Toughie No 3013 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 3013

Toughie No 3013 by Dada

Hints and tips by StephenL

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hello everyone from South Devon where the sun (at the time of writing) is conspicuous by its absence.

Dada kicks off the Toughie week with a reasonably gentle puzzle that was nonetheless great fun.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Pale food (5)
PASTY: A classic Dada two meanings clue to get us underway, one an adjective referring to the tone of our skin

4a Fuel smell recalled by soldier (8)
PARAFFIN: An abbreviatied soldier (think maroon beret) followed by a reversal (recalled) of an unpleasant smell.

10a Man, say, bound to cut head (7)
PRIMATE: Bound here is a 3-letter verb and we need to insert it (to cut) an archaic or humourous name for one’s head.

11a Line bags in black alongside a colourful array (7)
RAINBOW: A line “bags” or contains A plus IN and the abbreviation for Black all from the clue.

12a Current shift in the Calcutta Cup, last of all (4)
NEAP: Take the final letters (last if all) of the preceding four words. A new word for me but the wordplay is crystal clear. The cup is given to the winners (usually Scotland of late!) of the annual international rugby match between England and Scotland.

13a Crow flies, finally, into vessel (5)
BOAST: Insert the final letter of flieS into a vessel for travelling over water. Crow here is a verb.

14a A little moment in year, minute (4)
TINY: Hidden (a little) in the clue.

17a Bosses introduced to fresh idea not previously communicated (14)
AFOREMENTIONED: Insert (introduced to) some (typically factory) bosses into an anagram (fresh) of IDEA NOT.

19a Sport in which participants struggle, grappling with tiredness? (3-2,9)
ALL-IN WRESTLING: The wordplay element is a synonym of grappling which follows a term as enumerated in the clue relating to tiredness or exhaustion. I think the whole clue serves as definition though.

22a Finish off ham, then finish off lamb, say? (4)
MEAT: Start with the final letter of haM and follow it with a verb meaning to finish off or consume giving something of which lamb is an example. Clever clue.

23a Grape for pruning back (5)
PINOT: If we reverse the solution, a grape used in both red and white wine, and split it 2,3 we can see the reference to “for pruning”.

24a County viewed in cinema, Yorkshire (4)
MAYO: Hidden (viewed in) the clue

27a Strong dope locked in boot (7)
PUNGENT: Another insertion clue, this time some dope or information (seen in crosswordland more than real life) into a synonym of boot as a verb. Clever clue which made me smile.

28a Practical type, pugilist punching others (7)
REALIST: Crosswordland’s favourite 3-letter pugalist goes inside (punching) a synonym of others or those remaining.

29a Spirit abandoned, popped one’s clogs (8)
PERISHED: The spirit here is a supernatural being in Persian folklore. We need to follow it with a synonym of abandoned or got rid of.

30a Very energetic citizen of English city briefly touring India (5)
MANIC: As someone who hails from this place, another one that made me smile. Take an abbreviated word for someone from England’s finest city and place it around the IVR code for India. Here’s one of its most popular, and rightly so, musicians.


1d River bird bathing leg, preening type (8)
POPINJAY: A 2-letter river and a bird of the crow family “bathe” or go around in informal word for one’s leg. Lovely word and excellent clue.

2d Stew provided to feed variety of toads (7)
STIFADO: Insert (to feed) a synonym of provided as a conjunction into an anagram (variety of) of TOADS.

3d I’ve got it after you before, all right! (4)
YEAH: Place a 2-letter interjection meaning “I see or I understand” after an archaic word (before) for “you”.

5d Complete swine in cad: sort she messed around (6-3-5)

ACROSS-THE-BOARD: My last one in, mainly because I was thinking swine was part of the fodder. We need to insert a type of swine in the animal sense into an anagram (messed around) of CAD SORT SHE.

6d Passionate singer uplifted (4)
AVID: Reverse a name for a female singer or self-important person.

7d Very hot month set one’s teeth on edge (7)
FEBRILE: An abbreviated month plus a verb meaning to anger or annoy. Hot is in the sense of animated.

8d Leader of revolution has abandoned country? You’re kidding! (2,3)
NO WAY: Remove the initial letter of Revolution from a Scandinavian country.

9d Drink whiskey and rum this Noel: sweet! (3,4,7)
WET ONES WHISTLE: An anagram (rum) of the following three words goes after the letter that Whisky represents in the phonetic alphabet. Good surface read.

15d Primarily diabolical and wicked — am I? (5)
DEVIL: Append a synonym of wicked to the initial letter of Diabolical.

16d Place where infant goes crazy (5)
POTTY. An excellent DD. The first being a reference to a junior’s loo!

18d Sign coat damaged? I’m sceptical (8)
AGNOSTIC: Anagram (damaged) of the preceding two words.

20d Apprentice runs into Tower of Pisa, possibly? (7)
LEARNER: Place the abbreviation for Runs into how one could whimsically describe the Tower of Pisa based upon its angle.

21d Rush, perhaps to welcome queen from Shiraz? (7)
IRANIAN: The “rush perhaps” here is a reference to the former Liverpool footballer and prolific goalscorer. We need to place his Christian name around (to welcome) an old Indian queen. I can’t pass up the opportunity to showcase another Rush.

22d Second baby, clean (3,2)
MOP UP: The usual 2-letter informal second or short time plus an informal word for a baby or an infant dog for example.

25d Latest four points (4)
NEWS: Arrange four points of the compass in the required order.

26d Island capital short of a tree (4)
PALM: Remove A from the end of a city in Mallorca giving a tree ubiquitous here in this part of South Devon.

Excellent puzzle, thanks Dada. Coming up trumps this Tuesday are 22a plus 1&16d but it was all top-notch. Which ones did you like?




44 comments on “Toughie No 3013
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  1. Good fun but not really any tougher that Dada’s Sunday puzzles – thanks to him and to StephenL.
    My ticks went to 10a, 27a and 16d.

  2. For me, Dada somewhat more challenging than his recent Sunday puzzles but as enjoyable as ever – 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 4a, 27a, 29a, and 16d – and the winner could be any one of them but I will select 16d.

    Thanks to Dada and to StephenL.

  3. I found it slightly harder than a Sunday Dada making it an actual Toughie on a Tuesday

    An enjoyable solve so thank you to Dada and Stephen

  4. I thought this was just right for a Tuesday Toughie. Nicely challenging but not too difficult and great fun.

    I did get held up a bit in the NW corner having become transfixed with the idea that the answer was “true” – i.e.: the right hand letters of “it after you before” – with “I’ve got it” being a slightly odd definition. But, of course, this wonderful fantasy on my part fell to pieces because “it” would have been doing double duty. I also struggled with 2d which is not in Chambers and nor did it appear when, in desperation, I tried an anagram solver using “toads” with “if” inserted as the fodder. Collins finally came to my rescue as I worked on trial and error with the checking letters.

    16d was my favourite and a LOL moment.

    Many thanks to Dada and to SL.

  5. Almost managed an unaided solve but didn’t know the stew at 2d, so, although I needéd the hint, with the checkers in place, managed without needing to reveal the answer. Very enjoyable solve, the long answers helping enormously. Particularly liked 16a, 19a, 27a and 16d. Thanks to Dada and StephenL

  6. Proper job right from the start with 1a for those of us in Cornwall! Cracking puzzle from Dada, tremendous fun and very rewarding, along the lines of his old-style, slightly more challenging, Sunday backpagers. Stephen, given you are a S Devon chap, I’m surprised 12a was new to you. And as for 30a, I’m struggling to see how putting ‘Truronian’, being a person from said finest city, around the requisite IVR code, gives you the answer in the grid! ;-)

    Many thanks indeed to Dada, and of course to Stephen.

    1. I had a girlfriend who lives in Truro quite a few years ago now so I used to visit there quite often and I have to say I always found it a very chic little city with a particularly impressive cathedral and viaduct. It’s the finest city in Cornwall, that’s for sure!!

        1. I once got off the train (detrained?) just to see the cathedral in Truro and loved the cathedral and town so much I stayed overnight. (I then did the very same thing in Exeter!) Those were great days with the BritRail Pass!

  7. I can only concur with previous commenters and their choice of favourite: 16d is quite brilliant. The whole grid was nicely challenging with nothing obscure or contentious. Great fun.

    Thanks to Dada and SL.

  8. Finished this altogether riveting Toughie all on my own, even though I did Google-confirm the grappling and clogs answers, neither of which is familiar to me on this side of the Pond. I also had to strain to accept ‘rim’ as a synonym for ‘bound’ as a verb (and would still like to see that used in such a context if someone would be so kind). Still, this was a splendid work of art from our Sunday master, with 1d (lovely), 3d, 16d, & 17a earning top honours. Most entertaining! Thanks to Stephen and Dada.

    1. Robert, I think both rim and bound can mean to act as or to form an outside edge of something. Probably most commonly used in the passive sense. I saw “the lake was rimmed by huge glaciers” when I was checking this morning. Hope that helps.

      1. Thanks, Stephen. Yes, that helps, in the sense that one could also say “the lake was bounded by huge glaciers”? I tried hard earlier to use them interchangeably in the present tense as verbs, but might one say “huge glaciers rim the lake’ or “huge glaciers bound the lake”? The second use sounds a bit stilted to me.

        1. There used to be a custom called ‘beating the bounds’ when groups of parishioners would walk around the boundary of their parish to make sure that the boundary was well-known to all (in case of dispute with neighbouring parishes, I assume).

          1. Still a regular occurrence in many areas – we used to refer to it as the annual ambulatory piss-up where I lived in Cheshire, and very enjoyable it was too!

          2. I know that practice still continues in various parishes near here in E Cornwall & W Devon, partly to ensure that certain footpaths are recorded as having been used at least annually. I’m not sure that young lads are still whipped with green sticks to make them remember where the boundaries lie, though – the authorities might have something to say about that!

            1. Our minister would lead our stalwart bunch equipped with a sturdy bunch of twigs which he beat against several marker posts along the way. No young lads in evidence as far as I recall!

        2. Neither would be the first verb that springs to mind but hey, it is a crossword and I think that’s how the clue works.

        3. I have just liberated myself by deciding that I’ll consider both ‘rim’ and ‘bound’ as nouns. “There my mind was, out on the rim of things once again, but then I am accustomed to that outward bound of reality because it’s where I truly discover who I am.”

  9. Very enjoyable fare from our setter, my only hiccoughs being the ‘bound’ part of 10a and my fixation with finding a specific drink to slot into 9d.
    My favourites were 1&2d – got a recipe for the latter from the head chef of the hotel I stayed in on Corfu many years ago and still use it to this today, absolutely delicious.

    Thanks to Dada for the puzzle and to Stephen for the review – like Mustafa, I was very surprised that you were unfamiliar with 12a – I would have thought the state of the tides was of paramount importance to someone living where you do and being fond of sea swimming!

    1. To my ultimate shame I’d never heard of the tide, or if I had I’d forgotten it (I’m at the stage in life where something has to be jettisoned in order to retain new information!). I have, and much more importantly, heard of spring tides however.

  10. Struggled in the NW not helped by not knowing the stew and needed the hint to fully parse 30a as term was unfamiliar to me and I was trying to see why ‘unian’ was deleted from the answer I had. Lots to like. Favourite was 16d just pipping a number of worthy contenders. Thanks to Dada and SL.

  11. Great puzzle, enjoyed this a lot. If there’s a puzzle I enjoy more later this week I’ll be a happy chappie. Mostly answers went in quite smoothly – helped by me picking up 3 of the 4 long clues on the first pass – before running aground a bit in the NW. Similar to Dave @5, I was convinced the anagram in 2d included “of” before MrGoogle set me straight. I struggled with 3d which turned out to be a correct bung-in on my part but I couldn’t parse it. Also, I didn’t know the “crosswordland” for dope or information (I assume this is “gen”?) in 27a or the queen in 21d but luckily I could parse enough to know I was right! Podium places for 9d, 26d with COTD being 30a ***/*****

    Thanks to Dada and Stephen

  12. Struggled in the NW, mainly because we had never heard of 2d, then by one of life’s bizarre coincidences the same word came up in an old ‘The Chase” that we happened to be watching.
    Excellent fun as always from this setter.
    Thanks Dada and SL.

  13. Thoroughly enjoyed this excellent puzzle. Just right for a Tuesday & though pretty straightforward I’d still rate it a notch or two up in terms of difficulty against much of his Sunday output of late. I made a bit of a meal of the NW having initially gone Mexican (to + anagram of toads) rather than Greek (lovely dish) at 2d but soon realised the error when the trusty Cornish staple came to the rescue. Once corrected it was largely plain sailing to the finish line stopping to 9d with a nice glass of 23a & a bit of bread to 22d the sauce & finish all of the 22a in the 17a/2d. Fav 1d
    Thanks to D& the other S

  14. Not found this as easy as some of you, but I did know the stew (usually lamb I think) and will be joining Dutch to try Jane’s. ;) 😉 Better make a big batch.
    I did think of 7d as hot as in feverish rather than animated but loved the irony of February being a hot month! 16d brought the biggest smile tho
    Thanks to Dada and Stephen

      1. I always do it with diced beef, lots of garlic, bay leaves and of course red wine and small onions. I serve it with a Grecian version of roast potatoes – using tomato puree, rosemary, garlic and olive oil – deee-lish :-) :-)
        Oh, almost forgot to add, loved the crossword puzzle too.

  15. Late to this as I tried it after a recommendation from a comment on the back pager. Managed to complete in ***/**** – so pleased with my progress along still nascent toughie journey. Very enjoyable – favourites 8d and 16d, which is simply brilliant- hats off to Dada and thanks to Stephen

  16. Stephen…I’m so grateful to you for introducing me to Rush.. a group of my generation but who slipped me by ! Thank you…much listening to catch up on.

    1. Hi Rogers. I’m always very pleased when people enjoy my choice of music. Yes Rush are a great band and that song is a particular favourite of mine.

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