challenge, and to Dutch.

  5. I found this on the friendly end of the toughie scale and solved in a similar time to today’s back-pager. Lots of fun brain teasers throughout, with a scattering of helpful starters made it more accessible than most. Whilst I hadn’t heard of the word for 7d, I was aware of the phobia. 8a was my hold-out for too long and needed almost all the checkers to solve. I note the second reference to female underwear in under a week ;) My top clues were 10a for the spoonerism, 15a for the misdirection but 2d wins for the simple but effective surface. Like the back-pager, I got there but needed assistance with some of the parsing – ty Dutch

    Ty also to ProXimal for the brain workout

  6. Nearly but not quite. Needed to reveal the 1d/15a checker to finish those last two, both of which I ought to have got without help. Pleased to get 7d having been beaten by Robyn’s axillae last Friday. Both 16&19d unfamiliar but the wordplay got me there & confirmed. Tough for me but enjoyed the solve though needed help with one or two parsings. Just nice to have a Friday puzzle vaguely doable for the less able solvers. 2d my fav & also particularly liked the wordplay at 8a & the Spoonerism.
    Thanks to ProXimal & Dutch

  7. Late as usual on toughie duty, what a delight to have doable specimen on a Friday!
    Good, straightforward clueing as usual from this setter did the biz. Needed Mr G for confirmation of 7d and much head-scratching for several others, but a complete grid on a Friday says it all.
    Thanks to the X-man for the workout and Dutch for the review.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.